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Ahmadinejad hopes for more talks with world powers

150 FILS


SAFAR 20, 1432 AH

‘Bug Mac’ and larva quiche: Food of the future


China sports brand tries to break into US market

Kaymer cruises to another Abu Dhabi title




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Probe panel to submit report today on torture death By B Izzak KUWAIT: Tremendous pressure mounted on Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled Al-Sabah yesterday as opposition MPs said they will file to grill him today if he stays on while unconfirmed reports said the Cabinet is headed to accept his resignation. A parliamentary probe committee meanwhile is highly expected to submit today its report on the death of a Kuwaiti citizen under torture at a police station as several MPs are now demanding to broaden investigations into alleged torture by detectives. MPs Waleed Al-Tabatabei, Shuaib Al-Muwaizri and Salem Al-Namlan bluntly announced that the grilling against the interior minister will be filed today if the Cabinet does not accept the minister’s resignation which he submitted on Jan 13. Last week, the Cabinet asked the minister to continue in his post and follow up investigation into the death of Kuwaiti man Mohammad Ghazzai Al-Mutairi, which means that the Cabinet has neither accepted nor rejected the resignation. MP Faisal Al-Mislem meanwhile said there are reports that the Cabinet will accept the resignation at its weekly meeting which was held early in the day but no announcement was made. The Cabinet normally holds its weekly meetings late at night. But the most important development came from two pro-government MPs who explicitly called on the minister to step down and that it was time the prime minister made a Cabinet reshuffle. MP Hussein Al-Huraiti, a former justice minister, said that the death under torture of Mutairi is a grave crime and “I hope that the interior minister will insist on his resignation”. MP Youssef Al-Zalzalah, also a former minister, said that if the parliamentary investigation proves that the minister is responsible for the death, “we will support his grilling and a no-confidence vote against him”. Zalzalah also said that the prime minister should reshuffle the Cabinet to replace a number of ministers who could not perform, without naming any. The investigation committee formed by the Assembly two weeks ago is submitting its report today, its members said in statements. Head of the panel MP Ali Al-Omair said the panel needs to meet a final witness from outside the interior ministry and will write the report today. His deputy MP Marzouk Al-Ghanem said the committee’s report will be submitted today, which will include the facts demanded by MPs and whether Mutairi died of torture or not. Member of the panel MP Saadoun Hammad said the committee has identified the main suspects in the Continued on Page 14

Egyptian handed death sentence for killing wife By Nawara Fattahova

TONGI, Bangladesh: A vendor (center foreground) and a man jump from the top of one overcrowded train to another as thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims try to return home after attending a three-day Islamic congregation on the banks of the river Turag on the outskirts of Dhaka yesterday. — AP

Millions attend prayers at B’desh Islamic gathering TONGI, Bangladesh: Tens of thousands of Muslims seeking peace and the revival of Islam’s tenets joined a mass prayer yesterday to wrap up an annual three-day Islamic congregation outside the Bangladeshi capital. It was not clear how many devotees joined the final prayer, but the organizers had earlier said the congregation was expected to attract more than 4 million people on the sandy bank of the River Turag. Local police chief S M Mahfuzul Haque Nuruzzman said the gathering was peaceful like previous years as thousands walked to the site overnight and in the morning to join the final prayer of the World Congregation of Muslims, or Biswa

Probe clears Israel, navy in flotilla raid Turkey ‘appalled’

DUBAI: A waitress serves snacks at “Atmosphere”, the world’s highest restaurant in the Burj Khalifa yesterday. – AP

Dubai opens ‘world’s highest’ restaurant DUBAI: Dubai opened yesterday a restaurant 422 m up in the sky on the 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, its developers said. Atmosphere in Dubai’s 828-m building is “one of the finest luxury dining and lounge experiences in the world”, said Emaar Hospitality Group, an arm of giant property developer Emaar. At two levels below the tower’s observation deck, the “world’s highest restaurant” can host “over 210 guests and features a spacious arrival lobby, a main dining floor, private dining rooms and display cooking stations.” In addition to apartments, offices and Italian designer Giorgio Armani’s signature hotel, the building has an observation deck on the 124th floor, open to visitors at an entrance fee of at least 100 dirhams ($27) per adult. Emaar spent $1.5 billion on the tower, named after United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed AlNahayan who came to the aid of Dubai, hit by the global financial crisis. Oil-rich Abu Dhabi extended a lifeline of $10 billion, on top of the same amount from the UAE central bank, to bail out Dubai’s heavilyindebted state firms in 2009. — AFP

JERUSALEM: An Israeli probe ruled yesterday a May 2010 raid on Gazabound aid ships that killed nine Turkish activists did not violate international law, a finding which Turkey said lacked credibility. In its preliminar y findings on the same day, a Turkish investigation said Israeli troops had used “disproportionate” force in boarding the flotilla of aid ships to prevent them from reaching Israeli-blockaded Gaza. The assault earned the Jewish state international censure, prompting Israeli MPs to appoint a commission headed by former judge Yaakov Tirkel to examine both the military operation’s legality and Israel’s blockade. Turkey said yesterday it was “appalled and dismayed” at the commission’s findings. In its report, Israel’s six-member Tirkel commission concluded that both the raid and the blockade complied with international law. “ The naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip ... was legal pursuant to the rules of international law,” the panel said. “The actions carried out by Israel on May 31, 2010 to enforce the naval blockade had the regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries,” the report said. “Nonetheless ... the actions taken were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law.” Continued on Page 14

Ijtema. The gathering, held each year since 1966, is among the world’s largest religious gatherings. It shuns politics. Nuruzzman said some 12,000 foreigners from more than 95 countries joined the gathering. Security was tight. More than 20,000 security officials patrolled the site, Nuruzzman said. Live broadcasts by local stations showed the devotees raising their hands on boats and bridges at the scene. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other leaders were stationed on the roof of a government building as they joined the prayer. Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: The Criminal Court sentenced an Egyptian citizen to death yesterday for stabbing his Filipina wife to death. The accused had broken into a beauty salon were his wife was working and stabbed her repeatedly until she died. He then escaped from the scene of the crime, leaving his wife behind in a pool of blood. According to official reports, when problems initially occurred between the two, the man took his wife to a cemetery and threatened to kill her with a knife and bury her there. Following the incident, the victim told him she didn’t want to live with him anymore and moved out of their home. She then filed for divorce on the grounds that her husband assaulted her, threatened to kill her and stole her money. The victim’s attorney and attorney for the Philippine embassy, Fawziya Al-Sabah, confirmed that the charges were evident and filed against the accused. “All the legal elements of an intended premeditated murder were clearly available,” she said. “Islam forbids killing and sets the punishment for such a crime as death. As Sharia is the basis of the legislation and a source of law, the killer should be sentenced to death,” she said. According to Kuwaiti law, a murderer is sentenced to death if the crime was premeditated. “According to the evidence presented by the public prosecutor, the accused committed the crime he is accused of - killing the mother of his children and woman he lived with for more than eight years. She also shared the family’s expenses with him. Nevertheless, he killed her in a very brutal way and without mercy,” added Al-Sabah. When asked to comment on the verdict, Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Shulan Primavera said that the embassy has yet to receive an official copy of the verdict and declined to issue a statement.

Kuwait tries to lure tourists MADRID: Brave a few “security problems” and trek the mountain ranges of Pakistan, take a vacation in Kuwait where the sand is very, very hot or risk a bit of heli-skiing in Uzbekistan. If you are a tourist ready to go somewhere a bit different, there is a growing queue of destinations desperate to welcome you; 166 nations jostled for attention this week at the World Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid. For Kuwait, the challenge is to show off its natural

heritage and erase a cliche conception of the country. “Everyone knows us as a petroleum country,” lamented state tourism undersecretary Ali Abdullah Al-Baghli. “We have the nicest deserts in the world, clear skies, a very beautiful coast with sandy beaches and even if the temperature is more than 50 (Celsius) in July and August, it’s dry heat so it’s like we are in heaven,” he said. Of course, alcoholic drinks are not allowed in cafes and Continued on Page 14

Rural poor rally in Tunis Police crack down on Ben Ali allies TUNIS: Tunisia’s top private television channel was taken off air yesterday and its boss arrested for “high treason”, as protests in Tunis kept up the pressure on Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi to quit. An official quoted on state news agency TAP said Hannibal TV’s boss Larbi Nasra “was using his channel to stamp out the revolution of the young, sow chaos, incite civil disobedience and broadcast false information”. Officials said they had also detained two key figures from the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who quit on January 14 after 23 years in power. Senate leader Abdallah Kallal and top Ben Ali adviser Abdel Aziz Ben Dhia were being held under house arrest, TAP news agency reported. Hundreds of people meanwhile rallied outside Ghannouchi’s offices in the city centre at a protest that had drawn thousands earlier yesterday, many of them from impoverished regions where Tunisia’s uprising began last month. Protesters said they intended to spend Continued on Page 14

TUNIS: Inhabitants of the central Tunisia region of Sidi Bouzid demonstrate at the government palace yesterday. — AFP




Local police attend human rights training workshop


National sports should focus on the young

Bid to change negative thoughts By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: About 26 Kuwaiti police officers are currently participating in a human rights training workshop at the local UN headquarters in Mishref. The workshop, which began yesterday, is being conducted by various international experts from different fields. Hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the workshop is being held under the auspices of Ministr y of Interior Assistant Undersecretary for Education and Training Affairs Maj Gen Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf AlSabah. The ‘ Training Course for Public Officers on Human Rights and Contractual Labor’ will last till Jan 27. Iman Ereiqat, the head of IOM Kuwait, welcomed the participants and prestigious guests, including Sheikha Fariha Al-Sabah and several MoI officers. The seminar is

especially aimed at police officers representing the ministry’s investigation, legal affairs, security information, criminal and police administration departments. “This workshop will further develop [the participants’] abilities, change their negative thoughts and support positive attitudes in police officers. What we really want to achieve here is to effectively protect the basic human rights of every individual but especially contractual workers,” she said. The seminar’s opening ceremony was attended by Major General Fahad AlSharqawi of Saad Al-Abdullah Academy on behalf of Sheikh Nawaf. “The interior ministry has been very keen on participating in such important human rights seminars,” he said. “Being officers we are directed to uphold and implement basic human rights. The interior min-

istry would like to thank the IOM to offering such courses important for the Ministry of Interior officers.” Ali Al-Baghli, the chairman of the Kuwait Human Rights Society (KHRS) said that the society has been continuously monitoring the country’s progress in various human rights-related issues. “The Human Rights Society is monitoring the progress of human rights issues here. There are companies that continuous to violate the rights of their workers, such as nonpayment of wages, nonrenewal of their residencies, deterioration of housing and living conditions,” he said. Al-Baghli noted that although the Ministry of Interior monitors the conditions of domestic workers in the country, their basic human rights are routinely violated, not just in Kuwait but in various countries around the world. “We call upon everyone

to respect worker’s human rights especially on minimum wages, weekly day off and limiting the working hours,” he said. “Those employers or sponsors who are not abiding [by the law] should not be passed without punishment,” he noted. Dr Tarek El-Sheikh, the UN Resident Coordinator, called upon countries, especially those which have signed and adopted the UN Declaration of Human Rights, to defend and implement the declaration. “It’s very important that these basic human rights are being followed and protected by all countries. The rights to find refuge in other countries if they are treated badly in their own country, the freedom of expression, the rights to proper education and the rights of every human not to be subjected to torture. Those are basic rights that all citizens and migrant workers should be enjoyed,” he concluded.

KUWAIT: Officers pose with guests during the opening ceremony yesterday of a five-day workshop. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

By Abdellatif Sharaa hen an international sporting event is being held we notice that multi-colored medals are won by a certain group of nations that can be counted on one hand; the USA, Russia, China, etc. Athletes there are disciplined, dedicated and they focus on their sport. They train and exert enough effort to bring out their best when it counts the most. I am speaking specifically about amateur and Olympic sports and not professional sports because that is another story. If we go back in history we find that some countries pay attention to their children as early as kindergarten. They teach them sports just as they do math and biology to instill in them the importance of this discipline. Some countries go so far as to not allow a child to advance academically unless they pass the physical education curriculum... I am sure there are many people who remember how the East Germans used to be so dominant in athletics, especially in swimming. In the United States, all amateur sports are self financed, the government does not pay for them at all. Most athletes receive sponsorships and donations that are strictly used for their sports. At the college level there are all types of sports, in fact, the majority of professional athletes are college graduates or experienced some college education before turning pro. Having said that, we notice that in the third world sports are used for other purposes; officials compete to be on the boards of directors and look for prestige, struggle to appear in newspapers and give TV interviews. They are good at competing against each other, exchanging accusations and yes, everyone tries to impose his ego and show others that he is ‘Mr-Know-ItAll.’ We must wake up and start paying attention to our children. We must go down to the grassroots level and start with our primary educational system in order to compete and make our presence felt everywhere. Kuwait has a prime example of what early preparations can achieve, just look at the Kuwait shooting sports clubs. My interest in the sport brought me close to the officials working there in 1994 and I saw firsthand how the sport has progressed. Shooting brought Kuwait its first Olympic medal. I noticed how officials took interest in young prospects and catered to them, working with them step by step to make sure that those with good potential become effective contributors to the sport. KSSC established the shooting school and that made it possible to discover gifted and outstanding shooters. Now, there is the shooting sports academy, which covers all aspects of the sport, both technical and administrative. The achievements made by those participating in shooting as a sport made it possible to construct a state of the art Olympic shooting sport complex named after His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah. Kuwait is now the host of the Asian Shooting Sport Confederation and the Arab Shooting Federation. Again, let us start with our kids at a young age while they are in school and keep our sports away from egos, politics and influence. If we kept it purely academic the results would be noticed and felt sooner than anyone expects. Kuwait deserves a lot because it gives a lot.


God bless Kuwait.

KUWAIT: Sheikha Fareeha Al-Sabah pictured with some police officers.

Dr Tarek Al-Sheikh, UN Resident Representative Kuwait Digest

Interior denies torturing, beating US citizen KUWAIT: A Ministry of Interior (MoI) official has rejected accusations that Somali-born American teenager Mohammed Gulet was beaten and tortured during the period of his detention at Kuwait’s Deportation Center. Gulet has claimed in an interview with the Washington Post that he spent 98 percent of his detention period at the deportation center after American authorities refused to allow him to reenter the United States when his name was included on the country’s no-fly list. The 19-year-old said that he had been punched, beaten

and subjected to torture by electrocution during his detention, adding that his interrogators had demanded information on whether he had been in contact with the US-born cleric Anwar Al-Awlaqi during his time in Yemen, and whether he had listened to Al-Awlaqi’s sermons in 2001, when Gulet would have been 10 or 11 years old. Gulet said that he responded to these questions by pointing out that he had been a child at that time and did not recall whether or not he had been to the mosque where Al-Awlaqi preaches. The Somali-American teenager also

said that FBI agents who questioned him had insisted that he had attended terrorist training camps in Somalia and Yemen and had asked him to become an informant, although it was not clear where this questioning had taken place. Gulet said that he had visited Yemen and Somalia to study Islam and Arabic and to discover his roots. He asserted that he had visited Kuwait with the objective of continuing his studies, but had been arrested on arrival, adding that his detention had made him a stronger person.

Forum on domestic HVAC mechanism

Mohammad Khanfar

KUWAIT: The Arabi Holding Group Co. is hosting a special forum on domestic HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) mechanisms in Kuwait, which will be inaugurated tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at the Radisson Blu Hotel. The forum is being held under the patronage of the Minister of Electricity and Water Dr. Badr Al-Shuraiaan, with participants in the twoday event including leading experts and companies in the HVAC sector. In a press release issued yesterday, Mohammad Khanfar, the acting public sales manager of the Arabi Group, explained that a major project to be introduced during the forum aims primarily to reduce pollution and save power, replacing traditional air-conditioning units with systems that use circulation of freezing water into a pipeline network to cool buildings. Meanwhile, Jamal Al-Omran, the media and marketing manager of Promedia, acknowledged the support provided by Kuwait’s MEW to the forum, as well as revealing that several international experts from Kuwait and overseas will be taking part in the prestigious forum.

Jamal Al-Omran

Iraq’s good intentions By Dr Yaqoub A-Sharrah n Tuesday January 11, 2011, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and Iraqi politician Ayad Allawi made encouraging statements about the relationship between their nation and Kuwait. They insisted that there are no pending subjects to be resolved regarding the two countries’ shared border and asserted Iraq’s commitment to Kuwait’s sovereignty through which economic, political and security cooperation can be achieved. Kuwait needs to see these kinds of good intentions. Kuwait also looks to their northern neighbor to back up their work with action, especially considering that Kuwait suffered at the hands of the previous Iraqi regime following empty promises regarding bilateral relations. Only time will tell if Al-Maliki’s intentions to build friendly relations with Kuwait are true or not. What is certain at the moment is that Kuwait wants nothing from Iraq but respect, their rights, security and stability. While Kuwait still suffers from the repercussions of the barbaric invasion carried out by Saddam’s regime, the country regrets never asking for anything in return for helping Iraq during the Iraqi - Iranian War. The tragic crimes that were committed by the previous Iraqi regime against Kuwait cannot ever be erased from the memory of Kuwaitis. In the meantime, both countries are in dire need of improved relations for the common benefit. The Iraq of today bears the responsibility of erasing the memories of the outrageous crimes committed by its previous regime. In addition to expressing good intentions, we need to feel a change in the way Iraq relates with Kuwait. This would be based on a true desire to put the hideous past behind and turn a new page for positive bilateral relations. The hope is that the Iraqi government restores its country’s image, which was distorted by the previous regime, by adopting the approach of development and stability to build an example of a democratic, peaceful state. — Al-Rai




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Kuwait prepares to celebrate fifth anniversary of Amir’s investiture Top priority for country’s unity KUWAIT: During a special session of the National Assembly (parliament), on Jan 29, 2006, His Highness Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah was formally invested as the 15th Amir (monarch) of the State of Kuwait. In his inaugural address, HH the Amir pledged to bear the responsibility of his position and to work for Kuwait and its people, calling on the Kuwaiti people to unite in order to turn Kuwait into a modern state, equipped with knowledge and education. HH Sheikh Sabah said his people’s cooperation was needed for his success and appealed to citizens to abide by the country’s laws, preserve its democratic system and enjoy the freedom of speech, bearing in mind the interest of Kuwait and its possessions. Prior to his coronation, Sheikh Sabah was Kuwait ’s Minister of Foreign Affairs for 40 years between 1963 and 2003, making him the longest-serving foreign minister in the world and giving him an outstanding reputation for his adroitness in foreign relations and diploma-

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah receiving His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed AlSabah yesterday.

cy. HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad is the fourth son of the late Amir HH Sheikh Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah (1926-2006), the 13th ruler of Kuwait. HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad gained immense political experience


through numerous trips to different countries accompanying his father. His first post was as a member of the higher executive committee in 1954 during the reign of late Amir HH Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah,

the 12th ruler of Kuwait, in which capacity he served from 1950-1965. The committee was in charge of organizing government interests and follow up government plans. In February 1959 HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad was appoint-

Psychologist delivers depression lecture

ed as chairman of the publication and social affairs departments. When the country’s constitution was to set be written during the rule of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad was appointed as a member of the founding council which was assigned with the task of writing the constitution in early 1962. His first ministerial portfolio was the now-defunct ministry of guidance and news in 1962, after which he moved to the foreign ministry in 1963. At the social level, Sheikh Sabah took care of the teachers club, participating in many of its educational activities, including a seminar on educational affairs in Kuwait which was held at the club’s hall in 1952. Sheikh Sabah also worked on promoting Kuwait at both the regional and international levels. On July 13, 2003, HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad received the Amiri order of late Amir HH Sheikh Jaber AlAhmad Al-Sabah, to preside over the Cabinet and name its members. — KUNA


Rewards better than grants By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


he public’s outrage against the notes mentioned in the Al-Shall report regarding the Amiri grant isn’t something surprising coming from a community that is used to receiving grants from the government. This is of course combined with the fact that such gift giving from the leaders of Kuwait to its citizens has been in practice since oil was discovered here. Despite the general disagreement that they received, the notes mentioned in the Al-Shall report are worth serious consideration and we should look into the state’s rentier policy. While it’s not necessarily an easy matter to convince people not to take direct grants, it’s important to discuss accommodating these grants and using them in such a way that is useful today and helps encourage citizens to be productive and participate in the country’s development. With the great probability that government grants will continue to be paid in the future, especially with increasing oil prices, it would be of great benefit to the government to adopt a rewarding policy instead. A reward might be similar to a grant with the difference that an award could be given to those that make a productive effort. Awarding those who come up with a productive effort, regardless of whether it is positive or not, is in my opinion better than giving all citizens a grant and encouraging inactivity. —Al-Qabas


in brief

By Hussain Al-Qatari

The foreign ministry isn’t sacred! By Muna Al-Fuzai


hen MP Falah Al-Sawwagh submitted a formal enquiry to the National Assembly speaker concerning the recent appointments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) it seemed a newsworthy subject and one meriting discussion. It seems that this is a subject worthy of speaking out loud about and studying in detail. In fact, on the Alam newspaper’s website many have already added their own comments suggesting that it’s time to speak out about the MoFA. I believe that the foreign ministry is a government body like any other and is not sacred in any way; therefore its procedures and methods should be open to scrutiny, as well as being regularly updated and investigated if necessary. This includes the process of appointing its staff, whether these are diplomats or other personnel, which of course also covers the subject of those who are approved or rejected. I believe that any questions over individuals receiving preferential treatment or being appointed based on wasta or influence should be subjected to examination; if an individual believes that he or she is ‘entitled’ to a post at the ministry and someone else has attained it due to his/her powerful wasta, I would say that this is an issue that merits investigation and I can’t see why this shouldn’t be done! I really don’t understand any objection to this suggestion. There is already a widespread belief that candidates for foreign ministry jobs must have good insider recommendations or wasta in order to be appointed to these posts; personally I don’t know the reason behind this. As far as I can see, unless you’re applying for a diplomatic posting most of the everyday jobs there are secretarial or clerical and, as a person who’s worked in the private sector for most of my life, I don’t see much need for specialist training or why there would be great financial benefits in these mundane office jobs. The diplomats gain their experience, meanwhile, by travelling the world, becoming involved in different cultures and meeting a diverse range of people, and benefit from this. But let’s get real here; other than the ministry’s good name, which some think of as prestigious, I don’t see much difference for most staff between working for the MoFA or for other government bodies. I have met many young graduates who work there, all of whom seem to be fresh and intelligent, but they’re not attaining any significant achievement from their MoFA jobs and due to heavy overstaffing levels there you’ll often see three or more staff in one office! I believe in the private sector’s work ethics and system, yet I also know of some ministers who provide their staff with many good training programs and opportunities to explore the world. This issue also depends on how each individual chooses to develop him or herself. I know of one Kuwaiti woman who used to work for the Ministry of Public Works and whilst it doesn’t have the same glamorous reputation as the MoFA she managed to develop her career and to attain some significant achievements there, so perhaps this attitude to the foreign ministry is more about our old-fashioned thinking on the importance of prestige, whilst ignoring vital aspects like professional training. I fail to see why such large numbers of people are fighting to get jobs in the foreign ministry but not elsewhere. I hope that MP Al-Sawwagh’s enquiry is answered using the normal and clear path and that he obtains a fully-documented response in which the ministry adopts transparent methods. Hopefully his request will lead to the truth he’s seeking from the ministry and maybe a new vision will be explored.

KUWAIT: American psychologist Dr. Diane Tillman delivered a lecture at Australian College of Kuwait on Saturday evening about depression and ways to overcome it. Ranking as the fourth most common disease worldwide, Tillman noted that depression is predicted to be the most common disease worldwide in the future. Depression is losing part of our dream, said Tillman, noting that nobody is immune to it. However, she explained that people should look at depression as a phase in their life, as something that can benefit them. “The things that we mourn teach us,” she said. “Often people don’t know how to deal with their pain. But if you try to understand how to deal with pain, you’ll find that it’s actually not complicated. Healing from pain is a nurturing and beautiful experience,” explained Tillman. “Pain will only diminish if we’re not afraid of it.” One factor that can lead to severe depression is people’s lack of self-esteem, noted the psychologist. “Depression grows significantly year after year, despite the fact that people have an abundance of resources, tools and information that can help them in dealing with it,” she noted. “We are being constantly evaluated. Every day, we are given messages that tell us things like: own this and you’ll be happy, wear this and you’ll be happy,” she explained. “This gives us the feeling that we are unhappy, imperfect, and can only be perfect if we buy this or wear that, or fit that certain image.” It is extremely important not to fall victim to depression, as it can create imbalances in our neurotransmitters if we remain depressed for weeks without doing anything to change that state of mind, Dr. Tillman emphasized. She recommends regular exercise, decreasing sugar in one’s diet, eating a healthy diet and surrounding oneself with positive friends. Getting over depression may be difficult, but one must constantly remember that one cannot change what has happened, but only one’s reaction towards it. “We must always try to replace old mental habits with new mental habits. It may be difficult, but it’s not impossible to achieve,” she said. Dr. Tillman recommended that one should not compare oneself to others, as this will only bring one down or inspire vanity. She recommended that people should try to become in control of their thoughts and reactions towards circumstances and incidents, rather than fall victim to them. “We must also speak kindly to our inner child. If you don’t feel well or if you did something wrong, be kind to yourself. Don’t be overly critical with yourself,” she said. Having gratitude, counting our blessings and trying to be an example of how we wish others to be can all help us find inner-balance and peace of mind, she suggested, recommending meditation and prayer to find strength and nurture inner power. Dr. Diane Tillman has been a school psychiatrist for more than 20 years. She is the author of Living Values: An Educational Program. The series of books has been translated into 35 languages and they are included on the curriculum of schools in over 75 countries.

Dr. Diane Tillman

Ahmadi gas leaks KUWAIT: A senior Ministry of Communications (MoC) official has rejected claims that the ongoing gas leak problems in Ahmadi are connected to the network of underground phone cables in the area, indicating that no traces of natural gas had been found at any point in the network. MoC official Sabah AlFahad made the statement during his testimony to the Cabinet commission looking into the issue, with public frustration mounting as no end to the problems in Ahmadi appearing

to be in sight, reported Al-Rai. AlFahad also noted that the evacuation of Block One in Ahmadi has been continuing steadily. Meanwhile, officials inspecting the area have reported a sharp decrease in the numbers of birds and insects seen in the area, with some attributing this directly to the gas leak problems. Servicemen’s pay rise KUWAIT: The government has introduced a bill which will entitle it to enforce the proposed pay rises for servicemen, with an announce-

ment expected next month of a decree implementing the salary increases. According to a Cabinet insider, the government will not approve any further draft bills on pay rises for servicemen since the progress of the current bill is ‘almost complete.” The insider told Al-Rai that the subject ìhas now been referred to the highest authorities in the state,’ adding that the wage rises are likely to be enforced by a decree to be announced during the national celebrations at the end of February.



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in brief

10,000 tons of bad food disposed in 7 months KUWAIT: From April to November of last year the Kuwait Municipality reportedly disposed of 10,025 tons of bad food, reported Al-Rai. Ahmad Al-Manfouhi, the Assistant General Manager of the Training and Administrative Development Department, added that 12,200 additional tons of food was exported at the border after it failed to meet the imported food department’s safety conditions. 250 expired rice sacks confiscated KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality inspectors confiscated 250 sacks of expired rice before it could be sold on the local market, reported Al-Watan. Official sources said that the Minister of Public Works and Municipal Affairs, Dr Fadhel Safar, instructed inspectors to investigate a warehouse in Shuwaikh. There, inspectors found that the owners of the warehouse deliberately changed the expiration dates of rice and other goods in an attempt to sell spoiled food on the local market.

MADRID: Kuwaiti pavilion at the International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid.

‘Arab cities qualified to become world’s best tourist destinations’ MADRID: Arab tourism agencies drew the interest of visitors of the International Tourism Trade Fair (Fitur 2011), being held here between Jan 19 and 23. The event provided a great opportunity for the Arab agencies to showcase to the visitors the different aspects of the marvelous Arab civilization and the odor of the Arab cultural heritage, representatives of these companies opined in statements yes-

terday. Deputy Chairman of the Kuwait Touristic Enterprises Company Khaled Abdullah AlGhanem said his company sought through its participation in Kuwait pavilion to shed light on the history and culture of Kuwait. “ We aimed to give the European tourists, particularly the Spanish ones, a clear insight into the wonderful archeological sites in Kuwait and the country’s archi-

tectural development,” he said. “We also sought to shed light on the great development of the touristic infrastructure in Kuwait,” Al-Ghanem added, noting that Kuwait pavilion attracted big number of visitors. Meanwhile, Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism and Commerce of Dubai, Abdullah Salem Ben Suwidan, said this was the tenth time for the United Arab

Emirates to take part in the annual event. “The Arab countries enjoy great potentials to offer world-call tourist services. The Arab cities are qualified to become the world’s best tourist destinations,” Suwidan affirmed. The 31st edition of the International Tourism Trade Fair, FITUR, reflects the progress of the world’s tourism industry’s and is organized by IFEMA. — KUNA

PC for every employee KUWAIT: Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Dr Fadhel Safar launched here yesterday the “PC for every employee” campaign at the Municipal Council aimed at better developing services at the council. Speaking at a meeting with employees of the Financial Affairs at the Municipal Council, Safar said that the campaign was within the state’s development plan, adding that such efforts would help further develop services for citizens and expatriates. Safar called on the department employees to boost their efforts to better services at the council, affirming that the Financial Affairs Department was amongst the most vital units of the municipal machine.

