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

40 PAGES

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2010

THULHIJA 17, 1431 AH

NO: 14917

150 FILS

Controversial bill threatens Mideast peace

Iraqi Christians seek safe haven in Jordan

Row rages in US over invasive airport frisking

Jets snatch last-gasp victory over Texans

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conspiracy theories

Who is responsible for Ahmadi disaster? By Badrya Darwish

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hat happened in Ahmadi? The serene British-style village. No wonder, Ahmadi was built by the British people when many of the country’s citizens were working in Kuwait before the country’s independence. They built their own colony with red bricks on the roofs, small houses of similar built with a small garden in front of each house. There were many trees and lanes in circles. When you go to Ahmadi you have the feeling that you are driving in some nice village in the English countryside. It is totally different from Kuwait. Gas is reaching to the homes in what is known as the European way. They do not face the hassle to carry ugly cylinders in and out. They have direct gas lines to the homes. It is so beautiful. I love Ahmadi. That story went on for many years. We never heard of any leaks or problems. Just like everything else started falling apart in Kuwait, such as electricity, lack of water, power cuts, leakage in Shuwaiba and the oil installation areas all the problems started in the wake of the invasion and the liberation of Kuwait in 1990. I wonder why? It is like a never ending story. The series of failures are on the run. It was not long ago and we are still suffering the sewage system problem in Mishref, which was the biggest scandal that hit the nation last year and the consequences that followed the sewage disaster polluted sea, contaminated fish, environmental catastrophe and a terrible stink that we had to inhale all over the Gulf Road especially in Continued on Page 13

Journalist jailed for insulting PM Al-Jassem slams sentence as illegal By B Izzak, Nawara Fattahova, Agencies KUWAIT: The Court of First Instance yesterday sentenced leading Kuwaiti writer and journalist Mohammed Abdulqader Al-Jassem to one year’s imprisonment with immediate effect, with the veteran journalist subsequently condemning the sentence as “illegal” and predicting that it would be overturned at the appeal stage. Al-Jassem, who was found guilty of insulting and defaming His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah in an article published in 2009, attended yesterday’s session accompanied by his attorney, Abdullah Al-Ahmad. After the verdict was announced, Al-Jassem returned home to post his latest article, ‘Imprisonment in the time of hypocrisy is a glory,’ on his website and to prepare for his incarceration. In its ruling, the Court of First Instance stated that the jail term was effective immediately, meaning that the writer will be imprisoned until the Appeals Court issues its decision. “The police usually call me before coming to arrest me, as I’m a popular person and my residency is known,” Al-Jassem told the Kuwait Times. “They may call any time today or tomorrow and I’m ready to go.” Continued on Page 13

58 families evacuated over Ahmadi gas leaks By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: The government evacuated the homes of 58 families living in danger in Ahmadi, Block 1 to treat the gas leak problem effectively. Furnished apartments in the vicinity of Ahmadi have been allocated for the families. In a press conference held yesterday at the Kuwait Oil Company Unity Center in Ahmadi City, Major General Jassem Al-Mansouri, Director of Kuwait Fire Service Directorate said that the time frame expected the final verdict on the case will be issued within the next six weeks at the maximum. Experts from the United States and the UK as well as a team of experts from the Kuwait Oil Company are keeping an eye on the gas leaks and conducting tests to determine how this issue is to be dealt with. Citizens reported gas leaks last August, but no serious presence of gas was detected by government expert teams. Continued on Page 13

UK probes Sharia claim

KUWAIT: Prominent opposition Kuwaiti writer Mohammad Abdulqader AlJassem (left) seen with his family members. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

LONDON: Britain’s education department is to look at how it can check Islamic weekend schools after the BBC reported it had uncovered more than 40 of them teaching antiSemitic views and extreme punishment for sodomy and thef t. The BBC said its “Panorama” program, which was aired yesterday evening, had found a network of weekend Islamic schools in Britain were teaching children how to chop off the hands of thieves, that Zionists are trying to take over the world and that sodomy is punishable by death. Currently the government does not regulate weekend,

part-time teaching centers. The Department for Education said it could not allow anti-Semitic material in English schools and that the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), which inspects schools, was looking into how to monitor the part-time centers. “Ofsted are doing some work in this area. They’ll be reporting to us shortly about how we can ensure that part-time provision is better registered and better inspected in the future,” the department said in a statement. Panorama said the centers fell under the Continued on Page 13


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NATIONAL

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cabinet decides to establish crises center Commission to probe Ahmadi gas leak KUWAIT: The government of Kuwait approved in principle on Sunday to establish a center to address future crises, and formed a commission probing gas leakage in Ahma di City to determine its causes, and na me-and-sha me anybody jeopardizing citizens’ sa fety. The Cabinet, cha ired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahma d Al-Sa ba h, was briefed by First Deputy Premier and Defense Minister Sheikh J aber Muba rak Al-Ha mad AlSabah about efforts exerted to a ddress gas lea ka ge in Ahma di City, a s w ell a s eva cuation of fa milies from houses affected by the leak to gua rantee their safety, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudha n said in a sta tement.

KUWAIT: Experts taking gas readings

KUWAIT: An emergency office for the police is set up in case of emergencies

kuwait digest

The roads are dangerous By Muna Al-Fuzai

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he Ministry of Interior’s latest report on the number of car accidents that took place during Eid holidays is nothing short of ‘shocking.’ It confirmed that between 12th and 19th of this month, 12 accidentrelated deaths took place. Ten out of the victims were male, the remaining were female! There is a definite ‘fear factor’ about our roads. I think the death toll only shows how frightening our streets really are. We should be really careful if we want to be alive! The problem here is that even if you are a careful driver, law-abiding and always wearing seat belts and never speeding up, the other motorist is completely careless and has no

regard for others’ lives and property. My heart goes out to those that have lost their lives on the street. We should also make careful assumptions about their apparent innocence when we do not know the truth. Whatever be the case, the party who was speeding should take the blame for road accidents. The roads are not Formula One race tracks. I know that the Ministry of Interior has performed its duty by advising people to follow traffic regulations. People will not heed to it unless actual law enforcement is practiced. Security cameras cannot be fully depended upon. I am sure a law is in place to ban the use of mobile phones while driving. What is worse is when you see a youth talking over the phone and eating a sandwich at the same time! I believe that the roads are really getting dangerous. Driving is not a joke, and it could cost you and the other drivers’ lives. An injury could render you to a painful, bedridden life. m un a @k uw a ittim es.net

Late teachers penalized KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education recently announced that all teachers on their way back to Kuwait that get stuck at the Saudi Arabian border for violating visa procedures will be held accountable, reported AlQabas. According to the Undersecretary Assistant for Public Education, Muna AlLughani, those teachers will

suffer penalties for the days they missed following the end of the Eid Al-Adha holidays. Pilgrims are required to have special visas to participate in Hajj, however, many pilgrims use transit visas which are only valid for three days. Those staying longer than three days are punished with fines. In an attempt to curb the use

of improper visas during Hajj, Saudi authorities have imposed stricter penalties against violating pilgrims. A charge of 1,000 Saudi Riyals (nearly KD75) will be levied against those violating their travel visas and pilgrims will be forced to sign documents banning them from Saudi Arabia for three years before being allowed to enter Kuwait.

He said Sheikh Jaber said furnished apartments were provided for these families until it would be safe for them to return to their houses. The Cabinet, therefore, approved to establish a center to deal with future crises and disasters. It assigned relevant authorities to submit a study over this center for next meeting. The Cabinet also formed a commission to probe gas leak in Ahmadi City, determine causes of leak, name those responsible to punish them, said Al-Roudhan. The commission, explained Al-Roudhan, could ask assistance of international experts to inspect sites of gas leaks and thus propose necessary measures. Every family evacuated from its houses will receive a month rent allowance of KD 500, he said. The cabinet allocated KD 500,000 for the commission, said Al-Roudhan. This sum will be used to pay rent allowances and other expenses needed for investigation. The government, acting upon His Highness the Amir’s instructions, assigned the Public Housing Welfare Authority (PHWA) to explore possibilities of offering alternative houses for affectees. On the other hand, Minister of Communications and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Dr. Mohammad Al-Busairi briefed the cabinet over causes of delay of departure of Kuwaiti pilgrims from Jeddah Airport yesterday. He said collaboration of efforts of foreign ministry, general civil aviation directorate, Kuwait Airways Coropration (KAC) and Saudi authority resulted in operation of addi-

KUWAIT: Workers replacing gas pipes in Ahmadi, Block 1. — Photos courtesy of KOC agreement over encouragement of investments with Armenia, and a deal on avoiding of double taxation and evasion on capital and income tax with Denmark. The ministers also approved draft decrees on an MoU with Malta to establishing a cooperation committee and health cooperation, an Islamic Affairs cooperation agreement with Yemen, Military cooperation agreement with South Africa, Higher Education cooperation agreement with China, and a media cooperation deal with Lebanon. The draft decrees were referred to His Highness the

Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for endorsement. The Cabinet, , took note of letters sent to His Highness the Amir from King Abdullah II of Jordan, Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmad, Czeck President Vaclav Klaus and former US President George W. Bush over means of boosting bilateral relations. The Cabinet also took note of a letter to the Amir from Egyptian President Honsi Mubarak who invited Sheikh Sabah to the 2nd Arab Economic, Development and Social Summit, due in January in Sharm El-Sheikh. — KUNA

Grilling motions loom over Cabinet

Underground gas field behind Ahmadi leak?

tional flights to bring home all Kuwaiti pilgrims. Deputy Premier for Economic Affairs, Minister of State for Development and Minister of State for Housing, Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah briefed the cabinet about biannual achievements of medium-term development plan, said Al-Roudhan. Sheikh Ahmad also spoke about means of addressing obstacles facing the plan in order to insure smooth implementation. The Cabinet voiced relief for improvement of health condition of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz following a setback,

KUWAIT: Although the government is focusing its attention on addressing several priority issues, including the Ahmadi gas leak, the Kuwait Airways Corporation situation and worries over food safety, the subject of a number of threatened grilling motions remains a matter of some concern. Although education minister Moudhi AlHumoud is expected to face interpolation ahead of her cabinet colleagues, who could include the interior, finance, commerce and other ministers, the grilling motion against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah will doubtlessly take the spotlight as the biggest of the prospective interpolations. There has been some speculation over the preparations of the grilling motions and the coordination and clandestine deal-bro-

wishing speedy recovery for the Monarch. The council of ministers, on the occasion of a successful Hajj season, expressed gratitude for the Saudi King and government for the huge efforts and care they bestowed the pilgrims with. It also praised preparations and health care provided which facilitated the Hajj for the pilgrims. The Cabinet, meanwhile, congratulated Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Oman’s national day. The council of ministers approved draft decrees on

kering between various MPs and political blocs concerning them. One theory suggests that discussions are currently ongoing between different figures involved in an attempt to agree on the results of the interpolation before it has even been discussed. The apparent probability of this backroom politicking scenario has reportedly strengthened the premier’s chances in coming through any grilling unscathed and with widespread support, although any such failure is unlikely to deter the National Action Bloc (NAB), which is presenting the motion against HH the Prime Minister. It’s widely believed that the members of the bloc, which had previously been known for its support for the premier, believe that it cannot now back down on its vow to grill the premier and withdraw the interpolation

motion since this might harm the public image of its integrity. To prevent the cabinet from coming under ‘friendly fire’ during the interpolation, many in parliament are speculating that the two sides may agree to submit the grilling motion to the constitutional court in the hopes that it may able to furnish a judgment acceptable to both sides without either losing face. The Cabinet, meanwhile, hopes to maintain a positive relationship with the parliament overall, despite concerns that this could be damaged by yet another string of interpolation motions, through enhancing its cooperation with supportive MPs. This objective is not helped, however, by the cabinet’s failure to date to submit its planned strategy for funding the major projects included in the state’s massive development plan. — Agencies

KUWAIT: The Ahmadi area may be sitting on an as-yet undiscovered subterranean natural gas reservoir, which could explain the recent increase in gas leaks there, according to a senior government official. The official told local daily AlQabas that if this conjecture is subsequently confirmed, the necessary steps will be taken to secure the safety of local residents, including the evacuation of 180 homes in the east of the area. Preliminary studies by experts at the scene looking into the recent gas blast there suggest that the subterranean gas may have moved position underground in a phenomenon known to geologists as ‘migration of natural gas,’ which can reportedly be caused by a number of factors, including high temperatures. This speculation is supported by reports that the underground gas leak was first detected in the north of Ahmadi before moving to the centre and east of the area. Meanwhile, the Cabinet has approved a decision to provide a 400-square-meter home in Sabah Al-Ahmad to each of the Kuwaiti families evacuated from their homes in Ahmadi, which are only half that size. According to a cabinet insider, the decision was approved following His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah’s most recent visit to Ahmadi.

Camping insurance KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Al-Bader with participants of the 17th annual charity bazaar in Vietnam.

Kuwait participates at Ho Chi Minh Bazaar KUALA LUMPUR: The participation of Kuwaiti foreign ministry representatives in the 17th annual charity bazaar in Vietnam was widely lauded, with Kuwait being the only Middle Eastern state present at the event, said a consular official yesterday. Najib Al-Bader, the Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, said that Kuwaitis are always keen to express and demonstrate their hospitality and culture at internation-

al events, with the country’s participation in this bazaar being an example of this, and exhibiting a range of traditional goods and products. The event is organized by diplomats’ wives in Ho Chi Minh City to raise money disadvantaged peoples in southern Vietnam. The Consul General’s wife, Reem AlSharrah, explained that the traditional Kuwaiti goods and artifacts were extreme-

ly popular among visitors, noting that Vietnamese people are very keen on familiarizing themselves and communicating with other cultures. The organizer of the event, the Consular Club of Ho Chi Minh City, is a non-profit organization whose members are mainly the spouses of ConsulGenerals, trade representatives, and consulate staff. — KUNA

KUWAIT: An Environmental Public Authority (EPA) official demanded that campers be forced to pay insurance to protect the environment, reported Al-Qabas. He called on the need to charge campers in order to protect the cleanliness of camping areas following the end of the camping season. The camping season in Kuwait started November 1 and continues until the end of March. Citizens use specifically allocated locations for camping, which makes up about six percent of Kuwait’s total area, to pitch their tents.


NATIONAL

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

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‘We have enough blood, but have a shortage in donors’ Donors return following Eid holidays By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: The director of Centra l Blood Bank in J abriya has a ssua ged the public and hospitals on previous reports about low inventories in blood supplies in the country. Dr Reem Ali Al-Radw an, Blood Ba nk General Director told Kuwa it Times yesterday that blood supplies were enough for the whole country a nd emergency reserves w ere a vaila ble, “So there is no rea son for hospita ls and the public to panic, but time and a gain, w e need more. We ha ve noticed changes during the Eid-there w ere severe shortages of donors-but not blood,” Dr Radw an asserted. She, how ever, expla ined that shorta ge of donors occurred due to the fact that Kuw ait celebra ted a week-long holiday. So, blood donors have a utomatically declined from 300 per da y to a s low a s 30 per day.

KUWAIT: The Central Blood Bank in Jabriya is photographed here yesterday teeming with people responding to the call for more blood donations. AlRadwan calls for more donors to come forward and donate blood. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

New steps to control prices KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has taken several recent steps to control prices at local co-operative societies and fight a price rise. Among the measures that find mention in a report referred by the ministry’s Co-operative Sector to the Minister Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi, is to create a special commission that coordinates with other public firms to study the case and tackle an unusual increase in the prices of consumer commodities. Moreover, the ministry will seek solutions to curb the

rising prices phenomenon. In addition, it has reinforced the roles of monitoring inspection departments as well as that of the Kuwait Union of Consumers Co-operative Societies in controlling prices. The ministry has pushed efforts to provide more space to store food products that will be imported on a large scale, with the intention to reduce the rent value, reported Al-Qabas. On a separate note, the KUCCS has already started looking for offers to import frozen chicken to counter a

potential shortage that could occur due to financial complications, reported Al-Watan. Local suppliers of the highly consumed commodity have recently demanded that prices be raised or risk stoppage of the meat product’s supply to the market. To address this case, Dr Husain Al-Duwaihees, KUCCS Chairman, said that it has been reviewing offers to import supplies directly from the countries of origin with the aim of maintaining the country’s supply and avoid shortages.

The situation today is slowly getting back on track, “If we do not ask donors to come forward and donate blood, I think, we will be forced to use the emergency reserves and we don’t want that to happen,” she said. “We want a steady supply of blood. This is because, every day, we distribute blood to different private and public hospitals throughout Kuwait. We need donors and people to come forward and donate,” she mentioned. According to Dr Radwan, the Central Blood Bank is the only place where hospitals and clinics here in Kuwait can receive their supplies. She said, during the week-long holiday, there were several reported cases of car accidents, but usage has risen, “We called and sent text messages to our regular donors, but understandably, they were performing the annual Haj rites, and some people spent their holidays outside Kuwait. So the blood reserves in our bank depleted a bit; but not to the extent that we experienced a shortage. No, we don’t. In case of an emergency, we have reserves,” she pointed out. On the other hand, she asked everyone, including Kuwaitis and expatriates to demonstrate their responsibility to respond to a call for more blood donations, “I think it’s common knowledge that what we have been doing is as a form of charity. It is our responsibility to donate and share blood to the needy,” she emphasized. AlRadwan added, “Through your blood, you are helping people live and extend the quality of their lives, and be with loved

Domestic violence rates in Kuwait increasing: MoJ KUWAIT: An average of one incident of domestic violence against a woman is reported every day in Kuwait, according to a newly-issued, decade-long Ministry of Justice study looking into the phenomenon. The study indicates that over the last ten years, an annual average of 368 such attacks on women had been reported. It further indicated that the incidence of such attacks is rising, with 345 such assaults reported in 2000, rising to 443 in 2009, reported Al-Qabas. The new study also indicated an increase in the number of abductions, threats and fraud cases perpetrated against women in Kuwait, with a total of 1,064 crimes of this nature reported between 2000 and 2009. Meanwhile, a total of 816 physical assaults and 656 rapes of women were reported in the same period.

Higher judiciary council mourns chief justice

Dr Reem Ali Al-Radwan ones. We don’t know tomorrow; maybe you’ll be needing it (blood) as well.” She noted that for every 450 cc (liters) of blood you donate, you are able to help save the lives of 2-3 people at least, “We use blood every day. So, we need blood every day. We encourage people to come forward and donate blood even during holidays,” she called. Al-Radwan said that people belonging to 70-75 nationalities donate blood regularly at the Blood Bank. She said, anyone above 18 years of age can donate blood, provided they produce their civil identification number, “Blood donation will

not harm anybody; as a matter of fact it can help people a lot. You will help save lives, and because of that, you will feel better. Aside from that, your blood circulation (flow) will become more normal and active. At the end of the day, you are the ultimate benefactor,” she opined. Donors can visit the Central Blood Bank located in Jabriya. They can also visit the Al-Jahra Hospital and Al-Adan Hospital, as they have branches there. 54-year old Louis Rodriguez from Goa (India) was seen at the blood bank yesterday donating blood for the first time in

Kuwait, “I read in the newspaper about the shortage in donors, so I decided to come and donate. I have been donating blood in Goa, so, I think, donating blood here will help others,” he commented. Mishari AlQhatani, 28, is a regular blood donor who started donating blood at the age of 21, “I come every 3-4 months to donate blood. It feels good to share something with others. Donating blood has become a part of my life, like a habit. I feel bad when I don’t deposit blood here. So you’ll see me here almost every three months,” he added.

KUWAIT: The higher judiciary council on Monday announced the sad demise of former head and chief judge, Mohammad Sayed Yousef AlRefai, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 79. In a statement issued on the occasion, the council lauded Al-Refai, saying that he had been renowned for his courtesy, hard-working nature and great modesty. Al-Refai was a judge before becoming a councilor, after which he went on to become head of the council, the statement added. He was previously the chief judge of the Court of Cassation, Constitutional Court and State Security Court, and took part in several judicial conferences in Kuwait and abroad, it added. In their statement, the council members prayed that Allah would have mercy upon Al-Refai and grant his family patience at this sad time. — KUNA


NATIONAL

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tardy teachers stuck at Saudi border By Abdullah Al-Qattan KUWAIT: Following the end of the Eid Al-Adha holiday, several schools in Kuwait turned out to be understaffed and missing a few teachers. Surprisingly enough, this occurred while the majority of schools in Kuwait featured 100 percent student attendance. Officials from the Ministry of Education have said that the reason so many teachers have failed

to return from Saudi Arabia on time is because many of them were stuck in Saudi Arabia with basic travel visas while trying to complete their pilgrimage rituals. They reported that about 500 teachers, using 30 busses, were stuck in Saudi Arabia with visa problems. Meanwhile, Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Tamather Al-Sedairawi announced that midterm examinations

are proceeding smoothly. He reported that a regular amount of students are attending classes, as expected. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimated that about 800 people, both expatriates and citizens, are stuck at the border of Saudi Arabia. He added that about 450 people are being held at the border for refusing to pay the 1,000 Saudi Riyal (KD 75) fee for violating their visas. The penalty also comes with a three-year ban

to the country. Khalid Al-Awadi, a high school teacher, said that several teachers were missing following Eid break. He added that an unusual number of substitutes were needed to allow the school day to function properly. Meanwhile, another traveler pointed out that some of the Hajj convoy organizers made the mistake of purchasing the wrong visas for pilgrims.

kuwait digest

Anything new on the bedoons? By Dr Bader Al-Daihani

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KUWAIT: The security presence was increased at Farwaniya Hospital yesterday after the body of a teenage boy killed in a family feud in Kabad was transferred there. Some parts of the hospital were damaged after members of the two battling families continued their brawl there. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

No rain until end of November: Meteorologist KUWAIT: Kuwait is unlikely to see rain before the end of the month, said a local meteorologist yesterday, predicting that temperatures will continue to fall, with daytime temperatures expected to remain below 25 Celsius, although it will remain sunny and warm. Issa Ramadan of Kuwait’s Meteorological Centre, predicted that rain would arrive by the first week of December, adding that the lowest temperatures will be witnessed in inland, desert areas, where they will fall to a distinctly chilly minus-10 at night as December approaches. The leading meteorologist also predicted relatively low rainfall levels during winter, asserting that they are likely to be lower than the average annual rates of 115 millimeters during the winter months, although he added that this winter is

expected to be colder than the previous one due to the effects of the Siberian high pressure front which usually brings cold, dry weather to the Arabian peninsula. Ramadan also explained that local weather patterns have changed over the past year due to climactic turbulence, causing the usual annual rainy low pressure fronts experienced during this period to be diverted from the Gulf region, leading to lower rainfall levels than usual. Fellow meteorologist Dr. Saleh Al-Ujairi agreed with his colleague’s findings, adding that local daytime temperatures today and tomorrow are likely to remain at between 10 and 28 degrees Celsius, with clear skies and northwesterly winds gusting at between 10 and 34 kilometers per hour. —KUNA

Al-Imtiaz becomes holding company KUWAIT: Al-Imtiaz Investment Company is expected to feature several changes to achieve a new improvement strategy hoped for the future, which includes turning the firm’s activity into a holding company. The new strategy is set to be launched during the company’s first regional forum to be held in London during the period between the 24th and 26th of the current month. “The strategy is planned to start next year and aims to unify all of the companies affiliated to Al-Imtiaz under a unified work frame through which the principles of team work can be achieved to support the

Salem Al-Owayyed future goals which the company hopes to accomplish”, assistant executive director Salem AlOwayyed told Al-Anba daily.

Moreover, Al-Owayyed explained that coming up with this strategy became necessary as a result of the changes that happened following the world economic crisis; which the company managed to survive and achieve profit through its five-year history. “Unifying work leads to strategic success in addition to reducing costs and increasing the firm’s general power”, the company official said. During the transition to a holding company, the Imtiaz co. will rearrange its ownership for the affiliated firms in a process that could see several mergers that aim to increase capabilities and cut costs.

Kuwait to host conference on laboratory technology KUWAIT: Kuwait will host the Second conference and exhibition on laboratory technology on Feb 1 and 2 at Radisson Blu Hotel under the patronage of Dr Helal AlSayer, the minister of health. Promedia International director of marketing and media, Gamal Omran announced that all preparations have been made. Omran, said that the Kuwait Laboratory Technology Conference and Exhibition is the Kuwait’s unique and most comprehensive exhibition on laboratory, scientific, biotechnology, analytical, educational, material testing, diagnostics and related products for major local and international manufacturers, exporters, importers and key regional suppliers. Kuwait Laboratory Technology Conference and Exhibition will showcase the latest instrumentation, technologies, products and services in all major areas of analytical sciences and laboratory

Gamal Omran services. It provides an opportunity for scientific equipment and instrument manufacturers and suppliers to showcase their latest state-of-the-art equipment and technologies. It also provides an avenue for analytical and laboratory service providers to develop business contacts and network with traders, manufacturers, research and development institutions and universities. Kuwait Laboratory Technology Conference & Exhibition is a comprehensive multi-tracked conference and

exhibition for the laboratory industry. It will cover a diverse range of subjects relating to the science and technology used in medical and non-medical laboratories, as well as their management. It will provide scientists, technicians, laboratory managers and others involved in analytical laboratory operations with the latest information about instrumentation, applications and techniques. This highly focused multidiscipline event will serve various industries such as: health and medicine, life science & biotechnology, pharmaceutical, forensics, food and beverages, calibration and testing labs, Oil and Gas, Metal and Plastics, agriculture, communications, defense, electrical & electronics, nanotechnology, environmental etc. He invited various specialized companies to take part in the event by filling up an online application at the web site www.kuwaitlabex.com

he government recently announced the creation of a new general policy for resolving the problems faced by Kuwait’s bedoon (stateless) population, which have become ever-more complicated after the failure of the mistaken policies adopted by the government in previous decades and their failure to find a deep-rooted and lasting solution, leading to a steady accumulation of problems over time. So...what is this new government policy? Well, nobody knows, because no one can claim that he knows exactly whether there actually is a genuinely new government policy to resolve the bedoons’ problems, for the very simple reason that the government did not reveal its new policy clearly and transparently, including the justification for redrawing and amending it and the differences between this new policy and previous ones. The government has failed to clearly explain the contents of this new policy and the types of solutions which it intends to utilize in eradicating these problems. Instead, it is apparently satisfied with the patchy reports in the local media about the report issued by the chairman of the Higher Council for Planning and Development’s subcommittee, Saleh AlFalah, on the matter. This, however, was not nearly enough to explain or give any details on the government’s long-awaited new policy on the issue. This failure may be considered a clear flaw in the government’s work since one primary purpose of government is to explain its policies in detail, as well as offering justifications and clear arguments for adopting these particular policies and explaining how exactly they will be implemented, especially since every member of a society has an effective role in shaping policies and their implementation. The government’s habit of shrouding its policies in mystery and secrecy is deeply puzzling, most especially when most of the world is pushing for transparent and open governments which explain their policies and the decisions taken to their peoples in order to win public support and guarantee the policies’ success. It is well known that any policy of which the public are ignorant is a failed one from the start, with no need to waste time, effort and money in drawing it up to start with. Despite these misgivings, there is still time for the government to announce and explain its new bedoon policy in detail; we can only hope that it will be a genuinely new one and entirely different from its predecessors, dealing with this sensitive humanitarian issue in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner. Until it does reveal and explain its policy in a clear and transparent manner, however, the question remains: Does the government have any truly new way to deal with this complex and thorny issue? We certainly hope so. —Al-Jarida

Hit and run cases By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A 41-year-old citizen fractured his right leg after being run over by a car near AlFanar Mall, Salmiya. Paramedical staff who reached the scene, admitted him to Mubarak Hospital. In another case, a 51-year-old Indian suffered an injury to his left arm after being hit by a car near Hawally governorate, Tunis Street, he was admitted to Mubarak Hospital.

Burn injury A 30-year-old Indian woman sustained first degree burns to her face while cooking. The incident took place at a home in Mubarak Al-Kabeer. She was admitted to Adan Hospital.

Man found drunk A 50-year-old Bangladeshi

was found in an inebriated state near a mosque in Nuzha.

Two injured in car accident A 27-year-old female citizen sustained a fracture to her right arm and a 42-year-old Lebanese national injured his foot and complained of dizziness in a car accident that took place in Salmiya. Both were referred to Mubarak Hospital.

Infant’s corpse found The decomposed body of a new born female infant was referred to the medical examiner yesterday. The body was recovered from a manhole in Ahmadi. The examiner said that the infant may have been discarded into the manhole immediately after birth. However, it was not mentioned if it was alive or stillborn.

in the news Retired servicemen appeal for benefits KUWAIT: More than 200 recently retired servicemen appealed to top state officials for retirement privileges, reported Al-Rai. They called on authorities to provide them with social services upon discovering that they were excluded from the retirement privileges recommended by the parliament’s defense and interior committee. A petition signed by 220 retired officials from the military, police force, national guard and fire service department was sent to His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlSabah, the Speaker of the Parliament Mohammad Al-Khurafi as well as various parliament members. Signed by individuals who spent between 25 - 40 years in service, they called on officials to find a way to provide them with retirement services. The retired servicemen explained that the value estimated for their compensation does not exceed KD 1.5 million. They estimated that the amount was only half a percent of the cost recommended to increase the salaries of current servicemen, valued at KD 300 million.

KUWAIT: A driver lost control of his vehicle which overturned on Sabah Al-Nasser Road. Police were quickly at the scene and handled the situation. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Kuwaitis’ works well-received at Paris arts festival PARIS: It is important for Kuwaiti artists to take part in international art events and festivals, both to promote their own artistry and to spread awareness of their country’s cultural status, said two female artists taking part in the current Paris Autumn Festival 2010. Higher Institute for Theatrical Arts professor Sheikha Snan and fellow Kuwaiti artist Noura Abdulhadi are taking part in the six-day event alongside 400 other artists from around the world. This is the first time that female Kuwaiti artists have participated in the annual international event, now in its 110th year, and the women’s works were very well received by visitors, as well as gaining acclaim from participants from other Arab countries. Sheikha Snan was presented with an honorary prize in recognition of her talent and her efforts to support the arts. The works which she selected to display at the event are four of her abstract paintings depicting the harsh life in old Kuwait, both on land and at sea. She told KUNA that she had been invited to participate in the exhibition by the festival organizers and was delighted to do so since, she said, it is essential for an artist to stay current and

kuwait digest

‘Washington’s Angels’ By Mubarak Al-Hajri

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s expected, the US State Department’s recently released report on human rights contains inaccurate information based on statistics with ambiguous sources. Ironically enough, the report released by ‘Washington’s Angels’ accused countries around the world of abusing human rights except the country with the highest amount of violations against human rights: the United States of America. Addressing all the crimes the US is responsible for is impossible in a single article. Their violations, both foreign and domestic, are easy to point out though; it includes the murder of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as various other crimes against humanity, in just those two countries alone.

But perhaps the humanitarian subject the State Department’s report always ignores is the agony of the Palestinian people. Their living conditions lack the basic requirements under the continuous oppression of Israeli occupation. If America is as unbiased as they claim they are in their report then how come they have failed to address this problem? Additionally, how can the report be unbiased when it fails to address the hideous situation of American citizens of African and Latin descent as they continue to suffer discrimination and increased rates of poverty and unemployment? Despite its horrible reputation regarding human rights, Washington has the audacity to criticize others for violations that are less aggressive than those committed by its own hands. Washington’s politicians should know that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. —Al-Rai

aware of what’s happening on the international scene if he or she is to explore new horizons and improve his or her work. The artist explained that she had previously taken part in several exhibitions and events in Jordan, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait, adding that she is delighted to be representing her country at the Paris festival and urging Kuwait’s state institutions to support and sponsor Kuwaiti creativity at all such international events. Noura Abdulhadi, meanwhile, explained that she had previously displayed her artwork at a number of exhibitions and other events, including an exhibition at Egypt’s Opera House which made her the first female Arab artist to showcase her work there.

Abdulhadi explained that she is displaying one of her abstract works at the Paris festival, adding that she is extremely proud to be participating in an event based in the city where globally celebrated artists such as Picasso and Renoir displayed their work. She said that she is eager to participate in other international art events, adding that the participation of Kuwaiti artists helps to promote and enhance Kuwait’s image internationally. Abdulridha Akkash, the official responsible for organizing the Arab world’s contributions at the festival, told KUNA that there has been an increase in the number of Arab contributions there this year, with 25 Arab artists from 10 Arab nations taking part in the event.

PAI extends support to small scale industry KUWAIT: Boosting the country’s productivity requires more support from small-scale industries. These can create a positive and effective impact on the local economy with the aim of diversifying sources of revenue. The Public Authority for Industry (PAI) will take part in a forum that will be held later this month that addresses the integration of small-scale businesses with the country’s development plan. This statement was made by Khalid Al-Fahad, Deputy Managing Director for Development and Industrial Licenses Affairs at the Public Authority for Industry, asserting that the EPA carries out studies and coordination with other firms to allocate suitable plots of land to start industrial projects. Al-Fahad further explained that small-sale projects are characterized by their diversity and quick returns, asserting on the importance of devising a comprehensive strategy to support such a project to ensure development and

Khalid Al-Fahad enhance contribution to the national economy. The small-scale businesses project and their role in Kuwait’s development plan is overseen by the Kuwait Company for Small Projects Development, in cooperation with the Leaders Group for Consultation and Training. The forum will take place on November 30 under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad AlSabah, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of Development and Housing Affairs.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

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Belgium strongly committed to cementing ties with Kuwait Stage set for King’s Day celebrations By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Belgians in Kuwait will celebrate their country’s annual King’s Day festival on Nov 24 a few days later than the domestic Belgian celebrations of the event on Nov 15. Understandably, since the day fell during the celebration of the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha here, the local

KUWAIT: Waters flooded the street facing the Farwaniya hospital recently following the rupture of an underground water pipe. The police were deployed to the scene in order to regulate traffic. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

kuwait digest

Pilgrims’ delay and MPs’ reactions By Abdullatif Al-Duaij uring the early sixties and before the establishment of the Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC), it was difficult for people to determine when their relatives would return from foreign trips. I remember one incident where my relatives and I had to stay several hours at the airport for an entire week, wait for our grandfather to return from a trip to Syria after their flights were delayed. The lack of advanced communication methods has made it difficult for airport’s staff members to provide immediate information on flight rescheduling. Incidents such as flight rescheduling and delay of flights still happen these days, despite the fact that advanced communication technologies are used. Recently, flights that were supposed to carry a group of returning Kuwaiti pilgrims back home, were delayed. It has caused pilgrims’ return to be pushed by several hours. This incident has drawn ‘rowdy’ reactions

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from MPs, who blasted the government over a problem that they have no jurisdiction over. The pilgrims who were supposed to take the Saudi Arabian Airways flights were stranded in the airport due to technical difficulties that the Saudi authorities are responsible for. The Kuwaiti government does not have the authority to order planes. The problems that take place between travelers and their carriers, should remain between the two. Our MPs should not interfere and spread threats against the government, especially since the delay was later attributed to bad weather, in addition to the pilgrims’ lack of commitment on reporting to the airport in time. More objectivity is needed, and our MPs should stop corralling for support at the expense of the government. What has happened at the Jeddah airport is something that will happen anywhere, needless to say that delays are bound to happen when thousands of pilgrims insist on returning home at the same time. — Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Youth and Sports(PAYS) has recently placed tenders for several projects that aim to enhance the sports facilities so as to develop the country’s sports sector. The projects include building a new swimming pool complex at the Sulaibikhat sports club, a multi-storey martial arts building in Al-Arabi Club, carrying out maintenance operations at the multipurpose arena in Al-Nasr sports club, as well as a project to establish a multipurpose arena and a swimming pool complex at Al-Jahra club.

The following is a transcript of the Kuwait Times interview with Ambassador Angelet. KT: Can you tell us something about bilateral relations between Kuwait and Belgium? ANGELET: We are countries that have lots of similarities. We are both small countries bordered by larger ones. And this has caused both Belgium and Kuwait to go through the violent traumas of wars. Therefore, both our countries are strongly committed to working with international organizations. In fact, I learnt some days ago that Kuwait is now a candidate for membership of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as well as for the ECOSOC in New York. I find that laudable. In 1990-1991, Belgian naval forces were part of the international coalition that liberated Kuwait, and this is still remembered. KT: Since you are new [five months in Kuwait], what is your plan and how can you improve the bilateral relations with Kuwait? ANGELET: I guess that from Belgium’s point of view, we strongly wish to improve the relations between EU, GCC and the State of Kuwait. We look at the GCC as a successful formula. Over the last 30 years, the GCC has been successful in securing prosperity for its citizens and has been promoting peace in the region. We, as the EU, are trying to do the same. And the GCC is an important trading partner. The total EU trade with the GCC region totaled €79 billion in 2009; that’s quite a lot. Additionally, and as I said before, what Belgium and Kuwait have in common is their strong commitment to international organizations. Perhaps we can work together on some issues. And of course, last but not least, Kuwait is very much committed to the diversification of its economy and its ambitious economic development. And we Belgians are traditionally reliant on export. In this context, Belgium is amongst others a very important center of education and I wonder whether we could not promote this more actively in Kuwait. KT: How many contracts have you signed so far with Kuwait in term of economic ties? What about the avoidance of double taxation treaty? ANGELET: We are close to signing a new bilateral agreement on double taxation; maybe it could be signed by the beginning of next year. KT: Are there any high level delegations visiting Kuwait in the coming months/years? ANGELET: From the EU side, we are working very hard to arrange high level visits to Kuwait. We hope that a meeting will take place by the beginning of next year, enabling us to further strengthen the ties between the EU, and both the GCC and Kuwait, and to bring our relations to a new level. From the Belgian side, Kuwait was recently so kind as to invite a small military delegation to celebrate Belgium’s involvement in the events of 1990-1991. Right now, a Belgian delegation involved in healthcare is in Kuwait. On 13 and 14 December, we have an economic mission. That delegation will mainly deal with energy and construction issues. KT: Can you brief us about the EU? We know you [Belgium] currently hold the presidency of the EU. ANGELET: Yesterday I read the latest World Economic Forum competitiveness report for 20102011. Out of the 15 most competitive countries in the world, seven are EU member countries. Europe’s economy is strong. Of course, as with everyone else, we went through the financial crisis. Yet we think we reacted appropriately. Recently, we’ve improved our microeconomic surveillance and fiscal discipline. Additionally, the EU is getting more active on the international stage. Admittedly, EU foreign policy has long been limited to paying money and making paper declarations. But now, we have a military operation in Bosnia and Congo. We have a police operation in Kosovo. We have a policy on Iran. We have a naval operation against piracy along the coasts of Somalia. And we are very much interested in strengthening our ties with Kuwait and the GCC. We now have the Lisbon Treaty with the European External Action Service (EEAS), which will become operational in the first week of December of this year, and which will be lead by

Belgian community delayed their celebrations by a few days out of respect for the Muslim holiday. Ambassador Angelet shared his thoughts and views with the Kuwait Times about a variety of topics, including Belgium’s bilateral relations with Kuwait, the issues surrounding a nuclear Iran, his country’s presidency of the European Union and the subject of human rights.

Belgian Ambassador Angelet Catherine Ashton. It will further strengthen our external action. KT: Can you elaborate further on your policy on Iran? ANGELET: We are looking at the timely diplomatic resolution of the Iranian nuclear issues, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the resolutions of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Authority] Board of Governors in Vienna. Therefore, just like the overwhelming majority of UN members, we wish that Iran can accept the offer of a dialogue on this highly important issue. KT: There are nuclear issues everywhere...including in Israel, but it seems that the EU is not concerned about them, but with nuclear Iran. The EU is very much involved and it seems to many (countries) that it displays a one-sided attitude and, to some, a double standard. What can you say about this? ANGELET: On the very

important issue of the Middle East Peace Process, the EU continues to support the efforts to put the negotiations back on track. The EU wants to continue to be present on the field and to help the process forward, i.e. through support for Palestinian institution-building. We are playing our role very actively and constructively. KT: Do you have a timeline (deadline) for Iran to start or compel them to dialogue? ANGELET: That is a question I myself have no answer for. KT: What is the significance of the King’s Day celebration? ANGELET: By the way, as an embassy we have two choices to celebrate our national day. We can celebrate it in July, which is when our national day occurs, or on November 15, King’s Day. In Kuwait we originally chose to celebrate this occasion on November 15, yet because of the Eid celebrations in Kuwait, we moved it to November 24. What is the signifi-

cance of the event? As with all embassies which celebrate their national day, we are proud of our country and of its achievements. As far as Belgium is concerned, I guess we are proud to be a country where many different communities can live together, where there is a longstanding prosperity, and that is a front-runner in the European construction. KT: Do you have any threats of terrorist organizations just like other countries? ANGELET: Not as far as I am aware of. And I am sure we hope it remains so. I also guess we remain vigilant, both on the national level and through international institutions, such as the EU. I guess we are aware of the dangers, and that we are prepared for any possible event. KT: What is Belgium’s stance on human rights issues in the GCC in general and Kuwait in particular? ANGELET: From an EU point of view, human rights are a very important issue. In the EU and Belgium, we endeavor to respect human rights within our borders, and we try to promote them to the outside world. For instance, we oppose the death penalty across the world. From a Belgian point of view and in relation to Kuwait, I guess we would be happy if the conditions of migrant workers and more particularly domestic personnel would improve, and precisely on this issue we are optimistic with the signals that the sponsorship system could be abolished soon. As I said, we also learned that Kuwait is a candidate for a seat in the Human Rights Council in Geneva. So yes, human rights are an important issue for Belgium and yes, we are optimistic with Kuwait’s involvement in this area. KT: How about the respect of Muslims in Belgium? ANGELET: Recent figures

seem to show that there are more than 600,000 Muslims living in Belgium, within a population of only 10 million. That is a lot. And we are happy and proud of it. Many Muslims in Belgium have Belgian citizenship, and they participate in the electoral processes. Muslim people are members of the federal parliament, of the regional parliaments, of municipal councils. The Belgian constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Many international conventions to which Belgium is party and which are legally enforceable in Belgium do likewise. KT: Is it forbidden to wear the burqa or the niqab in Belgium? Is it forbidden to build mosques or minarets? ANGELET: No, the answer to your question is that at this moment, it is not forbidden to wear the burqa or the niqab in my country. There was a debate in parliament on the possible banning, for security reasons, of all types of clothing that would make it impossible to identify people in public areas. No final decision has been taken on this point. And of course, it is not forbidden to build mosques or minarets. In fact, we have many mosques in Belgium. KT: You mentioned an exchange of visits and the plan for [a visit by a] Belgian health/business delegation; are they interested in helping [Kuwait] build new health facilities? ANGELET: No, I don’t think we will get involved in the construction of hospital facilities. Health Care Belgium is a federation of Belgian hospitals and companies that provide services for hospitals. Health Care Belgium recently organized a visit by Kuwaiti health officials to Belgium. This visit from us to Kuwait is the second chapter in an attempt to build on what is already a longstanding and successful bilateral cooperation on various health issues.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Malaysian scam artists arrested at airport 50 forged credit cards found KUWAIT: Tw o Malaysia n sca m artists w ere arrested at the Kuw a it International Airport follow ing a coordination w ith several security services, reported Al-Ra i. The pair w a s first spotted at the airport’s market w here they used a suspicious credit card belonging to a J apanese bank at a loca l bank in Kuw a it. The bank’s credit ca rd department grew suspicious of the credit ca rd’s a uthenticity and confirmed tha t the ca rd w a s forged a fter contacting the Ja panese ba nk.

Arabs part of Malaysian society mixture JOHOR, Malaysia: The Malaysian society is a mixture of Malay, Arab, Indian, Chinese, English, and Portuguese communities. Arabs first arrived in Malaysia in the 16th century as Malacca city was a major port, said head of the Arab social society in Johor Sayed Hussain Al-Habashi. The main purpose of the visits was for trade, he pointed out. Through their good manners in which they dealt with the people of Malaysia, the Arab spread Islam here, he said. In 1931, about 4,937 Arabs were in Malaysia and Singapore, according to British statistics, he said, adding that there were over 500,000 nowadays. Malaysians of Arab origin do not speak Arabic, but still have some Arab traditions, especially those related to celebrations and special occasions, he noted. They eat dates, use bukhoor (incense) in their homes and play Arab musical instruments, he said. Several Yemeni families still carry their Arabic names like Al-Attas, Al-

Junaid, Al-Habashi, Al-Saqqaf, AlAmoudi, Al-Shihab, Bin Sumait and Ba Nafi’, he pointed out. Many Malaysians of Arab origins live in Johor whose name is believed by some to be derived from the Arabic word “Jawhara” which means jewel, AlHabashi noted. It is believed that the area was named Jawhara by Arabs during the rule of Sultanate of Johor by the Alauddin Riayat Shah II, the son of Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Malacca, he said. On his part, Imam of the Arab mosque in Johor Sayed Hassan Ahmad Al-Saqqaf said that Arab Malaysians are known by their first names or family names. Their men are called Sayed and their women are called Sharifa, referring to their family connections with Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), he said. Malays usually mention their first names and the names of their fathers in their identification cards, but Arab Malaysians also mention the names of their grandfathers and families, he point-

The train ride

ed out. Al-Saqqaf said that his great grandfather travelled from Hadhramaut to Malaysia in 1777 for trade and to spread Islam. Johor has several areas in which Arab Malaysians gather like Wadi Hassan and Wadi Hanan, he said. Most Arab Malaysians register their family information at an office in Jakarta, which studies the history of families, he said. He noted that there are over five million people with origins from Hadhramaut in Indonesia. Arab Malaysians do not speak Arabic, but use some Arabic words like “walid” (father) and ummi (my mother) to call their parents, he said. Men still wear Arab costumes, but women do not, he noted. A British orientalist said that Arabs who first arrived in Southeast Asia were humble, smart, and knowledgeable. They spread their religion without waiting for reward from anyone, he stressed. — KUNA

The bank’s security department contacted the forgery division of the General Department of Criminal Investigations who then contacted airport security and requested that the two scam artists be placed under arrest. An investigation revealed that the pair was on their way from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur and were in possession of 50 forged credit cards. It was determined that the pair was prepared to purchase thousands of dinars worth of goods following the Eid AlAdha holiday. Authorities also discovered that the two successfully carried out similar illegal transactions in nearby Gulf states. Fatalities Police responded to a call regarding a dead body found near a mosque in Hawally, reported Al-Watan. The victim was identified as a 57-year-old Asian male. An autopsy was ordered for the body to determine the exact cause and time of the man’s death. In an unrelated incident, a

Saudi resident died in his house in Roudha as a result of a cardiac arrest, reported AlWatan. Paramedics responded to the emergency but were unable to revive the man’s pulse. Equestrian accident A man fractured his skull and broke several of his bones when he fell off his horse in Mutla, reported Al-Watan. Paramedics responded to the incident and the victim was admitted to a nearby hospital’s intensive care unit. Official insulted A citizen was arrested in a park in Hawally for insulting a police officer, reported AlWatan. The incident was the result of a dispute between the two that escalated into an argument during a party. After insulting the police officer, the citizen was placed under arrest and referred to the proper authorities. Ca r thief escapes Police are looking for a drug addict who slipped away

from police during a car chase in Salmiya, reported Al-Watan. The incident occurred when the suspect stole a citizen’s car that had been left running in front of a baqala. The car’s owner sent a text message to his other phone, which was left in the stolen car, offering money in exchange for his car’s safe return. He received a reply from the thief informing the owner that he would return the car in exchange for hashish. The man contacted authorities and attempted to set a trap for the thief in Jaber Al-Ali, the place they agreed to make the exchange. The suspect arrived to the location in a car other than the one he stole from the citizen. Realizing that a trap had been set for him, the thief fled the scene on foot and escaped from police. Authorities suspect that the other car was stolen as well. Fights A youth was admitted to Sabah Hospital’s intensive care unit after suffering several stab wounds during a

fight in an amusement park, reported Al-Rai. The victim was attacked after allegedly harassing a woman in the park. The woman’s brother rushed to his sister’s aid and began fighting with the victim, grabbing a knife and stabbing the harasser repeatedly. Police responded to the incident, apprehended the man with the knife and held him for questioning. The injured man was brought to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, a 16year-old youngster was hospitalized after he was shot in the nose during a fight in Waha, reported Al-Anba. Police apprehended the assailant and the gun used in the assault was confiscated. Citizen mugged A citizen was mugged on a coastal road in Sulaibikhat by a person who stopped him to ask if his car was for sale, reported Al-Rai. The suspect pulled a knife on the citizen and stole his cell phone before fleeing the scene. The citizen filed a case with authorities and an investigation was launched.

KSC congratulates Kuwaiti inventor KUWAIT: Chairman of Kuwait Science Club (KSC) Ayad Al-Kharafi congratulated yesterday the Kuwaiti inventor who was qualified to the final round of the Stars of Science competition, saying the qualification was a new Kuwaiti achievement. Al-Kharafi said that inventor Sadiq Qasim succeeded in reaching the final round with his invention that enabled the

Children take part in a magic show.

analysis of samples in labs easily and quickly. The invention, which is the first of its kind, is useful in the oil field, he pointed out. Qasim competed with 7,000 Arab inventors, before his invention was chosen to be among the best three inventions, he noted. He called on Kuwaitis to support him through voting for his invention, stress-

ing that Qasim needed government support. He praised the establishment of Sabah Al-Ahmad center for the talented and creative. Al-Kharafi expressed gratitude to Sheikha Moza Al-Misnid, wife of Qatar’s Amir, and Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Research, and Community Development for the scientific competition. — KUNA

A child watches as a magician pulls a trick.

Special Eid celebrations held at Khairan resort KUWAIT: Thousands of visitors spent their Eid Al-Adha holidays enjoyably at the Khairan resort, one of the facilities of the Touristic

Enterprises Company. A special program was organized and sponsored by Zain, which included several events and competitions.

Children pose for a group photograph.

Staff members from the resort’s cafeteria

Audience enjoy a puppet show.

Musical chairs

Children receive their prizes.


INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

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Jerusalem’s long-contested light rail finally ready to roll JERUSALEM: After years of delays and a billion-euro price tag, Jerusalem’s light rail system, which has stirred controversy across the Holy City, is gearing up for its long-awaited launch in the first half of next year. Construction work has backed up traffic in already car-choked Jerusalem for years, leaving locals and shopkeepers frustrated and fed-up. “The population has suffered since the work began in 2006, but we’ve achieved our goal,” said Shmuel Elgrably, spokesman for the Jerusalem Transport Management Team, a group of experts advising the transport ministry and the city’s mayor. The project was supposed to be finished in 2008, but the completion date has repeatedly been pushed back for a variety of rea-

sons, ranging from construction errors to the unexpected discovery of historical artifacts.It has also come under political attack because the completed network will run through mostly Arab east Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war. A pro-Palestinian group is suing Alstom and Veolia, the two French companies involved in the project, arguing that they are violating international law by allowing the network to run through occupied east Jerusalem.”This has earned us boycott threats and lost us important contracts,” a Veolia official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The Palestinians oppose any extension of Israeli control over the eastern part of the city, which they see as the capi-

tal of their promised state. Israel considers the whole of Jerusalem to be its “eternal and indivisible” capital. On the ground, residents and shopkeepers along the tram’s route complain of having suffered years of loud, dirty construction work. “We had to live with the dust, we were assaulted by jackhammering, and as a result our customers abandoned us,” grumbled one merchant in the city centre. While acknowledging the difficulties that the building work has caused, Elgrably said there was no alternative. ‘ The only solution’-”It had to happen. The city is going to have more than a million people within 15 years,” up from 790,000 today, he said. “The light rail is the only solution to solve the traffic problems.”

