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SUNDAY, MARCH 28, 2010


A frail Dennis Hopper gets Hollywood star

United stay on top as Chelsea put seven past Villa



NO: 14681

150 FILS

NOTICE Due to the weekend holiday, a special supplement on Bangladesh National Day is being distributed with Kuwait Times today.

conspiracy theories

Unity and only unity By Badrya Darwish


azeera invited people yesterday to participate in a live broadcast to have their say on the ongoing Arab Summit in Libya . The program was an interesting one, giving the callers a chance to imagine themselves as decision-makers at the summit. I decided instead of calling to write about it. Anyway, I’m sure the lines were awfully busy, and I wouldn’t have had the chance even if I had tried. Callers were from all over the Arab World - from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf. I heard many opinions of people of all ages - young, old and in between. They all sounded demoralized and without hope that this summit or any other will solve the problems of the Arab World. To these callers, Jerusalem was the core of the matter. “Why are we holding this summit,” many questioned. “A waste of time and money”. “Only ink on paper”. “The decisions will be shelved at the Arab League,” many said. Very, very few thought that whatever the result, “we should continue to meet. This is the least we can do”. But none of them actually answered the question as to what would they do if they were at the summit. Now comes my turn. What would I do if I had a say at the summit? I would ask for unity and nothing but unity. If we are united, no country can defeat us. Whether it’s US or Russia or China or whoever. On the contrary, people would respect us if we are united. Are the Arabs afraid of each other, or do they lack trust with each other? Do the leaders think they will lose their seats if they unite? Conversely, if we are united, I’m sure you will have more stability in every country. There will be no place for extremists who use your weaknesses to justify their bad actions. Imagine if the whole Arab World is united - it can be self-sufficient as every country has diverse resources. Some countries have agricultural resources that can supply the whole Arab world and still have enough left over. Some countries have petrochemical wealth. Some have mineral wealth. Some have all three. Most Arab countries also have touristic sites - natural or religious. On top of these God-gifted resources, we also have manpower, which is the most important of them all. Mind you, we have one language too. You don’t have to bring in 20 interpreters like at EU summits. And they are united! The Arab World also enjoys being in a strategic location on the map. It’s also blessed with moderate weather all year round. So what more do you want guys? Unity, unity and unity.

Mubarak back after operation CAIRO: President Hosni Mubarak returned home to Egypt yesterday after a three-week absence abroad for surgery that reignited speculation on who would succeed the veteran 81year-old leader. Dozens of senior officials greeted the president and his Hosni Mubarak wife Suzanne as they emerged from the presidential plane in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh and stepped onto an escalator. “This moment, which everyone has been waiting for, is the arrival of President Hosni Mubarak,” a reporter said in live coverage on television. Dressed in a navy blue blazer and trousers, a smiling Mubarak walked down the long red carpet and shook hands with top Al-Azhar Continued on Page 14

SIRTE, Libya: Arab leaders including Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi (center) and HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (second right) and invited guests including UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi pose for a group picture ahead of the opening session of the Arab Summit yesterday. — AFP Photos

Arabs firm on Jerusalem Erdogan slams Israeli ‘madness’ • Moussa urges closer ties with Iran

KUWAIT: Young women take part in a walkathon in Salmiya yesterday. Under the slogan, ‘Protect your kidneys, Keep moving’, more than 8,000 participants from both genders and different nationalities participated in the 15th annual walkathon sponsored by NBK. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh (See Page 3)

SIRTE, Libya: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas yesterday ruled out US-brokered indirect peace talks with Israel unless it backs down on settlements, as Arab leaders closed ranks over Jerusalem at a summit in Libya. Abbas, at the opening of the two-day summit in the Mediterranean city of Sirte, echoed widespread concern that the Middle East peace process was in peril and urged his Arab peers to “rescue” Jerusalem. “We cannot resume indirect negotiations as long as Israel maintains its settlement policy and the status quo,” he said in a speech after UN chief Ban Ki-moon had addressed the summit seeking Arab support for the talks. Abbas accused Israel of seeking to wipe out the Arab identity of Jerusalem through “ethnic cleansing” and insisted that Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem must be the capital of any future Palestinian state. “We have always said that Jerusalem is the jewel in the crown and the gate to peace,” he said. The UN chief urged Arab leaders to facilitate the “proximity” talks between Israel and the Palestinians, saying “our common goal should be to resolve all final-status issues within 24 months”. Ban also reiterated that Israel’s settlement activity in mainly Arab east Jerusalem was “illegal” and stressed that Jerusalem must emerge “as the capital of two states”. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, another guest speaker, blasted Israel’s policy of dealing with the whole of Jerusalem as its united capital as “madness”. “Jerusalem is the apple of the eye of each and every Muslim ... and we cannot at all accept any Israeli violation in Jerusalem or in Muslim sites,” Erdogan said. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was likewise invited by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to address the summit, said “now is the time to give peace a chance.” Continued on Page 14

UP IN SMOKE: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas smokes a cigarette as he attends the opening session of the Arab Summit yesterday.

NODDING OFF: Italian PM Berlusconi attends the opening session of the Arab Summit yesterday.

World unplugs for Earth Hour

Allawi extends hand to rivals

Lights out in global power switch-off

DUBAI: Emirati men stand next to mascots Spark and Splash during the Earth Hour lantern march yesterday. Hundreds of people, from white-robed Emiratis to foreigners in shorts, marched with small lanterns as the lights went out in some of Dubai’s landmarks and most iconic buildings. — AFP

NEW DELHI: Monuments from Sydney’s Opera House to Delhi’s Red Fort went dark yesterday for Earth Hour, a global power switch-off aimed at revitalising efforts against climate change. Ferry horns blared across Sydney harbour in a noisy start to the energysaving event, which is supported by 4,000 cities in a record 125 countries and includes 1,200 landmarks from the Forbidden City to Egypt’s pyramids and the Las Vegas Strip. “From Brazil to America, to Canada, all the way down to Australia, Japan and India - it’s a really diverse set of countries taking part this year,” Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley said. The rolling wave of darkness was intended to boost the environmental movement after disappointing UN talks Continued on Page 14

Arabs relieved by result

BAGHDAD: Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi speaks to the press yesterday. — AP

BAGHDAD: Ex-premier Iyad Allawi, whose bloc emerged strongest from Iraq’s polls, launched talks yesterday with political foes in a bid to form a coalition, offering to work with any group “without exception”. Complete results released on Friday showed Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc won 91 seats in the 325member Council of Representatives, two more than Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s State of Law Alliance. “There must be a strong government, capable of taking decisions which serve the Iraqi people, and bring peace and stability to Iraq,” Allawi told a news conference yesterday. Of coalition talks, he said: “There have been some talks, but they were only talks. Now, the negotiations begin. These discussions will be conducted with the different political forces, without exception.” Allawi promised Iraq would open a “new page” and establish “better relations” with its neighbours - Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Neither Iraqiya nor State of Law clinched an overall parliamentary majority and a Continued on Page 14



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Oppressive use of power

NGOs criticize ‘deported for public interest’ decision By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: NGOs in Kuwait have said that the recently proposed suggestion by the Deportation Directorate in the Ministry of Interior will allow for an oppressive use Instead, the Deportation Directorate asked them to refer to their reason of deportation as ‘for the public interest.’ The reports quoted sources in the ministry as saying that the request was made in order to close legal loopholes. Previously, lawyers may have been able to interfere in the deportation process, prove expats innocent and prevent them from being deported. The purpose of adding the reason for deportation is to oblige the Deportation Directorate to refer expats to prosecution where they will be subject to trial. That trial could prove their innocence and prevent the directorate from deport-

ing them. “Adopting such a decision will open the door to an oppressive use of power and it is a violation of the simplest rights an expat has; a fair trial according to the law and to the international declaration of human rights,” said Dayes Al-Merry, deputy head of the Kuwaiti Center for Expatriates’ Rights (KCER). Al-Merry added that the decision is an abuse of Judiciary Authority and it can have negative consequences on the implementation of legal procedures for the interest of victims. He argued that the decision can result in the loss of the public’s right, as well as deprive victims of seeking justice against deported suspects.

of power by officials. The statement was made after press reports mentioned that the Deportation Directorate asked the Criminal Investigation Department to no longer mention the charge for which an expat is being deported. “Such improvised decisions that come without thorough study will have the worst impact on the image of Kuwait in the international arena,” he noted. The Kuwait Society for Human Rights (KSHR) issued a statement urging the government to consider legal procedures before implementing such a decree. “These procedures must be legally checked so that Kuwait will not be accused of violating human rights by international organizations,” said Amer Al-Tamimi, the undersecretary of the KSHR in a statement to Kuwait Times. “Instead of doing that, it would be better to refer suspect-

ed expats to prosecution for interrogation so that they will later be referred to specialized courts,” Al-Tamini added. The decree comes after the legislative committee in the National Assembly approved a bill earlier this month to relocate the General Investigation Department from the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior to the Public Prosecution. “This is a good step in the right direction” said Al-Merry of KCER, “It will guarantee more independence for the judiciary system, and reinforce the constitutional principle of separating authorities. This will in turn guarantee integrity for the investigative authority.”

KUWAIT: Greek ruins in Failaka Island.

Failaka ... An archaeological treasure CAIRO: The state of Kuwait exerts great efforts in unearthing a lot of archaeological sites, particularly “tombs of Sabia city” and other sites, says observer of antiquities and museums at the (Kuwaiti) National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters Sultan Dawaish. Dawaish made this remark in a his MA dissertation on the near east civilizations titled “Tombs of Sabia City in the State of Kuwait- An Archaeological Study” that was discussed last night at the Near East Civilizations Institute at the Egyptian university of Zagzig.

Dawaish asserted in his thesis that tombs are places rich in archaeological findings, especially the tombs constructed by the old communities according their different ways of burial, besides the different styles of these tombs according to the religious philosophical thought. He also confirmed that Sabia tombs is one of the most important finds that led to good results through its widespread and the variety of its architectural geometrical forms, deeming that lack of finds and the exact date of construction of such tombs led to continuing suspense and multiple explanations on this area.

Dawaish drew attentions to the importance of such tombs in highlighting a lot of social, trade and religious aspects of life of the ancients who lived in Kuwait and the Gulf Cooperation Council states. Additionally, he believed that the important though perplexing matter is archaeologists did not find tombs in the ancient residential settlements, especially in Failaka, pointing out that no tombs were found up till now in such big settlements in Sabia, the sites of slaves, and Failaka Island “in spite of their massive size and history that harks back to more than 2.000 years B.C.” — KUNA

Al-Awadhi sued KUWAIT: In response to the article ‘Liberalism and the followers of one’s own wishes,’ written in Al-Watan by Nabil Al-Awdhi, a number of citizens have filed complaints with the public prosecutor, reported Al-Jarida.

KUWAIT: Under the patronage of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Housing, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the Commercial Bank of Kuwait took part as a silver sponsor for the “Kuwait Vision” expo for small businesses, which was held recently at the Movenpick Hotel. This sponsorship comes as part of the CBK’s commitment to take part in supporting society, and contribute to the development of Kuwaiti young capabilities by supporting their small projects, said the general manager of the bank’s announcements and public relations department; Amani Al-Wara’a.

KFAED chief in Lebanon to inaugurate new projects BEIRUT: Director General of The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) Abdul-Wahab Al-Bader starts today a five-day official visit to Lebanon to take part in the inauguration of several projects and to hand over to the Lebanese some buildings constructed through KFAED’s financing that had been previously destroyed by the Israeli attacks in 2006. KFAED’s office here announced that Al-Bader will start his itinerary on Monday morning with an assigned meeting with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. On the same day, Al-Bader is to turn over a Kuwaiti donation to Leabanese authorities to enhance public services in Al-Estiyaf area, as well as sign a loan agreement for the benefit of streamlining the Qaysamani Dam project. Further, Al-Bader will participate in laying the foundation stone to a northern sewage system project. The office added in a statement that Al-Bader will hand over five buildings (out of 13) in southern Beirut, that have been built by a Kuwaiti donation. KFAED’s director general will also meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Wednesday to discuss KFAED’s activities in different areas of Lebanon. Later on Thursday, AlBader will be placing another foundation stone on the Emergency and Civil defense project in the southern district under the patronage of Minister of Interior Ziyad Baroud. During his visit, the KFAED official will participate in the inauguration of the establishment of service projects at the dormitory of an orphanage in Saida province in southern Lebanon. Yesterday, KFAED submitted a water desalination plant in Qarnayel where more than 1,000 families will be benefiting from this project. KFAED over the past few years has given Lebanon 16 loans worth more than USD 500 million while supervising Kuwait’s donations to Lebanon, the latest of which was worth USD 300 million. — KUNA


Sunday, March 28, 2010


The Labor Law Section Three Collective Work Disputes Article (123) Collective work disputes are the disputes that arise between one or more employers and all his or their workers or a group thereof due relevant to the work or the working conditions. Article (124) In the event of collective disputes, the involved parties shall resort to direct negotiations between the employer or his representative and workers or their representative. The competent ministry shall delegate a representative to attend the negotiation as controller. In the event where an agreement is reached among them, the agreement shall be registered at the competent ministry within 15 days in accordance with the regulations issued in a resolution of the Minister. Article (125) Either party to the dispute may submit to the competent ministry a request to settle the dispute amicably through the Collective Work Disputes Reconciliation Committee established by a decision of the Minister, in the event where direct negotiation fails to lead to a solution. The request shall be signed by the employer or his authorized representative, or the majority of the disputing workers or their authorized representatives. Article (126) The Work Disputes Reconciliation Committee shall consist of the following: a- Two representatives designated by the syndicate or the disputing workers. b- Two representatives designated by the employer or the disputing employers. c- The chairman of the committee and representatives from the competent ministry appointed by the competent Minister by a resolution that shall also specify the number of representatives of the disputing parties. The Committee shall consider the opinion of any person it deems useful for the accomplishment of its mission. In all the preceding stages, the competent ministry can request all information necessary to settle the dispute. Article (127) The Reconciliation Committee shall hear the dispute within one month after the submittal of the application. In the event where it is able to settle the dispute, wholly or partially, it shall register the settlement reached by both parties in minutes of proceedings made out in three copies signed by the attendants. The settlement shall be considered final and biding upon both parties. In the event where

the Reconciliation Committee is unable to settle the dispute within a specific period of time, it shall refer the dispute or the unsettled part thereof, within a week after its last meeting, to the Arbitration Panel along with all documents. Article (128) The Arbitration Panel shall, in the event of collective work disputes, be formed as follows: a- A circuit of the Court of Appeal established annually by the general assembly for this court: b- A chief prosecutor delegated by the Attorney General. c- A representative from the competent ministry appointed by the Minister. The disputing parties or their legal representatives shall appear before the Panel. Article (129) The Arbitration Panel shall hear the dispute within 20 days from the date of submittal of the documents to the Clerks Department. Both disputing parties shall be notified of the date of the session at least one week earlier. The dispute shall be settled within three months after the date of the first session. Article (130) The Arbitration Panel shall have all the powers of the Court of Appeal in accordance with provisions of the law regulating the judicature and the law of civil and commercial procedure. The verdicts rendered by this tribunal shall be final and shall have the same effect as the verdicts rendered by the Court of Appeal. Article (131) As an exception from Article (126) of this Law, the competent Ministry may interfere in the event of collective dispute, if necessary, without a request from any of the disputing parties in order to settle the dispute amicably. The Ministry shall also have the right to refer the case to the Reconciliation Committee or the Arbitration Panel, as it may deem appropriate. The disputing parties shall submit all documents required by the competent Ministry, and shall attend whenever required to do so. Article (132) The disputing parties shall not be allowed to suspend work, whether entirely or partially. during direct negotiations or when the dispute is pending before the Reconciliation Committee or the Arbitration Penal or upon interference by the competent Ministry in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.


KUWAIT: The women category being flagged off from the Marina Crescent. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

NBK walkathon ‘a big success’ By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Under the slogan, ‘Protect your kidneys, Keep moving,’ more than 8,000 participants from both genders and different nationalities made their presence felt during the 15th annual walkathon event sponsored by NBK. Noticeably, participation has risen over the years and was better organized. Some high-ranking officials like the Minister of Health Dr Hilal Al-Sayer attended the event. He commented, “The NBK’s walkathon carries an awareness message for the society: Fight diseases and get rid of them. The participation of organizations and companies signify the fact that the health issue is a joint responsibility between individuals and public authorities.” There were three main categories of participants, including those divided into subcategories. The walkathon began in the morning with the children’s category held at the Green Island. The participating children were divided into four categories (aged between 4-14 years). In the afternoon, Women from the Light Blue team (aged 15 to 20) were flagged off from the Marina Crescent. They were

KUWAIT: An Al-Jazeera aircraft under maintenance is seen in Kuwait Airways hangar.

KUWAIT: The men at the start in front of the Scientific Center including Dr Hilal Al-Sayer, Isam AlSayer and Ibrahim Dabdoub. followed by the women from the Yellow team (aged 21 to 35). They were followed by the third and fourth category participants Red (ages 36-49) and Pink (ages 50 and above). The total walking distance covered was six kilometers. As many of the older women

participants complained had previously complained about being grouped along with the Yellow team, the NBK added a new fourth category, the Pink team. The men’s completion began almost an hour later. The four men’s categories: Dark Blue (ages 15to 20), White (ages 21 to

35), Green (ages 36 to 49), and Burgundy (ages 50 and above) were flagged off from the Scientific Center up to the Green Island. They covered a total walking distance of eight kilometers. At the end point (Green Island), different activities were

held. A draw for the Jawhara Account winners was also held. Following this, 10 winners from each single category were awarded and received cash prizes. Also, a draw for a red Mini Cooper was held. The Kuwaiti musical band Al-Nujoom performed during the event.

KUWAIT: The maintenance team’s group photo. — Photos by Jospeh Shagra

KAC reassures of safety of aircraft maintenance KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) maintenance department reassured yesterday the safety of all maintenance procedures adopted on its aircraft. Head of Maintenance at KAC, Khaled Al-Hilail, said during a tour organized by the corporation that all planes are in good shape due to regular maintenance. The age of the aircraft may be extended from five to seven years under certain procedures and proper maintenance, in many cases may be extended to 10 years, he added. Maintenance of aircraft costs a lot for airlines,

according to its age, as KAC planes working from 1992 require three-day maintenance. He added that all the old and new planes undergo one maintenance procedure. On the issue of KAC privatization, Al-Hilail said that it would enable the company to compete, develop its services and even buy new planes to add to its fleet. He said that KAC is currently carrying out maintenance of Al-Jazeera aircraft and is also in the process of preparing for a contract with Al-Wataniya airlines for maintenance of its planes, pointing out that the nation-

al budget for the maintenance of the engines alone costs nearly KD22 million in the previous budget, onethird of the cost of maintenance. On the other hand, Deputy Director of Maintenance, Khalil Hammadi, said that the corporation is carrying out aircraft maintenance of 55 international and local companies. He added, the Engineering Department has great potential, like transporting more than 688 patients abroad, in addition to transporting 355 patients into Kuwait all during year 2009. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The Deputy Director of Maintenance, Khalil Hammadi delivers his speech.

KUWAIT: The Head of Maintenance at KAC, Khaled Al-Hilail, speaks during the function.



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Qallaf criticizes Safar

MPs, Cabinet seeks to begin a new phase KUWAIT: The Parliament has expressed its desire to begin interpellation session be formed. These directions will be prea new phase of cooperation with the aim of expediting the sented at a meeting that will be held between the Cabinet’s work process. This statement was made at the conclusion of follow-up committee, led by the minister of parliament affairs the Information Minister’s grilling session which after the and state minister of communications, and between the Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah suggested that Parliament’s office to organize the priorities to be discussed a technical committee to study the notes made during the during the upcoming sessions. Another indication for cooperation lishing stability in the relationship country’s political instability on the conwas confirmed by reports which stated between the two authorities to work tinued violations of governmental directhat HH the Prime Minister, Sheikh toward pushing the development torates. He added that these violations impact the final budget, which cannot be Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, will call process. This is after the public’s expressed passed if certain directorates continue to the Cabinet during their weekly meeting to carry out all laws that are approved by resentment at the perpetual state of ten- ignore their violations. Meanwhile, MP Saleh Aashour said the Parliament and enforced by the min- sion that has plagued the Executive and isters. This was included in the devel- the Legislative. On this regard, indepen- that some of the errors continue to occur opment plan law, the public labor law, dent MPs plan to hold meetings to dis- because of their administrative nature. the law for the disabled and the currency cuss ways toward achieving stability, As an example, he cited an error in and turn the focus of attention towards which an employee should receive a market authority law. salary following his resignation due to Furthermore, the Cabinet is expected development projects. Meanwhile, MPs have expressed the delay in the administrative proceto take steps to rush procedures to enforce a number of laws including the their resentment against governmental dure regarding his resignation. He indicated that the Parliament privatization law, the tenders law, the directorates found to be ignoring reports commercial companies law, and the from the Audit Bureau regarding viola- should follow-up on these violations Chamber of Commerce law. They will tions in their departments, reported Al- with the concerned parliament committees. use notes made by the Audit Bureau in Qabas. MP Naji Al-Abdulhadi criticized the The MPs added that the directorates handling violations that may take place response to such reports further con- actions of some governmental direcat governmental directorates. In another incident, the Minister of tributes to the unstable political position torates who he said ignore the Audit Bureau’s notes and continue their operPublic Works and Municipality Affairs, of the country. They added that they will raise ations without addressing them. He Fadhel Safar found himself in hot water again. MP Hassan Al-Qallaf, accused awareness of this issue by sending par- stressed the importance of allowing the him of failing to make fair legislations liamentary inquisitions to the Prime financial monitoring sector of the and laws, and called for his resignation Minister and members of the Cabinet. Ministry of Finance to help curb the viofrom the post which he described as a The MPs also said that they have not lations taking place there. Likewise, MP Khalid Al-Tahous ruled out the option of calling for a par‘necessity.’ Amidst indications of cooperation and liament session to further discuss the emphasized the seriousness of acknowledging the Audit Bureau’s reports rift, the independent MPs have been matter. MP Adnan Al-Mutawa blamed the against governmental directorates. leaning towards the necessity of estab-

Safar rejects agricultural amendments KUWAIT: The Deputy Head of the Municipal Council recently criticized the Minister of Public Works and Municipality Affairs, Dr Fadhel Safar, for rejecting a decision passed by the Council on amending certain Articles of the regulations that govern agriculture. Shayea Al-Shayea explained that the Minister had instructed the Council’s members to take complete freedom while proposing amendments, as he also sent Municipality officials to attend workshops that were held at the council.

However, after the amendments were made by the members and approved by municipality officials, the minister rejected them. Furthermore, Al-Shayea explained that the amendments proposed were made for the best benefit of citizens, accusing the minister of acting against popular sentiments by rejecting the amendments. He urged the minister to propose his own set of amendments if those presented by the council were found insufficient. He reiterated that Safar usually ignored regulations passed by the

council. Meanwhile, the Municipal Council member Muhalhal Al-Khalid also accused the minister of making false promises, and rejecting the amendments after breaking immature promises. He further indicated that they will escalate the issue by sending it to the Cabinet, reported Al-Qabas. The proposed amendments mainly concern those regulations that organize the plantation processes in residential areas, as more facilitated regulations were proposed for residents’ benefit.

KUWAIT: Abdulaziz Al-Khaldi, the Assistant Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, visiting the stalls after inaugurating the exhibition. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Watch exhibition opens in Mishref By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Kuwait International Fair Ground (KIFG) in Mishref launched a specialized watches exhibition on Thursday, which will last until April 3. The event was launched following the inauguration of Kuwait International Perfumes and Cosmetics Exhibition a day before. It is being held under the patronage of Abdulaziz Al-Khaldi, the Assistant Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. According to Abdulaziz AlKhaldi, the issue of smuggling subsidized food supplies abroad has been exaggerated. “The media has exaggerated the issue a lot, especially since these subsidized supplies are available in small quantities, it can’t be called commercial trade. The Ministry of Commerce’s Inspection Department is strict about the distribution of subsidized supplies. It is only provided to citizens according to civil identification numbers or electronic network,” said Al-Khaldi during the launch of the exhibition. Thirty different local and international companies are participating in the event. “This exhibition is a great opportunity for visitors who would like to

KUWAIT: Some of the watches on display. see the display of the latest model of watches and some models that are shown for the first time. Many affordable models are also on display. Some are more expensive. In addition, many companies are offering up to 50 percent discounts,” he added. Kuwait is working toward increasing its trade volume with many other countries. “We have already made negotiations with some countries like Turkey, Pakistan, European Union, and Singapore, by activating joint

committees to increase commercial exchange,” Al-Khaldi further said. The watches exhibition is held twice a year. “This exhibition is being been held here for about the past 30 years, and this signifies its importance. Also, such exhibitions helps refresh and boost economic activity. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry encourages the holding of such exhibitions and issues licenses to hold it,” he pointed out. The visitor may find different models of Asian, European, and

American watches. “Some watches are suitable for morning, and others for evening wear. Also, there are sports models available for both genders. In addition, there are many models especially made for children. Furthermore, wall clocks are also available. So, the selection is really wide, and this exhibition deserves to be visited,” Al-Khaldi concluded. It is open to the public daily from 9:30 am to 1:00pm, and from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. On Friday, it is open from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm.

Car thief caught in Jahra KUWAIT: A 24-year-old bedoon was arrested for stealing several vehicles in Jahra, using them for various errands, dismantling them, selling their parts and then setting them on fire. Police caught the man while setting one of the stolen vehicles on fire. When questioned, the suspect confessed to committing the crimes and was referred to the proper authorities.

Child struck by car A five-year-old boy suffered several serious bone fractures and bruises after he was struck by a speeding car in Salem AlMubarak street in Salmiya. Official sources added that the child was struck while crossing the street unattended. The driver, a girl in her twenties, reported that she suddenly saw the youth and could not stop her vehicle in time. The girl knocked the child over, tossing him several meters, and remained stopped until the police arrived. The child was taken to Mubarak Hospital in a coma. Police are further investigating the incident. Failaka incident A 12-year-old citizen suffered severe blood loss after stepping on a sharp object while visiting Failaka Island. Island firefighters brought the youth to the island’s military clinic for first aid before evacuating him to the Salmiya Marine Rescue Center. Mall staff assaulted Several staff members working on the Government Mall project in Jahra were physically assaulted by engineers from the Ministry of Communications, reported AlQabas. While both teams were working on technical details, an altercation between the two groups escalated into a fight.

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Fire Services Directorate recently organized a special ceremony at the Marina Mall to commemorate the Eighth Firemen Day Festival. The event was held under the patronage of the Hawally Governor, Retired General, Abdullah Al-Fares and KFSD Director, Maj Gen Jassim AlMansouri. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Laborers’ residential areas KUWAIT: A total of six projects to establish separate residential areas for laborers in accordance with the Build-Operate-Transfer (B-O-T) system will reportedly cost nearly KD 500 million, said Head of the Projects Development Department at the Kuwait Municipality, Batil Al-Rasheedi. These projects aim to put an end to the practice of bachelor workers’ occupying apartments in residential areas. Al-Rasheedi noted that these

areas will be ear-marked in accordance with highlevel environmental and service standards, reported Al-Qabas. Furthermore, Al-Rasheedi indicated that a tender for the project will be floated sometime during the upcoming three months. He further noted that the project will be a four-storey building, that contains 20 square meters bedrooms that can only accommodate four individuals.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


5 Fugitive nabbed in Salmy

Euros scam: Detention of female citizen extended in Kuwait KUWAIT: The Public Prosecution Office has further extended the detention of a female citizen accused in connection with siphoning off six million euros. The Prosecution had previously convicted the suspect in a financial crime case where a person named ‘Joe’ had issued a check bearing her name totaling to 300,000 euros. However, the woman denied ever having received the check, Two deaths A 54-year-old Egyptian was found dead at his workplace, reported AlWatan. An emergency call was made and paramedics responded to the emergency but announced the man dead soon after their arrival. Paramedics reported that his death was likely the result of a heart attack. Meanwhile, an Asian man in his 40s suffered a fatal heart attack in his home in Jleeb Al-Shyoukh, reported AlWatan. Paramedics responded to the emergency and pronounced the man dead after all attempts to revive him failed. Border arrest Officers at the Salmy Port stopped a citizen from smuggling a Saudi fugitive out of the country, reported Al-Watan. The man attempted to sneak the man back into Saudi Arabia by hiding the fugitive in his trunk. Both men were referred

to a nearby police station. Vicious brawl A 16-year-old was stabbed during a brawl in Jahra, reported Al-Watan. The juvenile suffered serious injuries and was admitted to the intensive care unit of Jahra Hospital in critical condition. Police and paramedics responded to the emergency and broke up the fight while paramedics took the injured teenager to the hospital. Two other youths sustained less serious injuries and were brought to the hospital as well. The other brawlers were arrested and taken to the local police station. It was revealed that the fight started because the two youths exchanged threatening looks toward one another. Missing daughter A family informed authorities that their daughter went missing while they were shopping at a mall in Abu Hulaifa,

adding that it may have been placed in her car with the intention of framing her, reported Al-Watan. The Public Prosecution Office will contact the concerned European bank to conduct a probe on ‘Joe,’ whose wealth is estimated at 4 billion euros. It also plans to collect details from the Central Bank and the Commerce Ministry with the aim of keeping tab on the suspect’s activities. reported Al-Watan. They reported that they were unable to reach her because her cell phone was switched off. A case was opened and police are searching for the missing girl. Lawbreakers held Jahra police arrested 15 Asians working at restaurants in South Surra for operating after midnight, reported AlWatan. They were also found to be in violation of residency laws. They were taken to the proper authorities and their restaurants was shut down. Harassment A case of harassment was opened by a man against a woman at the Jahra police station, reported Al-Anbaa. A citizen reported that he was receiving non-stop harassing calls and text messages from an unknown woman. Police opened an investigation and are in

search of the caller. Ex-wife assaulted A citizen in his 30’s broke into his exwife’s apartment in Salmiya while being heavily intoxicated and beat her severely, reported Al-Seyassah. The woman was left with several injuries and was brought to the hospital by paramedics. Police responded to the emergency but were unable to find the attacker. A case was opened in search of the assailant. Forged money A 24-year-old bedoon was arrested in Sulabiya after a forged KD 10 bill was found in his possession, reported AlSeyassah. The man was stopped by a police patrol and questioned for acting suspicious. After the forged bill was discovered, the man tried to escape but was immediately arrested by authorities. He was taken to the local police station.

Kuwait, Japan to mark relations anniversary

‘NAUSS, a pride for all Arabs’ KUWAIT: Scientific research, training courses and seminars form the basis of developing security media performance, said the Manager of the Ministry of Interior’s Security Media Department and Ministry Official Spokesman Col Mohammed Hashim Al-Sabr. He was speaking during the conclusion of a training course that was held between March 21 to 25 and organized by the Nayef Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS) and Dubai Police. It focused on the regulations and

MoH urged to integrate with private sector KUWAIT: The World Bank has urged the Ministry of Health (MoH) to take serious measures to address inflation and deficitrelated problems incurred on health expenses. Reform should be achieved in terms of government spending on health services at par with neighboring countries, it suggested. In a meeting held with MoH officials, World Bank representatives further proposed the option of involving the private sector with the medical services development process as a viable solution towards addressing the above-mentioned problem. Their integration will significantly help address budget inflation and deficit issues, representatives said, reported Al-Watan. The Health Ministry had announced that their budget for the fiscal year 2010-2011 has touched KD 1.186 billion, divided into five categories. The first is the Salaries category worth KD 582 million, followed by Services and Goods at a total cost of KD 384 million. The allocated share for the third category, which pertains to the Ministry’s capital assets has reached KD 90 million, when compared to KD 38 million for the fourth category. As for the fifth and final category, related to endorsements includes treatments conducted abroad, its share of allocations have touched KD 126 million. This budget has not been officially presented, and is pending

Increase in use of light weapons KUWAIT: A lieutenant with the Ministry of Interior spoke on the increase of fights between youths using weapons, reported AlWatan. “These kinds of brawls between youngsters have been taking place for a long time,” said Lt Ibraheem Al-Nughaimesh. “There has been an increase in the use of light weapons such as wooden and steel rods, knives and even swords and axes.” He also criticized the lack of a deterrent to help stop this phenomenon from increasing. “The Ministry releases youngsters who engage in armed fights shortly after taking them into custody. They should criminalize the possession of light weapons in order to curb this problem,” he said.

rules that govern Security Media Investigations and reports. Al-Sabr explained that the support lent by Arab interior ministers was the main incentive and power that helped revive joint Arab security training practices. “NAUSS is a real pride for all Arab security forces,” he stressed. The participants of the course pointed out that the knowledge instilled by the university has helped enrich and boost security performance.

Pre-marriage tests center KUWAIT: The Health Ministry announced yesterday it would open on April 4 a center for conducting pre-marriage tests for those getting ready to get married in Farwaniya area. Head of the pre-marriage medical test department Dr Yaqoub Al-Khandiri said that the new center would be located at Menahi Al-Osaimi center in Khaitan. The new center would lessen the load on the main center at Sabah medical area. He added that another center would be open in Mubarak AlKhabir governorate soon to serve citizens of Ahmadi and Mubarak Al-Khabir governorates. Around 15,000 people have so far used the pre-marriage test center, said Al-Khandiri, adding that the aim behind the test was to ensure the safety and health of citizens on the verge of getting married. —KUNA

KUWAIT: The year 2011 will witness the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kuwait and Japan, and the Japanese Embassy in Kuwait is planning to hold a number of cultural events and activities to celebrate this occasion, said Japanese Ambassador Masatoshi Muto. The Japanese ambassador was speaking at a reunion held by the embassy for Kuwaitis who studied or are currently studying in Japan at Muto’s residence, according to a press release issued by the embassy yesterday. Muto expressed his desire to deepen mutual understanding between the two countries through cultural exchange and scholarship programs. The reception was attended by Kuwaitis who studied in Japan, Kuwait University (KU) professors, representatives of KU’s Center for Community Service and Continuing Education, Japanese language course students at KU, as well as members of Japanese community in Kuwait. A Kuwaiti who is currently studying in Japan said that it was great to experience new things in Japan, and hoped that former Kuwaiti students would further bring the two countries closer together. During the reception, students of KU’s Japanese language course performed a play in Japanese. The Japanese Government Scholarship Program for the coming year is scheduled to be announced soon in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education, announced the embassy in its press release.—KUNA

KUWAIT: Japan Embassy in Kuwait hosts a reception for students studying in Japan. —KUNA



Sunday, March 28, 2010

28 resolution adopted

Criticizing Israel does not politicize HRC: Razzouqi GENEVA: The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) concluded late on Friday its 13th session, w hich started on March 1. Despite the huge number of decisions, w hich amounted to 28 resolution adopted by the Council either unanimously or by voting, the sessions came to an agreement on targets though mea ns to a rrive to them w ere different. Kuw a it’s

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Despite the different points of view on many issues at the HRC, Ambassador Razzouqi emphasized that “member states and regional groups are seeking to achieve the greatest possible degree of understanding about these issues, and this cannot be done without serious and constructive dialogue between all parties.” The Kuwaiti diplomat added that “the most important mechanism of human rights are the universal periodic review, which looks at the human rights situation in all UN member states with the same standards,” noting that the eighth session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review would be reviewing the national report of Kuwait. On Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Razzouqi said, “We (Kuwait) reject the politicization of the Human Rights Council, in line with the humanitarian mandate of the General Assembly of the UN in 2006.” “The mandate of the Council is to consider all violations of human rights, particularly gross and systematic violations and make recommendations necessary to stop such violations or to reduce them,” he added. While confirming the existence of “gross violations of human rights in the occupied territories in Palestine and the occupied Golan,” he said, noting that these rights had

Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Dharar Razzouqi said, “It is normal to have different opinions ... (the council) is an important platform for dialogue betw een countries to spread universal respect for human rights principles and fundamental freedoms, w ithout distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner for all.”

not been achieved so far despite an international resolutions being mandatory under international law. Thus, he said, when Israel is called on to implement its humanitarian obligations towards the Palestinian people under international conventions and treaties “this is not to politicize the work of the Council” but a performance of its role. Razzouqi recalled his speech in the current HRC session, in which he stressed that Israeli acts of violence against Palestinians and Arabs were contrary to the obligations of international humanitarian law (Geneva Conventions), saying that Israel was resorting to the use of force against the Palestinians and was also threatening to use force against Lebanon and Syria. Razzouqi condemned in the strongest terms the continued Israeli violations of the basic rights of the Palestinian people, notably the siege imposed on Gaza Strip and the continued construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian territories. As for differences between the East and West on respect for religions, Razzouqi said, “It is true that there are different ideologies, but we are keen to reach a consensus in the service of each state within the group and then make groups reach an agreement with each other. Therefore, it must be emphasized that the work of the Council is a collective

action and not individual positions.” He indicated that the Arab and Islamic Groups were playing an active role within the Council to defend the views of countries in the two groups with regard to human rights, and contribute to promoting dialogue between different groups on the issues raised. He focused on the significant presence of the Arab Group in the Council. “Despite the fact that the Palestinian issue is the focus of the work of this group, the group submitted to the Board a valuable contribution in the formulation of frameworks for promoting and safeguarding human rights.” The diplomat expressed belief that the Islamic Group had a great role to play in the success of the first revision of the Durban Declaration for assessing contemporary manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, through an inclusive, transparent and cooperation, and identifying concrete measures and initiatives to combat all manifestations of these phenomena and the elimination of it. Razzouqi added, “I believe that the Human Rights Council was able in a short period of existence to achieve many of its objectives, particularly to enable the imposition of human rights issues in the international arena in an unprecedented way.” The HCR was established in 2006. —- KUNA

EPA inspects water bottling factories KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Public Environment Authority (EPA) has sent a team of inspectors to several water bottling plants to verify their compliance with international standards of health safety. Speaking to reporters after the inspection tour, Director of EPA’s Industrial Department Mohammad Al-Anzi said the team has taken samples from the plants to analyze them. “The results of the analysis will be made public today in line with EPA’s principle of transparency,” he noted. The inspection tour is a part of a routine process being

conducted by the industrial department to detect any possible pollution of potable water. “Upon receiving information about pollution of products of one of seven water bottling companies working in Kuwait in the recent weeks EPA sent an inspection team to the company in question. “The inspection proved that the water of that company was safe and the whole matter was nothing but rumors by rival companies,” Al-Anzi affirmed. EPA’s conclusion was confirmed by the Ministry of Health in a statement it issued on Wednesday, he added. — KUNA


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Iran hosts regional leaders for ‘Nowruz’ Tehran reaches out to neighbors

AIN AL-HELWEH: Palestinian refugees and supporters of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) cover their mouth, ears and eyes to symbolize the proverbial principal ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ during a protest on March 26, 2010. —AFP

Libya must reveal fate of Lebanese cleric, says HRW NEW YORK: Human Rights Watch has urged Libyan authorities to reveal during an Arab summit it is hosting this weekend the fate of missing people, including a prominent Lebanese Shiite cleric. The New-York based rights watchdog said Libya should also provide information about two of its own citizens who went missing 20 years ago after they were returned home from Egypt where authorities had arrested them. “One of the themes of this Arab League summit is reconciliation,” HRW Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson said in a statement released late Friday. “Libya should use this opportunity to inform the families who have been suffering the pain of not knowing where their loved ones are,” she added. Lebanese President Michel Sleiman is boycotting the summit in Sirte amid a lingering dispute with Libya over the disappearance of prominent cleric Imam Mussa Sadr, and has sent his country’s ambassador to Cairo instead. Sadr, who is still regarded by Lebanon’s Shiites as a key spiritual guide, vanished on August 31, 1978, amid mysterious circumstances and was last seen in Libya. In 2008 Lebanon issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi over Sadr’s disappearance while he was in Tripoli with two companions, who also went missing. Libya has denied involvement in

Sadr’s disappearance. It says the man left the country for Italy, but the Italian government has always denied he arrived there. However, in 2004 Italian authorities returned a passport found in Italy belonging to the imam. HRW acknowledged that Libyan authorities began in 2008 “for the first time” to address the case of hundreds of people who disappeared “in connection with a massacre at the Abu Salim prison in 1996.” “Over the past year, the authorities have informed at least 800 families that their loved ones perished at the prison in 1996, offering compensation in exchange for relinquishing any legal claims. But many other Libyan disappearance cases remain unresolved,” it said. It specifically mentioned Libyan opposition figures Jaballa Hamed Matar and Izzat Al-Megaryef, who it said were arrested by Egyptian security forces in Cairo in March 1990. “Their families later learned that Egyptian security forces had handed them over the next day to Libyan security officials, who detained them in Abu Salim prison,” HRW said, adding they have not been heard of since. “Disappearances are a continuous crime for which the Libyan government is responsible,” Whitson said. She urged Libya to “tell the truth about what happened to these victims” and to “provide reparation and prosecute those responsible for their disappearance.” —AFP

New Iran sanctions are question of when, not if ICG: China values ties with US more than Iran UNITED NATIONS: China is slowly and reluctantly falling in line with Russia and four Western powers by backing the idea of new UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, but Beijing wants any new steps to be weak. The breakthrough, Western diplomats and analysts say, came this week after China ended months of delays by agreeing to enter into serious discussions with five other world powers on how to draft a new Iran sanctions resolution to be presented to the 15-nation UN Security Council. But the battle for the full support of China and Russia, which have close business ties with Iran, has only begun. “The fact that China agreed to engage is a success,” said Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “I don’t think anyone’s making any bets on how long this process will take. But it looks like it’s no longer a question of whether but when.” Fitzpatrick said US President Barack Obama’s success in ending months of deadlock to get a breakthrough deal with Russia on a replacement for the Cold War-era START nuclear arms reduction treaty would give Russian-US ties a boost and help keep Moscow on board for new Iran sanctions. Diplomats from the six countries involved in the sanctions negotiations-the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russiasay the four Western powers would like a resolution adopted next month, ahead of a monthlong UN conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in May. But they acknowledge that negotiations will probably drag on until at least June, mostly due to a Chinese and Russian desire to dilute any proposed punitive measures. Although Moscow supports the idea of sanctions, it wants them to be targeted measures focusing on Iran’s nuclear program. “China may accept a UN resolution with sanctions in the end, but with great reluctance, as it has

before,” said Shi Yinhong, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing. “China faces growing pressure to act,” Shi said. “(But) it knows that the United States and other powers are desperate to have China included as part of a unified stance. That still gives China room to maneuver, and it will fully use it.” China and Russia, like the United States, Britain and France, have veto power on the Security Council. China values US ties The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a recent report that China’s delay tactics bring certain benefits for Beijing, which analysts and diplomats say has become increasingly assertive on the Security Council, a body where it once preferred to remain invisible. “Pursuit of the diplomatic track delays punitive action and maximizes Beijing’s bargaining power with regard to both Iran and the West,” the ICG report said. “Nevertheless, if Russia finally supports sanctions, China will likely come on board to avoid diplomatic isolation.” The report added: “Beijing will not side with Iran at the expense of its relations with the US Despite recent troubles in the Sino-US relationship, China still values those ties more than its ties to Iran.” Iran rejects Western allegations that the goal of its nuclear program is to develop the capability to produce atomic weapons. It insists its ambitions are limited to the generation of electricity and has ignored five Security Council resolutions demanding that it cease enriching uranium. Russia and China have been putting pressure on Iran behind the scenes. Western diplomats told Reuters that the two powers quietly admonished Iran’s government in Tehran earlier this month, saying they wanted it to accept a UN-backed nuclear fuel offer and to change its nuclear policy. They added that neither received a satisfactory reply so

far, which might help explain China’s decision to join this week’s six-power conference call on Iran. Russia and China backed three previous resolutions in 2006, 2007 and 2008 imposing limited sanctions against Irantravel bans and asset freezes targeting some Iranian individuals and firms linked to Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs. But they did so after working hard to water down the proposed measures to the point where some analysts and diplomats said the UN sanctions were largely symbolic. Although the measures appeared mild on paper, the United States, European Union and their allies have implemented many of the measures aggressively, effectively blacklisting several major Iranian banks and pressuring major Western firms to pull out of the Islamic Republic. This, Western diplomats say, has hurt Iran more than expected. And if the council imposes further sanctions on Iran, the EU would most likely pass its own implementing measures that go beyond any UN sanctions, European diplomats say. The latest US-drafted sanctions proposal, which the United States circulated to Russia and China nearly a month ago after agreeing on it with Germany, France and Britain, would expand the UN blacklist to include some Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members and firms it controls. A French call for energy sector sanctions was left out of the US draft, as was a proposed ban on transactions linked to Iran’s central bank, which Germany opposed, envoys said. But it does call for expanding existing limits on arms trade with Iran into a full weapons embargo, with an inspection regime similar to one in place for North Korea, and would blacklist several Iranian shipping firms. Russia has said it dislikes the idea of an arms embargo and other measures in the US draft. China has not reacted yet. —Reuters

TEHRAN: Iran used an ancient new year celebration to reach out to Ahmadinejad said it was the first of what he hoped would be yearly gathAfghanistan, Iraq and other neighbors yesterday, hosting them at a sum- erings to mark the Nowruz celebrations and promote closer ties with the mit meeting that projected Iranian leadership in the strategic region six neighboring nations where the holiday is celebrated by Farsi-speaking straddling the Middle East and Central Asia. President Mahmoud communities. “That Nowruz promotes affection and social contacts among the people is one of many characteristics of this festival,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech broadcast on state TV. In particular, the president has looked recently to come closer to Afghanistan, where Iran is wary of a long-term US military presence. Earlier this month, Ahmadinejad made his second visit to Afghanistan as president. During the visit, Ahmadinejad criticized Washington’s policies in the country, arguing that the United States was playing a “double game” in fighting militants it had supported decades earlier in their battle against the Soviets. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was among those attending yesterday’s events in Tehran. The other nations were Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Iraq, Turkey and Azerbaijan. President Jalal Talabani represented Iraq, where full parliamentary election results released Friday gave a leading edge to a Shiite candidate who has been less friendly toward TEHRAN: Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a Nowruz (New Year) summit called The World Tehran than some of Iraq’s other top political figures. Nowruz Festivities yesterday. —AP Ayad Allawi, who was an interim prime minister after the US-led invasion of Iraq, leads a secular, anti-Iranian coalition that won the most seats in the March 7 election. Nowruz, MOSCOW: Imposing more sanctions on Iran which means “new day” in over its nuclear program is not the best option, Farsi, is a spring festival of but it cannot be excluded, Russian President Persian origin that began on Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday. Russia is a March 21 and continues until key player in mediations on Iran’s nuclear proearly April. Nowruz, the day of gram, which the United States and other the vernal equinox, is celebrated by more than 300 million Western nations believe is geared toward propeople worldwide as the beginducing atomic weapons. Iran insists its nuclear ning of the new year. The celetechnology has a solely peaceful purpose, but bration predates Islam, going BAGHDAD: The death toll from want to know what is the fault of the West is frustrated by Iran’s perceived relucback thousands of years to the two bombs that struck a crowded these innocent people to be killed tance to prove that. time when Zoroastrianism market in Iraq’s mainly Sunni like that?” Yunnis Mohammed, a Medvedev said in a statement to members of with its central theme of the Diyala province rose to 59, police shop owner, said at the blast scene. the League of Arab States in Moscow that “we struggle between good and evil Rescue workers were still said yesterday, as politicians startare convinced that the sanctions path is not optispirits - was the predominant ed coalition talks to form a new searching for survivors yesterday. mal.” “At the same time, developments along religion of ancient Persia. government. The attack on Friday While overall violence has dropped this scenario can’t be excluded,” the statement Under the Achamenid dynasty, night, one of Iraq’s deadliest in sharply in the past couple of years, said. Mixed signals on the controversial issue which ruled about 2,500 years months, also wounded 73 people, the blast on Friday, a night out for continue to emanate from Moscow, with some ago, Persia stretched from the Major Ghalib Attiya, a police many families, underscored the officials highlighting the importance of a diploIndus River to Egypt, to central spokesman in Diyala, said. “From fragile security situation in Iraq as matic solution to the stalemate while others sugAsia, forming the largest the style of the attack and its mag- it struggles to end years of war and gest sanctions may now be the only way to preempire on earth until that date. nitude, I can say it has Al-Qaeda’s sectarian conflict. Tajik President Emomali vent Iran joining the nuclear club. fingerprint,” he said, adding that an The death toll exceeded that of Rahmon suggested that the Russia is a longtime trade partner of Iran, investigation was under way to a suicide bombing that killed 41 Nowruz gathering be held giving it more leverage than Western nations determine if the militant group was people on the outskirts of next year at Persepolis in and perhaps more patience. But Foreign responsible. Baghdad in February and three southern Iran, the spring capiMinister Sergey Lavrov said last week that Iran The blasts occurred a few hours suicide attacks on Baghdad hotels tal of the Achamenid kingdom, was allowing an opportunity for mutually benefibefore officials released full prelim- in January that killed 36. Iraq’s where the kings hosted cial dialogue with the West to “slip away.” inary results from the March 27 political blocs have begun what Nowruz celebrations. Russia and the United States - the world’s preparliamentary poll. Authorities said could be weeks of jostling for a “Nowruz, with a history of mier nuclear superpowers - on Friday struck a 6,000 years, promotes the a roadside bomb was placed near a place in the new government. The landmark agreement cutting their nuclear arsemessage of unity, honesty and coffee shop in the centre of the results of this month’s election nals by a third. Both view a nuclear-armed Iran happiness,” he told the meettown of Khalis, 80 km (50 miles) saw secularist challenger Iyad whose leaders have said Israel should be wiped ing. Hard-line Iranian clerics north of Baghdad, followed soon Allawi’s alliance winning the most off the map - as a destabilizing factor in the have discouraged some eleafter by a car bomb that shattered seats in the coming parliament, Middle East and the wider world. Washington ments of Nowruz that they connearby buildings and shops. “There just ahead of Prime Minister Nuri sider pagan festivals, but their and Moscow have both hailed diplomacy over are still bodies under the rubble, I Al-Maliki’s coalition.—Reuters guidance is not heeded. —AP sanctions as the favored solution. —AP

Sanctions may be needed: Medvedev

Death toll in Iraq blast rises to 59



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Threatening letter with bullet sent to Berlusconi ROME: Italy’s postal service intercepted a threatening letter containing a bullet addressed to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, while letter bomb sent to a minister caught fire, police said yesterday. A large envelope containing a letter addressed to Berlusconi with the threat “you will end up like a rat” was

discovered on Friday in a post office in the Libate suburb of the northern city of Milan, police said. The package, which also referred to other leaders of Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party, was addressed to the prime minister’s private residence in the Milan region, they said.