Labor Ministry working on replacing sponsorship system Two criteria on bedoon citizenship KUWAIT: In efforts to find alternatives to the sponsorship system, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is facing the trouble of coming up with a formula that protects workers’ rights while satisfying employees, reported AlQabas. The ministry has consulted international organizations while studying the subject in order to find a way to best serve the rights of both parts of the labor equation. While a final answer still has yet to be found, one thing is for certain; that the outdated sponsorship system must be replaced. Such a realization has led to the already established new labor law and the decision to create a public labor authority. An official source from the ministry said that this subject is only one of many that the min-

istry is giving a great deal of attention to in order to resolve problems regarding expatriate labor forces. Meanwhile, the recently formed government committee for bedoon (stateless) residents’ issues is reportedly set to announce two criteria by which members of Kuwait’s bedoon population can obtain Kuwaiti citizenship. The first criterion stipulates that candidates should be either included on the 1965 census or be able to prove their or their family’s presence in the country before that date, while the second specifies that all candidates must have worked at or for a government institution for at least thirty years. The committee is reportedly set to find alternative solutions for those

bedoon people who do not meet these criteria. Committee head Saleh Al-Fadhala has reportedly been conducting regular meetings with the members of the previous committee set up to look into the issue, and visiting their headquarters in Dhajeej to review their files. Al-Fadhala has also been regularly visiting the committee’s new headquarters in Nayef Palace to check on the progress of work there. The new headquarters will be equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology to expedite its work, with Al-Fadhala reportedly determined to end the longstanding problems facing bedoons through ensuring that all those who are entitled to Kuwaiti citizenship are granted it.

Amir briefs Cabinet on Summit outcome

KUWAIT: An Iranian expatriate has been arrested after General Department of Drug Control officers found one kilogram of opium hidden in his home in Yarmouk. A security official revealed that the Iranian dealer was arrested after selling an undercover GDDC officer KD 200 worth of opium in a sting operation. On being interviewed, the detainee claimed that he was working for an inmate currently incarcerated in Central Prison.

Four hurt in car accidents By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: An 18-year-old Kuwaiti man was taken to Adan Hospital after suffering fractures to both legs in a car crash on King Fahad Road near the Um Al-Hayman turnoff. In a separate incident, a 29-year-old Kuwaiti woman sustained broken bones in her left leg in a crash on the Sixth Ring Road, near the Salmi exit. She was taken to Jahra Hospital. In another accident, a 20-year-old Indian man suffered a broken right thighbone in a vehicle collision near the Fintas area. He was taken to Adan Hospital. Meanwhile, a 28-year-old Kuwaiti man was taken to Adan Hospital after sustaining a frac-

tured right thighbone in a crash on King Fahad Road near the Mubarak Al-Kabeer turnoff. Two injured Two 23-year-old Kuwaiti men suffered lacerations to their heads and heavy bruising to their bodies in a fight behind Salmiya fire station. Both were taken to Mubarak Hospital. Factory fall A 48-year-old Egyptian man sustained fractures to his left arm and leg when he fell from a high platform in the Sulaibiya factory where he works. He was rushed to Farwaniya Hospital.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday presided over a Cabinet meeting at Bayan Palace in the presence of HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, National Assembly Speaker Jassem Mohammad AlKharafi and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Minister of the Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, said Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Abdulaziz Al-Roudhan. “HH the Amir briefed the cabinet members on the outcomes of the Second Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit, held in Sharm El-Sheikh resort, Egypt, last week,” Al-Roudhan told reporters after the meeting. The summit reviewed the progress made in the enforcement of the results of the first such event, hosted by Kuwait, in January, 2009, particularly HH the Amir’s initiative to launch a fund for bankrolling small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Arab countries. The fund has a great role to play in realizing the development targets, tackling the problems of unemployment and poverty and optimizing the use of human resources, Al-Roudhan pointed out. The summit also dealt with other key projects such as the pan-Arab power grid hookup, the endeavors to improve healthcare, education, transportation, communication, labor market and food security as well as the WB’s initiative to allocate funds forinfrastructure projects in the Arab countries. The Arab leaders renewed commitment to the plan for tackling the climate change and quest for realizing the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for 2015; they also agreed to build new partnerships with the international and regional economic blocs and activate the Arab-African strategic partnership and the ArabLatin American partnership. — KUNA

Minister promises computers for Municipal employees By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Municipality Affairs, Dr Fadhel Safar adopted the slogan ‘a computer for every employee’ during an unprecedented open meeting with the Municipality Financial Affairs Department Director and employees in appreciation of the department’s discipline and productivity. Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of the Municipality for Financial and Administrative affairs, Abdulaziz AlHabeeb promised to fulfill the slogan. He added that such a move is a necessity and not a luxury and thanked the minister for morally supporting his employees. Meanwhile Municipality Assistant Director General for Development and Information, Ahmad Al-Manfouhi said the Municipality will start an ambitious project to transform their paper archives into electronic ones. He made his comments during a workshop on the project that was attended by Minister Safar and other Municpality officials.

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti and Hungarian officials signing the agreement yesterday.

Kuwait, Hungary sign economic, technical accord KUWAIT: The State of Kuwait signed here yesterday an economic and technical cooperation accord with the Republic of Hungary in order to boost bilateral ties between the two countries. The Ministry of Finance said in a statement today that the agreement, which was signed by Kuwaiti Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance Khalifa Hamada, and Hungarian State Secretar y for Economic Affairs Zsolt Becsey, “will greatly contribute to consolidating the economies of two countries.” It added that the agreement aims at catching up with the latest economic laws and developments on the domestic and international scenes, and that it will boost the economic, financial, trade, industrial and banking exchanges as well as other fields of cooperation between the two countries. Further, the agreement provides for exchanging data on the scientific and technical research along with exchanging the training of technicians within the

framework of definite programs of cooperation alongside facilitating the movement of capitals, goods and various services between the two countries, it made clear. It also noted that items of the agreement encourage business people in both countries to establish joint investment ventures, and to join efforts on investing in free trade zones in Kuwait and other countries, besides helping the private sector to start up joint investment firms in the fields of common concern. Finally, the Ministry said that the agreement goes in tandem with the requirements provided by the World Trade Organization ( WTO), and its subsidiary accords by virtue of the two countries’ obligations toward this world trade watchdog, noting that this subsequently includes the formation of a joint committee between the two countries, headed by the Minister of Finance from the Kuwaiti side, and State Secretary for Economic Affairs from the Hungarian side. — KUNA

Kuwaiti graduates of Philippines universities back claims with proof KUWAIT: Kuwaiti graduates from the Philippines who are still struggling to have their degrees recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education, have reiterated their previous demands, providing documents which they claim prove the validity of their qualifications. In a press release issued on Saturday, Hamad Al-Sawwagh, the head of the Association of Kuwaiti Students in the Philippines, explained that amongst the documents submitted by the graduates are official letters from the Kuwaiti education ministry granting the then-students permission to undertake their university studies at institutions in Southeast Asian nations, as well as other documents proving that the ministry had accredited degrees obtained from

certain Philippines universities while rejecting others. “This problem has been ongoing for a year-and-a-half now,” Al-Sawwagh protested, indicating that after former education minister Nouriya Al-Subaih issued a directive suspending Kuwaiti students’ admission to Philippines universities, she subsequently withdrew the second ar ticle of the directive, allowing those students already studying at these universities to complete their studies. Condemning the Kuwaiti education ministry’s approach as “unprofessional,” Al-Sawwagh also criticized current education minister Dr. Moudhi Al-Humoud for “failing to fulfill her promises to put an end to this problem.”




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monDAY, JAnUARY 24, 2011


Cabinet worried about Al-Mutairi death report Al-Rashid to take a neutral stance KUWAIT: With the parliamentary investigative committee studying the circumstances surrounding the death of Kuwaiti citizen Mohammad Al-Mutairi in police custody set to publishing its findings shortly, the cabinet is understood to be worried about the possible repercussions of the final report, especially on the potential actions of the parliamentary anti-government coalition. The cabinet is reportedly particularly worried after losing the support of some previous strong parliamentary allies following the Appeals Court’s decision to overturn the sentence handed down to former MP Badi Al-Dossari over his assault on senior interior ministry official Maj Gen Kamal Al-Awadhi, replacing the original three-month jail sentence handed down with community service. Maj Gen Al-Awadhi is understood to have resigned in protest at the appeal court’s controversial decision.

Big foot car

Pick up cars modified in different shapes

Quarter Mile Club hosts modified car show at Green Island By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: About 80 modified cars of different models, brands and ages participated in the first festival for modified cars held by the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club at Green Island on Saturday. At the competition, visitors could vote on which of the 60 vehicles they thought were the most beautiful. The festival was held in the name of the late Sheikh Basil Al-Salim Al-Sabah, the founder of the club. The organizers didn’t expect such a high turnout of both visitors and participants. “I divided 400 coupons for voting and still more people are coming to take cards,” Fahad Al-Elaj, a member of the board of the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club told the Kuwait Times. “I couldn’t let any more cars participate in the event because there wasn’t enough space. We hope to hold the event at a new location with different categories next time.” This was the first local activity held by the club since it was declared in November 2009. The club has already organized many international car and motor racing activities for its members. The club is planning to host future activities. “We will organize drag, go cart, drift and auto speed races,” Al-Elaj added. “The race track has not been built yet due to the bureaucracy of the government system, and the club hasn’t received a budget yet but I expect to have the track done this year.” The first six winners received financial prizes and award certificates while the rest of the owners whose cars were featured at the show received participation certificates. Participation was open to the public and anyone with a modified car could register their car in the event free of charge. Visitors to the event got a chance to see modified sedans, four-wheel drives, sports cars, low riders, stock originals and many others. Sheikh Ali Al-Fawaz Al-Sabah, the Secretary General of the club said that the club’s first locally organized event was a great success. “I’m happy to see such a large number of attendees; it represents a huge interest in the sport and show. We like to see young Kuwaitis spend their time on such nice activities,” he noted.

In my view

Why doesn’t Kuwait’s Parliament police itself? By Nawaf Al-Obaidan KUWAIT: A number of Kuwaiti MPs have suggested the introduction of a parliamentary ‘code of honor,’ by which parliamentarians would be held to account for their behavior and penalized for behaving inappropriately. This proposal, which was put forward following recent conflicts between some MPs, has gained support since nobody wishes to be embarrassed by the misbehavior of elected officials. Such bad behavior reflects negatively on Kuwait, setting a poor example for the nation’s young people and discouraging investment in the country. Generally, Kuwaitis may agree on the need for a parliamentary code of honor, but I would like to call attention to a similar code that already exists for Parliament. Isn’t it logical to implement that code rather than create a new one? Two existing articles in the regulations governing Kuwait’s National Assembly prevent MPs from disrespecting one another. The first of these, Article 88 states, “It’s prohibited for the speaker to use inappropriate language [or to] prejudice the dignity of persons, governmental institutions, or harm the public interest of the country. If the MP has committed any of the previous misdemeanors, the President of the Parliament shall decide to dispute the matter without discussion.” The second, Article 89, reads, “The President of the Parliament has the right to punish any MP who attempts to corrupt the system of the Parliament.” According to this article, the President may issue a warning to the MP, prevent him or her from speaking during a meeting, or dismiss the member from the parliamentary chamber for a maximum of two weeks! My question is: Why aren’t these articles being enforced now in Kuwait’s Parliament? Before the MPs invest valuable time in writing and then debating a new code of honor - and one has to wonder if they’re even capable of doing so at this point - I recommend that Parliament begin immediately to apply the sanctions already within its power. There must be an end to MPs acting badly and disrespecting one another, and Parliament has the wherewithal to begin that process now, without producing a new law.

Modified sports cars

MP Ali-Al-Rashid, a pro-government parliamentarian who previously looked likely to support the government side in the planned grilling of interior minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid Al-Sabah over the police torture of Al-Mubarak that led to his death, has already stated that he will take a neutral stance on the minister’s grilling if the subject of the court’s decision on Al-Dossari’s sentence is included in the grilling motion. Al-Rashid has made his disappointment at recent events clear to the interior minister, advising him to go through with his previously tendered resignation. One parliamentary insider called for the adoption of a calm and reasoned approach on all sides, saying that whilst the issue has clearly become politicized everyone should wait for the results of the parliamentary committee’s investigation to be issued before leaping to any conclusions. The insider suggested that there is a widespread distaste for using such cases for political ends, pointing out that this is an isolated case and unusual in Kuwaiti society. Meanwhile, two other MPs, Dr. Ali Al-Omair and Marzouq Al-Ghanim paid a two-hour visit to the Central Prison in order to hear the testimony of witnesses concerning the torture of Al-Mutairi as part of their duties as the chairman and rapporteur respectively of the parliamentary investigative committee. On a related note, the director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Maj. Gen. Sheikh Ali Al-Yousef Al-Sabah, along with his deputy, Brigadier General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah Al-

Sabah, were recently questioned by the parliamentary investigative committee. Amongst the other officials questioned by the committee in its investigation into Al-Mutairi’s death have been the commanding officer at Ahmadi police station and a subordinate, both of whom have been condemned over their failure to file a report on the death. The officers apparently told the committee that they had informed the station’s senior detective about the incident, but said that he had failed to examine Al-Mutairi’s body. Meanwhile, other evidence uncovered during the investigation indicates that Al-Mutairi was tortured purely as revenge for a previous fight with a police detective. The latest revelations came as the Ministry of Interior (MoI) internal committee investigating the death attempts to find out more about the mysterious black SUV seen in front of the Kabad jakhour (livestock farm) where Al-Mutairi was reportedly also taken to be tortured. According to AlMutairi’s friend Siyah Al-Rushaidi, who was arrested along with him and also subjected to torture, an unidentified Caucasian man in the vehicle, who appeared to be a senior official of some sort, later came in to watch the torture session and gave orders to the officers. Al-Rushaidi said that this man had been in an argument with him and AlMutairi a week before their arrest, describing the man as a “tall white man with a goatee beard.” Al-Rushaidi said that when the unidentified man came into the

jakhour to observe the torture taking place there, he was asked by one of the torturers whether they should continue or not and responded by saying that the victims had “had enough for them to be disciplined.” Al-Rushaidi added that he would be able to identify the man if he were to see him again, speculating that he might be the son of a “VIP figure” in order to wield such influence. Meanwhile, a number of detectives and police officers have expressed frustration at the whole police force being tarred with the same brush following recent events. One detective, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that whilst the outrage at the horrendous crime was understandable and whilst he feels for the deceased man’s family, it is unfair that all detectives should be blamed for their corrupt and brutal peers. The insider said that there is massive frustration and unhappiness among police officers, particularly detectives, over the negative depictions of police in the media over the incident, adding that many officers of different ranks have tendered their resignation as a result. The detective said that the police service is largely composed of decent people committed to performing their duties honestly, upholding the law and protecting the public and their property. He added that police regularly experience threatening situations, stressing that it is unfair that the gross misbehavior of four or five officers should be used to negatively portray all officers.

Kuwaiti govt approves range of cooperation deals Modified classic cars

Organizers with trophies and voting box

KUWAIT: During its regular weekly meeting yesterday, the Kuwaiti cabinet approved several cooperation deals with Algeria, Chile, France, Greece, Guyana, Liberia, Morocco, Tunisia and Uruguay. His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammed Al-Sabah presided over the meeting, held at Seif Palace said Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Abdulaziz Al-Roudhan. HH the Prime Minister briefed the cabinet members on the official messages recently received by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, from the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, the President of Benin and Finnish Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi. “The messages deal with ways to enhance the bilateral ties between Kuwait and the three friendly countries in all domains,” said Al-Roudhan. The cabinet approved agreements with the Republic of Guyana on trade exchanges and prevention of double taxation and tax evasion, as well as adopting draft agreements on economic cooperation

and trade exchanges with Chile, and an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation with Greece. The cabinet also approved an agreement on customs affairs and exchanges and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on exhibition-related affairs with Tunisia, an agreement with France on cooperation in the areas of environmental protection, sustainable development and renewable energies, a security agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco, agreements with Algeria and Liberia on cooperation in air services, and a trade agreement with Uruguay. “Draft bills on these documents are to be tendered to HH the Amir soon as a prelude to referring them to the National Assembly for final endorsement,” the minister stated. The cabinet also discussed the topics currently on the agenda of the National Assembly’s agenda as well as a host of political issues on the regional and international arenas, he added. —KUNA



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Al-Mubarak raises horrific new police torture allegations By A Saleh

Citizen held before setting house ablaze in Taima Car thief in custody in Hadiya KUWAIT: A citizen was arrested for threatening to set his house on fire and to kill himself and his child, reported Al-Watan. The incident occurred in Taima where police pursued the 40-year-old until he reached his home. Once there, the man threatened to set himself and his house on fire unless police left him alone. While authorities tried to negotiate with him he also threatened to set his son on fire as well. Police were able to put the situation under control by breaking into the house through a window in the home’s diwaniya. Police arrested the man and freed his child while firefighters put out a small fire inside the house. The suspect’s other son, a young man in his 20s, responded to the scene of the incident and suffered a nervous breakdown upon learning what happened. Both he and his father were brought to Jahra Hospital. An investigation revealed that the man who was arrested suffered from various mental health disorders and has a history of similar instances. Bootlegger nabbed An Asian man was arrested in Salmiya for selling liquor behind a hospital on Amman Street, reported Al-Watan. He was found to be in possession of 34 bottles of homemade liquor and KD 87 in cash that he earned while selling the liquor. Critical injury A Filipina woman was dropped off by a taxi driver in the Capital Governorate unconscious and covered in blood in front of her sponsor’s home where she works as a maid, reported Al-Watan. Police responded to the incident and were able to determine the identity of the taxi driver by collecting a description of him from the home’s owner. After being summoned for questioning, the Egyptian driver explained that the victim was a regular customer of his and that he found her in bad shape. He

added that when he picked her up she explained that she got into a car accident and refused to be brought to a hospital. He added that she fell unconscious after stepping out of the taxi. The driver was held for further questioning and the victim was admitted to a hospital in critical condition. Crazy driver Traffic police arrested a reckless driver for driving more than 200 kilometers per hour on Fahaheel Road, reported Al-Watan. The youngster tried to escape from authorities when he learned that his car was going to be confiscated but was arrested soon after when he crashed his car. Meanwhile, authorities bringing the thug into custody ignored calls made by a first lieutenant trying to cover up the incident because the suspect was a relative of his. Robber in custody A thief was arrested in Hadiya for robbing an Egyptian taxi driver of his vehicle and his cash, reported Al-Watan. The thug forced the driver to step out of the vehicle at knifepoint as soon as they stopped at a traffic light. The thief stole KD 400 and the man’s IDs before driving away. Police located the man an hour after the incident was reported while he was trying to set the cab on fire in an attempt to cover up his crime. The culprit was identified as a 20-year-old resident and a Ministry of Defense Corporal. Rapist caught A clothing store manager was arrested after he was accused of raping one of his employees, reported Al-Rai. A case was filed against him at the Abu Halifa police station by a woman who reported that she was raped by her employer when the two were left to work on inventory after hours. Police apprehended the man after raiding his apartment in Mangaf and referred him to the prop-

er authorities. Body found A middle-aged citizen was found dead inside an apartment in Salmiya that was raided by police on suspicion of hosting illegal activities, reported AlRai. Authorities searched the building after receiving a tip informing them that illegal activities were taking place there. The dead body was identified as a citizen in his fifties and an autopsy was ordered for the body to determine the exact cause of death. It was not revealed whether signs of foul play were discovered in the apartment. In the meantime, police are searching for people that may have been inside the apartment when the victim died.

KUWAIT: The rapporteur of the parliamentary investigative committee looking into the circumstances of Kuwaiti man Mohammed Al-Mutairi’s recent death in police custody announced yesterday that the committee’s report is ready and will be distributed today, giving MPs sufficient time to read the findings before the issue is discussed in parliament. Meanwhile, fellow MP Musallam Al-Barrak claimed that he has evidence of another horrendous case of police mistreatment and torture. Speaking earlier in the day, committee chairman MP Ali Al-Omair said that the committee members were set to hear the testimony of the last witness in the case, who he said was not a Ministry of Interior (MoI) official. Al-Omair also revealed that the subject of the black Yukon SUV seen outside the jakhour (livestock farm) in Kabad where AlMutairi had been tortured had also come up during the committee’s deliberations. The committee head said that he had not attended the recent Salaf Forum meeting concerning the Al-Mutairi case because of his chairmanship of the parliamentary committee, saying “It’s not right to participate in the Salaf meeting, which discussed the same issue.” The case is a simple one at heart, he said, adding that the committee had “worked around the clock and discussed matters with witnesses in order to provide all the information that serves the investigation.” The MP added, “It is customary for the responsibility not to be the minister’s alone,” adding that other MoI personnel were also questioned over the case. Al-Omair said that the committee had also met with the head of the MoI’s forensic department, Mohammed AlFawal, and voiced hope that the committee would conclude its work today, despite differences of opinion between its members. Meanwhile, Al-Barrak has criticized

statements from some senior MoI officials on the case, particularly after evidence emerged that contradicted their accounts, warning that he would further prove them wrong. “The statements from director of detectives Ali Al-Yousef are totally wrong and I am ready to prove him wrong,” the MP stated. Al-Barrak also claimed to have information about another case of wrongful arrest and torture by police, saying that some police officers had done their utmost to intimidate, belittle and terrorize Kuwaitis and expatriates. The MP said that nine detectives had burst into the bedroom of the householder in question while the man was in bed with his wife, accusing him of killing his maid. The man told them that he and his wife did not employ a maid and even if they did and he had committed such a crime his arrest should be conducted in the conventional manner. The police officers then allegedly called the terrified couple’s young son into the room where the confused child found that the officers had ordered his mother to strip naked, an ordeal which they also subjected the father to. While his son was present, the man was threatened that if he refused to sign a confession to the crime he had not committed, he would be forced to watch another officer rape his wife. After the householder still refused to sign the false confession, said the MP, the police subjected his wife to horrific sexual abuse, including inserting foreign objects into her genitals in an attempt to force him to sign it. Al-Barrak said that the man had come forward and told him of his and his wife’s ordeal after hearing about the AlMutairi case, saying that he could still hear his wife’s and children’s screams during the horrendous experience. “I want to ask MPs, can anyone imagine the situation of this man’s wife?” said Al-Barrak. “Do these officers deserve to live? If the interior minister cares about humanity, he’d better carry out his political responsibilities.”

Garage fire A Shuwaikh garage worker was hospitalized with severe burns when his clothes accidentally caught on fire after being exposed to extremely flammable liquids, reported Al-Rai. The Asian victim’s clothes were exposed to flammable material while the garage he works for was undergoing maintenance and he caught on fire when one of his co-workers sparked a lighter near him. Paramedics brought the man to Babtain Hospital after his coworkers were able to extinguish the flames. An investigation was opened at a nearby police station. Policeman assaulted A TV personality was charged with insulting a police officer on duty and escaping from a police patrol vehicle, reported Al-Anba. The man refused to cooperate with a traffic police officer while claiming he was being set up by an MP. The suspect, who works for a local private TV station, was stopped at a checkpoint in Abu Halifa but refused to show his license to the authorities. He escaped from police presence and accused one of the police officers of being sent to get him by a parliament member. A warrant was issued for the offender’s arrest.

KUWAIT: Kuwait National Guards yesterday honored graduates who had undergone a training course on using wenches at Shuwaikh port. The course was organized in coordination with the Ports Authority.

Warning to owners of illegal structures KUWAIT: A state commission tasked with overseeing the removal of illegal structures in industrial areas yesterday began a program of distributing final warning letters to various violators in Fahaheel, East Ahmadi and Sharq, giving them two weeks to

remove the offending articles or face penalties. “As soon as the deadline expires, all structures built illegally on state property will be removed,” Haidar Al-Shamali, the committee’s general coordinator, told Al-Qabas. Al-

Shamali further explained that so far the commission has identified over 50,000 such structures in East Ahmadi, a further 10,000 in Fahaheel and an area of 10,000 square meters being used for illegal purposes in Sharq.

KAC the first airline to function amid occupation of owner state: Boresly

KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait patronized a special health exhibition organized recently by the dean of the Oil and Engineering Faculty of the Kuwait University, which focused on fighting obesity and diabetes by encouraging exercise and healthy diet.

KUWAIT: Among the many accomplishments of Kuwaiti institutions, Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) boasts the feat of being the first airline to operate amid occupation of the owner state, during the 1990 Saddam occupation of Kuwait. Director of Public Relations and Media Adel Mohammad Boresly said that KAC proved a highly successful corporation till the aggression and subsequent theft and confiscation of craft and other KAC assets by the Iraqis. This undermined results achieved over a period of 36 years, leading up to the 1990 aggression. KAC was operating throughout the occupation, transporting the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to New York for the historical speech he made at the UN. That was vital to secure the support of world leaders of Kuwait’s just cause, Boresly said. In addition to 15 planes, spare parts, engines, equipment, computers, catering facility and gear were all stolen by the Iraqis. Still, the corporation sought to get back on its feet after the liberation at no cost to the government. KAC performed its national duty of keeping the flag in the air to remind the international community of the country’s cause, but also did its duty and provided loans and advance payments to its employees during the occupation. Post the liberation, KAC managed to fly the Kuwaiti leadership to free Kuwait and re-send a message to the world of the Kuwaiti spirit’s determination and resolve and of its just cause which gained the international community’s support. It later modernized its fleet and continued to offer competitive services and offers to its clientele.