Saudi King’s reforms Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who came to power in 2005 as the sixth ruler of the top oil exporter, started cautious reforms as part of his drive to open up the absolute monarchy and create jobs for its growing population. Abdullah, believed to be 86 or 87, left to the United States yesterday for medical treatment for a blood clot that complicated a slipped spinal disc. As an absolute monarchy, economic and social policies will depend on who is leading the country, and Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz is considered to be in a strong position to assume leadership in the event of serious health problems afflicting the king and crown prince. The Al-Saud family rules in alliance with clerics who apply an austere version of Sunni Islam, exercising control through mosques, the judiciary and education, and with their own police. Some of Abdullah’s social, education, judiciary and economic reforms were resisted by conservative clerics who objected to loosening social controls. Analysts and diplomats say that while the country’s economic reforms will not be impacted if the king dies, there is a risk that his social overtures may take longer. Here are some King Abdullah’s main reforms: EDUCATION King Abdullah launched a plan to overhaul the state education system, spending over $2.4 billion, but changes to the school curriculums are minimal as resistance from the religious establishment slowed down the pace of reform. In Saudi Arabia the state education system is dominated by Islamic teachings and any changes to make it more modern or cut religious content faces opposition from clerics. The king’s campaign to totally overhaul the Saudi textbooks to remove chapters which promote bigotry and religious fanaticism against Christians, Jews and Shiites was met with strong resistance. He however managed to introduce some modifications to cut “intolerant and offensive” language. Before the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, little attention was paid to the outpouring of religious fanaticism from Saudi Arabia’s schools and mosques. But when it emerged that 15 of the 19 hijackers were young Saudis, a piercing spotlight was turned on the kingdom, questioning the extent to which an educational system under the control of the powerful religious establishment was instilling bigotry and hatred of the West in its

young people. King Abdullah opened the first high-tech co-educational university in Saudi Arabia in 2009, causing a stir among some clerics who opposed the mixing of unrelated men and women. But clerical influence was limited as the university was created outside the reach of the education ministry. J UDICIARY King Abdullah removed the head of the Supreme Court, a hardline cleric, as part of his efforts to modernize the court system in 2009. He also set up appeals and commercial courts but diplomats say the pace of judiciary reform is still slow. In Saudi Arabia there is still no consistent law application as courts in different provinces hand out different verdicts for the same crime. ECONOMY Abdullah was repeatedly blunt in describing the economic challenges that lay ahead for Saudi Arabia. “The state is proceeding, with the help of God, in its gradual and studied course of reform,” he said in 2005 when he assumed the throne. Saudi Arabia is spending $400 billion over the five years to 2013 to upgrade its infrastructure and create more jobs for its local population of over 18 million. The king has also launched a plan to build five economic and industrial cities that aim to diversify the economy and create more jobs. But his attempt to attract more foreign investment has been hampered by a debt crisis involving family firms seeking the restructuring of billion of dollars of debt. The king has also allowed limited ownership of shares to foreigners into the Arab world’s largest bourse. Despite his efforts to lower oil dependence, the oil sector still contributed to 24 percent of GDP in constant prices in 2009, compared with 29 percent in 2005 when he took the throne. SOCIETY In February 2009, King Abdullah removed two radical clerics from senior positions and appointed the first female as a deputy in the education ministry. He launched a national dialogue under his auspices to brainstorm challenges facing the kingdom but diplomats say it has done little for the Shiite minority that still complains of discrimination in state jobs and limited religious freedoms. — Reuters

Egypt’s Islamists seen losing seats in election Islamists most potent opposition, avoid confrontation FAYOUM: Prospective candidates for Egypt’s opposition Muslim Brotherhood ran into a police cordon when they tried to register in Fayoum, an oasis city south of Cairo, to run in the Nov 28 parliamentary election. The hopefuls, who list themselves as independents to skirt a ban on the group, jostled for hours before they were let into the shabby registration offices. Candidates of President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party had no such trouble gaining access. “We and any opposition must be as persistent as warriors to expose the regime. This corruption will never make us budge,” said Ahmadi Kassem, one of the Brotherhood candidates. Such scenes of police hostility to Islamist candidates here and elsewhere reinforce forecasts, quietly shared by Brotherhood leaders, that the group cannot repeat its success in 2005, when it won a fifth of seats to become the biggest opposition bloc. Analysts say the Brotherhood is likely to lose more than three quarters of its 88 seats in the outgoing parliament of 454, arguing that the authorities want to rid the assembly of their most vocal critics before next year’s presidential poll. “The state decides when the Brotherhood should be in or out of parliament,” said Deena Shehata at the al-Ahram Centre for Strategic and Political Studies. But forcing the Brotherhood out of parliament will not weaken its grassroots network, which is at the heart of its long-term goal to win over Egyptian public opinion to its political vision of a state governed by Islamic principles. “The Brotherhood’s goals for change are long term. Its members permeate syndicates and civil society and will keep working until the moment for change is right,” said Shehata. The group has built support through religious and charity work, offering medical and other social services to the poor. About a fifth of Egypt’s 79 million people live on less than $1 a day, according to the United Nations. ROUNDED UP Mubarak’s government, which quashed a militant insurgency in the 1990s, has long been wary of groups with Islamist leanings. In Garduh village near Fayoum, a region where militants were active in the 1990s uprising, villagers grumble about security. Speaking in mid-November, they said 20 men had been held for a week on suspicion of militancy. The villagers said the detainees just followed strict Islamic teaching. “State security

does that every now and then. They take them in for a few days to see if they are up to some mischief,” said a villager, in his mid-40s, who asked not to be identified. Decades ago, the Brotherhood renounced violence to achieve political change in Egypt, but its members are often rounded up. The Brotherhood and rights groups say the group’s supporters are often blocked from entering polling stations to vote at election time, though the authorities say voting is fair. “The road to governance is blocked. We must adapt politically so as not to provoke the regime,” said Mohamed El-Katatni, head of the movement’s parliamentary bloc. “In the meantime, we take measured steps and continue our efforts in social aid, political participation and religious teaching.” The Brotherhood is the only opposition group that could muster thousands of disciplined supporters onto the streets but it has avoided open confrontation that might invite a crackdown. “It is the only real mass-membership political organization in Egypt, but it rarely engages in non-violent direct action like mass protests, civil disobedience or boycotts,” said Shadi Hamid, director of the Brookings Doha Centre. CAUTIOUS APPROACH That approach has angered other opponents of the government of Mubarak, 82, who has been in power since 1981 when Islamic militants assassinated his predecessor, Anwar Sadat. When Mohamed ElBaradei, ex-head of the UN atomic watchdog, urged opposition parties to shun the parliamentary poll, the Brotherhood backed his call for change, but rejected a boycott. The movement is fielding just over 130 candidates, a list that could be slimmed further by an electoral vetting committee which can exclude would-be lawmakers for not filling in documents properly or failing to do their military service. In 2005, 165 Brotherhood candidates ran, even after vetting. The group’s kid-glove stance frustrates many of its younger members who are impatient for change and eager to mount a more direct challenge to the state and its vast security forces. “The Brotherhood is losing support among the young and those who realize how clueless it is about the way forward,” said researcher Ibrahim Houdaiby, a former member in his late 20s. “Many are disappointed because the Brotherhood lacks vision and runs in elections that go nowhere. This drives many away.” — Reuters

Israel’s government is relying on the new tram system to cut the number of cars in the centre of the city, increasing pedestrian access and reducing pollution. During the bidding in 2004, it offered a 30-year concession which was won by City Pass, a consortium comprising Israeli civil engineering firm Ashtrom, along with France’s Alstom and Veolia, backed by funding from Israel’s Harel Insurance and Polar Investments. The initial line will include 24 stations strung along a 14-kilometre route. It will travel from Pisgat Zeev, a Jewish settlement neighborhood in east Jerusalem, to Mount Herzl in the west, passing along Jaffa Street, the Holy City’s central shopping artery. According to Elgrably, who expects

around 320,000 people a day to use the new tram system, “profitability was the sole criterion for deciding the project’s route.” The projected figures are based on a report showing some 37.7 percent of people living along the tram’s route use public transport. In total, some 46 carriages, each able to carry 250 passengers, will be put into service. During peak hours, a train should arrive every five minutes. Eventually, the network is to be extended to the Hebrew University in the east of the city and Hadassah hospital in the west. The project has run up against a number of logistical challenges, some of them common to any city planning project and others more unique to Jerusalem’s peculiarities. Some 300 families were evicted and

compensated to make way for the rails, and numerous topographical problems had to be worked out. The project also required the formation of a special anti-terror unit, and the renovation of roads dating back to the Ottoman period. One final challenge involved finding a way for the tram to turn at a right angle at the western end of Jaffa Street. A tunnel was proposed, but in the end the city decided on a bridge, and commissioned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to design the project. The result? A striking suspension bridge with “strings” to resemble the harp said to have been played by the Biblical King David, who conquered Jerusalem and made it capital of the Kingdom of Israel. — AFP

Israeli bill threatens future peace deals Law would make it much to cede disputed areas J ERUSALEM: Isra el’s ha rd-line parliament wa s expected to approve a bill yesterday that could sink future peace dea ls w ith the Palestinia ns a nd Syria . With Midea st peacemaking already a t a standstill, the proposed legislation w ould ma ke it much ha rder for the government to cede disputed east J erusalem and the Golan Heights - captured territories tha t w ould be central to any future accord. If it is passed, the new law w ould require 80 of 120 lawmakers to approve any w ithdra wa l from those tw o areas. Without that super majority, the government w ould need to win a pproval in a binding na tional referendum. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet supports the bill. “There is no doubt that this is a dramatic piece of legislation for the people of Israel and the state of Israel,” bill sponsor Yariv Levin of Netanyahu’s Likud Party said before the deliberations began. “The law determines that peace must be made between peoples and not just between leaders. Palestinians demand sovereignty over east Jerusalem in any peace deal, while Syria insists on reasserting control over the Golan as its price for making peace. If a peace deal is reached with either the Palestinians or Syria, the proposed legislation could make it much harder for Israel to relinquish control because now, at least, broad segments of the public oppose any withdrawal from these territories. Israel seized both areas in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed them, and Netanyahu has given little indication that he is prepared to give up either territory. East Jerusalem has deep significance for both the Jews and Palestinians as it is home to major Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites. The scenic Golan is a popular tourist destination and is considered a strategic asset because it overlooks northern Israel. It also has vital water resources. The international community does not recognize Israel’s annexations of either territory. The referendum bill would not apply to the West Bank, also captured in 1967, because Israel has not annexed it. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Israel could not avoid giving up captured land if it wanted to make peace. “Referendum or no referendum, if one of these days Israel wants to have peace with Arabs and with Palestinians, by now I think they know that this will not happen without their withdrawal from east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights,” Erekat said. Syria had no official comment. IsraeliPalestinian peace talks broke down in late September, three weeks after they began - after Israel resisted Palestinian and US pressure to extend a moratorium on new construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Netanyahu has since agreed to a new, 90-day moratorium in the Palestinian territory. But he is having trouble working out a formula with Washington that would mollify hard-liners in his coalition who want east Jerusalem exempted from the moratorium. Indirect Turkish-mediated peace talks with Syria broke down in late 2008. Efforts to enact a law mandating a referendum on territorial concessions were first launched more than a decade ago, but were blocked by Cabinets fearing it would restrict their ability to pursue peace agreements. In 2005, settlers demanded a referendum on a proposed pullout from the Gaza Strip. But then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon blocked the proposed plebiscite and withdrew from the Palestinian territory. — AP

JERUSALEM: Israeli settlers protest against a construction freeze in the West Bank settlements outside the cabinet meeting in the Prime Minister office in Jerusalem, Sunday. — AP

Lebanese soldier shot dead BEIRUT: A Lebanese military intelligence operative was killed in a drive-by shooting near the Syrian border yesterday, a security official said, as the country celebrated its 67th Independence Day. “Corporal Youssef Youssef was shot dead by unidentified assailants in a car with no license plate near the Masnaa border crossing this morning,” he said, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media. Youssef was on his way to his duty post at the Masnaa crossing in eastern Lebanon

when he was ambushed by the gunmen, the official said. Investigations were underway but the shooting was likely a personal vendetta rather than politically motivated, he added.An army statement released later the same day said two cars had been involved in the shooting and a passer-by lightly wounded. “Military units are currently tracking the gunmen who remain at large,” it added. Eastern Lebanon is notorious for harbouring fugitives and extremists, and the army has

repeatedly come under fire in the area. A Lebanese major and his adjutant were killed last month when their vehicle came under gunfire during a raid aimed at tracking down an army deserter in the eastern Bekaa Valley. In April, three soldiers were killed in an ambush on a patrol in the Bekaa when a prominent clan sought revenge for the killing of one of its members, a drug baron who refused to stop at an army checkpoint. — AFP

BEIRUT: A unit of Lebanese special forces soldiers, march during a military parade to mark the 67th anniversary of Lebanon’s independence from France, in Beirut, yesterday. Lebanon gained independence from France in 1943. — AP


8

INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Queen-to-be Kate Middleton is global media magnet LONDON: Are you ready for your close-up now, Kate? When Prince William popped the question, he made fiancee Kate Middleton one of the most-photographed, most-pursued women in the world. Since the announcement of the couple’s engagement, Middleton - dubbed “the Cinderella of Bucklebury” by Italy’s La Stampa newspaper - has adorned front pages and websites around the world, photographed showing off her ring and checking out a possible wedding venue, Westminster Abbey. William is determined she will not suffer the hounding experienced by his mother, Princess Diana. But protecting her may be difficult in the face of insatiable media interest. “She’s the main event now,” said Max Clifford, Britain’s best-known celebrity publicist and that means Middleton will have to watch her every step. “She shouldn’t be roller-skating in hot pants,” Clifford said, referring to a much-reprinted 2008 photo of

Middleton looking unsteady on wheels at a charity disco event. “She’s got to eat, breathe, drink and sleep ‘What’s good for the royals, what would be bad for the royals?”‘ She may be marrying a future king, but many British people say they don’t envy Middleton. “I feel bad for the poor girl,” said Kayla Healey, 25, a social worker from Brighton in southern England. “She’s been able to stay out of the limelight pretty much the entire time and now she is going to be absolutely bombarded.” At least she has a good guide in William. The 28-year-old grew up in the public eye, a handsome royal pinup, and seems to have coped well. William appears comfortable in front of the cameras - unlike his father, Prince Charles, who is often stiff and pointedly ignores the gaggle of royal reporters who cover his engagements. But William’s ease hides a deep-seated mistrust, rooted in the media hounding experienced

by his mother, who was pursued by paparazzi until her death in a Paris car crash in 1997. The intense scrutiny endured by Britain’s royals is partly the reason William waited so long to ask Middleton to marry him. In an interview this week, William said he “wanted to give her a chance to see in and to back out if she needed to before it all got too much.” “I’m trying to learn from lessons done in the past,” he said. The rules of the media game have changed since Diana’s death, for which many hold the press at least partly responsible. A coroner’s inquest concluded that she died because of “grossly negligent driving” by her driver, Henri Paul, who was drunk, and the paparazzi who were following them. Since Diana’s death the royal family has become more savvy - and more willing to go to court, where the right to privacy has been strengthened by a series of British legal rul-

ings over the past decade. Rod Dadak, a privacy expert with London law firm Lewis Silkin, said there is a widespread feeling that William and Kate should be allowed to “enjoy their engagement without being pursued all the time.” “Of course they are celebrities, but they are entitled to a private life like anyone else - up to a point,” he said. Where that point lies is a matter for negotiation, and occasionally litigation. While William was a student at St. Andrews University in Scotland, the British press agreed to leave him alone, in return for occasional photo opportunities arranged by the palace. He and Kate were first seen together publicly on a skiing holiday in 2004, three years after they met. But when they graduated the next year, the floodgates opened. Soon the paparazzi were snapping the couple on evenings out, staking out Kate’s home as she left for work, even photograph-

ing her as she got a parking ticket. On one occasion in 2007, the pair were protected by 10 police officers as they left a London nightclub. On Kate’s 25th birthday, more than two dozen photographers and television crews staked out her London home. By late 2007 - after the couple had split up and then reunited, triggering another round of media frenzy - William’s spokesman complained about the “threatening” behavior of photographers. Lawyers representing Middleton complained several times to the media regulator, and have been prepared to go to court. In 2007 Middleton received an apology from the Daily Mirror, and earlier this year she won an out-of-court settlement from a photo agency over pictures of her playing tennis during a family Christmas holiday. Dadak expects talks between the palace and newspaper editors to come to an agreement about coverage of William and Kate in the months leading up

to the wedding. It helps that the couple will live in relatively remote north Wales, where the prince is based as an air force search-andrescue pilot, rather than in the media epicenter of London. “The paparazzi of course are a different kettle of fish,” Dadak said. “There is always some maniac paparazzi who will try to take long-distance shots. People will be whizzing around in helicopters, because it’s a great story.” While there is sympathy for Middleton, some say she must accept media scrutiny as part of her new role. “As a public figure, she has to deal with the media,” said Sean Conte, 60 a construction worker from Chester in northwest England. “She has managed to stay out of the spotlight for too long. I think we deserve to know who will be our next queen. “I don’t think the same thing will happen as with Diana - I sure hope not - but media pressure is part of the package of becoming royal.” — AP

First piracy trial in 400 years opens in Germany 10 Somalis face charges of hijacking HAMBURG: Germa ny’s first pira cy trial in 400 years opened yesterday with 10 Somalis facing charges of hijacking a Ha mburg-registered ship off the Horn of Africa. The case, expected to last several months, is being held before a juvenile court as several of the accused sa y they were under 18 at the time of the a lleged offence. The accused, several of whom say they are fishermen, face maximum sentences of betw een 10 and 15 years in jail depending on their age.

HAMBURG: Judge Bernd Steinmetz stands at the start of the trial of ten alleged Somali pirates yesterday in Hamburg, northern Germany. — AFP

EU to impose ban on Afghan planes FRANKFURT: The European Commission is to ban Afghan aircraft from European airspace, the chief executive of Afghanistan’s second-biggest airline told Reuters yesterday. “I fully understand the European Commission’s decision,” said Safi Airways Chief Executive Werner Borchert, adding the carrier was in talks to buy a European airline to circumvent the ban and keep flying passengers between Kabul and Frankfurt. From tomorrow, aircraft registered in Afghanistan will not be allowed in European airspace after the country failed to meet demands to set up a civil aviation regulator, according to Safi. A European Commission spokeswoman said an updated EU airline blacklist would be published today, effective tomorrow. But she declined to say whether Afghan airlines were included. A different Commission source told Reuters two weeks ago Afghan airlines would soon be banned from flying to the EU because the war-ravaged country has no safety regulation system. Kabul-based Safi is the country’s No. 2 airline after national carrier Ariana Afghan Airlines, already on an EU blacklist. The country’s two other private airlines are Kam Air and Pamir Airways. Safi, whose Boeing 767200 regularly takes Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai abroad, prides itself on having higher safety stan-

dards than other Afghan carriers. It promises customers international standards as well as aircraft maintained by Germany’s Lufthansa Technik. “The problem is that the Commission didn’t exclude us from the ban,” Borchert said. Safi, owned by the Afghan Safi family, transports many expatriates and benefits from the presence of non-governmental organisations, private security companies and other foreign entities in Afghanistan. Borchert said he hopes Safi will be able to make a deal within two or three months to buy a northern European airline that will act as operator of the carrier’s five-plane fleet. The European entity will be owned by German members of the Safi family, will own Safi’s five planes and will lease them back to the Afghan carrier. That way, Safi can remain Afghan and keep rights to international routes from Kabul. Until a deal is struck, Safi will lease a Boeing 757 aircraft from an unnamed Spanish carrier to circumvent the ban and keep servicing its route from Kabul to Frankfurt. Safi reached profitability a few months ago and had been generating a bottomline profit of about $1 million a month since September. It plans to add flights from Kabul to Beijing in March, and Borchert said there was high demand for freight to be carried in the cargo hold of planes flying to the Chinese capital. —Reuters

Nigeria militants deny army raid in oil delta LAGOS: Nigeria’s main militant group said yesterday that one of its commanders arrested over the weekend had surrendered in return for the promise of a financial reward and denied that the army had raided his camp. The emailed statement from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) is the latest salvo in a propaganda war with the military which risks tarnishing President Goodluck Jonathan in the run-up to elections next April. Nigeria’s army paraded a militant commander known as Obese and 60 of his followers before the media on Saturday, saying they had been arrested and five AK-47 rifles, 12 machine guns, ammunition and bullet-proof vests seized. “There was no exchange of gunfire and these individuals handed themselves over to the military in expectance of a reward, as promised by Jonathan,” MEND said in the statement, describing the president as a “spineless stooge”. “Weapons surrendered by these persons were less than 30 in number. Items displayed by the Nigerian military did not come from that camp. This was staged.” Obese, 25, whose real name is Tamunotonye Kuna, was believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of 19 oil and construction workers freed last week, including two Americans, two

Frenchmen, two Indonesians, one Canadian and 12 Nigerians. The authorities have described the freeing of the hostages and the arrest of Obese as a key victory in the Niger Delta. Analysts said the weapons seizure did appear small for what was said to have been a major camp. Resurgent unrest in the Niger Delta risks undermining the credibility of Jonathan, who is the first head of state from the oil region and who brokered an amnesty last year which led thousands of gunmen to lay down their weapons. Key MEND field commanders, including Obese’s former gang leader Farah Dagogo, accepted last year’s amnesty and received significant payments for doing so, security sources say. Thousands of their followers have been through a re-orientation program meant to teach them about non-violent protest, but unemployment is rife and for many, an underlying frustration at the lack of economic opportunity remains. Dagogo was instrumental in persuading Obese to hand over the 19 hostages, sources involved in the negotiations have said. Although the army, navy and air force were involved in the rescue last Wednesday, none of the hostages described any gun battle and there were no reports of any casualties. — Reuters

In piracy trials held centuries ago in this northern German port city, those found guilty were beheaded. Age made no difference to the sentence. Yesterday’s trial got off to a slow start with the court taking over 45 minutes to determine the spelling and pronunciation of the names given by the accused. The ages given were even more of a challenge as most knew only the year of their birth. One, Abdul Kadir Ahmed Warsami, alleged he was just 13 at the time of the attack and was still in school. Juveniles in Germany must be at least 14 to face criminal charges. The eldest accused said he was 48, with others stating ages ranging from 16 and 28. The gang was arrested by the Dutch navy some three and a half hours after they took over the container ship Taipan off the Somali coast on April 5. The Taipan’s 15-man crew managed to evade capture by the pirates by taking refuge in a so-called “panic room” hidden within the ship. The accused, some wearing baseball caps and hockey jackets, appeared relaxed as they took their seats in the courtroom, each one flanked by two defense lawyers. The proceedings were translated to them over headphones. “Their only fear is of the German winter,” one of the defense lawyers, Oliver Wallasch, told the press. “Only one at present has claimed asylum” in Germany, but “I don’t know what happens after the trial,” Wallasch added. Defense lawyers issued a joint statement blaming political unrest in Somalia and over-fishing off its waters by western nations as the real causes of piracy in the region. The problem of piracy can “only be solved through a political solution,” they said, adding that “sentencing by this court won’t influence piracy in the Indian Ocean.” They also questioned the court’s jurisdiction, pointing out that the accused were first taken to the Netherlands where they could also have been put on trial. According to prosecutors, the accused, armed with automatic rifles and RPG grenade launchers, boarded the Taipan after closing in on it with two speed boats dropped off by a pirate “mother-ship.” The crew of this mother-ship evaded capture by international forces. The accused allegedly opened fire at the ship, and one rocket-propelled grenade was fired close to the bridge, the prosecution said. Piracy is a growing problem off the coast of lawless Somalia, with both the number of attacks and the ransoms demanded spiking over the past two years, according to the London-based International Maritime Bureau. Twentythree vessels and around 500 crew members are currently held by Somali pirates, the bureau said. — AFP

BERLIN: Police officers guard at a security fence in front of the Reichstag building, Germany’s house of parliament, in Berlin yesterday. — AP

Reichstag tightens security BERLIN: Germany closed down the famous glass and steel dome and rooftop terrace of the Reichstag parliament building to visitors yesterday over concerns of a possible terror attack. The building, which attracts thousands of tourists daily for its stunning panoramic views of the city, will be shut until further notice, parliamentary spokeswoman Birgit Landskron said. The move came after Der Spiegel magazine reported on the weekend, without citing sources, that an informer claimed to German authorities that Al-Qaeda planned a possible attack early next year on the parliament building in downtown Berlin. The head of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office,

Joerg Ziercke, called the report Saturday “highly speculative.” “There are no indications of specific places, people or moments,” Ziercke said in Hamburg. A spokesman for the federal police, speaking on departmental policy of anonymity, said he could not comment on specifics, but that the situation had not changed since Ziercke’s comments. “There is nothing new today,” he said. Germans have been on edge since Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere raised the county’s terrorist threat level last week. He cited an increased threat from Islamic extremists, saying that Germany had received a tip from an unspecified country about a suspected attack

planned for the end of November. The city of Berlin’s top security official Ehrhart Koerting told a parliamentary security subcommittee Monday that in light of the terrorist warnings he had decided to strengthen security at the Reichstag building. In addition to shutting down the cupola, the entire area around the building was fenced off, with a heavy presence of Berlin and federal police standing guard. Koerting told lawmakers there were “many uncertainties” at the moment. Koerting was quoted by the news agency DAPD as saying the current situation “gives us cause for concern, but no cause for hysteria.” — AP

S Sudan turns out in force to register for historic vote RUBEKE: Long lines of southern Sudanese snaked down a red-earth forest track, waiting their turn to register for a historic vote that will decide whether their underdeveloped region becomes the world’s newest independent nation. “This is our moment to decide our future,” said pregnant mother Mary Sorubu, waiting with child in hand to register at the simple tin-shack centre that serves the village of Rubeke. “We know how important the process is, because, if this is done properly, the actual vote will be recognized around the world.” Many in the remote farmland and lush forests close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) held up ink stained fingers as proof they had already registered for the vote scheduled for January 9. All along the rough and rutted mud track towards the DRC border, small but busy registration centers have been set up in thatch huts, school rooms or beneath shady mango trees. “The people are eager to be taking part,” said Ndole Ndoromo, head of the referendum bureau for Central Equatoria state’s Yei county, where Rubeke is situated. “The process has been peaceful and we are pleased with the way it is progressing.” Many centers have observers monitoring the process, as well as village elders charged with verifying

the eligibility to vote of those wishing to register.”I am here to make sure only those who are allowed to vote actually register,” said one elder, David Tombe, dressed in the bright yellow bib of a referendum official. “Sometimes there are the excitable youth who want to take part but who are not yet 18, or those who may not really be southerners. So we can help check to ask who their family are and from where they have come.” Registration in the south has been “very impressive”, especially in urban areas, referendum officials say. “There has been a very good reaction and the process has gone peacefully with no reports of any violence,” said Aleu Garang Aleu, a spokesman for the Southern Sudanese Referendum Bureau, which is running the vote in the south. “We are gathering updates of the numbers who have registered all the time, and we estimate from the samples received that at least 1.3 million people have registered across the 10 states of the south.” Southern regional president Salva Kiir kicked off the registration process on November 15, enrolling to vote at a centre in the regional capital Juba outside a memorial to the late John Garang, who led the south to the 2005 peace deal that ended 22 years of war with the north. — AFP

MITIKA: A Southern Sudanese woman dips her finger in ink in Mitika, Central Equatoria, state as part of the registration process for the referendum vote due in January 2011, in this November 20, 2010 photograph. At least 1.3 million southerners have already registered for the historic vote, officials say. —AFP


INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

9

Bad cop ‘milicias’ emerge as new lords of Rio slums RIO DE JANEIRO: “From now on I want two dollars per gas canister. If you don’t pay...!”-the crackling voice on the police intercept picked up here did not need to complete the sentence. But this time the threat was not from the drug gangs that have long plagued Rio De Janeiro’s slums, but one of several squads of corrupt police, known as “milicias,” that are tightening their grip over much of the city. The milicias, made up largely of offduty firefighters, police and prison guards, have emerged as a new mafia and seized control of more than 100 of the city’s 250 largest shantytowns, according to a report published this month by Paulo Storani, a former military police Special Forces commander. By way of comparison, the Brazilian city’s largest drug cartel, the

Commando Vermelho, controls just 55, it said. The changing face of organized crime in the seaside city is one of many challenges facing security forces ahead of its hosting of the 2016 Olympics. “The milicias exist in Rio and they have not ceased to advance since 2000,” said Marcelo Freixo, a state government deputy from Rio who chaired a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the groups in 2008. “The only organized crime in Rio comes from the milicias,” added the veteran leftwing politician, who has received death threats since heading the commission and been defended by Amnesty International. “The drug traffickers of the shantytowns represent the crime of poverty. I’ve never seen a toothless, uneducated mafioso,” he said. The milicias

have lately taken center stage following the release in early October of the film “Elite Squad 2,” the sequel to a popular movie about drug traffickers. The latest installment has already been seen by nearly 10 million Brazilians, setting a box office record. Long seen as a “lesser evil” compared to the drug cartels, the milicias are descended from the paramilitary death squads that hunted down opponents of Brazil’s military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985 and more recent groups that targeted street kids in the slums. ‘They have a finger in politics’-The milicias’ rise began in December 2006 when they swept into several shantytowns in the western part of the city to drive out drug cartels. “The milicias came in and offered their so-called protection to the

residents in exchange for a ‘security tax,’ but then they took over gas distribution, the minibus service and cable TV,” Freixo says. “They are found in neighborhoods where the state is absent.” Such activities have in recent years become more profitable than drugs. In the Rio das Pedras shantytown a local milicia made 2.5 million dollars a month in 2008 from the minibus service alone, the parliamentary report said. The gangs still bill themselves as the good guys-the most well-known calling itself the “League of Justice” and emblazoning its members’ houses with the Batman symbol. But they have harshly resisted outside scrutiny. In May 2008 a milicia in the Batan shantytown captured and tortured three investigative journalists. They were released

two weeks later after being ordered to keep quiet. “The milicias also have a finger in politics,” said Freixo, whose report listed some 200 members who had been involved in local campaigns. After the release of the report several milicia leaders were arrested, including three members of the city council and a regional deputy. But Freixo, who won reelection in October, said the local government was unlikely to back a larger crackdown. “It lacks the political will to combat the milicias because they get a lot of people elected.” He warns that the phenomenon is spreading to other parts of Brazil and says the government must act quickly to halt its spread. “The milicias have been weakened politically but to make them disappear you have to cut off their source

of financing,” he said. Amnesty has also long called for stepped up actions against the milicias, attributing their growth to “decades of public security policy based on negligence, human rights violations and impunity of perpetrators.” “This has allowed criminal and corrupt police officers to thrive at the cost of those working tirelessly to serve the community,” it said in a 2009 statement after police uncovered plans to assassinate Freixo. Claudio Ferraz, the head of the Rio police’s organized crime unit, told the O Globo daily earlier this month that his forces had arrested nearly 650 milicia members in the last three years, to little effect. “As with drug trafficking, the imprisoned leaders are quickly replaced,” he said. — AFP

Pentagon to issue report on gays in military Nov 30 Report aims to inform lawmakers considering repeal SANTA CRUZ: A long-awaited Pentagon report on the impact of lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the US military will be sent to Congress and released publicly on Nov. 30, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday. The release would be a day earlier than previously expected as the Pentagon pushes to get the report to the Senate Armed Services Committee before hearings on the issue, Pentagon press secretary Geoff

Morrell said. The report, in the works since February, could have a significant impact on the Obama administration’s effort to push a repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy through Congress before the end of the year. The policy bars gays from serving openly in the military but allows them to serve in the armed forces as long as they keep their sexual orientation private.

MONEY HILL: The corpses of seven men killed after a gold mine collapsed, remain on the ground, in Money Hill, 150 km southeast of Paramaribo, Suriname on Sunday. —AFP

7 killed in Suriname gold mine collapse PARAMARIBO: Seven men were killed and two others were seriously injured when the sand walls of a gold mine collapsed in Suriname, police in the former Dutch colony said Sunday. Police inspector Bertrand Riedewald said the accident occurred late Saturday when a mudslide eroded the open pit’s 20-meter (65-foot) walls and buried the illegal miners, who were mainly from the country’s Maroon indigenous community. “Three miners were able to escape during the collapsing, while two survivors got severely injured and where taken for medical treatment to the hospital,” Riedewald said. The mine at Money Hill, some 150 kilometers (93 miles) southeast of the capital Paramaribo, belongs to the Surgold concession, a joint venture between US-based multinationals Alcoa and Newmont. Money Hill is popular among small-scale wildcat miners, and Surgold has often urged them to halt their activities in the concession area and warned of the dangers of the illicit mining. In a statement this Sunday, Surgold said that the accident took place in an illegal artisanal mining area located within Surgold’s Merian Right of Exploration. “We have learned of a landslide that took place last night. Apparently artisanal miners

(also known as porknockers) not associated with our exploration activities, had been working at the foot of a 10-meter wall in the area when the slide occurred,” said Esteban Crespo, Surgold representative in Suriname, quoted in the statement. In the text, the company says that “the porknockers had illegally occupied Surgold’s right of exploration since late 2009” and “have been active in the area using unregulated, unsafe and illegal mining techniques.” “The situation became so serious that Surgold stopped all exploration activities in the area several months ago due to concerns over safety and security, which was formally notified to the proper authorities,” it added. The seven bodies were recovered early Sunday, after the removal of dirt and debris. “I was carrying the fuel when I felt the sand sliding away and fell face-down 20 meters into the pit,” said a 23-year-old identified only as Roger, and who was working for the excavator operator. Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Slijngaard, head of the National Coordinating Center for Disaster Management, told reporters that miners were likely using a water hose to blast away soil when the collapse began. Suriname’s economy is based mainly on mining. — AFP

In Mexico’s drug war, she is one town’s lone ranger CIUDAD JUAREZ: In the bloodstained chaos that is Mexico’s drug war raging on the doorstep of the United States, Erika Gandara, 28, is standing tall, and alone. As her town’s only police officer “I am the law,” she says. Gandara’s town of Guadalupe, population 9,000, is near Ciudad Juarez, Ground Zero in Mexico’s endless bloodletting between rival drug cartels battling for control of distribution routes to the lucrative US markets. Juarez sits across the border from the US city of El Paso, Texas. And the toll the sustained violence has taken even on little Guadalupe is big: all of her fellow cops either have fled or been killed. “Yes, I am a police officer,” the fresh-faced Gandara, who might be mistaken for a high (secondary) school student in her purple hoodie if she were not packing an R-15 rifle, told AFP in an interview in her sparsely furnished office. “I am this town’s only cop. I am the law,” she said. And she meant it. It has been months that Gandara has been going it alone on her quixotic drive to keep her town safe. Some have compared her to

another woman in the region who ended up her town’s police chief by default. But Gandara is having none of it. It was a month ago, not far from here in a town called Praxedis Guadalupe Guerrero, that university student and young mother, Marisol Valles, 20, was named that town’s police chief in a twist that made international headlines. But Valles also said given her inability to confront organized crime, she would try to focus on social work. “I am not here for humanitarian stuff, I am not here to do social work,” underscored Gandara, a law enforcement professional with under two years on the job, who is single and does not have children. Gandara sees it as her job to enforce the law, no matter how tough the battle. And this is a tough one. Her town is 60 kilometers outside Ciudad Juarez, and the valley in which her town lies has seen more than 2,700 murders this year alone in presumed drug-related violence. She started out as a dispatcher in her office in 2009, when there were 12 agents on the force with her.— AFP

Speaking to reporters in Santa Cruz, where he was attending a conference of Americas defense ministers, Gates indicated he preferred the issue be resolved by Congress rather than the courts. A judge in October ordered the Pentagon to stop enforcing the policy, but the order has been stayed pending appeal. “All I know is if this law is going to change, it’s better that it be changed by legislation ... rather than have it struck down by the courts, with the potential for us having to implement it immediately,” he said. President Barack Obama has pledged to do away with the policy, adopted in 1993, but big gains by Republicans in the Nov 2 elections have raised doubts about whether he can muster the votes to end the ban once the new Congress takes power in January. Obama has urged lawmakers to pass the measure this year, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it would be considered as part of a bill authorizing defense spending that would brought up for a vote after the Thanksgiving holiday break. Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, who had pressed for the report’s early release, welcomed Gates’ decision and said in a statement it would give lawmakers the time they needed to review the findings and proceed with a repeal. “We think Congress can and should repeal this discriminatory policy now,” they said. Gates said on Sunday he sought the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” report in February in an effort to inform the Pentagon what it needed to do if the law were changed and to help lawmakers as they considered the repeal.

The report, which included a survey of service members, has been closely guarded, but The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the group conducting the study had determined the ban on gays could be lifted with little impact on the military and the current wars. The Post said more than 70 percent of active-duty and military reserve members said in a survey the impact of lifting the ban would be positive, mixed or nonexistent. Gates launched an investigation of the leaking incident. Gates intended initially to have the report on his desk by Dec 1, with further review to follow. But he has accelerated the schedule to get the report to the Armed Services Committee. “The secretary has instructed his staff, without cutting any corners, to have everything ready a day sooner because he wants to ensure members of the Armed Services Committee are able to read and consider the complex, lengthy report before holding hearings with its authors and the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Morrell said. A federal judge ordered the military to stop enforcing the ban in October and there has been confusion about the policy as higher courts have upheld or overruled implementation of the order while awaiting an appeal. At one point, the military had four different policies in the space of two weeks, Gates said, which raised his concern about having the issue settled by the courts. “Having to implement this immediately and without preparation and without taking the steps to mitigate whatever risks there are, I think, is the worst of all possible outcomes, being directed to do it by a court with no notice,” Gates said. — Reuters

DISTRITO FEDERAL: Paris’ Mayor and President of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Bertrand Delanoe (L), Mexico City’s Mayor Marcelo Ebrad (C) and Los Angeles’ Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (R), show the “Global Cities Covenant on Climate” or “Mexico City Pact”, signed during the World Mayors’ Summit on Climate, in Mexico City on Sunday. —AFP

World mayors sign climate change pact MEXICO CITY: Mayors from around the world signed a voluntary pact Sunday in Mexico City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a meeting meant as a precursor to UN-sponsored climate talks in Cancun opening next week. The gathering in one of the world’s most polluted cities assembled thousands of local and regional leaders to discuss a wide range of economic and social issues, including climate change. Participants from some 135 cities and urban areas-including Buenos Aires, Bogota, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Paris and Vancouversigned the pact which states their intention to adopt a slate of measures to stem climate change. Each city “will have to register its climate data (commitments as well as performance) in the city climate record” during the next eight months, said Gabriel Sanchez, president of Think Foundation, a Mexican non-profit. Residents will be able to track their cities’ performance online, officials said. The pact will be presented at UN talks in the Mexican resort of Cancun from November 29 to December 10. That’s when top climate scientists from around the world hope to break the deadlock on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and channeling aid to poor, vulnerable countries after the widely regarded failure of the last climate summit, in Copenhagen. Sunday’s signing came a day after the close of the third conference of the United Cities and Local Governments, attended by mayors, legislators and officials from more than 1,000 cities and towns in 114 countries. Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said his counterparts should seize the opportunity ahead of Cancun to highlight their key roles in the fight to put the brakes on climate change. “We have to tell the international community that it’s in the cities that the battle to slow global warming will be won,” Ebrard said in the lead-up to the meeting.

And he has brought the battle to his doorstep; the leftist Ebrard pledged last week that Mexico City, with its teeming population of more than 20 million, would reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by around 14 percent. The mayors emphasized the vital role that cities, where more than half the world’s population now live, can play in the fight against climate change. Urban areas consume up to 80 percent of global energy production and emit 60 percent of greenhouse gases, according to Christiana Figueres, head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The pact sent a “clear signal” to countries that will sit at the negotiating table in Cancun that it is possible to reach agreement, Figueres said. Meanwhile, a new study released on Sunday found that fossil-fuel gases edged back less than hoped in 2009, as falls in advanced economies were largely outweighed by rises in China and India. Annual global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of oil, gas and coal were 30.8 billion tonnes, a retreat of only 1.3 percent in 2009 compared with 2008, a record year, they said in a letter to the journal Nature Geoscience. The decrease was less than half what had been expected, because emerging giant economies were unaffected by the downturn that hit many large industrialized nations. In addition, they burned more coal, the biggest source of fossil-fuel carbon, while their economies struggled with a higher “carbon intensity,” a measure of fuel-efficiency. Emissions of fossil-fuel gases in 2009 fell by 11.8 percent in Japan, by 6.9 percent in the United States, by 8.6 percent in Britain, by 7.0 percent in Germany and by 8.4 percent in Russia, the paper said. In contrast, they rose by eight percent in China, the world’s number one emitter of fossil-fuel CO2, which accounts for a whopping 24 percent of the total. — AFP


iNTerNaTioNal

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Locals live in fear of accused Philippine massacre clan SHARIFF AGUAK: Leaders of a Muslim clan accused of carrying out the Philippines’ worst political massacre remain a major security threat in their home province even from behind bars, locals say. Residents in the southern province of Maguindanao still talk about the Ampatuan family in hushed voices, because saying anything bad about the clan could bring bloody reprisals from loyal militiamen who have eluded arrest. “Their forces are still very much around. You may not see the family’s leaders anymore, but you can still feel their presence,” said Jun Dadula, a long-time government employee, whose name was changed to protect

his identity. Dadula has lived all his life literally under the shadows of the Ampatuans his family’s modest bungalow is not far from the mansions owned by Andal Ampatuan Snr and his sons in Shariff Aguak, the provincial capital. He described Ampatuan Snr as a benevolent godfather to those who were loyal to him, but a vengeful and violent man to those who went against his will. “No one dares to go against them,” he said as a column of military tanks and armoured personnel carriers patrolled the main highway amid heightened tensions just ahead of today’s first anniversary of the massacre. Clan patriarch Andal Ampatuan Snr,

his son and namesake, and four other relatives are among 196 people charged with murder for the November 23 massacre of the 57 people — 32 of whom were journalists. They are being held in a detention centre a long flight away from Maguindanao, in Manila, while awaiting trial-a process that could take years yet have access to mobile phones and other forms of communication. Last year’s murders were meant to stop a politician from a rival family, Esmael Mangudadatu, from contesting the governorship of the province. Mangudadatu eventually won the post in May national elections after the Ampatuans lost their political support

from then president Gloria Arroyo amid the fallout from the massacre. But Mangudadatu, whose wife was among last year’s victims, said many of the clan’s loyal armed followers continued to elude a police manhunt by hiding in Maguindanao’s remote hilly areas. He blamed them for the murders of at least five potential witnesses, including a former Ampatuan militiaman gunned down in July whose death has been widely reported. “They remain very dangerous and can receive instructions any time (from the Ampatuan leaders) through mobile phones,” Mangudadatu told AFP. Illustrating the security threat,

Mangudadatu has chosen not to set up his governors’ base in Shariff Aguak, preferring a town with fewer Ampatuan links, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) away. He will travel today to the massacre site on the outskirts of Shariff Aguak, along with other relatives of the murdered people, for a one-year anniversary commemoration service. However they will only go protected with heavy military security. Ampatuan Snr rose to prominence in the 1970s as a leader of a paramilitary group before entering politics as a mayor in Maguindanao province. He later became provincial governor, and consolidated power and wealth

by allegedly taking over vast tracts of land by force and by eliminating other families that were seen as a threat, according to Human Rights Watch. The family’s power grew even stronger under the patronage of Arroyo, who used the Ampatuans and their militia of up to 5,000 men as a proxy force against Muslim rebels who have waged a decades-long insurgency in the southern Philippines. Human Rights Watch said in a report last week that the Ampatuans remained in control in some parts of Maguindanao even after a security crackdown following last year’s massacre that led to the clan’s leaders being arrested.

It noted that eight of the 34 mayors who won in the May elections were Ampatuan relatives. The continued violence has left people like Bai Nena Sahrik with little hope of seeing her 10-month-old granddaughter grow up in a place where she can play without fear of being abducted or harmed. “We are still very, very afraid,” said Sahrik, as she lined up to receive a cash dole-out at a dilapidated municipal building in a town named after the Ampatuans. “Everyday, we are reminded of them,” she said, pointing to a fading campaign picture on a wall showing Zaldy Ampatuan, one of the clan leaders in jail awaiting trial. —AFP

All men in stable condition

29 escape barefoot from flooded Chinese coal mine

WEIYUAN: Rescuers carry a trapped miner wrapped in white quilts out from the flooded Batian Coal Mine in Xiaohe town of Weiyuan county in southwest China’s Sichuan province yesterday. —AP

N Korea nuclear disclosures spark international alarm SEOUL: North Korea’s claims to have a working uranium enrichment plant-a possible second route to a nuclear bomb-sparked anger yesterday in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo. Top US defense officials said the plant would give the hardline communist state the potential to build more nuclear weapons, while Japan called the disclosure “absolutely unacceptable” and South Korea voiced “grave concerns”. Washington’s special envoy for Pyongyang Stephen Bosworth said the move was provocative but “not a crisis”, and he left the door open for engagement with the reclusive communist state. Alarm bells rang after a US scientist revealed he had toured a modern, new uranium enrichment plant equipped with at least 1,000 centrifuges on November 12 at the North’s Yongbyon nuclear complex. Stanford University professor Siegfried Hecker called the facility “stunning”, adding he was told it was already producing lowenriched uranium although there was no

way to confirm if the plant was fully operational. “It is possible that Pyongyang’s latest moves are directed primarily at eventually generating much-needed electricity,” he wrote in a report. “Yet, the military potential of uranium enrichment technology is serious.” Hecker said his guides told him there were in fact 2,000 centrifuges already producing low-enriched uranium to help fuel a nuclear power reactor. They insisted it was for a civilian nuclear electricity programme. The US top military officer, Admiral Michael Mullen, told ABC television the assumption is “that they continue to head in the direction of additional nuclear weapons”. Defence Secretary Robert Gates, speaking in Bolivia, said “an enrichment plant like this, assuming that is what it is, obviously gives them the potential to create a number more (nuclear weapons).” South Korean Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young told parliament that Seoul and Washington share “grave concerns”, while

Japan’s top government spokesman Yoshito Sengoku called the development “absolutely unacceptable”. As part of a six-nation pact, the North in 2008 shut down an ageing gas graphite reactor which had produced enough plutonium for possibly six to eight small bombs. But in April 2009 it angrily quit the six-nation disarmament talks and staged a second atomic weapons test a month later. In September last year it announced it had reached the final stage of enriching uranium. In recent months, Pyongyang has indicated conditional willingness to return to dialogue but asserts its right to be treated as a nuclear state-something which Washington, Seoul and Tokyo refuse to countenance. David Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, estimated that 2,000 centrifuges could-if reconfigured-yield about 26 kilograms (57 pounds) of weaponsgrade uranium a year, enough for one weapon. —AFP

Japan minister quits over jokes about job TOKYO: The Japanese justice minister resigned yesterday over comments that made light of his duty to respond to questioning in parliament, the latest blow to the ruling party as it struggles to keep Japan’s fragile economic recovery alive. Minoru Yanagida held a press conference yesterday morning in Tokyo to announce his resignation. The gaffe is the latest setback for Prime Minister Naoto Kan, whose falling support in polls has emboldened the political opposition. Kan has been weakened by public anger over recent diplomatic spats with China and Russia, and political sparring has delayed progress on a major financial stimulus package, even as deflation and a strong yen threaten the struggling economy. Yanagida said Nov. 14 that as justice minister he only needed to remember two comments when facing questions from lawmakers: “I do not comment on specific cases,” and “We are dealing with the matter appropriately based on

law and evidence.” The remarks set off a firestorm of criticism from lawmakers, who demanded he step down from his post. He initially said he would stay on, but decided to resign after meeting with Prime Minister Naoto Kan early yesterday, according to reports by public broadcaster NHK and the Kyodo News agency. A key opposition party had been preparing a censure motion against him and threatening to boycott parliamentary deliberations on the stimulus budget if he didn’t quit. Kan has lost support among voters, many of whom feel Tokyo responded too timidly in recent diplomatic spats with China and Russia. Parliamentary debate over a crucial $61 billion stimulus package has been held up over his handling of leaked video footage of a collision between a Chinese fishing boat and Japanese patrol vessels near disputed islands. Japan’s economy expanded at an annualized pace of 3.9 percent in the third quarter, but all signs point to a rapid deceleration in the

TOKYO: In this photo taken on Friday, Sept 17, 2010, Japan’s Justice Minister Minoru Yanagida speaks during a press conference at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo. —AP current quarter. Slowing exports and a persistently strong yen are taking their toll, while deflation is keeping a tight grip on the world’s No. 3 economy. The package, which the gov-

ernment estimates will help lift the nation’s gross domestic product by 0.6 percentage points, includes financial support for small businesses and spending to boost local economies. —AP

BEIJING: Barefoot and wrapped in white quilts, 29 miners were pulled out of a Chinese coal mine yesterday after being trapped by a flood and waiting a day for rescuers to pump out water. State broadcaster China Central Television showed medics leading out the miners, naked and with their eyes shielded from the light after 24 hours in darkness. Crowds of mine workers, reporters and others cheered as they were taken to ambulances. Late yesterday, all 29 men were in stable condition at a hospital with no serious injuries, Xinhua reported. They may have removed their clothes because wet clothing would have risked hypothermia. Some 35 miners were initially trapped Sunday morning when waters from a nearby abandoned mine flooded a shaft in the small, privately owned Batian mine in southwest Sichuan province, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. While 13 managed to escape, another seven entered the mine trying to rescue their colleagues and became trapped, the report said. The trapped workers found dry space about 125 feet (40 meters) below the surface to wait out the rescue while fast pumping by emergency teams cleared the water away, a mine inspector who took part in the rescue said. “They were trapped down underground just above the leaked water,” said the inspector, Bao Xiqiang, with southern Sichuan’s Work Safety Bureau. “When the water went down to a safe level, the rescuers and miners were able to wade their way out of the shaft.” CCTV interviewed one rescuer who was wearing a soaked T-shirt and said the water in places was as high as his shoulders. Workers pumped water from the mine for more than 10 hours, Bao said. Rescuers then walked down a slope about 525 feet (160 meters) and along a flat tunnel for another 1,800 feet (550 meters) to reach those trapped, he said. The rescue was rare good news for a coal mining industry that is still the world’s deadliest despite impressive safety improvements in recent years. It contrasted with the difficult rescue efforts under way in New Zealand, where toxic gas buildup has kept rescuers from entering a coal mine to reach 29 workers three days after an explosion. China counts on coal to meet nearly 70 percent of its energy needs, and with the economy growing at about a 10 percent rate, demand and prices for coal are high, encouraging mine owners to ramp up production. The Batian mine was not producing coal at the time of the accident, but work crews were inside the mine preparing to increase annual capacity from 50,000 tons to 60,000 tons, Xinhua reported. Though most of China’s mining accidents occur in small, illegal mines, Xinhua quoted Lin Shucheng, chief of the provincial work safety bureau, as saying Batian’s operation was legal and fully licensed.— AP

GREYMOUTH: Mine blast survivor Daniel Rockhouse, center, hugs family members following their briefing with police and company officials in Greymouth, New Zealand, after visiting the Pike River coal mine yesterday. —AP

Hopes wane at NZ mine; gas prevents rescue of 29 GREYMOUTH: Hopes waned yesterday for the survival of 29 New Zealand coal miners who have been trapped for three days underground, where the presence of explosive gases has prevented a rescue. Family members expressed frustration with the pace of the response as officials acknowledged for the first time it may be too late to save the miners, who have not been heard from since a massive explosion ripped through the Pike River Mine on the country’s South Island on Friday. A buildup of methane gas is the suspected cause of the explosion, though officials say that may not be confirmed for days. And now the presence of that gas and others , some of them believed to be coming from a smoldering fire deep underground , are delaying a rescue over fears they could still explode. “Everybody’s frustrated, everybody’s upset,” said Laurie Drew, whose 21-year-old son, Zen, is among the missing. “I have my moments I can keep it together but deep down my heart’s bleeding like everybody else’s.” Authorities are working on drilling a 500-foot-long, sixinch-wide (160-meter-long, 15centimeter-wide) shaft into the mine tunnel to get a better idea of the air quality in areas where miners were believed trapped by the blast. Officials will also feed a very high-resolution laser camera down the hole to give rescuers their first sight of conditions, and

potentially the men inside, said John Dow, the chairman of Pike River Coal Ltd., the mine owner. Once the question of air quality is resolved, rescuers hope to send a bomb-disposal robot into the mine. Army specialists were at the mine site yesterday fitting the robot with a camera and up to 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) of fiber optic cable so it could take video of conditions in the tunnel. The battery-operated robot can only operate in fresh air, and so cannot be sent into the mine until the air clears. Also, checks were under way to make sure the robot would not cause a spark or anything else that could ignite flammable gases inside. “We still remain optimistic, we’re still keeping an open mind,” police superintendent Gary Knowles told reporters. “But we are planning for all outcomes, and as part of this process we’re planning for the possible loss of life as a result of what’s occurred underground.” Two workers stumbled out of the mine within hours of Friday’s explosion, but there has been no contact at all with the missing 29. A phone line deep inside the mine has rung unanswered for days. One of the two workers who escaped, Daniel Rockhouse, 24, described the explosion as being like an oversized shotgun blast. He said the explosion smashed him into the mine wall and knocked him out. When he came to, he staggered to a nearby compressed air line to breathe in fresh air and gain some strength.

“I got up and there was thick white smoke everywhere , worse than a fire. I knew straight away that it was carbon monoxide,” Rockhouse, whose brother Ben remains underground, was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald newspaper. “I couldn’t see anything, and it was dead quiet. I yelled, ‘Help, somebody help me!’ But no one came. There was no one there.” Rockhouse stumbled toward the exit and eventually found the unconscious body of Russell Smith, the other survivor. Rockhouse began dragging Smith, until the other awoke. The two men stumbled through the dark haze to finally reach the surface nearly two hours after the explosion. “It wasn’t just a bang, finish, it just kept coming, kept coming, kept coming, so I crouched down as low as I could in the seat and tried to get behind this metal door, to stop getting pelted with all this debris,” Smith told TV3. “I remember struggling for breath. I thought at the time it was gas, but ... it was dust, stone dust, I just couldn’t breathe. And that’s the last I remember,” he said. Police have said the miners, aged 17 to 62, are believed to be about 1.2 miles (two kilometers) down the tunnel. Each miner carried 30 minutes of oxygen, and more fresh air was stored in the mine, along with food and water, that could allow several days of survival, officials say. New Zealand’s mines are generally safe. —AP

Lawyers for Khmer Rouge jailer appeal conviction PHNOM PENH: Defense lawyers for a former Khmer Rouge prison chief have formally appealed his conviction for war crimes and other offenses that landed him a 19-year jail sentence. Kang Ritheary, a Cambodian lawyer representing Kaing Guek Eav ,also known as Duch , said yesterday his team has filed the appeal with the Supreme Court chamber of the country’s UNbacked genocide tribunal. They seek his release from detention. The tribunal is seeking justice for the estimated 1.7 million people who died from starvation, disease, overwork and execution due to the radical policies of the 1975-79 communist Khmer Rouge regime. Kang Ritheary said the appeal, lodged Friday, argues that Duch was wrongfully convicted because the court had a mandate to try only top Khmer Rouge leaders. Duch (pronounced DOIK) claimed there were others who held positions similar to his. “The tribunal is confused in convicting my client,” Kang Ritheary said. “Based on the agreement between the United Nations and Cambodian government, Duch is not a main suspect for trial by the tribunal.” While Duch was one of some 100 officials supervising separate prisons around the country, the S-21 prison that Duch supervised , also known as Tuol Sleng ,

was the ultimate destination for most important political prisoners, many of whom were tortured into making false confessions. Prosecutors had already appealed Duch’s sentence, arguing that it was too lenient. Found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as torture and murder, Duch was originally sentenced to 35 years. Judges reduced the sentence by five years for time served illegally detained in a Cambodian military prison, and ended up commuting it to about 19 years after taking into consideration that he cooperated, showed some expression of remorse and was not in the Khmer Rouge’s inner circle. The prosecutors said the original judgment “gives insufficient weight to the gravity of Duch’s crimes and his role and his willing participation in those crimes.” They want a life sentence , equivalent in legal terms to 50 years , commuted to 45 years to take into account his earlier illegal detention. The appeals are expected to be heard next year. The 67-year-old Duch was the first defendant to be tried of the five held by the tribunal. He admitted to overseeing the torture and deaths of as many as 16,000 people at the prison he ran. He has expressed remorse for his actions. —AP


INTERNATIONAL

12

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pakistan floods wake-up call to growing disasters ISLAMABAD: The US and other countries must recognize the threat represented by the massive floods that hit Pakistan earlier this year and increase preparation for a growing number of natural disasters caused by climate change, a new report said yesterday. It is estimated that as many as 200 million people will be displaced by natural disasters and climate change around the world by 2050, said the report by Washington, D.C.-based

Refugees International. The world’s poorest and most crisis-prone countries will be disproportionately affected. “The massive flooding in Pakistan is a wake-up call that starkly highlights the real threats we face from climate-related disasters,” said Michel Gabaudan, president of Refugees International. “Given the high costs of responding to these catastrophic events, it is in our best interest to plan now for the massive human dis-

placement they cause and protect those most at risk.” This summer’s floods in Pakistan submerged one-fifth of the country, an area the size of Louisiana, and affected more than 20 million people. The disaster caught both the Pakistani government and the humanitarian community by surprise and overwhelmed their response capabilities. Many experts believe the floods were the result of climate change,

said the report. Others believe the science is uncertain, it said, but most agree that natural disasters are occurring more frequently and that the international community is ill-equipped to respond. “The floods in Pakistan provide an opportunity to draw lessons and address some of the underlying factors that rendered so many people vulnerable to begin with,” said Alice Thomas, co-author of

the report and Climate Displacement Program Manager for Refugees International. “With some foresight and critical thinking, we can implement effective programs to prevent long-term displacement and get people back on their feet more quickly after a disaster occurs.” The organization called on the United States, which is the largest donor to Pakistan, to prepare a report on how its assistance

will address climate vulnerability in the country. “The failure to address the threat of climate displacement could undermine the long-term stability of countries likely to experience increased floods, storms, droughts and other disasters,” said Gabaudan, the Refugees International chief. “Taking preventive steps now will strengthen these countries and provide support to the world’s poorest people.” — AP

Roadside bomb kills four Afghan civilians on tractor Washington, allies want to hand over country’s security KABUL: Homema de bombs killed four Afgha n civilians, including tw o children, riding on a tractor yesterday in eastern Afghanistan, w hile tw o NATO coalition service members w ere killed in the south, officials said. Violence is raging across much of Afghanistan nine years after the US-led invasion. Washington a nd its allies w ant to ha nd over the country’s security to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014 and eventually w ithdra w, but the daily violence show s the challenges of meeting that goal.

