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NO: 14911

Shopping malls crowded as Eid Al-Adha nears

Israel eyes new freeze as settlers race to build

British couple freed after 388-day ordeal




150 FILS

Sunderland overpower Chelsea 3-0 PAGE 20

Maid forced to ‘swallow’ nails

Radical cleric Bakri nabbed

COLOMBO: Sri L anka is probing allegations that one of its nationals employed in Jordan was forced to swallow nails, in the third case involving alleged torture in three months, an official said yesterday. Continued on Page 14

BEIRUT: A radical Muslim cleric was arrested yesterday at his home in northern Lebanon two days after a military court sentenced him in absentia to life in prison in a terrorism trial, authorities said. Continued on Page 14

From gas pollution to noise pollution Ahmadi going from bad to worse By Wendy Clayton and Hussain Al-Qatari

MINA: Thousands of tents housing Muslim pilgrims are crowded together in Mina near Makkah, Saudi Arabia yesterday. — AP

Pilgrims pour into Mina as Haj begins Qaeda denies terror plot MINA: The world’s largest annual pilgrimage, the Haj, began yesterday with hundreds of thousands of Muslims pouring into the camp of Mina from Makkah to prepare for the solemn rituals. This year’s attendance is estimated at up to 2.5 million, posing a major headache for the Saudi authorities. After sunset, pilgrims were still flooding into the vast plain of Mina, a small village about five kilometers east of Makkah, using all possible means to begin their Haj journey. Many pilgrims took the buses, but others had set off on foot overnight for the village that comes to life for just five days

a year. Authorities say permits have been granted to 1.7 million foreign pilgrims, with a further 200,000 issued to pilgrims from within Saudi Arabia and from neighboring Gulf states. An interior ministry official said definite numbers will not be announced until tomorrow, the first day of Eid Al-Adha or the Feast of the Sacrifice. This year has seen a crackdown on pilgrims without the requisite papers as the authorities try to prevent numbers from getting out of hand. A driver caught transporting unauthorized pilgrims faces a fine of 10,000 riyals ($2,667) for each one. Vehicles with a capacity of fewer

than 25 passengers have been banned to streamline the flow of buses. But the “No permit, no Haj” rule appeared to be widely flouted yesterday as unauthorized pilgrims converged on Mina from across Saudi Arabia. “We came from Riyadh,” said a Palestinian after being dropped off with two companions at a junction leading to Mina and Arafat, as others arrived in pick-ups, taxis and small buses. “We skirted the checkpoints by getting out of the car and walking across,” he said without revealing his name, pointing out that Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: The strident noise of machines filled Block 1 of Ahmadi yesterday as excavation equipment was brought in to disperse the gas that has been leaking underneath and into residential homes, causing several explosions over the past few months. The excavation equipment was placed at intervals along the street taking up space designated for residents’ parking. Moussa Abdulkareem, a retired civil servant, said that the noise from the equipment throughout the previous night had been horrendous, disturbing his family’s sleep. “The solution doesn’t fix anything; our lives are in danger and cleaning up this mess needs real effort,” he told the Kuwait Times. Moussa added that approximately five to six months ago, another horrendous accident took place when a small girl switching on the bathroom light in her family’s home triggered a massive explosion, igniting the gas that had built up in the house. The child “is now receiving medical treatment in France,” said Moussa. He and other residents in the area are clearly angry at officials, concerned about the safety of their families and worried about what could happen next. Officials at the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) Services Group, who are responsible for the Ahmadi residential area’s maintenance have placed flyers on house doors warning people not to park their cars on manhole covers due to a gas buildup underground. Continued on Page 3

KUWAIT: KOC workers excavating contaminated soil, which will be replaced with gravel and special ventilation pipes.

‘Operation Moses’ 8,000 Ethiopian Jews to move to Israel JERUSALEM: The Israeli cabinet yesterday voted to bring to the country some 8,000 Ethiopians who claim Jewish descent, saying they are living in conditions of disease and hunger. “There are about 8,000 women, men and children living in the most severe humanitarian conditions,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet session. “We have a moral commitment as Jews, as the People of Israel, to find a solution.” Israel began bringing Ethiopia’s Jewish community to Israel in 1984 under the Law of Return, which guarantees citizenship to all Jews. That operation was largely completed by 1991. Yesterday’s decision refers to another

group, known as the Falash Mura, who are not considered to be Jewish and therefore are not eligible under the law. They are the descendants of Ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity, many of them under duress, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of them have relatives among the Ethiopian Jewish community living in Israel. While awaiting permission to resettle in Israel many of them moved into a squalid compound in the northern Ethiopian city of Gondar, where Jewish groups provide them with some social services. Critics fear that tens of thousands of Ethiopians could claim connection to Continued on Page 14

Climate change rocks the Arab world Act now to avert disasters, scientists warn

BAGHDAD: Kuwait Energy Chief Engineer Ebrahem Abdullah (left) shakes hand with AbdulMehdi Al-Amidi, deputy director general of contracts for Iraq yesterday. — AP

Kuwaiti company inks Iraq gas deal BAGHDAD: Iraq yesterday initialed draf t agreements with Kuwaiti, Turkish and Korean energy firms to develop two of three gas fields auctioned last month, an oil ministry spokesman said. The deals were with a consortium

made up of Kuwait Energy, Turkey’s TPAO and Korean Gas Corporation for the Mansuriyah field in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. A draft agreement with Kuwait Energy and Continued on Page 14

BEIRUT: Dust storms scour Iraq. Freak floods wreak havoc in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Rising sea levels erode Egypt’s coast. Hotter, drier weather worsens water scarcity in the Middle East, already the world’s most water-short region. The Arab world is already suffering impacts consistent with climate change predictions. Although scientists are wary of linking specific events to global warming, they are urging Arab governments to act now to protect against potential disasters. There are huge variations in per capita greenhouse gas emissions across the region with very high rates for several oil and gas producers. Qatar recorded the world’s highest per capita emissions with 56.2 tons of carbon dioxide in 2006, while Egyptians emitted just 2.25 tons each, UN figures show. While the region as a whole has contributed relatively little to historic greenhouse gas emissions, it is among the most vulnerable to climate change, and emissions are surging. Inaction is not an option, said Mohamed ElAshry, former head of the Global Environment Facility, a fund that assists developing countries on climate and other environmental issues.

“It’s human nature to wait until there is a crisis to act,” he said. “But you hate to wait until there is really a huge crisis where large numbers of people suffer needlessly.” Measures to tackle the region’s environmental woes would also help offset future impacts of global warming. “Addressing water issues, say, would have the dual benefit of responding to climate change issues, but also addressing the problems that result from population growth, poor management and very weak institutions related to water,” Ashry said. The Arab world’s population has tripled to 360 million since 1970 and will rise to nearly 600 million by 2050, according to a UN Development Program (UNDP) research paper this year. “For a region that is already vulnerable to many non-climate stresses, climate change and its potential physical and socio-economic impacts are likely to exacerbate this vulnerability, leading to large-scale instability,” it says, adding the poor and vulnerable will suffer most. Water scarcity, the biggest challenge, is already dire. By 2015, Arabs will have to survive on less than 500 cubic meters of water a year

each, a level defined as severe scarcity, against a world average exceeding 6,000 cubic meters per head. That warning came in a report last week by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), which said the region’s water supply had shrunk to a quarter of its 1960 level. Climate change will aggravate the crisis in a region where temperatures may rise 2 degrees Celsius in the next 15 to 20 years and more than 4C by the end of the century, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Its figures, cited by the UNDP paper, show the Arab world has undergone an uneven rise in surface air temperature ranging from 0.2C to 2C between 1974 and 2004. Water scarcity and rising sea levels are a reality, but public consciousness in the Arab world lags behind. “People are still not aware of those impacts,” said AFED’s Secretary-general Najib Saab. “When you talk of climate change, they think the impact will be on the moon or other countries.” He cited satellite imagery from Boston University’s Center for Remote Sensing showing a one-meter sea-level rise

would affect 42,000 square km of Arab land — an area four times the size of Lebanon — and 3.2 percent of the Arab population, compared with 1.28 percent worldwide. “Our study showed that during this century the Fertile Crescent (stretching through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories) will lose all signs of fertility if the situation continues as it is.” Arab leaders do take water shortages seriously-if only out of concern for their political survivalbut all too often leave climate change matters to their environment ministries. “The environment ministries are often the weakest in these countries,” said Habib Habr, the UN Environment Program’s regional director. “The policies are there, but often what we see is a lack of implementation or enforcement of the law.” In a conflict-prone region largely ruled by unaccountable governments and selfserving elites, political distractions push climate change and other social issues down the priority list, although Tunisia, Jordan and Oman are more active than most. While conditions vary across the Arab world, declining water Continued on Page 14



Monday, November 15, 2010

Shopping malls crowded as Eid Al-Adha gets closer Big demand for food, clothes and toys By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: Two days ahead of Eid Al-Adha, shopping malls are crowded, with people buying goods, either holiday items needed for their trips abroad or goodies for their holiday in Kuwait. Foodstuffs, desserts, groceries, clothes, chocolates, games, and other treats for their families, spouses and children are among the popular items flying off the shelves for Eid. Newlywed couples are interested in buying gifts to each other while families are interested in foodstuffs and letting the kids choose toys to enjoy the long-anticipated holiday, with shops everywhere crowded with customers. In the Avenues shopping Mall, the most popular items seem to be the clothes and home accessories, with many visiting gift shops to get gifts for their loved ones. Nauf, who was busily rushing around the various clothes shops, told the Kuwait Times, "I only buy clothes from the Avenues, I am planning to get gifts from the popular shops where prices are cheaper." She said that clothes prices have risen steeply, adding that she needs to buy her family members gifts for Eid Al-Adha and will spend all her savings to get them gifts from the Avenues, although this will not be enough for everybody. "I'd better get them gifts from the Souk," she added. Mohammad took his kids to the Mubarakiya Souk to get them toys. "Kids' toys are way cheaper here than other shops in the malls," he said. Mohammad, a father of four, told the Kuwait Times that it is extremely expensive to get his children the toys they want at Eid from the toy shops in the Avenues and Marina malls, especially since it has been only two months since Eid Al-Fitr ended and they already received nice toys then. Rania was buying all the necessary ingredients for making the festive foods and sweets eaten during Eid. "We will have visitors over for lunch at Eid, so I went to the Co-op and got the stuff needed to cook at a discount," she explained. She added that she is making sweets at home this year since that's cheaper than buying them from the patisserie. Many people have already left the country to spend the holidays abroad, but spending the vacation in Kuwait brings a special rhythm of rituals and social obligations that obviously are not affordable for all families. Shopping for Eid varies from one mall to another since the financial situation of each family differs due to the number of children and the financial obligations; this is in addition to a still turbulent employment market, which has not recovered fully from the effects of the recent global economic crisis on Kuwait. The crisis caused many dismissals, with even staff with good jobs and salaries forced to accept lower positions and wages as a result of the downturn. All these factors help to form consumers' buying patterns and purchasing ability.

KUWAIT: People enjoy shopping in Kuwaiti malls. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KUWAIT: As the Eid Al-Adha holiday begins, Kuwait International Airport (KIA) is operating at full capacity, with work continuing around the clock to facilitate the transition of thousands of holidaymakers leaving to spend the nine-day vacation abroad. The holiday officially began yesterday and ends on Saturday. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

94,000 travelers depart from Kuwait in two days KUWAIT: With many pilgrims heading to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and residents leaving the country to spend Eid vacations abroad, the Kuwait International Airport was packed with passengers and families who were present to see them off. Airport staff, including those from the Operations, Civil Aviation, Customs, Ministry of Interior and the traffic police regulated the flow of travelers both outside and inside the airport’s premises. Commenting on the situation, Essam Al-Zamel, Kuwait Airport Operations Manager said that he had supervised

the work of various airport departments that were in charge of managing the season to coordinate efforts, reported Al-Watan. Al-Zamel added that arrangements had been made with the help of various Hajj convoy representatives, KAC and Saudi Airways to finish departure procedures 72 hours before actual departure and luggage weighing was completed at least 24 hours before departure. He also noted that staff members were increased at various shifts, in addition to setting aside four extra counters for pilgrims. In addition, Al-Zamel said

that 61 extra flights flew to Saudi Arabia, in addition to the daily regular KAC, Saudi Airlines, Aljazeera and AlWataniya Airlines. He also noted that according to records, over the past two days 94,452 passengers left Kuwait Airport on board 916 flights. Pilgrim Marzouq AlMuttairi said that all procedures were conducted normally at the airport despite the crowd. Pilgrim Khaled AlRubai’an said that procedures were carried out diligently at the airport. Also, the level of services have improved on yearly, he added.

Interpol issues alert for missing fraudster KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti branch of Interpol has issued an alert to its counterparts worldwide to be on the lookout for Kuwaiti fugitive Hamid Khaja, a former Ministry of Communications (MoC) Undersecretary, who is believed to have fled Kuwait after being sentenced to three years' imprisonment over a KD 1.4 million fraud case. Attorney Yahya Al-Sane'a appealed to Interpol on behalf of his clients, the victims from whom Khaja fraudulently obtained the money in the form of a loan. Al-Sane'a also successfully requested that Khaja's assets in Kuwait be seized in lieu of repayment of the loan.

in my view

Rain, prayer and the preacher By Fouad Al-Obaid s I searched online for visual entertainment, I could not but help my recent curiosity to find and then watch local televangelists who have drastically increased in numbers and styles. One could remark that the televangelist’s local scene has propelled some preachers to 'star status.' The 'religious Sheikhs' came up weekly with new schemes to convince people to accept ideas and concepts that even children - in developed nations at least - would come to see as pure bogus! Without digressing too much from the topic I intend to share with you dear readers today the show that I watched one out of many - brought a mixture of ideas and concepts to the forefront of contemporary theological debate. Some


of the issues touched upon truly are amazing - I did find them quiet interesting. One particular channel that aired the show this Ramadan really did get to the nerves of this given 'star preacher' who incidentally he had featured his show on! It was an interesting decision on behalf of a channel trying to appeal to all segments of society. The preacher did find the show appalling to the point of showcasing some of its excerpts as quasi 'tricks' of the devil to deviate the society from the righteous path! In touching upon the subject for this editorial, which I was completely inspired from watching the 'wise' preachers preach -I hope readers would understand and accept that I am not simply bashing men of the cloth, rather I am pinpointing the exaggerations and flaws in their discourse which when taken in a bundle fail us as a modern nation, one that upholds noble religious values. In the show, the preacher attempted to correlate the act of worship and proportion it to the level of

rainfall. Bluntly, he stated that we are not 'receiving' rain because we are no longer a pious nation. He then goes and discusses how in his childhood we were blessed with rain that today, is nowhere to be found! As absurd any educated person would find such a concept; he adds insult to injury to the educated masses by stating that rain is a blessing from God - without doubt - that has special virtues for it opens the doors of blessings! Though the preacher mentions the current global climate change - only lightly - he 'tells' his viewers not to question his authority and bans them from asking him a touchy question: Why is it that Europe, a continent that not only is non-Muslim at a majority, but blatantly according to him engages in all sort of sin, yet are blessed with rain? Regardless of the fact that such a concept points out the flaws of his very own rain theory, I would love to ask this preacher, and should his theory be correct, why is it that we Muslims are not experts in controlling the weather?

That is especially in light of one of particular statement on the show that, it only takes one pious person to pray sincerely for rain to appear! Moving on to the next segment which is truly as hilarious as the first, a female caller encourages more ignorance by giving her educated logical reasoning as to why we are no longer blessed with rain. She says, "it is due to women who spend a lot on things, such as KD 500 bags, which prevents rain falls!" I don't really know what is most shocking, the preacher who states such incoherent facts or the caller. I am most certain that millions in our part of the world still believe in superstition and magic as real causes of calamity! With regard to the later, I respect people's belief and opinion on matters. However, I can simply not understand how as a nation we are to develop when the State lets such buffoons tarnish our image at an international level.


Monday, November 15, 2010

From gas pollution to noise pollution

kuwait digest

Continued from Page 1

Sulfurous emissions By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah or nearly a decade, the government has talked about their intentions to solve the country’s air pollution problems caused by the emissions of power generating and water desalination plants that contain high concentrations of sulfur. The residents of areas such as Doha, Sulabikhat, Jahra, Nadhda and Granata have suffered for years for being so close to one of the country’s largest power plants in Doha.


Sulfur in its gaseous state can be a very toxic substance and can cause severe lung damage if inhaled. It can also cause cancer. Sulfur can be found in total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and fossil fuels that contains high percentages of carbon from which oil and natural gas is extracted. Power plants in Kuwait have always used hydrocarbon fuel that contains sulfur. This sulfur eventually gets emitted into the atmosphere as it is being processed. The situation has continued despite the government’s several promises to use

in the news NBK Eid holidays KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), leading bank in Kuwait and the highest rated bank in the Middle East, announced that NBK branches will be closed during Eid holidays from Monday (today) until the end of the Eid holiday. NBK Domestic Branches Manager - Consumer Banking Group, Khalid Falah Al Ali stressed that NBK has taken all necessary measures to ensure that customers are provided with the best telephone, online and ATM services during the Eid holidays, and cover the widest range of customers as well as the most frequented areas in Kuwait. Customers may call 1801801 or visit for any further information.

Unsuitable Haj accommodation KUWAIT: A local Haj tour operator received a warning from the Kuwaiti Haj delegation after it failed to provide pilgrims with suitable accommodation facilities. Pilgrims who had registered their names with the Abdullatif AlShaijy agency, found themselves being escorted to a building still under construction, and it lacked water and electricity connection, reported Al-Rai. After receiving complaints from pilgrims, the Kuwaiti Haj delegation instructed the agency to make alternative staying arrangements, even if it meant accommodating them at hotels. However, pilgrims told reporters that the agency officials continue to ignore their demands, while also failing to provide them with transportation services.

Marriage age limit KUWAIT:




under 21 will henceforth no longer be able to register marriage certificates issued outside the country. This follows a recommendation from a Ministry of Justice committee created to find ways to limit the number of marriages between Kuwaiti men and non-Kuwaiti women. The committee found that a large number of young Kuwaiti men were choosing to marry nonKuwaiti women in other countries, with this phenomenon blamed for a steep increase in the numbers of single Kuwaiti women in recent years. The committee’s final report, which is to be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration, will also reportedly include recommendations to increase the state grant presented to Kuwaiti couples married in Kuwait.

Foreign tourism spending soars KUWAIT: The summer holiday season saw Kuwaitis and expatriate residents of Kuwait spend a record amount outside the country on their credit cards, indicating that the travel industry has certainly recovered from the slump last year during the same period. According to the third quarter statistics just issued by the finance ministry, KD 116.1 million was spent abroad on credit cards held by Kuwait residents, both nationals and expatriates, during the months of July, August and September, 2010, a five percent increase on last year. Meanwhile, the total state revenue collected during the first six months of 2010 reached around KD 9.9 billion, according to the ministry’s monthly statistical report, exceeding the revenues raised during the same period of 2009 by 21.1 percent.

clean, sulfur-free fuel. According to statistics, emissions from the Doha power plant contain percentages of sulfur that exceeds the maximum international safety limits. This also applies to other power plants in the country. This issue needs to be addressed in order to protect the public from health risks, even if the government has to rebuild its power plants so that they are able to run cleaner fuel. Hopefully the unfulfilled promises to protect our environment from pollution will finally be enforced. —Al-Rai

To reduce the pressure, the covers have been repositioned to allow ventilation. One KOC worker at the scene explained that they were removing the contaminated soil and replacing it with gravel to improve aeration. After the gravel is introduced, perforated piping will be laid underground with separate, vertical pipes sticking out of the soil to help free the subsoil gas. This will all then be covered with fresh, unpolluted soil. The aim of all these measures is to enable the gas to escape safely from the soil into the piping and via the vertical pipes. Although the Ministry of Interior has set up a temporary emergency station for Block 1’s residents, the residents themselves are questioning the effectiveness of having the police there rather than a fire brigade team. Frustrated at the government’s negligence towards the issue, one resident, Abu Jaber, complained, “The officials’ solution is not effective. What will they do if this happens again? Will they dig up our streets all over again? We have been breathing this gas for so long now and it is putting our lives at risk.” Residents of Ahmadi are now also at risk of potential long-term damage to their health. While methane gas (CH4) on its own is non-toxic, when mixed at a concentration of more than five percent with another gas in the air it becomes extremely flammable and can cause explosions such as last week’s one in Ahmadi. Homeowners and residents who are unaware of the dangers of methane gas poisoning are at great risk if the gas leaks into their homes and builds up due to the windows being closed to retain heat. With the colder weather approaching in Kuwait this is highly likely as residents keep their doors and windows shut to stay warm. “When an area is sealed off, the methane gas builds up. Because of the higher concentration of methane, it squeezes out the oxygen and then the air becomes non-breathable anymore,” explained a local doctor, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It can cause asphyxiation, depriving the body of oxygen. The person will then fall into unconsciousness and eventually stop breathing.” There are three methods by which humans can be exposed to methane gas: inhalation, ingestion, and touch. Ingestion and touch are less likely to cause long-term medical problems as methane gas evaporates quite fast and has trouble passing through the skin. Inhalation however, is another matter. “Classical symptoms of methane gas exposure are headaches, dizziness and blurred vision. In some cases of long-term exposure or exposure to large doses, nausea and vomiting may result,” the doctor warned. “Additional problems such as heart palpitations, cognitive problems, and lack of motor coordination can also be seen. People can even display flu-like symptoms. People experiencing any of these symptoms should seek medical attention.”

MPs demand minister’s resignation over ‘meat scandal’ KUWAIT: Although the Kuwaiti government continues to clamp down on the sale of rotten and potentially health-damaging foodstuffs at some local retailers, a number of MPs have insisted that it should be held fully responsible for the problem, with the parliamentarians insisting that the

steps taken to date are inadequate to protect consumers from serious health risks. The MPs’ condemnation came as Kuwait Municipality officials revealed that 14 retailers have been referred to the Public Prosecutor’s office on charges of smuggling products unfit for human consumption into the country,

and 18 refrigerated warehouses have been closed down after it was confirmed that rotten meat had been found in them. Despite this, however, MP Musallam Al-Barrak slammed the government for “failing to enforce effective monitoring that could prevent rotten

meat from reaching the market.” AlBarrak also held the government responsible for failing to introduce effective deterrent measures against retailers breaking the food safety regulations. “The government is solely responsible for any case of food poisoning discovered in the country as a

result of consuming the smuggled produce that is unfit for human consumption,” Al-Barrak insisted, further suggesting that the suppliers in question would have been unable to conduct their illegal transactions if the government had introduced effective penalties for such practices.



Monday, November 15, 2010

KUWAIT: The new vegetable market in Sulaibiya area. Both vendors and customers are not happy with the municipality’s decision to shift the market to Sulaibiya area. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

Customers, vendors unhappy with vegetable market relocation Distance main problem By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Kuwait Municipality has decided to move the vegetable market in Shuwaikh, to the Sulaibiya area. So far the decision has not been welcomed by either the market’s vendors or its customers.There are several rea“Here everything is in one place; fish, meat, rice and other commodities. Also the bad roads are an obstacle. Only 4x4s can drive there and sedans will definitely be damaged. Considering most of my customers use sedans most of them won’t come.” There are also some security concerns. “Sulaibiya is known for its criminality, so we can’t just have cash in our pockets,” added Al-Mamoun. “Many female customers will be too afraid to enter this area because they know it’s not safe. I asked more than 500 of my customers and they all said they will not go to the new vegetable market in Sulaibiya.” All the women who were asked if they would go to Sulaibiya for their veg-

etables refused. “In fact, most of the vegetable market’s customers are women who have to shop by themselves because they are alone and will refuse to go there,” pointed out Um Soud. “I won’t go there, I would rather buy from the co-op even if I have to pay more.” Older female customers have long expressed their disappointment with the news of shifting the market to Sulaibiya. “For me it will be impossible to get there,” said Um Jasem, a frequent customer to the vegetable market. “I think those who came up with this idea definitely live in Jahra.” Sultan is a Syrian customer who has bought his goods from the market in Shuwaikh for many years. He also

KUWAIT: An 18-year-old Kuwaiti man was killed when his car overturned on the Seventh Ring Road near AlDaher area after he lost control of the vehicle while driving at high speed. The man died instantly, being decapitated in the crash. In a separate incident, two Indian expatriates in their thirties suffered head and leg injuries in a crash on the Fifth Ring Road. Both were taken to Sabah Hospital. In another accident, a 29year-old Bangladeshi cyclist was taken to Adan Hospital after sustaining injuries to his

head, shoulders and feet when his bicycle was hit by a car. Meanwhile, a 50-year-old Somali man suffered fractures to his left leg in a smash on the Seventh Ring Road. He was taken to Adan Hospital. In a separate incident, a 17year-old Kuwaiti girl was taken to Mubarak Hospital after complaining of pain in her head, back and right leg following a crash on King Fahad Road.

expressed a refusal to go to the market in Sulaibiya as well. “If this market is shifted to Sulaibiya I will never go there. I don’t think there will be any services at the upcoming market. There isn’t even any public transportation there,” Sultan noted. The distance is a problem for the salesmen as well. “The market in Shuwaikh is close to where we live,” said Mohammed Olu, a salesman. “Here we live together and walk to work. Sulaibiya is very far and if I have to go there I will have to spend money on transportation. If this market closes I will have to go back home to Bangladesh.” There were also many complaints about the loading area in the new mar-

ket. “At the market in Shuwaikh there is enough space for lorries and transportation vehicles to load or ship goods that are coming from farms or other places,” said Muminallah, another salesman. “I visited the new place and noticed that there is not enough space for loading goods, this is huge problem.” Rent will be higher at the new market. “Here I pay KD 90 for my location but at the new place I will have to pay about KD 500,” said Ali, another salesman. “This will change the price of the goods I sell so that I can afford rent. Here, my customers already know my place because I have been here for 15 years. I will lose lots of my customers, especially in the beginning, until people get used to the place.”

Fish prices soar yet again

One dead, five injured in road accidents By Hanan Al-Saadoun

sons why people are not interested in visiting the new vegetable market in Sulaibiya, but one of the main reasons is its distance. “I went to the new place and it’s very far. I won’t go there and my customers won’t go there either,” Al-Mamoun, a salesman at the Shuwaikh vegetable market, told the Kuwait Times.

By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: The prices of fish, especially those varieties popular among Kuwaitis are slightly higher this week, merchants from the Mubarakiya Fish market confirmed yesterday. The Zubaidi, for example, was priced at KD 6 to KD 7 (per kilo) last week. Yesterday, similar variety (same class) was priced at KD 8 to KD 9. Hamour, another variety

that is a Kuwaiti favorite was reportedly sold at KD 2.5 last week. Yesterday, it was sold at KD 3 per kilogram. “We have a slight problem, I think in terms of supply. We have limited supply since the start of this week; so the prices are slightly higher when compared last week,” one vendor admitted. The prices of fish in September soared after Ramadan, a traditional reaction especially owing to excessive

consumption immediately after Eid. It had stabilized for a few weeks, but rose to again when some expatriate fishermen staged protests seeking better treatment and removing several rules/guidelines imposed by the Ministry on territorial waters. The matter was settled amicably although some fishermen were not content with the agreement reached. When asked whether fish supply

was affected by previous protests, a senior fish vendor at the Mubarakiya market responded, “No, I don’t think so. Supply will not be affected by the action of a few, and besides, we are talking about a protest which took place a month ago, so the shortage is never related (connected) to the protest,” he explained. Two popular fish markets in Kuwait City including Soukh Sharq and

Mubarakiya also sold fresh catch, popular among Asians, at slightly elevated prices. A fish price increase is unusual during Eid as people traditionally consume more red-meat than fish, “The price [of fish] usually goes down during Eid. This year however it’s just the opposite,” an Arab fish vendor told Kuwait Times. Some varieties of fish like Nagrur, Shaam, Maids, prawns were also slightly higher by 250 fils.

Fight club A 24-year-old Lebanese man suffered an open fracture to his left leg during a fight on Gulf Road. He was taken to the Amiri Hospital.

Plots to be distributed KUWAIT: In a move that will appease those seeking government housing units in the north and south, the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) has approved the distribution of plots in Al-Naayem city, located north west of the country. Officials believe that AlNaayem city can now be planned and designed. Studies have revealed that the area is now free from obstacles and a housing and services project can estab-

lished in it, reported Aljarida. They said that the area has a capacity of 10,000 housing units, and it is expected to receive tenders for its first projects beginning next year. Meanwhile, the authority approved 23 housing and services projects in various areas at a cost of KD 647 million. These include building and road maintenance and infrastructure of Saad Al-Abdallah residential project, Sabah AlAhmad city and north west Sulaibikhat, Al-Dhaher project and Fahad Al-Ahmad.

KIPCO Family Day 2010 sees largest ever crowd KUWAIT: the Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) held its Annual Group Family Day 2010 on Saturday at the Shaab Leisure Park. This year’s event attracted its biggest-ever crowd with over 6,000 people coming along to enjoy the fun fair rides, food and refreshment. The Family Day, taking place for the fifth consecutive year, is designed to give KIPCO group employees and their family members the opportunity to enjoy a day out in a fun and

relaxing atmosphere. Apart from the rides, children enjoyed a magic show and facepainting, as well as taking part in competitions. The highlight of the day was the prize draw, which this year saw the lucky winners each winning one of five family holidays. This year’s winners were Mackline D’Souza of Burgan Bank; Amro Ali of Gulfnet; Somaya Sabbagh of Burgan Bank; Sara El Zuhairi of AUK, and Nabil Fayed of UIC.

KUWAIT: People purchase fish in local markets yesterday. A fish price increase is unusual during Eid as people traditionally consume more red-meat than fish. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat


Monday, November 15, 2010


Filipinos in Kuwait celebrate boxing hero Pacman's victory WBC super welterweight crown By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Together with the entire Filipino nation, Filipinos in Kuwait yesterday celebrated yet another thumping victory of boxing hero Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao. He won WBC super welterweight crown, an unprecedented eighth world title, defeating Mexican Antonio Margarito, in a unanimous decision yesterday at the famous jam-packed Cowboys Stadium in Texas, USA.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior conducted a raid in Kabad where jakhours (animal farms) are situated. The campaign targeted laborers who violated residence permit regulations. Officials inspected workers' identification and arrested a number of violators. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Chinese masseuses in police net for offering illegal services KUWAIT: Hawally investigators arrested a number of masseuses for offering illegal services at their three apartments, reported Al-Anba. Police received a tip about the illegal activity of the Chinese women who would provide massages for young men and offer them illicit favors. An investigation into the case revealed that the women entered the country on visitors' visas and ran their illegal activities out of their apartments and advertized their services at various coffee shops. A warrant was issued for the apartments and nine suspects were arrested in the raid. When questioned, the suspects confessed that they paid KD 400 for their visas and added that their business was very profitable. They were referred to the deportation department and were blacklisted from entering the country. Meanwhile, the general department of migration was notified to launch an investigation of the company that hired and brought the women to the country. Weapons found Weapons and ammunition believed to be used by the Kuwaiti resistance during the Iraqi Invasion were found buried at a construction site, reported Al-Watan. Police accompanied by bomb squad experts reported to the location in Rai and discovered five rifles, four machineguns, eight hand grenades and about 1,000 bullets. The weapons were recovered and referred to the proper authorities. Heart attack A citizen in his forties died in his house in Mubarak AlKabeer after suffering a massive heart attack, reported AlWatan. Paramedics responded to the emergency but were unable to revive the victim. Dead fetus A cleaning worker called

police after finding a dead fetus in a garbage can in Mubarak Al-Kabeer, reported Al-Watan. Authorities responded to the scene and an investigation was launched to determine who was responsible for the abortion. Bootlegger held A drug dealer was arrested in Sabah Al-Salem after leading police on a car chase, reported Al-Watan. A police patrol spotted two cars parked suspiciously in the area and noticed one driver hand a plastic bag to the other. When police approached them the two immediately tried to escape, one on foot and the other in his car. Following a short pursuit, the suspicious driver was forced to stop and was found to be in possession of drugs and alcohol. An investigation revealed that the suspect was an employee with the Ministry of Interior. Unlucky thieves Pure coincidence allowed a man to get revenge on two people who stole and damaged his car, reported Al-Rai. The two vandals crossed his path while trying to escape from police in Doha. The two young men were spotted by police trying to steal fencing along the side of a public road. While attempting to evade police, the vandals reached a campsite and asked the camper inside to help them hide from the police. They didn't realize that the man they were asking for help had been previously victimized by their illegal activities. To their misfortune the camper recognized the two youths as those who stole his car and lit it on fire. He assured them that they could stay in his tent and later informed police about their whereabouts. The two youths were referred to the Kabad police station. Hot pursuit A drug addict was arrested following a brief car chase with authorities, reported Al-Rai.

During the chase the driver caused serious property damage and struck a child with his vehicle. Police pursued the car on Gulf Road after hearing a female passenger scream for help. During the pursuit the fleeing car damaged seven vehicles, two police cars and ran over a five-year-old child. Eventually the runaway driver was forced to pull over and was found to be in possession of, and under the influence of, hashish. The young woman, who was identified as a Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) citzen, was also found to be under the influence of drugs. She said that she called for help when her boyfriend refused to bring her back to where he picked her up in Rumaithiya. The two were referred to the proper authorities. Jahra brawl A person was stabbed during a fight over a camping location in Jahra, reported Al-Rai. The fight occurred when one young man set up a tent in an area that was allegedly previously reserved. The dispute turned violent when the youngsters' friends became involved in the dispute and resulted in a brawl between 20 men. Police responded to the scene and placed five brawlers under arrest while the rest were able to escape. One of the men was brought to the hospital after being stabbed in the head. Home robbery A citizen informed police that his house was robbed while he was out with his family, reported Al-Anba. The man reported that upon returning home from a camping trip he noticed that his bathroom window was broken. He said that when he searched his home he noticed that two safes containing jewelry, estimated to be worth KD 11,000, were missing. He reported the incident to the Oyoun police station and an investigation was launched.

Early morning yesterday, Filipinos flocked to the Philippine embassy in Jabriya to watch the match in the presence of the ambassador and other embassy officials, "This is another crowning glory not just for Manny Pacquiao but for Filipinos in general," said Philippine Ambassador Shulan Primavera. "Manny Pacquiao brought, yet again, honor to the country; his persistence and will to win is very unprecedented. Winning in eight different world titles would take some time or maybe long time again for anybody else to beat his record. Filipinos should be proud and congratulate each other," he added. Ambassador Primavera asserted that Filipinos and anybody else could excel in many battles through determination, practice and right skills, "We can defeat our greatest adversaries once we are focused just like what Manny Pacquiao did and demonstrated in this beautiful match," the ambassador commented. Filipino community leaders and Pinoy workers in Kuwait were all elated to hear about Pacquiao's victory, "I just heard it from my friend today, I have no chance to watch the match live on TV since I don't subscribe to the Pay-Per-View (TV), but really, I would like to buy the DVD and watch it myself. I am proud of Manny and he has made us proud once again," said a-32-year-old Filipino marketing assistant. "I even thought that it was the end of Manny's boxing career when he accepted the fight from an obviously bigger opponent, but he prevailed, Thank God," he uttered. Dr Chie Umandap, a dentist and diehard Pacquiao fan, was also pleased and satisfied with Manny's performance, " I

KUWAIT: Filipinos and Ambassador Primavera, seated center, react after declaration of Manny’s victory against Margarito. — Photos by Ben Garcia feel very proud of Manny Pacquiao once again. I first believed that the fight was risky for Manny and it was indeed a battle between the Giant and the Tiny (allusion to biblical David and Goliath), but the tiny has prevailed. It was an awesome fight and it was really amazing event to witness," he sighed. The fight took place at the famous Cowboys Stadium in Texas witnessed by about 41,000 people live in the boxing arena but believed to be viewed by millions of people all over the world through a Pay-Per-View channel. Pacquiao dominated Margarito from the outset to capture his eighth title in as many weight classes. He is also the first Asian to hold four or more major world titles. Pacquiao has looked unstoppable in his last five fights and has now won 13 straight fights, including eight by

knockout, since losing to Erik Morales in March 2005. Pacquiao earned close to 15 million dollars while Margarito

collected about six million. It was Margarito's first fight in the United States since serving a one-year suspension

kuwait digest

Frustration, a ticking time bomb By Sharida Al-Muosherji uwaitis are frustrated despite all the advantages they have. Housing is almost free, while medicine and school education are entirely free. The state undertakes to provide and maintain services and infrastructure, while electricity and water are virtually free. Kuwaitis' salaries, meanwhile, are the highest in the Gulf region, Kuwaiti students receive generous grants, unemployed Kuwaitis are paid excellent benefits until the government can find them a job they like, and even new parents receive extremely generous financial donations for their newborn babies. Maybe the greatest and most profoundly satisfying of the Kuwaiti people's advantages is the tremendous margin of freedom for them in their country, their ability to participate in running their country's affairs and to express their opinion on


every issue, major and minor, without fear or hesitation. Kuwait has no prisoners of conscience, nor does it have any sentinels watching over its people, other than the law, while its people can take any dispute to a court of law for arbitration. Despite all this, however, Kuwaitis are frustrated at everything and the level of frustration is increasing. In any diwaniya one enters, one immediately hears the frustration of guests there at state services in almost every field. The words corruption, wasta, negligence, laxity are heard in every second sentence and from almost every speaker. This frustration is not only with the government, however, but also extends to the National Assembly (parliament) and its members' behavior, their wildly fluctuating attitudes and false promises, as well as the preferential status they give their personal business over public interest and their interference in the executive authority's activities.

Kuwaitis are frustrated at everything from Co-ops and the country's sports authority to traffic and educational standards, at their servants and at being demeaned in foreign embassies when they go for a visa...the list of subjects is very, very long. This frustration is building steadily and although the government is aware of it, it does nothing to ameliorate it, which is where the danger lies. Kuwaiti frustration is a massive time bomb ready to explode and just waiting for someone to press the detonator switch. Frustrated people believe every rumor and see no need for supporting evidence; they are ready to follow every slogan and answer any call to express their frustration. The government should establish a specialist team to study this issue objectively and scientifically and issue a report listing recommendations to resolve the underlying problems before matters get out of hand. — Al-Jarida

KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) celebrates its 58th anniversary today. It was founded on Nov 15, 1952 as the first national shareholding bank in Kuwait and the Gulf region as per an Amiri decree. NBK began operations in a three-storied premises at Al-Sharea Al-Jadeed (The New Street) in downtown Kuwaiti City with very few tellers who conducted simple banking transactions.

after being caught with plaster-filled hand wraps in his gloves prior to a fight against Shane Mosley.

New bedoon authority to begin work after Eid KUWAIT: The central authority for resolving bedoon (stateless) residents' status will begin sorting and individually examining the files of all those in this group immediately after the Eid AlAdha holiday in order to categorize each case and introduce measures to resolve the issue that has been causing problems for the past five decades. A ministerial source told Al Jarida that the head of the new authority, Saleh Al-Fadhala, had last week begun holding meetings with leaders of the executive committee and the government team working in tandem with the new body in order to formulate the guidelines for the authority and enable it to move from theoretical recommendations to practical action in terms of devising ways of resolving the issue within the stipulated five-year period. The insider explained that the authority will work with the Central Statistics Office and the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) to determine the categorization of each bedoon resident and their status. This will begin with looking into the status of those bedoons who have no official documentation proving links with any country. Those included on the 1965 census and their descendants, along with the children of marriages between Bedoons and Kuwaiti citizens, will be included in a different category, while those who were not included on the census will be included in another grouping. The ministerial source said that the central authority will also look into the provision of humanitarian assistance and related services for bedoon residents, as well as examining issues such as health, education and the issuing of official documents such as birth and marriage certificates for bedoon people in its pursuit of a satisfactory resolution to this problem.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Kuwait, Guangdong to boost cooperation Sheikh Ahmad's visit 'a success' GUANGZHOU, China: Kuwaiti Minister of Oil and Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah and Guangdong's top leader yesterday called for strengthening cooperation between Kuwait and the southern Chinese province in a broad range of issues. At the outset of their talks in the provincial capital Guangzhou, Sheikh Ahmad congratulated Guangdong Party Secretary Wang Yang for Friday's successful opening ceremony of the 2010 Asian Games, in which the minister attended as a distinguished guest.

kuwait digest

The wronged parliamentarian By Mubarak Al-Duwailah s expected, a news report that accused MP Mohammad Hayef of releasing a suspect who has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor, was denied immediately . The minute I read the report, I could tell that it had malicious intent, not to mention the lack of journalistic professionalism. Despite the fact that the report was almost identical in every newspaper that published it, it was clear that it originated from a single source who deliberately wanted to tarnish the image of


the religious parliamentarian. I did not even find a need to call the respectable MP, knowing that he will soon make a statement to clarify what actually happened and reject allegations that completely contradict journalistic integrity. And soon enough, the MP did just that. He released a statement in which he explained that he was not pushing for the release of a suspect accused of murder attempt. He was not aware of other charges that the suspect faces, pertinent with sexual assault. In his statement, MP Hayef said that he went to the police sta-

tion where the suspect was being held, to inquire about information that he was being tortured. His family was not granted permission to visit him, in addition to investigating cases which indicated that the inmate was held for more than four days illegally. This incident proves that the media should follow a code of conduct, which protects people's rights and save their integrity and public image from defamation. At the same time, would protect personnel of the media and press against publishing in accurate news. — Al-Qabas

ISESCO calls for stronger ties between Muslim societies

KUWAIT: Members of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait Public Relations Department recently visited an autistic children's school, on the occasion of the Eid Al-Adha. During the visit, volunteers distributed gifts to children and watched children recreate a Hajj ritual scene. "This visit comes as part of the CBK's commitment towards participating in social and humanitarian activities, especially those concerning children," said Amani Al-Waraa, Head of the Advertisement and Public Relations Department. The school's principal Imad Al-Ataiqi as well as other staff members acknowledged the bank's humanitarian gesture.

MPs criticize participation of Kuwait in Asian Games KUWAIT: Several MPs have criticized Kuwait's participation in the Asian Games that began recently. They were irked at the fact that Kuwaiti athletes were not allowed to raise their country's flag during the Games' opening ceremony. The 2010 Asian Games started on Friday in Guangzhou, China with the participation of Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad AlAhmed Al-Sabah, President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), and Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Housing and Development Affairs. Due to the International Olympic Committee's decision to suspend the Kuwait Olympic Committee, Kuwaiti athletes that opted to participate in the event were only allowed to bear

the Olympic flag. However, this gesture was perceived as an insult to the country, mainly by those who blame the government's failure in enforcing sports regulations that the Parliament had passed previously. "What we have always warned against, has in fact happened," MP Saleh Al-Mullah said in reference to the situation of the opening ceremony. AlMullah further criticized "placing personal interests over the country's benefit," and that is with regard to the insistence on participation despite the IOC ban. Furthermore, the MP asked the Cabinet to perform its duties, "especially after submitting to the demands of those that worked against the enforcement of sports regulations."

MP Adel Al-Saraawi said, "No Kuwaiti would accept Kuwait being treated so scandalously." Meanwhile, MP Maasouma Al-Mubarak said that Kuwaiti athletes should not participate as the country's Olympic committee still faces a ban, adding that watching the athletes carry the Olympic flag instead of their own was shameful, reported Al-Qabas. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Kuwaiti committee with effect from 1 January 2010 due to alleged government interference. The Kuwaiti committee had further failed to meet an IOC deadline to amend government legislation that permits the Gulf state to interfere in elections conducted by sporting organizations.

RABAT: The Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, called for stronger solidarity-based relations between the components of the Muslim Ummah through prevention of conflicts and all sorts of discord that undermine the unity of the Ummah. In a message to the Muslim World on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, he emphasized the need to overcome the increasing tensions among Muslims in many parts of the world as a result of futile yet uncontainable conflicts, coupled with a strong foreign influence that only runs counter to the supreme interests of the Muslim World, through the waging of a spiral of factional and ethnic wars fueled by historical old legacies. In this connection, the Director General urged Muslims to transcend their often doctrinal yet futile discords if measured against the principles of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. In the same vein, he said that "Muslims constitute one Nation sharing one religion, one holy book, and one Qiblah. Unless they are not addressed properly, the challenges and threats they are facing could weaken the Ummah, spoil its potentials, and leave it in a permanent state of lethargy." By the same token, Dr Altwaijri urged the Muslim World to maintain the cohesion of its societies and unity of its countries, based on brotherly love, peace, cooperation towards virtue and righteousness, and supremacy of the Muslim Ummah's interests over transient ones. He also stressed the need to pay utmost attention to boosting economic cooperation, promoting inter-State trade, implementing the resolutions of the Islamic Summit conferences and the relevant meetings of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. This, he insisted, should be corroborated by enhanced joint Islamic action through the implementation of the resolutions of the specialized Islamic conferences pertaining to education, higher education, technology, innovation, culture, environment, childhood, tourism and Awqaf and Islamic affairs. — KUNA

Speaking after the meeting, Sheikh Ahmad said they shared the view that Kuwait and China will expand cooperation not only in the oil sector but also in other wide-ranging areas, such as investment, culture, education and sports. The minister briefed Wang on the talks with Chinese VicePremier Li Keqiang in Beijing, which covered enhanced bilateral cooperation in such issues as a joint refinery project, a plan to establish Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) Beijing Office, opening of Kuwait's oil and gas industry to China's downstream leader Sinopec, as well as the launch of fresh joint projects between Kuwait and Sinopec in third countries. He also told Wang that Kuwait and China will hold a cultural week in both countries next year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. The minister asked Wang to encourage Chinese companies to participate in the Kuwaiti government's KD 37 billion five-year development plan that runs through 2014 for oil and non oil projects. The meeting also touched on the planned joint refinery and petrochemical complex to be built on Donghai Island of Zhanjiang City in China's largest oil consuming province, which awaits Chinese government final nod. Wang pledged his province's full support to the project and construction approval involving the state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and Sinopec, according to the minister. "I stressed a commitment on the marketing site of the refinery project, which is opening gas stations in the province. And Mr. Wang pledged to stand by our commitment. This is a very significant step for our project," he said. "I also thanked him for three key approvals for the project, which we have already woncoast line, land and environment." While expressing his appreciation to Wang for his full support, Sheikh Ahmad urged him to further facilitate Chinese government final green-light for the joint project. "I conveyed him my wishes that National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) final approval will be granted by the end of year or early next year," he told KUNA. The NDRC is China's top economic planning agency. The Sino-Kuwaiti oil refinery and petrochemical project is expected to shore up

GUANGZHOU, China: Kuwaiti Minister of Oil and Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah presenting a memento to Guangdong's top leader yesterday. Guangdong's rapidly growing economy which expanded 11.6 percent in the first nine months of this year. With a population of some 100 million, the province's economy accounts for one eighth of China's economy and one third of the country's total trade, creating a huge consumption market for energy resources. The envisaged project is expected to bring an enormous stimulating effect on the economy of province's southwestern area and help Zhanjiang become a modern industrial city. Donghai is China's fifthlargest island with most of its 160,000 residents are farmers. Zhanjiang is equipped with the latest port with the deepest fairway that can accommodate large tankers carrying crude oil from the Middle East. The city also boasts of well-established network of railways, highways and pipelines, in addition to oil product transmission pipelines stretching to Guangzhou and Yunnan. The 300,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery, 1 million-ton-ayear ethylene and related utilities, as well as support facilities such as a crude jetty, product oil and chemical jetties, a bulk jetty and oil product pipelines to an initial station, will cost a total of CNY 59 billion (USD 9 billion), of which CNY 4.26 billion ($642 million) is to be allocated for environment protection measures. The refinery will be adopting state-of-the-art environmental technologies that will meet one of the world's highest

Health, Safety and Environment Standards. The mega project will also involve a downstream marketing network, including retail petrol stations in and around the province. Kuwait will exclusively supply the crude feedstock for the world-class integrated plant, which could be China's biggest joint venture in its kind. Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), KPC's international refining and market unit, has been representing Kuwait in lengthy negotiations with the Chinese side. KPCSinopec alliance already gained NDRC's preliminary approval for the project in May, which officially designated Donghai Island of Zhanjiang City as the site for the complex. Based on an initial deal in 2005, KPC and Sinopec originally planned to locate the facility in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, but due to concern over the environment impact on the densely populated area, the Guangdong provincial government proposed the relocation of the plant. During landmark visit to Beijing by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in May 2009, Kuwait and China agreed to move the project to less crowded area within the same province to catch up the schedule. In August 2009, the joint venture picked up Zhanjiang City, about 400 km southwest of Guangzhou, as the new site. KPC and Sinopec will each hold an equal 50 percent stake

in the joint venture, with KPC planning to give 20 percent of its share to their potential international partners. Once granted, the final approval from the NDRC will clear the way for KPC to achieve its China-bound crude oil export target of 500,000 bpd by 2015. Kuwait exported 207,000 bpd to China in September, after hitting an all-time high of 308,000 bpd in June. China has the world's second-biggest refining industry after the US. The joint venture also reflects Kuwait's strategy to expand refining and marketing outlets in high growth strategic markets, such as China, India and Vietnam. The delegation accompanying the Kuwaiti minister to the meeting included KPI President Hussain Esmaiel, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) Chairman Fahad Al-Ajmi, KPC Deputy Managing Director Suhail AlMutairi and KPI Business Development Director Meshari Al-Mahmoud Kuwaiti Consul General in Guangzhou Abdulwahab Al-Sager also attended the talks. The minister also invited Wang to visit Kuwait, which the Chinese official accepted. Sheikh Ahmad is currently in China for stimulating the bilateral energy relations as well as cooperation in a broad range of areas. In Beijing, Sheikh Ahmad also held talks with Sinopec President Su Shulin. — KUNA

Maids need more legal protection KUWAIT: It is essential to introduce more legislation to protect domestic workers' rights in the Arab world, especially in the areas of providing this group with adequate social and health care, as well as ensuring that their human rights are protected and their living standards are improved. This was the conclusion of the dele-

gates who attended a recent workshop in Beirut for labor union members from across the Middle East, including Kuwait, reported Al-Qabas. The delegates also demanded that stricter penalties be introduced against those who violate domestic workers' rights, and insisted that these workers

should be able to obtain membership of unions and be subjected to the same laws that cover people working in all other sectors. The workshop also saw the participants committing themselves to providing the International Labor Organization (ILO) with reports on the outcome of the event.

VIVA Kuwait opening soon at 360 Mall KUWAIT: With the continued increase in the number of subscribers VIVA Kuwait announces the opening of its latest branch at 360 Mall to join the network of branches distributed all around Kuwait to fulfill the needs of all customers. By adding the 360 Mall branch, VIVA Kuwait guarantees covering all residential areas. VIVA Kuwait, CEO, Eng Najeeb Al-Awadi said that through its new branch VIVA Kuwait aims to provide comfort to all customers to satisfy their needs and requirements; adding that such a step would bring the distances closer between the company and its customers allowing them to finalize their paperwork easily and get acquainted with VIVA Kuwait's new branch. Al-Awadi said, "VIVA Kuwait is in the process of adding more branches due to the increase of customer base in order to

strengthen the network of our branches to deliver better services and products according to the latest and best standards in the world of communications. “Al-Awadi concluded: "VIVA Kuwait provides customers with a variety of methods to easily communicate with the company whether by calling the Customer Care Center on 102 anytime, any day or by visiting our nearest branch or official website: to check the latest offers and promotions and get distinguished service by all means." VIVA is the newest, most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider in Kuwait. Launched in December 2008, VIVA makes things Possible for our customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences. The company has rapidly established an unrivalled position in

Najeeb Al-Awadi the market through our customer and employee centric approach. VIVA's quest is to be the mobile brand of choice for Kuwait by being transparent, engaging, energetic and fulfilling. VIVA continues to take a considerable share of the market by offering an innovative range of best value products,

services and content propositions; a state of the art, nationwide network and world-class service. VIVA offers Internet speed up to 21.6Mbps due to the implementation of the most advanced third generation (3G and HSDPA) network in Kuwait resulting in superior coverage, performance and reliability.