Adel Boresly Starting with flights to Beirut, Al-Quds, Damascus, and Abadan back in 1954, the airline added London, New York, Manila, and later on 35 destinations in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. As for quality of service, KAC passed all criteria stated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for safe operation certification

(IOSA), which is the most demanding audit standard in the world. This is one more of many certificates KAC secured in view of its standards of service. Among its many services, KAC offers promotions and travel arrangements through its Oasis privilege members club, and the services include hotel arrangements, car lease, and early weighing of luggage in the evening for next day flights. There are also special arrangements for clients with special needs, including a special department at Kuwait International Airport, cables to their destinations to guarantee best service upon arrival, and special care throughout the process between starting point and destination. This also applies to clients suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes and blood pressure and the like, and they can enjoy dishes and choices prepared specifically with their needs in mind. KAC also sought to satisfy its clients with introduction of local as well as international cuisine in its catering service. Best quality of items as well as high standards of chefs’ qualifications are always maintained by KAC’s Kuwait Aviation Services Company (KASCO). In view of these and many other services and constant strife to improve quality of service, KAC received an array of prizes for its standards in the areas of leisure and comfort arrangements, catering, food supplies and menus, and safety and security measures, Boresly noted. KAC is still gaining international recognition for its records in maintenance, he said, and shall strive to improve its levels of performance and service in the days to come. — KUNA

International MONNDAY, JANUARY 24, 2011

Israel FM drafts plans for temporary Palestine Palestinians reject idea as “publicity stunt” JERUSALEM: Israel’s foreign minister is putting together an interim peace plan that would grant the Palestinians limited independence in an attempt to blunt their efforts to win international recognition of an independent state, a government official yesterday. The Palestinians rejected the notion of a provisional state as a “publicity stunt” and urged Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to work instead to achieve a final peace deal. Lieberman has been an outspoken skeptic of current peace efforts, saying conditions are not ripe for an agree-

ment. Yet at the same time, Israel is widely seen as being responsible for the current impasse in talks with the Palestinians and is under heavy international pressure to help find a new way forward. Under the emerging Lieberman plan, Israel would turn over between 45- to 50 percent of the West Bank to the provisional state, though additional land could be transferred to Palestinian control in the course of future negotiations, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan is not fully formed. The

Yemen arrests 19 activists SANAA: Yemen arrested 19 anti-government activists yesterday, including a prominent woman who led student rallies against the president last week, in a clampdown which sparked a new wave of protests in the capital. Demonstrations broke out across Yemen last week as citizens dissatisfied with the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh drew inspiration from the recent ouster of Tunisia’s long-time president. Tawakul Karman, a journalist and member of the Islamist party Islah who organized the protests through text messages and emails, was taken into custody by police on her way home early yesterday and charged with unlawfully organizing demonstrations, her husband told Reuters. Later in the day, police in Sanaa arrested 18 other activists, including the heads of two of Yemen’s largest human rights organizations, as they left a meeting to discuss Karman’s arrest. The arrests sparked a spontaneous protest of several hundred at Sanaa University yesterday. The demonstrators, chanting “release the prisoners” and holding pictures of Karman, tried to march to the General Prosecution Office, which a security source said had ordered her arrest. But roughly 50 riot police carrying batons beat them back. Police also beat up two TV cameramen filming the protests and confiscated their cameras, a Reuters witness said. One was briefly arrested. “I have no accurate information about her whereabouts,” Karman’s husband Mohamed Ismail al-Nehmi said by phone. “Maybe at the central prison, maybe somewhere else, I don’t know.” In a speech aired on state television yesterday, Saleh reiterated an offer of dialogue with opposition groups and said it was wrong to link Yemen to the events in Tunisia. “We are a democratic country and not Tunisia which had placed mosques under surveillance and shut everyone’s mouth,” he said. In an apparent move to calm discontent, Saleh also announced plans to raise the salaries of government employees and military personnel by $47 to $234 a month-a good bonus for poorly paid soldiers and civil servants in the Arab world’s poorest country. “Impossible” conditions The overthrow of Tunisia’s Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali shocked the Arab world and shattered the image that its oppressive, army-backed rulers were immune to popular discontent. Protesters in Sanaa yesterday made the same demands that they had last week in demonstrations led by Karman. “We demand Ali Abdullah Saleh leave, because we have no other option,” said Hani Al-Jonid, a Sanaa University student. Saleh has ruled Yemen for over three decades. His cash-strapped government is not only plagued by rebellions in the north and south, but also by a resurgent Al-Qaeda wing. “Yemen has been destroyed by a war in the north and secessionism in the south, and poverty, hunger, unemployment, ignorance and disease. The situation has made it impossible for us to remain silent,” Jonid said. Last week, Saleh offered constitutional reforms that included a limit to future presidential terms. But protesters deemed the offer insufficient and gathered by the thousands in the south to criticize the government. Yemen is struggling to lif t itself out of entrenched poverty, held back by decreasing oil production. More than 40 percent of the country’s 23 million people live on under $2 a day and almost a third suffer from chronic hunger. Tawfiq Al-Makhethi, another protester, said yesterday that the dire state of the economy was what lured him out on the streets: “I’m protesting today because of unemployment, because I’m a university graduate and I’ve been unemployed for six years.” — Reuters

KARBALA: Shiite pilgrims are seen yesterday, as faithful flock to the holy city. — AP

Haaretz daily said Lieberman has presented a map to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But the prime minister’s office would not confirm the report. Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said the Israeli leader remains committed to a final accord resolving the decades-old dispute between the two sides. But in a recent interview, Netanyahu said he might seek a short-term deal if the negotiations deadlock continues. Lieberman, leader of the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu Party, repeatedly has called for a long-term interim agreement

between the sides. The Palestinians claim the Gaza Strip, West Bank and east Jerusalem areas captured and occupied by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war - for an independent state. In recent months, they have tried to rally international recognition of a state in these territories. The Palestinians launched that initiative after concluding that talks with Israel were unlikely to yield a hoped-for state. Lieberman’s plan is an attempt to counter the Palestinian strategy. Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on a final accord collapsed in

Palestinian group behind church bombing, says Egypt Page 8

September after an Israeli freeze on settlement construction expired. The Palestinians say they won’t return to the negotiating table unless Israel halts all construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Settlements, they say, cement the Israeli presence in the West Bank and chip away at a future Paelstinian state. Some 500,000 Jewish settlers have moved to the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the past 43 years. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and the territory is now ruled by the Hamas militant group. — AP



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Jordanian king ‘tunes in’ to popular grievances King makes discreet visits to poorest areas

ALEXANDRIA: In this file photo, an exploded car is seen in front of a Coptic Christian church as worshippers shout. — AP

Palestinian group behind church bombing, says Egypt CAIRO: Egyptian Interior Minister Habib Al-Adly said yesterday that a Palestinian group was behind the New Year’s church attack in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria that killed more than 20 people. “The Palestinian Islamic Army, which has links to Al-Qaeda, is behind the attack on the Al-Qiddissin church in Alexandria,” Adly said in a speech to mark Police Day, carried live on state television. President Hosni Mubarak took to the stage to congratulate the police “for finding the perpetrators of the terrorist act in Alexandria.” In a swift response, the Palestinian Army of Islam denied any involvement in the deadly attack. “The Army of Islam has no relation, whether close or distant, to the attack on the Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt,” a spokesman for the group, who gave his name as Abu Muthanna, told AFP. “The Mossad (Israeli intelligence) was responsible for the attack.” An Egyptian security official told AFP that five Egyptians were arrested around 10 days ago in Alexandria in connection with the attack. “During questioning, the members of this group said that the planning of the attack had come from abroad,” the source said. Addressing senior officials and members of the police force, Mubarak said the attack had tried to target Egypt’s unity and firmly rejected foreign calls for the protection of the country’s Christians as “interference.” “ The latest attack in Alexandria, represents a pitiful attempt to bring (terrorism) back to Egypt”, this time in “an bid to stir division between the Copts and the Muslims.” On January 1, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a church in the Mediterranean city as worshippers emerged from a New Year’s Eve mass. Egypt’s official MENA news agency yesterday put the death toll at 23, with scores more wounded. Previously, the death toll stood at 21. The day after the attack on the Alexandria church, Mubarak said the

act was carried out by foreigners, an assertion he reiterated in his Police Day speech. “Terrorism is alien to our society, and has foreign fingerprints,” he said.” We will not allow terrorism to shake our stability.” The Egyptian leader also lashed out at Western countries who called for more protection for the country’s Christian minority. Egypt’s Christians, who make up 10 percent of the 80-million population, have been the target of several attacks and have repeatedly accused the authorities of systematic discrimination. “The constitution has laid out principles of citizenship as the basis for equality of all Egyptians in their rights and duties,” Mubarak said. “I say to those, some from friendly countries, who call for the protection of Copts of Egypt, I say to them that the time for foreign protection and tutelage is gone, and will not return. “We will not accept any pressure or interference in Egypt’s affairs,” he said. Egypt has been rocked by a spate of terrorist attacks between 2004 and 2006, targeting lucrative tourist destinations on the popular Red Sea coast of Sinai. No one has claimed responsibility for the Alexandria church attack, which followed threats to Egypt’s Copts from the AlQaeda-linked group in Iraq that claimed an October 31 attack on a Baghdad church. In 2010, six Copts were gunned down as they came out of a Christmas mass in the southern city of Naga Hammadi, in an attack that also left one Muslim policeman dead. The Palestinian group accused of perpetrating the attack is a small outfit that espouses Salafist ideals, an austere form of Sunni Islam that seeks a return to the practices of the faith’s early days. Along with other tiny Salafist factions in Gaza, the Army of Islam is believed to have sought or be seeking ties with AlQaeda, and has clashed with the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip. — AFP

AMMAN: King Abdullah II has consulted various political strands in Jordan, hoping “to come closer to the demands of the people,” ahead of planned further street protests, a source close to the king said yesterday. “The Jordanian sovereign held a series of consultations across the political spectrum, including former and incumbent high-ranking officials, activists, unionists and Islamists, to hear the grievances of Jordanians and tune in with the street,” the source told AFP, on condition of anonymity. The source, a member of the monarch’s entourage, added that the king had made “discreet visits to the Hashemite kingdom’s poorest areas to assess their needs.” Despite the introduction of new social measures, protests have been staged in Amman and other cities in the past two weeks against high prices and economic policy, with some demonstrators calling for a change of government. “The king knows that when people demand the prime minister quit, they are actually protesting the monarch’s management of the country and the fact that he appoints and dismisses prime ministers,” a for-

mer minister told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. “For the first time, the tribes, the backbone of the regime, as well as opposition groups and social powers, are on the same wavelength and want change.” The Jordanian constitution, adopted in 1952, gives the king the exclusive prerogative to appoint and dismiss the prime minister. About 5,000 Jordanians, according to police estimates, staged a peaceful protest last Friday in the capital Amman, while other demonstrations were held in the cities of Zarka and Irbid. Faced with popular discontent, the government earlier in January adopted new economic measures, including salary increases for state workers and an increase in pensions of $28 a month, the freezing or lowering of some prices, and job creation. “We will pursue our movement until we obtain our demands,” said Hamzeh Mansur, secretary general of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the kingdom’s main opposition party. “The acute economic crisis and explosive social crisis are the results of a political crisis that needs immediate political reforms,” he said. Mansur said the government “has lost its

Egypt Islamists lukewarm on calls for mass protest CAIRO: Young members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said yesterday they would join an anti-government protest this week prompted by the turmoil in Tunisia, although the opposition group has not made a direct call to participate. Egyptian activists inspired by the overthrow of Tunisia’s president plan a nationwide rally tomorrow to protest against poverty, unemployment, corruption and police brutality, echoing the complaints that drove Tunisians on to the streets. Egypt’s Web activists, among the state’s most vociferous critics, have sought to galvanize support via a Facebook group which attracted 50,000 online supporters within days of its launch. The Brotherhood, which political analysts say has the ability to call thousands of disciplined supporters on to the streets if it wishes, has not openly called for its members to join in, but said it did not

oppose youths or anyone else participating. Tomorrow’s protests, due to be held on a national holiday to honor the police, will be a test of the online opposition’s ability to turn Web activism into street action. The response of Brotherhood members reflects rifts between a youthful branch keen to hit the streets and an older generation that wants to win society over to its Islamist goals without clashes which would incur the wrath of the state. “It is upsetting many of us that the group does not participate in any national event and it seems the group puts the organization’s benefits above all other things,” said Abdel-Rahman, a 21year-old student and Brotherhood member. Abdel-Rahman, who said he helps organise Brotherhood youth events, declined to have his family name published. The Brotherhood, which eschewed violence as a means of bringing

change in Egypt decades ago, is banned and its members are often rounded up by the state. However, it still operates openly and puts up parliamentary candidates as independents to circumvent the ban. Low profile “We would have liked to all be celebrating on that day, but young people are calling for a protest and we are with any group who has demands and is seeking change,” Essam el-Erian, a senior Brotherhood member, told Reuters. “We can never prevent anyone from participating in the protest and certainly our youth will join in with other groups.” The group has kept a low profile during most of the big public protests of the past few years. Analysts say it is wary of a crushing response from security forces which could threaten its survival and disrupt a long-term agenda to win support, particular-

hold, a bomb planted outside a school went off, killing two young boys. The casualties were all confirmed by hospital workers, and all officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. Violence in Iraq has dropped dramatically since just a few years ago when daily death tolls sometimes were in the hundreds from sectarian killings. But small scale bombings and drive-by shootings still persist on a near daily basis. No group immediately took responsibility for the bombings, but a senior Iraqi intelligence official said they appeared to be the work of insurgents taking advantage of the government’s delay in appointing a new interior minister, who runs the nation’s security forces. Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki is still weighing who to name to the nation’s top defense, interior and national security posts, saying he wants to ensure they are filled by apolitical candidates. The intelligence official also called the bombings a message to the world that Iraq is not ready to provide security for the Arab League when Baghdad hosts the annual two-day summit, beginning March 23, for the first time in 20 years. Hosting the summit would be an important step for Iraq to not only showcase its return to stability after years of violence, but a chance to mend frayed ties with its Arab neighbors. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media. — AP

ly through social and other charity projects, for its stated goal of a democratic Islamic state. “A large number of young Brotherhood members will join other political groups but the (Brotherhood) will not officially participate as it fears it will be heavily crushed by the state and be blamed solely for the protests,” said Mohamed Abdel Fattah, a 29-year-old Brotherhood member from Alexandria. The Brotherhood did not participate in 2008’s two biggest public protests in April and May. Those protests also had strong Web involvement. Activists and rights groups complained that the Brotherhood had failed to join more actively. “The Brotherhood’s preference to stay quiet ... is out of fear that its members will become the victims of this protest,” said Nabil Abdel Fattah, political analyst at the AlAhram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies. —Reuters

Half of Italians want Berlusconi out

Flurry of car bombs kill 10 in Baghdad BAGHDAD: A flurry of morning bombs killed 10 people and wounded 34 around Baghdad yesterday, police said, in what one Iraqi official called an attempt to undermine security ahead of a much anticipated meeting of Arab heads of state in two months. The three-hour drumbeat of explosions began around 7 am in Baghdad’s rush hour at the start of the local work week. The Iraqi intelligence official said the attacks were trying to present the country as dangerous because Arab heads of state and their large retinues plan to meet in Baghdad in late March for the annual Arab League summit. The attacks appear to be a mixture of roadside bombings, suicide bombers and car bombs. Police said at least two car bombs exploded, apparently targeting police patrols, killing two policemen and a bystander, while two other people were killed when the offices of the government sewage department in downtown was bombed. In the city’s northern Kazimiyah suburb, another bomb exploded as a bus of Iranian pilgrims drove by, killing one and injuring nine. Shiite pilgrims make daily visits to the gold domed shrine of Kazimiyah, where two of Shiism’s revered imams are buried. It was not immediately clear if the blast was caused by a car bomb or a suicide bomber. Just north of Baghdad, in the town of Taji, a car bomb killed a farmer and his son heading to a nearby market to sell their crops. In the nearby town of Tarmiyah, once an insurgent strong-

credibility and cannot carry out reforms, so we want an interim government that inspires confidence.” The front demanded an “amendment to the constitution... to limit the powers of the king.” “We demand that the leader of the parliamentary majority become de facto prime minister or that the chief executive be elected directly by the people,” said Zaki Bani Rsheid, executive member of the front. “There is no doubt that the Islamists’ intention is to take advantage of this social unrest in order to become part of the executive power. It’s their old plan that they resort to in times of crises,” said the former minister. According to a Jordanian official, the king “does not plan to dismiss his prime minister in the immediate future.” He added that the prime minister, who was re-appointed in November, “would remain in his post until March, the end of the parliamentary session.” The parliament is formed by a crushing majority of loyalists after Islamists boycotted legislative elections last November. The boycott was in protest at Jordan’s electoral law, which they consider to be to their disadvantage. — AFP

BELGRADE: This photo collage of nine single pictures shows various snow covered cars in a street yesterday. The traffic in most of Serbia is very slow and hampered by snow that started last night and it is still snowing today, the Automobile Association of Serbia (AMSS) communicated. — AFP

Central African Republic heads to polls BANGUI: Voting began in the Central African Republic yesterday for presidential and parliamentary polls, with incumbent President Francois Bozize tipped to retain power amid charges of fraud. While ballot boxes were due to open at 6:00 am (0500 GMT) there were delays at many polling stations, according to media and witnesses contacted by AFP. The United Nations on Friday urged credible and transparent elections, the culmination of a two-year-process in the impoverished nation with a history of coups and rebellions. The polls come after a generally peaceful campaign without much mobilization of the 1.8 million voters. The president, who took power in a coup in 2003 and then won elections two years later, has presented himself as a “builder” who guarantees peace. However former Prime Minister Martin Ziguele has charged that false voter registration cards have been in circulation for months. Bozize’s four opponents include Ziguele as well as former president AngeFelix Patasse and former defense minister Jean-Jacques Demafouth. Patasse, Seen as Bozize’s main challenger, is trying to make a comeback after being ousted by the incum-

bent in 2003. He has predicted that “Bozize will fiddle 10 or 20 percent of the vote, but it doesn’t matter, I’ll beat him anyway.” Demafouth, a former rebel chief who also served as Patasse’s defense minister, has decried the problems with the electoral rolls and a lack of outside observers. Bozize has dismissed allegations of fraud, blaming the opposition for delaying the elections from their original planned date of April last year. “It’s time to go and vote now, that’s democracy,” he said Saturday. “My adversaries have been in power, the country was looted and pillaged, and blood flowed-now they pretend to be angels.” The head of the independent election commission, Joseph Binguimale, appealed for calm Saturday, while Defense Minister Jean-Francis Bozize, the president’s son, said troops had been deployed across the country “to make the elections as safe as possible.” Queues of voters could be seen at polling stations in the capital Bangui, under army surveillance. All the polling stations were provided with eight candles and a box of matches “in case we can’t finish” by nightfall, said Michel Engalifeisse, local polling official in a northern suburb. —AFP

ROME: Nearly half of Italians want embattled Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is embroiled in yet another sex scandal, to resign, according to a poll carried by the leading Corriere della Serra daily yesterday. Forty-nine percent of 600 people surveyed Wednesday and Thursday said the 74-year-old premier should quit, while 45 percent disagreed. Berlusconi has so far managed to cling to the support of his key allies despite charges by Milan prosecutors that he consorted with prostitutes and other women he kept in rent-free luxury apartments, as well as accusations that he paid for sex with an underage disco dancer named Ruby. While frequenting prostitutes is not a crime in Italy, having sex with one under the age of 18 has been an imprisonable offence since Berlusconi’s right-wing government voted a law against it in 2006.The Corriere della Serra said the sex scandal appears to have little impact on the standing of the various parties among voters, with Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PDL) party retaining 30 percent support. The only tangible effect, it added, has been “mounting (public) estrangement from politics”. Milan’s prosecutors revealed their investigation last Friday, just a day after a top court partially stripped the prime minister of political immunity and experts warned the scandal might force the government to early elections. The opposition PD party said it will start petitioning for Berlusconi’s resignation and hopes to collect 10 million signatures from disgruntled Italians. An open letter yet to be released condemns the prime minister for “dishonoring Italy in the eyes of the world” when “Italy needs to look onwards to finally face up to its (other) problems.” But Berlusconi’s key political ally Umberto Bossi-head of the anti-immigrant and populist Northern League Party and his partner in the centre-right coalition-came to his aid.” In a normal, democratic country these things don’t happen, you don’t put a person under pressure in this way. He’s the prime minister, not the Mafia!” Bossi said Friday. — AFP



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Haiti braces for fresh protests over election Unexpected return of ‘Baby Doc’ compounds tense atmosphere

TIRANA: Relatives carry the coffin of Ziver Veizi, during his funeral ceremony yesterday. — AP

Albania buries protest victims TIRANA: Albania’s opposition marked a day of mourning yesterday to attend the burials of two of the three people killed in anti-government protests amid heightened tension in the country.Hundreds of people including opposition leader Edi Rama and other socialist lawmakers gathered in the south of the country to bury 48-year-old Ziver Veizi. Veizi was one of the three people killed when anti-government protesters clashed with police in Tirana Friday. “We were there to honor the victims and pay our respects to the families, not to give political speeches or mount a protest,” opposition lawmaker Blendi Klosi told AFP by phone from Gjirokastra, where the burial took place. Rama, the mayor of Tirana, also attended the funeral of a 53-year-old father of two Faik Myrtaj, the last victim to be buried. A fourth man is still in critical condition after being shot during the demonstration, the military hospital in Tirana said. Despite international appeals for calm both the opposition and the government have announced new rallies. Prime Minister Sali Berisha called his supporters to gather on Wednesday for a rally against violence in Tirana. The opposition said it would continue its anti-gov-

ernment protests once a mourning period for the victims ended. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets on Friday for the anti-government protest called by the socialist opposition. The clashes in Tirana marked the first time opposition protests had ended in violence since a political crisis erupted here after disputed a general election in 2009. The government and the opposition are currently entangled in a media war each blaming the other for the deaths. Pro-opposition media are broadcasting footage apparently showing soldiers opening fire on protesters from government buildings. Government-controlled stations highlighted the arrests of 113 protesters for provoking clashes with the police, and have shown images of one of the demonstrators with a gun tucked into his waistband. The Albanian prosecutor’s office announced Saturday that it had issued several arrest warrants for people suspected of playing a role in the three deaths but would give no further details. Judicial sources said the warrants were issued for six members of the republican guard who will be investigated over the deaths but police have so far refused to arrest the men. — AP

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Residents of the Haitian capital braced for more unrest yesterday, with presidential candidates calling for street protests to annul November elections marred by fraud allegations. The candidates urged peaceful protests, but the atmosphere has been tense after the surprise return of former strongman Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier after a quarter-century in exile. The calls came as Haiti’s election commission (CEP) began hearing legal complaints about the elections, the initial results of which saw President Rene Preval’s handpicked candidate edge a popular singer out of a run-off. The political crisis has compounded the woes of the western hemisphere’s poorest country, still in ruins from a catastrophic earthquake a year ago that killed some 220,000 people and now battling a cholera outbreak. “There is only one way forward, and that is the complete annulment of the elections,” said JeanHenry Ceant, one of 12 presidential candidates who have called for “peaceful” demonstrations yesterday at 9:00 am (1400 GMT). Another of the 12 candidates, Charles Henry Baker, on Friday filed a formal complaint with the election commission, saying the November 28 vote was “riddled with fraud and marked by irregularities.” Election monitors from the Organization of American States (OAS) have said Preval’s candidate Jude Celestin should step aside to let singer Michel Martelly face front-runner Mirlande Manigat, a popular former first lady, in a run-off that has been indefinitely delayed. The election commission has said it would take the report into

PORT AU PRINCE: Jean Claude Duvalier followers greet him after the former president gave a press conference at his house. — AFP

account but would only revise the initial rankings based on legal complaints. The announcement of the initial results in midDecember saw Martelly’s supporters pour into the streets in days of violent riots with rival factions that left at least five people

Irish govt in crisis as partners pull out DUBLIN: Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen’s government was in tatters yesterday after the junior coalition partners pulled out, in move likely to spark elections even earlier than those planned for March 11. Green Party leader John Gormley told a press conference in Dublin that “our patience has reached an end” after a week of political turmoil that resulted in Cowen quitting as leader of his ruling Fianna Fail party on Saturday. “Because of these continuing doubts, the lack of communication and the breakdown in trust, we have decided that we can no longer continue in government,” Gormley said after talks with his party’s national executive. However, he said his six lawmakers would support a finance bill seen as vital to securing a 67-billion-euro (90-billiondollar) international bailout agreed with the European Union and International Monetary Fund in November. “We will remain true to our promise to support the finance bill from the opposition benches with the promised co-operation of the

opposition parties,” he said. Shortly afterwards, Cowen told reporters he accepted the Green party’s decision and thanked them for their work in government, adding that he remained focused on getting the finance bill through parliament. “The important thing now is to have an orderly completion of the finance bill in the interests of the country and then obviously we move to a dissolution of the Dail (parliament) and a general election,” he said. Asked if he should resign now, Cowen replied: “I think it important that we get the finance bill through and we need a government to do that.” He said there would be discussions about the timetable for the bill today, but said a request by the opposition Fine Gael and Labor parties to get it done in time to call an election on Friday was “not possible”. Gormley also cast doubt on the timetable, but said his party was in talks with the opposition leaders and added: “We also hope that the Fianna Fail party will make every effort to fast-track this legislation.” — AFP

Soldiers kill 10 gunmen in Mexico MEXICO CITY: Soldiers patrolling a rural area on the border with Texas killed 10 suspected drug gang gunmen at a training camp, Mexico’s Defense Department said Saturday. The military patrol came under attack after finding the camp of armed men in the town of Valle Hermoso, in the border state of Tamaulipas, on Friday, the department said in a statement. The soldiers returned fire and killed 10 suspects. Soldiers also seized weaponry including 24 rifles, two grenade launchers and 18 grenades, as well as an armored vehicle, it said. The Gulf coast state of Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, has seen a spike in violence since last year’s split between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, formerly a gang of enforcers and now a cartel in its own right. In November, the federal government launched a major military offensive sending more soldiers to Tamaulipas and neighboring Nuevo Leon state after the area was overwhelmed by violence linked to the two gangs’ turf dispute. More than 34,600 people have died in drugrelated killings in Mexico in the four years since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against the cartels. In another attack Saturday, a police commander died and three officers were wounded when a car bomb exploded in the central state of Hidalgo. State Public Safety Secretary Damian Canales Mena said the officers were checking out a tip that a body was in the trunk of the vehicle when it exploded. Investigators suspect the Zetas cartel was behind the attack in the town of Tula. It could be revenge for the recent killings of two cartel members by police, Canales Mena said. Hidalgo is the home state of alleged Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano and a central transit point for drugs. — AP

dead. “The electoral system is broken,” Martelly told reporters on Friday. “ We’ll take to the streets peacefully if the CEP doesn’t accept the OAS recommendations.” The United States, backed by Britain and France, has warned Haiti’s leaders that they should

follow the OAS recommendations to ensure a credible government is in place or risk losing international support. Stepping up the pressure on Preval, the US State Department said Friday it had revoked visas for some Haitian government officials. Meanwhile, former “president for life” Duvalier, who has returned to Haiti 25 years after being driven out by massive protests, has said he has no intention of wading into the post-election morass. But he has not ruled out a future political role in the country despite a growing number of legal challenges from the current government and those who say they are victims of his regime. Duvalier ’s 1971-1986 reign was brutally enforced by the dreaded Tonton Macoutes, a secret police force loyal to his family that has been accused of abducting, torturing and killing tens of thousands of people. He has been formally charged with corruption, embezzlement of millions of dollars from state funds and criminal association, and six private lawsuits have been filed over alleged human rights violations. Judicial officials say they expect more complaints against the 59-year-old Duvalier. The Swiss government alleges Duvalier looted between $400 million and $900 million from Haiti during his rule, and Haiti’s chief prosecutor said legal complaints have been pouring in since the ex-strongman’s return last Sunday. On Friday, in his first public statement since his arrival, Duvalier said he had come back to work for national unity and expressed sorrow to “fellow countrymen who say, rightly, that they were victims under my government.” — AFP

Duvalier should face justice: Haiti president SANTO DOMINGO: Haitian President Rene Preval said Saturday that ex-dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier had every right to return home from exile, but must now face an investigation of alleged abuses during his reign. Preval’s first public comment on Duvalier since the former strongman’s astonishing arrival in Haiti a week ago came at a news conference during a surprise trip of his own to the neighboring Dominican Republic. Accompanied by Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, Preval said they met with Dominican President Leonel Fernandez for four hours to discuss Haiti’s political crisis and a cholera epidemic. He spoke briefly and fielded only three questions. “Duvalier had the right to return to the country, but under the constitution, he also must face justice,” Preval told reporters. “If Duvalier is not in prison now, it is because he has not yet been tried.” Preval added that by law, Haitians cannot be barred from their homeland - and that applies to both Duvalier and former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who has been in exile in South Africa since his ouster in 2004 but recently spoke of wanting to come back. “They do not depend on my decision,” Preval said. — AP BRASILIA: In this file photo, Nigeria’s President Umaru Yar’Adua attends an agreement signing ceremony at the Itamaraty palace. US diplomatic cables released by the WikiLeaks website claim late Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua had a kidney transplant before becoming the leader of Africa’s most populous nation. — AP



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Missing boat with 5 Americans found MANILA: Philippine coast guard rescuers found five missing Americans yesterday aboard their sailboat reported lost en route from Guam. All those aboard are fine. A search ship guided by a spotter plane located and boarded the 38-foot (11-meter) catamaran The Pineapple after it was spotted off the southern island of Dinagat, coast guard chief Adm. Wilfredo Tamayo said. The rescuers are escorting the vessel to its original destination on central Cebu island. “They’re all in fine health,” Tamayo said of four men and a woman on board The Pineapple who included a Filipino-American in the US Air Force. Their identities and hometowns have not been released. “They apparently had engine trouble while in rough seas,” Tamayo told The Associated Press, adding that he was awaiting other details. US authorities have been informed about the discovery and were in touch with Philippine officials to provide help to the Americans, US Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson said. Relatives of the Americans contacted the US Coast Guard saying that the catamaran left

ALLAHABAD, India: Mynahs fly during sunset yesterday. Mynahs are native to Asia. An omnivore open-woodland bird with a strong territorial instinct, the mynah has adapted extremely well to urban environments. – AP

Somali pirates threaten to kill Korean hostages Maritime expert says pirates panicky BOSASSO: Somali pirates threatened yesterday to kill any South Korean seamen they take hostage in future in revenge for the killing of eight pirates by South Korean troops who stormed a hijacked vessel. Pirates from two bases on the Somali coast said they were taking some crews held as hostages off their vessels and moving them inland in case of more rescue attempts by the fleet of foreign warships patrolling off the lawless country’s shores. Somali pirates typically do not harm their captives because they expect to negotiate a lucrative ransom for the release of a vessel. But now they say they want to avenge the deaths of their comrades. “We never planned to kill but now we shall

seek revenge,” a pirate who identified himself as Mohamed told Reuters by phone. “We shall never take a ransom from Korean ships, we shall burn them and kill their crew. We shall redouble our efforts. Korea has put itself in trouble by killing my colleagues,” he said from the pirate haven of Garad. South Korea’s navy rescued all 21 crew aboard the chemical carrier Samho Jewelry on Friday. The vessel belonged to Samho Shipping, whose oil supertanker Samho Dream was released in November after being held by Somali pirates for seven months. The pirates said they had received a record ransom of $9.5 million for the release of the supertanker. “We have started taking the crew of (hijacked) ships inland and we have

tightened our security. We lost great men in the fight with South Korean commandos,” said a pirate called Hussein. It was not possible to verify the movement of hostages. A Kenya-based maritime official told Reuters pirates often transferred crews when panicked but expressed doubts over the threat to kill Korean crews. “They are jumpy right now and they could do anything. But their main objective is always money,” said Andrew Mwangura, head of the East African Seafarers Assistance Program. A report earlier this month estimated the cost of piracy globally at $7 billion to 12 billion a year, and said the frequent hijackings off the Horn of Africa were driving up shipping costs in the Indian Ocean. — Reuters

Guam on Jan. 6 but had not reached its destination on Cebu Island, Tamayo said. Guam, a US territory, is about 1,400 miles (2,290 kilometers) east of Cebu, where heavy rains and rough seas have been reported in recent weeks. Lt Justin Valentino, a search and rescue coordinator for the US Coast Guard in Guam, said that while the weather makes predictions difficult, the journey was supposed to take seven to 10 days. Tamayo said on Friday that the US Coast Guard requested a search although it was not clear whether The Pineapple had reached Philippine waters. The US Coast Guard was sending an HC-130 Hercules to join the operation. The Philippines dispatched two aircraft to scour the waters off central and southern islands, and coast guard detachments and passing ships were alerted to be on the lookout for the sailboat, Tamayo said. A Philippine coast guard plane spotted the catamaran on Saturday but could not identify the vessel due to poor visibility. The plane returned to the area after the weather cleared yesterday and confirmed it was the missing sailboat, Tamayo said. —AP

