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

40 PAGES

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2010

MOHARRAM 2, 1432 AH

NO: 14932

150 FILS

Booze smuggling thwarted

British PM in Afghanistan, eyes pullout in 2011

Aspirin may cut cancer deaths

Anderson gives United top spot

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Columnist involved in Juwaihel attack By A Saleh KUWAIT: Security officers’ questioning of a local newspaper columnist identified only as ‘N M,’ led to his confession that he and several others had participated in the recent violent assault on former parliamentary candidate Mohammed AlJuwaihel. After N M named the others involved in the attack, which left AlJuwaihel critically injured, security authorities are tracing the other participants. Meanwhile, police have arrested a man in the Omairiya area who was pictured after the incident carrying a large club used in the attack, discovering that he had followed Al-Juwaihel to Amiri Hospital, where the controversial satellite TV station owner was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. While en route to the hospital, the man was apparently still carrying the club used in the assault, with the intention of “finishing AlJuwaihel off.” ‘N M’ apparently told the officers interrogating him that he had joined in the attack on the TV station-owner after Al-Juwaihel “spat on me,” although video footage from the scene shows no such incident taking place. “The suspect admitted that he was amongst those who hit Al-Juwaihel first, even after he [Al-Juwaihel] fell down,” said a security insider, adding that N M

had given the officers questioning him the names, addresses and phone numbers of those who joined in the assault. The other man arrested after being pictured carrying a club used in the attack is reportedly a member of a wellknown local tribe, with another picture from the footage at the scene showing him speaking with MP Faisal Al-Mislem. MP Mohammed Hayef, meanwhile, said yesterday that the attack on Al-Juwaihel did not merit the level of interest taken in it by the local media, which he said has now reached the point of some individuals being accused of attempted murder. “Do not turn a fight that took place near the Saadoun diwan into attempted murder...because it is only that...a fight ,” he insisted. Hayef condemned the arrest of participants in the incident, saying that arresting those involved is unacceptable: “They are not criminals...they were involved in an ordinary fight, and don’t describe what happened as being otherwise.” Another MP, Rola Dashti, expressed absolute opposition to this viewpoint, however, saying, “We ask the interior ministry not to bow to pressure, especially from MPs and to perform their duties correctly in connection with the attack on citizen Mohammed AlJuwaihel, so that everyone knows that Kuwait is a country of law and we do not live in a jungle.”

Jailed Kuwait writer rushed to hospital KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti writer serving a one-year jail term for allegedly slandering the Prime Minister was rushed to a hospital for heart surgery yesterday, his daughter said. “My father was brought to the (public) Chest Hospital today. He is due to undergo cardiac catheterisation tomorrow,” Sumaya AlJassem said. Mohammad Abdulqader Al-Jassem, 54, is a heart patient and had undergone around nine operations in the past. Sumaya could not describe her father’s condition since she and other family members were prevented from seeing him or delivering anything to him. But she said his hands and legs were bound to the hospital bed. Last Wednesday, the appeals court refused a request to release Jassem, who is also a well-known lawyer and journalist, and set December 15 to issue its verdict in the appeal against the prison term. Jassem has been in jail since November 22 after being convicted for writing an article on his website a year ago. The article charged that Iranian intelligence was interfering in Kuwait’s affairs through a leading businessman close to Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a senior member of the Al-Sabah ruling family. International human rights groups have condemned the sentence and called for Jassem’s immediate release. On Friday, the United States said it

GCC railroad to stretch from Kuwait to Oman ABU DHABI: Arab leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council called for “drying up” funding for terrorist organizations, in a statement yesterday at the end of their annual GCC summit. They “stressed the importance of working toward drying up sources of funding for terrorist groups and foiling their criminal aims” and urged the prevention of “media from publishing anything that would encourage these criminal acts.” According to US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, Saudi Arabia is the key source of funding for radical Islamist groups including Al-Qaeda, the Taleban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hamas. Other Gulf states are also important to militant fundraising, according to the cables, which brand fellow GCC members Qatar and Kuwait as notably lax in pursuing locals who donate to the groups. Another cable notes that US officials raised concerns about “suspected Taleban-related financial activities” in the United Arab Emirates, which makes up the GCC along with Bahrain and Oman. Also, the Gulf leaders said they were monitoring with “utmost concern” Continued on Page 14

ST PETERSBURG: Children from a kindergarten group wearing safety vests, play in snow at Dvortsovaya (Palace) Square in St Petersburg yesterday. The temperature in St Petersburg is around -3C. — AP

Cellphones linked to child misbehavior Pregnant women beware

Mohammad A. Al-Jassem had been in touch with the Kuwaiti government over the matter. Jassem is also facing several other cases, mostly filed by the prime minister alleging slander. In May, he was arrested and detained for 49 days on state security charges that he had undermined the status of the emir and harmed national interests. He was also detained for 12 days in November 2009. Members of his family and supporters are holding a daily sit-in outside the Prime Minister’s residence to protest the jailing. — AFP

In-flight thriller; Saudi detained Snakes get ride to Abu Dhabi ABU DHABI: A Saudi who flew in from Jakarta with snakes, parrots and a squirrel in his hand luggage has been arrested at Abu Dhabi airport, Emirati dailies reported yesterday. “The man was just about to board a plane at the capital’s airport when a member of staff noticed that something was moving inside a box he was carrying,” said an English-language paper, 7Days. “The passenger was taken to one side and asked to open up his luggage, and inside were four snakes, two parrots and a squirrel, all alive and separated in different compartments inside the box,” it added. The National said the Saudi, booked on Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and whose final destination

‘Dry up’ terror funding

was another unspecified Arab country, “was caught at the first security checkpoint” after landing in the Emirati capital on Thursday. “Carrying animals on board is strictly prohibited. In this case, other passengers’ safety was at risk,” Khamis Al-Marar, Abu Dhabi’s acting chief of security affairs and ports, was quoted as saying. He told 7Days that “the passenger had no certificates or documentation for the animals. And we didn’t know if they were rare animals or if they could have had diseases.” Licensed animals have to travel in specially designed boxes, stored in the aircraft’s hold, he said in The National, also an English-language daily. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Researchers studying the health effects of cellphones say they have found evidence that when pregnant women use them regularly, their children are more likely to have behavioral problems. The study, sure to renew controversy over the safety of mobile telephones, does not demonstrate that cellphone use causes the behavioral problems and does not suggest a possible way that they could. But the researchers say their findings

are worth checking out. “It is hard to understand how such low exposures could be influential,” Dr Leeka Kheifets, an epidemiologist at the University of California Los Angeles who led the study, said in a telephone interview. “It is just something that needs to be pursued.” Kheifets and her team looked at data from 28,000 7year-olds and their mothers who took part in a large Danish study that has been tracking 100,000 women who were pregnant between 1996 and 2002.

The mothers of about 3 percent of the children said they had borderline behavioral problems, and 3 percent showed abnormal behavior, such as obedience or emotional issues. The children whose mothers used cellphones while pregnant and who also used the phones themselves were 50 percent more likely to have behavioral problems, the researchers reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Children whose mothers used the

phones but who did not themselves use mobile phones were 40 percent more likely to have behavioral problems, they found. They found the children were no more likely to have epilepsy or delays in development. About 5 billion mobile phones are in use worldwide. The World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health have found no evidence that cellphone use can damage health. Continued on Page 14

Tehran urges P5+1 to scrap sanctions Iran sets the bar high for success GENEVA: Iran and six world powers concluded talks yesterday with an agreement to reconvene early next year, suggesting Tehran may be willing to address concerns about its nuclear program. But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that unless they lift UN sanctions the six face failure in the next round. Diplomats from delegations at the table with Iran said Tehran made no commitments to talking about UN Security Council demands that Tehran freeze uranium enrichment, which has both civilian and military uses. “We didn’t get anywhere on substance,” said one of the officials. “It was an exchange of views.” A senior US administration official, in a similarly sober assessment, said: “Our expectations for these talks were low, and they were never exceeded.” Iran’s chief negotiator, Saed Jalili also sought to dampen expectations. “I am telling you clearly and openly that halting uranium enrichment will not be discussed at the Istanbul meeting,” he told reporters. But the diplomats said Jalili did not object when the six powers, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, brought up concern over enrichment during two days of talks that ended at midday yesterday. The fact that the Iranians listened to international worries led to the decision to agree to a second round, said the three officials, who

asked for anonymity because the information was confidential. The senior US administration official said “an increasing amount of international isolation” might be contributing to possible Iranian willingness to engage. He also asked not to be named in exchange for talking about the closed meeting. Ahmadinejad sets the bar high for the success of the Istanbul talks, saying it hinged on whether the UN Security Council agreed to lift five resolutions and four sets of sanctions against his country, imposed over its refusal to freeze enrichment. That is something the five permanent Security Council members are unlikely to even consider. “If you come to talks with sincerity, loyalty to the law, friendship and respect ... and cancel resolutions, sanctions and some restrictions that you imposed, it will definitely be helpful,” state TV’s website quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. “But if you again come with deception and animosity, not respecting the rights of the Iranian nation ... the response of the Iranian nation will be the same as you’ve received until today. This response will be very regretful.” He also scoffed at the suggestion that United States with its huge nuclear arsenal and its allies were afraid that Iran could develop nuclear arms, saying “this claim is a lie and deception,” in comments quoted by state TV. Continued on Page 14

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

WikiLeaks chief arrested in UK LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested and remanded in custody by a British court yesterday over allegations of sex crimes in Sweden. Assange, whose WikiLeaks website is at the centre of a furious row over the release of secret US diplomatic cables, was arrested under a European Arrest Warrant yesterday after handing himself in to London police. Assange, who denies the allegations, will remain behind bars until a fresh hearing on Dec 14. He has spent some time in Sweden and was accused

this year of sexual misconduct by two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers. A Swedish prosecutor wants to question him about the accusation. WikiLeaks, which has provoked fury in Washington with its publications, vowed it would continue making public details of the 250,000 secret US documents it had obtained. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates welcomed news of the arrest. “I hadn’t heard that but it sounds like good news to me,” Gates told reporters during a trip to Afghanistan. Continued on Page 14


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kuwait welcomes establishment of UN gender equality body UNITED NATIONS: The State of Kuwait on Monday expressed its satisfaction at the establishment of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, to be known as UN Women, pledging to lend all the help it can afford to the new body and to support its pro-female activities. Speaking to the UN administration and budget committee of the 65th session of UN General Assembly during a discussion of the UN program budget (20102011), Anas Taleb Marafi, the First Secretary with the State of Kuwait’s permanent delegation to the UN, said that Kuwait “welcomes the establishment of this enti-

ty and looks forward to fully cooperating with the UN in order to upgrade the status of women and enable them to play their roles as real partners in society in response to one of the most important Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], namely the achievement of equality between the two sexes.” The senior diplomat also voiced confidence on Kuwait’s behalf that the new body will provide better support to governments in order to improve the status of women in society, and help them shoulder their full responsibility. He asserted that Kuwait, “will spare no effort in

supporting the activities of this entity and cooperating with it, and in tapping into its past experience in the field of developing women’s affairs in various fields.” Marafi also congratulated the head of the new body, former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, on behalf of Kuwait, expressing confidence that Bachelet’s tremendous experience and wisdom would help greatly in bringing about positive results to advance the new body and facilitate the achievement of its objectives. He added that the UN General Assembly’s decision in July to establish the new body was, “a historic

opportunity for UN member states to further increase their support for the various activities related to gender equality.” The senior diplomat continued, “The decision of the UN General Assembly came as a result of the international efforts that led to integrating four different UN apparatuses on women’s development and gender equality into one entity that has greater powers with more effectiveness,” he added. Marafi said that the Kuwaiti delegation has been aware of the UN Secretary General’s report which includes a proposal on funding the new gender equal-

ity body according to the UN’s rules and regulations. He added that the report includes detailed information about the UN’s budgetary and administrative arrangements through which the entity will have access to some of its resources, in addition to the donations made by member states. Finally, Marafi said that the application of democratic principles in the State of Kuwait has led to consolidating the role of women and empowering them to participate in political and social life as well as to assume prestigious positions in various state bodies. ��� KUNA

kuwait digest

Support for Al-Huraiti By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah uwait continues to suffer from the aftermath of the Mishref sewage plant mishap that took place more than a year ago. Our environment has been irreparably damaged. In the meantime, no true end to the problem has been arrived at. Streets are dotted by gutters and sewage manholes which lay open for sewage to be drained out and loaded onto tankers. Of course, foul odor emanates from these open sewages and spread to residential areas; this has been the case for over a year. The delay in resolving this problem is usually blamed on legal and technical procedures, which are given priority over the public’s health. Meanwhile, there is no doubt that parliament members that represent the first constituency in which the Mishref area is included, also share some blame for continuing the problem. People are undoubtedly upset that no proactive measures are being taken to contain the issue; which should have been addressed a long time ago. This is despite the fact that the subject is still subjudice. MP Hussain Al-Huraiti was a legal consultant before becoming a lawmaker. Therefore, he is more aware than others about citizens’ rights, which should be protected by the government. Recently, Al-Huraiti voiced his intention to file an interpellation motion against the Minister of Public Works and State Minister of Municipality Affairs, Dr Fadhel Safar. The minister hired three municipality consultants who were forced into retirement; a nominal subject when compared to the aftermath of the Mishref plant’s malfunction. Constitutional tools should have been enacted against incompetent officials who caused the problem and let the problem deteriorate. Their identities have been withheld. Hopefully, Al-Huraiti will include the Mishref plant issue in his interpellation motion, as well as the rotten food issue. This is in addition to all other problems that were created by the government’s incompetency. Al-Huraiti has the ability to present a strong motion, especially so that he can equip it with strong evidence that has been gathered to support his causes. By that, the MP will undoubtedly garner voters’ support in the first constituency. Only constitutional measures can help end their agony. — Al-Rai

K KUWAIT: Australian Ambassador to Kuwait Glenn Miles, Bob Hawke, Kathy Miles and Peter Costello.

KUWAIT: Bob Hawke opens the photo exhibition.

Embassy hosts Australian Gulf Council delegation in Kuwait By Wendy Clayton KUWAIT: The Australian Ambassador to Kuwait, Glenn Miles hosted a reception at his residence Sunday night in honor of the Australian Gulf Council (AGC) delegation. The AGC is currently touring Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia on its 2010 Business Mission. The delegation, headed by former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Peter Costello, comprises leading Australian business men that aim to promote Australian businesses within the GCC region. The delegation was joined at the reception by leading business people in Kuwait in an effort to gain feedback from those that already have experience with Kuwait. Hawke also opened a photographic exhibition to honor and celebrate Australia’s part in the liberation of Kuwait during the first Gulf war. Hawke, who was the Australian Prime Minister at the onset of the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, was a key player in the formation of the coalition that eventually helped defeat the Iraqi invaders. His momentous decision has been described as prompt and unequivocal. Australia condemned the attack on Kuwait and within a short period of eight days, the

Australian Defense force was ready to commit. Hawke said that one of the main things that struck the delegation upon arriving in Kuwait was the fond memories and very sincere feeling of appreciation the Kuwaitis feel towards Australia because of the country’s reaction in 1990. Hawke further said that it was no question as to what had to be done in order to prevent a similar result which led to the Second World War. Due to Australia’s interest in the region and the lack of doubt that if the Iraqi leader at the time was allowed to get away with his actions, the security of not only Australia, but that of world oil supplies would be questioned. “There is no doubt, and it is a matter of great pride and satisfaction, to see the real depth and sincerity and gratitude of the Kuwaiti people for what Australia did so promptly and effectively,” said Hawke. “As Australians, we are all entitled to be extraordinarily proud of our people and our defense forces. It is fitting that we commemorate those events and our contribution to the people of Kuwait with this photographic exhibition. As it will be a constant reminder to those who come here, of the deep importance of the relationship between our two countries, that we will be able to build upon in the future.”

KUWAIT: Australian Ambassador Glenn Miles talks with a guest about the photo exhibition.

Stray dogs spread throughout campsites KUWAIT: The presence of stray dogs all over Kuwait is increasing and threatening the lives of both citizens and expatriates, reported Al-Watan. Most notably, stray dogs have been seen roaming through campsites and amongst campers. Abo Mohammed issued a complaint after he was attacked by a dog in Jahra while he was getting into a car. He said that a dog bit him and held onto his leg until a group of passersby helped him fend off the animal with sticks and stones. In another instance, Mohsen Al-Enezi said that his six-year-old son was chased and bitten by a wild stray dog when he took him to the Jahra industrial area one day. “These dogs are sick with rabies and

are highly dangerous to people,” said Moussa Al-Juamishi. He noted that stray dogs have been seen wandering around residential areas and that one actually entered his neighbor’s houses and terrified the whole family. Jahra Hospital veterinarian, Faisal Jamal said that rabies is very dangerous and that stray dogs are often loaded with highly contagious diseases. “Some people use dogs for security reasons and that is very unsafe,” he added, noting that such dogs may not be able to tell the difference between who they are guarding and strangers. Jamal added that people should be vaccinated against rabies if they are bitten by a stray dog.

KD 32 million to revamp Ahmadi medical facilities KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health will launch a comprehensive fiveyear refurbishment plan. It aims to reconstruct all old medical facilities, as well as build new specialized clinics at a total cost of KD 32 million. This was confirmed by Dr Fahad Al-Foudary, Head of the Ahmadi medical zone during the inauguration of the east Sabahiya medical center recently. The medical facility has been completely revamped, with the addition of new specialty centers. Concerning upcoming projects that will be centered in Ahmadi medical zone, Al-Foudary said that the new, improved Intensive Care Unit at Al-Adan hospital will be inaugurated next April. Hilal Al-Sayer, the Minister of Health inaugurated the Sabahiya clinic on Monday. During the event, he explained that the center has five general medicine clinics as well as other specialized clinics and laboratories, adding that its services will be extended to 70,000 residents, reported Al-Qabas. Meanwhile, AlSayer also asserted that Memorandum of Understanding that has been signed between Kuwait and Malta is going on smoothly, adding that Kuwaiti medical students studying in Malta are doing well.

Expired juice found in Farwaniya KUWAIT: Emergency inspection teams from the Farwaniya municipality discovered 2,500 kilograms of expired fruit juice that a company representative was trying to sell to merchants from the company’s warehouse, reported Al-Rai. In a statement made to the press following the operation, team leader Duaij Al-Sanafi indicated that the suspect was caught on Seventh Ring Road with a load of frozen mango juice that expired eight months ago. Food inspector Mardhi AlSaiedi indicated that the operation was launched after the team received information on the worker’s actions. It was noted that the company representative managed to escape authorities during a previous operation.


NATIONAL

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah returned home yesterday after presiding over the country’s delegation to the 31st Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Abu Dhabi. His Highness was received at Kuwait airport by a host of officials, including His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Parliament Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi, senior sheikhs, Deputy Chief of the National Guards Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Deputy Minister for Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah, and senior state officials.

kuwait digest

What if Qatar had OUR parliament By Abdullah Al-Hadlaq

I

’d like to extend my most heartfelt congratulations to the brotherly state of Qatar, its Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa and its people for their historic achievement to host the World Cup Championship 2022 for the first time in the Arabian Gulf and the whole Arab world after a fierce competition with Australia, Japan, Korea and USA. I recently received the following hilarious SMS message; “Dear Kuwaiti citizens...suppose that Qatar had our parliament. What would have happened to Qatar’s proposal to host the World Cup in 2022?!” •Faisal Al-Mislem would threaten to expose the checks he believes the Emir of Qatar or FIFA paid out of public funds to support the proposal. •Musallam Al-Barrak would threaten the interior, information and finance ministers and demand that they resign for hosting someone who had once insulted him. •Mohammed Hayef would threaten to grill the prime minister over the sheikhah’s hijab and would issue a statement jointly with AlTabtabae, Al-Mislem, Al-Harbash and AlSawwagh condemning her for jumping up and down and clapping her hands out of joy amongst foreign men. • All political blocs would condemn Sheikhah Mouzah’s speech to FIFA as she occupies no official positions. • Ahmed Al-Sadoun would call for a public seminar at his diwaniya to discuss wasting pub-

lic funds and announce that he would not turn a blind eye to the theft of the century. Consequently, 2022 would come without any accomplishments because of the excuse of protecting public funds. • A number of lawmakers and political blocs would seek public opinion to help prevent Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad’s interference in sports and would work on issuing special laws to prevent sheikhs from doing so. • Finally, Kuwait’s parliament in Qatar would ban FIFA’s international participation and prevent Qatar from hosting the World Cup 2022 until it repents.” What can Kuwait, a county that used to be a pioneer in all fields at one point, do or achieve? How can we hope to make any gain with the state of our distinguished parliament and its current structure? This SMS message only reflects how frustrated and desperate we have all become in the presence of the worst parliament we have ever had. They have made us lose hope in seeing development, progress, success or prosperity in the foreseeable future. They have given our beloved brothers in Qatar a warning about the democratic experience; that it may impede their march toward accomplishments. How sorry I am for the Kuwait that used to once be known as the pearl of the Gulf. It used to be a destination for science, medical treatment, investment and trading before it was assassinated by those hiding behind religion. Be they Sunni or Shiite, public alliances, podium lovers or the traders of broken promises, they have put Kuwait on the bottom of all lists. — Al-Watan

Inspirational guru to speak in Kuwait By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Meditation can help people feel better and reduce stress levels. The public in Kuwait are invited to attend an inspirational meditation event being held today evening between 7 and 9 pm at the JW Marriot Hotel. The event is free of charge no booking is required. Doors open at 7 for a 7:30 pm start. The event has been organized by the Harmony House Meditation Center. The evening will feature discussion of the benefits of meditation, with the organizers claiming that taking it up can help people to gain powerful insights, as well as feeling better, transforming the way they think and feel about and experience life, and enabling them to let go of fears or worries holding them back. The organizers also suggest that meditation will allow people to understand the power of their identity and reclaim their dignity, empowering those who take it up to create a life of value and self-worth for themselves and to feel good no matter what. This evening’s event is presented by Dadi Janki, a teacher, leader and mentor. At the age of 95 she is the current Administrative Head of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU), and continues to share the wisdom with the utmost clarity, simplicity, and truth. For more than seven decades she has dedicated her life to serving humanity, crossing all barriers of race, religion and creed. She is the author of numerous books, as well being a much sought-after speaker who claims to be committed to helping create a better world. Dadi says that she teaches people how to use their brains to improve their thinking. “She is leading through her spirit. She has mastery in intellect, mind, and memory subconscious. People can control their bodies with these three masteries. And this is the reason

behind her power. She is travelling nonstop around the world at her age,” Sheikha Abdulaziz, a member of the Harmony House Meditation Center told the Kuwait Times. “Her mind doesn’t think negatively. She thinks positively and nobly. When she thinks she serves herself and others, and she considers God her charge of energy,” added Abdulaziz. Under her guidance the BKWSU has expanded massively, now owning more than 9,000 centers in well over 100 countries. Dadi continues to inspire thousands each year to aim for their highest potential and to create for themselves a life of value and worth. Dadi still maintains a demanding touring and lecture schedule, travelling worldwide and engaging with individuals at every level of society, including leaders from the worlds of politics, religion, medicine, science, education, psychology, and other fields. She also promotes peace and multi-faith dialogue, as well as being a patron of the World Congress of Faith and one of the ‘Keepers of the Wisdom’ - an advisory group of eminent spiritual and religious leaders, convened at the UN Earth Summit in Rio and at Habitat II in Istanbul. She is a member of the Global Peace Initiative of Women’s Religious and Spiritual Leaders, and in December 2003, she was invited to an executive meeting in the Middle East, to help build trust and develop joint initiatives between Palestinian and Israeli women. In 2002, she joined His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and other spiritual leaders at an inter-faith initiative entitled ‘Respect.’ Dadi Janki has visited over 100 countries and has led several international projects promoting vision, values and action at the grassroots level including the Janki Foundation for Global Health Care.

Nine suspects identified in Juwaihel attack case KUWAIT: Police have reportedly identified at least nine individuals from the mob that attacked activist Mohammad Al-Juwaihel during a rally held at the diwaniya of MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun last Saturday. A report quoting security officials who chose to speak on condition of anonymity stated that state security investigators have managed to arrest a suspect identified only as A. He then divulged more information about the eight others who were involved. Moreover, the report indicates that the police summoned 25 other people for questioning after referring to pictures and video footage that was obtained after the attack. No one admitted involvement in the physical assault, and explained that they were only trying to stop the assault. Meanwhile, Al-Juwaihel testified to officials about the attack, repeatedly denied previous reports on the nature of the attack. He denied spitting at a television projector that showed MP Musallam Al-Barrak’s image; the alleged action that provoked the attack. In addition, AlJuwaihel added a prayer beads and an empty water bottle was hurled at him at the event. Furthermore, he asserted that he attended the rally as per an invitation he received from MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun, adding that he would not have chosen to arrive uninvited. He told police that he can identify his attackers through the footage posted in the media, reported Al-Qabas. Meanwhile, MP Al-Saadoun denied inviting Al-Juwaihel to attend the rally. Speaking to AlRai daily, he said that such rumors are ‘absolutely not true.’ The report further indicates that among the people who have been summoned for questioning are individuals employed at offices of current MPs, reported Al-Rai. They are all residents of Farwaniya and Ahmadi governorates.

Alforda market unaffordable in many ways, say customers Farmers stage protest strike By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Hundreds of Kuwaiti farmers staged a protest outside the old vegetable market (Chabra) in Shuwaikh on Monday, refusing to relocate to the new market in Sulaibiya. Although local Kuwaiti farmers were already notified of a time limit, some local Kuwaiti Alforda, the new fruit and Food stores should be closer and vegetable market, is a sprawl- should be accessible to all,” he ing, well-kept facility. It is mod- argued. “What will happen to eled on modern shopping facili- people who don’t drive, how can ties, situated a few kilometers they buy fruits and vegetables? away from Kabd desert. It was For Allah’s sake, it’s not accessiinaugurated last month. Being a ble by bus or any other means of brand new facility and located at public transportation. How a significantly farther location, much would the taxi [fare] be? It customers are considerably is expensive, so why do we have lesser. Not many are aware of to come here?” he reasoned. An Indian family admitted the new location. A Kuwaiti customer who vis- that this would be their first and ited the market observed, “I last visit, “I better buy food noticed that the prices here are items from the hypermarket, or much higher when compared to the baqala (grocery store). I canthe old market.” “Maybe this is not afford to come here on because the stalls are more weekly basis, just to buy fruits expensive when compared to and vegetables. The place is not the old location, I don’t know.” so good, besides, it is very “But facility wise, it’s okay. Its expensive here. Why should I clean and covers a vast area, and drive to a place that is located there is no parking problem. But 30 minutes away just to get the the traffic is terrible,” he com- same price of the product from a nearby supermarket.” plained. An Arab expat noted, “We Another citizen argued that the Municipality’s action [of only have one entry point, comrelocating the Chabra] was ing from Kuwait City in the wrong, “I think this move is def- Sixth Ring Road. The cars are initely wrong,” he asserted. already trapped at the traffic “Food markets should be closer signal at the Seventh Ring Road. and accessible to people, but So, the traffic here is horrible. I they have located it away from hope they would create an alterus. Why? They should relocate nate route to access this area. If some industrial areas far away this area needs development, from the city; but not food, the more entry and exit points need basic necessity of an individual. to be created,” he commented.

merchants have decided to stay on. They are the only remaining merchants at the old vegetable market, as most have already moved on to a new location. Easing traffic and decongesting the area where heavy delivery trucks were a common sight, are some of the reasons why the Municipality decided to relocate Chabra to a bigger, better location.

KUWAIT: Alforda market in Sulaibiya is pictured here yesterday. — Photos by Ben Garcia


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NATIONAL

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Organizations in constant motion, development

Kuwait hosts Arab business competitiveness forum By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: Promoting competitiveness amongst Arab businesses w as the main subject of a forum hosted in Kuw ait yesterday and scheduled to continue until Dec 9. The forum w ill discuss papers on the supportive policies of competitiveness in Arab private sector businesses and

KUWAIT: The liquor which was confiscated yesterday. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Booze smugglers thwarted By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Shuaiba Port security officers have reportedly foiled an attempt to smuggle around 10,000 bottles of liquor into Kuwait from the UAE. A security insider said that the illicit cargo, comprising 7,500 bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label whisky and 2,500 bottles of Smirnoff vodka, was found in a shipment of coal imported from the other Gulf nation. Officers from the General Department of Drugs Control (GDDC) said that they had identified the smuggler responsible, a bedoon (stateless) resident of Kuwait. Officers who went to his home to arrest him found that he had already fled, and his name has been placed on the wanted list.

Rough Kuw aiti Prosecutors in the Capital area have ordered the arrest of a Kuwaiti man for questioning in connection with multiple charges, including assault, weapons possession, issuing death threats, resisting arrest, deliberately causing a traffic accident and destroying government property.

A security officer revealed that a Kuwaiti woman had gone to police in Sulaibikhat to inform them that she had been assaulted while sitting in her car by a male acquaintance. She gave police the man’s address and officers went directly to his home to question him over the allegation. When they arrived,

the accused man was driving away from his house. When officers asked him to stop, however, he refused to do so, driving away at high speed. A brief car chase ensued, with the culprit smashing his car into a patrol vehicle before returning to his home and coming out shortly afterwards

brandishing an AK47 assault rifle which he used to threaten officers, telling them that if they did not leave he would kill them. The officers returned to the station, filing further charges against the culprit and presenting the list to the Public Prosecution Service, which ordered his arrest.

Abdul Aziz Al-Zebn, Chairman of Civil Service Board, speaking on behalf of State Minister of Cabinet Affairs Roudan Al Roudan said that business today is distinguished for its speed and dynamic movement, adding that organizations today are in constant motion and development. He said that quality competition is the method and the path toward new global technologies. He pointed out that there are lots of obstacles and difficulties facing business organizations on all economic levels but that there are lots of opportunities to confront those obstacles. He said that the crisis can be overcome

some of the main features of Egypt Air’s business experiences. Corporate social responsibility, the global financial crisis and its influence on Arab investment turning tow ard Islamic subside financing to overcome the crisis w ill also be discussed at the forum as w ell as empow erment and its influence on competitiveness in Arab financial markets in the Syrian financial market.

with the will of the state, organizations and individuals. He added that it will take lots of effort and research and requires providing more resources and programs. Rania Abdulrazzak, the forum’s general coordinator and from the Arab Organization for Administrative Development, said that the organization adopted the idea of hosting such a forum because there is an urgent need to encourage competition and productivity amongst Arab economies. She explained that such a move would increase the national production of those countries. Abdulrazzak added that cooperation

between the Arab Organization for Administrative Development and the Arab Institute for Planning reflects a historical relationship that supports development in Arab states. Acting general manager for the Arab Institute for Planning, Ali Abdulkader stressed that the ethics of economic growth clarifies that the competitiveness of the states is reliant upon the competitiveness of its companies. He added that encouraging competitive strategies in the private sector would strengthen the productive and competitive abilities of all economic activities.

Ahmadi residents set to sue govt KUWAIT: The situation in Ahmadi remains extremely hazardous and the gas leaks in the area are not under control as the government has claimed, according to the head of a group of disgruntled local residents, urging the government to declare the area a disaster zone. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, attorney Aidan Al-Khaldi, the head of the recently formed group representing residents affected by the leaks, also revealed that he intends to take legal action on his and other residents’ behalf against the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and other state bodies over the damage and trauma caused by the ongoing crisis. In support of his argument, he showed reporters copies of a letter sent by the General Department of Civil Defense to the Kuwait Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies requesting that they provide temporary emergency shelters in nine

areas of Kuwait for Ahmadi residents. Al-Khaldi urged the government to declare Ahmadi a natural disaster zone and to provide free medical testing to all local residents and treatment for all those adversely affected by the gas leaks, it, as well as compensation for their suffering. He also called on the government to provide all residents of the area with suitable alternative accommodation elsewhere, as well as monthly housing payments to allow them to rent homes in other areas until they are provided with new properties. Al-Khaldi also revealed that five Ahmadi residents suffering from cancer are being subjected to further stress by being forced to quit their homes, with officials threatening to cut off their power supply if they don’t comply with this instruction, despite the officials lacking any legal warrants authorizing them to do

so. He also slammed the “terrible conditions” that many already-evacuated citizens’ homes are being left in by workers carrying out excavation and other work inside their homes. The activist further claimed that KOC officials have been working to remove trees poisoned by the gas leaks, and demanded explanations as to what had turned the soil in the area being excavated a deep black color. Al-Khaldi is not the only person questioning the effectiveness of the authorities’ response to the gas leaks crisis, reported Al-Qabas, with many locals complaining that the American expert appointed to conduct inspections and assess the situation there has yet to be seen in the area. In response to these concerns, Saleh AlMoudhi, the head of the Environmental Public Authority (EPA), said that the American specialist is currently working on collecting data, which he

in the news Unemployment reduced KUWAIT: The Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) has successfully placed citizens in over 50 percent job positions at the private sector. The total number of employed citizens has increased from the previous figure of 13,652 in 2001 to 68,169. Unemployment rates have now been reduced to 3.58 percent (from previous 7.1 percent). Abdul Aziz AlQassar, PR and Media Manager made the relavant announcement, reported AlWatan. Speaking during the First Success Forum organized by the Beyond Conferences and Exhibitions Company under the patronage of Sheikh Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Al-Qassar said that the program’s main strategy was to encourage citizens’ employment at non-governmental positions.

GLEG discusses climate change problems

KUWAIT: Abdullah Al-Matouq, Abdulaziz Al-Jaber and Fahad Al-Babtain watching the celebrations.

Training Gate celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities KUWAIT: Training Gate, a subsidiary of Human Investment Corporation, which is owned by Kuwait Finance House (KFH), hosted a unique celebration on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3 at the Discovery Center. The celebration was held under the patronage of Sheikh Jaber Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and President of the Public Authority for People with Disabilities, represented by Dr Abdullah Al-Matouq, the Chairman of the International Islamic Charitable Organization. Training Gate was also supported by its strategic partner, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) represented by Abdulaziz Al-Jaber, AGM for KFH assisting services sector. All schools and organizations working in the field of special needs were invited to participate in this important celebration at no cost, in order to promote relationships among the organizations that service people with disabilities in Kuwait. As a part of the celebration, which included presentations by more than 40 different schools and organizations that work with disabilities in Kuwait, the audience of more than 1500 enjoyed Kuwait’s first ‘Count me in!’ puppet show, which Training Gate presented, in collaboration with its international partner, PACER Center (Parents Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights). The ‘Count Me In!’ puppet show portrays puppets as children with different kinds of disabilities, talking with other children about their disability while focusing on their abilities, the basis for positive interaction between all children. The message is: Count Me In! - a call for inclusion. The Count Me In! puppet program is specifically designed to pave the way for inclusive education, which is, one of Training Gate’s national

projects for Kuwait. Training Gate’s General Manager, Kifayah Rashed Al-Alban stated, “our inclusion project, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, has been in preparation for almost a year, and is supported by our international partner, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). A special delegation from Training Gate and a team from the Ministry of Education, nominated by the Minister of Education, Dr Moudhi AlHomoud, was invited by CEC to view exemplary inclusive schools in the US, to start implementing inclusive education in Kuwait.” Al-Alban also pointed out that Training Gate is assisting public institutes to prepare for implementation of the new law No. 8/2010 for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and implementing the concept of inclusion, which has become an essential factor in human development in advanced nations, and is what we hope for in Kuwait, through joint ventures of both private and public sectors. According to Dr Clay Keller, board member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), in Kuwait for the celebration, “CEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities, which makes us pioneers in the field. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) uses only CEC’s International Standards for special education teacher preparation to accredit university special education programs in the United States. CEC trusts Training Gate’s dedication and commitment in carrying out this message and the CEC will work with Training Gate to study the educational and social environments of people with disabilities and their families, and to design projects which fit within the Kuwaiti culture and environment.

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Green Line Environmental Group (GLEG) presented the country’s views on the effects of changing weather patterns on the Gulf region during a recent climate change forum in Abu Dhabi, which was attended by a number of senior diplomats, environmental experts and media figures. In a press release issued yesterday, the leading Kuwaiti environmental group revealed that had attended the prestigious Arab-German Forum on Climate Change at the invitation of the German government, given its standing as one of the specialist civil environmental organizations in the Gulf region. In his speech at the event, GLEG chairman Khalid AlHajri focused on the importance of integrating the efforts of European and Gulf states in combating the phenomenon and effects of climate change. This is particularly important as increasing numbers of sandstorms hit the Gulf region, leading to a range of problems affecting areas as diverse as health and the economy, as well as impeding all kinds of growth in the area, he stressed. Al-Hajri called on the European states to extend their cooperation with GCC states by establishing a shared information network providing detailed environmental information about the region in order to help in drawing up comprehensive plans to combat climate change based on this data. During the forum, Al-Hajri met with a large number of participants, discussing a wide range of issues, including the importance of environmental protection in defending human rights, stressing this as being among the pillars ensuring security for societies. Another issue under discussion at the prestigious event was the importance of civil society organizations in monitoring environmental issues, especially those concerning climate change and other related problems.

needs in order to evaluate the best strategy before beginning to devise solutions. Al-Moudhi also confirmed that the state has imported special, high-tech equipment from Germany to help drain the subterranean gas leak, explaining that the German equipment is more effective than what was previously being used. The EPA head added that 90 percent of the data gathered to date indicates that an ageing network of pipelines in the Ahmadi area is behind the leaks, explaining that these pipes had probably been leaking for some years, with a concentration of gas building up underground before forcing its way to the surface. Al-Moudhi added that if this theory were substantiated, it would rule out the suggestion put forward by some that the leaks are caused by a previously undiscovered natural gas field being located directly beneath the affected area.

LONDON: The Envoy of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait and Amiri Diwan Advisor, Yousef Al-Ibrahim, on Monday delivered an invitation to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to attend the celebrations marking Kuwait’s 50th Independence and 20th Liberation anniversaries, as well as the fifth anniversary of HH the Amir’s accession to power.

Special needs services KUWAIT: A lawmaker recently asked a minister about the Cabinet’s plans regarding work programs and future services for those with special needs in the development plan, reported Al-Qabas. MP Ali Al-Deqbasi asked the First Deputy Prime Minister and State Minster of Defense, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlSabah, about the Cabinet’s efforts to provide trained medical staff and special services to people with special needs at local medical facilities. Furthermore, the parliament member asked about the procedures taken to ensure that all people with special needs have their civil and political rights protected as well as the steps taken by the Cabinet to integrate disabled students into public schools.

MEW projects

KU among top universities KUWAIT: Kuwait University’s regional status has shown a dramatic improvement, with the university now among the top 10 in the Middle East for 2010 after ranking 21st in 2008, according to Arab universities’ recorded classifications. Kuwait University’s weekly magazine, ‘Afaq,’ revealed on Monday that the new figures see KU now taking its place among the top 10 in the Middle East, with Saudi universities taking the first and fourth positions. The lead article in the latest issue of Afaq said that being included among the top regional universities is a major achievement for KU, achieved under the leadership of Dr. Abdullah Al-Fuhaid, who it said contributed greatly to raising the university level and providing essential facilities for

the students. KU students had not expected the university to attain such a high-level rank among its Arab counterparts, and this significant progress has come at a time when many Kuwaiti students are studying in other Arab countries, the article added. King Saud University, King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Abdulaziz University and the University of Umm Al-Qura were the top four regional universities for 2010, followed by Al-Najah University in Palestine and the American University of Beirut. In seventh place came the UAE University, while Cairo University was ranked eighth and the American University of Cairo ninth. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) has completed work on 57 percent of the projects that were begun this year. These add up to 200, out of 880 projects that the ministry plans to execute, as part of the country’s development plan. The ministry has already completed 22 percentage of the mega projects, reported Al-Rai. “This was made possible after the ministry devised a mechanism to finalize the projects and ensure that they are finished in time, once all the obstacles are removed,” officials from the ministry told reporters. The statistics were mentioned in the development plan’s biannual report.


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Anti-govt faction struggling to determine next step Some dissent among NA members KUWAIT: There appears to be some dissent among those MPs opposed to government policy as to their next move, after they lost the final chance to discuss the request for the raising of MP Dr. Faisal Al-Mislem's parliamentary immunity. During a meeting held to discuss the unsuccessful special session issue, w hich w as abandoned for lack of quorum, levels of disagreement on how best to confront the cabinet w ere reportedly high among the anti-government faction. Speaking after the marathon meeting w hich lasted almost six hours, MP J amaan Al-Harbish reiterated the group's position, stating that they continue to hold the government responsible for "all the consequences that may result from their [unannounced] planned actions." An insider who attended the meeting told Al-Rai that the MPs had agreed to continue their campaign to protect the constitution through holding public rallies. They disagreed, however, on several other proposals put forward, including a suggested interpellation against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammed Al-Sabah and a radical proposal for a mass resignation from parliament in protest. The insider explained that the general belief held by the MPs is that the rejected actions would fail to achieve

the intended goal due to the majority support for the cabinet among their parliamentary peers. The Popular Action Bloc (PAB) and Reform and Development Bloc (RDB) both favored the interpellation proposal against the premier, along with another suggestion to boycott parliamentary sessions, according to the insider, although these proposals were rejected by both the National Action Bloc (NAB) and the Salafist Assembly. The various sides eventually reached a compromise, agreeing to circulate a letter

during the next parliamentary session calling for MPs to be allowed to express their disapproval in principle of the request to remove AlMislem's parliamentary immunity. Meanwhile, it is believed that references to holding the cabinet accountable for its actions were removed from the final statement drafted by the MPs attending the meeting, with members of the RDB and PAB protesting that this term implied that an interpellation would be drafted after Al-Mislem's parliamentary immunity is lifted. Instead, the MPs agreed to

hold the cabinet responsible for its action in what they say is a breach of the Kuwaiti constitution. Meanwhile, poverty is behind 45 percent of the crimes of violence committed in Kuwait, according to Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Al-Haroun. Speaking at an event held to launch Kuwait's celebrations marking Arab Family Day, Al-Haroun, who is also the Acting Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, said that this year's event focuses on the importance of combating domestic violence to achieve a successful society. He noted that studies con-

ducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) in February of this year found that domestic violence has become a significant problem in Kuwaiti society which needs to be urgently addressed. The minister stressed that combating societal violence must begin with eliminating violence within the family, reiterating the role played by the MSAL in this area in introducing regulations to help combat violence, such as women's rights legislation and laws to assist the underprivileged in society and help to fight poverty.

kuwait digest

Division and conflict wrecking Kuwait By Sami Al-Nisf hile Kuwait's laws don't forbid anybody from attending public forums, it's arguable that basic wisdom should have kept Mohammad AlJuwaihel from attending an opponent's seminar. The level of political awareness in Kuwait has, unfortunately, still not reached the stage where such behavior is prudent. His decision to attend the seminar does not mean, however, that the attack which left him in a critical condition in a hospital's Intensive Care Unit was in any way justified. After half a century of working to institute a democratic system, based on respecting others' right to

W

KUWAIT: Inspectors from the Ahmadi Municipality branch raided food stores located in the governorate. At least 19 citations were issued. Expired food items were also confiscated from several outlets.

their opinions even if one does not agree with them, we cannot accept or respect the belief that anyone should be allowed to resort to violence to resolve their disagreements rather than taking such disputes to court in an enlightened manner. Although we flatly reject the views of Mr. Juwaihel, reality shows us that there are many individuals, including past and present MPs in the National Assembly (parliament) who are not much different to him and use the same arguments. In future, will we allow those individuals who find our opinions objectionable to beat us around the head to express their displeasure? Will other individuals whose views we disagree with allow us to launch

a physical attack on them to show our disapproval? This latest disgusting attack is a natural result of the continually deteriorating situation and constant escalation of tensions between the various Kuwaiti sects. MPs have a duty to issue legislation criminalizing hate speech and to introduce fines and possible prison sentences for those found guilty of it. If laws of this nature are introduced, they will help to reduce levels of violent behavior, as well as attacks on national unity, which has led to the almost total disappearance of the centuries-old brotherly love and unity between Kuwaitis. This unison has been destroyed by the introduction of various names and phrases, like bedoon,

city people, Sunni sect, Shiite sect, red blood, blue blood, rich and poor, merchants and workers, and other terms which, whenever they are used, serve only to division and conflict, particularly in Kuwait. We need a social contract among all the groups in Kuwaiti society, and a politician not bringing new promises, but renewing the unity we shared since Allah created this state. We should behave in an adult manner and avoid anything that creates hostility among our people. What we are, knowingly or unknowingly, doing to ourselves far exceeds the worst plans our enemies might have for us. Enough hostile, blood has been shed; we pray to Allah to save us. — Al-Anba


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bedoon, Syrian held for theft, muggings Duo arrested in Jleeb apartment KUWAIT: Hawally investigators arrested two criminals, a bedoon and a Syrian, wanted by police for committing 29 separate acts of theft and muggings throughout the country, reported Al-Anba. Police apprehended the criminals in their apartment in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh where several reportedly stolen items were found. They were referred to the proper authorities. Motorbike accident Two people were seriously injured when they fell off a motorcycle on Damascus Road between Adailiya and Roudha after crashing into a car, reported Al-Watan. They were rushed to Amiri Hospital in critical condition and an investigation was launched by authorities. Coworkers feud A fight at the vegetable market in Shuwaikh led to the arrest of three Bangladeshi laborers, reported Al-Watan. The incident was started when the three got into an argument with a fellow employee and compatriot over an empty cardboard box and attacked him. After being arrested by authorities they were released on a KD 200 bail.

kuwait digest

Al-Juwaihel’s true attackers By Abdullatif Al-Duaij

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ot only should Mohammad AlJuwaihel be thankful for surviving the attack he was subjected to recently, but his attackers should likewise be grateful that his injuries weren’t as serious as was initially believed. On this subject, I also believe that the statements issued regarding the assault by the organizers of the rally during which the attack took place were unconvincing. Above all, they clearly omitted even a casual wish for the victim’s recovery, while hinting that the organizers are perhaps siding with the attackers rather than condemning the attack. Meanwhile, the government was also held accountable by some, being accused of “instructing Al-Juwaihel to attend the rally.” The least that can be said of this accusation is that it is silly, possibly the silliest claim to be made in

recent times apart from the one holding MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun accountable for the incident. What happened was an attack carried out by a group of citizens against a fellow citizen, Mohammad AlJuwaihel. It was not ordered or prepared by the government and neither AlSaadoun or anyone else at the event could have done anything to prevent it. What Al-Saadoun, Musallam AlBarrak, Abdullah Al-Naibari, Ahmad AlDieen, Khalid Al-Tahous, Mohammad Al-Jassem, Khalid Al-Fadhala and others are responsible for, however, is inciting people against what they describe as “corrupt media” at the various seminars which they’ve held. While Al-Juwaihel was physically assaulted on Saturday, he has previously been targeted non-physically during seminars held to condemn TV stations for broadcasting things that the organizers did not like, as well as during the information minister’s grilling, in which he was slammed for failing to shut down

these channels. People here have no doubt been influenced by a culture of revenge for a long time. Based on this, the option of physical violence as a form of expression has become popular, largely due to the willful ignorance that we see adopted by politicians when facing the public. One primary role of leaders and leaders of political blocs, however, is to strengthen democratic awareness and popularize the concept of self-discipline and self-control among the public. It’s clear, however, that the only form of freedom currently being defended is the freedom of parliamentarians, while the freedoms of the public and the basic principles of democracy continue to be neglected. Don’t blame Al-Juwaihel’s attackers for what happened. Instead, blame those who strengthened and disseminated the culture and mindset of revenge within the Kuwaiti people at these public rallies. These are the true attackers. — Al-Qabas

Kuwait keen on developing water projects AMMAN: Kuwait is keen on developing water desalination projects according to latest techniques, Kuwait’s Minister of Electricity and Water Dr Bader Al-Shuraiaan said yesterday. In a statement before departing here after leading his country’s delegation to the Arab Water Week, Al-Shuraiaan said

“we (in Kuwait) are seeking to address water shortage through developing and updating techniques and in order to meet increasing demand at all levels.” “Kuwait is implementing the concept of reverse osmosis and evaporation in its water desalination process; which proved to be the most successful so far,” he pointed out, saying that

Kuwait, mainly through its Institute for Scientific Research, is focusing on developing other technologies on the issue. As for Kuwait’s future projects, he said “we are looking to build the North al-Zoor water desalination station, which would, if completed in 2013, produce 204 million gallons of distilled water.”

Minister Al-Shuraiaan then left Amman, as he was sent off by Consul of Kuwait embassy in Jordan Omar Al-Qinaee and other senior Jordanian officials. The event, which opened yesterday, saw the participation of 400 water and electricity experts from Arab countries and international entities. — KUNA

Pedestrian mugged An Asian man was severely beaten and mugged on a street in Farwaniya by three unknown assailants, reported Al-Watan. The victim was out on a walk when he was assaulted by his attackers and robbed of KD 300. The

man reported the incident at the area’s police station and an investigation was launched in search of the assailants. Wafra shooting Police are currently looking for a person who shot an Asian worker in the leg with a stray bullet at a farm in Wafra, reported Al-Watan. Police and paramedics responded to the incident and brought the man to a nearby hospital. An investigation was launched by authorities. Serviceman interrogated A serviceman at the Ministry of Defense was held for questioning after being charged with conspiring to steal ammunition, reported Al-Rai. According to official security sources, the suspect disguised a civilian car to look like an army vehicle in order to infiltrate barracks and steal ammunition. He was caught by authorities before he could carry out his crime and was referred to the public prosecutor.

Physical assault A teenager and his mother were physically assaulted in the parking lot of a cooperative society in Ardiya, reported Al-Rai. The victims filed a case with the area’s police station and submitted a medical report of the injuries they suffered during the attack. The report indicated that the teenager was targeted for harassing women and that the mother was beaten for trying to protect her son. Doha theft An engineer working on a project in Doha filed a case against four workers, accusing them of stealing power cables and construction material, reported Al-Rai. The case was filed at the Sulaibikhat police station and authorities are searching for the missing suspects. Drunk driver A citizen in his 30s was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, reported Al-Anba. The man was arrested shortly after his car stopped working after he

crashed into a wall at Jahra Hospital. While investigating his identity, police discovered that several cases were previously filed against him. He was referred to the proper authorities and faces charges related to driving under the influence. Burglars in custody Hawally investigators arrested two criminals, a bedoon and a Syrian, wanted by police for committing 29 separate acts of theft and muggings throughout the country, reported Al-Anba. Police apprehended the culprits in their apartment in Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh where several reportedly stolen items were found. They were referred to the proper authorities. Jahra crackdown Jahra police confiscated 50 vehicles used by reckless drivers in drifting and racing activities throughout the governorate, reported AlRai. During the operation, 15 people were held for questioning and 120 traffic citations were issued.

NBK announces winners of online draw KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and highest rated in the Middle East, held the first draw to announce the winners of the Watani Online ‘transact and win’ campaign. The campaign gives customers the chance to win an Apple iPhone4 when conducting their banking online. The winners of the first draw to win a free iPhone4 are Yousef Ahmed El-Saiee, Frank Maciag and Maha Hamzah Tantash. The branch manager met them personally and instantly received prizes. “We are glad to reward our customers who perform their banking transactions on Watani Online and enjoy all the available benefits. We also encourage new customers to join Watani Online from NBK, the safest bank in the Middle East,” stated Kevin Turner, Head of Remote Banking at NBK.

KUWAIT: Frank Maciag receives his prize from Ali Hussain, NBK Sabah AlSalem Branch Manager and Area Manager Ghadeer Al-Awadi.

Sabbahiya center serves 70,000-plus people KUWAIT: Opening the newly refurbished East Sabbahiya Medical Center on Monday, health minister Dr Helal Al-Sayer said that the impressive new facility will serve more than 70,000 people in the surrounding area, providing healthcare for four districts. The new hospital has five (General Practitioners’) medical clinics, a dental clinic and a laboratory, the minister continued, adding that the ministry’s policy for developing Kuwait’s health services will also see the introduction of blood-testing laboratory facilities in all health centers. Dr Al-Sayer revealed that Kuwait now has a total of 94 health centers serving the population in every area of the country, adding that all these centers are easily accessible and very close to service users’ homes. The director of Ahmadi’s health services department, Dr Fahad Al-Foudari, said that the refurbishment of

the East Sabbahiya center is part of the second phase of the health ministry’s plans for the area, adding that this will include maintenance and refurbishment in a number of clinics and specialist health facilities. He explained that work on some of these facilities will be completed shortly, with all the venues being equipped with the latest medical equipment and highly skilled staff. Dr Al-Foudari added that work is currently underway on several related projects in Adan Hospital, such as the new 40-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which is scheduled to open in April 2011. Meanwhile, the hospital will also have a new tenstorey wing featuring a maternity unit, a pediatric unit, an ICU, operation theaters, an ER and a number of wards. He added that the third phase of the rehabilitation should take five years, at a total cost of KD 32 million. — KUNA

Protection for judges

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti security officers recently marked the completion of their ‘Al-Rada Al-Hassem’ (Firm Deterrence Exercise No 3) on Failaka Island with a celebratory gathering. The event was attended by its patron, Ministry of Interior Undersecretary Ahmad Abdullatif Al-Rujaib, with other dignitaries present including Assistant Undersecretary Gen Suleiman Al-Fahad and a number of other senior security figures. In his speech to the course participants and guests, Al-Rujaib voiced pride at being there with his “sons and brothers” in the special security service.

KUWAIT: A recent forum in Salwa focused on the lack of existing legislation to protect judges from prosecution and the need for the introduction of such laws. The event, hosted by judicial activist and state’s attorney at the Fatwa and Legislation Department Najla Al-Naqqi at her diwaniya in Salwa, was also

attended by a number of prominent local lawyers, including Nasser AlDuwaila, Al-Humaidi AlSubai’ei, Ali Al-Baghli and Mustafa Al-Sarraf. All the lawyers underlined the vital importance of working to introduce such legislation, which they asserted would not inconvenience anyone.


