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

24 PAGES

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2010

THULQIDA 8, 1431 AH

NO: 14881

150 FILS

After peace prize, China targets winner’s friends

Swiss celebrate longest tunnel breakthrough

Bullets and olive branches at West Bank harvest

Liverpool sold to Red Sox owners

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Israel approves new E Jerusalem homes Arabs may ask UN to recognize Palestinian state

AGHADEER: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad visited the Saudi Crown Prince, deputy prime minister, defense minister and inspector general, and Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz at HRH’s palace in Aghadeer, Morocco. — KUNA

Kuwait’s rights groups protest book banning KUWAIT: A coalition of rights groups is using this week’s Kuwait Book Fair to press the government to give up its wide powers to ban books and other publications. The protest is part of a broader struggle in Kuwait and across the Middle East as authorities seek greater openness to Western-style commerce but often are slow to give up controls considered necessary to safeguard traditional social values. Kuwait has some of the most vibrant political debate and press freedoms in the Gulf, but the rights groups said only the courts and not the Information Ministry - should hold censorship powers. “Censorship in Kuwait has no criteria, no standards. ... We aim to change the process of banning,” said Ahmed Soud, one of the protest organizers. “It should be restricted, so each book can only be banned by a court order.” Kuwait’s Information Ministry says 25 books out of 24,000 titles were banned at this year’s book fair, which opened Wednesday one of the major events for Arabic language publishers and book sellers. But participants claim as many as 120 books

were on the blacklist, which included political works and novels from well-known Egyptian authors such as Alaa Al-Aswany and Gamal AlGitani. Saudi author Abdo Khal, winner of the 2010 Arab Booker Prize for the novel “Spewing Sparks as Big as Castles,” boycotted the book fair to protest the blacklist. Censorship is widespread across the Middle East and journalists often face tight controls. In much of the region, authors must receive official permission before their work can be published. “The situation is chaotic. There are no laws with which to argue. We don’t know what criteria the government uses to ban books,” explained Qais Bougammaz, an activist at the protest. Inside the fair, crowds browse the hundreds of books stands exhibiting a range of mostly Arabic books including cookbooks, children’s books, novels, computer instruction manuals and religious texts. But some more racy titles were not blocked by censors, including an Arabic translation of Stephanie Meyer’s vampire best-seller “Twilight.” — AP

BEIRUT: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (right) presents a machine gun to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a meeting at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. — AP

‘Israeli rifle’ a Hezbollah’s gift for Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s Lebanon visit a message to US BEIRUT: The leader of Hezbollah gave Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a unique gift to cap off his two-day trip to Lebanon - an Israeli assault rifle captured during the militant group’s 2006 war with the Jewish state. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah presented the weapon - in a felt-lined box with a row of bullets - during a meeting at the Iranian embassy in Beirut late Thursday, Hezbollah said in a statement. Hezbollah and Israel fought a 34-day war in 2006 after the Shiite militant group captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid. Some 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis were killed in

the fighting. Iran, whose ties to Hezbollah date back nearly 30 years, funds the militant group to the tune of millions of dollars a year and is believed to supply much of its arsenal. Hezbollah boasts widespread support among Lebanese Shiites and runs a virtual state-within-a-state in Shiite areas of the country. During a visit to the town of Bint Jbeil near the Israeli border on Thursday, Ahmadinejad delivered a speech in which he taunted Israel, saying “the world should know that the Zionists will perish.” Continued on Page 19

JERUSALEM: Israel’s government ended an unofficial freeze on new building in east Jerusalem, approving the construction of 238 homes in Jewish neighborhoods as peace talks remained stuck yesterday over the fate of a broader construction slowdown throughout the West Bank. The Israeli Housing Ministry’s announcement that developers would be allowed to bid for contracts to build new homes in the neighborhoods of Ramot and Pisgat Zeev drew swift condemnation from Palestinian negotiators. Peace talks that began in early September are currently deadlocked over a Palestinian demand that Israel extend a slowdown on settlement construction that expired last month. The Palestinians are threatening to quit the negotiations unless Israel reinstates the building restrictions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to do so. Both sides have indicated compromise is possible, but attempts by US mediators to break the impasse have failed so far. Continued on Page 19

SILWAN: A masked Palestinian stone thrower pauses during clashes with Israeli border police (not seen) in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan yesterday. — AP

US pastor wins car for canceling Quran burning SOUTH BRUNSWICK: An American pastor who drew international criticism by threatening to burn a copy of the Quran has ended up with an unlikely reward - a free car. At the height of the controversy, New Jersey car dealer Brad Benson offered Florida pastor Terry Jones a 2011 Hyundai Accent worth $14,200, if he would not fulfill his promise to burn the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001, terror attacks. In the end, Jones didn’t burn the Quran, which probably would have outraged Muslims around the world. But he said that the offer Benson had made in one of his dealership’s quirky radio ads was not the reason. Jones said he only heard about it a few weeks after Sept 11. However, that delay hasn’t stopped the pastor from Gainesville, Florida, from wanting to collect the prize. Benson said he was surprised when a representative for Jones called to collect the car. “They said unless I was doing false advertising, they would like to arrange to pick up the car,” Benson recalled. At first he thought it was a hoax, so Benson asked Jones to send in a copy of his driver’s license. He did. Jones said he plans to donate the car to an organization that helps abused Muslim women. “We are not trying to profit from this. We are not keeping the car for ourselves,” Jones said by telephone from California, where he was taping television appearances. The pastor

will have to pick up the car at Brad Benson Mitsubishi Hyundai in South Brunswick, New Jersey, so he can fill out paperwork. No date has been set for the handover. When Jones threatened to burn the Quran, which many Muslims would view as sacrilege - his plan drew opposition across the world. President Barack Obama appealed to him on television, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates called him personally. Gen David Petraeus, head of the US mission in Afghanistan, said carrying out the plan would have endangered American troops. Benson, a former center for the New York Giants football team, said he originally offered Jones use of a car for a year if he refused to burn a Quran ever. “I just didn’t think that was a good thing for our country right now,” Benson said. He’s now giving Jones the car outright because he doesn’t want to be connected to whatever the Florida pastor does with it. “I don’t want to be involved in the politics of that,” Benson said. Before he made his decision, Benson asked listeners to weigh in on whether he should honor his promise. More than 2,600 people responded by phone and email, and the vast majority, Benson said, urged him to keep his word. One caller suggested painting sayings from various religious books - the Quran, the Talmud, the King James Bible - on the car. Continued on Page 19

Ex-Guantanamo inmate surrenders RIYADH: A former Guantanamo detainee who rejoined Al-Qaeda in Yemen after graduating from Saudi Arabia’s rehabilitation program has turned himself in to Saudi authorities, the government said yesterday. Jaber Jabran Al-Faifi, about 35, contacted the Saudi government in recent weeks saying he wanted to return home and a handover was arranged through Yemen’s government, interior ministry spokesman General Mansour Al-Turki said. “He contacted our people during Ramadan and asked for their help to return to the kingdom,” Turki said. “We led him step-by-step until he reached Yemeni security forces, based on our instructions,” he said. Faifi was one of a group of former prisoners at the US Guantanamo prison who had been returned to Saudi Arabia for rehabilitation in December 2006 but then escaped to Yemen two years ago after completing the reform program. The group became a key part of the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, and began plotting attacks on Saudi as well as Yemeni targets. In total 11 of 117 Saudi Guantanamo returnees returned to militancy after completing

the rehab program, according to a top Saudi counter-terror official. Several have been killed or captured. Faifi had been held in the US naval facility in Guantanamo, Cuba on accusations he trained and fought with Al-Qaeda and the Taleban in Afghanistan in 2001. US Defense Department documents say one of his aliases was on a captured Al-Qaeda computer, that he fought against the Northern Alliance, and that in November-December 2001 he met with AlQaeda members in Tora Bora, Afghanistan. The documents give no date or location or his arrest. Turki said that Faifi’s case will be administered “according to local laws” but that he will be given consideration for turning himself in. “We will treat him like the others who surrendered.” Other Qaeda-linked militants who have turned themselves in have been put through the rehabilitation program, which aims at convincing them through Islamic teachings that Al-Qaeda’s radical ideology is wrong. It also offers strong financial inducements and supervision through the militant’s family that aim at preventing him from resuming militant activities. — AFP

Saudi prince faces death penalty over gay claims LONDON: A Saudi prince accused of murdering his servant in Britain could face the death penalty in his homeland over allegations of homosexuality, a London court heard yesterday. Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir Al Saud, 34, who is a grandson of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, is accused of killing Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz in a top London hotel on February 15 after abusing him for weeks. The prince is alleged to have murdered the servant in a ferocious attack with a “sexual element”. His lawyer John Kelsey-Fry has denied suggestions that the two men were in a gay relationship. Prosecutor Bobbie Cheema told England’s Old Bailey central criminal court: “Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and carries the death penalty which is still applied in some cases. The country in which any alleged acts took place would have little bearing on the

likelihood of prosecution as the Saudi legal system is based on the sharia law which is considered to be universal.” She said prosecution would be a matter for the Saudi authorities but can depend on the wishes of the person’s family. Some relatives push for the harshest penalty if they are deemed to have shamed the family, she said. Gay Saudis have been granted asylum in Britain on the basis they could face prosecution, “and potentially the death penalty-or harm if they returned”, Cheema said. Kelsey-Fry said the Saudi law as described to the court would only apply “if it were the case that the defendant had engaged in homosexuality”. The prince, whose mother is one of King Abdullah’s daughters, denies murder and a second charge of grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to an earlier alleged assault in a hotel lift. — AFP


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NATIONAL

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Peter Van Loan confers with Al-Haroun

Kuwait-Canada trade ties poised to grow: Minister KUWAIT: Visiting Canadian Minister of International Trade, Peter Van Loan, called for additional investment and trade agreements betw een Kuw ait and Canada yesterday. He stated that the volume of $145 million in tw o w ay merchandise trade recorded last year is “a low number.” The Canadian minister referred to the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement When asked how FIPA would promote trade between the two countries, Minister Van Loan stated that Canadian companies have had many bad experiences investing overseas, but not in Kuwait. Many Canadian companies look for secure investments, something beyond the standard organization of economic cooperation and development agreement. “Trade between the two countries is already strong, but with just a $145 million trade volume we need to increase this number. We hope that more investments will be witnessed in the future,” he said. On the issue of Islamic banks in the region seeking investment opportunities in Canada, especially in the real estate sector, the Canadian minister welcomed such investments. He pointed out that the country has a secure investment that produces good income streams through solid rents, commercial and residential. “Canadian banks continue to be conservative in their approach; therefore we have not seen any collapse. As for

(FIPA), a bilateral agreement aimed at protecting and promoting foreign investment through legally-binding rights and obligations, especially after meeting w ith the Kuw aiti Minister of Trade, Ahmad Al-Haroun. The minister said, “The agreement is ready, final details are being completed, everything is in agreement.” He said he hoped it w ill be in place by the first half of 2011.

Canadian Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan talks in Kuwait yesterday. — KUNA Islamic banks, they have to go through the ministry of finance and comply with all the rules that apply to the banking system in the country,” he clari-

fied. On the other hand, the Canadian official was very pleased with the agreement signed yesterday between

Kuwait NA delegation concludes Spain visit MADRID: Members of the visiting Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation expressed their satisfaction upon meeting with Spanish parliamentary speaker Jose Bono Martinez and Senate Speaker Franciso Javier Rojo yesterday. The Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation met with a number of Spanish members of parliament and called for strengthened bilateral ties and cooperation between Kuwait and Spain. Furthermore, co-chairman of the Kuwaiti-Spanish Parliamentary Friendship Association, MP Khaled Sultan said that their visit was fruitful and achieved the desired goals of boosting political and diplomatic cooperation between the two countries. He added that the visit fulfilled the goal of maintaining communication between Kuwait’s National Assembly and the Spanish parliament, particularly after the National Assembly called for reviving the Kuwaiti-Spanish parliamentary friendship committee. Sultan also called for more contacts and visits between the two sides as well as developing stronger economic and trade ties. He asserted that Spain can

play a key role in Kuwait’s five-year development plan, particularly in the fields of alternative energies and infrastructure because of Spain’s competitiveness. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti MP Saad Znaifir said that the visit was successful because of Spain’s positive response to the proposals put forward by the Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation. The visit was considered a step towards boosting political and economic ties between the two countries. He said he hoped that the Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation’s upcoming visit to Portugal will be as diplomatically and economically successful as their visit to Spain. The Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation, consisting of MPs Khaled Sultan Bin Essa, Dr Daifallah Bouramiya, Saad Znaifir Al-Azmi and Khaled Meshaan Al-Tahus, concluded its four-day visit to Spain yesterday. It is expected that the delegation will leave Madrid for Lisbon today. They will hold meetings with Portugal’s Parliament Speaker as well as a number of their parliament’s economic and trade committee representatives during a four-day visit to the country. — KUNA

Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) and Fairfax Financial Holdings based in Canada to develop the insurance market in the MENA region as part of an expansion plan. Fairfax bought 39.2 percent, around KD 59.8 million ($208.6 million), of shares within Gulf Insurance Company (GIC) from KIPCO. The minister encouraged additional cooperation between the two countries, stressing that two thirds of Canada’s economy is based on trading, and that despite the distance, Canada hopes to strengthen trade and investments with countries around the world. When asked about his tour of the region, Van Loan said the aim of his tour is to make people aware of the economic opportunities in Canada. He said he is also following up on signed agreements, such as the free trade agreement with Jordan and the health cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia. In Kuwait he hopes to advance the foreign investment protection agreement and increase awareness of the opportunities available in

Kuwait. He hopes to encourage Canadian businessmen to speak with Kuwaiti counterparts. The next leg of his tour will be in Qatar where he will also discuss trade and investment opportunities with Qatari businessmen and officials. The Canadian minister stressed that there is a growing Canadian presence in Kuwaiti architecture, engineering, oilfields, education, healthcare and retail franchises. In May, following a visit by Kuwait’s Minister of Health, Hilal Al-Sayer, to Montreal, McGill University Health Center signed a five year, $86 million contract with Kuwait’s Ministry of Health to help improve Kuwait’s public health sector’s cardiac care. Last month, Kuwait’s Ministry of Health signed a five year $101 million contract with the Toronto based University Health Network. This agreement will allow Kuwaiti patients to receive cancer treatment in Toronto while Kuwait develops the same kind of treatments. “These are great examples of what Canada can offer,” he said. —KUNA

in the news

Senior Kuwaiti MP hails Romania trip as ‘fruitful’

BUCHAREST: Kuwaiti friendship group head Abdullah Al-Roumi and the delegation with Romanian officials in Bucharest. —KUNA

Schools affected by H1N1 to be compensated KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education’s Assistant Undersecretary for Private Education Affairs, Fahad AlGhaiss announced the formation of a special committee. He said that the committee will examine the applications submitted by private schools demanding compensation for postponing their school year last year when they were obliged to perform precautionary measures against the H1N1 disease, reported Al-Qabas.New projects announced

MEW projects Official sources revealed that the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) has submitted four new projects to the Central Tender Committee (CTC), reported Al-Anba. The four projects include; the erection of eight transformers, a project to maintain the main transformer stations in areas throughout Kuwait, the replacing of cooling units and AC units that use Freon gas at the Al-Zour southern station for power generation and the supply of necessary materials for fuel valve systems in Doha’s west station. The four project were announced during a committee meeting on October 10. Local and international companies will compete for the projects through the CTC.New building for women’s affairs committee

Women’s affairs panel Chairperson of the Cabinet’s women’s affairs committee, Sheikhah Latifa Al-Fahad expressed happiness upon hearing that the new women’s affairs committee’s headquarters would be completed soon, reported Al-Qabas. Al-Fahad stressed that the building will be both modern and environmentally friendly while giving a tour of the new building’s construction site. She said that the building was made while taking into full consideration the local climate. She also noted that water-cooled air conditioners will be used to help save power in the long run.

BUCHAREST: A senior Kuwaiti member of parliament lauded here yesterday the just-concluded visit by a Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation to Romania as totally successful. Speaking to KUNA before leaving here for Ukraine, Deputy Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly (parliament) and head of the Kuwaiti friendship group Abdullah Al-Romi said the tour was so fruitful that many discussions were held with Romanian ministers, lawmakers and senior officials. They discussed ways and means of developing and promoting cooperation and coordination between Kuwait and Romania through international and parliamentary conferences for the common good of both nations, he said. He quoted Romanian officials

as stressing the significance of reinforcing economic and trade cooperation between the two sides. He noted that Romanian officials had voiced much interest in a Gulf-Romanian economic forum due in March, given that they have many projects to offer foreign investors. He added that the Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation would meet in Ukraine with senior officials on how to develop bilateral relations. Kuwait is the first GCC member to establish diplomatic ties with Romania in 1973. During his visit to the country, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad AlSabah opened the Kuwaiti Embassy in Bucharest in 2006. —KUNA

Egyptian quality body honors Kuwaiti envoy CAIRO: The Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality (EOS) honored Kuwait’s Ambassador to Egypt Dr Rasheed Al-Hamad for his special diplomatic efforts. AlHamad was honored late on Thursday in a ceremony that was jointly held by EOS and the Centre for Peace and Development Studies. At the ceremony, senior Egyptian officials were honored as well, including Minister of Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Council Mufeed Shihab and Mufti Ali Jumaa, in addition to a number of Arab

ambassadors like Morocco’s Ambassador to Egypt Mohammad Faraj and Palestine’s Ambassador to Egypt Mohammad Sabeeh. Moreover, prominent media figures and Egyptian companies were honored. Speaking to KUNA after the ceremony, AlHamad expressed thanks and appreciation to the organizers of the event. The honoring of special figures in different fields is evidence of EOS’s appreciation to them, he emphasized. EOS is an independent non-government organization and has credibility in following up special efforts, he noted. — KUNA

Kuwait’s Ambassador to Egypt Dr Rasheed AlHamad being honored. —KUNA

Ghadeer Al-Saqabi with Arab League Chief Amr Moussa

Kuwait planning to develop renewable energy: Official BERLIN: Kuwait is in the process of working out an all-out plan centred on the development of renewable energy, said Secretary General of the Renewable Energy Development Organization (REDO) Ghadeer Al-Saqabi here yesterday. In an exclusive interview with KUNA on the sidelines of an Arab-German joint energy gathering, which kicked off yesterday, Al-Saqabi said that she was glad for the Kuwaiti participation, at the level of both public and private sectors, in the meeting, affirming that the Kuwaiti presence was in line with the state’s ambitious four-year development plan. The official noted that one of the most integral power resources that could be used in such plan was the solar energy, revealing that in the region and Kuwait in particular such energy was very

much available. The Germans were amongst the pioneers of using such energy and Kuwaitis are very keen on benefiting from the German experience, stated Al-Saqabi who indicated that Kuwait was planning on becoming more than an oil and natural gas industrial state and branching into other types of ventures. She revealed that experiments were held in Kuwait to harness such energy conducted in the northern part of the country, adding that the government was planning for constructing schools that would utilize solar energy for providing power. REDO will be backing up any government plan aimed targeting this goal. Also representing Kuwait at the meeting was the Chairman of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Ali Al-Ghannem. —KUNA


NATIONAL

Saturday, October 16, 2010

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Sheikh Jaber Al-Hamad meets with Fox

Kuwait minister lauds defense ties with UK LONDON: Kuw a iti Minister of Defense Sheikh J a ber Muba ra k AlHa ma d Al-Sa ba h la uded here yesterda y the robust a nd long-sta nding defense ties betw een Kuw a it a nd the UK. The Kuw a iti top defense officia l, a lso First Deputy Prime Minister, ma de the sta tement follow ing his

Kuwaitís counsel in Vietnam Najeeb Al-Bader meeting with a delegation from Inyang region of Vietnam who came to discuss an orphanage project with him yesterday. — KUNA

Gambler leaps to death from seventh floor KUWAIT: An Asian was killed after falling from the seventh floor of a Farwaniya building, reported security sources. According to the building’s janitor, the man was living in a seventh floor apartment that was being used as a place for illegal activities. When police broke into the man’s room they found several cards and traces of gambling activities. An investigation was launched to find those who participated in the illegal activity.

Car campaign Instructed to track down potentially dangerous and worn out vehicles still being driven, Jahra detectives and inspectors from the vehicle technical examination department recently launched an inspection campaign around the Amghara scrap yard. The campaign resulted in the confiscation of 12 vehicles and the issuing of over 300 tickets.

Citizen threatened A citizen reported that a Syrian, who is allegedly a business associate, threatened to hurt her and burn down her house, reported security sources. A case was filed and police are investigating the matter further.

the boyfriend and instead forced him to sign an agreement to never see the girl again. It was also demanded that the boyfriend give back the cell phone and the KD 250 the girl had given him.

Lovers caught A young man and his under-age high school girlfriend were caught being intimate at a beach in Salmiya, reported security sources. They noted that the girl skipped school to spend time with the young man. The girl was referred to juvenile prosecution and charges were filed against her boyfriend.

Iranians rescued Kuwaiti coastguard personnel rescued seven shipwrecked Iranian sailors when their ship sank south of Boubyan Island, reported security sources. According to the coastguard they received an SOS from the sinking ship and sent out a rescue team to spot the sailors. A rubber emergency boat with seven sailors was located five miles away from where the ship sank.

Teacher assaulted A teacher was chased by one of his students in a Farwaniya high school after the two of them got into a heated argument in class. The student chased the teacher out of the class and all around the school until he was able to hide in the principal’s office. Still upset, the student smashed out the principal’s windows before driving off. A case was filed and the student has been summoned by authorities for further questioning.

Boyfriend assaulted A citizen lost his temper when he saw his 17-yearold sister riding in a car with a young man. The citizen stopped the car, pulled the young man out of his vehicle and, with his friend’s help, beat the young man. The two then turned the young man into authorities. When questioned, the girl explained that she was skipping school and was spending time with her boyfriend. She added that she had also given him money and bought him presents. The father refused to press charges against

Drug possession Three Asians were arrested for being in possession of hashish, reported security sources. They were arrested after a Mubarak Al-Kabeer patrol car spotted the Asians acting suspiciously. The drugs were found after their vehicle was searched.

Officer insulted A Saudi was arrested at the Nuwaiseeb land border for insulting officials on duty and driving recklessly, reported security sources. The young man, who was driving his Kuwaiti brother’s vehicle, grew impatient while waiting in line and almost caused several accidents while trying to jump into a new one. When accused of driving recklessly the man insulted the border official and his boss. A case was filed.

Illegal calls An Asian was arrested in Khaitan for illegally selling long distance calls, reported security sources. The suspected man’s apartment was raided and authorities found several phones and computers used for making illegal calls. The man was referred to the proper authorities.

Top fire official calls on Ahmadi fire chief By Hanan Al Saadoun KUWAIT: General Director of Fire Department Services, Lieutenant General Jassem AlMansouri, made a visit to the Ahmadi fire center chief Colonel Osama Al-Manae who is currently staying in a hospital in the Al-Sabah health area. Al-Mansouri, accompanied by Brigadier Yousuf Al-Ansari wished him a speedy recovery. Al-Ansari, the director of the Farwaniya fire department Colonel Abdullah Karkouh and the officers who participated in extinguishing the Al-Dajeej fire paid a visit to Farwaniya’s Governor, retired general Abdul Hameed Al-Hajji. They consulted him in his office about what happened in the AlDajeej area. Al-Ansari thanked the governor for being at the site and hailed his efforts to support the governorate through the fire.

issues of common interest including terror combat and the key role played by British intelligence services in this respect with both top officials stressing coordinating efforts when it comes to the fighting of terrorism. The Kuwaiti high-profile official also said that talks tackled some, “defense systems” possessed by the British military and needed by the Kuwaiti army. He also pointed out that talks focused on some topics of interest to the Kuwaiti citizens like the latest measures taken by the British government on the entry visas and residence in UK. The Kuwaiti top defense official expressed his thanks for the British government for its major participation in the 50th anniversary of Kuwait independence and the 20th anniversary of Kuwait liberation. Finally, Sheikh Jaber extended invitation to Fox to visit the State of Kuwait. — KUNA

Kuwaiti activists stand by Palestinian cause

A police officer accused a senior police officer and a police major of assaulting him, reported security sources. According to the policeman, he bought a vehicle from a woman a year earlier and was summoned to the senior officer’s office. Once there he was confronted by the two officers and the woman he bought the car from. They informed him that he did not pay what the car was worth and that he should pay more. When he refused the two senior officers assaulted him.

Attempted suicide

Fire

LONDON: Kuwaiti Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah shakes hands with British Defense Secretary Liam Fox at Whitehall. —KUNA

Officer assaulted

An Asian maid attempted to kill herself by swallowing liquid detergent, reported security sources. They noted that when the maid’s sponsors found her they rushed her to Jahra Hospital. She was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit in critical condition. Firefighters responded to an emergency call regarding a kitchen fire in a home in Al-Zahra, reported security sources. Initial reports suggest that the fire was caused by an electrical short. No injuries were reported in the fire.

Further, Sheikh Jaber expressed in a statement to KUNA following the one-hour meeting his utmost satisfaction over his talks with Fox, noting that the goal behind his visit to the British Minister was to get acquainted with him and congratulate him on his new tenure following the parliamentary elections last May. He also said that he exchanged views with the top British defense official on the issues of common concern to the Arab Gulf region and to Kuwait in particular. In addition, he stressed the significance of the deep-seated ties between British and Kuwaiti armies, making clear that such bonds started with the formation of the Kuwaiti army, especially as Kuwaiti armed forces possess sophisticated British weapons with a significant role to the Kuwaiti military. He also pointed out that his discussions with the British official touched on some other

meeting yesterda y morning a t W hiteha ll in the hea rt of the British ca pita l w ith British Defense Secreta ry Lia m Fox in the presence of the Kuw a it’s a mba ssa dor to London a nd doyen of the diploma tic corps Kha led Al-Duw a isa n.

HONG KONG: Kuwait’s Public Works Undersecretary Abdulaziz Al-Kulaib and officials from the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) during their visit to Hong Kong.—KUNA

LATAKIA, Syria: Kuwaiti activists, participating in a Gaza-bound aid ship, affirmed their solid stance with the Palestinian cause, saying that the international community should move to break the three-year Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. Sundus Al-Abduljadr, a Kuwait University (KU) student, told KUNA that her participation in the convoy was to reflect the Kuwaiti stance on the Palestinian issue. She said that the Kuwaiti leadership and people would try their best to ease the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza who have been suffering from an unjust blockade imposed by Israel since 2007. Similarly, Kuwaiti Talal Al-Khedr thanked the Egyptian authorities for allowing the entrance of necessities via the Rafah crossing. He hoped that such an effort would be set an example for other similar campaigns to raise awareness over injustice against Palestinians. Around 380 activists from around the globe are partaking in the 5th lifeline convoy with 10 Kuwaitis being part of the mission. — KUNA

Kuwait team promotes projects in Hong Kong KUALA LUMPUR: Kuwait’s Consul General to Hong Kong Ambassador Bader Al-Tunaib said yesterday that Kuwait’s Public Works Undersecretary Abdulaziz Al-Kulaib and officials from the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) have visited Hong Kong to pro-

mote infrastructure projects that Kuwait will execute as part of its development plan. Al-Tunaib told KUNA by phone that the delegation visited Hong Kong International Airport to gain expertise, especially as the airport has international

Idemitsu sticks to Kuwait refinery, denies reports TOKYO: Major Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan Company renewed its commitment to actively engage in a proposed refining and petrochemical joint venture with Kuwait and Vietnam yesterday. The company denied recent media reports saying that the Tokyo-based firm was considering backing out of the project. “Together, with Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiary Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), as well as host Vietnam’s PetroVietnam and Japanese partner Mitsui Chemicals Incorporated, we will continue our serious commitment to this project,” said Mitsuru Yamanaka, Deputy General Manager of International Petroleum Business Department. “We deeply regret incorrect reports last month indicating that we are reluctant to invest in this project or are considering a withdrawal,” said Yamanaka. The joint venture is striving to speed up an international bidding process on engineering, procurement and construction for the $6 billion Nghi Son Petrochemical Refinery Complex in northern Vietnam, scheduled to commence operation on 2014. The refinery, to be located in Thanh Hoa Province, some 180 kilometers south of Hanoi, will be capable of treating 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd). Kuwait has guaranteed to provide 100 percent of the crude oil for the facility. “Since PetroVietnam sought our consideration in the joint venture in 2004, we have been actively engaged in this project,” Yamanaka stressed. In 2006, Idemitsu approached KPC

because a stable supply of crude oil to the facility is key to the successful implementation of the envisaged project. KPC’s international subsidiary, KPI, and Idemitsu each own a 35.1 percent stake in the joint project with PetroVietnam and Mitsui Chemicals Inc. owning 25.1 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. The trilateral project, in line with KPC’s strategy to expand refining and marketing outlets in high growth strategic areas, will bring together Kuwait’s longterm stable crude oil supply and the Japanese firm’s expertise in refining and petrochemical business to Vietnam. The refinery will supply fuels equal to 60 percent of Vietnam’s domestic consumption and its capacity will be doubled to 400,000 bpd if demand increases. During his visit to Hanoi in late September, Kuwait’s Minister of Oil and Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah AlSabah and Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung agreed to continue concerted efforts toward a smooth and successful execution of the joint venture.The Vietnamese authorities have been pursuing the relocation of local residents, site clearance, and other groundwork for the 327-hectare refinery site. Their work is expected to be complete by the end of this year. “Idemitsu-KPC/KPI ties have gone beyond the traditional trade relations of crude oil and petroleum products since KPI decided to participate in this joint project four years ago. We believe our ties have entered a new phase of cooperation as joint venture partners,” Yamanaka added. — KUNA

specifications. The General Consulate organized a meeting between the delegation and companies from Hong Kong, he added. He pointed out that representatives of 50 companies attended the meeting, adding that the companies executed huge

projects in China and Hong Kong. The Kuwaiti delegation briefed the companies’ representatives on the main projects Kuwait’s Public Works Ministry plans to execute, he noted. Meanwhile, Al-Tunaib held a ceremony in honor of the visiting delegation. — KUNA


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INTERNATIONAL

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Iran welcomes nuclear talks offer, seeks dates EU proposes nuclear talks in mid-November in Vienna BRUSSELS: I ra n w elcom ed yesterda y a proposa l to resta rt ta lk s w ith six m a jor pow ers on its nuclea r progra m next m onth a nd ca lled for a da te to be a greed for the first such m eeting in a yea r. Europea n Union foreign policy chief Ca therine Ashton suggested Vienna on Thursda y a s the venue for three-da y ta lk s involving the United Sta tes,

Germ a ny, Russia , Fra nce, Brita in a nd China . “As you a re fully a w a re, recently I a nnounced tha t October or Novem ber from our point of view is a good tim e to resta rt ta lk s betw een I ra n a nd the 5+1 (m a jor p ow er s),” I r a n ia n F or eign Min ist er Ma n ou c h eh r Mot t a k i t old reporters in Brussels.

