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

40 PAGES

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2010

Watchdog rejects Jassem’s verdict

Second blast ends hopes for survival of 29 NZ miners

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conspiracy theories

It’s a bit too much By Badrya Darwish

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hen our neighbors are competing and killing themselves to bring the World Cup to their homeland and to put their countries in the limelight on a global map, we are sinking in our corruption. What is left in my country that has not been corrupted? Have mercy on us! Have some mercy on the people of Kuwait! Electricity cuts come and we say: ‘never mind, we can cope.’ Water shortages come and we tell ourselves: ‘never mind, we have limited sources and we accept it’. Then, we all bear the burden of buying bottled water to drink. The worst of all was the Mishref Gate (the sewage catastrophe that everyone has heard of). There is no need to repeat ourselves: the disaster polluted the environment, the sea and the fish for years to come. It has been a man-made environmental catastrophe and the saddest part of it is that we have caused it. Till now we are waiting for proper solutions. To cream the cake, the gas leak in Ahmadi happened. It took its toll on the residents’ nerves. It still does as we speak. We have not witnessed any concrete solutions. First, they tried to pin it on nature. There was a convenient prediction that there might be a gas lake under Ahmadi. Then, unfortunately for them, it turned out that the leak was caused by the bad network under Ahmadi. I wish it was a gas lake under Ahmadi. Then the people in Ahmadi will be rich and will be compensated. Kuwait would have been rich and start exporting gas. At least we would be competing with RasGas in Qatar and other gas-rich nations. When they mock us for the lack of electricity then in return we could mock them that they have less gas. Unfortunately, it was all wishful thinking. To our bad luck, the truth turned out to be that the cause for the disaster was neglected networks which have not been maintained for years. Naturally, they eroded and started leaking gas. Now, guess what? It is the Food Gate evolving. Over 40 tons of expired food has been confiscated during raids in Kuwait. The food which was unfit for human consumption was confiscated by emergency teams from the municipality. The expired food was on stalls and in foodstuff shops, probably in restaurants and on our tables. It ranged from honey, oil, sugar, rice and cheese to spices nuts and canned food. Only a few days ago the news about expired and poisoned meat was circulating around. Before we advised you to eat your penne (pasta) without tomatoes. Now, I am advising you not to have chicken due to its high demand following the news about contaminated meat. If you want to eat fish, take your own risk as the waters around Kuwait are very rich in vitamins and chemical fertilizers. Enjoy your meal!

Suicide bomber kills 23 in Yemen SANAA: A suicide bomber killed 23 Shiites at a religious procession in Yemen yesterday, an attack a tribal chief charged was a bid by AlQaeda to fan sectarian tensions in the already restive country. Tribal leaders said the dead were all supporters or fighters of a Zaidi Shiite rebel group that has been observing an uneasy truce with the government since February. The bomber struck in Al-Jawf province, a rebel stronghold in the far north, as the faithful were preparing to mark Al-Ghadeer. This is the day on which Shiites commemorate the anointment of Ali, one of the key figures of their faith, as successor to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). “It was a suicide bombing and it was the work of Al-Qaeda,” the tribal chief said. “The suicide bomber driving a fourwheel drive vehicle blew himself up alongside the procession. Among the dead was provincial tribal chief Hussein bin Ahmed bin Hadhban and his son.” Yemen is the ancestral homeland of AlQaeda leader Osama bin Laden and has been a growing focus for the operations of his worldwide jihadist network, sparking a sharp increase in US military aid. But the fanatically Sunni movement’s attacks had previously been largely confined to the capital and to the mainly Sunni south and east of Yemen, rather than the Zaidi majority north. Rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said by telephone the attack was an attempt by the “American and Israeli intelligence services to plunge Yemen into confessional and tribal conflict.” Continued on Page 14

THULHIJA 19, 1431 AH

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NO: 14919

Demonstrator dies as Egypt Christians clash with police PAGE 14

150 FILS

Striker Rooney marks return in winning style PAGE 20

Popular Bloc blasts govt over gas leak Kuwait ‘plagued with catastrophes, problems’

ABU DHABI: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip (left) stand with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahayan upon their arrival to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the Emirati capital yesterday. — KUNA (See Page 6)

Anger and grief as Cambodia mourns Death toll tops 450 PHNOM PENH: The death toll of a massive stampede at a Cambodian water festival soared above 450 yesterday, as the victims’ grieving relatives expressed anger about security at the event. The authorities continued to investigate why throngs of revelers had panicked, crushing and trampling people underfoot on an overcrowded narrow bridge in Phnom Penh. The government admitted it had overlooked issues of crowd control at the three-day event, which attracted some three million revelers to the capital from all over Cambodia. “We were concerned about the possibilities of boats capsizing and pick-

pocketing. We did well, but we did not think about this kind of incident,” government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said. He said a private firm had been in charge of security on the island and the bridge where the disaster unfolded. “The place is private, so they used their own security, and police only helped handle order outside,” Kanharith said. The firm managing the island refused to comment except to say that it had been questioned by an investigating committee set up by the government. As the first funerals and cremations began taking place across Continued on Page 14

PHNOM PENH: Bun Oun, who lost his daughter in Monday’s stampede, cries during her cremation at Sombourmeas temple in Phnom Penh yesterday. — AP

KUWAIT: The Popular Bloc yesterday strongly criticized the government handling of the gas leakage problem in Ahmadi, blaming the government for the problem and charging that the government is incapable of managing major crises. In a stronglyworded statement, the opposition Bloc called for declaring Ahmadi a disaster area and held the government responsible for any incident in the city for failing to act promptly to deal with the gas leakage. The Bloc said that Kuwait has been plagued with catastrophes and problems because of government mismanagement, its flagrant incompetence and lack of accountability of those responsible for shortcomings. It said that the gas leakage problem in Ahmadi city started two years ago and the government has failed to deal with it like it failed to deal with similar disasters including the Mishref Sewage plant and pollution at Umm AlHaiman and others. Continued on Page 14

Divorce fears drive Egyptian women to plastic surgery Some poor give blood in exchange for operations CAIRO: Working-class Egyptians are getting botox, breast implants and tummy tucks in the hopes that the cosmetic surgery once reserved for a wealthy elite will boost their own marriage and job prospects. Illiterate housewives fearing abandonment, soldiers mocked for flabby chests and overweight women struggling to find a husband sometimes pay with their own blood, rely on charity, borrow money from family and friends or turn to unlicensed cut-price private clinics for a procedure. The extra business from the poor is boosting the experience of Egyptian cosmetic surgeons and lowering the cost of operations, helping Egypt compete with rivals such as Lebanon and Tunisia in the growing market for medical tourism. Egypt’s top cosmetic surgeons say good surgery that improves self-esteem among the wealthy can mean much more to the poor. But they also warn patients to beware of the growing number of cheap clinics which make false promises and botch operations. “The poor, particularly those who go to university hospitals, help in increasing the experience of new-generation surgeons because they get trained, so the poor are definitely part of the plan,” said Rafaat Gohar, former president of the Egyptian Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ESPRS). Though expensive by local standards, plastic surgery costs a quarter of the price in the

United States or Europe, Egyptian doctors say. Botox to treat wrinkles costs 1,600 Egyptian pounds ($278) compared to nearly $900 elsewhere. Gohar said tummy tucks cost 20,000 pounds, a third lower than in Gulf Arab states. Poorer locals who forego a private recovery room and opt for a ward housing several patients, pay even less for treatment. “Egypt compared to the (United) States and Europe is a quarter of the price and with the same capabilities, if not better,” Gohar said. “We are the hub of the Middle East in plastic surgery. We are even better than Lebanon in terms of number and quality of doctors... It’s (Lebanon’s) marketing and patient privacy that makes foreigners go there.” With image so vital to the industry’s success, top Egyptian surgeons are worried about the cheap, unlicensed clinics that have sprung up in the country to cater for less wealthy clients. Patients have suffered burns from chemical peels, nerve damage in facelifts and crooked noses from failed nose jobs, said a surgeon who corrected problems incurred from private work gone wrong and asked not to be named. Another doctor, Mohamed Zaky, said he fixed badly done operations on various parts of the body on a daily basis. “I pity the poor patient because he goes for plastic or reconstructive surgery for the better, only to come out with results that are not good,” Zaky said. Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday flew back from Oman after a private visit. The Amir was received by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlAhmad Al-Sabah. — KUNA

Kuwait and Iraq seal border deal 500-metre no-man’s land KUWAIT: Iraq and Kuwait have agreed to create a 500metre no-man’s land on each side of the border and move Iraqi farmers to new homes, a Kuwaiti official said in comments published yesterday. Under the deal, Kuwait undertook to build up to 50 homes inside Iraq for the farmers living close to the frontier, a local daily quoted foreign ministry Arab world department chief Jassem Al-Mubaraki as saying. The agreement stipulates that the two Arab neighbors will each keep a 500-metre

strip completely free of any activity except for border police, Mubaraki said. “The deal was reached during a recent meeting of the KuwaitIraq commission headed by the foreign ministry undersecretaries,” he said. In 1993, three years after Iraq invaded Kuwait, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 833 which demarcated the land border between the two nations and granted Kuwait some territory that had previously been held by Iraq. Continued on Page 14

2010 ‘hottest year’ LONDON: This year is so far tied for the hottest year in a temperature record dating back to 1850 in a new sign of a warming trend, the three major institutes which calculate global warming estimates said. UN climate talks resume next week in Cancun, Mexico, where expectations are no longer for a comprehensive deal to slow warming, but smaller progress for example to curb deforestation, in a bid to agree a pact next year or later. The previous conference in Copenhagen last year fell short of hopes, but about 140 countries have agreed a nonbinding deal to try and limit warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Temperatures are now about 0.8 degrees above preindustrial levels, and 2010 is about 0.5 degrees above the 1961-1990 average, near the record, with two months data still to collect. Even with a possible cool end to the year, 2010 is expected to be no lower than third in a record where 1998 and 2005 are warmest. Continued on Page 14

Sanctions squeeze Dubai-Iran trade DUBAI: Dhows laden with goods bound for Iran line Dubai’s creek. Workmen lift boxes of cheap wares, made in China, onto the creaking wooden vessels ready to make the short journey across the Gulf to the Islamic Republic. The buzz

of activity belies growing evidence that this traditional trade between Dubai and Iran is suffocating under the ever-tightening grip of sanctions, and businesses fear it could soon become a thing of the past. Continued on Page 14

DUBAI: Dubai Marina towers are seen in the background of a construction site in this photo. —AP


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NATIONAL

Thursday, November 25, 2010

School owner rejects allegations

American teacher slams nonpayment of salary, passport withholding By Ben Garci a KUWAIT: An American tea cher w ho moved to Kuw ait three months a go to w ork here has claimed tha t her sponsor has hara ssed her, withholding her sala ry a nd pa ssport. The tea cher, in her mid 20s, told the Kuwa it Times yes“My grandfather died of bone cancer and I want to attend his funeral on Saturday, but they told me I can’t leave, since the visa [stamp process] hasn’t finished yet,” the teacher said, speaking on condition of anonymity. She added that the school she works for had informed her that she would be able to travel in two weeks’ time. The teacher claimed that her passport has been with her employer since her arrival in Kuwait. “They haven’t done anything about the residency. That is ridiculous, I have been here for almost three months and I am here telling them that I want to go home for my grandfather’s funeral, but I am told that I can’t have my own passport,” she said. The teacher, an employee at a bilingual school with an international curriculum, explained that she is currently working her probationary period there. She insists that her decision to leave the country temporarily should not be prevented by her employer. “The owner of the school told me that the school can take legal action against me if I insist on going back home. They told me I can’t work anywhere and so on and so forth, as if I can’t do anything and their words against mine are final,” she continued. The woman called the school administration’s threats absurd, expressing feelings of insecurity and concern at the situation. “I am not used to being threatened like this and it scares me a lot,” she said. “The owner told me that they can do anything against anybody, including other teachers, because they have connections in the ministry and so on. I don’t want to continue working with them anymore and I just want to go back home,” she stated. The woman also claimed that she has been paid only a third of what the school owes her for her three-month probationary period. “I want the remaining salary before I leave. I want to leave Kuwait quickly. I don’t have any ill-feelings against this country; this is a beautiful country and as much as possible I want to work here, but the treatment I’ve experienced with them was just so degrading,”

terday that she wished to return home to attend her gra ndfather’s funeral but w as unable to do so since her passport had been confiscated by the owner of the school where she is employed. The school owner insisted, however, tha t the lengthy residency stamping procedure had dela yed the return of the passport, a s well a s rejecting the allegations of non-payment.

she said. The teacher even complained of racial slurs being used against her by some of her students, who she says called her ‘Nigger.’ “I informed my school administration regarding this, but they said that it was fine; well it may have different connotations where I came from.” she said. The teacher, who has a master’s degree and is currently doing her PhD, said that her qualifications should earn her a greater salary than she’s currently being paid. “They have been underpaying teachers, not just me. I am not just qualified, I am a better certified teacher. My salary looks beyond insult [in comparison] to my qualifications and it made me so sick and upset,” she stated. The frustrated teacher also stated that the school had promised to pay her insurance as part of her salary package, but this had not been forthcoming. “Now I only have a tourist visa which expires on November 26, although they have told me that they are doing it [processing the visa] right now. For God’s sake, they’ve had my passport for the last two months and they haven’t done anything about it,” she complained. She also noted that following her first month of employment, she only received her first paycheck at the end of October and that this was only half of her month’s salary because of an advance payment that she received prior to pay day. “I have had one situation where I couldn’t report to work because I didn’t have money and I didn’t have anything to eat,” she said. The teacher, who said that she has had extensive teaching experience in the US, explained that she had originally decided to come to Kuwait “to try something new.” Now, however, she says, she regrets that choice. Contacted for clarification over the issue, however, the school owner insisted that the teacher’s allegations were baseless. “It is a completely fabricated story; we tried our best to support her and we are still helping her up till now because we knew it’s our

responsibility as her employer. But as to her accusation, that’s not true,” the owner said. The school owner further insisted that the teacher’s passport was being withheld because as a new arrival in Kuwait she needed to have the proper paperwork processed. “We took her passport to process her residency and it takes time to secure residency as you may all know,” she asserted, confirming that the school is in possession of the passport. “We are not withholding her passport against her will; she gave that to us. But when she last asked two days ago about her passport she wanted it right away. And we’ve already started processing her residency, so we cannot give it back as yet.” The school owner continued, “[The teacher] has to honor and respect the contract she had signed. With regards to her salary, she was getting her salary monthly; we never withheld any amount.” The owner was adamant that the school was not at fault in the dispute. “I think [the teacher] has been experiencing ‘homesickness’,” she said, adding that it is disrespectful to report for duty in pajamas as she claimed the teacher had done. “She did it once and I spoke with her regarding that and she just laughed at me. She wants to do what she wants but we have our rules and guidelines in the school that need to be followed. We paid her a one-way ticket to come to Kuwait; we paid her agency, we paid her for a twoweek stay in a hotel.” The school owner flatly denied the teacher’s accusations regarding non-payment of her salary. “We know our responsibility and we deliver what we have promised,” the school owner asserted. “[The teacher] knew she’d be receiving that amount before arriving in Kuwait; yet, she accepted it and came to Kuwait. We even gave her a month to think about it and she said she was excited to join our school. We shared the same feelings; we never expected that she has been thinking otherwise.”

Council slammed over new church rejection

KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah with teachers and officials of the Kuwait University yesterday.

University rector post won’t be politicized, says premier KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah has insisted that the rector’s post at Kuwait University “will not be politicized,” attempting to bring an end to widespread speculation that political deals are being cut under the table to resolve the longstanding issues regarding the still-vacant position. Speaking at a reception held for PhD-level Kuwait teaching staff, the premier also underlined his support for “Kuwait’s enlightened minds,” as well as reiterating his previous assertion that the expected wave of interpolation motions against various government ministers will not be allowed to impede the progress of political work in the country. “The development process must proceed and [the cabinet] will not allow the interpellations to prevent this,” he said during his address at the event. Almost all the members of the cabinet were present at the reception, reported Al-Rai, with the exception of the education minister who is currently on vacation abroad and the information minister, whose absence was not explained. HH the Prime Minister reportedly personally greeted and talked with a large number of the teachers attending the event, listening carefully to their queries, requests and statements.

Another cabinet member attending the reception, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Sabah echoed the premier’s assertion that the expected grillings would not be allowed to divert the progress of political work in the country, saying that the cabinet “will not allow the interpellations” to stand in the way of progress. Meanwhile, State Minister of Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudhan revealed that the cabinet has formed a specialist committee to monitor the issues involved in the Ahmadi gas leak crisis, saying that this demonstrates the government’s commitment to providing suitable and fair solutions to the problems suffered by the area residents. On a separate issue, Minister of Communications and State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Mohammad Al-Busairi said that the major development projects planned for the near term future will require the involvement of a great many creative and highly educated Kuwaitis. Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Municipality Affairs Dr. Fadhil Safar also revealed that the contractors behind the construction of the new Shadadiya University complex have been given the green light to access all the necessary facilities to expedite the project’s completion.

Kuwait to build 50 Iraqi homes KUWAIT: A senior foreign ministry official revealed on Tuesday that Kuwait has reached an agreement with Iraq whereby an estimated 500 meter strip on either side of the nations’ shared border will be left clear, with Kuwait set to pay for the construction of 50 homes outwith the zone for Iraqi citizens currently living in the affected area. Speaking to reporters during a celebration held at the Lebanese Embassy in Kuwait to mark Lebanon’s National Day, Jassem Al-Mubaraki, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MoFA), said that Kuwait had requested that the residents in the homes currently in this area be relocated, agreeing to fund the construction of new homes, schools and hospitals for those affected.

KUWAIT: The Municipal Council has rejected a request to hold another vote on building a Roman Catholic church in the Mahboula area, although nine of the 15 members who were present at the initial meeting voted in favor of construction going ahead. The members who wish to hold another session to vote on the matter again required only one more vote to attain the necessary two-thirds majority that would allow the motion to be passed. This would reportedly have been attained if councilor Shaye Al-Shaye had been present, but he is currently receiving medical treatment overseas, so was unable to attend the meeting. Another council member, engineer Ashwaq Al-Mudhaf, told Al-Jarida, the council’s decision to disallow another vote on the issue would embarrass Kuwait overseas, being seen as a black mark against the country, especially following the US State Department’s recent critical report on religious freedom in Kuwait. MP Aseel Al-Awadhi said, “While some are criticizing the US State Department over [its report on] freedom of religion in Kuwait, the municipal council has acted to confirm [the report’s findings] through its second rejection of building a church in Mahboula.” MP Saleh Al-Mulla said the MC had recently begun exceeding the bounds of its authority, adding that its decision not to grant a license for the construction of the church in Mahboula cannot be ignored, and adding, “We will oppose this ridiculous council that does not have the right to change the subjects it receives into political or religious issues.” Another MP, Naji AlAbdulhadi, urged the government to deal transparently with this issue, and clearly announce its stance on the construction of churches, either permitting or forbidding their construction provided that they are built in areas where their presence is agreeable to local residents. to reject or allowing building of churches provided that they be in areas that do not cause disturbance for others.

KUWAIT: Sheikh Ahmed Mishal Al-Ahmad launching the careers fair.

Mishref Fairgrounds host Career Fair By Nawara Fattaho v a KUWAIT: Unemployment is an increasing problem not only in Kuwait but throughout the world. In Kuwait, there is the added problem of masked unemployment in the public sector and thousands of fresh Kuwaiti graduates looking for a job every year. Most Kuwaitis prefer working in the public sector because they find it easier and more secure. The government, meanwhile, has tried to encourage Kuwaiti’s to join the private sector by supplementing the salaries of those in the private sector with stipends. Career Fair ‘10 is being held from November 24 - 26 in Hall 7 of the Kuwait International Fairgrounds in Mishref. The event will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of State for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs. The event was launched by Sheikh Ahmad Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Assistant Undersecretary in the office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs. Last year about 10,000 jobseekers visited the fair. “We hope that this year even more visitors will come,” Abdul Rahman Al-Nassar, Executive Director of the Kuwait International Fair (KIF) said during the launch yesterday. “The fair offers new and suitable opportunities for young job seekers.” He added that the 26 companies participating in the fair inform potential applicants about their work atmosphere, conditions, benefits and training programs. Exhibitions play an important role in facilitating employment. “This fair allows employees and employers an opportunity to meet each other,” he continued. “The Career Fair is an invitation for all serious job seekers to come and find a job that matches their academic and work experience.” The economic crisis has decreased job opportunities. “The work market was badly affected by the crisis but we noticed that the situation has improved,” Al-Nassar added. He pointed out that there is more of a need for employment now than there was before and that many companies are participating in the fair. The director added that not all those looking for a job will find one at the career fair. “It depends on the market’s needs of certain specializations, the applicant’s experiences, education and several other factors.” He added that the fair usually attracts a large crowd and that he hopes they will be able to host a fair more than just once a year. The fair will be open from 9:30am - 1pm, and from 4:30pm - 9:30pm. On Friday it will be open from 5pm 10:30pm. Those sponsoring the fair this year are Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Kuwait Flour Mills and Bakeries Co., Burgan Bank, Al-Ekhlas Holding Co, Kuwait Investment Authority, Dahia and Al-Mansuriya Co, and Gloria Jeans Cafe.

KUWAIT: The booth of BNP Paribas

KUWAIT: Sheikh Ahmad Mishal at the booth at the Arab Open University. — Photos by Joseph Shagra


Thursday, November 25, 2010

NATIONAL

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MPs condemn Al-Jassem’s arrest Speedy implementation raises questions KUWAIT: Several members of the National Assembly yest er day criticized the government for t he rapid imprisonment of recently convicted writer Moha mmad Abdulqader Al-Jassem, pointing out that it had failed to implement similar rulings issued some yea rs ago. Liber al MP Saleh Al-Mulla said that the speedy implement ation of Al-Jassem’s sentence r aised a number of quest ions, adding that t he gover nment had failed to discharge the verdicts against others convicted of criminal act s such as theft and involvement in perpet rating slaver y. Al-Mulla said that one former government official who was sent enced t o a term of imprisonment for defrauding a number of bus inessmen was allowed to flee the country and had never been forced to serve his sentence.

GENEVA: Kuwait’s envoy to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Dherar Al-Rezouqi visiting Kuwait’s section of the UN Women Charity Bazaar in Geneva yesterday.

local spotlight

Can we teach people basic human rights? By Muna Al-Fuzai

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very time I read about the mistreatment of a child or abuse against women I feel that there are those out there who need to learn what they should or should not take. I also think that such matters should be handled carefully and professionally so that any person who feels that he or she has been abused or harassed won’t feel ashamed or embarrassed for being the target of these actions. I have to admit that I don’t think verbal abuse is a small matter. In fact, I think it reflects the vulgarity of a person and that people need to clearly and firmly tell those that offend them that their comments are not acceptable or welcome. Let’s suppose two people of different cultures have an argument about parking their cars. One of them gets very angry and uses language that the other person finds offensive or improper. Now, you have the option of shutting your mouth and pretending that what the person said did not offend you or you could escalate the situation by fighting over what the person said. That however, is a complicated situation because while it may be a relief to release your anger you could end up in a dangerous situation and find yourself taking the blame for a war you did not ask for. So what are you supposed to do when you find yourself in trouble and your rights as a human are being threatened? Why is it so hard for people to fight for their rights? Those who come from advanced societies where human rights are highly respected would not allow a person to misuse or mistreat them because it does not match their ethics, values, culture or political system. At the same time you would find those who live under a dictatorship willing to accept or adapt to daily humiliation. In some cases they will go so far as to fight to protect their system of abuse and deny that it is even taking place. Are we being selective when we talk about human rights? Most of the time we focus on women’s rights, children’s rights or the freedom of expression but I don’t think that rights should be separated into categories. I think humans deserve their rights, regardless of their race or gender. I also think that international organizations and education committees, such as UNESCO, must initiate guidelines for human rights in education, especially in developed countries. If we started with local schools in every country then change could be felt on all levels. Expatriates did not come to this country to be slaves. No matter how small their jobs are no one should be allowed to feel abused, mislead or mistreated. mun a@k uwaittimes. net

kuwait digest

Freedom of opinion By Dr Ghanim Al-Najjar he one-year prison term given to columnist Mohammad Abdulqader Al-Jassem takes Kuwait back to square one regarding freedom of expression, and the ease with which public figures can go after those columnists and opinion-makers who displease them. Those occupying public positions should tolerate criticism, no matter how strong it is, and should not get involved in an unequal duel. As the case enters the appeals stage, which may restore things to their proper path, while opposing any criminalization of the expression of opinion, whether or not we agree with it, we must recall that we cannot hold the justice system responsible for these problems since it rules only according to the legislation issued by the National Assembly. MP Aseel Al-Awadhi was absolutely right when she declared her intention to introduce a bill that would cancel any legislation criminalizing the conscientious expression of opinion. The entire responsibility at present lies with the National Assembly, which must amend those laws which restrict freedoms generally, particularly those which limit freedom of expression, many of which, including the press laws, are clearly unconstitutional. It is clear that the levels of regression in terms of achievement, progress, public life and development have grown and extended across society in recent years. If the judicial system is used to silence an opinion here or there, regardless of our feelings on those opinions, we will continue going down this dark dead-end road. — Al-Jarida

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In a similar case, he said, another man had been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for trading in visas and was also allowed to flee the country and evade justice. Islamist MP Mohammad Hayef accused the government of practicing a policy of double standards concerning the implementation of court rulings, saying that it had been quick to apply the verdict against a prisoner of conscience while failing to implement sentences against others found guilty on criminal charges for many years. Hayef stated that the government had failed to apply rulings issued several years ago against individuals convicted in cor-

ruption cases while ensuring that AlJassem was imprisoned on the same day as the verdict was announced. Al-Jassem, who was given a one-year prison term on Monday for allegedly defaming and insulting His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammed Al-Sabah in an article published on the writer’s website in 2009, was arrested by authorities late on Monday night in implementation of the verdict. On a separate issue, meanwhile, MP Mubarak Al-Khurainij yesterday proposed that the government should grant a oneoff payment worth one month’s salary to

all Kuwaiti public sector employees and pensioners to mark the 50th anniversary of Kuwait’s independence which falls in February next year. A number of MPs quickly seconded AlKhurainij’s proposal, saying that it would help citizens, especially as the prices of essential goods continue to rise. In a related development, MP Daifallah Buramya insisted that scrapping interest on Kuwaiti citizens’ loans and once again raising their salaries are the top two priorities for a majority of MPs. He claimed that as many as 37 MPs support a draft law proposing the scrapping of interest on loans.


NATIONAL

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

CPJ slams Kuwait Watchdog rejects Jassem’s verdict

KUWAIT: Health Minister Dr Hilal Al-Sayer donating blood yesterday. He said the number of blood donors during the campaign launched by the ministry at its premise is 110. He said the campaign will cover all ministries, as there is a dire need for blood by some patients.

kuwait digest

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ollowing the local news makes us wonder how the Cabinet and parliament lost the road map they need to make achievements. Reading the priorities of each authority clearly shows that they have lost sight of what really matters. The Cabinet is required to submit their list of priorities to the parliament either in draft law or encourage the parliament to speed up the process of whatever draft laws they are working on.

Meanwhile, the parliament’s priorities seem to be controlled by whatever happens on a daily basis around the country. One day the Ahmadi gas leak crisis is their top priority and the next it is the delayed return of pilgrims. The current term is significant because it provides us an opportunity to evaluate the parliament’s performance and its MPs. The Cabinet and those that support them in the parliament should focus on making achievements. If they do not remain focused, the minority in the parliament who do not approve of the Cabinet will distract them with

interpellations. It is worth pointing out that these interpellations are of no use for two reasons. The first is that the subjects these MPs want to discuss are marginal and do not require grilling motions. Secondly, the Cabinet, enjoying majority support in the Parliament, will be able to overcome these motions unless strong evidence is provided. Therefore, the Cabinet is facing its true political test this term; they will either successfully implement true development or lose their way once again. —Al-Qabas

Nine people injured in road accidents around Kuwait By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A 38-year-old Kuwaiti man was rushed to the Amiri Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with severe head injuries following a two-car collision on the Second Ring Road between Shamiya and Kaifan yesterday. The driver of the other vehicle involved, a 19year-old bedoon (stateless) man, also sustained head injuries, as well as complaining of acute back pain, in the accident and was taken to the same hospital. In a separate incident, a 36year-old bedoon man suffered a broken pelvis and heavy facial cuts in a car crash in Kabad. He was taken to

Farwaniya Hospital. In another accident, a 53year-old Kuwaiti man was rushed to Farwaniya Hospital after sustaining multiple fractures and heavy bruising to the skull in a crash in Miqaa on the King Fahad Road turnoff. Meanwhile, two Indian men were taken to Mubarak Hospital after suffering cuts to the head and back pain respectively in a car accident on King Fahad Road. In a separate case, a 55-yearold Egyptian man had a lucky escape, suffering only shoulder pain when the bus he was travelling in overturned on Amghara Bridge after the driver lost control of the steering. The injured man was taken to Jahra

Hospital. In another incident, a 42year-old Bangladeshi man suffered a broken nose and heavy facial bruising when he was hit by a car in Moussa Ibn Nussair Street in Hawally. He was taken to Mubarak Hospital. In a similar case, an eightyear-old boy was also taken to Mubarak Hospital after suffering bruising to his right ankle when he was knocked down by a car in Salmiya.

Lift fall A 52 year old Filipino was rushed to Farwaniya Hospital after suffering a broken left thighbone when he fell down the lift shaft in an apartment block in the area.

Walk to raise diabetes awareness KUWAIT: The Landmark Group is set to hold Kuwait’s first-ever walkathon this weekend with the event, beginning with kit collection at the Yacht Club on Gulf Road at 8:00 AM on Saturday, and the walkathon itself starting at 9:00 AM from the Yacht Club and Green Island. Everyone is welcome to come along and take part in the fun family event, a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative by the Landmark Group, which is intended to raise awareness of diabetes and its causes in the wider community. The Ministry of Health and the Dasman Diabetes Institute will be the patrons of the walkathon, which the Landmark Group explained is intended to raise

awareness of diabetes and its causes in the wider community. In a statement released yesterday, the Landmark Group stressed that the more people who take part in Saturday’s event the better, saying everyone’s participation counts. Those wishing to take part in the walkathon can get more information on the event by phoning the Landmark Group on: 22412233. Would-be participants can also register at all Landmark Group outlets, including Centrepoint, TK Maxx, The Home Centre, and the New Look stores, and confirm their attendance by emailing n.alami@asdaa.com or s.lobo@asdaa.com or faxing 22411199.

KUWAIT: The National Guards Undersecretary Maj Gen Naser Al-Daie met at his office yesterday with the military attache at the American embassy Wed Fot and discussed the means of conducting a joint exercise between the American special forces and terrorism combating squad in the National Guard.

Al-Harbi presents credentials KHARTOUM: Kuwaiti ambassador Dr Suleiman Abdullah AlHarbi presented here yesterday his credentials as a plenipotentiary and extraordinary ambassador to president of the republic of Chad Irdiss Deby. Al-Harbi said in the Chadian capital of N’Djamena that he conveyed to president Deby the greetings of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and

that the meeting touched on the bilateral ties between the two countries and the ways of bolstering them in various fields. Further, Al-Harbi said that president Deby asked him to convey his greetings to the Amir and expressed his keenness to accept the invitation offered by the Amir to visit Kuwait, voicing his happiness over the bilateral ties binding the

two countries, and expressing his readiness to boost such ties to a new high in various fields. Al-Harbi presented yesterday a copy of his credentials to the Chadian Foreign Minister and is due to meet in the coming two days with the Chadian parliament speaker as well as a number of Chadian ministers to discuss with them ways of boosting joint cooperation. —KUNA

Mohammad Abdulqader Al-Jassem and for the government to stop its patently politicized persecution of this prominent journalist. It is absurd that the authorities will pursue 18 different cases against a critical journalist until he is silenced.” At a public rally called by several political groups in support of Jassem late on Tuesday, opposition MPs Faisal AlMuslim and Mussallam Al-Barrak called on the prime minister to step down.

Jassem, a prominent critic of the prime minister, had already been detained twice over the past year for a total of two months in connection with cases filed by the government. In October, Kuwait dropped 27 positions in the Reporters Without Borders world press rankings for 2010. The watchdog cited the emirate’s harsh treatment of Jassem as the main reason. —AFP

MPs demand Ahmadi evacuation

Cabinet facing true political test By Abdulmuhsin Jamaal

KUWAIT: The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists yesterday condemned a one-year jail sentence handed to a prominent Kuwaiti writer for criticizing the prime minister. “The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns a one-year prison sentence given to Mohammed Abdulqader AlJassem, a Kuwaiti writer and journalist,” the watchdog said in a statement posted on its website. The case is only one of 18 that the government has filed against the journalist in the past year, the media watchdog said. Jassem, 54 and a heart patient, was arrested on Monday hours after the lower court convicted him of slandering Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad AlAhmad Al-Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family. He was convicted over an article he posted on his website a year ago charging that Iranian intelligence was interfering in Kuwaiti affairs through a leading businessman close to the premier. Jassem and his lawyer Abdullah AlAhmad said they would challenge the verdict in the court of appeals. The CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Mohamed Abdel Dayem, said: “We call on the Kuwaiti appeals court to overturn the conviction against ... Jassem

Amiri envoy meets Lebanese president BEIRUT: Envoy of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, Advisor at the Amiri Diwan Mohammad Dheifallah Sharar, met here yesterday with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, handing him an invitation letter to attend the celebrations of Kuwait’s 50th anniversary of Independence and 20th Liberation Day. Sharar said after his meeting with Suleiman that “I was honored to be delivering His Highness’s invitation to President Suleiman,” affirming that such assignment would further bolster relations between the state of Kuwait and Lebanon. Sharar also reflected to President Suleiman Kuwait’s solid stance with issues concerning Lebanon.

KUWAIT: The Environmental Public Authority (EPA) ruled out the possibility that the gas leak in Ahmadi could have been the result of the presence of a natural gas field, reported Annahar. In a statement made recently to the press, EPA Deputy Manager Ali Haidar asserted that they never issued reports confirming such a speculation. He added that preliminary reports indicate that the problem is most likely the result of a leak in the old pipeline network that the Kuwait Oil Company once used to provide the area with cooking gas. The announcements were made as the subject continues to escalate in the parliament, reported Al-Qabas. While MPs applauded the Cabinet’s decision to provide families evacuated from Ahmadi with a KD 500 stipend - and some argued that the stipend should be increased - additional demands were made calling on the government to evacuate the entire area. The Development and Reform Bloc (DRB) announced that they will request a parliamentary investigation into the exact reason behind the crisis. Additionally, MP Dr Faisal Al-Mislem announced the bloc’s decision to support the formation of a committee within the parliament to investigate the situation behind the emergency landing of a Kuwait Airways Corporation’s (KAC) plane in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In other news, the Cabinet

was accused of failing to provide the parliament’s public funds protection committee with information they asked for regarding the Russian loan case. In a statement made recently to the press following the committee’s latest meeting, committee reporter MP Musallam AlBarrak said that the committee will file their final report based on the information they have on hand, even if the Cabinet fails to provide information in time. Regarding the release of the two Iranians accused of selling drugs, official sources indicated that a report was written by a committee formed to doublecheck the investigations report filed by the interior and defense committee. The sources said that the committee proved that significant parts of the testimony made by the managing director of the criminal investigations department, Major General Ali Al-Yousuf, were cut out. The

sources further indicated that the parts omitted support the stance of Minister of Interior Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid AlSabah, who was found guilty in the previous report of releasing two people accused of selling drugs and sentenced to be deported. Should the new committee’s report be accepted, the omitted testimonies will be added to the final report, the sources asserted. Meanwhile, the parliament’s housing committee is expected to give top priority to discussion on the establishment of shareholding companies to build housing projects according to the state’s development plan, reported Annahar. Committee reporter MP Naji Al-Abdulhadi indicated that this plan would help create nearly 500,000 new job opportunities for citizens. On a separate topic, MP AlMislem asserted that the DRB

is committed to filing their intended interpellation motion against the Minister of Education Dr Moudhi AlHumoud, reported Al-Rai. He also reiterated the bloc’s willingness to put their grilling on hold until an interpellation prepared by the National Action Bloc against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah over the sports issue is filed. MP Al-Abdulhadi announced that the establishment of a communications authority is still a top priority for the parliament’s public facilities committee. He demanded that the Minister of Communications, Dr Mohammad Al-Busairi, “commit to his promises regarding the demands in regards to the phone services”. The MP called upon “insufficient ministers” to resign in order to ease the burden currently on His Highness the Prime Minister”.

in the news Green Island hosts Lebanese festival KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) is prepared to host a Lebanese festival on Green Island next Friday in observance of Lebanon’s National Day celebrations on November 26. The step comes as part of TEC’s commitment to provide the best services to all members of the expatriate community in Kuwait. In a statement made recently to the press, Green Island supervisor Nassir Al-Foudary announced that Nassir Al-Foudary the special event will feature several activities that will reflect Lebanese culture. He said the event will start with a parade and a musical performance. Kuwaiti musician Adel AlRuwaished will also participate in the event with a musical performance catered specifically to the celebration of the Lebanese minority. The event will also feature competitions in best drawing and best Lebanese national dress. Move to lift Mislem’s immunity KUWAIT: The government reportedly intends to mobilize all cabinet members to attend next Tuesday’s (November 30) parliamentary session, where the removal of MP Faisal AlMislem’s parliamentary immunity from prosecution is set to be discussed. The Public Prosecution Service has requested that Al-Mislem’s parliamentary immunity be lifted in order to question him over charges filed against him by the Burgan Bank concerning ‘Chequegate,’ the controversial case in which he obtained personal cheques signed by a member of the ruling family to exhibit in parliament.

KUWAIT: Chairman of board and general manager of Kuwait News Agency, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Sabah receiving the Iranian foreign ministry’s official spokesman and assistant minister and his accompanying delegation this week.

Ambassador defends pilgrims’ border detention KUWAIT: Saudi Arabian authorities are fully authorized to take any procedures they deem fit against Haj pilgrims attempting to leave the country who are found to have entered it illegally in order to perform the annual pilgrimage, said the Saudi Ambassador to Kuwait on Tuesday. Ambassador Dr Abdulaziz Al-Fayez told Al-Rai that the Kuwaiti pilgrims recently detained on the Saudi side of the Saudi-Kuwaiti border were found to have used temporary transit visas to

enter the kingdom rather than the special Haj visas necessary for entering the country during the Haj period, when millions of pilgrims travel there from across the world. He stressed that the Saudi authorities’ only problem with these pilgrims concerned their dishonesty in the information they provided to get into the country. The ambassador asserted that pilgrims who flout the visa regulations should expect to be held to account over their actions, which he said can nega-

tively affect the Saudi authorities’ efforts to regulate the massive annual event. Ambassador Al-Fayez defended the officials who took the fingerprints of the pilgrims in question, saying that this was a standard part of the procedure against those who entered the kingdom fraudulently, who are required to sign undertakings guaranteeing that they will not attempt to reenter the country for the next three years. He explained that this is a routine measure also imple-

mented by several other countries, adding that some of the pilgrims detained had fraudulently entered the country using the wrong visas on as many as five previous occasions. On the issue of other pilgrims who were stuck at Jeddah Airport for around 15 hours after their flights home were delayed, the ambassador said that such delays were to be expected when around two million pilgrims were returning home to their countries following the conclusion of Haj.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

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Green Line group slams Kuwait government over Ahmadi gas leak Great difference between transparency, integrity KUWAIT: The Green Line Environmental Group (GLEG) stated yest erday that t he ongoing problems over the Ahmadi gas leak situation demonstrat e t he governmentís incompetence in crisis management, warning that the det erior ating conditions there increase the likelihood of human casualties. In a statement issued yesterday, the organization noted that it had been at tempting for some time to increase awar eness of environmental problems which urgently need to be addr essed before they can get out of control. GLEG chairman Khalid Al-Hajri was critical of state officialsí claims that t he situation in Ahmadi is under control, pointing out that these were made at the same time as local residents were being evacua ted. “There is a great difference between transparency and integrity,” said AlHajri, referring to the government’s earlier vow to be more transparent in its dealings. Al-Hajri also warned against the potential hazards that could result from the horizontal expansion of the gas leak, saying that these could reach not only local schools and hospitals, but could also extend to the area’s industrial estate, leading to massive explosions. The head of the non-profit environmental organization explained that Ahmadi residents face three major dangers; atmospheric pollution from the spread of gas, an increased possibility of explosions in areas where the gas is concentrated, and the presence of recently discovered subterranean caves

Al-Humoud visits World Bank for partnership talks

KUWAIT: The Lebanese Ambassador to Kuwait, Bassam Al-Nuomani, recently hosted a reception to celebrate Lebanon’s 67th National Day, which was attended by several ambassadors, diplomats, media figures and dignitaries, including the Minister of Oil and Information Sheikh Ahmad AlAbdullah Al-Sabah. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

kuwait digest

Criticism leads to improvement By Waleed Al-Rujaib

L

ocal columnists and intellectuals in Kuwait were dismayed to hear about the sentencing of writer Mohammad AlJassem to jail. They were disappointed not only to hear that he will be going to jail for more than one year for expressing his opinion but also for the fact that freedom in Kuwait is being threatened. Government officials have lost their ability to accept criticism. Following a period in which we have grown optimistic with the truce between the government and columnists, it seems as though the government is determined to use the law to silence oppositionists. Now that Al-Jassem has been imprisoned,

readers will be more curious to read his article and the matter will earn international attention and further tarnish Kuwait’s reputation on human rights in the process. Escalating this case will certainly not solve the problem. Kuwait is expected to experience huge development projects and it’s normal for citizens to criticize any deficiencies in the government’s performance. Criticism can be of the country’s benefit if it encourages improved performance. The chances of errors increase as people progress with work and productivity and it is the public’s role to notify their government whenever such errors are made. Critical comments should be rewarded for the important role they play in aiding development. — Al-Rai

WASHINGTON: Kuwait’s Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Moudhi Al-Humoud visited the World Bank (WB) and held meetings with officials on the education partnership between her ministry and WB. In a statement yesterday, Al-Humoud said that her meetings were related to the partnership with the WB in helping the Kuwaiti Education Ministry in some of its education development projects. She affirmed that the relationship between the ministry and the WB goes back to five years, when a WB team set up the educational indexes for the Kuwaiti ministry. She noted that the ministry benefited from these indexes and was “able to define the developmental horizons for some educational issues.” She said, “We have three projects at the current time with the WB,” which are the diversification of the secondary education, integrating students with special needs in the government schools, in addition to developing the school environment and to increase the schools’ qualifications through the educational services being offered to students. She added that they also discussed during the meetings the future cooperation horizons within the framework of the projects that the ministry will carry out during upcoming years. The aim of this is to make Kuwaiti students capable of globally competing in the basic subjects, which are mathematics, science, and use of technology, as well as making schools more attractive and qualified for the students, she stressed. According to the minister, she and the officials also discussed experiences of the other countries. She said that education in Kuwait is “very developed” according to the WB indexes, as education is available for everyone, the rate of illiteracy is “very low” and the capabilities offered by the government for schools are “very high.” — KUNA

KUWAIT: Capt Ammar Dashty from the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Traffic delivered a lecture recently to students of the police officer’s training department. He discussed the importance of police patrol, the role of policemen and the mechanisms that should be followed in issuing traffic tickets.

which could potentially result in landslides, similar to a major incident in AlThahar a few years ago. Al-Hajri also condemned what he said was the government’s inadequacy in acting to prevent environmental crises, instead shifting these problems to the Environmental Public Authority (EPA), which he was also highly critical of. The GLEG head asserted that the country’s environmental problems are being addressed by unqualified EPA personnel, as well as condemning the authority’s Director General, Dr. Saleh Al-Moudhi, over his failure to issue any statements to date on the Ahmadi crisis. Al-Hajri also suggested that the theory of the Ahmadi leak being caused by geological factors, rather than any faults in the main gas pipeline, is cor-

rect. The GLEG chairman supported this theory by indicating that gradual geological changes had led to previously confined subterranean natural gas being released and rising to the surface. He said that the underground caverns were formed by the spaces which the gas had previously inhabited, with these new caves increasing the possibility of landslides in the area. Al-Hajri said that Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) chairman Sami AlRashid had indirectly confirmed an earlier GLEG discovery when he announced at a press conference that the whole Ahmadi area is sitting directly on a rock layer. The GLEG head explained that the organization had previously indicated that the area’s location directly above a

layer of limestone has significantly helped in the creation of the subterranean caverns beneath it. “Natural gas is usually discovered in Al-Ahmadi every now and then”, AlHajri noted, explaining that these gases come from underground rather than any leak in the area’s network of pipelines. He added that the regular seismic activities seen in Ahmadi have played a major role in these gases rising to the surface. The prominent environmentalist ended the statement by calling for the establishment of an institute studying seismic activities which could create a detailed seismic map of Kuwait, explaining that the lack of such studies had made it difficult to diagnose the causes of Ahmadi crisis.

Kuwait, India increasing cooperation NEW DELHI: Kuwait’s Ambassador to India, Sami Al-Suleiman said yesterday that Kuwait and India are expanding cooperation in various fields other than oil, including education and health. He said that his country was interested in making more investments in these two sectors in India. Interacting with Indian students from different schools in northern cities of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, the envoy said that the presence of half-amillion Indians in Kuwait and existence of as many as 18 Indian schools there, proved the fact that close ties prevailed between the two nations. Drawing out similarities between the education systems of both countries, he encouraged exchange programs between schools and universities, as it would enable both sides to understand each other’s education systems. Hailing India as a huge country with a large population where religious tolerance prevailed among all the communities, Suleiman said that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) always preached peace and communal harmony, and that India was a wellestablished example of this message. The Kuwaiti envoy talked very candidly

with the Indian students on varied issues. He also replied to the students’ questions. About the role of women in Kuwaiti politics, the ambassador said that today the Kuwaiti Parliament had four women legislators and one woman minister. He also referred to the decree issued by the Kuwaiti Amir in 1999 allowing women’s role in their politics. Seemingly in a very jovial mood, the Kuwaiti ambassador also talked with the Indian students about Bollywood, and how Indian film stars were famous in his homeland. On the occasion, First Secretary to the Kuwaiti ambassador Abdul Al-Mailam, and two diplomat attaches to the envoy-Jamal Al-Shehad and Abdullah Al-Hajeri-were also present. Meanwhile, the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) of Pakistan and Kuwait will hold its third two-day meeting next January in Kuwait, it was disclosed in Islamabad yesterday. The JMC’s meeting was scheduled to be held next week in Kuwait. However, due to unavailability of ministers on the agreed dates, the meeting has been postponed, a source in the Economic

Affairs Division said. The commission will meet on Jan 17 and 18. The commission’s previous meeting was held in 2003 in Islamabad. It is expected that Pakistan is going to raise the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and other trade related issues with Kuwait at the bilateral meeting. According to reports, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), proposed in a letter to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) ways for improving trade with the oil-rich country. The proposals include providing more access to the Kuwaiti, seeking more trade concessions that will help the local trading body overcome post-flood challenges, and setting up a joint a business forum, which would facilitate exchange of trade delegations between the two countries’ chambers of commerce. TDAP also proposed holding an exhibition in Kuwait to market Pakistani products. Pakistan has a share of only over USD 75 million in the imports of Kuwait and is in highly disadvantageous position in the balance of trade due to the huge import of oil. — KUNA


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Trio held for kidnap, rape of young girl Fugitive flees to Saudi

KUWAIT: Three rapists who kidnapped and assaulted an underage girl were caught by Salmiya detectives, reported Al-Rai. The victim was kidnapped while walking along the beach by three men and brought to a chalet in Jlaiah where she wa s sexually assaulted. After being returned to the area where she was kidnapped, the victim informed her father and a report was filed with police. Authorities were able t o arrest one of t he sus pect s based on infor mation the victim provided t o police. When questioned by authorities, the detainee led officials to his accomplices. In their defense the men said that the young girl came along wit h them willingly. All t hr ee of them were c har ged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a minor. Fatal accident A senior citizen was killed and another was injured during a car accident on Sixth Ring Road, reported Al-Watan. Paramedics responded to the incident and brought the two injured people to Jahra Hospital. It was reported however that the 60-year-old citizen died on his way to the hospital. A case was opened for further investigation.

UN Millennium goals still achievable UNITED NATIONS: The UN’s Millennium Development Goals are still obtainable by the set deadline of 2015, despite increased challenge of late, should all parties show firm political will and exert sincere effort, Kuwait said at a UN meeting. The sentiment was in the speech by First Secretary at the Kuwaiti Mission Saad Abdelaziz Al-Muhaini before the UN General Assembly’s 65th session, during the meeting to discuss development regarding “Outcome of the Millennium Summit”. The diplomat said: “We agree with the Secretary General’s view that the development goals are still achievable, and that it is still possible to create a better world of less divide and conflict, wider horizons of cooperation and partnership, and more prevalent peace and stability.” Kuwait had taken its

pledge to help achieve these goals to heart and increased its contributions towards “reaching that noble end on time.” The state hiked its aid and support to developing nations to 1.31 percent of its Gross Domestic Product, he pointed out. In aid of Africa with its bane of widespread disease and poverty, the diplomat noted that the state granted Islamic Development Bank a sum of $300 million to address this and related issues. It also contributed $100 million to the Fund for Decent Living, founded on its initiative. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah also initiated the set up The Arab Development Fund for small and medium projects at $2 billion and pledged $500 million as its contribution in capital. The diplomat also pointed out that the Kuwait Fund for

Arab Economic Development is as active as ever in supporting development and infrastructure projects, now active in 100 states, and contributed some $15 billion. Al-Muhaini said the leaders who attended the second review on progress regarding the millennium goals in September had indicated a failure to meet the first goal of reducing poverty and hunger, and agreed more earnest effort is needed regarding health of mothers and young children, and closer cooperation is also needed to meet other goals. The diplomat reiterated the agreement reached at the meeting in New York that it is still possible to achieve these goals, through showing sincere political will and action and through commitment by all parties in the international community to their obligations. He noted that Kuwait

had realized the road to overall sustainable development passes through local national development, and had accordingly drafted its 2010-2014 development plan aiming at development in the sectors and areas of education, health care, human resources, and institutional framework and function, with stress on the state’s infrastructure. The leaders had in their meeting in New York pointed out areas of specific challenge to realizing the millennium goals in the near future and present including the global economic crisis, increased prices of food products, fluctuation in fuel prices, and other issues. They remarked action was particularly required on the part of developed nations, who ought to honor their pledges of channeling 0.7 percent of their GDP to development projects across the globe. — KUNA

Asian assaulted An Asian man was seriously injured in Salmiya after he was assaulted by a citizen who caught him having an affair with his domestic worker, reported Al-Watan. The citizen attacked the strange man after he caught him in his maid’s room and beat him unconscious with a steel pipe. Paramedics responded to the emergency and admitted the victim to the intensive care unit

of nearby hospital with a fractured skull. Camp robbed Thieves broke into a camp in Jahra and stole everything inside after tying up its janitor, reported Al-Rai. Neighbors called the police when they discovered the janitor tied to the tent’s pole. The Janitor informed police that the tent was robbed last night by thieves who escaped in a white pickup truck. A case was opened and police are searching for the thieves. Fugi tiv e flee s A juvenile charged with robbery escaped from police and fled to Saudi Arabia, reported Al-Rai. The suspect was initially arrested for robbing a money exchange shop in Jleeb AlShuyoukh but was able to

escape from authorities while being transferred to court. It was reported that he was assisted in his escape by a person on a motorcycle. After questioning various family members on his whereabouts, they finally confessed that they helped the young man escape to Saudi Arabia. Police are coordinating with Saudi authorities to arrest the fugitive. Su laib iya fig ht Police were able to break up a fight in Sulaibiya between seven bedoon men before it turned deadly, reported AlAnba. Upon arresting several of the brawlers, police discovered that they were in possession of several knives. An investigation revealed that the fight was the result of an argument between one bedoon man, who also had Dutch nationality, and

a relative who gave him money to help him get the same nationality. When the man was unable to deliver on his promise his relative was unconvinced and attacked the man because he believed that he was being scammed. Intoxicated drivers A man was arrested in Rumathiya for being so drunk he was dancing in the middle of the street, reported Al-Anba. He was referred to a nearby police station. Meanwhile, a citizen in his forties was arrested after he was found intoxicated in a car near Zoor Port. Upon approaching the suspiciously parked car, police discovered the man sleeping inside his vehicle. After waking him up, authorities realized that the man was heavily intoxicated. He was referred to the proper authorities.

British queen on Gulf tour LONDON: The British Queen Elizabeth began a five-day state visit to the Gulf yesterday to help strengthen Britain’s ties with the region, it was officially announced here. She will start the trip in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and later in the week travel to the neighbouring GCC nation of Oman where the ruling Sultan Qaboos bin Sayed is celebrating his 40th year in power. The UK Government is attempting to reinvigorate its relationship with states in the region and launched its Gulf Initiative in the summer to promote the aim, officials said. Britain has deep historical ties with the

area’s Arab nations and shared links across a range of topics from defence, trade and climate change to culture, education and health, they added. The Queen has already hosted a state visit by the Amir of Qatar last month - a trip to the UK that bolstered Britain’s ties with the Gulf. She will be joined by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, during her two-day visit to Abu Dhabi and will also be accompanied by Foreign Secretary William Hague. Her second son, The Duke of York, in his role as the UK’s special representative for international trade and investment, will also join the royal party for part of the Abu Dhabi leg of the visit. One highlight of the trip will

see the Queen visit the impressive Sheikh Zayed Mosque or Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, a building named after the sheikh who was the first president of the UAE, according to the trip’s programme. During her first full day in the emirate, the Queen will receive an official welcome from Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Khalifa, and while Philip and Andrew attend a military reception with a flypast of aircraft, she will have a private meeting with Sheikha Fatima, the wife of the late ruler. Britain’s trade with the UAE is considerable. It is the UK’s 13th largest export market and by far the largest in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia. — KUNA

Kids cheer a competitor during one of the contests.

TEC official Abdullah Shuaib in a group photo with the Mesilla Beach’s work team.

Mesilla Beach hosts Eid circus

KUWAIT: As part of the Touristic Enterprises special program for Eid AlAdha, Mesilla Beach hosted an international circus show during the holiday, along with a range of competitions and other

events, all sponsored by Zain. Thousands of visitors flocked to the venue to enjoy the events, with the celebrations being declared a great success by the management there.