Monday, November 15, 2010



Israel eyes new freeze Watchdog cites building frenzy JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday briefed his cabinet about US incentives for a fresh 90-day construction ban as a Peace Now report showed settlers have been building at a furious pace. As minis-

SIDON: A herdsman displays a camel, two days ahead of the Muslim holiday Eid Al-Adha in the southern port city of Sidon yesterday. Eid Al-Adha, celebrates the account of God allowing Abraham to sacrifice a sheep instead of his son, and many Muslims buy animals to sacrifice in the festival. — AP

Climate change threatens Lebanon's snow, cedars Politics, conflict overshadow environmental crisis FARAYA: Lebanon's ski resorts have survived civil war but now face an insidious threat from climate change expected to cut snow cover by 40 percent by 2040. The effects of global warming are still a low priority for conflict-prone Lebanon, where environmental neglect rules. Skiers and the tourist businesses that depend on them hope this year's warm winter and brief season was not a harbinger of the future for the Arab world's only snow playgrounds. Christian Rizk, 47, manager of the Mzaar ski resort near Faraya, shies away from that idea, saying the season, which spanned barely half the once-normal three months, might have been an aberration. But he says the resort is adapting anyway. "Last season was catastrophic," he told Reuters on a sunny late autumn morning near the barren slopes of Jebel Sannin, Lebanon's second highest mountain at 2,695 meters. "This year we are installing new ski-lifts higher up, above 2,000 meters." That mirrors how animals and plants seek higher altitudes as their habitat warms upLebanon expects maximum temperatures to rise 1 degree Celsius (34F) on the coast and 2C inland by 2040, according to government calculations. But some species, including Lebanon's national symbol, the mighty cedar tree, are already straining at their upper limits. Cedars, some up to 3,000 years old, form the highest treeline. "I couldn't give you a specific date when we might see the last cedar on our mountains, but eventually that might happen," said Vahakn Kabakian, an Environment Ministry official preparing Lebanon's next climate change report to the United Nations. The ministry says Lebanon faces rising sea levels and can expect dwindling rainfall, hotter, drier summers and more extreme events such as floods. Tourism and agriculture are among the most vulnerable economic sectors. SURVIVAL PROBLEM In many cases, climate change will exacerbate Lebanon's water and energy crises, as well as air pollution and other environmental woes afflicting a country whose political troubles and dysfunctional administration often stymie action. "Climate change should become the number one priority. It's a survival problem," Kabakian said. "Then again we lack the funds to implement the steps we'd have to take for mitigation." Despite its relatively high rainfall, Lebanon expects to slip into water deficit by 2015, regardless of climate change, thanks to urbanization, population growth and mismanagement. In Beirut, summer demand for water already exceeds what the network supplies-partly because around 40 percent is lost to leaks-so many people pump from wells. Over-extraction from coastal aquifers has led to seawater intrusion and salinity. Reduced snowfall will hurt groundwater recharge

and rivers. Snow melting earlier in spring means less water will be available in summer when farmers need it for irrigation. More than 70 percent of Lebanon's 4.3 million people live on the densely built-up coastal strip, where no precautions exist to counter vulnerability to higher sea levels. Beaches, seaside nature reserves and coastal irrigated farms are also at risk. Many Lebanese have noticed streams drying up, unusual heat waves and altered rain and snow patterns in recent decades, but scientists say they lack the data to ascribe precise causes. "There are clear changes," said Muatasem El-Fadel, professor of water resources at the American University of Beirut. "They could be readily attributed to climate change, but from a scientific perspective we tend to want more evidence." Almost anything Lebanon did to tackle its dire environmental problems would also mitigate the potential impact of climate change, but so far there has been more talk than action. And even the talk is mostly focused on energy. IMPLAUSIBLE TARGET In a country that has mostly ignored solar energy even though its power plants supply only twothirds of electricity demand, few would bet that an official target for renewables to contribute 12 percent of national needs by 2020 will be met. Lebanon, despite its high per capita energy use, contributes relatively little to global greenhouse gas emissions and is keen to attract funds from developed countries to finance measures to reduce its vulnerability to the effects of climate change. In the meantime, the profit motive, oiled by tax breaks or new regulations, might inspire moves toward hybrid cars, cleaner fuels and greener technologies, says Karim Makdisi, a political studies professor at the American University of Beirut. "The transformation of the global economy towards this greener economy has a huge amount of business opportunities, which doesn't go amiss in Lebanon," he argued. Well-connected businessmen cornering exclusive dealerships to import hybrid cars or cabinet ministers burnishing Lebanon's green credentials by belatedly switching some power plants to gas rather than fuel oil may have some spin-off benefits. "But energy is not the only concern when it comes to climate change," Makdisi said. "Ultimately, you're talking of a way of life, adapting to a new way of living which no longer consumes so much or is so inefficient in its consumption patterns." In a country where water is cheap and unmetered, concierges sluice pavements with it to keep the dust down. Housewives slosh it over balconies. Broken pipes gush for days in the streets. "Water is soon going to become a luxury," said Walid Kanaan, manager of the Intercontinental in the ski resort of Ouyoun Al-Siman, listing the hotel's energy- and watersaving measures. —Reuters

Hariri vows not to give in to 'threats' BEIRUT: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has vowed not to give in to "threats" in a television interview, after his Hezbollah rivals ramped up rhetoric against a UN-backed probe into his father's murder. "Nobody can threaten me to force my hand. I don't act according to this logic. I don't give in to threats," Hariri told the Arabic-language service of Russia Today ahead of a two-day visit to Moscow from today. "I'm ready for calm and constructive dialogue, but if someone comes to me and puts a knife to my throat and tells me how to work, this is unacceptable, Lebanon is not like that," he said, according to a transcript of the interview provided by his office. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned on Thursday that his powerful Shiite group would "cut off the hand" of anyone who tried to arrest any of its partisans over the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafiq Hariri. His comments were the latest in a heated campaign Hezbollah has launched to fend off an anticipated accusation by the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) against its highranking members in connection with the assassination. The foreign minister of Syria, one of the main backers of Hezbollah, said on Sunday that Damascus would accept any indictment that is based on solid evidence. "The STL problem is a Lebanese affair and not a Syrian affair... but nobody will oppose an indictment that is based on irrefutable evidence," Walid Muallem said in a meeting with diplomats in Damascus. "The statements and press articles conjuring up (speculation)

about the indictment before it is published aim to politicize the court and destabilize Lebanon," he said. Saad Hariri accused Syria of his father's murder in the immediate aftermath of the bombing, at a time when Syria dominated Lebanon politically and militarily. He later dropped the accusation. In his interview, Hariri described Lebanon's relationship with Syria as "excellent," while cautioning that arrest warrants that Syria's judiciary has issued against people close to him were "illegal." Leaders of regional powerhouses Syria and Saudi Arabia, which back Hezbollah and Hariri respectively, have met several times in an attempt to stem tensions in Beirut. Muallem noted the "coordination" with Riyadh, but said it was up to the Lebanese to take care of their own country's interests. "Those who value stability and security in Lebanon must support Syria and Saudi Arabia... which are aiming to find a comprehensive solution to Lebanese divisions," said the Syrian foreign minister. Western countries have stepped up their backing for the tribunal, with the United States announcing a 10-million-dollar donation to the court and both Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and Senator John Kerry visiting Beirut. Analysts have warned the standoff could lead to the collapse of the government and a repeat of the 18-month political deadlock that degenerated into deadly clashes and brought Lebanon close to civil war in May 2008. Rafiq Hariri was killed along with 22 other people in a Beirut bombing on February 14, 2005. — AFP

The package involves a 90day freeze, which would not cover construction in east Jerusalem but would include all building begun since September 26 when the previous 10-month moratorium expired, a source close to the negotiations said. In exchange, the United States would pledge not to ask for a further freeze, would deliver to Israel another 20 F-35 fighter jets, worth three billion dollars, and would pledge to block any international efforts to force a political settlement on Israel. Netanyahu yesterday confirmed that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had presented him with the details when they met in New York on Thursday, but stressed that the package had not yet been finalized. "It is not yet final, it is still being formulated by our team and that of the Americans," he told reporters at the start of the cabinet meeting. "If and when the proposal is completed, I shall bring it to the appropriate government forum, in this case, the security cabinet." Shortly before the cabinet meeting, settlement watchdog Peace Now published a report showing that in the seven weeks since the end of the moratorium, Jewish settlers have started building 1,649 new homesmore than making up for the 10-month ban. Figures showed that since the freeze ended, new homes had been started in 63 settlements and, in more than twothirds of cases, settlers had begun laying the foundations. "It turns out that the settlement freeze was no more than a 10-month delay in the construction and the settlers managed to fill in the gap very fast," Peace Now said. "The government of Israel must renew the freeze in a way that will stop all settlement activi-

Iran holds defense drills at nuke plants TEHRAN: Iran has carried out military exercises near its nuclear facilities, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander was quoted as saying yesterday. The West suspects Iran of seeking nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian research program and is worried about the threat to international security. Tehran says its long concealed uranium enrichment drive is aimed only at generating electricity. "We carried out military exercises in various places like Fordu, Natanz and Bushehr this year. The drills were exactly like real combats," Ahmad Miqati told the semi-official Mehr news agency. Iran's main uranium enrichment plant is near the central city of Natanz. A year ago, Iran revealed the existence of its second plant, Fordu, being built inside a mountain bunker near the central city of Qom after keeping it secret for years. Iran has repeatedly announced advances in its military capabilities, an apparent bid to show its readiness for any military action and warning that its response to any strike would be crushing. The Islamic state's arch enemies, the United States and Israel have not ruled out the possibility of a military attack to rein in the country's nuclear ambitions if diplomacy fails. Some Western officials suspect Iran's development of more sophisticated missiles and some much-publicized missile tests could serve the goal of developing a deliverable nuclear weapon. The Islamic Republic denies such accusations, saying its missile development efforts are for defensive purposes only. Miqati, a member of Iran's elite Guards, said Iran's new locally made missiles will be test-fired during a five-day countrywide wargame, starting tomorrow, Mehr reported. "The maneuver is called Modafean-e Aseman-e Velayat-e 3 (defenders of the sky of velayat-e 3)... dozens of our missile systems will be deployed in the exercise," Miqati said. —Reuters

ters heard details of the far-ranging package of US proposals in exchange for a one-off moratorium, the Palestinians said they had not received any official word of Washington's offer to Israel.

JERUSALEM: Construction work continues on a new housing project at the Jewish settlement of Almon (Anatot) in the outskirts of Jerusalem yesterday. Israel eyed a fresh 90-day construction ban as a Peace Now report showed settlers have been building at a furious pace. — AFP ty, including the projects that started in the last few weeks, until there is a final agreement between the Palestinians and Israel regarding the borders and the future of the settlements." The US offer is the latest in a series of steps aimed at persuading Israel to impose a new freeze in a bid to salvage moribund peace talks with the Palestinians. The talks, which began two months ago, shuddered to a halt over renewed settlement building following the end of the ban, with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas refusing to return to the table unless

Israel committed itself to a new one. Netanyahu has so far rejected any new restrictions. US officials made no immediate comment about the latest attempt to persuade Israel to reimpose the building ban, and Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said the Palestinian Authority had approached US officials for clarification but had not yet received an answer. "The Palestinian Authority is waiting for an official answer from the US administration about the details and facts about what is going on with this issue," he said. As the

government mulled details of the US offer, the Yesha Council of settlers warned that renewing the ban would lead Israel "into the political slaughterhouse." "The demand to renew the construction freeze is a trap that Israel must not fall into," a council statement said. "During the period of the additional freeze, Israel will be led into a political slaughterhouse in which it will be asked to agree to borders close to the 1967 borders and to strip all of its assets in order to continue negotiating." But Israeli Minorities

Minister Avishay Braverman said the package was impressive and that Netanyahu should accept it "immediately". "The future of Israel depends on us accepting this proposal," he told reporters. "Somehow this week, the prime minister has to approve it, whatever forum it takes, because this is such a great offer in terms of security." The Palestinians see the settlements as a major threat to the establishment of a viable state, and they view the freezing of settlement activity as a crucial test of Israel's intentions. — AFP



Monday, november 15, 2010

449 kidnappers arrested in Nigeria in seven weeks

ABA: Nigeria’s special joint military force has arrested over 400 suspected kidnappers in four oil-producing states in the Niger Delta in under seven weeks, an army spokesman said yesterday. “From the start of our operation on September 28, 2010 to date, a total of 449 suspected kidnappers were arrested in different locations in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Imo and

Rivers States,” Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa said in Aba. The Joint Task Force (JTF) has transferred 95 suspects to the police and state security service agents for further investigation and possible prosecution, he said. The JTF still has 183 suspects in custody while 171 others who were cleared after questioning have been freed, he said.

He said the special force-set to fight kidnapping, attacks on oil workers and installations in the oil-rich Niger Delta regionhad managed to restore law and order to Aba city, the southeast region’s main commercial city, after months of violence, kidnappings and other crimes. Banks, finance houses, shops and schools were mostly closed at the height of the violence

when armed gunmen, kidnappers, militants and other criminals laid siege to the city and the surrounding area. The JTF recovered some 25 vehicles, assorted arms and ammunition from the arrested suspects, and destroyed many of their local arms manufacturing factories, said Musa, who also speaks for the force in the region. A joint army and police

operation on October 1 freed 15 pupils who were kidnapped from their bus four days earlier on the outskirts of Aba, located in Abia State. “Within the first one month of our operation in Abia, we rescued 15 pupils of Aba international school... four female national youth corps members... and many other men and women kidnapped,” Musa

said. The Nigerian military on Saturday warned armed gangs in the region that militants’ camps would no longer be tolerated, with many of them already located and destroyed in recent weeks. Kidnappings have turned into big business in the Niger Delta and southeast as abductors often demand ransoms from their victims or their families. — AFP

British couple freed after 388-day ordeal More than 500 crew members still held by Somali pirates MOGADISHU: Paul and Rachel Chandler said they were “happy to be alive” yesterday after the Somali pirates who hijacked their yacht near the Seychelles last year released them for a ransom. The retired couple appeared

in good health and smiled as they briefly spoke to journalists during a stopover in Mogadishu, on their way to Nairobi from the town of Adado where their 388-day ordeal came to an end earlier yesterday.

MOGADISHU: British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler who were released by Somali pirates speak to each other during a press conference at the presidential palace yesterday. — AP

Berlusconi faces crunch week amid economic fears ROME: The resignation of four ministers from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government set for today will signal the start of a drawn-out coalition crisis as economic worries loom, experts said. The resignations are part of a rebellion by speaker of parliament Gianfranco Fini, a former close political ally of Berlusconi who has become one of his most bitter rivals, calling on the prime minister himself to step down. But experts say that the move will not bring down the government and that the struggle will now play out in parliament, where Berlusconi is thought to hold a majority in the upper house and a minority in the lower house. Italy’s main political forces agreed this weekend that any confidence vote in parliament will only come after lawmakers approve a budget for 2011 at a tricky time for heavily-indebted Italy on international financial markets. “We will continue as a government with the confidence that I am sure we will have in the Senate and I believe we will

also have in the Chamber,” Berlusconi told a meeting of his supporters in Milan yesterday in a phone link-up. He conceded, however, that his government could lose the confidence vote in the lower house and said that if that happened there would have to be parliamentary elections. “If we have elections, they will lose again,” he said. Debate on the budget is set to start tomorrow in the lower house but final approval by the upper house may come only later in November or in December and the centre-left opposition says it fears “timewasting tactics” by Berlusconi. “Italy finds itself-and will continue to find itself in the coming weeks at the unenviable crossroads between a giant global financialeconomic storm and internal political gales,” said Mario Deaglio from La Stampa daily. “Not only is it necessary to approve the budget... but it is crucial that, whatever the political configuration that emerges from the current storm, respect of European accords on

public debt and deficit is guaranteed,” he said. Policymakers are afraid that the country’s record public debt-one of the highest in the world-along with its weak economic performance could make it more difficult for Italy to raise money on the markets, experts said. Italy has so far avoided the market troubles faced by other eurozone members such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal in recent months, but it has been identified along with Spain as a possible problem area by investors. Despite the political wrangling expected in the coming days, the consensus among experts is that Berlusconi’s government-in place since 2008 elections will eventually fall long before its mandate runs out in 2013. The crucial question is what exactly will happen after that. Among the scenarios outlined in recent days are: a new Berlusconi government with a different coalition; an interim technocratic government with a different prime minister; and a centre-left government supported by Fini. — AFP

Greeks vote in local runoffs ATHENS: Greeks voted yesterday in runoffs for local elections as the crisis-hit nation faced renewed pressure to reduce overspending. The vote follows a first round Nov 7 that gave Prime Minister George Papandreou’s Socialists a slim lead over conservatives who campaigned against the terms of a §110 billion ($140

billion) bailout loan agreement with the IMF and European Union. The EU today is expected to announce an upward revision of Greek budget deficit figures, including for the year 2009, while officials from the EU and IMF are due in Athens for another inspection of cost-cutting efforts. In a

weekend newspaper interview, Papandreou said Greece could seek an extension for repaying the rescue loan, and conceded the deficit revision would add pressure on his government to cut costs. “It’s like running a marathon, and finding out during the race that they have added more kilometers to the course,”

ATHENS: A child casts her father’s vote for the second round of the local and regional elections in a polling station yesterday. —AFP

he told the Proto Thema newspaper. Papandreou had billed the local government poll as a key test of popular support for his government’s austerity program, which has included pay cuts for pensioners and civil servants. But last Sunday, he dropped a threat to call an early general election after the Socialists took the lead in the local polls to elect mayors and 13 new regional governors. The Socialists won two governors’ races outright last week, and led in greater Athens and four other regions. The conservatives are ahead in six regions, as well as in high-profile mayoral races in Athens and the country’s secondlargest city, Thessaloniki. About 9.8 million people are eligible to vote. Papandreou made no mention of austerity yesterday after voting near his north Athens home. “Today we are called to elect capable mayors and regional governors ... who will help us emerge from the crisis on our own steam,” he said. But conservative leader Antonis Samaras - wooing first-round voters who backed left-wing parties - described yesterday’s vote as a one-time chance for Greeks to express their discontent. — AP

“We are feeling very happy to be alive and happy to be here... among decent everyday people,” Rachel Chandler said, adding they were “desperate to see family and friends” and thanking the Somalis who worked for their release. Instead of flying directly from Adado to the safety of Nairobi, the British couple left the country of their ordeal from war-torn Mogadishu, one of the world’s most dangerous cities. After being greeted by senior officials at the presidential palace, which has been routinely attacked by Al-Qaeda-inspired insurgents in recent months, Rachel Chandler climbed back onto the plane wearing a red cap and fresh clothes. Her husband Paul followed her after taking pictures on the tarmac. When they land at Nairobi’s Wilson airport, British officials are expected to take them to the high commission for a debriefing and medical treatment. They were given breakfast and a chance to make phone calls and shower in Adado, where they were hosted in the compound of Mohamed Aden “Tiiceey”, the president of the local self-styled administration of Himan and Heeb. He contributed to the Chandlers release, together with Abdi Mohamed Helmi “Hangul”, a Somali surgeon who had already managed to see the pair in January. “They look in relatively good health but they need to be checked,” Hangul told AFP from Adado. Rachel Chandler explained there how they communicated with their captors using a Somali-English phrasebook. The couple were driven overnight from the town of Amara, where they spent most of their captivity. Somalia’s newlyappointed prime minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said after greeting the Chandlers that the government, much in need of credibility, “exerted every humanly possible effort” to free them. The freed couple from the southern English region of Kent, who have been married for 30 years, spent much of their ordeal separated and had told an AFP reporter earlier this year they feared for their lives. A deal was struck with the pirates this week and, according to Somali elders and sources close to the tortuous negotiations that led to their release, a total of at least 750,000 dollars was paid in ransom. The Chandlers’ plight generated considerable interest in Britain and became one of the most-profile hostage cases in Somalia’s recent, troubled history but the British government has a strict policy of not paying any ransoms. The money known to have been paid-a much smaller amount than what pirates have been earning from shipowners for cargo, fishing and other vessels is believed to have been gathered by family and members of the Somali diaspora. The pirates had initially demanded seven million dollars. The Chandlers were kidnapped on October 23 last year, a day after leaving the Seychelles for Tanzania. The blog chronicling the journeys of their yachtthe Lynn Rival-remained frozen on an abrupt last entry posted in capital letters at 6:41 am on the day of their kidnapping: “PLEASE RING SARAH”. Abdi Yare, a senior pirate commander, expressed surprise that such a vulnerable boat “would have dared to venture out” at the peak of the piracy season, when he spoke to AFP shortly after the hijacking last year. Somali seajackers prowling the region’s busy trade routes capture dozens of vessels each year to seek ransoms from large ship owners, but cases involving small yachts are rare.— AFP

PARIS: A file picture shows French President Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and Prime Minister Francois Fillon.—AFP

France’s Sarkozy retains Fillon as PM in reshuffle Fresh new cabinet will be unveiled today PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy reappointed trusted ally Francois Fillon as prime minister yesterday as he begins a ministerial reshuffle aimed at shoring up his position 18 months before a presidential election. Fillon, who has proved a steady and capable aide to Sarkozy since he took power in 2007, said he would focus on jobs and the economy. A new cabinet will be unveiled later yesterday or this morning, an official at Fillon’s office said. Sarkozy said in June he would rejig his cabinet after passing a flagship pension reform, which was signed into law last week. The reshuffle comes as he seeks to shore up his core support base, address voter gloom over the economy and improve his dismal ratings before the 2012 election. Fillon, deep in talks with Sarkozy yesterday at the Elysee presidential palace, said in a statement he was starting “a new phase with determination which will allow our country to strengthen the growth of the economy to help jobs, promote solidarity and safeguard the security of all French people.” After a brief flurry of speculation among commentators that Fillon might be replaced, it became clear in recent days that Sarkozy would reappoint the man behind the campaign that swept him to power over three years ago. The new cabinet is expected to put proven heavyweights of the ruling centre-right UMP party in charge of the key ministries, but not result in major change. Government sources say former prime minister Alain Juppe, who remains popular among core conservative voters despite a fall from grace since his political career peaked in the 1990s, could be brought back as defence minister. Currently mayor of the southwestern wine capital of Bordeaux, Juppe told France Info radio on Saturday that he could happily juggle his may-

orship with a new cabinet post. New cabinet, same cour se After Sarkozy stood firm through a series of strikes and protests to pass legislation to raise the retirement age by two years, speculation briefly flared that he might replace Fillon with Energy Minister Jean-Louis Borloo, whose man-of-thepeople image might have improved relations with unions. Sources close to Borloo said yesterday he would be offered a big post in the new government, such as foreign minister or head of an economic or social ministry. “It’s clear that the Elysee doesn’t want him to go,” one source said. Christine Lagarde, whose mastery of financial matters and fluent English make her a shrewd choice to talk to markets, is expected to remain as economy minister or move to the foreign ministry while keeping a special brief to handle G20 affairs. Sarkozy, who returned from a G20 summit in South Korea this weekend, has emerged victorious from his drawn-out battle with unions over pension reform but remains deeply unpopular with approval ratings below 30 percent. Fillon is more popular with the electorate and is widely seen as competent. Dominique Paille, spokesman for the UMP party, told iTele television it was more important for the country to continue with reforms in the works than have a change in direction. “Nicolas Sarkozy has not opted for a new course. He has said that the rest of his mandate, the 18 months that will run until spring 2012, would be dedicated to the pursuit of reforms,” Paille said. Opposition politicians criticized Sarkozy for distracting ministers from their jobs by taking months to decide on his reshuffle only to end up keeping the same prime minister. —Reuters

Al-Qaeda can be contained, not defeated: Brit general Clear cut victory unnecessary LONDON: The West is fighting a war against Al-Qaeda in which its forces can contain Islamic militancy but cannot achieve a conventional military victory, Britain’s most senior officer was quoted as saying yesterday. Chief of the Defense Staff General David Richards underlined Britain’s aim to end its combat role in Afghanistan by 2014-15 but did not estimate how much longer after that coalition troops would need to support Afghan security forces. “First of all, you have to ask: ‘Do we need to defeat it (Islamist militancy) in the sense of a clear cut victory?’” Richards told the Sunday Telegraph. “I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved.” “But can we contain it to the point that our lives and our children’s lives are led securely? I think we can.” His comments are the latest from Western military leaders and politicians who have been paving the way for coalition forces to exit Afghanistan over the coming years, even though the Taleban remains a significant threat to security there. US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron hope to start bringing troops home next year. The general, who became head of Britain’s armed forces last month, said the region should be stabilized before any withdrawal

is completed. “We are equally clear that we have got to support the operation thereafter to make sure that our legacy is an enduring one,” he said. Separately, Richards said he would back Prince Harry if the young royal wanted to return to the front line in Afghanistan but said his elder brother, second in line to the British throne Prince William, should probably avoid the conflict.

“I would advise ... that right now he shouldn’t. He’s not trained to go out there so it’s actually a slightly academic issue,” he said. “However, with Prince Harry, who spent 10 weeks in Helmand in 2008 and is known to be keen to return to the front line, it is a different matter.” British soldiers have been fighting in Afghanistan since2001 as part of a US-led force. — Reuters

MOSCOW: Demonstrators hold a portrait of Russian reporter Oleg Kashin, who was severely beaten this month, as they rally yesterday. — AFP

Monday, November 15, 2010



Voters approve Arizona medical marijuana bill PHOENIX: Arizona voters have approved a measure that will legalize medical marijuana use in the state for people with chronic or debilitating diseases. Final vote tallies showed Saturday that Proposition 203 won by a tiny margin of just 4,341 votes out of more than 1.67 million votes counted. The measure had started out losing on Election Day by about 7,200 votes, but the gap gradually narrowed in the following 10 days. “Now begins the very hard work of implementing this program in the way it was envisioned, with very high standards,” said Andrew Myers, campaign manager for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project. “We really believe that we have an opportunity to

set an example to the rest of the country on what a good medical marijuana program looks like.” Arizona is the 15th state to approve a medical marijuana law. California was the first in 1996, and 13 other states and Washington, D.C., have since followed suit. The Arizona measure will allow patients with diseases including cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and any other “chronic or debilitating” disease that meets guidelines to buy 21/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks or grow plants. The patients must get a recommendation from their doctor and register with the Arizona Department of Health Services. The law allows for no more than

124 marijuana dispensaries in the state. Backers of Proposition 203 have argued that thousands of patients faced “a terrible choice” of suffering with a serious or even terminal illness or going to the criminal market for pot. They collected more than 252,000 signatures to put the measure on the ballot - nearly 100,000 more than required. All Arizona’s sheriff’s and county prosecutors, the governor, attorney general and many other politicians came out against the proposed law. Carolyn Short, chairwoman of Keep AZ Drug Free, the group that organized opposition to the initiative, said her group believes the proposed law will increase crime around

dispensary locations, lead to more people driving while impaired and eventually lead to legalized pot for everyone. She noted that the major financial backer of the new measure, the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project, makes no bones about its ultimate goal: national legalization of marijuana for everyone. “All of the political leaders came out and warned Arizonans that this was going to have very dire effects on a number of levels,” Short said after the measure pulled into the lead late on Friday. “I don’t think that all Arizonans have heard those dire predictions.” Arizona voters overwhelmingly approved a medical marijuana law in 1996 and 1998, but it never went into

effect because of problems with its wording. Then in 2002, voters rejected a sweeping initiative that would have decriminalized possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana for any user and required state police to hand out the drug to seriously ill people. The measure that went before voters this month began Friday losing by about 1,500 votes, then surged ahead by 4,421 votes. Maricopa was the only Arizona county with ballots still outstanding on Saturday. The county finished counting all the remaining provisional and early ballots by late in the afternoon. The final, unofficial count was 841,346 in favor of the measure and 837,005 opposed. — AP

START treaty remains ‘top priority’: Obama US prez calls Russia an ‘excellent partner’ HAVANA: Cuban dissident Arnaldo Ramos, 68, arranges his glasses some hours after he was released from jail, on November 13, 2010, in his house. Arnaldo remained for seven years in jail as part of a group of 75 dissidents arrested in 2003. — AFP

Cuban govt frees 1 political prisoner HAVANA: The Cuban government late Saturday freed Arnaldo Ramos, one of 13 imprisoned dissidents who had refused to leave the country and go into exile, his family announced. “He was freed, and I feel very happy,” Lidia Lima, the wife of the dissident told AFP. “They brought him home just a few minutes ago.” Her husband was now resting in a house in central Havana, she added. Ramos, 68, was part of a group of 52 political prisoners President Raul Castro’s government agreed to release following talks on July 7 with Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the Archbishop of Havana. Of the dissidents Castro agreed to release, 39 were let go after agreeing to emigrate to Spain with their families, but the remaining 13 refused to be exiled. The agreed-upon deadline for their release expired a week ago. An economist, Ramos was sentenced to 18 years in jail for dissident activities. He was the oldest member of a group of 75 opponents of the Cuban government arrested in 2003. Lima said she had received a call from Cardinal Ortega at noon Saturday and was informed that her husband would be released. “We have decided to stay in the country and not to emigrate,” explained the 70-year-old woman, a retired doctor. “At our advanced age, it is difficult to start a new life in a different country.” Dissident sources say there are around 100 political prisoners still jailed in Cuba, in addition to the remaining 12 on the list agreed with the cardinal. On Thursday, The Ladies in White, the wives of political dissidents, asked Pope Benedict XVI to press Havana for the release of the remaining prisoners the

Cuban government had promised the Catholic Church it would release. The human rights group met with the pope’s representative in Cuba and told him “we feel cheated,” said group leader Laura Pollan. Pollan said her group had asked the pope’s envoy, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, to ask Benedict “to intercede for the 13 that are still in prison.” The Ladies in White, winner of the European parliament’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize in 2005, also met with Belgium diplomatsBelgium currently occupies the rotating European Union presidency. The Belgian ambassador said the prisoners would be released, Pollan said. And on Wednesday, Ladies in White members met with Spanish diplomats. “I am happy,” Bertha Soler, one of the leaders of the group, told AFP after learning of Ramos’s release. “Arnaldo is not my husband, but he is like a member of the family. We will continue fighting for the release of all of them. This is a new stage.” National Assembly speaker Ricardo Alarcon said in Geneva on July 20 that the Americas’ only one-party Communist government wanted to free all of those on international dissident lists who had not been imprisoned for violent crimes. One of the jailed dissidents, Diosdado Gonzalez, declared a hunger strike today to protest the government’s noncompliance with the accord. But he halted it after 48 hours when a security official assured him that the remaining political prisoners would be freed in 15 days or a month. — AFP

DILLINGHAM: In this photo provided by the Discovery Communications, Sarah Palin waits by her husband Todd’s boat before heading up river to see fish being counted in Alaska. — AP

Palin’s TV series: Setting stage for political future? ANCHORAGE: “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” portrays the cable TV show’s heroine as an adventure-loving wife and mother enjoying a whirlwind of activities amid spectacular settings in her home state. There are no overt clues to her future political ambitions. However, throughout the first episode of the eight-part documentary series for The Learning Channel (TLC) beginning yesterday, Palin’s outdoorsy image against the stunning scenery often plays nicely with her familiar political message. One telling scene shows Palin and members of her family fishing near a bear and two frolicking cubs. Cut to the Tea Party darling and her self-sufficiency speech. For months, Palin has referred to strong Republican female candidates as “mama grizzlies.” “I love watching these mama bears,” Palin tells the TLC camera. “They’ve got a nature, yeah, that humankind could learn from. She’s trying to show her cubs, ‘Nobody’s gonna do it for ya. You get out there and do it yourself, guys.”‘ Translation: Stop relying on government. That scene and others are sure to suggest to some viewers that the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee is positioning herself for a 2012 presidential run. There are other messages that seem to conflict with those ambitions, though. Palin talks about her love of wild Alaska, offering in one well-known homily, “A poor day of fishing beats even a great day at work.” In a promo for the show with a montage of outdoor scenes, she says, “I’d rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office” and “I’d rather be out here being free.” Then come the snippets that easily could fill in as cam-

paign slogans, particularly with Palin’s very political tweets, Facebook postings and other media forums that make her larger than life. Her Alaska landscapes also loom larger than life. “What all this suggests is that she’s crafting her lifestyle and her biography as typifying a person who’s independent, rugged, resilient, in touch with nature and has learned life lessons that she can bring into governance if she moves back into governance,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a University of Pennsylvania communications professor who studies political rhetoric. “It also could be life lessons to get to lead a better life in the rugged frontiers,” Jamieson said. “They have to have that duo message or this will read as if it’s a political ad.” In a scene outside the family’s Wasilla home, viewers see the 14-foot (4-meter)-high fence the Palins erected when author Joe McGinniss moved next door to work on a book about Palin. “By the way, I thought that was a good example,” Palin says on TLC. “What we just did, others could look and say, ‘Oh, this is what we need to do to secure our nation’s border.”‘ The intent of the series is not clear- is she merely showing off a state she truly loves with offthe-cuff remarks, or are these the opinions of the paid Fox News consultant subtly laying the groundwork for a presidential bid? Of course, with a production of this magnitude, money also could be a powerful motivation. Palin, who could not be reached for comment, reportedly was seeking as much as $1.5 million per episode in pitching the show earlier this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.—AP

YOKOHAMA: President Barack Obama , capping a fa r-flung Asian trip of mixed results, assured Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday that getting the Senate to ratify the START nuclear w eapons treaty is a “top priority” of his administration. “I reitera ted my commitment to getting the START treaty done during the lame-duck session,” Obama said, noting that Congress returns next w eek for its postelection session. In talks w ith Medvedev on the sidelines of the summit of the Asian-Pacific He concluded his Asian tour with a return visit to the Great Buddha statue, noting “I was only 6” the last time he traveled to the site. The 44-foot- (13-meter) high bronze statue, built in 1252, is nestled among the hills and trees at Kamakura. “The first time I was here I was this big,” Obama said, putting his left hand up to his waist. He accompanied two hosts under gray skies to the site, craning his head to view the 93-ton likeness of Amida Buddha, who is seated in the lotus position with its hands forming the gesture of meditation. After the visit, Obama boarded Air Force One for the long flight back to Washington, ending his 10-day Asia tour. At home, the Republicans already have set in motion an ambitious legislative plan of their own for the new Congress that convenes in January. But before that, a lameduck session will have to confront lingering issues, including not only the START treaty but also decisions on whether to extend Bush era tax cuts and on the administration’s push for Congress to pass a law repealing the military’s ban on homosexuals serving openly in the service. The START treaty, which has been pending in the Senate for months, would reduce the limit on strategic warheads to 1,550 for each country from the current ceiling of 2,200. It also would set up new procedures to allow both countries to inspect each other’s arsenals to verify compliance. The treaty has drawn resistance, principally from minority Republicans. A congressional aide briefed on White House plans for getting it ratified told The Associated Press this week that the White House was adding $4.1 billion in funding for the US nuclear arsenal in an effort to pick up the necessary votes. Obama and Medvedev discussed the plodding pace of the ratification process, a problem that threatens to undermine US Russian relations and bleed into other issues, a senior Obama official told reporters shortly after the meeting. There is an uneasiness within Russia on this issue and Medvedev is being well briefed about the dynamic of the Senate, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the closeddoor meeting. The official said that if there is progress in the lame-duck session, Russian lawmakers would be likely to quickly follow suit. On other issues, Obama praised Medvedev for strongly condemning the beatings of journalists in Russia, and the U.S. president pushed for prosecution. The two leaders also discussed containment of Iran in its purported pursuit of nuclear weapons, and Obama and Medvedev have no disagreement about how to proceed, according to the Obama official’s account. In Seoul earlier, Obama maintained he has not been weakened by the electoral setbacks and used a sports analogy at one point to say he thought expectations are sometimes too high. Obama said he can’t always hit a home run in these international summits and that even a single here and there is an achievement. But he was rebuffed by his G20 summit partners in Seoul in his push for their backing of the

Economic Cooperation (APEC), Obama a lso reitera ted his support for bringing Russia into the W orld Trade Orga niza tion, ca lling Russia “an excellent partner.” His bila teral talks w ith Medvedev took pla ce on the final day of Obama ’s 10-day Asia n tour, his longest trip a w ay from the White House. He left Washington still reeling from a stunning electoral defeat on Nov 2 in balloting that allow ed the Republicans to recapture control of the House from Oba ma’s Democra tic Pa rty.

YOKOHAMA: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (left) meets with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the APEC summit yesterday. — AP administration’s demand for a tougher line against China in connection with its currency, the yuan. The United States has accused Beijing of keeping the currency too low and has argued that this has cost the United States exports and the jobs they produce. He also failed to win final agreement with longtime ally South Korea on a new freetrade pact, although the two sides agreed to continue efforts to resolve differences over the treaty. Obama now must confront a host of domestic issues in the United States, although he will take time out next week to attend a NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal. He was due to return later yesterday to the White House after 10 days in India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. Asked during his picture-taking session with Medvedev whether his administration was putting more money on the table for the nuclear program to get the START treaty through the Senate, Obama declined to answer. He did say, on another matter, he believes Medvedev is bringing about reforms in the former Soviet Union and is moving the country forward. He said he supports Medvedev’s pursuit of membership in the World Trade Organization - a point the Russian leader reinforced as he and Obama appeared briefly before reporters and camera crews. He said he is “working closely” to achieve that end. Both Obama and Medvedev touted a close working relationship and friendship. Obama extended thanks to Moscow for cooperation on Afghanistan and on a host of international issues ranging from the Middle East to Sudan. Said Medvedev: “It has been very pleasant for me to have this meeting and discuss a whole range of bilateral and multilateral issues with my col-

league. Indeed, we have a very good relationship. We understand each other very well. It’s very important to attain agreement on a whole range of issues.” The congressional aide who revealed the plans for additional nuclear funding spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly. The official said the plan was outlined to Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, who is seen as the key to winning enough votes to ratify the treaty. The additional money would come on top of $10 billion the administration had already

agreed to over 10 years. The administration is scrambling to get enough Republican support in the Senate to ratify the New START treaty before the Democrats’ majority shrinks by six in January. In a sign of the urgency of the administration’s pitch, government officials traveled to Kyl’s home state of Arizona to brief him on the proposal, the aide said. Officials also briefed Republican Sen Bob Corker of Tennessee. At the photo session with Medvedev, Obama said he looked forward to seeing him at a NATO summit in Portugal next week and said the

pair has scheduled “a host of consultations so that we can reduce tensions and increase cooperation on various security matters in the European theater.” “Both he and I are racking up a lot of miles on our aircrafts these days,” Obama said, “but there’s a lot of work to do and I’m glad to have him as an excellent partner on a whole range of these issues.” Medvedev told reporters he wishes Obama “success” in reinvigorating the ailing US economy, saying “the status of the US economy quickly affects the general state of the international economy” — AP

Driver sought in motorcycle crashes that left five dead OCOTILLO: Authorities were looking for the driver of a car that tried to pass a group of motorcycles and caused another car to lose control on a desert highway, triggering a crash that killed five people and injured six others, officials said. Seven motorcyclists members of a club celebrating its 10th anniversary - were ensnared in the collision on two-lane Route 98 near Ocotillo, a few miles (kilometers) north of the Mexico border and 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of San Diego. Two men and two women motorcyclists died at the scene Saturday before paramedics arrived, Imperial County Fire Department Capt. Peter Stanton told The Associated Press. One passenger from a car was also killed. The crash occurred shortly before 1 p.m. as an eastbound gold Honda Accord went into the oncoming lane to pass about a dozen motorcycles, some of them carrying two people, authorities said. That maneuver forced a westbound Dodge Avenger sedan to swerve on to the sandy shoulder to avoid a head-on collision. Stanton said at that point the westbound car veered back across the road and into the cyclists. “He lost control and then his vehi-

cle just drove into the group of motorcycles,” he said. The Honda making the pass that triggered the accident was not damaged and did not stop. “They’re looking for that car and the driver,” Stanton said. “He didn’t stop, he kept going, he fled the scene.” Two of the dead were a married couple riding the same bike and all four were part of the Saddle Tramps, a San Diego County club celebrating its anniversary with a ride across the desert, California Highway Patrol Officer Deann Goudie told several media outlets. She said the group had met for breakfast in their hometown of Lakeside before leaving on the trip. Five people from motorcycles and one from the car were injured, Stanton said. Several motorcycles toward the back of the pack were able to avoid the accident. Two helicopters landed on the highway to airlift two male patients to San Diego-area hospitals, and four ambulances took patients to local hospitals in Brawley and El Centro, authorities said. The identities of the dead and injured were not released. Despite being just two lanes, the highway is heavily traveled as a link between Interstate 8 and Mexicali, Mexico. — AP



Monday, November 15, 2010

Hiroshima Nobel summit closes sans Liu statement

YANGON: Myanmar’s newly-released opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at her National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Yangon yesterday. Aung San Suu Kyi reached out to Myanmar’s splintered opposition forces as she addressed thousands of exuberant supporters following her release from years of house arrest. — AFP

Suu Kyi urges freedom of speech in Myanmar

HIROSHIMA: The Dalai Lama and other Nobel Peace laureates ended a Hiroshima meeting yesterday by calling for a nuclearfree world but made no statement on this year’s winner, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The failure to mention Liu sparked discord at the annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which had earlier greeted on Saturday’s release from house arrest of another winner, Myanmar’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. “I feel I need to say something,” the 1997 winner Jody Williams said at a joint news conference of the laureates, including the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader and former South African president F.W. de Klerk. “We also have to recognise another,” said Williams of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. “One of our Nobel Peace colleagues is imprisoned.” “We cannot be silent in the face of pressure from the Chinese government.” “Liu Xiaobo is not forgotten. We will work as diligently for his release as we have for that of our sister Aung San Suu Kyi.” Former Chinese student leader Wu’er Kaixi, who was involved in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, joined the summit of six Nobel winners and earlier urged China to “release Liu Xiaobo immediately and unconditionally”. The Dalai Lama welcomed the choice of Liu for the prize. An organizing source said the laureates had earlier approved a draft statement on Liu, but decided not to release it “out of respect” for the host city’s position, which wanted to keep the focus on nuclear weapons. De Klerk, who shared the 1993 prize with Nelson Mandela, said “the main focus of this

conference was on the abolition of nuclear arms and we didn’t want to take the spotlight away from the main issue.” Asked at the press conference if there had been any pressure to drop a statement on Liu, de Klerk said: “To the best of my knowledge, none of us have been pressurised in any way or anybody.” The Nobel laureates, after meeting for three days in the city destroyed in the world’s first atomic bombing in 1945, on Sunday issued their Hiroshima Declaration on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. “Nuclear deterrence, power projection and national prestige as arguments to justify acquiring and retaining nuclear weapons are totally outdated and must be rejected,” the declaration said. The United States dropped an atomic bomb over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and an estimated 140,000 people died instantly in the city or succumbed to burns and radiation sickness by the end of the year. More than 70,000 people perished as a result of the second US atomic bombing of the port of Nagasaki three days later. The Nobel winners had invited US President Barack Obama-who was in Japan for an AsiaPacific summit-after he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, in part for his call for a world free of nuclear weapons. Hiroshima city earlier voiced its disappointment about the no-show by Obama, who has said in the past that he would like to visit Hiroshima and this year for the first time sent the US ambassador, John Roos, to join the commemoration ceremony on the 65th anniversary of the attack. No sitting US president has ever travelled to Hiroshima or Nagasaki. — AFP

Pro-democracy leader willing to talk to anyone YANGON: Pro-democracy leader Aung Sa n Suu Kyi called yesterday for freedom of speech in a rmy-ruled Myanmar, urged thousands of supporters to stand up for their rights, and indica ted she may urge the West to end sanctions. Suu Kyi’s first ma jor speech since being freed from seven years of house arrest a da y ea rlier left little doubt she w ould resume a n The 65-year-old Nobel peace laureate, who had lost none of her ability to rouse and mesmerize crowds, offered an olive branch to the military junta, saying she had no antagonism for those who kept her detained for 15 of the past 21 years. Asked by a reporter what message she had for supreme leader Senior General Than Shwe, she replied, “let’s meet and talk.” The address, given in an informal style in contrast to the usual stuff y military speeches that dominate state media, illustrated the strength of Suu Kyi’s prodemocracy voice at a critical time, just a week after an election widely condemned as rigged to prolong military power behind a facade of democracy. “You have to stand up for what is right,” Suu Kyi added, urging supporters to be more politically assertive in the former British colony formerly known as Burma, where the army controls nearly every facet of life. “A one woman show is not a democracy.” L ater, speaking with reporters, she declined to comment directly on whether she

would urge the West to roll back sanctions that many say hurt ordinary people by allowing the junta to monopolize the country’s resource-rich economy. “If people really want sanctions to be lifted, I will consider this,” she said. “This is the time Burma needs help. We ask everyone to help us. Western nations. Eastern nations. The whole all starts with dialogue.” Diplomats expect Suu Kyi to work with the West to end sanctions she once supported but which are now seen by many as contributing to chronic economic problems in the country of 50 million people where a third of the population live in poverty. She spoke outside the headquarters of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, standing on a chair, after wading through a sea of supporters, her hair bound with flowers in Burmese style and dressed in blue blouse and traditional wraparound longyi. At times, she joked with the crowd. “I know I said I wanted to hear what the public is thinking, but now that there are so many voices and so much noise, I don’t

influentia l politica l role in one of the w orld’s most isolated and oppressive countries. “The ba sis of democra tic freedom is freedom of speech,” she sa id to roaring cheers from thousa nds of supporters crammed into a cordoned-off street in front of her party’s hea dquarters. “Even if you are not political, politics w ill come to you.”

know what is being said anymore,” she said to a roar of laughter and applause. She at one point held up a poster reading “I love the public too” and expressed amazement at advances in technology made during her detention, especially the spread of mobile phones. “These things should be used to the good advantage,” she said. Her comment on free speech resonated in a country where every song, book, cartoon and planned piece of art requires approval by censors rooting out political messages and criticisms of Myanmar’s authoritarian system. State media said she was given a “pardon” after “she was found to be displaying good conduct” ahead of the expiry of her arrest term on Saturday. It quoted a police chief as telling her the junta was “ready to give her whatever help she needs”. She is expected to rebuild her party, which scored a landslide election victory in 1990 which the junta ignored, but other prodemocracy parties looked forward to her leadership and she told the crowd she would work with other

democratic forces. “She belongs to the entire nation,” said Khin Maung Swe, leader of the National Democratic Force, a party led by renegade members of Suu Kyi’s party. “We consider her a national leader and she does not belong to any single group or party.” The NLD, Myanmar’s strongest democratic force, was dissolved by the military in September for failing to register for an election it dismissed as unfair and unjust. The party has since been declared an “unlawful association” and will play no official role in Myanmar’s new political system. Across the commercial capital Yangon, residents celebrated freedom for “The Lady”, as she is affectionately known. “All we are worried about now is whether she will be able to get a chance to work for the peace and prosperity of the country,” said Ba Ohn, 43, a food stall owner. “Things could not be worse for us.” Electrician Ko Aye Cho, 33, expressed relief. “I consider her as my own mother. I hope she will bring our country towards a brighter future peacefully.”

Although Myanmar is rich in natural gas, timber and minerals, it ranks among the world’s most corrupt countries. Ethnic militias oversee the world’s secondlargest opium crop, its economy is monopolised by the military elite, and about a third of the population lives below the poverty line. Chronic economic mismanagement during 48 years of direct military rule has ruined much of the infrastructure of a country that was one of Southest Asia’s wealthiest, the world’s top rice exporter and a major energy producer. Suu Kyi’s popularity is still a threat to the military although her release may give the junta a hint of legitimacy after last week’s election, the first in 20 years, was ridiculed as a sham to prolong military rule behind a facade of democracy. World leaders-from US President Barack Obama who hailed her as a personal hero to those in Europe and Asia- welcomed her release but many governments urged the junta to free all Myanmar’s estimated 2,100 political prisoners. — Reuters

Thai PM lauds Suu Kyi release, future unclear Myanmar may face transition over 2-3 months

KAMAKURA: President Barack Obama visits the Great Buddha of Kamakura with Michiko Sato, temple director, and Takao Sato, the 15th chief monk of the temple, at Kotokuin Temple in Kamakura, Japan yesterday. — AP

Buddha visit, green tea as Obama ends Japan visit KAMAKURA, Japan: A grueling tour of Asia ended with a sweet childhood memory for US President Barack Obama yesterday-a Japanese green tea ice cream under the calm gaze of a giant Buddha. Leaving matters of state aside after a hectic nine-day swing, Obama headed for a tranquil religious site in the ancient Japanese seaside capital of Kamakura, which he last visited with his mother when he was six years old. Large crowds lined the streets, with people waving small American flags and “Welcome” signs, as Obama’s motorcade rolled through the town near Tokyo, where wooded hills in autumn colours shield Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. The president’s destination, after four days of currency and trade talk at economic summits in Seoul and Yokohama, was a 13-metre (42-foot)

bronze statue, showing the Buddha serenely meditating in a seated position. Obama, leaving aside trade rows and other worldly concerns for a few quiet moments, walked into the wooded grove where he was greeted by kimono-clad Michiko Sato, director of the Kotoku-In temple and Takao Sato, the chief monk. From outside the closed-off site, Obama could be seen making a motion with his hand to show how tall he was the last time he visited. He stood for several minutes looking up, then slowly took a walk around the Buddha, the silence only broken by the throb of a helicopter high overhead. Obama, travelling in Japan without wife Michelle, then wrote a short message in the visitors’ book: “It is wonderful to return to this great treasure of Japanese culture. Its beauty has stayed with me for many years.” —AP

YOKOHAMA: Thailand’s prime minister said the release of Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi is a positive sign but it remains to be seen what it will lead to and the situation in his country’s neighbor to the west bears watching carefully. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva also said in an interview yesterday that Thailand was willing to take more measures to control capital inflows if needed but stressed that it was not in the business of seeking a certain level for its baht currency. Myanmar’s military rulers freed Nobel laureate Suu Kyi on Saturday after her latest house arrest term expired. The move is expected to revive debate over Western sanctions against the reclusive, resource-rich country. “Exactly what this will lead to I think remains to be seen because there are a number of factors, transitions according to the constitution, elections, the clashes with the minorities that have taken place over the last week,” Abhisit told Reuters. He added that he did not know yet exactly what kind of political role Suu Kyi would play. “But I think it will become clear in coming days. In any case, I think the transition period may be two to three months, and will be something we have to watch very closely.” Abhisit, who was in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, to attend a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, added that the Western powers’ reaction to Suu Kyi’s release would be one of caution. “They will obviously welcome the move. But whether that will actually lead to change or a review of policies and long-term reactions is another matter.” He expressed no great concern about the strength of the Thai baht but said Thailand was willing to take additional steps to control the influx of capital if they became necessary. “They are not necessary as of now, but if there are excessive flows in the future, and if those flows warrant additional measures, we are willing to take them.” “But on the whole we are not in the business of either setting an exchange rate target or intervening to achieve a certain level. We just want to make sure there is no excessive volatility or speculation.” — Reuters

HIROSHIMA: Nobel Peace Prize laureates (from left), former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, American Jody Williams, former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk, and Iranian lawyer Shrin Ebadi lay a wreath at the cenotaph for the atomic-bomb victims during the 11th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates at the Peace Memorial park in Hiroshima yesterday. — AP

Indonesian villagers trickle home as toll touches 250 NGAGLIK, Indonesia: Villagers forced to flee when Indonesia’s most active volcano erupted in a series of killer blasts trickled back home yesterday even as rescuers dug out more bodies from mountains of ash. Indonesian authorities said the area around Mount Merapi remained on “red alert” as it continued to shoot huge clouds of ash into the air following eruptions that have claimed the lives of almost 250 people. But officials said they have reduced the danger zone around Merapi, one of dozens of active volcanoes on the archipelago that straddles major tectonic fault lines known as “ring of fire” between the Pacific and Indian oceans. Dozens of residents made their way back this weekend to Ngaglik, where a blanket of thick grey ash shrouded almost everything in sighthomes, trees and roads, as well as rice and chilli fields. The village lies about 12 kilometres (seven miles) south of the volcano’s peak and is still within the danger zone, but residents say they have grown restless staying in safety shelters. Nearly 400,000 people have fled their homes since Mount Merapi began erupting late last month, forcing them to live in cramped makeshift camps away from the disaster zone in central Java island. “I couldn’t stand staying at the shelter any longer. I want to go back to a normal life,” said 32-year-old farmer Suharti, who spent eight days in a temporary camp. “But it’s hard now. My rice and chillies were all burnt by the searing volcanic ash. They’re

worth 6.5 million rupiah ($730). Now, I have to find money so I can farm again,” she told AFP. Her roadside home has been turned into a “distribution post” by relief workers to give out food staples such as rice, eggs, sugar and oil to returning villagers. Children played as residents queued patiently for rations. “There’s nothing to cook, all the crops were ruined,” lamented Sugono, a farmer in his 40s. Merapi, a sacred landmark in Javanese tradition whose name translates as “Mountain of Fire”, began erupting in late October. Disaster management agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho put the overall death toll at 242, saying rescuers were still hunting for bodies. Heru Nugroho, a spokesman for Sarjito hospital in the nearby city of Yogyakarta, said that figure excluded eight bodies rescuers found in an ash-buried village yesterday. Many of the dead were buried under fast-flowing torrents of boiling hot gas and rock that incinerated villages when the volcano exploded on November 5 in its biggest eruption in over a century. Senior volcanologist Sukhyar said villages surrounding Mount Merapi remained on “highest red alert” but that the government had reduced the danger zone around the volcano, except on southern slopes still affected by heat clouds. “The energy of Merapi has reduced significantly since November 8... We only detected one or two heatcloud emissions,” he told a press conference in Yogyakarta. —AFP

YOGYAKARTA: Elderly women evacuated due to the eruption of Mount Merapi volcano sit at the temporary shelter in the Magelang district in Central Java, some 43 km north of Yogyakarta, yesterday. — AFP



Monday, November 15, 2010

US should reduce operations’ intensity: Karzai KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the United States must reduce the visibility and intensity of its military operations, especially night raids that fuel antiAmerican sentiment and could embolden Taleban insurgents. Karzai’s remarks in an interview Saturday with The Washington Post come as the international military coalition has stepped up pressure on insurgents at the same time that the president has set up a peace council in hopes of reconciling with the top echelon of the Taleban. “The time has come to reduce military operations,” Karzai said in the interview. “The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan ... to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life.” Karzai also said he met with one or two “very high” level Taleban leaders about three months ago, but described a peace process in its initial stages - one that amounts to little more than “the exchange of desires for peace.” He

said, however, that he believes Taleban leader Mullah Omar has been informed of his discussions. He said the Taleban share his feeling that the nine-year-old war has taken too high a toll on the people of Afghanistan. “They feel the same as we do here - that too many people are suffering for no reason,” Karzai said. “Their own families are suffering.” Gen David Petraeus, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, claims the 30,000 US reinforcements and thousands of troops dispatched to the war this past year have made substantial progress in beating back the insurgency, although the coalition is not claiming victory. In the past three months, more than 300 insurgent leaders have been captured or killed, more than 850 lower-level militants have been killed and at least 2,170 foot soldiers have been apprehended. Karzai said the US should end the rising number of

Special Operations forces night raids that aggravate Afghans and could strengthen the Taleban insurgency. He said he wants American troops off the roads and out of Afghan homes and that the long-term presence of so many foreign soldiers will only make the war worse. “I don’t like it in any manner and the Afghan people don’t like these raids in any manner,” Karzai said. “We don’t like raids in our homes. This is a problem between us and I hope this ends as soon as possible. ... Terrorism is not invading Afghan homes and fighting terrorism is not being intrusive in the daily Afghan life.” A senior official with the military coalition’s headquarters in Kabul said yesterday that the coalition share’s Karzai’s concerns and has discussed the issue with him on many occasions. “However, the use of intelligence-driven, precisiontargeted operations against high-value insurgents and their networks remains a key component of our compre-

hensive civilian-military counterinsurgency operations,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss Karzai’s remarks. “These operations are conducted in full partnership with the government of Afghanistan and they include Afghan forces on each operation. There is no question that they are having a significant impact on insurgent leadership and its networks. Karzai said in the interview that he was speaking out not to criticize the United States but in the belief that candor could improve what he called a “grudging” relationship between the countries, although he said tension had eased and he feels he can talk openly about his feelings. “We don’t shout at each other as often as we did before,” Karzai said. White House officials had no immediate comment early yesterday. Karzai has repeatedly criticized civilian casualties caused by US and NATO operations.