QANA: Lebanese are seen during a mass rally address by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the southern village of Qana, Lebanon on Thursday. — AP

Ahmadinejad predicts arch-foe Israel demise BINT JBEIL: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted the demise of arch-foe Israel from a Hezbollah stronghold in south Lebanon, just miles from the Jewish state. “The whole world knows that the Zionists are going to disappear,” he said Thursday to thunderous applause before a frenzied crowd in Hezbollah’s bastion of Bint Jbeil, some four kilometers from the Israeli border. “The occupying Zionists today have no choice but to accept reality and go back to their countries of origin,” he added. Israel’s prime minister brushed off the hardliner’s comments. “The best response to the hateful verbal aggression from across the border was given here 62 years ago,” Benjamin Netanyahu said in Tel Aviv, referring to Israel’s creation in 1948. In Bint Jbeil, thousands of men, women and children crammed into an outdoor stadium and onto rooftops waving Iranian, Lebanese and Hezbollah flags and cheering the hardliner whose two-day official visit has been denounced by the United States and Israel as a threat to regional stability. “Bint Jbeil is alive and well,” Ahmadinejad told the crowd. “I salute you, people of the resistance. You are a solid mountain. We are proud of you and will remain forever by your side.” Bint Jbeil was flattened during Israel’s devastating summer

2006 war with the Shiite Hezbollah, considered a proxy of Iran. His visit to the south brought Ahmadinejad the closest he has ever been to Israel and was seen as a joint show of defiance with Hezbollah. Bint Jbeil resident Nabila, 36, said “Ahmadinejad is going to terrify the Israelis.” “We hope to see (Hezbollah chief Hassan) Nasrallah with him here and to see them both one day on the other side of the border,” she added, declining to give her last name. Ahmadinejad later went to Qana, which earned a grim place in history after being targeted by Israeli shelling that killed 105 civilians who had sought shelter at a UN base in 1996 during the Jewish state’s “Grapes of Wrath” offensive on Lebanon. The village was again the site of tragedy when a shelter collapsed on dozens of people, including disabled children, during Israeli strikes at the height of the month-long 2006 war. Ahmadinejad laid a wreath at a memorial for victims of the 1996 strikes and also paid homage to the people of Qana. “Qana’s martyrs are alive and its enemies are dead,” he told the crowd. “You are victorious and your enemies have tasted defeat.” Israeli officials have slammed Ahmadinejad’s visit as a sign that Lebanon had “joined the axis of extremist states,” while the United States called it a

“provocation.” The visit has underscored Iran’s reach in Lebanon through Hezbollah, the country’s most powerful military and political force. “His travel to southern Lebanon... is solely to rally Hezbollah, which continues to serve as... Iran’s proxy in Lebanon,” US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters in Washington.”So his presence there we think is a provocation that continues to undermine the sovereignty of Lebanon and the security of the region,” Crowley said. The visit has also drawn criticism from Lebanon’s pro-Western parliamentary majority, who see it as an attempt to turn the country into “an Iranian base on the Mediterranean.” The trip comes at a sensitive time, with Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri in a standoff with Hezbollah over a UN-backed probe into the assassination of his father, former premier Rafiq Hariri. The tribunal is rumored to be set to indict Hezbollah members over the 2005 assassination, and tensions have grown steadily, raising fears of renewed sectarian violence and the collapse of the hard-won national unity government. Although Ahmadinejad has trod carefully since his arrival, he nonetheless rose to the defense of Hezbollah at a rally on Wednesday, saying the UN court was framing the Shiite party. —AFP

“It is good news that authorities here are following the matter. This is the way to coordinate some specific, fixed date for starting talks,” he said before international talks on the economic development of Pakistan and fighting terrorism. The United States and its European allies fear Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program is a cover to develop the capability for producing nuclear weapons. Iran, a major oil producer, says it needs nuclear fuel-making technology to generate electricity and denies it is developing atomic arms. Talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany stalled in October last year, leading to a toughening of international sanctions on Tehran. Ashton and Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili have exchanged letters about resuming talks, but no date has been agreed for a meeting and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has set conditions for further talks. He says a greater variety of countries should be involved, the parties must say whether they seek friendship or hostility with Iran, and must express a view on Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal. Western officials are wary of what they see as Iranian efforts to dodge the main issue in talks, possibly buying time for advances in nuclear enrichment. There was no indication that Mottaki and Ashton would discuss the resumption of talks during his stay in Brussels but the Briton confirmed she had not received a formal response to her proposal to resume talks next month. “I’ve always said we want to see negotiations. We do believe a solution can be found and we’d like to get on with it,” Ashton told reporters before the international talks on Pakistan. She said the major powers would press on with a twintrack approach of keeping pressure on Tehran while pursuing dialogue. “It’s the dialogue that will resolve it,” she said. — Reuters

Somali gunmen abduct British aid worker MOGADISHU: Masked Somali gunmen kidnapped a Briton working for Save the Children in the Horn of Africa country late on Thursday, the British charity said. The gunmen seized the man and a Somali also working for Save the Children from a guesthouse compound in the town of Adado near the border with Ethiopia, but later released the Somali captive, according to his relatives. “Save the Children was assessing the feasibility of starting up a humanitarian program to help malnourished and sick children and their families in the area,” the charity said in a statement. “We are extremely concerned about the welfare of those being held and urgently call upon whoever is holding them captive to release them unconditionally,” it said. Kidnapping for ransoms has become a major money-spinner in lawless Somalia, notably among the pirate gangs that plague the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, linking Europe to Africa and Asia. But the capture of foreign nationals inside Somalia has become relatively rare after nearly all aid agencies barred expatriate workers from operating there as hardline Islamist militants gained control of more territory. The increasing insecurity has, however, spawned a thriving

private security business run by expatriates, largely centered around the capital Mogadishu. Relatives of the Somali captive, Bashir Yusuf, said he had been set free by the gunmen. It was not immediately possible to verify the reports. “Bashir confirmed to us he had been released. He told us he was on his way into town and that the armed men went

with his foreign colleague,” family member Abdukadir Hassan said. It was not immediately clear how they had seized the charity employees. Initial reports said they had been taken to an area controlled by Al-Qaeda-linked al Shabaab rebels. Later, a pro-government Sunni militia said a smaller insurgent group known as

Hizbul Islam was behind the kidnapping, possibly in cahoots with pirates, and that the Briton was being taken to the coastal pirate base of Haradheere. “We have confirmed that about 15 armed Hizbul Islam fighters kidnapped the aid workers. They may be assisted by pirates,” Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yusuf, the spokesman of Ahlu Sunna

TALEH: A Somali government soldier takes aim during clashes with Islamist insurgents in southern Mogadishu’s Taleh neighborhood, Somalia yesterday. Meanwhile masked gunmen have abducted a British aid worker and a Somali from a compound in western Somalia, a witness said yesterday. —AP

Waljamaca, told Reuters by phone from Adado. No confirmation from Hizbul Islam was immediately available. Yesterday, fighting broke out between al Shabaab insurgents and combatants from the moderate Sufi Ahlu Sunna group in Adado, in the region where pirates are holding hostage a retired British couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler. “Our main objective is to sweep Al-Shabaab from central Somalia,” one Ahlu Sunna commander, Abdullahi Farah, said. Local people said Ahlu Sunna later took control of Adado. Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam have fought a three-year insurgency to topple Somalia’s fragile interim government, which they say is a puppet of the West, and want to impose a strict version of Islamic sharia law throughout the country. The insecurity in south and central Somalia has spread into the country’s semiautonomous region of Puntland where militants have vowed to wage jihad until they defeat the administration. Puntland Information Minister Abdihakim Guled survived a bomb blast in the coastal town of Bosasso yesterday, local officials and residents said. The administration said the roadside remote-controlled explosion had targeted the minister, who suffered minor injuries. — Reuters

MAASARAH: An Israeli soldier throws a stun grenade at Palestinian protesters, not seen, during a demonstration against the Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank village of Maasarah, near Bethlehem, yesterday. Israel says the barrier is necessary for security while Palestinians call it a land grab. —AP

Turkish ultra-nationalists accused of killing bishop VATICAN: Turkey’s top Roman Catholic bishop has publicly accused Turkish ultra-nationalists and religious fanatics of being behind the slaying of the country’s senior bishop. Monsignor Ruggero Francheschini told a Vatican meeting Thursday that he was speaking out to correct the “intolerable slander” that had surrounded the slaying of Monsignor Luigi Padovese, the Vatican’s apostolic vicar in Anatolia. Padovese was stabbed to death by his driver outside his home in Iskenderun on June 3, a day before he was to leave for Cyprus to meet Pope Benedict XVI. The slaying shocked the Turkish church and cast a cloud over Benedict’s visit. It was the latest in a string of attacks in recent years on Christians in predominantly Muslim Turkey, where Christians make up less than 1 percent of the 70 million population. Turkish officials have insisted the slaying was personal and not religious or politically motivated, and Benedict himself played down the motive at the time of the slaying, saying it was not a “political or religious assassination.” But Franceschini, head of Turkey’s bishops’ conference, told a meeting of bishops gathered to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East that Padovese was the victim of “premeditated murder” by the same forces that Padovese had denounced for killing a priest in 2006 and three Christians in 2007. vFrancheschini said Padovese’s killing was part of a “dark plot of complicity between ultra-

nationalists and religious fanatics, experts in schemes of tension.” His comments appeared to be a reference to a series of ongoing cases against hundreds of hardline secularists in Turkey whom prosecutors believe are behind several sensational attacks, including on religious minorities. Prosecutors say the accused have been trying to create an environment of chaos that would force the secular military to overthrow the Islamic-oriented government. Some ultranationalists in Turkey also tend to be deeply religious and suspicious of Christians, whom they accuse of proselytizing and converting Muslims. The polarizing topic of religion in Turkey stems in part from the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a war hero who founded the Turkish republic in 1923 as colonial powers divided up former Ottoman territories. He abolished the caliphate and its traditions of dress and language in favor of a Western, secular state. In the Padovese case, the driver, Murat Altun, was arrested soon after the slaying. His lawyer, Cihan Onal, said yesterday that prosecutors in Iskenderun are still investigating the case and it’s not clear when they will issue an indictment. While some church officials and diplomats have quietly said the murder seemed suspect, Franceschini’s comments were unusual in their bluntness. He said he wanted to set the record straight to erase the “intolerable slander circulated by the same organizers of the crime.” — AP

Fears of conflict as Sudan heads for partition vote KHARTOUM: Fears of renewed conflict haunt the runup to a southern referendum in January that analysts expect will partition Sudan, Africa’s largest country. President Omar Al-Bashir told parliament this week that he would “not accept” an alternative to unity, although he was committed to a 2005 peace treaty that ended a 22-year war with the south and gave it the right to hold a vote on independence. Foreign Minister Ali Karti later said Khartoum would respect the outcome of the referendum on January 9. “If the majority want secession (in the referendum), we will accept it,” he said. Bashir’s government insists that it does not want to obstruct the referendum. But in a sign of the suspicion that pervades relations between north and south, the United Nations agreed to move troops to the south’s disputed border with the north, following calls by southern leader Salva Kiir. “We will increase our presence but only in some hotspots,” UN peacekeeping

chief Alain Le Roy said. The UN mission, UNMIS, did not have enough troops to create a buffer zone along the whole 2,000kilometre (1,250-mile) border. The mostly Muslim north and the Christian and animist south agreed in 2005 to end the civil war, which killed an estimated two million people, with a power-sharing deal that would allow the south to vote on independence. Despite their sharing power in government, southern and northern leaders view each other suspiciously. A member of a visiting United Nations Security Council delegation said earlier this month that Kiir warned that if the referendum suffers “huge delays,” the south will conduct a unilateral vote. Preparations for the vote are already behind schedule, and much to the dismay of southern officials, Khartoum said this week that another referendum also scheduled for January 9 on whether the oilrich Abyei region will join the north or south should be postponed. The border is one of the key disputes that will decide the

future of the country, said Sudan specialist Roland Marchal with the Paris-based National Centre for Scientific Research. “There is a lot of confusion, emotion and contradictions, but nothing is settled yet,” he said. “It can go in one direction or the other-war or peace,” he said. The north stands to lose if the south secedes as expected. Much of the country’s oil lies in the south. But it is refined in the north and the landlocked south has no pipeline. Sudan produces roughly half a million barrels of crude oil a day, three quarters of which comes from oilfields in the south and under the disputed border. In the short term, the north and south are negotiating terms of the north’s share of southern oil revenue, according to a recent report by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. “This is not to say there is no potential for conflict in this regard, given that there is significant divergence regarding how high the northern share would be,” the report said. — AFP

BAGHDAD: Blindfolded suspects are guarded by Iraqi special operations commandos, in Basra southeast of Baghdad. Iraqi security forces arrested 18 alleged criminals and seized large quantities of explosives, ammunitions, rifles and weapons equipped with silencers found with militants’ possession along with Katyousha and Grad rockets during recent security operations in Basra. —AP


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INTERNATIONAL

Saturday, October 16, 2010

After peace prize, China targets winner’s friends BEIJING: In the week after Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize for his decades of promoting democratic change in China, dozens of people who openly agreed with his views say they have been detained, roughed up, harassed or kept from leaving their homes. The latest appears to be a woman who Liu has said should win the prize: Ding Zilin, who has fought for years for China’s government to recognize the hundreds killed in the military’s crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Liu’s wife sent out an alert late on Thursday that said Ding had “disappeared” and urged people to “pay attention” to her case. Specially targeted for harassment after Liu won the peace prize are the first group of signers of Charter 08, the demand for greater freedoms that brought Liu an 11year prison sentence for subversion and that was cited by the Nobel committee. “I’m so sorry. I have a lot to say, but I don’t dare to talk. I’ve been confronted several times by police already since Liu Xiaobo won the prize,” writer Zhao Shiying, who signed Charter 08, said Thursday. “Anyone who signed the charter” is getting police attention, he said. “I hope you understand this life we lead.” Some

received threatening phone calls from police as they prepared to release an open letter late Thursday calling for Liu’s release, said Xu Youyu, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who signed and helped prepare the letter. He said more than 120 people, including prominent activists and journalists, had signed. “We call upon the Chinese authorities to approach Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Prize with realism and reason,” the letter says. It also asks police to stop “these illegal actions.” “We thought we had to say something,” said Xu, who added that he personally had not been harassed. “The government is still doing the same things.” Beijing-based activist Fan Yafeng said he has been roughed up this week by the police who watch him. Zhou Duo, a friend of Liu who took part in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, said state security officers have kept him in his home since the night of Oct. 9, when he was to attend a dinner to celebrate the peace prize. Dissident author Yu Jie said his bags were searched when he returned on Thursday from a trip to the United States, and police told him that he now must have a police escort everywhere he travels. Beijing police did not immediately respond yesterday to a faxed question about the complaints. China has responded angri-

ly to the award, saying the West was using it to undermine China and calling Liu a criminal. In particular, Beijing has singled out the Norwegian government for its ‘erroneous support’ of the Nobel Committee’s decision, cancelling several meetings with a visiting minister. Yesterday, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said he had met with Chinese ambassador Tang Guaqiang to emphasize that Norway wants to continue its cooperation with China on a broad range of issues. “I expressed regret over the reactions we have seen from China over the last week,” he said, adding that he told Tang that China “must bear responsibility for its decisions to take actions that affect our relations.” Stoere said he again urged China to release Liu Xiaobo and remove the restrictions on his wife Liu Xia. Liu Xiaobo, a protester who helped persuade students and other demonstrators to leave Tiananmen Square hours before the military moved in, told his wife he was dedicating the peace prize to the crackdown’s “lost souls.” Ding, the activist who founded the group Tiananmen Mothers to fight for the memory of those killed, including her son, had been warned before the peace prize not to give interviews. Her mobile and land phones in Beijing

In this November 2007 photo released by Liu Xiaobo’s friend on Oct 8, 2010, Liu poses during a gathering in Beijing. — AP and the city of Wuxi, where she was last heard from, appeared disconnected yesterday. “The last time I talked to her was Oct 8 when Liu Xiaobo won the peace prize. We

were so happy,” Xu Jue, a member of the Tiananmen Mothers, said yesterday. “We’re really worried she’s been taken away. When she was detained before, she would make contact. What if it’s worse this time?” Police in Wuxi on Friday said they would look into Ding’s apparent disappearance. From the moment Liu won the prize, the government sprang into action, having a spokesman condemn the award, erasing online mentions of Liu from and pumping up the propaganda in the state media. One well-known blogger, Wen Yunchao, said a Twitter-like service run by Sina Corp. was so deluged with messages that extra employees were brought in to help censor them. Turning up the criticism of Liu and the Nobel committee, propaganda authorities on Thursday launched a coordinated, bitter response. A pair of official Xinhua News Agency articles, placed prominently on major online portals, attacked the prize as a tool the West is using to undermine China. One linked Liu with the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who is widely unpopular in China because the government has accused him of wanting to split Tibet from China. “A few people abroad have reacted to the news with joy, frolicking around as though they’ve taken drugs. One of these people is the Dalai Lama, who won

the Peace Prize in 1989,” the article said. “What’s the underlying link? The Dalai Lama and Liu Xiaobo are the political dolls of Western forces.” While propaganda officials are targeting ordinary Chinese to mold public opinion to the government’s line, police have warned activists against trying to use the peace prize as momentum to cause any trouble. Some say China’s official angry response to the peace prize is being repeated during long police interrogations. “This is Western anti-Chinese forces conspiring to subvert the Chinese government,” activist lawyer Pu Zhiqiang said the deputy chief of one Beijing police station told him. Pu was detained on Sunday and emerged Wednesday night. Official pressure continues on Liu’s wife, who remains under house arrest inside her Beijing apartment. The law firm that represents Liu said Thursday they can’t even talk with Liu Xia about the case. Lawyer Mo Shaoping said when he invited her to the law firm to discuss whether to appeal her husband’s sentence, Liu Xia said police wouldn’t allow it. The phone was then cut off. Liu Xia, meanwhile, has tweeted that police want to take her out of Beijing, and away from the media attention, on “a tour.” — AP

Tension continues to simmer after sinking of warship

N Korea renews threat to attack South over leaflets SEOUL: North Korea renewed its threat yesterday to attack South Korea over anti-Pyongyang leaflets being sent into the country, a sign of lingering tension after the sinking of a South Korean warship. Civilian activists regularly use

BRUSSELS: Pakistan’s State Minister for Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar (left) talks with Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs William Hague, right, and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, at the European Council building in Brussels yesterday. — AP

US missile attack kills 3 in Pakistan tribal area MIR ALI, Pakistan: Suspected US unmanned aircraft launched two missiles at a vehicle in the Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border yesterday, killing three people, Pakistani intelligence officials said. The attack was in the village of Machi Khel, near Mir Ali in North Waziristan, two officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk with the press. The officials said the three killed have not yet been identified, but the village is known to house a mix of militants from the Afghan Taleban and local Pakistani insurgent groups. The US has sharply escalated its use of unmanned drone missile strikes targeting militants in Pakistan’s border region in the last two months. The US rarely acknowledges the covert missile program, but officials have said privately the attacks have killed several senior Taliban and alQaeda commanders. Pakistan officially opposes the program but is believed to secretly support it. The US carried out 21 such strikes in September, nearly double the previous monthly record, and has already launched 16 this month including those yesterday, according to an Associated Press count. Elsewhere in Pakistan, gunmen ambushed a truck early yesterday that was returning home after delivering NATO supplies in Afghanistan, killing two people. Local official Iqbal Khan said the truck was attacked near Jamrud in the Khyber tribal region. The driver and his assistant were killed, and the unidentified gunmen then torched

the truck. The attack was the most recent in a rash of assaults on the Pakistan supply line used to carry non-lethal goods including fuel, military vehicles, spare parts and clothing to foreign troops in landlocked Afghanistan. Nearly 150 trucks were destroyed as they sat idle during the 11 days Pakistan closed a key border crossing in protest of a NATO helicopter strike that killed two Pakistani border guards. Pakistan reopened the route Sunday. The US and NATO at one point sent about 80 percent of their non-lethal supplies through Pakistan into Afghanistan, but have been steadily reducing that amount. Now about 40 percent of supplies now come through Pakistan, 40 percent through the Central Asian routes, and 20 percent by air. Later Friday in Peshawar, an assailant threw a hand grenade behind a local government office, said police official Dost Mohammad Khan. Two children were wounded in the explosion, he said. It was not known who was behind the attack, but Taleban and Al-Qaeda militants based in the Afghan border region — who are fighting Pakistani police and the army — have carried out hundreds of attacks over the last three years. They have frequently targeted security forces, government officials and their supporters or family members in mosques, schools and markets, showing no concern for civilian casualties. Peshawar, the capital of the northwest region, has been one of the hardest-hit cities because it lies close to the border area. — AP

Pakistan to facilitate Afghan-Taleban talks BRUSSELS: The reintegration of former Taleban fighters is picking up in Afghanistan, the US envoy to the region said yesterday, as neighboring Pakistan offered to facilitate Afghan reconciliation efforts. Speaking to reporters at a Pakistan aid conference in Brussels, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said reconciliation was “basically an Afghan initiative.” “They have to own it, they have to lead it. We are there to help, we are there to facilitate.” The US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, said moves from Taleban associates to dialogue with Kabul did “not constitute an offer of negotiations, or formal negotiations.” He told a separate press conference at the talks that they “fall into the category of reinsertion,” or renouncing arms and seeking to reintegrate. But he maintained that this process was “beginning to pick up a bit of momentum.” Holbrooke also insisted there was “nothing incompatible about increasing military pressure and keeping the door open” to reconciliation. Pakistan was the chief supporter of the Taleban regime, which imposed a harsh brand of Islam on Afghanistan, until its ouster in a US-led military operation after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Afghan and Western officials have long suspected that elements of

the Pakistani establishment, notably the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, continue to support the militia. Pakistan has always rejected the accusations, saying it is committed to fighting the Taleban and is actively targeting militants. Qureshi said said it was “in Pakistan’s interest” to have a peaceful Afghanistan. Qureshi was in Brussels for a “Friends of Democratic Pakistan” meeting gathering China, Japan, the United States and big European countries among 26 nations and major global institutions. “I think we may have taken a turn today,” Holbrooke said of a longstanding Western push for change in the way Pakistan is run, including moves to tax its rich and be more transparent on where international aid goes. Washington’s man said he faced awkward moments, after an “extremely uncomfortable incident on the border” with Afghanistan, when a US missile strike killed militants in Pakistan’s lawless North Waziristan district. It had been dealt with, Holbrooke added, by agreement to stage a joint investigation, and an American promise that the tension would have “no effect” on US support for Pakistan’s reconstruction, including in tricky World Trade Organization negotiations over a special waiver for exports offered by the European Union. — AFP

The North warned during military talks with South Korea last month that it might fire artillery at sites the activists use to launch the balloons. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said earlier this month that the military would immediately resume full-scale propaganda activities against North Korea in the event of any new provocations by Pyongyang, but has so far limited that to radio broadcasts. The broadcasts resumed after the sinking of a South Korean warship in March that killed 46 sailors. A multinational investigation led by Seoul concluded that a North Korean torpedo sank the warship, though Pyongyang has denied involvement. Yesterday, the North’s military denounced the South Korean defense minister’s comments as a declaration of a war against North Korea, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported. “If the South side does not halt ... broadcasting and the scattering of anti-(North Korean) leaflets, it will never be able to escape the KPA’s physical strikes at the broadcasting means and leaflet-scattering centers,” the North’s military said, referring to its official name, the Korean People’s Army. The North sent the protest message to military officials in South Korea, KCNA said. North Korea’s military said its response would depend on how South Korea reacts. South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it had no immediate comment on the threat. The latest warning comes amid mixed messages from the North. Pyongyang has recently reached out to South Korea and called for talks on the resumption of stalled tours to a resort inside North Korea. The two sides have also agreed to hold the first reunions in a year later

balloons to launch leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Il across the heavily fortified border, a tactic Pyongyang views as part of official South Korean psychological campaigns aimed at toppling its regime.

this month for families divided

PAJU: South Korean army soldiers and tanks cross a floating bridge on the Imjin River during their annual military exercise against a possible attack from North Korea in Paju, South Korea. — AP by the Korean War. Yet, Pyongyang also lashed out at Seoul for staging naval drills with the US, Australia and Japan this week that the allies said were rehearsals for intercepting illicit weapon shipments from nations such as North Korea. The North believes any military drills involving the US are aimed at an eventual invasion. North Korea “stands for dialogue and peace but if the aggressors impose a war upon it, it will wipe them out to the last man and blow up their strongholds,” the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a statement carried by KCNA. The South Korean and the US air forces kicked off their annual drills Friday, which they say are aimed at improving their combined combat capabilities. The drills will last for a week, according to Seoul’s Defense Ministry. — AP

3 NATO troops die in Afghan attack KABUL: Three NATO troops were killed yesterday in Afghanistan in a surge of attacks that raised the death toll to 17 over the past three days for international troops in the country. One service member died yesterday in an insurgent attack in the east and another was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, an alliance statement said. It did not give nationalities or exact locations of the attacks. France said a French soldier died yesterday of wounds sustained in a clash in the Uzbin Valley east of Kabul the day before. On Thursday, eight NATO troops were killed in a spate of attacks, including four separate roadside bombings — the weapon of choice for insurgents who rely on guerrilla tactics to counter intensified NATOAfghan operations. It has been the deadliest year for international forces in the nine-year Afghan conflict.

Troop numbers have been ramped up to turn the screws on insurgents and casualties have mounted. The escalating toll — more than 2,020 NATO deaths since the 2001 US-led invasion — has shaken the commitment of many alliance countries, with calls growing to start drawing down forces quickly. In southern Helmand province Thursday, a suicide attacker killed one police officer, said police chief of Reg-i-Khan Nishin district, Kamal Uddin, yesterday. The officer spotted the assailant approaching a compound and went out to intercept him. The attacker blew himself up, also killing the policeman, Uddin said. Taleban spokesman Qari Yousaf said the suicide bomber killed 11 police at the compound gate. It was impossible to independently confirm the account, and the Taleban are known to exaggerate death tolls.— AP


INTERNATIONAL

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Russia agrees to build nuclear plant in Venezuela MOSCOW: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reached a deal with Russia yesterday to build the South American country’s first nuclear plant, as questions arose why a nation rich in oil and gas would feel the need to venture into nuclear energy. The two nations also signed other energy agreements. Russia has cultivated close ties with Chavez’s government to expand its global clout and counter US influence in Latin America. The ITAR-Tass news agency said Russia plans to build two 1,200 megawatt nuclear reactors at the Venezuelan plant. The cost of yes-

terday’s nuclear deal wasn’t immediately announced. The deal is likely to raise concern in President Barack Obama’s administration but continues a pattern of Russia pressing to export its nuclear expertise. Russia has just completed Iran’s first nuclear power plant and recently reached new deals to build nuclear reactors in China and Turkey. It’s talking with Indian officials about building a dozen of nuclear reactors there and also wants to build a nuclear reactor in the Czech Republic. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sought to pre-empt questions about why Venezuela would

need nuclear power by saying the deal would help Caracas reduce its dependence on global market fluctuations. “I don’t know who will shudder at this,” Medvedev said at a news conference after the signing. “The president (of Venezuela) said there will be nations that will have different emotions about that, but I would like to emphasize that our intentions are absolutely pure and open: We want our partner Venezuela to have a full range of energy possibilities.” Medvedev said Russia sees nuclear energy as a priority, despite its own hydrocarbon wealth, and

described Russia’s civilian nuclear technology as highly competitive abroad. “We are building many plants in different countries, so why wouldn’t build such a plant in our close partner, Venezuela?” he said. “That will offer a certain degree of independence in case of a drop in world energy prices.” Chavez said Venezuela wants to reduce its dependence on oil and gas and praised Russia for helping his country. “Strategic cooperation with Russia gives my country a huge advantage,” he said. True to his flamboyant style, Chavez praised the Soviet Union and

presented Medvedev with several bars of dark chocolate and cans of banana confiture and cocoa powder as the two leaders sat facing reporter’s questions. The Venezuelan leader has grown increasingly close to Russia, Iran and China while assailing US policies, and his rhetoric about the need for a “multi-polar world” has resonated in Moscow. “Russia and Venezuela staunchly support the creation of modern and fair world order, so that our future doesn’t depend on the will and the liking of just one country, its welfare and mood,” Medvedev said in a veiled reference to the

United States. Chavez plans to meet with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin later yesterday. In another deal signed after the talks, Russia’s state oil company Rosneft agreed to buy from Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. 50 percent in Germany’s Ruhr Oel GmbH, a 50-50 downstream joint venture between PdVSA and British oil giant BP. The Russian oil company will pay $1.6 billion for the stake, the company said in a statement. Ruhr Oel holds stakes in four German refineries and petrochemical plants. Rosneft president Eduard Khudainatov said the deal will help

Rosneft “expand our presence with high quality assets in key international markets”. The deal will leave 18 percent of Rosneft’s refining capacity “in the heart of industrialized Europe.” Chavez’s government has bought more than $4 billion in Russian weapons since 2005, including fighter jets, helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles. New weapons deals have been under discussion, but no new agreements were announced yesterday. Russia and Venezuela also have launched a joint business to tap vast oil deposits in eastern Venezuela. —AP

Discharged miners celebrate their new lives

33 Chile miners do not disclose ordeal details COPIAPO, Chile: The first three rescued Chilean miners out of the hospital celebrated their new lives as national heroes yesterday, as word emerged that the 33 want to closely guard their story so they can fairly divide the

spoils of their overnight media stardom. That could explain why none of them have spoken publicly at any length or provided any dramatic details of their 69 days trapped a half mile (1 kilometer) beneath the Atacama desert.

COPIAPO: Rescued miner Carlos Mamani, from Bolivia, is surrounded by the press as he arrives to his home in Copiapo, Chile on Thursday. —AP

UN conference calls for unity against world hunger ROME: Celebrities and government officials called yesterday for urgent collective action to eradicate world hunger that is still afflicting nearly a billion people globally ahead of World Food Day. “With prosperity all around us and significant advances in technology and modern science, we cannot accept the numbers dying in the world for hunger,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame said in a speech at the UN food agency FAO. Kagame said governments needed to unite their political will and determination and collectively deliver on their commitments. “It begs the question, what is the missing link? We know hunger kills and deprives people of their dignity, so why are we not doing more to combat it?” Kagame said there had been “misguided presumptions” that the private sector would take responsibility for tackling the problem of the world’s starving. He called on nations to focus on “food security measures” but warned that small farmers must not be bypassed and “must be involved in finding solutions.” Small farmers and their families represent some 2.5 billion people, more than one-third of the global population. The 30th celebration of World Food Day on Saturday

has the slogan: “United against hunger.” The main issues in focus are rapidly increasing demand for food commodities and changing climates that affect abilities to produce food. Jacques Diouf, director general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said that world hunger “threatens global security,” and called for “greater coherence and co-ordination” among government efforts. Diouf said “urgent collective action” was necessary for any chance of achieving the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of hungry people in the world from its 1992 level of 20 percent to 10 percent by 2015. “World food production will need to increase by 70 percent to feed a population of over nine billion people in 2050,” he said. The FAO estimates that 925 million people suffer from chronic hunger, compared to 1.023 billion people last year following the effects of the global recession and the 2007-08 spike in food prices. Kanayo Nwanze, head of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said small farmers had the potential to feed themselves and the world, but foreign investors were need-

ed to create the necessary opportunities. “I have seen it with my own eyes, the lives of entire communities have been turned around with just a little help,” he said. Josette Sheeran of the World Food Program said the time had also come for women, who produce the bulk of food in developing countries but have limited access to production, to become a force against global hunger. “Women can be our secret weapon in the race to beat hunger,” she said. Sheeran also praised the positive example set by the “global surge of action from China, India and beyond” after the Haiti earthquake disaster. Italian actor Raoul Bova, Canadian singer CÈline Dion, Filipino singer Lea Salonga and American actress Susan Sarandon were appointed as new Goodwill Ambassadors to help in the global fight against hunger. Oscar-winning actress Sarandon said she was honoured and privileged to become an ambassador. “As a mother I can’t imagine anything more frustrating or upsetting than not being able to feed your child,” she said. “I’m accepting this award as a call to action,” she said. —AFP

Acropolis reopens to visitors ATHENS: The Acropolis reopened yesterday after a labor dispute kept out thousands of visitors for three days from debt-ridden Greece’s most famous monument — seen as an enduring symbol of ancient democracy. Filing through a double line of riot police protecting the gates, tourists started entering the ancient site shortly after noon (0900 GMT, 5 am EDT), as guards ended a fivehour strike. The walkout came on the heels of a two-day blockade by hundreds of Culture Ministry employees, who were forcibly dispersed on Thursday by riot police using tear gas. —AP

ATHENS: Protesters, tourists, media and police stand outside the main entrance of the ancient Acropolis site before it reopens in Athens yesterday. —AP

A daughter of Omar Reygadas, a 56-year-old electrician, said in an interview early yesterday that he told her just hours earlier that the miners have agreed to divide all their earnings from interviews, media appearances, movies or books. “He also said we can’t say things to the media without their permission,” said Ximena Alejandra Reygadas, 37. “He said they need to decide what we can tell the media.” Hundreds of reporters abandoned the mine and descended on this gritty provincial capital on Thursday after the world watched in awe the men’s’ nearly flawless rescue through a narrow hole it took a month to drill. A shift foreman at the San Jose mine who is close to many of the men told The Associated Press they have hired an accountant to track their income from public appearances and equitably distribute it. “More than anything, I think the idea is to charge for the rights to everything that’s been shown about their personal life, of their odyssey. That way, they’re safe,” said Pablo Ramirez. Ramirez, 29, had lowered himself deep into the mine’s bowels right after its Aug. 5 collapse in a vain attempt to reach his comrades. “They’re going to be very close to the chest and will speak together as a group,” he said, while drinking rum and coke in a Copiapo restaurant. Ramirez is out of a job with the roughly 360 other San Jose miners now that the government has decided to close it as unsafe. And while he said he’s got good job prospects as an experienced miner, his buddies were probably the most in-demand people on the planet. A Greek mining company wants to bring them to the sunny Aegean islands. Soccer teams in Madrid, Manchester and Buenos Aires want them in their stadiums. Bolivia’s president wants them at his palace. TV host Don Francisco wants them all on his popular “Sabado Gigante” show in Miami. On Thursday, still wearing the fashion sunglasses designed to ease their readjustment to sunlight, the men posed in hospital bathrobes for a group photo with President Sebastian Pinera. Solidarity helped the men survive the angst and uncertainty of being trapped under a 700,000-ton block that collapsed at the very center of the mine — the area Ramirez said everyone thought was the safest because that’s where 5-mile (8 kilometer) ramp winds downward in a spiral. It’s on the ramp’s periphery that the miners blasted open veins of gold. For the first two weeks, no one knew whether “los 33” were alive. After contact was made, a team of government psychologists engaged them in a grand socially engineering scheme, dividing them into groups, setting their work and sleep schedule, restricting the television and movies they could see. The miners were even barred from receiving iPods along with everything else fed them through the 5 1/2-inch pipe that served as their lifeline to the surface. The chief psychologist, Alberto Iturra, left little to chance and the assessment of the doctors who treated them was glowing. All the rest of the miners were expected to be out of the hospital Friday and over the weekend. “We don’t see any problems of a psychological or a medical nature,” said Dr. Jorge Montes, deputy director of the Copiapo Regional Hospital. Ramirez, as you’d expect from a man who embraces the risks of his profession, scoffed at the need for all the psychological treatment. —AP

MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez show signed documents during their meeting in Moscow yesterday. —AP

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ plea tough for Democrats WASHINGTON: At a time when President Barack Obama is trying to rally his political base, his administration is fighting to temporarily preserve the ban on gays serving openly in the military that his core supporters want ended now. The US Justice Department is appealing a court ruling that would stop the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, even as Democrats fighting hard to hold their majorities in Congress are looking to motivate the voters who delivered the White House to this president. The appeal, although expected, will do little to help Democrats trying to inspire those voters and hold back a Republican tide on Nov 2. As the Justice Department sought a temporary delay in the court order, pending an appeal, the president vowed in a meeting with young adults on Thursday, “This policy will end and it will end on my watch.” But he cast himself as constrained by the legal process. “I can’t simply ignore laws that are out there,” he said. “I have got to work to make sure that they are changed.” Some liberal and gay rights groups had hoped the Justice Department would forgo an appeal and let stand the ruling, which ordered the military to stop enforcing the 17-year-old policy. The Obama administration, looking at a more deliberate pace for a rollback, asked the judge to keep the ban in place until an appeals court can deal with the case. “It is certainly disappointing and frustrating that the administration has sought a stay,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign. “There is one simple way to put the endless legal wrangling behind us and do what the president and the American people want to strengthen our military: The administration and Congress need to finish the legislative work on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal after the election.” The House has passed legislation repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but it has not yet seen a

vote in the Senate, where Democrats don’t have the votes to overcome a Republican filibuster. Activists have pushed the Senate to take up a vote when it returns after the election for a lame-duck session. “Given the uncertainty in the courts, we urge the Senate to act swiftly next month on repeal when they return to Washington,” said Aubrey Sarvis, head of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network that provides counsel to gay and lesbian military members. “Congress made this law over 17 years ago and Congress now has an affirmative responsibility to bring clarity and finality to ending this law.” “It is clear there is confusion and this interim period is dangerous for service members,” Sarvis said. “Our service members need finality. The president needs to deliver on his promise to end the law this year.” The government’s court filing came two days after US District Judge Virginia Phillips in San Diego ordered the Pentagon to cease enforcement of the law approved by Congress in 1993. The law forbids the military from asking about a service member’s sexual orientation while also prohibiting gays from disclosing their status. Allowing the judge’s ruling to go forward immediately “will irreparably harm the public interest in a strong and effective military,” the government’s court papers stated. Repeated and sudden changes in policy would be “enormously disruptive and time-consuming, particularly at a time when this nation is involved in combat operations overseas,” the filing said. The Pentagon, meanwhile, is in the midst of a study of how it would implement a repeal should Congress act. Leaders of that effort say a hasty pace and inadequate protections for gay and lesbian military members could be a disaster. That panel’s recommendations are expected in December. —AP

PARIS: Georges Kiejman, French lawyer of France’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt arrives to give a press conference yesterday at his office in Paris. Judge Isabelle Prevost-Desprez suspects Kiejman of concealing medical documents. Several judicial investigations are under way into affairs linked to Bettencourt’s fortune, including allegations of tax evasion and illegal campaign funding that have implicated Labour Minister Eric Woerth. —AFP

Belgian archbishop’s AIDS comments fuel national fury BRUSSELS: The Belgian primate’s comment that AIDS is “a sort of intrinsic justice” sparked fury yesterday across a country still reeling over recent revelations of massive child abuse in the Catholic church. Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, a conservative close to Pope Benedict XVI who was made head of the Belgian church last January, made the comments in a Dutch translation Thursday of a 2006 book in French which had already caused uproar.

The comments immediately caused fresh outrage, headlining radio and TV news as well as dailies, only weeks after a church commission revealed nearly 500 cases of abuse by priests since the 1950s, including 13 victims who committed suicide. In his book, a compilation of interviews he gave, Leonard rejected the notion that AIDS was “a punishment from God”, instead saying that “this epidemic is a sort of intrinsic justice, not at all a punishment”.

“When you mistreat the environment it ends up by mistreating us in turn. And when you mistreat human love, perhaps it winds up taking vengeance without there needing to be a transcendental cause,” he said in the updated edition of the book. “Mistreating the deep nature of human love always ends up spawning catastrophes at all levels,” he said. Gay groups, antiAIDS activists and political parties across the board responded angrily. —AFP


7

BUSINESS

Saturday, October 16, 2010

GM IPO on track for mid-Nov debut NEW YORK: General Motors Co is on track to move ahead with its initial public offering during the week of Nov 15 after a recent round of meetings with sovereign wealth funds, sources with knowledge of preparation for the deal said. The GM IPO has been closely watched both because of its expected scale and because of the involvement of the US government, which is looking to the landmark stock offering to reduce its nearly 61 percent stake in the automaker. Bankers representing GM met with sovereign wealth funds in Asia and the Middle East over the past two weeks to make the case that the automaker has emerged from its 2009 bankruptcy as a leaner and more nimble competitor, two of the sources said. Singapore-based GIC and Temasek Holdings, Kuwait Investment Authority, Qatar Investment Authority and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority were all approached as part of those meetings, one of the sources said. At the same time, analysts from the 10 underwriter banks involved in the GM IPO began a series of meetings last week aimed at reaching a consensus on the market value the top US automaker, two of the sources said. After analysts come to consensus on that

valuation, GM will offer investors a discount of 20 percent from that level in pricing shares for the IPO, three sources said. That margin of discount is part of a standard practice in IPOs to reward investors for taking a risk on a new issue. GM needs to have a market valuation of about $67 billion if U.S. taxpayers are to break even on the common stock the US Treasury holds. The US Treasury is expected to be the major seller of common stock in the GM IPO and is prepared to take a loss on the initial sale of stock, sources have said. The governments of Canada and Ontario will likely follow the lead of the US government as sellers, two sources said. As part of the GM bailout, Canada offered the automaker funding and took a stake of 11.7 percent in return. It remains unclear if a trust fund affiliated with the United Auto Workers union will sell part of its stake in the IPO. The union trust, which was established to pay for retiree healthcare costs, holds 17.5 percent of GM. The UAW trust fund-known as the union’s VEBA-has been weighing whether it would be better served by waiting to sell stock in GM at subsequent offerings that could come at a higher price, one person with knowledge of the deliberations said.