Berlusconi was in Libya for an Arab League summit. The ANSA news agency reported that the anonymous letter contained drawings of figures under which were written the names of four PDL leaders including Defense Minister Ingazio La Russa. In another Milan post office, a letter bomb caught

fire yesterday, slightly injuring the hands of a postman, police said. The Milan prefecture said the package contained threats against Interior Minister Roberto Maroni and was claimed by the Informal Anarchist Federation. The letter accused Maroni, a member of Italy’s far-right anti-immigrant

Northern League, of failing to crack down on rapes in illegal immigrant centers, police said. The threats come ahead of fiercely contested regional elections today and tomorrow, with Berlusconi seeking stem a slide in his popularity. The interior ministry condemned the incidents as “real terrorist

acts” which it vowed to eliminate to prevent a return to the violent political unrest that plagued Italy around the 1970s. It said the threats amounted to “very serious intimidation” which it would address at an extraordinary meeting of the Public Order and

Security Committee called for Wednesday, it said. Berlusconi was injured in an attack last December when a man hurled a heavy souvenir model of Milan’s gothic cathedral at the controversial 73-year-old prime minister after a rally in the city, breaking his nose and two of his teeth. —AFP

Poland ruling party backs Komorowski for president Election expected in September or October

WARSAW: Poland’s parliament speaker Bronislaw Komorowski (right) waves after his Civic Platform party announces that he will be its candidate in presidential elections yesterday. —AP

Somali pirates abandon stranded vessel NAIROBI: Somali pirates yesterday abandoned a vessel they seized early this month without ransom or violence after it ran out of food, fuel and drinking water, an environmental organization said. The nine sea bandits quit the ML Arzoo, a Comoros-flagged vessel with 14 Indian crew members in the morning as it was floating about 70 nautical miles off Victoria, the capital of the Indian Ocean island of the Seychelles. “Previous contact with the captain on March 18 stated the vessel was commandeered by Somali pirates and was floating without fuel, food or freshwater somewhere

250 kilometers (150 miles) off the coast of the Seychelles,” a statement issued by the organization Ecoterra said. The pirates had seized the vessel, sailing for Mogadishu with a cargo of cars, food and general goods, after it developed technical problems near the Somali coast. They had threatened to set on fire and kill the crew if it ran out of fuel. The statement said “they realized that they had nowhere to go and called in support from Somalia,” before leaving the vessel without any violence. An Indian-flagged dhow carrying charcoal, which was seized in the

Kismayo channel near Somalia on Friday by a related group, was commandeered towards the stranded vessel off Victoria to allow the pirates to escape, Ecoterra said. Somali pirates have become a chronic hazard for shipping in the region. They hijack vessels exclusively for ransom payments, which are regularly made. Ecoterra is a Kenya-based group set up by scientists, researchers and development experts to seek solutions to environmental problems in developing countries. It has regularly monitored the fate of hijacked vessels in the past and tracked their release. —AFP

Zimbabwe should move fast on media reforms HARARE: Zimbabwe, whose main daily newspaper is state owned and biggest private papers are weeklies, should speed up registration of newspapers to boost democratic reforms, a senior cabinet minister said yesterday. Finance Minister Tendai Biti told a pan-African journalists’ conference that Zimbabwe lagged other countries in establishing a legal and political environment conducive for a free press. But he said the southern African state-whose media is dominated by the government and whose laws bar foreign journalists from working long-term in the country-would correct this through a new constitution being drafted and the recently formed Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC). “I hope the ZMC will begin to do their work in earnest, begin to move fast in registering (new) newspapers,” he said, adding that Zimbabwe should also end the state’s monopoly in television and radio broadcasting. “The media is the guardian angel of democracy. It keeps in check those holding political power,” he said. Biti-secretary-general of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which formed a power-sharing government with veteran President Robert Mugabe’s ZANUPF a year ago-said the current media environment reflected the slow pace of reforms all round. “But the good news is that we have begun to take decisive steps to extricate ourselves,” he said. A UNESCO representative at the conference said the organization was prepared to help the ZMC in its work to improve the media environment, including training journalists. “UNESCO stands ready to assist. Bad journalism should never be used as an excuse to denying freedom of expression,” said Mogens Schmidt, a deputy assistant director in the UN agency. —Reuters

PAVLOVSKAYA SLOBODA, Moscow: Firefighters and rescuers remove the body of a victim from a damaged building after a suspected gas explosion yesterday. An apartment block west of Moscow partially collapsed following a suspected gas explosion yesterday, killing three people and possibly trapping others under the rubble. Some of the supporting walls of the three-story building gave way and a fire broke out in the building. —AP

WARSAW: Poland’s ruling Civic Platform named parliament speaker Bronislaw Komorowski as its candidate for president yesterday, with polls showing he is likely to defeat the incumbent conservative President Lech Kaczynski. Komorowski, 58, won 68.5 percent of the votes cast by party members in a USstyle primary, compared with 31.5 percent for his only rival, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, 47. Opinion polls have suggested Komorowski, a veteran of Poland’s pro-democracy movement of the 1980s, would easily defeat Kaczynski in the election, expected to take place in September or October. Kaczynski, a strong skeptic of government plans to adopt the euro currency, has used his veto several times to block government bills. “The presidency is a great challenge and the goal is for Poland to catch up with the countries of the socalled old European Union,” Komorowski said at a party convention where the result of the ballot was announced. In Poland the government wields most of the power while the president has a say on security and foreign policy and can veto laws. If elected, Komorowski is expected to cooperate smoothly with Prime Minister Donald Tusk. “I know Bronislaw Komorowski will be a good president for all Poles,” Tusk told the party convention. “He is a guarantee that this ‘war on top’ ends.” Komorowski’s victory in the Civic Platform ballot had been expected. Sikorski has been a member of the party for less than three years and served in the previous, conservative government of Kaczynski’s twin brother, Jaroslaw. Some Poles see Sikorski, an Oxford graduate who has worked in the United States, as too much of an outsider to understand their problems, although his international outlook and connections have earned him support among younger Poles. Sikorski will continue as foreign minister. Low turnout Less than half of the party’s 40,000 eligible members voted in the primary, the first of its kind in Poland. Turnout in Poland’s national election traditionally has been low since communism was overthrown 20 years ago, but analysts were surprised that only 47 percent of the members of the pro-business, pro-European Union PO party cast their vote. Tusk told reporters on the sidelines of the convention that he wanted to alter the rules of the primaries to ensure higher participation in the future. Poland holds local government elections later this year and a national election next year. Opinion polls show Tusk’s PO holding a substantial lead over the main opposition party, the conservative Law and Justice led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski. —Reuters

BRUSSELS: Bulgarian minister of foreign Affairs Nickolay Mladenov gives a speech during the Brussels forum meeting ‘on building a security architecture in Europe between Nato and Russia’ yesterday. —AFP

NATO allies are Baltic states’ eyes in the sky ZOKNIAI AIR BASE: Colonel Sebastien Vallette swings back in his desk chair, minutes after landing his Mirage fighter on a Soviet-era runway. A detailed map on his wall shows Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, flanked by bold warnings: “Do Not Enter Russian Airspace”. For six years, NATO allies have taken turns patrolling the airspace of the three Baltic states, minnows which won freedom from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991 and have testy ties with Moscow. Vallette and six other French flyers under his command are the current eyes in the sky. “The point about airspace sovereignty is to know who’s doing what in it,” Vallette told AFP at Zokniai, a huge, mostly-mothballed facility in northern Lithuania where 20,000 Red Army troops were once based. “It’s a combination of deterrence, protection, prevention and assistance,” he added. Vallette acknowledged Baltic history is “complicated”, but rejected suggestions his job is about warning the resurgent Kremlin, which only withdrew its forces in 1994. “Everyone wants to put Russia in focus, but there isn’t a special focus,” he insisted. “All countries conduct surveillance in their national airspace. There isn’t a concept of a particular threat.” The Baltic trio joined NATO on March 29, 2004. The air patrols began immediately. Most members of the 28-nation, trans-Atlantic alliance cover their own skies. But Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are small and cash-strapped. “It’s not a good idea to have a void airspace above NATO territory. It’s a matter of principle. Wherever it is. Voids are always a temptation,” said Estonian Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo. The trio’s total population is 6.8 million, and their professional military, 20,500. They have 580 troops in Afghanistan, winning praise from NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen for “punching above their weight”. Their air forces total 1,550 personnel and 35 air-

craft, mostly helicopters and transporters. “There’s also a symbolic value in addition to the purely technical control of air borders,” said Aaviksoo. “This is an indication of solidarity”. His Lithuanian counterpart Rasa Jukneviciene underscored that: “It’s about ‘NATO visibility’”. The Baltic states together pay 100,000 euros (133,000 dollars) a month, or 10 percent of operation costs. The patrolling state meets the rest. The patrol mandate runs until 2014 but the trio are trying to get it extended. “The indications about 2018 are pretty positive,” said Latvian Defence Minister Imants Liegis. NATO member Norway is helping draft a post-2018 plan, which could involve creating a small joint Baltic air force. “The air mission is the only allied footprint on the territory of the Baltic states,” noted Lithuanian defense analyst Aleksandras Matonis. “It has no military meaning. But it has political substance”. The French served a first four-month stint in 2007 and are due back in 2011. Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United States have also taken part. Vallette’s 140-strong contingent-it includes ground crew-took over from the Germans on January 4 and gives way to the Poles on May 1. Two fighters make joint routine sorties twice a day, lasting an hour and a half and mostly involving simple observation. But the fighters can scramble any time to make visual contact with planes whose communications have gone offline, and may escort them out. Russian aircraft bound for Moscow’s Kaliningrad territory, west of Lithuania, have strayed into the Baltic states’ skies without permission. The line between navigational error and “buzzing” can be fine. “There’s a kind of mutual understanding that means there isn’t an escalation,” said Vallette. —AFP

New sex charges against French priest PARIS: A priest in a town southeast of Paris was hit with sexual assault and child pornography charges after a 22-year-old former choirboy accused him of abuse, and a police search found pictures of a young parishioner in his home, a prosecutor said. The new case added to a wave of sexual abuse allegations made by church members across Europe in recent weeks that have put the Vatican on the defensive and fueled a growing sense of crisis. Some of the cases have raised questions about whether Joseph Ratzinger acted aggressively enough against priests under his supervision as an archbishop and cardinal before he became Pope Benedict XVI. French bishops said in a letter to the pope Friday that they were ashamed of the “abominable acts” of child sexual abuse by priests. In another mea culpa, a conservative religious order that had enjoyed the favor of John Paul II apologized to victims of sexual abuse by its founder. The new French probe was opened after the 22-year-old man told authorities that he had been assaulted by the priest as an adult, the prosecutor of Troyes, Alex Perrin, said Friday. Police searched the priest’s home and found two or three pornographic photos of a child parishioner in Marcilly-le-Hayer, the prosecutor said by telephone. “This

news is upsetting to everyone,” the bishop of Troyes, Marc Stenger, wrote in a statement published in Friday in the local paper, L’Est- Eclair. But, he said, “this must not be the hour of judgment and condemnation. We must wait to know the truth.” The bishop asked the priest to be moved elsewhere during the probe, according to the prosecutor, who said the investigation could take several months. Perrin said the priest was detained Wednesday for questioning. Preliminary charges of “sexual assault” and “illegal possession of images characteristic of child pornography,” were issued Friday, opening the way for a formal investigation. The priest was freed after questioning, but ordered to receive treatment and forbidden any contact with minors, Perrin said. The former choirboy has said he contacted the priest in November over the Internet and went to visit the clergyman, who then assaulted him, according to an official close to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case. Perrin was not authorized to name the priest because of the secrecy that covers investigations in France. Such cases involving priests “are not something common in the L’Aube region” where

Marcilly-le-Hayer is located, Perrin said, adding that this was the first time in his memory such an affair had come to light. The letter to Benedict from French bishops, and a Web site statement by the Legionaries of Christ both contained expressions of solidarity toward Benedict for his handling of abuse cases. French bishops said in their letter to Benedict that they are ashamed of priests who molested and raped children. The bishops said these “abominable acts” had “disfigured the church, wounded Christian communities and cast suspicion on all the members of the clergy.” But they also expressed solidarity with Benedict, saying the sexual abuse scandals were “being used in a campaign to attack you personally.” Leaders of the Legionaries of Christ said that at first they couldn’t believe the accusations against the late Mexican prelate Marcial Maciel, including molestation of seminarians and that he had a long relationship with a woman and fathered a daughter with her. But they said it was thanks to an investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, under the direction of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Benedict, that they were convinced the allegations were true. —AP


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Palin stumps for ‘Maverick’ McCain in Arizona contest McCain calls for repeal of health law

WASHINGTON: In this file photo President Barack Obama holds the hand of Connie Anderson (left) of Seville, Ohio, and Vicki Kennedy, widow of Sen Ted Kennedy, after speaking about the health care reform bill at the Interior Department. —AP

Obama’s health insurance rule is a Republican idea WASHINGTON: Republicans were for President Barack Obama’s requirement that Americans get health insurance before they were against it. The obligation in the new health care law is a Republican idea that’s been around at least two decades. It was once trumpeted as an alternative to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s failed health care overhaul in the 1990s. These days, Republicans call it government overreach. Mitt Romney, weighing another run for the Republican presidential nomination, signed such a requirement into law at the state level as Massachusetts governor in 2006. At the time, Romney defended it as “a personal responsibility principle” and Massachusetts’ newest Republican senator, Scott Brown, backed it. Romney now says Obama’s plan is a federal takeover that bears little resemblance to what he did as governor and should be repealed. Republicans say Obama and the Democrats coopted their original concept, minus a mechanism they proposed for controlling costs. More than a dozen Republican attorneys general are determined to challenge the requirement in federal court as unconstitutional. Starting in 2014, the new law will require nearly all Americans to have health insurance through an employer, a government program or by buying it directly. That same year, new insurance markets will open for business, health plans will be required to accept all applicants and tax credits will start flowing to millions of people, helping them pay the premiums. Those who continue to go without coverage will have to pay a penalty to federal tax authorities, except in cases of financial hardship. Fines vary by income and family size. For example, a single person making $45,000 would pay an extra $1,125 in taxes when the penalty is fully phased in, in 2016. Conservatives today say that’s unacceptable. Not long ago, many of them saw a national mandate as a free-market route to guarantee coverage for all Americans - the answer to liberal ambitions for a government-run entitlement program. Most experts agree some kind of requirement is needed in a reformed system because health insurance doesn’t work if people can put off joining the risk pool until they get sick. In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon favored a mandate that employers provide insurance. In the 1990s, the Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank, embraced an individual requirement. Not anymore. “The idea of an individual mandate as

an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea,” said health economist Mark Pauly of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. In 1991, he published a paper that explained how a mandate could be combined with tax credits - two ideas that are now part of Obama’s law. Pauly’s paper was well-received - by the George HW Bush administration. “It could have been the basis for a bipartisan compromise, but it wasn’t,” said Pauly. “Because the Democrats were in favor, the Republicans more or less had to be against it.” Obama rejected a key part of Pauly’s proposal: doing away with the tax-free status of employer-sponsored health care and replacing it with a standard tax credit for all Americans. Labor strongly opposes that approach because union members usually have better-than-average coverage and suddenly would have to pay taxes on it. But many economists believe it’s a rational solution to America’s health care dilemma since it would raise enough money to cover the uninsured and nudge people with coverage into cost-conscious plans. Romney’s success in Massachusetts with a bipartisan health plan that featured a mandate put the idea on the table for the 2008 presidential candidates. Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, who failed in the 1990s to require employers to offer coverage, embraced the individual requirement, an idea advocated by her Republican opponents in the earlier health care debate. “Hillary Clinton believed strongly in universal coverage,” said Neera Tanden, her top health care adviser in the 2008 Democratic campaign. “I said to her, ‘You are not going to be able to say it’s universal coverage unless you have a mandate.’ She said, ‘I don’t want to run unless it’s universal coverage.”‘ Obama was not prepared to go that far. His health care proposal in the campaign required coverage for children, not adults. Clinton hammered him because his plan didn’t guarantee coverage for all. He shot back that health insurance is too expensive to force people to buy it. Obama remained cool to an individual requirement even once in office. But Tanden, who went on to serve in the Obama administration, said the first sign of a shift came in a letter to congressional leaders last summer in which Obama said he’d be open to the idea if it included a hardship waiver. Obama openly endorsed a mandate in his speech to a joint session of Congress in September. It remains one of the most unpopular parts of his plan. —AP

Chavez critics’ arrests raise concern over free expression CARACAS: The arrests of an opposition politician and the owner of a television network for statements critical of the government of President Hugo Chavez have rekindled debate here over free speech and democracy in Venezuela. Chavez supporters deny that the president’s critics are being persecuted, but others see the latest developments as a concerted attempt to silence opposition voices. “Having an opinion in Venezuela is a crime punished with the loss of freedom. We reject everything that restricts freedom of expression in the country, and the witch hunts against those who assume dissident positions,” said Juan Jose Molina, an opposition member of the National Assembly. Last Monday, authorities arrested Oswaldo Alvarez Paz, a former opposition governor and presidential candidate who had charged on television that Venezuela has become a center of operations that facilitates drug trafficking. On Thursday, the president of Globovision, Guillermo Zuloaga, was arrested for statements he made in the Dutch island of Aruba. He was charged with the crime of offending Chavez and spreading

false information. A Caracas court also ordered Zuloaga not to leave the country. “These are not isolated events. It’s all intended to foster self-censorship, intimidation and the fear to freely express oneself,” several former governors said in a statement published in the press. In both arrests, the request for investigations emanated from the National Assembly, which is dominated by pro-Chavez parties and which will be renewed in September elections. “The freedom of the legislative branch is non-existent and the National Assembly is being used by the executive to legitimize anti-democratic actions,” said Molina. “It is the arm for carrying out the persecution of citizens. We are dismayed because the democratic rationale has been lost,” he added. Nevertheless, the head of the assembly science, technology and communications committee, Manuel Villalba, said the owner of a media outlet does not have carte blanche to say anything he wants. “This is a government that fully guarantees the freedom of expression,” he said. “You can express your opinion but you also have to be aware that these opinions carry

responsibilities.” Defending herself against accusations of political persecution, Attorney General Luisa Ortega said that in Venezuela people are tried “for the crimes they allegedly committed without any distinction being made for political militancy.” But various Venezuelan opposition leaders believe that the arrests are a reflection of the government’s weakness as it approaches legislative elections on September 26. According to reliable polls, Chavez’ popularity has come down several points since January. The government “knows that the citizens hold the president responsible for power outages, insecurity, cuts in water, and that’s why they think that with these acts of intimidation they will succeed in silencing the democratic leadership,” said opposition Copei party leader Luis Ignacio Planas. “What these actions... show is that they know they are in the minority and they attack democrats to generate a climate of hopelessness so that citizens won’t turn out to vote,” the opposition party Un Nuevo Tiempo said in a statement. —AFP

TUCSON: Sarah Palin lent her star power among fellow conservatives to he fends off a Republican primary challenge from the right. J D former running mate John McCain in his tough Senate re-election cam- Hayworth, former congressman and conservative talk radio host, says paign, telling a rally Friday that McCain pegged President Barack McCain is too moderate for Arizona Republicans. Hayworth has tried to Obama right when he said the Democrat would swell the size of govern- build support among conservative activists who identify with the tea ment. McCain is facing the hardest election fight of his Senate career as party movement. Palin, among the most popular figures with those activists, appeared with McCain for the first time since the pair lost the 2008 presidential election. “Everyone here supporting John McCain, we are all part of that tea party movement,” Palin told the rally. As the former Alaska governor took the stage with McCain, some in the crowd of 4,000 chanted, “Sarah, Sarah,” not the name of the man who just a year and a half ago topped his party’s ticket. Palin said McCain warned the country that Obama’s policies would increase the size of government and the debt, and that the signing this week of a health overhaul law proves McCain right. McCain called for repeal of the health law, which Republicans are challenging in court and plan to make a leading issue in congressional elections. “There’s something going on out there, my friends,” McCain said. “It’s a revolution. It’s a peaceful revolution, but we’re going to take on this Obamacare.” Palin took heat this week when she released a list of 20 US House seats she said conservatives should try to win in the November elections. The list, posted on her Facebook page, featured a TUCSON: Sen John McCain (background right) and Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and Republican vice US map with circles and presidential nominee, make a campaign appearance at the Pima County Fairgrounds, Arizona. —AP cross hairs over the 20 districts. She also sent a tweet saying, “Don’t Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!” Critics said it was inappropriate to The complaints NEW YORK: From rotting demography” of New York unaware” of their inability to Sklerov. use gun imagery, especially encompassed idling vehicles, garbage to sweet-roasting City, she said they subjected detect scents. as some Democrats who Odor has become a stinky smells from restaurants, pripeanuts at sidewalk stands, hundreds of volunteers found supported the health care New Yorkers are constantly through Craigslist to intensive point in New York City over vate garbage collection and dry overhaul reported receiving bombarded with the aromas of smell testing and found that the years, from complaints cleaning. Most New Yorkers threats of violence. Palin urban life. “You’re walking into the most pleasant scent, about the stench from factories have become accustomed to called it a “ginned up” conthe olfactory jungle,” said per- across groups, is vanilla. The in the Bronx to mystery odors the daily smells of their troversy and defended her fume designer Celine Barel of worst: Isovaleric acid, most tracked to New Jersey. In metropolis, though they don’t rhetoric. International Flavors and commonly associated with eau 2009, a maple syrup smell that necessarily like them. “When we take up our “It smells terrible,” said drifted through parts of the city Fragrances on Friday at a day- de sweaty sock. arms, we’re talking about Among the more interesting more than half a dozen times Susan Wong, of the Bronx, long conference devoted to our vote,” she said. Palin smells and the city. That daz- findings so far was that men was traced by a team of odor walking out the door of a meat said the Republican Party zling variety of smells has given secrete a particular smell that investigators to a Garden State market on a Chinatown street, needs new blood and new a group of researchers at about 15 percent of New facility that processes fenu- followed by a whiff of roasting leaders, “but we also need animal. She said she particularly Rockefeller University the per- Yorkers are less likely to greek seeds for flavorings. statesmen and heroes like In a separate case, a team of hates the way the garbage fect bouquet from which to sniff respond to, she said. The best John McCain in there to help out the mystery of how people smellers were young females investigators from New York smells. “You just don’t want to us get through these chalwho don’t smoke. There were and New Jersey was unable to come here. You want to go as far process olfactory sensations. lenging times.” Hayworth “We don’t know what the also a lot of volunteers who had determine the origin of a foul as you can.” Eddie Hires, 50, has tried to define himself as rules are for going from a a distorted view of their own stench that drifted up the said how it smells depended on “the consistent conservasmell to a sensation of smell,” nose. “We found a whole lot of Hudson River in 2007. Most of the time of the year. “Right tive” in contrast to the said Leslie Vosshall, one of the people who are incredibly into the more than 6,000 odor and now, it’s all right,” said Hires, “maverick” McCain. Palin scientists, who presented volunteering for smell studies fumes complaints received by standing on Canal Street in was a first-term governor of some of her group’s findings at and are completely blind to the city in 2009 originated in Chinatown, wearing a flimsy Alaska when McCain said city sign that read “We buy gold, the conference at the New odors,” she said, adding that Manhattan, plucked her from relative School. In a five-year study unlike people who suffer from Department of Environmental jewelry & watches.” “But then obscurity to be his running aimed at creating a “smell blindness, they are “completely Protection spokesman Farrell in the summer, they have mate. She went on to garbage trucks, and it smells become a conservative draw like dead bodies or something. and leading Republican critic It’s awful.” A pair of tourists of Obama and the Democrats walking down a nearby street in Congress. Before passed a fish market, where raw Hayworth left his radio show fillets rested on ice in plastic to enter the race, he used bins, and a tchotchke store, the airwaves to attack where sandalwood incense was McCain’s congressional burning slowly. record, most notably his After stopping in front of a work with the late Sen meat market where ducks and Edward M Kennedy on a bill chickens hung from hooks, that would have created a one of the tourists, Ellie pathway to citizenship for Simpson, 17, of Chapel Hill, illegal immigrants. North Carolina, said the city’s About a half dozen smell was a great guide for Hayworth supporters gathtourists. “You don’t have to ered outside McCain’s rally look,” she said. “You just have and were unimpressed with to smell.” For Dr Uddalak Palin’s support for the senaMajundar, who recently moved tor, saying she is helping to New York City from McCain because he launched Calcutta, India, the many her national political career. odors make the city come alive “It’s disappointing, but a lot for him. “You can have an of us understand it’s just entire group of people commupolitical payback,” said MANHATTAN: A worker at a restaurant in the Chinatown neighborhood reaches nicate their culture through Jennifer Leslie, 41. McCain their smells,” he said. —AP is “calling in his favors.” for roasted duck hanging in the window, Friday, March 26, 2010. —AP Leslie carried a sign that said “Sarah supporter for JD Hayworth” and wrote “JD” on her hand. McCain and Palin were raising money MONTERREY: The decapitated body of general Javier Trevino told reporters that December 2006. Friday night at the same In the northern state of Sonora, gunmen the police chief of a northern Mexico town Cerda and his brother had been reported Phoenix hotel where they and the body of his brother were found missing Thursday. The windshield and dri- in a pickup truck fatally shot the deputy conceded the presidential inside the chief’s patrol truck Friday, ver’s door of the patrol car had “CDG,” an police chief and his bodyguard in the city of election, and planned a rally authorities said. Hours earlier, gunmen acronym for the Gulf drug cartel, written in Nogales, which sits across the border from Saturday in the Phoenix subthe Arizona city of the same name, authorkilled a deputy police chief and his body- blood, photos showed. urb of Mesa. Palin has The border state of Nuevo Leon, where ities said Friday. Sonora state police said guard in another part of Mexico’s north. admonished McCain’s presiThe body of Heriberto Cerda, the police Agualeguas and General Trevino are locat- gunmen opened fire on the victims with dential campaign since their chief in Agualeguas, was found on the bed ed, has seen an upsurge in violence that Kalashnikov rifles Thursday night. Late loss, citing tension between of a patrol pickup truck, which was left on a authorities say is the result of a turf battle Friday, gunmen opened fired on a hotel in her advisers and McCain’s. dirt road in the nearby town of General between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, the downtown Ciudad Juarez where federal She said she was kept “botTrevino. His head was on his lap, said a cartel’s former hit men. The slayings came agents stay, killing one and wounding two, tled up” during the campaign spokesman for Nuevo Leon state prosecu- a day after Mexican marines on patrol in authorities said. Enrique Torres, a and prevented from delivertors who spoke on condition of anonymity the Nuevo Leon town of Cerralvo came spokesman for Chihuahua state police, said ing a concession speech because he was not authorized to discuss under fire after ordering a convoy of gun- the assailants shot into the hotel’s restauElection Night. She has not men traveling in six vehicles to stop. Six of rant. Hours earlier, a state investigator was the case. criticized McCain himself, The body of the chief’s brother, Jesus the assailants were killed. Nearly 18,000 shot to death in a residential area, Torres however, and the senator Cerda, was found inside the truck, the offi- people have died in drug-related violence said. Ciudad Juarez, which is across the has stood by his decision to cial said. He didn’t say how Jesus Cerda since President Felipe Calderon launched border from El Paso, Texas, is the most choose her as his running was killed. Nuevo Leon state secretary an assault on cartels after taking office in violent city in Mexico. —AP mate. —AP

Volunteers walk through olfactory jungle of NYC

Police chief decapitated in northern Mexico town



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thai troops pull back in face of 80,000 protesters ‘Red Shirts’ outnumber soldiers

An anti-government protester wears a ghost mask during a march to the parliament in Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday. —AP

Three charged over Tonga ferry sinking NUKU’ULOFA: Tongan police have charged three people with manslaughter in the death of one of 74 passengers who died last year in a ferry sinking that was one of the tiny South Pacific country’s worst disasters. Police Commander Chris Kelley said Friday that a charge of sending an unseaworthy ship to sea had also been laid against ferry operator Shipping Corp of Polynesia. The manslaughter charges - against corporation managing director John Jonesse, ferry captain Makahokovalu Tuputupu and first mate Viliami Tu’ipulotu - relate to the death of one passenger. Other charges may be laid later concerning the deaths of the other passengers, Kelley said. Manslaughter in Tonga carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. The charge of sending an unseaworthy ship to sea carries a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment for those found responsible, including company officials and a ship’s senior crew, and possible fines of 30,000 Tongan pa’anga ($15,000). The ferry Princess Ashika sank Aug 5

with 128 people on board after overturning in stormy seas about 55 miles (86 kilometers) northeast of the capital, Nuku’alofa. Fifty-four people survived. Only two of the victims’ bodies were recovered because the hull was in water too deep for conventional divers to reach it. Captain Tuputupu has been on bail since earlier this month after being charged with taking a ship to sea while knowing it was unseaworthy. It was not immediately clear if Tuputupu would be rearrested on the new charges. Managing director Jonesse is also free on bail on fraud charges related to the purchase of the ferry. Neither were immediately available for comment. At hearings for a semijudicial government-called inquiry into the disaster, Tuputupu said he knew the ship was in poor condition, but sailed anyway because he felt he could not disobey company orders. Jonesse has said he had no idea the ship was unseaworthy before the disaster. “At this point police investigations have sufficient evidence in respect of the Shipping Corporation and opera-

tional management of the Princess Ashika,” Kelley told a news conference Friday. “The sending and taking of an unseaworthy ship to sea relates to those directly involved in daily operations and includes the operator, the Shipping Corporation.” Kelley said the charge of manslaughter by negligence referred to the death of 21-year-old mother Vae Fetu’u Taufa, the only Tongan passenger whose body was recovered after the sinking. Scottish-born Daniel McMillan’s body was the only other one retrieved. Kelley said the police investigation is separate from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the sinking, which is due to report April 1. The Princess Ashika was carrying cars and passengers from Nuku’alofa to outlying northern islands when it sank. The disaster has reduced one of the main ferry services in the country that relies on boats for transporting people and cargo among its 169 islands. Australia and New Zealand announced this month they would pay for a replacement for the Princess Ashika. —AP

MANILA: Protesters burn an effigy of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo portrayed as a snake during a rally Friday, March 26, 2010 near the presidential palace. The protesters started their campaign against President Arroyo’s congressional bid alleging that it is a plan to perpetuate herself in power. —AP

China has suspect in Japan dumplings case BEIJING: China has detained a man suspected of poisoning frozen dumplings that sickened at least 10 people in Japan two years ago, which caused a food safety scare in a key export market and further hurt foreign confidence in Chinese products. The news contradicts Chinese authorities’ earlier findings that there was little chance the dumplings were poisoned with pesticide in China. The state-run Xinhua News Agency, citing a Ministry of Public Security statement,

reported late Friday that a temporary employee at a food plant in northern China is suspected of tainting the dumplings out of revenge because he was unhappy with his pay and some of his colleagues. The statement said 36-year-old Lu Yueting had confessed and that police had found injectors he used to poison the dumplings, Xinhua reported. “Japan will continue its cooperation with China on this matter. We hope to see an early resolution to the case,” Japanese Prime Minister Yukio

Hatoyama said in a statement yesterday. Traces of methamidophos, an insecticide banned in Japan, were found in the dumplings, on the packaging and in the vomit of the people who were sickened in December 2007 and January 2008 after eating two separate brands of dumplings made at a factory in northern China’s Hebei province. At the time, a top criminal investigator at the Ministry of Public Security announced that an investigation had turned up

nothing unusual at the Tianyang Food Processing Ltd factory, while Japanese police believed the dumplings had not been poisoned in Japan. Japan’s Kyodo News agency reported that National Police Agency chief Hiroto Yoshimura was displeased with China’s response. The poisoned dumplings led to a food-safety scare in Japan and hurt Beijing’s efforts to improve foreign consumer confidence in its exports after a series of food and product safety scandals. —AFP

BANGKOK: Thai troops retreated from security posts in the capital yesterday, bowing to demands from 80,000 jubilant red-shirted protesters who mounted a rally to demand fresh elections. The “Red Shirts” loyal to ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra targeted seven points where soldiers have been stationed during two weeks of street demonstrations, including the city’s zoo and Buddhist temples. In the face of the huge crowds of flag-waving protesters, who arrived in cars, on motorbikes and on foot, the military agreed to withdraw from the positions in Bangkok’s old quarter where the Reds’ main rally base is situated. Women threw flowers at the departing troops who smiled and snapped photos, drawing cheers from the protesters who turned the streets red with their colorful clothes and heart-shaped clappers. Suthep Thaugsuban, the deputy prime minister in charge of national security, downplayed the withdrawal as an “adjustment” and said the troops would return later in the day. “Right now they have to move out to avoid a confrontation,” he said in a news conference from the army barracks on Bangkok’s northern outskirts where the government is working from during the protests. The Reds said the backdown was a boost for their campaign to replace the government, which came to power with army backing in a 2008 parliamentary vote after a controversial court ruling removed Thaksin’s allies. “We came here to oust the soldiers and the soldiers stepped back,” said leader Arisman Pongrungrong. “We have made one step towards victory and we’ll keep putting on the pressure until parliament is dissolved.” The military has mounted a heavy security response involving 50,000 personnel for the demonstrations, which began on March 14 after a court ruling that seized 1.4 billion dollars of Thaksin’s fortune. The tight measures, including a lockdown on parliament which was surrounded by concrete barricades and razor wire during a session this week, had been criticized as excessive. Buoyed by their success, the Reds vowed to take their movement to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva by rallying Sunday at the military barracks where he has been holed up. “We hope we will meet with Abhisit,” said protest leader Veera Musikapong. “I hope tomorrow will be the end of this political rally.” Police estimated yesterday’s crowd at 80,000, larger than a street parade a week ago that drew 65,000 people in a noisy but peaceful procession through Bangkok. The rally was marred by two blasts, one of which injured two soldiers at an army-run television station, in the latest of a series of mysterious explosions to hit since the protests began. The station, Channel 5, showed footage of the two soldiers with bleeding leg wounds being lifted into a pick-up truck and taken to hospital after a grenade was thrown at the station’s compound. Earlier yesterday, a small blast hit Thailand’s customs department compound, shattering windows but causing no injuries. Thaksin, who lives in exile to avoid a jail sentence for corruption, regularly addresses his supporters by videolink and on Thursday urged them to intensify pressure on the government. He also raised the prospect of a campaign of civil disobedience if Abhisit continues to reject demands to dissolve parliament. —AFP

NAYPITAW: Myanmar soldiers march during ceremonies yesterday, marking the 65th anniversary of the Armed Forces Day. —AP

Myanmar junta chief against ‘divisive acts’ Junta strongman warns anarchy could derail democracy NAYPYITAW: The leader of Myanmar’s military junta yesterday warned against foreign meddling in upcoming elections and said “divisive acts” could spark anarchy and derail the transition to democracy. Addressing 13,000 troops at the country’s annual Armed Forces Day parade, Senior General Than Shwe said Myanmar should oversee its own elections and urged patience and fair play. “During the transition to an unfamiliar system, countries with greater experience usually interfere and take advantage for their own interests,” the reclusive junta supremo, wearing full military garb and adorned in medals, said in a speech. “For this reason, it is an absolute necessity to avoid relying on external powers,” he said in the address, which was broadcast to the nation and witnessed by foreign journalists who received a rare invitation to the isolated nation. Than Shwe did not reveal a date for the longawaited polls, the first in two decades in the former Burma, a strategically situated but isolated country with rich natural resources from natural gas to timber and gems and a Southeast Asian port. The election has beem widely dismissed as a sham to entrench nearly five decades of iron-fisted army rule. The United States and United Nations have expressed frustration about the lack of inclusiveness of the polls, which they say will

be far from credible, suggesting the removal of much-criticised Western sanctions will be unlikely. Much of that centers on Myanmar’s refusal to release 2,100 political prisoners, including long-detained opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi. Observers at the parade noted that 77year-old Than Shwe, who is believed to be in poor health and rarely appears in public, walked and spoke more slowly than at the same event last year. Analysts said the parade was more to remind the public that the military would remain the dominant political force long into the future. ‘Anarchic phenomena’ The lavish parade is expected to be the last attended by Than Shwe and his top generals as the country’s rulers. However, few doubt the junta strongman and his loyal army proteges will relinquish power when a civilian-led government is formed. Than Shwe saluted the troops while he was driven in a convertible limousine in the newly built capital Naypyitaw before delivering a long speech in front of a backdrop of lush green mountains and statues of three ancient kings. He said the election was just the start of a long process of democratic reform and urged discipline and patience by the country’s 48 million people. Than Shwe said political parties should avoid slander and dirty tricks

to advance their own agendas. “The improper practice of democracy often leads to anarchic phenomena,” he said. “Improper or inappropriate campaigning has to be avoided,” he said, warning parties against “engaging in divisive acts that lead to disunity”. Analysts say the elections will create a parliament with only limited powers. The constitution stipulates that the armed forces commander-in-chief will remain the country’s most powerful figure, more senior than the president and able to intervene “at times of crisis”. The military will retain control of key ministries and has a quota of 25 percent of parliamentary seats. Many more are expected to be taken by junta proxies, rendering elected opponents powerless in a tightly managed democratic system. However, it is highly likely the arrangement will be accepted by its neighbors and regional allies, especially China, which relies on resource-rich Myanmar for its huge energy needs. If the generals come good on their pledge to hand power to the people and Myanmar becomes a thriving market economy, it will not be any time soon, analysts said. “The military and and its allies will remain in charge, with only an element of civilian rule,” said Burmese academic Aung Naing Oo. “If Myanmar does become truly democratic, it will be a very slow transition.” —Reuters

PYEONGTAEK: Family members cry as Choi Won-il (unseen) a captain of the sunken South Korean naval ship Cheonan, briefs to family members of sailors at the naval port yesterday.—AP

Relatives of missing marines angry PYEONGTAEK: Relatives of marines missing after a South Korean military ship sank near the disputed sea border with North Korea are protesting over a lack of information about what caused the disaster. About 150 family members at Pyeongtaek

naval base south of Seoul pushed their way past security guards yesterday to confront military officials. Screaming “Liars!” some climbed onto the rescued captain’s car as he was driving away. he Joint Chiefs of Staffs say an explosion occurred

in the rear of the ship but the cause of the blast has not been released. Fifty-eight marines were rescued but 46 others are missing. Relatives say rescued crew members told them the ship was leaky and in need of repair. —AP


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Recruit Afghan women to sell war to Europeans: CIA WASHINGTON: A CIA expert has called for recruiting Afghan women in a public relations bid to persuade skeptical Europeans to support the NATO-led war effort, according to a document leaked Friday. “Afghan women could serve as ideal messengers in humanizing” the mission for European audiences, particularly in France, according to the CIA analysis, posted on WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website. The views of Afghan women would carry special weight as they could express

“their aspirations for the future, and their fears of a Taleban victory,” it said. The Central Intelligence Agency declined to confirm or deny if the document was genuine. But WikiLeaks has previously posted government and corporate documents that were later verified. The report by a CIA expert on “strategic communications” and State Department analysts of public opinion warned that popular support for the war in Europe was weak and

could easily collapse, citing the recent fall of the Dutch government over the issue. “The tone of previous debate suggests that a spike in French or German casualties or in Afghan civilian casualties could become a tipping point in converting passive opposition into active calls for immediate withdrawal,” it said. The analysis, dated March 11, suggested public relations strategies to drum up support for the war in Germany and France, which maintain the

third and fourth largest troop deployments in Afghanistan. “Outreach initiatives that create media opportunities for Afghan women to share their stories with French, German, and other European women could help to overcome pervasive skepticism among women in Western Europe toward the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mission,” it said. Public relations efforts could “tap into acute French concern for civilians and refugees,”

the report said, suggesting highlighting polls that show most Afghans support the presence of coalition troops. Such an approach could stress the potential dangers facing Afghan civilians if NATO-led troops were defeated and “leverage French (and other European) guilt for abandoning them.” “The prospect of the Taleban rolling back hard-won progress on girls’ education could provoke French indignation, become a rallying point for France’s

largely secular public, and give voters a reason to support a good and necessary cause despite casualties.” For German audiences, marketing efforts should underline how Afghans are reportedly optimistic about the NATO mission and how an international retreat would damage Germany’s interests. “For example, messages that illustrate how a defeat in Afghanistan could heighten Germany’s exposure to terrorism, opium, and refugees

might help to make the war more salient to skeptics,” it said. The report also suggested taking advantage of President Barack Obama’s popularity in France and Germany, arguing that appeals from the US president on the importance of the allied role in the war could have a positive effect. The memorandum is titled: “Afghanistan: Sustaining West European Support for the NATO-led Mission-Why Counting on Apathy Might Not Be Enough.” —AFP

Afghan drug cartels and corrupt officials squeeze poppy farmers Militants coerce farmers to grow opium LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan: Like farmers the world over Haji Afzal has locked in the price for his crop with a forward contract. Rather than a contract on the Chicago Board of Trade-like an American wheat farmer or a Thai rice grower-Afzal was paid 400,000 Pakistani rupees

GANDHINAGAR, India: Gujarat state Chief Minister Narendra Modi (right) smiles as he addresses the media after appearing before a special court-appointed panel yesterday. —AP

India Hindu leader quizzed over anti-Muslim uprising AHMEDABAD: Top Hindu nationalist leader and the chief minister of western Gujarat state, Narendra Modi, appeared yesterday before a panel probing the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, witnesses said. It was the first time that Modi, long accused by human rights groups of turning a blind eye has been questioned by investigators to establish if he had a role in the riots that killed around 2,000 Muslims. Modi, dressed in a loose white shirt and white trousers, briefly greeted reporters before entering the office of India’s Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team in Gandhinagar, Gujarat’s administrative capital. “I shall respond to it, fully reflecting the law and keeping in view the dignity of a body appointed by the Supreme Court,” Modi promised earlier. There were no immediate details of his appearance before the panel. The summons to Modi, issued on March 11, come as a major embarrassment to the chief minister, who has always denied any role in the riots. He is a prominent member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and has been touted as a future prime

minister. The summons follows a Supreme Court order to investigators last year to probe a complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of ex-Congress party member of parliament Ehsan Jafri, who was killed on February 28, 2002. Reports say Jafri was hacked to death and burnt by Hindu extremists who stormed the Gulbarg Society, a residential complex housing Muslim families in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city. Sixty-eight other Muslims were also killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre, one of many killings across Gujarat triggered by the death of 59 Hindu pilgrims in a train fire on February 27, 2002 that was blamed on Muslims. An inquiry in 2005 concluded that the fire was accidental. Previous investigations into the riots commissioned by the Gujarat government have absolved the state police and government of collusion or allowing the rioters a free rein. But last March, Gujarat’s Women and Child Welfare Minister Maya Kodnani was arrested on charges of leading a mob that killed more than 100 people during the riots, making her the highest-ranking state official to be detained. —AFP

in the news 9 suspected rebels killed in Kashmir SRINAGAR: Fierce gunbattles between Indian soldiers and separatist rebels yesterday in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir killed nine insurgents, the army said. Five rebels who crossed over to the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir from the Pakistani side were killed in a shootout in the Keran area, said Lt Col JS Brar, an Indian army spokesman. Four more militants were killed in two other gunbattles in the region, said Lt Col Biplab Nath, another spokesman. Brar said three more rebels were killed in the mountains near Keran over the past three days. Both officers said the army did not suffer any casualties in the fighting. There were no independent reports of gunbattles in the region and no rebel groups released statements about clashes. Both India and Pakistan claim all of Kashmir and have fought two wars over it. More than a dozen guerrilla groups are fighting for the Indiancontrolled portion’s independence or its unification with Pakistan. More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the uprising and subsequent Indian crackdown since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of funding and training militants in the Pakistani-controlled portion of Kashmir and facilitating their infiltration into Indian-held Kashmir. Islamabad denies the charge, saying it only gives moral and diplomatic support to the rebels.

NATO reports Afghan death KABUL: NATO says another international service member has been killed in action in Afghanistan. A NATO statement says the service member died yesterday in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan but gave no further details. Southern Afghanistan is the focus of the current NATO campaign against the Taleban. US, NATO and Afghan forces seized the town of Marjah in Helmand province from the Taleban last month and are stepping up operations in

neighboring Kandahar province, the spiritual birthplace of the Taleban.

Kidnapped truckers found dead in Pak PESHAWAR: Pakistani police yesterday found the bodies of six truck drivers who were kidnapped a few days ago in a restive northwestern town, officials said. The drivers were shot dead and their bodies were found in Thal district, local police official Abdul Rehman told AFP. “A letter found in the pocket of one dead truck driver said that if anyone supplied goods to the Parachinar Shiite community, he will be treated like this,” Rehman said. Parachinar, the main town of Kurram tribal district, is a sectarian flashpoint where activists from the rival Shiite and Sunni Muslim sects have clashed in the past. A police spokesman confirmed the incident, but did not identify the suspects, saying an investigation was in progress. Shiites account for about 20 percent of Pakistan’s Sunni-dominated population. The two communities usually coexist peacefully, but more than 4,000 people have died in outbreaks of sectarian violence since the late 1980s. Attacks by Islamist extremists, meanwhile, have killed more than 3,100 people since July 2007. Most attacks are blamed on the Pakistani Taleban. Separately, militants early yesterday blew up a boys middle school in Alingarh village of Mohmand tribal district, where troops are hunting Taliban rebels, local administration chief Amjad Ali Khan said. “The school was destroyed in the bombing, but there were no casualties,” Khan told AFP. Taleban militants have destroyed 36 government school buildings in Mohmand since 2009.

The cash ensured Afzal had all he needed for a good crop-seed, water, fertiliser, tools-supplied by the men who will process his opium into heroin and ship it across the world. But opium prices have fallen over the past year by about 30 percent, to less than 50 dollars a kilogram, and Afzal worries officials will destroy his plantsor demand bribes not to. He also worries his farm will be squeezed between the Afghan government with its Western military backers and Taleban militants who control poppy production in Helmand province, source of most of the world’s opium. Azfal-not his real name-lives in Gereshk and is watching closely as US Marines lead efforts to assert government rule in Marjah, a farming district further south down the Helmand River. The area has for years been controlled by insurgents and drug traffickers who compel farmers to grow poppies, paying for the raw opium they produce or making life difficult if they do not. “We know the government has started a campaign to eradicate opium,” said Azfal, referring to new plans to wipe out poppies. “Some people are worried, although we know they cannot extend their campaign to our district because there are Taleban who will resist and attack them. “But we are also worried about the military-if the Marjah operation goes well, they may plan to extend their operation to other parts of Helmand,” he said. Poppy farmers Marjah is the target of a coordinated campaign to push out militants and drug dealers and establish government control with police and civil services. Operation Mushtarak (“together” in Dari and Pashto) is the test of a US-led counter-insurgency strategy focused on winning the confidence of local people with a level of security to keep the Taleban and drug lords from returning. It has not worked in the past because the Afghan government could not ensure a stable and accountable presence with officials immune to the temptations of corruption inherent in the three-billion-dollara-year drugs business. “Drug money is addictive, and is starting to trump ideology,” said the head of the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, in a September report. Cooperation between the Taleban, drug smugglers and corrupt officials has turned areas such as Marjah into mafia fiefdoms. Militants provide the muscle to coerce farmers to grow poppy and protect the processing labs and smuggling routes through Pakistan to the east, Iran to the west or the former Soviet states to the north. The Taleban use religion and violence to bolster their powertelling local people it is un-Islamic, for instance, to send their girls to school, and administering rough justice to ensure compliance. This “marriage of convenience” has turned Afghanistan into a narcostate comparable to Colombia, Costa said. Afghan opium funds crime gangs, insurgencies and terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere, his report said, adding “collusion with corrupt government officials is undermining public trust, security and the rule of law”. Eradication efforts a failure In Lashkar Gah, a reconstruction team-where British bureaucrats lead a multinational team of experts in such areas as governance, justice and counter-narcotics-has distributed wheat seed to 40,000 Helmand farmers in an effort to provide alternatives to poppy, said deputy head Bridget Brind. “These sort of counter-narcotics initiatives reduce insurgent influence and increase government authority,” she told reporters, adding that the fall in opium prices was matched by a wheat price rise, another reason to switch. But the figures don’t quite match the rhetoric and UNODC has called eradication “a failure.” —AFP

(5,000 dollars) by a middleman for the world’s biggest drugs cartels. Afzal will harvest in a month, when the tall green weeds on his land have burst into scarlet bloom and the poppy bulbs ooze sap that will become opium.

MARJAH: US Marines of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, India Company, jump over a wall as they move towards Taleban position in a poppy field under heavy fire of Taleban while conducting a joint foot patrol with Afghan Army soldiers in a Taleban stronghold area. —AFP

Pakistan air strike kills 11 militants PESHAWAR: Pakistani air strikes yesterday killed at least 11 militants in a new offensive against foreign fighters in the restive northwest tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, officials said. A paramilitary spokesman told AFP the 11 militants were killed in attacks on three places in Orakzai district and a local tribal administration official confirmed the death toll. It was not immediately clear if there were any foreign militants among the dead, but Pakistan said Friday that 32 militants and five soldiers were killed in the heaviest battle against Arab, Afghan and Uzbek fighters. Troops on Wednesday expanded their campaign against Taleban militants believed to have fled a major offensive in South Waziristan last year by launching an assault to eradicate them from neighbouring Orakzai. Pakistanís mountainous and semiautonomous tribal belt became a stronghold for hundreds of Taleban and Al-Qaeda-linked extremists who fled Afghanistan to regroup and launch cross-border attacks after the USled invasion in late 2001.