The number of Afghan civilians killed or injured in the war soared 31 percent in the first six months of the year, but Taleban bombings and assassinations were largely responsible for the sharp rise, according to the United Nations. The UN said the number of deaths and injuries caused by NATO and Afghan government forces dropped 30 percent compared with the first six months of last year, largely a result of curbs on the use of air power and heavy weapons. President Barack Obama has set July 2011 as a target to begin drawing down US troops, if conditions allow, but American officials expect troops to be in Afghanistan for some time after that. Karzai has said he wants Afghan security forces to be able to take the lead in protecting and defending the nation by 2014. The mechanics of that transition will be a key topic of a threeday NATO meeting that starts Friday in Lisbon, Portugal. — AP

Dozens hurt in clashes as strike paralyzes Bangladesh Transport disrupted badly DHAKA: Dozens were injured in violent clashes betw een protesters and police in major cities a cross Bangla desh yesterday as a nationw ide strike ca lled by the main opposition party brought the country to a sta ndstill. The cla shes erupted as Bangla desh Na tiona list Party activists sta ged da y-long protests over the eviction of BNP lea der and

JALALABAD: Smoke and fire burns NATO fuel trucks yesterday. — AFP

Afghan government says kidnapped diplomat free Roadside bombs kill 2 foreign soldiers, 6 Afghans KABUL: Afghanistan’s former ambassador-designate to Pakistan, seized by gunmen two years ago in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, has been released and is back home safe, the president’s office said yeterday. The diplomat, Abdul Khaliq Farahi, was freed in eastern Afghanistan late Saturday in a joint effort by officials from both countries and has returned to Kabul, where he met yesterday with President Hamid Karzai, his office said. A brief statement gave no details on how he was freed. Farahi was heading from the Afghan consulate toward his home in the border city of Peshawar on Sept 22, 2008, when gunmen stopped the vehicle and killed his driver. “Abdul Khaliq Farahi is in good condition and right now he is in Kabul with his family,” Karzai’s office said. Meanwhile, two foreign soldiers and three Afghan police officers were killed by roadside bombs in Afghanistan yesterday, while three civilians lost their lives in separate blasts caused by the home-made devices. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the military deaths happened in the volatile south of the country. One happened in Spin Boldak district near the Pakistan border, police in Kandahar province said. The deaths come after three foreign soldiers were killed on

Saturday in an insurgent attack in the same region, the focus of the sweeping counter-insurgency drive against Taleban-led militants. A total of 638 foreign troops have now been killed in Afghanistan this year, according to an AFP count based on the independent website, which tracks coalition fatalities and injuries. That compares to 521 killed in 2009, in what was previously the deadliest year on record for the forces in Afghanistan. Improvised explosive devices account for the majority of coalition fatalities, although civilians are more often the victims of the bombs, according to the United Nations. Khudai Rahim, the governor of Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan, later said a roadside bomb killed three police officers and injured another two in Tarin Kot district. The Taleban claimed responsibility for the attack, said spokesman Khan Agha Miakhail. Three civilians were killed and 20 others were wounded in home-made bomb blasts in eastern and southern Afghanistan, the government and local officials said. One person died and nine others were wounded, including six children and two women, when a homemade bomb in a wheelbarrow went off in the eastern city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan’s interior min-

istry said. The attack happened near a NATO military base where Taleban fighters launched a pre-dawn attack on Saturday. The assault was foiled and eight militants were killed, the alliance said. Another two people were killed and 11 others were injured when a motorcycle bomb exploded in Spin Boldak. The Kandahar provincial governor’s office said the bomb was intended for border police but no officer was injured. The attacks happened after 10 people, including three children, were killed in a motorcycle bombing at a market in a remote area of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan on Saturday. A similar style bomb injured five in Kandahar city hours later. The hardline Islamist Taleban held power in Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, when they were ousted in the US-led invasion after the September 11 attacks in the United States. Improvised explosive devices, which are crude, cheaply-made and difficult to detect, have become the weapon of choice for Taleban militants in their increasingly deadly insurgency against NATO forces. The number of ordinary Afghans killed in the conflict rose by a third in the first six months of 2010 to 1,271, with most deaths caused by insurgent attacks, the world body said in August.—AFP

Prince William flies into Afghanistan to honor war dead LONDON: Prince William flew into Afghanistan yesterday for a special remembrance service to honor Britain’s war dead, including those killed in the troubled nation, his office said here. The Prince attended the service at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, on Remembrance Sunday-when Britain pays tribute to those killed in the course of conflict. He also laid a wreath in their honor before flying back home. The 28-year-old, who is second in line to the throne, was joined by the government’s Defense Secretary Liam Fox. “Remembrance Sunday is a time when the entire country stops to recognize the sacrifices made by the armed forces on our behalf,” Fox said. “I am extremely proud that Prince William and I could come to Camp Bastion to stand alongside the men and women serving in Afghanistan today. “I pay tribute to them, and everyone who has served before them in this conflict, and others on behalf of the freedoms that the British people enjoy.” Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, mostly in Helmand, making it the second largest contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Prince William had already paid a secret visit to the country in 2008, visiting frontline troops in Kandahar. His younger brother, Harry, had served with the British army in Afghanistan for 10 weeks, but was withdrawn in 2008 after media reported the deployment. — AFP

CAMP BASTION: Britain’s Prince William talks to a member of the Afghan Army before a Remembrance Day ceremony yesterday. — AFP

A former commerce minister was among a dozen injured in Chittagong, the country’s main port city, while a police inspector was hit by a small bomb in northern Mymensingh city, local police told AFP. A police van was burnt out by a petrol bomb in Dhaka, where security was tight with at least 10,000 heavily armed policemen and 2,000 members of an elite Rapid Action Battalion out in force, police spokesman Walid Hossain said. Hossain said police swung into action at several sites in the capital, using rubber bullets, tear gas and batons after opposition activists became violent. “Barring these isolated incidents, the strike was largely peaceful,” he said. At least 100 opposition activists have been arrested on charges of attacking police with small bombs and bricks and damaging vehicles in cities and towns across the country, police officers told AFP. Security forces barricaded the BNP headquarters in central Dhaka with barbed wire and used colored water to douse lawyers supporting the strike outside the country’s supreme court. Shops, businesses and schools were closed in all the major cities and towns across the country, and police said road transport in Dhaka and major cities had almost ground to a halt. Bus and lorry services have also been cut, snapping links between the capital and other cities and towns and stranding millions of people who planned to visit village homes to celebrate Muslim festival of Eid AlAdha. On Saturday Dhaka erupted into violence after news spread that Zia has been evicted from the Dhaka home where she has been living for 38 years. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the BNP supporters who went on the rampage torching and damaging dozens of vehicles. At least 21 people were detained. Officials said Zia willingly left the sprawling house-leased to her by the government after her husband, president Ziaur Rahman, was murdered in 1981 as a court deadline to vacate the home expired Friday. Zia told reporters on Saturday police officers had entered her bedroom, dragged her out and pushed her into a car. She said she was removed illegally as the country’s highest court was still hearing an appeal against a lower court’s eviction order. In another incident, two people were killed in a suicide bombing at a ruling party lawmaker’s house in western Bangladesh on Saturday. Police would not say whether the blast linked to Zia’s eviction. The lawmaker was unhurt. In a statement on Saturday night, the US Embassy said it was “closely monitoring” events related to Zia’s residence in the cantonment. “We hope that these issues can be resolved through dialogue and established legal procedures. We call on all sides to exercise restraint,” the statement signed by embassy spokesman Patricia Hill said. — AFP

former tw o-time premier Khaleda Zia from her home on Sa turda y, triggering late-night rioting. Officers fired rubber bullets and used ba tons against strike supporters in front of the party headqua rters in Dha ka and its regiona l office in the second biggest city of Chittagong, police sa id.

DHAKA: Activists of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) carry an injured man during a nationwide strike yesterday. — AFP

Violence returns to Bangladesh DHAKA: Violence broke out in Bangladesh at the weekend after the government evicted opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia from her home, while a general strike called for by the opposition was partially observed. After around four years of relative calm, there are worries the trouble may not only be a major distraction from the government’s policy challenges, but could also signal the start of a return to the widespread political fighting that blighted the south Asian country for decades. Following are some questions and answers relating to the latest unrest: How strong is the opposition? The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is one of the two biggest political parties in Bangladesh along with Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League. Power has rotated between the two women for decades, and the BNP is expected to be a major contender in the next election, due by the end of 2013. The BNP had already demanded an early election, saying Hasina’s administration had failed. What will happen next? The BNP is unlikely to call another strike or announce fresh protests until after the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha on Wednesday (Nov 17). Party insiders say

options for next steps will include more shutdowns and rallies. Hasina, meanwhile, is not about to accede to the opposition’s demand for early election. The only body which may be able to influence her is the country’s armed forces, which continue to wield power behind the scenes. Some of Saturday’s violence occurred just outside an entrance to the Dhaka military barracks, and a key question is how the army will respond. What is the background? The last time political violence broke out on the streets was just before an army-backed interim government took charge in January 2007. That takeover came after dozens were killed in battles between supporters of the rival women. Hasina took office after elections in 2009. Since then her major concerns have been unrest by garment workers demanding higher wages and better working conditions in the economically key sector, as well as fewer overseas jobs for Bangladeshis, widespread poverty, power shortages and lack of investment. Addressing these policy challenges would become even more difficult if political violence spreads. Islamic party Jammat-e-Islami, a traditional BNP ally, is likely to back Khaleda, which would increase the political pressure on Hasina. — Reuters

Indian troops kill 2 along Kashmir border SRINAGAR: Soldiers shot dead two suspected militants yesterday after they crossed into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side of the disputed region, an army spokesman said. The two were killed along the Line of Control (LoC) — the de facto border that splits Kashmir between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan-in the southern Poonch sector, the Indian army spokesman said. “The operation in the area is still going on,” he said, adding that militants were desperate to get into Indian Kashmir before the Himalayan passes get blocked by snow. The insurgency against Indian rule has left more than 47,000 people dead since it erupted in 1989, according to an official count. Pakistan denies Indian allegations that it funds and arms rebels in Indian Kashmir. Violence had eased after India and Pakistan launched a peace process in 2004 but popular protests against Indian rule since June have left more than 110 protesters and bystanders dead. The unrest has left the government grappling for solutions to the outpouring of anger in the region, where pop-

ular desire for an independent Kashmir remains strong. Home Minister P Chidambaram announced in October that the government had selected senior journalist Dilip Padgaonkar and professors M M Ansari and Radha Kumar to hold talks with separatists and ordinary people in the troubled state. “There is a need to involve Pakistan for finding a durable solution to the Kashmir problem,” Kumar told reporters yesterday in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir. She said she favored confidence building measures like release of political prisoners arrested for taking part in or organizing anti-India protests. The experts have held talks with pro-India Kashmiri politicians, students, traders and jailed militants. Separatist politicians have declined to meet them, describing the exercise as “futile” and a “time-gaining” tactic by New Delhi. But Kumar said they were hopeful of a meeting with the separatists. “We would want to meet the separatists on every trip to the state and I hope we will meet them soon... it is a hope,” she said. — AFP



Monday, November 15, 2010


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Wary of Taleban, Afghan mujahideen set for fight By Kathy Gannon resident Hamid Karzai's moves to make peace with the Taleban are scaring Afghanistan's ethnic minorities into taking their weapons out of mothballs and preparing for a fight. Mindful that Karzai's overtures come with NATO's blessing, and that US and NATO forces will eventually leave, they worry that power will shift back into the hands of the forces they helped to overthrow in 2001. Such a peace deal won't be easy in a country with a complex ethnic makeup and a tradition of vendetta killings. With ethnic and tribal differences having sharpened during the violence of the last 30 years, there's little indication that Karzai's overtures are gaining much traction. Still, some mujahedeen commanders of the Northern Alliance of minority groups that fought the Taleban - are taking no chances. They speak openly of the weaponry they have kept despite a UN disarmament drive. In the Panjshir Valley, heartland of the Northern Alliance, Mohammed Zaman says that when the UN came looking for weapons, "the mujahedeen gave one and hid the other 19." "We have plenty of weapons, rocket launchers and small arms and we can get any kind of weapons we need from the gun mafias that exist in our neighboring countries," he said. "All the former mujahedeen from commander to soldier, they have made preparations if they (the Taleban) come into the government." Zaman was speaking to The Associated Press at the grave of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the charismatic Tajik leader who commanded the Northern Alliance and died in an AlQaeda suicide bombing two days before the Sept 11 attacks that provoked the US invasion. Somah Ibrahim, a UN spokesman, said 94,262 small arms and 12,248 heavy weapons were collected by the time the disarmament program ended in 2005. But fewer than half of them were destroyed; some went to the army and police, which many of the militiamen joined. The Hazara, a mainly Shiite ethnic group, are also worried. "We have lots of weapons but they are not modern weapons. They are simple weapons," said Abbas Noian, a Hazara legislator. "It is very bad, America announcing they will leave Afghanistan. It has given more power to the militants, more energy. Already we minorities are afraid. We want peace but we are afraid of a strong Taleban," he said. In late


2009, President Barack Obama spoke of starting a gradual pullout in July 2011 if conditions allowed, but then clarified that he was not envisaging a mass exodus at that time. Lately, attention has lately shifted to 2014, when Karzai expects his forces to be ready to take the lead in securing Afghanistan. Fahim Dashti, a Tajik, was present when the bombers blew up Massoud. He survived with scarred hands and arms and now edits the English-language Kabul Weekly. Dashti says the minorities began rearming about 18 months ago. "The reason is because we don't know who President Karzai is talking to and what he is saying, but we feel the agenda of the government is to Pashtun-ize the government, the re-Talebanization of the system," he said. Most Taleban are Pashtun, the country's majority ethnic group. "We are afraid," Dashti said. "We have the experience already of the Taleban. We know who they are and what they have done to other ethnic groups." Karzai's spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on the reports of rearmament. The Taleban came to power in 1996 after years of civil war, imposed a harsh brand of Islam and played host to Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda fighters. After the US-led coalition invaded, the Northern Alliance militias gained control in a UN-crafted agreement. Karzai, a Pashtun with no militia of his own, became president. But the Pashtuns felt sidelined in the new order, and analysts say their resentment has helped to reinvigorate the Taleban. Now the minorities worry that Karzai, besieged by allegations of corruption, may be returning to his Pashtun base for his political survival. "The expectation is that insecurity will increase, that the hold of the government will slip even further, and that sooner or later it is all going to disintegrate," said Martine van Bijlert director and co-founder of the Afghan Analysts Network, an independent think tank. "Many fear that it will be like the early 1990s, when there was civil war in Afghanistan and everyone fought everyone," she said. Abdullah Abdullah, a close associate of the assassinated Massoud and loser to Karzai in the fraud-ridden 2009 presidential election, blamed the US. He said its talk of withdrawal emboldened the Taleban. "People are rearming in some parts of the country," he said. "Who is going to protect them against the Taleban? NATO? Karzai?" — AP

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

Iraq's Maliki muscles into a second term By Serena Chaudhry droit horse-trading and sheer tenacity secured Iraq's leader a second term, but his success at enforcing his will raises questions about Iraq's democratic future as it wrestles to overcome a legacy of dictatorship. Nuri Al-Maliki, the Shiite incumbent, survived an eight-month battle to preside this week over a deal under which Iraq's Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni political factions will to some extent share power in a national partnership government. He managed to include his arch rival, former premier Iyad Allawi and his Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance, in the new government while at the same time shoving Allawi and his ambitions for high office firmly aside. Iraqiya, which was the actual vote winner in the March 7 election after winning strong support from minority Sunnis, will be the junior partner in government. "There's no question about the fact that Maliki's come out the winner," said Gala Riani, Middle East analyst with consultant IHS Global Insight. Malikilittle known when he was first handed the premiership in 2006 as a compromise candidate following long government formation talks-has reinforced his growing stature as a skilful political operator. But many Sunnis feel Iraq's Shiite majority cheated them of power that was rightfully theirs after Iraqiya's election win, and


complain that US-imposed democracy has replaced Saddam Hussein's Sunni dictatorship with a Shiite strongman. "These are historical echoes that continue to be important for Iraq. People are always going to be very worried about the possibility of one figure centralizing a great deal of

power," Riani said. "At the same time, the country needs a strong leadership." Allawi, a secular Shiite who was premier in Iraq's 2004-5 transitional government, was unable to build a governing coalition despite winning two more seats than Maliki. POWERS OF PERSUASION

Maliki managed in his first term to turn even allies into foes through occasional hints of authoritarian tendencies. Yet his powers of persuasion and tenacity saw other factions align themselves with him for lack of a better option during a political vacuum after the March election

that a stubborn Sunni Islamist insurgency tried to exploit with violence. With the help of a lukewarm ally in Iran, Maliki won the support of anti-US Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, a former foe whose Mehdi army militia was crushed by Maliki in 2008. He then won over the

Foreign influence behind Iraq power-sharing pact By Assad Abboud raq's power-sharing deal, hailed as a sign of its factions coming together, is more a result of foreign powers' influence and was pushed in particular by the United States and Iran, analysts say. The still-fragile pact has resulted in Nuri Al-Maliki being awarded a second term as prime minister and finally raised the prospect of a government being formed in a country that has lacked a new administration since polls in March. But while the deal illustrates the balance of power in the region, analysts say it may also have been part of an effort by the United States and Iran, the two biggest foreign players in Iraqi politics, to clear the decks for talks on the Islamic republic's controversial nuclear program next month. "The agreement came as a result of the confluence of various international and regional issues," said Ehsan Al-Shammari, an Iraqi political expert. "Iran was facing off with Washington and obstructing its efforts to form a government over the past few months. But now, it appears to be more flexible because it needed to conclude this issue as a prelude to addressing its nuclear issue through negotiations." Shammari added: "The external and the internal situation (in Iraq) cannot be separated." On Friday, EU diplomacy chief Catherine Ashton agreed to resume long-stalled


nuclear talks between the major powers and Iran on December 5, although the venue has yet to be agreed. Ashton represents Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States in the talks aimed at allaying Western concerns that Iran's civilian nuclear program is cover for a weapons drive, something Tehran denies. With those talks less than a month away, one Iraqi MP said Iran and the United States wanted to resolve the political stalemate in Baghdad so that they could move on. "There are basically two countries trying to attract Iraq-the United States and Iran-and what happens here reflects their desires," the MP from the mainly Sunnibacked Iraqiya bloc said on condition of anonymity. "They want to maintain their influence at the lowest cost possible ahead of their dealings on other things," he added, alluding to the nuclear talks. Hamid Fadhel, a professor of politics at Baghdad University, said he saw no direct link to the nuclear talks but agreed that the power-sharing deal could not have been struck without the backing of both Tehran and Washington. "Maliki succeeded in being the acceptable choice of both Iran and America that choice kind of balances the interests of America in Iraq and Iran in Iraq," he said. "Iran felt he was closest to Iran's policies, and the United States did not see him as against

their policies, he was cooperative." Fadhel added: "Without Iran's green light, this government would not have been formed." A senior US diplomat, however, insisted that Washington exerted its influence only as a facilitator. "I think they see us as a neutral broker," the diplomat said in a background briefing to reporters in Baghdad. "And I don't think there's anyone else in this country right now that plays that role." Neither the US nor Iranian embassies in Baghdad immediately responded to requests for comment. The power-sharing deal, agreed late on Wednesday, resulted in the selection of Osama Al-Nujaifi, a Sunni Arab, as the speaker of parliament, with Maliki, a Shiite, and President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, retaining their posts. It also established a new statutory body to oversee security as a sop to Iraqiya leader Iyad Allawi, who had held out for months to regain the post of premier after his bloc narrowly won the most seats in the March 7 election. "The delay to the formation of the government is because of regional and international conflicts," said Ibrahim Al-Sumaidaie, an independent political analyst. "The importance of regional balances is evident in the distribution of power... It must not be forgotten that the stability of this country reflects the stability of the region, and vice versa." — AFP

Kurdish minority, and enough Sunni lawmakers to be able to push Iraqiya to bend to his will. "Maliki's strategy appears to have been to simply present himself as the most likely prime ministerial candidate," said David Bender, Middle East analyst for Eurasia Group. "As Iraq's political limbo dragged on through the summer, it became increasingly clear that Maliki wasn't the first choice, but he was the only viable choice, the only figure that everyone could make a deal with." Maliki, who seems quick to anger and has a long memory for grievances, built his reputation on pulling Iraq back from the brink of civil war following the sectarian slaughter of 2006-07. He campaigned as a strong leader who got things done, willing to take on both Sunni insurgents and Shiite militia. His government will most likely start off quite weak, riven by discord and mistrust among its diverse partners. But analysts said Maliki could be expected at some point to start testing his wings and asserting his authority. "One potential long-term scenario is that once he is confirmed, Maliki will try again what he did in 2008, that is develop an independent power base without his coalition partners such as the Kurds and the Sadrists, and once more become a strongman ruler," said Reidar Visser of Iraq-focused website — Reuters

Togo opposition makes peace with father's 'killers' By Sophie Mongalvy ogo's opposition chief has survived death sentences and an assassination bid: but a recent deal made with the president, son of the man implicated in his own father's murder has shocked former allies. Gilchrist Olympio, now 73, says his power-sharing deal with the government of President Faure Gnassingbe is aimed at moving the West African country forward. His critics say he has given up the opposition struggle and let himself be co-opted by those in power. "Time has passed," Olympio, the son of the country's first president, said recently in an interview at his home in Lome, the capital of the former French colony of some 6.6 million people. "We are politicians. The country is in a horrible state. We must have some form of reconciliation-not only politically, but also personally." But describing it as reconciliation only begins to tell the story of Olympio's family and that of the Eyadema family, which has dominated Togo's political scene since 1967. Gilchrist's father, Sylvanus Olympio, became Togo's first president after independence, but was assassinated in a coup in 1963. Gilchrist took refuge in


LOME: Opposition leader, 72 year old, Gilchrist Olympio of the Union of Forces for Change (UFC) poses for photographers during an interview at his home in Tokoin Casablanca in Lome. — AFP neighboring Ghana, his mother's home country. Gnassingbe Eyadema, who has been accused of involvement in the murder of Olympio's father, went on to

rule Togo with an iron fist from 1967 until his death in 2005. His son Faure Gnassingbe succeeded him. The British-educated Olympio, meanwhile,

spent many years in exile following his father's murder, including a period working at the International Monetary Fund. In the 1980s the authorities labeled him "chief terrorist", twice sentencing him to death in absentia. In 1992, he survived an assassination attempt. It was after elections in March this year that Olympio decided to agree to a deal with the government of President Gnassingbe-son of the man implicated in his own father's murder. "I have seen other African heads of state-many of them-and I think that ours, with a bit of good advice, can succeed in bringing the beginnings of democracy to our country," Olympio said. It was the "only solution," he said, adding that 40 years in opposition had produced nothing positive. The deal gave Olympio's opposition faction a handful of ministries. But it also led to a split in his opposition Union of Forces for Change party, already hit with internal divisions. Jean-Pierre Fabre, the party's candidate for president in the March elections, vehemently criticized Olympio's deal and refused to participate. The government then said it only recognized Olympio's opposition faction, and authorities have since fired

tear gas at rallies for Fabre's grouping. Fabre, who has formed a new opposition party, denounces Olympio as a "diva" with a "bizarre personality." He and others say their cause has been hurt by his rival's move, since the public now views the opposition as weakened. "We cannot talk about power sharing when really it is the army that has the power in Togo," Fabre said, repeating a widely held view. The logic behind the deal, which has given Olympio's faction seven ministries, has been the subject of intense speculation. One analyst said it seemed those in power wanted to bring Olympio on board for strategic reasons. "It is as if they wanted to do away with the term 'Gilchrist Olympio, historic opposition figure,' to give some power to the regime in place, but it hasn't done anything," said Zeus Aziadouvo, editor of the Liberte daily. Olympio says criticism over the deal does not bother him. After decades of opposition, he has learned a thing or two about weathering insults. "You know, being criticized, the names and all that, that's part of the daily life of a politician, and that does not bother me at all," said Olympio, a hint of amusement in his voice. — AFP


Monday, november 15, 2010


Obama's Asia frustrations raise protectionist risks By Alister Bull he risks of a wave of protectionist sentiment on Capitol Hill just got higher after President Barack Obama struggled to win over wary leaders of export-driven Asian economies. Obama's message to trade surplus nations during his 10-day swing through Asia was unwavering: the path to global prosperity is not "simply paved with exports to America". But if he was heard, he is not being heeded. "The failure of movement of the Chinese does not bode well for heading off new trade restrictions (in Congress)," said Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. "If we can't get the two sides to tango, this is going to cause continued problems for world growth and potential future crises, and in the short run for potential protectionist outbreaks." Even before last week's G20 summit, China and Germany had quashed Washington's proposal to set numerical targets for current account imbalances that risk destabilizing the global economy. When the leaders of the group-whose economies account for more than 80 percent of global output-met in Seoul, there was no agreement even on how to identify such imbalances. Chinese President Hu Jintao told an Asia-Pacific summit in


YOKOHAMA: US President Barack Obama (left) speaks with Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (second left) as Chilean President Sebastian Pinera Echenique (second right) adjusts the bowtie of Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang before The Declaration of The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Yokohama yesterday. APEC leaders have agreed to transform their hopes to build a trans-Pacific trade treaty into a more solid vision and said they would take steps to make that happen. — AFP Japan yesterday that the global recovery is neither well established nor balanced and that pro-

tectionism is on the rise. But there was no sense that Beijing sees eye to eye with

Washington on how to go about achieving the rebalancing needed to avert the risk of a trade

war. China cried foul over the Federal Reserve's easy money steps to boost the US economy and ruled out a sharp rise in the yuan, which would suck in imports and boost domestic demand. US lawmakers assert that China keeps its currency undervalued by as much as 40 percent, giving its manufacturers an unfair advantage against imports and making Chinese exports cheaper. Bergsten's institute reckons the yuan is 17 percent undervalued against a basket of currencies. UNBRIDGED RIFTS, DOMESTIC PRESSURE In short, Obama returned to Washington yesterday with little to show voters who, angry about high unemployment, handed control of the House of Representatives back to Republicans on Nov. 2 after an election campaign marked by anger over China and the loss of US jobs to cheap imports. The president failed to clinch even a bilateral victory on the sidelines of the G20 summit: the conclusion of a long-stalled free trade pact with South Korea. The US Chamber of Commerce has warned that 340,000 US jobs are at risk if the pact falls through. "It is hard to imagine how the summit could have gone any worse for the US Treasury and the president," said Simon Johnson, a former IMF chief economist. "The Chinese are digging in hard on their exchange rate; this is headed towards a mutually destructive trade war."

So far predictions of a descent into a 1930s-style tariff barrier war have been proved wrong. And the rhetoric is pulling the other way: the communiques of both the G20 and APEC summits resounded with pledges to refrain from competitive devaluations, maintain open markets and fight protectionism. However, it may be too early to sigh in relief. The summiteers parted with rifts unbridged and Obama returns home to pressure from voters to do something about a stubbornly sluggish economy. "This strong language is reassuring, but does not preclude a trade war from breaking out if the US economy in particular remains weak and China moves too slowly," said Julian Jessop, chief international economist for Global Economics. A new Congress takes charge in January, with trade sanctions against China already passed by the House of Representatives and waiting for approval in the Senate. The new Congress will include a number of freshly elected conservative Tea Party members who may not share the Republican Party's traditional enthusiasm for trade, promoting isolationist sentiment that is normally kept on the fringe of US politics. "The shift in the balance of power (in Congress) is likely to cause a more protectionist approach to foreign economic policy," said Tony Twine, senior economist at research group Econometrix. — Reuters

G20 stalemate points up disruptive power shift By Alan Wheatley conomic power is leeching from the old world to emerging markets. The politics of globalization are not keeping pace with this shift. And that makes it hard to agree joint action to tackle urgent issues such as how to reduce China's external surplus. The Group of 20 summit in Seoul amply corroborated each of these truisms. The risk now is that, in the absence of policy coordination, a purely market-driven adjustment of global economic imbalances will be messier than it need be. And where market forces are not allowed to prevail, as is the case with China's exchange rate, the temptation for politicians in the United States and Europe to try to force the adjustment through tariffs and import barriers can only grow. "There is a pervasive sense that the G20 has reached the limit of cooperative efforts towards rebalancing of the world economy," said Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University professor and a senior fellow at the Washingtonbased Brookings Institution. With advanced economies barely


plodding along while emerging markets are enjoying red-hot growth, reconciling the different types of policies required has become difficult, Prasad said. "In an increasingly integrated world economy with emerging markets playing a prominent role, cross-border spillovers of domestic policies then set up a situation ripe for conflict," he added. These conflicts were on show in Seoul. Emerging economy members of the G20 flailed the easy-money policies of the Federal Reserve, the US central bank; President Barack Obama, beset at home by high unemployment and low growth, urged Chinese President Hu Jintao to ease the pressure on American manufacturers by letting the yuan rise faster. But the writ of the United States in the global economic system no longer runs unchallenged. Gone are the days when a US Treasury secretary could gather four counterparts around a table and set in motion sweeping changes to exchange rates and trade positions. In the eyes of policymakers in many developing countries, US primacy and credibility have been eroded by the global financial crisis, which had its ori-

gins in the US subprime mortgage meltdown. The ultra-loose monetary and fiscal policies that the United States has adopted in response is testing faith in the dollar to destruction-and not just among the likes of China and Russia. No less a figure than World Bank President Robert Zoellick, himself a former US Treasury official, said last week it was time to start thinking about building a new monetary system. So it is little wonder that Washington has repeatedly failed to get Beijing to do its bidding on the yuan. In Seoul, a different tactic fizzled: the G20 refused to back a US plan for numerical targets for current account surpluses and deficitsa roundabout way of applying peer pressure on China. Instead, Hu stuck to Beijing's wellrehearsed stance that the yuan's rate of climb would remain gradual and calibrated to China's national interest. In case someone had not heard the first time, Hu repeated his position at an Asia-Pacific leaders' meeting yesterday in the Japanese port city of Yokohama. Stewart Patrick with the Council on Foreign Relations in New York said the

Fed's recent decision to embark on a $600 billion bond-buying program had undercut Obama at the summit. Moreover, his party's trouncing in midterm Congressional elections had made his G20 counterparts skeptical of the president's ability to deliver on global commitments "Confidence in US global economic leadership continues to wane," Patrick said. 'VICTORY FOR EMERGING MARKETS' Illustrating how the sands are shifting, the G20 gave its blessing to developing countries such as Brazil that opt for capital controls to prevent incoming walls of cash from pushing up already overvalued exchange rates. Not long ago, such curbs were anathema to the United States and the IMF. In another nod to the growing clout of developing countries, the Seoul summit formally endorsed a deal that gives them more power in the running of the IMF, largely at Europe's expense. "On balance, this G20 meeting was a victory for emerging markets," commented Lena Komileva, head of G7 market economics at Tullett Prebon. The G20 is not doomed to deadlock as

emerging giants try to wrestle power from advanced economies. As well as settling on a redistribution of chairs and shares at the IMF, the group agreed new rules designed to avert future bank collapses. But the Seoul stalemate over imbalances points up the group's limitations when it is not confronted by an immediate crisis, as it was at the first G20 summit two years ago. Then, the freezing up of global credit markets and the onset of recession concentrated minds and generated a coordinated stimulus in response. Today, divergent trade and inflation trends are leading to tension rather than policy coordination, according to economists at JP Morgan. "Ironically, this tension is likely to produce a desired aggregate outcome-an easier global monetary policy setting that increases the likelihood of a strong global growth outcome next year. "However, widening imbalances alongside inappropriately synchronized policy stances raise concern that the eventual global policy normalization will prove far more disruptive than necessary," they wrote in the bank's weekly Global Data Watch. — Reuters

S Africa celebrates 150th year of Indian arrival By Marine Veith outh Africa will tomorrow mark the 150th year since the first indentured Indian workers arrived by boat in Durban where curry, bindis and saris are today an integral part of the city. The anniversary will be marked with prayers at 0400 GMT at sea and speeches on the beach. And Grammy-winning Slumdog Millionaire composer AR Rahman's world tour will reach Durban 10 days later to join the celebrations. "We will do a symbolic prayer on the water to remember the arrival of our parents in this country," said Seelan Achary, spokesman for the 1860 Commemoration Council. "We want to thank them for crossing the ocean and making a home here for us," he added. "Today, we are truly South African but proudly of Indian descent." The eastern port is home to some 800,000 South Africans of Indian descent, although at a national level they make up less than three percent of the population. The indentured laborers who first arrived on November 16 1860 to work colonial sugar cane fields were followed by immigrants, including India's independence hero Mahatma Gandhi whose descendants still live in the city. The relationship has left its mark, with temples and the Juma Masjid mosque, one of the largest in the southern hemisphere, among the city's buildings. In the streets, spices and flower necklaces are sold to the rhythm of Bollywood hits. Bunny chowscooped out bread filled with curry-is a popular fast food, and fully veiled women join surfers in bikinis on the beaches.Indians too were subjected to South Africa's racist rule-but the white apartheid government, which ruled from 1948 to 1994, nevertheless placed them above the black majority. Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of the icon, still lives in Durban. "I was born here, this is my country. I was part of the struggle," she said, meaning the fight to end apartheid.



NATO shield to test Turkey's allegiances By Ibon Villelabeitia US-led plan to build a missile defense shield against Iran will test Turkey's conflicting allegiances, forcing it to find a way to satisfy NATO allies without alienating new partners to the East. Frustrated at "waiting at the gates" of the European Union, and out of step with long time ally the United States on some key foreign policy issuesnotably regarding Iran-Muslim Turkey has charted an increasingly independent course. NATO member states will discuss at a summit in Lisbon on Nov 19-20 whether to build the shield, aimed at countering ballistic threats from the Middle East, in particular Iran. Turkey, the only Muslim state in NATO, doesn't want any NATO agreement on the shield to identify as potential enemies either fellow Muslim states Iran and Syria, or Russia. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan also wants the shield to cover all Turkish territory and seeks guarantees command would stay within NATO. Though Turkey is committed to NATO missions such as Afghanistan, it is no longer the compliant partner that it was during the Cold War and cannot be taken for granted by the West. "Five years ago Ankara's choice would have been predictable," said Semih Idiz, a Turkish foreign policy analyst. "It no longer is so and this carries the seeds of another crisis with the US and the EU along the ideological divide." Turkey seeks stable relations with close neighbors which in past decades have proved troublesome. It has an $11 billion trade with major gas supplier Iran, has become a friend of Syria, and it recently signed a "strategic partnership" with traditional foe Russia. Turkey's transformation from a virtual bankrupt shackled by military coups into a stable democracy with one of the world's fastest growing economies has imbued it with confidence. Erdogan, whose core constituency lies among religious Turks knows his assertiveness goes down well with voters who have as little trust in Washington as an average Egyptian or Pakistani. DISSONANCE Idiz says Erdogan, who has called Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a good friend, has become a "wild card"a valued ally of the West whose maverick streak can prove awkward. Turkey's estrangement from Israel added to complications. Strategically, Turkey straddles energy corridors to Central Asia and the Middle East, with Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the volatile South Caucasus states on its eastern borders,


Russia to the north, and the Balkans to the southwest. The United States sees Turkey, a moderate Muslim state with a secular constitution and strengthening democracy, as a bulwark of stability in the conflict-ridden Eurasian region. Turkey's decision to vote against UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program irked the United States. Last month, treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence Stuart Levey prodded Turkey to enforce international sanctions against Iran more strictly. "There is a perception among US strategists that Turkey is not being helpful and a 'yes' can soothe those concerns," said Ian Lesser from the German Marshall Fund, adding he expect Turkey to come on board given its proximity to trouble spots. Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow said bluntly that Ankara should "demonstrate publicly" that bilateral and NATO alliance relations were moving forward. WHO NEEDS WHO Friction with the West will not disappear. Frustrated by a stalled EU bid, Turkish leaders have hinted that Turkey could go its own way. During a keynote speech in London this week, President Abdullah Gul said the EU needed Turkey if it wanted to remain a global player as world power shifted eastward. He spoke of the possibility of Turkey one day joining the emerging BRIC countriesBrazil, Russia, India and China. "This overconfident message that Turkey does not need the EU so much as the EU needs Turkey is getting louder and louder among the ruling circles," Cengiz Aktar, a Turkish analyst said. "The BRIC + T idea is not new, but what does it mean? Turkey still needs EU norms and values for its modernization process." Hugh Pope, Turkey/Cyprus Project director for the International Crisis Group, said that despite recent strains, the fundamentals of Turkey's Western alliances have not changed. Where some see Ankara's "dangerous embrace" of Tehran, Pope says Sunni Turkey and Shi'ite Iran would appear natural rivals. Moreover, Pope said Turkey and the United States share the goal of preventing Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. "It is the ability of Turkey to be a respected partner of both the EU and the United States that truly distinguishes it from other states in the Middle East and underpins the prosperity and legitimacy that the rest of the region so envies," Pope wrote in a piece titled "Turkey: Pax Ottomana?" — Reuters

Afghanistan: Never mind year ago, the Obama White House was hip-deep in its assessment of what to do about the war in Afghanistan. Thanks to Bob Woodward's book "Obama's Wars," published in September, the nation has a blow-by-blow account of what went on in those sessions. Some generals wanted as many as 60,000 more troops, but the official request was for 40,000 more. The president's "war czar," Lt Gen Douglas Lute, risked his career by advising the president that any military solution was likely to fail. Vice President Joe Biden warned that if the president sent any more troops, "We're locked into Vietnam." In the end, as is his wont, Obama split the baby - more troops, but with a deadline for bringing them home. In a speech at West Point on Dec 1, Obama said, "I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home." Woodward wrote that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, asked the president if his deadline for beginning troop withdrawal was firm. "I have to say that," the president replied. "I can't let this be a war without end, and I can't lose the whole Democratic Party." On Tuesday, one year minus three weeks since West Point, came word leaked by administration and military officials to the McClatchy Newspapers: Never mind. The July 2011 deadline is about to undergo a serious fuzzing-up. "Of course, we're not going to fully transition to the Afghans by July 2011," one senior administration is quoted as saying. "Right now, we think we can start in 2011 and fully transition sometime in 2014." De-emphasizing the deadline represents a victory for the president's Republican critics, who saw the deadline as an invitation to Taleban commanders to kill time. It was the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in last week's election that gave the Democratic president room to maneuver. House Democrats, increasingly unhappy with the war, had threatened to stall war funding. Now the GOP gets to reclaim part ownership of the war. But here's a fun fact for deficit hawks to know and tell: Afghanistan operations now are costing US taxpayers roughly $6 billion a month, based on current troop levels of 94,000. At that rate, pushing the withdrawal deadline back three years will cost an extra $216 billion. Perhaps it all will be worth it on that glorious day in December 2014, when the last US soldier turns his post over to an Afghan National Army soldier. That's the goal set by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who by then, we must assume, will have been visited by the honesty and efficiency fairy. Lt Gen William Caldwell, commander of the NATO training mission in Afghanistan, said Tuesday that he thinks the training goal can be met, but US forces still will have to be on duty as backup forces even after Afghan troops take the lead. So scratch that 2014 date. Make it 2015 or 2016 before the last US troops can be withdrawn. By then the United States will have been in Afghanistan for 14 or 15 years. The Soviet Union was there 10 years. We'll break that record sometime next year. Biden was right. We're locked into Vietnam. — MCT


DURBAN: People shop in the streets of the Phoenix township in the north of Durban - the largest Indian township in South Africa. — AFP Her grandfather spent 21 years in South Africa, in between his time in India and England. The racism and prejudice in South Africa helped shape his social activism, for it is here that he developed his system of passive resistance, the Satyagraha movement. In later years, Indian South Africans played key roles in the anti-apartheid struggle. They include Fatima Meer,

Yusuf Dadoo-and Ahmed Kathrada, who was jailed alongside the country's most famous ex-prisoner, Nelson Mandela. Today, Indian South Africans have made an impact in all walks of life. In the sporting world, for example, Durban-born ace national cricketer Hashim Amla is currently ranked as the world's top one-day batsman. "We have an Indian heritage,

we've got a lot of Indian culture but we consider ourselves as African," said shopkeeper Shane Maharaj, 38, who lives in Phoenix, a settlement in the north of Durban set up by Gandhi in 1904. He would not consider living anywhere else, he added. Another resident, 37-year-old lawyer Miten Naran felt the same way. "We've grown up in this type of environ-

ment. We have our friends, our temple, our family... It is a way of life for us." The Indian community in Durban is still largely concentrated in two main townships of Phoenix and Chatsworth. "It is different for us because we lived separately. We are now learning to live together," said Naran. "But the future of our children looks great because they are now growing up together." — AFP



Monday, November 15, 2010

Hamas rockets can reach Tel Aviv TEL AVIV: A senior Israeli intelligence official warned yesterday that Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip have rockets that can travel 80 kilometers - a longer range than previously reported, which would put the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv within range of its launchers. The official blamed Egypt, saying it was not doing enough to stem smuggling through a network of tunnels along the relatively short border between its Sinai deser t and the Palestinian territory. An Egyptian security official reached for comment maintained that Egypt was combating the smuggling successfully. The Israeli intelligence official said that Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, is “making very big efforts to build up their military capabilities ... building up their rocket capabilities in the Gaza

Strip, and all this is happening because of one important thing: the smuggling of weapons through Egypt to the Gaza Strip.” Egypt, along with Israel, imposed an embargo on Gaza in June 2007 after Hamas militants took control of the area, but the Israelis and United States have repeatedly urged Egypt to do more to prevent weapons smuggling into the territory. “Most of the tunnels that are used to smuggle these rockets and explosives and other weapons are in an area of three to four kilometers,” or up to 2.5 miles, said the official, who is privy to high-level intelligence information and briefed foreign correspondents on condition that he not be identified. “We see it in our intelligence. We have photos of this. In many places we can show photos of Egyptian soldiers located less than 20 meters from

the opening of a tunnel, and the tunnel is operating under his eyes, under his control, and nobody is doing anything about it.” “Egypt can stop all this smuggling of weapons within 24 hours if they want to do it,” he said. “There are enough Egyptian troops and policemen ... located on this border.” Israeli lawmaker Arieh Eldad, a member of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, who has access to classified material, confirmed the official’s assessment. “Egypt is not a country that large quantities of weapons can enter without the authorities knowing,” he said, charging that Egypt allows Hamas to acquire arms in exchange for the Islamic militants leaving Egypt alone. “They could easily train police to look for the smugglers and they don’t,” Eldad said. — AP

Women with high job stress face heart risks ‘Limit bringing work home’ CHICAGO: Working women are equal to men in a way they’ll wish they weren’t. Female workers with stressful jobs were more likely than women with less job strain to suffer a heart attack or a stroke or to have clogged arteries, a big US government-funded study found. Worrying about losing a job can raise heart risks, too, researchers found. The results seem sure to resonate in a weak economy with plenty of stress about jobs - or lack of them. The mere fact this study was done is a sign of the times: Past studies focused on men, the traditional breadwinners, and found that higher job stress raised heart risks. This is the longest major one to look at stress in women, who now make up nearly half of the US workforce. “The reality is these women don’t have the same kind of jobs as men” and often lack authority or control over their work, said Dr Suzanne Steinbaum, director of the Women and Heart Disease program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. “It’s not just going to work, it’s what happens when you get there.” Steinbaum had no role in the study, which was led by Dr Michelle Albert, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Results were reported Sunday at an American Heart Association conference in Chicago. The research involved 17,415 participants in the

Women’s Health Study, a long-running trial looking at heart disease and cancer prevention. The women were healthy, 57 years old on average, and had worked full or part-time when the study began in 1999. Most were health professionals, “anything from being a nurse’s aide all the way to a Ph.D.,” Albert said. They filled out surveys about their jobs, rating statements like “My job requires working very fast,” and “I am free from competing demands that others make.” Researchers put them in four groups based on stress they reported and looked 10 years later to see how they fared. Women with demanding jobs and little control over how to do them were nearly twice as likely to have suffered a heart attack as women with less demanding jobs and more control. The high-stress group had a 40 percent greater overall risk of heart problems, including heart attacks, strokes or clogged arteries needing bypass surgery or an artery-opening angioplasty procedure. Women worried about losing their jobs had higher blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight. Stress can harm by releasing “fight or flight” hormones, spurring inflammation and raising blood pressure, Steinbaum said. It did a number on Jackie Morgan, 46, a suburban Boston woman who is on her second medical leave of absence in two years from a teleconference center,

where she managed 16 operators running corporate conference calls. “Dropped calls? Somebody’s line not open? You’re running from operator to operator to handle problems that occur during the call,” she explained. “It’s very stressful. When I tell people about it, they look at me like I have three heads. I feel like I should have Rollerblades on.” Her heart problems started in the summer of 2008, with a crush of calls related to auto company bailouts. “I just started getting chest pains” and collapsed while out walking one night, she said. Tests found no signs of heart disease, but doctors gave her nitroglycerin pills, which can relieve chest tightness due to constricted heart arteries. “Sure enough, when the pain came again a few other times I took the nitro and boom, the pain was gone,” Morgan said. Doctors should ask about stress along with traditional heart risk factors like smoking and blood pressure, Albert said. “We need to start taking that seriously.” She has these tips for workers:- Exercise. It clears the mind, lifts the mood and curbs other heart risks, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. - Limit bringing work home. -Get a life. Do things with friends, whether they’re folks you work with or not. -Build “me time” into every day. “It can be as little as 10 or 15 minutes to meditate, pray or take a walk,” Albert said. — AP

Radical cleric Bakri nabbed Continued from Page 1 Omar Bakri Mohammed was taken into custody without a struggle in the city of Tripoli, police and security officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly. Mohammed, who holds Syrian and Lebanese citizenship, lived in Britain for 20 years where he headed the now-disbanded radical Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun. He left Britain for Lebanon in 2005 and the British government barred him from returning. Lebanese officials said Bakri was among 54 people sentenced Friday in trials

of militants who fought deadly clashes with the Lebanese army in 2007. Bakri was convicted of “belonging to an armed group with the aim of carrying out terrorist acts and plotting to kill Lebanese soldiers.” Judicial officials said Bakri was sentenced to life because of his failure to show up for his trial. Bakri insisted he never received a summons. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Friday, he said the charges were “lies and fabrications.” Bakri also said his lawyer informed him he had 15 days to turn himself in and appeal the ruling. It was not immediately clear why authorities did not arrest Bakri earlier. He appears

often on Lebanese TV stations as a guest on political talk shows and does not live in hiding. Bakri became a focus of British attention after he said he would not inform the police if he knew Muslims were planning attacks such as the July 7, 2005, bombings in London that killed 56 people. The cleric, who also has been criticized in Britain for his fiery sermons, said his Muslim faith prevented him from reporting fellow Muslims to the British police. Britain later said it had barred Bakri from returning to that country because his presence was not “conducive to public good.” — AP

KHARTOUM: Celebrations take place during a mass wedding of some 1000 couples in what has been dubbed the “Marriage of Unity” on November 13, 2010, in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, where men and women from the north and south of the country tied the knot. The wedding ceremonies come just two months prior to a referendum on the self-determination of Southern Sudan. The Muslim north and mostly Christian south agreed in 2005 to hold the referendum as part of a peace deal that ended a 22-year civil war. — AFP

North-south tensions threaten Sudan’s Darfur KHARTOUM: Military tensions between north and south Sudan could spill over into the separate Darfur conflict, undermining troubled peace efforts there, the territory’s peacekeeping chief said yesterday. Northern and southern leaders have accused each other of building up troops in the countdown to a politically sensitive referendum on whether the oil-producing south should declare independence or stay in Sudan. South Sudan shares a border with the remote north Sudanese territory of Darfur, the scene of a separate sevenyear conflict between government forces and rebels. Ibrahim Gambari, the head of Darfur’s joint UN/African Union UNAMID peacekeeping force, told reporters there was concern about a “spill-over effect” from north-south tensions. “We have enough security problems in Darfur without the complications arising across the border with south Sudan,” he said. Gambari said any new fighting in the area might force refugees to pour both ways over the bor-

Continued from Page 1 this group, many of them just seeking better financial conditions. But Netanyahu said he hoped yesterday’s decision would provide a humanitarian solution and end the claims. Netanyahu said the proposal under consideration would bring 600 Falash Mura to Israel during the initial months of its implementation, followed by around 200 each month over the following three years. Once all the camp’s 8,000 residents

have been brought to Israel it would be shut and immigration ended, hopefully preventing more camps from springing up. “The government of Israel seeks to resolve this problem because there is indeed a complex humanitarian crisis there and so as to avoid the creation of additional refugee camps in Ethiopia,” Netanyahu said. Officials said American Jewish groups working in the Gondar compound had agreed to end their work if these 8,000 would be brought to Israel and the groups

would be replaced with an Israeli quasigovernmental agency that would deal with immigration requests on an individual basis. Israel organized its first airliftknown as Operation Moses-of 15,000 Ethiopians in 1984. Tens of thousands more were flown in during Operation Solomon in 1991. Some 100,000 Ethiopian Jews now live in Israel. Previous attempts to bring in limited numbers of Falash Mura and end the claims of the community have failed after the camps filled up again with new applicants. — AFP