The GM IPO is expected to price on Nov 17 with the debut on Nov 18, three of the sources said. People involved in the deal have said shares would likely price between $20 and $25 after a stock split by the automaker. On Wednesday, GM Chairman Ed Whitacre also said he thought that was a likely range for the IPO price. “I can’t say how much we’ll sell, but I can say we’ll have a successful IPO sometime in November,” Whitacre said. “It’s going to work, and it was absolutely the right thing to save this company.” PACE PICKING UP GM executives, bankers in its underwriting syndicate and advisers have all declined to discuss the IPO in public because of the restrictions imposed by US securities laws. But there have been signs this week that the pace of preparations for the deal are quickening. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Ron Bloom, the official overseeing the US investment in the auto industry, met GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson on Tuesday in New York to get an update on the automaker’s business and IPO plans. Also this week, GM told over 600,000 employees, retirees and dealers in letters sent from its Detroit headquarters that they

had until Oct 22 to register to buy stock in the IPO. At meetings with investors, bankers have emphasized GM’s strong position in China, the slowing pace of losses at its Opel unit in Europe and its lowered break-even point in the US market, two sources said. GM Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell, expected to be central to the upcoming roadshow for investors, said in May that the automaker was set up to break even with industry-wide US sales of about 11 million vehicles annually. But cost-cutting progress by GM has reduced that threshold even further, a positive point the automaker will tout to investors, one source said. GM plans to file a final IPO prospectus on Nov 1 or Nov 2, just before it begins courting investors in its roadshow, two sources said. That prospectus will include the number of shares to be sold, the pricing range and the selling shareholders among other details. No dollar amount has been set for the IPO and that will not be determined until GM files the final prospectus in early November, the sources said. The GM IPO has long been seen as raising between $10 billion and $20 billion, making it one of the largest US stock offerings ever. But with

DETROIT: Photo shows General Motors world headquarters in Detroit. Five percent of General Motors’ common shares are being set aside for employees and dealers to buy in the company’s initial stock sale. — AP the slow pace of recovery in auto sales and the US economy, the size of the IPO could come at the low end of the expectations, several sources have said. In one indication of the headwinds the GM deal could face, auto parts supplier Tower

International Inc priced shares in its IPO 19 percent below the midpoint of the expected range on Thursday. The GM IPO underwriting syndicate is led by Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citi. — Reuters

FX tensions mount Seoul and Tokyo in tit-for-tat spat ahead of G20 W ASHI NGTON/SI NGAPORE: Tensions over currencies a nd signs of uneven globa l grow th sha rpened yesterda y, sending the US dolla r to a new 2010 low the da y before the Federa l Reserve is expected to la y out options for supporting the a nem ic US econom y. Singa pore

FOS-SUR-MER: Police block the Fos-sur-Mer oil depot, allowing only trucks through southern France yesterday. French students intensified blockades of high schools and universities as a third straight day of nationwide strikes over the government’s retirement reform snarled train travel and shuttered oil refineries. — AP

World oil prices slip LONDON: Crude oil prices fell yesterday, one day after the OPEC oil cartel froze its production levels, as traders awaited a crucial speech from US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, dropped 13 cents to 82.56 dollars a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for November dipped 25 cents to 83.95 dollars per barrel in early afternoon London deals. “Crude oil prices remained under pressure below 83 dollars per barrel,” said Sucden analyst Myrto Sokou. “Investors remained cautious ahead of the Bernanke speech later today regarding the US Fed budget details and the US economic outlook.”The US dollar weakened further and hit its lowest level in 2010 against a basket of currencies, but failed to provide some support to the oil market, as trading conditions remain volatile and nervous ahead of the Bernanke speech.” The Federal Reserve chief is scheduled to speak at about 1215 GMT at the Boston Fed’s annual conference. This week, the US unit has tumbled after minutes from last month’s Fed policy meeting showed that the US central bank anticipates additional stimulus may be needed soon to prop up a slowing economic recovery. That sparked feverish speculation that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) could next month implement a second round of quantitative easing, via the purchasing of bonds and other assets. The weak dollar normally boosts dollar-priced oil, which becomes cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies and therefore tends to boost demand. Later yesterday, traders will also digest a host of economic data in the United States, which is the world’s biggest

oil consuming nation. “Today, it looks a fairly busy day in the US economic data with investors watching for US retail sales, business inventories, NY Fed manufacturing figures, CPI inflation as well as the US economic conditions and expectations from the University of Michigan survey,” added Sokou. “These major economic indicators are likely to affect the US dollar movements and the direction of the global equity markets and might provide the oil market with direction.” Crude futures slid Thursday after OPEC’s decision to maintain its output target and news of a surprise drop in crude reserves in the United States, the world’s top oil consumer. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) left its official oil production target unchanged on Thursday, in line with expectations in the face of an uncertain economic outlook, after a high-profile meeting in Vienna. OPEC, which pumps 40 percent of the world’s oil, agreed to keep its target at 24.84 million barrels a day. Also on Thursday, the US government’s Department of Energy (DoE) revealed that American crude stockpiles fell unexpectedly in the week ending October 8. Crude reserves dropped by 400,000 barrels last week, confounding market expectations for a gain of 1.2 million barrels. Earlier this week, oil was buoyed by news of record Chinese crude imports in September, which showed strengthening demand from the Asian powerhouse. And prices won some support after the International Energy Agency upgraded its energy demand forecasts, mainly because of an economic upturn in industrialized countries. — AFP

Rubber hits record on strong China demand KUALA LUMPUR: Rubber prices reached their highest price in decades yesterday, fuelled by strong demand from China’s auto industry and tight supply caused by wet weather in Southeast Asian producing nations. The Malaysian Rubber Board said its benchmark SMR 20 hit 3.94 dollars per kilo at noon yesterday, a staggering increase from 1.12 dollars per kilo where it languished in December 2008 during the global downturn. The level is a record since the price of the SMR (Standard Malaysian Rubber) was set in 1972. And with the La Nina weather pattern tipped to bring more rain to the major producing nations of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand over the rest of the year, prices are expected to continue rising. Analysts said the prices are being supported as manufacturers scramble to secure supplies of natural rubber, in a generally strong market for commodities as the economic recovery rockets along in Asia. “A fundamental factor is strong demand from China,” a Singapore-based analyst said. “There is very strong demand for vehicles and therefore for tyres in China, and in India as well.” “It’s hard to pre-

dict the weather but the general feeling is that the La Nina pattern is going to be sustained until the end of the year, how much that affects production partly depends on when the rain is received,” he said. Rain during the mornings, when rubber tappers are at work in the plantations, hampers production, while rain elsewhere in the day is not so problematic. “It may be it doesn’t affect production as much as expected,” he said. More than 93 percent of Malaysia’s natural rubber comes from its 265,000 smallholders, who tap less if prices are low and more if prices are high. Last year, Malaysia produced 857,018 tons of natural rubber with exports exceeding 25 billion ringgit (8.1 billion dollars), or 4.52 percent of national exports. Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam produce three-quarters of the world’s natural rubber and account for 93 percent of global exports. India is the world’s fourth largest rubber producer. Malaysia earlier this year proposed setting up a regional bloc with Indonesia and Thailand to control global rubber prices and keep production steady as the cost of the commodity rises. — AFP

South Korea, host of G20 meetings in late October and November, fended off criticism over its currency policy from Japan. Their unusual spat highlights the anxiety over how to prevent differences over managing domestic economies spilling over into currency wars and trade rows. Market attention is turning to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose policies were criticized by China this past weekend for destabilizing the global economy with super-low rates to support domestic growth. Bernanke speaks at 1215 GMT in Boston on monetary policy in a low inflation environment and could use the event to clarify the Fed’s path forward and calm markets. An unexpected rise in US jobless claims and a worsening US trade deficit provided fresh evidence that the US economy is struggling and may need help. The US Treasury Dept is also due to deliver a semi-annual report on whether it views China and other countries as manipulators of their foreign exchange rate. A delay to the report or not mentioning China by name is probable ahead of the G20 meetings where policymakers are anxious to tamp down the USChina row and the talk of a breakdown in global cooperation. European Union Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn cautioned on a visit to Moscow that disorderly exchange rate movements could have “very adverse implications” for economic and financial stability and pressed countries with undervalued currencies to allow them to appreciate. European Central Bank policymaker Christian Noyer played down talk of a “currency war” but took a swipe at countries like China who are keeping their currencies from rising. Further clarity over Fed policy could help ease some strains on the US dollar, which is falling as money seeks higher yields in emerging nations. “In these economies, policymakers’ concerns that their economies may not be able to absorb these inflows-and the fear that these flows may reverse at any time-are legitimate,” Deutsche Bank said in a research report. In response, several governments have stepped into foreign exchange markets or tried to curb capital inflows, raising fears of protectionism that can hobble global growth. India’s central bank bought dollars around 44.10 rupees on Thursday, dealers said, in what is thought to have been its first such intervention this year. The Reserve Bank of India has been reluctant to intervene in currency markets but may have to again as foreign investors are expected to pour in billions of dollars to buy shares in the country’s largestever IPO, for Coal India. Verbal jousting from policymakers has intensified in the runup to a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers in South Korea next week and a leaders’ summit in Seoul on Nov 11-12. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned that a recovery in global investment was now threatened by the specter of a currency war. “We have seen recently fluctuations of major currencies in a significant manner. There is a danger of a cur-

w idened the tra ding ba nd for its currency in response to m a rk et vola tility a nd I ndia intervened to tem per a rising rupee, fresh signs of the stress tha t w ea k US grow th a nd the fa lling dolla r a re putting on em erging econom ies.

rency war,” said James Zhan, director of UNCTAD’s investment and enterprise division. As a result, foreign direct investment-a key source of finance for developing countries-is likely to stagnate this year at about $1.1 trillion, one quarter below its level in the years running up to the financial crisis, Zhan said. DOLLAR HITS NEW LOWS Singapore widened the trading band for the Singapore dollar for the first time since just after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States-a move analysts said gave it more flexibility to react to a tide of hot money flowing in. That propelled the local currency to a record high and helped push the US dollar to a new 15-year low under 81 yen, a 28-year low against the Australian dollar and its weakest level in over eight months against the euro. The dollar extended losses versus the euro after data showed US initial jobless claims rose more than expected. Underscoring the currency strains, state media in South Korea reported Seoul had complained to Japan after Tokyo questioned its leadership of the G20 forum of major economies because of repeated intervention to curb the won. Seoul was angered by unusually direct remarks on Wednesday by Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who said emerging economies with current account surpluses, like China and South Korea, should let their currencies be more flexible. “It is inappropriate to talk about a certain country’s foreign exchange policy unilaterally,” Bank of Korea Governor Kim Choong-soo told reporters. Japan itself intervened in the currency market last month for the first time in more than six years to try to stem a rise in the yen that threatens its fragile economic recovery. The next flashpoint will come on Friday, when the US Treasury is expected to make a ruling on whether China is deliberately manipulating its exchange rate-a move that would enrage Beijing and make the prospect of any accord on currencies even more remote. The United States has not formally branded China a currency manipulator since 1994 and a ruling against it would be a shock despite growing anger from US politicians who accuse Beijing of “stealing jobs” by keeping the yuan artificially cheap. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver a keynote speech on monetary policy that will be pored over for signs he is about to restart the money printing presses, a move China and others say will flood the world with more liquidity, weaken the dollar and push emerging currencies yet higher. The Chinese central bank, which keeps the yuan’s exchange rate on a short leash, let the currency creep up on Thursday to 6.6562 per dollar, the highest level since it abandoned a decade-old peg to the US currency in July 2005. Visiting Beijing, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said the upper chamber was poised to follow the House of Representatives and pass legislation to correct the undervaluation unless Beijing acted. — Reuters

NEW YORK: Specialists Patrick Murphy (left) and Evan Solomon work at a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. — AP

World stock markets mixed SINGAPORE: World stock markets were mixed yesterday as investors readied for a speech from the US Federal Reserve chairman that could give insight into plans for boosting the No 1 economy. Chinese stocks bucked the lackluster trend with the Shanghai Composite Index vaulting more than 3 percent on expectations that Beijing’s upcoming fiveyear plan will focus on increasing domestic spending power - a boost for the state-owned companies that dominate the stock market. Sentiment elsewhere in Asia was damped by the strong yen and by a disappointing jobs report, which added weight to the view high unemployment will continue to drag on an already weak recovery in the world’s largest economy. Initial claims for unemployment aid rose by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 462,000, the US Labor Department said Thursday. Investors were also awaiting speech by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke that could give more details of new action to stimulate the US economy. The Fed’s next meeting in early November is widely expected to announce measures to shore up growth, including the central bank buying government bonds to lower long-term interest rates. In early European trading, Germany’s DAX was up 0.2 percent at 6,470.76. France’s CAC-40 rose 0.2 percent to 3,826.30 while the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.2 percent at 5,714.19. Wall Street was set to fall slightly. Dow futures were off 3 points at 11,049.00 and broader S&P futures slipped 0.3 point to 1,173.20. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average lost 83.26 points, or 0.9 percent, to 9,500.29 after jumping almost 2 percent the previous day. Exporters lost ground amid ongoing anxiety about the strong yen, which hit another 15-year high against the dollar Thursday. China’s benchmark index in Shanghai surged 3.2 percent to 2,971.16. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., or ICBC, climbed 6.6 percent. China Vanke Co, the nation’s biggest property developer, added 1.6 percent. “State-owned market

heavyweights led the rise as investors believe in their good profitability in the long-term,” said Wei Daoke, an analyst at Shenyin & Wanguo Securities, in Shanghai. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.4 percent to 23,757.63 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.2 percent at 4,689.00. Elsewhere, Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.1 percent to 1,902.29 and Singapore’s stock gauge added 0.5 percent to 3,211.27. Benchmarks in Taiwan, India, Malaysia and Indonesia dropped. Some economists are optimistic that growing consumer demand will help Asia maintain strong economic growth rates and offset a sluggish recovery in developed economies. “Easy money and sound fundamentals are supercharging domestic demand in Asia, helping the region to ride out the impending weakness in exports to the West,” HSBC said in a report. But others are concerned the region may have to contend with too much of a good thing as a tide of foreign cash threatens to spark asset bubbles and inflation. China’s foreign reserves grew $194 billion to $2.7 trillion in the third quarter from the second, the largest jump in a decade. “With expectation of prolonged low rates in advanced nations, Asian central banks will face growing risk of excessive capital inflows as investors seek higher returns in faster growing Asian countries,” Citigroup said. The Dow Jones industrial average ended Thursday down 1.51 points at 11,094.57. The market made up earlier losses as investors anticipated that the Federal Reserve will take steps soon to strengthen the US economy. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 4.29, or 0.36 percent, to 1,173.81. The Nasdaq composite index fell 5.85, or 0.2 percent, to 2,435.38. In currencies, the dollar slipped to 81.14 yen from 81.56 late Thursday in New York. The euro rose to $1.4108 from $1.4038. Benchmark crude for November delivery was down 1 cent at $82.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 32 cents to settle at $82.69 a barrel on Thursday. — AP


8

BUSINESS

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Despite growth, India still a top home for hunger NEW DELHI: India, a global breadbasket with economic growth that rivals China’s, is still home to 42 percent of the world’s underweight children. The stark statistic, released by the Washington-based Food Policy Institute ahead of World Food Day today, stands in contrast to the country’s burgeoning economy and hopes

of boosting its global stature as exemplified by its hosting of this year’s Commonwealth Games. “We need to be asking ourselves, what or who is this economic growth for?” said ActionAid India director Sandeep Chachra on Thursday. “Do we want to create a shining India that looks good in the city cen-

ters but with large populations in extreme deprivation, even starvation?” With rocketing economic growth at nearly 9 percent, and as one of the world’s top producers of wheat, potatoes and many other foods, many observers argue it should be easy for India to give back to its own poor. However, the report

from the Food Policy Institute puts India among the worst hunger sufferers, ranking 67th out of 84 countries on its Global Hunger Index - down two spots from last year’s list. China, by comparison, was well ahead at No. 9 and Pakistan was No 52. That report compared statistics on countries’ underweight children

and child mortality rates. Another report on Wednesday noted that, among the Commonwealth of 54 former British colonies that competed in this month’s Delhi games, India ranked worst in terms of child hunger, with 43 percent of its children underweight compared with 31 percent in Pakistan and 23 percent in

Nigeria. Those numbers, offered by the Save the Children organization, cited 2009 data from UNICEF. “India needs to walk the walk, not just give the talk,” Chachra said. “Our economic growth is based on a model that favors the few.” That many people in India are underfed “is not something the world does not

know,” Dr. Rajiv Tandon, of Save the Children in India. But improving nutrition and food distribution will require getting authorities in agriculture, health care, education and women’s empowerment to cooperate. “It will need humility. They have to give a little, take a little ... and stop wasting resources,” he said. —AP

Capital & Regional eyes deals, to slow asset sales Analysts warm to share price rerating towards 50 pence

HAI PHONG: A Vietnamese employee of GE’s newly built turbine generator factory walks in front of wind turbine components inside an assembly line in the northern coastal city of Hai Phong yesterday. The $61-million GE Energy Haiphong factory is specializing in manufacturing wind turbine components. —AFP

GE revenue falls short of Street view, shares off Revenue down 5.1%, worse than expected BOSTON: General Electric Co reported a sharper-than-expected drop in revenue on slack demand for heavy equipment, casting doubts about the pace of the US recovery from the worst economy since the Great Depression. The largest US conglomerate’s 5.1 percent decline in sales overshadowed better-than-expected profit and sent GE shares down 3 percent in premarket trading on Friday as some investors took it as another sign that the economic recovery is faltering. Revenue came to $35.89 billion, below the $37.54 billion analysts had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The shortfall reflected faltering demand for energy equipment, jet engines and railroad locomotives. “I’m a little concerned about the broader manufacturing sector, that this may be a bit of a harbinger,” said Peter Sorrentino, portfolio manager at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati. Investors will get a more detailed look into the sector’s future next week when manufacturing heavyweights United Technologies Corp, Caterpillar Inc and Honeywell International Inc report their results.

There have been a number of signs in recent weeks that the US recovery is slowing. A Business Council survey released on Thursday showed that just one in three US CEOs believe their industries will improve over the next six months. RIDING THE ‘NEW NORMAL’ The revenue miss largely reflects the weak economy, investors said. GE’s overall order backlog held steady at $172 billion. “In the new normal world, you can’t expect to see much in backlog growth,” Jack De Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “It would have been positive to see it growing. It didn’t, and I’m thinking foreign exchange may have had something to do with that. Next quarter they’ll probably get a tailwind in their backlog.” Chief Executive Jeff Immelt reported rising orders for both equipment and services-an indicator of future sales, the first time both have increased in two years. “A renewed GE should grow earnings and dividends in 2011 and beyond,” Immelt said in a statement. In July, GE said it would raise its quarterly dividend by 20 percent to 12

cents per share, starting a process of restoring a payout that it slashed from 31 cents per share during the downturn. Profit from continuing operations-which factors out GE’s pruning of its finance arm-came to $3.16 billion, or 29 cents a share, up 29 percent from $2.45 billion, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier. On that basis, GE beat Wall Street’s earnings forecast by 2 cents per share. Net income, including $1.1 billion in losses related to GE Capital portfolio restructuring, fell 18 percent. The results marked GE’s second consecutive quarter of earnings growth after a nine-quarter streak of declines. The company said the decline in revenue in part reflected its efforts to trim back the capital business, which emerged as its Achilles’ heel during the credit crisis and recession. The finance unit’s revenue fell 3 percent in the quarter, while sales its GE’s energy infrastructure unit fell 14 percent. As of Thursday’s close, GE shares have risen about 14 percent for the year, outpacing the 6 percent rise of the Dow Jones industrial average, of which it is a component. —Reuters

Malaysia to bolster spending in 2011 Malaysia unveils budget to lure investors KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s government bolstered spending in its 2011 annual budget and unveiled a raft of mega projects including a 100-storey skyscraper to woo foreign investment as it forecast economic growth to moderate after a sharp expansion this year. Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday unveiled a record 212 billion ringgit ($69 billion) of spending in the budget, up nearly 3 percent over 2010, as he sought to kick-start plans to turn Malaysia into a developed nation by 2020. The government raised its economic growth forecast this year to 7 percent from 5-6 percent but expects growth to ease to 5-6 percent in 2011 amid global economic uncertainties. To spur private investment, Najib said the government will step up partnerships with the private sector in infrastructure and invest in projects including a 40 billion ringgit ($13 billion) mass rail transit network for its largest city Kuala Lumpur and a 100-storey tower - the highest in Malaysia. “I present a budget that lays the foundation for Malaysia to become an advanced nation. The 2011 Budget is formulated with firm determination to bring significant changes to the nation’s development and the well-being of the people,” he said. The projects are part of a new 10-year

blueprint, dubbed the Economic Transformation Program, that aims to make Malaysia a high-income nation. The government has said it will need to lure $444 billion of investments but some analysts have warned the plans are unrealistic. Najib said private investment in 2010 is expected to total 86 billion ringgit ($28 billion). The 2011 budget envisages a 7 percent rise in operating expenditure to about 163 billion ringgit ($53 billion) while development spending, which includes poverty reduction programs, educational training, health care and housing - will fall by 9 percent to 49 billion ringgit ($16 billion). He said federal government revenue is estimated to grow 2.3 percent to 165.8 billion ringgit ($54 billion) in 2011. This will mitigate the spending hike and narrow the government’s budget deficit to 5.4 percent of gross domestic product from 5.6 percent this year, he said. Some economists said the 2011 budget addresses key issues such as falling investment and an underskilled work force that have dragged on Malaysia’s growth. “The key message is that the private sector has to be harnessed back to drive growth due to the government’s fiscal limits,” said Lee Heng Guie, economist with CIMB Investment Bank. But opposition politician Tony Pua criti-

cized the government for fiscal indiscipline. He said the government promised to trim its operating spending in 2010 but instead it increased by 10 percent. The government has overshot spending annually since 2000, he said. He also slammed the government for raising its operating spending, rather than focusing on development spending. To promote Malaysia as a shopping haven in Asia, Najib said import duties up to 30 percent on some 300 goods ranging from handbags and shoes to curtains and perfumes will be abolished from next year. Najib also handed out goodies to civil servants, giving them a 500 ringgit ($162 million) special allowance. He said toll charges on the major North-South Highway will be frozen for the next five years. First-time homeowners will get a 50 percent discount on stamp duties for houses below 350,000 ringgit ($113,636). Najib, who took office in April 2009, has pledged to reform the economy but faces enormous political challenges from power brokers within and outside his party, which fears a voter backlash ahead of general elections due in 2013. The government earlier this week postponed plans to implement a 4 percent goods and services tax by 2011 amid public protests. —AP

LONDON: British property fund manager Capital & Regional is turning an eye towards retail property acquisitions and called a slowdown in its asset sales, with several analysts now expecting its shares to spike higher. “We have earmarked in our own minds a certain amount of capital (for acquisitions), but given our past it’s pretty important we maintain capital discipline,” Chief Executive Hugh ScottBarrett told Reuters. Scott-Barrett sees more British retail properties coming to market over the next 6-12 months, adding the leisure centre and shopping mall investor has “some flexibility” for deals with 24 million pounds ($38 million) cash on its balance sheet. “If we see opportunities to acquire further stakes in funds, then that is something that we will clearly look at,” he said. At 1130 GMT Cap&Reg shares were flat at 35 pence, below analysts’ target prices of 40-50 pence after the company on Wednesday reported rises in its fund valuations. Numis analyst Andrew Cox said Cap&Reg was a “good example of a stock that has been over-penalised by the market”, adding his target price was 50 pence with a ‘buy’ rating. “You would expect a rerating to come through,” he told Reuters. Cap&Reg shares trade at a discount to net asset value (NAV) a key property sector measure-of about 35 percent, one of the most pronounced on the FTSE’s EPRA/NAREIT index of property stocks. Cap&Reg has gone through a two-year period of flux against the backdrop of market uncertainty and falling asset values to overhaul its business model. It has refinanced, paid down debt, sold assets, restructured its core The Mall asset, and improved capex flexibility. For the six months to June 30, Cap&Reg swung to an 18 million pounds pre-tax profit from a loss of 131 million a year earlier. Its net debt shrank to 48 million pounds from 115 million in the same previous period. “I cannot see why people would have it on a ‘hold’ rating ... I do not think (fund) values are going to come down any further. I am quite hopeful for them, to be honest,” KBC Peel Hunt analyst Matt Churstain said. He said Cap&Reg’s balance sheet had been stabilized and it could now look to the future. He gives the stock a 42 pence target price with a ‘buy’ rating. Scott-Barrett said Cap&Reg’s period of asset sales would slow for the rest of 2010. “It (sales) will be driven primarily by asset management considerations rather than refinancing considerations,” he said. Evolution analyst Paul Pulze cited Cap&Reg’s lack of a dividend and broader market uncertainty as reasons for his 40 pence target and ‘neutral’ rating. “We expect the shares to perform in-line,” Pulze said. Scott-Barrett was tight-lipped when asked if Cap&Reg might return to paying a dividend after edging back to a profit at the pretax level. “It is a (boardroom) debate that will certainly be taking place in a different context,” he said. —Reuters

CALIFORNIA: A sign at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif is shown in this photo. —AP

Google trumps Wall St targets as shares soar Google shares up 9%, Baidu rises 2.8% SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc eased fears that big spending would erode margins as its results blew past Wall Street’s targets, and the Web search leader revealed for the first time the strength of its fledgling mobile and online display ad businesses. Analysts said strong growth across Google’s core advertising business led to a 25percent surge in net revenue in the third quarter, sending its shares 9 percent higher. “This is the best performance they’ve had in three years. We’re back to the old Google we know and love,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Ross Sandler. “Clearly search is holding up better than anyone expected,” while efforts to branch into display and mobile advertising are on track to become significant parts of the business, he noted. Investors had feared that Google, seeking new sources of growth, was spending recklessly on initiatives such as its Android mobile software, acquisitions, renewable energy projects and even automated cars, with uncertain returns. In July, Google’s second-quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations, marking the first time in two years that the company had missed profit estimates. But executives on Thursday offered investors what they said was a one-time glimpse of sales generated by its mobile and display advertising businesses. Those operations generated annualized revenue run rates of more than $1 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively-underscoring the outcome of investments into smartphones and online projects. Google disclosed two revenue numbers to give Wall Street “confidence that where we’re investing in is really fueling great growth rates,” Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette told analysts on a conference call. Kaufman Brothers analyst Mayuresh Masurekar said Google’s $1 billion run rate in mobile was higher than investors had expected, but he noted that the $2.5 billion run rate in display advertising was a gross number, meaning that some of that revenue is paid to Google’s partners. Still, he said, the numbers should ease investor concerns about the company’s spending. “It shows that the investments that management is making, like the ones that they made in the past, ... are bearing fruit,” Masurekar said. Analysts also pointed to a 16-percent jump in “paid clicks” on Google’s search advertisements, while earnings handily surpassed expectations despite hiring at a near-record pace and a one-third jump in operating costs. Shares of Baidu Inc, the No 1 search

engine in China, rose 2.8 percent to $100.99 following Google’s results. Google has lost market share in China this year, following a spat with Beijing over censorship that resulted in Google relocating its search site to Hong Kong. RECORD HIRING Google’s stock has underperformed the broader market in 2010, partly because the company’s growth prospects appeared to be slowing amid increasing competition from social networking powerhouse Facebook, which counts more than 500 million users. On Wednesday, Facebook and Microsoft unveiled improvements to Microsoft’s Bing search engine that incorporate personalized Facebook data, such as restaurant recommendations from a person’s friends, into search results. Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who participated in Thursday’s earnings conference call for the first time in several quarters, said the company was also working to make its search results more personal. Google has been on an acquisition spree, buying more than 20 companies in 2010, including several companies that were developing social networking technology. The company added more than 1,500 employees to its payroll in the third quarter-which some analysts said was a record pace for the companyand its operating expenses totaled $2.19 billion, up from $1.64 billion in the year-ago quarter. CFO Pichette said the Internet industry was waging a “war for talent.” He added that its YouTube online video site was now “monetizing” over 2 billion views a week, a rise of 50 percent from a year earlier. The world’s largest Internet search engine posted a third-quarter net income of $2.17 billion or $7.64 a share, excluding items, surpassing Wall Street’s average estimate of $6.69 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Net revenue, which excludes fees that Google pays to partner websites, came to $5.48 billion, versus expectations for $5.27 billion. Net revenue in the 2009 third quarter was $4.38 billion. Google’s 9-percent rise in extended trading, to $590, would be the biggest single-day gain since November 2008. The stock had closed 0.44 percent lower at $540.93 on Nasdaq before the earnings announcement. “Looks like business is solid across the board. The biggest concern for investors was expenses. Given the EPS number, it looks like margins have to be better than what the Street was expecting,” said UBS analyst Brian Pitz. —Reuters

India’s Infosys’ profits jump MUMBAI: Infosys Technologies, India’s secondlargest software firm, reported a rise in second-quarter profit yesterday and also upped its revenue forecast, as firms raise technology spending. Net profit rose 13.2 percent to a higher-than-expected 17.4 billion rupees (386 million dollars) for the three months to September, up from 15.3 billion rupees a year earlier. Revenues were up 24.4 percent at 69.5 billion rupees. Infosys raised its revenue forecast for the fiscal year, citing an improved global economic environment and increased technology budgets among overseas clients. It said it would also expand and pursue new customers in the Asia-Pacific, Middle Eastern and Latin American regions-outside the company’s main US and European mar-

kets. North America accounts for 66 percent and Europe 22 percent of Infosys’ revenues. The outsourcing giant expects full-year revenues to March 2011 to be 269-271 billion rupees, up 1.5 percent from its previous forecast three months back. Infosys is among the “Big Three” Indian software exporters-alongside Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. Infosys stock fell on profit taking after the earnings’ announcement, closing down 3.39 percent at 3,076.15. The shares had risen 11 percent in the previous four weeks, dealers said. “Though the economic environment continues to be challenging, we have leveraged our client relationships and investments to grow faster in this quarter,” chief executive Kris Gopalakrishnan said in a statement. Infosys added a net

27 clients and 7,646 employees over the quarter. The company had 122,486 employees at the end of September. Analysts expressed confidence in Infosys, but warned that a rising rupee caused by capital inflows would be a concern for Indian IT firms. “The volatility is unsustainable for exporters, including software outsourcers,” Infosys’ chief financial officer, V Balakrishnan, told a news conference. “The RBI has to step in to ensure quality flows.” The head of the Reserve Bank of India meanwhile said the bank might intervene if overseas flows were “lumpy or volatile”, but did not say when this might happen. The Indian firms bill USbased clients in dollars and the greenback has weakened against the rupee. —AFP


10

TECHNOLOGY

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Obama on gays, cyber bullies and race WASHINGTON: Juggling pointed questions on cyber bullying and Sudan, gay rights and the “tribal” race relations, President Barack Obama sought to refresh his bond with American youth. Obama, hoping to stem expected heavy Democratic losses in the run-up to mid-term elections next month, held a webcast “town-hall” meeting beamed live on MTV, Black Entertainment Television and CMT, a country music channel. The president wants to drive young, first-time voters to the polls who were inspired by his soaring speeches and promises of change in 2008, but who are either now turned off politics, or won’t vote when he is not on the ballot. The hour-long show allowed Obama to indulge the professorial side of his character, and demonstrate his mastery of policy arguments. On the flipside, however, the president’s appearance also

revealed the formal side of his nature which some critics have argued can sometimes make him a somewhat remote figure close up. There was also no repeat of the MTV-sponsored forum in 1994, when then president Bill Clinton was infamously asked whether he wore boxers or briefs. Thursday’s event was earnest and sometimes somber, representing both the formal bearing of the president, and the grim times. In two years on the campaign trail, and nearly two more in office, Obama has hosted a multitude of town-hall meetings, roaming the floor like a talkshow host with a microphone, soliciting questions from guests. Often, with older voters, these events are packed with questions about medical care for the elderly and the dearth of hope in the heartland as the economic crisis grinds on. Obama’s young audi-

ence, however, revealed the preoccupations of their generation: joblessness, sexuality, immigration, the punitive cost of education and online predators. One young woman said she had been the victim of online harassment and wanted to know what he was going to do about this 21st Century scourge? He said his “heart breaks” when he reads about the case of a young man at Rutgers University who committed suicide after a fellow student posted footage of his liaison with another male student on the Internet. He condemned the “harassment and bullying that just completely gets out of hand,” said his administration was talking about measures to make young people feel safer and called on universities to do more. “What we make think is funny or cute may end up being powerfully hurtful,” Obama said. Another

questioner wanted to know whether Obama thought sexuality was a choice or defined biologically before birth. “I don’t think it’s a choice. I think that people are born with, you know, a certain makeup, and that we’re all children of God,” Obama said. That position is likely to anger some conservative, evangelical Christian groups, which argue homosexuality is a sin, and therefore involves choice. Another questioner wanted to know what Obama, America’s first black president, thought was behind an apparent rise in racial tensions. The president partially blamed the strain of the deepest recession in generations, and said race has often become an issue at times of deep deprivation. “When you’re out of work and you can’t buy a home or you’ve lost your home and you’re worried about paying your bills, then you become more worried

about what other folks are doing.” “Sometimes that organizes itself around kind of a tribal attitude.” One of the few moments of levity came over Twitter comments solicited by the show on viewers worst fears. One said their worst fear was Obama being reelected-another said he feared his country was turning into a communist state. Another student asked Obama about Sudan, amid an administration effort to ensure that a referendum on independence for southern Sudan does not degenerate into violence and mass killings of innocents. “We’ve only got about 90 days to get this done,” Obama said, referring to the January referendum. “This is one of our highest priorities,” he said, and praised young people for showing leadership on an issue which rarely makes national news but is much more high profile on university and college campuses.— AFP

More cities turn to sun NEW YORK: Growing numbers of cities and towns are turning to solar-powered road warning and school safety signs to inform the public and save money and energy. In the past year, cities including Baton Rouge, La; Branson and Kansas City, Mo; and Lyndhurst, Wayne and Ringwood, NJ, have adopted the technology, officials in those municipalities say. Rick Bergholz, owner of TAPCO, a Wisconsinbased company that manufactures and sells the environmentally friendly traffic controls, says solar-powered light “sales have been exploding.” “They’ve been around since their inception 10 years ago, but it took years to perfect the product and to get approval,” Bergholz says. TAPCO’s website lists Forth Worth, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; and Richfield Township in Ohio among other solar signal clients. In Baton Rouge, flashing yellow lights at school zones went “green” before the start of the current school year, says Ingolf Partenheimer, the city-parish’s chief traffic engineer. “We are putting out 90 of them,” Partenheimer says, adding that they can talk electronically to the signals instead of having to change them manually. “If a school has early dismissal, we can change the signals school-byschool or globally.” Branson installed solar signs at a cost of about $1,000 each a few months ago at two intersections that had seen numerous accidents, says Keith Francis, the city’s assistant director of public works. “We had had numerous accidents at these locations, and it was kind of a dark area and didn’t have a lot of street lighting, so we decided to put these up to get people’s attention,” Francis says. “Flashing lights automatically get people’s attention and make them slow down.” “The solar portion cuts down on costs,” he says. “The solar panels (batteries) will run for 11 days without being charged.” Shreveport, La., was among the early users, installing solarpowered lights five years ago, city traffic engineer Michael Erlund says. “We went with solar lights because electricity costs us money constantly,” he says. A solar-powered flashing stop sign was installed at a three-way stop in Hammond, La., in Tangipohoa Parish in early September, according to Gordon Burgess, Tangipahoa Parish president. It is one of 10 that will be installed on parish roads, he says. In deciding where to place the signs, Burgess says officials looked at several dangerous intersections. “We have a lot of intersections, some with four-way stops, so we looked at where they’ve had accidents, and with our volume of traffic, we more or less prioritized the ones with the high traffic count,” he says. — MCT

