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

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2010

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Who can I sue? By Badrya Darwish

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ome November and the weather starts getting so beautiful outside. At last we can close the A/Cs for a while and breathe fresh year. All the year round I go to the gym trying to keep fit. I thought that since the weather has become so beautiful I can do exercise the healthy way. What is better than the seaside? I put on my gear, got enthusiastic and drove to Salmiya where I used to jog starting from the Scientific Centre to Marina and back. All went well until I got out of my car and started heading towards the Corniche, where my starting point is. I was struck not by lightning, thank God, or a hurricane. I was struck by the stink which hits you like a torpedo in the nose. I told myself it would be just the first few meters. I continued walking telling myself: “I’ll do it.” The more I walked, however, the stronger the fragrance started hitting my nostrils. I thought: “Let me go back to my car and drive to another place where I can start walking from. Maybe it would be better.” So, I parked near the Hard Rock café and started walking towards Marina. Guys, I couldn’t bear it. The sewage smell was getting worse and worse and I felt like vomiting. I tried to wrap my nose with my scarf and looked like a Bedouin who was riding his camel in the middle of the desert. Bas! Maku faida (no use)! I surrendered; I went back to my car and drove home- depressed, suppressed, disgusted and frustrated. Who is responsible for all this? Who can I sue? Can I sue anybody for this environmental crime? I thought that the Mishref affair was over by now. It looks like it is not. The solution was to dump it and find easy access into the sea. Have you noticed that nobody is talking about this affair any more? Nobody is telling us anything about it and it is no longer mentioned in the newspapers. Isn’t this an environment crime? Or it doesn’t concern our MPs at all. They do not even mention it any more. They no longer have any interest in the topic. I think we should invite them to take a walk at the seaside. Maybe then they will share some national feeling towards the sea, which I have mentioned 101 times before - is the heritage of Kuwait. Far before the discovery of oil it was the lifeline of the country and it could have remained one of the lifelines for Kuwait. Bottom line: I am going back to my gym, unfortunately. Or maybe, if you want to jog you can fly to Doha or Dubai. Have a good evening!

NO: 14923

150 FILS

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THULHIJA 23, 1431 AH

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Saudi donors financing Qaeda? WikiLeaks unleashes flood of confidential US cables WASHINGTON: WikiLeaks has unleashed a torrent of more than a quarter million confidential US cables detailing a wide array of potentially explosive diplomatic episodes, the New York Times said yesterday. The newspaper reported details of a tense standoff with Pakistan over nuclear fuel, plans to reunite the Korean peninsula after the North’s eventual collapse, bazaar-like bargaining over the repatriation of Guantanamo Bay detainees and a Chinese government bid to hack into Google. The cables also detail fresh suspicions about Afghan corruption, Saudi donors financing Al-Qaeda, and the US failure to prevent Syria from providing a massive stockpile of weapons to the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon since 2006. According to leaked documents, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program. Also, leaked memos from US embassies

across the Middle East recorded the king’s “frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program.” The memo showed that the king told the United States to “cut off the head of the snake,” and said that working with Washington to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq was “a strategic priority for the king and his government.” The whistle-blower website’s chief Julian Assange said earlier yesterday the release of the US documents by the whistle-blower website would cover “every major issue,” as governments braced for damaging revelations. “Over this last month much of my energy and activities have been spent preparing for the upcoming release of a diplomatic history of the United States,” Assange said. “Over 250,000 classified cables from US embassies all around the world, and we can see already in the past week or so that the United States

has made movements to try to disarm the effect that this could have.” The White House immediately slammed the release as a “reckless and dangerous action” that puts lives at risk around the world. “To be clear-such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement. US officials in recent days have raced to contain the fall-out by warning more than a dozen countries, including key allies Australia, Britain, Canada, Israel and Turkey. Late on Saturday Washington ruled out negotiating with WikiLeaks, saying it possessed the cables in violation of US law. In a letter to Assange and his lawyer that was released to the media, the US State Department also said the planned leak would endanger the lives of “countless

innocent individuals.” “We will not engage in a negotiation regarding the further release or dissemination of illegally obtained US government classified materials,” State Department legal adviser Harold Koh wrote. US officials said this was in response to a letter Assange had sent to the State Department on Friday in which he had tried to address concerns that the planned release placed individuals at risk. “As far as we are aware, and as far as anyone has ever alleged in any credible manner whatsoever, no single individual has ever come to harm as a result of anything that we have ever published,” Assange said on Sunday. The State Department said in its letter to Assange that WikiLeaks would also “place at risk on-going military operations” as well as “traffickers in human beings and illicit arms, violent criminal enterprises and other actors that threaten global security.” Continued on Page 14

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Battle rages over MP’s immunity Burgan Bank sues Muslim, seeks damages By B Izzak KUWAIT: The National Assembly legal and legislative committee yesterday rejected a request by the public prosecution to lift the immunity of opposition MP Faisal Al-Muslim in order to face trial amid a confrontation between the government and its supporters and opposition MPs. Burgan Bank has sued MP Muslim for showing during the grilling of the Prime Minister in June a copy of a KD200,000-cheque signed by the Prime Minister in favor of a former MP issued through the bank. The Bank is seeking damages for revealing

KOREAN PENINSULA: A Marine Corps C-130 Hercules leads a formation of F/A-18C Hornets as they fly in formation over the aircraft carrier USS George Washington in the seas east of the Korean peninsula. — AP

N Korea ‘readies missiles’ US, S Korea begin war games; tensions escalate YEONPYEONG: North Korea has placed surface-tosurface missiles on launch pads in the Yellow Sea, Yonhap news agency said, as the United States and South Korea began military drills and China called for emergency talks. China made clear that the talks would not amount to a resumption of six-party disarmament discussions which North Korea walked out of two years ago and declared dead. South Korea said it would carefully consider China’s suggestion. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak had told

a visiting Chinese delegation that Beijing, North Korea’s only major ally which is traditionally reluctant to criticize the reclusive regime, should do more to help. China, which agreed with South Korea that the situation was “worrisome”, suggested the emergency talks for December among North and South Korea, host China, the United States, Japan and Russia. It did not say whether Pyongyang had agreed to join. Japan was non-committal. “We want to respond

cautiously while cooperating closely with South Korea and the United States,” Kyodo news agency quoted Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama as saying. Beijing has long-standing bonds with Pyongyang, and has sought to shield its small, poor neighbor from a backlash that China fears could draw an even more ferocious reaction from North Korea and dangerously destabilize the region. Continued on Page 14

its confidential documents which is against the law. The decision of the legal committee will be debated in the National Assembly tomorrow as a group of MPs are insisting the immunity should be lifted so Muslim can stand trial while other MPs say that the constitution fully guarantees the freedom of expression of lawmakers in the chamber. Rapporteur of the committee MP Maasouma Al-Mubarak said that since the public prosecution request is based on what MP Muslim said in the assembly chamber, the committee rejected the request. Continued on Page 14

11 die as plane crashes KARACHI: A cargo plane crashed in flames into a residential area in Pakistan’s largest city soon after takeoff yesterday, killing all eight crew and at least three people on the ground, officials said. The crash was the second this month in Karachi, the main port city in the south, and the third in Pakistan in less than five months. The Russian-made plane slammed into a housing complex under construction in Karachi, sending fire and smoke into the sky and damaging about 20 buildings. The aircraft narrowly missed hitting several large occupied apartment buildings only a few hundred yards away. Authorities recovered three bodies from the smoking rubble by yesterday afternoon and one laborer was still missing, said navy Commodore Mohammad Musra. Another person on the ground was hospitalized with severe burns, said local doctor Abdul Razak. The Sudan-bound plane crashed around 1:50 a.m., when many people in the upscale neighborhood were asleep. One of the plane’s engines was on fire as it flew overhead, several witnesses said. “I saw one of its wings was burning and there was a blast and the fire engulfed the aircraft very quickly,” said Riaz

Ahmed. Residents said most of the houses destroyed were under construction and believed to be unoccupied except for a few of the laborers building them. Karachi police Chief Fayaz Leghari said a larger catastrophe had narrowly been averted. “It would have been a big disaster had the plane hit the residential apartments,” Leghari said. Aviation authority spokesman Pervais George said the plane came down two minutes after takeoff from the city’s international airport. He said the eight crew were dead. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleksander Dykusarov said seven Ukrainians were among the crew, including the commander, pilot and navigator. He told the Interfax news agency the information was provided by the plane’s owner, Sunway, of Georgia. George initially identified the crew as Russians, but another Pakistani aviation official, Mukhtar Ahmad, later said that the nationalities and identities of the eight aboard had not been confirmed. Many people initially thought the blast was from a bomb, a regular event in militant-torn Pakistan. “I was sleeping and the huge blast awoke me. Continued on Page 14

Kuwait lawyer sues Lebanese PM KUWAIT: A prominent Kuwaiti lawyer who previously defended people suspected of Al-Qaeda links said he filed a lawsuit yesterday against Lebanon’s premier over his alleged illegal detention and mistreatment. “Today I filed a civil lawsuit against the Lebanese Prime Minister (Saad Hariri) and interior minister (Ziad Baroud) for being illegally detained and mistreated in Beirut,” Osama AlMunawer said. The lawyer, who said he was seeking unspecified damages, accused Lebanese police and intelligence agents of holding him for questioning for two days in July last year. “Interrogators asked me for information about my (former) clients and... said they had been requested to do so by Kuwaiti authorities,” Munawer said, adding he was held in small cells along with many prisoners. Munawer said he plans to file a criminal case against the Lebanese officials before European courts since Kuwaiti courts have no jurisdiction over Lebanese officials. A Kuwaiti court would start looking into the case from January 20, he added.

In another development, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri met Iran’s defense minister yesterday, stressing that unity between Arab states and Iran against common threats was of “great importance”. Lebanon would continue its “resistance” to Israel, Hariri also said, on a three-day visit to the Islamic Republic a month after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the first ever official visit to Lebanon by an Iranian president. Hariri’s visit is partly to seek Iran’s help to prevent political tensions turning violent if a UN-backed tribunal indicts members of Iran-and-Syria-supported Hezbollah for killing his father. “The stability, security and unity of Lebanon play a key role in resolving internal and regional issues. Based on that, I was willing to come to Iran and see your defensive military achievements although it was against the opinion of our enemies,” Hariri told reporters, according to state broadcaster IRIB’s website. “Lebanon has resisted the Zionist regime until now and will continue the resistance,” he said on the sidelines of his visit to a military exhibition. “Palestine, Syria,

Lebanon, Iraq and Iran have always been surrounded by danger. Therefore, unity between the Arabs and Iran is a matter of great importance.” In a 2006 war with Israel, 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Lebanon, along with 158 Israelis, mostly soldiers. In August a senior Israeli officer, two Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist were killed in a rare skirmish that raised fears of wider conflict. Iran also sees Israel as a threat. The Jewish state has said it does not rule out a military strike against Iran, if necessary, to stop it from getting nuclear weapons. Western diplomats have said that the tribunal could indict members of Hezbollah by early next year for the 2005 bombing which killed former premier Rafiq Al-Hariri and 21 others. Lebanese politicians fear the indictments could prompt confrontation and possible violence between the Shiite Hezbollah, which has denied any involvement in Hariri’s killing, and allies of the Sunni prime minister. Iranian Defense Minister Ahamad Vahidi gave Hariri a domestically-manufactured Tondar (Thunder) machinegun as a gift. — Agencies

KARACHI: Pakistani officials examine the wreckage at the site of a plane crash in Karachi yesterday. — AP


NATIONAL

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Stable investment portfolio

Kuwait hosts economic exhibition for Arab and foreign embassies By Wendy Clayton

KUWAIT: Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah and Ali Al-Ghamin visit the stall of Swaziland.

KUWAIT: Participets of the First Economic Exhibition for Arab and Foreign Embassies.

Hong Kong woos Kuwaiti investors By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: While Hong Kong itself has a population of seven million, foreign investors considering investing there can potentially reach an audience of over 1.3 billion, with the city and surrounding area being one of two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of the People’s Republic of China. This was revealed yesterday at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) by Charles Ng, Associate Director General of the government of Hong Kong SAR, who’s currently in Kuwait for the third time to woo Kuwaiti investors into using Hong Kong as a platform for investments, not only in mainland China but also elsewhere in Eastern and Southern Asia, including India. Ng’s presentation introduced an explanation of Hong Kong’s renowned ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy, stressing that Hong Kong has its own system and government. “The rule of law is very different from that in mainland China and we adhere to values similar to [those of] western countries and have freedom of speech,” Ng explained. On the investment opportunities available there, Ng noted that Hong Kong has a great deal to offer. “Hong

Dirrar Yousuf Al-Ghanim

Charles Ng

Kong is known as Asia’s business capital,” he pointed out. “Many multinational companies use Hong Kong as their regional headquarters. We are in the center of the Asia Pacific region, so our location is very much advantageous to investors, especially those who want to reach out to mainland China, but also for investors who would like to invest in the rest of Asia and India - a very good platform for reaching out to inwards and outwards investments.” Ng emphasized the advantages of Hong Kong’s lowrate and simple taxation system, with no sales tax, no capital gain tax and no withholding tax on dividends. “We are very much a diversified economy,” he explained. “We rank number four in terms of Foreign Direct Investments. If you invest in Hong Kong the gov-

ernment will support you and help you grow.” Ng also boasted of Hong Kong’s highly skilled, qualified and educated workforce, adding that the quality of life there is exceedingly high compared to other locations. Hong Kong is also home to over 50 top international universities, he revealed, as well as hosting approximately 33 million tourists annually, most of whom, he said, come from mainland China. On his part KCCI board member Dirrar Yousef AlGhanim expressed his great admiration for Hong Kong, even at the time when the city was still part of the previous British protectorate government. “Now that [Hong Kong’s] been part of China for several years, we still continue to have a warm relationship with you, which is growing day by day,” he said.

Letters to Muna Al-Fuzai Hello Muna, I was very impressed with your article on ‘Can we teach people basic human rights?’ I would request you to shed some light on corporate issues as well. Expatriates are subject to harassment not only on roads, malls, or public places but at home and at the work place. I am an expatriate, from India, and a professional. Why is there a difference in the treatment meted out to an Arab citizen in a superior position and an Asian expatriate? In an organization, president insults employees, demoralizes them, when the attrition rate is at an all time high. At the same time, Arab citizens are given more preference. What is your answer to such cases of harassment? I regularly read your articles and expect a lot from you. You article is a source of inspiration for people like us who leave their native countries and live abroad seeking better prospects. The article on Eid Holidays was also commendable. Your attitude is admired by many. Thanks Regards, Mariam

Dear Madam, I wish to thank you on your views for the nation. I wish to present my views about Kuwait’s holiday ethics, when families gather with their elders and grandparents during holidays. In my experience, most of them spend quality time with their grandparents. This practice should be continued so that they can share grandchildren’s views; similar to what the younger generations can gain from their forefathers. I believe that this tradition of passing on knowledge, values and tradition will soon be obsolete. This is because today’s adults are not interested in preserving them for the next generation. I request you to create a forum to preserve this country’s heritage. Thank you, Herath Dear Muna, I completely agree with you that Kuwait’s roads are dangerous. I just met an accident along the Gulf road. My vehicle’s tail light and bumper has been totally destroyed. The person who crashed into my vehicle has fled. Driving is a risk we undertake every day. You have done your job of cautioning people. The public has to seriously tackle the problem. Best, Masoud muna@kuwaittimes.net

ment portfolio for Kuwait, we have to have a strong infrastructure within Kuwait,” said Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah. “The Kuwait development plan based on His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah’s idea is to build a strong homeland base before branching out to foreign investment. To accomplish this, in addition to funds already located to the health, and roads sectors for example, a significant amount of funding has been allocated to education and training within the development plan.”

KUWAIT: Amid the recent focus on the mega economic development plan for Kuwait and the investment opportunities it will create, the first Economic Exhibition for Arab and Foreign Embassies was inaugurated yesterday at the Chamber of Commerce by Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. “In order to create a stable investThe exhibition presented investment opportunities in 38 countries from the Middle East, Asia, Australia, Europe, America and Latin America. Commercial Attache Fabio Scapigliati from the Embassy of Italy said, “It is a fabulous idea to hold such an exhibition so that we can showcase and promote investment and trade opportunities between Kuwait and foreign countries. “Italy is currently the second highest rated country for exports to Kuwait in Europe. So, events like this for us are a chance to further promote Italy and Italian products.” This view was also shared by a representative from the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey, Aydin Aydogan, “The exhibition is great. It gives us a good opportunity to promote our country,” said Aydogan. “Turkey already has some existing investments from Kuwait but we would like to add more. We are trying to KUWAIT: Deputy PM and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah and Chairman of Kuwait encourage the people to come to Chamber of Commerce, Ali Al-Ghanim inaugurating the First Economic Exhibition for Arab and Foreign Turkey and invest in several secEmbassies. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh tors such as real estate and businesses, and the oil and gas sector.” Speaking with the press Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah said that the exhibition was the first of its kind in Kuwait, held in corpo5,334 Kuwaitis convicted ration between the Ministry of the EPA attended the event. Interior and the Chamber of KUWAIT: a TOTAL OF 5,334 unemployed 1,248 fires recorded Commerce. He explained that young Kuwaitis have been convicted on various KUWAIT: Officials from five differthe exhibition opened the doorcriminal charges between Jan 1, 2008 and Oct 10, KUWAIT: Of Kuwait’s 1,248 fires recorded for ent governmental bodies raided a way for co-operation between 2010 according to figures recently announced by the month of September, 15 people were killed bird market in Al-Rai, in a major Kuwait and the represented interior minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid Al- and more than 150 people were injured, reported crackdown against trade in endancountries on a worldwide basis. Sabah. The minister revealed the figures in Al-Qabas. The statistics were mentioned in a gered species. The operation was a He acknowledged the imporresponse to a parliamentary question from MP Ali statement recently released by the Kuwait Fire coordinated effort between the tance of such an event by the Al-Deqbasi on the subject, reported Annahar, Services Department (KFSD). They added that of Customs General Department, the presence of Ambassadors who with the parliamentarian suggesting a correlation the 151 people injured in fires for the month of Environment Public Authority, the were there to supervise the exhibetween increasing unemployment and rising September, 30 were firefighters. Furthermore, Kuwait Municipality, Ministry of bition and present investment Kuwaiti youth crime figures. Al-Deqbasi urged KFSD warned that cases of fire in the country are Commerce and Industry and the opportunities. the government to act in seeking radical solutions on the rise. They added that short circuits are the Ministry of Interior. It lasted for Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah cause of most fires and that unsafe storage condito the country’s youth unemployment problem. four hours during which several viofurther went on to explain that tions and crowding too many residents in a single lations were detected. Camping insurance fee Kuwait has a long history and apartment increases the likelihood of fires as well “Some shops were caught tradexperience in foreign investment KUWAIT: The Kuwait Municipality will levy a as injuries. ing in the endangered Houbara bird dating back to before the discovrefundable KD 500 insurance fee on campers species,” said Mohammad Abul ery of oil in Kuwait. Prior to this beginning next year’s camping season. This step Imports Manager at the EPA. He Educational reform time, Kuwait’s foreign investfurther explained that bird hunting will be taken with the aim of protecting the enviKUWAIT: The Kuwait Teachers Society has ment had reached as far as East is banned in Kuwait, indicating that ronment from pollution. This announcement was accused the government of failing to reform the according to the CITES Africa and South East Asia. By made by Nawaf Al-Mutairi, Head of the Cleaning country’s educational sector. In a statement (Convention on International Trade following in the footsteps of the Department at the Kuwait Municipality. He indimade to the press, the KTS criticized the lack of in Endangered Species of Wild founders of Kuwait’s investment cated that each camper will pay a KD 500 fee an unambiguous plan to reform the deterioratFauna and Flora) treaty, certificates branch, it helped create a name which will be refundable after returning the ing educational sector, and address problems should be obtained before engaging for Kuwait across the globe. camping site to the Municipality. This fee will be that seriously affect the educational processes’ in trade, reported Al-Rai. There added to the KD 50 license fee, reported Aloutcome, reported Al-Qabas. The statement were scenes of chaos at the market, Qabas. The official made these statements duralso mentions that members of the Parliament with officials confronting mering a recent campaign organized by the British pay no heed to the requirements of the counchants. They mainly objected to the Council to clean the camping area in Jaal Al-Zour, try’s educational sector. “[MPs] shelve issues unscheduled nature of the inspecin cooperation with the Environmental Public concerning with the future generations in favor tion campaign. However, it was Authority. Frank Baker, British Ambassador to reported that the merchants had of less significant issues,” the statement reads. Kuwait as well as Dr Salah Al-Madhahi, Head of shifted their base to Kabad, where

Illegal trade exposed at bird market

in the news

they continued to trade illegally.

Zain sponsors NUKS conference in Miami Brig Gen Mohammad Al-Sabr

ATV accident numbers rising: MoI KUWAIT: A senior Ministry of Interior (MoI) official has warned against the increasing number of accidents involving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) across the country, urging ATV drivers to follow all the necessary safety measures. Speaking to the press on Saturday, Brigadier General Mohammad Al-Sabr, the head of the MoI’s security media department, said that 29 ATV drivers have been admitted to Adan Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) between September 1 and November 24 this year, with most of these individuals aged between 12 and 24. He called on ATV drivers to ensure that the headlights and rear lights on the vehicles are working properly, as well as making sure that the vehicles’ gas tanks meet the safety criteria. Brig. Gen. Al-Sabr further noted that altering the mechanical and technical features of the brakes and exhaust systems on ATVs is banned unless it is carried out for racing purposes by officially authorized garages. The senior official also noted that Kuwaiti driving safety regulations ban the use of ATVs on public roads and in residential areas, stressing that driving licenses are only issued for them if they meet all the technical specifications and the driver is over 17 years of age and has passed a driving test.

MIAMI: Zain Kuwait, for the third year in a row, was the main sponsor of the 27th annual conference of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students (NUKS), held this year in Miami on Nov 26 and 27 under the patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, represented and attended by Kuwait’s Minister of Education Dr Moudhi Al- Humoud as well as Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US, Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. NUKS represents over 2,000 Kuwaiti students studying at universities across the US, where, through its activities and programs they can develop their personal and academic skills. The theme of this year’s conference is “To make our nation the best”, a slogan that promotes the idea of nationbuilding as a priority for all Kuwaitis. Zain’s support of NUKS is an unequivocal demonstration of the company’s commitment to who will be the budding leaders and decision makers of the future. Speaking at the opening ceremony, CEO of Zain Kuwait, Khalid Al-Omar said “Zain’s participation in the forum for the third year in a row is built on its unyielding faith in the future generations of Kuwaitis, especially those studying abroad. It is a commitment that has been in place ever since Zain was founded over 25 years ago and one that has helped Zain become a regional telecom leader.”

As well as a large number of students, the conference attracts prominent politicians, businessmen and media personalities, and provides a rare opportunity for those attending to participate in debates and workshops headed by a talented and diverse range of speakers. Crucially, the conference gives them an opportunity to enhance their networking skills and career opportunities Al Omar further stressed that “”This union embodies the spirit of the Kuwaiti youth and ambition that is one of the largest gatherings of Kuwaitis abroad. Zain’s participation at the event reinforces its commitment to improving society. Zain is in the business of communication, so wherever the flower of our nation is in this wonderful world, we are there to reach out to and support them.”

NUKS also plays a more pastoral role. Kuwaiti students may be attracted to the high quality of educational institutions in the US, but while studying in another country and being away from home can be an enriching and rewarding experience, many still face the challenges of adapting to a different culture while preserving their own traditions. NUKS helps them adapt. Zain, he said, believes in the importance of investing in the development of the leaders of tomorrow. “It will yield a precious harvest,” Al Omar declared. “You represent half of the present and all the future.” He went on to say that the assembled students were also unofficial ambassadors of their country and upon their shoulders was placed a responsibility that began the moment they left

their country to study abroad. “We and all the other distinguished members of Kuwaiti private sector are here to support you. Make us proud, attain your qualifications and come home safely.” Additionally, Zain was one of the high-profile names that participated in the job fair, which was held on the sidelines of the conference. Many of Zain Group’s and Zain Kuwait’s current management are Kuwaiti graduates of international universities. On the final night of the conference, Zain will host a special gala dinner ceremony in honor of the participating audience, inclusive of the students and their parents, whereby the company will award the top honored students valuable prizes. Such coverage of this ceremony will be distributed to media soon.


Monday, November 29, 2010

NATIONAL

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Argument over cause of Ahmadi leak continues Half of evacuation completed KUWAIT: One hundred of the 198 homes to be evacuated in Ahmadi have so far been cleared, with their occupants moving to temporary accommodation elsewhere until the situation is resolved. According to a senior security officer, the evacuation process has uncovered a number of violations of the occupants’ tenancy agreement. Speaking to the local press on Saturday, Maj Gen Abdulfatah Al-Ali,

KUWAIT: The Sadu House on Friday hosted the Kuwait Textile Arts Association’s (KTAA) Annual Bazaar under the patronage of the KTAA’s honorary president, Sheikha Altaf Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

KTAA holds bazaar at Sadu House By Wendy Clayton KUWAIT: At least 27 vendors showcased their wares to enthusiastic buyers when the Kuwait Textile Arts Association (KTAA) held its annual bazaar at the Sadu House, located along the Gulf Road, on Saturday. It was held under the patronage of KTAA Honorary President, Sheikha Altaf Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah. KTAA President, Kathy Hendrickson was pleased with the increase in numbers of visitors and the quality of vendor products, “This year we aimed to have high quality handmade items from our vendors. We were not disappointed,” said Hendrickson. “I have received terrific feedback from vendors and visitors alike. It was a beautiful day with beautiful products.” Hendrickson said the high turnout of visitors netted four new members for the association. On display were a range gift items including quilted products, hand blown glassware, jewelry, toys, kitchen accessories, clothing, paintings, cards, bags, linens, shawls, embroidery, Sadu weaving carpets and much more. The KTAA meets every second Tuesday of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for Dec 14, at the Sadu House at 7pm. Anyone is welcome to join the meetings.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) is currently studying a number of international treaties related to human rights and the rights of women and children, which the Kuwaiti government is required to observe as part of its commitments given during UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meetings. Amongst those commitments are a number concerning the problems which

Friday sermon version 2.0 W

hile having dinner with a few friends, various matters were discussed over dinner at a Moroccan restaurant in Paris those that have not had a native Moroccan dish ‘couscous’ are missing out on life! - A novel concept; a reinterpretation was discussed. To those that attend Friday prayers at the mosque on any Friday at any mosque - at least in Kuwait - are at great odds of falling upon, or enjoying the company of, two types of preachers: feisty, loud, intolerant, or soft-spoken and boring. More often than not, unless there is a special ‘Western’ celebration: Halloween, Christmas, New Year, Valentine Day, April Fool’s Day, and the summer season, speeches tend to be re-repeats of stories that were told half a dozen times. The nucleus of our discussion revolved

around the fact that preachers seem to have a hard time grasping that their message is not tuned to the faithful that bothers to attend. Not realizing that they are preaching to a crowd, their repetitions bore even the most enthusiastic to sleep! It is a shame that for a majority, rather than coming up with a speech that has an aim and is directed to the benefit of the wider public, some veer and enter into inflammatory hate speech, increasing animosity among people and nations instead of cementing our human brotherly bond. I ask the Ministry of Awqaf to check the speech of some ‘extremist’ preacher calling for things I am more than certain it would not sanction. Without much more introduction to the novel concept, the current sermon format is no longer useful or valid. The mosque was a community space, an area where issues of the community where discussed and where knowledge was exchanged. With that in mind, we conceptualized a Friday prayer session transformed, a version 2.0, where preachers would lead the prayer, and the sermon would be deliv-

ered by experts in various fields. Who needs to hear about stories that happened 1,400 years ago, again and again? Instead why doesn’t the state hire professional speakers to deliver lectures and transform the mosques into centers of continued education and mass learning? Focusing on themes each six months would help collaborate with the State’s five-year plan. I can imagine no better tool to educate the masses on many forms of sciences. Such increase of knowledge and diversity of interest could only but benefit our country and its attempt to rise to the challenges of the 21st century. Friday Prayers could turn into a true national venture for mass learning, where, weekly experts would address the crowd and educate them on a scientific, social or economical issue. Such would not only make the session worthwhile for those that attend, it would bring an added value to the community and the state as a whole. fouad@kuwaittimes.net

MPs reject ‘money laundering’ draft law KUWAIT: The Ministry of Justice has finalized a draft law to counter money laundering and funding terrorism in the country. Officials are preparing to meet with the Parliament’s financial committee to discuss the subject. However, a few MPs were unenthusiastic about the draft law, mainly objecting to the restrictions it contains. A final report on the draft law was reviewed by the ministry, alongside the

ministries of interior, defense, foreign affairs and social affairs and labor. This is in addition to holding consultations with the Central Bank and the Public Prosecution Department. A maximum punishment of ten years in prison and a KD 20,000 fine will be awarded to an individual accused of committing an activity that has been classified under money laundering or funding terrorism-related activities. The draft law, if

plained of ailments associated with the gas leak, with a member of the evacuation committee revealing that the number of these cases is increasing. Meanwhile, as officials continue to seek evidence of the primary cause of the gas leaks, they have reportedly narrowed the possible source of the problem down to four options. The first suggested scenario, which is particularly popular amongst government and Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) officials, suggests that the leaks are the result of faults in the ageing mains gas pipeline network in the area. Some at KOC apparently believe that it is the result of a faulty link in an unidentified pipe joint connecting the old and new pipeline networks. Several geologists and oil sector experts have rejected this scenario, however, indicating that KOC would have shut down the mains gas network the minute such a leak was detected and pointing out that the mains gas supply in the area was indeed shut down some time before the latest problems in the area. A second school of thought, supported by a number of geologists, suggests that the leaks are coming from an as-yet undiscovered natural gas field located directly beneath the area, with the gas beginning to leech upwards to the surface after geological changes caused a reduction in pressure. While supporters of this scenario point to the seismic activity in

the Arabian Gulf in support of their claims, other geologists argue that data necessary to confirm a correlation between this seismic activity and a leak from a gas field under Ahmadi is scant and inaccurate. A third group, consisting primarily of environmental experts and some geologists, has suggested that the gas is the result of long-buried garbage under the Ahmadi area producing methane which has risen to the surface over time, pointing out that the area was previously used as a garbage tip before houses were constructed there. This scenario is not considered credible by other environmentalists and geologists, however, who argue that any such chemical reaction would have taken place many years ago if this were the case. The network of new gas mains pipelines, which were in the process of being laid to replace the old ones has also come in for heavy criticism, with some experts suggesting that the current leak is similar to an earlier incident in 2007 when work began on laying the new pipes. The possibility of this being the reason for the current problems has been widely discounted, however, with oil sector experts confirming that the new network was equipped with high-quality monitoring and alarm systems able to detect and locate any leaks.— Agencies

MSAL studying human rights treaties

in my view

By Fouad Al-Obaid

Maj Gen Abdulfatah Al-Ali revealed that the operation had also revealed that 13 local homes had been illegally sublet as accommodation for single expatriate workers, adding that the owners of these homes had not requested any compensation presumably since they were attempting to avoid prosecution over these violations of the terms of their contract. “The [illegally sublet] homes were evacuated in cooperation with the Kuwait Municipality,” said Maj Gen Al-Ali, adding that legal action against the homeowners in question will be delayed until after the evacuation process is complete. The senior security official’s announcement came as several of the residents being evacuated from Block 1 in Ahmadi refused to sign documents accepting responsibility for any damage done to their homes during the work carried out in their absence. The families explained that they are concerned that signing these documents would leave them liable to pay for any repairs needing to be carried out on their homes after the teams of builders finished digging up certain areas and carrying out other work on their properties to make them safe for moving back into. The families also reiterated their demand that the current KD 500 housing allowance available to each family be doubled, more especially for large families of more than 20 members. Several residents of Block 1 have com-

the head of the Ahmadi security department and a member of the committee organizing the evacuation process, said that 58 of the evacuated families have been provided with furnished apartments elsewhere, while another 34 families chose instead to take a KD 500 monthly housing allowance in order to rent accommodation of their own choice.

passed, will also oblige local financial firms as well as foreign institutes to provide periodic reports about the role they play in curbing illegal activities, reported Al-Qabas. Meanwhile, several MPs have condemned the draft law, focusing mainly on ‘restrictions’ imposed on traveling citizens, highlighting a clause which stipulates that only a maximum of KD 3,000 can be carried in cash while traveling.

have plagued Kuwait’s labor and human rights sectors, including human trafficking, with regulations to eliminate this practice needing to be enforced in compliance with the country’s observance of these treaties. The ministry has been asked to ensure that it enforces compliance with the international recommendations on strengthening social stability and protecting female

workers from abuse, as well as upholding the rights of expatriate workers, reported Al-Qabas. The Kuwaiti government did not require parliamentary approval before signing the UNHRC treaties since this subject comes wholly under the jurisdiction of the executive authority and is practiced under the regulations of internationally recognized human rights bodies.


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Monday, November 29, 2010

Stage set for small businesses forum for young Kuwaitis Opportunity to meet investors By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: A number of small and medium-sized projects have been announced as part of the state development plan, w ith the private sector aiming to provide support and funding for young Kuw aiti entrepreneurs to establish their ow n businesses, as w ell as offering ideas and even ready-made projects as

KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti drug gang with 35 kg of hashish after their arrest. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Drug haul in Qurain By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) officers yesterday confiscated 35 kilograms of hashish from two Kuwaiti men, both with previous criminal records for drug-related cases. One of the two was recently released from Central Prison after serving a 15-year sentence. The first man was arrested red-handed in the Qurain area with three sticks of hashish, telling officers that he had obtained it from the former inmate, whose home was raided shor tly af terwards, with officers finding the remaining large quantity of hashish there. In a separate case, GDDC officers headed by Major General Sheikh Ahmad AlKhalifa Al-Sabah arrested an American civilian employee of the US military after she was caught selling 700 grams of marijuana to a Bangladeshi expatriate. Both were taken into custody. Four injured A 28-year-old Kuwaiti man

KUWAIT: The drug duo pictured after their arrest. was rushed to hospital after suffering serious head injuries in a car accident on Salmi Road. In the same accident, a 22-year-old Egyptian man suffered broken bones in one hand, another Egyptian man, aged 23, sustained a cut to his tongue, and a 30-year-old Kuwaiti man suffered cuts to his feet. All were taken to

hospital, with four ambulances and eight paramedics in total at the accident scene. Escalator fall A one-year-old British baby was taken to Farwaniya Hospital after suffering cuts to her hands when she fell on an escalator at a mall in the area.

Leading local businesspeople, academics and economic figures will be participating in the one-day event, where they will discuss various ways of strengthening the role of small businesses in national economic development. The expert figures will also be available to answer young entrepreneurs’ queries and give them information about the requirements for starting up business during the event. The forum will also include a review of similar business start-up projects in neighboring Saudi Arabia, as well as featuring an exhibition by the Kuwait Small Projects Development Company (KSPDC), providing more than 30 investment ideas for small and medium-sized business start-up projects. Information about and help in setting up in any of these small-scale business start-up projects will be available to any young Kuwaiti wanting to benefit from this expert advice. The head of the KSPDC explained at a press conference held yesterday to announce the forum that the company is keen to increase local awareness of the importance of private sector business to the country, as well as developing the business skills of innovative young would-be entrepreneurs and helping them set up in business. “Through the forum, we aim to remind other companies to help in developing supportive legislation,” said

KUWAIT: Zainab Al-Wazzan, Nabeela Al-Anjeri, Hassan Al-Qinnae and Mohammed Al-Rumeih during the press conference yesterday. — Photo by Joseph Shagra KSPDC director Hassan AlQinae. “This will provide a framework through which the problems of the initial stage in entering the business market can be avoided. It will also provide ‘Science Parks,’ which are [environments for] the companies wanting to turn their research into services and products.” The forum aims to proactively enable small businesses to increase both their production levels and competitiveness, AlQinae explained, adding, “It also aims to increase participation in creating totally local

Dr Moudhi Al-Humoud, the Minister of Education and Higher Education, touring the NBK Booth.

NBK organizes banquet in Miami MIAMI: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and the highest rated in the Middle East, had organized a dinner banquet for the participants in the 27th annual conference of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students-USA held in Miami from Nov 25 to 28. The banquet saw a series of surprises, cash rewards and luxurious gifts for the Kuwaiti students studying in the States. NBK had also participated in the economic forum of the conference, which focused on the current development plan and related projects, and creating new job opportunities.

In his speech during the economic forum, NBK Capital CEO Salah Y. Al Fulaij said that “Kuwaiti students studying abroad deserve from us utmost attention and support. Hence, NBK’s participation in this event is geared towards contributing to the enhancement of NUKS cultural, syndicate, sports and patriotic awareness-raising activities. “NBK’s support comes as part of the bank’s relentless efforts to shoulder its social responsibilities, including providing all means of encouragement and support for students and voluntary activities”, Al- Fulaij added.

products and offering investment opportunities, as well as providing a competitive environment that encourages young Kuwaitis to join the private sector so they can participate in economic development. This will create a better platform for small businesses to support creativity and inventiveness in business.” The KSPDC boss stressed that Kuwait’s economic and social structures are connected and are developing fast. “Kuwaitis are participating in developing the country in accelerating but gradual steps.

This forum aims to highlight the importance of creativity and innovation, and to benefit from the hidden values of the public sector, especially the oil sector, and the main infrastructure sectors such as water desalination, electricity production, as well as benefiting from studies and research to improve the products and services offered.” The event, organized by the Leaders’ Group, is being sponsored by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science, the Kuwait Fund for Arab

Economic Development, Kuwait Petroleum Company, the Public Authority for Industry, Kuwait Science Club, and ‘Proud to Be Kuwait.’ “The forum will conclude with some recommendations that will be passed to Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad, and we hope that it will participate in strengthening the role of the small and medium-sized businesses in developing the private sector and diversifying its sources of income,” AlQinae concluded.

‘Imtiaz held assets below market average rates’ Ex-British finance minister speaks during forum’s conclusion KUWAIT: Al-Imtiaz Investment Company (Imtiaz Investment) successfully concluded the activities related to the three-day First Strategic Investment Forum that was held in London. The forum discussed the opportunities and methods to develop both traditional and Islamic investments sectors in view of the current situation, and the lessons learned from the world economic crisis. The forum also reviewed future investment challenges and the strategies needed to deal with them. In addition, the forum discussed the dimensions of economic and investment reality in Europe, particularly in the UK, in the aftermath of the world economic crisis and how it has impacted the EU. The forum also reviewed the situation of Kuwaiti investment companies over the past three years in terms of performance, assets, shareholders’ rights, and strategies adapted to face the world economic crisis and future challenges.

Dr Moudhi Al-Humoud, the Minister of Education and Higher Education, in a group photo with NBK Capital Co. CEO and NBK PR representatives Abdulmohsen Al-Rushaid and Talal Al-Turki.

incentives. I nterested young Kuw a itis w ill ha ve a n opportunity to m eet investors at the ‘Small Projects and Active Participation in the Development Plan’ forum, taking place tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Salw a Al-Sabah Hall in Salmiya. The event is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmad AlFahad Al-Sabah, the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of State for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs.

Why is Al-Imtiaz different? Jassim Al-Saadoun, Chairman of Board of Directors and Managing Director of AlShall Consultants and Investment Company stressed that Al-Imtiaz tackled the world economic crisis and its future challenges in a different manner. He added that most companies had made fatal, repetitive mistakes such as over-borrowing while an imbalance existed between finance schedule and investments’ maturity. “The most dangerous of which was to invest in intangible assets and constantly inflate their prices to get the highest profits in a short period,” he stressed. He added that Imtiaz was one of the most conservative companies during the crisis. It over-borrowed during the period only to purchase real assets at times when prices are still reasonable. “When the crisis took place, Imtiaz’s management dealt with it expecting worst case scenarios, which did not. Therefore, it managed to make remarkable profits in the same year, 2009. It distributed a handsome dividends to its shareholders. Although the crisis passed unremarkably in 2010, the company’s investments in Kuwait and Qatar, the management made a decisive decision to reduce debts at a 1:1 ratio by the end of 2010. During the lack of liquidity crisis, Imtiaz’s previous decision to not increase its assets’ prices helped a lot and gave it high flexibility in selling some according to market prices, making a reasonable profit margin without depending heavily on finance. Setting such a sound base helped achieve a substantial strategy change in terms of laying the right foundation to build the group according to industry demands of the future. To achieve this, Imtiaz has studied economic performance and the change in demands. It has set another goal - to

Diversifying investments Two officials from the Knight Frank Real Estate Establishment spoke on the real estate sector and the need to diversify its investments within the UK and other European countries. The officials highlighted that the demand for offices and commercial establishments was growing at a rate of 5.25 percent in London. They also stressed that a parallel interest was growing in Scandinavian and Polish markets, compared to a noticeable collapse in Spain and Ireland.

Yousif Al-Marzouq (right), Mohammed Al-Muttair and Dr Essam Al-Enezi

Ali Al-Zubaid honoring Lord Norman Lamont restructure all its subsidiaries with the aim of having a unifying power and competing in a market controlled by powerful cartels that had managed to survive the crisis; that is the market of the future. Further, Al-Saadoun highlighted that the future market challenges lie in identifying difficulties, setting the flexible, testable and adaptable hypothesis to handle them. The first challenge is adaptability in a new worldwide investment environment controlled by governments - international and regional; auditing bodies to avoid contingencies and encourage a greater regional role for the private sector with the exception of the financial sector. The second challenge is to create a culture of trading in goods, investment and, later on, in services with the East. The third challenge lies in creating awareness about the new regional market’s infrastructure, educational, health, oil and gas services that are expected to flourish; at a time when fake production of services and goods and their price inflation are no longer a source of income. Therefore, an integrated system of real production companies are needed to offer goods and services of the best

quality for the lowest prices. The fourth challenge lies in patience and convincing the group’s employees to change their concepts and work methods in ways that match with the new criteria. Production lines, goods and services quality, liquidity, incentives need to be changed, in addition to substituting individual work with a more disciplined institutional one. The fifth challenge is to hire the best staff members to operate the holding company with enough awareness to mobilize subsidiaries and partners to perform an integrated job. The sixth challenge is to realize that the creating a strategy in a world of variables can be sometimes erroneous or subject to unexpected variables. Therefore, a strategy and work patterns needed for the coming years should be periodically reviewed to determine the points of strength and weaknesses should be adjusted, at least, once a year. The manager of the British Justice Center (CSJ, which is a British center that is has ties with to the governing Conservative Party), Gavin Poole reviewed a number of social problems that the UK faces.

Impact on European markets Speaking at the same event, the former British Minister of Finance, Lord Norman Lamont reviewed the world economic crisis and its impact on the European market. He noted that many people have asked him about his expectations for the future. “The future is unpredictable,” he said underlining that he never believed in economic predictions, “Though I had to prepare them in accordance to British law,” he remarked, referring to his three years in office as finance minister in a conservative cabinet between the years 1990-1993. Lamont reiterated his full belief in former British PM, Margaret Thatcher’s policy: “The unexpected always takes place while the inevitable never happens.” He also said that the recent economic crisis was a sudden upswing and a collapse of classicism similar to the one that took place in 1930s. According to Lamont, the main two reasons for this crisis were irresponsible unlimited loans given by banks and governments and over spending. He said that these two aspects led to a huge deficit in European budgets and accumulated debt compared to their GDPs. “However,” he added, “the good news is that the world has not come to an end yet,” he said with a smile. Furthermore, Lamont criticized the EU’s unified currency, the Euro. He said that he refused to join it when he was in office because of the difficulty of merging all European economies under one currency, which he feared would result in weak uncontrollable exchange rates. Responding to a question about Kuwait and the possibilities of having a unified Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) currency, Lamont stressed that GCC states need a stronger transportation infrastructure and more unified economies before going any further on unifying the currency. Lamont said that the Germans were beginning to lose their patience with the Euro. “Britain, on the other hand, benefited by staying outside of the Euro agreement,” he said. “It gave us more flexibility in controlling our exchange rates. As a matter of fact, we are not being viewed as part of Europe, otherwise we would still be waiting for financial packages to save our economy, just like Ireland and Spain.”


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Assembly grillings give govt chance to evaluate ministers Cabinet fully prepared to face motions KUWAIT: The Cabinet is fully prepared to face all the expected interpellation motions being planned by MPs during the current term, said a government insider on Friday, adding that it regards these as an opportunity to evaluate its ministers’ w ork. The Cabinet members believe that the grilling motions w ill be a real chance to provide the government w ith an evaluation of the performance of those ministers w ho might be on the brink of being ousted, especially given that the government is seriously considering a reshuffle early in 2011, said the insider. The government hopes to resolve a number of outstanding issues, primarily those concerned w ith the education, finance, commerce, health, information and municipality ministries, the insider revealed. On a related note, a National Action Bloc (NAB) member said on Friday that the NAB had given no assurances to the Reform and Development Bloc (RDB) that it would support the RDB’s grilling motion against education minister Dr. Moudhi AlHumoud in return for the RDB’s support for the interpellation planned by the NAB against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the NAB member was responding to speculation that the RDB’s decision to put its grilling on hold until the premier’s grilling is presented, was part of a deal struck between the two blocs. The statement comes amid reports of rifts developing between NAB members over the grilling after a senior member of the bloc pushed for the motion to be dropped in exchange for holding dialogue with the government that will lead to the implementation of the sports laws. Meanwhile, the Development and Reform Bloc (DRB) is serious about their intention to file an interpellation against the Minister of Education Dr Moudhy Al-

Hmoud, reported Al-Rai. MP Waleed AlTabtabae also announced that the bloc will go forward with their interpellation in a few weeks should no other grilling motions be filed at the time. The MP also accused the liberal minister of politicizing the leading posts at Kuwait University and the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) as well as the ministry itself for personal gains. “[Al-Hmoud] wants to handpick a new rector for Kuwait University so that she can receive a favor in the future when she leaves the ministry,” the Islamist MP said. Moreover, Al-Tabtabaei did not rule out the possibility of filing an interpellation against the Minister of Communication and fellow Islamist politician Dr Mohammad AlBusairi. Al-Tabtabaei also addressed the American State Department’s recently released report that criticized the level of religious freedom in Kuwait. The MP said the report suggested that the Shiite minority in Kuwait is suffering from an inability to build places of worship. In response to these claims, Al-Tabtabaei said that the number of Husaniyas (Shiite mosques) in

kuwait digest By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti divers recovering the fishing net which had been abandoned on the sea bottom near the island of Failaka.

Divers recover fishing net KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Dive Team (KDT) in collaboration with the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate’s (KFSD) Maritime Rescue Centre, recently recovered an immense fishing net weighing around half a ton which had been abandoned on the sea bottom near the island of Failaka. Such nets can be a

real threat to sea-goers, as well as sea creatures, because they become jammed in locations frequented by many fishermen, a KDT official said yesterday. The net was found after a fisherman complained about its presence in the waters off the island, the official explained, adding that after it

was recovered, it was found to have trapped a number of sea creatures, as well as breaking off some coral growths. He urged fishermen not to break the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources’ regulations on authorized fishing zones and to use nets which would not damage marine life. — KUNA

he soaring levels of corruption and its negative impact, both of which have been spreading across the country, are truly shameful. Almost every public sector firm sees large-scale theft and corruption, with no government action taken to stop these harmful practices and protect the public. The prime current example of this is the ongoing scandal over rotten food smuggled into the country and sold locally, with no consequences likely for those involved beyond possible temporary closure of shops or suspension of commercial licenses and real penalties extremely unlikely against the perpetrators, who will soon be able to continue with their shady practices after acquiring new licenses. This form of commercial fraud is really very simple to describe. Generally, a supplier will import food, which will then be stored at his company’s warehouse

T

Kuwait has reached 35; six of which were built in the past nine years while the average used to be three new mosques every 10 years. In regards to the right of Christians to seek places of worship, Al-Tabtabaei said that there are only 180 Christian Kuwaitis in the country and that they have 15 licensed churches throughout Kuwait to pray at, leaving an average of 12 citizens per church. He added that expatriate Christians have the right to practice their rituals but do not have the right to call for the building of more churches. When asked if he still supports dissolving the parliament, Tabtabae said that he, along with lawmaker Musallam Al-Barrak, have called for early elections. He also announced his willingness to resign if fellow MPs participate in a resignation campaign. On another topic, MP Husain Al-Qallaf stated that the voting process for lifting MP Faisal Al-Mislem’s parliamentary immunity will be a great opportunity for the public to distinguish “deceitful MPs” from their honest counterparts. MP Mubarak Al-Waalan has already announced his support for Al-

Mislem in a statement in which he asserted that “attempts to lift MPs’ immunity will not stop us from fighting corruption.” Meanwhile, fellow parliamentarian Dr. Aseel Al-Awadhi is set today to begin a series of meetings with attorneys and representatives of local non-profit organizations to discuss the issue of freedom of religion in Kuwait, with the topics said to include the relevant local regulations and talks to introduce amendments intended to end the imprisonment penalty for statements of opinion. The move comes as the Popular Action Bloc expressed its frustration at the failure of the parliamentary legislative and legal affairs committee to look into amendments proposed on the issue. On a separate issue, the parliamentary environmental affairs committee has submitted a draft law on the introduction of nuclear energy among its priorities for the current term. The bill was proposed after Kuwait launched negotiations with a number of other countries on introducing the peaceful use of nuclear energy in the country, explained committee chairman MP Dr. Ali Al-Omair.

The rotten stench of corruption after he signs an undertaking not to sell the goods until the test results on all the produce are known. However, the existence of things like corrupt municipality staff members, as well as outdated testing methods, commonly allows the suppliers to violate this undertaking and sell the food items before the test results are released. Whenever a single incident of this kind is uncovered, the authorities suddenly decide to take action against the sale of foodstuffs unfit for human consumption. Launching campaigns that invariably discover food items stored in local warehouses that passed their expiry date ten or more years ago. In order for any of the suppliers involved to be charged, these official documents which they have to sign should include an undertaking that they will not sell the goods until receiving official written permission to do so, with an additional coda stating that they must provide evidence of this official permission. In

this way, when fraudulent practices and instances of bribery are uncovered, it would be more difficult for these suppliers to suggest that these documents had ‘disappeared,’ as they currently do. If you pay a visit to the municipality’s imported food department, you will find a team of incompetent and inadequate staff running the operations, using outdated and inaccurate appliances and measures to test the food. This sort of inefficiency leaves the door open for violations to take place, while the worsening situation could almost have been created to help support government negligence in responding to appeals for modernization of the system and equipment. This same type of neglect has allowed tons of rotten foodstuffs to enter the country under the noses of officials, leading to potentially grave health problems, which mean in turn that the country has to spend billions to build and staff hospitals to treat those affected! — Al-Qa ba s


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Syrian fugitive in net after fight in Salmiya Man held for shooting Sudanese KUWAIT: A Syrian man accused of several cases of fraud and identity theft w as arrested after he w as identified by authorities follow ing a fight in Salmiya, reported Al-Anba. Police discovered the fugitive after responding to a call regarding tw o men w ho w ere held at a store for fighting. While police w ere checking the criminal records of the tw o fighters they discovered that one of them w as w anted for 15 charges related to scamming expatriates. He w as then referred to the Andalus police station w here most of the cases against him w ere filed. He w as referred to the proper authorities. Fatal accident A 21-year-old citizen was killed and another seriously injured in a car accident on Wafra Road, reported Al-Watan. The accident occurred when the driver lost control of his SUV and overturned the vehicle. Paramedics responded to the emergency and brought the injured to a nearby hospital.

‘Top priority to Kuwait national unity’ LONDON: A Kuwaiti diplomat, representing His Highness the Prime Minister, has emphasized the State policy of “building the citizen” for service of national development schemes stressing that “the national unity is the non-penetrable fence of the Kuwaiti society.” The Kuwaiti Government, since the 1961 independence, has set “the building of the Kuwaiti citizen as a national priority,” exerting relentless efforts for securing education for the nationals at all levels, building many schools, public and private universities and colleges, said the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the UK, Khaled Al-Duwaisan, the Representative of HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Al-Duwaisan was speaking on behalf of HH the Prime Minister, at the annual convention of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students, the branch of the UK and Ireland, held late Saturday. HH Sheikh Nasser was also the sponsor of the event. Great achievements have been made since the independence of Kuwait,

thus it has earned the label, “the pearl of the Gulf,” and that is the fruit of the efforts of the country’s natives, namely the academic graduates, the diplomat said in his address to the students. National unity is the fortified fence of the Kuwaiti society, he said. “Kuwait is for all its citizens and the human being is the strategic objective and the basis for securing full-fledged development,” AlDuwaisan added. Nations are no longer judged by the volume of populations or wealth, but by the human powers that are armed with science and knowledge, the Kuwaiti ambassador said, urging the attending young citizens to be aware of the enormity of the responsibilities laid on their shoulders in terms of their vital role for contribution to the development process at home. The Kuwaiti people succeeded, as a result of their solidarity and siding with their leadership, at start of the 1990 Iraqi aggression, in setting a great example of national unity and resistance of the aggressors, Al-Duwaisan said. The suc-

Fantasy Show team

cess grew further in the post-liberation times, when they geared up their potentials and rebuilt the country within a short period of time, despite some reports that expected the thorny process to put out the fires that were raging at the oil sites to last for three-five years. Current stability, security and prosperity prevailing in Kuwait are the fruits of the determination of the citizens and the leaders to put the country back on the map of the world following the Iraqi aggression, he added. Al-Duwaisan called for preserving the national unity, facing any plots to undermine it, “for we are a single people that belongs to a good and giving homeland.” The diplomat asserted necessity of stability in neighboring Iraq, a peaceful settlement between Iran and the world community, praised the distinctive Kuwaiti-British ties and relayed greetings from the sponsor of the gathering, HH the Prime Minister to the students and Sheikh Nasser’s good wishes to them. — KUNA

Heart attack A 53-year-old Egyptian man died inside his apartment in Jabriya after suffering a severe heart attack, reported Al-Watan. Paramedics responded to the emergency but pronounced the man dead upon their arrival. Security guard stabbed A bedoon security guard in a shopping mall in Eqaila was stabbed in the back after getting into a fight with a thug, reported

Al-Watan. Police and paramedics responded to the incident but were unable to apprehend the assailant. The guard was brought to Adan Hospital. A case was opened at the Al-Riqqa police station and authorities are using the license plate number of the vehicle the suspect escaped in to search for him.

they were in their family’s diwaniya. They managed to escape before the victim’s father was able to come to their aid. Paramedics responded to the scene and admitted the two youths to Jahra Hospital’s intensive care unit. A case was filed and police are looking for the suspects.