Thousands of ‘Red Shirts’ rally BANGKOK: Thousands of Thai “Red Shirts” gathered in Bangkok yesterday, police said, to mark eight months since a deadly military crackdown on their mass anti-government protest last year. Wearing their trademark color and singing the “Red in the Land” anthem, protesters waved banners reading “Liar State!” and held aloft pictures of their hero, fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. Police said around 27,000 people joined the peaceful demonstration by the Reds, whose April and May rally last year calling for snap elections ended in clashes between troops and protesters that left more than 90 people dead. Jatuporn Prompan, a prominent figure in the movement, said Red Shirts would continue to gather twice a month, calling for the release of many of their leaders, who are in prison on terrorism charges following the 2010 unrest. He said the protest would continue until midnight but there would not be a telephone address from Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup and lives abroad, having been sentenced in absentia to prison for corruption. The controversial Thaksin, who draws support among the mainly poor and working class Red Shirts but is loathed by the urban elite, spoke to another demonstration earlier this

month. Jatuporn said the demonstrations’ “style will be changed to make less trouble for people who live and work around the protest sites”. The rally began in the upmarket central shopping district of Ratchaprasong but later relocated to the Democracy Monument in the historic district-the site of a deadly clash between protesters and authorities on April 10. The move is part of an agreement with retailers, who had complained about a loss of business caused by the twice-monthly demonstrations. In an open letter to Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva earlier this month, the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association (RSTA) said 2,088 businesses lost 11 billion baht (362 million dollars) last year due to the mass rally, which attracted 100,000 people at its peak. After the army crackdown in May, small bands of militant protesters set dozens of buildings ablaze across Bangkok, including Ratchaprasong’s glitzy CentralWorld shopping mall. The Red Shirt movement has shown increasing strength in recent months-a rally earlier in January saw around 30,000 demonstrators in Bangkok. Even before emergency rule-which banned gatherings of more than five people-was lifted in the capital last month, Red rallies in Bangkok had begun to regularly attract thousands. — AFP

China weathers US storm, for now WASHINGTON: Chinese President Hu Jintao has emerged from a state visit to the United States unscathed, but experts warn that a rising Beijing still faces an uphill battle easing US concerns. On a carefully choreographed trip that some had billed as the most important between the countries in years, Hu sought to improve the image of China which has faced heated criticism over trade, military and human rights disputes. Hu highlighted $45 billion in contracts for US companies and committed to do more to protect intellectual property rights, part of a message that China can help rather than hurt the fragile US economy. The four-day visit that ended Friday was accompanied by a promotional blitz. Hu enjoyed a reception befitting a celebrity in Chicago, while China took out advertisements in New York’s Times Square and on television showing successful citizens. Joseph Nye, the Harvard University professor who coined the term “soft power” to describe how nations achieve goals by being attractive to others, said China was making efforts but remained hampered by its own actions. “These things help, but releasing

Liu Xiaobo would do a lot more for their message,” Nye told AFP in an email exchange, referring to the jailed Chinese writer and democracy advocate who won the Nobel Peace Prize last month. Hu, notwithstanding his conciliatory words, did not budge on many core issues. He avoided talk of China’s currency value, which US policymakers say is kept artificially low to fuel a flood of cheap exports. In a much-dissected comment, Hu acknowledged at a news conference with President Barack Obama that China had more to do on human rights. But Chinese media mostly omitted his comments and Hu later warned the United States not to stir “tensions” over Tibet and Taiwan. Representative Chris Smith, a veteran human rights advocate, said Hu was “absolutely non-committal” and, in talks with lawmakers, denied accounts that China forces abortions as part of its one-child policy. “This was a week of loss and setback, not a week of advancing,” Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, told AFP in an interview. “The Chinese press is gushing with superlatives about their dictator-in-chief taking Washington by storm. This is very

disturbing,” he said. Smith said Obama, himself a Nobel laureate, should have made Liu’s freedom a condition for Hu’s state dinner. He also criticized Obama for saying at a joint news conference that China has a “different political system,” while Americans believe in the “universality” of certain human rights. “To the Chinese people, to the American people, to the world, our president came across as an enabler-in-chief-maybe it’s unwittingly, perhaps naive-for a dictatorship that has steadily deteriorated on every human rights benchmark,” Smith said. The White House said Obama pressed Hu privately to free Liu and lauded the Chinese leader’s remarks as a step forward. Despite the disputes, surveys show that the US public takes a nuanced view of China. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that only 22 percent of Americans saw China as an adversary. But political sentiment has been hardening in the United States and Asia in response to perceived muscle-flexing by China. Some experts believed Hu was trying to lower the temperature after witnessing a backlash even in circles normally

friendly to China. US businesses enticed by China’s growing economy long led the way in seeking better political ties, but the mood has soured over Beijing’s rules on foreign companies and curbs on rareearths minerals used in high-tech products. “The Chinese really need to dig themselves out of the hole they have created by alienating businesses in the past year so badly,” said Nina Hachigian, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think-tank. The contracts announced by Hu “can help, but more important will be meeting the promises they have made to level the playing field,” she said. With so many issues on the table between the United States and China, some scholars saw Hu’s visit as critical not for accomplishments but for setting a cooperative tone. Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state and apostle of realism in foreign affairs, said at an event with Hu: “We can call this summit a success not because it has solved every problem, but because it has shown the way by which the problems can and will be solved.” — AP

BANGKOK: Thai anti-government demonstrators take to the streets yesterday. — AP

Kuan Yew urges Muslims to ‘be less strict’

KAMAKURA: Masters of “iaijutsu”, the Japanese martial art of drawing a sword, display their skills during a demonstration for visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (not pictured) yesterday. Borisov arrived here on January 22 for a five-day visit. — AFP

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew has urged local Muslims to “be less strict on Islamic observances” to aid integration and the city-state’s nation-building process. Singapore has a predominantly Chinese population, with minority races including Muslim Malays and Indians, and Lee has always stressed the importance of racial harmony. “I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam,” he said in “Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going,” a new book containing his typically frank views on the citystate and its future. “I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate,” Lee added, calling on the community to “be less strict on Islamic observances.” During the book’s launch on Friday, the self-described “pragmatist” warned Singaporeans against complacency, saying the largely ethnic Chinese republic was still a nation in the making. Describing Singapore in the book as an “80-storey building on marshy land,” Lee said it must contend with hostility from larger Muslim neighbors. “We’ve got friendly neighbors? Grow up... There is this drive to put us down because we are interlopers,” he said, citing alleged Malaysian and Indonesian efforts to undermine Singapore’s crucial port business.

Singapore was ejected from the Malaysian federation in 1965 in large part due to Kuala Lumpur’s preferential policies for ethnic Malays, and has since built up Southeast Asia’s most modern military to deter foreign aggression. Turning to local politics, Lee said the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), which has been in power since 1959 when Singapore gained political autonomy from colonial ruler Britain, will someday lose its grip on power. “There will come a time when eventually the public will say, look, let’s try the other side, either because the PAP has declined in quality or the opposition has put up a team which is equal to the PAP... That day will come.” “In the next 10 years to 20 years, I don’t think it’ll happen. Beyond that, I cannot tell.” Lee said that despite a survey showing the contrary, he believed Singaporeans were not yet ready for a non-ethnic-Chinese prime minister. “A poll says 90 percent of Chinese Singaporeans say they will elect a non-Chinese as PM. Yes, this is the ideal. You believe these polls? Utter rubbish. They say what is politically correct,” he stated. He also defended the policy of promoting marriage between highly-educated Singaporeans, a policy seen by critics as a form of social engineering, and dismissed the notion of

love at first sight. “People get educated, the bright ones rise, they marry equally well-educated spouses. The result is their children are likely to be smarter than the children of those who are gardeners,” he said. “It’s a fact of life. You get a good mare, you don’t want a dud stallion to breed with your good mare. You get a poor foal.” People who are “attracted by physical characteristics” may regret it, he said. Lee also revealed that he had donated to charity all his earnings of S$13 million ($10 million) since stepping down as prime minister in 1990 after 31 years in power. Singapore’s cabinet ministers are the highest paid in the world as part of a strategy to prevent corruption and attract talent from the private sector. Lee, who holds the special title Minister Mentor, now serves as an adviser to his son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who came to power in 2004. Amid all the hard-edged talk, Lee showed his tender side when asked about his late wife Kwa Geok Choo, who died aged 89 in October last year. “It means more solitude. No one to talk to when the day’s work is done,” Lee said in the book, the result of exclusive interviews with journalists from the country’s leading daily, the Straits Times. — AFP



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US drones kill seven militants in Pakistan 1,800 tribesmen stage demonstration against strikes

NOORIABAD: A Pakistani man mourns the death of relatives following the collision between a passenger bus and an oil tanker along the Super Highway early yesterday. — AFP

Bus slams into tanker in Pakistan, 32 killed NOORIABAD: A bus slammed into an oil tanker in southern Pakistan before dawn yesterday, setting off a blazing inferno that gutted both vehicles and killed 32 people, police said. The accident reportedly occurred because the bus driver fell asleep and lost control of his vehicle, said Mohammad Farooq, local police chief in Jamshoro district where the accident took place. Passengers had twice asked the driver to stop the vehicle and rest to avoid an accident, he said. The 32 dead included women and children, whose charred bod-

ies were carried in white sheets to waiting ambulances, said Farooq. Nine people were also injured in the accident, which took place near the town of Nooriabad, he said. Only a few young men were able to crawl out of the back of the burning bus and escape, one survivor told a local TV station. The rest were burned alive, he said. Fatal road accidents are common in Pakistan, where public transport drivers are often poorly trained and work long hours. Roads are badly maintained, and there is widespread disregard for traffic rules. — AP

MIRANSHAH: Two US drone strikes targeting vehicles in Pakistan’s lawless tribal district of North Waziristan yesterday killed at least seven militants, officials said. Both attacks took place in Datta Khel, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Nor th Waziristan’s main town of Miranshah and is frequently a location for the strikes. Two missiles were fired on a vehicle seconds after it was parked outside a house in Datta Khel, officials said. “The US drone hit a car immediately after it parked outside a house. Four militants have been killed,” an intelligence official in Miranshah told AFP, adding that the vehicle was completely destroyed and the house badly damaged. “Preliminary reports said all of them were local militants but we are trying to get more information,” he added. A second intelligence official said the drone fired two missiles. An intelligence official in Peshawar also confirmed the attack and number of missiles, saying: “At least four militants have been killed.” Another US drone then fired two missiles at a motorcycle travelling in the same town, killing three militants, local officials said. “Three militants have been killed in the second attack,” a security official in Miranshah told AFP. Another security official said the militants were riding a motorcycle when they were hit by the US drone. It was not immediately clear if the drones were pursuing any high value target but one intelligence official in Miranshah said they were checking reports that a foreigner was among those killed in the second attack. The area close to the Afghan border is a key battleground in the fight against the Taleban and Al-Qaeda. The United States does not confirm drone attacks, but its military and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy them in the region. A series of strikes on January 1 killed at least 15 people and destroyed a Taleban compound, according to Pakistani officials, and has been followed by at least three more separate drone strikes this month. In the town on Mir Ali town, also in North Waziristan, some 1,800 tribesmen staged a demonstration yesterday against the continuous drone strikes, witnesses said. All the markets and bazaars remained closed with traffic suspended on the busy Bannu-Miranshah road, which runs through Mir Ali. “The government should take immediate steps to stop drone attacks otherwise we will launch a protest movement and will march towards Islamabad,” Sherzali Khan, a local tribal elder, told the protesting tribesmen, who were shouting slogans against the United States and CIA. A similar rally was held on Friday in Miranshah against the drone strikes, which the tribesmen said were killing innocent people including women and children. The US strikes are deeply unpopular among the Pakistani public, who see foreign military action on Pakistani soil as a violation of national sovereignty. Missile attacks doubled in the tribal areas last year as the covert campaign was stepped up, with more than 100 drone strikes killing over 670 people in 2010 compared with 45 strikes that killed 420 in 2009, according to an AFP tally. Pakistan tacitly cooperates with the bombing campaign, which US officials say has severely weakened AlQaeda’s leadership. But it has stalled on launching a ground offensive in North Waziristan, saying its troops are overstretched. Washington says the strikes have killed a number of high-value targets, including the former Pakistani Taleban chief Baitullah Mehsud. — AFP

Pakistani girl ‘electrocuted’ in honor death

SWANBOURNE: This handout photo shows Australian Corporal Benjamin RobertsSmith with his daughters Elizabeth and Eve after receiving the Victoria Cross at an investiture ceremony.— AFP

Australian honored for Afghan battle SYDNEY: An Australian commando who stormed Taleban machine-gunners to save his platoon with no concern for his own safety was yesterday awarded the country’s highest military honour, the Victoria Cross. Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith, 32, was leading a mission in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province on June 11 last year when his men came under machine gun and rocket fire from a fortified insurgent post, wounding two soldiers. Outnumbered by a ratio of about 4-1, the unit had to advance into a dense forest in search of the gunners and Roberts-Smith found himself in the direct line of fire, the men on either side unable to move for the hail of bullets. “I just looked across, saw my mates getting ripped up and just decided to move forward, because I wasn’t going to sit there and do nothing,” the emotional career solider said after receiving his award. “I thought I’d have a crack, I’m not going to let my mates down.” Hoping to draw fire away from his men, Roberts-Smith deliberately showed himself to the enemy and crawled his way to the wall, killing one gunner with a sniper shot and single-handedly overpowering two other squads. “He will always know, as we know now, that in the heat of battle he did not fail when mateship and duty called,” said Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the award ceremony yesterday. “And though it might easily have cost him his life he was fully prepared to give it.” Having received the Medal for

Gallantry for an earlier mission in Afghanistan in 2006, Roberts-Smith is now the most highly decorated soldier in Australia. He is only the second person to be awarded the VC for Australia, created as a separate award from the British VC in 1991. Governor-General Quentin Bryce commended Roberts-Smith for “audacious courage and unswerving self-sacrifice” as she officially bestowed the conspicuous bravery award in Perth yesterday. Added Gillard: “You went to Afghanistan a soldier, you came back a hero.” But the elite soldier, who has also served several missions in Iraq, said he accepted the honor for his Special Air Service unit, not himself. “Every single bloke in that troop was at some stage fighting for their life, every single person there showed gallantry,” said Roberts-Smith. “The decisions I saw made were heroic, watching some of my mates who had been wounded by frag (shrapnel) just keep on firing, just ignoring the fact that they were drawing fire to themselves.” Last year was the deadliest on record for the 1,550-strong Australian deployment in Afghanistan, seeing 10 of its 21 deaths since 2001. Roberts-Smith said it was those who gave their lives, the ultimate sacrifice, that deserved the real accolades. “I hear the word hero a lot,” he said. “To me heroes are ... the guys that put their hand up willingly and they didn’t come back. They’re our mates and their families live with that every day.” — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Relatives of a teenage Pakistani girl have apparently electrocuted her for falling in love with a man they did not approve of, police said yesterday. Elders and the family of Saima Bibi, 17, decided after a meeting of a village council, or panchayat, that her punishment for shaming the family should be death, police said. “There are signs of torture and burns on her neck, back and hands which are most probably caused by electrocution,” said the police official, Zahoor Rabbani, from Bahawalpur district in east Pakistan where the alleged killing took place. He was speaking to Reuters by telephone. Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani took “serious notice” of the “the sad incident of the killing of a girl by electric current on the orders of the panchayat”, and ordered police to immediately submit a report, his office said. Bibi’s death appeared to be what is known as an honor killing. They are common in rural areas where, under centuries-old tribal customs, getting married without permission of male relatives or having sex outside marriage is deemed a serious slight to the honor of the family or the tribe. Hundreds of people, mostly women, are killed in Pakistan in the name of “honor” every year, with the majority of victims from poor, rural families. Pakistan’s independent Human Rights Commission said in its latest report that nearly 650 women were killed in that way in 2009. Talha Nadeem, a doctor in a local hospital, said the cause of Bibi’s death had yet to be determined. A woman is stigmatized as a “kari”, or “black woman”, if she is accused of having sex outside of marriage. Her killing would be justified under tribal customs. “Karo” is the male version. Bibi fell in love with her neighbour, Dilawar, and eloped to Pakistan’s biggest city Karachi this month, Rabbani said. Her relatives persuaded her to return to her home on the promise that she would be allowed to marry him. “Her father, uncles and other relatives later refused to fulfill her wish because they said the boy comes from a lower caste,” he said. “Her uncles and other influential people killed her when she refused to marry according to their will.”Police raided Bibi’s village home on a tip from a villager who said her relatives were telling people that she had committed a suicide and they were burying her. Rabbani said Bibi’s father, Abdul Majeed, and an uncle had been detained. — Reuters

KABUL: A supporter of former legislator Najibullah Mujahed speaks on a loud speaker during a protest against the last September’s parliamentary poll yesterday. — AP

Karzai silent over parliament deal KABUL: A deal between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and rebel lawmakers on opening the country’s new parliament looked in doubt yesterday amid disagreement over a special tribunal on electoral fraud. It had seemed that a constitutional crisis in the war-torn country had been averted after lawmakers said late Saturday that Karzai, under heavy pressure from the West, had dropped a plan to delay parliament’s opening by a month. But now lawmakers are threatening to reject a key condition of Karzai’s for opening it Wednesday instead-that they recognise a special tribunal on fraud in September’s parliamentary polls which many say is unconstitutional. An official source, speaking anonymously, said Karzai was unlikely to open parliament Wednesday, as agreed under the deal, if the lawmakers did not promise to respect the tribunal. The disagreement between the lawmakers and Karzai centres on the fact that the Pashtuns, Karzai’s traditional power base and Afghanistan’s biggest ethnic group, were left under-represented in parliament after September’s elections. The polls were hit by massive fraud-around a quarter of the five million votes cast were thrown out and 24 early winners disqualified. MPs fear that the tribunal will oust some of their number, paving the way for their replacement by Pashtun candidates. “What’s being said about the opening of the parliament on Wednesday, that’s conditional,” the official source told AFP. Asked if Karzai will open the parliament Wednesday if the MPs fail to accept his condition over the tribunal, the source added: “I don’t think so.” He continued: “The MPs said that they will accept the outcomes of the legal process that is currently underway. The president sent them to write this down, sign it and bring it back to him. So far, they have not returned.” Meanwhile, lawmaker Molawi Rahman Rahmani said a fresh round of talks between Karzai and MPs was set to be held today, adding that most lawmakers wanted to see the special tribunal abolished. “The same 38 people (who held talks with the president Saturday) are going to talk to Karzai regarding the abolishing of the special tribunal,” he said. “We are going to inaugurate the parliament on Wednesday ” with or without Karzai,

Rahmani added, while saying he thought Karzai would “probably ” be there. Highlighting wider tensions caused by the long-running saga, up to 150 losing candidates and supporters from the September elections held a protest in Kabul against any opening of the parliament yesterday. They want Karzai to cancel their election results and hold recounts. One losing candidate, Najibullah Mujahid, told AFP: “This agreement is the result of pressure by drug dealers and foreign embassies. “We don’t accept it. We tell the president we support you and you, president, should follow constitutional law.” Early yesterday, around 200 out of 249 members of the Wolesi Jirga-the lower house-gathered in Kabul for talks after announcing Saturday that Karzai had agreed to open parliament Wednesday, a U-turn on a previous plan to delay for a month. This averted a potential clash with MPs yesterday, the date originally slated for the inauguration, when they had planned to open parliament without Karzai in defiance of his authority. In the wake of the deal, lawmakers were debating whether to agree that Afghanistan’s Supreme Court rather than the tribunal can rule on electoral fraud, as Karzai stipulated. They later agreed to go back for more talks with Karzai on this point. One leading MP, Mohammad Younus Qanooni, said: “We’re against the special tribunal and we only recognise the regular Supreme Court. “We’re working to convince the president to agree to scrap the electoral tribunal.” Karzai’s office, which has not commented on the latest situation, announced on Wednesday it was delaying the inauguration of parliament for a month from the original date. That came after the head of the Supreme Court special tribunal called for a delay of at least four weeks, warning that some results could be thrown out. In a statement on Friday, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan expressed “deep concern and surprise” at Karzai’s plan to delay the inauguration and, along with the US, urged a swift resolution to the impasse. International troops fighting the Pashtun-dominated Taliban are due to start limited withdrawals in July ahead of Afghan forces assuming control of security in 2014. — AFP

NEW DELH: Indian army personnel perform motorcycle stunts during a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade yesterday. India celebrates Republic Day on Jan 26. — AP





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Google looks to its next decade By Chris Lefkow oogle, which prides itself on helping people navigate the Internet, is facing a tangled Web as it weaves its own future. While more profitable than ever - with nearly $30 billion in revenue last year - Google is under pressure from new rivals such as Facebook and Twitter for the attention of Web surfers, advertising dollars and engineering talent. In naming co-founder Larry Page, 37, to be chief executive, analysts said Google is seeking to return to its startup roots and ensure its place amid a constantly evolving Internet landscape. Outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt, 55, was brought in to run Google in 2001, when it was battling other, now defunct search engines, while Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin were just a few years removed from Stanford University. Schmidt, who has jokingly referred to himself as the “adult supervision” at Google, is widely credited with helping build the company into the technology titan it is today alongside the likes of Apple and Microsoft. And while Schmidt is expected to remain an influential voice at Google as executive chairman, the Mountain View, California-based company is turning to Page to stay ahead of its competitors over the next decade. BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis said Google experienced tremendous growth under Schmidt, becoming a search and advertising powerhouse, but the company also arguably experienced a number of missteps and missed opportunities. “A case can also be made that the company has not built any new material revenue streams, was late to building for the mobile market, has no effective social solutions, overbuilt its headcount and placed itself in the crosshairs of government regulators,” Gillis said. Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of technology blog, said Google’s biggest challenges now are to “prove that they’ve got their Mojo back and that nobody needs to fear them. You have investors and others saying ‘Gosh, Facebook seems to be doing so well. Why aren’t you the hot new thing?’” Sullivan said. “And nobody’s made a movie about Google yet,” he added in a reference to “The Social Network,” the Oscarnominated film about the birth of Facebook. Sullivan said “social networking in particular is seen as hot and Google is seen as a company that ought to be doing something there.” At the same time, he said, Google’s critics “neglect the fact that they actually have successful products and quite a range of them.” The other major issue for Google is “they are engendering a lot of fear in various places: people wondering about privacy, whether they’re favoring themselves... governments investigating them for antitrust claims,” Sullivan added. Wedbush Securities social media analyst Lou Kerner dismissed claims Google does not have a social strategy and said the company is well-placed in the booming mobile telephone market with its Android mobile operating system. “Facebook is the world’s biggest social network and Google is not going to come up with another social network,” he said. “But they already have a massive social presence. “YouTube is the third biggest website in the world and massively social...Email is still the primary social communication media and Google is the fastest growing email provider in the world. “And they’ve got the largest blogging platform in the world so they are already a massive player in social,” he added. In a conference call with financial analysts after the surprise announcement that Page would replace Schmidt in April, co-founder Brin indicated the company would be putting more effort into the social arena. “We’ve touched just one percent of the capabilities that could be deployed in that realm,” said Brin, who will be in charge of strategic projects and new products in the new management structure. BGC’s Gillis said Google has had scant success with products it has developed on its own, such as Google Buzz, Google Wave and Google TV but acquisitions such as Android, YouTube and DoubleClick have flourished. He said he will be looking to see whether Page, the CEO, “can better increase the integration of Google’s technology with business models to generate new revenue”. Wedbush’s Kerner said the new management structure could prove more nimble than the troika of Schmidt, Page and Brin, which has been in place for the last decade. “What I do think Facebook has shown Google is that they’re moving too slow,” Kerner said. “Facebook is moving at the speed of light and Google isn’t. “Having three people running the company, making the decisions, was slowing it down,” he added. — AFP


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Israel sees threat from ‘delegitimisers’ By Douglas Hamilton

oreign protests, boycotts, embargoes and sanctions, along with internal resistance, helped bring about the isolation and eventually the end of apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s. Now Israelis fear pro-Palestinian, or anti-Israeli, activists are using the same tactics against their country, with increasing effect. Carlos Santana, Gil Scott Heron, Elvis Costello, Gorillaz Sound System, the Klaxons, the Pixies, Faithless, Leftfield, Tindersticks, Meg Ryan and film director Mike Leigh have all decided not to go to Israel in recent months. Some older, established acts - Paul McCartney, Elton John and Rod Stewart among them have ignored boycott pressure. The activist website keeps count. Israeli analysts say pressure is brought to bear on artists by a global “delegitimisation network”. White South Africa was ostracised in a campaign lasting years. Today, Facebook and Twitter can flash protest messages globally in seconds, putting pressure on entertainers to stay away from Israel, and drawing the attention of millions of fans. For Israel, it is not just a matter of feeling isolated and misunderstood. There are serious strategic implications. With US-brokered peace negotiations at a standstill since September, Palestinians feel they are “in the driver’s seat”, according to Yuval Diskin, head of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency, in an assessment to parliament. “This process is gaining momentum,” he said. “There is a growing trend towards recognising a Palestinian state, and a decrease in Israel’s ability to manoeuvre


diplomatically.” No country has recognised Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem or its settlements in the occupied West Bank. It is equally unlikely that the United States and allies would recognise a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood. Major powers and the United Nations insist the only durable solution to the Middle East conflict is a negotiated settlement leading to creation of a Palestinian state. Both Israel and the Palestinians say they are committed to that elusive goal. Nevertheless, Israel is worried that some unilateral move - perhaps at the UN General Assembly in September - could be a game-changer, marking a diplomatic triumph that those bent on the ultimate destruction of the Jewish state would relish. Israel was battered by international criticism over its three-week assault on Gaza which killed 1,400 Palestinians in 20082009, and again over the killing of nine Turkish activists last May in a raid on a flotilla trying to break its Gaza blockade. Under pressure from foreign allies, it eased the blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians in June. But there has been no real recovery from the damage to its image. Israel says activists cynically and unfairly ignore the fact that Hamas and other armed Islamist groups in Gaza are committed to its destruction. The Reut Institute think-tank that focuses on security and socioeconomic issues says delegitimisers seek to negate Israel’s right to exist, depicting it as “systematically, purposefully, and extensively cruel and inhumane, thus denying the moral legitimacy of its existence”. Israel is “branded as the new apartheid South Africa”, which, delegitimisers argue, can only be tamed by

coercion. They deliberately blur the line between genuine criticism and demonisation, so even well-meaning critics of Israeli policy potentially play into their campaign, says the think-tank. Delegitimisation is a word now used frequently by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some of his ministers. When young American Jews heckled him in New Orleans in November, he castigated them as unwitting delegitimisers. His ultranationalist foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, is setting up a parliamentary committee to investigate the funding of Israeli and foreign groups, such as Human Rights Watch, which he suspects are part of the global delegitimisation network. Critics of Lieberman says it is he who is trashing Israel’s reputation as a democracy, by publicly dismissing the chances of a Middle East peace. Over 80 percent of the 192 UN member states recognise Israel. With the recent addition of eight Latin American states, 108 countries now recognise the Palestinians. With sufficient pressure from public opinion, the Palestinians hope the number will grow. The impression among some Israelis that much of the world is biased against them was recently lampooned in a kindergarten spoof by a popular Israeli television satire show, called “Wonderful Country”. Reciting their lesson, the children chant: Israel has “no one to talk to” about peace. “Removing settlements does not bring peace,” they sing. “Israel’s army is moral”. “Give them the West Bank and they’ll want Haifa.” When their teacher points to “tiny Israel” on a world globe and asks: What do we call the rest of the world?, the children all chorus: “Anti-Semitic!” - Reuters

‘Sad’ Berlusconi’s charisma wrecked By Gavin Jones

rom charismatic tycoon to lonely old man. Whatever the legal outcome of Italian prosecutors’ inquiry into whether Silvio Berlusconi paid for sex with an under-age prostitute, the damage to his electoral appeal is devastating. It will not come from Berlusconi’s well-known penchant for young girls, but from the pitiful picture of a sad and gullible old man that emerges from the prosecutors’ evidence and phone-tapped conversations plastered over Italian newspapers for days. The cultivated public persona of can-do dynamism, charm and even sexual charisma has been wrecked by the derisory comments of young showgirls discussing how ugly the prime minister is getting and how they can trick him into stumping up more cash. “He’s fatter than before, more dead than alive, he just has to cough up,” transcripts of phone taps show one woman telling her twin ahead of one of Berlusconi’s parties that both sisters are used to attending. Berlusconi, 74, has laughed off calls for his resignation as madness. “I’m absolutely calm,” he said. “I’m enjoying myself.” Indeed, the conser vative leader has been written off many times since first becoming prime minister in 1994; but there is a growing sense that the latest scandal will be fatal to a man who has always been the epitome of the “image” politician. “Berlusconi has become a figure of fun,” said media and communications


expert Klaus Davi. “He comes across as an old fool at the mercy of these girls and their relatives who use him as a sort of cash machine.” Hostile newspapers carry headlines such as “ The end of the line” in Repubblica or “The tragedy of a ridiculous man”, in Il Fatto Quotidiano. But greater harm may lie in the dismissive and pitying tone of editorials in several more neutral dailies.

has a steady girlfriend has been universally ridiculed, with media speculating over which female politician or showgirl will volunteer for the role and dismissing the idea it could actually be true. Milan magistrates allege that a “significant” number of young women prostituted themselves with Berlusconi at his homes, some dressing as nurses or policewomen to titillate him. Many

underneath, the transcripts show. Another woman laughs as she reads out a letter to Berlusconi calling him “love”, before asking him for more money. And another says that if he reduces the frequency of his parties “we’d better start stealing stuff from the house”. Berlusconi, who denies any wrongdoing, has to some extent ridden out previous sex scandals by portraying himself

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives at the Villa Madama in Rome for a meeting in this Jan 18, 2011 photo. – AFP La Stampa and Corriere della Sera both portray him as being easily duped by close aides and friends, and an ar ticle in Corriere della Sera likens him to an ATM machine used by cynical “friends” as well starlets in return for sexual favours. Berlusconi’s announcement he

allegedly lived in Milan apartments that he paid for. A former beauty queen tells a party organiser, now accused of abetting prostitution, how she will give Berlusconi “a private health visit”, dressed in nurse’s white suspenders and a doctor ’s coat with nothing

as a lovable rogue, but for most Italians being “fesso” (stupid) is less forgiveable than having a roving eye and being unfaithful. Davi said the key risk for the media tycoon is that for the first time he will lose the backing of women, a traditional bedrock of his support, on a large scale.