A competition winner is pictured with his prize.

Kids enjoying one of the events.

A family competition

Juggling

Children take part in a circus routine.


iNTerNaTioNal

Thursday, November 25, 2010

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Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood battles security and suspicion CAIRO: Still flush with an unprecedented 2005 election victory, Mohammed Akef, then the leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, remembers receiving a visitor with a sinister message from the authorities. “They say they will break your bones,” the visitor told Akef, after the banned Islamist movement won a fifth of parliament’s seats with candidates running as independents. “And they have broken our bones,” said the retired Islamist leader. The 82-year-old looks at ease in the Brotherhood’s river front Cairo headquarters, which seem a world away from the almost daily clashes across the country between Islamists and police ahead of this week’s par-

liamentary election. Police have arrested at least 1,200 members of the Brotherhood since it announced in October that it would participate in the vote set for Sunday. The group, Egypt’s largest opposition force, has 130 candidates left for 508 seats after dozens were disqualified. Analysts say the crackdown has as much to do with the ruling party’s insecurity as it does with the Brotherhood’s agenda, which is to eventually establish an Islamist state. “The violence shows that National Democratic Party cannot compete; it lacks a coherent ideology,” said Amr al-Shobaki, an analyst with the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.

Deputy Supreme Guide Mahmud Ezzat says the group chose to field candidates to protect hard-won freedoms, defying calls for a boycott from some of its membership and other opposition groups. “If we do not enter the elections, restrictions on freedoms would tighten. It will lead to a loss of hope among people that will either cause complete apathy or an explosion,” Ezzat said. Electoral participation also helps get the group’s message across, he added. Founded in 1928, the Brotherhood says it wants to create an “Islamic generation” as the foundation of a state ruled by Islamic law. Religious parties are banned in Egypt. In 2005’s third round of vot-

ing, supporters tried to force their way into polling stations closed after the group made surprising gains in the first rounds, and others clashed with police. “People tasted freedom,” said Ezzat. “Yes, it may be a minority, but the Brotherhood’s persistence will widen the circle.” But Shobaki, author of a book on the Islamists, says the Brotherhood will not muster the same amount of support it did in 2005. Egyptians are mired in more material concerns as prices soar, and the election process itself is widely viewed with mistrust. Power lies with President Hosni Mubarak, 82, who has ruled since 1981 and has yet to say whether he will run for re-election in late 2011.

“I see this as a failure in their parliamentary work and, given their (religious) slogans, some intellectuals also feel they are a threat to civil society,” he said. A draft political program leaked to the press a few years ago strengthened these fears. It said the country could not be ruled by a woman or Coptic ChristianCopts comprise up to 10 percent of the country’s 80-million populationand that a clerical council would oversee lawmaking. Ezzat insists his group is committed to democracy. The group also faces suspicion from the United States, Egypt’s main source of foreign aid. Akef recalls meeting with senior interior ministry officials before the

last election, who agreed to let him field only about 150 candidates, but he demanded that the government release Brotherhood prisoners. “They released the last prisoner over the phone, while I was sitting there,” Akef said. “But they said don’t field too many people.” “Bush’s presidency was pressuring them for democracy,” he said. Washington’s pressure on Egypt to hold fair elections that year might have contributed to the group’s success. But analysts say Washington does not want an Islamist government in Egypt that would be hostile to the United States and Israel, while the Egyptian government has warned that such a possibility should not be

ruled out. “It would come up in meetings when Mubarak meets with members of Congress,” said Michelle Dunne, a former State Department diplomat and analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “He would say things like: ‘We have a lot of extremists and we need to be careful,’” said Dunne, a member of a group of analysts who consult with US officials on policy towards Egyptian reforms. Dunne believes an Islamist government is a remote possibility, a view she says is shared by an increasing number of people in Washington who believe it should not be used to justify political restrictions. —AFP

Israeli referendum law could complicate any peace deal

AMMAN: A handout picture from the Jordanian Royal Palace shows Jordan’s King Abdullah (C) posing for a group picture with the newly formed cabinet in Amman on November 24, 2010 after they took the oath of office following a November 9 election. —AFP

Jordan PM forms new government AMMAN: A new Jordanian government took the oath of office before King Abdullah II yesterday, after the monarch asked Prime Minister Samir Rifai to form a new line-up following a November 9 election. There are 11 new faces in the 31-member cabinet, which includes three women and three deputy prime ministers, according to an official list. Royal adviser Ayman Safadi becomes a deputy prime minister while two ministers who held the title in the outgoing cabinet-interior minister Nayef Qadi and minister of state Rajai Moasher both leave office. The interior ministry will be taken over by Saad Hayel Srour, a conservative former parliament speaker who is a scion of one of the kingdom’s largest tribes. Two new faces are among the three women in the new government-Rabiha Dabbas, a former governor of the northern province of Jerash, becomes municipal affairs min-

ister, while Nisrin Barakat, a former secretary general of the National Aid Fund, becomes public development minister. Hala Lattouf retains her position as social development minister. Shortly before his swearing-in, the prime minister said that Jordan faced “major challenges that require real coordination between the government and parliament.” He said that “change is the name of the game... something that was reflected in the results of the parliamentary poll which saw a majority of new members elected.” Pro-government loyalists swept this month’s vote, which was boycotted by the opposition Islamic Action Front. The king called the election two years early in the face of press allegations of ineffectiveness and corruption among some of the MPs elected in the previous poll in 2007. Rifai, 43, has headed the government since December 2009 and had carried out a reshuffle in July. —AFP

Top Fatah members meet for talks on Israel, Hamas RAMALLAH: Senior members of Fatah, the party of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, met yesterday to discuss issues from peace talks with Israel to reconciliation with Hamas. The representatives from Fatah’s Revolutionary Council gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah from early morning for a day of talks on domestic and international political affairs. Abbas was during the day expected to deliver “a very important address on the developments in the political situation, the reconciliation process and the internal situation of the movement,” council member Hussein Al-Sheikh said. He said Fatah’s efforts to reconcile with Hamas would be discussed and would show the Islamist group was to blame for the failure to reach a deal on a government of national unity.

The bitter divisions between Fatah and Hamas go back to the start of limited Palestinian selfrule in the 1990s, when Fatah strongmen cracked down on the Islamist militant group. Their divisions boiled over in June 2007 when Hamaswhich had won a parliamentary election a year earlier-drove Abbas’s loyalists from Gaza in a week of bloody clashes, seizing control of the impoverished territory. All attempts at reconciliation, most of them mediated by Egypt, have failed, with Fatah and Hamas accusing each other of undermining trust by persecuting political rivals in the territory under its control. The last round took place in Damascus earlier this month, but ended without agreement, and the two sides said they would meet again after Eid Al-Adha, which ended on Friday.

In a sign of the continuing divisions, the Revolutionary Council’s deputy Secretarygeneral Sabri Saidam slammed Hamas’s decision “to stop members of the Revolutionary Council in Gaza from coming to take part in the meeting.” In response, Taher al-Nunu, a spokesman for the Hamas government in Gaza, said they would allow them to leave in return for the release of a Hamas member arrested in Nablus. The council members would be allowed to attend “in exchange for a symbolic gesture, the release of Tamam Abu Su’ud as a positive message to our people in the context of reconciliation efforts and national dialogue,” Nunu said. By refusing to release Abu Su’ud, “Fatah bears sole responsibility for the restriction of movement of its leaders,” he added. —AFP

Sudan’s north accuses south of aiding rebels Relations tensed ahead of independence vote KHARTOUM: Sudan’s north said yesterday the semi-autonomous south of the country had declared war by supporting anti-government rebels from Darfur, just weeks ahead of a referendum on southern independence. Sudan’s north-south civil war ended in 2005 with a peace deal that shared wealth and power, enshrined democratic transformation and allowed southerners to vote in a Jan. 9 plebiscite which most expect to result in secession. Sudan’s separate rebellion in Darfur-which is part of the north-began in early 2003 and numerous truces have failed to stem violence there. The International Criminal Court has indicted President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir for war crimes there. “If you are accommodating these forces in the south, you are supplying these forces with weapons, logistics, petrol and cars ... we think that this is a declaration of war against the north of the country,” Mandour al-Mahdi, a senior official from the northern National Congress Party said. Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur, leader of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), one of Darfur’s main rebel groups, will visit the southern capital Juba in the coming days, his spokesman said, and other rebel leaders

have visited or reside there. Mahdi said the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) had moved its forces to the south to receive training. Earlier this month the north accidentally bombed the south while fighting the JEM near the north-south border. South Sudan’s army was not immediately available for comment but denies aiding rebels from Darfur. The south has in the past hosted unity talks between the fractious rebels to try to help move the Darfur peace process forward. If the south separates, Darfur will remain part of the north. The dispute marks a low point in north-south relations which have been tense in the build up to the plebiscite. Talks on resolving the status of the disputed Abyei region are deadlocked and little progress has been made on defining citizenship, the border or other post-referendum issues. Mahdi said the south’s support for Darfur rebels was affecting talks covering security arrangements after the referendum. “They should expel these forces out of south Sudan ... overall I hope that we reach a settlement of this issue so as not to affect the referendum,” he said. —Reuters

New layer of doubt cast over Mideast peace drive JERUSALEM: The path to Middle East peace, already strewn with an array of daunting obstacles, has now got one more hurdle to overcome. Israel’s right-leaning coalition government this week passed a law that will probably force a referendum on any peace deal that involves withdrawing from land annexed by Israel, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, captured from Syria. Palestinians and Syrians have howled in protest, saying that Israel was obliged by international law to return land

“But it’s hard to know whether that will be the result. Many times the moment the government reaches an agreement, the public falls in line, even when the politicians don’t.” The controversial law, which was supported by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will make a referendum on handing over Israeli-annexed land obligatory if the Knesset fails to approve of the deal by a twothirds majority. The legislation comes at a time when US-brokered efforts to resuscitate direct IsraeliPalestinian peace talks have foundered over Jewish settlement building on occupied territory, making the prospects of a swift deal look extremely remote. DEATH SENTENCE? Netanyahu is considering reviving a temporary freeze on building in the West Bank to help Washington renew the negotiations, but is refusing to bow to Palestinian demands that the moratorium include land seized around Jerusalem in 1967. Palestinians see the referendum law as a spoiling tactic designed to prevent any potential deals done under future left-leaning Israeli governments from ever being ratified. “This gives the power of veto to the Israeli side. So in my opinion, this is a death sentence for the so-called peace process,” said Mustafa Al-Barghouti, an independent Palestinian politician, who ran for the presidency in a 2005 election. However, the Palestinians also plan to hold a referendum on any eventual accord, with no guarantees that their diverse electorate, including the far-flung refugee population, will accept the likely compromises needed to seal a deal. Israel itself has never held a referendum in its 62-year history, and previous peace treaties with Arab neighbors Egypt and Jordan were approved by parliament. The new law does not apply to non-annexed land, such as the West Bank, but would include sovereign Israeli territory offered up as part of a land swap that any final peace accord with the Palestinians will undoubtedly require. Opposition parties, and even some members of Netanyahu’s coalition, have criticized the bill. “It’s not a good law, certainly not at this point in time,” said Defense Minister Ehud Barak, leader of the Labor party. “A Palestinian state is in Israel’s clear interest,” he added. DRIFTING RIGHT Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator and now a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, said the idea of a referendum was first raised by the centre-left. The fact they have changed their mind suggested such a vote would be hard to win, he said. “It may demonstrate a realistic reading of just how far to the right politically, ideologically

seized in a 1967 war and had no right to put the matter to a public vote. Israeli analysts say such a vote will add a further level of doubt to the peace process, but believe it might remove an even bigger barrier by enabling the government to bypass the fractious parliament and appeal directly to the public. “Those who proposed this legislation did so with the intent of putting up obstacles to a deal,” said Tamir Sheafer, a political scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

TEL AVIV: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak speaks during a ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel on Tuesday. Barak on Tuesday condemned a recent bill approved by Israel’s parliament that would mean any land concessions to the Palestinians would be voted on in a referendum saying the bill wasn’t necessary and could be used by Israel’s enemies against it. —AP and demographically the Israeli public has shifted,” he added, speaking from New York. A poll published in September by the Yediot Ahronot newspaper found Israelis were divided down the middle when asked if they supported giving up the West Bank and swapping Israeli land in return for the major Jewish settlements. However, a Hebrew University poll from March said 71 percent of Israelis supported a 2-state solution and 60 percent backed dismantling most of the settlements in such a deal. The most heated and passionate debate would likely arise over any moves to hand back East Jerusalem. Palestinians say this will be the capital of their longed-for state, while Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. Even though its allies refuse to recognize the annexation of East Jerusalem, including the Old City, for many Israelis Jerusalem is a non-negotiable part of their biblical heritage. Shmuel Sandler, a senior researcher the BESA Center for Strategic Studies near Tel Aviv, said he backed the idea of a referendum because he did not think a majority would be found in the Knesset to accept an accord. But he agreed that the emotive issue of Jerusalem could cause the whole process to collapse at the last moment. “If (a deal) only involves Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem then it has a chance, but once we involve the Old City and the holy places it will become a very, very tough decision.” —Reuters


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INTERNATIONAL

Thursday, November 25, 2010

British Euro MP booted from parliament in ‘fascist’ spat STRASBOURG: A British Euro MP was booted from the European Parliament yesterday after calling a German colleague an “undemocratic fascist.” The verbal dust-up between Godfrey Bloom, member of the UK Independence Party, and Germany’s Martin Schulz, leader of the assembly’s Socialist bloc, caused a stir in the middle of a debate on Europe’s economic crisis.

As Schulz was asked to wrap up a statement, Bloom interjected. “He just said ‘ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer,’ that’s what I just heard,” Schulz told the 736-member parliament in Strasbourg, saying Bloom had uttered the Nazi motto “One People, One Empire, One Leader.” Parliament president Jerzy Buzek demanded that Bloom apologise, but the eurosceptic British lawmaker was unrepentant.

“The views expressed by ‘Herr’ Schulz make the case. He is an undemocratic fascist,” Bloom told the chamber, prompting Buzek to throw him out of the parliamentary session. Buzek said: “As you know, most of the members of the chamber cannot accept your behavior. I will therefore ask you to leave the chamber at this point.” The heads of five political groups-including the biggest group in parliament, the

conservative European People’s Party-urged Buzek to impose “a severe sanction” on Bloom. “We can never accept that members of the European Parliament insult their colleagues in a way that recalls the worst hours of our history,” the political leaders said in a statement. The UK Independence Party is no stranger to controversy. In February, the party’s leader Nigel Farage said EU President Herman

Van Rompuy had “the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk.” For his part, Schulz was hit once before with a Nazi smear in 2003 when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would be the “perfect” fit for the “role of a kapo” in a film. Kapos were Jews in charge of policing fellow prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. — AFP

EU judges have defied US, Kosovo on extradition

Alleged jihadist wanted by FBI lives openly in Kosovo MITROVICA: The United States considers lumberja ck Ba jram Asllani one of its most w anted men but, because of Kosovo’s unusual interna tional sta tus, it is una ble to extra dite a nds interrogate him. Unlike others on the “most w anted” list, Asllani is not hiding out in a distant desert or rugged mountain ra nge. The 30-yea r-old lives openly w ith his family in Kosovo, a pro-American

GORKI: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) speaks with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao during their meeting at the Gorki residence outside of Moscow yesterday. — AFP

Medvedev slams ruling party for ‘stagnation’ MOSCOW: President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday launched an unprecedented attack on the party that has ruled Russia for the past decade, saying its dominance has left the country stuck in “stagnation.” United Russia-whose overall leader is prime minister and Medvedev’s Kremlin predecessor Vladimir Putin-has held an overwhelming majority in parliament since its creation in 2001. Russia’s liberals have been sidelined to the point of having no members in parliament and the ruling party controls almost every legislature and governorship across the country’s 11 time zones. But Medvedev said the resulting system has made Russia into a monolith that is resistant to productive change and unreceptive to minority voices. “If the ruling party has no chance of ever losing anywhere, it eventually ‘bronzes over’ and degrades, just like any other living organism that does not move,” Medvedev said in a video blog address. He also blamed United Russia for dominating television airtime and receiving a number of other important advantages from federal and local election officials. “We must have equality that is not simply declarative in nature-as it had been in the past-but that is real and measured in hours, minutes and even seconds,” Medvedev said. His comments came ahead of a major policy address the Kremlin chief will deliver to the two houses of parliament Tuesday-a speech that will be read closely for signs of whether Medvedev plans to stand for reelection in 2012. Medvedev gave few hints about his own future yesterday but admitted that some unpleasant realities had developed under his watch. “At a certain point, our political life started showing symptoms of stagnation,” he said in a blog address that he periodically records in a bid to appear more approachable to the Russian public. “And this stagnation is equally damaging to both the ruling party and the opposition forces.” The Russian word for stagnation (or “zastoi”) is often used by histo-

rians to describe the political drift that the Soviet Union experienced in the latter years of Leonid Brezhnev’s leadership-a period when the country’s status as a superpower began to wane. But Russia’s liberals accuse Medvedev of failing to match his ambitious rhetoric with concrete improvements in democracy and human rights. “Words are not enough-we need action,” liberal leader and one-time parliament member Vladimir Ryzhkov told the Interfax news agency. “If the president really does want take stagnation out of our political life and for there to be real competition between the parties, he would need to radically review all the anti-constitutional laws we have now,” Ryzhkov said. Some analysts speculate that Medvedev really would like to introduce radical political change-but that the system he inherited from Putin is too resistant. “The question is whether he will be able to impose this change without threatening stability,” said Alexei Makarkin of the Centre for Political Technologies policy institute. “Many people will oppose this-both in United Russia and among the state bureaucrats,” Makarkin said. The Russian leader-seen by some analysts as more liberal than Putin-has positioned himself in the run-up to the 2012 election campaign as a modernising force for Russia. But he has said little in public about whether he will run for a second term once this one expires. The 2012 election can potentially also be contested by Putin-who would be allowed to stand for a third term under a constitutional loophole. Medvedev has previously expressed mild concern over the role United Russia plays in the country’s politics. But this appears to be his first full-out criticism of the ruling party’s supremacy. “We understand Dmitry Anatolyevich (Medvedev) perfectly well,” top party official Andrei Vorobyov told Moscow Echo radio. “A contemporary democracy needs competition,” he added. “We do not view the opposition as the enemy-it is simply a different voice.”— AFP

VATICAN: Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing, flanked by his personal aide Rev Georg Gaenswein, right, and Archbishop James Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household, during his weekly general audience, in Paul VI Hall, at the Vatican yesterday. — AP

Vatican denounces China for bishop ordination VATICAN CITY: The Vatican yesterday denounced China for ordaining a bishop without papal consent, accusing the government-backed church of gravely damaging the faith and warning that the bishop risked excommunication. Pope Benedict XVI learned of the ordination of Rev. Joseph Guo Jincai “with deep regret” as it constituted a “grave violation” of church law and hampered reconciliation efforts that have been a priority for the papacy, the Vatican press office said. The Vatican also accused Chinese authorities of committing “grave violations of freedom of religion and conscience” by forcing Vatican-approved bishops to attend the ceremony. Guo was ordained a bishop Saturday in Chengde, the first time in five years that China had carried out an ordination without Rome’s consent. News reports have said Chinese authorities forced at least three Vatican-approved bishops to attend, sequestering them for several days beforehand. Communist China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951, and worship is allowed only in state-backed churches, although millions of Chinese belong to unofficial congregations loyal to Rome. In recent years under Benedict, relations have improved and Benedict has said that restoring diplomatic relations is a priority. Disputes over appointments in China’s official church have been avoided by quietly conferring on candidates, leading to several ordinations of bishops with

the Holy See’s blessing. But Guo, a deputy secretary of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, the state-controlled group that runs Catholic churches in China, didn’t have the pope’s consent. He now risks an automatic excommunication, the harshest punishment in church law, the Vatican said. In response, Liu Bainian, vice chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, said he believed the pope cared for Chinese Catholics and didn’t think the excommunication would be formalized. “There are so many followers in China. I believe the pope loves China, he won’t make such a decision,” Liu said. While reaffirming its willingness to improve relations, the Vatican said ordinary Catholics in China and Chengde in particular were most harmed by the decision. The ordination “humiliates them because the Chinese civil authorities wish to impose on them a pastor who is not in full communion either with the Holy Father or with the other bishops throughout the world,” the Vatican said. The move by China, the statement continued, “offends the Holy Father, the church in China and the universal church and further complicates the present pastoral difficulties” involved in tending to a flock in both an official and unofficial church. The Vatican blasted the government for allowing the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, and in particular Bainian “to adopt attitudes that gravely damage the Catholic Church.”— AP

Asllani’s case is caught up in the hybrid legal system of Kosovo, whose own weak judicial system leaves European Union judges and prosecutors to handle major cases involving terrorism and warcrimes. Kosovo, whose independence was recognised by all but a handful of countries nearly three years ago, wants to join the European Union one day but remains an international protectorate more than a decade after its war for liberation from Serbia. The FBI “Wanted” poster on the internet (http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/alert/bajram-asllani) has complicated life for Asllani, who lives on state unemployment benefits for his wife and three children of just 75 euros ($100) a month. “I lost my job and there are times when I don’t have enough to feed my children,” he said after offering a guest a glass of strawberry juice in his ramshackle house. “No one is hiring me. They tell me: you are a terrorist, you have attacked the Americans.” The FBI wanted poster reads: “Bajram Asllani is an alleged co-conspirator with a group of eight individuals in the United States who were allegedly co-conspiring to engage in violent jihad, or holy war, and to raise money for mujihadeen, or warriors engaged in violent jihad.” Asllani, a Kosovar Albanian, was arrested in June but released after EU judges rejected a US request for

Ba lkan country where about 800 US soldiers help preserve a fra gile pea ce betw een majority ethnic Alba nians a nd minority Serbs, formerly the territory’s rulers. A friendly local policema n even pointed the w ay to his street w hen a journa list recently tried to find Aslla ni’s home in Mitrovica, one of the country’s largest cities.

his extradition. The EU judges found that the United States had not provided sufficient grounds for believing that Asllani had committed the offences, and also cited the absence of an extradition accord between Washington and Pristina. Asllani says he is innocent of the charges. The man the FBI considers highly dangerous lives next door to a United Nations building, and on a typical day prays in a local mosque and greets police officers when he goes shopping. His appearance is the same as the long-haired, bearded image that appears on Interpol’s website http://link.reuters.com/rur76q, which advises those with information about his whereabouts to contact police or Interpol. “I am a victim of secret services,” said Asllani, who is accused of providing material support to terrorism suspects and conspiring to kill and hurt people abroad. He is accused of having ties and soliciting money from men in North Carolina arrested last year for an alleged plot to attack a US Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, and alleged plans to hurt people overseas including in Kosovo, Jordan and the Gaza Strip. The complaint alleges Asllani was preparing to buy land in Kosovo to build a base for extremist Islam, including the storage of weapons and training of fighters with the aim of committing terrorist acts overseas.

“We continue to seek his prosecution in the United States,” said US Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd. In September 2009, a Serbian court sentenced Asllani in absentia to eight years in prison for selling weapons to Islamic militants, a charge he denies. His house is a few hundred metres from the Ibar River, which divides the part of the city under Kosovo government control from an ethnic Serb community loyal to Belgrade. Not only the United States and Serbia want to see Asllani behind bars-the Kosovo government has approved a request from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to extradite him. “The Americans know something about him and they will not just accuse someone who has not done something,” a Kosovo government source close to the case told Reuters. “He should have gone to United States to face all accusations.” Asllani said all he had left was his family and his faith, which he said had helped him overcome the horrors he witnessed during Kosovo’s 1998-99 war. “I saw people with hearts cut out, without heads, and after the war I had a lot of trauma,” he said. “Islam has saved me from these traumas. I thank God that has helped me. “Everything has been black since I was accused,” he said. “If I was armed and dangerous, I would not be here and I would have better living conditions.” — Reuters

Gambia cuts economic, diplomatic ties with Iran BANJUL: Gambia’s government is cutting off economic, political and social ties with Iran and expects Iranian government officials to leave the tiny West African nation yesterday. Gambia’s Foreign Ministry did not say why it was abruptly severing relations, but a senior Gambian security official said Tuesday the move was linked to Nigeria’s recent seizure of arms sent from Iran, which were allegedly destined for Gambia. The official declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject. Habib Jarra, permanent secretary at Gambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied the weapons seizure was part of the decision, but he gave no other explanation. Iran’s ambassador to Gambia also offered no explanation and said the news was a “surprise.” The Iranian state news agency IRNA, meanwhile, cited Alaeddin Broujerdi, who heads Iran Foreign Policy parliamentary commission, as saying the United States had pressured Gambia to cut relations with Iran because “Iran’s growing ties with African countries had caused concern in the US and its allies.” A Gambian Foreign Ministry statement issued Monday gave Iranian government officials 48 hours to leave the country. Artillery rockets and other weapons, loaded in 13 shipping containers that were labeled as building supplies, were seized on Oct 26 at a port in Lagos, Nigeria. Nigeria’s security service said the shipment, which originated in Iran, may have been destined for Nigerian politicians intending violence if they lose in upcoming elections. The shipment sat untouched for weeks, a common occurrence at the port, and the Iranian shipper filed a request for the containers to be picked up again and shipped to the West African nation of Gambia. Iran’s foreign minister said at the time the issue had been a “misunderstanding” that had been settled. Gambia, a former British colony, is a tiny sliver of land surrounded on three sides by Senegal. Gambian President Yahya Jammeh grabbed power in a 1994 coup and has a reputation for authoritarian rule and cracking down harshly on decent. In 2006, Jammeh hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at an African summit in the capital, Banjul. The visit was seen as an attempt to drum up support from developing nations its standoff with the United States and Europe over its nuclear program. — AP

HARARE: A Zimbabwean shop worker displays food cans in a supermarket in Harare on October 13, 2010. Zimbabwean restaurant-goers used to pull out giant wads of nearworthless cash that could take longer to count than the time to eat the meal. — AFP

From empty shelves to biscotti, Zimbabwe food scene revives HARARE: Zimbabwean restaurant-goers used to pull out giant wads of near-worthless cash that could take longer to count than the time to eat the meal. If the order was even available. Now diners can peruse anything from wild pigeon consomme to Brazilian churrascaria meats, paid for with a few dollar bills. And once-empty supermarkets boast exotica like biscotti and crusty baguette sticks as “dollarisation”-with the US dollar the de facto currency after the government ditched the local money battered by hyper-inflation-revives the capital’s food scene. “Everything was a major problem. You went to a speciality restaurant which didn’t have the speciality,” recalled restaurant critic Dusty Miller at independent weekly newspaper The Standard. “It really was almost...you paid for your soup when you got it because if you waited till after your pudding the bill had gone up 20 percent,” he said. Now under a 2008 political power-sharing pact and the introduction of the US currency last year, Harare’s food scene has done a U-turn. Choices range from one-dollar spots selling “sadza”, a traditional maize porridge with a dollop of stew, to a chocolate shop offering 75 flavours. “Over the past year there’s been a lot happening,” said Joseph Bunga, director of a year-old online restaurant guide catering mainly to middle-class and corporate clients. Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown led to widespread shortages, from fuel to empty supermarket shelves, after years of political turmoil under veteran leader President Robert Mugabe. Yet even during the crisis years, some restaurants were artificially busy. “If I spent my 100,000 (Zimbabwe) dollars tonight, I could eat a beautiful steak but tomorrow I couldn’t buy a potato with that money,” said Bunga. “So what would I do? I’d go and I’d spend the money that same evening,” said Bunga, who once paid for a meal with a wad of cash the size of a rugby ball. Bunga, who started his “Eat Out Zimbabwe” site with the upswing, estimates that 20 new eateries have opened in the country in the last year . His guide now lists 238 restaurants, carries reviews for local and visiting “foodies” and recently launched a restaurant booking service. “There’s more competition out so everyone is fighting

for that small percentage of the market that can afford to go out to restaurants,” said Julie Webb, who owns the sleek Mojo’s Brazilian-style barbecue restaurant with partner Mohamed Samy. Likewise supermarkets, whose empty shelves forced many shoppers to cross borders to buy the basics, are packed not only with staples but also luxury foods like cakes, mushrooms, Japanese soba noodles and French cheeses. “It’s improved drastically,” said Marios Pavlou, operations director of the Athienitis Spar grocery, one of several outlets of the global food retailer in the capital. “Every day was an uphill struggle for us. Most of our days were spent just trying to keep afloat and adjust prices to keep in line with our suppliers. “There are a lot of stores that have opened in past few months and probably before December, another 10 Spar stores are going to open,” said Pavlou, “so that’s a sign that obviously the grocery industry is growing fast.” Like many shoppers, Mary Mbewe is glad the days are gone when half a litre (half a quart) of long-life milk could cost 60 billion Zimbabwe dollars and a kilogram of beef 438 billion, according to July 2008 state-set prices. “I can buy whatever I want as long as I have the money,” she said. Though the economy has shown a second straight year of growth, there are still challenges. For one, the bulk of goods today are imported as local suppliers struggle to re-emerge-in a country whose commercial farming was once a source of exports and foreign exchange. And though the situation has improved since the peak of the food crisis in 2008, when about half the nation’s 12 million people needed aid with the failure of crops and the collapse of the economy, some 1.7 million Zimbabweans still need food aid today, according to UN food agencies estimates in August. Most Zimbabweans “could not dream of coming to a lovely restaurant like this,” conceded Miller during Mojo’s lunch trade. Unemployment and poverty remain high, and even civil servant salaries average only about 200 US dollars, like many Zimbabweans. “They’re lucky to get a square meal on the table perhaps every other day. That is a tragedy,” he said. — AFP


INTERNATIONAL

Thursday, November 25, 2010

9

‘Tunnel of truth’ for air travelers is a long way off WASHINGTON: Travelers and transportation screeners alike dream of a day when people will no longer have to spread their legs and lift their arms for intimate patdowns or see-through body scanners. Laptops would never have to be taken out of bags, shoes would stay snugly on the feet and yet danger could still be averted by some silent technology that would harmlessly detect bombs and weapons on wouldbe criminals. Industry wonks imagine this technology would provide a “tunnel of truth” through which travelers could pass without stopping, unless of course the machines detected some dangerous tool or trace explosive on them. But that day is a long way off, since none of the new technologies under consid-

eration by the US government provides a way to do a truly complete search of passengers, experts say. “With all the expense and complication they are doing with these body scanners, they have still not completely deployed something that does comprehensive detection on concealments by people,” an industry source said on condition of anonymity. The current star of the show is the body scanner, which has sparked uproar in the US public over the detailed body images it shows to the people working as screeners in airports. The US government insists that advanced imaging technology (AIT), which uses millimeter wave or backscatter technology to either bounce electromagnetic waves off a person or project mild X-rays-is

safe. But critics point out it would likely miss explosives hidden in shoes or in body cavities. An improvement to AIT that could sooth the sensitivities of body-conscious travelers is known as automated target recognition (ATR), which would allow the scanner to focus on any anomalies, such as a knife, and blur out the rest. Screeners would see a stick figure or a blob of the person being scanned, and any suspicious area would be highlighted so that a security expert could proceed with a more targeted pat-down. “The only concern I have about that is there is currently a high rate of false positives,” John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), told lawmakers earlier this month.”High false posi-

tives result in more pat-downs,” he said, noting that screeners at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam were testing the technology and that studies would continue. Previous generation body scanners, such as the “puffer” machines called explosives trace portals (ETP) that scanned a person for explosives by surrounding them with a sudden burst of air as they stepped through a screening device, have been abandoned. “They didn’t work very well and there was a large cost,” said Tim Persons, chief technologist at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which has tracked the US transportation authority’s search for new technology. Some individual advances have shown promise, such as liquid scanners that can detect what is in bottles inside carry-on

luggage, and scanners that specifically check casts and artificial limbs. A company called Syagen recently won a contract with the Department of Homeland Security to use its mass spectrometry technique, which a spokesman described as “an air shower,” for explosives screening of cargo. It was a welcome gain for Syagen, after it spent two million dollars developing a trace explosives scanner for passengers known as The Guardian that was cast aside by the TSA after it determined that puffers, which used a related technology, were ridden with problems. But shoes have offered perhaps the toughest puzzle, ever since attempted shoebomber Richard Reid boarded a plane in Paris in 2001 and tried to ignite explosives

in his sneakers. “TSA and other agencies are working very actively on the shoe problem,” said Brook Miller, vice president of Smiths Detection, which is working on a new-generation body scanner that would provide real-time information to screeners. “The body scanners in all likelihood would have some trouble finding things that are in shoes if they are left on,” he said, admitting no one has yet found the “magic bullet” for airline detection technology. The rush to install airport body scanners, now in 70 airports, followed the 2009 Christmas Day bomb attempt, when a young Nigerian allegedly tried to ignite plastic explosives concealed in his underwear as his plane came in to land in Detroit. — AFP

Support for UN vote against the defaming religion wanes Muslim states vote for resolution, Westerners oppose UNITED NATIONS: A UN Gener al Assembly committee once again vot ed to condemn the “vilificat ion of religion” on Tuesday, but support narrowed for a measur e that West er n powers say is a t hreat to fr eedom of expression. The non-binding resolut ion, championed by Is lamic states and opposed by Western countr ies, passed by only 12 votes in t he General Assembly’s Third Committ ee, which focuses on human rights, 76-64 with 42 abstentions. Opponents noted that support had fallen and opposition incr eased since last year, when the Third Commit tee vote was 81-55 with 43 abstentions. The 1 92-nation General Assembly is expect ed to formally adopt the measure next mont h.

PHOENIX: Sarah Palin greets fans and supporters as she signs her book “America by Heart,” during a book signing event at a Barnes & Noble store on Tuesday in Phoenix. — AP

Palin calls for end to federal income tax Palin book sets out her ‘commonsense’ platform NEW YORK: If seeing Sarah Palin as a cable television pundit and a reality show star has Americans wondering who she is, her new book makes her case that she is not just a celebrity but a politician-one with what clearly sounds like plans for a White House run. In “America by Heart,” published Tuesday by HarperCollins, the former Alaska governor aligns herself with the Tea Party movement and takes shots at both Democrats and Republicans. Without saying if she will run for president in 2012, she states her positions in a manner not unlike a campaign platform. She believes federal taxes are a Washington “power grab” which should abolished, wants prayers allowed in schools and wants to overturn what President Barack Obama sees as his biggest legislative achievement-healthcare reform. “The reason for books like this is to lay the groundwork for a potential presidential candidacy,” said Thomas Schwartz, history professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. “Books like this have long been used in the American political tradition as a campaign policy paper. If it mobilizes supporters, it will have accomplished its goal.” Palin portrays herself in the Ronald Reagan mold. She opens with “Do you love your freedom?!” and calls America “the shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan believed it is.” She says one of her favorite films is “Mr

Smith Goes to Washington,” recalls the fall of the Soviet Union and says the Declaration of Independence gives her “chills.” ‘SPUR TO ACTION’ But her book goes beyond rhetoric. She calls Obama’s healthcare reform an “unsustainable bill (which) jeopardizes the very thing it was supposed to fix.” “We don’t consider the health care vote a done deal, not by a long shot,” she says, calling it “a spur to action.” And on taxes, she shows her Tea Party stripes. “America hasn’t always had an income tax,” she writes, noting the first such tax was in 1861 to fund the Civil War and was later repealed. “It wasn’t until 1913 that the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified and the individual federal income tax that we know today was created.” Palin calls her 2008 presidential running mate, US Senator John McCain, a hero and cites Alexis de Tocqueville’s writings. She also loves “The Incredibles” animated movie and broaches the topic of abortion by praising Jason Reitman’s movie “Juno,” about a teenager choosing to have a baby. “A European movie might have had Juno get her abortion in the opening scene and then spend the next hour and fifteen minutes smoking cigarettes and pondering the meaning of life,” she writes. “It would have been depressing and boring.” Schwartz said Palin’s use of

modern media, from having her own reality TV show to her astute use of Twitter, will boost her profile. But, he said, what she really needs is more gravitas to better appeal to the independent voters needed to make her a serious presidential candidate. Rather than call herself Republican, Palin calls herself a “Commonsense Constitutional Conservative.” “If Democrats are driving the country toward socialism at a hundred miles per hour, while the Republicans are driving at only fifty, commonsense constitutional conservatives want to turn the car around,” she writes. “We want to get back to the basics that have made this country great-the fundamental values of family, faith, and flag.” Michael Musto, pop culture writer at New York’s Village Voice, said calling for no federal taxes will appeal to many voters. But he said the Palin brand may be spread too thin, noting her daughter Bristol has generated endless headlines as a finalist on “Dancing with the Stars.” “She’s certainly reaching out to the masses, both with this book and the fact that she and her daughter are on just about every channel you click on these days,” Musto said. “The problem with that approach is that by 2012, she and Bristol might both be thought of as former reality stars,” Musto said. “Anyone remember who came in second on ‘American Idol’ two years ago? Exactly.” — Reuters

The resolution was amended from versions passed in previous years in an attempt to secure support from Western nations. Instead of defamation of religion, it speaks of “vilification.” It also condemned acts of violence and intimidation due to “Islamophobia, Judeophobia and Christianophobia.” Last year’s resolution, as in previous years, focused on Islam and did not mention Judaism and Christianity. Despite the changes, however, the United States, European Union and their allies rejected the resolution’s calls for legislation banning the defamation of religion. The text, submitted by Morocco on behalf of Muslim states, said the assembly “urges all States to provide ... adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from vilification of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general.” FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION US envoy John Sammis told the Third Committee Washington believes the amendments are inadequate. “We are disappointed to see that despite our efforts and discussions on this resolution, the text once again seems to take us farther apart, rather than helping to bridge the historical divides,” he said. “The resolution still seeks to curtail and penalize speech,” he said. “The changes ... unfortunately do not get to the heart of our concerns-the text’s negative implications for both freedom of religion and freedom of expression.” He also said it was wrong to try to apply international human rights laws to religious beliefs, since human rights are intended to protect individuals, not governments or religions. Islamic states say such resolutions do not aim to limit free speech but to stop publications like those of the Danish cartoons showing the Prophet Mohammed, which sparked bloody protests by Muslims around the world in 2005. Pamela Kling Takiff of Human Rights First, a USbased advocacy group, said the resolution fails to recognize the importance of freedom of expression and provides explicit support for national blasphemy and defamation laws that have been used to stifle freedom of expression. Leonard Leo, chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, issued a statement welcoming the decline in support for the resolution. — Reuters

CAP HAITIEN: A baby sits next to her mother who suffers from cholera symptoms in a sport center that has been converted into a cholera treatment center in Cap Haitien, Haiti on Tuesday. — AP

Calls to delay Haiti vote amid surging unrest and cholera PORT-AU-PRINCE: Growing political violence that has left two dead this week and a raging cholera epidemic spreading faster than expected are prompting calls to delay weekend elections in post-quake Haiti. The victims were shot dead late Monday in Beaumont, a small town in southwestern Haiti, after supporters of leading candidates Jude Celestin and Charles Henri Baker squared off armed with firearms, rocks and bottles. Haiti, already ravaged by a catastrophic earthquake in January, is also battling a spiraling cholera epidemic that has killed 1,415 people, among more than 56,000 cases, including 25,000 who required hospital treatment. UN health officials warned the death toll was likely underestimated, and that the impoverished nation could see up to 200,000 cholera cases in the next three months and 400,000 over the next year. “Cholera is virtually everywhere in the country,” said Jon Kim Andrus, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization. Human rights groups are leading calls to delay the vote in light of the

outbreak of the highly infectious disease. “Cholera is a game changer in the most fundamental sense. It is an immediate and critical crisis that requires all hands on deck in response,” said Melinda Miles, executive director of the group Let Haiti Live. “What we can say, definitively, is that... no elections held in the midst of the current exploding cholera crisis can be considered credible.” Fear has grown that the disease could spread more quickly in an election environment when people have to move around and congregate to campaign. Nearly 4.7 million Haitians are eligible to vote in Sunday’s presidential elections, which will also see 11 of the country’s 30 senators and all 99 parliamentary deputies chosen. Haiti’s next president faces the daunting task of rebuilding a traumatized nation of 10 million that was already the poorest in the Americas before the earthquake flattened much of Port-au-Prince and claimed 250,000 lives. But one prominent candidate, former prime minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis, insisted the elections must go ahead as planned to ensure that President Rene

Preval leaves office as scheduled on February 7. The US ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, also urged no delay with the polls, saying issues surrounding the disease and the election can be avoided “as long as people are informed... of how they can protect themselves from cholera and what treatment to seek.” Washington hopes to see “broad participation among the Haitian population in this important election,” he added. Billions of dollars of international aid money could be squandered if no credible government emerges to replace Preval, himself under fire for his management of the cholera outbreak. The run-up to the elections has been further complicated by anti-UN riots in several regions, particularly in the north where aid agencies complain their cholera response is being badly hampered. UN peacekeepers from Nepal are accused of bringing cholera into the country the epidemic erupted suspiciously near their base in the central Artibonite River valley-and many Haitians are convinced they are to blame. Troops with MINUSTAH, as the UN mission in Haiti is known, fired

tear gas on crowds in running clashes that lasted several hours in Port-au-Prince last week after days of rioting that left at least three dead in northern Cap-Haitien. Portau-Prince had been seen as particularly at risk of widespread infection because of the crowded and unsanitary conditions endured by those living in tent cities. But fewer than 80 deaths have been recorded so far in the capital and the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which has taken a lead role in treating the disease there, says the situation here is stabilizing. Fear of catching the ailment, which can rapidly lead to diarrhea and dehydration if untreated, has led Haitians to alter their daily habits, including their mundane daily greetings. Now rather than shaking hands, acquaintances are offering one another “fist bumps,” making gentle knuckle-to-knuckle rather than palm-to-palm contact, in hopes of minimizing the likelihood of spreading germs. Four isolated cholera cases have been found in the neighboring Dominican Republic and two in the southern US state of Florida. — AFP

49 percent of Mexicans think drug war a failure RIO DE JANEIRO: A police officer guards the area where a bus was burned by alleged drug traffickers at the Santa Cruz slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil yesterday. Heavily armed men halted buses and cars, robbed their passengers and set the vehicles ablaze yesterday in Rio de Janeiro, continuing a wave of violence that has rattled rich and poor alike in a city Brazil hopes to make a showplace for the 2016 Olympics. — AP

MEXICO CITY: Nearly half the Mexican public considers President Felipe Calderon’s offensive against drug cartels a failure, a poll suggested for the first time since the conservative leader launched the deadly crackdown in 2006. The survey shows 49 percent of respondents consider the crackdown has failed, compared with just 33 percent who think it has succeeded. Last time the Mitofsky polling agency conducted the same survey, in March, the results were almost

the opposite, with 47 percent of those polled considering the drug war a success, while 36 percent thought it a failure. Observers say the turnaround in opinion is a reflection of the public’s growing impatience with the crackdown, which has seen more than 28,000 people killed since December 2006. “This is precisely because (people) aren’t seeing insecurity go down,” said Eduardo Gallo, whose association, Mexico United

Against Violence, sponsored the survey. The polling numbers bear out Gallo’s hypothesis, with 83 percent of respondents saying Mexico is more dangerous now than a year ago, compared with 15 percent saying it was less dangerous. Calderon defended the government’s record, saying in a speech Tuesday that the violence plaguing certain regions of the country is the responsibility of the cartels and not a result of government actions. “There are those who think that

it would have been better not to combat the criminal actions,” Calderon said during a visit to the state of Colima, where the former governor was slain over the week. “Those people are wrong.” Tuesday’s survey was carried out via face-to-face interviews with 1,000 people from Oct. 28-31 by the Mitofsky polling agency for Mexico United Against Violence. The poll had with a margin of error of fewer than 3.1 percentage points. — AP


INTERNATIONAL

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

China turns up heat on Taiwan to talk politics TAIPEI: Chinese officials are mounting pressure on Taiwan President Ma Yingjeou to move toward political agreements as he shrugs them off despite a recent easing of tension after decades of hostility, analysts say. Beijing’s growing impatience, though seldom expressed openly, could set back trade, transit and economic cooperation deals for which Taiwan has looked to Beijing since 2008 for help in advancing its $416 billion economy. “There’s definitely a sense of urgency to get this thing going,” said Raymond Wu, managing director of Taipei-based political risk consultancy e-telligence. In

August, China’s second most senior negotiator on Taiwan affairs, Li Yafei, hinted on a visit to the island that Beijing had softened a tough condition for political talks. Beijing normally insists that Taiwan renounce any ambitions of de jure independence from China. On Oct. 13, China offered to discuss super-sensitive military issues to ease six decades of war preparations across the 160 km-wide (100 mile-wide) Taiwan Strait but was met with a cold reception from Taiwan. Beijing’s latest five-year plan calls for the pursuit of a “peaceful development

framework”, new language that implies putting the future of relations into a guiding document. China is also stepping up informal contacts with Taiwan officials and even the island’s anti-China opposition party to mount pressure ahead of Nov. 27 local elections seen as a barometer for a 2012 presidential race, experts say. Ma is in no hurry. His repeated vows not to talk politics with Beijing until at least 2012, and possibly later, have helped him consolidate power after a rocky year of domestic issues in 2009. China has claimed self-ruled Taiwan since the

Chinese civil war of the 1940s. Since Ma took office in 2008, the two sides have signed historic but relatively easy trade and transit deals, avoiding politics or defence. The next round of formal ChinaTaiwan talks, due next month, will cover only a simple investment guarantee deal and nothing political, island officials say. Lack of progress on political issues sets back Beijing’s goal of reunification with Taiwan, which is a close U.S. ally, and threatens to render useless a series of economic sweeteners that China has offered as an incentive for an eventual

merger. “(China) sees Ma not working toward peaceful reunification, just peaceful coexistence,” said Alexander Huang, a strategic studies professor at Tamkang University in Taiwan. “But China has said political relations should not lag economic relations.” Taiwan officials say they need more economic tie-ups before they can trust China with political talks. If Beijing makes no headway, analysts expect it will still help Ma win re-election in 2012, probably with more pro-Taiwan trade deals, to keep the more China-hostile opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) out of power. But if Ma shuns

political dialogue into a second term, China is expected to freeze or even eliminate benefits from its huge economy as a reminder of what it ultimately wants. China showed a willingness to do that last year by diverting visitors away from the southern Taiwan city Kaohsiung after its mayor invited Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who Beijing reviles as a pro-Tibet separatist. “The Chinese want to keep reminding Ma that there are next steps, especially in consolidating and solidifying ‘one China’ position,” said Ralph Cossa, president of the U.S. think tank Pacific Forum CSIS. — Reuters

US carrier heads for Korean waters Seen pressuring China to deal with its neighbor INCHEON: A US a ircra f t carrier group set off for Korea n w a ters yester da y, a da y a f ter N ort h Korea ra ined a rt illery shells on a South Korea n isla nd, in a m ove likely to enra ge Pyongya ng a nd unsettle its a lly, China . South Korea sa id the bodies of tw o civilia ns w ere found on th e isla n d a f t er Tu esd a y ’s a t ta c k , w h ic h is likely t o st ir u p m ore “This exercise is defensive in nature,” US Forces Korea said in a statement. “While planned well before yesterday’s unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates the strength of the ROK (South Korea)-US alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence.” North Korea said the South was driving the pensinula to the “brink of war” with “reckless military provocation” and by postponing humanitarian aid, the North’s official KCNA news agency said. The dispatch did not refer to the planned military drills. The government in Seoul came under pressure for the military’s slow response to the provocation, echoing similar complaints made when a warship was sunk in March in the same area, killing 46 sailors. Defence Minister Kim Tae-young was grilled by lawmakers who said the government should have taken quicker and stronger retaliatory measures against the North’s provocation. “I am sorry that the government has not carried out ruthless bombing through jet fighters during the North’s second round of shelling,” said Kim Jang-soo, a lawmaker of ruling Grand National Party and a former defence minister. Tuesday’s attack was the heaviest in the region since the Korean War ended in 1953, and marked the first civilian deaths in an assault since the bombing of a South Korean airliner in 1987. The United States and Japan urged China to do more to rein in North Korea after the reclusive nation fired scores of artillery shells on Tuesday at a South Korean island near the maritime boundary between the two sides. Beijing will not be pleased by the deployment of the aircraft carrier and will not respond to such pressure, said Xu Guangyu, a retired major-general in the People’s Liberation Army who now works for a government-run arms control organization. “China will not welcome the US aircraft carrier joining the exercises, because that kind of move can escalate tensions and not relieve them,” he said. “Our biggest objective is stability on the Korean peninsula. That interest is not served by abandoning North Korea, and so there’s no need to rethink the basics of the relationship.” Beijing has previously said that an ear-

resentment in the country a ga inst its prickly neighbour. The nuclea rpow ered US S George Wa shington, w hich ca rries 75 w a rpla nes a nd ha s a crew of over 6,000, left a na va l ba se south of Tokyo a nd w ould join exercises w ith South Korea from Sunda y to the follow ing yesterda y, US officia ls in Seoul sa id.

YEONPYEONG ISLAND: South Korean Democratic Party Chairman Sohn Hak-kyu, right, and his party member Chung Dong-young watch wreckage of shell fired by North Korea on Yeonpyeong island, South Korea yesterday. — AP lier plan to send the USS George Washington to US-South Korea joint exercises threatened long-term damage to Sino-US relations. Tuesday’s bombardment nagged at global markets, already unsettled by worries over Ireland’s debt problem and looking to invest in less risky assets. But South Korea’s markets, af ter sharp falls, recovered lost ground. “If you look back at the last five years when we’ve had scares, they were all seen as buying opportu-

nities. The rule among hedge funds and long-only funds is that you let the market sell off and watch for your entry point to get involved,” said Todd Martin, Asia equity strategist with Societe Generale in Hong Kong. Pyongyang said the firing was in reaction to military drills conducted by South Korea in the area at the time but Seoul said it had not been firing at the North. Seoul, a city of over 10 million, was bustling as normal yesterday, a sunny autumn day, although develop-

ments were being closely watched by office workers on TV and in newspapers. Editorials stepped up pressure on President Lee Myung-bak to respond more toughly than he has to past provocations by the North and two small groups held anti-North Korea protests. US President Barack Obama, wok en up in the early hours to be told of the artillery strike, said he was outraged and pressed the North to stop its provocative actions. Although US officials said the joint exercise was scheduled before the attack by North Korea, it was reminiscent of a crisis in 1996 when then President Bill Clinton sent an aircraft carrier group through the Taiwan Strait after Beijing testfired missiles into the channel between the mainland and Taiwan. “My house was burnt to the ground,” said Cho Soon-ae, 47, who was among 170 or so evacuated from Yeonpyeong yesterday. “We’ve lost everything. I don’t even have extra underwear,” she said weeping, holding on to her sixth-grade daughter, as she landed at Incheon. Despite the rhetoric, regional powers made clear they were looking for a diplomatic way to calm things down. South Korea, its armed forces technically superior though about half the size of the North’s one-million-plus army, warned of “massive retaliation” if its neighbor attacked again. But it was careful to avoid any immediate threat of retaliation which might spark an escalation of fighting across the Cold War’s last frontier. China has long propped up the Pyongyang leadership, worried that a collapse of the North could bring instability to its own borders and also wary of a unified Korea that would be dominated by the United States, the key ally of the South. Beijing said it had agreed with the United States to try to restart talks among regional powers over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. A number of analysts suspect that Tuesday’s attack may have been an attempt by North Korean leader Kim jong-il to raise his bargaining position ahead of disarmament talks which he has used in the past to win concessions and aid from the outside world, in particular the United States. — Reuters

Thai web editor may face 70 years in jail for reader posts BANGKOK: Chiranuch Premchaiporn’s air of cheerful optimism crumpled briefly as she contemplated the threat of 70 years in prison for remarks about the Thai monarchy that other people posted on her website. “People ask, ‘why don’t you flee or escape?’ But it is not my choice at all. I grew up in Thailand. I am part of this society,” the 43-year-old editor of the popular Prachatai news website said. “I still hope that I will be defended by the fact that I complied with the law,” she told AFP in an interview. Chiranuch was arrested in September as she returned home from attending a cyber freedom seminar in Hungary. She was charged with breaching computer laws and Thailand’s lese majeste legislation-which prohibits criticism of the royal family-for failing to remove reader comments posted on her site swiftly enough. Already facing trial and potentially 20 years behind bars for earlier similar charges, she believes the second case could carry a maximum sentence of 50 years. Chiranuch, who strongly denies the allegations, says she was taken by surprise by the latest arrest warrant, which was issued in September 2009 and inexplicably languished in police files for a year before being enacted. The case centres on five out of 200 reader remarks on her website reacting to an April 2008 interview with a man convicted under the lese majeste rules after refusing to stand when the royal anthem was played at the cinema. A single complaint from an unnamed individual apparently prompted the arrest. According to Thai law, anyone can make an accusation of insulting the monarchy and the police are duty-bound to investigate. Chiranuch, who is now free on bail, believes

BANGKOK: This photo taken on November 5, 2010 shows Prachatai web manager Chiranuch Premchaiporn searching on the Internet at her office in Bangkok. — AFP Thailand’s government has tried to promote self-censorship. “They create a kind of fear and there is no need to be accountable at all,” she said. “They try to control or silence the voice of the people.” The royal family is an extremely sensitive topic in politically turbulent Thailand. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest reigning monarch and revered as a demi-god by

many Thais, has been hospitalised since September 2009. David Streckfuss, a Thai-based academic and author of a book on the country’s defamation laws, says human rights organisation have “only touched the tip of the iceberg” on the number of lese majeste cases in the kingdom. — AFP

GREYMOUTH: Family members of the 29 miners trapped in the Pike River coal mine react after hearing news of a second explosion in the mine, five days after the first explosion in Greymouth, New Zealand yesterday. — AP

29 miners dead after second blast at New Zealand mine GREYMOUTH: A massive explosion deep inside a New Zealand coal mine yesterday erased hopes of rescuing 29 miners caught underground by a similar blast five days ago. The prime minister declared it a national tragedy. Even if any of the missing men had survived the initial explosion Friday at the Pike River Mine, police said none could have lived through the second. Both blasts were believed caused by explosive, toxic gases swirling in the tunnels dug up to 1 1/2 miles (2 kilometers) into a mountain that had also prevented rescuers from entering the mine to search for the missing. “There was another massive explosion underground, and based on that explosion no one would have survived,” said police superintendent Gary Knowles, in charge of the rescue operation. “The blast was prolific, just as severe as the first blast.” It was one of New Zealand’s worst mining disasters. The country’s industry is relatively small compared to other nations and considered generally safe, with 210 deaths in 114 years after the most recent tragedy. It also devastated families who , buoyed by the survival tale of Chile’s 33 buried miners , had clung to hope for more than five days that their relatives could emerge alive. “New Zealand has been devastated by the news that we have all been dreading,” New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said in a nationally televised news conference. “This is a national tragedy.” He said flags would fly at half staff today and Parliament would adjourn its session in respect for the dead men. Officials said only investigations still to come would confirm the exact cause of yesterday’s explosion. Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Whittall said rescue teams were not doing anything that could have set it off, and conditions inside the mine were such it could have happened at any time. “It was a natural eventuation, it could have happened on the second day, it could have happened on the third day,” he told reporters. Family members who gathered for a regular daily briefing on the rescue operation’s

progress were instead told of the second blast and that no one could survive. Whittal said he began by telling them a team had been getting ready to go underground. Some people , thinking a rescue was about to start , broke into applause before he could finish telling them about the latest blast. “I had to wait till they stopped clapping to tell them ... that the second explosion occurred,” he said. Tony Kokshoorn, the mayor of Greymouth town near the mine, who was at the meeting, said some of the relatives collapsed. Others shouted at police in anger. “It is our darkest day,” Kokshoorn told reporters later. Laurie Drew, father of 21-yearold miner Zen, said rescuers should have gone into the mine on Friday, saying he believed that explosion would have burned off most of the dangerous gases. “They had their window of opportunity that Friday night, and now the truth can’t come out because no one alive will be able to come out and tell the truth about what went on down there,” Drew said. “The only thing that’s going to make matters worse is if we find ... out that people were alive after that first blast.” Knowles said at all times after the initial blast, entering the mine was simply too risky because of high gas levels and evidence of a smoldering coal fire underground that could be an ignition source. Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee said a range of official inquiries would probe the cause of the disaster and whether it could have been prevented. Whittall said no decision had been made yet on whether the mine would be sealed or what the next step would be. “We can’t still go in to an unsafe mine. It’s just as unsafe now as it was two hours ago, the gas will still be coming out of the coal, there’s still an ignition source, there’s no doubt burning methane from that explosion,” he told reporters. “But we want our boys back and we want to get them out.” The second blast came hours after the first progress in days for the rescue attempt, when a drilling team broke a narrow shaft through to the section of the mine where the missing workers were believed to have been. —AP

Malaysian shot 4 times by police alleges abuse KUALA LUMPUR: Two plainclothes policemen didn’t identify themselves before shooting a Malaysian driver four times from behind when he refused to stop and tried to drive away, his lawyer said yesterday. Malaysia’s police force has long been criticized as too quick to open fire. In another recent case, a patrolman is currently on trial after he fatally shot a 14-year-old boy driving a car in April. In the latest case, Ho Chei Hang, a 32year-old noodle seller, says he was driving away from a field where he had chatted with a friend. Two plainclothes police, who said they had received information about a possible drug transaction, chased him and started shooting after he refused to stop, lawyer Keppy Wong said. The policemen didn’t identify themselves before asking Ho to stop, nor did they shoot the car tires, he said. “They shot straight at him and he was hit by four bullets. It is an abuse of authority and using excessive force when it is not warranted. This is trigger-happy behavior,” Wong told The Associated Press. Wong said police say they opened fire after Ho tried to ram the vehicle into them. But all four bul-

lets hit Ho from behind, proving he was driving away, Wong said. Police also found only sleeping pills - which are not prohibited - in his car, Wong said. Wong said police told him they were now investigating Ho for attempted murder on the two policemen. “This is ridiculous. The police were the ones who tried to murder him,” Wong said, adding the family would complain to the statebacked National Human Rights Commission and are considering a civil lawsuit against the police to seek damages. Police couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. Wong said doctors have removed three bullets from Ho, who lost part of his kidney, but he is too weak now to undergo further surgery to remove the last bullet lodged in his shoulder bone. In the fatal shooting of the boy in April, a government panel found police guidelines on when to use firearms were adequate but training needed to be improved. The patrolman is accused of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which is punishable by up to 30 years in jail. Police claimed the boy tried to reverse his car into them when told to stop, but a passenger denied that and said he was driving away. — AP


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INTERNATIONAL

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Indian state re-elects reformist chief PATNA: An opposition politician who spearheaded the development of one of India’s poorest states was re-elected in a landslide as its chief minister yesterday, in a blow to the ruling Congress party mired in a graft scandal. The re-election of Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) party, part of the main federal opposition coalition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, as leader of Bihar state comes as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh struggles with corruption accusations.