KABUL: Afghan security forces escort suspected Taleban members who were detained in an operation in Herat, west of Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday. According to Afghan security officials, seven Taleban members were killed during the operation and four were detained. — AP

Afghan military uniforms going for a song in Kabul KABUL: Shopkeeper Mohammed Zabi sells Afghan police and military uniforms on the open market, with just a couple of safeguards-customers with long beards or rural accents are sent to look elsewhere for fear they could be insurgents. Afghan militants often disguise themselves as soldiers or policemen for attacks, and buying a complete uniform in Kabul’s hectic bazaar does not cost more than 800 Afghanis ($17). Just a few hundred metres from President Hamid Karzai’s heavily fortified palace, tiny, crammed shops sell everything from standard-issue pistol holsters to outfits with a range of well-made security insignias. The interior ministry says the trade is illegal, but shopkeepers insist they are only targeting legitimate buyers like security forces who lose or damage their uniforms. “If the buyer doesn’t have any ID, I can work out from his appearance why he

wants to buy this stuff,” 44 year-old Zabi told Reuters, standing between rows of army and police uniforms. “If I get buyers with long beards, don’t speak with a Kabul accent or don’t have any ID then I don’t sell,” he said.Zabi has a seal of official approval-a contract to provide uniforms to the Interior Ministry, and says he faces no restrictions from the police or other government organizations. Like many in the trade, he also has a license from the Independent Craftsmen’s Union, which has dozens of members selling uniforms and other military gear in Kabul, he added. But the trade is a risky one, officially banned for security reasons, with violence in Afghanistan at the highest level since the 2001 ouster of the Taleban. “Buying or selling military equipment and police uniforms is absolutely illegal and the government will continue to shut such businesses,” said ministry spokesman Zemari Bashary. Shopkeepers reacted bad-

ly to efforts to photograph their wares, saying that after other media reports officials came to confiscate their stock-and make them pay to get it back. “Your pictures draw the attention of the government into our business which we don’t want,” said one from the angry crowd. The Taleban won fame as a force dressed in shalwar kameez, the baggy trousers and long shirts worn by many Afghan men. But they have often launched attacks on government buildings, military installations and aid organisations when hidden under all-enveloping burqas or dressed as police or army officials. The outfits make it easier for them to get close to targets, and surprise the real security forces. Earlier this month about eight Taleban fighters dressed as Afghan army soldiers attacked Jalalabad airport in eastern Nangarhar province, which serves as one of the biggest military bases for foreign forces. — Reuters

Foreign militants, Taleban commander die in US strike

JAMMU: An Indian stunt man rides his car as he displays his skills during the Jhiri fair at Kanachack village, outskirts of Jammu, India yesterday. According to legend, the fair is held in memory of Baba Jitu, a simple and honest farmer who killed himself since he was not prepared to submit to the unjust demands of a landlord who wanted him to part with his crop. — AP

MIR ALI, Pakistan: A local Taleban commander and two foreign militants were among nine people killed by a suspected US missile strike near the Afghan border, Pakistani officials said yesterday. Sunday’s strike against a house in the North Waziristan tribal area was part of the Obama administration’s campaign to use drones to target militants who regularly stage cross-border attacks against foreign troops in Afghanistan. Pakistani intelligence officials initially said the attack in Khaddi village killed six people but raised that number to nine yesterday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The slain insurgent leader was identified only as Mustafa. The officials said he was linked to Sadiq Noor, a key Taleban figure in Nor th Waziristan. — AP

The four civilians died in Zurmat district of Paktia province said Ghulam Dastagir, deputy provincial police chief, adding that it was unclear whether the bomb was planted on the road or placed on the tractor itself. In an overnight operation the same district, a joint Afghan and NATO force killed Fared Gul, a Taliban fighter involved in planting roadside bombs and organizing attacks on coalition convoys and aircraft, the military alliance said. In a separate statement, NATO said that two international service members were killed in a bomb strike in southern Afghanistan, but provided no other details or the nationalities. So far this month, 45 NATO service members have been killed in the Afghan conflict, including at least 38 Americans. In eastern Nangarhar province, meanwhile, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest yesterday while driving a motorcycle down a main road in Mohmand Dara district. It appeared to have been an accident as no obvious targets were nearby, said provincial police spokesman Hazrat Mohammad. The bomber died in the blast, and two nearby civilians were slightly injured, he added. Suicide bombers in Afghanistan tend to target government or NATO vehicles, or installations that represent the government such as police stations or schools. Also in Nangarhar province, some 300 to 400 people protested the capture of nearly a dozen people in an overnight raid in Behsud district, claiming those arrested were not insurgents, said Mohammad. The coalition maintained it had not conducted any overnight operations in the district. In the south, a man working on a stream clearing project in Kandahar province was killed by an unknown gunman Sunday in front of his children in Zhari district, according to the provincial governor’s office. Hundreds of residents are working on redevelopment projects in the area that are being targeted by insurgents trying to stall the Afghan government’s effort to gain control of former Taliban strongholds. During the weekend, two Taliban leaders were killed and two others were captured as part of the NATO coalition’s stepped up campaign against the insurgency’s midlevel command structure and its supply lines, the coalition said. On Sunday, Afghan and coalition forces captured the head of a Taliban bombing ring and several suspected insurgents in the L ashkar Gah district of Helmand province. The bombing cell chief is based in neighboring Kandahar and is responsible for attacks on Afghan civilians and coalition forces. He also is suspected of planning a heavy machine gun ambush on coalition forces, intimidating civilians and training insurgents to execute bomb attacks. On Saturday, Hafiz Janan, a Taliban leader involved in training foreign fighters, was killed in the Bakwa district of Farah province in the west. Another Taliban leader was captured in Baraki Barak district of Logar province, south of Kabul. — AP

PANJWAI: An Afghan girl and her sister look on as US soldiers from Charlie Company, First Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division patrol West Now Ruzi village, district Panjwai, Afghanistan, Sunday. — AP

NATO official: Kabul not that dangerous for kids KABUL: With few bombings and low levels of crime against children in Kabul, youngsters living in the Afghan capital probably are safer than in other big cities like London or New York, NATO’s top civilian representative in Afghanistan said on a taped television program airing yesterday. Mark Sedwill made the comment to the BBC’s CBBC Newsround, a daily current events show aimed at children, then clarified it in a statement issued by his office yesterday. Sedwill, who is the former British ambassador to Afghanistan, said he was trying to explain to an audience of British children how uneven violence is across Afghanistan. He pointed out that half of all insurgent violence takes place in just 10 of the country’s more than 300 districts, where he acknowledged “children too often are the victims of bombings and other dangers.” “But in cities like Kabul where security has improved, the total levels of violence, including criminal violence, are comparable to those which many Western children would experience,” Sedwill said in the clarification. He said more Afghan children are at risk from poverty, “absence of clean water, open sewers, malnutrition, disease” than from the insurgency. The BBC program focused on

young people in war zones and quoted several young people living in Kabul who said they felt unsafe on the streets because of the risk of bombings. Manija, an 11-year-old girl who goes by only one name, said, “When there are explosions I get sad because people are dying. But the next day, when they are living a normal life and celebrating, I get happy.” Speaking on the program, Sedwill noted that in recent months there have been few bombings in the city. “The children are probably safer here than they would be in London, New York or Glasgow or many other cities,” Sedwill said. “Most children can go about their lives in safety. It’s a very family-oriented society. So it is a little bit like a city of villages.” The number of Afghan civilians killed or injured in the war across Afghanistan soared 31 percent in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2009, according to a report by the United Nations. Children made up a rising proportion of the victims, with child casualties rising 55 percent. The report said Taleban attacks were responsible for most of the civilian casualties, while deaths and injuries caused by NATO and Afghan government forces dropped 30 percent. — AP

Singapore family jailed for helping terror suspect SINGAPORE: Singapore said yesterday that three family members of a terror suspect helped him remain at-large after a 2008 prison escape by disguising him as a woman. The brother, sister-in-law and niece of Mas Selamat Kastari, a suspected commander of the Singapore arm of the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah militant group, were arrested Nov. 10 and sentenced last week to between three to 18 months in prison for knowingly harboring an escaped prisoner, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said in a statement. Mas Selamat, who is in his late 40s, escaped from a heavily guarded jail in Singapore Feb. 27, 2008 by wriggling out of a bathroom window in a shocking breach that severely embarrassed the city-state known for its rigorous security. Police had been holding him without trial after accusing him of plotting to hijack an airplane and crash it into Singapore’s international airport. Mas

Selamat went to his brother Asmom’s home two days after escaping. After receiving aid from his relatives , including food, cash and women’s cosmetics and clothing for a disguise , he fled to Malaysia. He was captured there in the southern Malaysian state of Johor in April 2009 and handed back to Singaporean authorities in September 2010. The family withheld information about Mas Selamat when interviewed by authorities two days after he stayed with them, but confessed when questioned by police last month, Shanmugam said. Mas Selamat first fled Singapore in December 2001 following a crackdown on Jemaah Islamiyah. He was arrested by Indonesian police on Bintan island in January 2006 and handed over to Singapore authorities. Jemaah Islamiyah is accused of carrying out the 2002 bombings in Bali, Indonesia, that killed 202 people. — AP


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NEWS

13

Iraq’s Christians seek safe haven in Jordan 2 Christian brothers shot dead

SEATTLE: A passenger walks past a sign informing travelers about the use of full-body scanners for TSA security screening at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. — AP

Row rages in US over invasive airport frisking WASHINGTON: The Obama administration tried yesterday to quell an uproar over new security measures at US airports, with air travelers in revolt against body searches described by some as invasive and humiliating. In the lead-up to Thanksgiving, the busiest travel weekend of the year when tens of millions go through the country’s airports, Americans are balking en masse at the intensive frisking meant to find hidden explosives or weapons. The measures, implemented this month, are an alternative for passengers who opt out of full body X-rays, which some complain reveal not just potentially dangerous weapons, but the contours, and more, of a passenger’s body. Some passengers say the pat-downs, in which agents use their fingers and open palms, are just as bad as the scanning machines and complain that they come uncomfortably close to the genital area. Female agents run their hands between and under women’s breasts and both sexes are patted down from crotch to ankles, front and back. John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which enforces federal aviation security, acknowledged the uproar but insisted the new security measures would not be scrapped. “Do I understand the sensitivities of people? Yes. If you’re asking, am I going to change the policies? No,” he told CNN. Pistole, who testified before a Senate committee last week over the stringent measures,

reminded the public that they were put in place to plug perceived holes in aviation security at a time of growing terrorism threats. The more intimate patdowns and full body scanners were introduced in the wake of a string of foiled bomb plots against US-bound airliners. Those include the Christmas Day bomb attempt last year when Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, a young Nigerian, allegedly tried to ignite explosives concealed in his underwear as his plane came in to land in Detroit. The decision to tighten security hinges on “what the current threat environment is, given the current threat stream being informed by the latest intelligence,” Pistole told CNN. “We know that we face a determined enemy who has been adept at devising and concealing explosive devices, bombs, that will target not only aviation in terms of commercial aircraft but also cargo aircraft.” Still, Pistole acknowledged that the measures had caused widespread discontent across the United States, and said he was “sympathetic” to the public debate. “The challenge is, how do we balance the security that everybody wants-everybody wants to make sure they get to their destination safely-with the privacy that everybody wants also? How do we find that precise blend for each person?” Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted reservations. Asked by CBS if she would be happy about getting a pat-down, she admitted: “No, not if I could avoid it. I mean who

would?” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican believed to harbor presidential ambitions for 2012, said the heavy frisking should be reserved for likely terror suspects. “There’s no reason for them to be doing these body searches of six-year-old, 12-year-old girls traveling from Louisiana to visit their grandparents,” he told NBC. “Luck is not a strategy. We need to be rooting out networks; we need to be killing these terrorists.” The TSA has put hundred of full body scanners in scores of airports across the United States, with a goal of installing some 500 of the devices across the country by the end of the year, and 1,000 by the end of 2011. But there has been greater than anticipated public pushback against the security measures. A loose network of groups are calling for a boycott of the full body scanners on November 24, the day before Thanksgiving-a protest that threatens to gum up the works at airports across the nation on one of the biggest travel days of the year. Called “National Opt Out Day,” the campaign could cause long delays in security lines if many passengers refuse to go through the body scanners and are subsequently subjected to the slower, personnel intensive patdowns. Meanwhile, one passenger’s particularly vocal protest went viral on the Internet. “If you touch my junk I’ll have you arrested,” he was heard warning a TSA screener trying to pat him down. — AFP

UK probes Sharia claim Continued from Page 1 umbrella of the Saudi Students’ Schools and Clubs in the UK and Ireland and have been teaching the Saudi national curriculum to about 5,000 children. Pupils at the Islamic schools are being taught how to chop off a criminal’s hand and that Jews are conspiring to take over the world, A BBC investigation found yesterday. Up to 5,000 pupils aged between six

and 18 are being taught Sharia law punishments using “weekend-school” text-books which claim those who do not believe in Islam will be subjected to “hellfire” in death. A text book for 15-year-olds advises: “For thieves their hands will be cut off for a first offence, and their foot for a subsequent offence.” “The specified punishment of the thief is cutting off his right hand at the wrist. Then it is cauterized to prevent him from bleeding to death,” it added.

Young pupils are warned that the punishment for engaging in homosexual acts is death by stoning, burning with fire or throwing off a cliff and that the “main goal” of the Jews is to “have control over the world and its resources.” The schools are part of the “Saudi Students Clubs and Schools in the UK and Ireland” organization. The BBC investigation claimed that one school in London is owned by the Saudi government. — Agencies

Despite earlier reports in newspapers on November 13, Al-Mansouri revealed that on November 12, the situation reached an alarming rate, “We met immediately with the officials in several ministries, together with experts from the Kuwait Oil Company who volunteered to help with their expertise. We worked during the entire Eid holidays to excavate and aerate the area to alleviate the gas pressure in order to prevent accidents from occurring,” said AlMansouri. Sami Al-Reshaid, the KOC Chairman and Managing Director explained that the main culprit is gas leaks from the old gas network in Ahmadi City, which was built in 1950. “In 2001, we replaced the old gas network with a new one. When the gas leak issues appeared, we tested the new network in order to see if there were any faults in installation, but couldn’t find any leaks from there,” he explained.

“There may have been faults and leaks from the old network, and some complications and gas-build up may have resulted from that. We are working to determine if that is the reason, and we will work on solving the problem accordingly,” he said. In February this year, an incident of an explosion occurred in one of the houses that belongs to the Kuwait Oil Company, north of Ahmadi City. The KOC’s team of experts handled the situation by determining that the cause of the gas leaks were from residue build-up of gas from the old gas network and has been solved completely. Last August, citizens living in south Ahmadi, Block 1, complained from a strong smell of gas in the area. Experts from the Kuwaiti government ran some tests and found that there was no serious presence of gas in the air. The Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has voluntarily set up a team of experts to handle this situation. North Ahmadi, the area where Kuwait Oil Company-owned houses are, is under con-

the marina area and Shuwaikh port. It deprived us from having nice walks on our Corniche. It attracted criticism from international environment groups and deprived us from swimming in our beautiful sea. They killed the only thing we were proud of - our sea, our heritage. The serial killing is on the spree. It did not end with the Mishref sewage plant. Now it is the gas leak in Ahmadi. Now it is

people’s life on the edge. Many people have to be evacuated and uprooted from their homes. Gas is not a joke. It is a silent but sure killer. Even if you light a cigarette and there is gas leakage that you haven’t noticed your house can explode. It can happen while you are asleep and do not even know about it. In short, lives of people are at stake. Do you think our MPs and government will take this matter seriously? Or will it be treated like the electricity power cuts and shortages and all other disasters we have

Dawood told the BBC. But Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki said on November 9 that Christians should not be encouraged to leave their homeland. An estimated 800,000 Christians lived in Iraq before the 2003 US-led invasion, but their number has since shrunk to around 500,000 in the face of repeated attacks against their community and churches. Altogether an estimated two million refugees from Iraq, mostly Muslim, have fled to Jordan and Syria since the invasion. Meanwhile, gunmen shot and killed two Christian brothers yesterday in a northern Iraqi city in the latest in a spate of attacks targeting the religious minority, Iraqi police said. Christians have been fleeing Iraq amid a series of attacks against them by militants who have vowed a campaign of violence against the country’s Christian minority. In the most serious attack, 68 people died after a group of militants with explosives strapped to their bodies held about 120 people hostage in a Baghdad church last month before Iraqi authorities stormed the building. Mosul, 225 miles north of Baghdad is home to a sizable Christian population that has repeatedly come under attack from Sunni militants who view Christians as nonbelievers. Brothers Saad and Raad Hannah were working in their auto mechanic shop in Mosul when gunmen burst in and shot them dead before fleeing, police said. A local hospital worker confirmed the deaths. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. — Agencies

Gulf currency pegs seen surviving weak US dollar DUBAI: The Fed’s moves to pump money into the US economy may revive questions about the dollar pegs used for Gulf Arab currencies, but policy change in the conservative oil producing region seems to be a long way off. Policymakers in the world’s top crude exporting region have long said that dollar pegs serve their hydrocarbonheavy economies well as long as inflation stays under control. As key Gulf economies continue to recover, inflation has started to pick up. In Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates it has already hit 18-month highs, though it is still far below 2008 record peaks. No wonder then that the weak dollar, which touched an 11-month low against a basket of currencies early this month in response to US Federal Reserve policy, has obliged Gulf officials to deny any risks to pegs in the region, which relies heavily on imports. Even so, forwards now price in just 0.3 percent firming in a year for Saudi Arabia’s currency compared with 2.7 percent at the height of 2007 speculation that imported inflation would force the region to ditch its dollar pegs. “The Gulf states should keep their dollar fixes for the foreseeable future,” Robert Mundell, the Nobel Prize-winning economist from Columbia University in New York said. “The only good argument for

Continued from Page 1 trol. South Ahmadi, which is where block 1 lies, is owned by the Kuwaiti government. “We are using the same expertise that handled the North Ahmadi situation to deal with Block 1,” explained KOC Chairman Al-Reshaid. Ismael Al-Khawari, the leader of the team responsible for excavating and solving the gas dilemma, explained that the homes in Block 1 or south Ahmadi are government-owned homes that sadly don’t follow safety precautions and measurements. “It is difficult to access the homes, as they are build right next to each other with no space in between them and only one entrance, meaning there are no emergency exits. When we worked toward solving the gas leaks issue in north Ahmadi, where houses are owned and built by the Kuwait Oil Company, we were able to easily access the homes as they are separated by a big space and are equipped with emergency exits. The unsafe design of the houses in Block 1 is certainly one of the reasons why this is taking us longer time,” he said.

Who is responsible for Ahmadi disaster? Continued from Page 1

Churches, estimates that 120,000 Iraqi Christians have fled to Jordan since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. “There are 40,000 to 50,000 Iraqis left in Jordan,” he said, adding that the rest have left to start new lives in North America, Australia and Europe. Uday Hikmat worries about the future. Three days after the church massacre he and his parents packed and left Iraq. “We did not want to wait our turn to die,” said the 33-year-old. Now he hopes that his birth certificate will serve as a central element in the documentation he needs to submit to secure an emigration visa. Fellow worshipper Mohannad Najem said Hikmat was “lucky” to have his birth certificate. “Churches in Iraq no longer issue birth certificates in order to contain the exile of Christians,” said Najem, a 33-yearold car mechanic who fled Iraq in October with his wife and four small children. “The Mahdi Army told me I had to pay them 1,000 dollars each month or they would kill my children one by one. “Two days after that threat we were gone,” he said. They got out 10 days before the massacre at the Baghdad Syriac cathedral where they worshipped on Sundays. “We would probably be dead now,” said Najem. His cousin Nadia and nephew Fadi were among the victims. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the church massacre and warned that it would step up attacks on Christians. Earlier this month a senior Iraqi clergyman said Iraq’s Christians should leave the country or face being killed at the hands of Al-Qaeda. “If they stay they will be finished, one by one,” the London-based Archbishop Athanasios

changing the fix would be if the dollar became unstable or it declined as the premiere anchor currency,” said Mundell, who has recently become an adviser to the United Arab Emirates central bank. Some economists have warned that the Fed’s latest bid to kick start the US economy with a $600 billion injection could fuel inflation and put the credibility of the dollar at risk. But as long as dollar weakness is offset by the shaky euro and dollar-denominated oil remains the key revenue earner for Gulf governments, greenback pegs-politically sensitive for strong US allies-look safe. Apart from the inflation risks, speculation on pegs and a weaker dollar can be damaging for Gulf states which invest a large chunk of their foreign exchange reserves in US assets. Back in 2007, when speculation on revaluation swirled, hot money poured into Gulf Arab countries, making Kuwait break ranks with fellow Gulf states and drop its peg in favor of a currency basket to fight inflation. This summer, Qatar’s central bank slashed interest rates to keep speculative capital out of an economy growing at double digit rates, unlike the rest of the Gulf. However, the euro, at around $1.3740 yesterday, has lost ground to the dollar on worries about how the currency bloc can manage the problems of its weaker

economies. Meanwhile, oil prices have cooled down after climbing to a two-year high of nearly $89 a barrel this month with 2008 peaks still distant. Another factor limiting pressure on the dollar pegs is that the capital flows spurred by US monetar y policy have largely bypassed Gulf economies trying to recover from the global credit crunch and local debt woes. “We have not seen any significant plays from any of the hedge funds or real money guys out of Europe or America for the last month,” said Lyndon Loos, head of MENA forex trading at Standard Chartered in Dubai. “If you get to double digits on the inflation side and see significant weakening in the dollar, say the euro above the 1.55 area, than pressure will be applied once again,” he said. But unlike in 2008, inflation mostly holds in low single digits in the Gulf, where banks exposed to debt restructuring are reluctant to lend. “Even with the current phase of dollar weakness, a return to such levels of inflation is unlikely through to the end of 2011,” said John Sfakianakis, Banque Saudi Fransi’s chief economist. Analysts forecast Saudi inflation at 5.3 percent on average this year and 5.1 percent next year, the highest in the Gulf but well below a 11.1 percent record high in July 2008. — Reuters

Journalist jailed for insulting PM

58 families evacuated over Ahmadi gas leaks Continued from Page 1

AMMAN: A spate of attacks targeting Christians in Iraq has forced many to flee to neighboring Jordan which many see as a stepping stone to a new life as far away as possible from the violence-ridden country. On Sundays families gather at the Syriac Orthodox church in Jordan’s capital Amman to pray, socialise and mull over the best ways of securing a visa to enable them emigrate to the United States, Canada, Australia or Europe. There are always new faces in the crowd, like Suzanne Jilliani, her husband Hani Daniel and their year-old baby who fled after the October 31 attack on Baghdad’s Syriac Catholic cathedral that left 46 worshippers dead. The couple, who now live in a furnished flat provided by the Syriac church in Jordan, dream of joining Jilliani’s family in the United States. “Do you think they will give us visas to go to the United States?” Jilliani asked a fellow Iraqi after a recent Sunday mass. “Never,” said Moayed, who declined to give his first name. “Try Canada. This is what I did.” Moayed said his request to travel to the United States was rejected because he had served in the army of executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Like some Christians, Moayed said he fled Iraq after being threatened by the Mahdi Army militia of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr. Moayed managed a supermarket in Iraq but one day it blew up. He said it happened after the Mahdi Army had ordered him to pack up and leave the country because “there is no room here for Christians.” George Hazou, who heads a Syrian charity organization in Jordan and is an official with the Middle East Council of

faced - talk, talk and nothing done? I think that this time half-solutions will not be accepted. The nation has the right to know what went wrong in Ahmadi and why the leakage? Is it due to inexperienced people handling or bad maintenance? They both give the same result. Or is it arrogance that does not allow us to bring in the right expertise when we don’t have the knowhow. Only time will tell us. Let’s wait and see. In the meantime God bless the people of Ahmadi and give them patience.

Surrounded by his family, Al-Jassem seemed unperturbed by his sentence, despite its severity. “Today I submitted my appeal against the sentence, and I’m waiting for the court to set a date for my next session at the Appeals Court,” he said. “I was surprised by the Court of First Instance’s sentence as my lawyer presented a 60-page defense memorandum. I’m also surprised at why the court didn’t take in consideration the recent sentence of the Supreme Court announced on October 25, 2010 regarding wrong procedure.” The article in which Al-Jassem was accused of insulting and defaming the premier was published on the journalist’s website a year ago, with the case being filed against him in January of this year. The article in question alleged that Iranian intelligence was interfering in Kuwait’s affairs through a leading businessman close to HH the Prime Minister. In the article, Al-Jassem in identified the businessman only as ‘M’, describing him as a Kuwaiti citizen of Iranian origin. “I think this sentence is illegal, and I’m sure that the Appeals Court will annul it,” he asserted. “I think this sentence is a result of the political pursuit supported by the Prime Minister. The court ignored the Supreme Court’s sentence in a similar case against me. Also, I see this sentence as being completely invalid as it was published in the media before being officially announced by the judge.” Speaking to other journalists after yesterday’s verdict, the leading Kuwaiti writer said, “This is a political case. The Prime Minister has been trying for some time to suppress freedom of speech.” AlJassem, who is also a lawyer, was previ-

ously accused of agitating for regime change in another article published on his website and in three books about Kuwaiti politics. In April, the Court of First Instance sentenced him to six months imprisonment for allegedly slandering the premier at a public rally, but the Appeals Court overturned the sentence three months later. Al-Jassem is also facing several other legal cases, mostly filed by HH the Prime Minister and alleging slander. In May, he was arrested and detained for 49 days on state security-related charges which alleged that he had undermined the status of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and harmed national interests, meaning that the latest sentence will make this the third time this year for him to be incarcerated. In his interview with the Kuwait Times, the veteran writer and journalist insisted that prison would not change him, adding that he intends to continue to perform his duty by writing articles whilst incarcerated. Al-Jassem stressed that he has no personal conflicts with or animosity towards the premier. “I have no personal interest or benefit and I’m being imprisoned for loving my country, and punished for not being a hypocrite in a time of hypocrisy,” he stated. Putting a positive face on his upcoming imprisonment, he added, “I think that prison will be an opportunity for me for meditation and a diet, if my colleagues in the prison allow me.” Meanwhile, liberal MP Aseel AlAwadhi said yesterday that she will coordinate with other lawmakers and civil society organizations in a bid to amend all laws governing press and publications to abolish jail sentences against writers. Awadhi’s announcement came after the

lower court yesterday Al-Jassem’s sentenced. “The people of opinion should not be sent to jail” Awadhi said in a statement. She however insisted that she was not objecting to the court verdict and to the principle that all people, including officials, can resort to court seeking justice. Awadhi said that she is seeking to amend the laws of press and publications, audi-visual and the penal code to ensure that writers and thinkers do not go to jail for expressing opinions. Awadhi expressed concern over the rising trend to chase people for expressing their views and political activists in Kuwait, adding that public personalities are increasingly becoming sensitive and less tolerant to criticism. She stressed that those who accept public office should be receptive to criticism and should face opinions with opinions and objectively refute criticism as a key element of transparency. Awadhi said that she believes that the ceiling of criticism in politics should be higher than any other field. On his part, spokesman for the opposition Popular Action Bloc MP Mussallam Al-Barrak strongly criticized Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah for filing lawsuits against opponents. “It appears that Sheikh Nasser is consuming all his time chasing his critics rather than devoting time to running the affairs of the country” Barrak told reporters. The sentence against Jassem was issued over an article he posted on his website a year ago. Titled “Nasser the 17th”, Jassem alleged that Iranian intelligence are interfering in Kuwait’s internal affairs through a prominent Kuwaiti businessman of Iranian origin, who is also very close to the prime minister.


opiNioN

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

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Banks, investors target rising Africa bond issues By David Dolan n increasing number of African nations and state-owned firms are expected to tap international bond markets in the next few years, helped by investors’ hunger for emerging market debt and marking an upswing in fees for Africafocused banks. The market may also eventually see issuance by corporations in some of the larger subSaharan economies outside South Africa, such as Nigeria and Angola. South African stateowned power utility Eskom and Zambia are just two expected issuers in 2011. Angola, Tanzania, and Uganda also have dollarbond plans in the pipeline, while Kenya is seriously considering an issuance if domestic yields rise, a senior Treasury official told Reuters on Monday. Eskom has said it will tap US and European bond markets as part of a plan to raise up to $6.9 billion over the next three years, while Zambia, Africa’s largest copper producer, has said it plans to issue a $500 million overseas bond. “I am convinced we will see substantial issuance from Africa over the next two, three years,” said Florian von Hartig, global head of debt capital markets at South Africa’s Standard Bank. “The sovereigns will take the lead but financial institutions and corporates, maybe from Nigeria, maybe from Ghana, maybe from Angola or Kenya, will follow suit,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of a capital markets conference in Cape Town. With interest rates in the developed world hovering close to zero, investors are ploughing into emerging market debt for higher returns. The yield on Ghana’s 10-year Eurobond maturing in 2017 is around 6 percent, while a similar bond from Gabon is offering 5.2 percent. Given the external demand, issuing overseas can be a cheaper option for African governments and corporations than their relatively small domestic debt markets, provided they can offer a bond big enough to whet foreign appetite. Ghana’s Eurobond was issued with a coupon of 8.5 percent, compared with the 13.95 percent on a threeyear note issued locally the same year. BIG INFLOWS As of last month, emerging market bond funds had attracted more than $41 billion this year, according to data from research firm EPFR Global, and more investors are now looking beyond flagship emerging market issuers such as Mexico or Turkey. Demand for African overseas bonds will continue to hinge on the creditworthiness of issuers, availability of easy money globally and the level of rates elsewhere, said Razia Khan, head of Africa research at

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Standard Chartered in London. She reckons the long-term outlook for issuances is strong, even with worries about global risk appetite. “That window for African issuance might close rather dramatically depending on what happens with global risk appetite of course, but in the longer term, with African economies making real progress, and emerging in their own right, expect to see much more issuance regardless.” In sub-Saharan Africa, overseas bond issuance remains the domain of governments, state-owned enterprises, and a handful of corporations in South Africa, the continent’s largest economy and home to some of its biggest companies. Naspers, Africa’s largest media group and an active acquirer of media and Internet firms in emerging markets, issued a seven-year, $700 million bond with a 6.375 percent coupon in July. The company said some of the funding would go toward acquisitions. More South African companies are likely to issue overseas debt to fund foreign ventures, reckons Prasanna Nana, head of debt capital markets for South Africa at Absa Capital, the investment banking arm of South Africa’s Absa. “At the moment, the large corporates can borrow at very good rates in rands in South Africa, and the rand is what most of them need, so there is no real push to go offshore. But I think once M&A activity starts picking up, we might see more offshore activity.” Standard Bank’s von Hartig is betting that corporations outside South Africa will begin to tap overseas markets, although a necessary minimum issuance of $250-$300 million will deter all but the biggest few firms in the region. Some of the largest Nigerian and Angolan banks could be likely candidates, he said. Any increase in bond issuance will be welcomed by international banks, which are pushing to increase their fees and commissions as a weak global economy continues to squeeze revenues. Sub-Saharan debt issuance totaled $5.6 billion in the first nine months of 2010, down 30 percent from the same period a year earlier, but still well above the $1.6 billion in the first nine months of 2008, according to Thomson Reuters data. Deutsche Bank took the top spot for bookrunner of debt capital markets deals in the region, followed closely by Standard Bank. Barclays Capital, the investment banking arm of Barclays, which owns a controlling stake in South Africa’s Absa, took the top spot globally for debt bookrunner. In Sub-Saharan Africa, it came in at fifth place. Third place was occupied by Japan’s Daiwa Securities, while Goldman Sachs took fourth. —Reuters

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Pope book breaks ice on Catholic view on condoms By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor he big surprise with Pope Benedict’s new book is not that he believes the Catholic Church can permit condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS in some circumstances, but that he took so long to say so. Quotes from a new book of interviews with him made headlines around the world and some commentators went overboard by saying the Roman Catholic Church had made a sudden about-face on birth control and finally caught up with modern society. A close reading of those quotes shows the pontiff not breaking from past teachings but thinking his way through the issue with logic dating back to the 13th century Saint Thomas Aquinas. He concludes that condom use, while still wrong, can be a lesser evil in certain circumstances. Many Catholic theologians came to the same conclusion years ago and some priests in Africa privately advise this if the alternative is infection, for example to a woman whose HIV-positive husband demands sex. But this is the first time a pope has publicly said it. The issue has been a minefield for popes and successive attempts to explain Church policy have backfired, as Benedict himself found out on a visit to Africa last year. Back then, he caused an international uproar when he told journalists accompanying him to Africa that condoms should not be used because they could worsen the spread of AIDS. The pontiff has now turned to a trusted Catholic journalist, fellow Bavarian Peter

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VATICAN: Pope Benedict XVI leaves at the end of an audience with newly-appointed cardinals and their relatives, in Paul VI Hall yesterday.—AP

Seewald whose long interview with the pope forms the new book, to help reframe the argument in a way that makes Church doctrine seems less cold and absolute. “The Church needed to get this clarification out in a way that was not a major document,” said British Catholic journalist Austen Ivereigh. “The pope used the informal format of a book interview to signal what seems to be a major shift but is no more than an expression of the obvious.” The Vatican convened a commission of moral theologians to study the issue in 2006 but their report, which Vatican sources say echoed what Benedict has said, was quietly shelved out of fear that any public statement would be misunderstood. In the book Light of the World, Benedict stresses condom use is not a morally acceptable solution to the AIDS epidemic because he says it can turn sex from an expression of selfless love to “a sort of drug that people administer to themselves.” He then says it may be justified in some cases, such as that of an infected male prostitute protecting his sex partner. “This is a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility,” he said, “but it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.” By mentioning male prostitutes, Benedict found a way to condone some condom use to prevent AIDS while upholding the Church ban on artificial birth control that blocks procreation, which it says is the natural purpose of sex. But while condom use does not block procreation in gay sex, it does do so in sex between men and women. Benedict stressed this in

the book by repeating his support for Humanae Vitae, the 1968 encyclical banning artificial birth control. “The Holy Father is simply observing that for some homosexual prostitutes, the use of a condom may indicate an awakening of a moral sense, an awakening that sexual pleasure is not the highest value,” said Janet Smith, a Vatican advisor who teaches ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. The problem for the Church is that it takes only a small step in logic to go from using this argument for gay men to using it for heterosexuals, or widening it to other issues. British gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell did just that in his reaction to the book, saying: “If the pope can change his stance on condoms, why can’t he also modify the Vatican’s harsh intolerant opposition to women’s rights, gay equality, fertility treatment and embryonic stem cell research?” Ivereigh said the pope’s comments could be an ice breaker in public discussion about Church policy on AIDS, shifting it from an unrelenting focus on the question “condoms yes or no.” That might also help people see that the Catholic Church, through its wide network of hospitals and clinics, actually does a great deal to care for AIDS patients in Africa, he said. “The main consequence is that the Church can now talk about this issue with greater credibility,” Ivereigh said. “People have just shut off listening to the Church on this subject. They assume it has a dogmatic and inhumane stance. “This puts the Church back into the conversation.” — Reuters

The long road to south Sudan’s secession vote By Mwangi S Kimenyi n about two months, Africa may have a new country, the first since the end of the colonial era. On Jan 9, the people of southern Sudan are expected to vote in a referendum to determine whether their region will become an independent nation. Indications are that the vote will be overwhelmingly in favor of seceding, but the practicalities of achieving a free, fair and peaceful vote are daunting. This referendum is the culmination of a long and bloody path. The civil war between north and south Sudan, the longest in African history, claimed the lives of 2 million people and finally ended in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Since then, the two sides have been slowly working their way toward the referendum. Yet southern Sudan is far from ready. The registration of voters

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began just this week. Polling stations need to be erected, not an easy task in an area bigger than California with only 40 miles of paved roads. They need electoral observers, ballot counters, trucks, computers - the list goes on. Another challenge is the border. Under the 2005 peace agreement, the border between the north and south was supposed to be demarcated within six months, but it still has not happened. The border runs through the main oil-producing area, making it a highly volatile region. The division of revenue from the oil, most of which lies in the south, has still not been agreed on. The United States is not the only country that has an interest in seeing this resolved. China gets 7 percent of its foreign oil supplies from Sudan and has a 40 percent stake in south Sudan’s state oil company, GNPOC. Any fighting over the oil fields would threaten its supplies. Africa is often accused of not doing

enough to help itself, but it has been Sudan’s neighbors that have worked hard for five years to ensure that both sides maintain the fragile peace and prepare for the referendum. Kenya led the negotiations that ended the fighting and created the peace agreement in 2005. It has carried out five years of shuttle diplomacy between Juba and Khartoum, the capitals of south and north Sudan, respectively, to keep both sides on track. It has provided 35,000 primary school teachers to the south, which has suffered decades of neglect and fighting. In addition, Kenya has lent some of its best and brightest civil servants to help Juba create a professional civil service. Unfortunately, during this same time the international community has been largely absent. The referendum is hardly a surprise - the date was set at the signing of the peace agreement but only now are the United States and other Western nations beginning to

pay serious attention. President Obama attended a crisis meeting on the issue at the United Nations in September, and the US envoy to south Sudan is talking about a “Juba surge,” significantly increasing the number of US diplomats in the region. South Sudan urgently needs the sustained attention of the international community if it is to carry out a successful and credible referendum. This will require more than diplomatic words; it will require resources, funding and expertise to tackle the logistical challenges involved in voter registration, setting up polls, getting people to them and counting the votes. The importance of an orderly and efficient voting system cannot be emphasized enough. For the referendum to be seen as legitimate, turnout has to reach 60 percent, a tall order in one of the most inaccessible regions of Africa. But if south Sudan does opt for independence, it will also need the support of

the United States and other nations to build effective institutions that will bring stability and pave the way for the new nation. Kenyans know all too well what the cost of failure will be. During the civil war in Sudan, Kenya had to take in 2 million Sudanese refugees, creating ethnic tensions there and a sizable drag on the economy. At all costs, Kenyans want to avoid a return to fighting and a descent into chaos. Kenya already has one Somalia on its border; it cannot afford another. Regardless of the outcome, it is important that the world respect the will of the Sudanese people. If there is to be a new country in Africa, let it be blessed with legitimacy from the outset. South Sudan must not become the first nation to be born a failed state. We can still prevent it, but only if the international community gives the region its full attention over the coming months. — MCT


analysis

Tuesday, november 23, 2010

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Irish EU bailout may not stop Portugal follow-up By Jan Strupczewski he European Union’s bailout of Ireland may give short-term relief to markets, but despite euro zone hopes, may not prevent markets from pushing Portugal to get EU assistance too, unless a more general solution is found soon. On Sunday, Ireland applied to the EU and the International Monetary Fund for a financial aid package to cover its fiscal needs and potential future capital requirements of its banking system. EU finance ministers backed the request for aid, which an EU source put at 80-90 billion euros, to stop market concerns about Ireland’s debt from spreading to other countries with big budget gaps such as Spain and Portugal, threatening a systemic crisis. “In the short term this should be positive for risk appetite,” said Peter Chatwell, rate strategist at Credit Agricole CIB in London. “It should be something Bunds see as a negative. I don’t think this does anything to take Portugal and possibly Spain out of the firing line,” he said. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told ZDF television on Sunday his hopes were exactly the opposite. “If we now find the right answer to the Irish problem, then the chances are great that there will be no contagion effects,” he said. But the effect may not last long. “Will it prevent contagion? In the short-term, but not in the medium term. It only calms down markets and gives the other countries some room to breathe. Particularly, Portugal is not off the hook yet,” said Carsten Brzeski,

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DUBLIN: A motorcycle police officer holds back Sinn Fein protesters who broke through the gates at Government Buildings yesterday. The Sinn Fein protesters were calling for the Irish Prime Minister to resign, less than 24 hours after Irish cabinet ministers agreed to ask the International Monetary Fund and Europe for a multibillion bail-out. — AP economist at ING. The origins of the debt problems of Ireland and Portugal are different-Ireland ran into problems because it had to help its banking sector, hit by the collapse of the real-estate market, while Portugal is suffering

from low growth and lack of competitiveness. But the end result was similar-a debt burden that markets see as difficult to carry. “I think it means Portugal is next (to request help),” said Filipe Garcia, economist at Informacao

de Mercados Financeiros Consultants in the Portuguese city of Porto. “I don’t know if it will happen before the end of the year or after, but it’s almost inevitable now,” he said. “I think we’ve probably passed the tipping

point of what is sustainable in terms of paying interest rates on debt.” If markets turn on Portugal, Spain may be next after that. “If Portugal is forced to take a bailout then they’ll turn their attention to Spain and I don’t know what the government will do,” said Edro Schwartz, economist at San Pablo University in Madrid. The underlying problem for market mistrust of debt of some euro zone countries may only be solved with a quick and detailed solution for all euro zone countries, rather than a piecemeal approach, economists said. The problem is that the euro zone started to go about it the wrong way. Many economists and policymakers believe the current crisis is of German making because of Berlin’s call to create a euro zone default mechanism under which private investors would take a hit, which scared investors and boosted spreads of Portuguese and Spanish bonds over Bunds to unsustainable levels. “I still think that the main cause of contagion comes from the German proposal to include managed default in a future permanent crisis resolution mechanism,” Brzeski said. “As long as this issue is far from clear, speculation and possible contagion will stay alive,” he said. “European politicians should now use the small window of opportunity they get from the Irish bailout to come up with a detailed and clear plan for the permanent crisis resolution mechanism.” EU leaders will discuss an outline of the mechanism to be prepared by the European Commission in mid-December.— Reuters

Afghans losing patience in war By Deb Riechmann and NATO forces will stay in Afghanistan for at least another four years, yet there are growing signs that the West has already worn out its welcome. Foreigner fatigue is becoming more apparent among Afghans as the US and its international partners try to shore up support among their own populations for continuing the fight. President Barack Obama and other Western leaders approved plans during a weekend summit in Lisbon, Portugal, for Afghans to move into the lead role in fighting the Taleban and its allies by the end of 2014. The reasons for Afghan patience running out are numerous. The war is in its 10th year, and progress is only mixed at best. Tactics like night raids on homes to capture militants fuel resentment in a society with a centuries-long tradition of resistance to foreign domination. In a sign of the illwill, Afghans often blame coalition troops for killing civilians even though the Taleban and militants kill more. Moreover, the Western footprint has grown. The buildup of 30,000 US reinforcements this year made the foreign presence even more overt, but underscored Afghan feeling that all the troops and billions in aid haven’t substantially improved their daily lives. “I don’t think NATO has done much good,” said Siyal Khan Farahi, a 39year-old contractor in Kandahar in the south, where the Taleban insurgency was born. “They are spending millions of dollars over here but I don’t see many signs of prosperity or anything that can change the people’s standard of life.” “America calls itself a superpower, but they can’t control these insurgents so they should leave this place.” The concern among international representatives is that the sentiment will undermine NATO’s attempts to win public loyalty away from the Taleban. Reflecting the mood, President Hamid Karzai has grown more vocal in criticizing the roughly 147,000 international troops on his country’s soil. Karzai’s comments in turn make it difficult for Obama and other Western leaders to sell their war policies at

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home, if there’s a perception even Afghans don’t want troops there. Bitterness has even bubbled up among factions that fought side-by-side with the West to topple the Taleban in 2001. One recent day, a group of former fighters loyal to Ahmad Shah Massoud - the famed anti-Taleban commander killed by suicide bombers just two days before the Sept 11 attacks - railed against US involvement, saying they caused civilian deaths and had at times disrepected Afghan culture and the Muslim faith. Standing at Massoud’s marble tomb in the Panjshir Valley, they watched as American soldiers took off their combat boots and walked around taking snapshots of the tomb. “They are the problem - the foreigners,” one of the former fighters, Mohammad Mahfuz whispered as he pointed their way. “They came here for their own security and are making life difficult for the nation.” Anti-foreigner sentiment is easily inflamed. In July, an angry crowd rioted in Kabul, shouting “Death to America!” after US contract employees were involved in a traffic accident that killed four Afghans. The crowd hurled stones and set fire to two vehicles before Afghan police moved the contractors to safety. Last week, Karzai said Afghans are skeptical because they are getting mixed messages about why international forces are here. He bluntly declared NATO must cut back the “intrusiveness” of its forces. That runs counter to the US war strategy of interacting with the public in areas cleared of insurgents, bolstering governance and rushing in development aid. The counterinsurgency strategy of Gen. David Petraeus, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, instructs his troops to: “Earn people’s trust. Talk to them. ... Listen. Consult and drink lots of tea.” American officials recognized the possibility of a popular backlash given the large cultural differences and Afghans’ history of rejection of foreign domination. Richard Holbrooke, the special US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said recently in Islamabad that there were lengthy discussions about whether the US surge in forces would create further animosity.

Mistrust between Afghans, their government and the international community grew significantly in the past year and a half, a July report from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs found. The report pinned this on growing fatigue with an international presence that “has yielded insufficient results for the vast majority of the Afghan populace in comparison to the cost in lives and resources.” Suspicion of Western motives is deep in some areas. An informal October survey of 1,000 people in Kandahar and Helmand provinces - two battle areas where winning over the population is key found that 40 percent believe international forces aim to destroy Islam or occupy Afghanistan. Also, 92 percent were unaware of the Sept 11 attacks and that they triggered the international move against the Taleban, according to the poll by the London-based International Council on Security and Development.

There is also resentment against Western aid workers, who live in heavily guarded upscale homes, shop in expensive Western-style supermarkets and drive large vehicles with tinted windows. “Some are good and some are bad,” said Abdul Saleem, who sells telephone cards on Kabul’s streets. “They shouldn’t try to bring their culture here. If they are drinking, they are not respecting Afghan law.” The most friction has come over civilian deaths and the NATO tactic of night searches. The number of Afghan civilians killed or injured soared 31 percent in the first six months of the year, but they were largely caused by Taleban attacks, according to the United Nations. Casualties from NATO and Afghan government forces dropped 30 percent compared with the first half of 2009, mainly because of curbs on the use of airpower and heavy weapons, the UN said. Still, there is widespread perception among Afghans that NATO operations kill innocents. Afghan villagers routinely protest when civilians

die. The coalition, meanwhile, has started sending out news releases about civilians killed by insurgents. Night raids, which Karzai has pressed to stop, have been on the rise and now average more than 200 a month. NATO has revised its rules of conduct on night raids. Afghan security forces use bullhorns to ask targeted individuals to give themselves up peacefully. The coalition says no shots are fired in more than 80 percent of the raids and civilian casualties occur in just over 1 percent of all special operations missions. But in Kabul, Ahmad Wase Ahmadzai, who runs a grocery, said the raids are very disruptive since troops close off large areas while they’re being conducted. Ahmadzai has put blast film on the windows of his shop because he fears the frequently passing NATO vehicles will attract an insurgent attack. “Whatever they do,” he says of the foreign forces, “the Afghan people will never accept them being here forever.” — AP

Main challenges for Saudi RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is facing challenges as it tries to diversify its economy and integrate its fast-rising young population. Because it is an absolute monarchy, many of the economic and social policies will depend on who is leading the country. King Abdullah is travelling to the United States on Monday for medical checks, while Crown Prince Sultan is returning from a holiday abroad. Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, who is also second deputy prime minister, is considered to be in a strong position to assume lea1/2dership of the country in the event of serious health problems afflicting the king and crown prince. Here is a list of the main challenges: ECONOMY AND JOBS Saudi Arabia has pledged to spend $400 billion until 2013 to upgrade its infrastructure and has launched a plan to build five economic and industrial cities to create new jobs. But delays are stalling many projects while analysts point to the competition from more established locations like Dubai. Several

international firms have pulled out of projects due to a credit squeeze after the global financial crisis. But given the huge reserves accumulated from years of high oil prices, the kingdom can keep funding the main industrial projects. HOW RAPID IS POPULAT ION GROWTH? The population is projected to rise by 15.4 percent to 29.3 millions within five years, mainly due to imports of skilled labour for major projects meant to diversify the Gulf kingdom’s oil-based economy, according to a Reuters poll. Growth of expatriate ranks from around 6.2 million now is expected to outpace that of Saudi nationals, indicating that the kingdom will rely on foreigners to go ahead with its development plans. With population officially at 25.4 million, Saudi Arabia offers its nationals social benefits but they are below those granted by other Gulf Arab oil producers such as Kuwait and Qatar, which have much smaller native populations. The kingdom does not publish regular jobless data, a sensitive issue for authorities since it

would highlight fissures in wealth distribution in one of the world’s wealthiest countries. Unemployment among Saudi women stands at 28.3 percent, the labor minister was quoted as saying in June. HOUSING PROBLE M The kingdom has recognized the challenges of providing housing and land for the mushrooming population but a mortgage bill to help facilitate funding has not been approved yet despite years of preparations. HOW SUCC ESSFUL IS EDUCA TION RE FORM? Officials seem to understand the need for an overhaul of the education system to hone the skills of its graduates for the job market. But, wary of clerics’ opposition, the government has not yet taken a serious drive at reforming the curriculum. Billions are spent on building new universities and schools and equipping old ones with computers. But diplomats say up to 60 percent of school curriculums deal with religion.—Reuters

Generation Y: The new depression generation? By Alina Selyukh n college, Matthew Bergh was ahead of the curve, working part-time at a local Starbucks and setting aside a few thousand dollars a year to do what his parents taught him to do-invest. In 2008 the markets crashed and the recession interrupted his financial dreams. “As of right now, I can’t invest,” Bergh said. “I’m saving.” Eighteen- to 30-year olds, known as “Generation Y,” have taken a more conservative approach to managing their money- stashing it in a savings account or under the proverbial mattress. This generation of investors came of age during a succession of economic earthquakes. They witnessed the dotcom implosion of 2000 and the more recent onslaught of plunging housing prices, the credit crisis, recession, double-digit unemployment and an annihilation of investor wealth. “The younger generation has not seen a good stock market over their adulthood,” said Gordon Fowler, chief executive of Glenmede, a Philadelphia-based wealth manager for rich people. “That had to

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have some impact on the psychology of younger investors.” Bergh, 22, started looking for a job in January, and sent out more than 200 applications. After graduating in May, he did what thousands of young Americans have been forced to do: he moved back in with his parents and took an internship with Microsoft Corp. His job search continues. Among his other ways to conserve cash, he has postponed his investments. Leslie Barrie, a 26-year-old journalist in New York, followed a similar path. After graduating from college in California, she moved in with her parents and pursued low-paying internships before she went to graduate school. “I try to save as much as possible,” Barrie said. She wants to invest for her retirement, but the markets have discouraged her from doing anything other than keeping a savings account. Even those who work in capital markets are leery. One 28-year-old man who declined to be named because he is a hedge fund vice president said five years ago he kept about 10 percent of his finances in cash. Now, he keeps 70 percent. Generation Y’s views on money echo

that of another generation-their grandparents. Many of those people learned the value of saving and frugality because they grew up in the wake of the 1929 market crash and the Great Depression. By contrast, their parents-the Baby Boomers-were buoyed by several major bull markets, soaring home values and the proliferation of easy consumer credit. “Our parents lived it up on debt and then many of them saw their houses get foreclosed, and that was kind of a shock to us,” said Robert Eubank, a 20-year-old senior finance major and equity portfolio manager at a student-run investment group at Towson University in Maryland. “It put that notion of being prepared for a downturn in their heads.” The impact did not spare those with large financial cushions. A recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey found that 52 percent of young, affluent investors seek lower risks when choosing investment strategies, far outpacing all age groups but one. Among those aged 65 and older, 55 percent said they had low risk tolerance with investments. The scars from the financial crisis may not heal, either. Younger

investors not only are highly vulnerable to market shocks, but “depression babies” carry the memory of volatile times throughout their lives, said Ulrike Malmandier, a professor of finance at the University of California, Berkeley, who analyzed consumer finance surveys from 1960 to 2007. The post-crisis generation commonly shied away from higher-risk investments, such as stocks. “Even 20 years after the financial crisis, the effect will be significant,” Malmandier said. MESSAGE ‘NOT GETTING THROUGH’ The job market is adding to young people’s problems. The largest age group at more than 92 million Americans is heavily dependent on their parents’ money-and underemployed. A recent Pew Research study found that a third get financial support from families and only four in 10 work full-time jobs. As a result, the only investing for many younger adults involves retirement saving plans, such as 401(k)s, often automatically created by employers. Even with those, Generation Y is the least likely of all age groups to invest in stocks or bond funds, according to a Vanguard Group Inc

study of its retirement investors. “There is a very important message that’s not getting through,” said Christine Fahlund, retirement planning expert at mutual fund giant T Rowe Price. “The biggest challenge is how do we get people to stop being affected by complete paralysis and despondency.” The good news for wealth managers is that Generation Y is ready to listen. “They do actually want to learn; they just don’t know how to start the process,” said Todd Romer, founder of financial education initiative Young Money. Romer visited 25 college campuses this fall, encouraging students to invest. PNC Bank, General Motors and others sponsored the tour, according to website. Bergh, who is finishing an internship in his home town of Fargo, North Dakota, wants to get back to his E Trade brokerage account and resume investing. For now, however, his optimism is muted. “I’ve been trying to figure out, where do I have to cut down on my quality of life, and thinking, is it my fault or part of the macro environment?” His answer? It isn’t really his fault. —Reuters

focus Cyberthieves still relying on human foot soldiers By Alicia A Caldwell and Pete Yost itting at a computer somewhere overseas in January 2009, computer hackers went phishing. Within minutes of casting their electronic bait they caught what they were looking for: A small Michigan company where an employee unwittingly clicked on an official-looking email that secretly gave cyberthieves the keys to the firm’s bank account. Before company executives knew what was happening, Experi-Metal Inc., a suburban Detroit manufacturing company, was broke. Its $560,000 bank balance had been electronically scattered into bank accounts in Russia, Estonia, Scotland, Finland and around the US. In August, the Catholic Diocese in Des Moines, Iowa, lost about $680,000 over two days. Officials there aren’t sure how hackers got into their accounts, but “they took all they could” before the bank noticed what was going on, according to Jason Kurth, diocese vice chancellor. The diocese and the Detroit company were among dozens of individuals, businesses and municipalities around the country victimized by one of the largest cybertheft rings the FBI has uncovered. In September, the bureau and its counterparts in Ukraine, the Netherlands and Britain took down the ring they first got wind of in May 2009 when a financial services firm tipped the bureau’s Omaha, Nebraska, office to suspicious transactions. Since then, the FBI’s Operation Trident Breach has uncovered losses of $14 million and counting. Overall in the last two years, the FBI has opened 390 cases against schemes that prey on businesses that process payments electronically through the Automated Clearinghouse, which handles 3,000 transactions every five seconds. In these cases, bureau agents have uncovered attempted thefts totaling $220 million and actual losses of $70 million. But the court records of Operation Trident Breach reveal a surprise: For all the high-tech tools and tactics employed in these computer crimes, platoons of low-level human foot soldiers, known as “money mules,” are the indispensable cogs in the cybercriminals’ money machine. A dozen FBI criminal complaints filed in New York provide an inside look at how this cybertheft ring worked: Operating from Eastern Europe and other overseas locations, the thieves used malicious software, known as malware, to infect the computers of unsuspecting users in the United States by email. The malware-infected emails were written to look like they came from a company manager or colleague who might send an email message to everyone in a company, such as the head of human resources. When the email recipient clicked on an embedded link to a Web site or opened an attachment, a Trojan horse virus called Zeus installed itself and gathered usernames, passwords and financial account numbers typed by the victims on their own computers. The hackers then used this information to move the victims’ money electronically into bank accounts set up in the United States by the money mules. The money mules set up shell bank accounts to receive the money. Then they withdrew the funds from the shells accounts in amounts they thought were small enough to elude detection by banks and law enforcement. In some cases, the cyberthieves bombarded telephone numbers attached to the targeted accounts with calls to block the company from calling to verify the transactions. The mules sent most of the stolen funds overseas electronically to accounts controlled by the ring leaders; the mules usu-