“They could overlook the stories of his affairs with young girls, but they’ll find it much harder to stomach this harem that is emerging, that is far more debasing to women.” Berlusconi can be expected to portray himself as a victim of people who exploited his generosity, but even this creates a lamentable image far removed from the figure of strength that should be associated with a leader. The woman at the centre of the probe, a Moroccan night-club dancer who was just 17 when she was allegedly paid to have sex with Berlusconi, paints the same sad picture. “I don’t think he can be very happy. I think he is someone who suffers a lot from loneliness,” she told Repubblica. Ominously, the latest scandal also comes at a time when he is far more politically vulnerable than before, as he no longer enjoys a secure parliamentary majority following a split with former ally Gianfranco Fini. The government was already precarious, with many commentators expecting it to fall in the spring. Another sign of changing attitudes towards Berlusconi came at the end of a popular political affairs program on Tuesday evening, when the anchorman announced that the prime minister had phoned in to intervene but he had refused the call. He said Berlusconi was welcome to appear on the show at any time but could not expect to intervene on his own terms. Berlusconi has a history of calling in to such shows and is not accustomed to having his attempted inter ventions declined. — Reuters




US may tread lightly with Arabs By Arshad Mohammed unisia’s political upheaval may give the United States fresh ammunition to argue that Arab autocrats should loosen up but it is unclear how forcefully Washington may make that case or whether anyone will heed it. US officials said it was too early to say what lessons to draw from the toppling of Tunisia’s Zine-al Abidine Ben Ali, who fled on Jan 14 after street demonstrations ignited by a fruit and vegetable seller who set himself on fire to protest the police confiscation of his cart. The possibility - which has yet to materialize - that the broad political protests in the North African nation may spread elsewhere in the Middle East initially dragged down currency, stock and bond prices in the region, notably in Egypt. US officials said the Obama administration was still watching and waiting to see how the events in Tunisia may play out and suggested it may be premature to draw any conclusions. “I would be very hesitant to draw any cosmic message out of the Tunisia case except to say that there are issues and themes that resonate throughout the area,” said one official, citing the desire


of people to have the right to demonstrate, to participate in politics and to earn a decent living. “It’s a bit presumptuous for us to say there are lessons in Tunisia that you need to draw from,” added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But other US officials said the United States could well use the Tunisian example to buttress its case that Arab nations should open up their political systems, fight corruption and create more economic opportunity. “Tunisia gives our arguments and our talking points greater resonance,” a second official said. This official, and others, said it was not clear that Arab leaders would see the Tunisian revolt as a signal to embrace democratic freedoms, something the United States has long advocated despite its simultaneous willingness to work with authoritarian regimes. “They’ll try to use it but I don’t know how hard they’ll press that case because I have a feeling that the regimes in the region may not take from this the lesson that they need to open up,” said a congressional aide. “They may take from this the lesson that they need to be more clever about how they go about the business of autocracy,” the aide said. Another risk that weighs on US policymakers, though they

A woman raises her fist during a demonstration calling on the new government to quit, on Bourguiba avenue in central Tunis on Saturday. – AFP

seldom voice it in public, is that more democracy in the Arab would yield Islamist governments hostile to the United States. “The concern about the Iran model still lurks,” the aide added. “It will somewhat temper the administration’s message. ... Everyone wants to see more openness in these countries; nobody wants to see an Islamist take over.” Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution brought to power an anti-American regime that Washington accuses of sponsoring terrorism, fomenting violence in Lebanon, Iraq and the Palestinian territories and seeking nuclear arms. Iran says its nuclear program is solely to generate electricity. George Christou, a strategist at Barclays Capital in London who focuses on Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said major equity markets in the region, including in Egypt and Morocco, had been depressed to some extent by the events in Tunisia. “In the short run, and I define that by maybe one to three months, investors are going to continue to reprice risk in the region,” he said. “Beyond that, it will depend on how some of the bigger countries deal with the situation, most notably Egypt.” Egypt’s main stock index advanced 0.8 percent at the end of a week of declines that dragged it down 7.1 percent on concern that Tunisia’s political turmoil might spread. One US official described the administration’s dilemma in the region as “the Egypt conundrum”. “Strongman repression or Islamic extremism. Which is worse?” he asked. Egypt has been ruled by President Hosni Mubarak, a former air force officer, since he took control of the most populous Arab state in 1981 after the assassination of another former military man, President Anwar Sadat, by Muslim militants. Though Egypt holds regular elections, power has since 1952 passed uninterrupted to the heirs of the military coup which overthrew King Farouk. The main opposition force, the Muslim Brotherhood, is banned. In Qatar one day before Ben Ali fled, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said states in the region must shake up corrupt institutions and reinvigorate their “stagnant” political systems or risk losing the future to Islamic militants. While calling for free and fair elections in Tunisia, the Obama administration has avoided repeating Clinton’s harsh rhetoric. US President Barack Obama telephoned Egypt’s Mubarak on Tuesday and analysts said it appeared he wanted to tread carefully. “The administration has certainly sent signals that it is not going to take the opportunity that Tunisia presents ... to press the Egyptians or the Jordanians,” said Steven Cook, a Middle East expert with the Council on Foreign Relations. “They may be having conversations privately, but they certainly do not seem to be inclined to do this in any real voluble way,” he said. “With significant strategic interests at play in a place like Egypt or Jordan or Algeria,” Cook said, the UnitedStates does not want to do anything to make the governments in those countries “look unstable”. — Reuters

Jams unlikely on Cuban data highway By Esteban Israel Venezuelan fiber optic cable should plug Cuba into high-speed Internet within months, but it may not immediately bring an explosion in connectivity to inhabitants of the communist-ruled Caribbean island. Virtual highways in Cuba, known for its 1950s autos and low car ownership, are also dated and the small number of individuals logged on makes it one of Latin America’s least wired nations. This weekend, a unit of the French company Alcatel-Lucent is due to start laying a 1,600 km, $70 million submarine fiber optic cable from Venezuela, and it is due to reach Cuba’s southeast coast in February. Havana says the connection should come online in June, but Cuban officials warn that technological and financial constraints will still not allow them to grant massive public access to the Internet. “Deploying connectivity is not something you do overnight because it costs a lot of money and you need other investments,” Deputy Communications Minister Ramon Linares recently told the local media, in apparent reference to servers, routers and other network gear. The limitations on Web usage have become a new front in Cuba’s long-running conflict with the United States, which, along


with human rights groups, says tight Cuban regulations on Web access restrict citizens’ freedoms. In turn, President Raul Castro’s government says the five decades under a US trade embargo have blocked Cuba off from technology and mean it cannot yet afford to expand full Web linkups much beyond workplaces, education sites and hotels. Socialist allies Cuba and Venezuela are united by their opposition to US power. They see the fiber optic line, which also extends to Jamaica, as a way of emphasizing independence from Washington. Cuba plans to use the 640 gigabit-per-second link, which is 3,000 times faster than the current system and financed by oil-rich Venezuela, to improve already existing access points such as those at information technology clubs, post offices and research centers. Cuba reported 1.6 million Internet users in 2009, or 14.2 per 100 inhabitants, one of the lowest ratios in the hemisphere according to the International Telecommunication Union. Like most of those users, the 40 people leaning over computers in a fluorescent-lit national post office in downtown Havana only have access to an intranet of governmentapproved sites and email services. “There is not Internet here. Just email. You should go to a hotel,” said the supervisor while dozens more

waited outside to check emails at $1.50 an hour. Full Internet for an hour at a four-star hotel costs $10, half an average monthly wage. Cuba blames such high fees on the US embargo which it says has for decades barred the island from hooking up to commercial fiber optic cables crisscrossing the Caribbean. For decades Cuba had no alternative but to route all communications via a costly and slow satellite link. Soon after taking office in 2009, US President Barack Obama authorized US telecom companies to take steps to connect Cuba to the Internet via fiber optics, arguing that increased information flows would better support US goals of promoting democratic change in the country. Experts say the regulations are ambiguous, and it is not clear whether Cuba would now be allowed to use existing fiber optics links passing close to its coast. Little progress has been reported so far by US telecom companies as a result of the 2009 measures. A small Miami-based company called TeleCuba says it has been granted a license by the US Treasury Department for a project to lay a cable to the island. Many US companies are nervous about dealings with Cuba, which nationalized all private enterprise in the 1960s and is only slowly opening up a limited private sector. “Foreign investors are still kind of shy

about investing in Cuba because of the freezes in assets and the fact they’re dealing with a opaque regime,” said Heather Berkman of political risk analysts Eurasia Group. Cuba has largely ignored Obama’s telecom advances and insisted in seeking more Internet access through its friend Venezuela, more than 10 times more distant from its coast than the United States. The Venezuelan cable, dubbed as “strategic” by both governments and first planned several years ago, should reach Cuba by Feb 8. For Cuba, it means not only better access to the Internet but a much greater capacity for simultaneous long-distance calls. Cuba’s arrival into the broadband-era comes as Castro introduces economic reforms aiming at modernizing the Cuba’s socialist system and allowing more small private businesses. “The government will have to decide what it will use this greater bandwidth for,” said Sarah Stephens of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, a Washington-based group promoting better relations between the two countries. “My hope is that it will enable more and more Cubans to take advantage of the benefits of this technology and it should be a helpful addition to the private sector activities that the government is trying to promote,” she added. — Reuters

JFK’s words in today’s troubled times By Liz Sidoti ifty years after John F Kennedy summoned Americans to a new generation of leadership and patriotism, one thing is clear: This is no age of Camelot. Were it uttered by a modern politician, Kennedy’s famous “ask not” call to service might well be derided as a socialist pitch for more government. His idyllic clamoring for a united world to “explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths” could easily be dismissed by cynics as dreamy and lacking specifics. Today’s United States is a polarized land. But looking in on the country this week, exactly a half-century since Kennedy delivered perhaps the most famous inaugural address in American history, it’s hard to keep from wondering: In the much-changed politics of 2011, which of his carefully crafted words still resonate? “Unfortunately, in today’s environment, speeches are more likely to say, ‘Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what you can do for your party’,” says Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to both Republicans and Democrats who recently helped establish the nonpartisan organization No Labels. The 14-minute inaugural’s Cold War-era content, shaped by a World War II veteran for a country on the brink of cultural upheaval, is certainly outdated. Here and most everywhere else, the political environment has changed. Yet some of the most memorable imagery in Kennedy’s story line - a torch being passed to a new generation, the trumpet summoning us again - remains potent in a nation searching for renewed purpose and vision. A Knights of Columbus-Marist survey released Wednesday found people overwhelmingly saying that the dominant ideals Kennedy outlined - among them service and freedom - remain a focus of American citizens so many years later. As do many of the fears and trepidations. Americans still worry about their country’s stature. Many still believe their


US President John F Kennedy delivers his inaugural address after taking the oath of office at Capitol Hill in Washington in this Jan 20, 1961 file photo. — AP nation was meant for something bigger. They still seek a road map to the future, fractured though their solutions may be. “Kennedy was trying to write words for the ages,” says Richard Tofel, author of “Sounding the Trumpet: The Making of John F Kennedy’s Inaugural Address.” “Idealism and optimism are not always in style, but they continue to stand out and they continue to have real power.” The speech, Tofel argues, still resonates partly because of Kennedy’s belief in “a deep commitment to the nobility of public service”. Is that a tough sell today, though? Economic recovery is sluggish, unemployment high. The country is fighting two wars and political camps are deeply, sometimes angrily divided. Confidence in political leaders to solve the nation’s woes has ebbed. And

change is coming ever more quickly in a nation again facing threats to its global dominance. “It was just such a different time and a different audience with a different view on government,” says Thurston Clarke, author of “Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America”. “It could not be delivered now, given the way government is viewed.” There were several key differences back then: • The threats were different. In Cold War 1961, the main concern was the Soviets. Now, it’s terrorism from extremists who are scattered across countries and often owe allegiance to none. Also looming: the economic rise of China, India and other emerging powerhouses.

• Cynicism wasn’t as overt. Mistrust didn’t pervade America’s politics to today’s extent, in part because would-be complainers - and activists - lacked a readily available way to amplify their voices. Not everyone had a printing press or access to TV or radio. Now, technological advances give a megaphone to anyone with an Internet connection. • Less polarization. Popular politicians were more center-right, like Richard Nixon, and center-left, like Kennedy. Now, the far right and left dominate the public discourse, and the middle of the spectrum is more muted. • Views on government. The 1930s Great Depression, World War II and the 1950s start of the Interstate Highway System helped build the perception of government as a positive force. Now, after years of partisan gridlock, conservatives and many independents have soured on Washington and see federal expansion under President Barack Obama as a problem, not a solution. “It was almost a naive confidence at that time that if the government set their mind to it, they can succeed,” says John Murphy, a rhetoric expert at the University of Illinois who is writing a book about Kennedy’s presidential speeches. Now, he says, “people are hopeful, but they’re also dubious about how government can solve all these problems.” Consider the evidence. It’s in the words of the millions of Americans who fret about a sickly economy and foreign competition. It’s in the divided government that voters installed in November, forcing Obama to reach across the aisle for solutions to the nation’s biggest problems. It’s in the debate over civility in the American political discourse. It is visible in how Americans of all political stripes, after the attempted assassination of Democratic Rep Gabrielle Giffords, praised Obama’s call for a more civil, honest dialogue. Said Obama, “I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.” — AP

Washington Watch

Reflections on Tunisia By Dr James J Zogby unisia is on my mind. Events unfolding there have been both dramatic and inspiring, and are dominating discussions across the Arab World. The scenes coming from Tunis have been riveting. A peaceful mass revolt that persisted in the face of repression and violence has brought down a dictator and a government in a marvelous display of “people power”. We have seen few instances of mass mobilization like this before in the Arab World. Generations ago, there were the uprisings against colonial domination across North Africa. More recently, the region witnessed the first Palestinian Intifada and the massive street demonstrations in Lebanon that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. But these have been few and far between, and, more to the point, the hopes that accompanied them have gone largely unfulfilled. Going back a century or so, the impact of colonial domination and imperial manipulation (Sykes-Picot, Balfour, etc) has taken a toll. The region was occupied, deeply wounded, dismembered, and transformed, against the will of its inhabitants. Scars remain. For one, there is a gnawing sense that history is made by others, that life is “out of control”. In the face of this malaise, Tunisia is strong medicine. While I do not agree with those who assume that this movement is automatically transferable to other countries, there is no doubt that it is a transformative moment that has inspired many Arabs. But those who force parallels with the fall of the “Iron Curtain” are mistaken. There is no Soviet Empire or occupation army here. Each Arab country has evolved differently, has unique internal dynamics, and governments that enjoy varying degrees of legitimacy. And notions of “spontaneous combustion” - or “what caught fire here will spread there” - are, at best, apolitical, ahistorical, naive fantasies - not unlike the neo-conservatives’ notion that the fall of Saddam would unleash a democratic transformation across the region. What is indisputable, though, is that Tunisia has captured attention, generated excitement and become an inspiration to many Arabs. There is, of course, a difference between being inspired by a performance and repeating that performance. And so right now we are left to marvel at the power and bravery of the Tunisian masses and to wonder. We must wonder, for example, why and how the regime crumbled so quickly, and what internal dynamics were at work that convinced Ben Ali to leave, the party to fall apart, the feared and omnipresent security services to lose control, and the army to pull back. And we must wonder about the mobilization, itself. There is, no doubt, a fascinating back story yet to be told of how this movement came together, found its discipline and organization, and sustained itself. It is clear that new media played an important role, but that, alone, is not sufficient to explain this effort. What was, for example, the role of the organized labor movement or Ennahda, or other forces in civil society? Was there cooperation or competition amongst these groupings, and if competition, which will emerge as the “driver” moving forward? And because so much is still unclear, we must wonder where it will go, what leaders will emerge and what direction the “new” Tunisia will take. As I’ve watched these developments unfolding, I’ve been thinking about a group of young Tunisians I met almost two decades ago. They were nephews of a friend of mine who lived in the Washington area. He knew that I was going with an American delegation to Tunis to participate in a conference on democracy that was sponsored by the ruling party on the 4th anniversary of Ben Ali’s assumption of power. My friend encouraged me to take some time to meet his nephews telling me that it would give me some perspective on the problems in Tunisia and an alternative view of the country’s political scene. His nephews were, in fact, bright and politically active on their campus in a branch of the outlawed Ennahda party. After a few hours speaking with them I was so glad I had detoured from my conference to get to know them. They were quite challenging in their views and full of anger and idealism and demands for change. But they were also kids, and like college kids everywhere they were drawn to the changing culture of the times and wanted to share in all its possibilities. Most of all, they wanted to know what the future had in store for them. True, they had embraced a religious ideology that was neither progressive nor open to the changing global culture to which they were also attracted, but they wanted and had the right to be taken seriously. When I returned to the conference later that day I spoke about these young people - of the need to be open to their idealism and their hopes for change and to be able to provide them with a vision of the future that would inspire them. Because the Justice Minister of Tunisia had just spoken about the threat posed by these groups, I turned to him and said, “you must not dismiss them. They should be engaged and inspired. They are your future”. I was stunned by his harsh response. He said that if they demanded and demonstrated in the streets “they would be engaged by police and a strong hand”. I have also been thinking about a group of strong and smart young Tunisian women who were at this conference. When they spoke they expressed deep concerns about whether the secularism of the current order would prevail, allowing them to continue to play an active role in their society. They understood the arguments our American contingent had been making about “Jeffersonian” democracy, but they were more concerned with the threat to their freedoms posed by intolerant fundamentalism. I wonder where those young students and women are today (they are not so young anymore). Their successor generation did engage in the streets and were met with a “strong hand”. What is clear is that the “strong hand” was not the engagement that was needed, nor did it hold back the dreams and demands of the young. What is not clear is the outcome. Where it goes from here remains uncertain. Will the change be progressive and open to full participation, and will women benefit from this revolt? Answers to these and more questions will be coming in the months ahead when we see how this revolution plays out. But right now, we have every reason to be inspired and to hope for the best for all Tunisians.


NOTE: Dr James J Zogby is the President of the Arab American Institute



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DOHA: A womAn jogs at the corniche seaside yesterday. — AP

Ahmadinejad says Iran open to more nuke talks TEHRAN: Iran is open to holding further talks with six world powers over its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday, a day after the failure of the latest round of dialogue. Ahmadinejad’s remarks came after the world powers expressed disappointment over the two days of talks held in Istanbul, even as the United States and Germany voiced hopes of holding new negotiations with the Islamic republic. “They have talked for a few rounds, but we never expected that issues would be resolved during these few sessions because of the record and mentality of the other parties,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech aired live on state television from the northern city of Rasht. “But if the other side is determined and committed to justice, law and respect, one can hope that suitable results could be achieved in future sessions.” The talks in Istanbul on Friday and Saturday failed to yield results between Iran and the so-called P5+1 - UN Security Council permanent

members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany. The dialogue was aimed at ascer taining whether Iran’s contentious nuclear drive masks a weapons program as suspected by the West, but staunchly denied by the Islamic republic. The world powers blamed Iran’s conditions, the lifting of sanctions and its right to enrich uranium, which is the most controversial part of its nuclear program, for the failure of the Istanbul dialogue. Ahmadinejad, under whose presidenc y the nuclear program has grown, said however that the talks created the conditions for “good agreements in future sessions” as both sides met and got acquainted to each other’s views. But he charged that “the uncultured Zionists (Israel) and some power-hungry people in Europe and the US are not interested in a good resolution of the issues”. “I am telling the 5+1 officials that if you want the negotiations to bear results, you should free yourself from the

pressure of short-sighted and uncultured people in order to pave the way for further engagement. “The world should know that this nation stands up to bullying and will put the bullies in their place. You cannot make Iran back down an inch from its course as it is now a nuclear state,” said Ahmadinejad. Iran had set the stage for fierce wrangling as soon as the Istanbul meeting began on Friday, declaring its uranium enrichment work was not up for debate. The West wants Tehran to abandon the sensitive work as the refined material can be used to power nuclear reactors as well as to make the core of an atom bomb. Speaking after the talks, Iran’s chief negotiator Saeed Jalili insisted on Tehran’s right to enrich uranium “must be recognised”. But his counterpart in the negotiations, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the outcome of the latest dialogue had “disappointed” her given Tehran’s “pre-conditions relating to enriching uranium and sanctions”. — AFP

Kuwait tries to lure tourists Continued from Page 1 restaurants. “But we are not a very strict religious country; we have many entertainments,” he added. Kuwait brings in 700,000 tourists a year but it has a 15-year plan to attract families and also “become again the business and financial centre of the region, like we were before the occupation”. Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait on Aug 2, 1990. On Jan 17, 1991, a US-led multi-national coalition force launched Operation Desert Storm, a 40-day war that pushed Saddam Hussein’s forces out of the wealthy state. Pakistan International Airlines joined for the first time, keen to get some of the action from 200,000 trade and general public visitors anticipated at the five-day fair that ended yesterday. “We are here to promote our new route from Barcelona to Chicago,” two cities with large Pakistani communities, said the airline’s Spain director,

Saleem Ullah Shahani. “We also wanted to show that Pakistan still exists for tourism, even if the situation is complicated right now,” he added, conceding there are some “security problems”. Rising religious extremism is a grave concern in Pakistan, where this month a provincial governor was shot and killed by his own bodyguard because he wanted to amend stringent anti-blasphemy legislation. And any tourists will probably want to steer clear of the tribal belt of northwestern Pakistan, suspected by Western intelligence agencies to be the global centre of Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda. “Before 2009 we used to take many tourists to Pakistan to go to the mountains, which are more beautiful than in Switzerland. Now there are still tourists but very few,” Shahani said. Pakistan is also keen to foster business tourism, he said. Next month, PIA will take executives from leading Spanish department store chain El Corte Ingles, he said. Spanish cloth-

ing chain Zara has already taken a tour; its interest was cheap production of shoes and clothes. Uzbekistan wants to be another tourism magnet. With just 1.3 million arrivals a year now, it nevertheless has high ambitions. It is a country of 28 million people, and “we want to have 28 million tourists,” said the national tourism office chief, Rustam Mirzaev. “We have very important assets but we have not promoted them,” the tourism boss said. Four of Uzbekistan’s cities are classified as World Heritage sites by UNESCO, he said. And for those who want more than culture, the tourism brochure says Uzbekistan is “one of the best places in the world for heli-ski,” a sport in which you are dropped off at the top of a mountain slope by helicopter and ski your way down. Uzbekistan has rejected accusations of mass human rights violations, notably the regime’s systematic stifling of all form of opposition, which are regularly voiced by rights groups.— AFP

MPs to file quiz if Sheikh Jaber stays Continued from Page 1 killing of Mutairi. Member of the committee MP Saleh Al-Mulla said the committee has established that Mutairi died of torture, but he demanded expanding the panel’s work to include other torture cases which it came along during its probe of Mutairi’s death. Mulla refused to say if the committee has condemned the minister as being responsible in the case. Opposition MP Dhaifallah Buramia meanwhile advised the government to accept the interior

minister’s resignation because he will not be able to refute evidence on the torture death which is supported by audiovisual recordings. Islamist MP Mohammad Hayef meanwhile demanded investigating other torture cases at police stations and said that he and a number of MPs will demand in tomorrow’s session to expand the probe to include other cases of torture. The probe report is expected to be debated at tomorrow’s regular session of the National Assembly. The session will also discuss the Amiri decree granting KD 1,000 to

each Kuwaiti citizen and free food rations for 14 months to Kuwaiti families on the 50 years of independence, 20th anniversary of the liberation and 5th anniversary of the Amir’s ascendance to power. Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi said the decree, estimated to cost KD 1.405 billion, will be placed on tomorrow’s agenda. In another development, the legal and legislative committee yesterday delayed a decision on a draft law calling to legalize political parties in Kuwait. The delay was made to hear the government’s opinion.

Millions attend prayers at B’desh Islamic... Continued from Page 1 This year, another three -day gathering will begin at the same place on Jan 28. Organizers said t h e s e co n d co n gre g a t i o n w a s

arranged to reduce overcrowding at the first event. Bangladesh is the world’s third-largest Muslimmajorit y nation, with Muslims making up nearly 90 percent of its 146 million population.