The opposition has used the issue of the sale of telecoms licences to keep parliament shut for two weeks. While Bihar is not a stronghold for Congress, the party was hopeful of improving its performance there, fielding the potential prime ministerial candidate Rahul Gandhi to campaign. Results showed the party had not improved its showing. Bihar accounts for 40 of the 545 seats in the national parliament-the fifth largest parliamentary bloc in India. It can play a

crucial role in federal coalition politics. Congress has struggled to tame high inflation and has been hampered in its ability to govern by a series of crises, mostly over corruption, since its re-election last year. This could hurt its chances in upcoming state elections and 2014 federal polls. Kumar’s coalition won around fourfifths of the total 243 assembly constituencies, Indian television stations showed, launching his second five-year term. “The question before the people of Bihar was

whether they would move forward or whether they would return to the old ways. The people have decided to move forward. It is their victory,” Kumar said. “Development has won. It is clear the people wish to see Bihar move forward on the path of progress.” Bihar was long a byword for lawlessness, caste politics and snail-paced development until Kumar, who took office in 2005, turned the economy around, rapidly building roads, curbing crime and boosting education

and health care over the next five years. His convincing win indicated a “subtle change” in Indian politics in recent years, Morgan Stanley Research said in a note. “We believe the Bihar election results underscore the upside risk to India’s growth and development, given what we view as the electorate’s resolve to incentivize politicians who focus on these issues,” it said. Bihar’s economy grew an average 11.35 percent each year between 2004 and 2009, compared with 3.5 percent in the prior five

years and above the national growth average. In Bihar, Congress looked unlikely to improve on its 2005 tally of winning nine seats. The BJP was on its way to bettering its 2005 performance, which could boost the confidence of the party going into half a dozen state polls over the coming year. “The results of course indicate that our party has to start from scratch to rebuild itself and that is what we plan to do,” Congress chief Sonia Gandhi told reporters in New Delhi. — Reuters

Afghanistan unveils results from fraud-marred vote Quarter of votes cancelled, 24 winners disqualified KABUL: Afghanistan yesterday released almost all the final result s from its controversial parliamentary elect ion aft er massive fraud saw nearly a quarter of vot es cancelled and 24 winners disqualified. The main opponent of President Hamid Karzai swiftly claimed that his support ers had won more than 90 seats in the 249-member chamber as analysts said the head of s tate’s support base in the new parliament would weaken.

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai, during a women’s right ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday. President Hamid Karzai said he was happy the results from the Sept 18 elections were being announced. — AP

Progress ‘uneven’ in Afghan war WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has admitted in a report that progress has been “uneven” in the war in Afghanistan, with only modest gains against the Taleban insurgency despite a surge of US and NATO troops. The cautious tone of the report offered a contrast to more upbeat public declarations from top officials and military leaders, who have touted encouraging signs and said the US military has gained the initiative on the battlefield. “Progress across the

country remains uneven, with modest gains in security, governance, and development in operational priority areas,” according to the report issued to Congress. The mixed account of the war’s progress comes before a pivotal White House review next month, in which President Barack Obama is expected to endorse the US strategy that stresses building up Afghan forces while pushing back the Taleban in key southern towns.

The report said violence is at an all-time high in the nine-yearold war, with combat incidents up 300 percent since 2007 and 70 percent since last year, said the report, which did not highlight rising casualties for coalition forces. The gap between the administration’s portrayal of the war and the official report to Congress in part reflected divisions between US intelligence agencies and the rest of the government, with the spy services

tending to take a more pessimistic view, officials said. The Pentagon described limited progress by the NATO-led force in the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, longstanding Taleban bastions that have been the focus of an influx of 30,000 American troops. The report found “early indications that comprehensive COIN (counter-insurgency) operations are having localized effects in portions of Helmand and Kandahar Provinces.” — AFP

Pakistani extremists raise money from sacrifice day LAHORE: Militants in Pakistan should reap a cash bonanza from selling skins of animals slaughtered on Eid, with hundreds of thousands of dollars expected to reach a group linked to the 2008 Mumbai attackers, according to an ex-member of the group and leather industry workers. Volunteers for Jamaat-u-Dawa, an Islamist charity suspected of having served as a front for the group behind the Mumbai attacks, were collecting bloodied skins across the country after this year’s Eid AlAdha, or Feast of Sacrifice. Their work shows the deep roots it and other banned groups have in Pakistan as well as the state’s unwillingness or inability to stop them. Militants behind attacks in Pakistan and across its borders in Afghanistan and India get funds from extortion, drugs, kidnappings and donations from foreign sympathizers. But some of the money comes by way of charities, including those collecting hides to raise funds. In past years also, they have sold hides to raise funds. Wealthy Muslims sacrifice animals on Eid Al-Adha and distribute most of the meat to the poor. Over this year’s holiday, which fell last week, Pakistanis killed around 5 million sheep and goats and 1 million cows, according to the country’s tanners association. The skins are of no use to those who kill the animals, but are snapped up by tanneries. At auctions in the coming days, a cow hide is expected to sell for between $40 and $50, while sheep and goat skins will fetch around $7 apiece. Skins collected last week will account for around 45 percent of the needs of Pakistan’s leather industry this year, the tannery association said. Factories make coats, gloves and other goods for export, and the trade is the second largest foreign exchange earner for the country. Militant groups are not the only ones to benefit from hide sales. The leading hide collector in Karachi, the country’s largest city, is its ruling party. Another major beneficiary is a cancer hospital for the

poor run by Imran Khan, a cricketer turned politician. Sunni Therik, a religious group that is opposed to militants, also collects. Some people give their hides directly to the poor, who sell them. Extremist groups and their sympathizers are in a good position to collect the skins. The typically run religious seminaries that have thousands of children and youth who can go door-to-door to collect them from people happy to have them taken from their front porch. Often, people bring animals to be sacrificed directly to mosques attached to them. “These are the people whom I trust and these are the people who do the best work for charity,” said Illahi Shaikh, as he directed a team of butchers cutting up his two cows outside Jamaat-u-Dawa’s main mosque in the capital, Islamabad. “So what if America calls them terrorists, I don’t care,”

he said. The United Nation’s listed Jamaatu-Dawa as a terrorist group soon after the Mumbai attacks, saying it believed it was an alias for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani outfit believed to have carried out the strikes. India, Washington and other Western nations have made similar allegations. Islamabad initially moved against the group, sealing its offices, freezing assets and rounding up leaders. But it has since scored a few wins against the government in court and is up and running again. It sometimes uses a different name, a tactic employed by other banned groups to try to evade attention. Abdullah Muntazir, a former Jamaat-u-Dawa spokesman who now runs an institute researching militancy, said in 2009 it earned about 100 million rupees, or around $1.2 million at current exchange rates, from hide sales. — AFP

LAHORE: In this picture taken on Nov 19, 2010, a horse cart carries skins donated by people, in Lahore, Pakistan. Militants in Pakistan will reap a cash bonanza from selling skins of animals sacrificed on a Muslim sacrifice day. — AP

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) declared the vote a “major success,” but disqualified another three people who won seats according to preliminary results and delayed certified results from one troubled province. The September 18 parliamentary poll was Afghanistan’s second since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taleban, but results took far longer than expected to compile because of investigations into widespread corruption. The irregularities dampened Western hopes that the election would be an improvement on the fraud-tarnished 2009 presidential vote which cast a long pall over Karzai’s return to power and his pledge to wipe out corruption. The IEC named winners of 238 seats, leaving 11 still unconfirmed due to “technical problems” from the southern province of Ghazni, where Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns, apparently suffered a crushing defeat. Preliminary results gave ethnic Hazaras all 11 seats in the province, a flashpoint in the nine-year Taleban insurgency. IEC chairman Fazil Ahmad Manawi said Ghazni had the largest number of polling stations shut due to insecurity. “Even in areas where polling sites were open, people did not turn up to vote,” Manawi said. In one district, for instance, only three votes were cast. About 100 failed candidates marched in Kabul yesterday, denouncing the results as fraudulent a day after a Pentagon report admitted that violence in Afghanistan was now at an alltime high. Ethnic splits in the vote could spark controversy. A senior election official speaking on condition of anonymity said Pashtuns, the country’s traditional rulers, won about 88 seats compared with 112 last time. Emerging opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah later told reporters that “more than 90” of his supporters had won seats. The former eye surgeon’s father was Pashtun, but his mother is an ethnic Tajik and he is associated with the Tajiks of the late anti-Taleban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud’s stronghold in the Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul. “We will put pressure on the government inside parliament and outside parliament to bring reforms, positive changes, and to implement and strengthen the rule of law,” he said. There are no standard Afghan political parties and many of the 2,514 people who stood for the lower house, or Wolesi Jirga, were officially independent candidates, making it difficult to assess political alliances. Analysts said yesterday there were indications that Karzai had lost support, but warned that it was too early to draw a clear picture. “From the sound of it, we can say the new parliament certainly won’t be dominated by pro-government elements,” said political analyst Mahmood Saikal. Election authorities previously invalidated about 1.3 million of the 5.6 million votes cast after receiving more than 5,000 complaints of fraud in the wake of the poll. Of those, 2,500 complaints were classed as “serious”. Manawi said a total of 24 candidates had been stripped of victory accorded to them by preliminary results. The group is understood to include allies of Karzai and even a first cousin of the president. Karzai, himself a Pashtun, has favoured a re-run in Ghazni and yesterday the presidency stopped short of immediately accepting the poll outcome. — AFP

LAHORE: Supporters of a Pakistani religious group rally yesterday in Lahore, Pakistan to condemn the release of a Christian woman Asia Bibi who had been sentenced to death. — AP

Protesters oppose pardon for Pakistani Christian woman LAHORE: Around 250 hardline Muslims staged a demonstration in the central Pakistani city of Lahore yesterday, warning the president not to pardon a Christian woman sentenced to death for insulting Islam. They also denounced any attempt to change Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which critics say is often misused to persecute Christians like Asia Bibi and other minorities. Her case has prompted outrage from human rights groups and a personal appeal from Pope Benedict XVI for her release. But hard-line Islamic groups in Pakistan have pushed back and some have even threatened officials in the past who suggested reforming or repealing the blasphemy law. These groups have significant power since politicians from the major parties rely on them for votes. “We are ready to sacrifice our life for the Prophet Muhammad,” chanted protesters in Lahore , many of whom were students from Islamic seminaries in the city. The rally was organized by the Movement for Protection of the Prophet’s Honor, a group of hard-line Sunni Muslims that was formed in 2001 to oppose changes in the blasphemy law. Bibi, a 45-year-old mother of five, has said she was falsely accused by a group of Muslim women angry at a dispute over whether they could share the same water bowl. She has been jailed in the eastern province of Punjab since her initial arrest 1 1/2 years ago. A court sen-

tenced her Nov. 8 to hang after convicting her of insulting the prophet. It is the first time a woman has been condemned to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, often criticized as being abused to inflame religious extremism and settle personal grudges. Her lawyer has filed an appeal with a higher court in Lahore, but she could also be pardoned by the president. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has asked for a review of the facts of the case, raising the possibility of a presidential pardon. One of the strongest defenders of Bibi has been Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, where Lahore is the capital. Yesterday’s protest took place in front of the governor’s office and the demonstrators railed against him and others calling for Bibi’s release. “We are here to tell them that we will not let it happen,” said Masoodur Rehman, one of the leaders of the group that organized the rally. “Only the court should decide her fate.” Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, who is preparing the report for Zardari on the case, said yesterday that he would deliver his recommendations on Thursday. Bhatti has said he is convinced Bibi is innocent. Pakistan’s Christians, who make up less than 5 percent of the Muslim-majority country’s 175 million people, are frequently the targets of accusers invoking the blasphe-

Sonia Gandhi irked by criticism of Indian PM NEW DELHI: The leader of India’s ruling Congress Party accused the opposition of unfairly targeting the prime minister in a telecoms scandal that cost the country billions and has paralyzed Parliament. Sonia Gandhi described Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as being “100 percent above board” and said it was shameful that his integrity was being targeted. Singh, an economist widely seen as India’s most honest politician, was pulled into the scandal last week when the Supreme Court criticized him as being slow to investigate irregularities in the issuing of cellular licenses in 2008. The court held proceedings for a second day yesterday to hear Singh’s explanation for his delayed reaction and opposition demands for prosecuting former Telecoms Minister Andimuthu Raja. The Central Bureau of Investigation is probing the sale two years ago of second-generation, or 2G, cellular licenses in a bewildering process that raised eye-

brows even at the time. India netted 124 billion rupees ($2.7 billion), an amount that seemed absurdly low after an auction of 3G licenses this May raised 677 billion rupees ($14.6 billion). The state auditor said last week the sale was arbitrarily and unfairly run and cost the government as much as $36 billion. Raja resigned this month but denies wrongdoing. There has been no suggestion that Singh benefited personally from the scandal, but the Hindu nationalist opposition has since paralyzed Parliament with demands for independent inquiries. Gandhi, in a rare news conference given outside her home in New Delhi, lambasted the opposition Bhartiya Janata Party for turning the corruption case into an opportunity to trash Singh’s reputation. She said the opposition also went after Singh during the 2009 election campaign. “What happened, they lost,” she said. “The prime minister won. That should be a lesson for the opposition.” — AP

my law. Bhatti says “dozens” of people , both Muslims and minorities , are sentenced to death under the law each year, although higher courts in each case have prevented any executions. Those accused of blasphemy also are often targeted with violence. In July, two Christian brothers accused of blasphemy were gunned down as they left court hearing in Punjab’s eastern city of Faislabad. Last year, a 19-year-old Christian accused of desecrating a Quran, Islam’s holy book, was found dead in his jail cell in Sialkot, another town in Punjab. Officials said at the time that he had hanged himself, but Christian groups said he was murdered. Bhatti has long campaigned against the blasphemy law, which was introduced by President Gen. Zia ul-Haq’s military regime in the 1980s to win the support of hard-line religious groups. Hard-line Islamic groups threatened to behead Bhatti six months ago when he proposed changes to the law. Bhatti said the government is considering calling a meeting of Islamic leaders, politicians, human rights organizations and representatives of minority groups to determine whether the law should be repealed or changed. He said he is dedicated to the effort despite danger to himself. “I am not afraid of these threats,” said Bhatti. “I am ready to sacrifice everything for the justice that I believe in.”— AP

Suu Kyi criticizes India’s ties with Myanmar junta NEW DELHI: Myanmar’s prodemocracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi criticised India in a newspaper interview yesterday for doing business with the military dictators who held her under house arrest until 11 days ago. Suu Kyi, who lived in India in the 1980s, was released in Yangon on November 13 after spending more than seven consecutive years in detention. India was once a staunch supporter of her cause, but began engaging with Myanmar’s junta in the mid1990s over security and energy issues. The government in New Delhi has been eyeing oil and gas fields in Myanmar, and is also eager to counter China’s growing influence in south-east Asia. “I am saddened with India. I would like to have thought that India would be standing behind us. That it would have followed in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and (India’s first prime minister) Jawaharlal Nehru,” Suu Kyi told the Indian Express. “I do not oppose relations with the Generals but I hope that the Indian government would talk to us as well,” she said. India, which shares a border with Myanmar, welcomed the country’s reclusive military leader Than Shwe for a state visit in July. — AFP


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

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What went wrong with Afghanistan’s election? By Jonathon Burch

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fghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced most of the longdelayed results from a Sept. 18 parliamentary poll yesterday, but more candidates were disqualified and protests over fraud continued. Here are some questions and answers about what has gone wrong with Afghanistan’s election: WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR? The election for the 249seat lower house of parliament, or wolesi jirga, got off to a bad start. Originally scheduled for May, it was postponed until September after international donors, threatening to withhold funding, demanded electoral reforms to avoid a repeat of last year’s fraud-marred presidential vote. The election went ahead, despite threats from the Taleban, without any major attacks. At least 17 people were killed on the day. Poor security in many areas meant more than 1,500 polling centres remained closed out of around 6,800 slated to open. Turnout was also low. The IEC has put the total figure at 5.6 million voters, considerably higher than the 4 million estimated shortly after polling day. Calculating an exact turnout is next to impossible because Afghanistan has no electoral register. The IEC announced preliminary results on Oct. 20, almost two weeks late, after delays to allow more time for auditing and recounting suspicious votes. While announcing those results, the IEC said it had disqualified nearly a quarter of all votes - 1.3 million-for various reasons including fraud and intimidation. On Sunday, the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) said it had disqualified 21 successful candidatesalmost one in 10 - and had finished adjudicating all major complaints. The IEC said yesterday another three candidates had been disqualified and announced “final” results for 33 of the 34 provinces, and one for Kuchi nomads. Results for volatile Ghazni, which has 11 allocated seats, have not yet been declared, leaving 238 out of 249 seats declared. WHAT WENT WRONG? Thousands of complaints poured in since polling day. The ECC said this month it had received more than 6,000 formal complaints, a third of which could have affected the final outcome. Of those, about 40 percent related to polling irregularities and some 17 percent to violence and intimidation. Other gripes included problems accessing polling sites. Allegations of fraud have also been leveled against the IEC itself, including senior members in the commission. Two weeks after the election, the IEC said its provin-

cial election chief in eastern Khost province had been arrested over fraud complaints. Protests by disgruntled candidates and prominent MPs, calling for the election to be annulled, began in Kabul early this month. Among the complaints, they accuse IEC officials of taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from winning candidates and having their own votes unfairly tossed out. The IEC yesterday ruled out calling another election. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Final results were originally due on Oct. 30 but were delayed while the ECC sifted through the thousands of complaints. Yesterday, the IEC said it hoped a new parliament would be formed within a week. In the meantime, the 11 sitting lawmakers from Ghazni will remain in place until its votes are decided. The investigations by the attorney general’s department into IEC officials over fraud allegations made by candidates are continuing. Late on Tuesday, Afghan media reported that spokesmen from the IEC and ECC had been suspended for making statements “against the national interest”. The IEC said the reports were “unfortunate”. Yesterday, Abdullah Abdullah, who finished second to Karzai in last year’s presidential vote, said he had the support of 90 elected candidates in the new parliament, raising the possibility of a fresh challenge to Karzai. HOW WILL IT AFFECT KARZAI? The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomed the declaration of results and said it backed the decision to delay Ghazni because of security and technical problems. However UNAMA in the past has noted “considerable fraud” took place. Official reactions from Western capitals will likely be along similar lines. The declaration came four days after NATO leaders wrapped up a summit in Lisbon where Afghanistan was top of the agenda. They agreed to back Karzai’s timeline for Afghan troops to take security responsibility by 2014, but Karzai’s credibility is on the line after two fraud-marred polls in a year. Karzai’s reputation took a nosedive at home and abroad after more than a third of his votes last year were thrown out as fake. His standing will likely figure largely when US President Barack Obama reviews his Afghanistan war strategy next month. There is also the issue of his cabinet. Several of his ministries are still being run by caretakers after parliament rejected swathes of his nominations earlier this year. He cannot put forward new nominations until the new parliament is formed. — Reuters

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N Korea crisis the latest blow to Obama’s agenda By Matt Spetalnick resident Barack Obama has set the goal of eventually ridding the world of nuclear arms as a central theme of his presidency, but North Korea’s defiance and other recent setbacks have raised fresh doubts about whether he can turn his vision into reality. With Obama’s broader nuclear agenda seemingly imperiled at home and abroad, he now faces a test of whether he can salvage credibility for US leadership in dealing effectively with more immediate threats like the one posed by Pyongyang. “It won’t be enough to just hope for the best,” said Christopher Preble, a foreign policy expert at the Cato Institute in Washington. “He’s going to have to start prioritizing.” North Korea has suddenly jumped to the top of Obama’s list with the disclosure of new advances in uranium enrichment at its main atomic complex and its shelling of a South Korean island on Tuesday. Obama’s is expected to try to balance hard rhetoric to intimidate and contain the North with diplomacy aimed at avoiding military escalation as he seeks to rally the international community to ratchet up the pressure on the reclusive communist leadership in Pyongyang. Some analysts question whether such a nuanced approach will be enough to bolster his longer-term push for global nuclear disarmament. Those hopes have already suffered setbacks as Iran continues to flout international demands to curb its nuclear program and Obama’s signature arms reduction treaty with Russia remains

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bogged down in the US Senate. Obama set expectations high last year in Prague when he declared it was time to end “Cold War thinking” and committed the United States to seeking a nuclear weapons-free world. He acknowledged it was an achievement he was not likely to see in his lifetime, but his lofty oratory was enough to help him win the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama followed in April with the unveiling of a new US policy that renounced development of new nuclear weapons

and restricted use of those already in Washington’s arsenal. CONSERVATIVES SAY LOFTY GOALS ENDANGER US Aides said it set an example for other nuclear nations, which just days later attended a nuclear security summit hosted by Obama at which he secured agreement to work toward locking down loose bomb-making material. But the new US doctrine drew condemnation from conservatives who said it would compromise national

security. Critics say Obama’s approach has also helped embolden Iran and North Korea, which have largely spurned Obama’s diplomatic outreach and pressed ahead with their nuclear programs. “The notion that selfweakening wins us foreign friends is flawed,” said Joseph Carafano, a military expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “The (nuclear-free) vision was unrealistic then and is just as unrealistic now.” While Obama has been credited with forging greater

international solidarity on sanctions against Pyongyang and Tehran, such pressure has done little to halt their efforts. North Korean officials recently took a US nuclear scientist to a plant at its Yongbyon nuclear complex where he saw hundreds of centrifuges. It was the first public disclosure of the uranium enrichment facility-the second source of atomic bomb material in Pyongyang’s program-and sparked fresh questions about the effectiveness of the Obama

administration’s carrot-and-stick approach. But Obama’s options are limited. International sanctions are believed to have run their course with impoverished North Korea, leaving China-the closest thing North Korea has to an ally but also wary of a crisis on its borders-the sole power with any influence over Pyongyang. Iran, which denies Western accusations it is seeking nuclear weapons capabilities, also continues to pose a daunting challenge for Obama. — Reuters

China toughs out crisis sitting on Korean fence By Chris Buckley and Michael Martina

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hina’s famed diplomatic fence-sitting now faces an agonizing test on the barbed-wire dividing North and South Korea, but Beijing is likely to endure the sting and shield its friend, the North. North Korea’s deadly shelling of a South Korean island on Tuesday will be a major test of how well China can balance its role as Pyongyang’s only major ally with international demands that it pressure, even punish, the North over the worst bombardment on the Korean Peninsula since 1953. In the end, Pyongyang’s importance to China as a buffer against possible regional containment and conflict is likely to outweigh the urgings of the Obama administration and US allies for a tough response from Beijing that could rile North Korea. “There won’t be any shift in the macrostructure of relations because of a localized problem like this,” said Xu Guangyu, a retired major general in the People’s Liberation Army who now works for the government-run China Arms Control and Disarmament Association. “Our

biggest objective is stability on the Korean Peninsula. That interest is not served by abandoning North Korea,” he said. “China’s attitudes won’t change. It will make calls for restraint. It’s afraid of an escalation. But there won’t be any fundamental shift.” SHARPER BARBS But if China resists calls for strong censure of Pyongyang, however, its regional standing could suffer, a worry that will also weigh on Beijing officials’ minds. US officials have already complained about China’s muted response to the shelling that killed at least four people. President Hu Jintao is due to visit Washington in early 2011, and that could add pressure on Beijing to criticize the North. “The Chinese did not react in a way we thought was conducive to striving toward regional stability,” a senior US official in Washington DC said. Japan has also urged Beijing to make a “proper response.” Seoul and Tokyo were already upset over Beijing’s hands-off stance about the sinking in March of a South Korean navy ship that Seoul said was torpedoed by

North Korea. This time, China may move to chide the North sooner and more sharply. But Washington and its allies will probably want more. They may look to China to back criticism of the North with sanctions, possibly through the United Nations Security Council. And here the divide will be sharper. “A push for a new sanctions resolution at the United Nations may be necessary to test once more whether the international community faces a North Korea problem or a China problem,” Scott Snyder, an expert on Korea at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in an emailed comment. CHINA’S INVESTMENT China sees North Korea as a strategic buffer against the US and its regional allies, and throughout this year President Hu has shown how much political prestige and economic aid he is willing to invest in Pyongyang. In early May, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il visited China on his first trip abroad since 2006, and he visited again in late August ahead of the anointment of his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, as heir-apparent in the dynastic one-party state. Since then, senior

Chinese leaders have visited Pyongyang. China’s 1,415-km border with North Korea includes stretches of rivers that freeze over in winter, and Beijing fears that frontier could become a conduit for refugees and upheaval if Pyongyang’s regime crumbles. Chinese reluctance to push North Korea harder may also be compounded by joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea intended as a show of resolve and power. Washington is sending the nuclearpowered USS George Washington, which carries 75 warplanes, to join exercises with South Korea from Sunday to the following Wednesday, US officials in Seoul said yesterday. Beijing was angered earlier this year by joint US-South Korea naval exercises off the South Korean coast that those two countries said were aimed at warning North Korea. “China will not welcome the US aircraft carrier joining the exercises, because that kind of move can escalate tensions, and not relieve them,” said Xu, the retired major general. “So I expect China will urge the United States and other countries to show restraint.” — Reuters

South Korea in a bind over its wayward neighbor By Fran k Ze lle r orth Korea’s deadly rain of shells has enraged South Koreans but also driven home their chilling dilemma-how to deal with an unpredictable nuclear-armed neighbor while avoiding all-out war. Compounding Seoul’s strategic nightmare is uncertainty over the motivations of the hardline state and on whether China, the country with the most influence on North Korea, is willing to restrain its communist neighbor. Tuesday’s attack from the North follows the sinking of a South Korean warship this year that has been blamed on the isolated regime, and Pyongyang’s surprise unveiling this month of a sophisticated nuclear facility. South Korea’s Premier Kim Hwang-Sik condemned as a “reckless act of savagery” the bombardment of the Yellow Sea Island that killed two marines, wounded 18 people and reduced 19 houses to charred ruins.

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Major newspapers labelled the first such attack since the 1950-53 Korean conflict a “war crime” and called for revenge, with the Dong-A Ilbo daily fuming that “a club is the only medicine for a mad dog”. But South Korean politicians, generals and citizens also know how much is at stake, having lived with the threat of full-scale war on the peninsula for decades. The two Koreas have never signed a peace treaty, and just across the heavily fortified border, the North has hundreds of missiles targeted on Seoul, believed to include chemical and biological weapons. “Because North Korea has less to lose, they are more apt to take steps that could lead to war,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. “South Korea, although they have various means of responding, will be very careful and considerate in their response so as not to create an escalatory spiral in which North Korea has what’s called

‘escalation dominance’.” Professor Yang Moo-Jin of Seoul’s University of North Korean Studies agreed that “despite the strong soundbites, what South Korea can do about this is quite limited.” “At best, it may irritate the North into further provocative acts to find an excuse to mount retaliatory attacks, but even that’s a remote possibility,” Yang said. “The South may flex its military muscle by staging joint military exercises with the United States on a greater scale than usual,” he said, shortly before the US and South Korea announced a fourday naval exercise starting Sunday. Yang said that if South Korea, backed by the United States, sought to punish or condemn the North at the UN Security Council, veto-wielding members China and Russia would probably not support them. “If China or Russia join any international condemnation against the North, Pyongyang would respond by carrying out a third nuclear test, test-firing an ICBM

(intercontinental ballistic missile) and disclosing nuclear devices that might have been miniaturized enough to be loaded on top of missiles,” he said. Northeast Asia security expert Robert Dujarric agreed that “South Korean options are indeed limited”, pointing to the response after an expert panel found North Korea torpedoed South Korean warship the Cheonan in March. “My guess is that in the end Seoul and Washington will decide to prioritize avoiding escalation, though they will have to find a way to warn the North to avoid further provocations,” said Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University in Tokyo. “It’s hard to operationalise this sort of policy, but what we have seen in recent years, including with the Cheonan, is that the South and US will indeed let the North get away with its provocations.” Many observers said the North Korean attack was aimed at boosting the standing of heir apparent Kim Jong-Un, the

youngest son of leader Kim Jong-Il. “It is a way of seeking US attention and demonstrating that the next North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, knows how to provoke, how to fight and how to be as unpredictable as his father,” said Rory Medcalf, international security program director of thinktank the Lowy Institute. “The key here is China’s role. China is the only power with real capacity to harm the regime in Pyongyang,” he said. However, the latest inter-Korean flare-up comes at a time when China has been engaged in a bitter territorial row with Japan, and has quarreled with the United States over currencies, trade and human rights. “Beijing knows that it needs a cooling-off period in its relations with Asia and with Washington after all that strife,” said Medcalf. “China’s response will be a grand test of whether it puts the region’s interests ahead of its own relations with its dangerous little brother in Pyongyang.” — AFP


analysis

Thursday, november 25, 2010

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Stuxnet could add to Iran’s enrichment problems By Simon Morgan

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mysterious halt in Iran’s uranium enrichment activities earlier this month, as revealed in a new report by the UN atomic watchdog, may have been due to a cyber attack, experts suggested yesterday. But the enrichment program is vulnerable to wider technical problems-particularly since it uses outdated technology-as well as international sanctions, the experts argued. A restricted report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, says no uranium-enriching centrifuges at Iran’s enrichment facility in Natanz were being fed with nuclear material on at least one day this month. Centrifuges are finely calibrated cylindrical devices that spin at supersonic speed to separate out an isotope of uranium used to make nuclear fuel or, if refined to a much higher degree, for the fissile material for an atomic bomb. “On November 16, no cascades were being fed with UF6” or uranium hexafluoride, the nine-page report revealed, without offering any explanation as to a possible cause of the outage. Uranium hexafluoride, a toxic gas, is the particular form of uranium used in the enrichment process. Most of the machines at Natanz are used to produce low-enriched uranium or LEU, which is used to make nuclear fuel. A much smaller pilot plant where earlier this year Iran began enriching uranium to 20 percent purity-ostensibly to produce radioisotopes for medical purposes-was not affected. The IAEA’s inspectors were not yet able to determine exactly how long the halt lasted: a few hours on

BUSHEHR: Iranian technicians work at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran. — AP November 16, an entire day or even longer. The inspectors have not been back since, but Iranian authorities informed them that on November 22 nuclear material was being fed back into the centrifuges. Iran quickly ruled out a possible cyber attack and denied that the enrichment work was experiencing technical problems. But experts see as

“feasible” the theory that the stoppage was caused by a computer worm called Stuxnet that has infiltrated Iran’s nuclear facilities recently. Israel is suspected of designing Stuxnet to sabotage its arch foe’s nuclear program, which the West believes is simply a cover to build an atomic bomb, though Iran denies it. “It’s certainly feasible, because of

the kind of technical problems it can cause in the control systems for centrifuges,” said Mark Hibbs, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Centrifuges are very sensitive machines and if you disrupt one of them, you can cause a large number of others to crash.” Analysts say Iran’s enrichment equipment is even more vulnerable to a possible

cyber attack because it is intrinsically flawed. Most of the centrifuges, labeled as P-1 or IR-1, are based on a model dating back to the 1970s that is extremely prone to breakage. “It’s very likely that the halt was in connection with efforts to overcome chronic technical problems,” said Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Stragegic Studies. “The Stuxnet malware appears to have contributed to these problems, but the P-1 centrifuges have intrinsic problems anyway.” Hibbs at Carnegie suggested Iran could soon abandon the P-1 or IR-1 centrifuge in favor of more advanced and more reliable models. According to the IAEA report, there are 8,426 IR-1 centrifuges currently installed at Natanz-down from 8,856 at the end of August-with only just over half of those, or 4,816, being fed with nuclear material. Significantly, Iran told the IAEA it intends to reduce by a third the number of IR-1 machines at its second enrichment site at Fordow, near Qom, the existence of which Tehran only declared after it was discovered by western intelligence services. David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security saw that as a sign Iran had decided to downgrade the role of Fordow as an enrichment plant. But Hibbs said: “We may be seeing the silent termination of the IR-1 problem” and a switch to more advanced models. The challenge for the West was “to stop Iran’s nuclear program in its tracks or at least slow it down significantly, because Iran will find it difficult to procure the materials such as maraging steel and carbon-fibre needed” in the face of international sanctions, he added. — AFP

Naples trash crisis highlights Berlusconi weakness By Silvia Aloisi

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he rotting garbage piled up on the streets of Naples has become an enduring symbol to Italians of the many problems facing Silvio Berlusconi’s crumbling conservative government. The prime minister came to power as a “Mr Fix It” less than three years ago vowing to clean up a mess that his centre-left predecessor had failed to sort out, and often cites the clearing of Naples’ streets as one of his biggest successes. He even held his first cabinet meeting there, promising a break with past administrations that had failed to solve the chronic rubbish problem in Campania-the poor, southern region of which Naples is the capital. Half-way into his term, facing the prospect of early elections due to the implosion of his centre-right coalition and a string of sex and graft scandals, Berlusconi is seeing Naples’ trash back on the front pages of newspapers and TV bulletins. “Naples garbage? It’s just like two years ago,” read the headline of

the daily La Stampa on Tuesday. This time, Berlusconi no longer seems to have the political capital even to temporarily push the filth under the carpet to boost his popularity, now at a record low. Damning comments this week from European Union inspectors who said Italy had failed to deliver on pledges to fix the problem rubbed salt in the wound. “He obviously never had a magic wand but this time he is under so much pressure on all fronts that he can’t even pretend to deal with the rubbish effectively,” said James Walston, political science professor at the American University in Rome. D EC A DE S -O LD P RO B LE M The Naples garbage crisis-first declared a national emergency in 1994 - can hardly be blamed on Berlusconi’s government alone. It is the result of years of political mismanagement, corruption and the influence of the local mafia, the Camorra, which makes a fortune out of illegal waste disposal. But with the media tycoon facing a confidence vote in parliament on Dec. 14,

television images of Neapolitans walking past shoulder-high mounds of trash, holding their noses and covering their faces, have become a symbol of his own failure. They have also given ammunition to critics who say his taste for partying, back in the spotlight thanks to a scandal over a teenage nightclub dancer, is distracting him from running a country emerging only slowly from its worst post-war recession. “This is undermining his ‘can do’ image and adding to a growing sense that his time is up, particularly in the south,” Walston said. Last month, Berlusconi pledged to solve the latest crisis in a matter of days. Instead, the emergency has, if anything, grown bigger, as the EU inspectors witnessed this week. The government was forced to ditch plans to open a new landfill near Naples, without an alternative solution, after a month-long protest by locals complaining of the foul smell and toxic waste being dumped at an existing site near their homes. Berlusconi blames local centre-left authorities, but it is his People of Freedom (PDL) party that runs the

Campania region. And rivalries within the party, where many are repositioning themselves for a likely snap election next spring, are making things worse. ‘ GA N G- LI K E F AC T IO NS ’ Equal Opportunities Minister Mara Carfagna, a favorite of Berlusconi and a native of Campania, has threatened to resign over the way fellow party members are handling the rubbish crisis-and hinted at murky interests in the process. “There is a war between gang-like factions. I am being obstructed in my battle for the rule of law and for the realization of strategic infrastructure in my region,” she said.At the heart of the dispute is who should be responsible for building two long-delayed incinerators, managing a contract which according to some estimates is worth 1 billion euros- mayors, provincial chiefs or the regional governor. Plans to truck Naples’ trash to other parts of Italy are on hold, as Berlusconi’s coalition partners in the Northern League — which runs key northern regions and has long derided southern graft and

inefficiency-applies a “not in my backyard” policy. The opposition has jumped on the coalition’s internal divisions over the issue, just as Berlusconi used the weakness of his predecessor Romano Prodi’s divided centre-left government to paint it as the culprit for Naples’ woes. “This power struggle is a sickening spectacle. No one seems to be interested in resolving the garbage crisis, the only thing that matters is making money at the expense of citizens,” said Pierferdinando Casini, leader of the centrist UDC party. Worse still for Berlusconi, the crisis could cost him votes in a crucial southern region, reinforcing the impression that, after breaking with his long-time ally Gianfranco Fini, Berlusconi is at the mercy of the powerful Northern League. Opinion polls already suggest that, while he would still be likely to win a snap election, he may not get a majority in the Senate, greatly hampering his ability to govern effectively. At the height of the garbage protest, one banner in a town near Naples read: “Berlusconi, you have lost the south.” — Reuters

Spain battles market pressures, bailout risk remains By Nigel D avies and Fiona Ortiz

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pain is praying a restructuring of its weaker banks, an austere 2011 budget and progress on deficit cuts will help it stave off an Irish- or Greek-style debt meltdown, though mounting market pressure will test its resolve. Euro zone policymakers are keeping their fingers crossed too, as a call for outside help from the region’s fourth largest economy would come close to extinguishing the huge reserves of capital they and the International Monetary Fund have set aside to contain the fiscal crisis, leaving the single currency area facing a bleak future. Like Portugal, Spain is struggling to prove it has more staying power than other vulnerable euro zone economies as investors sell off its debt on concerns over a high deficitespecially at local government leveland over banks laden with soured construction loans. The risk premium on Spanish sovereign bonds over German benchmark Bunds hit a euro lifetime high this week and kept rising, brushing off data that showed tax hikes and spending cuts have slashed the central government deficit by 50 percent so far this year. But at 250 basis points the risk is still well below Ireland’s, which has soared above 630. “Obviously if things go out of control then it would be a different story, but fundamentally Spain looks much stronger than some of the other periphery countries and funding requirements for next year do not look high,” said a market maker on Spanish debt at a bank in London. Spain’s budget forecasts a cut in net debt issuance in 2011 to 43.3 billion euros from 76.2 billion this year. The government faces some 65 billion euros of debt payments next year, including interest, with the first major maturity coming on April 30. SPAIN BAILOUT WOULD STRAIN EURO Bailing out Greece, Ireland or

even Portugal is one thing: but Spain’s economy and debt are bigger than all three combined, says Deutsche Bank. “If problems spill over to Spain the fund that is in place would not be enough to cover its financing requirements and would put into question the existence of the euro zone,” said Marco Valli, chief euro zone economist at Unicredit. A rescue aimed at meeting Spain’s financing needs for 2-1/2 years would cost 420 billion euros, estimates Capital Economics, noting the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) reserve set up after Greece was forced into seeking a rescue in May

barely have that left over after helping Athens and Dublin. Spain has not run into troubles selling debt, but mounting borrowing costs threaten an unsustainable spiral, and government officials have taken to the airwaves to insist that austerity measures are working. But they are painfully aware that just a few months ago, Ireland’s deep spending cuts were held up as a model for euro zone economies struggling with debt. “The government has to change people’s perception ... They have to move more quickly, such as on pension reform, and deepen the labor reform, and then they have to do a

better job of informing people,” said Jose Luis Martinez, economist at Citi. M UCH WO RK HAS B EE N DO NE Unlike Ireland and Portugal, Spain has its 2011 budget in the bag and its debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product is estimated at 60 percent this year, compared with Ireland’s 100 percent and Greece’s 145 percent. The government has shown willingness to make cuts, slashing infrastructure projects and state worker wages. “Spain is the only country that has managed (to cut the deficit). In

MADRID: Brokers look at the main screen at the Stock Exchange in Madrid. Spain’s borrowing costs have soared in a sale of 3-and 6-month bills amid fears the country could be affected by contagion from Ireland’s debt crisis. — AP

Ireland the deficit is rising even without the bank aid. In Portugal it hasn’t improved at all,” Jose Carlos Diez, economist with Intermoney in Madrid. Spain’s banks are also stronger than Ireland’s. The government provided 15 billion euros in credit lines to savings banks and forced them to merge, and only a handful of smaller savings banks failed Europe-wide crisis simulations or stress tests. The financial system’s reliance on European Central Bank funding has come down after jumping during the Greek crisis. B AN KS A ND R EG ION S But concerns persist that a renewed liquidity crunch on the interbank market combined with bad debt from Spain’s property boom and bust could sink a bank. “The genuine source of Spain’s vulnerability lies in the adjustment of the private sector which accumulated before the start of the recession a debt of 210 percent of GDP... The banking sector bears the brunt of the adjustment,” Deutsche Bank economist Gilles Moec wrote in a report this week. Moec and other experts warn Spain should not overreact to market pressure with more austerity, possibly sending its stagnant economy back into recession. Low growth next year would make it hard for the government to cut the deficit to 6 percent of GDP, since that target is based on what many see as an overoptimistic official forecast of 1.3 percent economic expansion. The government insists that Spain’s deeply indebted autonomous regions-with a combined debt of 10 percent of GDP and in many cases linked to Madrid through volatile political alliances-are committed to doing their part in deficit reduction. But there are still concerns that regional finances are not transparent enough and that the central government might have to bail out a region, further straining its finances. — Reuters

focus

Condom use less evil than spreading HIV By Victor L Simpson And Nicole Winfield n a seismic shift on one of the most profound and profoundly contentious Roman Catholic teachings, the Vatican said Tuesday that condoms are the lesser of two evils when used to curb the spread of AIDS, even if their use prevents a pregnancy. The position was an acknowledgment that the church’s long-held anti-birth control stance against condoms doesn’t justify putting lives at risk. “This is a game-changer,” declared the Rev. James Martin, a prominent Jesuit writer and editor. The new stance was staked out as the Vatican explained Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on condoms and HIV in a book that came out Tuesday based on his interview with a German journalist. The Vatican still holds that condom use is immoral and that church doctrine forbidding artificial birth control remains unchanged. Still, the reassessment on condom use to help prevent disease carries profound significance, particularly in Africa where AIDS is rampant. “By acknowledging that condoms help prevent the spread of HIV between people in sexual relationships, the pope has completely changed the Catholic discussion on condoms,” said Martin, a liberal-leaning author of several books about spirituality and Catholic teaching. The development came on a day when UN AIDS officials announced that the number of new HIV cases has fallen significantly - thanks to condom use and a US medical journal published a study showing that a daily pill could help prevent spread of the virus among gay men. “This is a great day in the fight against AIDS ... a major milestone,” said Mitchell Warren, head of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition. Theologians have debated for years whether it could be morally acceptable for HIV-infected people to use condoms to avoid infecting their partners. The Vatican years ago was reportedly preparing a document on the subject, but it never came out. The groundbreaking shift, coming as it does from the deeply conservative pontiff, would appear likely to restrain any public criticism from Catholic conservatives, who insisted Tuesday that the pope was merely reaffirming the church’s moral teaching. Conservatives have feared that a comment like this would give support to Catholics who want to challenge the church’s ban on artificial contraception in an environment where they feel they are under siege from a secular, anti-Catholic culture. George Weigel, a conservative Catholic writer, said the Vatican was by no means endorsing condom use as a method of contraception or a means of AIDS prevention. “This is admittedly a difficult distinction to grasp,” he told The Associated Press in an email. What the pontiff is saying is “that someone determined to do something wrong may be showing a glimmer of moral common sense by not doing that wrong thing in the worst possible way, which is not an endorsement of anything.” Benedict’s comments come at a time when bishops in the United States are intensely focused on upholding the strictest views of Catholic orthodoxy, emphasizing traditional marriage, natural family planning based on a woman’s menstrual cycle and making abortion the most important issue. In the book, “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” Benedict was quoted as saying that condom use by people such as male prostitutes indicated they were moving toward a more moral and responsible sexuality by aiming to protect their partner from a deadly infection. His comments implied that he was referring primarily to homosexual sex, when condoms aren’t being used as a form of contraception. However, questions arose immediately about the pope’s intent because the Italian translation

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of the book used the feminine for prostitute, whereas the original German used the masculine. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told reporters Tuesday that he asked the pope whether he intended his comments to apply only to men. Benedict replied that it really didn’t matter, the important thing was that the person took into consideration the life of another. “I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine,” Lombardi said. “He told me no. The problem is this: ... It’s the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship.” “This is if you’re a man, a woman, or a transsexual. ... The point is it’s a first step of taking responsibility, of avoiding passing a grave risk onto another,” Lombardi said. Those comments concluded the press conference, and Lombardi took no further questions about how broadly this interpretation could be applied. The clarification is significant. UNAIDS estimates that 22.4 million people in Africa are infected with HIV, and that 54 percent or 12.1 million - are women. Heterosexual transmission of HIV and multiple, heterosexual partners are believed to be the major cause of the high infection rates. Benedict drew harsh criticism when, en route to Africa in 2009, he told reporters that the AIDS problem couldn’t be resolved by distributing condoms. “On the contrary, it increases the problem,” he said then. In Africa on Tuesday, AIDS activists, clerics and ordinary Africans applauded the pope’s revised comments. “I say, hurrah for Pope Benedict,” exclaimed Linda-Gail Bekker, chief executive of South Africa’s Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. She said the pope’s statement may prompt many people to “adopt a simple lifestyle strategy to protect themselves.” In Sierra Leone, the director of the National AIDS Secretariat predicted condom use would now increase, lowering the number of new infections. “Once the pope has made a pronouncement, his priests will be in the forefront in advocating for their perceived use of condoms,” said the official, Dr Brima Kargbo. Lombardi said Benedict knew full well that his comments would provoke intense debate. Conservative Catholics have been trying to minimize what he said since excerpts were published this weekend in the Vatican newspaper. The Rev Tim Finnegan, a conservative British blogger, said he thought the pope’s comments were unwise. “I’m sorry. I love the Holy Father very much; he is a deeply holy man and has done a great deal for the church,” Finnegan said on his blog. “On this particular issue, I disagree with him.” Lombardi praised Benedict for his “courage” in confronting the problem. “He did it because he believed that it was a serious, important question in the world of today,” Lombardi said, adding that the pope wanted to give his perspective on the need for greater humanized, responsible sexuality. Luigi Accatoli, a veteran Vatican journalist who was on the Vatican panel that launched the book, put it this way: “He spoke with caution and courage of a pragmatic way through which missionaries and other ecclesial workers can help to defeat the pandemic of AIDS without approving, but also without excluding - in particular cases - the use of a condom,” Accatoli said. The launch of the book, which includes wide-ranging comments on subjects from the sex abuse crisis to Benedict’s belief that popes should resign if physically unable to carry out their mission, drew a packed audience. Making a rare appearance, Benedict’s secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, sat in the front row - an indication of the event’s significance. — AP


NEWS

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sanctions squeeze Dubai-Iran trade Continued from Page 1

CAIRO: Egyptian Christians flee as police fire tear gas during a riot after authorities halted construction on a church. — AP

Egypt Christians clash with police CAIRO: One demonstrator was killed and dozens injured yesterday as Christian protesters clashed with Egyptian police over the denial of permission for a new church, a security official said. The clashes came amid mounting sectarian tensions in the Arab world’s most populous nation after Muslims set fire to homes owned by the family of a Christian man rumored to have flirted with a Muslim girl in the south. A security official said that a young male demonstrator was killed during the protests over the church and that a senior police officer was among the injured. Hundreds clashed sporadically with police throughout the morning in separate locations in the Talibiya district of Cairo’s Giza governorate, with demonstrators throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, and the police responding with tear gas. Around 20 police were injured in the clashes, including Giza’s deputy security chief, as well as around 15 demonstrators. The official MENA news agency said more than 3,000 people had taken part in the protests, 93 of whom were arrested. Some of the protesters were led away with blood on their faces, after police hurled rocks at them from a bridge. The dead protester was identified as Makarios Gad Shukr, 19.