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INTERNATIONAL

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Weapons include rockets, handguns, anti-armor rocket-propelled grenades

Leaks: Yemen key transit hub for arms to Hamas RIYADH: Washington saw Yemen as a key transit point for arms flow ing to the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and the Gaza Strip via Sudan, according to US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks yesterday. “We under-

BAGHDAD: Iraqi security forces clean the street after a bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq yesterday. An early morning bomb attack targeted a police patrol in central Baghdad wounded several policemen and civilians, police said. — AP

Allawi threatens to quit LONDON: Iyad Allawi, who won the most votes in Iraq’s elections, threatened to quit a powersharing government in an interview with Britain’s Times newspaper yesterday. “Power-sharing is not happening,” Allawi said. “It is not set to work in a meaningful way... If it does not change, I will not participate.” Despite being lauded by international leaders including US President Barack Obama, Iraq’s power-sharing pact has looked fragile ever since it was agreed last month after an eight-month impasse. Despite his Iraqiya block narrowly winning elections in March, Allawi has seen religious parties coalesce to form the biggest grouping in the new parliament led by Prime Minister-designate Nuri Al-Maliki. Allawi, a Shia Muslim, claimed that Iraq’s political system meant a non-sectarian politician could never succeed. He laid the blame at the feet of Iraq’s Shia neighbour, Iran, and said Iranian leaders had a “red line” against him. “There is a question mark on democracy now,” he said. “People

realise that Iran has the upper hand and they feel Iraq is controlled by foreign forces.” He added: “Iran has obstructed the way to power-sharing. They have a red line against me personally and they do not want Iraqiya to participate in the new government.” Allawi said Iraqis were likely to quickly become disillusioned with any government that is formed. “There is a lot of disillusionment among Iraqis, whether they voted for us or not,” Allawi said. “They associated democracy with the fact that whoever got the highest numbers should spearhead the formation of the government.” The Times said Allawi had also confirmed that many imprisoned members of the al-Mahdi Army, followers of fiery Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, had been released as part of a deal struck between Maliki and Sadr two months ago. The move is considered likely to have been engineered by Iran. Asked how Iraq’s political landscape would look in a year’s time, Allawi told the paper: “Really, I don’t know.” —AFP

Iran nabs assassination team trained ‘abroad’ TEHRAN: Iran has arrested members of an assassination team that were trained in a neighbouring country and who recently attacked two nuclear scientists in Tehran, Tehran’s prosecutor was quoted by news agencies as saying yesterday. “Members of a team trained for assassination were identified and arrested by the intelligence ministry” after receiving training in a “neighbouring country,” Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi was quoted by Fars news agency as saying. Mehr news agency added him saying the team had undergone “military training outside the country to assassinate two

university professors.” That was a reference to the murder of a university professor, Majid Shahriari, and the wounding of another, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, on November 29 in separate bomb attacks. The two were prominent members of Iran’s nuclear programme. “Based on their confessions, (the members of the team) were supposed to plan further assassinations,” Dolatabadi said. He did not clarify whether these people were the same ones who were arrested last week in connection with this case. On December 2, Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said “some elements”

Clan fighting in Somalia kills 20 MOGADISHU: Clashes between rival clans in central Somalia have killed at least 20 people, residents said yesterday. Liban Abdi said he had seen the bodies of at least 20 people killed in fighting in the central Mudug region. Most of the dead were militia members. There have been sporadic clashes between the Majerteen and the Sa’ad clans over access to land and water for several weeks. The most recent fighting began early Monday. Damerale village elder Hassan Mohamud says he has called for calm but that residents are fleeing the area around Damerale and Docle Omane villages and more gunmen are arriving. “It’s awful fighting and tension is still high so I call for prompt action,” he said by telephone. Twenty-five people were wounded in the fighting, said a nurse in the main hospital in Galkayo, the provincial capital. She declined to give her name, citing fear of reprisals. Somalia has had no effective central government since a socialist dictator was overthrown almost 20 years ago. The West currently supports an 8,000strong African Union peacekeeping mission that protects a beleaguered administration in the capital of Mogadishu. The administration comes under daily attack from Islamist insurgents and has been unable to deliver either services or security to the Somali population. — AP

behind the attacks had been arrested. Iran blamed the attacks on the intelligence services of the United States and Israel, which suspect Tehran’s nuclear ambitions harbour a military dimension. The Islamic republic denies the charge. In January, another Iranian nuclear scientist, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed in a bomb attack Tehran blamed on “mercenaries” hired by Tel Aviv and Washington. Dolatabadi said none of the main elements behind the three attacks have been arrested. “Although elements behind the assassination of martyr Ali Mohammadi and the two recent ones have been arrested, the team has provided judiciary officials with good clues about the elements of the assassinations,” he added. — AFP

“These shipments usually transit in small groups of flagged and unflagged dhows”-small wooden shipsthat hide by mixing with other similar vessels in busy harbors or in coastal mangroves, according to the document. “The weapons are transported by boat across the Red Sea to landing points in Sudan ... Once landed, we assess that the goods are transported north by car through Sudan.” Weapons one group smuggled to Gaza included rockets, handguns, anti-armor rocket-propelled grenades, and anti-aircraft guns, the memo said. It said the US was asking Sanaa for permission to conduct surveillance over Yemen’s coastal sea using helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles to track the arms-smuggling dhows. “In a recent case, sparse intelligence and a dhow’s use of Yemeni territorial waters allowed a known shipment of arms probably bound for Gaza to transit undetected in international waters past a searching US warship,” it said. The same document said Yemen was a departure point for arms going to Somalia and other east African countries, and to Saudi Arabia as well. Washington had information on a Yemen-based smugglers who were sending arms to African buyers, who possibly onsold them to Al-Qaedaassociated groups like Somalia’s Al-Shabab rebels. US embassy documents also spoke of the “robust black market” for weapons in Yemen. One of the biggest worries for the US officials was the possibility that shoulder-launched surfaceto-air missiles could be obtained on the Yemen market. In a cable from January 2010, US officials expressed concerns about Yemen’s planned purchase of 30,000 assault rifles and ammunition from Bulgaria “given the unstable situation in Yemen and the potential for proliferation of small arms.” One month earlier, another memo spoke of worries that Yemen’s defence ministry planned to buy a shipment of small arms and heavy artillery ammunition, sniper rifles, anti-aircraft guns and howitzers from a Serbian arms dealer Slobodan Tesic, who was on a UN travel ban list. The embassy said it worried that the weapons could be diverted to the black market. But a 2007 cable suggested Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh took a casual view toward the arms black market, and could benefit from it himself. In the middle of a meeting with the White House’s top counter-terrorism advisor, Frances Townsend, Saleh unexpectedly invited in known arms dealer Faris Manaa. “If he does not behave properly, you can take him... back to Washington in Townsend’s plane or to Guantanamo,” Saleh joked with the Americans. —AFP

stand a significant volume of arms shipments to Hamas make the short 24hour transit across the Red Sea from Yemen to Sudan,” a J uly 2009 memo from the US embassy in Saana said.

Israeli rabbis tell Jews not to sell homes to Arabs JERUSALEM: Dozens of Israeli rabbis, some of them civil servants, issued an appeal yesterday telling locals not to sell or rent property to nonJews, drawing condemnation from lawmakers and human rights activists. The open letter underscored Jewish-Arab tensions that have deepened along with Israel’s deadlocked Palestinian conflict, as well as more recent demographic fears triggered by an influx of illegal African migrants. “The Land of Israel is intended for the people of Israel,” Yosef Shainin, chief rabbi of the southern port city of Ashdod and one of the 41 signatories, told Israel’s Army Radio when asked about the letter. Obtained by Reuters ahead of its planned publication in synagogues and religious journals, the letter quotes warnings by ancient sages that living with nonJews can lead to “sacrilege”. Other concerns for property values are also raised. Another signatory, Chief Rabbi Mordechai Nagari from the Maale Adumim settlement, said: “If you allow Arabs into Jewish neighbourhoods, you are asking for feuds to ensue.” While religious edicts are commonplace and often ignored in predominantly secular Israel, the letter was

JERUSALEM: Israeli Rabbi Mordechai Nagari who recently signed a religious ruling barring Jews from selling or renting homes to nonJews, reads from a religious text in his office as he poses for a photo, in the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim near Jerusalem yesterday. — AP

unusual as several of the rabbis were state-funded municipal chaplains-in Nagari’s case, of a settlement in the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians have been struggling for statehood. The Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and opposition lawmakers demanded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemn the letter and discipline those rabbis. “This obliges, once and for all, their prosecution for racial incitement,” said Israeli Arab lawmaker Ahmed Tibi. Neither Netanyahu’s office nor Israel’s Religious Affairs Ministry, which employs the rabbis, were available for comment. ACRI has also urged Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman to remove Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu from his public post in the northern town of Safed. Eliyahu sparked controversy last month by supporting a campaign urging residents not to rent apartments to Arab students attending a local college. The Safed case is under investigation by police after posters were put up around the town identifying an octogenarian Jewish Holocaust survivor who was offering flats for rent to the students, urging residents to denounce him. —Reuters


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Regional neighbors fear potential refugee crisis

United Nations prepares Ivory Coast staff pullout ABIDJAN/ABUJA: The United Nations prepared for a partial pull-out of staff from Ivory Coast yesterday as West African leaders sought to defuse a power struggle between rival claimants of a presidential election at emergency talks. Disagreement over the outcome of last month’s poll in the world’s top cocoa grower, has raised the risk of renewed vio-

lence in a country still divided in two by a 2002-3 war. Incumbent Laurent Gbagbo was sworn in as president last week even though Ivory Coast’s electoral commission had declared Alassane Ouattara the winner of the Nov. 28 election, after the Constitutional Council overturned that decision. “It is a provisional relocation of non-essential staff ... We have tension now. It is a normal procedure. It is temporary relocation,” UN mission spokesman Hamadoun Toure said of plans to relocate 600 personnel to Gambia and Senegal. The world body has about 10,000 peacekeepers in the country. Cocoa futures in London hit new highs on fears of disruptions to world supplies, with the second-month futures contract up over 1.5 percent at 2,081 pounds a tonne. Ivory Coast’s $2.3 billion Eurobond, a bellwether of investor mood, saw its yield rise above 12 percent yesterday from pre-vote levels below 10 percent. Nerves are strained after clashes with security forces have left at least 10 dead, but the Ivory Coast’s leafy, tropical main city of Abidjan appeared calm, its streets humming with traffic and impatient hooting as normal. Yesterday afternoon, its sandy pavements were crowded with hawkers and people ABIDJAN: A UN soldier provide security in front of the Golf Hotel that is used by Ivory Coast opposition leader taking their lunch break. “We’ve been in crisis many Alassane Ouattara and members of his party in the city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast yesterday. —AP years, so it’s nothing new,” said lawyer Herman Dirabou, as he queued to pay his phone bill next to a women frying yams on the pavement. “Maybe with two presidents we’ll get twice as much done,” he joked, before adding: “I hope they can find a way out of this.” Leaders from countries including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia and Senegal MOSCOW: Twenty-one prisoners deliber- ers did not want to follow regulations,” he of mistreatment are growing more and more arrived in the Nigerian capital ately cut themselves overnight on Monday said. “They did not put forward any numerous,” Radnayeva said. Abuja for a meeting of the 15To attract attention to their problems, in a protest at a prison camp in Russia’s demands.” The Foundation for the Defence nation ECOWAS, a regional Chelyabinsk region in the Ural mountains, of the Rights of Prisoners confirmed the prisoners have self-harmed, slashing their body which has declared suplaw enforcement officials said yesterday. incident to AFP, saying that it was appar- veins, sewing up their mouths, or even port for Ouattara. “This is an “On December 6 and 7, 21 detainees ently sparked by ill-treatment of prisoners. swallowing nails, she said. Four prisoners opportunity for heads of state “It’s a protest against the behaviour of were clubbed to death in camps in 2008 and slashed their arms in Camp No. 2 in the to pool their collective wisChelyabinsk region. All of them received the prison administration,” said Nadezhda NGOs at the time accused the prison dom to see how they can medical help,” the regional prosecutors said Radnayeva of the foundation. One prisoner authorities of blocking an independent advance the process ... There died in May after being severely beaten in inquiry into the causes. Russian prisons are in a statement. are many options,” said The spokesman for the regional prison the camp and in the region as a whole, “at overcrowded and known for the brutality of ECOWAS spokesman Sunny service, Alexander Bushuyev, told AFP least three prisoners have been killed since their staff. In June 2005. several hundred Ugoh. Former South African that the prisoners’ lives were not in danger. the beginning of the year,” Radnayeva said. prisoners self-harmed in a camp in the president Thabo Mbeki ended He dismissed the protest as an anarchic Despite penal reforms getting underway in south-west town of Lgov to protest against a mediation mission to Ivory rebellion against prison rules. “The prison- Russia several months ago, “the complaints abuses by guards. —AFP Coast on Monday without success. A source from an ECOWAS country said Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore- involved in past Ivorian mediation-would now have a role. The body can impose sanctions or even throw Ivory Coast out of the club but officials suggested the meeting was more likely to restart mediation efforts than impose punitive measures. Ouattara’s camp, operating out of a tent in the lagoon-side Golf Hotel under protection of UN troops and surrounded by razor wire, said the time was not right for sanctions. “We are not there yet. We think there is plenty of scope to resolve this crisis internally,” Patrick Achi, spokesman of a government line-up proposed by Ouattara. “This situation cannot drag on for weeks. We’ll see some TALLINN: In this April 22, 2010 photo US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a media confer- end to it-for me it’s clear the ence at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Tallinn, Estonia. According to information released yesterday others will see sense.” The by the WikiLeaks website, NATO has drawn up plans to defend its member states in the Baltics against Russian dispute risks pitting the proGbagbo military against proattack. —AP Ouattara rebels. Ivory Coast’s neighbours fear unrest could block trade routes and prompt a refugee crisis in a region still recovering from three BRUSSELS: NATO has drawn up plans to Dmitry Medvedev was meeting with top EU defense plan as an “early Christmas present.” civil wars in the past two defend its member states in the Baltics officials yesterday in Brussels, where he was He said such discussions should be conducted decades. The United Nations, against Russian attack, although the alliance expected to sign an agreement helping clear out of the public eye, saying that Estonia is United States, former colonial says it no longer regards Russia as a foe, the way for Russia’s accession to the World looking for, “solidarity, not visibility.” The power France, the European according to diplomatic memos posted on the Trade Organization next year. Russia already plan, code-named Eagle Guardian, provides Union, the African Union and cooperates closely with NATO in the Afghan for a number of NATO units to defend Poland Wikileaks secret-sharing site. ECOWAS have all rejected In a cable from last January carried by war, and in counter-narcotics and maritime and the Baltics in case of attack. It also identiGbagbo’s proclaimed election Britain’s Guardian daily and posted on the site anti-piracy operations. Medvedev attended fies ports in Poland and Germany that alliance victory but he has control of as part of a massive trove of US State the alliance’s summit last month in Lisbon, naval forces would use in case of war. The the army and state television. Department documents, the department Portugal, where NATO Secretary-General documents cited Ivo Daalder, the US ambasThe political deadlock instructed its embassies to keep the plan Anders Fogh Rasmussen emphasized that sador to NATO, as saying that Germany had gripped what was once the secret because “a public discussion of contin- NATO and Russia pose no threat to each initiated the proposal to include the Baltic economic jewel in the crown states in Eagle Guardian. Alliance spokespergency planning would also likely lead to an other. of francophone West Africa At that meeting, the alliance adopted its son Oana Lungescu declined to comment on unnecessary increase in NATO-Russia tenafter the Constitutional sions.” Although NATO’s core task is to new official doctrine, which states that the contents of the Wikileaks memos. “But Council-run by a Gbagbo allydefend its members, the alliance had not pre- NATO-Russia cooperation is of crucial impor- NATO has always had and will continue to scrapped hundreds of thoupared detailed military plans for the defense tance since it contributes to creating “a com- have appropriate plans to protect all allies. sands of votes from Ouattara of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since they mon space of peace, stability and security.” This is at the core of our collective defense strongholds, reversing provijoined in 2004. After Russia’s lightning victo- Still, the cables show that some nations task,” Lungescu said. Russian diplomats in sional results giving him a vicry in the 2008 war with Georgia, the three remain wary of Moscow’s intentions, particu- Brussels said the leaks did not come as a surtory. Gbagbo has scorned the began pressing for a greater US and NATO larly following Russia’s crushing defeat in prise. international rejection as an A diplomat who asked not to be identified 2008 of Georgia’s Western-trained army after presence. affront to Ivorian sovereignty The release of the cables is potentially it tried to recapture the breakaway province because he was not authorized to speak to the and has threatened to expel media, said Moscow had been informed of embarrassing for both sides because it comes of South Ossetia. the UN Ivory Coast envoy for Paul Teesalu, security director in the developments by their colleagues at NATO amid a broader reconciliation between the forinterference in internal mer Cold War rivals. Russian President Estonian foreign ministry, described the and through press reports in Poland. —AP affairs.— Reuters

21 prisoners slash arms at Russian prison camp

NATO plans to defend Baltics from Russia

TBILISI: Georgian Deputy Interior Minister Eka Zguladze speaks in Tbilisi yesterday. Georgia accused Russia of organizing a series of explosions in recent months which left one person dead, in the latest flaring of tensions between the two foes. —AFP

Georgia foils Russia ‘terrorist attacks’ 6 suspected Russian agents nabbed TBILISI: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said yesterday that authorities had averted a series of “very serious terrorist attacks” by six Georgians working for Russia. “We have thwarted some very serious terrorist attacks which had been prepared, and for which they had received instructions and explosive materials,” Saakashvili said in comments broadcast on Georgian television. The Georgian interior ministry said that a Russian military intelligence officer had paid the gang’s ringleader to organize a series of blasts near targets including the US embassy and the central railway station in Tbilisi. “This was an organized terrorist campaign,” interior ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said. “It was meant to create a general sense of instability and fear in the country.” Six attacks took place between

September and November. Explosive devices intended for use in further attacks were also found in the sweep, Utiashvili said. One woman died in the most recent blast, which went off near an opposition party’s office in late November. The US embassy building was not damaged when a device went off outside its perimeter wall in September. The alleged ringleader, a former Georgian army officer identified as Gogita Arkania, was detained on Saturday alongside five alleged accomplices. Utiashvili alleged that a Russian military intelligence officer, Yevgeny Borisov, had blackmailed Arkania into organizing the explosions using threats against his family. He said that Arkania was paid “at least 600 dollars” for every blast. Georgian television showed an interior ministry video of Arkania allegedly con-

fessing to bombing the targets chosen by Borisov. The blasts were intended to attract publicity and portray Georgia as dangerously volatile, Utiashvili suggested. He said Arkania had told the ministry that “the Russians did not care so much about casualties, they only cared that the explosions were shown on TV.” Two further suspects are wanted for questioning. Georgian authorities said they were probably currently hiding in the Russian-backed rebel territory of Abkhazia. The arrests came a month after Georgia claimed it had smashed a major Russiansponsored spy ring operating in the ex-Soviet country, where tensions with Moscow erupted into a brief war in August 2008. The Russian foreign ministry said the spy arrests were motivated by the Georgian government’s “anti-Russian” sentiments. —AFP

Husband implicated in honeymoon killing CAPE TOWN: A South African man convicted yesterday in the murder of a Swedish woman honeymooning in Cape Town says her British husband paid to have her killed, according to a plea agreement submitted in court. Zola Tongo claimed Shrien Dewani approached him about killing his new wife the day the couple arrived in South Africa. Anni Dewani’s body was found the next day in a Cape Town township; she had been shot in the back of the neck. Shrien Dewani has denied any involvement in his wife’s murder in interviews given to British press, which has been speculating for weeks about his possible role. Anni Dewani’s father, Vinod Hindocha, attended yesterday’s hearing. As he left, his eyes wet with tears, he thanked South Africans who investigated the case, and people here and around

the world who had offered his family support. “We are very, very confident about the police investigation,” Hindocha added. Tongo said he drove the couple from the airport to their hotel on Nov. 13. Once the wife was out of earshot, the driver said Shrien Dewani asked if he could find someone to kill her. Tongo said Shrien Dewani offered 50,000 rand each (about $7,000), but paid only 1,000 (about $145). Once Tongo’s confession was read in court, a translator asked in Xhosa whether he understood. Tongo, who stood with his eyes lowered throughout the hearing, said he did - his only comments in court. The case has drawn wide attention in Britain and in South Africa, where violent crime is high but attacks on foreign tourists are rare. —AP

Russia, US sign deal to reduce nuclear risk MOSCOW: Russia and the United States agreed yesterday to study the possibility of making Russian research reactors less of a nuclear proliferation risk by converting them to use low-enriched uranium fuel. US Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman signed the agreement with the head of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, during a visit aimed to further cooperation on nuclear security and peaceful atomic energy. Russia has dozens of research reactors that run on highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel, prompting fears that it could fall into the wrong hands and be used to make nuclear weapons. Experts say converting reactors to use low-enriched uranium (LEU) — as has been done with some in the United States and other nationswould significantly reduce that risk. Conversion is “well under way” in the United States and is “the right thing to do” worldwide, Poneman told a news briefing after

the signing. “As a global matter it is a safer and more proliferationresistant way to go,” he said. Kiriyenko asserted that there was “no risk” of terrorist access to research reactors in the United States or Russia. “All our research reactors are guarded and protected in an absolutely reliable fashion,” he said. Since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has helped fund what nuclear experts say are major improvements in the security of potential bomb-making materials in Russia, but concerns remain about potential breaches, possibly involving insiders with access to the materials. Converting or closing HEUfuelled research reactors is “one of the most urgent tasks ... in protecting material that could be used to make a nuclear weapon,” said William Tobey, senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Research reactors are operated by civil authorities, in many cases at uni-

versities, “and the level of security is less than what might be present at a military facility,” he said. Kiriyenko said initial plans were to convert six research reactors to LEU fuel. A report last year by the World Nuclear Association, a nuclear energy industry group, said Russia had 62 such reactors. Kiriyenko said the effort would send a positive message to other countries as Russia and the United States push ahead with a program to remove dangerous fuel from reactors abroad. Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev have made cooperation against nuclear proliferation a focus of a “reset” of ties that had been increasingly strained in recent years. Poneman and Kiriyenko said a civilian nuclear agreement that will likely enter into force if the US Congress does not block it within days would pave the way for closer interaction in the atomic energy industry and non-proliferation. —Reuters


INTERNATIONAL

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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Cuba commutes another terrorist’s death sentence Second hotel bomber to be spared in less than a week HAVANA: Cuba has commuted the death sentence of a Salvadoran man convicted of terrorism, the second overturning of a capital sentence in less than a week, a state-run Internet site said on Monday. Otto Rene Rodriguez was sentenced to death for placing a bomb in Havana’s Melia Cohiba hotel in 1997 during a string of 15 bombings of tourism establishments that killed an Italian tourist and injured others.

HIGUEROTE: A flood victim holds a baby while sleeping on the ground of a refugee shelter in Higuerote, central Venezuela on Monday. —AP

Venezuelan hotels shelter flood victims CARACAS: Venezuelan soldiers took charge at several privately owned hotels Monday to help accommodate some of the thousands of people who have been forced from their homes by flooding and mudslides following weeks of torrential rains. The occupation, which went unprotested by the hotel owners, appeared to be a show of force as criticism of President Hugo Chavez’ handling of the disaster has grown. The staterun AVN news agency quoted National Guard Cmdr. Luis Alfredo Motta on Monday as saying the owners of the hotels were willingly collaborating with the military. “We are always open to helping, but within a cordial relationship in which the rules are clear,” Ricardo Cusanno, vice presi-

dent of the National Federation of Hotels, told the local Globovision television channel. Cusanno said 19 hotels located throughout Venezuela’s capital have already have opened their doors to people driven from their homes. Soldiers are helping organize shelter for displaced people at three tourism hotels in the coastal town of Higuerote _ one of the communities hit hardest by the floods. Motta said authorities were also holding talks with the owners of eight other hotels in the state of Miranda to determine if they would join the initiative. More than two weeks of constant rains across this South American nation of 28 million have caused flooding and mudslides that have killed at least 34 people and left more

than 5,000 Venezuelans homeless. More than 100,000 people have taken refuge at hundreds of shelters, Defense Minister Carlos Mata Figueroa said Monday. The government has declared a state of emergency in the capital and three states: Miranda, Vargas and Falcon. Rains pounded the western states of Zulia, Trujillo, Merida and Tachira over the weekend. The country’s wet season usually ends in mid-November. Chavez foes have argued that the government’s response has been inadequate and say Chavez has failed during his 11-year rule to meet rising demand for low-income housing. Growing numbers of poor Venezuelans have resorted to building in slums that skirt the major cities, they say. —AP

Edwards’ cancer has spread to liver LOS ANGELES: Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer has spread to her liver and doctors have advised against further treatment, People magazine reported on Monday. The estranged wife of twotime US presidential candidate John Edwards is now resting at home with her family after being hospitalized briefly last week. The celebrity magazine reported doctors as saying that the breast cancer first diagnosed in 2004 “had metastasized to the liver.” “Elizabeth has been advised by her doctors that further treatment of her cancer would be unproductive. She is resting at home with family and friends,” the Edwards family said in a statement to People magazine. Edwards, 61, said in a Facebook posting on Monday; “I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces, my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope.” “These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that,” the posting said. Edwards’ breast cancer spread to her bones in 2007. She said in an interview in June 2010, that it had also then reached her legs, spine and skull. Elizabeth Edwards and her Democratic politician husband John announced in January that they had separated after 32 years of marriage. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: Elizabeth Edwards of the Center for American Progress testifies on medical debt and bankruptcy before the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 20, 2009. —AFP

“The Supreme Court’s chamber against state security crimes ruled on Monday, December 6, to modify the death penalty to 30 years,” the Cubadebate website reported. The same court on Friday commuted the death sentence of another Salvadoran, Raul Ernesto Cruz, accused of placing bombs in a number of

hotels, including the one that killed the Italian tourist. Both men confessed to their crimes and fingered Cuban exile and former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles as being behind the 1997-1998 bombing spree. Cuba has accused Posada Carriles of various attacks on soft targets over the years, including the 1976 bombing of a

Cuban airliner killing all 73 persons aboard. Posada Carriles is living in Miami as he awaits trial in Texas for illegally entering the country in 2005 and lying on immigration forms. Rodriguez was arrested in 1998 when he tried to enter Cuba with more than three pounds of C-4 plastic explosives and detonators in his luggage.

Cuba has not carried out an execution since 2003, when three men were shot by firing squad after hijacking a local ferry in hopes of going to the United States. President Raul Castro commuted the sentences of everyone on death row in 2008, with the exception of those convicted of terrorism.

According to the illegal but tolerated Cuban Human Rights Commission, with the commutation of Rodriguez’s and Cruz’s sentences, just one prisoner remains on death row. Cuban exile Humberto Real was convicted of killing a policeman during an armed incursion of western Villa Clara province in 1994. —Reuters

Texas judge puts state’s death penalty on trial HOUSTON: A Houston judge on Monday began a hearing on the legality of the death penalty in Texas, which executes more convicts than any other US state, and will render a high-profile judgment that could influence the national debate on capital punishment. John Green, 25, is awaiting trial after being charged with murdering a woman during a robbery in Houston in 2008. He says he is innocent. His lawyers have challenged the constitutionality of Texas’ death penalty, claiming that there is a high probability of wrongful convictions and executions under current trial rules. Their effort is predicated on Texas rules that allow defendents to challenge the legality of potential punishments even before trial begins. The state has executed 464 inmates over the last three decades far more than any other US state. But

death penalty opponents cite two prominent Texas cases in which significant exculpatory evidence has come to light years after inmates’ sentences were carried out. During roughly two weeks of testimony, state District Judge Kevin Fine will hear arguments from prominent death penalty opponents, who will shine a spotlight on the legal processes and evidentiary support used in Texas’ capital punishment trials, which critics say are errorprone. “This will be an authoritative statement on the death penalty in Texas,” said James Liebman, a law professor at Columbia Law School. The case could impact other states like Illinois, where there is a legislative effort to repeal the punishment, Liebman said. County prosecutors said they will “stand mute” during the hearing, after citing 19 reasons why it should

‘Palinism’, ‘Obama-mess’ among top words for 2011 LOS ANGELES: “Palinism” and “Obama-mess” are likely to be among the top global words of 2011, as the United States gears up for its next presidential elections, according to a language monitoring group. The coming year will also likely be commonly deemed “Twenty-Eleven” as the English-speaking world moves away from disagreement over how to pronounce the first years of the decade, the Global Language Monitor said on Monday. But the “great recession” is expected to hang around in 2011 as a well-used term while the world economy struggles to right itself. “Palinism” has been around for a couple of years, used mostly to coin malapropisms from Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin, including her 2010 conflation “refudiate”. According to the UrbanDictionary.com, “Palinism” is also sometimes defined as “other illogical stream of conscious meanderings uttered by Sarah Palin.” Palin, who ran unsuccessfully for vice-president in 2008 as a Republican and is now a conservative political activist, best-selling author and TV star, is pondering whether to run for U.S. president

in 2012. Global Language Monitor president Paul JJ Payack said Americans were thus likely to see and hear more of Palin in 2011, adding that “the media needs an heir to ‘Bushisms’ and Sarah Palin is the candidate of choice here.” Payack said that “Obama-mess” is expected to be big in 2011. “If (President Barack) Obama regains his magic, he escaped his Obama-mess; if his rating sinks further, he continues to be engulfed by it.” The Texas-based Global Language Monitor has gathered the Top 10 words at the end of each year since 2000, according to citations in the media and on the Internet from throughout the English-speaking world. “To project possible top words for 2011, we analyzed the categories that we monitor and then chose words from each representative of various world trends,” Payack said. The monitoring group’s projected Top Words of 2011 are: 1) Twenty-Eleven-to pronounce the word 2011. 2) Obama-mess 3) Great Recession 4) Palinism 5) TwitFlocker-a placeholder for the next big trend following Facebook and Twitter. —Reuters

not proceed. Prosecutor Alan Curry told Judge Fine he would “respectfully refuse to participate” in the hearing. Fine later told Curry, “I expect your participation.” Fine evoked the ire of Texas Governor Rick Perry in March when he granted a request by Green’s lawyers to declare the state’s death penalty as unconstitutional, a common request in capital murder cases that Texas judges routinely deny. Fine rescinded the ruling after pointing to evidence that “we execute innocent people,” and called for the hearing. Fine is a Democrat who presides in Harris County, which has sentenced more prisoners to death than any other Texas county. Texas is a predominantly Republican state where support for the death penalty runs high. Current Texas law carries “a nightmare proportion” of risk for the accused to be

wrongfully convicted of capital murder and sentenced to the death penalty, said Richard Burr, Green’s defense attorney. Testimony from eyewitnesses, informants and forensic evidence used to convict suspects can be flawed, as are state trial procedures for jury selection and compelling state prosecutors to hand over contradictory evidence, Burr said. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, 138 US prisoners sentenced to death have been exonerated since 1973, and 12 of those cases have been in Texas. Exonerations show that state prosecutors sometimes make mistakes during capital murder trials and “there certainly is the risk of executing the innocent and that risk still exists today,” said Richard Dieter, the center’s executive director. — Reuters


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INTERNATIONAL

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

China, Nobel committee at odds over award boycott BEIJING: China said yesterday the “vast majority” of nations would boycott this week’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo, but the Norwegian award committee said two-thirds of those invited would attend. China said the granting of the prize to “a criminal” was an affront to its “legal sovereignty” and would not affect its policies. “We will not change because of some wind blowing the grass and because of the interference of some clowns who are anti-China,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said. The Norwegian Nobel Committee offered a picture very different from that presented by Jiang. Geir Lundestad, the executive secretary of the Nobel Committee, told Reuters the Chinese contention that most nations would stay away was “a very curious way of stating things” because only the 65 countries with embassies in Norway were invited, and 44 of those had accepted. The committee has said China has mounted an unprecedented campaign to keep

envoys from attending. China has denounced the awarding of the accolade to pro-democracy activist Liu as an “obscenity” and has unleashed a torrent of diplomatic scorn towards host nation Norway, while exerting pressure on diplomats to boycott Friday’s ceremony. “As far as I know, at present, more than 100 countries and organisations have expressed explicit support for China opposing the Nobel Peace Prize, which fully shows that the international community does not accept the decision of the Nobel Committee,” the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told a regular news briefing. “After the ceremony, you can see that the vast majority of the international community will not attend the ceremony. Some countries have resident missions in Norway, they will not send representatives to the ceremony,” she said. With Liu serving an 11-year jail term, his wife under house arrest and many others prevented from travelling, nobody is expected to pick up the Nobel medal and $1.5 million

award on his behalf. Friday’s ceremony will be the first time that a laureate under detention has not be formally represented at the awards gala since Nazi Germany barred pacifist Carl von Ossietzky from coming in 1935. The Nobel committee has decided to represent the laureate with an empty chair during the awards ceremony, in what it said was a symbol of Chinese policy to isolate and repress dissidents. The committee said in addition to China, countries declining invitations for the gala were: Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. In Manila, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs declined to say why the Philippines was not attending the ceremony. But a senior Filipino diplomat said the reason was to avoid another fracas with China, still angry over President Benigno Aquino’s handling of a bus hijack incident in

August that killed eight Hong Kong tourists. “We do not want to further annoy China,” the official said, The Nobel committee’s Lundestad said the 44 embassies that had accepted the invitation included those of South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, as well as big emerging states India, Brazil and South Africa. Algeria and Sri Lanka did not reply to the Committee. China has detained or placed under house arrest dozens of activists since Liu’s award was announced in October, including his wife Liu Xia, who remains incommunicado, presumed at her apartment in Beijing. Chinese police have prevented others from leaving the country, including artist Ai Weiwei, apparently fearful some would try and find their way to Norway. “It is normal that some countries and organisations will not approve of and not attend the Nobel ceremony,” said Pu Zhiqiang, a human rights lawyer. “But this has no logical relationship to the real issue, which is whether or not those who want to attend are

permitted to attend.” China has sent letters to foreign ministries and embassies urging diplomats to stay away from the ceremony and warned of “consequences” for those who support the pro-democracy activist. “It’s really unfortunate that China is using its political and economic clout to twist the arms of diplomats into not attending,” said Corinna-Barbara Francis, China researcher for Amnesty International, adding it was not the kind of action a country with China’s global presence should be taking. Activists and dissidents greeted with disbelief China’s claim that a majority of the international community supported its position on Liu. “What absolute rubbish,” Li Datong, a former journalist and one of the signatories of a petition in October calling on the government to release Liu, told Reuters. “The Foreign Ministry has no shame. It’s a lie, pure and simple, told without the slightest hint of embarrassment.— Reuters

Western officials fear development of nuclear weapons

Defector: Iran hosted N Korean technicians PARIS: A former Iranian diplomat w ho defected to the West this year said yesterday he saw North Korean technicians repeatedly travel to Iran, w hich Western officials fear is trying to develop nuclear w eapons. Mohammad Reza Heydari, w ho resigned in J anuary from his post as Iranian consul in Norw ay, said he’s “cer-

tain” the cooperation is continuing betw een his home country and North Korea. The comments at a Paris think tank conference come amid rising international concerns that North Korea, w hich has already staged atomic tests, is cooperating w ith Iran on its nuclear program.

SEOUL: South Korean Vietnam War veterans burn a banner showing photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, center, his late father Kim Il Sung, left, and his youngest son Kim Jong Un, during a rally denouncing North Korea’s Nov 23 bombardment on a South Korean border island, in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea yesterday. — AP

Shanghai teenagers Thailand eyes are world’s smartest fugitive ex-PM’s PARIS: Teenagers from the Chinese city of Shanghai have the best education in the world, according to a major international study of standards in in maths, science and literacy released yesterday. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s “Pisa” report, released every three years, studied 470,000 15-year-old pupils in 65 countries around the more developed parts of the world. South Korea and Finland topped the country rankings in the survey but, taken separately from China, the huge city of Shanghaitaking part in the survey for the first time-came top in all three of the disciplines. “More than onequarter of Shanghai’s 15-year-olds demonstrated advanced mathematical thinking skills to solve complex problems, compared to an OECD average of just three percent,” the OECD said. Other Asian countries and regions also scored particularly well, and OECD education expert Eric Charbonnier said the continent’s success was a result of educational values that favor equality as well as quality. “In Shanghai, a city of 20 million, they followed policies to fight against social inequality, to target the schools that were in most difficulty and send them the best performing heads and most experienced teachers,” he said. South Korea came second in comprehension, fourth in maths and sixth in science and Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan were well-placed. Finland, whose educational system has been hailed by Western experts,

remains the best performing European country, coming third in comprehension, second in science and third in maths. Seven European countries performed better than the OECD average: Belgium, Estonia, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Switzerland. Of these, Poland was praised for making rapid progress through school reform. The United States, Sweden, Germany, France, Ireland, Denmark, Britain, Hungary and Portugal scored around the average for richer countries, but pupils in Sweden and Ireland performed worse than three years ago. “Better educational outcomes are a strong predictor for future economic growth,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria. “While national income and educational achievement are still related, PISA shows that two countries with similar levels of prosperity can produce very different results,” he said. “This shows an image of a world divided neatly into rich and well-educated countries and poor and badly-educated countries is now out of date.” The study also found that girls read better than boys in every country, by the equivalent of one year of school. The gender gap has not shrunk anywhere since 2000, and widened in France, Israel, Korea, Portugal and Sweden. Analysing the results, experts found that high performing school systems prefer to pay teachers more rather than reduce class sizes, and countries that force underperformers to repeat years to do badly overall. — AFP

extradition BANGKOK: Thailand said yesterday that it was looking into requesting the extradition of the kingdom’s fugitive former leader after he was invited to give evidence to a US government human rights panel. Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a 2006 military coup and lives abroad to avoid a jail term for corruption, is set to speak to the US committee on topics including deadly “Red Shirt” antigovernment protests in Bangkok. The former billionaire telecom tycoon’s invitation to Washington comes after the protracted legal battle for the extradition from Thailand of alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was eventually sent to America last month. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has rejected suggestions that there was a deal to swap Thaksin for Bout. Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said authorities in Bangkok were legally obliged to seek extradition. “Of course they have to act on it, they are just looking and evaluating what they have to do. This is a very normal procedure,” he said. “It is expected that in normal circumstances countries will honour the (extradition) treaty, but they may have their own procedures and their own requirements.” He said it was not certain that Thaksin would make the US trip. Neil Simon, spokesman for the Helsinki Commission, an official US watchdog overseeing human rights and other issues, confirmed late Monday that the event was planned for December 16. In a letter to Thaksin, the panel said the “recent crackdown on political protesters” was of “particular interest”. The former prime minister-still a hugely divisive figure at home-was invited to give his “perspective on the human rights situation in Thailand, including freedom of the press and freedom of expression”. He will also be asked to speak on the Thai government’s efforts to quell a separatist insurgency in the south of the country, which according to activists has claimed over 4,400 lives since it began in 2004.—AFP

Heydari said that from 2002 to 2007, when he headed the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s office for airports, he saw many technicians from North Korea travel to Iran. “I witnessed repeated roundtrips of North Korean specialists and technicians , given that I was right there at the border, who came to collaborate on the Iranian nuclear program,” he said through a translator. Heydari said their visits were handled “in a very discreet way, so they could come through unnoticed.” Heydari said he also had contacts then with officials from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and “it was clearly said that Iran was concentrating on two objectives ... the first was to build the range of surface-to-surface missiles, the second was to get a nuclear weapon with North Korea’s help.” Today, Heydari heads the “Green Embassies Campaign,” which seeks to rally opposition groups that adopted green as their symbolic color against the Iranian government after last year’s presidential election. The opposition claims Ahmadinejad won it through massive vote fraud. Based on information from “friends and contacts” still in the know about the visits by North Korean technicians, Heydari said he is “100 percent certain” they are continuing. A US intelligence assessment, published among the flood of classified US State Department memos obtained by WikiLeaks , concluded that Iran received advanced North Korean missiles capable of targeting Western European capitals and giving Iran’s arsenal a significantly longer reach than previously disclosed. Heydari insisted a nuclear-armed Iran would “not be just a threat for the region, but for Europe” as well. Tehran says its nuclear program is aimed to produce electricity, not weapons , a claim many in the West have dismissed as inaccurate. Heydari was the first of at least three Iranian diplomats who have defected this year. He said he quit his post in Norway to protest the killing of eight Iranian demonstrators during a Dec. 27 opposition rally in Tehran. A spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in Oslo said then that Heydari was lying about his defection, insisting that his job with Iran’s Foreign Ministry had ended in December 2009 and that he had wanted to stay in Norway. Heydari said he is working with about “five or six” current Iranian diplomats in Europe who also are preparing to defect, but he didn’t provide details “because it’s very dangerous for them.” — AP

HONG KONG: Protesters from Justice & Peace Commission of The Hong Kong Catholic Diocese hold the picture of detained Bishop Shi Enxiang and a paper Cross during a demonstration outside the Chinese government liaison office in Hong Kong yesterday. — AP

China to choose Catholic heads; Vatican ties tense BEIJING: China’s bishops opened a meeting yesterday to choose leaders of the government-backed Catholic church amid tensions with the Vatican after it denounced the recent ordination of a bishop who did not have the pope’s approval. The meeting in Beijing to elect new heads of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and the Council of Chinese Bishops will be another source of friction because the Vatican disapproves of such assemblies, saying both organizations run counter to Catholic doctrine. If clerics more interested in shoring up Communist Party control are elected into top positions, it will likely hinder the tentative efforts at outreach made by Pope Benedict XVI. Chinese authorities also are pressuring some bishops to attend the Beijing meeting, a Vatican-affiliated agency said. Ties between China and the Vatican already were strained because of a dispute over the Nov 20 ordination of Rev. Joseph Guo Jincai as bishop. The Vatican also slammed Chinese authorities for forcing Vaticanapproved bishops to attend that ordination ceremony. Communist China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951, and worship is allowed only in state-backed churches, although millions of Chinese belong to unofficial congregations loyal to Rome. The National Congress of Chinese Catholic Representatives runs until Thursday and will be attended by bishops, priests and believers, said Liu Bainian, vice chairman of the Patriotic Association, which supervises the Catholic church, including overseeing the appointment of all of China’s bishops. “It’s just an election of a new round of leadership, like the election of the leadership of the National People’s Congress,” Liu said, referring to the country’s rubberstamp legislature. He declined further comment. The Patriotic Association has for years been a stumbling block to formal ties between the Holy See and Beijing. Run by hard-liners, it does Beijing’s bidding, not the Vatican’s. The last chairman of the Patriotic Association, Bishop Fu Tieshan, was a hard-liner who clashed with Rome over Beijing’s right to independently appoint bishops without papal approval and

the Vatican’s diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which China claims as its territory. Ahead of the conclave, Chinese police sought out at least two bishops in an effort to ensure their attendance, according to AsiaNews, a Vatican-affiliated missionary news agency that closely covers the church in China. Monsignor Feng Xinmao, bishop of Hengshui, a city in Hebei, was removed from his official residence despite efforts by parishioners and priests to hold back officers, AsiaNews said. He was then taken to an isolated location outside the city southwest of Beijing, it said. Separately, the bishop of Hebei’s Cangzhou city, Monsignor Li Lianggui, had gone into hiding, leading police to say they may issue a nationwide arrest warrant, AsiaNews said. The meeting has been put off a few times in recent years, perhaps due to the Vatican’s objections, said Anthony Lam, a researcher at the church-affiliated Holy Spirit Study Center in Hong Kong. “They know they cannot postpone it forever, so they are trying to do it now as a low-key event,” he said. The two organizations’ top positions have been vacant since Bishop Fu’s death in 2007. He was head of the Patriotic Association from 1998 and served as acting head of the Bishops’ Conference for about two years. Fu’s simultaneous control of both bodies underscored the government’s tight grip on the official church. Lam said that despite the recent setback, Beijing still wants to normalize ties with the Vatican. “For them, a harmonious situation is one of the most important things now in China and so if they can give certain degree of freedom to the church people in return for their loyalty, they would like to do that,” Lam said. Calls to police, government religious affairs bureaus, and Catholic churches in Hengshui and Cangzhou either rang unanswered or were answered by people who said they either had no information or were not authorized to comment. Staff at the Patriotic Association in Beijing said they could not receive telephoned inquiries and Vice Chairman Liu’s mobile phone was shut off.— AP

US diplomat in Myanmar for post-election talks YANGON: A senior US diplomat discussed Myanmar’s recent controversial election with opposition parties in Yangon yesterday on the first high-level US visit since the release of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. Joseph Yun, the deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, is also expected to urge the military junta to free political prisoners and meet Suu Kyi on his trip, according to the US State Department. Yun met representatives of ten political parties that won seats in the November 7 vote, according to Khin Maung Swe, leader of the National Democratic Force (NDF), an offshoot of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD). “He asked about the election and we explained to him about the advanced voting,” he told AFP. The poll, which handed an overwhelming majority to the military and its political proxy, was marred by allegations of vote rigging. Other subjects discussed included US economic sanctions, which the NDF asked to be “reconsidered” because the party felt they had not been successful. NLD spokesman Nyan Win said Yun would hold talks with the Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi on Friday, the day he is due to leave the country. The visit will also include meetings with “senior government officials” as well as non-governmental organizations, ethnic minority groups and members of civil society, a US embassy spokeswoman confirmed. Yun will urge the authorities to “improve their human rights record” and “release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally”, according to a US State Department spokesman.—AFP

YANGON: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, left, and her younger son Kim Aris, right, are seen at Yangon International Airport in Yangon, Myanmar yesterday. Suu Kyi has bid farewell to her younger son, who visited his mother for the first time in a decade after her recent release from house arrest. — AP


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blast in holy Indian city, one killed, dozens injured LUCKNOW: A blast ripped through a crowded bathing point yesterday in Varanasi, one of India’s holiest cities and a major tourist destination, killing a young girl and injuring dozens more people, police said. It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion at around 6:30pm (1300 GMT) at a ritual bathing “ghat” on the banks of the Ganges river, which is holy to Hindus, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The blast triggered a stampede in which dozens were injured, police said. Senior police officer Brij Lal told reporters in the state capital Lucknow that a two-year-old girl had been killed, and that several foreigners were among those hurt. There were also unconfirmed television reports that two unexploded devices had been found at the same site. Senior Indian Home Ministry official UK Bansal, said other major Indian cities, including Mumbai and New Delhi, had been put on high alert. “It was a medium intensity blast and we have been told that seven or nine people have been injured and one or two could be foreigners,” Bansal told reporters in New Delhi. Eyewitnesses said the explosion sparked panic among thousands of devotees and tourists

crowded in the vicinity of the ghat. “There were people running everywhere and falling over each other. It was chaos,” one witness, Ramlal Jaichand, told the the Hindi news channel IBN 7. Another witness said he saw eight people who had been injured by what appeared to metal pellets. Television showed footage of a blood-covered foreigner being treated in a Varanasi hospital. The explosion shook nearby buildings and damaged iron railings around a nearby Hindu temple. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for calm in the wake of the blast, his spokesman told the Press Trust of India. In 2006, some 20 people were killed and 60 injured in two bomb explosions at a temple and a train station in Varanasi that were blamed on Muslim militants. Yesterday’s blast came a day after the anniversary of the 1992 razing of a mosque by Hindu zealots in the Uttar Pradesh temple town of Ayodhya, which sparked some of post-independence India’s worst communal violence. Large numbers of Hindu devotees gather in Varanasi throughout the year to cremate their dead on the banks of the Ganges, and bathe in the waters. — AFP

Gates in Afghanistan for US war review FORWARD OPERATING BASE CONNOLLY: US Defence Secretary Robert Gates told US troops in Afghanistan their sacrifices were paying off yesterday, ahead of a key strategic review of the nine-year war. He flew in on the previously unannounced visit amid further tensions between Washington and Kabul after leaked American diplomatic cables offered a scathing account of Karzai and his corruptiontainted allies. Last December US President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 extra American troops into Afghanistan and renewed efforts to build up Afghan security forces as part of a sweeping strategy shift designed to hasten an end to the fighting. In the eastern province of Nangarhar, Gates thanked troops from the 101st Airborne and expressed sympathy over recent deaths after six Americans were killed last week by an Afghan border policeman during a training session. It was the deadliest attack of its kind by insurgents who have infiltrated Afghan forces, which threaten to undermine a key plank of the US war strategy. “I know you all have had a rough go of it,” and taken “a lot of losses”, Gates said. But he said the sacrifices were “worth it”. “What you’re doing is incredibly important,” he said. His spokesman Geoff Morrell earlier said that Gates arrived “feeling very good about the progress that has been made in the past year” and said the visit would help shape a war strategy review under way in the White House. Gates was scheduled to hold talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, US General David Petraeus, who expressed doubts Monday about the prospect of a victory in Afghanistan by 2014. In an inter-

view with ABC television, Petraeus would not say he was confident that an Afghan government and its security forces would be able to take over from the US-led coalition four years from now, as envisaged by Washington. “I don’t know that you say confident. I think no commander ever is going to come out and say ‘I’m confident that we can do this,’” Petraeus said. Obama on Friday made his second trip since taking office nearly two years ago to Afghanistan-where he reassured US troops that they were winning the war but did not meet Karzai owing to what officials called bad weather. Gates also visited troops in the eastern province of Kunar yesterday. General John Campbell, commander in the eastern region, said US forces may withdraw from remote mountain outposts and redeploy to towns and villages, a recent strategy enacted in other parts of the country. “We can’t fight every single valley,” said Campbell, after meeting Gates. The Americans have already closed several outposts in the rugged border region and in the Taliban’s southern heartlands, and Campbell said more would be closed in coming months as coalition forces seek to safeguard key towns. He did not say how many bases would be abandoned out of the roughly 140 currently in operation in the east, where USled troops are struggling to cut off insurgent supply lines from sanctuaries across the border in Pakistan. Campbell told reporters there had been intense fighting with insurgents in the area in recent weeks. “This is a very, very tough area... We dropped nine bombs here yesterday,” said the general, referring to air raids. —AFP

Suicide attack targets top official in Pakistan QUETTA: A suicide bomber tried to kill the top elected official in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan yesterday, damaging his motorcade but leaving the minister unhurt, officials said. The blast wounded nine people near the convoy of Nawab Aslam Raisani in Quetta, the capital of a province where separatist, sectarian and Taleban violence has surged this year. One person died in the attack, but his identity was not clear and police said they were investigating whether it was the bomber. A purported spokesman for banned extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, claimed responsibility, saying Raisani had been targeted for efforts to provide security to Shiite Muslims, who are frequently attacked in Baluchistan. “It was a suicide bombing. The convoy of the chief minister was damaged,” Quetta administration official Nasim Lehri told Samaa TV. “The target was the chief minister, most of those injured were policemen,” he later told AFP. Raisani, a wealthy Baluch tribal leader who belongs to the federal government’s main ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was being driven from his home to the provincial assembly. “The chief minister was the target, but he remained unhurt,” senior police official Salim Lehri told AFP. “One of the escort cars was damaged and some officials were wound-

ed.”Witnesses said the bomber was on foot and that they heard a loud blast as soon as the motorcade passed, kicking up clouds of dust. An AFP reporter saw pieces of human flesh on the ground and a damaged white Toyota Landcruiser on the roadside with broken windows and shrapnel holes. Doctor Noor Mohammad said nine wounded people, including policemen, were brought to hospital and that two were in a serious condition. The convoy was passing a railway crossing in Saryab Road at the time and an unexploded hand grenade was also found nearby, officials said. Lashkar-eJhangvi purportedly claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to the Quetta press club, saying Raisani was targeted for protecting Shiites during the holy month of Muharram, which begins today. Police said they were investigating the claim, but Raisani also blamed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and said the attack was a “conspiracy” to antagonise tribes. The group is regarded as Pakistan’s most extreme Sunni outfit, accused of killing hundreds of Shiite Muslims after its emergence in the early 1990s. It also played a key role in the 2002 kidnap and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl from Karachi and in failed assassination bids on then Pakistani ruler Pervez Musharraf in December 2003. — AFP

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INTERNATIONAL

Cameron, in Afghanistan, eyes British pullout in 2011 NATO planning to bring some troops home next year KABUL: British Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday that next year must show “irreversible” progress in the anti-Taleban war, expressing hope that British troops could start leaving Afghanistan in 2011. Making his second visit to the war-torn country as prime minister, Cameron met President Hamid Karzai days after leaked American cables showed heavy criticism by US and Afghan officials of the performance of British forces. Cameron told a joint press conference with Karzai that he was “cautiously optimistic”

over progress being made on the battlefield and about NATO plans to bring some troops home next year and the rest by the end of 2014. “2010 was without a doubt a year in which we made real progress. 2011 must be the year in which that progress becomes irreversible,” he said. “President Karzai gives me confidence that our plans for transition are achievable,” he said. “We are going to make it happen.” US Defence Secretary Robert Gates made a parallel visit to American troops in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, telling them that their sacri-

fices were paying off as the White House prepares an imminent strategic review of the war. Karzai downplayed the memos divulged by the WikiLeaks website, doubting whether some were authentic and said: “Britain has been a steadfast supporter of Afghanistan and the Afghan people.” The president, whose relations with the West have become increasingly strained, had been quoted in one US cable in 2009 as saying that British incompetence had led to a breakdown in law and order in Helmand province.