Growing numbers of cities use solar-powered signs Scientists get closeup scene of a recent asteroid collision

FLORIDA: The crew of space shuttle Discovery (from left) commander Steve Lindsey, pilot Eric Boe, mission specialist’s Alvin Drew, Tim Kopra, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott attend a news conference in front of the shuttle on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla on Thursday, Oct 14, 2010. Discovery is scheduled to launch Nov 1. — AP

LOS ANGELES: Astronomers peer into the past. They observe galaxies forming millions of years after the fact. They hunt for traces of water that flowed eons ago on moons and other planets. Even those who study asteroids - rocky objects that whiz through Earth’s neighborhood on a regular basis - ponder ancient history as they examine scattered debris to reconstruct events from millions, or even billions, of years ago. So it has been a rare treat for them to track the aftermath of a recent asteroid collision - one that happened around Feb 10, 2009. “It’s the first time we’ve ever seen an asteroid collision happening,” said Colin Snodgrass, a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, who led one of two teams that describe the collision Thursday in the journal Nature. It started out as a case of mistaken identity. At first P/2010 A2, as the object is called, didn’t appear to be an asteroid at all. First seen by a robotic telescope on Jan. 6, 2010, it had a glowing tail, which led observers to think it might be an unusual type of comet. But astronomer David Jewitt of the University of California, Los Angeles, had his doubts. “It didn’t look like any comet I’d seen,” he said. “The designation and the orbit didn’t jibe.” This object’s location in the inner asteroid belt - between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter - was much closer to the sun than was typical for a comet, and its orbit was more circular than that of a comet. On Jan 9, Jewitt asked a colleague to take pictures of the alleged comet with a ground-based telescope. P/2010 A2’s “nucleus” appeared to be detached from its tail. This, too, signaled that it was not a comet. Jewitt thought it might be a cloud formed by an asteroid collision just days old - and likely to dissipate rapidly. He put together an urgent request for some of Hubble’s precious observing time and began taking detailed pictures of P/2010 A2 with the Hubble Space Telescope on Jan 25. His photos, shot over a fourmonth period, showed that a collision had been likely, and that it probably occurred in February or March of 2009, his team reported in Nature. The Hubble pictures also showed a weird X-shaped formation where the nucleus of the “comet” had been thought to be. Asked what he thought the “X” might be, Jewitt let out a long sigh. “I wish I knew,” he said. Some “Star Trek” fans have joked that it has something to do with Klingon spaceships, he said. But the most likely answer is that “the X is basically a splash pattern from the impact” of two wayward asteroids. Meanwhile, in Germany, Snodgrass had initiated his own investigation. He commandeered a tiny camera on the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, which was approaching the asteroid belt for a flyby past the asteroid Lutetia. P/2010 A2 is orbiting the sun at an angle very similar to that of the Earth’s orbit, Snodgrass said. As a result, any images of the asteroid taken from Earth can only provide a two-dimensional view that leaves out crucial information about its trajectory. It’s like trying to decipher a drawing on a piece of paper lying flat on a table at eye level, said astronomer David Nesvorny of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., who was not involved in the research. From that vantage point, only the edge of the paper is visible. To see what’s on the paper, one needs to stand above it. Rosetta’s camera, which was designed to take pictures of asteroids at close range, could offer the viewing angle Snodgrass wanted. Its images captured in March weren’t as sharp as Jewitt’s Hubble photos, but they provided enough information for a computer to figure out that only one scenario could have created a trail like the one observed from both Earth and from Rosetta - an abrupt event that produced a bunch of dust “in one go,” like a collision or explosion, Snodgrass said. —MCT

Tech industry abuzz with rumors of Yahoo buyout SAN JOSE: Persistent reports that AOL and several private equity firms are preparing a bid to buy Yahoo and take it private may indicate that the independence of one of Silicon Valley’s most famous brands is in question once again, although experts said there are doubts about how workable such a deal might be. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Silver Lake Partners and Blackstone Group are among a group of private equity firms that have expressed interest in either teaming up with AOL to buy Yahoo, or trying to take it private on their own. Two years after Yahoo rebuffed a takeover bid of $33 a share from Microsoft, the rumors come with Yahoo’s stock price stagnant during the past year, trading at less than half what Microsoft offered in 2008. Responding to those rumors, experts questioned whether combining AOL with Yahoo would create a company with significantly stronger technological and advertising assets than the two companies have alone, and said they doubted Yahoo would accept a takeover in a price range that private equity would be willing to bid. “Yahoo is going to fight this tooth and nail,” said Rick Munarriz, a senior analyst at the Motley Fool. “It’s just, how would you pull it off? Yahoo won’t come cheap,” especially since AOL is a much smaller company. Yahoo’s market capitalization of $20.6 billion is nearly eight times greater than AOL’s $2.7 billion value. But the persistent rumors, Munarriz and other observers said, are an indicator of the intense pressure on CEO Carol Bartz to improve Yahoo’s execution, as the Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet portal rushes to complete its high-stakes search alliance with Microsoft and to parry Google’s thrust into Internet display advertising - Yahoo’s bread and butter. The rumors “certainly are signs to the marketplace that, hey, you guys need help,” said Laxmi Poruri, an analyst with Primary Global Research. “It’s obviously not happening internally. There needs to be some sort of major change. ... They haven’t executed on their main business.” —MCT

India seeks ‘cool jacket’ design to help laborers THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A state in southern India is running a competition for designers to produce an “air-conditioned” jacket for outdoor laborers with prize money of more than 20,000 dollars up for grabs. Local authorities in Kerala have challenged individuals and research organizations to produce a prototype cooling jacket that could be used by workers who toil in hot weather. “If it is successful, then it is bound to increase their efficiency as they will be in an air-conditioned environment,” a senior official from the industries department, T Balakrishnan said. He said 10 viable ideas would be selected by an expert panel, with each inventor then given 100,000 rupees (2,200 dollars) to develop the concept. “The winner will be awarded with one million Indian rupees (22,000 dollars) and monetary assistance will be given by the state to manufacture the prototype,” he said. Kerala, a southern agricultural state famed for laid-back tourism and its tropical beaches, is not subjected to the extreme dry heat known on the plains of northern India. —AFP

Jericho hits wall on way to its 10,000th birthday JERICHO: Imagine you turned 10,000 years old - and nobody showed up at your birthday party. That’s a bit how they’re feeling in the ancient West Bank city of Jericho, believed to be one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited settlements. Three years ago, Palestinians made big plans for Jericho’s historic birthday. Nobody really knows the exact anniversary, but Palestinians thought 10-10-10 had a good ring to it. The idea was to host an international blowout to rival the 2000 millennium, including fireworks, laser shows, half a million guests and a who’s who of international dignitaries. They dreamed of bringing singer Shakira to perform, and city officials figured they’d need to build at least a couple of new hotels and some restaurants to handle the crowds. But when Oct 10 rolled around, the party - to say the least - fell flatter than the city’s walls once did. A single balloon floated over the city square, a local band named Culture Shock performed on a portable stage,

and some new artwork and an ancient mosaic were unveiled. No foreign diplomats attended the opening ceremony, Shakira was not there to sing or shake, and even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was a no-show. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, greeted by a few dozen Jericho children, unveiled a Jericho-themed postage stamp. Like much in the West Bank, Jericho’s birthday fete appears to have fallen victim to inadequate finances, poor organization and political infighting. City officials said they received no funds to prepare. A planning committee fell into disarray as members and chairpersons kept changing. And a publicity firm was not even hired until 10 days before the event. “Unfortunately, we’ve been late in everything,” sighed Jericho city spokeswoman Weaam Iriqat. Palestinian officials are now trying to put their best face forward, de-emphasizing Sunday’s festivities and

stressing that the celebrations will continue over the coming four to five years. “This is just the kickoff,” said Khouloud Daibes, the Palestinian Authority’s minister of tourism. “Besides, whatever we did would not have been enough to give this occasion its proper value.” Still, some Palestinians blame the Palestinian Authority for missing an opportunity to boost the West Bank’s international profile and local economy. “We had a chance to celebrate 10,000 years of Jericho, which should have been one of the biggest events in the Middle East,” said Yousef Aldek, a television production manager from the West Bank city of Ramallah who said he attended several disorganized brainstorming sessions that yielded no results. “What better occasion than this to prove our claim and ties to the land,” he said, complaining that Palestinian officials misused funds by hiring family members to help organize the event. “In the end, no

one even knew anything about it.” Jericho’s mayor expressed disappointment that the opening ceremony was scaled back, but he noted that an extravagant party might not have been appropriate anyway, given the city’s poverty and lack of infrastructure. “We’re 10,000 years old and we don’t even have a sewage system,” Mayor Hassan Saleh said. He added that he’s nonetheless hoping to parlay the city’s birthday into some much-needed development projects, including a new airport. So far nothing has been confirmed. Jericho has a history of high hopes and lost opportunities. With skeletal remains dating back to the Stone Age and a prominent place in the Bible, the renowned city has long been seen as the West Bank’s most promising tourist destination. This is the spot where the Bible says Israelites ended their desertwandering and brought down Jericho’s walls with a trumpet. There’s a sycamore tree said to be the one

Jesus once passed and a monastery built into a hillside where Jesus is said to have resisted Satan’s temptations. After the 1993 Oslo peace accords, Jericho blossomed, drawing Palestinian investors and throngs of Israeli tourists enjoying a new casino and luxury hotel. But after the 2000 Palestinian uprising, the Israeli military banned its citizens from visiting Jericho. The casino was shuttered and today, tourists generally swing through town in a couple of hours, barely getting off the bus. The historic Old City, which wasn’t even included in Sunday’s celebration, is little more than some dirt mounds, with no guides or signs to orient visitors. Indeed, there is nary a placard in sight to show where the walls once stood. Swedish tourists Torsten and Ingrid Gunnarson, two of a handful of foreign visitors who joined Jericho’s birthday celebration, were unimpressed. “To be frank,” Torsten Gunnarson said, “they really need to get their act together.”— MCT


Saturday, October 16, 2010

HEALTH & SCIENCE

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World’s longest tunnel breaks down Swiss Alpine barrier SEDRUN: A giant drilling machine was punching its way through a final section of Alpine rock yesterday to complete the world’s longest tunnel, after 15 years of sometimes lethal construction work. The 57 kilometre (35.4 mile) high speed rail link, which will open in 2017, will form the lynchpin of a new rail network between northern and southeastern Europe and help ease congestion and pollution in the Swiss Alps. It is the third tunnel to be built through the snowbound St. Gotthard area but it is much the longest and three kilometers longer than a rail link between two Japanese islands, the current record holder. “The myth of the Gotthard has been broken for a third time. Our forefathers struggled from the Middle Ages onwards to make this mountain passable,” Peter Fueglistaler, director of the Federal Transport office, told journalists gathered for yesterday’s final breakthrough. A 9.5 metre wide drilling machine has been put in place to pummel its way through the remaining 1.5 metres of rock and engineers expect the work to join the two ends of the tunnel will be completed by 1230 GMT. Swiss Transport Minister Moritz Leuenberger has hailed the tunnel as “a spectacular and grandiose monument” which will become a new benchmark. The stage-managed breakthrough, attended by some 200 dignitaries 30 kilometres inside the tunnel, is being broadcast live on Swiss television and watched by European Union transport ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg. Passengers will ultimately be able to speed from the Italian city of Milan to Zurich in less than three hours and further north into Germany, cutting the journey time by an hour. But the 9.8 billion Swiss franc (7.0 billion euro) tunnel is also the fruit of strong popular wave of environmental concern about pollution in the Swiss Alps with booming road traffic transiting from neighboring countries. The new Gotthard tunnel will exceed the 53.8-kilometre Seikan rail tunnel linking the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido and the world’s longest road tunnel, the 24.5-kilometre Laerdal in Norway. Switzerland nonetheless struggled to convince sceptical European neighbors to support the ambitious and costly transalpine rail plans. But they gained added weight in a shock 1994 referendum result when Swiss voters supported an ecologist motion to stop heavy trucks driving across the Alps-including the expanding flow of transiting EU goods traffic. A nationwide opinion poll published on Wednesday suggested that that sentiment is undimmed. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed support a ban on truck traffic through the Gotthard road tunnel and move it onto rail, according to the poll commissioned by an Alpine environmental lobby group. In recent years, Austria, France and Italy have set in motion two similar rail tunnel projects through the eastern and western Alps, that are both planned to exceed 50 kilometres in length in the 2020s. Once completed, around 300 trains should be able to speed through the Gotthard’s twin tubes every day, at up to 250 kilometres per hour (155 mph) for passenger trains, according to planners. Apart from the tunnel’s economic and environmental implications, the spotlight is on more than 2,000 tunnel workers, especially in the wake of the rescue of Chile’s trapped miners. The builders from about a dozen countries are being feted at a celebration just above the breakthrough point in the mist-bound mountain village of Sedrun. Eight have died since construction began 15 years ago, blasting and boring through 13 million cubic metres of rock in hot and humid conditions. “Through their years of tireless commitment, they have made this world record possible,” said Renzo Simoni, chief executive of the Alptransit tunnel company yesterday. “The miners are the heroes of today’s celebrations,” he added. The current ageing and narrow 15-kilometre tunnel higher up the flanks of the St. Gotthard can cope with just a fraction of that capacity at less than half the speed. It was nonetheless a global engineering feat as well when it was completed 128 years ago, having claimed the lives of some 200 tunnel workers. —AFP

High speed rail link to open in 2017

SEDRUN: A giant drilling machine punches through a wall of rock to complete the world’s longest tunnel beneath the Swiss Alps on October 15, 2010, 30 kilometres (19 miles) from one end and 2,000 metres below the mountains near Sedrun. — AFP

New research offers hope for preventing kidney stones WASHINGTON: A new technique to curb the growth of crystals in one type of kidney stone offers hope for preventing development of the hard deposits which can cause extreme pain, researchers reported Thursday. Scientists at New York University’s Department of Chemistry and its Molecular Design Institute, NYU School of Medicine, and the Medical College of Wisconsin sought to attack kidney stones at the molecular level by examining the crystals that form them. The researchers used atomic force microscopy, which allows for the observation of objects as small as a nanometer, to observe the growth of the L-cystine crystals that make up

one type of kidney stone. Knowing how these crystals grew, the researchers could then select a chemical agent to inhibit this process. “This may lead to a new approach to preventing cystine stones simply by stopping crystallization,” said Michael Ward, one of the authors of the research and chair of NYU’s Department of Chemistry. “Moreover, these findings are an example of the significant advances that can be achieved through collaborations between researchers in physical sciences and in medicine.” Kidney stones comprised of L-cystine affect an estimated 20,000 individuals in the United States.

This number is smaller than the number of Americans afflicted by calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) stones, but L-cystine stones are larger, recur more frequently, and are more likely to cause chronic kidney disease. Although they often cause no permanent damage, kidney stones can be extremely painful and sometimes are removed by surgery or sound waves. Current medications for L-cystine stone prevention can cause adverse side effects such as nausea, fever, fatigue, skin allergies, and hypersensitivity. The findings of the latest research appear in the October 15 issue of the journal Science. — AFP

Millions of Afghans at risk from parasitic disease: UN KABUL: Afghanistan’s health authorities yesterday appealed for international help in dealing with a parasitic disease that is believed to threaten millions in the impoverished country. Leishmaniasis, transmitted by a species of sandfly, threatened the health of 13 million Afghans, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a report on neglected tropical diseases. It said the disease had affected an estimated 65,000 people in Kabul in 2009, markedly higher than the 17,000 who were expected to get the disease each year, but many more were likely to have been hit due to under-reporting. “This number is likely to be the tip of the iceberg as cases are grossly under-reported owing to poor diagnostic tools and the stigma that is attached

to this disease,” WHO’s Afghanistan representative Peter Graaff was quoted as saying. The main symptom of the disease is skin sores that erupt weeks to months after the victim has been bitten, WHO said. An outbreak of leishmaniasis had hit the western city of Herat, it said, adding that it was preventable with the use of bed nets and could be treated with drugs. WHO quoted the acting minister of public health, Suraya Dalil, calling for international help in tackling the disease. “The high cost of treatment makes it difficult to integrate antileishmaniasis drugs into the basic package of health services,” she said. “I urge donors to take this cause seriously, as it causes unnecessary suffering amongst a large number of Afghans.”— AFP


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HEALTH & SCIENCE

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Scientists use seals, gliders to unlock ocean secrets SINGAPORE: Scientists are outfitting elephant seals and self-propelled water gliders with monitoring equipment to unlock the oceans’ secrets and boost understanding of the impacts of climate change. Oceans regulate the world’s climate by soaking up heat and shifting it around the globe. They also absorb huge amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide, acting as a brake on the pace of climate change. But scientists say they need to ramp up a global monitoring network, with the Southern Ocean between Australia and Antarctica playing a key role. The Southern Ocean is a major “sink” of mankind’s carbon emissions and an engine of the world’s climate. “To

understand the rate of climate change, we need to understand these ocean processes, like how fast it can sequester heat and carbon,” said oceanographer Susan Wijffels, a group leader for Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System, or IMOS. “So what the ocean does affects how fast the system can move and the regional patterns of climate change,” she told Reuters yesterday by telephone from a climate conference in Hobart, Tasmania. Scientists also need to better understand natural ocean cycles that affect weather on land to improve long-term forecasts for crops and water management for cities. IMOS groups researchers across Australian universities and research

bodies and also links scientists in the United States, Asia and Europe. A recent funding boost means the team can outfit about 100 elephant seals to collect data from the depths around Antarctica. A small device with an antenna is attached to the heads of the seals to measure temperature, salinity and pressure as the animals dive for food. Self-propelled gliders about 2 metres (six feet) long will also be deployed in the seas around Australia to a depth of up to 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) to take measurements. Fitted with wings and a rudder, the gliders can stay at sea for months and can be controlled remotely. A key focus is the area of sea ice around Antarctica

where existing self-propelled measurement devices, called Argos, can’t easily function because they need to surface regularly to send data to satellites. Argos are cylinders that rise and fall to depths of up to 2 km (one mile). Thousands have been deployed globally. New types of Argos are being developed that can “sense” breaks in the sea ice to send their data. “The oceans under the ice are actually a blind spot in the global and national observing systems,” Wijffels said. “We’re starting to suspect the ocean is carrying heat into the sea ice zone,” she added, and this could be playing a role in destabilising the vast iceshelves of

Greenland and Antarctica. Scientists say Greenland has enough ice to raise sea levels by 7 metres (23 feet) if it all melted. Rising amounts of carbon dioxide are also making oceans more acidic, affecting sea creatures’ ability to make shells and there are fears increased acidity could curb the ocean’s ability to mop up carbon. The programme also aims to boost monitoring of major currents around Australia that shift heat around the planet, including through the Lombok Strait near Bali in Indonesia, via deep-ocean moorings. Such measurements were more common in the North Atlantic but the Southern Hemisphere remained a major gap, Wijffels said. — Reuters

Fear lingers in Devecser as residents try to go on with life Children attend school in nearby village DEVECSER: The red mud has faded in Devecser since a w ave of toxic sludge sw ept through the Hungarian tow n last w eek, but many residents remain traumatized and fearful of another catastrophe. The children now go to school in the nearby village of Somloszolos as their ow n school w as destroyed. But Sandorne Somogyi, 59, w ho took her grandson Thursday morning to the tow n square w here he could

catch a school bus, told AFP: “They are all very scared, they shake every time they hear a rumble or a loud noise.” “My heart breaks to see them like this,” she added. Where a few days ago, red mud still covered almost everything in sight, the color has now faded under a layer of w hite dust-gypsum-as scores of relief w orkers continue to clear pavements and gardens.

AJKA: A school boy and an elderly man from Kolontar village sit with some other companions in a bus to return to their home village in front of their temporary home, the local sports hall of Ajka town about 140 km west of Budapest yesterday. — AFP

Land rush sows trouble for Mozambican farmers MAPUTO: Three years ago, Mozambique had high hopes fora 510-million-dollar biofuel project, meant to create 7,000 jobs and create avibrant new industry by transforming 30,000 hectares of fallow land. But in December, the government revoked the license granted to ProCana, aprivate firm with British and South African interests, which in two years failed to plant a single crop. ProCana wasn’t the only company to fail to meet its promises in the wave offoreign investment in farming across Africa-a trend that activists say isdriving up food prices and forcing the eviction of local farmers. After Mozambique’s 16-year civil war ended in 1992, the government sought private investment to revitalise farming in a country with rich land and amplewater that was once a major exporter of cashewnuts and sugar. But foreign investment in agriculture has proved a tricky balance betweenthe need to attract money and know-how from over-

seas and the rights of sustenance farmers, who make up 80 percent of the population. The problem isn’t the land-the FAO estimated in 2002 that only 12percent of Mozambique’s 36 million hectares of potential farmland was actuallybeing planted. When deals are struck, activists complain that large tracts of land can besold from under communities, with protocol ignored and promises broken. Mozambique has a well-developed land law which requires companies to winthe consent of communities to use the land, but these agreements are oftenvague. “The communities don’t understand that by giving them such amounts offorest they’re losing their own livelihoods because they’re hunting there, theycollect fruit, they collect traditional plants, among other building materials,” said Mozambican environmental activist Joao Nogeiro. Companies often offer jobs as compensation for leases and communities jumpat the opportunity for a stable income, he said. But

workers often find their salaries are too low or discover the jobs areonly short-term, Nogeiro said. Many of the projects focus on crops for bio-fuels or for exporting foods tocountries from China to the Middle East, doing little to improve the food supply in a nation that depends on imports to feed the population. Rising food prices sparked deadly riots in September as Mozambicans took tothe streets to protest the price of bread, forcing government to scale back itsprice hikes. Despite the risks, economists say land deals offer a valuable way for Africa to attract investment. “We see significant upside for agriculture from increased investment,” Standard Chartered Bank said in a recent study, but added: “We share the view that such projects would need to be accompanied by a comprehensive developmentstrategy.” That’s something Mozambique doesn’t have. The country signed deals for 2.7 mil-

lion hectares of land between2004-2008, which should have expanded the country’s farmland by more than 50percent, according to a World Bank study last month. A 2009 audit found that more than half of those investments were lagging inproduction-one third hadn’t even started farming, the Bank said. Meanwhile, poor boundary marking for land meant the government wasallocating land to investors that was already being used by local communities,the report added. The problem is partly because “the institutions tasked to process theseventures were ill-equipped and prepared to deal with the sudden influx of interest,” the Bank said. In one case, a company consulted a community on land that actually belongedto their neighbors, said Nogeiro. “But because the company was in a hurry, they decided to do the processwith these communities and not with the owner of the lease,” he said. “Theydon’t even know what they sign.”— AFP

“Over 70 percent of the streets and houses have been treated with gypsum to neutralize the sludge,” said Andras Lenner, a local council member.Indeed, the drying mud is creating a toxic dust, which relief services aretrying to contain by spraying water on the streets.Nine people died and over 150 were injured when a reservoir at an aluminaplant in western Hungary burst on October 4, spilling up to 800,000 cubic meters of toxic sludge into the surrounding area. Fearing a second spill, some 500 residents of Devecser, one of the townshardest hit by the mud wave, left voluntarily last Saturday. Now they were returning but fear remained, especially with winter aroundthe corner.“I do not know what we are going to do, it is getting so cold,” JanosneHorvath, 64, whose house was destroyed by the toxic sludge, told AFP.“We are too scared to stay here overnight. I am actually scared for my life.”“We rented a house nearby, but it is not the same, my heart breaks everytime I have to leave my lovely home behind,” she added, crying. Most of Devecser’s 5,400 residents were born here and relatives often livedin the same street, meaning the whole family’s assets were wiped out by theflood. “One of my sons built his new house just over a year ago at the end of ourgarden,” said Jozsefne Sos, 60, holding back her tears. “All my life I have worked to leave something for my children and now bothme and my son have lost everything.” The government has promised everyone a new home before the winter arrives. But Horvath, who has lived here all her life, now wants to leave, like anestimated 80 percent of people affected by the spill. The local doctor, Monika Siro, 41, said on the other hand she would stickit out.“I gave birth to my first son here, I brought him home to this house so itmeans a lot more to me than just a pile of bricks, I cannot leave it so easily,” she said. “We will stay, we are not like rats who flee a sinking ship.” In the next village of Kolontar, Jozsef Holczer, 65, was one of just a fewresidents who remained after the population was evacuated on Saturday, amidstfears of a second spill.Covered in red dust from head to toe, he expressed anger that those responsible for the disaster were not being held accountable.“I think the owner of the company should be publicly hanged, I am outragedthey let him walk freely after he caused this destruction,” Holczer said,looking at his house, which was due to be demolished-it stood in the way ofa dam being built to prevent a further spill. “I built this house with my own hands and now it is all going to be destroyed this afternoon.” “I don’t know where I am going to go... I stay here from dawn to dusk tosave what is still here,” he added.Like in Devecser, everything in Kolontar is now covered with gypsum. Treeshave been cut, the streets have been cleared and the stench is not so strong.But on a monument to the victims of World War II, a marble plaque nowhangs, reading: “To the memory of those killed in an accident caused by greedand negligence.”— AFP

Booze cheaper than water in New Zealand: Study WELLINGTON: Alcohol has become cheaper than bottled water in New Zealand, a study showed yesterday, with researchers warning there could be major implications for public health. Otago University researchers found wine cost as little as 62 cents (47 US) per standard drink, compared to 67 cents for 250ml of bottled water and 43 cents for the equivalent amount of milk. The study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, also found the relative price of alcohol had plummeted over the past decade as average wages increased. “Our analysis suggests alcohol is now probably the cheapest recreational drug in New Zealand and has become increasingly affordable, at the same time as concern about binge drinking culture has grown,” associate professor Nick Wilson said. “International scientific evidence strongly indicates that cheap alcohol is a factor in promoting binge drinking by young people, and in increasing the overall size of the health and social

harm from alcohol misuse.” He said heavy discounting at supermarkets and liquor stores was exacerbating the problem, making alcohol more readily available. A grape glut in New Zealand has driven down the price of wine in recent years as winemakers seek to offload excess stock. Wilson and co-researcher Fiona Gunasekara said cheap alcohol was taking a toll on New Zealanders’ health and placing a burden on the publicly-funded health system. They argued the government should adopt the same policies that helped curb tobacco consumption-raising taxes and controlling marketing and sponsorship activities, as well as limiting the opening hours of retailers. The researchers also called for a minimum price per unit of alcohol, particularly in cask wine and alcopops. “These policies will have little impact on moderate drinkers and will help curb the downside of New Zealand’s binge drinking culture,” they said. — AFP

in the news Canada declares BPA toxic, sets stage for more bans OTTAWA: Canada has declared bisphenol Atoxic chemical, prompting calls for far-reaching curbs on the industrial chemical that is used in everything from the linings of aluminum cans to coatings on electronic till receipts. Canada added the compound, known as BPA, to a list of substances deemed potentially harmful to health or the environment in a notice published in the Canada Gazette on Wednesday.

Scientists poised to wipe out deadly cattle disease ROME: Scientists are poised to eliminate the deadly cattle disease Rinderpest, ending a malady that has devastated animal herds for centuries, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said on Thursday. “It would be the first time in history that humankind has succeeded in wiping out an animal disease in the wild, and only the second time, after smallpox in 1980, that a disease has been eliminated thanks to human efforts,” the FAO said in a statement. Gates agriculture grants focus on seeds, climate DES MOINES: Gates Foundation, which has donated $1.5 billion to agriculture in developing countries, is focusing more investments on seeds and technology to help small farmers adapt to climate change, the foundation’s chief executive said on Thursday. “Most of our grants support conventional breeding. But in certain instances we include biotechnology approaches because we believe they can help farmers confront drought, flooding, disease, or pests more effectively than conventional breeding alone,” Jeff Raikes, chief executive of the foundation started by the billionaire founder of software giant Microsoft , said in a speech to the World Food Prize meeting. Walking may keep brain from shrinking in old age CHICAGO: Walking at least six miles a week may be one thing people can do to keep their brains from shrinking and fight off dementia, US researchers said on Wednesday. A study of nearly 300 people in Pittsburgh who kept track of how much they walked each week showed that those who walked at least six miles had less age-related brain shrinkage than people who walked less. Some fever scanners work, US study finds WASHINGTON : Two commercially available scanners meant for use in airports and other public facilities can reliably detect people with fevers, making them useful during disease outbreaks, US researchers reported on Wednesday. The scanners, which work at a distance of 3 to 6 feet, do a better job of detecting fevers than when people are simply asked if they feel feverish, An Nguyen of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and colleagues found. Experts warn about genetic tests HONG KONG : Medical experts warned consumers in comments published on Wednesday to be cautious about genetic tests that purport to predict various diseases, saying they added little value beyond what consumers already knew. Risk factors like smoking, lack of exercise, age, hypertension and family history were usually more reliable predictors, said researchers in Australia, who published their comment in a paper in PLoS Medicine.

DENVER: This photo release by the Denver Zoo on Thursday shows a Komodo dragon being held by a zoo keeper. As Halloween draws near, Denver Zoo is hatching dragons! Komodo dragons, that is. — AP

Confused Supreme Court to decide on vaccine suits WASHINGTON: Supreme Court justices admitted on Tuesday that they were confused by a 1986 law that seeks to make sure that vaccine makers do not exit the business for fear of lawsuits, while ensuring that children hurt by vaccines are compensated. The justices’ questions focused not on the facts of the case, but on the convoluted wording of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.


13

SPECTRUM

Saturday, October 16, 2010

hristina Aguilera is focusing on her son to get her through her marriage breakdown. The ‘Fighter singer — who filed for divorce from husband Jordan Bratman this week — wants to make the separation as easy as possible for two-year-old Max and has vowed to be with him as much as possible. A source said: “She’s focusing on continuing to be a great mom. She’s spending as much time as she can with Max. ‘Max is her number one concern. She’s making a huge effort to continue to be a good mom through this transition for him. “It’s hard. You’ve got to handle it with dignity. I don’t think they’ve figured out everything yet. They have a child together, so they’re trying to do what’s best. ‘Christina wants to be the first face Max sees in the morning, and wants to be the one to put him to bed at night.” Thursday, the 29-yearold star took Max to Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in West Hollywood and onlookers insist she showed no sign of the strain of recent events. One source told People.com: “Christina was in a cheerful mood and seemed to have a blast with her son Max. It was obvious that Christina was trying to have a fun outing and make things special for Max. Max looked very happy to be out with his mom. “Christina looked anything but sad and it’s hard to believe that she is going through a difficult break-up. She seemed very strong and just focused on keeping things normal for her adorable son.” Christina and Jordan reportedly signed a prenuptial agreement prior to tying the knot, which will determine who gets what in the divorce settlement. It is believed the couple are seeking joint physical and legal custody of Max. However, the petition states the singer will block any attempt made by her husband to receive child support from her. The singer released a statement on Tuesday confirming the pair had broken up. She said: “Although Jordan and I are separated, our commitment to our son Max remains as strong as ever.”

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merica Ferrera is set to make her theatre debut in London’s West End. The ‘Ugly Betty’ actress is in talks to appear in ‘reasons to be pretty’, which is scheduled to open n the famous UK theatre district in March. Howard Panter, joint managing director of the Ambassador Theatre Group who will stage the production - says the Neil LaBute-penned play has similarities to the US sitcom which made America a household name. He told the Daily Mail newspaper: “It’s about people being drawn to the superficial, and how we all get seduced by the surface and how that can be a thorny path.” ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ actress Julia Stiles is also in the running for a role

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aty Perry and Russell Brand are planning to marry in India next weekend. The couple are set to wed next Saturday (23.10.10) in a traditional Indian ceremony at the luxury Taj Rambagh Palace hotel in Jaipur- where they got engaged on New Year’s Eve (31.12.09) last year-in front of 85 guests. It is believed the pair - who have been dating since September 2009 - will take the entire wedding party for a tiger safari during a threeday stay at Rajasthan wilderness camp the Aman-i-Khas, before the ceremony. Russell, 35, recently claimed the ceremony will be low-key, despite reports of a six-day bash and said the couple don’t want a typical celebrity wedding. He

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in the play. The play was previously shown off-Broadway two years ago before being revised for a bigger stage in New York. America has previously revealed she loves playing a heroine who championed real women. She said: “It’s so reassuring to have a heroine who triumphs with more than just what she has on the outside. “To me, the tragedy about this whole imageobsessed society is that young girls get so caught up in just achieving that, they forget they have so much more to offer the world.” America is not the only major star to appear on the stage in London in the past - Nicole Kidman, Kevin Spacey and Whoopi Goldberg have all trod the boards of the West End.

explained: “We just love each other and we want to get married in front of our friends and family and keep it very normal. It ain’t about selling the pictures, it ain’t about doing no pre-nup, it’s just a normal thing. “I’m trying to preserve it, to keep it a beautiful thing. I think people get the wrong idea on how we want the wedding to play out. Love between two people is the most spectacular yet ordinary thing in the world.” Despit the British comedian’s claims that he and Katy, 25 are a low-key couple, he did joke that they could make a sex tape together. When asked if they would ever star in a film together, Russell replied: “We’ll do a sex tape! Give them what they want!”

innie Driver confronted her childhood bully at a party. The 40-year-old actress - who was bullied for five years from the age of nine - spotted her former tormentor at a gathering when they were both adults and decided to question her about her behaviour even though she was still terrified. Admitting she had to steel her nerves with some alcohol beforehand, Minnie said: “She was there with her husband and her kids and I got the same kind of chilled fear in my stomach when I saw her... and after a couple of drinks I went over to her and I was like, ‘Can I just ask you, you remember everything that went on, right? The systematic and repeated bullying that you inflicted on me.’ Her face went white and she looked like she was going to throw up or burst into tears, and I said, ‘Why did you do it?’ The ‘Good Will Hunting’ actress’ former classmate then admitted she behaved badly because she had been jealous of Minnie’s bubbly personality. Appearing on Ellen Degeneres’ talk show, Minnie added: “She said, ‘It was my identity. I was frightened of who you were - creative and loud and sort of gregarious and my identity became stopping that and shutting that down in you because it was shut down in me.’ “That minute, I realised that she was, in a way, as damaged by what she’d done as I had felt damaged myself. It was an interesting and good moment, but I don’t think everybody has that opportunity to face their aggressor later on.” But Minnie - who applauded Ellen’s anti-bullying campaign following a number of lesbian and gay related suicides in America this year - did confess she had to use violence to stop her tormentor at the age of 14. She said: “It wasn’t until I finally realised that I could fight back and I literally smacked her, that it never happened again.”

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atherine Heigl thinks she and husband Josh Kelley are the “most boring couple in Hollywood”. The ‘Life As We Know It’ star - who has a 20-month old daughter Naleigh with the singer - revealed she was forced to call the police to her Los Angeles home on Tuesday night (12.10.10) when her neighbor started screaming at the pair as they enjoyed a quiet night in their hot tub. She explained: “The other night we were chilling in the hot tub, it was just the two of us. We had just put the baby down. He’s been on tour and was only home for three days. I wore my most ridiculous bikini, it was awesome. “The neighbor starts screaming at us to go inside. I’m like, ‘I’ve had it, I’ve had enough of this. It’s ridiculous, it’s harassment and I’m calling the police.’ We called my security and they called the police and they went and talked to him.”That’s the other thing that’s so ridiculous, we were totally hanging out, like just making out in the hot tub. It was totally PG, we’re not idiots. We’re not going to be out there doing anything scandalous.” However, the 31-yearold actress admitted she found the whole situation “hilarious” as she and her husband are usually so “boring”. Katherine added to Ryan Seacrest’s KIIS FM show: “So there was no noise except us talking quietly to one another, and it sounds lame, it was us listening to Josh’s album. The most hilarious is there’s video footage of us in our bathing suits. “We’re the most boring couple in Hollywood and that’s the most scandalous thing we’ve ever done.”