Father Mina, from a church near the proposed new chapel, said Shukr was shot in the neck during one of the demonstrations in front of the governorate headquarters in the morning. Hundreds of Copts had gathered at the neighboring church to complain about how they had been treated. “People here feel very discriminated against. We can’t build the church-why are they stopping us?” asked Samih Rashid. “Every street has a mosque, every church has a mosque next to it,” he complained. Dozens of Muslim residents of Talibiya chanting anti-Coptic slogans threw rocks at the demonstrators from under a bridge on the ringroad as police fired tear gas at the Copts. The Coptic protesters chanted back: “Long live the crescent alongside the crucifix,” in reference to the Islamic and Christian symbols. Riot police were later deployed to hold back the Muslims. One of the Coptic demonstrators complained: “This is the way the government starts sectarian strife.” They were protesting against the government’s decision not to allow the Copts to turn a community centre that they were building next to the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael church into a chapel. The authorities said the Copts had violat-

ed their building license. Witnesses said police arrested construction workers. Father Mina blamed restrictions in the law for the clashes. “This has led to something dangerous. It turned into a fight between Muslims and Copts.” Copts account for between six and 10 percent of Egypt’s 80 million population and complain of systematic discrimination and marginalisation. Non-Muslims are required to obtain a presidential decree to construct new religious buildings and must satisfy numerous conditions before permission is granted, in contrast to the ease with which mosques can be built. Yesterday’s clashes took place just days before Egyptians are to go to the polls for a parliamentary election, which is expected to keep the ruling National Democratic Party in power. Sectarian tensions have been rising amid threats against Copts in Egypt by Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The jihadist network threatened to target the region’s Christians if the Coptic Church did not release two women rumored to have converted to Islam. The Coptic Church denied they had converted. In January, six Copts were killed by gunmen in southern Egypt as they emerged from mass on the eve of Coptic Christmas in the deadliest attack on the community since 2000. — AFP

The United Arab Emirates has signaled it will rein back its role as a trading and financial lifeline for Iran after the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran in June, over accusations it is developing a nuclear bomb. The measures could spell disaster for many of the Iranian banks and thousands of Iranian businesses who deal with Dubai, which built its reputation on its role as the re-export hub for the Gulf. “There is a severe impact on trade between the UAE and Iran due to the current sanctions, particularly on the banking sector,” said Morteza Masoumzadeh, vice president of the Iranian Business Council and managing director of Jumbo Line shipping agency. “Due to the recent sanctions, the Iranian banks’ operations have come almost to a standstill. They have lost their businesses,” he told Reuters in his office on the 14th floor of a building that overlooks Dubai’s busy saltwater creek. In June, the UAE central bank told financial institutions to freeze accounts belonging to dozens of firms targeted by UN sanctions, also blacklisting 40 entities and one individual. In November, businessmen and traders met the deputy ruler of Dubai to complain of obstacles they face doing business with Iran due to the banking restrictions. Masoumzadeh said around 8,000 Iranianowned businesses remained in Dubai after some 400 were forced to close because of the sanctions and the financial crisis. A sharp decline in Iranian trade could hit Dubai’s economy, still dusting itself off after last year’s debt crisis hit confidence in the emirate that is home to the world’s tallest tower and three man-made palm islands visible from space. “The anecdotal evidence of a sharp decline in the Iran-bound

re-export business is accumulating, although the statistical evidence is still lacking,” said David Butter, Middle East and North Africa director at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). “However, the new measures are likely to bite in the second half of this year. The effects on Dubai’s GDP will be significant, but should not be overstated.” In July, Iran still ranked as the second largest re-export destination for the UAEtopped only by India-with the re-export trade worth a total 2.2 billion dirhams ($599 million) in that month alone, UAE customs data showed. Butter said whatever the decline in trading relations with Iran, Dubai’s trade with other countries appears to be picking up, potentially making up for any losses. Trade between Iran and Dubai is long established. The Strait of Hormuz, through which around 40 percent of the world’s oil supplies pass, separates the UAE from Iran by only 54 kilometers at its narrowest point. Persian traders migrated from towns in southern Iran in the early 20th century and settled along Dubai’s creek, where today the wooden ships dock and boatmen unload spices, clothes and other goods from India, East Africa and Iran. Wealthy Persian merchants built windtower houses along the creek that still cluster in Dubai’s Bastakia area. Dubai’s business with Iran flourished as other countries grew increasingly wary, in recent years, of flouting sanctions. Exchange traders in the UAE expect that sending money to and from Iran will become increasingly difficult, even though there is no official ban on dealing with Iran’s rial currency. “We expect a trade drop, so eventually it will affect all other businesses related to the same circle, including money transfers,” Mohamed Al-Ansari, chairman

and managing director of Abu Dhabi-based Al Ansari Exchange, said. “The financial sector and banks take extra caution not to be involved, especially when it’s routed transactions which have to go through Europe or the United States. They try to be away from these type of transactions.” Ansari said money transactions with Iran accounted for less than 5 percent of his business, but authorities had increased inspections, although it was not always easy to determine the nature of transactions in Dubai, which until recently was considered a major money-laundering hub. Dubai-based security analyst Theodore Karasik said moves by the UAE to implement sanctions would certainly affect trade. “A lot of surveillance is done and the authorities are watching very closely, money laundering has been reduced very sharply. There is more supervision in terms of money,” he said. “Some people have already made a move to Turkey and Malaysia, but not in a considerable number. But I’m sure if the situation continues as such, in the very near future there will be a major shift.” Dubai shocked global markets when Dubai World, a state-owned conglomerate, said last November it would delay its repayment in $26 billion of debt. Since then, Dubai has been hammering out deals with creditors and getting its projects back on track. Dubai’s new $10.9 billion Maktoum International Airport- part of Dubai World Central’s so-called “aerotropolis” complex - could cushion the impact of losing Iranian trade, Butter said. “India, Saudi Arabia and Iraq are all substantial other destinations, and with the development of Maktoum International Airport, Dubai can develop other alternatives further afield,” he said. — Reuters

Popular Bloc blasts govt over gas leak Continued from Page 1 The statement said that the government did not move despite a number of explosions in Ahmadi because of gas which resulted in casualties. Bloc’s member MP Khaled Al-Tahous had warned four months ago about the grave situation in Ahmadi, but his warnings went unheard, the statement said. What complicated the problem is that concerned government agencies have failed until this moment to identify the source of the gas leakage and accordingly failed to propose a solution, it added. “The Popular Bloc believes that the latest government moves are nothing more than reactions ... and that proposed government solutions are not fundamental and not based on true and real information about the size of the problem” it said. The Bloc demanded that Ahmadi should be declared a disaster area and a contingency plan must be devised to deal with the danger facing residents, in addition to provide

them with decent and adequate residences if they were forced to move out of the area. The Bloc also charged that the government will not be able to deal with the consequences of a military confrontation in the area. In another development, Communications Minister Mohammad AlBaseeri said yesterday that the government has submitted four more issues to its priority list to make the total at 60 issues that hopes the National Assembly will be able to discuss during the current term. Baseeri said the government plans to submit a draft law for the establishment of the Silk City Authority which will supervise the implementation of the mega project. He also said the government will submit its vision about funding the four-year development plan within the next three weeks. Head of the interior and defense committee MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri yesterday sent several questions to the interior minister inquiring about reports that some people who have a travel ban on them have

managed to leave the country. Muwaizri asked the minister if the interior ministry has recorded cases of people with travel bans managing to leave the country through border exit points and the number of such cases. The questions come after reports that a former senior government official and a former MP who were handed jail terms for stealing money managed to flee the country to escape the prison terms despite having travel bans against them. In another case, MP Mussallam AlBarrak yesterday sent two sets of questions to Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad AlAbdullah Al-Sabah regarding the arbitration that Dow Chemical has requested following the cancellation by Kuwait of a $17 billion dollar petrochemicals joint venture two years ago. Barrak inquired about the qualifications and experience of the people who will represent Kuwait in the arbitration process and if they had any experience in this field and if the minister has been monitoring the arbitration process to ensure its safety.

Kuwait and Iraq seal border deal Continued from Page 1 The two oil-rich nations signed a similar deal in 2006 after Iraqi farmers halted construction of a 200-kilometre irrigation pipeline on the border when Kuwait charged it passed through its territory. Under that deal, which was never implemented, Kuwait agreed to pay compensation for the Iraqi farmers and deposited the amount with the United Nations. Mubaraki said the cost of building the replacement

homes for the Iraqi farmers would be paid from the compensation. Kuwait is also demanding the demarcation of maritime borders. Iraq has been campaigning to be released from the sanctions imposed by the Security Council under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter after now executed dictator Saddam Hussein ordered his troops to invade Kuwait in August 1990. Kuwait has consistently countered that before being released from the Chapter Seven sanctions, Iraq needs to settle the

border issue and pay a further 25 billion dollars due in war reparations, among other demands. The two nations have agreed in principle on rules for production from border oilfields that have been at the heart of the conflict between them, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah al-Sabah said in August. A number of oilfields lie on the border between the two countries, including Iraq’s giant Rumaila field, which extends into Kuwait where it is known as Ritqa. — AFP

“Our data show 2010 being virtually tied with 1998, through October,” said Deke Arndt, from NCDC. The three institutes use similar observations, but in slightly different ways. For example, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) takes greater account of Arctic weather stations, where warming has been fastest. Some skeptics have argued that because the last temperature peak was in 2005 or 1998, that global warming must have stalled. Most scientists reject that view, saying that whether or not 2010 is the hottest year is less important than the longterm trend, which is up, due to manmade greenhouse gas emissions. The period 2000-2009 was the warmest decade on record. Scientists also point to natural variation, and in particular the El Nino Pacific weather phenomenon associated with warm weather worldwide. 1998 was a strong El Nino year. “The trend is overwhelming, particularly over the past 50 years,” said Rajendra

Pachauri, head of the UN panel of climate scientists. “I wouldn’t read these numbers for a particular year as very compelling, we have to take a historical view,” he said. In one of the biggest bets on climate change, James Annan, a climate scientist at the Frontier Research Center for Global Change in Japan, has a $10,000 wager made in 2005 with two Russian solar physicists who are skeptical about global warming. He will win if average world temperatures are higher from 2012-17 than they were from 1998-2003. “Things are progressing smoothly,” he said. The UN’s World Meteorological Organization will publish an estimate on Dec 2 of where 2010 ranks. It compiles data from a wider range of sources, both measured temperatures and climate models. It lists 1998 and 2005 as the warmest years. “We have indications that it would match one of the three warmest years,” said Omar Baddour, head of climate data management operations at in Geneva. — Reuters

2010 ‘hottest year’ Continued from Page 1 The UN panel of climate scientists says higher temperatures mean more floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels. “I think it’s too close to call. Based on these numbers it’ll be second, but it depends on how warm November and December are,” said Phil Jones, director of Britain’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), at the University of East Anglia, which says 1998 was the record year so far. By contrast, scientists at the US space agency NASA say that surface temperatures through October were above the previous record year, which it says was 2005. Differences between years are only a few hundredths of a degree. “I would not be surprised if most or all groups found that 2010 was tied for the warmest year,” said NASA’s James Hansen. And the US National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that 2010 was a “dead-heat” for the record.

A second tribal chief said 11 of the dead, who were rebel supporters, were buried straight away in accordance with Muslim tradition. “The bodies of the other 12, who were Huthi fighters, were taken away by the rebels,” he added, referring to them by the clan name of their leaders. The mountains of Al-Jawf and neighboring Saada and Amran provinces have been a stronghold of the rebels in the uprising they have been waging against the Sanaa government on and off for the past six years. The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned on Tuesday there had been an “alarming escalation” in fighting in the region, despite the nine-month-old truce. It said aid agencies and witnesses had reported that clashes between the rebels

and pro-government tribes had erupted in Saada province on November 13. “At least 20 people have been killed reportedly and others wounded over the past 10 days in the worst violence in northern Yemen since the signing of the ceasefire in February,” UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic said, speaking before the latest unrest. The army launched a major offensive against the rebels in August last year, sparking a new round of conflict that spilled over the border of the Arab world’s poorest country with oil-rich Saudi Arabia. That fighting ended with a truce mediated by gas-rich Qatar. The ceasefire has been repeatedly shaken by clashes between the rebels and pro-government tribes, and Qatar has been forced to undertake a series of mediation missions in a bid to shore it up. Clashes late last month killed two rebel fighters

Continued from Page 1 Plastic surgery is a big draw for poorer Egyptian women as men are usually the breadwinners and women often cannot read and are unskilled, making it vital to find and keep a husband. Marwa, a 22year-old unemployed woman who weighed around 300 pounds, underwent liposuction on her thighs when successive diets failed. She said she needed to find a husband after breaking off a four-year engagement. “I would see billboards of female Arab pop stars who went under the knife and wished I could have the means they have to look beautiful,” she said. Doctors at a state hospital removed 12 liters of fat from Marwa’s outer thighs. She gave them 350 ml of her blood and 350 pounds for a postsurgery belt, paid for with her savings and loans from family and friends. A few weeks later, as the pain was receding, Marwa received an offer of marriage and her satisfaction was mixed with fear: “If we get married, will he still love and respect me if he ever found out I had plastic surgery?” A taxi driver said he had planned to divorce until his wife had a breast reduction. At first he regretted pushing her to have the operation as he was left to mind

and a pro-government tribesman, a tribal chief said. The Zaidis are the majority community in northern Yemen but a minority in the mainly Sunni country as a whole. There have been six rounds of fighting between the rebels and government troops since the uprising first erupted in 2004. The UNHCR says more than 300,000 people have fled, of whom just 20,000 have so far returned to homes in Saada province. In other developments, an influential Muslim television preacher from Egypt, Amr Khaled, launched in Yemen an initiative to recruit young people to combat “extremist ideas.” At a ceremony in the souther n city of Aden, he said 5,000 youths had already volunteered for the program, which would aim to “spread moderate ideas among young people” and “root out extremism.” — AFP

the kids and house. “I shouted at the doctors to release her before the due date because the house was a total mess and our triplets were left alone all that time,” he said, speaking at a university hospital where his wife was having a check-up after surgery. “But last August, her breasts were drooping and had no form. Now they are firm,” he said, asking that his name was not published. He said the operation was free apart from a post-surgery bra costing 180 pounds. Some operations are paid for by charitable donations, others carried out by private surgeons for free. “The rich have their money to support them but the poor only have God to support them... I take enough money from the rich to spare some for the poor,” said Alaa Gheita, a plastic surgeon who gives lectures on “Plastic Surgery Rights for the Poor”. Hospitals often perform cosmetic surgery for no charge to ensure trainee staff take part in enough operations to earn international recognition, one teaching professor said on condition of anonymity. Some patients requesting cosmetic surgery are asked to donate blood, part of it used during the operation and the rest added to the hospital’s blood bank for other procedures such as emergency opera-

tions, said another cosmetic surgery professor who also asked not to be named. He said hospitals often had a shortage of blood. Abdel Rahman Shahin, a spokesman at the Health Ministry, said patients could be treated by a trainee surgeon for free as long as the operation is supervised by a senior doctor. He said patients could not be obliged to donate blood, adding: “This should be voluntary and no one can force a patient to donate blood in exchange for surgery.” Cheap, unlicensed clinics charge as little as 4,000-6,000 pounds for breast enlargements and 1,000-2,000 pounds for liposuction. Some private clinics make false promises such as curing baldness or fattening skinny legs. Misleading “before and after” photos exploit a widespread lack of medical knowledge and hospital doctors have warned potential clients to think twice. The government has shut 10 percent of private cosmetic surgery centers for lacking a license, but many have found a way to reopen, according to Health Ministry spokesman Shahin. “They have good lawyers, good connections with retired policemen, simply following the ‘Wasta’ (connections) culture to get their way,” said Gheita. — Reuters

Anger and grief as Cambodia mourns Continued from Page 1

Suicide bomber kills 23 in Yemen Continued from Page 1

Divorce fears drive Egyptian women to plastic surgery

the country, bewildered relatives searched for answers. “I feel very sad and angry about what happened,” Phea Channara said at a funeral service for his 24-year-old sister on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. “I wonder if the police really did their job. Why did they allow it to happen in the first place?” Waiter Choy Bora said he was frustrated with the security response as he watched the clean-up operation of the bridge which had been littered with discarded flip-flops, items of clothing and water bottles after the crush. At the entrance to the now notorious crossing, still closed off to the public, locals in the mostly Buddhist country burned incense and prayed for the souls of the deceased. They laid out flowers, cake and bananas as offerings. Prime Minister Hun Sen has described the disaster as Cambodia’s worst tragedy since the Khmer Rouge’s 1975-1979 reign

of terror, which killed up to a quarter of the population. Thursday will be a national day of mourning. The prime minister also said that a memorial stupa will be built “to commemorate the souls of the people who lost their lives in the incident... and to remember the serious tragedy for the nation and the Cambodian people.” Social Affairs Minister Ith Samheng said the toll from the tragedy had jumped to 456 dead and 395 injured, revising the previous figure of 378 dead. “Some bodies were transported home straight away and some injured people died at home,” he said, explaining the increase. “This is a shocking incident for Cambodia.” Exuberant festival-goers had been crossing the bridge to reach an island hosting concerts, food stalls and ice sculptures when the stampede began, resulting in a deadly crush of writhing and then lifeless human bodies. In scenes replicated across the city, the dead were laid out in rows under a white tent erected in Calmette Hospital car park,

their uncovered faces showing that many had suffered bloody bruises during the stampede. Military trucks later began delivering the victims to their relatives and by yesterday morning all bodies had been returned home, the health ministry said. It was not immediately clear what had triggered the disaster, but Kanharith said a rumor had spread among revelers celebrating one of Cambodia’s biggest festivals that the bridge was unstable. He said many of the deaths were caused by suffocation and internal injuries. About two-thirds of those killed were women. The stampede marked a tragic end to the boat races, concerts and fireworks that are traditionally part of the annual festival to celebrate the reversal of the flow between the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. The event-which saw hundreds of brightly colored boats take part in races on the Tonle Sap-is popular with tourists but the government said no foreigners were believed to be among the victims. — AFP


SPORTS

Thursday, November 25, 2010

15

Longer season carries injury risks, players say two of the four pre-season ones — when competition is less intense and starters do not generally play full games. Players say they will suffer the consequences. “Swapping two pre-season games for two end-of-season games, when players already play hurt, comes at a huge cost for the player and the team,” said Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis earlier this year. “If fans want to show their love, they should let everyone know that we are not machines.” Already this season dangerous hits have left many players with concussion and in one brutal mid-October weekend several players suffered head injuries. A helmet-to-helmet hit from Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison left

TORONTO: Proposals to extend the National Football League (NFL) season by two games have not been thought through and could lead to more injuries and curtailed careers, say players. “What type of effect does two more games have on your body, your career and on your long-term health?” New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said in a recent interview with Reuters. “Every guy in every locker room on every team right now has some kind of injury that they are nursing, so when you add two games does that increase the risk of serious injury?” NFL owners support the idea of adding two extra regular-season games and axing

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi lying on the turf for several minutes, while Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap was floored by a similar clash with New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather. Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson needed to be helped off the field after a head-on collision. Jackson suffered concussion and Robinson a head injury. By week 10 of the schedule, the number of players placed on injury reserve was up 34 percent from last year, putting the league on pace for its most injury-plagued season. The league quickly decided to use hefty

fines and threaten suspensions to cut down on dangerous hits, a response that sparked a spirited national debate on safety issues. Harrison received the stiffest penalty this season when he was fined $75,000 for unnecessarily striking his defenceless opponent on the head and neck while Meriweather and Robinson were each fined $50,000. “It’s hits on defenceless players that we are all trying to cut back on or at least see those minimised as much as possible,” said Brees, the MVP of last season’s Super Bowl. “This is a tough, physical, violent game and it involves big, strong, fast men so at times you’re going to have those types of injuries. But as much as you can keep that to

a minimum the better.” An expanded schedule is one of the key topics in talks on a new collective bargaining agreement. The current agreement expires in March and owners are expected to lock out players if both sides cannot reach a deal, jeopardising the 2011 season. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross recently said he felt an 18-game regular-season schedule would make little difference to players. “We’re still playing 20 games, we’re eliminating two preseason games and adding two regular-season games, which is really what helps with the revenues and makes the fans a lot happier and those games will be a lot more meaningful,” Ross

said. “But in terms of the players, they’re still playing 20 games.” While a longer season undoubtedly means greater ticket revenue for the 32 teams, the league could suffer if injuries meant more games were played without top players. Brees, who is involved in a campaign run by cold-remedy makers Vicks to find the NFL’s most dedicated fan, said more research was needed on the idea. “It’s not just as easy as pro-rating two game cheques and that is going to be the difference. There haven’t been studies to let you know the impact (of more games)...but it’s more than just: ‘Hey let’s just add two more games’.” — Reuters

NHL standings Ea stern Conference Atla ntic Division

Philadelphia Pittsburgh NY Rangers New Jersey NY Islanders

W 14 12 12 6 4

L OTL 6 2 8 2 9 1 13 2 12 4

GF 78 69 65 41 41

GA 55 59 60 65 68

PTS 30 26 25 14 12

Montreal Boston Ottawa Toronto Buffalo

Northeast 13 7 11 6 10 10 8 9 8 11

Division 1 53 2 55 1 52 3 47 3 58

42 38 67 55 68

27 24 21 19 19

Washington Tampa Bay Atlanta Carolina Florida

Southea st 14 6 12 7 9 9 9 9 9 10

Division 2 74 2 65 3 65 2 63 0 52

64 65 70 68 48

30 26 21 20 18

Western Conference Central Division Detroit 13 3 2 66 Columbus 13 6 0 55 St. Louis 11 5 3 52 Chicago 11 10 2 71 47 Nashville 9 7 3

48 44 51 67 51

28 26 25 24 21

Division 1 72 3 58 2 46 1 59 4 49

60 56 47 61 82

25 23 22 17 14

Pacific Division 11 5 5 62 13 7 0 61 10 10 3 57 55 9 6 4 10 8 1 57

59 49 69 52 57

27 26 23 22 21

Colorado Vancouver Minnesota Calgary Edmonton

Northw est 12 7 10 7 10 7 8 11 5 11

Phoenix Los Angeles Anaheim San Jose Dallas

GLENDALE: Gilbert Brule No. 67 of the Edmonton Oilers battles for a loose puck alongside teammate Magnus Paajarvi No. 91 during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena. —AFP

Coyotes top division GLENDALE: The Phoenix Coyotes seized the top spot in the Pacific Division with a 50 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, their seventh straight victory. Phoenix’s streak is tied with the St Louis Blues for the longest in the NHL this season. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves to give the

Coyotes their second victory over the Oilers in four days. Martin Hanzal and Lee Stempniak scored two goals each while Wojtek Wolski added one to help Phoenix (11-5-5) move one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings in the division. “Early in the season, we were undisci-

plined,” Hanzal told reporters of his team’s 4-5-5 start to the season. “Once we stopped taking penalties and putting ourselves in bad spots, we started winning games. It was pretty easy.” Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves for the Oilers (5-11-4), who have lost seven of their last eight games and have the worst

record in the Western Conference. Edmonton was coming off a 4-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday when Dubnyk had 38 saves, but the Coyotes quickly killed the Oilers’ momentum. Hanzal gave the home team a 1-0 lead just 48 seconds into the game and Phoenix

Kaymer and McDowell fight for European title DUBAI: Ryder Cup teammates and 2010 major winners Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell will face off at this week’s Dubai World Championship for the right to be called Europe’s top golfer. The $7.5 million season-ending tournament in the Race to Dubai series starts today with the German golfer leading McDowell by $395,395 and top-ranked Lee Westwood by $1.25 million. McDowell of Northern Ireland is the only player capable of catching Kaymer. McDowell would capture the title by winning the tournament or ending outright second as long as Kaymer finished no higher than tied for third. If McDowell is tied for second, Kaymer could afford to finish as low as sixth. McDowell says is playing some of his best golf coming into Dubai and welcomed the chance to go head-to-head with the more understated Kaymer. The two will tee off in the final pairing Thursday at midday. “It’s going to be fun to play alongside him on Thursday and look each other in the eye,” McDowell said. “He’s had an amazing season as well and it’s going to be a lot of fun out there. Like I say, the adrenaline is going to be there from the word go so I’m looking forward to it.” McDowell felt he had momentum on his side after a lull in his game that followed his win at the US Open. He claimed the winning point in the Ryder Cup and has since won the Andalucia Masters and had a strong finish in last week’s Hong Kong Open which allowed him to close the gap on Kaymer who did not play. “I started off in a bit of a five-week run here with Martin nearly a million euros

added two goals in both the second and third periods. After making the playoffs last season for the first time since 2002, the Coyotes have continued to build and while Stempniak is the team’s leading scorer with seven, the Coyotes have 11 forwards with at least three goals. “We are a team in every sense of the

word,” said Coyotes’ coach Dave Tippett. “Every night, someone different contributes and we have a team that recognizes how we have to play to be successful. “Our goaltending has been great and we have a group that is working pretty hard right now.” — Reuters

US or Europe? Casey says it doesn’t matter

DUBAI: German golf player Martin Kaymer (left), who is leading this year’s European Tour and US Open champion Graeme McDowell pose for a picture behind the Race to Dubai trophy ahead of Dubai World Championship 2010. — AFP ahead of me and I wasn’t quite sure I would be able to catch him,” McDowell said. “But I wanted to get here with an opportunity to win The Race to Dubai if I played well and I’ve given myself that chance now.” McDowell is in a similar position to that of Westwood last year. The Englishman was trailing Rory McIlroy coming into the last tournament but shot a course-record 8-under 64 in the final round at the Earth Course to finish at 23under 265 to win it and become Europe’s No. 1 golfer. McIlroy, who also is from Northern Ireland, said he thinks McDowell could do something similar this week. “He’s done fantastically well this season,” McIlroy said. “He’s on a roll where he is

putting his name up there every week. That’s something he’s probably not managed to do over the past few seasons.” The course, with its long fairways which McDowell has called a “grip-itand-rip-it type of course,” would seem to suit the big hitting Kaymer more than McDowell, who relies more on placement and finesse. But the world No. 9 said he is hitting longer than he was a year ago thanks to new, 46-and-a-half inch driver and the work he has done on his swing with his coach Pete Cowen. “There is a big emphasis to driving the ball and I feel like I’ve upped my game from that point of view,” he said. “So I like what I saw in the pro-am yesterday. I drove the ball well and the golf

course didn’t feel quite as much as a slog as it did a year ago.” Kaymer, who skipped the Hong Kong Open to rest ahead of Dubai, on Tuesday called this week “the biggest of my career so far” and said winning would complete three goals he set for himself — to win a major, win the Ryder Cup and become the No. 1 golfer in Europe. “So two-thirds are done and hopefully this week I can win the Race To Dubai and become the No. 1 in Europe,” he said. “So then I have done everything in one year. It would be fantastic.” “I don’t need to win but that is my goal,” Kaymer said. “I can’t rely on Graeme playing bad. He’s been playing great golf in the last few weeks.” —AP

DUBAI: As someone who divides his time between the US and European tours, Paul Casey is ideally placed to judge the relative merits of the two circuits and he believes it is immaterial where the top players now compete. The debate about which tour is the best has gathered pace in recent weeks with world number one Lee Westwood, fellow Briton Rory McIlroy and US PGA champion Martin Kaymer of Germany declining the chance to take up PGA Tour membership. “I think week-in week-out there is no doubt the PGA Tour is stronger in depth,” world number seven Casey told Reuters on the eve of the $7.5 million Dubai World Championship. “But there are also seven Europeans in the top 11 of the world rankings. That’s got to be close to a record so the quality of the fields in Europe week-in week-out is extremely high as well. “It doesn’t matter, these guys are just focused on playing the biggest events around the world. I don’t think it matters any more where your home tour is,” added the 33year-old Briton. “I still enjoy playing around the world and because I have got a place in the States it is very convenient for me to play there.” Casey said he did not know the precise reasons why Kaymer, 25, and McIlroy, 21, had declined PGA Tour membership but completely understood 37-year-old Westwood’s decision. “Lee has a family, has kids at school and wants to be at home,” said the Englishman. “He’ll still be there (in the States) playing in the majors and the World Golf Championship events so I’ll still see him plenty of times the other side of the Atlantic anyway. “You don’t know the real reason (for the other two). It would be unfair to say it’s the correct or wrong decision-you just don’t

know.” Casey said that missing the moneyspinning FedExCup series at the end of the American season would be the only downside for the Ryder Cup-winning trio. “The thing they are going to miss out on is the FedExCup,” he said. “That’s a huge amount of money but then again they can make a huge amount in Europe too. “I wouldn’t say they’re passing up on money. It’s not about money anyway, it’s about where you want to spend your time and where you want to play. “They are still giving themselves opportunities to win all over the world so I don’t think they’re really limiting themselves. (But) a lot of Americans will be sad they don’t get to see them as often and I understand that.” Casey is something of a Middle East specialist, having twice won the Abu Dhabi Championship. The Greg Normandesigned course being used at this week’s Dubai event, which helps the longer, straighter hitters off the tee, would also appear to be in his favor. Casey, though, is thinking more laterally ahead of the final European Tour event of the season. “I have been playing some great golf leading up to this but I admit I’m already working on things for next year-working on the swing and a lot of stuff to make sure I am ready for 2011,” he said. “I’m here because I want to win but trying not to worry about the swing is a little bit tricky.” Casey said he was on the road so much that it was often easy to fall into bad swing habits. “You travel so much and play all over the world through the year that things start to break down,” he said. “It’s time for me to get back to fundamentals and work on the same swing flaws I’ve had for 15 years-try to keep them at bay. “The other parts are working on my short game and putting because they are the two things I always need to sharpen up.” — Reuters


SPORTS

16

Thursday, November 25, 2010

England bid to storm Gabba in Ashes opener BRISBANE: England are relishing the prospect of ending Australia’s 22-year unbeaten run at the Gabba in the first Ashes Test to make the best possible start to their campaign to retain the urn, captain Andrew Strauss said. Determined not to leave hostages to fortune with his pre-series utterances, Strauss again peppered his comments with caveats but there was no betraying his confidence on Wednesday in England’s ability to win a series on Australian soil for the first time in almost quarter of a century. “I think we have got a good opportunity, there’s no doubt about it,” he told a news conference on the eve of the start of the series. “We started the tour well, we’re in a good place as a side, but at the same time we recognise it’s a tough assignment, not many sides come out here and win. “We understand the size of the challenge ahead of us, but we couldn’t be in a better place mentally to take on that challenge.“It’s going to take a lot of good cricket ... guys are going to have to dig pretty deep. But I’m fully confident we have the players to do it.”

Australia have not lost a test match in Brisbane since the West Indies beat them in 1988 and England’s last victory at the ground came in the 1986-87 Ashes series, the last the tourists won in Australia. “It’s a very strong home ground for Australia but I think the prospect of maybe turning that record around excites us,” he added. “If the guys put their minds to it, it could be a very good start to the series to maybe overcome that record. “In past years Australia have really hit the ground running strongly in the first test match, they’ve made a conscious effort to go hard on the tourists in the first test. “Conditions here are slightly alien to touring sides, especially touring sides that are a bit under-cooked or underprepared.” In 2006, England arrived in Australia in possession of the Ashes and with a confident nation expecting a series as close as that in 2005, only to be comprehensively beaten 5-0. Lessons were learned from that experience, not least in raising expecta-

BRISBANE: England’s captain Andrew Strauss (left) and Australian captain Ricky Ponting hold the urn containing the ashes before the start of the first Test in the Ashes Tour between England and Australia. — AP

tions about series victories before a ball has been bowled. “To think of the finish line now is naive at best and dangerous at worst,” the England opener said. “There’s so much cricket between now and then. If you want to win this Ashes series, you have to earn the right to do it over and over again. “I’m not looking at the finishing post now, I’m thinking about tomorrow and making a good start.” Strauss said there were no injury concerns for England and his players could not wait to get started on Thursday. “We’re standing here on the edge of it, the guys are very keen to get amongst it and get off to a good start,” he said. “A lot of people have spent a lot of money to come here and support us and we thrive on the idea that we could pull off something pretty special.” Meanwhile, Michael Clarke was declared fit yesterday to play in the first bout of what promises to be a titanic Ashes tussle as Australia finally caught a break on the eve of the start of the fiveTest series against England. Badly hit by injuries and form slumps,

Australia named a bumper 17-strong squad nine days ago, then a slimmed down 13-man version at the weekend before being forced to supplement that with Usman Khawaja as cover for the injured Clarke. So it was doubtless with some relief that skipper Ricky Ponting was able to announce a starting XI for the first test, which starts today. “We have got a team,” Ponting told a news conference. “Doug Bollinger and Usman Khawaja are the two who are not playing. “Michael Clarke’s got through his work particularly well in the last few days, had a long, solid session in the nets today so he’s come through pretty well and Dougie’s the unlucky quick who misses out.” Clarke had been suffering from a recurrence of a back problem that has dogged him for much of his career and missed training on Monday. The return of his vice captain and anointed successor-not to mention a top order batsman with 64 tests and 4,549 runs to his name-will be a huge boost to Ponting as he looks to take the fight to England.—Reuters

Misbah and Azhar help Pakistan secure draw

ABU DHABI: Pakistan’s Misbah ul Haq (right) pushes the ball away with his pad, during day five of the second cricket Test match against South Africa. — AP

Team manager stands by Contador COPENHAGEN: Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis has backed his team leader Alberto Contador ahead of the Spanish rider’s participation in a training camp. Contador has been provisionally suspended after a small concentration of the banned substance clenbuterol was found in a urine sample taken in July, but the three-time Tour de France winner was included in a 25-man roster that will start team-building in Spain on Sunday. If found guilty of using clenbuterol, a banned muscle-building and weight-loss drug, Contador could lose his third Tour title and face a two-year ban. “I think it is important that we all remember that Alberto is not guilty until a judgment is made that indicates something otherwise,” Riis said. “This has been the message from the UCI, and I think we should all respect that. We have also met with the UCI, and they have assured us that there are no problems in taking Alberto to our team building camp.” Riis earlier said he trusted Contador’s explanation that the drug came from a contaminated steak. Contador signed a deal

in August to compete for Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2011 after deciding to leave Astana. The complete team presented Wednesday didn’t include former Tour de France yellow jersey holder Michael Rasmussen of Denmark. Rasmussen, who led the 2007 Tour until he was kicked off for lying about his training whereabouts when he missed prerace doping tests, had been linked several times to the team. Rasmussen, whose main appearance in Denmark in recent months has been in a televised dancing contest, was “shocked” that Riis didn’t pick him. “I am deeply disappointed and sad about it,” he told Danish news agency Ritzau. “I really wanted very much to be racing again for Bjarne’s team.” This week, Riis added Italian rider Matteo Tosatto to the team which he said was “a strong, exciting and very diverse group with expertise in all terrains and in all types of races.” The riders come from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine. — AP

ABU DHABI: An unbeaten 87-run fourth wicket partnership by captain Misbah-ul-Haq (58 not out) and Azhar Ali (28 not out) helped Pakistan secure a second draw against South Africa in the two-test series at the Zayed Cricket Stadium yesterday. Pakistan was 153-3, having been set a stiff target of 353 for victory, when South Africa captain Jacques Kallis agreed to end the game at the drinks break before the scheduled close. Earlier, South Africa had added another 30 runs at the cost of one wicket to its overnight score of 173-4 before leaving the opposition with 82 overs to go for victory. Needing to score at a little over four an over, Pakistan’s openers were going strong but suffered some anxious moments in the second session when they lost three wickets at the lunch score of 66, including that of Younis Khan for a second ball duck. Taufeeq Umar departed on the ninth ball after the lunch break to Johan Botha. Paul Harris struck twice in the next over as Hafeez and Khan left, all trapped leg before in the space of eight deliveries. Pakistan then recovered with Misbah and Azhar grinding out the next 189 minutes to close the door. Misbah led by example, as he did in the first test when he scored 76. The captain struck six fours in his first 25 runs to blunt the hopes of the Proteas, who charged in with aggressive field settings. “There was no specific plan but I wanted to capitalize on the loose deliveries only,” Misbah said. “Otherwise, the focus was clearly on staying at the wicket.” Azhar, on the other hand, ground the bowlers down, using 135 balls for his 28, missing the chance to hit a fourth successive half-century in this series. Once Pakistan steadied the ship, Misbah reached his third straight half-century in 90 balls with nine boundaries. One pull shot hit Hashim Amla at short leg and the in-form South Africa batsman had to leave the field with for treatment on his left hand. South Africa lost the services of captain Graeme Smith on Tuesday with a fractured thumb and he is a doubtful starter for the next series against top-ranked India from Dec. 16. By drawing the series, second-place South Africa also dropped three ranking points, putting it further behind India. Kallis, who was judged man of the series, gave credit to Pakistan but was critical of the pitches in both tests. “At a time when we are striving to keep the game alive, to play on such two wickets, I don’t think that is good for the game,” Kallis said. “The pleasing thing was the way we went about our business. We put Pakistan under pressure for most of the series. In bowling one or two sessions perhaps did not as good as we thought but the pitch played a part in that. “But you have to give credit to Pakistan. I think we had them under pressure throughout but their youngsters came in and performed really well. Their cricket is looking positive.” Misbah said his side’s performances in the two drawn tests had made it feel like a victory. “The pitches were flat but still the batsmen had to score runs,” he said. “The three wickets that fell today showed that we still needed to apply ourselves and the way youngsters like Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali have performed, it is definitely a win for us.”—AP

Scoreboard ABU DHABI: Scoreboard at the end of the second and final test between Pakistan and South Africa at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on yesterday. South Africa first innings 584 for nine declared (J. Kallis 105, A. de Villiers 278 not out; Tanvir Ahmed 6-120) Pakistan first innings 434 (Azhar Ali 90, Misbah-ulHaq 77, A. Shafiq 61, A. Rehman 60; D. Steyn 4-98) South Africa second innings 203 for five declared (H. Amla 62)

Alberto Contador in action in this file photo

Pakistan second innings (target 354) M. Hafeez lbw b Harris 34 T. Umar lbw b Botha 30 A. Ali not out 28 Younis lbw b Harris 0 Misbah-ul-Haq not out 58 Extras (lb-2, nb-1) 3 Total: (three wickets; 67 overs) 153 Fall of wickets: 1-66 2-66 3-66 Still to bat; A. Shafiq, A. Akmal, A. Rehman, U. Gul, M. Sami, T. Ahmed Bowling: Steyn 13-2-40-0, Morkel 11-3-29-0, Harris 23-14-28-2, Kallis 2-0-13-0 (1-w), Botha 17-4-40-1, Petersen 1-0-1-0. Match drawn

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara celebrates as he completes a century during the second day’s play of the second Test cricket match between Sri Lanka and West Indies. — AP

Sangakkara leads

Sri Lanka fight back COLOMBO: A century by skipper Kumar Sangakkara helped Sri Lanka to reach 294 for five in their first innings after an early collapse on another rain-shortened day of the second test against the West Indies yesterday. The elegant left-hander was unbeaten on 135, stroking 16 fours and a six before heavy rain washed out play for the rest of the day 25 minutes before the scheduled tea break. With Sangakkara going strong at one end, West Indies targeted batsmen at the other end and captured two in the afternoon session. Thilan Samaraweera joined his captain with Sri Lanka struggling at 34-3 and they batted throughout the second morning. Samaraweera outscored his captain beating him to his fifty, reaching it in 103 balls with six fours and one six. Sangakkara greeted spinner Shane Shillingford, who came on to bowl the eighth over of the morning, with a boundary. After putting on 170 for the fourth wicket, Samaraweera was dismissed for 80 when he pulled Dwayne Bravo down fine leg to Shane Shillingford. He faced 170 balls and struck eight fours and one six. Shillingford’s bowling action is under a cloud after he was reported to the International Cricket Council by the umpires after the Galle Test. With Sri Lanka resuming on their overnight score of 84-3, West Indies rang the bowling changes constantly but endured a frustrating day. Angelo Mathews lived dangerously attempting extravagant shots and was fortunate not to fall while on 12 after his mis-hit shot dropped in the

middle of three fielders who made valiant attempts to catch it. Kemar Roach picked up his third wicket of the innings by forcing Mathews to edge a catch behind the wicket for 25. The threematch series is level at 0-0 after the first test was drawn. — Reuters

Scoreboard COLOMBO: Scoreboard at the close of the second day of the second test between Sri Lanka and West Indies on yesterday. Sri Lanka first innings (overnight 84-3) T. Paranavitana c DJ Bravo b Roach 16 T. Dilshan b Roach 4 K. Sangakkara not out 135 M. Jayawardene b Sammy 2 T. Samaraweera c Shillingford b DJ Bravo 80 A. Mathews c Baugh b Roach 25 P. Jayawardene not out 12 Extras: (b-4, lb-4, nb-3, w-9) 20 Total: (five wickets, 90 overs) 294 Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-31, 3-34, 4-204, 5-273. To Bat: N Kulasekara, R Herath, A Mendis, S Lakmal. Bowling: Roach 21-5-66-3 (2w, 1nb), Sammy 25-6-47-1 (1nb), DJ Bravo 18-5-61-1 (7w), Benn 11-2-39-0, Shillingford 15-0-73-0 (1nb).


Thursday, November 25, 2010

SPORTS

17

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Tuesday. Indiana 100, Cleveland 89; New Jersey 107, Atlanta 101 (OT); Washington 116, Philadelphia 114 (OT); Ny Knicks 110, Charlotte 107; Dallas 88, Detroit 84; LA Lakers 98, Chicago 91. (OT indicates overtime win) Eastern Confer ence Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 10 4 .714 NY Knicks 7 8 .467 Toronto 5 9 .357 New Jersey 5 9 .357 Philadelphia 3 11 .214

GB 3.5 5 5 7

Central 7 7 5 5 5

Division 5 .583 6 .538 8 .385 8 .385 9 .357

.5 2.5 2.5 3

Southeast Division 9 4 .692 8 6 .571 8 7 .533 5 8 .385 5 9 .357

1.5 2 4 4.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 10 4 .714 Utah 10 5 .667 Portland 8 6 .571 Denver 8 6 .571 Minnesota 4 11 .267

.5 2 2 6.5

Pacific 13 7 7 4 2

Division 2 .867 7 .500 7 .500 9 .308 13 .133

5.5 5.5 8 11

Southwest Division San Antonio 12 1 .923 New Orleans 11 2 .846 Dallas 9 4 .692 Memphis 5 9 .357 Houston 3 10 .231

1 3 7.5 9

Chicago Indiana Milwaukee Cleveland Detroit

Orlando Miami Atlanta Washington Charlotte

LA Lakers Phoenix Golden State Sacramento LA Clippers

LOS ANGELES: Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (center) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (right) of Spain and Kobe Bryant during the first half of an NBA basketball game. — AP

Lakers surge past Bulls LOS ANGELES:The Los Angeles Lakers surged ahead in the fourth quarter to record a 98-91 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, stretching their NBA winning trot to five games. Shannon Brown scored 21 points and Kobe Bryant added 20 for the Lakers, who trailed early in the fourth quarter before Derrick Rose finally slowed down. Rose scored 30 points, but managed just three for the Bulls in the final period, all on free throws. Los Angeles reserves Brown and Steve Blake led a 17-2 run that included 10 straight points, while the Bulls went more than 51/2 minutes between field goals late, and suffered their seventh

straight loss to the Lakers. Mavericks 88, Pistons 84 In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki had a seasonhigh 42 points with 12 rebounds, scoring almost half Dallas’ points in the win over Detroit. The Mavericks were lethargic for much of the night and trailed by as many as 12 points in the third quarter. But they picked up the energy level late to secure their fifth straight win over the Pistons. Nowitzki scored nine straight, capped by an 18-footer with 5:29 remaining for a 7570 lead. Jason Terry added 16 points for Dallas. Tayshaun Prince scored a season-high 19

points and Rodney Stuckey also had 19 for the Pistons. Nets 107, Hawks 101 In Newark, New Jersey, Brook Lopez scored a season-high 32 points as New Jersey beat Atlanta in overtime and snapped a three-game losing skid. Devin Harris added 23 of his 27 points in the second half for the Nets, who were playing their first home game in 10 days. Jamal Crawford had 21 points for the Hawks, who have lost three straight.

Douglas scored 22 points, and Amare Stoudemire added 17 for the Knicks, who won the final three games on their road trip and kept rolling right through most of this one. They blew nearly all of a 16-point lead before holding on for their longest winning streak this season. Raymond Felton made the clinching free throws against his former team as New York put six players in double figures. D.J. Augustin, Felton’s replacement, scored 24 points for the Bobcats.

Knicks 110, Bobcats 107 In New York, the hosts won their fourth straight game, beating Charlotte. Toney

Pacers 100, Cavaliers 89 In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 24 points to lead Indiana over Cleveland.

Granger got off to a slow start but scored 10 in the second quarter as Indiana expanded an eight-point lead into a 62-37 margin at halftime. Ramon Sessions had 15 points, six rebounds and five assists for Cleveland, which lost its third consecutive game. Wizards 116, 76ers 114 In Washington, Nick Young hit an open 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds left in overtime as Washington edged Philadelphia. Young finished with 19 points, but his winning shot wouldn’t have been possible if Jrue Holiday hadn’t fouled John Wall some 40 feet from the basket with 3.5 seconds left in regulation and the 76ers leading by

Saints, Jets and Patriots favorites in holiday games

Berdych defeats Roddick in two sets at ATP Finals LONDON: Tomas Berdych won his first match at the ATP World Tour Finals yesterday and left Andy Roddick with an 0-2 record by beating the American 75, 6-3. The sixth-ranked Czech converted his first break point in the 11th game of the first set, only minutes after saving two set points from Roddick. It was his first win over the eighth-ranked Roddick in four matches this year. “I just went there, serve twice pretty good, turn the game,” Berdych said of the saved set points. “The last pickup volley was (a) very tough one, and I made it. And then the next game (I) just made a quick break, and that was the key of the game.” In the second set, Roddick was annoyed by the advertising lights at the feet of the line judges, which flashed red sometimes while play was going on. Shortly after complaining to the chair umpire, Roddick was broken for the second time, giving Berdych a 3-2 lead. Roddick smashed a ball high into the rafters in anger, and then broke his racket on his foot, drawing a code violation from the chair umpire. “The neons in the back weren’t quite to the settled position. They were still advertising fun stuff,” Roddick said. “When you’re trying to track a ball, it’s kind of neon lights and stuff. Then Tomas noticed it. A couple of them just went out before we played a point.” The match finished with the lights off. Berdych, who is now 1-1 at the round-robin tournament, held serve twice after the incident and then broke Roddick again in the final game. Berdych is making his debut at the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the world. He lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets in his first match and next faces top-ranked Rafael Nadal. “Playing Rafa, it’s always great experience, even if you play on clay, grass, indoor, outdoor, whatever,” said Berdych, who lost to Nadal in this year’s Wimbledon final. “He played a really tough match (in) the first one (against Roddick). He was able to come back, won the match. Now he’s waiting for another tough, really tough opponent.” Later, Nadal was to play Djokovic in the other Group A match. Both won their opening matches, and Djokovic can become the first player to qualify for the semifinals if he wins. On Tuesday, Roger Federer stretched his record to 2-0 by easily beating Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2 in Group B, while Robin Soderling defeated David Ferrer 7-5, 7-5. All four can still advance after Thursday’s final round-robin matches. In doubles, Wesley Moodie of South Africa and Dick Norman of Belgium beat Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Oliver Marach of Austria 6-1, 6-3. In the late match, Mahesh Bhupathi of India and Max Mirnyi of Belarus were to play Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia. — AP

three. Wall threw up the ball and got a shooting foul out of it, then made all three free throws to tie it at 106. It was the second time in November that the Wizards beat the 76ers after taking the game to overtime by scoring three incredible points just before the buzzer. Cartier Martin’s desperation 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left sent the game to the extra period on Nov. 2. Wall, who returned after missing four games with a sprained left foot, scored all of his 25 points after halftime. Andre Iguodala, back from an Achilles’ tendon injury, had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in 50 minutes for the 76ers. — AP

LONDON: Andy Roddick of the US reacts after missing a point as he plays Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic during a men’s singles round robin match at the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament. — AP

NEW YORK: Reigning Super Bowl champion New Orleans and this season’s NFL pace-setters, the New York Jets and New England, are heavy favorites over struggling rivals in today’s US Thanksgiving holiday games. The Patriots, level with the Jets at an NFL-best 8-2 atop the AFC East division, will visit traditional Thanksgiving host Detroit, 2-8, while New York will entertain the Cincinnati Bengals, also 2-8. Drew Brees, who sparked the Saints to last season’s Super Bowl crown with a victory over Indianapolis, will lead New Orleans into Dallas to face the 3-7 Cowboys. The Saints, 7-3, are a game behind Atlanta in the NFC South division. A short turn-around time for still-sore gridiron players, facing their second game in five days, makes the annual showcase matchups a physical grind and provides little time to prepare for opposing schemes. “We will have a late ‘turkey day’,” Patriots blocker Matt Light said. “There is a lot coming at you. You have got to squeeze a lot in where normally you have the extra couple of days. It’s going to be a tough game.” Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who played two seasons for the Lions, sees benefits for Detroit in playing the holiday hosts every year. “It’s great to be in this routine,” he said. “It was a game that you knew every year was your game. You knew you were going to be playing at home. It was something you were comfortable with and you actually looked forward to.” Only Houston has surrendered more yardage this season than the New England defensive unit, but the Lions, whose road losing streak has stretched to an NFL-record 26 games, might not have the talent to take advantage.

Dallas defeated Detroit 35-19 last Sunday, with Jon Kitna throwing three touchdown passes for the Cowboys, now 2-0 under interim coach Jason Garrett. “When you are looking for crumbs, it doesn’t take but a little piece to get you to smile, and these (victories) have been a couple of nice little pieces,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is coming off a 382-yard, fourtouchdown passing performance in a 34-19 victory over Seattle and New Orleans boasts the NFL’s top pass defensive unit. “We are playing as well as we have played all season,” said Brees, who has a touchdown pass in 24 consecutive games. “We’re excited. We’re knocking at the door.” The Jets are testing the stress levels of supporters, having become the first team to win backto-back over-time games before Mark Sanchez’s touchdown pass with 10 seconds in regulation Sunday rallied New York past Houston. “I want to apologize to all the Jets fans for affecting the heart a little bit, but we will take the win,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “If I have to apologize for it every week from here on out, I will, all the way to the Super Bowl.” The Bengals squandered a 31-14 half-time lead in a 49-31 loss to Buffalo last weekend, Cincinnati’s 10th loss in a row to the Bills ensuring they will not have a winning season for the 18th time in the past two decades. “We are terrible,” Cincinnati receiver Terrell Owens said. “I don’t blame the fans for booing us. I don’t blame people for not wanting to come and see the performance we’ve put up.” “All I know is right now we are terrible. Maybe I’m bad luck. But at this point, it’s just unthinkable. Unbelievable.” — AFP


18

SPORTS

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Xiang clinches Asian Games 110m hurdles

CHINA: China’s Liu Xiang (right) celebrates with silver medal’s winner and fellow-countryman Shi Dongpeng after clinching the gold medal in the men’s 110m hurdles at the 16th Asian Games. —AP

Medals Table Nation G China 173 South Korea 71 Japan 36 Iran 16 Taiwan 12 Thailand 9 Hong Kong 8 Malaysia 8 Kazakhstan 7 India 7 Uzbekistan 5 North Korea 5 Indonesia 4 Singapore 4 Kuwait 3 Qatar 3 Saudi Arabia 3 Bahrain 3

S 93 59 66 10 12 7 14 14 14 13 13 10 9 7 5 4 2 0

B 86 81 74 17 33 29 15 11 30 26 18 18 11 6 1 5 4 3

Total 352 211 176 43 57 45 37 33 51 46 36 33 24 17 9 12 9 6

Philippines Mongolia Kyrgzstan Pakistan Macau Jordan Tajikstan Vietnam Myanmar UAE Lebanon Afghanistan Bangladesh Iraq Laos Nepal Oman Syria

2 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2 2 2 2 1 1 0 14 5 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

9 9 1 1 2 1 2 12 3 0 2 1 0 2 2 1 1 1

13 12 4 4 4 3 3 26 8 3 3 2 1 2 2 1 1 1

CHINA: Xuejiao Huang of China ( left) and Jongeun Kim of South Korea battle for control of the ball during their women’s field hockey game at the 16th Asian Games. —AP

China edge S Korea on penalty strokes GUANGZHOU: China achieved a hat-trick of women’s field hockey gold medals with a 5-4 victory over South Korea on penalty strokes at the Asian Games yesterday. China also won gold at two previous Asian Games at Doha and Busan. Kim Eun-sil hit the crossbar with South Korea’s first penalty stroke, while China converted all five. The score was locked 00 at the end of regulation time and 15 minutes of golden goal extra time. “I knew the match against (South) Korea will be really tough this time,” Chinese captain Fu Baorong said. “But I had faith that our team was stronger.” Earlier, Keiko Manabe scored a golden goal off a 77th minute penalty corner to guide Japan to a 1-0 win over India in the bronze medal playoff. China had more possession

in the 70 minutes of regulation time but it was South Korea which missed an early opportunity when captain Lee Seon-ok hit the sidebar off the 7th minute short corner. China pressed for the match winner in the second half but wasted two successive short corners. Captain Fu Baorong also came close to scoring in the 54th minute but her powerful angular deflection went just wide. “It’s not the best match, indeed, we missed several scoring chances,” China’s coach Kim Sang-ryol said. Attacker Zhao Yudiao’s send off early in the extra time — for committing a foul against midfielder Kim Okju — forced China to go on the defensive. South Korea’s goalkeeper Moon Young-hui, who denied China from scoring off three

penalty corners, was in tears as Sun Sinan converted the last penalty stroke to secure the victory. “I really feel unhappy and it’s a pity that we lost the gold medal match,” she said. Soon after the medal ceremony was over, all 16 Chinese players lined up and bowed to their team’s support staff. Some players even decorated team officials — including their South Korean coach Kim — with their gold medals on the victory podium as a mark of respect. Both China and South Korea also qualified for London Olympic Games in 2012 because the top two finishers at the Asian Games women’s competition earned automatic berths. Pakistan will be aiming to get an automatic berth for London in the men’s competition when it meets Malaysia in the final today. —AP

GUANGZHOU: None of the record 171 gold medals China had already collected at the Guangzhou Asian Games carried quite the luster of former world record holder Liu Xiang’s victory in the 110-meter hurdles. Two years after he left the Bird’s Nest stadium crowd in stunned silence as he limped off the track with an Achilles injury before even starting his first heat at the Beijing Olympics, China’s multimillionaire athletics superstar won at a major meet on home soil yesterday. There was a little bit of drama at the start — Liu, unhappy with the crowd noise, stepped out of the blocks before he’d settled, got up and put his finger to his lips to ask for some hush. He led from the sound of the starters’ gun to the finish, extending his lead over the last four hurdles to cross in his season-best 13.09 seconds. His Chinese teammate and Athletes’ village roommate Shi Dongpeng took silver in 13.38. The 2004 Olympic champion then stripped off his red Chinese singlet, draped a Chinese flag around his shoulders and set off on a victory lap of the 80,000seat Aoti stadium. “I didn’t think I’d be able to run 13.09 seconds and break the Asian Games record. I’m really so happy and actually I was very relaxed. The atmosphere in the stadium was really great,” Liu said. China came into these games with the target of overhauling the record 166 gold medals it set at the Doha Asian Games four years ago. Olympic champion diver Wu Minxia ensured China equaled that mark earlier Wednesday with an expected win in the women’s 1-meter springboard. Li Hong won the women’s 50kilogram division in karate to secure No. 167. A couple of hours later, Liu was celebrating on the podium. South Korea was in second place, a long way behind, with 70 gold medals. The most important thing was, the team was still at the games. A North Korean artillery attack on an island near the disputed western border killed two marines and two civilians and injured others on Tuesday, sparking concern about retaliation and international calls for calm. Sports and games officials are insisting the focus remains on sports. “I don’t want to get into politics,” Kim Chang-kew, president of the Asian Associated Wrestling Committee, said. “We are (here) for sport and for these Asian Games. Sport should not be connected with war or peace.” North Korea’s Yang Chun Song met South Korea’s Kim Dai-sung in the men’s freestyle 66-kilogram division in the first meeting of two Koreans first thing Wednesday morning. Yang advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win. There was no spite, and the wrestlers shook hands. On the downside, the Olympic Council of Asia announced that a second athlete from Uzbekistan had failed a doping test for the banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine and been disqualified from the games. OCA medical committee chairman Mani Jegathesan said 23-year-old wrestler Jakhongir Muminov was disqualified from competition. He urged Uzbekistan to investigate the source of the positive cases. Last Friday, Shokir Muminov was disqualified and stripped of his judo silver medal after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine. The OCA said the Muminovs were not related. “We take each incident separately, but because it involved the same country, and the same substance ... we have indicated to them that it would be worthwhile to investigate,” Jegathesan said. Games organizers planned 1,500 urine and 200 blood tests during the games and confirmed Wednesday that at least 1,262 tests had been conducted. In other track and field finals, Li Caixia beat Chinese teammate Li Ling to win the women’s pole vault, and Asian record holder Ehsan Hadidi gave Iran its 16th gold medal of the games with victory in the men’s discus. South Korea’s Kim Deok-hyeon edged China’s Su Xiongfeng in the men’s long jump, leaping 8.11 meters on his last attempt. —AP

CHINA: China’s Li Ling competes on her way to win the silver medal in the women’s pole vault, at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou. —AP

Chinese chess takes stage at Games GUANGZHOU: Narumi Osawa never cared much for sports. She doesn’t do cardio exercise, she never hits the gym. Her training consists mainly of sitting around and moving her fingers. “I tried running a 5-kilometer once,” she said. “I didn’t like it.” Osawa is one of a dedicated cadre of athletes at the Asian Games who play board games. Chess is the best known, but Osawa’s sport is a new addition to the games called Weiqi, or in Japan and some other areas, Go. It has joined the games’ sports program with another Chinese board game known as Xiangqi. The games are the pride and joy of China, this year’s Asian Games host. “Weiqi is a mind sport that originated from China. It has been popularized from 2,500 years ago,” the games’ official blurb notes. “It fully embodies the Oriental way of thinking and ideological system, and is one of the major contributions China has made to the world civilization.” Weiqi is deceptively simple. Black and white “stones” are played one

by one on a Weiqi board with 361 crosses made of 19 vertical lines and 19 horizontal lines. The object of the game is to “occupy” as much of the board as possible by surrounding your opponent’s stones and thereby rendering them “dead.” Whichever player wins more area on the board wins the game. The game is widely popular throughout east Asia, where millions of people play it and programs analyzing the moves of grandmasters are a staple of late-night television. “What I love about the game is the freedom of expression,” Osawa said after her match yesterday. “I’ve been playing since I was six, and I have never seen a game that was the same. Each time you play, it’s different.” Osawa noted that although computers have caught up with even the best chess players, Weiqi remains a human domain because there are five times more spaces on a Weiqi board than on a chessboard, meaning the number of possible moves and variations is vastly larger.