Cameron left on Sunday for Afghanistan where around 10,000 British troops are stationed-the second biggest contribution after the United States to the more than 140,000 NATO-led troops fighting a nine-year Taleban insurgency. Following the press conference with Karzai, Cameron met NATO commanders before flying out of the country, the British embassy in Kabul said, but they did not reveal his destination for security reasons. Cameron was accompanied by Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards, who had previ-

ously ruled out the prospects of a British withdrawal starting next year but now said it appeared a realistic target. Cameron said: “There’s no scope for complacency... but I’m cautiously optimistic we have the right strategy. We are now a year into that strategy. We have put in the right resources to back it up.” The last year has seen a massive build-up of US-led forces, trying to drive the Taleban from their strongholds in Kandahar and Helmand provinces as part of a new strategy designed to bring Western troops home as soon as possible. — AFP


OPINION

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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issues

What happens next on the Korean peninsula? By Jeremy Laurence

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ensions have spiked to their highest level in decades on the Korean peninsula after the North bombarded a South Korean island last month and revealed major advances in its nuclear program. On Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Washington, saying they held grave concerns over “provocative attacks from North Korea” and put the onus on China to take action. Presidents Hu Jintao and Barack Obama also spoke, but they did not reach an agreement on a solution. What could happen next? DIPLOMACY? Regional powers disagree over the best diplomatic approach. China has refused to take sides, mirroring their stance over the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, meaning the chances of Security Council action are slim. Beijing says it wants an emergency meeting of the regional powers to talk about the situation, but Washington, Tokyo and Seoul have been lukewarm to the proposal as they don’t want to be seen to be caving in to Pyongyang. Ultimately, all the regional powers want to resume sixparty nuclear disarmament talks which Pyongyang walked out of about two years ago. Beijing, Moscow and Pyongyang want an immediate resumption. South Korea, the United States and Japan say they will rejoin when Pyongyang makes a sincere commitment to denuclearize, adding the North’s revelations about its advances in nuclear technology last month underline it is far from sincere. For now, the outlook for talks involving all parties is bleak. NORTH’S NEXT MOVES The North carries out provocations to push South Korea and the United States to the negotiating table where they expect to win concessions in return for promises of ‘best’ behavior. At the same time, militaristic acts serve to bolster Kim family rule as ailing leader Kim Jong-il grooms his youngest son, Kim Jongun, into an iron ruler. The practice of provocations, which has borne fruit in the past, will continue. The North could wait to see if its latest actions first yield results before conducting another provocation. It will also be wary of any response by the South, where the public is calling for tougher retaliation. Other provocations could include shooting down loudspeakers placed at the border by the South to broadcast antiPyongyang propaganda, test firing artillery off the west coast, testing missiles or conducting a third nuclear test. SOUTH’S NEXT MOVES The South will conduct more military exercises, both independently and with the United States. It is likely Washington will also send its aircraft carrier back to the

west coast sometime soon for a combined maneuver. Pyongyang regards military exercises by South Korea and the United States with genuine unease, fearing the maneuvers could be a smokescreen for a real attack. Exercises near the contested Northern Limit Line (NLL) are particularly sensitive, and if a stray round lands in disputed waters it could spark a fight which could turn deadly. Pyongyang says the maritime border was created without its consent. The South could up the ante in anti-Pyongyang propaganda. It could resume broadcasting messages through speakers at the border, stopped six years ago, and send leaflets into the North denouncing its leadership. DANGEROUS ESCALATION The small-scale skirmishes, and missile and nuclear tests had been securing less attention from the outside world. Hence, analysts had been forecasting for months that the North would take more drastic action to get noticed. The attack on Yeonpyeong marked an uptick in provocative behavior. It was the first time a civilian area on South Korean soil had come under attack since the end of the 1950-53 Korean war. A few days before the attack the North revealed a uranium enrichment plant, opening up a second route to make a nuclear bomb. The doublewhammy grabbed the headlines around the world. South Korea has vowed to hit back hard if the North strikes again, saying it retaliate with air power and bombs. Over the past 11 years, dozens have died and warships have been sunk in several battles near the NLL. Expect these clashes to continue. They are likely to become more violent. That, in turn, would worry investors in North Asia, responsible for one-sixth of the global economy, dampening sentiment and causing brief drops in the South Korean won and the stock market. But market players have said it would take the threat of a major military confrontation to cause lasting harm. North Korea will be aware of its limitations and is unlikely to want to provoke a dangerous escalation. The combined high-tech militaries of South Korea and the United States would overwhelm the North, but it would be Pyrrhic victory for the market-oriented South. Hence, all-out war is unlikely. NORTH KOREA BACKS OFF North Korea may roll back part of the threat it poses to the region in the hope of winning aid to prop up its battered economy. That would also finance an ambitious project at home to build a “great and prosperous nation” by 2012 the 100th anniversary of the birth of state founder Kim Ilsung. The North, as it has done time and time again, may later step away from its disarmament pledges and make threats that shake security. —Reuters

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.

WikiLeaks’ Assange: Highly skilled, deeply divisive By Peter Apps

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computer hacker with no permanent home, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been described as highly intelligent, determined, intense and sometimes paranoid. The 39-year-old Australian has made himself plenty of enemies, from the governments whose secret information he has revealed to his former colleagues he has alienated. Now arrested by British police on a warrant issued in Sweden, where prosecutors want to question him about allegations of sexual crimes, Assange faces potential extradition. Assange denies the allegations, which his supporters say are politically motivated. US authorities are also keen to find some way of charging him for his part in publishing classified information, although experts say it is far from clear whether he has himself committed a crime. Like the WikiLeaks site itself, Assange has proved a divisive figure. Some see him as a hero, challenging censorship and the harbinger of a new age of openness. Others see him as a dangerous radical, wrecking the secretive norms of diplomacy, revealing what should not be revealed. Whilst preaching the need for official openness, Assange himself is known for being highly secretive. It has been reported that he carries several mobile phones and a rucksack, moving from house to house and staying with friends from Iceland to Kenya. Born in July 1971 in Townsville on Australia’s Queensland coast, Assange has spent his entire life travelling. His parents worked in theatre and were often on the road. ‘LIGHTNING ROD’ In his teens, he gained a reputation as a sophisticated computer programmer before being arrested in 1995 and pleading guilty to hacking. He avoided prison on condition he did not reoffend and in his late 20s went to Melbourne University to study mathematics and physics.

He founded WikiLeaks in 2006, creating a web-based “dead letter drop” for would-be leakers. Assange says he never wanted to become the public face of WikiLeaks. Initially, he says his plan was that the organization

had no public face at all “because I wanted egos to play no part in activities”. But he said this quickly became a distraction, with random individuals on the Internet claiming to represent the group.

Before the latest leak, the website had some five full-time staff, several dozen active volunteers and 800 part-time volunteers. Assange says he is effectively its publisher and editor-inchief, although he still conducts

his own research. “In the end, someone must be responsible to the public and only a leadership that is willing to be publicly courageous can genuinely suggest that sources take risks for the greater good,” he told a web

chat with Britain’s Guardian newspaper. “In that process, I have become a lightning rod. I get undue attacks on every aspect of my life, but I also get undue credit as some kind of balancing force.” — Reuters

LONDON: Members of the media photograph the windows of a prison van, believed to be carrying the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, as it leaves Westminster Magistraites Court in cental London yesterday. — AFP

Cash-strapped EU defense chiefs eye deeper cooperation by Laurent Thomet

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uropean Union defense chiefs will tackle tomorrow ways to maintain their military might despite shrinking budgets by stepping up cooperation and avoid losing power and influence in the world. Faced with dwindling resources at a time of austerity across Europe, the 27-nation bloc’s defense ministers want to identify military assets that they could pool and share, such as transport planes and training facilities. France and Britain set an example last month by sweeping aside their historic rivalry and striking a landmark deal to share the use of aircraft carriers and nuclear testing facilities. “I do think

this is a very interesting moment for European defense, especially following the Anglo-French treaty,” Nick Witney, former chief executive of the European Defense Agency said. “The big question mark now is, does that bilateral cooperation between the two big players suck the oxygen out of wider European defense,” said Witney, now a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank. “That question is one for the other Europeans. But it is also a question for France: Is it possible for France to go in two directions at same time?” Germany and Sweden issued a joint document last month, entitled “Food for Thought,” which states that “intensifying military cooperation in Europe”

had become a “European imperative.” The two countries called on their partners to review their military capabilities in order to identify areas of potential cooperation. European governments should decide which capabilities will remain strictly sovereign, the GermanSwedish paper says, noting that combat forces, fighter planes, warships, and intelligence could fit in that category. Areas that could be pooled together include training forces, strategic airlifts and logistics capabilities, the document says. Finally, governments should identify tasks that they could share such as aerial and maritime surveillance as well as training and exercises, it says. Witney said the German-Swedish paper was a “welcome sign of life, but how

determined are they to push through with that?” He added: “It is only frankly inertia that prevents these from being rationalized across national banners.” EU defense ministers decided in September to give new impetus to the idea of linking up capabilities and asked the bloc’s foreign and security policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to come up with areas of possible cooperation. She will issue her report tomorrow, which will also be discussed at a summit of EU leaders on December 16-17. A European diplomat said the European Defense Agency has identified 70 areas where governments could work together, including air transport, medical support and the protection of troops

against improvised explosive devices. Europe’s effort to increase cooperation comes at a time when power and influence in the world “is passing rapidly to the southeast,” Witney said. France has warned that Europe risked losing its standing in the world and falling under Chinese-American domination due to drastic cuts in military budgets across the continent. “At the pace we’re going, Europe is progressively becoming a protectorate, and in 50 years we will become a game in a balancing act between new powers in which we will be under a SinoAmerican dominion,” Herve Morin, the former French defense minister, said at the ministerial meeting in September. — AFP


ANALYSIS

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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Diplomatic impasse over Korea peninsula crisis By Jeremy Laurence

Vienna nuclear talks fail to bridge West-Iran gap

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fforts to resolve the crisis on the Korean peninsula looked deadlocked yesterday after the United States and its main Asian allies urged China to bring North Korea to heel, pressure Beijing has repeatedly resisted. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks with her Japanese and South Korean counterparts, saying they shared grave concerns over “provocative attacks from North Korea” and put the onus on China to take action. Earlier, in their first discussion on North Korea since its attack on the South two weeks ago, Chinese President Hu Jintao told US President Barack Obama that Washington must return to the negotiating table with the North, warning that the situation could “spiral out of control” without talks. The United States, South Korea and Japan have been lukewarm to China’s proposal for emergency talks between the six regional powers, worried they could be perceived as rewarding Pyongyang for its attack on a South Korean island. “I think the fact that it took Hu and Obama 13 days even to talk about the attack shows what little chance there is of any real agreement,” said Brian Myers, an expert on the North’s ideology at Dongseo University. “I agree with the South Korean consensus that the Chinese are simply trying to look like they’re doing something for peace, without having to offend the North.” Analysts say Pyongyang will likely carry out more provocations following last month’s deadly bombardment of a South Korean island and its revelations of nuclear advances for two reasons: to cement a father-to-son leadership transition and to win concessions at any international talks. “The bottom line: North Korea isn’t going to change is behavior any time soon, and the United States, South Korea and the world will have to live with this reality,” said Andrew Scobell, a North Korea expert at the US Army War College. Analysts said Hu’s comments showed greater urgency but that China was reluctant to lean too hard on the North in the midst of a leadership transi-

By Fredrik Dahl

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YEONPYEONG: South Korean Navy ships sail near Yeonpyeong Island yesterday. South Korea’s president vowed yesterday to turn five islands along the tense border with North Korea into “military fortresses” with jobs for permanent civilian communities, including those destroyed in a North Korean artillery attack. — AP tion, for fear of a collapse that could send refugees streaming across its border and hand dominance over the entire peninsula to South Korea and the United States. “The problem is Beijing has been cornered. The three parties got together without China. China has been sidelined,” said Zhu Feng, professor of international relations at Peking University. “China is in a deepening dilemma: how to struggle with the balance between maintaining ties with Pyongyang and maintaining cooperation with Washington. Maybe Beijing may be more motivated now to wake up to a new reality.”

ADMIRAL MULLEN TO SEOUL Meanwhile, as South Korea staged live-fire drills around the country, Obama sent his top military officer to Seoul. Admiral Mike Mullen’s visit comes as local media reported the South Korean and US militaries might soon conduct another joint military exercise. Last week, Washington sent an aircraft carrier to a combined maneuver off the west coast. China views North Korea as a strategic buffer against the United States and its allies, and is Pyongyang’s largest

trade partner and benefactor. After the trilateral meeting in Washington, Clinton said Beijing had “a special role to play in helping to shape North Korea’s behavior”. But with China not invited to the Washington meeting and North Korea showing little sign of backing down, the allies had scant progress to show from Monday’s talks beyond their attempts to have China join in condemning the attacks as a way to further isolate North Korea. Analysts say Beijing’s relationship with Pyongyang provides a valuable communication bridge, but con-

sider China’s influence over the North’s as limited. “China is not in control of North Korea. Most emphatically, it is not. It cannot do much, even if it wishes,” said Andrei Lankov of Kookmin University in Seoul. Clinton said she was open to resuming talks on the North’s nuclear ambitions-the six-party talks include the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States-but Pyongyang must first take steps to end its belligerence and keep its 2005 commitment to abandon its nuclear programs. — Reuters

Mubarak party bolsters grip at risk of credibility by Christophe de Roquefeuil

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gypt’s ruling party has damaged its credibility with a landslide election win marred by fraud claims but its grip on parliament has been tightened ahead of the 2011 presidential poll, analysts said yesterday. Veteran President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) clinched control of four-fifths of parliament, securing 420 of 508 seats, according to the final results announced late Monday. Independents garnered 70 seats while the opposition trailed far behind with 14 seatssix going to the liberal Wafd party and none to the powerful

Muslim Brotherhood which boycotted the second and last round of voting on Sunday. “The new parliament was tailor-made” to play with the NDP’s plans for next year’s presidential election, said Amr El-Shobaki of AlAhram Centre for Strategic Studies. It is widely believed in Egypt that the 82-year-old incumbent president, who has ruled for 29 years, wants to pass on the baton to his 47-year-old son Gamal Mubarak, a banker who has been pushing for liberal economic reforms. “Nothing was left to chance,” was the assessment of prominent political commentator Emad Gad. “The NPD managed the legislative poll to prepare for

the presidential election ... and has made it impossible for any independent figure to run in the presidential election,” said Gad. But with its sweeping victory, the NDP “has lost its credibility” both at home and abroad, Ammar Ali Hassan wrote in the independent newspaper AlMasri Al-Yom. The party “had a pressing need to renew its legitimacy” but its efforts backfired, he said. Rights groups in Egypt and abroad have charged that the polls were marred by fraud and widespread violence. A coalition of rights groups which monitored the vote has called for the dissolution of the new parliament after Egypt’s high administrative court-whose

verdicts cannot be appealed cast doubt on the polling process. The court issued a statement last week-after the first round of polling on November 28 following which the Brotherhood and Wafd dropped out-on a series of procedural violations during the vote. The Muslim Brotherhood won a fifth of seats in parliament at the last election in 2005. Human rights activist Bahey elDin Hassan said parliament’s “legitimacy” was now at stake. “It’s in the interests of the regime to go to elections with institutions whose legitimacy is not undermined,” he said. For Amr Hamzawy of the Carnegie Middle East Centre,

the PND “overplayed its hand” by cracking down on Brotherhood supporters in the runup to the legislative poll and by disqualifying opposition candidates. “They wanted to reduce the representation of the Brotherhood and promote legal political parties like the Wafd, but it overplayed its hand,” he said. The NDP did not need such a resounding triumph “to clear the way for the presidential election ... (and the results of the poll) reflect an extremely negative image of Egypt. “The results put a lot of a pressure on the government” to redress the image of the country, added Hamzawy.

Egypt has already faced repeated criticism from international human rights groups over its failure to push for real political reforms, with its handling of the election only exacerbating the situation. The United States and European Union both expressed their concern over irregularities and violence during the election process. Cairo has dismissed the fraud charges and called criticism of the election from its US ally as amounting to “unacceptable interference” in Egypt’s domestic affairs. Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif insisted on Monday that there had been “no interference” by the police or authorities in the polling. — AFP

Mexico hailed, others blamed if climate talks fail

n agreement to hold more talks in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program was probably the best result major powers could have hoped for in their first meeting with the Islamic Republic in more than a year. But while the outcome of two days of discussions in Geneva a plan to meet again early next year in Turkey-may allow the West to nurture hopes of possible progress toward resolving the row, there was no sign of any rapprochement in substance. Iran’s nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili made clear his country would not back down over its uranium enrichment work, activity which the West suspects is aimed at developing bombs but Tehran says is for peaceful electricity generation. The six big powers involved in efforts to find a diplomatic solution-the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Britain and China-want Iran to curb such activity to reassure the world about its intentions. But analysts say Iran’s hardline leaders, who use the nuclear program to rally nationalist support and distract from domestic problems, are unlikely ever to agree to this demand. “This government has obviously linked the development of the nuclear program so closely to its own legitimacy that it would be difficult for them to backtrack on it,” said Gala Riani of the IHS Global Insight consultancy. Western officials say tougher international sanctions imposed on Iran since June are hurting the oildependent economy, and they hope this will persuade Tehran to enter serious negotiations about its nuclear program. Iran dismisses the impact of these penalties, saying trade and other measures imposed since the 1979 Islamic revolution toppled the US-backed shah have made the country stronger. Such rhetoric is to be expected from Tehran, but experts and diplomats are far from confident that external pressure alone will be enough to force Tehran to climb down, with some suggesting the big powers may also have to compromise. Echoing the views of others, analyst Nicole Stracke of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center said the West could agree to continued Iranian uranium enrichment, which can have both civilian and military purposes. Under this scenario, Iran would need to let the UN nuclear watchdog carry out

more intrusive, wider-ranging inspections to make sure it is not secretly developing nuclear weapons. “It would be painful but it could be acceptable for the US,” Stracke said about the possibility of the powers backing down on their demand that Iran suspends all enrichmentrelated activities, provided that Tehran accepts tougher inspections. “It puts the ball in the Iranian corner.” SUCCESS POSSIBLE? In Geneva, a US official said enrichment suspension remains the powers’ position, mandated by UN resolutions. A senior Western diplomat, from a country which is not involved in the negotiations with Iran, said he did not believe the Obama administration could sign up to any deal relaxing this demand ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. “I just don’t think the politics will work,” the Vienna-based diplomat said, adding the diplomatic track on Iran appeared not to be going anywhere. “The military track starts to come back into evidence, unfortunately.” Israel and the United States have not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to halt sensitive Iranian nuclear work. But at the same time US military chiefs have made clear they view it as a last resort, fearing it could ignite wider conflict in the Middle East. Proliferation expert Shannon Kile, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said he believed the world powers and Iran needed “to break out of a zero-sum game... to a situation where both sides can come away claiming a win”. But prospects for this look dim for now, as the demand that Iran suspend enrichment is enshrined in repeated UN Security Council resolutions and Tehran has repeatedly refused more far-reaching UN inspections of its atomic work. “Ultimately it depends on Iran’s calculations and if they want a bomb or not,” said another Western diplomat in Vienna. “The current situation in fact suits them if they want a bomb.” Sadegh Kharazi, a former Iranian diplomat, urged both sides to calm their rhetoric to give talks a chance. “Success is possible, if space is provided to develop a deal suitable to both sides, while providing security guarantees and recognizing Iran’s legitimate role and interests in its own region,” he wrote this week in the Financial Times. “But the threat of fresh sanctions, unveiled with the shaking of a fist, will damage the slender chances for peace.”— Reuters

By Alister Doyle

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exico’s deft hosting of UN climate talks is raising the stakes for nations with hardline positions-such as Japan and Boliviasince they risk getting more blame if the meeting fails, analysts say. At the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, Denmark’s use of “secret” negotiating texts among only a few nations angered many poor countries who felt left out. Denmark then got some of the blame for the failure to agree to a binding UN climate treaty. This year, Mexico has won high marks so far for steering talks among almost 200 nations in the Caribbean resort of Cancun. “There are no secret texts,” Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa has often insisted, drawing a contrast with Copenhagen. That means the spotlight is less likely to be on Mexico if Cancun fails to overcome a deadlock over a modest package of measures including a new climate fund to help the poor, ways to share green technologies and to protect tropical forests. “The Mexicans are doing a great job here and it will put people on the hook to deliver at the end of the week,” said Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, of the Nov 29 to Dec 10 meeting. So far, Japan and Bolivia have been most hardline in public, risking a share of blame if they do not back down. Japan has refused to extend the UN’s existing Kyoto Protocol for curbing climate change beyond 2012 and Bolivia on Monday likened climate policies of the rich to “genocide.” China and the United States, the two emitters of greenhouse gases often at odds with each other in 2010, have by contrast sounded conciliatory. The talks are seeking small steps to avert droughts, more powerful storms, heatwaves and rising sea levels that is the result of global warming. COPENHAGEN MYTHS European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, who was Danish Climate and Energy Minister hosting Copenhagen, said organizers of UN conferences face a tightrope. “This is always very, very difficult. There was transparency last year despite the myths that are being created. And the Mexican presidency has done a lot of work to ensure transparency here,” she said. Angela Anderson of US Climate Action Network said: “While process is important it should not be the fall guy for a bad outcome. If progress is blocked here it

Myanmar people get Q and A with Suu Kyi By Andrew Gully

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CANCUN: In this image released by Greenpeace, an environmental activist performs in an underwater art museum in Cancun. — AP will be obvious who is doing it.” Tokyo has angered developing nations by saying it will not agree to extend the UN’s Kyoto Protocol, which obliges almost 40 industrialized nations to cut emissions by 2012. Japan wants a new, broader treaty including all emitters. But developing nations say Kyoto backers must lead the way, extending their cuts before emerging economies join in. “Blocking what? That no more people should die?” Ambassador Pablo Solon said at a news conference when asked if

Bolivia risked getting the blame by sticking to its demands which are the most radical of any country. He said that 300,000 people were dying a year from natural disasters and it might rise to a million by 2020. “Talking about 300,000 deaths, is that not talking about genocide?” he said. Bolivia’s left-wing government says rich nations must halve their greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2013-17, deeper than cuts of at least 45 percent by 2020 urged by an alliance of about 100

least developed nations and island states. Developed nations, meanwhile, are promising far less-US President Barack Obama’s goal, for instance, is equivalent to a 3-4 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2020. Some environmentalists say Bolivia may be aiming too high. “The question is ‘do you move forward with a revolution or do you move forward with small steps?’, said Wendel Trio of Greenpeace. “I am afraid that a revolution is not possible.” — Reuters

adio Free Asia has launched a question and answer show with Aung San Suu Kyi, giving the people of military-ruled Myanmar the rarest of opportunities to communicate directly with the democracy icon. The US-funded broadcaster is airing weekly Burmese-language segments on Friday evenings with the 65year-old opposition leader, who has been under house arrest for 15 of the last 21 years and was last released in November. Questions for Suu Kyi come in via email or phone and some have already arrived from people within Myanmar, a Radio Free Asia spokesman said, adding that 20 percent of adults there listen to the program.Myanmar’s ruling junta clamps down hard on any dissent but is unable technically to block the broadcasts, which the population of the majority Buddhist southeast Asian nation of 50 million can pick up on shortwave radio. “In Burma, there is no opinion or perspective expressed on official media apart from that of the ruling regime,” Nyein Shwe, service director of RFA Burmese, said, using Myanmar’s colonial name. “Many Burmese people never in their lifetimes imagined they would be able to hear Aung San Suu Kyi discuss her

views nor ask her their questions on the radio. For them, it’s a first.” A pilot episode, broadcast on November 30, featured six questions from members of the diaspora living outside the country: a doctor, a cartoonist, a student leader, a monk, an activist and an ethnic leader. Radio Free Asia provided a special audio version of the first “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the People” show with Suu Kyi answering the questions in English. “We have constantly reviewed our position with regard to sanctions and once again we are going to see if there is anything we can do to improve the situation,” she replied to one question, treading carefully.Suu Kyi was freed from detention on November 13, days after a rare election which has been widely panned by international observers including US President Barack Obama, who said Myanmar’s “bankrupt regime” had stolen the vote. Obama’s administration launched dialogue with Myanmar’s military rulers last year after concluding that Western attempts to isolate the regime had produced little success. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has welcomed this engagement but warned that greater human rights and economic progress are still needed. — AFP


NEWS

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

S America declares ‘Palestine’ a state JERUSALEM: Israel assailed Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay yesterday for declaring recognition of a Palestinian state, calling it “highly damaging interference” by countries that were never part of the Middle East peace process. “They never made any contribution to it ... and now they’re making a decision that is completely contrary to everything that has been agreed so far,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. “It is absurd.” Palmor said Israel would convey its disappointment to the governments concerned and warn “any country that will follow suit” they risked creating more confusion about peace prospects. Argentina announced on Monday it was recognizing “Palestine as a free and independent state” and said the decision followed Uruguay and Brazil, which last month recognized “the state of Palestine based on its pre-1967 borders”. Israel disputes the Palestinian claim on all the West Bank and East Jerusalem, land it captured from Jordan in the 1967 war and has since extensively settled. “Such a declaration today only harms the peace process, because it merely encourages the Palestinians to keep digging in

and hoping the miracle will somehow descend from the heavens or from the international community, that will impose some kind of accord on Israel,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said. “And what is important is that the Americans don’t accept this either,” he told Israel’s Army Radio. Most of the world ignored the declaration of a Palestinian state by Yasser Arafat in 1988. But as the peace process withers, Abbas has said other options could include seeking recognition at the United Nationsthough he has acknowledged it would unlikely ever get American support. US-sponsored peace negotiations dating back two decades are predicated on a Palestinian state being delineated with Israel’s consent. World powers are pressing for a treaty securing statehood in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in the Gaza Strip, which Israel took from Egypt in the 1967 war and quit in 2005. The current right-wing Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is resisting US calls to order a halt to Israeli settlement building in the West Bank, which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas set as a condition for resuming talks.

Abbas argues that the Palestinians, who have mooted land swaps as part of an accord with Israel, need to be assured their future state would have enough territory and a capital in East Jerusalem. Israel calls all of Jerusalem its undivided capital, a status that, like the settlements, has won no international backing. “Everyone who supports the two-state solution must take the high ground and the moral ground by recognizing the state of Palestine on the 1967 lines,” said Abbas aide Saeb Erekat. “This is the only way to curb Israeli government policies of land-grabs and settlement activities.” Abbas’s own mandate to negotiate over borders and other core issues is disputed by rival Hamas Islamists who swept a 2006 election, seized control of Gaza a year later, and spurn permanent coexistence with the Jewish state. “There is one Palestinian entity in the West Bank governed by the Palestinian Authority, another Palestinian entity in Gaza governed by Hamas, and the two don’t even recognize each other,” said Palmor. “Which Palestinian state are the Brazilians and the Argentineans recognizing? This is unclear even to the Palestinians themselves.” — Reuters

Aspirin may cut cancer deaths LONDON: A new report from British scientists suggests that long-term, lowdose aspirin use may modestly reduce the risk of dying of certain cancers, though experts warn the study isn’t strong enough to recommend healthy people start taking a pill that can cause bleeding and other problems. In a new observational analysis published online yesterday in the medical journal Lancet, Peter Rothwell of the University of Oxford and colleagues looked at eight studies that included more than 25,000 patients and cut the risk of death from certain cancers by 20 percent. While some experts said the analysis adds to evidence of aspirin’s potential to cut cancer risk, others said it falls short of changing advice to healthy people, and it failed to show the benefits apply equally to women. The trials mostly compared men who took a daily dose of at least 75 milligrams of aspirin for heart problems to people who took a placebo or another drug. On average, the studies lasted at least four years. Researchers used national cancer registries to get information on participants after the studies ended, though they weren’t sure how many aspirin takers continued using it or how many people in the comparison groups may have started. The researchers said that the projected risk after two decades of dying from cancers like lung and prostate would be 20 percent lower in

groups who had taken aspirin and 35 percent lower for gastrointestinal cancers like colon cancer. These odds are figured from smaller numbers - there were 326 lung cancer deaths in all, for example. Only onethird of people in the analysis were women - not enough to calculate any estimates for breast cancer. There appeared to be no benefit to taking more than 75 milligrams daily - roughly the amount in a European dose of baby aspirin and a bit less than the baby aspirin dose in the US. The analysis left out a high-quality experiment that tested aspirin every other day in nearly 40,000 US women. No reduction in cancer risk was seen except for lung cancer deaths in that trial. No funding was provided for the new L ancet analysis but several of the authors have been paid for work for companies that make aspirin and similar drugs. Scientists said it would take some time to digest the study results and figure out which people should take aspirin. Eric Jacobs, an American Cancer Society epidemiologist, called it a “major contribution” and said the study results, in addition to previous research, suggested aspirin’s effects on the risk of dying from several cancers “appear likely.” Others said the study wasn’t strong enough for doctors to start recommending aspirin. “I definitely think we wouldn’t want

to make any treatment decisions based on this study,” said Dr. Raymond DuBois, a cancer prevention specialist who is provost of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. One concern is that the studies were designed to look at cardiovascular risks, so the groups of people being compared may differ on things that affect cancer risk, such as family history of the disease. DuBois also questioned drawing conclusions about people’s cancer risk beyond the several years they were tracked. Aspirin has long been recommended for some people with heart problems. But it can have serious side effects, like bleeding in the stomach and intestines, and poses risks in groups like the elderly who are prone to falls. “Balancing the risks and benefits of aspirin is really important and probably something that needs to be done on an individual basis,” said Ed Yong, Cancer Research UK’s head of health evidence and information. He was not linked to the study. “If anyone is considering aspirin on a regular basis, they should talk to their doctor first,” Yong said. He warned people should not think of aspirin as a guarantee against cancer and other prevention strategies like not smoking and keeping a healthy body weight were essential. A US health task force specifically recommends against aspirin for people with an average cancer risk. — Reuters

WEST BANK: Photo shows a Palestinian flag painted on the face of a girl during a protest in the West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah, against Israel’s controversial separation barrier. — AFP

Tehran urges P5+1 to scrap sanctions Continued from Page 1 In Geneva, the European’s Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said agreement on a new meeting was reached after “substantive talks.” “We and Iran agree to a continuation of these talks in late January in Istanbul,” said Ashton, speaking on behalf of six. Ashton had previously rejected Tehran’s preference for a meeting in Istanbul, where Iran would have Turkish allies on the sidelines, and agreement on that venue appeared to be a concession to the Islamic Republic. She declined to go into details saying only: “We recognize Iran’s rights but insist it fulfills its obligations.” While the six powers accept Iran’s right to develop nuclear power they insist that

NEW YORK: Boys today may be on a faster track to puberty than their fathers’ generation, reaching the milestone an average of a year earlier, according to a study conducted in Bulgaria. The findings suggest that trends towards earlier puberty aren’t limited to girls, who have already been shown to be developing sexually at increasingly younger ages. In the study, reported in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, researchers from Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles compared 6,200 healthy Bulgarian boys with a similar 1970s study. Both measured height, weight, testicular volume, penis length and circumference. “Studies done several decades ago in the same population report-

ed that a leap forward in sexual development occurs at ages 13 through 16,” said Fnu Deepinder, who led the study, in an email to Reuters Health. “However, our study indicated that this spurt takes place between 12 and 15 years old.” Deepinder and his colleagues found that boys’ testicles did not grow substantially until the beginning of puberty, around age 11. But penises appeared to grow gradually from birth to sexual maturity, starting at around 5 cm and reaching an average length of nearly 9.5 centimeters by the age of 19. However, both penises and testicles grew most rapidly between ages 12 to 16, while boys added the most inches in height and gained the most weight between 12 and 14 years

gold. The study also found that while boys of the same age in the 1970s study had relatively smaller genitalia, men are not necessarily more well-endowed today, with size differences disappearing by age 17. Boys in rural areas had slightly longer penises than their urban peers, although the difference was only about 0.4 cm. Deepinder said that genetic, environmental, nutritional and educational factors could all be behind the faster development today, but it remains unclear what impact earlier puberty might have on men’s health. It also remains unclear whether specific differences exist between populations from different parts of the world.-— Reuters

No alcohol, kissing ban in Abu Dhabi Club World Cup chief denies reports ABU DHABI: The organizers of the FIFA Club World Cup yesterday denied reports in the local media here that fans attending the event in Abu Dhabi would be banned from drinking alcohol and kissing in public. According to a report in newspaper Emarat Al-Yom on Monday, foreign fans were to be given leaflets urging them to respect local Muslim sensitivities. The rules, written in English and Arab, reportedly included warnings about consuming alcohol and kissing, as well as

using drugs. “No, I’ve not heard anything on this subject,” said Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi, president of the United Arab Emirates Football Association, at a press conference. All forms of drugs are banned in the UAE, but alcohol is widely available in bars and restaurants situated inside hotels. The organizing committee’s spokeswoman, Shaza Al-Rumaithy, had been quoted on Monday by Emarat Al-Yom as saying: “We are a Muslim country that has

its own customs and traditions, which should be preserved. Something like this should not anger the (foreign) supporters.” She added that football’s world governing body FIFA supported such measures by countries hosting international tournaments. Italy’s Inter Milan and South Korea’s Seongnam Ilhwa are among the clubs taking part in this year’s tournament for the winners of the world’s continental club championships. The opening match takes place today. — AFP

Cellphones linked to child misbehavior Continued from Page 1 L ast May, exper ts who studied 13,000 cellphone users over 10 years hoping to find out whether they cause brain tumors found no clear answer. International researchers launched the biggest study to date into mobile phones and health in April. Kheifets tried to account for other possible causes, such as whether women who used cellphones were different from women who did not, especially during the time of their pregnancies when cellphone use was less common than it is now. “ We l o o ke d a t s o c i a l s t a t u s , w e

l o o ke d a t t h e s e x o f t h e c h i l d , w e l o o ke d a t t h e m o t h e r ’ s h i s t o r y o f behavioral problems, we looked at the mother’s age and stress during pregnancy and whether the child was b re a s t f e d o r n o t , ” s h e s a i d . “ O n e thought was that it was it not cellphone use but mothers’ inattention that led to behavior problems. While it was important, it didn’t explain the association that we found.” Nonetheless, some experts questioned the findings. “I am skeptical of these results, even though they will get a lot of publicity,” said David Spiegelhalter, a professor of Biostatistics at Britain’s University of

Cambridge. “The authors suggest that precautionary measures may be warranted because they have ‘virtually no cost’, but they ignore the cost of giving intrusive health advice based on inadequate science.” Experts at the US National Institutes of Health had no immediate comment. John Walls of the mobile telephone industry group CTIA noted that other studies have failed to show a health risk from cellphones. “We just don’t comment on any specific studies because we don’t have any expertise, frankly,” Walls said in a telephone interview. — Reuters

forth.” International worries are great because Tehran developed its enrichment program clandestinely and because it refuses to cooperate with an IAEA probe meant to follow up on suspicions that it experimented with components of a nuclear weapons program - something Iran denies. Officials from the six powers said Jalili declined to address their worries on enrichment and related issues, focusing instead on generalities and perceived mistakes made by the West in its treatment of Iran over the nuclear issue. Still, “the vast majority of the talks was about the nuclear issue,” said one of the officials. “Jalili gave sense he understands international concerns,” he said. “It’s clear he’s heard our concerns.” — AP

‘Dry up’ terror funding Continued from Page 1

Boys on ‘faster’ track to puberty

Tehran meet UN Security Council demands. At the Istanbul meeting “we plan to discuss practical ideas and ways of cooperating toward the resolution of our full concerns about the nuclear issue,” Ashton told reporters shortly after the second day of talks ended around noon. Jalili confirmed the timing and venue of the planned talks, while serving notice that his country would not deviate from its insistence that it has a right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. “We reject the idea of talks under pressure,” he told reporters. While avoiding the mention of international concerns over Iran’s nuclear program he said his country was ready to “sit down and talk about common concerns over important international issues, security concerns, economic concerns and so

developments in Iran’s disputed nuclear program and issued a thinly veiled warning to their Persian neighbor not to meddle in their internal affairs. A communique issued by the six leaders at the end of a two-day summit in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, said they wanted the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program to be resolved through “peaceful means” and make the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction. The gathering of leaders from the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman followed the publication of leaked US diplomatic memos that revealed deeper concern among Gulf Arab leaders over Tehran’s nuclear program than had previously been known - including a desire by several of them to see the United States destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. The six are grouped in the Gulf Cooperation Council, a loose political, military and economic alliance established in 1981 partly in response to Iran’s Islamic Revolution two years earlier and the fear that it would export its militant brand of political Islam to them or foment unrest among fellow Shiites there. “The council followed developments in the Iranian nuclear file with the utmost concern and stresses again the importance of commitment to the principles of international legitimacy and the resolution of conflicts through peaceful means,” said the GCC communique.

The annual GCC summit coincided with a new round of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers in Geneva. The West suspects Iran’s nuclear program is designed to produce nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies, insisting its objective is to generate electricity. Another round of talks with Iran is now scheduled for early next year. “It is important that Iran is committed to the basis of good neighborly relations, mutual respect and noninterference in internal affairs, resolving disputes peacefully and not resorting to force or making threats to use it,” said the communique. The statement did not elaborate, but it was alluding to concern among Gulf Arab leaders about the growing influence of Shiite Iran in Iraq, a Shiite majority nation which neighbors GCC member states Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Some GCC states, according to the leaked US diplomatic memos, also complain of Iranian meddling in their own countries. Bahrain, for example, is majority Shiite and Iran is widely suspected to be fomenting unrest among Shiites there who complain of discrimination by the nation’s Sunni ruling family. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia also have large Shiite minorities. According to the leaked memos, several Gulf Arab nations are also concerned by Iran’s influence in Lebanon, where its Shiite ally Hezbollah has the nation’s strongest military force. They also complain that Iran’s support to the militant Islamic Hamas group in Gaza is hindering efforts to reach a Palestinian-

Israeli peace accord. The memos also speak of the belief held by some Gulf Arab leaders that Iran was behind an onand-off rebellion by Shiites in Yemen, an impoverished but strategically located Arab nation at the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The communique also expressed the six leaders’ “regret” about what they said was Iran’s lack of response to efforts to resolve a dispute between the Persian nation and the Emirates over three strategically located Gulf islands controlled by Iran. Both nations claim ownership of the tiny islands, but the communique said the six nations consider the islands “an integral part of the Emirates.” In another development, GCC Secretary General Abdulrahman AlAttiyah said yesterday the railroad linking the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would be completed in 2017, with the railway stretching from Kuwait to Oman. Answering a question after the conclusion of the 31st GCC summit, Al-Attiyah said next year’s summit would witness economic feasibility studies and research about the “vital and important project.” The multi-billion-dollar 2,117-kilometerlong railway project, to carry passengers and cargo, would pass through all six GCC countries in a drive to facilitate movement of citizens and goods with least possible cost. Al-Attiyah had attended his last summit that was held in Abu Dhabi. He will be replaced by Dr Abdullatif Al-Zayyani of Bahrain as of next April. — Agencies

WikiLeaks chief arrested in UK Continued from Page 1 At a court hearing in London, Senior District Judge Howard Riddle said: “There are substantial grounds to believe he could abscond if granted bail”. He said the allegations were serious, and that Assange had comparatively weak community ties in Britain. Assange, dressed in a navy suit and wearing an open-neck white shirt, initially gave his address as PO Box in Australia. Pressed for a more precise address, he said Victoria, Australia. Australian journalist John Pilger, British film director Ken Loach and Jemima Khan, former wife of Pakistani cricketer and politician Imran Khan, all offered to put up sureties to persuade the court Assange would not abscond. Pilger, who offered 20,000 pounds ($31,600), told the court: “I have a very high regard for him. These charges against him in Sweden are absurd and were judged absurd by a senior Swedish prosecutor. “It would be a travesty for Assange to go within that kind of Swedish system.”

The US government and others across the world have argued the publication of cables is irresponsible and could put their national security at risk. The WikiLeaks website was shut down after apparent political pressure on service providers, but WikiLeaks said there were now 750 global mirror sites meaning the data so far released remained publicly available. “Today’s actions against our editor-inchief Julian Assange won’t affect our operations: we will release more cables tonight as normal,” WikiLeaks said, according to its Twitter page. London police said Assange was arrested by officers from its extradition unit at about 9.30 am after he appeared by appointment at a police station. His whereabouts had been previously undisclosed. Lawyer Gemma Lindfield, representing the Swedish judicial authorities, said the extradition case contained allegations of four sexual assaults by Assange against two women in Stockholm in August 2010. One charge against Miss A is that Assange “sexually molested her” by

ignoring her request for him to use a condom when having sex with her. Another charge relates to “Miss W”, who alleged Assange had sex with her without a condom while she was sleeping on Aug 7. Swedish prosecutors opened, then dropped, then re-opened an investigation into the allegations. The crime he is suspected of is the least severe of three categories of rape, carrying a maximum of four years in jail. Assange’s Swedish lawyer has said his client would fight any extradition and believed foreign powers were influencing Sweden. The group said it would be operating as normal using people in London and other locations, and argued the pressure it faced was becoming a fundamental question of civil liberties. Swiss postfinance, the banking arm of state-owned Swiss Post, has closed an account used for WikiLeaks donations and online payment service PayPal has also suspended WikiLeaks’ account. Visa Europe said on Tuesday it had suspended payments to the WikiLeaks website. — Reuters


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SPORTS

15

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Monday. Pittsburgh 2, New Jersey 1; Toronto 5, Washington 4 (SO); Atlanta 3, Nashville 2 (OT); Columbus 3, Dallas 2 (SO); San Jose 5, Detroit 2. (SO Denotes Shootout, OT is overtime win) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Pittsburgh 19 8 2 91 67 40 Philadelphia 17 7 4 95 69 38 NY Rangers 16 12 1 83 77 33 New Jersey 8 17 2 50 81 18 NY Islanders 5 15 5 53 83 15 Northeast Division Montreal 17 8 2 71 53 36 Boston 14 8 3 72 50 31 Ottawa 12 14 2 61 81 26 Buffalo 11 13 3 68 73 25 Toronto 10 12 4 59 76 24 Southeast Division Washington 18 8 3 96 79 39 Tampa Bay 15 9 3 84 94 33 Atlanta 15 10 3 88 80 33 Carolina 11 12 3 75 84 25 Florida 11 14 0 64 66 22 Western Conference Central Division Detroit 17 5 3 86 Chicago 15 12 2 90 Columbus 15 10 1 70 St. Louis 13 9 4 67 Nashville 12 8 6 65 Northw est Division Vancouver 14 8 3 80 Colorado 13 10 3 91 Minnesota 11 11 4 63 Edmonton 10 12 4 70 Calgary 11 14 2 74 Pacific Division Dallas 16 8 2 76 Phoenix 13 7 6 74 Los Angeles 15 10 0 69 San Jose 13 9 4 78 Anaheim 13 13 3 71

67 84 71 72 68

37 32 31 30 30

64 82 76 93 82

31 29 26 24 24

69 72 61 73 87

34 32 30 30 29

Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

WASHINGTON: Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson of Sweden makes a save against Washington Capitals’ Boyd Gordon during the first period of an NHL hockey game. — AP

Penguins continue winning streak PITTSBURGH: Sidney Crosby scored a goal and set up another as the Pittsburgh Penguins matched their second-longest winning streak in history by beating the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Monday night for a 10th consecutive victory. Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves as the Penguins matched a 10-game winning streak from Jan. 28-Feb. 15, 1999. Crosby leads the NHL with 24 goals and 24 assists for 48 points. He failed to get a hat trick for the third consecutive home game, but has nine goals in five games and six in three games. Crosby’s 16-game scoring streak (18 goals, 15 assists) is the league’s longest this season and ties for the second longest of his career. The Penguins won their sixth

in a row at home despite going 0 for 6 on the power play. New Jersey (8-17-2) lost its fourth in five games despite Johan Hedberg’s 32 saves. Chris Kunitz, who assisted on Crosby’s goal, also scored. New Jersey, winless in six consecutive road games, had taken a 10 lead on Brian Rolston’s first goal in 10 games. Sharks 5, Red Wings 2 At Detroit, Logan Couture scored twice, including the go-ahead goal 8 seconds after Niclas Wallin’s goal, to lift San Jose over Detroit. Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen each had go-ahead goals in the first period, but the Western Conference-leading Red

Wings couldn’t hold either lead. Joe Thornton made it 1-all late in the frame and Dany Heatley gave San Jose a two-goal lead late in the second. Couture sealed the victory in the third with his second goal. San Jose’s Antti Niemi made 25 saves. Jimmy Howard had 30 for Detroit, which fell to 10-2-2 at home. San Jose improved to 6-5-2 on the road and moved out of last place in Pacific Division. Maple Leafs 5, Capitals 4 At Washington, Mikhail Grabovski scored the lone shootout goal and Toronto rallied from three goals down in the third period to beat Washington. Jonas Gustavsson was perfect in the tiebreaker, making Grabovski’s goal stand up.

Washington carried a 4-1 lead into the third period, but Grabovski, Tim Brent and Clarke MacArthur all had goals to get the Maple Leafs even. Brent and MacArthur scored 59 seconds apart, with MacArthur tying it 4-4 with 1:24 left in regulation. Mathieu Perreault had his first career two-goal game for Washington. Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble also scored. The Capitals matched a season high with their third straight loss. MacArthur tallied twice and Grabovski had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs. Blue Jackets 3, Stars 2 At Columbus, Kyle Wilson scored on his first career shootout attempt to help

Columbus end a five-game skid and snap Dallas’ six-game winning streak. Rick Nash, who also scored in the shootout for Columbus, tied the game with 46.1 seconds left in regulation with his 14th goal. Steve Ott and Brad Richards had goals for the Stars, who were trying to match the franchise record of seven consecutive wins. After Nash and Richards scored in the shootout, Wilson went third and used a hard forehand to beat Kari Lehtonen on the stick side. Mathieu Garon then made a right toe save on Jamie Benn to seal the win. Kris Russell also scored for the Blue Jackets. Garon made 16 saves through overtime and two more in the shootout.

Delhi Games organisers accused of owing millions

Webber ended season with broken shoulder LONDON: Red Bull’s Mark Webber has disclosed that he raced the last four grands prix of the Formula One season with a broken shoulder and without telling his team he fell off a mountain bike in his native Australia in October. The 34-year-old, who still has a pin in his leg after breaking the limb and shoulder in a cycling accident in Tasmania in November 2008, revealed the latest incident in a book ‘Up Front — 2010, a season to remember’ published in Australia. “I was riding with a great friend of mine. Suddenly he crashed right in front of me and I had nowhere to go but straight through the ears of the horse (over the handlebars),” Webber explained in the book. “I suffered what they call a ‘skier’s fracture’ to my right shoulder.” Webber was leading the championship at the time but his form then dipped and he ended up third overall with the title going to 23-year-old German team mate Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who accepted an award on his absent driver’s behalf in London on Monday, was disappointed. “I didn’t even know about the book let alone the shoulder,” the Daily Telegraph website quoted him as saying at the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) function. “It is obviously disappointing Mark said nothing. It was an injury that did not appear to have any effect on his performance but all the same it would have been nice to know about it. “Our drivers have an obligation to make sure they are fit. It seems bikes don’t agree with Mark so maybe it would be better if he stayed away from them.” Webber’s partner Ann Neal told Reuters the driver had returned home after the Singapore Grand Prix and gone out on mountain bikes for the first time since the Tasmania crash. She said Webber, now in Australia, had not told the team about the fracture with only his physio Roger Cleary and FIA doctor Gary Hartstein in the know. “He just got on with it,” she said, playing down the severity of the injury. “He knew he could race the car, he just needed a few painkillers. There was never any fear he wouldn’t be able to compete. “It was painful for him at the time because he crashed on his shoulder.” Despite the injury Webber finished second in a Red Bull one-two in Japan. He then crashed out in South Korea on a slippery wet surface and was again second behind Vettel in Brazil after accusing the team of favouring his team mate emotionally before a race in which Red Bull won the constructors’ title. While Vettel won the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, the Australian trailed in eighth. — Reuters

Thrashers 3, Predators 2 At Atlanta, Zach Bogosian scored 2:11 into overtime, Ondrej Pavelec made 27 saves, and Atlanta rallied from a two-goal deficit to top Nashville. The Thrashers have won two straight and eight of nine, including six consecutive victories at home. Nashville ended a threegame winning streak. Nashville led 2-0 in the first period. Colin Wilson snapped a wrist shot from the top of the slot at 8:39 for his fifth goal. Steve Sullivan’s eighth of the season, a tip-in, gave the Predators a two-goal cushion 2:30 later. The Thrashers cut the deficit to 2-1 on Jim Slater’s fourth goal 14:25 into the second. Andrew Ladd’s 10th goal tied it. — AP

Mark Webber seen in action in this file photo.

British volleyball teams given host country spots LONDON: British men’s and women’s indoor volleyball teams will compete at the Olympics for the first time after being granted automatic qualifying spots Tuesday for the 2012 London Games. The places allow teams which would not normally meet the international qualifying standards to compete at a home Olympics. Britain’s volleyball federation had to convince the British Olympic Association that its teams will be competitive and have longterm plans in place to develop the sport. While the BOA doesn’t expect the teams to win medals, it

wants them to achieve top-eight finishes. “British Volleyball has put in place a plan to ensure that the men’s and women’s indoor teams representing Team GB are capable of delivering a credible performance in London 2012, and will utilize the unique platform of a home games to inspire the next generation of volleyball participants,” BOA chief executive Andy Hunt said yesterday. The women’s team, which is ranked 64th in the world, had been in turmoil since its funding was cut earlier this year. “This is a huge boost for us especially after the

uncertainty of the last few months,” said British women’s captain Lynne Beattie, who plays for Italian club San Vito. “But for us money is not the defining issue — the main thing is for us is we are going to the Olympics and we are going to give it everything.” Hunt hopes UK Sport will consider providing the women’s team with the 200,000 pounds ($315,260) it needs, although British Volleyball is still searching for sponsors. The BOA is also considering whether to grant automatic qualifying spots to other British teams, including for handball.