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ally kept 8 to 10 percent as their cut. For instance, the FBI said money belonging to one TD Ameritrade customer landed in the bank account of a fake company, the Venetian Development Construction Service Corp., which was registered at an unmarked, two-story brick building in Brooklyn. The sole name on the construction company’s account was that of one of the money mules. Eventually some of the money wound up in accounts in Singapore and Cyprus and some walked out the bank’s door in the pockets of mules. TD Ameritrade spokeswoman Kim Hillyer said the company has reimbursed customers who lost money Just like in the illegal drug trade, the ring leaders overseas reaped the big profits but relied on the mules to do the risky, dirty work. For each shell account, a mule had to walk into a bank, in full view of surveillance cameras and leave copies of personal identification documents. The ring leaders hid behind computer screens overseas. Operation Trident Breach found many mules are Eastern Europeans who came to the U.S. on student visas. Among the allegations in the FBI’s criminal complaints: One mule was an immigrant from Moldova who within a few months of her arrival in New York this year had opened at least six bank accounts using a trio of names. Another mule, a Russian national, opened eight accounts at three different banks using five different aliases. The criminal networks used so many money mules that full-time recruiters were needed. One recruiter placed advertisements on Russian language websites seeking students with US visas. A pair of Russian roommates living in Brooklyn worked together. One smuggled at least $150,000 in cash to hackers in Russia, arranged for fake passports to be smuggled into the US, and acted as a middleman picking up and delivering stolen money from other mules. The other roommate opened accounts with fake names and false passports in New York and New Jersey this summer. This cybertheft ring zeroed in on individuals and small-and medium-sized businesses because they usually have fewer computer security safeguards than huge companies. Among its targets: municipalities in Massachusetts and New Jersey, the account held by a hospital at a California bank and the computers of at least 30 customers of E-Trade Financial Corp. Like a number of victims, Experi-Metal has sued its bank over the thefts. A lawyer for Experi-Metal, Richard Tomlinson, said the thieves emptied the company’s account and then tried to siphon another $5 million out through an empty savings account of an ExperiMetal employee. They actually transferred another $1.34 million before the bank shut down the mystery wire transfers, Tomlinson said. According to court records, the company’s bank, Dallasbased Comerica Inc, has recovered all but the company’s original balance of $560,000. Tomlinson said the bank should be liable for the company’s losses because the wire transfers were obviously dubious - the company hadn’t made any transfers in more than two years and never to Eastern Europe. “Canada was maybe as exotic as we got and it was maybe three or four years before this,” Tomlinson said. Comerica says it wasn’t part of the problem. “This was caused solely by the actions of that (Experi-Metal Inc.) employee,” a lawyer for the bank wrote in a court filing. “The criminal that accessed Experi-Metal’s accounts was able to do so only because Experi-Metal gave him its key.” — AP


SPORTS

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teenage Manassero in pole position for rookie award DUBAI: Italian golfing sensation Matteo Manassero launched himself into pole position for the European Tour ‘Rookie of the Year’ award with a joint runner-up finish at the Hong Kong Open on Sunday, earning himself plaudits from champion Ian Poulter. Englishman Poulter won the rookie award in 2000 and is tipping 17year-old Manassero to become the first Italian recipient since its inception in 1960. “It’s incredible what Matteo has managed to achieve this year... and, while he’s not a certainty, you look at how Rory (McIlroy) burst on the scene, and Matteo’s exactly the same,” Poulter told Reuters straight after winning in Hong Kong. “He’s won a first Tour event, finished just a shot behind me in Hong Kong, so the kid is seriously good.” Manassero became the youngest Tour event winner at last month’s Sergio Garcia hosted Castello Masters. Garcia himself had been one of the youngest in winning his maiden European Tour event, the 1999 Irish Open as a then 19-year old, a success that saw the Spaniard crowned ‘Rookie of the Year’ later that year. Manassero faces strong opposition for the coveted award from fellow rookies Welshman Rhys Davies, winner of this year’s Hassan 11 Trophy, the England pair of John Parry, who captured the Vivendi Cup, and James Morrison, who won the Madeira Islands Open, along with 18-year old Korean Seung-yul Noh, brilliant winner of the Malaysian Open. Manassero turned professional at May’s Italian Open. Playing on invitations, he then earned his full 2011 Tour card in his sixth event when finishing third in the Omega European Masters in Switzerland. Just four events later Manassero became the youngest European Tour champion with his four-stroke success in Spain. “It would be a great achievement to win ‘Rookie of the Year’,” Manassero told Reuters after his superb finish in Hong Kong. “When I first turned pro in May, I did not think I would be in the running for the title but without the win at the Castello Masters, I would not be in contention. “There are a lot of great players who can win the award this year... I am in good company, and it will be a tough decision. “All of us are in this week’s final event, so if I were to win the ‘Rookie of the Year’, I would be very honored. “The thing is with ‘Rookie of the Year’ is that you can only have one shot at it, so it would cap a fantastic first year for me.” Previous winners include Martin Kaymer (2007), Thomas Bjorn (1996), Colin Montgomerie (1988), Jose Maria Olazabal (1986), Sandy Lyle (1978), Nick Faldo (1977), Sam Torrance (1972) and Tony Jacklin (1963). A representative of the European Tour, the R & A and the Association of Golf Writers will vote on the award early next month. Meanwhile, John Mallinger won the Pebble Beach Invitational on Sunday, making birdies on four of the last six holes for a 4-under 68 and a two-stroke victory over Jason Gore. Mallinger, who lost his fully exempt PGA Tour status after finishing 133rd on the money list, made a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to finish at 15-under 273 in the event featuring 76 male and female players. He earned $60,000 in the $300,000 tournament sponsored by Callaway Golf. Mallinger, who also led after the second and third rounds, had eight birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey in the final round played in intermittent rain. “I putted well today and putted well all week,” said Mallinger, who has eight top-three finishes but is winless since joining the PGA Tour in 2006. “I love Pebble Beach. It’s tough to beat Pebble Beach.” Gore, who will join Mallinger in the PGA Tour’s final qualifying tournament, closed with a bogey-free 65. “I tried, but I just got outplayed,” said Gore, who also birdied the final round. “But I played well and I’ll take the momentum to Q-School.” Pat Perez (65) and Champions Tour player Russ Cochran (71) tied for third at 11 under. Cochran, who began the final round trailing by one stroke, held a one-stroke lead after birdieing the 11m but bogeyed the 13th and Mallinger soon began his final birdie spree. Annika Sorenstam, completing her first 72-hole tournament since her LPGA Tour retirement in 2008, shot a 73 to finish at 3 under. “It’s funny, you don’t play for two years and then you go inside the ropes and the mindset comes back,” Sorenstam said. “It’s there, which is too cool. But you can’t make the same shots anymore.” Morgan Pressel shot a 72 to finish at 7 under, the best among the 13 LPGA Tour entrants. Tommy Armour III, the 2008 and 2009 winner, withdrew before the final round because of personal reasons.—AP

HOMESTEAD: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, celebrates after finishing in second place in the Ford 400 to clinch his fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.—AFP

Johnson wins 5th NASCAR title in a row HOMESTEAD: Smooth and steady, five years running, Jimmie Johnson kept his NASCAR reign rolling by stretching his record run of championships to five straight after making the fewest mistakes in Sunday’s season finale. Johnson trailed Denny Hamlin by 15 points entering Homestead-Miami Speedway, but captured another title by running the cleanest race of the three championship contenders. He finished second to race winner Carl Edwards and claimed the championship by 39 points over Hamlin. Kevin Harvick was third in the race and third in the final standings, 41 points behind Johnson. “I am just so proud to be in this position, and so thankful to have my great race team,” Johnson said. It was the first come-frombehind championship in the seven years of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship format, which debuted in 2004 and was won each year by the driver who took the points lead into the finale. That wasn’t Johnson this year. Not even

close. Despite six wins this season, the No. 48 Chevrolet wasn’t as commanding as in years past. It left room for the competition to catch up, and even pass Johnson at the time of the year when he traditionally dominates. It was Hamlin who took control of the Chase, winning two races and outrunning Johnson over the final few weeks. That set up Sunday’s showdown, sending Johnson into a finale in which he needed to race hard for the first time since 2005. In the previous four years, he had the title well in hand by the time he got to Homestead. The element of having to earn No. 5 may have contributed to one of the heartiest celebrations of Johnson’s career. Usually so calm and workmanlike behind the wheel, he was exuberant as he crossed the finish line, pumping his fists in the car while screaming with joy. “I think this year we showed what this team is made of,” he said. “At times this season we didn’t have the most speed, but we had the most heart.” Hamlin, with a seriesbest eight wins this season, was the guy to

beat the final month of the Chase. But poor fuel mileage last week in Phoenix kept it tight headed into Sunday, and he had a terrible race when he needed only a clean run. Contact with Greg Biffle very early in the race sent Hamlin into a spin and damaged the front of his car. He dropped to 37th by the restart and had to work all day to finish 14th. “We had a great year, we won the most races that we ever won, we contended like we’ve never contended before and just circumstances took us out of this one,” Hamlin said. Harvick, meanwhile, took the lead on a round of pit stops with 80 laps to go, but was flagged for speeding as he entered pit road. It dropped him to 29th, and he was still upset with the call after the race. “I don’t think that penalty will ever settle in my stomach,” Harvick said, insisting that “only a handful of people” get to see the pit road speeds. “I won’t ever settle for that.” But he wasn’t devastated by the defeat, pointing to all the gains made this year by Richard Childress Racing. A year after failing

to put any cars into the Chase, RCR had three in the field and Harvick, winner of two races, led the points for most of the regular season. “It’s a 180 for us,” Harvick said. “Last year this time we all wanted to put a gun in our mouth.” While Harvick could find the bright spots, Hamlin, sitting next to him at the podium, had a harder time finding much to be happy about. With a vacant look and muffled answers, he vowed to be back stronger next season. “My job is to work in the offseason to do everything I can to be better and, you know, I know every year that I am in the Cup series, I’m going to be better than I was the previous year,” Hamlin said. “We’re going to keep working and go get them next year.” As both drivers discussed their day, Johnson’s championship celebration was shown on the multiple televisions hanging around the room and both drivers watched portions of the presentation. Who could blame them? It was history. The fifth title moved Johnson past

Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon for most titles among active drivers. He now ranks third on the career list behind seventime champions and Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. “Finally, finally, after being able to pull this off, he’ll get the respect and the rewards that he deserves,” crew chief Chad Knaus said. The championship was a record 10th for Hendrick Motorsports, which broke a tie with Petty Enterprise for most in NASCAR. Johnson and HMS also joined three other pro teams — the Boston Celtics, New York Yankees and Montreal Canadiens — to win five consecutive titles. The Celtics are the all-time leaders with eight consecutive NBA titles. “Somebody has got to win it, and I’m glad it was us,” team owner Rick Hendrick said, noting that “this race was so up and down. It was like who’s going to screw up the most?” Not Johnson and Knaus, who overcame a few slow pit stops — their one trouble spot this season — to show why they’ve been so good for so long.—AP

Thrashers edge Islanders ATLANTA: Dustin Byfuglien scored in overtime to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 2-1 victory over New York on Sunday, extending the Islanders’ losing streak to 13 games. The Islanders have their longest winless streak since a 14-game slide Feb. 13-March 15, 1990. Byfuglien, a playoff star for the Chicago Blackhawks last season, leads the NHL with four winning shots this season. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 28 shots for Atlanta. New York’s Michael Grabner opened the scoring with 13 seconds left in the second period, and Nik Antropov leveled it on a

power play early in the third. The Islanders have only 12 goals in their last 11 games. Red Wings 5, Flames 4 At Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg equalized on a power play with 3.2 seconds left in regulation and goalie Jimmy Howard off for an extra attacker, and Nicklas Lidstrom scored at 1:38 of overtime for Detroit. Zetterberg had two goals, Lidstrom added two assists and Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists. Johan Franzen also scored for Detroit, which trailed 4-2 midway through the third period. Brian Rafalski had three assists and Howard made 23

saves. Jarome Iginla had two goals and an assist and Niklas Hagman and Alex Tanguay also scored for Calgary. Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 33 shots. Iginla has five goals and an assist in his last two games.

Oilers 4, Ducks 2

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ At Anaheim, California, Ales Hemsky scored the go-ahead goal with 6:31 left in the third period, and Devan Dubnyk made 19 of his 38 saves in the first period to help Edmonton beat Anaheim. Sam Gagne and Taylor Hall scored 1:41 apart in the second

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Sunday. tlanta 2, NY Islanders 1 (OT); Detroit 5, Calgary 4 (OT); Edmonton 4, Anaheim 2; Phoenix 3, Vancouver 2.

ANAHEIM: Ryan Jones No. 28 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates an empty net goal against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period at the Honda Center. The Oilers defeated Ducks 4-2.—AFP

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA Philadelphia 13 6 2 75 53 Pittsburgh 11 8 2 66 57 NY Rangers 11 9 1 63 59 New Jersey 5 13 2 36 65 NY Islanders 4 12 4 41 68 Northeast Division Montreal 13 6 1 51 39 Boston 11 5 2 54 35 Ottawa 9 10 1 49 65 Buffalo 8 11 3 58 68 Toronto 7 9 54 3 43 Southeast Division Washington 14 5 2 74 59 Tampa Bay 11 7 2 62 64 Atlanta 9 9 3 65 70 Carolina 9 9 2 63 68 Florida 9 9 0 50 45

PTS 28 24 23 12 12 27 24 19 19 17 30 24 21 20 18

Western Conference Central Division Detroit 13 3 2 66 48 28 St. Louis 11 5 3 52 51 25 Columbus 12 6 0 53 44 24 Chicago 11 10 2 71 67 24 Nashville 9 6 3 47 49 21 Northwest Division Colorado 12 7 1 72 60 25 Vancouver 10 7 3 58 56 23 Minnesota 10 7 2 46 47 22 Calgary 8 10 1 58 59 17 Edmonton 5 10 4 49 77 14 Pacific Division Los Angeles 13 6 0 59 46 26 Phoenix 10 5 5 57 59 25 Anaheim 10 10 3 57 69 23 San Jose 9 6 4 55 52 22 Dallas 10 7 1 56 53 21 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

period, helping send the Ducks to their fifth straight loss following a six-game winning streak. The victory was only Edmonton’s third in its last 17 games. Tom Gilbert was credited with an empty-net goal with 16 seconds left after Anaheim’s Corey Perry pass attempt from behind the Edmonton goal went the length of the ice into his own goal. The Ducks, playing without Teemu Selanne because of a groin injury, got goals from Bobby Ryan and Saku Koivu 22 seconds apart in the second period.

Coyotes 3, Canucks 2

In Vancouver, Taylor Pyatt scored his second goal of the game 5:52 minutes into the third period and Phoenix extended its winning streak to six games with a win over Vancouver. Defenseman Keith Yandle walked into the high slot untouched and fired a shot that bounced off Pyatt and under goalie Roberto Luongo’s arm. Pyatt, a former Vancouver player, put the Coyotes up 2-0 early in the second period. But Christian Ehrhoff and Tanner Glass scored to tie it before the period ended. Scottie Upshall also scored, Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves and Phoenix, coming off wins in Calgary and Edmonton, swept a Western Canadian road trip for the first time. The Coyotes have recorded at least a point in eight straight games (6-0-2). —AP


17

SPORTS

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dravid and Dhoni put India in control of Test ABU DHABI: Pakistan’s Adnan Akmal (right) sweeps at the ball while South Africa’s wicketkeeper Mark Boucher (left) looks on during day three of the 2nd cricket Test match. — AP

Pakistan dig in after Azhar misses century ABU DHABI: Azhar Ali fell 10 runs short of a maiden test century as Pakistan reached 317 for six at the close on the third day of the second test against South Africa at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium yesterday. Azhar, who scored 56 and 63 in the drawn first test in Dubai, drove Dale Steyn to Graeme Smith at mid-off. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq continued Azhar’s good work with an unbeaten 77 to give his side hope of passing the follow-on target of 384. South Africa declared their first innings on 584 for nine. Misbah came to the crease in the middle of a mini-collapse after Steyn had also removed Younus Khan. Mixing defence with attack, he batted through to the close

which came two overs early due to bad light. Misbah and debutant Asad Shafiq (61) shared a stand of 107 for the fifth wicket before left-arm spinner Paul Harris induced an edge from Shafiq, which was taken by Jacques Kallis at slip. Harris then claimed a second wicket shortly before the close when he had Adnan Akmal caught at forward short-leg for 17. Azhar scored his fifth half-century in eight tests and second score in the 90s, before driving Steyn on the up. South Africa picked up one wicket in the first session, Taufeeq Umar, who scored 43 in three hours at the crease, top-edging a hook off Kallis into the hands of Hashim Amla at midwicket. — Reuters

Scoreboard ABU DHABI: Scoreboard at the close of the third day of the second test between Pakistan and South Africa at Sheikh Zayed Stadium yesterday. South Africa first innings 584-9 dec (AB de Villiers 278 not out, J. Kallis 105; Tanvir Ahmed 6-120) Pakistan first innings (overnight 59-1) M. Hafeez lbw b Steyn 2 T. Umar c Amla b Kallis 43 A. Ali c Smith b Steyn 90 Younis c Amla b Steyn 14 Misbah-ul-Haq not out 77 A. Shafiq c Kallis b Harris 61 A. Akmal c Amla b Harris 17 A. Rehman not out 0 Extras (b 5,lb 6, w 1, nb 1) 13 Total (6 wickets; 106 overs) 317 Fall of wicket: 1-2 2-119 3-153 4-156 5-263 6-309 To bat: U. Gul, M. Sami, T. Ahmed Bowling: D. Steyn 24-7-78-3 (w-1), M. Morkel 24-10-66-0 (nb-1), J. Kallis 17-6-47-1, J. Botha 11-3-44-0, P. Harris 30-10-71-2.

LONDON: Switzerland’s Roger Federer poses with the Fans’ Favourite Award trophy presented to him during the ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena. — AP

Federer, Murray begin ATP year-ender in style LONDON: For all the special effects which greeted the start of the ATP World Tour finals in the spectacular O2 Arena on Sunday it was the play of Roger Federer and Andy Murray that really dazzled the capacity crowd. World number two Federer never requires gimmicks to leave his audience spellbound and that proved the case again as he began his bid for a record-equalling fifth title at the season-ender with a 6-1 6-4 defeat of Spaniard David Ferrer. Earlier in front of a 17,500-capacity crowd, Murray dropped only one more game, crushing Sweden’s world number four Robin Soderling 6-2 6-4 with a virtuoso display that augurs well for the home favourite as he aims to end a mixed year on a high. Murray entered the cavernous arena to strobe lighting and The Clash classic “London Calling” bellowing out from the sound system and he clearly enjoyed an atmosphere far-removed from the brooding hush of Wimbledon’s Centre Court. “The atmosphere here is obviously different,” the 23-year-old Murray, whose next Group B match will be against Federer today, told reporters. “It’s sort of like a concert with music at the change of ends, the big screen showing replays of the points. It was so loud. I didn’t know what was going on at first.” Murray was dressed in a jet black shirt with an eye-catching diamond pattern not unlike the design favoured by

Ivan Lendl, who won the season ender five times. The Scot, who would dearly love to win a tournament regarded by the players as not far short of a grand slam, produced some glittering tennis in his 80minute victory-pocketing the $120,000 available for each round robin win in the process. “It’s a huge tournament,” Murray, beaten by Federer in the Australian Open final at the start of the year, said. “I think all of the players want to play their best tennis here. “It’s a big win, to beat someone ranked higher than me. The guy’s number four in the world and he’s a very good player.” Four more performances of similar quality would give Murray a reasonable shot at the $1.6 million jackpot for any player to win the tournament with a maximum five victories, although Federer will provide a formidable obstacle. Murray faced just one break point against the misfiring Soderling and even that threat was snuffed out with an ace midway through the second set. Soderling, who will face Ferrer next, will have to improve dramatically if he is to match his run to the semi-finals here last year when he only scraped in to the draw because of Andy Roddick’s injuryenforced withdrawal. “The good thing is I still have a chance. I have two really tough matches coming up,” he said. Federer, making his ninth consecutive appearance at the tournament, has been

in fine fettle since his shock quarter-final defeat by Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon, looked imperious against Ferrer in the evening session and had a watching Diego Maradona nodding his approval. The Swiss, who has won six titles down the river at Wimbledon, is a huge favourite with British crowds and he produced a commanding performance on Sunday in an arena usually reserved for the greats of the music industry. Prowling the blue indoor court in a vivid red shirt, he waltzed into a 4-0 lead and looked set for an embarrassingly easy victory before Ferrer finally made him sweat. Things even got a bit sticky for Federer in the second set when he fended off three break points while serving for the match but he closed it out to take his career record over Ferrer, who he beat to win his last season-ending title in Shanghai three years ago, to 11-0. “Looking at the scoreline, it doesn’t reflect how tough it was,” Federer told reporters. “Usually 6-1 6-4 kind of matches take an hour. Here, it took one hour 25. There were many close games, especially in the second set. “I’m really happy the way I was able to get out of the first match. Starting off with a feisty top 10 player is never easy.” Another feisty Spaniard, world number one Rafael Nadal, begins his Group A schedule late yesterday against Roddick after Novak Djokovic takes on Tomas Berdych. — Reuters

NAGPUR: Rahul Dravid struck a determined 191 yesterday to put India in a winning position on the third day of the third and final Test against New Zealand. Dravid’s performance helped India declare at 566 for eight in reply to New Zealand’s 193, taking a first innings lead of 373 runs at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium. New Zealand was 24 for one in its second innings, still 349 runs short of making India bat again. Brendon McCullum (15) and night-watchman Gareth Hopkins (1) were the not out batsmen at close after Harbhajan Singh claimed the early wicket of Tim McIntosh. India looked set to force an innings victory with plenty of time to spare after Dravid built a 193-run sixth-wicket stand with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91). The partnership helped repair the damage of three quick wickets earlier in the day after India resumed at 292 for two. “The credit goes to the bowlers for getting them out for 193 because that helped us take a big lead,” Dravid said. “The ball is still hard and we hope to put pressure on them like they did on us this morning.” Dravid made a cautious start against some testing seam bowling, but he opened up after reaching the three-figure mark, by which time Dhoni had entrenched himself well at the other end. If Dravid waited for the loose deliveries, Dhoni took the initiative in jumping out of his crease on the odd occasion. He also played some clever sweep shots to ensure that the runrate was kept up after slow progress earlier in the day. Dravid, 69 overnight, got to his 31st test century with a nudge for two to square-leg off left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori after managing a streaky four past slip earlier in the over. The number three batsman displayed some fine drives during his 573-minute stay at the wicket, hitting 21 fours off 396 balls. He missed out on a sixth double-century when he lofted part-time spinner Kane Williamson and holed out to Martin Guptill at long-on. Dhoni had perished earlier after a well-crafted 98 off 156 balls, which included 12 fours and a six. Uncomfortable due to cramps that forced him to take a runner in Suresh Raina, Dhoni gave an easy return catch to Daniel Vettori as he stretched out to play a delivery from the left-arm spinner. The sixth wicket stand between Dravid and Dhoni was a timely one considering that India had lost Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Suresh Raina in quick succession. Tendulkar disappointed fans who had anticipated a 50th test ton from him. He edged a delivery from debutante Andy McKay to the wicketkeeper in the second over of the day. Tendulkar, 57 overnight, was out for 61 off 129 deliveries, with eight fours. Laxman hit two fluent boundaries but was dismissed with a fine incoming delivery from Chris Martin. Left-hander Raina too could not do much, caught bat and pad at short-leg off Vettori. India had slipped from 292 for two to 328 for five when captain Dhoni walked in to partner Dravid. McKay made it clear New Zealand was not giving in yet. “We will take it session by session from here,” he said. “We will try to take the match to the fifth day.”—AP

NAGPUR: India’s Rahul Dravid bats during the third day of their final cricket Test match against New Zealand. —AP

Scoreboard Scoreboard at the close of day three of the third and final test between India and New Zealand at Nagpur, India yesterday. New Zealand first innings (J. Ryder 59; I. Sharma 4-43, P. 549 8-562 Bowling: Martin 28-4-82-2 (w-2, nb-1), Southee 29-5-94Ojha 3-57) 1 (w-1), McKay 31-5-120-1 (w-1), Vettori 58-7-178-3, Williamson 11-0-45-1, Guptill 7-0-27-0, Taylor 1-0-3-0. India first innings (overnight 292-2) G. Gambhir c Taylor b Southee 78 New Zealand second innings V. Sehwag c & b Vettori 74 T. McIntosh lbw b Harbhajan 8 R. Dravid c Guptill b Williamson 191 B. McCullum not out 15 S. Tendulkar c Hopkins b McKay 61 G. Hopkins not out 1 VVS Laxman b Martin 12 Extras 0 S. Raina c sub b Vettori 3 Total (one wicket; 11 overs) 24 MS Dhoni c & b Vettori 98 To bat: M. Guptill, R. Taylor, J. Ryder, K. Williamson, D. H. Singh c McCullum b Martin 20 Vettori, C. Martin, T. Southee, A. McKay. I. Sharma not out 7 Fall of wicket: 1-18 S. Sreesanth not out 0 Bowling (to date): Sreesanth 3-1-13-0, Sharma 2-2-0-0, Extras (b-12, lb-5, w-4, nb-1) 22 Ojha 3-1-2-0, Harbhajan 3-0-9-1. Total (eight wkts dec; 165 overs) 566 The three-test series is tied at 0-0 after two drawn Did not bat: P. Ojha Fall of wickets: 1-113 2-192 3-296 4-309 5-328 6-521 7- matches.

Windies plan twin-spin attack for Sri Lanka test GALLE: Left arm spinner Sulieman Benn is expected to return to the West Indies lineup and form a dual spin attack with off spinner Shane Shillingford when the second Test against Sri Lanka begins in Colombo today. Benn missed the drawn first Test in Galle because he was serving a ban for bringing the game into disrepute during the visitors’ last series against South Africa, while Shillingford is under a cloud after his action was reported to the International Cricket Council following the match. West Indies coach Ottis Gibson, however, stood by his two controversial bowlers and indicated the twin spin approach could provide the future direction for the side. “The inclusion of Shillingford and Benn is a sign of changing times in West Indies cricket,” said Gibson. “Most people in the world expect Caribbean cricket to have four fast bowlers because that’s what our success as a nation was built on. “The reality though is now in the Caribbean and around the world the wickets are a lot different to the way they used to be. “We have the option now of playing two spinners whereas in the past you may never see two spinners playing in the same match for West Indies.” West Indies dominated the first test with Chris Gayle scoring a career best 333 in their 580 for nine declared. Shillingford then took four wickets to help bowl the hosts out for 378. He picked up one more wicket in the second innings as Sri Lanka battled out a draw on the rain-hit final day and Gibson felt they could only build on that performance. “The Sri Lanka tour is the beginning of a stabilisation process in West Indies cricket after almost 15 years of decline,” said Gibson. “I think it will take at least five years to

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Menidis bowls during a practice session ahead of the second Test cricket match against West Indies. The Test match begins today. — AP get back to where we want to be but at the same time you have to start from somewhere. “This is the start of a stabilisation process. You’ve got to stabilise before you move forward.” Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said he felt his batsmen would be better placed in Colombo having had their first look at Shillingford. “He’s got a lot of variation and bounce but I thought our guys played him for the first time pretty well,” Sangakkara said. “As we go along I think we’ll probably look at him a bit more and see how better we can adjust our game plan to him.” The hosts have made two changes to their squad recalling seamer Nuwan Kulasekara, who is expected to share the new ball with either Dilhara Fernando or uncapped Suranga Lakmal. Uncapped fast bowler Shaminda Eranga has also been included in their 16man squad. Dammika Prasad and Thilan

Thushara were both dropped. The match will be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium, a 2011 World Cup venue, although renovations are still incomplete. Sri Lanka (from): Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Tharanga Paranavitana, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dilhara Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga, Thilina Kandamby, Kaushal Silva. West Indies (from): Darren Sammy (captain), Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Brendan Nash, Darren Bravo, Carlton Baugh, Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach, Shane Shillingford, Sulieman Benn, Andre Russell, Devon Smith, Nelon Pascal, Devon Thomas. — Reuters

Clarke’s injury adds to Australia’s Ashes load BRISBANE: Vice-captain Michael Clarke’s bad back has piled fresh uncertainty on Australia’s buildup to the Ashes cricket series while English is enjoying the advantage of an untroubled preparation. Australian physiotherapist Alex Kountouris has confirmed that Clarke, who was unable to train with his teammates Monday because of a back injury, is no certainty for the first match of the five-Test series which starts at the Gabba ground on Thursday. Late yesterday, the Australian selectors called uncapped New South Wales batsman Usman Khawaja to Brisbane as a standby in case Clarke is declared unfit. Khawaja had scores of 13 and 0 for Australia A against England in the four-day match which ended Saturday but chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said his callup was deserved.

“As there is some doubt over Michael Clarke’s fitness for the Brisbane test match, it was felt prudent to bring a standby player into the squad,” Hilditch said. “Usman has been added as a result of his strong recent domestic form. “We intend to give Michael as much time as possible to prove his fitness and a decision on his availability will be made in consultation with the team’s medical staff after the next two days of training.” Clarke’s unavailability would load a new and weighty problem on an Australian team already hard-pressed by individual and collective form issues, selection doubts and the prospect of an opponent growing in confidence. His degenerative back condition has troubled him through most of his test career. It flared when he played for New South Wales in Australia’s domestic Sheffield Shield competition

10 days ago and he was forced to miss the state’s latest match, which would have polished his personal Ashes preparation. Koutouris said Clarke’s absence from training yesterday was part of a planned recovery program and his state of fitness was being constantly monitored. “He’s in the process of recovery now (and) part of the plan was for him not to have a bat today and hopefully he’ll be available for the game,” Kountouris said. Australian captain Ricky Ponting said Clarke’s fate might be known as early as Tuesday. “He’s been in this situation a few times in the last couple of years, he’s had these niggly things with his back and been able to come up most times,” Ponting said. “If we don’t see him bat (today), then I think it will be hard to see him considered for the game,” he said. —AP


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SPORTS

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Muslim female athletes shine at Asian Games GUANGZHOU: Back home, the Pakistani women’s cricket team is anonymous, especially compared with their illustrious male counterparts. But after their gold medal triumph at the Asian Games, the girls in green were basking in the spotlight for a change. It was Pakistan’s first Asian Games gold medal in eight years — a milestone that supporters say points to the need for more education and opportunities in sports for women in Muslim countries. “Our media doesn’t give women’s sports that much coverage, as much as they give to men’s sports,” said Pakistan allrounder Nida Rashid. “There are so many sports in which women participate in Pakistan, like squash, table tennis and volleyball, but they go

unnoticed.” The Asian Games, an Olympic-style event drawing athletes from a collection of countries representing two-thirds of the world’s population, is the biggest stage for many of the female competitors. In parts of the continent, playing sports is often considered inappropriate for women and out of step with traditional gender roles. Consequently, resources for coaching, training and competition generally lag behind the funding set aside for male athletes. Pakistan came to Guangzhou with 25 female athletes out of a total of 169, participating in cricket, judo, shooting, squash and sailing. Iran sent a women’s team to compete in kabaddi, and all wore head coverings in their

opening match: a 62-18 win over Taiwan on Monday. War-torn Afghanistan has seven women in its 67-member delegation, all of them competing in martial arts events. Conservative Saudi Arabia has 170 men and not a single woman. In comparison, host China, a sporting powerhouse that has invested heavily in developing elite athletes of both genders, has 458 women and 507 men. “There still needs to be more work toward educating females, educating their families to make them feel that is it OK to represent their countries abroad,” said Basma Ahmad Essa, a taekwondo athlete from the United Arab Emirates. “We’re not disagreeing with any laws of

Islam or things like that, that a lot of conservative people might put as obstacles in front of players.” Essa, 26, added that a lack of awareness about female participation in sports was also hampering development. “We’ve started looking at the West and trying to get the best out of them, and trying to apply it within our countries, she said, sweat pouring off her face after beating a Nepali opponent. One pioneering women’s squad has been taking the field in Guangzhou with traditional Muslim head coverings, showing that religious obligations can coexist with sports. “The world has developed and it is time for women to take their place,” said Maryam Ahmed Al-Suweidi of the Qatari handball team, just one of two female Arab teams in

Guangzhou. The other is the football team from Jordan. Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, of Kuwait, said 80 percent of the west Asian national Olympic committees had females participating in Guangzhou. “For many of these athletes, it’s the first time in this environment,” he said, predicting that the number of female athletes from conservative countries would continue to swell. “This will continue to improve.” The handballers are young and their inexperience has shown during lopsided losses to Taiwan and Kazakhstan, but AlSuweidi says it’s just the beginning, noting that participation in women’s sports has been on the rise in her home region.

“Of course all people like to take part in sports ... I do not believe there is any obstacle at the moment against women taking part in sport in the Arab world,” she said confidently. Pakistan cricket captain Sana Mir noted that her squad used to just compete against women’s teams but now also play men’s under-19 and under-25 sides. “I think if women in Pakistan are given opportunities to play sports with proper coaches and facilities, there’s no reason why they should not perform — not only at Asian Games — but also in major international tournaments,” she said. “I believe if you do something with honesty you can gain a lot in the field of sports.”—AP

Kamel criticizes Bahrain officials after his failure

CHINA: Babak Ghorbani Goldasteh of Iran (in blue) in action during his bout with Asset Mambetov of Kazakhstan in the men’s greco-roman 96kg wrestling at the 16th Asian Games. Iran won gold. — AP

CHINA: Shu Ching Lin of Taiwan (yellow dress) is brought down by Iranian team members during the women’s kabaddi event at the 16th Asian Games. —AP

Medals Table Nation China South Korea Japan Iran Hong Kong Taiwan Thailand India Malaysia Kazakhstan North Korea Indonesia Singapore Uzbekistan Kuwait Philippines Kyrgzstan

G 154 61 32 12 8 8 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 2 2 1

S 77 51 59 8 13 9 7 12 11 13 9 7 6 11 3 2 2

B 73 66 67 15 12 29 22 18 8 23 13 10 6 16 0 8 1

Total 304 178 158 35 33 46 36 36 25 41 27 21 16 30 5 12 4

Pakistan Qatar Jordan Saudi Arabia Macau Bahrain Tajikstan Vietnam Myanmar Mongolia UAE Lebanon Afghanistan Bangladesh Laos Iraq Oman

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2 1 1 1 1 0 0 11 5 2 2 1 1 1 0 0 0

1 3 1 1 0 1 1 12 1 6 0 2 1 0 2 1 1

4 5 3 3 2 2 2 23 6 8 2 3 2 1 2 1 1

GUANGZHOU: World champion Yusuf Saad Kamel criticized his own country, claiming he was forced to compete, while a South Korean coach accused officials of bias against his cyclist in a contentious start to the second week at the Asian Games. The Kenya-born Kamel failed to qualify for the 1,500meter final yesterday, then criticized Bahrain team officials by saying they’d ignored his complaints about an injured right knee and insisted he run in Guangzhou. He finished ninth in the second of two heats, ranking 13th in qualifying. “I told my team officials but they didn’t listen to me,” the 27-year-old Kamel, who has had long-running issues with Bahrain’s athletics officials, said of the injury. “They pushed me to come here and that’s why I’m here. “I’m not upset about my failure, but about their pushing me to run.” China’s Lao Yi was also crowned the fastest man at the continental games when he won the 100 meters in 10.24 seconds ahead of Saudi Arabia’s Yasir Baalghayth Alnashri and Oman’s Barakat Al Harthi. Japan’s Chisato Fukushima won the women’s 100 in 11.33, edging Uzbekistan’s Guzel Khubbieva. In his first race at a major multisports meet since his disappointing exit at the Beijing Olympics, crowd favorite Liu Xiang qualified fastest for the 110-meter hurdles final. The 27-year-old Athens Olympics champion easily won his heat and led the overall field with a time of 13.48 seconds. His main rival for gold, China teammate Shi Dongpeng, placed second in the second heat behind Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Khader A. Almuwallad. Liu said he felt “pretty good” in brief remarks to a media scrum after the race. Local fans who flocked to the 80,000-seat Aoti Main Stadium cheered loudly when Liu was introduced — although the arena was barely half-full, with many seats in the upper stands empty. Earlier in the day, Kamel posted a time 23 seconds slower than his winning run of 3 minutes, 35.93 seconds at the world championships in Berlin last year. He also collected bronze in the 800 at the world championships, and is listed to run that event in Guangzhou. He doesn’t want to run that, either. “I know that I can’t achieve anything,” he said. “It depends on our team. If they push me to run, I’ll run,” he said. But “I’m 100 percent sure that I cannot run the 800 meters well because of the injury.” Bahrain is trying to match its performance in Doha four years ago, when it finished with six gold in track and field, placing it second on the medals table behind China’s 14. Lounes Madene, technical director for Bahrain Athletics, disputed Kamel’s claims. “I told him it’s up to him whether he wants to compete or not,” Madene told The Associated Press. “Nobody forced him to compete in the race, he is a world champion and he knows well about his own fitness.” Madene declined to comment on any possible sanction against Kamel for his outburst. A South Korean delegate was vocal in criticizing officials from China and Japan after Park Sung-baek was relegated from first place to 19th for allegedly swerving in front of another competitor in a sprint finish to the 180-kilometer road race. — AP

CHINA: Japan’s Mizuho Sakaguchi (left) leaps for the ball as North Korea’s Kim Yong Ae looks on during the women’s soccer final at the 16th Asian Games. — AP

Japanese women win football gold GUANGZHOU: Japan won its first Asian Games women’s football gold medal by beating the defending champion North Koreans 1-0 yesterday in a fiercely contested final. After a scoreless first half, defender Azusa Iwashimizu broke through with her historic header in the 74th minute, helping her jubilant team claim the Asian Games title. The disciplined and experienced Japanese, led by US-based midfielders Homare Sawa and Aya Miyama, managed to keep the determined North Koreans from scoring the rest of the game. The win was retribution for Japan’s 2006 loss to the top-seeded North Koreans in a penalty shootout at the last Asian Games in Doha. “Four years ago we lost to North Korea in the final. Now we are here, we are four years older and we have a better mentality that helped us win,” Japan captain Aya Miyama said. “As I was listening to our national anthem from the podium, I was more calmed than excited.”

The North Koreans blamed fatigue after a difficult, 2-1 extra time win over South Korea in the semifinals. “They have never gone through a match like this, and losing this match is a good experience for them,” coach Kim Kwang Min said in comments translated at a post-match news conference. The coach said he was disappointed not to deliver another gold for North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il. “The leader ... really is a women’s football fan. He takes good care of my players and looks at my players as if they were his daughters,” he said. “I’m sorry he couldn’t see their great efforts rewarded.” Earlier Monday, South Korea claimed the bronze by beating China 2-0, reversing the result from four years ago when China won the third-place match. The crowd at Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou was raucous as Japan and North Korea played for the gold. North Korea and Japan are historical rivals — Japan colonized Korea from 1910 to the end of World War II in 1945 — and the match was heated on the

field and off. China remains North Korea’s main ally and has tussled with Japan over territorial disputes, and the fans were firmly behind the North Koreans. It translated into cheers for the Koreans and boos for the Japanese. In the bronze medal match, South Korea’s Park Hee-young scored just two minutes into the game, and Ji So-yun followed up in the 37th minute. Ji is the tournament’s top scorer with five goals overall. The Chinese women were unable to get past South Korea’s tough defense and goalkeeper Jin Min-kyung. The bronze is South Korea’s first Asian Games medal in women’s football. South Korea coach Choi Incheul said his players were exhausted from the tough 3-1 semifinal loss to top-seeded North Korea. He said Park’s early goal gave them a boost and paved the way to victory. “This is our first Asian Games medal and although it’s just a bronze, it’s very precious for all of us,” he told a post-match news conference. — AP

CHINA: China’s Shi Tingmao (top) and Wang Han compete in the women’s synchronized three meter springboard diving final at the 16th Asian Games. — AP

Double gold for China in diving GUANGZHOU: China won both diving gold medals on offer in the synchronized events at the Asian Games yesterday. New women’s pairing Wang Han and Shi Tingmao scored 315.60 points and claimed gold in synchronized three-meter springboard event. Malaysia’s Yan Yee Ng and Mun Yee Leong (279.90) took

silver and Japanese pair of Mai Nakagawa and Sayaka Shibusawa (277.50) could not finish well and had to settle for bronze. Yang Liguang and Zhou Luxin then combined well in the men’s synchronized 10-meter platform to clinch second gold for China with 486.57 points. Malaysia’s Bryan Nickson Lomas and Tze Liang Ooi were 79.41 points behind

Chinese pair for silver while North Korea’s Kim Chon Man and So Myong Hyok (394.08) won bronze. China didn’t miss its ‘Diving Diva’ Guo Jingjing, who skipped the Guangzhou games after winning successive Asian Games gold medals at Busan in 2002 and Doha in ‘06, as Wang and Shi formed a perfect pair for hosts to retain title. “Winning a gold is some-

thing to celebrate,” Wang said. “But we need intensive training in future.” The Chinese pair wrapped up the session with back two-and-a-half somersaults in pike position which earned them 68.40 points. Malaysia overtook Japan for the silver on the last dive. “This is the first medal for us at the Asian Games and we are really happy,” the Malaysian pair said. — AP


SPORTS

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

19

Barca looks to Messi with qualification in sight LONDON: Barcelona will look to star forward Lionel Messi to maintain his sensational form in front of goal as the Spanish giants attempts to seal a place in the Champions League knock stage this week with a game to spare. Messi is his team’s leading scorer in Europe with five goals from four Group D games, including two against Panathinaikos — the side Barcelona play tomorrow — in a 5-1 win on the opening match day. He has also scored 10 goals in his last five Primera Liga matches, three of which came in Barca’s 8-0 thrashing of Almeria on Saturday. The Argentina playmaker is sure to be his side’s fulcrum in Greece as Barcelona goes in search of a win that will send it through to the last 16, joining already qualified Real Madrid, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

Defending champion Inter Milan, Tottenham and Manchester United are among the teams also expected to be in the tournament’s knockout stage at the conclusion of Matchday 5. Barcelona has won six matches in a row in the Spanish league, scoring 23 goals in the process, but it has found things tougher in the Champions League. After a convincing opening victory over Panathinaikos, the three-time winners have won just one of their last three matches — and have leaned heavily on Messi to get them out of trouble in away draws at Rubin Kazan and FC Copenhagen. Barca, which is a point clear of Copenhagen at the top, is favorite to see off bottom side, which was crushed at the Camp Nou in September.

“The team is playing well and can still improve,” said Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who will urge his team to focus on Panathinaikos rather than next week’s ‘clasico’ against Real Madrid in La Liga. “We go to Greece and then we’ll think about the game against Madrid,” midfielder Andres Iniesta said. Inter Milan, without a win in four Serie A matches, will seek some respite in the Champions League when it hosts FC Twente in Group A knowing a win will seal progress into the round of 16. Inter is in the midst of a crisis and club president Massimo Moratti had to reiterate his support for underpressure coach Rafael Benitez at the weekend. “We absolutely have to win tomorrow and keep our heads high,” Inter captain Javier Zanetti said. “We

will do everything to win.” Inter is level on seven points with Tottenham following its 3-1 defeat at White Hart Lane three weeks ago. Spurs, who will also qualify with a win, are being talked about in the British media as dark horses for the league after its 3-2 come-from-behind win at local rival Arsenal on Saturday. They will be in confident mood heading into tomorrow’s match at home to the group’s bottom club Werder Bremen. In Group C, fit-again Wayne Rooney will start for United, which visits Scottish champion Rangers needing a point to secure a top-two finish. The England striker made his return from an ankle injury when he came off the bench in the second half of the 2-0 win over Wigan

on Saturday. “He’s a class player, he’s a great teammate and we want Wayne to be at 100 percent now to help the team,” United striker Javier Hernandez said of his club colleague. Second-place Valencia will also advance with a home win over Bursaspor, which hasn’t earned a point or scored a goal in four matches so far. In Wednesday’s other matches, Group B play sees the top two, Lyon and Schalke, meet in Gelsenkirchen. Benfica, which is third, is away at Hapoel Tel Aviv needing a win to stay in the hunt for qualification. On Tuesday, the three teams that have already made it into the last 16 require a point to guarantee top spot in their groups and potentially an easier match in the first knockout round In Group E, Bayern hosts second-

place Roma, which is six points adrift of the German side. Chelsea, which like Bayern is on maximum points after four games, should cruise past bottom side Zilina in Group F to seal top spot and ninetime winner Madrid is five points clear in Group G ahead of its visit to Ajax. AC Milan will qualify if it beats Auxerre away and third-place Ajax loses at home to the Spanish giants. Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in Matchday 4 has thrown Group H wide open, with both teams now on nine points. The pressure will be piled on the English side if it loses to Braga, which is three points back in third. Shakhtar Donetsk faces Partizan Belgrade Tuesday in search of a victory that will all but secure it a place in the last 16. Captain Dario Srna scored a stun-

ning free kick to hand the Ukrainian champion a 1-0 victory when Partizan came to Donetsk in September. Ukrainian international centerback Dmytro Chygrynskiy said the team will not underestimate Partizan which lies bottom of the group with zero points from its first four games. “Naturally, Partizan will want to give its fans something to cheer about, and it’s playing without pressure,” Chygrynskiy said. “But we have an even stronger motivating factor. For us, it’s a matter of getting out of the group.” Brazilian playmaker Fernandinho is still recovering from a broken leg, and Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss out through illness. Croatian striker Eduardo missed the game against Zorya with minor injuries, but should be fit for the match in Belgrade. —AP

Real have one eye on Ajax, other on ‘clasico’

COBHAM: Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic (left) fights for the ball with Nicolas Anelka during a training session. Chelsea will face MSK Zilila in a Champions League Group F soccer match at the Stamford Bridge stadium. —AP

Ancelotti denies he plans to quit Chelsea COBHAM: Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insisted yesterday that he is happy at the club and wants to stay at Stamford Bridge “for a long time,” denying reports that he was on the verge of quitting. The Italian disputed the widespread speculation in the British media that he was considering leaving the reigning English champions in a dispute over control of the team. “These rumors are totally untrue. I don’t know why they came out in the papers,” Ancelotti said. “I’ve said a lot of times I like to stay here. I love this club. I have a lot of confidence in these players and this squad.” “”My aim is to stay here at this club for a long time,” he added. “It depends on me. The last year I did a good job and I want to do the same. My aim is to stay here.” Ancelotti, who came to Chelsea 18 months ago from AC Milan, also said reports he had consulted the League Managers’ Association about his posi-

tion at Stamford Bridge were wrong. “I didn’t call the LMA. They called me last night when I was relaxing at home, just to find out what was going on,” he said. Chelsea has lost three of its last four matches in the Premier League but remains top of the table _ level on points with Manchester United. Ancelotti acknowledged he is under pressure after his team’s recent bad run but is fully committed to the club. “When the teams don’t reach the right result, the team is under pressure. Obviously I am under pressure,” Ancelotti said. “But I am focused on my job and want my team to play better than they are doing at this moment.” Events off the pitch have also sparked fears about Ancelotti’s future. The club’s board made the decision last week to dismiss assistant coach Ray Wilkins, who was close to Ancelotti, and replace him with Michael Emenalo on the instigation of Russian owner Roman

Abramovich. Ancelotti said Wilkins’ departure had not affected his position as manager. “I am sad because the team doesn’t win — the club decided to change and I have to stay focused on the job,” he said. “This is not the reason the team is losing at the moment. I maintain the same relationship with Ray.” Ancelotti won the league and FA Cup last season in his first year in English football. His team started this season well, too, by qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League with two games to spare and storming to the top of the Premier League, where it has remained all season. The Blues, however, have struggled in recent weeks, losing to Liverpool, Sunderland and Birmingham in the space of 14 days. They also have injury problems, with key players John Terry and Frank Lampard currently sidelined with injuries.—AP

Roma’s rough diamonds find shine for Bayern visit MILAN: AS Roma are making a habit of bursting into form after slow starts to campaigns so already-qualified Bayern Munich better watch out in today’s penultimate Champions League group stage clash. Claudio Ranieri’s side were easily swept aside 2-0 by last season’s runners-up in Germany in September but much has changed since the Group E opener. Roma were all over the place at the beginning of the season, with the club being forced to deny reports they were searching for Ranieri’s replacement. However, they are on a run of seven unbeaten games in all competitions and have surged up Serie A. Frenchman Jeremy Menez, who scored a cracker in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Udinese, is an embodiment of their renaissance having struggled to make an impact last term when Roma again started poorly before finishing as Serie A runners-up. “Jeremy is a diamond who we are polishing up so now he is a permanent starter,” Ranieri told reporters of the playmaker. “Roma were not in a crisis, only in difficulty. With tenacity we have got out of it.” A home win over Bayern could herald the first concrete achievement of that improvement-qualification to the last 16 — if Basel and CFR Cluj draw. Roma, in the process of being sold, have

been working to a strict budget given large debts but a clever player recruitment policy in the close season using loans and free tranfers has given Ranieri enough cover for a mini-injury crisis. However, midfielder Daniele De Rossi could be among those fit to return today. Bayern are already through but the carrot of securing top spot with a point and a potentially easier first knockout round opponent in February means Louis van Gaal’s side will be taking the game seriously. They travel without captain Mark van Bommel with the Dutchman still nursing a knee injury but Franck Ribery, who played 29 minutes in their 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, may get his first start since his injury in September. Central defender Martin Demichelis was also back in training on Sunday and is expected to be included in the squad. “I think he will travel to Rome with us,” said Van Gaal, whose team have had their best start in the competition with four wins out of their four games. “We will see what is reasonable to do at this point. But we also want to help our players become fit,” Van Gaal added given Bastian Schweinsteiger’s suspension and the return of Hamit Altintop, Diego Contento and David Alaba. —Reuters

Matches on TV (Local Timings) Gulf Cup Oman v Bahrain ............ 16:00 Abu Dhabi Sports 1 Kuwait Sport Iraq v UAE ......................... 19:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Kuwait Sport Champions League Basel 1893 v Cluj ........ 22:45 Aljazeera Sport + 5 Ajax v Real Madrid ..... 22:45 Aljazeera Sport + 9 Braga v Arsenal ........... 22:45 Aljazeera Sport + 3 Partizan v Shakhtar ... 22:45 Aljazeera Sport + 1

MADRID: The impending clash with La Liga title rivals Barcelona provides a distracting backdrop for Real Madrid who face Ajax in the Champions League today. The nine-times European champions are already assured of a place in the last 16 and need only a point to secure first place in Group G while the buildup to next Monday’s ‘clasico’ against second-placed Barca is already in full swing. Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten La Liga leaders will travel to the Nou Camp with their one-point advantage intact after a 5-1 battering of Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu on Saturday. Mourinho watched his side win from the stands, as he completed a two-match touchline ban, and his number two Aitor Karanka said afterwards squad rotations were likely in Amsterdam. “We are still top and we’ll see what happens next Monday,” Karanka told reporters. “First we will think of our next game which is on Tuesday. There will be changes against Ajax. Things are going well and we have players in the squad who can come on at any moment.” Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain and Germany midfielder Sami Khedira have already been ruled out of the trip with back and hamstring problems respectively, which could see Karim Benzema and Lassana Diarra step up from the bench. Cristiano Ronaldo’s rich vein of form continued with a hattrick on Saturday, taking his tally in La Liga to 14 from 12 games. He is unlikely to be rested. The game is far more important for Ajax who are third in the group, one point behind secondplaced AC Milan with two matches left to play, and a win would help ease the pressure on coach Martin Jol. They have taken only one point from their last three league matches and slipped to fourth, six points behind leaders PSV Eindhoven after being held to a 0-0 draw at home by PSV on Saturday. Former Dutch great Johan Cruyff has been critical of Jol recently and after Saturday’s game called for the coach and the board to step down. “As long as Cruyff lives he will say things about Ajax. He is doing it now and has done it in the past, I understand from my predecessors,” Jol told reporters. “I just have to live with it.” Jol faces serious problems on his left flank as Vurnon Anita pulled out injured on Saturday, while Urby Emanuelson has been suffering with an ankle injury. Anita is expected to be fit but Emanuelson’s absence might open the door for Miralem Sulejmani on the left. Probable teams: Ajax: 1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 2-Gregory van der Wiel, 3-Toby Alderweireld, 13-Andre Ooijer, 5-Vurnon Anita; 20-Demy de Zeeuw, 10Siem de Jong, 6-Eyong Enoh; 7Miralem Sulejmani, 9-Mounir El Hamdaoui, 16-Luis Suarez Real Madrid: 1-Iker Casillas; 4-Sergio Ramos, 2-Ricardo Carvalho, 3-Pepe, 12-Marcelo; 10-Lassana Diarra, 14-Xabi Alonso; 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 23Mesut Ozil, 22-Angel Di Maria; 9-Karim Benzema. —Reuters

SPAIN: Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (left), Brazilian defender Marcelo (center) and Portuguese defender Pepe take part in a training session on the eve of their Champions League football match against Ajax. —AFP

Auxerre look to down Milan giants AUXERRE: Auxerre will look to a little-known talent to topple AC Milan’s star-studded team in the Champions League today. Frederic Sammaritano is a total unknown in world football compared to Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andrea Pirlo or Robinho, but the tiny winger has been making a name for himself since signing from second division Vannes in January. At just 1.62 meters, he will be harder to spot than the 1.92meter Ibrahimovic, but with Auxerre’s main strikers sidelined by injury, coach Jean Fernandez hopes Sammaritano’s trickery can unlock Milan’s defense and get the French club back in the race to reach the last 16. With Real Madrid comfortably leading Group G with 10 points, Milan, Ajax and Auxerre are scrapping for second place. Although Auxerre is in last place with three points, a win can move it a point ahead of Milan with a game to play. Ajax is in second place with four points and hosts unbeaten Madrid. “We’ve got to win in Auxerre, this game is just as important as the matches in the Italian league,” said Ibrahimovic, who has won domestic league titles with Ajax, Barcelona and Inter Milan but never claimed Europe’s biggest club prize. Sammaritano’s journey is the total opposite to Ibrahimovic’s. He was released from Nantes four years ago and

made his way back through non-league Yzeure, then the third and second divisions with Vannes until he caught Fernandez’s eye, who overlooked his small size. “Every since I was young I’ve been up against it physically, because in modern football today there are a lot of physical players,” Sammaritano said. “I tried to use my size to my advantage.” He was the club’s fourthchoice signing last summer, after Fernandez failed to persuade either Lille’s Ludovic Obraniak, Paris SaintGermain’s Clement Chantome or Lorient’s Morgan Amalfitano to join. Fernandez has not regretted it since, but admits he almost overlooked him. “He scored two goals in the League Cup, he scored in the Champions League and he scored on his (French) league debut. We sense that he can score because he’s very composed in front of goal,” Fernandez said. “At one stage we messed up a bit. We were looking for players who were very athletic, very powerful, but who had no sense of how to play.” Getting Fernandez’s seal of approval is no small feat considering he spotted former France great Zinedine Zidane when he was just 14, took a gamble on the unknown Franck Ribery by bringing him to Metz six years ago, and helped nurture Samir Nasri’s talent when he was at Marseille.

Ribery and Nasri went on to become internationals and are now starring at Bayern Munich and Arsenal, respectively. Auxerre needs Sammaritano’s touch even more as it has been without strikers Irineusz Jelen and Anthony Le Tallec for the past two months, while left midfielder Steeven Langil will be out at least three weeks as he requires knee surgery. Langil scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Ajax at Stade Abbe-Deschamps three weeks ago that kept Auxerre’s slim hopes alive. The 24-year-old Sammaritano also scored in that win, although it has not really sunk in yet. “From an emotional point of view it’s huge to be able to score in such a prestigious competition,” he said. Milan, meanwhile, is in good form with four straight league wins and tops Serie A. That run has coincided with Ibrahimovic’s return to form, with the Sweden striker scoring in his last three games to take his tally to 10 in all competitions. Italy midfielder Pirlo will miss the match as he continues to struggle with a thigh muscle problem, and Mathieu Flamini is likely to continue in his absence after playing the full 90 minutes over the last four league games. With Alexandre Pato and Filippo Inzaghi out injured, Robinho will probably pair with Ibrahimovic in attack, with either Clarence Seedorf or Ronaldinho in the playmaker position. —AP

FRANCE: Auxerre’s players run during a training session. Auxerre will face AC Milan in a Champions League soccer match today. —AP


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Jets stun Texans as Patriots tame Colts

EAST RUTHERFORD: Santonio Holmes caught a 6yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez with 10 seconds left Sunday to lift the New York Jets to a stunning 30-27 comeback victory over the Houston Texans. After New York blew a 16point lead in the fourth quarter, the Jets trailed 27-23 with less than a minute left. But Sanchez completed two passes to LaDainian Tomlinson and then had a 42-yard pass to Braylon Edwards with 16 seconds remaining. On the next play, Sanchez found Holmes streaking into the left corner of the end zone for the winning score. A video replay confirmed that Holmes, whose 37-yard touchdown catch won it in overtime at Cleveland last week, got both feet in bounds. It was another heartbreaking loss for the Texans, who fell last week on a desperation heave as time expired at Jacksonville.