“I hear they are catching up, but not yet,” she said. Not surprisingly, China is the country to beat in the game. But South Korea has also fielded a tough team, as has North Korea, which trains with Chinese pros. “We can’t take any of them for granted as easy wins,” said Yoshitaka Morimoto, a Japanese journalist who specializes in Go for the Nihon Ki-in foundation. Weiqi is not a big draw at the Asian Games as far as spectators are concerned. Because of the need for unbroken attention, fans are not allowed anywhere near the players’ room. Instead, they have to watch from outside on a different floor of the same building. On Wednesday, only a handful of people turned out to watch the day’s action replayed move by move on a large video screen. Osawa, a professional Go player, said that inside the game room, she was in a world of her own as she defeated her Thai opponent. “Go is exercise for the mind,” she said. “We use our mind muscles.”—AP

North and South Korea face off on wrestling mat GUANGZHOU: The match started with a handshake and ended with a little hug, the muscular Koreans refusing to acknowledge the military and political tensions back home. Wrestlers from North and South Korea faced off on the Asian Games mat yesterday, the morning after the two countries exchanged artillery fire near their disputed sea border. Two South Korean marines were killed and the international community appealed for calm following the dramatic confrontation. But there was nothing out of the ordinary in the match between North Korea’s Yang Chun Song and South Korea’s Kim Dai-sung in the men’s freestyle 66 kilogram division, as athletes and coaches tried to keep the focus on sports. Yang won 3-0, dominating the competition in which the men were literally hand-to-hand. At one point, Yang, who was

wearing a red uniform, had his opponent in blue by the ankles. Kim pushed himself up on his hands as if it were a child’s game of “wheelbarrow,” drawing chuckles from the audience. As they left the mat, the men exchanged a brief hug, then shook hands cordially with each other’s coaches. Both sides walked out of the arena quickly, breezing past a scrum of waiting reporters. “I don’t want to get into politics,” Kim Chang-kew, president of the Asian Associated Wrestling Committee, said. “We are (here) for sport and for these Asian Games. Sport should not be connected with war or peace.” Kim said he didn’t think the athletes were under any special pressure. Two North Korean coaches gave a little laugh as journalists asked about the political situation, then waved them off while repeatedly saying “no com-

ment.” Manuel Silverio, the Olympic Council of Asia’s media committee chairman, urged both sides to remain at the games, which bring together more than 10,000 athletes from 45 countries. Both Korean teams have said there were no plans to quit. Just hours after the violence in Korea, archers from the two countries stood side-by-side on the medal podium on Tuesday evening. South Korea’s Yun Ok-hee won gold in the women’s individual competition, beating Cheng Ming of China in the final, with Kwon Un Sil of North Korea securing the bronze. Yun walked over to Kwon with the South Korean flag draped over her shoulders after winning the competition, and the North Korean gave her a friendly pat on the back. At that stage, Kwon claimed she didn’t know anything about the

skirmish. “I just try to do my best in my performance. I don’t pay attention to, or care about the situation,” Kwon said through a translator. “My goal at this Asian Games, and my only goal, was to win the gold medal. “It is not only for my own aspirations but also for our great leader.” After the news conference, Yun told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency that at least regarding archery, the Korean athletes “have always been on good terms.” “I was hoping Un Sil would reach the gold medal match, and when she ended up in the bronze medal contest, I was cheering for her,” Yun said. “In archery, we always say hello to each other and talk to each other. Whatever is happening back home is between the two governments and that doesn’t affect us at all.” —AP


SPORTS

Thursday, November 25, 2010

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Without referees, we’d have no football at all PARIS: For once, it was understandable although not necessarily right that Arsene Wenger complained. No two ways about it: his team, Arsenal, should have been awarded a penalty when its substitute striker Carlos Vela was hacked down in front of goal by Alberto Rodriguez, a Peruvian defender for Portuguese side Braga. Because this was Champions League football, Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai had two extra assistants to help him. Two extra pairs of eyes that are meant to spot and help weed out the cheaters who push, shove, trip and otherwise foul in the box. Two extra pairs of eyes that European football boss Michel Platini hopes will, with time, demonstrate that referees don’t need video

replays to aid their officiating, because humans — in sufficient numbers — can do the job just fine. Well, back to the drawing board. That Rodriguez’s thrusting tackle should have been declared a foul was as obvious as a bright red London bus. Vela, a lithe Mexican goal-scorer who came off the bench just moments earlier in place of winger Theo Walcott, had a choice: stay rooted to the spot and risk a broken bone from Rodriguez’s lunge or dive for safety. Instinctively, he leapt, and tripped over Rodriguez’s outstretched leg, too. Instead of giving a penalty, Kassai decided that Vela dived deliberately to trick him into awarding a spot-kick. Out came a yellow card for Vela,

and out went the notion that Platini’s experiment with extra officials to better police the goal area will settle, once and for all, the long-running debate about whether humans or video technology can best bring more justice to the pitch. Arsenal’s defense, porous and switching on and off like a dying lightbulb, was largely to blame for the London side’s 2-0 defeat on Tuesday night. Then again, the result might have been different had Kassai and his assistants given that penalty in the 77th minute, when the score was still 0-0. Even with all of its extra eyes, the enlarged team of Kassai plus four Hungarian assistant referees still made a sorry mistake. “I would like to see what the fifth official is doing,” Wenger fumed

afterward. “We have the proof again tonight that it’s absolutely useless, this system.” So what’s to be done? Is video the way forward? Installing that technology could be expensive and there’d be annoying interruptions as match officials pause to watch replays. Or do the extra officials need more time to prove their worth? Football’s rule-makers will need to take a decision on that fairly rapidly if they are to have five officials, instead of the previous three, in place for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The only easy answer is this: no matter what aids are adopted, referees will always make mistakes. It is impossible for them not to. Respected managers like Wenger should remind fans of that. Instead of

being quick to whine about refs, they should admit that their players and/or tactics were poor, as Arsenal’s were in Portugal. Otherwise, pushed to extremes, you get what’s happening in Scotland. Referees there have voted to strike this coming weekend because irate fans and managers have ignored the human truth that match officials can only be fallible. Scottish media reports of the outrages suffered by referees there make depressing reading. Razor blades and dead rats sent to them in the post. Smashed windows. Phoned threats to the home of Willie Collum, reportedly including a caller who menaced his wife and children, after he officiated last month’s derby between Rangers and Celtic.

Platini was there for that match, witnessing for himself the ferocious rivalry between those Glasgow teams. “These people are going to make mistakes and to be a referee I think you have to be a masochist,” the UEFA president told the Scottish Football Association’s web site. “The system is bad and I have known this for 40 years.” In other words, football authorities know that referees are struggling but have been slow to help. Just as tough to deal with, says a now retired Scottish referee who officiated there for two decades, is the “water torture” of constant taunts and snide remarks that match officials suffer off the pitch, when they’re out shopping with their families, for instance, or working their day jobs.

Scotland’s soccer authorities say they sympathize. The Scottish FA’s chief executive, Stewart Regan, said he fully understands “why incessant scrutiny, criticism and questioning of their integrity has brought them to the brink of a withdrawal of labor.” Yet the SFA says it might fly in Irish or Scandinavian referees if its own refuse to blow their whistles this weekend. Fine. Even if a strike is avoided or circumvented so that the footballing show can go on, Scottish referees will have a successfully made a point that applies to their colleagues everywhere: They try to do their best in tough circumstances and, for that, they deserve respect not hounding. Bottom line: without referees, we’d have no football at all. —AP

Bursaspor hit for six

KUALA LUMPUR: AFC Player of the Year winner, Sasa Ognenovski (center) from Australia, receives the trophy from Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak (left) while AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam (right) looks on during the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Annual Awards 2010 ceremony. —AFP

Ognenovski wins Asian Player of the Year award

KUALA LUMPUR: Australia’s Sasa Ognenovski was crowned Asian Player of the Year, while his South Korean side Seongnam Ilhwa won club of the year at a glittering ceremony by the region’s football governing body yesterday. Ognenovski, the 31-year-old captain of South Korea’s Seongnam Ilhwa club, edged out four other finalists from Iran, Bahrain and Kuwait. Attendance at the Asian Football Confederation’s awards ceremony yesterday in Malaysia was a prerequisite for the award. Several candidates playing for European clubs were unable to make it. Ognenovski helped his club win the AFC Champions League in Tokyo last week with a 3-1 victory over Iran’s Zob Ahan. The four other finalists at the ceremony were

two from Iran-Farhad Majidi and Farshid Talebi-as well as Kuwait’s Bader Al Mutawa and Bahrain’s Husain Salman. In a big night for Australia at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) annual awards, Kathryn Gill was also named women’s player of the year and Australia claimed the women’s national team award. Japan also collected a number of titles including national team of the year, while Takeshi Okada won the coach of the year at the event in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was the recipient of the AFC Diamond of Asia award for his services to the sport. North Korea’s Jong II-gwan bagged the men’s young player of the year award while Yeo Min-ji of South Korea was named women’s young player.

Earlier Ognenovski told AFP that a controversial eligibility rule had somewhat tarnished the award. The AFC decrees that only players who attend its gala awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur are eligible for the title, a policy it has defended as necessary for putting on a good show and enhancing the sport’s profile in the region. The attendance rule this year eliminated from contention three top Asian starsJapan’s Keisuke Honda who plays for CSKA Moscow, Park Ji-Sung of South Korea who plays for Manchester United, and Australia’s Tim Cahill of Everton. The trio were on the original list of 15 nominated players unveiled by the AFC earlier this month, but are all busy playing for their clubs and had to send their apologies. —Agencies

UEFA looks at Real’s ‘deliberate’ red cards GENEVA: UEFA was studying the match referee’s report yesterday before deciding whether to charge Real Madrid players Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos for appearing to get intentional red cards in a Champions League match against Ajax. Alonso and Ramos both collected second cautions for timewasting late in Real’s 4-0 win at the Amsterdam Arena on Tuesday. Neither player protested the red cards and Ramos even shook hands with Scottish referee Craig Thomson before walking off the pitch. “We didn’t go looking for the cards,” Ramos said. “Seeing what the score was, the referee could have saved them. But he sent me off and that’s that.” They will serve one-match suspensions in a meaningless final group match against Auxerre next month, then could start the knockout rounds in February with a clean disciplinary slate. Madrid is assured of winning Group G and advancing with secondplace AC Milan. UEFA said its disciplinary unit will look at the incidents after receiving Thomson’s official report. Dutch broadcaster NOS showed footage of Madrid coach Jose Mourinho speaking to Alonso on the sideline before he picked up his second yellow. Mourinho also spoke on the bench with reserve goalkeeper

Jerzy Dudek who seemed to then pass on a message to ‘keeper Iker Casillas, before Ramos was sent off. “Dudek was asking me about my stomach problems,” said Casillas,

the captain of Madrid and World Cup winner Spain. “I told Ramos to keep an eye on one of their strikers, who was a constant threat inside the area.” In UEFA’s

AMSTERDAM: Real Madrid soccer players Alvaro Arbeloa (center) and Raul Albiol (right) react as Xabi Alonso (left) receives a red card by referee Craig Thomson of Scotland. —AP

disciplinary code, article 10 allows for suspensions of more than one match in cases of unsporting conduct. Mourinho dismissed the idea that he had orchestrated the bookings. “I spoke with many players throughout the game, not only with Ramos and Alonso,” Mourinho said. “Stories sell, but the important thing is the 4-0 win and the fantastic game we had. Let’s talk about that and not other things.” Previous cases of players deliberately seeking cautions to manipulate the timing of suspensions have involved David Beckham and Australia captain Lucas Neill. Beckham was England captain when he intentionally committed a yellowcard foul against Wales in a World Cup qualifier played in October 2004. He later explained he’d sustained a rib injury which he knew would sideline him for the next match, so wanted his second caution of the qualifying program allowing him to serve the one-match ban while hurt. FIFA President Sepp Blatter described Beckham’s action as “disappointing because it is not the behavior that befits an ambassador of football and fair play.” Neill admitted getting a yellow card against Qatar in a June 2009 World Cup qualifier so he could serve a ban immediately and not risk carrying it into the finals in South Africa. —AP

MADRID: Valencia crushed Turkish champions Bursaspor 6-1 at the Mestalla Stadium in the Champions League Group C match yesterday to book their place in the knockout phase of the competition. Valencia, finalists in 2001 and 2002, scored three goals inside the first half an hour to demoralise debutants Bursaspor and guarantee a top-two finish after Rangers saw their hopes go up in smoke with a 1-0 home defeat against Manchester United. Three goals in 13 minutes did the trick for Valencia. Juan Mata opened the scoring via a 17th-minute penalty before Roberto Soldado completed a fine team move on 21 minutes and Aritz Aduriz notched a third on the half hour. Stand-in captain Joaquin struck a fourth on 37 minutes before Soldado struck again on 55 minutes for his fifth Champions League goal of the campaign, with four coming in his last two matches. Pablo Batalla pulled a goal back for the hapless visitors, but substitute Alejandro Dominguez restored Valencia’s five-goal advantage with 12 minutes remaining. The victory leaves Valencia three points behind United and the two sides will contest top spot in the final group match at Old Trafford on December 7, when only a victory will be good enough for Valencia. Bursaspor were left licking their wounds after another heavy defeat and their maiden Champions League campaign has been a disaster, with no points and one goal from their five group games so far. The Turks had a glorious chance to score first on nine minutes when Sercan Yildirim raced onto a ball over the top but the forward lacked composure and his lob floated just wide. Valencia were gifted a penalty on 17 minutes when Aduriz had his feet taken away from him in the area as he cut back to go inside and the referee pointed to the spot. Mata thumped in an unstoppable spot-kick and the goal opened up the floodgates. The lively Mata created the second goal, feeding a delightful pass to Soldado, who made no mistake with a fierce shot into the top corner. Goalkeeper Miguel Moya hobbled off injured but all the action was taking place at the other end of the pitch, with Soldado going close again before Aduriz got his name on the scoresheet on the half-hour mark. The visitors were pining for the half-time break, but Joaquin curled in a fine fourth goal and Valencia went into the interval 4-0 up. It was more of the same in the second half with Soldado, scorer of two goals in the last group match against Rangers, completing another brace after 10 minutes. Bursaspor had failed to score in their first four games and Argentine substitute Batalla ended that barren run, netting on 69 minutes to claim the club’s first ever goal in the competition after over seven hours of waiting. Dominguez added a sixth for Valencia on 78 minutes as the hosts cruised into the knockout phase. —AFP

SPAIN: Bursaspor’s Turgay Bahadir (left) controls the ball with Valencia’s Ricardo Costa from Portugal during the Champions League soccer match. —AP

Hapoel defeat Benfica 3-0 TEL AVIV: Hapoel Tel Aviv secured its first ever victory in the Champions League group stage yesterday with a 3-0 win over Benfica. Eran Zahavi scored twice and Douglas da Silva got the other for Hapoel, which now has four points but stays bottom of Group B, two points behind Benfica, with one game to play. Benfica was by far the stronger side at the start of the game, but the Israelis managed to soak up the pressure and score on the counter attack. Zahavi broke the deadlock in the 24th minute, and Da Silva added the second in the 74th before Zahavi completed the scoring in stoppage time. It was the first win for an Israeli team in the Champions League group stage since Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Ajax in 2004.

Benfica made a dominant start, winning three corners in quick succession in the opening five minutes, culminating in a stinging shot from Javier Saviola which forced a save from keeper Vincent Enyeama. The pressure continued from the Portuguese side, but Eli Gutman’s team was not to be outdone and took a surprise lead when Zahavi headed home a free kick by Shay Abutbul. Benfica poured forward in search of an equalizer for the remainder of the first half. But the Portuguese were unable to create any meaningful chances and Hapoel grew in confidence, holding firm at the back. Jorge Jesus’s side continued to pile on the pressure after the restart and defender Da Silva had to head the ball

off the line in the 53rd minute to prevent Javi Garcia from scoring from a corner. Garcia had an even better chance to score in the 65th minute, but inexplicably headed wide of the goal from only a few meters out. As the minutes ticked away the excitement grew among the 13,000 fans packed into Bloomfield Stadium, eager to witness a slice of club history in the making. That excitement only increased when Da Silva turned in a corner with 17 minutes to go and any hopes Benfica had of salvaging anything from the game were dashed in the first minute of injury time. Zahavi was left unmarked and had time to calmly smash the ball past goalkeeper Roberto to complete the victory. —AP

GERMANY: Lyon’s Dejan Lovren plays the ball in front of Schalke’s Raul of Spain during the Champions League Group B soccer match. —AP

Lyon advance despite defeat GERMANY: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored in each half to help Schalke beat Lyon 3-0 yesterday as both teams advanced to the last 16 of the Champions League. Jefferson Farfan scored in the 13th minute and Huntelaar added the second in the 20th in a dominant first half for Schalke. Lyon put up more of a fight in the second half but Huntelaar finished off a counterattack in the 89th to complete the victory. The victory gave Schalke 10 points in Group B, while Lyon stayed on nine, with one round of matches remaining. Lyon benefited from Hapoel Tel Aviv’s 3-0 victory over Benfica to clinch the second spot in the knockout stage of the competition. Benfica has six points and Hapoel four. Schalke produced one of its best performances of the season to win its third straight home game in the Champions League.

Felix Magath’s team went ahead after Raul Gonzalez had his attempt blocked, but Farfan stroked the loose ball inside the right post. Seven minutes later, Peer Kluge broke through on the left and sent a low ball inside, Raul let it pass into the path of Huntelaar, who scored into the same corner as Farfan. Farfan was booked in the 30th, instead of earning a penalty. The Peru striker pushed the ball past Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, then tripped over the Frenchman and Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli gave him a yellow card for diving. Farfan will be suspended for Schalke’s final match at Benfica. Lloris then had a good save when he tipped over a clever long-range lob from Raul. With time running out, Huntelaar’s deflected shot caught Lloris on the wrong foot for the final score. —AP


GMC to unveil all-new Terrain, Acadia Denali

Markaz wins Global Investor’s award

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Portugal, pain hit by fears over debt

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

www.kuwaittimes.net

Saudi seeks stable oil markets: Naimi KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia will continue to seek oil market stability, state news media reported yesterday, citing a second day of talks the kingdom’s oil minister held with foreign ambassadors in Riyadh. Ali Al-Naimi discussed separately with ambassadors of Finland, Russia and South Korea oil market conditions and “stressed the kingdom’s need for oil markets’ stability and to promote cooperation between oil producers and consumers,” SPA reported. This is Naimi’s second round of comments stressing

China’s Saudi oil imports seen up 11% next year Saudi oil policy would remain on a steady course since King Abdullah, who is 86 or 87, left for New York on Monday for medical treatment. Naimi, oil minister of the world’s top oil exporter held similar talks on Tuesday with ambassadors of Japan, the United Kingdom and Italy. China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia will likely rise 11 percent next year to hit one million barrels per day, a pace slightly faster than 2010 but off the heady

increases in previous years, industry officials told Reuters. China’s refining expansion is expected to moderate next year and rising competition of mostly Russian oil via a Siberian pipeline means import growth for the highsulfur Saudi oil would be limited, they said. At one million bpd, China stands a touch behind the United States as the Kingdom’s second-largest crude buyer. US Energy Information Administration

data showed Riyadh supplied 1.07 million bpd in the first eight months of 2010 to the US, largely flat from a year earlier. State-run Saudi Aramco has rolled over its evergreen contracts with Chinese refiner Sinopec Corp and PetroChina for next year and expects actual supplies to grow 100,000 bpd or so from this year’s average of 900,000 bpd, industry officials said. “The market was really worried earlier about 2010,

which turns out to be much more robust than thought. Now we have a high base forecasting next year’s growth,” said an industry source with close knowledge of oil trade between Riyahd and Beijing. “A growth of around 10 percent is both realistic and more sustainable for Saudi Arabia.” In 2008 Saudi supplies to China rallied nearly 40 percent to about 730,000 bpd, as China went through a major stockpiling year for the Beijing Olympics Games, fol-

lowed by a 15-percent rise in 2009 when China added several big new refineries including one partly owned by Aramco. China, the world’s secondlargest oil user, may finally enter a relatively quiet year in its long refining expansion boom that started nearly two decades ago, by possibly adding less than 300,000 bpd new working capacity next year, or just over 3 percent of China’s total oil demand. That came off an average of 400,000-450,000 bpd additions each year seen in the previous few years. — Reuters

A year after crisis

Dubai refocuses while tackling debts

DUBAI: It was the celebrity endorsement marketers dream about. Before harnessing up to film stunts for the next “Mission: Impossible” on the face of the world’s tallest tower, Tom Cruise bounded onto stage in the skyscraper’s plush new Armani Hotel to promote shooting in Dubai. With cameras rolling, he thanked the emirate’s ruling sheikh and praised the city as “very cinematic,” deeming it “beautiful” four times in under a minute. Publicity stunt it may have been. But the filmmakers’ decision to set a large part of the movie here also reflects the headway Dubai has made on its own tough mission: to again charm investors and repair its reputation a year on from its market-rattling financial crisis. It’s a task that could take years to complete. The Gulf emirate sent tremors through the world economy a year ago this week when it effectively acknowledged it couldn’t repay billions of dollars as promised. Lenders who had relied on government backing for conglomerate Dubai World and a web of other state-linked companies found no such guarantees, leaving them scrambling for details from a city-state as famously tightlipped as it was opaque about the health of its globetrotting businesses. Almost overnight, Dubai went from being seen as the Arab world’s glamorous answer to Wall Street and Las Vegas to a city-sized subprime borrower with way too many maxed-out credit cards. A year on, both those conflicting images contain a measure of truth. “Across the board we’re probably better off than we were a year ago in Dubai,” said Rachel Ziemba, an analyst at Roubini Global Economics. “But the recovery of the Dubai economy is going to be a lot slower than people anticipated.” Topping the list of challenges is more than $100 billion in Dubai debt still hanging over bank balance sheets from Tokyo to New York. Some state-owned holdings have been quietly sold off. Others are struggling. Just last week Loehmann’s, an 89-year-old US clothing retailer owned by the emirate, filed for bankruptcy protection. Bankers grumble that financial transparency is still lacking — an indication of a lesson not completely learned. While Dubai has begun to crack open its books, the full extent of its debt problems — and its ability to fix them — remain unclear. Even the half-mile-high Burj Khalifa that Cruise rappelled down isn’t immune. Apartment owners there have had to slash rents amid a property slump that shows few signs of improving. Across the city, prices have plunged by half since late 2008 as tens of thousands of residents — mostly foreigners who comprise the overwhelming majority of the population — lost their jobs and left. A glut of new homes planned years ago and soon coming to market could make things even worse. “We’ve still

Dubai economy grew 2.3% in H1 Debt worries remain concern DUBAI: Dubai’s economy grew 2.3 percent in the first six months of 2010 as trade and manufacturing improved along with tourism, the Dubai Statistics Center said, confirming earlier remarks by its chief. The global crisis ended an oil and real estate-led boom in the United Arab Emirates last year, sending the world’s No 3 oil exporter into its first downturn since 1993. Dubai’s debt woes have weighed on the economic recovery in 2010. “The sectors of manufacturing, transport, logistics, services, wholesale and retail trade, hotels, restaurants and government services achieved positive growth,” Arif Obaid Al-Muhairi was quoted as saying on the website of the daily Emirates 24-7. He did not say whether the gross domestic product increase was in real or nominal terms. The property sector contributed 11 percent to the Gulf emirate’s economy in the first six months, Muhairi said, down from 14 percent for whole of 2009, and 17 percent in 2008. Dubai’s non-oil exports and re-exports soared by 46 percent and 26 percent, respectively, in the second quarter, while imports jumped 17 percent, data

has showed. Muhairi predicted last month Dubai’s GDP growth at 2.3 percent for 2010, well above a 0.5 percent forecast by the International Monetary Fund. In February, when uncertainties around indebted state firm Dubai World weighed on the market, the IMF said it saw Dubai’s GDP contracting 1.3 percent in 2010. The economy of the emirate, which accounts for some 80 percent of the UAE nonoil trade, expanded 5.7 percent in real terms in 2008. Official 2009 GDP data for Dubai are not available, although the IMF estimates a 0.9 percent contraction. Concerns about Dubai’s liabilities, estimated at around $115 billion, have eased after Dubai World reached a deal in September to restructure almost $25 billion of debt. But worries still persist about the debt pile owed by key firms such as Dubai Holding . Dubai and its firms face some $30 billion worth of debt maturing in 2011-2012. Overall UAE credit growth remains anaemic due to bank exposure to Dubai debt, and is the main reason that leaves the OPEC country’s economy trailing its Gulf oil-exporting peers. — Reuters

MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS

DUBAI: Tourists visit a shopping mall in Dubai. — AP got a bit more to go before we hit the bottom,” said John Davis, regional CEO of real estate firm Colliers International. The debt pile and property woes don’t mean Dubai is done for, though. The sheikdom in many ways has proved surprisingly resilient, using the past year to clean up some of its worst excesses as investors’ concerns shifted to struggling European debtors such as Ireland and Greece. Managers at the most troubled

Dubai companies have mostly been replaced. Plans for even more audacious skyscrapers and manmade islands like those that made Dubai famous — and in debt — are on the back burner. There are other signs of improvement. State-owned airline Emirates more than quadrupled its first-half profits, recently pulling in nearly $1 billion. Business at Dubai’s global collection of seaports is looking up. At home, footfall on the polished stone floors of shopping

centers like the aquarium-filled Dubai Mall remains brisk. The city’s infamous traffic jams are less frequent. Living costs are down. And yes, despite headlines suggesting Dubai was becoming a ghost town, things are still being built. Alongside the skyscrapers there has been a renewed focus on less splashy but much-needed public works projects such as highway interchanges and another sleek new metro line. A second airport

opened in June. Put simply, the emirate’s attention has shifted back to the historic strengths that turned it into the Middle East’s commercial hub: trade, tourism, logistics and services. “There’s now time for smaller ideas, things that are more organized,” said Mishaal Al-Gergawi, an Emirati writer and entrepreneur. With his wife Bushra, a graphic designer, he is launching a line of T-shirts and other products with the slogan

“iamherebecauseilikedubai.” He says it’s a statement meant to highlight the positive aspects of Dubai and those working to build it back up. “The crisis is what it is,” he said. “It happened. And then you deal with it.” Dealing with the fallout of the crisis will take years, analysts say. Some important progress has been made in sorting out the books at Dubai World, the sprawling conglomerate at the heart of Dubai’s financial mess. —AP

US consumers spend and earn more, layoffs slow WASHINGTON: Americans earned more and spent more last month, and the number of people applying for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in more than two years. At the same time, demand for long-lasting manufactured goods fell off. All told, the latest government data released the day before Thanksgiving suggest an improving picture of the economy. Income and spending are rising, and layoffs are slowing. This comes amid a decline in manufacturing activity, which had been a source of strength for months after the recession ended. “The flurry of US data this morning suggests that households have started to pickup the baton of growth from businesses,” said Paul Dales, US economist at Capital Economics. “Whether or not households will be able to shoulder the burden of growth on their own is another matter.” Consumers boosted their spending 0.4 percent in October, the Commerce Department said yesterday. That was up from a 0.3 percent increase in September. People showed a slightly bigger appetite to spend because their incomes rose 0.5 percent, reflecting a slowly healing jobs market. Incomes didn’t

grow at all in September. The increases in both income and spending last month were the most since August. And inflation is running lower. Prices for goods excluding food and energy rose just 0.9 percent in the 12 months ending in October, the Commerce report noted. That was down from a 1.2 percent annual gain posted in September. Inflation is running at a pace below the Fed’s comfort zone of between 1.5 percent and 2 percent. “We have a good signal,” John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo, said of the jobless claims and consumer spending reports. The pace of layoffs slowed to the lowest level since July 2008. Initial jobless claims dropped by 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 407,000 in the week ending Nov. 20, the Labor Department said. The report raised hopes that more gains in hiring will be seen. Still, another report showed that orders to US factories for costly manufactured goods plunged in October by the largest amount in 21 months. Durable-goods orders dropped 3.3 percent last month, the biggest setback since January 2009, when the country was still mired in a recession. Of special concern was a 4.5 percent drop in orders

PHOENIX: Cynthia Torrez looks over job ads at the Maricopa County Workforce Connections job fair yesterday in Phoenix. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level since July 2008, a hopeful sign that improvement in the job market is accelerating. — AP for nondefense capital goods, excluding aircraft. This category is viewed as a good proxy for business investment plans. It was the biggest drop since a 5.3 percent fall in July. Even with the pickup in spending, consumers are still shying away from the type of buying needed to dramatically lower the 9.6 unemploy-

ment rate. Normally after a recession, consumers spend more freely. But more than one year after the recession ended, Americans are more focused on getting their personal finances in order. They are paring down debt, watching their spending and building savings. —Reuters

Qatar rebounds as W-Cup vote nears DUBAI: Qatar’s index rose for an 11th day in 12 yesterday, rallying from the previous day’s drop-its largest for six monthsas investors bought ahead of a FIFA vote to decide the host country for the 2022 soccer World Cup. Other Middle East markets were mixed. Dubai slipped to a nine-week low, while Saudi Arabia fell for a fourth day in five. Qatar’s index rose 0.3 percent to 8,148 points. “Qatar is in a unique trend compared to other regional markets,” said Samer Al-Jaouni, General Manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage Co. “Investors are buying ahead of the World Cup vote and should hold above 8,100 until then.” Qatar is bidding against the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea for the rights to host the 2022 World Cup, with FIFA delegates voting on Dec 2. Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat), rose 4.7 percent, its largest gain since Dec 2, 2009. “Usually, rallies start with Industries Qatar, before moving to banks and then services and that’s what we’re seeing again, especially on Nakilat today,” said Jaouni. “Nakilat’s historically low dividends mean it hasn’t attracted much attention, but 2011 should be a good year for the company and so people are starting to build positions.” Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) rose 0.5 percent. In late September, the operator agreed a $12 billion deal to buy a controlling stake in Kuwait rival Zain, while earlier this month, Etisalat said it would create an $8 billion bond program. “Etisalat’s deal with Zain is very important for UAE

markets,” said Mohammed Yasin, CAPM Investment chief investment officer. “People used to say holding Etisalat was better than gold because historically the company has been a cash cow, paying regular cash and stock dividends. “But if the deal goes through, Etisalat will become a debt company, which it has never been before and we will have to evaluate it differently. How will it manage this debt?” In Saudi Arabia, Samba Financial Group fell 0.9 percent, its eighth decline in nine sessions. “People are worried banks will be asked to take more provisions in the fourthquarter,” said a Riyadh-based trader. The banking index fell 0.2 percent. It has fallen around 7 percent in two months, slumping after third-quarter earnings broadly missed estimates. “Banks are not a great story this year and possibly not next year either,” added the trader. “It’s hard to see how banks can substantially raise their earnings. They were paralyzed by the downturn and are being very conservative. “Contractors are being funded by the government, so that has removed one of their main sources of income. You could buy banks as a share price recovery play, but not on fundamentals.” Volumes were low across the region, with investors wary after North Korea’s deadly shelling of a South Korean island. “If Korea escalates it could affect the Gulf region, because it is a big importer of our oil, while even if the situation calms down, uncertainty over potential conflict will be negative for markets,” added CAPM’s Yasin.— Reuters


BUSINESS

22

Thursday, November 25, 2010

GMC to unveil all-new Terrain, showcase 2011 Acadia Denali Abu Dhabi International Motor Show DUBAI: GMC will be unveiling a nd showca sing two crossovers a t the Abu Dhabi Interna tiona l Motor Show : the Terra in and the Acadia Denali. As GMC’s ma in attractions a t the Abu Dha bi International Motor Show taking place from 7 - 11 December 2010, the vehicles w ill join GMC’s popula r line-up in the Middle East.

GMC Terrain TERRAIN The 2011 Terrain is a crossover immaculately combining bold styling with a smooth ride delivered through a powerful and economic engine giving it segmentleading fuel efficiency. The Terrain has the bold design of a GMC SUV, with the commanding outward view that many customers appreciate. The Terrain’s front end, with squared-off edges and flared fenders, appeals to those who want something stronger looking than the typical “soft road” vehicle. “We’re continuing to build on the successful formula of taking the bold styling, premium features and functionality our customers have come to expect from our fullsize truck products and creating smaller vehicles to appeal to a broader audience in the Middle East,” said Luay Alshurafa, regional brand manager for GMC in the Middle East. When equipped with the new 2.4L direct injected Ecotec engine and six-speed automatic transmission, the Terrain is EPA-rated at a segment-leading 7.35 liters per 100km on the highway (FWD model) giving the crossover best-in-class fuel economy. The 3.0L direct injected V-6 engine is EPA-rated at 9.4 liters per 100km on the highway (also the FWD model), thereby also beating out some of the competition.The 2011 GMC Terrain is exem-

GMC Acadia Denali

plary of a vehicle with integrated technological solutions which makes for a smarter, safer, fun and convenient vehicle. In terms of safety, the Terrain comes with a standard rear-vision camera, allowing the driver to view objects and people directly behind the vehicle. Other technologies incorporated make for a more fun experience when driving or riding in the Terrain, especially for those long trips. The Terrain comes with a 10 GB hard-drive, which enables a library of favorite music for consecutive-play. Further music connectivity is found in standard USB audio connectivity and MP3 playback, both of which can be controlled from the radio or the optional steering wheel controls. Passengers in the rear-seat can enjoy their favorite DVDs on the rear-seat entertainment system, with two independent screens and inputs, allowing one viewer to watch a movie while the other plays a video game. In terms of convenience, the Terrain comes with a programmable lift-gate which can be set for a lower height, clearing possible garage obstructions and making it easier to reach for those of a shorter stature. Meanwhile, the driver can remotely start the vehicle to automatically cool down on a hot afternoon. With a rigid, body-integral structure with single-piece body side

stampings allows more precise assembly, with tighter and more uniform gap tolerances. The result is a vehicle that will feel solid for years. ACADIA DENALI “The Acadia Denali is as uncompromising on luxury as it is on safety. It is a testament to outstanding quality and safety measures, making it the obvious choice for customers after a luxury ride without any implications to their safety,” said Luay Alshurafa, regional brand manager for GMC in the Middle East. The new premium Denali model joins the GMC Acadia lineup for 2011, adding a new dimension of luxury and exclusivity to this popular crossover. It brings the distinctive Denali design elements, including: a chrome honeycomb grille, monochromatic exterior color, exclusive fascias, highintensity discharge headlamps and unique interior features that have made the Denali such a hit. The Acadia Denali will also ensure power delivery. Like all Acadia models, it is powered by a 3.6L V-6 VVT engine that uses gasoline direct injection technology to optimize performance and fuel economy. The engine is paired with Acadia’s fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission and capable of towing up to 2364 kg. Further distinction comes with 20-inch, two-tone chrome-clad wheels. The six-

spoke wheels feature black chrome spoke inserts set against bright chrome. It is offered in the following outstanding exterior colors: red jewel tricoat, carbon black metallic, quicksilver metallic, dark blue metallic, summit white, gold mist metallic, cyber gray metallic, medium brown metallic, white trident tricoat and gray green metallic. The interior of the Acadia Denali is replete with luxury. For added comfort, leather comes standard, with perforated leather seats cooled for both driver and passenger. The interior also includes matching leather door panel trim and the steering wheel is leather-wrapped with mahogany wood inserts and a wood grain finish on the instrument panel and center stack, while the foot-wells are accented with subtle lighting. The driver and passengers both can experience unsurpassed audio quality, with premium acoustics, with laminated glass and liquid applied sound deadeners, or enjoy fresh air or sunshine via the dual SkyScape sunroof system, with sliding front sunroof and fixed rear section. GMC will also be showcasing the 2011 Yukon which offers exceptional capability, comfort and refinement, as well as the Sierra Denali which provides supreme performance and outstanding luxury at this year’s event.

Wataniya awards lucky winner Rula Ibrahim Naeem with a BMW KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom never fails to surprise its customers with its monthly draw. Started last May 2010 and ongoing until April 2011, Wataniya will meet its customers every month to reward them with valuable prizes. An opportunity to win prizes is granted if the subscriber’s number starts with 6. Marking this draw to be the 7th successful draw, Wataniya is proud to announce the name of its customer Rula Ibrahim Naeem who was lucky this month to win the grand prize;

a BMW. The rewarding ceremony to deliver the car keys to the winner took place at BMW Showroom with the presence of Riham Al-Ayyar Wataniya’s Senior Communication manager. On the occasion, Al-Ayyar congratulated the winner and said: “Our monthly draws have all resulted in great success and attracted a magnificent number of customers which encourages us to provide them with more offers and promotional campaigns with valuable prizes to our

customers in the months to come.” The winner was very enthusiastic and appreciative to Wataniya’s efforts and expressed: “I would like to thank Wataniya for their continuous dedication and ongoing creative campaigns to support and reward their customers.” “I am proud to consider myself a member of Wataniya’s family and looking forward to take part in future campaigns as well.” Ibrahim concluded.

First jury presidents for Dubai Lynx 2011 named Prasoon Joshi, Armin Jochum and Mike Cooper DUBAI: The first three of four jury presidents are announced for the Dubai International Advertising Festival, the leading creative advertising and communication awards for the Middle East and North Africa. The very talented and multi award winner Prasoon Joshi, Executive Chairman and Regional Executive Creative Director APAC McCann Erickson, will head the Film, Print, Outdoor and Radio Jury. Under his leadership McCann Erickson India has transformed into a veritable creative powerhouse and has been acknowledged as one of the most respected and admired agencies in India. Prasoon has won more than 400 national and international advertising awards and has chaired the Outdoor Cannes Lions jury in 2008 and served on the Titanium and Integrated jury at Cannes in 2009. Prasoon has been named a ‘Young Global Leader’ by the World Economic Forum, joining leading public figures and intellectuals under the age of 40 who have been selected to collectively shape the world’s future. He was recently appointed Chairman of McCann Worldgroup Creative Leadership Council. “I am honored to be part of Dubai International Advertising Festival. The creative tradition from this part of our world has always fascinated me especially when I came to know that in ancient times there were instances of disputes settled through use of poetry, whilst laying arms aside. I am keen to see and gain a finer understanding of the distinctive cultural codes that are bound to reflect in the work. Regional shows like Dubai Lynx are extremely important as they bring to light and celebrate work whose unique texture sometimes remains unrecognized internationally. Encouragement and appreciation is an important part of a creative fraternity’s need and the Dubai International Advertising Festival has provided a stellar platform for this. The team of Dubai Lynx is responsible for bringing in international standards of excellence to this festival in all aspects and I look forward to a creatively stimulating and enriching experience,” said Prasoon. The Direct, Sales Promotion and Activation and Interactive Jury will be chaired by the Chief Creative Officer of Jung von Matt, Armin Jochum. He is responsible for driving creative excellence across all Jung von Matt agencies culminating in them being honoured with Independent Agency of the Year at Cannes Lions 2010. Working on prestigious accounts over the last 20 years, such as Porsche, MTV and MercedesBenz, his work has been honored at Cannes Lions, Clio, One show, D&AD and ADC to name but a few. Armin has also chaired the 2008 Cannes Lions Promo and Activation jury and is member of the German Art Directors Club and D&AD. With his track record of hundreds of awards he is one of Europe’s most awarded Creatives. Commenting on his role, Armin said, “It is a powerful region with gifted, upcoming creative talents. I am really proud to be able to share fresh and ambitious masterpieces of today’s communication with the jury.” Mike Cooper, Worldwide Chief Executive Officer of PHD, in charge of over 70 offices and over 2,500 staff around the globe, will lead the Media jury. PHD is one of the world’s fastest growing and most awarded media agencies known for pioneering work in the areas of content and planning. PHD works with prestigious international clients such as Elizabeth Arden, Kraft/Cadbury, HBO, Hewlett Packard, Canon and Porsche. In early 2010, PHD was awarded the Unilever business in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as the digital account in India. PHD was voted Media Magazine’s Agency of the Year in Asia at the end of 2009, the UK office was awarded runner-up Media Agency of the Year by both Campaign and Marketing and in the USA PHD won Adweek’s Media Plan of the Year. Mike is co-author of PHD’s thought-leader book: 2014, PHD On The Future Of The Media Agency.

Armin Jochum

Mike Cooper

Prasoon Joshi Mike commented, “I am extremely excited to be the jury President at the Dubai Lynx in 2011. The Middle East and North Africa are at a pivotal stage of development as a major advertising and creative force so the timing is perfect” “It’s an honor to have such highly regarded authorities as Prasoon, Armin and Mike guiding the judging procedure to ensure that all the work is evaluated fairly. We look forward to welcoming them and working with them at the Dubai International Advertising Festival where their role as jury presidents will ultimately help the creative development of the industry in the region,” said Terry Savage, Chairman of Cannes Lions who with Motivate Publishing are joint organizers of the event. The inaugural jury chair for the new Design competition will be announced shortly. All entries being judged can be viewed during the festival to be held at the Madinat Jumeirah, in Dubai 27 to 29 March; the Dubai Lynx Awards, where the winners will be revealed, will be held on 30 March. For further information about the 2011 Dubai International Festival, please go to www.dubailynx.com.

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

.2765000 .4420000 .3730000 .280000 .2730000 .2720000 .0045000 .002000 .0761490 .7418950 .3920000 .0730000 .7272960 .0045000 .0490000

.2865000 .4510000 .381000 .2890000 .2820000 .2810000 .0075000 .0035000 .0769140 .7493510 .4120000 .0780000 .7346050 .0072000 .0560000

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

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2805000 .4439750 .3758700 .2819660 .2753780 .0504130 .0402790 .2745810 .0361540 .2139420 .0033700 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0763890 .7442290 .0000000 .0748300 .7291400 .0000000

.2826000 .4472990 .3786840 .2840770 .2774400 .0507910 .0405810 .2766370 .0364250 .2155440 .0033950 .0062450 .0025460 .0033250 .0040370 .0769610 .7498010 .3997170 .0753900 .7345980 .0064590

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES Japanese Yen Indian Rupees

3.501 6.334

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

3.270 2.508 3.968 218.810 36.220 3.975 6.622 9.458 0.267 0.310 GCC COUNTRIES 74.865 77.139 729.380 745.660 76.451

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES 51.550 48.948 1.317 204.170 396.450 187.700 6.140 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

SELL CASH 279.400 749.290 4.260 280.200 553.300 14.100 52.500 157.800 51.930 382.500

10 Tola

GOLD 1,454.040

36.870 6.175 0.032

398.240 0.190 93.150 3.880 218.000

SELL DRAFT 277.900 749.290 4.000 278.700

216.300 49.010 381.000

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

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

286.900 6.300 9.570 76.780 281.700

Rate per 1000 (Tra n)

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

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 448.000 281.700

281.650 277.950 446.705 380.025 282.808 690.313 745.463 76.662 77.341 75.076 397.429 49.022 6.186 3.300

2.525 3.995 6.374 3.381 9.347 6.144 3.868

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

731.870 3.305 6.400 77.500 75.230 216.320 42.220 2.528 448.000

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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

37.020 6.520 0.033 0.264 0.252 3.480 400.120 0.191 93.150 46.800 4.410 219.500 1.916 48.100 731.850 3.400 6.650 77.930 75.230 216.320 42.220 2.684 450.000 41.900 288.400 6.300 9.800 198.263 76.580 282.100 1.360

Sterling Pound US Dollar

GOLD 259.000 131.000 67.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

281.700 3.305 6.190 2.540 4.000 6.420 76.780 75.330 748.900 48.995 451.400 0.00003280 4.025 1.550 400.200 5.750 383.200 282.300

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

281.400 380.000 447.000 278.000 3.400 6.165 48.880 2.528 4.002 6.375 3.295 749.000 76.600 75.050


business

Thursday, november 25, 2010

23

Markaz wins Global Investor’s award

Nissan Maxima wins at Mideast Motor Awards Best large saloon car in its class DUBAI: The Nissan Maxima has been independently voted as the best large saloon car in its class by 12 of the region’s most distinguished specialist automotive journalists at the first ever Middle East Motor Awards held at the 10th International Automobile Show at the Expo Centre Sharjah last week. “Accepting the award on behalf of Nissan Middle East, Yuta Yamazaki, Manager, Marketing Department commented: “We are delighted that Maxima has received this recognition from the distinguished jury members. The Maxima has a very well established following in the region and we launched this latest version on the platform of the ‘4 Door Sports Car’ knowing that it provides a very sporty drive, powerful V6 engine with sports CVT transmission plus many luxury car appointments.”

The first ever Middle East Motor Awards (MEMA) were organized by Expo Centre Sharjah with the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry to acknowledge leading players of the automotive industry and to celebrate emerging technologies. MEMA is not directly associated, affiliated or influenced by any auto show, automaker or any other commercial enterprise in order to maintain its credibility and integrity. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE and FIA Vice President for Sport acted as Official Patron for the awards and added: “I am pleased to offer my support for a new event which sets out to recognize the leading players in the automotive industry and to spotlight emerging technologies in the motor trade. I am positive it will be a big success, and grow in the years ahead.”

KUWAIT: Kuwait Financial Centre SAK “Markaz”, one of the Middle East’s leading investment banking and asset management companies, won the “Best Asset Manager in Kuwait” award by Global Investor magazine, a Euromoney publication. The judges granted the award taking into account the company’s healthy balance sheet, performance and diversity of its product offerings, innovation, investment approach to navigate market cycles, high level of corporate governance, and sustainable growth in market share, assets under management and client base. Amani Al-Omani, Executive Vice President-MENA Equities at Markaz said “We would like to thank Global Investor Magazine for granting Markaz the “Best Asset Manager in Kuwait” award. We are committed to achieving the best performance for our clients through following a research driven methodology and investing in high quality assets.” Al-Omani added “Our investment policy is based on four pillars, research, outperformance, sustainable growth, and risk management. This enabled Markaz to fare reasonably well in the financial crisis.” Markaz was invited to speak in the panel discussion held after the award ceremony. Pradeep Rajagopalan Vice President-Risk Management & Compliance at Markaz participated in the session about what the region can learn from other global financial centres and what has to change in the regulatory and legal regimes. Markaz has a track-record in asset management across different asset classes. In 2010, three funds collectively won four Lipper Awards for best risk-adjusted performance during the year. ‘Markaz Mumtaz Fund’ won two awards for best Kuwaiti equities fund for the periods of three and five years. ‘Markaz Gulf Fund’ won best MENA equities fund and ‘Markaz Islamic Fund’ won best Islamic Kuwaiti equities

‘Best Asset Manager in Kuwait’

Ghazi Al-Osaimi, Manager-MENA Equities receiving the award on behalf of Markaz in Global Investor’s Award Ceremony held in Dubai recently. fund, both for the period of three years. ‘Mumtaz Fund’ was also awarded as the best equity fund for the year 2009 by the leading regional publication ‘MENA Fund Manager’. Markaz “Mumtaz” and “Gulf” Funds recently received “A” ratings from Standard & Poor’s. Since its establishment in 1974, Markaz succeeded in navigating through market

cycles, and as a result, Markaz currently manages a major market share in the region’s fund management industry; it’s ranked as first in Kuwait and the third in the GCC. As of September 30, 2010 Markaz Assets Under Management are KD 1.03 billion ($3.64 billion), mostly managed on behalf of institutional investors, who regard “Markaz” as one of a handful of

trusted asset managers in the region. Markaz’s track record in asset management in Kuwait and the GCC extends back to almost three decades. In 1983, the company started offering portfolio management services in the Kuwaiti Market and in 1999 it entered the fund management field with the launch of the first Kuwaiti Equities Fund - Mumtaz.

Hybrid-like fuel economy goes on sale in January in US

New Chevrolet Cruze Eco achieves segment-leading Yaser Suliman, Executive Manager at Gulf Banking handing the gift to the winner of the trip to London, Sarah Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al-Nabhan.

Gulf Bank announces winners of sixth red monthly draw Prize includes a trip to London for two! KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has announced the six lucky winners of the sixth red monthly draw, which was held on November 11, 2010. The winner of the 1st Prize, Sarah Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al-Nabhan won an all-inclusive trip to London, for two people, including a stay at a five star hotel with daily breakfast and transportation. There were five second prize winners: Mohammad Esam Shejaa Al-Mutairi, Dawood Emad Shaker, Abdullah Nabeel Abdulrahman Al-Yaseen, Badriyah Mohammed Sultan Al-Meftah, Meshaal Mejbal Bariz Al-Mtiry who each received an iPod 160GB with a sound system docking station. Gulf Bank’s red program caters to University and College students aged 17 to 24 years old and is

the only student package in Kuwait now offering monthly draws. All red customers will automatically be eligible for the draw once they transfer their student allowance into their red account. Customers also have the opportunity to manage their account through online banking, mobile banking or telebanking, providing them convenience and 24/7 accessibility. To join red(tm), customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 53 branches or contact the telebanking service 1805805 for assistance and guidance. They can also log on to www.e-gulfbank.com, Gulf Bank’s bilingual website, to find all the information they need regarding the red Program and its benefits.

Yaser Suliman, Executive Manager at Gulf Banking handing the gift to Mohammad Esam Shejaa Al-Mutairi, red draw winner.

DUBAI: The official fuel economy numbers for the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco are in and they’re good. Segment-leading good. It delivers an EPA-estimated 5.6L /100Km on the highway (manual transmission models), with equally impressive city fuel economy of 8.4L /100Km. Cruze Eco’s highway fuel economy beats non-hybrid segment competitors and many hybrid models. “Chevrolet Cruze continues to redefine the compact segment, offering class-leading standard safety features, upscale amenities - as well as hybrid-like fuel economy without the price,” said Chuck Russell, vehicle line director. “The Cruze Eco is in a league of its own and will challenge perceptions of the efficiency available in a more affordable non-hybrid.” To achieve its segment-leading fuel economy, Cruze’s engineers focused on aerodynamic performance, mass optimization and powertrain enhancements. The refinements in each area paid big dividends towards the car’s overall efficiency, while providing engineers with valuable information to help enhance the efficiency of future Chevrolet models. “We left no stone unturned or piece of sheet metal un-weighed,” said Russell. “Our engineers were comprehensive and thorough when it came to evaluating and modifying the aspects of the car’s performance that contribute to fuel economy.” Aero enhancements Aerodynamic improvements over nonEco manual-transmission models have increased highway fuel economy from the Cruze’s EPA - estimated 5.6L/100Km to an improved fuel economy of 4.9L/100km. Many were developed and refined in more than 500 hours of wind-tunnel testing of the Chevrolet Volt, which shares a core architecture with the Cruze. Examples include the upper grille, which has more “closeouts” to improve aerodynamics, a lower front air dam extension, a rear spoiler, a lowered ride height and underbody panels that smooth airflow beneath the car. The Eco model also features an all-new technology in the compact segment: a lower front grille air shutter that closes at higher speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag and opens at lower speeds to optimize engine-cooling airflow. Another contributor to reduced drag is the use of ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch tires (used with lightweight wheels), which are also used

on the Volt. As a result of the aero enhancements, aerodynamic drag was reduced by 10 percent over a non-Eco model, with a coefficient of drag of 0.298. That places Cruze at the top of the class for mainstream compact cars. Mass optimization More than 42 changes were made on the Eco to reduce weight. It weighs in at 1,365 kg, compared to the 1,462 kg of the Cruze. The diet program for the Cruze challenged engineers to look at all aspects of the vehicle’s construction, including

Efficient powertrain Cruze Eco is powered by power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine and a standard six-speed manual transmission. The transmission’s gearing is optimized for the model’s specific 17-inch wheel/tire combination and includes aggressive ratios for first and second gear coupled with a highly efficient, “taller” sixth-gear ratio for highway driving. That means engine rpm is reduced on the highway, which in turn reduces fuel consumption. A sixspeed automatic transmission is available, with EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 9 L/100km city and 6.4L/100Km high-

smoothness and durability while also contributing to the Cruze Eco’s lower curb weight. They include a cast iron block with a hollow frame structure, hollow-cast camshafts and a plastic intake manifold. Cruze success As a result of aerodynamic improvements, mass reduction and powertrain optimization, the Cruze Eco offers the best fuel economy in the compact segment, while delivering hybrid-like fuel economy without the hybrid price. The Cruze Eco will go on sale in January 2011 in the US. The Cruze has impressed audiences

2011 Cruze Eco Chevrolet Cruze hundreds of weld flanges on the vehicle. They were reduced 1 mm to 2 mm in length, which saved several kilograms, while the sheet metal gauge thickness was reduced by about 0.1 mm in select components. This saved weight while preserving structural integrity. Lighter wheels and tires are used on the Eco. They’re stylish, polished 17-inch alloy units with tires that weigh only 16.6 kg a piece. That’s 2.4 kg less than the 16inch wheel/tires of the Cruze for a complete savings to the vehicle of 9.6 kg.

way. The Ecotec 1.4L turbo’s power ratings are 138 horsepower, 200 Nm of torque between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque a specific trait of turbocharged engines helps the engine deliver a better driving experience and performance. The turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. The engine also features premium design elements that give it world-class

worldwide, winning multiple awards including the “Most Expected Car of the Year in China in 2008 and received 5 Star rating NCAP in China in 2009. The Cruze has also been nominated as finalist for “World Car of the Year”. In the Middle East, the Cruze has had a successful 2010. It recently won the Middle East Motor Awards as the best car in its segment, and the first ten months of 2010, it has sold more than 5,000 units in the Middle East and216,000 units worldwide.