“This is not a case of just getting the T-shirt,” Hunt said. “There is no guarantee for any sport, we will go through the same rigorous process we went through with volleyball.” Some federations _ including basketball — have yet to confirm the Olympic qualifying criteria. The BOA expects to receive details from governing body FIBA by March. FIBA wants British basketball, whose men’s team is led by Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng, to show it is making progress on and off the court before it is guaranteed an Olympic spot. — AP

BERLIN: Organisers of this year’s New Delhi Commonwealth Games were accused on Tuesday of owing companies millions of dollars and blocking equipment used for the opening and closing ceremonies from leaving India. Several companies, including the one in charge of the ceremonies which cost around $50 million in total, told Reuters they had yet to receive final payments and had been unable to re-export their own equipment since the Games ended on Oct. 14. “This is a scandalous situation. I find it outrageous an organising committee behaves like that,” said Ric Birch who has organised ceremonies for Olympics and Commonwealth Games since 1982. “The behaviour of organisers and Indian government agencies has been so shameful that any international company must beware of entering into any business contracts with Indian government agencies. “We have written to everyone from Games organisers to government officials to the International Olympic Committee member for India and we have received no reply. Not one of them replied,” Birch told Reuters in an interview. Among those contacted in correspondence seen by Reuters are JJ Thompson, special adviser to India’s prime minister, Games chairman Suresh Kalmadi and Games chief executive Mike Hooper. Only Hooper replied, telling Birch he was unable to contact organisers. “Not much of an effort for a Commonwealth Games CEO,” said Birch, director of production at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics who staged the ceremonies for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and the 2000 Sydney Olympics and was also a consultant for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. When contacted by Reuters on Tuesday, Organising

Committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot refused to comment. “I’m busy in a meeting right now,” he said. VK Verma, director general of the organising committee, said: “I would not be able to comment as I was not handling that at all. You have to speak to the in-charge of ceremonies.” Kalmadi did not take calls despite several attempts. Birch’s company is one of about a dozen still owed several million dollars for work carried out at the Oct. 3-14 Games in the Indian capital, according to correspondence seen by Reuters that was sent to organisers and officials. Apart from the money the companies have yet to receive, equipment worth millions of dollars is stored in dozens of freight containers in India unable to clear customs. “For some of these companies involved this equipment is their lifeblood,” Birch said. One of the companies involved is Howard and Sons Pyrotechnics, responsible for the fireworks during the Delhi Games ceremonies. Andrew Howard told Reuters they were still owed 300,000 Australian dollars ($298,800). “We also have a shipping container and 14 pallets of airfreight stuck in Delhi,” said Howard. The opening ceremony was viewed as restoring some pride after a woeful build-up risked plunging the Games into complete chaos. The $6 billion Games was intended to showcase India’s growing financial might but threatened to become a farce and only late scrambling by the embarrassed government salvaged the event which features mostly former British colonies. Corruption, shoddy construction and health and security risks blighted the build-up, bringing into question India’s ability to host an event of that size. —Reuter


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

League parity gives facelift to playoff picture MIAMI: In an NFL season where parity has reigned supreme, a fresh crop of Super Bowl contenders emerged while some perennial favourites have left themselves plenty of work in the coming weeks to even book a playoff spot. The Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears, teams that did not make the playoffs last season, have already surpassed their win total from 2009 and lead their respective divisions. The Falcons (10-2) have the NFL’s best record and bullied their way into the discussion of the league’s best team with a potent offense that includes quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Michael Turner and wide receiver Roddy White. Atlanta has won five straight games, are unbeatable at home this season and close out their sched-

ule with two games against the last place Carolina Panthers, a mediocre Seattle Seahawks team and division rival New Orleans Saints. A much more confident Jay Cutler, who threw a league-high 26 interceptions last season, has helped Chicago (9-3) to five straight wins and a one-game lead over a Green Bay Packers team many experts expected would run away with the NFC North. While the Bears may be well positioned to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2006 season, they have to endure a tough finish to the schedule with games against New England, at Minnesota, versus the New York Jets and at Green Bay. The surprising Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5), who finished at the bottom of the AFC South last season, are poised to complete the transformation from

worst-to-first and enter the playoffs as division champions. The Jaguars, who had one of the worst attendance records in the league last year and face questions about their future as an NFL franchise, will close out the regular season with four games against teams not currently above .500. The St. Louis Rams, who matched their combined win total of the previous three seasons with Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals, are tied atop a weak NFC Division with the Seattle Seahawks at 6-6. The .500 records would not earn the Rams or Seahawks any better than third place in five other divisions, but either club could become the first NFL team to win a division with a losing record in a full season. The NFC East division could come down to

the final weekend of the regular season with the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles tied with 8-4 record. Among other teams, the New York Jets, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints are all currently positioned to make the playoffs. The Indianapolis Colts (6-6) got off to a fast start this season and looked like they would easily contend for another AFC title. But last season’s Super Bowl runner-up have lost three straight and are in danger of missing the playoffs. The Colts, coming off an overtime loss to Dallas on Sunday after a Peyton Manning interception set up the game-winning field goal, have won at least 12 games in each of the past seven seasons but need to

run the table to finish with 10. San Diego were another pre-season favourite to be among the top teams late in the season, but the Chargers had a four-game winning streak snapped by the Oakland Raiders on Sunday that put a major crimp in their playoff plans. The Chargers (6-6) are two games behind Kansas City (7-4) in the AFC West but host the Chiefs next week. A loss against the Chiefs, one of the NFL’s most impressive young teams, would all but eliminate the Chargers from playoff contention. The Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals saw their playoff hopes dim over the weekend with losses that left them poised to join bottom feeders like the Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina. — Reuters

Patriots rout Jets

Tom Brady of Patriots in action against the Jets

NFL standings American Football Conference AFC East W L T PF PA PCT New England 10 2 0 379 269 .833 NY Jets 9 3 0 267 232 .750 Miami 6 6 0 215 238 .500 Buffalo 2 10 0 243 333 .167 AFC North Pittsburgh 9 3 0 267 191 .750 Baltimore 8 4 0 260 201 .667 Cleveland 5 7 0 229 239 .417 Cincinnati 2 10 0 255 322 .167 AFC South Jacksonville 7 5 0 257 300 .583 Indianapolis 6 6 0 317 290 .500 Houston 5 7 0 288 321 .417 Tennessee 5 7 0 263 235 .417 AFC West Kansas City 8 4 0 295 237 .667 Oakland 6 6 0 283 269 .500 San Diego 6 6 0 323 253 .500 Denver 3 9 0 256 333 .250

National Football Conference NFC East Philadelphia 8 4 0 344 281 NY Giants 8 4 0 308 247 Washington 5 7 0 222 293 Dallas 4 8 0 294 336 NFC North Chicago 9 3 0 246 192 Green Bay 8 4 0 303 182 Minnesota 5 7 0 227 253 Detroit 2 10 0 278 306 NFC South Atlanta 10 2 0 304 233 New Orleans 9 3 0 299 227 Tampa Bay 7 5 0 243 251 Carolina 1 11 0 154 307 NFC West St. Louis 6 6 0 232 237 Seattle 6 6 0 240 289 San Francisco 4 8 0 203 259 Arizona 3 9 0 200 338

.667 .667 .417 .333 .750 .667 .417 .167 .833 .750 .583 .083 .500 .500 .333 .250

FOXBOROUGH: Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns and 326 yards Monday night in New England’s 45-3 romp past the New York Jets for his NFL-record 26th straight regular-season home victory. In surpassing Brett Favre’s mark for consecutive home wins, Brady also lifted the Patriots to 10 wins and two losses, the best record in the AFC. If this was for bragging rights in the conference, Rex Ryan and the Jets (9-3) will have to be silent for a while. “We don’t listen to the hype,” Brady said. “I don’t think we ever have. We really take after our coach and he says ‘When you win, say little. When you lose, say less.”‘ It was a mismatch from the start. The Jets, who had won eight successive road games, five this season, came in with a vaunted defense and an offense that had come alive behind second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez and bigplay receiver Santonio Holmes. But Brady didn’t have to sweat anything in his second straight game with four TD passes and no interceptions — and 12th such game of his career. He hasn’t been picked off in seven consecutive games. New York couldn’t produce a pass rush and its blitzes were fruitless most of the night. With 4:40 remaining in the third quarter, the Patriots already were over their 30.4 points per game average that leads the league. And when the star quarterback wasn’t doing the damage, former Jets running back Danny Woodhead was. He turned a shovel pass into a 50-yard gain, had a 35-yard jaunt with another short pass and made Ryan even more regretful to have let him escape earlier this season. Brady moved into 13th place alltime with 252 TD passes; he has thrown for 27 TDs and been intercepted only four times as the threetime Super Bowl winner makes a strong case for his second league MVP award. The Jets gave the Patriots plenty of help all night. Nick Folk’s missed field goal came before BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ 1-yard run, and Steve Weatherford’s 12-yard punt led to Deion Branch’s 25-yard TD. New England’s 32nd-ranked pass defense intercepted three of Sanchez’s passes in snapping the Jets’ four-game winning streak, all against teams with losing records. Indeed, every Jets victory this season except the one against New England in Week 2 is over a team currently with a .500 or worse record. Conversely, the Patriots have had wins over the Steelers, Ravens and Jets — by far the best teams in the conference thus far. And they are even with Atlanta, the NFC leader at 10-2. — AP

Davies and Pace set for tussle over Merit title DUBAI: Even at 47, England’s Laura Davies remains a force to be reckoned with in women’s golf. Fresh off a Women’s Indian Open victory last month, Davies comes into this week’s Dubai Ladies Masters with another chance to win the Order of Merit given to Europe’s top women’s golfer. Davies won the first of her seven Order of Merits in 1985. The Englishwoman needs a top-two finish in the season-ending tournament on the Ladies European Tour to have any chance of grabbing the crown from Lee-Anne Pace, who will win it if she finishes in the top five. The 29-year-old Pace would become the first South African woman to win Order of Merit. Davies has won five titles this year in New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Spain and India to lift her career total to 79. “I played really well and really consistently in Europe this year,” Davies said. “It’s a pretty simple equation. I have to finish first or second or else I’m done for the money list. It could be a really great week for me. But I’m under no illusions. Lee-Anne is still the big favorite to actually win the money list. At least I have one more shot to turn the tables.” Pace, who also has won five tournaments this year, said she respected Davies but wasn’t going to let her status as a golfing great change the way she approached the tournament at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai. “She’s a great player. She has won so many tournaments and has all the experience in the world,” Pace said. “At the same time, I’m still in form and playing really well. I don’t see myself worrying about her simply because I have to do what I have to do. I can’t think about how she is going to play.” Davies is not the only play-

er Pace has to watch in the 108-player field. No. 7-ranked In-kyung Kim of South Korea, who won the tournament last year, is entered along with No. 10 Michelle Wie of the United States. There is plenty of buzz also around 15-year-old American Alexis “Lexi” Thompson, who turned professional only in June and will be making her first appearance in Dubai. Wie, who hasn’t played since early November because of a bad back, said she was feeling better and was hoping for a “pain-free” tournament. She finished second last year. “I’m feeling a lot better,” Wie said. “I’ve seen a few more doctors and getting treatment, and just trying to work out and get it stronger and I’m feeling good, Hopefully it will be good this week and it will behave.” Davies, who needs one more major or two more US LPGA Tour wins to qualify for the Hall of Fame, acknowledged there are plenty of promising, young golfers like the South Koreans, Wie and Thompson on the tour these days. But Davies said she was not yet ready to hand over the reins to a new generation. “I have no plans to stop playing. If I’m competitive, I don’t want to do anything else,” she said. “I’ve always said if you can walk, you can play golf. It’s not like you have to be running the 100 meters in 9 seconds. You just have to walk around the golf course and if you are good enough, which obviously I still am, I don’t see an end to it.” Davies said she has been inspired to keep playing by Tom Watson, who at 59 lost in a playoff to Stewart Cink in last year’s British Open. “I use Tom as the milestone now,” she said. “And if he can beat those players at 59, then I don’t see why I shouldn’t play at 55, 56. ... As soon as I’m not playing well enough, you won’t see me.”—AP

Alberto Contador in action in this file photo

Contador’s lawyers using Gasquet’s cocaine defense MADRID: Alberto Contador’s lawyers are using tennis player Richard Gasquet’s successful appeal against cocaine use as part of their own defense for a failed Tour de France doping test. Contador’s lawyer Andy Ramos told The Associated Press yesterday a decision in cycling’s biggest case could come “any day” as the Spanish cycling federation’s disciplinary committee determines whether Contador merits a two-year ban after testing positive for clenbuterol. The three-time Tour champion’s defense is he ingested the muscle-building, weight-loss steroid inadvertently through contaminated meat. Contador’s lawyers are using several cases relating to other athletes to highlight the 28-year-old did not voluntarily take the steroid. Contador will also lose his Tour

title if he is found guilty. French player Gasquet avoided a lengthy ban last year after proving he inadvertently ingested cocaine after kissing a woman at a nightclub. “Not one of the scientists we have worked with has said it couldn’t have been anything but contamination,” Ramos told the AP in a telephone interview. “The levels are ridiculous _ it couldn’t be anything else.” Contador’s lawyers are also using the case of Dimitrij Ovtcharov, who was cleared of doping by the German table tennis federation in October. The Ukrainian-born Ovtcharov successfully argued that tainted meat consumed in China was the reason for his positive test for clenbuterol. Ovtcharov turned up an “extremely low” concentration of 75 picograms per milliliter in his sample compared to 50 picograms for

Contador. A picogram is one trillionth of a gram. Gasquet saw an attempt by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Tennis Federation to ban him for two years overturned after the Court for Arbitration for Sport accepted his claim that he inadvertently consumed cocaine by kissing the woman in a Miami club hours after withdrawing injured from a tournament last year. Gasquet did not deny cocaine was in his system but proved it was not intentionally taken while showing no negligence on his own part. He served a 21/2-month suspension. Contador is currently in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, training with his Saxo Bank team, which is preparing for the 2011 season. Contador also won the Tour in 2007 and 2009. — AP

Tiger Woods has reason to look ahead THOUSAND OAKS: The first sign that something was different about Tiger Woods came during the pro-am at the Chevron World Challenge. After getting the yardage to the green on the par5 13th hole — 282 yards — he pulled a 3-wood from his bag and asked a small group standing behind him, “Can I get there with this?” “Eventually,” came one reply. Woods smiled, tried to disguise a friendly gesture by scratching the side of his leg, then set up over the shot and drilled it. The ball never left the flag, cleared the bunker and settled some 30 feet behind the green. His caddie, Steve Williams, looked on with a straight face. Shots like that have been rare this year. Several more followed. When it was suggested toward the end of his round that Woods was playing his best on Wednesday, Williams again answered solemnly, “He’s done a lot of work since Australia.” It was like that all week at the Chevron World Challenge until Sunday, when it mattered. Equipped with a four-shot lead, Woods missed three putts inside 6 feet and his lead narrowed to one. Then, he fell into some old swing habits under the pressure of contending on the back nine. It has been one year and 20 days since he felt those emotions, and that’s when he was susceptible to crumbling. Woods found his game at the end, but it didn’t matter. Even after hitting an 8-iron as pure as can be to inside 3 feet for an easy birdie, Graeme McDowell denied him victory with a stunning end to a great year — he not only holed a 20-foot birdie putt to force a playoff, he then made a similar putt on the first extra hole to win. For McDowell, everything is going his way _ a feeling Woods used to know well. He won the US Open at Pebble Beach. He was the hero of the Ryder Cup for winning the final match for Europe. And he became the first player to beat Woods when trailing by at least three shots going into the final round. No one else in 24 attempts managed to do that. “Obviously I didn’t know the stat,” McDowell said, moving into understatement mode. “But I was aware that he’s a pretty good player and a pretty damn good closer. So yeah, to be the guy to break that run is pretty special. I’m sure he’s disappointed. I’m definitely a guy who says that golf needs Tiger Woods, and we need him back winning tournaments. “He’ll be back winning tournaments very

Tiger Woods plays a shot in this file photo soon.” If he looked like the Woods of old, he sure didn’t sound like it moments after shaking McDowell’s hand on the 18th green. “It was a great week, even though I didn’t win,” Woods said. “I’m proud of today, even though I lost.” That sounded like something from the mouth of Phil Mickelson, the master of keeping golf in perspective. Woods was back to his old self a short time later when he got on Twitter and typed in, “Really hate losing, Graeme did what he needed to do to win and I didn’t.” The Chevron World Challenge, for most players, marked the end of a long year. For Woods, it seemed like the start of a new year. Getting through November, when all of his personal troubles began last year, was a big deal for no other reason than he passed an important marker on the calendar. Woods was asked about the last time he was really looking forward to a tournament because of how he was playing, and he again mentioned the Monday of the Ryder Cup, when he won his singles against Francesco Molinari by playing the last seven holes in 7 under. There have been more hiccups since Celtic Manor, and perhaps more are to follow. Woods began working with Sean Foley only about three months ago, and Williams is amazed how quickly

he is picking up on the changes. Woods sounded as though he expected problems with his swing under the pressure of a back nine in the final group. “I lost my swing in the middle part of the round, and pieced it back together again,” he said. “I was proud of that. I was very committed coming in, and hit some really, really good shots, which was good. If anything, I thought that’s when there might be a breakdown, but I was very pleased that I was able to put that back together then. “Unfortunately, during the middle part of the round, I lost all those shots,” he said. “And Graeme was playing really well.” McDowell saw enough to believe that better days are coming soon. The question is whether the aura of intimidation that Woods held for so long will return, too. “There’s something a bit special about his golf game,” McDowell said, “and I fully expect that mystique to return as the golf clubs start doing the talking again.” The clubs sound louder than a whisper, but not quite a shout, as Woods heads into an offseason in which he turns 35 and is in the midst of the longest drought of his career. He could not remember the last time he went an entire year without winning. —AP


SPORTS

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

17

ADELAIDE: England celebrates after taking the wicket of Australia’s Peter Siddle on day five of the second Ashes cricket Test in Adelaide. England won the match by 71 runs with an innings to spare. —AP

England crush Aussies in biggest Ashes win ADELAIDE: England completed a ruthless humiliation of Australia with their biggest Ashes victory in 24 years yesterday, routing their hosts by an innings and 71 runs to take a firm grip on the five-test series. The tourists skittled Australia’s last six batsmen for 66 runs on a sunny Adelaide morning and were already celebrating the second test triumph in the dressing room when the huge rainstorm that the locals had been praying for finally broke. It was England’s first test victory on Australian soil since the 2002-03 tour and a first series lead in Australia since 1986-87 — the last time the side returned home with the urn. England have clearly lost the fear of playing Australians in Australia but the mantra of this touring party is “no complacency” and skipper Andrews Strauss was barely off the pitch before he was warning against it. “We need to enjoy this and savour it, because it was a special victory for us,” he said. “But we need to make sure that we don’t take our foot off the pedal

because we know Australia are going to come back at us hard and if we give them any way back into the series, they’ll take it. “We’ve got to be prepared for a scrap in these last three test matches.” Every part of the England machine functioned smoothly. The bowlers dismissed Australia out for 245 on a flat track on the first day, the batsmen accumulated 620-5 declared to capitalise on that, and spinner Graeme Swann mopped up on the last day. Australia have nine days to get their act together before the third test starts in Perth on Dec. 16 but look bereft of options, particularly in the bowling unit after their overhauled attack managed just five wickets in Adelaide. Ricky Ponting, facing the prospect of becoming the first Australia captain to lose three Ashes series, was reduced to simply exhorting his players to up their game. “It’s pretty simple, we need to win two of the next three games if we want to win the Ashes but we’ve

got to play a bit better than we have the last test match and a half,” he said. “They’ve outbatted us, outbowled us, and outfielded us this entire game... We’re going to have to be at our very best if we’re going to work our way back into this series.” Australia had resumed on 238 for four, having lost the key wicket of Michael Clarke to part-time spinner Kevin Pietersen on the last ball of day four. With Clarke, his team’s best player of spin, back in the pavilion, the Australians were always going to struggle on a fifth-day pitch providing turn for Swann. Any hopes of a gritty fight back to salvage a draw were extinguished quickly when Mike Hussey, who had been the pick of Australia’s batsmen in the series to date, attempted a rash pull shot off the bowling of England quick Steve Finn. Anderson took the easiest of catches at mid-on to remove Hussey for 52, then struck with his own bowling, dispensing with Brad Haddin courtesy of an outside edge

for 12. Anderson then trapped Ryan Harris lbw for his second golden duck of the match on the next ball, though he was denied a hat-trick when Xavier Doherty fended off a short-pitched delivery on the first ball of his next over. In between, Swann had accounted for the out-of-form Marcus North with a plumb lbw, although he was forced to call for the TV umpire after his appeal was refused, to give England three wickets in four deliveries. The spinner then delivered the coup de grace, clinching a comprehensive victory by bowling both Doherty for five and Peter Siddle for six to finish with five for 91 and the Australians all out for 304. The final dismissal prompted wild celebrations on the pitch as the players rushed to embrace as England’s “Barmy Army” of cricket fans roared with delight. Pietersen, who played in the 2006 defeat in Adelaide when England declared on 551 but were skittled to defeat on the final day, was awarded

Scoreboard ADELAIDE: Scoreboard after England defeated Australia in the second Ashes test by an innings and 71 runs on the fifth day at the Adelaide Oval on yesterday: Australia first innings 245 (M. Hussey 93, B. Haddin 56, S. Watson 51; J. Anderson 4-51) England first innings 620-5 decl (K. Pietersen 227, A. Cook 148, J. Trott 78, I. Bell 68 not out) Australia second innings (overnight 238-4) S. Watson c Strauss b Finn 57 S. Katich c Prior b Swann 43 R. Ponting c Collingwood b Swann 9 M. Clarke c Cook b Pietersen 80 M. Hussey c Anderson b Finn 52 M. North lbw b Swann 22 B. Haddin c Prior b Anderson 12 R. Harris lbw b Anderson 0 X. Doherty b Swann 5 P. Siddle b Swann 6 D. Bollinger not out 7 Extras (lb-1, w-5, b-5) 11 Total (all out, 99.1 overs) 304 Fall of wickets: 1-84 2-98 3-134 4-238 5-261 6-286 7-286 8-286 9-295 10-304 Bowling: Anderson 22-4-92-2, Broad 11-3-32-0, Swann 41.1-12-91-5, Finn 18-2-60-2 (w-5), Collingwood 4-0-13-0, Pietersen 3-0-10-1.

Pathan magic seals easy victory for India

Hawks end Magic spell ORLANDO: Josh Smith had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Mike Bibby made a critical 3-pointer in the final minute as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Orlando Magic 80-74 on Monday. Al Horford added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks, winners of six of seven. Jamal Crawford had 15 points and Bibby finished with 13. Vince Carter led the Magic with 18 points. Dwight Howard, back after missing two games with a stomach virus, contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds. Heat 88, Bucks 78 Milwaukee, Dwyane Wade had 25 points and a career-high 14 rebounds back in the city where his career took off as the Miami Heat beat the Bucks 88-78 for their fifth straight win. LeBron James added 17 points and Chris Bosh had 16 points and 12 rebounds as Miami used a 172 run in the first half to take control, then weathered a late scoring drought before James, Wade and Bosh hit clutch shots in the closing minutes. Corey Maggette scored 20 points for the Bucks, while Andrew Bogut finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Knicks 121, T’wolves 114 At New York, Amare Stoudemire scored 34 points to lead surging New York past Minnesota for its fifth straight victory. Wilson Chandler added 21 points and Raymond Felton had 18 points and 11 assists for the Knicks, who won for the 10th time in 11 games and improved to 13-9, the first time they’ve been four games over .500 since finishing the 2000-01 season with a 4834 record. Kevin Love had 33 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who duplicated the sizzling start they had in a victory over Cleveland on Saturday but didn’t have the defense to make it stand up. Michael Beasley, who missed that victory with a sprained ankle, returned and scored 25. Bulls 99, Thunder 90 At Chicago, Carlos Boozer scored 13 of his 29 points in Chicago’s big third quarter, leading the Bulls to the victory. Luol Deng added 19 points for Chicago, which outscored the Thunder 29-18 in the pivotal third. Derrick Rose had 11 points and nine assists, but shot 3 for 13 from the field. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 29 points. Nenad Krstic added 18 points. Boozer got a big free-agent deal from Chicago in the offseason, but missed the team’s first

man of the match honours, mainly for his career-best innings of 227. “Four years ago it was a very, very horrible dressing room to walk into, a very quiet dressing, a very negative dressing room and not as united as the dressing room is at the moment,” he recalled. “Individual performances obviously add to a team victory and I think the team victory today is incredible, it’s the best feeling, no matter who gets the runs and who takes the wickets.” England suffered a blow before play commenced with the news that fast bowler Stuart Broad had been ruled out of the rest of the series with a torn abdominal muscle. “He’s distraught and we’re distraught that he’s going to be leaving us because he’s a big part of our team both on and off the field,” Strauss said. Australian batsman Simon Katich is also likely out for the series with an Achilles injury. “It’s a big loss for us, no doubt,” said Ponting. “He’s an experienced player and a great character to have around the team.” —AFP

NEW YORK: Knicks forward Wilson Chandler (21) blocks Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love’s (42) shot at the basket as Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire (1) watches at left during the second half of an NBA basketball game. —AP 15 games with a broken right hand. He appears to be gaining confidence since he returned in Wednesday night’s 107-78 loss to Orlando, scoring five, 12 and 25 points in his first three outings. Boozer and Joakim Noah had 12 boards apiece as Chicago outrebounded the Thunder 52-39 and enjoyed a 19-11 edge in secondchance points. Jazz 94, Grizzlies 85 At Salt Lake City, Deron Williams had 27 points and eight assists to power Utah to the win. Williams admittedly struggled as Utah lost 93-81 to Dallas on Friday, snapping a seven-game

winning streak. But he overcame early foul trouble against Memphis to get the Jazz back on track with a variety of strong drives to the basket. CJ Miles had 20 points for the Jazz. He also blocked two shots and had a pair of steals while holding Rudy Gay in check. Gay finished with 18 points on 8-of-22 shooting. Mike Conley scored 19 points and Zach Randolph finished with 17 for the Grizzlies, who have lost four straight overall and six in a row on the road. Pacers 124, Raptors 100 At Indianapolis, Brandon Rush scored a season-high 26 points

and Danny Granger had 21 as Indiana put seven players in double figures to beat Toronto. Rush, a reserve, was 10 for 18 from the field, including 6 for 8 from 3point range. Indiana shot 55 percent overall, led by a 13-for-26 effort from behind the arc. Granger also contributed nine rebounds and five assists in the Pacers’ secondhighest scoring effort of the season. Jose Calderon scored 21 points and Amir Johnson added 15 for the Raptors. Andrea Bargnani, who entered the game averaging 20.7 points, was held to 12 on 5for-11 shooting. —AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Monday.Indiana 124, Toronto 100; Atlanta 80, Orlando 74; NY Knicks 121, Minnesota 114; Chicago 99, Oklahoma City 90; Miami 88, Milwaukee 78; Utah 94, Memphis 85. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 16 4 0.8 New York 13 9 0.591 Toronto 8 13 0.381 Philadelphia 6 14 0.3 New Jersey 6 15 0.286 Central Division Chicago 11 8 0.579 Indiana 10 9 0.526 Cleveland 7 13 0.35 Milwaukee 7 13 0.35 Detroit 7 14 0.333 Southeast Division Orlando 15 6 0.714 Atlanta 14 8 0.636 Miami 14 8 0.636 Charlotte 7 13 0.35 Washington 6 13 0.316

GB 4 8 10 10 1 4 4 5 1 1 7 8

Western Conference Northwest Division Utah 16 6 0.727 Denver 13 6 0.684 Oklahoma City 14 8 0.636 Portland 9 11 0.45 Minnesota 5 16 0.238 Pacific Division La Lakers 14 6 0.7 Phoenix 11 9 0.55 Golden State 8 12 0.4 La Clippers 5 17 0.227 Sacramento 4 15 0.211 Southwest Division San Antonio 17 3 0.85 Dallas 16 4 0.8 New Orleans 13 7 0.65 Memphis 8 14 0.364 Houston 7 13 0.35

1 2 6 10 3 6 10 9 1 4 10 10

BANGALORE: Yusuf Pathan hammered a career-best 123 not out off just 96 balls as India pulled off a thrilling five-wicket win in the fourth one-day international against New Zealand yesterday. The all-rounder clubbed seven fours and seven sixes on the way to his maiden one-day century to help the hosts overhaul New Zealand’s challenging 315-7 with seven balls to spare at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. The victory put India on course for a series whitewash over the Black Caps who trail 4-0 with one game remaining to be played in Chennai on Friday. Pathan clobbered the New Zealand attack with his aggressive innings, putting on 133 runs for the unfinished sixth wicket with Saurabh Tiwary (37 not out) after India had been reduced to 188-5 in the 34th over. Pathan also played a key role with the ball, grabbing three New Zealand wickets for 49 runs off nine overs. James Franklin topscored for the Kiwis with an unbeaten 98 off 69 balls including 12 fours and three sixes. Paceman Andy McKay took two wickets in two balls to spoil a rollicking start by India that saw openers Gautam Gambhir (27) and Parthiv Patel put on 67 runs in less than 10 overs. Gambhir, the leading run-getter in the series, cut McKay to point where Martin Guptill took a sharp catch and Virat Kohli was caught by Kyle Mills for a duck. Patel, playing his first oneday international in six years, raced to his maiden one-day halfcentury off 50 balls but was dismissed three runs later by Nathan McCullum. India looked in deep trouble after losing Yuvraj Singh for 20 runs but man of the match Pathan ensured another fine win for the hosts. Franklin earlier underlined a spirited batting display by the visitors after they were put in to bat in the daynight game. Scott Styris (46), Ross Taylor (44) and Brendon McCullum (42) also chipped in with valuable knocks. Franklin, who had top-scored with 72 in the third match in Vadodara, provided the late impetus, helping New Zealand add 63 runs in the last five overs. He hit two sixes and as many

BANGALORE: India’s Yusuf Pathan raises his bat and helmet to celebrate scoring a century during their fourth one day international cricket match against New Zealand. — AP

Scoreboard BANGALORE, India: Complete scoreboard of the fourth one-day international between India and New Zealand in Bangalore yesterday: New Zealand: M. Guptill c Yuvraj b Nehra 30 B. McCullum c Sharma b Ashwin 42 J. How c Pathan b Nehra 4 R. Taylor lbw b Ashwin 44 S. Styris c Tiwary b Pathan 46 J. Franklin not out 98 D. Vettori b Pathan 17 K. Mills b Pathan 1 N. McCullum not out 13 Extras: (lb8, w12) 20 Total (for seven wkts; 50 overs) 315 Fall of wickets: 1-62 (Guptill), 2-70 (How), 3-91 (B. McCullum), 4-170 (Styris), 5-210 (Taylor), 6249 (Vettori), 7-251 (Mills). Bowling: Zaheer 8-0-40-0 (w3), Kumar 7-0-42-0 (w1), Ashwin 10-0-66-2 (w6), Nehra 9-1-70-2 (w2), Yuvraj 3-0-21-0, Pathan 9-0-49-3, Sharma 4-0-19-0. fours in the last over by Ashish Nehra (2-70) to take the visitors past the 300-run mark. Meanwhile, India’s cricketers will depart from normal routine and arrive in South Africa in batches in order to acclimatise ahead of their much-anticipated Test series. India are due to play the first Test in Centurion from December 16, just six days after the final one-day international against New Zealand ends in Chennai on December 10. With no practice match pencilled in, India’s South African coach Gary

India: G. Gambhir c Guptill b McKay 27 P. Patel c sub (Williamson) b N. McCullum53 V. Kohli c Mills b McKay 0 Y. Singh c How b N. McCullum 20 R. Sharma c Vettori b Southee 44 Y. Pathan not out 123 S. Tiwari not out 37 Extras: (b4, lb3, w8, nb2) 17 Total (for five wkts; 48.5 overs) 321 Fall of wickets: 1-67 (Gambhir), 2-68 (Kohli), 3103 (Yuvraj), 4-108 (Patel), 5-188 (Sharma). Bowling: Mills 10-1-65-0 (w2), Southee 10-0-641 (w1), McKay 7-0-63-2 (nb1, w4), N. McCullum 7.5-0-38-2, Styris 4-1-27-0 (w1), Vettori 10-0-57-0. India won by five wickets

Kirsten hit upon a novel idea to ensure his players get used to the conditions before the series began. A majority of the 17-man squad, who were rested for the New Zealand one-dayers, will reach South Africa this week to prepare for the three-match series that pits top-ranked India against the number two hosts. “We have a lot of work still to do on the specifics of technique prior to the series,” Kirsten was quoted as saying by Cricinfo. “The players will need time to adjust and get comfortable with

the conditions.” The players will train at Kirsten’s cricket academy in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg to join the rest of the squad. India, fielding an understrength team for the New Zealand one-dayers, enjoy an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series with stand-in captain Gautam Gambhir hitting two centuries. The three Tests in Centurion (December 16-20), Durban (Dec 26-30) and Cape Town (January 26) will be followed by a Twenty20 match and five one-day internationals. — AFP


18

SPORTS

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Inter favorite at Club WCup

LONDON: Arsenal’s Alex Song controls the ball as he takes part in a training session at the club’s facilities in London Colney. Arsenal are due to play Partisan Belgrade in a Champions League Group H soccer match in London today. —AP

Gunners plan to avoid casualty LONDON: Arsenal is in danger of becoming the highest-profile casualty of the Champions League group stage but manager Arsene Wenger has guaranteed his stuttering team will not stumble at the final hurdle. The English side has lost its last two matches in Group H — away to Shakhtar Donetsk and Braga — to leave the pool wide open heading into the final round of matches today. Shakhtar, which is top on 12 points, is three clear of Arsenal and Braga, and both qualifying places are still up for grabs. A win for Arsenal against already-eliminated Partizan Belgrade, which is bottom and without a point so far, will secure its passage through to the last 16 for the 11th successive year. Anything less could see the Gunners eliminated.

“That will be a massive game for us,” said Wenger, whose side went top of the English Premier League at the weekend. “We know that we will be under pressure to deliver on the night but we will. “I’m confident we will deliver the requested performance and the qualification.” Braga visits Shakhtar in the other match and there will need to be a dramatic turn of events if the Portuguese team is to qualify. If Arsenal wins as expected and Braga also beats Shakhtar, all three sides would be level on 12 points. It would then boil down to goal difference in games between them. In that scenario, free-scoring Arsenal would go through and Braga would need to win in Ukraine by at least a four-goal margin to also advance.

No team in Champions League history has ever failed to qualify after picking up 12 points in the group stage. Wenger is focusing on his own team and not worrying about the mathematics. “I must say that for me, Shakhtar Donetsk are favorites to deliver at least a draw at home,” the French manager said. “The most important (thing) is to qualify now and let’s hope we can do it. You never know but you want to win the game.” A draw would be good enough for Arsenal if Braga fail to defeat Shakhtar but the Gunners have been in impressive form domestically of late. A run of three successive wins has seen them overtake Chelsea and Manchester United in the Premier League

and they should have too much for Partizan, which has scored only once in five matches so far. Defensively, however, the Gunners have been suspect and have often relied on their attackers to get the team out of trouble this season. “We struggle all the time in defense. We have to score more than we concede _ that’s it,” Arsenal forward Andrei Arshavin said. “It is very frustrating. We are trying to improve, but we can’t. It doesn’t always depend on defenders. As a team we need to improve defensively.” Arsenal will be without defenders Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles’ tendon) and Johan Djourou (thigh) but fellow center back Laurent Koscielny has been given the all-clear after

coming off in the first half of the 2-1 win over Fulham on Saturday with a head injury. Captain Cesc Fabregas is still missing with a hamstring problem. Braga lost its opening two matches in the group, conceding nine goals in the process. But the Champions League newcomers have turned things round with three straight wins to not only clinch at least a spot in the last 32 of the Europa League but also retain hope of staying in Europe’s biggest club competition. Braga has been in poor form in the Portuguese league, however. Its 3-1 loss to Uniao Leiria on Saturday was its fourth defeat in its last five matches and left last year’s surprise runnerup in seventh place. Coach Domingos Paciencia has problems in defense, with left back

Elderson out with a thigh injury and center back Moises a doubt with a bruised hip. Striker Matheus will undergo a late fitness test on his left knee. Ukrainian champion Shakhtar is looking to advance from the group stage for the first time and needs just a draw to do so. “(To lose) 4-0 at the Donbas Arena — it’s just not possible,” Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov said. “We just have to play our game and everything will be fine.” With the Ukrainian Premier League now on its winter break, Shakhtar has had more than a week off since a convincing 4-0 win over Arsenal Kyiv. It holds a commanding 12-point lead at the top of the table. Brazilian playmaker Fernandinho is still out with a broken leg. —AP

DUBAI: For Inter Milan coach Rafa Benitez, the Club World Cup will be a chance to exorcise old demons and possibly save his job. When he was Liverpool manager, Benitez lost the 2005 Club World Cup to Sao Paulo of Brazil. He comes into the 2010 edition, which starts late yesterday and runs to Dec. 18, hoping his injuryplagued Inter Milan squad shows the dominance it displayed last year in claiming a treble of titles. The Italian media have suggested anything short of the championship in Abu Dhabi could end Benitez’ short reign, although club president Massimo Moratti has stuck by the embattled coach. The club sits sixth in the Series A standings and has already accumulated as many losses as it did all last season. “I think that for all of us it will be an important event,” Benitez said. Inter won a prior incarnation of the Club World Cup in 1964 and 1965 when it was called the Intercontinental Cup. “For me, as a coach it is an opportunity to win an incredibly important tournament at club level,” he said. “I remember the past (with Liverpool), but I must forget and think about the future, because I think it is more important to move on and believe we can win this time.” Inter has a bye through to the semifinals, where it will face either Asian Champions League winner Seongnam Ilhwa of South Korea, Al Wahda of the United Arab Emirates or the Oceania champions Hekari United of Papua New Guinea. A semifinal victory will likely mean a final against Internacional of Brazil, a team which won its first Club World Cup title in 2006 when it beat Barcelona 1-0. “For now, we have concentrated on Brazil’s Internacional. I myself watched them play one match and I thought they were fast and technically strong,” Benitez said in an interview on FIFA’s website. “Before the competition starts we’ll also take a closer look at our other rivals, because although we’re aware of our strengths, we respect the brand of football played on every continent.” Like Inter Milan, Internacional has struggled domestically since

earning a spot in the Abu Dhabi tournament by defeating Guadalajara Chivas of Mexico in the Copa Libertadores final earlier this year. It is only eighth in the Brazilian standings. Club president Vitorio Piffero said Internacional will head to the competition without the underdog status it had in 2006. “Now we have a bigger responsibility,” Piffero told the team’s Website. “It’s more complicated than it was in 2006.” Internacational has to get either of TP Mazembe of Congo or Mexico’s Pachuca to reach the final. “Our biggest challenge is the semifinal, because that’s our first match,” defender Bolivar said. “We won’t yet talk about a possible match against Inter Milan. That’s for the press to do.” For its part, Concacaf champion Pachuca is aiming to end a bad run of form from Mexican clubs at the tournament since Necaxa’s third place in 2000. “It’s true, every time a Mexican club goes to a Club World Cup things start to go wrong,” Pachuca forward Edgar Benitez told the FIFA website. But the Paraguayan international said he expected better this time around and felt the team was well positioned to reach the finals. “We’re all really hoping that we can win our first game and take on Brazilian side Inter, who play very good football,” Edgar Benitez said. “We’d then give it our best shot against them because we’re dreaming of a meeting with the European champions. But we have to take things one step at time, because we know our African opponents are a very good side too.” Many Hekari players are just happy to be playing in the Middle East. They joked that many of their fans still don’t believe they made it this far while others have been unable to watch the team’s rise since many villages in their South Pacific nation don’t have access to the Internet. “When you see us alongside Inter Milan, the question I ask myself is: How did we achieve this?”‘ Hekari striker Kema Jack said. “Some villagers from Koparoko where I am from think I am making up a story that we have qualified.”—AP

Drogba emotional in his return to Marseille

MADRID: Auxerre’s Anthony Le Tallec (center) vies for the ball with a teammate during the training session at the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. Auxerre will play Real Madrid today in a Group G Champions League soccer match. —AP

Mourinho-less Real aim to get rid of Auxerre MADRID: Real Madrid is without coach Jose Mourinho as it looks to knock Auxerre out of European play with a victory in their Champions League group closer today. Madrid has already clinched winning Group G and is joined in the knockout stages by second-place AC Milan. Auxerre trails Ajax by one point for third place, which offers direct passage into the Europa League. Auxerre will advance only if Ajax loses and it manages to at least draw at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, where Madrid has won all 10 games played over all competitions. Mourinho is serving a one-game ban for deliberately instructing players to incur red cards in a victory at Ajax. On the field, Madrid is without Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos to suspension, while striker Gonzalo Higuain is out with a back complaint. Cristiano Ronaldo — who leads Madrid with three goals — is within a booking of being banned for the Spanish club’s first knockout-stage game. A fifth victory would allow Madrid to close unbeaten in its best-ever finish in the current Champions League group format. “With all due respect to them, we should win our final group stage match at home if we showcase the mentality we had in previous games,” Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira said. “Our group will produce this year’s Champions League winner.” Auxerre lands in the Spanish capital without a victory in its last four games in all competitions. The French club will count

on the return of Jean-Pascal Mignot from a two-game ban, but midfielder Delvin Ndinga (quadricep) and midfielder Cedric Hengbart (hamstring) join the long-term injury absentees. “(Benoit) Pedretti is a key player, the brains of the team,” Khedira warned. “By canceling him out you may neutralize Auxerre’s offensive game.” Like Madrid, Milan is likely to rest most of its regulars at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium with its place in the last 16 assured. Veteran defender Alessandro Nesta is likely to sit out while Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is unlikely to field Gennaro Gattuso, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gianluca Zambrotta and Luca Antonini as they are one booking away from missing a match in the knockout phase. The Italian leader is on a six-match unbeaten run in Serie A to hold a threepoint lead over Lazio. Saturday’s 3-0 win over Brescia showed the attack was holding despite the absences of Alexandre Pato — who is missing as he seeks consultation on another muscle injury — and Filippo Inzaghi, who is out for the season following knee surgery. Ronaldinho has also appeared in form lately, but has largely been relegated to a bench role. “We’ve got the right spirit,” said defender Mario Yepes. “But the season still has a long way to go and we want to do well in every competition — Serie A, Champions League and the Italian Cup.” — AP

Matches on TV (local timings) UEFA Champions League Bayern v Basel Al Jazeera Sport +8

22:45

Cluj v Roma Al Jazeera Sport +10

22:45

Marseille v Chelsea Al Jazeera Sport +5

22:45

AC Milan v Ajax Al Jazeera Sport +1

22:45

Real Madrid v Auxerre Al Jazeera Sport +9 Al Jazeera Sport 2 HD

22:45

Arsenal v Partizan Al Jazeera Sport +3 Al Jazeera Sport 1 HD Al Jazeera Sport +4

22:45

Shakhtar v Braga Al Jazeera Sport +6

22:45

MARSEILLE: Didier Drogba’s emotions sometimes get the better of him in the Champions League, and the Chelsea striker admits he will struggle to contain them against his former club Marseille today. Drogba has become a world star since he joined Chelsea six years ago, but often speaks about how he owes Marseille a huge debt of gratitude for giving him the chance to shine. “I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all,” Drogba said. “I’m trying not to mix everything up. In any case, I am submerged with so many emotions that I don’t really know what I should expect. It feels really weird.” He plundered 32 goals in 55 games in his one and only season with Marseille in 2004 when it lost the UEFA Cup final, catching former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho’s eye. “I can’t wait to be there, and my teammates will finally discover the Stade Velodrome I’ve been telling them so much about,” he said. “At the end of the match, I will go and visit the (home) changing room.” Chelsea tops Group F after five straight wins, Marseille has nine and finishes second whatever happens. The 32-year-old Drogba has helped Chelsea to domestic honors, but has never won the Champions League, where his performances have been overshadowed by his outbursts and antics. He was sent off in the 2008 final for slapping Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic, and Chelsea lost on penalties. His frustrations boiled over again when Chelsea was knocked out of the semifinals by Barcelona the following season. Drogba angrily confronted the referee at the end and then glared into a TV camera shouting obscenities. UEFA gave him a lengthy ban and he apologized. Despite considerable adulation in England, Drogba still pines for Marseille. When Marseille lost 2-0 to Chelsea in the group game in September, Drogba was given a

MARSEILLE: Chelsea’s forward Didier Drogba from Ivory Coast (right) challenges for the ball with John Terry during a training session, at the Velodrome Stadium. —AP loud ovation by a handful of traveling fans. This time 60,000 will acclaim him at Stade Velodrome. “It’s the first time that I’m experiencing such a situation. I’ve been back to Guingamp, to Le Mans, but I admit this is really special,” Drogba said. “Even more so after the reception I got at Stamford Bridge.” Drogba’s rise surprised many as he struggled in the second division with Le Mans, then mid-table Guingamp in the first division.

Marseille’s gamble paid off when he joined Chelsea for 24 million pounds. His return is not in ideal circumstances, either, with Chelsea badly struggling for form. Carlo Ancelotti’s team has just one win in five games and the goals have dried up for Drogba. “I’m in a bit of a difficult period,” Drogba said. “I’m coming back from illness (a bout of malaria) and that weakened me.” Drogba has not managed a goal

from open play for two months and has scored only twice in his last 10 games, both from the penalty spot. Nicolas Anelka has not scored in six games, winger Florent Malouda has managed one in his last 10. They formed a ruthless attacking trio to lead Chelsea to a domestic league and cup double last season, and seemed unstoppable as Chelsea rattled in 21 goals in its first five league games this time. — AP


SPORTS

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

19

FIFA dismisses complaints about World Cup voting ABU DHABI: FIFA’s general secretary defended the process for choosing the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups yesterday, but did not rule out the possibility of changing it for 2026. Jerome Valcke said FIFA has until 2018 to decide if it “should or (should) not change” the way host countries are decided. But he said last week’s vote for the World Cup hosts was “perfectly organized, perfectly transparent and perfectly under control.” Russia beat bids from England, Belgium-Netherlands and Spain-Portugal for 2018. Qatar, which was criticized by FIFA for the heat and its small size,

won the 2022 vote ahead of Australia, Japan, United States, and South Korea. The vote was greeted with shock, in particular in England and the United States, and sparked allegations that the entire process was too secretive and open to corruption. “If we say yes, yes it does not work, we would recognize something went wrong,” said Valcke, who was in Abu Dhabi ahead of today’s opening match of the Club World Cup. “I’m sorry to say we have organized a voting system which was very transparent. “If the question is it’s not transparent because you don’t know who voted

for whom, you will never know for whom I voted for between Nicolas Sarkozy and (French Socialist politician) Segolene Royal three years ago when the election took place. I will not tell because that is my freedom to decide for whom I voted without having to say publicly my choice.” Chuck Blazer, a FIFA executive committee member from the United States, insisted “the process had not failed at all,” and hit out at the stream of media reports alleging wrongdoing among voters. Blazer revealed he voted for Russia and the United States, denying media allegations that he had reneged on a

promise to vote for England, and had backed Qatar for 2022 ahead of his own country. “I’ve been very clear to anyone who was involved in the bidding and had impression on how I was leaning. I never made a promise to anyone how I was going to vote. I certainly never disappointed anyone,” he said. “I voted for Russia and the United States and I did so for what I believed were good and sufficient reasons.” Blazer insisted the secret ballot limited outside pressure on the 22 FIFA executive committee members who voted Thursday. “Personally, I feel there is a need

of FIFA’s ruling panel received kickbacks from marketing agency ISL from 1989-99, the BBC and Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger and Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung all reported. Valke and Blazer said it was time to move past these allegations and Blazer insisted the allegations in no way tainted either winner. “I don’t want any of that to take away from victory of Russia and Qatar in having been successful in the vote,” Blazer said. “I was satisfied when I left the voting room that the vote had been held democratically, that people had voted their own conscious and this was the result.”—AP

members for violating ethics rules, but said there was insufficient evidence to prove allegations that Qatar and the Spain-Portugal bid had conspired to trade blocks of votes. Then three days before the vote, FIFA was hit by corruption allegations when three senior officials were accused by the European media of having received secret payments. Executive committee members Ricardo Teixeira of Brazil, Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay and Issa Hayatou of Camaroon were said to have allegedly received payoffs from world football’s former marketing agency. The three long-standing members

for a closed ballot at FIFA at this level because of the fact there are many governments and other individuals interested in potentially influencing the votes of members who may be in their own constituency,” he said. “The one way to protect them is allowing them to vote without it being public. People who yell transparency, well there are problems sometimes in that transparency if it has a negative effect on those people who need to exercise judgment.” Ahead of the vote in Zurich, FIFA’s committee members faced intense media scrutiny about alleged corruption and vote-trading. FIFA suspended two committee

Bursaspor strike late to draw with Rangers BURSA: Bursaspor struck late to draw 1-1 draw against Rangers yesterday and earn some kind of consolation with a first point in their final Champions League Group C game. Rangers, already assured of third place and qualification for the Europa League, went ahead with a rare attack in the 19th minute with Kenny Miller driving in a shot from a left-wing cross. Bursaspor dominated possession but failed to translate that into goalscoring opportunities until Sercan Yildirim rewarded the enthusiastic home support by firing in a cross from Ozan Ipek in the 79th minute. Rangers had to survive an intense period of pressure in the last 10 minutes as Bursa looked to go on and win. Sercan had a golden opportunity to win the game for Bursaspor in the 86th minute when he beat one defender on a run into the box, but he lost control of the ball with only the keeper to beat. Both teams had already been eliminated from the Champions League before yesterday’s match, with Manchester United and Valencia going through as the top two in a tough group. Rangers finished with six points and Bursaspor on one point. Bursaspor’s preparations for the match had been overshadowed by a mass brawl between their fans and those of Istanbul’s Besiktas at a domestic league match on Sunday. Several people were stabbed in a mass brawl ahead of the match. —Reuters

FRANCE: Lyon’s Bafe Gomis (left) challenges for the ball with Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Douglas Da Silva (right) during their Champions League soccer match at Gerland stadium. —AP

Struggling Lyon held to a draw LYON: Olympique Lyon grabbed a late equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Hapoel Tel Aviv in their final Champions League Group B game yesterday. Substitute Alexandre Lacazette saved Lyon, who had already qualified for the knockout stage, denying Hapoel a Europa League spot in a lively game at the Gerland stadium. Lyon took the lead just past the hour through Lisandro Lopez but the

visitors were level a minute later thanks to Ben Sahar and went ahead through Eran Zahavi’s superb bicycle kick. Lacazette’s goal left the French side on 10 points in second place behind Schalke 04, with 13 after their 2-1 win at Benfica who came third with six points ahead of Hapoel on five. Benfica qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League. Lyon started well but

had a goal disallowed when Bafetimbi Gomis was flagged offside as he headed home in the 13th minute. Hapoel also looked dangerous, especially on the break, and repeatedly threatened Hugo Lloris’s goal as the Lyon defence struggled to keep the opposing strikers at bay. Etay Shechter and Douglas da Silva found themselves unmarked in front of goal but neither managed to connect with Gil Vermouth’s cross.

Schalke top Group B LISBON: Jose Jurado and Benedikt Howedes scored to give Schalke a 2-1 win at Benfica in the Champions League yesterday, the German club’s first away win securing top spot in Group B. Raul chested down a cross from Ivan Rakitic and placed the ball in the path of Jose Jurado, who fired home in the 19th minute. Howedes, unmarked inside the area, made it 2-0 in the 81st to secure Schalke’s first victory in Portugal. Luisao pulled one back for Benfica with three minutes to play. The Bundesliga team finished the round-robin stage on 12 points, ahead of secondplace Lyon. Benfica finished third to qualify for the Europa League despite its first home defeat in the tournament this season and its first loss against a German visitor in 14 years. Schalke’s opening goal came against the run of play and gave the visitors confidence to feed more possession to Raul, who troubled the shaky Benfica backline. The Lisbon club had started brightly, Oscar Cardozo and Javier Saviola both working their way into the Schalke area during the early stages but failing to make an impact as the German team held firm. Benfica, far off the lead in its domestic competition and hoping to take something from the Champions League, brought on Pablo Aimar and Nicolas Gaitan at the interval to sharpen its attack. But it was Schalke that came closest to scoring, Peer Kluge neatly chipping the ball over his marker and shooting just wide of the far post in the 55th. Javi Garcia tapped wide, then Aimar also missed the target in the 75th in Benfica’s best move of the match. David Luis hit the Schalke woodwork with a free kick in injury time. —AP

He was beaten by a Cris header from Pjanic’s corner but Gil Vermouth cleared the ball off the line. Lyon were rewarded in the 62nd minute when Lisandro slotted home after Enyeama failed to properly clear Jimmy Briand’s shot. The visitors were quick to respond. Sahar, who had come on for the injured Shechter in the first half, collected a defence-splitting pass from Shay Abutbul and fired past Lloris to

Toto Tamuz and substitute Sahar then combined well in the area, making the most of some poor defending by Cris and Papa Diakhate, only for Lloris to pull off a fine save. Hapoel goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was also made to work hard in a scrappy but entertaining contest. The Nigerian produced a brilliant save to deny Miralem Pjanic in the 28th and two minutes later parried Gomis’s long-range attempt.

equalise. Six minutes later, Zahavi made it 21 to the visitors when he was left alone in the area by the sleeping Lyon centre backs and beat Lloris with a brilliant overhead kick. Lyon piled the pressure on and Enyeama made a couple of stunning saves to deny Lisandro but there was nothing he could do to block Lacazette’s powerful strike from Lisandro’s cross. —Reuters

Copenhagen floor Panathinaikos COPENHAGEN: FC Copenhagen beat Panathinaikos 3-1 in Champions League Group D yesterday to secure their place in the knockout round. Forward Martin Vingaard put the Danish side ahead in the 26th minute from the right side of the penalty area, lashing home a failed

clearance. Five minutes into the second half, Panathinaikos’ Nikos Spyropoulos brought down Jesper Groenkjaer as the striker broke clear on goal. Groenkjaer made it 2-0 from the penalty spot and the home side sealed their victory in the 73rd when

Panathinaikos captain Djibril Cisse scored an own goal off a Vingaard corner. Panathinaikos grabbed a late consolation goal through Cedric Kante in stoppage time. FC Copenhagen finished the group stage in second place with 10 points, behind undefeated winners Barcelona with 14. —Reuters

Champions League standings PARIS: Champions League group stage tables after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Group A Tottenham

6

3

2

1

18

11

11

Inter Milan

6

3

1

2

12

11

10

FC Twente

6

1

3

2

9

11

6

Bremen

6

1

2

3

6

12

5

Schalke 04

6

4

1

1

10

3

13

Lyon

6

3

1

2

11

10

10

Benfica

6

2

0

4

7

12

6

Hapoel

6

1

2

3

7

10

5

Group B

LISBON: Schalke’s Jose Manuel Jurado (left) from Spain, fights for the ball with Benfica’s David Luiz, from Brazil during their Champions League Group B soccer match. —AP

Group C Man United Valencia Rangers Bursaspor

6 6 6 6

4 3 1 0

2 2 3 1

0 1 2 5

7 15 3 2

1 4 6 16

14 11 6 1

Group D Barcelona Copenhagen Rubin Kazan Panathinaikos

6 6 6 6

4 3 1 0

2 1 3 2

0 2 2 4

14 7 2 2

3 5 4 13

14 10 6 2


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Anderson gives United top spot MANCHESTER: Anderson’s second-half equaliser ensured Manchester United will avoid their main rivals in the last 16 of the Champions League after a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Valencia at Old Trafford yesterday.