School fight A secondary school student and his sister were seriously injured af ter being brutally attacked by his schoolmates, reported Al-Rai. The incident was started one day at school when the youth got into a fight with a fellow classmate. The following night his assailant gathered 15 of his friends and reported to the youth’s home in Saad Al-Abdullah. Armed with knives and rods, the group attacked the young man and his sister while

Public shooting Police arrested an elderly man for shooting someone he thought was having an affair with his wife, reported Al-Rai. The incident occurred in Kabd where a Sudanese man was shot twice by a person he described as an old man driving a pickup truck. Following an investigation, police were able to identify the truck’s owner, a man in his 60s, and held him for questioning. The suspect informed authorities that he was convinced that

the man had slept with his wife. Upon questioning the elderly man’s sons, they were informed that the assailant suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. The assailant was charged with attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed weapon. Ammo mound Ammunition buried underground 20 years ago during the Iraqi Invasion was found recently at a construction site near the industrial area of Jahra, reported Al-Rai. Police responded to the scene when construction workers informed them that they found 200 pieces of antiaircraft ammunition. Explosives experts reported to the scene with police and removed the ammunition. They also searched the area to make sure no further explosives or ammunition was buried near the construction site.

Arab scribes meet in Amman AMMAN: Secretary General of the Arab Media Forum Madi Khamees called yesterday for resorting to professional rules in the media sector. Al-Khamees, the Kuwaiti representative at the third conference for the Arab investigative journalists, said the convention would focus on the profession of journalism and media “that is sustaining various drawbacks nowadays as a result of employing non-professionals.” The secretary general, who chaired a session on human rights, said the investigative journalism should be promoted in

the Arab world for restoring “seriousness and integrity of the profession that has been undermined due to exploitation by people of money and power.” He praised Kuwait’s enacting of a package of new publishing laws that “have restored confidence in the media work and contributed in minimizing some negative aspects.” The holding of this convention, organized by the independent Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), constituted an explicit sign of Jordan’s concern for ensuring “an adequate level of

media freedoms on the basis of professionalism,” he added. Participating journalists presented, during the session, highlights of their reports and news features about street children and trafficking of Africans to Israel (Egypt), sexual abuse against children in orphanage houses (Jordan) and trafficking of prostitutes in the Arab world (Morocco). Some 300 media and academic figures from 18 Arab countries are discussing, during the three-day gathering, various issues related to investigative and in-depth reporting. — KUNA

The Fountain Park Jassem Al-Shumais

Fountain Park celebrates Eid KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) held a special event at the Fountain Park to celebrate Eid Al-Adha holidays. Zain and thousands of visitors enjoyed it throughout the holidays. The event, which

saw participation from the ‘Fantasy Show’ group, featured various competitions that were especially held for this occasion, said Jassem AlShumais, Head of the Parks and Ice Rink Department at the TEC.

TEC personnel Sarah Jumah and Reem Al-Wuqaiyan Children interact during an event.

A competition is being held for children

Visitors having fun in the Fountain Park.

A family with their prize.


Monday, November 29, 2010

US troops in convoy kill Iraqi civilian driver BAGHDAD: US troops who thought they were under attack killed an Iraqi airport employee yesterday as he drove near a military convoy on his way to work, officials said. The driver, identified by colleagues as Baghdad International Airport worker Karim Obaid Bardan, failed to heed repeated signals to slow down or turn on his headlights as he neared the military convoy, said US and Iraqi security officials. “As a result, the vehicle was perceived as a threat and a decision was made to engage it with small-arms fire in order to stop it and to protect the convoy from a possible attack,” said Army Col. Barry Johnson, a US military spokesman in Baghdad. “Iraqi drivers know that they must use caution and avoid threatening behavior when approaching military vehicles,” Johnson said. The shooting comes a day after Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said US troops would not be needed in Iraq beyond a December 2011 withdrawal deadline already in place between the two nations. An Iraqi policeman confirmed the driver did not stop or slow. Two other Iraqi officials said the pre-dawn shooting happened near a security checkpoint on the road to the airport and described the shooting as a mistake. All three Iraqi officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. The shooting is under US investigation, and Johnson said the military “deeply regrets”

the driver’s death. Such socalled “escalation of force” selfdefense shootings were common in the years immediately after the 2003 US-led invasion, and inflamed tensions between American forces and Iraqis who saw them as occupiers. But the tactic has been less frequent since US soldiers scaled back their presence around Iraq, starting in June 2009, when they stopped patrolling cities without Iraqi forces with them. Meanwhile, in a shocking killing north of Baghdad, police said gunmen wearing Iraqi security forces uniforms invaded the home of a Sunni sheik in a pre-dawn raid and shot him and his 15-year-old son. A police officer in the village of alMeshahda, about 31 miles (50 kilometers) north of the capital, said Sheik Abdul Kerim Talab Mutlak Al-Halbussi was a leader of the local Sahwa, or Awakening council. The councils are the government-backed Sunni militias that joined forces with the United States against Al-Qaeda in one of the turning points of the war. Two other people in the house were wounded in the shooting, said the police officer. A local hospital official confirmed the casualties. Both spoke on condition of anonymity. Elsewhere in Baghdad, a roadside bomb in a western neighborhood killed one passerby and wounded three during rush hour at the start of the local work week. Two of the injured were policemen, according to authorities and workers at Yarmouk hospital. —AP

Jordan king defends parliament at inauguration AMMAN: King Abdullah II defended Jordan’s new parliament yesterday but called for amendments to the electoral law challenged by Islamists, as he inaugurated the assembly after a November 9 election. Dressed in formal military attire, the monarch told members of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate that “the Legislative Authority has a pivotal constitutional role.” “We do not accept any situation in which the role of the House of Representatives is undermined. And we do not accept any distortion of its image among the people,” said the 48-year-old. The king, who succeeded his father in 1999, appealed for “reform that increases public participation in the decision-making process,” according to an official English-language transcript. He said parliament could “amend” a temporary election law “as necessary to render this central legislation more conducive to advancing our democratic reforms, and adopt it as a permanent law.” Jordan’s parliamentary election was conducted under the first system, which is strongly criticised as unfair by the opposition Islamic Action Front who boycotted the poll. Pro-government loyalists kept control of the parliament after sweeping the vote, and a government with 11 new faces in the 31-member cabinet, including three women, took the oath of office on Wednesday. King Abdullah II dissolved the parliament in November 2009, two years before the end of its mandate, after media allegations about ineffectiveness and corruption among MPs. Yesterday, he vowed his government will “respect the right of media institutions to work freely and independently,” but added reforms were needed “to protect citizens and their rights from unprofessional practices that falsify facts and harm our country.” He reiterated Jordan’s support for Palestinians, “to help them put an end to occupation, to lift the injustice, and to establish their independent state on their national soil, with east Jerusalem as its capital.” “Jordan will also spare no effort in supporting our Iraqi brethren to preserve the stability and security of their country, and to regain Iraq’s pivotal role in the region and the world at large,” he said. The new house in its first session following the speech elected Faisal al-Fayez, a former prime minister, as parliament speaker after three other candidates pulled out. —AFP

Moroccans protest against Spanish opposition party CASABLANCA: Hundreds of thousands of Moroccans marched yesterday to protest against criticism by Spain’s opposition Popular Party of alleged human rights abuses in the disputed Western Sahara. Waving Moroccan flags and banners, the protesters led by Prime Minister Abbas el Fassi chanted: “Popular Party, enemy of Morocco.” Fassi’s Istiqlal party and 15 other political groups issued a joint statement attacking the Popular Party for its “unbridled activism against Morocco”. They argued that the party had swayed last week’s vote of European lawmakers in favour of an United Nations-backed probe into violence in the former Spanish colony. Moroccan security forces and pro-independence protesters clashed on Nov. 8 in the disputed territory, which was annexed by Morocco in 1975. Several

members of the security forces and civilians are reported to have died. The violence, among the worst in years, prompted the Polisario Front, which wants independence for the territory, to call for an independent UN investigation. The Popular Party took part in a rally in Madrid this month alongside leftist and trade union groups to denounce Morocco for allegedly abusing human rights in Western Sahara. Spain’s Socialist government said stable relations with Morocco were crucial for Madrid’s interests in North Africa. Moroccan political analyst Abderhmane Samer told Moroccan state television: “The Popular Party displayed activism against Morocco because it has strong links with big businesses which fear future competition from a prosperous and developed Morocco.” —Reuters

INTERNATIONAL

7

Somalia needs more African Union troops

World does not take Somali problem seriously: Uganda MOGADISHU: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni appealed yesterday for more international support to bolster the African Union force in Somalia during a brief visit to the capital Mogadishu. Museveni met President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed at the airport along with Somalia’s new Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and some members of a fresh, streamlined cabinet that was approved by parliament on Saturday. “We want more troops, from Uganda or from anywhere in Africa. Uganda is a country of 33 million people so we could mobilize 3 million people. But who will pay for it?” said Museveni, who faces a presidential election in February. “International support is not enough. They don’t take the Somali problem seriously,” said the former rebel, who visited Mogadishu wearing combat fatigues. Uganda and Burundi provide all the 7,200 African Union soldiers in Mogadishu propping up a Westernbacked government that has failed to stamp its authority on much more than a slice of the capital. Two hardline Islamist insurgent groups control the rest of Mogadishu and much of southern and central Somalia. The African Union troops have so far prevented the rebels from toppling the weak govern-

ment by defending key sites. “I came to check on our troops and also to consult his Excellency (President Ahmed). I am very pleased they formed a new government, have a new Prime Minister and are united. Our troops’ morale is very high.”

FOREIGN JIHADISTS The AU and the seven-nation east African Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have said it could take about 20,000 troops to help quell the insurgents in Somalia, a country without stable central government

for nearly 20 years. Uganda has said it could supply the whole force but wants Western nations and others to help foot the bill. While there have been many pledges of international support for the Somali government, incessant infighting and rampant corruption have not

Israel approves detention center for African migrants JERUSALEM: Israel’s Cabinet voted yesterday to erect a massive detention facility to hold thousands of Africans who have slipped illegally through the porous southern border with Egypt, heating up a debate over how to handle their mounting numbers. Critics accuse Israel of trying to turn away bona fide refugees and predicted the facility, which will be designed to hold up to 10,000 detainees, would become a squalid refugee camp. The Cabinet minister in charge of prisons said correctional authorities were ill-equipped to run the facility. But other officials said authorities cannot let thousands of economic migrants enter illegally each year, take jobs from Israelis and dilute the country’s Jewish character. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet before the vote that the proposed center is part of a multipronged approach that will include construction of a barri-

er along thinly patrolled areas of the 130-mile (220-kilometer) Israeli-Egyptian border, which began last week, and heavy fines on people who employ illegal workers. The barrier is also designed to keep out militants. “We have to stop this growing influx that threatens Israelis’ jobs and changes the character of the state,” said Netanyahu, who later visited the border area where the fence is being constructed. Refugees would not be turned away. And the center, where the migrants would be housed, fed and receive medical care, would be a “humanitarian solution” for dealing with them until they are repatriated or sent to a third country, he said. The facility is to be completed in six months. “This is really a national mission. The influx of labor immigrants threatens the social fabric of the entire country,” said Defense Minister Ehud Barak, during a tour of the border fence area. —AP

helped its cause, while government soldiers have missed out on salaries for months. Western nations say the Horn of African country has become a safe haven for jihadists training to launch attacks in neighboring countries and further afield. Somali insurgents linked to Al Qaeda killed at least 76 people watching the soccer World Cup final in Uganda’s capital with bomb blasts, in retaliation for the Ugandan troop presence. The chaos in Somalia has also allowed piracy to flourish off shore. The number of successful hijackings by Somali pirates was at a five-year high in the first nine-months of 2010. Somalia’s new prime minister, who has been in office for about a month, plans to recruit 8,000 government troops to push the rebels and foreign fighters in their ranks out of Mogadishu. “My first, second and third priority is improving security. In the first phase we are going to recruit 8,000 government troops,” Mohamed told Reuters in an interview last week. “Our initial target will be to drive the rebels from the capital Mogadishu and then the rest of the country. We shall not talk to foreign jihadists ... who came here to harass our people and our country,” the prime minister said. —Reuters


INTERNATIONAL

8

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mafia weaves its web in Italy’s wealthy north DESIO: The big mafia busts of recent years have generally been in impoverished regions of southern Italy-the heartland of the Camorra, ‘Ndrangheta and Cosa Nostra criminal groups. But observers say the real problem is in wealthy northern regions where the mafia has taken hold of political and economic elites in the search for lucrative public contracts and respectable businesses to launder money. Desio, a sleepy industrial town of 40,000 people some 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of Milan, is a case in point. The ‘Ndrangheta, although

based in the southern Calabria region and specialised in cocaine trafficking, has also been very active in Desio. “It’s not infiltration that we should be talking about, it’s settlement” of the ‘Ndrangheta in Desio that has taken place, Lucrezia Ricchiuti, a local official from the centre-left opposition Democratic Party, told AFP. The ‘Ndrangheta owns “companies and has political links,” she said. “There are a lot of companies that pay protection money but no-one complains. It’s omerta,” the mafia code of silence, she added. Several people were arrested in Desio in July as part

of a bigger operation against the ‘Ndrangheta that saw more than 300 arrests across the country. Prosecutors investigating the ‘Ndrangheta’s involvement in Desio said mafiosi could “count on important officials” in local government. The inquiry found contacts between the ‘Ndrangheta and local representatives of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling People of Freedom party. Political life in the town has been paralysed for months now since the populist Northern League party quit the coalition the local government there, calling for

new local elections in order to “clean up Desio.” The town’s mayor, Giampiero Mariani, declined to respond to questions from AFP, except to denounce “a media attack” on his town. “The presence of the mafia in the North has been a reality for years. It’s here that they do their best business,” said Alberto Nobili, a prosecutor in Milan who has specialised in investigating organised crime. The head of the ‘Ndrangheta in northern Italy at one point became so powerful that he even tried to break away from the base in southern Italy in 2008. The boss of

the organisation had him assassinated. The issue of the mafia’s presence in northern Italy has returned to national attention in recent days because of comments made by Roberto Saviano, author of the book “Gomorrah” about the Camorra crime group in and around Naples. Saviano said on a live television show that the ‘Ndrangheta had been in contact with the Northern League party, the junior partner in Italy’s ruling coalition and the party of Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni. Nobili explained that the mafia political contacts were not ideological. “The

mafioso is not right-wing or left-wing and is trying only to get close to people in power” in order to “access public contracts,” Nobili said. The ‘Ndrangheta launders dirty money through legal activities such as construction-with mafiosi opting for sober business attire. “The first mafiosi were unpolished but now their children have gone to the Bocconi,” a prestigious university in Milan that helps train business elites, said Paolo Biondani, an investigative reporter at the L’Espresso weekly. But Nobili added an important distinction-that however respectable they may seem:

“A mafia businessman is still a mafioso in his modus operandi.” Mariagrazia Trotti has experienced this first hand. The head of an antiracket association in Vigevano south of Milan, she was once the victim of extortion when she owned a jewellery shop. “To take control, they use loans and once the person can’t pay it back, they force them to give up the company and keep it as a shell company,” Trotti said. The situation has worsened during the economic crisis, she said, with a growing number of entrepreneurs forced to accept loans from the mafia.—AFP

52.9 percent in favor of proposal

Swiss approve automatic expulsion of foreign criminals GENEVA: Switzerland yesterday endorsed a far-right push to automatically expel foreign residents convicted of certain crimes, to the dismay of critics who described it as a “dark day for human rights.” Some 52.9 percent of those

who voted were in favor, while 47.1 percent were against, with the country’s German-speaking majority largely backing the proposal. Only six out of 26 cantons rejected it. The move came exactly a year after Switzerland shocked the world by agreeing to ban the construction of new minarets, which was another proposal backed by the far-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP). As with their campaign against minarets, the SVP had launched an aggressive campaign to push forward their proposal for the expulsion of foreign criminals, saying that those guilty of certain crimes should be stripped of their right to remain in the country. Its signature poster illustrates a white sheep kicking a black sheep out of the Swiss flag. Another poster depicts a gangster-like man with the slogan “Ivan S., rapist, and soon a Swiss?” “It’s very simple: we think that people we welcome in Switzerland should respect the rules of this country,” Fabrice Moscheni, president of the SVP in canton Vaud, told AFP. “If they don’t respect these rules, they should be going away and CHATEL-ST-DENIS: Photo taken yesterday in Chatel-St-Denis shows an election poster of the right-wing expelled from our territory,” he said. Swiss People’s Party (SVP-UDC) reading ‘Yes to the expel foreigners initiative’. —AFP “If you welcome somebody to your house, and he comes and destroys everything, I don’t think you want him to come back.” Judges can already issue expulsion orders for foreign criminals, BOUAKE: Where bloody government forces when a everything in the war. Now the there was “a good spirit of fairbut the SVP’s proposal goes man of the moment is Gbagbo. play and conviviality between fighting once raged in Ivory rebellion broke out in 2002. further. It would require The long-awaited election He is the only one who can the candidates’ representaCoast’s civil war, smiles and automatic expulsions for calm reigned at polling stations aims to stabilise what was once bring peace to Ivory Coast,” tives.” No major irregularities those found guilty of “rape, yesterday morning. All that west Africa’s most prosperous said Lucie, who would not give were reported in the first serious sexual offence, acts round and no serious setbacks voters on both sides want now, country after a decade of crisis her last name. of violence such as robbery,” Deadly violence marred the or incidents had been reported they say, is peace. Djenebou following a 1999 coup and the drug trafficking, as well as Diaby, an elderly woman lean- 2002 war that split the nation build-up to the second-round by midday yesterday. “We “abuse of social aid.” ing on a cane, came to a polling in two between north and vote in recent days. The two started about an hour late According to the Federal station in the rebel stronghold south. In the economic capital candidates had campaigned because there was no ink for Office of Migration, some of Bouake “to vote for ADO”- Abidjan, most voters back with an aggressive tone which the finger-printing” to identify 350 to 400 people are presidential challenger Ouattara’s rival, President they then softened, calling for voters, said the supervisor of a expelled every year, but this Alassane Dramane Ouattara, Laurent Gbagbo, who prevailed a peaceful vote. Gbagbo central Abidjan polling station, figure would rise to 1,500 backed by most voters in this there in the first round vote ordered a nightly curfew to last Arsene Bleou. with the adoption of the ini“But that was very quickly last month. Crowds there from Saturday to Wednesday central town. tiative. Critics object that “I did it for my children who voted calmly yesterday morn- and Ivorian and international sorted out and all is going the initiative smacks of disare suffering,” she said, refer- ing but hoped passionately he forces have bolstered their well.” Annette Dakouri, a shopcrimination, and that it runs deployments in case of vio- keeper of 31, voted for Gbagbo ring to the 10 years of conflict would win and bring peace. in the same xenophobic vein “I am a war refugee. They lence. A modest security pres- in the president’s western and political deadlock that have as that of banning minarets. split the country in two and chased us out of Bouake,” said ence was visible during voting home town of Gagnoa, said she Amnesty International said stricken its once-booming Lucie, 23, waiting with her in the towns, with handfuls of hoped he would work to create the approval of the initiative economy. Voters turned out en mother Louise to vote for police and soldiers in the jobs, but also echoed the other marked a “dark day for main priority of both sides. “I masse in a cheerful atmos- Gbagbo at a polling station in streets. human rights in In the western Abidjan dis- lost my dear parents in this phere in this central town, central Abidjan, the city they Switzerland.” which was the scene of fierce fled to on foot from the rebel trict of Yopougon, the supervi- war,” she said. “All I want is for “The initiative violates battles between rebel and pro- assault in 2002. “We lost sor of one voting station said there to be peace.” —AFP not only various international conventions... it is also contrary to the principle of proportionality and that of the ban on all forms of discrimination written into the federal constitution,” said the rights group. “The initiators has once more abused the right of an initiative to increase their political capital through xenophobic discourse,” said the group. Separately, the Swiss clearly rejected a move by the Socialist Party for “more tax justice,” with 58.5 percent voting against. The party had asked the Swiss to approve a minimum tax rate of 22 percent for people earning more than 250,000 francs (188,000 euros, 249,000 dollars), however. The move would have capped the right of individual cantons and communes to set their own tax rates and force the country’s wealthiest to pay more to the taxmen. It was opposed by the government and centre-right ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast: Ivory Coast’s former Prime Minister and presidential candidate Alassane Ouattara parties. Some industrialists casts his vote yesterday, during the second round of Presidential election in Abidjan. Voters flocked to polling such as lift magnate Alfred stations in Ivory Coast yesterday in a crucial presidential election aiming to end a decade of instability, amid Schindler had threatened to pack up and leave if the propleas for calm after a build-up marred by deadly violence. —AFP posal is adopted. —AFP

Ivorians to turn votes into peace

GATESHEAD: The landmark sculpture entitled ‘Angel of the North’ by British artist Antony Gormley stands amongst snow near Gateshead, in north-east England, yesterday. —AFP

Britain shivers in low temperatures LONDON: Parts of Britain experienced record low temperatures overnight, including minus 17 Celcius in Wales, forecasters said yesterday amid warnings of more heavy snow to come. “You are seeing some ridiculously low temperatures-it has been a bit like it is in the middle of Scandinavia,” said weather forecaster Michael Dukes. The temperature in Llysdinam near Llandrindod Wells in Wales plunged to minus 17.3C-the principality’s lowest ever temperature for November and Britain’s coldest for the month since 1985. The Met Office, Britain’s national forecaster, issued severe weather warnings yesterday for large chunks of eastern and southern Scotland and eastern England, warning of heavy snowfalls. Ireland also experienced heavy snow and Dublin airport was disrupted, with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan among those delayed as the weather made him late for crucial EU talks in Brussels on an international bailout for his

country. Drivers have been urged to be careful in badly-hit areas, and roadside emergency firms in Britain reported a huge surge in calls for help. The weather has also disrupted several sporting events — Dundee United’s match against Rangers in Scotland’s Premier League was abandoned and several FA Cup second round fixtures were postponed. Parts of Scotland and north-east England have already seen well over a foot (30 centimetres) of snow since the start of the cold snap last week, and forecasters said the flurries could reach London in the coming days. Britain’s lowest ever recorded temperature in November was minus 23.3 Celsius in Braemar, in the Scottish Highlands, on November 14, 1919. The unusual weather has been caused by high pressure over Greenland and low pressure in the Baltic, forcing cold winds from the northeast across Europe. —AFP

‘Berlusconi personally invited me’: Escort ROME: A self-described escort said yesterday that Premier Silvio Berlusconi personally invited her to two parties at his villas where young, foreign women were plentiful. Nadia Macri, 28, told Sky TG24 yesterday that she believed many of the women, Brazilians and Russians mostly, were minors, but didn’t know for sure since they didn’t talk among themselves. Macri is the latest woman to recount evenings spent at Berlusconi’s villas, allegations that have fueled a political crisis that has brought the government to a noconfidence vote in two weeks. Italian newspapers earlier this month published transcripts of Macri’s testimony to prosecutors in which she said Berlusconi paid her 10,000 pounds for sexual favors at the parties. Berlusconi attorney Niccolo Ghedini said yesterday that Macri’s comments were “devoid of any foundation” and had been

disproved. Macri limited her comments yesterday to how she was first introduced to Berlusconi, via a television executive, and how the premier allegedly contacted her by cell phone to invite her to a 2009 party at his villa in Sardinia and a 2010 party in Milan. She said he introduced himself the first time by saying “I’m the dream of all Italians.” She declined to elaborate on her testimony to prosecutors about what went on during the parties, citing the ongoing investigation. She said, though, that she had spoken to the premier about apparent custody problems she was having involving her 6-year-old son. In transcripts of her testimony published in Italian daily Corriere della Sera earlier this month, Macri said there was hashish available for the girls in some of the rooms of Berlusconi’s Sardinia estate during the 2009 party. —AP

Fire damages Istanbul train station ISTANBUL: Firefighters battled a blaze that engulfed the roof of Istanbul’s historic Haydarpasa train station building during restoration work yesterday, authorities said. The blazes damaged most of the roof of the early 20th century building and the fourth floor, said Selami Ozturk, local mayor of the Kadikoy district. “The fire has been put under control, there are no casualties,” said Gov. Huseyin Avni Mutlu of Istanbul. “However, it is sad that such a historic building has been damaged.” Talat Aydin, deputy undersecretary of the Transportation Ministry, said

trains from Anatolia would start carrying passengers to Haydarpasa again in a few hours. Private NTV television said welding or an electrical short circuit might have caused the blaze on the roof but authorities said it was early to determine the cause. Fireboats used water cannons to spray water on the roof of the U-shaped building built by German architects. Gray smoke was still billowing from the top of the building after the firefighters got the blaze under control. Eyup Muhcu, head of Turkey’s Architects’ Chamber, said the building was considered to be a his-

toric monument. The firefighters were still trying to cool down the building with seawater. Haydarpasa was built in 1908 on the Asian side of Istanbul, bisected by the Bosporus Strait, as part of German Empire’s ambitious Berlin-Baghdad railway project aimed at gaining control and influence in the region. It is a splendid structure with flights of marble stairs leading to the ground floor from where passengers board trains from several tracks. The monument, covered by textured sandstone, sits on a foundation of hundreds of timber piles, hammered into the seabed. —AP


Monday, November 29, 2010

9

INTERNATIONAL

Full agenda as US Congress tries to finish year WASHINGTON: The George W Bush-era tax cuts, enacted in 2001 and 2003 and due to expire at year’s end, will be at the top of agenda as lawmakers arrive in town Monday for the final stretch of the postelection session. President Barack Obama and most Democrats want to retain them for any couple earning $250,000 or less a year. Republicans are bent on making them permanent for everybody, including the richest. The cuts apply to rates on wage income as well as to dividends and capital gains. A failure to act would mean big tax increases for people at every income level. Obama has scheduled a meeting at the White House with Republican leaders tomorrow, and possible options for compromise will be on the table, including providing a temporary extension for the wealthy. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has suggested that the Senate hold two votes: one on the Democratic plan confining the tax cut extension to the middle class, the other on Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to extend the cuts to everyone. If

both are defeated, as anticipated, then the real negotiations begin. Congress also has a Dec. 3 deadline to pass a temporary spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. The Senate hasn’t passed a single spending bill for the budget year that began Oct. 1. Democrats are working on a catchall $1.1 trillion to fund the government’s day-to-day operations. Republicans, fresh off their election victory, are unlikely to go along. “If this election showed us anything, it’s that Americans don’t want Congress passing massive trillion-dollar bills that have been thrown together behind closed doors,” said McConnell. One idea is to fund the government at current levels through February, when the next Congress and its influx of anti-spending conservatives, will deal with the matter. If the pre-Thanksgiving first week of the lame-duck session is any indication, the chances aren’t good that Congress will accomplish much in the weeks ahead. The House tried, and failed, to extend federal

unemployment checks for the 2 million people whose benefits will run out during the holiday season. Republicans objected, saying the $12.5 billion cost of the three-month extension should be paid for so it doesn’t add to the deficit. The Senate’s main achievement was approval of a long-delayed settlement with black farmers and American Indians who say they were swindled out of aid, subsidies and royalties in past dealings with the government. Under the agreement awaiting House approval, black farmers would receive almost $1.2 billion and American Indians $3.4 billion. The Senate also postponed, for a month, a 23 percent cut in payments for the government health insurance, Medicare, to doctors; it was to begin on Dec. 1. The House is expected to go along, giving lawmakers time to come up with a longer-term plan to avoid cuts that could prompt doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients. As early as Monday night, the Senate could pass

and send to the House a measure that gives the Food and Drug Administration greater authority to order food recalls and inspect imported food. The House is to take up a Senate-passed child nutrition bill, which promotes healthier school lunches and has the support of first lady Michelle Obama. Also on the House agenda is a last-ditch effort by Democrats to show they have not forgotten immigration policy. Legislation known as the Dream Act, which has stumbled once in the Senate, would provide a path to legal status for the children of illegal immigrants who either go to college or join the military. •

Also on the to-do list: Senate Republicans have blocked a defense bill that would end the military’s ban on gays serving opening. The Pentagon is to release a report on Nov. 30 on how lifting “don’t ask, don’t tell” would affect military operations, and Democrats say they will try again to change the policy.

Obama says the new START treaty that would reduce nuclear weapons arsenals in the U.S. and Russia is a “national security imperative” and he wants the Senate to hold a ratification vote this year. But a key Republican, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, says the vote should be put off until next year. The addition of more GOP senators in the new Senate will complicate passage. Democrats say they want to give the extension of unemployment benefits another shot. One possibility is tying it to the tax cut bill. Democrats could try to portray Republicans as supporting tax cuts for the rich that would cost $700 billion over 10 years while opposing help for the jobless. There are numerous other tax breaks, such as for research and development, that need to be renewed. Congress is facing a deadline to shield some 21 million from significant tax increases by adjusting the alternative minimum tax by the end of the year. The cost of that is about $70 billion. — AP

Victory meant to help make city safe for 2016 Olympics

Rio police claim victory after invading gang haven RIO DE J ANEIRO: Rio police backed by helicopters and armored vehicles invaded a shantytow n complex long held by traffickers yesterday, quickly taking over the key drug gang stronghold in a historic victory meant to help make the city safe for the 2016 Olympics. Black-clad officers poured into

OREGON: Imam Yosof Wanly, upper center, leads attendees in a prayer service at the Salman Al-Farisi Center in Corvallis, Ore. on Saturday. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, who allegedly planned a bombing in Portland, Ore. — AP

Bomb suspect spoke of best site for blast OREGON: The Somali-born university student met with an undercover FBI agent in August at a Portland hotel and told him he had found the perfect location for a terrorist attack: the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Mohamed Osman Mohamud told the agent that he had dreamed of carrying out an attack for years, and the city’s Pioneer Courthouse Square would be packed with thousands, “a huge mass that will ... be attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays,” according to an affidavit. On Friday, Mohamud parked what he thought was a bomb-laden van near the ceremony and then went to a nearby train station, where he dialed a cell phone that he believed would detonate the vehicle. Instead, federal authorities moved in and arrested him. No one was hurt. The case is the latest in a string of alleged terrorist plots by US citizens or residents, including one at Times Square in which a Pakistan-born man pleaded guilty earlier this year to trying to set off a car bomb at a busy street corner. Officials said Mohamud had no formal ties to foreign terror groups, although he had reached out to suspected terrorists in Pakistan. Authorities have not explained how a young Muslim man described by friends as an average university student who drank an occasional beer and hung out with fraternity friends became so radicalized. Mohamud is scheduled to appear in court today, and it wasn’t clear if he had a lawyer yet. FBI agents say they began investigating after receiving a tip from an unidentified person who expressed concern about Mohamud. At 15, he told undercover agents, he made a prayer for guidance, “about whether I should ... go, you know, and make jihad in a different country or to make like an operation here.” Mohamud graduated from high school in Beaverton, although few details of his time there were available Saturday. He dropped out of Oregon State University in Corvallis on Oct 6, the school said. He hadn’t declared a major. Yosof Wanly, imam at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis, said Mohamud was a normal student who went to athletic events, drank the occasional beer and was into rap music and culture. Wanly said Mohamud was religious but didn’t come to the mosque consistently. Beginning in August 2009, court documents allege, Mohamud began e-mail communications with a friend overseas who had studied in Oregon, asking how he could travel to Pakistan and join the fight for jihad. The email exchanges led the FBI to believe that Mohamud’s friend in Pakistan “had joined others involved in terrorist activities” and was inviting Mohamud to join him, prosecutors say. Mohamud tried to board a flight to Kodiak, Alaska, on June 14 of this year from Portland but wasn’t allowed to board and was interviewed by the FBI, prosecutors say. Mohamud told the FBI he wanted to earn money fishing and then travel to join “the brothers.” He said he had previously hoped to travel to Yemen but had never obtained a ticket or a visa.

Less than two weeks later an agent e-mailed Mohamud, pretending to be affiliated with one of the people overseas whom Mohamud had tried to contact. Undercover agents then set up a series of faceto-face meetings with Mohamud at hotels in Portland and Corvallis. They persuaded Mohamud they were in contact with a “council” of jihadists that were interested in him, the documents say. During their first meeting on July 30, Mohamud told an agent there were a number of ways he could help “the cause,” ranging from praying five times a day to “becoming a martyr.” Mohamud replied he “thought of putting an explosion together but that he needed help doing so,” the documents say. At a second meeting on Aug. 19 at a Portland hotel, the agent brought another undercover agent, the documents said, and Mohamud told them he had selected Pioneer Courthouse Square for the bombing. On Nov 4, in the backcountry along Oregon’s coast, agents convinced Mohamud that he was testing an explosive device _ although the explosion was controlled by agents rather than the youth. The affidavit said Mohamud was warned several times about the seriousness of his plan, that women and children could die, and that he could back out. Prosecutors say after the trip to the backcountry, Mohamud made a video in the presence of one of the undercover agents, putting on clothes he described as “Sheik Osama style:” a white robe, red and white headdress, and camouflage jacket. He read a statement speaking of his dream of bringing “a dark day” on Americans and blaming his family for getting in the way. “To my parents who held me back from Jihad in the cause of Allah. I say to them ... if you — if you make allies with the enemy, then Allah’s power ... will ask you about that on the day of judgment, and nothing that you do can hold me back,” he said. Friday, an agent and Mohamud drove into downtown Portland to the white van that carried six 55-gallon drums with detonation cords and plastic caps, but all of them were inert. Authorities said they allowed the plot to proceed to obtain evidence to charge the suspect with attempt. White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said Saturday that President Barack Obama was aware of the FBI operation before Friday’s arrest and was assured that the public was not in danger. Tens of thousands of Somalis have resettled in the United States since their country plunged into lawlessness in 1991, and the US has boosted aid to the country. In August, the US Justice Department unsealed an indictment naming 14 people accused of being a deadly pipeline routing money and fighters from the US to al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliated group in Mohamud’s native Somalia. FBI agent E.K. Wilson said there is no apparent connection between the bomb plot in Portland and the investigation he’s overseeing into about 20 men who left Minneapolis to join al-Shabab in Somalia. Officials have been working with Muslim leaders across the United States, particularly with the Somali community in Minnesota, trying to combat the radicalization. — AP

Fire reported at US Islamic center CORVALLIS: A fire broke out in an Islamic center near Oregon State University yesterday, two days after a Somali-born teenager and former student was arrested and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. No injuries have been reported. Authorities in Corvallis told The Oregonian they are investigating the fire at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center. They have not said how it started. Yosof Wanly, imam at the center, said 80 percent of the center’s office was burned, but the worship areas were

untouched. Wanly said he has been advised by friends to take his family out of their home, and is debating whether to do so. On Friday, federal authorities arrested 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, of Corvallis, after they say he tried blowing up a van that he believed was loaded with explosives at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland. The bomb was a fake supplied by undercover agents who had been communicating with Mohamud, and the public was never in danger. — AP

“We won,” said Mario Sergio Duarte, head of Rio state’s military police. “We brought freedom to the residents of Alemao.” The operation was crucial to the city’s campaign to push criminals out of slums where they have ruled with impunity, an effort to secure Rio before the city hosts World Cup matches in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics. Rio de Janeiro Gov. Sergio Cabral told Globo TV that the campaign will go forward: “We will continue to conquer more territories and give peace to our citizens and the foreign visitors who come here.” The invasion came after gangs unleashed a week of violence in the city of 6 million, with more than 100 cars and buses set on fire , many in protest against police raids of the past two years , and at least 35 deaths, mostly of suspected traffickers. Yesterday’s operation gripped the nation’s attention. Several networks broadcast it live and a mass calling for peace was celebrated at the base of Rio’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. At least two people were in injured in the invasion. A man was shot in the chest and a teenage boy was wounded in the right leg, but their conditions were not immediately available. Authorities said the boy appeared to be a slum resident and the man a suspected gang member. “When we got in, it was a critical moment, but we now have control of the territory, it’s all calm,” said police inspector Rodrigo Oliveira. “There is no doubt that Rio residents have reason to celebrate today. The complex was seen as a fortress for drug traffickers and in less than two hours we took control.” Police said they captured large amounts of weapons, ammunition and drugs in the complex, which includes a dozen slums that are home to at least 85,000 people. Television images showed police entering a four-story home at the top of the slum believed to belong to one of the local drug leaders. Its air conditioners, flat-screen TV, computer, whirlpool, pool and new appliances were a stark contrast to the bare wooden shacks that house most of the area’s people. Some gunmen began to surrender and about 10 were arrested in yesterday’s operation, but police were still searching the shacks on the hills of the shantytown to try to find those trying to flee. Earlier, authorities said up to 600 gang members were in the slum. “We have to be careful because they may be trying to set up traps for our men,” Duarte said. But he promised that “we won’t leave a place unchecked.” At least five police helicopters buzzed above the Alemao, with armed officers leaning out the open side doors searching for gang members. Police and troops moved into the slum inside armored vehicles as residents watched from their windows in shacks packed along the hills. Big tracked armored personnel carriers rolled in and out of the slum entrances, carrying soldiers with camoflage-painted faces. Vehicles from the forestry service carried troops to the jungle areas on the perimeter of the slum to cut back trees and eliminate possible escape routes. Many residents were thrilled with the police operation. “Fantastic, this is exactly the thing we needed,” said Ana Costa, 48, who lives a block from the slum in the Penha neighborhood. “This community has been so violent for so long that I never thought that I would see this day,” she said as armored vehicles rushed by her house. “I still have my doubts, but I’m praying that peace has finally come here.”

Hundreds of soldiers in camouflage, along with elite and regular police had been surrounding the Alemao since Saturday night, sheltering behind the armored vehicles. They exchanged intermittent, heavy gunfire with gang members at many of the 44 entrances to the slum. As the troops and gangsters faced off, Rio saw its calmest night in a week, with only one volley of gunfire heard overnight in the slum. For the first time in more than a week, no vehicles were burned. Saraiva said police had given gang members until sunset Saturday to surrender, and he described them as “exhausted, hungry, thirsty, stressed out.” But they did not give up, so police moved in. Authorities had already seized the Vila Cruzeiro slum, which was once thought virtually impenetrable.—AP

the Alemao slum complex just after sunrise amid heavy fire, w ith helicopters flying low to support the men on the ground. But the officers encountered less resistance than expected, even if many gang members still remained inside.

RIO DE JANEIRO: Police take position during an operation against alleged drug traffickers at the Complexo do Alemao slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil yesterday. — AP


INTERNATIONAL

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Boy who fled K Rouge returns as US navy commander PHNOM PENH: When the destroyer USS Mustin docks in Cambodia next week it will be more than just a routine mission for the ship’s commander. Michael Misiewicz is Cambodian by birth and was just a child when he was wrenched from his family and homeland 37 years ago, to be sent away from the country to escape the civil war with the Khmer Rouge. He has not set foot on Cambodian soil since. “I have been fighting a lot of emotions about coming back to my native country,” said Misiewicz, who was born Vannak Khem, of his impending return. “To know that I’ve got relatives there that have wanted to see me for decades... I don’t know if I will be able to hold back the tears,” he said by telephone aboard the US warship. The 43-year-old was a small boy in the early 1970s when Cambodia was

engulfed in a civil war between government troops and communist Khmer Rouge fighters. In 1973, his father arranged for him to be adopted by an American woman who worked at the US embassy and was preparing to leave the increasingly dangerous country. The move meant Misiewicz avoided one of the most brutal chapters of 20th century history-the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge regime that caused the deaths of up to two million people from starvation, overwork and execution. “At that age I was a happy-go-lucky kid. I really didn’t have any sense of the war or bad things going on in Cambodia,” said Misiewicz, recalling that he had no qualms about leaving. “I was excited about getting on a plane, going to a new world where I could eat popcorn and have all the watermelon I wanted,” he said. But his moth-

US Navy Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz

er’s tearful goodbye is engraved in his memory. “My mom was so, so upset. I promised her I’d buy her a big house one day.” The young Cambodian built a new life for himself in his adoptive country, enlisting in the navy after graduating from high school in Lanark, Illinois. It was while he was attending the US naval academy that he began to learn about the atrocities that had taken place in his homeland. Misiewicz had received no news from his family and assumed the worst. “I felt a lot of guilt. Why was I the lucky one?,” he said. “I really doubted that my family had survived the whole Khmer Rouge era. I tried not to think about it.” What he did not know was that his mother and three of his four siblings had survived and managed to flee the country in 1983, ending up in the United States themselves. They were now liv-

ing in Austin, Texas, desperately trying to find him. It took six years of searching, but finally the family learnt that Misiewicz had lived in Alexandria, Virginia when he first arrived in the US. Combing through old phonebooks, they eventually made contact with his exbabysitter who happened to know his current whereabouts. After 16 years of silence, one phone call reunited him with his family. “One day, in 1989, I got a call out of the blue. It was my older brother,” said Misiewicz. The joy of reunion was tempered by the news that his father had been executed by the Khmer Rouge in 1977 and his infant sister had died, probably of malnutrition, during the “Killing Fields” era. Misiewicz, who has more than 300 sailors under his charge, says he often thinks about how hard it must have been to make the choice to sepa-

rate him from his family. “I am so grateful my father had the wisdom to make that decision. It was a very tough decision, very heart-breaking,” he said. Now Misiewicz is looking forward to reconnecting with relatives and exposing his sailors to the country through community outreach projects and training exercises with the Cambodian navy. The USS Mustin, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, will be stationed in Sihanoukville, on Cambodia’s southwestern coastline, for four days from Friday. “I’ve been so blessed to have had these opportunities and I feel honored and privileged to come back,” the ship’s commander said. Misiewicz added that he feels “very close” to his birth mother and siblings. “I did buy my mom that house-in Texas,” he said-making good on a promise made nearly four decades ago. — AFP

Ban verdict nears for Thailand ruling party PM’s fate hangs in the balance BANGKOK: Thailand’s ruling party and its leader face a possible court decision on their future today that threatens further upheaval for the kingdom’s already fractured political landscape. The Constitutional Court has the power to disband the Democrat party and hand down five-year political bans for

senior figures, including Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. It will hear closing remarks and is expected to reach a verdict today, said Thailand’s deputy prime minister, after a trial centered on accusations of misuse of a 29-millionbaht (960,000 dollar) state grant in 2005.

GREYMOUTH: Church members and families of the 29 lost miners light candles during a special memorial service at the Holy Trinity church in Greymouth on November 27, 2010.—AFP

4th blast rocks New Zealand coal mine GREYMOUTH: A fourth explosion in nine days ripped through a New Zealand mine where 29 miners perished, and officials said yesterday the coal was on fire, a development that could significant delay recovery of the bodies. Large quantities of smoke and flames were seen shooting from the Pike River Coal mine’s vertical ventilation shaft after yesterday’s blast. “This smoke has changed, it’s no longer a gas fire, it’s obviously now a coal fire,” Pike River chief executive Peter Whittall told reporters. “Where that coal fire is or how big it is, we don’t know.” The mine might have to be temporarily sealed to starve the fire of oxygen, Whittall said, without indicating how long it would take to kill the fire. The move could seriously delay the recovery of the bodies, and Whittall said it was not the preferred option. The explosions have dislodged a lot of coal, “so there’s a lot of fuel in the mine to burn,” he said. The worst-case scenario was that the actual coal seam would start to burn, he said. A gas fire is relatively easy to put out, but a coal

fire in a seam would be a “very different beast,” Whittall said. Operators still hope to deploy an Australian jet-powered engine to blast nitrogen and carbon dioxide gases and water vapor into the mine. The inert gases would expel oxygen that could fuel more explosions, and would smother the fire. That option may be ready to use today. There were no injuries from yesterday’s blast, and a brief fire involving vegetation around the surface vent was extinguished. People working near the mine entrance were moved away from the area for safety. The 29 miners were trapped by the first blast Nov. 19 and declared dead after a massive second blast five days later. A third explosion Friday was fueled by methane gas seeping into the mine. Police superintendent Dave Cliff said the latest explosion demonstrates the volatility of the mine environment, which has prevented any rescue workers from entering the mine since the first blast. “We are doing all we can to progress the recovery operation, however the explosion reinforces the risks involved

in working in this environment and the requirement to put people’s safety first,” he told reporters. Prime Minister John Key said yesterday that a Royal Commission of Inquiry will be held into the disaster - showing that the government was taking the inquiry seriously and was determined to find answers for the dead miners’ families. Ten busloads of families were taken to the site Saturday, but none of the relatives has publicly commented since then. New Zealand’s mining industry is small and generally considered safe. The tragedy deeply shocked the country and devastated families who - buoyed by the survival tale of Chile’s 33 buried miners - had clung to hope that their relatives could emerge alive. The country has had 210 deaths in 114 years in mines. New Zealand’s worst mine disaster was in 1896, when 65 died in a gas explosion at a mine on the same coal seam as the latest tragedy. The most recent had been in 1967, when an explosion killed 19 miners near the Pike River site. A fire in a mine in 1914 killed 43. — AP

Malaysia opposition urged to close ranks KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim urged his party yesterday to close ranks and gear up for national polls, after a bout of bitter party infighting which he admitted has damaged its image. Internal leadership polls in Anwar’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat, seen as the cohesive force in the three-party opposition alliance, exposed deep factional rifts and dented its image as a credible alternative government. Analysts said the polls have hurt Anwar’s bid to seize power in the next general election, which could be held within months, but

Anwar sought to inspire members and asked them to unite. “Everyone has a role to play. This is the last lap, it’s the last 100 meters. Let’s unite and rise,” he told some 2,000 party delegates at the end of the two-day Keadilan congress. “No way can UMNO defeat us. That’s why they can only choose to defame us,” said Anwar, referring to the United Malays National Organization party which leads the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. “Let’s go back and get our election machinery ready. We will fight and we will fight on,” he said to

the applause from delegates. Weeks of intense campaigning during the party polls have at one point descended into physical violence between competing factions and have seen a series of dramas included the resignation of one of Keadilan’s leading lights. Anwar, who has survived far worse crises during a turbulent political career, however insisted the party’s sights were still set on seizing power although he admitted the infighting has “temporarily damaged” its image. — AFP

Suthep Thuagsuban said there was “no contingency plan” in place for a ban ruling as the party was sure that it would win the case. “The Democrats have been in politics for more than 60 years, everybody is confident,” he said. Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) in April called for the Democrat Party the country’s oldest party-to be abolished over the accusations, as well as a separate case alleging an undeclared political donation. The call coincided with the country’s worst political violence in decades, which ultimately left more than 90 people dead and almost 1,900 wounded in a series of street clashes between opposition protesters and troops. The Democrats are accused of paying 23 million baht to advertising firms, despite having permission to spend only 19 million on billboard marketing. The prime minister on Saturday refused to speculate on when the court would reach its decision, but said he would be ready today in case there was a verdict. Abhisit, who was the party’s deputy leader at the time, appeared as a witness for the defense during the trial, telling the court the election body had been informed about changes in campaign plans. He has also had to defend the Democrats against accusations that a member of his party had attempted to influence the judiciary in the case. Allegations that a Democrat lawmaker met an aide of a Constitutional Court judge ahead of a hearing in October-and was captured doing so on video-were splashed on the front pages of local media. Three out of the original nine judges have since withdrawn from the case to pursue legal action against the aide, whom they accuse of leaking the video. This leaves an even number of judges remaining on the case, causing concern about a possible stalemate. Some observers question whether Abhisit’s backers in the military and Bangkok-based elite would allow the Democrats to be toppled. Author and former Thai diplomat Pavin Chachavalpongpun said he does not believe the party will be disbanded because the powers behind the party “need someone to be in charge at this critical time in Thai politics”. “It’s not really that those that back the Democrats really like the party that much, but they don’t have any alternative,” he said. But he said the party could be disbanded by those elites uncomfortable that the court’s reputation has been tarnished by “highly politicized” rulings, which have played a major role in shaping Thailand’s political landscape in the past. The Democrats came to power in a parliamentary vote two years ago after court decisions ousted allies of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was himself unseated in a 2006 military coup. The judiciary forced two premiers from office in 2008 - one of them, Samak Sundaravej, was removed for taking payments for hosting TV cooking shows. Opposition Red Shirts accuse Abhisit’s government of being undemocratic and their protests have called for immediate elections. But Pavin said that while he believes Abhisit will call an election in the first three months of 2011, he thinks it will do little to heal the country’s bitter divisions.—AFP

OKINAWA: Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima (center) shouts “banzai” with his supporters at his campaign headquarters in Naha. — AP

Okinawa election a test of US-Japan military alliance TOKYO: Residents of Japan’s southern island of Okinawa voted yesterday for a new governor, with the outcome likely to test the US-Japan security alliance because both candidates campaigned for the removal of an unpopular US Marine base. The relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma was among the key issues in the election. The US base has been on Okinawa since 1945, and residents have long complained it produces aircraft noise and crime. A 2006 deal between the US and Japan to relocate the base to a less crowded part of Okinawa has stalled because of public opposition. The controversy even toppled a prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, earlier this year. Public broadcaster NHK said initial results showed the likely winner was incumbent Hirokazu Nakaima, 71, who earlier accepted the base relocation plan but now calls for the facility to be removed from Okinawa. His opponent, Yoichi Iha, 58, former mayor of Ginowan city, where Futenma is located, wants the base moved out of Japan entirely. Official results were expected today. Okinawa, home to about half of the some 50,000 US troops stationed in Japan, is a strategically important island close to Taiwan and the Chinese mainland and not far from the Korean

peninsula. Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said the US military presence in Okinawa is a crucial deterrence of regional security threats, an argument perhaps driven home by North Korea’s artillery strike on a South Korean island tomorrow as well as worries over China’s growing military power. A half-century security alliance allows the US to station military forces in Japan, while guaranteeing the US will defend Japan from any attack. But local opposition to the troops’ presence is vocal, and the relocation of Futenma will need the governor’s approval. The base controversy is growing into a major thorn in the US-Japan alliance. Both Kan and Hatoyama are from the Democratic Party, which promised a foreign policy less beholden to the United States before its election last year. The largely untested party trounced the long-ruling Liberal Democrats, which had smoothly engineered the alliance with the US and rarely questioned what Washington wanted. The relocation of Futenma is part of a bigger plan to move more than 8,000 US Marines off Okinawa to the US Pacific island of Guam. But this plan assumes that a still unbuilt base in another part of Okinawa will be completed. — AP

Australia Labor suffers state election reverse CANBERRA: Australia’s ruling Labor Party was in fresh political turmoil yesterday after elections in the second-most populous state looked to have delivered another hung parliament, or worse, a surprise conservative opposition victory. Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s home state of Victoria was facing days in political limbo as vote counting continued in the wake of state elections that left neither side with a majority, but with the conservatives looking slightly stronger. The vote was a “refreshing rain of renewal”, state conservative leader Ted Baillieu said, after balloting was marred by heavy rain and flash flooding, while the outcome will give heart also to Gillard’s opponents nationally. “I think this has been a very tough night for Labor, let’s just call a spade a spade. We should have a long hard look at whether we have got some deeper problems we need to deal with. I think wise reflections on this are necessary,” said senior Labor lawmaker and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. Gillard’s Labor won a second term in August after dead-heat national elections, but only

with support from three independents and a Green lawmaker, leading to concern her government might be unstable and not survive a threeyear term. The Victorian poll was fought over issues generally thought to be Labor strongpoints, such as health and education, as well as policing, and road and rail improvements. The state, which accounts for a quarter of the national economy with a population of 5.5 million, is also a manufacturing base, and Labor’s setback could now make Gillard’s job of delivering promised economic reforms like carbon pricing and health funding more difficult. State Labor governments had agreed to hand a third of consumption tax income to the national government to improve health services, and that deal could be in trouble if a conservative government emerges over coming days, as Australian Broadcasting Corp. was predicting. A deeply unpopular Labor state government is also likely to lose power in New South Wales state next year, while the party’s brand is also in trouble in the resource and agricultural powerhouse of Queensland state.—Reuters


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INTERNATIONAL

Monday, November 29, 2010

Afghans accused of Christian conversion risk execution KABUL: Two Afghans accused of converting to Christianity, including a Red Cross employee, could face the death penalty, a prosecuting lawyer said yesterday. Musa Sayed, 45, and Ahmad Shah, 50, are being detained in the Afghan capital awaiting trial, the prosecutor in charge of western Kabul, Din Mohammad Quraishi said. “They are accused of conversion to another religion, which is considered a crime under Islamic law. If proved, they face the death penalty or life imprisonment,” said Quraishi. Quraishi said Sayed, who works for the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) had

already confessed, and there was “proof” against Shah. But Sayed has accused his codefendant of being a spy and outing him to authorities, while Shah himself claims to be Muslim and wants to defend himself at trial, Quraishi said. Bijan Frederic Farnoudi, a spokesman for the ICRC in Kabul, confirmed Sayed’s arrest and said he had worked for the organization since 1995. He said the ICRC had visited him in prison “in accordance with its mandate”. “During such visits, the ICRC has met Mr Musa (Sayed) several times and intends to visit him in future,” Farnoudi

said. The two men have appeared at an initial tribunal to hear the case against them, but the trial has since been put on hold and court documents sent to the prosecutor’s office for review. Asked why the case had been halted, Quraishi said: “Maybe they’ve received instructions from higher officials.” Relatives of Sayed claim he has been tortured by fellow detainees for being Christian and said they could not find a lawyer willing to defend his case. In a letter that Sayed sent from prison, a copy of which has been seen by AFP, he accused Shah of infiltrating the

Christian community as a spy to report them to the authorities. “I was tortured and abused in prison. I was constantly bothered. I am in really bad shape. One guy named Ahmad Shah, a spy... denounced me to officials and police, and showed them where I lived,” the letter said. According to sources close to the investigation, several Western diplomats have been to visit Sayed in detention. “This is an exceptional case. Maybe the court will ask him (Sayed) to convert back. He has already been asked but he refused,” said Quraishi. Sayed and Shah were arrested in late May

and early June, days after local television broadcast footage of men reciting Christian prayers in Farsi and being baptised, apparently in a house in Kabul. The government launched its own investigation and suspended aid groups Norwegian Church Aid and Church World Service of the United States after the television program reported they were proselytizing, which is illegal in the devoutly Islamic country. Members of parliament have expressed their anger over the case, with one MP from western Herat even calling for the men to be dragged from their homes and publicly

executed. The Afghan Constitution, adopted after the fall of the hardline Islamic Taleban in late 2001, forbids conversion to another religion from Islam and in theory can sentence those found guilty to death. But Afghanistan has not executed anyone for the crime in recent history. The last conversion case to be tried in Afghanistan is believed to be that of Abdul Rahman, an Afghan man arrested in 2006 for converting to Christianity. He was eventually released and granted refugee status in Italy, after a wave of international human rights protests. — AFP

Afghan gold mine raises specter of ‘resource curse’

PANJWAI: Afghan boys look at a US Army patrol, unseen, from First Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in Panjwai district, Afghanistan’s Kandahar province yesterday. — AP

The Karachi Connection: A scandal too far for Sarkozy? ‘Karachi Scandal’ reignites bitter in-fighting PARIS: Murky arms deals, betrayal, kickbacks and a deadly bomb attack: France’s latest scandal has all the makings of a high stakes political drama, but will Nicolas Sarkozy be cast as leading man? The president has furiously French voters are wearily accustomed to their leaders being scrutinized for alleged financial shenanigans, but the “Karachi Scandal” has reignited bitter in-fighting on the French right and could yet inflict real political hurt. Having faced down months of pension protests, reshuffled his cabinet and taken on the presidency of the G20 group of leading economies, Sarkozy hoped to launch his 2012 presidential re-election bid from a position of strength. But his most bitter enemy in his own right-wing camp, former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, had other ideas. He swept back onto centre stage on Friday to testify to investigating judges and revive the slow-burning scandal. “I want as much light shone on this as possible so that the judiciary can work with all independence and transparency,” Villepin said after his hearing, at which he outlined suspicions of kickbacks on the submarine deal. The roots of the scandal go back to 1994, when France sold submarines to Pakistan and frigates to Saudi Arabia. The right was divided over who should run for president in 1995. Sarkozy, then budget minister, backed Prime Minister Edouard Balladur and became his campaign spokesman. Villepin sided with Paris mayor Jacques Chirac. Chirac eventually won, but he never forgave Balladur for his betrayal, and Sarkozy and Villepin have over the succeeding years built up one of the most poisonous rivalries in French politics. Following the election,

denied any implication in a web of deals linking a contract to sell submarines to Pakistan, a former prime minister’s failed presidential bid and the eventual murder of 11 French engineers.