In a separate incident, militants early yesterday blew up a boys middle school in Alingarh village of Mohmand tribal district, where troops are also hunting Taleban rebels, local administration chief Amjad Ali Khan said. “The school was destroyed in the bombing, but there were no casualties,” Khan told AFP. Militants blew up another boys primary school early yesterday in Khyber, a lawless tribal district bordering Afghanistan, local administration chief Shafeerullah Wazir told AFP, but there were no casualties. Separately police yesterday found the bodies of six truck drivers who were kidnapped a few days ago in a restive northwestern town. The bodies of the six, who had been shot dead, were found in Thal district, local police official Abdul Rehman told AFP. “A letter found in the pocket of one dead truck driver said that if anyone supplied goods to the Parachinar Shiite community, he will be treated like this,” Rehman said. Parachinar, the main town of Kurram tribal district, is a sectarian flashpoint where activists from the rival Shiite and Sunni

Muslim groups have clashed in the past. A police spokesman confirmed the incident, but did not identify the suspects, saying an investigation was in progress. Shiites account for about 20 percent of Pakistanís Sunni-dominated population. The two communities usually coexist peacefully, but more than 4,000 people have died in outbreaks of sectarian violence since the late 1980s. Attacks by Islamist extremists, meanwhile, have killed more than 3,100 people since July 2007. Most attacks are blamed on the Pakistani Taleban. In another incident, paramilitary forces arrested a rebel commander wanted for the 2005 kidnapping and murder of six Chinese engineers after a gun battle late Friday in the border town of Chaman in the restive southwest province of Baluchistan. “We have arrested a Baluch Liberation Army commander Haji Murad Khan after a chase and a gunfight and seized explosives, wireless sets, Indian and Afghan currency from him,” Colonel Asad Shahzada of the Pakistan Frontier Corps said. —AFP

KHYBER: A family fleeing from neighboring Orakzai tribal region due to fighting between security forces and militants, pass the Kamer Khel area of Pakistan’s tribal region yesterday. The fighting occurred in Orakzai, a tribal region where many Pakistani Taleban militants are believed to have fled to avoid an earlier army offensive in their main stronghold farther south. —AP



Sunday, March 28, 2010


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Drugs, terrorism, shadow banking By Bernd Debusmann


he trouble with moving big amounts of cash, from a criminal’s point of view, is threefold. It’s bulky, it’s heavy and it smells. A stash of $1 million in mixed bills weighs around 50 kg. Specially-trained dogs can sniff out bulk cash in a heartbeat. All of which helps to explain why drug cartels and financiers of terrorism appear to have been making increasing use of what FBI chief Robert Mueller calls a shadow banking system. Its features include a legal loophole that allows money launderers to get around the requirement that cash or “monetary instruments” (share certificates, travellers’ cheques, money orders etc) in excess of $10,000 must be declared on entering or leaving the United States. It is, however, perfectly legal to carry, say, $50,000 embedded in the magnetic stripes of so-called prepaid stored-value cards. They look like a credit or debit card but are not linked to a bank account, can in many cases be loaded anonymously, are not “monetary instruments” under US law, and were labelled “the ideal instrument for large-scale drug trafficking and money-laundering operations” in a 2006 analysis by the National Drug Intelligence Center. It predicted that drug traffickers, narco-terrorists and other criminals would increasingly rely on storedvalue cards - “superior to established methods of money laundering” - because they could be used without fear of documentation, identification, law enforcement suspicion or seizure. In other words, a shot in the arm of the global money laundering industry, an illicit enterprise that accounts for between 2 and 5 percent of the world’s GDP, according to an estimate by the International Monetary Fund. The Center’s dark warnings did little to curb the rapid growth of the stored-value card industry more than $300 billion a year by some estimates. At a congressional hearing in mid-March, the FBI’s Mueller reported that “recent money laundering investigations have revealed a trend on the part of criminals to use stored-value devices such as pre-paid gift cards and reloadable debit cards in order to move criminal proceeds. “This has created a shadow banking system...” The largely unregulated stored-value card industry, he said, made it difficult for law enforcement to spot transaction patterns that can help identify money launderers and financiers of terrorism. So if the cards are such a threat, why is there no regulation? It is a question two senators, Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins, asked in a Feb 16 letter to US Treasury

Secretary Timothy Geithner. The two, respectively the chairman and the ranking member of the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, last year authored an amendment to close the stored-value card loophole. The amendment became part of an act on credit card accountability and disclosure President Barack Obama signed into law on May 22 last year. The amendment stipulated that the Treasury Department work out regulations on the sale, issuance, redemption and international transportation of stored value cards within 270 days. The deadline lapsed on Feb 16 and the letter asks for an explanation for the delay in issuing rules. So far, there has been no reply. It’s not clear whether the delay is due to bureaucratic inertia, overwork in a Treasury Department busy with a deep financial crisis, or, as money laundering expert Charles Intriago put it, “a manifestation of the unhealthy power of big money, financial institutions and their lobbyists”. Intriago, an anti-money laundering crusader for decades, runs the International Association for Asset Recovery, a company based in Miami. How much dirty money flows through the storedvalue card loophole is anyone’s guess. “It’s not possible to quantify how much money is moving one way or the other,” Paul Campo, the chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s office of financial investigations said in an interview. “But the case of Virtual Money Inc. gives an idea of the potential scale of the problem.” According to a government indictment that stemmed from a DEA sting operation, drug dealers using pre-paid cards issued by Virtual Money, a company based in Texas, withdrew $7.1 million from automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the Colombian city of Medellin in 2006. Despite the concern over more sophisticated methods of moving ill-gotten gains, carting cash across borders has not gone out of fashion. In 2009, government agents along the border with Mexico seized $39.2 million in currency, according to official figures. That compares with around $10 million in 2008 and is due to more frequent checks of southbound traffic for cash and guns. Nearly $40 million in confiscated cash sounds a lot. But it is less than pocket change, in the grand scheme of things. The US Justice Department estimates that drug cartels smuggle $24 billion a year into Mexico, $40 million amounts to 0.16 percent of the estimated total. What about the rest? Nobody can give a breakdown, but tighter regulations surely can’t hurt. — 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: or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

Dubai debt plan meant to show emirate back on feet By Raissa Kasolowsky


ubai’s plan to avoid drawing on fresh funds from wealthier neighbour Abu Dhabi in its debt restructuring proposal for Dubai World may be more about presentation than the reality of its balance sheet. Not taking new cash from Abu Dhabi was meant to show investors that Dubai can still stand on its own feet. But analysts say the hard reality is that the emirate could never navigate its current troubles without Abu Dhabi’s support. Abu Dhabi, which holds over 90 percent of the United Arab Emirates’ oil wealth, may yet have to help out Dubai again despite the message of Thursday’s plan for the conglomerate. “The message is: Let Dubai handle this,” Emirati political scientist AbdulKhaleq Abdullah said. “But you and I and everyone else knows that without Abu Dhabi’s help, support, involvement - which I think will become clearer this thing would not have been possible.” There may be other motives to Abu Dhabi’s low public profile in the process of restructuring Dubai World’s $26 billion debt. Staying in the shadows could also help to prevent the federal capital from being too strongly associated with Dubai’s financial problems, and contain potential spillover. Dubai said on Thursday it would recapitalise Dubai World and repay property unit Nakheel’s bonds in full, with $9.5 billion of aid in a debt offer that would promise creditors all their money back in up to eight years. The Dubai government said $5.7 billion in funds from a previous loan made by Abu Dhabi would provide the lion’s share of the funding, and that Dubai would add around $4 billion of its own resources. Analysts had expected Abu Dhabi to step in with more cash. “One of the strengths of the announcement is that it says that based on current resources, Dubai will be able to meet its current obligations,” Abu Dhabi-based analyst Mohammed Yasin said. “That doesn’t mean that the cooper-

ation between the various government entities, federal or local, will change or stop.” Dubai may ultimately need to draw on its neighbour’s help again, said Khuram Maqsood, managing director of Emirates Capital in Dubai. “Dubai has other debts coming due in addition to Dubai World,” Maqsood said. “Unless in their plan they have assumed a lot of good things breaking in their favour ... Abu Dhabi will step in because how else are they going to fill the gap?” Abu Dhabi gave Dubai $10 billion late last year in a two-part bailout made up of $5 billion from Abu Dhabi-linked banks in November and another $5 billion from the government. The latter helped to avert default on an Islamic bond issued by Nakheel but came at the last minute and was announced on the day the sukuk matured. It can be difficult to establish the facts surrounding the relationships between the ruling families of the UAE’s emirates and how these affect decision-making, but perception also plays a key role in how these matters are dealt with. “Getting help from Abu Dhabi shows that it’s a federal state and that it will not let one part fall down,” said Ebtisam Al-Kitbi, a politics professor at the UAE University in Al-Ain. “But there is also a negative side ... Maybe Dubai doesn’t want (Abu Dhabi’s help to be too public), it shows you cannot stand on your own two feet. So maybe it is a mixture of the two,” Kitbi said. Formed in 1971, the UAE is seen as the brainchild of the late Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahayan. The union is largely credited with bringing stability and security to its seven small states in the Gulf region. British historian Christopher Davidson said Dubai’s indebtedness to Abu Dhabi may dent its political clout in the UAE. The constitution divides power between the two emirates equally, with decisions on substantive issues requiring the support of both. The smaller emirates have less sway. Davidson said Abu Dhabi may appreciate being in a stronger position to per-

suade Dubai to curtail its grand projects and trade ties with Iran, which have drawn increasing scrutiny. Also any failure of state-linked firms in Dubai could have a spillover effect on Abu Dhabi’s economy and investor confidence, as well as making it more

expensive for companies to tap capital markets. Moody’s downgraded seven leading Abu Dhabi government-linked firms earlier this month, including Mubadala and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), citing a

lack of explicit state support. “One concern is that is nobody knows the full extent of the debt of Dubai,” Davidson said. “Abu Dhabi can’t sign a blank cheque, it doesn’t have unlimited resources itself. It can’t underwrite Dubai completely.” — Reuters

Money alone can’t buy US love By Sue Pleming


akistan’s foreign minister declared himself a “happy” man after high-level talks in Washington last week aimed at reversing tempestuous ties between the two allies. Despite his optimism, tensions persist from security cooperation to how aid is spent, but winning over a strongly skeptical Pakistani public may be the toughest task. Opinion polls show less than one in five Pakistanis view the United States favorably despite a tripling of civilian aid over the next five years, and US officials complain the country’s media is mostly hostile over US intentions. “This is one of our highest concerns. Public understanding in Pakistan of what the United States is doing is just not where it should be,” said US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. “Pakistanis came to believe that we cared only about one or two issues. Above all, the war in Afghanistan and the nuclear issue,” he said. “This is really upsetting to me.” The hope is that by improving government-to-government relations, this will filter down to the general public, whose suspicions are so deep-set that when a $7.5 billion US aid package was announced in October, it was met with an uproar rather than the appreciation Washington had hoped for. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said while there was more money on the table for energy, water and other projects, this did not translate into support for the United States and Washington needed a new approach. “You can’t buy public opinion. You have to win hearts and minds,” he told Reuters in an interview. The key, he said, was to create a relationship that was viewed as more permanent and wide-ranging, rather than one where Washington’s interest was seen as self-serving and temporary. Pakistanis are looking anxiously at the July 2011 deadline set by President Barack Obama for US forces to start pulling out of neighboring Afghanistan, fearing this will also result in less interest in Pakistan. “Pakistanis must feel that you are reliable partners,” Qureshi said of the United States. “In the past there has been a history where our interests have been transactional.” At this week’s meetings the emphasis was not only on

security assistance - although that is key because of Islamabad’s role in Afghanistan - but on showing that Washington wants to help with daily challenges such as Pakistan’s daily power cuts and in fixing dams and roads. Pakistan expert Lisa Curtis said one danger of this week’s meetings was that expectations were high for quick results. “There may be some expectations that are not met and that will become a perception issue in Pakistan,” said Curtis, who is with the Heritage Foundation. At a signing ceremony for an agreement to build roads, Finance Secretary Salman Siddique said it was projects like these that could have an impact on public opinion as they directly affected the Pakistani people. The United States has shifted how it handles aid in Pakistan, moving away from big US contractors popular under the Bush administration to funneling funds directly through local government or non-governmental organizations. The downside of this, though, is that aid is taking longer to get through as the State Department must follow strict congressional rules for US taxpayer funds and auditors verify the right controls are in place before money is handed out. The public image of this week’s “strategic dialogue” meetings was one of both sides chanting off the same song sheet, reflected by a seating plan where Pakistani and US officials were symbolically intermingled rather than seated opposite one another, as is often the case in bilateral meetings. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of a “new day” in relations with Pakistan, praising security cooperation that has included the arrest of key Afghan Taleban leader. US officials avoided asking Pakistan in public to “do more” - a phrase that irritates Islamabad which argues the country has suffered terrible losses in its fight against extremism, both in human life and financially. But the recent arrests have, ironically, underscored how much more Pakistan can do, said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst. “I think there is going to be a lot of talk about what more Pakistan can do about the militants,” said Riedel, now with the Brookings Institution. Washington also wants Pakistan to make efforts to rein in Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistanbased group responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. — Reuters

Yemen at risk of secessionist insurgency in south By Cynthia Johnston


emen risks a sustained separatist insurgency in the south, scene of increased tit-for-tat violence, unless it seriously addresses grievances of southerners who say their region is neglected by the state. President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who a week ago declared that Yemen’s separate war with Shiite rebels in the north was over, has offered dialogue with opponents in the south. But there is little evidence so far of a rush to the negotiating table. “If the escalation continues it will be a big, big problem. It will be a war,” Yemeni analyst Nasser Arrabyee said, but added he was optimistic Sanaa would strike a political power sharing deal to prevent further armed conflict. Sanaa came under international pressure to quiet domestic unrest and focus its fight on Al-Qaeda, a bigger global threat, after the group’s Yemen-based arm claimed responsibility for a failed December bomb attack on a US-bound plane. But the president’s limited offer for dialogue with the south has come handin-hand with a security crackdown and arrests campaign that left a trail of dead and wounded on both sides in recent weeks even as violence elsewhere in Yemen fades. Security forces continue

Southern Yemenis wave the flag of former South Yemen and hold a picture of its former leader Ali Salem Al-Beidh during a rally in Lahj province yesterday. – AFP to occasionally fire on often provocative anti-government demonstrations. In one case, a protester was shot dead while trying to remove a Yemeni flag from a government building and replace it with a separatist one. Deaths of protesters have typically sparked clashes, easily ignited in a heavily armed society where many civilians

carry arms and state control is weak. The unrest has often targeted northerners, and northern-owned businesses have been set aflame. Exiled southern politician Ali Salem Al-Beidh, who briefly led a secessionist south Yemen in 1994, said Sanaa was turning its sights on the south after ending the northern war. “What we fear is that they will push

us from the path we have chosen, the peaceful path. Citizens will be forced to defend themselves. When you see a tank in front of your house, what do you do?” Asked if an armed movement would emerge, he said: “We are not thinking of this, and we don’t have an army.” North and South Yemen united in 1990, but many in the south - home to most of Yemen’s oil facilities - complain northerners have seized resources and discriminate against them. There have already been signs, such as recent ambush-style attacks blamed on separatists that have killed at least five people, that the southern conflict is becoming more and more like an insurgency and less a peaceful protest movement. The protest movement, while not unified behind a single organisation, has been sophisticated in its approach, and wants to maintain the peaceful non-violent nature of its protest, analyst AbdulGhani Al-Iryani said. “But given the fact that the government has been nonresponsive, I think they or some elements within the movement, have chosen to use violence in certain areas. And the pattern over the period of say the past two years ... has been escalating,” Iryani said. “The increase in violence in different areas has been uniform, which tells you there is a nucleus of planners

who are quite sophisticated. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they happen to be outside of the country,” he added. A Yemeni court on Tuesday sentenced a separatist leader to 10 years in prison. The judge said Ahmad Bamuallim, a former parliamentarian, had been calling for an armed insurrection. Western countries and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, fear Al-Qaeda is exploiting instability in impoverished Yemen to launch attacks in the region and beyond. Saleh has placed limits on an offer for talks with the south, saying he would only speak with pro-unity elements, not secessionists. But the southern movement has no single leadership, and Sanaa would need to deal with a collection of disparate leaders, often with similar but not identical agendas. Diplomats say previous talks offers have not been followed by concrete action to address southern complaints that Sanaa neglects the southern region and treats southerners unfairly, including in property disputes, jobs and pension rights. A southern war could be averted if Sanaa takes steps to resolve key differences and makes progress on power sharing, with a national unity government or by naming more southerners to key roles in local government and security forces. — Reuters


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Netanyahu’s choice: Peace or settlements By Steven Gutkin


ollowing a seemingly chilly reception at the White House, Benjamin Netanyahu is learning the hard way that he can’t have it all. The Israeli leader will not likely be able to settle east Jerusalem with Jews and maintain strong relations with the Obama administration. He will be hard pressed to please his far-right coalition partners and still negotiate credibly with the Palestinians. And he cannot alienate important allies and still expect decisive international action against archenemy Iran. Israel infuriated Washington earlier this month when it announced plans to build 1,600 new Jewish homes in the disputed part of Jerusalem during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden. A fresh announcement Wednesday of 20 new Jewish homes planned in the heart of an Arab neighborhood prompted a White House demand for clarification even as Netanyahu was in Washington trying to ease tensions. With Israel’s international standing in tatters and its relationship with Washington at a low point, Netanyahu’s moment of truth appears close. Will he stick to his hawkish roots or conclude, as his two predecessors Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert did, that occupying captured lands and their large Arab populations imperils Israel’s future as a Jewish state? So far, Netanyahu is showing no signs of bending on east Jerusalem, despite the international uproar over the new Israeli housing projects. An unusual decision to keep reporters away from a meeting between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama at the White House and

some pointed criticism from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a proIsrael conference indicated the latest US-Israeli diplomatic row is not over. Last-minute talks Wednesday between Netanyahu and US Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell held just before the Israeli leader ended his two-day visit to Washington - failed to heal the US-Israeli row over east Jerusalem settlement building, US officials said on condition of anonymity because the closeddoor talks were confidential. The Americans say the east Jerusalem housing projects - which were announced shortly after Israel and the Palestinians agreed to the first US-mediated indirect peace talks in more than a year - are provocative and prejudge the outcome of negotiations. But recent comments by Clinton and the head of the US Central Command could have even more sweeping implications. Both Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus said that lack of progress toward solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impedes other US goals around the world and fuels extremism. Pressure to compromise can only increase if that idea gains steam along with rising international impatience with Israel, most recently illustrated by Tuesday’s extraordinary decision by Britain to expel an Israeli diplomat over the

alleged use of forged British passports in a plot to slay a Hamas operative in Dubai in January. In what seemed like a veiled reference to

Petraeus’ and Clinton’s suggestion, Netanyahu told the same pro-Israel convention in Washington this week that anti-Semitism, in its most “pernicious” form, “argues that if only Israel did not exist, many of the world’s problems would go away.” The Israeli leader’s speech before the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee highlighted the huge gulf between the way many Israelis and the rest of the world view east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state. “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It’s our capital,” Netanyahu said to wild applause. Alon Liel, former director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, described what he called an Israeli “bubble” where the prevailing view is “let’s go on settling in Jerusalem, the world is against us, the Palestinians will always be our enemy.” Netanyahu, he said, is “the leader of the bubble.” On the other side, Liel said, are Israelis “who realize that this story cannot go on, that there is an international community, there is a United States, there is a world public opinion and there is a UN - and we have to be part of it and not live under siege ... as a pariah state.” One of the ironies of Netanyahu’s year-old premiership is he has done more to ease life for Palestinians than his immediate predecessors, boosting the economy by taking down dozens of roadblocks and significantly slowing settlement construction in the West Bank.

No Israeli prime minister has even considered halting Jewish construction in east Jerusalem since Israel captured that part of the city in 1967, and the Palestinians readily sat down with Olmert for intensive peace talks even as he pressed ahead with settlements something they are now refusing to do with Netanyahu. So what has changed? Palestinians tend to feel that peace is simply not possible with Netanyahu. While he grudgingly accepted the notion of a Palestinian state early in his term, he has spent the subsequent months broadcasting his red lines: that Palestinians must recognize Israel’s Jewish nature, that any future Palestinian state can’t have an army, that Israel must maintain a security presence in the West Bank and, perhaps most critically, that Israel can never share Jerusalem. “Netanyahu and his coalition will always give priority to the occupation and settlement expansion rather than the peace process,” Palestinian government spokesman Ghassan Khatib said. The row over east Jerusalem settlements has been a public relations boon for the Palestinians. However, they relinquished some of the moral high ground in recent days through a decision to rename a major West Bank square after a female militant who killed dozens of civilians in a notorious 1978 bus hijacking. In some ways Netanyahu, with his solid public support and his widely appreciated security credentials, is the politician best positioned to make peace with the Palestinians. But it would have to be Obama - not the US lawmakers who lavished effusive praise on Netanyahu last week in Washington - to push to make that happen. -— AP

Obama risks alienating US Jewish voters By Tom Raum


arack Obama reached out to skeptical Jewish political activists immediately after nailing down his presidential nomination in 2008, promising he would “never compromise” in his support for Israel. Now president, he risks alienating a core Democratic constituency by ratcheting up a public feud with Israel’s prime minister. Obama’s demands that Israel cancel new housing construction in Palestinian areas of east Jerusalem may be backfiring. The hardball tactic clearly failed to advance prospects for restarting Middle East peace talks, and it may be undermining Obama’s standing among Jewish groups in the United States. It also enabled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to strike a defiant stance while in Washington, to bask in warm bipartisan praise from congressional leaders and to visit the White House without having to apologize or give in to Obama’s demands. Yet Israel badly needs the United States as a strong ally. The two leaders are now caught in a high-stakes diplomatic standoff as both sides work to defuse rising tensions. Netanyahu held closed-door meetings on Wednesday with Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell and other US representatives. But the talks, which extended well into the evening, ended without any breakthroughs. New Israeli housing construction in lands jointly claimed by Israelis and Palestinians is an issue that has frustrated a succession of US presidents. In most cases, the US has tended to fume then largely look the other way - acknowledging a no-win confrontation. But Obama chose to take a firm stand in response to Israel’s badly timed announcement - made during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit earlier this month - that it was building 1,600 new housing units in east Jerusalem. Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their eventual state. Perhaps

emboldened as he moved toward a major domestic victory on healthcare, Obama dug in his heels and demanded a halt to the new construction. And in a break from tradition that many US lawmakers saw as a snub, the White House accorded Netanyahu’s visit none of the trappings usually extended to an important ally. The news media were not allowed into any part of the initial 90minute Tuesday evening meeting between the two leaders, or a follow-up 35-minute session. There was no joint news conference afterward, no statements about what transpired, not even a White House-produced photograph. Then, providing yet another irritant, Jerusalem officials said Wednesday the city had approved 20 new apartments for Jews in an Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem. The White House said it was seeking “clarification” on Israel’s latest plans. Jewish voters, one of the most active political blocs in this country, have long expressed some misgivings with Obama, a nervousness that persists today. It began with false rumors that he was Muslim, his comments during the presidential campaign suggesting a willingness to meet with the leader of Iran and praise from the Rev Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor, for Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, who has made anti-Semitic remarks. But Obama reached out effectively to court the 5.3-million-strong US Jewish community, the largest in the world outside Israel. He spoke at synagogues, included a stop in Israel on his whirlwind pre-election overseas trip, and ended up with nearly 80 percent of the Jewish vote. Jewish political activists are also important financial contributors, and their support will be important both in this year’s midterm elections and in the 2012 presidential contest. If they decide to pare back those contributions because of misgivings about Obama’s support for Israel, that could prove costly to Democratic candidates. Since Obama took office, his relations

with Israel have been tense. He has visited the Middle East twice as president, but has yet to schedule an Israeli visit. Last fall, Netanyahu, under pressure from his right-leaning coalition, defied US demands for a full freeze on settlements in the West Bank. At best, under Obama’s latest prodding, “Netanyahu will likely suspend some construction in east Jerusalem, which could pave the

way for restarting Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks,” said Haim Malka, a Middle East scholar for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Even if those talks are restarted, it’s uncertain how the administration intends to move those talks forward or change the strategic calculations of either side,” Malka said. He said “funda-

mental differences” remain between the Obama administration and Netanyahu over the issues of negotiations, settlements and the fate of portions of Jerusalem captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. While Netanyahu’s reception at the White House was frosty, he was widely praised on Capitol Hill. “We in Congress stand by Israel,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. — AP

Bibi walks tightrope after US trip By Patrick Moser


resh from a White House dressing down, Israel’s premier is in a tight corner at home, caught between US demands for peace measures and the hardline stance of his hawkish coalition, analysts say. If Benjamin Netanyahu caves in to the US demands, his right-wing coalition risks collapse, and if he doesn’t, relations with key ally the United States would deteriorate further as would the Middle East peace process. Netanyahu will have to choose soon between some members of his mostly rightwing coalition “and the rest of the world,” the Maariv newspaper said in an editorial. “He can no longer have it both ways.” The premier headed home on Thursday after talks with President Barack Obama, who reportedly pressed him to halt settlement construction in east Jerusalem and take other measures to revive the moribund peace process with the Palestinians. As disagreements persisted, Israeli media said the White House also took a number of steps to “humiliate” Netanyahu, with the daily Yediot Aharonot saying he was treated like “the last of the wazirs from Lower Senegal.” Political analyst Yossi Alpher says the premier only has himself to blame for the quandary he finds himself in. “He has placed himself knowingly in an impossible situation, he has a coalition not built for a peace process, yet he has committed to one,” said Alpher, who served as adviser to then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak during the 2000 Camp David peace talks. “One thing is clear: this coalition is incompatible with the peace process, there is no way to square that circle.” Eytan Gilboa, an expert on Israel-US relations, pointed out that Netanyahu could try to bring the centrist Kadima party of former foreign minister Tzipi Livni into his coali-

tion, though that still leaves him with “elements in his own party who would also resist the (US) demands.” The constraints Netanyahu faces were evident as members of his coalition spoke out firmly against any compromise on the thorny issue of Jerusalem as the premier was heading home where he planned to immediately convene his security cabinet to discuss the US demands. “The government will continue to build in Jerusalem. It is evident there will be no freeze of construction in Jerusalem,” said Eli Yishai who heads the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, a key partner in the coalition. The cabinet did launch a partial, 10-month moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank in November, but the measure does not cover east Jerusalem, which Israel considers part of its “eternal and indivisible” capital but which Palestinian see as the capital of their promised state. Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, of Netanyahu’s Likud party, insisted the issue is not negotiable. “If the government caves in on this point, it collapses immediately.” Palestinian analyst Ziad Abu Amr for his part is convinced Netanyahu must sacrifice his current coalition if he wants to move ahead with the peace process. “Why should the world feel regret about the fall of a rightwing extremist government that is making problems between Palestinians and Israelis in the region and in the international community?” “I don’t think there are many people in the world who will shed tears about the fall of this coalition,” said Abu Amr, who heads the Palestinian Council on Foreign Relations. He said Washington must continue applying pressure to Israel until concrete results are seen. Gilboa, of Bar Ilan university near Tel Aviv, on the other hand, believes Obama may already have gone too far. “This is a very serious intervention in Israel’s internal politics, and in the past similar attempts have backfired.” — AFP

Local politics tie Merkel to hard line on Greece By Dave Graham


et’s get out of debt!” was the cry for help that went out to the German government. It came not from Greece, but right in the heartland of Europe’s largest economy, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Months into her second term in office, much of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy agenda hinges on her ability to hold NRW in a state election in May, a factor that has been crucial in her reluctance to promise Greece financial aid. “Merkel can’t go into the NRW vote pledging to raise Germany’s debt for the sake of Greece,” said Juergen Falter, a political scientist at the University of Mainz. “That would be a surefire way to lose the election.” Merkel withstood pressure for weeks to come to Greece’s assistance. On Thursday, euro zone leaders agreed on an emergency bailout mechanism for debt-stricken member states that closely mirrored the compromise she had sought. Losing the May 9 NRW vote would rob Merkel’s coalition of conservatives and pro-business Free Democrats of its majority in the Bundesrat upper house of parliament, which could consign a raft of planned tax cuts and health reforms to the scrap

yard. “If the coalition cannot hold NRW, it’s back to the situation of relying upon the opposition to get legislation passed,” Falter said. “Merkel wants to avoid that at all costs.” Home to 18 million, NRW is Germany’s most populous state, making its election one of the closest proxies to a national referendum on the government outside of federal votes. It was one of the states hardest hit by the crisis - latest available data show its economy shrank nearly 8 percent on the year in the first half of 2009 - compared with 6.8 percent nationally, and levels of indebtedness are rising. NRW’s government must raise a record 27 billion in debt in 2010. But funding woes at local authorities have made most noise in the media, which have kept up a steady drumbeat over cuts to schools, swimming pools and playgrounds. To draw attention to the problem, the cities making up the Ruhr area Germany’s biggest urban centre and the heartland of NRW - have formed an initiative called “Raus aus den Schulden” or “let’s get out of debt”. Many are so swamped in it that the mayor of Essen, where debt levels per capita surged by around 175 percent

between 2000 and 2008, last month warned they were on the brink of collapse. “Before we help the Greeks, we

have to get our own house in order,” said Lars Martin Klieve, the city’s treasurer. Claus Hamacher, head of finances for NRW in the federation of German cities and local authorities, said municipalities were so stretched they now struggled to control their own affairs. To stay afloat, local authorities are increasingly having to cover their expenses with short-term loans called Kassenkredite. NRW has some €18 billion in Kassenkredite outstanding, roughly half the national total, Hamacher said. When it reunified in 1990, Germany had about €1 billion worth. “This means we’re living off future generations,” he said. NRW’s debt problems are a scaleddown version of those affecting Germany, whose population is both ageing and falling. To help address this, a 2009 law will force the country to begin gradually cutting back its debt burden from next year. Uwe Andersen, a political scientist at the University of Bochum, said while the average NRW voter might only make an indirect link between Greece and their own finances, the strain on local authorities would be reverberating around Berlin.

“Remember, the situation in the municipalities has a powerful effect on the foot soldiers of the parties,” he said. The financing difficulties have exposed cracks not only within the three main tiers of Germany’s system of government - cities regularly grumble that the vast majority of their outlays are imposed either by federal or state legislation. It has also reignited a debate over the cost of reunification, encouraging western politicians to complain that their towns have suffered for the sake of building up the East. This rang true for parts of NRW, said Falter in Mainz. “Gelsenkirchen looks like it’s part of the old GDR. A lot of eastern cities look better than those in the west now,” he said. Faced with overwhelming public rejection of a Greek bailout and the risk of being slapped down by the country’s top court, Merkel had no choice but to take a tough line, Falter said. “We’re also looking at a change of policy in Germany’s national interest, meaning that Berlin is pursuing a bigger and also more egotistical role at European level,” he said. “Germany is no longer in the situation it was after World War One, where it was a case of ‘Germany will pay it all,’” Falter added. “It no longer can, nor will it.” — Reuters


Slap won’t break Anglo-Israeli ties By Robin Millard


ritain’s expulsion of an Israeli diplomat was a serious expression of disapproval, but would not threaten fundamental ties between the two countries, experts said. Booting out the diplomat - reportedly Israel’s Mossad chief in London - on Tuesday was as far as Britain could go without damaging cooperation on crucial issues including counter-terrorism and Iran, they said. Israel would be best advised to accept the diplomatic slap - over the use of fake British passports by killers of a Hamas chief in Dubai - and let the matter drop, said Professor Avi Shlaim of the Middle East Centre at Oxford University. “Britain thinks Israel has gone too far and has decided to send a clear signal that Britain wouldn’t tolerate any more behaviour of this kind,” he told AFP. “It was more than a slap on the wrist. This was going one step further than a reprimand. My guess is that Israel will not retaliate. It would be foolish. They are very clearly in the wrong,” he said. Foreign Secretary David Miliband announced Tuesday that the diplomat had been asked to leave, as he branded the affair “completely unacceptable”. Miliband said the government believed there were “compelling reasons” to suggest that Israel was behind the forgeries used by the team which killed Mahmud alMabhuh in January. Miliband “all but accused the Israeli government of participation in a criminal, terrorist conspiracy,” The Guardian newspaper said. Israel’s actions bore “the marks of an arrogant nation that has overreached itself,” it added. But British-Israeli ties run deep, and London will not risk endangering cooperation in fields including anti-terror cooperation, the Middle East peace process, not to mention trade, analysts say. Israel is Britain’s largest individual trading part-

ner in the region. Bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded two billion pounds ($3billion) in 2008, according to the Foreign Office. Around 300 Israeli firms operate in Britain. The muted response from Israel should stop relations from worsening, said Yossi Mekelberg, a Middle East expert at Chatham House, the Royal Institute for International Affairs think-tank. “Israel doesn’t want it to escalate with Britain. Israel’s interest is to make sure that this issue will go away.” he told AFP. “It makes no sense to escalate it with such a major power in the world, a major partner.” He said the expulsion was “a very serious expression of disapproval”, done in a way that makes it “known across the world.” In throwing out the diplomat, “I don’t think there was a big risk (for Britain),” he added. “Israel would do well in accepting this slap on the wrist and not reacting.” The expulsion marks “a serious dip in relations... at a time when intelligence-sharing on Islamist terrorism was at a premium,” wrote defence correspondent Kim Sengupta in The Independent newspaper. However, Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle newspaper, said the flare-up would not harm ties between the two countries in the long term. “In one sense, AngloIsraeli relations are indeed ‘in crisis’,” he wrote in The Daily Telegraph newspaper. “You do not expel a representative of one of your country’s warmest allies without an extraordinary reason, and without causing - at the very least a severe cooling off. But... what looks on one level to be a diplomatic crisis is, in the bigger context of what is happening in the Middle East at the moment, a trifle - a piece of diplomatic pro forma behaviour which amounts to little more than a slapped wrist. An official, entirely expendable, has been sent home. And that’s it.” — AFP

Foreign companies mull China future By Allison Jackson


oreign firms in China, rattled by the trial of Rio Tinto staff and Google’s woes, are finding it harder to do business in the country due to mounting red tape and a murky legal system, experts say. Thirty years after Beijing opened up to foreign investment, international companies face onerous rules, preferential treatment for local firms and growing nationalism making some reconsider their future in the nation. “The foreign business community for the first time is seeing future opportunities narrow even if they are doing well here,” said James McGregor, Beijing-based senior counsellor for communications firm APCO Worldwide. Business conditions have been deteriorating for several years, but the downslide gathered pace after the global financial crisis as China’s confidence grew, said John Lee, a fellow at Australia’s Centre for Independent Studies. China powered out of the worst downturn in decades - posting 8.7 percent growth in 2009 - on the back of massive public spending and bank lending, even as the United States and Europe were mired in recession. “The barriers that Western companies are finding in China’s markets - Google is a good example - is an illustration of China believing that it doesn’t need the West to the same degree that it once did,” Lee said. China hosts some of the biggest firms in the world such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, but there are also numerous small and medium-sized companies involved in everything from information technology to insurance. A new survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China shows a growing number of US firms feel unwelcome in the world’s most populous country because of what they see as discriminatory policies and inconsistent legal treatment. Respondents said new procurement rules announced in December had squeezed foreign technology companies out of the multi-billion-dollar market for selling computers and office

equipment to government departments. These concerns have been echoed by European business leaders, who also say the investment environment in China has been soured by an opaque judiciary and inadequate protection of intellectual property. “The pie gets bigger, yet the door to the market has narrowed notably,” Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, told AFP. Wuttke said more and more European businesses were considering pulling out of China, despite the vital role it plays for their balance sheets. After bringing billions of dollars in investment, management expertise and technology to China, many foreign businesses felt they had been used by the government and were upset at the lack of “reciprocal goodwill”, said McGregor. While many companies are making money in China, executives complain they are spending more time jumping through “bureaucratic hoops” and deciphering new rules, said David Wolf, who heads a corporate advisory firm. The Rio Tinto trial in Shanghai and Google’s spat with Beijing over censorship has shaken foreign firms but has not triggered a mass exodus - showing the world’s third largest economy is too big to ignore. Australian resources minister Martin Ferguson said the country’s businesses were not worried about investing in China, its top trading partner, even as Australian national Stern Hu faces bribery and trade secrets charges. “Those concerns have not been expressed to me,” Ferguson, in Beijing this week for the signing of a multi-billiondollar deal to ship liquefied natural gas from Australia to China, told AFP. “The two economies are complementary.” AngloAustralian miner Rio Tinto announced a landmark partnership with China’s Chinalco days before Hu’s trial, while chief executive Tom Albanese addressed a Chinese business forum as the hearing began Monday. “A positive relationship with this market is vital to the continued success of our company,” Albanese said. — AFP



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Israeli soldiers leave Gaza after fierce clash ABBASSAN, Gaza Strip: Israeli tanks pushed into Gaza and killed a Palestinian militant yesterday after the army lost two soldiers, in the heaviest clashes since the Gaza war ended 14 months ago, medics said. At least seven Palestinians were also wounded when a tank fired a shell in the village of Abbassan near the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis, Palestinian medics said. The Israeli military launched the incursion late on Friday after a firefight in which two of its soldiers were killed and two others wounded, one of them seriously. It was the worst spate of violence in the besieged Hamas-ruled coastal territory since the Gaza war of Dec 2008-Jan 2009. Villagers said tanks, bulldozers and jeeps spearheaded the late-night incursion backed by helicopters, drawing fire from fighters of Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad militant group. A two-storey house was demolished and another damaged in the operation before the troops returned to the Israeli side of

the border before dawn, residents said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said the incursion was carried out “to remove infrastructure used by the terrorists to carry out (Friday’s) attack.” A tank had fired a shell after identifying a man apparently planting an explosive device, she said. Palestinians named the man killed as Hassan Arafat, a 23-year-old member of Al-Quds Brigades. Hundreds of villagers poured onto the streets of Abbassan yesterday for the funeral of Arafat, vowing “revenge against Tel Aviv,” while Islamic Jihad leaders called for a new uprising against Israel. General Yoav Galant, the army’s commander for the southern region, said one of the Israelis killed in Friday’s clash died when his own grenade exploded and that a total of four Palestinians had died. But Palestinian medics confirmed only the one death in yesterday’s incursion. Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza, claimed responsibility

for the killing of the two soldiers. The group said Friday’s clashes erupted after Israeli soldiers “crossed 500 metres inside the border.” The Israeli army says the clash occurred after troops spotted militants trying to plant explosives near the security fence on the border and then pursued them into Gaza. Palestinian militants early yesterday fired a rocket from the Gaza Strip into Israel, according to the army. The projectile landed in a field, causing neither casualties nor damage. About 35 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since the start of the year, and more than 330 since the end of the 22-day Israeli offensive in Gaza in January 2009 aimed at halting rocket fire. Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the conflict, which was followed by a year of relative calm. The latest flare-up has added to tensions in the region, with Israel already under international pressure to halt Jewish settlement construction in annexed east Jerusalem. — AFP

Allawi extends hand to rivals Continued from Page 1 protracted period of coalition building, which could take months, is now expected. Iraq’s Arab neighbours also breathed a sigh of relief after Allawi eked out the most seats in Iraq’s election, hoping he will lend a pro-Arab and cross-sectarian tint to any coalition government. But the tight race, foreshadowing divisive talks to form a new government, leaves Arabs uneasy that minority Sunnis could still end up marginalised if a potential merger between two Shiite blocs sidelines Allawi and keeps Iran’s sway strong. Allawi’s strong support among Sunnis in the vote has also exacerbated concerns among some Arabs that any attempt by more sectarian-oriented Shiite blocs to push him aside could reignite tensions. “Allawi is a bit more Arab-inclined and he won despite Iran’s intervention,” said Nader Al-Mutairi, 36, a lawyer in Kuwait. “But Allawi will not be able to form a government because nobody will form an alliance with him. I wish them peace, no violence or terror and I hope they stay away from sectarianism,” he said. “What is best now is extensive negotiations for forming a national unity government,” said Ayed Al-Mannah, a Kuwait-based political analyst, adding he feared the results meant a “hung parliament and a hung government”. Allawi has appointed Rafa Al-Essawi, current deputy prime minister and a member of his alliance, to lead negotiations over coalition formation. He had said before the full results were released that he would not join forces with Maliki unless the incumbent changed his policies. Allawi has confirmed previous talks with the Iraqi National Alliance, a coalition led by Shiite religious groups, and Kurdistania, comprised of the autonomous Kurdish region’s two longdominant blocs, which came third and fourth in the election respectively. Maliki has refused to accept the results from the March 7 poll, insisting figures released Friday night by the election commission remained “preliminary”. Security officials have warned that lengthy period of coalition building could give insurgent groups a chance to further destabilise Iraq, with deadly bomb attacks northeast of Baghdad which killed 52 people on Friday illustrating their con-

cerns. Allawi is competing with other blocs to be first to form a governing coalition after the supreme court earlier this week gave the green light for political horse-trading between all groups to commence immediately. Maliki, who will remain on as prime minister in a caretaker role until a new premier is elected, said late Friday the election results were “not final”, and refused to accept them. The incumbent previously called for a nationwide manual recount of votes, alleging irregularities of the tallying process. “It’s a very close race, they want to win,” Gary Grappo, the head of the US embassy’s political section, told reporters at a briefing yesterday. Maliki “will pursue all means at his disposal through the established judicial process”. Grappo described Maliki as “someone who is in an extremely tight race, who still believes that his party has a chance and therefore is not ready to accept these as the final results”. “I expect him to wage a pretty aggressive campaign to present his challenges, argue his case in the hopes of changing the ultimate seat allocation that goes to court for certification.” The United Nations and the United States have given their blessing to the election and the results. US Ambassador Christopher Hill and General Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, said in a statement there was “no evidence of widespread or serious fraud” and UN envoy Ad Melkert added that the polls were “credible”. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, meanwhile, said on a visit to Tehran that the election was a defeat for “terrorism” and marked further progress in forging a democratic nation. The results come around five months before the United States is due to withdraw all of its combat troops from Iraq, and Washington will be keen to see a smooth outcome from the election. All parties have three days to submit complaints, which will then be investigated by the election commission. It will likely be two weeks before Iraq’s supreme court certifies the results. The Sunni role in choosing Allawi also appeared to cement the minority Islamic sect’s return to political life, a key US goal after the community boycotted the first post-Saddam national elections in 2005. Sunni neighborhoods across Baghdad erupted into wild pandemonium

after the results were announced, with men dancing in the streets and waving Iraqi flags. But with Sunni Arabs making up only about 15 percent to 20 percent of Iraq, Allawi’s victory would not have been possible without at least some Shiite support, and he got it. While the prime minister’s bloc was shut out of key Sunni provinces, Allawi picked up seats across the Shiite south and only lost to Maliki by two seats in Baghdad. “In voting for Allawi, the people criticized the ruling elite, the incoherence of the current government, its failure to deliver on promises of a better life,” said Toby Dodge, an analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. “These results are very encouraging,” said Khaled Al-Dakhil, Saudi politics lecturer at King Saud University. “It seems to have brought about a restoration of balance within the Iraqi political scene. But the concern that Iraq turns into a new Lebanon is still there as many parties remain heavily supported by regional powers,” he added. “We are seeing a more and more secular rather than sectarian Iraq,” United Arab Emirates-based analyst Abdul Khaleq Abdullah said. He added the results showed a waning Iranian influence although Tehran remained a “formidable force” in the country. “I think sectarianism breeds violence, tension, instability,” he said. “An unstable Iraq is a big headache for the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and the rest of the Arab world. The more stable Iraq is, the better off we are.” Sunni-led Arab countries, particularly in the Gulf where there are significant and marginalised Shiite minorities, wor r y about the repercussions of Iranian influence in Iraq. They fear the Shiite majority is trying to deprive Iraq’s once dominant Sunnis of their fair share of power. Arab states worry that meddling by non-Arab Iran in Iraq, an Arab country with a Shiite majority, could incite their own Shiite populations and that sectarian instability in Iraq could spill over. Others voiced concerns about instability as haggling for power begins. “I think we will see another new wave of violence in Iraq because of that,” said Sulayman Awad Ibrahim of the United Arab Emirates-based Gulf Research Centre. — Agencies

World unplugs for Earth Hour Continued from Page 1 in Copenhagen in December. The WWF-run event officially began when New Zealand’s Chatham Islands switched off their diesel generators to leave just 12 street lamps burning and was to end nearly 24 hours later in Samoa. Beijing’s Forbidden City and Bird’s Nest Stadium were among the participants along with other cities in China, which is the world’s biggest carbon polluter and appointed giant panda Mei L an its Earth Hour “ambassador”. Hong Kong’s neon waterfront dimmed, as did office buildings in Jakarta, Seoul and Tokyo. The Japanese city of Hiroshima turned off the lights at 30 sites, including its Peace Memorial, set in one of the few buildings to survive an atom bomb attack during World War II. More than 100 students arranged candles to spell out “Peace and Eco”, on the ground near the dome. About 300 participants gathered in Jakarta to light hundreds of candles and lanterns set out in the shape of the number 60 - representing the 60 minutes of Earth Hour. Private homes also switched off their power. New Delhi Mum Aruna Mehra told AFP: “My daughter invited her friends over for a party to eat by candlelight” although others drew the line at switching off fans in the sweltering heat. In Delhi and Mumbai, lights were switched off at shops, hotels, the Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential residence, the 17th-century Red Fort and the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple complex, one of India’s largest Hindu places of worship. Tiny Tuvalu, which fears being wiped off the map from rising sea levels, tried to go carbon-neutral for the event, pledging to cut power to its nine low-lying Pacific atolls and asking car and motorcycle own-

ers to stay off the roads, WWF said. Far to the south in Antarctica, Australia’s Davis research station pledged to dim the lights. A rock concert took place at New Delhi’s India Gate to highlight the environmental cause and Bollywood celebrities joined the calls for action. “As responsible citizens of this planet, it’s extremely crucial for us to address the colossal problem of climate change through ensuring responsible action,” said Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan. India is expected to be among the countries hit hardest by rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns, with experts warning such problems could affect food security and displace communities. Thousands, many of them wearing black Earth Hour T-shirts, joined the main switch-off event in the Philippine capital Manila at the sprawling SM Mall of Asia. Around 15 million Filipinos were expected to participate, according to WWF, to save the equivalent of 5 million pesos (nearly $110,000) worth of electricity. Taipei 101, the world’s second tallest building, turned off all exterior lights and persuaded 99 percent of its tenants to do the same for an hour, the tower’s spokesman said. In Singapore, more than 1,000 people gathered for an Earth Hour carnival in the city centre to watch the lights go out at office towers, hotels and other landmarks. However, lights could still be seen from some buildings and construction sites, disappointing some in the crowd. “I’m disappointed because most of the buildings’ lights are not switched off,” said Mat Idris, 26. “I had expected more support from companies,” he added. Officials in Russia said they hoped to beat last year’s national participation figure of more than 6 million people in 20

cities across the vast country. Far East spots like Kamchatka and Siberia’s Irkutsk joined their Asian neighbors in switching off before Moscow. Restaurants in Vladivostok held a so-called Candle Evening, promoting Earth Hour as a chance for romance. “One in three Russians heard of Earth Hour last year, and we’re striving to beat that,” said Aleksei Knizhnikov, who heads the WWF’s oil and gas ecological program in Russia. Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and the Cologne Cathedral went dark, and Amsterdam was cutting the lights at most city buildings including Schiphol Airport, Artis Zoo and the Amsterdam Arena. Lights also went out on all the bridges over the Seine in Paris, the Eiffel Tower, the Trevi Fountain in Rome, London’s Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Big Ben and Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground, while in the United States, more than 30 of the 50 state governors have lent their support, with Mount Rushmore, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and Chicago’s 110storey Sears Tower all going dark. But in Bangkok, city authorities were ordered to halt their Earth Hour campaign for security reasons as anti-government protesters held a major rally. Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney and enjoys widespread support both from the public and big business, including Google, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. This year, even users of ubiquitous Twitter and Facebook can show their support with special applications that turn their displays dark. In December, two weeks of UN talks in Copenhagen failed to produce a binding commitment to limit global warming or set out concrete plans for doing so, in a setback for the environmental movement. — Agencies

SONGDO, South Korea: New Mr World Kamal Ibrahim of Ireland (center) celebrates with second place Josef Karas of Czech Republic (left) and third place Kenneth Okolie of Nigeria after winning the Mr World 2010 contest yesterday. — AP

Hopes fade for 46 missing after S Korea naval disaster SEOUL: Ships and aircraft searched choppy seas yesterday for survivors of one of South Korea’s worst naval disasters, but hopes faded for 46 missing after an unexplained explosion tore a warship in half. The tragedy happened near the tense disputed Yellow Sea border with North Korea, scene of bloody naval clashes in 1999 and 2002. Seoul’s officials said there was no sign so far the North was to blame. President Lee Myung-Bak called emergency security meetings and ordered a swift and thorough probe into the sinking on Friday evening of the 1,200-tonne corvette near Baengnyeong island. Details of the disaster began to emerge yesterday. “The ship was torn apart and the stern sank immediately,” Choi Won-Il, captain of the Cheonan, told relatives of those missing. “While I was reviewing an operation plan in my cabin, there was the sound of an explosion and the ship keeled to the right. We lost power and telecommunications,” Yonhap news agency quoted him as saying. “I was trapped in the cabin for five minutes before my colleagues broke the window in and let me out. When I got out, the stern had disappeared.” The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said 58 sailors had been rescued but 46 were missing. Thirteen of those saved were injured but in stable condition. “Many of the missing people might have been trapped inside

the sunken ship,” JCS spokesman Lee KiSik told a parliamentary committee. A team of 18 navy divers had to postpone an attempt to search the craft until today because of high waves and darkness. Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young said thermal images indicated the ship had been torn in half. “But we have to pull her up to determine the exact cause,” he said, adding a salvage ship would arrive today afternoon. Reports said the 88-m craft would have been carrying missiles, torpedoes and other weaponry and munitions. However survivors believe the impact came from outside, according to defence ministry spokesman Won Tae-Jae. “The possibility of the ship having been attacked will be investigated along with other possibilities,” Won said. The military said there were no abnormal military movements at the time on the North Korean side of the maritime border. “We are detecting no abnormal movement from North Korea,” JCS spokesman Park Sung-Woo said. JCS officer Lee Ki-Shik said the military was “very cautious about pointing fingers at North Korea or any other causes at the moment”. Baek Seung-Joo of the Korea Institute for Defence Analyses told AFP the government appeared to suspect an accident rather than sabotage. Kim Jin-Ho, a seaman on a local passenger ship that was bound for Baengnyeong,

described Friday evening’s horrific scene to YTN television. “Survivors were screaming for help,” Kim said. “As the ship was sinking, they were hanging onto the front part of the deck, shouting: ‘Save me!’” Hopes for the missing were fading with each hour as the temperature in the area at the time was about three degrees Celsius. President Lee, who summoned an emergency security meeting immediately after the sinking, called two more sessions yesterday. He ordered a “thorough and swift probe” into the cause of the sinking, “keeping all windows of possibility open,” a spokeswoman said. In Washington, the State Department said it had no evidence of North Korean involvement. UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-Moon, who is South Korean, expressed his condolences “to the families of the victims, and to the government and people of the Republic of Korea,” his office said. Last November the navies of the two Koreas exchanged fire in the area and a North Korean patrol boat retreated in flames with unknown casualties. The two Koreas have remained technically at war since their 1950-1953 conflict ended only in an armistice. The North refuses to accept the maritime border known as the Northern Limit Line, which was drawn up by United Nations forces after the war. It says the line should run further to the south. — AFP

Arabs firm on Jerusalem Continued from Page 1 “We have the possibility, we have the responsibility and we feel the urgency,” he said. Berlusconi hoped Israel’s hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would “respond to the call made by the international community to improve the living conditions of Palestinians”, especially in the Gaza Strip. Fresh US efforts to broker indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks earlier this month were still-born when Israel announced plans to build 1,600 new homes for Jewish settlers in east Jerusalem. The timing of the announcement during a visit to Israel by US Vice President Joe Biden enraged Washington and infuriated the Palestinians, who just days earlier had agreed to give peace talks another chance after a year-long hiatus. Arab leaders from both the proWestern and radical camps have also been angered by the opening of a restored 17th-century synagogue near east Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third-holiest site in Islam. The thirteen Arab leaders along with Gaddafi attending the summit are expected to adopt a resolution to raise $500 million in aid to improve living conditions for Jerusalem Palestinians as part of a “rescue plan”. Recent Arab summits have

been marred by disagreements among Arab leaders, divided between proWestern rulers and more radical regimes. The divisions tend to water down joint Arab positions. The summit registered a higher than usual number of no-shows from Arab leaders. Eight heads of state stayed away, including Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. After a plenary session for speeches, the leaders broke for lunch and returned for talks behind closed doors. Arab League chief Amr Moussa, who said before the summit that peace talks with Israel had become “pointless”, asked the leaders yesterday to examine “the chances of failure of the peace process” due to Israel’s policies. He also said the Arabs should open a dialogue with Iran, which is locked in a dispute with the West over its controversial nuclear program, and set up an “Arab Neighbourhood Zone” that would include the Islamic republic and Turkey. “I understand that some of us have concerns about Iranian positions. This does not rule out but maybe confirms the need for a dialogue in order to define our future relations with Iran, with whom we differ on many issues,” he said. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in a message to the summit, said he still

supported diplomacy to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme but did not rule out sanctions. The use of sanctions is not ideal but cannot be excluded, he said. Any sanctions that are imposed should be “well calculated and not aimed at the civilian population of Iran,” he added. The Arab push to engage Tehran seems to be at least partly fueled by Arab frustration over Washington’s failure to get Israel to back down on plans for more Jewish settlements on land the Palestinians want for a future state. It also suggests that Arab nations are increasingly less likely to align with the US strategy on Iran if they feel they are getting nothing in return in Mideast peace efforts. The two-day gathering in Sirte follows the worst violence in the blockaded Gaza Strip in 14 months and comes as Netanyahu rejected anew on Friday international calls to stop settlement building in east Jerusalem. Israeli tanks carried out an incursion into southern Gaza and killed a Palestinian militant yesterday after the army lost two soldiers in clashes the previous day along the border with the coastal strip. The Sirte gathering is the first annual summit to be hosted by the maverick Gaddafi, who considers Israel an implacable “enemy” of the Arabs.— Agencies

Mubarak back after operation Continued from Page 1 cleric Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Coptic Pope Shenouda III, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and a host of ministers and senior police and army officials. He received a copy of the Holy Quran from his defense minister, then got into his car and sped away. Mubarak, looking as if he has lost weight, earlier left Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany where on March 6 during a state visit he had surgery to remove his gall bladder and a growth on the small intestine. He flew to Baden Baden by helicopter en route to Sharm El-Sheikh, where he is to recuperate before returning to a normal work schedule. “The president has fully recovered from the effects of the successful surgical intervention conducted on him exactly three weeks ago,” his chief doctor Markus Buechler told a news conference carried by Egyptian television. “I have recommended, however, that the president continues his convalescence back home during the coming two weeks before he gradually returns to his full and normal activity,” Buechler said.