Champions League

GERMANY: Werder Bremen’s Marko Arnautovic of Austria (right) scores against Inter Milan’s Esteban Cambiasso during the Champions League Group A soccer match. —AP

Werder deny Inter first place BREMEN: Werder Bremen beat a secondstring Inter Milan 3-0 yesterday to deny the Champions League holder first place in Group A. Sebastian Proedl scored in the first half and Marko Arnautovic and Claudio Pizarro added goals after the break for Bremen’s only victory of the campaign in its final group match. Inter had already qualified for the round of 16 but finished second in the group to Champions League newcomer Tottenham. Bremen finished bottom of the group, behind FC Twente. “I know it was hard for them to get motivated but I guess they don’t like losing,”

Werder captain Torsten Frings said. “We wanted to have a good farewell before our fans.” Inter rested many stars ahead of the Club World Cup and Werder, which is struggling in the Bundesliga, easily controlled the match. Werder forward Hugo Almeida’s volley was tipped over by goalkeeper Paolo Orlandoni in the 31st. But the ‘keeper was helpless in the 39th as Proedl rose to meet a corner from Torsten Frings and send a powerful header that was deflected off Ivan Cordoba. Inter’s first chance came on the stroke of halftime, but Goran Pandev’s header went

high. Werder doubled its lead four minutes into the second half, when Arnautovic beat Esteban Cambiasso to the ball and connected with a cross from Almeida to volley home. Pandev then forced Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese into his first meaningful save, before Aaron Hunt shook the crossbar of Inter’s goal. Pizarro, who came on for Almeida in the 76th, completed the rout in the 88th, shaking off Cambiasso and slotting home from the edge of the penalty box into Orlandoni’s low right corner. Pandev nearly scored in injury time but hit the post. —AP

Spurs advance after six-goal thriller ENSCHEDE: Jermain Defoe scored twice as Tottenham drew 3-3 with FC Twente yesterday and advanced to the knockout phase of the Champions League as winners of Group A. Peter Wisgerhof scored an own goal in the 12th minute with a backpass that was embarrassingly missed by Twente keeper Sander Boschker as he went to clear the ball upfield, but Denny Landzaat converted a penalty in the 22nd to level for Twente. Tottenham reclaimed the lead in the 47th through Defoe, only for Roberto Rosales to head home Theo Janssen’s cross to equalize again for Twente in the 56th. Defoe’s second goal three minutes later appeared to have settled the game but Nacer Chadli leveled for Twente five minutes later from a free kick. Tottenham has 11 points, one more than holder Inter Milan. Twente secured a place in the Europa League. Just four minutes into the game, Tottenham’s former PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes made a fine save to deny Luuk de Jong, whose point-blank header could have given Twente the lead. Janssen got another scoring opportunity four minutes later but his 25-yard (meter) free kick went over the bar. It all went wrong for Twente minutes later when Wisgerhof dispatched a backpass toward Boschker but the 40-yearold veteran watched helplessly as the ball trundled into an open net after his horribly mis-cued attempt to make a clearance. “It can happen,” Boschker said of his howler. “I thought I had the ball but obviously that wasn’t the case.” Twente replied with L andzaat’s twice-taken penalty awarded after Benoit Assou-Ekotto used his arms to block a powerful shot from Rosales. Moments before the break, Gareth Bale made a darting run on the left flank and made an attempt to pick Defoe but Boschker made a timely interception. Defoe could have restored Tottenham’s lead in the 45th but the England forward volleyed over. Tottenham made a strong start to the second half and the

NETHERLANDS: Danny Landzaat of FC Twente (left) challenges Wilson Palacios of Tottenham Hotspurs during their Group A Champions League soccer match. —AP unmarked Defoe was able to fire the his side back in front after just two minutes. Rosales’ powerful header found its way past Gomes as Twente levelled but Defoe netted his second off a rebound after

Boschker had blocked an effort by Wilson Palacios. Twente kept pressing for an equalizer and the reward came when Chadli curled in a free kick from around 25 yards (meters). Gomes made a sprawling save to keep out Wout

Brama’s long range drive in the 70th. Minutes later, Twente defender Douglas had Boschker to thank after the goalkeeper intervened to stop what could have been an own-goal from a Bale cross. —AP

United needed to avoid defeat to seal top spot in Group C but were left shocked when Pablo Hernandez fired the visitors from La Liga into a 32nd minute lead robbing the hosts of a record six successive Champions L eague clean sheets. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were guilty of wasting a string of opportunities and it looked like the evening would finish in fr ustration before Anderson was well placed to level in the 62nd minute, only the Brazilian’s second goal in threeand-a-half-years at United. The point was enough to ensure United will avoid the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona when the draw for the knockout phase is made on December 17. Ferguson said he was relieved to have ensured avoiding the bigger guns. “Well we could have won the match tonight but their keeper made some brilliant saves,” he said. “Berbatov especially could have scored five (like he did in the previous Premier League home game) but he missed with two headers and the others were saved.” Ferguson had claimed on the eve of the game that he would be fielding his strongest possible side in an attempt to finish top of the group. But the United manager sprang a major surprise before kick-off by naming 20-year-old rookie goalkeeper Ben Amos ahead of Edwin van der Sar and Tomasz Kuszczak. It was only Amos’s third senior start for United and first in the Champions League. Amos was called into action from an early stage, the keeper doing well to keep out Alejandro Dominguez’s dipping right-foot 25-yard attempt at his near post. D o m i n g u e z w a s a re a l t h re a t t h ro u g h o u t , the Argentina-born player going close himself to breaking the deadlock in the 18th minute with a fiercely-struck effort which rattled the United woodwork as the Spanish visitors took the game to the hosts. Anderson was presented with a glorious opportunity to put his side ahead in the 15th minute only to shoot straight a t t h e ke e p e r a f t e r t h e Valencia defence had opened up. Anderson quickly atoned for his error by carving out a great chance for Berbatov to end his two-year Champions League goal drought. But the Bulgarian fluffed the chance as he attempted to round keeper Vincente Guaita. Then Guaita did well to keep out Ji-Sung Park’s closerange volley before Valencia took the lead 13 minutes before half-time. Once again the troublesome Dominguez was at the heart of the move as his beautifully weighted pass to Hernandez allowed the Spanish midfielder to fire beyond Amos. “It is a shame we didn’t ke e p a c l e a n s h e e t b u t t h e most important thing is that we finished top of the group,” said United captain Nemanja Vidic.Wayne Rooney almost brought them back on level terms with a delightful curling s h o t f ro m o u t s i d e t h e a re a which crashed against the bar before rebounding to Nani who could only fire wide of a gaping net. That miss summed up United’s evening which became even more frustrating when Rio Ferdinand was forced to hobble out of the game in the 52nd minute. Rooney spurned another oppor tunity when he fired nar rowly wide on the tur n before Valencia’s good fortune finally ran out when Anderson sent United back to the top of Group C. A stinging longrange shot by Park was parried by Guaita into the path of the for mer Por to player to prod home.—AFP

LONDON: Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (right) vies for the ball against Valencia’s Miguel during their Champions League Group C soccer match at Old Trafford. —AP

Barcelona beat Rubin 2-0 to stay unbeaten BARCELONA: Barcelona second-string players Andreu Fontas and Victor Vazquez scored in a 2-0 win over Rubin Kazan yesterday to ensure the Spanish club ended the group stage of the Champions League unbeaten. Barcelona had already sealed top spot in Group D, ensuring coach Pep Guardiola selected mostly reserve players and they completed the team’s first win in four attempts against the Russian club. Rubin finished third in the group and will play in the Europa League. Fontas scored in the 51st minute, receiving a pass from Thiago Alcantara and hitting a shot that bounced off a Rubin player before trickling across the goal line. Vazquez sealed the victory in the 82nd minute with a low right-footed strike. With no result to play for, Guardiola rested star ters Xavi Hernandez, David Villa, Dani Alves, Pedro Rodriguez as well as often used midfielder Seydou Keita. Youngsters Bojan Krkic and Jeffren Suarez star ted in

attack while Thiago and Fontas debuted in Europe and Jonathan dos Santos made his second appearance in the competition. Guardiola also took the opportunity to experiment with a 3-4-3 formation that had Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Andreu Fontas at the back. Even though Rubin was the side in need of points, the Russians were content to let Barcelona have the ball and wait for a counterattack that never came. Barcelona dominated the possession in a slow-paced opening, but the visitors shared the few scoring chances thanks to various incursions by lef t back Cristian Ansaldi, who almost sneaked a low shot at a tight angle past Pinto’s left post after 15 minutes. Thiago, along with an active Adriano, provided the little spark Barcelona had in attack. The 19-year old Thiago forced Rubin goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov into a diving save with a low shot from the edge of the area in the 18th minute.

Barcelona’s first half saw more injuries than scoring opportunities. Guardiola had to change both Suarez and Krkic, who lef t his team without a natural striker. With Bojan’s exit in the 32nd, Barcelona switched back to its standard four-man defensive line to stop Rubin’s attacks down the left side. Barcelona came out more aggressively in the second half and soon went ahead through Fontas’ goal. Lionel Messi entered for Jonathan dos Santos in the 63rd, but moments later R afal Murawski wasted Rubin’s best chance of the game when he failed to get off a good shot in a one-on-one with Pinto. Messi almost doubled Barcelona’s lead with a shot that went wide of the lef t post two minutes after coming on. However, Barcelona didn’t need Messi’s goals on this occasion. Vazquez, who had come on in the first half, went on to score the second after linking up with Adriano. —AP

SPAIN: Barcelona’s Gerard Pique (left) duels for the ball against Rubin Kazan’s Vitali Kaleshin (third left) during a Group D Champions League soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium. —AP


Gulf Capital commits to making a difference

22

US economy making steady gains despite weak hiring

23

Obama announces bipartisan deal on taxes

25

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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EU backs more rigorous bank stress tests BRUSSELS: The EU conceded yesterday that its previous bank stress tests were not stringent enough as it confirmed that it will start a new round in February, while the continent’s strongest economies bet they can sort out the region’s debt crisis without the need to top up bailout funds. Germany, backed by the Netherlands and Austria, is refusing to increase the 750 billion euros ($1 trillion) bailout fund set up to help euro members that run out of money or back calls for a new pan-European bond. Instead, they are saying it’s now time to implement the decisions taken in recent months. “It doesn’t make sense to constantly start new debates,” said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble following a two-day meeting with his European counterparts. Given the refusal of a number of countries to back fresh “shock and awe” measures putting up new money to deal with the crisis, the EU is now counting on highly indebted states like Spain and Portugal to press ahead with deep austerity measures. Meanwhile, the EU is working to contain risks from spreading from the banking sector. As a result, it decided to conduct a new round of stress tests on Europe’s banks from February. Olli Rehn, the top monetary official in the EU, said these will be “more rigorous and more comprehensive” than those conducted on 91 banks in July and will crucially assess a bank’s liquidity position, which the earlier version did not. “The scope and methodology of the exercise are currently under discussion but of course we will draw lessons from the exercise earlier this year,” Rehn said. Rehn would not say whether the results will be published in the same manner as those in July, but added that his preference was for full transparency — there have been some calls to keep the results under wraps and allow banks to sort out their finances away from the glare of publicity. July’s stress tests have come under criticism after the bailout of Ireland last month was predicated largely on revelations of worse financial problems afflicting its banks. All the Irish banks assessed in July were given a clean bill of health as only seven of the 91 banks tested failed. As a result, investors continue to fret about the financial health of many of Europe’s financial institutions and how they impact on governments’ potential liabilities. The most acute concerns centre on Portugal and Spain, widely viewed as the weakest links in the 16country currency union. Many analysts have warned that the region’s existing emergency rescue fund would be too small to save Spain, Europe’s third largest economy. But European officials insist that they have the necessary tools to deal with further crises, as long as the region’s highly indebted countries get their finances back into shape. “The best defense against any contagion effect is improving our budgetary positions to meet the agreed fiscal targets and reduce public debt,” Rehn said. In Dublin, parliament is due to vote Tuesday night on the budget for next year — the measures proposed by the Irish government are the harshest in the country’s history but are required in return for a §67.5 billion rescue package. For many of the bloc’s ministers, that’s far more important than increasing the size of Europe’s bailout funds. “If we are not addressing the long-term and midterm solutions as well, the markets will never be able to completely restore the confidence they have into the euro-zone,” said Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager. The pressure on the EU’s finance ministers has abated somewhat as the euro has recovered much of its lost ground and the cost of servicing debt in countries like Portugal has come down from record euro-era highs. This easing in tensions in part came after the European Central Bank decided to play a more active role in the markets. Figures Monday confirmed widespread speculation that the bank has stepped up its purchases of government bonds. In the week to Nov 30, it bought 1.965 euros of government bonds — a 22-week high — as it tried to boost confidence in the single currency bloc following the Irish bailout and renewed contagion fears. Next week’s figures will be key as they will contain purchases by the bank last Friday, Dec 2, when it held its monthly policy meeting. Market participants suspect the stabilization in European bond markets since the meeting has been largely thanks to greater bond purchases by the central bank, under pressure from policymakers to do more to prevent the debt crisis from spreading — buying bonds supports their prices, taking pressure off the banks that hold them. It also lowers bond yields, which indicate the borrowing costs countries would face were they to go into the market for more credit. The ECB is widely expected to continue playing this more active role in the secondary markets over the weeks ahead. “There is little reason to assume they are about to disappear anytime soon,” said Daragh Maher, an analyst at Credit Agricole. — AP

Dubai may delay new airport inauguration DUBAI: Dubai may delay the start of passenger operations at its new Al-Maktoum international airport by a few months, an official said yesterday. The airport-billed as the world’s largest when it becomes fully operational with expected passenger capacity of up to 160 million people a year-was slated to open in March 2011. “At the moment, we are reviewing the opening date and it looks as if it’ll be later in the year,” Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, told reporters on the sidelines of an aviation conference. “We are going to review the passenger terminal capacity and state of construction in a couple of months and then we’ll be looking at a date.” Maktoum airport is part of the Dubai World Central transport hub which the Gulf Arab emirate is developing to underpin efforts to become a key Mideast logistics centre. The airport opened for cargo operations earlier this year. Griffiths said a planned expansion at Dubai International Airport would increase capacity, allowing the smaller airport to handle up to 90 million passengers by 2018. “So ... it takes the pressure off us having to complete Al-Maktoum in the timeframe we were looking for,” he said. — Reuters

Economies bet they can wriggle out of debt crisis

DRESDEN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (center) is explained a smartphone application by grammar school pupil Max Frenzel (second left) as Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle (second right), Saxony’s State Premier Stanislaw Tillich and SAP chairman Jim Hagemann Snabe (left) look on during the National IT-Summit yesterday in Dresden, eastern Germany. About 50 projects treating information- and communication technologies are to be discussed during the summit. — AFP

Oil lifts Saudi; petchems part of dollar hedge DUBAI: Oil prices hit a 26-month high yesterday, boosting Saudi petrochemicals stocks as the kingdom’s index rose for a first session in three. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) climbed 2.2 percent and Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co rose 2.3 percent. The index climbed 0.6 percent to a four-week peak. “Saudi investors prefer petrochemicals because they want to get exposure to a commodity price recovery that’s driven by hedges against a dollar decline,” said Hesham Tuffaha, Bakheet Investment Group head of research. This play has pushed petrochemical prices up by an average of 7 to 8 percent in October and November, Tuffaha said, boosting producers’ earnings in the fourth quarter. Saudi Arabia’s banking index sank to a six-month low. “Bank stocks have been a disaster-it could be that people are switching from banks to petrochemicals,

MIDEAST STOCKS MARKETS while bank volumes are really low so when investors sell, stock prices tend to fall sharply,” said a Riyadhbased trader who asked not to be identified. “But people are also worried the central bank will again ask banks to take more provisions in Q4, like it did in Q3.” Oil rose above $90 a barrel for the first time in 26 months as the dollar fell and a freeze in Europe and the United States stoked fuel demand. Qatar’s index rose 1.1 percent to a new 26-month high as a World Cup rally extended into a third day. It is up 5.4 percent since the country was chosen to host the 2022 event. Dubai’s Arabtec climbed 4.4 percent to a monthhigh and Drake & Scull rose 2.9 percent to a 13-month peak. Traders have bet this pair will win contracts

from Qatar’s expected World Cup infrastructure spending. These two firms accounted for more than half of all shares traded on Dubai’s index, while Arabtec has gained 14 percent in two sessions this week. “People are very optimistic that companies like Arabtec and Drake & Scull will win new contracts in Qatar and that’s why they’re seeing so much volume,” said Mohamed Khaled, Prime Emirates relationship manager. “Oil prices remain near two-year highs and that’s also giving bullish sentiment to investors across the Gulf.” Markets in Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain were closed for the Islamic New Year. — Reuters

Kuwait’s IFA Hotels gets $115m Dubai funding DUBAI: Kuwait-based IFA Hotels and Resorts has secured $115 million in funding to complete a luxury hotel in Dubai, it said, as financing for selective projects remains available despite tough conditions. The three-year loan facility arranged by Standard Chartered Bank will allow IFA to complete its Fairmont Palm Jumeirah hotel project in the first quarter of 2012, Joe Sita, president of IFA Hotel Investments told Reuters in an interview yesterday. “Construction had slowed down. The hotel is externally complete, 60 percent complete, so this will allow us to fit out the hotel and open it,” he said. IFA Hotel Investments is the firm’s asset management subsidiary company. Lenders in the Gulf Arab region continue to be selective in their financing of real estate projects after property markets in the region, Dubai in particular, suffered sharply as a result of the global downturn. Sita said IFA, whose resort locations include Portugal, Lebanon, South Africa and the United States, is currently focusing on delivering projects under construction. IFA is looking at opportunities however to expand its YOTEL brand-an “affordable luxury” hotel-in the Gulf Arab and wider Middle East regions, where it sees a dearth of cheaper accommodation, he said. Qatar is of particular interest for the brand after the Gulf state won the right to host the 2022 soccer World Cup, he added. The world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas plans to double the supply of rooms in hotels and guest apartments by 2022, the world’s governing soccer body said in its official report on the evaluation of the Qatari bid. IFA is investing $300 million on building a YOTEL in Manhattan New York, which is set open next year and aims to spend as much as $30 million in Europe in 2011, Sita said declining to give further details. IFA is the majority shareholder in YOTEL. YOTEL New York will be its fourth property after openings at Heathrow, Gatwick and Schiphol airports. — Reuters

Islamic banking superior to Western kind: Mahathir SINGAPORE: Malaysia’s outspoken ex-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday blamed Western lending practices for the world’s financial problems and hailed Islamic banking as a “superior” model. Mahathir told a conference on Islamic finance in Singapore that the 2008 global financial crisis was sparked by excessive lending by Western banks. Islamic banks, in contrast, are constrained because every deal needs to be backed by a real asset under the principles of Sharia law, he said. “So if you make a comparison, the Islamic system is in many ways superior to the conventional banking system,” said Mahathir, one of the bestknown political figures in the Muslim world. “The conventional banking system is much more open to abuse than the Islamic banking system,” added the former leader, who steered Malaysia through the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis and stepped down as prime minister in 2003. “So far, the Islamic banks have not been involved in the present crisis except those perhaps who dabble in the money markets in the West,” he said. “Islamic banking is almost immune to these kinds of crook deals.” Islamic banking fuses principles of Islamic law, known as Sharia, and moder n banking methods. Islamic funds are banned from investing in companies associated with tobacco, alcohol or gambling. Sharia-based finance also bans interest, which is seen as usury, and risks are shared between the creditor and borrower. “The conventional bank

lends 30 times the amount of money that they have but the Islamic bank, because they have to participate in taking the risk, they will have to be much more careful,” Mahathir said. Mahathir, 85, attacked the Federal Reserve’s controversial decision to pump an extra $600 billion into the US economy. “Do you think that they have this money with them that they have it in their vault kept there, $600 billion to be issued whenever someone needs money?” said Mahathir. “No, they don’t have but they can give the money, $600 billion, simply because they can create money.” On the prospects of Islamic finance, Mahathir said the industry can grow fur ther especially in Southeast Asia which includes Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country with almost 240 million people. He urged Muslims in Southeast Asia to tap business opportunities offered by Islamic finance. “With Islamic banks being available, there is capital which is now accessible to conscientious Muslims who do not want to be involved with interest,” said Mahathir. “Whether Islamic banking prospers or not depends very much on the ability of the Muslims firstly to do business, to understand business.” Assets of Islamic financial institutions increased five-fold to around one trillion US dollars between 2003 and 2009, according to credit watchdog Moody’s Investors Service. It has estimated the full potential of the industry at five trillion dollars or more. — AFP

SHANGHAI: Cars are seen grid locked in the financial district of Shanghai yesterday. Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, widely tipped to be the next premier, admitted in 2007 that some of the country’s economic data was ‘man-made’ and thus unreliable, leaked US diplomatic cables show. — AFP

India’s workforce boom is a ‘mixed blessing’ NEW DELHI: An explosion of working-age people in India could serve as an engine of economic growth-or bring social turmoil, experts say. Over the next two decades, India’s working-age population will increase by 240 million-four times the entire population of Britain-according to investment house Deutsche Bank. But without education, this “demographic dividend can easily become a demographic curse,” Rajat Nag, managing director of the Asian Development Bank, warned at a recent conference of international investors in New Delhi. The seeds of conflict can already be seen, with 800 million people living on under 20 rupees (45 cents) a day, according to official data, and a growing Maoist revolt in poor areas shut out from the nation’s economic boom. “Superpower dreams cannot be sustained on empty stomachs. India has a long way to go to reach the levels of income that would guarantee all its citizens a prosperous lifestyle,” Bajaj Auto chairman Rahul Bajaj

told the same forum. Under a best-case scenario, India’s burgeoning youth population will boost earnings, savings, productivity and economic growth by reducing the so-called “dependency ratio”-referring to people outside the working ages of 15 to 65. But “social cohesion may well be affected if economic gains are not more inclusive and provide jobs and raise living standards,” said Deepak Lalwani, a veteran Indian analyst, who heads his own consultancy. India is reaching a “tipping point” where the huge number of young workers entering the labor force could unleash major economic gains by boosting savings and investment, experts say. China made a great economic leap forward when it reached that point in the early 1980s. Already, over half of India’s population of 1.2 billion is below 25. By 2020, the average age of an Indian is expected to be 29 years, compared with 37 for China, whose working-age population will peak just five years from now and then gradually decline, partly as a result

of its one-child policy. By 2035, India’s potential “youth bounty” will be even more striking, with its total population set to hit 1.5 billion-outdistancing China’s-and 65 percent of them of working age. This would give India the largest working population in the world. But for India to benefit, its workers must be skilled, said Nag. The challenges of educating India’s young population are vast, and critics say the country is falling far short. India’s Congress government in April passed a right to education act for children aged six to 14, but schools and teachers are not in place to implement the law. The country has a literacy rate of just 65 percent, lagging far behind many other developing countries. Neighboring China’s literacy rate is 90.9 percent, while Kenya’s is 85.1 percent. The government says it needs 1.2 million teachers to meet the requirements of the education legislation. But at the moment it only has 700,000 teachers and a teacher absenteeism rate of 25 percent.—AFP


BUSINESS

22

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Investment firm launches Social Responsibility Program

Gulf Capital commits to making a difference in people’s lives RIYADH: Gulf Capital, a leading regional alternative investment corporation with over 300 Saudi, UAE and Arab shareholders, has announced the launch of its Social Responsibility Program with the sponsorship of eight talented Saudi students in cooperation with Ma’arif schools for Education and Training. Gulf Capital and Ma’arif, have joined hands to offer a full tuition scholarship

for three academic years for students from the Saudi Society for the Care of Orphans (Insan). Working closely with the Society, the scholarship candidates were identified based on merit and need. The students who were enrolled in Manarat Al-Riyadh Schools, owned by Ma’arif, will be granted the full tuition fee in addition to transportation, books and educational materials. Gulf Capital Social Responsibility Program aims to help make a difference in the lives of people in the Arab region through initiatives in education, healthcare, water and the environment. Gulf Capital has arranged investments by its investors in Ma’arif as well as five other companies in the healthcare, education, water and energy sectors around the region, Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital said: “The Board of Directors of Gulf Capital has decided to launch this program as our response to supporting the Arab communities in which we live and work, as well as to help improve the quality of life of the underprivileged. Such corporate social responsibility programs will become a core to our business strategy and initiatives. We are proud to partner with Ma’arif and Insan on such a worthy cause and to support the education of the youth in the Kingdom.” He said that Gulf Capital Social Responsibility Program will invest charitably the time, talent, and treasure of Gulf Capital and its employees in meaningful, measurable, and transparent initiatives that contribute to the sustainable development of Arab communities. Dr Karim El Solh added that the Social Responsibility Program of Gulf Capital will extend to other parts of the region through a number of projects which the company will be announcing soon. The current donation of around SAR 500,000 from Gulf Capital and Ma’arif to Insan Society for Orphans’ Welfare aims to provide a better education for the underprivileged children. An agreement was signed yesterday at a special ceremony between Gulf Capital, Ma’arif and Insan at Manarat Al-Riyadh Schools in Al-Izdihar District in Riyadh. The ceremony was attended by a delegation from Insan Society for Orphan’s Welfare, headed by Saleh Bin Abdullah Al-Yousuf, General Manager of Insan Society for Orphan’s Welfare and consisting of Abdullah Bin Rashed Al-Khaledi, Assistant General Manager for the Branches Affairs, Othman Bin Ali Al Abdullah, Manager of the North Riyadh Branch, and Abdul-Rahman Bin Mohammad Al-Qahtani, who is responsible for the family relationships and educational and health care at the Research and Social Services Department. It was also attended by Dr Karim El-Solh, CEO Gulf Capital, Ashraf El-Guindi, Chairman of the Executive Board of Ma’arif Schools, and Dr Mohamed bin Ahmed Al Arfaj, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ma’arif. Saleh Bin Abdullah Al-Yousuf said at the signing ceremony: “From its inception Insan has been dedicated to providing its services to all orphans in need, and we are delighted to partner with Gulf Capital and Ma’arif to educate our eight students in one of the most prestigious schools in the Kingdom. Such support enables the charity to even do more for our orphans. This scholarship program is exemplary, and we hope that more companies from the private sector come forward with similar initiatives to contribute to the society at large.” Ashraf Elguindi, Chairman of the Executive Board said: “We are pleased to be contributing with Gulf Capital to the education of these talented young Saudis through our collaboration with a reputable social welfare society such as Insan. It is heartwarming to be able to integrate these top students in our schools, which we hope will play an inspiring, informing and enabling role in their lives in order for them to grow into becoming active members of our society.” Dr Mohamed bin Ahmed Al Arfaj, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ma’arif, added: “This agreement will go a long way to changing the lives of these students. We are looking forward to seeing more top schools in the Kingdom opening their doors to similar initiatives and to giving opportunities to more underprivileged students.”

From right to left, Mohamed bin Ahmed Al Arfaj, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ma’arif, Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, Saleh Bin Abdullah Al-Yousuf, General Manager of Insan Society for Orphan’s Welfare, Ashraf El-Guindi, Chairman of the Executive Board of Ma’arif Schools, during the launch of Gulf Capital’s Social Responsibility Program.

From right to left, Dr. Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital signing the agreement with Saleh Bin Abdullah Al-Yousuf, General Manager of Insan Society for Orphan’s Welfare.

Wolseley eyes growth into 2011 as Q1 profit jumps LONDON: Wolseley, the world’s largest plumbers and builders merchant, posted a 39 percent rise in firstquarter trading profit, helped by topline growth in all regions it said should continue, lifting its shares. “This is a business with fairly low visibility (but) I would say we are quietly cautiously confident that we will continue to generate growth,” chief financial officer John Martin told Reuters in a telephone interview yesterday. The FTSE 100 company said underlying operating profit rose to 159

million pounds ($249 million) in the three months to end-October, with like-for-like revenue up 4 percent to 3.47 billion. Wolseley, which trades in Britain, Canada, the United States, Canada and 22 other countries, said demand improved in most countries in its first quarter but pricing competition remained tough with no sign of a respite in 2011. “There remains a lot of spare capacity in the industry... It would not surprise me if that drags on pricing certainly for the rest of this (Wolseley’s) financial year,”

said Martin. Shares in Wolseley, which said in September it was to redomicile in Switzerland to lower its tax rate to 28 percent from 34 percent, were up 4.3 percent to a 26-month high at 1130 GMT when the FTSE 100 index was up 1.2 percent. Residential new-build markets remain “very depressed”, Martin said, adding a focus on repair and maintenance and its industrial unit were driving growth while commercial markets were showing early signs of stabilizing after a deep downturn. —Reuters

Gulf Bank launches new wealth management dept Bank focuses on personalized services KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has announced the opening of a new Wealth Management Department that focuses on providing personalized services to the Bank’s high net worth customers. The new department provides customers with a wide variety of unique value-added services to meet banking needs. Alongside, other service benefits, individually tailored financial products for investment and insurance are also available to customers using the service. Gulf Bank’s Wealth Management Department is available to customers with a net worth of KD 2 million or more in savings and deposits. Customers will have a personal financial manager at Gulf Bank, who will always be on call, and is able to assist by providing an elite banking service with a range of premium benefits. In order to receive this personalized service, customers, who already hold Priority Banking cards, should visit any of Gulf Bank’s branches or the Head Office. Adel Al-Mutawa, Assistant General Manager in the Consumer Banking Department said: “Gulf Bank’s new Wealth

Adel Al-Mutawa Management Department is an enhancement of our premium banking service which offers customers personalized and preferential treatment coupled with a suite of banking products and services designed to meet their financial needs. Our highly experienced and reliable staff members have been extensively trained to ensure they can offer customers an unparalleled level of personalized service.” The service, which is available to Kuwaiti nationals and expatriates, reaffirms

Gulf Bank’s commitment in strengthening its core banking offer and continuously introducing new services for customers. To find out more about Gulf Bank’s new Wealth Management Department, customers are encouraged to visit any one of Gulf Bank’s 52 branches, or call the Bank’s hotline on 1805805. They can also log online to Gulf Bank’s bilingual website on www.e-gulfbank.com to be fully acquainted with all the benefits associated with the new service.

Burgan Bank introduces Yawmi account at Al-Salam Co-op KUWAIT: Burgan Bank amongst the leading and the most dynamic banks in the state of Kuwait introduced the Yawmi account and an array of banking services to the visitors at the Al-Salam Co-op. The Burgan Bank team interacted with the visitor of Al Salam Co-op and highlighted the benefits of opening Yawmi accounts. The Burgan Bank officials explained that Yawmi is the only account in the country which has a daily draw entitling customers who deposit KD 500 for a period of 30 calendar days to be eligible to win KD 5000 every single day (except weekends and public holidays). For every KD 50 deposited in the Yawmi Account, accountholders receive an additional entry into the draw, which means the more you deposit, the more chances you will have of winning. “The visit at Al Salam Co-op is part of our ongoing commitment to visit different government and non government entities to present and introduce our products and services and create better communications within the different segments of

the community,” said Chief Retail Banking Officer Ms Muneera Al-Mukhaizeem. Furthermore, AlMukhaizeem stated that Burgan Bank strongly believes in its motto of ‘Driven by You’ and is eager to develop accounts and

packages that best suit its customer needs. Burgan Bank has been regularly visiting different government and private institutions and assisting employees by offering the best banking solutions.

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

.2740000 .4370000 .3710000 .2840000 .2760000 .2740000 .0045000 .0020000 .0760810 .7412350 .3900000 .0730000 .7266490 .0045000 .0480000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2802500 .4411420 .3743580 .2869060 .2788280 .0502340 .0411370 .2769850 .0360870 .2149490 .0033780 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0763210 .7435660 .0000000 .0747630 .7284900 .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.413 6.268

.2860000 .4480000 .3790000 .2930000 .2840000 .2820000 .0075000 .0035000 .0768460 .7486850 .4100000 .0780000 .7339520 .0072000 .0560000 .2823500 .4444470 .3771630 .2890560 .2809170 .0506100 .0414450 .2790610 .0363570 .2165590 .0034040 .0063090 .0025440 .0033020 .0040340 .0768930 .7491380 .3993640 .0753230 .7339490 .0064910

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

3.276 2.527 3.929 216.420 36.269 3.993 6.425 9.417 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 75.118 Qatari Riyal 77.400 Omani Riyal 731.850 Bahraini Dinar 748.190 UAE Dirham 76.710 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 51.900 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 48.692 Yemen Riyal 1.322 Tunisian Dinar 200.130 Jordanian Dinar 397.800 Lebanese Lira 187.300 Syrian Lier 6.121 Morocco Dirham 34.550 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 281.580 Euro 377.320 Sterling Pound 444.900 Canadian dollar 281.580 Turkish lire 191.330 Swiss Franc 289.450 Australian dollar 278.060 US Dollar Buying 281.895 GOLD 20 Gram 270.000 10 Gram 136.000 5 Gram 70.000

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

SELL CASH 281.900 748.630 4.260 283.700 552.900 14.100 52.500 167.800 51.880 380.500

36.840 6.270 0.032

397.880 0.189 92.050 3.930 217.900

SELL DRAFT 280.400 748.630 3.995 282.200

216.800 48.712 379.000

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

281.250 281.970 444.665 379.630 288.345 689.330 744.402 76.550 77.229 74.969 396.864 48.635 6.266 3.283

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

2.521 4.004 6.402 3.405 9.347 6.135 3.870

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

731.020 3.295 6.450 77.440 75.160 216.790 43.570 2.526 445.500 287.200 6.200 9.570 76.710 281.500

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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

36.990 6.480 0.033 0.264 0.252 3.510 399.760 0.190 92.050 46.800 4.410 218.400 1.914 48.000 731.200 3.390 6.620 77.870 75.160 216.790 43.570 2.681 447.500 41.900 288.700 6.200 9.730 198.263 76.810 281.900 1.360 GOLD 1,489.590 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 445.500 281.500

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

281.300 3.285 6.255 2.535 3.995 6.435 76.675 75.220 747.800 48.645 449.400 0.00003280 4.025 1.550 399.600 5.750 383.100 285.900

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

Transfer rate 281.050 377.500 443.500 281.100 3.425 6.279 48.690 2.527 3.986 6.435 3.282 748.000 76.600 75.050


BUSINESS

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

23

US economy making steady gains despite weak hiring WASHINGTON: The US economy is starting to fire on almost every cylinder these days but the one that matters most: Job creation. Factories are busier. Incomes are rising. Autos are selling. The holiday shopping season is shaping up as the best in four years. Stock prices are surging. And many analysts are raising their forecasts for the economy’s growth. Goldman Sachs, for instance, just revised its gloomy prediction of a 2 percent increase in gross domestic product in 2011 to 2.7 percent and forecast 3.6 percent growth for 2012. “The upward momentum has more traction this time,” says James O’Sullivan, chief economist at MF Global. If only every major pillar of the economy were faring so well. Despite weeks of brighter economic news, employers still aren’t hiring freely. The economy added a net total of just 39,000 jobs in November, the government said Friday. That’s far too few even to stabilize the unemployment rate, which rose from 9.6 percent in October to 9.8 percent last month. Unemployment is widely expected to stay above 9 percent through next year, in part because of the stilldepressed real estate industry. Job creation ultimately drives the economy, and it remains the most significant weak link. The meager job gains for November confounded economists. They’d expected net job growth to reach 145,000 and for the unemployment rate to stay at 9.6 percent. Some economists dismissed the November data as a technical fluke, a result of the government’s difficulty

in adjusting the figures for seasonal factors. They think the number will be revised up later. Others saw the jobs report as a reminder that the economy is still struggling to emerge from an epic financial crisis that choked off credit, stifled spending and escalated a “normal” recession into the worst in 70 years. The depth of the financial crisis means the recovery will proceed more slowly than many had hoped or expected, they say. “The fits and starts are not surprising,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation. “We’ve had a unique recession and therefore a unique recovery.” In the view of most economists, the direction of the overall economy remains positive — even if its pace feels agonizingly slow. The latest unemployment report was a setback, but likely a temporary one, they say. “Which are you going to believe,” O’Sullivan asks, “one month of payrolls or all the other data?” Among the encouraging signs: — Consumers, whose spending fuels about 70 percent of the economy, are regaining confidence. The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence rose in November to the highest level since June as consumers expressed more optimism about business conditions and jobs. Consumers are suffering “austerity fatigue,” says Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners. They’re ready to replace old clothes, old appliances, old cars. — Family finances have improved. Personal income surged 0.5 percent in October. That put cash in shoppers’ wallets for the holiday

shopping season. Households cut their debts to 122 percent of annual disposable income in the April-June quarter, according to Haver Analytics. That was the lowest debt level since the end of 2004. — The holiday shopping season got off to a buoyant start. The National Retail Federation expects holiday retail sales to rise 2.3 percent this year, the best performance since 2006. One reason: Stock prices have surged. A 14 percent rally in the Dow Jones industrial average since late August has made households feel wealthier, Kleinhenz says. — Credit is starting to flow again. Banks have eased credit standards since July, making it easier for businesses to borrow, the Federal Reserve reports. Lending to businesses rose from July through September for the first quarterly increase in two years, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. — Businesses are reporting solid profits and stockpiling cash. Corporate earnings rose nearly 28 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the government says. And companies amassed a record $1.84 trillion in cash as of June 30, according to the Federal Reserve. That was 18 percent more than a year earlier. Eventually, companies will use some of that money to hire and expand, which should help stimulate the economy. That would help the economy maintain its recent momentum. The economy had begun flashing signs of strength late last year, only to falter in the spring and summer this year. The latest evidence could signal a

SAN DIEGO: Satila Higgins, of Evansville, Indiana, speaks with a prospective employer at a career fair in San Diego. — AP resurgent economy that’s gaining traction. Even as unemployment remains at a crisis level, some encouraging signs about hiring have emerged: The private sector has added jobs for 11 straight months. The overall number each month hasn’t looked so good because of job cuts by financially ailing state and local governments. Small businesses appear to be a particular bright spot. A report by the staffing firm Automatic Data Processing found that businesses with fewer than 500 employees have added 390,000 jobs this year, including 91,000 in November. “The virtu-

ous cycle of more jobs creating more income creating more spending creating more jobs is still turning,” says Jerry Webman, chief economist for Oppenheimer Funds. Not quite fast enough, though. Unemployment could soon rise above November’s 9.8 percent rate, especially if an improving economy causes more out-of-work people who aren’t looking for jobs to start. People out of work aren’t counted as unemployed unless they’re looking for a job. Typically during a recession, some of the unemployed become discouraged and stop looking. One industry where they may not

find a job for a while is real estate. Since the industry bubble burst three years ago, about 2.8 million real estate-related jobs have vanished. Until those people — ranging from builders, architects and appraisers to lenders and furniture sellers — find new work, the unemployment rate isn’t likely to dip much below 8 percent, economists say. Real estate in many areas remains depressed. Home prices are being weighed down by sluggish demand, high foreclosures and a huge overhang of unsold houses. Many would-be buyers fear prices may fall further. Some also can’t sell their home to upgrade to a

larger one because they’ve lost equity or they can’t find prospective buyers. The economy isn’t likely to get any new help from Washington. Lawmakers in a lame-duck session of Congress appear headed for an agreement on legislation that would combine an extension of tax cuts with a renewal of benefits for the long-term unemployed. But no new stimulus spending is likely. Benefits for the long-term unemployed expired Nov. 30. Two million unemployed people will lose their benefits by year’s end unless Congress acts to extend them. The benefits can last for up to a record 99 weeks: 26 weeks of regular benefits from the states, plus up to 73 weeks of federal aid in states with high unemployment rates. Some economists also favor a one-year suspension of taxes on workers and employers for Social Security and government health care. Yet prospects for such a proposal are dim. Even so, O’Sullivan and other economists are convinced that signs the economy is strengthening, however slowly, outweigh the discouraging jobs report the government issued Friday. “The financial system has been recovering, with the credit crunch thawing,” he says. “Businesses have already stepped up investment in equipment and software sharply and employment growth modestly . We believe the pluses will ultimately dominate.” Yet even he thinks unemployment will remain the economy’s weak spot: Like many economists, O’Sullivan foresees unemployment of at least 9 percent until well into next year. —AP

Freeze pushes oil to 2-year high near $90 LONDON: Oil pared gains yesterday after earlier touching a more than two-year high above $90 a barrel as the dollar fell and the freeze in Europe and the United States stoked fuel demand. Temperatures in Europe’s main heating hub of the northwest were expected to stay below seasonal norms over the next 10 days, according to private forecaster DTN Meteorlogix, boosting gas oil demand and prompting utilities to switch on oilfired power plants.

JAKARTA: An Indonesian tailor works on his mobile shop on a sidewalk while a woman ferries children on a motorcycle in Jakarta yesterday. Rating’s agency Moody’s said it is putting Indonesia on review for a possible credit rating upgrade thanks to its economic ‘resilience’ and improved management of the national finances. — AFP

Iran buys 90,000ton rice from Thailand HAMBURG: Iran’s state purchasing agency has bought about 90,000 tons of rice from Thailand in a tender for 30,000 tons which closed on Nov 29, European traders said yesterday. Shipment was in December. Price was said to be around $535 a ton fob with the purchase made through two international trading houses. Accepted origins in the tender were Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, Argentina and Uruguay. Traders said Iran was believed to be in negotiations about purchasing more rice directly from local trading houses in Thailand. “I think it is difficult to get the complex paperwork done

for Iranian business in Thailand,” one trader said. “There is an expectation the business may be sent to international trading houses which can use European banks for export trade finance with Iran.” In normal years Iran is said to make substantial rice purchases from neighboring Pakistan. Pakistan’s crop was hit by the extensive flooding in the country this summer although the precise impact on the rice harvest is unclear. “Despite reports of good rice export supplies in Pakistan, Iran seems to be transferring its purchasing to other origins,” one trader said. — Reuters

Tesco sees good growth overseas, UK picking up LONDON: Tesco Plc, the world’s No 3 retailer, said overseas markets drove a 7.2 percent rise in third-quarter sales and it was seeing a pick-up in demand in its main British market heading into peak Christmas trading. Finance Director Laurie McIlwee said yesterday UK trading had been ahead of the supermarket group’s expectations in recent weeks, led by sales of Microsoft Corp’s “Kinect” gaming platform and copies of the dress worn by Kate Middleton on the day of her engagement to Prince William. “It is hard to call what the fourth quarter’s actually going to be, but I would say it is going to be an improvement quarteron-quarter in terms of like-forlike (sales),” McIlwee told reporters on a conference call when asked about Christmas. “We still feel there is good growth in the UK.” International retailers like

Tesco are benefiting from a global economic recovery led by Asia. But chains in Britain, where Tesco makes about twothirds of sales and profits, are worried tax hikes and public spending cuts aimed at reining in government debt could hit demand in the months ahead. An industry survey yesterday showed British retail sales growth slowed in November. Tesco, which accounts for about one in every seven pounds spent at British retailers, said sales at UK stores open more than a year rose 1.5 percent, excluding fuel and including VAT sales tax, in the 13 weeks to Nov. 27. Growth had picked up to 3 percent by the end of the third quarter, despite a lower contribution from rising food prices compared with the second quarter, McIlwee said. “We are encouraged by sentiment and momentum,” said Clive Black, an analyst at brokerage Shore Capital. At 0840 GMT, Tesco shares were up 0.9

percent, beating a 0.5 percent rise on the STOXX Europe 600 retail index. The stock has lagged that index by 7 percent this year. Tesco, which trails France’s Carrefour SA and US market leader Wal-Mart Stores Inc in terms of annual sales, said group sales rose 7.2 percent in the third quarter, excluding fuel and at constant exchange rates. That included an 11 percent rise overseas. As well as good growth in Asia, Tesco reported a 9.8 percent increase in like-for-like sales at its loss-making US arm, and underlying growth in all European markets-including crisis-hit Ireland-for the first time in three years. Tesco, with over 5,000 stores in 14 countries, is betting on expansion overseas and into financial services to drive growth, while seeking to maintain its dominant position in a mature British grocery market. — AP

Heating demand in the United States was expected to be 16.3 percent above normal in the week to Dec 11, according to the US National Weather Service. US crude prices for January rose for the fifth consecutive day and by 1500 GMT were up 25 cents at $89.63 a barrel. Prices earlier touched $90.76 a barrel, the highest since October 2008. ICE Brent rose 40 cents to $91.85 a barrel by the same time. “The market is reacting to the very cold weather in Europe and it’s expecting to see an impact on heating oil....it’s a kneejerk reaction,” said Roy Jordan, oil analyst at Facts Global Energy. The US dollar index also fell by around 0.3 percent yesterday in a move that also boosted oil prices since it makes the dollar-denominated commodity more affordable for holders of other currencies. News that German manufacturing orders rose in 1.6 percent in October and a European share price rally helped keep positive sentiment intact. As well as stoking demand, freezing temperatures could tighten oil market fundamentals by draining US inventories. A preliminary Reuters poll of analysts showed US crude oil stockpiles fell 1.5 million barrels last week and distillates used for heating dropped 400,000 barrels. The American Petroleum Institute will publish late on Tuesday industry data on inventories, which will be followed by government statistics from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on Dec 11. Rather than raise output to curb prices, OPEC is likely to roll over existing policy, ministers have said. Iran’s OPEC governor described the world oil market as balanced, with the current price of around $90 a barrel a result of supply being in line with demand, the Oil Ministry news agency Shana reported yesterday. —Reuters

HAVANA: Steel mill workers raise their hands in support of a point made at a gathering with union and party leaders about the island’s economic problems at the Antillana de Acero factory in Havana. Cuba began a public debate over plans to lift their struggling economy by liberalizing some private enterprisess and streamlining its vast state bureaucracy by laying off half a million workers -10 percent of the total labor force. — AP

World stocks rally on US tax deal, Irish budget LONDON: European and US stocks rallied yesterday as Ireland was expected to pass a deficit-slashing budget and the US government agreed to extend some tax cuts and unemployment benefits. The 16 euro nations, meanwhile, said they would not boost their 750 euros ($1 trillion) financial backstop, but left the door open to increases in case of need. European indexes made sharp gains, with Britain’s FTSE 100 up 1.3 percent at 5,842.37. Germany’s DAX was up 1.1 percent at 7,032.97, breaching the 7,000 mark for the first time since the summer of 2008, when Lehman Brothers’ collapse unleashed the worst of the global financial crisis. France’s CAC-40 was up 2.1 percent at 3,786.17, while Asian indexes closed mostly higher. Wall Street was expected to rise on the open, with Dow futures up 0.7 percent at 11,429 and Standard & Poor’s 500 futures 0.9 percent higher at

1,233. Stocks were boosted after President Barack Obama announced an agreement with Republicans on Monday night to extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years, renew unemployment benefits and grant a oneyear reduction in Social Security taxes. That compounded positive sentiment in Europe, where Ireland was expected to pass a budget of sharp austerity measures later in the day. The budget, the toughest in the country’s history, will cut spending by 4.5 billion euros ($6 billion) and raise taxes by 1.5 billion euros. “Market focus will swing back Dublin’s way today with the budget for 2011 under discussion,” said Daragh Maher, an analyst at Credit Agricole CIB. The government has only a slim majority, but the budget is expected to pass after the government promised to hold early elections. Ireland is due to begin borrowing soon from a 67.5 billion euros ($90 billion)

bailout fund unveiled last week to help it cope with a massive banking crisis. Meanwhile, a meeting of euro-zone finance ministers offered no new measures to contain the turmoil, but said they would not rule out a possible increase to the bailout fund if needed. The fear is that if larger countries like Spain or Italy need rescuing in the future, the current fund would be insufficient. Coupled with support measures from the European Central Bank, the news flow was positive enough to push the euro higher. The common currency rose to $1.3378 from $1.3304 late the day before. In Asia, China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index rebounded from early losses to gain 0.7 percent to 2,875.86, despite speculation that Beijing may hike interest rates soon. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also bounced back to rise 0.8 percent to 23,428.15. China, a key growth driver for the world, is grappling with how to douse

rising prices and cool its still red-hot economy without causing too fast a slowdown. November inflation, which analysts say might show a further increase, is due out Monday. The inflation rate spiked to 4.4 percent in October — well above the official 3 percent target — driven by a 10.1 percent jump in food costs. “The market does not fear an interest rate hike,” Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright Securities in Hong Kong, said of the Shanghai market’s rebound. Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average fell 0.3 percent to 10,141.10 as investors sold shares in exporters on the strength of the yen against the dollar. A stronger yen reduces the value of exporters’ overseas profits when repatriated. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.5 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8 percent, thanks to buying in natural resourcerelated issues. Indexes in New Zealand, the Philippines and India fell. — AP


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US announces $12 billion profit on Citigroup WASHINGTON: The government said late on Monday it had reached a deal to sell its remaining holdings of Citigroup common stock and will end up turning a profit of $12 billion on its bailout of the giant bank. The Treasury Department said that a final offering of about 2.4 billion shares of Citigroup Inc. common stock had been priced at $4.35 per share. With the proceeds of the sale, the government will have realized $57 billion on its bailout package for the big bank. Citigroup received $45 billion in taxpayer support late in 2008 in one of the largest bank rescues as the govern-

ment struggled to contain the worst financial crisis to hit the country since the 1930s. The bailout of Citigroup and other large banks was begun under the Republican administration of George W. Bush but turned into a major political liability for President Barack Obama in last month’s congressional elections. Republicans took control of the House of Representatives and gained six seats in the Senate by capitalizing on voter anger over the bailouts and soaring federal budget deficits. The administration has insisted that the bailouts were needed to prevent an

even deeper recession. They said the cost of the bailouts has been falling as Citigroup and other rescued institutions pay back their government loans. The latest estimate from the Congressional Budget Office in late November was that the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program would end up costing the government $25 billion, down from an August CBO estimate of $66 billion. Of the $45 billion in taxpayer support provided to Citigroup, $25 billion was converted to a government ownership stake that the Treasury has been selling off since last spring. The bank repaid the other $20

billion in December 2009. Treasury said that with the pricing of the last 2.4 billion shares of common stock on Monday, it would receive $31.8 billion from the sale of common stock plus another $2.9 billion in interest and dividends. The $57 billion total also includes $20 billion from Citigroup’s December 2009 repayment of TARP money and another $2.2 billion from the sale of trust preferred securities held by the government. The actual earnings are expected to climb with the sale of an additional $800 million in trust preferred securities held by the Federal Deposit

Insurance Corp and the sale of warrants Treasury holds. The warrants give the holder the right to buy Citigroup common stock at a specified price. “By selling all the remaining Citigroup shares today, we had an opportunity to lock in substantial profits for the taxpayer and avoid future risk,” said Tim Massad, the Treasury official who heads up the bailout program. “With this transaction, we have advanced our goals of recovering TARP funds, protecting the taxpayer and getting the government out of the business of owning stakes in private companies,” Massad

said in a statement. Treasury had disposed of about 5.3 billion shares at an average price of $4.05 before Monday’s pricing of the remaining shares. With the pricing of $4.35 for the shares offered on Monday, Treasury’s average price for its entire 7.7 billion shares of common stock will turn out to be $4.14. Monday’s deal, for which Morgan Stanley acted as bookrunning manager, is expected to close on Friday, Treasury said. Citigroup is paying the underwriting fees. “Selling off the remaining stake ensures that taxpayers will book a healthy profit on the

Citigroup investment,” said Linus Wilson, a professor of finance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Citigroup common stock closed at $4.45 in trading Monday and has ranged from a low of $3.11 to a high of $5.07 over the past 52 weeks. Last week, Treasury announced it had received an additional $1.8 billion in net proceeds from the sale of General Motors stock, bringing the total it has received from an initial public offering of GM stock to $13.5 billion. The government put $49.5 billion into GM as part of its bailout of the giant automaker. —AP

Slowdown expected in economic growth

Bank of England tipped to sit tight on rates until ’11

KEELUNG PORT: Cargo containers are unloaded at the Keelung port in Taiwan yesterday. Taiwan’s exports rose 21.8 percent in November from a year earlier while imports were up 33.8 percent from a year ago according to the finance ministry. —AFP

Ireland to spare no one in austerity drive DUBLIN: Ireland’s deeply unpopular government will unveil a record austerity budget yesterday, inflicting more pain on voters in an attempt to impress the IMF and EU and ensure quick access to their rescue funds. Prime Minister Brian Cowen is expected to get his fiscal plan through parliament, averting the risk of a snap election that would have plunged the country into an even deeper crisis and compounded contagion in the euro-zone. But the 2011 budget, which will squeeze 6 billion euros ($8 billion) out of an economy still smarting from a prolonged recession, marks the beginning of the end for Ireland’s government. Cowen, the most unpopular leader in recent Irish history, has promised to call an election once the legislation underpinning the budget is passed, likely to be early next year. His Fianna Fail party is set for a record drubbing and a coalition of the centre-right Fine Gael and the centre-left Labor party is expected to take over, possibly as soon as the first quarter. Both parties have said they will re-negotiate the terms of an 85 billion euro IMF/EU bailout package. But in practice the opposition will have little room for manoeuvre, having agreed to the broad targets of the rescue plan. The budget will be the toughest of four austerity plans designed to save 15 billion

euros-nearly 10 percent of the country’s annual economic output-and get the worst budget deficit in the region back within EU limits by 2014 or 2015 at the latest. Cowen will push through some four billion euros in spending cuts next year, with social welfare benefits, public pensions and capital projects all set for the chop. Tax adjustments will make up another two billion euros with roughly half of the additional revenues coming from lowering income tax bands and tweaking tax credits, allowing the government to target the 45 percent of Irish adults, on lower incomes, who did not previously pay income tax. Some economists have warned that such vicious cutbacks, on the back of two years of austerity, risk tipping Ireland into a prolonged downturn that make its debt targets even harder to achieve. “This is about the distribution of pain,” Michael Lowry, an independent MP, told reporters after confirming he would support the 2011 plan. Lowry’s thumbs up and the expected support of another independent MP mean that Cowen will get his austerity measures through parliament despite having a majority of just two. Getting the budget passed is not a straightforward affair. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan will unveil the plan at 1545 GMT in parliament and the lower chamber will vote on changes to excise duties and

sales taxes in the evening. A separate vote on social welfare measures is due on Thursday and a third on general finance steps will take place in the first quarter of 2011. A failed vote on Tuesday or Thursday would trigger an general election and shelve the IMF/EU bailout until a new administration was in place. Ireland’s budget deficit is set to blow out to a jaw-dropping 32 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this year due to the one-off inclusion of a 30 billion euro-plus bill for shoring up its banks. Irish banks have tipped the country into a financial abyss through years of reckless property lending and fears over their future loan losses provoked the current crisis. Some 35 billion euros of the IMF/EU bailout package will be channelled to lenders, meaning that the eventual bill for cleaning them up could top 80 billion euros. Dublin has promised to recapitalize, restructure and shrink its banks as a condition of the bailout but uncertainty over whether the sector will throw up future nasty surprises will continue to weigh regardless of the passage of the budget. “You can solve the fiscal problem but the banks are still, by far, the biggest issue,” said Eoin Fahy, chief economist with Kleinwort Benson Investors. “You still have this unknown of the banks.” —Reuters

DUBLIN: A cherry picker or crane, used by a lone demonstrator during his protest, sits parked outside the Irish Parliament building in Dublin yesterday. A protestor parked a small crane outside the Irish parliament yesterday where Finance Minister Brian Lenihan is due to unveil a 6.0-billion-euro ($8.0-billion) austerity budget. The crane was moved into position early in the morning but the man was subsequently arrested, a police spokesman said. —AFP

LONDON: The Bank of England is tipped to keep British interest rates at a record low 0.50 percent tomorrow at its final monetary policy meeting of 2010 and before an expected slowdown in economic growth. As Britons spend heavily ahead of Christmas, and before planned tax hikes and cuts to government spending in 2011, analysts said the BoE was also unlikely to pump up the economy with fresh stimulus under Quantitative Easing. “The Bank of England is poised to end 2010 without giving any presents to the economy in the form of more quantitative easing (QE) but also not acting like Scrooge by putting interest rates up,” said IHS Global Insight analyst Howard Archer. “While the December Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting ... is likely to see lively discussion among the committee members over the state of the economy and the outlook, it seems inconceivable that it will result in anything other than unchanged monetary policy,” he added. The BoE launched a QE program in March 2009 in an attempt to drag Britain out of a deep recession sparked by the global financial crisis. The same month, it slashed interest rates to 0.50 percent, where they have stood ever since. Under QE, the bank created some 200 billion pounds (236 billion euros, $314 billion) of new money by purchasing government bonds and high-quality private sector assets, but the radical scheme ended earlier this year. With Britain expected to experience slower growth in 2011, economists are predicting that the BoE could resort to more QE in the months ahead. “We would not completely rule out the prospect of more QE,” said Philip Shaw, an economist at Investec banking group, but only if the British central bank “became seriously concerned that the recovery was running aground.” Britain’s economy expanded by a robust 0.8 percent in the third quarter compared with the previous three months, and expanded 2.8 percent compared with a year earlier. However, the government expects growth to slow more than expected in 2011 and 2012 as sweeping austerity measures begin to bite. Britain escaped from a record-length recession late last year after a fierce worldwide downturn that was sparked by the global financial crisis but in a bid to slash a record-high public deficit, the coalition government has launched the biggest public spending cuts for decades. It has also unveiled plans to increase sales tax to 20 percent from the current 17.5 percent on January 4, 2011, a move many expect to dent consumption significantly. —AFP

ROME: Parmalat products at a supermarket in Rome. The court in Parma will deliver its verdict in the trial of Parmalat chairman and founder CalistoTanzi and Parmalat’s former administrators from December 9, 2010 in a case of bankruptcy fraud and criminal association. —AFP

Boeing puts 3-week hold on 787 assembly CHICAGO: Boeing is in the middle of a threeweek hold on assembling pieces of its new 787. The manufacturing delay is the latest problem for Boeing’s new plane. Flight tests stopped last month because of an electrical fire, and the first delivery officially slated for early next year is widely expected to be pushed back. Boeing Co spokesman Scott Lefeber said on Monday that the 16-day hold began late last month. He said Boeing is not asking the companies that make parts for the 787 to slow or stop production. Assembly work happens five days a week, so the 16-day hold adds up to a little more than three weeks. “They will not stop production during this time. They will continue to work and will ship their assemblies according to the revised schedule,” he said. He said Boeing would finish revising the 787 schedule in a few weeks. Last week Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. said it was shifting some workers away from the 787 to work on other planes instead. Spirit makes the front of the 787 in Kansas and installs the electrical systems in it. The big pieces of the 787

are transported to Washington state for assembly. The company said some work would continue on the 787. Continental Airlines was scheduled to be the first US carrier with a 787, and planned to begin flights between Houston and Auckland, New Zealand, in Nov 2011. Those are being pushed into 2012 because of “the uncertainty of Boeing’s new delivery date,” Continental spokeswoman Julie King said. Continental was supposed to get the plane in the second half of 2011. King said Continental has not yet gotten a new delivery date from Boeing. She also said Continental will fly a planned route between Houston and Lagos, Nigeria, with a Boeing 777 instead of the 787. Those flights are set to begin in November 2011. Boeing shares rose 16 cents to $66.70 in afternoon trading. Shares of Continental’s parent, Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc., fell 78 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $26.96. The latest delay was reported by the aerospace site Flightglobal.com. —AP

Madoff trustee sues HSBC, seeks $9bn NEW YORK: The trustee charged with recouping assets for victims of Wall Street fraudster Bernard Madoff is suing British banking giant HSBC and related entities, seeking at least $9 billion.