PARIS: Former French Prime minister Edouard Balladur leaves his residence with his dog. Families of French engineers killed in a 2002 bomb attack in Pakistan have pressed for President Nicolas Sarkozy to testify over alleged corruption linked to the deaths. Sarkozy was spokesman for former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur’s 1995 presidential bid, at a time when the campaign is alleged to have taken kickbacks on a deal to sell submarines to the Pakistani navy. —AFP experts at France’s top judicial body, the Constitutional Council, recommended Balladur’s campaign accounts be rejected for including too many suspicious, untraceable cash donations. But the council itself, a committee of the eminent political appointees, voted to sign off on the defeated candidate’s books. Last year, Balladur denied any

wrongdoing, but suspicions persist. Once in office, Chirac re-examined the contracts for the sale of the submarines, and ordered that commissions paid to middlemen be cancelled. France did not outlaw payments to fixers in arms deals until 2000, but in this case officials suspected the foreign-based businessmen who took a cut on the con-

tracts were paying “retrocommissions” to French politicians. Sarkozy, who as budget minister reportedly had a role in signing off on the original contracts between Pakistan and the French state-owned shipyard that supplied the subs, has firmly denied any knowledge of wrongdoing. If the Karachi scandal had

remained limited to suspect commissions and Balladur’s electoral defeat, it might have ended there, another footnote in France’s long history of murky electoral finances. But in 2002, a bus carrying French engineers working on the submarine contract was hit by a suicide bomber in Karachi. At least 15 people were killed, 11 of them French, in an attack first blamed on Al-Qaeda. French judges investigating the attack are now following a different lead, however. Could the attack have been carried out by Islamists manipulated by Pakistani agents, in revenge for having lost out on cancelled kickbacks? The families of the French victims take this idea seriously, their involvement putting a human face on the alleged scandal and making it harder for the politicians at the heart of the drama to brush the claims aside. Villepin-who plans to stand against Sarkozy in 2012 in a replay of the 1995 clash between their older mentors Balladur and Chirac-appears to have revived the scandal in order to hurt the current president. But he does not want Chirac to share the blame for the deaths, and now says that he does not think the cancellation of the commissions led to the bombing. Chirac, he argues, cancelled contracts he thought could have led to retro-commissions in order to “moralize international public life”. French press reports have put a more cynical spin on the decision, citing earlier Villepin statements that the former president cancelled the deals as revenge against Balladur, striking his suspected source of funding. — AFP

India’s nuclear plant gets green go-ahead NEW DELHI: India yesterday gave environmental clearance for a nuclear power plant to be built in collaboration with French firm Areva, days ahead of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s scheduled visit to New Delhi. Environment minister Jairam Ramesh said the go-ahead for the Jaitapur plant in Maharashtra state, which will use nuclear reactors supplied by Areva, was granted with 35 conditions and safeguards. “From an environmental point of view, nuclear energy is a cleaner option than coal,” Ramesh said in a press release, adding that he has called for further studies into the power station’s potential environmental impact. A 34-year-old embargo on civilian nuclear exchanges with India, imposed in 1974 following a series of Indian nuclear tests, was lifted in 2008 after years of negotiations between India and the United States. France has since signed an agreement with India covering nuclear energy cooperation, while Russia has also signed a similar accord. The power station will be situated in the coastal region of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital of Mumbai, and has faced protests from locals and antinuclear activists. Ramesh said nuclear energy accounted for about 2.9 percent of India’s energy generation, and the government wanted to increase the figure to six percent by 2020 and possibly 13 percent by 2030. Some local media reported that Areva and the Indian staterun Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) would sign the agreement during Sarkozy’s trip to Delhi. The French president’s itinerary has yet to be confirmed but he is expected to arrive in India at the end of next week. The NPC predicts the first reactor, costing an estimated four to six billion euros ($5.3-7.9) will be commissioned in 2017-18. The proposed project will eventually have six reactors generating 1,650 megawatts each. — AFP

NOR AABA: The hills around dusty Nor Aaba are laced with gold but villagers have blocked work on a new mine in a dispute over jobs, a warning that Afghan plans to ramp up mining may bring trouble as well as treasure. Security and corruption problems that have made fighting the insurgency and setting up a credible central government so difficult reach right up to this steep, isolated valley just a few miles from the Tajik border in northern Takhar province. The mine contract promises work, roads, schools and clinics to an impoverished area and eventually $4-5 million a year in tax revenues to the government. None of it has arrived and the locals in an otherwise peaceful area are unhappy. “The people are angry at the government, at the company and we have decided that no excavation will take place until our demands are met,” said Mir Ahmad, a village leader. “The government and the company is here for the gold, not here to help us,” he said to applause from hundreds of villagers from Nor Aaba and surrounding hamlets. Afghanistan is counting on huge mineral deposits, including some of the biggest unexploited copper and iron reserves in Asia, to wean it off its dependency on foreign aid. Copper production is due to start in 2013, the gold from Nor Aaba to flow earlier. But in many developing nations the discovery of valuable oil or minerals has brought civil strife, rampant corruption and the paradoxical outcome of declining living standards for millions of citizens while an elite gets rich. Afghan Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani has said he is aware of the dangers of the “resource curse” and confident he can steer his country along a path like Botswana’s-where diamond mines brought broad improvements in national living standards. But obstacles include a raging insurgency that makes transit and security big headaches, weak infrastructure that hinders shipment of ore and monitoring of remote sites like Nor Aaba, weak rule of law meaning limited protection for ordinary citizens, and massive corruption in both the private sector and government. The seam of gold at Nor Aaba is rich and extensive. It was washed out of volcanic rocks millions of years ago and deposited on the bed of a longvanished lake, now turned into new layers of stone in hills cradling the village and the bed of its river. Before Shahrani flew in to inspect progress he billed it as among the most promising short-term mining ventures in the country, soon to

ramp up from test to production and with reserves in the area estimated at up to 24 tons of gold. But as Shahrani’s helicopter came in to land at the weekend, villagers eager to air their grievances ran up mountain tracks to reach the mineside site chosen for the meeting. “The company must promise to hire people from this village who need jobs, otherwise we won’t let anyone work on these mines,” warned Maolavi Azimullah, imam of the village mosque. He and others said workers were being brought in from other areas to undercut wages, which were barely $100 a month, and loosen their hold on the mine. They also said the company had illegally started full-scale mining until blockaded. Despite crippling povertymost locals scratch a living from subsistence farming or rely on remittances from relatives abroad-villagers seemed certain they could keep operations stalled until their demands were met. Abdul Jabar Taqwa, the governor of Takhar province, agreed. “If we don’t intervene the people will not even let the company start the machines,” he told Shahrani after the meeting. The minister blamed the problems at Nor Aaba on a flawed contract and lack of oversight by the ministry when it was run by his predecessor, who has been accused of corruption. “The technical work has been good, I think now we need to focus on the social issues,” Shahrani said on his return to Kabul, assigning a team of industry experts to work with mine owner Haji Abdul Kabir, an ethnic Uzbek. There was certainly an impressive array of equipment, including earthmovers, lined up at the mine mouth for an area without even tarmac roads to bring them in. Kabir has also paid for Russian gold experts to update old surveys of the site. “The government must support me, I have invested about $3.5 million here,” he told Reuters at the mine. But Kabir was unrepentant about the labor and operating practices of his company, Westland General Trading, saying he paid locals $200 a month-a good salary in rural Afghanistan. “The people are calm, the mullahs are the ones who provoke the villagers,” he told Reuters. “They want a share of the gold.” “We will act according to provisions in the contract-if they violate or deviate from the agreed framework then there are provisions of disciplinary measures to be taken,” he said, adding monitors would be sent to look into villagers’ concerns. — Reuters

Delhi men in female-only metro forced to do sit-ups NEW DELHI: A group of male passengers travelling in a female-only carriage on New Delhi’s new metro system were ordered to do sit-ups on the platform by the furious women, according to reports. At least one carriage is reserved for women on every metro train in the Indian capital, where female residents and tourists have complained about sexual harassment on public transport for decades. The metro has also become severely congested with the lines expanding into the suburbs over the last year and most regular carriages packed to capacity. The Times of India said on Saturday police led a crackdown at a station in Gurgaon, a booming satellite development on the outskirts of Delhi, after a series of complaints-and women passengers

joined in the action. “Not only were the unruly commuters made to shell out a fine of 250 rupees ($5.40), angry women slapped some of them and forced them to do sit-ups,” the Times reported. Gurgaon police commissioner S Deswal, who led the raid, told the newspaper: “We found many male passengers in the women’s coach. The moment the women saw us, they got the courage to teach the men a lesson.” “We want our young girls and women to feel confident and safe while travelling in the Metro,” he said. The Mail Today reported how some of the men in the women’s carriage “had to bear the ignominy of doing sit-ups in public” when they were caught on at the Guru Dronacharya station on Thursday evening. — AFP


OPINION

12

Monday, November 29, 2010

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Why are US-S Korea drills so sensitive? By Jeremy Laurence

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he US and South Korean militaries have started a large-scale exercise off the west coast of the peninsula yesterday, just days after North Korea fired a barrage of missiles at a South Korean island. The nuclear-powered USS George Washington is participating in the exercise from yesterday to Wednesday. Here are some questions and answers about the exercise: WHY CONDUCT JOINT EXERCISES? The exercises are held primarily to send a message to North Korea that the US military stands by South Korea. These combined drills are also an overt show of force. Washington says large-scale drills, which started after the sinking of the Cheonan warship in March, are designed to send a clear message to North Korea that its aggressive behavior must stop. The US and South Korean militaries are vastly better equipped than the North’s, and experts say they would quickly win any war. The North’s force of over a million troops easily outnumbers the US-South Korean contingent, but its equipment is old and it barely has enough fuel to fly its fighter jets. The exercises also serve to underline the gap in technology. HOW OFTEN AND WHERE ARE THEY HELD? South Korea and the United States regularly hold combined exercises each year, but after the sinking of the Cheonan they agreed to stage a series of largescale military drills. This weekend’s exercise will be their third of these extra combined maneuvers, and the second to take place off the west coast where the Cheonan was torpedoed in the Yellow Sea. North Korea denies responsibility for the attack. A joint drill in July involving the aircraft carrier the USS George Washington was initially planned for the Yellow Sea off the peninsula’s west coast, but after criticism from China it was moved to areas off the east coast. This weekend’s drill had initially been scheduled for late last month, just before the G20 summit in Seoul, but was postponed due to scheduling problems. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SENDING AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER? The participation of 97,000ton nuclear-powered carrier from the US 7th Fleet is the ultimate show of strength. Carriers have become a symbol of the United States’ position as a superpower. The carrier strike group includes 75 aircraft and 6,000 sailors. These massive vessels, essentially mini cities at sea, have found an important role as the “forward military presence” of the United States. WHY DOES THIS UPSET NORTH KOREA SO MUCH? Pyongyang regards military exercises by South Korea and the United States with genuine unease, fearing the manoeuvres could be a smokescreen for a real attack. The North customarily responds to such exercises with bellicose remarks. In July, it threatened “a sacred war” if

the allies went ahead with joint exercises. On Saturday the North said if the US carrier participated in the exercise “no one can predict the ensuing consequences”. The North says the exercises also violate its sovereignty and pose a major danger for the security of the region. WHY HAS CHINA REACTED SO ANGRILY? China has this year voiced its serious objection to exercises in the Yellow Sea, and has expressed concern about this week’s joint drill. Firstly, it says they add to tensions in the region, which have been running high since the sinking of the Cheonan. Tuesday’s shelling of a remote island village raised tension levels another notch. Secondly, China says the exercises threaten its own security, happening too close to home shores for comfort. Beijing has also been irked by US Navy ships engaging in surveillance in waters close to its coast. Washington, which wants China to rein in its ally North Korea, said the exercises were planned long before Tuesday’s attack. The US says they are aimed at deterring North Korea and not at China. More broadly, China fears being encircled by hostile forces, whether Russia to the north, India to the southwest or US military bases in Japan and South Korea. HOW SERIOUS HAS SITUATION BECOME? Tensions between the two Koreas have risen to their highest level in at least two decades, but at street level, South Koreans have become largely inured to the war of words. They are again mostly shrugging off the latest confrontation. Yesterday, in the capital Seoul, shopping districts were packed and cafes and restaurants were doing brisk trade, despite the freezing temperatures. Still, the talk was all about North Korea. At the government level, the situation has become serious enough to warrant regional powers to send diplomats to a flurry of meetings. However, it has not escalated to the point of where the world’s leaders are in regular contact. For instance, US President Barack Obama didn’t see any urgency to contact his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, saying only they would talk in a few days. WHAT IS DIFFERENT, COMPARED TO PREVIOUS CONFRONTATIONS? Tensions are higher now than when a South Korean warship was sunk in March, killing 46 sailors. Then, it took weeks before Seoul pointed the finger of blame at the North, which has repeatedly denied responsibility. Tensions are higher this time for the simple reason that Tuesday’s attack was clearly carried out by Pyongyang, and more importantly, civilians were killed. South Koreans were genuinely shocked when they saw civilian houses burning. This was the first time civilians on South Korean territory had come under direct North Korean attack since the 1950-53 Korean war. A day after the attack, it was revealed two civilians had been killed and video footage of the shelled homes provoked outrage-against the North, and against the government for not hitting back with at least the same ferocity.

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

‘Annus horribilis’ for Europe’s year-old Lisbon Treaty By Claire Rosemberg

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udget chaos, financial drama, a rebellious parliament, and fears a plunging euro could see the European Union implode: the first year since Lisbon Treaty reform smacks of an “annus horribilus.” The 27-nation EU’s rule-book is already facing a new rewrite by year’s end that is reviving nightmare scenarios of a decade of fraught negotiations and failed referendums that brought it into being. After two sucessive financial rescues this year, first Greece, now Ireland, and fears of falling dominoes in Portugal and Spain, the EU may decide in December to patch up holes in the Treaty to improve crossborder economic governance. “Is the EU functioning moderately better? Yes!” said Hugo Brady of the Centre for European Reform. However former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing, a staunch europhile, warned: “It is still too early to assess the achievements of the new institutions.” Dreams of the ever-closer union the treaty was supposed to drive seem to have wafted off to a far horizon, Giscard d’Estaing said in a speech last week. Europe’s half-a-billion people seem more inclined instead to hark back to nationalist postures, he said. Home to tens of thousands of eurocrats and their high-rise offices, Belgium itself is facing implosion between its divided French- and Dutch-speakers after a political impasse that

has left it without a government since June. Britain meanwhile recently presented a bill to prevent Brussels meddling in Westminster sovereignty. And Germany is behind the upcoming treaty rewrite after its powerful constitutional court rejected part of a deal enabling the rescue of deficithit eurozone nations. That decision moreover was taken jointly at seaside talks by the EU’s power-couple, French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, without prior consultation of their partners or of the

new institutions created by the treaty. Meanwhile a barrage of tongue-lashing has hit the union’s new leaders-EU president Herman Van Rompuy and High Representative Catherine Ashton, the foreign policy position created to give Europe a bigger voice on the world stage. “Van Rompuy acts like a secretary not a president. He’s completely under the thumb of the 27 governments,” firebrand Green MEP Daniel CohnBendit said last week. For all that EU high-fliers have described Van Rompuy as

“thoughtful and analytical”, he was famously dismissed by the media-savvy English scourge of the European Parliament, UK Independence Party MEP Nigel Farage, as having “the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk.” Former Belgian premier Van Rompuy lacks the leadership to steer austerity-driven Europe through the financial storm, said Jean-Dominique Giuliani of the Robert-Schuman Foundation. “The figure who should, in the eyes of the world, embody Europe’s federated states, has

failed to make a mark on a doubting Europe, hit by financial markets, queried by its leading partners, and the object of disappointment of its worried citizens,” he said. Brady however said Van Rompuy’s “is a necessary presence... He has to win the trust of all the Europeans, the small states, the new states. It’s a difficult dance.” Ashton, whose new diplomatic corps also officially begins business December 1, had an even tougher job to do than Van Rompuy, Brady added. A well-connected British

Labor figure, but never elected, Ashton did a brief stint as the EU’s trade commissioner before being promoted. “She had to fight to get inside the bureaucracy,” he underlined. All the while, the EU parliament is showing it is not shy of using new powers won under the treaty and has blocked the EU’s 2011 budget in a face-off over its mandate to determine future spending. “It’s now a grumpy teenager,” analyst Brady concluded of the EU’s evolution, “hopeful after its pre-adolescent difficulties of growing up.” — AFP

Debt-ridden regions weigh on Spain By Katell Abiven

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pain’s crisis-struck regions have rolled up a combined 105-billioneuro debt, heightening concerns about the prospects for the entire country’s finances. Senior members of Spain’s Socialist government have stressed over past days that the Spanish economy is not the same as that of Ireland, which is being thrown a lifeline worth 85 billion euros ($113 billion). “Of course we are not the same,” said the conservative daily ABC in an ironic commentary. “Ireland has one state. One. Spain, 17. With all the insane multiplication of expenses that entails.” The 17 Spanish regions have considerable autonomy, with the right to issue bonds to finance their expenses. They account for around one-third of general government expenditures-and just over half of the nation’s total number of civil servants. Now they are collapsing under a debt load of 105 billion euros. “When the economy stops growing, the

regions, which finance their activities with taxes and VAT, see their revenues decline,” said IESE Business School professor Javier Diaz Gimenez. At the same time, their social expenses grow, for example to provide assistance to the ranks of unemployed, who account for 20 percent of the population of working age, he said. In May, New York-based credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s forecast that Spain’s regions would register their worst budget performance in recent history in 2010. Rival agency Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its assessment of the creditworthiness of seven regions, including Madrid and Catalonia, and placed three more on watch for a possible downgrade. The freedom extended to autonomous communities complicates central government efforts to trim the deficit. “In a country as decentralized as Spain, where the regions have powers over spending but much less over receipts, it creates a very serious problem when the state decides to control

costs,” Gimenez said. The Spanish executive wants the public deficit of the regions to decline from 1.92 percent of total economic output in 2009 to 2.4 percent in 2010 and 1.3 percent in 2011. By that time, Spain has promised Brussels it will have a global deficit of 6.0 percent, compared to 11.1 percent in 2009. To tighten the screws on the regions, Finance Minister Elena Salgado called a meeting Wednesday of policymakers of each region. She showed the red card to Castile-La Mancha and Murcia: since they carried a “significant risk” of exceeding budget deficit limits in 2010 they were barred from issuing more debt before getting back on track. In 2009, 14 regions failed to respect their deficit limits. Already, eight have forecast they will bust their budget limits in 2011, according a report in the El Pais daily. Municipalities are suffering, too. Madrid, whose debt exceeds seven billion euros, tried in vain to negotiate with the central government. It has had

to pass an austere budget in 2011 with no public works. At the height of the property bubble things were good for the towns and cities, which dramatically boosted revenues by selling land and receiving taxes on sales and construction,” said Madrid’s Complutense University economist Carlos Sebastian. “They thought they were rich and launched a lot of public works: indoor pools, sporting complexes,” he said. “When the construction cycle came to an end, the communes lost that source of revenue and had to go into debt,” Gimenez said. The result is was a growing pile of unpaid bills. According to the Bank of Spain, the 8,000 communes have a cumulated debt of 13 billion euros. Some contractors are threatening not to collect the rubbish or clean the roads. “For the viability of those small businesses that supply the municipalities, it is very serious,” Sebastian said. Since 2008, 200,000 independent workers and very small businesses have had to shut up shop. — AFP

Taiwan poll result a win for ruling party-and for China By Peter Harmsen

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ocal polls in Taiwan ended in a “win-win”-a moderate victory for the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party, and by extension for China, which finds its pro-Beijing stance easier to work with, analysts said. Candidates of the KMT, the party of China-friendly President Ma Yingjeou, secured three out of five mayoral positions up for grabs, and in light of how much worse they could have fared, they should be happy, according to observers. “It’s a KMT win. In the worst-case scenario, KMT would only have won in one city,” said Joseph Cheng, a political scientist at City University of Hong Kong. The Saturday election, which was also for hundreds of lower-level political posts,

was widely seen as the last major test of Ma’s popularity among the electorate ahead of his re-election bid in 2012. The election had been deemed extremely close in the key Taipei mayoral race, but in the end the KMT candidate won by a comfortable margin. Several analysts attributed the result to a sympathy vote for the KMT after the son of one of its most prominent members, former vice president Lien Chan, was shot in the face at an election rally late Friday. Sean Lien, himself a ranking KMT official, was reportedly out of danger after the shooting, which was apparently carried out by a member of Taiwan’s underground acting on motives that are as yet unclear. Nowhere have the elections been observed with greater interest than in

Beijing, which wants reunification with Taiwan but knows it needs a friendly government in Taipei to further its ambitions. “Beijing is concerned about the election in Taiwan and subsequent political developments on the island,” said Cao Jingxing, a Taiwan expert at East China Normal University in Shanghai. “The result is what Beijing would like to see.” More than 10 million Taiwanese, out of a population of 23 million, were eligible to vote Saturday, making the poll the last major test of the public will ahead of presidential elections in 16 months. Ma won a landslide victory in 2008 on a promise to lift the economy, mainly by improving relations with the mainland and unleash some of the pent-up trade potential between the two sides. “Ma will continue to

promote economic ties with China in his remaining time in office,” said Chang Ya-chung, an expert on the island’s politics at National Taiwan University. Taiwan and China signed a historic economic framework agreement in late June, and have vowed to gradually expand their exchanges in areas like trade and investment. It is a development that seems to have met with moderate support among the Taiwanese, who increasingly see connections with China as an inescapable fact of life. The election result was less than hoped for by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which controlled the presidency from 2000 to 2008. Since the DPP wants formal independence from China, its now-reduced chances of putting a man

or a woman in Taipei’s presidential palace in 2012 is likely to be greeted with quiet joy in Beijing. “DPP’s return to power in 2012 would result in tensions in the Taiwan Strait as the DPP is unlikely to give up its pro-independence platform,” said George Tsai, a political scientist at Chinese Culture University. But with more than a year to go before the presidential election, much can happen that will again change the fortunes of Taiwan’s two major political parties. “Both parties will readjust their plans for 2012 based on the election results, and the losing side will face a tougher challenge,” said Cao, the Shanghai-based scholar. “However, it is too early to say that the KMT will have the upper hand in the presidential election, and it is still going to be a tight race in 2012.” — AFP


ANALYSIS

Monday, November 29, 2010

13 focus

Israelis flock to vigil tent for captive soldier Shalit By Michael Blum

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ike pilgrims to a holy site, thousands of visitors are coming to Jerusalem to visit the parents of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who has been held captive in Gaza for more than four years. Noam and Aviva Shalit have spent the past four months living in two tents pitched right outside the Jerusalem home of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The location is no coincidence. The worried parents want to make sure the premier gets their message loud and clear: Bring home our son. For Noam Shalit, whose son holds dual Israeli-French nationality, the steady stream of visitors to the tent is both comforting and encouraging. “The support of the population is important for us because it’s a way to pressure the prime minister,” he said. Aviva Shalit, who rarely makes public speeches or talks to the media, sits inside welcoming visitors. Next to her is an empty chair marked: “Reserved for Gilad.” The tent is covered in posters and signs calling for the release of the soldier, who is now 24, and the walls alongside it are draped with white sheets covered in messages from wellwishers and supporters. The words are written in Hebrew, English, Arabic and French, as well as in other languages: “Gilad, we’re praying for you,” “Gilad, the people won’t forget you,” and “Netanyahu, if it was your son, what would you do?” Volunteers spend days at the site selling T-shirts emblazoned with Shalit’s picture and handing out bumper stickers and yellow ribbons, which

JERUSALEM: Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini (left) meets with the parents of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Aviva (right) and Noam Shalit (center), at their protest tent outside the residence of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Shalit was abducted by Palestinian Gaza Strip militants in June 2006. — AFP symbolize a family’s hope for the safe return of a loved one at war. Visiting the Shalit family has become a regular item on the agenda of visiting foreign ministers and diplomats. And it even attracts foreign tourists. “Coming to Jerusalem, for me, means going to the Kotel (Western Wall) and the Shalit tent,” one French Jewish visitor said.

Inside the tent, he shook hands with Shalit’s parents and told them, in a voice choked with emotion: “I think about Gilad every day.” Next in line was a bus of kibbutz workers from northern Israel, who had come on a day trip and brought with them figs from their orchard. Then came a group of children from

the central city of Raanana, who were visiting the tent as part of a school trip. “We hope that you will get your son back soon and we are wholeheartedly with you,” a class representative told the Shalits. Often, visitors simply sit in silence on a plastic chair inside the tent. “It’s like visiting a family in mourning, I’m speechless, powerless in

the face of such tragedy,” said Anat Cohen, a young woman who stopped by the tent to offer her sympathies. The flow of visitors is steady, and T-shirts bearing the slogan “Gilad is still alive” sell like hot cakes, modestly priced at 20 shekels (four euros, 5.50 dollars) each. Volunteers like Yehuda, a colonel in the Israeli reserves, are on hand to take care of the family and the tent. “Food has to be made, the tent needs to be prepared for the winter, we make sure that the family has everything they need,” he said. Next to the public tent is a second tent that serves as a refuge for the Shalit family, where they rest, eat and read the newspapers. Just meters away is a barrier that prevents traffic from entering the street where Netanyahu’s heavily protected home is located. And facing the entrance to the camp is a large image of the Israeli soldier, and a counter marking the number of days he has spent as a captive-so far 1,617 days. The young staff sergeant has not been seen by outside observers or by Red Cross representatives since his capture in a deadly raid along the Gaza border by Palestinian militants in June 2006. The last official information on his well-being emerged in October 2009, when Hamas released a videotape of the young soldier calling on Netanyahu to do everything to free him. Noam and Aviva Shalit are determined to make it through their crushing ordeal and pledge they will not leave the tent until their son is free. But the stress caused by the uncertainty of their situation is clear. “After more than four years, I don’t know who Gilad is,” Noam Shalit said quietly. —AFP

National identity crisis clouds Ivorian vote By Roland Lloyd Parry

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or most voters, Ivory Coast’s presidential election yesterday is about securing peace and prosperity for Ivorians. For some, it is also a battle of ideas over just what being Ivorian means. The decisive vote has come down to a face-off between two leaders representing different strands of the tribal and cultural fabric in the west African country, a former French colony. President Laurent Gbagbo is a Christian of the Bete tribe from the southwest, while his old rival Alassane Ouattara is from the largely Muslim north and has spent much of his career abroad. After a close-run first round election, the two are looking to grab votes from backers of defeated candidate Henrie Konan Bedie, an ethnic Baoule from the centre of the country. In its boom decades up to 1999 Ivory Coast took in scores of thousands of West African immigrants to work on its cocoa and cotton plantations. Certifying who is today an Ivorian national and so can vote complicated the long preparations for the elections. Apart from being accused of plotting a foiled coup against Gbagbo in 2002 that left the north of the country in rebel hands, Ouattara has long been the target of accusations that he is not a true Ivorian. Patrick N’Gouan of the Ivorian civil society group CSCI said he was concerned by “the predominance of irrational

regional, ethnic and religious considerations” surrounding the election. Born in Ivory Coast, Ouattara, 68, did most of his schooling in neighboring Burkina Faso, earned an economics doctorate in the United States and worked there for the International Monetary Fund. When he ran for president in Ivory Coast in 2002, opponents

blocked him on the grounds that he was a Burkinabe who lacked “Ivorian-ness”. The notion has taken root. “We are Ivorians. Our blood is Ivorian... This election is for Ivorians,” said Blanchard Kla, 29, daubing a pro-Gbagbo slogan on a wooden sign at a huge presidential rally in Abidjan on Friday. “Gbagbo is someone who resists

for the people” against outside influence, Kla said. “There is only one president and he is 100 percent Ivorian,” said Christelle Koudou, wearing an orange and white headscarf bearing a picture of the president, at Gbagbo’s mass rally in Abidjan on Friday. “We are voting for him because is Ivorian and he belongs to the country,” she said. “Nowhere is

it written that a foreigner must govern a country.” The election aims to stabilize what was once west Africa’s most prosperous country after a decade of political crisis following a 1999 coup and a 2002 civil war that split the nation in two between north and south. “It drove us into the ground, the issue of ‘Ivorian-ness’,” said the

prominent Ivorian writer Venance Konan, who is now a vocal supporter of Ouattara despite having earlier shared the suspicions of his nationality. “I bought into, I wrote about it. I was wrong. I fought a false battle,” he said. “At the time when we defended the Ivorian-ness idea, we didn’t know it would lead us to war.” — AFP

Gbagbo plays nationalist card for Ivorian run-off By Tim Cocks

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he face of Ivory Coast’s President Laurent Gbagbo beams down from posters everywhere, but the one that best sums up his nationalist campaign is the one that says: “Laurent Gbagbo, 100 percent for the Ivory Coast.” The implied slur against his rival for the presidency Alassane Ouattara-that one of his parents is from Burkina Faso-is not lost on Gbagbo’s hardline militant fanbase. Gbagbo owes his popularity in large part to his skill at projecting himself as an arch nationalist defending Ivory Coast from sinister “foreigners”, whether they be Ouattara, former colonial master France or economic migrants from Ivory Coast’s poorer, drier neighbors like Burkina Faso or Mali. “There are two kinds of candidates,” he has told several rallies. “One for Ivory Coast,

and one for the foreigners.” After presiding over a decade which saw conflict, economic stagnation, crumbling infrastructure and deepening poverty, it is a sign of the ex-history professor’s knack for political survival that he has persuaded so many Ivorians to embrace his fiery nationalism and overlook their more pragmatic concerns. Rebels who tried to oust him in 2002/03, before he drew them into government in a 2007 power-sharing deal, drew much support from northerners who felt Gbagbo’s xenophobic policies treated them as foreign because of their ties to neighboring nations. In his speeches, Gbagbo shows his skill at connecting with the poor and unemployed, eschewing the polished French he learnt at France’s Sorbonne for creolised Ivorian street slang. Gbagbo, 65, faces Ouattara on Nov 28 in a decisive second round poll that looks increasingly likely to

turn violent. The stakes are high, with a smooth election seen allowing much-needed new investment in the declining cocoa sector of the world’s top grower, and possibly helping Ivory Coast win back its place as a regional commercial and industrial centre. Despite his self-confidence and charm on stage, many suspect a five-year delay in holding this poll was partly caused by his private doubts about his chances as a candidate from the minority Bete tribe whose popularity, especially in Ouattara’s heartland in the north, is patchy. Much will depend on how the Baoule tribe of third placed candidate Henri Konan Bedie vote in the final round. THE ‘INSIDE’ CANDIDATE Gbagbo rose to prominence as a Marxist firebrand lecturer who challenged the autocratic rule of Felix HouphouetBoigny, Ivory Coast’s first postindependence president. That

got him imprisoned in a military camp for two years in 1971. He took political asylum in France during the 1980s but came back and led street protests that forced the old ruler to allow multi-party democracy in 1990 with an election that Gbagbo lost to him. Ten years later, thousands of Gbagbo supporters came out on the streets to help oust military coup leader General Robert Guei, accused of trying to rig a 2000 election. In the messy aftermath, Gbagbo took the presidency. His decade in power has been dominated first by the civil war and then a rocky peace and slow-burn political crisis of a country split into government-held south and a rebel-held north. Always fraught, Gbagbo’s ties with France hit a new low in 2004 when nine French peacekeepers were killed in a government strike against rebels. France blamed his military and retaliated by destroying his airforce.

What happened next revealed a key source of Gbagbo’s power the streets. Within days, tens of thousands of his “Young Patriots”-mostly angry, unemployed youthsattacked French families and businesses, driving out 8,000 expatriates. In his campaign so far, Gbagbo has outlined few policies beyond a plan to nearly double Ivorian cocoa output within five years-a promise which has failed to excite international markets in London and New York. Instead, Gbagbo has once again been winning over voters with nationalist talk of freeing Ivory Coast from the shackles of France, whom he accuses of backing the opposition and the northern rebels who tried to oust him in 2002. The rhetoric taps into resentment against the French for their colonial past and xenophobic fears the country is being overrun by migrant farmers from Burkina Faso and Mali.—Reuters

US deployment to Afghanistan outstrips Soviet war By Claire Truscott

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he US-led war in Afghanistan is now longer than the Soviets’ futile campaign in the benighted nationand after nine years and 50 days of battle, the West is also groping for an exit. Afghanistan’s brutal terrain remains littered with the rusting hulks of Russian tanks captured during the 1979-89 war, and is now testing more than 140,000 USled forces fighting rebel guerillas to keep their own ally in power. After NATO announced plans to end its combat mission by 2014, many of those who lived through the Soviet years say they remember similar attempts to build up local security forces and manage a dignified withdrawal. While troops are making some gains against Taleban insurgents in pockets of the restive south and east of the country, progress remains uneven and violence is at an all-time high, the Pentagon admitted in a report last week. The International Crisis Group says the coalition’s strategy to break the Taleban, build popular support among civilians, woo disenchanted rebels and boost Afghan security forces is failing. Afghan security forces “have proven a poor match for the Taliban”, the Brussels-based ICG said in a report issued yesteray, after the milestone of nine years and 50 days was reached on Friday. “Without outside support, (President Hamid Karzai’s) government would collapse, the Taliban would control much of the country and internal conflict would worsen, increasing the prospects of a return to the destructive civil war of the 1990s,” the report said. The civil war fol-

PANJWAI: An Afghan national army soldier attached to First Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division pays attention to a child in Panjwai district, Afghanistan’s Kandahar province yesterday. —AP lowed the Soviet withdrawal, as warlords and rival factions fought first against a weak Moscow-backed regime and then among each other for the spoils of power. The Taleban came to power in 1996, and were initially welcomed by many Afghans for bringing an end to the chaos with their militant brand of Islamist government. Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who withdrew his country’s troops from Afghanistan, last month told the BBC that victory for NATO was

“impossible” as the coalition faces record deaths, and as the military tries to convince a war-weary Western public that they should stay the course. The Russians waged a far bloodier war, with more than one million people killed in the decade of fighting. “Village after village was evacuated because of heavy indiscriminate bombing of the Soviets. They were brutal,” said Nader Nadery, who sits on the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

“The coalition forces are much more selective, much more targeted,” he said. Civilian casualties are a thorny issue for NATO, with many Afghans blaming it for a rise of a third in civilian deaths in the first six months of 2010, to 1,271. The vast majority of deaths, however, are caused by insurgents. Nadery noted that the toll is massively lower than two decades ago and no more than 15,000 people have lost their lives since the USled invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001

that toppled the Taliban regime. “Yes, there’s anger when it comes to civilians being harmed... but this comes from the fact that expectations are much higher now,” he said. Another difference is that the Russians and the communist government in Kabul fought against a broad and relatively unified alliance of anti-Soviet “mujahedeen” forces. The Americans in comparison, while fighting largely ethnic Pashtun Taleban militants, face a fragmented social landscape, which has made it difficult for troops to distinguish the enemy and find strong local allies. “The Americans’ problem is that their Afghan allies are not united. There are different groups seeking their own benefits,” said Afghan analyst Mohammad Younus Fakur, who worked as a civil servant during the Soviet period. The complicated political picture could make leaving a trickier task for the Americans than the Russians, who negotiated their exit with Afghanistan’s neighbors before leaving. At a summit in Lisbon last week, NATO agreed to end its combat mission by the end of 2014, when it said it would transfer full responsibility for security to Afghan forces. But Candace Rondeaux, senior analyst on Afghanistan for the ICG, said: “The Americans don’t really fully have an understanding of the dimensions of different political players that would be involved in such a settlement. “The Russians had a far greater political sophistication.... I think we’ll see a lot of confusion the closer we get to 2014 because the Americans just don’t have the cultural understanding they need to properly negotiate an exit.” —AFP

Egypt’s series of elections

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gyptians voted in a parliamentary election yesterday, one of three polls taking place in the Arab world’s most populous state this year and next. This month’s election for the lower house of parliament follows a June election for the upper house. A presidential election is due next year, but no date has been set. President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party swept the upper house vote, and it is expected to win most seats in the lower house, as it has done for decades. Although the results will be no surprise, the process is being watched to see how much space the authorities give the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups before the presidential vote. Mubarak, 82, has not said whether he will run again and has no designated successor if he does not. UPPER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT The upper house of parliament, or Shura Council, consists of 264 seats, one third of which is appointed by the president. The other two thirds are elected in two separate blocs of 88 each. Opposition parties and independents secured just 8 of the 88 seats up for grabs in the partial election in June. The Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest opposition bloc in the lower house with a fifth of seats, won no seats despite fielding 13 candidates. The group skirts a ban by running independents. Officials put turnout at 30 percent of eligible voters, but rights groups said it was no more than half that. Turnout was low, partly because constituencies are larger than those for the lower house and because few Egyptians pay much attention to who represents them in the upper house. The Shura Council reviews laws before handing them to the lower house, or People’s Assembly, for final approval. LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT As in the upper house, the majority of lower house seats are held by Mubarak’s party. In 2005, the Brotherhood secured an unprecedented 88 seats of the assembly’s 454. Since then, the authorities

have increasingly squeezed the Brotherhood out of mainstream politics, frequently detaining senior leaders and other members. As a result, the Brotherhood has said it does not expect to repeat its 2005 performance. In the Nov 28 vote, 508 seats will be contested and 10 will be allocated by the president. The next parliament will have more seats because 64 have been added specifically for women candidates. Women already hold some seats. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION Egypt held its first multicandidate presidential election in 2005, ending a practice of referenda for a single candidate. The 2011 vote will probably be in the second half of the year. Mubarak, in power since 1981, won the 2005 race easily. His health has been in question since he underwent surgery in Germany in March. He has not said if he will seek another term. Mubarak has no vice president, the post he held before he became president, and has no clearly designated successor. Most Egyptians believe that if he does not run, his son, Gamal, 46, a senior official in the NDP, is likely to do so. Other possible successors often cited include intelligence chief Omar Suleiman or another military candidate. Every president since the king was toppled in 1952 has been a senior military officer, including Mubarak. Former UN nuclear watchdog head Mohamed ElBaradei has said he might run for president. But his campaign for the necessary constitutional and other political changes has fizzled. The constitution says an independent needs support from 250 elected representatives spread across both houses of parliament and local councils. The ruling party dominates all these. Senior members of other parties in parliament, who have held their position for at least a year, can also run. ElBaradei, however, has said he will not join an existing party. The rules effectively exclude a run by the Brotherhood, whose leaders have said the group does not plan one anyway.—Reuters

The role and make-up of Egypt’s parliament

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gyptians voted in a parliamentary election yesterday that is expected to produce another clear victory for President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party. The government has promised a free, fair and peaceful vote. Opposition groups have cried foul in advance. Below are some details about the lower house of parliament: ELECTORAL MECHANICS The outgoing assembly has 454 seats. The new one will have 518 after 64 women-only seats were added. Women can and do run for seats outside the quota. Only 508 seats will be contested. The president appoints the remaining 10. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of votes, the top two candidates contest a run-off vote on Dec 5. A ruling party official estimates that 180 seats could go to a run-off. PARLIAMENT’S ROLE Parliament passes legislation but the outgoing assembly was seen as a rubber-stamp for the government because the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) had a two-thirds majority. The Muslim Brotherhood, which fields its candidates as independents because it is not a legal party, had its most successful result in 2005 when it won 88 seats. Even with a fifth of seats, the Brotherhood could not have a significant impact on legislation. But the presence of such a big bloc made for livelier debates and more vocal opposition. ELECTION OUTLOOK The Brotherhood’s impressive 2005 showing coincided with heavy pressure on Egypt from its ally and major aid donor, the United States, to open up its politics. That pressure, part of a drive for democracy in the Middle East launched by former President George W Bush, faded even

before he left office. Analysts say the authorities have signaled their intentions before this vote by rounding up many Brotherhood members. NDP officials have also predicted the Brotherhood would lose seats. Even the Brotherhood quietly admits that it may lose ground and is fielding fewer candidates than five years ago. The liberal Wafd, a decades-old party which lacks the grassroots support the Brotherhood enjoys, is widely expected to make gains at the Islamist movement’s expense. NDP KEEPS TIGHT GRIP The government says voting is free and fair, and that any violations are investigated. The opposition and Egyptian election monitors have cited widespread abuses in previous votes, such as using security forces to block Islamist and other opposition supporters from voting. They expect similar government tactics this time. The government has rejected international oversight of the poll. Some opposition groups say they do not want foreign involvement but complain that Egyptian monitors are denied proper access. The NDP failed to win a majority in 2005, but maintained its grip on parliament by reinstating dozens of former party members who had quit because they were not on the NDP’s candidate list and then ran as independents, defeating the party’s nominees. This year, the NDP is fielding more than 830 candidates, so many NDP candidates will be running against each other. Party officials say this will help to ensure that voters do not cast protest ballots for the Islamists or others out of frustration that their preferred NDP candidate was not on the ticket. Such frustrations are common in areas of Egypt where family or clan loyalties remain strong.— Reuters


NEWS

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Dar’s committee threatens to quit KUWAIT: A committee representing most of the creditors of Kuwait’s Investment Dar has threatened to quit if the company doesn’t consider its new debt restructuring plan, Dar said yesterday. Investment Dar, the Islamic firm which owns half of British luxury carmaker Aston Martin, said in a statement that the plan was not acceptable to the firm and it will now go to court to resolve the dispute. Dar has been trying to restructure about KD1 billion in debt since

last year after the investment firm was hard hit by the global financial crisis. It applied in March for support under a government facility set up for troubled companies as part of a debt restructuring. Dar said in the statement that the coordinating committee of debtors now wants the firm to “give up 90 percent of the company in return for less than half of the debt.” In December, Dar said it had reached a deal with 80 percent of its creditors. The gov-

ernment facility would help it get consent of the rest of the creditors on its restructuring plan. Al-Rai daily reported Nov 10 the country’s central bank had rejected the restructuring plan, but the bank has not made any official statement. Dar defaulted on a $100 million Islamic debt issue last year the first major public Islamic instrument in the region to do so-and has said it may sell some assets to meet its obligations. -— Reuters

Haiti votes under shadow of cholera and confusion Haitians to choose new president, parliament, senators KUWAIT: The Minister of Oil and Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah during the launching ceremony.

Kuwait receives Dar Salwa oil tanker at Ahmadi Port KUWAIT: Minister of Oil and Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah AlSabah said yesterday that the giant oil tanker, Dar Salwa, was the first to be received within the plan of modernizing the fleet of Kuwait Oil Tankers Company (KOTC). Sheikh Ahmad added that this enlargement of KOTC fleet will include 32 oil tankers by 2013 and 2014. The minister said in a statement to the press during a ceremony held for receiving and launching Dar Salwa oil tanker at Ahmadi port that such gigantic tanker which has a tonnage of about 318,000 tons will further strengthen Kuwait’s capability of exporting crude oil to the world. He noted that the cost of the new tanker was $168 million, while it is 330 meters long and 60 meters wide and is rated as a double hull tanker. Meanwhile, chairman and managing director of KOTC Nabil Bouresly said that Dar Salwa was considered an important

addition within the second phase of a project aiming at building four gigantic oil doublehull tankers, two oil derivative tankers and LR2 tanker by Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Company. Bouresly added that the project of Dar Salwa tanker took two years of preparation and coordination, while the construction works were carried out over eight months according to definite schedules and the contracted date of handover. He also made clear that KOTC was committed to protecting the strategic cover of Kuwait’s oil marine transport, and that this commitment started with the launching of the first stage of fleet’s renewal and modernization plans in 2002 when the fleet’s average age was 16 years at that time. He added that through the second stage that started in 2008 and following the signing of a contract for purchasing four big oil tankers including Dar Salwa the fleet’s average age

will reach four years and half by the end of next year with a total tonnage of crude oil amounting to 2.5 million tons. KOTC through this new plan will protect the strategic cover of marine transport possessed by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and the State of Kuwait as a whole, and will provide best marine transport services for KPC through quality and efficiency as well as sprucing up the KOTC world reputation and creating more job opportunities for Kuwaiti citizens, he pointed out. He also asserted that the projects catering to KOTC’s new fleet were designed according to the hi-tech technical specifications in terms of tonnage, speed and energy consumption at a competitive economic cost when compared to their counterparts in the global renting market and with a capacity to fully unload the tankers’ freight within too short spans of time. — KUNA

Protests, clashes mar Egypt vote CAIRO: Violence and charges of irregularities marred voting in Egypt’s election yesterday, with the ruling party certain to boost its domination of parliament at the expense of the harried Islamist opposition. Violent clashes took place at several polling stations, with witnesses saying police fired tear gas at voters in the Nile Delta, north of Cairo, and in Qena, southern Egypt. Police officials said several policemen and Brotherhood supporters were wounded in the Nile Delta city of Samanud in a clash that started when Islamists threw rocks at police guarding a polling station. The Brotherhood said its candidates’ representatives were kicked out of polling stations and attacked by police when they protested. At least three people were wounded in the southern governorate of Sohag when a ruling party candidate’s supporters traded fire with rivals. Police officials said a supporter of the ruling National Democratic Party was in critical condition after unidentified assailants shot him near a polling station in north Sinai. Police also said they used tear gas to disperse clashes between supporters of rival candidates outside voting centers in Qena, about 475 kilometers south of Cairo. The violence took place despite increased securi-

ty for the vote, with riot police deployed in buses in some areas, after activists clashed with police on Friday at the end of a campaign marked by violence and arrests of more than 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters. An independent candidate’s son was killed in Cairo’s Matariya district and one person wounded by gunfire in the Delta’s Mansura governorate as supporters of rival candidates skirmished. Relatives of Omar Sayyed Sayyed, 24, the candidate’s son, said he was stabbed to death on Saturday night while he was putting up posters of his father. Police said he was stabbed in a dispute over a woman. Egyptian monitors said irregularities were rife and evident from the very start of voting. “From the first moments of the election, there have been a raft of violations, including the use of force, that have threatened the voting process,” the Egyptian Coalition for Monitoring Elections said. The group also said its field workers had gathered evidence of ballot stuffing in at least one district. After a slow start to voting, interest picked up later yesterday, with hundreds of people filling the courtyards of two schools converted into polling stations in the Matariya district. A truck stacked with loudspeakers and covered with posters of a ruling party candi-

date blared techno music across the street. In Suez, witnesses said hundreds of Brotherhood supporters and other opposition candidates demonstrated outside police headquarters to protest at not being allowed to enter polling stations. Initial indications showed a low turnout in the country of 80 million people, where polls are traditionally eyed with suspicion and past elections have been marked by deadly clashes between police and protesters and battles between knife-wielding thugs hired by rival candidates. The NDP is widely expected to win a solid majority of the 508 elected seats and to make further gains when President Hosni Mubarak fills the 10 remaining seats with his appointees. Much attention is focused on the Muslim Brotherhood, the only serious organized opposition, which is predicted to win far fewer seats than the fifth of parliament it secured in the last election in 2005. The Brotherhood was fielding 130 candidates, compared with about 800 for the NDP, after the election committee disqualified more than a dozen of them. The group registers its candidates as independents to circumvent a ban on religious parties. During the day voting also picked up in Alexandria, a Brotherhood stronghold. — AFP

Battle rages over MP’s immunity Continued from Page 1 She stressed that since the lawmakers enjoy full immunity for what they express under the assembly chamber, the request was rejected. But the final decision will be made by the National Assembly in which the government ministers will also vote and are believed to support the request. However, MP Muslim said that certain quarters were conspiring against the National Assembly and the constitution this time through undermining the status of articles 108 and 110 in the constitution which guarantee full immunity for MPs to express their ideas. Muslim appealed to all MPs to defend the constitution by rejecting the request to lift his immunity, saying it is an attempt to undermine the constitution and the will of the nation. He claimed that this is part of a bigger aim by what he called “corrupt media” to undermine the status of parliament and the constitution. He recalled that previously his immunity was lifted three times and he did not object because the requests were in line with the constitu-

tion. Several MPs have also said they will vote against the request while others said they will support the move. But MP Mohammad Hayef said that before the start of the debate tomorrow, he will submit a proposal calling to withdraw the whole request to lift Muslim’s immunity because it violated the constitution. Under the constitution, MPs in Kuwait are protected against court procedures, interrogation or arrest while the National Assembly is in session. In another development, MP Hayef has called on the government to order the state security department or secret police to launch an immediate investigation into what he called a media campaign against Saudi Arabia by certain Kuwaiti media. Hayef said in a statement that an organized campaign is being launched by media institutions in Kuwait to undermine the Kuwaiti-Saudi relations through inflating certain incidents. He said the campaign aims at damaging Kuwait’s social and historical ties with Saudi Arabia “which comes as an implementation of the agenda of an intelligence service of a neighboring country”

that does not like the Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia for its unique religious and strategic position. Hayef said the intelligence of that country has been working hard to abort the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and prevents Gulf unity by any means. The Islamist lawmaker did not name the country he accused of being behind the campaign but he made clear hints that he meant Iran. Meanwhile, opposition MP Mussalam Al-Barrak yesterday warned that the supreme defense council, under pressure from the Prime Minister, last week approved a suspicious deal to buy two large transport planes. Barrak recalled that his Popular Action Bloc and the Reform and Development Bloc had in July warned against the deal. He said that after approving the $500 million purchase, the defense council decided to refer the issue to the Audit Bureau to look into it and decide whether it is legal or not. Barrak warned Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah over approving the deal saying he would be held responsible.

Saudi donors financing Qaeda? Continued from Page 1 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters yesterday that his government had not been warned by the Americans about any specific sensitive materials. British officials said some information might be subject to voluntary agreements between the government and the media to withhold sensitive data governing military operations and the intelligence services. The Sunday Times of London quoted

one government official as warning that British citizens in Muslim countries could be targeted in a violent backlash over any perceived “anti-Islamic” views expressed. Russia’s respected Kommersant newspaper has said the documents included US diplomats’ conversations with Russian politicians and “unflattering” assessments of some of them. Turkish media said they included papers suggesting that Ankara helped AlQaeda in Iraq and that Washington helped Iraq-based Kurdish rebels fighting against Turkey.