Climate change rocks the Arab world Continued from Page 1 resources are often mismatched with burgeoning populations. Imports of “virtual” water in the shape of food and other goods already amount to the equivalent of 5,000 cubic meters of water per capita, the AFED report says. Most Arab countries effectively said farewell to food self-sufficiency long ago. In some countries, weather events and water scarcity have forced large numbers of Arabs to leave their homes. A

drought that began in 2007, aggravated by over-cultivation of subsidized cash crops, has displaced hundreds of thousands of people from eastern Syria. In Yemen, water scarcity is prompting many farmers to abandon their land and head for the cities, fuelling the capital Sanaa’s 8 percent annual population growth. Cross-border migration could also intensify due to the uneven distribution of oil and other resources in a region that encompasses fabulously wealthy statelets as well as populous nations such as

Egypt, a fifth of whose 79 million people live on less than $1 a day, according to UN figures. “There are bad projections about climate change, water and many things that don’t need to happen, or not at the level predicted,” said Ashry. “You can minimize that by planning.” Asked his advice for Arab leaders, he said: “It’s not a hopeless situation, but you’ve got to start now or 10 years from now it will be worse because there will be more people, fewer resources and the gap between rich and poor will have widened.” — Reuters

Maid forced to ‘swallow’ nails Continued from Page 1 A housemaid identified as D M Chandima has told the Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in Amman that her employer forced her to swallow six nails, an official at the Foreign Employment Bureau of Sri Lanka said. “We are awaiting a full report from doctors,” the head of the bureau, Kingsley Ranawaka, said adding that the authorities would decide on the next steps after looking at the medical evidence. The report came as another Sri Lankan housemaid who had been working in Kuwait accused her employer of

driving 14 wire nails into her body as punishment for failing in her work. The woman, identified only as Lechchami, 38, underwent surgery to have the nails removed after returning home to Sri Lanka, the director of the hospital in the northwestern town of Kurunegala said on Saturday. The doctor said the woman had told surgeons that her Kuwaiti employers drove the nails into her hands and left leg-some as long as 3.5 centimeters when she asked for her salary after working for six months. Police said the case was under investigation. In August, another housemaid complained her Saudi

employer drove 24 nails into her arms, legs and forehead as punishment. Most of them were removed by surgeons in Sri Lanka. The Saudi government and private sector officials in Riyadh have questioned the credibility of the woman’s allegations. Some 1.8 million Sri L ankans are employed abroad, of whom 70 percent are women. Most work as housemaids in the Middle East while smaller numbers work in Singapore and Hong Kong, seeking higher salaries than they would get at home. Non-governmental organizations report frequent cases of employer abuse of maids who work abroad. — AFP

reported a series of clashes in recent weeks between insurgents and government forces in Darfur on land close to the border with the south. Nyamvumba said sustained government pressure on the positions of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) would push the insurgents either into the south or into the equally sensitive neighboring border region of South Kordofan. “That would worsen tension ahead of the referendum. If JEM moves to the south it will be perceived that the south is supportive of JEM.” The north’s army has already accused the south of supporting JEM. Meanwhile, south Sudan’s army said on Saturday the north accidentally dropped a bomb on its territory while fighting Darfur rebels just over the border. Southerners secured the referendum in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of north-south civil war-a conflict that killed an estimated 2 million people. Seven years of fighting in Darfur has killed more than 300,000, according to one UN estimate. — Reuters

Pilgrims pour into Mina as Haj begins Continued from Page 1

‘Operation Moses’

der, worsening the already poor humanitarian situation. He said southern leaders might try to strengthen their hand against the north by building links with Darfur rebel groups. “Historically there have been some alliances between the SPLM (the ruling party in the south) and some of the movements in Darfur. My fear is that those old alignments might be rekindled as a result of the fighting and will complicate an already complicated situation in Darfur,” he said. He added a southern vote for secession would also aggravate a dispute over the position of Darfur’s border with the south. Gambari said UNAMID and the separate UN mission covering the whole of Sudan were drawing up contingency plans to deal with any renewed tension or conflict. UNAMID’s military commander Patrick Nyamvumba said the disruption might also flow the other way, with a new burst of Darfur violence undermining the political situation in the south ahead of the plebiscite. UN officials and rebels have

once past the highway’s main police checkpoints, getting to the sites is easy. Buses, choked with both people and luggage inside, carried yet more on their roofs. Tens of thousands of illegal pilgrims sat on the pavements, many with tents. Their sirens screeching, police cars threaded their way into the crowds in an attempt to keep roads open. “We don’t have permits” said Ramadan Ismael, an Egyptian in his mid-50s who also came from Riyadh. He said a policeman waived his group of 14 through when they bluntly told him: “We have no permits.” Meanwhile, pilgrims in licensed groups sat comfortably in their enclosed and well-equipped camps. The passage to Mina marks the official launch of the Haj on the eighth day of the Muslim calendar month of Dhul Hijja. The day is known as Tarwiah (Watering) as pilgrims in the past stopped at Mina to water their animals and stock up for the trip to Mount Arafat. At Mount Arafat, some 10 kilometers southeast of Mina, the pilgrims spend the day in prayer and reflection. After sunset, they move to Muzdalifah, half way between Mount Arafat and Mina, to spend the night. Tomorrow, they head back to Mina after dawn prayers and perform the first stage of the symbolic “stoning of the devil” and make the ritual sacrifice of an animal, usually a lamb. On the remaining three days of the Haj, the pilgrims continue the ritual stoning before performing the circumambulation of the Kaaba shrine

in Makkah and then heading home. This year has been incident-free since the pilgrims began gathering in Makkah. The city’s Grand Mosque has been flooded with the faithful, with an estimated 1.7 million taking part in the main weekly Muslim prayers on Friday. The movement of pilgrims between the holy sites is a major worry for the authorities who have had to deal with deadly stampedes in the past. Saudi Arabia has used its huge oil revenues for massive spending on new infrastructure to ease the flow of humanity. This year, the first phase of the new Mashair Railway — or Makkah metro – will transport pilgrims between Mina and Mount Arafat through Muzdalifah. The Jamarat Bridge, where the ritual stoning takes place, has also been expanded to five levels with movement channeled in one direction. Security also remains a concern. Yesterday, Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula denied yesterday it would stage any action to coincide with the Muslim Haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia after a Saudi minister said such an operation could not be ruled out. Just over a week ago, AQAP claimed a plot to mail two parcel bombs to the United States that caused a global security alert. The explosives were intercepted in Dubai and Britain before they could be detonated following a tip-off from Saudi Arabia. “We are against any crimes against pilgrims ... Haj is a pillar of Islam and we are most eager (not to spill) the blood of Muslims, wherever they may be. Makkah is more sacred than any other place,”

AQAP said in a statement posted on an Islamist website often used by militants. The statement followed remarks last week by the Saudi interior minister in which he suggested Al-Qaeda may attack the around two million Muslims who are due to start their pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia yesterday. Asked whether Al-Qaeda might stage an attack on the Haj or use the event to try and get fighters from Yemen into the kingdom, Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz said: “We cannot rule out any operation but we are ready to foil it.” Saudi Arabia is worried about infiltration across the 1,500 km-long border it shares with Yemen and which is known for smuggling. The Yemen-based regional wing of Al-Qaeda has said it wants to topple the Saudi ruling family. “Al Saud’s desperate attempt to stamp out the mujahideen has made them fabricate lies, including the statement by the Saudi interior minister about the possibility of a destructive action by the mujahideen against pilgrims,” AQAP said in the statement. In August 2009, an AQAP suicide bomber tried to kill Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who heads Saudi Arabia’s antiterrorism campaign and is a member of the Saudi royal family. In its statement, the group also condemned the US-Saudi intelligence cooperation that led to the discovery of the parcel bomb plot. “What proves that the Al Saud cooperates with and has full allegiance to the Americans and Jews is that they informed them about the explosive parcels, which were destined for the Jews and Americans,” it said in the statement.— Agencies

Kuwaiti company inks Iraq gas deal Continued from Page 1 Korean Gas Corporation for the Siba field in Basra, Iraq’s southernmost province was signed yesterday. “The initialing of draft agreements was done on Mansuriyah and Siba but Akkaz was delayed until af ter Eid,” spokesman Assem Jihad said, referring to the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, which concludes on November 20. “The companies (that bid to develop Akkaz) asked

for more time to clarify some points.” Iraq’s cabinet still needs to approve the agreements before they can be officially signed. Mansuriyah has estimated reserves of 127 billion cubic meters of gas, while Siba has 34 billion cubic meters. The Akkaz field in Anbar province, west Iraq, is the country’s biggest with reserves of 158 billion cubic meters and was auctioned off to Korean Gas Corporation and Kazakhstan’s

KazMunaiGaz. Iraq needs the energy revenues from the increased production to cut down on unemployment-running at 28 percent, according to the United Nations — and provide much-needed electricity to end routine power rationing. Iraq’s current gas production — all of it associated gas from oil wells — is 1.5 million cubic meters a day, but half is burned off in flares from oil wells, according to Baghdad-based analyst Ruba Husari. — Agencies


Monday, November 15, 2010


NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Saturday. Ottawa 2, Boston 0; Buffalo 3, Washington 2 (OT); Vancouver 5, Toronto 3; Montreal 7, Carolina 2; Philadelphia 5, Florida 2; Pittsburgh 4, Atlanta 2; Detroit 3, Colorado 1; Nashville 4, Chicago 3 (SO); Phoenix 5, St Louis 3; San Jose 4, Calgary 3; Los Angeles 5, NY Islanders 1. (SO denotes shootout, OT overtime win) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Philadelphia 11 4 2 58 37 24 Pittsburgh 9 8 1 56 49 19 NY Rangers 8 7 1 44 45 17 New Jersey 5 10 2 33 56 12 NY Islanders 4 10 3 37 58 11 Northeast Division Montreal 11 5 1 46 36 23 Ottawa 9 7 1 45 48 19 Boston 8 5 1 41 29 17 Buffalo 6 9 3 47 57 15 Toronto 5 8 3 35 47 13 Southeast Division Washington 12 4 1 60 43 25 Tampa Bay 8 6 2 47 50 18 Atlanta 7 7 3 53 61 17 Carolina 8 9 0 51 60 16 Florida 7 8 0 44 39 14 Western Conference Central Division Detroit 11 3 1 51 37 23 St Louis 9 3 3 38 34 21 Columbus 9 6 0 41 38 18 Chicago 8 9 2 54 57 18 Nashville 7 5 3 38 43 17 Northwest Division Vancouver 10 4 2 51 39 22 Colorado 8 7 1 53 50 17 Minnesota 7 6 2 34 37 16 Calgary 7 9 0 46 49 14 Edmonton 4 8 3 40 58 11 Pacific Division Los Angeles 12 3 0 47 28 24 Anaheim 10 7 1 48 54 21 Phoenix 7 5 5 47 53 19 San Jose 8 5 2 42 37 18 Dallas 8 7 0 46 44 16 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

PHILADELPHIA: Radek Dvorak No. 14 of the Florida Panthers and Sean O’Donnell No. 6 of the Philadelphia Flyers battle for the puck. —AFP

Red Wings stop Avalanche, Senators blank Bruins DETROIT: Jiri Hudler scored his first NHL goal in more than 19 months, helping the Detroit Red Wings beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 Saturday night. Hudler, who returned to the Red Wings after spending last season in Russia, netted his first goal since April 5, 2009, and gave Detroit a 2-0 lead. Todd Bertuzzi and Danny Cleary also scored for the Red Wings, who have won nine of 11. Jimmy Howard stopped 21 shots for Detroit, allowing only JohnMichael Liles’ third-period goal when Colorado had a two-man advantage. Howard is 22-1-3 in his last 26 regular-season starts, dating to last season. Senators 2, Bruins 0 In Boston, Brian Elliott stopped 31 shots for his first shutout this season, as Ottawa beat Boston to hand Tim Thomas his first loss. It was Elliott’s seventh career shutout. Erik Karlsson and Daniel

Alfredsson scored for the Senators, who won for the seventh time in nine games and won their third straight game in Boston. Thomas had been 8-0 this season, earning the win in each of Boston’s victories. The Bruins were shut out for the first time and have lost four of five since opening the season with seven wins in nine games. Sabres 3, Capitals 2 In Buffalo, Thomas Vanek scored his second goal of the game 4:00 into overtime as Buffalo earned its first home win of the season. Steve Montador also scored, and Ryan Miller stopped 23 shots in his first game after missing six matches because of a hip injury. Jordan Leopold added three assists for Buffalo, the NHL’s final team to win at home. Kings 5, Islanders 1 In Los Angeles, Anze Kopitar

had two goals and an assist and Dustin Brown scored on a penalty shot as Los Angeles handed New York its 10th straight loss. Justin Williams scored for the sixth time in seven games, defenseman Drew Doughty got his first goal of the season and Jonathan Quick made 18 saves for the Kings, who set a franchise record by opening 8-0 at home. The victory concluded the second 5-0 homestand in club history. The other was in November 1990. Los Angeles hasn’t lost to the Islanders in regulation since Feb. 15, 2003, at Staples Center. Canucks 5, Maple Leafs 3 In Toronto, Ryan Kesler scored twice and Mason Raymond’s goal with 6:24 left sent Vancouver past struggling Toronto. Raymond beat goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere through the legs from the top of the circle, stretching Toronto’s losing streak to eight (0-6-2).

Vancouver improved to 5-0-1 against Eastern Conference opponents with its second consecutive win overall. Daniel Sedin and Dan Hamhuis also scored for Vancouver. Fredrik Sjostrom, Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski had goals for the Maple Leafs, who have one victory in 12 games. Canadiens 7, Hurricanes 2 In Montreal, Tomas Plekanec had a goal and three assists to lead Montreal. Brian Gionta and Michael Cammalleri each had a goal and an assist, and Jaroslav Spacek had two points for Montreal, including an assist on Maxim Lapierre’s goal 15:34 into the second period. Carey Price made 27 saves, while Andrei Kostitsyn and Mathieu Darche scored for Montreal, which won its third straight. Anton Babchuk and Tom Kostopoulos scored goals 2:13 apart midway through the second period to draw the Hurricanes even at 2.

Flyers 5, Panthers 2 In Philadelphia, Mike Richards and Claude Giroux scored two goals apiece and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves in surging Philadelphia’s victory. Scott Hartnell also scored for the Atlantic Division leading Flyers, who are 8-0-1 in their last nine games and have scored 13 goals in their previous two. Cory Stillman and Mike Santorelli scored for Florida. Before the game, the Flyers agreed to a longterm contract extension with center Jeff Carter, a deal widely reported to be for 11 years and $58 million. Penguins 4, Thrashers 2 In Atlanta, Evgeni Malkin scored three times, Sidney Crosby added a goal and two assists for Pittsburgh. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury won his second consecutive start, making 34 saves to improve to 3-6. Malkin and Crosby added to their career dominance of Atlanta. Crosby has 28 points, including eight goals, in

19 games against the Thrashers. Malkin has 27 points, including nine goals, in 17 games. The Penguins improved to 30-9-2 against Atlanta, which led 1-0 on defenseman Brent Sopel’s first of the season. Coyotes 5, Blues 3 In Glendale, Ray Whitney scored three goals and matched his career high with five points, leading Phoenix over St. Louis. Whitney, Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata each scored on the power play, and the Coyotes stretched their winning streak to three games. Vrbata had his first two-point game since the season opener against Boston. Whitney’s final goal came into an empty net with 1:48 remaining. The Blues rank second in the NHL in fewest goals allowed, but they have yielded 15 in three games. Predators 4, Blackhawks 3 In Nashville, Cal O’Reilly scored the only goal in a shootout to give

Bode Miller of the United States was among 30 racers who skied out in the first run, going out on a difficult section just before the steep part of the hill. Defending World Cup slalom champion Reinfried Herbst, Benjamin Raich of Austria and Italian Olympic gold medalist Giuliano Razzoli went out in the same section. Razzoli, who missed the giant slalom season opener in Soelden, Austria, because of a preseason hand injury, said he still wasn’t in great shape. “I have had only five or six days of training,” he said. “Now it’s the first race in November and I’m not ready.” Also in the first run, home favorite Kalle Palander was disqualified after failing to pass a gate correctly. American Will Brandenburg, who was included in the US team for the Vancouver Olympics but has never finished a World Cup race, was eighth after the first run but skied out in the second leg. His teammate Ted Ligety clocked 1:49.89 and finished in 18th place. “I had a pretty mistake-filled run and it was really bumpy already,” Ligety said after the first run. “It’s not that easy up there.” Levi, some 80 miles north of the arctic circle, is the world’s northernmost World Cup venue. The small ski resort is hosting cup slaloms for the fifth time since 2006. —AP

Sharks 4, Flames 3 In San Jose, Joe Pavelski scored for the first time in nine games, Joe Thornton had his first point in four games and San Jose held on to beat Calgary. Ryane Clowe and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who have won three of four. Couture had a season-high three points, adding a pair of assists. Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano and Jarome Iginla scored for the Flames, who have lost six of seven. —AP

France revert to experience

Grange wins season opener World Cup slalom in Levi LEVI: Jean-Baptiste Grange made a perfect comeback yesterday, holding off Andre Myhrer of Sweden to win the season’s first World Cup slalom by 0.33 seconds. The 2009 slalom World Cup champion missed most of last season with a knee injury, but looked back to his best in navigating the Levi Black course in a combined time of 1 minute, 46.64 seconds. It was his first World Cup slalom race since November 2009. “Today was pretty much a perfect day for me,” Grange said after the race. “In the second run I was able to remain focused and to go for it you know, just thinking about my skiing, just thinking of how I can find my best rhythm.” The Frenchman said he hopes to improve his giant slalom skills in the coming weeks and challenge for podiums in that discipline as well this season. Grange led after the first run and had the second best time behind Myhrer in the second. Myhrer climbed from fourth to second, with Ivica Kostelic of Croatia nearly a full second back in third. Myhrer, who won bronze in the Vancouver Olympics, said he felt calm during the race yesterday. “I just thought I’d focus on what I have done during training and perform like I do during training and I think I succeeded with that,” he said.

Nashville a win against slumping Chicago. Nashville won its second consecutive game, both after regulation time. Before Thursday night’s shootout victory in St. Louis, the Predators had lost five straight. Chicago has dropped three in a row. In the shootout, O’Reilly beat Marty Turco with a wrist shot on Nashville’s first attempt. All three Predators goals in regulation came from defensemen: Shane O’Brien, Shea Weber and Cody Franson.

LEVI: Jean-Baptiste Grange of France clears a pole during the second run of the men’s Alpine Ski slalom World Cup race. Grange won the race. —AP

NANTES: France coach Marc Lievremont named an experienced squad yesterday to face Argentina in Montpellier next weekend after an experimental side beat Fiji 34-12 on Saturday. Back are captain Thierry Dusautoir, centre and backline playmaker Yannick Jauzion, tighthead prop Nicolas Mas, lock Lionel Nallet and flanker Julien Bonnaire. Lievremont also recalled regular hooker William Servat who was ruled out of the Fiji game through a groin injury. “We went for a more experienced team because the Pumas will be far more difficult to play,” Lievremont told a press conference. “It’s also a more revengeful squad because there are a lot of players who have suffered against the Pumas,” he added, referring to France’s two defeats against Argentina in the 2007 World Cup and their 41-13 thrashing in Buenos Aires last June. Hooker Benjamin Noirot, lock Romain MilloChluski, flankers Fulgence Ouedraogo and Alexandre Lapandry, centre David Marty, wingers Maxime Medard and Julien Arias and flyhalf David Skrela drop out of the squad. The French coach said he had not learned much from the Fiji win because of the dreadful weather conditions but two players took the opportunity he had given them to prove their worth. Centre Fabrice Estebanez, who was playing his first international on Saturday, pipped Skrela as replacement flyhalf and Jerome Porical pinched Medard’s berth in the back three. “Estebanez is an interesting option at first centre alongside Jauzion and (injured) Maxime Mermoz but he can also cover the flyhalf position,” Lievremont said. Choosing his backrow had been a problem. “In a way, we are dropping the players who were the best tackler and the best forward overall, Alexandre Lapandry and Fulgence Ouedraogo,” he said. “But everybody knows we are full of contradictions and we felt we needed the power of Imanol Harinordoquy and Sebastien Chabal against Argentina.” —Reuters



Monday, November 15, 2010

Big-hitting Harbhajan flays N Zealand attack

HYDERABAD: India’s Harbhajan Singh plays a shot during the second cricket Test match against New Zealand. — AP

Scoreboard Scoreboard at the close of day three of the second test between India and New Zealand at Hyderabad on yesterday: New Zealand first innings 350 (T. McIntosh 102, M. Guptill 85, J. Ryder 70; Z. Khan 4-69, H. Singh 4-76) India first innings (overnight 178-2) G. Gambhir c Hopkins b Southee 54 V. Sehwag b Vettori 96 R. Dravid lbw b Southee 45 S. Tendulkar c Taylor b Vettori 13 VVS Laxman lbw b Martin 74 S. Raina c Guptill b Vettori 20 MS Dhoni c McCullum b Vettori 14 H. Singh not out 85

Z. Khan c Arnel b Southee 7 P. Ojha run out 0 S. Sreesanth not out 14 Extras (b-4, lb-8, w-1, nb-1) 14 Total (nine wickets; 134 overs) 436 Fall of wickets: 1-160 2-160 3-184 4-259 5-311 6-326 7-336 8-355 9-367. Bowling: Martin 29-6-87-1 (1nb), Southee 28-695-3 (1w), Arnel 24-5-79-0, Vettori 45-6-123-4, Williamson 7-0-31-0, Taylor 1-0-9-0. The three-match series is tied at 0-0 after the opening test was drawn in Ahmedabad.

South Africa control first Test DUBAI: South Africa took a vice-like grip on the first test after Morne Morkel and Johan Botha skittled Pakistan for 248 on the third day at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium yesterday. The visitors will take a commanding 271-run lead into the fourth day after reaching 139 for two in their second innings. Off-spinner Botha dismantled Pakistan’s middle order by picking up three quick wickets and Morkel completed a bad day for the designated hosts as he grabbed five for 54. Pakistan lost their last five wickets for the addition of just 28 runs and face an uphill task to save the Test. Azhar Ali was the only Pakistan batsman to defy South Africa for any length of time as he ground his way to 56 off 172 balls. He was eventually dismissed when he fended a Morkel short ball to Hashim Amla at short leg as Pakistan’s innings fell away in the face of some

disconcerting bounce that Morkel extracted off a lifeless pitch. Paceman Dale Steyn sparked the collapse after lunch when he had Adnan Akmal (10) caught behind before Botha and Morkel took centre stage. Off-spinner Botha found both bounce and turn to trouble the batsmen and claimed the scalps of Younus Khan (35), Misbah-ul-Haq (nine) and Umar Akmal (four) to bag three wickets for 61. Morkel had Rehman (one) caught at third slip before he dismissed Ali. Morkel then ended the innings in the space of five balls when he had both Wahab Riaz (five) and Saeed Ajmal (two) caught by keeper Mark Boucher. South Africa lost Alviro Petersen (26) and Graeme Smith (34) before an unbroken thirdwicket stand of 63 between Amla (44 not out) and Jacques Kallis (32 not out) guided them to the close of play. — Reuters

DUBAI: South Africa’s Jacques Kallis (left) plays a shot while Pakistan’s wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal (right) looks on, during the third day of their first cricket Test match in Dubai. — AP

Scoreboard DUBAI: Scoreboard at the close of the third day of the first test between Pakistan and South Africa in Dubai on yesterday. South Africa first innings 380 (G. Smith 100, A. Petersen 67, H. Amla 80, J. Kallis 73) Pakistan first innings (overnight 144-2) M. Hafeez c Smith b Harris T. Umar lbw b Morkel A. Ali c Amla b Morkel Younis Khan c de Villiers b Botha Misbah-ul-Haq c Amla b Botha U. Akmal c Steyn b Botha A. Akmal c Boucher b Steyn A. Rehman c de Villiers b Morkel U. Gul not out W. Riaz c Boucher b Morkel S. Ajmal c Boucher b Morkel Extras (lb-12) Total (all out; 95 overs)

60 42 56 35 9 4 10 1 12 5 2 12 248

Fall of wickets: 1-105 2-111 3-176 4-196 5-202 6-220 7-225 8-228 9-246 10-248. Bowling: Steyn 18-3-58-1, Morkel 21-7-54-5, Harris 25-7-47-1, Kallis 8-3-16-0, Botha 23-6-61-3. South Africa second innings A. Petersen lbw b Rehman 26 G. Smith lbw b Ajmal 34 H. Amla not out 44 J. Kallis not out 32 Extras (b-1, lb-1, nb-1) 3 Total (two wickets; 48 overs) 139 Fall of wickets: 1-47 2-76 To bat: AB de Villiers, A. Prince, M. Boucher, J. Botha, P. Harris, M. Morkel, D. Steyn. Bowling: Gul 8-0-34-0, Younis 3-0-15-0 (1nb), Rehman 15-4-37-1, Hafeez 11-3-20-0, Ajmal 111-31-1.

HYDERABAD: Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh continued to torment New Zealand with the bat, hitting an unbeaten 85 to earn the hosts a first-innings lead of 86 on the third day of the second Test yesterday. The right-hander followed up scores of 69 and 115 in the first Test at Ahmedabad by bludgeoning the New Zealand attack again with seven boundaries and five sixes to bring up his ninth half-century in tests. Harbhajan added 69 runs in an unbroken last wicket partnership with Shanthakumaran Sreesanth to propel India to 436 for nine in their first innings, after New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori had orchestrated a batting collapse. India has identified the importance of contribution from the lower order and are working hard on it, paceman Zaheer Khan said. “Everyone in the dressing room is very excited with the way Harbhajan is batting and everyone is enjoying the way he is hitting sixes and boundaries,” Harbhajan’s bowling partner Khan told Neo Cricket channel. “Contribution from the lower order is very vital. (Coach) Gary (Kirsten) has been spending a lot of time with the lower-order batters and its paying dividends.” Vettori picked up Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to add to his overnight scalp of Virender Sehwag. Vangipurappu Laxman (74) scored his 48th half-century and added 75 runs with Rahul Dravid (45) for the fourth wicket before Dravid was trapped plumb in front by paceman Tim Southee. The stylish Laxman, playing his first test in front of his home crowd at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, also added 52 runs for the fifth with Raina, who holed out to Martin Guptill at mid-wicket trying to smote Vettori out of the ground. Laxman was out leg before immediately after the tea break and was followed soon after by Dhoni (14), who was deceived by Vettori’s flight and scooped one straight to Brendon McCullum at short cover. The hosts lost the wickets of Dravid and Raina (20) in the second session after the loss of Tendulkar (13) in the fifth over of the day. Tendulkar tried to break the shackles, imposed on him by some fine swing bowling by paceman Chris Martin, by dancing down the wicket to Vettori but only managed to get a thick edge. Ross Taylor at slip took a smart one-handed catch. The three-match series is tied at 0-0 after the opening test was drawn. The third and final test will be played in Nagpur from Nov. 20-24.—Reuters

JAPAN: Russian players celebrate their victory after the medal presentation ceremony at the FIVB 2010 Women’s Volleyball World Championships. — AFP

Russia defeat Brazil in final TOKYO: Russia defended its title by beating top-ranked Brazil in five sets yesterday in the final of the women’s world volleyball championship. Russia rallied for a 21-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-14, 15-11 win over Olympic champion Brazil to capture its second straight world title. Ekaterina Gamova led the Russians with 35 points. Sheilla Castro had a team-high 26 for Brazil. “(Ekaterina) was able to grab the chances she had throughout the match,” Russia coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin said. “Nobody played poorly on the team today. The whole team can be credited for the good result.” Russia captured its seventh world title. Brazil, which was coming off a tough 22-25, 33-35, 25-22, 25-22, 15-11 win over Japan in the semifinals on Saturday, has never won the world

championship. “I think Brazil played a very good match, but in the end, the difference was the counterattacks of Russia,” Brazil coach Jose Guimaraes said. Russia also defeated Brazil in the final of the world championships in 2006 in Japan. Japan upset the United States 18-25, 25-23, 21-25, 2519, 15-8 to win the bronze medal. Yukiko Ebata led the host with 28 points. “Finishing in the top three was the target we had set ourselves,” said Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe. “The players tried so hard so I am grateful. I really believed in them.” Japan claimed its first medal at the worlds since 1978 when it won silver. European champion Italy finished fifth after a 25-23, 25-20, 25-21 win over Turkey. — AP

W Indies eye win in Sri Lanka GALLE: The West Indies will be searching for a first test victory on Sri Lankan soil when the two sides start a three-match series today. The Sri Lankans, meanwhile, are targeting a hat-trick of series sweeps at home against the seventh-ranked test team. “We are determined and pretty confident that we have the players to do that,” Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara told reporters about his hopes for maintaining a winning record. “But you can’t go to the last two series. They are a different side and we are a different side. We don’t have the likes of paceman Chaminda Vaas and offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan.” The teams have met in six test series so far and each won two series at home. The other two were drawn. West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who will lead the team for the first time, said Sri Lanka is always tough to play against. “It is not easy, it has not been easy to beat Sri Lanka here. It is not only West Indies but all other teams found it difficult,” he said. “We are aware of the challenge at hand.” Sri Lanka, currently fifth in the ICC test rankings, attained test status in 1982 but had to wait 11 years before its first Test against the West Indies, which was at the pinnacle of world cricket in the 1980s. The first Test series in 1993 played in Sri Lanka disappointed the home crowd when rain and wet grounds curtailed much of the one-off series in which famous players such as fast bowlers Courtney Walsh, Curtley Ambrose, batsmen Carl Hooper and Brian Lara participated. The match was drawn after both sides had played an innings. West Indies hosted its first series in 1997 and won the two-match series 1-0 with the visitors managing a thrilling draw in the second match after losing eight second-innings wickets. Four years later West Indies toured the island and were swept 3-0 by Sanath Jayasuriya’s squad despite Lara compiling 688 runs at an average of 114, including three centuries. Vaas with 26 wickets and Muralitharan 24 wickets played dominant roles for Sri Lanka’s success. The West Indies won 1-0 at home in 2003, then Sri Lanka swept the West Indies again in a two-match series in 2005 and two years after drew an away series 1-1. West Indies goes into the series under new captain Sammy who has vowed to infuse “energy, passion and performance” to a side that has seen an alarming slide after dominating the cricket world in the 1970s and 80s. With just eight tests under his belt Sammy has succeeded 88-test veteran Chris Gayle who lost his leadership after a contract dispute with the cricket board. “First of all it’s a massive honor for me,” Sammy said. “West Indies cricket has a great history and legacy and to lead any West Indies team would be an honor to me. I am excited and looking forward for tomorrow.” Sammy has a team of a mix of youth and experience with the likes of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Gayle. Sri Lanka faces its first series after the retirement of Muralitharan who quit earlier this year with a world record haul of 800 wickets. —AP

WALES: Sebastien Loeb of France and co-driver Daniel Elena of Monaco, driving a Citroen WRC rally car in action during the WRC Rally of Wales. — AP

Loeb grabs British rally LONDON: World champion Sebastien Loeb rounded off a superb season with victory in the British rally yesterday, finishing just over 19 seconds ahead of Petter Solberg. The Citroen driver, who secured an unprecedented seventh consecutive world title in October, took control of the race on Saturday and extended their advantage on each of Sunday’s four stages to win by 19.1 seconds. It was the Frenchman’s eighth victory of the season. “It was really tough and Petter was really fast from the start doing very few mistakes,” Loeb told the world rally website ( “It was a difficult battle but I took a lot of pleasure from

the stages and really enjoyed this rally, which was definitely the longest battle I’ve had this season.” Citroen privateer Solberg finished second, ahead of Ford’s third-placed driver Jari-Matti Latvala but it was Latvala who took second in the overall standings, with Solberg third just two points behind. “Getting third in the WRC is unbelievable for my whole team and our sponsors, something I always dreamed about,” Solberg said. “I haven’t seen my family a lot in the last two years because this project has taken a lot of time but they are really good to me and I love them a lot.”— Reuters

NETHERLANDS: Bob de Jong of The Netherlands competes to win the men’s 5000 meter races at the World Cup Speed Skating in Thialf stadium in Heerenveen. — AP



Monday, November 15, 2010

Jazz edge Bobcats

CHARLOTTE: Deron Williams hit a running hook shot with 0.8 seconds left to cap a fourth-quarter rally as the Utah Jazz beat the Charlotte Bobcats 96-95 on Saturday night. Williams finished with 17 points and nine assists for the Jazz, who overcame a 16-point halftime deficit to win their fifth straight game and fourth on the road. Al Jefferson had 19 points, Paul Millsap 17 and Andrei Kirilenko 12 for Utah, which had to overcome double-digit deficits in winning its previous three road games. Nazr Mohammed had 22 points and 20 rebounds for the Bobcats, who led by as many as 19 points in the first quarter and held a 73-63 margin going into the final period. Charlotte remain winless at home after four games.

Hornets 107, T Blazers 87

PORTLAND: Wenjing Sui and Cong Han compete in the pairs free skate at Skate America figure skating championship.—AP

Takahashi takes Skate America gold PORTLAND: Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi was shaky with many of his jumps and even fell once but still edged countryman Nobunari Oda to win the Skate America men’s title Saturday night. Takahashi, the reigning world champion and bronze medalist in the Vancouver Olympics, rebounded from his errors with sheer artistry for a final score of 227.07. Oda, who fell on his opening quad, finished with at 226.09. “I didn’t know how many,” Oda said. “I just did too much.” American Armin Mahbanoozadeh landed two triple axels and finished his skate to music from “Avatar” with a dramatic spin that put fans on their feet and earned him a 211.17 and the bronze. The routine was one of the cleanest of the night. “It went better than I could have hoped for,” Mahbanoozadeh said. “I’m just ecstatic right now.” Japan’s Daisuke Murakami fell once, but he turned in a great overall performance to music from “Lawrence of Arabia” that points to a bright future. He was thrilled with his final score 203, gasping in surprise when it was announced. Someone in the crowd brought Canadian Shawn Sawyer a Mad Hatter’s hat, in celebration of his spirited free skate to Danny Elfman’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Belgium’s Kevin Van Der Perret landed his quad

toeloop and came out atop the first group of skaters. Savchenko was dressed in neon pink for the free skate with Szolkowy to the strains of the “Pink Panther” soundtrack. The duo scored a combined 197.70 for the gold. Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch made a few mistakes but still charmed with dramatic lifts in their free skate to “Les Miserables,” earning them the silver with a final score of 175.48. Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China skated with their trademark enthusiasm, finishing with a 170.07. On the women’s side, three-time European champion Carolina Kostner skated with elegance and ease to lead after the short program. The Italian won the NHK Trophy in Tokyo last month, but she was battling a knee injury that limited her. If she was still bothered by her knee in Portland it didn’t show. Wearing a blue and black lace dress with a red flower in her hair, Kostner beguiled with her footwork to flamenco music and scored 60.28 points. She said she wanted to start out with a triple combination, but did not pull it off. “I skated clean,” she said, “But it’s hard to feel satisfied.” She was challenged by 16-yearold Kanako Murakami of Japan, who wore a black dress with pink polka-dots for her live-

ly program to ‘50s-inspired rock and roll. The 16-year-old sprite was not only solid, she managed to ham it up, too, and was clearly the fan favorite at the Rose Garden. Murakami earned a 54.75. Sweden’s Joshi Helgesson was third at 51.17. “This is the best short program I’ve done all season, so I’m happy to be here,” said Helgesson, who had a big triple lutz in combination to open her short program. American Rachael Flatt, sporting her more mature blond hairdo and a tasteful teal dress, was the NHK Trophy silver medalist. But her performance to “Summertime” did not impress, and she scored a 51.02. Canadian Amelie Lacoste finished atop the first group, but was visibly unhappy with her performance with its messy triple lutz. Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the silver medalists at the Vancouver Olympics, led after the ice dance short program despite White’s fall on a twizzle sequence. They had a score of 63.62. “‘Don’t fall’ is always a good thing to remember,” Davis kidded. Canadians Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier followed with a 60.41, and Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, also of Canada, scored a season-best 59.48.—AP

Scott primed for victory SINGAPORE: Adam Scott held a three-shot lead when the final round of the Singapore Open was halted by darkness yesterday, the Australian now having to wait until Monday to try to become the event’s first threetimes winner. Play was initially suspended just before noon due to thunderstorms and lightning, and resumed more than five-and-a-half hours later in drizzly rain and fading light at the Sentosa Golf Club. Organisers decided to send the players back out despite having little more than 90 minutes of daylight left and said play would continue early on Monday to find a winner. Scott, back-to-back winner in 2005 and 2006, was on 17-under-par after eight holes when darkness descended on the Serapong course and leads defending champion Ian Poulter by three shots. South Korean Kang Kyung-nam is in third place on 13-under with U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell tied for fourth with Anders Hansen a shot further back. Scott said the lengthy rain delay had

been frustrating but he was in a good frame of mind for the late finish. “I don’t mind a Monday finish as I have nothing else to do, I am leading a tournament. It is a good position to sleep on,” he said. “We were talking about cars and eating during the rain delay. We also watched the Manny Pacquiao fight. If I can last the distance like him and win on points it would be good.” Poulter was happy with his game and said he still had the title in his sights. “I am playing well enough and hitting good enough golf shots that I am going to have 10 holes to claw back that deficit but that’s fine,” he said. “I can do that.” The $6 million co-sanctioned Asian and European Tour event has regularly fallen victim to bad weather delays. It was hit by a four-hour delay in Thursday’s opening round, which forced 108 players to return early on Friday to finish their first 18 holes before starting their second round. However, the storm that disrupted play yesterday had been unusual, said Chris

Jordan, senior vice president of organisers World Sports Group. “This thing (storm) has sat on top of us and not gone anywhere, so this is very unusual,” Jordan told reporters, adding that the outlook for Monday was for cloud and scattered showers. “It’s looking slighty better than today. I’m not going to say I’m confident-I’m just hopeful.” There was more bad news for Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who tumbled down the leaderboard on Saturday with an ugly eight on his final hole of Saturday. The American left-hander had returned to his hotel during Sunday’s rain delay and was assessed a two-shot penalty after returning late for the restart. “We believe that he heard something from someone in the club, which led him to believe that play had been called for the day,” European Tour chief referee John Paramor said in a statement. “It is unfortunate, but it was just a misunderstanding.”—Reuters

Appleby reels in leaders to triumph in Melbourne

MELBOURNE: Australia’s Stuart Appleby holds the winner’s trophy after the final round of the Australian Masters at Victoria Golf Club.—AP

MELBOURNE: An unflustered Stuart Appleby overtook the faltering Adam Bland and Daniel Gaunt to upstage champion Tiger Woods and win the Australian Masters at Victoria Golf Club by one shot yesterday. The 39-year-old Appleby shot a six-under 65, which included 30foot putts on the 16th hole to save par and 17th to make a birdie, to record a 10-under 274 and hold off the challenge of the overnight leader Bland (73) and Gaunt (71). Woods, who was paid a reported $3 million appearance fee finished fourth after he shot a 65, his equal-best round of the year, to end on seven-under 277. Appleby, who had started seven shots behind Bland, clawed his way into contention with six birdies, including one on the final hole to give himself a two-shot cushion to ensure he snatched the A$270,000 ($266,000) winner’s purse from his fellow Australians. “I was pretty comfortable, I liked the way my game matured this week,” the gold-jacket wearing Appleby told reporters of his final round. “I was just trying to keep moving forward and applying pressure and see what happens.” The 28-year-old Bland had held a share of the lead since the first round but he was unable to

maintain his consistency yesterday. He had a chance to force a playoff on the 18th but his 12-foot eagle putt drifted just left of the hole. He finished with a birdie for a two-over 73 to finish second on nine-under 275. Gaunt, who was working in a pro shop earlier this year to finance an attempt at making the top-level tour, had seized the outright lead on the 14th hole before he made a double-bogey five on the par-three 16th. He finished third on eight-under. The 34-year-old Woods had started the day 10 shots behind Bland, before a scintillating finish in which he snared an eagle two at the par-four 15th, a birdie on the par-five 17th and an eagle three on the par-five 18th resulted in a huge roar from the crowds packed tightly around the final green. The American’s fourth-place ensures he will end the year without a title for the first time since he turned professional in 1996. He has not won a title since claiming the gold jacket at nearby Kingston Heath on Melbourne’s sandbelt a year ago, shortly before stories about his personal life quickly developed into a storm that wrecked his marriage, tarnished his cleancut image and caused him to take a break from golf. —Reuters

In New Orleans, David West and Marco Belinelli each scored 18 points to continue New Orleans unbeaten start to the season. New Orleans, the only undefeated team in the NBA, led from start to finish and have held every one of their opponents this season below 100 points. Portland cut a 17-point deficit to 75-70 early in the fourth quarter, but New Orleans responded with a 16-5 run to put the game away.

Heat 109, Raptors 90

In Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 31 points, LeBron James added 23 points and 11 assists and the Miami Heat ended a twogame losing streak with a win in Chris Bosh’s first game against his former club. James Jones had 14 points, while Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Bosh each scored 12 points for Miami. For the visitors, Andrea Bargnani scored 22 points and nine rebounds, while DeMar DeRozan added 21 points. Jose Calderon and Sonny Weems each scored 15 and Amir Johnson finished with 14 for the Raptors, who were within four points of the Heat midway through the fourth quarter.

Bucks 79, Warriors 72

In Milwaukee, John Salmons scored a season-high 26 points, including a basket with 50.8 seconds left, to lead Milwaukee to a win over Golden State. Brandon Jennings added 19 points and Drew Gooden scored 16 as the Bucks registered 50 per cent shooting for the first time this season. Monte Ellis led the Warriors with 24 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome their season-lowest shooting of 34.1 percent.

Bulls 103, Wizards 96

In Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half, outplaying rival Washington point guard John Wall. Joakim Noah had 21 points and nine rebounds for Chicago, which earned its third consecutive victory in its last home game until December 1. The Bulls open a seven-game road trip Tuesday at Houston.

Pacers 99, Cavaliers 85

In Cleveland, Danny Granger scored 34 points as Indiana pulled away in the second half to defeat the short-handed Cleveland. The Cavaliers lost their fourth straight home game for the first time since March 2003, but were without starters Mo Williams (strained left groin) and Anderson Varejao (bruised ribs). Granger shot 13 of 21, including 5 of 8 on his 3-point attempts. Mike Dunleavy scored 20 points for the Pacers while Roy Hibbert had 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Magic 91, Nets 90

In Newark, New Jersey, Jameer Nelson scored the winning shot with only 4.1 seconds left to help Orlando avoid a third straight loss. Nelson redeemed himself after missing two free throws with 19 seconds to go, with Orlando leading by one point. Brook Lopez then made two foul shots to give New Jersey the lead with 11.5 seconds remaining, but Nelson sped down court and tossed in a floater while falling to his left. Dwight Howard had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic, who have dropped two straight at home.

MILWAUKEE: Bucks’ Drew Gooden (0) saves the ball against Golden State Warriors’ in the second half of an NBA basketball game.—AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Saturday. Orlando 91, New Jersey 90; Utah 96, Charlotte 95; Indiana 99, Cleveland 85; Miami 109, Toronto 100; New Orleans 107, Portland 87; Chicago 103, Washington 96; Boston 116, Memphis 110 (OT); Milwaukee 79, Golden State 72; San Antonio 116, Philadelphia 93. Eastern Conference Western Conference Atlantic Division Northwest Divis ion W L PCT GB Utah 7 3 .700 Boston 8 2 .800 Oklahoma City 5 3 .625 1 NY Knicks 3 6 .333 4.5 Denver 5 4 .556 1.5 New Jersey 3 6 .333 4.5 Portland 6 5 .545 1.5 Philadelphia 2 8 .200 6 Minnesota 3 7 .300 4 Toronto 2 8 .200 6 Pacific Division Central Division LA Lakers 8 1 .889 Chicago 5 3 .625 Golden State 6 4 .600 2.5 Milwaukee 5 5 .500 1 Phoenix 4 4 .500 3.5 Indiana 4 4 .500 1 Sacramento 3 5 .375 4.5 Cleveland 4 5 .444 1.5 LA Clippers 1 9 .100 7.5 Detroit 3 6 .333 2.5 Southwest Division Southeast Division New Orleans 8 0 1.000 Orlando 6 3 .667 San Antonio 7 1 .875 1 Miami 6 4 .600 0.5 Dallas 6 2 .750 2 Atlanta 6 4 .600 0.5 Charlotte 3 7 .300 3.5 Memphis 4 6 .400 5 Washington 2 6 .250 3.5 Houston 2 6 .250 6

Soderling bags Paris Masters PARIS: Robin Soderling of Sweden won his first Masters 1000 title yesterday by beating Gael Monfils of France 6-1, 7-6 (1) in the Paris Masters final. The fourth-seeded Swede hit a forehand volley on match point, then fell to the ground on his back to celebrate the most prestigious of his six career titles. “I always feel so good here in Paris,” the two-time French Open runner-up said. “I now have two favorite tournaments, it’s here and Roland Garros. I hope I can come back many times and play well.” Soderling became the first Swede to win a Masters 1000 tournament since Thomas Enqvist in 2000 at Cincinnati. He will leapfrog Andy Murray of Britain to rise to a career-high No. 4 in the rankings. As usual, Soderling relied heavily on his powerful first serve. He hit nine aces and never faced a break point. Soderling played aggressively in the first set to put the 12th-seeded Monfils under pressure, winning eight of 10 net points and hitting 12 winners to only six for Monfils. Soderling broke in the fourth game when Monfils sent a forehand volley wide. He then fired a backhand crosscourt passer to again break Monfils and increase his lead to 5-1. The Swede

took the first set when a backhand pass from Monfils sailed long. “I was extremely nervous before this match,” Soderling said. “I didn’t sleep much at all (last) night. I really wanted to do well today and I’m happy with the way I started the match.” Monfils, who upset Roger Federer in the semifinals on Saturday, raised his game in the second set, hitting six aces. In the tiebreaker, Soderling won every point on his serve while Monfils dropped three, including match point. Soderling jumped to a 3-0 lead and hit a forehand winner on the line followed by an ace for a 5-1 advantage. “Since the beginning of the tournament I’ve been really using up my reserves physically and mentally,” said Monfils, who also beat Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco in earlier rounds. “It’s the whole week that made me tired. Today I wasn’t able to find the extra stamina that I would have needed to be more competitive. ... It’s the first time I’ve been beating three top-10 players in the same tournament.” In the doubles final, Mahesh Bhupathi of India and Max Mirnyi of Belarus won their eighth title by defeating the unseeded pair of Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and Andy Ram of Israel 7-5, 7-5.—AP

Celtics 116, Grizzlies 110

In Memphis, Ray Allen hit a key 3-point shot in overtime and Paul Pierce scored 28 points as Boston held off a furious rally by Memphis. Rudy Gay’s short pull-up jump shot for Memphis with 7.3 seconds left in regulation tied it at 99. Celtics forward Glen Davis hit a jump shot and Allen dropped in an arching 3-pointer to give the Celtics a 104-99 advantage. Pierce made four free throws in the final 1:30 to seal Boston’s seventh win in its last eight games and finished their fourgame road trip 3-1.—AP

PARIS: Robin Soderling of Sweden holds his trophy after defeating Gael Monfils of France in the final match of the Paris Tennis Masters tournament.—AP



Monday, November 15, 2010

Vettel wins F1 title

ABU DHABI: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates on the podium after becoming 2010 Formula One World champion and winning the Emirates Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina racetrack. —AP

F1 world champions List of Formula One champions after Sebastian Vettel clinched the 2010 title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix yesterday: 2010 - Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull 2009 - Jenson Button (Britain) Brawn 2008 - Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 2007 - Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 2006 - Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 2005 - Alonso, Renault 2004 - Michael Schumacher, Ferrari 2003 - Schumacher, Ferrari 2002 - Schumacher, Ferrari 2001 - Schumacher, Ferrari 2000 - Schumacher, Ferrari 1999 - Mika Hakkinen (Finland) McLaren 1998 - Hakkinen, McLaren 1997 - Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) Williams 1996 - Damon Hill (Britain) Williams 1995 - Schumacher, Benetton 1994 - Schumacher, Benetton 1993 - Alain Prost (France) Williams 1992 - Nigel Mansell (Britain) Williams 1991 - Ayrton Senna (Brazil) McLaren 1990 - Senna, McLaren 1989 - Prost, McLaren 1988 - Senna, McLaren 1987 - Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Williams 1986 - Prost, McLaren 1985 - Prost, McLaren 1984 - Niki Lauda (Austria) McLaren 1983 - Piquet, Brabham 1982 - Keke Rosberg (Finland) Williams 1981 - Piquet, Brabham 1980 - Alan Jones (Australia) Williams 1979 - Jody Scheckter (South Africa) Ferrari 1978 - Mario Andretti (U.S.) Lotus 1977 - Lauda, Ferrari 1976 - James Hunt (Britain) McLaren

1975 - Lauda, Ferrari 1974 - Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil) McLaren 1973 - Jackie Stewart (Britain) Tyrrell 1972 - Fittipaldi, Lotus 1971 - Stewart, Tyrrell 1970 - Jochen Rindt (Austria) Lotus 1969 - Stewart, Matra 1968 - Graham Hill (Britain) Lotus 1967 - Denny Hulme (New Zealand) Brabham 1966 - Jack Brabham (Australia) Brabham 1965 - Jim Clark (Britain) Lotus 1964 - John Surtees (Britain) Ferrari 1963 - Clark, Lotus 1962 - G. Hill, BRM 1961 - Phil Hill (U.S.) Ferrari 1960 - Brabham, Cooper 1959 - Brabham, Cooper 1958 - Mike Hawthorn (Britain) Ferrari 1957 - Juan Manuel Fangio (Argentina) Maserati 1956 - Fangio, Lancia/Ferrari 1955 - Fangio, Mercedes 1954 - Fangio, Mercedes/Maserati 1953 - Alberto Ascari (Italy), Ferrari 1952 - Ascari, Ferrari 1951 - Fangio, Alfa Romeo 1950 - Giuseppe Farina (Italy) Alfa Romeo Multiple champions: 7 - Schumacher 5 - Fangio 4 - Prost 3 - Brabham, Stewart, Lauda, Piquet, Senna 2 - Ascari, Graham Hill, Clark, Fittipaldi, Hakkinen, Alonso. —Reuters

ABU DHABI: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (left) and Mercedes Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher of Germany ( right) celebrate after Vettel became Formula One World Champion 2010. —AP

Schumacher’s comeback season ends with a crash ABU DHABI: Michael Schumacher’s Formula One comeback season ended with a smash in Abu Dhabi yesterday when his Mercedes spun and was speared by a Force India car on the opening lap. The seven-times world champion, who last stood on the podium as a Ferrari driver in 2006, was fortunate to escape serious injury as Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi’s car ploughed into the stationary Mercedes just behind the German’s head. The safety car was immediately deployed and stayed out for four laps of the season-ending race. Schumacher, who stepped out unscathed, had spun moments earlier after being nudged by team mate and fellow German Nico Rosberg as they sped side by side into turn six at the Yas Marina. Schumacher, who ended three years in retirement to return to the grid at the age of 41, has struggled to conjure up even traces of his old

magic. In his 19 races with Mercedes, his best result was fourth place in Spain, Turkey and South Korea. The most successful driver the sport has ever seen wraps up his year with 72 points compared to the 130 Rosberg had scored before yesterday’s race. “As a seven-time World Champion he will be disappointed,” McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh had said earlier in the week when asked about Schumacher’s season. “Let’s be frank, he will be disappointed with this season. He’s a winner, he’s won many, many races. But, it’s a driver, a team, a car. “We all play a role in our end success and lack of success, so I think anyone who writes Michael off and believes that he can’t be more competitive next year will be foolish,” added the Briton. “There’s no reason why he can’t come back very strongly in the following season.” —Reuters

ABU DHABI: Sebastian Vettel became Formula One’s youngest ever champion yesterday, taking advantage of Fernando Alonso’s disappointing performance to clinch the title with a win at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The 23-year-old German Red Bull driver started the race from pole position but needed to make up 15 points on Alonso, who led the championship but failed to secure the title for a second straight race. While Vettel had a fairly trouble-free race, Alonso finished seventh after Ferrari made an illadvised decision to pit early and the Spaniard got stuck behind Nico Rosberg and Vitaly Petrov for nearly 40 laps. Vettel’s title comes after Red Bull dominated the field in qualifying sessions all season, but often failed to convert its unrivaled speed into race victories because of reliability problems and driver errors. “It has been an incredible journey, to lead the championship after the last race is unbelievable,” Vettel said. “It’s been extremely intense and a tough season mentally.” Alonso, who started third from the grid, ended up four points behind Vettel in the final standings. “It was a tough race, a difficult race,” Alonso said. “We lost one position in the start and (in) the first safety car period Petrov and Rosberg came in.” Vettel said he had a few nervous moments after crossing the finish line, while he waited to see whether Alonso could climb up to fourth place on the last lap — which would have given the Spaniard the title. But the celebrations could finally start when he received the message he was hoping for. “Weltmeister!” Vettel’s team screamed over the car radio after Rosberg crossed the line in fourth place, using the German word for world champion. “Unbelievable! Thank you,” Vettel replied in a strained voice, barely able to speak because of the emotion, as Red Bull engineers and crew threw themselves into each other’s arms. “To be honest I didn’t know anything until I crossed the chequered flag,” Vettel said, explaining that he had no idea what the situation was behind him during the last 10 laps due to a glitch on the race radio. “Then he comes on the radio and screams at me that we have won the world championship,” Vettel added. “We always kept believing in (ourselves), the team, the car, and today was a special day.” Alonso couldn’t hide his disappointment, shaking his fist angrily as he pulled up alongside Petrov when they glided over the line. “Next year, we’ll try again,” Alonso said. Red Bull’s Mark Webber of Australia came in behind Alonso and finished third overall, 14 points back from his teammate Vettel. Vettel was born July 3, 1987, making him six months younger than Lewis Hamilton was when he won the title in 2008. Hamilton beat defending champion Jenson Button as McLaren took second and third place in the race. For the first time in F1 history, four drivers were in contention for the title heading into the last GP, with Hamilton finishing 16 points behind Vettel in fourth overall. “We’ve seen an incredible tight (championship), I don’t know how many times we’ve had a different leader,” Vettel said. “In the beginning we thought Ferrari’s dropping back, but they fought back very hard. All of us can write a book about where we could have finished higher in races.” Hamilton hailed Vettel as a worthy champion. “It hasn’t been the most spectacular season for us, but congratulations to Sebastian, he really did a fantastic job throughout the year,” Hamilton said. “(But) it’s a great end-of-season result for me and Jenson, we pushed very hard.” Ferrari ultimately paid the price for their cautious tactics. The decision was clearly to tag Webber — who was eight points behind Alonso going into the race — as the main threat rather than Vettel, because a victory for the German was irrelevant so long as Alonso finished at least fourth. But Alonso was overtaken by Button at the start and then pitted early on lap 16, allowing Rosberg and Petrov to stay ahead of him. Webber took a turn too wide early on and sparks flew as he brushed a crash barrier, and that minor moment was to have a major impact on the whole race. Webber went in for a tire change on the 12th lap in what looked like a precautionary measure after that incident, and the Australian’s nervy race continued as his back wheel spun wildly when he exited the pit lane. But that prompted Ferrari into a panicky move, as they then sent in Alonso for a tire change shortly after. “Webber pitted and we tried to cover for him and when you cover for him you need to give way to others,” Alonso said. “It was to choose between Vettel and Webber and Petrov or Rosberg. This is a sport. —AFP

SOUTH BEND: Notre Dame wide receiver Duval Kamara (18) makes a 12-yard touchdown reception while being defended by Utah cornerback Conroy Black (9) during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game. —AP

Oregon barely hold off California BERKELEY: Jeff Maehl caught a 29-yard touchdown pass and No. 1 Oregon got stellar effort from its defense and a huge break on a missed field goal to beat California 15-13 and stay unbeaten. Cliff Harris returned a punt 64 yards for the only touchdown in the first half by the Ducks (10-0, 7-0 Pac-10), who wobbled on the road to the BCS title game. Darron Thomas led a final drive that chewed up the last 9:32 after a stellar defensive effort by the Bears, who held the nation’s most potent offense to a season-low in yards. Giorgio Tavecchio missed a 29-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for Cal that would have given the Golden Bears a 16-15 lead. The miss came after he was called for a false start that wiped a 24-yard field goal off the board. Derrick Hill forced a fumble and recovered it in the end zone for the Bears (5-5, 3-4), who lost in Strawberry Canyon for the first time all season _ but only after putting a mighty scare into their first top-ranked opponent in five years. Auburn 49, Georgia 31 At Auburn, Alabama, Cam Newton responded to allegations of wrongdoing by passing for two touchdowns and running for two more to lead Auburn into the SEC championship game. The Tigers (11-0, 7-0) will face South Carolina for the conference title Dec. 4 in Atlanta, and have their eyes on a national championship. Newton carried 30 times for 151 yards and completed 12 of 15 passes for 148 yards. He finished off the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass that made it 42-31, then dove over for the final score. Georgia (5-6, 3-5) had won four straight in the Deep South’s oldest rivalry and jumped ahead 21-7. But the Bulldogs couldn’t hold on, despite A.J. Green’s nine receptions for 160 yards.

all, leading to 30 points, and LSU built a 44-0 lead by the third quarter. Stevan Ridley rushed for two touchdowns, the first set up by Patrick Peterson’s 85-yard interception return. Wisconsin 83, Indiana 20 At Madison, Wisconsin, Montee Ball ran for three touchdowns in his first start, replacing injured running back John Clay, and Scott Tolzien threw for three more scores as Wisconsin matched the highest-scoring game by a Big Ten team in 60 years. The Badgers (9-1, 5-1) put up the most points by an FBS school this season and matched the highest scoring total by a team in a Big Ten conference game since Ohio State’s 8321 victory over Iowa in 1950. Ball ran for 167 yards and freshman James White added 144 yards and two scores in place of Clay, who missed the first game of his career after spraining his right knee last Saturday. Indiana (4-6, 0-6) kept it close for a quarter, but quarterback Ben Chappell left late in the first half favoring his left knee and hip. Stanford 17, Arizona State 13 At Tempe, Arizona, Andrew Luck threw for 292 yards and engineered a long fourth-quarter scoring drive to set up Owen Marecic’s second 1-yard touchdown dive. Stanford (9-1, 6-1 Pac10) labored against Arizona State’s gang-tackling most of the night before moving 85 yards in 10 plays to set up Marecic’s bulldozing TD run with just over 5 minutes left. The Cardinal made up for their offensive struggles with hard-nosed defense, holding the Sun Devils (4-6, 2-5) to 268 total yards to win in Tempe for the first time since 1999. Arizona State played another good team tough, again failing to come up with big plays down the stretch.