Patriots 31, Colts 28

LOS ANGELES: Golden State Warriors point guard Jeremy Lin (left) puts up a shot as Los Angeles Lakers forward Derrick Caracter defends during the second half of their NBA basketball game.—AP

Lakers get past Warriors LOS ANGELES: Pau Gasol scored 28 points on 10-for-10 shooting, Kobe Bryant added 20 points and the Los Angeles Lakers won their fourth straight victory with a 117-89 blowout of the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. Lamar Odom had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who beat their upstate rivals for the 11th straight time, including twice at Staples Center in three weeks. Los Angeles’ 12th win in 14 games to open the season was a laugher by halftime, when the Lakers had hit nearly 66 percent of their shots. Dorell Wright scored 16 points on 5 of 17 shooting, and Stephen Curry added 13 in the Warriors’ fourth loss in five games. Monta Ellis sat out most of the second half after landing hard on his hip.

Raptors 102, Celtics 101 Amir Johnson made two free throws with 2.7 seconds left and Andrea Bargnani scored 29 points as the Toronto Raptors upset Boston 102-101 to end an eight-game losing streak against the Celtics. Paul Pierce’s shot bounced off the rim at the buzzer, giving Toronto its first victory over the Celtics since January 2008. Johnson had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Sonny Weems added 16 points, and Reggie Evans had 16 rebounds and a season-high nine points for the Raptors, who’re on a threematch winning roll. Nate Robinson led Boston with a seasonhigh 22 points, and Pierce and Ray Allen each had 19. Boston has lost two straight for the

first time this season.

Hornets 75, Kings 71 At Sacramento, David West had 17 points and Trevor Ariza added 16 to help New Orleans improve to an 11-1 win-loss record, matching San Antonio for the best record in the NBA. Marco Belinelli scored 12 points, and Chris Paul had nine points and 14 assists for the Hornets, who shot 32 percent and had a seasonlow point total. New Orleans has won three straight. Donte Greene had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento. The Kings have lost nine of their last 10 games. The Hornets completed a trade Saturday that sent Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless to Toronto for point guard Jarrett Jack, center David Andersen and guard Marcus Banks. The three new players are expected to join the Hornets on Monday night in Los Angeles for a game against the Clippers.

Pistons 115, Wizards 110 At Auburn Hills, Richard Hamilton scored 12 of his 27 points in overtime for Detroit. Wizards rookie star John Wall missed his fourth straight game because of a sprained left foot. He was on the Wizards’ active list, and coach Flip Saunders said before the game that he hoped to get a few minutes out of him, but Wall ended up watching in street clothes. Charlie Villanueva added 25 points for Detroit. JaVale McGee had 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Wizards. Gilbert Arenas added 19 points and a career-high 16 assists.—AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Sunday. Toronto 102, Boston 101; Detroit 115, Washington 110 (OT); New Orleans 75, Sacramento 71; LA Lakers 117, Golden State 89. Eastern Confer ence Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 9 4 .692 NY Knicks 6 8 .429 Toronto 5 9 .357 New Jersey 4 9 .308 Philadelphia 3 10 .231

Chicago Indiana Cleveland Milwaukee Detroit

Central Division 7 4 .636 5 6 .455 5 7 .417 5 8 .385 5 8 .385

Southeast Orlando 9 Atlanta 8 Miami 8 Charlotte 5 Washington 4

Division 3 .750 5 .615 5 .615 8 .385 8 .333

GB 3.5 4.5 5 6

Wester n Conference Nort hwest Division Oklahoma City 9 4 .692 Utah 9 5 .643 Portland 8 6 .571 Denver 7 6 .538 Minnesota 4 10 .286 Pacific Division 12 2 .857 7 6 .538 6 7 .462 4 8 .333 1 13 .071

2 2.5 3 3

LA Lakers Golden State Phoenix Sacramento LA Clippers

1.5 1.5 4.5 5

Southwest New Orleans 11 San Antonio 11 Dallas 8 Memphis 5 Houston 3

Division 1 .917 1 .917 4 .667 9 .357 9 .250

0.5 1.5 2 5.5

4.5 5.5 7 11

3 7 8

At Foxborough, Massachusetts, Tom Brady outdueled Peyton Manning as the New England Patriots edged the Indianapolis Colts. The teams met for the eighth straight season, and Brady guided the Patriots (8-2) to a 31-14 lead before four-time MVP Manning led a spirited comeback. But Manning was intercepted in the final moments for the third time. Brady not only beat Manning, the only other quarterback of the last decade in his class, but tied another QB icon for an NFL mark. Brady has won 25 straight regular-season home starts, equaling Brett Favre’s record when he was with Green Bay. New England is tied with the Jets atop the AFC East. Indianapolis (6-4) leads the AFC South.

Eagles 27, Giants 17

At Philadelphia, LeSean McCoy ran 50 yards for the goahead score on a fourth-and-1 late in the fourth quarter, and the Eagles rallied after blowing a 13-point lead. Michael Vick looked a little more ordinary after a spectacular performance in a 59-28 win over Washington Monday night, but he led the Eagles (7-3) to a comeback win nonetheless, and helped give them sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Eli Manning threw a pair of touchdown passes to bring New York (6-4) back from a 16-3 deficit. But he lost a fumble after running for a first down on fourth-and-6 with 2:51 left.

Steelers 35, Raiders 3

At Pittsburgh, James Harrison caused two turnovers that Ben Roethlisberger turned into touchdown passes in the Steelers rout. Harrison led a defense that drove Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell from the game, and finished with five tackles, two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. The former AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year also was called for a penalty for slamming Campbell to the turf as the quarterback was throwing a pass. Roethlisberger finished with three TD passes and also ran for one.

Redskins 19, Titans 16

At Nashville, Graham Gano kicked a 48-yard field goal with 8:17 left in overtime to help Washington end a two-game skid. The win came on a day when at least seven Redskins went to the sideline with injuries, including Clinton Portis with a re-injured groin. Gano’s winner was his fourth field goal of the game. He also missed two - a 51-yarder to end the first half and a 47-yard attempt at the end of regulation that fell short. Donovan McNabb was 30 of 50 for 376 yards with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss.

Packers 31, Vikings 3

At Minneapolis, Aaron Rodgers threw for 301 yards, with three of his four touchdown

PHILADELPHIA: Eagles quarterback Michael Vick runs for a touchdown leaving New York Giants linebacker Michael Boley (59) and defensive end Justin Tuck (91) lying on ground during the first half of an NFL football game.—AP passes to Greg Jennings, as Green Bay beat Brett Favre and Minnesota for the second time this season. The Packers kept pace in the NFC North race with the Chicago Bears and ruined any realistic hope the Vikings had left to give Favre another shot at a playoff run in his 20th NFL season.

Cowboys 35, Lions 19

At Arlington, Bryan McCann grabbed a batted-down punt and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown, Miles Austin had two short touchdown catches and 38year-old Jon Kitna had a careerbest 29-yard TD for Dallas. Cowboys interim coach Jason Garrett won his home debut and improved to 2-0 since taking over for Wade Phillips. It’s the first time all season Dallas won at home, having lost the first four. The Lions (2-8) lost their 26th straight on the road, extending a woeful NFL record that began in 2007, when Kitna was their quarterback.

Ravens 37, Panthers 13

At Charlotte, Joe Flacco threw for 301 yards and a touchdown and Baltimore’s defense returned consecutive interceptions for TDs in the fourth quarter as the Ravens beat Brian St. Pierre and the Panthers. The Ravens recovered after a disheartening loss to Atlanta 10 days earlier by finally rattling Carolina’s quarterback to break open a surprisingly close game. With Baltimore leading 23- 13, Ed Reed picked off St. Pierre, then pitched it to Dawan Landry for a touchdown. On the next play, St. Pierre was intercepted by Ray Lewis, who rumbled 24 yards for a score.

NFL results/standings NFL results and standings on Sunday. Buffalo 49, Cincinnati 31; Dallas 35, Detroit 19; Washington 19, Tennessee 16 (OT); Kansas City 31, Arizona 13; Green Bay 31, Minnesota 3; NY Jets 30, Houston 27; Baltimore 37, Carolina 13; Jacksonville 24, Cleveland 20; Pittsburgh 35, Oakland 3; Tampa Bay 21, San Francisco 0; New Orleans 34, Seattle 19; Atlanta 34, St. Louis 17; New England 31, Indianapolis 28; Philadelphia 27, NY Giants 17. (OT indicates overtime win) American Football Conference AFC East W L T PF PA NY Jets 8 2 0 238 177 New England 8 2 0 289 242 Miami 5 5 0 172 208 Buffalo 2 8 0 213 276 AFC North Baltimore 7 3 0 233 178 Pittsburgh 7 3 0 235 165 Cleveland 3 7 0 192 206 Cincinnati 2 8 0 215 262 AFC South Jacksonville 6 4 0 220 270 Indianapolis 6 4 0 268 216 Tennessee 5 5 0 257 198 Houston 4 6 0 244 287 AFC West Kansas City 6 4 0 243 207 Oakland 5 5 0 238 223 San Diego 4 5 0 239 197 Denver 3 6 0 203 252

record six straight games with at least one score, as Kansas City remained unbeaten at home. In his last six games, Bowe has 563 yards receiving and 10 touchdown catches for the Chiefs (64). Thomas Jones also had two touchdowns for the Chiefs, who are 5-0 at home and are in sole possession of first place in the AFC West.

Buccaneers 21, 49ers 0

At San Francisco, Josh Freeman threw for 136 yards and two touchdowns and Tampa Bay got its first win at

PCT .800 .800 .500 .200 .700 .700 .300 .200 .600 .600 .500 .400 .600 .500 .444 .333

National Football Conference NFC East 0 284 226 Philadelphia 7 3 NY Giants 6 4 0 253 220 Washington 5 5 0 202 245 Dallas 3 7 0 229 271 NFC North Chicago 7 3 0 191 146 Green Bay 7 3 0 252 146 Minnesota 3 7 0 172 226 Detroit 2 8 0 234 237 NFC South Atlanta 8 2 0 256 192 New Orleans 7 3 0 235 170 Tampa Bay 7 3 0 209 206 Carolina 1 9 0 117 252 NFC West Seattle 5 4 0 166 199 St. Louis 4 5 0 160 164 San Francisco 3 6 0 160 198 Arizona 3 6 0 175 261

Candlestick Park since 1980 and only second ever. Nothing fancy was needed for the Bucs (7-3) to end an eight-game losing streak in San Francisco. They were the underdog, no less. Ronde Barber made his 40th career interception in the fourth quarter, most in Tampa Bay franchise history, to help clinch it. He also became the first player in NFL history to record 40 interceptions and 25 sacks in a career. LeGarrette Blount ran for 82 yards and 305-pound left tackle

Bills 49, Bengals 31

At Cincinnati, Ryan Fitzpatrick matched his career high with four touchdown passes during Buffalo’s biggest comeback in 13 years. The Bengals appeared to be in control after Johnathan Joseph’s interception return put them ahead 28-7 in the second quarter. But Steve Johnson caught three touchdown passes, including an 11-yarder that put Buffalo ahead 35-31 early in the fourth quarter. Johnson finished with eight catches for 137 yards.

Chiefs 31, Cardinals 13

At Kansas City, Dwayne Bowe caught two touchdown passes, giving him a team-

.700 .700 .300 .200 .800 .700 .700 .100 .556 .444 .333 .333

Donald Penn made a late 1-yard touchdown catch. 49ers quarterback Troy Smith lost for the first time in three starts. The Niners were shut out at home for the first time since a 7-0 loss to Atlanta on Oct. 9, 1977.

Saints 34, Seahawks 16

At New Orleans, Drew Brees became New Orleans’ all-time completions leader, throwing for four touchdowns in a victory over Seattle. Brees was 29 of 42 for 382 yards and completed his 1,850th pass as a Saint in the second quarter to break a record held by Archie Manning since 1982. Brees hit Marques Colston and Robert Meachem twice each for TDs to keep the defending champion Saints (7-3) one game behind NFC South Division leader Atlanta. Matt Hasselbeck was 32 of 44 for 366 yards, the most yards allowed by New Orleans’ topranked passing defense this season, but Seattle (5-5) had trouble getting in the end zone. The Seahawks lost two fumbles and had four drives end with field goals.

Falcons 34, Rams 17

Jaguars 24, Browns 20

At Jacksonville, Maurice Jones-Drew followed a 75-yard reception with a 1-yard touchdown dive with 1:16 left as Jacksonville overcame six turnovers. Jones-Drew broke four tackles on a screen pass from David Garrard and weaved his way toward the end zone. Rookie Joe Haden made a touchdown-saving tackle that ended up taking precious seconds off the clock.

.700 .600 .500 .300

ARLINGTON: Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (90) celebrates after getting a sack on Detroit Lions quarterback Shaun Hill in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game. —AP

At St. Louis, Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes and directed an offense so dominant that three St. Louis defenders left with cramps in Atlanta’s win. Sam Bradford also had a pair of touchdown passes and set an NFL rookie record with 169 consecutive passes without an interception before William Moore picked off a shovel pass at the 2 with 3:24 to go. That was the clincher for the Falcons (8-2), who won their fourth in a row and ended the Rams’ four-game home winning streak. —AP


Burgan Bank welcomes UGB as a strategic shareholder

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Reinventing the business of telecom

23

EU, IMF officials extend talks with Greece

25

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

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Wataniya at two-year high after Tunisia deal GULF STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Kuwait’s Wataniya hit a two-year high yesterday af ter its consortium bought the remaining half of Orascom Telecom’s Tunisian unit in a $1.2 billion deal. Wataniya, also known as National Mobile Telecommunications and a unit of Qatar Telecom (Qtel), climbed 2.1 percent, while Qtel edged up 0.05 percent after the deal was announced. “The deal’s valuation for Tunisiana was in line with estimates, so I don’t think this will have much impact on the overall valuation of Wataniya,” said Martin Mabbutt, Nomura telecoms analyst. “Wataniya’s share price move has little to do with this deal and more about the stock being undervalued.” Orascom Telecom fell 0.9 percent after being up as much as 5 percent intraday. Industries Qatar (IQ) rose 2.3 percent to a 25-month high, helping Doha’s index reach a similar milestone. IQ is up 28 percent in the past three months, while the benchmark has gained 19 percent this year as Qatar’s bullish macroeconomic outlook bolsters shares. “Valuations are attractive and earnings have surprised on the upside and were well ahead of other regional markets - the country’s economic growth is translating into solid corporate growth,” said Fahd Iqbal, EFG Hermes strategist. “Our only concern is relatively low number of listed companies, while for foreign investors it’s always a bit tight because of ownership restrictions.” Qatar National Bank (QNB) rose 0.4 percent and Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) added 1.5 percent, with the latter lender among

EFG-Hermes top 20 stocks for the Middle East and North Africa. “CBQ and QNB are both attractive, but there’s a significant discrepancy in valuations in favor of CBQ,” added EFG’s Iqbal. Saudi Arabia’s index ended almost flat at 6,363 points, with petrochemical gains cancelled out by weak bank stocks. Samba Financial Group dropped 2.9 percent and Banque Saudi Fransi lost 0.7 percent. “Bank provisions have increased dramatically this year and the sector is too large for the market to move without it,” said Youssef Kassantini, an independent financial analyst. “Banks will continue to take higher provisions and that will affect profitability.” He forecast the index would test 7,000 points before year-end, with gains limited by bank provisions. Dubai’s benchmark climbed 0.5 percent, bolstered by Emaar Properties’ 1.4 percent rise, but volumes were again lackluster. “Focus for dedicated MENA investors remains in Egypt, Qatar and Saudi,” said Julian Bruce, EFGHermes director of institutional equity sales. “UAE remains overlooked due to absence of any positive catalyst. Investors are unwilling to commit fresh funds now we’re approaching year end and there is still an air of caution whilst we await any further developments on Dubai Holding’s debt restructuring.” The restructuring of Dubai Holding is under way and will include a haircut for creditors and injections of fresh government funds, the vice chairman of Dubai’s top fiscal body told the Financial Times last week. — Reuters

Euro, equities falter amid questions over Irish bailout LONDON: The euro and European stock markets faltered yesterday, giving up early gains as investors questioned whether Ireland’s EU/IMF bailout would really herald the end of the euro-zone’s debt crisis. “News that the Irish government were going to accept assistance with a debt bailout package certainly gave traders something to cheer about at the start of the week,” said sales trader Will Hedden at betting firm IG Index. “But there seems to be a creeping realization that this won’t necessarily mark the end of the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis.” In late morning deals, the European single currency dipped to 1.3720 dollars, having earlier spiked as high as 1.3786 dollars in reaction to the news from debt-ridden Ireland over

the weekend. European shares also trimmed earlier gains, with London up 0.08 percent, Frankfurt gaining 0.37 percent and Paris adding 0.13 percent. Dublin sank 0.87 percent, after the once-proud Celtic Tiger was forced on Sunday to apply for the euro-zone’s second emergency rescue this year. Madrid nosedived 0.95 percent amid heightened worries that Spain could be the next nation to appeal for help over its battered public finances. “Ireland may have accepted a bailout this weekend but the euro-zone’s debt crisis is far from over,” said research director Kathleen Brooks at trading site Forex.com. The pressure on Irish government bonds eased early yesterday as the market took on board the news.—AFP

QUETTA: A Pakistani woman leaves a currency exchange shop in Quetta yesterday. The European single currency and stock markets rallied after debt-wracked Ireland formally applied for a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, dealers said. —AFP

Wataniya Telecom, Princesse Holding to acquire all Orascom shares in Tunisiana KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom announced yesterday that it has signed an agreement with a consortium led by Princesse Holding of Tunisia to jointly acquire from Orascom Telecom Holding (Orascom Telecom) —their 50% shareholding in Orascom Telecom Tunisie (Tunisiana). Wataniya has an existing 50% shareholding in Tunisiana. Under the terms of the agreement, Wataniya and the Princesse Holding consortium (the “Partners”) will acquire the stock for $1,200m. The Partners will work with the Tunisian authorities to finalize the transaction and anticipate closing with Orascom Telecom in early January 2011. Wataniya will finance its portion of the transaction with a mixture of existing cash and debt, and now will control the Board and management of Tunisiana, allowing it to fully consolidate the business. Sheikh Abdullah Bin

Mohammed Bin Saud AlThani, Chairman of Wataniya Telecom commented: “The acquisition is in line with Wataniya’s vision for 2020 as part of Qtel group, which aims to position us among the top 20 telecommunications companies in the world, and with our strategy of active portfolio development, through which we may seek to increase our ownership in well performing assets, with further growth potential. We are rightly proud of our record of financially disciplined expansion, and we are pleased to have secured the additional Tunisiana stock at a good price. Tunisiana has been an outstanding asset within our portfolio and Tunisiana has been able to establish its position as a leading communications company in Tunisia. “We have a successful history of working with well established and highly respected local partners, and

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman of Wataniya Telecom

we are delighted to have entered into partnership with the Princesse Holding consortium, one of Tunisia’s blue chip conglomerates, chaired by Mohamed Sakher El Materi. We are confident that with the support and active participation of Princesse Holding, we will be able to take Tunisiana to the next stage of its development and offer the Tunisian public innovative, advanced and competitive communications services for years to come.” With this transaction, Wataniya Telecom consolidates its position in the MENA region, with 5 controlled operations. Wataniya Telecom was commercially launched in 1999 as the first privately owned operator in Kuwait. National Mobile Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s Company (NMTC) trading under the brand name Wataniya Telecom is listed in

the Kuwait Stock Exchange and has operations in 6 countries including Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Palestine. Qatar Telecom (Qtel) owns 52.5% of Wataniya Telecom. Wataniya is a customer-driven company that aims to provide product and service excellence. Over the past 10 years Wataniya has risen to be the second largest operator in one of the most competitive markets, and continues offering a wide range of prepaid and postpaid mobile voice and Internet services to both individual and corporate customers. Wataniya has built its reputation on offering innovative services, maintaining excellent network quality and delivering outstanding customer experience. These three pillars remain the basis of Wataniya’s strategy as it continues to solidify its strong market position.

LNG leader Qatar’s future growth looks local, liquid Mideast demand for gas pressures buyers to raise bids DOHA: Qatar’s energy revenue growth now that it has become the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas may depend on whether its gas-hungry neighbors accede to higher prices and on its associated development of other liquid fuels. The tiny Middle Eastern country is preparing to celebrate reaching a long-term goal of being able to export 77 million tons of LNG a year to markets around the world, making Qatar one of the world’s richest countries. Fourteen years after shipping its first tanker-load of supercooled gas, Qatar’s future growth may lie in construction of sub-sea pipelines to oil-rich neighbors, which are desperate for gas for energy-intensive economies but reluctant to pay market rates for it. “The region is screaming for gas. The Bahrainis are begging for it, Dubai wants more, Abu Dhabi needs some. The logical next move is to take on more pipeline deals - build a pipeline over to Bahrain,” one senior Doha-based industry source said. Although the region sits on large gas reserves, Qatar’s neighbors have struggled to pump enough to keep pace with rising demand, largely because mandated low domestic gas prices offer scant incentive to oil majors to explore for it. A solitary pipeline, called Dolphin, has supplied Qatari gas to the United Arab Emirates since 2007. But Dolphin has been running at less than two-thirds of capacity, because the price offered in UAE has not been high enough for Doha to fill it. Qatar has instead exported ever-increasing quantities of LNG to more lucrative markets in Asia or Europe and seems unlikely to fill Dolphin - let alone build more export routes - until prospective buyers give in to its price demands. Some Gulf states have even bought LNG reexported from the United States and Europe over the past year or LNG directly from Qatar as a short-term expedient. “I don’t think (agreeing on price) will be a smooth road. A lot of potential buyers in the region are putting out feelers but are not yet prepared to show their full hand,” the source said. Global gas prices have weakened over the past two years along with a surge in US shale gas production, but the revenue Qatar will reap from LNG sales is still enormous. Future output from the new Qatargas LNG trains 6 and 7 has already been sold, according to Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah Al-Attiyah. Analysts, meanwhile, say Qatar can make a profit from selling gas at almost any price because of the lucrative condensate and liquid fuels such as propane and butane in the North

Field that are produced along with it. “The real emphasis for the Qataris is to make the most of liquids: crude and natural gas liquids,” said Bill Farren-Price, a consultant at Petroleum Policy Intelligence. “They will want to sustain crude production for as long as possible at reasonable rates. And they need to be producing as much gas as they can, so they can get the liquids.” Increased condensate production is another area of growth. The country’s plan to double the size of its condensate refinery at Ras Laffan will boost its capacity to pump diesel and other middle distillates and may give it an economic edge over other regional refineries. “The good thing about condensate products is that they are not restricted by the OPEC quota,” said one Doha-based economist. “You’ll see a lot of condensate production in Qatar next year.” The country will also ramp up supplies of middle distillates through its $19 billion Pearl gasto-liquids (GTL) project with Royal Dutch Shell. Qatar, Shell and Petrochina are also looking at the viability of building a refining and petrochemical complex in China. “The Qataris want to push on strongly with petrochemicals,” said Samuel Ciszuk, a Middle East energy analyst at IHS Global Insight. “That’s where they can find an additional growth opportunity.” After years of supplying gas from Japan to Mexico, the Al Khaleej and Barzan gas projects also will provide fuel for Qatar to diversify its domestic industrial base. Further oil field exploration is likely as production from Qatar’s two major fields, Dukhan and Al Shaheen, is in decline. But many say a government moratorium on further development of the North Field, imposed in 2005 due to concerns about reserve depletion, will remain in place beyond 2014. “Why would you lift it? You’ve got plenty of money in the country. And there are enough reserve doubts to keep it,” the Qatar energy industry source said. “It is vital to them to be seen as a good supplier. That consciousness is why they don’t want to take risks with the North Field.” An extension would also assuage fears about further saturating the global LNG market. “The history in the Gulf is extreme conservatism in terms of production to reserve ratio, far more so than in the West,” the source said. “There’s very little raping of reservoirs, partially because of a perception among rulers of historical legacy, but also because they don’t want to flood the market.” — Reuters

DUBLIN: Commuters wait at a bus stop in the early morning light in Dublin yesterday. Anger mounted in Ireland yesterday after Prime Minister Brian Cowen confirmed the European Union had agreed to his request for a multi-billion-euro bailout.—AFP

Ireland to shrink or merge banks as part of bailout Dublin shell-shocked at its own failure DUBLIN: Ireland’s banks will be pruned down, merged or sold as part of a massive EU-IMF bailout taking shape, the government said yesterday as a shell-shocked nation came to grips with its failure to protect and revive its banks. Crucially, some experts say the rescue may have come too late to save the next weak link, Portugal, from the same fate. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said Ireland’s banks have become wholly dependent on loans from the European Central Bank and, just like the government, look likely to be frozen out of normal credit markets for at least a year. Ireland’s banks invested aggressively in the runaway housing market for a decade and were hit hard when the bubble burst. The estimated cost of bailing out the banks was revised upwards and is now considered too big for the Irish government to manage-and is weighing on confidence across the eurozone. Lenihan stressed that Ireland has no plans to force senior bondholders of the five state-supported banks to absorb losses, as Germany insists will start to happen when new European Union crisis-management rules are enacted in 2013. “We’ve always acknowledged as a sovereign state that we pay our senior debt. I’ve not seen any push to have senior debt dishonored,” he said. Europe’s stock markets and the euro broadly rose in relief that a long-rumored bailout would finally happen. The cost of borrowing for the most debt-burdened euro-zone members-Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain-all declined modestly on

bond markets. But the stock of Ireland’s two healthiest banks fell sharply Monday in expectation of increased state involvement and forced mergers and disposal of assets. Ratings agency Moody’s said it expects to slash the credit ratings of Ireland and its banks by several notches-to near junk-bond status. Ireland already has nationalized three banks, holds major stakes in Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks, and will likely seize majority control of the latter next month when it is expected to be the only buyer in a sale of new shares. Only one, insurer and mortgage specialist Irish Life & Permanent, has avoided any bailouts so far. Shares in Bank of Ireland and Irish Life & Permanent both fell 15 percent, to 0.41 euros and 0.98 euros. Allied Irish-which has already dumped its two prized assets, stakes in Poland’s Bank Zachodni and New York’s M&T Bank-fell 3.5 percent to 0.42 euro. Alan Dukes, chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, the lender that most sabotaged Ireland’s economy with property gambles that went bust since 2008, said he expected most, if not all, of Ireland’s six banks to end up in state hands before the bloodbath was over. The union that represents bank employees warned of probable mass job cuts as smaller banks were forced to close or merge with the few survivors. Ireland already has unemployment of 13.6 percent, the second-highest rate in the euro-zone behind Spain. And analysts cautioned that Ireland’s financial rescue was likely to provide only

short-term relief for Portugal and Spain, the next two dominos of Europe’s debt crisis that some fear could topple towards a bailout. “The threat of contagion still remains. How long before Portugal and Spain are forced to put up the white flag?” asked David Buik, markets analyst at London-based BGC Partners. “A bailout for Ireland does increase the chance that Portugal will tap the facility as well,” said Marco Valli, chief euro-zone economist at UniCredit in Milan. “It will be a matter of time.” Valli said he was more optimistic that Spain could avoid an EUIMF intervention, citing the strong performance of Banco Santander and Spain’s other major banks. But Marc Ostwald, senior strategist at London-based Monument Securities, compared the bond markets to “hearse chasers” who soon would “take Portugal and Spain to task.” Ostwald said global investors have little confidence that euro-zone governments have contained their debt difficulties “given that the leaders of the euro-zone have once again failed to act pre-emptively, but rather only when the clock is set at 1 minute to midnight.” Portugal’s finance minister, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, insisted that the Irish bailout would lower his own country’s cost of borrowing back to sustainable levels. He said Portuguese banks were sound, and an emergency budget due to be passed Friday would lower Portugal’s deficit from 9.3 percent this year to 4.6 percent in 2011. “These are targets we cannot miss,” Teixeira dos Santos said.—AP


BUSINESS

22

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Experts: Online job sites most effective methods DUBAI: More than a third of respondents (34.5%) across the Middle East and North Africa said that online job sites are the most effective recruitment method, according to the latest online poll series conducted by the Middle East’s number one job site Bayt.com. The results of the ‘Recruitment Methods When asked what percentage of their friends and family had a resume on an online jobsite, 42.7% of respondents said up to 10%, 12.9% said between 10 and 20%, 8.5% said between 20 and 30%, 5.4% said between 30 and 40%, 6.5% said 40% to 50%, and as many as 24% said more than 50% of their friends and family had a resume on an online jobsite. Participants in the poll were asked why they frequent online job sites; 20.2% said it was the fastest, easiest, most effective way to land a job, 12.8% said they allowed them to access jobs outside their country, 8.2% said because most of them are free to jobseekers, 5% said because they are rich in facts and information on careers, 3.4% said almost all top employers recruit using them today, and 44.1 % said all of the above reasons while 6.3 % said none of the above. The respondents were then asked whether they were passive or active jobseekers. An overwhelming majority (84.4%)

in the MENA 2010/ 2011’ poll also show ed that 25.7% of respondents said newspaper jobs ads were the most effective, 11.2% said recruitment agencies, 10.2% said word of mouth, 9% said online job fairs, 6.1% said corporate website job ads, 1.8% said college alumni clubs and 1.6% said traditional job fairs.

Bayt.com research answered that they were active while only 13.5% said they were passive. Only 2.1% said they were not seeking a job at all. “As the number one job site in the Middle East, Bayt.com is dedicated to researching and analyzing data that can be useful to both employees and employers,” said Amer Zureikat, VP Sales, Bayt.com. “The results of our most recent poll show that online job sites are today widely seen as the most effective job search tool and a proven and indispensable recruitment solution for today’s professionals for a very wide range of reasons.’’ When asked what career level online job sites catered to in their opinion, 27.9% said mid-level, 27.3%

S&P affirms Abu Dhabi at ‘AA/A-1+’; outlook stable ABU DHABI: We believe that Abu Dhabi’s economy is weathering the global downturn well, despite increased contingent liabilities from the financial sector and Dubai. The Emirate in our opinion has significant flexibility to face these challenges by virtue of its large resource endowment and financial asset holdings. We are affirming our ‘AA/A1+’ ratings on the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The stable outlook balances the Emirate’s strong financial position and prudent policies against geopolitical risks, contingent liabilities, and potential impediments to growth stemming from undeveloped institutions. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that it has affirmed its ‘AA’ long-term and ‘A-1+’ short-term sovereign credit ratings on the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, a member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The outlook is stable. Our Transfer & Convertibility assessment is unchanged at ‘AA+’. “The ratings on Abu Dhabi are supported by the government’s very strong asset position, which provides significant financial flexibility, and that has allowed the emirate-through strong countercyclical policies and preemptive support to the financial sector-to face the global economic downturn with a high degree of resilience,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Luc Marchand. The ratings are also underpinned by the country’s domestic political stability

Zain Kuwait launches eeZee unlimited offer

said senior level, 20.3% said entry level, 18.4% said all of the above while 6.2% were not sure. ‘’Clearly the region’s professionals understand that leading jobsites such as Bayt.com are not the exclusive domain of the technically savvy or highly experienced but rather cater equally to all segments of the population from fresh graduates to mid-management to senior executive management. The Bayt.com database is well proportioned and very rich across all industries and career levels and the system allows different levels of confidentiality and privacy to cater to different segments of professionals and employers’’ continued Zureikat When asked if they had any issues with having their resume on a jobsite, 51.2 % of respondents said they did not as they were aware it allowed them the most access to employers. Moreover, when asked if their company recruited using a leading job site, 39.3% of respondents answered yes, indicating the great penetration online recruitment currently enjoys in the region and its wide popularity with the MENA’s employers. Finally, in a brilliant testimony to the success of online recruitment in the region, more than 10% of respondents said they themselves knew more than 5 people who had found their jobs online including 7.2% of professionals who knew more than 10 people who had found their jobs online. Data for the ‘Recruitment Methods in the MENA 2010/ 2011’ poll series was collected online between October 3 and November 10, with a total of 14,487 respondents from across the Middle East. This and other Middle East research, as well as information on Bayt.com’s classifieds, are available online on www.bayt.com.

KUWAIT: Zain Kuwait has launched eeZee unlimited, its latest eeZee lines service that lets all prepaid customers make unlimited calls, SMS and video calls on its network. Zain, which maintains the leading position in the Kuwaiti mobile communications market, announced that the service will undoubtedly increase the level of mobile traffic between the largest community of prepaid customers in Kuwait. The service launch will also witness special celebrations held at main retail outlets such as the Avenues and 360 Mall. “The launch of this service will see Zain adopt a new attitude to its valued customers, in particular those in the prepaid segment,” declared Khalid Al-Omar, CEO of Zain Kuwait. “Zain has once again changed the customer’s perception of their mobile phone, a device that has become a magical multifunctional in our daily life,” he added. Al-Omar went on to explain that the service complements the company’s latest offers on internet and data transfer services for eeZee customers, by launching unlimited, low-cost, high speed internet. “This service offers different bundles tailored to each customer needs,” he explained. A KD 1.5 “unlimited daily” subscription allows the customer unlimited calls, SMS, and video calls for one day on Zain network. Every customer selecting the KD 7.00 “unlimited weekly” subscription can enjoy these benefits for one week, while the KD 23.00 allows unlimited use for a month. To benefit from this offering, prepaid customers simply need to send a SMS containing the letter “Z” to 999.

Customers can now make unlimited SMS and video calls on Zain Kuwait network any time of day

Khalid Al-Omar, CEO of Zain Kuwait

Burgan Bank names daily winners of Yawmi Account KUWAIT: Burgan Bank declared the names of the daily winners of the Yawmi Account draw which took place at the Banks head office. The lucky winners for the six daily draws for the last 2 weeks (before Eid Holidays) will take home a handsome cashprize of KD 5000 each. The lucky winners are: 1. Mhmoud Haji Mohammad Dehdari 2. Shaikha Soud Almohammad Al Zaid 3. Ayman Ibrahim Mohhamad Al- Adawe 4. Yaqoob Abdullah Ramadan Al- Eidy 5. Bader Awdah Shafi Ghanim 6. May Nazeeh Nasrallah Congratulating the winners, Burgan Bank Chief Retail Banking Officer-GM Muneera Al-Mukhaizeem said: “I extend my warm wishes to the winners of last week’s Yawmi draw. Yawmi today is a well understood product, the popularity of which can be seen from the number of increasing account holders. Burgan Bank has always been at the forefront

and wealth, reinforced by its rich resource endowment, and policies that reinforce Abu Dhabi’s integration with the global economy. The ratings are constrained by the geopolitical risks that face all sovereigns in the region, the lack of transparency, and limited availability of financial and economic data, particularly regarding the government’s assets, as well as the contingent liabilities arising from the banking system and the public sector of the UAE as a whole. “The stable outlook on Abu Dhabi balances the Emirate’s strong financial position and prudent policies against geopolitical risks, high contingent liabilities, and potential impediments to growth stemming from undeveloped institutions,” said Marchand. Furthermore, significant improvements in transparency and availability of financial and economic data, and progress on institutional reforms such as institutions necessary to improve the functioning of a market economy, could have a favorable impact on the ratings in the coming years, as would a lasting reduction of geopolitical risk. Conversely, and although we deem such a scenario as currently unlikely, we could lower the ratings by several notches if regional geopolitical risks escalate sharply, threatening Abu Dhabi’s political and economic stability, or if domestic events comprise political stability. — Reuters

of introducing innovative and differentiated products. Now every single day represents yet another chance of winning KD 5000.” Last year, Burgan Bank introduced a firstof-its kind draw account - Yawmi Account which entitles customers who deposit KD 500 for a period of 30 days to be eligible for a daily draw to win KD 5000 every single day (except weekends and public holidays). For every KD 50 deposited in your Yawmi Account you receive an additional entry into the draw, which means the more you deposit, the more chances you will have of winning. For example, if you deposit the minimum of KD 500 for one month, you will receive 10 entries into the draw Opening a Yawmi account is simple, just visit your nearest Burgan Bank branch and get all the details. Or simply call our Call Center 1804080 and our executive will be more than happy to assist you. For further information visit www.burgan.com *except weekends and public holidays

Burgan Bank CEO Eduardo Eguren

Burgan Bank welcomes UGB as a strategic shareholder KUWAIT: Burgan Bank amongst the leading and the most dynamic bank in the state of Kuwait announced yesterday that United Gulf Bank (UGB) has increased its stake in the bank to 17%. UGB’s strategic decision to increase its shareholding reflects the growing strength of Burgan

Bank within Kuwait and the MENA region. Burgan Bank CEO Eduardo Eguren said: “Burgan Bank endeavors to provide value to our shareholders, whether it is through our prudent risk and investment policy or through our domestic and regional expansion plans. UGB’s

decision to increase its stake in Burgan Bank affirms that the bank has made progress in its local and regional growth trajectory plan. We welcome their decision and look forward to strengthening our relationship further in the future.”

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

.276000 .4460000 .3830000 .280000 .2740000 .2750000 .0045000 .002000 .0759730 .7401800 .3900000 .0720000 .7256140 .0045000 .0470000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2798500 .4482360 .3849340 .2823060 .2759050 .0516380 .0411000 .2777930 .0360810 .2163180 .0033560 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0762120 .7425050 .0000000 .0746570 .7274500 .0000000

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 .4460000 .391000 .2900000 .2820000 .2830000 .0075000 .0035000 .0767360 .7476190 .4100000 .0780000 .7329060 .0072000 .0545000 .2819500 .4515990 .3878220 .2844240 .2779750 .0520250 .0414090 .2798780 .0363520 .2179410 .0033810 .0062660 .0025340 .0033170 .0040280 .0767840 .7480760 .3987980 .0752170 .7329090 .0065120

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 282.500 747.570 4.250 280.700 552.100 14.100 52.400 167.800 51.810

389.500 36.790 6.215 0.032

397.320 0.189 92.940 3.900 219.500 729.990 3.300 6.420 77.330 75.050 218.560 42.870 2.514 452.500 285.900 6.300 9.590 76.600 281.100

GOLD 1,434.930 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 452.500 281.100

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

391.000 36.940 6.540 0.033 0.264 0.251 3.470 399.200 0.190 92.940 46.700 4.400 221.000 1.912 48.000 730.170 3.390 6.630 77.760 75.050 218.560 42.870 2.678 454.500 41.800 287.400 6.300 9.800 198.263 76.700 281.500 1.360

SELL DRAFT 281.000 747.570 3.990 279.200

218.600 48.918

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 281.000 284.490 451.705 389.110 283.093 688.717 743.739 76.485 77.162 74.903 396.510 48.909 6.226

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

3.289 2.513 3.986 6.403 3.365 9.378 6.129 3.879

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) 281.350 3.310 6.220 2.530 3.995 6.455 76.675 75.220 747.800 48.995 455.100 0.00003280 4.025 1.550 399.600 5.750 390.400 282.300

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Ra te (Per 1000) US Dollar 280.800 Euro 387.500 Pound Sterling 451.900 Canadian Dollar 279.000 Japanese Yen 3.380 Indian Rupee 6.212 Egyptian Pound 48.940 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.512 Bangladesh Taka 3.981 Philippines Peso 6.413 Pakistan Rupee 3.295 Bahraini Dinar 746.500 UAE Dirham 76.500 Saudi Riyal 74.950 *Rates are subject to change


BUSINESS

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

23

Kuwait budget may see KD 3-5 billion surplus Oil prices ratchet upwards on dollar weakness

KIEV: Protesters hold a mask of a monster symbolizing Ukraine’s tax police at a rally in central Kiev yesterday.—AP

Protests in Ukraine against tax reforms

KIEV: Thousands of small business owners turned out yesterday in a new show of anger against tax reforms in Ukraine, blocking a road and marching on the presidency in the capital Kiev. At least 5,000 people, many bussed in from regions across the country, took part in the protest, creating a noisy tumult by banging on metal buckets and blowing whistles, an AFP correspondent reported. The protest was one of the largest yet in a series of demonstrations against the tax reform, which was passed last week by the parliament and is due to come into force on January 1. The protesters called on President Viktor Yanukovych to veto the bill before it comes into force. “No to fiscal terror!” and “Mr President, listen to the business owners” were among the slogans of the demonstrators. The new demon-

stration coincided with the sixth anniversary of the start of the Orange Revolution protests against the rigged 2004 presidential election that was initially awarded to Yanukovych. However protests forced the annulment of that election result and pro-Western forces went on to win the re-run. But Yanukovych went on to win the 2010 elections, ousting the Orange Revolution champions from power. The government has defended the tax changes but some business leaders have said it will increase the tax burden on small businesses, benefiting only big companies-many with close links to the ruling party. Yanukovych is under pressure to improve its fiscal discipline under the terms of a new loan deal agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the financial crisis plunged the country into a deep recession. —AFP

Aluminium Bahrain: More iron content after repairs MANAMA: Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) said yesterday an emergency repair has led to higher iron levels in some of its production, however Asian customers affected agreed to continue buying Alba’s products. Alba runs a smelter in Bahrain producing some 850,000 metric tons annually said in a statement that an emergency repair in August forced it to shut down one of its production lines. It said that following the outage some pots remained unstable, leading to higher iron levels in the production. Alba said this affected about 20,000 tons, or less than 7 percent of its production since the incident, and that it aimed to reduce iron levels to previous levels by yearend.

It said this affected a number of customers in Asia, while no customers in Europe or the Middle East were affected. “These higher iron levels were outside of the lowest iron specifications impacting a limited number of customers in Asia who were asked for a temporary waiver to accept slightly higher iron content in the shipped product,” it said. “The customers approved this temporary request and accepted supply with no change in commercial terms or volume,” it said. Alba is the fourth-largest aluminum producer globally and accounted for some 35 percent of production in the Middle East last year, according to research by Bahrain-based Securities and Investment Company (SICO) research. — Reuters

KUWAIT: The price of Kuwait Export Crude (KEC) took a sizeable leg-up in early October, rising to $79 per barrel (pb) on October 6 from under $73 in late September. Prices went on to average $78pb for October as a whole and breached the $80pb mark in early November. Since prices had averaged in the low $70s range during the four preceding months, the latest rise felt like a meaningful shift. The rise seems to have more to do with financial factors than oil market fundamentals, with prices being given a boost by pronounced dollar weakness. The US dollar declined by more than 6% against the euro between September and October, for example, driven mostly by expectations that the US Federal Reserve will soon restart its policy of quantitative easing (dubbed QE2). This has the effect of lowering oil prices in foreign currency (i.e. non-dollar) terms. Indeed, denominated in Euros, the price of KEC averaged EUR 56 through October, unchanged from the preceding three months. Aside from these currency-driven mechanics, oil was given a boost in early November from hints by the Saudi Arabian oil minister that the OPEC group may be content with prices moving into a new, higher range. The prices of other major benchmark crudes enjoyed a similar rally in October. The prices of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude and its main European equivalent, Brent, averaged $82 and $83pb respectively through the month, up $5-7 on their averages for September. Brent also breached the $85 mark for the first time since May. Futures markets have risen less aggressively, with the December 2012 contract for light US crude up only $3 between September and October. This tightening spread between spot and dated prices could reflect a perception that the factors behind the recent run-up in prices are unstable, and could readily be reversed. Analysts have revised forecasts of oil demand growth

NBK ECONOMIC REPORT upward for this year, in light of recent data. Preliminary estimates show that oil demand in 3Q10 may have averaged some 0.9 mbpd higher than had been expected, driven by surprisingly strong demand in the OECD. This, in combination with stronger projections for world economic growth published by the IMF, has led the International Energy Agency (IEA) to revise up its oil demand growth forecast for 2010 by 0.3 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 2.2 mbpd (2.5%). Some of this, however, is offset by a 50,000 bpd downward revision to forecast demand growth in 2011 to 1.2 mbpd (1.4%). The Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) has revised up its 2010 growth figure by the same amount, though it sees demand increasing by a smaller 1.9 mbpd this year. Next year’s moderation in growth is inspired by the impact of fiscal consolidation in advanced economies and slowing growth in China. September saw crude oil production of the OPEC-11 (i.e. excluding Iraq) witness its third monthly fall in the past five months. It dipped by 143,000 bpd to 26.67 mbpd. The fall came despite a large

Reinventing the business of telecom: New trends Booz & Company report DUBAI: Over the past decade, the telecom industry has helped to fuel the digital transformation of entire industries, economies, and societies. “The rapid uptake of mobile communications, the increasing availability of broadband access, and, more recently, the development of smartphones and the widely popular mobile apps-all come thanks, in whole or in part, to the innovations and investments emanating from the telecom sector. Indeed, smartphone sales alone are expected to grow 23 percent annually through 2014, when they will represent 37 percent of total handset shipment, compared with 16 percent in 2009,” said Karim Sabbagh, Partner and the Global Practice Leader for the Communications, Media and Technology Practice at Booz & Company. Now, however, the industry is experiencing a major aftershock following years of significant growth. Operators must build the next generation of high-speed fixed and mobile networks to keep up with customer demand and to take advantage of the ongoing digitization of virtually every other industry sector-such as healthcare, financial services, and media. Doing so will require massive investments, especially in fiberbased infrastructure. At the same time, they must invest in innovation and the development of new strategic capabilities. Operators are hindered in these efforts, however, as their traditional sources of revenues are becoming commoditized, and many continue to struggle to find new ones. To meet all these demands, operators must strive to build leaner, more adaptive, modular, multifaceted, and increasingly complex business models. And they must acquire the capabilities needed to ensure that these new business models can succeed, even as they continue to invest in next-generation fixed and mobile infrastructures. Forward-looking business models must be based on a deep understanding of three overarching trends that are driving the industry into the future: 1 .Customer ubiquity: Consumers and businesses demand constant and universal access to digital applications and content. The more bandwidth and services that operators provide, the more their customers

Karim Sabbagh

Bahjat El-Darwiche

consume, and the more they expect. In the US, for instance, children ages 8 to 18 spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media daily, up from six hours and 21 minutes five years ago. This demand will put huge burdens on operators’ current fixed and mobile networks: Data already makes up the vast majority of network activity, much of it driven by video streaming on the Web, and it just keeps growing: Video streaming on the Web in the US has increased by a hefty 78 percent a year since 2005. The continuing rise of mobile apps-the hundreds of thousands of services available on smartphones and other devices everywhere-will only intensify the phenomenon of customer ubiquity, as consumers and business users alike use apps for entertainment, for information, and to boost productivity. Operators will lose ground to technology companies like Apple and Google unless they find a way to cash in on the mobile app business, which is expected to generate $40 billion in revenue by 2014. 2. Technology modularity: Networks, services, and applications are rapidly evolving and shifting away from vertical integration toward modular, open systems. Different access networks (such as fixed, wireless, and broadband) will serve end-

users directly, delivering the required ubiquitous connectivity. Both applications and service offerings such as on-demand movies and gaming will likely be based on systems that will essentially be independent of the infrastructure through which they are accessed. This means that parts of the entire system can be built not just by operators but by a variety of non-industry rivals as they try to gain a share of future revenues. 3. Industry innovation: Operators used to focus on protecting their core businessthe development of large-scale networksrather than on experimenting with smaller initiatives. As a result, they have left themselves vulnerable to competition from Internet players, high-tech and IT companies, device manufacturers, application and service providers, and media companies that are developing apps and services. Each of these trends has critical implications for the future of the industry. Once operators understand these implications, they must select, design, and build new business models-and accompanying capabilities-to respond to and benefit from them. “Operators that understand the need for new business models, and the capabilities needed to support those models, have a clear right to win in their chosen markets. They will be better prepared to make the

leap from their traditional vertical structures into a future driven by ever more demanding customers, complex technology, and fragmented competition,” said Bahjat El-Darwiche, Partner, Booz & Company. Based on the underlying trends that are shaping consumers’ and enterprises’ behavior, the competitive landscape, and telecom operators’ current positioning along the industry value chain, Booz & Company has identified four distinct business models that will shape the future of telecom operators. Each model targets different customers, shaped by the operator’s ability to create value; each presents a differentiated service offering and requires distinctive capabilities. The coming surges in consumer demand and in technological flexibility are working together to create a very different world for the telecom industry. It is a much flatter world, in which the traditional highly integrated, vertical technologies and operating models of the past are giving way to a plethora of new technologies, services, and devices. This far more open environment will enable all kinds of new competitors to enter the telecom arena, and it will force operators to make conscious strategic choices about the business models best suited to their customers and markets, and the capabilities they will need for those models to succeed. The only way operators can counter the numerous threats they face is by creating new business models that can effectively respond to the rapid changes overtaking the telecom industry, along with the desire to create or improve the capabilities that will give operators the right to win in this new world. “Operators that understand the need to move away from their traditional vertical organizations and to develop one or more of these business models must ultimately transform themselves into one or another of the modular organizations described above, with the ability to replicate their capabilities and business models across different markets and customer segments. But building those capabilities and business models will take time. The winners will be those operators that are first to understand the need to make this transformation, and then move fast,” concluded Sabbagh.

rise in production from Venezuela of 112,000 bpd, which was more than offset by cuts from most other members, including Angola (107,000 bpd), Iran (44,000 bpd), Nigeria (33,000 bpd) and Saudi Arabia (26,000 bpd). OPEC-11 output has now more or less stagnated since the start of the year. Although it remains some 1.8 mbpd above official quota target levels, the organization may be shifting towards a less tolerant approach to further ‘unauthorized’ production increases by its members. One reason is its downbeat forecasts for oil demand growth, which - after recent positive data surprises - now look somewhat dated. Another is its fairly upbeat outlook for non-OPEC oil supplies. These (including OPEC natural gas liquids) are seen expanding by 1.5 mbpd this year and 0.8 mbpd next, increases which it believes could tip an oil market that is already adequately supplied. Our central forecast for oil demand growth is based upon a consensus-looking increase in oil demand of 1.6 mbpd in 2010 and 1.4 mbpd in 2011. Non-OPEC supplies are expected to rise by amounts similar to those forecast by

OPEC. These developments generate more or less stable prices for the next few quarters, with a slightly weakening demand profile allowing a modest stock build over the northern hemisphere winter before prices begin to rise in 2H11 as global demand revives. The price of KEC stays at around USD 76 over the next three quarters though would rise further beyond this period. OPEC is assumed to be comfortable with prices at these levels and leaves its own crude oil production unchanged. A higher price scenario might involve growth in nonOPEC output some 0.2 mbpd weaker than described above, generated by either oil project delays or unexpected shut-ins. In this case, the price of KEC would be above $80 pb by 2Q11, possibly rising to the mid-$90s by 2H11. Given its apparent recent move towards supporting a higher price band than before, OPEC may not see the need to change production very quickly under this scenario, either. On the other hand, lower than forecast demand growth of 1.2 mbpd next year - perhaps related to a Chinese

inventory draw down - could produce a weaker price outlook. Under this scenario, the price of KEC could dip to just above the bottom end of OPEC’s price range, at $72 by 1Q11. The bulk of price weakness would be felt beyond this forecast period, however. The NBK report concluded: These three scenarios generate average prices for KEC within the narrow band of $74-77 pb for FY 2010/11, with greater differences showing up in the following fiscal year. All three are substantially higher than the $43 used in the government’s budget projection and should generate another large surplus. Indeed, recently released figures for the first half of the year show that actual revenues have already exceeded those projected in the budget for the year as a whole. If, as we expect, actual spending comes in 5-10% below budget, this year is likely to see a budget surplus of between KD 3.4 and 5.3 billion, before allocations to the Reserve Fund for Future Generations. This is despite a big increase in project-related spending, plus a one-off transfer of more than KD 1 billion to the state social security fund.


BUSINESS

24

KSE stocks remain firm

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s equities closed yesterday session on a firm note, though volume remained weak. At the same time blue-chips managed to eke out gains on the back of a solid performance by telecom and banking stocks on the back of some positive news. Global General Index (GGI) closed 0.04 points down (0.02 percent), at 218.34 point as the Market capitalization decreased reaching KD35.30mn. On the other side, Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index closed in the red zone shedding 3.60 points (0.05 percent) from its value and closed at 6,964.4 point. Market breadth During the session, 102 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 27 equities advanced versus 40 that retreated. Trading activities ended on a positive note. Volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 52.22 percent to reach 166.67mn shares, the value of shares traded increased by 55.35 percent to stand at KD31.25mn. The Services Sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 27.84 percent of total shares and the Banking Sector was the value leader, with 40.79 percent of total traded value. Company-wise, Ithmaar Bank was the volume leader, with a total traded volume of 13.20mn shares changing hands. Kuwait International Bank was the value leader, with a total traded value of KD3.86mn. In terms of top gainers, Mena Holding Company was the biggest gainer for the day, adding 6.49 percent and closed at KD0.164. On the other hand, Bayan Investment Company came in as the biggest decliner, dropping by 6.45 percent and closed at KD0.058. Sector-wise Investment stocks paced the losses, dropping by 0.79 percent. Three Investment stocks were the biggest decliner during the day, Kuwait Investment Company dropped by 6.17 percent. The company was out with its earnings report this morning. The company saw its 3rd Q2010 earnings decreased by 49.04 percent compared with the same period of 2009.

GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

Non Kuwaiti stocks were also a notable loser for the day, Global Non Kuwaiti Index shed 0.24 percent to close at 55.38 points. Ithmaar Bank was the volume leader, the script ended the session down by 1.23 percent. The Global Industrial Index led the pack of advancers, adding by 0.24 percent. Kuwait Cement Co. was up by 1.49 percent. Global Service index came in the second place, adding 0.09 to close at 1,044 points. National Mobile Telecommunications Co (NMTC) gained 40fils to close KD1.960. It’s worth men-

tioning that, Qatar Telecom has signed the agreement through its subsidiary Watiniya Telecom, in which it owns a 52.5 percent stake and which already controls a 50 percent shareholding in Orascom Telecom Tunisia. QTEL acquire a remaining 50 percent share in Orascom Telecom Tunisia for 1.2 billion dollars. Corporate news Kuwait Investment Company posted KD2.56mn in the first nine months of 2010 compared to KD5.02mn of the same

period of 2009. The company said in a statement yesterday. Pearl of Kuwait Real Estate has restructured a debt worth KD9,376,000 with a local lender over five years with a two-year grace period. The first payment will be made by January 2013. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $81.41 a barrel on Friday, compared with $81.09 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Irish bailout boost to world markets proves short-lived LONDON: Ongoing worries that Europe’s debt crisis is a long way from being solved despite Ireland’s request for a massive bailout rescue kept investors on edge yesterday and sent stocks and the euro lower. In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 48.74 points, or 0.9 percent, at 5,684.19 while France’s CAC-40 fell 24.76 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,834.40. Germany’s DAX was trading 11 points, or 0.2 percent, lower at 6,832.55. Wall Street was poised for a modest retreat despite earlier signaling a higher opening — Dow futures were 34 points at 11,135, while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 futures fell 4.2 points to 1,194. Stock markets had been in far better shape earlier — Asian markets closed mostly higher — as investors breathed a sigh of relief that some sort of aid package for Ireland is being cobbled together, since they hate nothing more than uncertainty and prevarication. The Irish government confirmed on Sunday it is formally requesting a financial aid package to shore up its debt-laden banking sector The actual details of the package, expected to be not far short of 100 billion euros ($137 billion), are not expected for a few days yet as Irish officials sit down with counterparts from both the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The country will likely be forced to make further massive spending cuts and raise its very low rate of corporate tax. Aside from whether another Irish austerity program will work, especially now that the Green Party in Ireland’s shaky government has threatened to withdraw from the coalition unless Prime Minister Brian Cowen agrees to hold an early national election in January, the major worry in the markets is whether another highly indebted euro country starts getting the unwelcome attention of bond investors. “Now Ireland has fallen, we suspect that the markets will quickly turn their attention to the other embattled peripheral countries, particularly Portugal and Spain,” said Jeremy BatstoneCarr, head of private client research at Charles Stanley stockbrokers. “It hardly needs saying, but if Spain were to fall the euro-zone crisis would have ratcheted up to such a degree that the regions continued existence as an economic area could be

called into serious question.” Those concerns were clearly evident in the currency markets, where the euro gave up the advance it made in the wake of Ireland’s request — by early afternoon London time, the euro was down 0.5 percent at $1.3645. Earlier it had traded as high as $1.3786. Even if there are no more bailouts, the scale of austerity being pursued in a number of euro-zone countries will highlight the divisions in the single currency bloc. While Ireland and Greece, and possibly others, face years of retrenchment, the euro-zone’s No 1 economy — Germany — will likely continue to prosper due to its exporting prowess. “Even assuming the best case scenario of no further bailouts, the necessary adjustments required to rectify internal imbalances in the euro-zone are deeply deflationary and will quickly become evident by the underperformance of the euro-zone economy,” said Derek Halpenny, European head of global currency research at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubish UFJ. Developments surrounding Ireland should dominate activity in the markets this week, not least because the US will effectively be shutting down from Wednesday onwards as traders head off for the Thanksgiving break. Earlier in Asia, investors had been cheered by Sunday’s aid request from Dublin. Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average closed 0.9 percent higher, or 92.80 points, at 10,115.19 while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.2 percent to 1,944.34. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 4,643.5. But Hong Kong bucked the trend, with the Hang Seng index falling 0.4 percent to 23,524.02 amid losses in property stocks after new measures to stem speculation. Singapore’s benchmark also fell. Chinese shares closed mixed in weak trading, as investors awaited further policy moves from the government after inflation last month hit a 25-month high. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent to 2,884.37. The Shenzhen Composite Index for China’s smaller, second exchange climbed 1.2 percent to 1,313.57. In the oil markets, benchmark crude for January delivery was up 14 cents to $82.12 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. — AP


business

Tuesday, november 23, 2010

25

EU, IMF officials extend talks with Greece ATHENS: A European and International Monetary Fund delegation held extended talks with Greek officials yesterday on the flow of rescue loans to the debt-ridden country, citing “technical reasons.” Greece dodged bankruptcy this year due to a 110 billion euros ($150 billion) loan package from its European Union partners and

the IMF, released in quarterly slices conditional on its implementation of reforms. So far, the Socialist government has cut pensions and salaries, hiked taxes and pledged to overhaul the gargantuan, ineffective public sector. An IMF press release said the one-day extension of the talks, initially scheduled to end Monday, was due to

technical reasons — also cited by Greek officials — but did not expand. Greek media reports attributed the delay to disagreements over labor market reforms. But Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou denied that there was any hitch and said the talks were focusing on structural reforms, including the labor market and loss-

making state-run enterprises. “Each time we engage in negotiations, which are always difficult and from which we achieve the best possible result,” he said during a meeting with President Karolos Papoulias. Greece is widely expected to receive the third tranche of loans, worth 9 billion euros ($12 billion), in

January, following formal approval next month. The country has already got 29 billion euros ($39.6 billion) since the bailout deal in May, and IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn insisted last week that the deficit-busting effort was on track. Athens has pledged to cut its bloated budget deficit by another 5 billion

euros ($6.8 billion) next year, through higher consumer taxes and health and defense cuts. The austerity measures have angered unions and triggered a series of strikes — which, despite the initial impetus, fizzled as Greeks became increasingly resigned to the hopelessness of the situation. Mounds of rubbish have piled up on

the streets of Athens, as a strike by municipal employees against wage cuts and planned layoffs of contract workers entered its fourth day yesterday. A 24-hour seamen’s strike is set to stop ferry sailings today, while state hospital doctors have said they will treat outpatients for free all week to protest health cuts. —AP

Austerity measures to rein in deficit

Portugal braces for market focus after Ireland bailout ATHENS: A woman walks past a pile of garbage in the upscale suburb of Glyfada, south of Athens yesterday. Local government workers and garbage collectors are striking against ongoing austerity measures taken by euro-zone member Greece to avoid bankruptcy and receive international bailout loans. —AP

Sri Lanka unveils tax reforms to boost post-war economy COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday announced major tax reforms aimed at boosting the economy of the island as it recovers from the civil war that ended last year. Rajapakse, who is also finance minister, unveiled the new measures as he presented the annual budget for 2011 with the deficit predicted to fall to 6.8 percent of gross domestic product from 8.0 percent this year. He slashed import taxes on many capital goods, including on vehicles by 25 percent, and also rationalized taxes charged on imports and retail trade. As part of foreign exchange liberalization, he said foreigners would in future be able to buy into local unit trusts. He offered tax breaks to the fisheries, agriculture and construction sectors as part of a broad policy to boost economic activity in the island after the conflict between government troops and Tamil separatists ended in May 2009. “One of the main objectives of my government is to double per capita income to $4,000 by 2016,” Rajapakse said. “But, that is not the only objective, I want real incomes to go up.” Rajapakse, who has a strong grip on power in Sri Lanka after overseeing the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels, raised taxes on casinos, alcohol, share trading and international phone calls. Sri Lanka’s tiny stock exchange has been one of the world’s best performers since the end of fighting. —AFP

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse gives a speech on the 2011 budget at the parliament in Colombo yesterday. Rajapakse, who is also the island’s finance minister, announced major tax reforms aimed at boosting the post-war economy. He slashed taxes on many capital goods, farming, banks, apparel and gem exports and announced plans to liberalise foreign exchange laws to boost investment. —AFP

Insurer Delta Lloyd sees dividend hikes AMSTERDAM: Dutch insurance firm Delta Lloyd, spun-off in an IPO a year ago from Aviva, yesterday bolstered its image as a dividend-yield investment by promising pay-out rises for 2011 and 2012. At an investors’ day, the company said that its cost reduction program was bearing fruit with 50 million euros ($68.38 million) in savings for 2010 on track to reduce costs below 950 milllion. Aviva is still the largest owner with a stake of 53 percent. The company said future cost savings would mitigate the effects of an increase in longevity risks. While the operational return on equity for 2010 was in line with stated targets, Delta Lloyd said it

expected an increase in its operational result of at least 3 percent per year in 2011 and 2012 and dividend growth was also seen at least at 3 percent for those years. Delta Lloyd is the Netherlands’ fourthlargest life and property insurer after ING, privately owned Eureko and ASR. At the investors’ day, Chief Executive Niek Hoek will look at the progress and results of a move to streamline the company. The aim is to achieve a clear separation between commercial activities and support activities, which will yield a simpler structure, lower overhead and clear division of responsibilities. —Reuters

NEW YORK: Trader Richard John Newman (right) works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. —AP

LISBON: Portugal has said it does not expect to become the next European country to require financial rescue, stressing that unlike Ireland its banking system is sound and that austerity measures will rein in the high deficit. Portugal is widely viewed as the euro-zone’s weakest member after Ireland and Greece because of its heavy debt burden, which threatens to keep growth weak for years. And as Ireland receives its bailout, the Portuguese are preparing for the market spotlight to focus on them. Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos has welcomed Dublin’s bailout, saying it will help stabilize the shared euro currency — concerns about Ireland were pushing borrowing costs up for other eurozone countries. But Teixeira dos Santos said in a statement late Sunday that unlike Ireland his country’s banking system is sound and that spending cuts and labor reforms will ensure debt reduction and growth. The statement didn’t directly address the possibility of a bailout for Portugal but the government has repeatedly ruled out such a move. “Once again it can be seen that the euro-zone has appropriate mechanisms to facilitate and ensure its financial stability,” the statement said in reference to aid for Ireland. “Portugal also has a clear, and appropriate, strategy of budget consolidation and structural reforms which aim to strengthen its competitiveness and potential growth,” it said. Portugal’s budget deficit —how much more it spent than it took in — stood at 9.3 percent of gross domestic product last year. That was the fourth-highest deficit in the euro-zone and a contributor to market concern about the fiscal health of the 16-nation bloc. Teixeira dos Santos said the center-left Socialist government is on track to reduce the deficit to 7.3 percent this year. The state budget for 2011, which includes austerity measures such as tax hikes and pay cuts and is due to be passed by Parliament on Friday, will allow the government to lower the deficit to 4.6 percent next year, he said. “These are targets we cannot miss,” Teixeira dos Santos said. The statement made no comment about Portugal’s borrowing costs which have reached barely sustainable levels of close to 7 percent in recent times and added to the intense pressure on the country’s public finances. Portugal’s problems generating wealth are also making it harder to cut the deficit. The Bank of Portugal says the economy contracted 2.7 percent last year. It predicts growth of 0.9 percent this year and 0.2 percent in 2011, though many analysts predict another recession next year due to the austerity program. —AP

TOULOUSE: Airbus employees celebrate as they throw their caps in the air next to the new Airbus A380 after its unveiling ceremony, near Toulouse, southwestern France. —AP

Engines just latest trouble for Airbus superjumbo PARIS: Many wondered whether the world’s largest passenger plane would ever be born. Skeptics called the 7-story-tall Airbus A380 too big and ambitious when it was just a blueprint. There were wiring problems and debilitating management disputes. Time and again, the planemaker announced delays, exasperating investors and costing the company billions. The A380 surmounted the problems, made its first passenger flight in 2007 and even became something of a celebrity — a roomy, smooth and quiet jetliner sought out by many business travelers and aviation enthusiasts. Now the world’s newest and costliest jetliner is facing a new challenge: a risk of oil leaks from a flaw in as many as 40 of the Rolls-Royce engines that power much of the global fleet of A380s. The scale of the problem became public after a Qantas A380 engine blew apart in an oil fire on Nov. 4. The metal shrapnel blasted holes in the wing; damaging a structural beam, cutting control lines, piercing two fuel tanks and setting off an unprecedented cascade of system failures. Aviation experts said the plane’s strength and its pilots’ skill helped bring it down safely with more than 450 passengers aboard. But they also said the design and location of electrical wiring in the wings would likely have to be reconsidered. Airbus said the need to temporarily replace dozens of engines while the potentially leaky part is replaced could cause more delays for deliveries of the superjumbo. Some deliveries could be pushed from the first half of 2011 to the second, analysts said. The incident will “probably slow things down a bit” in terms of Airbus’ production and delivery schedule for the aircraft, said Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst at Teal Group. “They will probably miss a few deliveries.” The Rolls-Royce engines equip 21 of the 39 A380s currently in operators’ fleets. The rest

are powered by motors built by the Engine Alliance, a 50/50 joint venture between GE Aircraft Engines and Pratt & Whitney, which are currently used by Emirates and Air France. Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon acknowledged that the Qantas incident was the A380’s most significant problem so far. But he defended the aircraft’s record, saying there were teething problems with any new program. And Airbus isn’t the only company to struggle with a high-profile new plane. Boeing has had a string of troubles with developing its much-awaited and much-delayed 787 Dreamliner, and is probably watching the fallout of the Qantas incident carefully. Analysts say the cost of the A380 is daunting to airlines after the last couple of bruising years in the aviation industry. The plane has a sticker price of nearly $350 million. But passengers adore the plane, which allows passengers to stretch their legs, and barely notice when the plane lets go of the ground or rejoins it. Some versions of the plane can seat over 800 people. Gulf airline Emirates’ A380s boast private suites in first class with beds, flat screen TVs and two shower spas. “You go to any airshow, and there could be jet fighters swooping through the air, but everyone stops to watch the A380,” said Sandy Morris, an aviation industry analyst at RBS Securities in London. The 10,000-strong audience at the A380’s triumphal 2005 unveiling ceremony included French, German and British leaders. When the first finished A380 was finally handed over to launch customer Singapore Airlines, a crowd of VIPs gasped as they took a first glimpse inside at the jet’s petal-strewn double beds furnished with duvets and cushions by French fashion house Givenchy. The A380’s star power can work against it,

as the Qantas incident shows. The attention garnered by the incident “is extraordinary” when compared with the crash landing of a Boeing 777 into London’s Heathrow airport in January, 2008, an accident which injured 19 people among the 152 passengers and crew on board, Morris said. For him, there’s only one explanation. “It’s the A380 effect.” All the glamour couldn’t make air travel enthusiasts or investors forget the aircraft’s troubled birthing process, though. The workload of making one A380 is equivalent to eight of the single-aisle A320, Airbus’ most popular jet. A series of technical problems and management errors led to almost two years of delay in the A380’s first delivery. Those delays combined with spiraling development costs wiped billions from Airbus profits. A snafu involving the jet’s wiring meant that hundreds of miles of cables in each jet had to be replaced. That development slashed the market valuation of Airbus parent company EADS NV by a quarter in one day in June 2006, a day seen as a turning point for the Franco-German company. Amid development of the A380 and the mid-size A350 XWB, Airbus went through five CEOs in two years, and imposed a restructuring plan to cut 10,000 jobs and sell off plants in France, Germany and Britain. The A380 met with glitches in passing to new serial production techniques, and repeatedly fell short of delivery goals. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has nonetheless called the A380, of which his airline has ordered 20, “one of the most, if not the most, successful introductions into service of an aircraft program to Qantas.” Until investigators find out more about what happened Nov. 4, however, his passengers won’t get the thrill of boarding Airbus’ colossus of the skies. His airline has grounded all six of its A380s. —AP

Rolls-Royce wins $1.8bn order from Air China LONDON: Rolls-Royce Group PLC, the manufacturer of the plane engine that blew apart midair on a Qantas superjumbo this month, got some good news yesterday with a $1.8 billion order from Air China — its second major Chinese order in weeks. The London-based company will supply Trent XWB engines for ten of the Chinese carrier’s Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and Trent 700 engines for ten Airbus A330 aircraft in a deal worth $1.8 billion. The latest deal comes soon after a $1.2 billion order from China Eastern Airlines to

supply Trent 700 engines 16 A330 jets — a deal that was announced in Beijing with great fanfare during a visit there by British Prime Minister David Cameron. China, where Rolls-Royce already enjoys a 56 percent share for large civil aero engines, is an increasingly important market for Rolls-Royce as demand for air travel grows in line with consumer affluence. Air China’s Trent 700 fleet now stands at 78 aircraft either in service or on order. It is another member of Rolls-

Royce’s Trent family that has given the company so much trouble in recent weeks — the Trent 900 that powers the Airbus A380 doubledecker. Rolls-Royce is working with airlines to replace faulty versions of the engines after the Nov. 4 incident on the Qantas jetliner that ended with a safe emergency landing in Singapore. The company’s stock has dropped around 9 percent since the incident, shaving some $1.4 billion off the value of the company. Still, recent announcements including the two China deals, a

$100 million share in an engine deal with Brazil’s TAM Airlines and the first order for the company’s new wave-piercing ship have prevented the fall from being greater.The shares were steady in midday trade on the London Stock Exchange yesterday at 592 pence ($9.46). While the Trent 900 engine faces a rocky road ahead, Rolls-Royce has now own more than $4.5 billion in orders from customers around the world for the Trent 700 since the start of July — some 75 percent of orders for engines for the A330. —AP


26

BUSINESS

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ireland bailout lifts Tokyo, China worries still weigh HONG KONG: Asian stock markets began the week mixed yesterday, with Ireland’s bailout buoying up Tokyo and Sydney but Hong Kong and Shanghai retreating due to worries about further economic cooling measures. Tokyo enjoyed a boost from the euro’s rise following a deal to bail out debt-hit Ireland, with exporters such as Toyota and Sony leading the way after a strong performance last week for Japanese shares. Tokyo’s Nikkei index ended the session up 0.93 percent, or 92.80 points, at 10,115.19, while Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.31 percent, or 14.3 points, at 4,643.5, with a solid launch for rail freight company QR National (up 3.9 percent).

Mike Jones, currency strategist at the Bank of New Zealand, said aid for Ireland would boost buying in riskier assets, but markets were awaiting the final shape of the bailout. Markets will “look to understand the result of Irish government meetings and the assistance of the EU and IMF,” he told Dow Jones Newswires. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen confirmed on Sunday that the European Union had agreed to his request for a multi-billioneuro bailout, a move seen as stabilizing the European single currency zone. On currency markets, the euro surged past 1.37 dollars in Asian trade, buying 1.3769 dollars in the afternoon in Tokyo, up from 1.3673 dollars in New York late Friday.

The single European currency traded at 114.82 yen, up from 114.12 yen. The dollar slid to 83.40 yen from 83.51 yen. Meanwhile Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended down 0.35 percent, or 81.69 points, at 23,524.02, and Shanghai’s Composite Index fell 0.15 percent, or 4.19 points, to 2,884.37. The slight worsening in Shanghai came after a torrid week that ended with the Chinese central bank announcing Friday a rise in banks’ capital reserve requirements, intended to reduce the amount of credit in the market. Traders still anticipate an interest rate hike following statistics showing that China’s consumer price index rose 4.4 percent in October, well above the authorities’ comfort zone. “I’m not optimistic about

the market’s outlook as the central bank will hike interest rates some day soon after it raised the required reserve ratio,” said Wang Junqing, an analyst at Guosen Securities. Property developers held back Hong Kong’s market after authorities in the city unveiled measures Friday to cool the real estate sector, including tougher stamp duties for those who buy and then quickly resell property. Wall Street provided some support with a strong session in New York on Friday, helped by a strong start for newly floated General Motors. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.20 percent, the broader S&P 500 index gained 0.25 percent

and the tech-rich Nasdaq was up 0.15 percent, the latter helped by unexpectedly strong quarterly results from Dell. Markets will this week be looking out for US third quarter growth figures, due out Tuesday, as well as minutes of the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee’s latest meeting. Oil rose on Asian markets, helped by the rising euro, with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for January delivery, gaining 71 cents to 82.69 dollars a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for January rose 77 cents to $85.11. Gold closed at 1,361.001,362.00 US dollars an ounce in Hong Kong, up from Friday’s close of 1,358.00-1,359.00 dollars.

In other ma rkets: • Taipei rose 0.83 percent, or 68.79 points, to 8,374.91. Hon Hai, the parent company of electronics giant Foxconn, rose 0.88 percent to 115.0 Taiwan dollars, while chip manufacturer TSMC was up 0.16 percent at 63.8. Seoul rose 0.17 percent, or 3.38 points, to 1,944.34 with technology issues gaining on hopes of increased US consumption over the holiday shopping season and offsetting losses in automakers. • Wellington rose 0.86 percent, or 28.48 points, to 3,296.63. • Manila fell 0.39 percent, or 16.71 points, to 4,186.89. • Jakarta rose 0.43 percent, or 16.18 points, to 3,741.23. — AFP

HK steps to cool property sector show signs of biting Sales, share prices plunge HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s government wa rned yesterday it w ill take further steps to da mpen the city’s red-hot property ma rket if necessa ry, after mea sures last w eek sa w sales plunge a nd developers’ sha re prices drop. Financial Secretary J ohn Tsang last Friday unveiled a ra nge of mea sures aimed a t restraining property prices in the densely populated former British colony, a favorite destination for super-rich ma inland Chinese investors.

KUALA LUMPUR: Motorists ride past the Bank Negara Malaysia, the country’s central bank, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Malaysia’s central bank was expected to release its third quarter GDP figures later in the day following strong growth in the first half of the year. — AFP

Malaysia’s Q3 economic growth slows to 5.3% KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy rose a slower-thanexpected 5.3 percent in the third quarter, the slowest expansion this year, but the central bank yesterday ruled out any moves to lower interest rates to boost growth. The economy grew at a blistering 10.1 percent in the first quarter and 8.9 percent in the second quarter. Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz warned growth would likely shrink further into the first quarter of 2011 amid increased uncertainties over the sustainability of the global economic recovery, but predicted the economy can exceed the official growth forecast of 6 percent this year. “We are very likely to achieve a 6 to 7 percent growth

this year,” she told a news conference. “We see growth in the second half of the year and going into the first quarter moderating. It will strengthen again in the second half of next year.” Asked whether the central bank may lower interest rates to prop up growth, Zeti said the current level remained “supportive of economic activity” with strong loans growth of around 10 percent. “We don’t see inflation as a major threat. We do see risks to global growth ... the challenge is to ensure we have a sustainable growth” going into 2011, she said. Inflation rose 1.9 percent in the third quarter. Bank Negara has raised its overnight policy rate — used by commercial banks to set lending rates — three times since March to curb

inflation but has since left it unchanged at 2.75 percent. This still remains low compared with 2008 when it was 3.5 percent. Economists said the third quarter slowdown was in line with Asia’s growth moderation but lower than market consensus. “The growth trajectory is expected to be on the downside in the next six months,” said Wan Suhaimi Saidi, economist with Kenanga Investment Bank. He forecast full-year growth at 6.8 percent and slowing to 5.5 percent in 2011. Manufacturing growth fell to 7.5 percent in the third quarter after double-digit growth in the first half of the year. The mining sector contracted 1 percent and growth in the services and construction sector also moderated except for agriculture, which was high-

er at 2.7 percent. Zeti said a stronger local currency hasn’t hurt growth, which fell due to weak overseas demand. The ringgit, which is hovering at 3.10 to the dollar, has gained by more than 10 percent against the dollar so far this year. The stock market also hit record highs this month and property prices have been rising sharply. Zeti dismissed any fears of an asset bubble. She said the central bank will keep a rigorous watch but has no plans to restrain capital inflows as the country’s financial system remained resilient to cope with any possible risks. “We are not seeing the formation of asset bubble. We don’t see this as a problem. If it is, we are wellpositioned to take pre-emptive actions,” she added. — AP

ANSONIA, CT: People on a foreclosure tour look at a foreclosed home on Sunday in Connecticut. The home was one of numerous foreclosed homes on a bus tour organized by realtor Frank Hoinsky. Hoinsky has given over five tours which last for approximately three hours and stop at foreclosed homes in the lower Naugatuck Valley in Connecticut. — AFP

The move followed public anger at spiralling property prices in Hong Kong traditionally associated with laissezfaire policies-and a warning from the IMF of a potential bubble. The measures appeared to have an immediate impact, even though they have yet to be passed by the city’s lawmaking body, the Legislative Council, with secondary residential home sales plummeting over the weekend. Ricacorp, one of Hong Kong’s largest real estate agents, said sales had fallen by 70 percent on Saturday and Sunday compared to the previous week. “Clients are postponing signing contracts,” managing director Willy Liu told AFP. Raymond Chan, regional sales director of Midland Realty, told AFP that sales of newly built properties had also dipped. “We expected a blow-out sale for a property launch last Friday, but it only sold around two thirds, far short of our expectations,” he said. In an attempt to discourage property speculation, as of the weekend, anyone reselling a property within six months of purchase is subject to a 15 percent stamp duty. A 10 percent duty applies to sales between six and 12 months and five percent between 12 and 24 months. The head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the city’s de facto central bank, also outlined measures tightening the availability of mortgages. The market reacted strongly to the announcement yesterday with real estate stocks retreating and the Hang Seng Index losing 81.69 points, closing at 23,524.02 on turnover of 79.65 billion Hong Kong dollars ($10.27 billion). Among Hong Kong developers, Cheung Kong dropped 3.23 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties fell 3.05 percent and Henderson Land ended down 2.29 percent. Midland Holdings, the owner of Midland Realty, slumped 17.43 percent due to concerns about a slide in transaction volumes. “The new measures could immediately dampen sentiment-further measures could also be introduced if the desired results aren’t achieved,” Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires. Hinting of further action if the first dose to cool the feverish property market does not work, Tsang pledged that he “will not turn a blind eye to the risks affecting our economy and financial stability.” Writing in his blog on Sunday he said the city needs to be “decisive” in mitigating the risks posed by the asset bubble. “It unsettles me to know that speculators are capitalising on market sentiments... to make profits.” Meanwhile, broad support from lawmakers for the measures was tempered by concerns the changes may sting first-time buyers looking to secure large mortgages. Speaking in a legislative council session yesterday legislator Albert Chan said: “This is one of the rare bold moves by the government. But... this would inadvertently catch the wrong guy.” — AFP

Nissan to move production to cut currency risk: Ghosn PARIS: Japanese auto giant Nissan wants to move production and support functions to dollar-linked economies, including the United States and China, to avoid currency volatility, the Financial Times reported yesterday. Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn, who also heads France’s Renault, said the company wanted to correct a “big imbalance” in its costs and revenues due to making cars in Japan that are then sold in the United States and dollarlinked economies in Asia. “What we (want) to do is shift more of our cost from a yen base to a dollar base,” Ghosn told the newspaper, adding that while this would not mean closing down facilities in Japan, the company could not expand there. Ghosn’s remarks come amid fears that tensions over global trade imbalances could degenerate into a series of beggar-thy-neighbor devaluations as countries seek to gain a trade advantage from a cheaper currency. Washington has long charged Beijing with keeping the yuan deliberately undervalued to boost Chinese exports while China has responded in kind, saying US monetary policy aims to weaken the dollar. For Japan’s key exporting companies, the dollar is down about 10 percent against the yen so far this year, making overseas sales harder. Ghosn told the Finance Times that exchange rate volatility of any kind was damaging to busi-

ness because it undercut long-term strategy. “The only way you can protect yourself is by making sure your currency footprint is balanced. If there is any imbalance, it should be small,” he said. Ghosn contrasted the position at Renault, which is relatively well-balanced in terms of the match between its cost base and its sales, with Nissan, which has “an unbalanced footprint, and the big imbalance is the yen to the dollar.” The newspaper said this means Nissan needs to have more of its factories and administrative costs outside Japan, in the United States or dollar-linked economies. Nissan’s expansion in the United States is being led by its new Leaf electric car, which will initially be exported from Japan, but from 2012 will be manufactured in Tennessee, it noted. The Financial Times said Ghosn also spoke enthusiastically about the prospects for the Renault-Nissan alliance in Russia, where it has been invited by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, to raise its stake in Avtovaz, the manufacturer of the Lada, to up to 50 percent. Renault currently owns 25 percent plus one share of the struggling Russian automaker. Asked if he would accept Putin’s invitation, Ghosn said: “We’re going to look at the timing, the conditions, but very likely, yes. We are going to put in a lot of technology, develop a lot of capacity, do a lot of things together between Avtovaz Lada, Renault and Nissan.” — AFP

China says it has capacity to curb rising inflation SHANGHAI: Beijing has the capacity to control surging prices while keeping economic growth on track, China’s main planning agency said yesterday, in the latest effort to quell public anxiety about simmering inflation. Conditions are right for cooling prices, despite worries over rising food costs, the National Development said Reform Commission said Monday on its website. “This fear is understandable, but we can safely say that the current conditions in China are fully conducive to maintaining basic price stability,” the statement said. “This country has the capacity to keep the price level basically stable.” The effort to defuse public unease came after Beijing announced its second bank reserve increase in two weeks on Friday in an effort to curb lending and cool inflation that rose to a 25-month high in October. Many in China expect an interest rate hike to follow. Food costs jumped 10.1 percent in October over a year earlier, boosting inflation to 4.4 percent, well above the government’s 3 percent target. That worries Chinese communist leaders who fear price hikes could trigger unrest. Chinese stock markets have fallen amid investor fears a rate hike or tighter economic controls imposed to control inflation might further slow growth that has declined after hitting double-digit levels this year. The planning agency said supplies of farm products

such as poultry, eggs, grain and cooking oil are sufficient. It said the government has adequate reserves, even after droughts and other natural disasters this year. The agency called on local authorities to ensure steady produc-

tion and supplies and to better regulate markets to prevent any disruptions. Economists say money flooding through the economy thanks to stimulus spending and bank lending helped push up October inflation. — AP

BEIJING: An elderly woman pushes her cart filled with produce along a street in Beijing yesterday. The Chinese capital’s population is aging, with the number of elderly residents expected to grow by 1 million in the next five years, according to state media reports, and the number of people requiring housing for the elderly likely to increase by 470,000 by 2015. — AFP


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TECHNOLOGY

27

The stock, the Web, the CEO and his wise lawyers LONDON: As a CEO, David Bramhill could handle the online attacks on his looks and his character. “You get used to the personal stuff that goes up says the burly one-time boxer and oil industry veteran. “I don’t like it but I suppose being in the position I’m in, OK, they can take pot shots at me.” But when the messages on internet bulletin boards became a concerted campaign of criticism against his oil and gas exploration company, Bramhill snapped. “When it comes to dishonesty, and not running the company the way it should be run, and spreading untrue rumors-this is where we’ve got major, major issues,” a disillusioned Bramhill told Reuters in early September. Bramhill’s experience is part of a bigger story of insults and untruths involving a clutch of firms listed on AIM, London’s junior stock market. According to the companies, they are victims of a kind of financial cyber-bullying in which discussions among investors on internet bulletin boards have turned abusive. Executives of the targeted companies, typically small and often in commodities, suspect an organized hand may be directing those behind the comments-and then cashing in on the reaction. The incidents expose a lack of effective regulation of investment chat boards as well as the huge impact anonymous posters can have on smaller companies and people’s lives. Soon after Bramhill spoke to Reuters, the 59-year old,

Abuse on online sites fuels market manipulation suspicions who also received physical threats from people posting on investment message boards, announced his retirement. The company he led, Nighthawk Energy, invested $30 million in its US-based projects over the last financial year and was earlier this month rated a ‘buy’ by Goldman Sachs. Frustrated with a lack of action by Britain’s market regulator, which says such cases are difficult to police and a low priority, Nighthawk, fellow AIM-listed oil explorer Nostra Terra and several other small companies have considered legal action against message board-posters, who typically use multiple aliases to disguise their identity. In rulings that have emboldened the companies, Britain’s High Court granted orders to both Nighthawk and Nostra Terra this year giving them the right to order message boards to disclose the identities of those behind the disparaging remarks. The issue is not unique to Britain. Companies in the United States have also complained about message board users, though there the right to free speech provides significant protection for posters. Not so in Canada, where last March small cap resources firm Farallon Mining Ltd won damages of $425,000 against a user of online site Stockhouse.

It was the biggest defamation payout ever awarded against a single person in Canada. “The bulletin board becomes the tail wagging the bloody company,” Bramhill says. “There was one particular theme of dishonesty in the company, of projects not being correct. We’re aware of all this stuff. It’s all a load of baloney and you try not to look at it but people send you it and ask, ‘What are you going to do about it?’” Another executive told Reuters that his company has found one individual posting defamatory comments using 22 different aliases. “We believe there is a network behind it that’s trading and manipulating and they’re using him as the front,” says the executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the company is pursuing the investigation. “We want to get the bigger fish -... otherwise we would have taken him down already.” Late-night libel Investor message boards appeared in the very early days of the web and boomed among private investors working as “day traders” during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. The boards Nighthawk and Nostra Terra have focused on in

their legal challenges are ADVFN, or Advanced Financial Network, and iii, or Interactive Investor. ADVFN is Europe’s biggest financial markets website with two million registered users and as many as 12,000 posts a day. Neither board requires participants to reveal their real identity as they post, and it’s not difficult for a single user to create multiple aliases. ADVFN users can opt for what the site calls the “more refined environment” of premium boards at a cost of 5 pounds ($7.97) per month, or enter the fray of the much more popular free boards, which require a simple registration. Posts on message boards vary from the short and bitter (“I’m out”, to flag a stock sale) to mini-essays dissecting the minutiae of company statements. As with most internet forums, the grammar is dubious, insults are bandied freely and the messages are loaded with abbreviations and euphemisms that can be indecipherable to outsiders. Because of their potential volatility, small companies in risky industries like oil exploration are a favourite topic. On the iii forum in October, for instance, Falklands oil explorer Desire Petroleum was one of the most talked about stocks. One evening posters speculated on the company’s drilling

campaign, on which it was about to report, through the night. “There were very strong bad vibes yesterday and I sold my last remaining DES,” said ‘Pro_S2009’ at 4 in the morning. His or her inclination proved far sighted. At 7 am Desire announced that a well was a ‘duster’-had no oil-kicking off hundreds of accusatory messages, conspiracy theories and recommendations. “Stick your buy orders in very low,” said one. “The city insiders know the deal,” said another. Many were unpublishable. The big audiences the sites attract have delivered good returns for a few. Cambridge graduate Tomas Carruthers founded iii in 1995 and floated it in 2000, when, like many internet stocks, its market value rocketed even though it made a loss. Sold to an Australian company for around 50 million pounds in 2001, it was eventually bought back by Carruthers and partners in 2004. ADVFN, which itself is listed on AIM, last year made a small profit on revenues of 8 million pounds. The company is founded and run by internet entrepreneur Clem Chambers, a self-styled market commentator and author of financial thrillers such as “The Twain Maxim”, a story of a shady mining promoter and a broker missing in the Congolese jungle, and financial investment articles and books such as the upcoming “101 ways to pick stock market winners with ADVFN”. — Reuters

How a lawsuit over school laptop Web cameras evolved Theft Tracker. In September 2007, Cafiero recommended the purchase in a memo to her boss, DeMedio. “If a computer is stolen, we can mark it stolen on the LANrev server,” she wrote. “ ... And then the laptop will take screen shots and pictures of the user with the built-in camera.” Without seeking bids, the district spent $156,357 for the software in 2007, according to district documents. “Oh, Mike loves it, and I agree it is a great product,” Cafiero wrote in an e-mail to DeMedio, who retired last summer. The One to One laptop program was launched at Harriton in the 2008 school year, aided by $721,000 in state grants. Teachers and administrators immediately declared the program a big success: Students were writing more and making their own videos, board members were told. Lower Merion High would get them the next year. But there were also problems - some of them of the administration’s own making. First, the school sent the laptops home without requiring parents and students to sign an updated policy that clearly set out the rules and regulations. Instead, students signed an old policy that set rules for use of the school’s Internet network. It said nothing about laptops, let alone the remote Web cam photos. No one ever came up with formal written rules for using Theft Tracker, either. However, technical staff members did follow some rough guidelines. Only Perbix and Cafiero could turn it on. They worked at tech department headquarters in an office far from the two high schools. Their lawyers say they used the tracker only after getting a request from the high schools, either from another member of the tech department or from a principal or assistant principal. When the program was triggered, an icon typically appeared next to the computer being tracked: a Sherlock Holmes-style hat and a magnifying glass. Once it was on, the feature kept recording information until it was turned off. Every 15 minutes, as long as the computer was on, open, and connected to the Internet, the program did three things. It recorded the computer’s Internet address, captured a screen image, and snapped a Web cam photo. When it took a picture, it immediately sent it to the school’s server, then erased the file created on the laptop. There was no easy way for users to figure out that they were being watched, technical experts said. It’s not clear who in the Lower Merion schools had access to the Web cam photos. In a memo explaining LANrev to his fellow techs, Perbix said that, while only he and Cafiero could turn the system on, the information collected was “visible to you if the computer is one you can normally view.” “We also can make these reports available via a Web site to local police who can analyze the information and act upon it,” he wrote. That’s what happened in the fall of 2008 when six laptops were stolen from the Harriton locker room during a gym class. Lower Merion police, with an assist from the regional FBI computer lab in Radnor, tracked down five of the computers and arrested the culprit - another student, sources said. The sixth was tracked to Pakistan. As time went on, the schools reported thefts to the police nearly two dozen times; three times, juveniles were charged, the sources said. In an additional half-dozen cases, laptops reported stolen turned out to be merely misplaced, the sources said. Pictures were routinely turned over to police, along with the computer’s Internet address. On his blog, “Best Thing Since Sliced Bread,” Perbix recounted an incident in which police recovered a stolen laptop that was sending back its Internet location. “The police went to the house and were befuddled to find out the people we knew had the laptop was not the family that lived there,” Perbix wrote, cautioning people to secure their home wireless network. “Well, we eventually found out that they were the neighboring house and were borrowing the unsecured WiFi.” Joseph Daly, who retired in 2009 as Lower Merion police superintendent, said he never knew that his department was being furnished with pictures snapped from students’ laptops. “God, no, I don’t remember that,” he said when told about it. “That’s illegal as hell.” Even if no laws were in fact broken, Daly said, it’s still a terrible idea. “A better plan would be: If you lose it, guess what - you owe the school a new computer,” said Daly, now police chief in Springfield, Delaware County. Charles McGrath, current Lower Merion police superintendent, said that, because of the ongoing investigation, he could not comment. Inside the schools, word was getting out. Some students put sticky notes over the Web cams, students said. During the last school year, two Harriton student council members met with principal Steven R Kline to ask about the Web cam rumors. When Kline confirmed it, students told him they were worried about privacy violations and asked about other types of monitoring. But nothing happened - not even after the students returned for a follow-up visit, according to other council members who were briefed afterward. In a computer forum about how to disable the Apple Web cams, Perbix joked: “I ask my users to please put on the sticky: ‘In the event that you steal this machine, please remove sticky before operation’ ... so that I may get a picture of the person.” Perbix, a Temple University graduate who has worked in the district’s IT department for 12 years, became an enthusiastic user of LANrev, even appearing on a promotional Webcast for the company. “The other big feature which really, really, really, I really liked about this is the ... theft tracking,” he said. In 2009, the year the program was expanded to Lower Merion High, the district sent a letter to parents of high school students laying out some laptop rules. Downloading of games was prohibited, and families had to pay a $55 insurance fee. “No uninsured laptops are permitted off campus,” it said. Still, the letter said nothing about computer tracking or remote Web cam photos. Some teachers and administrators did warn students, sporadically. At Lower Merion, an assistant principal told ninth-graders about the tracking and remote Web cams during an orientation session in September. In November, Perbix was asked to turn on the computer assigned to Robbins. The 15-year-old was hard on

the Harriton laptops. He reportedly broke the screens of at least two. In November, he was using a replacement from a pool of loaner laptops. His family, which had struggled with unpaid utility bills and other debts, hadn’t paid the required $55 insurance fee. In Robbins’ case, the tracking system wasn’t activated to find a missing computer; according to his lawyer, the school knew he had been using the same loaner for a month. Instead, someone decided to initiate Theft Tracker because it was suspected Robbins was taking the laptop home without permission, sources said. The tracking program, by logging the laptop’s Internet address overnight, would prove it. But, as was routine, Perbix left all three features running. Every 15 minutes, LANrev tried to log the location, snap a picture, and capture an image of what was on Robbins’ screen. What the program found alarmed the technical staff. One image showed him holding what looked like pills. Robbins says it was really Mike & Ike candy. There was something else: A screen shot captured a text exchange between Robbins and another student. Staff members read the message as a threat to Robbins. The exact nature of the message could not be learned. The Robbins family attorney, Mark S Haltzman, said no one at the school had mentioned anything to Robbins about a potential threat. In the tech offices, staff members debated what to do with the information before agreeing that it was a decision best left to the administration. “As a practical matter, you don’t want to be the guy who inadvertently sees something and says nothing, and, God forbid, something happens to that child,” said Neff, Perbix’s lawyer. “Is it not better to come to someone at a higher pay grade and say, ‘I inadvertently came across this information. What should I do?’ “ Assistant principal Lynn Matsko called the Robbins family and brought Blake in for a talk. Haltzman says Matsko confronted the teen with suspicions that he was dealing drugs. If there really had been concern for his safety, Haltzman said, Matsko said nothing to Robbins about it. “The conversation had to do with a perception by the school administration that he was involved with pills, that he had pills,” he said. Even if some technical department employee was worried about Robbins, Haltzman said, it didn’t justify the remote surveillance. Perbix and Cafiero are on leave pending the outcome of the district’s investigation. District spokesman Doug Young said there was no indication they had done anything wrong. After the suit was filed, the company that last year bought out LANrev’s owner said trying to track computers through covert Web cam photos didn’t make sense. Company officials said they would eliminate that part of the software. “They’re not admissible in court, and it isn’t an effective way of finding a stolen laptop,” said Stephen Midgley, vice president for marketing at Absolute Software Corp. “We don’t see value in this particular feature.” — MCT

China Internet firms apologize over feud BEIJING: Two of China’s leading Internet firms have been forced by the government to issue public apologies over a nasty spat marked by accusations of unfair market practices and privacy infringement. Tencent, parent company of the popular instant messaging service QQ, and security software developer Qihoo 360 issued the apologies late Sunday after being ordered to do so by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The public feud began in September when Tencent encouraged users to download its upgraded security software. Qihoo 360 subsequently accused QQ of trying to scan its users’ personal data and it issued tools to block QQ components. Tencent earlier this month announced that QQ would no longer function on computers using Qihoo 360 products, while Qihoo 360 in turn took similar moves. The row triggered harsh criticism from web users in China, which has the world’s largest online population, with at least 420 million people using the Internet. In a statement on its website, Qihoo 360 said “we hereby apologize to society and netizens and will stop the mutual attacks between the companies.” The ministry had earlier on Sunday told the companies to “publicly apologize to society,” saying in a statement the feud had “sparked user discontent and caused vile social influences.” “We hereby sincerely apologize to all the users that have been troubled by this incident,” Tencent said in its statement. Tencent claims QQ has more than 600 million active user accounts, while Qihoo 360 boasts more than 300 million, Chinese media have reported. The ministry statement had said the two firms must “stop attacking each other” and ensure that their software is compatible. Authorities will investigate whether either company violated any laws amid the dispute, it added. “The two companies should learn lessons from this incident... strengthen professional ethics, strictly regulate their practices and make sure similar incidents never happen again,” the statement said. — AFP


HEALTH & SCIENCE

28

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

US starts human trial of stem cells on blindness Embryonic stem cells are controversial, yet powerful

VALLEJO: This file picture shows Odin, a five year-old White Bengal Tiger diving for a piece of meat thrown to him by a trainer during a big cat show at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. —AFP

Tigers could become extinct in 12 years if unprotected ST PETERSBURG: Wild tigers could become extinct in 12 years if countries where they still roam fail to take quick action to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching, global wildlife experts said. The World Wildlife Fund and other experts say only about 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, a dramatic plunge from an estimated 100,000 a century ago. James Leape, director general of the World Wildlife Fund, told a meeting Sunday in St Petersburg that if the proper protective measures aren’t taken, tigers may disappear by 2022, the next Chinese calendar year of the tiger. Their habitat is being destroyed by forest cutting and construction, and they are a valuable trophy for poachers who want their skins and body parts prized in Chinese traditional medicine. The summit approved a wide-ranging program with the goal of doubling the world’s tiger population in the wild by 2022 backed by governments of the 13 countries that still have tiger populations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia. The Global Tiger Recovery Program estimates the countries will need about $350 million in outside funding in the first five years of the 12-year plan. The summit will be seeking donor commitments to help governments finance conservation measures. “For most people tigers are one of the wonders of the world,” Leape told The Associated Press. “In the end, the tigers are the inspiration and the flagship for much broader efforts to conserve forests and grasslands.” The program aims to protect

tiger habitats, eradicate poaching, smuggling, and illegal trade of tigers and their parts, and also create incentives for local communities to engage them in helping protect the big cats. The summit, which runs through Wednesday, is hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who has used encounters with tigers and other wild animals to bolster his image. It’s driven by the Global Tiger Initiative which was launched two years ago by World Bank President Robert Zoellick. Leape said that along with a stronger action against poaching, it’s necessary to set up specialized reserves for tigers and restore and conserve forests outside them to let tigers expand. “And you have to find a way to make it work for the local communities so that they would be partners in tigers conservation and benefit from them,” Leape said. “To save tigers you need to save the forests, grasslands and lots of other species,” he added. “But at the same time you are also conserving the foundations of the societies who live there. Their economy depends very much on the food, water and materials they get from those forests.” About 30 percent of the program’s cost would go toward suppressing the poaching of tigers and of the animals they prey on. Russia’s Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said that Russia and China will create a protected area for tigers alongside their border and pool resources to combat poaching. Leape said that for some of the nations involved outside financing would be essential to fulfill the goals. “We need to see significant commitment by the multilateral and bilateral institutions like the Global

Environment Facility and the World Bank plus individual governments like the US and Germany,” Leape told the AP. For advocates, saving tigers has implications far beyond the emotional appeal of preserving a graceful and majestic animal. “Wild tigers are not only a symbol of all that is splendid, mystical and powerful about nature,” the Global Tiger Initiative said in a statement. “The loss of tigers and degradation of their ecosystems would inevitably result in a historic, cultural, spiritual, and environmental catastrophe for the tiger range countries.” Three of the nine tiger subspecies - the Bali, Javan, and Caspian already have become extinct in the past 70 years. Much has been done recently to try to save tigers, but conservation groups say their numbers and habitats have continued to fall, by 40 percent in the past decade alone. In part, that decline is because conservation efforts have been increasingly diverse and often aimed at improving habitats outside protected areas where tigers can breed, according to a study published in September in the Popular Library of Science Biology journal. Putin has done much to draw attention to tigers’ plight. During a visit to a wildlife preserve in 2008, he shot a female tiger with a tranquilizer gun and helped place a transmitter around her neck as part of a program to track the rare cats. Later in the year, Putin was given a 2-month-old female Siberian tiger for his birthday. State television showed him at his home gently petting the cub, which was curled up in a wicker basket with a tiger-print cushion. The tiger now lives in a zoo in southern Russia. —AP

Vienna’s new panda to be called ‘Happy Tiger’ VIENNA: The baby panda born in August at Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Zoo is to be called Fu Hu, or Happy Tiger in Mandarin, the zoo announced yesterday. The name was chosen via an online vote in which more than 25,000 people took part, the zoo said in a statement. By the time voting closed at midnight on Sunday, 50.1 percent had voted for the name Fu Hu, while 40.8 percent voted for the name Wei Xing which means Vienna’s Joy. The cub-only the second in Europe to be conceived naturally in captivity will be officially named at a special naming ceremony on December 13, which will be attended by a delegation from Beijing.

According to Chinese tradition, Giant Pandas are not officially named before they are 100 days old, because the mortality rate in the first year is so high, at about 40 percent, according to the zoo. Fu Hu is the baby brother of Fu Long, now three, who was Europe’s first panda to be naturally conceived in captivity, but who has since been returned to China and now lives at the Bifengxia panda reserve in Sichuan province. Pandas, even when conceived abroad, are the property of the Republic of China and only loaned to foreign zoos. Mother Yang Yang and father Long Hui are also due to leave Schoenbrunn Zoo, the oldest in the world, in 2013. —AFP

Obesity weighs big in poor countries NEW YORK: The obesity epidemic has spread to poorer nations, where it almost entirely affects wealthy citizens, while the poor in the same nations still remain underweight, a study said. By contrast, obesity tends to have a greater impact on the poor in developed nations, such as the United States. “There’s a lot of discussion on how the problems of obesity and overweight are now spreading to poor and developing countries,” said S V

Subramanian, at the Harvard School of Public Health, who led a recent study. But the question of who is most affected within those countries is almost never asked, he told Reuters Heatlh. In the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Subramanian and his colleagues looked for weight trends in more than half a million women in 54 developing countries between 1994 and 2008. —Reuters

VIENNA: This handout photo shows a woman holding a baby panda born in August at the zoo. —AFP

WASHINGTON: Human embryonic stem cells will be tested as a treatment for blindness, a US company announced yesterday in the second such clinical trial to examine how the controversial process works in people. Just 12 adult patients will take part in the trial to see how the treatment using retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells affects patients with a common form of juvenile vision loss that can take hold in children as young as six. The process has been tested on rats and mice and has been found to halt the progressive disease without causing tumors or other side effects, said chief scientific officer Bob Lanza at the biotech company Advanced Cell Technology. “These cells have been really performing quite spectacularly in the animals. If we can see that in the human patients we will hit a home run here,” said Lanza. The trial, run and funded by the California-based company ACT, was allowed to go ahead after the US Food and Drug Administration cleared its application to start a phase I study. Another company, Geron Corp, began a similar trial in October, the first of its kind to test human embryonic stem cells in patients with spinal cord injuries. Scientists say the use of embryonic stem cells as a treatment for cancer and and other diseases holds great promise, but the process has drawn fire from religious conservatives and others who oppose it. Embryonic stem cell research is controversial because human embryos are destroyed in order to obtain the cells capable of developing into almost every tissue of the body. Using retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells, the latest treatment involves injecting the stem cells into the eyes of patients with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy, a disease which affects around 25,000 people in the United States. The 12 people in the initial study will have an advanced form of Stargardt’s disease and do not expect to have their vision restored, since the test’s main objective is to gauge safety. If ACT’s trial shows that the treatment is safe, the process would be eventually be tested on younger patients to see if it can prevent blindness. The company has also applied for FDA permission to begin a wider trial on people with agerelated macular degeneration, or vision loss, which affects as many as 30 million people in the United States and Europe. Stargardt’s disease causes blindness by destroying the pigmented layer of the retina, called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). After that follows degradation of photoreceptors, which are cells in the retina that detect light. Patients often experience blurry vision, difficulty seeing in low-light and eventually most lose their ability to see at all. The disease can be inherited by a child when two parents carry the gene mutation that causes it. “This is a horrific disease that affects children starting at age six, so they are very young and they go blind as teenagers,” said Lanza. “The hope would be to treat patients earlier to prevent this from happening at all.” The treatment process being tested by ACT worked in animals by creating an abundance of new RPE cells, Lanza explained. “Using stem cells, we can generate a virtually unlimited supply of healthy RPE cells, which are the first cells to die off in (Stargardt’s) and other forms of macular degeneration,” Lanza said. The process showed 100 percent improvement in rats’ visual performance and “nearnormal function” was also achieved in mice, both without negative side effects, he said. Researchers expect to see results in real-time due to the use of high resolution instruments that allow them to track the cells in the eye, with an assessment of the progress possible within weeks. “We should be able to know what’s going on along the way,” said Lanza. “It is quite conceivable we could see improvement within six weeks or so.” “But we don’t know. —AFP

CHERSKY: In this photo, Russian scientist Sergey Zimov demonstrates the emission of methane trapped under the ice of a Siberian lake. —AP

Leaking Siberian ice raises climate issue CHERSKY: The Russian scientist shuffles across the frozen lake, scuffing aside ankle-deep snow until he finds a cluster of bubbles trapped under the ice. With a cigarette lighter in one hand and a knife in the other, he lances the ice like a blister. Methane whooshes out and bursts into a thin blue flame. Gas locked inside Siberia’s frozen soil and under its lakes has been seeping out since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. But in the past few decades, as the Earth has warmed, the icy ground has begun thawing more rapidly, accelerating at a perilous rate the release of methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Some scientists believe the thawing of permafrost could become the epicenter of climate change. They say 1.5 trillion tons of carbon, locked inside icebound earth since the age of mammoths, is a climate time bomb waiting to explode if released into the atmosphere. “Here, total carbon storage is like all the rain forests of our planet put together,” says the scientist, Sergey Zimov, “here” being the endless sweep of snow and ice stretching toward Siberia’s gray horizon, as seen from Zimov’s research facility nearly 350 kilometers (220 miles) above the Arctic Circle. Climate change moves back to center-stage on Nov 29 when governments meet in Cancun, Mexico, to try again to thrash out a course of counteractions. UN officials hold out no hope that the two weeks of talks will lead to a legally binding accord to govern carbon emissions, seen is the key to averting what is feared might be a dramatic change in climate this century. Most climate scientists, with a few dissenters, say human activity, the stuff of daily life like driving cars, producing electricity or raising cattle, is overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, methane and other gases that trap heat, causing a warming effect. Global warming is amplified in the polar regions, however. What feels like a modest temperature rise is enough to induce Greenland glaciers to retreat, Arctic sea ice to thin and contract in summer, and permafrost to thaw faster, both on land and under the seabed. Yet awareness of methane leaks from permafrost is so new that it was not even mentioned in the seminal 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warned of rising sea levels inundating coastal cities, dramatic shifts in rainfall disrupting agriculture and drinking water, the spread of diseases and the extinction of species. “In my view, methane is a serious sleeper out there that can pull us over the hump,” said Robert Corell, an eminent US climate change researcher and Arctic specialist. Corell, speaking by telephone from a conference in Miami, Florida, said he and other U.S. scientists are pushing Washington to deploy satellites to gather more information on methane leaks. The lack of data over a long period casts uncertainty over the extent of the threat. An article last August in the journal Science quoted several experts as saying it was too early to predict whether Arctic methane will be the tipping point. “Arctic Armageddon Needs More Science, Less Hype,” was its headline. Studies indicate that cold-country dynamics on climate change are complex. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, a scientific body set up by the eight Arctic rim countries, says overall the Arctic is absorbing more carbon dioxide than it releases. “Methane is a different story,” said its 2009 report. The Arctic is responsible for up to 9 percent of global methane emissions. Other methane sources include landfills, livestock and fossil fuel production. Katey Walter Anthony, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been measuring methane seeps in Arctic lakes in Alaska, Canada and Russia, starting here around Chersky 10 years ago. She was stunned to see how much methane was leaking from holes in the sediment at the bottom of one of the first lakes she visited. “On some days it looked like the lake was boiling,” she said. Returning each year, she noticed this and other lakes doubling in size as warm water ate into the frozen banks. “The edges of the lake look like someone eating a cookie. The permafrost gets digested in the guts of the lake and burps out as methane,” she said in an interview

in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, en route to a field trip in Greenland and Scandinavia. More than 50 billion tons could be unleashed from Siberian lakes alone, more than 10 times the amount now in the atmosphere, she said. Still, the rate of defrosting is hard to assess with the data at hand. “If permafrost were to thaw suddenly, in a flash, it would put a tremendous amount of carbon in the atmosphere. We would feel temperatures warming across the globe. And that would be a big deal,” she said. But it may not happen so quickly. “Depending on how slow permafrost thaws, its effect on temperature across the globe will be different,” she said. Permafrost is defined as ground that has stayed below freezing for more than two consecutive summers. In fact, most of Siberia and the rest of the Arctic, covering one-fifth of the Earth’s land surface, have been frozen for millennia. During the summer, the warm months, the ground can defrost to a depth of several feet, turning to sludge and sometimes blossoming into vast fields of grass and wildflowers. Below that thin layer, however, the ground remains frozen, sometimes encased in ice dozens or even hundreds of meters (yards) thick. As the Earth warms, the summer thaw bites a bit deeper, awakening ice-age microbes that attack organic matter, vegetation and animal remains, that is buried where oxygen cannot reach. It in turn produces methane that gurgles to the surface and into the air. The newly released methane adds to the greenhouse effect, trapping yet more heat which deepens the next thaw, in a spiraling cycle of increasing warmth. Curbing man-made methane emissions could slow this process, said Walter Anthony. “We have an incentive to reduce our fossil fuel emissions. By doing so, we can reduce the warming that’s occurring in the Arctic and potentially put some brakes on permafrost thaw,” she said. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in its 2010 Arctic Report Card issued last month, said the average temperature of the permafrost has been going up for decades, but noted “a significant acceleration” in the past five years at many spots on the Arctic coast. One of those spots would be Chersky, an isolated town on the bank of the Kolyma River at the mouth of the East Siberia Sea. The ground in this remote corner of the world, 6,600 kilometers (4,000 miles) east of Moscow, has warmed about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6o Fahrenheit) in the past five years, to about -5o C (23o F) today, says Zimov, director of the internationally funded Northeast Science Station, which is about three kilometers (2 miles) from town. The warming is causing the landscape to buckle under his feet. “I live here more than 30 years. ... There are many (dirt) roads in our region which I used or built myself, but now I can’t use anymore. Now they look like canyons,” he says. Buildings, too, collapse. The school in Chersky, a Soviet-era structure with a tall bronze statue of Karl Marx on its doorstep, was abandoned several years ago when the walls began to crack as the foundations gave way. The northern Siberian soil, called yedoma, covers 1.8 million square kilometers (700,000 sq miles) and is particularly unstable. Below the surface are vertical wedges of ice, as if 15-story-high icicles had been hammered into the soft ground, rich in decaying vegetation, over thousands of years. As the air warms, the tops of the wedges melt and create depressions in the land. Water either forms a lake or runs off to lower ground, creating a series of steep hillocks and gullies. During summer, lakeside soil may erode and tumble into the water, settling on the bottom where bacteria eat it and cough up yet more methane. The process takes a long time, but Zimov has done a simulation by bulldozing trees and scraping off moss and surface soil from 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of former larch forest, rendering it as if it had been leveled by fire. Seven years later the previously flat terrain is carved up with crevices 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) deep, creating a snowy badlands. Gazing across a white river to the apartment blocks on a distant hill, Zimov said, “In another 30 years all of Chersky will look like this.” —AP


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WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

KKMA Mappila Songs Contest winners announced he KKMA-Foto Me Singing Contest, organized by TKuwait Kerala Muslim

NAFO picnic AFO, a prominent socio cultural N organisastion among the Indian community in Kuwait organised its annual picnic on November 16, 2010

at Martyr’s Park (Al-Shaheed Park, Sharq) from 9:30 am till 5:30 pm. The members and their families had a fun filled day with group games and deli-

cious food. Program convener Anilkumar and his team deserves a great applause for making the picnic a grand success.