US officials have not confirmed the source of the leaks, but suspicion has fallen on Bradley Manning, a former army intelligence agent arrested after the release of a video showing air strikes that killed civilian reporters in Iraq. WikiLeaks argues that the first two document dumps-nearly 500,000 US military incident reports from 2004 to 2009 - shed light on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sweden recently issued an international warrant for Assange’s arrest, saying he is wanted for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual molestation. — Agencies

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haiti votes yesterday in elections roiled by a cholera epidemic, political tensions and voter confusion, seeking a leader to guide the impoverished Caribbean country’s recovery from a January earthquake. The international community hopes the vote to select a new president and parliament and a third of the Senate can lead to a stable, legitimate government capable of administering billions of dollars of reconstruction aid pledged by donors. Representing this world support, bluehelmeted UN peacekeepers are helping Haiti’s police to secure and protect more than 11,000 polling stations set up in schools, prefabricated wooden huts and even in tents in crowded quake survivors’ camps. But with political tensions flaring, and rebuilding after the devastating January earthquake seemingly paralyzed by the advancing deadly cholera epidemic, many fear a contentious turbulent election may just drive Haiti deeper into turmoil. A clutch of front-runners-a Sorbonne-educated opposition matriarch, a government technocrat who is a protege of outgoing President Rene Preval, and a charismatic entertainer and musician-lead a varied field of 18 presidential candidates. Although opinion polls have put 70-yearold former first lady Mirlande Manigat ahead, the lack of a clear favorite has increased the likelihood of the contest going to a deciding Jan 16 runoff between the two top vote-winners. The biggest protagonists yesterday may turn out to be apathy, confusion and fears of violence, which could keep many of the 4.7 million registered voters at

home in a country whose shattered infrastructure deters easy movement. Added to that is the raging cholera epidemic which has killed some 2,000 people, according to UN officials, and sickened tens of thousands as it stalks across the country. But there were Haitians who said they were anxious to vote, seeing the nationwide ballot as a way to help usher in a better future after this year’s succession of calamities adding to Haiti’s sad history of natural and man-made disasters such as uprisings and corrupt dictatorships. “The schools have crumbled, there is no work. We want school and university and work ... and now cholera has destroyed Haiti. I’m going to vote, because I’m a citizen and I have the right,” said Rodrigue Elarion, 32, who is unemployed. Calling 2010 the “worst year in Haiti’s history”, outgoing President Preval, who cannot stand again after serving two terms, called on Haitians to vote in peace and shun violence. Manigat has been tracked in opinion polls by Jude Celestin, 48, candidate of Preval’s Inite (Unity) coalition, and Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, 49, a star of Haiti’s Kompa dance music, whose rallies have drawn supporters in droves. Another candidate, lawyer Jean-Henry Ceant, 54, could make a strong showing if he galvanizes supporters of exiled former President JeanBertrand Aristide. In the charged election atmosphere, Manigat has accused Inite supporters of planning fraud, while Martelly’s campaign said their candidate escaped unhurt from a late Friday shooting by gunmen they linked

to the ruling coalition. Sporadic violence, including ambushes of campaign caravans, random gunfire and attacks by rioters against Nepalese UN peacekeepers whom some Haitians accuse of bringing in the cholera, has killed several people and compounded the organizational confusion surrounding the elections. The United Nations says there is no conclusive evidence the Nepalese troops are the source of the disease outbreak. Hours before polls were due to open at 6 am, many frustrated voters complained they had no idea where they were supposed to cast their ballots. Others were still lining up to get the national identity cards they needed to vote. But Haiti’s government, the United Nations peacekeeping mission and international observers have put a brave face on the daunting challenges. They all argue it is better for the elections to go ahead as scheduled than to risk a chaotic political vacuum by postponing them. “Everything is ready, now what we need is voters,” said Edmond Mulet, head of the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). “All our troops, police and resources have been deployed everywhere in the country. We are ready to assist the Haitian police and to protect the population,” he added, saying election materials had been distributed to polling stations. Electoral observers and experts from the Organization of American States, the Caribbean Community, the association of Francophone states, the European Union and several European countries are in Haiti to observe and support the elections. — Reuters

Gazans export strawberries GAZA: Surrounded by the fragrance of millions of packed strawberries, Gaza farm workers rose at dawn yesterday to witness the start of exports to Europe that they hope will herald a wider expansion of trade. “Strawberries. Fraises. Erdbeeren.” said the labels in English, French and German on stacks of boxes of tenderly packed berries in punnets of 250 grams (8.8 oz). The Gaza farmers hope to send 1,000 tons to Europe through a partly eased Israeli blockade in the coming week. “We are exporting two truckloads of strawberries as a trial and then the number will rise to 10 trucks a day until they are all shipped out,” said Raed Fattouh, Palestinian coordinator of supply from Israel to Gaza. Ahmed Al-Shafai, one of the biggest farm entrepreneurs in the small enclave framed by Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean, said the Palestinian produce would first arrive in the Netherlands and then go on to Belgium and France. “We are ready. Our products meet the standards of Global Gap,” he said. The Global Gap Project aims to improve farmers’ ability to grow produce according to international standards. Israel has blockaded the Gaza Strip since 2007 to cripple the Islamist movement Hamas, which seized control of the territory three years ago from the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas. This is not the first time Israel has permitted exports of Palestinian strawberries and flowers from Gaza. But it coincides with the enlargement of a logistics hub at the Kerem Shalom crossing point in the south, for what Gaza business hopes will be a revival of wider trade next

year. To begin with, Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the European Union agreed to deploy PA staff at Kerem Shalom. Hamas is left out of the equation but tacitly permits it. An Israeli official said Kerem Shalom’s capacity will double to 300 trucks a day by the end of this year and to 400 in 2011. “We will have the capacity,” he said. But security arrangements were paramount for Israel and it was too soon to speak of a change in policy. “Only after we resolve this can we start talking about (a wide range of) exports,” he said. Exports have been seen by Israel as highly suspect since March 2004, when two Palestinian teenagers infiltrated the Israeli port of Ashdod by hiding in a shipping container. They blew themselves up, killing 10 people. Israeli forces smashed Gaza in a three-week assault in early 2009 to force Hamas to stop firing rockets into its southern towns. It has restricted imports to stop arms reaching Hamas and to weaken its hold on Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants. But after an international outcry in June, when Israeli naval commandos killed nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists aboard a flotilla trying to breach the blockade, Israel eased rules on what Gaza could import. Today “the shops are full of consumer goods that were not available half a year ago”, says the European Union representative to Palestine, Christian Berger. “But this is not enough to change lives significantly.” The 27-nation European Union spends millions to support the private sector in Gaza via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Palestinian Authority. But

ultimately, the EU says, Gaza must export in order to achieve greater economic independence. Berger said peppers and tomatoes may join this year’s planned exports of berries and flowers. But to restore trade in manufactured goods, Palestinian businesses will need the right mix of imports, including new machinery. “They will also need to restore their contacts and make known they can deliver with predictability,” says Berger. Before the Israeli blockade, about 60 percent of what Gazans produced was exported, he said. Some 40,000 Palestinians crossed into Israel daily to go to their jobs there. Reviving exports could partly redress the economic reverses, creating new employment for up to 40,000 in the enclave, provided long-delayed reconstruction can commence. More than half the population currently relies on UN food aid. Gaza also gets a regular supply of foreign-financed heavy fuel oil via a pipeline from Israel for its power generator, plus shipments of cooking gas and gasoline. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Before Hamas launched its violent takeover from Fatah in 2007, the enclave had a new international airport that now lies in ruins and plans for its own sea port. “There is no disease raging and no starvation in the streets,” Berger said. But in terms of indicators such as medical care, employment, water, education, and poverty “there is a constant deterioration in the humanitarian situation”. Last year, Gaza flower and berry growers suffered big losses when Israel delayed export permission by two months. — Reuters

11 die as plane crashes Continued from Page 1 I thought some suicide attack might have occurred and I ran outside,” said Rehan Hashmi. Fire trucks sprayed foam onto the crash site and after two hours the blaze was extinguished. Hundreds of people

came to see the spectacle and film it with their mobile phones, hampering access for emergency workers. Most of the housing complex was reserved for naval officers and their families. George said the plane was an Ilyushin Il-76, a multipurpose cargo plane that is often used for ferrying humanitarian aid to developing

countries, as well as other large items. Earlier this month in Karachi, a small passenger plane crashed soon after takeoff, killing 21 people. In July, a passenger jet operated by Pakistani carrier Airblue crashed into hills overlooking the capital, Islamabad, during stormy weather, killing all 152 on board. — AP

N Korea ‘readies missiles’ Continued from Page 1 Critics in Washington and other capitals say China’s approach amounts to coddling a dangerous nuclear-armed state. Yonhap said North Korea, whose ailing leader, Kim Jongil, is preparing to hand over the reins of power to his youngest son, had moved surface-to-air missiles to frontline areas, days after it shelled Yeonpyeong killing four people. The North’s official KCNA news agency warned of retaliatory action if its territory is violated. South Korea’s Defense Ministry told journalists to leave the island yesterday because the situation was “bad”. Many residents evacuated earlier said they did not want to return. In Seoul, life carried on normally for the city’s more than 10 million residents, with downtown shopping districts jammed with people despite the freezing temperatures, and cafes decked with Christmas decorations doing brisk business. “I am worried, but not that worried that I need to stay at home,” said Eunhye Kim, an

usher showing people from a packed theatre in the capital. “They don’t really want to make war ...there’s no gain for either side.” The exercises, in waters far south of the disputed maritime boundary, are being held in the face of misgivings by China and threats of all-out war from North Korea. The chairman of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly will visit China from tomorrow, the official Xinhua news agency said. China has not taken sides in the conflict and declined to blame North Korea, unlike the United States, for the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel in March. “We ask that China make a contribution to peace on the Korean peninsula by taking a more fair and responsible position on SouthNorth Korea ties,” the South Korean presidential Blue House quoted Lee as telling Dai. Washington says the drill is intended as a deterrent after the worst assault on South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Seoul expects jitters in financial markets to settle in the short term unless

North Korea carries out further provocations, Yonhap quoted a senior Finance Ministry official as saying. The nuclearpowered carrier USS George Washington, which carries 75 warplanes and has a crew of over 6,000, has joined the exercises and will be accompanied by at least four other US warships, an official from US Forces Korea told Reuters. South Korea has deployed three destroyers, frigates and anti-submarine aircraft, Yonhap reported, adding the exercises were being held far south of the disputed area where the artillery firing took place tomorrow. South Korea’s marine commander on Saturday vowed “thousand-fold” revenge for the North Korean attack. North Korea said that if there had been civilian deaths, they were “very regrettable”, but that South Korea should be blamed for using a human shield. It also said the United States should be blamed for “orchestrating” the whole sequence of events to justify sending an aircraft carrier to join the maritime maneuvers. — Reuters


SPORTS

Monday, November 29, 2010

15

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Saturday. New Jersey 2, Philadelphia 1 (SO); Pittsburgh 4, Calgary 1; Montreal 3, Buffalo 1; Ottawa 3, Toronto 0; Florida 4, Tampa Bay 3 (SO); Dallas 2, St. Louis 1; NY Rangers 2, Nashville 1 (SO); Anaheim 6, Phoenix 4; Colorado 7, Minnesota 4; San Jose 4, Edmonton 3; Chicago 2, Los Angeles 1. (SO denotes shootout win) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OT GF Philadelphia 15 6 4 87 Pittsburgh 15 8 2 76 NY Rangers 14 10 1 73 New Jersey 8 14 2 45 NY Islanders 5 12 5 46

GA PTS 61 34 61 32 66 29 69 18 72 15

Montreal Boston Ottawa Buffalo Toronto

Northeast Division 15 8 1 60 12 7 2 58 11 12 1 57 9 13 3 62 8 11 3 48

47 42 71 73 61

31 26 23 21 19

Washington Tampa Bay Atlanta Carolina Florida

Southeast Division 16 6 2 83 13 8 3 73 11 9 3 73 10 10 2 68 10 12 0 57

66 78 71 71 57

34 29 25 22 20

Detroit Columbus Chicago St Louis Nashville

Western Conference Central Division 14 4 2 69 14 7 0 60 13 11 2 79 12 7 3 57 9 8 5 51

54 49 74 57 60

30 28 28 27 23

Vancouver Colorado Minnesota Calgary Edmonton

Northwest Division 12 7 3 68 13 9 1 83 11 9 2 56 9 12 2 64 6 12 4 55

59 71 62 69 88

27 27 24 20 16

61 65 55 63 77

27 27 26 26 25

Dallas Phoenix Los Angeles San Jose Anaheim

Pacific 13 11 13 11 11

Division 8 1 6 5 9 0 7 4 11 3

64 66 63 65 64

NOTE - Overtime losses (OT) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

LOS ANGELES: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman John Scott (left) and Los Angeles Kings right wing Kevin Westgarth fight during the second period of an NHL hockey game.—AP

Penguins douse Flames, Ducks sink Coyotes PITTSBURGH: Sidney Crosby scored three times after Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stopped him on a penalty shot early in the game as the Pittsburgh Penguins won their sixth in a row by beating the Flames 4-1 on Saturday. Crosby made it 2-0 in the second period by putting in Chris Kunitz’s rebound, then scored his 200th career goal midway through the third when Paul Martin’s shot from above the circles deflected off Crosby’s stick. Crosby completed his sixth regular-season hat trick and first this season by scoring into an empty net with 36.4 seconds left during a Flames power play in which Calgary created a two-man advantage by pulling Kiprusoff. Crosby has 12 goals and 13 assists during a 12-game scoring streak. He has 18 goals overall. The Penguins’ winning streak is their longest since they won seven in a row in October 2009. Arron Asham also scored for Pittsburgh.

Ducks 6, Coyotes 4 At Glendale, Arizona, Bobby Ryan had his second career hat trick to help Anaheim erase a two-goal deficit and snap Phoenix’s winning streak at seven games. Ryan scored three of Anaheim’s five consecutive goals after Phoenix took a 3-1 lead early in the second period. The short-handed Ducks had lost six straight and were playing for the second night in a row after losing 4-1 at home to Chicago on Friday. Rookie Brandon McMillan’s first NHL goal put Anaheim ahead for good at 4-3 with 13:21 to play. Jason Blake and Corey Perry also scored for Anaheim, and Ryan Getzlaf had four assists. Shane Doan, Keith Yandle and Scottie Upshall and Derek Morris scored for Phoenix.

Blackhawks 2, Kings 1 At Los Angeles, Patrick Sharp scored for the fifth time in six games to snap a scoreless tie, and Patrick Kane also had a goal and an assist as Chicago downed Los Angeles.

Crawford started consecutive games for the second time this season and made 21 saves, after stopping 26 shots Friday in a 52 victory down the freeway in Anaheim. He lost his shutout bid with 5:02 remaining when Anze Kopitar beat him high to the glove side with a screened 45-foot slap shot in the slot during a 5-on-3 power play. Crawford has allowed no more than two goals in any of his last six starts.

and an assist and Carey Price made 34 saves as Montreal downed Buffalo. Gionta set up Andrei Kostitsyn’s goal during a two-man advantage in the first, then added goals 4:20 apart in the second to help the Canadiens rebound from a 3-0 loss in Atlanta on Friday. Kostitsyn had a goal and an assist, and Tomas Plekanec also had two points. Jordan Leopold scored for Buffalo with 1:13 left.

Devils 2, Flyers 1

At St. Louis, Kari Lehtonen stifled St. Louis again, and Jamie Benn had another big goal as Dallas beat St. Louis to sweep a home-and-away series. The Stars rallied in the third period for the second straight night, beating Jaroslav Halak on two of their first five shots. Benn tied it and Loui Eriksson scored on a power play for the lead at 5:05. BJ Crombeen scored late in the second period for the Blues, who have 17 points from its first 10 home games.

Stars 2, Blues 1 At Newark, New Jersey, Travis Zajac scored in the fourth round of a shootout, and Johan Hedberg made 40 saves for New Jersey in his fourth straight start with Martin Brodeur sidelined by a bruised elbow. Adam Mair in regulation to help the Devils win for the third time in four games. Danny Brier scored on a power-play goal in the third period for Philadelphia.

Canadiens 3, Sabres 1 At Montreal, Brian Gionta had two goals

Rangers 2, Predators 1 At Nashville, Erik Christensen scored

Senators 3, Maple Leafs 0 At Ottawa, Mike Fisher scored twice and Brian Elliott made 29 saves as Ottawa blanked Toronto. The line of Fisher, Alex Kovalev and Milan Michalek accounted for all the scoring, with Kovalev scoring the other goal and adding two assists and Michalek finishing with two assists.

Sean Bergenheim scored for Tampa Bay.

Sharks 4, Oilers 3 At Edmonton, Alberta, Dany Heatley had two goals and an assist as San Jose edged Edmonton. Benn Ferriero and Joe Pavelski also scored for San Jose. The Sharks are 117-4 overall and 4-4-2 on the road after winning for the first time away from San Jose since beating Edmonton on Oct. 23. Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff and Jim Vandermeer scored for Edmonton.

Avalanche 7, Wild 4

Panthers 4, Lightning 3 At Tampa, Florida, Stephen Weiss scored the winner in the fourth round of a shootout as Florida edged Tampa Bay. Radek Dvorak scored from a penalty shot, and Dmitry Kulikov and Shawn Matthias also scored in regulation for the Panthers, who stopped a three-game losing streak. Florida went 0 for 4 on the power play and has failed to score in 37 straight opportunities. Teddy Purcell, Dana Tyrell and

At Denver, Greg Mauldin scored two goals to fuel Colorado’s four-goal burst in the second period as Colorado had a season-high goals total to snap a three-game losing streak. Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk, Kevin Shattenkirk, David Jones and Matt Duchene also scored for Colorado. Kyle Brodziak scored twice for Minnesota, and Antti Miettinen and Matt Cullen added goals.—AP

All Blacks display composure needed to win the World Cup

Australia rout France PARIS: Australia, with a mix of youth and speed, showed they could be a fearsome opponent at next year’s World Cup when they handed France a record 59-16 defeat thanks to seven-try performance at the Stade de France on Saturday. The Wallabies ended the November Tour in style with their speed too much to handle for the hosts, who collapsed after the break and looked vulnerable ahead of next year’s World Cup. It was France’s worst ever loss to Australia after their 40-10 reverse in Brisbane two years ago. “I think we had this coming for us for a while,” Australia head coach Robbie Deans told a news conference after his side, thrashed by England two weeks ago, tore the French apart. The damage was done by Adam Ashley-Cooper, Benn Robinson, Will Genia, Drew Mitchell (3) and James O’Connor who all went over the line to score for the tourists. “We are a young squad but tonight we were realistic enough and overall, despite that defeat against England, it has been a good tour for us,” added Deans. France scored with a penalty try and three penalties by Morgan Parra but it was little consolation after the Australians celebrated again following their defeat of Italy last Saturday. France coach Marc Lievremont was at a loss to explain the thrashing. “It is hard to find a reasonable explanation after such a rout,” he told a news

the only goal in a shootout to lift New York past Nashville. Ryan Callahan scored for New York in regulation, and Colin Wilson connected for Nashville.

PARIS: Australia’s David Pocock (center) jumps to catch the ball with France’s Marc Andreu (right) and Damien Traille during their international rugby match between France and Australia at the Stade de France stadium.—AP conference. Captain Thierry Dusautoir said France cracked when Australia scored two tries in quick succession after the break. “Mentally, we just collapsed after they scored these tries,” he said. Deans added: “It was a turning point in the game. We all know the importance of the 14-point barrier in that game.” The contest was billed as France’s powerful pack versus Australia’s speed and, while the visitors suffered at the scrum, they were too hot for France as temperatures fell below zero. France, boasting their trademark powerful pack and their huge backline with Damien Traille, Yannick Jauzion and

Aurelien Rougerie at 10, 12 and 13, were on the back foot from the start. James O’Connor, who missed the previous test due to personal leave, whizzed through the midfield and put AshleyCooper over under the posts, with O’Connor adding the extras. Parra cut the deficit with a penalty in the home side’s first attack, only for O’Connor to restore a seven-point lead with another penalty as Les Bleus were caught offside. Parra’s 40-metre penalty struck the post but the Clermont number nine soon kicked another one to trim the gap. However, Australia were too lively for France, who were pulled up for

offside yet again for O’Connor to slot over. The French, though had their monster scrum to rely on and and they did so at the half-hour mark. The Wallabies popped up the scrum, then pulled it down and France were eventually rewarded when they got a penalty try with Parra slotting over a routine conversion to level the contest. It got even worse for Australia as they had prop Ben Alexander sin-binned in the process. However, the tourists continued to unsettle the French defence with nicely built attacks and deft kicks. A Parra penalty early in the second half put France ahead for

the first time but two tries in quick succession gave Australia the edge. For once, their scrum stood firm with Rocky Elsom and Ashley-Cooper coming within centimetres of the line, and loose head Benn Robinson powered over. Then Will Genia picked up the ball from the ruck following a couple of hand-offs by Ashley-Cooper as Australia got a grip on the game, with Connor adding another penalty to make it 30-16. France were by now struggling to keep pace and Drew Mitchell powered down the left wing to touch down, doubling his tally shortly afterwards.—Reuters

CARDIFF: With half an hour left on their grand slam tour of the home nations on Saturday, the New Zealand All Blacks found themselves reduced to 14 men and with a lead of only one point over Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Replacement loose forward Daniel Braid had been sent to the sin bin, Stephen Jones had kicked the resultant penalty to narrow the score to 13-12 and a third grand slam in five years was very much in the balance. Three years ago at the same stadium in a similar situation, New Zealand suffered their earliest and most humiliating exit from a World Cup when they lost their quarter-final to France. On Saturday, it was the Welsh who faltered as New Zealand ran in three tries in quick succession to run out 37-25 winners by a margin of five tries to one. The World Cup is never far from the minds of the All Blacks and their supporters and, when the seventh edition kicks off in New Zealand next September, it will be 24 years since the team with the best ever win-loss ratio won their one and only trophy. The pressure on Richie McCaw and his men will grow relentlessly in the meantime. “I think today’s game was ideal for us,” said forwards coach Steve Hansen. “At times we were in similar situations that we were in another game at Cardiff against another particular team. “Today we actually showed our maturity and ended up winning, I think reasonably comfortably, whereas in that game we didn’t and we all went home with long faces. Today we are smiling and feeling pretty happy.” On that dark day in 2007, New Zealand under McCaw seemed patently short of ideas or inspiration after going into the tournament as the clear favourites. In the teeth of some fierce criticism at home, Hansen, head coach Graham Henry and backs coach Wayne Smith were all reinstated with McCaw retaining the captaincy in the knowledge that grand slams will matter very little if the

team again fail to deliver next year. Henry was quick to praise McCaw in particular on Saturday and the team in general after a demanding year during which they lost only one out of 14 matches. “I thought Richie’s captaincy was right on the button,” Henry said. “I was delighted with the character of the side. “The composure under pressure was great. We are delighted, delighted to have won and delighted to achieve the grand slam.” McCaw also emphasised the composure of his team, whose remarkable feat of beating each of the home unions on successive Saturdays puts them equal with the Springboks with four grand slams in total. “You can’t dwell on what happened previously, you just have to think about how you can get your game going,” McCaw said. “Discipline is one of them, we couldn’t afford to give away any more penalties. In those situations, you have got to be composed and think about tasks rather than emotion.” McCaw has grown as a captain after the bitter memories of 2007. But although he is critical to his side’s hopes of success next year as the best openside flanker in the game, the one player who is indispensable remains the prodigiously gifted Daniel Carter. On Saturday, Carter passed Jonny Wilkinson’s world points tally record of 1,178 in seven fewer matches. He did not, in fact, kick terribly well, missing four shots at goal. But he remains the consummate general at flyhalf, setting up Mils Muliaina’s third try of the tour with a flash of genius. Carter appeared to be ambling across field, when he abruptly accelerated through the startled defence and worked a simple switch with Muliaina who raced through to score. “I think he’s the navigator of our team,” said Henry. “He’s a very astute player and he’s world class. “He runs the ship. Richie captains it and he navigates it.”—Reuters


SPORTS

16

Monday, November 29, 2010

Karlsson wins Dubai World Championship

DUBAI: Robert Karlsson from Sweden holds the trophy after he won the final round of the Dubai World Championship in Dubai. — AP

Kaymer joins European greats DUBAI: Martin Kaymer joined the greats of European golf by winning the money-list crown on the final day of the season at the Dubai World Championship yesterday. The German landed a prize of $1.5 million for topping the Race to Dubai after he and second-placed Briton Graeme McDowell ended in a tie for 13th place at the Greg Norman-designed Earth course on another hot and steamy day in the desert. “I am very proud of my year,” Kaymer told reporters after a final-round 72 gave him a six-under tally of 282, eight strokes adrift of tournament winner Robert Karlsson of Sweden. “It’s been a fantastic year. “All the goals I set for myself happened-to win the Race to Dubai, to play in and win the Ryder Cup and to win a major (US PGA Championship).” Kaymer, who also triumphed at the Abu Dhabi Championship, Dutch Open and the Dunhill Links event in a spectacular season laden with trophies, said he would now chase another first in 2011. “I have never made a hole-in-one in my life so that would be nice,” he explained after collecting an additional $113,000 for his 13th place in the Dubai World Championship. “It would also be nice to win another major, preferably the British Open, the only major that we have in

Europe.” World number three Kaymer would also like to climb the rankings. “I believe that one day I can become the number one in the world. I know I can do it,” he said after emulating fellow countryman Bernhard Langer who finished the 1981 and 1984 seasons as European number one. Other previous money-list winners include Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie and last year’s number one Lee Westwood. McDowell has played a tough five successive weeks in Spain, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai in a bid to catch Kaymer at the top and he was proud to have taken the Race to Dubai to the wire. “To give Martin a run for his money this week was very good,” said the 31-year-old Northern Irishman after his closing 68. “I am proud of the way I played the last five weeks. “Things didn’t really go my way this week. It’s a golf course which frustrated me last year and continues to frustrate me. “I couldn’t see the lines (on the greens) and hole the putts. You’re not going to do any damage out there without putting well,” added McDowell, winner of this season’s US Open, Wales Open and Andalucia Masters. — Reuters

DUBAI: Germany’s Martin Kaymer (right) with Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, and the trophy that Kaymer won for winning the European Tour money title at the season-ending Dubai World Championship. — AP

DUBAI: Sweden’s Robert Karlsson won the Dubai World Championship yesterday, beating third-round leader Ian Poulter in a two-way playoff after a bizarre blunder by the Englishman on the final hole. Karlsson calmly rolled in a birdie putt on the second playoff hole after Poulter had been given a one-stroke penalty for dropping his ball on his marker on the green, causing it to flip over and move from its original position. Poulter spotted his error and reported it to the match referee, whose ruling left him with a long putt for par instead of a birdie. The putt came up a foot short, taking all the pressure off the Swede as he then had two shots to clinch the victory in the season-ending $7.5 million tournament. “Ian Poulter called me over just after he had marked the ball on the 18th and told me he had dropped his ball onto the ball marker which caused the ball marker to move. It just flipped over,” Chief Referee Andy McFee said in a statement. “This incurred a one-stroke penalty and the ball marker was replaced. Ian’s 30-foot putt was there for a five.” The 41-year-old needed just one shot to secure his second European Tour victory this year and the 11th tour victory of his career. The former topranked European said this was one of the biggest victories of his long career and one of the most lucrative. He earned $1.25 million with the win. “This must be the highest one I would think if you just look on the quality of the field that’s been here, world No. 1, world No. 3 or 4 or whatever it is,” he said. “It’s a fantastic field, and obviously when we have all of the best players in Europe together, the way it looks now, it’s going to be a great field so to win here is fantastic.” Karlsson, who was made aware of the penalty before Poulter putted, admitted he would have rather not won by default. “These things happen in golf. It’s not the way you want to win,” he said. “The rules are there for a reason but some of them can be tough.” The winning putt was Karlsson’s third straight birdie on the 18th green, having caught up to Poulter on his last hole in regulation when his approach shot landed within a few feet of the pin. He rolled that in to close with a 5under 67 and a 14-under total of 274. Poulter then had a birdie putt for the victory at the 18th but missed to force the playoff, where both players birdied the first hole. Karlsson led after the first round but followed it up with a 75 on Friday to seemingly fall out of contention. He recovered with consecutive rounds of 67, and started Sunday with consecutive birdies. His second shot on the par-4 third then landed on the green and rolled in for an eagle. He had two more birdies on the back nine before a lovely approach shot almost hit the pin on the 18th, spun back and landed within a few feet of the hole. Given the star-studded leaderboard that included the likes of the topranked Lee Westwood, Karlsson’s heroics were unexpected. He came into the tournament admitting his confidence was not high, following outings in Singapore where he finished 115th and before that in China where he finished 34th. Still, he said Thursday that he felt the course suited him and that he was starting to hit the ball well. He also said he finally had put his medical problems behind him, after suffering a bout of glandular fever in the spring which kept him out two months. He also endured a debilitating eye problem last year but said he has been 100 percent fit since June. “I would say probably Memphis was the tournament I felt where I really started feeling good, but obviously it’s a bit of a buildup, and especially being off for a while and not playing that great for a while, it’s more the confidence and get used to being in the situation,” he said. “So the more often you are there, the more calm you are under the circumstances. And I think that’s probably more what it is.” Poulter came into the final round seemingly in control, with a two-shot lead over Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and fellow Englishman Ross Fisher. He also had momentum on his side after winning last week’s Hong Kong Open. He struggled on the first nine with a bogey and only one birdie but settled down on the back nine as the 34-yearold has done all week with consecutive birdies and two pressure par putts on the 16th and 17th holes. But with the title on the line, he couldn’t sink a birdie putt on the 18th and then fell apart in the playoff. — AP

LAKE LOUISE: Austria’s Michael Walchhofer celebrates winning the men’s World Cup downhill ski race in Lake Louise. — AP

Walchhofer opens his

final season in style LAKE LOUISE: Michael Walchhofer opened his final season in style on Saturday in Lake Louise when he became the oldest winner of a World Cup downhill. The 35-year-old Austrian is not the oldest skier to win a World Cup race, a feat achieved by Luxembourg’s Marco Buechel at 36 years and three months in a Super-G in 2008. But Walchhofer, who will be 36 in April, is now the oldest man crowned in the sport’s most demanding discipline, a record he looks quite capable of bettering in the months ahead. The Lake Louise victory, in one minute and 47.78 seconds, revived memories for Walchhofer, who won his first World Cup downhill on the same course almost seven years ago. The three-times downhill World Cup champion avenged 20 months of disappointment for the men’s Austrian team since Klaus Kroell’s victory in Kvitfjell. But his 16th World Cup triumph, 0.55 seconds ahead of joint runners-up Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway and Austrian team mate Mario Scheiber, was above all a personal revenge. Walchhofer, who runs a hotel in Zauchensee, contemplated retiring at the end of last season to look after his three children but changed his mind after missing out on the Olympics and failing to win a 12th downhill. “I could not dream of a better start to my last season,” said the Austrian, who made it clear this winter would be his last at competitive level. “It takes so much pressure off my shoulders and the team, especially as we have two men on the podium,” he added. And even Svindal, the Super-G Olympic champion who will be the favourite in the discipline on Sunday, paid homage to “one of the great competitors.” Walchhofer’s performance confirms the trend that sees skiers remain on the circuit longer.

The defending downhill World Cup winner, Didier Cuche, who was ninth on Saturday, is 36. And the man who started with the number one bib on Lake Louise’s Olympic Run, Swede Patrik Jaerbyn, is 41 and heading towards his 20th year on the circuit. They would all have been considered senior citizens in the days when skiing legends such as Toni Sailer or Jean-Claude Killy retired at 22 and 24, respectively. At the start of Saturday’s downhill, 10 skiers were above 30 while only five were under 25. One explanation is that skiers can now make a living from their sport while they had to call it quits early in the days of amateurism to start a career. Jaerbyn, the old man of the sport, does not actually make money on the World Cup despite winning the downhill bronze medal at the 2007 worlds. “My family help me out and I receive financial support from my federation,” he said. “As long as passion is there, you can overcome the pain. From 35, 36 onward, the body suffers when you treat it with intense training and you need to find the right balance,” he added. It is precisely what Walchhofer did in the mid-season. Never a man to spare his efforts-he raced the downhill twice at the world championships in Val d’Isere in 2009 after an appealhe still decided to relax a bit in practice. “To keep my motivation, I did not ski so much in autumn. I really wanted to be starved of skiing when the season started,” the Austrian said. “I’m looking forward to relax and look after my family and my hotel but I really did not want to retire before another downhill win,” he added. — Reuters

ASPEN: France’s Tessa Worley skis the first run of the Women’s World Cup giant slalom ski race in Aspen. Worley won the event by a hundredth of a second over Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg. — AP

Worley wins Aspen giant slalom ASPEN: Tessa Worley outclassed the seemingly invincible Germans to win a giant slalom on her favourite slope in Aspen on Saturday and confirm France’s superb start to the season. Having claimed her maiden World Cup victory on the same course two years ago, the 21-year old daughter of an Australian father beat Olympic champion Vicktoria Rebensburg and world champion Kathrin Hoelzl but it was the closest of calls. Rebensburg, winner of the season opener in Soelden, finished 0.01 seconds behind Worley while Hoelzl was a further hundredth of a second behind. “I guess the hundredths were on my side today,” said Worley, who also won a giant slalom in Are last season. The petite Frenchwoman from Le Grand Bornand was only eighth after the morning run but in the second she took advantage of her keen knowledge of the course to overtake her rivals. “It’s a very technical piste which suits me perfectly. It’s one of the hardest courses but I love to ski on it,” she said. “I lost time here and there in the first leg but I just did what I had to in the second regardless of the weather and the visibility,” she added. France, who failed to win a medal at the Olympics, are fighting back in the early season - Jean-Baptiste Grange won the opening men’s slalom while team mate Cyprien Richard was leading the season opener in Soelden a month ago before it was cancelled for lack of visibility. In yesterday’s slalom on

the same piste, Sandrine Aubert could also shine for her country. Overall World Cup defending champion Lindsey Vonn did not have such a great start in her bid for a fourth consecutive crystal globe. Both her jinx in the giant slalom, the only event in which she has yet to make a podium, or in Aspen, a resort which has never brought her luck, continued as she was unable to complete the first run. “I was a little bit too excited, which is not a great tactic, but it sometimes happens in alpine skiing,” the American said. “But I’m so optimistic, I trained really well in GS and I’m looking forward to the next and in the meantime I need to stay motivated and keep working hard. “I think sometimes, my mind takes the better of me. I just want it so bad I make the wrong choices on the course. Maybe next time I’ll get my redemption,” she said. Vonn admitted she always struggles with so many technical events at the start of the season and would be relieved next weekend when the women’s World Cup moves to Lake Louise for the first speed events. “I’m really excited ahead of Lake Louise. Tactical races are hard for me early in the season. When I go to Lake Louise, it’s like my home turf, I can pick my confidence and hopefully it will be the same this year,” she said. In the meantime, three Germans are leading the World Cup standings, Rebensburg, Maria Riesch and Hoelzl. — Reuters


SPORTS

Monday, November 29, 2010

17

Kohli’s sparkling ton guides India to victory

BRISBANE: England’s captain Andrew Strauss kneels on the wicket after he was stumped for 110 runs against Australia during the fourth day of their first Ashes cricket Test. —AP

England back in Ashes Test BRISBANE: Openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook both posted centuries yesterday to wipe out England’s first innings deficit and bring the tourists right back into the first Ashes test against Australia. Starting the fourth day of the test 202 runs in arrears, England had reached 309-1 with a lead of 88 at the close of play with Cook on 132 not out and Jonathan Trott (54) at the crease. Although they could not match the heights of Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin’s partnership of 307 that put Australia in charge on the third day, Strauss and Cook’s opening stand of 188 could end up being just as important at the end of the five-test series. Where touring sides of recent years might have crumbled, Strauss and Cook showed England’s boasts of their teams’ resilience was not just talk.

“It was very important that we came back into the game today,” said England captain Strauss. “Yesterday was a very frustrating day for us and some of our batmen needed to score some runs today. Fortunately Alastair and I were able to.” Strauss was removed for a duck in the third ball of the first

but was given fewer chances than his skipper and clinched his 14th test century, only his second against Australia, with a cut shot that sent the ball fizzing to the boundary just after tea to add to his first innings 67. By that stage England’s best partnership in a test at the Gabba had been broken and Strauss was

Strauss, Cook dominate innings but seized his chance in the second to claim his 19th test century-his first since his 161 in the Lords Ashes test last Julysoon after lunch. “It was my fourth Ashes hundred and every one of them is very special,” said Strauss. “I had a bit of luck, it wasn’t the best technical innings I’ve ever played, but in terms of importance it’s up there.” Cook had scored more slowly

furious with himself after coming down the wicket to occasional spinner Marcus North only to be stumped for 110 by wicketkeeper Haddin. “It was not the sort of dismissal we were looking for,” he said. “I was very disappointed with myself, both as a batsman and a captain.” Cook was joined by Trott, who rode his luck a little with some loose shots but helped put on 121

Scoreboard Scoreboard at close of play on the fourth day of the first Ashes test between England and Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane yesterday:

England first innings 260 (I. Bell 76, A. Cook 67; P. Siddle 6-54) Australia first innings 481 (M. Hussey 195, B. Haddin 136, S. Katich 50; S. Finn 6-125) England second innings (overnight 19-0) A. Strauss st Haddin b North 110 A. Cook not out 132 J. Trott not out 54 Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-4, nb-6) 13

Total (for one wicket, 101 overs) 309 Fall of wicket: 1-188 To bat: K. Pietersen, P. Collingwood, I. Bell, M. Prior, S. Broad, G. Swann, J. Anderson, S. Finn. Bowling (to date): Hilfenhaus 26-4-75-0 (w-1 nb3), Siddle 19-3-67-0 (w-2 nb-3), North 12-2-22-1, Johnson 18-4-65-0, Doherty 18-3-52-0, Watson 8-2-25-0 (w-1).

for the second wicket as Australian heads dropped after a long, hard day in the field. Questions will be asked about the Australian paceman, in particular Mitchell Johnson, who failed to get anything out of the Gabba strip and remains wicketless in the test at the cost of 131 runs. “We weren’t able to sustain pressure for long enough,” said Shane Watson, who thought it was unfair to single out Johnson. “Unfortunately all of us as a bowling unit weren’t able to execute for long enough to build up the pressure.” Australia’s misery was compounded by three missed catches, Johnson dropping Strauss when the England captain was on 70 and Peter Siddle and Michael Clarke spilling two more difficult chances to dismiss Trott. Even the umpire referral system, which saved Hussey’s innings early on Saturday, went against the hosts when umpire Aleem Dar’s refusal of Ben Hilfenhaus’s appeal for lbw against Trott was upheld after the review of the TV footage. “It’s ebbed and flowed,” said Watson of the match. “And it’s always going to be like that throughout the whole series. A couple of little passages will decide it and I hope there’s a little passage in it for us tomorrow.” Play was abandoned early because of bad light and will begin 15 minutes early at 09:45 local time (2345 GMT) today. —Reuters

Bangladesh retain Shakib as captain DHAKA: All-rounder Shakib al Hasan has been retained as Bangladesh captain for next month’s one-day international series against Zimbabwe, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) said yesterday. The BCB named a 15member squad for the fivematch series that also included former captain Mashrafee Mortaza. Shakib led Bangladesh to a 4-0 win against New Zealand in October after taking over from Mortaza, who twisted his ankle in the first match and took no further part in the fivematch series. Opener Tamim Iqbal returned to the side after recovering from a wrist injury while former skipper Mohammad Ashraful was also recalled. The series begins on Wednesday with a onedayer at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. The second and third ODIs will be held at the same venue on Dec. 3 and 6. Chittagong will host the fourth and fifth matches on Dec. 10 and 12. Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (Captain), Mashrafee Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Zunaed Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful, Roqibul Hassan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Mohammad Sohrawardi, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain and Nazmul Hossain. —Reuters

BRISBANE: England’s Alastair Cook plays a hook shot during the 4th day of the first test in the Ashes cricket Series between Australia and England at the Gabba. —AP

GUWAHATI: Virat Kohli struck a sparkling century to help India score a comfortable 40-run victory over New Zealand in the first limitedovers international yesterday. Kohli’s knock of 105 made up for lack of big contributions from other batsmen as India mustered a fighting total of 276 after being asked to bat first. New Zealand could only manage 236 in reply after a strong display by the Indian slow bowlers. Kohli, who scored a match-winning 118 in his previous one-day appearance at Visakhapatnam against Australia last month, continued with his fine form at No. 3. He rotated the strike well and smashed some fine fours when the batting powerplay was taken in the 40th over. He was earlier involved in an 88-run stand for the third wicket with left-hander Yuvraj Singh. Kohli reached his second consecutive century and fourth overall in one-dayers, with a four to third-man offseamer Kyle Mills. Kohli’s was a soft dismissal as he failed to keep down a slower delivery from McKay and Jamie How, fielding in the covers, took his third of four catches. Singh struck seven fours in his 42 but was unable to work the ball around. He was caught behind off Tuffey, unable to capitalize on the cautious beginning that saw him score his first five runs off 23 deliveries. India started well, but lost both openers relatively cheaply. Murali Vijay tried to pull Tuffey but only managed a top-edge for wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins to take a high catch after the batsman had scored 29 off 32. Gambhir played a casual shot off a delivery from McKay to give How an easy catch at point. Gambhir, leading the side after the selectors decided to rest several frontline players, made a runa-ball 38. India lost wickets at regular intervals in the face of some tight bowling and also slumped badly in the final stages to be dismissed in 49 overs. Seamers Andy McKay (4-62), Kyle Mills (3-42) and Daryl Tuffey (2-56) kept pegging back India, but Kohli did well to keep one end going. New Zealand had a good start, but some precise bowling by Munaf Patel and R. Ashwin stopped the run flow and added pressure on the batsmen. New Zealand could not manage a boundary for nearly 12 overs starting from the 11th before captain Ross Taylor struck two consecutive sixes toward the squareleg boundary off Yusuf Pathan. Taylor’s 66 off 69 balls, in which he smashed three sixes and three fours, held together the middle-order but part-timer Yuvraj Singh came on to strike three crucial blows. The left-arm spinner followed up on his useful knock earlier in the day by removing Kane Williamson, Scott Styris and Tuffey in the space of 23 runs, but Nathan McCullum and Mills prolonged the innings before both were dismissed by seamer Shantakumaran Sreesanth. Singh finished with 3-43, Ashwin had figures of 3-50 and Sreesanth got 3-30. New Zealand went in without regular captain Daniel Vettori, who was rested after a heavy workload in the preceding three-test series. Brendon McCullum was also out due to a sore back. India is without regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, all of whom were not picked in the squad either because of injury concerns or to give them rest in the midst of a hectic season. This is the first game of a five-match series. Jaipur, Baroda, Bangalore and Chennai will host the remaining matches. India won the preceding three-match Test series 1-0.—AP

GUWAHATI: India’s Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring a century during the first one day international cricket match against New Zealand. —AP

Scoreboard GUWAHATI, India: Scoreboard from the first India Stadium yesterday. India innings: M. Vijay c Hopkins b Tuffey 29 G. Gambhir c How b McKay 38 V. Kohli c How b McKay 105 Y. Singh c Hopkins b Tuffey 42 S. Raina c How b Mills 13 Y. Pathan c Taylor b Mills 29 W. Saha c Hopkins b McKay 4 R. Ashwin c & b McKay 0 A. Nehra run out 0 S. Sreesanth c How b Mills 4 M. Patel not out 1 Extras (B-1, LB-1, W-8, NB-1) 11 Total (all out; 49 overs) 276 Fall of wickets: 1-44 2-92 3-180 4-220 5-250 6-256 7-256 8-257 9-275 10-276. Bowling; Mills 10-0-42-3, Tuffey 8-0-56-2 (1nb, 2w), McKay 10-1-62-4(5w), Elliott 5-0-24-0, McCullum 9-0-53-0(1w), Styris 6-0-26-0, Williamson 1-0-11-0.

v New Zealand one-day international at the Nehru New Zealand innings M. Guptill c Patel b Ashwin 30 J. How c Vijay b Nehra 9 K. Williamson c Saha b Yuvraj 25 R. Taylor c Patel b Ashwin 66 S. Styris c Pathan b Yuvraj 10 G. Elliott c Pathan b Sreesanth 5 D. Tuffey c Raina b Yuvraj 4 G. Hopkins c Pathan b Ashwin 16 N. McCullum c Gambhir b Sreesanth 35 K. Mills c Saha b Sreesanth 32 A. McKay not out 0 Extras (LB-1, W-3) 4 Total (All out; 45.2 overs) 236 Fall of wickets: 1-32 2-46 3-113 4-131 5-136 6-144 7-157 8-169 9-236 10-236. Bowling: Nehra 9-0-44-1(1w); Sreesanth 5.2-0-303(1w), Ashwin 10-1-50-3 (1w), Patel 8-0-39-0; Yuvraj 10-0-43-3; Pathan 2-0-24-0; Raina 1-0-5-0.

Ahli United Bank advances into semis of KBC League KUWAIT: Ahli United Bank advanced into semi-final of KBC League after winning a crucial match against National Bank of Kuwait by a comfortable margin of 70 runs to top the league table. AUB Vice Captain Aby George deputizing in absence of Mahmoud Bastaki won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first under perfect batting conditions. Saud Qamar and Dinesh Kumar started AUB innings in usual aggressive manner and registered 98 runs in first 10 over’s. Dinesh was first to fall on individual score of 32. Saud scored yet another fifty and was out on the individual score of 51. Ghayoor Ahmed

joined K. Jagath and kept the scoreboard moving by compiling ones, twos and rotating strike. Both the batsman took AUB total past 150 when Ghayoor departed and this brought Nabeel Abdul Ghafoor to the crease, who in the company of Jagath accelerated the proceedings by hitting big sixes and fours. At the end AUB posted an good total of 203 in their allotted 20 Overs. Jagath and Nabeel remained unbeaten on 49 and 25 respectively. Khurram, Jalal and Suresh notched up a wicket each. NBK started their chase against the bowling of Nabeel and Dinesh. From NBK, Mathew departed early trying

to accelerate the run rate, Khurram Rana followed soon at individual score of 18. Suresh and Raja scored 31 and 27 respectively. Finally, NBK managed to score 132 runs at the end of 20 over’s. The fielding of AUB was a treat to view with magnificent catches from Sudheer. The superb victory for AUB secured berth into the semi-final match against Gulf Bank. Brief Scores: (AUBK 203 for 3 in 20 overs. Saud Qamar 51, Jaghat 49 not out. Khuraam 1/33 Jalal 1/15 Suresh 1/26) NBK : 132 all out Suresh 31, Raja 27 , Ronald 21. Saoud 2/ 29, Nabeel 1/22 Aby 1/20 Machado 1/27)

Kozuka, Korpi win Trophee Bompard PARIS: Takahiko Kozuka won the Trophee Bompard after an exceptional men’s free program on Saturday, surpassing his Cup of China win three weeks ago with an even better overall score. Overnight leader Kiira Korpi of Finland won the women’s event, overcoming a fall and one mistimed jump in her free to narrowly hold off American skaters Mirai Nagasu and Alissa Czisny, who took silver and bronze. Kozuka was under pressure after a strong free program from Florent Amodio put the Frenchman in the lead. Kozuka recovered from

a slight stumble when landing his first jump to deliver an otherwise perfectly synchronized performance to Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. “When I got on the ice I heard the spectators cheering for Florent and I realized he skated very well, which made me a little bit nervous,” Kozuka said. “I was able to control my emotions and I felt good on my legs.” Kozuka clenched his fists as the crowd gave him an ovation and hugged coach Nobuo Sato. His score of 248.07 beat the 233.51 he managed in Beijing. “I was able to overcome my nerves and that was a big win for me,” Kozuka said.

Amodio scored 229.38 and Brandon Mroz of the United States took bronze with 214.31 - continuing his good form after finishing second at the Cup of China. “Today was a good effort from me. I got my first medal in China and I’m getting a bronze here, that’s great,” Mroz said. “I too was nervous, we all had the (Grand Prix) final buzzing around in our heads — we were all contenders.” Korpi finished second behind Nagasu in the free skate program but had tallied enough points in winning Friday’s short for a cumulative score of 169.74 — enough to beat Nagasu’s 167.79. —AP

PARIS: Haruka Imai of Japan performs her Ladies Free skating program during the Ice Skating Bompard Trophy at Bercy arena in Paris. —AP


SPORTS

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MADRID: In-form superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo showcase their talents today as league leaders Real Madrid travel to defending champions Barcelona bidding to beat their bitter rivals at Camp Nou after four consecutive losses in the Clasico. Real are one point ahead of title holders Barcelona at the league summit and there has been immense hype for the first Clasico of the campaign with Real coach Jose Mourinho poised to renew his rivalry with Barcelona, who were eliminated by his Inter Milan side in last seasonʼs Champions League semi-finals. It will be a first Clasico for Mourinho, who worked as a translator at Barcelona under former coach Bobby Robson, and the Portuguese will hope to fare better than his predecessors Juande Ramos and Manuel Pellegrini, who both lost on two occasions to Pep Guardiolaʼs Barcelona side. “It was nice going back to Barcelona with Chelsea and Inter but going back with Real will be even sweeter,” said Mourinho. “I beat Barcelona with Chelsea and Inter Milan and now I am in

charge of their biggest rival in Real Madrid so all this combined means I will get a hostile reception.” Real have not beaten Barcelona at Camp Nou since December 2007 when a Julio Baptista goal secured a 1-0 win and their last victory was the infamous guard of honor in May 2008 when Barcelona had to pay tribute to Real as champions at the Santiago Bernabeu and were then thrashed 4-1. Since then Barcelona have won four in a row under Guardiola who hopes to maintain his 100 percent record in the fixture. Lionel Messi, 23, has proved Realʼs tormentor-in-chief in this fixture and the Argentine is in incredible form scoring in his last 10 games in all competitions, including a hat-trick in last weekendʼs 8-0 thrashing of Almeria, and already has 13 league goals this season. Messi, who recently notched a century of league goals for Barcelona, has an impressive record against Real scoring in three out of the last four victories over Madrid including a brace in the infamous 6-2 win at the Bernabeu two seasons ago.

“Real will come to Camp Nou with revenge in mind,” said Messi. “Since the 6-2 at the Bernabeu I guess they have a real desire to beat us and this season they have strengthened with the new signings and (Jose)

Mourinho.” Portuguese ace Ronaldo has also been in sensational form scoring a hat-trick in Realʼs 5-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in their last league match and has 15 league goals to top the goalscoring

Monday, November 29, 2010

charts ahead of Messi. “It is nonsense just to talk about a duel between myself and (Lionel) Messi,” said Ronaldo. “I am not obsessed about scoring against Barcelona.” Ronaldo can expect a

hostile reception at Camp Nou having infuriated Barcaʼs Spanish World Cup winner Andres Iniesta last season by accusing him of diving and recently had a spat with Barcaʼs Spanish midfielder Sergi Busquets in

Portugalʼs recent 4-0 friendly win over world champions Spain. Real duo Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos are seasoned campaigners in this fixture as are Barcelona trio Carles Puyol, Xavi and Victor Valdes. However, for others it will be a first taste of the Clasico. Realʼs new signings Angel di Maria and Ricardo Carvalho along with German internationals Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil are set to experience the Clasico for the first time, as will Mourinho. For Barcelona, Spainʼs World Cup winning striker David Villa, a 40-million-euro signing from Valencia, is set for his first clash with Real in Barcaʼs colors and arrives in a rich vein of form with four goals in his last four league matches. Winning the first Clasico has proved a good omen in the past and in the last six seasons the victor has gone on to be crowned champions at the end of the season. Real and Barca have dominated to the extent that taking points off each other is a major advantage and gaining the early edge in the head-to-head record can be crucial as it can decide the league if the two teams finish level on points as happened in 2007 when Real won the title

due to their superior record in the Clasicos. Mourinho has called on his players to play clean during his sideʼs away match against arch-rivals Barcelona. “I hope that the players want to play and that they want to help the referee and they do not want to complicate his life and that we will only talk about football after the match,” he told a news conference yesterday. The much-anticipated match will be refereed by Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez, who has been accused of being “card-happy” and pro-Barcelona by Real fans. “Barca is happy with Iturralde, Real is less happy with Iturralde,” said Mourinho. “I am confident in the referee. We are going to play with the intention of helping the referee.” UEFA announced Thursday it had started disciplinary proceedings against Mourinho and two of his players, Xabi Alonso and Sergi Ramos, over a ʻtimewastingʼ controversy. The pair are suspected of deliberately time wasting to get sent off in the closing minutes of Tuesdayʼs 4-0 Champions League win at Ajax and so wipe their disciplinary slates clean for the knockout stages of the competition. — AFP

Bin Hammam hits out at ‘hidden war’ against Qatar GENEVA: Mohamed Bin Hammam has accused a Spanish newspaper of fabricating an interview with him as part of a “hidden war” against Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Bin Hammam said he’d never heard of sports daily Marca, which reported him saying that Qatar and 2018 candidate Spain-Portugal would support each other’s bid. “Today, you have to deal with the latest series of lies meant to damage your bid,” the Qatari official wrote Saturday in a message to supporters published on his website. “The alleged interview never took place.” His

outburst revealed rising tension as he and FIFA executive committee colleagues prepare to choose the World Cup hosts in secret ballots in Zurich. Bin Hammam warned that worse may follow before the 22-man ruling panel votes on Thursday. “You should expect more of this hidden war against your bid,” he wrote. “I did warn you that your noble cause to host the World Cup 2022 will face some unethical resistance.” Bin Hammam, the Asian Football Confederation president, also was quoted by Marca saying that “Asia supports the Iberian bid.”