Launched by Tabligh Jamaat, a non-political group that urges people to follow the tenets of Islam in their daily lives, the event is the second biggest global gathering of Muslims. — Agencies

Rural poor rally in Tunis Continued from Page 1 the night in the streets and called for a complete removal from power of anyone associated with the old regime including Ghannouchi, who has served as prime minister since 1999. “The people have come to bring down the government,” the protesters chanted as they brandished pictures of some of the dozens of people killed by security forces during a bloody crackdown by Ben Ali’s security forces. “We have come to bring down the rest of the dictatorship,” said Mohammed Layani, an elderly man draped in a Tunisian flag. Another man, Samit, said: “Our main demand is freedom before bread. We want this fascist and corrupt regime to fall.” “We are marginalised. Our land is owned by the government. We have nothing,” said Mahfouzi Chouki from near Sidi Bouzid, the bleak central city where the “Jasmine Revolution” was sparked a month ago by one despairing young man’s suicide, which lies 300 km south of Tunis and a world away from the opulent coastal resorts favoured by Ben Ali’s elite. Some new arrivals brought food and bedding. They planned to defy a curfew to camp out and press home their demands. “We came from Sidi Bouzid, from Kairouan, from Gefsa ... to bring our voice to the capital,” said one man, Safi Adel. Demonstrators said they would not let the legacy of Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself alight in protest at

poverty and oppression. “The people want this government to fall,” the chanted. Amin Kahli, also from the Sidi Bouzid region, said he was honouring the memory not only of Bouazizi but dozens of others who died when demonstrators took on Ben Ali’s armed police. “My brother was leaving home for work when a sniper shot him in the chest,” Kahli said. “He was only 21. I want justice for him and I want this government to fall.” A sign on the building that read “Prime Minister’s Office” had been scrawled on by a protester with the tag: “Ministry of the People”. A placard read: “They stole our money, they won’t steal our revolution.” The protest was supported by the General Union of Tunisian Workers, best known under its French acronym UGTT, which played a key role in anti-Ben Ali protests and has refused to recognise the fledgling government. Public assemblies of more than three people are officially banned under a state of emergency that remains in place, along with a nighttime curfew. The curfew has been eased and schools and universities, which have been shut since Jan 10, are expected to begin reopening this week. The new transitional government, put in place after Ben Ali’s shock resignation and flight to Saudi Arabia, has unveiled unprecedented freedoms but some ministers from the previous government still hold key posts. Ghannouchi earlier appeared to respond to public pressure announcing

that he would quit politics altogether but only after organising the north African state’s first democratic elections since independence from France in 1956. The government has said the vote will be held in six months but no dates have been set and under the constitution they should take place in two months. Many Tunisians are already enjoying their new-found democratic freedoms after the first popular revolt in the Arab world’s recent history, which has inspired dissidents to protest in many other parts of the region. There have already been numerous cases of self-immolation in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Mauritania like the one that set off the Tunisian protests. Among the changes has been a removal of restrictions on the import of foreign literature and films, tightly controlled by the previous regime. The banned Islamist movement Ennahdha has also said it now intends to register as an official political party and take part in elections. Its exiled leader Rached Ghannouchi, who lives in London, was quoted on Saturday saying he would return to his homeland “very soon”. But many Tunisians say their revolution has not yet achieved its goals and are calling for the break-up of the powerful former ruling party, the RCD. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meanwhile has called on the embattled Tunisian prime minister to carry out democratic reforms to stem the country’s political turmoil. — Agencies

Probe clears Israel, navy in flotilla raid Continued from Page 1 The commission said Israeli troops “encountered extreme violence” when they boarded the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, a ferry carrying around 600 people that led the six-ship flotilla. A group of activists from the Turkish Islamist IHH organisation on board the ship “used firearms against the (Israeli) soldiers during the hostilities,” the report said. Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, heralded the report. “In stark contrast to the rush to judgement from certain quarters eight months ago, the findings of the special public commission are clear: Israel acted in justifiable self defence,” he said. But Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Israeli report had “no credibility,” quoted by Turkey’s Anatolia news agency. And a separate probe by Turkish investigators concluded that Israeli troops used excessive force during the raid. “The force used to intercept the Mavi Marmara exceeded the limits

of what was appropriate and necessary,” concluded the Turkish commission’s report, released in Istanbul. The commission, set up by Turkey last year, interviewed Turkish and foreign activists on the flotilla. Its preliminary report criticised the “disproportionate nature of the attack” and called on Israel to pay compensation to the families of the victims. Israeli rights groups also reacted with dismay at the results of the Israeli probe. Israel’s Physicians for Human Rights accused the commission of “moral and legal blindness,” saying its conclusions “will be used as a rubber stamp for the continuous policy of occupation”. The Mavi Marmara was the biggest of the vessels that in the group attempting to break Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip, which was imposed in June 2006 after Gaza militants kidnapped an Israeli soldier. The restrictions on imports and exports were tightened a year later when the Islamist movement Hamas seized power in the impoverished Palestinian territory of 1.5 million people, ousting its Fatah secular

rivals. The Israeli commission heard testimony from high-ranking Israeli officials, including Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and army chief General Gabi Ashkenazi. None of the soldiers who actually participated in the raid were authorised to testify. Giving evidence in Jerusalem last year, Barak called the flotilla a “planned provocation” and said top officials had suspected its organisers were “preparing for an armed conflict to embarrass Israel”. “We regret any loss of life,” he told the Tirkel commission. “But we would have lost more lives if we had behaved differently.” Two other panels are examining the incident. The United Nations Human Rights Council quickly formed its own inquiry panel, with which Israel refused to cooperate, deeming the council hopelessly biased against the Jewish state. In Aug 2010, UN chief Ban Ki-moon named his own panel to investigate, chaired by New Zealand former prime minister Geoffrey Palmer, and with representatives from both Israel and Turkey. — Agencies



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monDAY, JAnUARY 24, 2011


sp orts Holyfield fight ruled no-contest WEST VIRGINIA: Evander Holyfield was cut above the left eye by an accidental head butt in the second round and his fight with Sherman Williams was stopped after the third and ruled a no-contest Saturday night. The 48-year-old Holyfield (43-10-2) retained the World Boxing Federation heavyweight championship. The four-time heavyweight champion came out for the third round and Williams (34-11-2) staggered him with several overhand punches. The fight was stopped after the round, and Holyfield didn’t protest the call. Holyfield mentioned the possibility of a rematch with Williams after the bout. Holyfield landed the first big punch of the fight, a straight left to Williams’ face in the first, but was countered soon after and flustered near the end of the round by a flurry of Williams’ blows. The capacity crowd rose to its feet in the third round when Williams resumed his attack. —AP

Phaneuf wins Canadian crown VICTORIA: Cynthia Phaneuf won the second Canadian national figure skating title of her career on Saturday, triumphing over two other Quebec skaters, Myriane Samson and Amelie Lacoste. Ph a n e u f, w h o to o k a b i g lead into the free skate from Fr i d a y ’s s h o r t p r o g r a m m e, wo n w i t h a to t a l o f 1 7 2 . 3 2 points, seven years after taking her previous national title in 2004. Samson was second on 157.82 and Lacoste third on 151.72. Joannie Rochette, who took bronze at the 2010 Vancouver

O l y m p i c s, e l e c t e d n o t t o defend her title as she takes a break from competition. T h e m e n’s s h o r t p r o gramme and the pairs’ free skate were also scheduled for Saturday with the men’s free skate and the free dance scheduled late yesterday. Jessica Dube, two-time national pairs champion with Bryce Davison, competed solo this year because of a knee injur y to her usual par tner and finished sixth. The pairs title went to Kirsten Moore To w e r s and Dylan Moscovitch. —AFP

Fans protest Mortaza omission DHAKA: Disgruntled fans in Bangladesh pace bowler Mashrafe Mortaza’s home town blockaded streets on Saturday in a fresh protest at the omission of the former captain from the 15-man World Cup squad. The blockade followed a half-day general strike on Thursday and a 2-km human-chain protest in Narail, 300km (188 miles) southwest of Dhaka, a day later. Fans have been protesting since Wednesday after the Bangladesh Cricket Board, World Cup co-hosts along with India and Sri Lanka, chose not to include Mortaza because of a knee injury he sustained in a domestic match last month. “We will continue to protest so long as Mortaza is kept out of the World Cup squad,” local community leader Sharif Humayun Kabir told a rally of around 1,000 fans who chanted: “Call back Mortaza”. Many carried posters and placards that read, “Mortaza, Mortaza, we want Mortaza in the World Cup.” The 27-year-old paceman left for Sri Lanka late on Saturday to see a Colombo-based orthopaedic surgeon, said a Bangladesh Cricket Board official without elaborating. —Reuters

Blackhawks triumph, Hurricanes fade away DETROIT: Tomas Kopecky scored twice to help the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings in a clash of NHL Central Division rivals on Saturday. Corey Crawford made 36 saves, while Cory Emmerton scored in his NHL debut to give Detroit the lead midway through the first. Detroit’s Dave Bolland tied it later in the period and Kopecky scored two times in the second against his former team to make it 3-1. Troy Brouwer also scored for defending champion Chicago, which is on a 5-0-1 streak. The Red Wings also found out before the game that the Islanders claimed goaltender Evgeni Nabokov off waivers after he signed a one-year contract with the Red Wings. Nabokov couldn’t pick the place to resume his NHL career after starting the season playing in Russia. Penguins 3, Hurricanes 2 In Pittsburgh, Dustin Jeffrey, Mark Letestu and Pascal Dupuis scored as Pittsburgh held off Carolina for a win without injured stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Playing a second straight game with their dynamic scoring duo, the Penguins limited Carolina’s chances until Sergei Samsonov and Eric Staal scored over the final 4:25 to make things interesting. Crosby missed his eighth consecutive game due to a concussion, and Malkin has sat out two because of a sore left knee and a sinus infection. Bruins 6, Avalanche 2 In Denver, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand each scored twice to help Boston defeat Colorado. Tim Thomas stopped 32 shots and Boston took advantage of two goals going in off skates of Colorado defensemen. Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Northeast Division leaders. Paul Stastny and Kevin Shattenkirk scored for the Avalanche. Bruins center Marc Savard was hurt on a check into the boards in the second period and didn’t return. The Bruins didn’t reveal the extent of the injury. Ducks 4, Canadiens 3 In Montreal, Bobby Ryan scored in the shootout while Jonas Hiller stopped all three Montreal shooters to give Anaheim victory. Ryan, who gave Anaheim a 2-1 lead in the second period, shot past Carey Price on Anaheim’s second attempt for the only goal of the tiebreaker. Montreal’s Max Pacioretty scored his second power-play goal of the game with 12.6 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime. Anaheim center Saku Koivu made his emotional return to the Bell Centre and the former Montreal captain was called for three penalties. Flames 4, Canucks 3 In Vancouver, Alex Tanguay scored the winning goal in the third round of the shootout as Calgary beat Vancouver. After both teams failed to score on overtime power plays, Jeff Tambellini and Rene Bourque traded goals in the first round of the shootout before Tanguay’s backhand in the final round was stopped by Roberto Luongo. But Luongo slid into the net with the puck stuck in his pads, requiring a lengthy video review to reverse the call. The referee announced, “The pad was in the net.” Tim Jackman put Calgary ahead in the third period, but Ryan Kesler tied it three minutes later, firing his 26th goal of the season. Rangers 3, Thrashers 2 In Atlanta, Mats Zuccarello scored in a shootout to cap New York’s comeback win over Atlanta. New York’s Brian Boyle scored with five minutes left in regulation to force overtime. Wojtek Wolski had scored in the second period. Anthony Stewart and Nik Antropov had goals for the fading Thrashers, who have lost six of seven.

VANCOUVER: Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff No. 34 of the Calgary Flames stretches out to stop Jeff Tambellini No. 10 of the Vancouver Canucks during the shootout in NHL action. —AFP Kings 4, Coyotes 3 In Glendale, Arizona, Justin Williams scored his 18th goal of the season to start an opening flurry that set up Los Angeles’ win over Phoenix. The Kings got first-period goals from Williams, Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez. Phoenix, playing without top defensemen Ed Jovanovski and Derek Morris, rallied from a sluggish start with Lee Stempniak’s two goals and another by Martin Hanzal to tie it heading into the third. Jarret Stoll scored the Kings’ winner five minutes into the third on a diving backhander, and L.A. held on to end a three-game losing skid. Sharks 4, Wild 3 In San Jose, the hosts matched a season high with its fourth straight win, edging Minnesota. Devin Setoguchi scored a pair of goals in the second period, and Logan Couture and Benn Ferriero also scored for the Sharks, who had lost six straight before this current win streak put them back in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. Mikko Koivu scored two power-play goals and Brent Burns had a goal and two assists for the Wild, who also had won three straight games. Capitals 4, Maple Leafs 1 In Toronto, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin had his first hat trick of the season to continue his

strong play against Toronto. Ovechkin, who hadn’t scored more than one goal in a game since Oct. 30, raised his career total to 22 goals in 22 games against the Maple Leafs. Matt Hendricks also scored for Washington while Toronto’s goal came from Tim Brent. Blue Jackets 5, Blues 2 In St. Louis, Columbus scored five unanswered goals to overwhelm St. Louis. Andrew Murray, Rick Nash and Fedor Tyutin each scored in the third period, and the Blue Jackets scored five unanswered goals. Andrew Murray broke a 2-2 tie by deflecting in a shot from the blue line by Jan Hedja at 3:40 of the third period. Rick Nash added a power-play score at 16:32 to give him a teamleading 22 goals this season. Fedor Tyutin scored an empty netter at 18:30. Eric Brewer and Patrik Berglund scored in a span of 1:23 in the first period to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead. Devils 3, Flyers 1 In Philadelphia, Patrik Elias scored two goals to lead improved New Jersey over Philadelphia. Henrik Tallender also scored for the Devils, who have points in a season-high six straight games. The game featured the teams with the highest and lowest point totals in the NHL. But the last-place Devils are coming around. James van Riemsdyk scored the lone goal for the Flyers. —AP

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Saturday. New Jersey 3, Philadelphia 1; Chicago 4, Detroit 1; Boston 6, Colorado 2; Washington 4, Toronto 1; Anaheim 4, Montreal 3 (SO); Pittsburgh 3, Carolina 2; NY Rangers 3, Atlanta 2 (SO); Columbus 5, St. Louis 2; Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 3; Calgary 4, Vancouver 3 (SO); San Jose 4, Minnesota 3. (SO denotes shootout win) Western Conference Eastern Conference Atlantic Division Central Division Detroit 29 13 6 163 142 64 W L OTLGF GA PTS Nashville 26 15 6 129 112 58 Philadelphia 31 12 5 165 127 67 Chicago 26 18 4 154 131 56 Pittsburgh 30 15 4 153 114 64 St. Louis 22 18 7 126 138 51 NY Rangers 28 19 3 143 121 59 Columbus 23 20 5 128 149 51 NY Islanders 15 24 7 114 152 37 New Jersey 15 29 3 95 141 33 Northwest Division Northeast Division 27 14 7 150 109 27 17 5 128 118 21 21 5 129 139 19 23 5 120 145 17 25 7 106 157

61 59 47 43 41

Southeast Division Tampa Bay 29 15 5 145 153 Washington 27 14 8 139 126 Atlanta 23 18 9 150 159 Carolina 23 19 6 143 149 Florida 21 20 5 124 121

63 62 55 52 47

Boston Montreal Buffalo Toronto Ottawa

Vancouver Colorado Minnesota Calgary Edmonton

29 24 24 22 14

10 18 19 21 25

9 6 5 6 7

156 155 126 137 115

119 157 132 150 159

67 54 53 50 35

Pacific Division Dallas 29 14 5 143 129 63 Anaheim 27 20 4 137 144 58 Phoenix 24 16 9 141 139 57 San Jose 25 19 5 137 135 55 Los Angeles 25 22 1 138 122 51 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

Armstrong silent as he ends career Cameron emerges overall winner

ADELAIDE: Lance Armstrong (right) of the US rides during the final stage of the 2011 Tour Down Under in Adelaide. Australia’s Cameron Meyer of the Garmin-Cervelo team secured his first Tour Down Under crown.—AFP

ADELAIDE: Lance Armstrong’s final bike ride in an international race was decidedly low key, and so was his muted response afterwards as he dodged the now standard questions about lingering doping allegations. Armstrong spent his time riding in the back half of the peloton for most of yesterday’s last stage of the Tour Down Under, crossing the line as the 103rd rider and finishing 67th overall in what he says was his last race outside the United States. He was more than six minutes behind overall winner Cameron Meyer. After accepting a gift on stage for his support of the race, Armstrong then brushed past reporters without addressing claims raised by a report in Sports Illustrated this week — an issue he has refused to talk about all week. His exit from international cycling also came to the backdrop of comments made by his former mechanic Mike Adams, who told a New Zealand newspaper that an American federal investigation into Armstrong’s alleged involvement in doping could make him a “symbol for decades of corruption” in the sport. Adams, whose claims also feature in the SI article, accused Armstrong and his associates of consis-

tently lying when they say he never doped. “We hear the same lies over and over again and they become truth,” Adams told the Sunday StarTimes. “One of the comparisons I’ve made about Armstrong to countless people is the kind of stuff that came out of the mouth of George W. Bush about weapons of mass destruction and the war in Iraq. It was a bunch of made-up stuff and I think it’s pretty funny that the media advisers to George Bush and Lance Armstrong are in the same building in Austin, Texas.” Adams, who was involved in a lawsuit over a business deal in 2005, said he has spoken with chief FDA investigator Jeff Novitzky about the ongoing doping probe, and that he expects testimony he gave in connection to his lawsuit to be used in the investigation. One of Adams’ claims is that he once found a box labeled “Andro” in Armstrong’s house — a term used to describe Androstenedione, a banned steroid. “To be honest when I finally realized what was going on it was very troubling to me because Lance was my friend,” Adams said. “When I had my hand forced and had to say ‘I know what’s going on’ it was like telling a bunch of kids there’s no such thing as

Santa Claus.” The ongoing investigation doesn’t seem to have dented Armstrong’s popularity, however, with the 110,000 people who lined the street circuit in downtown Adelaide cheering him on enthusiastically. After being celebrated on stage, he thanked the crowd for their consistent support since he decided to use the race for his comeback to road cycling in 2009. “I congratulate you all on building an unbelievable event,” Armstrong said. “We travel all over the world and you do not see crowds or an atmosphere like this in many places. This rivals the Tour (de France), this rivals the Giro (d’Italia), this rivals the big races. “You should know that you made that.” He then walked past the waiting reporters without making a comment and was driven away by a team car. Armstrong’s only comment this week to the SI article, which examines allegations new and old of his connection with doping, came on Twitter on Friday when he said he expects to be vindicated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. On Sunday, he merely tweeted that the Tour “is done. Thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting such a great race. Adelaide, we’re gonna miss ya.”—AP



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sports Firearms judges course concludes Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: The international firearms judges course (B) concluded on Saturday at the Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Olympic Shooting Ranges in the presence of President of Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federations and Vicepresident of ISSF Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al Humoud Al-Sabah, President of the Arab Shooting Federation and KSSC Deputy Chairman Duaij AlOtaibi, Secretary General of Arab and Kuwait Shooting Federations Obeid Al-Osaimi and course lecturer Aado Maranik. The course was organized by KSSC under the supervision of the ISSF from Jan 15 until Jan 21st with participants from Algeria, Bahrain, Oman, National Guard and the disabled club. Sheikh Salman lauded the efforts of the lecturer, deputy technical director for firearms Salem AlDahesh, head judge of firearms Bader Al-Tannak, deputy head of firearms Ameena Ismail. He also commended the presence of Arab federations and national clubs and associations. He asked all participants to be a motivator to push the sport forward and benefit from this outstanding course. Duaij Al-Otaibi meanwhile praised the spirit of cooperation among Arab states. He thanked Sheikh Salman for his support towards the course and inviting the Arab countries to participate in it. Certificates were distributed to those who successfully passed and were wished more success.

Participants of the shooting judges course

Kaymer wins in Abu Dhabi Kostner, Joubert target fourth European titles BERN: Italy’s Carolina Kostner and France’s Brian Joubert will both be targetting a fourth European title in the continental figure skating championships starting here today. Kostner, the 2007, 2008 and 2010 women’s champion, has been known to crumble on the big occasion slumping in the past two Winter Olympics, but nowhere is she more comfor table than at Europeans. The 2008 world silver medallist has been in form this season, winning the NHK Trophy and was the only European woman to reach the elite six-skater Grand Prix final in Beijing where she finished runnerup. The 23-year-old’s challengers in Bern will include Finland’s Kiira Korpi, the 2007 bronze medallist, who won this season’s Trophee Bompard in Paris. Last year ’s bronze medallist Elene Gedevanishvili will be looking to return to the podium after a poor season with former two-time silver medallist Sarah Meier carr ying home hopes in her final competition before retiring. Russian hopes of a return to the podium after a five-year break are lying with Ksenia Makarova, 18, and Alena Leonova, 20. In the men’s event, Russian star Yevgeny Plushenko will not be defending his title, nor will last year’s runner-up Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland. That leaves Joubert as the only man from last year’s podium competing. Like Kostner he is very at home at Europeans where he will be competing for the tenth time. He won bronze on his debut in 2002 and has medalled in each competition since, taking the title in 2004, 2007 and 2009. Joubert will be bidding to put yet another Olympic disappointment behind him as well as a lacklustre Grand Prix season when he was forced to pull out of the Trophee Bompard because of ill-

Carolina Kostner in action in this file photo

ness and finished fourth in the Cup of China. He will face stiff competition however from 2008 winner Tomas Verner of the Czech Republic, who won the Cup of Russia and finished fifth in the Grand Prix final just ahead of another French challenger Florent Amodio. Belgian Kevin Van Der Perren, a two-time European medallist, will also be looking to return to the podium. The 26-year-old Joubert, the 2007 world champion, who has been fighting for fitness following a niggling left knee problem, insisted his confidence had been boosted by recapturing the French national title from Amodio. “I feel that we’re really on the right track,” said Joubert. “It’s a competition where I feel good. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t go according to plan.” Russia however look set to finish

off the podium with national champion Konstantin Menshov’s best performance this year a tenth in the Cup of Russia. And the once mighty Russian team could be looking at a title whitewash for the first time since 2007. Germany ’s Olympic bronze medallists Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy are favourites to recapture the pairs gold which the three-time winners lost last year to Russia’s Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov. In ice dancing, France’s Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat are looking to land their first title after finishing second in the Grand Prix final. Their rivals will be two-times runners-up Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali of Italy and Russian champions Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev.—AFP

ABU DHABI: Martin Kaymer shot a 6under par 66 yesterday to win the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by eight shots and climb above Tiger Woods as No. 2 in the world rankings. Kaymer held a five-shot lead going into the day and had no problem securing his third win in four years in Abu Dhabi, finishing with a 24-under total of 264. Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland finished second after a finalround 69, while Retief Goosen and Graeme McDowell were another two shots back in third. It was the biggest winning margin and lowest total score in the history of the tournament. The victory will lift Kaymer from third to second in the world rankings, above Woods but still below Lee Westwood. “It’s quite nice to overtake somebody who is probably the best player in the world, perhaps the best player that ever lived,” Kaymer said about Woods. “To be in front of him for a little bit — we’ll see how long it takes him to overtake me again — but you know, it makes me very proud to be better in the world rankings than the best player in the world.” It was Kaymer’s 100th start on the European Tour, and the ninth win of his career. Goosen had the best round of the day with a 64, while McDowell closed with a 67. Phil Mickelson only finished 37th, meaning McDowell will move ahead of the reigning Masters champion at No. 4 in the rankings. Both started the week tied for fourth place. Kaymer started his round with birdies on the second and third holes, and had extended his lead over McIlroy to seven shots by the turn. “I am very happy, especially with the way I played golf today,” Kaymer said. “The most important thing for me was today that I had fun. If I have fun, then I play good golf. I played with Rory and we definitely had a lot of fun on the golf course. He struggled a little bit on the first nine. After nine holes, I think I was lead-

ABU DHABI: Martin Kaymer of Germany lifts the winner’s cup as he celebrates in the finals of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the national course of the Emirati capitalís Golf Club.—AFP ing by seven shots and then I pretty much knew if I just keep playing the way I do, I’m probably going to win.” McIlroy said he quickly gave up thoughts of challenging Kaymer, and played most of the round trying to stave off those chasing behind. “After the first couple of holes today, I was just trying to consolidate second place, that’s all you’re really playing for,” McIlroy said. “Martin played great all week and I don’t think there was anyone in the world who

Vegas and Woodland stay on top in California desert

Cochran stays ahead of Watson H AWA I I : R u s s Co c hran shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday to maintain a two-stroke lead over defending champion Tom Watson in the Champions Tour’s season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship. The 52-year-old Cochran, coming off a two-win season that broke a nearly 20-year drought, was in control for a second day, turning in another bogeyfree round. The left-hander had seven birdies for a 17-under 127 total that matched Don Pooley’s 36-hole record set in 2006. Watson shot a 65, birdieing the last hole to reach 15 under — the same two-round total he had last year when he led by two strokes. John Cook birdied half the holes and was alone in third place at 14 under after carding the lowest score in the round with a 64. He was stroke ahead of Jeff Sluman (66), while Tom Lehman (66) and Mark McNulty (67) followed at 12 under. Hualalai was just slightly windier and noticeably warmer than in the opening round when the field cruised through the Jack Nicklaus-designed resort co u r s e. Co c h ra n was steady and cool in the Hawaiian heat, using his sharp shor t game that seemed in midseason form. He began the round with

a two-stroke lead over Watson and Ben Crenshaw after opening with a career-best 62 that included two eagles on the back nine. With Cook scorching the front nine and Watson making a charge at the turn, Cochran birdied five holes during a seven-hole stretch in the middle of the round to preserve his lead. With son Ryan as his caddie, Cochran birdied the par-3 12th to reach 15 under, giving him a onestroke lead over Cook. Cochran hit a pitching wedge from 167 yards to 4 feet. On the next hole, he opened up a three strokelead by dropping a 20-foot birdie putt. Watson holed an 8-foot birdie putt on 18 to pull within two. The 61-year-old Watson stumbled early with a bogey on No. 2 when he missed the green and a 10-footer for par. But he recovered and birdied Nos. 11, 12, 13 and 14 to pull up the crowded leaderboard. The winner Sunday will earn $305,000, while the last-place finisher will take home $10,000. A record 42 players, including seven Hall of Famer golfers, are entered in the event featuring major champions from the last five years, other tournament winners in the last two seasons and eight sponsor invitees.—AP

could have topped him this week.” Mickelson closed with a 70, and said he wasn’t bothered by slipping to No. 5 in the rankings. “I think it’s interesting and it’s certainly a goal of all players to get up on top of the world rankings but I think it’s more interesting to see how it plays out in the majors,” he said. “I’m not as concerned with the rankings as some. ... I’m more concerned with getting my game ready for the Majors.”—AP

LA QUINTA: Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela hits his tee shot on the 15th hole during round four of the Bob Hope Classic at La Quinta Country Club.—AFP

LOS ANGELES: PGA Tour rookie Jhonattan Vegas overcame an erratic start with a sizzling finish to retain a share of the lead after the fourth round of the Bob Hope Classic at La Quinta, California on Saturday. Venezuelan Vegas, joint pacesetter overnight with American Gary Woodland, birdied his last five holes for a six-under-par 66 at La Quinta Country Club, one of four venues hosting the five-round pro-am celebrity event. The happy-go-lucky 26-year-old from Maturin rolled in an 18-foot putt on his final hole, the par-four ninth, to draw level with Woodland at the top on 24-under 264. Long-hitting Woodland, like Vegas bidding for his maiden PGA Tour title, fired a matching 66 on the Palmer Private course at PGA West, which will host Sunday’s final round. Britain’s Martin Laird carded a 66 on the Nicklaus layout, to finish at 22 under, a stroke in front of defending champion Bill Haas (62), Chris Kirk (66), Daniel Summerhays (64) and Keegan Bradley (66). Vegas, a graduate from the 2010 Nationwide Tour who is making only his fifth start on the PGA Tour, was elated after recovering from a roller-coaster outward nine featuring four birdies and three bogeys. “I started hitting some really crazy shots out there but I stayed patient, stayed really positive and was able to hit some really good shots in a row,” the Venezuelan told reporters. “I knew I had a few par-fives in front of me, which I took advantage of and I made two birdies.” At that point, Vegas was three off the pace with just three holes remaining on another sun-drenched afternoon in the Coachella Valley. “And then I saw the leaderboard and saw that Gary was at 24 (under), so I really tried to push it a little bit and things went my way,” Vegas added. “It was great to finish that way.” Woodland, eager to end his round before watching his beloved Kansas Jayhawks college basketball team take on the Texas Longhorns, predicted a Sunday shootout for the title. “You’re going to have to go low,” the 26year-old said after carding five birdies, a lone bogey, and an eagle at the par-five sixth where he drained a 33-foot putt. “The conditions will be perfect again and the greens are perfect so you’re going to have to get the ball on the greens and make some putts. —Reuters



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sports Coming into the home straight. —Photos by Wendy Clayton

Camel races attract expat crowd AWARE Centre organizes day out at the races By Wendy Clayton KUWAIT: The AWARE Centre of Kuwait organized a Kuwait cultural day out at the Kuwait Camel Racing Club yesterday. More than 200 expats traveled out to the race course to witness first-hand modern camel racing of the desert. AWARE centre activities organizer Iman Martin said, “The AWARE Centre organizes various trips in and around Kuwait throughout the year so that the expat community can experience the Kuwait culture, the desert and of course camel racing”. Today’s event saw more than 200 people travel out to the Kuwait Camel Racing Club including British Ambassador Frank Baker and his family. Visitors were treated to several camel races and the chance to hop on a camel in the enclosure area. “It is a great day for the family to see something different,” said Baker. “No way am I getting on a camel though”.

In his place, Rebecca Baker, the Ambassador’s daughter climbed aboard a camel for some photos. Unlike horse racing events, the crowd were asked to move back from the fence near the finish line and not to cheer on the camels. Especially after one winning camel got spooked and turned around and ran in the opposite direction. “Jenny from the UK said, “It is really something different. I expected it to be like horse racing back in the UK but it’s not”. Carol-Ann from Canada said, “I have been out here before and I think it’s great. It is nice to get out of the city and it’s fun to watch”. Camel owners fronted up at the starting line to prepare their camels for the races. Robotic jockey’s were strapped to the camel’s backs and control by the owners from their cars as they follow the race around the six kilometer circuit. Camels begin the race running at around 30-35 kilometers per hour and reaching top speeds of around 40 kilometers per hour in the last one kilome-

ter of the race. As the cars followed the racing camels they egged on their camel by honking their car horns and using the remote control to activate the robotic whip. “I had read about the replacement of human jockeys with robots and found it very interesting,” said Ivana. “So it was of great interest to me to come and see for myself. Watching from the stand is one thing but travelling around the circuit in the car is quite exciting and more fun”. The use of robots has been widely accepted since the UAE and Qatar banned the use of children as jockeys in 2002 and 2005 respectively. Robotic jockey’s were developed after international condemnation at the use of children, usually small boys around the age of four, were used as jockey’s. The robotic jockey’s have human-like features such as mannequin-like faces, sunglasses, hats, racing skills and even traditional perfumes used by human jockeys.

Rebecca Baker, UK Ambassador Frank Baker’s daughter hops on board a camel.

Close finish.

Perpignan complete Welsh misery

ITALY: First placed Lindsey Vonn, of the US, speeds down the course during an alpine ski, women’s World Cup super-G race.—AP

Vonn wins Cortina super-G ITALY: Lindsey Vonn made up for her disappointing result in Saturday’s downhill when she crowned a weekend of speed events with a second super-G victory yesterday. The American, who won in the discipline on Friday in Cortina, came close to crashing in Saturday’s downhill and finished third behind archrival and World Cup leader Maria Riesch. The Olympic downhill champion set the record straight in one minute 22.64 on Sunday, though it was a close call as Riesch finished 0.05 seconds behind.