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im Kardashian is worried men only date her to get on TV. The ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ star - who recently moved to New York to set up a new clothing boutique and film the experience for a new reality show with her sister Kourtney - admitted she is happy to be single at the moment because she worries about the ulterior motives of men who try to romance her. She said: “It’s all a learning experience. I think I’m still trying to figure it out. That’s why I think it’s probably best for me to be single right now. It’s a lot easier than to try and figure out who likes me for reall y

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me and who wants to be on a show. It’s definitely a process.” However Kim - who has been single since splitting from Dallas Cowboys football player Miles Austin last month - revealed even if a man isn’t after her for fame, it is still difficult to date while filming a reality television show. She told USA Today newspaper: “It’s definitely hard to date when you live your life on a reality show. How do you say to someone, ‘Hey, are you cool with dating me on my show? Are you comfortable being on the show?’ It’s really hard. I’m definitely more open to dating when I’m not filming, when it’s our off season.” Kim also admitted she is delighted to be moving to New York as the chance for a change has come at the right point in her life. She explained: “This was like, for me, the perfect time to come to New York because I’m single, because I just felt like I kind of wanted a fresh start.”


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he Jimi Hendrix estate, Martin Scorsese and an old saxaphone player named Lonnie Youngblood are among those battling over a 40-year-old song entitled “Georgia Blues” that was recently featured on a Scorsese-directed PBS special on blues music and distributed via an accompanying album. In the mid-1960s, Hendrix, working as Jimmy James, played

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in Youngblood’s band. Later the guitar virtuoso struck out on his own, but he reunited in 1969 with Youngblood in a New York studio to record “Georgia Blues.” The tune was mostly forgotten until Scorsese’s 2003 PBS special, “The Blues,” which spawned a few albums including “Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Jimi Hendrix,” which included the song. It’s now the subject of heated litigation.

arius Rucker has spent the last few years reinventing himself as a country star. He’s had a platinum debut, No. 1 hits and his follow-up, “Charleston, SC 1966,” debuted this week with high expectations. Rucker hasn’t forgotten what made him one of music’s most bankable voices, though. You know, a certain laid-back rock band that turned out to be the melodic antidote to grunge and one of the biggest acts of the 1990s. Hootie & the Blowfish celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and Rucker says the band will record another album and tour at some point. “This country thing is what I’m doing,” Rucker said. “This is my career change. This is what I’m doing ‘til I retire. But I know for a fact that , I don’t want to put a time on it , but soon there’s going to be another Hootie record, another Hootie tour because I love the guys and I think we will always be a band.” Rucker said the band never really broke up , though they haven’t recorded together since releasing “Looking For Lucky” in 2005. They play together occasionally, including four dates this year, and bandmates see each other often. Rucker says the chemistry that helped them sell more than 25 million records remains strong. “We could get together right now and have an album for you in three months,” Rucker said. “We’re all writing all the time. I was sitting down writing songs (recently) and I wrote a country song and then a song came out that sounded like Hootie, so I saved it for that.” Hootie guitarist Mark Bryan says he has an album’s worth of songs alone. But with Rucker’s new album fresh on the streets, he knows it will be some time until the singer is free of his country commitments to record with the band: “I’m probably not looking at another Hootie album for another year or two at the very least so I might as well make another album.” Rucker’s solo country turn has turned into quite a run. His first country album, 2008’s “Learn To Live”

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In this CD cover image released by Elektra records, the latest by Bruno Mars, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” is shown. —AP

runo Mars, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” (Elektra) The release of Bruno Mars’ debut album finds the singersongwriter-producer in the spotlight for both good and bad. He already has scored hits cowriting and producing Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You” and “Billionaire” with Travie McCoy, and has a No. 1 song on his own with “Just The Way You Are.” Mars also faces a felony drug charge after he allegedly was found in possession of cocaine in a Las Vegas, Nevada, bathroom recently. The drug charge has temporarily overshadowed his musical success, but his album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” should put the focus back on his sweet songs. The 24-year-old shows his range, promise, tastes and talents on the record. Working with his writing-producing team known collectively as The Smeezingtons, Mars

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(born Peter Hernandez in Hawaii) offers up a little reggae, a little rock, and lots of catchy pop hooks. Most of all, he is romantic, singing about love, devotion and the perfect girl on most of the album’s tracks. He’s sexy with it like D’Angelo on the reggaetinged “Our First Time,” sweet on “Just the Way You Are” and the equally poppy “Marry You,” and sassy on the groovy, guitarheavy “Runaway Baby.” He also is clever and silly, singing about “chillin’ in my Snuggie” on “The Lazy Song.” Damian Marley joins in on the drinking song “Liquor Store Blues,” and Mars brings his falsetto to a rocking reunion with B.o.B. and Cee Lo Green (Mars co-wrote and produced Green’s new expletive-titled single) on “The Other Side.” CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: Get happy listening to Mars’ uplifting acoustic ode to friendship, “Count On Me.”—AP

A handout photo taken on Thursday and received in London yesterday shows designer Tao Kurihara’s ‘Lumps and Bumps’ collection, which forms part of the exhibition entitled ‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’, at the Barbican Art Gallery in London. — AFP

ay-Z, Nas, Gang Starr and Common share this in common: They’ve all sampled recordings by jazz legend Ahmad Jamal, who in his unassuming manner has had a major impact on the musical world since he formed his first trio nearly six decades ago. Jamal’s website has links to more than 40 hip-hop tracks that sample his music. These include such seminal 1990s recordings as De La Soul’s “Stakes Is High,” which samples Jamal’s “Swahililand,” and Nas’ “The World Is Yours,” which uses the pianist’s “I Love Music.” “You could say Ahmad Jamal is the grandfather of hip-hop ... All the hip-hop beats were in jazz before there was actually hip-hop,” said jazz pianist Robert Glasper, who is music director of Mos Def’s big band and has worked with Q-Tip, A Tribe Called Quest, Maxwell and Common. But while Jamal said it’s “flattering” that rap stars have used his music, it hasn’t always been to his advantage. “They sample this, they sample that. ... There’s some good in some of these forms that are out there and some bad. You have to be sensible enough to recognize the good and discard the bad,” said Jamal. “What’s good is getting paid for some of this stuff. And that good doesn’t happen to Mr. Jamal very often. I could make a career chasing all this money but I’m not going to do it.” Jamal is instead focused on chas-

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Earlier this year, Youngblood sued the estate, MCA Records and Scorsese, claiming the song was released without his permission and without proper credit. Youngblood said the Hendrix estate offered him $3,000 for rights, which he refused. On Tuesday, the Hendrix estate struck back with counterclaims, asking a judge to declare it the owner of the song and Youngblood’s belated copyright registration as invalid.

spawned three No 1 songs, sold about 1.5 million copies and earned him a Country Music Association Award for best new artist. Expectations are even higher for “Charleston.” Rucker’s second act as a country music star is no surprise to Bryan. He’s been listening to his friend belt out country tunes since they met in 1985 when Bryan heard Rucker singing in the shower of their University of South Carolina dorm hall. “The very first show Darius and I did together at Pappy’s with an acoustic guitar, we did ‘Family Tradition’ by Hank Williams Jr., which he’s still doing in his solo country set,” Bryan said. After a few months, Rucker and Bryan decided to go for it and enlisted bassist Dean Felber and a drummer. Felber, who had played in a band with Bryan during high school, didn’t really want to join but he said he’d fill in till they could find a permanent bassist. They played at Pappy’s in February 1986, adding drummer Jim Sonefeld four years later after their first drummer quit to pursue a religious ministry following graduation. “When we started this we said we wanted to be one of those bands that played for a long time,” Rucker said. “And it’s amazing 25 years after asking Dean to play with us, we’re still looking for a bass player and we’re still in a band. That’s pretty awesome.” Friends will celebrate Hootie & The Blowfish’s 25th anniversary with a concert and art installation unveiling in Columbia on Oct. 21. Bryan , now a solo artist, producer and music industry instructor at the College of Charleston , says “a light roasting” is expected. “So it will be like a tribute, which makes me feel like I’m 80,” he said. It will be a cherished memory for Rucker, who admits many of his memories from the Hootie years are a “blur.” “We had just taken college and extended it a few years,” he said. “Our tour was a traveling party every day. Every day, all day. I look back and I laugh, people will ask me

According to papers filed in New Jersey District Court, Hendrix produced and recorded the song at his own cost. The estate says the two-day session at the Record Plant Studio in New York produced several Hendrix tracks, including “Georgia Blues,” which have remained in the physical possession of the estate since that time. The estate now wants Youngblood to account for all of his royalties on “Georgia Blues.”— Reuters

This photo shows Darius Rucker in Nashville, Tenn. Rucker has spent the last few years reinventing himself as a country star. He’s had a platinum debut, No 1 hits and his follow-up, “Charleston, SC 1966,” debuted this week with high expectations, The Associated Press reports Thursday. —AP things and they’ll say things, and I’ll say, ‘I don’t remember that.”‘ He knows, for instance, that he spent time on stage with Michael Jackson. He knows the story and there’s video to prove it. But one of the highlights of his career just isn’t in his memory. He plans to remember the next batch of Hootie milestones, though. “I don’t get drunk

anymore,” he said. “I made a conscious promise to myself to look around, to talk to people. At the Grand Ole Opry I want to make it a point to go up and talk to Little Jimmy. When I say, ‘Thank you, guys, for this ride, I’m going to spend some time with my kids,’ I want to make sure I have memories.”— AP

hil Collins w anted to record soulful classics from the Motow n era for decades but did not think he could do it w hen his career w as at its commercial peak. “It’s something that I never thought I’d be allow ed to do, for some strange reason,” said Collins, w ho w as inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. “You don’t alw ays feel that you’re in control of your ow n career, your ow n destiny.” Now , how ever, after stepping out of the spotlight for a w hile, Collins, 59, said it is time to be “selfish” w ith his music. He has re-emerged w ith “Going Back,” a collection of covers of songs by artists including Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, the Temptations and Carole King. The album, released late last month, is a loving tribute that faithfully recreates seminal songs such as “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and “J immy Mack” note-for-note. It is unlikely that his version of “Going to a Go-Go” w ill top the charts. But Collins, w hose string of hits includes “Against All Odds” and “In the Air Tonight,” is not interested in chasing that kind of success. “The Phil Collins that w e’ve all become used to doesn’t really exist anymore. I’ve w ritten him out of the script,” he said in a recent interview . “So there’s just me now , and I’m a new Phil Collins.”

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The Associated Press: Some people will see this project as another veteran singer doing a throwback record. Is this different? Collins: For me, it’s not an album that suggests that I’m drying up. I mean, there was a review that I saw for a Peter Gabriel album. ... The reviewer said that it’s what normally happens when artists get to a certain age, they start drying up with material and they start to cover other people’s material. Well, I object, your honor. I’ve kind of been doing Motown stuff ... so for me, this has been an album that’s been waiting to come out, waiting to be done, all my professional life. AP: Why do albums by artists covering the classics do so well commercially? Collins: It shows what’s lacking in today’s music, that people want to go back and hear the old music. It’s like the recycling of Beatles material. There’s nothing like it, and so people always go back to it, and with Motown, there is nothing like it. ... I can’t come to the defense of every other artist who has done this kind of thing. It is a commercial exercise. ... I just hope I did a good job and I hope somebody else likes it. AP: Have you ever heard a remake that you considered heresy, or conversely, thought was amazing? Collins: Whitney Houston ... did a Stevie Wonder track (“I Was Made to Love Her”) ... but that was good. She did it totally differently. ... The Stones’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” the Stones’ “Going to a Go-Go” — they’re pretty awful. ... But they weren’t out to recreate it. It’s the Rolling Stones doing those songs.

ing the music , his way. At 80, he’s enjoying a new creative peak. He began the year by releasing the CD “A Quiet Time”; he also has spent a good part of 2010 on the concert circuit, and he’s the subject of a retrospective, multidisc box set. “I’m extremely busy doing many, many things. ... But I’m trying to devote time to what I enjoy most, and this is writing and practicing the piano,” he said from his home in rural western Massachusetts. “I want to know what the 88 keys are about after all these years of sitting there. ... I’m discovering things every day and that’s why I want the time to do that. I don’t want to be tied up with all these many distractions , the iPods, the MP3s and the computers. “I’m repositioning myself, trying to get away from all these distractions and enjoy my life. And I enjoy my life when I can discover new things spiritually first and socially, musically, financially and physically.” It’s Jamal’s pioneering spirit that has made him a giant in jazz circles and beyond. Pianists from McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock to newer stars like Eric Reed, Jacky Terrasson and Japan’s Hiromi (whose debut CD was produced by Jamal) have all cited him as a major inspiration. Pianist Keith Jarrett recalled the fascination he felt when he first heard the 1958 album “Portfolio of

In this Aug. 26, 2010 file photo, musician Phil Collins poses for a portrait in New York. —AP AP: Are there songs today that you wish you had written or that you could record? Collins: I don’t really have an ear to the ground of what’s going on out there at all ... I’m just interested in what I’m doing. I used to feel

Ahmad Jamal.” “It’s the use of space in a swinging context that I think we all felt had never been achieved quite like that before,” said Jarrett. “I think this was also what Miles loved about Ahmad.” Miles Davis sent his band members to hear Jamal’s trio before he recorded his own landmark 1959 album “Kind of Blue.” The trumpeter also borrowed freely from Jamal’s repertoire , both obscure standards like “Surrey With The Fringe on Top” and original tunes like “Ahmad’s Blues” and “New Rhumba.” Davis wrote in his autobiography: “When people say Jamal influenced me a lot, they’re right.” But Jamal’s contributions often have gone overlooked. He wasn’t mentioned in either of the recent films chronicling the rise of Chess Records , “Cadillac Records” and “Who Do You Love” , even though his recordings launched the Chicago label’s Argo jazz subsidiary. “I don’t care, that’s their omission, not mine, but I was certainly a central figure at Chess Records for years,” said Jamal. “Chess was started basically with me, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry.” His fellow Chess artists have either died or are just reprising past hits. But Jamal is still forging new musical ground. “I try to do that which motivates me and keeps me spirited and keeps life interesting,” he said. “A dull

bad about it. But then I read an interview with Roger Waters, who said, “You know what? I really couldn’t give an (expletive) about what other people are doing because all I’m interested in is what I’m doing, and that takes up

life is a terrible thing.” At the Newport Jazz Festival this summer, Jamal conducted his quartet from the piano bench, using hand signals like a quarterback to indicate sudden changes in tempo or volume. “Imagine Daniel Barenboim doing the piano concerto and conducting the orchestra at the same time,” said Jamal’s longtime bassist James Cammack. “Ahmad’s musical approach is spontaneous composition.” Jamal’s recent album, “A Quiet Time,” has him augmenting his trio with percussionist Manolo Badrena to add more colors. Jamal and Dizzy Gillespie share credit for being the first jazz musicians to use Latin percussionists in their combos in the 1950s. Apart from the ballad “I Hear a Rhapsody” and jazz pianist Randy Weston’s “Hi Fly,” the rest of the tracks are his own compositions, including “Paris After Dark,” “Flight to Russia,” and “After JALC (Jazz at Lincoln Center).” Jamal has always preferred to look ahead rather than revisit his past. When asked what’s his favorite record, Jamal responded, “The next one, because it will be reflecting the sum total of my life.” Still, he gave approval for Mosaic Records to release a nine-CD box set, “The Complete Ahmad Jamal Argo Sessions 1956-62.” Producer Michael Cuscuna persuaded Jamal to include 23 previously unissued tracks on the set, released over the sum-

all my time.” (Laughs.) And suddenly I thought, that’s really the way I feel about it, but I was always too polite to say something else. AP: How is the new Phil Collins different from the old one? Collins: I’m just trying to get out of everybody’s face. The old Collins was in everybody’s face at the time because I worked all the time. ... I’ve done an awful lot of stuff, and I feel like it’s time to get a break from that; so I’m sort of reinventing myself a little bit, so the old Phil Collins has been written out of the script, and this is the new Phil Collins, who’s much quieter, and not such a pain in the (butt). AP: I imagine there are a lot of offers to bring back the old Phil Collins. Collins: I realize that I can go on rewriting and writing and rewriting “Against All Odds” all my life, but you really only write one of those songs once in your life. ... The new Phil Collins is saying no to everything so that the new Phil Collins can have a bit of time with his family. AP: You say your life revolves around your children. What are some of the things that occupy you? Collins: I’ve never really been able to take (my three adult children) to school. I missed out on all that stuff, so now I’m able to catch up and do it with my two little guys. And in doing it, I realize how much my older kids, how much they missed my part of growing up, and how much I missed of them, so it’s very, very important. — AP

mer. Cuscuna says Jamal’s recordings with New Orleans drummer Vernel Fournier and classically trained bassist Israel Crosby set the standard for the modern jazz piano trio. “They were one of the great cooperative ensembles that created the new language of modern jazz after bebop ... and were clearly as influential as any of the Mount Rushmore people of the ‘50s , Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck and Miles Davis.” The collection includes the 1958 LP “At the Pershing: But Not For Me,” one of the era’s iconic jazz recordings that stayed on the pop charts for nearly two years. Recorded on location at a Chicago night club, its breakout hit single was the hypnotic “Poinciana,” an obscure standard that became his signature song. As Jamal reflects on his long career, spanning six decades, he still looks to projects he hopes to accomplish. To that end, he talks of getting rid of all the “baggage” he’s accumulated. “I’m trying to get rid of as much baggage as I can so I can enjoy the time I have left on this earth, because you don’t ever have enough time to finish all. Nobody has enough time to finish all the projects they have in their mind, but you can reach a happy medium,” he said.— AP


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major work by British artist Damien Hirst made less money than expected at Christie’s contemporary art sale in London on Thursday, but the auction overall came in within pre-sale estimates. “I am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds,” an intricate butterfly pattern which measures some five metres across, sold for 2.2 million pounds ($3.5 million) including buyer’s premium. The pre-sale expectation was 2.5-3.5 million pounds not including the premium. The work is one of the most important to go under the hammer during this season’s postwar and contemporary auctions in London. Hirst held a one-man auction at Christie’s rival Sotheby’s in 2008 on the eve of the Lehman Brothers collapse, and went on to stun the art world by raising $193 million. But it was to prove the peak of the art market boom, and 2009 saw values and volumes plunge as collectors fretted about the broader economy and owners kept their art off the market awaiting higher prices. The recovery has begun in 2010, but contemporary art values remain well below the levels of 2007 and 2008. Christie’s sold post-war and contemporary art worth 19.6 million pounds on Thursday, including buyers’ premiums. Pre-sale expectations were 16.0-22.7 million pounds without premiums. The highlight of the night came in the Italian auction, where Marino Marini’s equestrian bronze “Cavaliere” fetched 4.5 million pounds ($7.1 million), around three times expectations and a world record auction price for the artist. It helped boost the Italian sale total to a record 18.6 million pounds. —Reuters

The Rockettes practice their eye-high kicks and precision dancing for the 2010 Radio City Christmas Spectacular, in New York, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010. —AP

Chinese artist’s ‘seeds’ deemed London gallery health risk V isitors were barred yesterday from contact with a leading Chinese artist’s exhibition of more than 100 million porcelain “seeds” at Britain’s international modern art gallery over health fears. Ai Weiwei’s “Sunflower Seeds” artwork cov-

ers 1,000 square metres (10,760 square feet) of the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern in London. Walking on them was a key factor in the exhibition, but the public can no longer do so. “Although porcelain is very robust, the enthusiastic interac-

tion of visitors has resulted in a greater than expected level of dust in the Turbine Hall,” a Tate spokeswoman said. “Tate has been advised that this dust could be damaging to health following repeated inhalation over a long period of time.

“In consequence, Tate, in consultation with the artist, has decided not to allow visitors to walk across the sculpture.” Ai is one of China’s leading conceptual artists. The life-size seeds were individually sculpted and painted in workshops in Jingdezhen,

eastern China. Porcelain has traditionally been one China’s most prized exports. “‘Sunflower Seeds’ invites us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today,” Tate Modern

said. In publicizing the exhibition, the Tate Modern said the seeds “form a seemingly infinite landscape.”‘Sunflower Seeds’ is a sensory and immersive installation, which we can touch, walk on and listen to as the seeds shift

under our feet. “The casual act of walking on the work’s surface contrasts with the immense effort of production and the precious nature of the material.” “Sunflower Seeds” runs until May 2, but the public will only be able to look at it. —AFP

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bu Dhabi on Thursday opened the fourth edition of its international film festival with the latest work of an outspoken Iranian filmmaker who was freed on bail after three months in an Iranian jail. “The Accordion”, by Jafar Panahi, is a short film shot in Tehran recounts the adventures of two young

street musicians who can no longer play after an incident in which their instrument was confiscated. Panahi, 50, went on a hunger strike to protest at the conditions of his detention after his March 1 arrest and was released from Tehran’s Evin prison on May 25 after posting bail of two billion

rials (around 200,000 dollars). The nature of the charges were not detailed. A vocal backer of Iran’s opposition movement, Panahi, was arrested at his home along with 16 other people, including his wife and daughter. Most were subsequently released. Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini said in April that Panahi

Actor Adrien Brody poses with fans at the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Interntional Film Festival in the capital of the United Arab Emirates on October 14, 2010. —AFP

was detained for making an “antiregime” film about the unrest that rocked Iran after last year’s disputed re-election of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The festival’s organisers, meanwhile, described the screening of Panahi’s film as “an initiative in support of free speech and openmindedness”. However, the official opening of the festival was with the film Secretariat by Randall Wallace which tells the story of a horse that won the Triple Crown in 1973. Among the stars attending the event Thursday were Adrien Brody, known for his role in “The Pianist” and British star Clive Owen. The oil-rich Gulf emirate’s festival is the most richly endowed among its regional rivals, with “Black Pearl” awards for each category worth nearly one million dollars (724,000 euros) altogether. These include best new narrative film, best new narrative film from the Arab world, best new documentary, best new documentary from the Arab world, best documentary, best documentary from or about the Arab world, best narrative film and best narrative film from the Arab world. This year, however, another category was added. New Horizons is a selection of 17 documentaries by young filmmakers presenting their works for the first time. Organisers of the Abu Dhabi festival created the “Sanad” fund last year to support and develop movie production. The fund, which pays subsidies ranging from 20,000 to 60,000 dollars (14,400 to 43,300 euros), is aimed at “supporting the new currents in the Arab cinema and encouraging artistic creativity”, said Peter Scarlett, the festival’s executive director. —AFP

upermodel Kate Moss secretly wed her rock guitarist boyfriend Jamie Hince in a ceremony in Sicily in August, according to reports in Britain yesterday. Moss, 36, and Hince, 40, exchanged vows before a handful of friends and family in a ceremony on the Mediterranean island, the Daily Mirror tabloid reported. The model walked up the aisle barefoot and wore a see-through white gown for the ceremony in a small church. Her daughter Lila Grace, from a previous relationship with magazine editor Jefferson Hack, was one of three ring bearers at the wedding. Moss met Hince, guitarist with The Kills, three years ago. The Daily Mirror reported that the wedding plans had been kept secret because the couple wanted to avoid media coverage. Following the ceremony, local villagers reportedly joined in the celebrations outside the church. Before her relationship with Hince, Moss had been romantically involved with Hollywood star Johnny Depp and wayward rocker Pete Doherty. —AFP

Kate Moss

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South Korean director Park JungBum poses after the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) award cremony during the 15th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) yesterday in Busan. —AFP

outh Korean productions won the major awards at Asia’s top film festival yesterday, lauded for their richly evocative reflections of modern Korean society. Park Jung-Bum’s “The Journals of Musan” and Yoon Sung-Hyun’s “Bleak Night” took the two prizes of 30,000 dollars in the New Currents section for first or second time Asian directors at the 15th Pusan International Film Festival. Park was a double winner, also picking up the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) award for his film, which follows the problems faced by a North Korean defector when he moves to the south. “Independent films are always very personal so I am very happy that my film was able to find an audience here in Busan,” he said. Yoon’s film follows three schoolboys caught up in a murder and how the South Korean school system and society deal with it. “There was strength in the storytelling and great acting,” said “Lost” actress Kim Yunjin, who sat on the New Currents jury. “This shows great possibilities and a great future for the director.” The New Currents awards were to be officially presented at the festival’s closing ceremony yesterday night. —AFP


WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

TIES center international bazaar

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

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Music Are you a music lover? Would you like to promote the traditional Indian classical music in Kuwait? If your answer is in the affirmative, please write to: music_karnatic@yahoo.co. in or call 7978286.

rop by and enjoy the free activities, delicious food, good company and international items for sale! Free activities include henna painting, having your name written in Arabic and trying out Arabic ice cream. Various goods will be available for purchase, such as Bashima shawls, accessories, Mexican food, cosmetics, cookies, handbags, traditional Kuwaiti-style dresses, Kenyan clothes, Kenyan food and more. Everyone of all ages is welcome on Saturday, October 30, from 10 am to 5 pm. at TIES Center (www.tiescenter.net), Shuhada area of South Surra, Block 4, Street 413, House 67. For more information, call 97144138/97798222 or e-mail amina.ties@gmail.com

TODAY Kasaragod Expatriates Association of Kuwait (KEA-Kuwait) is organizing a tug of war competition on Friday, October 15th at 2 pm at Touristic Park in Jleeb Al-Shuwaikh.

FOCUS learning event 2010

OCT 17 Gulf Voice of Mangalore 2010 Youth Recreation Center (Rising Stars), on the completion of 30 glorious years in Kuwait has organized a maiden/mega Singing Competition, the “Gulf Voice of Mangalore 2010” on October 17; Kuwait’s very own voice, Vinay Lewis was declared the winner of ‘Gulf Voice of Mangalore 2010. After the super success of this event we are back again with Gulf Voice of Mangalore 2010’. The auditions/preliminary rounds for Kuwait already held on June 11, 2010 under the leadership of Lawrence Pinto and Louis Rodrigues and 12 semi-finalists (six male and females each) were chosen to compete for the semi-finals in Kuwait on October 8, 2010 at the American International School - Hawalli. On this day two finalists, one male and one female each will be chosen to enter the grand-finale. Famous personalities in the music field will arrive from Mangalore to judge the semi-finalists. There will be an entertainment program by visiting artists from Mangalore as well as the local artists. Twelve finalists from six Gulf countries will be fighting for the coveted title in the grand-finale to be held in Dubai on October 22, 2010. For further information about this competition, contact Lawrence - 99803755, Louis 66561184. Wilson - 99719938. 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. SACAAKuwait 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 22 ‘Jashn e Bahara’n: Indian Cultural Society (ICS) presents “Jashn e Bahara’n” with Ghazal singer Talat Aziz & famous Poets on 22nd October 2010 Friday at 7.30 pm sharp. The Chief Guest for the event will be H.E. AJAI MALHOTRA Ambassador of India and the Guest of honor will be renowned personalities from Kuwait. Young talents from Kuwait will be another attraction of the evening. So, join us for entertainment on 22nd October, 2010 Friday, at the Auditorium Al Jeel Al Jadeed School, Tunees Street, Opp- Al Bahar Center (Canary Restra.) Hawally. For more details. Please contact: 97690035, 66568147, 94450833, 99812832, 97296577, 99788692, 94068099 & 24716004 Email ics.kuwait@gmail.com Web Page: www.nazarkesamne.webs.com OCT 28 Colva feast: Colva United Centre Kuwait invites all Colvenkars and wellwishers to attend Feast Mass at Holy Family Cathedral Kuwait - on 28th Oct 2010 at 6.30 pm.

F

Congratulations Husain Offtada graduated from the Gulf University for Sciences and Technology (GUST)/ Business Administration. Friends and family celebrated with him on this happy occasion.

OCUS Kuwait (Forum of Cadd Users) will be conducting a one-day learning event from 9 am to 4 pm on Friday, October 29, 2010 at Gulf University Auditorium in Mishref. Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra will inaugurate the event. The event is structured as four sessions which will be conducted by faculties from Autodesk and Omnix International-Dubai. This learning event will be very much beneficial to the Engineering professionals in Kuwait, as it helps in enriching their CAD / BIM (Revit) knowledge and updating latest trends in CAD/BIM (Revit) technologies. FOCUS Kuwait is doing this as a free of cost educational services for the entire engineering community in Kuwait. For more details and for registration, contact following e-mail and mobile numbers: focuskuwait.org@gmail.com or call 97540973, 66097299, 66726764, 97163758 99578596, 66337536, 66527628, 97994262.

Kuwait Kannada Koota’s Karnataka Rajyotsava celebrations

K

uwait Kannada Koota, a premier cultural association in its twenty-sixth year of existence, is all set to stage its showcase event of the calendar - the Karnataka Rajyotsava Celebrations. KKK cordially invites the koota members and kannadigas residing in Kuwait to the program from 3-9 pm on November 12, 2010 at Dr Kamal Al-Rayes Auditorium of American International School. The event will be graced by the Indian Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, Ajai Malhotra, as the Chief Guest. Captain Ganesh Karnik, Deputy Chairman NRI forum Government of Karnataka will be the Guest of Honor. The 500th anniversary of coronation of the great king Krishnadevaraya, who ruled the erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire, a part of which is now

Karnataka, has been celebrated in Karnataka with a lot of pomp and splendor. The rule of Krishnadevaraya was hailed as the Golden Era of prosperity and glory. As a tribute to the great ruler, KKK would like to recreate the glory of the Vijayanagara’s emperor in a unique and colorful manner. Over hundred Koota children will participate alongside seniors in a cultural bonanza that promises to enthrall and mesmerize the audience by taking it back to the era of Krishnadevaraya and the rich culture, social and economical prowess of the Vijayanagar Empire, through a garland of dance and drama. The celebration is not only a tribute to the great emperor but also an attempt to inspire one and all in the audience. The other attraction of the evening will be a performance from the world

Founder ’s Day All Algerians are invited for dinner to commemorate Founder’s Day on October 28, 2010 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (AlMurjan Hall) at 7:30 pm. The event will feature a fancy dress competition for children up to 1st standard and drawing competition for children from 2nd standard to 8th standard. For the fancy dress competition, children are requested to come prepared from home and those participating in the drawing competition are requested to bring crayons/coloring pencils/sketch pens with them, paper sheets will be provided at the venue. For confirming your presence and for queries, please contact: Ikram on 97611788; Tariq Sibte on 99638779; Usman on 66629904; or Sabihuddin on 97210594. Filipino Badmint on Commit t ee The Filipino Badminton Committee is inviting all badminton enthusiast to join its 20th Badminton Tournament. The event which is held for a cause will start on November 5 and will last until December 10 at the Kuwait Disabled Club , Hawally every Friday from 8 AM until 5 PM. The tournament will be a team event of 5 players. Each team must have Level 1 & 2 (Men’s), Level 1& 2 (Ladies’) and Level 3 (Ladies’). The deadline for submission of line up will be on October 15. Special prize will be given for Best Uniform, Best Team. For more information, call 97197268. Football For All The Premier Goal Academy in association with Everton F.C. launches its ‘Football For All’ program at Shaab Park in October 2010. Expert guidance from professional English F.A./UEFA coaching team. Coaching courses for 3-14 years are held on Fridays 09-11 and Saturdays 3pm to 5pm. Advanced coaching for Centre of Excellence players aged 8 to 18 years also takes place on Fridays and Saturdays plus Mondays (8-12 years), Tuesdays (12-14 years) and Wednesdays (14-18 years) from 5pm

renowned entertainer Uday Jadugar, a gifted and multifaceted personality of

to 7pm. Regular fixtures against Kuwait Club teams and tournaments in the Gulf, USA and Europe are also available for selected players. The Premier Goal Academy also offers coaching courses in Salwa, Hawally, Mangaf, Sharq (Girls Only) and Freestyle courses (13-18 years) at Shaab Park on Mondays. For further details of any of the P.G.A. Courses contact; Mike Finn, Director of Football Tel.99981327(English), Baker Al- Nazer, Director of Administration Tel.66918666 (Arabic) or Daniel Christensen 99128010 or email; premier_fa_kuwait@yahoo.com. IMWA Quran competitions 2010 IMWA - Kuwait (Indian Muslim Welfare Association) is conducting its annual IMWA QURAN COMPETITIONS 2010 for the school children in Kuwait on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at Indian Public School, Salmiya, in the following segments: Inaugural Session & Registration 8:30 am Quran Recitation (Memorized) 9:00 am to 11:00 am Islamic Quiz 11:00 am to 11:30 am Break for Zohr prayer until 12:00 noon Elocution Competition 12:00 noon to 01:00 pm Boys and girls from Grade 1 to Grade 12 are eligible to participate. The rules and the syllabus of the Competitions are made available online at IMWA website, imwakuwait.org. All the participants and parents are requested to note the timings and cooperate with organizers. Competition results will be announced on IMWA website. For further info please call competition hotlines: 99740083/66520620/55630073. The registration is now open online. Please log on to www.imwakuwait.org Kala Kuwait’s painting competition Kala Kuwait, will hold a drawing and painting competition on Friday, November 5, 2010 at the Indian Community School, Khaithan Branch at 2 pm. The program will be conduct-

the highest caliber. He is among India’s finest exponents of Shadow Play and a children’s favorite. He is a master ventriloquist, a versatile actor, an ace photographer and author of several books on conjure, jokes, Sudoku and personality development. Uday Jadugar has already conducted over 8,000 shows both in India and abroad. His shows bear the unmistakable stamp of world class entertainment and appeal to people of all ages, languages and religions. He will be assisted by his co-artist Arun Kumar Dutt. For more details on the program and entry as guests, please contact the following mobile numbers: 99637545, 97330120, 55866840 & 99356571. For more information about Kuwait Kannada Koota, please visit www.kuwaitkannadakoota.org.

ed in four different age groups. Group A from LKG to 1st Standard, Group B from 2nd to 4th Standard, Group C from 5th to 8th Standard and Group D from 9th to 12th Standard. The media for Group A and B will be crayons while Group C and D are water colors. Crayons and water colors to be brought by the participants. Stamped drawing papers will be supplied by the organizers. Clay Modeling Competition also will be conducted for 7th to 11th Standard Students. Nair Service Society (NSS) to host initiation day Nair Service Society, Kuwait (NSS Kuwait) to host the “Vidhyarambham Day” for the Eighth consecutive year on Sunday, 17 October 2010, 4:00AM onwards until 7:00AM (early morning) at the Indian Community School, Amman Branch, Salmiya. On the Vidhyarambham day, young children between the age of 2 and 3 yrs are introduced into the world of alphabets or letters and they take the first step into the world of knowledge. NSS Kuwait’s Vidyarambham Day is a very special annual event to be held in Kuwait every year on the Vijayadashami day. For this initiation of children into the world of learning, NSS Kuwait invites renowned and leading personalities and scholars associated with literature, medicine, education, arts, engineering etc to adorn the role of Guru to the children. This year, NSS Kuwait has invited Dr.Narayanan Nampoory, Senior Consultant Nephrologist and Transplant Physician in Kuwait to perform the role of the Guru. This program is open for all Indians and requires pre-registration. Registration is free and can be done by calling Riggae/Farwaniya: 97601637, Abbasiya/Hasawi: 99636472, Abu Halifa/Mahboula: 94067350, Salmiya/Hawally/Kuwait City: 66387400, Fahaheel/Mangaf/Ahmadi: 97953488, 66059471.

Embassy information EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait has taken up an initiative to update the database of Bangladesh nationals residing in the State of Kuwait. For inclusion in the database all the Bangladesh nationals are requested to collect the Registration Form from the Labour Wing of the Embassy. The forms can also be collected sending request to bdoot@kems.net e-mail address. The filled-in forms can also be submitted by hand, by email or by fax (number 24913204). EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is open from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm from Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm on Sunday through Wednesday. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at www.voyage.gc.ca. The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at www.UAE.gc.ca. The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at www.kuwait.gc.ca. 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, AlAbraj 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 Sunday, October 17, 2010 on occasion of ‘Dussehra’.

EMBASSY OF NEPAL On the occasion of the Vijaya Dashami 2067, the Embassy of Nepal will remain closed on October 17th and 18th. EMBASSY OF THE NETHERLANDS The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands together with Holland Marine Equipment organize a Dutch maritime trade mission to the State of Kuwait the latest Dutch innovations in maritime products and services. The trade mission, which will take place on October 24, will bring 12 prominent Dutch companies to Kuwait. These Dutch companies are globally-experienced specialized in unique marine products and services and eager to develop strong business relations with prospective Kuwaiti firms. The mission’s agenda will feature an arrangement for business meetings to enable Dutch and Kuwaiti firms to explore areas of interest and business opportunities. This trade mission to Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf is a good and effective way for Kuwaiti companies to get acquainted with Dutch suppliers. For further information on the participating companies and to register for a business to business meeting, contact Nidaa Al-Rajoudi (25312650 ext 205) or send an email to kweea@minbuza.nl no later than October 17.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

17 URGENTLY REQUIRED I There are more than 10,000 different species of ants. I Ants can lift and carry more than three times their own weight. I Army ants may prey on reptiles, birds or even small mammals.