In a statement issued Sunday, trustee Irving Picard accused the firms of enabling Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme by creating, marketing and supporting “an international network of a dozen feeder funds based in Europe, the

PARIS: Members of ‘Sauvons les Riches’ (Let’s Save Riche People) group are pictured yesterday in Paris in front of French bank Societe Generale, after they withdrew all their money from the bank to make a deposit in Credit Cooperatif (a cooperative bank), in order to divert French football icon Eric Cantona’s action. Cantona warned his bank to expect a large withdrawal, calling also for citizens to empty bank accounts and punish the financial sector. —AFP

Caribbean and Central America.” HSBC and the related funds led investors to direct over $8.9 billion into Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) — Madoff’s fraudulent investment advisory business, according to Picard. “The defendants also earned hundreds of millions of dollars by selling, marketing, lending to and investing in financial instruments designed to substantially assist Madoff by pumping money into BLMIS and prolonging the Ponzi scheme,” despite being aware of the fraud, he added. HSBC said it was defending itself “vigorously” against the claims filed in US federal bankruptcy court in New York. “HSBC believes that the US court-appointed trustee’s claims of wrongdoing are unfounded,” the bank said. Italian bank UniCredit, Austrian banker Sonja Kohn and her Bank Medici are among those accused of helping the former Nasdaq chairman expand his scheme. “Had HSBC and the defendants reacted appropriately to such warnings and other obvious badges of fraud outlined in the complaint, the Madoff Ponzi scheme would have collapsed years, billions of dollars and countless victims sooner,” Picard said. “The defendants were willfully and deliberately blind to the fraud, even after learning about numerous red flags surrounding Madoff.” Last week, Picard said he was seeking 6.4 billion dollars from JPMorgan Chase for supporting the scam and he has filed a suit against Swiss bank UBS seeking two billion dollars in damages for its part in the massive fraud. —AFP


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Obama announces bipartisan agreement on taxes WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama and opposition Republicans agreed to extend expiring tax cuts for all Americans and to renew benefits for the long-term unemployed — a compromise that was distasteful to the American leader and angered many in his liberal base. Obama campaigned for the presidency on the promise that he would leave lower tax rates in place for middle- and lowerincome Americans while canceling cuts for families earning more than $250,000. The reductions were put in place during the administration of former President George W Bush and were set to expire at year’s end. In announcing the compromise at the White House on Monday night, Obama said he did not like the deal but had little choice. Republicans were refusing to go along with reinstating higher rates for high income earners, forcing Obama to capitulate or see taxes go up dramatically for hardpressed middle- and lower-income Americans in a period of economic

malaise and high unemployment. “Make no mistake, allowing taxes to go up on all Americans would have raised taxes by $3,000 for a typical American family and that could cost our economy well over a million jobs,” he said. In return for the tax deal, Obama won Republican agreement to drop opposition to continued benefits for the long-term unemployed, which ran out last week. Those payments now will last 13 additional months. House and Senate Democratic leaders were noncommittal on the proposal, saying they would discuss it in closed caucus meetings. Vice President Joe Biden, a key player in seeking a compromise, scheduled a rare visit to the Senate Democrats’ weekly luncheon the same day. The compromise foreshadowed American politics for the coming two years at least, after Republicans won a landslide victory in last month’s election that put them in control of the House of Representatives and significantly

diminished the Democratic majority in the Senate. Obama’s announcement marked a dramatic reversal of his long-held insistence that the nation could not afford continued tax breaks for the wealthy. He sought to put a good face on the deal, however, noting the agreement was temporary, not the permanent renewal that Republicans had long sought. The tax compromise will now move through both houses of Congress in the so-called lame duck session of Congress, the few weeks of legislative activity between the Nov. 2 elections and the end of the year. Republicans newly elected to both chambers will take their seats at the beginning of next year, making it even harder for Obama to win passage of items remaining on his legislative agenda. One of those is Senate ratification of a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia. He wanted to wrap up a deal on the tax cuts quickly to leave time for the Senate to debate and vote on the arms treaty, which the presi-

dent has made a top year-end priority. Senate Republicans have seemed more willing to hold a ratification debate in recent days as the negotiations over taxes intensified, suggesting at least an implicit link between the two issues in the talks. Both parties have been under pressure from their bases of support not to compromise on the tax cut issue. Republicans insist that it makes no sense to raise taxes on anyone in a weak economy. Democrats argue that extending tax cuts for the richest Americans would contribute to rising deficits and force deeper cuts in social welfare programs. Democrats also objected to the part of the deal that extended lower estate tax rates that tilted toward the Republican position. Obama found himself under fire from liberal Democrats who accused him of being too quick to cave in to Republican demands, but Obama said he rejects “symbolic victories” that hurt average Americans. The president had barely stopped

speaking before top Republicans applauded his proposals, while most Democrats kept a sullen silence. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thanked Obama for “working with Republicans on a bipartisan plan to prevent a tax hike on any American and in creating incentives for economic growth.” Because they still hold solid majorities in both chambers, Democrats must provide many votes for the tax package to become law, even if Republicans overwhelmingly support it. Some Democrats quickly denounced the plan. “Senate Republicans have successfully used the fragile economic security of our middle class and the hardship of millions of jobless Americans as bargaining chips to secure tax breaks for the very wealthiest among us,” said Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa. For months, Democrats have repeatedly raised objections to including upper-income Americans in any plan to extend tax cuts enacted in

2001 and 2003 when Bush was president. The Democratic-controlled House recently passed legislation to let the cuts lapse on incomes over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. On Saturday, Republicans blocked an attempt by Senate Democrats to do the same. But both parties realize they faced a potential political backlash if no deal was reached by the end of the year and taxes went up for all Americans. Obama said the continued political stalemate over taxes amounted to a “chilling prospect for the American people.” While displeased with having to compromise, Obama said an agreement with Republicans was more important than a stalemate that would have resulted in higher income taxes at all levels on Jan. 1. Under the plan, officials said, unemployment benefits would remain in effect through the end of next year for workers who have been laid off for more than 26 weeks and less than 99 weeks. Without an extension, two mil-

lion individuals would have lost their benefits over the holidays, the White House said, and seven million would have done so by the end of next year. In an effort to stimulate the economy, the emerging agreement cuts Social Security payroll taxes by 2 percentage points for one year. Those funds go to the government pension plan for older Americans. The White House said the result would be to fatten takehome pay by $120 billion over the course of the year, and money from other sources would be shifted so the Social Security trust fund loses no revenue. In addition, administration officials emphasized that the agreement would extend a variety of other tax breaks for lower and middleincome families. The estate tax provision under discussion would mean the first $5 million would pass tax-free to heirs. Anything over that would be taxed at a rate of 35 percent. Democrats favored a $3.5 million threshold, with a 45 percent tax on anything higher. —AP

Pensioners march through Athens streets

Greece, IMF to negotiate loan repayment terms WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama makes statement in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex, in Washington, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, after meeting with Democratic congressional leaders on a year-end bipartisan agreement to extend expiring tax cuts. —AP

Lloyds CEO: Bank break-up won’t boost competition UK retail banking ‘enormously competitive’ LONDON: Breaking up Britain’s banks would not boost competition in an already “enormously competitive” sector, the chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group told UK lawmakers yesterday. “This is an enormously competitive market and I’m not sure that dividing banks further would give a better outcome,” Lloyds outgoing Chief Executive Eric Daniels told a hearing of the UK government’s Treasury Select Committee. “Concentration does not lead to lack of competition,” he added. Lloyds is the leading provider of

retail banking products in Britain with near 30 percent shares of current accounts and mortgages, following its takeover of HBOS during the depths of the financial crisis. An independent commission is studying competition in the sector and there is a threat it will order Lloyds to be broken up when it reports late next year. “That’s a hypothetical question...it’s very premature to judge an outcome,” Daniels said when asked about the threat of a break-up. —Reuters

DERSDEN: German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle gives a speech during the National IT-Summit yesterday in Dresden, eastern Germany. About 50 projects treating information- and communication technologies are to be discussed during the summit. —AFP

German industrial orders up on domestic demand BERLIN: Germany’s industrial orders rose 1.6 percent during October, helped by strengthening domestic demand, the economy ministry said yesterday. Demand from abroad in October rose by 0.8 percent, but domestic orders increased by 2.4 percent — another sign that domestic demand is helping to sustain Germany’s export-driven recovery. The ministry said orders from inside the euro-zone slipped by 0.9 percent, but other countries’ orders were up by 2 percent. October’s increase followed a 4 percent loss the previous month, the ministry

said. But it added industrial orders for September and October combined were 16 percent higher than a year earlier, when the financial crisis had plunged Germany into its deepest postwar recession. Air cargo, another closely watched economic indicator, meanwhile posted strong gains in the first nine months of the year, according to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office. The cargo volume at Germany’s airports rose by 26.1 percent over the same period a year earlier, topping for the first time 3 million tons, the agency said yesterday. Germany is Europe’s biggest economy and the

world’s No. 2 exporter after China. Air freight within the European Union in the first nine months of the year rose by 14 percent, but shipments with the US and Asia were sharply up, by 33 percent and 36 percent, the agency said. Germany’s economy has made an impressive exportdriven comeback after contracting by 4.7 percent last year. The country’s central bank said last week it forecasts the economy to grow by 3.6 percent this year and 2 percent in 2011. The number of jobless, meanwhile, has fallen below 3 million, or an unemployment rate of about 7 percent. —AP

ATHENS: Greek officials will meet the head of the International Monetary Fund to negotiate the terms of the repayment of the three-year 110 billion euros ($150 billion) bailout loan that saved the debt-ridden country from default. Dominique Strauss-Kahn was due to arrive later to meet with Greece’s prime minister, finance minister, opposition leader and central bank governor. He will also speak to a parliamentary economic affairs committee. A key point of discussion will be whether Greece’s bailout loan repayment deadlines will be extended by up to 4 1/2 years, a move EU governments have said is being considered. About 500 pensioners marched through the streets of Athens ahead of Strauss-Kahn’s arrival to protest the strict austerity program the government has imposed to meet IMF and EU conditions for the bailout. “The freezing of pensions, the repeated increase in VAT ... the cuts in benefits, they have brought all pensioners to destitution,” said Dimitris Karpathiotis, the deputy head of a local pensioners’ union. “Our fight continues, the mobilizations will increase, we will not stop, because this policy doesn’t serve us. This policy serves the rich and not the pensioners.” Left-wing unions planned more demonstrations Tuesday evening against the IMF chief’s visit. Unions angered by the austerity plan have held a series of strikes, with the latest planned for today, when all public transport in Athens will stop for 24 hours. Workers across Greece will also walk off the job in a 24-hour general strike on Dec. 15. Facing a mountain of debt and a deficit that stood at 15.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, Greece’s Socialist government has imposed tough cost-cutting measures, including cutting civil service salaries, trimming pensions and increasing consumer taxes. The country can receive funds from the bailout program until mid-2013, provided it meets specific targets in cutting its debt and budget deficit each quarter. However, it faced large debt repayments in 2014 and 2015, immediately after the program ends, and analysts had been concerned with Greece’s ability to cope with the repayment. Last month, European Union governments agreed to look into extending the deadline for Greece to repay its loans, from three years to 7 1/2 years, bringing the Greek loan package in line with one agreed recently for Ireland. The terms of the repayment — the timing schedule and whether it will include the full §110 billion or just the portion still to be disbursed — have not been decided on. Several European countries, including Germany, will have to submit the agreement to Parliament for approval over the next few months before it can be finalized. —AP

ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, right, welcomes the head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn at his office in Athens yesterday. —AP

ATHENS: Pensioners chant slogans during a protest against the Greek government’s austerity measures, outside the Ministry of Finance in central Athens yesterday. —AP

Nikkei drops, stronger yen spurs profit-taking TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei average ended 0.3 percent lower yesterday after renewed yen strength encouraged profit-taking but market players said underlying sentiment that took the benchmark to six-month highs last week remained bullish. M&A news saw airconditioner maker Daikin slide 3.8 percent after Bloomberg news said it was in talks to buy U.S. rival Goodman Global Group in a deal that could be worth more than $3.6 billion. But chip equipment maker Advantest jumped 3.7 percent after it made a $729 million buyout offer for US rival Verigy Ltd. “The yen’s firmness is putting pressure on the Nikkei. Shares of precision machinery

shares are especially under pressure due to the yen’s strength on the euro,” said Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief equity marketing officer at Tokai Tokyo Securities. “So far we are not overly worried about the yen’s recent recovery, but we’ll be more concerned should the yen approach 80 (against the dollar),” said Kuramochi. The Nikkei closed the day down 26.13 points at 10,141.10. The broader Topix index also shed 0.3 percent to 879.10. The official China Securities Journal reported in a frontpage story that China’s central bank may tighten credit which weighed on Chinese shares and in turn Tokyo equities in early trade. But both markets later

appeared to have shrugged off those concerns in a sign that investors were getting used to the idea that China may raise rates. Investors were also hesitant about taking large positions in the Nikkei ahead of the closely watched settlement of futures and options prices on Friday. The settlement, known in Japan as the special quotation or “SQ”, is calculated from the opening prices of the 225 shares on the Nikkei average on the second Friday of the month. Many investors appeared to have finished rolling over their positions to the March contract, a Tokyo-based options trader said, adding that he expects contracts expiring in December will settle around 10,050-10,300. —Reuters


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BUSINESS

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Inflation, currency weakness threaten Vietnam: Donors HANOI: Vietnam’s economic growth will be threatened unless the government can control rising inflation and currency weakness, donors warned yesterday. Last week the dong currency slumped to a record low on the black market, while prices rose 11.09 percent year-on-year in October. The government has targeted a maximum of eight percent inflation for 2010. At an annual meeting of Vietnam’s donors, Japanese ambassador Yasuaki Tanizaki spoke of “growing concern” at the commu-

nist country’s currency and price rises. Japan is Vietnam’s biggest donor. “It’s a priority for Vietnam to adopt effective measures to restore public confidence in (the) dong and improve communications with the market to stabilise its currency,” he told the annual Consultative Group meeting with World Bank and Vietnamese officials. The dong has been devalued three times since late last year and has lost nearly a third of its value against the US dollar over the past

three years, according to a World Bank report for the meeting. Yesterday’s comments come ahead of a five-yearly Communist Party Congress in January at which top leadership posts will be determined and a strategy for the country’s development over the next decade is expected to be adopted. In Vietnam the dollar, along with gold, is considered a safe haven against economic uncertainty. Investors selling the dong to buy the greenback put pressure on the local currency.

“Without macroeconomic stability, Vietnam will not be able to maintain or accelerate its continuing rapid socioeconomic development over the medium to long term,” said Ayumi Konishi, the Asian Development Bank’s director for Vietnam. Macroeconomic stability is also vital to Vietnam’s growth strategy, which until now has relied on lowcost labor and natural resource extraction, said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s country director. Foreign investors say Vietnam,

celebrated as an “Asian Tiger” economy two decades ago, has since lagged behind neighbors and needs further reforms to catch up. Overloaded infrastructure, an under-qualified workforce, excessive bureaucracy and corruption are just some of the problems that investors highlight. Vo Hong Phuc, Minister of Planning and Investment, forecast economic growth of 6.7 percent by the end of this year, a shade above the official target of 6.5 percent. The United Nations head in

Vietnam, John Hendra, called for the government to focus on fighting inflation, “as rising prices are a huge burden for poor households”. Donors praised Vietnam’s achievements in reducing poverty but warned of widening income disparities and the persistence of poverty among ethnic minorities. Swiss ambassador Jean-Hubert Lebet, speaking on behalf of Canada, Norway and New Zealand as well as his own country, said poverty rates “are actually increasing” for some ethnic minorities in remote areas.

Lebet highlighted “the importance of ensuring that freedom of opinion and access to information are not impeded as Vietnam transitions towards a knowledge-based economy”. Observers say a fresh crackdown is under way against bloggers and activists as political tensions rise ahead of the Congress. Lebet expressed regret over recent arrests and said restrictions on the media and other areas of society “can only impede Vietnam’s economic and social development”. —AFP

Greater exchange cooperation could help

ADB: East Asia heading for economic slowdown HONG KONG: East Asia will post slower growth next year due to a wobbly US recovery, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned yesterday, adding that greater exchange rate cooperation could help safeguard the region. The fragile US economy and phasing out of econom-

ic stimulus has weakened the outlook for East Asia, with growth expected to shrink to 7.3 percent in 2011, down from 8.8 percent this year, the Manila-based bank said in its twice-annual Asia Economic Monitor. Despite bouncing back from the global financial crisis, East Asia’s economic picture remains “highly uncertain”, the ADB said, warning that “severe economic damage caused by the Great Recession will take a long time to heal.” “High unemployment could become entrenched and last for many years,” it added. “Growth in productivity could also suffer as capital investment plummeted during the crisis and has not returned to pre-crisis trend growth.” Emerging East Asia may need to erect “temporary” capital controls to battle a surge of hot money flowing into the region that risks increasing “economic distortions and lowering long-term growth prospects,” the report said. Critics have warned that the US Federal Reserve’s $600-billion fiscal stimulus package could unleash a flood of speculative funds into the region. With the exception of Vietnam, East Asia’s currencies have been surging in 2010, a situation that “will not help” efforts to focus on intra-regional trade in response to sagging demand in the West, said Iwan Azis, head of the ADB’s office of regional ecoBUDAPEST: Members and sympathizers of several Hungarian trade union federations hold banners and nomic integration. “The worst case scenario is posters to protest against the centre-right government’s new laws in front of the building of Hungarian Sciences there will be a currency war and Academy of Budapest downtown. —AFP a trade war, but I don’t assign a high probability to that,” Azis told a press briefing in Hong Kong. But without currency cooperation “intraregional trade will not be as good as it could be,” he added. Azis said greater currency cooperation could also lower the temperature of simmering currency spats with the United States and other critics, who have accused China of artificially undervaluing the yuan to boost exports. China’s willingness to BUDAPEST: Hungary’s government balance but also starting economic billion forints of existing private pension let the yuan rise in value “will be pushed forward with its 2011 draft bud- growth.” industrial output growth came assets next year and will channel anothcritical,” Azis added. get yesterday despite market doubts it in at 8.3 percent year on year in October, er 360 billion forints of private pension “There is room for every sinhad overestimated economic potential down from 10.9 percent a month earlier transfer payments into state coffers. gle country (in the region), not and was being too aggressive in its and below expectations, signalling the But economists say the taxes will just China, to appreciate more,” attempts to boost state revenue. risks to the government’s forecasts, hurt growth and the pension-fund raid he said. He stopped short of callA senior government official said especially if the wider EU economy will just postpone the reckoning of a ing for a euro-style currency Hungary would meet its commitment to struggles in 2011. large debt hole until later. Budapest union, saying that any regional the European Commission to cut its fis“Despite its impressive recovery, must begin repaying 20 billion euros in cooperation “is not going to be cal gap to 3 percent of annual output but some signs of a slowdown are already IMF-led loans next year. Orban has also like Europe”. said, contrary to the belief of many econ- being seen in the German economy, taken steps to change Hungary’s instituRegional inflation remained moderate, but “policymakers omists, that only stronger growth can therefore our industrial growth could tional set-up, moving to strip the state’s need to be alert to the dangers of keep it there. After a downgrade to a also be losing momentum in the coming budget watchdog of staff and — most higher inflation,” the bank said notch above “junk” status by ratings months,” said Gyorgy Barta, analyst at controversially for markets-seeking in a note yesterday. agency Moody’s on Monday, parliament CIB in Budapest. changes to how central bank policymakThe main ADB report said prepared to vote on budget parametres The forint currency rebounded from a ers are appointed. East Asia’s emerging economies aiming for a deficit of 2.94 percent of 1 percent slide on Monday due to the The latter moves will allow a parliasaw a “robust recovery” in 2010, GDP. Moody’s downgrade, helped by apprecia- ment committee to nominate all new with many of the region’s stock The budget forecasts growth next tion of the euro against the dollar. members in the Monetary Council in markets bouncing back sharply. year of 3 percent compared to the The measures have bolstered support March when the mandates of four mem“The V-shaped recovery has Commission’s 2.8 percent prediction. for his Fidesz party, and Orban said he bers expire, stripping Governor Andras certainly set its course-it’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s cabinet is expected ratings agencies to change Simor of his right to nominate two memalready there,” forging ahead with a campaign of uncon- their negative outlooks towards bers, unsettling markets. Azis said, adding that “for ventional measures that has stunned Hungary’s investment risk. That would also leave Simor and his 2011, we expect that (growth) will continue to be strong but it’s investors, including big taxes on banks “We need some time to have two deputies, whose mandates expire in moderating.” The bank’s foreand other firms and a plan to seize some results,” Orban told journalists in 2013, in a minority against the new cast for 2010 remained below $14 billion in privately held pension Stockholm. “In the close future we will members. “You could just expect the the region’s 10.4 percent ecoassets for government coffers. be upgraded again.” Economists warn new government to put people reprenomic expansion in 2007. “After “After eight years (under Socialist there may still be a large hole in rev- senting its own views into the Monetary slowing sharply in 2008 and rule) Hungary can again have a budget enues next year but the tax and pension Council, let’s say in the 4:3 ratio,” for2009, the East Asian economies which makes achieving the goals under- measures-worth 4.4 pct of GDP based mer central bank Governor Zsigmond recovered strongly in 2010 taken- above all, the deficit target-with on the government’s budget draft — Jarai told InfoRadio late on Monday. which has led GDP growth back full certainty,” economy ministry state mean it will still probably meet its deficit “This is completely normal and I did closer to 2007 levels,” the secretary Zoltan Csefalvay told parlia- target. not understand why this caused tension report said. ment ahead of the budget vote. Along with around 350 billion forints in the market,” added Jarai, who was Hong Kong, China, Thailand, “The 2011 budget will not be only ($1.66 billion) from the ad-hoc crisis recently appointed to head the bank’s the Philippines, Korea and Singapore are among the 14 about creating and maintaining (fiscal) taxes, the government aims to spend 530 supervisory council. —Reuters economies analy zed in the report. East Asia continued to lead the global recovery, with many of its economies posting “strong growth in the third quarter of LONDON: Seymour Pierce, one of Pierce at around 40 million pounds equity firm, sold its 29.9 percent stake in 2010, driven by domestic Britain’s largest independent stockbro- ($62.68 million) and create a US-listed Seymour Pierce to the firm’s employee demand,” the report said. kers, is in advanced merger talks with US company worth over $600 million, active benefit trust earlier this year. Seymour China’s economy expanded re-insurer Gerova Financial and a deal in investment banking, asset management Pierce declined to comment. Gerova by 9.6 percent in the third quarcould be announced this week, a person and insurance, the person added, confirm- Financial could not immediately be ter, but there were signs that reached for comment by Reuters outside ing an earlier report from Sky News. familiar with the matter said. growth was starting to ease, the Alchemy Partners, a British private regular US business hours. —Reuters The transaction would value Seymour bank said. —AFP

HANOI: A farmer walks his buffaloes on a field near to an industrial park on the outskirts of Hanoi. Celebrated as a new “Asian Tiger” two decades ago, Vietnam has fallen behind its neighbors and needs further reforms in order to catch up, foreign investors say. —AFP

Standard Life to buy Focus Solutions for $66 million LONDON: Standard Life has agreed to buy financial software company Focus Solutions Group for 42 million pounds ($65.8 million), in a deal the UK insurer said would boost its customer services. Standard Life said yesterday that it was offering 140 pence in cash for each Focus Solutions share, representing a premium of around 9.8 percent to Focus Solution’s closing share price of 127.50 pence on

Dec. 6. Focus Solutions handles software and consultancy work for financial services companies. Its clients include independent financial advisers (IFAs), bancassurers, wealth managers and mortgage lenders, and Standard Life said that buying Focus would improve its range of products for customers and boost its retail bank business. “This strengthens the overall position of the group as the

UK market for our propositions and services develops further over the next two years,” Standard Life Chief Executive David Nish said in a statement. Noble Grossart advised Standard Life on the deal, while Cavendish Corporate Finance and Capital SCF advised Focus. Standard Life shares closed at 204.20 pence on Monday, giving the group a market capitalization of around 4.7 billion pounds. —Reuters

Hungary moves to budget vote, output shows risks Growth forecast seen optimistic, debt worries persist

Seymour Pierce, Gerova near merger deal: Report

BRUSSELS: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique StraussKahn attends the Annual Meeting of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank (PNoWB) at the Belgium Parliament in Brussels. —AFP

Xstrata to lift new mine spending by 50% in 2011 LONDON: Xstrata plans to increase spending on new mines by about 50 percent next year to $6.8 billion as the mining group keeps its main focus on organic growth rather than acquisitions. Total spending on new mining operations is due to reach $23 billion over the next six years, the London-listed group said yesterday ahead of an investor presentation. “The large capex number may concern some investors, however, we see it as easily funded by the group,” said analyst Liam Fitzpatrick of Credit Suisse in a note. Xstrata had cut it net debt to $8.4 billion by the end of June from $13.1 billion at the end of last year. “We believe Xstrata’s more nimble and aggressive approach to growth will deliver greater volumes than peers over the next five years,” Fitzpatrick added. Its shares gained 2.7 percent to 1476 pence by 1003 GMT, outperforming a 2.0 percent increase in the British mining index. Most mining groups slashed spending during the downturn to conserve cash, but they are ramping it up again after a rebound in metals prices. Rio Tinto said last month it planned to nearly triple capital spending next year as it expanded its lucrative iron ore mines in Australia. Xstrata in its early years grew quickly through a series of takeovers, but last year switched its focus to expanding existing operations and building new projects. “Together with opportunistic M&A where we can extract value, our focus on

organic growth means that Xstrata’s path to value is clear and is in the hands of our management teams,” Chief Executive Mick Davis said. The Anglo-Swiss group said it was on track to meet its targets set last year to boost volumes by 50 percent and cut costs by 20 percent by 2014. Xstrata-the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal for power plants-said it now aimed to add a further 30 percent volume growth by 2016. Next year’s planned spending for new mines of $6.8 billion will be mainly for coal, copper and nickel projects. It compares with $4.6 billion estimated in August for 2010. Xstrata added one more expansion project yesterday to the 20 it is already building, earmarking $1.3 billion for the Ravensworth North coal mine in Australia. The planned open cut mine will produce 8 million tons of export thermal coal and semisoft coking coal after it starts producing in 2012. In August, Xstrata added more than $5 billion to its long-term capex budget after approving $4.2 billion for the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru and $1.1 billion for the Ulan West coal project in Australia. Xstrata also said yesterday it would take a non-cash, after-tax impairment charge of $440 million for its Araguaia nickel project in Brazil, which will appear as an exceptional item in annual results. “This impairment is primarily due to the higher priority assigned to other growth projects in Xstrata Nickel’s pipeline,” it added. —Reuters


TECHNOLOGY

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

27

China’s tech dreams may see more IP buys China to roll out network convergence by 2015 SHANGHAI: Chinese companies are poised to acquire smaller, intellectual property-rich (IP) technology firms overseas, fuelled by the country’s ambitious drive to converge its television, telephone and Internet

SEOUL: This handout image released by Samsung Electronics in Seoul yesterday shows views of the Nexus S, Android operating system smartphone. —AFP

Google mobile head says Nexus One too ambitious SAN FRANCISCO: The head of Google’s Android mobile operating software says the search company “bit off a little more than we could chew” with the sale of the Nexus One, a smart phone Google began selling online early this year but then stopped offering after similar devices powered by Android hit the market. Speaking at the D: Dive Into Mobile technology conference run by the tech blog AllThingsD Monday evening, Andy Rubin said that Google Inc. figured that it could sell the phone over the Web and people would buy it as they already do electronics like digital cameras. Google unveiled the Nexus One with much fanfare in January as a challenger to Apple Inc.’s iPhone. Made by HTC Corp., the phone was sold unlocked so users could choose their own service provider, either T-Mobile USA or AT&T Inc. in the US, or they could buy it locked through T-Mobile. Mobile phones are commonly sold in Europe unlocked, and users pick a carrier. Consumers didn’t flock to the phone, though. And two other carriers, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp., later decided not to sell the phone because they preferred other Android-powered phones. Google closed its online store that was selling the phone in

May, saying it would rely on traditional retailers instead. Rubin said Google’s big problem with the Nexus One was one of scale. For each wireless operator it worked with, it had to do things like set people up with phone numbers, perform credit checks and more, he said. The process was time consuming, and given that there are more than 150 carriers worldwide, it seemed like a better idea to focus on things like building newer versions of Android, he said. Rubin said that the Nexus S, the follow-up to the Nexus One that Google and Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled Monday, still keeps alive that vision of selling an unlocked phone. But it will be sold in the U.S through Best Buy Co. stores, which already have systems in place to set customers up with wireless carriers. The phone will cost $529 unlocked, or $199 when bought with a two-year T-Mobile contract. The Nexus S uses Mountain View-based Google’s newest operating software, Gingerbread, and includes features like Near Field Communication, which lets users wave the phone near a bar code or sensor to make payments similar to swiping a security card to get into a building. Like the iPhone, it also includes

a gyroscope, which allows you to do things like zoom in and out in applications by moving the phone closer or farther away from you. Rubin, who founded Android (which was subsequently bought by Google), also said that the mobile software is profitable, making money through online ads on Android devices. He added that since Google first released the free, open-source mobile software two years ago on a handset, HTC’s G1 smart phone , it has expanded to 172 different phones. “I think we’re doing pretty well,” he said. Rubin showed off a prototype of an upcoming tablet from Motorola Inc. running an early version of what will be the next Android operating software, Honeycomb. The black tablet had a large, glossy screen and appeared to have a camera integrated on its face. Rubin said that Honeycomb, which will be more optimized for tablet computers, will enable applications to have multiple views, depending on if they’re running on a phone or a tablet. For example, he showed off a version of Gmail on the tablet that showed a list of e-mails in one column and the body of the one you’re reading in a second column. On an Android phone, you’d only see one column at a time, as you do now. — AP

Alliance heralds era of smartphone wallets SAN FRANCISCO: The mobile phone may soon be someone’s ticket to board any transit system in the world. An alliance unveiled yesterday by Inside Secure and other European technology firms is aimed at making that vision real with chips that can turn smartphones into wallets. “It is the next big thing,” said Charles Walton, chief operating officer of the French-based firm. Walton said these chips that can send financial transaction data short distances to readers at fare gates, check-out stands and elsewhere. “The power of those sorts of transactions is very fundamental to our next wave of mobile device use. The business potential to an Apple, Google, Yahoo or AT&T is pretty significant.” A second-generation Nexus S smartphone being released in the United States this month by Google has a chip that makes it a virtual wallet so people can “tap and pay.” “You will be able to take these mobile devices that will be able to do commerce,” Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said while providing a peek at the Nexus S last month at a Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. “Essentially, bump for everything and eventually replace credit cards.” The near-field communications (NFC) chips store personal data that can be transmitted to readers by tapping a handset on a pad. The chief of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion said at the summit, “We’d be fools not to have NFC in a product in the near term, and we are

not fools.” Chip industry insiders expect 40 to 50 million payment-equipped mobile phones the flow into the market next year, according to Walton. “I think it will be a very transformational year for the payments market as devices that support this kind of functionality start coming to bear,” he said. Inside Secure chips have been used in 250 million bank and credit cards as well as passports and identification badges. The company is based in Aix-en-Provence, France, and its roster of investors includes Visa, Qualcomm, Nokia and Motorola. The Open Standard for Public Transportation Alliance unveiled on Monday was formed to create an open security standard for NFC chips used for public transit fare collection, one of the fastest growing segments of the “smart card” market. Founding members were Giesecke & Devrient, Infineon Technologies, Oberthur Technologies, and Inside Secure but the group is open to “all members of the global transport ecosystem.” Beijing-based Watchdata Technologies Ltd. and the Open Ticketing Institute of the Netherlands joined the alliance on the day of its global debut. Watchdata boasted having shipped more than 1.4 billion smart cards since being founded in Beijing in 1994. “Now that the industry is moving to NFC phones and guys like Google and Apple and others are getting on board with NFC, they are looking for some global standards,” Walton said. — AFP

An all cash bid by China’s Xinmao Group to gatecrash an all-European cable industry takeover with a 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) offer for Dutch firm Draka highlights how less established companies are also seeking to benefit from a boom in fibre optics. China is expected to have up to $100 billion in investment opportunities by 2015 to fully roll out “Triple Play”-the convergence of television, Internet and telephone networks. Many Chinese companies want to build to scale ahead of this to benefit from this business opportunity. “China is at a stage where it would like to not open its doors to a host of foreign vendors to win all the plump contracts in a new platform initiative, but instead have domestic vendors win that,” said Mark Natkin, managing director of technology consulting firm Marbridge Consulting. F i b e r H o m e Telecommunication Technologies Co Ltd and Jiangsu Zhongtian Technology could be among the other Chinese companies looking for overseas acquisitions. PacketFront, a Swedish company that specialises in networking products and cable maker Belden Inc could potentially turn up on the radar screen of acquirers. Cross-border Chinese deals in the hightechnology sector hit a decade high of $5.8 billion last year from 91 deals, according to Thomson Reuters data. There have been some 94 deals worth $2.3 billion so far this year. “If the domestic vendors don’t have the cutting edge, or leading technology..., then a very logical approach would be to go out and try to buy foreign companies that do,” Natkin said. PacketFront is not interested in mergers and acquisitions at the moment, a spokesman said. Other companies mentioned in this report either could not be reached or declined comment. Draka, which holds over 800 patents, is the biggest fibre optics player in China, according to its website. By comparison, Xinmao’s listed unit, Tianjin Xinmao Science & Technology holds just one patent, according to European Union’s worldwide patent database. “Triple Play” will allow Internet, television broadcasters and telecommunication firms to enter one another’s industry and provide services. “This will drive more partnerships and acquisitions of intellectual property that can offer more complete solutions, including Chinese operators finding sources outside China,” said an executive with a major Chinese telecommunications firm. The source was not authorized to speak to media on this matter. Broadcast operators will have up to 2013 to develop their network backbone before the market is opened up to competition, technology research firm iSuppli said in a report. Companies are also looking to add incremental technological advances through overseas acquisitions. Earlier this year, Huawei bought US-based 3Leaf’s IP for $2 million. 3Leaf competes with US-based Akorri and deals with virtualization of network servers that enable it to use resources more efficiently. “Huawei and ZTE are going to expand their IP portfolio,” said JP Gan, managing director of technology venture firm, Qiming Venture Partners. “They already have a core IP portfolio to succeed in this world, so it is all incremental,” he added. — Reuters

networks. Potential deals could come from companies such as Huawei and ZTE Corp that are looking for targets with an edge in the fibre optics and network equipment markets.

SPACE: This illustration created shows an artist’s impression of The Planet-C Venus Climate Orbiter, nicknamed “Akatsuki” or “Dawn”, orbitting Venus. — AFP

Japan probe reaches Venus TOKYO: A Japanese probe reached Venus yesterday and prepared to enter orbit on a two-year mission that would mark a major milestone for Japan’s space program and could shed light on the climate of Earth’s mysterious neighbor. The probe, called Akatsuki, which means “dawn,” would be the first Japan has ever placed into orbit around another planet and comes after the country recently brought a probe back from a trip to an asteroid. Other space programs, including the Americans’ and the Europeans’, have successfully orbited other planets. Scientists said they would know later yesterday whether the probe had successfully entered its orbit. They said they briefly lost contact with the probe early in the day, but that communication had been restored. Japan has been overshadowed in recent years by the big strides of China, which has put astronauts in space twice since 2003 and was the third country to send a human into orbit after Russia and the United States, However, Japan has long been one of the world’s leading space-faring nations. It was the first Asian country to put a satellite in orbit around the Earth - in 1970 and has developed a highly reliable booster rocket in its H-2 series.

Japan’s space program has never attempted manned flight and instead operates on a shoestring budget that focuses primarily on small-scale scientific projects. Akatsuki, which was launched May 20, is designed to monitor volcanic activity on Venus and provide data on its thick cloud cover and climate, including whether the planet has lightning. The probe is equipped with infrared cameras and other instruments to carry out its mission. The 25-billion-yen ($300-million) project is supposed to maintain an elliptical orbit around Venus, ranging from passes 190 miles from the planet’s surface to outer swings 50,000 miles away that will allow it to comprehensively monitor weather patterns. One of the mysteries scientists are hoping to clear up is the intensity of surface winds on Venus that are believed to reach up to speeds of 220 miles per hour. Japan’s space agency, called JAXA, said the probe was to continue monitoring Venus from its orbit for two years. Inserting the probe into orbit would be a big success for Japan, which previously failed in an effort to put probes around Mars. The Mars mission, called Nozomi, or “hope,” and launched in 1998 experienced a series of technical glitches.

The program got a big morale boost earlier this year with the successful return to Earth in June of the Hayabusa probe. Hayabusa successfully captured dust from an asteroid for the first time in history, bringing back microscopic samples from the Itokawa asteroid that could offer insight into the creation and makeup of the solar system. It is only the fourth set of samples to be returned from space in history _ including moon matter collected by the Apollo missions, comet material by Stardust, and solar matter from the Genesis mission. The spacecraft’s capsule landed successfully in the Australian Outback in June after a seven-year, 4-billion-mile journey. The Venus mission also follows Japan’s first lunar probe, which completed a 19-month mission last year. The lunar project gathered data for a detailed map of the moon’s surface and examined its mineral distribution. NASA has launched several probes that have orbited other planets: Pioneer Venus in 1978, Mars Global Surveyor in 1998 and Messenger, which is expected to settle into orbit around Mercury in 2011. The European Space Agency’s Mars Express successfully reached orbit in 2003, while its Venus Express completed the maneuver in 2006. — AP

Google, indie book sellers team up SAN FRANCISCO: Struggling neighborhood books stores now have a new way to ring up sales, courtesy of a formidable new rival, Google. But it still may not be enough to help them keep their doors open. The Internet search leader opened its long-awaited electronic book store Monday, competing against Amazon.com Inc. and further accelerating the shift of book distribution from brick-andmortar stores to the Web. It’s the latest twist in a tumultuous new chapter for the book industry, one that will challenge traditional book retailers’ ability to adapt and avoid the fate of music and video retailers that have been beaten by digital competition in the past five years. Unlike Amazon or Apple Inc., Google Inc.’s entry is giving independent retailers a way to keep up with the times. Google is allowing merchants to sell its inventory of 3 million electronic books through their own sites and bring in more money as they scramble to adjust to the rising popularity of e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle and computer tablets such as Apple’s iPad. More than 100 book retailers in 36 states already have agreed to team up with Google. They include Powell’s in the Portland, Oregon, area and online-only merchant Alibris.com. “This will help give independent book stores a more level playing field,” predicted Michael Tucker, who owns four small book stores in the

San Francisco area and is president of the American Booksellers Association, a trade group. Teaming up with Google still won’t be enough to save all the book stores that still won’t be able to bring enough revenue to remain open as more people embrace e-readers, predicted Forrester Research media analyst James McQuivey. Over the past decade, the number of independent stores operated by the ABA’s membership has fallen from 3,000 to 1,700, the ABA said. McQuivey expects hundreds more to close during the next decade. The upheaval will occur as sales of e-readers, tablets and electronic books steadily rise during the next five years. Forrester expects US e-book sales to total $2.8 billion in 2015, up from nearly $1 billion this year. The research firm projects the number of e-readers and tablets in the US will soar from more than 15 million this year to nearly 60 million in 2015. Even larger book retailers are feeling the pressure to shake things up. Activist investor William Ackman on Monday offered to finance a $963 million bid by Borders Group to buy rival Barnes & Noble Inc. Combined, the two retailers operate about 1,400 stores, many of which would presumably be closed if they were to combine forces. Although most analysts doubted a deal would come together, the proposal underscores the challenges facing traditional book

retailers as they look for ways to lower their costs. Barnes & Noble already is making some headway in digital books with its Nook e-reader, a major selling point in any potential deal, said Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom. “The one growth area in the US book industry is the digital push,” Wahlstrom said. Google’s electronic book store, in the works for more than a year, draws upon a portion of the 15 million printed books that the Mountain Viewbased company has scanned into its computers since 2004. About 4,000 publishers, including CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster Inc., Random House Inc. and Pearson PLC’s Penguin Group, are also allowing Google to carry many of their recently released books in the new store. Those publishing deals will ensure that most of the current best sellers are available in Google’s store, said Amanda Edmonds, who oversaw the company’s partnerships. Millions more out-of-print titles will appear in Google’s store, called eBooks, if the company can gain federal court approval of a proposed $125 million class-action settlement with US publishers and authors. The publishers and authors had sued Google, saying it scanned copyrighted books without getting permission. The settlement has been under review for more than two years. It faces stiff opposition from rivals, consumer watchdogs, academic experts, liter-

ary agents and foreign governments. They worry that Google would get too much power to control prices for e-books. If the settlement is rejected, those books cannot be sold in Google’s new store. Amazon.com, which started as an online bookseller, is among competitors trying to stop the settlement. The US Justice Department has advised the judge overseeing the case that the settlement probably would violate antitrust and copyright laws. Google’s e-books will work on the Nook, Sony Corp.’s Reader devices and practically every other e-reading device except the Kindle. Google achieves this with the help of Adobe Inc.’s copy-protection system for e-books. That system is already used by public libraries and smaller online bookstores, but hasn’t seen much interest from the major players. Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Apple all have their own copy-protection systems. Kindle owners also can sync their e-readers with a wide variety of other devices, although it isn’t compatible with other e-readers such as the Nook. Google plans to offer sharp discounts on many of its ebooks but it will still pay publishers 52 percent of the list price for sales made on its site, unless another arrangement has been negotiated with an outside agency. The formula means that even if Google elects to sell a book with a $10 list price for $6, the publisher would still get $5.20. — AP


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HEALTH & SCIENCE

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Orexigen diet pill faces US panel, eyes on safety WASHINGTON: The last of a trio of new weight loss drugs, Orexigen Therapeutics Inc’s Contrave, was set to face a panel of US advisers yesterday who are likely to have tough questions on the pill’s heart risks and other safety concerns. Shares of Orexigen have fallen 36 percent this year as investors worry whether the biotech can succeed where rivals have failed, aiming to tap into a potentially major market in the United States, where rates of obesity continue to soar. Drugmakers seeking a pill to help people slim down have been thwarted for decades by serious side effects, and few options remain on the US market even

Biotech to make case for approval of weight loss drug though two out of three Americans are overweight or obese. The US Food and Drug Administration in October rejected two rival pills from Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc and Vivus Inc. Orexigen, which has partnered with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd to help market its Contrave pill, will make its case before an FDA panel of outside experts. Contrave combines the alcohol and drug addiction drug naltrexone and the antidepressant bupropion in an attempt to boost metabolism while curbing appetite

and cravings. “It’s quite clear that the safety discussion will once again be key, especially with regard to cardiovascular risk,” JP Morgan analysts said in a recent note. “We anticipate a tough panel.” FDA is expected to make a final decision by Jan. 31, after considering the advisory panel’s recommendation. Approval is key to California-based Orexigen, which focuses solely on obesity drugs and has no products on the market yet. According to data from BioMedTracker, Contrave sales could reach $1.2 billion by 2018. That figure

would make it the top player in a US weight-loss drug market that sees just $382 million annually, according to IMS Health. Although the pill meets FDA effectiveness guidelines, in that at least 35 percent of patients studied were able to loose at least 5 percent of their body weight, agency staff last week pointed to concerns over heart risks, seizures and suicidal behavior. Modest w eight loss enough? Analysts have said Orexigen’s chances

to win panel support and FDA approval hinge on its ability to convince the experts that Contrave’s risks are manageable. Orexigen has said even modest weight loss can significantly improve a patient’s health by reducing the risk for chronic diseases linked to obesity such as diabetes and heart disease. It has said major heart problems were not common and occurred at a rate comparable to a placebo. Also at issue is whether the panel will consider the company’s 12 months of data as sufficient for a drug which many critics

say may be used for far longer by many patients. Orexigen’s only other fat pill candidate, Empatic, combines the antiseizure drug zonisamide with bupropion and is still in clinical trials. Diet and exercise are proven to help people shed pounds, but some say such efforts can be so difficult that drugs or other options like surgery are needed. Critics say policy changes targeting foods, public transportation, and other lifestyle changes are needed more than new pills. In October, the FDA rejected Arena’s lorcaserin over concerns about cancer findings in animal studies and shot down Vivus’s Qnexa by asking for more data on its heart risks. — Reuters

Half of Europe’s adults are overweight or obese LONDON: More than half of adults in European Union are overweight or obese, piling pressure onto their own health, their nations’ health systems and the wider economy, the OECD and the EU Commission said yesterday. In a report on health in the 27-member bloc, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Brussels-based Commission said the rate of obesity has more than doubled over the past 20 years in most member states. It also found that one in seven EU children is overweight or obese, and said the figures are set to rise even further. “This has considerable implications for costs of healthcare,” it said, citing a recent study on England which forecast that total costs linked to overweight and obesity could increase by as much as 70 percent between 2007 and 2015. “Children who are obese or overweight are more likely to suffer from poor health later in life, with a greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, arthritis, asthma, a reduced quality of life and even premature death,” the “Health at a Glance: Europe 2010” report said. Overweight people have a body mass index (BMI) of between 25 and 30 and obese people have a BMI of 30 or more, according to the World Health Organization. BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. Over half the EU adult population, or 50.1 percent is now overweight or obese. Looking at health spending, the report found that this had risen in all EU member states in the past decade, often increasing at a faster rate than economic growth. In 2008, EU states spent on average 8.3 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on health, up from 7.3 percent in 1998.

Life expectancy Meanwhile, better living conditions and medical progress have allowed life expectancy at birth in the EU to increase by 6 years between 1980 to 2007, from an average of 72 years in 1980 to 78 years in 2007. “Improvements in living and working conditions and in some health-related behaviors have contributed greatly to these longevity gains, but progress in medical care also deserves much credit,” the report said. The report described a wide range of obesity rates across the EU, from less than 10 percent in Romania and Italy to more than 20 percent in the UK, Ireland and Malta. On average, just over 15 percent of the EU adult population is obese. Commenting on the report, Europe’s Commissioner for health and consumer policy John Dalli said it would serve as a useful tool for governments to see where the major problems are. “In order to reverse the growing trend in obesity and other health problems in the EU we need reliable and up-to-date data to underpin the action we take,” he said in a statement. The report found that several factors-including lower rates of smoking and less heavy drinking in some countries- had led to a decline in deaths from heart disease, it is still the biggest cause of death in the EU, accounting for 40 percent of all deaths in Europe in 2008. The second leading cause of death in the EU is cancer, which accounted for 26 percent of deaths in 2008. The highest number of cancer deaths was reported in Denmark, followed by Hungary, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics and Slovenia. The lowest numbers of cancer deaths were in Cyprus, Finland and Sweden. — Reuters

Unhealthy living stays despite fear of disease LONDON: People across the world continue to smoke, drink and avoid exercise even though they also fear their unhealthy lifestyles will lead to long-term chronic disease, an international study found yesterday. Nearly half of the 12,000 people questioned across 12 countries admitted they only exercise for an hour a week or less, while 70 percent drink alcohol and almost a third smoke. Among the biggest drinking and smoking nations were Britain, which at 84 percent had the highest proportion of drinkers of the 12 countries surveyed, and Russia, where 43 percent smoke. Yet while such unhealthy lifestyles might suggest people don’t care about their health, the Bupa Health Pulse survey found that four in five, or 80 percent, say they are worried about developing chronic diseases. “While we seem to be aware of the prevalence of chronic disease in society, we’re not doing enough to reduce our risks of developing a long-term condition,” Sneh Khemka, medical director of Bupa International, said in a statement with the survey’s results. Bupa, which also commissioned a report on the survey from researchers from the London School of Economics (LSE), questioned 12,000 people in Australia, Brazil,

Britain, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain and the United States. When asked about the fears of developing chronic diseases, a third of respondents were most worried about cancer compared to only 11 percent being most worried about heart disease, and only 8 percent about diabetes. This was despite the fact that heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in Europe, the United States and many other rich nations. According to the Geneva-based World Health Organization, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases accounted for almost a third of all deaths around the world in 2005. “We know from research that exercise is one of the most effective lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing longterm conditions,” said Julien Forder, a senior research fellow at the LSE, who worked on the report. “Nearly a third of cardiovascular disease and more than a quarter of diabetes could be avoided if everyone started to exercise.” When asked to name their biggest barrier to making healthier lifestyle choices, 24 percent of those surveyed cited lack of time, almost a fifth cited motivation and 14 percent blamed the expense. — Reuters

MUENSTER: A great gray owl screws his head at the zoo. Winter has arrived in Germany with ice and snow all over the country. Weather forecast predicts changing temperatures with freezing rain and dangerous icing. — AP

WOLONG: In this photo, a four-month-old panda (center) is examined before it is released into the wild by panda researchers who dressed up as giant pandas to prevent the panda cub from seeing human shape at Wolong Giant Panda Reserve Centre. Panda researchers in the province are working to reintroduce giant pandas into the wild within 15 years, after successfully breeding them in captivity. — AP

Compromise spirit at climate talks CANCUN: It may not last, but a spirit of compromise seems to have settled over the annual UN climate conference as negotiators enter its final days looking for agreements on secondary tools for coping with global warming. The open sniping between the US and China that marked periodic talks earlier this year was not in evidence Monday as the second week of the two-week meeting got under way. “There were heated discussions at Copenhagen. Here the atmosphere is relatively mild,” China’s climate chief, Xie Zhenhua, told reporters. He was referring to the intense talks in the Danish capital last December that failed to produce a hoped-for binding pact requiring substantial cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide and other industrial, agricultural and transport gases blamed for global warming. No such overall emissions deal is expected at the negotiations under the UN climate treaty here, where environment ministers and

other negotiators from the 193 treaty nations are to wrap up their talks on Friday. They are aiming to reach agreements on such side issues as laying the groundwork for a “green fund” of $100 billion a year by 2020. Financed by richer nations, the fund would support poorer nations in converting to cleaner energy sources and in adapting to a shifting climate that may damage people’s health, agriculture and economies in general. Underlining the climate challenge, the UN Environment Program on Monday reported on the impact of global warming in Latin America. “The effects of climate change in the region are already significant,” it said, citing a surge in extreme climatic events, with a sharp rise in the number of people affected by extreme temperatures, forest fires, droughts, storms and floods growing from 5 million over the 1970s to more than 40 million in 2000-2009. It also said that malaria and other

mosquito-borne diseases that 40 years ago afflicted just a few countries in the Caribbean and Latin America can now be found, with warming, in the vast majority. Cancun’s spirit of compromise may be most needed in the coming days’ debates over limited gestures proposed in the area of emissions reductions. The US has long refused to join the rest of the industrialized world in the Kyoto Protocol, a 1997 add-on to the climate treaty that mandates modest emissions reductions by richer nations, and whose commitments expire in 2012. The US complained Kyoto would hurt its economy and should have mandated actions as well by such emerging economies as China and India. For their part, those poorer but growing nations have rejected calls that they submit to Kyoto-style legally binding commitments - not to reduce emissions, but to cut back on emissions growth. Their first obligation, these governments

say, is to develop their economies, not hobble them. “We still have 150 million people under the poverty line,” Xie told reporters Monday. In a nonbinding Copenhagen Accord last December, an agreement not accepted by all treaty parties, the US and other industrial nations announced targets for reducing emissions by 2020, and China and some other developing nations set goals, also voluntary, for cutting back on the growth of their emissions. Many parties now want to have those voluntary targets “anchored” more formally in a document emerging from the Cancun talks. At the same time, developing countries are pressing for the industrial nations to commit in Cancun to a second Kyoto period, further mandatory cutbacks beyond 2012 - a demand resisted by Japan, Russia and others who won’t submit to more legally binding emissions cuts until the US, China and some others take on binding targets under treaty. —AP

Video games make kids munch more vegetables WASHINGTON: After being fingered as a key cause of the rising rate of US childhood obesity, video games got a reprieve yesterday as a new study showed they can be used to encourage kids to eat healthier foods. The study, conducted in the United States, where nearly one in five six- to 19-yearolds is obese, found that children who played certain “serious” video games-not the blockbuster bloodand-guts ones like “Black Ops”increased the amount of fruit and vegetables they ate per day by around one serving. That is a useful step towards fighting childhood flab because “increased fruit and vegetable intakes have been associated with decreased risk of obesity,” says the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Baylor College of Medicine professor Tom Baranowski, who led the study, said the video games “Escape from Diab” and “Nanoswarm,” which were designed to change diet and physical activity behaviors to reduce the risk of becoming obese and diabetic, “motivated players to substantially improve diet behaviors. “Diab and Nanoswarm were designed as epic video game adventures, comparable to commercial quality video games. These games incorporate a broad diversity of behavior change procedures woven in and around engrossing

stories,” he said. Playing both games several times “had a meaningful effect on dietary fruit and vegetable intake,” the study found. But while that was good news, the bad news was that the children did not get more exercise, and, even with their increased intake of healthy foods, they still failed to eat the doctor-recommended minimum daily amount of fruit and vegetables. Health professionals recommend that children eat five servings a day of fruit or vegetables and get an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise. “Serious video games hold promise, but their effectiveness and mechanisms of change among youth need to be more thoroughly investigated,” said Baranowski. The childhood obesity rate in the United States has tripled in 30 years, with experts blaming the rise on everything from a poor diet based on processed foods to kids spending too much time in front of the television or playing computer games when they could be outside exercising. Obese children are more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to grow up to be obese adults, to suffer from a number of obesity-related conditions including diabetes, cadiovascular disease and fatty liver disease, and to die prematurely of any cause, various studies have found. — AFP

This photo shows chocolate fruitcake. This fruitcake has the right balance of moistness and tasteful ingredients to be one you will not pass on. — AP


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WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

India International School to host

2nd Yousuf Saleh Alyan Memorial Inter School Debate Competition India International School, TingheMangaf, is organizing an interestInter School Debate Competition in recognition of selfless service rendered in the field of media by the founder Editor of Kuwait Times newspaper in Kuwait, late Yousuf Saleh Alyan on Saturday, 11th December, 2010 at the auditorium of India International School, Mangaf, at 5.30 pm. Late Yousuf Saleh Alyan was the great architect of Kuwait Media. He put his heart and soul in starting the English newspaper in Kuwait before any modern development took place in this small country. Indeed, it was the great show of contemporary Arab society’s participation in the field of education. He was the most respectable and towering personali-

ty among Kuwaitis and expatriates. He is a pioneer in the field of Kuwaiti media. It is a fitting tribute conducting Inter school Debate Competition in his memory. All the Indian Schools in Kuwait are enthusiastically participating in this competition. The topic of the debate is ‘ Television is the leading cause of violence in today’s youth’. Students are eagerly looking forward to participate and manifest their talent at this grand event amidst many great luminaries in the field of education and media. This day will be a great day for the spectators who love to witness the children debating on a hot topic amidst a large crowd. Indeed this spectacular show will identify the young ones who will be torch bearers of tomorrow’s world.