He praised the president’s “strength, willpower, determination and humanity”. Before the operation, Mubarak temporarily handed powers to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, who is heading Egypt’s delegation at the Arab summit in Libya. Egypt’s stock market suffered a noticeable drop after Mubarak’s operation as speculation mounted over his health. But shares recovered after footage of the president was finally aired on television after a 10-day absence. The veteran leader’s stay in hospital was marked by regular government statements and updates on his health, which had usually been a closely guarded secret in Egypt. Ten days after the operation, Egyptian television broadcast pictures of a pale-looking Mubarak in a dressing gown talking to doctors in a hospital room. Three days later, more footage was aired, this time with sound, showing the president making phone calls and going over paperwork with his chief-of-staff, Zakaria Azmi. “It’s been a tough one,” he said, laughing, the first time his voice was heard since the surgery. But the operation, which was

announced at the last minute, relaunched speculation on who would become Egypt’s next president, as Mubarak has not said whether he will run in the 2011 election. It is widely believed his younger son Gamal, 46, is being groomed to take over, though this has not been confirmed by either of the Mubaraks. Ex-UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei has entered the scene, calling for reforms and constitutional amendments. But his chances at running for president are slim due to constitutional curbs on independent candidacies. “Egypt is witnessing a period of instability and the president’s absence, especially for health reasons and surgery, has heightened people’s worries,” Abdel Aziz Husseini, spokesman for the protest movement Kefaya, told Reuters. “The question is what will happen now that Mubarak has returned. Will he finally assign a vice president following an absence for health reasons?” said self-exiled political analyst Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who urged the president “to give Egyptians some measure of certainty”. — Agencies


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Els gets out of water to share Bay Hill lead

BUFFALO: Tim Kennedy No. 13 of the Buffalo Sabres turns away from Peter Regin No. 43 of the Ottawa Senators at HSBC Arena. —AFP

Franzen lifts Red Wings to victory DETROIT: Johan Franzen had two goals and two assists for his first career four-point game in the Detroit Red Wings’ 6-2 victory over Minnesota on Friday night. Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom and Jonathan Ericsson each had a goal and an assist, Drew Miller also scored, and Jimmy Howard made 25 saves to help the Red Wings run their winning streak to a season-high four games. The Red Wings are equal with Colorado on 89 points for the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference, six points ahead of ninth-

place Calgary. Andrew Brunette and Owen Nolan scored for Minnesota. Senators 4, Sabres 2 At Buffalo, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and assist each, while Brian Elliott made 41 saves as Ottawa beat the Sabres for the ninth straight time. Chris Kelly and Peter Regin also scored to help the Senators win their third straight overall after a five-game losing streak. Tim Kennedy and Jason Pominville scored, and Ryan Miller made 26 saves for Buffalo. The loss ended the Sabres’ four-game winning streak.

Ducks 3, Oilers 2 At Edmonton, Corey Perry scored two power-play goals in a 1:35 span in the third period, and Curtis McElhinney made 34 saves in Anaheim’s win. Perry gave the Oilers the lead with 7:30 left, then added his 26th goal of the season with 6:55 remaining. Teemu Selanne assisted on both goals. George Parros scored for Anaheim in the first period, and Gilbert Brule equalized in the second. Marc Pouliot added a power-play goal for Edmonton in the final minute. — AP

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Friday. Ottawa 4, Buffalo 2; Detroit 6, Minnesota 2; Anaheim 3, Edmonton 2.

New Jersey Pittsburgh Philadelphia NY Rangers NY Islanders Buffalo Ottawa Montreal Boston Toronto Washington Atlanta Tampa Bay Florida Carolina

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF 43 25 5 198 42 25 7 228 37 31 6 215 33 32 9 195 30 34 10 192 Northeast Division 40 23 10 205 40 30 5 202 37 30 8 202 33 28 12 183 27 35 12 195 Southeast Division 49 14 11 289 32 30 12 219 30 32 12 196 30 32 11 191 31 34 9 206

GA 176 212 205 200 229

PTS 91 91 80 75 70

186 214 204 186 243

90 85 82 78 66

209 236 230 214 231

109 76 72 71 71

Western Conference Central Division Chicago 46 20 7 239 187 99 Nashville 43 27 5 211 209 91 Detroit 38 23 13 206 197 89 St Louis 35 30 9 201 204 79 Columbus 30 32 12 198 238 72 Northwest Division Vancouver 45 25 4 242 191 94 Colorado 41 25 7 220 197 89 Calgary 37 28 9 189 185 83 Minnesota 36 33 6 205 224 78 Edmonton 24 43 7 189 253 55 Pacific Division San Jose 45 19 10 239 193 100 Phoenix 46 23 6 204 185 98 Los Angeles 42 25 6 215 195 90 Anaheim 35 31 8 208 226 78 Dallas 32 28 14 211 234 78 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

ORLANDO: Ernie Els got his feet wet on Friday to continue his run of impressive preMasters form by grabbing a share of the second round lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The South African’s solid three under-par round of 69 at Bay Hill was enough to move him in a tie for the lead on seven-under with American trio D.J Trahan, Ben Curtis and Davis Love III. It could have been very different for Els, who earlier this month claimed his first tour win in two years with victory at the WGC-CA Championship at Doral, if he had not made a remarkable recovery from a water hazard on the sixth. Having just three-putted on the fifth, for his second bogey of the round, Els drove into water to the left of the fairway on the sixth. “I hit it really solid but I pulled it. I almost made it but it pitched just on the bank and rolled back into the water,” said Els, who then took his shoes and socks off to play out of the shallow water. “That was a big break because if the ball was another yard left it would have been into the deep end,” he said of the ball’s position in the hazard. “But I could play it and I chipped out of the water, played a four iron just right of the green and I was up and down for par. “I was a yard away from probably not being in the tournament anymore because that would have been a sure double-bogey and I would be back to even-par and in a battle to make the cut.” Els went on to make six birdies and a bogey in the rest of his round to set up what he called “a very interesting weekend”. Joint overnight leader Love had an interesting round on Friday when he did not record a par until his 10th hole, having made six birdies and three bogeys on his first nine. Three more bogeys followed on the front nine with just a single birdie to leave him at one-under for the day after his excellent six-under on Thursday. “I hit a lot of good shots gain, a lot nice putts and two very nice chip-ins. I was just a little erratic,” he told reporters. The leading quartet are just a stroke ahead of Els’ compatriot Retief Goosen, world number three Phil Mickelson and American Kevin Na. Colombian Camilo Villegas failed to make the cut along with Briton Justin Rose and Americans Kenny Perry and Rocco Mediate. —Reuters

ORLANDO: Ernie Els of South Africa hits a shot from the 18th tee during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament. —AP

Seo surges ahead, Wie lurks CARLSBAD: South Korea’s Hee Kyung Seo shot a 5under-67 on Friday to take the lead while Michelle Wie also shot a 67 to pull into contention after two rounds in the inaugural Kia Classic at La Costa. The 23-year-old Seo, playing on a sponsor’s exemption and in only her sixth LPGA tournament, won 11 times on the KLPGA Tour the last two years. Her bogey-free round gave her a two-day total of 7-under 137. “If I get a win here, I can get a card for tournaments here, so that’s very big,” she said. South Korea’s In-Kyung Kim (69) was a stroke back, and Wie, Vicky Hurst (68), Song-Hee Kim (68) and Seon Hwa Lee (71) were 5 under. Wie, trying for her second win as a professional, had six birdies and a bogey. First-round leader Na On Min stumbled with a 74 to drop into a share of seventh at 4 under. A day after carding six birdies, she had three bogeys and a double bogey to go along with three birdies. Lorena Ochoa, the world’s top-

ranked player, also struggled. She had four bogeys and a double bogey in a 75, dropping into a 27th place, eight shots back. Japanese star Ai Miyazato, the first LPGA Tour player in 44 years to sweep the first two events of a season, continued to struggle at La Costa. She followed her opening 74 with a 72 and was in a share of 37th place. No LPGA player has won the first three tournaments in a season. Wie earned her elusive first win as a professional at the end of last season at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico. “It’s kind of a little bit of a confidence factor, like I know I’ve done it before so maybe I can do it again kind of thing,” she said. So far in tournaments this year, Wie has finished in 22nd and 15th. Wie said she had better shots with her irons on Friday.”I definitely feel confident and comfortable,” Wie said. “Hopefully tomorrow and the day after I can keep that going where I don’t think about much and just play.” —AP

CARLSBAD: Michelle Wie hits her tee shot on the 13th hole during the second round of the LPGA Kia Classic golf tournament. —AP

PAYS prepares for annual camel race America’s Cup court KUWAIT: During the organizing committee’s first meeting, Chairman of board and managing director of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) and the head of the supreme organizing

committee of Kuwait’s 10th Camel Race, Maj. General Faisal Al-Jazzaf recently urged all concerned committee to work hard to achieve the success gained in previous championships. This year’s race

is due to be held on April 18- 22. On his part, PAYS media and publication manager, Tawfiq Al-Eid said that the first meeting discussed all preparations for the championship. He also noted that

Al-Jazzaf urged everybody to do their best to ensure this year’s success, particularly in view of the growing number of participants from GCC states, Arab and European countries.

case officially ends SAN DIEGO: One of the bitterest chapters in the 159year history of the America’s Cup has officially ended with the new and old champions agreeing on Friday to drop their remaining legal claims against each other. The new trustee, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club, announced that it and vanquished trustee Societe Nautique de Geneve agreed to drop their outstanding legal actions against each other, the remnants of a 21/2year court fight between two of the world’s richest men. The agreement was signed a month and a half after the speedy space-age trimaran owned by American software tycoon Larry Ellison routed a catamaran sailed by defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland in Valencia, Spain. “We want to right the ship and get the Cup fixed,” GGYC spokesman Tom Ehman said. GGYC, which backs Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing, will drop its breach of fiduciary duty claim against SNG, which backs Alinghi. Both sides will drop claims concerning the legality of the

design and construction of the yachts. The matters had been pending in the New York State Supreme Court since before the teams faced off in their giant multihulls on the Mediterranean. Ellison and Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli, a biotech billionaire, fought since July 2007 over their interpretations of the Deed of Gift, the 19th-century document that governs the America’s Cup. Ellison’s syndicate eventually prevailed, forcing a rare headto-head showdown that the Americans completed with a two-race sweep last month. The convoluted court spat cost each side untold millions of dollars and seriously damaged the image of sailing’s marquee regatta. A New York judge declined to address the breach of fiduciary duty claim and the design and construction issues before the races. Although unhappy with SNG’s conduct before and during the racing, GGYC decided it was time to end the fight. “We just felt it was best to move forward to America’s Cup 34 and put the past behind us,” Ehman said. “We are pleased with this

agreement,” Alinghi spokesman Paco Latorre said, declining further comment. Although the Swiss handed over the trophy hours after Race 2, they have 10 days to officially sign it over, a procedural move. The Swiss also will give GGYC pieces of the damaged trophy that SNG recovered four years ago from various people in New Zealand. In March 1997, a Maori protester used a sledgehammer to smash the America’s Cup in its display case at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland. The trophy was repaired. GGYC and BMW Oracle Racing officials have been consulting with other teams about the venue, timing, format and class of boat for the next Cup. They expect to have specifics later this year. “Good decisions, not hasty decisions — this is what the Cup community wants,” BMW Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts said in a statement. “Our focus is looking ahead and making the 34th edition of the oldest trophy in international sports the best America’s Cup yet.”—AP



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bulls beat Force to stay unbeaten

PERTH: Johan Dewald Potgieter of the Bulls of South Africa (centre) is tackeld by the Force’s Nathan Sharpe (left) and Richard Stanford during their Super 14 rugby union match. —AP

Sharks stop Hurricanes WELLINGTON: Springboks scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar kicked a penalty after the fulltime siren to lift South Africa’s Sharks to a 29-26 win over the Wellington Hurricanes in a Super 14 rugby match yesterday. Pienaar finished with 19 points from five penalties and two conversions — seven goals from eight attempts — to give the Sharks their second straight win after five losses and to consign the Hurricanes to their fourth consecutive defeat. Fullback Patrick Lambie in the first half and winger J.P. Pietersen in the second scored tries for the Sharks, who led throughout the match but never managed to distance the Hurricanes. Wellington leveled the match 26-26 with a converted try to Victor Vito four minutes from fulltime but Pienaar’s final penalty from near halfway clinched a thrilling Sharks’ win. “I didn’t think too much about it,” Pienaar said of his winning

goal. “Obviously I really wanted to kick it and luckily it went through the posts. “I was just happy to get a win and now we can home and try to capitalize.” The Sharks, who broke a five-match losing streak at the start of the season with a sixth-round win over the Otago Highlanders, lifted themselves further from the bottom of the standings with yesterday’s win at Wellington. They led from the fifth minute when 19-year-old fullback Lambie scored his first try in his second start in Super 14 rugby. Flyhalf Willie Ripia kicked two penalties to cut the margin to 7-6 but penalties to Pienaar in the 35th and 40th minutes allowed the Sharks to take a 13-6 lead to halftime. Wellington changed their inside back combination at halftime, replacing Tyson Keats and Ripia with Piri Weepu and Aaron Cruden, strengthening their backline. Weepu kicked penalties in the 42nd and 52nd

minutes to make the score 1312 before a further penalty to Pienaar put the Sharks 16-12 ahead. Pietersen finished a brilliant counter-attack down the right flank in the 64th to score the Sharks’ second try and to give the Durban-based team a 23-12 lead. Wellington responded only five minutes later with a try to All Blacks center Ma’a Nonu, converted by Weepu, which restored a four points margin. Pienaar nudged the Sharks further ahead with his fourth penalty in the 73rd minute before Vito and Weepu combined to equalize near fulltime. The Hurricanes made the mistake of trying to run the ball through midfield late in the match, infringed and conceded the penalty which allowed Pienaar to decide the match. “It was an excellent game but the sort of game that takes years off you as a player and a coach,” Sharks captain John Smith said. —AP

WELLINGTON: Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis splits the Hurricanes defence in the Super 14 rugby game at the Westpac Stadium. —AP

PERTH: The Bulls remain Super 14 rugby’s only unbeaten side after winning 28-15 against the last-place Western Force, who proved tougher than expected yesterday. The Bulls were favored to tally a pile of points against the Force, and it looked ominous when No. 8 Pierre Spies finished a 10-phase attack by spinning out of a tackle and falling over the tryline after only nine minutes. But the Force were as resilient as the Bulls were relentless, and despite playing in their own half for 80 percent of the match, the Force held out the Bulls and moved 12-10 ahead on halftime with midfielder James O’Connor’s fourth penalty, and 15-10 in the 49th with his fifth successful shot. After averaging more than 40 points at their Loftus Versfeld fortress, the Bulls struggled in the opener of their four-match tour of New Zealand and Australia, with visits yet to the Auckland Blues, Waikato Chiefs and Queensland Reds. But the defending champions still rule the standings with 28 points, five more than the Stormers, Canterbury Crusaders and New South Wales Waratahs. The Force, who have only one point from six games, overcame Spies’ early converted try by containing the Bulls’ waves of attacks and taking their few chances to counterattack. Under pressure the few times they were on their heels, the Bulls conceded penalties and O’Connor hit four straight, the last earned when he was high-tackled by flyhalf Morne Steyn. O’Connor hit the penalty in off the post in the last act before halftime. The Force’s defense continued to impress after halftime, turning over possession just in the nick of time. O’Connor extended their lead to 15-10 then Steyn missed a chance when he hit the post. But Steyn didn’t miss the tryline, scoring after Spies attacked from the back of a 5meter scrum. Steyn’s conversion lifted the Bulls back in front for good at 17-15 in the 57th. His third penalty made it 20-15 then moments later Force center Ryan Cross received a yellow card while in fierce defense of his tryline. Steyn missed another penalty attempt, but being down a man was too hard for the home side. A big miss-out pass to Bulls captain and lock Victor Matfield in midfield set up an easy overlap try for fullback Zane Kirchner three minutes later, and though Steyn missed the conversion again, he nailed another penalty to secure the South African leaders’ sixth win to start the season. —AP

Waratahs roll over Blues SYDNEY: Lachie Turner dashed 95 meters for a 71stminute intercept try, clinching a 39-32 win for the New South Wales Waratahs over the Auckland Blues in Super 14 rugby yesterday. Flyhalf Daniel Halangahu scored two tries and kicked four conversions and two penalties — six goals from seven attempts — for the Waratahs, who posted their fifth win from seven games. Forwards Dean Mumm and Tatafu Polota-Nau also scored tries as the Waratahs took a bonus point from a five-try home win, rising to fourth place in the standings. Center Rene Ranger scored two tries for Auckland, which took a four-try bonus point and a consolation point for a loss by seven points or less. Winger Rudi Wulf and fullback Isaia Toeava also scored tries for Auckland, which dropped to eighth place with a 3-3 record. The Waratahs started explosively with a try to Mumm after four minutes then two tries to Halangahu, all converted, to lead 21-7 after 20 minutes. —AP

JAPAN: Thailand’s challenger Pongsaklek Wonjogkam (right) hits his left on Japanese champion Koki Kameda (left) during their WBC flyweight title match. —AFP

Pongsaklek regains WBC title with bloody victory TOKYO: Hard-hitting Thai Pongsaklek Wongjongkam regained the WBC flyweight title with a solid points victory over a bloodsoaked Koki Kameda of Japan yesterday. Kameda’s self-predicted reign of terror ended swiftly in his first defence, four months after he captured the belt from countryman Daisuke Naito. The brash Japanese entered the ring wearing a silver hooded top with purple fur trim to the theme tune from Rocky IV but he failed to live up to his own pre-fight hype. A clash of heads at the start of the fifth round opened a nasty gash above Kameda’s

right eye and the 23-year-old continued with blood streaming down his face and chest. “I kept calm and the fight went perfectly to plan,” Pongsaklek told reporters. “I didn’t want to pass the torch to the next generation by losing tonight.” Pongsaklek, who won a flyweight-division record 17 title defences before his shock defeat by Naito in July 2007, almost ended the fight early with a flurry of big punches. He shook the champion with a fierce uppercut at the start of the 11th and a wincing Kameda almost went down when he was

caught by another stinging blow near the end of the final round. The 32-year-old Pongsaklek was awarded the fight 116-112 and 115-112 by two of the ringside judges with the third surprisingly scoring the contest even at 114-114. The experienced Thai, who quietly climbed into the ring wearing a simple, red bobble hat in contrast to Kameda’s flashy entrance, improved his record to 75-3-1. Kameda, who was employed as a sparring partner for Pongsaklek while in his teens, tasted defeat for the first time in 23 professional contests. —Reuters

Volkswagen kicks off region’s first-ever Junior Masters Soccer Tournament DUBAI: Volkswagen Middle East, the regional office of Europe’s largest car manufacturer, has kicked off the first ever Volkswagen Junior Masters Soccer Tournament in the region with the support of the United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAEFA). On 3 April 2010 at The Jebel Ali Shooting Club and Centre for Excellence, the Middle East will join one of the world’s largest football tournaments for children no older than 13 years of age. The Volkswagen Junior Masters Middle East winning squad will be crowned National Champion, and will be flown to Madrid, Spain, from 5 to 10 May 2010 to represent the UAE and Middle East at the Volkswagen Junior Masters World Finals. Commenting on the Volkswagen Junior Masters, Stefan Mecha, Managing Director of Volkswagen Middle East, said, “The tournament began in Germany over a decade ago, and has since grown to include 4,700 youth players, 333 teams, and 245 dealers in its home country alone. Today, the tournament takes place in 23 countries worldwide.” “Volkswagen Middle East wanted to ensure the best skills and athletic prowess of the region’s youth was represented in the Volkswagen Junior Masters World Finals in Madrid this year. We could not ask for a better teammate to provide referees, and help us find the right squads than the

UAEFA, who have been key to the Emirates’ football successes for the last 30 years.” From 2011, Volkswagen Middle East plans to expand the Volkswagen Junior Masters into ten countries across the Middle East, and will include the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, KSA, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Syria and Yemen. HE Mohammed Khalfan Romaithi, President of the United Arab Emirates Football Association, said, “Supporting the Volkswagen Junior Masters Soccer Tournament is an important step in widening the posts for the region’s soccer goals and aspirations.” “16 soccer clubs and school teams have been invited from across the country to ensure every emirate is represented.

Each team consists of 11 players and five substitutes. The one day tournament will be played in a ‘round-robin’ format, with matches conducted according to FIFA rules. The teams’ standard of play is excellent, and we have high hopes for the UAE National Champions in Madrid.” The teams participating are Al Baniyas Club and Al Jazira Club from Abu Dhabi; Al Khaleej National School, Al Shabab Club, Dubai College, Dubai Cultural Sports Club, Dubai Schools Team, German Soccer Club, Indian High School, Millennium School, Our Own High School and Westminster School from Dubai; Sharjah Football Club from Sharjah; Al Ain Club and Our Own English High School from Al Ain; and Al Rams Club

from Ras Al Khaimah. PUMA, the leading Sportlifestyle Company, has teamed up with Volkswagen Middle East in this tournament as the official kit provider to all the participating teams and all matches will be played using the new Powercat ball. In addition, PUMA will be offering the new Powercat 1.10 boot, recently launched in the Middle East, to the winning team. The participating teams will stay hydrated thanks to NestlÈ Water, and the National Champions’ tickets to Spain will be supplied by Lufthansa Airlines and Volkswagen Middle East. Trophies, medals and other gifts will be provided to the Volkswagen Junior Masters Middle East runner-ups.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Vettel on pole in Melbourne

MELBOURNE: HRT driver Karun Chandhok of India speeds through a corner during qualifying for Formula One’s Australian Grand Prix. — AFP MELBOURNE: Rampant Red Bull charged to a front row sweep yesterday with Sebastian Vettel denying disappointed team mate Mark Webber pole position for the Australian’s home grand prix. The German, still only 22 but heavily fancied for this year’s Formula One title, lapped Albert Park’s tight street circuit in one minute 23.919 under overcast skies for his second pole in two races. While Red Bull lived up to their billing as the quickest cars on track, Lewis Hamilton’s troubles continued. The Briton

qualified his McLaren only 11th, the morning after being booked by police and having his Mercedes impounded for “improper” driving after leaving the track. “I wasn’t fast enough. I feel I got everything out of the car, I just really didn’t have any more grip out of the tyres,” said the 25year-old. “So, (it’s) unfortunate, but we’ll still have a good race tomorrow hopefully.” Vettel, who finished fourth in the Bahrain season-opener after a spark plug failure robbed him of the lead, will be chasing Red Bull’s fourth win in five races today.

“First of all it was a great result for both of us and the team,” the German, who won four races last year and was runner-up in the championship, told reporters. “I think that’s a great achievement-it’s better than having two Ferraris up here.” Despite setting the pace, Vettel said his fastest lap was a “getting a bit messy” toward the end.” “I lost it a little bit into (turn) 15, braking a bit late and I had a not so clean exit onto the main straight, so it wasn’t ideal but still it was enough.” Webber, bidding to become his country’s

first home winner, was just over a tenth of a second slower than Vettel and felt disappointed after setting the early pace in the third session. “Not really (happy), I would love to be on pole,” said the Australian. “It’s a lot better than my qualifying in Bahrain ... In the end I did my best.” Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, winner on his debut for the Italian team in Bahrain, will line up third on the grid with McLaren’s world champion Jenson Button alongside the Spaniard.

Michael Schumacher, the seven times world champion who made a comeback to F1 in Bahrain after a three-year absence, qualified seventh, one place behind Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg. The German great said he was satisfied but had been frustrated by other cars on the tight Albert Park circuit when pressing for a faster time. “We had a reasonable qualifying session today and I am okay with the outcome, even if I was a bit handicapped by traffic, especially on my final quick lap,” he said.

Alonso’s Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa will start fifth on the grid on Sunday in Melbourne, where forecasts of late rain and strong winds may play havoc with tyre selection and strategy for the twilight race. “Safety cars, accidents, it could be quite messy. So the main thing is to have a tidy race and bring the car home,” Vettel added. Lotus performed the best of the three new teams, but joined Virgin and Hispania (HRT) on the sidelines after both their drivers were knocked out after the first round of qualifying. —Reuters

Rochus sends Djokovic packing in three sets

VIRGINIA: Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives the No. 88 Amp Energy Chevrolet during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. —AFP

NASCAR qualifying rained out RIDGEWAY: For the third year in a row, qualifying for NASCAR’s spring race at Martinsville Speedway was rained out late Friday, and the field for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 was set by point standings. Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth, both typically poor qualifiers on the oldest, shortest track in NASCAR’s premier series, gladly will start on the front row for today’s race. “It could be the worst qualifying front row,” Harvick joked. “Obviously this is the place where, if you’re going to have that happen, this is the place

you want to do it.” Kenseth was equally pleased, not only to get his selection of pit stalls on the narrow pit road, but that the rain came after practice, allowing each team to get some work done. “The only bad thing is you have nowhere to go but backwards,” he said. The second row will have Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle, followed by Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch in row three, and Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the fourth row. Johnson said the rain gave Harvick a big advantage because he will get to

use the pit stall at the very front of pit road, meaning he can leave the stall unencumbered by traffic. “It is at least a second and if you have 14-second stop and everybody else has a 13-second stop, you come out even,” Johnson said. “So it is a huge advantage.” It is Harvick’s first career pole position on the half-mile (800-meter) oval. The rain also washed out qualifying for the truck race yesterday, and that gave Harvick a sweep of the pole positions because his team also leads the truck standings. —AP

MIAMI: Former champion and world number two Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the Sony Ericsson Open on Friday, falling 6-2 6-7 6-4 to Belgian Olivier Rochus in his opening match. After two rain delays that forced organisers to reschedule some matches yesterday, Rochus secured his biggest win since he beat then world number two Marat Safin at Wimbledon in 2002. “He was motivated to win against somebody who’s better ranked, top player,” said Djokovic, who won the Miami title in 2007. “He didn’t have anything to lose.” The Serb committed 62 unforced errors and nearly lost his cool during the two hour, 55 minute second round match. He slammed his racket during the opening game of the second set when Rochus came back from 0-40 down and after the match he left the court to jeers but still gave the crowd a thumbs up. “I never expected to win,” said Rochus, who won a Wimbledon juniors double title with Roger Federer in 1998. “Novak, he has won a Masters Series five times; he won a grand slam, many things I have never did in my life. He is number two, so I think he has

KEY BISCAYNE: Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Olivier Rochus of Belgium during the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament.— AP more experience than me.” Djokovic’s loss was the biggest surprise of the day but Spanish fourth seed Rafa Nadal was in no mood to be upset, breezing through his match with a 6-4 6-3 win over American Taylor Dent. In the women’s draw, world number two Caroline Wozniacki also struggled through her opening match

but advanced with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova. Justine Henin beat world number five Elena Dementieva 6-3 6-2 to register an eighth triumph in nine attempts against the Russian, while fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters sped through her 6-1 6-1 win over Czech Petra Kvitova in just 55 minutes.

Serbian Jelena Jankovic and champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus also won in the women’s draw. In late matches, Andy Roddick ousted Russian Igor Andreev 6-4 6-4 in a match that stretched into early Saturday morning, and Frenchman JoWilfried Tsonga beat Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4 6-3 to move on in the men’s side. —Reuters

Asada topples Kim to reclaim world title TURIN: Japanese teenager Mao Asada toppled Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim in a triumphant season finale which saw her claim her second world title at the world figure skating championships here yesterday. Olympic runner-up Asada, 19, added to the world title she won in 2008, as Japan claimed a double at the worlds after Daisuke Takahashi won their first men’s gold earlier in the week. It was the first defeat for Kim since the Grand Prix Final in December 2008 when Asada beat her. Favourite Kim had struggled in seventh after a diastrous short programme and could not follow her Olympic exploits in the free skate as she finished nearly 38 points off the world record total she achieved in Vancouver. But despite falling on a triple salchow she nevertheless seized silver

with the bronze going to Finland’s Laura Lepisto, as American Mirai Nagasu, who had led the short programme, dropped down to seventh place. As Kim struggled, the feisty Asada, who had placed second in the

short programme, was determined to seize her chance. Skating in the last group to Rachmaninov’s “Bells of Moscow” she achieved 197.58 points for the free skate and 129.50 overall, to beat her long-time rival by 6.80

Medals table TURIN, Italy: Medals table following the final day of the 2010 World figure skating championships here yesterday: Japan Canada China Germany South Korea United States Finland France Italy Russia

Gold 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Silver 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0

Bronze 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1

Total 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

points. It was a golden end to a rollarcoaster season for the Japanese skater who finished second to Kim in the season-opening Grand Prix in Paris and a lowly fifth in the next event in Moscow, before rebounding by claiming the Japanese national title and the Olympic silver. It is the sixth time that a Japanese woman has stood on top of the podium at the worlds. Skating in the earlier group, the 19-year-old Kim, known to her fans as ‘Queen Yu-Na,’ needed something exceptional to defend her title. But she was far from her best and after her fall she did not attempt the final double axel jump in her performance to Gershwin’s “Concerto in F”. She nevertheless scored the best marks in the free skate with 130.49 for 190.78 overall. In Vancouver Kim scored 228.56 overall and 150.06 in the free skate. —AFP

TURIN: Mao Asada from Japan performs her free skate program in the women’s competition at the World Figure Skating Championships. —AP



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Short basketballers in Philippines fly high MANILA: In a brightly lit Manila gym, basketball players make daring lay-ups, desperate rebounds and even the occasional dunk-all amazing sights considering the tallest man on the court is the referee. Its all part a fledgling league in the hoops-crazy but sometimes vertically challenged Philippines aimed at levelling the playing field by setting height limits and removing the natural advantage of taller players. The Below Six-Feet Basketball League (B6BL), an amateur league operating in Manila, has attracted an enthusiastic following from the many Filipinos too short to compete in the bigger competitions. “It represents the kind of basketball for Filipinos where they can show their talents in speed and shooting,” rather than relying on height, said B6BL founder Nilo Fernandez. At the B6BL games, the players-who have to be shorter than six feet (1.83 metres) — have the enthusiasm and competitiveness to make up for their short stature.

One example is point guard Noel Binalla, the most active player on his team, “the Whammies”-despite being the smallest player in the league at a mere 1.57 meters tall. “This is really my specialty. I can weave in and out,” said Binalla, 20. Binalla likes the competition and thinks it improves his skills as a physical education teacher and a basketball coach. But he also admitted he enjoyed being somewhat of a star in a way that would be impossible against the tall timber that normally dominate basketball games. “I think I can get noticed here. If I joined a league without a height limit, I would not be noticed,” he said. The B6BL is tailor-made for Filipinos who have an average height of about 1.63 meters, according to Fernandez. “We even have people who can dunk,” he said excitedly as he showed a video of a collection of B6BL players defying gravity and slamming the ball into the net.

The league first began when Fernandez was organising corporate basketball tournaments in 2005. With too many teams, he set up a separate division for those less than six feet tall. But this division ended up becoming even more popular. “We realised we had to separate the belowsix-foot league from the corporate league,” he said. The B6BL now has 48 teams, grouped in six divisions with games almost every day. A legacy of the Philippines’ period as a US colony in the 20th Century, basketball is a national obsession with makeshift rings visible at town plazas, parking lots, sidestreets and even in forest clearings. The professional and top collegiate leagues are enormously popular and some of the country’s top basketball stars have parlayed their hardcourt fame into careers in show business and even politics. The Philippines even came third in the 1954 FIBA world championships and fifth in the 1936 Olympics-an unprecedented performance for an

Asian country. “We were very superior to other Asian countries as far as basketball was concerned at the time. So its popularity was very widespread locally,” said Lito Tacujan, sports editor of Philippine Star newspaper. But while other countries improved their hardcourt skills and recruited taller cagers, Philippine basketball deteriorated amid bickering among the country’s sports leaders. In the 2009 FIBA Asian men’s championships, the Philippines embarrassingly placed ninth. Fernandez hopes his new league could spark a resurgence in Filipino basketball by encouraging more people to get into the sport where they can develop their skills instead of relying on their height.His model is NBA star Nate Robinson who has won three slam dunk championships despite being less than six feet tall. Fernandez is also dreaming of expanding his league regionally and globally. He is hoping to one day convince FIBA, the inter-

national basketball federation, to sanction similar basketball tournaments with height limits, just like the weight limits imposed in boxing. Height limits in basketball are not new. The USbased World Basketball League, which lasted from 1987 to 1992, had a limit of 1.95 metres while China’s Dream Basketball League still has a limit of 1.88 metres. Even FIBA had an experimental tournament in Spain in the late-1960s with a 1.8-metre height limit. In April, a local cable TV basketball channel will show highlights of B6BL games and Fernandez hopes that this will attract sponsors and eventually FIBA’s attention. “They could create an international leaguecountries like Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysiathey would like it too because they don’t have seven-footers,” he said. “It can go global. Even America has a lot of players who are below six feet in height,” he said. — AFP

Nets avoid worst NBA record tag NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Friday: Charlotte 107, Washington 96; Indiana 122, Utah 106; Orlando 106, Minnesota 97; Philadelphia 105, Atlanta 98; Denver 97, Toronto 96; Boston 94, Sacramento 86; New Jersey 118, Detroit 110; Oklahoma City 91, LA Lakers 75; Miami 87, Milwaukee 74; San Antonio 102, Cleveland 97; Phoenix 132, NY Knicks 96. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 47 25 .653 Toronto 35 36 .493 NY Knicks 26 46 .361 Philadelphia 26 47 .356 New Jersey 9 63 .125 Central Division Cleveland 57 16 .781 Milwaukee 39 32 .549 Chicago 33 38 .465 Indiana 27 46 .370 Detroit 23 49 .319 Southeast Division Orlando 51 22 .699 Atlanta 46 26 .639 Miami 39 34 .534 Charlotte 38 34 .528 Washington 21 50 .296

GB 11.5 21 21.5 38 17 23 30 33.5 4.5 12 12.5 29

Western Conference Northw est Division Denver 48 25 .658 Utah 47 26 .644 Oklahoma City 44 27 .620 Portland 43 29 .597 Minnesota 14 59 .192 Pacific Division LA Lakers 53 19 .736 Phoenix 46 26 .639 LA Clippers 27 45 .375 Sacramento 24 49 .329 Golden State 20 51 .282 Southw est Division Dallas 47 25 .653 San Antonio 43 28 .606 Memphis 38 34 .528 Houston 36 35 .507 New Orleans 34 39 .466

1 3 4.5 34 7 26 29.5 32.5 3.5 9 10.5 13.5

DUBAI: Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum (right) receives a trophy after his horse AlShamali won the Dubai Duty Free race, the sixth race of the Dubai World Cup. — AFP

Musir, Calming Influence win Dubai races DUBAI: Musir pulled away from Raihana and Della Barba to win the $2 million UAE Derby and hand a second victory at the Dubai World Cup to a member of Dubai’s royal family yesterday. It was a 1-2 finish for owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum in the fourth race on the $26 million program. Musir eased past Raihana down the straight. Della Barba, who challenged for the lead midway through the race, finished third. Solid Choice, also owned by the Sheikh, set the pace early in the UAE Derby but faded. Musir, the race favorite, emerged alongside Raihana and Della Barba before pulling away and winning by about a length. Musir’s victory followed that of Calming Influence in the $1 million Godolphin Mile, another of Sheikh Mohammed’s horses. Calming Influence held off a late charge from Green Coast to produce the third upset in the first three races. Jaafer won the opening Dubai Kahayla Classic and Joy and Fun took the Al Quoz Sprint to christen the new $2 billion Meydan Racecourse. The 5-year-old Calming Influence, ridden by United Arab Emirates native Ahmad Ajtebi, emerged from an early struggle with Cat Junior and Le Drakkar. It appeared Calming Influence was coasting to victory but had to hold off a challenge from always game Green Coast. The favorite Desert Party faded and never made a serious challenge. Calming Influence came from Godolphin Racing stables which was owned by Sheikh Mohammed. Since the 1980s, he has turned Godolphin into a major force in horse racing with purchases of top bloodstock around the world and the establishment of United States-based operations

in Kentucky and South Carolina. Dubai’s rulers have spared no expense at the fancy new track despite their recent financial woes. Among the changes it features is a Tapeta surface, which replaces the dirt at the now-razed Nad al Sheba track. Most jockeys have welcomed the change. With two racetracks, a grandstand that holds 60,000 spectators, a 290-room luxury hotel, a marina and a horse racing museum, Meydan stands as a monument to Dubai’s excess. Saturday’s card includes the $10 million centerpiece, the Dubai World Cup. Earlier, Joy and Fun held off a challenge from Fravashi and California Flag to win the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint. The 6-year-old gelding, owned by Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Nam, took the lead from Fravashi and won by about half a length in a threehorse thriller. “That was great,” jockey Brett Doyle said. “The horse deserved it as he bumped into Sacred Kingdom a couple of times. There’s no straight furlongs and that’s what he needs.” Jaafer came on strong down the straight to easily win the opening $250,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic. The horse, owned by a member of the Qatari royal family, appeared to come out of nowhere and passed one of the favorites, No Risk. Adrie de Vries, Jaafer’s jockey, said he was comfortable remaining in the back of the pack early on and said the horse “traveled nicely.” “He was a different class,” de Vries said. “He really loves the ground.” Richard Hills, who rode No Risk to second place, chalked up his loss to the heat. “In the UAE when it gets hot, those little bits can count when winning those types of races,” Hills said. — AP

EAST RUTHERFORD: The New Jersey Nets eliminated any chance of finishing with the worst record in NBA history by beating the Detroit Pistons 118-110 on Friday night. Brook Lopez had a careerhigh 37 points and Yi Jianlian had a career-best 31 to lead the Nets to their ninth win. For the first time this season, the Nets have won two consecutive games. Even if New Jersey (9-63) loses its final 10 games, it can do no worse than equal the league mark for the worst record (9-73), set by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1972-73. Tayshaun Prince had 27 points for the Pistons, who lost their seventh in a row and 14th in 16 games. Thunder 91, Lakers 75 At Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 26 points and Russell Westbrook added 23 as Oklahoma City ended Los Angeles’ seven-game winning streak on a turnover-filled night for Kobe Bryant. Bryant turned it over eight times as Oklahoma City built a 19-point lead by halftime, then proceeded to hold the Lakers to their lowest-scoring output of the season. Lamar Odom scored 15 points, and Bryant finished with 11 points and nine turnovers in three quarters. It took a late charge by the Lakers to ensure they wouldn’t break the club record for fewest points in the modern era (70). Spurs 102, Cavaliers 97 At San Antonio, Manu Ginobili scored 15 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter as San Antonio ended Cleveland’s eight-game win streak. Ginobili shot 4 of 7 in the fourth, including two 3-pointers and a stretch of four straight Spurs baskets. It was the third 30-point game for Ginobili since being forced into the starting lineup this month when Tony Parker broke his right hand. LeBron James had 27 points for Cleveland, but the Cavs watched their winning streak slip away with six scoreless possessions down the stretch. Heat 87, Bucks 74 At Milwaukee, Dwyane Wade had 30 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, leading Miami to a win in a game overshadowed when Bucks forward Carlos Delfino was taken from the court on a stretcher after a knock to the head. Heat center Jermaine O’Neal also left in the first quarter after hyperextending his right knee. Delfino’s frightening injury happened late in the first half. After driving to the basket for a layup, he stumbled and landed face down in the lane. In the ensuing scramble for the ball, the 6-foot-8 Udonis Haslem jumped up, grabbed the rebound and inadvertently landed on the back of Delfino’s head. The Bucks said Delfino was moving all extremities and was taken to a hospital for precautionary X-rays because of pain in his head and jaw. Celtics 94, Kings 86 At Boston, Rajon Rondo had a career-high 18 assists, Paul Pierce scored 22 points and Boston won for the sixth time in seven games.

PHOENIX: Suns guard Goran Dragic (left) of Slovenia, is grabbed by New York Knicks guard Sergio Rodriguez (right) of Spain, in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game. — AP Rondo moved into second place on the Celtics’ singleseason assists list with 696. He passed Sherman Douglas’ total of 683 in 1993-94 and trails only Bob Cousy’s 715 in 1959-60. Sacramento was led by Carl Landry with 30 points and Beno Udrih with 16. Suns 132, Knicks 96 At Phoenix, Leandro Barbosa scored 18 points in his fifth game back from wrist surgery to help the Suns stretch their winning streak to a season-best six games. The Suns have won 20 of 25 to climb within a halfgame of No. 4 Utah and a game of No. 3 Dallas in the Western Conference. Al Harrington had 24 points and David Lee 21 for New York.

Nuggets 97, Raptors 96 At Toronto, Carmelo Anthony buried an 18-foot fadeaway at the buzzer to lead Denver to a come-from-behind win. Anthony scored 25 points and Nene added 20 for the Nuggets (48-25), who avoided their first four-game losing streak since February 2007. Chauncey Billups chipped in with 18 points despite going just 4 for 18 from the field. Pacers 122, Jazz 106 At Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 18 of his careerhigh 44 points in the fourth quarter to help Indiana beat Utah for its fifth straight win overall and seventh in a row at home. Troy Murphy added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, who set a club record

with 17 3-pointers. Magic 106, T’wolves 97 At Orlando, Florida, Dwight Howard had 24 points and 19 rebounds, reserve forward Ryan Anderson added 19 points and nine boards as the Magic handed Minnesota its 15th straight loss. JJ Redick scored 14 points and Vince Carter had 13 as the Magic swept the season series. Al Jefferson had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves. 76ers 105, Hawks 98 At Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala had 25 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, while Jason Kapono and Elton Brand each added 14 points as Philadelphia won consecutive games for the first time in more than six weeks. Josh Smith and

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 20 points apiece Bobcats 107, Wizards 96 At Charlotte, North Carolina, Gerald Wallace scored 23 points and Stephen Jackson added 20 as Charlotte ended an eventful day for the Wizards by sending Washington to a club-record 14th consecutive loss. Hours after suspended Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas was ordered to spend 30 days in a halfway house for a felony gun charge, Washington allowed Charlotte to shoot 55 percent to continue its oncourt futility. Raymond Felton added 19 points and 11 assists for the Bobcats (38-34), who won their third straight to move four games above .500 for the first time in their sixyear history. — AP

Duke win, N Iowa and Saint Mary’s eliminated HOUSTON: Top seeded Duke roared into the final eight of the NCAA collegiate basketball tournament but the dreams of Northern Iowa and Saint Mary’s ended on Friday. Duke, the No. 1 seed in the South Regional, turned back fourth seed Purdue 70-57 behind strong defensive play and Kyle Singler’s 24 points to make it past the regional semifinals for the first time in six years. “Our execution in the second half was terrific,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters. “All three of my perimeter guys came up with big, big baskets and free throws.” Jon Scheyer added 18 points and Nolan Smith had 15 for the Blue Devils, who led by a point at intermission but out-scored Purdue 46-34 in the second half. Duke will play third-seeded Baylor on Sunday for a berth in the national semi-finals scheduled for April 3 in Indianapolis. The national championship game will be played on April 5 in the same city. It would be the Blue Devils’ first visit to the national semifinals, called the Final Four,

since 2004. Duke won national championships in 1991, 1992 and 2001. Baylor ended Saint Mary’s dream season with a 7249 victory. Tenth-seeded Saint Mary’s, a team with five Australians on their roster, had been one of the stories of the tournament after they eliminated Villanova, the region’s second seed, last weekend. LaceDarius Dunn led Baylor with 23 points with Australian Ben Allen leading Saint Mary’s with 16. Ninth seeded Northern Iowa lost to fifth seeds Michigan State 59-52 in the Midwest Regional when they failed to score a field goal in the final 10 minutes of the game. Michigan State, who were helped by 19 points from Durrell Summers, will play Tennessee for the Midwest Regional title next weekend. Tennessee, the region’s sixth-seed, produced the only upset of Friday with a 76-72 victory over second-seeded Ohio State. Wayne Chism’s 22 points and 11 rebounds helped Tennessee overcome Ohio State, who had held a 42-39 halftime lead. — Reuters

HOUSTON: Duke’s Miles Plumlee dunks while Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson looks on during the second half of an NCAA South Regional semifinal college basketball game. — AP


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Roma down Inter to reignite title race

Soccer results/standings English Premier League LONDON: English Premier League results Saturday: Birmingham 1 (Phillips 90) Arsenal 1 (Nasri 81); Chelsea 7 (Lampard 15, 44-pen, 62-pen, 90, Malouda 57, 68, Kalou 83) Aston Villa 1 (Carew 29); Hull 2 (Bullard 16-pen, Fagan 48) Fulham 0; Tottenham 2 (Crouch 27, Kranjcar 41) Portsmouth 0; West Ham 0 Stoke 1 (Fuller 69); Wolves 0 Everton 0; Bolton 0 Man Utd 4 (Samuel 38-og, Berbatov 69, 78, Gibson 82) Playing later Bolton v Man Utd Playing today Burnley v Blackburn; Liverpool v Sunderland. Playing tomorrow Man City v Wigan. English Football League results Championship Barnsley 0 Doncaster 1; Coventry 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1; Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff 2; Derby 1 Leicester 0; Peterborough 0 Bristol City 1; Plymouth 0 Blackpool 2; Preston 2 QPR 2; Reading 1 West Brom 1; Swansea 0 Ipswich 0; Watford 1 Middlesbrough 1. Playing today Sheffield Utd v Scunthorpe. Playing tomorrow Newcastle v Nottingham Forest Division One Brentford 1 Leyton Orient 0; Brighton 3 Tranmere 0; Bristol Rovers 4 Southend 3; Colchester 1 Wycombe 1; Exeter 2 Walsall 1; Gillingham 2 Milton Keynes Dons 2; Hartlepool 0 Swindon 1; Huddersfield 1 Charlton 1; Millwall 5 Stockport 0; Norwich 1 Leeds 0. Division Two Barnet 1 Burton 1; Bournemouth 2 Accrington 0; Bradford 3 Dagenham and Redbridge 3; Bury 1 Aldershot 2; Chesterfield 1 Hereford 2; Lincoln 1 Northampton 1; Macclesfield 1 Cheltenham 0; Morecambe 2 Torquay 0; Notts County 1 Rotherham 0; Port Vale 0 Crewe 1; Rochdale 4 Grimsby 1; Shrewsbury 0 Darlington 2.