Emirates Money ties up with DMCC DUBAI: Emirates Money, a wholly owned subsidiary of Emirates NBD, a leading bank in the region, launched an innovative loan initiative that enables customers to borrow up to 80 per cent of the value of the gold they deposit. “Loan Against Gold” is the first product of its kind in the GCC and offers competitive interest rates that are among the lowest in the market for retail loans, while at the same time ensuring the safe and secure storage of the gold. The “Loan Against Gold” initiative is being launched in coordination with Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCCA). All

transactions will be monitored and executed using DMCC’s electronic precious metals ‘Dubai Gold Receipt’ (DGR) system, part of the wider ‘Global Multi-Commodities Receipt’ (GMR) warranting system, which facilitates commodity trade financing. The gold, which can be in the form of jewellery or bullion, will be stored in the DMCC’s state of the art Gold Vault operated by “Brink’s Global Services DMCC”, a leading global security services and logistics solutions provider with over 150 years of international experience. Customers wishing to avail of this loan initia-

‘Loan Against Gold’ initiative launched tive must deposit gold worth AED 30,000 or more with Emirates Money, with the tenure of the deposit ranging from a minimum of six months to a maximum of 36 months. “Emirates NBD Group is focused on developing innovative lending concepts and responsible practices that will enable us to offer our customers the most attractive terms, while at the same time securing our investments,” said Jamal Bin Ghalaita, Group Deputy CEO, Emirates

NBD and Chairman, Emirates Money. The ‘Loan Against Gold’ concept is based on extensive market research and has been jointly developed in-house by Emirates Money, a whollyowned subsidiary of Emirates NBD and the ‘Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority.’ Vikas Thapar, General Manager, Emirates Money, said: “‘Loan Against Gold’ is a collateralised loan initiative that enables Emirates Money to offer significant loans to our clients to

meet their business and personal requirements. Customers also get the value-added benefit of free and safe storage for their gold or jewellery in DMCCA’s gold vault, one of the most secure vaults in the region.” “DMCCA is pleased to partner with Emirates Money for the launch of the ‘Loan Against Gold’ initiative,” said Malcolm Wall Morris, Chief Executive Officer, DMCC. “The GMR system provides a safe, secure and cost effective mechanism for borrowers to access credit and the Emirates Money ‘Loan against Gold’ initiative makes these advantages available

to a new audience.” Gold deposited under the “Loan Against Gold” initiative will be covered under insurance, and all transactions will be recorded on camera. Dedicated operational security manned by trained surveillance teams and state-of-the-art infrastructure at the DMCCA Almas Vault will satisfy customer storage and security requirements. Emirates Money plans to use nondestructive testing methods for evaluation of the gold deposited by the customer. The initiative also encompasses special schemes for UAE Nationals and UAE-based jewelers.


24

BUSINESS

Thursday, November 25, 2010

GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

Kuwait stocks bounce back KUWAIT: Kuwaiti stocks rebounded strongly yesterday. There was some positive local news, three suspended companies were permitted to resume trading after releasing their financials for the nine month ended in September 30, 2010. While a rally in banking shares contributed to the double-digit gain on the KSE Indices. Global General Index (GGI) closed 1.64 points up (0.76 percent), at 218.62 point as the Market capitalization increased reaching KD35.35mn. On the other hand,, Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index closed in the green zone adding 17 points (0.25 percent) from its value and closed at 6,935 point. Market breadth During the session, 105 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 46 equities advanced versus 25 that retreated. Yesterday’s positive sentiment was accompanied by growing trading activity. Volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 11.77 percent to reach 159.72mn shares, the value of shares traded increased by 24.27 percent to stand at KD38.61mn. The Investment Sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 28.81 percent of total shares and the Services Sector was the value leader, with 33.04 percent of total traded value. Company-wise, Al Mal Investment Co was the vol-

ume leader, with a total traded volume of 21.54mn shares. Al-Mal Investment Co has inked yesterday an agreement to sell its 40.82 percent holding, or 61.23mn shares of Petroleum Coal Industries Co to EXPO Swiss Holdings (GMBH). Shares were sold at 512 fils each, totaling KD31.997. Accordingly, Al Mal will generate KD20,539,040 earnings from the divestiture, which will be reflected in financial statements for Q4 that ends on December 31, 2010. The stock ended yesterday’s session up by 6.25 percent.

In terms of top gainers, Jazeera Airways Co was the biggest gainer for the day, adding 9.26 percent and closed at KD0.118. Jazeera Airways announced launching three weekly non-stop flights to Sohaj as of December 1st. The city will be the airline’s fifth destination to Egypt following Sharm El Sheikh, Alexandria, Luxor and Assiut. On the other hand, Kuwait Investment Co came as the biggest decliner, dropping by 7.04 percent and closed at KD0.132. Sector-wise By sector, banking stocks

paced advancers, adding 1.24 percent in sector gains. Sector heavy-weight National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) managed to eke out 1.54 percent in gains yesterday. Shares of Future Kid Entertainment and Real Estate Co. rose 5.08 percent. Mobile Telecom Co (ZAIN) and Agility Co climbed by 1.41 percent and 1.01 percent respectively sending the Global Services Index up by 0.90 percent. There was heavy trading on Alafco Aviation Lease & Finance Co, with a total traded vol-

ume of 6.60mn shares. It’s worth to mention that, the BOD met and approved the distribution of 5 percent bonus shares & 5 percent cash dividends. Industrial companies edged lower by 0.23 percent yesterday, on the back of National Industries Group (Holding) 5fils dip. Corporate news Al-Mazaya Holding will effect a secondary capital call starting from Sunday, November 28, 2010 till Sunday, December 12, 2010. The company’s extraordinary shareholder meeting (ESM) had given a nod on May 26, 2010 to a 30 percent capital top-up from KD49,947,675 to KD64,931,977 at 100 fils par value plus 27 fils issue premium per share. Shares will be offered to shareholders of First Dubai Real Estate Development Co. and Waterfront Real Estate Co. and who are of record today, November 25, 2010, after original shareholders waive their priority rights. Oil news Kuwait’s crude oil exports to China surged 170.2 percent in October from a year earlier to 839,000 tons, equivalent to around 199,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the five consecutive month of gain, latest official data by the Chinese government shows. Kuwait provided 5.1 percent of China’s total crude oil imports, compared with 1.6 percent in the same month of last year and 3.6 percent in September, according to the General Administration of Customs.

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a session of the lower house of parliament in Berlin yesterday. Merkel said that the European Union should have the courage to set limits on markets and ensure that private investors bear some of the risk on government bonds. —AFP

EU needs ‘courage’ to set limits on markets: Merkel BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday Europe should have the courage to set limits on markets by ensuring that private investors bear some of the risk of future euro-zone bailouts. “Do politicians have the courage to also make those who earn a profit take some of the risk?” Merkel said in a speech to parliament. “This is about the primacy of governments, about setting limits on markets.” With its banking system in dire straits and its budget deficit forecast to be 10 times the EU limit this year, Ireland on Sunday became the second euro-zone member in six months to apply for a bailout after Greece. The rates Spain has to pay to borrow fresh money jumped sharply on Wednesday as debt strains show signs of spreading from Ireland, while in Portugal workers staged a strike in protest at government austerity measures. Merkel said that

Germany would look “positively” on Ireland’s request, reportedly worth some 85 billion euros ($114 billion), while Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he saw no danger of contagion. The chancellor, facing unease from voters and newspapers to bailing out other countries, has pressed for changes to the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. The constitutional court, Germany’s highest, is yet to rule on the validity of the German contribution to the Greek bailout and is certain to look very closely indeed at any Irish aid and whether it is compatible with German law. Merkel has convinced other countries on the need for tougher rules for those countries which breach EU fiscal rules but Germany also wants private investors, not just taxpayers, to share some of the risk on bonds sold by euro-zone governments. This has rattled markets and some other European govern-

ments anxious about their own need to raise cash via bond sales, making for tough negotiations ahead of a summit of the bloc’s leaders in mid-December. “The markets, as they are so wonderfully called, are unsettled when one says something like that,” Merkel said yesterday. “This is quite a crucial question. We often said at the start of the (financial) crisis that it cannot be that governments do not call the shots ... This is exactly what the issue is now.” Ireland is expected to tap the 750-billion-euro rescue vehicle know as the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) created by euro-zone governments and the International Monetary Fund. This was hurriedly cobbled together earlier this year when Greece came close to defaulting on its debt amid fears that other countries, notably Ireland, Portugal, Spain and even Italy might follow suit. —AFP


business

Thursday, november 25, 2010

25

NBK GCC BRIEF

Kuwait employment growth steady in H1 2010 Faster jobs growth in private sector KUWAIT: Employment growth in Kuwait accelerated during the first half of 2010 pushed in large part by an expanding expatriate workforce. Meanwhile, employment growth among Kuwaitis moderated from last year but maintained a healthy pace. This trend was also visible in more rapid growth in the country’s overall population which was declining only a year ago. Growth in employment and population are both expected to pick up further as economic growth recovers from the crisis and businesses increase their hiring in the period ahead. According to the latest data published by the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), Kuwait’s workforce stood at 2.13 million at the end of June 2010. The workforce rose 68,700 in first half of this year, or at a 6.8% annualized rate. A year ago, employment was shrinking as many expatriates lost their jobs in the economic slowdown of 2008/09. The economy has since recovered and employment figures have begun to bounce back. Expatriate employment rose in the public sector and for domestic workers. Expatriate employment was off in the private sector for the second year in a row (June/June). Despite the relatively few expatriates working in the public sector, hiring there has seen a healthy rise in recent years. During the 12 months up to June 2010, public sector employment among non-

Kuwaitis rose by over 5,200 compared to a loss of nearly 23,000 in the private sector (excluding domestic workers). Kuwaiti employment continued to see more stable growth. The number of employed Kuwaitis rose by over 18,000 in the 12 months up to June 2010, a figure slightly above that of the previous 12 month period. Total Kuwaiti employment was up by 5.6% on a year ago, the same steady rate of the past few years. The private sector continues to lead job creation for Kuwaiti nationals, with growth in employment in the private sector remaining strong over the last twelve months. Nearly half of new jobs were in the private sector. At the end of June 2010, 21% of Kuwaitis worked in the private sector, up from 19% the year before. The rising private sector share resulted partly from the National Labor Support law of 2000. The law provides Kuwaitis working in the private sector with the same benefits available to government employees. The number of employment of Kuwaiti women in the private sector has grown faster over the last ten years and continues to do so. While growth among men rose by 9.4%, among women the figure was over 19%. During the last ten years the ratio of women to total Kuwaitis employed in the private sector has risen from 27% to just over 50%. Most of the gains took place in the last five

years. The largest gains for Kuwaiti women were in the trade, hotels, and restaurants sector and in construction. Distribution More than 84% of Kuwaitis work in the service industry, mostly in community, social, and personal services (which include government). The agriculture and fishing, construction, and trade and restaurant sectors saw rapid growth of 17%, 16% and 14%,

respectively, in the number of employed nationals over the previous twelve months. By occupation, Kuwaiti nationals are concentrated largely in professional, clerical and secretarial occupations. About 39% of the expatriate workforce is employed in the community, social and personal services sector, with the number totaling over 696,000 (including domestic labor).

Meanwhile, around 306,000 are employed in wholesale and retail trade, and restaurant services, down 2% from a year earlier. The number of expatriates employed in the construction sector also fell by 2% over the same period. Expatriate population The total population stood at 3.57 million at the end of June 2010, growing by 3.6% over the previous twelve

months. Growth of the population of Kuwaiti nationals slowed slightly to 2.8%, while the number of nonKuwaiti residents increased by 4%. Kuwaiti nationals reached nearly 1.13, or 31.7% of the total population while the expatriate population rose to 1.78 million at the end of June 2010. The number of expatriates grew in tandem with increased employ-

ment, accelerating during the first half of 2010 to an annualized 5.8%. This remains well below the rapid growth seen between 2004 and 2007 when growth sometimes topped 12%. The working age population rose slightly more rapidly than the general population. There was a particularly rapid rise within the age group 25-44, especially among women, which contains the bulk of those working in the domestic sector. This group alone rose by 48,400 during the first six months of the 2010. On the other hand, men in the 20-29 age group saw a drop of 24,700 during the same period, especially those working in the manufacturing, construction, trade, hotels and restaurant sectors. The NBK report concluded: Population and employment numbers are expected to see a further pickup in growth in the coming period as the economic recovery gains ground. While we expect Kuwaiti employment and population growth to maintain a stable rate, expatriate hiring will pick up as businesses increase their activity, especially as the mega projects of the 5-year plan come on line. For Kuwaitis, the private sector is expected to remain the leading source of new jobs as called for by the government’s development plan. In fact, the plan calls for further strengthening the private sector and its job creation capabilities.

Borrowing costs rise sharply amid market turmoil

Portugal and Spain hit by investor fears over debt SAN FrANCiSCO: Shoppers carry bags as they walk through Union Square in San Francisco, California. The Commerce Department reported that the economy expanded in the July through September quarter at a 2.5 percent annual rate beating an estimated 2 percent pace. —AP

Brazil’s internal growth is focus for Dilma: Envoy LONDON: Brazil’s booming economy is increasingly self-sustaining and not solely dependent on China’s appetite for its commodities, the South American country’s new ambassador to Britain, Roberto Jaguaribe, said. While it values its trade with China, the main driver for growth is Brazil’s internal dynamics, Jaguaribe said in an interview with Reuters. Some analysts see Chinese demand for Brazil’s iron ore, soy and other commodities as the vital factor in its prosperity, which they say leaves Brazil vulnerable to China’s whims. Speaking in his office in the London embassy, Jaguaribe said that, in his opinion, the importance of China’s role in Brazil’s prosperity was “overstated abroad, extremely overstated.” Brazilian exports were 12 per cent of GDP, he said, and the country has its own population of 185 million to drive domestic demand. “The most important dimension of Brazilian growth is increased social integration, increase of local markets, and the opportunities that are created inside Brazil itself. “Of course we are not trying to diminish the importance of exports. But this perception that Brazilian growth is due to Chinese imports from Brazil, that’s really not the case.” China and Brazil are grouped with India and Russia as the BRIC nations, whose emerging economic might is reconfiguring the traditional global power structure. Brazil’s economy took off under the eightyear rule of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will hand over power to his chosen successor, Dilma Rousseff, on January 1 after her convincing win in an election in October. The country has prospered during the world economic crisis and is emerging as a leading player on the global diplomatic stage for issues ranging from trade to the environment. An immediate challenge Rousseff faces is how to cool down the local real currency, which has risen 34 percent against the dollar since the beginning of 2009. “That raises concern in Brazil because of the artificial competitiveness that other economies acquire,” Jaguaribe said.

But he also saw benefits in a strong real. “It has facilitated a tendency which I believe is here to stay, which is increased Brazilian investment abroad, and that level has been raised very significantly. Big Brazilian companies are buying abroad-mining, energy, commodities and a number of other sectors.” Lula, a folksy ex-factory worker with a huge popular appeal, engaged in sometimes controversial foreign policy initiatives from Iran to Haiti and across parts of Africa. He also demanded a bigger voice for developing nations in the global power structure. Jaguaribe, an urbane career diplomat who has served in Washington, Geneva, the United Nations and Brasilia, said he did not expect big changes in foreign policy under Rousseff. “She is certain to have her own views... President Lula is a man who has shown an enormous degree of affinity with foreign policy and interest in international affairs. “I am sure that President Dilma has a high level of interest as well but she is of a different personality, so this might have a bearing, but not on the principles.” Those are rooted in respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, and seeking negotiated solutions to problems. Progress had been made in addressing the global imbalance of power, with the G20 group of nations now an important bloc. “If you don’t have the relevant players and actors, you cannot find a sustainable solution to a problem. Their absence is a direct impediment.” Traditional powers such as the United States should acknowledge the importance of the likes of Brazil and China. “With the difficulties though which the major economies are passing, it has been up to the emerging economies to sustain the level of growth overall and China is playing an increasing role in this respect,” he said. “This is an important change. Now, for the foreseeable future, it is the developing economies which are going to have the greater pull in regard to increasing income in the world.” This should be reflected in the make-up of global institutions, including the UN Security Council, he said. —Reuters

LISBON: Portuguese and Spanish borrowing costs rose sharply yester- there, the interest rate on the government’s 10-year bonds broke day as investors worried that their debt levels will prove unsustain- through the 7 percent barrier in morning trading. The 10-year Spanish able, putting them next in line for a European bailout. As a major pub- bonds rose to 5.08 percent at mid-morning from 4.91 percent at the lic sector strike in Portugal further undermined market confidence start of trading. While both countries are not at any immediate risk of bankruptcy, those rates are making their already heavy debt loads more expensive to finance. The higher cost to roll over debt is eating away at any progress the governments make in their public finances through austerity measures. The yields have been moving higher since Ireland accepted an EU-IMF bailout this week because investors demand a higher return for lending to countries with shaky finances. The market tensions pushed Lisbon’s benchmark stock index, which has witnessed steep drops all week, down another 0.4 percent in early trading before recovering to gain 0.6 percent. Spain’s main index fell 1.1 percent after opening but was flat by late morning. Portugal and Spain are viewed as the 16-nation eurozone’s next weakest links now that Ireland has followed Greece and accepted a massive international rescue. Portugal accounts for less than 2 percent of the euro-zone’s total economy but a potential bailout for Lisbon would add to the pressure on Spain, the European Union’s fourth-largest economy, and entail possibly dramatic repercussions for the entire bloc. The euro dropped to a twoTAGUS: Commuters arrive in Lisbon from across the Tagus river on Tuesday. Workers’ unions have united in month low against the US dollar yesterday on concerns about the a call for a general strike for Nov 24 that is expected to bring public transport to a halt. As the government strugbloc’s financial health. Portugal’s gles to cope with the current international financial crisis discontent with its austerity measures is on the rise minority government has among the Portuguese. —AP repeatedly insisted it doesn’t need financial assistance because its austerity plan will drive down the country’s debt burden. But Eurasia Group, a New York-based research and consulting company, said in a LONDON: Oil edged higher above $81 a the market. Oil, which is a risky asset, $79.50,” MF Global analyst Edward Meir report yesterday that European barrel yesterday, rising from a near should have been under pronounced said in a report. officials don’t expect the euroInvestors are awaiting data from the week’s low in the previous session on pressure given this concern.” Oil has fallzone’s problems to stop at expectations of falling inventories in top en about 8 percent since reaching a 2010 US Energy Information Administration Ireland and that a rescue plan for consumer the United States. high of $88.63 on Nov. 11. Commodities (EIA) due at 1530 GMT, which is expectPortugal could be unveiled by Weekly US government data yester- have been hit by a stronger dollar and ris- ed to indicate higher oil demand. Analysts early next year, when it is due to day is expected to show a drop in crude ing risk aversion, reflecting euro-zone in a Reuters poll expect crude stocks to resume government bond sales. oil inventories, although industry group debt worries and fears of fresh clashes on drop by 2.1 million barrels, extending a “There is a strong presumpfall in stockpiles into a third week. the American Petroleum Institute report- the Korean Peninsula. tion that a package will be neced on Tuesday that crude stocks rose. US The euro fell to its lowest in two However, the API reported on Tuesday essary for Portugal and the crude, also known as WTI, rose 30 cents months against the US dollar yesterday an unexpected 5.2 million-barrel increase related planning is underway,” Eurasia Group said. “Portugal to $81.55 a barrel at 1149 GMT. It fell to as fears debt problems will spread further in crude stocks on rising imports in the will be pressed hard to accept a $80.28 intra-day on Tuesday, the lowest in the euro-zone and tension between the week to Nov 19 — limiting the rebound package even if the Portuguese price since Nov 17. Brent crude was up two Koreas after Tuesday’s artillery in prices. government claims the country “The inventory data from the API yes38 cents at $83.63. clash drove investors to sell the currendoes not need it.” Analysts have terday, and possible negative surprise “The fact that WTI bounced off $80 is cy. estimated Portugal will need at showing that the market sees $80 as One analyst, at MF Global, predicted from the (EIA) today, is also responsible least 50 billion euros ($67 bilbeing really the bottom of the trading the dollar’s rally could go further, weigh- for the not-very-pronounced bounce off lion). range,” said Eugen Weinberg, analyst at ing on oil and pushing it below $80. the lows,” Commerzbank’s Weinberg Spanish Finance Minister Commerzbank. “Further strengthening here could come said. The API said gasoline stocks fell Elena Salgado also insisted yes“The dollar is again stronger against back and knock energy prices with more 499,000 barrels and distillate stocks terday that Spain has no need the euro due to the Ireland problems and authority next time around, possibly tak- dropped 311,000 barrels, smaller declines whatsoever for a bailout like possibly Portugal coming to the focus of ing prices through technical support of than forecast in the poll. —Reuters Greece and Ireland. —AP

Oil rises above $81 before US report


BUSINESS

26

Thursday, November 25, 2010

German business morale jumps to record high BERLIN: German business sentiment rose in November to its strongest level since 1991, a survey showed yesterday, highlighting a rift in the euro zone as the bloc’s largest economy leaves smaller states behind. The Munich-based Ifo think tank said its business climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, rose to 109.3 from an upwardly revised reading of 107.7 in October, confounding expectations for a slight fall. “The numbers confirm that the German economy is in very healthy shape and that it will probably continue to grow solidly and at a rate above the euro-zone average in the coming quarters,” said Aline Schuiling from ABN Amro.

The euro rose after the release of the data-which beat even the highest forecast in a Reuters poll of 40 economists-before giving up its gains and falling. With both the current conditions and the business expectations indexes in the survey surpassing the consensus view, the headline figure landed at its highest level since survey data was first collected for a reunified Germany. The business expectations index, which measures the outlook six months down the road, also hit its highest reading on record, further reinforcing the impression Germany was in the clear of problems affecting some of its euro-zone partners. “The German economy is returning much faster to

its pre-crisis level than many had expected,” said Carsten Brzeski, economist at ING Financial Markets. “Amidst new financial market turmoil and sovereign debt woes in the euro-zone, the German economy seems to be an island of happiness,” he added. Germany’s strong recovery has helped pull the eurozone to improved growth in recent quarters, but there are also concerns it may be leaving other struggling economies behind. A purchasing managers’ survey on Tuesday showed a strong resurgence in private sector growth in Germany and France, offset continuing stagnation in countries like Portugal, Ireland and Spain which are battling debt and banking troubles.

Despite concerns that budget cutbacks across Europe next year will hamper growth, many German companies are upbeat.Earlier this month, engineering group Siemens signalled its confidence with a proposed sharp rise in dividends and a promise of profit growth driven by emerging markets. “We have seen for the first time a growth across our product range, driven particularly by the strong growth we have seen in emerging economies,” Chief Executive Peter Loescher said of Siemens’ fourth quarter, which runs to September 2010. German exporters’ strength in emerging markets is helping the economy grow. Detailed third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data released on

Tuesday also showed a more balanced recovery taking hold, with steady growth in private consumption. The robust German recovery contrasts with the financial crisis being endured in euro zone peer Ireland. The crisis is frustrating policymakers in Germany, which has profited strongly from the euro zone project. Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday the euro was in an “exceptionally serious” situation, sending the euro lower. Ifo Economist Klaus Abberger said that German companies were not being affected by Europe’s debt woes because the countries worst affected were not among Germany’s main export markets.“It hasn’t affected business up till now,” he said. — Reuters

Net trade outflows grow

British Q3 GDP unrevised; spending picture cloudy LONDON: Brita in’s economy grew 0.8 percent in the third quarter, data confirmed yesterda y boosted by net trade outflow s, but w ea kness in household and government spending highlighted risks a head. The Office for National Sta tistics said its second estima te of grow th While the figures may reassure policymakers that a period of depreciation of the pound is helping to rebalance the economy, the recovery still faces headwinds from deep government spending cuts that will start to bite from next year. “There’s a bit of a disappointment with consumption, which may be a worrying prelude of what is to come,” said Brian Hilliard, economist at Societe Generale. New figures on expenditure showed household spending growth slowed to 0.3 percent from 0.7 percent in the second quarter, while government

betw een July a nd September also confirmed the economy expa nded by 2.8 percent compa red w ith a yea r ago, in line w ith a nalysts’ foreca sts. Net trade contributed 0.4 percentage points to grow th, the most since the end of 2008, a s exports grew faster than imports.

spending grew by just 0.4 percent, less than half the pace of the second quarter. But markets took the data in their stride as it did not alter the view that the Bank of England will keep interest rates at a record low of 0.5 percent for many months to come to shore up the recovery. The government plans to slash spending by around 81 billion pounds over the next four years, with the loss of almost half a million public sector jobs. Welfare payments are also set to fall, while a rise in value added tax from January will put further pressure on household finances.

Analysts said they doubted the private sector would be able to make up the shortfall left by public spending cuts, after separate figures yesterday showed business investment fell 0.2 percent — the first decline in almost a year. It is also uncertain how well export demand will hold up, given the financial turmoil in parts of Europe, which is Britain’s biggest trading partner. “As the global economy slows, and the troubles in the euro area continue, the UK’s ability to export its way out of the recession remains in doubt,” said Hetal Mehta, economist at Daiwa Capital Markets. — Reuters

Ecuador signs new oil deals, Petrobras balks

SEOUL: Currency traders monitor exchange rates in a dealing room at the Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul yesterday. South Korea’s stock market opened sharply lower, down 2.33 percent or 45.02 points, a day after North Korea shelled a border island in an attack that has triggered alarm around the world. The won opened at a two-month low of 1,175 to the US dollar on concerns about North Korea. — AFP

Cotton, factory pay to challenge Euro retailers LONDON: Soaring cotton prices and higher wage deals in producer countries will challenge the ability of European retailers to push through costs to cashstrapped consumers in their home markets, potentially hurting margins. Cotton is at a record high and workers in countries such as Bangladesh and China, major suppliers to the West, won bumper wage increases after strikes and political pressure-a double hit for retailers reliant on price-conscious European shoppers. Those input costs will affect firms across the region, from giants such as Inditex and Hennes & Mauritz to smaller firms such as Primark, although the manner in which they are pushed through-or not-will vary, said analysts. “Pressure is coming from raw materials and labor costs, particularly those in emerging markets,” Matthias Born, an RCM fund manager at Allianz Global Investors, said. Those sectors unable to tap into emerging markets growth end up losers because they “ultimately have margin squeeze,” said Mislav Matejka, equity strategist at JP Morgan, citing firms where “a significant proportion of the cost of goods sold is exposed to cotton or other commodity prices”. “For 20 years, clothes prices have come down and the volume was there. Now, with a relatively weak consumer environment and difficult labor market, they may need to reduce margins to protect market share,” he added. That wage pressure was seen in low-single-digit rises in state-owned Chinese firms, 5-10 percent in some German-owned firms and double-digit rises at outsourcing sites that produce IT or apparel for western firms, Born said. Wage awards differ from factory to factory, but rises of 9 percent to 10 percent a year are expected over the next two years, a garment factory manager in Guangdong, China, told Reuters on condition of anonymity. While Chinese workers have been particularly active in pushing for higher minimum wages in 2010, with support from Beijing, the pressure has spilled into other clothes-producing centres such as Bangladesh and Cambodia. Workers in Cambodia walked out in September over their demands for a 50 percent rise in basic pay, while Dhaka nearly doubled the Bangladesh minimum wage, although from a much lower base than for workers in China. That wage pressure comes on top of a surging cotton price which has risen 70 percent this year and recently hit a record high on trade and fund buying, with further pressure from Chinese demand seen next year. Adding to retailer woes is the subdued economic outlook in Europe. Recent euro zone data showed economic growth of 0.4 percent in the third quarter, against

0.8 percent in Britain and 9.6 percent in China. Higher input costs do not equate to margin squeeze, if they are passed on. But with consumers more price consciousUK CPI rose to 3.5 percent in October-firms may decide to take a margin hit to preserve market share. Primark owner Associated British Foods recently said the sharp rise in cotton prices would likely hit margins at its discount fashion chain in the short term. Next said retail prices would rise 5 percent to 8 percent in the first quarter of next year and that consumers faced double-digit increases in the year as a whole, while Inditex executives have said prices will be stable in 2011. The extent to which firms pass on costs, risking a loss of market share, or suck them up, with the potential for margin squeeze, will become more apparent as the year goes on, a London-based analyst said. Gross margins for Inditex and H&M stand at 58.9 percent and 66.5 percent, respectively, Thomson Reuters Starmine data shows, just above their five-year averages. H&M spokeswoman Charlotta Nemlin acknowledged the increases in cotton and wage costs-especially as it sources two-thirds of its production from Asia-and, while refusing to comment on pricing strategy, said gross margin was “not a goal in itself”. Tactics open to retailers, other than price rises, include changing pack sizes-four pairs of knickers for five pounds, instead of four, for example-or increasing the amount of cheaper, man-made fibres in the products. The extent to which European firms are reliant on an Asian manufacturing base also differs and for those like Inditex, that produce a lot of garments in Europe, the impact is reduced. Barcap analysts Karen Howland and Chris Chaviaras expect Inditex to positively surprise in its third-quarter results, boosted by a relative lack of exposure to Asia. An Inditex spokesman said the firm sources more than 50 percent of its materials from Spain, Portugal and Morocco, with a further 14 percent from elsewhere in Europe. It tends to be the exception, however, especially at the cheaper end of the spectrum. French supermarket chain Carrefour said 86 percent of its 300 clothing suppliers are based in Asia, mostly China. Other big users of cotton, such as Kingfisher, Europe’s No. 1 home improvements retailer, have looked to protect margins by pooling buying power from their different businesses and buying in even bigger bulk from suppliers. While wages and cotton prices prove a drag it is not all doom and gloom, with respite seen recently in the form of global freight rates and the U.S. dollar, in which cotton is priced. —Reuters

QUITO: Five oil companies operating in Ecuador agreed to new service deals yesterday, leaving Brazil’s Petrobras as the only large operator to reject contracts aimed at increasing state petroleum revenues. The leftist government of Rafael Correa will hail the two-year-long negotiations as a victory for its resource nationalism policy, though some analysts say the saga could have a dampening effect on much-needed foreign investment. Chile’s state-owned energy company ENAP, Spain’s Repsol, Italy’s Eni and Chinese operators Andes Petroleum and PetroOriental all agreed to contracts that will turn the companies into flat-fee service providers. The pacts replace previous profit-sharing agreements. Wilson Pastor, Ecuador’s minister for oil policy, said Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras declined to sign. It will be paid “market prices” for its assets in Ecuador, Pastor said, and has 120 days to turn its operations over to the state. “We will a seek an orderly transfer, at a fair price,” he said, adding that the companies that signed the new pacts will invest $1.2 billion in Ecuador under the deals. The new contracts are key to Correa’s agenda as he seeks to increase state revenue after a 2008 bond default that restricted Ecuador’s access to international capital markets. Repsol, with 41,800 barrels per day of production in Ecuador, is by far the biggest private operator in the country. Under its new contract it will receive a $35.95 per-barrel fee from the government. The other four companies that reached agreements on Tuesday will be paid from $16.72 to $41 per barrel. “I can say with satisfaction that all the goals and objectives that the government had for this negotiation have been reached,” said Jorge Glas, Ecuador’s strategic sectors minister. Petrobras’ Ecuadorean unit has output of around 19,300 barrels per day (bpd) from its Block 18 in the Amazon province of Orellana. The operation represents a tiny amount of the overall output of Petrobras, which produces nearly 2 million barrels of crude per day in Brazil. Taking over Petrobras’ fields will increase the burden on state oil company Petroecuador to maintain crude exports by Ecuador, an OPEC member, which have lagged those of more investor-friendly countries such as neighboring Colombia. Producers with small fields in Ecuador-such as Canada Grande, US company EDC and China’s CNPC-will also be paid for their investments and leave the country. Tuesday’s result was better for the government than some had expected after Correa warned over the weekend that a pair of companies would not sign the new accords. But some said Ecuador was paying a high price for the tough stand it has taken with the private sector. “This has been a pyrrhic victory,” said Ramiro Crespo, head of Analytica Securities in Quito. “The cost has been too high. Private companies have not been investing in Ecuador because of the uncertainty about these contracts, and private oil production has fallen as a result,” he said. Exports from private operators sank 27.6 percent last year to 98,869 bpd versus 2008 while companies haggled with the government over the new deals. Private crude output fell 14.4 percent last year versus 2008 to 204,511 bpd. Correa, who is part of a regional bloc of leftist leaders including Venezuela’s firebrand socialist Hugo Chavez, has had a fractious relationship with foreign investors. In 2008 he ordered the default on Ecuador’s global bonds, calling the obligations illegitimate. Since then Ecuador has made up for its lack of private foreign investment through bilateral loans, mostly from China. Last year Ecuador took over the local operations of French oil producer Perenco following a tax dispute. — Reuters

ATEHNS: A man looks at anchored ferries in the main Athens port of Piraeus yesterday due to a 48-hour strike by maritime workers. Ferry services to the Greek islands will be paralyzed until tomorrow as unions extended a strike against job cuts in a fresh blow to the country’s key tourism sector. — AFP

Russia may sell control in major state firms: Kudrin MOSCOW: Russia may sell controlling stakes in several top state companies in three years, cutting its participation to 25 percent, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said yesterday. The Russian government has recently announced a new privatization drive that could see stakes in some of the country’s top state-controlled companies sold off for as much as 58 billion dollars in all. The plan lists privatization through the next three years and includes selling stakes of up to 50 percent in some of the country’s largest state companies, including Rosneft, the Rushydro power generator, the Sberbank and VTB banks, and Russian Railways. After the first three-year stage, “it’s possible that we will decrease most of the stakes to 25 percent plus one share,” RIA Novosti quoted Kudrin as saying at a forum in Moscow. “Depending on how we manage through these three years, we’ll go further,” Kudrin said. “We want to make money from selling control” in these companies.

Until then, the state will retain stakes of 50 percent plus one share in its most important assets, said Kudrin. A total of 900 firms are in the privatization program. Russia largely halted privatization after a chaotic sell-off of state-owned resources of the 1990s that critics say handed over large swathes of its huge natural wealth to a clique of insiders at knock-down prices. But the government has now been forced to reverse this strategy due to the impact of the economic crisis, which plunged the budget into deficit. The Vedomosti business daily said yesterday the government is also considering swapping stakes in the Rosneft oil company and Russian Railways with foreign companies as a form of “flexible privatization.” “Some of the shares would not be put onto the market but exchanged for shares of other companies, primarily foreign ones,” the news paper quoted a government official as saying. Such an approach would attract strategic investors and decrease government ownership at the same time, he said. — AFP

SAN FRANCISCO: People stop to look at a window display at Macy’s in Union Square on Tuesday in San Francisco, California. The Commerce Department reported that the economy expanded in the July through September quarter at a 2.5 percent annual rate, beating an estimated 2 percent pace. — AFP

Hampson Inds eyes asset sales as H1 profit falls LONDON: British aero engineer Hampson Industries may sell parts of its business to reduce its growing debt pile after firsthalf profit was dented by delays to key orders. The company, which supplies tools and components to planemakers Airbus and Boeing, as well as defense firms, said yesterday it was examining ways to raise cash and that asset sales were among the options. “We’re at the stage of identifying a buyer for some assets that is willing to find the right price,” Hampson’s Chief Executive Norman Jordan told Reuters in an interview. “I believe our core strategy is good and our core strategy is built around tooling and composites, so you can draw some conclusions from there.” The company is formed of an aerospace components and structures business and a composites and transparencies division. Hampson, the largest manufacturer of composite tooling and assembly systems for the global aerospace industry, said its net debt had grown 6.7 million pounds to 89 million pounds ($140.8 million) since its previous year-end in March. The group, which recently renegotiated its borrowing covenants, has cut its debt by more than a third over the last year, helped by operational improvements and by selling its automotive turbocharger business. Shares in Hampson, which

have halved in value this year, were down 10 percent at 86 pence by 0940 GMT, valuing the company at around 80 million pounds. “We are reducing our profit estimates for the second half of 2011 and 2012 ... with debt reduction a major priority-in spite of a relaxation of debt covenants to allow for investment in the new contracts-the interim dividend has been passed and we currently assume that there will be no final payment either, before resumption in 2012,” said Arbuthnot analyst Michael Blogg. Hampson reported adjusted pretax profit fell 64 percent to 4.4 million pounds in the six months to the end of September, hit by delays to key orders. Revenues rose 4 percent to 96.1 million pounds. Earlier this year Hampson warned its annual profit would be hit by delays to orders from the United States but a month later it was awarded a $53 million tooling contract, believed to have come from Boeing. It added that trading conditions had continued to improve since its year end in March, thanks to a rebound in tooling demand, which occurred later than it had previously expected. Earlier this month UK aerospace electronics group Cobham said continued delays in the award of US defense contracts would dent full-year sales. — Reuters


TECHNOLOGY

Thursday, November 25, 2010

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Google kickstarts its own real estate boom Google’s headquarters to be ‘nurturing, regenerative’ SAN JOSE: Google’s aggressive online growth increasingly has a counterpart in bricks and mortar, with the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters mushrooming over the past four years to occupy more than 4 million square feet, or the equivalent of about 40 Home Depot stores. But that’s just

TOKYO: A woman puts on special glasses as Japanese electronics venture Hibino and Victor Company Japan (JVC) unveil a 280-inch sized 3D LED display called the “Chroma LED 3D”, measuring 6.1m x 3.5m. The large 3D display, using JVC technology for 2D to 3D conversion, was developed for digital signage and public viewing. —AFP

Online game rivals settle suit over stolen secrets SAN FRANCISCO: Online social networking game king Zynga yesterday said a settlement was reached with a rival accused of stealing its secrets and coaxing employees to betrayal. Zynga and Playdom did not reveal details of the deal struck to end a lawsuit filed in September of last year in a state court near Playdom’s headquarters in the northern California city of Mountain View. “Zynga is extremely pleased with the final resolution of its trade secret suit against Playdom and various individuals,” said Zynga general counsel Reggie Davis. “We have great respect for Disney and are thankful that following its acquisition of Playdom, Disney resolved the matter to our satisfaction,” Davis said. The Walt Disney Co. announced in July that it was buying Playdom in

a deal worth up to 763 million dollars. Disney said Playdom shareholders will receive up to 563.2 million dollars and performance-linked bonuses of up to 200 million dollars. Playdom is the developer of popular online games such as “Social City,” “Sorority Life,” “Market Street” and “Bola” and claims some 42 million active players a month on social networks such as Facebook and MySpace. Playdom’s chief rival in the fast-growing social games space is Zynga. Zynga claims more than 230 million monthly active users of its games, which include “FarmVille,” “Mafia Wars” and “Treasure Isle.” The legal settlement “reflects the very serious nature of the conduct involved,” according to Davis. —AFP

MEXICO: President of Microsoft Latin America, Hernan Rincon, shows a new Windows Phone 7, during an interview yesterday. —AFP

4G cellular networks: Are they over-hyped? If today’s fastest smart phones deliver e-mails and Web pages with the speed of a thoroughbred racehorse, then the next generation of phones - now rolling onto the runway - may feel like jet planes. Powered by souped-up 4G networks (that’s fourth generation), new smart phones will be more like mobile entertainment centers, allowing users to watch live, high-definition TV broadcasts, download entire movies in seconds and make smooth, uninterrupted video phone calls from street corners and hilltops alike. But don’t burst into song quite yet: For all their high-flying potential, 4G networks are still a long way from taking off. All four major cellular providers have been touting the speed and possibility of 4G, but the number of consumers these embryonic networks now reach is limited, and only a few early handsets are on the market. It could be a year or more before the technology is widely available. Sprint Nextel Corp has an early lead in the 4G race, having turned on its new networks in a few dozen smaller cities this year. The company plans to bring 4G capability to parts of Los Angeles on Dec 1, and San Francisco a few weeks after. Sprint’s network, based on a technology called WiMax, will offer users average download speeds of about 3 to 6 megabits per second - roughly four times what most 3G users get now. At

those speeds, users could download an entire song in about 10 seconds. But Sprint’s 4G network will cover only a fraction of the users that it serves with its current 3G system. The company says if you’re looking to upgrade, you should first consult online maps to see whether your home or office is covered. If it isn’t, you might end up with a flashy 4G phone that’s getting the same old 3G speeds. Building the networks has been slow and costly for all of the major providers, which have spent billions retrofitting cell towers across the country, replacing older copper wiring with fiberoptic cable capable of carrying thousands of times more data. “I’ve never seen a network undertaking that’s as intensive as this, including the building of the original cellular network,” said Andy Shibley, AT&T’s vice president and general manager for the Los Angeles area, noting that the company has spent close to $40 billion building its network over the past two years - including upgrading tens of thousands of cell sites across the US. “When you start dealing with that many zeros, that’s a giant undertaking,” Shibley said. At a new Verizon Wireless switching center in Los Angeles last month, Jim Harper, a senior technician, walked down rows lined with dozens of black metal cabinets containing hundreds of circuit boards that process mil-

lions of calls and data requests every day. Harper stopped at a lone white cabinet, about the size of a gym locker. It was a 4G server that could handle as much call traffic as fifty of the black 3G cabinets. Verizon’s version of 4G, it says, will allow speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second - more than twice as fast as Sprint’s on the high end. “The pace that the technology moves is just exploding,” Harper said. Yet as powerful as the forthcoming technology may be, the white cabinet was still the only one in the room - a sign that Verizon is still in the early days of building its network. Verizon Wireless hasn’t turned on 4G yet. It will begin to flip the switch in about 30 US cities this year, initially offering 4G service only to wireless accessories for laptops. Its 4G smart phones won’t come out until sometime in the middle of 2011 (Verizon declined to say if whether that would include Apple Inc’s iPhone), and as far as size, its 4G network won’t catch up to its existing 3G footprint until 2013. In the meantime, if you are wondering exactly what 4G means, you’re not alone. The technical definition of 4G is set by a United Nations standards body. It has to do with the specific way data are moved around and was created to achieve mobile broadband close to 100 times faster than what is available today. —MCT

While other tech giants also occupy vast amounts of real estate, Google is growing in a way that is distinct, remaking its surroundings according to its own values. In addition to buying and leasing buildings and squeezing out some of its neighbors, it is prodding the city of Mountain View to transform the area around its headquarters, adding housing and retail to create an environment more like a town center. The company’s goals are to build a headquarters that would be “nurturing and regenerative to the environment, provide a vibrant community and work/life balance for all,” Google real estate chief David Radcliffe wrote in a letter to city officials earlier this year. City officials say they are considering where housing could be built and how much of it is needed as part of the new citywide general plan. The City Council could endorse basic concepts for that plan this month. “I don’t want to say it’s the new company town,” Gregory M Davies, a vice president with commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley CPS, said of Google’s role, “but it’s not far from it.” In the past five years, as Google’s global work force has expanded by sevenfold to more than 23,000 employees, the Internet giant’s Mountain View holdings have grown to at least 4.2 million square feet and include more than 65 buildings, according to the company’s securities filings and county tax assessment data analyzed by the San Jose Mercury News. That is more than double the amount of space Google owned or leased in 2005. Google strives to keep its real estate plans under wraps. The company does not disclose the number of workers it has in Mountain View, and a Google spokesman also declined to discuss the size of the company’s local real estate holdings. But given a commercial real estate benchmark of 200 to 250 square feet per worker, the company’s Mountain View domain now likely accommodates 17,000 workers or more. Documents detailing the NASA project, made available under the federal Freedom of Information law, have been redacted to remove details such as how many Googlers would live and work at its Ames Research Center. Google’s hiring boom this year - its total employee head count is up 18 percent since January - has coincided with the company’s return to “an opportunistic expansion mode” in real estate several months ago, said Davies, an expert on the North Bayshore area, the section of Mountain View where Google’s buildings are concentrated. Google is not acquiring “every building that becomes available, but if it makes sense on a case-bycase basis, they are buying or leasing space.” Google first made the list of Santa Clara County’s top 25 “business personal property” taxpayers in 2005, when it ranked 21st. Google is now fourth, trailing only Cisco Systems, Lockheed and Intel in the value of its business equipment such as computers and furniture. “Both their growth and their impact on the high-tech community is really unprecedented, in recent years at least,” County Assessor Larry Stone said. “It reminds me of Apple in the ‘80s, and eBay and Yahoo in the ‘90s, in terms of their success.” Google doesn’t yet rank among the county’s top 10 real estate taxpayers, but Stone said business personal property may be a better measure for a company like Google that leases large blocs of space. Google reported in an SEC filing in February that it leased 1.6 million square feet of space in Mountain View, and owned an additional 2.6 million square feet. Other businesses feel pressured by Google’s expansion, like Colin McDowell’s McDSP, a tiny atoll bobbing in the Googley ocean. McDSP’s 1,682-square-foot office is now the only non-Google space in 1300 Crittenden Lane, a 115,000-square-foot building that Google bought in 2006 as part of a $319 million deal that also included the core Googleplex. McDowell, the CEO of the sixperson audio technology company, has a lease through 2014, but Google wants him out now. McDowell hasn’t wanted to move, saying the rent is good and the offices are close to Shoreline Amphitheatre, where professional musicians frequently need McDSP’s services on short notice. —MCT

a start. On Silicon Valley’s NASA base, Google is preparing to build a new corporate campus with fitness and day care facilities and - in a first in Silicon Valley - employee housing, adding 1.2 million square feet of space to Google’s real estate holdings.

MOUNTAIN VIEW: Colin McDowell is photographed in front of the directory of his office building. —MCT

Gift ideas for tech fans WASHINGTON: Tech gifts are among the easiest to buy - and the most appreciated. The only trouble is finding the perfect one, but never fear: Use the ideas here to match your expertise and budget with the wants or needs of those on your gift list. eBook reader eBooks have matured. And thanks to Amazon’s new Kindle, e-readers have as well. For the book lover on your gift-giving list, there’s never been a better time to introduce the wide world of ebooks. The Kindle come in two affordable flavors - a 139 dollar version that offers downloading of books via any WiFi hotspot or a 189 dollar version that tacks on 3G connectivity. The less expensive version is probably sufficient for most. With either model, literally hundreds of books can be stored on the Kindle’s internal memory before your gift recipient leaves home, so connectivity of either type is probably not critical. If you like the idea of an eReader but want to steer clear of Amazon, try Sony’s Digital Reader, which retails for slightly more than the Kindle but reads PDF files natively, which is a boon to those who like to download free PDFs and read them immediately.

Smartphone accessories If there’s a smartphone or cell phone addict on your gift giving list, you’re in luck. The accessory market for these portable devices is chock full items. Extra smartphone or cell phone batteries are always appreciated - and something that phone users rarely purchase for themselves. Car chargers, USB chargers, and additional electric chargers can come in handy as well. For device protection, think custom sleeves or special carrying cases. And for those who need or want to talk without holding the phone, look at Bluetooth headsets. Of course, before you get any of these items, be sure you know the make and model of the phone of your recipient, and then simply visit a local phone store. Apple devices The ultimate tech gift this year may very well be an iPad, the reading and computing tablet that caught everyone’s attention upon its release earlier this year. At 499 dollars, it’s pricey, however, so it’s clearly a gift idea for someone special. Apple offers so many indemand mobile gadgets, though, that you don’t need to spend a lot to give someone a hip tech toy. The iPod Shuffle music player is

no bigger than a pack of matches and costs about 49 dollars. You’ll find more musical prowess - and the ability to play other types of media - in the larger and more expensive iPod Nano, iPod Touch, and iPod Classic, which range in price from 149 to 249 dollars. Finally, the ultimate in smartphones may very well be the Apple iPhone, if it’s not cost-prohibitive. For those on your list that already have an Apple gadget, consider any of a range of accessories: better ear buds or headphones, a docking station, carrying case, additional charger or battery, or remote control. The Apple online store contains them all, of course, and can help you generate more ideas. Storage Some gifts are chic or trendy. Others are just useful. Storage devices fall into the latter category. But since more storage space is something that almost any technology fan needs, gifts of this type are sure to be useful. For inexpensive storage gifts, consider a USB flash drive. Look at sizes of 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes (GB) so that they hold enough data to make them worth carrying or using. Prices range from 20 to 90 dollars, depending upon size. If you have a

tech buff on your gift-giving list who, like many, does not back up his or her data often or at all, look at one of the one-button external backup drives on the market such as the Western Digital Elements or Seagate FreeAgent. Drives in the 1 terabyte (TB) range hold a lot but won’t set you back more than 70 dollars or so. Speakers Desktop or notebook computer users who are making do with the sub- par sound system that comes standard with most computers these days will delight in a decent set of speakers. And for gift givers, the good news is that there are plenty of outstanding speaker systems on the market that don’t cost a lot. For notebook users, there are a range of tiny but fullsounding USB speakers small enough to go on the road with your gift recipient. Look at Logitech’s V10 or V20 model or HP’s USB Mini Speakers. Prices range from 20 to 50 dollars. You can delight the desktop user on your gift list with such highly rated models as Harman Kardon SoundSticks II, the Altec Lansing Expressionist line, Klipsch’s ProMedia, or the Razer Mako speakers. Good desktop speakers start at around 80 to 120 dollars. —dpa

Facebook makes people more social NEW YORK: Contrary to common belief social media websites such as Facebook do not weaken personal ties, they strengthen them in unique ways for different age groups, according to a new study. The rapid spread of Facebook, which has more than 500 million users worldwide, has prompted concerns about its negative effects,

but researchers at the University of Texas have reached a different conclusion. “Our findings suggest that Facebook is not supplanting face-to-face interactions between friends, family and colleagues,” said S. Craig Watkins, an associate professor of radio, TV and film who headed the research team.

“In fact, we believe there is sufficient evidence that social media afford opportunities for new expressions of friendship, intimacy and community.” The researchers questioned 900 college students and recent graduates about how and with whom they interact on Facebook. More than 60 percent of Facebook users said posting

status updates was among the most popular activities, followed by 60 percent who wrote comments on their profile and 49 percent who posted messages and comments to friends. The researchers also found that although about the same number of men and women use Facebook, they do so in different ways. “There is a noteworthy difference in orientation in how to use a tool like Facebook. We found that for women the content tends to be more affectionate, and (they) are especially interested in using it for connection,” said Watkins. “For men, it’s more functional,” he added. Watkins pointed out that, for example, women are more likely to post pictures of social gatherings with friends, while men are more likely to post pictures of hobbies, or post a political or pop-culture related link. He added that increased use of Facebook brings additional challenges as young adults are forced to adapt their Facebook behavior to an increasingly large social circle. “Facebook brings all our different networks and social scenes together. We present ourselves in different ways, whether to friends, co-workers, or family,” he said. “Facebook engagement is not uniform. It’s constantly evolving and in a state of flux, and that presents a challenge.” —Reuters


HEALTH & SCIENCE

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

3 big developments make AIDS outlook more hopeful New daily pill to protect against HIV In the nearly 30 years the AIDS epidemic has raged, there has never been a more hopeful day than this. Three striking developments took place Tuesday: UN officials said new HIV cases are dropping dramatically worldwide. A study showed that a daily pill already on pharmacy shelves could help prevent new infections in gay men. And the pope opened the way for the use of condoms to prevent AIDS. “I don’t know of a day where so many pieces are beginning to align for HIV prevention and treatment, and frankly with a view

WUHAN: In this photo, young tigers try to capture a chicken at the Jiufeng Forest Zoo. —AP

Focus on India as world convenes to save tigers SAINT PETERSBURG: As Russia hosts an unprecedented summit on saving the wild tiger, much of the attention is focusing on India, home to nearly half of the big cats but also a leading centre for poaching. Experts here said that despite positive steps, India is struggling to deal with poaching, with poor villagers willing to kill and sell tigers for just 100 dollars and the rangers charged with protecting the animals under-paid and poorly equipped. “Poaching is the major threat, number two is habitat destruction,” said Satya Prakash Yadav, an official with India’s environment ministry taking part in the summit of 13 nations in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. India is home to 1,411 tigers of the estimated 3,200 still living in the wild but also to 54 percent of poaching and trafficking cases. According to a recent report by the Traffic International non-governmental organization, more than 1,000 tigers have been killed in the last decade in Asia. “People living around the tiger reserves are always poor and if you come offering them a big price for the tigers they will take it,” said Sejal Worah, the director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Indian branch. “The poacher gets only 100 dollars but the price of all the parts could be a 100 or 200 times more than that.” Much of the poaching is fuelled by demand for tiger parts in Thailand, where there are far fewer of the wild cats, she said. Good laws are in place to protect tigers in India, but enforcement has been lax, said Vivek Menon, the director for Southeast Asia for the International Fund for Animal Protection (IFAW), which has trained more than 7,000 rangers in India, a third of the country’s antipoaching force. “We have seven years in prison, not fines, if you kill a tiger.... What more do you want? India has very good laws. But the problem is the implementation in such a big country,” he said.