TCU 40, San Diego State 35 At Fort Worth, Texas, Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes to Jeremy Kerley as TCU rallied from an early two-touchdown deficit, then held on to beat San Diego State. The Horned Frogs (11-0, 7-0 Mountain West) won their 20th consecutive home game and clinched at least a share of the conference title. They also kept alive their chance to reach the BCS national championship game, but it’ll be interesting to see how poll voters react to the Horned Frogs’ closest game of the season. San Diego State (7-3, 4-2) led 14-0 less than 6 minutes into the game, before TCU scored touchdowns on five of its last six drives before halftime. The Aztecs didn’t have a first down in that stretch, but three TDs in the final 16 minutes of the game made it close.

Ohio State 38, Penn State 14 At Columbus, Ohio, Devon Torrence tipped and snagged an interception and returned it 34 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to turn the tide for the Buckeyes. Ohio State, which trailed 14-3 at half, added scores when a long pass into double coverage ricocheted off a defender to Dane Sanzenbacher for a 58-yard score and Travis Howard picked off a pass and brought it back 30 yards, also in the fourth quarter. The two defensive scores were nothing new in the series. Penn State (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten) has had six interceptions returned for TDs in the last seven meetings. The victory sends the Buckeyes (9-1, 5-1) into a critical showdown at Iowa next week tied for first place with Michigan State and Wisconsin in the conference.

LSU 51, Louisiana-Monroe 0 At Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Ron Brooks returned an interception for a score, Lavar Edwards brought back a fumble for another, and LSU’s defense dominated. It was an anticlimactic victory for the Tigers (9-1), who were eliminated from contention in the SEC’s Western Division with Auburn’s victory over Georgia. LSU still can finish its regular season 11-1 and earn an at-large bid to a BCS bowl. LSU’s defense produced five turnovers in

Nebraska 20, Kansas 3 At Lincoln, Nebraska, Rex Burkhead and Roy Helu Jr. ran for touchdowns and Nebraska’s defense held Kansas to 87 total yards. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez was limited by design after missing all but one play of last week’s game at Iowa State with a right ankle sprain. He clearly wasn’t at his best, but he showed glimpses of his dynamic running ability, gaining 71 yards on 11 carries.

TEXAS: Oklahoma State’s Isaiah Anderson (82) tries to hang on to a pass as Texas’ Carrington Byndom (2) defends during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game. —AP

Martinez was 14 of 26 passing for 167 yards, with one interception. Helu had 85 yards and Burkhead 77 yards. The Jayhawks, who gained 453 yards and rallied from a 28-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Colorado last week, generated five first downs and had nine drives that lasted four plays or less. Alabama 30, Mississippi State 10 At Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Greg McElroy passed for 227 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown to Mark Ingram, and Alabama rolled over Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide (8-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) showed it can still dominate even the improved version of the Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3) after its title hopes evaporated. The Tide used big plays to punch up the offense after the Bulldogs kept Ingram and the short-handed running game from producing much. Instead, Alabama had scores of 45, 78 and 56 yards on three consecutive offensive plays starting in the second quarter to run away with it. It didn’t matter that the game kicked off around the time rival Auburn was clinching the SEC West championship with a win over Georgia, ending Alabama’s two-year run on top. Oklahoma State 33, Texas 16 At Austin, Texas, Brandon Weeden passed for 409 yards and Kendall Hunter ran for two touchdowns as Oklahoma State ended a 12year losing streak to Texas. The win keeps surging Oklahoma State (9-1, 5-1) in first place in the Big 12 South with two games to play. The Cowboys have never won the division. Hunter ran for 116 yards. Justin Blackmon had 145 yards receiving for the Cowboys, including a 67-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter, his 16th of the season, the most in the nation. The loss is just the latest home defeat for the reeling Longhorns (4-6, 2-5) who have lost six of their last seven games — four straight at home — just one season after playing for the national championship. Texas must win its last two games to avoid its first losing season since 1997 and qualify for a bowl game. Notre Dame 28, Utah 3 At South Bend, Indiana, freshman Tommy Rees threw three touchdown passes in his first start and Notre Dame used two Utah special teams mistakes to rout the slumping Utes. Returning from a week off, Notre Dame (5-5) moved within one win of becoming bowl eligible. Utah (8-2), meanwhile, was still reeling from its 47-7 loss to TCU a week earlier. The victory was Notre Dame’s first over a ranked team since 2006, when the Irish defeated Penn State. Robert Blanton blocked a Utah punt, picked up the ball and ran in for a TD late in the opening period. And a fumble on the second-half kickoff by star Utah returner Shaky Smithson was quickly turned into the first of two Rees-to-Duval Kamara TD passes. Rees, who replaced injured starter Dayne Crist during a loss to Tulsa two weeks ago, got better as the game progressed and finished 13 of 20 for 129 yards. USC 24, Arizona 21 At Tuscson, Arizona, Marc Tyler ran for a career-high 160 yards and Southern California climbed into a tie with Arizona for third in the Pac-10 . Matt Barkley passed for one touchdown and sneaked for another as the Trojans (7-3, 4-3 Pac-10) jumped ahead 14-0 and never relinquished the lead. The Wildcats’ Nick Foles threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns, the last an 11yarder to David Douglas with 1:01 to play. But USC recovered the subsequent onside kick to preserve the victory. Arizona (7-3, 4-3) lost its second in a row. The Wildcats were blown out at Stanford 42-17 last weekend. South Carolina 36, Florida 14 At Gainesville, Florida, Marcus Lattimore ran 40 times for a career-high 212 yards and three touchdowns, Stephen Garcia played turnover-free and Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks upset Florida to clinch the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division. The Gamecocks won for the second time in 19 tries against Florida, snapped an 0-for-12 streak in Gainesville and earned a spot in the league title game for the first time. South Carolina (7-3, 5-3 SEC) will play second-ranked Auburn on Dec. 4, with the winner advancing to the Bowl Championship Series. The Gators (6-4, 4-4) lost to a division opponent for the first time in 17 games, dropped their third consecutive home game and proved they didn’t deserve to play for a championship. It’s the program’s first three-game losing streak at home since 1989. —AP


Monday, November 15, 2010


South Korea has big gold medal day at Asian Games

ARLINGTON: Manny Pacquiao (right) lands a punch against Antonio Margarito during the eleventh round of their WBC light middleweight title boxing match. — AP

Eighth world title gives Pacquiao unique status ARLINGTON: Manny Pacquiao cemented his place in the pantheon of boxing greats by recording an unanimous points victory over Antonio Margarito on Saturday to claim the vacant WBC super welterweight title. The 31-year-old southpaw dominated all 12 rounds against his bigger Mexican opponent at Cowboys Stadium to land an eighth world title in an unprecedented eighth weight class. Having already established himself as one of the best offensive fighters of all time, Pacquiao outclassed Margarito with his lightning hand speed and precise power punching to improve his career record to 52-3-2 with 38 knockouts. “It was a really hard fight, the hardest fight in my boxing career,” Pacquiao told reporters after winning his 13th consecutive bout since losing to Erik Morales in Las Vegas in March 2005. “He’s strong. I never expected him to be as strong as he was. He’s a very tough fighter. I can’t believe he took all those punches.” The Filipino, a heavily odds-on favorite going into the fight, pummelled the Mexican’s head virtually at will for much of the bout, leaving his opponent with a puffed left eye and a cut under a badly swollen right eye. Despite being outweighed by 17 pounds, Pacquiao blended raw power with speed in front of a crowd of 41,734 to deliver a spectacular performance against an

opponent who was also four-and-a-half inches taller. The pride of the Philippines, who had never previously fought above welterweight, dominated the official ringside statistics, landing 474 power punches compared to Margarito’s 229. At one point during the 11th round, Pacquiao looked across at referee Laurence Cole and asked him to stop the fight. “I feel for my opponent, his eyes and his bloody face,” said the Filipino, who was hurt by Margarito’s body shots during the middle rounds when pinned against the ropes. “I wanted the ref to look at that.” “In the 12th round I wasn’t looking for a knockout. I take it easy because my trainer told me to take it easy and just be careful.” Pacquiao, fighting for the first time since winning a seat in his country’s national congress earlier this year, gained one-sided verdicts from all three judges — 120-109, 118-110 and 119-109. “We didn’t lose a round,” said Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach. “Manny fought a great fight tonight and Margarito showed a lot of heart. He is very resilient. I thought for sure he would quit.” Pacquiao’s initial concern after the fight was the health of his mother, who according to promoter Bob Arum had “suffered an anxiety attack” while watch-

ing her son from ringside. “She’s okay now, she’s okay,” Pacquiao told reporters before holding his post-fight news conference. Three-times world champion Margarito, back in the ring for the first time in the United States since he lost to American Shane Mosley in a WBC welterweight title bout in January 2009, slipped to 38-7 with 27 knockouts. “We knew Manny was very fast,” the 32-year-old Mexican said through an interpreter before being taken to hospital for a precautionary head scan. “We were going good until I got caught, and then that’s when the problems started coming.” Asked whether he had considered retiring before the end of the 12th round, Margarito replied: “No, no way. I’m a Mexican and we fight until the end. This time I failed Mexico but we will fight to the end.” The controversial Mexican was welcomed by a mixture of cheers and jeers when he first made his way toward the ring set up in the state-of-the-art home venue for the Dallas Cowboys NFL team. Margarito and his trainer Javier Capetillo were banned for a year after plaster-like bandage wraps were found in the fighter’s gloves before the Mosley fight, prompting Roach to monitor the Mexican’s hand-wrapping on Saturday. —Reuters

LONDON: British boxer David Haye (left) lands a punch during his three round win over compatriot Audley Harrison in their WBA world heavyweight title fight. — AP

Haye defends title MANCHESTER:David Haye easily retained his WBA heavyweight title on Saturday with a third round technical knockout against fellow Briton Audley Harrison, who threw just one punch in a pitiful display. After a cautious first round, where fans at Manchester’s MEN Arena booed both boxers for their defensive approach, the fight sprang to life in the third when Haye landed with a barrage of right hooks and uppercuts which sent Harrison to the canvas. Harrison managed to beat the count but the bout was stopped shortly after with the challenger offering no offence

as Haye continued to land heavy blows. “I told people I’d do it in three and that’s what I did,” Haye, 30, told a news conference where he flicked through the glossy fight programme. “I know a lot of people made a lot of money (on that outcome).” The win extended Haye’s record to 25 victories (23 knockouts) and one defeat and immediately posed the question of when he would take on one or both of the Klitschko brothers, who hold the four other heavyweight titles. “It has to happen in 2011, I retire in 2011,” he said of a fight with the Ukrainians.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion had been due to fight Vladimir, the younger of the Klitschkos, in June last year but withdrew citing an injury. Vladimir holds the WBO, IBF and IBO world titles while Vitali is the WBC champion. Haye said they needed to sit down and thrash out a deal, with his trainer saying it should be a 50-50 fight. Previous negotiations have stalled over money issues and Haye said he would not delay his retirement plans to accommodate them. “No waiting, an extra bit of pressure for them to pull their

socks up,” said Haye, who defended his title for a second time. “Unifying the heavyweight division will really make me happy.” He admitted Saturday’s fight would not have done much for his standing on the international boxing stage but it had been good in terms of its high profile in Britain. Fans, some of whom paid 1,000 pounds ($1,605) for a ticket, felt cheated as they taunted Harrison afterwards with “How can you sleep?”, “You’re a farce”, “It was pitiful” as the 2000 Olympic gold medallist offered nothing in the way of attack. — Reuters

GUANGZHOU: An established Olympic swimming superstar and a sevenmonth pregnant shooter helped South Korea to one of its best days at the Asian Games yesterday. Park Tae-hwan, the 400meter freestyle gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, won the 200 freestyle in the Asian Games pool, leading throughout to break his own Asian record. Hours earlier, Gim Yunmi, who is expecting a child in two months, helped out as South Korea swept all four shooting gold medals to give it nine on the day overall. The games also had a first world record — China’s Li Ping won the women’s 53kilogram weightlifting division. She broke an eight-yearold world mark in the snatch when she lifted 103 kilograms, then lifted 127 in the clean and jerk to earn another world record for the combined total at 230 kilograms. China collected 18 golds Sunday and moved to a leading 37 on the second day of competition at the Games, which end Nov. 27. South Korea has 13 gold medals overall. Japan is in third place with eight golds and Hong Kong is next with two gold. China topped the medal count at the last Asian Games in Doha with 166 gold medals and is on its way to repeating that. There are 476 gold medals to be awarded in Guangzhou. South Korean shooter Lee Dae-myung won the men’s 10-meter air pistol and helped secure a victory in the team competition on the second morning. Later, Gim won the women’s 10meter air pistol and helped South Korea win the women’s team gold. “I got the gold medal with my baby, I feel so happy,” Gim said through an interpreter. Jia Rui helped deliver Macau’s first-ever gold medal at the Asian Games by winning the Daoshu/Gunshu all-round title in the Chinese martial arts of Wushu. Macau had won five silver and 10 bronze medals in previous Asian Games, but the 23year-old individual world champion clinched yesterday’s gold with an acrobatic routine involving flips and fast sword movement. “In Macau, wushu is a hobby for many people, and this will be a big step for the sport in my country,” he said. India, meanwhile, won its first gold of the games when Pankaj Advani beat Nay Thway Oo of Malaysia 3-2 in men’s English billiards. Japanese triathletes finished first and second in the men’s race just 24 hours after two of their female compatriots took the major medals in the women’s event. Yesterday, Yuichi Hosoda and Ryosuke Yamamoto finished one-two to make Japan the undisputed triathlon champions of the Asian Games. On Saturday, Mariko Adachi and Akane Tsuchihashi of Japan won gold and silver, respectively, in the women’s race. At the Asian Games pool, Park broke the Chinese domination that has seen the host country win nine golds in 12 finals over two nights. Japanese star Kosuke Kitajima failed to win his 50meter breaststroke heat in the morning and struggled again in the final, finishing 0.35 seconds behind winner, China’s Xie Zhi, to end up in a dead heat for fourth with Iran’s Mohammad Alirezaei Dizicheh. Kitajima’s teammate Ryo Tateishi was second. The 50 distance is not the 28-year-old Japanese star swimmer’s best event _ he swept the 100 and 200 Olympic titles in Athens and Beijing. Still, failing to land a medal at all is a worrying sign heading into his signature events in Guangzhou. Kitajima said the competition was simply too strong. “Even though it’s my best result of this year, I did not get a medal,” he said. “I’ll try my best in the 100-meter breaststroke later.” — AP

CHINA: Yang Yilin of China competes on the balance beam during the women’s gymnastics team event at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou. — AP

Medals Table Nation China South Korea Japan Hong Kong India Taiwan Macau Uzbekistan North Korea

G 37 13 8 2 1 1 1 0 0

S 14 10 20 2 3 2 0 3 3

B 12 12 15 2 1 6 0 3 2

Total 63 35 43 6 5 9 1 6 5

Kazakhstan Iran Indonesia Thailand Myanmar Singapore Malaysia Philippines Mongolia Vietnam

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0

6 3 2 2 1 1 3 2 1 1

7 4 3 3 2 2 3 2 1 1

CHINA: Japan’s Masahiro Takamatsu (bottom) reacts as he is held by Mongolia’s Uuganbaatar Otgonbaatar during a bronze medal match for the judo -81kg competitions at the 16th Asian Games. — AP

Sunderland stun Chelsea Sunderland 3

Chelsea 0

LONDON: Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere (left) vies for the ball against Everton’s Tim Cahill during their English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park.—AP

Arsenal climb to second spot Arsenal 2

Everton 1 LIVERPOOL: Arsenal climbed into second place in the Premier League as goals by Bacary Sagna and Cesc Fabregas earned Arsene Wenger’s side a 2-1 win at Everton yesterday. Sagna scored a rare goal in the 36th minute when the France right back smashed a high shot in at the near post from 10 yards.

Fabregas doubled Arsenal’s lead three minutes into the second half after exchanging passes with Marouane Chamakh before steering a low shot into the far corner. Everton piled on the pressure in the final 20 minutes and reduced the deficit in the 89th when Australia midfielder Tim Cahill bundled in from close range after Louis Saha headed down a corner at the far post. Arsenal, though, held on for the three points that lift the team above Manchester United in the table. Everton remained 13th following its first defeat in eight games. After losing 1-0 at home to

Newcastle last Sunday, Arsenal has bounced back well, with this victory following a 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday. Apart from a frantic final quarter of the match when Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was bombarded with shots from all angles, the visitors contained Everton well. They edged a tight first half, with the recalled Andriy Arshavin volleying just wide before firing over after going past two defenders on a fine individual run. It was the Russia captain who set up the opening goal for Sagna, who controlled Arshavin’s lay-off

before powering a rising shot into the roof of the net. Fabregas scored his first goal since the middle of September when a one-two with Chamakh ended with the Spain midfielder sweeping home his finish from 12 yards. As Arsenal sat back to protect its lead, Everton came swarming forward. Substitute Jack Rodwell scooped a shot over after Steven Pienaar’s cutback before Jermaine Beckford, Pienaar and Louis Saha all had efforts saved by Fabianski. Cahill’s closerange finish gave Everton a chance to snatch a point but Arsenal held on.—AP

LONDON: Chelsea’s sensational home record went up in smoke as goals by Nedum Onuoha, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck gave Sunderland a shock 3-0 victory over the Premier League leaders yesterday. The reigning champions hadn’t conceded a goal at Stamford Bridge all season before their match against the Black Cats but a defense missing first-choice center halves Alex and John Terry fell apart. Nedum Onuoha put Sunderland ahead in the 44th minute with a stunning individual effort before Gyan scored his fourth goal in three games to make it 2-0 in the 52nd. Welbeck then took advantage of a careless back pass by Ashley Cole to slip in the third with three minutes left. “They’ve done fantastically well,” Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said of his players. “I’m delighted for them. It’s not often you come to Chelsea and win 3-0.” Chelsea barely threatened Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon in a lame attacking display and now leads the league by just two points from Arsenal, which won 2-1 at Everton earlier yesterday. It was Chelsea’s third defeat of the season, and second in three matches following a 2-0 loss at Liverpool last Sunday. Brazil defender Alex was ruled out Friday with a knee injury but captain Terry’s absence, because of a nerve problem sustained in training on Saturday, hit Chelsea hard. His replacement Paulo Ferreira, usually a right back, was out of his depth in the middle as Gyan and Welbeck ran rings round the Portugal international. The

EPL results/standings Chelsea 0 Sunderland 3 (Onuoha 45, Gyan 52, Welbeck 87); Everton 1 (Cahill 89) Arsenal 2 (Sagna 36, Fabregas 48). Played Saturday Aston Villa 2 (Young 72-pen, Albrighton 76) Man Utd 2 (Macheda 81, Vidic 85); Man City 0 Birmingham 0;

Newcastle 0 Fulham 0; Stoke 2 (Fuller 56, Jones 90) Liverpool 0; Tottenham 4 (Bale 16, 75, Pavlyuchenko 42, Crouch 69) Blackburn 2 (Nelsen 80, Givet 90); West Ham 0 Blackpool 0; Wigan 1 (Moses 70) West Brom 0; Wolves 2 (Foley 69, Fletcher 77) Bolton 3 (Stearman 1-og, Elmander 57, Holden 67).

English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Chelsea Arsenal Man Utd Man City Bolton Sunderland Tottenham Newcastle Aston Villa Stoke

13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13

9 8 6 6 4 4 5 5 4 5

1 2 7 4 7 7 4 3 5 1

Blues also missed the presence of dynamic midfielder Michael Essien, who was suspended following his red card against Fulham on Wednesday. The result could have been even worse for the hosts had Branislav Ivanovic, Ferreira’s partner in central defense, been given a red card in the 40th minute for a foul on the lively Welbeck when the former Manchester United forward was through on goal. Ivanovic escaped with a yellow but he and his teammates were not spared further punishment as their team conceded their first goals at home since March. After a bright opening by Chelsea, which went close through Yuri Zhirkov’s low shot and a fizzing free kick by Didier Drogba that flew just over, Sunderland dominated with surprising ease. Petr Cech turned Welbeck’s header round the post in the 36th before Kieran Richardson smashed a shot across the face of goal. Welbeck was then denied by the feet of Cech after being put through by Gyan and the Czech Republic goalkeeper made a fine double save, from Gyan and Richardson, moments before

3 3 0 3 2 2 4 5 4 7

28 26 26 15 21 15 18 21 15 15

8 12 15 10 19 13 17 16 18 18

28 26 25 22 19 19 19 18 17 16

Liverpool West Brom Everton Blackburn Blackpool Fulham Wigan Birmingham Wolverhampton West Ham

13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13

4 4 3 4 4 2 3 2 2 1

4 4 6 3 3 8 5 7 3 6

5 5 4 6 6 3 5 4 8 6

13 16 14 15 19 13 10 14 13 11

17 22 13 18 26 13 21 17 23 22

16 16 15 15 15 14 14 13 9 9

LONDON: Chelsea’s Didier Drogba (left) and Sunderland’s Nedum Onuoha vie for the ball during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge.—AP Onuoha opened the scoring. Ivanovic’s poor clearing header fell to the former Manchester City defender 40 yards out and he embarked on a superb solo run, waltzing round two would-be tacklers before slipping a left-foot shot past Cech for his first Sunderland goal. There were just as many holes in Chelsea’s defense at the start of

the second half and Gyan took advantage in the 52nd to extend the Black Cats’ lead. A flowing move involving Boudewijn Zenden, Welbeck and Jordan Henderson ended with the latter — who was called up by England on Saturday for the first time ahead of the international friendly against France — slipping Gyan in behind Ferreira. —AP

GM earns net income of $2.0 billion


World economy needs ‘profound reform’: Pope

India’s construction boom runs out of engineers



Monday, November 15, 2010

APEC vows to turn free-trade dreams into reality YOKOHAMA: Pacific Rim leaders including the US and China pledged yesterday to turn their dreams of a vast free-trade zone into reality, setting aside conflicts that marred the G20 summit in Seoul. The 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group vowed to resist the forces of protectionism as the world recovers from a painful downturn, and maintain the region’s role as a key growth engine. “We remain committed to maintaining open markets and fighting protectionism. We reaffirm our common resolve to support the recovery in a collaborative and coordinated way,” they said in a statement. Echoing the language of the Group of 20 summit Friday, they pledged to refrain from competitive currency devaluations and emphasized the need to establish more balanced and sustainable growth. APEC, which produces more than half the world’s economic output and includes global heavyweights as well as minnows Brunei and Papua New Guinea, also agreed to extend until 2013 a ban on new barriers to trade and investment. China’s President Hu Jintao warned protectionism had risen “notably” in the Asia Pacific region and that the global recovery was “neither firmly established nor balanced”. APEC’s grand plan is for a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) that would link both sides of the Pacific, but until now it has remained a vague and long-term goal. “We have agreed that now is the time for APEC to translate FTAAP from an aspirational to a more concrete vision,” the leaders said at the end of a two-day summit in Japan’s port city of Yokohama. “To that end, we instruct APEC to take concrete steps towards realization of an FTAAP.” US President Barack Obama made an appeal to tear down trade barriers on Saturday as APEC leaders convened after turbulence at the G20 summit of major economies, and under the cloud of tensions between its biggest members. Obama also pushed China on its flood of exports aided by a cheap yuan, undeterred by the knockback at G20 which rejected US policy proposals for binding targets on trade and currency to rebalance the global economy. The APEC leaders’ statement sidestepped differences between the US and China on what paths to take towards the grand trade plan. Beijing wants the core of the deal to be Asia-centric diplomatic forums where the US is not a member. Obama said however that the US, which hosts next year’s APEC summit in Hawaii, wants to pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed trade zone scrapping tariffs and other trade barriers between nine Pacific Rim nations. Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera said the nations had agreed to attempt to forge a freetrade pact before Obama hosts the next APEC summit, but acknowledged reaching a deal will be “a very demanding task.” This year’s summit host, Japan’s premier Naoto Kan, deflected perceptions that the US and China are at odds over the issue, saying “I do not think it’s that kind of simplistic division” and that both forums would play a role. With WTO negotiations in limbo, the TPP seem to be the only hope of regaining momentum in global trade reform, analysts say. Leaders of the fledgling group met for the first time in Yokohama yesterday to advance the treaty which the White House described as “the most advanced pathway” to regional economic integration. Other economies including Japan and South Korea are eyeing joining the pact, but many are torn between not wanting to be left out, and reluctance to make the deep commitments TPP membership could require. Hu yesterday gave assurances that the regional giant, which has alarmed its neighbors with an increasingly assertive posture on territorial disputes, is committed to “good-neighborliness and friendship”. Obama’s nine-day tour of Asia which concluded in Japan has been aimed at propelling renewed US engagement in the region, a move welcomed by many smaller nations as a counterbalance to China. Hu came to Japan with a feud raging between Asia’s biggest economies over a territorial dispute centered on disputed East China Sea islands where Japan arrested a Chinese fishing captain in September. But in a diplomatic breakthrough Saturday, their two leaders Hu and Kan held formal talks, their first since the row started, and emerged with warm comments that represented a major thaw. — AFP

Leaders set aside conflicts that marred G20 summit

YOKOHAMA: Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (center) speaks at a joint declaration with other APEC leaders in Yokohama yesterday. They are from left: Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Indonesian Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa, Taiwan’s National Policy Foundation Chairman Lien Chan, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Peruvian President Alan Garcia, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Kan, US President Barack Obama, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Michael Somare. —AP

Dubai Group misses 2 loan repayments DUBAI: Financial services firm Dubai Group has missed two payments on separate loans in recent weeks, including one arranged by Citibank, in the latest sign the Gulf Arab emirate’s debt troubles are far from over. Sources said the company, part of a conglomerate owned by Dubai’s ruler, did not make a scheduled payment on a $330 million loan on which Citibank was the sole bookrunner. “The payment on the Citibank facility in October wasn’t made,” said a source with direct knowledge of the matter. A second person confirmed the October payment had not been made. The five-year loan, which matures Dec. 13, 2011, was used to fund the acquisition of a 49-percent stake in Bank Islam Malaysia. Bank Islam earlier this year said Dubai Group was trying to sell the stake. Two other sources familiar with the matter said Dubai Group also missed the profit payment due on a $1.5 billion murabaha Islamic financing facility, in which 24 banks have

participated. Arrangers of the facility, due August 2011, include Al Hilal Bank, First Gulf Bank, Noor Islamic Bank, Qatar’s Al Khaliji Commercial, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Bank. “The payment hasn’t come in, we’re expecting details soon,” one UAE-based banker, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. “This is quite concerning; we need to show the cash (payment) in our books. Whether there will be a restructuring or not, we do not know,” the banker said. A conference call among lending banks took place on Thursday, with some lenders angry about the missed payment. A source on the call said no decisions were made but among the options discussed was whether to send Dubai Group an official default notice on the murabaha facility. “Murabaha is generally a series of payments due on certain dates in which the (borrower) has to repay the cost plus profit, essentially equivalent to principal and interest, according to an agreed schedule,” said one Islamic finance lawyer, who asked not to be named.”

“If they miss one of their scheduled payments under the facility that is a breach of obligation, which is a default.” Islamic bankers said while contracts vary-a grace period could be written into a murabaha-customarily there would be no such provision in a deal, making a missed payment a default. Dubai Group, owned by Dubai Holding, said on Thursday it had set up a co-ordinating committee of lenders to discuss its debt obligations, adding it would continue to service its debt. “These discussions are making good progress and Dubai Group is confident of a positive outcome that is beneficial to all stakeholders,” it said. Dubai Group was not immediately available for comment on the missed loan payments. A banking source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the bulk of the exposure still lay with the top eight banks on the deal. “We knew they were in difficulty, in significant financial trouble,” the source said.

Dubai Group, which focuses on banking, insurance and investments, has stakes in Dubai-based investment bank Shuaa Capital Greek group Marfin Investment Group and Australian company Citigold Corp. Its announcement of a coordinating committee comes on the heels of a raft of restructuring in the Gulf Arab emirate after a property collapse combined with the global downturn Flagship conglomerate Dubai World reached a $25 billion restructuring deal with creditors in September. The statelinked firm shocked global markets last November when saying it was unable to meet almost $25 billion in debt obligations. Dubai World’s Nakheel property unit narrowly avoided default on an Islamic bond last year after a lastminute cash injection from neighboring emirate Abu Dhabi. “For the last year, everybody has been in the dark and struggling to figure out what is going on,” a Dubai-based banker said. “It is useful to know steps are being taken to address debt issues because it gives a little comfort to the market.” — Reuters

UAE CB tells lenders Markets muted on global concerns, Eid holiday MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS to provision quarterly ABU DHABI: UAE banks have been told to take provisions for bad loans on a quarterly basis, in long-awaited guidelines from the central bank aimed at bringing the banking system in line with international standards. Banks in the United Arab Emirates have suffered from substantial exposure to bad loans, particularly from the region-wide real estate slump and lending to state-entities, which hit cities like Dubai hard. Provisions of UAE banks have continued to rise in 2010. The central bank said it had introduced new guidelines to classify loans and the levels of provisioning necessary for each of them. “The objective of this set of regulations is to identify a framework suitable for

evaluating the loans and advances portfolio, in line with standards adopted by the Basel Committee and international best practices.” “All banks and other financial institutions are required to make provisions (specific and general) required for this regulation and deduct them from the profit and loss account at the end of each quarter and not delay them till the end of the financial year.” The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is the standard-setting authority for international banking regulations. “It is clear the central bank is tightening norms after what happened in the recent past with Dubai World and the new financial landscape,” said a banking analyst.—Reuters

DUBAI: Middle East markets were subdued yesterday, tracking losses in global markets, as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the long Eid holidays. European markets declined amid Irish debt concerns and the potential for Chinese rate hikes to fight off inflation. US stocks were off 1 percent after five straight weekly gains as commodity and energy shares took a beating on concerns that changes in Chinese monetary policy might slow the pace of its voracious appetite for raw materials. Oil prices slumped more than 3 percent on Friday, retreating from a 25-month high. In the UAE, property stocks led a decline as Dubai developer Emaar Properties slipped 0.8 percent and builder Arabtec dropped 1.6 percent, bringing down the broader index by 0.3 percent. “The selling pressure continued in the UAE,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Alternative Investments. “The markets are already down

but they are reacting to global factors. This pressure will continue as regional markets take the cue from international bourses.” Abu Dhabi heavyweight Aldar Properties bucked the trend, despite reporting its fourth straight quarter loss last week. Aldar gained 2.7 percent, reaching its highest value since Nov 9. The broader index dropped 0.4 percent. Egypt’s index was weighed down by Orascom Telecom (OT), after Algeria’s telecoms minister said his government has not changed its position on OT’s Algerian unit Djezzy, which it wants to buy. Orascom fell 1.5 percent to its lowest since March 2009 and the benchmark closed lower by 0.3 percent. The dispute over its Algerian unit makes a $6.6 billion deal with Russia’s

Vimpelcom less likely. However, traders were hopeful that the markets will open on a positive note after Eid. “Since most institutional investors are on holidays, we should expect the market to rise after Eid,” said Osama Mourad of Arab Finance Brokerage. “Gains will really be across the board, but with focus on financials, building materials and real estate and housing.” Qatar’s benchmark was the only one to record gains in the region as it ended slightly higher helped by the banking and telecom sector. Qatar Telecom gained 1.1 percent and Qatar National Bank added 0.8 percent, lifting the index by 0.1 percent. UAE and Qatar markets will resume trading on Nov 21, while Kuwait will open on Nov 18. — Reuters

India sets sights on double-digit growth

MUMBAI: Pedestrians walk past a share prices board outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. India aims to quickly attain double-digit growth as it pulls out of the worst global financial slump in decades, the finance minister told an international business audience yesterday.—AFP

NEW DELHI: India aims to quickly attain double-digit growth as it pulls out of the worst global financial slump in decades, the finance minister told an international business audience yesterday. Pranab Mukherjee’s upbeat projections to the India World Economic Forum assembling some 700 delegates from around the world come as industrialized economies are still struggling to emerge from the financial crisis. Mukherjee said India’s economy was “on a path to rapid recovery” with the latest quarterly data showing expansion of 8.8 percent. “The challenge now is to quickly revert to the high GDP growth path of nine percent plus and even find the means to cross the double-digit growth barrier in the coming year

or two,” the minister said at the meeting’s opening session. To achieve this goal, he said India needs much more foreign investment, especially to upgrade India’s shabby infrastructure that economists say lops two percentage points off yearly growth. India says it needs nine to 10 percent growth to make any significant reduction in deeply entrenched poverty. More than 40 percent of Indians still live below the extreme poverty line of 1.25 dollars a day, compared with 16 percent in neighboring China, according to the World Bank. Mukherjee said the government aimed to double infrastructure investment to one trillion dollars in the country’s next five-year

economic plan to 2017 and has eased foreign investment rules to make it easier for foreigners to invest. So far India is on target in its infrastructure spending but needs much more money in coming years and this represents an “exciting opportunity” for global investors, Mukherjee said. Foreign investors have expressed concern about putting money into Indian infrastructure projects because of bureaucratic red-tape in winning approvals for projects, massive cost overruns and missed deadlines. India currently invests some six percent of its gross domestic product on infrastructure-just over half the 11 percent spent by fellow emerging market giant China. — AFP



Monday, November 15, 2010

EADS reports € 31.6bn revenues for 9 months Significant order intake of € 57.7 billion driven by Airbus

Cadillac CTS Coupe

GM achieves third consecutive quarter of profitability and positive cash flow Net income of $2.0 billion, earnings per share of $1.20 DUBAI: Highlighting GM’s commitment to quality, design and innovation, the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe and Chevrolet Volt have received awards for design and technical innovation respectively by Popular Mechanics magazine, a leading US based motoring publication. As a highly regarded magazine within the automotive industry, recognitions by the publication serve as a strong indicator of GM’s efforts in creating well designed, innovative and technologically advanced vehicles. The award for design is strongly in line with the CTS Coupe philosophy. Following its successful launch, held in Beirut in September, the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe has been leading the way as Cadillac’s most dramatic expression of Arts & Science. Having emerged as a proposal inside Cadillac’s dedicated design studio, the CTS Coupe is set to be the new focal point of the Cadillac family. Touch pad door entry and signature Cadillac exterior and interior features have made this car the latest and most dramatic of the brand’s series of new designs to reach production. As recipient of the technical innovation award, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt redefines electric drive as the world’s first mass-produced, plug-in electric vehicle with a range-extending onboard engine. The revolutionary Voltec propulsion system delivers between 40 and 80 kilometres of electric driving (depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature) with a long-life, 16-kW lithiumion battery and 111-kW (149-hp) electric drive unit; and up to 500 kilometres of extended range with an onboard 1.4L engine. As award winning cars, GM brands set the precedent in the automotive industry, paving the way for innovative

Chevrolet Volt features and designs while maintain the highest level of quality and safety. General Motors, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM does business in some 157 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles

through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, FAW, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang , Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and Italy. In the Middle East since the 1920s, General Motor’s vehicle brands sold in

the region are Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC supported by a unique set of customer-focused services. GM parts and accessories are sold under the GM Parts and ACDelco brands. The regional office in Dubai covers the company’s operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE and Yemen.

LEIDEN: EADS’ macroeconomic and commercial environment continues to improve thanks to increasing aircraft demand. Institutional markets including helicopters, defense and public budgets have to be monitored. At the end of September, the order intake (4) of € 57.7 billion mirrors the improved momentum in commercial aviation. EADS’ order book of more than € 426 billion provides a solid platform for future deliveries. EADS’ revenues amount to € 31.6 billion. The EBIT before one-off of € 0.8 billion benefited from the underlying performance in Airbus legacy programs and other core business activities. EBIT amounted to € 784 million. The Net Cash position of € 10.3 billion is better than expected thanks to better cash performance and favorable phasing. It is a key asset to foster future growth. “The commercial aviation sector continues its ascent which starts to be reflected in the nine-month results. Within this improving environment, the A380 production is visibly progressing and manufacturing of the A350 has begun. I want to express our gratitude to the A400M Customer Nations who have supported us in reaching an agreement”, said Louis Gallois, CEO of EADS. “At the same time, budget reviews in our home countries are not yet fully completed; we therefore remain attentive to challenges which could arise for our business with government customers. Looking forward, beyond 2011 the upturn in the commercial aircraft business should drive the profitability improvement of the Group. In the midterm, at the current exchange rates, Airbus should significantly improve its underlying profitability thanks to better volume, pricing and further economic improvement of the A380 performance.” In the first nine months, EADS’ revenues increased to € 31.6 billion (9m 2009: € 29.7 billion) thanks to growth from both volume and mix effects across core businesses. Physical deliveries remained at a high level with 380 aircraft at Airbus Commercial, 367 helicopters at Eurocopter and the 38th consecutive successful Ariane 5 launch. The percentage-of-completion methodology was resumed on the A400M program. Until the end of September, based on the allocation of internal milestones, around € 500 million in revenues were booked on the program. The Customer Nations and EADS have concluded negotiations on the overall A400M discussions. The FY 2009 A400M provision calculation remains valid. Government payments are more back-loaded than expected after the signature of the principle agreement in March 2010. Negotiations on the export levy facility (ELF) scheme are expected to be finalized before the end of the year. Once parliamentary approvals are obtained, the agreement will be binding. In the meantime, the A400M flight test program is progressing better than expected with the fourth aircraft due to join the flight test campaign before year-end. EBIT before one-off (adjusted EBIT) - an indicator capturing the underlying business margin by excluding non-recurring charges or profits caused by movements in provisions or foreign exchange impacts - stood at € 0.8 billion (9m 2009: € 1.7 billion) for EADS and around € 0.3 billion for Airbus. It benefited from good underlying performance of Airbus legacy programs and core business activities in the other Divisions. As expected, A380 continues to weigh significantly on the underlying performance. Compared to

the first nine months of 2009, EBIT before one-off was mainly weighed down by the deterioration of hedge rates and higher investment in Research & Development. EADS’ reported EBIT stood at € 784 million (9m 2009: € 1,089 million). Net Income amounted to € 198 million (9m 2009: € 291 million), or earnings per share of € 0.24 (earnings per share 9m 2009: € 0.36). The finance result amounts to € -452 million (9m 2009: € -615 million). The interest result of € -176 million (9m 2009: € -89 million) reflects the decline in interest rates on the financial markets. The other financial result amounts to € -276 million (9m 2009: € -526 million). The improvement year-on-year is due to a positive revaluation of the Group’s U.S. dollar and GBP cash assets and the revaluation of financial instruments. Self-financed Research & Development (R&D) expenses reached € 2,038 million (9m 2009: € 1,834 million), driven by increases at Airbus due to a ramp-up in A350 XWB activity as well as increasing product investment at Cassidian for the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Systems businesses and at Eurocopter across the product range. Going forward R&D expenses should increase at Airbus, Eurocopter and Cassidian. Free Cash Flow before customer financing of € 882 million (9m 2009: € -892 million) has benefited from good commercial order intake, a high volume of commercial deliveries including 14 A380 as well as favorable phasing. Receipts from governments for development programs roughly compensate payment delays. At Airbus, inventories remained stable in the first nine months of 2010. The nine-month results of 2009 included a ramp-up on the A380 but a low level of A380 deliveries as well as a mismatch between production and delivery rates for both single aisle and long range aircraft. The inflow of advances linked to Airbus commercial activity was higher than one year ago, reflecting the increase in deliveries and commercial aircraft orders. This positive effect was more than offset by the lower inflows from Astrium and Cassidian. In the first nine months, the net customer financing outflow was lower than expected at around € -90 million due to a combination of appetite from lessors and banking market recovery. The third quarter included the sell down of three A320 operating leases. Free Cash Flow after customer financing amounted to € 791 million (9m 2009: € -1,182 million). EADS’ Net Cash position amounted to € 10.3 billion (year-end 2009: € 9.8 billion) after a € 300 million contribution to pension fund assets. It continues to provide a solid foundation for the Group’s operational needs as well as future growth. Outlook In 2010, Airbus gross orders should be up to 500 thanks to the commercial aircraft upturn and Airbus deliveries should be slightly more than 500. EADS’ guidance is based on an assumption of € 1 = $1.35 for the Q4 2010 average rate and year-end closing spot rate. EADS revenues should be more than € 44 billion. At slightly more than 500 deliveries, EADS confirms its EBIT before one-off guidance at around € 1.2 billion. Going forward the EBIT performance of EADS will be dependent on the Group’s ability to execute on the A400M, A380 and A350XWB programs, in line with the commitments made to its customers.

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

.276000 .4490000 .3810000 .283000 .2750000 .2740000 .0045000 .002000 .0760130 .7405760 .3920000 .0730000 .7260020 .0045000 .0480000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2808000 GB Pound/KD .4515420 Euro .3834320 Swiss francs .2855100 Canadian dollars .2770220 Danish Kroner .0514280 Swedish Kroner .0407690 Australian dlr .2759820 Hong Kong dlr .0361230 Singapore dlr .2158330 Japanese yen .0033930 Indian Rs/KD .0062920 Sri Lanka rupee .0025170 Pakistan rupee .0032940 Bangladesh taka .0040000 UAE dirhams .0762530 Bahraini dinars .7429030 Jordanian dinar .3960400 Saudi Riyal/KD .0746970 Omani riyals .7278400 Philippine Peso .0064370

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.501 6.334 3.270 2.508 3.968

.2860000 .4590000 .390000 .2920000 .2840000 .2820000 .0075000 .0035000 .0767770 .7480190 .4120000 .0780000 .7332990 .0072000 .0570000 .2821000 .4549290 .3863080 .2576520 .2791000 .0518140 .0410750 .2780520 .0363940 .2174520 .0034180 .0063390 .0025360 .0033190 .0040300 .0768250 .7484740 .3990100 .0752570 .7332990 .0064850

Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash

218.810 36.220 3.975 6.622 9.458 0.267 0.310 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 74.865 Qatari Riyal 77.139 Omani Riyal 729.380 Bahraini Dinar 745.660 UAE Dirham 76.451 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 51.550 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 48.948 Yemen Riyal 1.317 Tunisian Dinar 204.170 Jordanian Dinar 396.450 Lebanese Lira 187.700 Syrian Lier 6.140 Morocco Dirham 35.749 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 280.630 Euro 401.020 Sterling Pound 455.460 Canadian dollar 280.350 Turkish lire 200.450 Swiss Franc 292.020 Australian dollar 282.170 US Dollar Buying 279.895 GOLD 20 Gram 259.000 10 Gram 131.000 5 Gram 67.500

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

SELL CASH 281.400 747.960 4.260 282.500 552.400 14.100 52.400 167.800 51.840

388.500 36.820 6.290 0.032

397.530 0.189 93.580 3.970 220.500 730.380 3.305 6.420 77.370 75.090 218.420 43.010 2.515 457.000 289.700 6.300 9.650 76.640 281.200

GOLD 1,442.000 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 457.000 281.200

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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

390.000 36.970 6.600 0.033 0.264 0.251 3.510 399.410 0.190 93.580 46.700 4.410 222.000 1.913 48.400 730.560 3.400 6.680 77.800 75.090 218.420 43.010 2.679 458.000 41.900 291.200 6.300 9.840 198.263 76.740 281.600 1.360

SELL DRAFT 279.900 747.960 3.993 281.000

218.400 48.936

Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Cyprus Pound Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Indian Rupees

Selling Rate 281.150 283.848 451.638 389.324 289.732 689.086 744.139 76.524 77.204 74.942 396.724 49.149 6.345

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

3.296 2.518 3.988 6.477 3.433 9.497 6.133 3.958

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 280.900 3.305 6.340 2.525 3.990 6.530 76.565 75.115 746.800 49.145 458.500 0.00003280 4.025 1.550 399.000 5.750 395.000 285.400

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Ra te (Per 1000) US Dollar 280.900 Euro 388.000 Pound Sterling 456.500 Canadian Dollar 280.500 Japanese Yen 3.430 Indian Rupee 6.299 Egyptian Pound 48.930 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.514 Bangladesh Taka 3.983 Philippines Peso 6.385 Pakistan Rupee 3.293 Bahraini Dinar 746.500 UAE Dirham 76.550 Saudi Riyal 74.990 *Rates are subject to change


Monday, november 15, 2010



Greenback benefits from European worries KUWAIT: Despite worries that the second round of quantitative easing in the US would drag the dollar lower, the greenback was stronger last week as market players shifted their focus to Europe’s peripheral nations debt problems, with Ireland in the spot light. The dollar index, which measures the US dollar value against a basket of 6 major global currencies, rose 2.3% during the week. The euro opened on Monday above the 1.40 mark before dropping progressively throughout the week to a low of 1.3574, pressured by rising concerns of a potential Irish restructuring. The euro closed on Friday at 1.3691. In parallel, the Sterling was able to limit its losses, range-trading between a low of 1.5952 and a high of 1.6182 before closing the week at 1.6114, down 0.4%. The yen was able to ease down some pressure on Japanese exporters as it weakened to 82.53 against the dollar, 2 figures away from its 15-year high. Trade deficit shrinks The US trade gap shrank more than expected in September as exports climbed to a 2-year high, a

sign that a weaker dollar is helping the economic recovery. The deficit narrowed by 5.3% to -$44 billion, with exports increasing by 0.3% to $154.1 billion. The University of Michigan preliminary index showed that consumer confidence increased in November for the first time in three months, a signal that gains in employment and wages are starting to lift Americans’ expectations. The index came at 69.3 in November, up from a 67.7 level in October. Europe Irish government bonds continued falling on mounting concerns that the nation will be forced to restructure its finances. Spanish and Portuguese debts were impacted as well with governments’ spreads widening while German bunds benefited from a “flight to safety”. French Finance Minister said investors must share the cost of sovereign debt restructurings, backing a German call that helped send yields on Irish and Portuguese to record highs. Europe’s economic growth weakened in the 3rd quarter of 2010 as

governments’ austerity measures weighed on the recovery. Euro-zone GDP came at 0.4% from the previous quarter, when it increased by 1%, more or less in line with market expectations of a 0.5%. On a year-onyear basis, growth is at 1.9%. German GDP increased 0.7% from the previous three months, when it surged a record 2.3%. France’s growth came at 0.4%, down from the

previous level of 0.7%. Separately, industrial production in the euro region rose by 5.2% in September from a year earlier, after jumping 8.4% the previous month. UK manufacturing production grew by 0.1% in September, reaching an increase of 4.8% on a annual basis. The expansion came positive for the fifth straight month to reach the strongest level in almost two

years, a sign that the economic recovery might sustain its momentum. Out of the thirteen categories of factory production, seven rose, led by “chemical and man-made fibers”, “basic metals and metal products”, and “food, drinks and tobacco”. Consumer Confidence The Nationwide Consumer Confidence slipped 1 point from September to 52, the lowest since

March 2009, as Britons braced themselves for the deepest budget cuts since World War II. The bleak consumer mood comes in line with official announcements; Chancellor George Osborn had previously declared that the government squeeze will eliminate almost half a million public-sector jobs. Additionally last week, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said the economic recovery could weather the cuts, though its strength remains “highly uncertain”. Factory orders, an indicator of future capital spending, fell 10.3% in September from the previous month, the largest slide since March 2008. The drop underlies signs that companies are becoming reluctant to increase spending as the nation’s export-led recovery slows and the Yen holds near its 15-year high. G20 summit G20 leaders vowed during their summit in Seoul to seek a more balanced growth but delayed until next year the efforts for defining dangerous imbalances that threaten the global recovery. As expected, the leaders vowed to move towards mar-

ket-determined exchange rates. They also pledged to avoid competitive devaluations. In parallel, European leaders discussed in their own mini-gatherings the deepening credit crisis in Ireland, a potential serious threat for the European stability. World Bank The World Bank said that Asian economies might need to turn to capital controls as quantitative easing by the US threatens to spur asset bubbles in Asian equities, currencies and property markets. The World Bank official listed that “any curb should be targeted, temporary and tailored to address specific problems”. China posted a better-thanexpected trade surplus of $27.1 billion for October, adding pressures to set economic imbalances limits as proposed on the G20 agenda. Exports gained 22.9% on the year while imports hiked by 25.3%. With this surplus injecting more cash into the world’s second economy, the Chinese central bank ordered some lenders to set aside more money as reserves in an effort to damp liquidity.