Scottish Premier League results Aberdeen 2 (Diamond 37, Aluko 56) St Mirren 1 (Robb 80); Celtic 3 (Keane 37, 62, Brown 66) Kilmarnock 1 (Bryson 73); Dundee Utd 3 (Goodwillie 38, Buaben 43, Swanson 72) Motherwell 0; Falkirk 1 (Stewart 19) Hibernian 3 (Riordan 21, Stokes 34, Bamba 43); Hamilton 1 (Wesolowski 43) St Johnstone 0; Hearts 1 (Santana 16) Rangers 4 (Wilson 5, Miller 31, Naismith 49, 77). Scottish Football League results First Division Airdrie 3 Morton 0; Partick 0 Inverness CT 1; Queen of the South 2 Dunfermline 0; Raith 1 Ayr 1; Ross County 1 Dundee 1. Second Division Arbroath 0 Alloa 0; Clyde 2 East Fife 1; Dumbarton 1 Peterhead 3; Stenhousemuir 1 Brechin 2; Stirling 1 Cowdenbeath 0. Third Division Albion 1 Annan Athletic 0; Elgin City 0 Forfar 2; Montrose 1 Berwick 1; Queen’s Park 0 Livingston 1; Stranraer 2 East Stirling 2. German league results Mainz 05 0 VfL Wolfsburg 2 (Dzeko 83, 90+1); Bayern Munich 1 (Olic 32) VfB Stuttgart 2 (Traesch 41, Marica 50); Hertha Berlin 0 Borussia Dortmund 0; Hanover 96 1 (Cherundolo 81) Cologne 4 (Tosic 12, 71, Petit 20, Novakovic 28); Werder Bremen 4 (Mertesacker 1, 20, Borowski 36, Fritz 90+3) Nuremberg 2 (Frantz 47, Choupo-Moting 63-pen). Late kick-off: Bayer Leverkusen v Schalke 04 Playing today Hoffenheim v Freiburg, Borussia M’gladbach v Hamburg Played Friday VfL Bochum 1 (Holtby 10) Eintracht Frankfurt 2 (Russ 29, Caio 64)

English Premier League table English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd 32 23 3 6 76 25 72 Chelsea 32 22 5 5 82 29 71 Arsenal 32 21 5 6 74 34 68 Tottenham 31 17 7 7 57 29 58 Man City 30 14 11 5 55 39 53 Liverpool 31 15 6 10 50 32 51 Aston Villa 31 13 12 6 43 32 51 Everton 32 13 10 9 50 42 49 Birmingham 32 12 9 11 33 37 45 Stoke 31 9 12 10 30 35 39 Fulham 31 10 8 13 33 36 38 Blackburn 31 10 8 13 34 50 38 Sunderland 31 8 11 12 41 47 35 Wolverhampton 32 8 8 16 28 50 32 Bolton 32 8 8 16 36 60 32 Wigan 31 8 7 16 29 59 31 West Ham 32 6 9 17 38 55 27 Hull 31 6 9 16 31 64 27 Burnley 31 6 6 19 31 64 24 Portsmouth 32 6 4 22 28 60 13 Note: Portsmouth deducted 9 points for entering administration

Port Vale Accrington Stanley Crewe Bradford Hereford Lincoln City Barnet Macclesfield Torquay Cheltenham Grimsby Darlington

English Premier League table English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Chelsea 32 22 5 5 82 29 71 Man Utd 31 22 3 6 72 25 69 Arsenal 32 21 5 6 74 34 68 Tottenham 31 17 7 7 57 29 58 Man City 30 14 11 5 55 39 53 Liverpool 31 15 6 10 50 32 51 Aston Villa 31 13 12 6 43 32 51 Everton 32 13 10 9 50 42 49 Birmingham 32 12 9 11 33 37 45 Stoke 31 9 12 10 30 35 39 Fulham 31 10 8 13 33 36 38 Blackburn 31 10 8 13 34 50 38 Sunderland 31 8 11 12 41 47 35 Bolton 31 8 8 15 36 56 32 Wolverhampton 32 8 8 16 28 50 32 Wigan 31 8 7 16 29 59 31 West Ham 32 6 9 17 38 55 27 Hull 31 6 9 16 31 64 27 Burnley 31 6 6 19 31 64 24 Portsmouth 32 6 4 22 28 60 13 Note: Portsmouth deducted 9 points for entering administration English Football League tables Championship Newcastle 38 23 11 4 West Brom 40 23 10 7 Nottingham Forest 39 20 10 9 Cardiff 39 18 8 13 Swansea 40 15 17 8 Leicester 39 16 13 10 Blackpool 40 15 12 13 Doncaster 40 14 13 13 Middlesbrough 40 14 12 14 Sheffield Utd 39 14 12 13 Reading 38 14 10 14 Coventry 40 13 13 14 Bristol City 40 12 16 12 Preston 40 12 13 15 Barnsley 39 14 7 18 Ipswich 40 10 18 12 Derby 40 13 9 18 QPR 39 11 14 14 Sheffield Wednesday 40 11 11 18 Scunthorpe 38 12 8 18 Watford 38 11 10 17 Crystal Palace 39 12 13 14 Plymouth 39 10 7 22 Peterborough 40 7 9 24 Note: Crystal Palace deducted 10 points administration Division One Norwich 38 25 7 6 Leeds 38 20 11 7 Millwall 38 20 11 7 Swindon 38 19 13 6 Charlton 38 18 14 6 Colchester 38 18 11 9 Huddersfield 38 17 11 10 Bristol Rovers 38 18 4 16 Milton Keynes Dons 38 17 6 15 Southampton 37 17 12 8 Carlisle 38 12 12 14 Brentford 36 11 14 11 Brighton 38 12 11 15 Walsall 38 12 11 15 Yeovil 38 11 11 16 Leyton Orient 38 10 11 17 Gillingham 38 9 13 16 Exeter 38 9 13 16 Oldham 36 10 10 16 Hartlepool 38 10 9 19 Tranmere 37 10 8 19 Southend 38 9 10 19 Wycombe 38 6 14 18 Stockport 38 5 9 24 Note: Southampton deducted 10 points administration Division Two Rochdale Notts County Bournemouth Rotherham Chesterfield Bury Aldershot Northampton Dag. and Redbridge Morecambe Shrewsbury Burton Albion

72 78 55 65 33 47 62 51 53 54 51 45 50 51 49 42 47 53 43 47 49 39 40 39 for

28 80 43 79 32 70 48 62 31 62 38 61 50 57 47 55 44 54 51 54 53 52 53 52 59 52 61 49 62 49 50 48 57 48 58 47 60 44 66 44 58 43 44 39 57 37 65 30 entering

78 62 63 58 64 56 64 53 55 67 51 41 48 45 46 44 39 40 30 46 31 44 41 31 for

38 82 33 71 35 71 45 70 45 68 41 65 46 62 53 58 56 57 38 53 54 48 42 47 52 47 52 47 52 44 54 41 50 40 53 40 43 40 59 39 59 38 58 37 66 32 73 24 entering

38 37 38 38 38 38 37 38 38 37 38 36

13 16 14 12 12 11 10 9 8 7 5 5

14 5 8 12 8 10 12 15 13 14 16 4

11 16 16 14 18 17 15 14 17 16 17 27

49 52 58 49 42 36 39 41 48 41 34 25

39 58 58 56 57 53 48 51 54 57 59 71

53 53 50 48 44 43 42 42 37 35 31 19

Scottish Premier League table Rangers 29 21 Celtic 31 18 Dundee Utd 30 14 Hibernian 30 14 Motherwell 31 12 Hearts 31 11 St Johnstone 30 9 Aberdeen 30 8 Hamilton 31 8 St Mirren 31 6 Kilmarnock 31 6 Falkirk 31 4

7 6 10 8 12 7 8 10 9 9 8 10

1 7 6 8 7 13 13 12 14 16 17 17

68 59 46 44 38 30 43 29 25 30 24 27

17 34 37 34 35 38 51 38 41 42 43 53

70 60 52 50 48 40 35 34 33 27 26 22

Scottish Football League tables First Division Inverness CT 29 14 Dundee 29 13 Dunfermline 30 13 Ross County 26 12 Queen of the South 27 12 Partick 30 12 Raith 26 8 Ayr 27 6 Morton 28 9 Airdrie Utd 28 4

10 12 7 8 7 5 7 10 1 7

5 4 10 6 8 13 11 11 18 17

50 39 44 36 41 40 26 25 29 28

28 28 37 29 30 35 33 38 50 50

52 51 46 44 43 41 31 28 28 19

Second Division Alloa Cowdenbeath Stirling Brechin Peterhead Dumbarton Stenhousemuir East Fife Arbroath Clyde

30 29 27 27 29 29 30 30 30 27

16 14 13 13 12 11 8 8 8 5

8 8 8 7 4 5 11 9 7 5

6 7 6 7 13 13 11 13 15 17

40 47 45 39 38 39 34 40 30 23

27 30 34 24 43 46 33 48 46 44

56 50 47 46 40 38 35 33 31 20

Third Division Livingston East Stirling Forfar Berwick Albion Queens Park Annan Athletic Stranraer Montrose Elgin

28 30 29 29 27 29 29 26 29 28

20 16 13 12 10 12 8 9 5 5

4 3 8 5 10 4 9 6 8 7

4 11 8 12 7 13 12 11 16 16

51 40 45 40 26 36 33 36 27 34

19 37 38 43 23 39 34 41 45 49

64 51 47 41 40 40 33 33 23 22

German league table Bayern Munich Schalke 04 Bayer Leverkusen Borussia Dortmund Werder Bremen Hamburg VfB Stuttgart Eintracht Frankfurt VfL Wolfsburg Mainz 05 Hoffenheim Cologne Borussia M’gladbach VfL Bochum Nuremberg Hanover 96 Freiburg Hertha Berlin

28 27 27 28 28 27 28 28 28 28 27 28 27 28 28 28 27 28

16 16 14 14 13 11 11 11 11 10 9 7 8 6 6 6 6 4

8 7 11 7 9 11 8 8 7 8 6 10 7 9 7 5 5 7

4 4 2 7 6 5 9 9 10 10 12 11 12 13 15 17 16 17

55 44 56 46 58 48 41 37 52 29 34 27 35 30 26 30 25 27

26 22 28 33 35 32 36 40 51 35 31 35 47 51 47 54 49 48

56 55 53 49 48 44 41 41 40 38 33 31 31 27 25 23 23 19

24 19 20 19 19 17 17 16 15 14 15 15

6 11 7 8 4 10 9 11 11 13 10 9

7 6 11 11 15 11 12 11 12 11 13 14

79 70 48 52 51 44 58 57 53 58 47 62

34 27 39 42 49 43 48 46 48 52 45 59

78 68 67 65 61 61 60 59 56 55 55 54

ROME: Luca Toni scored the winning goal 18 minutes from time as Roma beat champions Inter Milan 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico here yesterday to reignite the Serie A title race. Roma’s win means they move to within a single point of the leaders and AC Milan could join them if they beat Lazio today. Daniele De Rossi opened the scoring for Roma in the first period but Diego Milito equalised after the break before Toni’s potentially crucial winner. The result means that Claudio Ranieri’s team have clawed back 13 points on Jose Mourinho’s men since the two clubs last met back in November, while Mourinho will count the cost of seven bookings that will see four of his players suspended next week. Ranieri acknowledged that the title race will now go down to the wire with seven games left. “Today we beat a stratospheric team,” he said. “It will be a great battle of nerves, now we’re in the final straight. We’re in good shape and the players believe in themselves. “I’m already thinking about our next match against Bari. Every game will be difficult and we need to be humble and focussed, as we were tonight.” As expected for a top of the table clash there was a cagey opening in the capital and it took a mistake from Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar to break the deadlock in the 17th minute. Nicolas Burdisso sent a weak header into the Brazilian shot-stopper’s hands from David Pizarro’s free-kick but Cesar spilled the ball and De Rossi acted quickly to slide in and poke home the rebound. That sparked an immediate response from the champions and Wesley Sneijder lashed a 30-yard free-kick just wide. Inter started to look more like the Serie A leaders and they produced a neat move on 22 minutes involving Thiago Motta, Samuel Eto’o and Dejan Stankovic, who dragged his shot wide. The hosts matched what the visitors threw at them, though, and another slick passing move at the other end resulted in Mirko Vucinic’s curling effort being deflected wide. Roma’s Norwegian left-back John Arne Riise then thumped a rasping free-kick from 25 yards that swerved inches past the post and Vucinic forced Cesar to sprawl to his right to palm away another fierce shot from a clever free-kick routine. Inter almost levelled four minutes before the break as Walter Samuel rose on the edge of the sixyard box to head Sneijder’s corner powerfully goalwards only to see the ball crash down off the bar. And Inter began the second period by hitting the woodwork again as Milito’s shot was deflected onto the corner of bar and post. The leaders were fired up and moments later Sneijder brought a fine save out of Julio Sergio, while at the other end Toni flicked a header just over the bar. Mourinho threw on a third striker in former Lazio forward Goran Pandev and the game opened up further, with Sneijder ramming a shot down Sergio’s throat before Riise blasted high and wide. Inter equalised 24 minutes from time as Sneijder crossed for Milito to prod home from inside the sixyard box, although television replays showed there had been an offside in the build-up. But just as Inter looked to be taking control, a miscued shot from substitute Rodrigo Taddei fell to Toni, who shot home into the bottom-right corner from 15 yards on 72 minutes. Inter threw everything at Roma and came within inches of equalising deep into injury time when Milito crashed a shot against the left-hand upright. —AFP

ITALY: AS Roma’s forward Francesco Totti (center) vies with Inter Milan’s Dutch forward Wesley Sneijder (left) and Portuguese midfielder Ricardo Quaresma during their Italian League football match. —AFP

Rangers break Hearts, Celtic triumph 3-1 GLASGOW: Rangers demolished Hearts 4-1 to move within four wins of retaining their Scottish title yesterday while Neil Lennon’s first match in charge of Celtic ended in a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock. Rangers still lead the table by 10 points and have two games in hand. Walter Smith’s team bounced back from their midweek Scottish Cup quarter-final defeat at Dundee United with a ruthless display. Danny Wilson opened the scoring for Rangers early on and Suso Santana’s equaliser did little to unsettle the visitors as Kenny Miller’s strike and a second half double from Steven Naismith sealed the points. “We had to show a good desire to win the

game. You are always concerned there is a bit of complacency with the lead that we have and that we might get affected by that,” said Rangers boss Walter Smith. “But we showed good desire today and the next three games we have are vitally important for us as well.” Robbie Keane scored a double as Lennon’s first match in charge of Celtic ended in a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock at Parkhead. Lennon, who has replaced the sacked Tony Mowbray after the midweek 4-0 mauling by St Mirren, was pleased with the response of his players. “I asked for a reaction after Wednesday night and I got one,” said the caretaker boss.

“I’m thrilled that we won and played in a manner that befits the club.” Former Celtic captain Lennon and Johan Mjallby took their place in the dugout following Mowbray’s sacking and watched as Keane produced two moments of magic to score in either half, taking his tally to 11 in 11 games. Scott Brown, returning from a three-game suspension, tapped in a third before Craig Bryson’s deflected cross looped over the head of Artur Boruc to pull one back for Kilmarnock. Lennon made five changes for his first game in charge and his reign could have got off to a flying start if Marc-Antoine Fortune hadn’t headed over from six yards out after 45 seconds. —AFP

Kuranyi puts Schalke on top as Bayern slip BERLIN: A Kevin Kuranyi double put Schalke 04 top of the Bundesliga yesterday in a 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen, as Bayern Munich lost again, a shattering setback ahead of their Champions League clash against Manchester United. Kuranyi scored both goals in the first-half to put Felix Magathcoached Schalke two-points clear at the top with six games remaining. The Royal Blues, who are chasing their first German league title since 1958, also saw Kuranyi take over from Leverkusen’s injured Stefan Kiessling as the league’s topscorer with 17 goals. Ex-Germany striker Kuranyi buried his first effort in the top right-hand corner of the net on 11 minutes and then showed he is just as lethal in the air with a 27th minute header. Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuner also stole a march on opposite number and Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper Rene Alder ahead of June’s World Cup with both set to travel to South Africa in the Germany squad. Earlier Bayern suffered a second consecutive Bundesliga defeat when they slumped to a 21 home loss to Stuttgart. The German giants must now pick themselves up in time to face Manchester United at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday in the Champions League quarter-final first-leg. Bayern took the lead through

Croatia striker Ivica Olic, but Stuttgart hit back with goals from Christian Traesch and Ciprian Marica to hand the Munich giants another defeat to follow last weekend’s shock setback at Frankfurt. This was their fourth league loss of the season. “That (defeat) really hurt,” admitted Bayern coach Louis van Gaal. “It is always hard to play against a good defensive side, but Stuttgart held onto the ball well. “A defeat always has an influence on preperations for the next game, but it will cost us more energy before the game against Manchester.” Bayern took the lead when Olic blasted a cross from his Croatian compatriot Danijel Pranjic into the back of the net on 32 minutes. Stuttgart drew level when defender Traesch fired in a shot from 24 metres out which deflected off the shoulder of Bayern’s young defender Holger Badstuber and into the back of the net. Romanian striker Marica headed home a cross from Germany’s Brazil-born striker Cacau on 50 minutes to put the visitors ahead. Van Gaal introduced playmakers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben to try and get their side back in the match, but to no avail. After last Sunday’s shock 5-1 win at defending champions Wolfsburg, bottom side Hertha Berlin picked up yet another

GERMANY: Schalke’s striker Kevin Kuranyi (left) vies for the ball with Leverkusen’s Czech defender Michal Kadlec during the Bundesliga football match. —AFP point when they held fourthplaced Dortmund to a 0-0 draw. Greek striker Theofanis Gekas, who scored three goals against Wolfsburg, found the net with a second-half header, but the effort was ruled offside. The result leaves Hertha four points from safety. Werder Bremen remain on course for a top-five finish with a 4-2 win

over relegation contenders Nuremberg despite finishing with 10 men. Cologne did their chances of staying up the power of good with a 4-1 win at bottom-three side Hanover. Defending champions Wolfsburg remain in midtable after their 2-0 win at Mainz after two goals from striker Edin Dzeko. —AFP

Matches on TV (local timings)

Lyon maul Grenoble

English Premier League Burnley v Blackburn ShowSports 1 ShowSports 2 Liverpool v Sunderland ShowSports 1 ShowSports 2



Spanish League Deportivo v Getafe Al Jazeera Sport +2 Espanyol v Sporting Al Jazeera Sport +4 Villarreal v Sevilla Al Jazeera Sport +4 Real Madrid v Atletico Al Jazeera Sport +2

18:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

Italian League 37 36 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38


Juventus v Atlanta Al Jazeera Sport +1 Napoli v Catania Al Jazeera Sport +7 Sampdoria v Cagliari Al Jazeera Sport +9 AC Milan v Lazio Al Jazeera Sport +1

16:00 16:00 16:00 21:45

PARIS: Lyon returned to form with a 2-0 victory over bottom side Grenoble yesterday that takes them up to fourth in the French top flight ahead of their Champions League date with Bordeaux. Lyon’s 2-1 defeat at Marseille last weekend seriously undermined their title bid but they are now just two points behind league leaders Bordeaux, who nonetheless have two games in hand, after second-half goals by Michel Bastos and substitute Cesar Delgado. It was Lyon’s first victory in March and sets them up well for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at home to Bordeaux next week. “This allows us to concentrate on Tuesday’s match against Bordeaux,” said Lyon coach Claude Puel. “I really enjoyed the second half, when we had much more movement around the man on the ball.”

The match with Grenoble had been scheduled to take place on Friday but was pushed back to Saturday by the league, amid much Lyon dissent, after Bordeaux complained that Lyon would have longer to prepare for their European game. Bordeaux face Marseille in the final of the French League Cup later yesterday, with the Ligue 1 programme concluding today and tomorrow. Lyon largely dominated the first half at the Stade Gerland but found debutant Brice Maubleu in commanding form in the Grenoble goal. The 20-year-old was making his professional bow after injuries to Grenoble’s first- and second-choice goalkeepers and he demonstrated an impressive command of his penalty area in the game’s early exchanges. Maubleu was beaten just three minutes into the second half though, when Bastos fired a shot inside the near post from

Wolves 0

Everton 0

Wolves inch towards safety

FRANCE: Lyon’s Michel Bastos (right) challenges for the ball with Grenoble’s Martial Robin during their French League One soccer match. —AP Bafetimbi Gomis’s lay-off after Ederson’s long-range strike had been parried by the ‘keeper. Grenoble centre-back Bostjan Cesar was sent off 14 minutes from the end after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession for tussling with

Ederson and then arguing with the referee. Delgado wrapped things up in the last minute when he cut inside David Sauget on the edge of the area before curling the ball into the net off the base of the right-hand post. —AFP

LONDON: Wolves moved a step closer to ensuring their Premier League survival in a goalless draw with Everton at Molineux yesterday. A share of the spoils left Mick McCarthy’s men, who defeated fellow strugglers West Ham in midweek, five points above the relegation zone while Everton stay in eighth place. The visitors might have come away with all three points, however, after Louis Saha hit the post and Leon Osman missed several chances. Wolves though had chances too, with Ronald Zubar going close in the second half. Everton, who beat Manchester City in midweek, had the better of the first half with Osman, played in by South Africa’s Steven Pienaar, shooting tamely at Marcus Hahnemann and he then shot wide from a throw-in. —AFP

Chelsea thrash Villa Chelsea 7

Hull 2

Aston Villa 1

Fulham 0

LONDON: Frank Lampard scored four as Chelsea stepped up their Premier League title challenge with a 7-1 thrashing of Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge here yesterday to inflict the worst top flight defeat on the visitors in 23 years.

Hull renew hope of avoiding drop

Lampard scores four

BOLTON: Manchester United’s Bulgarian forward Dimitar Berbatov (second left) celebrates scoring the second goal against Bolton Wanderers during their English Premier League football match. —AFP

Man United regain EPL lead Bolton 0

Man United 4 BOLTON: Dimitar Berbatov made light of Wayne Rooney’s absence by scoring twice as Manchester United restored their one point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 4-0 win at Bolton yesterday. It took the reigning champions 38 minutes to go in front and then they needed an own-goal from Jlloyd Samuel. United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar made some important saves before and after the opener and the visitors didn’t put the result beyond doubt until Berbatov struck twice in the second half, with Darron Gibson adding a fourth late-on. Victory was all the more important for United after they’d kicked off two points behind following Chelsea’s 7-1 thrashing of Aston Villa earlier Saturday and

set Sir Alex Ferguson’s side up nicely for next weekend’s clash with their title rivals. United were without both defender Rio Ferdinand and Rooney but still warmed up for Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg with Bayern Munich in some style. Their first real effort on goal came when Berbatov was picked out by Darren Fletcher’s cross and hit a volley that was bundled wide by goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. Jonny Evans, making his first appearance since last month’s League Cup final win against Villa, lifted over the bar after Bolton failed to clear the Nani corner that followed. Bolton were causing the champions plenty of problems and Nemanja Vidic had to be at full stretch to block from Tamir Cohen. The impressive Jack Wilshere, on loan from Arsenal, opened up United’s defence with a pass to Johan Elmander but the Swede’s drive was pushed around the post by van der Sar. Ryan Giggs was picked out by Berbatov and cut inside Zat

Knight before driving over from just outside the area. Gary Cahill glanced a header wide from a free kick from South Korean winger Lee Chung-yong but eight minutes before the break United took the lead. Samuel was not under too much pressure to clear Giggs’s hopeful cross but still managed to turn the ball into the corner of his own net from six yards out. Van der Sar tipped a shot from Fabrice Muamba over the bar and the former Arsenal midfielder also had a long-range effort deflected wide. United’s goalkeeper attempted to delay the taking of the corner but Knight grabbed the ball, leaving van der Sar on the floor, and the corner was taken before the goalkeeper was in position only for Gary Neville to head away. The visitors had already been angered by Sam Ricketts’s early challenge on Patrice Evra and they were frustrated by the same player’s tangle with Nani just before the break. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson came on to the pitch to remonstrate with referee Martin

Atkinson as soon as the half-time whistle was blown. Berbatov should have doubled the lead shortly after the restart when he was sent through by Darren Fletcher but the Bulgaria international stumbled as he was about to shoot. And Fletcher stabbed wide of goal after he was picked out in the area by Berbatov. Elmander then cut in from the left flank and had a low drive saved by van der Sar as Bolton desperately searched for an equaliser. But with 21 minutes left, United added a second through Berbatov. Giggs slipped a pass through for Fletcher. The Scotland midfielder’s shot was blocked by Jaaskelainen but not held by the goalkeeper and Berbatov reacted quickest to touch in. Berbatov wrapped the points up when he was found by Nani’s cross, after the Portuguese slipped past Ricketts with ease. Gibson added a fourth with his first touch after coming on as a substitute, after more fine work from Nani, to seal a convincing victory. —AFP

Tottenham 2

Portsmouth 0

Spurs blank Portsmouth

LONDON: West Ham United’s Carlton Cole (center) and Stoke City’s Robert Huth (right) and Mamady Sidibe vie for the ball during their English Premier League soccer match at Upton Park. —AP

Hammers crash again West Ham 0

Stoke 1 LONDON: Stoke heaped more pressure on West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola as Ricardo Fuller’s strike secured a 1-0 win over the relegation-threatened east London club yesterday. Zola’s team are now outside the relegation zone only on goal difference after their sixth successive defeat — their worst losing run in the top flight in 43 years — and the Italian ends a traumatic week in severe danger of losing his job. The former Chelsea star and his players had been strongly criticised by Hammers co-owner David Sullivan in the aftermath of Tuesday’s dismal 3-1 defeat against Wolves and reports yesterday suggested Zola could be on his way out before the season is over. With the Wolves result still fresh in the memory, Zola made five changes in an attempt to stop the rot. Kieron Dyer, Mark

Noble, Mido, Jonathan Spector and Manuel Da Costa all came in after a performance Sullivan had described as “shambolic and “pathetic”. But with so much at stake for Zola’s men it was hardly surprising that they made a nervous start. Stoke midfielder Liam Lawrence crashed an early shot over the bar, then Abdoulaye Faye squandered two chances to put the visitors ahead. The Senegal defender should have converted Dave Kitson’s flick but Mido blocked at the last moment, then Faye rose highest to meet Matthew Etherington’s cross but headed wide. West Ham barely threatened in the opening stages and Mido headed tamely wide from Julien Faubert’s cross. Faye’s day came to an early end when he limped off with a leg injury but it was Stoke who had the next chance when Danny Higginbotham failed to hit the target with a header from Etherington’s corner. Scott Parker finally sparked West Ham when his surging run and pass picked out Carlton Cole, only for Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen to smother the danger. England forward Cole caused

more problems for the Stoke defence when he drove in a fierce strike which Sorensen did well to block. The rebound fell perfectly for Mido but, with just the keeper to beat, the Egypt striker allowed the ball to bounce off his leg and out of danger as he prepared to shoot. Zola took off Kieron Dyer at half-time and sent on Alessandro Diamanti and the Italian tried his luck with a long-range free-kick soon after the break. The match degenerated in a midfield war of attrition after that and Stoke responded by bringing on Fuller for Etherington. Within moments of his introduction, Fuller had made the breakthrough with a fine finish in 69th minute. Fuller collected a long ball on the left edge of the West Ham penalty area, turned Da Costa, cut past Parker and inside Matthew Upson before rifling his shot past Robert Green. West Ham never looked likely to recover from that blow as the atmosphere turned sour. Diamanti lined up a last-minute free-kick in the hope of snatching a point but drove his shot straight into the wall. —AFP

LONDON: Portsmouth old boys Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar did the damage as Tottenham beat visitors Pompey 2-0 at White Hart Lane yesterday. Spurs’ victory consolidated their hold on fourth place and kept them on target for a Champions League spot, while Portsmouth missed a chance to breathe life into their faint hopes of avoiding relegation from the English Premier League. England striker Crouch headed the opener in the 27th minute while Croatia midfielder Kranjcar flicked in the second in the 41st minute in the warm-up for the FA Cup semi-final between the two sides at Wembley on April 11. As Spurs cruised to their fifth league win in a row, Portsmouth already missing several key players through injury — were left to count the cost as defender Hermann Hreidarsson and striker Danny Webber were stretchered off and goalkeeper captain David James also came off injured. Portsmouth had the better of the opening exchanges, though goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was untroubled by two wayward efforts from Anthony Vanden Borre and an early Nwankwo Kanu drive. Eidur Gudjohnsen, on loan to Spurs from Monaco, sent a seventh minute header over James’s crossbar. His strike partner Crouch then sent another header wide. Gomes was then forced into an excellent save after a flowing move from the visitors. Frederic Piquionne played an excellent through-ball for Vanden Borre, but the Brazilian came rushing out to block the shot. At the other end, England goalkeeper James was grateful when the ball fell right into his arms after a cross from Kyle Walker, on his Spurs debut, came off Hayden Mullins as he got to it ahead of Kranjcar. —AFP

England midfielder Lampard put his side ahead in the 15th minute and restored the lead from the penalty spot after John Carew had equalised for Villa in the 29th minute. After the second half though, the Blues took total control with Florent Malouda netting twice and Lampard adding two more as he took his Chelsea career tally past 150 goals. Chelsea, who thrashed basement club Portsmouth 5-0 in midweek, went two points in front of reigning champions Manchester United, who were playing Bolton in yesterday’s late kick-off. The result will inevitably have a major bearing when Chelsea and Villa meet again in the FA Cup semi-final on April 10. But more importantly, this win maintained the pressure on United ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Old Trafford next weekend. “I missed a couple of penalties in training on Friday and I know Brad Friedel is a top keeper and they can save them if they go the right way, so I wanted to put my foot through it,” Lampard told the BBC. Delighted Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins, himself a former Blues, United and England midfielder, said: “We have to keep winning. It’s just another three points, although good to boost the goal difference. “It was the perfect tonic before we go to Old Trafford.” Villa manager Martin O’Neill said: “We were well beaten by a fine side. “We were masters of our downfall. We stopped competing at 3-1 and that’s unforgiveable,” he added. Chelsea’s rout of Portsmouth had restored confidence at Stamford Bridge following the Champions League defeat by Inter Milan and subsequent draw with Blackburn Rovers. Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti left leading scorer Didier Drogba on the bench with the Italian handing experienced striker Nicolas Anelka the responsibility of spearheading the attack. Anelka had failed to score in his previous 10 appearances. But the France international started impressively and played a part in the goal, laying off for Malouda who delivered a low cross that was turned in by Lampard at the far post. The Blues dominated possession but were frustrated in their efforts to carve out a second meaningful opening, with Ancelotti becoming increasingly agitated as a series of decisions went against his side. And the Italian had even greater cause for frustration when he saw his side undone in the 29th minute by Villa winger Ashley Young. Young was picked out by an excellent pass from Steve Sidwell and given too much space by the back-tracking home defence as he cut in from the left flank before producing a carboncopy of Malouda’s cross towards John Carew, who drew Villa level. Chelsea had only themselves to blame, but they forced their way back into the lead two minutes before the break when Yuri Zhirkov burst into the Villa box and was brought down by James Collins. Lampard converted comfortably from the spot, no doubt sparing his team-mates from a half-time dressing down from Ancelotti. The goal appeared to have lifted the home side and Chelsea played with greater freedom during a second half in which they completely outclassed the visitors. Malouda established a twogoal advantage in the 57th minute from Zhirkov’s left wing cross and the game was up for Villa. Lampard completed his hattrick from the penalty spot after Zhirkov again surged forward and was brought down by Richard Dunne. Malouda made it five with a right foot finish in the 68th minute. Kalou made it six seven minutes from time and Lampard drilled home his fourth in added time. —AFP

LONDON: Chelsea’s Frank Lampard celebrates after he scores against Aston Villa during their English Premier League soccer match at the Stamford Bridge Stadium. —AP

LONDON: Hull City boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop and ended a five-game losing streak with a 2-0 win at home to Fulham yesterday that brought interim coach Iain Dowie his first victory at the club. The visitors fielded a much-changed side and paid the price after goals from former Fulham favourite Jimmy Bullard and Craig Fagan either side of half-time. Hull remain in the relegation zone but they are now level on points with fourthbottom West Ham United, 1-0 losers at home to Stoke, and also have a game in hand on Gianfranco Zola’s struggling side. Fulham were the first to seriously threaten at the KC Stadium, with Boaz Myhill saving from Zoltan Gera, but the hosts went in front in the 16th minute in circumstances that will concern Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. Fulham centre-back Chris Smalling has agreed to join United next season but the 20-year-old, who was embarrassed by Carlos Tevez in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City last weekend, blotted his copybook again by clumsily hauling down Jozy Altidore as the Hull forward tried to turn in the box. Referee Chris Foy awarded a penalty and Bullard placed a peerless spotkick into the topright cor ner to silence the boos emanating from the away end. Visiting coach Roy Hodgson was missing top scorer Bobby Zamora due to a stomach bug and also opted to rest midfielders Danny Murphy and Damien Duff. In Zamora’s absence, Clint Dempsey and Gera were pressed into attack and the latter twice had shots h a c ke d o f f t h e l i n e b e f o re h a l f- t i m e , f i r s t b y G e o rg e Boateng and then by Steven Mouyokolo. —AFP

Phillips puts dent in Arsenal’s title bid Birmingham 1

Arsenal 1 BIRMINGHAM: Veteran Birmingham striker Kevin Phillips put a major dent in Arsenal’s title challenge as his last minute equaliser snatched a 1-1 draw against the Gunners yesterday. Arsene Wenger’s side looked on course for victory thanks to a Samir Nasri goal nine minutes from full-time at St Andrews. But in the final minute, Phillips frustrated the north London club as he diverted the ball over the line with Bacary Sagna and Manuel Almunia unable to clear. The strike was Phillips’s 250th career goal and leaves Arsenal with plenty of work to do if they are to finish above title rivals

Manchester United and Chelsea. Wenger has made it clear his side have to stayed focused as they chase a first league title in six years, but in the build up to this fixture he took time out to reflect on Eduardo’s infamous broken leg here two seasons ago. The Croatian was injured following a challenge by Birmingham’s Martin Taylor and Arsenal conceded a late equaliser, with their season imploding as a result and Wenger will fear a repeat following this equally devastating setback. Eduardo began as a substitute here, with Nicklas Bendtner taking a central role in attack, and Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott supporting him from either flank. Arsenal were without suspended defender Thomas Vermaelen, but Alex Song slotted in alongside Sol Campbell in defence and the visitors began strongly, as Abou Diaby’s close range effort deflected just wide off Lee Bowyer.

The visitors had an opportunity on 18 minutes as Walcott raced on to a long through ball, but as Joe Hart made himself big on the edge of the area Arsenal’s forward could only poke an effort into his midriff. Wenger’s biggest concern ahead of half-time had come following a hard challenge by Gardner on captain Cesc Fabregas. It left the Spanish international limping around the turf and the French coach was relieved to see him return for the second period. It was Fabregas who began to take control in the centre of the field, spraying passes out to both flanks as Arsenal attempted to take the initiative. For all their superior possession, they struggled to find an opening and Diaby wasted a fantastic opportunity as he struck a shot straight at Hart. On 61 minutes Arsenal were hugely relieved as Birmingham failed to convert the best chance of the game. —AFP

BIRMINGHAM: Arsenal’s English defender Sol Campbell (left) vies with Birmingham City’s English forward Cameron Jerome (right) during the English Premier League football match. —AFP

Behbehani opens biggest GMC service center

Memphis becomes US hunger capital



Ideological battle rages at US Fed


Sunday, March 28, 2010

LONDON: Unite Union striker seen with banners showing the face of Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of British Airways at a picket near Heathrow Airport in London yesterday. — AP

BA cabin crew stage 2nd strike LONDON: British Airways cabin crew began a fourday strike yesterday, the second walkout this month that will cost the company millions of pounds and lead to more travel chaos before the busy Easter holiday period. BA said its contingency plans would mean that 75 percent of its customers would be able to fly despite the action. The Unite Union said the ongoing and increasingly bitter dispute was damaging the airline’s finances and reputation. The action over pay and jobs is also embarrassing for Prime Minister Gordon Brown as Unite is his Labour Party’s largest financial backer and an election only weeks away. Ministers yesterday called for a resumption of talks to bring an end to the strike over pay and staff cuts. “We have been very clear that we don’t think the strike is justified and we’ve urged both sets of parties to get around the negotiating table and efforts will continue to make that happen,” Ed Miliband, energy and climate change secretary, told Sky news. The dispute began because BA wants to save an annual 62.5 million pounds ($92.76 million) to help cope with falling demand, volatile fuel prices and greater competition. Last weekend’s three-day stoppage, which the airline said cost it about 7 million pounds a day, led to claim and counter-claim from BA and Unite. BA said it had been able to operate much of its usual schedule and that almost 60 percent of its 12,000 cabin staff had turned up to work. This time it plans to operate a normal schedule from London’s Gatwick and City airports and 70 percent of long-haul flights from London Heathrow, overall flying more than 180,000 of the 240,000 passengers originally booked. Another 18 percent have been rebooked to travel on other carriers or changed the dates of their flights. “I am delighted that we will be able to fly such a large proportion of our cus-

Union claims dispute to cost airline 100 million pounds

LONDON: A British Airways plane prepares to park on the stand at Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport. — AFP

tomers to their chosen destinations in the coming days,” said BA’s chief executive Willie Walsh. DISPUTE OVER STATISTICS Unite, which represents about 90 percent of BA’s cabin crew, says the company’s statistics have been misleading, adding that support for the strike had been very strong. It puts the daily cost of the action at between 15 and 20 million pounds, taking into account lost revenue and the hire of other aircraft and staff from other airlines, making the total over seven days 100 million pounds. Its national officer, Steve Turner, told Sky news it was ready to resume talks. “The point is that we are open to meet with this company at any point, at any place, anywhere, over the course of the coming days. This will only ever be resolved by negotiations,” he said. Unite accused the company of trying to destroy trade unionism among its cabin crew. The Guardian newspaper said in its Saturday edition BA had commissioned a report three years ago from an academic consultant who had encouraged it to take on the union. But in a letter to the paper, BA said the report did not represent the company’s views. No further talks are planned yesterday but both sides have said a settlement is possible. The dispute, coupled with plans for rail staff to hold Britain’s first national rail strike in 16 years in April, is proving a headache for Brown, facing an uphill battle to win re-election in an election expected on May 6. He received some good news when Acas, the arbitration service, said talks between Network Rail and trade unions would resume on Monday in an attempt to settle a dispute over planned job cuts and changes to working practices. The opposition Conservatives have used the strikes to accuse Brown of weakness because of his party’s links to unions which provide most of its funding. — Reuters

Zain, Bharti deal could IMF seeks to figure out role in Greece Greece to launch bond issue next week take months to close Shareholders expected to get cash dividend from deal KUWAIT: The closing of the deal between Kuwaiti telecom firm Zain and India’s Bharti Airtel could take weeks or months, Zain’s chairman was quoted yesterday as saying. “The deal will be signed in the next few days ... (but) the closing of the deal could take weeks or months, for our assets to be transferred under a new name which is Bharti,” Zain Chairman Asaad AlBanwan told Al Arabiya television in an interview aired yesterday. Zain is about to sell its African assets, excluding Sudan and Morocco, to Bharti for $9 billion, finally giving the Indian buyer a much soughtafter foothold in Africa’s fast-growing market. Banwan said shareholders were expected to get

a cash dividend from the sale, but it still needed approval of the firm’s board. “There will be good dividends for the shareholders,” Banwan said, reiterating that the returns from the deal will be booked in 2010, not 2009. The firm is yet to announce its 2009 results. Last month, Zain said it would make $9 billion from the assets sale, $4 billion of which will be used to pay off debt, and the remaining $5 billion will be pocketed by the firm. On Wednesday, the Kuwaiti firm said the due diligence for the deal had been completed and that it would be signed in a few days. Exclusive talks between the two firms for the African assets sale expired on March 25. — Reuters

Bahrain’s GIB plans $800 million bond MANAMA: Saudi-owned Gulf International Bank (GIB) plans a 3 billion riyal ($800 million) bond issue in April to fund its growth in the kingdom, a banking source said, adding to a flurry of issues from Saudi lenders. “It’s a five-year deal on a floating note basis,” the banking source, who has direct knowledge of the deal said. Credit Agricole CIB, Samba Capital, Riyad Capital and GIB’s unit GIB Financial Services have been appointed as lead managers for the issue. The source said roadshows for the issue would start two weeks after related documen-

tation is submitted to the Saudi bourse watchdog, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) yesterday. A spokesman for GIB could not immediately comment. The bank is headquartered in Bahrain but is owned by the Saudi government. In November, GIB raised 2 billion riyals via a three-year bond priced at 127.5 basis points over the Saudi Interbank Offer Rate (SIBOR). It postponed another issue in international markets and denominated in dollars after Dubai World rattled global markets in November last year

with an announcement that it would ask for a stand-still on some of its debt just when GIB finalised the pricing of the bond. As a result, Gulf Arab fixed-income markets remained largely shut for months, but are now slowly coming back to action with a series of issues led mainly by Saudi banks. Banque Saudi Fransi raised $650 million in a bond sale this month and Samba Financial Group is in talks to issue a dollar-bond as well, according to a report this month in IFR, a unit of Thomson Reuters.— Reuters

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund was grappling with questions as to precisely what role it will play in a European-led rescue of Greece. A day after euro zone leaders agreed to provide coordinated loans to Greece with the help of the IMF, officials at the Washington-based lender were unclear over how the fund’s resources would be tapped and how it would impose the sort of conditions that normally come attached to its financial aid. In its first comments since the EU announcement, the IMF said on Friday it was monitoring developments. “We are following developments closely,” the fund said in a statement, reiterating that it stood ready to consider any financial assistance if asked. IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former French economy minister, begins a short visit to Poland and Romania tomorrow where he will likely encounter questions on Greece. The IMF’s website said is expected to call for closer cooperation and reforms to Europe’s architecture. An IMF role in a euro zone member country could play well politically for Strauss-Kahn, who said last month he could imagine a scenario where he could run in France’s 2012 presidential elections. That said, there is no guarantee he could win enough backing from Socialist supporters to become their candidate. Strauss-Kahn used the global financial crisis last year to boost the IMF’s relevance by revamping its lending instruments and winning new resources for countries facing crises. The dilemma for the IMF is that Greece falls under the jurisdiction of European Union rules and is a member of the euro zone where monetary and foreign exchange policies are dictated by the European Central Bank. That makes it difficult for the IMF to set policy prescriptions backed by its money. Under the accord, Athens would receive bilateral

ATHENS: A European Union flag waves under Acropolis hill in Athens. Greek markets rallied and the largest union said it would hold off on further strikes amid widespread relief in the debt-plagued country over a cash support program agreed by other euro countries. — AP

loans from other euro zone countries and the IMF if it faces severe difficulties. Tough terms imposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel mean the mechanism could be activated only under strict conditions. UNCLEAR CONDITIONS A senior IMF official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue said that Greece was not expected to request IMF aid just yet. The official said it was unclear under what conditions Greece would be allowed to activate the lending mechanism and at what point the Greek authorities could request IMF aid. Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said on Thursday Greece would prefer to get funding from financial markets although that will depend on interest rates. The European Union said it would shoulder about two-thirds of the funding to Greece and the IMF about one-third. Greece’s IMF borrowing quota is equivalent to $1.25 billion, although it would be allowed to draw up to 10 or 12 times that which was permitted for other countries needing bailouts during the global financial crisis. Analysts have said Greece could be allowed to borrow between 20 billion to 22 billion euros from the IMF. Greece would be the first country in the euro zone to borrow from the IMF, breaking new ground for the world’s lender of last resort. UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS Uri Dadush, senior associate at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former senior official at the World Bank, said there was no clarity as to who would lead the intervention in Greece-the IMF or the EU. “While I greatly welcome the IMF’s involvement as a big step forward, nevertheless, the agreement as outlined has enormous ambiguity and therefore is unlikely to have the desired effect on the market,” said Dadush. — Agencies



Sunday, March 28, 2010

KSE driven by optimistic investors’ sentiment Global Weekly Market Report KUWAIT: The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) was driven by optimistic investors’ sentiment as the second- biggest overseas deal of Zain and Bharti Airtel is coming to a near closure. Also several positive economic and business news helped lifting the market. As measured by Global’s weighted General Index, the Kuwaiti market closed the week adding a notable 2.38 percent, recording its highest level since October 22, 2009 reaching 212.75 point. On a year-to-date basis, the index gains escalated to 14.24 percent. Kuwait Stock Exchange price index was also up by 76.10 points (1.03 percent) and closed at 7,489.80 points. This week’s gain was supported by increases seen in the large capitalization sectors. Total market capitalization reached KD34.90bn. Two companies got listed this week under the investment sector were their market capitalization was added to the total market value. Gulf North Africa Holding Company, listed on March 23, and Amwal International Investment Company, listed on March 24, adding a total of KD32.63mn combined to the total market capitalization at the end of the week. With these new listings, total number of listed companies under the Kuwaiti regular market reached 210. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as out of 174 shares traded this week, 85 shares advanced against 66 retreating. Trading activity was higher this week and focused on larger stocks. Total traded volume rose by 1.98 percent reaching 1.94bn shares changing hands at a total traded value of KD403.98mn (+35.86 percent compared to the week before). High volume was seen on the Investment sector, accounting for 36.08 percent of the total traded volume in the market with 698.60mn shares traded. Al-Salam Group Holding Company was the highest volume traded in the sector with 69.88mn share traded on its share. The scrip ended the week up by 2.82 percent. On the value list, the Services sector took the lead with KD154.53mn traded, accounting for 38.25 percent of total traded market value. Company-wise, Both volume and value traded lists were topped with services companies. Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Company topped the volume list with 72.53mn shares traded, accounting for 3.75 percent of the total market traded volume. The scrip went up by 23.64 percent by the week end

after the company stated that it had bid for a US army contract tenders. On the other hand, Zain topped the value list with KD58.64mn traded on its share, accounting for 14.52 percent of the total weekly traded value. Zain’s share price was up by 4.41 percent this week. The biggest market sectors were major gainers this week. Global Banking Index was the biggest advancer, adding 3.76 percent to its value after five of the Kuwaiti banks ended the week at higher levels. Global Services Index followed, adding 3.51 percent to its value. Notable gains were seen across the transportation companies share prices in the sector while the biggest gainer was Jeeran Holding Company, as it managed to add 36.36 percent to its share prices. The stock topped the gainers list for the week. Global Investment Index was the third biggest gainer, ending the week up by 1.78 percent. On the other side, Global Food Index was the biggest loser, shedding 2.51 percent of its value. The biggest food company, Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana)’s share was traded ex-dividend this week after distributing 60 percent cash dividends to its share

holders. The stock ended the week flat compared to its adjusted price. Global Real Estate Index was the second biggest loser as it ended the week 1.29 percent lower followed by Global Insurance Index which dropped by 1.28 percent. First Takaful Insurance Company, being the only loser in the insurance sector, topped the losers list this week as it lost 15.38 percent of its share value. Global’s special indices were all up for the week. Global Large Cap (Top 10) Index added 3.93 percent while Small Cap (Low 10) index closed up by 0.78 percent. Global Islamic Sharia Index also added 1.89 percent to its value.

expects a growth of 4 to 5 percent in 2010 after an expected contraction of 1.5 to 2 percent in 2009. On another front, the governor said that the worst was over for Kuwaiti banks and that he expected to see more credit growth in the coming period, adding that the Kuwaiti banks were in “great condition”. The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) issued KD100mn (US$346.4mn) worth of one-year treasury bonds on Wednesday, March 24, 2010, with a coupon rate of 1.25 percent. Bids for the bonds amounted to KD548mn, central bank data showed. The last issue was a week before on March 17, for KD200mn, with 1.25 percent coupon.

Macroeconomic News The Central Bank of Kuwait’s (CBK) Governor Sheikh Salem Abdul-Aziz AlSabah said that inflation in wealthy Gulf Arab countries has dropped substantially but has not disappeared completely. He stated at the opening of a GCC central bankers meeting in Kuwait that inflationary pressure in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) has fallen remarkably, but this does not mean at all a complete disappearance of this pressure. Moreover, on the GDP, he

Oil Related News Kuwait’s oil minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah said that OPEC is unlikely to hold an extraordinary meeting in June ahead of its scheduled meeting in October as the producer group foresees little change in oil prices. He said that OPEC members were convinced there would be no significant changes in oil prices in light of “reasonable growth” in the world economy. The minister said prices were at an acceptable range for producers and consumers and urged more

compliance with quotas. OPEC decided to meet in October, pushing back slightly its second meeting of the year, which is usually in late September. It will also meet near the end of the year in Ecuador. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) has sold nearly 75,000-80,000 tons of spot naphtha for April lifting at levels in the low $20.00s a ton above Middle East quotes on a freeon-board (FOB) basis, similar to previous levels despite talk of a softer market ahead, traders said last week. KPC sold 50,000-55,000 tons of full-range naphtha and 24,000 tons of light naphtha for first-half April loading on late Thursday , March 18, to undisclosed traders, but there was some rescheduling in (delivery) dates, said a trader. The state-owned refiner does not usually sell spot full-range naphtha due to term commitment. In February, KPC sold 50,000 tons of full-range naphtha on a spot basis for midFebruary lifting to Vitol at a premium of US$24.00 a ton, FOB, after a shutdown of its aromatics plant. The plant has since restarted. The petrochemicals unit uses full-range naphtha as its feedstock to produce aromatics and light naphtha, which is sold

on spot basis. The current spot full-range naphtha premium is close to its term price for supplies lifting April 2010-March 2011 at $22.00 a ton above Middle East quotes, FOB, highest it has ever fetched for all its term deals. However, traders said sentiment has been weakening due to falling petrochemicals margins. Kuwait is expected to commence the import of liquefied natural gas from global companies from April 1 to late October at a rate of 500,000 cubic feet per day, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) CEO Saad Al-Shuwaib said. The move aims to cover the country’s needs of generating electricity energy in summer, AlShuwaib said following the inauguration of a conference on the treatment of oil lakes. On an ecological fuel project to be executed by the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), a subsidiary of KPC, he said the corporation’s board of directors had already considered the project and would send it to the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) for further deliberations and approval. Other Local News The government is going to pursue three policies to

increase non-oil revenues in the State up to KD4.2bn by 2014. It has been reported that the executive authority intends to boost the non-oil revenues up to 30 percent from the current 12 percent by enhancing revenue polices.Laying down a taxation scheme and collecting fees in return for using public utilities and services. The Cabinet has endorsed the policy, which was outlined by Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali, who proposed a more stringent financial monitoring policy to protect public funds. The private sector has been given the green light to take the lead, in partnership with the government, in undertaking plans and projects to help achieve the sustainable development of Kuwait’s economy. Minister of Finance Mustafa AlShamali said in a speech during the Public Private Partnership Conference this week that the conference presents “a quality move from theory to practical application,” made possible with the ratification by the National Assembly, of the government development plan amounting to US$125bn which, he added, is intended to increase the gross domestic product (GDP) and the living standard of citizens through the improvement of

non-oil sector growth rates and achieve stability in the general level of prices and increasing individual share of real income. He said that the most significant strategic objective of the plan include vesting into the private sector the right to lead development projects according to incentive mechanisms through the provision of favorable conditions, and the gradual reduction of public sector dominance in order to increase private sector participation and citizen ownership of economic activities in addition to supporting human and societal development and effective government administration. Kuwait Food and Drink Report forecasted a tentative recovery in 2010, Kuwait’s export oriented economy came under strain in 2009 as depressed global sentiment weighed down energy export revenues. Driven by public sector spending, the authors expect GDP growth to come in at 2 percent in 2010, which will be welcomed by Kuwait’s fairly dynamic food processing industry as discussed in the recently published Kuwait Food & Drink Report for Q2010. On the back of the anticipated economic recovery, the authors expect headline food consumption in Kuwait to increase 3.8 percent to KD0.72bn ($2.51bn) in 2010. Kuwait Food and Drink Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, food and drink associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Kuwait’s food and drink industry. The Kuwaiti government aims at increasing the value of investments in the industrial sector to KD500mn annually in order to raise the share of the industry’s contribution to the national income to 12 percent over the next five years, said Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Rashed AlHaroun. He pointed out in a statement following his opening of the Kuwaiti industries exhibition 2010 that the Kuwaiti industry started to make gains in all Arab and world markets, noting the quality of the Kuwaiti national products and their high competitiveness. He also said that the industrial sector is one of those economic sectors that is much depended upon is supporting the domestic income as it is the second pillar of the Kuwaiti economy, asserting the government’s interest in this sector and its keenness on removing all obstacles obstructing Kuwaiti industrialists.