Kuwait Chamber of Commerce notice Asst Director General of Kuwait of Commerce & Industry, TSaudheChamber Khalid Al-Zaid declared that the chamber will start membership renewal of the companies for the year (2011) from December 1, 2010 onwards, also the approval to take ‘possession of signature should be addressed to the department and Government, in order

to save time and effort after co-ordination with these agencies in this regard. Al-Zaid also stated that the working time of the Chamber Head Office, the Ministry Complex and Jahra branch will be from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm and the working time of chamber at the Liberation Tower (Government Mall), Khaitan branch and Jaber Ali branch

will be from 8:00 to 1:30 PM and 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Al-Zaid also requested the members to update their information by filling the form available at the above chamber offices or send the filled up form directly to the chamber fax no. 22438090 or email: kcci@kcci.org.kw or by registering through www.Kuwaitchamber.org.kw.

Association (KKMA), a social welfare organization of Indians in Kuwait, attracted large number of participants. The contest with an aim to promote Mappila Songs amongst the Non Resident Indians in Kuwait was held as part of Eid Milan activities on the day of Eid Al-Adha at Jleeb Park. Ajay Malhotra, the Ambassador of India to Kuwait, was the chief guest. He inaugurated the Eid Milan program attended by several thousands of Indians in Kuwait at Jleeb Park. KKMA Working President Ibrahim Kunnil presided over the function. The top five outstanding singers were selected as finalists out of 27 preliminary contestants and 10 finalists competed in first and second round contest held earlier on November 5, 2010. The first prize KKMA-Foto Me Award and Cash Prize went to Abdul Latheef, a music teacher by profession at India International school, Mangaf. The three contest judges, Anand Kurian, Chandra Mohan Kannur, P K Raveendran had this to say about the process: “We could all agree on one thing right from the start, this was going to be a very difficult task.

Even after the first round of listening to them all, there were very few that could be eliminated. Each one had its own unique quality, be it poetic lyrics, a catchy melody or an interesting story”. Judges chose Sabir Nadapuram and Sunil Thrissur as second and third prizes respectively. The winners award and cash prizes were presented to the winners by Sageer Trikarpur, chairman of KKMA, NA Muneer, vice chairman and Abdul Fathah Thayyil, president of KKMA. The appreciation mementos for the judging

panel were presented to judges by Rajan Rawther, senior relationship manager of Al-Ahli Bank. Ajayan Perambra, a popular singer from Kerala and winner of ‘patturumal’ mappila songs realty contest compeered the event efficiently and enthralled the audience by performing several of his favorite mappila songs. An oppana dance presented by IMLA, the ladies wing of KKMA and kolkali presented by the members of KKMA were added attractions of the event. Mappila Paattu or Mappila

Song is a folklore Muslim devotional song genre rendered to lyrics in Arabic-laced Malayalam by Muslims of Kerala in south India. Mappila songs have a distinct cultural identity, as they sound a mix of the ethos and culture of Kerala as well as West Asia. They deal with themes such as religion, love, satire and heroism. Earlier K Basheer, organizing secretary of KKMA welcomed the audience to the final singing contest and the episode was presided over by working president of KKMA, Ebrahim Kunnil.

Valakuzhy Pravasi Association of Kuwait forms new committee alakuzhy Pravasi Association of Kuwait was V formed by expatriates from

ESF clinch volleyball prize he English School Fahaheel Girls U-13 Volleyball team in their first year as part of the ISACK inter school sports conference clinched the runners up prize. ESF is a member of KFSAC and ISACK inter school sports conferences and offers a wide range of Textracurricular sports activities.

Valakuzhy [Vennikulam, Thiruvalla (via), Pathanamthitta(dist),Kerala living in Kuwait. The first meeting of the association was held at Abbassiya Choice Restaurant Bldg (near Shahi Tandoori) on November 18, 2010 at 5pm. Valakuzhy Pravasi Association of Kuwait is an association of Valakuzhy natives living in Kuwait. It is a unique, secular, democratic, social including charitable, business, loving, sincere, helping, supporting, socio-cultural gathering. This association is for all the Valakuzhy people, who live in Valakuzhy or from Valakuzhy and living somewhere else and believe that Valakuzhy rocks! Members include from left side of these roads. Chuzhana -Irumpukuzhy - Ezhumattoor - NarakathanyPaduthodu - Poothilappu Market - St Behanan’s Higher Secondary School Vennikulam Vennikulam Traffic signal Bethany School - Panchayat Jn - Parakadav - Pallipady Ambinikadu - Thadiyoor

Market - Thadiyoor Bank Jn Thadiyoor Emmanuel Marthoma Church -Chuzhana New organizing team for the year 2010-2011 was formed and Laloo Thomas Kainadathu was elected as the President. Charles P George Peedikayil is elected as Secretary, Anu Mathew Thayil

as Lady Secretary and Ajo K Philip Kunnumpurathu as Treasurer was also elected. Following members are selected for the new committee: Prasad A Cherian Ayyankovil, Baiju P Oommen Peedikayil, Viji Philip Poyikayil, Jeson C Sam Maliyekal, Sajeev Gangadharan

Sivaranjini Fine Arts

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

Aware he AWARE Management is glad to inform you that Winter 1 Arabic language courses will begin on November 21st until December 29th, 2010. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed & courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We cater to teachers, travelers & those working in the private business sector. AWARE Arabic courses highlight: • Introductory to Level 4 Arabic language basics • Better prepare you for speaking, reading and writing Arabic • Combine language learning with cultural insights • Taught in multi-nationality group settings • Provide opportunities to interact with Western expatriates and native Kuwaitis/Arabs. For more information, call 25335260/80 ext 105 or 104 or e-mail: Htaware.hassan@gmail.com or log onto: www.aware.com.kw.”

“T

, Santhosh K Thomas, Manoj Thelliyoor and Jacob Varghese(Suku) Karuvelil. For more information about Valakuzhy Pravasi Association of Kuwait, you are kindly requested to contact Valakuzhy Pravasi Association of Kuwait through email at vpakuwait@yahoo.com.

ivaranjani Fine Arts is organizing a culS tural evening with students and a memorable evening with the world famous profesEMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait has taken up an initiative to update the database of Bangladesh nationals residing in the State of Kuwait. For inclusion in the database all the Bangladesh nationals are requested to collect the Registration Form from the Labour Wing of the Embassy. The forms can also be collected sending request to bdoot@kems.net e-mail address. The filled-in forms can also be submitted by hand, by email or by fax (number 24913204). EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, AlMutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. 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 www.voyage.gc.ca.The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at www.UAE.gc.ca. 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 com-

plaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. Embassy of India would like to inform that application forms for passport/visa services and labor contracts that are on its website, www.indembkwt.org, have been upgraded to include the facility for online data entry. Affidavit forms on the embassy website have had this facility since May 6, 2009. 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 non-immigrant

visas through the collection of the application fees. The increased fees are to take effect June 4, 2010. Under the new rule, applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, will pay a fee of $140. Applicants for petition-based 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 THAILAND All foreigners who apply for Tourist Visa at the Royal Thai Embassies and the Royal Thai Consulate General worldwide, including eligible foreigners who apply for Visa on arrival at designated checkpoints, will be exempted from tourist visa fees until 31 March 2011. Such arrangement is for Tourist Visa only.

sional troupe of Rajhesh Vaidhya from Chennai. Rajesh was awarded the title ‘Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peeta Aasthana Vidwan’, for his splendid rendering on the VEENA. Rajhesh Vaidhya and his troupe from Chennai will perform on Friday, the 3rd of December, 2010 at Carmel school auditorium, Khaitan along with variety of musical rendering by the students of the fine arts. All are welcome. But if you would like to be a special invitee and have the privilege of meeting and dining with Shri Rajesh Vaidya, please send the names of the person who will attend the program along with you to info@shivaranjanifinearts.com for further details. Rajhesh Vaidhya was brought up in a rich musical environment. His father Sri K M Vaidyanathan was a stalwart both in Mridangam and Ghatam. His tutelage under Smt Jeyalakshmi started at the tender age of six. He continued learning the finer nuances of music from Smt Rama Nambinarayanan and his advanced training from the worldrenowned carnatic veena maestro Shri Chitti Babu. Rajhesh Vaidhya is not only a renowned musician in India, his fame and popularity spreads in all the musical stages around the world including Europe, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Canada, USA and many more. RajheshVaidhya was introduced as a Film Music Director in the movie “VEGAM” by Shri.S.Ve.Shekher, starring Ashwin Shekher. Many Albums and Audio CD’s re composed and recorded by Rajhesh himself like, Temptations, Hurricane, Rampage etc. He has also composed music for some of the famous Tele serials. His website: www. http://www.rajheshvaidhya.com/profile.php

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: local@kuwaittimes.net Fax: 24835619 / 20


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

31

GUST’s ‘Best of Kuwait’ o you know where you can find the best cupcakes in Kuwait? How D about the best Japanese or Chinese restaurant, the best day spa, the best mobile phone service, or the best authentic Kuwaiti meal? MBA students at the Gulf University for Science & Technology, will reveal the answers to those and other questions at their presentation titled GUST’s Best of Kuwait. Led under the guidance of Prof John Hayes, six teams of MBA students will each present a Best of Kuwait category using multimedia. After the presentations, he will ask the audience to help critique the team performances. This is a good way to help MBAs perfect their presentation skills and have some fun in the process. The information they provide will also be of interest to many. The event will be held tomorrow at 5:30 pm from 5;30 pm onwards at Theatre W6-200. Everyone is invited.

Finnish Puppet Theater

Picture shows The English School Fahaheel Marketing and PR Mananger Adeeb Shuhaiber presenting prizes to winners with CPK organizers Marie and Rico.

Crowne Plaza Health Club October Fest

rowne Plaza Health Club recently Winter Story from the Land Of celebrated the October Sports C ‘A Northern Lights’ is a play by a Festival with a bang of energy and Finnish Puppet Theater. This performance tells a story of a girl and a reindeer who were both born on the night of the shooting star. This story is about friendship and courage. The performance is mostly without words and accompanied by beautiful music. To find out what happened to the girl and the reindeer, who they met and what they experienced, get your tickets now at Radisson Blu Hotel Viking Club reception. For bookings, call 25673888 or 65718000. The shows will be from November 25-27 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

enthusiasm of sports, dance and fitness by the members. The successful event was sponsored by Wataniya Telecom,

The English School Fahaheel- Kuwait, Red Bull and Mihin Lanka airlines. The event was organized by the CPK Health Club Fitness Team. The activities commenced with a power basketball competition during Ramadan which claimed a

very good camaraderie between members and the fitness staff. The Aerobics Marathon which conducted last October 8 displayed an exciting exhibition of power, endurance and flexibility by 40 participants including coaches that end-

ended on the evening of October 22 with grand awarding ceremony of trophies, medals, airline tickets to the grand champs of all the events plus an array of martial arts and hip-hop dance showdown was presented.

NBK launches ‘I love Kuwait’ kids’ competition IDF n the occasion of Kuwait’s 50th National Day, The National Bank O of Kuwait (NBK), has launched a

unique drawing completion under the slogan “I love Kuwait” for Zeina Friends Club customers between the ages of (3-14). The competition gives an opportunity for children to celebrate with the community a very special occasion. The competition began on November 1 and is set to conclude on December 30. NBK Zeina Account Manager Laila Al-Mukhtar said: “The campaign aims to give children a fun opportunity to celebrate with the community the 50th National Day of Kuwait”. “It is important that we all participate in this occasion and educate our children about its significance. I am hopeful that children will enjoy this opportunity to express their pride and love for Kuwait.” Al-Mukhtar further added. This competition has been categorized into three groups 3-6 year old, 7-10 year old and 11-14 year old. Each group will be judged based on the creative artwork, merits and capabilities of that age group. “The theme must be related to Kuwait’s 50th anniversary. Zeina customers who’d like to participate must pick up the customized drawing paper from any NBK branch. Any type of drawing materials can be used, paint, colored pencils or colored markers”, Al Mukhtar added. It is worth mentioning that finalists will be awarded certificates and their artwork will be used by NBK in celebration of Kuwait’s 50th National Day. All entries to the competition have to be submitted by December 30 to any NBK branch. Results of the competition will be announced in February as part of the celebrations. Zeina account is for newborn children up to the age of to 14. Zeina account provides children with the basic tools they need in order to accomplish their long term savings goals. Zeina Friends Club was the first youngsters club in Kuwait established in 1994. Zeina Account holders also participate in fun events held year round, as well as benefit from many special seasonal offers especially designed for them.

Aware center announcements o you have moved to S Kuwait. Are you feeling Disoriented, Disgruntled or Disillusioned? Are you experiencing “Culture Shock”? You are not alone. If you or someone you know has experienced the uncertainty of an extended stay abroad, you may be dealing with the reality of “culture shock.” Is this a hackneyed, overdramatic term or a legitimate state of mind? Come share your story with Dr Linda Fouke as she leads a discussion entitled, “Clueless in Kuwait - 9 Helpful Habits while in Kuwait plus 1 more.” At this presentation you will learn more about the phases of culture shock and 10 essential keys to helping you cope with the stresses of relocation. If you are interested, the AWARE Center is the best place to visit tomorrow at 7:00 pm. For more information, please call 25335260/70 ext 105 or 104 or e-mail: Htaware.hassan@gmail.com

Lecture Aware Center holds dinner and lecture on “The GCC: Achievements, Ambitions and Challenges” which will be presented by Abdullah Yaccoub Bishara, President of The Diplomatic Center for Strategic Studies. The event will be held on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 7:00 pm at the Aware center. For reservations, contact us on 25335280 or e-mail info@aware.com.kw.

Arpan to present ‘Tune & Taste-2010’ rpan Kuwait will present ‘Tune & Taste- 2010’-a festival of food, music and heritage-to mark the 11th anniversary of the association at the Indian Community School (Senior Girls), Salmiya on December 3. The celebration presenting a potpourri of cultural programs will start at 9:30 am and conclude at 6.30 pm. Rajkalesh, the versatile television anchor and the producer of popular TV show, “Taste of Kerala” and “Taste of Dubai” will supervise cookery shows and competitions as part of the celebration. Rajkalesh, who presented stage and television shows in and outside India, will adjudge the winners of the cooking competitions that will be held in major centers in Kuwait prior to the final on December 3. Also a magician, trained under world famous magician Gopinath Muthukad, Rajkalesh will mesmerize the audience with his spellbinding ‘Magic and illusions’ show. The added attraction of the day-long celebration will be a musical extravaganza to be presented by well-known Idea Star singers Roshan, William Issac and Neelima along with upcoming playback singer Uma. Classical and folk dance performances, folk song presentations etc will add spices

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ed with full quench thirsting fitness demonstration while the swimming competition was full of fun and laughter as family members and friends gather together to cheer with their participating kids, husbands and wives. The event

to the unique program ‘Tune & Taste -2010’. For details and participation in cooking competitions, email to: arpankwt@yahoo.com Comedy night at AUK he American University of Kuwait (AUK) Drama Club is hosting a comedy program entitled Sketches and Sets; an evening of original standup and sketch comedy tomorrow at 7 pm at AUK Auditorium. All the performers are students and staff of AUK. For further information please contact Zaid Al-Kazemi at 99666153 or emails00012695@auk.edu.kw.

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Lulian Rusu’s first clarinet concert in Kuwait! nternational acclaimed Romanian Clarinetist Iulian Rusu will perform a clarinet concert at Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a! The Clarinet Concert will take place on November 25th at 7pm at the Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a: first appearance of lulian Rusu- internationally acclaimed Romanian Clarinetist, in Kuwait. Rusu has toured throughout Europe and performed in many countries including: Spain, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. This performance will be the first appearance in Kuwait and he will be accompanied by Marius Rusanu and Harriet

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Bushman on Piano. The program will include some of the World’s most famous clarinet songs such as:Mendelssohn: “Double Concerto with Piano”; Martian Negrea: “Martie” ; Bela Bartok: “Homage A De Falla” ; Verdi: “Fantasy from Rigoletto Opera”. Join us on Thursday, November 25th from 7pm until 9.30pm in Al Bida’a Ballroom and enjoy an evening to remember. “In our never - ending quest to be little bit different and to bring more entertainment and culture to Kuwait we have arranged what promises to be a very enjoyable musical evening” said Gary Moran. General Manager of Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a Kuwait. 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.

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For more information, call 97197268. TIES Center announces Winter schedule IES Center announces its schedule of Winter Arabic Courses which will extend from October 29, 2010 through December 23, 2010. The courses are offered with the following options: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 The Arabic courses at TIES Center are designed according to the students’ needs and requirements. These courses are intended for all expatriates who wish to learn the Arabic language and culture. Upon completion of these courses the student will have a) Confidence in conducting basic Arabic communication (speaking, reading & writing) b) A basis for developing Arabic as a second language c) A better understanding of Arabic Culture d) Ability to interact with their classmates and learn about their background and culture For more information please contact us on 97144138 or visit our website www.tiescenter.net.

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inter school health quiz ndian Doctors Forum, Kuwait is proud to Iannounce that as part of our school outreach program, we are organizing an interschool health quiz for senior school students of all the Indian schools in Kuwait. This will be an annual event with the IDF Rolling Trophy as the grand prize and also attractive prizes (Laptops, Netbooks and more) for the winning students. Each school will send one team consisting of two students each (the team representing the school will be selected by the school). The idea of the quiz is not just to have a competition but also to disseminate health information to students in a ‘game’ format. The event will be held on November 26, 2010 and the written preliminary is at 5:00 pm while the quiz finals is at 6:00 pm at Kuwait Medical Association (KMA) Hall, Near Mubarak Hospital, Jabriya. Be there to see the best young minds of Kuwait battle it out in an arena needing quick thinking and sharp intellect! Come, cheer the teams to victory! For more details, do contact Dr Sebastian Mathew at sebntess@gmail.com.

Annual ESF Winter Fayre he English School Fahaheel will bring in the festive season this year with their successful Annual Winter Fayre on Saturday 4 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!

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German Board of Oral Implantology n cooperation with Kuwait Dental Association in its third year, and after graduating 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.

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TV PROGRAMS

32

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings

00:00 Ellen de Generes 01:00 GMA Live repeat 03:00 Royal Pains 04:00 The Invisible Man 05:00 Damages 06:00 GMA Live Repeat 08:00 Big Love 09:00 Dollhouse 10:00 Ellen de Generes 11:00 Damages 12:00 The Invisible Man 13:00 Royal Pains 14:00 Big Love 15:00 GMA Live 17:00 Dollhouse 18:00 Ellen de Generes 19:00 Royal Pains 20:00 In Plain Sight 21:00 Supernatural 22:00 Dollhouse 23:00 Saving Grace

00:50 The Most Extreme 01:45 Untamed And Uncut 02:40 Maneaters 03:35 Rogue Nature With Dave Salmoni 04:30 Animal Cops Houston 05:25 Shark After Dark 06:20 Untamed And Uncut 07:10 Wildlife SOS International 07:35 Sspca: On The Wildside 08:00 Austin Stevens Adventures 08:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 09:40 Project Puppy 10:35 In Too Deep 11:00 Rogue Nature With Dave Salmoni 11:55 Monkey Life 12:20 Sspca: On The Wildside 12:50 Miami Animal Police 13:45 E-Vets: The Interns 14:10 Pet Rescue 14:40 Animal Cops Phoenix 15:35 Wildlife SOS International 16:00 Sspca: On The Wildside 16:30 Cats 101 17:25 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 18:20 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 19:15 Rogue Nature With Dave Salmoni 20:10 Killer Whales 21:10 Cats 101 22:05 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 23:00 Escape To Chimp Eden 23:55 Animal Cops Phoenix

00:35 Ideal 01:10 Carrie And Barry 01:40 The Weakest Link 02:25 Holby City 03:25 Eastenders 03:55 Last Of The Summer Wine 04:30 The Roly Mo Show 04:45 Fimbles 05:05 Penelope K, By The Way 05:15 Tellytales 05:25 Me Too 05:45 Forget Me Not Farm 06:00 The Roly Mo Show 06:15 Fimbles 06:35 Penelope K, By The Way 06:45 Tellytales 06:55 Me Too 07:15 Forget Me Not Farm 07:30 The Roly Mo Show 07:45 Fimbles 08:00 Penelope K, By The Way 08:10 Tellytales 08:20 Me Too 08:45 Forget Me Not Farm 09:00 The Roly Mo Show 09:15 Penelope K, By The Way 09:30 Fimbles 09:50 Tellytales 10:00 Me Too 10:20 Forget Me Not Farm 10:40 Last Of The Summer Wine 11:40 The Weakest Link 12:25 Doctor Who 13:10 Doctors 13:40 Eastenders 14:10 Holby City 15:10 Last Of The Summer Wine 16:40 Doctor Who 17:25 The Weakest Link 18:10 Doctors 18:40 Eastenders 19:10 Holby City 20:10 Doctor Who 21:00 The Weakest Link 21:45 Doctors 22:15 Eastenders 22:45 Holby City 23:45 North And South

00:30 Masterchef 01:00 What Not To Wear 01:50 Glamour Puds 02:15 Chef At Home 02:35 Home For Life 03:25 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 04:05 The Restaurant UK 05:00 Daily Cooks Challenge 05:55 What Not To Wear 06:45 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 07:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 08:05 Antiques Roadshow 08:55 What Not To Wear 09:45 Antiques Roadshow 10:35 Hidden Potential 11:00 Cash In The Attic USA 11:25 Glamour Puds 11:55 Chef At Home 12:25 Home For Life 13:15 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 14:05 The Restaurant UK 14:50 What Not To Wear 15:15 Home For Life 16:00 Glamour Puds 16:25 Chef At Home 16:45 Bargain Hunt 17:30 Masterchef 18:00 Cash In The Attic USA 18:20 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:50 The Restaurant UK 20:40 Masterchef 21:30 French Food At Home 22:00 Home For Life 22:50 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 23:40 The Restaurant UK

00:00 The Garfield Show 00:25 The Scooby Doo Show 00:50 Wacky Races 01:15 Dastardly And Muttley 01:40 Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch 02:05 Popeye 02:30 The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop 02:55 Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo 03:20 Looney Tunes 03:45 The Flintstones 04:10 The Jetsons 04:35 Top Cat 05:00 Tom And Jerry 05:25 Popeye Classics 05:50 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 06:15 Tom And Jerry Kids 06:40 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 07:05 Yogi’s Treasure Hunt 07:30 Droopy And Dripple 08:00 Tom And Jerry 08:25 Looney Tunes 08:55 The Flintstones 09:20 The Jetsons 09:45 Tom And Jerry Kids 10:10 The Garfield Show 10:35 Duck Dodgers 11:00 The Scooby Doo Show 11:30 Wacky Races 12:00 Dastardly And Muttley 12:25 King Arthur’s Disasters 12:50 Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch 13:15 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 13:40 Popeye 14:05 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 14:30 Top Cat 14:55 Hong Kong Phooey 15:20 Duck Dodgers 15:45 The Jetsons 16:10 The Flintstones 16:35 Looney Tunes 17:00 Tom And Jerry 17:20 Top Cat 17:45 Wacky Races 18:00 Dastardly And Muttley 18:30 The Scooby Doo Show 19:00 Johnny Bravo 19:30 Dexter’s Laboratory 20:00 Looney Tunes 20:20 Duck Dodgers 20:45 The Garfield Show 21:10 The Flintstones 21:35 The Jetsons 22:00 Yogi’s Treasure Hunt 22:25 Tom And Jerry 22:50 The Scooby Doo Show 23:15 Droopy And Dripple 23:40 Top Cat

00:15 Out Of Jimmy’s Head 00:40 Chowder 01:05 Cow And Chicken 01:30 Cramp Twins 01:55 George Of The Jungle 02:20 Adrenalini Brothers 02:45 Eliot Kid 03:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 03:35 Ben 10: Alien Force 04:00 The Powerpuff Girls 04:15 Foster’s Home For Imaginary

Friends 04:40 The Secret Saturdays 05:05 Codename: Kids Next Door 05:30 Ben 10 05:55 Best ED 06:20 Samurai Jack 06:45 Cramp Twins 07:10 Eliot Kid 07:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 08:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 08:25 Chowder 08:50 Best ED 09:15 Chop Socky Chooks 09:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 10:05 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 10:30 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 10:55 Eliot Kid 11:20 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 11:30 Squirrel Boy 11:55 Robotboy 12:20 Camp Lazlo 12:45 The Powerpuff Girls 13:10 Class Of 3000 13:35 Ed, Edd N Eddy 14:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 14:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 14:50 Ben 10 15:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 15:40 Squirrel Boy 16:05 Eliot Kid 16:35 Casper’s Scare School 17:00 Skunk Fu! 17:25 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 17:50 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 18:15 The Secret Saturdays 18:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:05 Hero 108 19:30 Chop Socky Chooks 20:00 Best ED 20:25 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 20:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 21:05 The Powerpuff Girls 21:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 21:45 Ben 10: Alien Force 22:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 22:35 Robotboy 23:00 Camp Lazlo 23:25 Samurai Jack 23:50 Megas Xlr

01:00 Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead-18 03:00 Ceux Qui Restent-PG15 05:00 The Hi-Lo Country-18 07:00 The Secret Life Of Bees-PG15 09:00 Frame Of Mind-PG15 10:30 Australia-PG 13:30 Ambrose Bierce: Civil War StoriesPG15 15:00 Home Run-PG15 16:45 Bottle Shock-PG15 18:45 The Fisher King-18 21:00 Frida-18 23:00 Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert-18

00:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson 01:00 Backstory 01:30 World Sport 02:00 World Report 04:00 World Business Today 05:00 The Situation Room 06:00 Anderson Cooper 360 07:00 World Sport 07:30 World View 08:00 World Report 08:30 Backstory 09:00 World Report 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 World Report 12:30 Inside Africa 13:00 Larry King Live 14:00 World Report 14:30 World Sport 15:00 World Report 15:30 News Special 16:00 World Report 17:00 World Business Today 18:00 International Desk 19:00 The Brief 19:30 World Sport 20:00 Prism 20:30 News Special 21:00 International Desk 22:00 Quest Means Business 23:00 World One

00:40 Overhaulin’ 01:35 Dirty Jobs 02:30 Dual Survival 03:25 Extreme Engineering

Bran Nue Dae on Show Movies

04:20 Mythbusters 05:15 How Stuff’s Made 05:40 How Do They Do It? 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Fifth Gear 07:25 Extreme Engineering 08:15 American Chopper 09:10 Mythbusters 10:05 Ultimate Survival 10:55 Overhaulin’ 11:50 The Gadget Show 12:20 How Stuff’s Made 12:45 How Do They Do It? 13:15 Mythbusters 14:10 Miami Ink 15:05 Ultimate Survival 16:00 Dirty Jobs 16:55 Overhaulin’ 17:50 Mythbusters 18:45 Cake Boss 19:10 Border Security 19:40 The Gadget Show 20:05 How Do They Do It? 20:35 How Stuff’s Made 21:00 Miami Ink 21:55 La Ink 22:50 Pit Bulls And Parolees 23:45 Undercover

00:40 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 01:30 The Gadget Show 01:55 Building The Biggest 02:45 Mega Builders 03:35 Superships 04:25 How Does That Work? 04:50 Da Vinci’s Machines 05:45 Robotica 06:40 Weird Connections 07:10 Nextworld 08:00 Thunder Races 09:00 How Techies Changed The World 10:00 Mega Builders 10:55 Stunt Junkies 11:20 The Gadget Show 11:50 Nextworld 12:45 How Does That Work? 13:15 Da Vinci’s Machines 14:10 Weird Connections 14:35 Mega Builders 15:30 Superships 16:25 The Gadget Show 16:55 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 17:50 Building The Biggest 18:45 Brainiac 19:40 Eco-Tech 20:30 Ultimate Power Builders 21:20 How It’s Made 21:45 The Gadget Show 22:10 Race To Mars 23:00 Eco-Tech 23:50 Ultimate Power Builders

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

00:15 Pretty Wild 00:40 Dr 90210 01:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 01:55 Reality Hell 02:20 THS 03:15 Extreme Hollywood 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 40 (More) Crimes Of Fashion 07:45 Behind The Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Giuliana And Bill 09:50 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 10:15 Keeping Up With The Kardashians:... 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Behind The Scenes 13:15 Pretty Wild 13:40 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 Glamour’s 20 Wedding Do’s And Don’ts 15:25 Married Away: Italian Wedding 16:15 Behind The Scenes 17:10 Holly’s World 17:35 Fashion Police 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 19:15 Pretty Wild 19:40 E!es 20:30 Kendra 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 Giuliana And Bill 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Chelsea Lately 23:25 Kendra 23:50 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami

00:00 Mantracker Series 3 00:50 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 01:40 Untracked Series 2 02:30 Alpine Adventurer 03:20 Mantracker Series 3 04:10 Fantasy Factory 04:35 Fantasy Factory 05:00 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 05:50 Untracked Series 2 06:40 Alpine Adventurer 07:30 I-Ex 09:00 Ride Guide Snow 2009 09:50 Winter X Games Europe 2010 11:30 Flipside 11:55 Summer Dew Tour 2010 12:45 Fantasy Factory 13:35 Mantracker Series 3 14:25 Untracked Series 2 15:15 Alpine Adventurer 16:05 Summer Dew Tour 2010

16:55 Fantasy Factory 17:45 Ride Guide Snow 2009 18:35 Winter X Games Europe 2010 20:15 Flipside 20:40 Mantracker Series 3 21:30 Fantasy Factory 22:20 Summer Dew Tour 2010 23:10 Alpine Adventurer

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

00:00 Golf Channel - TBA 02:00 Golf Central International 02:30 Golf Channel - TBA 03:00 Big Ten Men’s College Basketball: North Carolina Central v Indiana 06:00 Asian Tour Barclays Singapore Open 06:30 TBA 09:00 TBA 11:00 European Tour UBS Hong Kong Open Rd. 3 15:00 Golf Central International 15:30 Asian Tour Barclays Singapore Open 16:00 Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 18:00 NHL Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils 21:00 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford 200

00:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner 01:30 Ghost Lab 02:20 A Haunting 03:10 Ripped From The Headlines 04:05 FBI Case Files 05:00 Forensic Detectives 05:55 Ghosthunters 06:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 07:10 Real Emergency Calls 08:00 Mystery Diagnosis 08:50 Real Emergency Calls 09:40 Forensic Detectives 10:30 Impossible Heists 11:20 Disappeared 12:10 FBI Files 13:00 Ghost Lab 13:50 Undercover 14:40 Mystery Diagnosis 15:30 Real Emergency Calls 16:20 Disappeared 17:10 Forensic Detectives 18:00 Impossible Heists 18:50 FBI Files 19:40 Mystery Diagnosis 20:30 Real Emergency Calls 21:20 Ghost Lab 22:10 Undercover 23:00 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 23:50 Solved

01:05 Assassination Tango 02:55 Bright Angel 04:25 January Man 06:00 Sfw 07:35 Johnny Be Good 09:00 It Runs In The Family 10:25 The Aviator 12:00 Ski Patrol 13:30 Rich In Love 15:15 Salt And Pepper 16:55 The Boyfriend School 18:35 World Of Henry Orient 20:20 Meteor Man 22:00 The 70’s

00:00 Kath and Kim 00:30 The Simpsons 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Global Edition) 01:30 Colbert Report Global 02:00 Best Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Monday night Stand Up 04:00 Family Guy 04:30 Cougar Town 05:00 Cougar Town 05:30 Eight simple Rules 06:00 Hope & Faith 06:30 Ten things I hate about you 07:00 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 08:00 The Simpsons 08:30 Eight simple Rules 09:00 Hope & Faith 09:30 Ten things I hate about you 10:00 Will & Grace 10:30 Better off Ted 11:00 Eight simple Rules 11:30 Hope & Faith 12:00 Best of Tonight Show with Jay Leno 13:00 The Simpsons 13:30 Eight simple Rules 14:00 Hope & Faith 15:00 Better Off Ted 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Global Edition) 16:00 Colbert Report Global 16:30 Ten things I hate about you 17:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 Will & Grace 19:00 The Office 19:30 Kath & Kim 20:00 Tonight Show with Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Boondocks 22:30 Bored to Death 23:00 Family Guy 23:30 The Office

Shorts on Super Movies

07:00 Lazytown 07:25 Imagination Movers 07:50 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:15 Handy Manny 08:40 Jungle Junction 08:50 Special Agent Oso 09:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:25 Handy Manny 09:50 New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 10:15 Little Einsteins 10:40 Special Agent Oso 11:05 Imagination Movers 11:30 Lazytown 11:55 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 12:20 Handy Manny 12:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 13:10 Little Einsteins 13:35 JO JO’S CIRCUS (SCANDI YR1) 14:00 Higglytown Heroes 14:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 14:50 Special Agent Oso 15:05 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 15:30 Imagination Movers 15:55 Little Einsteins 16:20 Handy Manny 16:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 17:10 New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 17:35 Special Agent Oso 17:45 Imagination Movers 18:10 Handy Manny 18:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 19:00 New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 19:25 Handy Manny 19:40 Special Agent Oso 19:50 Jungle Junction

00:00 Taking Woodstock-18 02:00 Sugar-PG15 04:00 One Week-PG 06:00 From Mexico With Love-PG15 08:00 Bran Nue Dae-PG15 10:00 Nurse.Fighter.Boy-PG15 12:00 X-Men Origins: Wolverine-PG15 14:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By The SeaFAM 16:00 Bran Nue Dae-PG15 18:00 Everybody’s Fine-PG15 20:00 Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead-18 22:00 Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past-PG15

01:00 The Tournament-18 03:00 The Italian Job (1969)-PG 05:00 Ghost Image-PG15 07:00 House Under Siege-PG15 09:00 Polar Storm-PG15 11:00 Noble Things-PG15 13:00 Shadows In Paradise-PG15 15:00 Polar Storm-PG15 17:00 Serbian Scars-PG15 19:00 Lakeview Terrace-PG15 21:00 Blood And Bone-18 23:00 Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning-18

00:00 She’s The One-PG15 02:00 Fever Pitch-PG15 04:00 The Associate-PG15 06:00 Ghost Town-PG15 08:00 Black Sheep-PG15 10:00 Everything’s Gone Green-PG15 12:00 My Bollywood Bride-PG15 14:00 Kingdom Come-PG 16:00 She’s The One-PG15 18:00 The Birdcage-18 20:00 Wild Child-PG15 22:00 Trainwreck: My Life As An Idiot18

00:00 Legend Of Sleeping Beauty-PG 02:00 Igor-PG 04:00 Scruff In Midsummer Night’s Dream-FAM 06:00 The Prince Of Dinosaurs-PG 08:00 Pocahontas III: The Journey In Time-PG

10:00 Scruff In Midsummer Night’s Dream-FAM 12:00 Red Wall: The Movie-FAM 14:00 Igor-PG 16:00 The Enchanted Mountain-PG 18:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 20:00 The Gold Retrievers: Legend Of The Lost Treasure-PG 22:00 Red Wall: The Movie-FAM

00:00 CSI: Miami 01:00 Desperate Housewives 02:00 Martha Stewart 03:00 House 04:00 The View 05:00 What’s Good For you 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Stree 07:00 House 08:00 Martha Stewart 09:00 What’s Good For you 10:00 House 11:00 The View 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Stree 13:00 Martha Stewart 14:00 CSI: Miami 15:00 Desperate Housewives 16:00 What’s Good For you 17:00 The View 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 The Closer 20:00 The Closer 21:00 House 22:00 The View 23:00 What’s Good For you

00:00 Goals On Monday 01:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 02:00 International Rugby Union 04:00 Spirit of a Champion 04:30 Spirit of Yachting 05:00 Aviva Premiership 07:00 Goals On Monday 08:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 08:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 09:30 International Rugby Union 11:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 12:00 Goals On Monday 13:00 International Rugby Union 15:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 16:00 Goals On Monday 17:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 17:30 Aviva Premiership 19:30 Goals On Monday 20:30 Brazil League Highlights 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 World Sport 22:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:30 International Rugby Union

00:00 World Sport 00:30 Premier League Snooker 04:00 Goals On Monday 05:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 06:00 ICC Cricket World 06:30 World Sport 07:00 World Pool Masters 08:00 World Hockey 08:30 Premier League Snooker 12:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 13:00 Scottish Premier League 15:00 International Rugby Union 17:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 18:00 World Sport 18:30 International Rugby Union 20:30 International Rugby Union 22:30 Brazil League Highlights 23:00 Futbol Mundial 23:30 ICC Cricket World

00:00 WWE Smackdown 02:00 WWE Vintage Collection 03:00 UFC123 Prelims 04:00 UFC 123 07:00 WWE NXT 08:00 WWE Smackdown 10:00 V8 Supercars Championship 12:00 Le Mans Classic 12:30 FIA GT1 World Championship

14:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 15:00 Red Bull X-Fighters 16:00 V8 Supercars Championship 18:00 Prizefighter 21:00 UFC Wired 22:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 23:00 UFC Unleashed

01:00 While She Was Out-18 03:00 Heaven On Earth-PG15 05:00 A Dance For Bethany-PG15 07:00 Racing For Time-PG15 09:00 Mes Stars Et Moi-PG15 11:00 From Time To Time-PG15 13:00 A Dance For Bethany-PG15 15:00 Shorts-PG 17:00 Flirting Wth Flamenco-PG15 19:00 The Day The Earth Stood StillPG15 21:00 Dorian Gray-18 23:00 Rocknrolla-18

00:40 02:20 03:10 04:00 04:55 05:50 06:40 08:20 09:10 10:00 10:55 11:50 12:40 14:20 15:10 16:00 16:55 17:50 18:40 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:55 23:50

Crap: A Short History Mega Disasters Secret Allied Aircraft of World War II Life After People The Universe Modern Marvels Crap: A Short History Mega Disasters Secret Allied Aircraft of World War II Life After People The Universe Modern Marvels Crap: A Short History Mega Disasters Secret Allied Aircraft of World War II Life After People The Universe Modern Marvels Crap: A Short History Mega Disasters Secret Allied Aircraft of World War II The Korean War Battle 360 World War II: Lost Films

00:00 Intrepid Journeys 01:00 Planet Food 02:00 Hollywood And Vines 02:30 The Thirsty Traveler 03:00 Working Holiday 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Intrepid Journeys 06:00 Chef Abroad 06:30 The Thirsty Traveler 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Travel Today 08:30 Top Travel 09:00 Travel 360 10:00 Chef Abroad 10:30 The Thirsty Traveler 11:00 Planet Sports 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Planet Food 14:00 Panasia 14:30 Top Travel 15:00 Travel 360 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Culture Shock 17:30 Chef Abroad 18:00 Panasia 18:30 The Thirsty Traveler 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Essential 20:30 Skier’s World 21:00 The Blue Continent 22:00 Word Travels 22:30 Travel Today 23:00 Globe Trekker

01:20 The Killer Elite 03:20 Key Largo 05:00 The Screening Room 05:30 Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid 07:30 The Screening Room 08:00 On The Town 09:35 A Patch Of Blue 11:20 Ride The High Country 12:55 Singin’ In The Rain 14:35 Key Largo 16:15 Seven Brides For Seven Brothers 17:55 Casablanca 19:35 The Wings Of Eagles 21:20 Welcome To Hard Times 23:00 Passion Fish


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

33 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

ACCOMMODATION

In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Airlines WAN GFA ETH THY UAE DHX QTR FDB ETD JZR JZR KAC AFR JZR JZR KAC BAW KAC FCX KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC UAE KAC QTR ABY ETD GFA IRA IRA WAN JZR MHK WAN JZR JZR MSR JZR KAC FDB UAL SVA KAC MHK QTR KAC KAC JZR MLR ETD UAE GFA SVA JZR RJA JZR JZR ABY ALK JZR WAN WAN KAC KAC KAC WAN KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC WAN SIA VOS FDB OMA WAN JAI SYR MSR WAN KAC DHX GFA MEA JZR QTR UAE KLM IAC JZR MSR JZR UAL WAN DLH WAN PIA

Arrival Flights on Tuesday 23/11/2010 Flt Route 306 CAIRO 211 BAHRAIN 620 ADDIS ABABA 772 ISTANBUL 853 DUBAI 370 BAHRAIN 138 DOHA 67 DUBAI 305 ABU DHABI 529 ASSIUT 207 DAMASCUS 544 CAIRO 6700 PARIS 555 ALEXANDRIA 503 LUXOR 416 JAKARTA / KUALA LUMPUR 157 LONDON 412 MANILA / BANGKOK 201 BAHRAIN 206 ISLAMABAD 53 DUBAI 382 DELHI 302 MUMBAI 332 TRIVANDRUM 676 DUBAI 284 DHAKA 855 DUBAI 286 CHITTAGONG 132 DOHA 123 SHARJAH 301 ABU DHABI 213 BAHRAIN 605 ISFAHAN 619 LAR 182 BAHRAIN 787 RIYADH 711 NAJAF 102 DUBAI 121 BAHRAIN 165 DUBAI 610 CAIRO 257 BEIRUT 672 DUBAI 57 DUBAI 982 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 500 JEDDAH 562 AMMAN 712 NAJAF 134 DOHA 746 ABU DHABI / DAMMAM 546 ALEXANDRIA 549 ALEXANDRIA 403 COLOMBO / DUBAI 303 ABU DHABI 857 DUBAI 215 BAHRAIN 510 RIYADH 213 DEIREZZOR 800 AMMAN 777 JEDDAH 239 AMMAN 127 SHARJAH 227 COLOMBO / DUBAI 177 DUBAI 304 CAIRO 204 JEDDAH 502 BEIRUT 542 CAIRO 618 DOHA 106 DUBAI 786 JEDDAH 614 BAHRAIN 674 DUBAI 166 PARIS / ROME 104 LONDON 774 RIYADH 552 DAMASCUS 642 VIENNA 458 SINGAPORE / ABU DHABI 93 KANDAHAR / DUBAI 61 DUBAI 647 MUSCAT 612 ISTANBUL 572 MUMBAI 341 DAMASCUS 618 ALEXANDRIA 402 BEIRUT 512 TEHRAN 372 BAHRAIN 217 BAHRAIN 402 BEIRUT 185 DUBAI 136 DOHA 859 DUBAI 443 AMSTERDAM 981 CHENNAI / AHMEDABAD 157 DOHA 612 CAIRO 135 BAHRAIN 981 BAHRAIN 186 BAHRAIN 636 FRANKFURT 108 DUBAI 205 LAHORE / PESHAWER

Time 0:40 1:40 1:45 2:15 2:35 2:45 2:45 3:05 3:10 3:45 3:50 4:40 4:45 6:00 6:05 6:25 6:40 6:45 7:00 7:40 7:45 7:50 7:55 8:05 8:10 8:15 8:30 8:35 9:00 9:05 9:30 9:35 9:45 10:35 10:50 10:55 11:00 11:05 11:10 11:20 12:55 13:00 13:25 13:50 14:10 14:30 14:40 14:45 15:00 15:05 15:30 16:15 16:40 16:50 16:55 17:05 17:20 17:25 17:30 17:30 17:40 17:45 18:10 18:15 18:25 18:25 18:45 18:50 18:55 18:55 19:10 19:20 19:25 19:30 19:35 19:40 19:45 19:50 20:00 20:00 20:05 20:10 20:15 20:15 20:20 20:35 20:50 20:55 21:00 21:15 21:20 21:30 21:35 21:40 21:40 22:05 22:10 22:45 22:55 23:00 23:10 23:35 23:55 23:55

Airlines TAR UAL IAC PIA BBC DLH ETH THY DHX FDB UAE ETD QTR AFR WAN JZR JZR JZR GFA JZR JZR FDB WAN KAC KAC BAW JZR KAC KAC KAC KAC UAE ABY QTR ETD GFA IRA WAN IRA JZR KAC WAN MHK KAC JZR JZR KAC KAC JZR MSR KAC WAN FDB KAC WAN UAL KAC SVA MHK KAC KAC KAC QTR JZR MLR ETD VOS GFA WAN UAE RJA ABY JZR SVA JZR ALK JZR KAC KAC FDB KAC JZR KAC OMA JAI SYR SIA MSR KAC DHX KAC GFA MEA JZR FCX KAC QTR KLM KAC UAE JZR JZR MSR KAC

Departure Flights on Tuesday 23/11/2010 Flt Route 328 DUBAI / TUNIS 981 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 576 GOA / CHENNAI 240 SIALKOT 44 DHAKA 637 FRANKFURT 620 BAHRAIN / ADDIS ABABA 773 ISTANBUL 371 BAHRAIN 68 DUBAI 854 DUBAI 306 ABU DHABI 139 DOHA 6700 DUBAI / HONG KONG 101 DUBAI 164 DUBAI 164 DUBAI 256 BEIRUT 212 BAHRAIN 786 RIYADH 120 BAHRAIN 54 DUBAI 641 VIENNA 545 ALEXANDRIA 545 ALEXANDRIA 156 LONDON 548 ALEXANDRIA 671 DUBAI 745 DAMMAM / ABU DHABI 561 AMMAN 101 LONDON / NEW YORK 856 DUBAI 124 SHARJAH 133 DOHA 302 ABU DHABI 214 BAHRAIN 604 ISFAHAN 611 ISTANBUL 618 LAR 212 DEIREZZOR 165 ROME / PARIS 303 CAIRO 712 NAJAF 541 CAIRO 776 JEDDAH 238 AMMAN 501 BEIRUT 785 JEDDAH 176 DUBAI 611 CAIRO 551 DAMASCUS 105 DUBAI 58 DUBAI 673 DUBAI 401 BEIRUT 982 BAHRAIN 617 DOHA 501 JEDDAH 713 NAJAF 613 BAHRAIN 511 TEHRAN 773 RIYADH 135 DOHA 184 DUBAI 404 DUBAI / COLOMBO 304 ABU DHABI 82 BAGHDAD 216 BAHRAIN 305 CAIRO 858 DUBAI 801 AMMAN 128 SHARJAH 156 DOHA 511 RIYADH 266 BEIRUT 228 DUBAI / COLOMBO 134 BAHRAIN 283 DHAKA 361 COLOMBO 62 DUBAI 351 COCHIN 528 ASSIUT 343 CHENNAI 648 MUSCAT 571 MUMBAI 342 DAMASCUS 457 ABU DHABI / SINGAPORE 619 ALEXANDRIA 543 CAIRO 373 BAHRAIN 677 DUBAI / MUSCAT 218 BAHRAIN 403 BEIRUT 206 DAMASCUS 102 BAHRAIN 381 DELHI 137 DOHA 443 BAHRAIN / AMSTERDAM 301 MUMBAI 860 DUBAI 502 LUXOR 554 ALEXANDRIA 613 CAIRO 411 BANGKOK / MANILA

Time 0:25 0:45 0:50 1:10 1:15 1:30 2:30 3:15 3:45 3:45 3:50 4:00 4:55 6:30 6:50 6:55 6:55 7:00 7:15 7:40 8:20 8:25 8:40 8:50 8:50 8:55 9:00 9:00 9:05 9:20 9:35 9:40 9:45 10:00 10:20 10:25 10:45 11:30 11:35 11:45 11:45 11:50 11:55 12:00 12:00 12:10 13:00 13:40 13:50 13:55 14:20 14:35 14:35 15:10 15:15 15:25 15:35 15:45 16:00 16:20 16:25 16:25 16:30 17:05 17:40 17:40 18:00 18:05 18:05 18:10 18:15 18:25 18:30 18:35 18:40 19:10 20:05 20:15 20:20 20:50 20:55 21:00 21:05 21:10 21:15 21:20 21:25 21:35 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:15 22:20 22:20 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:45 22:50 23:00 23:45 23:45 23:55

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

Sharing accommodation available for bachelors or family opposite Al Rashid hospital, Amman street Salmiya. Contact: 65515717. (C 2881) 23-10-2010 Room for rent (partition), for couple or working ladies. Near big jamiya Farwaniya, available from November 23, 2010. Contact: 66826412. 22-11-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for one or two working ladies or married couple with Keralite family. Contact: 66013882. (C 2874) Room for rent, big room in Farwaniya, block - 1, near Canary, near Fire station. Contact: 99035093. (C 2875) Sharing accommodation available in Abbasiya for an executive bachelor from December 2010 onwards. (Keralites only) Contact: 66725048. (C 2877) Furnished 2 BR apartment

in Mangaf, Street 100, from January 2011. Rent KD 200, furniture KD 450, sharing possible. Contact: 66601523 / 23728467. (C 2876) 21-11-2010 Sharing accommodation available in New Riggai (CA/C building) for family or working ladies. Only Keralites. Contact: 99874350. (C 2872) 20-11-2010

edge of chilled water system. Email: comp.tech392@gmail.com (C 2883) 23-11-2010 Need a job as accountant. I am B.Com + MBA, 4 years experience in Kuwait, good reporting & software skills, hard worker & good organizational behavior. I have car & driving license. Contact: 55355954. (C 2878) 22-11-2010

SITUATION WANTED

Workshop foreman, building maint co-ordinator, Indian male, over 20 years experience in rebuilding semi hermetic HVAC compressors with good knowl-

Call 55522942. (C 2882) 23-11-2010 2009 model Nissan Altima, full option, red color, mileage 25000 km, accident free, cash KD 1000 (negotiable). Installments to be carried over with financing company (43 months x KD 95/month). Contact: 66774928. (C 2879) 22-11-2010 Toyota Corolla, model 2009 XLi, green color, excellent condition, cash price KD 3,400. (Installment possible). Contact: 55271217. (C 2873) 20-10-2010

FOR SALE

SITUATION VACANT

Nissan Maxima 2001 model, gold color, CD cassette player, mileage 110,000 km, full option. Price KD 1250.

Required English speaking maid/nanny. Please contact 99824597. (C 2880) 23-10-2010

The word “arithmetic,” in its oldest Greek form, comes from the word arithmetike, which combines the ideas of two words in Greek, arithmos, meaning “number,” and techne, referring to an art or skill.

“Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.”

— World Almanac for Kids

— Albert Einstein, on brainyquote.com.

Willow Smith whips up a hip hop hit There’s a new video that’s gone viral, and maybe you’ve seen it: “Whip My Hair” by Willow Smith ring any bells? The music video has already attracted more than 8 million views on video streaming website YouTube. In it, Willow dips her long braids in a small bit of red paint and whips her head around, coloring a drab, monochromatic school cafeteria into a multitude of hues, as other students soon join her in hair-whipping frenzy. Willow, who just turned 10 on Oct. 31, said in an interview with MTV that the song is meant to inspire people to believe in themselves, because “the best thing is you.” The lyrics encourage people to “pay no attention to them haters.” Willow conveys her confidence in the music video while happily dancing, modeling her various hairstyles and smirking coyly at the camera. Undoubtedly, most people knew R O C N AT I O N . C O M Willow was going to go places. Her father is Will Smith, the acclaimed actor from films like “I, Robot,” “Hitch,” “I Am Legend” (which Willow also appeared in) and the “Men in Black” movies. Her mother is actress Jada Pinkett Smith, of the “Matrix” movies and the television show “Hawthorne.” In an interview with People magazine, her father said Willow has a strong work ethic and determination. For example, when filming her role in “I Am Legend,” Willow was determined to finish her shots despite the low temperatures. Jay-Z’s record label, Roc Nation, signed Willow on as one of its artists in part because of her work ethic. In an interview with MTV, Jay-Z said Willow has a “wealth of information and ideas. She has child innocence, but she has a clear vision of what she wants and who she wants to be.”

W H I T E H O U S E P H OTO B Y P E T E S O U Z A

President Barack Obama looks at the inner workings of a robot that plays soccer, built by a team from Blue Bell, Pa. In October, the President hosted students who won science, technology, engineering and math competitions.

President Obama hosts the White House Science Fair BY ANDREA DELBANCO/TIME FOR KIDS “When you win first place at a science fair, nobody’s rushing the field or dumping Gatorade over your head,” said President Barack Obama, speaking to a room full of young science scholars. But he believes that achievement in science should be celebrated more. “In many ways, our future depends on what happens in those contests,” he said. That’s why he invited the middle and high-school winners of science, technology, engineering and math contests to show their work at the White House Science Fair recently. Award-winning projects at the fair included a robot that plays soccer and a device to discourage texting while driving. There was a special wheelchair designed to help a classmate, and a “smart toilet” that cuts back on water use. The President was intrigued by a test of whether foam is the best material to pad safety helmets. Obama asked seventh-graders Jonathan Berman, Benjamin Kotzubei and Austin Veseliza, from Los Angeles, Calif., to exW H I T E H O U S E P H OTO B Y C H U C K K E N N E DY plain their investigation. They revealed Obama looks at a model of their findings: foam isn’t the best material. a solar car built by Mikayla A gel liner is better, but more expensive. Nelson of Billings, Mont. The President spent almost an hour viewing the 11 projects that were on display in the State Dining Room. He had questions, and congratulations, for the presenters. “It’s hard to describe just how impressive these young people are,” he said.

LET’S GET SERIOUS ABOUT SCIENCE Obama says the United States is being outpaced by the achievements of other countries in science and math. He challenged American students to move from the middle to the top in these important subjects. “We can think of Einstein, Edison, Franklin, Tesla and the founders of Google and Apple and Microsoft,” Obama said. “But now we’ve got some other people to think about, like Mikayla Nelson, who’s here today. . . She and her classmates built a solar-powered car that won the design award in the National Science Bowl. . . There’s no doubt we can expect great things from her.” The President announced that he will appear in an episode of “Mythbusters,” a Discovery Channel science show, Dec. 8. He will test the myth that Greek scientist Archimedes set fire to an invading Roman fleet using mirrors to reflect the sun.

— Michelle Chan, MCT

Peanut-butterfly Looking for a healthy snack? Try a Nut Butter– fly. Simply make a nut-butter sandwich using apple slices, cut it into quarters, arrange the pieces as shown, and add a trimmed carrot stick.

MCT

— Disney FamilyFun magazine

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

How can I stop being scared? DEAR AMERICAN GIRL: I’m always scared when I see a scary movie or show on TV. I end up getting up in the middle of the night and sleeping on the floor in my mom’s room. How can I not be a scaredy-cat? — Scared I You know the frightening scenes in movies are fake, but special effects make them seem real. When you see something upsetting, it can stick with you for a long time. So instead of trying not to be scared of scary things (which is really hard!), it might be better to avoid watching frightening stuff in the first place. If you’re tempted to watch a scary show, remember how freaked out you’ll feel later. If you know you’ll regret watching it, don’t watch.