On Saturday, Bin Hammam sought to clarify the AFC’s position to “repair the damage which might be caused by such deception.” “The Asian executive committee had taken a decision to support Europe in 2018. However, no decision was taken to back any one country,” he explained. “We agreed to give the four Asian members the freedom to select the country that they deem appropriate.” Spain-Portugal is competing with England, Russia and the joint Belgium-Netherlands bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Qatar’s 2022 campaign was put on the defensive last month after FIFA said

it would investigate unnamed bidders for allegedly breaking bid rules by colluding to share support. FIFA’s ethics committee said last week it found insufficient evidence to prove a Qatari-Iberian votetrading deal. It also suspended two FIFA voters in a wide-ranging corruption probe The verdicts came one day after FIFA published reports by its technical evaluation team which said Qatar’s desert heat in June and July could jeopardize players’ and fans’ health. The assessment also raised concerns that Qatar’s size posed logistical challenges with 10 out

Marquez stops Katsidis

Federer beats Nadal in

to retain WBA, WBO titles

ATP World Tour Finals LONDON: Roger Federer gave Rafael Nadal little chance to mount a challenge in the 22nd meeting between two of the greatest players of all time, winning his fifth season-ending title 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 yesterday. Federer won an incredible 92 percent of the points played on his first serve in the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, and lost only 13 points on serve in the entire match. Nadal, the top-ranked Spaniard who won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open this year, was able to break Federer once in the second set, but he appeared to tire as the match wore on. On Saturday, Nadal spent more than three hours and three sets beating Andy Murray to reach the final of the tournament for the first time in his career. “I know I didn’t spoil his vacation after this because he’s had an amazing year,” Federer said. “A year that any player dreams of.” The win cut Nadal’s career record to 14-8 against the second-ranked Swiss. In Grand Slam finals, Nadal is 5-2 against Federer, but Federer has now beaten Nadal all three times they have faced each other in the final tournament of the season. In the first set yesterday at the O2 Arena, Federer lost only three points on his serve, and broke Nadal once. He then lost five points on serve in both the second and third sets, but four of

them came in one game, giving Nadal his only break of the match. The decisive shift came early in the third set on Nadal’s serve with the Spaniard trailing 2-1. He took a 40-15 when Federer sent a return long, but the Swiss then reeled off the next four points — the last when Nadal sent a forehand wide — to earn the break and essentially end Nadal’s chances of winning. On match point, Federer hit a forehand winner on the line, but the crowd apparently thought the ball was out as they sat quiet in the arena. Then Nadal started coming to the net to shake hands with Federer, and the Swiss raised his arms in victory to set off a standing ovation. Federer has won a record 16 Grand Slam titles, the last coming at this year’s Australian Open, and he and Nadal have combined to win 21 of the past 23 majors. But after ending his semifinal streak at major championships at Roland Garros and then faltering at the last two Grand Slam tournaments, Federer has played some of his best tennis of the year this week in London. He won all three of his round-robin matches in straight sets, and then swept Novak Djokovic on Saturday to reach the final. “You played unbelievable all during the week,” Nadal said to Federer on court after the match. “So well done for everything.”—AP

of 12 proposed stadiums grouped within a 30-kilometer (19-mile) radius. FIFA then published the detailed technical reports in full, which confirmed it graded Qatar as the highest-risk project among all bidders. “You have managed to overcome with great success the accusations of collusion, the potential postponement of voting for 2022, the so-called challenges of weather, size and so many other things,” Bin Hammam wrote to Qatar’s supporters. Qatar is competing for 2022 World Cup rights with the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea. — AP

LONDON: Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates as he holds the trophy after beating Spain’s Rafael Nadal to win the singles final tennis match at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena. — AP

LAS VEGAS: Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez recovered from a third round knockdown to stop Australian Michael Katsidis in the ninth and retain his WBA and WBO lightweight titles in Las Vegas on Saturday. Immediately after the victory, Marquez called for a third fight with eight-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines. Pacquiao and Marquez drew their first bout in 2004, and Pacquiao won a split decision in a rematch four years later. “We know Pacquiao is avoiding us,” said Marquez afterwards. “A third fight is what the public wants.” After a fast-paced opening two rounds, in which Mexican Marquez landed blistering counter combinations as his Australian challenger pressed forward, Katsidis, 27-3 (22 KOs) dropped Marquez in round three with a short left hook. The champion appeared badly hurt but was able to survive the onslaught and by the end of the round was troubling his opponent with pinpoint punches to body and head. Katsidis continued to swarm forward aggressively, throwing a high volume of punches, but Marquez, 525-1 (38 KOs) responded with devastatingly accurate counters. In the ninth, Marquez stepped up the pressure, landing with combinations and backing Katsidis across the ring. As Marquez continued to land at will, referee Kenny Bayless called a halt to the contest. Katsidis was fighting despite the death of his brother, Stathi, last month. Stathi, a professional jockey,

was found dead in his Brisbane home on October 19 from as yet undisclosed causes. “I went through a lot to make it to this fight,” Katsidis admitted afterward. “It was a hard thing to even make it through this fight,” he added tearfully. Earlier, in Oakland, undefeated American Andre Ward retained his WBA super middleweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Cameroon-born Sakio Bika. Ward, 23-0 (13 KOs) won every round on one scorecard and ten of twelve on the other two, but despite the wide margins, the victory was hard fought. At the end of the contest, both fighters were bleeding from cuts by the eyes, and Bika, 28-5-2 (19 KOs) also from the nose. Ward next meets Arthur Abraham in the semi-finals of the “Super Six” World Boxing Classic super middleweight tournament. Earlier on Saturday, Germanybased Armenian Abraham lost a wide decision in Helsinki to Britain’s Carl Froch, who regained the WBC title and will face Jamaican Glen Johnson in the other semi-final. — Reuters

Matches on TV (Local Timings) Barcelona v Real Madrid ...... 23:00 Al Jazeera Sports + 2 Al Jazeera Sports + 3 Al Jazeera Sports + 9


19

SPORTS

Monday, November 29, 2010

China dazzle world with outstanding performance GUANGZHOU: Let there be no doubt. China knows how to stage a sports event. The Chinese dazzled the world with the Olympics in Beijing and now they’ve done it again in the southern city of Guangzhou, hosting — and totally dominating — the biggest Asian Games ever held. The next time as many athletes gather, it will be 2012 at the London Olympics. Judging from China’s outstanding performance here at the Asian version, a once-every-four-years extravaganza featuring more than 10,000 competitors, its red-and-yellow-clad dynamos could take their show to the British capital in a very big way. Guangzhou, China’s thirdlargest city, has for the past two weeks played host to more than 10,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions. That was hundreds more than the previous games, held in Doha, Qatar. Another 4,750 team officials descended on the city, organizers said, along with some 60,000 volunteers. China — in its quest to set a gold medal-winning record — sent a delegation of 1,500 people, including almost 1,000 athletes. And they snapped up the medals like never before. China demolished the competition with its 199 golds, including a nail-biter in women’s volleyball to claim the final gold awarded as the games closed Saturday. South Korea was second with 76 and Japan had to settle for 48. The Chinese team was so dominant — sweeping diving, table tennis, basketball, beach volleyball, women’s boxing and a 10-gold romp in the non-Olympic dance sport event — that it found itself facing criticism the other countries might as well have not shown up. “Every delegation participated at these games to obtain the best possible result,” delegation secretary-general Cai Jiadong said. “Even though we were top of the medal tally, it doesn’t mean we have a monopoly.” Not quite, anyway. There were a few special moments for other nations. Along with the usual complement of familiar Olympic sports, the Asian Games have a healthy heaping of local flavor, from the acrobatic game of sepak takraw, a no-hands brand of volleyball that is popular in southeast Asia, to the Indian tag game of kabaddi and China’s own fast and furious martial art of wushu. “The staging of the 14 nonOlympic sports are equally fascinating and has furthered the development of the Asianunique sports,” said Xu Ruisheng, the deputy secretary-general of the organizing committee. Countries from Myanmar to Syria to Kazakhstan — 36 in all — took

home medals. One thing the games were short on, however, was world records. Only three were set — two in weightlifting and one in archery. That was fewer than in Doha, and prompted some criticism that the level of the competition was not as good as it should have been, considering the participating countries represent two-thirds of the world’s population. Still, the head of the Olympic Council of Asia noted that, taking into account the sheer size of the event, there were surprisingly few controversies. OCA chief Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah boasted that even a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula couldn’t damage the event’s image. Four South Koreans were killed last Tuesday when North Korean artillery destroyed large parts of Yeonpyeong Island in an escalation of their sporadic skirmishes along the disputed sea border. The two Koreas continued to compete as planned. North and South Korean athletes even stood next to each other on the podium later that day in archery, and again in wrestling the next day. The games also only had two reported cases of doping — compared with more than a dozen in Doha — and even those weren’t too shocking. The two positives — a judo competitor and a wrestler, both from Uzbekistan — involved a banned stimulant that the World Anti-Doping Agency has decided to downlist next year to a classification of drugs that are susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties. Al-Sabah said the most controversial decision at the games came when Taiwanese taekwondo competitor Yang Shuchun was disqualified during her match against Vietnam’s Thi Hau Vu. Judges ruled she was using illegal sensors on the heels of her shoes that would have unfairly added points to her score. There was much outcry in Taipei over the decision and the OCA has handed responsibility over to the World Taekwondo Federation for further investigation. But Al-Sabah said the competitor had used “unfair technology ... it was a very fair suspension.” He also noted China’s domination, from the massive spending on venues and games preparations, to the medal table. He said it was important to keep raising the bar on and off the fields of play to keep the continent competitive in broader international competition. “China is not only on top of the medal table in Asian Games, but also in the Olympics,” AlSabah told The Associated Press. —AP

Mavs cool Heat DALLAS: Caron Butler scored seven of his 23 points in a key run for Dallas to start the second half as the Mavericks went on to win their fifth straight game, 106-95 over the struggling Miami Heat on Saturday. Even though LeBron James and Dallas-born Chris Bosh have joined Dwyane Wade in Miami, the Mavericks extended their regular-season dominance over the Heat (9-8). Dallas has won 13 consecutive games in the series since March 2004, and 16 of 17. That obviously doesn’t include the 2006 NBA Finals, when the Heat won in six games after losing the first two. Miami lost for the fourth time in five games. The Heat were coming off a 99-90 home win over Philadelphia on Friday night that snapped a three-game losing streak.

Magic 100, Wizards 99 At Washington, Dwight Howard scored a season-high 32 points, including the game-winning putback with 4.3 seconds left, and had 11 rebounds to give Orlando a win over Washington. Quentin Richardson scored 20 for the Magic, who have won seven of their last eight games in Washington. Gilbert Arenas scored a season-high 31 points, but his floater at the buzzer hit the back of the rim and bounced away. Nick Young scored 21 points, and Andray Blatche scored 10 points and had 13 rebounds for the Wizards, who ended a threegame home winning streak.

KUWAIT: KSSC officials with Kuwait’s shooters at the airport.

Kuwait hail Asian Games medallist By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: Kuwait Shooting Sports Team arrived from China yesterday after participating in the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou. The team was received by President of Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federations and vice president of ISSF, Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Saleem AlHumoud Al-Sabah, Deputy Director General of PAYS Essam Jaafar, president of the Arab Shooting Federation and Deputy Chairman of KSSC Eng. Duaij AlOtaibi, Secretary General of both Arab and Kuwait Shooting Federations Obeid Al-Osaimi, KSSC Assistant Treasurer Adnan Al-Ibrahim, Board Members Mustafa Karam, Nidal Al-Sayyed Omar and other officials. Sheikh Salman lauded the athletes’ spirit and their outstanding performance,

adding that they always exert their utmost efforts to make sure they maintain the achievements and improve on them. Sheikh Salman thanked HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad, HH the Premier Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad and the government for their continuous support of the shooting sport. Sheikh Salman expressed his gratitude to the president of the Olympic Council of Asia and Kuwait Olympic Committee for his continued support and encouragement of the team. Meanwhile Eng. Duaij Khalaf Al-Otaibi spoke about the achievements of Kuwait shooters who grabbed three gold and three silver medals, saying that the efforts of such champions keeps Kuwait’s name present in all international events. He said that those achievements will continue, as KSSC is moving accord-

ing to an integrated technical plan, and provides all aspects of success. He said president and board members keep on honoring the shooters, while at the same time removing all obstacles from their way. Arab and Kuwait Shooting Federations Secretary General Obeid AlOsaimi commended Kuwait’s shooters for their impressive results despite the fierce competition between Asian shooters, which included world champions. Al-Osaimi thanked the Board of Directors Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad, for his major role and continuous support of club members. He also thanked PAYS, its Director General and his deputies as well as the executive apparatus there who contributed to the success of Kuwait’s shooters. He also thanked the Head of Kuwait’s delegation Engineer Mohammad Al-Qurba for his efforts.

“Every ball kind of listens to him,” was Djokovic’s eloquent description of 16-times grand slam champion Federer’s sublime performance. “He’s maybe playing the best tennis in 2010.” While Federer’s virtuoso display provided the gloss on a blockbuster day, the real drama happened earlier as Nadal and Murray contested one of the most memorable matches of 2010. A ferocious encounter ebbed and flowed to keep a 17,500 sellout crowd on the edge of their seats from the first shot to the last, both of which were ended by brutal Nadal forehands. No wonder Murray ended up on his fourth racket before the end-the tendon-stretching rallies often defied physics as both players extended each other to the limit. “I think it was an incredible tennis match,” Nadal told reporters. “I am very happy to beat a great champion like Andy. For me it’s an amazing victory. His level is unbelievable.” Despite the pain of defeat, Murray proved that he can once again be a threat to Nadal and Federer’s domination of the major prizes next year-an opinion shared by Nadal. “I kind of knew when I was out there that it was a great match,” Murray, who will end the year fourth in the rankings, told reporters. “The noise the crowd made when we changed ends at 6-6 in the (third set) tiebreak was incredible. It’s nice in some ways to be involved in matches like that. But it’s not nice losing.”—Reuters

Warriors 104, T’wolves 94 At Minneapolis, Dorell Wright scored a career-high 30 points and set a franchise record with nine 3-pointers to help Golden State snap a five-game losing streak. Monta Ellis had 26 points, 10 assists and seven steals in 48 minutes and David Lee returned from an eight-game absence for the Warriors, who won for just the second time since Lee went down with a staph infection in his left elbow on Nov. 10. Kevin Love had 21 points and 22 rebounds for the Timberwolves, his fourth 20-20 game of the season. The Timberwolves turned the ball over 22 times, leading to 32 Golden State points and negating a 55-32 advantage in rebounds. Michael Beasley had 28 points and nine rebounds for the Wolves, who have lost four in a row.

Cavaliers 92, Grizzlies 86 At Cleveland, Mo Williams scored 25 points and J.J. Hickson added 16 as Cleveland snapped out of a fourth-quarter offensive funk to beat Memphis. Williams hit a clutch 10-foot floater with 6.5 seconds left, added a season-high 12 assists and made four 3-pointers for the Cavaliers, who missed their first 13 shots in the fourth, but regrouped and won their seventh straight at home over Memphis. Rudy Gay scored 17 points for the Grizzlies, who had their winning streak stopped at three.

Hawks 99, Knicks 90 At New York, Jamal Crawford scored 21 points as Atlanta snapped New York’s winning streak at five games. Al Horford added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks, who trailed by 18 at the half and closed within four points in the fourth quarter on a driving lay-up by Wilson Chandler and a free throw after the score. The Hawks then scored seven straight on a 3-pointer by Crawford, a hook shot by Horford and his turnaround jumper. Amare Stoudemire had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who were going for their first six-game winning streak since Larry Brown was the coach, from Jan. 2-13, 2006.

Federer and Nadal set for grand finale LONDON: Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer set the stage for a grand finale to the men’s season on Saturday when they demonstrated just what separates them from the bunch to seal a dream final at the ATP World Tour Finals. World number one Nadal delved deep into his seemingly inexhaustible reserves of willpower to fight off an inspired Andy Murray in a three-hour duel before Federer obliterated Novak Djokovic with a dazzling display of artistry. Nadal described his 7-6 3-6 76 victory over Murray as one of his “best matches ever” while Djokovic could only stand and admire Federer’s shot-making in a 6-1 6-4 masterclass at the O2 Arena. Both men have reached the final undefeated and to add to the intrigue on Sunday they will be facing each other in London for the first time since their unforgettable 2008 Wimbledon final when Nadal snatched Federer’s crown. There is also the small matter of the $1.6 million jackpot up for grabs, although with 25 grand slam titles between them Sunday’s final will transcend financial gain. “Obviously I’m really looking forward to playing against Rafa tomorrow,” Federer, who can emulate Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl by winning the year-end title for a fifth time, told reporters. “Who wouldn’t? I’m no different.” Federer conjured 31 winners in a one-sided 80-minute contest against Djokovoic, who beat him at this year’s US Open.

Bucks 104, Bobcats 101 At Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings scored 32 points and made two free throws with 5.7 seconds left to seal a for Milwaukee over Charlotte. Stephen Jackson was ejected less than six minutes into the game. Jackson thought he was fouled and began arguing with referee Eli Roe. The Bobcats’ scoring leader with 19.2 points per game, Jackson got two technicals and was done with 7:31 left in the first quarter DJ Augustin scored 26 points for Charlotte, which made it 102-101 after Kwame Brown made one of two free throws with 7.1 seconds left. Gerald Wallace scored 19 points.

76ers 102, Nets 86

SALT LAKE CITY: A pass intended for Utah wide receiver Jereme Brooks (85) is broken up by BYU’s Brian Logan (7) and Andrew Rich during the second half of an NCAA college football game.—AP

Big Ten race ends in 3-way tie MADISON: The Big Ten race won’t officially be decided until Dec. 5 when the final BCS standings come out. No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 11 Michigan State all finished 11-1 and 7-1 in conference play. The BCS standings will be used to break the tie. Montee Ball rushed for 178 yards and four touchdowns as Wisconsin earned a share of the Big Ten championship with a 70-23 win over Northwestern. The Badgers made it four straight wins by 20 points or more - and it wasn’t even the most lopsided game in that stretch, because Wisconsin beat Indiana 83-20 on Nov. 13. It also was the third time this season the Badgers scored 70 points or more.

the Razorbacks (10-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference), who won their sixth straight game and finished second in the SEC West. Stanford 38, Oregon State 0 At Stanford, California, Andrew Luck threw four touchdown passes to set a single-season school record as Stanford stated its case for a berth in the Bowl Championship Series. Stepfan Taylor ran for 115 yards and a touchdown and Doug Baldwin caught two TD passes for the Cardinal, who set a school record for wins with an emphatic close to the regular season.

TCU 66, New Mexico 17 At Albuquerque, New Mexico, Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes before leaving with an elbow injury as No. 4 TCU capped its second straight undefeated regular season with a 66-17 win over New Mexico for its second consecutive Mountain West championship. The next stop for the BCS-busting Horned Frogs could very well be the Rose Bowl.

Ohio State 37, Michigan 7 At Columbus, Ohio, Jordan Hall broke the game open with an 85-yard kickoff return as the Buckeyes defense shut down Michigan’s high-powered offense for their seventh straight win in the rivalry. The Buckeyes picked up two celebration penalties after touchdowns but had a lot to celebrate: A share of a record-tying sixth Big Ten title and, most likely, a Bowl Championship Series bid.

Arkansas 31, LSU 23 At Little Rock, Arkansas, Ryan Mallett threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns as Arkansas put itself in position to land the school’s first BCS bid. Mallett finished 13 of 23 passing and had touchdown passes of 85, 80 and 39 yards for

Oklahoma 47, Oklahoma State 41 At Stillwater, Oklahoma, Landry Jones matched the school record with 468 yards passing and threw two long touchdown passes in a wild finish to the Bedlam game as Oklahoma forged a three-way tie atop the Big 12 South. Jones threw an 86-yard

touchdown pass to Cameron Kenney then answered Justin Gilbert’s kickoff return score for Oklahoma State with a 76-yarder to James Hanna 29 seconds later as the Sooners survived to likely earn a spot in the Big 12 title game. Michigan State 28, Penn State 22 At State College, Pennsylvania, Michigan State claimed at least a share of its first Big Ten title since 1990 after winning at blustery Beaver Stadium. Edwin Baker ran for 118 yards and a touchdown, and Keshawn Martin’s 35-yard reverse deep in Penn State territory set up another early score for Michigan State.

At Philadelphia, Jrue Holiday had 20 points and 13 assists, and Thaddeus Young sparked a fourth-quarter spurt to lead Philadelphia past New Jersey to snap a three-game losing streak. Andre Iguodala contributed 16 points and Lou Williams added 15 for the Sixers, who returned to Philadelphia after losing three straight on the road, including a 99-90 loss to the Miami Heat on Friday night. Saturday’s win was their second in 10 games. Brook Lopez led New Jersey with 25 points, Devin Harris added 19 and Kris Humphries pulled in 15 rebounds.

Bulls 96, Kings 85 At Sacramento, California, Derrick Rose had 30 points, seven assists and seven rebounds for Chicago, which rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Sacramento. The Bulls trailed by 13 at halftime, but held the Kings to 28 second-half points, outscoring them 27-9 in the fourth. Luol Deng had 22 points and nine rebounds,and Joakim Noah had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who concluded their seven-game road trip that started Nov. 16 with a victory in Houston. Jason Thompson had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who have lost four straight and 10 of 11. Tyreke Evans had 17 points and nine assists for the Kings. —AP

Missouri 35, Kansas 7 At Kansas City, Missouri, Blaine Gabbert directed scoring drives on the Tigers’ first two possessions and later scored on a 1-yard run in the 119th edition of college football’s second-oldest rivalry. Virginia Tech 37, Virginia 7 At Blacksburg, Virginia, Ryan Williams ran for two touchdowns as No. 13 Virginia Tech won its 10th consecutive game and seventh in a row over Virginia. South Carolina 29, Clemson 7 AT Clemson, Stephen Garcia threw for two touchdowns, Alshon Jeffery had his seventh 100-yard receiving game and South Carolina posted the third nine-win season in program history. —AP

WASHINGTON: Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard (12) moves the ball on Washington Wizards’ Kevin Seraphin during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game. The Magic won 100-99. —AP


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Newcastle frustrate champions Chelsea Newcastle 1

Chelsea 1

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur’s goalkeeper Heurelho Gomez celebrates his team’s second goal against Liverpool during their English Premier League soccer match at the White Hart Lane ground.—AP

Lennon’s strike sinks Liverpool Tottenham 2

Liverpool 1 LONDON: Aaron Lennon’s stoppage-time winner gave Tottenham Hotspur a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at White Hart Lane here yesterday as Harry Redknapp’s in-form side climbed up the Premier League table. The win moved Spurs into fifth place but taking all three points had appeared beyond them when Martin Skrtel capped an impressive first half display by the visitors with a 42nd minute goal. Tottenham rallied after the break, drawing level when Skrtel turned into his own goal moments after Jermain Defoe had spurned the chance to equalise from the penalty spot. Then Lennon wrapped up the win when Liverpool failed to deal with a Peter Crouch flick and the

winger ran into the box to finish past Pepe Reina. Defeat was harsh on Liverpool, who would have established a more commanding lead had Fernando Torres not missed two good chances either side of half-time. And the visitors’ sense of grievance wasn’t helped by referee Martin Atkinson’s failure to award a penalty when Dirk Kuyt went down under Benoit AssouEkotto’s challenge in the final minutes. Spurs had been boosted before kick-off when Rafael van der Vaart was declared fit after recovering from an ankle problem while Joe Cole’s hoped for return for Liverpool after a hamstring problem was put on hold when the midfielder injured his ankle in training. But problems quickly surfaced for Spurs when van der Vaart pulled up after just ten minutes and was forced out of the game. Redknapp had to make another change before half-time when Younes Kaboul hobbled off but it

was the loss of van der Vaart that really hurt Spurs. With their opponents forced to reorganise, Liverpool adopted a impressively positive approach and it was Tottenham’s Heurelho Gomes who was the busier of the two goalkeepers as Roy Hodgson’s side pressed for the opener. Torres twice set up Maxi Rodriguez and it took an excellent save from Gomes to repel the Argentine’s second effort. Gomes again had to be alert to deny Kuyt and while Spurs created chances at the other end, Liverpool appeared the more threatening. With skipper Steven Gerrard yet to recover from the hamstring injury he sustained on international duty with England, Raul Meireles assumed more responsibility in midfield and helped maintain Liverpool’s forward momentum. Gomes was again called into action when Meireles fired in a low 30 yard shot that the Brazilian keeper almost allowed to squirm under his arms.

Then two minutes later, the Portuguese midfielder clipped a 42nd minute free-kick into the Spurs area where Skrtel headed against the back of team-mate David Ngog and reacted first to stab the ball home. Worse could have followed for the home side with Rodriguez and Torres both spurning clear chances in first-half added-time. The second period started were the first had left off, with Torres again missing a good chance after being sent clear by Lucas Leiva’s through ball. That proved to be Liverpool’s last opening as Spurs upped their tempo. Tottenham were given a route back into the game when Ngog inexplicably handled Gareth Bale’s free-kick but Defoe’s penalty was wide of the target. That proved to be only a temporary reprieve for Liverpool with Skrtel diverting Modric’s low cross past Reina in the 65th minute. The momentum was with Spurs but Liverpool looked set to hold on for a point until Lennon struck.—AFP

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur’s Luka Modric (right) tries to stop Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva (left) during their English Premier League soccer match at the White Hart Lane ground.—AP

Mallorca down strugglers Malaga MADRID: Real Mallorca kept up their push for European football moving into the top six with a 2-0 home win over strugglers Malaga yesterday. Mallorca followed up last weekend’s impressive 2-1 win at Sevilla with another three points as two goals in four minutes clinched victory. Cameroon striker Pierro Webo opened the scoring on 50 minutes and Chori Castro doubled the lead four minutes later to kill off the game as Mallorca moved level on points with Valencia in sixth. Malaga languish third from bottom after their ninth defeat of the campaign with new coach Manuel Pellegrini, who took over at the beginning of November, failing to revive the team’s fortunes. In other matches, Hercules won the battle of the promoted sides triumphing 3-1

over fellow newcomers Levante yesterday. A brace from Paraguayan international Nelson Haedo Valdez and a seventh league goal of the season from veteran France star David Trezeguet sealed a fine home win for Hercules. Real Sociedad are the highest placed of the three promoted sides with a 3-1 away win at Sporting Gijon on Sunday lifting them to ninth two points off the top six. Elsewhere Racing Santander brought an end to Deportivo La Coruna’s four-match unbeaten run with a 1-0 triumph at El Sardinero yesterday. Depor had taken 10 points from the last 12 to move away from the relegation zone but Racing recorded a narrow win thanks to a Markus Rosenberg strike on the hour mark and join Depor on 14 points. Valencia are in action later on Sunday when they host

struggling Almeria at the Mestalla Stadium. Valencia defeated Bursaspor 6-1 to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League in midweek and now turn their attention to the league where they lie fifth four points off the top four. Almeria, second from bottom, were thrashed 8-0 by Barcelona in their last league match and Juanma Lillo paid the price by losing his job and his successor Jose Luis Oltra has a testing debut at Valencia. “I would like Almeria to be brave and competitive in Valencia but considering the situation we are in I would settle for a bad performance and winning 1-0,” confessed Oltra. Elsewhere all eyes will be on Camp Nou on Monday when champions Barcelona host pacesetters and arch rivals Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season. —AFP

NEWCASTLE: Chelsea missed a chance to regain top spot in the English Premier League as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle United at St James’ Park here yesterday. Salomon Kalou’s seventh goal of the season cancelled out an early strike from England forward Andy Carroll to lift the defending champions back above London rivals Arsenal into second place. Chelsea now trail leaders Manchester United by two points in an intriguing title race after their second-half dominance failed to yield a winning goal. This result left the Blues with just one victory and four points from their last five league games. Mid-table Newcastle deserved a point for their efforts in an open encounter at an icy St James’ Park, the match given the goahead despite Tyneside having been under a foot (30cm) of snow less than 24 hours before-kick. Chelsea got off to a bad start by falling behind in the sixth minute with the first goal they’d conceded at St James’ in almost five hours of football spanning four and a half years. Newcastle had already given Carlo Ancelotti’s side early warning when Petr Cech was forced into a smart save to keep out a header from Steven Taylor, the England Under-21 defender making his first start after 10 months out injured. United were soon in front, however, thanks to some shoddy defending from Alex who, under little pressure, misplaced his back-pass to Cech. The ball evaded the stranded keeper, giving Carroll the simple task of tapping the ball into an unguarded net from less than a yard. Stung into action by Carroll’s ninth goal of the season, Chelsea took charge, and with Florent Malouda and Kalou operating down the flanks in a 4-4-2 formation, Tim Krul was forced into a great fingertip save to push an angled drive from Didier Drogba into the side-netting. Alex almost atoned for his error just before the half-hour when he rose well to meet a Nicolas Anelka cross, only to see Jose Enrique clear his header off the line with Krul beaten. There was another scare for Newcastle when, shortly before the interval, Cheik Tiote, back in the side after a one-game ban, appeared to bring down England full-back Ashley Cole in the box. Referee Andre Marriner clearly thought differently, waving away strong Chelsea penalty appeals. But the pressure eventually told when the visitors deservedly levelled through Kalou’s 45thminute effort. Chelsea’s Ivorian midfielder pounced on Malouda’s flick to engineer room in the area as he cut inside Sol Campbell to fire in a low effort right-footed that found the bottom corner after a deflection off Taylor. Krul was the busier keeper after the break as Chelsea went in search of a second, the Dutch-Under-21 international doing well to keep out a stinging Drogba shot on the turn. A neat piece of handling then saw him deal with Branislav Ivanovic’s glancing header after the defender found space following Malouda’s inswinging corner kick. Cole then got forward to force another excellent save from Krul with a powerful angled drive, and Drogba found the net, only for his strike to be correctly ruled out for handball. Kalou hit the side-netting after a mix-up between Krul and Campbell, while substitute Daniel Sturridge should have done better with a late chance. Chelsea’s wastefulness could have had even greater implications but for a stunning goal-line clearance by Cole from a powerful Wayne Routledge shot after a rare mistake from Cech, who failed to claim a free-kick pumped into the box.—AFP

LONDON: Newcastle United’s Andy Carroll (left) vies for the ball with Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel (right) during their English Premier League soccer match at St James’ Park.—AP

EPL results/standings Newcastle 1 (Carroll 6) Chelsea 1 (Kalou 45); Tottenham 2 (Skrtel 65-og, Lennon 90) Liverpool 1 (Skrtel 42). Played Saturday: Aston Villa 2 (Clark 52, 70) Arsenal 4 (Arshavin 39, Nasri 45, Chamakh 56, Wilshere 90); Bolton 2 (Petrov 76, M. Davies 89) Blackpool 2 (Evatt 28, Varney 57); Everton 1 (Cahill 45) West Bromwich 4 (Scharner 16,

Brunt 26, Tchoyi 76, Distin og-87); Fulham 1 (Dempsey 53) Birmingham 1 (Larsson 20); Manchester United 7 (Berbatov 2, 27, 47, 62, 70, Park 23, Nani 48) Blackburn 1 (Samba 83); Stoke 1 (Etherington 90) Manchester City 1 (Richards 81); West Ham 3 (Behrami 34, Obinna 56, Parker 75) Wigan 1 (Cleverley 86); Wolverhampton 3 (Foley 50, Hunt 81, EbanksBlake 89) Sunderland 2 (Bent 67, Wellbeck 77).

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

15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15

8 9 9 7 7 5 4 6 5 5

7 2 2 5 4 8 8 2 4 4

0 4 4 3 4 2 3 7 6 6

35 29 32 20 23 28 19 19 23 17

16 10 17 12 20 22 18 19 22 19

31 29 29 26 25 23 20 20 19 19

Blackpool W Bromwich Blackburn Birmingham Aston Villa Everton Fulham Wigan W’hampton West Ham

15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15

5 5 5 3 4 3 2 3 3 2

4 4 3 8 5 7 9 5 3 6

6 6 7 4 6 5 4 7 9 7

23 20 18 16 17 17 15 11 17 14

29 26 25 18 24 19 18 26 27 26

19 19 18 17 17 16 15 14 12 12

Inter get back on track after Stankovic hat-trick ROME: A hat-trick by Inter Milan’s veteran Serbian midfielder Dejan Stankovic saw the champions to a welcome 5-2 victory over Parma yesterday and ended a run of four Serie A matches without a win. Inter had given Rafael Benitez some breathing space by squeezing through to the last 16 of the Champions League in mid-week when, had they been defeated by Dutch side Twente, many believed the Spanish coach would have been sacked. However, Stankovic’s treble and goals from Argentinian Esteban Cambiasso- who had scored the only goal against Twente-and Thiago Motta saw them to the three points against Parma, for whom veteran Hernan Crespo bagged a brace. “It was a crazy match and we showed that we were a bit crazier,” joked Benitez. “The team played very well and proved its character. I’m happy. “We still believe in the title. The season is still long.” Inter are still seven points adrift of bitter city rivals and league leaders AC Milan, who drew 1-1 at Sampdoria on Saturday. Former leaders Lazio could have moved to within a point of Milan with victory at home to Catania, but they were held to a 1-1 draw. Matias Silvestre gave the visitors the lead in the 44th minute, but Lazio’s Brazilian summer signing Hernanes levelled within a minute as the Rome club

extended their lead over third-placed Juventus to three points. A superb late free-kick from substitute Simone Pepe had earned Juventus a 1-1 draw at home to Fiorentina on yesterday’s. In Sunday’s other mid-afternoon matches, Italy international striker Antonio di Natale claimed a hattrick as improving Udinese inflicted a 3-1 on defeat on Napoli, who remain level on points with Juve in fourth place. Brescia drew 0-0 with Genoa, Cagliari saw off a late fightback to win 3-2 at home to second-bottom Lecce and bottom side Bari drew 1-1 at home to fellow relegation candidates Cesena. Sixth-placed Roma visit seventh-placed Palermo in yesterday’s late game, when victory for Claudio Ranieri’s side would lift them up to third. Former Inter star Crespo gave Parma a fourthminute lead but Inter levelled and then went ahead through two deflected shots from 32-year-old Stankovic, both of which were set up by Frenchman Jonathan Biabiany. Cambiasso scored the third from a corner before his compatriot Crespo reduced the deficit following a poor clearance by Italian central defender Marco Materazzi, who is deputising for long-term injury victim Walter Samuel. —AFP

ITALY: Lazio forward Mauro Zarate of Argentina (center) fights for the ball with Catania’s midfielder Marco Biagianti (left) and midfielder Cristian Llama of Argentina during the Serie A soccer match.—AP


Al-Sayer opens exclusive 7-star Lexus center in Kuwait

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MEED conference to discuss $200m projects market

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BA, Iberia face last-minute hurdle over mega merger

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Monday, November 29, 2010

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EQUATE launches 2 environmental initiatives Mideast’s first Plant Water Recycling Project By Chidi Emmanuel KUWAIT: In a bid to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, the EQUATE Petrochemical Company yesterday launched two major environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives at an impressive celebration held at the AlShuaiba Industrial Zone. The two major projects - Kuwait’s first Green Carbon Project for carbon dioxide recovery and the Middle East’s first plant water recycling project are part of EQUATE’s program to safeguard the environment and reduce its carbon footprint. “These projects are an enduring embodiment of our commitment and dedication to being a valued neighbor in Kuwait and beyond through forging partnerships with relevant bodies as we convert waste into useful substances,” said EQUATE’s President & CEO Hamad Al-Terkait, explaining that the environmental initiatives are in line with the theme of ‘Safeguarding Kuwait’s Environment.’ “EQUATE will continue to provide its utmost contribution and commitment to ensuring the overall sustainability of Kuwait,” the CEO continued. “Our CSR initiatives extend across various social and economic sectors, enabling EQUATE to share its success with the community.” Recognized as a world-class corporation for using Best Practices, EQUATE is, according to its own promotional literature, ‘a highly efficient energy saving organization working towards achieving a cleaner environment.’ The petrochemical company is adopting global green operation concepts and other initiatives, covering GHG emissions reduction and water conservation. “Over the years, EQUATE has demonstrated its commitments to making a positive

245 million gallons of fresh water in Kuwait every year. This reduction in water consumption is equivalent to 7.5 days of complete water consumption by the population of a Kuwait district. The recycling of waste water is the best utilization of Kuwait’s resource.” In 2008, EQUATE signed the Gulf’s first ever carbon emission reduction and capture agreement with greencarbon. “With this, the carbon dioxide available at the company manufacturing process, which was earlier vented out to the atmosphere would be piped to the neighboring greencarbon facility, which will eventually be marketed to various customers requiring the gas for other uses,” Abdullah added.

KUWAIT: EQUATE’s President & CEO Hamad Al-Terkait (right) and other top executives seen during the launching of two major environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)at the Al-Shuaiba Industrial Zone yesterday. difference in the community as it continues to provide valuable and innovative programs across various sectors, such as manpower development, education, community awareness, corporate contributions and the environment,” the CEO said. He noted that the petrochemical company has allocated various resources to achieve sustainability in Kuwait. “Through

EQUATE’s CSR Program, we have launched various programs relevant to critical sectors such as; education [in which field the company sponsors annual university scholarships in cooperation with the Ministry of Education (MoE, as well as participating in activities organized by the MoE and Kuwait University]. - Awareness campaigns in public health and role of plas-

tic in modern life, supporting human resources and career development. Contributing to academic and scientific bodies and preserving and protecting the environment by all possible means,” AlTerkait said. Aimed at achieving ‘Environment, Health and Safety Excellence,’ EQUATE has now launched the Middle East’s first

plant water recycling project. “This will reduce the desalinated water intake annually by 20% as it will recover 80 percent of EQUATE’s process water,” explained EQUATE’s project group execution leader, Abdullah Masoud. “Also, it will build a new irrigation pipeline network thus treating 50 m3/h of EQUATE storm water and making it suitable for irrigation. The aim is to save

What’s in the pipeline? “As part of its contribution to diversifying and supporting the Kuwaiti economy, EQUATE is currently working on using solar energy as alternative energy source as it works towards achieving a zero emission level. Also in the pipeline is the introduction of the ‘smart building’ concept,” Abdullah hinted. EQUATE Petrochemical Company is a Kuwait-based producer of high-quality polyethylene (PE), ethylene glycol (EG) and styrene monomer (SM). Established in 1995, EQUATE is an international joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC). Commencing production in 1997, EQUATE is the single operator of a fully integrated world-scale manufacturing facility, annually producing over five million tons of high-quality petrochemical products which are marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Commodities haunted Dubai won’t need new bailout: Official Asset sales, offering shares in state firms under consideration by strengthening dollar Weekly Commodity Update By Ole S. Hansen

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trading week shortened by US Thanksgiving was driven by Euro woes, political tensions on the Korean peninsula and worries about China tightening monetary policy. The winner on the back of these uncertainties has been the dollar and safe government bonds while riskier assets such as commodities and equities has been mixed with many investors refraining from adding risk with the US market almost absent for most of the week. Risk sentiment suffered a setback last Monday as North Korea sent bombs onto a South Korean island. Although commentators described it as another round of “sabre-rattling” and the impact could prove to be temporary it nevertheless added to the general nervousness across financial markets. The Euro zone nations are fighting a hard battle to contain the spiraling debt mountain which so far has brought down Greece and Ireland and threatening to spread to other countries such as Portugal and very worryingly to Spain. Bond yields on Irish, Portuguese and Spanish government debt rose to their highest points since the launch of the Euro as investors scramble to reduce exposure of fear of what happens next. China once again raised the reserves that commercial banks are required to hold. Given the uncomfortable high level of inflation further action, such as raising official interest rates, seems likely over the coming weeks and months. The Shanghai stock index as a consequence has lost ten percent during the past couple of weeks. The dollar has been the main winner as short positions stemming from the QE2 euphoria has continued to be unwound with traders now much more worried about the near term outlook for the Euro rather than the dollar.

The dollar index has now recovered by 5.5 percent in just three weeks while the Euro has slumped 6.6 percent during the same period. Commodity markets have held up reasonably well despite this dollar strength showing only small losses across sectors. Natural gas has been the best performer as colder weather in the US have supported prices while cotton continues to suffer heavy losses after the vertical rally came to an abrupt halt two weeks ago. The price of WTI Crude has been range bound this past week having found support towards the 80 dollar level despite the stronger dollar. The fundamental outlook has continued to improve, as the global supply glut has been reduced significantly and this point towards higher prices over the coming months. Hedge funds and money managers have shown their hand by continuing to add to existing record long speculative positions. Cold weather across the northern hemisphere will keep prices supported. However until we have further clarification on the European debt situation and subsequent risk of a weaker euro and stronger dollar the upside seems limited. Further news on Chinese measures to curb rising inflation will also keep the market guessing. For now the market is confine to a range between 80 and 85 dollar. Natural gas saw the first withdrawal from underground storage as the winter demand

begins to reduce inventories. Forecast for seasonal colder weather over the coming period have supported prices over the past couple of weeks with natural gas for January delivery having rallied 17 percent during this period. Current inventory levels, which stands at 3,837 billion cubic feet, is still above the five year average so any change back towards the seasonal average could halt the recent rally. Precious metals are caught between buyers who see it as a hedge against Korean tension and European sovereign debt problems while others has been selling it on the back of the continued dollar rally. The previous strong correlation between gold and dollar has evidently gone down recently highlighting gold and silvers ability to attract safe haven demand. Gold measured in Euros has been performing strongly reaching the levels seen during the Greek sovereign crisis back in May. European investors, worrying about the future of the Euro, see gold as a safe haven from the current problems. Total investments in gold ETFs has seen a small decrease during October and November while the speculative long position in futures has decreased by 15 percent for gold and 45 percent for silver during this same period. This indicates that some of the pre QE2 position buildup has now been removed. End of year position squaring has slowly begun increasing the likelihood that the high of 2010 has been seen already while longer term the uptrend is still firmly in place. Current range is 1,385 to 1,340 with additional support at 1,315 and resistance at 1,425. Copper traders will be looking out for any initiatives from the Chinese government to curb inflation as much of the current demand comes from that region. The 12 percent sell off in High Grade Copper for March delivery has been followed by a period of stabilization. — Saxo Bank

DUBAI: Dubai’s top fiscal officials said yesterday the indebted city-state will likely not need another bailout, but noted that cashboosting proposals such as asset sales and offering shares in state-run companies are under consideration. The comments were part of a rare show-and-tell by Dubai’s financial braintrust to claim they have a handle on the debt crunch in the one-time Gulf boomtown. The aim was to portray a sense of calm and optimism a year after the global economic slowdown slammed the brakes on Dubai’s white-hot growth, triggering fears of a broader default as details of the emirate’s huge debt load became apparent. To underscore the importance of the message, the group was joined midway through the presentation by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum, who was personally humbled by the need last year for a $10 billion bailout by his oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. But a senior fiscal adviser, Ahmed Humaid Al-Tayer, said he does not foresee the need for Abu Dhabi to come to the rescue again. “I don’t see the need for more support” from the rulers in the United Arab Emirates’ capital, said Al-Tayer, governor of the Dubai International Financial

Center, the city’s global banking and investment hub. Al-Tayer was joined by other high-ranking financial strategists who presented a barrage of spreadsheet facts as evidence that Dubai has turned a corner, including a rise in air and sea port cargo and growing economic ties to surging markets in India and China. They also noted, however, that Dubai has been forced to retool its priorities from grand, city-sized projects to concentrate on quality-of-life plans, such as Dubai’s elevated metro trains, and business-friendly priorities including a fast-track cargo “corridor” from the Jebel Ali port to a new air terminal in the desert south of the city. “The slowdown that took place over the last two years gave us in Dubai the opportunity to rethink, regroup and return to basics,” said Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed AlMaktoum, whose roles include chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Council. He said tactics in coming years including efforts to strengthen Dubai’s own capital markets and possibly opening some state-owned companies to outside investors. He did not cite any companies, but another top official — Mohammad Ibrahim Al-Shaibani— said shares “might one day” be offered for the fast-growing

carrier Emirates, the region’s biggest airline. In a possible sign of Dubai warming to share sales, mobile phone retailer Axiom Telecom is seeking to raise as much as $382 million next month in the UAE’s first initial stock offering this year. The company is owned by two family firms and Dubai Holding, an indebted conglomerate controlled by Dubai’s ruler. Seeking ways to ease the Dubai Holding debt was described as one of the next steps for Dubai’s fiscal planners. The group includes three real estate companies and the luxury hotel operator Jumeirah Group. The International Monetary Fund estimated earlier this year that Dubai Holding is shouldering $14.8 billion in publicly held debt. One of its divisions has a $1.5 billion Islamic loan coming due next year. Al Shaibani said in a Financial Times interview published Nov. 16 that the emirate had already pumped in $2 billion into the conglomerate and was spearheading its restructuring. At the event with the other finance officials, Al-Shaibani also said some of Dubai’s international holdings could be put up for sale if commercial and property markets rebound. The portfolios of Dubairun companies, including the debt-plagued

Dubai World conglomerate whose financial woes triggered the crisis, include such landmarks as the luxury retail Barney’s New York, a stable of high-end US hotels and stakes in Las Vegas casino operator MGM Mirage and Cirque du Soleil. Al-Shaibani estimated Dubai’s current sovereign debt at about $30 billion, but he said that did not including the “operating” debts of major state-run companies. For example, developer Nakheel — whose projects include Dubai’s palm-shaped artificial island — currently has nearly $24 billion in liabilities, officials said. Earlier this year, the International Monetary Fund estimates the emirate of Dubai is shouldering as much as $109 billion in debt. Al-Shaibani, however, said no sales were “in the cards” for domestic properties and business, which he described as “strategic” elements of Dubai’s long-term goals. On Saturday, the UAE’s economy minister, Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansouri, forecast the UAE’s growth next year at between 3 percent and 3.5 percent. The briefing by Dubai official also coincided with the opening of the World Economic Forum, which is scheduled to bring academics and others from 60 countries to discuss global financial issues.—AP

Ireland says bailout talks complete, EU to OK deal DUBLIN: Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen says his government has completed 10 days of negotiations on an EU-IMF bailout of his debt-crippled country and expects European financial chiefs to ratify the deal yesterday in Brussels. Cowen says in a statement issued by his office that talks which began Nov. 18 in Dublin with International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank experts “are concluding today” in Brussels. He says the Irish Cabinet met late Saturday to approve the plans. Cowen says he expects finance ministers of all 27 EU members to “adopt” the loan plans for Ireland, and for the plan to be published yesterday afternoon. European Union nations planned to sign off on a proposed 85 billion euros ($113 billion) emergency loan for Ireland yesterday in hope of preventing the bloc’s financial crisis from driving Spain and Portugal into an international bailout, officials said. “Today we will conclude about Ireland and we will organize the best solution for the eurozone,” Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders said as he arrived at a hastily called meeting in Brussels. The finance ministers at the meeting were poring over a series of documents

DUBLIN: Protesters burn a poster of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen outside Leinster House in Dublin yesterday.—AP spelling out proposed terms and conditions for loans from across the globe, but chiefly from debt-burdened Ireland’s European partners. With the euro tumbling and interest rates on bonds from Portugal and Spain soaring over the past week despite the

promised loan to Dublin, finance ministers were also scrambling to stabilize the 16nation euro-zone. “It’s not only about aid for Ireland, but together with Ireland about the stability of the common currency,” said Austrian Finance Minister Josef Proell.

Britain’s treasury chief said his country could provide both a bilateral and an EUorganized loan to Ireland, and the EU’s 27 financial chiefs wanted to sign off yesterday on “the details of the whole package.” “Obviously we’ve all come here on a Sunday in order to get some stability. It’s absolutely in Britain’s national interest that we sort out Ireland,” George Osborne told reporters before entering the Brussels conference. When asked about the total amount of a proposed bilateral loan and Britain’s contribution to a wider bailout fund, Osborne said, “That’s precisely what we’re going to discuss today, the details of the Irish package.” The European Central Bank forced Ireland into accepting a bailout this month as it became clear that several state-backed banks in Dublin were struggling to raise funds and were instead relying on §130 billion in short-term loans supplied or approved by the Frankfurt bank. The finance ministers meeting was preceded by a flurry of telephone conversations involving senior EU officials, including Herman Van Rompuy, the EU president, the president of the European Central Bank JeanClaude Trichet as well as Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, the German and French leaders respectively. —AP


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Monday, November 29, 2010

Al-Sayer opens exclusive HH Amir patronizes event •Premier, ministers,

KUWAIT: HH Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah (third left) cutting the laser line.

HH the Premier Sheikh Nasser (right) with Al-Sayer Chairman Mohammad Naser Al-Sayer (Middle) and Executive Vice President of Toyota Motors Yukitoshi Funo.

By Nisreen Zahreddine

HH PM Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, Al-Sayer Chairman Mohammad Naser AlSayer (second right) and Mubarak Al-Sayer (first left) and Toyota Executive Vice president Yukitoshi Funo (far right).

A view of the new showroom from outside.

KUWAIT: Under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Mohamed Nasser Al-Sayer and Sons Automotive Company - the exclusive Lexus dealers in Kuwait – inaugurated a new seven star Lexus Center yesterday. The event was attended by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed AlAhmed Al-Sabah in addition to several ministers, members of the parliament, ambassadors, guests, members of the press and Lexus representative from Japan Yukitoshi Funo, the Executive Vice President of the Toyota Motor Corporation. The event started with a welcome speech by Nasser Mohamed Al-Sayer, Chairman of the Mohammad Nasser Al-Sayer Motor Company. He expressed his gratitude for HH Amir’s patronage of the event and HH the Prime Minister’s attendance. He added that the new Lexus center is an exceptional seven star iconic masterpiece in architecture and will benefit Lexus’s elite customers. He explained that the center is one of the largest Lexus showrooms in the world and features the latest in high-tech equipment. He assured Al-Sayer Group board members and staff that the company will continue to develop innovative ideas to ensure ultimate quality products and luxury services. He also thanked Toyota Motors management for their contribution to the luxury car industry. At the event, Yukitoshi Funo thanked the Al-Sayer Company for being such an important strategic partner. He said he was astonished at Kuwait’s ability to develop by incorporating cutting edge technology while paying respect to its Arabic culture. He pointed out that the history between the Al-Sayer Company and Toyota Motors goes back 56 years, longer even than the history between Kuwait and Japan, which started 50 years ago. He added that the new Lexus center represents the philosophy of putting the customer first, which has been nurtured by Toyota for more than half a century in all the elements related to producing cars. He promised that the Toyota Motor Corporation will put forward their best effort

The hosts of the ceremony.

Members of Al-Sayer family presenting a gift to HH Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad.

Event presenter Sawsan Al-Haroun


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BUSINESS

Monday, November 29, 2010

7-star Lexus center in Kuwait MPs, ambassadors and Toyota officials attend to continue working with the Al-Sayer Motor Corporation by continuing to offer their best products and services. He added that Toyota has closely monitored the situation in the Middle East and that they are delighted with Al-Sayer Motor Corporation’s continued commitment to Lexus. Vice-President Bader Musaed Al-Sayer commenting on a slide show of photos marking the inauguration of the Lexus brand in Kuwait 16 years ago, said the Lexus showroom will be an unforgettable experience for visitors. When the Lexus brand was first launched, Toyota agreed to introduce their luxury brand to the GCC. In just 20 years Lexus has become the best selling luxury car brand in Kuwait, outselling competition and maintaining the highest market share. During the inauguration ceremony, HH the Prime Minister was given a new Lexus as a gift by the Al-Sayer Chairman. A symbolic dance followed the opening ceremony and guests were toured around the showroom. The 3,000 square meter Lexus showroom in Shuwaikh offers seven star service to valued Lexus customers and is a milestone in the luxury car showroom industry in Kuwait. It features a unique architectural design in line with Lexus’s relentless pursuit of perfection. Lexus’s new 3,000 square meter certified car showroom is located in Shuwaikh. It has the capacity to display 20 vehicles and features a complete body shop and paint workshop. The luxury service garage on the ground floor offers a seven star hotel-like service that performs all types of repair including quick service, express maintenance, vehicle wash and a spare parts warehouse. The showroom also boasts a 5,500 square meter mezzanine with an elite lounge for Lexus car owners.

Al-Sayer chairman Mohammad Nasser Al-Sayer delivering his welcome speech.

HH the Premier and Al-Sayer Chairman Mohammad Nasser Al-Sayer stand as national anthem is played.

A group photo of Al-Sayer family members. — Photos by Yasser Al Zayyat HH the Premier (first right), Nasser Al-Sayer (Middle) and Toyota Executive Vice Chairman Yukitoshi Funo (first left)

Toyota Executive Vice President Yukitoshi Funo delivering his speech.

The maintenance and check-up center.

Attendees of the event.

A Lexus car is seen in the showroom.

One of the cars showcased during the event


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BUSINESS GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

Kuwait blue-chips plummet

More Asian Islamic REITs drawing Gulf investors DUBAI: More sharia-compliant real estate investment trusts (REITs) will come to market in Asia in early 2011 as crossregional Islamic investors increasingly embrace the product, HSBC Amanah Malaysia’s new head said. Singapore’s first sharia-compliant REIT, Sabana REIT, listed on Friday, having drawn a mixture of both conventional and Islamic investors, a quarter of them from the Middle East, Chief Executive Rafe Haneef told Reuters on Friday. “The take-up (among Gulf investors) for future Islamic REITs will be a lot greater than that,” said Haneef, who is also managing director of global markets for HSBC Amanah. “At the moment there is no timeline for when other issuers will come out with Islamic REITs, but I would expect more in the first or second quarter of next year,” he said. HSBC Amanah was exploring other Islamic REIT opportunities

KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange started the week with a sharp decline as almost all blue-chip stocks shed for the day pulling the KSE index down with them. Heavy losses were seen in the Investment Sector and in the banking Sector. Global General Index (GGI) closed 2.74 points down (1.26 percent), at 214.78 point. The Market capitalization reached KD34.75mn. Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index closed in the red zone shedding 59.2 points (0.85 percent) from its value and closed at 6,868.8 point. Market breadth During the session, 102 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 75 equities retreated versus 6 that advanced. Volume of shares traded on the exchange decreased by 11.46 percent to reach 148.55mn shares, the value of shares traded decreased by 3.76 percent to stand at KD31.53mn. The Services Sector was the volume leader, accounting for 41.05 percent of total shares, the Banking Sector was the value leader, with 40.98 percent of total traded value. Company-wise, Mubarrad Transport Company was the volume leader, with a total traded volume of 27.56mn shares changing hands. Gulf bank

Monday, November 29, 2010

in Malaysia and Singapore, Haneef said, noting it was financial adviser for the Sabana REIT initial public offering (IPO). Sabana REIT, the world’s largest sharia-compliant property trust, sold 508 million units at S$1.05 each in its IPO this week. The IPO was 2.5-times subscribed. Sabana REIT’s shares closed at S$1.02 on Friday on the Singapore stock market, after being weighed down by jittery market sentiment. On Nov. 23, Dubai Islamic Bank launched the emirate’s first sharia-compliant REIT in a joint venture with French property firm Eiffel Management, a move executives said would help fuel growth in the country’s battered real estate sector. Haneef said sharia-compliant REITs ensured higher-quality investments because the screening process looked at both the underlying asset and the usage of the asset, and does not allow for speculative or risky investments.

Haneef, who was appointed CEO this week, said HSBC Amanah Malaysia continues to see a healthy global pipeline for Islamic finance products-including Islamic bonds, or sukuk-as investors seek to tap the growing $1 trillion market. He expects an increase in global sukuk issuance in the first quarter of 2011, with Middle East investors potentially looking to issue sukuk denominated in the Malaysia ringgit to satisfy interest among corporates and sovereign-linked entities. Sources said Dubai plans to issue about $1.5 billion worth of sovereign sukuk in Malaysia as the Gulf Arab emirate looks to tap the world’s largest Islamic bond market to diversify its funding avenues. “We were the first to bring a Middle East credit to the Malaysia ringgit sukuk,” Haneef said. “Currently, there’s a price advantage to tapping the Malaysian ringgit and swapping it back to dollar.” —Reuters

Pain keeps coming for Irish homeowners

was the value leader, with a total traded value of KD4.95mn. In terms of top gainers, Kuwait Cable Vision Co was the biggest gainer for the day, adding 6.90 percent and closed at KD0.062. On the other side, Global Investment House came in as the biggest decliner, dropping by 8.93 percent

and closed at KD0.051. Sector-wise On a sector by sector basis, seven out of the eight sectors of the market edged lower. The Investment index was the biggest decliner for the day, shedding 1.85 percent. National Investment Company dipped by 25fils,

reaching KD0.405. Global Investment House retreated also ending the day as the top decliner. Global Food Index was the only gainer, adding 2.02 percent in gains. Kuwait Food Company (Americana) ended the day being in the top gainers list, and adding 2.63 percent to reach KD1.560.

Corporate news A committee representing most of the creditors of Kuwait’s Investment Dar has threatened to quit if the company does not consider its new debt restructuring plan. The company said in a statement that the plan was not acceptable to the firm and it will now go to court to resolve the dispute.