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

.2840000 .4290000 .385000 .2690000 .2810000 .2620000 .0045000 .0020000 .0780860 .7607660 .4020000 .0750000 .7457990 .0045000 .0500000

.2940000 .4380000 .3920000 .2770000 .2890000 .2680000 .0075000 .0035000 .0788700 .7684120 .4180000 .0790000 .7532940 .0072000 .0580000

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

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2879500 .4315580 .3872330 .2717100 .2831600 .0520400 .0398950 .2641630 .0370940 .2053470 .0031800 .0063630 .0025310 .0034380 .0042190 .0784360 .7641760 .4072380 .0768250 .7482930 .0063630

.2900500 .4346050 .3899680 .2736340 .2851660 .0524090 .0401780 .2660290 .0373570 .2068010 .0032020 .0064080 .0025490 .0034620 .0042480 .0789360 .7690480 .4101220 .0773150 .7530640 .0064080

US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2900500 .4346050 .2736340 .0773150

286.220 188.400 275.900 261.700 287.500 ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.183 6.387 3.458 2.532 3.995 206.800 37.231 4.180 6.361 8.953 0.301 0.292 GCC COUNTRIES

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

77.280 79.620 752.830 769.630 78.920 ARAB COUNTRIES

Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

55.750 52.660 1.320 207.630 409.210 194.400 6.356 35.410 GOLD

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

215.000 110.000 57.000

Bahrain Exchange Company

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer Euro Sterling Pound

Canadian dollar Turkish lire Swiss Franc Australian dollar US Dollar Buying

289.650 392.910 435.920

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

SELL CASH SELL DRAFT 266.000 264.500 770.110 770.110 4.410 4.180 286.200 284.700 568.600 15.800 52.600 167.800 207.800 55.240 52.670 393.000 391.500

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

38.010 6.630 0.035 0.299 0.260 3.230 411.070 0.196 89.190 47.600 4.270 208.300 2.183 49.100 752.250 3.520 6.560 80.090 77.320 207.820 41.510 2.744 438.300 40.900 275.900 6.400 9.300 217.900 79.020 290.000 1.380

37.860 6.395

409.340 0.195 89.190 3.010 206.800

274.400 9.120 78.020 289.000


Sterling Pound US Dollar

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 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

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 434.300 289.600

289.250 3.440 6.350 2.540 4.185 6.380 78.795 77.295 768.500 52.645 438.800 0.00003195 3.980 1.550 410.600 5.750 393.500 291.000

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 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

2.525 4.180 6.344 3.195 8.917 6.301 3.969

Currency 752.070 3.450 6.360 79.660 77.320 207.820 41.510 2.535 434.300

GOLD 10 Tola

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

288.800 287.900 440.640 396.645 272.235 707.865 764.420 78.610 79.305 76.980 407.535 52.629 6.356 3.428

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 289.400 389.900 435.400 286.000 3.205 6.383 52.630 2.535 4.180 6.343 3.445 770.000 78.875 77.050


Sunday, March 28, 2010


The GMC main workshop. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Behbehani opens biggest GMC service center By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: The Mohammad Saleh and Reza Yousuf Behbehani Company inaugurated the biggest stand alone GMC Service Center in the region on Wednesday. The ceremony was held in the presence of delegates from General Motors, media representatives and the elite of Behbehani’s Fleet customers. The ‘Built’ area of the facility exceeds 20,000 square meters using an innovative design that excels the world wide specifications for service centers. The building consists of four floors each containing the latest engineering technologies used in the world of automotive industry. It possesses all the latest machineries and tools and with the state of the art training center, enabling them to carry out first class training for their technicians as

tomers from the Fourth and Fifth Ring roads. The service center has two entrances, catering to both customers with scheduled appointments and those without. During the opening ceremony, Adel Behbehani, Executive Director stated, “In our continuous effort to enhance the level of service to our customers and to match the increasing volume of GMC vehicles sales in recent years. We consider it essential to build this facility and ensure the latest technology is part of every aspect of its operation. We are committed to ensuring outstanding service- from receiving the vehicle until it is delivered back to the customer. This is our commitment to our valued GMC customer, to minimize any inconvenience.” The safety of their employees, customers and the environment are of paramount

per GM’s training standard. The facility was built to fulfill the requirements of GMC owners in Kuwait. It is equipped with 84 working bays, 76 of which are situated at the workshop and the other eight bays are located at the ‘Quick Service’ facility at the front of the building. The facility welcomes customers six days a week, from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm with the intention of increasing these hours in the future. The service facility workforce comprises 135 employees; among them are managers, administrators and highly skilled service advisors and technicians. This new stand alone service facility is set apart from all the others, due to its strategic location on Mohammed Bin AlQassim Street in Al-Rai industrial area, opposite Al-Reggae area. This has made it easily accessible to all GMC cus-

importance to them, hence they have invested in the latest technology in air circulation and exhaust-suction machines. In addition to this, they have fitted the site with the latest firefighting equipment in the world, should the unexpected happen. Thus they are prepared for every eventuality. Within this modern building there is a comfortable reception area, where customers can wait for their vehicle, taking advantage of the spacious prayer rooms, internet connection, and TV facilities as well as enjoying light refreshments from the onsite café. While seated in the waiting area, customers at the Quick Service are able to watch the entire repair process undertaken by skilled technicians via special windows. Customers can also view the latest accessories which are displayed on a GMC vehicle in the main reception area.

Aramco and Total get $120 million loan for JV refinery Refinery funding comes from Saudi, international banks KHOBAR: Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) said yesterday it agreed to grant State oil giant Saudi Aramco a $120 million loan to build a $12.8 billion refinery in Jubail with France Total. The project is being financed by all Saudi commercial banks, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, Public Investment Fund, Barclays, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, BNP Paribas and Citigroup,

IDB said in a statement. The loan is part of an Islamic facility, IDB said. Funding for the refinery, would include a sukuk issue, which could be over $500 million, a project director of the joint venture company Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (Satorp) said in October. Financing deals for around $8 billion of the total cost of the refinery would be com-

pleted in the second quarter this year, Salem Shaheen, chief executive of Satorp said on Wednesday. The 400,000 barrels per day (bdp) crude refinery would start production in mid-2013. Aramco currently owns 62.5 percent of the plant, while Total holds the rest. But an initial public offering (IPO) scheduled to take place in two to three years will leave Aramco with an equal stake as Total. — Reuters

Iceland’s PM pressing IMF on bailout review The Chairman of the Board HE Faisal Ali AlMansouri of GIC

Hisham A Al Razzuqi, Chief Executive Officer of GIC

GIC posts profit of $91 million Gulf Investment Corporation KUWAIT: During the meeting held on 25th March 2010 in Kuwait, the General Assembly of Gulf Investment Corporation reviewed and approved the audited financial statements for the year 2009. Net income surged to US$ 91 million, representing a return of shareholders equity of 6.3%. The Chairman of the Board HE Faisal Ali Al-Mansouri commended the solid recovery saying: “GIC emerged strongly from the financial turmoil of 2008, reaffirming its resilience and ability to rapidly adapt to changing environments. The corporation has been extremely successful in facing the challenges, delivering excellent results during a difficult year. The initiatives to mitigate risks, deleverage the balance sheet, optimize resource allocation and strengthen systems that were implemented have borne fruit, and the corporation is now well positioned to take advantage of the emerging opportunities”

Operating revenues increased multifold during 2009 to US$ 153 million, boosted by contributions from all core businesses. Shareholders equity rose to US$ 1.75 billion at the end of 2009, an increase of US$ 1.1 billion compared to the previous year. Approximately half of this increase, or US$ 537 million, resulted from valuation gains and retained earnings during 2009. With a capital adequacy ratio of 27%, GIC continues to be one of the most strongly capitalized financial institutions in the region. As of 31st December 2009, GIC’s total balance sheet stood at US$ 6.1 billion. Commenting on the Corporation’s good performance, Mr Hisham A. Al Razzuqi, Chief Executive Officer, added “The robust performance, during a challenging phase, is testimony to GIC’s dynamism, proactive management and flexibility. GIC has significantly enhanced the quality of its balance sheet, reduced overall leverage

and increased its capital base. We are now on a solid platform for continued profitability and growth. GIC continued to play a vital role in the principal investments business, despite several adverse conditions. As an example, the projects team successfully executed the Al Dur power project, achieving financial close in early 2009 - a period when liquidity was extremely tight. This reflects our standing in the region as a major promoter of private enterprise. We will continue to focus on the GCC region, while maintaining a healthy balance of international exposures across a diverse range of asset classes”. Gulf Investment Corporation is a leading regional financial institution that was established under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council and is equally owned by the six member states of the Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

REYKJAVIK: Iceland’s prime minister said she was pressing the International Monetary Fund to hasten a review to determine the next batch of bailout funding for the nation’s struggling economy. The IMF had been putting off a decision on whether to release the second tranche of its $2.1 billion bailout funds since last year. Iceland is worried that the money could be held up until it settles wrangling with Britain and the Netherlands over a dispute about debt repayments, but the IMF has insisted this wasn’t the case. Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said she wrote IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn to demand that a review on Iceland’s economy take place as soon as possible. “It is highly unusual that the Icesave dispute and the review of the IMF be tied together, and that two nations (the UK and the Netherlands) can prevent it from taking place,” Sigurdardottir told national broadcaster RUV. Iceland has not resolved a dispute with Britain and the Netherlands over the repayment of $5.3 billion to the two countries to pay off debts spawned by the collapse of Icesave, an Icelandic Internet bank that collapsed during the international financial crisis. Talks between the three sides broke down earlier this month, and Sigurdardottir said the British and Dutch governments have not answered calls for new negotiations on Icesave to commence.

The IMF has disbursed about $1 billion to Iceland and said discussions on a second review are ongoing. Although the body has never explicitly linked delivery of the funds to the reaching of an Icesave deal, it is committed to Iceland repaying its international debt - the months taken to reach the original Icesave deal were responsible for holding up the first tranche of IMF funds last year. Finland, Norway and Denmark agreed to provide a further $2.5 billion to help the country recover from a deep recession.

Iceland’s Finance Minister Steingrimur J Sigfusson and Gylfi Magnusson, minister for business and economic affairs, were in Washington on Friday for talks with Strauss-Kahn. Their offices did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment on the progress of the discussions. Iceland was an early victim of the credit crunch, which sent its debt-fueled economy into free fall. The value of Iceland’s currency collapsed, growth dropped dramatically and unemployment shot up. — AP

BRUSSELS: A statue which depicts a woman (hand seen) holding up the symbol of the euro is seen at the European Parliament in Brussels. — AP



Sunday, March 28, 2010

KSE displays a stable performance BAYAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: For the fifth consecutive week, Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) managed to display a stable performance, as it ended last week’s trades with a slight increase in its price index, which maintained daily closings above the 7,400 points level. The market’s activity was of a declining nature throughout most of the week’s sessions due to selling pressures for profit taking. On the other hand, selective purchases, which were in part speculative, played a prominent role in stabilizing KSE’s performance, while last minutes trades continued to assist in allowing the market to record daily gains after spending most of the week’s trading periods in the red zone. Traders were closely following, on one hand, latest developments on Zain’s deal that have reached its final stages, and on the other hand, annual results of listed companies that have not been disclosed yet. With only one week left for the disclo-

sure period to end, 60% of companies listed in the regular market have announced their results for the year 2009, with total net profits amounting to KD 280.42 million, 39.54% lower than the same companies’ results in the year 2008. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 7,489.8 points, up by 1.03% from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 2.54% weekly gain after closing at 444.21 points. Furthermore, average of daily turnover witnessed a 35.86% increase as it reached KD 80.80 million, whereas trading volume average amounted to 387.30 million shares, at an increase of 1.98% compared to previous week’s levels. 2009 Results 127 companies announced their results for the year 2009 with total net profits amounting to KD 280.42 million, 39.54% lower than the same companies’ results for

the year 2008, which amounted to KD 463.85 million. And as per 2009 announced results, the Services sector came in first in terms of average earnings per share (EPS) for its listed companies, which amounted to 82.47 Fils. The Food sector was second with an average EPS of 78.32 Fils, followed by the Non-Kuwaiti companies sector in the third place with 77.40 Fils, whereas the market’s overall average EPS is 46.03 Fils. On the other hand, and according to the announced results and last Thursday’s closing prices, KSE average P/E ratio is currently at 15.59.

points. Whereas, in the second place, the Investment sector’s index closed at 5,901.1 points recording 1.89% increase. The Banks sector came in third as its index achieved 1.70% growth, ending the week at 9,138.6 points. The Non-Kuwaiti companies sector was the least growing as its index closed at 7,579.6 points with a 0.10% increase. On the other hand, the Real Estate sector headed the losers list as its index declined by 1.12% to end the week’s activity at 2,780.6 points. The Insurance sector was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 1.04%, closing at 2,499.4 points.

Sectors’ Indices Six of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the green zone, while the other two recorded declines. Last week’s highest gainer was the Services sector, achieving 1.99% growth rate as its index closed at 16,426.6

Sectors’ Activity The Investment sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 698.60 million shares changing hands, representing 36.08% of the total market trading volume. The Services sector was second in

terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 25.44% of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 492.70 million shares. On the other hand, the Services sector’s stocks where the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 154.53 million or 38.25% of last week’s total market trading value. The Investment sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of K.D. 89.60 million represented 22.18% of the total market trading value. Market Capitalization KSE total market capitalization grew by 2.45% during last week to reach KD 33.65 billion, as five of KSE’s sectors recorded an increase in their respective market capitalization, whereas the other three recorded declines. The Banks sector headed the growing sectors as its total market capitalization reached KD 11.29 billion, increasing

by 3.78%. The Services sector was the second in terms of recorded growth with 3.45% increase after the total value of its listed companies reached KD 9.63 billion. The third place was for the Investment sector, which total market capitalization reached KD 3.40 billion by the end of the week, recording an increase of 1.77%. The Food sector was the least growing with 0.35% recorded growth after its market capitalization amounted to KD 804.39 million. On the other hand, the Real Estate sector headed the decliners list as its total market capitalization decreased by 1.28% to reach, by the end of the week, KD 1.98 billion. The Non-Kuwaiti companies sector was second on this list, which market value of its listed companies declined by 0.47%, reaching K.D. 3.25 billion, followed by the Insurance sector, as its market capitalization amounted to KD 299.69 million at a 0.06% decrease.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


MGM and creditors to dicuss stand-alone plan NEW YORK: Metro-GoldwynMayer’s steering committee will meet with creditors to present a stand-alone plan for the famed studio next week, sources familiar with the matter said. Creditors will present the plan in Los Angeles on Thursday after being disappointed with the bids it received, the sources said. The plan, which abandons the idea of a sale of the entire company, involves a mandate to make six to eight movies a year and requires

large amounts of capital, the sources said. It also involves filing for a prearranged bankruptcy, the sources added. Such a plan would need approval from a majority of the creditors. MGM declined comment. Lions Gate Entertainment, Time Warner Inc and billionaire industrialist Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries put in second-round bids for MGM in the last week, with Time Warner putting in the highest bid of $1.5 billion in

cash, Reuters had reported earlier. Lions Gate had decided it would not increase its offer, putting them effectively out of the running, sources told

MGM’s vice chairman and a member of its office of the CEO Stephen Cooper knows Access Industries’ Len Blavatnik well. Cooper, who was

restructuring committee at Lyondell, a chemical conglomerate formed in 2007, when it was bought by Basell AF, a unit of Blavatnik’s Access

Plan involves bankruptcy, abandons idea of complete sale Reuters on Thursday. That leaves Time Warner and Access Industries, whose offer involves an equity infusion and helping with restructuring the company’s $3.7 billion of debt, the sources said.

enlisted by MGM to help with the company’s restructuring last year, is also vice chairman of the supervisory board of LyondellBasell. Blavatnik is the chairman of that board. Cooper is also the chairman of the

Industries. The Access offer would involve adding $2 billion of value to MGM, sources said, though it was unclear how that would be achieved. The offer would also help MGM

with digital media and distribution, the sources said. But Time Warner’s bid remains on the table and MGM has not shared details of its standalone plan with any of the bidders, sources said. MGM, home to more than 4,000 film titles, said in November it was exploring a potential sale of the company. But as the auction progressed, buyer interest in the company dwindled. Despite a film library that includes the James Bond and Pink Panther

Use your NBK Visa Credit Card and win a trip to WCup Finals KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and highest rated bank in the Middle East brings the passion and excitement of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to its Visa Credit card holders. NBK Visa credit card holders will have a chance to win a package for 2 to wit-

Oil prices dip on US growth data

ness one of the 7 finals matches of this spectacular event in South Africa. “FIFA World Cup is the world’s most popular sporting event, and NBK is the only Bank in Kuwait offering its Visa Credit card holders a chance to win fully paid packages to see all the finals matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Our Visa credit card holders will have the opportunity to see the best players in person and feel the World Cup fever live in South Africa at the most important games”, said Deputy General Manager- Consumer Banking Group Abdullah Al Najran Tuwaijri. In an exciting promotion valid till May 6, 2010, NBK customers will get chances to enter into a draw for every transaction of KD 20 on their Visa credit card. New Visa Classic card holders will get 3 chances, while new Visa premium (Gold, Platinum and Infinite) card holders will get 5 chances. Prizes consist of 4 packages to the quarter final matches on July 2 and July 3, 2 packages to the semi final matches on July 6 and July 7 and 1 package to the final match on July 11. Each package is for two persons and consists of round trip economy class airline tickets, hotel accommodation for 3 nights, match tickets and transportation to the venue, exclusive Visa FIFA merchandise and more.

Amid recession, Memphis becomes US hunger capital MEMPHIS: It wasn’t long ago that Rachel Cales volunteered at her church’s food pantry, bagging canned goods and emergency provisions for families that had fallen on hard times. Last May, however, Cales lost her job managing a yogurt shop. Her elder daughter was about to be married and her two teenage children were living at home and looking for work. Suddenly, she couldn’t afford the groceries her family needed, and she had to turn to the pantry for help. “I never thought we’d have to ask anyone for food,” said Cales, who lives on a tree-lined street in eastern Memphis, in a two-story house with prim blue shutters. She’s far from alone. This Southern city, long famous for blues and barbecue, has earned a grim new distinction: the hunger capital of the United States. As more and more Americans struggle to pay their bills, a recent survey co-sponsored by Gallup found that 26 percent of people in greater Memphis couldn’t afford to buy the food their families needed at some point over the previous 12 months, the highest rate in the nation. The nationwide recession has compounded the region’s economic woes, which experts say stem from the steady decline of family farms, a shortage of skilled workers and few major employers. Slammed with job losses, many middle-class families such as the Caleses find themselves forced to choose whether to pay their house, car, utilities and medical bills or buy groceries. “We have seen need grow at certain times, but we have never seen a national economy like this,” said Susan Sanford, who’s headed the Mid-South Food Bank in Memphis for the past two decades. “And we have never seen so many middle-class people lose their jobs and have to depend on emergency food assistance.” Last year, some 186,500 people in 31 Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee counties that surround Memphis relied on agencies for their next meals, a 28 percent increase from four years ago, the food bank reported. Paradoxically, the region also suffers from high rates of obesity, which experts say is the result of families eating cheaper and less nutritious food. “It’s no surprise that this is a very poor area,” Sanford said. “But I never would have expected to be No. 1 in food insecurity in the entire country.” Cales never thought she’d be in her position, either. She and her husband, Donald, bought their home seven years ago and felt comfortable enough to spring for a few creature comforts: a big-screen TV, the premium cable package. While her husband’s job as a truck driver covered most of the family’s bills, over three years Cales worked her way up to become the manager of a TCBY yogurt shop. Her $13.50 hourly wage gave the family a slight financial cushion, but last May the owner came in and told Cales that her position was

being eliminated. “There was no warning,” Cales recalled. “She said I could be a regular employee at $7 an hour ... and I told her, no, I didn’t want to do that. So she told me to get my stuff and leave.” Now the premium cable is gone. Cales and her husband shopped around and found a cheaper car insurance policy. Every Friday after he’s paid, they huddle around a computer and pay their bills, hoping there’s some cash left over. “Groceries are always last on the list,” Cales said. “We pay our house note, pay the bills, get all that stuff out of the way, and sometimes there’s just not enough left.” There’s always something in the cupboard at home - pasta, maybe, or some instant meals - but when there isn’t money for fresh meat and produce, Cales visits the food pantry at her church, Raleigh Assembly of God. Her husband was reluctant to ask for help at first. Even now, Cales won’t take a full bag of free groceries, like the ones she used to pack as a volunteer. She takes just enough to get the family through until her husband’s next payday. With tired eyes, she looked across the living room at her 19-year-old daughter, Tiffany, who was preparing for her wedding by making bouquets of plastic flowers, a costsaving measure. “With my income, we were doing it,” Cales said. “But without it ... .” Her voice trailed off. At Memphis’ food pantries - most of which are run by faith-based groups and staffed by volunteers the demand has never been greater. Any day of the week, families troop in for sacks loaded with an assortment of food, most of it nonperishable: beef ravioli, ramen noodles, pinto beans, canned carrots, peanut butter, chili. The scenes are playing out nationwide as food shortages become a growing national problem. Feeding America, the country’s largest network of emergency food providers, reported that its pantries, soup kitchens and shelters served 37 million Americans last year, a 46 percent jump from 2005. In a recent national survey, nearly half the group’s clients said they had to choose between paying for food and paying their heating or electricity bills. More than one-third of the people it served were children. The growing demand comes amid a fundamental change in the way that nonprofit food banks operate. For years, regional food banks, the primary suppliers to pantries and kitchens, filled their stockpiles primarily with surplus food donated by giant food manufacturers. “When I arrived at this food bank 20 years ago, the food that we had to distribute, we just sat here and waited for it to come in,” Sanford said. “And there was a lot of it.” As food manufacturers have become more efficient, however, those surpluses are disappearing. In recent years, food banks have had to buy food from brokers and retail stores. —MCT

HYDERABAD: A worker sifts dust particles from dried red chilies at a wholesale market in Hyderabad, India yesterday. —AP

NEW YORK: World oil prices went into reverse on Friday after weaker-than-expected US economic growth data overshadowed the impact of a rescue plan for debt-ridden Greece, traders said. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, dipped 53 cents to 80.00 dollars a barrel. London’s Brent North Sea crude for May slid 31 cents to 79.29 dollars per barrel. Data showed Friday that the US economy-a top global oil consumer-grew at a slower pace than previously thought in the fourth quarter, as business and consumer spending slackened amid a fragile recovery from recession. The world’s largest economy grew by 5.6 percent in the October-December period, the Commerce Department said, revising downward an earlier estimate of 5.9 percent growth in gross domestic product. The slower growth stemmed from downward revisions to business investment, inventories, and consumer spending, the department said. Analysts had expected the world’s largest economy to grow at 5.9 percent in the final quarter from 2.2 percent in the third quarter. In earlier trade on Friday, oil won a boost from an EU agreement overnight to help Greece reduce its massive debt mountain. “The decision by the European Union to provide a fiscal aid package to Greece spread economic optimism across the energy market and boosted investor... risk appetite,” Sucden analyst Myrto Sokou said earlier Friday. Prices were also boosted by investors returning to the market “around the 80 dollar per barrel mark,” said Ben Westmore, a minerals and energy economist with National Australia Bank. Prior to Friday, prices had been slumping since touching 82 dollars on Tuesday as the euro lost ground against the dollar due to concerns over the debt crisis in eurozone member Greece. A stronger US dollar tends to dent oil demand because dollar-priced crude becomes more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies. But the dollar weakened Friday after European leaders clinched a deal to rescue Greece, with a standby package of loans backed by the International Monetary Fund halting the euro’s slide. The historic pactwhich re-writes the eurozone rule-book-was designed to “reassure all holders of Greek bonds” that European partners “will never abandon Greece,” European Union president Herman Van Rompuy said. The EU figurehead said all 16 eurozone nations, including Greece, had committed to “participate,” which was also designed to send a message to speculators not to simply switch their attentions from Greece to a new target in trouble, whether Portugal, Spain or Ireland. More broadly, leaders further agreed on the need for stronger “economic governance” in Europe with strengthened penalties for countries that consistently breach EU fiscal rules. — AFP

US regulators seize another four banks FDIC pulls back on loss shares WASHINGTON: Four small banks across the United States were seized by regulators on Friday evening, ticking up the year bank failure tally to 41. The continued parade of bank collapses comes as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp is pulling back on loss-share agreements designed to lure bidders into taking on the assets of troubled banks. Two of the banks that were seized were in Georgia, which has accounted for about one-sixth of all failures since the beginning of 2008.

Unity National Bank of Cartersville, Georgia, had about $292.2 million in assets, and McIntosh Commercial Bank of Carrollton, Georgia, had about $362.9 million in assets, the FDIC said. Georgia is paying the price for overly aggressive lending during the housing boom, particularly speculative commercial real estate loans. The other two institutions that failed on Friday were Key West Bank of Key West, Florida, which had $88 million in assets, and Desert Hills Bank of Phoenix,

Arizona, which had $496.6 million in assets. The FDIC found buyers for the deposits of all four banks, and entered into loss share agreements with all of them. The FDIC said on Friday that it has reduced the amount of losses it is willing to share with buyers of failed banks, indicating the agency’s increased confidence in the market for these banks’ assets and in the overall economy. The agency said it will no longer take on 95 percent percent of the share of potential losses for certain assets of


MEMPHIS: Employees prepare meals at Blues City Cafe on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. As more and more Americans struggle to pay their bills, a recent survey co-sponsored by Gallup found that 26 percent of people in greater Memphis couldn’t afford to buy the food their families needed at some point over the previous 12 months— the highest rate in the nation.— MCT

franchises, MGM has been struggling to create new hits. It is also trying to cope with plunging DVD sales as consumers move to viewing online. The financial crisis has not helped either. A $2.85 billion buyout in 2005 by a group including four private equity firms-Providence Equity Partners, TPG , Quadrangle Group and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, and media companies Sony Corp and Comcast Corp , also saddled the company with debt. — Reuters

MUSCAT: Last week the market opened at the 6633 point’s level. It then declined to register a low of the week at the 6604 point’s level on the same day itself. It then rose to register a high of the week at the 6787 point’s level on Tuesday. It finally closed the week at the 6779 points level. During the whole week the market moved in a range of 184 points. Sentiment was bullish and on a week on week basis the index gained 145 points (2.20%) after having lost 15 points in the previous week. Will the market rise further? Technically, the charts have begun to display strength and a further rise can be expected. Investors are advised to hold long positions.

failed banks. It will continue an 80/20 loss share in some transactions, the FDIC said. “As a result of better pricing, more competitive bidding and an improving economy the FDIC feels that it can explore this step,” an agency spokesman said. Through the end of 2009, the FDIC entered into 94 loss sharing agreements, with $122 billion in assets under loss share. The FDIC estimates it saved $29 billion through the loss shares, compared to an outright cash sale of those assets.— Reuters



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ideological battle rages at heart of the Fed WASHINGTON: Like any good central banker, the Federal Reserve’s Ben Bernanke has cut a calm figure, sketching an endgame for vast crisis lending without hinting at the ideological storm that engulfs him. From behind a thick wooden desk, Bernanke assured Congress that the Fed would not raise interest rates or withdraw 2.3 trillion dollars it has used to prop-up the economy before the “appropriate time.” What he did not tell assembled lawmakers and television crews was that economists, Washington policymakers and even his Fed colleagues are in fierce disagreement about when the appropriate time might be. Experts say the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression has exploded a debate over monetary policy that has long bubbled within the Fed. “To some degree we are in uncharted territory” said Rob Roy McGregor, an economics professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and an expert on the Fed’s interest-rate setting Federal Open Market Committee. Within the committee,

McGregor said, monetary hawkswho argue for tight controls on money supply to curb inflation-are dismayed by historically low interest rates and the scale of Fed’s balance sheet, which is more than double pre-crisis levels. Meanwhile monetary doves, facing the greatest economic crisis in a generation, are more willing than normal to run the risk of stoking inflation in the pursuit of job creation. It is not the first time the Fed’s monetary hawks and doves have clashed, but today’s tough realities may be polarizing the debate. In recent months, traces of that debate have become public, shattering the Fed’s image as a bastion of pointy-headed economists who pore over endless streams of data before reaching an amiable consensus. For two straight committee meetings, Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, has voted against his colleagues’ promise to keep interest rates low for an “extended period.” That is a sure sign of wider discord within the normally guarded

WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on unwinding emergency federal reserve liquidity programs and implications for economic recovery. — AP

Federal Reserve, according to Vincent Reinhart, a former head of the Fed’s Division of Monetary Affairs. “The first thing to remember is that Fed is a consensus-driven organization,” he said pointing to divisions over how quickly the Fed should move away from crisis mode by raising rates and unwinding the balance sheet. “This is a philosophical issue: how they exit, and how quickly they want to exit,” he said, “it is fundamentally about how you think inflation is determined.” According to McGregor, such dissent “is actually quite rare.” Between 1966 and 1997, dissent was recorded in just 7.8 percent of votes. Some blame the politicallycharged nature of the economic debate for the splits, and for threatening the Fed’s independence. Allan Meltzer, a Fed historian and former economic advisor to presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, said the votes of open market committee members are often influenced by their proximity to Washington politics. Of the ten voting members on

the open market committee, five are members of the Fed’s Washingtonbased board of governors, and five are presidents of regional federal banks. “The (regional) presidents are not as politically responsive,” said Meltzer, “they are out there talking to people, they hear the concerns about inflation.” In the current economic environment, the governors may be more finely attuned to concerns in Washington about tighter monetary policy and fears that it could choke the economic recovery. There are concerns that politics may further influence the debate. Obama now has the opportunity to appoint two vacant governors seats and replace the Fed’s vicechair, who is to retire. All three would serve on the open market committee. Meltzer sees a difficult balance between the two, sometimes conflicting prongs of the Fed’s mandate: to seek price stability and full employment. “The Fed has a dual mandate, and they choose to fulfill one part of that mandate at a time.” — AFP

Dow eyes 11,000 as jobs report looms Quarter’s end could spur more gains NEW YORK: The Dow industrials could hit 11,000 next week as investors bet the US labor market had a significant turnaround in March, showing the economic recovery is in good shape. The Dow and the S&P 500 stock indexes are at their highest in nearly 18 months

and the expected repositioning before Wednesday’s end of the quarter could provide further support. With the Dow closing above 10,850 on Friday, it would need to rise 1.4 percent- or a tad less than 150 pointsto reach 11,000 level.

FARGO: A farm is surrounded by flood water near Fargo, North Dakota in this photo. Residents of Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minnesota are waiting for the Red River to begin dropping following a crest at 36.99 feet. — AFP

Black farmers slam Obama Government misses deadline for $1.25 billion settlement WASHINGTON: The Obama administration dropped the ball on a $1.25 billion deal to settle decades-old discrimination lawsuits with black farmers, an advocate for the group said on Friday after the government failed to meet a key deadline. The deal, one of the largest civil rights settlements in history, was to compensate black farmers left out of federal farm loan and assistance programs due to

racism. But it was contingent on Congress approving $1.15 billion in funding by March 31. Lawmakers left for a two-week break on Friday without approving the deal, leaving it in limbo. “The president made a strong commitment to show leadership to get this done, and basically we haven’t seen him show that leadership,” said John Boyd Jr, head of the National Black Farmers Association.

“The president didn’t help us finish the job,” Boyd said. The deal reached last month was hailed by President Barack Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Attorney General Eric Holder as a milestone in righting historic wrongs. The farmers had urged the administration to declare the settlement an emergency, which would waive Congress from the

Toyota Motor Sales comments on JD Power and Associates 2010 VDS TORRANCE: JD Power and Associates yesterday announced the results from their 2010 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), covering 2007 model year vehicles. The following comments on the VDS can be attributed to Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc “We are pleased that TMS has once again led the way with the most segment awards in the JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study. We’re especially proud of our consistency in the annual study. Since 1994 Lexus has continued to place among the top three nameplates in every year of eligibility, while Toyota has been in the top five among non-luxury manufacturers since 1990. Toyota has once again topped this year’s study as the top-ranking full-line manufacturer”. “This is great news and timely for both our customers and our dealers, as it provides reassurance our vehicles continue to be an industry benchmark for quality.”

On that note Mubarak Al Sayer the CEO Units Group MNSS said:” “In the occasion of such positive outstanding results of JD Powers, we praise our selves for being the sole distributor of Lexus cars, the worlds most practical & luxury automotive brand; TMC has managed to produce “Reliable Dependable Cars” that does not stand still, tremendous advances in innovative technology and driving capabilities, as well as in environmentally friendly solutions, and in spite the negative media attack on Toyota covering the issue of the accelerating paddle, yet Toyota managed to capture customers loyalty & trust, for that Toyota shall remain the best in terms of dependability & innovation. “On our turn here in Kuwait, we are committed to insure our customer’s complete satisfaction with their cars, Al Sayer will always continue to be committed to offer the best products and service available in Kuwait, and to always meet the best of customer care”.

so-called “pay-go” requirement to trim budgets for other programs to fund the payments. The 2008 Farm Bill had provided for $100 million in payments. Boyd and key lawmakers met with Vilsack this week in a lastditch effort to get the waiver for the rest. Vilsack told reporters the administration was working through complex legal and jurisdictional issues, in part because of rules established in the Farm Bill. “There is absolutely no hesitation on the part of this administration,” Vilsack said. “We want to get these cases resolved and we will.” The missed deadline for the case, known as Pigford II, will mean black farmers face more financial hardships, Boyd said. The original Pigford class action lawsuit, named after North Carolina farmer Timothy Pigford, was settled in 1999 after the USDA ignored black farmers’ claims for decades. In the first case, more than 13,000 farmers received payments in a package worth more than $1 billion. But tens of thousands of farmers missed the filing deadline. The settlement in Pigford II would allow these farmers to again make their claims. Boyd said he will now go back to his lawyers to determine whether the funding deadline can be pushed back. The lawsuit originally sought $2.5 billion. —Reuters

But with benchmark US Treasury yields approaching 4 percent, investors may prefer the relative safety of US debt instead of continuing to throw money at a stock market that has risen steeply for more than a year. Economists expect data on Friday to show the economy created about 190,000 jobs in March, but stock investors will have to be brave enough to bet on that confirmation ahead of the data, since the market will be closed for the Good Friday holiday. Wednesday’s private-sector jobs data and Thursday’s jobless claims could support those willing to step out on a limb. “Obviously, the jobs number is the most important thing” next week, said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors, in New York. “You are going to get this delayed reaction (the following) Monday, unless the claims numbers are just so terrific, that you get some prebuying ahead of Friday.” Stocks closed higher for a fourth straight week, around levels not seen since September 2008, as recent uncertainty stemming from fiscal problems in some European countries and the healthcare overhaul receded. A European Union agreement on a safety net for Greece restored investor confidence, but that net could prove small if fiscal burdens bog down other EU members like Portugal, whose debt rating was cut on Wednesday by Fitch. “Clearly, there is the potential for there to be fiscal issues with other countries in Europe, but the Europeans have now set a precedent that they intend to backstop any negative fiscal situations,” said Ken Farsalas, portfolio manager at Oberweis Asset Management in Lisle, Illinois. Sentiment, nonetheless, remains downbeat. A stock market sell-off on Friday following news a South Korean naval ship had sunk suggests risk takers are ready to sell on any troublesome news-and ask questions later. Main indexes closed little changed on Friday. For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 1 percent, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.9 percent. THE CURIOUS THREAT OF THE RISING YIELD The yield on the benchmark 10-year US treasury bond brushed 4 percent in the past week, foreshadowing a possible roadblock for stock bulls. Three government debt auctions last week had “mediocre, at best”results and rising yields “at some point, become an obstacle for equities,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey. Yielding 4 percent and with the relative safety of US government debt, Treasuries could entice investor money that would otherwise continue to pump into stocks. And rising yields also lead to higher borrowing costs. “It becomes worrisome with a fragile economy that’s trying to gain traction and momentum,” Krosby said. Investors will have plenty of data points to gauge that momentum in the coming holiday-shortened week. —Reuters

LG’S latest ‘smart +’ LED LCD monitors KUWAIT: LG Electronics Business Solutions, a perfect solution partner for businesses and individuals, yesterday announced the launch of its brand new LED LCD E50 monitor series, which boasts green technology, a range of smart functions and a super high-resolution picture. “With the LED monitor market growing so quickly, LG has responded with the innovative, eco-friendly and smart functionembedded E50 series,” said H S Paik, President of LG Electronics Gulf FZE. “In particular, the E50V model of the E50 series has been awarded environmental certification from UL, a first for the monitor industry, while the E50VR uses LG’s super resolution technology to produce a super-sharp picture to rival anything on the market.” Exceptional Picture Quality and Super Plus Resolution The flagship of LG’s LED computer monitors, the E50 series offers Full HD picture quality with mega contrast ratio. Along with such high-performance entertainment features that customers expect from LG’s LED technology, the E50 series also delivers the functionality they need in a computer monitor. The picture quality gets even better on the E50VR. Thanks to its mold-breaking Super Plus Resolution technology, the E50VR produces an even more realistic picture while also enhancing SD-level content to HD standard. The secret behind LG’s Super Plus Resolution is the IC (Image Clear) Engine chip, which uses a Full HD-compatible single-frame algorithm to get rid of frame delay without the need for any external memory or software. The IC Engine also includes a shoot control function that suppresses overexposure in photographs to produce a more natural and refined finish. Altogether, Super Plus Resolution converts

mediocre pictures into the highest resolution, while delivering realistic images for both games and movies. Less Energy, Fewer Pollutants Besides their outstanding technical features, LG’s E50 monitors are less demanding on the environment, too. Now made with fewer hazardous materials - and no halogen or mercury at all - the E50 series also uses up to 45 percent less power than previous models. In addition, being extremely light and slim, E50 monitors will result in far less e-waste. The 23inch E50V’s outstanding ecological credentials have recently been endorsed by UL, which awarded the monitor Sustainable Product Certification. After rigorous, independently monitored testing, the E50V was deemed to meet the IEEE 1680 environmental requirements for consumer electronics, which includes ENERGY STAR(r) requirements for energy efficiency. Smart Plus Package and Sophisticated Design The E50 series is designed for convenient use with Ez control OSD and has a smart package featuring Dual web, Auto bright, Cinema mode and Original ratio. Their Dual Web feature, meanwhile, allows users to divide the screen in two, making it possible to check multiple online sources while working on Microsoft Office(tm) documents at the same time. In addition, thanks to LG’s LED technology, the LED E50 monitors are 17.5mm in depth and up to one-third lighter than other CCFL-backlit monitors on the market. Their ergonomic design makes for a sophisticated shape, while the detachable two-way stand allows for easy use of the monitor at table level with a laptop.

Interest rates recoup from recent sell-off CHARLOTTE: Interest rates pulled back in the bond market after rising sharply earlier in the week. Treasury prices eked out small gains, pushing their yields lower, as the stock market retreated and investors looked for safety. Treasurys sold off sharply this week following tepid demand for $118 billion of new government debt. The rise in yields attracted investors seeking bargains. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note maturing in February 2020 fell to 3.85 percent in late trading from 3.89 percent late Thursday. Its price rose 7/32 to 98 4/32. The yield of the 10-year note is linked to interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans. “Treasury auctions came in with a thud,” said Rob Lutts, president and chief investment officer of Cabot Money Management. The disappointing auctions show “investors may not be as confident in US deficits and finances.” The government has been auctioning a steady stream of bonds for months to fund its economic stimulus efforts. Although most of the sales have gone well,

demand for this week’s auctions - including $44 billion in two-year notes Tuesday, $42 billion in fiveyear notes Wednesday and $32 billion in seven-year notes Thursday - was weaker than at other recent sales. Lutts said a major question moving forward for the Treasury market is whether big foreign investors like China and Japan will demand higher yields to continue to buy up US government debt. “This week we got a glimpse of what could be coming,” Lutts said. However, analysts say that a few weak auctions doesn’t necessarily mean that demand will continue to fall in the long term. Bond prices also got a boost from mixed economic news. The Commerce Department reported in its final update on gross domestic product that the economy grew at a 5.6 percent pace in the fourth quarter, slightly less than its earlier estimate of 5.9 percent. Signs of moderating growth tend to lift bond prices since they suggest mild inflation and little pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. —AP


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Sudan looks to sun for power to develop deserts KHARTOUM: Spread across central Africa as the continent’s largest country, Sudan plans to exploit the relentless Saharan sun to power its underdeveloped regions and green its deserts. Harnessing the sun’s energy for vast regions such as war-torn Darfur, which itself is the size of France, is costly. But the country’s ministry of energy and mining believes that advances in solar technology will lower the costs. “The costs are high compared to other conventional energy resources but we think that with the technology advances going on there will be a substantial decrease,” the ministry’s secretary general, Omar Mohammed Kheir, told AFP. The plan, he said, was to develop solar energy in regions not linked to the national grid, such as North Darfur. By harnessing

clean solar power impoverished Sudan could be setting a global example in a world worried about climate change. As the world observes Earth Hour yesterday, global landmarks from Sydney’s Opera House to the Forbidden City, to the glittering Las Vegas Strip, would be plunged into darkness as activists bid to reinvigorate the climate change fight. Hundreds of millions of homes, in scores of cities scattered around 125 countries would also join the great Earth Hour switchoff, creating a wave of darkness that will roll across the world. Sudan is the continent’s fifth largest oil producer-three fifths of its product is exported to Asia-and is multiplying its hydroelectric projects along the Nile. But conventional energy sources alone

will not meet the increasing demand of this country of 40 million people. Earlier this month, the French company Solar Euromed signed an agreement with Sudan to build and run solar power plants over the next decade. “Our country is developing very, very fast and we think there is a need for more electricity. That is why we have a master plan to generate about 20.000 megawatts within the coming 20 years,” Kheir said. “The hydro power may contribute to 20 to 25 percent at maximum. The rest will come from other sources, all renewable energy including biofuel, solar energy, gas and maybe even nuclear energy.” Sudan has already launched a plant to produce biofuels, with a target of two million litres (528,000 gallons) in two years.

Marc Benmarraze, chairman of Solar Euromed, said Sudan was well placed to use solar energy, but he cautioned over the country’s conflict-ridden history. “Sudan is in the zone known as the solar belt, where there is a direct normal radiation that is one of the world’s strongest,” Benmarraze said. The company’s first project will produce at least 150 megawatts with up to a third generated by solar power. The agreement, though in its basic stages, could be a first step in ambitious plans to green the deserts in northern Sudan and North Darfur. “In this region, desertification has happened,” said Osama Rayis with the African City of Technology, which is linked to the ministry of technology. “So our idea is turning yellow to green,

through the use of solar energy for pumping because there is a lot of underground water in all these areas, so we can change the picture dramatically,” he said. “It is very difficult to use fossil-based energy there because transportation is a problem,” he said. But costs stand in the way. “Our problem is the lack of funds. So we are trying to work it out,” he said. “We are trying to market these projects for the parties, the government, the international community, NGOs.” The Sudanese government is not financing solar Euromed’s 10-billion-dollar project. The company, which is eying two projects in Darfur, wants to finance it with partners and make a profit by selling the energy. The Solar Euromed deal is a “preliminary memorandum of understanding,” said

Kheir. Investing in the conflict ridden country, which went from a two-decade civil war between the north and the south to a devastating war in Darfur, is risky. Sudan “has its own political risks,” said Benmarraze, adding it was necessary to take it “step by step” rather than try to secure the full 10-billion needed for the project. Ulrich Mans, a renewable energy specialist at Amsterdam University visiting Sudan for research, said it was necessary to show that the technology would work in the country to gain investors’ confidence. “In order to get significant investors on board it is crucial to show that this technology makes economic sense and offers returns on investment to foreign companies,” he added. — AFP

Internet forums allow car enthusiasts to swap experiences

Cult Pakistan website fires classic cars passion ISLAMABAD: In a country beset by Islamist militants and bombings, with a capital likened to a “living graveyard”, a cult website has fired Pakistani passion for classic cars and the freedom of the open road. Listed by Forbes as the fourth most dangerous country in the world, hitting the roads in the Pakistani outback is not a leisure activity that immediately

RAWALPINDI: A Pakistani employee looking at cars in the yard of a Volkswagen Beetle auto workshop in Rawalpindi. — AFP

Fujitsu cedes ‘iPad’ trademark to Apple WASHINGTON: Japan’s Fujitsu has ceded rights to the “iPad” name to Apple, just in time for the tablet computer from the California company to hit US stores next month. Fujitsu agreed last week to assign over all rights to the iPad name to Apple, according to US Patent and Trademark Office records. Fujitsu originally registered the iPad name with the Patent and Trademark Office in March 2003 in connection with a handheld scanner for retailers made by the Japanese company. The Patent and Trademark Office records, obtained on

Friday by technology blogs and, show that the iPad trademark was assigned to Apple on March 17. The details of the transaction between Fujitsu and Apple were not available. The iPad is to go on sale in the United States on April 3. Fujitsu’s “iPad” was launched by its US subsidiary in 2002 and was used by retail store clerks to keep inventory data, scan barcodes and manage business operations. Apple has been embroiled in trademark disputes with other companies before, including Cisco Systems, which launched

its “iPhone” before Apple. The two companies settled the dispute in 2007, agreeing to share the name. Germany’s Siemens also uses the trademark “iPad” for small engines and motors and the Swiss-based microchip maker STMicroelectronics has reportedly registered “IPAD,” short for “Integrated Passive and Active Devices.” In Canada, the Ontariobased company Coconut Grove Pads Inc. has since 2007 made a line of bra inserts and shoulder pads called the “iPad”, according to the Globe and Mail daily. — AFP

Turn your sunglasses into reading glasses instantly with Seemores, which are thin, pliable reading lenses that adhere with a single drop of water to the inside bottoms of any pair of sunglasses. Seemores are removable, reusable and affordable. — MCT

Stick-on lenses turn shades into sight What they are: The half-circle plastic lenses, a bit bigger than half a quarter, attach to sunglasses to provide the function of reading glasses. How they work: The instructions say to put a few drops of water on the sunglass lens where you want to place the reading lens. I had more success with several drops of water. I carefully pressed the reading lenses to the inside surface of each sunglass lens, then shook off the excess water. I let them dry and gently wiped away any splotches. It took a few tries to get the reading lenses to properly stick. I also ran the lenses under hot water to “train” them to fit the extreme curve of my sunglasses. The good: If you can’t pull the trigger on a pair of prescription sunglasses, which can be

quite pricey, this is a fantastic solution. You can plop down on the beach with your favorite offthe-shelf sunglasses and still be able to read. In my case, my pair of pricey prescription sunglasses were ground up on a security conveyor belt at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, so these provided an interim pair. But when I backpack, I don’t want to risk an expensive prescription pair, so these will be going with me into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. I will be able to cut glare off the water and still navigate with a map. The bad: It may take practice to get the adhesion just right. Make sure the sunglass lenses are clean, and if there is an extreme curve in the glasses, bend the plastic lens under hot water before applying. The lenses can be trimmed to fit. — MCT

“Media images from Pakistan are always of suicide bombers everywhere and men carrying guns in cities and towns,” said Abdul Haseeb Awan, 23, an electrical engineer and businessman. “The outside world must also be shown images of people engaging in healthy interaction,” he said. It is a refrain heard frequently in Pakistan, particularly from the educated and wealthy elite, increasingly frustrated that their nation has become a byword for terrorism, AlQaeda and religious extremism in the West. Washington considers the northwest tribal corridor along the Afghan border the most dangerous place in the world for Americans and a chief sanctuary for Al-Qaeda leaders targeted in a US drone campaign. Southern Punjab has become synonymous with madrassas used to recruit Taleban footsoldiers, while southwestern province Baluchistan has suffered a separatist insurgency for nearly six years, as well as flashes of sectarian violence. “It’s a question of mind over matter. We felt as safe as we do in Islamabad or any other city,” said Saqib Hafeez Mirza, freshly back from a six-day trip pounding 4,432 kilometres (2,770 miles) in a restored 1974 Toyota Corolla. He drove from the cool hills of the capital Islamabad down south through the breadbasket of Pakistan, then through desert to Karachi, swinging southwest to the port city of Gwadar on the glittering Arabian Sea. Mirza bubbles over about “unexplored pristine beaches” in Baluchistan on the border with Afghanistan and Iran, which is also notorious as an alleged bolthole for Afghan Taleban supremo Mullah Omar. “It was my uncle’s car. He passed away in 1976 at 43. Restoring it was very touching and full of memories, especially for my father and I know what this car means to him,” Mirza told AFP. Awan says the website introduced him to friends when he moved from the northwest to study in the purposebuilt capital, often likened to “a living graveyard” because of its limited entertainment. His family comes from Dera Ismail Khan, a flashpoint of sectarian violence where picnic spots and mountain valleys once popular with tourists are now subject to Taleban violence and army control. Taleban and Al-Qaeda-linked bombers have killed more than 3,000 people in attacks across the country over the last three years. But digging out vintage cars from junk yards, restoring them to their former glory and hitting the tarmac is a growing passion for enthusiasts tapping into the chat rooms of Pakistan’s busiest websites. Hanif Bhatti, 53, a long-time enthusiast, founded as an experiment seven years ago and watched in amazement as the number of registered users multiplied to 100,000. Not bad as a fan base for a specialist website in a country where the Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan estimates that five million people are online. Despite traditional clubs in major cities, Internet forums increasingly facilitate interaction and allow car enthusiasts to swap experiences. “I got very valuable feedback and suggestions from my friends, which helped a lot,” said 29-year-old Bashartullah Khan, who spent four years restoring a 1966 Morris Minor. — AFP

springs to mind when talk switches to the nuclear-armed state of 167 million. But over a recent dinner in Islamabad, fans of the fast growing website devoted to all things auto swapped stories and laughed over jokes from their trips, speeding classic cars down deserted highways in bandit territory.

RAWALPINDI: This photo taken on February 17, 2010 shows Pakistani mechanic and Volkswagen Beetle afficionado Khalid Mehmood, 49, smoking a cigarette at his auto workshop in Rawalpindi. Digging out vintage cars from junk yards, restoring them to their glory and racing across Pakistan is a passion for car enthusiasts who communicate through the Internet in the troubled country. — AFP

Sound engineer creates an entire album of original music on iPhone SCOTTS VALLEY: Attention to those still wrestling with the mysteries of texting, Tom Freeman is about to blow your mind. The sound engineer who works at Universal Audio in Scotts Valley is also a part-time musician and, as such, he’s made a new album — entirely on his iPhone. OK, so it’s not anything that’s going to remind anyone of Sinatra, but it’s a complete musical work with percussion, bass, synthesizer and various sound samples, combined for 25 continuous mix tracks of cool-to-thetouch electronica appropriate for any chillin’ party. “I was pleased by how it turned out,” said Freeman, a bass player and producer who goes by the moniker “Freematik.” “The sound is like something you’d get from a legit recording studio.” Freeman said it took him several months to finish the product, but, he found, it was something he could do anywhere. “I’d do it at motels, on the beach, waiting for tables at restaurants. That would be just enough time to make a beat.” Using such apps as Beatmaker, iDrum and Flare, Freeman meticulously created first a percussive beat, then a bass line, some synthesizer swells and melody lines and even some DJ scratchs. Scratching is a popular technique in which a DJ creates rhythmic sounds by scratching a needle in the grooves of a vinyl record on a turntable. An application called Flare Scratch allowed him to simulate the act of scratching, on the tiny screen of his iPhone. “You’re physically using the same motion,” he said. “Scratching is really hard to do.

Tom Freeman, who works as a quality assurance engineer at Universal Audio in Scotts Valley, California, is photographed March 22, 2010. Freeman spent four months of his free time creating iMatik, a multi-track mix tape using nothing but his iPhone. — MCT It’s not something I’ve ever been good at. But this made it easier for me.” From there, Freeman added any number of sample sounds, downloaded from his own computer. The biggest problem with the project, which is dubbed “iMatik,” was that Freeman could not overdub his various tracks. The iPhone allows for only one open application at a time, so he did the overdubbing on another workstation. “For production, it’s great,” he said. “The app on the iPhone opens immediately and in 10 seconds you’re ready to get to work. And the sound, it’s pretty close if not equal to anything in a big studio.”