“For many years, nobody went to jail. Before, the judiciary never convicted. That has changed in the last five-six years and this is a good step.” India’s federal government launched a tiger protection program in 2007 with several million dollars allocated to urgent measures to cut down on poaching. Among other efforts, the government recently began hiring retired soldiers to work on tiger reserves. But Worah said the rangers are working in difficult conditions, hampering their efforts. “It’s difficult and thankless work,” she said. “Often they are not paid for months and they are badly equipped. Sometimes they don’t even have boots or raincoats.” Another effort has seen Indian authorities displace villages located in reserves to install tigers in the area. India is expected to commit during the summit to creating protected zones for tigers free of infrastructure, roads and people-a move that is likely to engender controversy. “In a country like India it is difficult to reserve a zone and to say this is only for tigers and not for anything or anyone else. We don’t have the kind of space that Russia has,” Worah said. “Social problems are competing with the tigers. It is a fight every day. But it is not a fight we are losing. We make two steps forward for every step back,” Menon said. Animal-rights groups say the tiger population in India has fallen from 5,000 to fewer than 2,000 in the last five years, despite the allocation of 32,000 square kilometers (12,800 square miles) of sanctuary space. Still, experts said India has scored some successes in its efforts to save the tiger and they hope the country is on the right track. “Many of the success stories we talked about even here at the summit are from India,” Worah said. “India is not a bad example, it’s just a realistic example,” Menon said. —AFP

Animal CSI: Vets investigate crimes GAINESVILLE: When US federal investigators working the Michael Vick dogfighting case needed someone to dig up and analyze the remains of eight pit bulls buried on the football star’s Virginia property, they summoned Melinda Merck. The nation’s top forensic veterinarian, Merck was one of the few specialists trained in processing crime scenes involving animals. Her job at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals involves helping prosecutors build court cases, and she saw there weren’t nearly enough vets and other professionals with those skills. The 46-year-old Merck is trying to change that, co-founding a first-of-its-kind veterinary forensic science training program at the University of Florida. She and scientists from the university’s renowned human forensics lab are

sharing their expertise with animal-cruelty investigators, police and veterinarians who come from around the world. In a nod to the popular TV shows, it’s already being called “Animal CSI.” Demand for forensic veterinarians has been growing as many states have toughened their animal cruelty laws. And law enforcement agencies nationwide have increasingly recognized that those who abuse animals are likely to eventually commit crimes against people. Hands-on seminars teach participants crime-scene processing and the preservation of evidence in cases of animal abuse and neglect such as those involving puppy mills, dogfighting and animal hoarding. Elements include exhuming remains, analyzing hair, fibers and blood splatter, and even how insect life cycles and plant growth can yield clues about

GAINESVILLE: In this photo, a femur bone from a cat has been marked as evidence at a crime scene staged for a veterinary forensics exercise at the University of Florida. —AP

an animal’s death. “With animal cruelty, there are usually no witnesses - or reluctant witnesses and certainly the victims can’t testify, even if they’re alive,” Merck said. “So they’re always evidencebased cases.” A partnership between the ASPCA and the university’s William R Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, the program has already trained around 200 people, mostly through two-and three-day sessions. A certification program in the subject for the university students is in the works. On a warm afternoon deep in a forest near Gainesville, teams of six are sifting through cordoned-off “crimes scenes,” seeking evidence of buried animal remains. Each group has a scenario - for instance, one is investigating ritualistic animal sacrifice; others are looking into cases of animals being shot, strangled and stabbed by abusers. The students processed the carefully staged scenes, learning to build a criminal case that will stand up in court. “We all get abuse or suspected abuse cases,” says Cheryl Clark of San Diego, a veterinarian for more than three decades who took meticulous notes as her group unearthed shreds of potential evidence at their site. “At this point in my career, I want to get some more precise knowledge to help other professional veterinarians. I want to help animals on a more global scale, so I think the way to do it is prosecute abusers and try to get laws changed and improved.” Others sweating in the woods included ASPCA field investigators, American Humane Association disaster-response team members and animal docs like Clark. Coincidentally, the session was cut short for one team of ASPCA investigators they had to pick up and travel to a southern Pennsylvania farm where 925 pigs were found dead from suspected neglect. —AP

“We can say with confidence and conviction that we have broken the trajectory of the AIDS pandemic,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe in Geneva. Health officials credit part of the decline to wider condom use, and on Tuesday, in a historic shift in church teachings, the Vatican said that using a condom is a lesser evil than infecting a sexual partner with HIV. Condoms remain the best weapon against AIDS, and the new prevention pill is not the chemical equivalent. But scientists called it a true breakthrough. The pill, Gilead Science’s Truvada, is already used to treat people with HIV. A three-year global study found that daily doses cut the risk of infection in healthy gay and bisexual men when given with condoms, counseling and other prevention services. The drug lowered the chances of infection by 44 percent, and by 73 percent or more among men who took their pills most faithfully. Researchers had feared the pills might give a false sense of security and make men less likely to use condoms or to limit their partners, but the opposite happened - risky sex declined. The results are “a major advance” that can help curb the epidemic in gay men, said Dr Kevin Fenton, AIDS prevention chief at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But he warned they may not apply to people exposed to HIV through male-female sex, drug use or other ways. Studies in those groups are under way. Because Truvada is already on the market, the CDC is rushing to develop guidelines for doctors who want to use it to prevent HIV, and urged people to wait until those are ready. As a practical matter, price could limit use. The pills cost $5,000 to $14,000 a year in the United States, but roughly $140 a year in some poor countries where they are sold in generic form. Whether insurers or government health programs should pay for them is one of the tough issues to be sorted out, said Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This is an exciting finding,” but it “is only one study in one specific study population,” so its impact on others is unknown, Fauci said. His institute sponsored the study with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings were published online by the New England Journal of Medicine. It is the third AIDS prevention victory in about a year. In September 2009, scientists announced that a vaccine they are now trying to improve protected 1 in 3 people from getting HIV in a study in Thailand. In July, research in South Africa showed that a vaginal gel spiked with an AIDS drug could cut nearly in half a woman’s chances of getting HIV from an infected partner. Gay and bisexual men account for nearly half of the more than 1 million Americans living with HIV. Worldwide, more than 7,000 new infections occur each day. Only 5 to 10 percent of global cases involve sex between men. “The condom is still the first line of defense,” because it also prevents other sexually spread diseases and unwanted pregnancies, said the study leader, Dr Robert M Grant of the Gladstone Institutes, a private foundation affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco. But many men don’t or won’t use condoms all the time, so researchers have been testing other prevention tools. AIDS drugs already are used to prevent infection in health care workers accidentally exposed to HIV, and in babies born to infected mothers. Taking these drugs before exposure to the virus may keep it from taking hold, just as taking malaria pills in advance can prevent that disease when someone is bitten by an infected mosquito. The strategy showed great promise in monkey studies using tenofovir (brand name Viread) and emtricitabine, or FTC (Emtriva), sold in combination as Truvada by California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. The company donated Truvada for the study, which involved about 2,500 men at high risk of HIV infection in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand and the United States (San Francisco and Boston). —AP

to ending the epidemic,” said Mitchell Warren, head of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, a nonprofit group that works on HIV prevention research. “This is an incredibly opportune moment and we have to be sure we seize it.” President Barack Obama said the groundbreaking research on the AIDS drug “could mark the beginning of a new era in HIV prevention.” The UN report said that new cases dropped nearly 20 percent over the last decade and that 33.3 million people are living with HIV now.

CALIFORNIA: This file photo shows a close up of Gilead Sciences Inc’s Truvada pill in a lab in Foster City. Scientists have an exciting breakthrough in the fight against AIDS. —AP

New drug fights South East Asia liver fluke PARIS: Researchers said yesterday they had successfully tested a Chinese-developed drug against opisthorchiasis, a neglected tropical disease that threatens some 67 million people in Southeast Asia. Tribendimidine is as safe and effective against the tiny worm that causes the disease as the frontline drug, praziquantel, marketed as Biltricide, they reported in a study published online by The Lancet. Opisthorchiasis is caused by a fluke, known by its Latin name as Opisthorchis viverrini, that passes from freshwater snails to river fish, and then to humans if the fish is eaten raw or undercooked. The fluke holes up in the liver and bile duct, where it reproduces, causing abdom-

inal pain and diarrhoea but also, in the long term, boosting the risk of jaundice, gallstones and cancer. Around 67 million people in Southeast Asia are at risk from the fluke, and nine million people have already been infected by it, according to a 2005 estimate. The parasite is endemic to parts of Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, but especially in Laos, where as many as 50 percent of schoolchildren and 90 percent of adults are infected. A team led by Jennifer Keiser from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute randomly assigned 125 infected schoolchildren in Laos’ Attepeu province to receiving either tribendimidine, praziquantel or a drug designed to combat the

parasite that causes malaria. Tribendimidine scored the highest cure rate, of 70 percent, followed by praziquantel (56 percent). The three malaria treatments that were taken scored a cure rate of only four percent in two of the drugs and zero in the third. Both tribendimidine and praziquantel also scored best in clearing the patient of parasite eggs, and were generally well tolerated, with “mild or moderate” sideeffects. The study was a “Phase II” trial in the three-phase process of evaluating a new drug for safety and effectiveness. Wider trials would be needed before it can be licensed internationally for this disease. —AFP

Diabetes fitness plan: Aerobics plus weights Aerobics burns calories, weight training builds muscles CHICAGO: People with diabetes should mix aerobics with weight training to get the best results in lowering blood sugar, a new study suggests. The combination worked best for weight loss too, compared to aerobics or weight training alone. Blood sugar is fuel to muscles, and more sugar is burned during aerobic activity. Weight training builds more muscle, and both activities change muscle proteins in ways that enhance the process. “It’s clear that doing both aerobic and strength training is superior to either alone,” said lead author Dr Tim Church of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “It’s almost like taking two different drugs.” Patients in the study, published in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, achieved

the results over nine months, exercising three days a week for about 45 minutes each session. “People can manage this amount of exercise,” said Laurie Goodyear of Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, who wasn’t involved in the new study but does similar research. “They didn’t have to go on a diet. This was purely an exercise effect.” The researchers’ goal was to test three exercise programs that doctors could realistically recommend and patients could stick with. They compared aerobics alone, weight training alone and a combination. US guidelines recommend aerobics and weight training combined for all adults. All three groups worked out for about the same amount of time. A fourth group of patients was offered only

weekly stretching and relaxation classes for further comparison. The study was completed by 245 people with diabetes. Led by trainers, patients walked on a treadmill that raised the uphill grade by 2 percent every two minutes for the aerobics. Weight training, also supervised, was done on machines that worked muscles in the upper body and legs, with more weight added as participants increased their strength. “It gave me a lot more energy. That was one of the first things I noticed,” said Deidra Atkins-Ball, 44, a biology professor, diagnosed with diabetes a year before she joined the aerobics-weights group. A distant aunt with diabetes lost both legs and her vision to the disease. Too much blood sugar can damage nerves, eyes, the heart and blood vessels. “I

CONCORD: A slice of blue cheese cheesecake with cabernet caramelized pears is seen. This savory cheesecake is really more of a cheese course than a dessert. —AP

remember as a kid having to do things for her, going to the store for her,” Atkins-Ball said. “It really scared me.” The researchers found that only the group that combined aerobics and weights both lowered their blood sugar and lost weight, although all three fitness groups reduced their waist sizes. Fewer patients in the combo group started taking new diabetes drugs than in the other groups. Decisions on medications were left up to the patients’ regular doctors during the study. Forty-one percent of the patients in the combo group either decreased their diabetes medications or lowered their average blood sugar as measured by a common blood test, compared to 26 percent for weights only, 29 percent for aerobics only and 22 percent in the non-exercise group. The blood sugar reduction achieved by the combo group was enough to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other complications, the researchers wrote, citing earlier studies. Atkins-Ball’s results were good, if not long-lasting. She dropped 4 pounds (2 kilograms) and saw her blood sugar reach near normal levels. When the program ended, she joined a gym and kept exercising - for a while. Then she got busy, let her gym membership lapse after a year and has seen her blood sugar levels climb. She’s now taking two diabetes drugs, instead of the one she took during the study. AtkinsBall is trying to get back into an exercise routine by walking two miles (3 kilometers) with her husband in the mornings. Her advice for others with diabetes is to get into a structured exercise program. “That’s what helped me the most,” she said. —AP


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WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cleanliness Day at NPIS

Fankaar Arts celebrates silver jubilee Arts, the performing arts group, commemorated 25 years of Ftheirankaar existence at the Kuwait Medical Association Auditorium in Jabriya last week. The evening began with an encouraging and congratulatory address by the Ambassador of India to Kuwait Ajai Malhotra. Mohammed Saleh Burud, a long standing supporter of Fankaar Arts, presented a plaque of appreciation to the Ambassador. The talented Fankaar artists then took the audience down memory lane with a specially written act incorporating glimpses of memorable characters presented in Fankaar Arts’ popular plays through the years. The Fankaar’s displayed different genres including comedy, tragedy and patriotism ending with a social message on people with special needs. The glimpses faded into a perfor-

mance on the popular song ‘Jeena yahan marna yahan’ by all the artists walking into the audience giving away flowers and chocolates as a token of love and gratefulness for appreciating their plays through the years. These artists included George D’Souza, Maya Pareek, Caroline Johnson, Cindy Fernandes, Asiya Sheikh, Naeem Ahmed, Nabeel Chogle, Farook Kasim, Kutubuddin Virpuri, Fazal Zahid, Anwar Kadri and Arif Kazi. Over the years Fankaar Arts has also evolved with the times and experimented with new avenues for performing artists. These experiments included two short films. One called ‘Strugglers’ based on life of new actors struggling to make a name for themselves. The film was directed by Humayun Peerzada and acted by Naresh Nagda, Imran, Arif

Aware announcements he AWARE Center cordially invites you to its Tunpopular diwaniya presentation about, “The ideal yet role of women,” by Sharifa Carlo. “The French Economic Philosopher, Jules Simon said, Women have started to work in textile factories and printing press etc. The government is employing them in factories, where they can earn a few francs. But on the other hand, this has totally destroyed the bases of family life. Yes, the

Kazi and Johnny Lever in a special appearance. The second movie, based on an award winning Konkani play written and directed by Arif Kazi was called ‘Rishtey’. The entire film, short in Kuwait included Fankaar artists - Anwar Kadri, George D’Souza and Asiya Sheikh. Both the movies we screened at the event. The audience was also treated to a dance performance by the Sangamam Dance group that is also a long time associate of Fankaar Arts. The highlight of the evening was an experimental play ‘ Phir bhi Mumbai Meri Jaan’ a sequel to Fankaar Arts acclaimed play ‘Wah Re Bambai Wah’. The play tackled the hard hitting facts of life in Mumbai. It was difficult to get the chorus of the play out of one’s head with ‘Mumbai meri jaan...’ being repeated over and over again. The actors recreated day to day

husband may benefit from his wife’s earnings, but apart from that, his earnings have decreased because now he is competing with her for work.” What is the ideal role of the woman? Should woman work? Can woman work? Should a woman be a housewife? What is the best role for a woman? Come by and find out what Islam has to say about the role of the woman in society on Tuesday November 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm. For more information, call 25335260/80.

scenes from the streets of Mumbai keeping the audience in splits with it’s cosmopolitan characters. Tragic incidents like religious riots, bomb blasts in Mumbai and the recent terrorist attacks were depicted with great intensity midway through the play which ended with a strong social message about peace, harmony and keeping the spirit of Mumbai alive. Arif Kazi in a short speech thanked all the people that have supported Fankaar Arts and kept it alive since 1985 till date. He also thanked the eminent dignitaries and guests at the event that included representatives of the Bangladesh and Nepal embassies in Kuwait, and Bollywood Producer Yusuf Bhatt among others. General secretary of Fankaar Arts, Anwar Kadri presented the formal vote of thanks. The event was hosted by popular MC Nita Bhatkar.

xtracurricular activities are the core of the mental and Ephysical development of the students. It has always been the hall mark of NPIS Hawally to develop the personality of the student through healthy extracurricular activities. Cleanliness Day was celebrated on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 by KG, Class 1 and Class 2. The importance of cleanliness was exhibited by the lovely and appropriate decor of the whole area charts and different cleaning stuff like broom, tooth paste, mop, dust pan, and brush etc were displayed all over. Students also enhanced the occasion, dressing themselves as soap, janitor, broom, tooth brush etc.

They captured the attention of one and all by their captivating performance on the song “How do I keep myself clean and a poem in Urdu, poems like “brush brush your teeth” Bits of paper etc and the message showing the importance

IKEA hosts blood donation drive KEA, Kuwait (Al-Homaizi Limited) held an in-store Iblood donation camp as part of the IKEA Corporate Social Responsibility, an initiative which portrays a renowned tradition of IKEA giving back to the community. Hosting a blood donation drive conducted by The Mobil Unit - Blood Bank, all IKEA employees, donated their blood to this valuable cause. This norm is a means of reflecting authentic purpose and actions to make a difference in the lives of others, and to give to the community and society, in which all IKEA employees take part in activities addressing social needs of their local requirements.

FOKE hands over financial aid s part of the charity activities, Friends Aof Kannur expatriates association (FOKE) handed over financial aid to

A date with dates Join us for a cultural event to taste a variety of dates and learn more about their wide use. “Dates: Staple of the Arab Diet”: Dates have always been associated with Arab and Islamic traditions. They are the most popular food in the Arab world, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. Dates are a staple that can be eaten raw, cooked, baked into cakes or pressed into delicious syrup or paste. Join us to learn more and sample a variety of dates. Dates will also be available for purchase call 25335260/80.

Moonambeth Haridasan at his residence in Attadappa, near Edakkadu, Kannur District, Kerala. Haridasan was working as a painter and while performing his duty, he fell down from the second floor of a building. Haridasan belongs to a financially poor family and is under treatment for past several months. FOKE President B P Surendran handed over the financial aid to Haridasan.

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

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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.”

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of cleanliness was beautifully conveyed through the skit done by the tiny tots of kindergarten. Anita Bukharey appreciated the efforts of the students as well as the teachers for creating awareness in an impressive way.

US Embassy notice EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait has taken up an initiative to update the database of Bangladesh nationals residing in the State of Kuwait. For inclusion in the database all the Bangladesh nationals are requested to collect the Registration Form from the Labour Wing of the Embassy. The forms can also be collected sending request to bdoot@kems.net e-mail address. The filled-in forms can also be submitted by hand, by email or by fax (number 24913204). EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is 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 indepth 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.

American Embassy will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving TDayhetoday in the United States. The embassy will reopen for normal business on Sunday, November 28, 2010. Regular business hours are 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Sunday Thursday. The embassy telephone number is 2259-1001 and fax number 2538-0282.

Sivaranjani Fine Arts ivaranjani Fine Arts is organizing a cultural Sevening evening with students and a memorable with the world famous professional 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 world-renowned 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.

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


WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kuwaiti and Indian officers and their wives with Ambassador Ajai Malhotra and wife Ira Malhotra at India House on Tuesday.

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An Indian Army delegation led by Lieutenant General HPS Klair with Ambassador Ajai Malhotra

Indian Army delegation in Kuwait An Indian Army delegation led by Lieutenant General HPS Klair, SM, Commandant, Defense Services Staff College, Wellington, India, is on an official visit to the State of Kuwait from November 22-26, 2010. The delegation held talks with senior Kuwaiti dignitaries and called on the Ambassador of India, Ajai Malhotra, who also hosted a dinner in their honor at India House on Tuesday.

Ghazal evening irst time ghazalisation of late Indian poet and lyricist Vayalar poems are being organized by FKerala Association, Kuwait. Shaheer Kochi is performing the two-hour ghazal program on Saturday, Nov 27, at United Indian School, Abbassiya at 6 pm. All music lovers are welcome.

St Gregorios Indian Orthodox celebrated Harvest Festival on Nov 17, at Hawally Al-Jeel School.

Harvest Festival 2010 he Harvest Festival of the Indian Orthodox Maha Edavaka was held on TNovember 17, 2010 at the Al-Jeel Al-

Farewell farewell party was thrown for V Subeesh A (Friends of Kannur Jahra Unit Secretary) by Friends of Kannur Abbasiya Unit.

Jadeed School Hawally. HG (Dr) Zacharias Mar Aprem, Principal Secretary to the Catholicos & Malankara Metropolitan and the officiating Bishop of the AdoorKadampanad Diocese was the Chief Guest at the function. Ajay Malhothra, the Ambassador of India to Kuwait and the Rev Peter Raji, the Ambassador of Vatican to Kuwait inaugurated the festivities along with Rev Emmanuel Ghareeb the Chairman of NEC Kuwait, K P Koshy the

Executive administrator of NECK, Rev Fr C Kurien of the St Peter Knanya Church, Rev Fr Abraham P George of St Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, Ahmadi, Rev Fr Adriac representing the Armenian Orthodox Church, Fr Jose Mathew the Vicar and Fr George C Varghese Associate Vicar of the Parish, Oommen V Kurien the Hon Trustee, Prasad A Cherian Hon Secretary of the Parish, Shaji Abraham Sabha Managing Committee Member and P G Alexander the Convenor of the Harvest Festival gave vote of thanks. All dignitaries

Kids World Nursery showcase ‘Kuwait-India’ traditions Kids World Bi-lingual Nursery and Kindergarten recently orgaa special educational activity, which featured a program focusing Tonhenized the traditions of the Kuwaiti and Indian people and finding the differences between them. The program included several sketches in which children participated enthusiastically.

stressed the need to work for the success of the function as it is intended to fund charity disbursements of the Parish. Various cultural programs, enacted by the members of the parish were presented on stage. The highlight of the evening was the musical stage show presented by stars of Asianet Idea Star Singer Preethi Warrier, Vivekanandan and Arun Gopan. The program had anticipated the needs of all the attendees, having games for the younger generation, stalls providing Indian food. The full day program was enjoyed by the whole community.

Ruby Tuesday unveils irresistible offer hen you are at Ruby Tuesday, you are sure to W feel comfortable and feel

Birthday greetings appy birthday Christy! May you have a beautiful life as your beautiful birthday cake Christy. H Best wishes and love from appa, amma, Crisly and family.

Arpan to present ‘Tune & Taste-2010’ rpan Kuwait will present ‘Tune & Taste2010’-a festival of food, music and heritageto 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 to the unique program ‘Tune & Taste -2010’. For details and participation in cooking competitions, email to: arpankwt@yahoo.com

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cared for at the very moment you step inside the restaurant. Guests are always made to feel special each time they visit Ruby Tuesday. Their latest promotion promises you the newest variety served with quality freshness and has great value for your money. The Lunch Promotion offers a free Garden Bar, Soup or Dessert of your choice, with every main course you order starting from KD3.750. This promotion is valid all

days of the week except weekends from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. For a Business Lunch or a Friendly gathering, Ruby Tuesday accommodates and satisfies all. Ruby Tuesday is used to surprising its guests with great moments and extraordinary tastes. Not to mention that the car park is totally available for Ruby Tuesday guest with spacious parking lot. Reserve your table now to indulge your appetite. When it comes to value for money, you know where to head; Ruby Tuesday, that’s the place to be.

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 email- s00012695@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 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

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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. For more information, call 97197268.

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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

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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. 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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IDF inter school health quiz ndian Doctors Forum, Kuwait is proud to announce 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 tomorrow 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.

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TV PROGRAMS

32

Thursday, November 25, 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 Justified 09:00 Damages 10:00 Ellen de Generes 11:00 Desperate Housewives 12:00 Defying Gravity 13:00 Royal Pains 14:00 Justified 15:00 GMA Live 17:00 Desperate Housewives 18:00 Ellen de Generes 19:00 Royal Pains 20:00 One Tree Hill 21:00 Survivor 21 22:00 The Tudors 23:00 Saving Grace

00:50 The Most Extreme 01:45 Untamed And Uncut 02:40 World Wild Vet 03:35 Wildest Africa 04:30 Animal Cops Philadelphia 05:25 Into The Dragon’s Lair 06:20 Untamed And Uncut 07:10 Wildlife SOS International 07:35 Sspca: On The Wildside 08:00 Max’s Big Tracks 08:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 09:40 Cats Of Claw Hill 10:35 In Too Deep 11:00 World Wild Vet 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 South Africa 15:35 Wildlife SOS 16:00 Sspca: On The Wildside 16:30 Dogs 101 17:25 Breed All About It 18:20 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 19:15 World Wild Vet 20:10 Lions Of Crocodile River 21:10 Dogs 101 22:05 Snake Crusader With Bruce George 23:00 Cell Dogs 23:55 Animal Cops South Africa

00:30 Love Soup 01:00 Love Soup 01:30 The Weakest Link 02:15 Casualty 03:05 Eastenders 03:35 Doctors 04:05 Last Of The Summer Wine 04:35 The Roly Mo Show 04:50 Fimbles 05:10 Penelope K, By The Way 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 Forget Me Not Farm 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 10:35 Last Of The Summer Wine 11:35 The Weakest Link 12:20 Monarch Of The Glen 13:15 Doctors 13:45 Eastenders 14:15 Casualty 15:05 Last Of The Summer Wine 16:40 Monarch Of The Glen 17:30 The Weakest Link 18:15 Doctors 18:45 Eastenders 19:15 Casualty 20:10 Monarch Of The Glen 21:00 The Weakest Link 21:45 Doctors 22:15 Eastenders 22:45 Casualty 23:40 Michael Palin’s New Europe

00:30 Masterchef 01:00 What Not To Wear 01:50 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 02:40 Home For Life 03:30 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 04:15 The Restaurant UK 05:05 Cash In The Attic USA 05:25 Daily Cooks Challenge 05:55 Daily Cooks Challenge 06:25 What Not To Wear 07:15 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 08:00 Antiques Roadshow 08:50 What Not To Wear 09:40 Antiques Roadshow 10:30 Hidden Potential 10:55 Cash In The Attic USA 11:20 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 12:10 Home For Life 13:00 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 13:50 The Restaurant UK 14:40 What Not To Wear 15:30 Home For Life 16:20 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 17:10 Bargain Hunt 17:55 Masterchef 18:25 Daily Cooks Challenge 18:50 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:20 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:50 The Restaurant UK 20:40 Masterchef 21:10 Ching’s Kitchen 21:35 Ching’s Kitchen 22:00 The Home Show 22:50 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 23:40 The Restaurant UK

00:40 Overhaulin’ 01:35 Dirty Jobs 02:30 Science Of The Movies 03:25 Extreme Engineering 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 Extreme Machines 21:55 Manhunt: Search For A Killer 22:50 Inside The Aryan Brotherhood 23:45 True CSI

00:40 Space Pioneer 01:30 The Gadget Show 01:55 Building The Biggest 02:45 How Stuff’s Made 03:10 How Stuff’s Made 03:35 Engineered 04:25 How Stuff’s Made 04:50 Da Vinci’s Machines 05:45 Robotica 06:40 Weird Connections 07:10 What’s That About? 08:00 Thunder Races 09:00 Space Pioneer 10:00 The Future Of... 10:55 Stunt Junkies 11:20 The Gadget Show 11:50 Engineered 12:45 How Stuff’s Made 13:15 Da Vinci’s Machines 14:10 Weird Connections 14:35 The Future Of... 15:30 Savage Planet 15:55 Savage Planet 16:25 The Gadget Show 16:55 Space Pioneer 17:50 Building The Biggest 18:45 Brainiac 19:40 Weird Or What? 20:30 Science Of The Movies 21:20 How It’s Made 21:45 The Gadget Show 22:10 How The Universe Works 23:00 Weird Or What? 23:50 Science Of The Movies

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 THS 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 THS 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Fashion Police 13:15 Pretty Wild 13:40 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 E!es 15:25 THS 16:15 Behind The Scenes 17:10 The Spin Crowd 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 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10

00:00 Mantracker Series 3 00:50 Winter X Games 14 01:40 Untracked Series 2 02:30 Alpine Adventurer 03:20 Mantracker Series 3 04:10 Fantasy Factory 05:00 Quattro Int Events:freestyle Zurich 05:25 Quattro Int Events: Cable Wakeboard Worldcup: Bursa (Tur) 05:50 Untracked Series 2 06:40 Alpine Adventurer 07:30 I-Ex 09:00 Quattro Int Events: Profile Sverre Liliequist & Kaj Zackrisson 09:25 Quattro Int Events: Profile Nicolas Muller 09:50 Quattro Int Events: O’neil Cold Water Classic Canada 10:15 Quattro Int Events: O’neil Water Classic, Usa 10:40 Quattro Int Events: World Heli Challange 11:05 Quattro Int Events 2009 World Heli Challenge Pt 2 53 11:30 Saab Salomon Mountain-X Race 11:55 Shack Therapy 1 12:45 Fantasy Factory 13:35 Mantracker Series 3 14:25 Untracked Series 2 15:15 Alpine Adventurer 16:05 Shack Therapy 1 16:55 Fantasy Factory 17:45 Quattro Int Events: Profile Sverre Liliequist & Kaj Zackrisson 18:10 Quattro Int Events: Profile Nicolas Muller 18:35 Quattro Int Events: O’neil Cold Water Classic Canada 19:00 Quattro Int Events: O’neil Water Classic, Usa 19:25 Quattro Int Events: World Heli Challange 19:50 Quattro Int Events 2009 World Heli Challenge Pt 2 53 20:15 Saab Salomon Mountain-X Race 20:40 Mantracker Series 3 21:30 Fantasy Factory 22:20 Shack Therapy 1 23:10 Alpine Adventurer

00:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:00 Iron Chef America 02:00 30 Minute Meals 02:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 03:00 Food Network Challenge 04:00 Barefoot Contessa 04:30 Unwrapped 05:00 Iron Chef America 06:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 06:30 Guys Big Bite 07:00 Chopped 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

Hellboy II: The Golden Army on Show Movies

01:00 The Basketball Diaries-18 03:00 The Shock Doctrine-PG 05:00 Pavilion Of Women-18 07:00 Lovely Still-PG 09:00 The Old Curiousity Shop-PG 11:00 Kit Kittredge: An American Girl-PG 13:00 Fireproof-PG 15:00 Tennessee-PG15 17:00 Last Mimzy-PG 19:00 Punch-Drunk Love-18 21:00 The Sisters-18 23:00 Vanilla Sky-18

00:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner 01:30 Ghost Lab 02:20 A Haunting 03:10 I Almost Got Away With It 04:05 Murder Shift 05:00 Forensic Detectives 05:55 Ghosthunters 06:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 07:10 Real Emergency Calls 07:35 Real Emergency Calls 08:00 Mystery Diagnosis 08:50 Real Emergency Calls 09:15 Real Emergency Calls 09:40 Forensic Detectives 10:30 Impossible Heists 11:20 Extreme Forensics 12:10 FBI Files 13:00 Ghost Lab 13:50 On The Case With Paula Zahn 14:40 Mystery Diagnosis 15:30 Real Emergency Calls 15:55 Real Emergency Calls 16:20 Extreme Forensics 17:10 Forensic Detectives 18:00 Impossible Heists 18:50 FBI Files 19:40 Mystery Diagnosis 20:30 Real Emergency Calls 20:55 Real Emergency Calls 21:20 Ghost Lab 22:10 On The Case With Paula Zahn 23:00 On The Case With Paula Zahn 23:50 Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:00 Modern family 00:30 The Simpsons 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 State of the Union 03:30 Bored to death 04:00 Family Guy 04:30 Tonight Show with Jay Leno 05:30 Eight simple Rules 06:00 Hope & Faith 06:30 Ten things I hate about you 07:00 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 Modern family 11:00 Eight simple Rules 11:30 Hope & Faith 12:00 Tonight Show with Jay Leno 13:00 The Simpsons 13:30 Eight simple Rules 14:00 Hope & Faith 14:30 Modern family 15:00 Modern family 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Ten things I hate about you 17:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 Billable Hours 19:00 30 Rock 19:30 Til Death 20:00 Tonight Show with Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Hung 22:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 23:00 Family Guy 23:30 30 Rock

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 New Adventures Of Ocean Girl 00:25 Sabrina The Animated Series 00:50 Sonic Underground 01:15 Fat Dog Mendoza 01:40 Tales From The Cryptkeeper 02:00 Fat Dog Mendoza Marathon 07:00 Dennis The Menace 07:25 Beverly Hills Teen Club 07:45 Pelswick 08:10 Jass Time 08:12 Boo And Me 08:15 Fat Dog Mendoza 08:40 The Fairly Oddparents 09:05 The Beach Crew 09:10 Cyberchase 09:35 Birdz 10:00 The Beach Crew 10:05 Heathcliff 10:30 Ned’s Newt 10:55 New Adventures Of Madeline 11:20 Rupert 11:45 Babar 12:10 Max And Ruby 12:30 Corduroy 12:55 Rupert 13:20 New Adventures Of Madeline 13:45 Ned’s Newt 14:10 Corduroy 14:35 Max And Ruby

15:00 Babar 15:25 Rupert 15:50 Ned’s Newt 16:15 Beverly Hills Teen Club 16:40 Sabrina The Animated Series 17:05 The Beach Crew 17:10 Boo And Me 17:15 New Adventures Of Ocean Girl 17:40 Dino Squad 18:05 The Future Is Wild 18:30 Rescue Heroes 18:50 Even Stevens 19:15 The Beach Crew 19:20 Boo And Me 19:25 Dennis The Menace 19:35 Fat Dog Mendoza 20:00 Sonic Underground 20:20 Dino Squad 20:45 The Future Is Wild 21:10 Rescue Heroes 21:30 Ace Lightning 22:00 Even Stevens 22:25 Sabrina The Animated Series 22:50 Tales From The Cryptkeeper 23:10 Rescue Heroes 23:35 Ace Lightning

00:00 Golf Channel - TBA 02:00 Golf Central International 02:30 Golf Channel - TBA 06:00 NFL Replay Teams TBA 07:00 College Football Saturday Preview 07:30 Sport Express 08:30 Big Ten Women’s Basketball: Marquette v Wisconsin 10:30 Golf Central International 11:00 European Tour Dubai World Championship Rd. 1 Dubai, UAE 16:00 Asian Tour Barclays Singapore Open 16:30 Sport Express 17:00 NFL Replay Teams TBA 18:00 Prime/Time Boxing 20:00 NHL Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo Sabres 23:00 College Football Saturday Preview 23:30 FOX NFL Sunday

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 Total Drama World Tour 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

00:00 Sex And Lies In Sin City-18 01:45 Barbarossa-PG15 04:00 Stevie-PG15 06:00 Cutting Edge 3-PG15 08:00 Up-FAM 10:00 Einstein And Eddington-PG15 12:00 Hellboy II: The Golden Army-PG15 14:00 Cutting Edge: Fire And Ice-PG 16:00 Up-FAM 18:00 Inkheart-PG 20:00 Zombieland-18 22:00 Observe And Report-18

01:00 Inside Ring-PG15 03:00 Taken-18 05:00 Dragonball: Evolution-PG 07:00 Twins Effect 2-PG15 09:00 Rock Monster-PG15 11:00 Lost Junction-PG15 13:00 The Core-PG15 15:15 Rock Monster-PG15 17:00 The Blackout-PG15 19:00 Body Of Lies-18 21:15 Scorpion-18 23:00 Rec-R

00:00 Before You Say I Do-PG15 02:00 Two Can Play That Game-PG15 04:00 Beverly Hills Chihuahua-PG 06:00 Lucky Break-PG15 08:00 Paul Blart Mall Cop-PG15 10:00 The Coneheads-PG15 12:00 Down To You-PG15 14:00 Car Babes-PG15 16:00 Before You Say I Do-PG15 18:00 The First $20 Million Is Always The Hardest-PG15 20:00 Nick And Norah’s Infinite PlaylistPG15 22:00 Finding Bliss-18

00:00 Piper Penguin And His Fantastic Flying Machines-PG 02:00 Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs-PG 04:00 Patoruzito-FAM 06:00 Wonder Woman-PG15

I Love You Beth Cooper on Super Movies 08:00 Pocahontas II: Winter Of The Rocky Mount-FAM 10:00 Patoruzito-FAM 12:00 Winx : Secret Of The Lost Kingdom-PG15 14:00 Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs-PG 16:00 Christmas In New York-PG 18:00 How To Eat Fried Worms-FAM 20:00 Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths-PG 22:00 Winx : Secret Of The Lost Kingdom-PG15

00:00 Grey’s Anatomy 01:00 Private Practice 02:00 Martha Stewart 03:00 House 04:00 The View 05:00 Look A Like 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Stree 07:00 House 08:00 Martha Stewart 09:00 Look A Like 10:00 House 11:00 The View 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Stree 13:00 Martha Stewart 14:00 Grey’s Anatomy 15:00 Private Practice 16:00 Look A Like 17:00 The View 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Eat Your Self Sexy 19:00 Bones 20:00 Drop Dead Diva 21:00 Lie To Me 22:00 The View 23:00 Look A Like

00:30 International Rugby Union 02:30 ICC Cricket World 03:00 Live Cricket Test Match 10:00 ICC Cricket World 10:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 11:00 Spirit of a Champion 11:30 Spirit of Yatching 12:00 Brazil League Highlights 12:30 Futbol Mundial 13:00 Triatholn 14:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 14:30 ICC Cricket World 15:00 Cricket Test Match 22:00 World Sport 22:30 Premier League Snooker

00:30 Futbol Mundial 01:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 01:30 Scottish Premier League 03:30 Brazil League Highlights 04:00 International Rugby Union 06:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 06:30 European Tour Weekly 07:00 The Ryder Cup Official Film 08:30 The Open Championship Official Film 09:30 The US PGA Championship Official Film 10:30 European Tour Weekly 11:00 Live European PGA Tour 16:00 The Ryder Cup Official Film 17:30 European Tour Weekly 18:00 European PGA Tour 23:30 Total Rugby

00:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 01:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 02:00 UFC 123 05:00 V8 Supercars Championship 07:00 WWE Smackdown 09:00 WWE Bottom Line 10:00 Red Bull X-Fighters 11:30 UFC All Access 12:00 WWE Vintage Collection 13:00 WWE Bottom Line 14:00 V8 Supercars Championship 16:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 17:00 UFC 123 20:00 WWE NXT 21:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 22:00 UFC Unleashed 23:00 UFC Unleashed

01:00 The Stepfather-18 03:00 Inconceivable-PG15 05:00 2012: Startling New Secret-PG 07:00 Beauty And The Briefcase-PG15 09:00 Witness: The Kidnapping Of Patty Hearst-PG15 11:00 The Missing Person-PG15 13:00 Capitalism: A Love Story-PG15 15:15 Racing For Time-PG15 17:00 Witness: The Kidnapping Of Patty Hearst-PG15 19:00 The Missing Person-PG15 21:00 Cadillac Records-18 23:00 I Love You Beth Cooper-PG15

01:00 Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams 02:25 The Screening Room 02:50 A Man For All Seasons 05:00 The Screening Room 05:30 The Killer Elite 08:00 The Philadelphia Story 09:50 Two Weeks In Another Town 11:35 The Screening Room 12:05 A Patch Of Blue 13:50 On The Town 15:30 A Man For All Seasons 17:30 The Screening Room 18:00 Ride The High Country 19:35 Seven Brides For Seven Brothers 21:20 Singin’ In The Rain

00:40 MysteryQuest 01:30 Cities of the Underworld 02:20 The Universe 03:10 How the Earth Was Made 04:00 America: The Story of the US 04:55 Life After People 05:50 Clash of the Gods 06:40 MysteryQuest 07:30 Cities of the Underworld 08:20 The Universe 09:10 How the Earth Was Made 10:00 America: The Story of the US 10:55 Life After People 11:50 Clash of the Gods 12:40 MysteryQuest 13:30 Cities of the Underworld 14:20 The Universe 15:10 How the Earth Was Made 16:00 America: The Story of the US 16:55 Life After People 17:50 Clash of the Gods 18:40 Modern Marvels 19:30 Cities of the Underworld 20:20 The Universe 21:10 How the Earth Was Made 22:00 Life After People 22:55 The Universe 23:50 Modern Marvels

00:00 The Dish 00:30 Fashion Police 01:00 Clean House 02:00 My Celebrity Home 03:00 How Do I Look? 04:00 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 05:00 Married Away 06:00 Style Her Famous 06:30 Area 07:00 How Do I Look? 08:00 Millennium Fashion: The Year In Fashion 09:00 My Celebrity Home 10:00 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 11:00 Married Away 12:00 Peter Perfect 13:00 Ruby 13:30 Ruby 14:00 Clean House 15:00 Clean House Comes Clean 15:30 Style Her Famous 16:00 Jerseylicious 17:00 Ruby 18:00 How Do I Look? 19:00 How Do I Look? 20:00 Peter Perfect 21:00 Clean House 22:00 How Do I Look? 23:00 Momster Of The Bride

00:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 01:00 Down The Line 02:00 Word Travels 02:30 Travel Today 03:00 Travel 360 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 06:00 The Thrillseekers Guide 06:30 Surfari 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 48 Hours In 08:30 Top Travel 09:00 Word Travels 09:30 Essential 10:00 Chef Abroad 10:30 The Thirsty Traveler 11:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Planet Food 14:00 Panasia 14:30 Top Travel 15:00 Word Travels 15:30 Essential 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 Planet Food 21:00 Hollywood And Vines 21:30 The Thirsty Traveler 22:00 Working Holiday 23:00 Globe Trekker

01:05 Romeo Is Bleeding 02:55 Object Of Beauty, The 04:35 The Donor 06:10 Chattahoochee 07:40 Movers & Shakers 09:00 Napoleon 10:20 Making Mr. Right 11:55 Bigger Than The Sky 13:40 Impasse 15:20 Spikes Gang 16:55 Where Angels Fear To Tread 18:45 Star For Two 20:20 Mechanic 22:00 Stay Hungry 23:40 100 Films & A Funeral

00:00 VH1 Rocks 00:30 Smells Like The 90s 01:00 Music For The Masses 02:00 VH1 Music 06:00 Chill Out 08:00 VH1 Hits 10:00 Aerobic 11:00 VH1 Hits 12:00 Music For The Masses 13:00 Top 10 14:00 Music For The Masses 15:00 VH1 Pop Chart 16:00 VH1 Hits 18:00 Music For The Masses 20:00 Guess The Year 21:00 Music For The Masses 22:00 Robbie Williams Top 20 23:00 Robbie Williams Top 20

00:00 Fareed Zakaria Gps 01:00 The Best Of Backstory 01:30 World Sport 02:00 World Report 04:00 World Business Today 04:45 CNN Marketplace Middle East 05:00 World View 05:30 Mainsail 06:00 News Special 06:30 I Report For CNN 07:00 World Sport 07:30 Revealed 08:00 World Report 08:30 The Best Of Backstory 09:00 World Report 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 World Report 12:30 World View 13:00 Larry King Live 14:00 World Report


Thursday, November 25, 2010

33 FLIGHT SCHEDULE

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

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

Arrival Flights on Thursday 25/11/2010 Flt Route 447 AMSTERDAM / BAHRAIN 306 CAIRO 267 BEIRUT 802 CAIRO 646 VIENNA / BEIRUT 211 BAHRAIN 620 ADDIS ABABA 772 ISTANBUL 853 DUBAI 370 BAHRAIN 138 DOHA 67 DUBAI 305 ABU DHABI 503 LUXOR 544 CAIRO 207 DAMASCUS 792 LUXEMBOURG 555 ALEXANDRIA 201 DOHA 157 LONDON 412 MANILA / BANGKOK 204 LAHORE 53 DUBAI 302 MUMBAI 332 TRIVANDRUM 676 DUBAI 284 DHAKA 362 COLOMBO 855 DUBAI 123 SHARJAH 132 DOHA 605 ISFAHAN 301 ABU DHABI 213 BAHRAIN 182 BAHRAIN 102 DUBAI 121 BAHRAIN 165 DUBAI 404 BEIRUT 772 RIYADH 610 CAIRO 257 BEIRUT 672 DUBAI 57 DUBAI 621 ASSIUT 341 DAMASCUS 982 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 500 JEDDAH 552 DAMASCUS 357 MASHAD 134 DOHA 549 ALEXANDRIA 546 ALEXANDRIA 403 COLOMBO / DUBAI 303 ABU DHABI 857 DUBAI 118 NEW YORK 215 BAHRAIN 402 BEIRUT 510 RIYADH 800 AMMAN 777 JEDDAH 562 AMMAN 239 AMMAN 127 SHARJAH 322 SHARM EL SHEIKH 227 COLOMBO / DUBAI 177 DUBAI 304 CAIRO 204 JEDDAH 502 BEIRUT 542 CAIRO 618 DOHA 106 DUBAI 786 JEDDAH 614 BAHRAIN 674 DUBAI 774 RIYADH 104 LONDON 617 AHWAZ 642 VIENNA 458 SINGAPORE / ABU DHABI 93 KANDAHAR / DUBAI 61 DUBAI 647 MUSCAT 572 MUMBAI 618 ALEXANDRIA 372 BAHRAIN 217 BAHRAIN 402 BEIRUT 201 DAMASCUS 136 DOHA 859 DUBAI 445 AMSTERDAM 178 GENEVA / FRANKFURT 513 SHARM EL SHEIKH 606 LUXOR 981 CHENNAI / AHMEDABAD 612 CAIRO 185 DUBAI 135 BAHRAIN 981 BAHRAIN 186 BAHRAIN 389 KOZHIKODE / MANGALORE 636 FRANKFURT 422 AMMAN 108 DUBAI 205 LAHORE

Time 0:10 0:40 0:45 1:30 1:35 1:40 1:45 2:15 2:35 2:45 2:45 3:05 3:10 4:00 4:40 5:05 5:05 6:00 6:15 6:40 6:45 7:35 7:45 7:55 8:05 8:10 8:15 8:20 8:30 9:05 9:05 9:15 9:30 9:35 10:50 11:05 11:10 11:20 11:55 12:40 12:55 13:00 13:25 13:50 13:55 14:00 14:10 14:30 14:40 14:55 15:00 15:10 15:30 16:40 16:50 16:55 16:55 17:05 17:10 17:20 17:30 17:30 17:35 17:40 17:45 17:50 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 19:45 19:50 20:00 20:00 20:05 20:10 20:15 20:35 21:00 21:15 21:20 21:30 21:35 21:40 21:40 21:45 21:55 22:05 22:05 22:45 22:45 22:55 23:00 23:10 23:30 23:35 23:45 23:55 23:55

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

Departure Flights on Thursday 25/11/2010 Flt Route 394 COCHIN / KOZHIKODE 981 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 576 GOA / CHENNAI 216 KARACHI 447 AMSTERDAM 637 FRANKFURT 620 BAHRAIN / ADDIS ABABA 773 ISTANBUL 371 BAHRAIN 68 DUBAI 854 DUBAI 306 ABU DHABI 139 DOHA 792 HONG KONG 164 DUBAI 256 BEIRUT 803 AMMAN 212 BAHRAIN 181 BAHRAIN 548 ALEXANDRIA 120 BAHRAIN 54 DUBAI 641 VIENNA 545 ALEXANDRIA 356 MASHAD 156 LONDON 671 DUBAI 551 DAMASCUS 771 RIYADH 101 LONDON / NEW YORK 856 DUBAI 124 SHARJAH 133 DOHA 606 MASHAD 302 ABU DHABI 214 BAHRAIN 165 ROME / PARIS 541 CAIRO 776 JEDDAH 238 AMMAN 561 AMMAN 405 BEIRUT 203 JEDDAH 501 BEIRUT 785 JEDDAH 176 DUBAI 611 CAIRO 201 JEDDAH 58 DUBAI 622 ASSIUT 342 DAMASCUS 673 DUBAI 401 BEIRUT 982 BAHRAIN 617 DOHA 512 SHARM EL SHEIKH 505 JEDDAH 321 SHARM EL SHEIKH 200 DAMASCUS 773 RIYADH 613 BAHRAIN 135 DOHA 404 DUBAI / COLOMBO 304 ABU DHABI 82 BAGHDAD 305 CAIRO 216 BAHRAIN 858 DUBAI 801 AMMAN 184 DUBAI 128 SHARJAH 511 RIYADH 266 BEIRUT 228 DUBAI / COLOMBO 285 CHITTAGONG 107 DUBAI 134 BAHRAIN 283 DHAKA 361 COLOMBO 616 AHWAZ 62 DUBAI 351 COCHIN 648 MUSCAT 571 MUMBAI 457 ABU DHABI / SINGAPORE 619 ALEXANDRIA 543 CAIRO 373 BAHRAIN 677 DUBAI / MUSCAT 218 BAHRAIN 403 BEIRUT 206 DAMASCUS 102 BAHRAIN 137 DOHA 445 BAHRAIN / AMSTERDAM 301 MUMBAI 554 ALEXANDRIA 860 DUBAI 205 ISLAMABAD 607 LUXOR 222 ALEPPO 502 LUXOR 415 KUALA LUMPUR / JAKARTA 613 CAIRO 411 BANGKOK / MANILA

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

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

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in Farwaniya for decent working ladies near Crowne Plaza. Contact: 94026603. (C 2887) Sharing accommodation available for executive bachelor Muslim, furnished flat near Behbehani complex Sharq. Contact: 65627272. (C 2888) One furnished independent room with balcony available from Dec 1st for 2/3 months for a decent exec bachelor, new building C-A/C sat & kitchen facility W&E free. Opp Appolo hospital Shara Amman st, Salmiya. Contact: 99761807. (C 2886) 25-11-2010

Room for rent in Hawally, family or bachelor, Tunis st. front side of Al Bahar center. Contact: 99593486, 97672748. (C 2884) Room for rent in Farwaniya for a couple or two working ladies or a decent bachelor with kitchen facilities. Contact: 66021273, 97449272. (C 2885) 24-11-2010 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

SITUATION WANTED

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

FOR SALE Nissan Maxima 2001 model, gold color, CD cassette player, mileage 110,000 km, full option. Price KD 1250. Call 55522942. (C 2882) 23-11-2010 2009 model Nissan Altima, full option, red color, mileage 25000 km, acci-

dent 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

SITUATION VACANT

A decent housemaid is urgently needed for a family in Mangaf. Please call 60055305 25-11-2010 Required English speaking maid/nanny. Please contact 99824597. (C 2880) 23-10-2010


SPECTRUM

34

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Calvin

CROSSWORD 149

Aries (March 21-April 19) Lessons learned in

business are very valuable today. Acknowledge your teachers, who will come in many forms. A colleague appears more informed than he or she really is. Once your critical mind is in gear, a lack of information may cause you to be dissatisfied. Take some time before you step up to speak. When you do some research, you will open a door of opportunity that will help increase your finances. Your health improves. You may find that circumstances are quite different from one day to the next. A little shopping this afternoon will take you into a music store. Choose music that matches your current mood for some good relaxation therapy this afternoon. Charm and romance are strong tonight—an adventure is on the way. Make a wish. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Events can never get any

stranger than they are now. You could easily feel confused and misdirected. Avoid the tendency to be deluded by taking things more slowly—avoid the temptation to rush. Take a deep breath and give yourself plenty of time before making a final decision about heavy-duty projects. You might find that things magically change in a few days. Things are happening and your career or path depends upon your own ambition and drive, which are strong now. There is a heightened artistic inspiration that may manifest itself in creative work or just the urge to experience the beauty of nature. Your good cheer today enhances your social life and may intensify romance. Your intuition is sharpened and may lead you to new insights.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 4. A member of a widespread group of Amerindians living in northeastern South America. 10. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 13. A self-funded retirement plan that allows you to contribute a limited yearly sum toward your retirement. 14. A member of an agricultural people of southern India. 15. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 16. Electronic warfare undertaken to prevent or reduce an enemy's effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum. 17. Small shrubby African tree having compound leaves and racemes of small fragrant green flowers. 19. A sock with a separation for the big toe. 21. Hormone released by the hypothalamus that controls the release of thyroidstimulating hormone from the anterior pituitary. 23. An informal term for a father. 25. A fraudulent business scheme. 31. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 33. A card game for 2 players. 35. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 37. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 38. A collection of objects laid on top of each other. 39. The hair growing on the lower part of a man's face. 44. The rate of moving (especially walking or running). 45. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 46. King of Saudi Arabia since 1982 (born in 1922). 53. A large vase that usually has a pedestal or feet. 57. Being two more than fifty. 58. German iris having large white flowers with lavender-tinged falls and a fragrant rhizome. 59. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 60. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 61. A religious belief of African origin involving witchcraft and sorcery. 62. Type genus of the Anatidae. DOWN 1. Having relatively few calories. 2. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 3. The 11th letter of the Greek alphabet. 4. A defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. 5. Follower of Rastafarianism. 6. The sixth month of the civil year. 7. A thin coat of water-base paint. 8. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 9. Unknown god. 10. A challenge to do something dangerous or foolhardy. 11. By bad luck. 12. (Greek mythology) The goddess of youth and spring. 18. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 20. A metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables. 22. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 24. Large swift fly the female of which sucks blood of various animals. 26. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 27. The cry made by sheep. 28. Agitation resulting from active worry. 29. A state in the western United States. 30. Type genus of the Nepidae. 32. A logarithmic unit of sound intensity. 34. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 36. Minute freshwater crustacean having a round body enclosed in a transparent shell. 40. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 41. The district occupied entirely by the city of Washington. 42. Any of various spiny trees or shrubs of the genus Acacia. 43. The compass point that is one point east (clockwise) of due north. 47. Fleshy and usually brightly colored cover of some seeds that develops from the ovule stalk and partially or entirely envelopes the seed. 48. A unit of area (4840 square yards) used in English-speaking countries. 49. Imprudently incurring risk. 50. (statistics) Approximating the statistical norm or average or expected value. 51. A small cake leavened with yeast. 52. A river that rises in northeastern Turkey (near the source of the Euphrates) and flows generally eastward through Armenia to the Caspian Sea. 54. A cry or noise made to express displeasure or contempt. 55. Someone who engages in arbitrage (who purchases securities in one market for immediate resale in another in the hope of profiting from the price differential). 56. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and healthrelated products.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You are full of energy and enjoy having a busy life. Parental advice, no matter how old you are, is valid. Listen to the voice of experience and avoid making costly mistakes. You should probably begin to consider securing the advances you have made recently. It may be best to begin to dig in and strengthen your current position rather than expand outward too much. You will find your mind beginning to turn away from the external or the material and to be concerned with more inward and spiritual ideas. All of this will become clear soon. You tend toward mental pursuits and admire intelligence. There is an emphasis on communication, expression of ideas and the connections between things, places and people. Your mind will motivate you.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You are an action person who gains the attention of others and seems to get things moving. The circumstances of your life suggest occasional extroversion. Self-discipline is the important issue now, as that is what stabilizes your work as well as your relationships. Today you may be looking for a new vehicle. A better means of transportation has been needed for some time and now is the time to look around and make some decisions. There are opportunities to improve your career through travel, writing or studying some new technique. General good feelings and a sense of support and harmony make this a happy time. A family meeting keeps you on your toes this evening, so to speak. It may be time to set a teacher conference date for those with children. Leo (July 23-August 22) Starting over, backing up and making changes may take up most of your morning— patience. A customer or a higher up has changed their mind now and you are the one that has to do the work. You make the changes and tend to details. The conditions this afternoon are independence, creativity and initiative. Yesterday, you made a contact that has good financial potential. You could be leading a group discussion this afternoon that deals with academic crusades. Science, philosophy and religion are likely to be subjects you will enjoy taking or teaching. It has been said that we teach what we need to learn and in your case, you enjoy the subjects. You enjoy long conversations with loved ones tonight. Be wise in your choice of dessert tonight.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) This is a great time to be with others and to work together. You can expect a little boost, some extra support or recognition from those around you at this time. At home this afternoon, you may decide to rearrange furniture and update some of your possessions. If you are living in a family, you will take others likes and dislikes very seriously. Psychological values and material possessions become very important for you—there is a state of change. Style and colors are also in a process of change. Financial gain and material well-being are among the brighter prospects looming before you now as you focus in on how much things really mean to you. Careful—there may be a tendency to emphasize the material too much.