NSS Palakkad hosts Bare, Nandajan By Sunil Cherian hey are apostles of people-oriented art and activists to promote Ttheater and film productions that

On Saturday December 4, 2010, Al-Bayan Bilingual School hosted the annual PEAK (Professional Educators Around Kuwait) Conference. Some 1,700 educators from 33 private schools from Kuwait came along to attend a day full of informative workshops in Arabic and English. There were 250 presentations to choose from including every education topic imaginable. It was a great day for teachers to learn new things to benefit the children they teach.

Farewell to a poetess t was an emotional evening, brimming with nostalgia as the members of Kuwait IBazm-e-Adab gathered on December 3rd at the Swimming Pool of Arabia Villa; Salwa residence of Humera Roshi. The gathering of members of association was in honour of Tajwer Sultana - a renowned Urdu and Hindi poetess and Joint Secretary of Kuwait Bazm-e-Adab who, during her short stay of around two years in Kuwait made her place in the hearts of admirers of Urdu and Hindi poetry. Her gentle manners, depth in thoughts and emotion in sensitive heart weaved wonderfully and created beautiful poetry which mesmerized readers across the country and overseas. The evening began with by paying rich accolades to Tajwer Sultana for her immense contribution towards enriching the literature, by writing poetries that touched hearts and set the readers thinking. The members of the association reliv-

ed their memories of moments and thought shared with her. The President of the association, Fayyaz Wardague presided over the session and spoke of how inspiring his association with her had been. Others, including Shahjahan Jaffery; General Secretary of association, Humera Roshi, Aftab Alam, Sunil Sonsi and Ashutosh Bathla echoed similar sentiments of how valuable her thoughts and strengths in her personality have been for each one of them. The emotions were mixed, for departure of a close friend is always sad and yet, there is goodwill for her life ahead. Fayyaz Wardague; the President of association honoured her with a memento, as a token of appreciation and love by all the members of Kuwait Bazm-e-Adab. In conclusion Tajwer Sultana profusely thanked the members for their warm wishes, goodwill and love which so graciously showered on her.

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). The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed today and on Thursday, December 16, 2010 on the occasion of New Hijra Year (1432) and the Victory Day 2010 accordingly. 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,

relate to people. Prakash Bare, the hero of acclaimed Indian film ‘The Tale Sufi Told’ and Nandajan, renowned theater director, both former classmates at NSS Engineering College, Palakkad and now busy in film, theater fields were welcomed by NSS, Palakkad Alumni Association, Kuwait yesterday. Bare, so named after his hometown in North Kerala, is the president of NSS Alumni spreading now all around the world. After Sufi, he produced an art house film titled Janaki, the story of a street child. The film directed by MG Sasi is the winner at Kenyan International Film Festival. Silicon Media, his production banner, committed to produce quality, peoplereaching films is currently producing a new movie loosely based on the life of the Indian poet P Kunjiraman Nair. The feature film, directed by noted writer P Balachandran, will have Prakash as the late poet.

and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, 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

Nandajan, an engineer by profession but dramatist by vocation has written and directed many plays that mainly communicate issues that are contemporary. His latest productions include the loose, creative and current versions of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Becket and Cherry Orchard by Chekhov. “It’s great to recount the past,” said Prakash and Nadajan, visiting Kuwait for the first time. “We presented Waiting for Godot in our college when we were students. It’s exciting when we are doing the same play now with changes our own time demands. Chekov’s last play Cherry Orchard conveyed the message of the futility of the aristocracy, a phenomenon currently happening in many a place in India”. Nandajan is hopeful of the changing face of Indian drama, citing Marathi plays as examples of well conveyed and well received art. “Drama is now less melodramatic, less dialog and more visual and the role of expats in promoting art is highly laudable,” he said, adding, “Art can survive despite piracy and TV serials”.

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 petitionbased, 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.

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


WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

31

(From left) Kerin Fatema, Aziza Khan, Jaime Etheridge and Muna Alfuzai.

ABCK holds Thanksgiving celebration he American Business Council of Kuwait celebrated its Annual Thanksgiving Event at the US Embassy- Kuwait. ABCK had invited the US soldiers, amidst its members and other US embassy dignitaries, thanking them for their contribution and sacrifice in keeping us safe. ABCK Chairman, Gregg Stevens, presented remarks of appreciation to the soldiers and the sponsors of the event. US Embassy Economics Counselor presented a brief statement of the economic climate of Business in Kuwait. The guests enjoyed the TTradition Thanksgiving buffet and left with appreciation for this memorable evening.

Radisson Blu hosts anniversary party Radisson Blu Hotel was proud to host a TpartyheKuwait on Monday, December 6th 2010 on the Al-Bustan terrace, to mark its 30th anniversary. Honorable invitees included the Marafie family as well as colleagues from the Marafie Group. Also present was the first General Manager of the hotel and now CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group, Kurt Ritter as well as other members from Rezidor. Current General Manager, Philippe Pellaud welcomed all guests and distinguished dignitaries. He also honored Radisson Blu Hotel’s Super Six staff, who have been working in the hotel since its opening, 30 years ago! The hotel was first opened in 1980, under the patronage of Prince Bertil of Sweden and has had many accomplishments over the years, including: The Al Boom steak and seafood restaurant, located onboard a traditional Kuwaiti dhow that sailed from India in 1981. The opening of the Peacock restaurant in 1983 with live peacocks having been flown in. The restaurant was soon acknowledged as one of the best Chinese restaurants in the Gulf. The arrival of the Al Ghazeer sailing dhow in 1987. Far more than just a pleasure cruiser, it also represents the importance of conserving Kuwait’s national maritime heritage. The Al Hashemi Grand Ballroom, which was officially inaugurated on March 29th 2000, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Soon after, the Al-Hashemi was awarded as the largest wooden dhow by the Guinness Book of World Records. Various attendees, including guests who have been using the hotel since the very beginning, were able to view numerous images at the party thus reminiscing the hotel’s past milestones.

‘Tune and Taste-2010,’ a memorable event rpan Kuwait celebrated its 11th anniverA sary “Tune and Taste 2010” presenting a potpourri of cultural programs reflecting the cultural heritage of India. ‘Tune and Taste - 2010’, a festival of food, music and heritage, held at the Indian Community School (Senior Girls), Salmiya on Friday, turned out to be a memorable event. Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra was the guest of honour at the occasion. A variety of programs were presented that included Mohiniyattom and Baharatanatyam by children from Nritta Dhyana dance school, Rangapooja and Dhandya Rass by Nritanjali Dance Academy, Song and dance by Ardra Anil, folk song presentation by Salmiya Kids, theatre sketch by Future Eye Theatre, Kuwait, cinematic dance by Atira Sathish, Aroma Sathish and group, classical song by Divya Satheesh and song by Neha Badra. A magic show held by Raj Kalesh was a major hit during the show. The major attraction of the event was a musical extravaganza presented by Idea Star singers Roshan, Williams and Neelima who were supported by Poornima and Anjana. Earlier, Arpan President Dr Radhakrisha Panicker delivered his presidential speech while Program Committee Convener Sam Vilanilam presented an overview of ‘Tune and Taste 2010” program. Gen Secretary Krishnan K Pillai welcomed the gathering. Popular TV Star and Amrita TV fame Raj Kalesh, assisted by Dr Panicker, K Pillai, Sam C Vilanilam, Advisory Board Chairman Suresh K P and Ladies Wing chairperson Manju Sreenath lighted the lamp to officially inaugurate the event. The annual souvenir was released jointly by Cultural Secretary and Souvenir Committee Convener Sajeev K Peter and Advisory Board member and souvenir Committee member K Mahadevan by handing over the first copy to Raj Kalesh. The raffle draw was conducted by its convener Satheesh Prabhakaran. The entire show was bril-

Cinemagic Tomorrow, 7.30pm North by Northwest Director: Alfred Hitchcock A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. Saturday, December 11, 7.30pm The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Director: Julien Schnabel The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn’t paralyzed.

liantly anchored by Rajeshwari Subbaraman. Arpan executive members and various program committee heads and members actively worked on and off stage towards

the success of the program. They include M. R Sreenath, A.R. Subbaraman, P.A Menon, Mohandas Edappal, Anil Viruvil, Varghese Joseph, Anilkumar Das, Varadarajan, Nagarajan K Sajeevan C,

Mohan K Iyer Sidharth Kuttath, Venkata Krishnan, Ramamoorthi, Anil Attuva and Sunil K Cherian. Ladies wing members Latha Mahadevan, Preetha Satheesh and Lakshmi Anil coordinated various activities.

Dr Sanaa Burisli from the Sabah Hospital celebrated the birthday of her daughter Nawal at the CN (Cartoon Network) in AlSharq Co-operative Society recently. The party was attended by several friends and family members.

Thursday, December 16, 7.30pm El Laberinto Del Fauno Director: Guillermo Del Toro In the fascist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. Saturday, December 18, 7.30pm The Nightmare Before Christmas Director: Tim Burton Jack Skellington, king of Halloweentown, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept. Cinemagic Kuwait, is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by Increasing the public’s interest in - and appreciation for - the art of film-making. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the roof on top of Alghanim Electronics and LG.


TV PROGRAMS

32

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings

00:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 01:00 Good Morning America 03:00 Law And Order 04:00 The Invisible Man 05:00 Smallville 06:00 Good Morning America 08:00 In Plain Sight 09:00 Lie To Me 10:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 11:00 Smallville 12:00 The Invisible Man 13:00 Law And Order 14:00 In Plain Sight 15:00 Live Good Morning America 17:00 Lie To Me 18:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 19:00 Law And Order 20:00 Justified 21:00 Boardwalk Empire 22:00 True Blood 23:00 The Pacific

00:50 After The Attack 01:45 Untamed And Uncut 02:40 K9 Cops 03:35 Escape To Chimp Eden 04:30 Animal Cops Phoenix 05:25 Lions And Giants 06:20 Untamed And Uncut 07:10 Wildlife SOS 07:35 Rspca: Have You Got What It Takes? 08:00 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 08:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 09:40 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 10:35 Xtremely Wild 11:00 Escape To Chimp Eden 11:55 Monkey Life 12:20 Rspca: Have You Got What It Takes? 12:50 Miami Animal Police 13:45 E-Vets: The Interns 14:10 Pet Rescue 14:40 Animal Cops Philadelphia 15:35 Wildlife SOS 16:00 Rspca: Have You Got What It Takes? 16:30 Dogs 101 17:25 Cats Of Claw Hill 18:20 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 19:15 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 20:10 Search For The Knysna Elephants 21:10 Cats 101 22:05 World Wild Vet 23:00 Shark Family 23:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia

00:35 The Jonathan Ross Show 01:25 The Weakest Link 02:10 Holby City 03:10 Eastenders 03:40 Doctors 04:10 Only Fools And Horses 04:40 Me Too 05:00 Forget Me Not Farm 05:15 The Roly Mo Show 05:30 Fimbles 05:50 Teletubbies 06:15 Penelope K, By The Way 06:25 Me Too 06:45 Forget Me Not Farm 07:00 The Roly Mo Show 07:15 Fimbles 07:35 Teletubbies 08:00 Penelope K, By The Way 08:10 Me Too 08:30 Forget Me Not Farm 08:45 The Roly Mo Show 09:00 Fimbles 09:20 Me Too 09:40 Forget Me Not Farm 09:55 The Roly Mo Show 10:10 Fimbles 10:30 Only Fools And Horses 11:00 Only Fools And Horses 11:30 The Weakest Link 12:15 North And South 13:05 Doctors 13:35 Eastenders 14:05 Holby City 15:05 Only Fools And Horses 16:35 North And South 17:25 The Weakest Link 18:10 Doctors 18:40 Eastenders 19:10 Holby City 20:10 North And South 21:00 The Weakest Link 21:45 Doctors 22:15 Eastenders 22:45 Casualty 23:40 Monarch Of The Glen

00:35 Masterchef 01:00 What Not To Wear 01:50 French Food At Home 02:20 Sweet Baby James 02:50 The Home Show 03:35 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 04:20 The Restaurant UK 05:10 Daily Cooks Challenge 05:45 Daily Cooks Challenge 06:20 What Not To Wear 07:15 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 08:10 Hidden Potential 08:30 Antiques Roadshow 09:20 What Not To Wear 10:15 What Not To Wear 11:05 Antiques Roadshow 11:55 Hidden Potential 12:15 Cash In The Attic USA 12:40 Chef At Home 13:00 French Food At Home 13:20 The Home Show 14:10 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 14:50 The Restaurant UK 15:45 What Not To Wear 16:35 The Home Show 17:20 Chef At Home 17:45 Bargain Hunt 18:30 Masterchef 18:55 Cash In The Attic USA 19:20 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:50 The Restaurant UK 20:40 Masterchef 21:10 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 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 Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch 02:05 Popeye 02:30 The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop 02:55 Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo 03:20 Looney Tunes 03:45 The Flintstones 04:10 The Jetsons 04:35 Top Cat 05:00 Tom And Jerry 05:25 Popeye Classics 05:50 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 06:15 Tom And Jerry Kids 06:40 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 07:05 Yogi’s Treasure Hunt 07:30 Droopy And Dripple 08:00 Tom And Jerry 08:25 Looney Tunes 08:55 The Flintstones 09:20 The Jetsons 09:45 Tom And Jerry Kids 10:10 The Garfield Show 10:35 Duck Dodgers 11:00 The Scooby Doo Show 11:30 Wacky Races 12:00 Dastardly And Muttley 12:25 King Arthur’s Disasters 12:50 Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch 13:15 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 13:40 Popeye 14:00 Looneynoons 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 Total Drama World Tour 20:00 Best Ed 20:25 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 20:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 21:05 The Powerpuff Girls 21:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 21:45 Ben 10: Alien Force 22:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 22:35 Robotboy 23:00 Camp Lazlo 23:25 Samurai Jack 23:50 Megas Xlr

01:00 Kiss Of Life-PG15 03:00 Dirty Pretty Things-PG15 05:00 The Secret Life Of Bees-PG15 07:00 Disco-PG 09:00 Fireproof-PG 11:00 The Brothers Bloom-PG15 13:00 Escape To Victory-PG15 15:00 Meet Dave-PG 17:00 Georgia O’Keeffe-PG15 19:00 Sophie’s Choice-18 21:30 Death Becomes Her-PG15 23:15 Self Medicated-18

00:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson 01:00 Backstory 01:30 World Sport 02:00 World Report 04:00 World Business Today 05:00 The Situation Room 06:00 Anderson Cooper 360 07:00 World Sport 07:30 Inside Africa 08:00 World Report 08:30 Backstory 09:00 World Report 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 World Report 12:30 Business Traveller 13:00 Larry King Live 14:00 World Report 14:30 World Sport 15:00 World Report 15:30 Talk Asia 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 Business Traveller 21:00 International Desk 22:00 Quest Means Business 22:45 CNN Marketplace Africa 23:00 World One

00:40 Overhaulin’ 01:35 Dirty Jobs 02:30 Miami Ink 03:25 Extreme Engineering 04:20 Mythbusters

05:15 How Do They Do It? 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Fifth Gear 07:25 Extreme Engineering 08:15 American Chopper 09:10 Mythbusters 10:05 Ultimate Survival 10:55 Overhaulin’ 11:50 The Gadget Show 12:20 How 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? 21:00 Time Warp 21:55 Wreckreation Nation 22:50 Mythbusters 23:45 Undercover

00:40 Race To Mars 01:30 The Gadget Show 01:55 Mega World 02:45 Eco-Tech 03:35 Ultimate Power Builders 04:25 How Stuff’s Made 04:50 Scrappy Races 05:45 Robotica 06:40 Weird Connections 07:10 Superships 08:00 Junkyard Mega-Wars 09:00 Race To Mars 10:00 Superships 10:55 Stunt Junkies 11:20 The Gadget Show 11:50 What’s That About? 12:45 How Stuff’s Made 13:15 Scrappy Races 14:10 Weird Connections 14:35 Science Of The Movies 15:30 Engineered 16:25 The Gadget Show 16:55 Race To Mars 17:50 Mega World 18:45 Brainiac 19:40 How Stuff’s Made 20:05 How Stuff’s Made 20:30 What’s That About? 21:20 How It’s Made 21:45 The Gadget Show 22:10 Space Pioneer 23:00 How Stuff’s Made 23:25 How Stuff’s Made 23:50 What’s That About?

00:00 Kim Possible 00:25 Fairly Odd Parents 01:15 Stitch 02:00 Replacements 02:50 Fairly Odd Parents 03:35 Stitch 04:25 Replacements 05:15 Emperors New School 06:00 Phineas And Ferb 06:45 Fairly Odd Parents 07:05 Sonny With A Chance 07:30 Kim Possible 07:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 08:15 Stitch 08:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:00 Handy Manny 09:25 Special Agent Oso 09:50 Jungle Junction 10:10 Imagination Movers 10:35 Special Agent Oso 10:50 Handy Manny 11:15 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 11:35 A Kind Of Magic 12:00 Jonas 12:25 Fairly Odd Parents 12:45 Phineas And Ferb 13:10 Hannah Montana 13:30 Sonny With A Chance 13:55 Hannah Montana 14:20 Jake And Blake 14:50 A Kind Of Magic 15:15 Fairly Odd Parents 15:40 Kim Possible 16:00 Hannah Montana 16:25 Sonny With A Chance 16:45 Jonas 17:10 Jake And Blake 17:40 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:25 Hannah Montana 19:10 Jonas 19:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 20:00 Sonny With A Chance 20:25 Jake And Blake 20:50 Hannah Montana 21:15 Phineas And Ferb 21:35 Fairly Odd Parents 22:00 Replacements 22:25 Hannah Montana 22:50 Sonny With A Chance 23:15 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:35 Jonas

07:25 Kick Buttowski 07:50 Pokemon 08:15 Phineas & Ferb 09:05 Kick Buttowski 09:30 American Dragon 09:55 Have A Laugh 10:00 Zeke & Luther 10:50 I’m In The Band 11:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 11:40 Suite Life On Deck 12:30 Aaron Stone 13:00 Phineas & Ferb 14:35 Jimmy Cool 14:55 Have A Laugh 15:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 15:50 Zeke And Luther 16:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 16:45 Kick Buttowski 17:10 Have A Laugh 17:15 I’m In The Band 17:40 Suite Life On Deck 18:05 Zeke And Luther 18:55 Phineas & Ferb 19:45 Kick Buttowski 20:10 Pokemon 20:35 American Dragon 21:00 Aaron Stone 21:30 Kid Vs Kat 21:55 Cars Toons 22:00 Phineas & Ferb 22:25 I’m In The Band 22:50 Have A Laugh 22:55 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 23:20 The Super Hero Squad Show

The Box on Show Movies

00:15 Pretty Wild 00:40 Dr 90210 01:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 01:55 Reality Hell 02:20 Ths 03:15 Extreme Hollywood 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 E!es 07:45 Behind The Scenes 08:10 Behind The Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:25 Fashion Police 09:50 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 10:15 25 Hottest Hollywood Cougar Tales

12:00 E! News 12:50 Behind The Scenes 13:15 Pretty Wild 13:40 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 Ths 16:15 Behind The Scenes 16:40 Behind The Scenes 17:10 Giuliana And Bill 18:00 E! News 18:50 Fashion Police 19:15 Pretty Wild 19:40 Ths 20:30 Kendra 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 22:10 E! News 23:00 Fashion Police 23:25 Kendra 23:50 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami

00:00 Mantracker Series 1 00:50 Man’s Work 01:40 Eds Up 02:30 Alpine Adventurer 03:20 Mantracker Series 1 04:10 Fantasy Factory 05:00 Man’s Work 05:50 Eds Up 06:40 Alpine Adventurer 07:30 I-Ex 09:00 Drop In TV 11:30 Rebel Tv 17 11:55 Winter X Games 14 12:45 Fantasy Factory 13:35 Mantracker Series 1 14:25 Eds Up 15:15 Alpine Adventurer 16:05 Winter X Games 14 16:55 Fantasy Factory 17:45 Drop In TV 20:15 Rebel Tv 17 20:40 Mantracker Series 1 21:30 Fantasy Factory 22:20 Winter X Games 14 23:10 Alpine Adventurer

00:00 Good Eats 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:00 Food Network Challenge 02:00 30 Minute Meals 02:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 03:00 Chopped 04:00 Barefoot Contessa 04:30 Unwrapped 05:00 Food Network Challenge 06:00 Good Eats 06:30 Guys Big Bite 07:00 Iron Chef America 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 Giada At Home 12:00 Paula’s Best Dishes 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 Good Eats 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 Giada At Home 20:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 21:00 Chopped 22:00 Barefoot Contessa 22:30 Everyday Italian 23:00 Food Network Challenge

00:30 Golf Channel - TBA 02:00 Golf Central International 02:30 Golf Channel - TBA 03:30 NHL Buffalo Sabres at Boston Bruins 06:30 Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 07:30 PGA Tour: Qualifying Tournament Final Rd. from Winter Garden, FL 11:00 NHL Buffalo Sabres at Boston Bruins 14:00 Golf Central International 14:30 Figure Skating Shall We Dance on Ice 15:30 ATP Champions Tour Bogota & Barcelona 16:00 World Team Tennis New York Buzz v Washington Kastles 18:00 NFL Replay Teams TBA 19:00 NHL Buffalo Sabres at Boston Bruins 22:00 Prime/Time Boxing

00:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner 01:30 The Haunted 02:20 A Haunting 03:10 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 04:05 Solved 05:00 Forensic Detectives 05:55 Crime Scene Psychics 06:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 07:10 Real Emergency Calls 08:00 Mystery ER 08:50 Real Emergency Calls 09:40 Forensic Detectives 10:30 Guilty Or Innocent? 11:20 Undercover 12:10 FBI Files 13:00 Ghost Lab 13:50 Extreme Forensics 14:40 Mystery ER 15:30 Real Emergency Calls 16:20 Undercover 17:10 Forensic Detectives 18:00 Guilty Or Innocent? 18:50 FBI Files 19:40 Mystery ER 20:30 Real Emergency Calls 21:20 Ghost Lab 22:10 Extreme Forensics 23:00 I Escaped Death 23:50 Murder Shift

00:00 New Adventures Of Ocean Girl 00:25 Sabrina The Animated Series 00:50 Sonic Underground 01:15 Fat Dog Mendoza 01:40 Tales From The Cryptkeeper 02:00 Dennis The Menace Marathon 07:00 Dennis The Menace 07:25 Beverly Hills Teen Club 07:45 Pelswick 08:00 Programmes Start At 8:00pm KSA 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

Flashbacks Of A Fool on Super Movies

01:05 Watch It 02:45 Foxy Brown 04:15 Wild Orchid 06:05 Youngblood 07:55 Shag 09:35 Madison 11:10 Haunted Honeymoon 12:30 Home Of Our Own, A 14:15 Italian Movie 15:50 Legend Of Johnny Lingo 17:20 Once Bitten 18:50 Mechanic 20:30 Jiminy Glick In Lala Wood 22:00 Extremities 23:30 Clambake

00:00 Kath And Kim 00:30 The Simpsons 01:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Boondocks 03:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 04:00 The Cleveland Show 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 8 Simple Rules ... 06:00 Hope And Faith 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 The Simpsons 08:30 8 Simple Rules ... 09:00 Hope And Faith 09:30 The Drew Carey Show 10:00 Will And Grace 10:30 My Boys 11:00 8 Simple Rules ... 11:30 Hope And Faith 12:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 13:00 The Simpsons 13:30 8 Simple Rules ... 14:00 Hope And Faith 14:30 Kath And Kim 15:00 My Boys 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 Will And Grace 19:00 Modern Family 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 State Of The Union 22:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 23:00 The Cleveland Show 23:30 Modern Family

00:00 Triangle-18 02:00 The Two Mr. Kissles-PG15 04:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By The SeaFAM 06:00 Crimes Of The Past-PG15 08:00 Cutting Edge: Fire And Ice-PG 10:00 Far North-PG 12:00 The Box-PG15 14:00 One Week-PG 16:00 Cutting Edge: Fire And Ice-PG 17:45 He’s Just Not That Into You-PG15 20:00 The International-18 22:00 Smokin Aces 2-PG15

01:00 Predator-PG15 03:00 Underworld: The Rise Of The Lycans-18 05:00 Dark Ride-18 07:00 The Sum Of All Fears-PG15 09:00 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-PG15 11:00 New Town Killers-PG15 13:00 The Betrayed-PG15 15:00 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-PG15 17:00 Blue Crush-PG15 19:00 The Faculty-18 21:00 The Taking Of Pelham 123-18 23:00 Penny Dreadful-18

00:00 The Milagro Beanfield War-PG15 02:00 Reality Bites-PG15 04:00 Life-PG15 06:00 The Perfect Score-PG15

08:00 Bedtime Stories-FAM 10:00 Baby Mama-PG 12:00 Ed-FAM 14:00 Paper Heart-PG15 16:00 The Milagro Beanfield War-PG15 18:00 Without A Paddle: Nature’s CallingPG15 20:00 For Love Or Money-PG 22:00 Step Brothers-PG15

00:00 Felix 1-FAM 02:00 Doubting Thomas: Spies And LiesPG 04:00 Ulysses-PG 06:00 Superman/Batman: Public Enemies-PG 08:00 Scruff In Halloween-FAM 10:00 Ulysses-PG 12:00 Mamma Moo And Crow-FAM 14:00 Doubting Thomas: Spies And LiesPG 16:00 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 18:00 Blank Check-FAM 20:00 Welcome Back Pinocchio-FAM 22:00 Mamma Moo And Crow-FAM

00:00 The Closer 02:00 The Martha Stewart Show 03:00 House 04:00 The View 05:00 What’s Good For You 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 House 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 What’s Good For You 10:00 House 11:00 The View 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 The Closer 16:00 Look-A-Like 17:00 The View 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Grey’s Anatomy 20:00 Private Practice 21:00 The Deep End 22:00 The View 23:00 Look-A-Like

01:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 01:30 Aviva Premiership 03:30 World Match Tour Racing 05:30 Brazil League Highlights 06:00 Futbol Mundial 06:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 07:00 World Pool Masters 08:00 Brazil League Highlights 08:30 Futbol Mundial 09:00 Aviva Premiership 11:00 The Ryder Cup Official Film 12:30 Live Dubai Ladies Masters 15:30 European Tour Weekly Review of the Year 16:30 IRB Sevens 19:30 European Tour Weekly 20:00 Spirit of a Equestrian 20:30 Spirit of Yachting 21:00 Dubai Ladies Masters

02:00 European Tour Weekly 03:00 Brazil League Highlights 03:30 Futbol Mundial 04:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 04:30 Aviva Premiership 06:30 World Sport 07:00 UK Championship Snooker 11:00 ICC Cricket World 11:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 12:00 Scottish Premier League 14:00 World Pool Masters 15:00 ICC Cricket World 15:30 Brazil League Highlights 16:00 Futbol Mundial 16:30 Live UK Championship Snooker 21:30 European Tour Weekly 22:00 Live UK Championship Snooker

00:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 01:00 Prizefighter 04:00 UAE National Race Day 05:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Vintage Collection 08:00 V8 Supercars Championship 10:00 FIM World Cup 10:30 Full Throttle 11:00 UAE National Race Day 12:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 13:00 FIM World Cup 13:30 FIA GT1 World Championship 15:00 V8 Supercars Championship 17:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 18:00 WWE Vintage Collection 19:00 WWE Smackdown 21:00 UFC Unleashed

01:00 While She Was Out-18 03:00 Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian-PG15 05:00 Witness To Waco-PG15 07:00 It’s A Free World-PG15 09:00 Suburban Girl-PG15 11:00 Ye Olde Times-PG 13:00 April Showers-PG15 15:00 Whip It-PG15 17:00 Suburban Girl-PG15 19:00 The Invention Of Lying-PG15 21:00 The Waiting City-PG15 23:00 Flashbacks Of A Fool-18

00:45 The Collector 02:40 Kelly’s Heroes 05:00 The Screening Room 05:25 Bob And Carol And Ted And Alice 07:10 The Screening Room 08:00 Where The Spies Are 09:50 The Last Time I Saw Paris 11:45 Mogambo 13:40 Kelly’s Heroes 16:00 The Asphalt Jungle 17:50 A Patch Of Blue 19:35 Penelope 21:10 The Glass Bottom Boat 23:00 The Dresser

00:40 Dead Men’s Secrets 01:30 How the Earth Was Made 02:20 Evolve 03:10 Dead Men’s Secrets 04:00 Pawn Stars 04:55 Ax Men 2 05:50 World War II: Lost Films 06:40 Dead Men’s Secrets 07:30 How the Earth Was Made 08:20 Evolve 09:10 Dead Men’s Secrets 10:00 Pawn Stars 10:55 Ax Men 2 11:50 World War II: Lost Films 12:40 Dead Men’s Secrets 13:30 How the Earth Was Made 14:20 Evolve 15:10 Dead Men’s Secrets 16:00 Pawn Stars 16:55 Ax Men 2 17:50 World War II: Lost Films 18:40 Dead Men’s Secrets 19:30 How the Earth Was Made 20:20 Evolve 21:10 Dead Men’s Secrets 22:00 Scots at War 22:55 Battle of Britain 23:50 Battle Stations

00:00 Cover Power 01:00 Music For The Masses 02:00 Greatest Hits 03:00 VH1 Music 06:00 Chill Out 08:00 VH1 Hits 10:00 Aerobic 11:00 VH1 Hits 12:00 Music For The Masses 13:00 Top 10 14:00 Music For The Masses 15:00 VH1 Pop Chart 16:00 VH1 Hits 18:00 Music For The Masses 19:00 VH1 Loves 20:00 Guess The Year


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

33 ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for one or two working ladies or married couple with Keralite family. Contact: 66013882. (C 2970) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for a small family / executive bachelor / ladies with a Keralite family. Tel: 24315135. (C 2971) 8-12-2010

toilet, preferably with a Christian family anywhere around Salmiya. Contact: 66764062. (C 2966) Sharing accommodation available for family (Indian) or bachelors, Amman Street, Opp. Al-Rashid Hospital, Salmiya. Contact: 65515717. (C 2968) C-A/c room available with small Indian Goan Hindu family, Amman Street, Salmiya. Please call: 99408202. (C 2969) 7-12-2010

Accommodation available for a small family / couple, or one or two decent non-smoking / nondrinking bachelors in a two bed room flat in Abbassiya near Holy Sweets from 1 Jan 2011. Please contact: 97669236 or 24315927 after 5 pm. (C 2987)

Sharing accommodation available in Farwaniya for couples / visiting families / one decent executive bachelor (Keralite / South Indian only) to share with a small Keralite family in a two bedroom C-A/C flat, easy access to bus stops, Jamiya. Contact: 97508939. (C 2962)

Want sharing accommodation, for an executive, single room with separate

Sharing room accommodation available for a decent and non-smoking

Keralite bachelor from December onwards near High Way Center Supermarket in Abbassiya, rent KD 40. Contact: 66130689, 55420571. (C 2964) Sharing accommodation available in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom CAC flat for South Indian family or bachelor in New Riggae from Jan 1. Contact: 99515956. 5-12-2010 Fully furnished new flat at Amman Street, Round about in Salmiya with 2 bedrooms, servant room, balcony and covered private parking ready, all the furniture of the house on sale, with or without flat. Please call Kumar: 97852962. (C 2896) Accommodation available for a small family/couple, or one or two decent non-smoking/non-drinking bachelors in a two bed-

room flat at Abbassiya near Paradise Restaurant/Holy-Sweets from 1 Jan 2011. Please contact: 97669236 or 24315927 after 5 pm. (C 2957) 4-12-2010

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla, model 2010, color silver, good condition, price KD 3850 only. Tel: 66974049. (C 2965) Wansa TV 40” with stand + seven seater sofa set + dressing table for immediate sale. Sparingly used. Contact: 66764062. (C 2967) 7-12-2010 Toyota Corolla Box 2002 model 1.3 white excellent condition. Good for family or contracting company. Contact: 66233022. (C 2961) Toyota Corolla, model 2006, colour white, km done 67000, excellent condition, cash price KD 2400. Contact: 99934965. (C 2960) Toyota Corolla, model 2008, white color, engine 1.8, well maintained, 72,000km, price KD 3400. Contact: 55160100. (C 2959) 5-12-2010 Mitsubishi Nativa 2008 model, color blue, km 75000, good condition, price KD 3200. Contact: 99719942. (C 2954)

istry of Defence as LabTechnician. E-mail: kannurmarg@gmail.com (C 2963) 5-12-2010 Orthodox parents invite proposals for their son 27/172 wheatish complexion, BE MBA, working in Kuwait, from professionally well educated Christian girls from Kuwait or outside Kerala. Contact email: rabraham83@gmail.com (C 2899) 1-12-2010

SITUATION VACANT

Wanted cook (Christian) non-smoker, for decent Kuwaiti family must be professional in Kuwaiti dishes and sweets and bread. (Temporary or Transferable). Tel: 97596289. (2958) 2-12-1010

CHANGE OF NAME

MATRIMONIAL Proposals are invited from parents of professionally qualified Keralite Sunni Muslim girls for 28 years, BSC MLT, working in Min-

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

No: 14932

I Lilian Ugboaku Ozurumba of Nigerian passport number A4069762, hereby change my name to Lilian Ugboaku Carson.

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Airlines WAN GFA ETH BBC THY UAE DHX QTR ETD JZR JZR KAC JZR FCX BAW KAC JZR KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC UAE ABY QTR ETD GFA IRA FCX WAN WAN JZR JZR MEA SVA MSR JZR IRM KAC FDB MSR UAL OMA SVA KAC KAC KNE KAC

Arrival Flights on Wednessday 08/12/2010 Flt Route 306 CAIRO 211 BAHRAIN 620 ADDIS ABABA 46 DHAKA / BAHRAIN 772 ISTANBUL 853 DUBAI 370 BAHRAIN 138 DOHA 305 ABU DHABI 529 ASSIUT 207 DAMASCUS 544 CAIRO 503 LUXOR 201 DOHA 157 LONDON 412 MANILA / BANGKOK 555 ALEXANDRIA 352 COCHIN 53 DUBAI 382 DELHI 302 MUMBAI 678 MUSCAT / DUBAI 344 CHENNAI 362 COLOMBO 855 DUBAI 123 SHARJAH 132 DOHA 301 ABU DHABI 213 BAHRAIN 603 SHIRAZ 203 DUBAI 182 BAHRAIN 102 DUBAI 121 BAHRAIN 165 DUBAI 404 BEIRUT 9301 JEDDAH 610 CAIRO 561 SOHAG 5066 MASHAD 672 DUBAI 57 DUBAI 621 ASSIUT 982 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 645 MUSCAT 500 JEDDAH 552 DAMASCUS 562 AMMAN 745 JEDDAH 284 DHAKA

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

QTR SYR KAC CLX KNE RBG JZR IRC ETD UAE GFA KAC SVA RJA JZR JZR ABY WAN VOS ALK JZR WAN WAN IYE KAC WAN KAC KAC KAC KAC WAN IAC KAC KAC KAC FDB OMA JAI WAN JZR DHX GFA VOS MEA QTR UAE WAN KAC SAI MSR JZR UAL

134 341 546 792 701 3555 201 6791 303 857 215 550 510 800 777 239 127 432 97 227 177 304 204 824 542 106 618 786 614 674 202 575 166 102 774 61 647 572 402 787 372 217 81 402 136 859 322 502 441 612 185 981

DOHA DAMASCUS ALEXANDRIA LUXEMBOURG RIYADH ALEXANDRIA DAMASCUS MASHAD ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN SHARM EL SHEIKH / SOHAG RIYADH AMMAN JEDDAH AMMAN SHARJAH DAMASCUS KANDAHAR / DUBAI COLOMBO / DUBAI DUBAI CAIRO JEDDAH SANAA / DOHA CAIRO DUBAI DOHA JEDDAH BAHRAIN DUBAI JEDDAH CHENNAI / GOA PARIS / ROME NEW YORK / LONDON RIYADH DUBAI MUSCAT MUMBAI BEIRUT RIYADH BAHRAIN BAHRAIN BAGHDAD BEIRUT DOHA DUBAI SHARM EL SHEIKH BEIRUT LAHORE / KARACHI CAIRO DUBAI BAHRAIN

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

WAN DLH AXB WAN PIA WAN

Airlines UAL IAC PIA DLH ETH KAC BBC THY DHX UAE ETD QTR JZR WAN JZR GFA WAN VOS JZR FDB KAC BAW KAC KAC KAC KAC UAE ABY KAC QTR ETD GFA KAC IRA JZR FCX JZR KAC JZR KAC MEA KAC JZR

186 636 393 422 215 108

BAHRAIN FRANKFURT KOZHIKODE / COCHIN AMMAN KARACHI DUBAI

23:10 23:35 23:40 23:45 23:55 23:55

Departure Flights on Wednesday 08/12/2010 Flt Route Time 981 982 206 637 620 283 46 773 371 854 306 139 560 101 164 212 181 94 120 54 545 156 671 551 549 561 856 124 117 133 302 214 177 602 200 204 776 541 238 103 405 785 176

WASHINGTON DC DULLES AHMEDABAD / CHENNAI LAHORE FRANKFURT BAHRAIN / ADDIS ABABA DHAKA DHAKA ISTANBUL BAHRAIN DUBAI ABU DHABI DOHA SOHAG DUBAI DUBAI BAHRAIN BAHRAIN DUBAI / KANDAHAR BAHRAIN DUBAI ALEXANDRIA LONDON DUBAI DAMASCUS SHARM EL SHEIKH / SOHAG AMMAN DUBAI SHARJAH NEW YORK DOHA ABU DHABI BAHRAIN FRANKFURT / GENEVA SHIRAZ DAMASCUS BAGHDAD JEDDAH CAIRO AMMAN LONDON BEIRUT JEDDAH DUBAI

0:45 1:05 1:10 1:30 2:30 2:40 3:10 3:15 3:45 3:50 4:00 4:55 5:55 6:50 6:55 7:15 7:55 8:00 8:20 8:25 8:50 8:55 9:00 9:10 9:15 9:20 9:40 9:45 10:00 10:15 10:20 10:20 10:30 10:40 10:55 11:45 12:00 12:00 12:10 12:30 12:55 13:40 13:50

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

MSR SVA IRM FDB MSR KAC OMA UAL KAC KNE SVA SYR KAC KAC KAC QTR KNE RBG CLX JZR ETD IRC GFA WAN UAE RJA JZR ABY SVA JZR ALK IYE KAC FDB KAC OMA JAI JZR KAC DHX KAC GFA MEA FCX QTR JZR KAC UAE MSR KAC SAI

611 2301 5065 58 622 673 646 982 617 746 503 342 501 613 773 135 704 3556 792 786 304 6792 216 305 858 801 184 128 511 266 228 824 361 62 331 648 571 502 543 373 675 218 403 102 137 554 301 860 613 415 442

CAIRO JEDDAH MASHAD DUBAI ASSIUT DUBAI MUSCAT BAHRAIN DOHA JEDDAH MEDINAH / JEDDAH DAMASCUS BEIRUT BAHRAIN RIYADH DOHA MEDINAH ALEXANDRIA HONG KONG RIYADH ABU DHABI MASHAD BAHRAIN CAIRO DUBAI AMMAN DUBAI SHARJAH RIYADH BEIRUT DUBAI / COLOMBO SANAA COLOMBO DUBAI TRIVANDRUM MUSCAT MUMBAI LUXOR CAIRO BAHRAIN DUBAI BAHRAIN BEIRUT BAHRAIN DOHA ALEXANDRIA MUMBAI DUBAI CAIRO KUALA LUMPUR / JAKARTA LAHORE

13:55 14:00 14:20 14:35 14:50 15:10 15:15 15:25 15:35 15:40 15:45 16:05 16:15 16:20 16:25 16:30 16:40 17:15 17:15 17:35 17:40 17:45 18:05 18:05 18:10 18:15 18:20 18:25 18:35 18:40 19:10 19:40 20:20 20:50 21:00 21:10 21:15 21:40 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:15 22:20 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:45 22:50 23:45 23:45 23:50


SPECTRUM

34

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Calvin

CROSSWORD 162

Aries (March 21-April 19) You appreciate the

freedom to express your ideas in the work place today—others are listening. You are good at laying out a foundation for yourself and others to build upon. This could be anything from planning in architecture to planning on the outcome of a fictional story. Many people need an instruction book but you seem to intuitively and creatively complete projects, fit things together and create a positive outcome to difficult situations. Your ability to understand life in general makes you a good teacher. Your ability to make good decisions will be valued. Underneath that hard working person that you are lies a very industrious person. Now is the time to be expressive and allow these good qualities to surface.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) A new goal in the work place

seems to be a good idea, but you may wonder if you are on the right track. The goal is probably a very good one, so keep the plans on paper for now and use the next few weeks to firm up your idea. So many people will be out of town just when you want to gain support for your ideas. Your innate ability to understand and be sensitive to others needs puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to communicating regarding groups or society in general. Knowing what people really want and need is the main key to your success. You may find yourself more involved in getting things and people organized. Managing a team is successful at this time. Making your own gifts for the holiday is a good idea this year; get busy!

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A unit of pressure. 4. Deprive of certain characteristics. 10. Not reflecting light. 13. The 17th letter of the Greek alphabet. 14. Of or relating to a directionless magnitude. 15. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 16. Large (to 3 feet) blackish yellow-banded South American lizard. 18. The basic unit of money in Western Samoa. 19. The federal agency that insures residential mortgages. 20. A large zodiacal constellation between Libra and Sagittarius. 23. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 24. A port city and resort in Andalusia in southern Spain on the Mediterranean. 28. A genetic disorder of metabolism. 29. An ancient region of west central Italy (southeast of Rome) on the Tyrrhenian Sea. 33. (`cease' is a noun only in the phrase `without cease') End v 1. 36. A French abbot. 37. A transuranic element that has not been found in nature. 38. A federal agency that supervises carriers that transport goods and people between states. 39. A highly unstable radioactive element (the heaviest of the halogen series). 41. Informal terms for a human head. 43. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 45. Of or relating to or characteristic of the Republic of Chad or its people or language. 47. Wasting time. 49. Squash bugs. 53. Attack someone physically or emotionally. 58. A region of Malaysia in northeastern Borneo. 59. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 61. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 62. Counting the number of white and red blood cells and the number of platelets in 1 cubic millimeter of blood. 63. Type genus of the Annonaceae. 65. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 66. Czechoslovakian religious reformer who anticipated the Reformation. 67. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 68. Either extremity of something that has length. DOWN 1. An honorary arts degree. 2. A case or sheath especially a pollen sac or moss capsule. 3. A magic power or magic spell. 4. North American republic containing 50 states - 48 conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. 5. A state in southeastern United States. 6. A Powhatan Indian woman (the daughter of Powhatan) who befriended the English at Jamestown and is said to have saved Captain John Smith's life (15951617). 7. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 8. The Mongol people living the the central and eastern parts of Outer Mongolia. 9. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 10. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 11. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 12. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 17. Type genus of Ursidae. 21. (folklore) Fairies that are somewhat mischievous. 22. The cry made by sheep. 25. A city in northwestern Germany and an important Baltic port. 26. Fleshy spore-bearing inner mass of e.g. a puffball or stinkhorn. 27. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 30. A member of the Pueblo people living in western New Mexico. 31. A ruler of the Inca Empire (or a member of his family). 32. Affording unobstructed entrance and exit. 34. (computer science) A coding system that incorporates extra parity bits in order to detect errors. 35. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 40. A protocol developed for the internet to get data from one network device to another. 42. The probability of a specified outcome. 44. Any orchid of the genus Disa. 46. Doglike nocturnal mammal of Africa and southern Asia that feeds chiefly on carrion. 47. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 48. A university town in east central Maine on the Penobscot River north of Bangor. 50. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools. 51. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 52. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 54. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 55. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 56. Extremely robust. 57. Relating to or characteristic of or occurring on land. 60. A numbered compartment in a post office where mail is put to be called for. 64. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 65. Unknown god.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Conversations at a meeting may take the road to a misunderstanding— careful. Perhaps rephrasing your words or asking another to rephrase his or her words would be helpful toward a better understanding. You have a talent for writing and may be able to rise above the usually over-worked ad department this particular day. You are kind-hearted, understanding and sensitive to the needs of others. This puts you in an excellent position to communicate with all concerned. You find many ways to broaden your horizons this afternoon. You may feel the need to involve yourself in many areas of endeavor, possibly education, politics, religion or law. Travel is also a subject of attraction and you may decide the travel industry could use your creative mind.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Those in authority know of your ability to manage and direct other people. They could be seeking you out to take responsibility for a particular job requiring your special talent(s). It is a great time to be with others and to work together. Now is a particularly good time for you to use your imagination and creative ability when it comes to ideas and thinking. Your talent for being able to put your thoughts into words will allow you to delight and fascinate those around you. You may find a good book or movie your preferred entertainment this evening. You should find no problem in being able to enjoy and value your own life situation, or feel especially kind-hearted toward a friend or loved one. Expect some nice compliments to come your way tonight. Leo (July 23-August 22) A great deal of interaction with your co-workers may keep you in the same job position for much too long. If you want to encourage your supervisor to pay attention to your great potential, you will do well to request work that would put you in a team situation or create an opportunity to lead a group. The most emotional satisfaction at this time comes from the friends you have made during this last year. This may be a good day to plan some type of get-together. An exercise routine that you tolerate would work best if you could move the time you exercise to the early afternoon. Later today you will gently encourage a smoker to take up a different habit. At home this evening you become more comfortable in helping a friend with a homework assignment.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Your business expertise is showing this morning as you try to find the code, equation or key to some difficult problem. Figuring out how to organize people or a project is likely to be a topic of special appeal, as well as a challenge today. When you see that there is practical worth and application in some activity, you push with everything you have to see the end result. This may be a time of concentrated study and thought. Your mind is very quick and you seem to understand your emotions and drive. If necessary, you have no problem in discussing your feelings with great insight and ease. This should be a particularly great time to be with others and to work together. A social engagement this evening turns out to be a great deal of fun.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Your desire to try something totally new and different could lead you on an investigation of some rather far-out ideas. Everything is working in your favor to help bring out your unique qualities. It may surprise you just a little to realize who will understand and support your rather eccentric behavior. This could all find you coming up with some new solutions to long-held problems or possibly even guiding you in discovering something very inventive. Socially, you could be the belle of the ball, so to speak, because of your rather different approach to some very enlightening subjects. Those around you will not feel cheated or bored at having listened to what you advocate. You may enjoy chatting about the evening events all over again with a loved one.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Money matters are on

your mind today. It is time to find ways to increase the income and you know you are worth it. It could also be that you realize a career change makes sense now. Do not wait for success to come to you—reach for it. Through your words and ideas, you will make a difference in other people’s lives. Psychiatry, poetry or perhaps art may be a part of this. Because of your eloquence in speech and communication, you should find others being very responsive to what you have to say. A PTA meeting or community gettogether will give you an opportunity to create some positive input or open doors of opportunities to increase the safety in a neighborhood. Conditions are perfect for self-expression, wherever you find yourself. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Spend some time in thought before making your final decision about an important work issue. This is a time when it will pay for you to be very careful in making a decision that might involve a change in direction where your professional life is concerned. There could be a tendency to make choices too quickly. Later today, you help a friend to make a wonderful presentation at her school or committee/club meeting. You teach young people to choose their friends with the idea that they and their friends interact with one another to help each other grow and learn. Someone in your life is learning a lot and they want to share new information with you. You have probably heard it all before— but listen anyway—this person would do the same for you.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Today

you may find yourself lecturing or judging. Your thoughtful appreciation for ideas and thoughts should make this an excellent time to think and study. You may find yourself in the middle of a very enjoyable long conversation, writing a letter, or making that special phone call. You have an abundance of beautiful and harmonious relationships in your life and may find yourself in a creative writing class, house-design class, flying lessons, etc., with one or more of these beautiful people. You require and enjoy your close personal relationships, to assure a well-rounded life style. Those around you will have no problem in knowing just where you are coming from, as you are quite forceful and eloquent in your ability to communicate.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You will see that your businesslike abilities are at a high point. You could find yourself involved in some in-depth discussions now— you are at your mental best. Now is the time you will see why it is you had to study that dull class that was required in high school. The subject just may be the favorite pastime of a very rich customer who will appreciate your input. Sweethearts, children, and other folks or things that you consider near and dear to your heart are emphasized at this time. There may not be a more powerful need in your life just now than knowing people admire you for your capabilities and talents. Someone younger than yourself may look to you for answers to problems that are of great importance to him or her.

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

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

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

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

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Professional advice may work in your best interest—whether you give or receive, it does not really matter. You have a sense of mass psychology about how to organize sale items or fast sale items and can manipulate sensitive areas of the public mind. You may find the results of your efforts are quite successful. Work and career may become a primary focus during this time. There are opportunities to make good decisions. You are at your most practical. Just be careful that you do not become so overstressed with your work that you neglect home, family and your health. A neighbor may require a bit of your time this afternoon but all is upbeat. This evening you are very passionate and are willing to go all out in an effort to please your lover.


INFORMATION

Wednesday, December 8, 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

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Khadissiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

4892674

Al-Omariya

4719048

N.Kheitan

4710044

Rabiya

4732263

Fintas

3900322

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

PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi

PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Hawally

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554

EMERGENCY 112

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

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

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

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

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

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

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SPECTRUM

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Keira Knightley wanted to retire at 22

‘homewrecker’

he comic blasted the actress - who has been in a relationship with Brad Pitt, the ex-husband of the TV host’s close pal Jennifer Aniston, since 2005 - during her stand-up comedy show in Newark, New Jersey, and mocked the brunette beauty for adopting three children from Cambodia, Vietnam and Ethiopia. She ranted: “She’s a homewrecker, she is. She can rescue as many babies from as many countries as she wants to. She gives interviews, ‘I don’t have a lot of female friends.’ Because you’re a homewrecker!” Though Angelina - who raises adopted Maddox, nine, Pax, seven, and five-year-old Zahara with Brad, as well as their biological kids, Shiloh, four, and two-yearold twins Knox and Vivienne - has always maintained she and her ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ co-star never got romantically involved until after he split from Jennifer, Chelsea is not convinced. One source said: “Chelsea hates Angelina and doesn’t for one second buy that she is this good person rescuing children in need around the world. Everyone in Hollywood is scared to say what they really think about Angelina except Chelsea. “She thinks Angie stole another woman’s husband and should be called out on it.” Chelsea spent the recent Thanksgiving holiday in Mexico with Jennifer, and pals believe the outspoken presenter is a good influence on the former ‘Friends’ star. The source added to gossip website PopEater: “Chelsea is the best thing to happen to Jen. Chelsea isn’t afraid to tell Jen the truth even if it is painful. In the past Jen has made it clear that she doesn’t want her friends talking about what went down between her, Brad and Angie. “But Chelsea doesn’t care. She thinks Angelina has used her kids to manipulate her image and gotten away with destroying a beautiful marriage. She’s going to shout it from the roof tops weather Jen likes it or not.”