The “iMatick” album is available streaming on Freeman’s Web site, A download costs $5. Freeman said he is familiar with artists who’ve created sounds, beats and textures on the iPhone _ the project could theoretically also be done on the iPod Touch _ but he has heard of no one who has ever gone to trouble to create a whole album. Ironically, Freeman’s Scotts Valley employer, Universal Audio, re-creates old-school recording equipment using both analog and digital technology. If Freeman is the first to make an album on his iPhone, he may be the last as well. Certainly, more music is bound

to be created using these new technological tools. But soon there will be an easier way. Apple’s impending release of the iPad — the new units ship April 3 — gives would-be music producers much more screen space to work with compared to the tiny iPhone screen. There is little incentive then for anyone to repeat Freeman’s feat. “There are real limitations with it,” he said. “It doesn’t have pressure sensitivity, for instance. You can’t push buttons to create different hard or soft sounds that make it more expressive. And it doesn’t have the functionality to record music very well. But sometimes, it’s nice to see what you can do with limitations.”— MCT



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Health system rolls inexorably toward digital records

Dr. Joe Davison, M.D. carries a computer tablet that he uses when he visits his patients at West Wichita Family Physicians, March 11, 2010, in Wichita, Kansa. He has easy access to all of his patients’ medical history on the tablet. —MCT

WICHITA: Federal stimulus money and the promise of incentive payments are pushing health care providers toward digital information. Just as moving from ledgers to computers changed banking, going to electronic medical records is expected to change health care, proponents say. But going digital is also expensive. Hillside Medical Office in Wichita, Kan., which has seven physicians and one nurse practitioner, recently signed a contract for a system. Administrator Dave Gordon said it’s “the largest investment this office has ever made, other than the building. ... It’s six figures.” Beginning next year, health care providers can recoup some of their costs from incentives that were part of the stimulus package. Those making “meaningful use”

of electronic records are eligible for as much as $18,000 in fiscal 2011, and lesser amounts in the four years following, to an estimated total of $40,000 or more. Hospitals can get more than $2 million a year for four years. “That sort of money hanging out there is like fresh meat,” Robert St. Peter of the Kansas Health Institute said in Topeka, Kan., earlier this year. He is a member of the state’s e-Health Advisory Council. “It’s really lit a fire,” he said. “This is like a big deal now. There’s a lot of money involved.” Proponents say the benefits are as enticing as the funds. Recordkeeping will become more efficient. Tests and X-rays won’t need to be repeated, and staff time won’t have to be spent pulling or filing paper charts. Information will be mined in ways that can improve

health care, by showing which treatments are most effective, for example. And mistakes can be reduced, such as those that can come from misinterpreted handwriting. Many health care providers can’t afford to go fully digital right away, said Joe Davison, a physician at West Wichita Family Physicians and president of the Kansas Medical Society. At his office, “We are in a combination stage,” he said, with the ability to share lab results or digital X-rays but not all information with other providers. The ability to have health care providers’ computer systems “talk” to each other has accounted for some of the delay in the adoption of electronic records — and is pushing it forward now. Electronic medical records on their own are useful within a prac-

tice or hospital, just as computer systems are at a business. But when they are part of a health exchange, they become more like the health equivalent of banking online or at ATMs, in which information can be accessed by authorized users regardless of location. The potential to improve health care rests with those exchanges. Davison said the most valuable exchanges will be at the local level _ between a local physician and a local hospital, for example. But for health information to be valuable on a broader level _ for research and analysis _ the federal government is pushing for wider exchanges of information. States and others still are grappling with the issues raised by health exchanges, St. Peter said. Those include who should own the data, whether employers and insur-

ance companies should be able to access it, and whether it should be run by the state, a private entity or a hybrid of the two. For smaller-scale groups such as the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, Kan., the challenge is to develop a local health exchange. “We have gained a lot of insights in terms of the statewide plan and how that’s going to work,” said Executive Directo Jon Rosell, who also is a member of the state advisory committee. A nationwide exchange is “years down the road,” Davison said. But the journey has begun. Gordon said, “The government is almost forcing people’s hands, between their carrots and their sticks.” And at some point in the future, he said, a health care provider still using paper charts will be as rare as a bank pulling out a ledger. —MCT

‘It’s the best procedure’

Doctors tout NanoKnife for easy tumor removal MIAMI: A University of Miami doctor recently removed two cancerous NanoKnife — not really a knife at all, but yet another new use of nantumors from a patient’s liver using only three needle-like probes, a com- otechnology, the science of dealing with particles and dimensions down puter and a powerful burst of electricity. His instrument was the to the atomic level. be more likely to remove an The patient, Maria Gomez of entire tumor, leaving the patient Delray Beach, Fla., went home cancer-free. the next day with little pain and They say it’s easier on no bleeding. She has a good patients than previous methods. chance of avoiding the liver transA few years ago, Gomez’s tumor plant that was being considered would have called for major before the operation in early surgery. More modern, less invaJanuary, says Dr. Govindarajan sive methods such as radiofreNarayanan, chief of vascular interquency ablation or cryoablation ventional radiology at the UM attack the tumor with extreme Miller School of Medicine. heat or cold, which can damage “I think it’s the best procehealthy surrounding tissue. The dure,” Gomez, 67, said a few days NanoKnife creates no heat or after the procedure. “I studied cold, avoiding such damage. And this. It’s my life.” Narayanan says there’s a large “Rather than using surgery or artery running very close to the a transplant, we decided to try liver that could be damaged by the this non-invasive technique,” said other techniques. Narayanan. “We did a scan afterHays, the Arkansas radiolowards and it looked very good. In gist, agrees that, since the a month, we’ll get another scan.” NanoKnife creates no heat or Narayanan is enthusiastic about the NanoKnife. It allows Dr. Govindarajan Narayanan, right, talks with his patient, Maria Gomez, 67, at subfreezing temperatures, it can doctors to excise primary tumors University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, January 14, 2010, in Miami, Florida. Dr. be used in some patients who can’t undergo radiofrequency that until now were considered inoperable, and can be used on Narayanan used a NanoKnife to destroy a cancerous tumor in Gomez’s liver. —MCT ablation and cryoablation. Those methods “do well in tumors that have spread from effective in selective patients.” tumor’s cellular walls, causing of general anesthesia. cancer in other parts of the body, “She woke up, had some Jell- killing the cancer,” Hays says, Dr. David Hays, a radiologist them to die naturally and be rouhe said. O, slept through the night, got up, “but they cause significant collatin Little Rock, Ark., who also tinely discarded by the body. The UM center got its uses the NanoKnife, agrees on its “The liver regenerates in the brushed her teeth and went eral damage to surrounding blood vessels, arteries and bile ducts. NanoKnife late last year, becom- importance. area where we removed the home,” he says. ing the first facility in Florida and “I feel fine,” Gomez said a few So there are some patients we “It adds to rather than replac- tumor,” Narayanan says. can’t treat with those methods.” fourth in the United States to use ing the methods we’re using In his operation on Gomez, days after the procedure. While Narayanan used the one. Developed by today,” he says. “When you take Narayanan watched the monitor The new procedure was much AngioDynamics of Queensbury, them all together, I believe they of a CT scanner to precisely posi- less arduous than surgery used in NanoKnife for a liver tumor, docN.Y., the device costs about can increase cancer survival tion three probes around the first 2006 to remove an earlier tumor tors in other states and countries $300,000; each probe costs rates.” of her tumors. He then used the in her liver. When the tumors also are using it for tumors of the $2,000. Narayanan calls the The NanoKnife is a series of NanoKnife’s computer and moni- recurred, doctors first recom- lung, kidney and prostate. In the NanoKnife “a major step forward needle-like steel probes with an tor to precisely set the electrical mended a transplant. Then prostate procedure, they hope the in cancer treatment.” suggested the device’s precision can spare surelectrical generator, a computer pulse, then triggered it with a foot Narayanan rounding nerves and maintain “We’re still in the early stages with monitor and a couple of foot pedal. In a minute or so, the NanoKnife. of using it,” he says. “It’s good for pedals to operate it. “I chose to avoid the trans- continence and sexual function. tumor was destroyed. He then “There’s a lot of work going tumors less than five centimeThe “nano” aspect of the pro- used two probes on the smaller plant if I could,” Gomez said. ters; for really big tumors it’s less cedure is that the electrical puls- tumor. Doctors hope that, because of on to see what it can do,” good. My guess is it will be very es poke infinitesimal holes in the Gomez was then brought out its precision, the NanoKnife will Narayanan said. —MCT

Trainer uses school techniques to build real-world strength COSTA MESA: Brad Davidson teaches people how to get strong by bringing some of his childhood experiences on an Oregon dairy farm to his gym on in Costa Mesa, Calif. Milking cows and carrying 50-pound sacks of powdered milk, as well as watching his grandfather and uncles perform grueling tasks every day, inspired a lifelong passion for studying the science of strength. His conclusion: The most effective techniques were invented between the end of the Civil War and the 1930s, many of them in Eastern Europe. Some of the exercises he uses in the parking lot of his gym, Synergy Training Centers, are borrowed straight from the farm, or a 19th-century logging camp: Clients tip over 475-pound tractor tires, swing sledgehammers or use a thick rope to pull slabs of weights stacked on a sled that grinds against the asphalt. “We call it Country Strong or Farm Strong,” Davidson says. “That’s real-world strength.” “You can’t beat what works,” he adds. “Nothing great has been invented the last 70, 80 years. There’s been no new ideas. Just the same old ideas renamed or repackaged.” Davidson, 34, who played football at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif., and took a shot at making the U.S. Olympic bobsled team four years ago, is 5foot-10 and 180 pounds. He pulls half a dozen books from his bookshelf in his office. They’re all thin and mostly old and obscure, loaded with black and white photos featuring barrel-chested men in tootight shorts, hoisting massive weights straight out of a cartoon — matching cannonballs with a bar in between. Their trail blazer is Arthur Saxon, the handlebar-mustachioed German billed as the world’s strongest man in the early 20th century. He is said to have been able to raise a plank carrying 12 men. And he once

lifted a 315-pound barbell over his head, with one hand, and tossed it to the other hand. “Look at this guy,” Davidson says, pointing to Saxon’s bulging biceps. “Every man wants to look like him, and every woman wants a man to look like him. He was unbelievably strong. No steroids, no supplements, just ate well and used training protocols. It’s just insane. He makes us look like a bunch of pansies these days.” In his 1906 book “The Development of Physical Power,” Saxon wrote that “the usual idea about strength _ I mean the idea of the average reader of health magazines _ is generally a wrong one. Genuine strength should include not only momentary strength, as proved by the ability to lift a heavy weight once, but also the far more valuable kind of strength known as strength for endurance.” Much of what Saxon and others preached has been vetted, tested and expanded on by research and by modernday experts like Canadian Charles Poliquin, who has coached Olympic and professional athletes and is a mentor of Davidson’s. To get stronger without getting bigger, Davidson says, reduce repetitions, increase the weight and keep the “time under tension” below 20 seconds. “You have to be using 70 percent of your 1RM (one-rep maximum) or heavier to get a strength response.” He says deep squats (bending the knees so that the rear touches the heels) has proved far more effective at building strength and preventing injuries to lower legs than just going parallel. While a quarter of Davidson’s clients are elite athletes, the rest are regular people who want to get stronger to live better lives — to be able to pick up their children or grandchildren without pain or make it through a workday without tiring out. Davidson does intensive assessment early

Brian Barss (right) walks carrying a 250-pound super yoke as strength trainer Brad Davidson walks alongside. Davidson, of Synergy Training Centers, uses the ‘Farm Strong’ approach in his program. —MCT on and develops workouts to suit whatever they want to achieve. Saxon wrote that bicyclists should be able to “jump on your machine and ride 100 miles at any time without undue fatigue.” But in the real world, a “business man” should be able to work “morning, afternoon and night with unflagging energy, holding tightly in his grasp the reins of business, retaining all the while a clear mind and untiring energy, both of body and brain.” That notion appeals to Bert Selva, CEO of Shea Homes, the nation’s largest privately owned homebuilder. Selva, 48, who lives in Newport Beach, Calif., had back problems for years because of herniated

discs. He has worked with Davidson for about five years and says “I’ve never felt better.” “I run a big company, so I’ve got to have energy all day,” he says. “Now I don’t really feel a lapse in energy.” Another Newport Beach client, Brian Barss, just likes the challenge of the farm gear out back. “I love taking a beating, so this is a good workout for me,” says Barss, 31. “It’s not for the meager or the timid, that’s for sure.” Davidson says one reason for his obsessive emphasis on strength training is that his father, Mike, who is 54, has myotonic dystrophy, a disease that slowly attacks the muscles. —MCT

MILWAUKEE: Financial counselor Beth Ehlen talks with patient Wesley Searl, of Fond du Lac, at Froedtert Hospital about his financial options to cover medical expenses, March 10, 2010, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With so many Americans out of work and uninsured, financial counselors at hospitals have found themselves increasingly busy. —MCT

Counselors tend to hospital patients’ financial worries MILWAUKEE: Despite her immersion in a world of sick patients without jobs or health insurance, Beth Ehlen projects unfailing cheer. “Hi. I’m Beth,” she says, entering a room at Froedtert Hospital. “I’m a financial counselor here at the hospital.” The patient inside, a woman in her 30s, lies in bed, not resting. She shifts around trying to get comfortable. Her face tightens. Her eyes pinch shut. “Would you rather I come back at a different time?” The patient is simply not up to talking, and Ehlen resumes her rounds. Although they haven’t spoken, the financial counselor knows this about the patient: She is uninsured, an alltoo-common predicament in an era when millions of Americans are out of work and health care reform has only just passed. Ehlen’s is one perspective on American health care, prereform. A year ago, she and the other Froedtert counselors were making 900 to 1,100 visits to uninsured patients each month; now they make about 1,200 to 1,400 visits. “We have more patients who have lost their jobs,” says Jennifer Underly, the hospital’s manager of patient financial services. “We have more patients who don’t qualify for government programs.” When these patients arrive at the hospital, Ehlen says, “they are scared and they probably are seeing dollar signs.” In the room she has just left, this is indeed the case. When Ehlen returns an hour later she learns that the patient, Gina Johnson, is a 37-year-old nurse and single mother with two children, who moved back to Milwaukee a week earlier from Minnesota. She moved because her family lives here and her nurse’s salary wasn’t enough to afford a three-bedroom apartment in St. Paul and day care for her 5-year-old daughter, Jaidee. Johnson is looking for work in Milwaukee, but the throbbing and spasms in her abdomen have made it impossible to focus on anything else. The pain radiates to her back. It hurts so much that she had been reduced to lying on her sofa crying, trying to hide the tears from her children. As a nurse, Johnson knew she should have gone to the hospital weeks ago. She was afraid. The last time she went to the hospital in Minnesota, her stay lasted six days and the bills were steep. She had health coverage then. “This was my first time without insurance,” she would say weeks later. “I was thinking,

‘How am I going to take care of this?’” It’s a question we’ve wrestled with as a nation. And while health care reform may offer more direction, it is not likely to remove the need for financial counselors like Ehlen, at least in the near future. “I suspect over a long period of time the number of financial counselors will decrease. In the near future they will increase because we will have all of this paperwork,” says Thomas E. Getzen, professor of risk, insurance and healthcare management at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Getzen stresses that once health reform kicks in, it won’t bring about universal coverage. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the reform legislation will lift about 32 million people from the ranks of the uninsured, “leaving about 23 million nonelderly residents uninsured, about one-third of whom would be unauthorized immigrants.” Among legal residents, the percentage of insured would rise to about 94 percent, from around 83 percent now. “You could have universal insurance, but the most difficultto-cover patients will still be difficult to cover,” Getzen says, listing the homeless and drugaddicted as two such groups. Come winter, for example, hospitals receive homeless men and women suffering from frostbite and other ailments, patients who arrive with little if any identification. “You’re still going to need people to get them into the system,” Getzen says. Prior to the reform vote, much discussion centered on the cost of hospital care for the uninsured. Hospitals often cite the amount of uncompensated care — the sum of a hospital’s bad debt and its charity care — though critics suggest these numbers can be easily inflated. “There is no such thing as a fair estimate of the cost of health care,” Getzen says. “There is the cost of running the whole hospital, but there isn’t a cost for this individual patient. You can only estimate it.” Froedtert says it provided $30.9 million in charity care or financial assistance in 2009, compared with $7.3 million in 1999. During that period, however, the hospital saw a significant increase in patients, so charity care as a percentage of revenue increased modestly from about 1.5 percent in 1999 to 2.1 percent in 2009. At 13 Aurora Health Care hospitals in eastern Wisconsin, charity care expenditures rose about 27 percent in the last year

alone, reaching $65 million in 2009. Such figures come as no surprise to the financial counselors on the front lines. “They actually provided me with another full-time employee because this hospital along with all of the others is so overwhelmed with self-pay patients,” says Sandy Malloy, a financial counselor at Aurora West Allis Medical Center. “A lot of them are people who’ve lost their jobs.” As Malloy and Ehlen make their rounds, they ask questions to determine whether the patients will qualify for assistance from government programs, including Medicaid, the Wisconsin Crime Victim’s Compensation Program and the state’s BadgerCare Plus for adults with dependent children. But the poor economy and job losses have overwhelmed some safety nets. After Milwaukee County’s General Assistance Medical Program ended in December 2008, approximately 7,400 people who had depended on the program for coverage were transferred to the state’s BadgerCare Core plan. BadgerCare Core helps financially strapped adults without dependent children. Less than a year later, on Oct.9, 2009, BadgerCare Plus Core stopped accepting applications. All the program’s slots were filled. “I applied back in July (2009). When I called around September, I was told they had around 5,000 applications they hadn’t processed yet,” says Mary J. James, an unemployed Milwaukee woman now living with her father. The waiting list for the program now stands at about 34,000. James, one of the uninsured patients Ehlen meets on her rounds, has come to Froedtert because of a bleeding ulcer. “I maybe waited too long because I didn’t have insurance,” says James, 42. “I didn’t want to put too much (financial) pressure on my dad. When I started throwing up blood, money was not an issue anymore.” Ehlen says she will check on James’ application. Meanwhile she gives James the application for the hospital’s charity care program; Froedtert prefers the term “financial assistance” because some patients are put off by the idea of accepting charity care. Ehlen explains that the application must be returned 10 days after release from the hospital and requires proof of identity, a copy of her 2008 federal income tax return and other documentation. —MCT



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Najlaa Al-Naqqi forum supports women sports

Embassy information EMBASSY OF UKRAINE The Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait informs that it has started updating the information about Ukrainian citizens, who live and work in Kuwait. In this connection, we are asking you to refer to the Embassy and update your file in consular register in order not to be excluded from it. For additional information please call: 25318507 ext.106 or visit the embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait (address: Hawalli, Jabriya, bl.10, str.6, house 5). The consular section of the Embassy open every day from 09:30 till 14:30 except Friday and Saturday. EMBASSY OF INDIA

Najlaa Al-Naqqi is seen with Ghanaima Al-Fahad, columnist Ahmad Bu Dabous, and businessman Ali Al-Ali. n light of the recent negative campaign that was raged against womenís sports activities mainly in practicing soccer, the Najlaa Al-Naqqi forum held a seminar that hosted several community ladies, as well as attorneys, authors, ideologists and media personnel. The seminar mainly focused on the right


of women to practice the sport as long as they stay committed to the tradition by committing to decent attire, while gaining familyís permission, noting at the same time that women had been practicing organized sports in the country since the 60ís. During the seminar, a feed was connected with a

Najlaa Al-Naqqi gestures with the victory sign as she poses for a photo with Dr Sa’eed Salmeen.

Attorney Lubaid Al-Abdal and Dr Sa’eed Salmeen. televised interview that was broadcasting live with MP Dr Ali Al-Omair, who strongly opposes womenís participation in sports, as the participants of the seminar had a chance to have their say on the matter. Among attendance were attorney Sheikh Dawood

Al-Sabah, who is the head of the Kuwait Chess Association and the head of the Strategic Center for Women and Children, attorney Lubaidd Al-Abdal, secretary general of the girls sports club, Mrs Nehad Jumaa, and media personality Ghanaima AlFahad.

Al-Naqqi shares a conversation with two of the attendants.

EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Embassy of the Philippines wishes to inform the Filipino community in the State of Kuwait, that the recent supreme court decision to extend the registration of voter’s applies only in local registration in the Philippines under Republic Act no. 8189 and does not apply to overseas voters which is governed by Republic Act no. 9189, hence it has no impact on the plans and preparations on the conduct of overseas absentee voting. The overseas absentee voting for presidential elections will start on 10 April 2010 and will continue uninterrupted until 10 May 2010 daily at the Philippine Embassy. Registered overseas absentee voters are advised to schedule their days off in advance to avoid complications in their schedules. Qualified voters are encouraged to get out and vote.

Movenpick & Al Bida’a supports Earth Hour 2010 arth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbor Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Coliseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour. Earth Hour 2010 took place yesterday at 8.30pm (local time) and is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community throughout the world. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future. Iconic buildings and land-


The Embassy of India will remain closed today on account of “Mahavir Jayanthi”. The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday.

marks from Europe to Asia to the Americas stood in darkness. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and joined together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common - our planet. In line with our launch of the Sustainability Program we are pleased to announce our support of Earth Hour initiative for 2010. Therefore we shut off lights yesterday for one hour starting from 08:30 pm. In addition to going dark and using dim lights in all hotel public areas, Movenpick Al Bida’a celebrated the Earth Hour with a candlelight dinners at Breeze Restaurant and Beldani Restaurant. “We are excited to join millions of people around the world in turning off lights to pledge our support for the planet and help reduce our impact on the environment”, said Gary Moran, the General Manager.

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Awami League Kuwait celebrates 90th birth anniversary of Sheikh Mujib


arch 17, 2010 was the birth anniversary of the nation people republic of’ Bangladesh. To mark this remarkable day Awami league Kuwait branch organized a day long activities including art competition, colorful cultural program with traditional dance & patriotic songs. A record number of competitors participated in the art competition where they express their deep feelings for the greatest leader of Bengalees Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Chief Guest of the function was

the Ambassador of Bangladesh in Kuwait Sayed Shahed Reza who proudly praised the activities by Awami league. Mohd. Sadeq Hussain the president of Kuwait AL presided over the function while honorable consular Mohd. Nurul Islam, first secretary (labour) K.M. A1i Reza of the Embassy, advisors of the organization Muazuddin Ahmed Emadul Haq Khan, Rabiul Alam Rabi, Sheikh Akramuzzainan Khan, Abdul Khalek Chy & General Secretary of Awami League Kuwait Habibur Rahman Habib

as principle speaker, were the special guest of honor associated with senior vice president M. Jaforuzzaman Lal, Vice President Fayez Kamal, Momin Chuwdhury, Jalaluddin Khan Habul, Shaliqul Alam Shafi, Abdur Rashid Bulu, Ataul Gani Mamun, and Abdul Kashern. The function started with the recitation of Holy Quran by the general secretary of Shechashebok League Mohd. Shamsul Hoque, followed by one minute silent in honor of all those great martyrs of nation, The ambassador along

with other guest of honor including president and secretary of AL vowed and explore their gratitude by putting flowers in front of a portrait of father of the nation followed by the birthday cake cutting ceremony. The function was conducted by the Joint Secretary of AL Kuwait Qamruzaman Titu, and a booklet of life history including some rare picture of Bangabandhu with world leader’s unfold by the ambassador and distributed to the audience which was published by the

JoinT Secretary Al Asrak Ali Ferdous. Murad Hossian Lokman, Golam Mowala Babul of AL Kuwait Shahnewaj Nazrul & Md. Harun ur Rashid of Kuwait Jubo League. Shahjan Sanu of Sheachashabok League & Imam Uddin Badal of Sainik League & all those guest of honor to part in the speech delivery session. At the end a cultural event took place performed by reputed singers, which was contact by Sima Islam Secretary of Female Affairs of Awami League Kuwait.

birthdays or celebrations by email: Fax: 24835619 / 20

Announcement TODAY GUST’s charity concert: Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) will hold a charity concert, in cooperation with the English School of Kuwait, where its proceeds are for Haiti’s victims. It will be held today, at 7 pm, at GUST campus, Mishref, the Conference Center (W6). MARCH 30 KPFA celebration: Kuwait Pakistan Friendship Association (KPFA) will celebrate jointly the National Days of Kuwait and Pakistan on Tuesday 30th March 2010 at Grand Banquet Hall, Souk Watiya Kuwait city @ 7:30 pm. Invitation is open to only valid KPFA members and in case those who have not renewed their membership, kindly do so immediately. Contact Saqib Aftab - 99697625 or Khalid Amin 99005703.

Sunday, March 28, 2010



Pakistanis in Kuwait celebrate National Day M arch 23 is the National Day of Pakistan. 70 years ago, on this day, in Lahore a resolution was passed in the annual meeting of all India Muslim League. Muslims of the Subcontinent set a destination under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Pakistani citizens living all over the world celebrate this day with great enthusiasm and optimism. In Kuwait celebrations of this day started with the flag hoisting ceremony in the premises of Pakistan Embassy. On the same night Pakistan Embassy also arranged a reception at the Hilton where ambassadors of different countries were specially invited. The embassy also arranged “Pak-Mela” at the Green Island where different food stalls, bangles shop and ‘pan shop’ were the center of attention. Kuwait Bahrain Exchange Company, UAE Exchange

Company, State Life Insurance and Friends Welfare Trust also set their stalls. The most important element of the show was a stage program in which Pakistani educational institutions presented national songs, folk songs and beautiful tableaus. The best item was a tableau presented by the students of Al-Hadaf Al-Munir academy in which influences of the tragic incidence of Dhaka fall were expressed. A tableau on the famous poem of the late Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz “Hum ke there ajnabi kitni mulaqatoon ke baad” was presented in a very exciting way. New Pakistan International School Hawally, Fahaheel Pakistan School Mangaf, Al-Hadaf Al-Munir Academy, Pakistan School & College Jleeb AlShyoukh, Pakistan National English School Hawally, Pakistan Excell School

fully participated in this function. A large number of Pakistani families enjoyed the function till the end. The young performers captivated everyone with their mind blowing performances. The participants including the families praised the efforts of the Pakistan embassy for arranging such an interesting and splendid program. They remarked that such programs are necessary to gather the Pakistani community at one place to create harmony. Sohail and Miss Simi conducted the proceeding in an excellent way. Every one praised their efforts and style. Kuwait Bahrain Exchange and UAE Exchange also distributed gifts through the lucky draws. In the end, Charge-d-affaires Sajjad Ahmad Sahar thanked the audience, participants and those who co-operated with the embassy in the arrangements to make this program remarkably successful.

KKK’s tent picnic a big success

Palestinian handicrafts expo he Palestinian Cultural Center, in co-ordination with the Women’s Cultural Society invite you to an exhibition of traditional Palestinian handmade embroidery including dresses, jackets, cushions, and ceramics in a variety of colors and


sizes. The exhibition will be open from tomorrow to Thursday April 1 from 10 - 1:30 pm and 4:30 - 8:30 pm at Women’s Cultural Social Society, Khaldiya, Block 2, Al-Quroba Street. For information, call 24843397 or 99376608.

Greetings riday morning saw a group of brightlydressed people heading towards the desert for a ‘tent picnic’. The Kuwait Kannada Koota organized a sports meet with fancy games like ‘Catch in the box’, ‘Multi-activity race’ etc. An invocation in praise of our adopted motherland, Kuwait, the land of rich oil, sand and sea waves set the pace. The participants were divided into teams named after the rivers of Karnataka: Cauvery, Hemavathi, Sharavathi, and Nethravathi, with red, green, yellow, and blue ribbons. The kids were divided into groups from 16, 7-10, 11-15 and so on and had events like Relay, Skipping-race, Hoop-relay, River-crossing etc to suit their abilities while the men and women enjoyed Lagori (a rough game of hitting a stack of stones with a ball), which brought nostalgic memories of childhood. In


fact, this game is almost extinct in most Indian cities. Post lunch marked the indoor activities like Housie, ‘Dance pe Chance’, and Quiz with teams vying for the prize in a show of hooting and humor. Extra zing was added by the rain playing hide-and-seek as well, but it was kind enough not to spoil the proceedings. A closing ceremony of couples marching into the tent and a gay waltz by the rest left a feeling of happy exhaustion. This day was well-spent with kids nodding off in their prams and parents’ laps. The setting sun witnessed a convoy of cars filled with happy families moving from the desert to the city. A ‘hurrah’ to the Event Manager Sudhir Shenoy, and President of KKK Harsha Rao for skillful planning and execution of the whole program, not to forget a scrumptious breakfast and lunch.

10th happy wedding anniversary

Happy birthday Pravasee Deseeya Congress President Jacob Channapetta cutting a cake, in a function organized for felicitating, the Garshom award winner Channapetta, at the Hidine Auditorium, Abbassiya.

appy birthday to our dearest Nadia Rashid Nafisa, who celebrated her 5th birthday yesterday. Wishing you a good health and bright future. May Allah bless you always. Best wishes coming from Haroon, Rinko, Essa, Tara, Tanni, Raihan, Hemo, Abed and Nabed.




Sunday, March 28, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings

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African Bambi I’m Alive Untamed And Uncut Animals A-Z I’m Alive Animal Cops Houston Rspca: On The Frontline Dolphin Days Lemur Street Pet Rescue The Planet’s Funniest Animals The Planet’s Funniest Animals Animal Cops Houston Aussie Animal Rescue The Jeff Corwin Experience Miami Animal Police Rspca: On The Frontline Going Ape Animal Precinct Ultimate Killers Ultimate Killers Wildlife SOS Wildlife SOS Deep Into The Wild With Nick Deep Into The Wild With Nick New Breed Vets With Steve Journey Of Life Shark Therapy Living With The Wolfman Living With The Wolfman Austin Stevens Adventures

00:05 Broken News 00:35 Jack Dee: Live At The Apollo 01:20 The League Of Gentlemen 01:50 The League Of Gentlemen 02:20 Hyperdrive 02:50 Green Green Grass 03:20 The Alan Clark Diaries 03:50 Broken News 04:50 The League Of Gentlemen 05:25 Jack Dee: Live At The Apollo 06:10 Hyperdrive 06:45 Garden Rivals 07:20 Balamory 07:40 Fimbles 08:00 The Roly Mo Show 08:15 Tikkabilla 08:45 Yoho Ahoy 08:50 Little Robots 09:00 Balamory 09:20 Fimbles 09:40 The Roly Mo Show 09:55 Tikkabilla 10:25 Yoho Ahoy 10:30 Little Robots 10:40 Balamory 11:00 Tommy Zoom 11:10 Garden Rivals 12:00 Doctors 14:30 Mission Africa 15:30 The Life Of Mammals 16:20 Egypt 17:10 Doctor Who 17:55 Doctor Who Confidential 18:15 The Weakest Link 19:00 Casualty 19:50 Casualty 20:40 Mission Africa 21:10 Mission Africa 21:40 The Life Of Mammals 22:40 The Inspector Lynley Mysteries 23:30 Afterlife

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00:40 Ths 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 15 Most Shocking Political Sex Scandals 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 Ths 07:45 Extreme Hollywood 08:35 E! News 09:25 Ths 11:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 12:00 E!es 12:50 Ths 17:10 Behind The Scenes 18:00 Ths 19:40 E!es 20:30 Glamour’s 20 Wedding Do’s And Don’ts 21:20 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:45 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 22:10 E! News 23:00 Dr 90210 23:50 Perfect Catch

ER The Unusuals Life Murdoch Mysteries The Unusuals The Closer Demons ER Glee Drop Dead Diva Life Murdoch Mysteries Demons The Closer Life The Unusuals Glee Drop Dead Diva ER Demons Criminal Minds Cold Case Supernatural Nip/Tuck

Come Dine With Me Big Chef Takes On Little Chef Saturday Kitchen Saturday Kitchen Big Chef Takes On Little Chef Big Chef Takes On Little Chef Cash In The Attic Usa Big Chef Takes On Little Chef Saturday Kitchen Antiques Roadshow Saturday Kitchen Saturday Kitchen Cash In The Attic Usa Saturday Kitchen Saturday Kitchen Living In The Sun Cash In The Attic Usa Bargain Hunt Come Dine With Me Come Dine With Me Come Dine With Me

Into The Storm on Super Movies 18:05 18:30 18:55 19:45 21:45 22:30

Come Dine With Me Come Dine With Me Big Chef Takes On Little Chef Masterchef Goes Large Living In The Sun Cash In The Attic Usa

01:00 The Juror-18 03:00 The Basketball Diaries-18 04:45 La Graine Et Le Mulet-PG15 07:15 There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble-PG15 09:00 Teknolust-PG15 11:00 Moll Flanders-PG15 13:00 Xanadu-PG 15:00 Unspoken Love-PG15 17:00 An American Rhapsody-PG 19:00 The Dying Gaul-PG15 21:00 High Roller-PG15 23:00 Nathalie...-PG15

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My Shocking Story My Shocking Story Breaking Point Brainiac Smash Lab How Stuff’s Made Wild Swimming Adventure Mythbusters Fifth Gear Fifth Gear Street Customs 2008 Wreck Rescue Wreck Rescue How Stuff’s Made Destroyed In Seconds Destroyed In Seconds Wild Swimming Adventure Destroyed In Seconds How Stuff’s Made Brainiac Smash Lab Breaking Point Mythbusters Storm Chasers Ross Kemp On Gangs

00:40 Nextworld 01:30 Nyc: Inside Out 02:20 Race To Mars 03:10 Primal Connections 04:00 Nyc: Inside Out 04:55 Weird Connections 05:20 Weird Connections 05:45 Patent Bending 06:10 Download: The True Story Of The Internet 07:00 Thunder Races 08:00 Sci-Fi Science 08:30 Sci-Fi Science 09:00 Nextworld 09:55 Sci-Trek 15:25 How Stuff’s Made 15:55 Primal Connections 16:50 Discovery Project Earth 17:45 Engineered 18:40 How It’s Made 19:05 How It’s Made 19:30 What’s That About? 20:20 Space Pioneer 21:10 Nyc: Inside Out 22:00 The Colony 22:50 The Colony 23:40 Sci-Fi Science

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Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas & Ferb Fairly Odd Parents Replacements Wizards Of Waverly Place

02:25 Little Einsteins 02:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 03:10 Handy Manny 03:35 Lazytown 04:00 Jonas 04:25 Suite Life On Deck 04:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place New Episodes 05:10 Hannah Montana 05:40 Sonny With A Chance 06:00 Little Einsteins 06:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 06:45 Handy Manny 07:10 Lazytown 07:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:00 Fairly Odd Parents 08:25 Suite Life On Deck 08:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place New Episodes 09:15 Jonas 09:40 Hannah Montana 10:00 Sonny With A Chance 10:30 High School Musical: El Desafio Mexico 12:00 Hannah Montana 12:25 Jonas 12:50 Replacements 13:15 Fairly Odd Parents 13:40 Sonny With A Chance 14:00 Suite Life On Deck 14:25 Wizards Of Waverly Place 14:50 Phineas & Ferb 15:15 Fairly Odd Parents 15:35 Replacements 16:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 16:25 Hannah Montana 16:45 Fairly Odd Parents 17:00 Jonas 17:25 Suite Life On Deck 17:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place New Episodes 18:10 Hannah Montana 18:35 Sonny With A Chance 19:00 Cheetah Girls 20:35 Hannah Montana 21:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:25 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:45 The Replacements 22:00 Hannah Montana 22:25 Jonas 22:50 Replacements 23:15 Fairly Odd Parents 23:40 Sonny With A Chance

06:00 X MEN 06:25 New SpiderMan 06:50 American Dragon 07:15 Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension 07:40 Kid vs Kat 08:05 Phineas & Ferb 08:30 I’M IN THE BAND 09:00 K9 ADVENTURES 09:30 Zeke & Luther 10:00 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 10:30 I’M IN THE BAND 11:00 Suite Life On Deck 11:30 Power Rangers Jungle Fury 12:00 JOHNNY TSUNAMI 13:30 Aaron Stone 14:00 Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension 14:30 Phineas & Ferb 15:00 Kid vs Kat 15:30 K9 ADVENTURES 16:00 I’M IN THE BAND 16:30 Zeke & Luther 17:00 Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension 17:30 Power Rangers Jungle Fury 18:00 Aaron Stone 18:30 Kid vs Kat 19:00 NEXT X U.S SHORTS 19:10 Phineas & Ferb 19:40 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 20:05 Kid vs Kat 20:30 American Dragon 21:00 Phineas & Ferb 21:25 Aaron Stone 21:50 Power Rangers Jungle Fury 22:15 Fantastic Four

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Psychic Witness Crime Scene Psychics Crime Scene Psychics A Haunting A Haunting Crime Scene Psychics Crime Scene Psychics Black Museum Fbi Files Ghosthunters Ghosthunters Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Csu Forensic Detectives Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Guilty Or Innocent? Extreme Forensics Diagnosis: Unknown Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Csu Forensic Detectives Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Guilty Or Innocent? Extreme Forensics Diagnosis: Unknown Murder Shift Serial Killers Deadly Women

The Moderns The Innocent Castaway Wish You Were Here Little Dorrit Part 1 Little Dorrit Part 2 A Green Journey The Mechanic The Winter People F.I.S.T Supernova The Offence

00:30 Jailed Abroad 01:30 Jailed Abroad 02:30 Jailed Abroad 03:30 Treks In A Wild World 04:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet 04:30 Food School 05:00 Pressure Cook 05:30 Minnie Driver 06:30 Jailed Abroad 07:30 Jailed Abroad 08:30 Jailed Abroad 09:30 Treks In A Wild World 10:00 Finding Genghis 10:30 Lonely Planet 11:30 Bondi Rescue 12:00 Bondi Rescue - Bali 12:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 13:30 Jailed Abroad 14:30 Jailed Abroad 15:30 Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall 16:00 Finding Genghis 16:30 Lonely Planet 17:30 Bondi Rescue 18:00 Bondi Rescue - Bali 18:30 Cruise Ship Diaries 19:30 Jailed Abroad 20:30 Jailed Abroad 21:30 Cycling Home With Rob Lilwall 22:00 Finding Genghis 22:30 Lonely Planet 23:30 Bondi Rescue

00:00 How I met you mother 00:30 Gary Unmarried 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Bored to Death 03:30 Flight of the Conchords 04:00 The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 05:00 How I met you mother 05:30 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 07:00 The Nanny 07:30 Three sisters 08:00 Yes dear 08:30 The Daily Show with Jon

Stewart 09:00 The Colbert Report 09:30 George Lopez 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Frasier 11:00 Dharma & Greg 11:30 The Bernie Mac show 12:00 Best of Saturday Night Live 13:00 Gary Unmarried 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 14:00 The Nannyt 14:30 Malcolm in the Middle 15:00 Yes dear 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Drew Carey 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Eight Simple Rules 18:30 Just Shoot me 19:00 Better Off Ted 19:30 Will and Grace 20:00 Best of Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 Downsize Me S2 02:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 03:00 The Monique Show 04:00 Chef’s table 04:30 Fresh 05:00 GMA Weekend (repeat) 06:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified 07:00 GMA Health 07:30 What’s the Buzz 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 Never Trust A Skinny Cook 09:30 Fresh 10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 11:00 The View 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 Parenting 14:30 Job Club 15:00 GMA Weekend Live 16:00 Ahead of The Curve 16:30 Amplified 17:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 18:00 Downsize Me S2 19:00 Moms Get Real / Now you know / Amplified 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 21:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 22:00 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

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Smallville In Treatment In Treatment Frasier Coach Emmerdale Coronation Street “24” Frasier Coach Smallville (TBA) In Treatment In Treatment Emmerdale Coronation Street Frasier Coach Psych Psych “24” Smallville Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ex-list C.S.I: Miami Law & Order “24” Sex and the City

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Premier League Premier League Premier League Premier League Premier League Premier League Premier League World Futbol Mundial Live Toshiba Super Sunday Live Premier League Barclays Premier League Live Toshiba Super Sunday Live Premier League Scottish Premier League

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Premier League Premier League Futbol Mundial ICC Cricket World Live NRL Premiership Premier League Guinness Premiership Premier League Live Toshiba Super Sunday Live Premier League Premier League Live Toshiba Super Sunday Live Premier League Premier League Premier League

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AFL Premiership Super League Live NRL Premiership Futbol Mundial Mobil 1 Dubai World Cup Mobil 1 ICC Cricket World Live PGA European Tour NRL Premiership PGA European Tour

02:30 04:30 05:00 08:15 09:15 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 23:00

UFC - The Ultimate Fighter Live UFC 111 Countdown Live UFC 111 WWE Bottomline WWE Vintage Collection WWE SmackDown NCAA Basketball NCAA Basketball NCAA Basketball WWE SmackDown UFC 111 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter

01:45 03:15 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

Production Office-PG15 Into The Storm-PG15 Rocky Balboa-PG15 The Memsahib-PG15 Racing Daylight-PG15 Impact 1-PG15 Impact 2-PG15 Grey Gardens-PG15 Racing Daylight-PG15 Son Of The Mask-PG Mama I Want To Sing-PG World’s Greatest Dad-PG15

01:00 The Year Of Living Dangerously 02:50 Off Set: Michael Douglas 03:35 The Screening Room 05:00 Where Eagles Dare 07:30 The Screening Room 08:00 Captain Nemo And The Underwater City 09:45 Khartoum

11:50 A Hole In The Head 13:50 The Year Of Living Dangerously 15:45 Fun With Dick And Jane 17:20 I’ll Take Sweden 18:55 Caveman 20:30 How The West Was Won 23:00 Lost Angels

00:40 01:30 02:20 03:10 04:00 06:40 07:30 08:20 09:10 10:00 11:50 12:40 13:30 14:20 15:10 16:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20 21:10 22:00 23:50

Battles B.C. Mummy Forensics Cities Of The Underworld Egypt: Land of the Gods Prehistoric Monsters Revealed Battles B.C. Mummy Forensics Cities Of The Underworld Egypt: Land of the Gods Prehistoric Monsters Revealed Ancient Discoveries 3 Battles B.C. Mummy Forensics Cities Of The Underworld Egypt: Land of the Gods Prehistoric Monsters Revealed Ancient Discoveries 3 Battles B.C. Mummy Forensics Cities Of The Underworld Egypt: Land of the Gods Lost Worlds Life After People

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Dr 90210 Clean House My Celebrity Home How Do I Look? Dr 90210 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Area How Do I Look? Style Star Style Her Famous Clean House My Celebrity Home Ruby Giuliana And Bill Giuliana And Bill Dallas Divas And Daughters Dallas Divas And Daughters Dr 90210 How Do I Look? Giuliana And Bill Giuliana And Bill Ruby

00:15 Stop-Loss-18 02:15 God Grew Tired Of Us-PG15 04:00 Frozen River-PG15 06:00 Son Of Rambow-PG 08:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 10:00 Not Easily Broken-PG15 12:00 The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian-PG 14:30 And When Did You Last See Your Father-PG15 16:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 18:00 Baby Mama-PG 20:00 Multiple Sarcasms-PG15 22:00 The Bank Job-PG15

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Gangster Exchange-18 Dead Water-PG15 The Other Side-PG15 Dark Mind-PG15 Twins Effect 2-PG15 Chocolate-PG15 Player 5150-PG15 Twins Effect 2-PG15 The Darkroom-PG15 Living Hell-18 Resident Evil 3-18 The Tripper-18

00:00 My Name Is Bruce-PG15 02:00 Lymelife-PG15 04:00 Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants 2-PG15 06:00 Good Burger-PG15 08:00 Life Or Something Like It-PG 10:00 I Me Wed-PG15 12:00 Committed-PG15 14:00 Taking A Chance On LovePG15 16:00 My Name Is Bruce-PG15 18:00 How High-18 20:00 In The Loop-PG15

00:00 Pocahontas II: Winter Of The Rocky Mount-FAM 02:00 Clockstoppers-FAM 04:00 Superman: Doomsday-FAM 06:00 Yogi And The Invasion Of The Space Bears-FAM 08:00 Little Hercules In 3-D-PG15 10:00 Superman: Doomsday-FAM 12:00 Pokemon 3 The Movie-FAM 14:00 Clockstoppers-FAM 16:00 Scooby-Doo And The Loch Ness Monster-FAM 18:00 Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium-FAM 20:00 Mighty Joe Young-PG 22:00 Pokemon 3 The Movie-FAM

00:00 Psych 01:00 Psych 02:00 Sex and the City

Stop-Loss on Show Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR Movies 21:10 Rocketman 22:45 Carrie 00:20 Alien Resurrection 02:05 High Plains Invaders 03:30 Home Alone 2: Lost In New York 05:30 Rocketman 07:05 Carrie 08:40 Alien Resurrection 10:25 Alien Vs Predator - Requiem 11:55 Rain Man 14:05 No Bad Days 15:40 Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger 17:30 Conan The Barbarian 19:35 La Linea STAR World 20:00 90210 20:50 Married With Children 21:50 Different Strokes 22:50 Married With Children 23:00 Criminal Minds 23:50 Married With Children 00:50 Different Strokes 01:50 Married With Children 02:00 90210 03:00 [V] Tunes 04:00 [V] Tunes 05:00 [V] Tunes 06:00 7th Heaven

07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:50 10:00 10:50 11:00 11:50 12:50 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:50 15:00 15:50 16:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30

Scrubs The King Of Queens According To Jim According To Jim Criminal Minds Married With Children Grey’s Anatomy Different Strokes 90210 Married With Children Married With Children The King Of Queens The Bold And The Beautiful 7th Heaven Different Strokes Grey’s Anatomy Married With Children [V] Tunes Criminal Minds Scrubs The King Of Queens According To Jim According To Jim

Granada TV 21:00 Fat Club 21:30 City Cabs (Series 1) 22:00 Total Emergency 23:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1)

00:00 An Audience With Take That 01:00 Stars In Their Eyes (Series 12) 02:00 Prime Drama: Cheers & Tears (Series 1) 04:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) 05:00 ...And Proud 06:00 Coronation Street (WEEKEND OMNIBUS) 07:30 Shampoo 08:00 The Inside Guide To (Series 3) 09:00 Cosmetic Surgery From Hell 10:00 Confessions Of 10:30 House of Horrors (Series 3) 11:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) 12:00 Who Dares Wins (Series 1) 13:00 I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! (Series 7) 14:00 Parkinson (Series 7) 15:00 Life Begins (Series 2) 16:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) 17:00 Who Dares Wins (Series 1) 18:00 I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! (Series 7) 19:00 Parkinson (Series 7) Channel [V] 22:00 [V] Plug

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Double Shot Loop [V] Tunes Backtracks [V] Special [V] Countdown The Playlist Double Shot [V] Special The List Keys To The VIP Double Bill Parental Control Double Bill Backtracks [V] Tunes [V] Plug The Playlist Loop [V] Special [V] Tumes

Fox News 20:00 FORBES on FOX 20:30 Cashin’ In 21:00 America’s News HQ Host host Brian Wilson 22:00 America’s News HQ Hosts Kelly Wright and Jamie Colby 23:00 The Journal Editorial Report 23:30 Fox News Watch 00:00 Glenn Beck with Glenn Beck

01:00 America’s News HQ hosts Gregg Jarrett and Julie Banderas 03:00 America’s News HQ hosts Rick Folbaum and Juliet Huddy 04:00 FOX Report Saturday host Julie Banderas 05:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 06:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 08:00 The Journal Editorial Report 08:30 Fox News Watch 09:00 FOX Report Saturday 10:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 11:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 12:00 FOX Report Saturday host Julie Banderas 13:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 15:00 The Journal Editorial Report 15:30 Fox News Watch 16:00 FOX and Friends Sunday 17:00 FOX and Friends Sunday 18:00 FOX and Friends Sunday 19:00 America’s News HQ National Geographic Channel 20:00 Megastructures -USS Ronald Reagan 21:00 Helicopter Wars -Duel In The Desert 22:00 Mega Factories -Audi 23:00 Typhoon Hunters 00:00 Perilous Journeys -Cracking The Ice Road 2

01:00 World’s Toughest Fixes -Rocket Launch 02:00 Mega Factories -Audi 03:00 Nat Geo Junior -Monkey Thieves : Monsoon Showdown 6 03:30 Nat Geo Junior -Hayden Turner’s Wildlife Chall : Wrinkled Lipped Bats 8 04:00 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet Korean Code 04:30 Food Lovers Guide To The Planet Pepper Planet 05:00 Monster Fish -Giant Stingray 06:00 Theme Week -Is It Real? : Nostradamus Effect S2 07:00 Theme Week -Secret Bible : Apocalypse 3 08:00 Theme Week -2012: The Final Prophecy 09:00 Monster Fish Of The Congo 10:00 Monster Fish -Giant Stingray 11:00 Typhoon Hunters 12:00 Animals In Danger 30min -Wild Horizons : The Forgotten Sun Bear 12:30 Hidden Worlds -Patagonia’s Tuxedo Junction 13:00 Theme Week -Is It Real? : Nostradamus Effect S2 14:00 Theme Week -Secret Bible : Apocalypse 3 15:00 Theme Week -2012: The Final

Sunday, March 28, 2010

33 ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for working ladies, couple, or small family, next to new Al Mulla Exchange building Abbassiya with Keralite family in 2 bedroom 2 bathroom CA/C flat. Contact: 66877073. (C 2054)

Tricia Renkan, left, works the grill while roommate Rose Foronda looks on at home in Oakland, California, February 11, 2010. — MCT

Finding the right roommate can be tricky


t was a one-in-a-million roommate disaster and, frankly, it was disturbing. Two years ago, a man with whom Rose Foronda shared her rented, Oakland, Calif., four-bedroom home “lost it,” Foronda says. He left one day and never came back. Two weeks later, when Foronda and her other housemates became concerned about the welfare of the man’s pet snake, they went into the room and found filth. “It was disgusting,” she says. “There were stacks of dirty plates, cigarette butts, bullet casings. We even found buckets of urine in the room.” Foronda and her housemates paid someone to clean up the mess and she learned a valuable lesson: Pay attention to your inner voice when you are interviewing someone you eventually will share a home with. “I had a thing in the back of my head, a reservation,” Foronda says of the man’s initial interview. “But it was a panic decision, a ‘you have to move in now’ type thing.” Using strategy Whether for company or, more often, to help pay bills, especially in a slumping economy, many adults live in shared housing situations-bedrooms, homes, apartments or attached in-laws. Finding the right person to live with is half gut feeling, half research. Jason Martin has a strategy for finding roommates, and it’s not scientific. The 29year-old financial adviser has had roommates since he was 18, and currently shares a five-bedroom San Ramon, Calif, home with three others. It’s “cheaper and more entertaining” than renting a one-bedroom apartment to live on his own, he says. Martin values a safe, friendly living situation. “I want to make a house where people want to come over. When my friends and family come over, I want them to feel like they want to be there,” he says, acknowledging that picking the right housemates is a tricky endeavor. Like thousands of others, Martin posts ads on Craigslist under the “rooms/shared” category in the housing section. His ads are richly detailed-four paragraphs long with a description of the house, its current tenants and expectations of the person he’s looking for. Martin appears to be a relaxed guy. He says he doesn’t mind parties on weekends, and the seven pictures on the ad reveal a tidy, well-furnished living space with tan couches and a kitchen recycle bin. Going for the gut feeling When a potential housemate sends him an e-mail, he asks the person to call him. Then, Martin says, he doesn’t pick up the phone. He listens to the voice mail and “if they sound like someone I’d hang out with, I call them back.” The few who pass this test are then invited over. When Martin meets them, he goes with his gut. “Usually within the first two minutes I can tell if it’s someone I want to live with,” he says. Martin, like so many others, has had difficulty living situations before-times when he says he should have continued looking. But, as he repeats the process, he is honing his skills at figuring out the complexities of such an intimate arrangement. He has even paid the rent on an empty room for a month or two because he didn’t find the right person to sublet it. Mary Lou Podlasiak, former high school guidance counselor and author of “Rules for Roommates: The Ultimate Guide to Reclaiming Your Space and Your Sanity,” says “birds of a feather flock together”-type thinking is the best way to pick and choose roommates. “Hippies and preppies don’t work. Divorced dads with weekend visitation won’t work if you don’t have kids and can’t relate,” she says. “It may seem silly, but you need to ask questions such as, ‘What kind of music do you prefer?’ I have

lived with a country music lover and found myself plotting to get rid of her.” Podlasiak has had many housemates and she says some of her worst situations happened when she was in a hurry to find a renter. “Unless you’re just desperate to share the bills, you may want to take time,” she says. Time, and a clear conversation about your values and what you want, are key to building a lasting living situation. Relaxing a little Foronda says she has learned since filling a room with the messy snake owner. She never rents a room in a timesensitive panic anymore. In fact, she says, she and her housemates are in a “position of power” because people want to live with them in what she describes as a mansion in a nice neighborhood in the Oakland hills. That’s why, Foronda says, she and her housemates are willing to endure several rounds of interviews and several Craigslist posts to find the right fit. “It’s a delicate balance,” she says. “You can’t really totally know somebody-until you totally know someone.” Tips for choosing a roommate: Detail what you are looking for: Make your ad as detailed as possible, without discriminating against someone based on age, sex, family, religion or race. If you want a nonsmoker, say so. If you prefer an ultra-tidy place, make sure you detail that. Indicate whether you allow overnight guests or full access to kitchen and laundry facilities. The more a potential housemate knows about your preferences and the space, the more filtering he or she can do before contacting you and wasting your time. Try not to panic: Panicking about next month’s rent is a recipe for disaster as you often choose the first person who can pay-despite who he or she is and whether you will get along. Ask your landlord if you can have some financial leeway and explain that you are searching for a new roommate. If the landlord doesn’t agree, try to clear your schedule to interview as many people as you can. Even taking a financial hit can be better than accepting a potentially nightmare housemate. Go with your gut: If you feel like you won’t get along with someone, listen to that hesitation before inviting that person to move in. Likewise, if you enjoy a person in the first meeting, and feel you have a lot in common, take this as a good sign that the roommate situation might work. Research the person: Before sharing a house with a stranger, do a little research. Ask for phone numbers for references, such as previous roommates or landlords and check them out on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace. The more you know about your potential roomie, the better decision you’ll make. Tidy up but don’t deep clean: When you are interviewing a potential housemate, it makes sense to tidy up a bit. But deep cleaning may give the roommate an unfair look at how you live. Spend 20 minutes picking up, washing dishes and taking out the garbage but don’t give the impression that you are a Merry Maid if you’re not. Get all agreements in writing: When you finally choose a roommate, make sure everything you agreed upon-rent, utilities, housework, guests, quiet hours-is in writing. Writing these down when you are both calm can prevent misunderstandings when someone is angry or feels wronged. A contract also helps in case of legal troubles down the road. Have an exit strategy: Whether you are leasing or renting the room, make sure you know the rules on leaving the premises or evicting a trouble tenant if relations get volatile. Detail these agreements in the lease at the start. — MCT