Libra (September 23-October 22) You deal with abstract matters while remaining practical today. You could find a clash of ideas while discussing business in a meeting. Some people will think there is a problem or a conflict, but you understand the complexities and so, what seems to be a problem is actually lending spice and inspiration to the process of the work. Matters of law hold your interest. Your attention is on achievement, prestige and promotion. Your self-confidence increases as you see the result of your work. You may want to just get out and walk this afternoon in order to gain some focus or just have some thoughts of your own. You have vegetables in your garden that are ready to be gathered. Tonight there is time for a romantic dinner.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) A forgotten meeting

could derail your work so check your schedule book to stay with the program of the week. You want to set clear goals. Anything that cannot wait for you to check it out is a false lead—drop it! There are new opportunities to gain recognition in your job. You have plenty of enthusiasm and warm up to people quickly. A superior may want to add to your schedule this week but may have no room for new projects. You might ask for a suggestion as to what they would want you to cut in order to handle this new project. This would serve several purposes and give the responsibility to delay action on a few projects to someone other than you. After work, you try your hand at repairing a technical piece of equipment. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Although you like a little excitement in your life from time to time, you are happy when everything is comfortable and ordinary. You are active and inspired today to encourage changes in the guidelines for employees or some other system that would be most beneficial to all concerned. Spending a little money to appease the employees will help increase sales that will more than make up for the money spent on the employees. Your mind may still be busy thinking about some new ideas. In order to relax, you may be happier if you just go ahead and write down your ideas for later speculation. The evening brings a relief from this busy day. You spend quality time with family members. Those close to you are loving and supportive.

Yesterday’s Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You

prepare to move on to a brand-new professional endeavor at this time. Your attitude this day is that you would like to try out something before you sign your name on the dotted line. You become an unstoppable entity as you endeavor to go where people have never gone before, or do things that few have done before. You have the desire and the energy to move forward with your goals. Your curiosity and intelligence will help you move into a different type of job or life style, if that is what you need. Building a new type of home, living in space or living under the sea, you enjoy the innovative experiences that you have been allowed to enjoy at this time in your life. You may be happy to see that family members are making the effort to cooperate with you.

Yesterday’s Solution

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You may feel emotionally frustrated today. This could be caused by your own busy schedule or by someone else interrupting your schedule. It is commendable that you are so cooperative. The way you deal with necessities and obligations, health and work in particular, is in a state of transformation. Your patience is admired and you will see positive results from your efforts. A trusted confidante advises you on the state of affairs in the President’s office. A new diet or exercise program can improve your life and your outlook at this time. Beautiful surroundings help relax you after a day of office tension. You are in a frisky mood this evening. Love and compassion are wonderful friends tonight. Love waits on welcome, not on time.

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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) When you request a loan or a raise, you are so thorough in your reasons for how much you think you might need and how you can pay it back, that your request is well received. When asking for money, you might hold out for a lower interest rate. Homeless shelters, recreation programs and various other causes are an interest for you this winter. You may decide to do some sort of canvassing in the neighborhood to collect items for a church that helps to feed the homeless in your city. You may even take turns with the sorting or the delivery. You find yourself involved more in community and religious projects. If you live in the USA and are thinking about special plans for the next holiday . . . now is the time to complete those plans and begin decorating.


INFORMATION

Thursday, November 25, 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

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

4892674

Al-Omariya

4719048

N.Kheitan

4710044

Rabiya

4732263

Fintas

3900322

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

PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi

PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Hawally

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554

EMERGENCY 112

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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

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

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

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas

3729596/3729581

Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

22641071/2

Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed

22562226

Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer

22561444

Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan

22619557

Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash

22525888

Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan

25653755

Dr. Bader Al-Ansari

25620111

Neurologists:

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

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

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

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

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

25345875

Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman

22636464

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

22633135

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

25658888

Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr

25329924

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

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

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INTERNATIONAL CALLS Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antiga Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK)

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36

SPECTRUM

eidi Montag wishes she could go back to her old self. The reality TV star - who has gone under the knife for 10 plastic surgery procedures, including breast augmentation and a nose job - admitted while she wishes she could downsize her chest implants, she doesn’t want to go under the knife again. She explained: “I don’t want the biggest boobs in the world and, to be honest, I would take them out and downsize them but I don’t want to go under the knife again. I feel like I’m stuck with them now. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the original Heidi. “I don’t want to do that to my body

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

again. I don’t want to get any more Botox or any more surgery, or any more lip injections. I think I’m fine the way I am.” The 24-year-old blonde - who recently reunited with estranged husband Spencer Pratt - also confessed undergoing the procedures put a strain on her relationship. Heidi added to ABC News: “He didn’t sign up to be the nurse to his 23-year-old wife at the time, day and night. It was so traumatizing what my body looked like. I couldn’t look in the mirror. I was hysterically crying and he’s like, ‘I didn’t marry this girl’.”

enise Richards lies to her kids when she is going on a date. The former model - who has two daughters, Sam, six, and Lola, five, with ex-husband Charlie Sheen admitted she tells the girls she is going on a business trip when really she is out meeting men. She said: “When I go on dates, I tell Sam and Lola I have a meeting.” The 39-year-old beauty also confessed she has a “soft spot” for unwell and injured animals, and is currently looking after three canine cuties. She added to Us magazine: “I have a three-legged dog, a blind dog and one with terminal cancer. I have a soft spot for hard-to-place animals!” Despite not always being truthful about her romantic liaisons, Denise recently explained she likes to be a “hands-on” parent to Sam and Lola, as they are always her number one priority. She said: “I’m definitely a hands-on mom. For me it’s about priorities, and my girls always come first. I look at it as having a harmonious house more than balancing - it’s never quite balanced! “I have a rule - I won’t introduce my girls to anyone I’m dating unless it’s very serious.”

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he ‘Country Strong’ actress and her husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, raise their tw o children Apple, six, and Moses, four, betw een London and New York and the 38-year-old beauty finds the w ay the youngsters speak as a result of transatlantic living “bizarre”. She said: “Our kids go to school in London so w e’re there during the school year and w e come back w henever w e can, for holidays and summers. “Weirdly my son is half Brooklyn and half English, he’s got a really strange accent and my daughter is completely American w ith me at home or in America but completely British at school. It’s bizarre.” Gw yneth added that Apple’s accent can even change in the middle of a conversation. She explained to US talk show host Chelsea Handler on ‘Chelsea’s Big Interview Special’ .”If she’s home w ith a friend over she’s completely British w hen she talks to her friend and then she talks to me in an American accent. I w ant a video of it but I don’t w ant to embarrass her. It’s completely hilarious.” Despite her children’s unusual speaking habits, Gw yneth revealed she is happier than she has ever been. Speaking of w inning an Oscar at the age of 26 for ‘Shakespeare In Love’, she said: “I think I’m in a better place now , success and everything is amazing but all the good luck I have had in my life has led me to find my guy and our kids.”

T heryl Crow is selling her Tennessee home in an online auction. The ‘A Change Would Do You Good’ singer has put her Cross Creek Farm estate - which has 17 rooms over 10,000 square feet set across 150 acres of land - up for sale on the internet, with bidding currently standing at $1,125,000. The property includes a gated entry with security system, a six-car garage, nanny quarters and a three-bedroom, two-bath guest house. The dwelling also boasts a 14-stall barn, an indoor riding arena, a salt water pool and a theatre and utilizes solar paneling to reduce energy costs. The website listing to describe the property says: “Cross Creek Farm is a fully functional ‘Solar Farm’ generating over 40 per cent reduction in electric costs. “Magnificent countryside, modern 14 stall barn, large pond, and exquisite architecture distinguish this picturesque setting.” The 48-year-old singer - who has adopted sons Wyatt, three, and seven-month-old Levi - bought the estate in 2006, two years after she started renting the property. Sheryl reportedly listed the property for $7.5million in May, but couldn’t find a buyer. According to the auction terms, the highest bidder must pay cash and the deal has to be closed no later than January 14 next year.

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my Winehouse has made friends with a monkey while on vacation. The ‘Love Is a Losing Game’ singer is currently in Barbados staying at a private villa and landed herself the simian chum after she fed the animal while relaxing in the sun. The monkey has been following around the 27-year-old music star for the past week and she likes her new furry friend so much she wants to bring him back to the UK with her. A source told The Sun newspaper: “Amy has made friends with a monkey. It came up to her and she fed it and it’s been following her around. She’s been telling friends how much she loves it and would love to bring it back with her.” But Amy isn’t only in Barbados to make friends with monkeys, she is taking a short break before she heads out on the road for a series of concerts. The ‘Rehab’ hitmaker is performing a one-off show in Russia in December before heading to Brazil in January for a mini-tour which will include stops in Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paulo. She has also been working on the follow up to her multi-million selling ‘Back to Black’ album. Amy is known for her love of animals and at one point she owned 11 cats. However, she had to give the felines away earlier this year because they were wrecking her London home. She gave two to her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield and the rest to an animal shelter.

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he 29-year-old actress already has a two-year-old daughter Honor with her husband Cash Warren, but is keen to give her little girl a sibling. She said: “Honor’s so beautiful and I feel so enriched by being part of her life. She’s my main priority now and I want to give her the best life possible. Before she was born I was totally focused on my career, but now with Cash and our daughter I feel that I’m building a wonderful family. I would like to have more children at some point.” The ‘Machete’ actress says having a child brought her and Cash - who married in May 2008 - closer together and she insists he is the most important thing to her now. She added to Look magazine: “We didn’t plan on starting a family so soon but when it happened we realised what a beautiful moment it was. We’re a lot closer. The beauty of marriage and having a family is knowing you’re sharing everything with someone else and are committed to being part of each other’s lives. Cash and I understand that and together with our daughter, we want to have a wonderful life.” — Bang Showbiz

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eyonce Knowles often wonders why God gave her the life she has. The singer-and-actress who is deeply religious - is very grateful that her talent has given her a lifestyle most people could only dream of and while she sometimes finds it “overwhelming” she knows God chose her for a reason. She said: “Sometimes it’s overwhelming. Why did God give me my talent, my gift, my family. But I know you’re not supposed to question God. Only God knows. And I don’t take it for granted.” Beyonce was opening up in a new documentary, ‘I Am World Tour’, and says she decided to let a camera crew into her life because she sometimes feels lonely while on the road. She said: “There was one moment I was in China and I was in this huge suite and I looked out the window and there were just thousands of people walking and I couldn’t believe my life. I guess I was a bit lonely and I wanted to talk to someone so I opened up my computer and I just talked.” Beyonce who is married to hip-hop superstar Jay-Z - also revealed she is not quite ready to be a mother as she still has things she wants to achieve. Talking about babies, she said: “Nothing now but there will be one day. One of the reasons I haven’t had a child yet is because there are certain things I want to do before I focus on being a mother. I’m not there yet but I’m close.”

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SPECTRUM

Thursday, November 25, 2010

37

Music & Movies

DiCaprio donates $1 million to save tigers eonardo DiCaprio on Tuesday donated $1 million toward efforts to save tigers from extinction as he arrived in Moscow to take part in an international “tiger summit.” The star of movies “Titanic” and “Inception” made the $1 million commitment to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with whom he has been working this year on the Save Tigers Now campaign. DiCaprio, 36, is a committed environmentalist and a WWF board member who recently visited Nepal and Bhutan and toured a tiger habitat by elephant with an anti-poaching staff. According to wildlife experts just 3,200 tigers now live in the wild, down from 100,000 a century ago. Russia is hosting a 13nation meeting in St Petersburg this week to try and double the world’s wild tiger population by 2022. DiCaprio is among those attending the first-ever tiger summit. The actor’s first attempt to get to St Petersburg suffered a set-back on Sunday when his commercial flight to Moscow

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left with US actor Leonardo Di Caprio, after a concert dedicated to tiger conservation in St Petersburg, Russia. —AP

Julian Lennon to show photographs in US next month ulian Lennon, son of late Beatles legend John Lennon, is showing off what he can do with a camera. An exhibit called “Timeless” features about 30 of Lennon’s hand-signed portrait and landscape photographs and will run Dec 1-5 at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Prints of his photographs will sell for about $3,500 each, with a portion of the proceeds to go to the White Feather Foundation that he launched to further environmental and humanitarian causes. Lennon, 47, said Tuesday in a telephone interview from France that the exhibit will include photographs he took of the rock band U2, but those won’t be sold because those might be used for an upcoming U2 album. He said those taken in a photojournalism style show the reality of his subjects. “I am not going to do anybody any favors by covering the truth, but also I am not here to make people look bad either,” he said. He also said his exhibition includes works created in a painting-like style, including photographs of clouds that he called “a serious passion.” He said many of those photographs bring him a sense of peace. “For me it’s very much about finding a time and a place to feel a little at peace. It’s a Zen moment. It’s almost like meditation. It’s finding an image that makes me feel at peace and also close to Mother Nature and our surroundings,” he said. Lennon said he has been taking photos for years, but it wasn’t until he went on tour with his younger brother Sean a few years ago and took some backstage photos of him that he “really fell in love with it.” Some of Lennon’s photos also can be purchased at the SCOPE Miami Art Show, a satellite art fair running from Nov 30 to Dec 5. Lennon’s first photo exhibit was in September and he is going to release a new album next year called “Everything

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Ingrid Pitt, doyenne of Hammer horror films, dies ngrid Pitt, who survived a Nazi concentration camp and dodged Communist police to become one of Britain’s best-known horror stars, died Tuesday, her daughter said. She was 73.Steffanie Pitt said her mother collapsed while on her way to a birthday dinner due to be held in her honor over the weekend. The cause

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Polish-born actress Ingrid Pitt is seen in this Dec 19, 1968 b/w file photo. —AP of death wasn’t known, although Steffanie Pitt said her mother had recently been in poor health. Known in Britain principally as the buxom bloodsucker in “Vampire Lovers” and “Countess Dracula,” Ingrid Pitt’s acting career very nearly wasn’t. Born to a mother of Jewish descent, Pitt was interned in a Nazi concentration camp at the age of five.

was forced to return to New York after one of the plane’s engines shut down. DiCaprio “wishes to commend the actions of the pilot and flight crew in bringing the plane to a safe landing,” the actor’s representative said in a statement. DiCaprio’s $1 million donation will help support antipoaching efforts and protect critical tiger forests where the needs are most urgent. “Illegal poaching of tigers for their parts and massive habitat loss due to palm oil, timber and paper production are driving this species to extinction,” he said. “If we don’t take action now, one of the most iconic animals on our planet could be gone in just a few decades. By saving tigers, we can also protect some of our last remaining ancient forests and improve the lives of indigenous communities.” The 13 countries where tigers still exist are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. — Reuters

She survived the war, but was forced to flee Communist Berlin on the night of her planned stage debut, plunging into the River Spree in a bid to escape East German authorities. In a twist which easily surpassed the drama of the camp horror films in which she starred, she was rescued by an American soldier who would go on to become her husband. Her movie career was jump-started by her role in the 1968 action-adventure movie, “Where Eagles Dare.” The World War II drama would eventually lead to her being taken on by Britain’s Hammer Films-home to Christopher Lee’s “Dracula.” She would play alongside the horror legend in 1971’s “The House That Dripped Blood” and 1973’s “The Wicker Man.” Steffanie Pitt told The Associated Press that her mother was a determined woman and that “acting was in her blood from the word ‘go.” It seems her mother would have agreed, writing in her autobiography, “Life’s a Scream,” that she had a “strong sense of the dramatic even before I was born.” Indeed, Ingrid’s birth interrupted her parents’ attempts to flee Nazi Germany via Poland in 1937, delaying their attempt to escape to Britain. —AP

Review:

‘Nutcracker in 3-D’ crushes classic tale ho thought, OK, let’s take a classic tale like “The Nutcracker,” a holiday favorite that families have enjoyed together for over a century, turn it into a movie, convert it into 3-D, write lyrics to accompany Tchaikovsky’s beloved music, then twist the plot to include an oppressive, fascist society reminiscent of Nazi Germany, complete with a Hitler figure and uniformclad minions? It boggles the mind, but that’s what you get in “The Nutcracker in 3-D,” which seems too weird and dark for children - and not in an intriguing, artistic way like “Bambi” or “Fantasia” - but won’t entertain adults, either. Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky has said he’s spent the past 20 years working to bring “The Nutcracker” to the screen. Seeing the result makes you wish he’d devoted all that time and effort to a more worthwhile endeavor. Pointing a camera at the New York City Ballet performing George Balanchine’s version of “The Nutcracker” would have been far preferable - then again, so would videotaping a bunch of 9-year-old aspiring ballerinas doing it. This isn’t exactly a ballet on film. This is more like a live-action hodgepodge in which the characters sporadically burst into awkward song and dance. There is some choreography to go along with “Waltz of the Flowers,” though it’s performed by figures made out of computer-

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generated snowflakes whose moves are so fuzzy, it’s impossible to determine what they’re doing. At one point, there’s a sparkly Snow Fairy who ice skates, but that’s not even enjoyable in a kitschy kind of way. At the center of it all, as in the original, is a little girl. Here, her name has been changed to Mary and she’s played by Elle Fanning, whose preternatural poise and intelligence can’t do a thing to save this. It’s Christmas in 1920s Vienna, but Mary’s parents (Richard E Grant and Yulia Visotskaya) don’t seem to have much time for her or her younger brother (Aaron Michael Drozin). Their Uncle Albert shows up with some toys, including a wooden nutcracker shaped like a boy,

whom he has nicknamed NC. Uncle Albert is meant to be Albert Einstein, and Nathan Lane plays him as a jaunty, heavily accented buffoon who frequently looks into the camera to make inane observations. He also sings a song to the kids about the Theory of Relativity which is painful in its literal-mindedness. This is just one example of the clunky lyrics Tim Rice (“Evita,” “Jesus Christ Superstar”) has contributed, which distract from the purity and grace of the music. During “Waltz of the Flowers,” the Snow Fairy (also Visotskaya) sings to Mary: “Is each day a new beginning? Do you have a fight worth winning?” It’s just needless.

In this film publicity image released by Noisette Film Productions, Elle Fanning is shown in a scene from “The Nutcracker in 3D.” — AP

In keeping vaguely to the original story line, Mary goes to sleep but awakens in the middle of the night to find the Christmas tree has grown and the toys have come to life. She enters the tree with NC (a mix of animated figure voiced by Shirley Henderson and live performance from Charlie Rowe), who’s actually a prince cast under a spell. Soon, Mary finds that they’re both the targets of the Rat King (John Turturro), a cruel dictator who burns toys to create a giant smoke cloud that blocks out the sun. Yes, you read that right. A large portion of “The Nutcracker in 3-D” takes place in the Rat King’s bleak realm; in a flamboyant performance, Turturro wears a wig reminiscent of Andy Warhol but prances around in a military uniform, ordering his troops (some of whom have nasally New York accents) to snatch toys from the hands of weeping children. Then he, too, bursts into song, and it’s so campy, it’s like something out of “The Producers.” It’s not as if the visuals redeem the bizarre content; the lousy conversion from 2-D doesn’t exactly make the film an eye-popping delight. If this movie can be useful in any way, hopefully it will hammer home the point that not everything needs to be in 3-D. In fact, most movies don’t. “The Nutcracker in 3D,” from Freestyle Releasing, is rated PG. Running time: 107 minutes. One star out of four. — AP

An illuminated poster of The Beatles is seen on the side of an hotel in Liverpool, north-west England, on November 22, 2010. —AFP

Beatles sell over 2m in first week on iTunes he Beatles sold more than two million individual songs and more than 450,000 albums worldwide in their first week of release on Apple’s iTunes store, Apple said on Tuesday. Of the catalog of 13 Beatles studio albums released last week, “Abbey Road” was the top-selling digital album in the US at the iTunes store, landing at No 6 overall for the week ending Nov 22. “The Beatles Box Set” was No 10 on the iTunes US album charts for the week. “Here Comes the Sun” was the best-selling Beatles digital single but did not place in the top 10 for the week, Apple said. Apple did not release Beatles iTunes chart positions for territories outside the US. The Beatles catalog was released on iTunes, the world’s No 1 digital music retailer, for the first time on Nov 16, ending years of negotiations between Apple founder Steve Jobs, the Beatles management company

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and record label EMI . Billboard.com on Tuesday said the iTunes debut of the Fab Four compared favorably to those of other bands that for years resisted joining the digital music revolution. Rock band Led Zeppelin’s catalog made its digital debut in November 2007, generating total US digital album sales of 47,000 units and 300,000 individual songs in the first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But despite the fanfare last week over the arrival of the Beatles on iTunes, their 40 year-old classics failed to trump new material from the likes of R&B singer Rihanna, and the latest effort by the cast of hit TV musical comedy “Glee.” According to Apple, Rihanna’s new album “Loud” was the best iTunes album seller in the United States last week, followed by “The Christmas Album” of cover versions of holiday songs by the “Glee” cast. — Reuters

Black Eyed Peas test waters for 2011 stadium tour f the Black Eyed Peas have their way, “The Beginning” will indeed be the start of a new phase in the group’s career when it comes to performing live. After a test-run through stadiums in South America earlier this month, the Peas plan to promote the new album, which comes out Nov 30, in similar venues around the world. “South America was a test,” will.i.am told Billboard.com. “We did all our homework...to try to figure out how we can do stadiums in other countries, in America, in Europe. If Black Eyed Peas can do five O2 Arenas (in London), why don’t we just do it in one shot? If we can do three Staples Centers, we should do one Dodger Stadium. So that’s how we’ll probably tour this time around.” Will.i.am says he considers a stadium “the best one yet” to house a Peas show. “It’s like you’re there with all your friends. You’re there in front of 50,000 people and they’re there to watch you and your friends. Nothing gets any better than that. It’s the best feeling, the best one yet.” Will.i.am expects the Peas to hit the road again “after February,” when the group is rumored to be performing at the Super Bowl halftime show-although he would not confirm that. The more than twomonth lag will give fans a chance to

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soak up “The Beginning,” which the Peas wrote and recorded while on tour to promote 2009’s double-platinum chart-topper “The E.N.D.”

Will.i.am says the two albums are tied together thematically by their hits, “I Gotta Feeling” from “The E.N.D.” and “The Beginning’s” first

single, “The Time (Dirty Bit),” which samples “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from the hit 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.” “If ‘I Gotta Feeling’

was about someone who went out and said, ‘I have a feeling tonight’s gonna be a good night,’ what would that person say when they came back from that party? They’re probably going to tell you, ‘Wow, I had the time of my life,’ and that’s what ‘The Time’ is,” will.i.am explained. But the overall message of “The Beginning” runs a bit deeper than that, too. “‘The Beginning’ is about taking ownership ... of your life and not waiting for someone to give you the answers but to go out and search for those answers yourself,” he said. “We’re saying, ‘Don’t let the negativity rule you.’ Sometimes going out and celebrating is a departure. It’s a manifestation of your desire to live a happy life. Some people will say, ‘What the f—- am I celebrating? I ain’t got no job. I just got laid off. I got to pay for my mortgage. So what the hell is there to celebrate, Mr Will.i.am?’ “Well,” he continues, “you’re celebrating the fact that you’re alive and that you have a mind and that you know right from wrong. But you have to change your frequency. You have to change your outlook. You’re never going to achieve anything positive if you’re trapped in the negative. So what you’re going out and celebrating is that one day that will change, and that’s the beginning.” —Reuters


SPECTRUM

38

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Travel

By Gary A Warner he landlord of my oceanfront rental on the North Shore of Oahu called a couple of days after I checked in. How was my flight? Did I like the cottage? Oh, and she had a favor to ask. “Could you take all the lawn furniture to the back of the house and tie it to something?” she said sweetly. “I wouldn’t want it to get swept away.” As a longtime visitor to the North Shore in the winter, I had seen surf wondrously big and disappointingly small. But December 2009 would be different. A massive storm plowing 7,000 miles across the Pacific was throwing off waves the size of four-story apartment buildings. It would climax with what Surfer magazine dubbed “The Day of the Decade.” When I pulled into the little cottage just west of Waimea Bay, the wooden staircase down to the beach had been pulled up and strapped to a tree. A 10-by-3-foot chunk of the neatly mowed front lawn had been cleaved off by surging waves the night before and lay on the yellow sand beach four feet below. There was little time to consider the proximity of the ocean to my living quarters at the moment. I had to head to Sunset Beach, where I caught the three Gudauskas brothers of San Clemente, CalifPatrick, Tanner and Dane-facing off in a single heat at the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach. It was the first time three brothers had surfed against each other in a major competition. Ever. Tanner won in waves that topped 20 feet. “It’s a washing machine out there,” Tanner said, exuberant but exhausted. “It’s crazy insane. You look behind you and it’s like the Himalayan mountains are coming down on you.” Surfers on the North Shore live for big waves, but these sets were almost too much. Waves raced up the steep slope of the beach to undermine the photo tower and at one point surged into the tent where surfers were getting their preheat massages. Water splashed across the sidewalk and pooled on Kamehameha Highway. “This is the biggest, most dangerous surf I’ve ever sent contestants into,” said Randy Rarick, the longtime contest director. “Any bigger and Sunset would be closed out. We couldn’t surf at all.” The surf stayed large into the weekend, with Australian Joel Parkinson winning the contest Sunday. There’s a short lull between the Sunset Beach contest and the next regularly scheduled surf event, the Pipeline Masters contest at Banzai Pipeline. The off days are some of my favorite times. I get up late, drive down to Ted’s Bakery to see if there are any butter buns left (nope) and grab whatever’s left, along with a large cup of Kona blend coffee, to go. Then back along the “Kam Highway” to wander around the Surf n Sea shop in Haleiwa. By afternoon, I’m back at the cottage for sunset with mai tais and Maui-style ribs on the barbe-

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cue. It’s a studied sloth that fits the pace of the North Shore. November and December on the North Shore are like an annual surf industry convention, only the executives are often in T-shirts and boardshorts, sporting three days of stubble. Between heats, surfwear photographers on the beach shoot surfers (make sure to wear all your sponsor’s gear) and pose with bikini models for next year’s ads. Surfers and sponsors do business over breakfast at Cafe Haleiwa or dinner at Haleiwa Joe’s. It was late Sunday afternoon that the call came from the landlord. So with some help, I tied up a bench, table, lawn chairs, a kayak and some other gear to the backside of the house, farthest from the surf. Night fell and outside the windows, it was pitch black. I couldn’t see the ocean, but I could smell the salty mist drifting in from the shore break. Most of all I could hear the waves. Boom. Swoosh. Boom. Swoosh. Breaking on the sand, then the water rushing back out.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Buoy 51001 sits in the Pacific 170 miles northwest of Kauai. It’s part of a tsunami warning system put in place after a killer tidal wave hit Hilo in 1960. But the signals from the buoy also tell surfers what’s coming. Jamie had been watching it for days as the measurements went to 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 feet. It was now 20 feet there. Though there was considerable wiggle room, that roughly translated into waves up to 40 feet hitting the North Shore 10 hours later. I packed up clothes but not the computer or photo equipmentnothing valuable since the North Shore has its share of car thefts-and moved the car to higher ground. At Jamie’s suggestion, I closed all the window ventilation louvers on the ocean side of the house and when I went to bed, shut the door of my bedroom. That way any rogue wave wouldn’t wash through the windows or even bust through the glass. I went to bed, trying to avoid

Surfers come out for a big day at the Banzai Pipeline. — MCT photos

A crowd gathers to watch the 2009 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave surf contest. I was used to that. I had heard waves in the darkness for more than two decades of trips. But this was different. With each unseen crash of surf, the house vibrated with force of water on land. I turned on the TV and flipped through the local newscasts, with the anchors in aloha shirts talking in grave stones about the coming storm. Just before midnight, there was a knock on the door. “It’s Jamie, sorry it’s so late, but I saw the light on.” Jamie DeMatoff lived in a small studio apartment on the same property as the cottage. Among a variety of ventures, he ran a wave forecasting service, High Surf Warning. “51001 is over 20 feet-you might think about packing up your car and moving it closer to the highway or even the other side,” he said. Jamie had given me a tutorial the day before on how to tell if things were going to go from big to bad on the North Shore. The

tsunamis in my dreams. I hadn’t left the cottage that night because of “The Eddie.” The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is the top paddle-in big wave contest in the world. It’s held each winter at Waimea Bay from December to February, but only if waves top 25 feet. In the 25 years since it started, The Eddie had gone off seven times, the last in 2004. It’s a revered contest that almost never happens. When it does happen, the highway on the North Shore becomes gridlock. If you are not already there, it’s next to impossible to get in. Aikau was a top surfer and the first official lifeguard on the North Shore. He lost his life in 1978 trying to paddle a surfboard to summon help for a disabled, traditional Hawaiian canoe. The rest of the crew was rescued. Aikau was never seen again. Surfers gathered in early December for the opening cere-

mony at Waimea Bay featuring many of the 30 or so invitees, who took part in traditional Hawaiian blessings and a barbecue. Leis and mementos are laid out on the memorial to Aikau in the park. After the opening ceremony is held, everybody usually goes home-back to California or Australia or South America-to wait for the call that usually doesn’t come. This year, with an eye on the storm, nobody left Oahu. Dec 7. Pearl Harbor Day. Gray skies. Gray ocean. Sweaters, not bikinis, at the beach. Some sets of waves topped 30 feet. But the swirling, slamming, whitewater-filled surf left few spots for a rider to get up on a board and ride a wave. Organizers huddled. Waimea was too big for the contest. That didn’t stop dozens of surfers with boards more than 9 feet long called “guns” (what oldtimers called “rhino-chasers”) from getting out in the water. Veteran Australian surfer Tom Carroll decided to try his luck in the

bumpy surf and ended up snapping his left ankle in an ugly wipeout. He was packed in an ambulance and taken to a hospital. “We’ve got broken boards and broken bodies today,” said Beau Hodge, a contest announcer. “We’ve got the size, but not the perfect conditions that Eddie would want.” Don Bigelow, a surf shop owner from Orange, Calif, had flown in when he heard the surf was big. “I’ve been surfing for 33 years and I’ve never seen Waimea this big,” Bigelow said. The word went out: Return tomorrow at 7 am Back at the cottage, rain splattered on the windows. I stopped by Jamie’s studio and knocked on the door to get an update on “that buoy.” It was dropping, he said, though not by much. But chances of the nightmare scenario of surf that would surge across the highway were lessening. The weather report called for clearing skies. I slept with the louvers and bedroom door open, letting the trade winds cool

A surfer is thrown off his board while surfing the Banzai Pipeline.

the humid indoors. By the time the purple of the sunrise turned to white light, the roads to Waimea Bay were clogged with cars, stretching back 5 miles toward Haleiwa. Local surfers and Honolulu tourists crawled through traffic. The voices along the horseshoe-shaped bay included Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese. I had come before dawn, paying $10 to park at the Catholic church on top of the hill above the bay. The skies and water were a brilliant blue. The stormy skies were gone, but the huge waves remained. From the church courtyard, the lines of sets stretched off like folds in a sheet, all the way to the horizon. At 7 am, George Downing, the 79-year-old director of the contest, gave the green light. The Eddie was a go. Word spread through the crowd on the beach, up both sides of the highway and onto the high bluffs. Here was the greatest, rarest big wave surf contest in the world, and if you could get there and find a place to park, it cost nothing. No premium box seats. No valet parking. Just grab some beach or part of the rail on the highway. Kelly Slater set the tone for the day, riding a huge wave early on, disappearing into the whitewater before shooting out, his fist pumped in the air. Judges scored it a 98. Veteran Hawaiian surfer Sunny Garcia scored a 95-point wave. The crowd would cheer at each takeoff and gasp and groan when a wave engulfed a surfer, some falling end over end down the wave face before being hammered by the break. Jetskis swooped in to help boardless surfers, while a lifeguard helicopter hovered nearby. Slater seemed to have the contest wrapped before Greg Long of San Clemente picked a massive wave late in the contest and plummeted down over the lip and down the face. Long appeared for a long moment to be engulfed by the wave as he dipped out of sight at the bottom. But when the whitewater cleared, Long had cut to the side and dodged a pounding. “That was guts and glory right there,” shouted one of the announcers. Long scored a 100 and moved past Slater to the top of the leader board. The first-place payday of $55,000 was great, but the real payoff was winning a title held by only eight surfers in the world. Winner of The Eddie. “It’s such a magical day. It’s really a dream come true,” Long said The contest over, it was time to pack up the cottage and head down to Waikiki and the calm waters of the southern end of Oahu. Picking my way through the traffic, I passed DeMatoff, who has a silk screening side business. He was on the side of the road holding up a white shirt. “I survived the Great Swell of 2009,” the shirts read. I bought a few, then turned left at Haleiwa and headed up over the island toward the skyscrapers of Honolulu, promising to come back for 2010. It would almost be a new decade and there could be another “day.” — MCT


This product image courtesy of Talbots shows their Crystal sprinkled scarf. —AP

irtual fashion community Polyvore and American designer Rebecca Minkoff have teamed up to sponsor an online design contest taking place now through November 26. Rebecca Minkoff is asking Polyvore users to redesign her iconic Morning After Clutch, which has been spotted on celebrities such as Agyness Deyn, Lauren Conrad, Keira Knightley, Ashley Greene, and Reese Witherspoon. Polyvore’s fashion and social shopping platform features a virtual styling tool that

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allows users to mix and match products from any online store to create fashion collections called “sets,” which they can publish and share with their friends and the Polyvore community. For this challenge, contestants must re-imagine Minkoff’s coveted clutch by assembling “sets” incorporating at least two contest-specific items-leather, hooks, tassels, studs, fringes, zippers, strings-that are provided on the site. Minkoff, whose eponymous brand comprises accessories, small leather goods and apparel, will personally

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scarf can be a wardrobe’s workhorse. It adds color, style, and, especially as the weather turns wintery, warmth. Now, if you only knew how to tie the thing. Don’t go for a complicated knot, says Talbots’ fashion director Tammy Vipperman. Flair largely comes from confidence, so any hesitation about tying the scarf will show, she adds, but there are plenty of easy knots that still kick up your outfit. “If you can fold laundry and tie a basic knot, you can wear a scarf,” she says. Her tips:

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heel-with a necklace. Let’s bust the myth right now that you can’t wear a scarf and a necklace.” —THE NOODLE Vipperman’s word for the knit scarf with built-in ruffles is the “noodle,” because it stretches, bends and bounces. “You can sort of do whatever you want with it. It’s a terrific base,” she says. You get an Elizabethan-collar effect if you keep looping it around to the bustline level, tying it loosely at the back of the neck. Go a little tighter and you have a turtleneck. You also can wear it long and loose, not really tying it at all.

SILK SQUARE Lay the scarf flat on a table, taking two opposite-end corners and folding them into the center, giving you two straight edges. Keep folding those outer straight edges into the center until you have, essentially, a scarf sash. Wrap it around your neck, setting up the knot slightly toward one side. Pull the two ends into an X to tie. The key to the flattest, most flattering knot will be to cross the ends so the outside piece is on the bottom, closest to the body, and then pulling that over the top and then down through the knot so it will stay in place and not flap around, Vipperman says. “Most people think this is the most intimidating scarf,” she says. “But you can wear it with a cardigan, denim, a little

THE WRAP This is the scarf you want with you all the time. It goes under a coat, over a coat, with a low neckline or a high one, and it’s the perfect thing to keep at the office where the temperature can go up and down, Vipperman says. She doesn’t like it to be worn perfectly, though. She prefers to fold it corner to corner to make a triangle, put it over the shoulders on a slightly uneven bent, tie it with the outside piece now coming out from under the knot and then create a one-sided bow. That gives it “flourish,” she explains. Other than the delicate silk scarves, most are tied underhanded with the end coming out the top to create volume. Scarves are a sign of personal style, and, for the most part, you want to draw attention to them, she says.

select the top ten winners. Web users will then be asked to whittle down the list by voting on Minkoff ’s Facebook page from December 1-8. The winner will be flown to New York to meet Minkoff in person and his/her design will be unveiled at the designer’s runway show in February 2011 during New York Fashion Week. The bag, which will be named after the winner, will be available for purchase starting March 2010 via Minkoff’s e-commerce site. Headquarted in the Silicon Valley, Polyvore users span the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil and Japan. The site attracts more than 6 million unique visitors a month and since its launch, Polyvore users have created more than 20 million fashion “sets.” In addition to partnering with Minkoff, the online fashion community previously teamed up with Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg, Gap, and Coach. Online contests are increasingly being used by retail and beauty companies to find their next product design or brand ambassador. For instance, cosmetics brand MAC is currently sponsoring its “Mac Me Over!” contest, which seeks to tap into the beauty brand’s fan base to find six individuals to star in the worldwide campaign for its fall 2011 collection. And in 2008, UK shoe company Dr. Martens received more than 25,000 entries when it sponsored a design contest in search of the next Dr. Martens boot. The winners had their creations sold in shops worldwide. — AFP

Pakistani models present creations by Pakistani designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin during a fashion show in Lahore on late November 23, 2010. — AFP

THE BOHO This scarf is longer, thinner and usually with fringe on the end. Because of its length, it’s really the only shape you can successfully toss oh-so-casually over the shoulders. Start with the end that’s going to hang in front, positioning it about mid-thigh. Wrap the rest of the scarf around the neck, crossing in the front and then to the back, letting the other side hang down. It’ll be hanging down the same side as the piece in the front. Vipperman, though, wants people to experiment on their own and do whatever is comfortable with their scarves-as long as they’re wearing them: “A scarf can be ‘runway,’ a head-to-toe basic, whatever you want. Play with them and have fun.”— AP

ucci hit the 3 million fan mark on Facebook. The Italian label may soon surpass Burberry, which boasts 3.2 million fans, as the most widely followed fashion brand on the social networking site. Gucci’s Facebook milestone follows hot on the heels of the announcement made by Burberry on November 19 that it had broken the 3-million-fan mark. Just this past weekend, Facebook EMEA Vice President Joanna Shields had proclaimed the UK luxury label as the “most widely followed brand on Facebook.” “Burberry is no longer just a fashion company-today they are a thriving media enterprise,” Shields said. “[Burberry’s] successful not just because it makes great clothes but because it understands the importance of sparking interest in the community and using social media to engage and delight their consumers.” But Burberry is facing stiff competition from Gucci. Both brands hit the 2-million-fan mark on Facebook this past October and both are equally aggressive when it comes to engaging their respective online communities. They each regularly post product announcements, photos, videos and lookbooks of their upcom-

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Burberry Facebook Fan Page A personal thank you note from Christopher Bailey.—AFP

CASHMERE The classic winter scarf with fringe at the edges is nice because it’s practically flat when worn under a coat, Vipperman says. She prefers the “gentleman’s fold,” which really isn’t a fold: The scarf goes around the neck and the sides are flat against the body and positioned like lapels of a jacket. An alternate is to fold the scarf in half-so its length is two layers-make a loop at the fold, wrap the scarf around the neck, pulling the loose end through the loop. Vipperman likes to see this look in a bright, cheerful color against a neutral-colored coat.

ing collections on their Facebook walls. Additionally, Gucci launched the “Eye Want You” Facebook application earlier this month, which features eyewear from the new Gucci Eyeweb Collection designed by Creative Director Frida Giannini. The viral video application allows Facebook users to create and deliver their own personal messages to friends. And last month, both brands were included in the Digital IQ Index of Luxury Brands published by the marketing think tank Luxury Lab. The study quantified the digital competence of 72 global luxury brands by accessing brand websites, digital marketing strategies, social media initiatives and mobile applications. Gucci, ranked fourth, won accolades for the launch of its digital flagship GucciConnect this past fall, as well as for live-streaming its Spring/Summer 2011 show in Milan. Burberry, ranked sixth, garnered praise for its social networking fashion blog artofthetrench.com, which it launched in fall 2009. Scott Schuman of influential fashion blog The Sartorialist teamed up with Facebook to create the blog, which is centered solely around the iconic Burberry trench coat. — AFP


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By Karin Zeitvogel ictor is a 45-pound (20 kilogram) turkey who would be welcome at many a table today when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. But when Victor graces a dinner table, he comes as guest of honor with his feathers puffed up rather than as the main course with his innards stuffed, which is the way some 46 million turkeys are expected to end up this Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Victor will never be one of them. He is one of a growing number of turkeys who are living out their days at animal sanctuaries after being rescued from slaughterhouses and cages around the United States. Some are saved by the US president in a tradition-pardoning the Thanksgiving Day turkey-that dates back to John F Kennedy in the 1960s. The turkey who will be pardoned by President Barack Obama this year will live out his days at the Virginia estate of America’s founding president, George Washington. Victor owes a debt of gratitude not to the US president but to the growing number of vegetarians and vegans in the country. Victor was found four years ago on Thanksgiving day, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November, walking down a road in the Washington suburb of Germantown. He was just several months old-turkeys who are destined for the dinner table usually end up in a deep-freeze when they are about four months old. Luckily for him, he was found by a couple of vegans, who took him to Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Maryland, where this year he celebrated his fourth birthday. Last weekend, Victor joined the sanctuary’s other turkeys, guinea fowl, Japanese silkies, bantam hens, peacocks, even pigs who might have ended up as honey roasted hams on Thanksgiving, for a dinner thrown for the animals by humans. On the menu for the birds was corn, grapes, tofu, greens, apples. The pigs got pumpkins. While Victor

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Kaitlyn Ferrara, marketing manager for the W Hotel, tries to control a turkey that is getting some exercise on a rooftop deck at the W Hotel in Washington, DC, yesterday, one day before being pardoned by US President Barack Obama at the White House. — AFP and his fellow fowl feasted on their food, some 800 humans sat at long tables under a warm autumn sun and dined on couscous, quinoa, beans, pumpkin soup, pasta and other vegan dishes they had brought along. Vegan food contains neither meat, dairy, eggs nor honey. The first time Poplar Spring held its Thanksgiving dinner for the turkeys 12 years ago,

50 people showed up. This year, more than 800 turned out, a fact that could be attributed to the rising popularity of a vegan and vegetarian diet in the United States. “There’s been a steadily increasing number of vegetarians and we have seen a big jump in the proportion of that population who are vegans,” said

ennifer Grey is having the time of her life again after overcoming painful neck and back injuries and a voting bloc for Bristol Palin to become the new “Dancing With the Stars” champion. Grey, who consistently topped the judges’ leaderboard throughout the season, took the title on the television celebrity dance competition Tuesday, outscoring fellow finalistsr Kyle Massey and Bristol Palin, who was buoyed for weeks by passonate voters and online efforts to support the single mom. Disney Channel star Massey finished second. Palin, the daughter of former Alaska Gov Sarah Palin, was third. Grey dazzled the judges with her routines just as she did filmgoers as Patrick Swayze’s partner in the climactic ballroom dance to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” in the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.” Grey gave a nod to her breakthrough film role by performing a waltz Tuesday with her profesional partner Derek Hough. “It’s a great gift to be part of a show that gives people so much joy,” Grey said after the show. “And that’s really what I think dancing does.” Grey, who overcame painful neck, back and knee injuries to earn three perfect scores in the run-up to Tuesday’s finale, said her mind went blank in the moments before she was named the winner. “I was in a surrender moment of whatever happens will be great,” the 50-year-old actress said after the show, an ice pack tucked into the back of her fringecovered costume as she spoke with reporters. “The absolute destination for me was the journey. The journey was the gift.” Still, Grey was happy to have the mirrorball trophy, and to turn her partner, Hough, into the show’s first three-time winner. The actress plans to keep the trophy in her daughter’s room, adding, “She earned it.” Grey’s husband, actor Clark Gregg, and their daughter were regulars in the ballroom each week throughout Grey’s run on the

John Cunningham, the consumer research manager at the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG). According to VRG, around six to eight million US adults out of a total population of some 300 million are vegetarian, and around half of them are vegan. The main reason people become vegetarian is “because they don’t want to participate in the slaughter of animals,” said Cunningham. Dining with the likes of Victor and his fellow Poplar Spring residents has pushed some Americans towards vegetarianism, said Terry Cummings, co-founder and director of Poplar Spring. “Coming here plants a seed in people’s minds: they eat well, they meet the birds, and I think a lot of them are surprised at how much like a pet dog a turkey can be,” she said. “Our white domestic turkey, Opal, was following people, letting them pat her,” Cummings said. Americans who bond with turkeys can adopt one of the birds to save its life. The turkey will go to live at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York, which ironically is not far from the town of Corning, which is the name of a popular type of US cookware. Humane humans can also switch to a vegan alternative to turkey for Thanksgiving. Called Tofurky, it has been available since the mid-1990s. While US turkey production has doubled since 1970 to meet greater consumer demand, Tofurky production has increased more than 600-fold since 1995, the year Seth Tibbott created the vegan alternative to turkey and sold 500 Tofurky roasts. Last year, 340,000 Tofurkys were sold in the United States and 2010 sales figures were six percent higher in November than for the whole of 2009. But turkeys shouldn’t rest on their laurels-which, of course, are bay leaves, a popular seasoning added to turkeys while they are roasting. Americans remain the biggest eaters of turkey in the world, consuming 7.7 kilograms (15 pounds) of the meat a year-the equivalent of a third of Victor. —AFP

A turkey gets some exercise on a rooftop deck at the W Hotel in Washington.—AP

J northern Indian village has banned unmarried women from using cell phones for fear they will arrange forbidden marriages that are often punished by death, a local official said yesterday. The Lank village council decided unmarried boys could use mobile phones, but only under parental supervision, council member Satish Tyagi said. Local women’s rights group criticized the measure as backward and unfair. Marriages between members of the same clan are forbidden under Hindu custom in some parts of north India, where unions are traditionally arranged by families. In conservative rural areas, families sometimes mete out extreme punishments, including socalled honor killings, for those who violate marriage taboos. In some cases, village councils themselves have ordered the punishments, though police often intervene to stop them. The Lank village council feared young men and women were secretly calling one another to arrange forbidden elopements. Last month, 34 couples eloped in Muzaffarnagar district, where Lank is located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, police said. Among the couples who eloped, eight honor killings have been reported in the last month, police said. “Three girls were beheaded by the male members of their family after they eloped” with boys from their same clan, said police assistant director general Brij Lal in the state capital of Lucknow. Rulings by village councils — called panchayats and comprised of village elders selected by the community — are not legally binding in India, but are seen as the will of the local community, and those who flout them risk being ostracized. In Uttar Pradesh, panchayats are particularly powerful and have declared that boys and girls of the same clan are essentially siblings. The cell phone ban for unmarried women is part of a wider, regional effort to curb intraclan marriage among the 3 million population of western Uttar Pradesh, Tyagi said. The Lank council ruling, which applies to around 50,000 people, is being considered by councils in the nearby villages. “The village council members feel that cell phones helped in elopement of young couples,” he said by cell phone from Muzaffarnagar. The conflict is relatively new for the Indian region, where most marriages are still arranged by the parents, sometimes without the couple meeting before the wedding. But young people are mingling more these days, with more women in schools and offices and increased access to the Internet, cybercafes and social networking sites. They are also watching more Western TV shows that focus on independence and individuality, sociologists say. Cell phones, meanwhile, have become so common and affordable that even city slum dwellers, rural day laborers and children have them. Across the nation of 1.2 billion, there were more than 670 million cell phone connections as of August, with the number growing by nearly 20 million a month, according to government figures. The local women’s rights group Disha said banning cell phone use over sexual politics demonstrated the councils’ archaic mindset, and warned it could put girls at a disadvantage in other areas of life. “These help in easy communication, which in turn help these youth to get jobs. One cannot discriminate use of these contraptions on basis of sex,” Disha president KN Tiwari said. —AP

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In a photo provided by ABC, Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough celebrate on stage with the mirror ball trophy after winning the Dancing with the stars competition in Los Angeles. — AP show. Grey was a consistent high-scorer who earned a string of perfect 10s for several recent dances. Her victory didn’t surprise her fellow finalists. “I thought from day one Jennifer was going to win,” said professional dancer Lacey Schwimmer, who finished in second place as Massey’s partner. Palin said she didn’t have any expectations when she decided to do “Dancing With the Stars,” but on

A room in the home of Ernie and Nancy Lindsay of Grundy County, Ill. The Lindsays spruced up an unused area over their garage into a 1950s diner complete with vintage jukebox, transistor radio and neon signs.

hen Kim and Jim Howatt, “big ‘Star Wars’ geeks,” began planning an entertainment room in their basement at home in Illinois, they sought state-of-the-art home-theater amenities: a highdefinition large-screen TV, a DVD player, a VCR and a surround-sound stereo speaker system. But that was just part of the galactic extravaganza. With the help of Orren Pickell Designers & Builders, the Howatts created a one-of-a-kind room modeled after Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer vessel, with angled walls, spaceship-like details on the ceiling, stadium seating for 12, and handpainted murals of ships and planets. It’s the ideal space for the couple’s “Star Wars” parties, which start with breakfast followed by a marathon of all six movies. “There is nothing quite like being able to stay home and have a movie experience that is far better than going to the theater,” says Kim Howatt, a computer programmer like her husband. “You can show up late, you can hit ‘pause,’ you can serve adult beverages. The only thing that would get us out to a public movie theater now would be a seventh ‘Star Wars’ movie.” The Howatts, who live in Libertyville, Illinois, aren’t the

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Tuesday’s episode, she said that winning the ABC dance contest “would be like a big middle finger to all the people out there that hate my mom and hate me.” After the show, Palin’s partner, Mark Ballas, downplayed the voting controversy that threatened to overshadow the couple’s performances. “Politics aside, this is a dance show,” he said. “Let’s just focus on the good things.” But voter support for

This undated photo courtesy of Ken Hayden shows a meditation room by Los Angeles interior designer Lori Dennis in a Hollywood Hills home in Calif. — AP photos

only ones cocooning in a specialty room at home. Such personalized spaces go beyond the typical private gym, home office, indoor pool, wine cellar or billiard room. There’s a laundry area turned into a dedicated puzzle room, for instance, a wall refigured into a climbing wall, and tasting rooms for sushi or tequila. Here are a few more signature rooms that raise the bar for personal space: • Bowling, anyone? There’s no waiting for lanes if you can spare around $100,000 —the average price for two lanes of a regulation-length bowling alley, including setup, from United Bowling Worldwide in Yulee, Florida. For $30,000, you’ll get all used equipment; for $175,000 or more you’ll get the most lavish. Setup can include everything “right down to the bowling shoes, just like a regular bowling alley would have,” says Matthew Claxton, the company’s vice president. Why would homeowners knock down walls when there’s a bowling alley a mere car ride away? “Because they like to go bowling but don’t

Palin, including get-out-the-vote efforts spearheaded by some conservative bloggers, became a focal point during the “Dancing” season, as week after week former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s daughter outlasted more talented dancers. A flurry of media coverage erupted when Bristol Palin was voted in over the singer Brandy-who had received a perfect score for her tango-prompting some viewers to question the veracity of the “Dancing” voting system. Producers maintained that the system was sound and Palin was just very popular. The show did experience some voting problems this week. Producers said Tuesday that “a record amount of activity” overloaded its online and telephone voting systems after Monday’s episode. “Some viewers reported experiencing difficulties registering their votes for the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ finale, which affected each finalist equally,” show producers said in a statement. “The issue was promptly addressed” and voting times were not extended. Palin acknowledged that the voting frenzy may have been good for the show. “I think it boosted its ratings,” she said. Viewer votes are combined with judges’ scores to determine where each couple stands. Tuesday’s two-hour season finale also included performances by Christina Aguilera and colorful routines from some of this season’s past contestants, including a “Baywatch”-themed number by David Hasselhoff, a dance showdown between pro athletes Rick Fox and Kurt Warner, and a quickstep by Brandy that got a standing ovation. Comedian Margaret Cho, actress Florence Henderson and reality star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino also appeared on the season closer. Cho’s professional partner, Louis Van Amstel, has an idea for how the show can top itself next season: “Bring in a same-sex couples,” he said. “Why not?”—AP

This photo shows the basement of Kim and Jim Howatt in Libertyville, Ill. Modeled after Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer vessel, their one-of-a-kind room with angled walls and space ship-like details on the ceiling boasts stadium seating for 12 and hand-painted murals of ships and planets.

want to deal with the hassles of going out in public,” says Claxton. “Because it looks classy and adds to the home value. Or maybe because they are big socialites and like to entertain guests.” • Meditation Room Time was when someone might create a place to meditate with some floor cushions, a CD player and fragrant candles. Lori Dennis, a Los Angeles interior designer, said she frequently gets asked to design something quite different: chic, very expensive meditation rooms. Ones with “expensive luxuries like $200 per yard (meter) fabric, custom meditation benches, custom wall murals in gold leaf paint, cashmere hand knit throws and accessory art in the $10,000s.” She has designed a shower with a view of the Pacific Ocean, exotic veneers and a Venetian glass vessel bowl. “This is because meditation and chanting is a big deal in Hollywood,” Dennis says. “The most sought-after chant and meditation leaders, like Deepak (Chopra), are invited to head up small parties of important peo-

ple in these spaces. It’s a new way to hold an exclusive power meeting.” • Retro Diner On their farm in Grundy County, Illinois Ernie Lindsay, a retired automotive components engineer, and his wife Nancy, a homemaker, enjoy collecting vintage diner and gas station memorabilia-so much that they spruced up an unused area over their garage and turned it into a 1950s diner. The diner also functions as a “lobby” where guests can congregate at a mini-bar and watch on a flatscreen monitor the same movie playing in the Lindsays’ adjacent home theater. With its 1954 Seeburg jukebox, transistor radio, neon signs and old-time black-and-white tiled floor, the diner, completed by Barrett’s Technology Solutions, fairly recalls the set of “Happy Days” or “Grease.” Pull up to the dinette table, and you’re back in the day of the drugstore soda fountain. “There is no better experience than a banana split served in a ‘50s-era glass boat,” says Lindsay. Let the good times roll. — AP

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