“...the brain of an ant is one of the most marvelous atoms of matter in the world, perhaps more so than the brain of a man.” — Charles Darwin, talking about the mental activity of an ant’s brain compaired to the size of the brain, “The Origin of Species,” 1859.

— nationalgeographic.com

Found: An earthlike planet, at last Up the ante with this creepycrawler costume inspired by an idea from Lori Muench of Colorado Springs, Colo. A foam-core board makes a lightweight base for the tabletop, while glue dots are a nofuss way to add both the plastic food and the tiny attackers. The biggest, baddest ant at the picnic wears a helmet embellished with a balloon body and pipe cleaner legs — and he’s hungry! YOU WILL NEED I I I I I I I I I I I I I

TABLE 1. Have an adult use a craft knife to cut a 6- by 8-inch oval head opening into the center of the foam board. 2. With the scissors, trim the tablecloth to a 54-inch square. Lay the tablecloth face down on your work surface and center the board on top. Trace the oval opening, remove the board and cut the cloth in sections as shown on the dotted line in figure A below.

The star known as Gliese 581 is utterly unremarkable in almost every way. It’s a red dwarf, the most common type of star in our galaxy, the Milky Way. At 20 light years away, it is relatively nearby. (A light-year is nearly 6 trillion miles.) But there are 116 stars that are closer than Gliese 581. You can’t even see it without a telescope. But Gliese 581 does have one distinction. On Sept. 29, a team of astronomers announced they had found two more planets circling the star, bringing the total to six. And one of the planets, which was given the name Gliese 581g, may be of truly historic significance. Gliese 581g is in the “Goldilocks” zone. It is far enough away from its home star that temperatures are not too hot, but close enough that they’re not too cold either, and thus just right for the possibility of life. Gliese 581g is a lot like Earth.

3. Replace the board, then pull each of the cloth’s triangular tabs through the opening and affix them to the board’s underside with duct tape. Using glue dots, attach the cereal boxes to the board as shown below in figure B; these will rest on your chest and back to stabilize the tabletop. 4. Try on the costume. Once the cereal boxes are positioned comfortably, have an adult reinforce them with duct tape.

Craft knife and scissors 18-inch square of foam-core board Plastic tablecloth (54 by 108 inches) Large (or “dimensional”) glue dots ANT AND PICNIC SETTING 2 empty cereal boxes, taped closed 1. Blow up one 2. Use plenty of glue Black skate or ski helmet balloon to about 6 inches dots to attach the plastic Black duct tape in diameter and the other to food and ants firmly to the 2 black 12-inch balloons about 5 inches. Leave an ample table’s top and sides. 6 black pipe cleaners “tail” when you tie them off. Lightweight plastic food Plastic ants Use the duct tape, balloons Black turtleneck and pipe cleaners to Black sunglasses assemble the ant body

COURTESY OF EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY/L. CALÇADA

An illustration of the planetary system Gliese 581. The large planet in the foreground is GJ 581g.

as shown at right.

DO OTHER EARTHS EXIST?

tape

Gliese 581g probably has a solid surface just like Earth. More importantly, it orbits at just the right distance from the star to let water remain liquid rather than freezing solid or boiling away. As far as we know, that’s a minimum requirement for the presence of life. For thousands of years, scientists have wondered whether other Earths existed out in the universe. Now they evidently succeeded in finding one. But to be clear, there’s no way at this point to determine whether there is life on the new planet. “We’re pretty excited about it,” says Steve Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz, a member of the team that found the planet. “This is right next door to us.”

pipe cleaners

balloons

helmet

foam-core board

8” 6”

A REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT

A

tape

Detecting a planet this small is monstrously hard. It takes sensitive instruments and careful observation. It would have been impossible to detect the planet when Vogt and co-discoverer Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington first got into the planet-hunting game in the early 1990s. The instruments simply were not sensitive enough. Vogt has been working hard “to improve the instruments” and says, Butler has been working just as hard to improve observations. There is no proof that there is water on Gliese 581g. “Those are things we just have to speculate about,” Vogt says. But he goes on to point out that there’s water pretty much everywhere else you look. “There’s water on Earth,” he says, “and on the moon, and Mars, and on Jupiter’s moon Europa ... and in interstellar space.” It’s not hard to imagine, in other words, that Gliese 581g might have plenty of water as well. “It could have quite a good ocean,” Vogt says. Maybe there’s no life. But unlike any planet found until now, there’s nothing to rule out the idea that it could be full of life. — Michael D. Lemonick

underside

tablecloth

B cereal boxes

P H O T O B Y E D J U D I C E / D I S N E Y FA M I LY F U N M A G A Z I N E

© 2010 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved. TIME FOR KIDS and Timeforkids.com are registered trademarks of Time Inc.

Powerful pomegranates They may look like ruby-lined geodes, but fresh pomegranates are actually a treasure trove of antioxidants. Pick a fruit that feels heavy for its size (a sign of juiciness), then grab a wedge. The kernels you see are called arils and it’s fine to eat the seeds inside them. You also can whip up one of these recipes, using the alwaysavailable juice (look for it at natural food stores).

POMEGRANATE BANANA SMOOTHIE Combine 1 cup pomegranate juice, 1 cup vanilla or pomegranate yogurt,

1 frozen banana (broken into chunks before freezing), and a handful of frozen blackberries or strawberries (optional) in a blender, then process until smooth. Serves 3.

— Disney FamilyFun magazine

LIGHT DUTY DRIVER Salary + free accommodation Article 18 & 20 both New visa can be provided to valid driving license holder. Call 99882584 or send your CV to kwtoffice@dhillonassociates.com

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in C-A/C building near Salmiya Church available big room with attached bathroom for Indian families or working ladies or bachelors. Please contact: 67714275. (C 2768) Sharing accommodation available with Keralite Christian couple Edee Store for a couple or decent bachelors. Window A/C and fridge and cable connection already. All other facility common. Available from 1st October, 2010. Contact: 66418746. (C 2770) 16-10-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya near Hi-Dine Super Market, for two decent bachelors or small family. Contact: 24312462 after 2 pm. (C 2716) Khaitan - Single furnished room and sharing room is available for decent Indian bachelor in double bedroom C-A/C building, from October. Contact: 97523316 / 24745162. (C 2735) Two rooms for rent in Salwa block 10, C-A/C flat with separate bath room & reasonable rent, internet facility available. Please Contact: 99856676. (C 2766) Sharing accommodation available for working women or family, with a Muslim family near United Indian School, Abbassiya. Pls call: 97612248. (C 2767) 14-10-2010 Room available C-A/C, with small Goan Hindu family or for one executive Indian (Hindu). Near Al-Rashid Hospital, Amman Street, Salmiya. Contact: 99408202. (C 2761)

POMEGRANATE PANCAKE SYRUP Pour 1 cup pomegranate juice and 1/ cup sugar into a small pot. Simmer 2 the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s reduced to half a cup, about 30 minutes. Let the syrup cool down before using. Serves 4.

For a reputed company in Kuwait

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abroadindians.com Sharing accommodation available from today onwards for Indian executive bachelor in 2 bedroom, C-A/C flat in Salmiya, Amman Street with some facilities in room. Contact: 65718627. (C 2762) Two bedrooms fully furnished, very spacious flat available for sale in Farwaniya. Contact: 66258272. (C 2763) 13-10-2010 Room available in a flat in Farwaniya from 1st Nov., for a couple or two spinsters, visitors, kitchen, A/C, gas cooker, satellite, room cupboard + kitchen cupboard. Super market + bus routes convenience. Contact: 97449272 / 66021273. (C 2751) One big master bedroom with attached bathroom available, immediately for family or 2 decent executive bachelors in 2 BR flat CA/C, satellite, kitchen facility W&E free, near Shara Aman Nasser Al-Bather St. Salmiya, Opp. Appolo Hospital. Call: 99761807. (C 2755) 12-10-2010

MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited for RC boy (Syro Malabar), fair / 28 yrs, hgt 165 cm, wgt 75, B.Com / hailing from Idukki Dist., working in a private firm in Kuwait as Accoun-

tant. Seeking alliance from girls working in Kuwait. Please contact E-mail: joykutty.rs@gmail.com (C 2760) 14-10-2010

FOR SALE Chrysler Sebring 2007, black color, traveled 50,000kms, very elegant and powerful car in excellent condition. Price KD 3000. Call: 67065233. (C 2752) Volkswagen Passat 2009, limited and unique SPORTS edition, silver color, traveled 30,000kms, as perfect as new. Price KD 5000. Call: 67065233. (C 2753)

SITUATION WANTED

Indian Nationality, Visa#18 transferable, having good experience in electrical, Plumping Maintenance and Generator operating, good health and hard worker seeks a suitable job. Contact: 97167085. (C 2771) 16-9-2010 Accountant (Indian) well experienced in all corporate Accounts / Finance functions, with knowledge of international standards, banking, business planning, analysis and support, business takeovers etc. looks for suitable job. Tel: 66126258. (C 2758) 13-10-2010

Honda Accord 1996, color blue, registered up to April 2011, Price KD 750. Contact: 66258272. (C 2769) Pajero 2005 model, 6 CD changer; Mitsubishi pick-up 2004 model. Ph: 66052331. (C 2772) 16-10-2010 Voyager Van 1999, color white, 7 seater, automatic, leather interior, loaded W/front & rear AC. Excellent condition, lady driven. Phone: 97922128. (C 2757) GMC Safari Van 1994 Model, 7 seats black color good condition Price KD 500 (Negotiable). Interested can call: 66509289. (C 2764) 13-10-2010

LOST Egyptian Passport lost, name: Abdul Sameeʼ Mohammed Gebreel Abdul Sameeʼ, Passport No. 4319233. Finders kindly call: 66879671. (C 2765) 13-10-2010

CHANGE OF NAME I Ghazi Mohammad Din holder Pakistani Passport No. KF486771 hereby changed my name to SAIFUDDIN. (C 2773) 16-10-2010

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Airlines Jordanian Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Turkish Ethiopian Egypt Air Jazeera DHL Pakistan Emirates Etihad Qatari Jazeera Kuwait Jazeera British Kuwait Jazeera Falcon Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Fly Dubai Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Emirates Arabia Qatari Etihad Jazeera Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Jazeera Egypt Air Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait United Jordanian Egypt Air Fly Dubai Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Saudia Kuwait Nas Air Qatari Mahan Air Saudia Iran Aseman Kuwait Nas Air Etihad

Arrival Flights on Saturday 16/10/2010 Flt Route 802 Amman 188 Bahrain 305 Cairo 211 Bahrain 772 Istanbul 620 Addis Ababa 614 Cairo 267 Beirut 370 Bahrain 239 Sialkot 853 Dubai 305 Abu Dhabi 138 Doha 637 Aleppo 412 Manila/Bangkok 527 Alexandria 157 London 416 Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur 529 Assiut 201 Bahrain 613 Lahore 204 Lahore 302 Mumbai 053 Dubai 332 Trivandrum 676 Dubai 284 Dhaka 344 Chennai 362 Colombo 855 Dubai 121 Sharjah 132 Doha 301 Abu Dhabi 497 Riyadh 213 Bahrain 122 Abu Dhabi 165 Dubai 610 Cairo 457 Damascus 672 Dubai 774 Riyadh 982 Washington DC Dulles 800 Amman 621 Assiut 057 Dubai 786 Jeddah 257 Beirut 525 Alexandria 422 Amman 500 Jeddah 552 Damascus 745 Jeddah 134 Doha 5066 Mashad 2358 Jeddah 6791 Mashad 118 New York 703 Medinah 303 Abu Dhabi

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

Rovos Etihad Emirates Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Cargolux Saudia Arabia Jazeera Saudia Jazeera SriLankan Syrian Air Kuwait Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Rovos Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Iran Air Air Arabia Egypt Kuwait Bahrain Air Singapore Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Fly Dubai Wataniya Airways Oman Air Indian Wataniya Airways Middle East Saudia Jet A/W Egypt Air KLM Kuwait Wataniya Airways DHL Gulf Air Jazeera Emirates Qatari Kuwait United Mihin Saudia Jazeera Lufthansa Jazeera Egypt Air India Express Egypt Air Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways

061 303 857 402 215 792 510 125 493 2353 129 227 341 104 304 106 093 542 502 202 548 618 177 607 555 674 344 458 459 562 614 061 186 647 993 612 402 6504 572 618 0445 788 404 372 217 433 859 136 178 981 1405 6506 429 636 185 612 393 606 128 108

Baghdad/Najaf Abu Dhabi Dubai Beirut Bahrain Luxembourg Riyadh Sharjah Jeddah Jeddah Bahrain Colombo/Dubai Damascus London Cairo Dubai Kandahar/Dubai Cairo Beirut Jeddah Luxor/Sharm El Sheikh Doha Dubai Mashad Alexandria Dubai Bahrain Singapore/Abu Dhabi Damascus Amman Bahrain Dubai Bahrain Muscat Chennai/Mumbai Sabiha Beirut Jeddah Mumbai Alexandria Amsterdam Jeddah Beirut Bahrain Bahrain Mashad Dubai Doha Geneva/Frankfurt Bahrain Colombo/Dubai Jeddah Bahrain Frankfurt Dubai Cairo Kozhikode/Cochin Luxor Abu Dhabi Dubai

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

Airlines Jazeera Shaheen Air Egypt Air KLM Indian Lufthansa Turkish Ethiopian Egypt Air DHL Pakistan Emirates Etihad Qatari Jordanian Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Gulf Air Jazeera Rovos Jazeera Kuwait British Fly Dubai Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Arabia Kuwait Emirates Qatari Kuwait Etihad Kuwait Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Kuwait Wataniya Airways Kuwait Rovos Wataniya Airways Al Naser Jazeera Wataniya Airways Kuwait Wataniya Airways Egypt Air Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jordanian Fly Dubai Egypt Air United Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Wataniya Airways Jazeera

Departure Flights on Saturday 16/10/2010 Flt Route 528 Assiut 442 Lahore 607 Luxor 0447 Amsterdam 576 Goa/Chennai 637 Frankfurt 773 Istanbul 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa 615 Cairo 371 Bahrain 240 Sialkot/Islamabad 854 Dubai 306 Abu Dhabi 139 Doha 803 Amman 121 Abu Dhabi 164 Dubai 524 Alexandria 496 Riyadh 212 Bahrain 456 Damascus 094 Dubai/Kandahar 256 Beirut 785 Jeddah 156 London 054 Dubai 671 Dubai 551 Damascus 421 Amman 122 Sharjah 101 London/New York 856 Dubai 133 Doha 773 Riyadh 302 Abu Dhabi 547 Luxor/Sharm El Sheikh 214 Bahrain 401 Beirut 165 Rome/Paris 303 Cairo 541 Cairo 062 Baghdad 611 Sabiha 712 Najaf/Baghdad 492 Jeddah 103 Dubai 501 Beirut 201 Jeddah 611 Cairo 458 Damascuss 105 Dubai 801 Amman 058 Dubai 622 Assiut 982 Bahrain 176 Dubai 128 Bahrain 673 Dubai 403 Beirut 432 Mashad

Time 00:05 00:10 00:15 00:30 00:50 00:50 02:15 02:30 03:05 03:15 03:45 03:45 04:00 05:00 07:00 07:05 07:05 07:10 07:15 07:45 07:45 08:00 08:05 08:20 08:25 08:40 09:00 09:10 09:10 09:20 09:30 09:40 10:00 10:00 10:05 10:55 11:35 11:35 11:45 11:50 12:00 12:00 12:05 12:15 12:15 12:15 13:00 13:45 13:55 14:00 14:30 14:30 14:35 14:40 14:50 14:55 15:00 15:10 15:10 15:20

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw)

Kuwait Kuwait Nas Air Saudia Qatari Mahan Air Kuwait Nas Air Wataniya Airways Saudia Etihad Iran Aseman Gulf Air Emirates Wataniya Airways Kuwait Arabia Jazeera Saudia Cargolux Kuwait Saudia SriLankan Jazeera Wataniya Airways Syrian Air Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Air Arabia Egypt Iran Air Bahrain Air Jazeera Kuwait Jazeera Fly Dubai Singapore Kuwait Wataniya Airways Oman Air Middle East Saudia Jet A/W Egypt Air Wataniya Airways KLM Gulf Air Jazeera DHL Kuwait Emirates Kuwait Falcon Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Mihin Saudia Jazeera United Jazeera Kuwait Egypt Air

617 787 746 505 135 5065 613 704 185 9357 304 6792 216 858 306 543 126 184 511 792 285 9353 228 428 127 342 433 107 556 604 345 266 283 240 062 457 331 261 648 403 9504 571 619 187 0445 218 512 373 675 860 381 102 137 301 205 1405 9506 526 981 502 411 613

Doha Jeddah Jeddah Jeddah Doha Mashad Bahrain Riyadh Bahrain Jeddah Abu Dhabi Mashad Bahrain Dubai Cairo Cairo Sharjah Dubai Riyadh Hong Kong Chittagong Jeddah Dubai/Colombo Bahrain Abu Dhabi Damascus Damascus Dubai Alexandria Isfahan Bahrain Beirut Dhaka Amman Dubai Abu Dhabi/Singapore Trivandrum Muscat Muscat Beirut Jeddah Mumbai Alexandria Bahrain Bahrain/Amsterdam Bahrain Sharm El Sheikh Bahrain Dubai Dubai Delhi Bahrain Doha Mumbai Islamabad Dubai/Colombo Jeddah Alexandria Washington DC Dulles Luxor Bangkok/Manila Cairo

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


SPECTRUM

18

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Calvin

CROSSWORD 111

Aries (March 21-April 19) This may be a

challenging day that will give you an opportunity to use your skills to solve problems. This may be a good time to make a positive difference in worldly affairs or in someone’s life. You might look around for approval but if you continue to do this, you could lose the support of others. Move forward and do what you know to be the right thing; you will be pleased you did. You may find that both your personal growth and your career may depend upon how you can handle the problems that come up now. You will benefit from analytical insights—getting to the heart of things. Penetrating. If possible, get away from the city lights this evening, perhaps with a loved one. A dinner away from home would be relaxing. Taurus (April 20-May 20) There are many more

rewarding days this month than challenging. You will be reaping the rewards of your hard work, even though it may only be the good feeling that comes when you do your best. This is a rewarding day. Today is also a good day to take off for a vacation or just take the time to relax. Time away from regular responsibilities gives you new insight and renewed appreciation of just where you are in your life’s story. Opinions and beliefs of different cultures have an appeal for you. There is an urge to study religious, cultural or philosophical controversies and crusades that have a way of stirring your blood. Travel and adventure are compelling temptations as you dare to test your mettle and stretch your horizons.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A village in eastern Ireland (northwest of Dublin). 5. Capital of modern Macedonia. 10. A female person who has the same parents as another person. 13. A translucent mineral consisting of hydrated silica of variable color. 14. A feudal lord or baron in Scotland. 15. Goddess of criminal rashness and its punishment. 16. Bottom-dwelling tropical rays. 18. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 19. A pilgrim who journeys to Mecca. 20. A software system that facilitates the creation and maintenance and use of an electronic database. 21. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 23. (Old Testament) The eldest son of Isaac who would have inherited the Covenant that God made with Abraham and that Abraham passed on to Isaac. 25. A light touch or stroke. 27. A rod used to ram the charge into a muzzle-loading firearm. 30. Thickening of tissue in the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord. 33. A very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk. 35. An informal term for a father. 36. A Dravidian language spoken in southern India. 38. Above the surround or above the normal position. 41. An associate degree in applied science. 42. Small tropical American tree bearing edible plumlike fruit. 43. Kindly endorsement and guidance. 45. The residue that remains when something is burned. 47. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 48. A silvery malleable metallic element that resists corrosion. 49. (Irish) Ancient Irish god (probably a god of the sun). 51. On a ship, train, plane or other vehicle. 55. The sixth month of the civil year. 57. Not in a state of sleep. 60. The cry made by sheep. 61. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools. 62. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 63. (Irish) The sea personified. 64. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 65. Someone whose business is advertising. 66. A doctor's degree in education. DOWN 1. Large edible marine fish of northern coastal waters. 2. With rapid movements. 3. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 4. Surveying instrument consisting of the upper movable part of a theodolite including the telescope and its attachments. 5. A state in the western United States. 6. A package of several things tied together for carrying or storing. 7. Unknown god. 8. A person who unfastens or unwraps or opens. 9. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 10. South Asian deer with three-tined antlers. 11. A distinct part that can be specified separately in a group of things that could be enumerated on a list. 12. A strong-smelling plant from whose dried leaves a number of euphoriant and hallucinogenic drugs are prepared. 17. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 22. Tall feather palm of northern Brazil with hard-shelled nuts yielding valuable oil and a kind of vegetable ivory. 24. East Indian tree yielding a resin used medicinally and burned as incense. 26. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 28. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 29. Panel forming the lower part of an interior wall when it is finished differently from the rest. 31. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily. 32. An unforeseen obstacle. 34. A small cake leavened with yeast. 37. Tall marsh plant with cylindrical seed heads that explode when mature shedding large quantities of down. 39. The United Nations agency concerned with civil aviation. 40. Possible to sell. 41. A distinct part that can be specified separately in a group of things that could be enumerated on a list. 44. Having come or been brought to a conclusion. 45. A sharp hand gesture (resembling a blow). 46. A dialect of Chinese spoken in southeastern China. 50. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 52. Any of various edible seeds of plants of the family Leguminosae. 53. A sudden short attack. 54. Any of a group of Indic languages spoken in Kashmir and eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. 56. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 57. A public promotion of some product or service. 58. (often followed by `of') A large number or amount or extent. 59. A defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. 60. A trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) If you need a loan, today and tomorrow brings high probabilities. Social affairs are wonderful ways in which to network. Accept those invitations that will be coming now and through the end of this month. Neighbors or relatives, brothers or sisters in particular, can be subjects for concern at home today. If there are difficulties in any of your relationships, it will take some effort and patience on your part to keep things on an even keel. Watch for a tendency to be out of touch with the other person’s version; work at developing your listening skills by giving feedback to what you hear. You will find the other person will appreciate your wanting to understand. The person talking will get better at communicating. Hugs are probable.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This may be a challenging day. You may be experiencing a bit of a crunch as your career direction squares off against your more personal interests. This may be a real test for you. Be careful not to blow an opportunity for success. This is a good time to make some changes and reach new levels. You may have trouble getting moving, but once rolling, others better step aside. You have a stick-to-itiveness that always finds you in the thick of things. A lot of personal and sensitive psychological material may be surfacing, but you can handle it and turn it to your advantage. You may look back on this month as a very transforming and successful time. Romance, recreation and creativity take on an inspirational and perhaps wildly idealized quality. Leo (July 23-August 22) This is the best time this month to start a diet or a new exercise plan. You could prove helpful to a friend, co-worker or family member today by inviting that person into your exercise plans. For a fun get-together to exercise, power walking can be very beneficial. Short or long trips and possible adventures are compelling temptations. The urge for change enters the workplace as well. You may be ready to move up the corporate ladder and if this is so, begin looking around for a good place to stretch your talents. There could be more money in it for you—if you but ask. A soul-mate experience or the yearning for one can change your whole approach to relationships now; seek the truth before committing yourself too deeply.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Stay alert today. Check your e-mail and your office in-box and the telephone messages so that you get all the information you need to perform your job the best way possible. Hidden agendas of a co-worker or competitor will not get past you because you will be alert and aware of all the activity surrounding your working universe. This afternoon there is an opportunity for an unusually large sales transaction and you will be able to step in and secure the transaction. You could be most persuasive. The situation today is a natural for self-expression and lends itself to your particular ideas. A good conversation with those you love is possible tonight. Some idea that a young person has can be reversed to a more positive vent at this time.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Before the noon

Mother Goose and Grimm

break there will be plenty of opportunities to solve problems and direct people to whatever they might need. You could be a store detective, a tour guide or a host. You are able to converse with customers and minimize any frustrations they may have. You may even have an opportunity to read a thank you note to the people that you know as friends. You love to communicate and discuss ideas with people and may find an avenue of information you can pull on when you need it. You may not have known of this new company or service. You are at your mental best when you are communicating with others. This evening you are highly motivated regarding a particular romantic relationship and you may find yourself showing off new clothes. Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Ideology is a

keynote of the new phase you have begun—the power of ideas and the power they wield over people. Religious, cultural or philosophical controversies and crusades have a way of stirring your blood. Travel and adventure are compelling temptations as you dare to test your mettle and stretch your horizons. Sympathy and understanding are emotional qualities that take on greater importance. It is wisdom and not knowledge that counts most. You have plenty of enthusiasm and warm up to things and people quickly. You have an inner self-confidence that burns with its own light. Your tastes in art and appreciation in general are heightened today and you may find yourself creating or enjoying a visit to an art showing this evening. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Understanding others and getting them to understand you seem easier than ever today. People that were difficult to communicate with before today may seem to understand your messages so much better. Your timing should be perfect and those around you should find you most spontaneous and alive. Romance, recreation and creativity take on an inspirational and perhaps wildly idealized quality now. Such experiences can be truly soul stirring. Someone you care about—a child or lover perhaps—may have difficulty distinguishing fantasy and reality. Investments that seem too good to be true just may be; hang onto your checkbook. You can appreciate an imaginative approach and may value futuristic ideas.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Capricorn

(December

22-January

19)

Customers expect immediate responses to their inquiries. You are the one that usually finds the right solution. You can match the right company to the right customer and when a person is a self-starter, you are able to help them find the best direction in which to earn a living. The cast of characters today is enjoyable, if not a little quirky. Community or family concerns may hold your interest this afternoon. There is an interest in bringing people together. This could become involved in developing communications between neighbors, friends or family. You can expect a little boost, some sort of extra support from those around you. Others want to help you achieve and you will find all the support or help you need is available.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) A low profile in the business world now is the best road to a happy day. You have already worked to put things into progress—now let progress take its course. Think positive with regard to financial, health and relationship matters. There is a lot of energy and drive to accomplish things and this would be the best time to take care of old business or make decisions about contracts, investments or to confirm plans. You may enjoy some form of physical exercise in a group environment, perhaps with coworkers this afternoon. Your taste in art is strong. Perhaps this is a good time to invest in a special art item that you have had your eye on lately. Your sense of value is good. The evening brings opportunities to just sit back and enjoy your life.

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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Challenging authority and rocking the boat will likely play a bigger role in your life now. Remember, most jobs are enjoyed because of the respect you have earned. If you do not find respect and you are only receiving money, you may want to consider a different position or place to work. Perhaps there are new ways you can receive or earn respect as well as earn the money—think on this before making a change. The new broom sweeps clean; old patterns of organization and power are ripe for an innovative approach. Listen to your intuition—it is strong and will lead you in the right direction. Radical and inventive ideas hold the key to realizing your ambitions and advancing your status. There is significant improvement in finances now.


NEWS

Saturday, October 16, 2010

19

US presses allies on missile shield Russia voices skepticism

WEST BANK: An Israeli soldier (right) secures the area as Palestinian farmers pick olives in the village of Azmut, near the West Bank city of Nablus yesterday. — AP

Bullets, olive branches at West Bank harvest Gunfire at start of West Bank olive harvest BURIN: Semi-automatic assault rifles are not usually associated with olive harvesting, but this is the West Bank where Jewish settlers and Palestinian farmers clash over the crop every year. Yesterday, the first day of the official harvest, Palestinians picking the fruit fled in panic when shots were fired and three or four Jewish settlers with assault rifles appeared running and crouching among the olive trees. Israeli soldiers on standby for just such a clash were called to Elon Moreh after shots were fired near the settlement east of Nablus in the Israeli-occupied territory. Conflicting accounts of the events were reported by settlers and Palestinians, who accused each other of initiating the violence. No injuries were reported. A Palestinian was arrested. “Every year in olive harvest season radical left-wing activists arrive from Israel and the world and try to create provocations and conflicts to smear Israel’s name,” commented Gershon Mesika, of the Samaria settlers’ council. He said outside activists had stirred trouble and Palestinians had assaulted a settler. The Palestinians said settlers drove them from the grove, firing shots in the air. On the Richter scale of West Bank incidents, it was a rumble. But lethal violence is a latent danger in this season, when Palestinians garner olive from groves that

Jewish settlers believe are too close to their homes for security. Rock-throwing, fist-fights, tree-burning and gunfire are frequent features of the harvest weeks, so much so that Israeli army and police units prepare specifically for the period. The Israeli rights group Yesh Din said this week that the olive harvest “is often disturbed by extremists among the settlers, who take the law into their own hands.” A report by the charity Oxfam, issued in Jerusalem yesterday, said “settler attacks or harassment against Palestinian olive farmers are common” and increase at harvest time. There are over 100 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where half a million Jews live next to 2.5 million Palestinians. Many consider the West Bank, which they call Judea and Samaria, to be the biblical birthright of the Jewish people. Israel does not accept a World Court ruling that its settlements are illegal under international law although it considers smaller so-called outposts, built in remote areas mainly by ultra-religious Jews, to be illegal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is resisting Palestinian demands and US pressure to extend a moratorium on settlement building which expired after 10 months on Sept 26, and peace talks remain suspended over this dispute. Oxfam’s report said olive oil currently yields up to $100 million a year in

incomes for the poorest Palestinian families, a figure that could be doubled with modest investment and simple changes in farming methods. “Numerous obstacles ranging from a lack of investment in farming practices to the impact of settler violence are stifling its true potential,” Oxfam said. But investment could not overcome Israeli restrictions on access to the land. Visiting Palestinian olive farms this week, Reuters talked to Mohammad Zaben, who said he could not find labor for the harvest because of fears of attacks by Jewish settlers. The 60-year-old father of six had just received an Israeli notice that he could harvest his grove adjacent to the Jewish settlement of Yitzhar under Israeli police and army protection. But the trees lie right below Yitzhar and “no one dares to get out there”. So Zaben and his son were harvesting on their own, aware Israeli protection was not available indefinitely. “We cannot protect the entire area,” said an Israeli army officer in the field, who declined to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media. A settler spokesman, David Ha’ivri, dismissed the complaints of “foreign organizations” who he said staged provocations to attract media attention and depict settlers “as a bunch of violent bandits” and themselves as “savior of the oppressed”. — Reuters

US pastor wins car for canceling Quran burning Continued from Page 1 “What you didn’t say was what the car was going to look like when you gave it to him,” the caller said. Another caller told Benson to “be a man” and keep his promise. And some encouraged Benson to pick his own charity to get a car.