Accommodation available for bachelors/couple (Indian Christian) in a central A/C double bedroom flat near Carmel School, Khaitan. Contact: 99281142. (C 2057) 28-3-2010 In Abu Halifa sector 1 police station road sharing accommodation available for a decent Muslim person in a central A/C 2 BR flat with kitchen and tel facilities. Contact: 97910678. (C 20494) Sharing accommodation available for single working ladies, couple or executive bachelor in a 2 bedroom, 2 toilet CAC apartment new building in Farwaniya behind Metro cinema, only for Indian from Bombay, Delhi, Hyderabad, Goa. Contact: 66625901, 24716975. (C 20497)

FOR SALE Pentium 4, Intel, 40 GB HDD, 256 MB RAM, CD ROM, 56K modem, sound card, speakers, 17” CRT monitor, ready for internet, KD 30. P4, Intel, 3 GHz, 80GB, 512 MB, DVD combo with 17” CRT monitor, KD 45. Contact: 66244192. (C 2061) Laptop Dell & IBM Centrino with basic specifications in excellent condition, for details call: 99322585. (C 2062) 28-3-2010 Mitsubishi L300 van, model 2009, very low mileage, very good condition, installment remaining 137 KD x 24 months, owner needs cash 500 KD. Contact: 22465365/66019580. 27-3-2010

SITUATION WANTED Indian male pharmacy graduate passed license exam MOH, seeking immediate placement in companies or pharmacies or hospitals. Please call 66076805, 66038171. (C 2058) 28-3-2010

years of experience, seeks suitable employment. Contact: 99919274, 99175928. (C 2053) Available experienced, decent Srilankan girl (31 years) for household/ babysitting (full/part-time) with American/ European/ Indian family only (not bachelors) in Mangaf/ Fahaheel/Abu Halifa. Call: 99292581, 66870113. (C 20499) Available experienced, decent, Srilankan lady (39 years) for household/babysitting (full/part-time) with American/European/Indian family only (not bachelors) in Mangaf/Fahaheel/Abu Halifa. Call: 55714865. (C 20500) 27-3-2010

MBA finance, B.Com, 6+

MISCELLANEOUS Required diesel generator 40 KVA, 45 KVA or 60 KVA, used or new ones US, UK, or Japan made. Please contact: 97424362, 99165971, 23719684, email: (C 2055) 28-3-2010

Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Sunday 28/03/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 0263 Beirut KLM 0447 Amsterdam/Bahrain Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Ethiopian 620 Addis Ababa DHL 370 Bahrain Turkish A/L 1172 Istanbul Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 0305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 0138 Doha Cargolux 794 Luxembourg Kuwait 802 Cairo Jazeera 0637 Aleppo Falcon 201 Dubai Jazeera 0503 Luxor Jazeera 0527 Alexandria Jazeera 0529 Assiut British 0157 London Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Kuwait 204 Lahore Kuwait 302 Mumbai Kuwait 332 Trivandrum Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 344 Chennai Kuwait 284 Dhaka Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 0121 Sharjah Qatari 0132 Doha Etihad 0301 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 1121 Bahrain Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Jazeera 0447 Doha Jazeera 0165 Dubai Jazeera 0425 Bahrain Jazeera 0113 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 1021 Dubai Kuwait 772 Riyadh Egypt Air 610 Cairo Syrian Arab A/L 341 Damascus Kuwait 672 Dubai Jazeera 0171 Dubai Wataniya Airways 2301 Damascus Egypt Air 621 Assiut Nas Air 745 Jeddah Jazeera 0525 Alexandria Jazeera 0257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 2001 Cairo Saudi Arabian A/L 3500 Jeddah Kuwait 678 Muscat/Abu Dhabi Kuwait 552 Damascus Jazeera 0457 Damascus Qatari 0134 Doha Kuwait 546 Alexandria Royal Jordanian 800 Amman Kuwait 562 Amman Jazeera 0173 Dubai Mihin Lanka 403 Colombo/Dubai

Time 00:05 00:10 01:05 01:45 02:15 02:15 02:35 03:00 03:25 04:45 04:45 05:05 05:25 05:35 06:10 06:30 06:40 06:45 07:35 07:55 08:05 08:10 08:10 08:15 08:30 08:55 09:00 09:35 10:45 10:45 11:00 11:05 11:10 11:20 11:20 12:40 12:55 13:00 13:25 13:35 13:35 13:55 14:00 14:05 14:10 14:20 14:30 14:30 14:40 14:45 15:00 15:30 15:40 15:55 16:05 16:40

Bahrain Air Kuwait Emirates Gulf Air Etihad Saudi Arabian A/L United A/L Jazeera Arabia Jazeera Thai Wataniya Airways Srilankan Jazeera Wataniya Airways DHL Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait R7ovos Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Singapore A/L Jet A/W Wataniya Airways Oman Air Iran Air Egypt Air Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Gulf Air Middle East Qatari Emirates Kuwait KLM Indian Jazeera Jazeera Safi A/W Jazeera Jazeera Egypt Air Egypt Air India Express Lufthansa Bangladesh Wataniya Airways Tunis Air Pakistan Wataniya Airways

344 118 857 215 0303 510 982 0493 0125 0217 519 2101 227 0427 2003 473 1025 502 542 0177 618 674 093 786 614 774 104 458 572 1201 0647 617 618 0459 0343 0433 217 402 0136 859 174 0445 981 0449 0429 215 0117 0185 612 606 389 636 043 1029 327 205 1129

Bahrain New York Dubai Bahrain Abu Dhabi Riyadh Washington DC Dulles Jeddah Sharjah Isfahan Bangkok Beirut Colombo/Dubai Bahrain Cairo Baghdad Dubai Beirut Cairo Dubai Doha Dubai Kandahar/Dubai Jeddah Bahrain Riyadh London Singapore/Abu Dhabi Mumbai Jeddah Muscat Ahwaz Alexandria Damascus Sanaa/Bahrain Mashad Bahrain Beirut Doha Dubai Geneva/Frankfurt Amsterdam Chennai/Hyderabad/Ahmadabad Doha Bahrain Kabul Abu Dhabi Dubai Cairo Luxor Kozhikode/Mangalore Frankfurt Dhaka Dubai Tunis/Dubai Lahore Bahrain

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

Departure Flights on Sunday 28/03/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 0528 Assiut Shaheen Air 442 Lahore India Express 394 Cochin/Kozhikode Indian 576 Goa/Chennai Pakistan 216 Karachi Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt KLM 0447 Amsterdam Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa Turkish A/L 1173 Istanbul DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 0306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 0139 Doha Wataniya Airways 1020 Dubai Jazeera 0164 Dubai Jazeera 0524 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 2000 Cairo Jazeera 0112 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 0446 Doha Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1120 Bahrain Jazeera 0422 Bahrain Rovos 094 Dubai/Kandahar Wataniya Airways 2300 Damascus Kuwait 545 Alexandria Jazeera 0256 Beirut British 0156 London Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 551 Damascus Kuwait 771 Riyadh Jazeera 0456 Damascus Jazeera 0170 Dubai Kuwait 101 London/New York Arabia 0122 Sharjah Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 0133 Doha Etihad 0302 Abu Dhabi Kuwait 561 Amman Cargolux 794 Singapore Wataniya Airways 2002 Cairo Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Jazeera 0342 Bahrain/Sanaa Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 0172 Dubai Wataniya Airways 2100 Beirut Jazeera 0492 Jeddah Kuwait 501 Beirut Kuwait 785 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Syrian Arab A/L 342 Damascus Wataniya Airways 1024 Dubai Kuwait 673 Dubai Jazeera 0216 Isfahan Egypt Air 622 Assiut


Time 00:05 00:15 00:30 00:50 01:10 01:20 01:25 02:30 03:15 03:15 03:50 04:10 05:00 07:00 07:00 07:20 07:30 07:35 07:40 07:40 07:45 07:50 07:55 08:00 08:10 08:30 08:35 08:55 09:00 09:10 09:20 09:25 09:30 09:35 09:35 09:40 10:00 10:20 10:35 11:15 11:30 11:40 11:45 11:50 12:00 12:00 12:05 12:15 13:00 13:40 13:55 14:00 14:25 14:30 14:35 14:50

Nas Air Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Saudi Arabian A/L Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Qatari Bahrain Air Mihin Lanka Gulf Air Etihad Emirates Arabia Jazeera Kuwait Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Thai Kuwait Srilankan Wataniya Airways Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Jet A/W Oman Air Jazeera Iran Air Egypt Air Singapore A/L Gulf Air DHL Kuwait Middle East Falcon Jazeera Qatari Kuwait Emirates Kuwait KLM Jazeera United A/L Egypt Air Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait

746 0176 1200 0432 0426 0458 617 3505 773 613 801 0135 345 404 216 0304 858 0126 0262 543 511 0184 2010 0116 0448 0428 2102 520 285 228 1028 0512 283 361 351 1128 571 0648 0240 616 619 457 218 171 675 403 102 0188 0137 301 860 205 0445 0526 981 613 415 0502 411

Jeddah Dubai Jeddah Mashad Bahrain Damascus Doha Jeddah Riyadh Bahrain Amman Doha Bahrain Dubai/Colombo Bahrain Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah Beirut Cairo Riyadh Dubai Sharm El Sheikh Abu Dhabi Doha Bahrain Beirut Bangkok Chittagong Dubai/Colombo Dubai Sharm El Sheikh Dhaka Colombo Cochin Bahrain Mumbai Muscat Amman Ahwaz Alexandria Abu Dhabi/Singapore Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Beirut Bahrain Dubai Doha Mumbai Dubai Islamabad Bahrain/Amsterdam Alexandria Washington DC Dulles Cairo Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta Luxor Bangkok/Manila

14:55 15:05 15:10 15:20 15:25 15:30 15:35 16:00 16:10 16:20 16:25 16:30 17:35 17:40 17:55 18:00 18:10 18:20 18:25 18:30 18:30 18:35 18:40 18:40 18:50 19:00 19:05 19:05 19:10 19:15 19:30 19:50 20:15 20:20 20:55 21:00 21:10 21:20 21:25 21:30 21:35 21:45 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:20 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:50 22:55 22:55 23:25 23:40 23:45 23:45 23:50 23:55/9



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) Sometime you may feel you are not up to the demands on your brain but remember how you personally seek the challenges that help you to succeed and advance in wisdom. Stick with the projects of today and you will be most pleased with the results. Your heightened sensitivity will help you find the answers you need—listen carefully to your hunches. You can pass the afternoon successfully through good deeds. A lover or child who is bright and articulate plays a bigger role in your life and you should include them in helping with your good deeds. Repairs and cleaning are in order later today. You have a clear vision into your own inner sense of values, how you appreciate and love. Tonight is a good time to examine and think about future goals. Taurus (April 20-May 20) This is a good day, with lots

of interest and ambition. You might consider starting a new project or pushing forward with a cleanup job that is in limbo. You may enjoy a sense of creating your own opportunities. Someone older may be a motivating force. After the chores, grab a friend or a family member and take a break; perhaps a drive to the country. Happiness is like a potato salad—when shared with others, it’s a picnic. Expressing affections should come easily and can do much good for your disposition. You will most likely be full of fervor and ready to take on the world. The integration of your creative interests with a friend or partner’s practicality could prove most rewarding. Take a walk with your honey after dinner tonight.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A fatal disease of cattle that affects the central nervous system. 4. (Roman mythology) Goddess of abundance and fertility. 7. United States writer (born in Poland) who wrote in Yiddish (18801957). 11. A drug combination found in some over-the-counter headache remedies (Aspirin and Phenacetin and Caffeine). 12. (British) A waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. 13. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 14. A police officer who investigates crimes. 15. A health resort near a spring or at the seaside. 16. A friendly nation. 17. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 20. Thickening of tissue in the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord. 22. A master's degree in fine arts. 23. A byproduct of inflammation. 25. A fluorocarbon with chlorine. 28. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 29. In bed. 31. Small European freshwater fish with a slender bluish-green body. 33. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 37. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 39. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 40. Genus of East Indian trees or shrubs. 42. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 44. Designer drug designed to have the effects of amphetamines (it floods the brain with serotonin) but to avoid the drug laws. 47. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 48. The compass point that is one point east (clockwise) of due north. 49. French physicist noted for research on magnetism (born in 1904). 50. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 51. An informal term for a father. 52. The largest continent with 60% of the earth's population. 53. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 2. A detailed description of design criteria for a piece of work. 3. (computer science) A coding system that incorporates extra parity bits in order to detect errors. 4. A city in the Asian part of Russia. 5. An informal term for a father. 6. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 7. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 8. A deep bow. 9. Any small compartment. 10. United States lawyer and politician who formulated a production code that prescribed the moral content of United states films from 1930 to 1966 (1879-1954). 18. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 19. Before noon. 21. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 24. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali metal group. 26. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products. 27. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 30. A light touch or stroke. 32. An esoteric or occult matter that is traditionally secret. 34. A genus of Lamnidae. 35. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 36. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 38. A small cake leavened with yeast. 39. Being ten more than one hundred ninety. 41. The basic unit of money in Western Samoa. 42. An extension at the end and at right angles to the main building. 43. Having any of numerous bright or strong colors reminiscent of the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies. 45. A potent estrogen used in medicine and in feed for livestock and poultry. 46. Japanese ornamental tree with fragrant white or pink blossoms and small yellow fruits.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You will find a constructive outlet for your energy today but not without a little forethought. Try engaging in vigorous activities to jar the negative loose. You should be making notable progress over what you have learned for the past two years regarding problem solving. In the work place, until the second week of May, you will be working more on your future goals. Timing is everything now. Your birthday sign shows that luck is in your path regarding advancement in the work place and the opportunity will present itself several times this spring. If you are not working today, it is a good time to write out just what you are wanting in your future; picture the outcome and then think about three things you can do now to move you in that direction.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) There is a little time to relax this morning-which is rightly earned. You may enjoy the activity of young people this afternoon or run a weekend garage sale. For now, however, it is relaxation time. Ideas you have been developing need to be written down. Perhaps you are the one in the family that can write the next bestselling novel. If you have not been a writer, consider taking a creative writing class. If anything, it will improve your language skills. New ways to problem solve and turn to your own mind for creative thinking would be involved as well. If you have told a friend that you have been too busy to visit, you may find this afternoon is the time to catch up on each other’s recent activities. A movie or play might be a fun activity. Leo (July 23-August 22) Friends may need you to help them move or to help them in some other way. Close relationships take on emotional depth, power and importance. A child is born or a wedding shower for a family member can be enjoyed. Feeling cared for and needed is important to all of us and the lack of these things can cause an instinctive feeling of uneasiness. You want others to feel good and you may notice that as you care for others, your needs are met. It is important for you to learn how to decipher the positive request from the negative request in order to keep your own self-esteem in good shape. Some of the requests for your willing helpfulness could be a plea from the lazy or too needy but it gives you an opportunity to lend advice or teach creativity.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) A friend or co-worker may have doubts about their job. Today, you could find yourself working overtime to either continue to help someone learn their job or make up for your own time-loss on the job. Progress, however, whatever the case, is good. Relating with old chums is easy and extremely pleasant later this afternoon. There could be time for a little one-on-one ball game at the health spa or the recreation center. Refreshments after a game could create opportunities to make new friends and laugh with old friends. Close relationships take on a great deal of importance now. You seem to know just what a loved one is thinking or needs and you can serve their needs or create a surprisingly fun evening. People love your attention. Libra (September 23-October 22) Most things will come easy today! You could experience the full blast of all sorts of positive influences. A meeting with your colleagues should easily reveal your talents in problemsolving. Contract negotiations are favored, today. It could be because VIPs can meet you at a place away from business—in a relaxed atmosphere. You are able to sell them the moon. You are sensitive to others and you possess a creative talent that gives you the edge over others in business. You could be most persuasive with others, especially today when it would be easy to find fault—you have elegance and poise in your actions. Any past tensions with a loved one should be cleared up with no trouble. If nothing else, relax and unwind this evening.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Today you may feel

like focusing on the higher aspects of life—the big picture, so-to-speak. You may be drawn to the study of religion, philosophy or psychology. Certainly, you are drawn into conversations regarding one or two of these subjects. You will have to keep these discussions for your noon break because you can really enjoy a good thought-provoking conversation. Just remember not to pontificate to others. This is the quickest way to lose converts. Aside from this, it should be a pleasant day of optimism and progress. You may be ready to become involved in most any adventure. However, you should avoid excessive risks. Everything seems to be working together and you may find yourself expressive and able to communicate well. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Even if it is one of those days when the personal chores are heavy duty, it’s a great time to do a little spring cleaning. You may be sought after to help another and a trade could be arranged. Your charisma is high, especially with neighbors and friends. Someone may compliment you on your tastes or belongings. There is a genuine love of experiencing new things and you may go out of your way to schedule or get tickets to some upcoming event. Compromise is paramount in all of your choices with others. Don’t worry about things that are out of your control— indications point to your success. You may be able to enjoy and value your own life situation today. Look into the study of Zen or the art of Yoga—just for fun.

Yesterday’s Solution



Yesterday’s Solution


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




Working independently will pay off today. The good life and all that is fine and luxurious may be what you value just now. You could enjoy making your own way and finding solutions to whatever problems you find. There is a great love of children. If you are married you will probably be inclined to pursue romance and love-making in the hopes of obtaining an offspring. There is increased romantic idealism and daydreaming. Life should seem richer, more satisfying and more fun now because you feel a special bond with your friends and loved ones. Go out on a date with your special someone, or invite your friends over for the evening. You will make them all feel good. Have patience, you will reach your objective soon. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) A little extra motivation is available today to sort through any unfinished business; personal or professional. Letters, phone calls, paying bills are all very important to you. Set short-term goals along with your long-term goals so that you can see the good progress. Purchasing an artistic item today can be considered an investment. If you already have a safety-deposit box, plan to add the picture of your new acquisition and its price receipt for safe keeping. This is a significant day—much can be accomplished. At home you are productive and creative and may find your evening full of opportunities to enjoy a new computer program or game. A friend may join you in this activity and you will be surprised at how the time passes. Pisces (February 19-March 20) Your creativity level is high today. You have great ideas for sweeping improvements, but you could run up against a bit of competition. Flexibility is probably going to be your best friend. The road to happiness is always under construction and you can consider this just one of those construction days. Fondness and appreciation for the past and for your roots in life take on greater importance now. Making your home situation more pleasant and attractive plays a part in this and the sale or purchase of real estate could bring you much gain. Emotional security, a sense of belonging and encouragement are felt instinctively now. You want roots; you crave a sense of intimate connection that will last. A collection of pictures may give you satisfaction.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

35 FIRE BRIGADE Operation Room 777 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:

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


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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

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Abdullah Salim




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


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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

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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

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Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

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Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

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Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

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(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. Abidallah Behbahani 25717111 Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148

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Dr Anil Thomas


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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

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Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


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

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Beyonce Knowles is pregnant he ‘Sweet Dreams’ singer and her rapper husband Jay-Z - who married in a secret ceremony on April 4 2008 - are believed to be expecting their first child together, according to internet reports. Blog claimed: “According to our source Beyonce is doing fine and resting (for now), but she’s expected to continue working throughout her pregnancy. And we’re also told that Jay-Z is extremely happy to be having his first child with Beyonce.” A spokesper-


son for the couple has refused to comment on the matter. Beyonce’s publicist Alan Nierob said: “We don’t respond to private matter inquiries.” Last November, it was reported the couple were trying for a baby. At the time, a source said: “Jay-Z’s normally very secretive but he is so excited about the prospect of becoming a dad, he just let slip that they’re trying for a baby.” However, around the same time the 28-year-old singer admitted she wanted to focus on being a wife before

starting a family. She said: “It’s not time for that yet. But definitely there will be a time. I want to be a great mother, the kind of mother that I have. I want the same bond that I had with my mom and that would be enough for me. “The security and love I feel being in a relationship, a marriage, it’s absolutely incredible. Incredible.” She has also previously admitted that watching her sister Solange give birth put her off the experience.

Kardashian to date a British soccer player

Rihanna moving in with Kemp ihanna has asked Matt Kemp to move in with her. The ‘Russian Roulette’ singer delighted the 25-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star when she suggested he came to live in her Hollywood mansion, just months after they started dating. A source said: “Matt is very happy to be moving in with Rihanna. “He knew it was only a matter of time before Rihanna moved him in. He wants to make her happy. “He had boxes of his things brought over in mid-March. He’s training in Arizona now, but when he’s back he’ll be at her place.” However, Matt is said to be being cautious about the move and is not currently planning to put his own Los Angeles property on the market. The insider told America’s Star magazine: “He’s keeping his house, to see how things go. But they are so in love.” Rihanna and Matt - who were first romantically linked in January after they holidayed together in Mexico - have always played down their relationship and claimed they are “just friends”. However, the sportsman recently introduced the 22-year-old singer to his family when she attended an Ante Up for Autism charity fundraiser he was involved with. A source said: “Matt was happy she came. It was an awesome show of support. Rihanna fit right in as if they all knew each other. It was comfortable.”

he US socialite - who recently split from American footballer Reggie Bush - met Manchester City star Wayne Bridge in a Miami nightclub a few weeks ago and, after communicating regularly by text message, the brunette beauty now plans to go out with him when she flies to London next week. Wayne, 29, was in Florida trying to escape the attention he was receiving following revelations his ex-girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel had had a relationship with his friend and former Chelsea teammate John Terry. A source said: “They met while Wayne was cheering himself up on a boys’ night out and got on like a house on fire. “They exchanged texts, have been in touch ever since and will be hooking up when Kim comes to the UK. “It’s early days but she’s certainly put a smile back on Wayne’s face as she’s great fun and absolutely gorgeous. He’s looking forward to catching up when she’s in town.” Kim, 29, was still dating 25-year-old Reggie when she met the soccer star, but pals believe she already knew her relationship was on the rocks. Another source told The Sun newspaper: “Kim was still with Reggie when she met Wayne, but I think she knew things were ending because they swapped numbers.” Meanwhile, Kim and her family - including sisters Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, her mother Kris Jenner and stepfather Bruce Jenner - were delighted to be featured in adult animated comedy ‘South Park’ this week, despite seeing themselves killed off. Kim wrote on her blog: “We were all dying when we saw this clip from ‘South Park’ that aired last night... literally, LOL. They killed us all!!! “Khloe, Kourt, Bruce, mom and me!! I managed to survive the longest... of course! (sic)” She also thanked the show’s creators for featuring her in the program. She added: “Thanks Trey Parker and Matt Stone... we’re honored!”

BB uu ll ll oo c k ’ s b a s e b aa ll ll bba t t h rr e e aatt


andra Bullock threatened she’d “get the baseball bat” if she ever caught her husband cheating. ‘The Blind Side’ actress told how she’d react if she ever caught her husband, Jesse James, cheating just months before tattoo model Michelle ‘Bombshell’ McGee came forward to say she had an alleged 11 month affair with him. Sandra was speaking in response to golfer Tiger Woods’ infidelities against his wife, Elin Nordegren, which were exposed in November last year - prompting her to allegedly chase his car, hitting it with a golf club. She told The Insider magazine: “If I were Elin, man, I would have hit a lot more than she did. I would have kept hitting! She stopped. She was respectable. I’d get the baseball bat. I’d get everything out.” Sandra moved out of the martial home she shared with Jesse days after the revelations were made by Michelle. Since the scandal emerged, other women have come forward alleging Jesse also had extra marital affairs with them, with a fourth saying last night they had a relationship with the motorcycle enthusiast for three years, which has only recently ended. A lawyer for the unnamed woman said in a statement: “I represent a beautiful model and businesswoman. She had a three year intimate relationship with Jesse James. He pursued her and had strong feeling for her. She is in the process of trying to decide if she will come forward. She has proof of their relationship including hundreds of text messages, emails and photos. The relationship just recently ended after the scandal broke.”


Amy Winehous

e wants a baby


he 20-year-old singer wants to get an inking on her foot after previously having etchings done on other parts of her body, but is still undecided on a design and has asked fans for suggestions. She tweeted: “I think I’m getting a new tattoo. Yep. What do you think I should get? “So, I have tattoos on my finger, hip, neck, wrist and spine. I’m thinking of getting this one on my foot and yes, it will mean something 2 me. :) (sic)” The ‘No Air’ star insists she doesn’t mind the pain of getting tattoos because it “tickles” more than hurts. She added: “my first one was my bros name behind my ear. I get asked about it all the time when my hair is up. :) “it actually tickled! my head shook because of the vibes from the


needle! But tattoos are all relative to pain tolerance! (sic)” Jordin isn’t the only star to claim having a tattoo which involves an ink-covered needle being repeatedly stabbed into your skin to change the pigmentation doesn’t hurt. Miley Cyrus - who has ‘Just Breathe’ etched under her left breast in tribute to her late grandfathers and one of her closest friends, who died of cystic fibrosis - insists she didn’t feel any pain because the inking had so much meaning for her. She said: “It really doesn’t hurt if you’re thinking about the meaning. I could never get a meaningless tattoo, but I think that if you’re doing something that’s important, that’s significant in your life, it takes some of the pain away.” — BangShowbiz

Jordin Sparks to get a new tattoo

Halliwell saved by Williams

eri Halliwell claims Robbie Williams saved her life. The former Spice Girls singer feared she would die after being stricken by eating disorder bulimia nervosa - which sees sufferers binge eat before purging themselves of food - and only sought help for her problems after the ‘Angels’ hitmaker encouraged her to book into a US rehabilitation clinic. She said: “I was worried I’d get fat. I would binge and then felt fatter and would make myself sick. It was awful. Robbie knew about my bulimia and he advised me to get help. He told me to go into rehab and that possibly saved my life. The bulimia would have got worse without it. I will always be grateful to him, always.” The 37-year-old British star - who quit the Spice Girls in 1998 - says she bonded with Robbie because he understood her situation, having struggled with his own problems when he left Take That in 1995. Speaking on British TV show ‘Piers Morgan’s Life Stories’, she explained: “I became really close to Robbie after leaving the Spice Girls and it was a very poignant friendship. I was lonely and felt he was the only person on the planet who could understand me because of his experiences with Take That.” Geri, who was romantically linked with Robbie back in 2000, also claimed they were more like really good friends than lovers. She said: “We understood each other. But I didn’t really go out with him.”



Sunday, March 28, 2010


Music & Movies

A frail Dennis Hopper gets Hollywood star

US actor Dennis Hopper listens to the speech of actor Viggo Mortensen after being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood on March 26, 2010. —AFP bandaged and frail Dennis Hopper was surrounded by friends, family and colleagues Friday as he was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. The 73year-old actor and filmmaker, who is battling prostate cancer, appeared gaunt and was helped to the stage by a friend. Hopper explained that bandages on his right arm and eye were the result of a fall Thursday outside his home. The two-time Oscar nominee, who has appeared in more than 100 films, said he came to Hollywood from his native Kansas at 18, “so that was my college.” “Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from Hollywood,” he said. “This has been my home and my schooling.” As Hopper was speaking, a Hollywood tour bus passed slowly by the sidewalk ceremony and the tour guide said over the loudspeaker, “We love you Dennis.” Jack Nicholson, Viggo Mortensen, David Lynch and Dwight Yoakam were among the luminaries on hand to honor their friend and colleague. Nicholson wore a shirt decorated with images from “Easy Rider,” the classic 1969 road film Hopper wrote, directed and starred in, alongside Peter Fonda. Mortensen, who kissed Hopper on the


Indian Bollywood actress Ayesha Takia is seen among children while on location for the Hindi film ‘Paathshala’ in Mumbai yesterday. —AFP

Anesthetic found in Jackson home nsealed search warrants in the Michael Jackson case reveal large quantities of general anesthetic and dozens of tubes of skin-whitening creams were among items found in the singer’s home af ter his death. Investigators went to Jackson’s rented mansion June 29 following a lengthy interview with his personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, who told them he had placed a medical bag in a cupboard in a closet. At the home, detectives found 11 containers of the powerful anesthetic propo-


fol, some of them empty, as well as a range of sedatives and various medical items including a box of blood pressure cuffs, according to the warrants, which were redacted and unsealed Friday after The Associated Press filed a legal motion. Jackson’s death on June 25 at age 50 was ruled a homicide caused by an overdose of propofol and other sedatives. Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. During their search, detectives found 19 tubes of hydroquinone and 18 tubes of Benoquin, both of which are commonly used in the treatment of a skin condition Jackson had called vitiligo. The disease creates patches of de-pigmented skin, and creams can be used to lighten skin that has retained its color to

give a more even appearance. The discovery of medical creams in Jackson’s home dovetails with an odd remark Murray reportedly made soon after Jackson’s death. According to police statements obtained by the AP, Jackson’s personal assistant, Michael Amir Williams, told detectives that in the hospital where Jackson was pronounced dead, Murray told him he wanted to return to Jackson’s house “so that he could pick up some cream that Mr Jackson has so that the world wouldn’t find out about it.” Alberto Alvarez, Jackson’s logistics director, who was summoned to the stricken star’s side as he was dying, told police Murray interrupted cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the pop star to collect drug vials. He gave the vials and an IV line with a milky substance resembling propofol to Alvarez, according to the statement Alvarez gave police, and told him to put them in bags that were similar in description to those later found in the closet. The skin cream was not listed as a factor in Jackson’s death nor was it detected in a toxicology report. What killed Jackson, according to the autopsy report, was an overdose of propofol, an anesthetic normally used for surgery. Murray told police he gave it to Jackson to help him sleep, a use anesthesiology experts have said is grossly improper. Dr Zeev Kain, anesthesiology department chair at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, said he was surprised by the amount of propofol detectives found. Among the 11 containers police said they found were three 100ml vials, which Kain said could be used as general anesthesia for several hours. “A doctor should not use propofol at home to start with,” Kain said. The warrants also show Murray shipped propofol and other medications to his girlfriend Nicole Alvarez’s house in Santa Monica. It’s unusual to send propofol to a private residence but not illegal. —AP

cheek before approaching the microphone, called his friend of 20 years “a complete and fertile artist” who has been “a constant source of ideas, inspiration and humor for his friends and colleagues.” Another longtime friend, producer Mark Canton, said Hopper is “the coolest guy on the planet,” which elicited a broad smile from the ailing star. “He is a force of nature,” Canton said. “He is a world-class original, a legend in his own right, whose impact on the arts and people that he loves so dearly is second to none.” As Hopper’s star in front of the historic Egyptian Theatre was unveiled, the actor’s 7-year-old daughter, Galen, threw her arms around her father’s neck. Hundreds of camera-toting spectators lined Hollywood Boulevard for the 30-minute ceremony. Hopper and his wife, Victoria, have been locked in a contentious feud since he filed to end the couple’s nearly 14-year marriage in January. Earlier this week, Hopper’s attorney said the actor is terminally ill and too weak to be questioned by his wife’s attorneys in a deposition. Doctors approved his appearance at Friday’s ceremony because the event was a positive experience. — AP

Reggaeton star Daddy Yankee busy on multiple fronts n 2005, Daddy Yankee hit big on the charts with an upbeat reggaeton anthem about the joys of gasoline. Half a decade later, and with four No. 1s on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart, including the top-selling Latin album of the decade (“Barrio Fino”), Yankee-whose real name is Raymond Ayala-has established himself as one of the stalwarts of the reggaeton genre as well as a maverick artist who has redefined the role of Latin artists as entrepreneurs directing their own careers. As he prepares for the April 27 release of his new studio album, “Mundial,” bonus track “Grito Mundial” has been chosen for World Cup TV campaigns on Telefutura and ESPN in the United States and on Azteca in Mexico. In addition, his new women’s fragrance is slated to


launch at the end of May, along with a media campaign that includes a billboard in New York’s Times Square. In the fall he will star in a Hollywood film, and his TV show, “Tuneame la Nave,” began its second season in March on Azteca. Plus, he’s extended his sponsorship deal with Coors Light, which launched last fall.Amid all this, he continues to churn out hits-his new single, “Descontrol,” has already hit No. 1 on the Latin Rhythm Airplay chart, five weeks before the album’s release. Like his previous sets, “Mundial” is long on songs (14 tracks, plus three iTunes bonus cuts) and covers a variety of genres. While it features straightahead reggaeton alongside gritty urban tracks on which Yankee raps about life in the proverbial hood, it’s also full of danceable, commercial

tracks that could play on both urban and pop stations. Sony inked a deal with Yankee to distribute his album in the United States and Puerto Rico and license it elsewhere, including Europe and Latin America. Yankee, who records for his own label, El Cartel Records, was previously licensed by Universal and has always retained his masters. Return to roots Yankee’s hitmaking abilities transcend the success of “Gasolina.” He’s had six Latin chart-toppers cross over to the Billboard Hot 100 and Rhythmic Top 40 charts, among others, as well as collaborations with mainstream artists like Fergie and Akon. But “Mundial” marks a return to his Latin base. While many songs are peppered with English, there aren’t

any collaborations or English-only tracks. “The truth is, we make much more from our Latin American tours than the U.S.,” Yankee says. “Many people think the world is only the United States, but we (come) from Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The US is more a market of perception,” he adds, noting that last year he played nearly 100 arena shows, most of them outside the States. But stateside, Yankee is more of a household name than most Latin artists-a key factor in Sony’s decision to sign a deal. That recognition, coupled with a strong work ethic, was the impetus behind the launch of his new women’s cologne, DYamante, which will be sold in the States and Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America and the Middle East.

“Different artists have different levels of involvement,” says Scott Berg, brand manager at Falic Fashion Group, which owns Duty Free Americas stores and puts out Yankee’s fragrances. (His men’s cologne, DY, launched in 2008.) “He is the best at that. He tells us what he likes in the fragrance, his ideas on the package, and he’s extremely suppor tive.” Marketing for DYamante-whose 100-ml bottle will retail for approximately $55 — will be tied to marketing for “Mundial,” with samples given out at album events. It’s yet another example of Yankee’s savvy for ever ything cross-promotional, including the upcoming film that will, of course, feature his music. “You know me,” he says with a smile. “This is a business.” — Reuters

Cyrus, Swift up for Kids’ Choice Awards polo Anton Ohno is going for the green at the Kids’ Choice Awards. The Olympic-winning speed skater will attempt to set a new world record for being catapulted into slime at the 23nd annual shenanigan-packed Nickelodeon spectacle held inside UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. Ohno will perform the messy feat with the help of the Kids’ Choice Awards Slime Slingshot and World Wrestling Entertainment champion John Cena. Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga are up for favorite female singer while brothers Dylan and Cole Sprouse and Nick and Joe Jonas will individually vie for favorite male TV actor. Other categories at the kiddie ceremony honoring favorites in TV, film, music and hosted by comedian-actor Kevin James include favorite reality show and song. For the first time, audience votes will bestow the “Cutest Couple” with a pair of the orange, blimp-shaped trophies. Among the duos com- In this Oct 11, 2005 peting for that inaugural hon- file photo, US or are “Avatar” stars Sam Olympic short Worthington and Zoe Saldana; track speed skater President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama; and Apolo Anton Ohno the “Twilight” love triangle of poses in Colorado Kristen Stewart, Rob Springs, Colo. —AP Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Presenters expected to hand out awards-and who could possibly get slimed-include Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Katy Perry, Miranda Cosgrove, Chris Rock, Shaun White, Jonah Hill, Keke Palmer, Queen Latifah, Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, while teen pop sensation Justin Bieber and R&B diva Rihanna are scheduled to perform for the massive pint-sized audience. —AP


French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez is congratulated by the audience one day after his 85th birthday yesterday in Vienna. —AFP

Vienna Philharmonic honors Pierre Boulez he Vienna Philharmonic has held a birthday celebration for famed composer and conductor Pierre Boulez. Musicians from the worldrenowned orchestra and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra serenaded the French maestro-who tur ned 85 on


Friday-during a ceremony yesterday in the Austrian capital’s prestigious Musikverein concert hall. Philhar monic chair man Clemens Hellsberg lauded Boulez’s intellect and youthful energy and presented him with a gold coin and a collection of 79 pro-

grams. Boulez is an honorary member of the orchestra and has worked regularly with it over the years. Boulez-speaking in German-said he was very touched by the tribute and received a round of applause. —AP



Sunday, March 28, 2010


Designers find value in vintage ome are making one-of-a-kind fashion pieces from old clothing and accessories. In a new twist on sustainable fashion, designers aren’t just embracing new fabrics made from organic cotton, hemp or bamboo. They’re pawing through piles of clothing waste and crafting high-fashion, handmade items from old cashmere sweaters, T-shirts and other castoffs. In the US, there’s a lot to choose from. Almost 9 million tons of clothes and shoes end up in the municipal waste stream each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. “Most sustainable fashion is focused on substituting materials, whether it’s going from conventional cotton to organic, or from (synthetic) rayon to (wood-based) Tencel,” said Lynda Grose, a fashion designer and associate professor at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. “Designers are usually focused on the product, the materials, the hand feel-the look, attitude and colors. We’re generally not very involved in the supply chain, and that’s where all the environmental impacts are.”

Give + Take owner, Dora Copperthite, shows off some of her recycled clothes at her boutique in Playa Del Rey, California, March 6, 2010. —MCT Goodwill. “I found a leather jacket and let the details guide my design. I loved the result and quickly became obsessed with studying old jacket details and seeing them on bags,” said South, who now makes a collection ranging from $125 clutches to $400 computer bags, all from old leather jackets she either finds herself or that are sent in

from customers. South’s handbags are sold online and at Barneys. Deborah Lindquist’s creations are snatched up by celebrities, among others. The cashmere sweaters she’s refashioned into cardigans, shrugs, crew neck sweaters, dresses and bustiers have been worn by celebs including Rihanna, Hayden Panetierre and

Sharon Stone, who literally bought the sweater off Lindquist’s backeven Paris Hilton and her dogs, since Lindquist also makes dog sweaters. Lindquist, 53, was inspired by a visit to the Rose Bowl flea market, where she saw a pile of cashmere sweaters and thought she could do something with them. “People get rid of their sweaters because there’s a stain or they don’t like it. They get rid of it because there’s a problem with it. So maybe there’s a hole in there. No big deal. I can put an applique on it and create something new,” said Lindquist, who retails her cardigans for $350 and bustiers for $685 at boutiques in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan, as well as her own shop in North Hollywood. Those prices may seem high, but “you can’t have economies of scale,” said Eveline Morel, owner of the LA boutique EM & Co on 3rd Street, which sells a variety of “trashions.” “You have to do it piece by piece. They’re creations, and there’s a certain amount of art in them. It’s like couture in that they’re one-of-a-kind pieces, and it

ends up being rather expensive.” The time commitment and resulting expense of recycling old fashions into new is part of the reason Morel discontinued her own EM Reconstructed line in favor of carrying others’, such as Bettina Hubby, who “rearranges” old dresses, and Micha Design, which takes vintage jewelry pieces and recombines them into new pieces. Shoes and clothes have been making up an increasing percentage of the US waste stream, accounting for 3.5 percent, according to the EPA. In the United Kingdom, the problem has been growing even more rapidly. One of the country’s largest waste management companies said its textile waste had increased from 7 percent to 30 percent between 2003 and 2008, according to a 2008 House of Commons report. “I wanted to show a different way of making and consuming fashion,” said Karen Dennis, 40, a UK designer who, for the last three years, has been running the label Ketchup. Her top sellers are jackets made from discarded duvet covers and curtains, dresses crafted from old saris and harem pants

Models present creations by Indian designer Reynu Taandon during a show at the Wills India Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2010 in New Delhi yesterday. —AFP photos

Charu Parashar

Wills India fashion week

Sonam Dubal

Abhijeet Khanna


Clothing accounts for as much as 11 percent of a household’s carbon footprint, according to a 2009 study from the European Society for Ecological Economics. That’s to say nothing of the water that goes into making various fashions. It takes 2,866 gallons to make a pair of blue jeans and 569 gallons to make a cotton T-shirt, according to the Dutch environmental group Water Footprint. Looking at the supply chain, Grose said, designers can find all kinds of opportunities for innovation. That’s how handbag designer Shannon South found her way toward converting old leather jackets into stylish new purses. “I used to make bags from PVC and have them manufactured in China,” said South, 37, who founded ReMade USA in San Francisco in 2008 after attending a lecture about the environment. “I started to feel really, really guilty for what I was doing, so I started searching for other materials.” That led her to a fake leather made from tree sap that would need to be imported from Brazil-an idea she discarded in favor of going to her local Salvation Army and

from no-longer-fashionable track suits. “For some people at the beginning, they’d say it was recycled and turn their noses up,” said Dennis, who lives in North England. “Now, being recycled gives it added value.” Kathleen Tesnakis estimates she’s recycled 7 tons of “post-consumer” materials into accessories and clothing in the 13 years she’s run Eko logic, making dresses out of thrown-away Tshirts and pocket squares from men’s dress shirts. Tesnakis, 45, says she’s made as many as 3,000 pieces in a year using a handful of style templates she’s designed. No two are the same. “I make them like small paintings,” says Tesnakis, who charges $80 to $280 per item. “Otherwise I would not be able to survive. “I like to make a quality product,” she added. “I don’t want you to walk out into the everyday world and feel like you’re wearing something just patched together or obviously recycled,” said Tesnakis, who started her business in Portland, Ore., and now lives in Troy, NY. “I need to make something that’s so beautiful people want to wear it whether they’re green or not.” —MCT

Sunday, March 28, 2010




Estelle has created her own line of jewelry he ‘American Boy’ singer teamed up with designer Rachel Roy for the accessories collection, which will be launched on the Rachel Roy label. Rachel said: “Working with Estelle was a true collaboration. I love Estelle’s sense of style because she takes risks, and I think that to be a trendsetter you have to take as many risks as safe turns.” The costume jewelry range will include earrings, rings, and gold and amethyst glass stones with prices ranging from $30 to $195.


Estelle has been enjoying working Rachel as her unique look is something she really admires. She told People magazine: “What I love about Rachel is that her look is unpredictable. One day she’ll be in a cocktail dress and the next, she’ll be in flats and a little jacket. No matter what she’s wearing, it always looks appropriate. Rachel has great style and I loved collaborating with her.” The collection will be available at US store Macy’s and Rachel’s website —Bang Showbiz

Miranda Kerrʼs spinach diet iranda Kerr counts spinach as the key to her stunning figure. The Australian model - who is dating ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actor Orlando Bloom - eats as much organic food as possible and works hard in order to maintain her health. She said: “The first step is eating healthy. I predominantly eat organic when I can. I eat extremely healthy because when I do, I have more energy. I love spinach, avocado, lots of greens and broccoli. “I’m pretty much 80 per cent healthy, 20 per cent indulgent, because I don’t believe in depriving yourself.’ She also said she feels a responsibility as a model to promote healthy eating, particularly to the younger and more


impressionable members of society. She added to E! Online: “As soon as you step into the public eye you need to take responsibility for the people you are influencing. “Body image is something that the majority of young women struggle with and I do think it is important that models are seen to be healthy and at a weight that works for their body type.” Miranda - who models for lingerie firm Victoria’s Secret also gave her tips for picking the perfect bikini. She said: “Everyone has different body shapes so it’s best to find a swimsuit that flatters your individual shape. But most importantly, with the right attitude and confidence any swimsuit will look good!”

Lara Stone is new face of Calvin Klein L

ara Stone is reportedly being lined up as the new face of Calvin Klein. The Dutch supermodel is set to sign a deal with the fashion house to front the campaigns for not only their main collection but Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein Cosmetics as well. If reports are true, she would replace rising star Jac Jablonski, who has fronted the Calvin Klein collection for the past couple of seasons. Although Lara has modeled for the fashion giants before, it will be seen as a huge triumph to land three campaigns.

Lara - whose UK size eight figure is deemed ‘curvy’ by catwalk standards has taken the fashion world by storm and is currently the face of Prada’s Infusion d’Iris fragrance, Louis Vuitton, Jaeger and Eres. She has previously said she thinks her curvy figure has helped her become a success. She said: “I’m different because I am fat. It would be nice if I wasn’t the only person with t*ts and an a**e. “If I could have the discipline to be super-skinny I would be. I think of dieting, then I eat pizza. I’m a woman, and every woman wants to be thinner - unfortunately.”—BangShowbiz

Models present outfits by Greek designer Aslanis during the Athens fashion. —AFP photos

Chinese fashion week

ls e mode Chines display s by n creatio uates d a r g the ng i j i e of B te of Institu n Fashio ogy and l o n h Tec Shih n a w Tai Chien ity s Univer hina C during Week n Fashio ng, i in Beij ay. d yester otos h p —AP

No death in the afternoon at South Korea bullfight wo bulls enter the oval arena, bellowing loudly, and exchange momentary glares. Then they clash head to head-and there’s not a matador in sight. Centuries after the tradition began, Korean bullfighting still draws frenzied crowds who don’t seem to miss the bloodshed of the Spanish version. “The bulls fight each other. Whereas the bullfighter is always the winner in the Spanish version, our winner is undisclosed until the end,” Cheongdo county mayor Lee Joong-Geun told AFP this week as the annual bullfighting festival began. “It is a fair and clean sport. Bullfighting is part of Koreans’ life, as it was mine when I was young and owned a bull.” Every March, just before the farming season begins, bull owners flock to the competition at Cheongdo 265 kilometers (164 miles) southeast of Seoul. Taking part this year were 132 bulls from six different classes that made it to the quarterfinals in other competitions, and some 10,000 spectators packed the stadium for the opening day Wednesday. “I came all the way from Daegu. We are excited and my sons have even been practicing the bullfight at home all week long,” said Elizabeth Kim, 33, an American from Pittsburgh who married a Korean. The contest begins when two owners dressed in traditional red and blue lead their bulls into the centre of the ring. When the referee blows his whistle, owners use a rope attached to a nose ring to get their beastsweighing around three-quarters of a ton-to clash head to head. They lock horns and attempt to push each other backwards. There is no time limit for each bout. “The focus is not on the bulls getting hurt. It is fun if you focus on the tactics, the energy and the speed,” said


Artists from the Hotel Modern Company from Rotterdam perform on stage during the rehearsal of Shrimp Tale, on March 25, 2010 at the Maillon theatre in Strasbourg, eastern France.— AFP

US capital’s Cherry Blossom Festival is a tourist magnet little early this year, thousands of cherry trees given by Japan as a present nearly a century ago started blooming in the US capital, ushering in the Cherry Blossom Festival, the city’s top tourist attraction. “The weather conditions this past weekend were ideal for moving the cherry blossoms forward,” said National Park Service National Capital Region Chief Horticulturist Robert DeFeo, who is in charge of nearly 4,000 cherry trees around the Tidal Basin. Every year, the park service measures with scientific precision the Blooming Period of the trees that starts when 20 percent of the blossoms open and peaks at 70 percent or more. This year, the range of peak blooming dates forecast for the festival are April 1 to April 4, four days earlier than expected due to last week’s unseasonably warm weather. The revised, full blooming period has been set for March 28 to April 9. “As always, I reserve the


right to further update the range of blooming date schedule if necessary,” cautioned DeFeo. This year’s Cherry Blossom Festival, from March 27 to April 11, is expected to draw one million visitors to the Tidal Basin on the bank of the Potomac River to see its walks lined with curtains of overhanging branches heavy with pink flowers. The festival also includes a parade, fireworks show, gala dinner cruise, riverboat, pedal-boat and bicycle tours, a lantern lighting ceremony and a Japanese street festival. “The cherry blossom epitomizes the start of spring in (Washington) DC and the Cherry Blossoms are big business for us,” said Destination DC tourism company president Elliott Ferguson. According to a George Mason University study, visitors, both local and nearly half from outside the region, will spend 126 million dollars in festival-related activities, including hotel rooms, restaurants, tour guides,

Cherry trees are seen along a street in Washington, DC. (Inset) File photo shows the Jefferson Memorial amid blooming cherry trees. — AFP

souvenirs and T-shirts. Meanwhile, the park service employs 12 gardeners and spends about one million dollar a year to keep its long line of cherry trees trim and healthy. On average, some 16.5 million tourists visit Washington each year, leaving 5.6 billion dollars in the city coffers. The Cherry Blossom Festival also is a major attraction for Japanese tourists. Japan’s major airlines experiment a 40 percent increase in direct flights to the US capital at this time, said National Park Service official Bill Line. The cherry trees were donated to Washington in 1912 by the mayor of Tokyo to celebrate the friendship between the two nations. But the idea behind the gift first came from the wife of then US president William Taft, Helen, who fell in love with cherry trees on a visit to Japan, her greatgrandson William Howard Taft told a press conference announcing the festival dates.—AFP

Choi Kyoung-Hee, 40, a festival volunteer. When one bull is exhausted, it backs off and pulls its horns away. The winner roams the arena, seemingly savoring the victory, while the loser slowly walks out.

Bulls wrestle during the opening day of the bull fighting festival at Cheongdo on March 17. — AFP Bulls are classified into six weight categories from 821 kilograms (1,810 pounds) or more down to 600-625 kilograms. An Ul class bull-above 660 kilograms-named Haebyung (Marine) was still feisty, steaming from its nostrils when it returned to the barn after defeating Papillon, which had been this year’s favorite for the championship. “When I saw our opponent, I never thought Haebyung would win because he is only four years old, but he went through it so well and I am just glad,” said owner Ha Suk-Goo, 56. The winner of the five-day festival which ends today collects six million won (5,290 dollars), and the runner-up five million. The fighting bulls are not a special breed. Experts identify young beasts with potential-usually those with short front legs, a thick neck and small eyes. —AFP

28 Mar  
28 Mar  

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