Despite two wins in three days, Vonn, three times the World Cup winner, still trails her German friend by 145 points in the overall standings. Third-placed Lara Gut of Switzerland, winner of a super-G in Altenmarkt two weeks ago, was an enormous 0.88 off the pace. Fourth and fifth were American Julia Mancuso and Sweden’s Anja Paerson, the only other skiers apparently capable of challenging the leading two in speed events this season. Yesterday’s race was the last superG proper before the world championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen-

another one will be held next weekend in Sestriere but as part of a supercombined — making Vonn the clear favorite to retain her world title. “My love and hate relationship with Cortina continues, but I guess it’s because you always ski at your limits here and it leads you to make faults,” she said. “Cortina is a key moment in the season, not only in terms of the race and the points but also because it’s usually so close to the worlds or the Olympics.” The women’s circuit stays in Italy for the Sestriere downhill, superG and super-combined.—Reuters

PARIS: French side Perpignan crushed Welsh opponents Llanelli Scarlets 37-5 in their final European Cup Pool 5 clash yesterday to ensure that there will be no representative from Wales in the quarter-finals. The 2009 French champions victory also guaranteed them top spot in the pool and a home quarter-final, while two-time European champions Leicester grabbed second place and a place in the last eight as one of the two best runners-up with a pre dictable 62-15 thrashing of Italian whipping boys Treviso. Those results leave another twotime champion Wasps out in the cold and leaves them just playing for pride at home to defending titleholders Toulouse later yesterday — the English side’s shock away defeat at Glasgow last Sunday costing them dearly. Perpignan — who are looking to play their quarter-final in Barcelona — produced a blistering first-half display to dispel any hopes the Welsh side had of pulling off a victory and creeping into the last eight. The French side were irresistible running in two early tries to leave the Scarlets gasping and show they were feeling no ill-effects from the announcement earlier in the week that much-loved coach Jacques Brunel would be leaving at the end of the season, probably to take over the helm of the Italy side. French international fullback Jerome Porical was the first to go over

after a sweeping move in the fourth minute saw him round it off with a lovely chip ahead with the outside of his foot and then ran on shouldering legally aside the last defender to touch down. He was unable to convert but it failed to dent the confidence of the hosts who have never won the trophy reaching their only final in 2003 — as they scored a second try seven minutes later. This time it was former Leicester Tigers star Henry Tuilagi who benefitted from another superb attack as the hosts spread it out from flank to flank, in the process running the visitors defence ragged, until it came out to the right to winger Farid Cid. He tore to within metres of the line, only to be brought down, but was able to release the ball on the ground and Tuilagi was on hand to crash over - Porical this time converted. Scarlets produced some fine moves but time and time again they lost possession at critical moments and even when presented with penalties the normally reliable Stephen Jones was unable to convert them. Thus it was that the hosts grabbed a killer third try close to the break and within one try of taking the bonus point guaranteeing them winning the pool and a home quarterfinal. Great play by scrum-half Florian Cazenave set it up as he took out most of the Welsh defence and then

produced a superb pass behind his back to Cid who ran in - aided by a superb hand-off - to touch down under the posts. Porical converted to make it 19-0 and fly-half Nicolas Laharrague added a penalty on the stroke of the halftime whistle to make it 22-0. Scarlets, though, caught the hosts napping early in the second-half as they finally managed a try in a neatly worked move involving Stephen Jones and Lou Reed which came out to the right wing and a neat interchange between Rhys Priestland and Gareth Maule set up Jonathan Davies to score. An off color Jones failed to convert. That, though, was a temporary French blip as a stunning break by Maxime Mermoz set up the outstanding Cazenave, who outpaced the chasing Scarlets defender to touch down for the fourth try and the crucial bonus point - Laharrague converted for 29-5. Laharrague added another penalty - to jeers from the home crowd as they wanted them to run it - to make it 32-5 with over 25 minutes remaining - that was to his last contribution as both he and Cazenave were removed from the fray with the game well and truly wrapped up. The mass changes failed to halt Perpignan’s rhythm as they added a fifth tr y through Tuilagi’s South African replacement Gerrie Britz to make it 37-5.—AFP

Grange wins slalom as Kostelic bags combined KITZBUEHEL: Jean-Baptiste Grange of France won the men’s slalom yesterday ahead of World Cup leader Ivica Kostelic but the Croat’s second place was enough to see him bag the combined crown. Grange, sitting in fourth after the first run, turned on the style in the second, clocking an aggregate of 1min 40.93sec to finish 0.28sec ahead of Kostelic, with Italian Olympic champion Giuliano Razzoli in third at 0.69sec. It was the 26-year-old Frenchman’s eighth career victory on the World Cup circuit and his second in Kitbuehel after his 2008 win. “It was an amazing race for me,” said Grange,

who is making a comeback from a persistent shoulder injury. “I’ve always liked Kitzbuehel, the slope, and the snow’s always hard. “It’s one of my best victories.” Kostelic’s classic combined title came after his 11th position in Saturday’s downhill, the event taking into account the best times of those racers who enter the slalom and downhill. It was the 31-year-old’s sixth victory in 11 events in January and his 17th World Cup title, consolidating his lead atop the overall World Cup standings on 1,030 points, a massive 401pts ahead of his nearest rival. —AFP

FRANCE: Bath’s Matt Banahan (left) is tackled by Biarritz’s Dalien Traille as Biarritz’s Imanol Harinordoquy (right) closes in during their Heineken European Cup rugby union match.—AP




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Australia defeat England SYDNEY: David Hussey halted a middle-order collapse and guided Australia to a four-wicket victory over England in the third one-day international at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday. Hussey ’s 68 not out helped Australia to reach 215-6 and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, after it had appeared they would fail to achieve the target when Paul Collingwood captured two quick wickets to leave Australia floundering at 100-5. The 33-year- old Hussey,

younger brother of injured batsman Mike Hussey, steadied the innings with Steve Smith (26) and then John Hastings (18 not out), who cut Chris Tremlett to Ajmal Shahzad at deep backward point for the two runs needed for the win. “I’ve said for a long time Dave Hussey’s a wonderful player. It’s good to see him finish the innings off today,” Australia captain Michael Clarke told reporters. “I think with injury concerns with M ichael Hussey and also

Scoreboard Scoreboard at the end of the third one-day international between England and Australia in Sydney on yesterday:

England won the toss and chose to bat England innings A. Strauss run out 23 M. Prior lbw b Lee 0 J. Trott not out 84 I. Bell c & b Watson 10 E. Morgan c Clarke b D.Hussey 30 P. Collingwood b Doherty 1 M. Yardy c & b Doherty 7 L. Wright c Haddin b Hastings 32 C. Woakes c Haddin b Lee 12 A. Shahzad c White b Lee 4 C. Tremlett run out 1 Extras: (w-6, nb-1, lb-3) 10 Total: (all out, 48 overs) 214 Fall of wickets: 1-1 2-38 3-61 4-118 5119 6-130 7-179 8-199 9-208 10-214 Bowling: Lee 8-0-27-3 (w-1, nb-1), Bollinger 8-0-36-0, Hastings 10-0-51-1 (w-3), Watson 6-0-17-1, Smith 3-0-190, Doherty 10-0-37-2 (w-1), D. Hussey 3-0-24-1 (w-1).

Australia innings S. Watson b Tremlett 9 B. Haddin c Woakes b Collingwood 54 S. Marsh lbw b Shahzad 6 M. Clarke c Yardy by Woakes 9 C. White lbw b Collingwood 7 D. Hussey not out 68 S. Smith c Yardy b Tremlett 26 J. Hastings not out 18 Extras: (w-11, lb-7) 18 Total: (for six wickets, 46 overs) 215 Fall of wickets: 1-10 2-27 3-59 4-92 5100 6-163 Did not bat: Brett Lee, Xavier Doherty, Doug Bollinger. Bowling: Shahzad 10-0-45-1 (w-6), Tremlett 9-0-50-2 (w-4), Woakes 7-031-1, Wright 2-0-12-0, Yardy 10-0-45-0, Collingwood 8-0-25-2 (w-1) Result: Australia won by four wickets Australia lead best-of-seven series 3-0 Man of match: Brett Lee (Australia) Next match: Jan. 26, Adelaide Previous results: Jan. 16 - Australia won by six wickets Jan. 21 - Australia won by 46 runs.

Ricky (Ponting) he’s going to play a big role for us throughout the World Cup...he’s probably going to bat (at) five or six and be that finisher.” Brad Haddin had held the top of the innings together with an aggressive 54, though the other top-five batsmen failed to make it into double figures. Jonathan Trott (84 not out) had anchored England’s score of 214, though he failed to take advantage of the powerplay in the final overs when he was batting with the tail and seemed content to push for singles rather than chance his arm despite only three players being allowed outside the fielding circle. England were again guilty of failing to bat out their full complement of overs. Chris Tremlett (1) was run out on the final ball of the 48th over when he failed to ground his bat, which denied Trott the possibility of a last flurry. Trott shared in a 57-run partnership with Eoin Morgan (30) and 49 runs with Luke Wright (32) but too many of England’s batsmen threw their wickets away with loose shots. “ Two hundred and 15 is not enough on a wicket like that,” England skipper Andrew Strauss rued. “Jonathan Trott did a good anchor job for us but he needed someone to play and develop a partnership at the other end. Too many of us got to 20 or 30 and didn’t go on.” Brett Lee took three for 27 off eight overs and was a constant menace throughout the England innings, earning the man-of-the match award. —Reuters

SYDNEY: Australia’s batsman Shaun Marsh (center) strikes the ball against England during their oneday international (ODI) cricket match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in Sydney. —AFP

CENTURION: India’s batsman Yusuf Pathan (right) glances a shot as South Africa’s wicketkeeper Abraham Benjamin de Villiers (left) looks on during the fifth and final One Day International cricket match. —AP

South Africa clinch series despite Pathan’s century CENTURION: Yusuf Pathan hit a blistering 68-ball century but could not stop South Africa from winning the series-deciding fifth and final one-day international against India at SuperSport Park yesterday. South Africa won by 33 runs according to the Duckworth/Lewis method, clinching a come-from-behind 3-2 series win thanks mainly to a century by Hashim Amla and four wickets by fast bowler Morne Morkel. Opening batsman Amla made 116 not out as South Africa reached 250 for nine in a rain-interrupted innings. Set to make 268 to win, India were headed for a heavy defeat when they slumped to 119 for eight with fast bowlers Morkel and Dale Steyn inflicting most of the damage. But Pathan unleashed a ferocious assault on the South African bowlers during a ninth wicket stand of 100 with Zaheer Khan. Pathan slammed eight sixes and eight fours as he made 105 before he topedged another attempted big hit against Morkel and sent a catch spiraling to cover. Khan got a reprieve when the stand was worth 20 when he top-edged a short ball from Morkel and was caught by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers. But umpire Simon Taufel asked television umpire Shaun George to check whether Morkel had bowled a no-ball. George ruled that Morkel had overstepped by millimetres and Khan batted on. As the ball flew to all parts of the ground, South African captain Graeme Smith called on Morkel and the fast bowler finally induced a false stroke. Morkel finished with four for 52 as India were all out for 234. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted that South Africa deserved to win. “It has been a disappointing series for the batsmen. We have not really performed as a batting unit. To say we wanted to win the final game just because Yusuf scored a hundred was asking too much,” said Dhoni. Looking ahead to next month’s World Cup, Dhoni said the big lesson for India was that if they were able to keep wickets in hand they could chase down almost any target with a powerful hitter like Pathan in the side.

Scoreboard CENTURION, South Africa: Full scoreboard in the fifth and final one-day international between South Africa and India at SuperSport Park here on yesterday: South Africa G. Smith c Pathan b Khan 7 H. Amla not out 116 M. van Wyk c and b Yuvraj Singh 56 A. de Villiers st Dhoni b Yuvraj Singh 11 J. Duminy c and b Patel 35 F. du Plessis b Patel 8 J. Botha c Dhoni b Patel 2 R. Peterson b Khan 4 D. Steyn run out (Dhoni) 0 M. Morkel run out (Dhoni) 0 L. Tsotsobe not out 0 Extras (lb6, w5) 11 Total (9 wkts, 46 overs) 250 Fall of wickets: 1-16 (Smith), 2-113 (Van Wyk), 3-129 (De Villiers), 4-231 (Duminy), 5-242 (Du Plessis), 6-244 (Botha), 7-250 (Peterson), 8-250 (Steyn), 9-250 (Morkel) Bowling: Khan 9-1-47-2 (w2), Patel 8-050-3, Chawla 7-0-32-0, Harbhajan Singh 8-0-33-0, Pathan 2-0-10-0 (w1), Yuvraj Singh 8-0-45-2 (w1), Sharma 2-0-14-0, Raina 2-0-13-0 (w1). Did not bat: L. Tsotsobe

India P. Patel c Du Plessis b Morkel 38 R. Sharma b Tsotsobe 5 V. Kohli c De Villiers b Morkel 2 M. Dhoni c Smith b Morkel 5 Yuvraj Singh c Duminy b Steyn 8 S. Raina c Morkel b Steyn 11 Y. Pathan c Du Plessis b Morkel 105 Harbhajan Singh c Duminy b Botha 13 P. Chawla b Peterson 8 Z. Khan c Morkel b Tsotsobe 24 M. Patel not out 4 Extras (lb2, nb2, w7) 11 Total (40.2 overs) 234 Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Sharma), 2-31 (Kohli), 3-45 (Dhoni), 4-60 (Patel), 5-60 (Yuvraj), 6-74 (Raina), 7-98 (Harbhajan), 8119 (Chawla), 9-219 (Pathan) Bowling: Steyn 9-1-32-2 (nb1), Tsotsobe 7.2-0-57-2 (w2), Morkel 8-0-52-4 (nb1), Botha 8-0-33-1, Peterson 7-0-45-1 (w1), Du Plessis 1-0-13-0. Result: South Africa won by 33 runs (Duckworth/Lewis method) Series: South Africa win 3-2 Man of match: Hashim Amla (RSA) Man of series: Morne Morkel (RSA)

Smith said South Africa had finished the series strongly. “We were 2-1 down and we played two good games.” He said South Africa had paced their innings well, despite a late collapse after a rain break, and had bowled “really aggressively”. South Africa’s innings was interrupted when the hosts were strongly placed at 226 for three after 42 overs. The rain caused a delay of more than an hour and the match was reduced to 46 overs a side. South Africa lost six wickets for 24 runs in the remaining four overs of their innings, with a succession of batsmen falling to ill-judged strokes and two runouts in a chase for quick runs. Dhoni sent South Africa in, hoping to take advantage of expected early morning life in the pitch - and also to have the option of revising his team’s strategy in the event of predicted rain interruptions. Smith fell once again to left-arm opening bowler Khan — for the 11th time in international cricket — edging a catch to second slip in the third over.

But Amla played a calm innings, content to play the supporting role in a second wicket stand of 97 with Morne van Wyk, who made 56 off 63 balls, then picking up the pace in a fourth wicket stand of 102 off 98 balls with JP Duminy (35). There were only four boundaries as Amla reached fifty off 72 balls, but he added another five fours as he needed just 41 more deliveries to reach the first century by a batsman of either side in the series. India opted to play only two seam bowlers, bringing in leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in place of Ashish Nehra. For the second match in a row, Dhoni used eight bowlers, mainly in short spells. As in the fourth match in Port Elizabeth, left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh was the most effective of the slow bowlers, taking two for 45 in eight overs — the longest unbroken spell by any of the players. But when Yuvraj conceded nine runs off his eighth over Dhoni immediately took him out of the attack. —AFP

Hornets too good for Spurs NEW ORLEANS: The New Orleans Hornets earned an eighth consecutive victory and ended San Antonio’s streak at the same number with a surprisingly one-sided 9672 win over the Spurs in the NBA on Saturday. One night after winning by 41 at Atlanta, the Hornets led by as many as 31 against a Spurs team that has the NBA’s best record but which also has lost twice to New Orleans. David West had 18 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans while Marcus Thornton and Trevor Ariza each hit all four 3-pointers they took as the Hornets set a season high with 12 3s. Thornton finished with 18 points and Ariza 15. Tony Parker’s 10 points made him the only double-digit scorer among the Spurs starters, who spent much of the second half on the bench. Thunder 101, Knicks 98 In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant made a 3-pointer as time expired and finished with 30 points to lift Oklahoma City over New York. Durant was tightly guarded on the right wing but connected while leaning back in front of the Knicks bench, extending New York’s losing streak to six games. The Thunder hadn’t led since early in the second quarter, but erased a six-point deficit in the final 3 minutes. Gallinari scored 23 points to lead the Knicks. Magic 118, Rockets 104 In Houston, Orlando built a big firsthalf lead on its way to the easy victory over Houston. Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Hedo Turkoglu added 21 points for the Magic,

who went 13 for 32 from 3-point range. Orlando came in leading the league in 3pointers made and attempted. Chase Budinger scored 19 points to lead the Rockets, who shot 39 percent. Wizards 85, Celtics 83 In Washington, John Wall banked in a 3pointer with the shot clock running down in the game’s final minute as Washington completed a comeback from 16-point, firstquarter deficit to beat Boston. Wall’s fast-break layup with 2:35 to play gave the Wizards their first lead, and after the Celtics tied it, Wall made his team’s only 3-pointer of the game to put Washington ahead 84-81 with 58 seconds remaining. Kevin Garnett converted a layup to pull Boston within one but Paul Pierce missed an 18-footer in the final seconds, and the Celtics’ five-game winning streak ended. Wall finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Wizards. Garnett had 17 points for the Celtics, who shot 68 percent in the first quarter but 33 percent for the rest of the game. Hawks 103, Bobcats 87 In Charlotte, Joe Johnson scored 32 points as an undermanned Atlanta bounced back from a humiliating loss and defeated Charlotte. Josh Smith added 16 points for Atlanta, which was coming off a 100-59 home loss to New Orleans. Atlanta was without injured starters Al Horford and Marvin Williams. Reserve Josh Powell was also suspended from the game for conduct detrimental to the team. D.J. Augustin scored 20 points for the Bobcats, who got little from slumping Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace.

76ers 96, Jazz 85 In Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala scored 22 points to lead Philadelphia over Utah. Lou Williams added 20 for the Sixers who notched a 13th home win, already bettering last season’s 12 home victories. Deron Williams had 20 points and 14 assists for the Jazz, who dropped their fourth in a row _ their longest skid in slightly more than a year. Heat 120, Raptors 103 In Miami, LeBron James had 38 points and 11 rebounds to beat Toronto and halt Miami’s slide at four losses. Mike Miller scored 22 of his 32 points in the second quarter for Miami, which played without Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Heat led 32-17 after a quarter and 66-40 at halftime, then held on after Toronto got within seven with 6:27 remaining. DeMar DeRozan scored 30 for the Raptors, who wrapped an 0-5 road trip and dropped their seventh straight overall. Toronto had only nine players available for the game. T Blazers 97, Pacers 92 In Portland, Nicolas Batum hit four straight 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter as Portland erased a 16-point deficit in its fifth straight victory over Indiana. LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won five straight despite being beset by injuries. Batum, who hit 5 of 8 3point attempts, had 23 points. Danny Granger scored 24 points for the Pacers, who have lost four straight. James Posey’s 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left pulled Indiana within three, but Wesley Matthews hit a pair of free throws

to clinch it. The Blazers, already hurting because of the absence of injured star Brandon Roy, were without guard Andre Miller for most of the game due to a stomach upset. Mavericks 87, Nets 86 In Newark, New Jersey, Dirk Nowitzki hit a jumper in the lane with 6 seconds to play as Dallas continued its dominance over New Jersey. The Nets messed up their chance at a game -winning attempt, and Jordan Farmar was forced to toss up an off-balance shot at the buzzer that didn’t come close to going in. Nowitzki finished with 23 points on 7-of-24 shooting from the field. Tyson Chandler added 19 points for Dallas, which has won five in a row and 19 of 22 against New Jersey. Brook Lopez had 24 points for New Jersey. Bulls 92, Cavaliers 79 In Chicago, the hosts extended Cleveland’s losing streak to 16 games. Cleveland has also lost 20 straight on the road, one shy of the franchise record. Derrick Rose scored 24 points while Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng scored 20 points apiece for Chicago, which blew most of a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter before pulling away again. Grizzlies 94, Bucks 81 In Milwaukee, Zach Randolph set a franchise record with his 10th straight double-double as Memphis defeated Milwaukee. Randolph finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol had 24 points and 16 rebounds for Milwaukee. —AP

NEW ORLEANS: Hornets forward David West (top right) and center Emeka Okafor reach for a rebound over San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan in the first half of an NBA basketball game. —AP



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Federer labors past Robredo

MELBOURNE: A combo of photos taken between January 17 and 23, 2011 shows tennis fans at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. —AFP

Udinese end Inter’s perfect record ROME: Udinese ended Leonardo’s perfect record since taking over as Inter Milan coach from Rafael Benitez with a 31 win over the Italian champions in a lively encounter in Serie A yesterday. Inter, aiming for a sixth straight win since the Brazilian’s arrival in the San Siro dugout, took the lead after quarter of an hour through Dejan Stankovic. Udinese then stunned Inter with goals from Cristian Zapata and Antonio Di Natale - his 15th of the season - to go into the break 2-1 up, with Maurizio Domizzi adding a third midway through the second half. The result left Udinese treading water in eighth, although they made up ground to within one point of seventhplaced Palermo, while Inter remained fifth on 35 points, six adrift of leaders AC Milan who tackle Cesena in Sunday’s late game. Giving his reaction to his first loss in charge Leonardo told Inter’s official website: “In football you lose games; it’s no big deal. It won’t change the way we see things and it won’t change the way I see the team.” “We got off to a great start,” he added. “Taking the lead at a stadium like this and against a team like Udinese was no mean feat, so I don’t think it was a case of us making mistakes or losing our concentration. “Perhaps we were a bit tense because of how a few things went. The first half was an evenly balanced affair but Udinese had the upper hand in the

second half. “However, I must say that hardly any of the goals we’ve conceded from set pieces have been because we were caught out by the opposition; most have been because of a lucky deflection or rebound. So I don’t think we have a problem with man-marking at set pieces. “Full credit to the opposition — they are capable of hurting any team.” For Udinese, it was their first win over Inter in 14 attempts. Napoli replaced Roma in second place after a 2-0 win at Bari which put them a point behind Milan but they have played a game more. Argentina’s Ezequiel Lavezzi fired Napoli in front with a 38th-minute freekick before Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani added the second, three minutes from time with his 14th goal of the season. Lazio stayed in fourth place after crashing to a shock 3-1 defeat at Bologna. Sergio Floccari gave Lazio a fifth-minute lead before Uruguayan Gaston Ramirez levelled in the 36th minute. Three minutes later Marco Di Vaio put Bologna ahead and the same player added the third in stoppage time for his 13th league goal of the campaign. Juventus are sixth, just behind Inter on goal difference, after a 0-0 draw at Sampdoria where their only fit striker Amauri played with a face mask to protect a broken nose. On Saturday, Roma stayed in the title hunt with a 3-0 win over Cagliari. —AFP

MELBOURNE: Roger Federer made hard work of reaching his 27th consecutive grand slam quarter-final at the Australian Open yesterday but it looked like a short shift after Francesca Schiavone’s titanic tussle with Svetlana Kuznetsova. French Open champion Schiavone took a gruelling four hours and 44 minutes to edge her Russian friend 6-4 1-6 16-14 in a Hisense Arena thriller and claim a place in the last eight after the longest women’s grand slam singles match in the modern era. Maria Sharapova would happily have played on longer in her fourth round match against Andrea Petkovic but the in-form German sent the former champion and world number one tumbling out of Melbourne Park 6-2 6-3 in just 79 minutes. Defending champion Federer took his career record to 10-0 over Spain’s Tommy Robredo but his 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory was not without its problems. In hot sun on Rod Laver Arena, the 16times grand slam champion raced through the first set in 32 minutes without losing a point on his serve. Errors started creeping into the 29-yearold’s game in the second-his forehand particularly wayward-and he conceded an unlikely break to allow Robredo to level the contest. Federer was in no mood to give Robredo any more encouragement, however, and he upped his aggression level to keep his bid for a fifth Australian Open title on track. “I’m happy I’m still alive and going strong in the tournament, said Federer, whose run of successive quarter-finals now betters American Jimmy Connors’ previous mark. “It’s a tough match. I knew Robredo was going to come out and hit a lot of loopy shots and make me earn it. He wasn’t going to just give it to me ... I was able to battle through,” added Federer who will play close friend and fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the last eight after he battered American eighth seed Andy Roddick. A record five Spaniards had reached the men’s fourth round at Melbourne Park but of the three who played yesterday, only unseeded Robredo won a set. Novak Djokovic was in dominant form as he steamed past 14th seed Nicolas Almagro 6-3 6-4 6-0 to set up a last eight encounter with Thomas Berdych, who thrashed a third Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco, 6-4 6-2 6-3. Razor sharp Djokovic, the 2008 champion, dominated from the baseline, facing just one break point in the opening two sets then racing through the third in 28 minutes. “It was a very good match,” said the third seed. “Serve was great today, and it’s important to raise a level of performance as I did today before the quarter-finals. “Now the opponents are very difficult and matches are tough and unpredictable.” Sixth seed Berdych, another of a cluster of players snapping at the heels of the dominant Rafa Nadal and Federer, was also in

Schiavone wins longest women’s match

MELBOURNE: Andy Roddick of the US makes a backhand return to Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka during their fourth round match at the Australian Open. —AP impressive form in disposing of Verdasco and was talking up his chances of emulating his run to last year’s Wimbledon final. “Now I’m into the quarter-finals and I’m the one hunting the top players,” Berdych, who beat Djokovic in the Wimbledon semis last year, told Reuters. Kuznetsova had promised that she and Schiavone would fight like animals in their fourth round clash and she was true to her word as they clawed at each other for 284 absorbing minutes. The 30-year-old Schiavone, the second oldest player to win a maiden grand slam, saved six match points in a three-hour final set before calmly pushing a forehand volley to settle the match. “I hope one day to show this DVD to my son,” said Schiavone, who will have a day to recover before meeting world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals. “We work every day to do this-to give the best when you really say, ‘no, I can’t do it’. Sharapova has reached just one grand slam quarter-final since she won the last of her three majors here in 2008 and her game once again was lacking as she racked up 30 unforced errors against the dangerous Petkovic who celebrated a first run to the last eight with a cheeky dance. “You know, not many things were working,” said Sharapova. “I think it was just one of those days.” Wozniacki made a slow start against Latvian prospect Anastasija Sevastova but took command to win 6-3 6-4 before engaging in more jousting with the media. The 20-year-old later made up an elaborate story about being scratched by a kangaroo before later apologising to the media and admitting it had been a joke. Petkovic will meet Li Na in the last eight after the Chinese,

BERLIN: Michael Ballack returned from injur y yesterday as Bayer Leverkusen went second in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win at bottom side Moenchengladbach to trim Dor tmund’s lead at the top to 11 points. Germany captain Ballack made a lowkey return after suffering a fractured leg which has kept him out since September and he came off the bench with just over h a l f a n h o u r re m a i n i n g, j u s t b e fo re ‘Gladbach pulled a goal back. The 34-year-old put in a few telling passes as he looks to play his way back into the Germany team which faces Italy in a friendly in Dortmund on February 9. “If you have been out for so long, you burn to play again,” said Ballack. “I was lucky because I came on when we were 20 up, so there was room to go forward. We didn’t begin well, but we turned it around. “ Top place is gone for us and e ve r yo n e e l s e, D o r t m u n d a re to o f a r ahead.” Leverkusen took the lead when Czech defender Michal Kadlec curled in a direct free-kick on 37 minutes before Germany defender Gonzalo Castro headed in a cross just before the half-time break to

make it 2-0. Austrian defender Martin Stranzl hit a superb goal when he curled in a shot f ro m t h e w i n g o n 6 5 m i n u t e s b e fo re Castro put the result beyond doubt with a second goal after Leverkusen counterattacked quickly. The win puts Leverkusen second with 36 points while Dortmund, who drew 1-1 with Stuttgart on Saturday, continue to dominate with 47 points. On Saturday, Mario Gomez hit a hattrick as defending champions Bayern Munich finished the weekend fourth with a 5-1 win over Kaiserslautern. B aye r n re m a i n 1 4 p o i n t s b e h i n d Dortmund after Gomez netted three second-half goals to bring his tally to 15 in 17 league matches this season. It makes him the league’s joint top-scorer with Freiburg’s Papiss Cisse Demba. Dortmund had to share the points after S t u t t g a r t ’s R u s s i a s t r i k e r Pa ve l Pogrebnyak equalised in the 84th minute. Borussia had opened the scoring just before the half-time break when midfielder Kevin Grosskreutz slid a pass through the Stuttgart defence for teenager Mario Goetze to beat the goalkeeper on 43 min-

Played Saturday Palermo 1 (Bovo 87) Brescia 0; Parma 2 (Candreva 56, Giovinco 62) Catania 0; Roma 3 ( Totti 22-pen, Perrotta 70, Menez 90) Cagliari 0.