In 2003, Benson offered another newsmaker - Saddam Hussein - a new car if he fled Iraq. That commercial wasn’t as successful, and Benson pulled the ad after two days, replacing it with one apologizing for any offense that was taken. The Quran commercial was part of a regular “idiot award” segment Benson has singled out others for,

including actress Lindsey Lohan, actor Mel Gibson and baseball star Roger Clemens. “We don’t have your typical car commercial,” Benson said. But they are memorable and effective. Three years ago, he was selling 60 cars a month, he said. Today, that number is between 500 and 600 - making him one of the state’s most successful dealers. — AP

‘Israeli rifle’ a Hezbollah’s gift for Iranian president Continued from Page 1 Ahmadinejad also warned Israel not to attack Lebanon, saying a new war would “lead nowhere and will shorten the life of the usurping entity.” Ahmadinejad’s first state visit to Lebanon was turned into a show of strength by Hezbollah, which shares power in a fragile unity government with a Western-backed coalition. The American and Israeli governments criticized the visit as an unnecessary provocation. Ahmadinejad sought through his controversial visit to Lebanon this week to send a clear message to Washington that Tehran is a key player in the Middle East, analysts say. “Iran has become an actor that cannot be ignored because it has some major cards to play in the region,” political analyst Amin Kammurieh said. “Tehran’s presence in southern Lebanon through Hezbollah, and in the Gaza Strip through Hamas, is a message that US attempts to isolate it are useless,” he added, referring to Islamist groups blacklisted as terrorist organizations by Washington. The United States and its allies have been locked in a long-running dispute with Tehran over its nuclear program and have

sought to isolate the Islamic republic on the international scene through sanctions. Oil- and gas-rich Iran insists that its nuclear drive is for peaceful purposes, aimed to produce electricity for its growing population. Analysts said that Ahmadinejad’s two-day official visit to Lebanon, which included a jaunt to the country’s volatile southern border with Israel, served as a reminder that Iran had a say in the region through key ally Hezbollah. “The Americans are being told: ‘If you isolate Iran, Iran will corner you in Lebanon and elsewhere’,” political commentator Rafiq Khoury said in an editorial in the independent Arabic-language daily Al-Anwar. “The message is that if Washington wants solutions in the region... it must knock on Iran’s door.” Mohammad Saleh Sedghian, head of the Tehran-based Arabic Centre for Iranian Studies, said Ahmadinejad’s Lebanon visit was a reminder to Washington that key issues in the Middle East could only be addressed with Iran’s help. “The trip sent a clear message to the US administration that no security or political deal can be inked in the region without Iran’s participation,” Sedghian said. “It also sent a message to Israel that Lebanon is no

longer its backyard and that it could not interfere in Lebanon’s internal affairs as it used to,” he added. Ahmadinejad while in Lebanon was given a hero’s welcome by supporters of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel and is considered a proxy of Iran. The visit, however, did not sit well with members of Lebanon’s parliamentary majority who saw it as a bid by Tehran to portray the country as an Iranian base on the Mediterranean. The United States and Israel also criticized the visit as a provocation and a threat to regional stability. Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the Holocaust and described Israel as a “tumor,” reiterated his trademark tirades on the inevitable demise of the Jewish state during his trip and hailed Hezbollah as a role model. “Even though the Americans are making a lot of noise about the visit and about Iran, the reality is that they cannot cope without Tehran’s support when it comes to Lebanon, Iraq and some parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan,” said Rime Allaf, an analyst with the Londonbased Chatham House think tank. “Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon has shown on the regional level the huge importance of the balance of power in the Middle East.” — Agencies

BRUSSELS: The United States urged NATO allies to invest in a missile shield and avoid harmful budget cuts at a meeting of defense and foreign ministers clouded by the war in Afghanistan. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates made the plea, echoed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, amid French reservations about the anti-missile system. “The studies have been done, the data are well-known and the affordability is clear,” Gates told alliance ministers. “It is time for a decision.” The ministers gathered at NATO headquarters to discuss a new “strategic concept” that will shape the 28-nation alliance’s vision for the next decade to face new threats including missiles from “rogue” states and cyber assaults. Gates has put the price tag to link NATO members into a common anti-missile network at between 85 million and 100 million euros (120 million and 140 million dollars). Rasmussen says it would cost less than 200 million euros. Rasmussen expressed optimism that the missile shield would be endorsed by NATO leaders at a summit in Lisbon on November 19-20, saying it was well on the way to a “consensus” following the ministerial meeting. French Defense Minister Herve Morin, however, expressed his “reservations” about the plan, saying Paris wanted more details about how much the system would cost and how it would work. But he hinted that France would not block the missile shield plan when NATO leaders meet in Lisbon. France, a nuclear-armed power, was also at odds with Germany, which backs the missile shield plan but is also pushing for nuclear disarmament, diplomats said. “We all agree that we need an anti-missile shield if we look at the threats

of today and tomorrow,” German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told reporters. “We are very close to an agreement.” Clinton said the draft strategic concept recognizes the need for NATO “to remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist” and at the same time highlights President Barack Obama’s goal of a nuclear-free world. She also warned that plans to slash Britain’s military spending could damage the military alliance. In comments to the BBC, Clinton said in answer to a question that she was worried by defence cuts in Europe-and specifically Britain. “NATO has been the most successful alliance for defensive purposes in the history of the world I guess, but it has to be maintained,” she said. “Each country has to be able to make its appropriate contributions.” Although Afghanistan was not officially on the agenda, ministers discussed the nine-year-old campaign which involves 150,000 international troops. “Both Bob and I and a lot of our counterparts here in Brussels have both seen and received reports of progress that we are making on the ground,” Clinton told a news conference. Rasmussen also said the NATO-led force was willing to provide “practical assistance” to reconciliation efforts between the Afghan government and the Taleban but ruled out halting military operations against the insurgency. NATO leaders are expected to endorse at a summit in Lisbon next month plans to begin the handover of security responsibility to Afghan forces by July 2011. They will also sign off on the strategic concept, replacing a document written in 1999, two years before the September 11 attacks on the United States that sparked the war in Afghanistan.. The 11-page mission statement, drafted

by Rasmussen, has not been made public but it is expected to touch on 21st century threats including cyber attacks, missiles from “rogue” states, terrorism and Somali piracy. While Gates acknowledged fiscal pressures on defense budgets across the alliance, he warned against cuts that could weaken NATO and even leave it crippled. “But as nations deal with their economic problems, we must guard against the hollowing out of alliance military capability by spending reductions that cut too far into muscle,” he said. Meanwhile, the Russian ambassador to NATO voiced skepticism yesterday over an offer from the transatlantic alliance for Moscow to cooperate in a missile shield project for Europe. “We do not understand what cooperation we are talking about,” Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin said, one day after a NATO ministerial conference during which the alliance renewed an invitation to Russia to join the anti-missile system. “We do not really understand the sense of the project NATO is proposing,” Rogozin said at a roundtable discussion in Brussels on NATO-Russia relations. Russia has been suspicious about the aims of the missile shield project even though NATO insists that the goal of the system is to protect Europe and North America from hostile states such as Iran and North Korea. “When we ask about the concrete technical parameters of the ballistic missile defense project, when we ask about the zone of application, who is nominated as the enemy in this case, we don’t see a response,” Rogozin said. Russia has asked NATO to limit the deployment of interceptors so they are solely used against shortand medium-range missiles and not aimed at Moscow’s strategic deterrence, but NATO “does not want any limitations,” he said.- — Agencies

Terrorism and cyberwarfare eyed in UK defense strategy Afghanistan likely to color UK military review LONDON: Terrorism and cyberwarfare will probably top a list of possible threats to Britain next week as the government seeks to justify major cuts to defense spending and purchases of military hardware. Britain will on Tuesday unveil its first defense review since 1998, after outlining a national security strategy on Monday that will help the government to argue that the review is not purely a money-saving exercise. The government is trying to reduce a record budget deficit, but at the same time retain Britain’s place as a strong military presence in Europe and a capable ally to the United States, which it has backed in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Britain’s budget deficit is running at over 10 percent of national output, and the Ministry of Defense (MoD) budget of 36.9 billion pounds ($59 billion) is set to be slashed by up to 10 percent over four years. “The government will hope to push the point that the terrorist threat is a far greater one than being invaded in a traditional war to help justify equipment cuts,” said Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist at the BCG Partners brokerage. The MoD already faces a deficit of 38 billion pounds over 10 years according to earlier spending plans, and it is still not clear if the MoD or the Treasury will pay the 20 billion pound bill to replace Britain’s ageing Trident nuclear missile system. Multi-billion pound hardware orders, including those for fast jets and aircraft carriers, are expected to be scaled back or delayedmoves that could shift Britain’s global military stance and have diplomatic and political consequences. Analysts expect a greater emphasis to be placed on terrorism and cyberwarfare,

military cooperation with allies, and the ring-fencing of spending on British troops fighting in Afghanistan, perhaps to justify why cuts must be made elsewhere. “The most interesting thing will be those areas in which more resources will be put, because they’re seen as more serious than they were a couple of years ago,” said Professor Malcolm Chalmers of the Royal United Services Institute think tank. “One of the areas in which there’s certainly been an awful lot of discussion over the last year is cyberthreats.” The United States this year appointed its first cyberwarfare general amid concerns that military, power grid and other computer networks could be hacked into as part of an attack. Some firms are already positioning themselves to take advantage of more spending on intelligence and cybersecurity services. The British defense group BAE Systems last month acquired L-1 Identity Solutions’ US counter-terrorism business. Other opportunities for defense firms include stepping in to take over services cut back by the state, such as hardware maintenance and logistics, and partnering with the MoD to fund projects that the MoD might in the past have developed alone. Analysts point to a collaboration between the MoD and the EADS-owned space and satellite firms Paradigm and Astrium to create the military’s Skynet 5 communications system. The defense industry also expects a state push to boost exports by developing more adaptable, less specialized hardware, and to sell more existing technology abroad. The MoD is also expected to place more emphasis on pooling military resources with European allies. “One of

the main thrusts is going to be European defense cooperation ... Money is tight everywhere, nobody’s got any spare cash,” said Charles Heyman, editor of “The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom 2010-2011”. People briefed on SDSR talks say the MoD is keeping a 5.2 billion pound order for two aircraft carriers, which may leave no cash for planes for them or smaller vessels to escort them. Heyman said the situation was ripe for collaboration with European partners, possibly France, to share the burden. Prime Minister David Cameron is unlikely to cut funding for Britain’s 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, however. Britain is expected to withdraw by 2015, and officials are committed to supporting the army until then. “That has implications for those parts of the armed forces which are not so heavily engaged in Afghanistanthey’re more likely to take reductions because of that,” said Chalmers, adding that fast jets and ships could be scaled back instead. On Wednesday, the government will outline its Comprehensive Spending Review, which is expected to give more detail about defense spending cuts than Tuesday’s SDSR. Given that negotiations over the review have continued until the last minute, analysts do not expect the SDSR to provide a complete guide to the shape of Britain’s military in the future. “My sense of discussions I’ve had in the MoD and elsewhere is that it will set a framework for talks about force structures and other issues that will continue for quite a lengthy period,” said Derek Marshall, policy director at the defense and security industry association ADS. — Reuters

Israel approves new E Jerusalem homes Continued on Page 19 Israel’s new construction announcement further soured the atmosphere. “This announcement is a very clear-cut indication that the choice of Mr Netanyahu is settlements, not peace,” chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said, charging the Israelis with “closing all doors on attempts to revive the direct negotiations.” Netanyahu’s office refused to comment yesterday. The Israeli settlement slowdown imposed last November in the West Bank did not officially include east Jerusalem, which Israel claims as part of its capital. But before yesterday, Israel had quietly halted building there as well without explicitly saying it was doing so. Israel discussed the new construction with the US administration and cut the number of planned units by several hundred to temper American displeasure, Israeli officials said. The US was unhappy with Israel’s decision but were not caught by surprise by the announcement, the offi-

cials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue. An Israeli announcement earlier this year of new building in east Jerusalem came during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden, catching the US administration off guard and sparking a crisis in relations between the close allies. There was no immediate public comment from US officials yesterday. Around 180,000 Israelis live in neighborhoods Israel has built in east Jerusalem since capturing the area from Jordan in 1967. The eastern sector of the city is home to around 250,000 Palestinians, and Palestinians hope to make it the capital of a future state. Past peace plans have proposed leaving the Jewish neighborhoods under Israeli sovereignty. But Palestinians and the US have said Israeli construction there is provocative nonetheless and undermines peace talks. Meanwhile, Arab nations may seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state, if Israel continues to build settlements in the West

Bank, Egypt’s foreign minister said yesterday. Ahmed Aboul Gheit said an Arab League request to the UN may come next month. “If Israel does not respect the settlements freeze,” Gheit said, “the Arab League will study some other option aside from the peace process such as going to the United Nations and ask for the recognition of the Palestinian state.” Gheit spoke as he arrived at a Friends of Democratic Pakistan meeting in Brussels. The group is made up of two dozen nations and international institutions committed to stabilize Pakistan with long-term economic support. US-sponsored, IsraeliPalestinian peace talks resumed last month after a hiatus of nearly two years. But they already have run aground over Israel’s refusal to renew a moratorium on West Bank settlement construction. On Thursday night, Israel’s government said it has approved the building of 238 homes in Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, ending a nearly yearlong, unofficial freeze on new building there. — Agencies


SPORTS

20

Saturday, October 16, 2010

NHL results/standings WASHINGTON: National Hockey League results and standings after Thursday’s games: Tampa Bay 3, Philadelphia 2; Ottawa 3, Carolina 2; Nashville 4, St Louis 3; Minnesota 4, Edmonton 2; Dallas 4, Detroit 1; Florida 3, Calgary 0. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OT GF GA Pts Philadelphia 2 1 1 10 9 5 NY Islanders 1 1 1 11 11 3 New Jersey 1 2 1 7 14 3 NY Rangers 1 1 0 10 9 2 Pittsburgh 1 3 0 10 11 2 Northeast Division Toronto 3 0 0 12 6 6 Montreal 1 1 1 8 9 3 Ottawa 1 2 1 7 12 3 Buffalo 1 2 1 8 12 3 Boston 1 1 0 5 5 2 Southeast Division Tampa Bay 3 0 0 12 8 6 Washington 3 1 0 14 9 6 Carolina 2 1 0 8 7 4 Atlanta 1 2 0 8 10 2 Florida 1 2 0 6 5 2 Western Conference Central Division Nashville 3 0 0 11 6 6 Detroit 2 1 1 12 11 5 St Louis 2 1 0 10 6 4 Chicago 1 2 1 11 13 3 Columbus 1 1 0 5 5 2 Northw est Division Colorado 2 1 0 11 11 4 Edmonton 2 1 0 9 6 4 Minnesota 1 1 1 8 8 3 Vancouver 1 1 1 6 7 3 Calgary 1 2 0 3 8 2 Pacific Division Dallas 3 0 0 13 8 6 Los Angeles 2 1 0 6 5 4 San Jose 1 0 1 5 5 3 Phoenix 1 1 0 5 5 2 Anaheim 1 3 0 6 16 2 Note - overtime losses (OT) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

PHILADELPHIA: Darroll Powe #36 of the Philadelphia Flyers is tripped up in front of Dan Ellis #33 of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Wells Fargo Center on October 14, 2010. — AFP

Stars beat Red Wings on Modano’s comeback Gagne helps Lightning beat Flyers

NHL DALLAS: The Dallas Stars beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 in the NHL on Thursday as Stars career scoring leader Mike Modano made his first appearance in Texas as a visiting player. In 20 seasons as the face of the Stars franchise, Modano had 557 goals and 1,359 points, most by a US-born player in NHL history. The 40-year-old was not offered a contract in the off-season, so he signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings, his hometown team. The Stars’ top line of Brad Richards, Loui Eriksson and James Neal had goals and Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves. Brenden Morrow added his fourth goal in three games, and Richards and Mike Ribeiro had two assists each for

the Stars in their home opener. Niklas Kronwall scored for Detroit in the third period. Lightning 3, Flyers 2 In Philadelphia, Simon Gagne made his emotional return to Philadelphia as Tampa Bay beat the Flyers. Gagne, a playoff hero last season in the Flyers’ run to the Stanley Cup finals, spent the first 10 seasons of his career with Philadelphia before being dealt to Tampa Bay during the summer to clear salary cap space. Steven Stamkos, Dominic Moore and Paval Kubina scored for the Lightning. Nikolay Zherdev and Danny Briere scored for Philadelphia.

Predators 4, Blues 3 In Nashville, Tennessee, Nashville improved to a 3-0 start for only the second time in franchise history by beating St Louis. Steve Sullivan scored twice, while Marcel Goc and Patric Hornqvist also scored for the Predators. Dating to last season, the Predators have beaten the Blues five consecutive times. Wild 4, Oilers 2 In St Paul, Minnesota, Mikko Koivu scored two of Minnesota’s four power-play goals as the Wild beat Edmonton at home for the 14th straight time. Antti Miettinen and Matt Cullen each had a goal and an

assist for Minnesota, which tied the longest current home winning streak against a team. Nashville has beaten Columbus 14 straight times in Tennessee. Minnesota has now won nine straight home openers. Dustin Penner and Minnesota native Tom Gilbert scored for Edmonton. Senators 3, Hurricanes 2 In Ottawa, the hosts notched their first win of the season after three defeats by downing Carolina. Mike Fisher scored his second goal of the game on a power play 14:03 into the third for what proved the winner. Carolina had scored goals 1:39 apart earlier in the

period to tie it 2-2. Milan Michalek also scored for the Senators. Carolina captain Eric Staal assisted on Sergei Samsonov’s goal in the third before drawing the Hurricanes even with his first of the season. Panthers 3, Flames 0 In Calgary, Radek Dvorak scored twice in a 3:05 span of the first period to set up Florida’s win over Calgary. Fellow Czech star Tomas Vokoun made 27 saves for his 39th career shutout. Shawn Matthias added a goal midway through the third period for Florida, which opened the season with one-goal losses in Edmonton and Vancouver. — AP

Cyclists contemplate protest in Lombardy Cycling

WASHINGTON: Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings (3) knocks over Washington Wizards guard/forward Cartier Martin while going toward the basket during the second quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game on Thursday, Oct 14, 2010. The Wizards lost the game 88-96. — AP

Contador was reported to have tested positive. In the interview, Torri also pointed out that when a test is developed to find a new substance, that doesn’t eliminate the drug’s use among dopers. “There are always ways to use micro dosages that are not discovered in tests,” Torri said. “These trainers are really good at their jobs and they’re able to prescribe just enough of the drug that it remains under the banned levels.” Not everyone supports a protest. “While I disagree with Torri’s statements, strongly, I don’t understand how delaying a race counters his incorrect information?” Garmin-Transitions chief executive Jonathan Vaughters tweeted. Vaughters, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, added that he didn’t think anyone from his team had been informed of the protest. Gilbert won Thursday’s warmup race, the Gran Piemonte, and is favored for another win in the Lombardia. His top challengers are 2009 world champion Cadel Evans, Frank Schleck and recent Spanish Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali. The hilly race begins in Milan and follows a 260kilometer (162-mile) route to the finish in Como. Meanwhile, Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert is hoping organizers’ decision to toughen the Tour

of Lombardy finale does not get in the way of a second successive victory in the ‘race of the falling leaves’ today. Omega-Pharma’s one-day classics specialist missed out on his main objective of the season at the world championships in Australia two weeks ago, but has bounced right back and could yet end the season on a high note. Gilbert, 28, was a class above the rest of the field on his way to victory Thursday in the Tour of Piedmont in Italy, the semi-classic he also won in 2009. But he will have to dig deep and find his climbing legs at the right time if he is to successfully negotiate a finale that has been toughened by the inclusion of the Sormano climb at the 41 km to go mark. It is 9.5 km long, and with an average gradient of 6.6 percent could play a leading role in thinning the peloton before a rapid descent and 20km flat stretch on the shores of Lake Como leads to the final climb at San Fermo della Battagila. As a result, the classics specialists who can climb, like Gilbert and new world champion Thor Hushovd, could face a stiffer challenge from the more specialist climbers like Italian Vincenzo Nibali, the recent Tour of Spain winner.-— Agencies

Boxing

Tyson to be boxing ambassador in China

NBA

Players union to dispute anti-whining rules: NBA NEW YORK: The NBA players association is planning to challenge the league’s decision to hand out more technical fouls to complaining players, saying the move is an “overreaction”. Billy Hunter, executive director of the union, said in a statement Thursday that the players weren’t consulted about the rule changes. “We intend to file an appropriate legal challenge,” Hunter said. In September the league announced it was expanding its “respect for the game” guidelines to include unsportsmanlike

MILAN: The last major race of the cycling season could start with a protest, with riders contemplating a 10-minute delay at today’s Giro di Lombardia after Italy’s anti-doping prosecutor suggested all cyclists use drugs. Defending champion Philippe Gilbert told the Gazzetta dello Sport that fellow cyclist Roman Kreuziger recently phoned him to discuss a possible protest. Gilbert said a protest would be “a way to show that cycling is not synonymous with doping, rather that it’s actually cleaner than a lot of other (sports), and definitely the sport that has fought against doping the most.” Race organizer RCS Sport has also organized a symposium on “the ethics of cycling,” in conjunction with the single-day classic. In his first interview in two years, prosecutor Ettore Torri told The Associated Press last week that legalizing doping would be a possible solution if that didn’t harm the health of cyclists. He said anti-doping authorities prosecute only a small percentage of offenders. Torri’s comments came following four years of doping cases against prominent cyclists like Ivan Basso, Danilo Di Luca, Alessandro Petacchi and Riccardo Ricco and a week after Tour de France winner Alberto

Gilbert must climb to 2nd Lombardy crown

actions that it feels take away from the product on the floor - and how it looks on television. Guidelines for issuing technical fouls now include such gestures such as raising a fist in the air in anger, incredulous arm waving and excessive questioning of the call even in moderate tones. Four technical fouls were called in a 16-second span of Boston’s exhibition victory over New York on Wednesday, and Celtics All-Star Kevin Garnett was ejected after picking up two of them for arguing. —AFP

LAS VEGAS: Mike Tyson was once the baddest man on the planet. Now he’ll be circling that planet as a self-titled ambassador to spread the gospel of boxing to the Chinese. “I didn’t even know what an ambassador really was,” he said on Thursday. “When I think of ambassadors I think of living off government money and jet-setting with girlfriends.” No government money just yet, though a Chinese company is paying Tyson to visit in December. No girlfriends, either, especially since his wife is due with a baby boy early next year. And no real formal agenda just yet for his trip to China in December, either. “I know he wants to see Chairman Mao’s body,” said Gary Yang, an executive with Tianjin International Sports Development in China. The Chinese want to see Tyson, too, if Yang and his partner,

Qing Yu, are correct. They held a news conference on Thursday to announce a deal for Tyson to visit the country and scout boxers for a series of matches in the city of Tianjin. The news seemed to be news to Tyson, too. “Mike hasn’t been brought up to speed really,” promoter Sterling McPherson said. “But if Mike likes what he sees there can be many, many more trips to China.” Apparently Tyson hadn’t brought the Chinese up to speed, either, because he already saw Mao’s tomb on a visit to China in 2006. Tyson has spoken fondly of Mao in the past, and has a tattoo of the former Chinese leader on his right arm. As appearances go, it was a far cry from the days when a glowering Tyson used to show up an hour late and then sneer at anyone who dared ask a question. Reborn over the last few

years as an actor, dancer and pitchman, he got a chance to show off his new comedic side. “Can we talk about what will take place on the trip?” someone asked. “Yeah, tell me,” Tyson replied. “I’m pretty interested.” Just what Tyson will be doing in China other than visiting Mao’s tomb in Tiananmen Square wasn’t quite clear, though what was clear was that he was being paid good money to do it. “I’m just as clueless as you,” Tyson said. “But I’m an ambassador so I should have some say.” Yang talked vaguely about having Tyson looking for talent for boxing shows in China, where amateur boxing is thriving, and perhaps helping to sell tickets to shows the company plans to put on. “Chinese people just love Mr Tyson,” he said. “He’s above (Muhammad) Ali there, though I shouldn’t say that.”—AP

CAMBO-LES-BAINS: This photo shows Spain’s Jose Luis Rubiera riding during the 190.5 km tenth stage of the 93rd Tour de France cycling race from Cambo-les-Bains to Pau. Spanish rider Jose Luis ‘Chechu’ Rubiera will retire from cycling after the season-ending Tour of Lombardy tomorrow his RadioShack team announced. — AFP


SPORTS

Saturday, October 16, 2010

21

Harrington leads Johor Open, eyes finish to title drought Goosen, Choi, Montgomerie make the cut

Ben Roethlisberger

Changed Roethlisberger returns against Browns PITTSBURGH: The rehabilitation of Ben Roethlisberger the NFL player takes another step when the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback plays a regular-season game tomorrow for the first time since January. Self-described “anxious, nervous” months of waiting end for Roethlisberger with a chance to prove he’s the player he was before his aberrant behavior led the NFL - at his own team’s urging - to suspend him for six games, later shortened to four. The Cleveland Browns will be on the opposing sideline at Heinz Field, eager to mar the two-time Super Bowl winner’s return. Roethlisberger’s suspension didn’t ruin the Steelers season, as some around the league anticipated; instead, his teammates used the quarterback’s absence as a motivator while winning three of their four games. Their defense is playing much like that of their 2008 Super Bowlwinning team, and their revived running game is one of the NFL’s best. The Steelers proved they could change for the better while Roethlisberger was away. Now he wants to prove he’s changed for the better, too. Teammates say a player who once seemed intent on living up to his “Big Ben” persona is no longer aloof or condescending to some of them. He’s been more outgoing and patient with Steelers supporters, especially during a train-

ing camp in which fans who once talked of rejecting him chose to embrace him. He also appears to be more accepting of a balanced offense, rather than one that allows him to throw 35 times a game. “The guys on the team opened their arms and welcomed him back,” wide receiver Hines Ward said. “We missed him.” Allegations that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted a University of Georgia student in March did not result in criminal charges against him, and he has proclaimed his innocence. But

NFL there is no question his widely portrayed image of a barhopping, immature, pampered, indulgent athlete with a sense of entitlement hurt him and the image-conscious organization he plays for. The job of repairing it is not yet completed. Roethlisberger was equally embarrassed and humbled by his troubling offseason, one that might have cost him his Steelers career if it weren’t for the fact it’s difficult to find $102 million quarterbacks. “At times when things happen in your life it causes you to reassess your approach. I think that’s what he’s going through,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “I still think Ben is Ben. Sometimes when you’re faced with

adversity, particularly adversity that’s created by you, there’s an assessment or there’s an evaluation of some of the decisions you’ve made.” While Steelers fans have shown an eagerness to forgive, Roethlisberger also understands he might not get another chance at redemption should he fail again. “Second chances are an awesome thing and that’s all I’ve asked for,” he said. “I want to be a Steeler for life. I love playing for this city and these fans. It’s something that’s very important to me. I know a lot of people say ‘I don’t really care about the fans and what people say about me.’ Well, I do. I want people to accept me and to embrace me as their quarterback and as a Steeler.” Roethlisberger insists he’s not intent upon quickly reshaping an offense that was decidedly unbalanced without him. The Steelers are ranked eighth in rushing but a dead-last 32nd in passing after starting No. 3 quarterback Dennis Dixon and No. 4 Charlie Batch during his absence. “The key for me is not try to force anything, and not go out and try to be Superman,” Roethlisberger said. “Just go out and play my game.” His teammates would be satisfied with that. “Ben’s like a little kid, the first one out there for practice, ready to get started,” Ward said. “I’m excited to get out there with him and get things going.” —AP

Moss-less Patriots seek win in rematch NEW YORK: Memories of being steamrolled by the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL playoffs last January are motivating the New England Patriots for their rematch tomorrow. That 33-14 loss was the Patriots’ worst in the playoffs since Bill Belichick became coach in 2000. “It still weighs on us,” linebacker Jerod Mayo said. “It was a very disappointing loss. It ended our season and they’re coming back to New England. Hopefully, it’s not the same outcome.” The Ravens return to Gillette Stadium with an improved offense and the best record in the league at 4-1. Their defense is just as fierce and formidable as ever, having allowed the fourth fewest points per game and the third fewest total yards. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has a chance to surpass John Elway for secondmost consecutive regular-season wins at home with 23 - Brett Favre set the mark with 25 for Green Bay - but he knows a win over the Ravens will have to be wellearned. “They do try to cause some confusion,” Brady said. “Sometimes you’re snapping the ball not quite sure if you have everything picked up, but you have to do the best you can do against a defense like this. I think that’s why they’re one of the best defenses in the league.” New England will play its first game without star receiver Randy Moss, who was traded to Minnesota just before the Patriots had their bye. They brought back Deion Branch, the 2005 Super Bowl MVP, in a deal with Seattle. The Patriots’ offense will need to keep up with the Ravens’ balanced unit that has become particularly dangerous through the air with the addition of standout receiver Anquan Boldin. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger finally returns to action against the Cleveland Browns following his four-game suspension for violating the

NFL’s personal conduct policy. The Steelers impressively won three of their four games in Roethlisberger’s absence, buoyed by a defense reminiscent of the vintage Steel Curtain of the 1970s and a strong running game. The big question is how much, if at all, they open up the offense with Roethlisberger behind center? The Browns, against whom Roethlisberger played his last regular season game on Jan 3, aren’t likely to open up anything with the ball if quarterback Colt McCoy has to make his NFL debut. The Atlanta Falcons, the best team in the NFC, visit the Philadelphia Eagles having discovered a defense to go with a balanced attack centered on running back Michael Turner and wide receiver Roddy White, who leads the conference with 37 receptions and was second in yards (463). Philadelphia, despite its revolving door at quarterback, has conceded only one interception. But whether Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick is doing the throwing, the Eagles need a spark at home, where they are 0-2. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at 31, can make a real statement about their continuing development with a home win over the New Orleans Saints. Is New Orleans in the midst of a Super Bowl hangover? The defense is somewhat improved, but the once-potent offense isn’t making big plays like it did in 2009. And the Saints can’t run the ball with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush injured. Elsewhere tomorrow, it’s Dallas at Minnesota; Kansas City at Houston; Miami at Green Bay; Indianapolis at Washington; the New York Jets at Denver; Seattle at Chicago; Oakland at San Francisco; Detroit at the New York Giants; and San Diego at St Louis. Monday’s game has Tennessee at Jacksonville. Off this week are Buffalo, Cincinnati, Arizona and Carolina. —AP

JOHOR BAHRU: Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington yesterday stayed on course to snap a two-year winless streak, posting a second round 67 to lead the Iskandar Johor Open by one stroke. The Ryder Cup star holed two long putts on his inward nine to take him to 13-under-par 131 at the halfway stage of the 1.25-milliondollar Asian Tour event, ahead of Taiwan’s Lin Wen-tang, who carded a seven-under-par 65. South Korea’s Lee Sung, who scored a blemish-free 68 at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club in southern Malaysia, was 10 under after two rounds.

GOLF A group of three players were a shot further adrift-Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Noh Seung-Yul of South Korea (69), Australia’s Scott Hend (67) and Mardan Mamat of Singapore (67). Harrington could not repeat his sparkling first round 64, which included two eagles in the final three holes, but the Irishman found his putting range to add gloss to a round played in breezy conditions under a beating sun. He holed a 35-footer on his 12th hole of the day at the third, also birdied the next hole and then sunk a 25-feet putt for eagle on the par-five sixth. Harrington, without a victory in an event sanctioned by any of the major tours since his win at the 2008 US PGA Championship, said the score flattered him after a mixed round and he had a “few breaks down the back nine”. “I’m very pleased. I didn’t play as well as 67. I struggled quite a lot in the middle of the round,” said the 39year-old, ranked 22 in the world. “I would have probably been happy with a 70 the way I played but I holed a long putt on my twelfth hole for birdie and it kind of got something going. “Hit it close at the next and then made an eagle so all of a sudden I turned an average round into quite a good round. Very pleasing. Probably need to play a bit better over the weekend but I’ll settle for scoring like that.” Lin, a five-time winner on the Asian Tour, hit nine birdies to climb into contention and just failed to join Harrington at the top of the leaderboard when his eagle putt narrowly missed on the 18th. “Today the tee shots were very good. Only missed one fairway. The short game was good. Putting was very, very good,” said the 36-year-old, who has had an indifferent season. Lin said he was comfortable in the windy conditions. “My city is very windy, every time in the wind. I like the strong winds, I’m comfortable in the wind.” Bogeystrewn rounds cost Marcus Both of Australia and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who were part of a three-way tie for the first round lead along with Harrington. Two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen, defending champion K J Choi of South Korea and victorious Ryder Cup-winning captain Colin Montgomerie all made the cut. —AFP

JOHOR BARU: A handout shows Padraig Harrington of Ireland during the second round at the Iskandar Johor Open golf tournament yesterday. —AFP

Ace Mediate seizes control at CordeValle SAN JOSE: PGA Tour veteran Rocco Mediate aced the par-three third on the way to a one-shot lead in the first round of the Frys.com Open in San Martin on Thursday. The 47-year-old American, seeking his first victory on the US circuit since 2002, raced to the turn in a sizzling six-under-par 29 before completing a seven-under 64 at CordeValle Golf Club. Japan’s Ryuji Imada and Americans Bo van Pelt and Paul Goydos also made the most of ideal conditions for low scoring at the PGA Tour’s Fall Series event, opening with matching 65s. Americans John Mallinger, Michael Letzig, Will MacKenzie and Shaun Micheel were a further stroke back after carding 66s. Mediate, who was relieved to find form with his putter after struggling for much of this year, kick-started his round by

holing out at the third with a six-iron from 190 yards. “It carried six, seven steps short of the flag and rolled just barely in,” he told reporters after charging to the top of the leaderboard late in the day. “It was cool.” An overall total of 27 putts gave Mediate much more reason to smile after a dismal display on the greens in recent months. “I have been striking it really well for a long time, and I have just gotten murdered on the greens,” he said. “And then it bleeds into everything else. Right stuff “And all of a sudden, after hitting a couple of hundred (practice) putts a day on the chalk line, it’s changing. I’m putting the time in on the right stuff. “Better late than never,” added Mediate, who won the most recent of

his five PGA Tour titles at the 2002 Greater Greensboro Classic. Imada, who has been hampered by a rib injury for much of this year, was delighted with his flawless sixbirdie round. The Japanese professional lies 110th in the PGA Tour money list and needs to stay in the top 125 at the end of this season to safeguard his playing privileges for next year. “I’m not very comfortable,” Imada said of his position in the money list. “The number is going to be a little bit higher than what I’m at right now, I’m assuming. “So really I’ve got to have a good week here, and hopefully I can have a really enjoyable week next week in Vegas.” Former world number one David Duval and South African Tim Clark opened with matching 68s while US Ryder Cup player Rickie Fowler returned a 69. —Reuters

Dartnall dazzles at Midea China Classic SHUNDE: Australian Stephen Dartnall shot a two-under-par 69 to move seven-under and snatch the outright lead at the halfway stage of the million dollar Midea China Classic yesterday. China’s Wu Kangchun shot an early 69 to set the clubhouse lead at six-under and was joined by Mitchell Brown after the 25-year-old Australian shot a bogey-free 66 in the OneAsia event at the Royal Orchid International Golf Club at Shunde, near Guangzhou. American C J Gatto moved to five-under after a 70 and lies fourth with firstround co-leaders Andre Stolz and Brad Kennedy,

who each shot 72 over the 6,893-yard layout. Defending champion Liang Wenchong disappointed his fans by bogeying two of the last three holes to return a 71 and stay three-under, sharing 10th place. Dartnall was level with Wu and Brown at six-under before he birdied the par-five 18th to take top spot. “It was good to finish with a birdie, but it’s not such a big deal to be leading. It’s only halfway, so it doesn’t mean too much,” Dartnall said. “I’ve scrambled well. Any time you miss the fairway here, even just by a bit, it can be a battle as the rough is very

thick. However, it will be great to play in the final flight today.”Wu, who opened with a 67, led the Chinese charge for the second day despite starting with a bogey at the 10th and recording another at 14. After bouncing back with birdies at 16 and 18, he bogeyed hole one before rallying again with birdies at two, six and eight, where he holed a 25-foot downhill putt. “My second nine was good today and I felt luckier. I’ve been good at playing out of the rough, as I know the grass well because I’m from Guangdong,” said Wu, who lives in nearby Zhuhai.

Wu is in good form after finishing eighth in July’s Indonesia Open and winning the China Unicom Pro Am in Beijing in August. “My putting has been good since I used a new putter at the Indonesia Open. I’ve been more confident since then and won in Beijing, so I’ve already reached my money target for the year,” said Wu, who won the 2007 Sofitel Championship in Nanjing in his rookie pro season.”It has given me more confidence in my game and more incentive to train harder and harder, so I feel confident I can compete with international players.” —AFP

I’m the man to lead Australia: Ponting SYDNEY: Ricky Ponting says he is still the man to lead Australia in next month’s Ashes series with England amid calls for his sacking and questions over his tactics. Ponting arrived home late Thursday from a 2-0 Test series loss to India to be greeted by calls from former Test paceman Geoff Lawson for him to step aside as skipper. Ponting was also publicly criticized by former Test teammate Shane Warne for his field settings during spinner Nathan Hauritz’s bowling during this week’s second Test loss to India in Bangalore. Pressure has mounted on Ponting’s leadership ahead of the five-Test home series against England after Australia lost three consecutive Tests for the first time in more than 20 years. Asked by reporters if he was the right man to captain Australia this summer, Ponting declared: “Absolutely, I’ve got no doubt about that at all.” “It was disappointing over there (India)... but that’s the game of cricket. “I’m still learning about my own game and my captaincy and if the other players can learn a bit from that trip then it should hold us in good stead for the summer.” Ponting said he always gave his absolute best when he played for his country. “I’m trying to do my best as captain to help some of these guys through some difficult times,” he said. “That’s all I can continue to do.”I give my absolute best as always, ever since I’ve been the Australian captain, to be the best leader I can be and be the best player I can be and if

I get criticized for that along the way then I can’t do anything about that.” Lawson has called for deputy Michael Clarke to lead Australia against England at the Gabba in Brisbane from November 25. Lawson said Ponting, 35, had now lost five series as skipper, and relieving him of the captaincy would allow him to focus more on his batting.”I mean he’s now lost five series, it may be time to say, ‘Look mate, we’ve got Michael Clarke ready to go with a nice fresh young mind,” Lawson told yesterday’s Daily Telegraph. “‘He (Clarke) can be the captain and you focus on your batting and try to restore yourself to the level we know you’re capable.’” But Clarke has his own problems and scored just 35 runs from four innings in the Indian Test series. Ponting said he had told Warne directly of his feelings about his controversial remarks on Twitter. It was Hauritz, in fact, Ponting emphasized to reporters, who set his own fields. “I sent (Warne) a few texts and I’m not hiding the fact I was really disappointed with the tweets that I read,” Ponting said. “I’ve just got to put it behind me now. I told him that I was a bit disappointed, and I thought what he had to say was very unfair, for the fact it was pretty ill-informed comments that he made. “I’ve never been one to run away or be too big or too good for criticism.”Ponting said Hauritz had also been in immediate telephone contact with Warne. —AFP

CRICKET

BANGALORE: Australian captain Ricky Ponting attends the prize giving ceremony after the second cricket Test between India and Australia at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, in this photo. —AFP


SPORTS

22

Saturday, October 16, 2010

World champ Lorenzo on a roll in Australia Rossi poses threat despite injury PHILLIP ISLAND: The pressure is off Jorge Lorenzo heading into the final three races of the MotoGP season after his euphoric title-clinching win last weekend. The newly-crowned Spanish world champion is looking to add the Australian Grand Prix to his seven MotoGP wins in his dominant season with Yamaha and is gearing up for the unique challenges of the Phillip Island circuit. Lorenzo, 23, is an unassailable 85 points ahead of Spanish Repsol Honda rival Dani Pedrosa, who has missed the last two rounds with a fractured collarbone but is due to return for the race.