Current price range suitable for investments

Oil at $100 will not hurt world economy, says Iran VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI delivers his message during his Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican yesterday. —AP

World economy requires ‘profound reform’: Pope VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI yesterday called for “profound reform” of the world economy in the wake of last week’s G20 summit in Seoul, calling for a revival of agriculture to ensure sustainable development. “The current economic crisis, which has been addressed in these days by the meeting of the G20, has to be taken with great seriousness,” Benedict said in a weekly address to thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. The crisis “sends a strong call for a profound reform of the global economic development model,” he said, adding that top economies should not “chase advantageous alliances that could... have grave results for the poorest.” The pope also called for a revival of farming to help the victims of the global economic crisis and warned against “unsustainable consumerism.” “A strategic revival of agriculture appears crucial,”

Benedict said. “I think the moment has come for a re-evaluation of agriculture not in a nostalgic sense but as an indispensable resource for the future,” he added. He also said that despite the economic crisis “long-industrialized countries are promoting lifestyles that are dominated by unsustainable consumerism.” Benedict called for “a new equilibrium between agriculture, industry and services so that development can be sustainable.” He said the economic crisis was “an acute symptom” of a wider malaise that includes “the continuing imbalance between wealth and poverty, the scandal of hunger, the environmental emergency and... the problem of unemployment.” Ahead of last week’s summit of G20 world leaders in South Korea, the pope said the world should find “lasting, sustainable and just solutions” to the economic crisis and avoid policies that favour some countries over others. —AFP

Al-Danah weekly draws give KD1000 to ten lucky winners KUWAIT: As the Al-Danah Millionaire draw date is approaching, Gulf Bank is advising customers to maintain their money in their accounts to maximize their chances of becoming the next Al-Danah Millionaire. The Bank continues to offer more exciting opportunities for Al-Danah customers to win the much anticipated weekly Al-Danah draws of KD1000 for 10 lucky winners. Customers are required to keep their money in their account for as long as possible to increase their chances of winning. To qualify for the weekly Al-Danah draws, a minimum deposit of just KD 200 is needed to open an account. Not only does Gulf Bank’s Al-Danah allow customers to win, but it is also encourages customers to save money. Chances increase the more money is deposited and the longer it is kept in the account. The simple-to-administer account means that AlDanah customers can set up free standing orders to save their money in Al-Danah. They can also transfer funds into their account through an ATM, Online, Telebanking and Branches. Opening an Al-Danah account is simple; just visit one of Gulf Bank’s 52 branches or call the Telebanking service on 1805805. You can also log on to, Gulf Bank’s bilingual website, to find all the answers you need regarding Al Danah or any of the Bank’s products and services.

TEHRAN: Iran said yesterday that the world economy was in a position to absorb an oil price of $100 a barrel even as it finds the current price range suitable for investments. “Oil prices increasing to $100 (per barrel) would not hurt the global economy,” Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran’s representative at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), told the oil ministry news agency SHANA. Khatibi also said that the current price range of $70 to $90 was a “suitable” range. “Not only producers, but consumers have reached this agreement that $70 to $90 is a suitable price for oil because it encourages investment and does not hurt the global economy,” he said. His remarks come days after OPEC revised upward its world oil demand growth estimates for both 2010 and 2011. OPEC said it was pencilling in world oil demand growth of 1.32 million barrels per day (bpd) or 1.6 percent to 85.78 million bpd for the whole of 2010, compared with 1.3 percent previously. And in 2011, oil demand would then increase by a further 1.17 million bpd or 1.4 percent to 86.95 million bpd, instead of the previous estimate of 1.2 percent, the cartel said in its latest monthly bulletin. At Friday’s close, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for December, fell to $84.88 a barrel, down $2.93 from Thursday’s closing level. London’s Brent North Sea crude for December dropped $2.47 to $86.34 in London trade. Iran is OPEC’s second-largest oil producer and holds around 10 percent of world oil reserves. Last month OPEC members elected Iran to the oil body’s presidency for next year, a first for the Islamic republic. —AFP

KAMPONG: A Cambodian farmer cuts rice in a field in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province, some 60 km south of Phnom Penh yesterday. Cambodia’s parliament approved a five-year national development plan on May 31 aimed at achieving annual growth of six percent, helped by billions of dollars in foreign aid. —AFP

in the news Bin Laden group wins $7.2bn Jeddah contract

Abu Dhabi firm sells back 5% Ferrari stake

RIYADH: The Saudi Bin Laden Group has won a 27.1-billion-riyal ($7.2-billion) deal to build a new terminal and infrastructure at Jeddah international airport, the Saudi airports authority announced yesterday. The project, to be completed over 36 months, will expand the capacity of the King Abdul Aziz International Airport to 30 million passengers per year from the current traffic of 17 million passengers, the General Authority on Civil Aviation said in a statement. The contract for the deal was signed on Saturday by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the country’s defence and aviation minister, in Agadir, Morocco, the statement said.

DUBAI: An Abu Dhabi state investment company says it will sell back its 5 percent stake in Ferrari but hopes to continue working with the high-powered Italian automaker. Mubadala Development Company confirmed the plans in a statement yesterday as the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was getting under way in the Emirati capital. The investment firm said Ferrari’s parent Fiat exercised an option that gave it the right to buy back the stake Mubadala acquired in 2005. It says it’s “in discussions to complete the transaction.” Mubadala didn’t provide financial details. But Fiat’s third-quarter results released last month show the deal cost it 122 million euros ($167 million).

ADNOC to restart Ruwais refinery DUBAI: State-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) plans to restart its gasoline units at the Ruwais refinery after completion of maintenance work, traders said yesterday. ADNOC had shutdown its two gasoline units at its 415,000 barrels per day (bpd) Ruwais refinery in late September, traders told Reuters earlier this year. “The refinery will be back in operation in about a week’s time,” said a Dubai-based trader. No-one from ADNOC was immediately available to comment. The Ruwais plant, the largest in the world’s third-largest oil exporter, is run by the refining unit of ADNOC, Takreer.

Sewedy Electric Q3 net profit up 5.8% CAIRO: Egyptian group El Sewedy Electric missed forecasts with a 5.8 percent rise in third-quarter net profit. The biggest Arab cable maker made a third-quarter net profit of 191 million Egyptian pounds ($33 million), according to calculations based on a nine-month net profit of 727 million provided by the bourse yesterday. Sewedy was forecast, on average, to post a net profit of 228 million pounds in a Reuters poll in which estimates were in a 210253 million range.

Budget battle sharpens age-old EU power struggle BRUSSELS: A bitter battle over the European Union budget is hurtling towards an embarrassing midnight deadline-and it is not about its size, but over who controls current and future spending. When negotiations collapsed in acrimony on Thursday, all sides, many reluctantly, had already agreed on a 2.91-percent 2011 increase. But talks broke down over who controls what spending where, and not now but in the future. It is a fight between national centers of power that have learned over decades to cooperate via cross-border alliances; and newly empowered EU lawmakers in Brussels waving a direct electoral mandate from half a billion citizens in 27 states-albeit four years from their next test at the polls. The struggle pits self-styled EU auditor British Prime Minister David Cameron against modern European integrationists, represented by the

European Parliament. In 2010, the EU had the right to spend 123 billion euros ($170 billion) at a time of rampant cuts by national administrations. An extra 3.5 billion euros remains on the table for next year’s budget. But the European Parliament has walked away from the deal. It wants a bigger victory-to win influence over future EU income models and spending priorities right now. The European Commission, the executive that makes the vast majority of EU payments, and the bloc’s current Belgian chair, spent the weekend trying to pave the way for compromise. The aim was to allow the parliament, emboldened by last year’s Lisbon Treaty but still learning to stamp its authority on national capitals, to avoid bruising defeat. Britain, France, Germany and Italy were “extremely staunch” in giving no ground, Cameron said at a G20 summit

in South Korea Friday. But that came after an EU diplomat said London and allies in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Latvia had only “tacit” backing from Germany and Franceso the sands may yet shift. “This is about implementation of the Lisbon Treaty,” said EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski: about defining the “shape and model of cooperation” between states and the parliament in future decisionmaking. And there are no bigger decisions than how money is spent. The parliament wants big crossborder projects on energy infrastructure, for instance, to take precedence. But all players “should be conscious also of the cost of non-agreement,” Lewandowski warned. Failure to reach a deal by the deadline would produce the nightmare scenario in which he would have to work off monthly budgets based on 2010 spending. —AFP



Monday, November 15, 2010


Kuwait revenues continued to rise in Sept KUWAIT: In its monthly follow up reports to the statement of accounts for September 2010, the Ministry of Finance indicates that revenues continued their rise during the month. Until 30/09/2010 (6 months of the current fiscal year 2010/2011), overall received revenues scored about KD 9.949 billion, which is 2.4% higher than the total estimated revenues for the current fiscal year (at KD 9.719 billion), and with a noticeable rise by 21.1% over total received revenues during the same period of last fiscal year 2009/2010 in the amount of KD 8.2155 billion. In details, the bulletin estimates actual oil revenues until 30/09/2010 by KD 9.3715 billion, 8.8% higher than estimated oil revenues for the entire present fiscal year (KD 8.6166 billion), or 94.2% of total received revenues due to increased oil prices. Achieved revenues in 6 months of the current fiscal year were higher by KD 1.6272 billion (21%) than their counterpart value in the same period last fiscal year. An amount of KD 577.526 million, or a monthly average of KD 96.254 million, was received from non-oil revenues. The total estimated non-oil revenues for the entire current fiscal year was KD 1.103 billion. Thus, the realized revenues would be higher for the entire current fiscal year by KD 52 million than the estimated amount if revenues continued at the same level. Expenditure allocations for the current fiscal year were estimated at KD 16.310 billion. According to the bulletin, KD 4.5193 billion has been actually spent until 30/09/2010, a monthly spending average of KD 753.217 million. We however do not recommend relying on this figure because there are expenditures which have become due but have not been spent. Besides, spending during late months of the fiscal year is usually higher than in the early ones. Though the bulletin concludes that the budget surplus in the end of these six months of the current fiscal year scored about KD 5.4297 billion, we provide it without endorsing it. We believe actual surplus will be less than the published figure. The monthly spending average will go up as months go by. Thus, we anticipate the surplus figure will be less when the final account

is issued. As for the government assets (bonds and promissory), they went up to KD 418.1 million (10% of total assets), rising by 0.3% (KD 1.06 million) compared with total assets in the amount of KD 417.04 million (10.2% of total

assets). Government assets increased by 9.2%, or KD 35.05 million, if compared with their value in September 2009 in the amount of KD 383.05 million (9.5% of total assets). The bank management

reduced the value of the loans and advances to customers by 5.5% to KD 2123.9 million, or about 50.9% of total assets KD 2246.9 million in the end of 2009 (54.8% of total assets). If we compare the value of this portfolio with its

counterpart value in the same period of last year, we will notice it achieved more decline by 6.7% when it scored KD 2276.1 million (56.7% of total assets). Results of our analysis of the financial statements indicate that

all the bank’s profit indexes registered a noticeable drop. Return on equities Index (ROE) (equity holders to the bank only) dropped from 4.2% in the end of September 2009 to negative 0.8%. Return on assets average (ROA) (equity holders to the bank only and non controlling interests) index dropped as well and scored 0.13% (0.64% in the end of September 2009); so did the return on capital index (ROC) (equity holders to the bank only and non controlling interests) which scored 4.4% (25.8% for the same period last year). Earnings Per share (EPS) (for the equity holders of the bank) turned into minus 2.4 fils (12.5 fils for the same period 2009). Price multiplier to the book value index (P/B) scored 1.3 times. Population and Labor Force Latest population and labor force statistics issued by the Public Authority for Civil Information indicates that Kuwait’s total population until the end of June 2010 scored about 3.5664 million, which is the highest ever (3.4848 million in the end of 2009). This represents a 2.3% growth since the end of 2009 (4.6% the projected annual growth). The highest demographic growth in one year was at 11.2% in the end of 1994 vis-a-vis the end of 1993. After this, growth rates continued their decline and even passed through occasional negative growth in the end of 1999 and 2000 before they returned to sharp rise at 4.1% in the end of 2001, 4.8% in the end of 2002, 5.2% in the end of 2003, 8.1% in the end of 2004 and 8.6% in the end of 2005. Once again growth rates dropped to 6.4% in the end of 2006, then rose again in the end of 2007 at 6.8% and dropped noticeably again in the end of 2008 at 1.2% and then rose slightly to 1.3% in 2009. The absolute increase in half a year scored about 81,556 persons, which reflects a trend for growth rates increase. The absolute growth for the entire 2009 scored about 43.068 thousand. The number of Kuwaitis during the first half of the current year increased by about 14.3 thousand inhabitants (1.3% growth rate) (2.6% projected annual growth rate), thus becoming 1.133 million. The Kuwaiti percentage to

the total population dropped slightly from 32.1% of the total population in the end of 12/2009 to 31.8% according to the latest census. The number of females -among Kuwaitis- outnumbers that of Kuwaiti males: 576.9 thousand and 556.2 thousand respectively. The number of non-Kuwaitis increased in half a year by 67.2 thousand (2.8% rise) (5.7% growth rate on annual basis) bringing their total number to 2.4332 million. Controlling the demographic growth, both in quality and quantity, is supposed to be one of the main objectives of the plan. It seems prosperous time means higher demographic growth rate; as such, it becomes illusive prosperity if we judge the success of the plan by spending figures on projects. Total number of workers in Kuwait scored about 2.166 million (60.8% of the total population). For Kuwaitis, this was at 31.7% of total Kuwaitis. It is noticed that the non-Kuwaiti workers out of non-Kuwaiti population formed 74.3%. The Kuwaiti labor force percentage out of total workforce in Kuwait declined from 16.8% in the end of 2009 to 16.6% in the first half of 2010. Kuwaiti female work force out of total work force in Kuwait increased to 46.2% in the end of the first 6 months of this year up from 45.8% in the end of last year. Female workers from the total Kuwaiti work force formed 28.9%. Number of Kuwaiti workers in half a year increased by 7.3 thousand workers, making the total at 358.8 thousand. From this number 275.2 thousand (76.7%) work for the government up from 262.7 thousand in the end of 2008 and 270.6 thousand workers in the end of 2009. Weekly Performance of KSE The performance of the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) for the last week was less active than the previous one where all the major indices including the general index showed a decrease. Al-Shall Index (value weighted) closed at 557.3 points at the closing of last Thursday, showing a decrease of 12.5 points or about 2.2% compared to previous week’s closing, and increased by 117.7 points or about 26.8% compared to the year end 2009.

Maridive Q3 net lifted by oil industry rebound CAIRO: Egyptian group Maridive and Oil Services posted third-quarter net profit above forecasts after a rebound in offshore construction boosted margins. The Middle East’s biggest oil services company by fleet size said thirdquarter net profit more than tripled to $25.5 million to beat all forecasts in a Reuters poll. Revenue more than doubled to $103 million.

Oilfield services companies were hit hard in the global downturn, with oil and gas producers cutting spending. Some services companies have recently begun to see new orders. Maridive shares rose 2.1 percent, while Egypt’s benchmark index was down 0.3 percent yesterday. Investment bank EFGHermes said the start of Maridive’s construction phase of its Aramco contract in

Saudi Arabia mainly bolstered third-quarter margins. Maridive said it has begun work on contracts in India worth $180 million and on procurement for a $380 million Aramco contract at the Manifa offshore oil field in Saudi Arabia following delays. EFGHermes said it was upbeat on the outlook for the oil and gas services sector, with oil prices at $70 per barrel. —Reuters


Monday, november 15, 2010


India’s construction boom runs out of engineers NEW DELHI: Evidence of India’s construction boom can be seen in the new high-rise apartments sprouting up across the country, but the industry is suffering from a serious shortage of engineers and designers. Bright, well-educated graduates are choosing careers in banking, management consultancy and computer technology instead of civil engineering, with many universities closing down their degree courses in the subject. “In my graduating class of 46, all but two of us left for IT (information technology),” recalled Ashwin Mahalingam, alumnus and now a professor in civil engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chennai. Twelve

years after he graduated, Mahalingam said the need for civil engineers has grown hugely, yet the profession still struggled to attract ambitious young Indians. “There is an impression among students that civil engineers work long hours in the hot sun, the pay is not great, they work in small out-of-theway towns, and there is some truth to these ideas,” Mahalingam said. “The starting salary of a civil engineer would be half that of someone at (IT giant) Infosys. Long-term the salaries are comparable, but students don’t think so far ahead.” Infrastructure problems ranging from dirt roads to power cuts are a

major obstacle to India’s future growth, and the government plans to spend one trillion dollars on upgrades between 2012 and 2017. India has jealously watched China’s remarkable economic development over the last 20 years, which has been made possible by huge and successful public construction projects. Experts however warn that India faces a massive shortfall of qualified civil engineers. Delhi’s new metro system is one shining example of the type of project that would be welcomed across India. But when a new stretch of track opened before the Commonwealth

Games, the chief of the project E. Sreedharan complained bitterly about a “severe shortage of architectural and civil engineers.” “Civil engineering standards, particularly in construction industry, are not up to the mark,” he said. The World Bank estimates that India’s urban population will grow from 331 million to 500 million by 2017, putting massive pressure on civic infrastructure. Arnab Bandyopadhyay, a World Bank engineer who wrote a 2009 report on India’s road construction industry, told AFP about one-third of civil engineering courses offered by Indian universities had closed over

the last ten years. “We need three times the number of civil engineers for high growth in road construction alone, and roads are only 30 percent of India’s total construction requirement,” he said. The risks of poor civil engineering have been made clear in recent years. The walkway of a dramatic new footbridge built next to the main stadium for last month’s Commonwealth Games collapsed days before the event opened, injuring 30 people and becoming a national embarrassment. Two sections of elevated metro lines in the capital also collapsed during construction in separate accidents in 2008 and 2009, killing two and five

people respectively. “There is definitely a shortage of good quality civil engineers,” said Sabu Thomas, head of human resources at Delhi property developers Ansal Housing, explaining that his company trains new engineers for six months. “It’s not just a numbers issue, it’s a skills issue-because most of them come here with very basic knowledge,” he said. Some private companies are trying to address the lag by tying up with universities to sponsor courses and recruit graduates. India’s largest construction firm Larsen & Toubro has started offering scholarships and jobs to IIT students. Salaries have also begun to rise,

with civil engineers who have at least three years’ experience commanding 50,000 rupees ($1,130) a month, compared with 15,000 five years ago, according to Thomas. But Mahalingam, who teaches 99 civil engineers a year at IIT, said that much more needs to be done to entice the country’s top students to choose construction over more lucrative careers in the IT and banking sectors. “Until things change, we might manage some big-ticket items like the Delhi Metro with the help of international partners, but other projects will go over-budget, and the delays and safety lapses will carry on,” he said. —AFP

Home prices crash, jobs vanish

Specter of Spanish property bubble weighs on recovery GURGAON: Luxury residential apartments in the background as new building goes up (right) under construction in Gurgaon, some 30 km south of New Delhi. Evidence of India’s construction boom can be seen in the new high-rise apartments sprouting up across the country, but the industry is suffering from a serious shortage of engineers and designers. —AFP

Algeria stance on Orascom Telecom unit unchanged ALGIERS: Algeria’s position over the local unit of Orascom Telecom has not been changed by the Egyptian mobile phone company saying it may seek international arbitration, an Algerian minister said. The dispute between Algeria and Orascom Telecom over the Djezzy unit—the company’s biggest revenue earner—could sink a $6.6 billion deal for Russian group Vimpelcom to buy Orascom assets. Earlier this month, Naguib Sawiris, Orascom Telecom’s chairman, sent a letter to Algeria’s prime minister saying the government was ille-

gally pressuring the company, adding it may have no choice but to go to arbitration. “Our position has not changed and will remain unchanged,” telecommunications minister Moussa Benhamadi told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of a session of parliament. “What he said was intended to reassure shareholders. Everybody is free to make statements but everybody should assume responsibility,” Benhamadi said. “Orascom has expressed its readiness to sell (Djezzy to the Algerian state). We are waiting for the evaluation before starting talks.”

Algeria has hit Djezzy with hundred of millions of dollars in back taxes and penalties and has blocked Orascom Telecom from selling it, saying it wanted to acquire the unit itself. While Orascom Telecom has agreed to start talks on Djezzy’s nationalisation, analysts say the price could be far below the unit’s market value. Algeria has said it was hiring consultants to value Djezzy. Algerian officials deny applying pressure on Orascom Telecom, saying their dealings with the company have been in accordance with the law. —Reuters

OECD urges Australia to boost mining tax SYDNEY: The OECD yesterday urged Australia to extend its mining profits tax and save the spoils, warning that reliance on the China-linked resources boom posed “important risks” to its growth. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Australia had rebounded powerfully from the global slump and described its prospects as “among the strongest in the OECD” due to the bullish mining sector. But the OECD said the government must ensure it was not too dependent on fluctuating commodity prices linked to fast-growing China and India, and urged it to beef up its proposed 30 percent tax on coal and iron ore profits. “The potential gains of the MRRT (Mineral Resource Rent Tax) may be reduced by some of its characteristics,” the OECD said in an economic survey published yesterday. “The proposed tax is set at a relatively low level and... the efficiency gains of the new tax will be mitigated by its coverage of only larger firms and certain sectors.” In its current form the so-called “super tax” was likely to distort investment incentives because it only applied to iron ore and coal, with a “particularly large” deterrent effect for marginal projects, the OECD said. “A well designed resource rent tax extended to all commodities and all companies irrespective of their size would be desirable,” it said, also urging the elimination of state royalties to simplify and level the tax system. The super tax-originally with a headline rate of 40 percent-was watered down in July after a major outcry from mining giants including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto prompted a coup against then-prime minister Kevin Rudd. His successor, Julia Gillard, backed down on miners’ demands that the tax be slashed to 30 percent and only apply to the coal and iron ore industries. But future of the tax is now uncertain, with Gillard failing to win a majority at August polls, leaving her reliant on a handful of independent MPs who oppose the plan in its cur-

rent form or reject it altogether. The Parisbased OECD said “weaker growth in China and further financial turmoil” posed downside risks to Australia’s economy and called for mining tax earnings to be saved rather than spent to shield against future downturns. Reforms are vital to boost housing supply and meet labor and infrastructure shortages while managing inflation as the country rides a resources rush which has “hidden a decline in productivity growth”, it added. Treasurer Wayne Swan said the OECD report card was a “strong endorsement” of the government’s fiscal management and bolstered its resolve to broaden Australia’s economy. “Building economic capacity is at the core of the government’s economic plan, and we will continue to make the necessary investments to achieve sustainable growth and job creation into the future,” he said. Official mid-year forecasts released last week showed Australia was on track for 3.25 percent growth this year and a return to budget surplus by 2012-13, with unemployment to drop to 4.5 percent, from 5.4 percent currently. The OECD questioned whether Canberra’s ambitious plan to connect 93 percent of Australians to super-fast fibre-optic broadband Internet through a state-owned corporation was “optimal for cost efficiency and innovation”. It described the introduction of “market mechanisms to set a price on carbon” as the most pressing issue for the country’s energy sector, also urging the expansion of public transport and introduction of congestion taxes. The OECD also recommended better management of the country’s water and electricity resources and said Australia should have an “open, demand-driven” immigration policy which better recognised offshore qualifications. It flagged GDP growth of 3.3 percent for 2010, 3.6 percent for 2011 and 4.0 percent for 2012 — roughly in line with government forecasts. —AFP

MADRID: Knock-down home prices, idle cranes and builders forced to ister, Valeriano Gomez, summed it up when he took over at the end of retrain for new jobs: despite sliding prices the specter of a Spanish prop- October: “Three out of four jobs lost in the crisis are in construction and erty bubble is hurting a fragile economic recovery. The new labor min- related sectors.” Spain has the euro zone’s highest jobless rate at about 20 percent. All-out building in suburbs, the country and especially on the coast was the engine of the economy in the past decade. “In the last eight years, two thirds of the homes built in Europe were in Spain,” said Christian Palau, director of the online real estate advertising site Fotocasa. From 2000, Spain built about 700,000 homes a year, as many as in France, Germany and Britain combined, until the 2008 glut pricked the bubble, with a price slump and a slew of property developer bankruptcies. Recently, the market appeared to regain some health. Sales leapt 30 percent in August and prices in the third quarter of this year only dropped 3.4 from a year earlier, according to official data. Many buyers are taking the plunge to take advantage of a home purchase tax deduction, which expires December 31. But the frenetic activity should not hide an accumulated stock of housing, with about 1.5 MACAU: Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming (left), Guinea Bisseau Foreign Minister Adelino Mano million new and older homes Queta (center) and Mozambique Minister of Industry and Trade Armando Inroga (right) make a toast during unsold. It is estimated that 16 a signing ceremony at the Third Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation, percent of Spanish homes are vacant, a record for Europe. No between China and Portugeuse-speaking countries in Macau yesterday. —AFP surprise then that Banesto bank launched in mid-October an unprecedented program slashing the cost of 600 homes across Spain to 50 percent of the market price. Because the real problem is that property prices, even after dropping 25 percent since 2007, must fall further. YOKOHAMA: Hundreds of Japanese con- approach in Asia and its treatment of jailed headaches including the future of a controThe British weekly The Economist calculated recently servatives vented their rage against China dissident Liu Xiaobo, the winner of this versial US airbase and territorial disputes that Spanish properties in a street rally yesterday near the venue year’s Nobel Peace Prize. with both China and Russia. remained 46.7 percent overof a Pacific Rim summit attended by “A clash with China cannot be avoidHu and Kan met Saturday on the sidepriced. The European President Hu Jintao. ed!” one speaker told the cheering crowd lines of the Asia Pacific Economic Commission estimates they are It was the second day of protests out- of about 600 people. Cooperation (APEC) summit, in their first overpriced by 17 percent. side the tightly guarded venue in the “We will fight all the way!,” said anoth- talks since a feud broke out over Japan’s “We are no longer in a bubJapanese port city of Yokohama, after er. Activists at the two-hour rally also crit- arrest of a Chinese trawler captain in disble,” said Jose Luis Suarez, more than 1,000 anti-Chinese protesters icised Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan puted waters two months ago. Japan professor at Madrid’s IESE rallied on Saturday. Some 21,000 police for what they said was an array of diplo- released the captain after Beijing cut politBusiness School de Madrid. have been deployed to guard the summit. matic failures. ical, economic and cultural exchanges, but “But that does not mean that On Sunday the protesters’ targets Kan has been targeted by both right- the dispute fuelled nationalist sentiment prices cannot decline further.” included China’s muscular diplomatic and left-wing groups over diplomatic and street protests in both countries. The building and public

Protesters vent anger against China at Japan APEC venue

works sector is on pause waiting for the market to take off again. “You only have to look at the number of homes in construction, about 100,000 this year. You could almost say there is no building activity this year,” said Suarez. “This slump to record lows has consequences for employment,” he stressed, since the sector has been a huge employer over the years. The result is that construction industry workers, most without formal qualifications, are out of work, and it will cost a lot to replace them, said Fotocasa’s Palau. Meanwhile the country, whose economy stalled with zero growth in the third quarter according to preliminary figures, has to decide “what to do” and in which area to stake its future, Palau said. Besides idle building sites, many finished homes lie empty in “ghost districts”: “They promised (buyers) that there would be shops, public transport, schools, but with the crisis the property developers left.” The solution, he said, could be greater support to the rental market, a poor cousin in a country where home-ownership is the common dream. Relying only on purchases, it could take 10-15 years to absorb existing stock, he said. —AFP

TOKYO: Japanese farmers group activists in rice ball and radish costume ask people to join signature-collecting campaign against Japan joining a United States-backed trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, free trade agreement in Yokohama, near Tokyo, yesterday near the venue of the APEC leaders’ summit. —AP



Monday, November 15, 2010

US bankruptcy rates are still on the rise WASHINGTON: Why did the bankruptcy rate almost double in 2009, and why is it on a pace to rise another 25 percent in 2010? The old-economy answer was credit cards. This year, it’s evil mortgage banks. That’s Sebring attorney William D. Kramer’s terminology. “That’s one of my favorite subjects,” said Kramer. “So many were subject to mortgage scams.” The irony is that many people borrowed money on their homes-second mortgages-to pay their credit cards. Until they lost their jobs. Many of Rebecca Nichols’ clients were in the construction industry. “They were relying on credit cards in order to sustain themselves,” said Nichols, an attor-

ney in Pamela T. Karlson’s firm. “They’re upside down on their mortgages, fearing a deficiency judgment. We’re starting to see deficiencies pick up.” A deficiency judgment means the bank sells the house and continues after the homeowner for the balance of the loan. Chapter 13 can ease mortgage woes, Nichols said. If the plaintiff has the ability to pay, the bankruptcy judge can modify the first mortgage. If the house is worth less than the second mortgage, it can be discharged like an unsecured credit card debt. A chapter 7 grants an automatic stay on a foreclosure filing, but unless the plaintiff can bring the mortgage current, the foreclo-

sure can proceed after 30 days. In addition, Kramer said, some mortgages are technically illegitimate. “The lender has to show they own the note, and paid for the note.” Bankruptcy filings have been growing among older Americans, according to a University of Michigan Law School study. In 2007, bankruptcy filings for those 65 and older represented 7 percent of all filings, compared with 2.1 percent in 1991 and 4.5 percent in 2001. One of the reasons for the skyrocketing bankruptcy rates is credit cards, the study said, noting that around twothirds of Americans who filed for bankruptcy used credit cards. Around 44.8 percent of those 65 and older

were frequent credit card users, with as many as five credit cards, according to the study. The Internet has lots of information, but bankruptcy is a complex area of the law, Nichols said. She offers a free bankruptcy consultation, but she tells clients it’s worth hiring a trained attorney. Kramer said most attorneys charge between $1,000 to $1,200. The filing fee is $299, and there are additional fees for an education course and discharging the debt. Bankruptcies defined Cha pter 7 The debtor turns over non-exempt property to a trustee, who sells it and distributes cash

to creditors. Debtors discharge all debts within months and get a fresh start. Exempt property includes some income and jewelry, motor vehicles, pensions, necessary clothing and household goods. Cha pter 13 The debtor is allowed living expenses, and the remainder of his salary pays debts for three to five years. However, the debtor also keeps non-exempt property like musical instruments collections, family heirlooms and a second vehicle. Comparisons: Chapter 7 is for people with few assets; Chapter 13 is for people who need to protect treasured assets. Chapter 7 delays foreclosure; Chapter 13 could ultimately prevent foreclosure. — MCT

Superjumbo integral part of airline’s long-haul strategy

Qantas committed to A380s, despite fiery engine blow-out SYDNEY: Austra lian airline Qanta s has stressed its commitment to the Airbus A380 superjumbo, despite a fiery engine blow -out 10 days ago that sa w it ground the w orld’s largest passenger aircraft. Flight QF32 w as just minutes in the air from Singa pore on November 4 w hen one of its four Rolls-Royce engines exploded,

shooting chunks of metal outw a rds and dama ging the plane’s w ing. Passengers described hearing a thunderous ba ng a nd w atching a s fragments dropped from the aircraft, before the pilot turned the pla ne carrying 466 people around a nd landed it safely in Singapore.

SYDNEY: Designer Hans Hulsbosch displaying his new streamlined kangaroo logo on a model of a Qantas Airbus A380 super jumbo during the official unveiling of the new Qantas livery at Sydney Airport. Australian airline Qantas has stressed its commitment to the Airbus A380 superjumbo, despite a fiery engine blow-out yesterday in Singapore that saw it ground the world’s largest passenger aircraft. — AFP

Greece faces difficult week in finance talks with EU, IMF ATHENS: The Greek government faces a tough round of talks this week with key international benefactors on its campaign to reduce the public deficit next year, with the agreed 2010 target in apparent jeopardy. Representatives from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund are due in Athens today to assess the efforts so far by the Socialist government to stabilise public finances. The government on Thursday is to present its 2011 budget to parliament. The EU-ECB-IMF team will decide at the end of its mission if a third installment of its 110-billion-euro ($150 billion) rescue package will be made available to Greece. This installment is worth 9.0 billion euros. The deal was approved in May to help Greece, weighed down by heavy debt, meet its obligations. The country has already received 30 billion euros in exchange for measures aimed at curbing spending, notably through radical austerity measures and deep reforms of the economy. The Greek economy shrank by 4.5 percent in the last 12 months, official data showed on Friday. Gross domestic product contracted by 1.1 percent in the third quarter from output in the second quarter, according to data from the ESA statistics agency said. The agency attributed the contraction mainly to a fall in household consumption and investment. Today the European statistics agency Eurostat is to release its estimate of the Greece’s 2009 public deficit-but it is expected to come to 15 percent of gross domestic product rather than an initially forecast 13.6 percent. Prime Minister George Papandreou acknowledged that because of this upward revision, the 2010 deficit target of 8.1 percent agreed with the EU and IMF in exchange for their help could be surpassed. Press reports have said the shortfall could even come to more than 9.0 percent. Papandreou has insisted that the expected widening in the 2010 deficit would be the result of an upward revision to the 2009 figure and would not represent an absence of commitment on the part of the government. But that argument could fail to convince investigators from the EU, the ECB and the IMF. While the government has managed to reduce spending, it has been less successful in boosting public revenues. The finance ministry has estimated the shortfall in the January-October period at 2.0 billion euros. In addition, fears of instability that preceded local elections earlier this month prompted a resurgence in tension on the financial markets, where the yield-the interest rate the government has to pay to borrow-has risen. “The 2011 budget cannot ask any more from the middle class, from workers and retirees who have already contributed as much as they can to restoring financial stability,” Transport Minister Dimitris Reppas said last week. The Bank of Greece has said the three categories cited by Reppas had had their incomes reduced by 8.0 percent in response to tax hikes and cuts in public-sector salaries and pensions. But Reppas acknowledged that the government had to meet the demands of its benefactors if it wanted to negotiate a possible delay in repaying their loans. For Lucas Papademos, a former deputy ECB governor, the task now is to step up the pace of privatizations-notably of the postal service and the railroad and to reduce the weight of the state in the economy. But that approach would likely encounter public opposition. Unions have already warned against any privatization, with a general strike in the private sector called for December 15. — AFP

Delay possible to Greek debt repayments: Papandreou ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Georges Papandreou said he did not rule out asking for more time to pay back the 110 billion euro loan granted Greece in May by the EU and IMF in an interview published yesterday. “The question has already been put on the table,” he told the weekly Proto thema. “The fact that one can talk about renegotiation today is for one reason only: the fact that we have proved our credibility, we have demonstrated our willingness to change.” “We, the government and the Greek people, have proved our will to change, if not nobody would discuss possible renegotiation with us,” he said, referring to the draconian austerity measures implemented by Athens in return for the rescue loan from the International Monetary Fund and countries in the euro-zone to avert bankruptcy. The question of extending the period over which the loan will be repaid “has already been put on the table,” he emphasized. “Today, where one can envisage alternative solutions, we are changing some terms of the EU-IMF plan to choose fairer solutions,” he added. But he noted that Greece’s budgetary problems were not going to sort themselves out automatically. “With or without the (IMF-EU) plan, the deficit and these problems are our problems, nobody else’s,” he said, saying that Greece would have to continue to follow the rigor dictated by the IMF and EU since May. Greece faces tough negotiations this week with representatives of the euro-zone, the IMF and the European Central Bank who are due in Athens on Monday to assess the efforts so far by the Socialist government to stabilize public finances as the government prepares to present its budget for 2011 in parliament on Thursday. At the end of its mission, the EU-ECB-IMF team must decide whether to give the green light to releasing the third instalment-nine billion euros, 6.5 from the euro-zone and 2.5 from the IMF-of the loan agreed in May. The country has already received 30 billion euros in exchange for measures aimed at curbing spending, notably through radical austerity measures and deep reforms of the economy. The Greek economy shrank by 4.5 percent in the last 12 months, official data showed on Friday. Gross domestic product contracted by 1.1 percent in the third quarter from output in the second quarter, according to data from the ESA statistics agency said. The agency attributed the contraction mainly to a fall in household consumption and investment. On Monday the European statistics agency Eurostat is to release its estimate of the Greece’s 2009 public deficit-but it is expected to come to 15 percent of gross domestic product rather than an initially forecast 13.6 percent.—AFP

Qantas has said it does not know when its six A380s will be back in the sky, but the airline has confirmed that the doubledecker aircraft are integral to its long-haul strategy. “They’re a very important aircraft for us,” spokeswoman Olivia Wirth said last week. “They’re perfect for facilities going through to London and also Los Angeles and we believe they’re a part of our future fleet.” Qantas is expected to take delivery of two more A380s within weeks, with another four due to arrive by mid-2011. But the airline has given no indication of when the superjumbos will fly again, although Rolls-Royce has pinpointed a “specific component” in its Trent 900 engine as the cause of the oil fire that forced the emergency landing. “We will be working very closely with them to get the aircraft back in the air as soon as we can,” said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, adding that he would not be putting a deadline on when the A380s would return to service. “We’re going to make sure it’s absolutely right before we have this aircraft start flying again,” Joyce said Saturday. The flagship carrier has rejigged its flight schedule to exclude the A380 which now carry 17 percent of its international traffic-for the “coming weeks.” Analysts say the introduction of the A380 has been a successful strategy for Qantas, which performed well despite the global financial crisis, posting net profits of 112 million dollars ($110 million) in the last financial year. “On a commercial side it has been an enormous success,” Peter Harbison, chairman of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, said of the A380. “According to Alan Joyce they get a three percent better load factor on the aircraft and a three percent better yield on the aircraft.” But Harbison acknowledged Qantas “haven’t had the easiest run with the A380” which the “Flying Kangaroo” has been using since October 2008. “They have had a couple that have given them a few technical problems, not serious safety issues, but just sort of technical problems along the way,” he told AFP. “They had one aircraft in particular which was giving them a lot of hassle. There was no safety issue there-it was just basically niggly things because it was a new aircraft.” Strategic Aviation Solutions chairman Neil Hansford said Qantas was always going to be the first to discover any design issues, as one of the first operators of the A380 and one always flying lengthy legs to Australia. “Because we (Australians) fly a lot of hours, when we are early customers we strike a lot of problems earlier than most,” he said. “It’s a traditional Australian thing that happens.” But he said he had no doubt that Qantas would be able to solve the problem on the A380, adding that the airline needed the massive aircraft if it was going to remain competitive on the popular Australia to London route. Harbison said the way Qantas handled the crisis-from the professional conduct of Captain Richard de Crespigny onboard QF32 to the accommodation of delayed passengers in top class hotels-stood it in good stead. “Assuming everything does go back to normal, Qantas will actually come out of this looking pretty good,” he said. “They performed very well under stress, under pressure-both in the air and on the ground they looked after the passengers very well.” Singapore Airlines grounded three of its A380s on Wednesday to replace engines after finding unexpected oil stains during tests, while Germany’s Lufthansa said it would replace one A380 engine as a precaution. Other A380 operators, including Air France and the biggest buyer Emirates, are not concerned by the problem as their planes use engines made by the General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Safran coalition, Engine Alliance. Airbus has warned that the fault will affect deliveries but insists the reputation of the A380 “will remain untarnished and will even increase in the years ahead”. — AFP

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian farmers carry rice bales through a field in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province, some 60 km south of Phnom Penh yesterday. Cambodia’s parliament approved a five-year national development plan on May 31 aimed at achieving annual growth of six percent, helped by billions of dollars in foreign aid. — AFP

Ready to help Ireland if needed: IMF chief YOKOHAMA: The International Monetary Fund says it can help Ireland if needed amid speculation that the financially-strapped country is headed for a bailout. The IMF has not received any request from the Dublin government so far, Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Saturday on the sidelines of a Pacific Rim leaders’ summit that finishes yesterday. “I think they can manage well,” he told reporters. “If at one point in time... the Irish want some support from the IMF, of course we will be ready.” On Friday, European leaders released a statement seeking to reassure Ireland’s panicky creditors Friday by promising that tougher new terms for future bailouts of indebted countries will not harm them. But nerves remained frayed as some expect the country to follow Greece in grasping for a financial lifeline sooner rather than later. Speculation about a bailout for Ireland pushed the Dublin government’s borrowing costs to record highs last week, the latest indication that the continentwide crisis over governments with too much debt is still festering and clouding prospects for a hesitant

economic recovery. While the statement calmed market jitters, media reports nevertheless surfaced that Ireland was in talks with the European Union to receive emergency funding for a euro-zone financial backstop program. The government denied it was asking for help. Strauss-Kahn said he was “confident” that Ireland would solve its problems and described its current predicament, which is a banking issue, as “totally different” that what Greece faces. “It’s not the same thing as the Greece problem, which was at the same time a fiscal problem but also a competitiveness problem,” he said. “And one of the difficulties for the Greek government... is that they also have to solve this competitiveness problem. Without solving this problem, they won’t find a way out.” Ireland’s situation isn’t helped by the dire outlook for the economy, which the government is pounding with savage austerity cuts to lower its budget deficit. Meanwhile, unemployment is high and the property market, which helped inflate the Celtic Tiger’s growth bubble, remains in the doldrums and is still claiming victims. — AP

YOKOHAMA: Peruvian President Alan Garcia gestures as he speaks with officials during a visit to Rinkai Park in Yokohama yesterday on the sidelines of The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2010 forum summit meeting. — AFP

Japan, Peru agree on free trade pact YOKOHAMA: Japan and Peru announced yesterday that they have concluded negotiations on a free trade pact, aiming to further bolster trading that has steadily blossomed in the last six years. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Peruvian President Alan Garcia signed a statement declaring the conclusion of more than a year of talks on an Economic Partnership Agreement. To come into effect, it needs to be approved by both countries’ legislatures. The ceremony took place on the sidelines of a summit of Pacific Rim countries in the Japanese port city of Yokohama. Since 2004, trade between Peru and Japan has grown 235 percent, hitting $2.2 billion in 2007. Eighty-five percent of Peru’s exports to Japan are minerals, including small amounts of rare earth metals. It also exports asparagus, corn, mangoes, grapes and squid.

Japanese exports to Peru include automobiles and electronics products. Under the free trade pact, Japan and Peru will eliminate tariffs on up to 99 percent of imports over the next 10 years, Japanese officials said. Kan welcomed the conclusion of the trade negotiations, calling it “a major step for the two countries to develop closer ties.” The deal is significant for Japan because Peru already has reached a free trade deal with South Korea, which has become Japan’s biggest rival in electronics and other advanced manufacturing, a Japanese official said. “Now we can compete against South Korea on equal footing,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing policy. Peru, Japan’s 13th free trade partner, has actively sought free trade deals with major countries, including several in Asia. — AP


Monday, November 15, 2010


Hong Kong’s first green jail sparks controversy Prison boasts advanced features with rooftop solar panels HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s first environmentally-friendly prison has stirred up a debate in one of the world’s most densely populated cities where many live in dingy and overcrowded high-rise flats. Billed as the jail of the future, the sprawling 1.5 billion Hong Kong dollar (200 million US) facility was built based on a sustainable concept that promotes open space with green and energy-efficient features. Authorities said the Lo Wu prison, the newest of the city’s 16 prisons, which opened in August, aims to provide more humane living conditions for some 1,400 female inmates as the city moves to ease prison overcrowding. The prison boasts advanced features such as a “green” roof to lower temperature, rooftop solar panels, a natural lighting system, highheadroom spaces and large dormitory blocks to enhance natural ventilation. The Lo Wu facility took three years to build and sits on a huge plot of land of about 53,000 square meters in the city’s outlying New Territories bordering China. But it has raised eyebrows after winning a green building award last week, with critics saying the government is not doing enough to promote similar healthy living for many of the city’s seven million people. The English-language South China Morning Post ran an editorial with a headline “Green prison shows up failings in our priorities,” while readers wrote in to express their anger over the new jail. “It illustrates perfectly an admirable trait of the Hong Kong public and the criminal justice system in which the primary hope is that criminals are rehabilitated during their time in jail so that they can contribute constructively to society upon their release,” the Post said. “It is, however, ironic that our convicted criminals have been able to benefit from focused and enlightened environmental planning, while law-abiding citizens so often find their living and working spaces compromised by a whole host of factors,” the Post said. Post reader Jefference Tay expressed similar concerns in a letter to the editor: “It just doesn’t make sense to me. I have been to several public housing estates in Hong Kong which have long, dark and airless corridors. Most of the units are extremely small. “It is sad that the government has no long-term

urban planning strategy,” Tay wrote. The glitzy financial hub is one of the world’s most affluent cities but many families must still squeeze multiple generations into tiny flats, thanks to rocketing prices and a shortage of residential property. Costly housing also gave rise to the phenomenon of “cage homes”-where thousands among the city’s poorest cramp into old tenement flats and rent a metal cage barely big enough for a mattress. A growing income gap has seen the number of people living in poverty rise 8.6 percent in recent years, from 1.16 million in 2005 to 1.26 million in mid-2010, according to Oxfam Hong Kong, a group that campaigns against poverty. But Hong Kong’s Architectural Services Department-the new jail’s designer-defended the green project, saying it was built in line with government policy to “take the lead and set good examples” in promoting green buildings. “A facility carefully designed and integrated with such environmentally friendly features provides a humane environment for inmates, and would surely facilitate the effective operation of the staff,” information officer Kaman Chong said in an email. “The overall cost for green features in the Lo Wu Correctional Institute project is less than one percent of the overall project cost, and it is within the reasonable range compared with other recent government projects,” she said. A spokeswoman from the Correctional Services Department, which runs the prison, declined comment on the criticism but said the department would strive to make more prisons environmental-friendly “as far as possible” in future. Rights groups hailed the move to ease congestion in prisons, although they distanced themselves from commenting on the high-tech green features. “We welcome the government’s move to improve the living conditions of inmates-it is the government’s responsibility to do that,” Keith Wong, campaign manager for Amnesty International Hong Kong said. “The government should provide housing to those who can’t afford to rent a place to live, but we can’t mix up the two issues because it is a basic human right to ensure prisoners live in a proper place,” said the activist. — AFP

Tablets are set to sell well during the latter half of 2010. — AFP

Smartphones at the top of consumers’ Christmas lists NEW YORK: Get ready to start packing your stockings with the next generation of mobile technology: smartphones are set to be the highest-selling consumer electronic product during this year’s holiday season. A swarm of high-powered, ultra-capable sleek-looking mobile devices are due to hit the smartphone market (or have just been released) in time for this year’s Christmas shopping season. Microsoft has unleashed its latest mobile operating system (OS) Windows Phone 7 and with it a host of new devices; Google continues to surge forward with brand new devices based on the Android OS; Nokia has its

sights set on converting the market with its flagship N8; and Apple’s iPhone 4 remains a highly desirable smartphone for those with a gadget addiction. Industry insiders are predicting this alluring new technology will prove too much to resist for many shoppers, even those who already own a cell phone. Smartphone sales in the latter half of 2010 will be fueled by purchases by both new and repeat buyers, said research firm Parks Associates in an October 21 statement, while the arrival of “iPad-killing” tablets during the latter half of 2010 will also influence consumers to dedicate more money to gadget buying.

During the first half of 2010 around 63 percent of broadband households in the US purchased at least one consumer electronic product, said Parks Associates, a figure that is expected to remain stable during the second half of the year. Twenty-one percent of broadband households say they intend to buy a smartphone before the end of 2010. Around 28 percent of those respondents said they intend to purchase an iPhone, 23 percent said they would purchase a Blackberry and 20 percent said an Android-based phone would be the handset of their choice. — AFP

Ubisoft assassins begin prowling the Internet

Engadget’s story on the PlayStation Phone.—AFP

PlayStation Phone? S

onyEricsson is working on a new phone in conjunction with Sony Computer Entertainment-a PlayStation Phone-if photographic evidence received by tech site Engadget is to be believed. The phone is presented as a touchscreen device with four basic face buttons. The screen then slides out to reveal the characteristic Sony PlayStation video game control pad and buttons, just as the PSP Go’s screen does. There is also a touchpad, overlapping with suggestions that Sony is

introducing touchpad technology to the similarly unconfirmed PlayStation Portable 2. The touchpad and PlayStation controls sit in the space usually occupied by a full keyboard on other phones of a similar style. UK games news site NowGamer claimed that a Sony representative had branded the photos as “definitely fake,” a quote which was later redacted upon request when Sony reverted to its usual stance of refusing to comment on rumor or speculation, said the article’s author. Engadget assured its

readers that the object in the photos “is in fact the PlayStation Phone”. News of the possible PlayStation Phone comes as rival Nintendo prepares to release its next handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS, towards the end of February 2011 in Japan and then during March in North American and European regions. Apple, meanwhile, is contesting the smartphone popularity contest with Blackberry and the Android handset manufacturers, including HTC, Motorola, and SonyEricsson themselves. — AFP

SAN FRANCISCO: Stealthy killers will begin stalking the Internet on Tuesday when Ubisoft releases the latest title in its line of “Assassin’s Creed” videogames. “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” builds on the 15th century Renaissance era treachery and intrigue of its predecessor, but with a first-ever online feature that allows players to divert from the storyline and hunt one another.”We could say that you’ve been training for this moment,” Ubisoft senior vice president of sales and marketing Tony Key said while discussing the third installment in the blockbuster ‘Assassin’s’ franchise with AFP. “You are assigned to kill someone, while at the same time someone is assigned to kill you,” he continued. “It creates this real sense of paranoia about everyone around you.”Ubisoft software savants in Annecy, France, crafted online multiplayer capabilities into “Brotherhood,” which was a team effort that also involved the French videogame maker’s studios in Canada and Singapore. Videogame play has been moving increasingly online, letting people pit themselves against friends or strangers in titles tailored for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Wii consoles linked to the Internet. “Brotherhood” allows a player to pick from an array of characters, each with signature weapons and assassination techniques. The online multiplay feature won a “Game Critics” award at the major Electronics Entertainment Expo videogame industry gathering in Los Angeles in July. Unlike shooter games in which veteran players typically mow down neophytes in virtual skirmishes that last minutes if not seconds, “Brotherhood” promises prolonged battles of stealth and wits. “Every time someone walks by you, you are holding your breath,” Key said. “There are other characters that look like yours walking around, so you’ve got to watch for tells,” he added. “If someone starts acting strange and getting close, that is usually a dead giveaway.”Players can opt for a storyline mode that puts them in the trademark hooded garb of Ezio, part of a bloodline of master assassins that used their deadly skills to thwart corruption and grand conspiracy. The third installment of the line-up was designed to stand alone, but devotees of the franchise will note that it picks up Ezio’s story about 20 years after the end of “Assassin’s Creed 2” (AC2). “Ezio is now famous and recruiting a brotherhood of assassins to help him,” Key said.”Someone new to the franchise will get a deep story, while people who loved ‘AC2’ will see Ezio as an older, wiser guy with some flair.” The stage was set in “AC2” when the hero’s family was betrayed and murdered by ruling families of Italy, compelling Ezio to learn the ways of his assassin ancestors to obtain revenge. Ezio became a freedom fighter to his friends and a bogeyman to tyrants of Italy. “Assassin’s Creed” was the first game to immerse players in a believable and mature experience inspired by historical events, according to Ubisoft videogame producer Sebastien Puel. “AC2” built on the original title’s winning elements with more gorgeous cityscapes, animations, and 15th century historical settings. Ubisoft reported that sales of “Assassin’s Creed” titles have topped 19 million copies worldwide and that the videogame titan has logged a record high number of pre-orders for “Brotherhood.”—AFP

Panasonic Lumix GF2.