DUBLIN: The spectacular collapse of Ireland’s once-booming economy has left a generation of young Irish families saddled with enormous home loans-and the housing market shows little sign of improving. As the Irish government and officials from the EU and the IMF thrashed out the final details of an 85-billion-euro ($114-billion) bailout this week, thousands of people were doing their own sums. The amounts involved might be more modest, but for those who have lost their jobs or face wage cuts, they are no less painful, with many houses worth half what they were just over two years ago. Michael Goulding and his wife Tracey,

both 32, are typical examples of a couple who were encouraged to borrow to the hilt when times were good. Now they are one of nearly 90,000 Irish homeowners who have fallen behind with their loan repayments. When Michael, an electrician by training, sold his first house in 2006 just four years after buying it, he and his wife decided to think big. “The bankers were trying to give more money. ‘Don’t you want any furniture?’, they said. They were so eager, we felt secure,” Michael recalled. Property developers found the banks equally welcoming, helping to fuel an astonishing construc-

tion boom. Flushed with a feeling of prosperity, the Gouldings took a 30-year home loan with repayments of 1,600 euros a month and sank it into a 460,000-euro house on a brand new estate in Belmayne Park in northern Dublin. “We could afford it. Tracey’s wage was paying the mortgage and the bills. And mine the rest,” Michael said. On the face of it, the estate has everything going for it: it is close to Dublin airport, the main road and is served by a commuter train service and shopping centres were planned to serve the thousands of houses developers had wanted to build. —AFP


BUSINESS

Monday, November 29, 2010

25

MEED conference to discuss ALP appoints Easa Husain Al-Yousifi & Sons $200 million projects market Co as its exclusive agent in Kuwait and Iraq NBK, KPC, govt officials to outline opportunities KUWAIT: Opportunities in Kuwait’s $200 billion projects market will be in the spotlight at a three-day conference hosted by MEED, a primary source of business intelligence for the Middle East. The conference, to be held from today to Wednesday 1 December at the JW Marriott Hotel, will update delegates on major developments in Kuwait’s project market. The opening day will focus on the National Plan, the oil and gas sector and water projects. Day two will be dedicated to mega-infrastructure and real estate projects, while the third day has been set aside for the PPP focused masterclass. A keynote speaker at the conference, Farouk Al-Zanki, Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, said: “Kuwait’s economy is supported by a commitment to longterm economic diversification through sustained investments in various sectors. The country boasts one of the most buoyant projects market in the region, with plenty of opportunities. These opportunities will be the main focus of the conference.” Al-Zanki will use his address at the conference to update delegates on Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s achievements, current projects and future plans. Other keynote speakers addressing the 6th Annual Kuwait Projects Conference include Eng Abdulaziz Al Kulaib, Undersecretary, Ministry of Public Works, Kuwait, who will be showcasing the mega-projects being planned and executed by the Ministry of Public Works; and Shaikha Al-Bahar, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), who will speak about successfully delivering mega-projects in Kuwait in line with the 2035 vision. NBK, the leading banking

Farouk Al-Zanki institution in Kuwait, is the strategic partner of the event. Kuwait Petroleum Company is the supporting partner. The event’s primary focus will be on those sectors identified as presenting the best commercial opportunities. Other confirmed speakers addressing vital sector issues include: Sami Al-Rushaid, Chairman and Managing Director, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) • Eng. Mohammad Boshehri, Director of Planning and Followup for Power Station Projects, Ministry of Electricity and Water, Kuwait • Dr. Hashem Al-Tabtabaei, Technical Team Leader, Partnership Technical Bureau (PTB), Ministry of Finance, Kuwait • Tarek Sultan, Chairman and Managing Director, Agility • Anas A. Kassem, General Manager (Kuwait) and Director

of Transportation (Middle East), Parsons Brinckerhoff • Nezar Al-Sayegh, Assistant Manager for Transport Master Plan Department, Kuwait Municipality • Dr. Rana Al-Fares, Director - Kuwait University Construction Programme, Kuwait University • Dr. Dalal Alwadaani, Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital, Ministry of Health, Kuwait • Eng. Mahdy Al Dhakheel, Director of Projects Department - Kuwait International Airport, Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) Kuwait Projects Conference 2010 is part of MEED’s comprehensive portfolio of large-scale summits and conferences that offer businesses unique one-toone networking opportunities and facilitate the showcasing of solutions to key target groups and niche professionals.

KUWAIT: The Italian company ALP, leader In the HVAC technologies, has signed an exclusive distribution ship agreement with the company Ease Husain Al-Yousifi & Sons for Kuwait and Iraq. ALP and Easa Husain AlYousifi & Sons have finalized the agreement for the distribution and promotion of ALP products. The Kuwaiti company is always an important reference point in the local market for the supply of air ventilation devices for Kuwait and Iraq. This is an important agreement between ALP, a leading company in the HVAC technological innovation especially in such sensitive milieus where the air contamination is a serious problem (like hospitals, pharmaceutical and food industries, public and private sector) and Easa Husain Al-Yousifi & Sons, a specialized company and leader in the distribution of new technologies. The background of these two companies is surely a successful guarantee for this collaboration thanks to ALP know-how and the distribution power of Easa Husain Al-Yousifi & Sons. This agreement was signed on behalf of ALP, by their legal representative law office in Kuwait represented by Ahmad Nashmi Al-Zafiri. Thanks to its continuous studies and researches ALP has changed the concept of air distribution in the world developing a new technology called ALPactive Antimicrobial able to kill more than 600 families of microorganisms, virus, bacteria and moulds so granting, at the same time, a pure and safe air in all the milieus including those ones with an high risk of contamination such as schools, canteens, operating theatres, hospitals, food and pharmaceutical industries. The active principle of this technology is a natural silver

NBK MONEY MARKETS REPORT

The safe haven status is back KUWAIT: The market focus has shifted from quantitative easing to the debt concerns in peripheral Europe. The highlight was on Ireland budget cuts, S&P two-notch downgrade, and the Spain/Portugal debt status, which coupled with tensions between the Koreans, pushed the US dollar to gain across the board. Euro started the week at a high of 1.3786 and closed as low as 1.3245. The sterling pound also had a negative performance as it opened last Monday at 1.6085 and closed on Friday at a low of 1.5595. The Japanese Yen traded in a narrow range, touched a high of 82.76, and closed lower at 84.07. The Swiss Franc started the week around the 0.98 level and closed Friday at 1.0024. Federal Reserve policy makers disagreed over expanding record monetary stimulus this month, with a majority seeing a boost to growth and employment and a minority concerned about inflation and the US dollar. Fed minutes of the November 2-3 meeting saw additional securities purchases in order to keep interest rates low and boost asset prices. The Fed also said it is considering ways to improve communication with the public, such as initiating press briefings by Chairman Ben Bernanke. The report illustrates the tension within the Fed over the decision to buy $600 billion of Treasuries, which has since attracted criticism from Republican politicians at home and some governments abroad. Increased internal disagreement over the purchases may hamper officials’ decision to complete the entire amount of purchases scheduled through June. The US economy grew more than previously calculated in the third quarter, led by stronger consumer spending and fueled by labor income gains that may stoke demand into 2011. The revised 2.5% increase in gross domestic product compares with a 2% estimate issued last month and a 1.7%

KUWAIT: Officials attending the function that was held to announce the partnership agreement between ALP and Easa Husain Al-Yousifi & Sons for the distribution and promotion of ALP products in Kuwait and Iraq. — Photos by Joseph Shagra based antimicrobial compound that acts directly against the microorganisms cells interrupting their metabolism and reproduction. The use of air ductworks fabricated by using ALPactive Antimicrobial technology can grant a reduction over 99,99999% against many dangerous microbes. Since 1973 Easa Husain AlYousifi & Sons is a leading active operator in the distribution of high quality devices and appliances: it is the exclusive agent of YORK and it has different contracting divisions in Kuwait. Its long experience in trading Is connected to a specific know-how in HVAC field. The distributionship contract will allow ALP to reinforce its already strong presence in Kuwait and in the GCC: ALP technology and products have been already used for prestigious and important jobs In those countries. “We are going to be present in this market in a more careful

and aggressive way,” said Giuseppe Librizzi, ALP President - Kuwait and Iraq are the ideal countries where our technologies can be applied considering the growing incen-

tive towards high-tech and sophisticated building planning and the stronger research of solutions that must be efficient in terms of application and also, at the same time, must be able

Gulf Bank announces winners of the week Maintain Al-Danah account balance to enter KD1m draw

rise in the second quarter. Consumer purchases rose at the fastest pace since the last three months of 2006. Employee wages in the six months through September were revised up by about $59 billion, indicating Americans may ramp up their spending heading into the holiday shopping season. Along with gains in corporate investment in new equipment, the figures show an evolving expansion led more by demand and less by inventory restocking. Durable goods Orders for US durable goods unexpectedly decreased in October, raising the risk that companies will scale back on investments in new equipment. Demand dropped 3.3%, the biggest plunge since January 2009, after a revised 5% jump in September that was larger than previously estimated. A slowdown in capital spending would deprive the world’s largest economy of a source of strength just as household purchases are starting to accelerate. Housing sector Sales of new and existing homes fell more than forecast in October, showing near record-low borrowing costs are failing to lift the industry that precipitated the recession. Purchases decreased 8.1% to a 283,000 annual rate for new home sales, while existing home sales decreased by 2.2% to 4.43 million. Applications for unemployment benefits fell

more than forecast last week to the lowest level since July 2008, reinforcing evidence the labor market is healing. Jobless claims declined by 34,000 to 407,000 in the week ended November 20; fewer firings lay the groundwork for a pickup in job creation that will generate income and spur consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of the economy. Even with companies firing fewer workers, unemployment will be slow to decline, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest forecast in which policy makers also lowered their growth projections. Europe Ireland’s government announced sharp public spending cuts and tax rises to dry out its debt-soaked economy. However, it failed to dispel the fears of European politicians that the euro-zone’s turmoil could spread to Portugal and to Spain. In a four-year austerity plan without parallel in Ireland’s recent history, the government will cut the minimum wage by almost 12%, slash welfare expenditure, reduce public sector pay and lower the rate at which earners start to pay income tax. Expenditure will be cut by Ä10 billion and taxes raised by Ä5 billion between 2011 and 2014. The plan is designed to win approval from Ireland’s European Union partners and the International Monetary Fund for an emergency rescue package that Brian Cowen, prime minister, estimated at

about Ä85 billion. The government struck a defiant note by refusing to bow to French- and German-led pressure to raise Irish corporation tax, which at 12.5% is viewed in some EU countries as undermining fair competition. Growth in Europe’s services and manufacturing industries unexpectedly accelerated for the first time in four months in November as companies weathered the debt crisis and cooling global growth. The Euro region’s services index rose to 55.2 in November from 53.3 in October. The manufacturing gauge increased to 55.5 from 54.6. German business confidence unexpectedly surged to a record high in November as domestic spending increased, bolstering the economic outlook. The Munich-based IFO institute said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, rose to 109.3 from 107.7 in October. That is the highest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991. UK export growth helped the economy extend its recovery in the third quarter as growth in consumer, government, and investment spending slowed by more than half. Gross domestic product rose 0.8% from the previous three months. Exports rose 2.2% after a 2.3% increase in the previous three months. Kuw ait Dinar at 0.28175 The USDKWD opened at 0.28175 yesterday morning.

KUWAIT: Gulf Bank held its 42nd Al-Danah draw on November 22, 2010, announcing a total number of 2 Al-Danah weekly prize draw winners, each awarded with prizes of KD 1,000. The winners were: Bader Erkhayes Al-Badri and Sayed Mousa Sayed Mahdy Sayed Mohamed. Gulf Bank encourages everyone in Kuwait to maintain the balance in their Al-Danah accounts to increase the opportunities in becoming the next lucky Al-Danah winner. Not only does Gulf Bank’s Al Danah allow customers to win, but it also encourages customers to save money. Chances increase the more money is maintained and the longer it is kept in the account. Al-Danah also offers a number of unique services including the Al-Danah Deposit Only ATM

card which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience; as well as the AlDanah calculator which is now in operation to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an Al-Danah winner. To be part of the Al-Danah draws customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 53 branches, transfer on line, or call the Telebanking service 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Customers can also log on to www.e-gulfbank.com, Gulf Bank’s bilingual website, to find all the information regarding Al-Danah or any of the Bank’s products and services or log on www.e-gulfbank.com/aldanahwinners, to find out more about Al-Danah and who the winners are.

SWIFT Sharia compliant for Murabaha AAOIFI certification enables the automated processing of Murabaha treasury transactions LONDON: SWIFT yesterday announced that ISO 15022 message standards for the processing of treasury Murabaha transactions have been certified compliant with the international Islamic finance standards issued by AAOIFI (Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions). This certification paves the way towards the automated processing of Murabaha treasury transactions, which reportedly represent 60% of all Islamic financing. Murabaha includes a money transfer and a commodity trade. SWIFT has carried the money transfer for many years, whilst the commodity trade has been completed manually, usually by fax without any globally agreed standard. SWIFT’s solution uses the ISO 15022 message standards within the guidelines of a Murabaha Standards Rulebook (the guidelines can be downloaded from www.swift.com/IslamicFinance). “AAOIFI is responsible for global Islamic finance industry standards and we establish best practices for the industry”, said Dr. Mohamad Nedal Alchaar, Secretary General of AAOIFI. “Our collaboration with SWIFT aims to build a well-structured and well-regulated international Islamic finance infrastructure”. Alain Raes, SWIFT’s Chief Executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, who accepted the compliance certificate on SWIFT’s behalf at the recent Sibos conference in Amsterdam, said: “SWIFT is very pleased to have AAOIFI’s endorsement. Our goals are aligned and we serve the same members. Murabaha automation is the first step on a long journey of collaboration with the Islamic financial community.” The use of ISO 15022 messages over SWIFT does not change the current process between banks, their customers and brokers. However,

the data defined in the schedules under the terms of the Master Murabaha Agreement is now exchanged using standardized messages via SWIFT as opposed to bilaterally agreed confirmations exchanged manually. Participants involved in Murabaha will benefit from a globally agreed electronic standard, automation which will lead to a reduction in costs and risk, and an audit trail for Sharia compliance. Mohammed Paracha, Deputy Global Head of Islamic Finance at international legal practice Norton Rose Group first highlighted the possibility of Murabaha processing over SWIFT. Mr. Paracha commented, “The Islamic Finance industry continues to rely on Murabaha transactions as its bedrock form of liquidity management. In the absence of alternatives, the industry should see the introduction of SWIFT and its endorsement by AAOIFI as an extremely positive step, reducing its back-office operations cost base for each trade. In addition, the implementation of SWIFT messaging into systems could lead the way to the automation of Shariah compliance and auditing More than 240 Islamic banks representing 84% of global Sharia compliant assets are members of SWIFT. “We have worked with numerous banks and brokers in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Malaysia and the UK to understand their needs and enable the ISO 15022 messages as a solution”, said Peter Ware, Head of SWIFT’s Islamic Finance Initiative. Islamic finance is growing at more than 20% per annum, and the demand for Sharia compliant messaging standards is increasing as a result. SWIFT is working with the Islamic financial community to address this demand, both at the level of individual banks, and with organizations such as AAOIFI and AIBIM (the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia).

to assure a safe and pure air. Easa Husain Al-Yousifi & Sons is the only exclusive distributor that can support us in increasing our presence in this area.”

Iraq’s West Qurna to hit 750K bpd BAGHDAD: Production from Iraqís prized West Qurna Stage 1 oil field should more than triple to 750,000 barrels a day in three years time, an oil official said yesterday. The 8.6 billion barrel field, which is being developed by a consortium grouping Exxon Mobil and Shell, was among those awarded by Iraq during one its first international oil licensing rounds last year and is seen as a key part of the countryís drive to boost overall output of a resource on which it relies for 95 percent of its foreign revenues. West Qurna Stage 1 currently produces 234,000 barrels per day, Mahdi Swadi, the head of the joint management commission that runs the field, told The Associated Press. Output is set to climb to 270,000 barrels per day by May, he said. Although Iraq sits on the worldís fourth largest oil reserves, with 143.1 billion barrels according to the governmentís latest estimates, it is producing and exporting far below its potential. Foreign companies are seen as key to reviving the sector and ramping up output. Under the agreement between Iraq and the companies, production from the West Qurna Stage I field should reach 2.825 million barrels a day after 6 to 7 years. The consortium will be paid $1.9 per barrel for each barrel produced. That production target is up from the 2.325 million barrels a day target when the deal was announced last fall. — AP

KD at 0.281 fils against dollar KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti dinar was traded at 0.281 fils against the US dollar yesterday while its rate decreased against the euro, settling at 0.373 fils. The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) said on its website that the rate of the national currency decreased to 0.439 fils against the sterling, 0.003 fils against the yen and was 0.280 against the Swiss franc. The stability of the US dollar exchange rates against major currencies came as a result of investors’ willingness to take risk after taking notice of the positive economic statistics that came out of the US economy. — KUNA


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BUSINESS

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ouattara the economist seeks top Ivorian job ABIDJAN: “I am first and foremost an economist,” Ivorian opposition leader Alassane Ouattara said during an unprecedented live TV debate with President Laurent Gbagbo on Thursday night. “So I ask you to put trust in me.” The former international banker and IMF deputy director long ago abandoned the polite world of finance and global economic policy for the grimy bear pit of Ivorian politics, resigning from the IMF to contest the presidency in 1999. His eye has been on the job ever since the 1993 death of post-independence president Felix

Houphouet-Boigny, which marked the end of decades of agricultural export-led prosperity that built palmlined boulevards and skyscrapers. Blocked from running in a previous poll because of question marks over his Ivorian nationality, he has never been so tantalisingly close to the top job as with yesterday’s runoff against the incumbent Gbagbo. Throughout his campaign, Ouattara has traded heavily on the reputation for competent economic management he earned as prime minister under Houphouet-Boigny, when he won praise for his handling of a financial crisis caused by a collapse

in coffee and cocoa prices in the 1980s and spiralling external debt. Supporters of his Rally of the Republicans (RDR) party, heavily drawn from the largely Muslim rebel-held north, often say they back him because he will be able to get Ivory Coast’s crisis-plagued economy back on track. “This country was prosperous 20 years ago, we were amongst the leaders,” Ouattara said in the TV debate. “The plan I envisage will solve Ivory Coast’s economic and social problems”. His technocratic style could hardly be more different from Gbagbo’s.

Ouattara, 68, rarely talks the creolised street French spoken by most poor Ivorians that comes so easily to Gbagbo, preferring the polished version acquired during exile in France. Unlike Gbagbo, who plays a nationalist card by flaunting a dislike of the French, Ouattara makes no secret of his love of the former colonial power’s culture. He eats fine French food, while Gbagbo prefers to be seen eating traditional grilled chicken with his hands. The contrast has enabled Gbagbo to paint Ouattara as a stooge of the French. Ouattara denies but has never quite been able to shake off

accusations that he was behind the 2002 rebellion against Gbagbo that split the country in two, leaving its northern half in the hands of rebels, many of them from his Dioula ethnic group. That war was started largely as a result of xenophobic policies by successive Ivorian governments against migrant farmers from Burkina Faso and Mali, but which also targeted northern Ivorians with cultural ties to them. Ouattara was excluded from running for president in the contested 2000 presidential poll on the grounds that one of his parents was

from Burkina Faso. That poll brought Gbagbo to power but also triggered ethnic bloodshed that the formerly stable nation had never seen. Gbagbo’s rhetoric in this campaign, calling Ouattara “a candidate for the foreigners” has played on those suspicions. Born in Dimbokro in the centre of Ivory Coast on January 1, 1942, he studied in the United States and has a University of Pennsylvania economics doctorate. He served as governor of the West African central bank (BCEAO) from 1988 to 1990. After former President Henri

Konan Bedie came third in the first round of the presidential race, Ouattara reaffirmed a pact with him against Gbagbo, forgetting the bitter power struggle he had with Bedie for the presidency after HouphouetBoigny’s death. Whether or not he wins will depend on whether Bedie’s supporters back this alliance by giving Ouattara their votes. Ouattara is married to French national Dominique Folleroux, a real estate entrepreneur who been at his side for much of the campaign. He has two children from a previous marriage. —Reuters

Shareholders vote today as sector limps back to normal

BA, Iberia face last-minute hurdle over mega merger LONDON: Shareholders in British Airways and Iberia vote today on whether to approve a multi-billion-euro merger creating Europe’s second biggest airline as the sector recovers after a severe economic downturn. Investors in London and Madrid are widely expected to back the tie-up, that will value the

pair at a combined 6.6 billion euros, after the share prices of BA and Iberia have spiked by about 40 and 70 percent respectively this year. The boards of the British and Spanish airlines agreed a deal in April, while EU competition regulators have also given the green light for a full alliance. “The BA/Iberia merger allows the two carriers to ‘catch up’ to rival groupings such as Air France KLM and Lufthansa,” said independent aviation analyst John Strickland. “It provides a wider overall network, with Iberia bringing its Latin American presence to the table and BA its strength across the North Atlantic and to the Middle East and Asia,” he told AFP. A tie-up, on schedule to be completed in January, would create Europe’s secondbiggest airline by market capitalization after Germany’s Lufthansa, and fly 60 million passengers a year. BA and Iberia sought to merge as the global economic downturn and the rise of lowcost airlines resulted in steep losses for traditional carriers. However since the tie-up announcement, the pair have overcome travel chaos due to LONDON: Investors in London and Madrid are widely expected to back the tie-up, that will value the BA-Iberia strikes and the volcanic ash pair at a combined 6.6 billion euros, after the share prices of BA and Iberia have spiked by about 40 and 70 per- cloud to post healthy returns to profit, indicating that the cent respectively this year. sector is on a path to recovery after the deep recession. The landmark Anglo-Spanish deal would create annual savings of around 400 million euros by the fifth year of the merger, which would see the creation of a new holding company with a primary shares listing in London. BA would hold 55 percent lost 99 million dollars and Cote d’Ivoire 139 TRIPOLI: Africa’s leaders, frustrated after of poverty. of the new capital and Iberia “China is doing a lot that’s tangible and million. almost a decade of failed efforts to seal 45 percent. There are fears also that a sudden trade deals with Europe, are heading into a new,” said Andrew Sherif of Netherlands“There will be opportunisummit with the European Union next based thinktank, the European Centre for removal of barriers opening the floodgates ties for increased efficiencies Development Policy Management. “Africa to European products would harm fledgling week ready to do battle, or walk out. over time-such as in fleet pur“If there’s no progress, we may as well now has more options,” he told AFP. On African manufacturing before it can stand chasing and operating plans go back to square one,” said an African the other hand, the Africans complain the on its own two feet. “We need time to and in joint marketing and Union diplomat, speaking on condition of EU is setting conditions for the EPAs that strengthen in some areas,” the source sales,” added Strickland. anonymity ahead of talks today and will throw up new hurdles for poor coun- added. “Nevertheless the manageSaying the EU needed “to take a fresh Tuesday in the Libyan capital. The gather- tries striving for economic progress. ment will have to work hard to Britain-based NGO, Oxfam, said the approach” at today and tomorrow’s summit, ing will involve 80 EU and African Union integrate the two companies African Union had drafted a paper ahead of Elise Ford, who heads Oxfam’s EU office, nations. given their different geographAfter years of wrangling over Economic the summit “suggesting radical new ways called on the 27-nation bloc to stand up and ic locations and different Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between forward, including-if no progress is made- “truly listen” to African demands. national cultures.” the two continents, the prickly issue was the abandonment of the EPA negotiations “European leaders must get ready to As part of new holding altogether.” The stand has the backing of all demonstrate flexibility and make concesstudiously left off the summit agenda. company International But irate African leaders are flying into of Africa’s six regional economic communi- sions in Libya or risk ending up with egg on Consolidated Airlines Group, Tripoli brandishing ultimatums, the source ties, Oxfam said in statement. Topping their faces,” she said. BA and Iberia would each Figures released by the bloc on the eve Africa’s gripes are EU demands that its said. retain their current operations Africa’s leading aid donor, the EU nations eliminate most import tariffs. “But of the summit showed renewed growth in and individual brands. Current remains its top trading partner but risks customs duties for many poor small nations trade between the EU-27 and Africa for the BA chief executive Willie being elbowed aside as Brazil, India and account for the major part of government first nine months this year. Exports stood Walsh would become chief other emerging giants join China in chasing revenue,” the diplomat told AFP. “This at 90 billion euro against 79 billion in the executive of the new group same 2009 period, and imports at 96 billion the spoils of the resource-rich continent. cannot help us develop.” and Iberia chairman Antonio “We need compensation in such cases,” against 79. China has pumped billions in investments Vazquez would be chairman. Main imports included oil, gas and diain oil, mining and manufacturing while win- he added. Saying commitments by African The merger cleared a signing hearts and minds with soft loans and countries in EPAs should be matched by monds, while main exports included petrol, nificant hurdle when Iberia aid in infrastructure and energy, geared to financial commitments from the EU, Oxfam medicine and cereals, said the bloc’s statissaid it had decided not to exerlift the world’s most destitute continent out said for instance that Cameroon stood to tics office, Eurostat. —AFP cise its right to cancel the deal over a BA employees’ pensions deficit of 3.7 billion pounds (4.4 billion euros, $5.8 billion). SYDNEY: A Qantas A380 carrying since a midair engine explosion Sydney-Singapore-London flight as grounded its six A380s after a RollsAwaiting finalization of the more than 450 passengers, includ- three weeks ago triggered a global a sign of the airline’s conviction that Royce Trent 900 engine on one of merger, BA recently launched ing the airline’s chief executive, safety review. it had completed all modifications the superjumbos disintegrated a transatlantic alliance with took to the skies on Saturday in the Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said he and other checks on the Rolls- shortly after takeoff from Singapore Iberia and American Airlines, first flight by one of its superjumbos was flying the first leg of the Royce engines, and the planes were on Nov. 4, sending shrapnel slicing pledging cheaper fares and safe to fly. “We are 100 percent through a wing and causing multiple more travel choice. comfortable with it,” Joyce told problems for the pilots before they BA rebounded to a net reporters. “If we weren’t, we managed to safely land the jetliner wouldn’t be restarting the opera- back in Singapore. profit of 107 millions pounds tions today.” But Australia’s flagInvestigators say leaking oil for the six months to ship airline suffered another public caught fire in the engine and heatSeptember, its first interim relations setback the same day ed metal parts, causing them to profit for two years, while the when a Boeing 747 flight from disintegrate. Experts say chunks first-half earnings compared Sydney to London via Bangkok was of flying metal cut hydraulics and with a net loss of 217 million grounded in Sydney overnight due an engine-control line in the wing pounds a year earlier. to a “wiring issue,” Qantas of the A380, causing the loss of Iberia posted profit after spokesman Tom Woodward said. control of a second engine and tax of 53 million euros for the Flight QF1 with 351 passengers loss of some braking power, fuel nine months to September, aboard was taxiing toward take off leaks and more than 50 on-board recovering from a loss of 182 at 6:05 p.m. local time (07:05 GMT) warnings. It was the most serious million euros a year earlier. when the pilot detected a problem safety incident for the world’s SYDNEY: A Qantas A380 superjumbo takes off past with one of the jet’s four Rolls- largest and newest jetliners. The healthy results were the latest evidence of a strengthOther airlines using the Trent 900 the fire department building at Mascot Airport in Royce engines, he said. ening recovery in the airline The flight was canceled at 9 p.m. engine on A380s — Singapore Sydney on Saturday. The superjumbo took off from because there was insufficient time Airlines and Germany’s Lufthansa industry which was savaged Sydney on Saturday on the first A380 passenger flight to fix the fault before an 11 p.m. cur- — also briefly grounded some by the worldwide economic for the airline since a midair engine explosion earlier few for planes taking off and landing planes while safety checks were slump that hammered demand for air travel. —AFP at Sydney airport, he said. Qantas conducted. —AP this month triggered a global safety review. —AP

Africa lashes out at Europe on trade at summit eve

KIEV: Protesters protesting a draft tax law in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010. About 6,000 people gathered in Ukraine’s capital Thursday on the fourth day of demonstrations against tax law changes, part of a nationwide wave of protests that is the biggest since the Orange Revolution of 2004. Flags give the names of towns, regions and organizations protesters are from. The poster, center, says against tax reforms initiated by Ukrainian prime minister Mykola Azarov. —AP

Reforms to come into force on Jan 1

Ukraine tax protests test mettle of new president KIEV: President Viktor Yanukovych is undergoing his biggest test since taking power, over tax reforms that sparked the biggest protests in Ukraine since the Orange Revolution, analysts said. The reforms passed earlier this month by parliament are due to come into force on January 1 but the bill still needs to be signed by the president, who on Saturday indicated he might refuse it. Thousands of Ukrainians have turned out in noisy demonstrations across the country against the reforms, in a nasty surprise for Yanukovych just as he seemed to be asserting his authority after taking power in February. Ukraine has not seen protests on this scale since the 2004 Orange Revolution popular uprising that ousted the old elite and installed Yanukovych’s pro-Western predecessors in power. The burly president-who has made stability his mantra-on Saturday took the unusual step of meeting protestors in the capital, saying he was likely to veto the tax reforms but the decision required further review. The protestors have set up tents for a non-stop sit-in on Kiev’s Independence Square that was the hub of the Orange Revolution, in a jolting reminder for Yanukovych of the perils of ignoring public anger. “The likelihood of a veto is high,” Yanukovych said as he met the protestors alongside Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. “But we can say more about it later, after we all sit down

together and review the tax code again.” The protests have been led by small business owners and the self-employed, who argue that the tax changes will ruin their livings by benefiting only big firms close to Yanukovych’s ruling Regions Party. “The protests have been an unpleasant surprise for the presidential administration. I think they did not expect such mass protest,” said Volodymyr Fesenko of the Gorshenin Institute of Management Issues in Kiev. “The authorities were not ready and underestimated the possibility of such mass protests. For the first time in the last five years, we are seeing large protests by social groups, even if their numbers are not comparable to 2004.” Yanukovych rose to prominence as a politician with the support of industrial magnates in his home region in east Ukraine, and Fesenko said the protests had shown up the failure of the administration to communicate with ordinary people. “I will take the decision which best protects the interests of everyone, above all the state,” Yanukovych told AFP in an interview last week. The government has defended the tax changes, saying they will close up loopholes that have allowed small businessmen and the self-employed to get by paying tax on a largely ad-hoc basis. According to Olena Belan, economist at Dragon Capital in Kiev, most anger has been caused by the increase in the powers of the tax administration rather than specific tax hikes

themselves. Ukraine is under pressure to improve its fiscal discipline under the terms of a new loan deal agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the financial crisis plunged the country into a deep recession. But Belan noted that the tax dispute was largely a separate issue, as while the IMF wanted more fiscal discipline from the government, its drive was about cutting expenditures and not increasing revenues. Thanos Arvanitis, IMF mission chief for Ukraine, said this month “that the tax code is expected to be broadly revenue neutral.” In another worry for the authorities, the protests have shown a rare unity across a country often marked by stark regional divisions. The Orange Revolution was greeted rapturously in the Ukrainian-speaking West of Ukraine but with suspicion in the Russian-speaking industrial east. But protests have taken place in Yanukovych’s home stronghold of Donetsk in the east of Ukraine and the central industrial city of Dnipropetrovsk, as well as the nationalist bastion of Lviv in the west. In Kiev meanwhile, the city court has banned protests in the city centre but the police have made no effort to disperse the demonstrators. “The authorities do not know what do to with the protestors, resort to force or find a compromise,” said political commentator Vitaly Portnikov, warning that any use of force could provoke a new uprising. —AFP

Qantas A380 returns to air after engine blowout

Incomer Estonia unfazed by euro-zone turmoil TALLINN: Euro-zone turmoil over Greece and now Ireland, plus jitters about Portugal and Spain, have failed to faze Estonia as the Baltic state braces to become the currency bloc’s 17th member. Estonia swaps its kroons for euros on January 1, with its centre-right government confident the move will boost the nation of 1.3 million as it emerges from a deep slump. Estonia, a former Soviet-ruled republic which joined the European Union in 2004, will be the third ex-communist state to adopt the euro after Slovenia in 2007 and Slovakia last year. “No country is fully protected from crises, but the crises that have hit Greece and Ireland do not threaten Estonia provided we stick to our policy of a balanced budget and low debt,” Economy Minister Juhan Parts told AFP. Estonia won a “tiger” label for its breakneck growth after embracing the free market with gusto following

independence from Moscow in 1991. It had a conservative fiscal policy even before its recent sharp recession which sparked a biting austerity drive. The belt-tightening was also meant to protect its euro drive. The 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European economic and monetary union sets hurdles to adopting the currency. Estonia got a green light to join in July. Would-be euro-zone members must keep their public deficits-the shortfall between revenues and state spending-under 3.0 percent of gross domestic product. Estonia had posted surpluses from 2002 to 2007. To stay below the bar, it slashed spending as its economy shrank by 14.1 percent in 2009. Its 2009 deficit was 1.7 percent, a shadow of those racked up in most euro-zone nations. This year, with the economy forecast to expand by 2.5 percent, the deficit is expected to come in at 1.3 percent. —AFP


TECHNOLOGY

Monday, November 29, 2010

27

Online bargain-hunting spreads beyond Cyber Monday SAN FRANCISCO: Early discounts may have taken some of the shine off Cyber Monday but the key online holiday shopping day is still expected to attract bargain hunters who may not have had their fill over the weekend. Cyber Monday-a term coined five years ago for the day many people return to work after Thanksgiving and make online gift purchases on their computersremains a prime shopping day online. But its novelty has now been partially eclipsed by e-commerce promotions earlier in the season, including on Thanksgiving itself. Retailers from BestBuy.com to Walmart.com and Staples.com have even opted to offer Cyber Monday deals one day early, on newly coined “Cyber Sunday.” The key is versatility, online experts say, as well

Many retailers offering Cyber Sunday deals and beyond as making sure shoppers heading to the Web always find something to inspire them to click on a sale. John Thompson, senior vice president and general manager of BestBuy.com, said Cyber Monday remains a “really viable marketing concept,” but smart retailers must offer choice. “There’s demand out there, but you have consumers spending their time differently,” he said. “If you don’t have one group that shops early, you’ll have those who say ‘I’ll enjoy my Thanksgiving and those same deals or as-good deals will be there Cyber Monday.’” Marketing firms say tactics have changed in luring consumers to buy online.

Whereas in prior years a full email inbox of online deals awaited those back at work on Monday, the offers now increasingly come on Black Friday if not before. Disneystore.com, for one, had a “record sales day” on Thanksgiving, according to Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores. US online sales were up 33 percent on Thanksgiving this year, according to web analytics firm IBM Coremetrics. Just as many promotions are sent via email on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, as on Cyber Monday, according to Responsys. And half of retailers planned to send email on Cyber Sunday as

well as on Thanksgiving, the interactive marketing firm found. PayPal, the online payments unit of eBay, said its first holiday spike in payment volume came on November 15. On Black Friday, total payment volume, or the total value of goods sold, rose 27 percent versus last year. Online deals will continue throughout the holiday season. Amazon.com, the largest online retailer, said its Black Friday deals would last all week, while Target.com and eBay have set up daily deals through December. BEST DEAL? Despite the e-commerce selling season

that now extends before and after Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving is still a prime focus of retailers. Nine out of ten retailers planned to offer a promotion for Cyber Monday, Shop.org and BIGresearch found in a survey. That was more than the nearly threequarters of respondents in 2007. “Retailers have built it into the consumers mind: ‘Here’s the day you’ll get the best deal,’” said IBM Coremetrics’ Chief Strategy Officer John Squire. Although some experts say the top online sales comes later in the season-analytics firm Comscore, for one, found 2009’s heaviest spending day fell on Dec 13 - Squire said Cyber Monday was the best-performing day, with a 30 percent jump in US online sales. “You will see a similar

type of gain on Cyber Monday (this year),” said Squire. “The big treat is what happens on Cyber Sunday for those retailers who give those deals.” Bullishness in advance of Monday was evident as Amazon shares closed at an all-time high last Wednesday leading into the Thanksgiving weekend, accompanied by options trading at over twice the average daily level. On Tuesday, comScore raised its forecast for US online holiday spending for the second time, saying it now expects an 11 percent rise over the 2009 holiday. The new spending outlook should bring total holiday e-commerce spending to $32.4 billion, comScore said. Online sales, while still growing, make up a mere 7 percent of the overall US retail pie, according to comScore. — Reuters

Stalled on climate treaty, nations turn to money CANCUN: Facing another year without a global deal to curb climate change, the world’s nations will spend the next two weeks debating how to mobilize money to cope with what’s coming - as temperatures climb, ice melts, seas rise and the climate that nurtured man shifts in unpredictable ways. Beginning today, 15,000 government delegates, environmentalists, business leaders, journalists and others will gather in the meeting halls of this steamy Caribbean resort for the annual conference of the 193-nation UN climate treaty. They meet late in a year that may end tied for the hottest globally in 131 years of recordkeeping. As the world warms, the long-running UN negotiations have bogged down, unable to find consensus on a legally binding agreement requiring richer countries and perhaps some poorer - to rein in emissions of carbon dioxide and other industrial, transportation and agricultural gases blamed for global warming. The Republican takeover of the US House of Representatives and a recent historic shift in emissions - developing countries now produce more greenhouse gases than the old industrial world - all but guarantee the standoff will drag on, at least for another year or two. “The world is waiting for fruitful negotiations,” Mexico’s environment secretary, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada said. “What we want to have is really some action, not just talking.” But what UN officials and others foresee here is “incremental progress,” not an overarching deal, in two weeks of negotiation ending with three days of high-level bargaining among the world’s environment ministers. Hoping to revive momentum in the talks, delegates look for decisions leading to better terms for developing nations to obtain patented “green” technology from advanced countries, and toward a system for compensating poorer nations for protecting their forests. In particular, the developing world wants a significant deal on finance, a decision to establish a green fund to handle billions in aid dollars pledged by developed nations to help poorer countries adapt to a changing climate by, for example, building shoreline protection and upgrading water systems to deal with drought, and to install clean energy sources. In a nonbinding Copenhagen Accord reached by world leaders at last year’s climate summit in the Danish capital, richer nations set a goal of $100 billion annually in such climate finance by 2020. The fund’s operational and leadership details would likely be left for post-Cancun negotiation, as would the key question of how it would be financed. A UN panel of international political and financial leaders has presented a menu of revenue-raising options, including levies on international flights and on foreign-exchange transactions. More immediately, less-developed nations will raise concerns about short-term aid, “fast-start finance” promised in the Copenhagen Accord. “There’s been too little for small island developing states. It’s a trickle,” said Grenada’s UN ambassador, Dessima Williams, chair of an alliance of island states. At Copenhagen, industrial nations as a group pledged $30 billion in quick financing over 2010-2012. Independent analysts find that governments individually since have promised $28 billion for the three years. Poorer nations complain much of the money

may not be new, but funds simply reshuffled from other development programs. At Cancun, they’re expected to demand a clearer accounting of fast-start finance. That “would build confidence in the overall funding process,” Robert Orr, a UN assistant secretary-general, told reporters in New York. “We need new and additional money to address the problem, not repackaged money.” On the flip side, the developed north will seek a better accounting from China, India and other emerging economies of the south on what they’re doing to slow the galloping growth of their greenhouse gas emissions. Nations north and south pledged under the 2009 accord to voluntarily lower emissions by specific amounts or, in the case of emerging economies, to slow emissions growth. Developing countries also agreed to some international scrutiny of the steps they take, but the US complains China has backtracked on that. At Cancun, India will submit a compromise monitoring plan it hopes will help satisfy the north on the south’s emissions actions, while the south obtains a better accounting on climate finance. Monitoring is “the crux of all issues at Cancun,” India’s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, told the AP in New Delhi. The Copenhagen emissions pledges, even if all were met, would take the world only 60 percent of the way toward preventing serious climate change, the UN Environment Program reported last week. Scientists say emissions overall should be cut 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to prevent a dangerous temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. Temperatures already rose 0.7 degrees C in the 20th century. The Copenhagen pledges would together reduce emissions by only 18 percent, independent analysis shows. In the US case, emissions would be cut by only 3 percent below 1990 levels. For 13 years the US has refused to join the rest of the industrialized world in the UN climate treaty’s Kyoto Protocol, a binding pact to curb fossil-fuel emissions by modest amounts. The rise of Republicans in Washington, many of whom dismiss powerful scientific evidence of global warming, seems to rule out for now US legislation to cap emissions, essential for drawing others into a binding global deal to succeed Kyoto, expiring in 2012. American negotiators say Washington will never submit to a new Kyoto-style deal on emissions unless China, India and others take on commitments under a legally binding treaty. The Chinese and Indians counter that they’re still too poor to risk stifling economic growth, and the historic responsibility for industrial emissions lies with the north. The Obama administration, meanwhile, seeks limited emissions reductions via executive action, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 guidelines on energy efficiency at power plants, cement factories and other big emitters. But the rest of the world, from Europe to island states facing rising seas, is skeptical of the American will to take demanding long-term action. “They’ll say to the US, ‘Show us how you’re going to do it. Give us confidence in how you’re going to do it,”‘ said Lou Leonard, the World Wildlife Fund’s climate policy chief. — AP

Cable TV bleeds subscribers as online grows

SIBERIA: A tiny chapel is seen on the grounds of the Northeast Science Station near the town of Chersky in Siberia. Scientists are studying methane gas locked inside Siberia’s frozen soil and under its lakes. Methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, has been seeping out since the end of the last ice age. But recently, especially in the last five years as the Earth has warmed, the permafrost has thawed more rapidly, accelerating the release of methane and contributing further to climate change. — AP

Android reigns on US smart phones CALIFORNIA: Google’s Android software continued its rocket-like ascent over the summer, ending the third quarter with the dominant market share in the United States among smart-phone operating systems and a solid No 2 spot globally. Manufacturers installed Android on 9.1 million smart phones shipped in the United States between July 1 and Sept 30, according to Canalys, a technology research firm, in a report. That gave the software 43.6 percent of the smartphone market during the period, up from 34 percent in the second quarter of this year and just 5.4 percent in the third quarter last year. Worldwide, manufacturers shipped 20.3 million Android phones in the third quarter. That was up a whopping 1,297 percent from the same period last year and gave Android 25.1 percent of the global market. That put it second to Symbian, sponsored by Nokia and pre-

dominantly found on its phones, which had 37 percent of the market. Android market share grew at the expense of Symbian’s and that of every other major smart-phone operating systems, according to Canalys’ data. It’s difficult to see anything slowing Android’s momentum in the near term, said Chris Jones, a Canalys analyst. More carriers and manufacturers around the world are adopting the software, and it’s starting to show up in budget-priced phones. “It’s easy to see how that accelerates the rise of Android,” Jones said. Canalys’ research echoes that of NPD Group, which was also released Monday. According to NPD, whose data estimates the numbers of phones sold to consumers rather than the number shipped to retailers, Android was installed on 44 percent of the smart phones sold in the United States in the third quarter, up from 33 percent in the second quarter.

NPD attributed Android’s rise in part to strong sales of a growing number of highend phones, such as the Motorola Droid X. And much of the software’s market share gains have come out of the share formerly held by Research In Motion’s BlackBerry operating system, the report noted. BlackBerry’s share of the market fell from 28 percent in the second quarter to 22 percent in the most recent period. Although Apple sold 91 percent more iPhones in the third quarter than it did in the year ago period, it merely held its own in the two market share reports, thanks to the rapid growth of Android phone sales. According to Canalys, Apple’s iOS, which among smart phones is exclusive to the iPhone, captured 26.2 percent of the U.S. smart-phone market in the third quarter. That was up from 21.7 percent in the second quarter, but down from 28.2 percent in the same period a year earlier.

Worldwide, iOS had 17.4 percent of the market. That was up from the second quarter, when iOS held 13.5 percent, but down from the year-ago period, when it held 17.8 percent. Apple did, however, have something to crow about. Among smart phones shipped in United States in the third quarter, the iPhone 4 ranked no. 1, with 26 percent of the market, according to Canalys. NPD also ranked the iPhone as the top selling smart phone in the period. NPD said Apple did well, considering that the iPhone is only available through AT&T in the United States. Recent reports indicate that the device will soon be available on Verizon, which is the most popular network in the United States. If so, that could shake up the market, both for the iPhone and for Android, said Jones. “That will be an interesting dynamic to see playing out,” he said. — MCT

MARYLAND: Shopper Stacy Queen, of Baltimore, can’t seem to contain her joy as she prepares to pay for her purchase of Wii Fit game, GPS system and cell phone at the Target store at Towson Marketplace on “Black Friday,” in Towson, Maryland. — MCT

WASHINGTON: The economic downturn has US cable television companies shedding subscribers in record numbers and Americans increasingly “cutting the cord” in favor of cheaper online options, new research shows. The findings point to a growing pool of potential customers for online services such as Hulu and Netflix and newcomers like Apple TV and Google TV, which offer lower prices and more flexibility, analysts say. According to research firm SNL Kagan, US cable operators lost 741,000 basic video customers in the third quarter of the year, the biggest decline since it started tracking the segment in 1980. Comcast, the largest US cable operator, lost 275,000 video subscribers during the third quarter while Time Warner Cable, the secondlargest, shed 155,000 video customers in the July-September period. The pay television sector-which includes satellite television and TV services offered by telecom firms in addition to cable-lost 119,000 customers in the quarter after gaining 346,000 a year ago, SNL Kagan said. Combined with a loss of 216,000 customers in the second quarter, the first ever decline in its history, the pay television segment has fallen 2.3 percent in the last six months to around 100 million subscriptions, it said. Cable television executives have pinned the blame for the unprecedented losses on high unemployment and the recession. “I think there’s much ado about very little in terms of all the talk about cord cutting,” Philippe Dauman, president and chief executive of Viacom, told financial analysts on the television titan’s latest earnings call. “We don’t see cord cutting as affecting our business,” said the Viacom chief, whose properties include cable networks Comedy Central and MTV. “I think it’s remarkable that in the teeth of a powerful recession that we went through that continued viewership of subscription television held up as well as it has,” Dauman added. “And as the economy recovers we expect to see the number of television subscribers in the US grow at a better clip than it has over the last year and a half or so.” As for Netflix, Dauman said it has “positioned itself, not as being a substitute for television viewing but as a complementary service, and that is the way it is being used.” Netflix claims over 16 million members in the United States and Canada and last week unveiled a 7.99-dollar monthly plan that allows unlimited streaming of movies and television over the Web. Hulu, which is owned by The Walt Disney Co, News Corp and NBC Universal, recently introduced “Hulu Plus,” which offers online viewing of recent television episodes, also for 7.99 a month. While penny-pinching in hard times is behind the decision of many Americans to abandon pay television, industry analysts said there are signs that some are replacing cable with the newly available online options. “It is becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss the impact of over-the-top substitution on video subscriber performance, particularly after seeing declines during the period of the year that tends to produce the largest subscriber gains,” said Ian Olgeirson, senior analyst at SNL Kagan. Jeff Kagan, a telecom industry analyst who shares the same name but is not affiliated with SNL Kagan, said a number of factors were behind the drop in cable subscribers, including the inability to buy channels a la carte. — AFP


HEALTH & SCIENCE

28

Monday, November 29, 2010

Copenhagen eyes super

highways - for cycles ‘Even politicians ride bicycles’ COPENHAGEN: Copenhagen, one of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities, has begun turning its extensive network of cycle paths into bike highways in an effort to push more commuters to leave their cars at home. Considered one of Europe’s two “bicycle capitals” along with

Amsterdam, Copenhagen counts more bicycles than people and cycling is so popular that its numerous bike paths can become congested. Twowheeler traffic jams are especially regular on the main Noerrebrogade thoroughfare used by around 36,000 cyclists a day.

COPENHAGEN: Picture shows people riding their bicycles. In Copenhagen, already one of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities, work has begun to turn an extensive network of bike paths into full-fledged cyclist highways. — AFP

This wood helps carve an intricate community IXTLAN DE JUAREZ: Sweet smelling pine trees and a cloud forest stretch above the town of Ixtlan de Juarez, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, where residents highly value their wood. The Zapotec Indians who share ownership of the land fought for control of the forest from a state company more than 20 years ago. Mexico presents their management of the forest as a model for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as poverty, as negotiators hunker down at global climate talks in Cancun. The United Nations wants breakthroughs from rich nations on verifying deforestation and financing to combat the loss of forests, making woods increasing bargaining chips in the form of carbon credits. In a large sawmill next to the Oaxaca forest, local men and women operate machinery to transport the logs along conveyor belts, capturing shavings before slicing them into planks. “I think that looking after the forest is the main priority for the community because the truth is that our forest gives work to most people who live here,” said machine operator Julio Garcia Gomez. The community benefits from a program handing rights and responsibility to forest dwellers, with some financial backing, including from the government. It is run by a committee of 390 peo-

ple who put management decisions to vote and oversee six companies dedicated to the wood business, from transport to making furniture. Operating with a kind of market socialism, the companies provide direct employment for some 300 people and indirect jobs to 2,000 more in an area of some 5,000 inhabitants. Community leaders say they reinvest some 30 percent of an average 600,000 dollars in annual profits on protecting the forest, including fire-fighting, another 30 percent in the business, and the rest on workers and the community, including in a low-interest credit union and on pensions. Although the companies cut down trees and sell wood, they control logging and replanting to maintain diverse forest cover in the area of some 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). “The old trees don’t process oxygen anymore, they no longer serve to capture carbon, that has to be done by young trees,” said Pedro Torres Perez, president of the commission of communal ownership. Thousands of new seedlings are planted each year, while carbon is stored in the wood furniture produced from older trees. Community forest management could capture carbon more effectively than any other effort to slow deforestation, such as industry plantations

or protected areas, according to international forestry experts. Despite highly-publicized programs to plant more trees, many of which do not survive, and a decline in deforestation in the past five years, Mexico is still losing its forests to degradation and deterioration. Those losses represent around 10 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions. Although more than seventy percent of Mexico’s forests are owned or managed by local communities, less than half have effective management programs. Experts say certain conditions are necessary for them to work. These include: “clear rights regarding the owners, an organization that is well managed, transparently. And also there has to be a policy which really generates skills and resources to develop operations,” said Ivan Zuniga, from the Mexican Civic Council for Sustainable Forestry. The community, which also manages eco-hotels, aims to keep reducing its dependence on government aid, as the search continues for the best ways to manage the world’s forests to try to slow the warming of the planet. Communal management can be complicated and such projects require dedication, Torres said. “It took a long time, a lot of sacrifice and a lot of people, the work of many people,” he said. — AFP

SAN DIEGO: In this photo, Kiburi, a 10-day-old cheetah cub, opens his eyes on November 24, 2010 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Animal Care Center. While Kiburi, which means proud in Swahili, sleeps between 20 and 22 hours a day, he gets a bottle of special formula every 2 and half hours. Of the 134 cheetahs born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Kiburi is the first to be born to two hand-raised parents, Makena and Quint. — AFP

Five Sumatran elephants found dead in Indonesia JAKARTA: Five endangered Sumatran elephants have been found dead in Indonesia, and conservationists said yesterday that they suspect farmers poisoned the animals to stop them from damaging crops. The elephants - four females and one male all under the age of 5 - were found dead late Friday in Riau province on Sumatra island, said Edi Susanto, a government conservationist. Susanto suspects that owners of nearby palm oil plantations used cyanide to poison the animals, which are known for damag-

ing crops. He said an investigation is under way and samples from the dead elephants have been sent for analysis. “We have told the district heads in Riau province to ban farmers from tending crops in the woods where the elephants search for food,” Susanto said. Only 3,000 Sumatran elephants are believed to remain in the wild, a number that dwindles each year with poaching and killing by farmers angry over crop losses. The animals are prized by poachers for their ivory tusks. — AP

“You have to elbow your way in to go forward and some cyclists aren’t always thoughtful,” complains 22year-old university student Lea Bresell. The creation of bike highways “comes right on time”, says Danish Cyclist Federation spokesman Frits Bredal. “Copenhagen’s roads are overloaded with people who want to ride their bicycles in all kinds of weather,” he says. If in the 1960s Danes viewed the car as the symbol of freedom, the bicycle has assumed that role today, Bredal says. “It’s a mode of transportation used by all social classes, even politicians ride bicycles,” he says. It is on crowded Noerrebrogade-the busiest bicycle street in Europe, according to the cyclist association-that city planners have decided to build the first of Copenhagen’s environmentally friendly boulevards. The jammed bike paths will be widened up to four meters (yards) on either side of the road, which will itself will be reserved for buses only. The idea is to make Noerrebrogade “Europe’s great cycling street”, says Andreas Roehl, the Copenhagen municipality’s bicycle program manager who is also known as “Mister Bike”. But Roehl is not content with making life easier for Copenhagen’s inner-city cyclists: he wants to get suburbanites out of their cars and onto two wheels as well. His goal is to hike the percentage of suburban commuters cycling to and from the city from the 37 percent it is today to over 50 percent by 2015. Within the city, 55 percent of all commuters already travel by bike, according to the municipality. Copenhagen’s bike highways of tomorrow will be dotted with pit stops where it will be possible to pump up tires, fix a chain and have a drink of water, Roehl says. And synchronized traffic lights prioritizing bicycles over cars will bring riders from the suburbs into Copenhagen “quickly and safely,” he says. That “could lead caraddicted suburbanites to take their bikes to go to Copenhagen,” says cyclist Bresell, for whom bike highways will “make life even more difficult for motorists and easier for cyclists.” Already Copenhagen stands out among other European capitals for its cycling infrastructure, counting more than 390 kilometers (242 miles) of bike paths. Between 2006 and 2010, it spent 250 million kroner (33.6 million euros) in bike infrastructure and an extra 75 million kroner were allotted for 2011. The first two city-to-suburb bicycle highways are due to open at the end of 2011 and reach a distance of 15 kilometers from central Copenhagen, while a third, going as far as 20 kilometers from the capital’s centre, will be put into service in 2012. While celebrating the Danish capital’s efforts, Bredal of the cyclist association says he hopes the rest of the Scandinavian country, which altogether has 5.5 million inhabitants and around four million bikes, will soon “follow Copenhagen’s example.” Denmark’s other main cities-Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg-are already contemplating similar bike highways, according to the head of the Copenhagen project, Maria Helledi Streuli, who is eager to sing the plan’s praise. “It’s an initiative that is good for the environment, for health,” Streuli enthuses, adding it also “makes it possible to unclog car traffic and to breathe easier in the city.” — AFP

CHICAGO: College student Laura Fitzgerald, a Type 1 diabetic, injects insulin in. — MCT

Sugar civil war: Diabetes vs diabetes CHICAGO: As a person living with Type 1 diabetes, 34year-old Angie Hashemi-Rad must prick her fingers and give herself insulin every day to stay alive. But nothing irritates her more than having people mistakenly assume she has Type 2 diabetes - and then suggest she “cure herself” by eating less sugar and exercising more. “I’m sorry, but I hate Type 2. I call it the wuss version,” she wrote on Diabetesdaily.com in response to an online article headlined: “Which is worse: Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes?” “NO TYPE 2 COULD EVER DO WHAT I HAVE DONE FOR THE PAST 28 YEARS,” she wrote. “IT IS NOT THE SAME. NOT EVEN CLOSE. HOW DARE YOU.” As rates of Type 2 diabetes soar, tempers are flaring in the diabetes blogosphere, where many people with Type 1 diabetes are lobbying for a new, distinct name for their condition in hopes of clearing up misconceptions and securing more resources to put toward a cure. With Type 2 diabetes - formerly known as “adult-onset” - people have trouble putting insulin to use in the body to metabolize dietary sugars. Obesity is a major risk factor, and diet, exercise and medication can help prevent the condition in people at risk or treat the disease once it develops. Type 1, by contrast, used to be called “juvenile diabetes” because it is often present from childhood. People with the condition produce no insulin at all and will die unless they regularly dose themselves with the hormone. Many people don’t understand those differences, and because Type 2 diabetes is far more common it receives the majority of the attention. Type 1’s often hear “You don’t look like a diabetic!” or are assumed to have caused their illness by overeating. “Typically, people have no idea what diabetes is or how it works,” said Chicago’s Laura Fitzgerald, 21, who was diagnosed at age 6. “They assume I did it to myself.” Diabetes educator Riva Greenberg has repeatedly advocated for a name change, hoping that greater recognition will lead to more stem cell research. “When the two types are lumped together, it’s hard for organizations committed to finding a cure to Type 1 to really get funded,” said Greenberg, author of “50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life.” “If policy makers don’t understand the difference between the two - they are thinking people need to move more and eat less - it’s going to be hard to help cure Type 1.” Some people with Type 2 diabetes say they are being unfairly stigmatized for developing a disease that has a strong genetic component. Those who exercise regularly are often shocked to be diagnosed, because they assume only overweight people are at risk. At the same time, controlling diabetes with lifestyle changes and medication isn’t as easy one might think. Susan Amati of Chicago, who has Type 2 diabetes, said people shouldn’t be quick to judge. “Bad behavior may contribute to the cause,” she said, “but many people may not behave any differently than the average person, but get diabetes. I ate and dieted very carefully, but until I got the proper medicines, my blood sugar control wasn’t good.” However, gaps in communication, lifestyle and differences in the treatment plans for the two types can make it difficult for the two sides to understand each other. “Type 2 diabetics are ‘blamed’ while Type 1 diabetics are ‘ignored’ and really it isn’t fair to anyone,” said diabetes blogger Allison Blass, who is based in New York City and has Type 1. While all people with diabetes are characterized by elevated blood sugar, Type 1 and Type 2 are essentially two distinct diseases. Type 1, which is considered more devastating, is an autoimmune disorder; the body has attacked itself and permanently destroyed the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Insulin is needed to transport sugar into the cells where it can be metabolized and used for energy. If too much sugar (or glucose) stays in the blood, it can lead to serious damage to the tissues, eyes, nerves, heart, gums and teeth. People with this condition need insulin to live. They receive it either by injecting themselves with a syringe or receiving infusions through a pump attached to their body. Type 2’s, on the other hand, do produce some insulin.