DEAR AMERICAN GIRL: I’m big on safety. I’m afraid to take chances because I’m afraid I’ll get hurt. I can never have fun because I’m a safety freak. — Ms. Safety I Being safe is important, but if you spend too much time thinking about every bad thing that could happen, you’ll be too scared to do anything. Next time you’re tempted to try something new, ask someone who knows how to do it for advice. Make sure you have the right equipment and safety gear. Then take a deep breath and give it a whirl. Don’t let fear stop you from trying new things! Visit “Fun for Girls” at americangirlmagazine.com to get © 2010 American Girl, LLC. All rights reserved. or give advice.

M A RT Y W E S T M A N / M C T

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

DISNEY FA M I LY F U N M AG A Z I N E


SPECTRUM

34 CROSSWORD 147

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) There are entrepreneurial energies available to you now and they continue to promote harmonious risk-taking. Make new starts in as many areas as possible and be willing to take chances that can further your dreams. The energy for achieving your goals is strong! Actively take charge of whatever needs to be done to make your dreams come true. Make a plan and follow it as closely as possible. Reassess it often and change it when necessary. The point is to get moving; this is your time to achieve and get ahead. Melodramatic complications can come from young people this afternoon, particularly if they are not use to you taking charge. This may all culminate in a happy outcome when a chart reveals time and date with names and checkmarks for chores. Hugs! Taurus (April 20-May 20) A high-tech or idealistic approach sets you apart. You are at your mental best with sharp ideas and clear thoughts. This is an excellent time to make decisions and take care of mental work. You develop a knack for being in the right place at the right time. You easily win the admiration of others. A drive to probe and penetrate may find you examining and working through many changes that relate to your profession. Big changes affecting your career, status and reputation are likely at this time. There is much to enjoy as many parties and gatherings are near. Take your time and prepare gifts and treats ahead of time for holiday events next month. If you are not cooking, start now to find little store-bought treats you know will please your friends.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A low vibrating sound typical of a contented cat v 1. 5. Molten rock in the earth's crust. 10. White crystalline compound used as a food additive to enhance flavor. 13. The chief solid component of mammalian urine. 14. The principal evil jinni in Islamic mythology. 15. A health resort near a spring or at the seaside. 16. Tough Asiatic grass whose culms are used for ropes and baskets. 17. Spanish architect who was a leading exponent of art nouveau in Europe (1852-1926). 18. A graphical record of electrical activity of the brain. 19. Remote city of Kazakhstan that (ostensibly for security reasons) was made the capital in 1998. 21. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 23. A small cake leavened with yeast. 25. An emotional response that has been acquired by conditioning. 26. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 29. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 31. An edge tool used to cut and shape wood. 35. Usually brightly colored zygodactyl tropical birds with short hooked beaks and the ability to mimic sounds. 37. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 39. Having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions. 40. English essayist (1775-1834). 41. A software system that facilitates the creation and maintenance and use of an electronic database. 43. A dark-skinned member of a race of people living in Australia when Europeans arrived. 44. An assertion of a right (as to money or property). 46. Yielding a fair profit. 48. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 51. An enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of many body compounds (e.g., epinephrine and norepinephrine and serotonin). 52. Regional and archaic. 55. (folklore) A corpse that rises at night to drink the blood of the living. 59. A local computer network for communication between computers. 60. Lower in esteem. 63. One who works hard at boring tasks. 64. The 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet. 65. A historical region of southwestern India on the west coast. 67. The basic unit of money in Albania. 68. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 69. A port city in southwestern Iran. 70. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. DOWN 1. Large American feline resembling a lion. 2. Large recently extinct long-horned European wild ox. 3. Shattered or torn up or torn apart violently as by e.g. wind or lightning or explosive. 4. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 5. Large Old World bat of warm and tropical regions that feeds on fruit. 6. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 7. Cement consisting of a sticky substance that is used as an adhesive. 8. Used in combination to denote the middle. 9. A line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage. 10. One thousandth of a second. 11. A detailed description of design criteria for a piece of work. 12. Mentally or physically infirm with age. 20. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 22. Any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses. 24. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 27. A telephone connection. 28. An elaborate song for solo voice. 30. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 32. Lacking or deprive of the sense of hearing wholly or in part. 33. Domesticated ox having a humped back and long horns and a large dewlap. 34. An organic compound that contains a hydroxyl group bonded to a carbon atom which in turn is doubly bonded to another carbon atom. 36. An Indian side dish of yogurt and chopped cucumbers and spices. 38. (Islam) The man who leads prayers in a mosque. 42. The granite-like rocks that form the outermost layer of the earth's crust. 45. A percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood or bone (usually held between the thumb and fingers) that are made to click together (as by Spanish dancers) in rhythm with the dance. 47. The Hebrew patriarch who saved himself and his family and the animals by building an ark in which they survived 40 days and 40 nights of rain. 49. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 50. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 53. King of Saudi Arabia since 1982 (born in 1922). 54. A town in north central Oklahoma. 55. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 56. A landlocked republic in northwestern Africa. 57. Made agreeably cold (especially by ice). 58. A town and port in northwestern Israel in the eastern Mediterranean. 61. Experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness. 62. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 66. An associate degree in nursing.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Your ambition is strong. Things seem to fall in place and progress is easy. You are in a time of expanding consciousness and heightened awareness. You will prosper through new insights, inventions and an independent point of view. Others may find you a little quiet today; little do they know that those late night talk shows and trips to the library are helping to educate you about world affairs and planet health issues. You may even be plotting a path to help create awareness so that others will help toward healing our planet. Consider recording some shows to get better rest. Although financial rewards will come through your hard work, decorating projects, landscaping and real estate could be lucrative for you in the coming years.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This is a busy time and you will find your attention is needed in several different directions. There could be times in the work place today that you would be presented with the choice of gossip or joke-playing or some other non-work activityódonít. Your behavior is an example to others; make it positive. You may receive sudden news that will create much excitement today. Share this news with a loved one; it will bring you closer together. There are new social contacts that come to you through your co-workers—perhaps, someone new. The power of organization on a social scale, such as business or political affairs, seems to take greater importance. Look through your clothes this evening and list the things you need for an upcoming event. Leo (July 23-August 22) Give very little energy to the difficult person in your office or the short-tempered driver that may be in your way of making an appointment on time today. Any negatives can distract you from your goals and keep you out of focus just now. Effort is important with your work—staying away from emotional issues is a very wise plan. You may be feeling more private and in a stay-at-home mood this evening. A cycle of nostalgia and domesticity begins now emphasizing a need for security and a sense of roots. You might enjoy getting out the old photograph albums to enjoy. Be sure to write the names of people you remember, under each picture so that future generations will know whom the pictures are all about. Consider filling the room with soft music.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) This is a beneficial time that will accommodate your efforts to achieve a balance between the physical and the emotional parts of your life. In the work place, a compromise is the order of the day. Instead of deciding that you are not going to do something, talk it out and try to find a beneficial result. You may find that both your personal growth and your career depend upon how you can compromise. Problems and obstacles are short-lived when you give them your personal attention. You have a friend that depends on you to speak up when he or she is not thinking in a focused way. You might be more help if you were to encourage him or her to learn on his or her own. Perhaps you could both take a problem-solving class. Challenges help us stretch and grow.

Libra (September 23-October 22) You may feel your independence is blocked. Take the initiative—work cooperatively to reach mutual goals. You reason and analyze endlessly and are never happier than when fully engaged in some project. You may be tempted to place a bet later today. An opportunity to improve your financial situation will soon present itselfódonít let it slip through your fingers by involving yourself with reckless gambles. The planets, at this time, help actualize or bring out your sensitive side. You are seductive and affectionate and if you are single, you may find that this is a good time to seek and find a special relationship. If you are not single, this is an excellent time to build upon your present relationship. You cook this evening and set the table with candles.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) The energy for today is positive, especially as you relate to the work place. It is easy to accomplish your goals for the day. Take chances and follow your dream. There are positive energies for successful entrepreneurial endeavors today and tomorrow. You could feel great support from those around you, or circumstances could dictate your taking action—you feel healthy and natural. Your mental energies may undergo some transformation or change—there is a natural sense of growth and development. Your thoughts count now—use your mind and communicate—write your novel. Tonight, while writing out personal checks in order to take care of some debts, you may discover the accounts are in better shape than you thought. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) If you are working, much progress is realized. At home, you work to decorate and prepare for the next upcoming holiday. One question keeps gnawing at your mind and that is who the person might be that you could invite to a social get-together. You could feel that anything is possible. Young people gather in your home this evening for some sort of meeting. This could mean you have volunteered to have girl scouts or boy scouts or a church group of young people as a planning committee for the same upcoming holiday. Your organizational abilities and sense of responsibility will be what guides you and proves successful. You have all the drive and energy you could want and it should be easy to channel. Be careful that you do not overspend just now.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This may be a tough day to solve problems or to look for insights and solutions. You may feel that your independence is stifled or just not available just now. Someone older may tend to stifle your freedom. You may have to abandon your own ideas for those of another. It could be time to reassess your goals. Your appreciation for hard work and discipline is natural and lifelong but it may be time to change your professional standing. You actually love responsibility and tend to pile on the work. You will prosper by pursuing your dreams of how you want your life to be. Do not be afraid to project yourself. Speaking out is the only way to really know what works and what does not work. A positive change in financial status is possible very soon.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your attitude

Yesterday’s Solution

about your work is commendable today. If there is a job, you can do it. As a hard worker, you pour yourself into any task with absolute determination. You are responsible to the extreme and take on obligations as though you cannot get enough. Others could seek you out for your psychological insight and understanding. This could be a time to make changes in your environment. Obtaining and exchanging information takes on a more emotional significance for you now. Being more involved with neighbors or sibling(s) satisfies a deep emotional need this evening. Communicating feelings becomes more important. You have a natural ability to use emotions in productive ways. Entertaining others is one form this might take.

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You have an inner urge for order and organization and a great sense of responsibility. You are competent, ambitious and cool. This marks the coming of a good time as far as career and social life are concerned. If you have not discovered this already, it seems your time of paying dues is over. Real accomplishment and focus are possible now. You are a very hard worker and driven to accomplish the projects before you. You like to manipulate a situation for its own benefit and this would make you a natural supervisor. You can demonstrate great consideration and sensitivity to the needs of others and may find yourself as a representative or possibly a politician when it comes to your community. It is easy for you to be a counselor for others.


INFORMATION

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

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

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

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

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

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

24874330/9 CLINICS

Roudha

22517733

Adhaliya

22517144

Khaldiya

24848075

Keifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Khadissiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

22456536

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22465401

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25316254

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SPECTRUM

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ake Gyllenhaal plans to celebrate his 30th birthday in the Arctic scuba-diving with walruses. The ‘Love and Other Drugs’ star reaches the landmark age on December 19 and will be joined by his family for the sub-zero adventure in the in the Arctic Circle. He decided on the unusual trip because he wanted to do something completely different. Jake said: “The only reason I’m doing it is I wanted to do something that absolutely terrified me - killer whales and walruses and freezing cold water? That seems absolutely terrifying.” The actor - who is rumored to be dating Taylor Swift - insists he is no longer worried about saying goodbye to his 20s after having a conversation with his older sister Maggie

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ougie Poynter is devastated after girlfriend Frankie Sandford dumped him for a second time. The McFly bassist and The Saturdays beauty - who reconciled earlier this year following a brief split in February - brokeup again last week after Frankie moved out of the house they shared. A friend of Dougie’s told the Metro newspaper: “He is devastated. He didn’t see it coming at all and still doesn’t know why. They were planning to settle down and were actually house-hunting. “It’s the second time Frankie has done this after she dumped him in February but came back in tears and said she made a mistake.” Another pal claims that Frankie’s love of partying maybe to blame for the separation as Dougie and his bandmates Tom Fletcher, Harry Judd and Danny Jones are not interested in celebrity bashes. The friend said: “Frankie always seems to be out partying, playing the celeb scene. The McFly lads don’t really do that.” Although the couple battled to save their relationship after reconciling earlier this year, Frankie realized things weren’t working out. The source said: “Frankie felt they had gone as far as they could. They split earlier this year but got back together to make things work but sadly it didn’t. Frankie has moved out of the place they shared.” Dougie - who had dated Frankie for almost two years before she dumped him last week - recently confessed he was waiting for her to propose. He said: “I’m waiting for her to ask me. We’re new school. We wait for the women to ask us. I’ll have a big diamond please!”

Gyllenhaal, who is 32. He added: “I was talking to my sister the other day about being 30 and celebrating the life you’ve had up to this point. I feel there’s a massive sort of sea change coming in myself and I’m psyched.” Ahead of his plans to swim with walruses in the Arctic, Jake recently revealed he feels as though the start of the next decade of his life marks a new beginning. He said: “I’m not 30 yet, but I definitely feel more like myself. I feel like now, it’s just the beginning. I guess you get to a point at 30 or somewhere and you say, ‘What I am, is what I am and that’s what I’m going to be and that’s all good. I don’t need to be anything else.’ And that’s kind of how I feel.”

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ilary Duff sends sexy photos of herself to husband Mike Comrie because she wants to keep their marriage “interesting”. The singer-andactress - who married the Canadian ice hockey player in August after dating him for three years - is happy to send Mike intimate images of herself although never lets her face been seen in them. When asked by radio DJ Billy Bush if she sends Mike sexy pictures from her phone, Hilary replied: “Oh my

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mma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint used to hide from their bodyguards. The trio - who played Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley in the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise for almost ten years - hated having to be followed wherever they went and so would to try and make an escape as often as possible. Emma said: “I hate having bodyguards and when we were younger, Dan, Rupert and I used to try to hide from the people trying to keep an eye on us.” Now

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ay-Z has revealed he shot his brother when he was just 12. The rap superstar pulled a gun on his drug-addicted older sibling Eric after he discovered he had stolen his ring. The hip-hop mogul real name Shawn Carter - decided to get himself a firearm and take revenge. He told The Guardian Weekend magazine: “I went to someone’s crib, someone’s house, and got a gun. Guns were everywhere. You didn’t have to go far to get one. Just everywhere... But after the shooting he admits he was fearful about would happen next, he added: “I thought my life was over. I thought I’d go to jail forever. It was terrible. I was a boy, a child. I was terrified.” However, Jay-Z’s fears never came to anything, because Eric decided not to press charges and instead apologized to his brother for stealing and for being a crack addict. The ‘Empire State of Mind’ rapper - who is married to Beyonce Knowles - grew up in the tough Marcy Houses projects in Brooklyn, in New York City. This year he was named the highest-earning man in hip-hop by Forbes after raking in $63 million in the last 12 months, thanks to his ‘Blueprint 3’ world tour and other ventures including his record label, fashion line, and stakes in the New York Nets basketball team, Broadway music ‘Fela!’ and a chain of sports bars.

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God you’re going to get me in trouble ... never with my face in it. “We’ve gotta keep it fun, gotta keep it interesting.” Hilary isn’t worried about anyone else seeing her body because she trusts her husband not to show the snaps to any of his friends. She said: “He’d know better than to forward them on!” While she admits to sending raunchy messages to Mike to help keep her marriage interesting, Hilary recently revealed she is still adjusting to their long distance marriage. The 23-year-old star spends most of her time in Los Angeles for work, while her sportsman spouse plays for Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL league. She said: “Now he’s gone and I’m like, ‘No, you left me too soon! What’s happening?’ That kind of sucks. But we’re used to that long distance thing and we’re going to figure it out. It means a lot of travelling for me this year, but that’s OK.” — BangShowbiz

ictoria Beckham is helping her friend Eva Longoria get over her split from husband Tony Parker and is organizing a girls’ night out for the actress. The former Spice Girls singer - who was known as ‘Posh Spice’ during her time in the girl group - is devastated for her close pal following the ‘Desperate Housewives’ actress’ announcement last week she is separating from the basketball player. The 36-year-old star is determined to bring a smile back to Eva’s face and is organizing a girls-only night out for her. A source told the Daily Star newspaper: “Victoria has rounded all the girl troops in their inner clique so they can have some girly time and relax. Posh has given her some sexy VB dresses to cheer her up and is planning a night out for Eva with all their celeb friends.” Victoria has also invited the 35-year-old actress to her Los Angeles home to spend Thanksgiving Day with her and her family - husband David Beckham and sons

the stunning actress - who is juggling her acting and modeling careers with studying at Brown University in America - has learned to accept attention from fans and prefers to go out without any bodyguards as she is often able to go out without being disturbed. She added: “Now it’s like ‘Really, I’m fine.’ I take the train and the bus and, if I don’t dress up too much, I’m usually fine. Occasionally people stop me but I’d rather deal with that than not go out at all. That’d be really tragic.”

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Brooklyn, 11, Romeo, eight, and fiveyear-old Cruz. The source added: “Victoria has asked her over for dinner and wine to cheer her up.” Victoria and David struck up a close friendship with Eva and Tony when they first moved to Los Angeles in 2007. The former couple helped the British stars settle into Hollywood. The screen star filed papers to dis-

solve her three-year marriage last Wednesday, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the break-up. The 28-year-old sportsman filed his own divorce papers in Bexar County, Texas, on Friday, stating the “marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities between Petitioner and Respondent”

. at home r game where te u p m o nac move moves o “There’s one . You ‘Jersey p : th 8 m id 1 a u s p r fist She a bunch ted he like, the cond! We got es celebra dance-off o s d u r u y o y C o ga iley for a se ryone g by havin ingerShore’ it going on. Eve om have birthday mother. The s ne s e m to r good. of mov n me and my with he ches the miles rly g to be me! in e o h g w a ’s a d e o it wil t ga ess re ve an raphy, s e at tha and-actr decided to ha the American choreog , she beats m esterday, I t g u b in d y n w m y toda he a follo “My mo 600,000 points a good e night where s ad uch party th ards (AMAs) the danceh s e is h e S ey has h w n ,000. S y gets it.” Mil ed 0 0 Music A us competed o e bash, Miley 3 d a n h all r ons plan - she re Tish Cy aking before th ing later - we dancer other celebrati revealed she e c p n S a . d r t f s o d ou flo a host o irthday and has ial day She my frien m going b ec said: “I’ t a space so all om actually for her lebrate her sp “I have a u e ’: c d o rented o . Me and my m e night later to o e w k y li month e th s Holl s e c in e whole e - it’s c e th can com reography for ‘A c o n d a ld d I to . e a c th w o ing, k mon have ch loves it when and Tish birthday ber. Thanksgiv iving!” e e n o h s y m g ays a ever of Nove me on Thanks Miley s through out unison.” rrently going Billy Ray b a ll a u d who is c ith Miley’s da eir dance w th e c e r c o ti c iv a d often pr Cyrus -

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SPECTRUM

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 is sermon complete, the visiting preacher offers a benediction, then steps out into the vestibule to shake hands and perhaps sell a few copies of his testimonial book. From the mob that forms, a girl pushes to the front and thrusts out her hand to reveal a bejeweled Elvis Presley wristwatch. The preacher smiles graciously as a white-haired woman bends his ear about her pilgrimages to Graceland and confesses to keeping a cloth painting of “the King” on her bedroom wall. Others tell of watching Elvis on television or driving with friends to the next town over on Saturday afternoons to catch his latest movie. The pastor beams. He knows most of the people who have turned out for evening service at Branch Chapel Freewill Baptist didn’t come to hear Rick Stanley, evangelist. They came for Elvis’ stepbrother. “Those little ladies, telling them stories. ... They think I’M Elvis,” Stanley whispers, almost conspiratorially. “Well, I’m the closest thing to it, to them.” Elvis has been dead 33 years, but his stepbrother is still on the road. For about 10 months of the year, the silver-haired evangelist crisscrosses the country, speaking in school auditoriums and preaching for “love offerings” in churches big and small, his message equal parts Holy Spirit and Elvis’ ghost. Where he once worked behind the scenes as Presley’s personal aid, Stanley has since become something of a celebrity himself, sharing the stage with the likes of evangelist Billy Graham and holding hands in prayer with former President Bill Clinton. A former heroin addict, he uses the story of his own journey from Graceland to grace as an example of Christ’s redemptive love. But in his talks, Jesus and Elvis share top billing. The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll is his calling card, Stanley’s ticket to “go in places and do stuff GREAT men of God have prayed for.” “I wouldn’t have ANYTHING without Elvis,” he says, simply. “I mean, I was trailer trash.” Stanley makes no apologies about using Elvis’ name to minister, but there are those who feel he should. Some who were closest to Elvis question the sincerity of Stanley’s conversion. They say he has exaggerated his association with the singer, that the money he accepts for speaking is for his own personal gain. Worst of all, they say, he has yet to come clean about the day “the King” died. Says Jerry Schilling, Elvis’ boyhood friend and manager:”He doesn’t exist to me, OK?” Sliding into a booth at a chain restaurant off Interstate 95, Stanley lays a cell phone, an Apple iPad and a leatherbound New King James Bible on the table. He is nearing the end of a swing through east North Carolina tobacco country: five schools, a community college and three churches in eight days. At 56, he is 14 years older than Elvis was when he died. He has been touring the country for almost as long as his famous stepsibling was on this Earth. Before tucking into his meal of Mexican soup and cheese biscuits, he bows his head in prayer. “I pray you use me tonight,” he says. “Give me favor with these people. They understand it’s not all about my brother. He’s a CHAP-ter. He’s not the book.” But he doesn’t deny that Elvis was a big, important chapter. The future preacher was 5 when he and his brothers, Billy and David, entered what he calls “E World.” It was 1958, and the family was living in West Germany, where father Bill Stanley was stationed with the Army. That same year, a young draftee named Elvis Presley arrived, with his dad Vernon in tow. Bill Stanley was an alcoholic, and his wife, Dee, was very unhappy. Then she met Vernon, and the petite blond mother of three soon headed home to start divorce proceedings. Before they knew it, the boys were in the back seat of a shiny Lincoln Continental en route to Memphis, Tennessee. When the car finally stopped in front of 3764 Highway 51, now Elvis Presley Boulevard, “it was like the

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Magic Kingdom for me.” Stanley says he made his way down to the music room. There, leaning against a stereo and singing along with a gospel record, was Elvis. The singer, whose twin brother was stillborn, lavished gifts on his new stepbrothers. He would rent a movie theater or book an amusement park and keep the boys out all night. Elvis’ maid drove them to school in the singer’s pink Cadillac. At 16, Stanley quit school and went on the road with Elvis as part of the “Memphis Mafia,” the singer’s inner circle. Soon, he says, he was strolling the hallways of the Playboy Mansion, and partying with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and the rock band Led Zeppelin. As his stepbrother’s aide, Stanley was often entrusted with the “black kit,” a small, leather-sided makeup bag that contained Elvis’ cash, credit cards, jewelry and, as the years progressed, his growing array of prescription drugs. Dispensing the pills became part of Stanley’s routine, he says. Before a concert, it was a rubdown, coffee and Dexedrine to get Elvis going; between sets, towels to soak up the sweat and Valium to calm him down; back at the hotel, he would check the humidifier, fill the ice bucket with Mountain Valley Spring Water and “take him his nightly medications.” Stanley was taking pills, too. When he was arrested in 1975 for trying to pass a forged prescription for Demerol, Elvis personally bailed him out of jail.

He went into rehab and was briefly exiled from the entourage. He became addicted to heroin and had to be hospitalized for hepatitis. “Everybody in the Memphis Mafia knew one of those two guys are gonna die: Elvis or Ricky,” Stanley says. Stanley says it was during this dark period that the seeds of his conversion were planted. When he was about 17, he was asked to be a big brother at one of Memphis’ high school sororities. At a party, he met 15-year-old Robyn Moye, and they became friends. Robyn told him she was praying for him and invited him to church; Stanley declined her invitations. As the Disco era dawned, the aging Elvis struggled to reinvent himself yet again. By then, the singer had ballooned to 250 pounds (113 kilograms) and was taking handfuls of pills a day. Things were so bad that members of Presley’s entourage were taking 24-hour shifts, making sure nothing happened to him. On Aug. 16, 1977, Stanley’s shift was supposed to begin at noon. Stanley says he was at Graceland late the night before when Robyn called, sobbing. She had dreamed he had died and gone to hell. Shaken, Stanley says he went to see Elvis. He says he sat at the foot of Presley’s bed, and the two talked about prayer and faith. Eight hours

37

drugs the night before, but he says he was sober when he left Elvis and his fiancee, Ginger Alden, in bed at Graceland that morning. Even if he had been there, he doubts it would have made a difference. In a way, he says, they were all complicit. “Well, if everybody would have done what they should’ve, we’d have got in the guy’s face a long time ago, ALL of us, and done a-what do they call it now where you set them down? intervention? and left,” he says. “But that didn’t happen. Everybody wanted their job.” After Elvis’ funeral, Stanley drifted to California, then eventually made his way to Fort Walton Beach, Florida, where Robyn’s family had moved. It was there, in a little storefront church on Oct. 16, 1977, two months to the day after Elvis’ death, that he says he had his “Damascus road experience.” His hands were shaking when he stood up to give his first public testimony, but the core of his life’s message was already firmly in place. Louisiana evangelist Moody Adams heard about Stanley’s conversion and asked him to speak at a revival he was holding in Pearl, Mississippi. Moody says he tapped Stanley “because he was a drawing card, of course, at the time.” The July 2, 1978, revival was in a high school football stadium where Stanley says Elvis had once played. When he arrived, police were directing traffic, and people were waving signs; this time it was for him. “And I realized at that minute why I went through everything I did as a child and a teenager,” he wrote in his 1986 book,

“The Touch of later, “the King” was gone. The official cause of death was listed as heart disease, but tests revealed a potent mixture of prescription drugs in Presley’s system. The day he died, Elvis was supposed to be leaving on tour. Stanley says he had some

errands to run before they left, and asked his brother David to take his shift. He says he was at a Memphis restaurant with a woman when he had a sudden feeling that something was wrong back at the mansion. He claims to have arrived just as the ambulance was racing away. But according to Dick Grob, Elvis’ chief of security, David Stanley admitted that he and his brother had been partying with women all night at a nearby motel, and were passed out when Elvis died. Elvis’ personal physician, George Nichopoulos, “Dr. Nick,” repeated the allegations in his own book, published this year. David Stanley, the youngest of the three brothers, insists the interview with Grob never happened. Rick Stanley acknowledges having taken

In this Wednesday, Oct 6, 2010 photo, Rick Stanley, Elvis Presley’s stepbrother, speaks at Branch Chapel Free Will Baptist Church in Selma, NC. Once a personal aid to Elvis, Stanley is now an evangelical speaker. — AP Two Kings.” “Why was I Elvis Presley’s brother? Why had I been saved? It was for this!” Stanley and Moye married in September 1978. (He says he agreed to a magazine interview to pay for the wedding rings.) Two years later, the Rev WA Criswell, founder of Dallas’ Criswell College and a former two-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention, offered to put the young evangelist through school. Stanley got his GED certificate, signifying that he had completed the equivalent of a high school education, and in 1986, he emerged from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with an associate’s degree in divinity. Stanley and his wife (they have two daughters) live in Niceville, Florida. In the years of his ministry, he says he has visited more than 4,000 churches, and held revivals here and in Europe. He gives a secular stay-off-drugs version of his presentation at about 200 high schools a year. There still are those who do not buy his version of his spiritual rebirth. “The Stanleys, including Ricky, would lie to you with two Bibles in his hand,” Marty Lacker, Elvis’ friend, former bookkeeper and one of the best men at his wedding, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. Schilling, Elvis’ former manager, would say only that he does not “find him consistent.” “I don’t really have much energy to put on Rick Stanley, you know?” he says from his home in Los Angeles. “I try and spend my life not thinking of the negativities of the past.” There are discrepancies-some subtle, some not sobetween the stories Stanley tells in church and those contained in the three Elvis books he has co-authored. If he has gotten some things mixed up over the years, Stanley attributes it to faulty memory, the fog of addiction or “adult

ADD.” David Stanley, who has co-written a book and made a film about his life with Elvis, says much of the criticism is born of envy. “The one thing that no one can take away from Ricky Stanley is the fact of the fact that he was Presley’s brother,” he told the AP in a telephone interview. “And God bless Ricky for what he does. Because the only king is Christ.” Rick Stanley says he is willing to accept his portion of the blame for Elvis’s death, but not all of it. “People don’t know the guilt I’ve carried,” he says softly. “I’m the guy that was supposed to be there to keep him alive, you know? And I’ve never run from that.” On a crisp October evening, “Brother Rick” arrives in Selma, an old railroad town 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Raleigh, in the passenger seat of a borrowed Cadillac SUVblue, not pink like Elvis’ Cadillacs. About 300 people have come to hear him, triple the usual attendance for a Wednesday evening service. As Stanley shakes hands in the vestibule, Sue Bunn, 62, stops to snap a few photos of the celebrity speaker. “Can’t wait to hear what his message is going to be,” she says, beaming. “Being that he’s lived in that fast life, he’s a witness.” Stanley does not disappoint. Dressed in a suede vest, dark jeans and tooled orangeand-brown cowboy boots, the lean, 6-foot-3 (1.8-meter) preacher stalks the altar, snapping his fingers like a hypnotist attempting to awaken a subject from a trance. His sentences are punctuated with words like “buddy,” “man” and “friend,” and his Tennessee-tinted baritone occasionally sounds a bit like an Elvis impersonation. Stanley covers a lot of ground, from the reconciliation with his dying father to allusions to his younger daughter’s own drug and alcohol arrests. But the spotlight is on Elvis. The Elvis of Stanley’s sermon is not the bloated, drugaddled one, blue and cold on a Graceland bathroom

floor at the age of 42. He is the kind, generous Elvis who gave cars to strangers and welcomed three young boys into his home; the deeply spiritual Elvis who longed for salvation and was terribly wounded by the things the church said about him. When Elvis died, Stanley says, “I was lost. I was undone. I was unforgiven.” “What do you do when your dream dies before you?” he asks the people staring up at him from the pews. “When everything you’ve looked to and longed for, your dream dies?” But somehow, through the haze of drugs and booze and women, he says, God found him. “And He gave me a heart transplant,” he says. “And He put his new spirit within me.” “AMEN!” a man somewhere in the sanctuary shouts. He tells the audience that Elvis was saved, and that he knows he is in heaven. As for those who accuse him of using Elvis, he asks: So what? “I’m ashamed of a lot, but I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of God,” he says, pounding on the pulpit rail with each syllable. “Hey, friend. I’ve been Elvis Presley’s stepbrother 51 years. And for 18 months, I was Michael Jackson’s

UNCLE.” Stanley ends the service with an altar call, to which about two dozen respond. Before dismissing the crowd, Pastor Terry Dennis asks the ushers to take up an offering for Stanley. They take in about $700. Stanley says he has never felt “worthy” of the attention. But this is the story God gave him to work with, and he is going to run with it as long as he can. “I didn’t ask for this,” he says. “I didn’t ask for ministry.”—AP


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By Nekesa Mumbi Moody sher was in tears after losing two awards at the American Music Awards to Justin Bieber, including favorite entertainer of the year, the top AMA honor. But Usher wasn’t upset about his loss-far from it. Instead, he was welling with pride over the success of his young protege, Justin Bieber, who was the night’s biggest winner with four awards and the youngest performer ever to capture the entertainer award. “To see Justin take the award-having received that award before-it was like an out of body experience, you understand?” Usher said backstage. “It was emotional. I don’t cry that often, but I did. Hopefully it gives an indication of how hard we worked to build a career that hopefully will flourish and blossom over the years.” Bieber, who is signed to Usher’s label, had a perfect debut at the American Music Awards, winning all four awards he was nominated for: entertainer of the year, breakthrough artist of the year, favorite pop/rock male and favorite pop/rock album for “My World 2.0.” Bieber’s debut album is one of the year’s top-sellers, with almost 2 million sold, and he’s got a new CD, “My Worlds Acoustic,” out this week at Walmart. His ascension marks a phenomenal rise since first garnering attention via homemade videos on YouTube about three years ago. “This means the world to me,” said Bieber after winning breakthrough artist. “I come from the smallest town in the world, of like 30,000 people; I never thought this was possible.” Bieber bested mentor Usher and Eminem for two of his wins. Eminem, whose “Recovery” was a critical and commercial triumph, was nominated for five awards on the evening, tying him with Lady Antebellum, who also had a breakthrough year with their near triple-platinum album “Need You Now.” Neither were the night’s big winners, but they came away from the night with something: Eminem got two awards, while the country trio won favorite country band, duo or group. “Thanks for inviting us to the party,” said Lady A’s Charles Kelley after the win. Other winners included Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift. But Sunday’s ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles was as much a showcase for acts with new albums as it was a celebration of the biggest achievers of 2010. While some of the night’s winners will likely be nominees when next week’s Grammys are announced, the American Music Awards aren’t so much a predictor of the Grammys is it is a party for the industry’s mainstream acts. Rihanna, with her hair dyed a ruby red, gave the show a colorful and sexy start, performing a medley of songs from her just released album “Loud,” including the No 1 hit “What’s My Name,” wearing a bustier and what seemed like a scarf wrapped around her backside. “This is amazing!” said an exuberant Rihanna, who danced onstage later to receive her award-favorite soul/R&B female. The Black Eyed Peas, winners for favorite pop/rock band, gave a levitating performance, singing from boxes atop the stage during part of their performance of their new single, “The Time.” Kid Rock gave a stirring, acoustic performance of “Times Like These,” his song lifting up his hometown of Detroit during its recent economic struggles, from his new CD, “Born Free.” A pregnant Pink was among the evening’s performance highlights. Unlike recent performances marked by a highwire act, she stayed close to the ground to perform her latest song, “Raise Your Glass,” with a tightly choreographed, highenergy dance number. Swift, last year’s artist of the year, took home favorite country female. Sporting sleek blonde hair instead of her usual cascading curls, Swift said simply: “I just want to thank the fans.” Swift later performed her new single “Back to December,” a song she also performed on the CMA Awards earlier in the month, but mixed things up by incorporating some of OneRepublic’s “Apologize.” Ke$ha, perhaps trying to make up for the absent Lady Gaga, had the night’s most bizarre performance: She performed her heavily Auto-Tuned hit “Take It Off” looking like something out of space, with beams of light for eyes and sporting a motorcycle helmet. She then stripped down to a mirrored outfit, segueing into the next song with a pack of male dancers dressed like her, complete with blond wigs and fishnet stockings. — AP

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Justin Bieber performs with a choir at the 38th Annual American Music Awards .—AP photos

Justin Bieber accepts the award for pop/rock favorite male artist.

Usher performs at the 38th Annual American Music Awards.

The Black Eyed Peas accept the favorite band, duo or group award.

Rihanna performs at the 38th Annual American Music Awards.

Rihanna accepts the award for soul R&B favorite female artist.

Justin Bieber accepts the award for artist of the year.

Ryan Seacrest present the award for artist of the year to Justin Bieber at the 38th Annual American Music Awards.

Usher with his awards for soul R&B favorite male artist.

Brad Paisley accepts the award for country favorite male artist.

Usher and Justin Bieber pose with their awards backstage at the 38th Annual American Music Awards.


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ARTIST OF THE YEAR - Justin Bieber POP/ROCK Favorite male - Justin Bieber Favorite female - Lady Gaga Favorite band - The Black Eyed Peas Favorite album - “My World 2.0” (Justin Bieber) SOUL/R&B Favorite male - Usher Favorite female - Rihanna Favorite album - “Raymond v Raymond” (Usher) COUNTRY Favorite male - Brad Paisley Favorite female - Taylor Swift Favorite band - Lady Antebellum Favorite album - “Play On” (Carrie Underwood)

Lady Antebellum, from left, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood accept the award for country favorite band duo or group.

Taylor Swift poses with her Country Music Favorite Female Artist award.

RAP/HIP-HOP Favorite male - Eminem Favorite album - “Recovery” (Eminem) SOUNDTRACKS Favorite album - “Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers”

Actors Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Jaden Smith arrive on the red carpet.

ALTERNATIVE ROCK MUSIC Favorite artist - Muse ADULT CONTEMPORARY MUSIC Favorite artist - Michael Buble LATIN MUSIC Favorite artist - Shakira CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL Favorite artist - MercyMe

Backstreet Boys and New Kids On The Block perform at the 38th Annual American Music Awards.

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST - Justin Bieber — Reuters

Michael Buble accepts the award for adult contemporary music favorite artist.

Singer Avril Lavigne arrives on the red carpet.

New Kids On The Block perform at the 38th Annual American Music Awards.

Alternative rock group Muse poses with their Alternative Rock Music Favorite Artist awards.

Singer Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas.

Musician Nicki Minaj arrives on the red carpet.

Katy Perry performs.

Singer Miley Cyrus arrives on the red carpet for the 2010 American Music Awards.

tars collide: Just minutes before the show began, stars, set pieces and show workers literally collided in the wings of the Nokia Theatre stage. Presenter Samuel L Jackson popped by wearing a black beret, just before Jenny McCarthy, who presented the night’s first award, came through in a sparkly, one-shoulder minidress. She held her clutch purse and a script in one hand and checked her updo with the other as a throng of feather-clad, Mohawk-wearing dancers gathered for Rihanna’s show-opening performance. The Barbadian beauty brought up the rear. Wearing a bikini top and a cascade of red curls, she stood still for a last-minute dusting of powder, then climbed an orange construction ladder and perched herself atop the sculptural set. Producer Larry Klein scrambled backstage for a microphone to welcome the

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crowd inside the theater and fire them up for the performance-packed show. Miranda Lambert sat patiently in her seat and producer Sean Garrett schmoozed with friends as an announcer’s voice boomed: 30 seconds to showtime. Keeping it cool: An unusually chilly night in downtown Los Angeles didn’t stop the stars from showing a little skin as they arrived for the American Music Awards. Miley Cyrus strutted down the Nokia Theatre’s red carpet Sunday evening in a short ruffled gown with a flowing train, while Avril Lavigne rocked a geometric-print minidress, and Julie Benz shined in a strapless black-and-gold number. “It’s cold out here,” said crooner John Legend, sporting a suit accented with piping. Katy Perry was one of the few female artists who covered up on the red carpet.

Between interviews, the “California Gurls” singer donned a long knit coat. She later ditched her entire ensemble when performing “Firework.” Perry’s male back-up dancers ripped off her red gown in the middle of her number to reveal a glittery pantsuit. For the fans: Taylor Swift said she only wanted to thank the fans when she accepted her trophy for country female artist at the American Music Awards. Justin Bieber, Lady Antebellum and Michael Buble also gave love to their devotees during their acceptance speeches. But what makes one artist’s group of fans any more special than another? The New Kids of the Block have the answer. “Everyone thinks they have the best fans, but we know we have the best fans,” said Donnie Wahlberg before the show. “Because we’re still here,” added Joey McIntyre.

Skating through: Olympic skater Johnny Weir presented the Latin music award on stage, then came backstage to dish about his latest effort: Serving as a judge on the new ABC show “Skating with the Stars.” Weir said he was heading to the competition’s production office when the American Music Awards ended to prepare for Monday’s premiere. “The set’s gorgeous, the music’s gorgeous, the costumes are great and the judges are wonderful,” he said. Weir attested that the show’s contestants were training hard and that three front-runners had already emerged from the inaugural class of six celebrity skaters. While none will become Olympic contenders, he said they could learn some valuable lessons from skating. “Skating has taught me so much, and the one thing it’s taught me is never be afraid to fall down,” he said. “I’m wearing heels and a

dress, basically, with this blazer, and I’m not afraid, even if I fall down.” Heart throbs: Before the collaboration between Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block closed out the show, celebrities on the red carpet were reminiscing beforehand about their teen idols. Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry picked New Kids as her favorite, while Gavin Rossdale said he favored Patti Smith in his youth. Michael Jackson and Liza Minnelli were among Michael Buble’s favorites. “I love Liza, and I’m not gay,” said Buble. “I just love her.” Who did the teen idols idolize? Donnie Wahlberg of the New Kids said posters of Leif Garret and Shaun Cassidy graced the walls of his house when he was younger. “That was my sister’s wall, actually,” he admitted. — AP


www.kuwaittimes.net

rom the remote mountains of Tibet to the soaring skyscrapers of Shanghai and Guangzhou, an unlikely issue has emerged to both anger and unite China’s disparate peoples - their language. The country’s 1.3 billion people may be almost all exclusively educated in one tongue, the official medium of Mandarin, but decades of its promotion has failed to stifle popular attachment to regional vernaculars and dialects. The banishing or planned banishment from the airwaves and classrooms of languages such as Cantonese, Shanghainese and Tibetan has sparked rare public protests, as people push back against a government with little time for cultural diversity. At a rally in the booming southern city of Guangzhou in late July, protesters thronged against police and shouted obscenities, demanding the protection of their mother tongue, Cantonese. “The protesters were very united. We all had just one aim: to protect our own language,” said Michelle, one of the self-proclaimed “cultural defenders” at the rally who asked her full name not be used because of the sensitivity of the issue. Protests against cornerstones of government policy are rare in a country where the ruling Communist Party values stability above all and comes down hard on dissent. “Cantonese people speak Cantonese!” many yelled, in a surprisingly venomous retort to authorities, and a passionate defense of culture that caught officials-more accustomed to simmering unrest over issues like land grabs, corruption and pollutionoff guard. A subsequent protest, organized via an online campaign and buzzing chatrooms was soon smothered by police and Internet censors in a sign of unease by the Party at any challenge to its rule. Still, the government did back down slightly, promising that Cantonese broadcasting would continue in Guangzhou, making it one of the few places in China where state-run radio and television make wide use of the vernacular.

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isdainful of Mondays but love lasagna? Chances are you know Garfield, the orange tabby with the low-key world view whose sardonic wit has been a staple among comic strips for more than three decades. Now fans can get even closer to the cat and his socalled owner, Jon Arbuckle, in a move that blends real photos with creator Jim Davis’ signature art in an era of motion-comics and instant gratification. The series of animated Garfield comic strips are available online now athttp://www.pixfusion.comand, shortly, on Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad. Other mobile platforms are in the works. The process is simple: Upload a photo of yourself, a family member or friend and you can place it in one of several strips already available. Instead of Arbuckle’s or veterinarian Liz Wilson’s head, your pho-

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to is the picture. A four-pack of animated comics will cost 99 cents to personalize and can be streamed. Or users can download the finished product and share it for a cost of $3.99. For $9.99, fans can personalize as many of the strips all of which have appeared on the comics pages - as they want and stream them for a year. They can be saved, streamed or posted to Facebook and elsewhere. Jim Davis, who created the cat decades ago, said he embraced the opportunity to put readers in his strips, noting that his cat has long had a habit of breaking through the fourth wall and addressing readers directly. “It’s really a nod to where the industry is going,” Davis said in an interview from his studio in rural Indiana. “I’m talking about entertainment in general -

TV, movies, newspapers, journalism, cartooning. Everything is going online.” He said that “this interaction with the public, with the fans, can be a very healthy thing and can be great fun. It really brings intellectual properties like ‘Garfield’ to the public in a very personal way.” Rich Collins, chief executive of Big Tent Entertainment, which developed the personalization technology, said letting readers insert themselves into their favorite comic strips helps meld the notion of the printed page with an immersive experience. “This is a classic case of old school meets new tech,” he said. “We’re taking a comic strip that’s been around for 30 years but is still relevant and we’re putting it into what is a very new technology and into a mobile sort of app

and then we’re personalizing it.” Garfield is one of the most enduring strips in the industry. It appears daily in some 2,400 newspapers and has produced numerous books, animated specials and a pair of big-screen films with Bill Murray providing the feline’s voice. As to why “Garfield” was picked, Collins said a list of potential characters was drawn up and the cat was always atop it. “He hates Monday, he hates diets and exercise. He’s very funny, he’s witty, he’s able to handle difficult situations well,” Collins said. “We thought it’s a perfect brand to personalize because people relate to him.” The first batch of strips focuses on the upcoming holidays, but Collins said the next will revolve around Valentine’s Day and, of course, love. — AP

upermodel Helena Christensen has spent three days in villages in southern Nepal as part of her campaign to highlight the effect of global warming on poor and rural communities. The Danish model told reporters: “I ... met several women who told me their personal stories, shared with me the fear they have over the way they live their lives now constantly waiting for flooding and not knowing how to react when it happens.” She says the villagers were fearful for their children’s lives and their livelihood. Christensen was speaking yesterday in Katmandu after visiting Nawalaparasi district. Most of the population there depend on farming for their livelihood. Crops have been destroyed by flooding, drought and a cold spell. — AP

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tep Inside. Be Discovered. That is the tag line of online discovery platform AuditionBooth, co-founded by former “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul to connect aspiring talents with casting directors, producers and managers. A beta test site rolls out yesterday, allowing showbiz rookies to answer casting questions and record and, if necessary, re-record-casting videos via webcams. Fox reality series “MasterChef” is among the first of about two dozen or so high-profile shows that the founders say will be seeking talent on the site in the early going. There are also audition opportunities for such partners as Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo, TV producer Reveille, and women’s clothing firm Dots, which is working on a brand campaign with singer Jordin Sparks. Abdul, also an equity partner and board member, put together inspirational videos and audition advice on a part of the site called Paula’s Blog. For entertainment professionals, she hopes the site can provide “fresh new personalities.” Also on board AuditionBooth are company president and chairman Frank Celli; and Greg Brill, founder and CEO of Infusion Development, a technology training and consulting firm. Casting decision-makers can

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search and sort submissions based on various criteria, screen and comment on them and share with colleagues. The site’s community can also use a “like” button and comments to express their take on certain members. Use of the site by casting folks, producers and aspiring talents is free. However, talent must register, and the founders hope to get a growing number of users to sign up for a paid upgrade to premium service that helps improve people’s opportunities to be noticed by entertainment industry

folks. “Casting has been done the same old way as 20 or 30 years ago, and people have been screaming for a real intelligent solution with real business tools,” Brill said. “And they want to reach beyond the traditional markets of New York and LA People tell us they are fighting over the same set of people.” While other web sites list talent opportunities and sometimes even allow people to submit applications, Celli said he sees his firm having a leg up thanks to Abdul’s appeal and the technology. “Our proprietary technology that connects unique individuals to industry professionals is as important as the casting relationships we bring to the table, and we’re eager to say you’ll be seeing AuditionBooth members on screens very soon,” he said. AuditionBooth has raised $4 million in seed funding by angel investors and has another $2 million available for future use. The founders estimate the firm will reach about 125,000 paid subscribers after one year and reach positive cash flow by December 2011 and about 700,000 subscribers and $172 million in revenue by its seventh year. It plans to make money via premium memberships, sponsorships/ads and licensing of its technology. “We want to be the Hulu of casting,” Brill said.—AP

ope Benedict XVI will be caught with his trousers down, competing with cartoon character SpongeBob and football star Leo Messi this year in a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Catalonia, according to the makers of the “caganer” figurines. The ceramic caganer statuettes show affectionate disrespect for famous personalities from home and abroad.They have been sold in Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region around Christmas since the 18th century, when they were placed in nativity scenes in the hope of bringing good luck and a rich harvest. But they show the personalities with their bottoms bared in the act of defecating. As in previous years, the personalities with the highest media profiles are generally the best sellers. Last year, US President Barack Obama and France’s first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy were among the top stars. This year, Barcelona’s Argentine footballer Messi, who won the Golden Boot award as last season’s top scorer in Europe’s domestic leagues, is expected to be big, said Marc Alos, a member of the Alos-Pla family which produces the hand-painted figurines at its factory near Barcelona. For children, Messi, whose caganer has just been reissued, will be competing with popular television cartoon character

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ith the ground still wet from Saturday night’s rain, publicist Ronni Chasen was buried Sunday under a bright sunny sky at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles. Chasen had been brutally murdered around midnight when she was shot multiple times while driving her Mercedes-Benz home after working with clients at the “Burlesque” premiere. The Motion Picture Academy member joins a long roster of Jewish show business names buried at Hillside that include Lew Wasserman, Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Shelley Winters, Milton Berle, Dinah Shore, Aaron Spelling, Eddie Cantor and Cyd Charisse. Among the guests at the hourlong service, which started just after 11 am, were Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Amy Pascal and Jeff Blake; Revolution Studios’ Joe Roth; Phoenix Pictures’ Mike Medavoy; Warner Bros’ Sue Kroll; film critic Leonard Maltin; producers Steve Cohen, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall; philanthropist Barbara Davis; publicists Alan Nierob, Steve Elzer, Val Van Galder, Mark Pogachefsky and Nancy Willen; actor Robert Forster; and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The Hillside chapel, which holds about 250 people, was completely full, as were 300 seats set up under a canopy outside the chapel where guests could watch the service on a screen, plus

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Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif stands next to a special edition of Katrina Kaif Barbie doll during its launch in Mumbai, India, yesterday. Toy maker Mattel India yester0day launched the Barbie doll specially crafted in Kaif’s likeness. — AP

Traditionally styled ‘caganer’ ceramic figurines of cartoon character SpongeBob Square pants are pictured on November 17, 2010. — AFP

SpongeBob SquarePants, a newcomer this year. “Michael Jackson will be also be highly sought after this year,” as willthe pope, who visited Spain this month, said Alos. Other new figurines include the Dalai Lama, Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho and Formula One driver Fernando Alonso in his new Ferrari colors. Catalonia’s elections on November 28 are also likely to boost sales of the top regional politicians, he said. Alos said the company would be making 15,000 of the figures this year, which are sold for between six and 15 euros (eight and 20 dollars) each. He emphasized the caganers “are not intended to mock the personalities or the office they represent but rather to pay tribute to them.” The original caganer, which literally translated from Catalan means “the fertilizer”, was a man wearing a red and black hat and peasant costume shown performing his biological functions. It was believed that his fertile deposits in the soil of the nativity scene would bring a rich harvest. But over time, the peasant has been replaced with well-known society figures and personalities from the region, Spain and around the world, in a reminder that all people are equal when it comes to biological functions. — AFP

an overflow of standing-room-only guests outside. Inside the chapel, video monitors showed pictures from Chasen’s life; most touching were the ones from her youth. The brown, wood coffin was covered in white flowers, with floral arrangements flanking both sides. Speakers were Rabbi David Baron; publicist Jeff Sanderon, a business associate of Chasen’s; Chasen’s brother, writer-director Larry Cohen; publicists Kathie Berlin, Heidi Schaeffer and Vivian Mayer-Siskind; and two of Chasen’s clients: producer Lili Fini Zanuck and composer Hans Zimmer. Ilysia Pierce served as cantor. The service began with Baron reading selections from Ecclesiastes and Psalms. MayerSiskind, who was mentored by Chasen, said she came to feel more like a daughter and, later, a sister. She began her remarks by joking that she had a dream Saturday night in which Chasen appeared to her and said, “I’m dead, and now you get me a free Prada outfit?” Mayer-Siskind also said that Chasen as a publicist “knew a good film from a bad one and how to sell them both.” Sanderson recalled Chasen’s “passion for friends, family and clients,” while Chasen’s brother, Larry Cohen, reminisced about their childhood in New York when they would go to movies together and Chasen was the girls’ Duncan yo-yo champion of Morningside Heights, NY.

After a brief performance by 12 members of the LA Master Chorale, Fini Zanuck joked about how upset Chasen would be that now her age has become “part of her name” in all the stories written about her murder. At the time of her death, Chasen was working on Richard and Lili Zanucks’ Oscar campaign for “Alice in Wonderland.” She also directed the Oscar campaign for their 1990 best picture winner “Driving Miss Daisy.” Fini Zanuck, as did Mayer-Siskind, ended her remarks by bursting into tears. Schaeffer recalled a recent trip that she took to Paris with Chasen, saying they had 10 dinners, several lunches and one breakfast-at 10:30 am “Everyone knows how Ronni didn’t like waking up early in the morning,” Schaeffer said. Berlin shared an anecdote about a conference she was speaking at where several publicists, including Chasen, were in the crowd. “Someone asked, do I know Ronni Chasen? ‘I’ve known her for 40 years,’ and from across the room, a voice called out, ‘25!”“ Berlin also mentioned the Palm Springs Film Festival’s recent announcement that it is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Chasen’s murderer. “Whoever did this will be found and never again see the light,” Berlin said. Her final remarks drew applause at the end. —Reuters

Powerful policy lever Only about half of China’s 1.3 billion people speak Mandarin, according to government surveys. Visit the vast and poor countryside and the chances of hearing pure Mandarin spoken as an everyday language are practically nil. Throughout China’s long and turbulent history, the nation’s emperors and rulers have been driven by a desire to unite the country and to standardize speech as a powerful policy lever. Diversity hasn’t been a priority for Beijing when seen in this context, and critics sometimes say Beijing’s proMandarin policies can amount to cultural intimidation. In October, ethnic Tibetan students took to the streets in the western province of Qinghai to protest against what they view as the marginalization of Tibetan in the education system in favor of Mandarin. The requirement of Mandarin to succeed professionally in China has forced many young Tibetans and others to prioritize Mandarin over their mother tongues. While such pockets of linguistic angst across China almost certainly won’t snowball into broader unrest, continued erosion of language variety could feed deeper-rooted resentment given the centrality of speech to cultures. “It’s really a worry for us, because we’ve seen the cultures of other ethnic minorities, including the Tibetans, slowly fade and become assimilated. If Beijing can persuade the next generation of kids to use Mandarin, then they’ve succeeded to an extent,” said Hong Kong-based activist Choi Suk-fong who helped organized protect Cantonese protests in the financial hub. Cantonese does at least have a powerful backer in Hong Kong’s popular Cantopop music and film culture. Many young Chinese can sing in Cantonese at karaoke without being able to speak a word. Migrant influx Part of the problem in Guangzhou is that growth over the last few decades has bought an influx of nonCantonese speakers, leading many to feel alienated in their own city. That’s a situation many in glitzy Shanghai feel keenly, where it is not unusual to find shops run by migrants with signs in their windows asking customers to speak Mandarin. In Shanghai, the demise of the sing-song vernacular has led to calls for a rethink of China’s monolithic language policies. “I think we need to loosen the city’s language environment,” said Qian Nairong, 65, a professor and author of a dictionary on the Shanghainese language. “Children should be allowed to speak their mother tongue from when they are small,” Qian told Reuters. Traditionally fiercely protective of its culture and language, Shanghai residents have a snooty reputation for often refusing to converse in anything but “Shanghai hua”. The noticeable drop in Shanghainese speakers has stoked anger and concern that the language may fade within a generation or two, unless measures are taken to reverse the decline. A television clip posted on Ku6.com, a Chinese lifestyle website, ignited a debate after it showed Shanghainese children unable to string together basic words. There is no official support for Shanghainese, which the government terms a dialect though is technically a separate language with its own grammar and vocabulary. Taiwan example Nervous officials could perhaps look across the water at self-ruled and democratic Taiwan for a taste of how languages can co-exist. After the defeated Nationalists were driven into exile to Taiwan following the Chinese civil war, the promotion of Mandarin was upheld as a pillar of unity and link to the motherland. Taiwan’s dominant Hokkien dialect-also spoken in China’s coastal Fujian province and parts of Southeast Asia including Singapore-was repressed by the Nationalists and children could be beaten for speaking it at school. Yet in the 1990s its usage surged again after democracy took root. Politicians now speak Hokkien as much as Mandarin and Hokkien soap operas are a mainstay on Taiwan television. “You restrict a language for so long then when it’s suddenly OK, it becomes excessively popular,” said Hsu Yung-ming, a political scientist at Soochow University in Taipei. “It has always been the dominant language.” In Shanghai, however, even with a growing middle class that is becoming more confident and vocal, there has been no sign of language-related unrest, something put down by some to a traditional reluctance to get involved in politics. “People don’t have time to safeguard the Shanghainese dialect,” bemoaned Shanghai born Miao, a smartly dressed young banker, shrugging her shoulders. “Shanghainese needs more than the effort we’re currently seeing if it is to survive.”— Reuters

23 Nov  

Kuwait Times