Mirrorless cameras get smaller


irrorless camera makers are forging ahead with innovations, making their cameras smaller and easier to use, in the hope of attracting would-be point-andshoot camera buyers. Whilst still a relatively new category, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras offer users the benefits of a large image sensor (for high quality pictures similar to those captured with a base-level Digital SLR camera), the flexibility to use different lenses and a compact camera body. Panasonic have made their latest Micro Four Thirds camera, the Lumix GF2, smaller and lighter than their existing models in the hope of convincing consumers that mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are the future of consumerlevel photography. “The LUMIX GF2 is key in the Panasonic DSL Micro line-up, as it’s the smallest and lightest model we offer, while still offering superb image quality, which our consumers have come to expect from LUMIX. Compared to the GF1, its predecessor, the GF2 has been reduced approximately 19% in size and approximately 7% in weight yet it still retains its sig-

Panasonic Lumix GF2 with interchangeable 3D lens. nature built-in flash,” said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. Whilst still slightly larger than the rival NEX-5 Micro 4/3 camera made by Sony, the Lumix GF2 offers a newly designed and easy-touse interface, a three inch touchsensitive LCD screen, video recording and a range of auto focus modes. The camera is compatible with existing Micro Four Third’s lenses (including the company’s brand new 3D interchangeable lens which enables users to capture images in three dimensions) and comes with a built in flash.

Panasonic Lumix GF2 with interchangeable 3D lens.

“We expect the LUMIX GF2 to be an attractive model for consumers who want to step up to a more powerful camera that is easy to use, and a camera that is ‘future-proof’ with its 3D capabilities.” In June 2010, CNET Asia put together their selection of the best 5 mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras arguing Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-G2, Samsung’s NX10, Olympus’ E-P2, Sony’s Alpha NEX-5 and Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GF1 were the best of the bunch. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 will arrive in stores by January 2011. Pricing will be announced in December. — AFP



Monday, November 15, 2010

Nestle launches health campaign in Middle East DUBAI: As part of its ongoing efforts to promote good nutrition and healthy living, Nestle Middle East has launched the “Eat Right Live Well” campaign - a regionwide initiative aimed at empowering families to make healthier food choices through increased awareness of good nutritional habits and practices. “Nestle ‘Eat Right Live Well’ seeks to spread the principles of Nutrition, Health and Wellness - the corner-

stones of Nestle’s strategic direction by channeling our worldwide expertise in nutrition research into a focused initiative that contributes to general public health,” said Raef Labaky, Communication Director of Nestle Middle East. “The campaign draws on Nestle’s world-leading expertise in nutrition research and product development and brings together several of the company’s nutrition-focused programs under a single umbrella to ben-

efit consumers around the region.” The largest initiative of its kind launched by Nestle in the Middle East yet, “Eat Right Live Well” kicked off with a major promotional campaign by Nestle at leading stores and outlets throughout the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The promotion, under the main theme, “Win Your Way to Healthy Living”, provides shoppers an opportunity to win valuable prizes

designed to encourage them to embark on a healthy lifestyle - such as diet packages, gym membership, Nintendo Wii Sports, Polar watches, pedometers, and BMI calculator, among other items. Nestle “Eat Right Live Well” seeks to provide consumers practical guidelines for everyday nutrition and lifestyle, communicated in a simple and attractive way - “5 Great Steps: Your way to healthy living”. The five

steps or advices for a healthy living include: Eat a variety of foods; Be active at least 30 minutes a day; Drink eight glasses of water every day; Have breakfast every day, and; Maintain a healthy weight. Karine Antoniades Turk, Nutrition, Health & Wellness Manager at Nestle Middle East, said, “Nestle offers a range of high-quality pleasurable foods that help meet the nutritional needs of consumers at different stages of their

life. In complementing these welltrusted products with practical and actionable information on nutrition and lifestyle through multiple delivery channels, we seek to empower families to make meaningful changes in their everyday routine and lead a healthier life.” The Nestle “Eat Right Live Well” campaign adopts an integrated, multilevel approach to promoting positive living. Internally, it emphasizes a

redoubling of efforts focused on nutrition and wellness within Nestle, while simultaneously seeking to raise public awareness of healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits through informationbased brand communication and through a series of targeted initiatives such as awareness campaigns, educational consumer events, Nutrition, Health and Wellness driven website, and collaborations with public bodies in the region.

Sushi wars: Big conflict looms over bluefin tuna Large-scale fishing over last 4 decades depletes stocks by 85% PARIS: Nations gather this week to decide how many Atlantic bluefin tuna they can extract from the sea without destroying the multi-billion dollar business that keeps Japan supplied in gourmet sushi and sashimi. The highly charged debate pits dug-in economic interests against mount-

ing concern that the gleaming, fatty fish is teetering close to the edge of viability. Industrial-scale fishing in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic over the last four decades has depleted stocks by 85 percent, scientists say. The reason is not hard to find: a single specimen of Thunnus thynnus, which can grow to two meters (six feet) and weigh 400 kilos (900 pounds), can fetch over 100,000 euros (137,00 dollars) in Japanese wholesale markets. Conservationists warn that stocks will collapse unless the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), meeting in Paris for ten days from Wednesday, suspends or sharply reduces catches long enough for the species to recover. The total catch limit, distributed mainly among six Mediterranean rim nations dominated by France, Spain and Italy, was 13,500 tons in 2010. They also say the 48-nation body is riddled with fraud, a claim bolstered by recent investigative reports and France’s admission in 2007 that its catch for that year was more than double the authorized limit. “There is so much illegal fishing going on that the only responsible thing to do is to suspend the fishery, get it sortPARIS: Ecological lobby group Greenpeace activists block French Fishing and Agriculture minister by car ed out, and then open it slowly with a fake bluefin tuna on its roof and a banner reading “Help me”, during action against France’s position so the species can recover,” said Sue Lieberman, policy on the fishing of bluefin tuna. —AFP director for the US-based Pew Environment Group. Industry representatives, backed by their governments, say ICCAT has cracked down on renegade fishing in the last three years by adding indepenPARIS: Here’s a handy rule-of-thumb for pelamis, accounts for 60 percent of all 500,000-tonne market for fish consumed dent on-board inspectors and an conservation-minded sushi lovers wor- tuna caught each year, some 2.41 million raw is in Japan, served as is (sashimi) or improved ship-to-market trackried about accidentally eating bluefin tons. A lot of it winds up in tins, destined wrapped in seaweed and with rice (sushi). ing system. ICCAT scientists, tuna: if it’s not wildly expensive, it’s not for the US and British markets, along Americans have also acquired a taste for they point out, recently conuncooked fish, accounting for nine perbluefin. In Japan, which consumes 80 per- with Europe, Australia and Japan. cluded that a 13,500-tonne Much Thunnus alalunga, better known cent, followed by Korea, China, the cent of the Atlantic bluefin catch every annual quota for the period Union and Taiwan. year, a single, bite-sized morsel can easi- as albacore, is also destined for supermar- European 2011-2013 “will likely allow the ly set you back 20 euros (28 dollars). Five ket shelves. Taking all five species Conservationists caution that the ravenstock to increase during that main species of tuna make up the annual together, half the yearly haul is caught in ous global appetite for tuna could push period”. And that would put the worldwide catch of 4.0 to 4.5 million tons, the western Pacific, a quarter in the other species besides bluefin into dangerspecies on track for a 60-perand bluefin-Thunnus thynnus-is less than Indian Ocean, 16 percent in the eastern ous waters, driving up prices and forcing cent chance of achieving a soone percent of the total, some 24,000 tons Pacific and nine percent in the Atlantic. the introduction of quotas to ensure suscalled “maximum sustainable Japan reels in the biggest catch, more tainability. in 2008. yield” by 2022, they argue. In 1950, the global fishery caught only Chances are that the raw tuna in your than half-a-million tons each year, fol“That’s still a 40-percent 10-euro (14-dollar) lunch platter, whether lowed closed by Taiwan. Indonesia is in 700,000 tons of the five main species. In chance of failure,” countered in London, Hong Kong, New York or third place with nearly 350,000 tons, fol- 1970 that figure rose to 1.1 million, in Chantal Juoanno, French junior Sydney, is either yellowfin (Thunnus lowed by the Philippines, Spain, Korea 1990 to 2.9 million, and in 2008 to about minister for ecology. albacares) or bigeye (Thunnus obesus). and Papua New Guinea, which all catch 4.2 million. “Scientists estimate that, at “If that happens, there are They make up 24 and 10 percent of the between 200,000 and 300,000 tons of tuna the current rate, we will virtually empty no more tuna, and no more fishthe seas of big fish by 2030,” said Sue global tuna market respectively. The annually. eries,” she told AFP last week. France, with a large fleet in the Indian Lieberman, policy director for the most common “chicken of the sea” is not, Even so, French fisheries minstrictly speaking, even a member of the Ocean, is in eighth place with about Washington-based Pew Environment ister, Bruno Le Maire, Thunnus family: skipjack, or Katsuwonus 180,000 tons. More than 80 percent of the Group. —AFP announced later the same day that France favored rolling over the 2010 quota at least one more year “to guarantee a good balance between resources ... and the interests of fishermen.” The European Union is also beset by the same policy tug-ofwar. Last month EU Fisheries JAKARTA: The number of cent of the estimated 8,800 Commissioner Maria Damanaki known HIV/AIDS cases on sex workers in Bali were proposed to cut the 2011 quota the Indonesian resort island of infected with HIV this year, by more than half to 6,000 tons, Bali is soaring, with one in up from 23 percent last year, a level consistent with a 97-perfour prostitutes there report- adding that the virus was cent change of sustainability by ed to be HIV-positive, an offi- transmitted from clients who 2022. cial said yesterday. A new refused to use condoms. The next day, however, she report by the National AIDS While describing the trend as backtracked after fierce oppoCommission said the number “worrying”, he said most sition from some member of HIV infections on the island tourists visit Bali for the culstates, calling instead for “a had jumped almost 19 percent ture and scenery, not for sex. substantial reduction.” The to 3,778 this year, with anoth- “There might be some who EU has yet to adopt a common er 597 cases. “The figure is get acquainted with the sex position ahead of this week’s meeting. Privately, most only the tip of the iceberg... workers, but they’re aware green groups are not optiwe estimate the actual num- about using condoms,” mistic that ICCAT will halve ber of cases to hover around Karmaya said. However, he next year’s catch, much less 7,000 as many cases were warned that there could be suspend it entirely. But other unreported,” said the com- more than 840 new infections critical conservation meamission’s spokesman in Bali, in Bali every year if the sures, they say, may stand a Nyoman Mangku Karmaya. spread is not contained. “We better chance of being adopt“Many people are reluctant to will increase our efforts to ed. One is the creation of sancgo for medical check-ups as provide more information and tuaries in the two known there’s still a stigma and dis- educate the sex workers as spawning grounds for Atlantic crimination against people liv- well as the public. We’ll also bluefin tuna, in the ing with HIV/AIDS,” he told intensify campaigns promotMediterranean and the Gulf of AFP. The number of cases ing condom use,” he added. Mexico. They also expect this year has risen sharply More than a million tourists ICCAT to tighten data reportJADERBERG: A Meerkat looks out of its enclosure at from 1,253 cases in 2006 and visit Bali every year to enjoy ing and compliance in order to the zoo. Heat lamps have been installed to keep the curtail “illegal, unreported and 590 in 2004. its surf beaches, nightlife and animals warm as winter approaches. —AFP Karmaya said about 25 per- culture. —AFP unregulated” fishing. —AFP

If it’s affordable, it’s not bluefin

One in four Bali sex workers ‘HIV positive’

ST LOUIS: Marie Case (right) of St Peters, a business account executive with Verizon Wireless, has a knee ultrasound as Dr Howard Grattan (center) with the A&A Pain Institute of St Louis and Joanna Bartels, a registered medical assistant, prepare to give her an injection of hyaluronic acid to lubricate the joint. —MCT

Painkillers-addiction hobbles more patients ST LOUIS: Nichole Marie Case unwittingly became dependent on opioid pain drugs. She’s not alone. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated in 2008 that 1.85 million people in the United States were dependent on or abusing prescription opioids, also known as Schedule II painkillers. Americans make up 4.6 percent of the world’s population, but we use 80 percent of the global supply of opioids and 99 percent of the global supply of hydrocodone. Deaths from prescription drug overdoses have become the second-leading cause of accidental deaths nationwide, behind car accidents, and the leading cause in some states, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They now take more lives than heroin and cocaine combined. Such statistics have lawmakers, federal agencies and even health care providers taking a closer look at the way doctors prescribe Schedule II pain drugs. Even pharmaceutical companies are taking notice. Last week, Highland Pharmaceuticals introduced a technology that allows opioids to be manufactured in a soliddose oral tablets that cannot be crushed for inhalation or extracted for injection, methods drug abusers often use to consume them. And this month, The Food and Drug Administration approved monthly injections of Vivitrol, a drug used to treat alcoholism, to treat addiction to heroin and Schedule II painkillers. Case, 48, of St

Peters, began taking hydrocodone, oxymorphone and tramadol in March 2009 when bulging discs pinched a nerve in her spine, causing excruciating pain in her back and numbness in her legs. All three are opioids, which bind to receptors in the nervous system, decreasing perception of pain while increasing tolerance to it. In drug addicts, they can produce a high similar to their sister drugs, morphine and heroin. Case took the drugs as her doctor prescribed and didn’t experience a high. “But I didn’t like taking them, because I couldn’t drive or do much of anything,” she said. “I think I was pretty much in a state of screwed-up most of the time.” Eight months after her back problems began, as she started feeling better, Case abruptly stopped taking her medications without telling her doctor. Suddenly, she was in the throes of withdrawal, like heroin junkies go through on TV shows, she said. She was nauseated, sweating profusely and her nose ran constantly. “Man, that was like hitting a brick wall,” she said. “It felt like having the worst hangover of your life combined with the worst flu. It was miserable.” It was a sign that she’d become physically dependent on the drugs. The leap in prescription opioid use began about a decade ago, after state medical boards began liberalizing laws that govern the prescribing of them. Rates of abuse in Missouri have increased at about the

same rate as the rest of the country. “As there’s been more available and more people seeking it for illicit purposes, we’ve seen it grow,” said Scott Collier, spokesman for the St Louis Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Oxycodone is the most popular drug of choice, he added. “There’s no law that limits physicians in the amount or quantity of any drug that they prescribe,” Collier said. “There has to be a valid doctor-patient relationship and a logical link between the patient’s condition and the drug being prescribed.” Dr Howard L Grattan, a pain specialist with A & A Pain Institute of St Louis, said he believes Missouri laws are good enough and that anything stricter would be pointless. “You’re dealing with people who’ve gone to school for 11 to 12 years beyond high school where we learned how to treat patients and learned ethics,” he said. In May, Gil Kerlikowske, the new director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, called the abuse of prescription drugs “our nation’s fastest-growing drug problem,” and vowed to make it a top priority. He began pushing for more states to adopt databases in which doctors and pharmacists can log prescriptions for addictive drugs so law enforcement can track them. Forty three states, including Illinois, have passed legislation to do just that (though only 33 states have money to fund them). Missouri has not adopted such a law. —MCT

Malaysia to give health education to school pupils

FU ZHOU: Giant panda “Pan Pan” holds a mascot of the 16th Asian Games, at a zoo, to celebrate the opening ceremony of Guangzhou Asian Games. Athletes from 45 countries and territories will compete in 42 sporting disciplines until November 27 for the Asian Games. —AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Children as young as six will be given sex education in Malaysian primary schools from next year, an official said yesterday, as part of a drive to curb ‘baby-dumping’, promiscuity and HIV. Deputy education minister Wee Ka Siong told AFP that pupils aged between six and 11-years-old will study the new curriculum, which has been designed with the help of parents and civil society groups. The plan follows Thursday’s announcement that sex education will be taught in secondary schools across the conservative Muslim-majority country from next year. “We want to also give primary school students aged between six and eleven years, a better understanding of family values and how to protect yourself from high-risk behaviour,” he said. “Together, the lessons in primary and secondary school provide a comprehensive sex education curriculum that will help to reduce promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies, baby dumping, HIV infection and other social ills.” Last month, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the classes were being considered as part of a plan to tackle the issue of baby-dumping, in which babies have been left to die in toilets and rubbish dumps. —AFP

Monday, November 15, 2010



In Greece’s fallow fields, solar energy stirs Solar cells investment lucrative to farmers, power companies ASOPIA: The son and grandson of farmers, Spyros Papathanassiou spends most of the day overseeing his family olive press and winery in the outskirts of Asopia, a village northeast of Athens. But his future is invested in a fenced-off contraption in the hills outside the village-a 5,800-squaremetre solar farm on which Papathanassiou sank nearly half a million euros (dollars) three years ago. “Agricultural income has been severely restricted in recent years,” says the 58-year-old former village mayor, shouting above the din of the olive press. “Essentially, this job has never been very profitable.” Last year, this entrepreneur and civil servant completed the 450,000euro (618,000-dollar) solar farm in a discarded family vineyard, some 90 kilometers (56 miles) from the capital. Though barely enough to power the local water drill, it is already helping his family supplement their income by selling electricity to the national grid.

Papathanassiou hopes to repay his bank loans and break even in 4-5 years. With agriculture in Greece facing a bleak future from rising costs and falling produce prices, thousands of farmers now want to follow his example. Some 6,000 applicants have so far rushed to join a government-backed, self-financed program unveiled this summer to sow solar farms in the Greek countryside. The program offers both farmers and the state-owned electricity operator PPC, which controls most of the energy market, a way out of a looming impasse. Accustomed to depend on European Union subsidies for their crops, Greek farmers have progressively driven themselves into a corner by growing produce that the bloc can get more cheaply elsewhere, such as cotton and tobacco. The frequent sight of angry growers, dumping unwanted crops at ministries and blocking highways with their tractors is something

the authorities would be glad to eliminate, particularly now, when the purse strings have tightened. Greece is in the midst of a deep recession following the debt crisis that saw the country reach the brink of bankruptcy earlier this year. Likewise, the PPC has for too long depended on its vast supplies of lignite, a form of brown coal, to fire up its power generators. Lignite is a major pollutant, and the PPC-nearly half of whose electricity production comes from coal-fired plants-is Greece’s single largest offender in carbon dioxide emissions. So the investment in solar cells in Greece, a country that has abundant sunshine throughout the year, holds out promise both to the farmers and the power company. For the PPC, it is a chance to expunge its dirty past while helping the country meet its renewable energy quota, set at 20 percent of national electricity production by the end of the decade. The farmers meanwhile

have a chance to boost their dwindling income with a steady source of funds that no longer requires back-breaking, round-the-clock labor. “This is the last chance to have a serious investment in the Greek agricultural sector,” says farmer’s union activist Vassilis Kollias. “Farm incomes have fallen by 40-50 percent in the last 15 years.” “Most full-time farmers are over 50 years old, many of them without someone to pass the torch to. They have nothing else to look out for.” Overall, the Greek environment ministry has said it will allow a capacity of 2.200 megawatts (MW) of solar energy-fueled power by 2020. Out of that threshold, farmers have been allotted a share of 750 megawatts. Farmers have been told to aim for a maximum of 100 kilowatts of power from each solar farm, which means the state can grant them up to 7,500 production licenses. Not only does the interest from applicants far exceed this allowed

capacity, but the farmers are having to contend with unforeseen difficulties. One worrying sign is that the price of electricity, currently 40 cents per kilowatt hour in Greece, has fallen to 25 cents in neighboring Spain where a similar program is already up and running, says Kollias. This can dampen enthusiasm at a time when the startup capital needed can be at least 25,000 euros, and as high as 80,000 euros, plus bank loans. Another is that the PPC does not actually have power lines in all the rural areas that want to join the supply grid, he adds. “It is a good idea, but it’s been put together on the hoof,” says Kollias. Most of the interest has come from the western Greek region of Agrinio, where many growers are struggling after the withdrawal of EU subsidies for tobacco, which had been their staple crop. “We have a lot of tobacco producers who have lost their income, so they are doubly interested,” says

ASOPIA: This picture shows an employee driving his tractor in the village. With agriculture in Greece facing a bleak future from rising costs and falling produce prices, thousands of farmers now want to join a government-backed, self-financed program unveiled this summer to sow solar farms in the Greek countryside. —AFP Penelope Sidira, solar project supervisor at the Agrinio farmers’ cooperative, which has received over

500 applications. “Besides, there’s little else left for them here,” she notes. —AFP



Monday, November 15, 2010

Technological Innovations Conference concludes he ‘Technological Innovations’ Conference and Exhibition organized by TTamil Nadu Engineers Forum (TEF), Kuwait on 6th November 2010 at Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST) was concluded in a great successful note and marked its value to the Business community in Kuwait. Several International and local companies participated in this first time event in Kuwait history organized by a non-profitable Indian association in Kuwait. Everyone who participated in the conference lauded the efforts of TEF in organizing such event on a mega scale and requested TEF to continue organizing such events in the future. All the participants and guests felt the event as a remarkable timely effort supporting the entire Business and Engineering community to develop their business as well as enhancing their knowledge to the state of the art technologies. Bascarane, the Organizing Committee member compeered the inaugural session of the event. Senthamilarasu, President of TEF welcomed the Patrons, Chiefs Guests, Dignitaries and the participants of the event. During his Welcome Speech he extended the entire organizing team’s gratitude to the Ambassador of India to Kuwait, the management of Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST) and the management of Kuwait Oil Company - Research & Technology for the high level patronage supported extended to successfully organize this event. Ajai Malhotra, the Ambassador of India to Kuwait during his Inaugural Speech appreciated TEF’s contribution in spreading the awareness about latest Technological Innovations & Solutions and their vital role in the progress of company, establishment and thereby of the country. He also recalled the long standing, traditional historical relations between India and Kuwait. Jeyakumar, General Secretary of TEF introduced the background of TEF to the audience with a movie presentation which highlighted the history, tradition & origin of Engineers from Tamil Nadu who collectively formed TEF in Kuwait and its various technical & social contribution in Kuwait. The Chief Guest invitee of the event Hashim Mohammed El-Rifaai, Chairman of KPC Energy Ventures Inc, Chairman and Managing Director of the Kuwait Oil Development Co. and the Managing Director of Planning couldn’t attend the program due to personal reasons, however he extended his wishes and assured the organizers with his support in the forthcoming similar events. The organizers extended their sincere thanks to Dr Adel Essa Al-Abbasi, Manager of the Research & Technology Department of Kuwait Oil Company for his encouragement and the advisory support given to TEF for organizing the event. On behalf of the event patron Kuwait Oil Company (R&T) team, Ahmad Khalid Al-Jasmi, Team Leader (R&TSurface) highlighted KOC’s strategic plans in implementing various Technologies to the benefit of the company & country and assured the positive financial returns for companies who investment on new Technologies. Prof Robert D Cook, the Vice President for Academic Affairs of Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST), Kuwait during his speech briefed GUST’s achievement in providing a quality education in Kuwait and GUST’s commitment Social and Community contribution. He also welcomed TEF to continue such events in future to the benefit of the society and students. Elamaran, Treasurer of TEF moderated the Technical Seminar Session in a highly professional manner which contained the presentations of several highly advanced technologies from the various International companies who participated conference including JNW Cleaning Solutions - Germany, Pepperl & Fuchs Bahrain, Magnetrol - Belgium, Tectron Company - Kuwait, Cape East - Kuwait, MAN Diesel & Turbo Schweiz Switzerland, EagleBurgmann -Dubai, Sniffers -Belgium, 3D Corrosion Belgium, Gulf Energy - Kuwait, Cholamandalam MS Risk Services- India, MEKE - Turkey, Fisher Valves (Emerson Process Management)- UAE, Raith Engineering - Kuwait, Rockwell Automation - USA, Al-Arfaj Engineering Kuwait, RAYS Gen Trad. & Cont Co Kuwait, Yogokawa - Kuwait, Honeywell Kuwait, BASF Construction Chemicals UAE, Gulf Spic General Trad & Cont. Company - Kuwait, National Petroleum Services Company - Kuwait, China Oil HBP Science & Technology- China. The event continued till the evening and concluded with a great audience turnaround and appreciation from various corners.

NAFO annual picnic AFO Kuwait is organizing its annual family picnic at venue: Martyr Park Al- Shaheed Park, Sharq tomorrow. The fun-filled family day commences at 9:30 am. A lot of activities, games and entertainment are planned f o r e v e r y m e m b e r o f y o u r f a m i l y. NAFO welcomes all its members to t h i s O p e n Fa m i l y D a y. Fo r m o re details contact NAFO office-bearers on mobile numbers 66408395, 99307820 & 97751583.


Head to Holiday Inn for Eid Al-Adha it comes to a place to relax and enjoy yourself, Holiday Inn Kuwait When is the place for

Arpan’s ‘Tune & Taste 2010’ rpan Kuwait will conduct a cooking competition as part of its annual mega event ‘Tune & Taste 2010’ for ladies. Competitions will be held in three categories as follows: Salads; Biriyani (vegetarian or non-veg); Pudding/cakes. Contestants are required to cook the items at home and bring them for a display at a venue provided, on December 1, 2010 after 5 pm. Amrita TV fame Rajkalesh will lead the jury who will adjudge three finalists. The finalists will have to prepare the food again


US Embassy notice The American Embassy in Kuwait will be closed tomorrow through Thursday, November 18, 2010 to observe the Eid Al-Adha holiday. The Embassy will reopen for normal business on Sunday, November 21, 2010. Regular business hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday - Thursday. The Embassy telephone number is 2259-1001 and fax number 25380282. Indian Embassy notice The Embassy of India will remain closed tomorrow and on Sunday, November 21, 2010 on account of ‘Eid-Al-Adha’ (Bakrid) and ‘Guru

next day at their respective houses for a TV shoot overseen by Rajkalesh. This will also be telecast on Amrita TV. The first winner will be crowned as ‘Pachakarani’ while first and second runners up will be awarded valuable gifts on December 3, 2010 during the mega event at the Indian Community School, Salmiya. Interested persons are requested to fill in the form given below and submit before November 20. For registrations: Arpan/Default.aspx

Trash to Treasure ichelle Johnson Managing Director of Iszonica Modeling School would like to thank the sponsors who graciously supported the Trash to Treasure Fashion show which M took Place at the Holiday Inn Hotel on November 10, 2010. The sponsors of the event were Technical Economic Institute; the main sponsor was Holiday Inn Hotel Salmiya and other sponsors were Amec, Crown relocations, Dar-Al Ebda, Westwood Rocks, Art Boutique Lion Entertainment- England, Wrighteous Entertainment- USA, Equity and Bond CTS and Al-Andalouse Institute.

Nanak birthday’ respectively. Pakistan Embassy notice On the occasion of Eid-Al-Adha, the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan will remain closed from today till November 18, 2010 and will open on Sunday, November 21, 2010. South African Embassy notice On the occasion of Eid-A1-Adha, the South African Embassy will be closed from tomorrow to Wednesday, November 17, 2010. The Embassy will resume its normal working hours on Thursday, November 18, 2010, from Sunday to Thursday.

you. Holiday Inn Kuwait is the destination for every person in Kuwait, whether on business or leisure. With all its arrangements complete and ready, the management welcomes all the residents and expatriates of Kuwait to come and enjoy the wonders of the hotel. Take a break from your home this Eid and relax in the comforts of our luxurious but homely rooms, designed to unwind you completely. A complete package for the family is ready for you, with meals to be enjoyed at all of our restaurants. The children are taken care of as well with all the facilities open to them at the Rainbow Kids Club and the Kids gym. The Ras Al-Ard beach club is within walking distance and free of charge for guest staying at the Holiday inn Kuwait. Guests can take advantage of the excellent weather conditions to have good family time of fun and delight. With the internet access available for free at every place of the hotel, you can stay in touch with the outside world and check your emails too! The most notable point of this package will be that the service charge is for the beds taken only. The six restaurants and cafes of the hotel are planned to give you the world’s best flavors within your reach. Al-Diwan International Buffet brings you global cuisines, while the best of Chinese is to be enjoyed at the Tang Chao. Rib Eye Steakhouse is every steak lover’s paradise with the best steaks in town and Ayam Zaman Lebanese restaurant offers you traditional food to the strains of melodious music. Dining becomes an art at the Sakura Xpress with its authentic Japanese cuisines. L’Aroma CafÈ is open throughout the day for coffee, snacks and pastries, and is the place to be if you want to simply enjoy a chat with your friends, and listen to live music by the hotel Pianist. Every effort has been taken by the management of the Holiday Inn Kuwait to ensure that all the guests to the hotel enjoy the best amenities to their maximum, with memories that draw them back for more. This Eid, Holiday Inn Kuwait is the place for you to remember and have it all!

Relief Efforts elief Efforts Kuwait is hosting a dinR ner for Abrar-Ul-Haq to help rehabilitate the flood victims on Friday, December 3, 2010. Please call 65840229 for more information.

Annual ESF Winter Fayre English School Fahaheel will bring in the season this year with their successTfulhefestive Annual Winter Fayre on Saturday 4 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 e-mail address. The filled-in forms can also be submitted by hand, by email or by fax (number 24913204). The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed to Saturday, 20 November on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha. The embassy will re-open on Sunday, 21 November. EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, AlMutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 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 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 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. EMBASSY OF SLOVAK REPUBLIC The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Kuwait would like to announce to the public that on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha Al Mubarak the Consular Section of the Embassy will be closed tomorrow and Wednesday, November 17, 2010 respectively. The Embassy of the Slovak Republic’s business hours of the Consular Section is on Monday and Wednesday from 10:00 till 12:30. EMBASSY OF THE US The United States Department of State announces the increase in various visa fees to ensure sufficient resources to cover the increasing cost of processing nonimmigrant visas (NIVs). US law requires the Department to recover the cost of processing nonimmigrant visas through the collection of the application fees. The increased fees are to take effect June 4, 2010. Under the new rule, applicants for all visas that are

not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, will pay a fee of $140. Applicants for petitionbased visas will pay an application fee of $150, as each of the below categories requires a review of extensive documentation and a more in-depth interview of the applicant than other categories, such as tourists. These categories include: H visa for temporary workers and trainees L visa for intra-company transferees O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors R visa for religious occupations The application fee for K visas for fiance(e)s of US citizens will be $350. The fee for E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors will be $390. EMBASSY OF FRANCE The Embassy of France will be closed on the 1st day of Eid Al Adha.

December from 11am to 2 pm at the school’s spacious premises which also offer ample parking. ESF is located just off Highway 30 in Mangaf. The Fayre is the perfect place for a family day out with stalls offering a variety of Christmas gifts and treats, carols sung by the ESF Choir and great raffle prizes including air tickets, electronics and more!. Don’t miss bargains on furniture, books, Exercise equipment, electronics and toys! To book a stall call 23711070/23717263 today!

German Board of Oral Implantology: n cooperation with Kuwait Dental Association in its third year, and after graduIating 33 dentists in the past two years from Kuwait and abroad. With Kuwait becoming the regional center for the German Board of Oral Implantology (GBOI) in the Gulf. We like to announce to all dentists in Kuwait and abroad that registration for the third batch 2010 - 2011 is being held at Kuwait Dental Association to begin study on December 3, 2010. There will be an orientation lecture on the German Board of Oral Implantology, which will be held at the Kuwait Dental Association (Official Assembly) Oct 27, at 8:30 pm.

Angamaly Pravasi Association formed EMBASSY OF CZECH REPUBLIC The Embassy of the Czech Republic in the State of Kuwait would like to inform the general public that the Embassy will be closed from tomorrow to Thursday, 18th November 2010 on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha holiday. The Embassy will resume its normal working hours on Sunday, 21st November 2010.”

he newly formed Angamaly Pravasi Association, Kuwait - an association for all Texpats in Kuwait belonging to Angamaly Constituency is conducting its first public meeting on 19th November, 2010, 4pm at HiDine Auditorium, Abbasiya. We heartly welcome those who belong to this constituency. For further details please contact: Saju Thachil - 66543281, Jacob Pynadath 65007754, Babu Thomas - 99240368, Poulose Thekkedath - 97278916.

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: Fax: 24835619 / 20

Monday, November 15, 2010



Trip to Mishref Park The Early Years Department of Kuwait National English School (KNES), recently visited Mishref Park. Children were able to exercise their minds as well as their bodies, with free and structured play activities. It was a beautiful day and everyone had lots of fun!

Sandwich Day at NPIS Hawally NPIS Hawally emphasizes not only equipping the students with the best possible education but also develops their personality through healthy extracurricular activities. October 28 was a remarkable day as three healthy activities entertained the students of the junior classes. Sandwich Day for KG classes was fully enjoyed as the students dressed themselves like sandwiches and they were taught how to promote healthy eating habits. Healthy Food Day was celebrated for Classes 1 and 2. The students dressed themselves as different foods and were entertained with dance and music. Fun Day was celebrated for Class 3. The students clad in colorful clothes enjoyed all the activities.

Dr K J Yesudas to present Carnatic classical concert uch to the delight of Carnatic music connoisseurs in Kuwait, Padmabhushan Dr K J Yesudas will present a live classical concert titled ‘Gandharva Ganam’ on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at the American International School, Maidan Hawally. Dr Yesudas is presenting a musical program in Kuwait after a gap of eight years. Venkataraman Potti of Udupi, the organizer of the mega event, told a press conference that the concert will be a memorable event for hundreds of ‘Dasettan’ fans in Kuwait who were eagerly waiting for a live concert by the ‘King of Carnatic Music’ as he is better known worldwide. Winner of scores of accolades including the prestigious Padmabhushan and Padmashree awards, Kattassery Joseph Yesudas is better known as ‘Gana Gandharvan’. After recording over 40,000 songs and scoring seven national awards for the best playback singer, he is still enchanting music lovers the world over. Dr Yesudas sings Indian classical music, devotional


and popular songs. He has recorded thousands of songs in many Indian languages including Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Oriya, Marathi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tulu, Malay, Russian, Arabic, Latin and English through his long career. Over the last few decades, Dr Yesudas has assumed the role of a cultural ambassador of India during his numerous performances abroad, promoting both Carnatic and film music. He has played a major role in popularizing Indian music and spreading Indian culture abroad. Suresh Krishna, who was also present at the press conference said that the concert of Dr Yesudas is organized by Udupi with a view to promoting Carnatic classical music in Kuwait. “There are a large number of ardent Carnatic music lovers in Kuwait. And this will be the right opportunity for them to listen to one of the greatest classical vocalists,” he added. Dr Yesudas will be supported by veteran artist Thiruvaroor Bakthavalsalam on Mridangam, Nagai Murali on Violin and Thripunithura Radhakrishnan on Ghatam.

Filipino Badminton Committee he 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.


Global Goans Convention 2010 to be held in Kuwait nnouncing at the press briefing in Goa yesterday, Hon. Commissioner of NRI Affairs (Cabinet Ranking) and former Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, Eduardo Faleiro stated ‘the next annual Global Goans Convention would be held in Kuwait on


November 16 and 17, 2010 was being organised by the Goan Cultural Centre, Kuwait during which the Vishwa Konkani Sammelan too would be held along with a cultural programme with the involvement of Konkani speaking expatriate communities of Goa and elsewhere in India”. The annual Global Goans Convention 2010 will be held in the State of Kuwait in coordination with the Department of NRI Affairs, Government of Goa and the Embassy of India, Kuwait on November 16 & 17 and will be hosted by the Goan Cultural Centre at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Kuwait. The Global Goans Convention 2010, whose theme this year is ‘The NRI Goan’, will, in its annual debates, present the NRI Goan community with an opportunity to discuss various issues pertaining to them in their countries of domicile as well as back home in Goa, and will mainly deal with issues related to their social, financial, investment and cultural aspirations and development. It is expected that delegates and eminent speakers from over 10 countries will be participating in the convention this year. “We are happy and proud to be

associated with this prestigious event”, in a statement confirming the news on its website “We are overwhelmed by the response to the press statement, GCC chairman, Carmo Santos remarked. Last year, Goan Cultural Centre had the largest delegation attending the Global Goans Convention held in Muscat, Oman, added Suresh Naik, GCC President and Advisor . It may be recalled that Carmo Santos was bestowed with the NRI Leadership Award at the hands of former Minister of NRI Affairs Valayar Ravi at a glittering ceremony in the presence of Goa’s Chief Minister, Digamber Kamat, in recognition of his efforts and dedication towards the Indian expatriate community. He was among a galaxy of Goan personalities chosen by Goa’s Department of NRI Affairs from Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Delhi. The Convention will be held in coordination with the Embassy of India at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Farwania. A special Brochure will be launched during the Convention.

Family picnic Idukki Association organized a family picnic in Riggae park where the association’s housing project in Kerala was launched by the Indian ambassador to Kuwait.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Technological Innovations Conference concludes

he ‘Technological Innovations’ Conference and Exhibition organized by TTamil Nadu Engineers Forum (TEF),

Kuwait on 6th November 2010 at Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST) was concluded in a great successful note and marked its value to the Business community in Kuwait. Several International and local companies participated in this first time event in Kuwait history organized by a non-profitable Indian association in Kuwait. Everyone who participated in the conference lauded the efforts of TEF in organizing such event on a mega scale and requested TEF to continue organizing such events in the future. All the participants and guests felt the event as a remarkable timely effort supporting the entire Business and Engineering community to develop their business as well as enhancing their knowledge to the state of the art technologies. Bascarane, the Organizing Committee member compeered the inaugural session of the event. Senthamilarasu, President of TEF welcomed the Patrons, Chiefs Guests, Dignitaries and the participants of the event. During his Welcome Speech he extended the entire organizing team’s gratitude to the Ambassador of India to Kuwait, the management of Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST) and the management of Kuwait Oil Company - Research & Technology for the high level patronage supported extended to successfully organize this event. Ajai Malhotra, the Ambassador of India to Kuwait during his Inaugural Speech appreciated TEF’s contribution in spreading the awareness about latest Technological Innovations & Solutions and their vital role in the progress of company, establishment and thereby of the country. He also recalled the long standing, traditional historical relations between India and Kuwait. Jeyakumar, General Secretary of TEF introduced the background of TEF to the audience with a movie presentation which highlighted the history, tradition & origin of Engineers from Tamil Nadu who collectively formed TEF in Kuwait and its various technical & social contribution in Kuwait. The Chief Guest invitee of the event Hashim Mohammed El-Rifaai, Chairman of KPC Energy Ventures Inc, Chairman and Managing Director of the Kuwait Oil Development Co. and the Managing Director of Planning couldn’t attend the program due to personal reasons, however he extended his wishes and assured the organizers with his support in the forthcoming similar events. The organizers extended their sincere thanks to Dr Adel Essa Al-Abbasi, Manager of the Research & Technology Department of Kuwait Oil Company for his encouragement and the advisory support given to TEF for organizing the event. On behalf of the event patron Kuwait Oil Company (R&T) team, Ahmad Khalid Al-Jasmi, Team Leader (R&TSurface) highlighted KOC’s strategic plans in implementing various Technologies to the benefit of the company & country and assured the positive financial returns for companies who investment on new Technologies. Prof Robert D Cook, the Vice President for Academic Affairs of Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST), Kuwait during his speech briefed GUST’s achievement in providing a quality education in Kuwait and GUST’s commitment Social and Community contribution. He also welcomed TEF to continue such events in future to the benefit of the society and students. Elamaran, Treasurer of TEF moderated the Technical Seminar Session in a highly professional manner which contained the presentations of several highly advanced technologies from the various International companies who participated conference including JNW Cleaning Solutions - Germany, Pepperl & Fuchs Bahrain, Magnetrol - Belgium, Tectron Company - Kuwait, Cape East - Kuwait, MAN Diesel & Turbo Schweiz Switzerland, EagleBurgmann -Dubai, Sniffers -Belgium, 3D Corrosion Belgium, Gulf Energy - Kuwait, Cholamandalam MS Risk Services- India, MEKE - Turkey, Fisher Valves (Emerson Process Management)- UAE, Raith Engineering - Kuwait, Rockwell Automation - USA, Al-Arfaj Engineering Kuwait, RAYS Gen Trad. & Cont Co Kuwait, Yogokawa - Kuwait, Honeywell Kuwait, BASF Construction Chemicals UAE, Gulf Spic General Trad & Cont. Company - Kuwait, National Petroleum Services Company - Kuwait, China Oil HBP Science & Technology- China. The event continued till the evening and concluded with a great audience turnaround and appreciation from various corners.

NAFO annual picnic


AFO Kuwait is organizing its annual family picnic at venue: Martyr Park Al- Shaheed Park, Sharq tomorrow. The fun-filled family day commences at 9:30 am. A lot of activities, games and entertainment are planned f o r e v e r y m e m b e r o f y o u r f a m i l y. NAFO welcomes all its members to t h i s O p e n Fa m i l y D a y. Fo r m o re details contact NAFO office-bearers on mobile numbers 66408395, 99307820 & 97751583.

Head to Holiday Inn for Eid Al-Adha it comes to a place to relax and enjoy yourself, Holiday Inn Kuwait When is the place for

Arpan’s ‘Tune & Taste 2010’


rpan Kuwait will conduct a cooking competition as part of its annual mega event ‘Tune & Taste 2010’ for ladies. Competitions will be held in three categories as follows: Salads; Biriyani (vegetarian or non-veg); Pudding/cakes. Contestants are required to cook the items at home and bring them for a display at a venue provided, on December 1, 2010 after 5 pm. Amrita TV fame Rajkalesh will lead the jury who will adjudge three finalists. The finalists will have to prepare the food again

US Embassy notice The American Embassy in Kuwait will be closed tomorrow through Thursday, November 18, 2010 to observe the Eid Al-Adha holiday. The Embassy will reopen for normal business on Sunday, November 21, 2010. Regular business hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday - Thursday. The Embassy telephone number is 2259-1001 and fax number 25380282. Indian Embassy notice The Embassy of India will remain closed tomorrow and on Sunday, November 21, 2010 on account of ‘Eid-Al-Adha’ (Bakrid) and ‘Guru

next day at their respective houses for a TV shoot overseen by Rajkalesh. This will also be telecast on Amrita TV. The first winner will be crowned as ‘Pachakarani’ while first and second runners up will be awarded valuable gifts on December 3, 2010 during the mega event at the Indian Community School, Salmiya. Interested persons are requested to fill in the form given below and submit before November 20. For registrations: Arpan/Default.aspx

Trash to Treasure

ichelle Johnson Managing Director of Iszonica Modeling School would like to thank the sponsors who graciously supported the Trash to Treasure Fashion show which M took Place at the Holiday Inn Hotel on November 10, 2010. The sponsors of the event were Technical Economic Institute; the main sponsor was Holiday Inn Hotel Salmiya and other sponsors were Amec, Crown relocations, Dar-Al Ebda, Westwood Rocks, Art Boutique Lion Entertainment- England, Wrighteous Entertainment- USA, Equity and Bond CTS and Al-Andalouse Institute.

Nanak birthday’ respectively. Pakistan Embassy notice On the occasion of Eid-Al-Adha, the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan will remain closed from today till November 18, 2010 and will open on Sunday, November 21, 2010. South African Embassy notice On the occasion of Eid-A1-Adha, the South African Embassy will be closed from tomorrow to Wednesday, November 17, 2010. The Embassy will resume its normal working hours on Thursday, November 18, 2010, from Sunday to Thursday.

you. Holiday Inn Kuwait is the destination for every person in Kuwait, whether on business or leisure. With all its arrangements complete and ready, the management welcomes all the residents and expatriates of Kuwait to come and enjoy the wonders of the hotel. Take a break from your home this Eid and relax in the comforts of our luxurious but homely rooms, designed to unwind you completely. A complete package for the family is ready for you, with meals to be enjoyed at all of our restaurants. The children are taken care of as well with all the facilities open to them at the Rainbow Kids Club and the Kids gym. The Ras Al-Ard beach club is within walking distance and free of charge for guest staying at the Holiday inn Kuwait. Guests can take advantage of the excellent weather conditions to have good family time of fun and delight. With the internet access available for free at every place of the hotel, you can stay in touch with the outside world and check your emails too! The most notable point of this package will be that the service charge is for the beds taken only. The six restaurants and cafes of the hotel are planned to give you the world’s best flavors within your reach. Al-Diwan International Buffet brings you global cuisines, while the best of Chinese is to be enjoyed at the Tang Chao. Rib Eye Steakhouse is every steak lover’s paradise with the best steaks in town and Ayam Zaman Lebanese restaurant offers you traditional food to the strains of melodious music. Dining becomes an art at the Sakura Xpress with its authentic Japanese cuisines. L’Aroma CafÈ is open throughout the day for coffee, snacks and pastries, and is the place to be if you want to simply enjoy a chat with your friends, and listen to live music by the hotel Pianist. Every effort has been taken by the management of the Holiday Inn Kuwait to ensure that all the guests to the hotel enjoy the best amenities to their maximum, with memories that draw them back for more. This Eid, Holiday Inn Kuwait is the place for you to remember and have it all!

Relief Efforts elief Efforts Kuwait is hosting a dinner for Abrar-Ul-Haq to help rehabiliR tate the flood victims on Friday, December 3, 2010. Please call 65840229 for more information.

Annual ESF Winter Fayre

English School Fahaheel will bring in the season this year with their successTfulhefestive Annual Winter Fayre on Saturday 4 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 e-mail address. The filled-in forms can also be submitted by hand, by email or by fax (number 24913204). The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed to Saturday, 20 November on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha. The embassy will re-open on Sunday, 21 November. EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, AlMutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 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 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 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. EMBASSY OF SLOvAk REPuBLIC The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Kuwait would like to announce to the public that on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha Al Mubarak the Consular Section of the Embassy will be closed tomorrow and Wednesday, November 17, 2010 respectively. The Embassy of the Slovak Republic’s business hours of the Consular Section is on Monday and Wednesday from 10:00 till 12:30. EMBASSY OF THE uS The United States Department of State announces the increase in various visa fees to ensure sufficient resources to cover the increasing cost of processing nonimmigrant visas (NIVs). US law requires the Department to recover the cost of processing nonimmigrant visas through the collection of the application fees. The increased fees are to take effect June 4, 2010. Under the new rule, applicants for all visas that are

not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, will pay a fee of $140. Applicants for petitionbased visas will pay an application fee of $150, as each of the below categories requires a review of extensive documentation and a more in-depth interview of the applicant than other categories, such as tourists. These categories include: H visa for temporary workers and trainees L visa for intra-company transferees O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors R visa for religious occupations The application fee for K visas for fiance(e)s of US citizens will be $350. The fee for E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors will be $390. EMBASSY OF FRANCE The Embassy of France will be closed on the 1st day of Eid Al Adha.

December from 11am to 2 pm at the school’s spacious premises which also offer ample parking. ESF is located just off Highway 30 in Mangaf. The Fayre is the perfect place for a family day out with stalls offering a variety of Christmas gifts and treats, carols sung by the ESF Choir and great raffle prizes including air tickets, electronics and more!. Don’t miss bargains on furniture, books, Exercise equipment, electronics and toys! To book a stall call 23711070/23717263 today!

German Board of Oral Implantology:

n cooperation with Kuwait Dental Association in its third year, and after graduIating 33 dentists in the past two years from Kuwait and abroad. With Kuwait becoming the regional center for the German Board of Oral Implantology (GBOI) in the Gulf. We like to announce to all dentists in Kuwait and abroad that registration for the third batch 2010 - 2011 is being held at Kuwait Dental Association to begin study on December 3, 2010. There will be an orientation lecture on the German Board of Oral Implantology, which will be held at the Kuwait Dental Association (Official Assembly) Oct 27, at 8:30 pm.

Angamaly Pravasi Association formed

EMBASSY OF CzECH REPuBLIC The Embassy of the Czech Republic in the State of Kuwait would like to inform the general public that the Embassy will be closed from tomorrow to Thursday, 18th November 2010 on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha holiday. The Embassy will resume its normal working hours on Sunday, 21st November 2010.”

he newly formed Angamaly Pravasi Association, Kuwait - an association for all Texpats in Kuwait belonging to Angamaly Constituency is conducting its first public meeting on 19th November, 2010, 4pm at HiDine Auditorium, Abbasiya. We heartly welcome those who belong to this constituency. For further details please contact: Saju Thachil - 66543281, Jacob Pynadath 65007754, Babu Thomas - 99240368, Poulose Thekkedath - 97278916.