The problem is the insulin can’t do its job. When the body resists insulin, sugar builds up in the blood, causing the same negative effects as Type 1. The condition often goes undiagnosed for years - it’s estimated that a third of the cases of high blood sugar are untreated in the US - which means Type 2’s can have more complications, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke. It’s possible for Type 2’s to reduce their insulin resistance, usually though lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise and medication. In some cases, they can reverse the onset of diabetes altogether, if it’s caught early. Those genetically predisposed to Type 2 may even be able to stave it off. “There’s a lock and a key,” said obesity specialist David Edelson, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “The key is a bad lifestyle that leads to weight gain around the gut,” said Edelson. The fact that many people assume that Type 1’s also can do something to avoid getting diabetes is a sore spot. “Type 1’s clearly can feel like victims and say that Type 2’s could have prevented it,” Edelson said. “And to certain extent they could be right. It’s a disease of bad lifestyle. My Type 1’s work out fastidiously and watch their diet. If my Type 2’s did what my Type 1’s do, they’d probably cure themselves.” Competition for research funding also causes tension between the two camps, said Ryan Luce, the cofounder of corengi.com, a Web site aimed at helping people with Type 2 learn more about clinical trials. Not surprisingly - since Type 2 diabetes is more common and has more treatment options - there are three times as many clinical trials for Type 2 as for Type 1 on the government’s Web site, said Luce. For industry-sponsored trials, the ratio is 5 to 1. More than 23 million Americans have some form of diabetes. Between 90 percent and 95 percent of the cases are Type 2, though some people have features of both, meaning both insulin resistance and autoimmunity, said Dr Judith Fradkin, the director of the division of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases at the National Institutes of Health. By 2050, health officials fear that as many as one in three US adults could develop Type 2 diabetes because of the aging population, growth in high-risk minority groups and the extended lifespan of people with diabetes, according to an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in 10 US adults has diabetes now. Anxious to change the course of the disease, public health officials are aggressively preaching prevention. But the message applies only to Type 2’s; when Type 1’s hear Dr Mehmet Oz talking about “preventing diabetes” on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” they say it perpetuates the notion only one kind of diabetes exists. “There is underlying resentment because Type 1 never goes away like Type 2 can and often does,” said Natalie Kolok, cofounder of parentingdiabetickids.com, whose 9-year-old twins have Type 1. She sees a rift between the two sides and wants it to “widen into a chasm” to help create clarity. “We just want people to understand the differences so they don’t treat our children as if they have Type 2 and that it could have been prevented,” said Kolok. Greenberg thinks a name change is worth fighting for, especially since Type 1 diabetes often comes on in childhood and “when children hear ‘dieabetes,’ all they think is that they’re going to die,” she said. She proposes “betasin” - as in, “isn’t it a sin my beta cells (in the pancreas) gave up?” - or “mellitus,” the second half of the full name of the disease, which is “diabetes mellitus.” Hashemi-Rad says she doesn’t really care what it’s called; she just wants people to understand that she didn’t get diabetes because of what she weighed before her diagnosis and that managing Type 1 diabetes is emotionally and physically draining. When people tell her, “Oh, it’s too bad your parents fed you so much sugar” or “If you just follow this diet you can stop taking insulin!” her anger rises to what she called “ridiculous levels.” “A name change “would help make it clear they are not the same in any way, shape or form,” said Hashemi-Rad, of Tonka Bay, Minn. “I can’t stand trying to explain the difference. ... It’s exhausting.” — MCT

What not to say Six things it’s better not to say to a person with Type 1 diabetes: • • •

“Can you eat that?” “Do you have BAD diabetes?” “If you’d just exercise ...” or “If you’d just eat better ...” (Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disorder, unrelated to diet and exercise.)

• • •

“You don’t look like a diabetic!” “My grandfather had that and he lost his leg.” “I could never do that.” (Inject insulin.) — MCT


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11/28/10 5:55 PM


WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

30

Monday, November 29, 2010

Global Goans Convention a resounding success

Goan personalities Pgloberominent from the four corners of the converged in Kuwait for the 5th Global Goans Convention. The two day convention was celebrated at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kuwait on Nov 16 and 17. The annual Goan Convention is organized to focus, interact and exchange ideas with various delegates on the subject of preservation of Goan identity and other matters beneficial to Goans. The theme of this year’s Global Goans Convention was NRI GOAN. The Global Goans Convention was organized by Goan Cultural Centre (GCC) in association with the Indian Embassy under the patronage of Ajai Malhotra, Ambassador of India to Kuwait. Gaspar Almeida, the Chief Convention Adviser commenced the proceedings with a Call to Order, and conveyed Eid greetings to all. He expressed his happiness that the Goa Government is giving the due importance to the NRI Goans. This was followed by the inaugural ceremony of the traditional lighting the ceremonial lamp at the hands of the guest of honour, Ajai Malhotra, Sanjay K. Srivastava, Luizinho Faleiro, Ulhas D. Kamat and Carmo Santos, Chairman of the Goan Cultural Centre on the dias. The national anthems of Kuwait and India were played while two screens displayed beautiful landmarks of Kuwait and Goa. A colorful souvenir was released to mark the 5th Global Goans Convention 2010. Sunny J. Nazareth, the Convention Master of Ceremony introduced the delegation and speakers. In his welcome address, Carmo Santos highlighted the sig-

nificance of the convention. He exuded exuberant confidence that the convention would project fundamental principles of prudence that would enhance the dignity of the Goan diaspora. In his address, Malhotra lauded the efforts of the Goan Cultural Centre in organizing such an important Convention and focused on the community’s vibrancy and stated “There is a solid Goan presence and contribution to be found in Kuwait, which is a home away from home for nearly 50,000 Goans. In fact, Goans are present in almost all professions in Kuwait - from bankers to drivers, from household workers to doctors, from businessmen to journalists. The Goans residing in Kuwait are a vibrant part of the 600,000

strong Indian community in Kuwait, who are widely acknowledged as being sincere, hardworking, talented, disciplined and law-abiding. A good number of dynamic Goan associations are also active in Kuwait. I have been privileged to attend many events organised by them and can confirm that the Goans in Kuwait are indeed energetically nurturing their culture and traditions, including through music, dance, tiatr, and football, while extending humanitarian support to the needy in India and Kuwait” . Sanjay Srivastava extended full support of Goa Government to the Goan diaspora. Luizinho Faleiro was full of praise for the Goan diaspora and hoped that the convention would serve as a spring

board to achieve success envisioned by the Goan Diaspora. He emphasized on the need to have the technical expertise and professional working knowledge to be brought back to Goa with you. “We do not need your finance, the Goa Government will lend you all the support and cooperation, we need your proficiency and skills”, he emphasized. Ulhas D. Kamat, Director of NRI Affairs (Goa) highlighted at length about the various schemes that have been established by the Goa Government for the benefit of NRI Goans. Dignitaries who flew from Goa included Sanjay K. Srivastava, IAS, Chief Secretary of Goa Govt, Ulhas D. Kamat-Director of NRI Affairs of Goa Government, Luizinho Faleiro-Ex Chief Minister

of Goa and Congress Working Committee Executive Member, N.Shivdas -President of Goa Konkani Akademi, Vincy QuadrosVice President of Goa Konkani Akademi, Prof. M.S. KamatEducationist, Prof. M.K. ShaikhEducationist and Adv. Pronoy Kamat. Dignitaries who addressed and highlighted various issues pertaining to the Goans included Bruno Gomes (Switzerland), Simon D’Silva (Qatar), Oscar Lobo (Australia), Vivek Araujo (Africa), John De Sa (Qatar), Benedict Lobo (UAE), Daryl Mascarenhas (Mumbai), Peter D’Silva (U.K.), Francis Correia (Bahrain), Pronoy Kamat (Goa), Isidore Dantas (Pune), Ms. Sheila Santos (Kwt), Dr. Jaganath R. Chodankar

(Kwt), Aldrin Meneses (Kwt), R.S.Naique (Goa), Prof. M.S. Kamat (Goa), Prof. M.K. Shaikh (Goa), Vincy Quadros (Goa), TBush (Kwt), Lino B. Dourado(Kwt), Hormuzda Davar (Al-Mulla Group, Kwt), Gasper Crasto, Raymond Pereira (Kwt). A film show reel comprising of T-Bush Films Productions of English, Konkani and Hindi films shot in Kuwait by director T-Bush, a product of Panjim’s College of Art received appreciation as well as support from the visiting dignitaries to showcase these films in Goa. Suresh Naik, President of Goan Cultural Centre extended his sincere gratitude to H.E. Ajai Malhotra, H.E. Eduardo FaleiroCommissioner for NRI Affairs, Government of Goa, S.

K.Srivastava, Ulhas Kamat and all dignitaries from Goa and also to all the delegates gracing the Convention. Various topics pertaining to the NRI Goans were focused upon including subjects of current concerns to the Goans back home too including Migration, Career prospects and job opportunities, panchayat raj, investment in IT and education, NRI rights and obligations, Goan unit, Prevention of land sale and loss of identity, Konkani language and progress, medical facilities in the new millennium, a peep into tiatr and the Konkani stage, foreign remittances, upliftment of educational facilities, Goan youth and business prospects as well as what’s good about being a Goan. A praiseworthy feature of the Global Goans Convention 2010 was the presentation of Educational Scholarship Awards with cash prizes, medals and certificates to outstanding Goan students in Kuwait who excelled in STD X and STD XII, CBSE Board Examination for 2009-10, sponsored by Gulf Mart. The students were Carrie Ann Pinto (Indian Community School), Cherylann P. Rodrigues (Indian Community School), Dwane John Almeida (Jabriya Indian School), Eleanore E. Dias (Carmel School), Roshwyn F. Fernandes (Gulf Indian School), Leroy E. Botelho (Indian Community School) and Natasha C. Fernandes (Gulf Indian School). Messages from Dr. S.S. Sidhu, the Governor of Goa, Digamber Kamat, the Chief Minister of Goa, Eduardo Faleiro, H.E. Ajai Malhotra, Luizinho Faleiro, Manohar Parrikar, Leader of the Oppostion, Government of Goa,

The Spa in Sahara Kuwait Resort offers relaxing treatment, stress relief ith the modern life style, almost all people especially ladies, W complain from joints, lower back and shoulders or neck pain. The main cause of this is the regular uncomfortable seating and posture be it at work or at home. Most often the treatment for the above is a professional massage after which you feel very relaxed and pain free. A professional therapy will focus on the right pressure points, which should be massaged to release the stress and pain. Choosing the right spa to get treatment is essential. The Spa should be up-to-date and should ensure quality service by professionals. The Spa in Sahara Kuwait Resort has one of the best facilities in the region. Most of the visitors are regular and come on weekly basis for spa treatments and daily for health club to keep fit and healthy. The Spa in Sahara Kuwait Resort is an excellent way to spend the free time. Spa resorts offer high-end treatments in conjunction with outdoor activities to create a fulfilling and relaxing experience. Embracing a few days of treatments can make profound changes in the mind and body, renewing one’s health. Spa times are often a package including fitness activities, healthy dining, and top-quality spa treatments - all available in the Sahara Kuwait Resort. It goes without saying - a healthy balanced diet with fitness sessions is great when combined with the Spa treatment.

Bishop Camillo Ballin, Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait, adorned the Convention Souvenir. The Vice President of the Goan Cultural Centre, Martino Afonso expressed his gratefulness to each and everyone who contributed directly or indirectly to the success of the Global Goans Convention 2010. “We are profoundly satisfied with the overwhelming response and cooperation extended by the Goan community in Kuwait, the press and internet media and by the Government of Goa”, Martino Afonso elaborated. The Goan Cultural Centre express their grateful thanks to GulfMart, Gulf Cable & Electrical Industries Co., Mushrif Trading & Contracting Co., Mughal Mahal, Otis Elevators Co., Al Ghannam Tires Center Co., Lulu Hypermarket, Al Mulla Exchange Co., Sadia (The Joy of Good Food), Kamat Construction Pvt. Ltd. (Goa), Kamat Real Estate Developers (Goa), Casa Severina Retreat (Calangute, Goa), Taal Restaurant, Indian Bangladeshi Translation and Typing Co., Sarina’s Saloon, English Optics, Oriental Insurance Co., Air Arabia (the official Convention carrier), Oasis Hotel, MILROC (Goa), Caesars Group of Restaurants, The New India Assurance Co. Ltd., Expat-Group (Dubai), and Bayan National Trading Co. for their distinguished support towards the Convention. The evening on Day 2 of the Convention witnessed the presentation a dazzling cultural programme with Goan and Mangalorean artistes. H.E. Ajai Malhotra, specially graced the programme by his dignified presence, along with Remesh T.A., Country Manager of GulfMart, and the Delegates. The fabulous event superbly organized by Kuwait’s incomparable music maestro Soccoro De Melo in coordination with various folklore troupes, popular Konkani stage artistes, singers, children’s group and professional musicians. S.K. Srivastava presented a beautiful memento to Carmo Santos, on behalf of Commissioner for NRI Affairs (Goa), which he dedicated to all Goan residents in Kuwait to a thunderous ovation. A very special memento was presented to H.E. Ajai Malhotra on behalf of Goan Cultural Centre. Upbeat to the occasion, Kuwaitbased Konkani poets recited two of his compositions which were well received. Ms.Anjali Amonkar, Gasper Crasto and Sunny Nazareth were in commendable control of airwaves and delighted the audience with their mellifluous compeering. Konkani and English books, namely Isidore Dantas’ ‘Konkani Cholchitram’, Selma Carvalho’s ‘Into the Diaspora Wilderness”, Vincy Quadros’ “Fulam” and Global Goans UAE magazine ‘Goan Review” were released on the occasion. The attendees were treated to a sumptuous lunch and mouth watering delicacies of Crowne Plaza Hotel. The organizers and the delegates will ensure that the Convention proceedings are followed-up with the concerned Government entities in Goa as desire of the Convention attendees. The question and answer sessions were focused on the betterment of the NRI Goans and the folks back home in Goa.

Toastmasters to hold a workshop Toastmasters of Division I are Tandheholding Be the Communicator Leader You Want To Be: a workshop that will be held at Kuwait Economic Society from 4pm to 7 pm on Friday, December 3rd. The workshop will be conducted by Lieutenant Governor for Education and Training, DTM Khalid AlQoud from Bahrain and is open to members and guests. Toastmasters International is the largest non-profit organization worldwide providing opportunities for women and men to develop spoken communication and leadership skills that promote personal and professional advancement. Since its beginnings in California in 1924, Toastmasters has grown to its current state of over 260,000 members in over 16,500 Toastmasters Clubs worldwide. In the Middle East there are Toastmasters Clubs in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and, most recently, in Lebanon. In Kuwait’s Division I alone there are 13 Toastmasters clubs which actively participate in the time-tested educational programs that offer learning in a positive and supportive environment.


WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Monday, November 29, 2010

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One week left to apply to Kuwait Science Fair he Kuwait Science Fair, the largest science competition held in Kuwait for students in Tgrades 7 to 12, announced today that it has so far visited more than 30 schools in Kuwait as part of the competition’s nation-wide drive to increase student participation in the third annual Kuwait Science Fair (KSF) competition. The Kuwait Science Fair (KSF) competition is endorsed by His Excellency Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Minister of Oil, Minister of Information, and Chairman of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, for the third

year in a row. Supporting the competition for the first time, the US Ambassador to Kuwait, Deborah Jones, joins as its leading chief ambassador to support the efforts of the competition at large. Kuwait Science Fair Managing Director, Aseel Al-Turkait, said: “The Kuwait Science Fair competition has witnessed great success over the last two years, bringing the number of participants from 100 to 220 students in the second year. We encourage students to join us in a great science adventure, and for a chance to win amazing prizes. We also call on parents

and schools to encourage their students to participate. Everyone has a chance to win, at the end of the day, even the simplest science idea can make a big difference.” One week is left to apply to the largest math and science competition in Kuwait. Enrollment for the competition is open until December 6th, where students must submit the following in order to qualify: 1) Registration form 2) Signed parent letter 3) Science fair proposal 4) A letter from his/her high school con-

firming attendance 5) A copy of their civil ID or passport 6) One passport size photo. The competition requirements may be found online at www.best100.org or in the KSF guidebook available at the Kuwait Science Fair booth in Marina Mall. Students must be enrolled in a school in Kuwait. The ‘Best 100’ projects will be chosen by a panel of judges comprised of teachers and scientists and will be qualified to proceed to the second experimental phase of the competition. The first prize winner will receive a schol-

arship in the discipline of the student’s choice from AUK, the grand prize trophy, KD 750 in cash, two certificates for participation and ranking, KD100 in vouchers; as well as, an international internship at Schlumberger. The second prize winner will also be offered an internship at Schlumberger in Kuwait and will receive the second place trophy, KD 500 in cash, two certificates for participation and ranking and KD 100 in vouchers. The third prize winner will receive the third place trophy, KD 350 in cash, two certificates for participation and ranking and KD 100 in vouchers.

The competition was founded by ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Kuwait Limited and Kuwait Energy Company and is sponsored in its third year by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Kuwait United Facilities Management Company (KUFM), the Information Technology Institute (ITI), The Scientific Center, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Asnan Clinic, and supported by partners: the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS), the American University of Kuwait (AUK), Schlumberger and the Arab International Industrial Projects Co.

Iraqi artist exhibits in FA Gallery A Gallery

Fhosts a

solo exhibition for the Iraqi artist Mohammed AlShammarey titled “Rain Song”. The exhibition opened yesterday and will be on view until December 11. Who is the artist? Mohammed Al-Shammarey was born in Baghdad in the 1962. His work was exhibited widely in galleries and museums throughout the Middle East, Europe and USA. He had participated in group shows at the British Museum, Columbia University and the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston, Texas. Lately he has showed his recent work titled “Rain Song” in the Museum of JUNIATA college in Houston, where his work received a lot of welcome and admiration due to its artistic and cultural originality and specificity. “FA” focuses on introducing and promoting the modern art works from international art community such as paintings, sculptures, photos and even installations. Fa Gallery is located next to Al-Amiri Hospital, Gulf road, Sharq.

Gary Moran, the General Manger of Movenpick Hotel and Resort Al-Bida’a (second left) is seen with the musicians before the start of the concert.

Clarinet Concert performed at Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al-Bida’a nternationally acclaimed Romanian unique events such as “Clarinet Classics” Iconcert Clarinetist “Iulian Rusu” performed live and we hope our guests enjoy them as much as we do,” said Gary Moran, the General at Movenpick Al Bida’a. On Thursday, clarinettist “Iulian Rusu” accompanied by “Marius Rusanu” and “Harriet Bushman” on piano performed a lively Clarinet Classics Concert at the Movenpick Hotel and Resort AlBida’a. The trio wowed the packed audience with lively compositions by Brahms, Verdi, Mendelssohn and other classical composers. “It’s always a pleasure to organize

Manger of Movenpick Hotel and Resort AlBida’a. “We always try to look for something new and to be seen as being creative. Soon we will be holding our first Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. We were the first hotel in Kuwait to stage operas and there is more yet to come. We want to have many reasons for people to come to the hotel” added Moran.

Arpan to present ‘Tune & Taste-2010’

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 email: Htaware.hassan@gmail.com or log onto: www.aware.com.kw.”

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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.

rpan Kuwait will present ‘Tune & Taste2010’-a festival of food, music and heritage-to mark the 11th anniversary of the association at the Indian Community School (Senior Girls), Salmiya on December 3. The celebration presenting a potpourri of cultural programs will start at 9:30 am and conclude at 6.30 pm. Rajkalesh, the versatile television anchor and the producer of popular TV show, “Taste of Kerala” and “Taste of Dubai” will supervise cookery shows and competitions as part of the celebration. Rajkalesh, who presented stage and television shows in and outside India, will adjudge the winners of the cooking competitions that will be held in major centers in Kuwait prior to the final on December 3. Also a magician, trained under world famous magician Gopinath Muthukad, Rajkalesh will mesmerize the audience with his spellbinding ‘Magic and illusions’ show. The added attraction of the day-long celebration will be a musical extravaganza to be presented by well-known Idea Star singers Roshan, William Issac and Neelima. 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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Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: local@kuwaittimes.net Fax: 24835619 / 20


TV PROGRAMS

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings

00:00 Ellen de Generes 01:00 Kathy Griffin 02:00 GMA Live repeat 03:00 Momma’s Boys 04:00 The Invisible Man 05:00 The Philanthropist 06:00 GMA Live repeat 07:00 Kathy Griffin 08:00 Eureka 09:00 Criminal Minds Scoundrels 10:00 Ellen de Generes 11:00 Damages 12:00 The Invisible Man 13:00 Momma’s Boys 14:00 Eureka 15:00 GMA Live 17:00 Criminal Minds Scoundrels 18:00 Ellen de Generes 19:00 Royal Pains 20:00 Big Love 21:00 Rescue Me 22:00 Dollhouse 23:00 Janice Dickinson

00:50 Surviving Sharks 01:45 Untamed And Uncut 02:40 The Most Extreme 03:35 Untamed And Uncut 04:30 I Was Bitten 05:25 Animal Cops Philadelphia 06:20 Untamed And Uncut 07:10 Wildlife SOS 07:35 Sspca: On The Wildside 08:00 Corwin’s Quest 08:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 09:15 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 09:40 Groomer Has It 10:35 In Too Deep 11:00 In Too Deep 11:25 In Too Deep 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 Houston 15:35 Wildlife SOS 16:00 Sspca: On The Wildside 16:30 Dogs 101 17:25 Project Puppy 17:50 Project Puppy 18:20 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 18:45 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 19:15 Wildest Africa 20:10 The Last Lion Of Liuwa 21:10 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 22:05 Into The Lion’s Den 23:00 When Animals Go Bad

00:25 Life On Mars 01:15 The Jonathan Ross Show 02:05 Casualty 02:55 Casualty 03:45 The Weakest Link 04:30 The Roly Mo Show 04:45 Fimbles 05:05 Penelope K, By The Way 05:15 Tellytales 05:25 Me Too 05:45 Forget Me Not Farm 06:00 The Roly Mo Show 06:15 Fimbles 06:35 Penelope K, By The Way 06:45 Tellytales 06:55 Me Too 07:15 Forget Me Not Farm 07:30 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 09:25 Fimbles 09:45 Tellytales 09:55 Me Too 10:15 Forget Me Not Farm 10:30 Mastermind 2006 11:00 Last Of The Summer Wine 11:30 Last Of The Summer Wine 12:00 The Weakest Link 12:45 Heart And Soul 13:35 Doctors 14:05 Mastermind 2006 14:35 Michael Palin’s New Europe 15:35 Last Of The Summer Wine 16:05 Only Fools And Horses 16:35 Heart And Soul 17:25 The Weakest Link 18:10 Doctors 18:40 Mastermind 2006

19:10 Michael Palin’s New Europe 20:10 Heart And Soul 21:00 The Weakest Link 21:45 Doctors 22:15 Eastenders 22:45 Holby City 23:45 Conviction

00:50 Masterchef 02:15 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 02:40 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 04:10 The Home Show 04:55 Masterchef 07:30 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 08:10 Antiques Roadshow 09:00 What Not To Wear 09:50 Antiques Roadshow 10:40 Hidden Potential 11:05 Cooked 11:35 What To Eat Now - Autumn 12:05 The Home Show 12:55 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 13:45 The Restaurant UK 14:35 Bargain Hunt 15:20 What Not To Wear 16:10 The Home Show 17:00 Cooked 17:30 Bargain Hunt 18:15 Masterchef 18:45 Cash In The Attic USA 19:20 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:50 The Restaurant UK 20:40 Masterchef 21:35 Chef At Home 22:00 The Home Show 22:50 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 23:40 The Restaurant UK

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

00:15 Out Of Jimmy’s Head 00:40 Chowder 01:05 Cow And Chicken 01:30 Cramp Twins 01:55 George Of The Jungle 02:20 Adrenalini Brothers 02:45 Eliot Kid 03:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy

03:35 Ben 10: Alien Force 04:00 The Powerpuff Girls 04:15 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 04:40 The Secret Saturdays 05:05 Codename: Kids Next Door 05:30 Ben 10 05:55 Best ED 06:20 Samurai Jack 06:45 Cramp Twins 07:10 Eliot Kid 07:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 08:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 08:25 Chowder 08:50 Best ED 09:15 Chop Socky Chooks 09:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 10:05 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 10:30 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 10:55 Eliot Kid 11:20 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 11:30 Squirrel Boy 11:55 Robotboy 12:20 Camp Lazlo 12:45 The Powerpuff Girls 13:10 Class Of 3000 13:35 Ed, Edd N Eddy 14:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 14:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 14:50 Ben 10 15:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 15:40 Squirrel Boy 16:05 Eliot Kid 16:35 Casper’s Scare School 17:00 Skunk Fu! 17:25 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 17:50 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 18:15 The Secret Saturdays 18:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:05 Hero 108 19:30 Chop Socky Chooks 20:00 Best ED 20:25 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 20:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 21:05 The Powerpuff Girls 21:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 21:45 Ben 10: Alien Force 22:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 22:35 Robotboy 23:00 Camp Lazlo 23:25 Samurai Jack 23:50 Megas Xlr

00:15 Missing-PG15 02:15 9th Company-18 04:30 The Talented Mr. Ripley-PG15 07:00 Martian Child-PG 09:00 The Madness Of King George-PG 11:00 The Golden Compass-PG 13:00 Centre Stage 2: Turn It Up-PG15 15:00 Nights In Rodanthe-PG15 17:00 Meet Bill-PG15 19:00 Burn After Reading-PG15 21:00 The Baader Meinhof Complex-18 23:30 Soul Food-PG15

00:00 Fareed Zakaria Gps 01:00 The Best Of Backstory 01:30 World Sport 02:00 World Report 03:00 World Report 04:00 World Business Today 04:45 CNN Marketplace Middle East 05:00 World View 05:30 Icon 06:00 World’s Untold Stories 06:30 News Special 07:00 World Sport 07:30 Earth’s Frontiers 08:00 World Report 08:30 The Best Of Backstory 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Report 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 World Report 12:30 World View 13:00 Larry King Live 14:00 World Report 14:30 World Sport 15:00 World Report 15:30 African Voices 16:00 World Report 17:00 World Business Today 18:00 International Desk 19:00 The Brief 19:30 World Sport 20:00 Prism 20:30 African Voices 21:00 International Desk 22:00 Quest Means Business 23:00 World One

00:40 Destroyed In Seconds 01:10 Destroyed In Seconds 01:35 Motor City Motors 02:30 Wheeler Dealers 03:25 I Could Do That 03:55 I Could Do That 04:20 How Stuff’s Made 04:50 How Do They Do It? 05:15 Destroyed In Seconds 05:40 Destroyed In Seconds 06:05 Extreme Engineering 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 Dual Survival 21:55 Deadliest Catch 22:50 Swamp Loggers 23:45 Undercover

00:40 Perfect Disaster 01:30 Engineered 02:20 Stephen Hawking’s Universe 03:10 Nasa’s Greatest Missions 04:00 The Colony 04:50 The Colony 05:45 Weird Or What? 06:40 How Does That Work? 07:10 The Future Of... 08:00 Thunder Races 09:00 Sci-Trek 10:00 What’s That About? 10:55 Stunt Junkies 11:20 The Gadget Show 11:50 The Future Of... 12:45 How Stuff’s Made 13:15 Scrappy Races 14:10 Weird Connections 14:35 What’s That About? 15:30 Nextworld 16:25 The Gadget Show 16:55 Sci-Trek 17:50 Nyc: Inside Out 18:45 Brainiac 19:40 Mega Builders 20:30 Superships 21:20 How It’s Made 21:45 The Gadget Show 22:10 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 23:00 Mega Builders 23:50 Superships

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

00:40 Dr 90210 01:30 20 Acts Of Love Gone Wrong 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 08:10 Fashion Police 08:35 E! News 09:25 Giuliana And Bill 09:50 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 10:15 THS 11:05 E!es 12:00 E! News 12:50 Fashion Police 13:15 Pretty Wild 13:40 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 THS 15:25 E!es 16:15 Behind The Scenes 17:10 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 18:00 E! News 18:50 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 19:15 Pretty Wild 19:40 THS 20:30 Kendra 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 The Spin Crowd 22:10 E! News 23:00 Fashion Police 23:25 Kendra 23:50 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami

Smart People on Show Movies

00:00 Strikeforce 00:50 King Of The Cage 01:40 King Of The Cage 02:30 Legend Of Spiderman 1 03:35 Jaws Underground 04:10 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 05:50 Winter X Games 14 07:30 I-Ex 09:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 11:30 Saab Salomon Mountain-X Race 11:55 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 12:45 Fantasy Factory 13:10 Fantasy Factory 13:35 Mantracker Series 3

14:25 Untracked Series 2 15:15 Alpine Adventurer 16:05 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 16:55 Fantasy Factory 17:20 Fantasy Factory 17:45 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 20:15 Saab Salomon Mountain-X Race 20:40 Mantracker Series 3 21:30 Fantasy Factory 22:20 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 23:10 Alpine Adventurer

00:05 NFL TBA at TBA 03:00 Asian Tour Hong Kong Open 03:30 Seamaster 04:00 Golf Central International 04:30 Golf Channel - TBA 07:00 NFL TBA at TBA 10:00 NFL TBA at TBA 13:00 World Sport 2010 13:30 Golf Central International 14:00 ACC Sunday Night Hoops College of Charleston at North Carolina 16:00 NFL TBA at TBA 19:00 European Tour Dubai World Championship Rd. 3

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

00:40 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 01:30 I Almost Got Away With It 02:20 Ripped From The Headlines 03:10 On The Case With Paula Zahn 04:05 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 05:00 I Almost Got Away With It 05:55 Amsterdam Vice 06:20 Ghost Lab 07:10 Real Emergency Calls 07:35 Real Emergency Calls 08:00 Mystery ER 08:50 Real Emergency Calls 09:15 Real Emergency Calls 09:40 Forensic Detectives 10:30 On The Run 11:20 Murder Shift 12:10 FBI Files 13:00 Ghost Lab 13:50 Disappeared 14:40 Mystery ER 15:30 Real Emergency Calls 15:55 Real Emergency Calls 16:20 Murder Shift 17:10 Forensic Detectives 18:00 On The Run 18:50 FBI Files 19:40 Mystery ER 20:30 Real Emergency Calls 20:55 Real Emergency Calls 21:20 Ghost Lab 22:10 Disappeared 23:00 Ripped From The Headlines 23:50 FBI Case Files

00:20 Sonic Underground 00:45 Nancy Drew 01:10 The Hardy Boys 01:30 Inspector Gadget 02:00 Tales From The Cryptkeeper 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

April Showers on Super Movies

01:20 Perez Family, The 03:10 Coca Cola Kid 04:45 Dead Of Winter 06:25 Badlanders 07:50 The 60’s 09:55 Italian Movie 11:30 True Heart 13:00 Beat Street 14:45 The Black Stallion Returns 16:25 Garbo Talks 18:10 Man Of La Mancha 20:15 Tennessee Nights 22:00 Across 110th Street 23:40 Criminal Law

00:00 Kath and Kim 00:30 The Simpsons 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (repeat) 01:30 The Colbert Report (repeat) 02:00 Entourage 02:30 Curb your Enthusiasm 03:00 Saturday Night Live 04:30 Entourage 05:00 Curb your enthusiasm 05:30 Eight simple Rules 06:00 Hope & Faith 06:30 Ten things I hate about you 07:00 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 08:00 The Simpsons 08:30 Eight simple Rules 09:00 Hope & Faith 09:30 Ten things I hate about you 10:00 Will & Grace 10:30 Better off Ted 11:00 Eight simple Rules 11:30 Hope & Faith 12:00 Best of Tonight Show with Jay Leno 13:00 The Simpsons 13:30 Eight simple Rules 14:00 Hope & Faith 14:30 Kath & Kim 15:00 Better Off Ted 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (repeat) 16:00 The Colbert Report (repeat) 16:30 Ten things I hate about you 17:00 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 Billable Hours 19:00 Better Off Ted 19:30 Kath & Kim 20:00 Cougar Town 20:30 Cougar Town 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Global Edition) 21:30 Colbert Report Global 22:00 Monday night Stand Up 23:00 Cleveland Show 23:30 Better Off Ted

00:00 Man About Town-18 02:00 Far North-PG 04:00 Under The Mountain-PG 06:00 It Might Get Loud-PG15 08:00 Eva-PG15 10:00 My Life In Ruins-PG15 12:00 Smart People-PG15 14:00 Exterminators-PG15 15:45 Eva-PG15 17:45 Che Part One: The ArgentinePG15 20:00 The Hangover-18 22:00 Killshot-18

01:00 Tailor Of Panama-18 03:00 The Tripper-18 05:00 Panic Room-PG15 07:00 Nightfall-PG15 09:00 Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix-PG 11:15 Hancock-PG15 13:00 A Knight’s Tale-PG15 15:15 Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix-PG 17:30 The Bodyguard 2-PG15 19:00 The Incredible Hulk-PG 21:00 Timber Falls-18 23:00 Final Destination 3-PG15

00:00 Futurama: Bender’s Game-PG15 02:00 Clerks-18 04:00 Bustin’ Loose-PG15 06:00 Son Of Rambow-PG 08:00 Lock And Roll Forever-PG 10:00 Confessions Of A Shopaholic-PG 12:00 Mchale’s Navy-PG15 14:00 My Fake Fiance-PG15 16:00 Futurama: Bender’s Game-PG15 18:00 Lymelife-PG15 20:00 I Love You, Man-18 22:00 Van Wilder : Party Liaison-18

00:00 The Missing Lynx-PG 02:00 Open Season 2-FAM 04:00 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-PG 06:30 Tommy And The Cool Mule-PG 08:00 Moomin And Midsummer Madness-FAM 10:00 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-PG 12:30 Ulysses-PG 14:00 Open Season 2-FAM 16:00 Superman/Batman: Public Enemies-PG 18:00 Robotech - The Shadow Chronicles-FAM

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

01:00 International Rugby Union 03:00 Live Cricket Test Match 10:00 Premier League Snooker 13:30 Cricket Test Match 20:30 Live Goals On Monday 21:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:00 Scottish Premier League

02:00 Scottish Premier League 04:00 Scottish Premier League 06:00 FEI Equestrian World 06:30 World Hockey 07:00 European PGA Tour 12:30 World Sport 13:00 Scottish Premier League 15:00 Scottish Premier League 17:00 World Sport 17:30 Brazil League Highlights 18:00 Futbol Mundial 18:30 ICC Cricket World 19:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 20:00 Premier League Snooker 23:30 International Rugby Union

00:00 FIA GT1 World Championship 01:30 V8 Supercars Extra 02:00 WWE NXT 03:00 WWE Vintage Collection 04:00 UFC 123 07:00 WWE Bottom Line 08:00 FIA GT1 World Championship 09:30 V8 Supercars Extra 10:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 11:00 V8 Supercars Championship

12:00 V8 Supercars Championship 13:00 FIA GT1 World Championship 14:30 Le Mans Classic 15:00 WWE Smackdown 17:00 UFC123 Prelims 18:00 UFC 123 21:00 UFC Unleashed 22:00 UFC Unleashed 23:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter

00:45 Boy A-18 02:45 April Showers-PG15 05:00 Captain Drake-PG 07:00 Operating Instructions-PG15 09:00 A Number-PG15 10:45 Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal-PG15 12:45 Crossing Over-PG15 15:00 Living Out Loud-PG15 17:00 A Number-PG15 18:45 Largo Winch-PG15 21:00 Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian-PG15 23:00 Jennifer’s Body-18

00:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 01:00 The Blue Continent 02:00 Word Travels 02:30 Essential 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 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 09:00 Word Travels 09:30 Essential 10:00 Chef Abroad 10:30 The Thirsty Traveler 11:00 Intrepid Journeys 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 The Thirsty Traveler 18:30 Panasia 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Oregon Uncovered Special 21:00 Hollywood And Vines 21:30 The Thirsty Traveler 22:00 The Soller Railway 23:00 Globe Trekker

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 MysteryQuest 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 Deep Sea Salvage


Monday, November 29, 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 Arrival Flights on Monday 29/11/2010

Departure Flights on Monday 29/11/2010

Airlines

Flt

Route

Time

Airlines

Flt

Route

Time

KLM

447

AMSTERDAM / BAHRAIN

0:10

AFG

406

DUBAI / KABUL

0:05

WAN

306

CAIRO

0:40

UAL

981

WASHINGTON DC DULLES

0:45

WAN

646

VIENNA / BEIRUT

1:35

AXB

390

MANGALORE / KOZHIKODE

0:45

GFA

211

BAHRAIN

1:40

IAC

982

AHMEDABAD / CHENNAI

1:05

ETH

620

ADDIS ABABA

1:45

PIA

206

PESHAWER / LAHORE

1:10

THY

772

ISTANBUL

2:15

KLM

447

AMSTERDAM

1:25

JZR

553

ALEXANDRIA

2:30

DLH

637

FRANKFURT

1:30

UAE

853

DUBAI

2:35

ETH

620

BAHRAIN / ADDIS ABABA

2:30

QTR

138

DOHA

2:45

THY

773

ISTANBUL

3:15

DHX

370

BAHRAIN

2:45

DHX

371

BAHRAIN

3:45

ETD

305

ABU DHABI

3:10

UAE

854

DUBAI

3:50

RBG

3557

ALEXANDRIA

3:15

RBG

3558

ALEXANDRIA

3:55

JZR

529

ASSIUT

3:45

ETD

306

ABU DHABI

4:00

JZR

207

DAMASCUS

5:05

QTR

139

DOHA

4:55

JZR

503

LUXOR

5:20

JZR

164

DUBAI

6:55

FCX

201

DOHA

6:15

JZR

256

BEIRUT

7:00

BAW

157

LONDON

6:40

RJA

803

AMMAN

7:00

KAC

412

MANILA / BANGKOK

6:45

JZR

150

DOHA

7:10

JZR

555

ALEXANDRIA

7:00

GFA

212

BAHRAIN

7:15

KAC

352

COCHIN

7:35

JZR

120

BAHRAIN

8:20

KAC

204

LAHORE

7:40

FDB

54

DUBAI

8:25

FDB

53

DUBAI

7:45

KAC

545

ALEXANDRIA

8:50

KAC

382

DELHI

7:50

BAW

156

LONDON

8:55

KAC

302

MUMBAI

7:55

KAC

671

DUBAI

9:00

KAC

676

DUBAI

8:10

KAC

551

DAMASCUS

9:10

KAC

284

DHAKA

8:15

KAC

549

SOHAG

9:20

KAC

362

COLOMBO

8:20

UAE

856

DUBAI

9:40

UAE

855

DUBAI

8:30

ABY

124

SHARJAH

9:45

QTR

132

DOHA

9:05

QTR

133

DOHA

10:15

ABY

123

SHARJAH

9:05

ETD

302

ABU DHABI

10:20

ETD

301

ABU DHABI

9:30

GFA

214

BAHRAIN

10:20

GFA

213

BAHRAIN

9:35

KAC

617

DOHA

11:10

KAC

344

CHENNAI

10:35

KAC

165

ROME / PARIS

11:45

WAN

182

BAHRAIN

10:50

JZR

212

DEIREZZOR

11:45

JZR

151

DOHA

10:55

WAN

303

CAIRO

11:50

WAN

102

DUBAI

11:05

KAC

541

CAIRO

12:00

JZR

121

BAHRAIN

11:10

JZR

776

JEDDAH

12:00

JZR

165

DUBAI

11:20

JZR

238

AMMAN

12:10

MEA

404

BEIRUT

11:55

KAC

103

LONDON

12:30

MSR

623

SOHAG

12:30

MEA

405

BEIRUT

12:55

IRC

6521

LAMERD

12:35

KAC

501

BEIRUT

13:00

MSR

610

CAIRO

12:55

WAN

203

JEDDAH

13:00

JZR

257

BEIRUT

13:00

MSR

624

SOHAG

13:30

KAC

672

DUBAI

13:25

IRC

6522

LAMERD

13:35

FDB

57

DUBAI

13:50

KAC

785

JEDDAH

13:40

UAL

982

WASHINGTON DC DULLES

14:10

JZR

176

DUBAI

13:50

OMA

645

MUSCAT

14:15

KAC

618

DOHA

14:25

SVA

500

JEDDAH

14:30

KAC

552

DAMASCUS

14:35

QTR

134

DOHA

15:00

KAC

546

ALEXANDRIA

15:30

KAC

550

SOHAG

15:35

ETD

303

ABU DHABI

16:50

UAE

857

DUBAI

16:55

KAC

118

NEW YORK

16:55

GFA

215

BAHRAIN

17:05

SVA

510

RIYADH

17:20

JZR

213

DEIREZZOR

17:25

JZR

777

JEDDAH

17:30

RJA

800

AMMAN

17:30

JZR

239

AMMAN

17:40

ABY

127

SHARJAH

17:45

RBG

3555

ALEXANDRIA

17:55

VOS

97

KANDAHAR / DUBAI

18:00

ALK

227

COLOMBO / DUBAI

18:10

JZR WAN

177 304

DUBAI CAIRO

18:15 18:25

MSR

611

CAIRO

13:55

WAN

201

JEDDAH

14:00

FDB

58

DUBAI

14:35

KAC

673

DUBAI

15:10 15:15

OMA

646

MUSCAT

WAN

401

BEIRUT

15:15

UAL

982

BAHRAIN

15:25

SVA

501

JEDDAH

15:45

WAN

321

SHARM EL SHEIKH

16:00

KAC

613

BAHRAIN

16:20

KAC

773

RIYADH

16:25

QTR

135

DOHA

16:30

KAC

743

DAMMAM

16:40

JZR

1552

ALEXANDRIA

17:00

ETD

304

ABU DHABI

17:40

VOS

82

BAGHDAD

18:00

WAN

305

CAIRO

18:05

GFA

216

BAHRAIN

18:05

UAE

858

DUBAI

18:10

RJA

801

AMMAN

18:15

ABY

128

SHARJAH

18:25

RBG

3556

ALEXANDRIA

18:30

WAN

204

JEDDAH

18:25

KAC

502

BEIRUT

18:45

JZR

156

DOHA

18:30

511

RIYADH

18:35 18:45

KAC

542

CAIRO

18:50

SVA

WAN

106

DUBAI

18:55

WAN

421

AMMAN

KAC

786

JEDDAH

19:10

ALK

228

DUBAI / COLOMBO

19:10

285

CHITTAGONG

19:15

KAC

614

BAHRAIN

19:20

KAC

KAC

674

DUBAI

19:25

WAN

107

DUBAI

19:40

134

BAHRAIN

20:05 20:15

KAC

744

DAMMAM

19:25

JZR

IAC

575

CHENNAI / GOA

19:30

KAC

283

DHAKA

19:35

WAN

185

BAHRAIN

20:25

62

DUBAI

20:50 21:00

KAC

104

LONDON

KAC

774

RIYADH

19:40

FDB

FDB

61

DUBAI

20:05

KAC

331

TRIVANDRUM

OMA

647

MUSCAT

20:10

JZR

528

ASSIUT

21:00

648

MUSCAT

21:10 21:15

JAI

572

MUMBAI

20:15

OMA

WAN

402

BEIRUT

20:50

JAI

571

MUMBAI

DHX

372

BAHRAIN

21:00

KAC

543

CAIRO

21:55

VOS

81

BAGHDAD

21:15

DHX

373

BAHRAIN

22:00

GFA

217

BAHRAIN

21:15

KAC

675

DUBAI

22:10

21:20

GFA

218

BAHRAIN

22:15

MEA

402

BEIRUT

QTR

136

DOHA

21:35

MEA

403

BEIRUT

22:20

UAE

859

DUBAI

21:40

JZR

206

DAMASCUS

22:20

KLM

445

AMSTERDAM

21:40

KAC

381

DELHI

22:30

JZR

157

DOHA

22:10

FCX

102

BAHRAIN

22:30

MSR

612

CAIRO

22:45

QTR

137

DOHA

22:35

JZR

135

BAHRAIN

22:55

KLM

445

BAHRAIN / AMSTERDAM

22:40

UAL

981

BAHRAIN

23:00

JZR

554

ALEXANDRIA

22:45

WAN

186

BAHRAIN

23:10

KAC

301

MUMBAI

22:45

DLH

636

FRANKFURT

23:35

UAE

860

DUBAI

22:50

TAR

327

TUNIS

23:35

KAC

205

ISLAMABAD

22:55

JZR

1553

ALEXANDRIA

23:50

JZR

502

LUXOR

23:45

WAN

108

DUBAI

23:55

MSR

613

CAIRO

23:45

PIA

239

SIALKOT

23:55

KAC

411

BANGKOK / MANILA

23:55

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

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for bachelor or family opposite Al Rashid hospital, Amman street, Salmiya. Contact: 65515717. (C 2892) Sharing accommodation available for bachelors Goan or Mangalorian only with Mangalorian family with food near Jabriya bridge 4th Ring Road. Contact: 22662734. (C 2893) 29-11-2010

buildmerchants@yahoo.com

(C 2895) 29-11-2010

To let one spacious bedroom, with a separate toilet, in a 3 bedroom apartment, behind Safir International hotel. Single occupancy KD 75, double occupancy KD 100 for more details please call: 60046720. (C 2889) 27-11-2010

A well organized lady with a good experience in cooking and cleaning is needed to work for a single American/Arab in an apartment located in Salmiya working hrs 2 to 8 pm, salary KD 100. Tel: 66417504, 25710714. (C 2891) 27-11-2010

Sharing accommodation available in Farwaniya for decent working ladies near Crowne Plaza. Contact: 94026603. (C 2887)

A decent housemaid is urgently needed for a family in Mangaf. Please call 60055305

Sharing accommodation available for executive bachelor Muslim, furnished flat near Behbehani complex Sharq. Contact: 65627272. (C 2888)

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla 1.6 XLi, model 2010, color white, excellent condition, brand new car. Cash price KD 3,900. Contact: 99934965. (C 2894) 29-11-2010 SITUATION VACANT

Small Indian family requires maid preferably Indian, Nepalis, Indonesian, Ethiopian. English speaking, good cook, good household work, experienced baby-sitter. Contact: 66014855. Email:

No: 14923


SPECTRUM

34 CROSSWORD 153

Monday, November 29, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) Some of the issues confronting you now are in making peace with the past and coming to terms with any karmic debts you may have accrued in this life. Some suggest a backward walk or a review of each day and then letting go of any negative thought patterns. One might appreciate it if all people would look backward into how they care for the land, and make positive changes. Whatever we do has a ripple effect on our lives for good or bad—for some time to come. Take care and encourage others to do the same. Unconventional approaches to philosophy, religion, law and politics come to play a bigger role in your life this evening. A relative, friend or neighbor may be asking your advice on legal matters. Plan. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You are most persuasive with others and a communication attempt with a difficult person is successful. Your patience with the elderly is commendable and you may decide to choose some form of volunteer work or take on a business for yourself that includes care or service for the elderly—making their life easier. There are good opportunities for you to work outside this afternoon. Perhaps you will be applying some mulch or some other product that will protect your garden this winter. Visiting with neighbors or young people this afternoon provides you with a stage for self-expression and lends itself to your particular ideas and thoughts. You may find yourself serving or guiding a friend in matters of importance this evening.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. Gone by. 4. Cause to be attached. 10. 35th President of the United States. 13. Cleaning implement consisting of absorbent material fastened to a handle. 14. An Indian gum from the dhawa tree. 15. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 16. The wood of an African obeche tree. 18. The principal evil jinni in Islamic mythology. 20. A member of a Caddo people formerly living in north central Texas. 21. A state in the Rocky Mountains. 22. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 23. Squash bugs. 26. (Sumerian) Goddess personifying earth. 27. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 30. Wool of the alpaca. 33. A complex red organic pigment containing iron and other atoms to which oxygen binds. 35. A Bantu language spoken by the Chaga people in northern Tanzania. 38. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 39. A light touch or stroke. 41. Someone (especially a woman) who annoys people by constantly finding fault. 42. A short high tone produced as a signal or warning. 45. The Magadhan language spoken by the Assamese people. 48. Preparatory school work done outside school (especially at home). 50. Constructed with or in the form of an arch or arches. 53. A land mass (smaller than a continent) that is surrounded by water. 58. A bottle with a stopper. 60. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 61. A member of the Semitic speaking people of northern Ethiopia. 63. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 64. A young woman making her debut into society. 65. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 66. (informal) `johnny' was applied as a nickname for Confederate soldiers by the Federal soldiers in the American Civil War. DOWN 1. In a murderous frenzy as if possessed by a demon. 2. A desert in central Asia. 3. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 4. The ninth month of the Hindu calendar. 5. (Greek mythology) The Titaness who was mother of Helios and Selene and Eos in ancient mythology. 6. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosionresistant. 7. (anatomy) Of or relating to a cavity or chamber in the body (especially one of the upper chambers of the heart). 8. A New England state. 9. Step on it. 10. Become gelatinous. 11. United States industrialist who amassed a fortune in the steel industry (1849-1919). 12. A river of southwestern Africa that rises in central Angola and flows east and then north (forming part of the border between Angola and Congo) and continuing northwest through Congo to empty into the Congo River on the border between Congo and Republic of the Congo. 17. A deep opening in the earth's surface. 19. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 24. A island in the Netherlands Antilles that is the top of an extinct volcano. 25. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 28. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 29. Wrap us in a cerecloth, as of a corpse. 31. A small digital computer based on a microprocessor and designed to be used by one person at a time. 32. God of fire. 34. A public promotion of some product or service. 36. Bright and pleasant. 37. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 40. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 43. An ancient Hebrew unit of dry measure equal to about a bushel. 44. Manufactured in standard sizes to be shipped and assembled elsewhere. 46. Minute blackish gregarious flies destructive to mushrooms and seedlings. 47. Resembling milk in color or cloudiness. 49. Swelling from excessive accumulation of serous fluid in tissue. 51. A feeling of intense anger. 52. Decapod having eyes on short stalks and a broad flattened carapace with a small abdomen folded under the thorax and pincers. 54. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 55. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 56. The compass point that is one point east of northeast. 57. Lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise. 59. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 62. A trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) This morning you are ready, willing and able to be the speaker in a religious meeting. You are charming, witty and know just what to say when it comes to the question and answer period. The energies later today lend themselves to lecturing, traveling and study. You explore many social opportunities that will help to highlight or bring attention to your teachings. Participating in groups and organizations and accepting all types of invitations will bring you wonderful rewards in the future. Remain optimistic about a relationship. You have a lot in common with each other, making it fun to be together. Marriage can also be in the works once you consider changes in your more intimate relationships. You remain the center of attention all day long.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You are a good friend and you enjoy being with your friends in an inspiring environment this morning. You have insight into your emotions and you can talk about your feelings with great insight. You may find that today you are most imaginative, at least when it comes to ideas and thoughts. Music is an important aspect of this day as well. You may discover a new method of expressing yourself in some creative endeavor. This could be in the way you draw or paint or you could create a new melody or poem. Whatever you choose to create, today can be successful and enjoyable for you and others. This is a day that should find everything running smoothly. You are moved to appreciate and discover the beauty in your life and in those around you. Leo (July 23-August 22) You enjoy visiting with friends and playing a guessing game that includes the question of what might happen if you had a different life. If we ever want things to be different, we can change our life situation in most cases. The better questions are how to include talents and skills into everyday life and in what ways to be of service to your fellow man. All good and responsible choices can be yours for the taking today. Success is nearby for you and in most anything you care to become involved; patience and perseverance are key factors. Now is a good time to show your appreciation to others and perhaps correspond to family members out of town in order to keep in touch. Give yourself credit for your many accomplishments; enjoy the evening.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are in the mood for some fun and adventure today. There are plenty of opportunities to spend your money. In order to do all the things you want to do, you will probably benefit from some planning. You will want to have some money set aside for the unexpected as well. Music fills the air while you tend to your duties this morning. Group activities are highlighted and move you into favorable directions this afternoon. You are upbeat and ready for interaction with others and will find plenty of opportunities to communicate with friends. You are aware of the needs of others during this time and you are agreeable to the purchase of a new piece of furniture or some other item that has been previously discussed. Be sure to include all in the decision making.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Difficulties from the past seem to clear up quite nicely. Where others have tried to sway you into another way of thinking, you can now reply and respond with the love, warmth and understanding that were always yours. You may gain some ideas of ways in which you could earn extra money or go into a business for yourself. Real estate may be a subject you become particularly interested in these days. Your own growth and success may be linked to questions of security—home and family, in particular. This may be a time during which you can get ahead by finding your limits. Be very careful with the words you use when you are around children today—they will notice the words or concepts and may not understand the meaning.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) A favorite hobby or skill takes priority this morning and occupies your mind until you eat your next meal. Your many interests may include reading, trains, dolls, model building, miniatures, etc. There may be an opportunity to attend an art show this afternoon, perhaps a public showing of collections and hobbies. You will enjoy being with some of your friends that have the same sort of hobby interest as you. Working with hobbies is a wonderful way to get to know someone better. A common interest in spiritual values among family members may occur as well. You happily involve yourself in many conversations with great people today. You may be called upon to settle a debate this evening. You know just how to direct the conversation.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Your scope of friends are forward moving and upward climbing and while you enjoy the ride-along, there are times when you just need to hang out on a more peaceful level with slower paced friends. This is the general pattern of the day. Gathering and exchanging information with friends and family becomes a more important part of your Sunday life. Neighbors or siblings have a big impact on your goals and make a big impression. A friend of yours, the wild and crazy one, would love to drag you off for the afternoon. You could make arrangements. Be sure to take some suntan lotion if you are to be outside for long, no matter the season. The sun is still something of a problem to your skin type. This is a mentally and socially active time; enjoy. Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You exhibit the ability to focus and make spiritual ideas a practical matter, bringing them down to everyday life. You have great discipline when it comes to working with spirituality and unity—whatever binds or links all of us together. You would be able to teach and show others these realms. You may be teaching a religious class to a group of young people this morning. Later today you may find that a friend’s ideas need adjusting and you seem to be able to step in and create a smooth adjustment—almost undetected. You are not afraid to get into the most interesting situations—you always come up with the essence of the matter at hand. You enjoy playing with some computer games. A joke is passed around this evening.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Put your mind to

Yesterday’s Solution

work and take care of any details or chores around the house that that you may have left undone for another day. Problems and obstacles that have previously been difficult should find easy explanation. Your inner resources and emotions are accented. Expect a sense of support and good will from those around you. This afternoon you will take care of important communications. Answer an RSVP, speak out about something in which you believe. Getting close and opening up to friends can be most therapeutic at this time. This afternoon you may become involved in some trivia game. While the whole family is together, you may decide that now is the best time to talk about party plans for the next holiday. Preparation is a plus.