MOTORCYCLING

PHILLIP ISLAND: Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo of Spain powers his Yamaha through a corner during the first practice session of the Australian Grand Prix motorcycling MotoGP race yesterday. —AFP

Top-price tickets for London Olympics will be 2012 pounds LONDON: Tickets for the 2012 London Olympics will range from a low of 20 pounds ($32) for standard events to a high of 2012 pounds ($3,220) for the toppriced seats at the opening ceremony. Organizers announced the full range of ticket prices yesterday for all 26 sports on the Olympic program that contains 649 sessions. An extra 800,000 tickets were made available, taking the total to 8.8 million. The cheapest ticket for the opening ceremony on July 27, 2012, will be 20.12 pounds ($32.20), while the most expensive seat for the men’s 100meter final - considered the marquee sports event at the games - will be 725 pounds ($1,160). Ticket prices begin from 20 pounds ($32) and there will be seats at those cut-price levels for every sport. Twothirds of the tickets are priced at 50 pounds ($80) or less and 90 percent at 100 pounds ($160) or less. Each ticket includes a free travel card worth 7.50 pounds ($12). Tickets will go on sale in March. So far, 1.7 million people in Britain and the European Union have registered their interest. If an event is oversubscribed, they will be entered into a lottery. “For probably two-thirds of the sessions, you’ll get the tickets you ask for,” London organizing committee chief executive Paul Deighton said. Seventy-five percent of the tickets will be available to the public, with the

other 25 percent reserved for major sponsors, broadcasters and Olympic committees and federations. “I am confident we will have packed stadiums and venues with the range of tickets on offer meaning that people of all ages and budgets will have the chance to attend London 2012,” Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said. Deighton said prices had been ratcheted up for the highdemand events to allow for more cheaper tickets at the other end. “Most people will say to me, ‘You could have sold opening ceremony tickets for more than that, couldn’t you?”‘ Deighton told The Associated Press. “It’s one session out of 649, a once-in-alifetime ticket. “And of course being able to sell the high-end ones is what helps us have a third of the tickets at 20 pounds or less. You can’t have it both ways. We’ve had to figure out how to make it accessible at the lower end.” Organizers are trying to raise about 440 million ($704 million) from ticket sales, a quarter of their operating budget. “We have three clear principles for our ticketing strategy - tickets need to be affordable and accessible to as many people as possible, tickets are an important revenue stream for us to fund the games and our ticketing plans have the clear aim of filling our venues to the rafters,” organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe said. Deighton said orga-

nizers will be working hard to ensure there are no empty seats, which was the case at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and to a larger extent at the recent Commonwealth Games in Delhi. London 2012 will have shorter competition sessions as well as a ticket re-use system, similar to that used at the Wimbledon tennis championships. “We will be working closely with sponsors,” Deighton said. “They understand (the problem) and we will work to identify with them tickets they do not use so we can get a system for them to swap them among themselves. “The end result would be for them to have the tickets they want.” Organizers also unveiled two special promotions yesterday, aimed at giving more school children a chance to attend the games. A tax will be levied on prestige hospitality packages, allowing 100,000 tickets to be donated to schools in Britain. Organizers will also implement a “payyour-age” program, where tickets for people aged 16 or under will be the same price as their age. This will apply to about 200 non-premium sessions. Deighton said it took organizers two years to finalize their ticketing strategy. “There was a lot of reiteration, a lot of comparisons and it was a hard juggling act to logistically deal with these prices,” he said. “Ultimately it was a judgment call.” —AP

LONDON: British athletes swimmer Mark Foster (center left) and javelin thrower and heptathlete Tessa Sanderson (center right) pose with schoolchildren during a photo opportunity following a news conference at a school yesterday. —AP

There is a three-way tussle for third in the championship with just two points between seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi, Australian Casey Stoner and Italian Andrea Dovizioso. “I am very proud of my team, but it is not really ‘game over’ because we have to continue, we still have three more races,” Lorenzo said ahead of tomorrow’s Australian race. “We have to focus in the same way as we have until now, fighting for the podium and without the pressure of the championship we hope to get some good results.” Lorenzo, along with the others, will be confronted by a typical wet and blustery race environment at Phillip Island, nestling on the exposed southern extremities of Bass Strait and presenting a whiteknuckle ride for the bikers. “I like Phillip Island, it’s one of my favorite tracks and maybe the fastest on the calendar,” Lorenzo said. “It’s always amazing to ride here, so close to the sea, but the weather is very different, always very cold.”Rossi is a Phillip Island specialist, unbeaten for five years from 2001 to 2005, and with 11 podiums in all classes, including a second place last year. Injury has dimmed Rossi’s ambitions of drawing level with Giacomo Agostini’s eight premier-class world championships this season and has restricted him to just two race wins, but he is always a threat around the Phillip Island track. “Winning in Malaysia last weekend was wonderful, my 46th for Yamaha and I think one of the best victories of my career,” said Rossi, who will switch teams to Ducati next year. “Now I really want to try to finish the season strongly and I’m excited about Phillip Island, which is one of the most fantastic places in the world to ride a motorcycle. “I haven’t won here for a few years and I would really like to change that.” Stoner relishes a return to his home track where he won the last three times with Ducati and the 2007 world champion has led the Australian MotoGP for every lap bar one in the last three years. Stoner, who will turn 25 today, is leaving to join the Honda factory squad in 2011. He came off his Ducati on the opening lap of last weekend’s Malaysian MotoGP after successive victories at Aragon and Motegi and he is determined to make a big effort for his home fans tomorrow. “I blew third place open last weekend at Sepang and I didn’t do a race I was expecting, but we’ve had plenty of success here over the last three years and it’s definitely good to be back here,” Stoner said. “Looking at the last three races of this season we should be able to get on the pace here a little bit quicker and my bike seems to be set up well for every situation that this track has got.” Repsol Honda rider Dovizioso has consecutive second-place finishes in the past two rounds and is putting pressure on Rossi and Stoner for third spot into the final rounds. —AFP

GLASGOW: Spanish forward David Villa (left) shoots at the goal despite the tackle of Scottish defender Stephen McManus during their Euro 2012 qualifying football match at Hampden Park. —AFP

Focus on Villa as Barca tackle leaders Valencia Spanish League Preview MADRID: Champions Barcelona welcome unbeaten leaders Valencia to Camp Nou today in what will be a special match for David Villa who faces his old club for the first time since jumping ship in the summer. Barcelona sit fourth three points behind pacesetters Valencia and need to rediscover the winning formula at home having picked up just four points from nine scoring a meagre two goals in front of their home fans. Valencia have won five and drawn one of their opening six matches and the daunting trip to Camp Nou provides them with the chance to prove they are genuine title contenders. All eyes will be on man of the moment Villa who spent five glorious years at Valencia, scoring over a century of league goals, before joining Barcelona for 40 million euros in the summer. Villa, 28, equalled Raul Gonzalez’s national record of 44 goals, scoring in Spain’s 3-2 Euro 2012 qualifying win in Scotland on Tuesday and now hopes to shoot down his old employer. “Valencia are the best team at the moment because of where they are in the table and the way they are playing,” said Villa. “It will be a very special game for me against a team where I felt really comfortable for five seasons and it brings back a lot of good memories.” Valencia were a distant third last season - finishing 28 points behind champions Barcelona - but have begun well despite the sales

of Villa and David Silva in the summer. “We are not going to pop the champagne cork prematurely,” said Valencia coach Unai Emery. “We have had a good start but now we have some tough games to overcome.” Barcelona are however set to be without key playmaker Xavi who missed Spain’s Euro qualifiers due to his troublesome Achilles tendon. Real, two points behind Valencia in third, have yet to be defeated under coach Jose Mourinho and travel to Malaga today. Mourinho’s side crushed Deportivo La Coruna 6-1 in their last league match to record their biggest win under the Portuguese coach. It was the first time Mourinho’s Real have really clicked and he emphasised the importance of the team working as a whole rather than relying on individual star quality. “In a great team you can’t have eleven great players,” said Mourinho. “If you have eleven great players you don’t win anything.” Defender Sergio Ramos is poised to miss the Malaga trip after injuring his right knee in Spain’s 3-2 win over Scotland so the versatile Alvaro Arbeloa is expected to cover at right back. Mid-table Malaga have lost all three of their home matches this season but Real have been far from convincing on the road with a solitary win from their three outings. —AFP

Lazio buoyed by lofty perch Italian League Preview ROME: Serie A leaders Lazio have been in buoyant mood in the last two weeks after their unexpectedly bright start to the league season. The Rome side are two points clear at the top having won four, drawn one and lost one in their opening six games of the campaign. It has been a remarkable turnaround for a cash-strapped club forced to sell its best players, with fullback Aleksandar Kolarov joining Manchester City and striker Goran Pandev leaving for Inter Milan earlier this year. Their flying start has left club president Claudio Lotito extolling the virtures of coach Edy Reja. “He’s a wonderful person with incredible inner strength,

but most of all he’s a great leader in the changing room,” he said. Lotito’s gratitude may be partly explained by the president’s unpopularity among the club’s fans, who regularly protested against him and the team last year, with some even invading the training complex and forcing players to train indoors on one occasion. There is now new-found optimism within the camp, not least after midfielder Stefano Mauri’s recent Italy recall, and the 30year-old believes the good times are on their way back. “We’ve done well in these six matches; even in the defeat in Genoa (a 2-0 loss to Sampdoria on the season’s

opening day) we played well,” he said. “But we’ve not done much so far, there’s only been six matches, we’ll see where we are halfway through the season. “It’s a strange league, which often happens after the World Cup. But soon the big teams will come back to the top. “I’m saying only that we can go far if we continue to make sacrifices and work hard, as we’ve been doing so far. “We knew what the problems were and we’ve resolved them.”Lazio travel to mid-table Bari in tomorrow’s late game in a match that is anything other than straightforward, given that the southerners are unbeaten at home. —AFP

Beattie eyes Rangers starting role Scottish League Preview GLASGOW: James Beattie is hoping to put his injury nightmare behind him and force his way into the Rangers team to face Motherwell in their Scottish Premier League clash at Ibrox today. The striker became Rangers’ first signing in two years when he arrived from Stoke City in the summer. Despite not having played more than 10 minutes of a competitive match since early January after being frozen out at Stoke, Beattie started the Ibrox side’s first four games of the season. But a thigh injury has ruled him out of the last six games and the former England international has had to watch from the sidelines as another new player, Nikica Jelavic, formed a lethal partnership up front with Kenny Miller. However, with Jelavic sidelined for three months due to an ankle injury, Beattie aims to take advantage of his return to fitness and cement a place in Walter Smith’s team. “I wouldn’t say it has been frustrating for me since I came here because my first four games went

all right,” Beattie said. “I hadn’t played a competitive since December but the team was winning and I was happy to start my first match. “From that point, I’ve not been injured for that long but I’ve missed six games because of the schedule we’ve had. “Jelavic came in and did really well and then got injured against Hearts, which is very unfortunate for him, although personally it’s a chance to get back in again. “Hopefully I’ll be available for the match at the weekend as I’m looking to establish myself.” If Beattie fails to prove his fitness Kyle Lafferty is likely to partner Miller up front. Miller has had a prolific start to the season, netting ten times, and the striker hopes his run continues against a Motherwell side who currently sit in third place. “As a striker you always want more,” the Scotland international said. “It’s been a good start to the season for me in terms of goal-scoring and I hope that can continue.” —AFP

Esperance, JSK hope for away goal salvation LAGOS: The away goals scored by Tunisia’s Esperance and JS Kabylie of Algeria could prove decisive in this weekend’s CAF Champions League semi-final return leg matches. Esperance lost 2-1 at Al Ahly of Egypt and JSK lost 3-1 to defending champions TP Mazembe of DR Congo in Lubumbashi a fortnight ago. However, as a result of their goal away from home, Esperance now only need to win 1-0 tomorrow to reach the Champions League final, 16 years after they last did so. Two-time champions JSK, on the other hand, have to win by two clear goals at the November 1 Stadium in Tizi-Ouzou tonight to qualify for the final at the expense of Mazembe. Last year,

Mazembe clinched their third African crown on account of the goal they netted away in Owerri against Nigeria’s Heartland after aggregate scores stood at 2-2. JSK were on course for a useful 1-1 draw in Lubumbashi before two late goals gave the hosts a 3-1 victory, to the relief of the sold-out crowd at the Stade de la Kenya. “It will be very difficult in Algeria, particularly after we conceded a goal at home, but we are ready to fight to reach the final,” said Mazembe skipper Pamphile Mihayo. The Algerians boast a 100 percent record at home in this year’s competition and trounced the DR Congo champions 5-0 in front of their fans in a 2000 CAF Cup match. —AFP


SPORTS

Saturday, October 16, 2010

23

US withdraw 2018 W Cup bid

LONDON: England’s Wayne Rooney (left) vies for the ball against Montenegro’s Miodrag Dzudovic (right) during the Euro 2012 Group G qualifying football match at Wembley Stadium. — AFP

English League Preview

Troubled Rooney captures spotlight against Albion MANCHESTER: All eyes will be on Wayne Rooney in the wake of another controversial week as Manchester United face West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford today. After a disappointing World Cup, the start to Rooney’s season has been dogged by poor form as well as lurid allegations about his private life. He was left out of last month’s 3-3 draw at his former club Everton in the aftermath of reports that he paid prostitutes for sex while his wife was pregnant with their first child. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson then rested Rooney for a Champions League win in Valencia and a goalless draw at Sunderland because he felt the England international was struggling with an injury. But Rooney apparently disagrees with that diagnosis and he this week claimed he hasn’t had any injury problems this season, sparking speculation about possible faultlines in his relationship with Ferguson. Rooney, who has scored just once in the Premier League this season, has also been linked with a move to Real Madrid and there will be focus on any exchanges between Ferguson and his star striker on today to

determine the extent of their rift. It is sure to overshadow a game that is hugely important to United, who have a chance to move to within two points of Chelsea ahead of the leaders’ this evening clash at Aston Villa. Having lost the title for the first time since 2006, midfielder Michael Carrick has revealed United’s desperation to bring the championship back to Old Trafford. The England midfielder won the league in each of his first three campaigns and believes United are hugely motivated after last season’s disappointment. Carrick said: “To win the league in my first season, to win it in my first three years, I was spoilt. “Last year, it was so disappointing not to win four in a row when we had a good chance. “That would have been something that maybe would never have been topped. It was a blow. “But maybe that’s why noone’s done it, because it is so hard to do. We were devastated that we hadn’t managed to do it.” Ferguson could involve Owen Hargreaves for the first time this season after two years of knee problems. Hargreaves made a brief appearance as a substitute at Sunderland at

the end of last season but it is reported the England defensive midfielder sees this as his last attempt at a comeback. Ferguson may also recall Ryan Giggs after a hamstring problem but Antonio Valencia is sidelined with a long-term ankle injury. West Brom head to Old Trafford full of confidence and with a 3-2 victory at Arsenal having given manager Roberto Di Matteo more grounds for optimism. West Brom look considerably more solid than in their last Premier League campaign and have lost just two of their seven matches to date. Di Matteo said: “Our win at Arsenal probably gives the players a bit more belief and confidence in their own ability. “But the attitude has always been very good, very positive and very committed from the players’ point of view. “We’re going to United with a positive mindset like we have in all the games. We know it’s a difficult place to go. “United have lost a few points away from home but they have been really unfortunate because they’ve conceded really late goals.”If it wasn’t for that, they would probably be on the same points or just behind Chelsea.” — AFP

MIAMI: The United States have withdrawn their bid to host the 2018 World Cup to focus on 2022 and ensure the 2018 tournament will be held in Europe. The US bid committee said they would now concentrate entirely on their bid to stage the 2022 tournament, which will be decided at the same time as the 2018 host. “For some time we have been in conversations with FIFA and UEFA about the possibility of focusing only on the 2022 bidding process, an option we have made reference to many times,” said Sunil Gulati, chairman of the USA Bid Committee and president of US Soccer. “We are confident this is in the best interests of the USA Bid.” The decision immediately paved the way for a clearing up of double-bids for the two tournaments - with 2018 now guaranteed to go to Europe and 2022 to either the US or Asia. A number of countries had bid for both but the US decision was sure to trigger a series of European nations withdrawing from the 2022 race because they are no longer eligible. “We have had an open and constructive dialogue with the USA Bid for some time now, after it became apparent that there was a growing movement to stage the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Europe,” said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, in the US statement. “The announcement of today by the USA Bid to focus solely on the 2022 FIFA World Cup is therefore a welcome gesture which is much appreciated by FIFA,” he added. The decision on where the two World Cups will be held will be made in December. There are now just four candidates, Belgium/Netherlands, England, Russia and Spain/Portugal, bidding for the 2018 World Cup. Under FIFA rules, the World Cup cannot be held on the same continent on successive occasions so the 2022 World Cup must be held in either the US, Australia, Japan, South Korea or Qatar. The votes for both tournaments will take place in Switzerland in December. “We wanted to make the announcement now - still 48 days before the final decision - in order to make our intentions clear during the last part of our campaign,” Gulati said. “This also enables FIFA to finalize the selection procedures during its upcoming scheduled Executive Committee meeting.” —Reuters

German League Preview

Mainz desire magic, Bayern eye triumph BERLIN: Surprise Bundesliga leaders Mainz return from the international break looking to renew the magic that brought them a record season start, while sputtering champions Bayern Munich are desperate for a victory. After nearly two weeks out of the spotlight, Mainz continue their campaign with a home match today against Hamburg and Thomas Tuchel’s side have lost none of their confidence from before the break. “If we can keep up our fitness level and continue to play our aggressive Mainz style, then anything is possible. Then maybe nobody can beat us,” said Mainz’s midfield maestro Lewis Holtby. Nobody has taken a point off Mainz this season and after seven straight wins they enjoy a three-point lead over Borussia Dortmund, who take a six-game winning streak into a Friday night battle at 16th-placed Cologne. An eighth consecutive Mainz victory would break the Bundesliga record for the best start to a season, eclipsing the seven straight wins by Bayern Munich in 1995-96 and Kaiserslautern in 200102. “The last thing we want to do is lean back and relax,” said Tuchel, whose team beat second division side MSV Duisburg 3-1 last Friday in a friendly to stay in rhythm. Much of Bayern’s squad, meanwhile, spent the break on national team duty, trying to clear their minds after recording just one win in

their last six Bundesliga matches to leave the perennial favorites lagging in 12th place. A 13-point deficit behind Mainz has Bayern players and management alike demanding answers to their early problems, which mainly stem from the fact they have scored just five goals all season-the tamest attack in the league. “We all have to ask ourselves if we are really concentrated in the decisive moments. We have to be more alert,” said Bayern keeper Hans-Joerg Butt ahead of the match against third-placed Hanover. “Now is the time to turn this thing around, otherwise we will have some real problems.” To compound Bayern’s attacking concerns, against Hanover the 2010 Champions League runners-up will be without striker Ivica Olic, who broke his nose while playing for Croatia, and Miroslav Klose, who scored three goals in Germany’s two Euro 2012 qualifiers but suffered a muscle injury against Kazakhstan. “We have our backs against the wall. Every slipup minimizes our chances for the title,” said Bayern manager Christian Nerlinger. “We are damned to victories.” In the weekend’s other top match-up, bottom club Stuttgart head to second-bottom Schalke for their first match since Swiss coach Christian Gross was sacked in response to the club’s poor start to the season. — AFP

US committee focus on 2022

ZURICH: This file photo shows Sunil Gulati, President of the US Soccer Federation and Bid Chairman (left) Carlos Bocanegra, captain of the US men’s national team (center) and FIFA President Joseph S Blatter, (right) during the handover of the USA bid to host the FIFA soccer World Cup 2018/2022. — AP

Former Man City manager Allison dies LONDON: Former Manchester City manager Malcolm Allison, a colourful character with a penchant for cigars and a trademark Fedora hat, has died at the age of 83, the Premier League club said yesterday. ‘Big Mal’, one of the first celebrity managers in English football, joined City in 1965 to work alongside Joe Mercer. Together they won the English league title, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup in a golden three-year spell for the Blues. He also had a notable period in charge of Crystal Palace, steering the south Londoners-then in the third division-to the semi-final of the FA Cup in 1975-76. “Malcolm changed football by making us train like athletes, in that respect he

Australia to play Egypt, UAE SYDNEY: Australia will play Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in football friendlies ahead of next January’s Asian Cup in Qatar, Football Federation Australia said yesterday. The Socceroos will play Egypt for only the second time in its history in Cairo on Nov 17 and the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 5 in the first senior match between the teams. Coah Holger Osnieck said “the Egyptians are very skilful and have plenty of pace and with the support of a large partisan home crowd, the match will be a very good challenge ahead of us.” — AP

was ahead of his time and he was a great tactician as well,” former City winger Mike Summerbee said on the club website (www.mcfc.co.uk). “He was also one of the lads-in effect he was the 12th player from the sidelines but he knew how to crack the whip and we respected him.” Allison was a defender at Charlton Athletic and West Ham United in a playing career cut short by tuberculosis and the removal of a lung in 1958. His managerial career included spells overseas at Galatasaray in Turkey and with Sporting Lisbon, with whom he won the league title and domestic cup in 1981-82. City said they had put their flags at half mast and would pay tribute to Allison at their next home game against Arsenal on Oct 24. — Reuters

Todayʼs matches on TV (local timings) English Premier League

Spanish League

Manchester v West Brom ......14:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5

Barcelona v Valencia ............. 18:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport +3 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD

Bolton v Stoke .........................14:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 7 Fulham v Tottenham ............ 14:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 6

Malaga v Real Madrid ............ 20:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport +3 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD

Wolverhampton v West Ham . 14:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 8

French League

New castle v Wigan - 14:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 4

Auxerre v Girondins ............... 17:00 Aljazeera Sport +4

Arsenal v Birmingham - 14:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3

Olympique v AS Nancy ....... 17:00 Aljazeera Sport +9

Aston Villa v Chelsea - 16:30 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3

Toulouse v Paris Saint ............ 19:00 Aljazeera Sport +4

Italian Calcio League

Dutch League

AC Milan v Chievo - 16:00 Aljazeera Sport +1

Ajax Amsterdam v NAC ........ 16:45 Aljazeera Sport +6

AS Roma v Genoa - 18:45 Aljazeera Sport +1

Feyenoord v Tw ente ............. 18:45 Aljazeera Sport +6

French League Preview

Time for Racing Lens to dig deep in Ligue 1

AUGSBURG: File picture shows Bayern Munich’s Croatian striker Ivica Olic. — AFP

PARIS: Ligue 1 strugglers Racing Lens, a team who retain the gritty work ethic of their working class origins, face a stern test when leaders Stade Rennes, top for the first time in 40 years, visit tomorrow. Lens, formed by coal miners 105 years ago, won their first and only national French title in 1998 but now find themselves needing to roll up their sleeves and battle for top flight survival after a disappointing opening to the season. Second-placed St Etienne travel to Nice tomorrow, with the league’s top striker Dimitri Payet in fine form, having set up two goals in France’s 2-0 wins over Romania and Luxembourg in their Euro 2012 qualifiers. Unbeaten third-placed Lille, meanwhile, travel to improving Olympique Lyon tomorrow. Ambitious Rennes provide just the kind of challenge which the 19th-placed Lens from Northern France will relish-and just the kind of match the leaders will need to win if they are to build on a start reaping 18 points from eight games. Fans of Lens, second from bottom with five points, are not taking their disappointing start lightly, especially having won hard fought promotion back to Ligue 1 only last year. Earlier this week, president Gervais Martel, a colorful character with a strong northern accent with a slight stammer, met fans from all over the country to talk through the problems. “Whether you want it or not, the solution will come from the players we have right now because there will be no recruitment,” he told them. “We have to stick together, it’s part of our values.” In 1924, Lens became Les Sang et Or (blood and gold), an nickname inspired by their red and yellow shirts. They come from the coal mines, the red for the blood of the miners and the gold for the coal which was valuable at that time. “Our position in the standings worries me, but what

worries me more is the behavior,” Martel, a local entrepreneur who took charge in 1988, told a press conference. In a 3-0 defeat to Sochaux, Yohan Demont and Nenad Kovacevic had a violent quarrel on the pitch. “They were punished,” Martel said without elaborating. “But they are good guys.” Both players are expected to be on the turf against Rennes. “We were always able to weather storms, even if it was painful,” said Martel. “We will go though it together. We cannot write the word ‘solidarity’ off the RC Lens’s dictionary.” Attacking touch Rennes should be able to rely on striker Victor Hugo Montano, who is expected to have fully recovered from a thigh injury. Third-placed Lille, who drew five and won three in the league this season, have, however, been struggling to rediscover their attacking touch. Lyon, French champions from 2002-08, bounced back from back-to-back defeats when they prevailed at Nancy in the previous round of matches and will rely on Yoann Gourcuff’s form to continue their recovery. “Matches against Lyon are always tense and full of suspense,” Lille midfielder Florent Balmont, who played for Lyon in the 2002/03 season, told his club’s website (www.losc.fr). “We have to be careful. I know them well, Lyon will want to bounce back.” Lyon, who got off to a miserable start to the season, lie 17th in the standings, 10 points behind Rennes, the only other unbeaten club in the league. Today, champions Olympique Marseille will host Nancy, who are unbeaten away from home. “We are entering an important period as we are going to play every three days for a month,” Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze told the club’s website (www.om.net). — AFP


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Liverpool sold to Red Sox owners LONDON: Liverpool’s drawn-out sale to the owners of the Boston Red Sox was completed yesterday after a bitter trans-Atlantic court fight over English football’s most successful club with the previous American owners. The 300 million pound ($476 million) deal with New England Sports Ventures ends the turbulent three-year ownership by Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr., which saw the Premier League giants saddled with crippling debts and falling into relegation danger this season. “We are committed first and foremost to winning,” said John Henry, the financier who heads NESV. “We have a history of winning, and today we want LFC supporters to know that this approach is what we intend to bring to this great club.” The sale finally went through after Hicks and Gillett withdrew the temporary restraining order blocking the sale they had obtained in a Texas court. Later, they also dropped their claim for $1.6 billion in damages. “As every Liverpool fan knows, the most nerve-racking way to win a match is by a penalty shootout,” said club chairman Martin Broughton,

referring to Liverpool’s fifth European Cup triumph against AC Milan in 2005. The deal came on the day set as the deadline for repayment of the club’s debts to the Royal Bank of Scotland and Wells Fargo, which had risen to around 285 million pounds including penalty fees. Henry insisted that NESV’s deal wasn’t a leveraged buyout. The 200 million-pound acquisition debt has been eliminated and the cost of servicing the club’s debt has slumped from between 25 and 30 million pounds a year to between 2 and 3 million pounds. “The most important thing is that NESV have cleared us of all the debts which, frankly, shouldn’t have been on the club in the first place,” managing director Christian Purslow said. “All that huge amount of money that our fans spend supporting our team, coming to games and all the other activities is now available for what it should be available for, to invest.” Amid the takeover turmoil, Liverpool is mired in the relegation zone after its worst start to a league season since 1953. Henry said it was too early to decide on specific plans, but noted the Red Sox are the second-highest spending club in baseball. Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson expects to have cash to spend in the January transfer window to strengthen the struggling team. “In future we can invest in players in a different way to what has happened in the last transfer window,” Hodgson said. “Then money was in short supply and we weren’t even certain there would be any money to spend or even if the club would be there. The mere fact the debts are wiped off immediately puts us into a different financial position.” Liverpool went to the High Court in London twice this week to win approval for the sale over the objections of Hicks and Gillett, who claimed NSV’s winning bid undervalued the 18time English champions. “It’s been pretty stressful but we’ve been confident all the way through that we’d get there,” said Broughton, who will stay at Liverpool in a transitional role. Henry reached out to Liverpool fans in a bid to break with the deeply unpopular Hicks and Gillett, but was short on promises after the previous owners failed to deliver the new stadium they pledged to build. “We’re not going to have a lot to say,” he said. “We are going to do a lot of listening. We have a lot to learn. Our actions will hopefully speak for words.” Henry indicated he won’t attend tomorrow’s away match against city rival Everton at Goodison Park - with his first match set to be the home clash with Blackburn on Oct 24. “I think it’s better for our first experience with the supporters to be at home,” he said. “We are here to win.” NESV was represented in the deal by Inner Circle Sports, a New York-based financial company. Hicks and Gillett claimed the takeover was “illegal” and an “extraordinary swindle,” adding that Royal Bank of Scotland refused to allow them to repay Liverpool’s debts to prevent the sale. “This was a conspiracy of the British Establishment - Royal Bank of Scotland - our chairman (Broughton) and our highly compensated employees,” Hicks told The Associated Press. RBS was partly nationalized in 2008, with the British government taking an 84 percent stake after it was brought to the brink of collapse by the global economic crisis. “This outcome not only devalues the club but it also will result in long-term uncertainty for the fans, players and everyone who loves this sport because all legal recourses will be pursued,” said Steve Stodghill, one of the Texas attorneys representing Hicks and Gillett. “Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett pledged to pay the debt to RBS so that the Club could avoid administration that was threatened by RBS. That offer was rejected. “It is a tragic development that others will claim as a victory. This means it won’t be resolved the way it should be resolved. My clients worked tirelessly to resolve these issues but RBS would not listen to any reasonable solution and the directors acted selfishly and illegally.” Hicks and Gillett said earlier that, even though they were withdrawing the restraining order, they would pursue a claim for $1.6 billion in damages. However, later in the day their attorney said they were dropping the claim to comply with an English court order. But they suggested the fight isn’t over, saying, “We believe that once the English court finally has a chance to hear all the facts a very different picture will be painted.” RBS said that any further claims against the bank will be “vigorously opposed.” — AP

Co-owners threaten legal battle for massive damages

LIVERPOOL: A youth walks past Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield yesterday. (Inset) John Henry (left) the financier who heads New England Sports Ventures, owners of the Boston Red Sox, and Liverpool’s soccer club chairman Martin Broughton shake hands at a lawyer’s office yesterday after sealing the deal. — AP

New Delhi Games end; let the dissection begin NEW DELHI: The games that very nearly didn’t begin have finished with the kind of flourish that was entirely expected in India. There were so many reasons the New Delhi Commonwealth Games were under threat: construction delays meant most venues weren’t ready for test events, causing concern about how they’d function and shock for some of the first delegates in the athletes’ village when they found excrement in rooms only days before the first athletes were due. Some countries considered withdrawing; some high-profile athletes did. Everyone from the prime minister to Delhi’s chief minister suddenly got involved to urge a last-minute blitz to get things done. Apparently it’s customary in Indian weddings, which can be large in scale and long in duration, for frenzied preparations to continue right up until a spectacular event. Local organizing committee chair man Suresh Kalmadi used the wedding analogy

to tr y and appease critics who doubted New Delhi could deliver on time, although it didn’t diminish the negative attention that tarnished the buildup to the Oct 3 opening. But on Thursday night, with another colorful extravaganza to close the games 11 days af ter a spectacular pageant to open them, Indian organizers and Indian people were celebrating a successful conclusion. The games also had inevitable doping. The Commonwealth Games Federation said yesterday a third Nigerian runner failed a doping test - Folashade Abugan was stripped of silver medals in the women’s 400 meters and the 4x400-meter relay after testing positive for a steroid. Osayomi Oludamola earlier had her gold medal in the 100 meters taken away af ter testing positive to a banned stimulant. Nigerian hurdler Samuel Okon, who did not win a medal, also tested positive, and Indian race walker Rani Yadav tested positive for the

banned steroid nandrolone after finishing sixth in the 20-kilometer event. India finished second on the medal standings behind Australia, overhauling England for No. 2 spot on the final day of competition and winning more medals than ever. The ceremonies drew high praise. There were no terror attacks during games time. None of the venues collapsed. The monsoon didn’t linger and dengue fever didn’t plague the village. “Delhi has delivered,” said Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell, who only two weeks earlier had been critical of the late preparations. “The competitions went well, and it was a comfortable, satisfactory experience. “The venues were all of very high standards. I have the highest praise for the security and while it has been too stringent at times, it is better to err on the side of caution.” About 100,000 police and military personnel secured the Indian capital, and security precautions were intense and sometimes stifling. The

Commonwealth Games Federation has been criticized for letting local organizers fall way behind in their preparations. The locals came under scrutiny amid allegations of corruption and mismanagement. The collapse of a pedestrian bridge at the main stadium, injuring 27 workers, and the shooting of two Taiwanese tourists at a popular Delhi site in the weeks before the games highlighted potential off-field problems. Empty stadiums at the start of competition exposed what seemed to be a lack of local interest. Fennell said there’d be a complete evaluation of the games with a view to improvements before the 2014 games in Glasgow, Scotland. “Aspects of the games, of course, we will have to evaluate carefully,” he said. “We would need to ensure that we have perhaps in place more safeguards in terms of technology and some of the other areas.” He noted that the adverse publicity before the games, which gave rise to increased

scrutiny of every little glitch during the event, had an impact on New Delhi 2010. “A number of athletes were turned off by the negative reports coming out of Delhi,” he said. “It started off with a security problem, and then it went on to other things, the preparedness, etc, and some people pulled out. We’ve got to ensure that we can project the product in a more positive way prior to the games.” For the massive cost of staging the games, estimated at somewhere between $3 billion and $10 billion depending on which of the much-needed major infrastructure projects are included, India was rewarded with 38 gold medals and 101 overall. Characteristically India waited until the last moment to reach its pre-games target of being No. 2 in the standings, reaching that mark with two medals in badminton on Thursday. England finished with 37 gold medals, failing to pick up any on the last day, and 142 overall. —AP

Djokovic, Federer storm into Shanghai semi-final Murray hammers Tsonga

SHANGHAI: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France bites the ball after losing a point to Andy Murray of Great Britain during their men’s singles quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament yesterday. — AP

SHANGHAI: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer set up their third major semi-final clash in two months yesterday as the pair each concluded straight-set wins at the Shanghai Masters. Second seed Djokovic, who lost to the world number three Swiss in Toronto in August while beating him at the US Open, earned a ninth straight match win in China as the twotime Beijing champion advanced over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-3. “I felt great on the court today,” said the US Open finalist, who claimed his second Beijing title only days ago. “Generally it was a great match for me. “I keep on doing the good job here. I just need to focus on my game. If I play as well as I did (over) these days, I think I have a good chance.” Spaniard Garcia-Lopez made his name this autumn by beating Rafael Nadal in Bangkok a fortnight ago. Federer was at his ruthless best as he dismantled the big game of Robin Soderling 6-1, 6-1 in just 53 minutes to take his head-to-head record against the Swede to 14-1, his only loss coming in last spring’s Roland Garros quarter-finals. It was Federer’s most devastating defeat of Soderling, finalist at the last two French Opens. “I know he didn’t have some of his best days,” said the winner. “But it was important to take advantage of it. “You would figure a top five player like Robin finds a way at some stage during the match to crawl back into the match, but he wasn’t able to do that. I’ll take a score like this any day.” Federer says he is looking

forward to taking on Djokovic again. “Tomorrow is going to be a bit more tactical. Novak and I always had good matches against each other, especially on the hard courts. “He’s hardly dropped any games in his singles and obviously he won Beijing.” At the top of the draw, fourth seed Andy Murray faces a surprise opponent in Juan Monaco after the Argentine beat Jurgen Melzer 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 62 a day after the Austrian put out world number one Nadal. Murray turned in another efficient performance dispatching Frenchman JoWilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-2. Murray’s game looked bleak a week ago in Beijing when he lost in the quarter-finals and remained without a place in next month’s eight-man World Tour Finals in London. But that immediate problem was solved with Murray’s third-round win on Thursday against another French opponent in Jeremy Chardy, who proved to be just a warm-up for the damage inflicted on Tsonga. “It was nice today, good conditions, there was no wind,” said Murray, playing under the open stadium roof after four days of rain. “The sun had gone as well. Normally, those are the two things that make playing outdoors a little bit trickier. “I got used to the conditions pretty quickly. It was a little bit different when the roof’s closed, but it didn’t really affect me today.” Murray blasted through in 54 minutes without facing a break point and getting past the Tsonga serve on four occasions. — AFP

SHANGHAI: Roger Federer of Switzerland eyes the ball before smashing a return against Andreas Seppi of Italy during their third round match at the Shanghai Masters ATP tennis tournament. — AFP

Real, Barca bar W Cup stars from ceremony MADRID: The coaches of Real Madrid and Barcelona said yesterday they had barred their Spanish internationals from attending a ceremony at which they were to collect a special prize awarded to the World Cup winners. Jose Mourinho and Josep Guardiola, both wellknown for imposing discipline on their players, took the decisions as the ceremony comes on the eve of league matches. “It’s non-negotiable,” Real’s Mourinho told a news conference. “They cannot attend” the ceremony, even though “I know the award is very important,” Barca’s Guardiola told a separate news conference in Barcelona. Spain’s 23-man World Cupwinning squad was last month awarded the country’s prestigious Prince of Asturias prize for sport. The players are to formally receive the award at a ceremony in Oviedo, in the northern Spanish region of Asturias on October 23. Five Real players are among those honored: Spain captain Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa, Raul Albiol and Xabi Alonso, and eight from Barca: Victor Valdes, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Sergi Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa. But the day after the ceremony Real hosts Racing Santander and Barcelona travels to Zaragoza in league matches. Eight Prince of Asturias awards are granted each year in categories including arts, literature, communications, sports and scientific research. Named after Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe, they are presented each October in Oviedo in a ceremony broadcast live in Spanish television. The Prince of Asturias prize for sport was awarded last year to Russian pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva. —AFP


16 Oct