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: Fax: 24835619 / 20

Monday, November 15, 2010

33 ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for small family or decent bachelors (Keralite) in Abbassiya near HiDine Super Market from 15-11-2010. Please contact 24312462 after 2 pm. (C 2868) Share apartment available in Salwa block 10, (only for family) with central AC and separate bathroom, internet facility available. For more information please call 99856676. (C 2869) 15-11-2010

Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for a small family or a bachelor with a Keralite family in Sree Ragam furniture building, from 1st of December. Contact: 24348730, 99750711. (C 2856) 11-11-2010 Room for rent in Jleeb near Al Baik hotel, family or working ladies, AC, fridge, landline phone, satellite, all facilities available, please contact: 97267254. (C 2852) 10-11-2020

Sharing accommodation available for bachelors or family opposite Al Rashid hospital, Amman street Salmiya. Contact: 65515717. (C 2865)

Farwaniya, room for rent in a flat for a couple or two working ladies, with kitchen and other facilities. Contact: 97449272, 66021273. (C 2848) 9-11-2010

Room for rent, big room only for family in Farwaniya block 1, near Canary, Style Saloon. Contact: 99035093, 66015996. (C 2864) 14-11-2010

Room for rent only for family in Farwaniya, block 1, near Canary, Fire Station. Contact: 99035093, 66015996. (C 2846)

Sharing accommodation available for Keralite couples in a two bedroom, two bathroom flat in Abbassiya near United Indian School from December 1 onwards. Contact: 66846299, 66027037. (C 2863) Room available in C-A/C flat from 25th Nov 2010, for Asian couple/working lady, airport road, old Khaitan near Atlas insurance co., rent KD 70. Contact: 97468551. (C 2861) 13-11-2010 Room available for rent in Kheitan for family or working ladies near Pakistani International School, behind Souk AlMahameed. Call 99322585. (C 2857) Flat available in old Kheitan near Pakistan International School, good location, 2 bedroom + big hall, 2 baths, kitchen and big balcony, rent KD 170. Call 99337034. (C 2858)

Sharing room available, attach bath for couple, Muslim family Indian or Pakistani in Farwaniya, near Yadgar Hotel. Contact: 66988845. (C 2847) 8-11-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya, from 1st December. Contact 24331438 / 99162583. (C 2842)

FOR SALE Toyota Camry 2001 - XLi, Indian owned car, maroon, done 2.3 lakhs, brand new tyres, 4 cylinders in mint condition, price KD 1600, serious buyers please call 65101896. (C 2867) 15-11-2010 2006 Toyota Corolla 1.8 XLi, color white, km done 65000, excellent condition, cash price KD 2,450. Contact: 99934965. (C 2853) Freezer KD 20, refrigerator KD 80, General A/C KD 45. Call 65634184. (C 2851) 10-11-2010 Toyota Camry 2008 SE (special edition) white color, very low mileage, all service done in agency, excellent condition, with extra spoiler remote key, LCD with navigation system, sunroof, alloy wheel, price KD 4350. Contact: 60951195. (C 2850) 9-11-2010 SITUATION WANTED

Sri Lankan house maid looking for a job, for European family, have experience. Contact: 97413349. (C 2843)

Indian male, Accountant having six years experience in Kuwait looking for suitable opening. Can handle accounts up to finalization and good working experience in Accounting Modules. Interested please contact: 65067919. (C 2839) 7-11-2010

CHANGE OF NAME I, Khaja Bee, D/O late Shaik Dawood R/O 18 - 7 - 425/69, Bhavani Nagar Road No. Talabkatta, Hyderabad changed my name as Sameena Begum. (C 2866) 14-11-2010

Proposals are invited for R.C.S.C boy (28 years, height 168cms) from Idukki district of Kerala, India. Interested please email: (C 2860) 13-11-2010

I, Ms Sozia d/o Tariq Mahmood and w/o Shakil Rehman Abdul Rehman Gondal holding Pakistani Passport No (KE 770505) hereby change my name to Aisha for all purposes. All official records may be changed accordingly. (C 2855) 11-11-2010

Proposal invited for a 39 y.o. (177CM) Pakistani professional man working as logistic supervisor in Kuwait, from Pakistani working ladies or any other nationalities. Email: (C 2844) 9-11-2010

I, Lorina Fernandes holder of Indian Passport G 3662002, have converted to Islam and change my name to Khadeejah Quraishi. (C 2854) 10-11-2010


No: 14911

LOST Digital Sony camera left behind in taxi while traveling from Maliya to Salmiya. Finder please contact 97871445 and will be rewarded. (C 2859) 11-11-2010 SITUATION VACANT

Live-in, full-time housemaid, Salwa, own residency, must be happy to work for a good salary. Must be experienced in cooking, cleaning, ironing, dog walking, only apply if you work, immediate start. Tel: 99301909. (C 2863) 13-11-2010



In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Airlines



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Departure Flights on Monday 15/11/2010

Airlines Flt





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Monday, November 15, 2010



Aries (March 21-April 19) It is through your

adventures that you can temporarily escape the pressures you have set upon yourself. Today you could forget that in order to relieve the stress you have experienced, you only need to go to a place where you have never gone before—even if it is in your mind. You might enjoy a class in scuba diving, a new religious group or a walk in the park with a friend, etc. When you come back to the daily chores and weekly responsibilities, there begins a sort of remembering that all things work together and all is right with the world. You may even turn over a new promise to keep your life a bit more comfortable. Tonight there are opportunities to join with family members in a new state of harmony. Water is relaxing. Taurus (April 20-May 20) A time of expanding your

mental horizon is at hand. Religion, philosophy, law and education are some of the things that may have special importance for you at this time. You may have become involved with some new realm of learning. Being in touch with faraway people and places satisfies an intellectual yearning— curiosity will take you anywhere and maybe everywhere. You love new or different theories and insights from people but you may discover that there is nothing new under the sun. Perhaps that is your life lesson; it could be only part of the lesson. It is about time you show off your creative work. An art gallery would be interested in representing you. A friend might even help you sell your work. You will soon profit from your creative abilities.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. (informal) Roused to anger. 4. A postulated biochemical change (presumably in neural tissue) that represents a memory. 10. A health resort near a spring or at the seaside. 13. Used of a single unit or thing. 14. A member of an Algonquian people who lived west of Lake Superior. 15. A rapid escape (as by criminals). 16. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (19021984). 18. Dried bark of the cascara buckthorn used as a laxative. 20. Someone who walks at a leisurely pace. 21. A name for the Old Testament God as transliterated from the Hebrew YHVH. 22. A member of an American Indian people of Yucatan and Belize and Guatemala who once had a culture characterized by outstanding architecture and pottery and astronomy. 23. 300 to 3000 kilohertz. 24. A master's degree in education. 31. The head of a branch of an organized crime syndicate. 34. The cry made by sheep. 35. A state of southwestern India. 36. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 37. A light touch or stroke. 39. A river that rises in northern Colombia and flows generally eastward to the Orinoco in central Venezuela. 41. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 43. British informal term. 44. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 45. Divulge information or secrets. 48. American novelist (1909-1955). 51. Someone who copies the words or behavior of another. 56. A genus of Ploceidae. 58. (psychology) An urge to withdraw or avoid a situation or an object. 59. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 60. A narrow zigzag ribbon used as trimming. 63. A luminance unit equal to 1 candle per square meter measured perpendicular to the rays from the source. 64. The most common computer memory which can be used by programs to perform necessary tasks while the computer is on. 65. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 66. A sweetened beverage of diluted fruit juice. DOWN 1. A woman of refinement. 2. (Jungian psychology) The inner self (not the external persona) that is in touch with the unconscious. 3. A hat that is round and black and hard with a narrow brim. 4. From 40 million to 58 million years ago. 5. A Mid-Atlantic state on the Atlantic. 6. Of or relating to the stomach and intestines. 7. A mature blood cell that contains hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the bodily tissues. 8. Distant in either space or time. 9. An independent group of closely related Chadic languages spoken in the area between the Biu-Mandara and East Chadic languages. 10. Speaking a Slavic language. 11. Decrease gradually or bit by bit. 12. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 17. The mission in San Antonio where in 1836 Mexican forces under Santa Anna besieged and massacred American rebels who were fighting to make Texas independent of Mexico. 19. A small fragment of something broken off from the whole. 25. An Indian tree of the family Combretaceae that is a source of timber and gum. 26. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 27. The month following February and preceding April. 28. Largest known toad species. 29. A South American shrub whose leaves are chewed by natives of the Andes. 30. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 32. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 33. Preferred above all others and treated with partiality. 38. A small cake leavened with yeast. 40. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 42. In bed. 46. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 47. Any plant of the genus Erica. 49. Mentally or physically infirm with age. 50. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 52. (obstetrics) The number of live-born children a woman has delivered. 53. A former copper coin of Pakistan. 54. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 55. A network of intersecting blood vessels or intersecting nerves or intersecting lymph vessels. 57. Electrical conduction through a gas in an applied electric field. 61. A state in midwestern United States. 62. Being ten more than one hundred forty.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) A meeting with someone older or in authority is in order today. You may spend a great deal of time planning or worrying about the results for this person. The end may not go the way you think. You must realize that you are not in control—even if you have a piece of paper that says you are in control. As long as you do everything to create a positive outcome with this senior, everything will be positive. You will be pleased with your success in the sharing and receiving of new family information this afternoon. Your timing is perfect and others will find you most capable. Travel plans can be discussed or an event can be planed. This evening you can relax and just sit back and enjoy what you have, to live life. Romance is possible tonight.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You appreciate a winner and are drawn to the successful and powerful—politics and such. You may make your living by virtue of your good taste, sense of quality and discrimination. New ways to organize and discipline yourself are possible. Here is an opportunity to get some insight into some of your problems and responsibilities that may prove very valuable in the years to come. A new cycle begins for you, signaling a greater than usual interest in relationships, social connections and the arts, on a more intellectual level than in the past, most likely. Seeing both sides of issues and finding resolutions to opposing views take on more importance in your life at this time. You are determined to break up old habits—get out of ruts, etc. Bravo! Leo (July 23-August 22) Plans for travel, social gettogethers and other ways to enjoy the people and things that you have acquired in your life may be considered now. Philosophical and cultural matters are likely to have a special appeal for you at this time. Lovers, children and other people or things dear to your heart get your attention this afternoon. Chores are performed and shopping is accomplished by early evening. Having and appreciating things of beauty are temptations you try to avoid for today. You put forth much effort to not spend money excessively—you teach others around you the care and nurturing of money. This can be a financially favorable period. You may want to relax this evening. A candlelight dinner is a fun and relaxing way to end a busy weekend.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Your grasp for abstract and spiritual ideas helps you to convey important messages to others. Your value system may receive a challenge. You may not appreciate the restlessness inside you and you will want to take some time to try and figure out what is happening. As this seems to be a busy time of year and people from many directions put in bids for your attention, it could be time for priorities. Where do you want to start? Make a list of how you want to proceed as well as whom you want in your life for long-term. In other words, it is time for a little goal setting. If you are dating, date because you are looking for a mate, not because you might be bored. Pay attention to your words and make an effort to enjoy the results that come from positive behavior.

Libra (September 23-October 22) A searing vision that cuts through what passes for conventional religion comes to your attention today—perhaps a vision of the endless process of life is on your mind. There is great acceptance and faith in the natural process of life and the next generation. Your love of children and animals may put you in charge of someone’s safety today. Invitations are beginning to come in with regard to social activities—you may do some careful planning. There is always the push to reciprocate. Picking and choosing your activities becomes an important issue. You have a renewed appreciation for the commitment of a relationship and will do everything in your power to make things positive. Your own growth and success may be linked to questions of security.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You may feel like exercising or getting out this morning. Walking around the house is a good way to check for problems or repairs that may be needed before winter weather comes. If you do not have a house, you might have a vehicle that will need care soon. You are on your own and this time marks the start of increased responsibility and accountability. Deep thoughts about goals may come into play—review of self. You can expect some sort of major re-evaluation of your likes and dislikes, how and what you enjoy or appreciate about yourself and life— your value system. You may find that your appreciation for the quality of everything is stronger. A re-appraisal could be in order with concern to some upcoming celebrations. Focus on priorities.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) A visitor in your home today may compliment you on your tastes or belongings. It is a fine day for tinkering with the hightech stuff that is still in boxes. You are unusually motivated or driven in new and unexpected directions. You could receive unexpected backing and, in general, your efforts are successful and reach new heights of originality—creative. New and unexpected emotions may arise. There is an urge to change and try new things that may prove challenging but fun. A kind of romantic nostalgic approach characterizes life this evening. This could mean a longing for a soul mate or a yearning to save the world; it could mean carrying a torch, as well. Secret loves, lost loves—all you need is love.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) It could be a difficult time to solve problems or to look for insights and solutions, especially if you are feeling in great shape and ready for fun and fun activities. You may feel that your originality and independence are stifled or just not available to you. Sometimes you have to exert more energy to be patient and this could be one of those days. Know that all of this is short term so that you can get down to the job at hand as quickly as possible. You will benefit from analytical insights, getting to the heart of things—penetrating. Later this afternoon while visiting with a friend, you may find that you will want to reflect on your own youth or some event in the past. Continue to get feedback from your family; they will support your future plans.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You could find yourself on top of the roof, decorating for the winter season. This is a great time to be with others and to work in a group toward some fun happening. Just being yourself, living your life for the moment, being here—is your attitude today. Others sense that your life is important. You are very sensitive, even vulnerable when it comes to expressing yourself. This creative intensity is good for music, poetry and/or art, particularly today. You go shopping with young people this afternoon to show them the importance of organic shopping. Most pesticides collect in apples, bell peppers, peaches, peanuts, raisins, spinach, strawberries and tomatoes—you encourage organic purchases that do not have these pesticides.

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

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

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Faith, optimism and a

Word Sleuth Solution

yearning to explore all kinds of new subjects are some of the thoughts coming up in your mind now. It is possible that, like many of us—you are just ready to put on the feedbag and watch the games or just enjoy the break from the usual routine. Travel, education and other ways to stretch your horizons open new doors of opportunity. Religious, philosophical and cultural matters are likely to have a special appeal for you now; transmitting ideas on a broad scale brings gain. Marriage and other close relationships give rise to great expectations now, as a new cycle gets underway in your life. This is a time to enjoy and appreciate your ties to others. Your support system—family, home and those who give you nourishment becomes more secure.


Monday, November 15, 2010

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Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


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


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


Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


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

Kuwait Airways Wataniya Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines

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Monday, November 15, 2010

atalie Portman thinks beauty is “boring”. The ‘Black Swan’ actress hates being judged on her looks and can’t understand why some people, particularly guys, become so obsessed with their appearance. She said: “Beauty can be a hindrance, especially if that’s the only thing that matters to other people. I’m also aware that being considered attractive can be a huge factor in getting work in my profession. “Beauty can be boring if you’re with a guy who is focused on his looks or


your looks all the time. “I know a lot of male actors who are totally obsessed with creating a certain look.” Though Natalie, 29, doesn’t understand the fascination with looking good, she appreciates a man with confidence in themselves. The actress - who is dating dancer Benjamin Millepied - added: “I appreciate men who are confident in their masculinity, who don’t need to work out every day, don’t fuss about their appearance. I prefer men who know what they want out of life.”

he ‘You Again’ actress - who has been engaged to actor Dax Shepard for almost a year claims making their union official has grown increasingly less important as she has grown older. The 30-year-old beauty said: “I come from a very traditional household. For a while, I thought a marriage certificate was important, but the older I get, the more I see how little it means.” Though Kristen is in no hurry to marry Dax, who she has been dating for three years, she loves having someone to share her life with. She said: “I think one of the most important things you can do in your life is pair up with someone else. I think living alongside someone and sharing everything with them is just beautiful.” However, the blonde beauty is dissatisfied with is the 12 inch height difference between her and her boyfriend. She explained: “It’s tough having pictures taken with him because he’s so tall. It’s difficult to get both our heads in!”

T he ‘Womanizer’ hitmaker - who has sons Sean Preston, five, and four-year-old Jayden James with ex-husband Kevin Federline claims running after the tots every day has encouraged her to be more active in everyday life. She said: “How do I keep slim? Having two boys definitely helps, and I love to dance. It’s the best way to stay in shape.” Though she loves looking after her children, Britney also loves have time to herself and lives to reward herself with indulgent beauty treatments. She explained: “I love treating myself to a spa day. Massages are my favorite.” The ‘Radar’ singer also revealed she enjoys varying her make-up style each day depending on her mood. She said: “Sometimes I keep it simple and don’t wear much make-up - just a little mascara and lipgloss. Other times, I’ll play around and do heavier make-up or some fun lipstick.” When it comes to beauty icons, Britney always turns to Madonna for ideas in revamping her appearance. She said: “I love, love, love Madonna! She’s one of my inspirations.”


a big The US pop star is with Cheryl Cole. me et co du m to ea s dr nt a wa be z elena Gome d insists it would an r ge ive sin ss is’ ma a Th said: I’m so fan of the ‘Promise song together. She erything about her. a rd co re uld co true if they friend! I love ev nt to be her best e with her.” As fan of Cheryl. I wa It would be my dream to collaborat l. of Katy Perry, de fan a mo She’s my role lena, 18, is also Se yl, er Ch maker th wi work alifornia Gurls’ hit well as wanting to ateful when the ‘C Pops gr e so th s of wa p e To sh d d d of her. She tol and has reveale tea ins d’ and Go r k he oc d ‘R ke song Perry. I as let her record the s written by Katy d.” ng so kin s ry nt ve wa s e wa on e ry Sh u can have it.’ magazine: “Eve yo h, t ea ou ‘Y ith id, W sa t ar e jus ‘A Ye she was so nice - sh appears on Selena’s second album a nn ha Ri yl. er d’ Ch Go th k The song ‘Roc wants to work wi t the only star who rls Aloud beauty Rain’. Selena is no borate with the Gi he X Factor’, lla co to g pin ho is e sh d ow TV talent sh ‘T recently reveale that performed on UK e sh en wh t is the best not only me ey after th said: “Cheryl Cole mee so Sh o . ge als d jud an a , is nt yl on which Cher my fans really wa ing th in me o’s so s wh n it’ e s lik other perso she’s hot “It seem to do, work with an me for l ica typ t no thing that’s so be amazing.” me, so I think it’ll the same genre as


reida Pinto was once kicked out of the Dead Sea. The 26-year-old actress revealed she went swimming in the famous body of water - a giant salt lake between Jordan and Israel - on a day off from shooting her new movie ‘Miral’ but was told off by a lifeguard for splashing salt water into her fellow swimmers eyes. She said: “When I was shooting ‘Miral’, my sister and her friend came down and we went to the Dead Sea. The lifeguard yelled at me because apparently I was splashing salt water into everybody’s eyes. He asked me to get out of the water. “I got kicked out of the Dead Sea.” Though being kicked out of the Dead Sea - which contains so much saline it is impossible to sink - was an upsetting experience for Freida, the swimming trip has made the actress vow to finally learn to swim properly. She explained: “You can’t really drown in it, but it scared the life out of me. I said, ‘There’s no way I can continue living like this.’ “It’s just something I want to get over. I’m going to learn to swim. I’m so lousy at it.”


he troubled actress - who is currently scheduled to remain at the Betty Ford Center until January 3 after failing two courtordered drugs tests in September - was granted a day pass from the rehabilitation facility yesterday. Spotted alongside her assistant Eleonore at the star’s West Hollywood home, Lindsay is believed to have been granted a day out of the sober house on the grounds of “good behavior”, E! Online reports. However, the ‘Machete’ star’s time outside the confines of the treatment facility wasn’t due to last long, as an insider revealed she was heading back to the Betty Ford


Center - which she entered on September 27 last night. The source said yesterday: “She is heading back tonight to her home at Betty Ford.” Meanwhile, the 24-year-old actress is reportedly set to meet with her estranged father Michael as part of her court-ordered rehab program next week. An insider recently revealed: “Lindsay is now open to working on things with her father. It’s a part of her recovery. She’s taking things seriously and she’s really had a lot of success so far.” Lindsay’s continuing legal issues stem from a 2007 conviction for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

avid Beckham uses his wife’s face cream. The soccer star takes a keen interest in his appearance and says he has learned a lot from spouse Victoria, though he can’t resist helping himself to her beauty products. He said: “Before I met Victoria, I’d use body lotion on my face! Now I steal her face cream. “I’ve always wanted to look and smell nice but I don’t use a lot -body cream, moisturizer and aftershave. My cupboard isn’t full of lotions, but fragrance is important to me. I remember always trying on my grandad’s aftershaves.” However, David may now be ready to buy beauty products of his own instead of taking his wife’s. The sportsman - who has sons Brooklyn, 11, Romeo, eight, and five-year-old Cruz with Victoria - recently bought an expensive moisturizer, but is doing his best to make it last as long as possible as he had no idea of its huge price tag until he went to pay. He admitted to Britain’s Cosmopolitan magazine: “The other day I bought something bloody expensive and didn’t realize until I gave my credit card. It was a La Prairie anti-ageing cream. “I loved the texture and smell so it was worth it, but I use as little as possible every day to make it last.” — Bang Showbiz



Monday, November 15, 2010


Music & Movies

Oscar Governors honor Coppola, Godard with awards By Bob Tourtellotte scar organizers began giving out film industry gold on Saturday when they bestowed honors on four movie veterans, including groundbreaking directors Jean-Luc Godard and Francis Ford Coppola. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science gathered a who’s who of Hollywood A-listers-including Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Oliver Stone and Robert De Niro-for their annual Governors Awards to give honorary Oscars to Godard, actor Eli Wallach and film historian Kevin Brownlow, for their work in the industry. “Godfather” director Coppola was given the night’s biggest honor, the Irving G Thalberg Award, for visionary producing. “Star Wars” creator George Lucas recounted how Coppola, the writer of “Patton”


and director of “Apocalypse Now,” had been his filmmaking mentor and said Coppola had blazed trails for many of his contemporaries in the late 1960s and ‘70s. “He was our leader. He was our inspiration,” Lucas said before giving Coppola the Thalberg trophy, which is considered the highest honor the Academy can give. Coppola, seated with family members including his wife of 48 years, Eleanor, his son Roman and daughter Sofia, took the stage and hugged Lucas, likening him to a younger brother. “I have a great love of the original Hollywood tradition,” Coppola said. This marked only the second year the Academy has given away the honorary Oscars and a Thalberg statuette at the Governors Awards at the dinner. Until last year, the group had always handed out the honors on the same night as the Academy Awards. But in an effort

to speed the annual ceremony for the world’s top film honors, which will take place on Feb 27, the Academy moved it to November to launch Oscar season.

Director Francis Ford Coppola holds his Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award, or Thalberg bust, as Actor Eli Wallach and Film Historian and Preservationist Kevin Barlow hold their Honorary Awards, or Oscar Statuettes, at the 2010 Oscars Governors Awards at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood on Saturday. — AFP

Godard, controversial pick This year, the Academy’s decision to give French-Swiss director Godard an honorary Oscar caused some fuss among Jewish groups who believe he is an anti-Semite, as well as with some Hollywood groups because the director has long shown a distaste for the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown. Godard, 79, who was among the seminal directors of the French New Wave with movies such as 1960’s “Breathless” that pushed cinematic boundaries, declined to attend the event. But Academy President Tom Sherak sought from the outset to play down any controversy about

the choice of Godard. Sherak told audience members that “the award is meaningful to him” and said Godard “has expressed his sincere thanks to the Academy.” Wallach, who is 94 years old and still working, received an honorary award for a wide range of movies from 1956’s “Baby Doll” to “The Misfits,” “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and this year’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” “Wall Street” director Stone told Reuters Wallach was a “great crossover actor” who could take many parts and handle each deftly. Eastwood, who starred in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” called him “a great performer and great friend.” Film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, whose 1968 book “The Parade’s Gone By” documents the silent movie era, also was given an honorary Oscar. — Reuters

ʻHallowsʼ my favorite Potter film so far: Rowling

United Arab Emirates Concert

By Douglas MacLaurin arry Potter author JK Rowling said the seventh film to bring her fictional characters to the big screen is her favorite so far and left open the slim possibility that she could write about the boy wizard again. Among screaming fans and alongside cast members on the red carpet in London’s Leicester Square for the recent world premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”, Rowling spoke to Reuters in a rare interview about her feelings on the end of the Potter phenomenon. “This is my favorite film of the lot. So it’s a very exciting evening but I’m looking forward to seeing it again, I’ve only seen it once finished,” she said. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the penultimate Potter picture, hits US theatres on Nov 19 and looks set to provide another big pay day for Warner Bros The Hollywood studio decided to split the final book about Harry and his wand-wielding pals into two films after the first six movies amassed $5.4 billion at the global box office. In Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on a mission to track down


Lebanese singer Fares Karam performs in Abu Dhabi during a concert on the sidelines of the Formula One Grand Prix late on Saturday. — AFP photos

and destroy the secret to evil Lord Voldemort’s immortality and destruction-the Horcruxes. The three are forced to fend for themselves outside the comfort of Hogwarts school, and the pressure to fight the forces of evil sees best friends Harry and Ron come to blows. Rowling said that unlike cast members Daniel Radcliffe who plays Harry Potter, Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), she had been given more time to digest the finality of

Pottermania because she finished writing the books long before filming came to a close. “I feel like I’m further ahead in the grieving process. I feel like I’m the one who will be counseling them when it’s all over because, I think, obviously there was a lag,” Rowling said. “I already went through my bereavement with the books so for me this is a lot of fun. I think, for them, it’s getting a lot more poignant.” ‘Never say never’ Rowling said that she

Zsa Zsa Gabor home from hospital ctress Zsa Zsa Gabor was released from a hospital Saturday and was undergoing antibiotic treatment at home for leg and blood infections, her husband said. Gabor, 93, was hospitalized Friday for a suspected blood clot that turned out to be an infection. She has been in and out of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center


US R&B singer Kelis performs in Abu Dhabi.

in Los Angeles since she fell and broke her hip in July, and was so sick in August that she asked to have the last rites read. Her husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, told Reuters that two nurses were overseeing her home care. Gabor made appearances on radio and television shows in the 1950s and 1960s. She also appeared in movies such

as “Moulin Rouge,” “Lili” and “Touch of Evil.” She was celebrated for her bubbly personality and beauty and has had a string of wealthy husbands. Gabor had a penchant for calling everyone “dah-ling” in her thick Hungarian accent and with her sisters, Eva and Magda, was a fixture on Hollywood’s social circuit.—Reuters

Salzburg Festival to stage all three Mozart-Da Ponte operas ozart’s three greatest and best-loved operas“Don Giovanni”, “Cosi fan tutte” and “The Marriage of Figaro”-will top the bill at next year’s Salzburg Festival, the organizers announced Wednesday. German director Claus Guth will rework his recent readings of Mozart’s three so-called “Da Ponte” operas, which he wrote with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, for


Lebanese singer Cyrine Abdel Nour performs in Abu Dhabi.

Chester Bennington, lead singer of the American rock band “Linkin Park”, performs in Yas Island.

the 2011 edition of the ultraswank annual summer extravaganza. Guth began his Mozart-Da Ponte cycle in 2006 with “Figaro”, following it up with “Don Giovanni” in 2008 and “Cosi” in 2009. He will, however, completely re-work the stagings for next year’s festival, even down to the sets, the festival’s interim chief Markus Hinterhaeuser told a news con-

ference. And while Salzburg’s inhouse orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, had been in the pit for the previous outings of Guth’s stagings, this time period-instrument bands, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, will perform “Figaro” and “Cosi” to give a completely different sound. —AFP

“thinks” she has closed the book on Potter, but refused to say for certain that his wizarding adventures had come to an end. The series of books has sold more than 400 million copies worldwide. “I think it’s over but I’ve always said ‘never say never’ because I don’t know. Every time in my life I have said: ‘I will never do X’ you can guarantee I will do it within a year,” she said. “So I’ve learned I’m not just going to say it’s over, it’s over, it’s over completely. I don’t know.”

Despite the author’s uncertainty, the young British stars of the films appear ready to move on. All three have eyes on or have completed new movie projects. Radcliffe, 21, has been filming the ghost story “The Woman in Black”, Grint, 22, plans to play Olympic ski-jumping personality Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards in an upcoming biopic, and Watson, 20, will star in “My Week with Marilyn” alongside Michelle Williams. Radcliffe said that after a decade of playing Potter, he was unlikely to reprise the role should Rowling pen another novel.”I think I’d hang up, and then I’d call her back and just say: ‘Jo, you promised’,” Radcliffe joked.”But you know 10 years is a long time to spend with one character, I’m not sure I’d go running back. It would be a very hard decision, certainly.”While the actors may be keen to move on to other roles, they all remember the final day of shooting as an emotional one.” I knew it was coming all week, the last day, but it was just weird about how it really hit all of us,” Grint recalled. “It’s just like 10 years came down to one little shot and it was over and it was really sad.” —Reuters

Travolta cuts short Australia visit as wife goes into labor ollywood star John Travolta cut short a visit to Australia yesterday to fly his private jet home to the United States after his wife Kelly Preston went into early labor, his host said. Travolta, 56, had been due to appear at an event for national flag carrier Qantas in Perth yesterday but had to jet out of Sydney after news that Preston, 48, was about to give birth, an airline spokesman said. “He’s on the way back to the States because his wife’s gone into labor,” the spokesman told AFP. “His John Travolta priority was always obviously his wife’s pregnancy and we completely respect that.” The “Pulp Fiction” and “Saturday Night Fever” star is a celebrity ambassador for Qantas and also a professional pilot. Travolta and Preston, who have been married since 1991, were plunged into mourning in January 2009 when their autistic eldest child, Jett, 16, died from a seizure during a family holiday in the Bahamas. Travolta and Preston also have a daughter, Ella Bleu, 10. — AFP


Cosmopolitan French conductor says music has no borders By Patrick Baert or Philippe Auguin, who has just been named almost simultaneously as music director of both the Washington and Nice operas, distance is no object as there are no national or musical borders.”What interests me, is always having new horizons,” Auguin told AFP after taking up the reins of the Washington National Opera in October, less than a month after also assuming new duties with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice. From an early age Auguin showed a passion for music, and especially the Austrian composers Alban Berg, Arnold


Schoenberg and Anton Webern. He left his hometown of Nice to study abroad, first in Vienna and then Florence.”Everything was pushing me to leave France,” said the 49-year-old, now billed as one of the most sought after conductors of his generation.”I think of myself as a cosmopolitan,” added Auguin, who speaks four languages-French, English, German and Italian-and conducted his first orchestra in 1989, the Vienna Symphonic. Since then he has conducted in some of world’s top venues, such as the Met in New York, L a Scala in Milan, Covent Garden in London, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin as well as the Vienna

Philharmonic. “I was only 30 when I was called on to lead Wagner in Germany and Verdi in Italy,” he recalled. Two decades later he was feted for his direction of Richard Strauss’s “Salome” in Washington DC, winning standing ovations from a packed auditorium. And he says he won’t have any difficulty in leading two top orchestras at the same time, thanks to forward planning, even though he is likely to have a packed diary for the coming years.”I already have the dates in Vienna until 2013,” he said, adding that to be a musical director does not require him to be physically present. “I can fulfill my duties in

Nice at a distance thanks to the great team there.” Auguin has lived in New York for the past three years but is planning to move to the American capital, to be closer to the opera, which has become one of America’s premier companies since its founding in 1956. He has already built up a following here after making his debut in the city in 2009 with a well-received performance of Wagner’s “Goetterdaemerrung.”Auguin says he is working in the same way with both companies, despite the distances, and even “if the pressure on the musicians is very different.” “In Vienna musicians are national

heros,” he said. “They have a cultural understanding of Beethoven and understand immediately what the conductor expects from them.”The social status of musicians also influences the way they approach their work. In Europe, where musicians have better social rights and protections such as unemployment benefit “it is difficult to have any sense of urgency on a daily basis,” Auguin said.”There are places where we can never begin rehearsals on time,” he said.In contrast in the United States where orchestras are dependent on private funding, musicians “know that the quality of each performance is intimately linked to

their economic survival.” The purse strings are tighter in the United States. There are fewer rehearsals and musicians “tend to practice among colleagues.”Auguin is taking over during a period of upheaval for the opera, after legendary Spanish tenor Placido Domingo announced in September that he was quitting in June as its general director after seven years in the post.Domingo, 69, has worked with the Washington National Opera since 1996, when he was appointed artistic director. He became general director in 2003, and was credited with attracting world-class talent to the company. —AFP



Monday, November 15, 2010



A photographic love story

By Mark Boster n a cold, rainy afternoon last October, I stood under the canopy of a red-leafed sugar maple in Yosemite Valley and watched tiny drops of rain fall from a cluster of leaves. My camera, equipped with a macro lens, was mounted on a tripod, and I held a cable release at the ready. I missed more drops than I captured, but I didnít mind. For that hour, time stopped, and I was alone in a world of color and light. I added the photos from that day to a growing collection


The graceful leaves of a bracken fern glisten in the early-morning sunshine at Cook’s Meadow. of pictures of the four seasons of Yosemite National Park. You can see a slide show of those photographs at Before you begin, let me warn you about something: I am not objective about Yosemite. I canít be. My view of this natural marvel has been shaped by more than 50 years of visits, starting when I was a kid growing up in Southern California. Weíd lash the luggage to the roof and tie a canvas water bag to the front grille, an old-time way to keep an emergency supply of water in case the radiator overheated. Weíd roll down the windowsóthe car wasnít air-conditionedóand soon Whittier was a smoggy smudge behind us. A few hours into the trip-about the same time the increasing heat melted the crayons into colorful puddles on the back seatómy older sister, Susan, and my younger sister, Nancy, would start getting carsick, and nerves would begin to fray. But just past Fresno, as we started the trek north into the foothills of the Sierra

Valley View lookout, showing Bridalveil Fall, and the Cathedral Rocks, reflect in the Merced River in Yosemite Valley. —MCT photos

and pine trees began to dominate the landscape, our anticipation shifted our mood again. On Highway 41, just past the ranger station, we would make the long, winding drive toward Yosemite Valley and arrive at the entrance to the Wawona Tunnel. Framed by the jagged edges of the tunnel walls, the grand vista of Yosemite Valley unfolded like a giant painting. My stern-faced mechanical engineer father turned into a happy-golucky kid, honking the horn and ... smiling. Even as a

Warm afternoon light filters through the leaves along a tributary of the Merced River in the Yosemite Valley, California.

Fall colors are reflected on the Merced River in the Yosemite Valley, a a fly fisherman tries his luck.

child I knew this was a special place. The giant granite spires, monoliths and waterfalls. The clean air. The icy Merced River. The tourist-friendly deer by day, the trash-can-lid-clanking bears by night. We usually stayed in the smelly old canvas tent cabins in Curry Village. It wasnít luxury, but it was pure heaven. We played countless games of cards and laughed when my dad changed the rules when he started to lose. Iíve never broken the Yosemite habit. My wife, Debbie, and I practically raised our sons, Jeff and Brad, in Yosemite, sampling every season. We have come here for countless birthdays, special events and an amazing snow-bound Christmas. We have cele-

Rich Chinese show off their wealth on the water hey already drive flashy cars, wear expensive watches and eat at top-end restaurants. Now rich Chinese businessmen have found a new way to flaunt their wealth-luxury boats. “They want to go out on the ocean and have funand take VIP clients to fish and negotiate deals,” said Zheng Weihang, secretary general of the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association. With the secondlargest number of dollar billionaires in the world after the United States, according to Forbes magazine, China is drawing eager foreign marina developers and boatmakers to its shores to tap the fast-growing market. China currently has around 1,000 luxury powerboats and yachts moored around the country, and the number is expected to balloon to more than 10,000 over the next five years, Zheng told AFP. On a stretch of reclaimed land near the northern port city of Tianjin, Hong Kongbased developer Rainbow L and Holdings is building what it claims will be China’s largest yacht club and marina with 750 berths. The futuristic design includes a 655room hotel and underscores the expected growth in the nascent market. “Sometimes it seems that if you build it, they will come,” said David


Brightling, general manager of the development. “I think we will be a weekend destination for many people in Beijing-it’s a matter of introducing them to the lifestyle.” Powerboats are the most popular vessels among wealthy Chinese, mainly because they are easier to handle than sailboats, and more than

80 percent are imported from Europe and the United States. Luxury Italian boatmaker Azimut entered the Chinese market five years ago. In that time, it has sold 30 craft ranging in size from 40-120 feet and costing as much as 100 million yuan (15 million dollars), said Shanghai-based sales representative

An artist’s impression of a planned yacht club and marina to be situated in the northern port city of Tianjin, which the company claims will have 750 berths and be China’s largest. — AFP

Tim Bai. “China has a huge population and has got a lot of billionairesthere’s a huge market to be explored,” Bai told AFP. Bai’s optimism is shared by Janet Chen, editor-in-chief of China Boating magazine, who believes the industry has “huge potential”. Chen expects the number of marinas and berths in China to nearly double over the next five years to 60 and 5,000 respectively, making for a “bright future”. “China’s nouveau riche like new stuff and new lifestyles and they like to compete on the size of the boat,” Chen told AFP. While Chinese companies are starting to make luxury boats, the preference among cashed-up consumers is still for foreign-made brands that carry greater social kudos. “When you want a high-level and high-quality product for the moment you still go for the foreignmade luxury brand,” said Delphine Lignieres, director of China RendezVous, which organises an annual luxury lifestyle exhibition on southern Hainan Island. In September, Lignieres took a group of 25 Chinese shipbuilders, marina developers and prospective boatowners to the Cannes Boat Show in southern France to help them discover the “lifestyle of boating”. —AFP

brated weddings, hiked many of the trails and have a circle of friends who hold the same love for this place. But Iíd never had a chance to study it until now. This photographic journey started with a vacation in the spring of 2009. I made some pictures of the waterfalls, streams and dogwood blooms and pitched a springtime story to the photo editors. They liked it and asked whether I would like to create a photo essay of the four seasons. Thus began the project of my dreams. During the year, I witnessed the cycle of life in Yosemite. For the first time in all my trips to the park I was able to walk down a familiar path, stand very still and study the

nature around me. I felt the breezes, analyzed the light, listened to the sounds of the rivers and falls and tried to capture the images that moved me. The seasons unfurled during a dozen car trips north. I saw the leaves bud, then burst forth, smearing the sky with a vivid green. As the year progressed, they turned gold, then withered and dropped. A bracken fern stirred and sprouted in the spring, and I was lucky enough to return and watch its transformation to gold, then silver when winter encrusted with it with ice. In fall, though, Yosemite doesnít generate the kind of buzz that other leaf-peeping spots enjoy. The fiery fall colors in New England and the quaking aspen in Colorado are breathtaking, to be sure. Yosemite, though, has a more subtle but no less enthralling way of showing its change of seasons. Itís a gradual transition. There is no single week in which all the colors change at once. The showiest spots are scattered throughout the valley, a tree here, a field of ferns there. By mid-October, the giant maple tree across from the chapel on Southside Drive turns from orange to bright red. The leaves of the dogwood and other broadleaf trees around the Pohono Bridge become a sea of red and yellow. A few hundred yards down the road at Fern Spring, yellow maple leaves blanket the cascades of the gentle waterway. In the middle of Cookís Meadow, the giant elm, arguably the best known tree in the park, will turn yellow and orange. As autumn marches on, a slight mist forms on the ground, and the air takes on a chill. The number of visitors begins to dwindle, and the leaves start to blanket the ground. The California black oak tree, like a giant, arcing wave above and behind the chapel, will brighten to yellow and form a perfect backdrop for the old wooden structure. By November the colors begin to fade. Storms swing into the area, a few snowfalls occur and the transition into winter is under way. I will be back. — MCT

Veniceʼs ʻcouturiers of glassʼ stand test of time ith a clientele that includes crowned heads, Archimede Seguso Vetreria, a stalwart of Murano’s storied glassmakers, has no need to change its formula for success. “We buck the trend. We work traditionally, everything by hand,” said Gino Seguso, son of the late Archimede, the solid glass sculptor famed for his stylized animals, and generations of Segusos before him on the outlying Venetian island of Murano. “We consider ourselves the ‘couturiers’ of glass,” said Seguso, whose atelier collaborates with top international artists, designers and architects and caters for royalty, heads of state and the likes of Tiffany’s, a loyal client for 60 years. The guest book holds the compliments of Queen Sirikit of Thailand, King Juan Carlo and Queen Sofia of Spain and Italian President Giorgio Napolitano among other notables. The glassmaker’s enormous creations lend prestige to places like the lobby of the Veneto Bank headquarters or add extra opulence to the swank Hotel Metropole on Venice’s Grand Canal near St Mark’s Square. That grandeur makes a stark contrast to the rustic Murano workshop, where a 100-year-old furnace was fired up. Though dressed in an impeccable suit, Seguso lifted a plate off the furnace to reveal the blinding yellow heat inside, and used a long iron tool


to pull out a glowing red lump of molten glass, waving it in a gentle circle as cooling strands of glass spiraled to the floor. The workshop was set up in 1948, shor tly af ter Archimede Seguso left the family firm to create his own brand. He left an indelible mark on glassmaking, having started out as a teenager and worked until six months before his death in 1999 aged 90. “In the 1920s my father was considered the maestro for animals,” Gino Seguso told AFP, adding that he returned to the specialty in

the late 1950s. The older Seguso is also credited with developing the technique of embedding filigree inside his creations as well as for his lacework, a technique known as Merletto, the Italian word for lace. In the showroom bursting with chandeliers, vases and objets d’art, as well as a glass menagerie of rabbits, ducks or fish and other figurines, Seguso, who himself joined the family business in 1959, ticks off the decades reflected in his father’s rendition of the female form. —AFP

A woman wears a glass necklace at the Seguso shop on the famous Piazza San Marco in Venice on August 30, 2010. — AFP


Monday, November 15, 2010



Santa Cruz

Russia hopes to join ranks of top tourist destinations


Surfers hit the beach in the morning at Capitola, near Santa Cruz, California. — MCT photos

‘ File photo shows St Basil Cathedral in Moscow. — AFP thing possible so that a foreign visitor feels comfortable in Russia,” the deputy minister for tourism and sport, Nadezhda Nazina, told AFP. The Russian government will soon be considering a 352-billion-ruble (11.7-billion-dollar, 8.5-billion-euro) plan to improve infrastructure, train specialists and launch a major advertising campaign, she said. If the plan is successful “in five years up to 40 million foreign tourists could visit Russia every year,” Nazina said. Russia last year attracted only 2.3 million foreign visitors, according to the federal tourism agency, placing it far below the top destinations for international tourists. The top two destinations, France and the United States, attracted 74 million and 55 million visitors respectively in 2009, according to the World Tourism Organization. To reach its

the Hogg Robinson Group, the average price of a hotel room in Moscow is 402 dollars (288 euros), the most expensive in the world. In Paris the average price was 318 dollars (227 euros) and in New York 297 dollars (213 euros). “In Moscow there are almost no economy-class hotels or they are very bad. The prices are exorbitant,” said Irina Tyurina, the spokeswoman for the Russian Tourism Industry Union. She said Moscow and Russia’s Tsarist-era capital Saint Petersburg, famed for their luxury hotels, continue to host most visitors to Russia, accounting for 95-98 percent of foreign guests. The next most-popular destinations are the socalled Golden Ring of ancient cities near Moscow including Vladimir and Rostov, the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia’s Far East and the Lake Baikal region in Siberia. Industry

hen in Santa Cruz, you may as well do as the locals do, and go surfing. After all, you can hardly turn around in this oceanfront Northern California town without hitting someone engaged in surf related activity. Some cases in point: • Toward sunset, near the Santa Cruz Surf Museum, two wetsuitwearing guys stroll home with short boards tucked under their arms. • On a foggy morning (several locals told me not to mention the fog), two dozen surfers bob on the kelp-strewn swells off Pleasure Point, scanning the horizon for the next “set.” • Both the downtown and outlying areas feature O’Neill surf shops, named after Jack O’Neill, whose early wetsuits opened the door to yearround cold-water surfing. • Hot dogs show off daily for onlookers at Steamer Lane, where good-sized surf runs alongside a major chunk of rocky headland. • The magazine rack at Bookshop Santa Cruz features about a dozen glossy surfing ‘zines. Growing up in Chicago, I saw big unruly Lake Michigan waves in the fall, and I have tried body-surfing a few times. But the closest this aging flatlander has come to actually surfing is on the Internet, or watching “Hawaii Five-O.” That was about to change. Santa Cruz, at the north end of giant Monterey Bay, is about 75 miles south of San Francisco. There are two main ways to drive down from there: freeway-fast (the 101 to the 85 to Hwy. 17) or spectacularly scenic (Hwy. 1, from Half Moon Bay). The town of 56,000, home to University of California, Santa Cruz, has plenty to offer a weekend visitor, or even someone on a longer vacation: parks, photogenic beaches, oceanside strolls, mountain biking, hiking, camping, shopping, eating and several movie theaters. At Beach Boardwalk, teens and families crowd a clamorous mini-Minnesota State Fair, but with seagulls and ocean breezes. The hippie holdout side of Santa Cruz can still be seen in stores with names like Love Me Two Times and Coffeetopia. There’s definitely a college crowd answering the siren call of beach volleyball, cantinas and falafel stands. Santa Cruz has its yuppier aspect, too, visible in wine bars, steep housing prices and shopping malls. (Heck, the book “True Prep” lists it as one of “The 42 Preppiest Places to Have a Summer Home.”) Clean-living, cardio-crazed types can be seen mountain biking at Wilder Ranch, road biking the coastal highway and going surfing any chance they get. Municipal parking lots anywhere near the ocean fill up with people


target, Russia would need to attract about as many tourists every year as Italy, which last year hosted 43 million foreign visitors. Industry experts in Russia said they would love to see the plan succeed but were highly sceptical. The figure of 40 million tourists “is a prediction that is in the realm of science fiction,” said Maya Lomidze, the executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia. “Too many conditions would have to be met for this plan to be realized. The main necessity is that we have hotels at affordable prices. Russia is a very expensive country,” she said. According to a recent study by travel consultancy

espite being home to some of the world’s great attractionsfrom Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow to the famed Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg-Russia has struggled to attract tourists. With some of the most expensive hotels in the world, inadequate tourism infrastructure, a reputation for surly service and bureaucratic headaches for visitors, Russia is hardly an easy destination for travelers. Now the Russian government is hoping to change all that and is planning to launch an ambitious program to make the country a tourist paradise by 2016 and thrust it into the ranks of major tourism destinations. “We are going to do every-

By Claude Peck

A beach volleyball game takes place near the city wharf. A chairlift offers views of the crowd on the Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz.

making the transition from landlubber to surfer. Standing at the back of their vans and cars, they wax boards, don wetsuits and compare notes. Afterward, they morph back into “civilians,” rinsing with jugs of fresh water and changing into street clothes. Glancing out a window at Verve, filled with locals and the scent of roasting beans, I witnessed a guy riding toward the beach with a rig that held his longboard on the starboard side of his bicycle. Santa Cruz has several surfing schools geared to beginners. I arbitrarily picked the Santa Cruz Surf School on Pacific Avenue, where $80 gets you a two-hour class, including equipment. Step One is signing life and limb away on a three-page waiv-

shoulders up and bringing your feet to the sweet spot on the board. The water was 56 degrees, but in the wetsuit and with the sun shining, the cold was barely noticeable. We paddled out far enough to get sore shoulders, then watched the swell for rideable breakers. When you catch one, the wave naturally wants to gather you up and sweep you shoreward until you lose your balance and crash into the briny deep. Thanks to an ankle leash, the board stays with you, and at a safe distance. The kid in you, that foolhardy and tireless optimist, wants to keep trying, again and again. Maybe next time the tip of my board won’t bury itself in the water, or I won’t stand off-center, or I’ll hit the perfect

Surfers make their way to the shore at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz.

er. Next up: the semi-humiliating struggle to get myself zipped into a surprisingly heavy wetsuit. Three other students and I joined instructor Eric Imsland on a three-block walk to Cowell’s Beach, longboards in tow. This beach, year-round home to reliable baby waves, looked like surfclass central, with scores of students and teachers spread out across the strand and dotting the chest-high water. As if on cue, the day’s heavy clouds and fog gave way to piercing sunshine. Lying on the sand at water’s edge, we learned the basics of paddling, watching for a wave, accelerating and then arching your

wave. After a dozen or more belly flops, and with some encouraging tips from Imsland, I caught a wave and scrambled to my feet for a decent, though wobbly, ride. It felt like I had medaled in the Olympics. Of course I wish I could have stayed on for the movie-perfect beach campfire. There would have been guitars, beer in bottles and tall tales, minivans topped with surfboards silhouetted against a dying sun. Instead, I headed back to the surf school (gingerly, since my feet were nearly frozen) to return my equipment. Then I hit the rented subcompact for the late-afternoon drive back to San Francisco. —MCT

Mamy Rock:

British granny takes clubland by storm

By Romain Raynaldy iving a whole new meaning to L ady Gaga, a British granny is proving you’re never too old to get down, rocking top clubs on both sides of the Atlantic as a DJ at the grand old age of 69. Ruth Flowers, aka Mamy Rock, is a politely-spoken grandmother from Bristol in southwest England who has just taken Los Angeles clubland by storm after moving across from Europe.”I love people, I think that’s what carries me through. I love the young ones too, because they get such a bad press often. And I haven’t find them to be anything but wonderful,” she tells AFP. Forget the cliches of retirement homes, af ternoons in front of the TV and knitting: although well beyond pensionable age, Flowers seems to have more energy than most of the 20somethings dancing to her pumping rhythms.”I am still awake when the younger people around me are sleepy. I don’t have a problem with night work,” she says. “It doesn’t seem so strange for me because I’ve always been a little bit different. “I have good health. I am fortunate with my health. If I had many of the complaints of other older people, I couldn’t do it.” She came to California to record her new single, “69,” and to make her US debut at an electro festival in Anaheim, south of Los Angeles. The gig in front of 3,000 young clubbers went so well that she has been invited to DJ in New York on November 29, before heading for China and Japan at the end of the year. From a musical family, Flowers always sang but once married devoted herself to her work in a fabric shop. “I had a wonderful life,” she says, adding that she has ‘no regrets of any kind.”But after retiring to Portugal for 10 years and being widowed, she started to grow bored-and that’s when electro entered her life.”I went to a party for my grandson, and after the party he took me with his friends to a disco. I was quite impressed by the enjoyment, the energy. And I thought, ‘Could I do this for young people?’ “And so I said to my grandson ‘You know darling, maybe I could do this,’ and he told me ‘It would be so cool!’At first it was just an interesting thought, but it developed rapidly: through a mutual friend she met French producer Aurelien Simon, who told her about his idea to launch a “mamy” (French for


DJ Ruth Flowers, known as ‘Mamy Rock,’meets with producer/ musician Riz on November 3, 2010 at a music studio in Burbank. —AFP

granny) DJ.”I said: ‘You know, that is one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard.’”And here we are,” she says with a smile. She says at first she struggled, not least with the technology-the turntables and mixing equipment. “I’m not a great technician by any means. I’m from a different age group. It was very hard at the beginning.”But she persevered, making repeated trips to France to gain mixing experience-and ended up, last year, finding herself performing at the Cannes Film Festival in front of Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz. “I was quite amazed. I stood there and I thought ‘My God, what am I doing here?’ But I was amazed by the reception I received, and the young people are so wonderful. “I didn’t think they would accept me like that, but they all wanted me to be their grandmother,” she adds. Cannes was a springboard, and within months she was booked for events around Europe, known for her look of fluorescent T-shirts, glittery jackets and huge dark glasses, as well as plenty of jewellery and a shock of white hair. —AFP

Pakistan Fashion Show

Models present creations of Pakistani designer Maria B during a fashion show in Karachi, Pakistan on Saturday night. —AP

DJ Ruth Flowers, known as ‘Mamy Rock,’ poses on November 3, 2010 at a music studio in Burbank, California. — AFP

Night owls and early birds: Paris’ nightlife dilemma By Emma Charlton hen Paris banned smoking in bars and clubs three years ago, no one planned on a sneaky side-effect: legions of party-goers spilling onto the streets to smoke, chatand keep the neighbors awake. Bad blood between revelers and residents already grouchy at noise levels in the capital’s trendy quarters has curdled since the smoking ban took effect in nightlife spots in January 2008, a year after other public places. Last year a group of DJs and club promoters launched a petition warning that nightlife was dying out in the City of Lights, after a rash of lawsuits against


bar owners and steps by city authorities to shut down noisy clubs. Since then rows have simmered on, and this week Paris city hall hosted a big-tent conference to try to get the warring factions-club owners, police, residents’ groups, local authorities-to see eye to eye.”Paris is a city full of contradictions. Every Parisian is both an early bird and a night owl-we all work, we need our sleep and from time to time we like to party too,” Mayor Bertrand Delanoe told the gathering on Friday. Unlike a city like London-where trendy clubs and bars tend to be located in business districts, with most people living out of the centre-in densely populated inner-city Paris everyone shares the

same space. Some 600,000 Parisians work into the night, 230,000 of them after midnight, while 2.2 million slumber in their beds just nearby. Delanoe admits fostering a vibrant nightlife while respecting residents’ right to peace and quiet is a tricky task.”We Parisians are demanding, not to say fickle,” he said. “On a night you’re staying in, you’d like a curfew at 8 pm. But when you’re in the mood to party, you want the right to make a racket until 8 am.”For the rightwing city opposition, the answer is to build dedicated party zones, one candidate being the Batignolles former industrial site in the west of the capital. But Delanoe’s left-wing team is firm-

ly attached to neighborhoods that mix work and play-arguing among other things that lively streets keep the city safer at night.”Partying and culture is part of what makes Paris shine,” said Delanoe. Starting this spring, Paris will send out squads of red-nosed mimes and clowns to nudge punters into keeping the noise down, an alternative to sending in the police. The project is modeled on a successful experiment in Barcelona. “It’s about getting the message across with a dose of humor,” said Mao Peninou, the deputy mayor in charge of the project. Other ideas on the table over two days of workshops at city hall included public subsidies to soundproof

bars that host DJs at night-at a cost of between 20,000 and 150,000 euros for each venue.”These small venues are economically fragile, they can’t afford to invest on their own,” said Bruno Blanckaert, the head of the French union of nightclubs and cabarets, who believes more than 100 bars could be concerned. Another idea backed by Blanckaert is to introduce independent noise-level surveys for every real estate purchase, alongside existing surveys on electric wiring, lead and asbestos-as a way of preventing new apartment owners from suing their noisy neighbors. Delanoe is also looking at developing some party sites away from residential areas-such the riverbank highways that

currently host the “Paris Plage” summer beach, which are already home to a new nightclub, the “Showcase”. According to Paris police figures, 119 venues were shut down temporarily last year over loud music, and “disturbing public tranquility through yelling and laughter.” For Blanckaert, the smoking ban played a “huge” role in exacerbating tensions between clubs, bars and residents, and this week’s conference already marks a major step forward.”It’s a revolution. The first time we have sat down and talked about Paris nightlife, and that people are accepting the fact the night is as important as the daytime,” he told AFP. — AFP

15 Nov  

Kuwait Times