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You have an appreciation for responsibilities today and will carry out your fair share of the work on the home front. There is a feeling of being at peace and stable on the emotional level. You are learning some valuable tools to better relationships. Remember that the frustrations you may experience from time to time are opportunities to use your new problem-solving techniques. Stability satisfies a deep emotional need. There could be insight regarding your support system— your mother or other females may be included in this. You could discover a young person that opens up to you today. You might belong to a volunteer group that helps young people. Visiting with friends and sharing stories this evening promotes happy times and future memories.


INFORMATION

Monday, November 29, 2010

35 FIRE BRIGADE Operation Room 112 Al-Madena 22418714 Al-Shohada始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始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

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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

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

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 25330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290

(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:

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

22433377 24379900 177 22924455 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22425566 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/2433141 22456700 22412284/5 22453820/1

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)

0093 00355 00213 00376 00244 001264 001268 0054 00374 0061 0043 001242 00973 00880 001246 00375 0032 00501 00229 001441 00975 00591 00387 00267 0055 00673 00359 00226 00257 00855 00237 001 00238 001345 00236 00235 0056 0086 0057 00269 00242 00682 00506 00385 0053 00357 0090392 00420 0045 00246 00253 001767 001809 00593 0020 00503 0044

Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guyana Haiti Holland (Netherlands) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Ibiza (Spain) Iceland India Indian Ocean Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Italy Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Liberia Libya Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia

00240 00291 00372 00251 00500 00298 00679 00358 0033 00594 00689 00241 00220 00995 0049 00233 00350 0030 00299 001473 00590 001671 00502 00224 00592 00509 0031 00504 00852 0036 0034 00354 0091 00873 0062 0098 00964 00353 0039 00225 001876 0081 00962 007 00254 00686 00965 00996 00856 00371 00961 00231 00218 00370 00352 00853 00389


36

SPECTRUM

Monday, November 29, 2010

he ‘Harry Potter’ star - who plays Hermione Granger in the series, which completed shooting on its final film earlier this year- has recently had a drastic new short crop and admitted it was a symbolic gesture, to mark her leaving her character behind. She told the Daily Mail newspaper: “I’m 20 now, so I’m not a child any more. I’ve been on Harry Potter for ten years now, so I felt the need to mark the end of it in some way - I needed some way to say to myself, ‘Right, you’re entering a new phase of your life now’. I needed a change, and that’s what the haircut is about.” Emma, who played Hermione from the age of nine, added her father was initially worried about her new look, but that her pixie-like hairdo has since grown on him. She said: “When I first told him that I was thinking about doing it, he said, ‘Don’t get carried away. You’re not Audrey Hepburn yet.’ But he loves it now, and so he’s eating his words.” Emma, who is also the face of fashion chain Burberry and attends Brown University in the US, admitted she finds it difficult to juggle her life as an A-list actress and a hardworking student, but she puts in as much effort to both as she can. The actress added: “I’m not going to lie. I have to just work really hard when I’m at university and earn my professor’s respect and trust that I’m hardworking, take it seriously and that I will come up with the goods somehow. “You have to be really organized with your time. I tell professors in advance that I have to leave for this period of time, and I hope they’ll understand.” ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One’ is in cinemas now.

T

he ‘Unstoppable’ actor admits he had few friends growing up and thought taking drama classes would help boost his chance of finding new pals. He said: “I wanted to become an actor because I wanted friends. I went to a very large university and was a shy, late bloomer and I really didn’t have a social network. “So I found theatre out of a need to find a community really.” The 30-year-old star also admitted he appreciates the fact his father Robert Pine is an actor and his mother Gwynne Gilford used to be an actress because it means they understand when he has had a bad day. He explained: “What I appreciate from my family is that there is a common language to it so if I’ve had a long, hard day I can call up and say, ‘Such and such happened and the director said such and such and the other actor said blah blah blah.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, OK, we get that.’ “Because my mom’s done it, my grandmother did it, my father did it and my sister actually worked for Ton Scott, who directed ‘Unstoppable.’ “

T

he ‘Beautiful Monster’ singer who became a father to daughter Madilyn Grace earlier this month will never marry a woman who relies on him for money. He explained: “I don’t want someone who’s with me because she needs help paying the rent. My mum worked six jobs to make sure we never needed anything so that’s the kind of woman I’ll marry.” Although Monyetta Shaw gave birth to the star’s daughter, Ne-Yo - whose real name is Shaffer Smith - insists she is not his girlfriend and says he has very clear ideas on the type of woman he wants to be with. He said: “I love a woman who laughs and can make me laugh. I rarely give my number out because most women don’t care who Shaffer is. If you don’t care about the real me should I waste time with you?” Ne-Yo added he wishes he had found love before he hit the big time because as he finds it hard to trust women. He told Company magazine: “I’ve been caught out more times that I’m proud of. I applaud guys who found the one before fame. After the money, cars and jewelry, it’s difficult to figure out who’s there for you and who’s there for the bank account.”

T

he ‘Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time’ actor admits he is still left surprised that he is regarded as a star as big as older actors such as Tom Cruise or Nicholas Cage as he doesn’t view himself as a leading man. He said: “I don’t see myself like a leading man at all. That’s very result-oriented. I’ve been like that at different times in my career, but at this point I’m not. I think people look at me like that bit, but I don’t. “I’ve been the lead in lots of different movies but it’s never been about that. “It’s funny, I as at some event for ‘Prince Of Persia’ and Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage were there. And there I was standing with them thinking ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ “Jake also admitted he likes to tackle a wide variety of characters in his movies because of advice he was given by his father many years ago. He told Total Film magazine: “My dad always says to me that the job of any artist is to disturb the comfortable and to comfort the disturbed.”

T

he pop star wants to focus on her family when she and husband Russell Brand - who she wed in India in October - decide to have a baby and she insists she will fit her career around her responsibilities as a parent She said: “My singing is really important to me, but when children come along they’ll be my main focus. I’d never put my career in front of my babies - it’d be a case of fitting jobs around them.” Although the 26-yearold singer has been thinking about having a baby, she

T

he 27-year-old model is expecting her first child with husband Orlando Bloom and insists her career is no longer her biggest priority. She said: “For me, family is life. The decision to start one wasn’t complex at all. “My career has been wonderful, but it’s not my life. I don’t feel pressure to get back to work.” The Australian beauty also has a vision for a laid-back future life with her family. She told W magazine: “My goal involves a hammock, a vegetable patch, and a solar-powered house. And I hope to eventually get there.” Miranda had been shooting a fashion campaign in Paris when she found out she was pregnant, following weeks of nausea. She

T

insists it could be years before she and her comedic spouse start a family, though she admits she would like more than one child. She added: “Look, any couple in a serious relationship has that talk about babies, but we haven’t decided when. Russell wants lots of children and I think there’s something amazing about tons of kids running around. We probably won’t have the talk again for a few years - it’s important to enjoy each other before having babies.” — Bang Showbiz

explained: “I was wondering why I’d been so sick.” The Victoria’s Secret model is due to give birth early next year but she and her actor spouse decided against finding out the sex of the child. She said: “We’re keeping it a surprise.” Miranda recently spoke about how she admired fellow models who juggled their careers and family life. She said: “I’ve always been open about wanting to be a mother one day, and I’ve always thought Orlando would be a great dad. “I think having children and pregnancy is a part of life. I look at how models like Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio have done it and made it a part of their lives.”


SPECTRUM

Monday, November 29, 2010

By Mary McNamara uring the last 10 years, I have written about some of the vacations my husband, our three children and I have taken to Ireland, Italy, Paris, Germany, the Netherlands and London. The response has been mixed. Many found inspiration in our tales; others thought my husband and I were crazy for “dragging” our children on trips that were too expensive and arduous for families with young ones. We have recently returned from a five-day visit to Walt Disney World, and I’m here to tell you that a trip to Paris, London or Tuscany would be a breeze for anyone who has planned, paid for and survived a trip to those 39 square miles of drained Orlando, Florida, swamp with its time-sucking cycle of buses, endless lines and relentless commitment to merchandise.

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Also much cheaper. To be clear, I don’t object to Disney on moral grounds. I love Disneyland and have been a season passholder for years. We even spent last Mother’s Day at the Disneyland Hotel. That may be part of the reason my family and I were so disappointed by Disney World: We’re spoiled. We live in Southern California with theme parks, world-class zoos, Seaworld and even a wild animal park all within driving distance. And certainly the encyclopedic travel guides and websites devoted to Disney World are proof enough that people are besotted with the place. Which is why, when I was sent to Orlando to review the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, I figured we might as well see what all the fuss was about at that other park. Thinking back, I should have seen all those guides and sites as red flags. When hundreds of people have devoted thousands of hours to meticulously listing tips and warnings about how to have a successful trip to a resort that’s supposed to be the most magical place on Earth, you know something is off.

Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida. — MCT After hours trying to navigate the website, with its uncountable number of resort and package choices, I was a mess. And I began with more parameters than most people. We are a family of five and didn’t want to pay for two rooms, which narrowed the field considerably. (Only a few of the moderately priced resorts have suites.) We also didn’t want to eat every meal out, because the cheapest meal plan was $45 a person a day and seemed to involve making reservations months in advance.

The only resort that worked for us was the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness. Done. Then the park package had to be assembled - basic or Park Hopper (basic), water parks or not (water parks), extra baskets or treats in the room (nope), you’re sure you don’t want the meal plan (yes), please fill in all the names, ages and serial numbers of your party, not to mention all your credit card and flight info. Then when I hit the “submit” button, the computer told me it couldn’t accept the package, so I should call a rep-

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ohn Grisham has always been able to hook his readers with believable characters and fast-paced adventure, but in his latest novel, that formula breaks down late as he gets a bit preachy about his subject. Grisham presents a very convincing case against the death penalty in “The Confession.” (His profile on the back flap of the book notes that he is on the board of directors of the Innocence Project in New York and Mississippi, a program dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted prisoners.) The clock is ticking down for death-row inmate Donte Drumm, a former high-school football star convicted of the kidnapping, rape and murder of a popular young cheerleader. Four days before Drumm is scheduled to die in the Texas death chamber, longtime criminal Travis Boyette, who says he’s dying of a brain tumor, visits St Mark’s Church in Kansas and tells the Rev Keith Schroeder that an innocent man is about to be executed for a crime that he never committed. Schroeder - and the reader- are drawn into a desperate race to save Drumm. Schroeder and Boyett eventually meet with lawyer Robbie Flak, whose clients are “the abused, the accused, the mistreated, the injured,” and who has spent years trying to free Drumm. A corrupt cop and prosecutor, and a former classmate who lied about Drumm’s relationship to the cheerleader, aren’t about to see a case that made them famous become unraveled. A governor who wants voters to see him as tough on crime isn’t about to issue a pardon or even a delay. Grisham’s strong feelings about the death penalty are displayed throughout the book. He writes movingly of Drumm’s decline during his years on death row, detailing how hope drained away from a young man who once seemed to be on top of the world. His poignant picture of a mother washing and dressing her baby one last time, gently working on the body she has not been able to hug, kiss or even touch for so many years, will make even the most dedicated death-penalty proponents pause and reflect on their views. But in the final chapters, Grisham belabors his points about the ultimate punishment, especially when he details Flak’s news conference in which he endlessly goes over the case. The recap of everything the reader already knows drags on for pages. At the end of the epilogue, however, Grisham again hits his stride, closing with a nice sense of irony that will stick with readers. — AP

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supplies, scrubs his filthy kitchen and bathroom, and, over Ptolemy’s initial objections, starts ridding the place of trash. The scenes in which Robyn and Ptolemy go through every item in his apartment, deciding which ones have meaning for him and which ones are just trash, are truly touching. So are the scenes in which Ptolemy gazes at the girl’s long legs and

tries to suppress his impure thoughts - moments that would have come off as creepy in a lesser writer’s hands. Once Robyn has cleaned Ptolemy’s space, she begins to work directly on him, taking him to a series of doctors who find that the old man is in remarkable physical condition for his age. Ptolemy could live with his worsening dementia for several more years, one doctor says, or he could choose to take an experimental drug that could restore his memories but dramatically shorten his life. Ptolemy looks into the doctor’s green eyes and senses that he is “staring into the face of the Devil.” How Ptolemy responds to this Faustian bargain, and how he discovers and addresses the unfinished business that has long haunted him, provide the dramatic arc of this remarkable, beautifully written novel. “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” is a rich and profound exploration of generosity, greed, love, loss; the indignities of old age; the value of memory; and the true meaning of family. — AP

resentative. Who asked me for all the info again. I hadn’t even packed a bag and I was exhausted. But I did not yet know the meaning of the word exhausted. The Pentagon needs to figure out some strategic use for the Florida summer. It saps the strength of even the perkiest child, the most inveterate traveler. Still, with the misters and the air conditioning, with the spray bottles we brought (on advice from a Disney World website), we had a lovely time at Universal Orlando. Not only was the Wizarding World fantastic, but both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios had many more and better rides than our local version does. The hotels are a fiveminute boat ride away, and the room key acts as an Express Pass to many rides. Disney World was another story. It’s just so big, and everything is so spread out. The cabins at Fort Wilderness were nice and the setting was beautiful, a lovely lake with a sandy beach and piney woods bedecked by Spanish moss. But to get anywhere, we had to take a resort bus to the Outpost depot, where we took another bus to whichever theme park we had chosen for the day. In the end, we spent more time riding the bus than riding the rides. Because there just aren’t that many rides at Disney World. Now granted, with just four full days, we decided to give the Magic Kingdom a pass because it is exactly like Disneyland, so that must be taken into account. But at the other parks - Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom - there are, essentially, two or three big rides and a handful of smaller ones. As at Disneyland, extended hours are offered to those staying in resort hotels. But because nearly everyone at Disney World is staying on-site, this means nothing. We checked into our cabin midday and decided to relax for an hour or so and take advantage of the extra nighttime hours at Hollywood Studios. Because it was open until midnight, we arrived at 6 pm only to discover that many of the shows closed at 7 and there were no Fastpasses left for the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which had lines two hours long. While waiting, I learned from a Disney veteran that

kinner Sweet’s his name, but the long, lean drifter is anything but. The titular character in Vertigo’s ongoing “American Vampire” series, the former outlaw turned bloodsucker is charting a course of decadent evil, pacing the expansion of growing United States as Hollywood moves from silents to talkies and Las Vegas begins its bloom of avarice, greed, lust and power. Created by writer Scott Snyder, Sweet’s story was augmented by Stephen King, the author whose literary creations have been creeping out readers since the early 1970s. “Scott and I did each other a favor. I lent my name, which got the mag going with a little bit more of a higher profile, and he lent me his expertise,” King said of the collaboration. But unlike the wave of pop culture vampires in recent years - grounded, lovelorn, conflicted - Sweet is shiftless, selfish, utterly without redemption and pure evil. King wouldn’t have it any other way. Sweet, he said in an interview, is the “anti-’Twilight’ vampire, the anti-Edward,” a “dissolute Kurt Cobain” with a mean streak a mile wide and a sweet tooth for hard candy to match. He likens the story arc prepped by Snyder to the work of crime writer James Ellroy whose work has explored the “underbelly” of America. “Scott put this thing together where you have a chance to see all these aspects of American life, American growth and American expansion,” King said, and Sweet is “sucking the life out of everything.” The aim of the series - King helped write Skinner’s origin in the first five issues, now collected in a hardback edition for sale at book stores and local comic book shops - is to chart how a new

S t’s been more than 20 years since Ptolemy Grey awoke to find his beloved but unfaithful wife, Sensie, lying dead in the bed next to him. On that day, his life began its downward spiral. Now, at 91, he is frail and plagued by Alzheimer’s. The Los Angeles apartment he once shared with Sensie is filthy, filled with trash and overrun with vermin. He lives in terror of his drug-addicted neighbors, so he seldom ventures outside. Instead, he sits in front of the television for hours trying to remember how to turn it on. Some days, he forgets to eat. His great-grandnephew Reggie looks in on him from time to time, taking him to the bank to cash his Social Security pension check and to the store for groceries. Then Reggie is killed in a drive-by shooting, and things get worse for Ptolemy. Reggie’s place is taken by another distant relative who comes by mainly to steal from the old man. Mostly Ptolemy is left alone with what remains of his memories. “They were still his,” Walter Mosley writes in his new novel, but they were “locked on the other side of a closed door that he’d lost the key for. So his memory became like secrets held away from his own mind. But these secrets were noisy things; they babbled and muttered behind the door, and so if he listened closely he might catch a snatch of something he once knew well.” The snatches are startling: a house fire consuming a childhood friend; the lynching of an old man Ptolemy had revered when he was a boy. The memories carry with them an overwhelming sense that Ptolemy has left something important unfinished, but he has no idea what it might be. Mosley is best known for his critically acclaimed crime novels featuring Easy Rawlins, Socrates Fortlow and Leonid McGill; but he has always resisted being categorized, venturing into mainstream novels, science fiction and social commentary. Making an aged dementia patient the main character of “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” is the author’s most daring effort to date. Ptolemy’s life changes when Robyn, a homeless 17-year-old girl Reggie’s mother had taken in, takes a liking to the old man and volunteers to take care of him. First, she lugs in cleaning

37 you must show up at the park the minute it opens, hang out long enough to collect a few Fastpasses (you can get only one an hour) and return in the evening. If I had that kind of strategic mind, I would have gone to West Point. I thought I was on vacation, and the fact that the three grand I paid for four days would buy me a certain amount of ease. I had a much easier time getting us into the Louvre, the London Eye and the Vatican. The Vatican! The next few days were a blur of very early mornings - we decided to take advantage of the 8 am openings, which meant we had to be at the Outpost by 7:15, which meant we were up at 6 - and sprints to various Fastpass kiosks. Not surprisingly, the need for speed, the heat and the anxiety of time management made it impossible to enjoy the landscaping at the various parks or to keep track of various show times. And it wasn’t just me. All around me, I saw hot and frenzied parents hustling their kids along so they could get to one ride or another before the line became prohibitive. The water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, were the high points of the trip. There were long lines for these big slides, but the lazy rivers were open to everyone, and the little kids’ sections were great for our 3-year-old - and Animal Kingdom is a wonderful place with its mini-safari and terrific Expedition Everest roller coaster. But there were so many paths to travel, so many buses to catch and it all cost so much that we felt fiscally obligated to walk and ride until we dropped. For those people who don’t live within spitting distance of Disneyland, no doubt Disney World is a revelation. For every hot, frustrated visitor, there were two others who seemed to be having a great time. But even to them, I would say: If you enjoy the faux worlds of Epcot, the mini-Eiffel tower, the fake Mexican pyramid, don’t forget to see the real ones. Yes, the airfare is higher, but the day rate is nowhere near as expensive. “Next summer,” my 12-year-old son, Danny, said, laying his hot and weary head against the hard plastic of the tram seat, “let’s go to Ireland. It’s so much easier.” — MCT

world means a new type of vampire. The art is done by Rafael Albuquerque. The story concerns Pearl, a wannabe actress from the Midwest who is fed upon by a cabal of old world vampires from abroad and left for dead in 1920s. Her story runs parallel with Sweet, the bank robber also left for dead and infected by the vampire

virus in the late 1800s, his coffin below not just the ground, but a newly created lake. He’s released when souvenir hunters dive down to reclaim his bones or hat or anything that they can sell to collectors. King said he was exposed to the character when Snyder e-mailed him a draft of the initial script, seeking his thoughts and, maybe, a blurb for the

cover. Snyder got more than that. “I read it and I was turned on by the whole idea that it was the anti-’Twilight’ vampire, the anti-Edward. I said I absolutely loved this and would like to be involved and he brought me on board,” he said. King said it was also a chance for him to get involved in a medium he had, until now, largely not been part of, comic books. Some of his works have been adapted for the format, including his “Dark Tower” series, along with others. “The more that I came to it, the more that I saw, the more that I thought the whole comic book thing - there’s such a tendency for people who are, particularly my generation - to think of comics as Caspar the Friendly Ghost and Little Lulu,” King said. “But there’s some amazing things. ... It’s a serious format and I think a lot of people come to it expecting juvenilia and they find something that’s a lot more sophisticated. “If ‘American Vampire’ helps to open up people’s minds to that, then I’m happy.” So far, King said, he’s hooked and “American Vampire” won’t be his last foray into comic books. He’s mulling a creator-owned book for Vertigo and possibly another tale about Sweet, too, that he’s discussed with Snyder. “I did talk to him a little bit about doing a Skinner Sweet rock ‘n’ roll story. You know, around the time of Elvis and Carl Perkins and Little Richard and all that,” King said. “That would be fun.” King said the format is ripe for storytelling. “There’s room to grow. I like new stuff. Short stories, novels, screenplays, all those things are great, but I’ve done them all and this is something new and it’s kind of fun,” he said. — AP

A man takes a picture of a sculpture by Samuel Salcedo on the opening day of the “Start” European contemporary art fair. The 15th St-Art fair brings together fifteen countries through a selection of shows and with the city of Bucharest as special guest. — AFP


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Monday, November 29, 2010

Indian musicians perform during a “Manganiyar Seduction” show in New Delhi on November 27, 2010. ‘The Manganiyar Seduction,’ a 70-minute theatrical presentation was conceived by the Indian director Roysten Abel. The concept creates a dazzling union between the Manganiyar’s music and the visual seduction of Amsterdam’s red light district. The sets are a combination of the Hawa Mahal and the Red light district of Amsterdam. Over the years their patrons have shifted from the kings to a person who could give them a meal. Their repertoire ranges from ballads about the kings to Sufi songs written by various mystics. — AFP

US singer Alicia Keys performs on stage at the Festhalle in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. — AP

By Mesfin Fekadu licia Keys and Lady Gaga take charity work seriously, and they’re going offline to prove it. Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher and other celebrities have joined a new campaign called Digital LifeSacrifice on behalf of Keys’ charity, Keep a Child Alive. The entertainers plan to sign off of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter tomorrow, which is World AIDS Day. The participants will sign back on when the charity raises $1 million. “It’s really important and super-cool to use mediums that we naturally are on,” Keys said in a phone interview from New York last week. For the campaign - which also includes Jennifer

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Hudson, Ryan Seacrest, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Elijah Wood, Serena Williams, Janelle Monae and Keys’ husband, Swizz Beatz - celebrities have filmed “last tweet and testament” videos and will appear in ads showing them lying in coffins to represent what the campaign calls their digital deaths. “It’s so important to shock you to the point of waking up,” Keys said. “It’s not that people don’t care or it’s not that people don’t want to do something, it’s that they never thought of it quite like that.” The campaign, she said, puts the disease in perspective. “This is such a direct and instantly emotional way and a little sarcastic, you know, of a way to get people to pay attention,” Keys said. The foundation, which began in 2003, will accept

donations through text messages and bar-code technology, which is featured in the charity’s Buy Life campaign. Raised efforts support families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. “We’re trying to sort of make the remark: Why do we care so much about the death of one celebrity as opposed to millions and millions of people dying in the place that we’re all from?” said Leigh Blake, the president and cofounder of Keep a Child Alive. “It’s about love and respect and human dignity,” she added. Keys said recruiting celebrities was difficult because of scheduling, but “once I got people on the phone and I was able to paint the concept for them, everybody was in.” Not one person said no, Keys recalled. “I have a feeling that Gaga is going to raise

it all by herself,” Blake said. “She’s got a very, very mobilized fan base and that’s beautiful to watch I think (and) she’s able to draw their attention to these issues that are very important, you know, and that people follow it and act.” Keys is hoping more people - both famous folks and non-celebs - get involved once the new initiative launches: “It just doesn’t have to be just because you’re a celebrity or something like that. It can be anybody.” Keys, 29, married rapper-producer Swizz Beatz in July. The two had their first son, Egypt, last month. The Grammy winner said that though her life’s getting busier, being a mother and wife makes her want to help others even more. “As a human being, you deserve to have a chance at life,” she said. — AP

By Nekesa Mumbi Moody By Benedicte Rey fter a decade playing hide-and-seek with fans, Damon Albarn is back on tour with his virtual band Gorillaz even though the pop icon swears the spotlight makes him feel like a “stupid pervert”. In 1998, at the height of his success with Britpop giant Blur, Albarn cooked up the Gorillaz concept with his flatmate, the illustrator Jamie Hewlett, as a way to take a step back from the fame game. “We had this fantasy originally, I wouldn’t have to go on tour. At the beginning I wasn’t even going to sing,” he told AFP in Paris, midway through a world tour taking in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. For its first gigs, the band played behind a screen with images of the virtual band members: Russel, Noodle, 2-D and Murdoch-the last two closely inspired by their creators. But they soon came to realise “people need the human aspect,” Albarn said just like Daft Punk, fellow masters of disguise who in 2005 titled their third album “Human After All”. “In Japan, we played behind a screen and people asked for their money back because they hadn’t seen us. They only saw our silhouettes.” Now that he’s back in the limelight, Albarn feels he has come full circle. “I thought I’d have made progress-but I’ve just come back to being this stupid pervert at the front of the stage,” he joked. The idea of taking Gorillaz on tour, complete with its two dozen musicians and host of guests, came from former Clash bass player Paul Simonon, who played on the band’s latest album “Plastic Beach”. “I thought we’d better go on tour when Paul Simonon said: ‘I’d like to play in the band’,” Albarn said. “A lot of the time in the past, it’s been singers essentially whom we collaborated with. But Mick and Paul are musicians, who understand the dynamic of being on stage, of presenting a show.” On stage Gorillaz is a riotous, gargantuan affair. Some 20 artists rubbed shoulders in a Paris show,

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from a string ensemble to two drummers, a bass guitar, a keyboard, a wind section-even a church bell, belting out a fusion of pop, rap, electro and world music. The band’s name is writ large in giant neon letters, while videos designed by Hewlett are beamed onto a giant screen, taking fans to the “Plastic Beach” the island made of litter-that gave its name to their third album. Gorillaz this summer became the first Western pop band to play in Damascus, which is home to one of the guest outfits on the album, The Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. “I’m not trying to ignore the politics in Syria,” Albarn said. “But our experience was only a positive one. I was surprised at how free and open it was.” “We thought we’d get maybe 500 people, in the end there were 6,000. I saw teenage young women with head scarves on the shoulders of their boyfriends. You don’t see that very often.” From China to Iraq, Albarn has spent much of recent years scouting the world for new musical forms and talents. In parallel with Gorillaz, he has produced music in Mali, set up improvised jam concerts with Western and African musicians, and triumphed with a Chinese-themed opera, a sumptuous fusion of Asian folklore and music. “I like my ideas, and my mind and my soul to be stimulated endlessly,” Albarn told AFP. “I think a lot of people in pop music are very conservative, but I know a lot of musicians who have a similar mindset to myself. “I don’t feel exceptional.” After his globe-trotting past decade, does he see himself rejoining the ranks of a regular pop band-”you and three other good-looking guys,” in Hewlett’s words. “At the age of 42 nearly 43, I don’t think that’s possible,” Albarn said. But he ducked a question about his future plans with Blur, or who would be next to join the adventures of Gorillaz, after the likes of Dennis Hopper or Lou Reed. “Actors, presidents, Nobel Peace Prize winners, that kind of thing,” he mused, as Hewlett offered: “Danny de Vito!” — AFP

hile Pink’s impending motherhood is garnering her plenty of ink, she’s got something else to celebrate - 10 years in the music business. The 31-year-old singer recently released “Greatest Hits ... So Far!!!” that chronicles her growth from a potent, big-voiced R&B star to dynamic pop singer and performer. It comes after a year in which she has gotten the most acclaim of her career, including raves for her acrobatic, levitating performance at this year’s Grammy Awards. “The Grammys was for me, it was my a-ha moment. It was one of those nights where you’re looking back and you’re talking to your grandkids and you’re like, ‘Yeah, I had that night where everyone stood up and I felt awesome,”‘ she said in a recent phone interview. After nearly two years touring the world, Pink has retreated to the Los Angeles-area home she shares with her motocross-racing husband Carey Hart. She’s made it clear that being a mother won’t change her high-flying ways. “As soon as the baby can say ‘mama,’ I’m going on the road,” she said almost two weeks later in an e-mail, after announcing her pregnancy. “We are going to be a traveling family gypsy band with garlands in our hair.”

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The Associated Press: How does it feel to release a retrospective at this point in your career? Pink: I definitely had mixed feelings. (Laughs.) You know what? I’m happier now than I was when it was first being talked about. I had been putting it off for years, although that sounds pretty funny. I don’t feel old enough, I guess.

AP: Were you hesitant about getting back up there? Pink: No, because I had a show the very next night, so if I wasn’t paralyzed then I wasn’t canceling because I don’t cancel shows. AP: You’re back home now. Is it a difficult adjustment? Pink: It’s completely strange. I walk around in circles, I clean a lot, I really don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not on the road. ... For me, I figure I’m going to take a little break. I want to do a record that’s non-radio friendly (laughs) and more akin to that Grammy performance that I had.

AP: What made you decide to finally do it? Pink: At the end of the day, when I get out of my own way, which is what I had to do, it’s something to really be proud of, because when I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was make one hit record. To be able to put out an album full of them is pretty damn special. AP: Over the last year, you’ve gotten more acclaim. What’s your reaction? Pink: I’ve been busting my (butt) in Europe and Australia and pretty much everywhere else outside of this country for 10 years playing stadiums and arenas ... and then you come here and play clubs, which is kinda rad because I live here and I like being left alone. But also to constantly still be hearing people go, “Wow, she can really sing.” ... I don’t know, it’s a constant battle, but it keeps me motivated, and the Grammys was that moment where I felt like finally I had been given my due a little bit. AP: You had a scary accident earlier this year when you fell during your acrobatic act. Was

it as scary for you? Pink: It’s hard to complain when you’re married to Carey Hart. (Laughs.) ... He basically crashes for a living. ... It hurt a lot and I was worried that I was going to be paralyzed and break my back, and I couldn’t feel my legs, and then felt really embarrassed because an entire arena full of people were staring at me. I was fine, I was very lucky.

AP: Why non-radio friendly? Pink: Well, I always joke that my favorite artist from the ‘60s and ‘70s would have never gotten radio play today, Janis Joplin. You would have never heard probably “Summertime” on the radio. If it’s not 31/2 minutes long, it ain’t getting played. So when I say (non-) radio friendly, I’m just being vague. I wanna go and just write. I want do to my acoustic rock ‘n’ roll record, which I always wanted to do since I was a little girl. ... I wanna go to Nashville, I want to go to New York, I want to go all over the place, actually write songs, get a body of work together, and then get musicians together and then record a record like they did in the old days. — AP


By Derrik J Lang hen veteran video game designer Warren Spector spots a pamphlet for a never-erected extension of Disneyland’s Main Street USA inside the Walt Disney Co’s archive vault, his eyes seem like they want to burst out of their sockets through his oval-shaped glasses. The expression is not unlike the cartoons that power his geeky enthusiasm. The last time the “Deus Ex” designer was here three years ago, he plunged deep into the depository with his colleagues in search of inspiration for “Disney Epic Mickey,” a daring action-adventure game starring Mickey Mouse set for release tomorrow for Nintendo’s Wii. He found it in drawings and paintings created long before Donkey Kong tossed his first barrel. The archives where Disney stores most of its historic memorabilia are more like sterile little museums than one giant magical vault. Artifacts are tucked into every nook - from the mammoth original concept drawing of Disneyland to crumbling reference sculptures used for “Fantasia.” If this was Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, Spector would be Charlie Bucket. “When Disney asked me if I was interested in making a Mickey Mouse game, I tried to play it cool,” said the lifelong fan. “Really, inside, I was like, ‘Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. OK. OK. OK. OK. I’m in.’ Then, when they said they were getting the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit back, I was done. There was no way anyone was going to make this game but me.” Oswald, the wacky predecessor to Mickey created by Walt Disney but lost in a 1928 contract dispute with Universal Studios, returned to Disney’s control in 2006. In the game, the rabbit serves as the warden of Wasteland, a warped version of Disneyland

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populated with forgotten characters and twisted theme park attractions that Mickey must navigate. The gameplay within Wasteland alternates between 3-D lands that task Mickey with using magic paint and thinner to create paths and brush off bad-

dies and 2-D levels modeled after bygone cartoons, such as “Steamboat Willie.” Throughout his quest to stop the evil Phantom Blot, Mickey is presented with moral dilemmas that will affect the game’s outcome. Unlike simplistic past games featuring the Mouse,

such as 1990’s “Castle of Illusion” and 2002’s “Magical Mirror,” Spector set out to craft a dynamic Mickey game that would pay homage to the ‘toon while equally appealing to both longtime Disney devotees and children who probably don’t revere the rodent with the same enthusiasm as previous generations. During excursions to California, Spector and his Austin, Texas-based team from Junction Point Studios sought the foundations for their wayward Wasteland denizens in the archives in Burbank and Glendale, home to Disney Imagineering, the creative division of engineers, designers and artists responsible for the look and feel of Disney theme parks and resorts.He and his crew were motivated by such specimens as a cast-aside sketch from the animated film archive of a husky Captain Hook, which inspired the game’s maniacal animatronic version. Instructions for an old Jolly Roger toy tucked inside a folder marked “Peter Pan” in the Imagineering library became the blueprint for a virtual pirate ship showdown. “It just sort of explodes,” said Spector while recently retracing his steps in the archives. “I’ve often felt like a pachinko ball. I go in looking for something specific and then - ping, ping, ping - all of a sudden, I’m chasing down something I didn’t even know existed, so that’s probably one of the reasons why the game took as long as it did to make.” Spector said Disney brass warned him to stay away from including characters already being mined elsewhere. He was fond of “Alice in Wonderland” and Tinker Bell but opted against stepping on the toes of Tim Burton or the burgeoning Fairies franchise. However, there are a few nods to “Tron” in the lively Tomorrow City, the game’s take on Tomorrowland.

uctioneers overestimated the power of the dark side. An original Darth Vader costume from a “Star Wars” movie did not sell at auction when no bidder offered to pay the reserve price, Christie’s auctioneers said. The outfit - a jet-black helmet, mask and armor - was expected to sell for between 160,000 pounds and 230,000 pounds ($250,000 to $365,000). The reserve price is confidential but generally it is just under

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the minimum expected price. Christie’s said bidding stopped at 150,000 pounds. The costume is thought to have been made for “The Empire Strikes Back,” the second film in George Lucas’s sci-fi series, released in 1980. The auction house’s head of popular culture, Neil Roberts, said the costume is one of the most iconic in the history of cinema. Christie’s did not name the seller, identified only as an

One early “Epic Mickey” concept centered on the Mouse weaseling his way into the actual Disney archives. It was scrapped. Another idea ditched during the game’s development had Mickey transforming into a snarling rat when players made mischievous choices. Spector ultimately focused on a retro rendition, but he insists that his Mickey is different. “When people look at our Mickey, they don’t recognize the changes,” said Spector. “The reality is there are hundreds of subtle changes between what people actually think of as Mickey, and what we put on the screen as Mickey in our game. We’ve been true to people’s memories and also come up with something that is unique, fresh and modern. I love our Mickey.” Spector stretched out Mickey’s limbs, filled in his eyes and returned his face from modernday tan to old-school white. Such decisions didn’t go unguided. Animators and other folks from across Disney divisions formed a so-called Mickey Creative Council, which made certain that Spector and his design team didn’t tarnish their beloved corporate symbol. The result is poised to position the 82-year-old character as the next Mario or Master Chief. Spector said the realm of Wasteland is actually larger than what gamers will experience in “Epic Mickey,” and he has several ideas for additional adventures, though new treasures unearthed in the Disney archives could steer possible sequels in other directions. “Just walking around the archives today, I’ve seen things, found things and spotted files and folders that I didn’t know existed,” said Spector. “If we get to do another game, I’ll be back here with my team doing a bunch of research that is going to completely change any story I might have had in my head when we started thinking about this a long time ago.” — AP

American private collector. Meanwhile, a gun used in an advertising campaign for a James Bond movie was sold for more than 10 times its estimated value at Thursday’s auction of movie memorabilia. The Walther air pistol held by Bond actor Sean Connery in the poster for the 1963 film, “From Russia With Love,” was sold for 277,250 pounds ($437,206) to an unidentified telephone bidder, Christie’s said. — AP

Movie reviews By Jake Coyle

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By Christy Lemire

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top me if you think you’ve heard this one before. A small-town girl with big dreams and a big voice packs up everything she owns in a suitcase, makes her way to Hollywood and wows the world with her talent. But not everyone has her best interest at heart, so she’ll have to cling tight to her values to figure out whom she should trust. And she’ll do it ... in song! Yes, they should provide a cliche checklist at the door of “Burlesque,” just to make it interactive and help pass the time. Sure, this song-and-dance extravaganza is sufficiently shiny and sparkly, an explosion of sequins and feathers and sass. Writer-director Steven Antin is the brother of Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin, so there’s a certain familiarity to the bump-and-grind numbers the dancers perform. The mere presence of Cher guarantees a high camp factor; at a recent screening, the first sight of her on stage in all her sailor-hatted, Plasticine glory drew appreciative laughs and applause from the audience. Although “Burlesque” is never the juicy diva smackdown of “Showgirls,” to which comparisons are inevitable, it’s good enough as a guilty pleasure, simply because it’s all splash and no substance. It’s also a shameless vehicle for Christina Aguilera, trying to position herself as an actress in her film debut, even though she’s essentially playing a version of herself. She can really sing, of course - one character aptly describes her as having “mutant lungs” - and she looks great on camera, but the performance is all one note otherwise, if you’ll pardon the pun. And while we’re comparing “Burlesque” to trash of the past, it isn’t the abject failure that Mariah Carey’s similar “Glitter” was, but that’s mainly because it has better pro-

duction values. Aguilera’s romantically named Ali Rose is bathed in warm, golden light wherever she goes. This includes the opening sequence in which she leaves the dingy Iowa diner where she works as a waitress (but not without belting out a bluesy tune first), gathers her meager belongings, traipses through the trailer park she’s called home, then crosses a railroad bridge and steps through a hole in a chain-link fence en route to the bus station. Once in Los Angeles, she literally stands on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, holding a list of want ads for backup singers and dancers. Then she stumbles upon The Burlesque Lounge on Sunset Boulevard, an aging theater where the ageless Cher rules as the proprietress and headliner, Tess. Ali’s hooked the second she walks in the door, and insinuates herself from cocktail waitress to backup dancer to featured star in the blink of an eye. (Alan Cumming is depressingly underused as the lounge’s host, in a halfhearted nod to “Cabaret.”) From there, the rest of “Burlesque” plays like an extended version of the “Lady Marmalade” video, with a few contrivances to provide vague conflict. There’s never a doubt that the plucky, determined Ali will win over Tess and her obligatory best gay pal, stage manager Sean (Stanley Tucci, who has an effortless rapport with Cher). When jealous badgirl Nikki (Kristen Bell) threatens to stand in the way of her fame, we know Ali will triumph anyway. When Tess is on the verge of eviction, we know she won’t have to sell the place to a predatory real estate entrepreneur (Eric Dane). And when Ali meets eyelinered bartender Jack (“Twilight’s” Cam Gigandet), who’s really a sensitive, aspiring musician, it’s only a matter of time before they fall for each other - in chaste, tastefully lighted love scenes, of course. —AP

hile “Faster,” the new action film by Dwayne Johnson (aka “The Rock”), is both fast and furious, it should not be confused with one of the “Fast and the Furious” movies. It keeps a good “Speed,” accelerates with “Torque,” as if propelled by “Crank,” all without the benefit of being “Armored.” Let’s just hope there isn’t a “Crash.” Films of revved-up adrenaline have become commonplace. They’re like movies on steroids, and with some of the same side-effects: nausea, stunted growth and probably some liver damage. “Faster” begins with Johnson’s character being released in a seething rage from a 10-year prison sentence, and immediately sprinting from the remote facility. He’s racing for vengeance, and that means he won’t wait for the bus. The movie is in such a hurry that it doesn’t bother to slow down for proper names, instead referring to its main characters as archetypes: Johnson is “Driver,” Billy Bob Thornton is “Cop” and newcomer Oliver JacksonCohen is “Killer.” Driver is out of prison not an hour before he shoots a man in the head, in broad daylight. His rage, we learn, comes from the incident that preceded his jail term. After joining his brother’s crew for a bank heist as the driver, the crew is ambushed by another, who kills everyone. Driver only survives miraculously, earning him a fearsome reputation as a “ghost.” Now, he’s got a revenge list of people to kill, which he crosses off one-by-one like completed errands. On his trail is Thornton’s Cop, a sleazy detective near retirement with a hidden drug addiction. Most egregiously, director George Tillman, Jr (“Notorious,” “Barbershop”) uses Kenny Rogers’ “Just Dropped In” for

Cop’s drug daze, apparently thinking it’s OK to copy “The Big Lebowski.” His reluctant partner on the case is played by Carla Gugino (“Entourage,” “American Gangster”), the finest actor in the film who’s nevertheless saddled with one of it’s worst puns, a joke courtesy of screenwriters Joe and Tony Gayton, about the Cop being Quasimodo because of a “hunch.” (Should we pause a moment to stop gagging?) Also in pursuit is Killer, a handsome, rich, British hit man with a gorgeous girlfriend (Maggie Grace) and the arrogance to claim he’s “beaten” Yoga. All of which is to say, he’s one of the more insufferable characters in recent moviemaking. Around the time the hit man proposes to his girlfriend via Bluetooth, one begins to think “Faster” resembles the kind of film the cast of “Jersey Shore” might have scripted. Johnson, of course, is the center of attention. A man of few words, he’s simply a bullet of fury. He’s almost literally a bullet; Driver has a metal plate holding his dome in place. Eventually, he begins to doubt his path of extreme violence, and everything will come to a head in a church tent to bestow some unearned religious significance on the film. “Faster” is Johnson’s return to his bread-and-butter. After dabbling in comedy and kids films, he’s back to macho action, like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s prodigal son. A former wrestler with biceps as large as his neck, action films would seem the natural place for Johnson. But here’s a thought: They aren’t. Johnson has the muscle for musclehead movies, but, a gifted mugger, he’s better dressed up as the Tooth Fairy or hosting “Saturday Night Live.” His inner goofball should win out. “Faster,” a CBS Films release, is rated R for violence, some drug use and language. Running time: 98 minutes. One star out of four. — AP

By Christy Lemire

“T

he King’s Speech” is the kind of handsomely photographed, weighty-yet-uplifting period drama that seems to arrive amid great fanfare come awards time each year. It’s based on a true story about British royalty - always a favorite among those coveted voters - features a glittery cast and hits every note you expect it to hit. To quote Radiohead, no alarms and no surprises. And yet the film is so flawlessly appointed and impeccably acted, you can’t help but succumb. If you can get past the nagging sensation that what you’re watching is a cynical calculation to appeal to the Academy, well, you’ll be delighted, because the “The King’s Speech” is undeniably charming. Director Tom Hooper (“The Damned United,” HBO’s Emmy-winning “John Adams”) and writer David Seidler give the people what they want: “The King’s Speech” is high art for the masses, but you could also look at it as familiar fare that’s been gussied up. At times it feels like no less of a mismatched-buddy comedy than the Todd Phillips road-trip flick “Due Date,” although the opposites who initially clash and eventually cling to one another are played by the esteemed Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Firth is arrogant and uptight as King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II), who’s struggled all his life against a debilitating stutter; Rush plays speech therapist Lionel Logue, who persuades the priggish royal to loosen up with his unorthodox methods - encouraging him to sing and spew profanity, anything to get the words out in a fluid stream. And there’s even a climactic deadline they have to make: The king, or “Bertie” as Lionel calls him to his great annoyance, must deliver a radio address to unite and inspire his people as the country stands on the brink of World War II. And hey, there’s Timothy Spall, hamming it up as Winston Churchill, urging the king in a performance that almost feels like a parody, but

it’s a hoot. But because it’s so well made, “The King’s Speech” allows you to forgive its formulaic nature. The obligatory training montage, for example, is shot so lushly and edited so briskly, it’s almost thrilling. Same with the standard misunderstanding that keeps these guys apart before their inevitable, feel-good reunion: The argument takes place in a park with harsh, misty daylight streaking through the trees, and it’s striking. While the movie itself isn’t always subtle, Firth is. He immerses himself, making the king’s pent-up rage feel palpable, and making us feel sympathy for him without allowing the performance to devolve mawkishly. His Bertie is dignified, of course, but also deeply sad, and his relationship with Lionel causes him to realize that he’s never had a real friend. The nannies who raised him don’t count, and his father, King George V (a cruelly intimidating Michael Gambon), wasn’t much of a pal. Helena Bonham Carter, sharp and no-nonsense in her snobbery as Bertie’s wife, the Queen Mum, stands earnestly by his side, but theirs is a rather mechanical relationship in which they do what they must to keep the monarchy humming. Meanwhile, Guy Pearce’s contributions feel like a bit of an afterthought; he plays Bertie’s older brother, King Edward VIII, who takes over the throne after their father’s death, only to abdicate for the woman he loves, American divorcee Wallis Simpson hence, Bertie is now at the helm. The friendship that develops between him and Lionel, though, provides the film with its sweet, beating heart. Rush is adorably disheveled here, confident regardless of the formality of the situation. He’s afraid of nothing, in contrast with his powerful but nervous patient, and watching the sparring matches between two actors at top of their game is nothing short of a joy. You may as well give into it. “The King’s Speech,” a Weinstein Co. release, is rated R for some language. Running time: 118 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four. — AP


www.kuwaittimes.net

By Gregory Katz ometimes a dress is just a dress. But not in Kate Middleton’s case. Her wedding dress will be the symbol of her transformation from commoner to princess, from Kate to Catherine, and define her image to billions of people as they watch her exchange vows with Prince William next spring. This dress must be elegant, memorable and perfectly fitted. There are delicate balances to be struck: modern but traditional; alluring but not too sexy; classy but not overly opulent - more grown up than Princess Diana’s famous meringue confection, with its puffy sleeves and 25-foot train. Whatever the ultimate choice, expectations are sky high. Middleton has natural good looks and a radiant smile - people seem to wish her well, even if she will be able to afford a dream dress that is far beyond most people’s reach. “I’m not sure if she could pull off a Diana dress, but it would be great if she had something that magnificent,” said Mary Alders, 32, a secretary who is looking forward to the royal wedding. “Whatever it is, everyone will want it. I can see it as silk, maybe some beading. It definitely will be spectacular.” It’s all a tall order indeed for a bunch of expensive material cut to fit a young woman’s slender frame. But one designer almost certainly one based in Britain - will soon get the nod for what is expected to be one of the defining dresses of our era. Vanessa Friedman, style editor of the Financial Times, said the enormous significance of the dress, which will be copied throughout the world, makes it more difficult for Middleton, 28, to choose something simply because it looks great. “It makes it impossible to pick something just because you like it,” Friedman said. “Whatever she picks, it’s not about her, it’s about what they are going to

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Pakistani models display creations by Pakistani designer Shazia during a Bridal Couture Week 2010 in Lahore on November 27, 2010. — AFP

In this photo wedding designer Phillipa Lepley couture shop is seen in London. Lepley is one of the bookmakers’ current favorites to make the Royal wedding dress for Kate Middleton. — AP become. It makes it much more political.” The unstated but very real pressure to pick a British designer, or at the very least a British-based designer, stems in part from national pride and in part from a desire to see a British company benefit from the inevitable “Kate effect” that will bring fame and prospective buyers. The dress can be expected to shed the best possible light on the designer’s entire collection, and is likely to be widely copied in lower-priced versions that will be sold throughout the world,

although it is likely the designer will not benefit directly from these imitations. Insiders say that there would be a formidable backlash should Middleton choose, for example, an American or Italian designer. A French one would be all but unthinkable considering a history of bitter and sometimes bloody rivalry. Now that an April 29 date has been set- with high hopes of fine spring weather - the guessing game about the choice of the designer, and the style of the gown, has begun in earnest.

The palace hopes to keep the designer and design top secret until that dramatic moment when Middleton walks down the aisle. Like any bride, Middleton will want to maximize the impact of her arrival. The age of instant Internet communication and the constant presence of people carrying cellphone cameras will make this goal more difficult, so it is likely that designers will be smuggled in to see Middleton with strict orders to avoid attracting attention. She will have as one of her guideposts the stunning antique lace, silk taffeta and tulle wedding gown worn by actress Grace Kelly when she married Monaco’s Prince Rainier in 1956. That unique creation has set a standard for royal weddings that has been difficult to match. There are other pressures now as well. London model Erin Saltman said Middleton should consider choosing “green” bridal fashions that have caught on in recent years - an approach that would undoubtedly please Prince Charles, the environmental activist who will be her father-in-law. She said you can choose wedding gowns made of organic and ethically sourced material “without looking like a hippy burlap sack.” Saltman said the bride should avoid Diana-like touches, like a long train or puffy sleeves, and should consider a small, simple veil - an idea some in the public share. “I’d love to see her in a very simple dress,” said Sandra James, 40, a cashier in an Oxford Street department store. “I’m sure there are rules for what you can and cannot wear in the abbey, but she’d look great in an off the shoulder, lacy dress. She dresses simply, so something simple and elegant would be perfect.” There has been much speculation that Middleton might choose Daniella Issa Helayel, a British-based Brazilian designer behind Issa London designs. Middleton has often

been photographed in Issa’s slim, colorful, sexy dresses, also worn by Madonna, Gwen Stefani, and other celebrities. That choice seems unlikely to fashion experts, however, in part because of Helayel’s Brazilian heritage but also because she does not normally make wedding dresses, although Issa plans to introduce a bridal line next year. “I’d be very surprised if it’s Issa,” said Deborah Joseph, chief editor of Brides magazine. “A lot of intricacy goes into making a wedding dress, you need an expert, not just a designer. Issa is known for very understated dresses, they’re not about drama and grand entrances, and this one will have to make a grand entrance.” Stella McCartney is also a very unlikely choice, despite her prominence, because of her lack of experience with wedding gowns, Joseph said. “If I were betting, I’d bet on Phillipa Lepley,” said Joseph. “She’s very popular with the Chelsea set already, she is very discreet, she is not flashy, she would get the mentality of a royal wedding, she’d be a safe choice - and she’s British.” She mentioned longtime British fashion star Vivienne Westwood - now welcomed by the British Establishment, despite the provocative punk designs of her early days - and Jenny Packham as other possibilities. Britain’s ubiquitous bookmakers also think highly of Lepley’s chances, making her the favorite when listed against other big name designers like Westwood and McCartney. Her custom-made wedding dresses range from about 7,000 pounds ($11,000) to about 26,000 pounds ($41,000) depending on the material used and the amount of embellishment. Other top dressmakers are in the same general range. But it is possible the dress will be given to Middleton for free, Joseph said, because of the tremendous global publicity that will be generated. — AP

29 Nov  

Kuwait Times

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