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Eva Longoria feels defeated he ‘Desperate Housewives’ actress - who is in the process of divorcing husband Tony Parker was surrounded by dozens of pals at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont and though she put on a brave face, she couldn’t hide her sadness. One onlooker said: “She wasn’t her feisty little self. If I could describe her energy in one word, I would say ‘defeated.’ “Eva was smiling and even laughing at times, but it was so apparent that underneath it all she was sad and hurt. It was very obvious. “She had a grin on her face, but every so often she would stare off into space and looked very sad and somber.” Despite her sadness, Eva and Tony - who married in July 2007 - are attempting to keep their divorce civil and were even spotted having lunch together last week, with pals saying they met to “work out the details” of their split. It was recently claimed that the 35-year-old star’s close pal Victoria Beckham had urged all their friends to rally round and support the actress through her heartbreak. A source said: “Victoria has rounded all the girl troops in their inner clique so they can have some girly time and relax. She has given her some sexy VB dresses to cheer her up and is planning a night out for Eva with all their celeb friends.” —Bang Showbiz

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he 25-year-old actress revealed she wasn’t happy with her career and felt she had missed out on a normal life but the chance to work with fellow British star Carey Mulligan on ‘Never Let Me Go’ changed her mind. She told Britain’s Vogue magazine: “I didn’t know if I was going to go back to acting at all. I think for a long time I

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thought I wouldn’t. I think I intended not to work again.” “Carey’s a very good friend of mine and I felt if I was to start making films again, she was someone who would watch my back.” Keira who is in a relationship with actor Rupert Friend - explained she considered quitting acting is because she had become disillusioned with her privi-

leged life but also because she was desperate to go on vacation. She said: “I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing and I felt terribly guilty about that. “I remember hating the idea that I was in a privileged position and couldn’t see the point of any of it. “I had worked solidly since I was 16, till 22, and I had not been on holiday in all of that time.”

Fergie needs her own tour bus he ‘I Gotta Feeling’ hitmaker - who is married to actor Josh Duhamel - prefers to lead a quieter life than her bandmates, will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap and so opts to have her own space so she can keep to a regular routine. She said: “I have a tour bus when we’re in the US. I have my team on one bus, because I don’t go out as much as the boys. “When I first joined the group I tried to keep up, but I’m a girl and I try to be a lady. I just can’t go out as much as the boys do. “So I leave at a different time and go to the gym and am responsible. Touring with the Peas is like touring with a big fraternity. I’m lucky, I get to be the little mascot and once in a while go out with the boys and do it up. But I’m all about balance.” Fergie also admitted she understands little about the business side of the recording industry and even gets her parents and therapist to listen in on her telephone calls to help her make sense of what is being discussed. She told Billboard magazine: “You know what? The business side of it? That’s not my cup of tea. Will’s great at it. He thrives on it. It’s just not my personality. I want to get straight to the art. “I have my business team explain it to me. I actually have conference calls where I have my mom and dad on the phone, my accountant, my lawyer... Once in a while, I even have my therapist on these calls. I’m not kidding. “I’m very cut to the chase; that’s my personality. I don’t like to speak in circles. So when people do that I’m trying to find out, ‘OK, guys, what are we really talking about here?’ So my therapist listens in. “It’s very important to make informed decisions. I can be very impulsive, which is great as an artist but not as a businesswoman. So I have to slow down and surround myself with a great support team.”

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he 16-year-old singer insists that despite his worldwide fame and popularity, he is just as vulnerable to rejection as other people but insists he “can’t remember” who spurned his advances. Asked if he had ever been turned down by a girl, he said: “Yeah...I don’t remember her name.” However, the ‘U Smile’ singer is “kind of” used to the attention from the crowds of screaming fans who would jump at the chance to romance him. He said on UK TV show ‘Daybreak’: “It’s so early, they are out there screaming. “It’s definitely a dream come true, you know being able to travel the world, before this I had never even been on an airplane, it’s incredible. “I love seeing my fans and I love performing. Being able to sing for my fans is amazing.” Answering questions tweeted into the show by fans, the ‘Baby’ hitmaker also said that he “loved” British girls and revealed if he had to be handcuffed to any woman for 24 hours he would choose Beyonce Knowles. While Justin has previously been rejected by a mystery woman, he has a fan in Selena Gomez. The 18-year-old singer said: “I love him. He’s one of my best friends. I would do anything for that kid.”

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Justin Bieber still gets ‘turned down’ by girls

Chelsea Handler calls Jolie a

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Wyclef Jean knows he could have been Haiti President he former Fugees singer was forced to abandon his bid to run the country - whose capital Port Au Prince was hit by a massive earthquake in January, leaving an estimated 230,000 people dead, 300,000 injured and over 1 million homeless - after being ruled ineligible by the electoral council (CEP) is convinced he would have got the votes and done a good job. He said: “If by any remote chance they had let me pass, I would have won the elections. “After the earthquake I was like, ‘I have to do something different for this country’. I said, ‘I can’t just keep singing.’ “Wyclef - who is believed to have been ruled ineligible to run for presidency because he hadn’t been a resident in Haiti for five years, a requirement for candidacy - believes his highprofile status would have cut down on corruption in the country’s political system. He told The Guardian newspaper: “I felt that, if I ran for president, there would be too many eyes on the country for even the most corrupt to break the law. And in that aspect, I was wrong, because I got kicked out of the race before even running.” Wyclef also revealed how Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn - who has been heavily involved in the relief effort for Haiti - inspired him to get into politics. He said: “When you enter the realm of politics, you don’t enter it because you want to be popular. When I want to be popular, I pull on a guitar and sing a song. “The person whose opinion affected me was Sean Penn. I had a great conversation with Sean Penn last week and I look forward to going to Haiti and hopefully I can meet up with him.”

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SPECTRUM

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

37

By Jacques Clement erforming before a half-empty room at Baghdad’s Alwiyah Club, Taha Gharib is conscious that the music he has passionately played for decadestraditional Iraqi maqam-is dying. Victim of the country’s growing modernity and years-long violence, the poetic form of music that came to symbolize the newly-born Iraq that emerged after the fall of the Ottoman Empire is now played by fewer and fewer groups. “Iraqi maqam risks disappearing with our generation,” laments Gharib, who leads one of just five remaining maqam troupes in Iraq. “People don’t respect maqam anymore because today they prefer singers who just make noise,” the 46-year-old says after his performance in Alwiyah, a rare oasis of cultural freedom in Baghdad, which remains plagued by violence. Maqam ensembles typically include musicians playing a joza, an eastern lute, a tabla, and a santur, a trapezoidal box with 24 strings, though there are frequently more instruments involved, as a singer recites often centuriesold lyrics. Gharib’s quartet, for example, also includes a musician playing an oud, another type of lute. Dating as far back as the end of the Abbasid era, which ran from the 8th to the 13th centuries, maqam became ingrained in Iraq’s cultural identity in the decades following the country’s modern founding in 1921. “In the 20th century, maqam was a pillar of cultural life in Baghdad,” notes Iraqi ethnomusicologist Scheherazade Hassan. While those who performed were typically those who had studied maqam for years, she says, it retained a wide audience. She adds that maqam “historically fulfilled the purposes of a cultural ideal to foster respect for ethnic and social diversity ... it is an expression of collective identity.” But two factors were predominant in its decline: firstly, the rise of an Iraqi middle class who began to call for a wider variety of music, including Arabic pop. And secondly, high levels of violence in the aftermath of the 2003 US-led invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein forced hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to leave the country, and maqam artists were no exception. Another consequence of the violence

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Members of the Iraqi “maqam” group Angham Al-Rafidain perform in Baghdad on November 25, 2010. — AFP was that many of the places where maqam was played closed their doors, and communal bloodshed made it difficult for performers of various sects to play in certain parts of Iraq. As if to drive home the point of maqam’s decline, as Gharib and his quartet play to a crowd of around 100 diners, Arabic pop music blares from adjacent rooms where two weddings are underway. Maqam today is treated almost like an artefact in a museum, a remnant of a bygone era. “The ministry of culture calls on us from time to time to perform at recitals outside of Iraq, at the request of foreign countries,” Gharib says, noting that he has had to take a job as a civil servant in the industry ministry because maqam

no longer brings in enough income. The slow death of form of music is evident also at the very institution that is meant to safeguard it in Iraq, the House of Maqam. Given the decrepit building that houses it in central Baghdad to the high average age of those who come to listen to maqam players ply their trade, the typically sorrowful rhythm of maqam seems a fitting backdrop to its decline. On this particular day, a musician performs for around a dozen listeners, singing of lost love: “The flames of love make me cry/Others toast to love, but all I have is pain/I don’t want to suffer any more, but I am drowning/I cry like a lost dove/Lost by day and by night.” While maqam techniques long used to be

By Robert Wielaard and Raf Casert t was an unlikely accolade: the first ever mention for a pita-and-falafel joint in one of Europe’s leading culinary guides. The GaultMillau, whose influence is on par with Michelin or Zagat, only granted the Finjan restaurant 13 out of 20 points. But the fact it was tapped at all drives home a new phenomenon on the culinary scene: frugal is fashionable in Europe’s bleak economic times. The continent’s recession has been cutting into pocketbooks and expense accounts, hitting exorbitant Michelin starred restaurants hard. Europeans are turning to humbler fare to tickle their finicky palates: call it gourmet grunge. The growing attraction of homely brasseries and gastropubs is another a sign of how lean wallets are feeding a back-to-basics approach to food. After spending at Belgian restaurants suffered a 11 percent slump in 2009, it’s estimated to fall a further 3 percent in 2010. But this year, a clear class differentiation also emerges: If the over-§35-a-head restaurant is projected to have 7 percent fewer visitors this year, the cheaper under-§35 class is bouncing back with 4 percent more, said Gert Laurijssen of the Foodstep study group. There’s even a name for it: “Bistronomy” — Bistrots going for slimmed-down gastronomy, said Jan De Haes, head of the regional HoreCa restaurant federation. “It is a downgrading, for less money customers keep asking for the same kind of quality,” he said. For some gourmands, the trend offers a welcome counterpoint to the deconstructed, sometimes hocus-pocus, cooking of Ferran Adria’s El Bulli, Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and others who explore new culinary frontiers with the “molecular gastronomy” that has been all the rage in recent years. There is no liquid nitrogen or espuma froths at Finjan. Pita sandwiches come in paper napkins. And GaultMillau doesn’t mind. “The food is simple, pure and succulent and has many pure flavors. That is why we decided that this restaurant can - or must - come into the guide,” said Philippe Limbourg, editor of the Belgian edition of the GaultMillau guide. Owner Josef Chacham never sought culinary recognition beyond good business but knew he was onto something special when local chefs kept coming back after their shifts for more. “They understand. For me, that is the proof that we are doing good things,” Chacham said. Even the best of cooks understand the winds of change - especially as they are often first in line when the captains of industry and other rich patrons get a bit stingier on their budgets. Geert Van Hecke, one of Belgium’s only two Michelin three-star chefs, remembers the days when he was an understudy at the once famous Villa Lorraine and saw the Rolls Royces roll up for lunch and dinner, every day. “Luxury restaurants still have clients but not like 35 years ago,” he said. On top of running his three-star Karmeliet restaurant in the heart of historic Bruges, Van Hecke has also come to rely heavily on his adjacent Refter, which was named 2010 Michelin brasserie of the year. It shows in his kitchen. Next to the gleaming white 9-kilo (20pound) halibut waiting to be filleted for marinading as a key starter in a §190 Karmeliet menu, simple coffee cookies for the Refter were cooling down. A three course menu there goes for §35. “People just have another idea about food. The stars come in handy but to a lesser extent than the brasseries,” he said. Beyond Van Hecke’s success with the Refter, it is a comforting thought for any cook to be able to count on some 120 seatings a day when the going gets rough in the fine dining section. Even disregarding the financial crisis, Van Hecke said top restaurants relying heavily on fancy food work only had themselves to blame for underestimating customers’ attachment to simple pure ingredients. Take oysters, said Van Hecke. “In many major restaurants now, they get oysters infused with 35 products, including 20 Japanese vinegars,” he said. “It is a major reason why the top restaurants are having less turnover, because they don’t serve the real product anymore.” Fed up with overly fancy cooking, several chefs in France and some in Belgium have opted out of the Michelin rating system in recent years, complaining that it costs too much to maintain stars and no longer gives them the sheer joy of cooking with simple ingredients. Customers, and guides, increasingly understand them. Van Hecke too - and he has no objections to Finjan’s sudden fame either. “Today, everything goes and why not? I have no problems with that,” he said, as long as the products are outstanding. So far, pita restaurants have been bottom-dwellers, often charmless grease emporiums bathed in eye-blinding lights serving strips of cork dry meat smothered in factory-made sauces. Finjan is changing that and stands out even in Antwerp’s trendy ‘t Zuid neighborhood. GaultMillau caught on when they discovered by chance that chefs from nearby restaurants often ended up at Finjan - it stays open until 4 am on weekdays, 5 am on weekends - after work is done and they’re ready for a lamb kebab. “For me this means appreciation, recognition of the work I did all those years. A good pita is good quality. It is not junk fund. It is not fast food.” — AP

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David Butorac, President and CEO of OSN

rbit Showtime Network has announced the launch of its state-of-the-art HD and Satellite DVR receiver, the “OSN Showbox HD”, featuring OSN on demand services which for the first time in the Middle East and at the touch of a button, offers viewers the option to watch over 1,000 movies and over 52 latest seasons of the top series in full HD quality and Dolby Digital sound over the year. With the OSN Showbox HD, everyone gets to watch the TV they love when they want to watch it. With the ability to record the latest movies, series and live sporting action, OSN Showbox subscribers can get even more value from OSN and enjoy the widest range of HD entertainment. In addition to OSN on demand services, the OSN Showbox HD DVR comes with a range of new features including: The ability to switch subtitles on and off on all HD channels, eight day interactive TV Guide allowing viewers to book multiple recordings eight days in advance, the ability to record two shows and watch a third simultaneously and the

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option to record all episodes of a favorite series at the touch of a button. All basic DVR features such as rewind, forward, play pause and record 100’s of hours of HD TV entertainment. What makes OSN on demand a “must have” is OSN’s exclusive deals with all of the major studios including Warner Brothers, Paramount, Fox, Disney, Sony, MGM, Universal and DreamWorks that allows OSN to premiere the most recent Hollywood blockbusters including Knight & Day, Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, How To Train Your Dragon and The A Team all in high definition and all just few months after their cinematic release and two years before anyone else. David Butorac, President and CEO of OSN said: “We are unaware of any other service provider in the world who can rival our premium line-up of entertainment on our new OSN Showbox HD DVR. This launch will change the way our subscribers experience TV. By pressing the red button on the OSN Showbox remote control, OSN subscribers enter a whole new world of entertainment at their convenience.”

Sebastiano Missineo, the minister of culture from Sicily, views The Cult Statue of a Goddess, often referred to as Aphrodite - opinions vary - during a visit to the Getty Villa in Malibu, California, Monday, Dec 6, 2010. The statue is among several items being returned to Sicily as part of Italy’s decade-old campaign to retrieve antiquities it says were illegally brought to California, and is among the last of 40 artifacts the J Paul Getty Museum agreed to turn over. — AP

An Iraqi music teacher addresses a classroom of students at a music school in Baghdad. — AFP passed along as musicians rubbed shoulders at ubiquitous Baghdad cafes, this is no longer the case. Instead, Mowaffaq Al-Beyati, the head of the House of Maqam, advocates the creation of a school that teaches it to Iraqi youth. “Maqam is one of the most difficult things to learn, and to sing, and this is especially true for young people today because they do not get any opportunity to hear it,” he says. In Beyati’s favour is UNESCO’s addition in 2008 of maqam to its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list, meaning Iraq can apply for funds to establish just such a school. UNESCO, when contacted by AFP, said that no such application had yet been made, however.

At present, the only place interested students can learn maqam is at Baghdad’s Institute of Musical Studies on the banks of the Tigris. “Maqam is part of our identity, our roots-we cannot forget that,” notes Sattar Naji, the director of IMS, where one quarter of the curriculum focuses on maqam. “The public will tire of you if all you play is commercial music, but they will remain faithful if you have mastered maqam,” says Naji, who in addition to heading IMS, also plays oud in Gharib’s ensemble. Naji says he is hopeful of a future revival of maqam, when his country puts the constant violence behind it, and recalls the Iraqi proverb that notes, “A happy soul sings.” — AFP

By Richard Leong avi Kapur believes the time is ripe for chefs to take cooking to the next level and to go beyond using seasonally, locally-grown meats and vegetables. Kapur, the head chef at the modern American restaurant Prospect in San Francisco, says what will set chefs apart is their creativity and making dishes that are all their own. The 33-year-old Hawaiian native, who is a partner at Prospect with Nancy Oakes whom he worked with at the Michelin-star Boulevard, spoke to Reuters about his new restaurant, the future of cooking and being his own boss.

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Q: Has your Hawaiian background influenced your cooking? A: “The influence of the gathering around the table and dining together is very important. Cooking together is also important. Being exposed to a variety of Asian cuisines from a young age has allowed my palette to be sensitive to those things and understand where they come from. I do have a lot of dishes with Asian components in them.” Q: What is it like being an executive chef and co-owner at a restaurant for the first time? A: “It’s a lot of pressure, I won’t lie, to feed 250 people a night. You are trying to satisfy as many people as you can. When you have a 40-seat restaurant, you have a much higher chance of doing that. You are training your crew to embrace your vision and uphold your standards. It’s definitely the hardest undertaking I’ve taken on.” Q: What is on the menu right now that reflects your culinary point of view? A: “I think everything is a personal expression. It’s what cooking is. It’s all part of a story we are trying to tell. What is the reason to put something on the menu if it’s not personal.” Q: So what is the story you are telling at Prospect?

A: “I think the movement right now is just trying to find our own regional cuisine. For long time, everyone wants to know what kind of food is it? And that question usually means is it Italian? Is it French? Is it Japanese? “As cooks today, I think you need new words. I think we need a new vocabulary. I think everyone is trying to use the same vocabulary. There are different definitions to everybody. What is Italian food to you? To one person, it’s eggplant parmesan. To the other person, it’s hand-made artisanal pasta. To another person, it ‘s risotto. To another, it’s meatball. To another, it’s pizza. “So we can’t be using the same language as we have been this whole time. So I’m hoping that the food is personal and they are not coming from recipes. They are dishes that are inspired, grounded in these ingredients and techniques and how do we cook them in a contemporary San Francisco sensibility.” Q: How do you see chefs can distinguish themselves now? A: “The playing field as far as access to ingredients has been leveled. Now it’s in the chef’s hands in what sets him apart. It’s not creating a meal that you could basically shop at the farmers market and you make it for yourself. So that’s the challenge and what sets chefs apart at this point. It’s an interesting time.” — Reuters

This picture shows the rehearsal of the third act of Richard Wagner’s “Die Walkuere”, in Milan, Italy. The opera season premiered at La Scala yesterday with Wagner’s opera, directed by Daniel Barenboim. — AP

ritain’s national tourism agency is set to launch a major marketing campaign to persuade more wealthy tourists to spend their cash on luxury holidays in the country’s castles, stately homes and theatres. VisitBritain will promote “fairytale” holidays, based on three tiers of luxury, gold, platinum and black, to attract the estimated 10 million high net worth individuals with more than $1 million. “While every country has 5-star hotels, luxurious spas, designer shops and championship golf courses Britain stands out because it has the original world renowned luxury experiences and brands,” Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at VisitBritain, said in a statement yesterday. “For example, a stay at Claridge’s, shopping in Selfridges, or eighteen holes at St Andrew’s, have a cachet that can’t be found elsewhere.” VisitBritain said it had identified a fashion among the rich for dreamlike or fairytale holidays, and it will draw on the country’s rich history, “showing a magical side of Britain

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which has a powerful sense of playfulness and fantasy”. Such a holiday could include a stay in a stately home, with a floor-to-ceiling butterfly house. Also on offer are “seamless” holidays for those who don’t want friction, and could include living as a laird in a Scottish castle, playing golf on prestigious courses and being measured for a kilt. For those who want to get under the skin of traditional British culture during a luxury break, there is the chance to go backstage at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London. Helicopter rides are also available, as are courses on shucking oysters and smoking a kipper. Romantic holidays could include a picnic hamper filled with afternoon tea and a ride on a steam railway. “Luxury travelers often want their holidays to establish their social status or kudos by giving them the chance to tell the story of how they did something new and unique or use an experience in their daily lives,” VisitBritain said.— Reuters


SPECTRUM

38

hen it comes to Las Vegas, Carrie Underwood is a sure bet. Underwood won her second country music artist of the year award of 2010 in Sin City on Monday night. She earned it at the inaugural American Country Awards about eight months after she won the top honor at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April. In both cases, fans determined the winner. And when it comes to fan support, Underwood has no match. Her fans vote early and often - a holdover from her time as “American Idol” champion - and she made sure to give a shoutout to her supporters after winning six awards. “We have had the most amazing year out on the road but we wouldn’t be doing anything if there weren’t people out there sitting in that audience,” Underwood said from the stage at the MGM Grand, where the ACMs also are held. “So to everybody that came out to see us (or) anybody else out here, you guys are awesome for supporting us like you do. God bless the fans.” Lady Antebellum took home four Fender Stratocasters given out as

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Carrie Underwood arrives at the People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles. — AP

t took longer than many thought-and comedians had a laugh at their expense- but singer Alicia Keys and her celebrity friends raised $1 million for an AIDS charity and, with it, lived to tweet again. Keys and her Keep a Child Alive charity cofounder Leigh Blake on Monday said their widely-followed “digital death” campaign reached its $1 million goal after pharmaceutical entrepreneur Stewart Rahr pitched in $500,000. At stake, along with raising funds to help millions of children and families living with AIDs in Africa and India, were the digital lives of celebrities who vowed to stay off social networking websites Twitter and Facebook until the $1 million was raised. The celebrities included Justin Timberlake, Ryan Seacrest, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Usher. Their campaign launched on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, amid great fan fare with the expectation it would quickly reach its goal. After all, the celebrities all have millions of fans. Lady Gaga boasts 7.3 million followers on Twitter, alone. Justin Timberlake has 3.6 million, and Seacrest has 3.7 million.

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By James Pheby wedish pop singer Robyn has matched a string of hits with an unorthodox and uncompromising attitude, and her seventh album only reaffirms her as a pioneer of a new generation of female solo artists. The 31-year-old burst onto the scene in 1997 with two US top ten singles and a major record deal, but took the bold move of leaving RCA Records to set up her own label, Konichiwa Records, in 2005. Robyn has not looked back, and scored a UK number one in 2007 with single “With Every Heartbeat”, which combined her songwriting skills with her clubland influences. “I always knew I was going to make my way to what I’m doing now, but it was a journey,” she told AFP by telephone from the United States before the final gig of her international tour. “It’s not something you can plan.” Robyn’s latest album “Body Talk”, which is out worldwide, is her third this year, bringing a “big pop finale” to the trilogy. “I could easily have gone back into the studio

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trophies and Easton Corbin finished with three wins, including breakthrough artist of the year. The two acts were tied for the most nominations with seven. Along with artist of the year, Underwood won album of the year for “Play On” and tour of the year. Lady A won single of the year for the trio’s breakthrough, “Need You Now,” and artist of the year: duo or group. Brad Paisley was voted male artist of the year and Blake Shelton and host Trace Adkins won music video of the year. The show was performance heavy and featured Rascal Flatts and Alan Jackson performing medleys of their hits after tributes, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan teaming up on “My Kinda Party,” and Toby Keith, Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Josh Turner and The Band Perry playing recent hits. Adkins opened the show by declining to wear a pair of “meat chaps” offered by the show’s producers, a la Lady Gaga’s meat dress, in a pre-taped comedy skit. He also appeared to skip the monologue. “It’s a live show,” Adkins said. “What are they going to do? They can’t fire me right in the middle of it, right? — AP

Problem was, it took longer than many celebrity watchers thought, and as donations reached only $100,000 then $200,000, the stars became the butt of jokes on the Web, TV and radio. Their popularity-or lack thereof-was questioned, as was their fans’ desire to keep them digitally dead. But on Monday, the stars emerged from their coffins. “So stoked to be back on twitter! Special shout out to Stewie Rah Rah for his generous donation,” Seacrest tweeted. “I’m back from the dead! Thank you all so much for your donations and contributions! I have missed u all so much!!!,” Kardashian posted on Twitter. For its part, Keep a Child Alive said, “although we never expected to raise $1 million overnight, we are completely blown away that we were able to achieve our goal in less than a week.” The group said more than 3,600 people contributed. Rahr owned and operated a New York-based pharmaceutical distribution business that he recently sold. He learned of Keep a Child Alive earlier this year, the charity said. — Reuters

and made five introvert and cold songs but I wanted to finish on a high note,” she explained. The singer’s unorthodox odyssey through the industry has left her with a clear insight into its failings, and the importance of the wake-up-call delivered by the democratizing influence of the Internet. “I had an idea of trying to make pop music in a way that wasn’t restricted by the structure of how the industry had shaped pop music, but it was hard to do,” she said. “Now the industry is shrinking back and has regulated itself. It’s good the record companies are having to think about what they are supposed to be doing.” She is a critic of the way female artists are treated in the industry, particularly the trend of managers to group their signings into genres for marketing purposes, and their reluctance to take potentially expensive risks. “The problem is the narrow-minded and stupid way older generations and structures look at what the differences between men and women are,” she said, in a typically blunt appraisal. “It’s not politically correct any more to

not be a feminist which is good, but for me, feminism is still necessary and that sucks.” The singer’s angular and icy exterior recalls 1980s electro-pop icon Annie Lennox, a mantle which has been passed on to a new wave of artists including La Roux and Little Boots. One of the new generation-and a Robyn collaborator-Coco Sumner, earlier told AFP why she was a “huge fan” of the Swede. “I think she’s got a brilliant voice but also she’s very ambitious and knows exactly what she wants,” said Sumner, daughter of Police frontman Sting. Lady Gaga, currently the world’s biggest pop star, is a similarly focused, electro-influenced performer. However, Robyn was reluctant to be drawn into a discussion about Gaga’s influence. “I wonder if you’d ask that question to a male artist?” she said. “I understand why it’s interesting and I admire her for her courage but for me to judge whether she’s a good role model, that’s not up to me.” Robyn provided support for Madonna on her 2008 Sticky & Sweet tour, an encounter she recalls as being highly informative.—AP

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lady Antebellum performs during the CMA Music Festival at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. — AP

By Paola Messana hirty years after his untimely death, gunned down in the street outside his New York apartment, John Lennon remains a legend whose music and drive for world peace has inspired generations of artists. The former Beatle died on December 8, 1980 after being shot four times in the back by Mark David Chapman outside the chic Dakota apartment block in Central Park West where he lived with his second wife, Yoko Ono. Lennon had just celebrated his 40th birthday. Now every year on October 9, Lennon’s birthday, and December 8, fans flock to the apartment block where Ono still lives to pay tribute to the Liverpool-born musician and mourn his passing. Chapman, who was mentally unstable and just 25 at the time, had staked out Lennon’s apartment and earlier in the day the musician had even autographed a copy of his latest album “Double Fantasy” for the man who would kill him. Chapman eventually pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life imprisonment. He remains in Attica jail, north of New York, and his request for parole has been turned down six times. Ono has also opposed his release, fearing for her safety and that of their son Sean Lennon, now 35. But Lennon’s powerful legacy lives on, melded into people’s daily lives around the globe. From the corner of Central Park dubbed “Strawberry Fields” after one of the Beatles’ memorable hits to a mosaic bearing the inscription “Imagine,” one of Lennon’s most recognizable songs, Lennon’s imprint is everywhere, Liverpool-the hometown of the Beatles-even renamed its airport after one of its most famous heroes. Earlier this year, Ono took part in celebrations in Iceland to mark what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday, although she said he had never liked to mark the progress of time. “The last birthday, he told me: ‘I can’t quite believe I’m going to be 40.’ I don’t think he liked that part,” she told The Times newspaper. “I don’t think of him as 70. He was always that sort of strutting around, very, very energetic guy, and to me he’s still like that.” Syracuse University pop culture professor Robert Thompson said Lennon “died young, like Elvis Presley.” “Although the peak of their musical influence had already passed, for both of them, they immediately became legends,” he told AFP. “Lennon was also a political figure, with his look, the hair, the glasses, his way of life, he symbolized the ‘zeitgeist’ of the period.” Ono has worked hard to immortalize Lennon and keep his legacy alive. “Lennon died, but Yoko Ono did not. She became a little bit of the burning flame,” Thompson said, adding that her involvement has proved complicated, with critics accusing her of living off Lennon’s talent. Lennon’s death marked the passing of an era, and he is forever enshrined in memory as the tussle-haired musician, wearing his trademark round glasses. “All my students know the song ‘Imagine,’ but you know, this is now a song that plays in elevators and dentist parlors,” Thompson said. “To me, the real end of their musical era was

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By Philiana Ng athan Fillion is ready to showcase his singing talents on “Glee.” The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the star of television’s “Castle” moments after his live performance of “Thrilling Adventure Hour” at the Los Angeles Largo at the Coronet Theater on Saturday night. He took a turn on the casting couch, outlining the role he’d most like to play on the musical series. And don’t worry “Castle” fans, we also address the upcoming kiss.

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THR: Is there anything on “Castle” you can talk about? Nathan Fillion: Well, you know, the “Will they or won’t they?” is the big question. Will they or won’t they? And Castle and Beckett (Stana Katic) — things come to a head and they finally find reason to lock lips, to really, really smooch it up. No holds bar, ‘30s boxing-style making out.

spectives, from their points of view. So in Castle’s perspective, you’ll see him as super cool and everybody’s really into him. From Detective Ryan’s (Seamus Dever) perspective, everybody’s shorter than he is. And for Esposito (Jon Huertas), there would be a lot of salsa music going on. Running the same story, but told a different way.

THR: Is that really going to happen? Fillion: It’s for real. It’s a real smooch, not a pretend smooch.

THR: Are there any shows that you would love to be on? Fillion: Sure. We just saw James [Urbaniak] here from “Venture Bros.” and I really enjoy that show. I’m looking forward to going back. Shows I’d love to be on? “How I Met Your Mother,” “Glee.”

THR: Have there been any ideas that you’ve pitched to the writers of “Castle?” Fillion: I’m constantly pitching ideas. I’m constantly pitching episodes. One I’ve pitched is where we run an episode — it’d have to be a much shorter story, a more confined story, — but we would see it over and over again from different people’s per-

THR: Who would you play on “Glee?” Fillion: A scout, some kind of Broadway scout. I’d be very mean and I wouldn’t sing. I wouldn’t sing until the very, very end and

only like a couple of notes. I would love to go back to “One Life to Live.” They just got a new Joey, the character I played, so I would love to go back and just do a walk-on where Joey’s in the middle of something super serious, [acts out bumping into him] and says, “Oh, hey. Sorry,” and then just keep waking. I would love to do that. THR: Not even address what’s going on? Fi l l i o n : Not even say anything, just an “Excuse me.” And then end on, “Wait, was that? No ...” I always think those are hoots. I heard recently that “One Life to Live” did a little nod to “Castle.” One of the characters was being interrogated by my uncle Bo Buchanan and he said, “No, no! This isn’t tracking. I know how this goes, I watch Castle!” I like that kind of stuff. THR: Are there are any movies that you are

dying to see? Fillion: I just saw an advanced screener of “Tangled.” It’s so good! The characters are great, the animation is incredible. I went back and rewatched “Beauty and the Beast” and I remember loving that movie. The animation wasn’t really that great. I think it was after “Aladdin,” and “Aladdin” was fantastic and that one was so subpar and it had some continuity errors. THR: Wow, so you’re picking apart these animated films too. Fillion: I’m very visual and I was disappointed it didn’t hold up, but “Tangled,” my god, there is nothing wrong with that movie. What they’re doing with voiceless characters. I mean, the talent aside that’s going into it with Mandy (Moore) and Zach (Levi), all those people are fantastic, but the characters like the horse and the chameleon. They’re my favorites. — Reuters

not the death of Lennon but the release of ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ three years earlier.” Last year, Ono organized an exhibition of her husband’s New York years, and she continues to update his official website www.johnlennon.com.

A sign points to Strawberry Fields December 6, 2010 in New York’s Central Park. This corner of the park honors musician and Beatles member John Lennon who lived in New York when he was killed on December 8, 1980. — AFP

Ono, now 77, lit up the “Imagine Peace Tower” in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik in October, before performing with her Ono Plastic Band and her son Sean Lennon at an evening concert. The tower, a three-year-old art installation composed of a strong, vertical beam of light that can reach up to 13,100 feet (4,000 meters), is lit up every year and stays on until December 8. Despite the intervening years, the global fascination with the Beatles has never faded. More than 450,000 of the band’s albums and over two million individual songs were sold in the first week their music appeared on Apple’s iTunes last month. And in June, Lennon’s original handwritten lyrics for the hit Beatles song “A Day in the Life” was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for 1.2 million dollars, almost twice the estimates. Even Lennon’s official Facebook page has over 1.2 million followers. But for Beatles fans everywhere, Lennon’s death also drew the curtain on one long-cherished desire. “There is one other thing: his death put a final end to the hope of millions of fans to see the Beatles reunite,” Thompson said. — AFP


SPECTRUM

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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Oprah’s audience begins Australian adventure By Kristen Gelineau prah Winfrey’s giddy audience of 300 arrived in Australia from the US yesterday to begin enjoy-

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Epiphany Toi of the US is overcome with emotion as she arrives with over 300 audience members from the Oprah Winfrey Show at Sydney International Airport yesterday. — AFP

ing the talk show queen’s ultimate giveaway - an eight-day journey across the land Down Under. Winfrey kicked off her 25th and final season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in September by surprising her shrieking, jumping and sobbing fans with what she’s billed as the trip of a lifetime. The hand-picked audience was made up of some of who the program called its most loyal viewers over the years. The itinerary for “Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure” had been kept a closely guarded secret, with audience members still left in the dark upon their arrival in Sydney. But travel details finally released by Australia’s tourism minister later Tuesday reveal a sweeping adventure in store for Winfrey’s fans, with trips planned to each of the country’s eight states and territories.

The audience, which ranges in age from 18 to 75, will be split into several smaller groups and sent off to explore the glittering Great Barrier Reef, the crocodile-infested rainforests of northern Oz, and the famous red monolith called Uluru, located in the remote and dusty Outback. They will also tour the country’s wine regions, visit a historic prison colony in the island state of Tasmania, and check out the wildlife on Kangaroo Island, home to koalas, sea lions and, of course, kangaroos. Excited audience members waved at reporters and photographers as they were ushered through Sydney airport and onto a bus, which whisked them away to a hotel for a briefing and a traditional Aboriginal dance performance. Winfrey was traveling separately by private jet and expected to land later Tuesday or Wednesday (that,

too, was being kept secret.) “It’s an unbelievable experience, and I just want to soak in every bit of it,” said Jocelyn Kelley, of Boston, who was traveling with her mother, Gloria. “To be in that audience, to be a part of something so big, is just amazing.” Winfrey will film two episodes at the Opera House (which the Australian media has renamed the “Oprah” House) and a third episode at a yet-to-be disclosed location, rumored to be somewhere in the Outback. The shows are scheduled to air in January. Her arrival has been treated with breathless anticipation in Australia, which is forking out more than $4 million for the trip between the federal and state governments. Officials say that’s a small price to pay for the many millions of dollars of tourism advertising the show will bring. “Oprah is a household name, not just in

the United States but in the 145 countries where the show is broadcast,” Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson said in a statement. “That Oprah has chosen Australia as her Ultimate Adventure destination sends a powerful message to her millions of fans around the world.” The Winfrey fans will have a packed schedule, enjoying everything from surfing lessons and snorkeling to nature hikes and beachside barbecues. “I would have never thought little bitty ol’ me would ever have this opportunity,” Orlando Bogins of Detroit said as he arrived at Sydney’s airport. “It came at such a very hard time in my life - my mom had nine hours (of) surgery, I was laid off from my job and my house had been broken into. So we had all of that happen, and then I got notification that I was selected to go on the Oprah show.” — AP

Jolie learns from the cinema greats By Paula Bustamante ollywood star Angelina Jolie says she learnt from the best about taking a turn behind the camera and put the lessons to good use in her directorial debut, already making waves before it hits the screen. “I think actors, because we’re in the world of the characters and the movie, we’re kind of more isolated,” Jolie told reporters, after wrapping up shooting for her film which focuses on Bosnia. “It was fun to be more of a part of the family of the crew, and be more in the different layers of the process. “It’s a just different level of work that was very exciting for me, and I was very excited to watch other actors work, and do scenes that maybe I would have done different, and then do it better than I could imagine and I’m thrilled.” The film, focusing on a love story between a Muslim woman and a Serb man against the background of Bosnia’s 19921995 inter-ethnic war, was mostly filmed in October in Hungary. During a roundtable interview in Paris, Jolie refused to be drawn on the details of the plot, which triggered controversy in Bosnia from women’s associations after local media reported rumors that it featured a Muslim rape victim who falls in love with her Serb

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Actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt attend the World premiere of “The Tourist” at Ziegfeld Theatre on December 6, 2010 in New York City. — AFP attacker. After initial problems winning permission to shoot part of the movie in Bosnia, Jolie sent the authorities a copy of the script which her Bosnian production company said did not include any such rape love story.

“I’m done filming it. I go back to edit in January,” said Jolie clad in a classic black skirt and gray cashmere sweater for the interview at the posh Hotel Meurice. “It was nice to take the spotlight off myself and put it on some bril-

irsten Dunst grew up before movie fans’ eyes in films such as “Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles” and “The Virgin Suicides,” and she became a big star in the “Spider-Man movies. She is now back at work in “All Good things,” starring opposite Ryan Gosling and playing a woman who goes missing shortly after her marriage to a wealthy real estate heir unravels. The film, which opened in the United States Friday, is inspired by the notorious 1982 missing person’s case in New York city centering around the wealthy Durst family. Dunst spoke to Reuters about the film, her co-star Gosling, and the new “Spider-Man” reboot. Q : K a t h ie D u r st ’s b od y w a s never found a nd no one w as charged w ith a crime. Do you think Robert Durst murdered her? A: “I think he did because why would the Durst family not help find their daughter-inlaw? With all the money and power they had, they could have had every cop searching for her. They did nothing.” Q: Any memorable days on the set? A: “I’d say the scene where Ryan takes me by the hair and pulls me out of the house. The next day Ryan sent me flowers because he felt bad for having to pull my hair. I was trying to make him feel okay about having to do it, but he still had a difficult time.” Q: It is the first movie you shot a f ter being trea ted for

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d e p r e ssi o n i n 2 0 0 8 . Wa s t h ere a rea son t o c h oose this film? “I agreed to do this movie two or three years before we shot it. But whatever energy was moving through me at the time made this the perfect film to do. It felt freeing.” How so? “Because of the people I met during this period, I changed the way I approach acting and film-the way I work personally before I even start filming. Before I would do the rehearsal process with everyone and I wouldn’t plan my whole other world. I took a new interest in the process.” You started w orking professionally at age 3. You’re 28 now. How is a cting different today as an adult? “When you’re younger, your reality is different. Everything is fun. You’re doing it more for other people. Now it’s for me, so that’s what changes.” Is acting easier w hen you’re y o u n g b e c a u se k i d s a r e genera lly considered to be more open and receptive? “Maybe it’s easier. Your intuition is more vulnerable then. When you get older, people expect you to be vulnerable but also tough. That makes no sense-that as an actor you’re supposed to be emotional (onscreen) but then have a thick skin about things (off-screen). I think actors are more sensitive- you take in a lot more. So you’ve got to balance out what you decide to take in and what you don’t.”

things, but I don’t have to work as much,” Jolie said, adding she liked to find parts that are “extremely challenging or mean something to me deeply.” “I’ve never done anything for the box office. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to maintain a career where I don’t do well at the box office.” She confessed that some films, such as “A Mighty Heart” in which Jolie played the pregnant wife of American journalist Daniel Pearl who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 1999, took a toll. “You do the projects you love, knowing that there are... subject matters that not a lot of people are comfortable going out of their way to see and sit through for two hours. It’s very hard to do, emotionally,” Jolie said. “It’s a very hard story to even talk about, to even remember. And how even it connects with the modern terrorism of today. A lot of people don’t want to revisit it or relive it.” And she confessed that for a solitary person, she was surprised how easily she had adapted to family life and having little time to herself. “You just give that up at a certain point. You even try to take a bath and everybody comes in,” she laughed. “As somebody who likes to be alone, I surprise myself that I’m very happy to be surrounded by everybody in my family. I feel that comfort.” — AFP

‘Coronation Street’ marks 50 years with a loud bang

Kirsten Dunst and ‘All Good Things’ By Zorianna Kit

liant actors from an area... I’m excited to show their work and their talent to the world,” she added. “I’m very proud of what they gave and what they did so I just felt lucky to be there for it.” Jolie said she had drawn on various influences from her stellar movie career as she stepped behind the camera for the first time to film other actors at work. “I learned a lot from Clint (Eastwood), who is very economic as a director,” the actress said, in Paris for a promotional tour for her new film “The Tourist” in which she stars with Johnny Depp, which opens in the US on Friday. “I learned a lot from Michael Winterbottom, who really gave a lot of trust in the actors and tries to capture them in their space instead of making it look too stagey,” she added. “Working with (Robert) De Niro, it taught me a lot about being an actors’ director. Hopefully, I’ve learned from all of them.” Now a busy mum of six children with her partner and fellow movie star Brad Pitt, Jolie admitted: “It’s getting harder to make decisions to work for the sake of working.” Laughingly, the Oscar-winning actress, who can command 10 million dollars per picture for a leading role, described herself now as “unemployed.” “I have to be home and I have to do other

By Guy Jackson he world’s longest-running TV soap opera, “Coronation Street”, marks 50 years on air this week with a dramatic scene featuring a tram crashing on to houses and characters fighting for their lives. The producers of the ITV show have chosen to chalk up half a century with the most catastrophic scenes in the history of the show, which is set in Weatherfield, a fictional suburb of Manchester. It marks a dramatic change of pace for a show whose beauty-in the eyes of many of its fans-lies in its diet of mainly humdrum dayto-day events in northwest England, told with a tight script and a dose of dark humor. In September it became the longestrunning TV soap opera in the world, and will soon pass the 7,500-episode milestone. Despite the explosion of British television channels in recent years, Corrieas the show is widely knownremains one of the country’s most-watched programs with around 10 viewers tuning in four times a week. It has also been syndicated in dozens of countries around the world, ranging from the Netherlands to New Zealand. While it was panned by the critics in its early episodes, its cobbled streets and cozy theme tune soon became a regular fixture for millions of viewers. It helped launch the careers of a number of bigname actors such as Ben Kingsley and guest stars have included Ian McKellan and even Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne. Given its popularity, Coronation Street is a commercial

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Q: How do you feel about the new reboot st a r r i n g Andrew Garfield as SpiderMa n a n d Em m a Ston e a s Gw en Stacy? A: “I really like Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield a lot. I think they’ll be great. It’s just sad that there wasn’t a proper ending (for the trilogy). We didn’t know when we shot the third one that it would be the last. I wish we would have known. Maybe we would have cherished that time a bit more, knowing it would be the last one for all of us.” Q: Did you think there w ould be a fourth? A : “They were starting to put together a fourth but then it was like, ‘Oh, okay, I guess we’re not doing it.’ But in the long run, it’s great we have these three movies. It was a very special time for all of us.” Q : Yo u d i r e c t e d t w o sh o r t films. Will you continue? A: “I will direct a film one day. I just need to find a project I really want to do. Right now the focus is on acting. I’ve worked for so long that I can afford to take breaks and wait for something special. Everything is at the perfect pace it should be at.” — Reuters

juggernaut, generating substantial revenue and sponsorship opportunities, not to mention sales to 40 countries. Among ITV shows, only Simon Cowell’s talent show “X Factor” can rival the impact of Corrie, which spars with the BBC ’s London-based “Eastenders” for British soap supremacy. And while Corrie might have started in the days of crackly black and white TV-the first episode was screened on December 9, 1960 — it has embraced social media. The show now has a senior digital producer who seeks out storylines “for opportunities for web interactivity”, its executive producer Kieran Roberts told The Guardian newspaper, stressing he wants to attract new fans. “I want to convert casual viewers into fans. That’s the challenge the writers set themselves,” said Roberts. “It’s important to do justice to the 50 years and the show’s tradition. But even when we plotted out the crash, we were thinking about how this would be a springboard for what we’ll be doing into next year and way beyond that.” The chaos, seen by British viewers on Monday, is sparked when an explosion tears apart The Joinery bar, causing the tram to plunge from the viaduct above into the street of familiar red-brick terraced houses. The incident leaves much-loved characters such as Rita Sullivan, Ken Barlow and Ashley Peacock lying motionless amid the wreckage. In true soap style, fans who regularly will be left to wonder who survives the devastation as the storyline develops over five nights, including a live special tomorrow, the day of the 50th anniversary. —AFP

Actors Kristen Bell (left) and Cam Gigandet pose for photocall during the Japan premiere of their film “Burlesque” in Tokyo, Japan yesterday. — AP

‘Potter’ fends off ‘Rapunzel’ overseas By Paul Dergarabedian arry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” continues to dominate the international marketplace with a gross that is nearly $85 million ahead of the second place film. An amazing 10-day sprint to nearly $600 million in global revenue puts the movie in a class by itself, and with 50 territories on board, there seems to be no end in sight for the magic box office spell of “Potter.” Second place in the international arena belongs to “Rapunzel” (“Tangled” in North America) in just seven territories and a weekend debut of $16.5 million. With a worldwide total approaching $90 million,

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US actress Eva Mendes (right) poses with Short Film jury member, Iranian Director Screenwriter and Cartoonist Marjane Satrapi, during a tribute to the winner of the Short Film competing at the Marrakech 10th International Film Festival in Marrakech. The festival runs through Dec 3-11. — AP

there is no doubt that the family-friendly film will continue to do well with international audiences as it expands into more territories in the coming weeks. As it is in North America, so goes the international marketplace as “Unstoppable” proves that Denzel Washington’s appeal is truly universal. With a solid $7.4 million in its third weekend, the film continues to impress in 40 territories and a worldwide total that is barreling toward $100 million. Finally, notable action outside of the Top 10 includes “The Social Network,” which marches toward the $200 million mark worldwide as it makes new friends in 45 territories in its ninth weekend of release. — AP


www.kuwaittimes.net

Making a big impression

By Amber Veverka lizabeth Ventura was ready for her first post-college job interview. The University of South Carolina grad had confidence. She had poise. She had a really nice pair of jeans. The medical spa where the 22-year-old was hoping to land work was modern and trendy. Ventura figured it was the kind of place where a cute jacket, heels and jeans would make a great first impression. Elizabeth’s mom, Linda Ventura, thought otherwise. “She freaked out,” Elizabeth said. “She told me it doesn’t matter how dressy they are, you never wear jeans to a job interview.” Mothers everywhere, prepare yourselves for this next part. “I ended up taking her advice,” Elizabeth said. “And I’m so glad I did.” Ventura went to her interview in black dress pants, a crisp, white, long-sleeved shirt, and black, closed-toe heels. She wore a pearl necklace and earrings. She got the job. Elizabeth’s mom can’t save everybody. So we’ve gathered advice from area experts on what high school and college grads should - and should never - wear when trying to land that first job.

E Local experts in interviewing and dress say these are the problems they most often see: 1.

Wrinkles. No, the jacket won’t disguise a wrinkled shirt beneath. Yes, people notice wrinkled pants. 2. Dirty, damaged or scuffed shoes. 3. Too casual a look overall. If you would feel comfortable wearing it to a bar, the beach or a ballgame, it’s wrong for an interview. 4. A corollary: Dressing like the people already working at the company. The dress code may be casual or the atmosphere artsy, but people expect interviewees to look more conservative. 5. Clothing that is too tight. Dress to fit your current size. Men, don’t try to wear a tie around a collar you can’t button. Don’t wear pants that are too short. 6. Wearing “the best” or “most expensive” items in the wardrobe, thinking that’s always appropriate. A cocktail dress is a cocktail dress, not a professional look. 7. Women: Skirts and shirts that are too short or revealing. When you sit, it should hit or cover your knees. Shirts should cover bellies and shoulders. 8. Heavy fragrance. 9. Nowadays, cell phones are practically part of the wardrobe. Interviewers said that to their shock, a lot of job candidates leave them on - and get calls - during the interview. 10. Undergarments that do not, uh ... stay under. — MCT

ind a trusted adviser who understands the industry you’re interested in and/or knows what looks good on you and show your planned outfit to that person, said Susan McKeithen, managing director of Style Advisors. Choose clothes that make you feel good. This doesn’t mean “that make you feel loose and relaxed.” But clothes that make you feel smart, energetic and confident give you “one less thing you need to worry about,” said Caroline Schuster, recruiting manager for the capital management group at Wachovia Corp. Stage a dress rehearsal, said executive coach Betsy Olinger of Charlotte’s Marketing-U. Put on the clothes you intend to wear, the accessories, the shoes. Drive to the interview location, so you know how far you’ll have to walk in the shoes you’re wearing, and where you’ll park. Do this far enough in advance to correct any problems.

F

Brandon Smith wears a pair of boxer shorts above his frayed jeans.

If itʼs ʻhot,ʼ itʼs wrong If there’s one thing interviewers and style advisers said again and again, it’s that a job candidate will never get points off for appearing a bit too conservative - but looking too casual is a killer. “Show them your cute, funky wardrobe later,” said Betsy Olinger, founder/coach of Marketing-U (www.marketing-u.com), a Charlotte, N.C.-based executive coaching firm. “If it’s something you think you look ‘hot’ in, it’s wrong.” Caroline Schuster, recruiting manager for Wachovia Corp.’s capital management group, said most people she interviews dress well. That wasn’t always the case in her former life as a tech-firm interviewer. “I had people come in a Tshirt and a pair of Bermuda shorts,” she recalled. One of Schuster’s tips: “My recommendation to people is go a little bit more conservative than might be your natural inclination.” Terri Moore agreed. Moore, program manager for college relations at the Charlotte corporate office of Time Warner Cable, interviews students for internships. She doesn’t eliminate would-be interns for not wearing suits. But when people dress questionably, she isn’t afraid to call them on it. She recalled one candidate whose resume was excellent. “But he came in with jeans,” she said. “I did ask him if he thought the jeans were appropriate. He said he saw people in this building before in jeans and he thought he could wear jeans. I told him, ‘They have a job and (you) don’t.’” Schuster noted that dressing professionally applies to any interview _ even ones that take place in college campus job fairs. Enough students do it right, she said, that recruiters will notice those who don’t. ʻThereʼs a magic to a jacketʼ As some workplaces relax their dress codes, freshfrom-school job candidates may cringe at the thought of

Interns Brandon Smith (left) and Diana Ni model inappropriate clothing in this photo illustration as what not to wear for a job interview. laying out money for a suit or other conservative clothes they don’t expect to wear much once they get the job. But image experts and recruiters alike said the clothes are an investment, and investments - good ones, anyway - pay off. “There’s a magic to a jacket,” said Susan McKeithen, managing director of Style Advisors, a Charlotte image consulting firm. “There’s something about a jacket that implies authority, that implies confidence or professionalism.” That kind of confidence will help a new hire move up, said McKeithen, who with her partner, fellow managing director Susan McDonough, advises graduate students and corporate employees. “Even if you get a job, you’re always being considered for that next opportunity,” McKeithen said. “You need to dress for the next job. The pressure is not off.” Of course, there are exceptions to the suit or jacket-andtie rule. “We always enjoy the kids who show up in a three-piece suit,” said Carl Showalter, president of Showalter Construction Co., a Charlotte firm that does site work for commercial, public and highway projects. “We give them a hard time.” But Showalter still wants to see a conservative look,

even if “conservative” means something different in his business. “A nice pair of khakis, a collared shirt,” he said. “No flip-flops, no tank tops, no shorts.” Showalter looks for a “clean-cut appearance,” which in his book, means a fresh haircut, shined shoes and little or no jewelry. Local experts say most interviewees know to cover tattoos and keep body jewelry to a minimum. The same professional clothes that helped a candidate win the job will help him or her represent the firm well to the outside world, said Moore, the program manager for college relations at Time Warner Cable in Charlotte. “If you’re in a good company and they really want you involved in the company, you’re going to be networking,” she said. “I would have a problem with a student who shows up in very casual wear for a networking session.” Elizabeth Ventura, who is hoping that her first spa job will lead to a career in the field, said she scouts sales and is patiently building a professional wardrobe as her budget allows. “If you want to be taken seriously, you have to be dressed appropriately,” Ventura said. Even if it means taking advice from your mother? “Definitely,” she said. “Your mom knows.” — MCT

Building a basic interview wardrobe

Intern Diana Ni models a pair of thong sandals with toe rings.

In this photo illustration, intern Brandon Smith wears a pair of frayed jeans with scuffed up shoes as what not to wear for a job interview. — MCT photos

Models walk the runway at the Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2011 Collection at 583 Park Avenue on December 6, 2010 in New York City. — AFP photos

• If at all possible, buy a suit. Experts agreed that the suit is still the price of admission to much of the work world. Even if once you land a job you only pull it out for weddings, funerals and future interviews, it will be worth it. • If you’re clueless about what looks good on you, head to a store where seasoned professionals can lay out options and advise. One suit, with different ties (men) or different blouses (women), will serve you well again and again. • For women: Pantsuits are perfectly acceptable, and may be more versatile than a skirt suit. • Best colors for both men and women are black, charcoal or light gray. Navy is next-best. One exception: At least one expert said she doesn’t expect someone fresh out of high school to wear a suit, though it would still impress. • If you forgo a suit, or it’s not right for the industry you’re headed for, then as a bare bones alternative, put together some separates, and include a jacket. Men should get a white dress shirt, a tie, black, charcoal or navy slacks, and a jacket. Women should get a jacket and skirt or pants. Be aware that for some interviews - say for a mid-level-or-up bank job - separates might appear too casual. For some industries, such as construction, a jacket may not be necessary. • Get good shoes, and keep them shined. Don’t undermine a great look with shoes that are in disrepair or just plain wrong (Docksiders, sandals, anything you’d go biking in). If you can only afford one pair, get black. — MCT


8 Dec