Borussia M’gladbach 1 (Stranzl 65) Bayer Leverkusen 3 (Kadlec 37, Castro 45, 73)

Matches on TV (Local Timings) English Premier League Bolton v Chelsea


Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3

Italian League table ahead of yesterday’s late match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): 5 4 5 4 5 8 4 3 9 5 7

3 5 5 6 5 4 7 8 5 9 7

35 32 31 27 33 35 34 34 20 24 21

18 20 24 21 22 25 25 28 18 22 21

41 40 38 37 35 35 34 33 27 26 25

Parma 21 6 7 8 21 25 25 Bologna 21 7 7 7 23 29 25 Chievo 21 5 9 7 20 22 24 Genoa 20 6 6 8 15 19 24 Catania 21 5 7 9 18 27 22 Lecce 21 5 5 11 20 38 20 Cesena 20 5 4 11 15 25 19 Brescia 21 5 3 13 17 27 18 Bari 21 3 5 13 13 32 14 Note: Bologna deducted three points for unpaid taxes and player salaries

Spanish League

Bilbao v Hercules Aljazeera Sport +3 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD

Playing later: Hoffenheim v St. Pauli Played Saturday Bayern Munich 5 (Robben 45+1, Gomez 46, 80, 85, Mueller 90+1); Kaiserslautern 1

(Moravek 62); Borussia Dortmund 1 (Goetze 42) VfB Stuttgart 1 (Pogrebnyak 82); Mainz 05 0 VfL Wolfsburg 1 (Kjaer 82); Freiburg 1 (Flum 32) Nuremberg 1 Schieber 56); Hanover 96 0, Schalke 04 1 (Raul 33); Cologne 3 (Podolski 6, 83, Matuschyk 33) Werder Bremen 0. Played Friday Hamburg 1 (Petric 65) Eintracht Frankfurt 0.

German league table after yesterday afternoon’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5

AC Milan 20 12 Napoli 21 12 Roma 21 11 Lazio 21 11 Inter Milan 20 10 Juventus 21 9 Palermo 21 10 Udinese 21 10 Sampdoria 20 6 Cagliari 21 7 Fiorentina 20 6

utes. Stuttgart fought back for a point but are still 17th in the league, one from bottom, despite the draw. Cologne dragged themselves out of the bottom three with a 3-0 win at home to Werder Bremen which leaves them 15th, just below Bremen who are 14th. Germany striker and Cologne captain Lukas Podolski opened the scoring with a well-taken goal in the sixth minute before Po l a n d m i d f i e l d e r Ad a m M a t u s c hy k added a second on 33 minutes. Podolski hit a second with time almost up. Hanover dropped to third after losing 1-0 at home to Schalke. Schalke, who face Valencia in the last 16 of the Champions League next month, sealed the win when veteran Spanish striker Raul hit his 10th league goal of the season when he netted in the 33rd minute. The win lifts Schalke up to 10th place. Ex-England coach Steve McClaren picked up his first win in 10 matches when his Wolfsburg side earned a 1-0 win at Mainz, who drop to fourth. A header from Wolfsburg defender Simon Kjaer in the 82nd minute after a cross from Brazilian Diego secured the three points. —AFP

German League results/standings

Italian League results/standings Playing later AC Milan v Cesena

a semi-finalist here last year, continued her great run of form in 2011 by beating Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-3. —Reuters

Leverkusen climb to second spot

ITALY: Udinese’s Gokhan Inler of Switzerland (right) is challenged by Inter Milan’s Esteban Cambiasso of Argentina during a Serie A soccer match. —AP

Udinese 3 (Zapata 21, Di Natale 25, Domizzi 69) Inter Milan 1 (Stankovic 16); Fiorentina 1 (Gilardino 56) Lecce 1 (Di Michele 29); Sampdoria 0 Juventus 0; Bari 0, Napoli 2 (Lavezzi 38, Cavani 87); Bologna 3 (Ramirez 36, Di Vaio 39, 90) Lazio 1 (Floccari 5); Chievo 0, Genoa 0.

MELBOURNE: Andrea Petkovic of Germany gestures after victory in her fourth round women’s singles match against Maria Sharapova of Russia on the seventh day of the Australian Open. —AP


Borussia Dortmund1915 2

2 43 12 47


19 7 4

8 26 25 25

Bayer Leverkusen 19 10 6

3 39 29 36

VfL Wolfsburg

19 5 8

6 26 26 23


19 11 1

7 28 28 34


19 6 5

8 23 30 23

Bayern Munich

19 9 6

4 37 22 33


19 6 4

9 29 33 22


19 11 0

8 30 21 33

Werder Bremen

19 6 4

9 25 39 22


19 9 3

7 29 28 30


19 5 4 10 22 34 19


19 9 3

7 28 28 30

St. Pauli

18 5 3 10 18 32 18

Eintracht Frankfurt19 8 2

9 24 25 26

VfB Stuttgart

19 4 4 11 34 36 16


5 33 24 25

Borussia M’gladbach193 4 12 28 50 13

18 6 7

Hornets too good for Spurs



Federer labors past Robredo at Australian Open


SA defeat India to clinch one day series Page 18

MADRID: Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema from France (center) controls the ball during a Spanish League soccer match against Mallorca.—AP

Benzema lifts Real past Mallorca MADRID: Karim Benzema answered his critics by scoring the 61st-minute winner in Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory over Mallorca yesterday. The France striker gathered a pass in front of the area, shuffled to his left and beat goalkeeper Dudu Aouate with a low shot for his second league goal of the season. The strike allowed Madrid to stay within four points of Spanish League leader Barcelona despite a labored performance at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, with Cristiano Ronaldo below par and the ineffective Kaka being replaced by halftime. Benzema started the last two games on the bench and endured a week during which both coach Jose Mourinho and Brazil playmaker Kaka criticized his failure to establish himself as the team’s No. 1 striker with Gonzalo Higuain out due to injury. Earlier, Espanyol kept up its chase of a Champions League place by rallying to beat Getafe 3-1 earlier. Getafe led after 14 minutes through Venezuela striker Nicolas “Miku” Fedor, but Espanyol went ahead after Luis Garcia, Jose Callejon and Sergio Garcia scored in an 11-minute span in the second half. Espanyol moved seven points clear of

sixth-place Atletico Madrid, which limped to a 1-0 defeat at Sporting Gijon. Missing striker Sergio Aguero and playmaker Jose Antonio Reyes, Atletico couldn’t string together much of an offense and a defensive mix-up between Luis Perea and Raul Garcia allowed David Barral to fire home the 51st-minute winner at El Molinon stadium. Atletico finally forced Ivan Cuellar into a save during injury time as the Spor ting goalkeeper palmed Diego Costa’s header over the bar. Atletico slipped nine points back of fourth-place Villarreal, which played Real Sociedad later. Sporting moved out of the drop zone places alongside Zaragoza, which secured a 1-0 victory over Depor tivo La Coruna with Sad Boutahar’s 38th-minute free kick. Sporting and Zaragoza’s victories kept Almeria in the relegation places but the Andalucian club moved off the bottom of the table ahead of Malaga and Levante with a 3-1 win over Osasuna, which is just a point above Almeria. It was Almeria’s first league win of the season at its Juegos Mediterraneos stadium. On Saturday, Malaga lost 4-3 at Valencia and Sevilla beat Levante 4-1. Athletic Bilbao play Hercules today.—AP

Spanish League results/standings Sp or ting Gijo n 1 (B a rra l 50) At let ico Madrid 0; Real Zaragoza 1 (Boutahar 38) Deportivo La Coruna 0; Getafe 1 (Miku 13) Espanyol 3 (Luis Garcia 52, Callejon 59,

Sergio Garcia 63); Almeria 3 (Garcia 8, Ulloa 10, 54) Osasuna 2 (Aranda 23, Lekic 90); Real M adrid 1 (Benzema 60) Real Mallorca 0.

Spanish League table ahead of yesterday’s late match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Barcelona Real Madrid Valencia Villarreal Espanyol Atletico Madrid Sevilla Athletic Bilbao Real Mallorca Getafe Real Sociedad Hercules Deportivo La Coruna Racing Santander Sporting Gijon Real Zaragoza Osasuna Almeria Malaga Levante

20 20 20 19 20 20 20 19 20 20 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20

18 16 12 12 12 9 9 9 8 8 8 6 5 5 4 4 4 3 5 4

1 3 4 3 1 3 2 2 3 3 1 4 6 5 7 7 6 8 2 3

1 1 4 4 7 8 9 8 9 9 10 9 9 10 9 9 10 9 13 13

64 48 33 38 28 31 30 29 23 29 29 22 15 15 18 18 19 20 27 20

11 17 23 20 26 24 32 31 25 32 31 28 27 29 27 32 28 34 45 34

55 51 40 39 37 30 29 29 27 27 25 22 21 20 19 19 18 17 17 15

EPL results/standings Blackburn 2 ( Tamas 41-og,

LONDON: Blackburn’s Chris Samba vies for the ball against West Bromwich Albion’s Peter Odemwingie (foreground) during their English Premier League soccer match at Ewood Park.—AP

Blackburn down West Brom BLACKBURN: Blackburn climbed to seventh place in the Premier League here yesterday after a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park. A first-half own goal from West Brom defender Gabriel Tamas and a superb second-half strike from Canadian youngster David Hoilett sealed a deserved win for Rovers, who are six points behind Sunderland in sixth. The defeat pushed West Brom further towards the relegation quagmire, with Roberto Di Matteo’s men now having lost six of their last seven matches. The Baggies remain just three points above the drop zone in 15th place. Rovers boss Steve Kean was delighted after a win that has given Blackburn their highest league position for two-and-a-half years. “I’m very happy,” Kean told Sky Sports. “It was a tough game but we really stuck at it today and I thought we were excellent. The togetherness of the team, the spirit. The dressing room is jumping.” After an early scare in the first minute which saw Peter Odemwingie force a diving save from Paul Robinson, Blackburn enjoyed the better of the first half. West Brom had goalkeeper Boaz Myhill to thank for keeping Rovers at bay, the Baggies stopper saving in quick succes-

sion from Martin Olsson and Chris Samba. With Myhill in commanding form it always seemed likely that Rovers might need a slice of luck to break the deadlock and so it proved on 41 minutes. Rovers midfielder David Dunn went on a surging run from midfield before floating in a cross from the right-hand flank. Romanian defender Tamas appeared to have the danger covered as he jumped to head clear, but somehow misdirected his header into his own goal past a helpless Myhill. Rovers took a stranglehold on the game early in the second half, when 20year-old Hoilett scored a fine individual effort, ghosting past a static Tamas before rifling a shot past Myhill. West Brom battled vainly to gain a foothold in the match, but found Robinson in superb form between the sticks, the former England international thwarting Jerome Thomas with a fine save. The Baggies were also desperately unlucky not to be awarded a penalty with 20 minutes left when Jermaine Jones clattered into Odemwingie near the edge of the area. Referee Mark Clattenburg blew for a free-kick but replays clearly showed Odemwingie was inside the box when fouled.—AFP

Hoilett 47) West Brom 0.

English Premier League table after yesterday’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd 22 13 9 0 48 19 48 Arsenal 23 14 4 5 48 22 46 Man City 24 13 6 5 37 20 45 Chelsea 22 11 5 6 38 19 38 Tottenham 23 10 8 5 32 26 38 Sunderland 24 9 10 5 28 24 37 Blackburn 24 9 4 11 31 37 31 Newcastle 23 8 6 9 36 33 30 Bolton 23 7 9 7 34 31 30 Stoke 23 9 3 11 28 28 30 Liverpool 23 8 5 10 30 31 29 Blackpool 22 8 4 10 32 38 28 Everton 23 5 12 6 27 29 27 Fulham 23 5 11 7 25 25 26 West Brom 23 7 4 12 29 43 25 Aston Villa 23 6 7 10 25 39 25 Birmingham 22 4 11 7 21 31 23 Wigan 23 4 10 9 19 37 22 Wolverhampton 23 6 3 14 24 41 21 West Ham 24 4 9 11 24 43 21

PSG avoid French Cup banana skin PARIS: Paris Saint Germain avoided a potential French Cup banana skin yesterday after the holders edged out a determined fifth tier side Agen 3-2 to reach the last 16. First division sides have been falling in numbers with half eliminated prior to the current round and only seven will remain following Sunday evening’s meeting between Lyon and Nice after league leaders Lille saw off amateur outfit Wasquehal 1-0, Brazilian Tulio de Melo on target. That match pitted two brothers against one another with Mathieu Debuchy of Lille putting one over elder sibling Gregoire. Agen, seeking to emulate fellow amateurs Chambery’s shock wins over Monaco and now Brest, gave as good as they got. But a 13th-minute goal from Mathieu Bodmer settled PSG nerves and although Mamoudou Daffe levelled four minutes before the break Peguy Luyindula put the professionals ahead within two minutes of the restart. For Luyindula, formerly with Lyon and Marseille and a Cup winner with Strasbourg a decade ago, the goal was some vindication after he was left out of last week’s League Cup loss to Montpellier. Just three minutes later, Guillaume Hoarau then made it 3-1 with what proved the clincher before the hosts, roared on by a 12,000 crowd, pulled back a consolation through Anthony Vandersnick with 20 minutes remaining. PSG are looking to lift the trophy for the ninth time, which would leave them just one short of Marseille’s record. —AFP



Business e niv rsar n

Kuwait Stock Exchange: A Year in Review 2010


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Page 25

Economic opening has Cubans puzzled


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Lebanon crisis undermines economic gains BEIRUT: The political crisis in Lebanon is threatening to derail economic progress after a year that saw 7 percent economic growth, a record number of tourists and bank deposits among the highest in the Middle East. Lebanon’s Western-backed government collapsed Jan. 12 after Hezbollah and its allies resigned from the Cabinet in a dispute over a UN court investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The court, which is widely expected to accuse the Shiite militant group, filed a sealed draft indictment Monday, touching off a process many fear could ignite new bloodshed nearly six years after the massive truck bombing along Beirut’s waterfront that killed Hariri. “This is a very deep and troubling crisis in Lebanon,” said Lebanese economic analyst Kamel Wazni. “The continuation of this crisis with the absence of any political resolution any time soon will have its implications in terms of growth and in terms of development.” Still, Lebanon is accustomed to managing in crises. Street protests and violence have been the scourge of this tiny Arab country of 4 million people for years, including a devastating 19751990 civil war and sectarian battles between Sunnis and Shiites in 2008. In the days after the government collapsed, many Lebanese carried on as normal, packing the city’s restaurants and nightclubs. But as the crisis drags on, the streets are growing quieter; in recent days streets normally clogged with traffic have been free of cars. Cesar Touma, 38, says his pub in the Hamra neighborhood was doing well until the government collapsed. “The day the Cabinet resigned, one client came in,” Touma said, standing outside his pub and smoking a Cuban cigar. One of the negative signs came on Tuesday when Standard & Poor’s Corp. lowered Lebanon’s sovereign outlook to stable from positive over the country’s political uncertainty. On Saturday, right-wing Christian leader Samir Geagea, a strong ally of caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri, warned that a government formed by a proHezbollah prime minister that doesn’t include Hariri supporters would be catastrophic for Lebanon. “Can anyone imagine what will happen to the Lebanese pound?” he asked. Geagea said Lebanon, like the Gaza Strip after it was taken over by the militant Palestinian Hamas group in 2007, would be isolated and ostracized by the international community and Arab world, with the exception of Syria. Hariri, the son of the slain statesman, has refused to give in to Hezbollah’s demands to break cooperation with the Netherlandsbased tribunal investigating his father’s assassination. Efforts by outside regional powers to mediate a resolution and bring the sides back into a unity government have failed. Despite the uncertainty on the political scene, Lebanon’s free market economy has always been a strong asset. Decades-old banking secrecy laws turned this tiny country into the region’s Switzerland, attracting clients from around the Arab world who prized the anonymity its banks afforded. Central Bank governor Riad Salameh said this month that bank deposits increased 10 percent in 2010 to reach $110 billion or about three times the country’s gross domestic product. Salameh said this week during the monthly meeting of the Association of Banks in Lebanon that the central bank’s foreign currency reserve-about $31 billion, or nearly 90 percent of Lebanon’s GDP, will help keep the Lebanese pound stable. The bank has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars in the past weeks to protect the pound. “The economic conditions will deteriorate if this period extends,” said Finance Minister Raya al-Hassan. “Our conditions are still good at this time because of the huge (foreign currency) reserves at the Central Bank.” Two of the main sources of foreign currency are tourists and remittance from tens of thousands of Lebanese working abroad, mainly in oil-rich Persian Gulf states. The World Bank estimated in November that for 2010 there would be about $8.2 billion worth of remittances coming into Lebanon. A record number of more than 2.1 million tourists visited Lebanon last year, a 17 percent increase from 2009. Tourism generates up to $7 billion a year, according to the Minister of Tourism.—AP

SIDON: A worker attaches an advertisement for washing machines under a poster showing slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (right) and his son, caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon. — AP

RIYADH: A Saudi man walks in the conference room on the second day of the 5th Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh yesterday.—AFP

Etihad eyeing Virgin Atlantic: Report Virgin Group holds full strategic review with Deutsche Bank helping LONDON: Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has expressed “top level interest” in Richard Branson’s British airline Virgin Atlantic, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. Virgin Atlantic is in the early stages of conducting a full strategic review which could result in an alliance with rival carriers or a sale. It has hired Deutsche Bank to assess the market.

The Sunday Times said the chief executive of Etihad had written to Deutsche to express his interest in the firm, without giving any more details. “We have no comment other than that we talk regularly and frequently to many airlines and a range of other businesses from all over the world about business issues and opportunities,” a spokeswoman for Etihad said. A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic said the strate-

gic review was still in the early stages and said the group could not comment on individual interest. “Deutsche Bank is working with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group to assess the current aviation market place and seek growth oppor tunities for Virgin Atlantic,” the spokeswoman said. “This study is at a very early stage so there is no further comment to make at this time.”— Reuters

Aldar at 5-year low as property woes weigh MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties slumped to a five-year low yesterday, extending declines since it unveiled a restructuring plan dilutive to minority shareholders. Middle East markets were mixed as Egypt, Qatar and Dubai made further losses, while Oman and Saudi Arabia edged higher. Aldar fell 1.5 percent to 1.93 dirhams. The indebted developer’s shares are down 15.4 percent since saying it would take $2.9 billion in impairments and issue a convertible bond to a government-owned investment vehicle, measures seen eroding shareholder value. Rival Sorouh Real Estate dropped 0.7 percent. “Aldar opened the eyes of investors to think again about their investments in real estate companies in terms of the slowdown in the sector,” said Mohammed Yasin, CAPM Investment chief investment officer. “A lot of people have taken the decision to lower their equity exposure, if not exit entirely ... If a company the size of Aldar has to take these sorts of steps, what about smaller developers?” House prices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are seen making further double-digit declines as over-supply weighs on valuations, a Reuters poll last week showed. Dubai prices are already about 60 percent below a 2008 peak. “UAE markets will remain under pressure because of real estate-most listed companies are exposed directly or indirectly, whether they are developers, contractors or banks,” said Shahid Hameed, Global Investment House head of asset management for the Gulf region. Cairo’s index fell slightly, its fifth drop in six sessions after local activists, inspired by Tunisia’s overthrow of its autocratic president, called a nationwide protest against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment for Tuesday, a national holiday that honors Egyptian police. “Many investment firms have many sell orders from investors over fears the Jan. 25 protest could lead to big political unrest,” said Hisham Metwalli of Arab Finance Brokerage. Industries Qatar (IQ) fell 4 percent, its biggest drop since May 25, 2010, trimming its gains to 33 percent in three months. “Some foreign institutions took profits last week, but overall they were still net buyers in Qatar,” said Hani Girgis, assistant chief dealer at Dlala brokerage. Commercial Bank of Qatar dropped 2.2 percent and Barwa Real Estate lost 1.9 percent. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see more profit-taking in Qatar over the next couple of weeks, but Qatar usually does well in the first-quarter because companies typically provide high dividend yields,” said Global’s Hameed. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) rose 1.2 percent, rebounding from Saturday’s three-week low, and other bluechips also shrugged off initial declines to end higher. On Wednesday, SABIC made its largest decline in five months after its fourth-quarter profit missed estimates. “There is a lot of uncertainty and I’m not convinced by today’s move-nothing fundamental has changed and it seems bargain hunters have stepped in after petrochemicals fell recently,” said a Riyadh-based trader who asked not to be identified.—Reuters

Jay Li, General Manager of Li-Ning International sitting among shoes, at an undisclosed location. Chinese athletic shoemaker Li-Ning knew it couldn’t ‘out-Nike’ Nike, especially in the sporting giant’s own backyard. — AP

China sports brand tries to break into US market BEIJING: Chinese athletic shoemaker Li-Ning knew it couldn’t “out-Nike” Nike, especially in the sporting giant’s own backyard. So the company is going low-budget edgy in its expansion to the US, using an irreverent YouTube video to play up its heritage while taking a lighthearted dig at the company name shared with its highprofile founder. Li-Ning is among the first Chinese consumer product brands trying to build a following in the US, seeking to grab a slice of its saturated but highly coveted market. As China’s economic might increases — it last year overtook Japan as the second-biggest economy after the US — its companies are increasingly confident about expansion overseas. But corporate China has yet to produce a brand with the global name recognition of the likes of Apple, Sony or Google. “It’s a process of finding out — while staying true to our heritage, our brand — what side of our DNA is going to resonate with the American consumer,” said Jay Li, general manag-

er for Li-Ning International. “We’re still searching, to be perfectly honest with you. And we’re not in a hurr y.” Americans might remember Li Ning (pronounced lee-NING) as the final torchbearer during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics — the former gymnastics gold medalist who “ran” along the opening in the stadium roof while suspended by wires. His namesake company is a top domestic brand in China’s lucrative athletic shoe and apparel industry, with more than 7,900 stores across the country. Though it has forecast slumping sales and a one percentage point decline in gross profit margin in 2011, CEO Zhang Zhiyong recently told the Wall Street Journal that Li-Ning plans to invest $10 million in US operations this year. “Our founder Mr. Li Ning has always said his vision was never about building China’s Nike, it’s about building the world’s Li-Ning,” Li said. “You can’t be global without having a legitimate claim of market share in the most mature sporting goods market.”

There are significant hurdles to overcome: Americans are still smarting from the recession and spending less. Chinese goods are widely regarded as shoddily made, knockoffs or even dangerous. Li-Ning’s logo recently underwent a redesign, but many consumers may still see a strong resemblance with the Nike “swoosh.” “The way to fight the perception is to continue rolling out your own world-class products and that perception will go away,” Li said. He would not provide sales figures for the US, where Li-Ning products are sold online and through a few select retailers, but said international operations made up only 2 percent of the company’s total revenue. Expansion into the US is “important for them because if they show they have retail presence in the US it helps them not only sell there but it helps them sell in their home market in China and wherever else they go,” said Ben Cavender, associate principal at Shanghai-based China Market Research Group which has studied Li-Ning. —AP




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From left to right: Mr. Tim Sebastian, H.E. Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali, Dr. Joseph Stiglitz

From left to right: Mr. Tim Sebastian, Dr. Shumeet Banerji, H.E. Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali, Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, Mr. Joe Saddi.

EGYPT’S GHALI, NOBEL LAUREATE STIGLITZ DISCUSS EGYPT REFORMS FINANCE MINISTER, NOBEL LAUREATE, PROMINENT CEOS AT THOUGHT LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE CAIRO: Egyptian Minister of Finance Dr Youssef Boutros-Ghali and Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz were among a number of senior thought leaders discussing the effects of widespread macroeconomic reforms in Egypt in a moderated discussion in Cairo. The one-day event, sponsored by Booz & Company, included a moderated discussion between Dr. Boutros-Ghali and Stiglitz, as well as a panel discussion that gleaned insight on the reforms from four senior businesspeople. The event was attended by Egyptian Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development, H.E. Eng. Ahmed El Maghrabi; Egyptian Minister of Social Solidarity, Dr. Ali Al Moselhi; Egyptian Minister of State for Administrative Development, Dr. Ahmed Darwish and President of CAPMAS (the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics), Gen. Abu Bakr El Gendy. Since the early 1990s, Egypt has implemented a series of economic reforms - first aimed at stabilizing the economy and then at fueling growth and competitiveness. “Egypt is at a critical moment, as the reforms of the last 20 years have laid the foundation for a strong future,” said Dr. Shumeet Banerji, chief executive officer of Booz & Company. “Its success in the last few years has been nothing short of remarkable. But challenges remain, which present us with the opportunity to discuss the role of reforms and determine the way forward.” In the opening session, Dr. Boutros-Ghali, who heads the Ministerial Economic Committee in charge of overseeing the design and implementation of Egypt’s economic reform programs, spoke of the need to continue down the path of reform-but also of the difficulty and complexity of doing so, especially in terms of hot-button items like subsidies for energy and food. While subsidies can be addressed from a financial perspective, the government has a duty to protect the disadvantaged segments of society. “Subsidization is an important component of our economic policy,” he said. “We

know it’s inefficient. We know it needs to be reformed. But we need to do it in a way that preserves what we have achieved so far.” Dr Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Prize recipient in Economics and the former Chief Economist of the World Bank, noted that contrary to the popular belief that trickle-down economics will enable all levels of society to benefit from growth, making wealth trickle down takes work-and that Egypt’s government is committed to finding an efficient way to help the 40 percent of the population that lives on less than $2 per day. The second panel featured prominent businesspeople, including Moataz Al-Alfi, CEO of EK Holding and chairman of Americana Group-Egypt and TriOcean Energy; Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Vodafone Egypt; Joe Saddi, chairman of Booz & Company and managing director of the firm’s Middle East business; and Mona Zulficar, founding partner at Zulficar and Partners Law Firm. Dr. Stiglitz participated in the second panel as well, which addressed the factors that might inhibit the business community from achieving the success that will keep Egypt on its path to growth. A critical topic raised during the second panel was the need to integrate Egypt’s “shadow economy” into the formal private sector-a process hindered by the bureaucracy that still exists despite recent reforms. “Small and medium-sized enterprises have no incentive to move into the formal sector,” said Zulficar. “We need a different system that is simpler and easier.” Another crucial issue for Egypt’s business community is the alleviation of poverty and the cultivation of a strong middle class. “At the very bottom of society, people are struggling and they need systems that will allow money to trickle down,” said Dowidar. He added, however, that globalization and new investments are revitalizing the middle class by creating jobs. Both panels were moderated by Tim Sebastian,

television journalist and BBC presenter. Urgent Priorities for Egypt Egypt’s recent growth, which has been sparked by widespread economic reform and liberalization, has been the strongest that the country has seen in years: Reforms are credited with having achieved a stable economy, with continuous growth of approximately 5 percent over the past decade, allowing the country to improve its rankings in several economic indices. However, the economy faces medium- and longterm challenges. The government needs to balance the growing cost of food and energy subsidies as well as grapple with a growing budget deficit (approximately 8.4 percent of GDP). These challenges coincide with a need to improve Egypt’s ability to attract foreign investment. Egypt will also need to address the demographic issue of its coming youth bulge, as the size of Egypt’s workforce swells by more than 20 million people over the next 25 years: Although the country has successfully created 400,000 jobs per year for the past few years, it will need to create 750,000 jobs per year for the next several years. Saddi concluded the meeting with an overview of the areas in which Egypt will need to focus in the coming years to address these challenges. “First, Egypt must focus on improving labor productivitywhich depends on improving access to education as well as the quality of education,” he said. “Second, the country must retarget subsidies, including food and energy, to free up resources for other purposes. Third, Egypt must increase the ease of doing business; and finally, the country must continue investing in infrastructure, which will improve the country’s supply chain and thus reduce costs.” With these measures, he said, Egypt will be able to maintain its strong position among developing countries and continue its impressive track record of growth.

AUB first prize draw program based on ShAria principles Bigger Prizes, More Often KUWAIT: Al-Hassad Islamic is the only scheme to offer high value weekly and monthly prizes that are significantly higher than the total outlay of other prize schemes. With the new Al-Hassad Islamic 2011 scheme, customers have a lot more to look forward to. With 28 Weekly Prizes totaling KD 100,000 each week and “Salary for Life” Prizes every month, the chances to win bigger prizes more often couldn’t get any better. The most attractive feature of the new scheme is the chance to win bigger prizes, more frequently with 3 grand prizes of KD 25,000 each, week on week plus 25 other weekly prizes of KD 1,000. Chances to win big prizes on a weekly basis, offer instant rewards to both existing as well as new Investors in Investment Saving Account (Al Hassad Islamic). With the introduction of a “Salary for Life” Prize of KD 250,000 every month, the grand prize is also now more frequent and customers do not need to wait for a quarter or more to qualify for the grand prize. The “Salary for Life” has been a core feature for the Al Hassad Islamic scheme with prizes paid out to date exceeding KD 10 Million. The monthly “Salary for Life” prize has enabled winners to afford better homes, ensure better education for their children and enjoy an improved quality of life, with the assurance that the rewards will continue to come month after month for 250 months. Al Hassad Islamic is the only scheme to offer high value weekly and monthly prizes that are significantly higher than the total outlay of other prize schemes in Kuwait. In addition to the attractive prize pool, customers with high balances can opt for other unique features such as Investment savings plan, cheque facility linked to their investment savings account and state of the art e-banking and 24 x 7 Contact Center support. The new Al-Hassad Islamic 2011 is geared to meeting the needs of salaried individuals. Customers can benefit from not only the biggest and most attractive prize pool but can also enjoy state of the art banking benefits and access to AUB’s unique products’ range for Islamic Finances ,credit cards and investment products. All Al-Hassad draws are conducted under the scrutiny of officials from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and independent auditing firm, Ernst& Young. For more information on the Al-Hassad Islamic investment savings account, its prize structure and eligibility criteria, customers may visit any AUB Kuwait branch or call Hayakom 181 2000.

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

.2740000 .4440000 .3770000 .2880000 .2780000 .2735000 .0045000 .002000 .0756480 .7370130 .3900000 .0730000 .7225090 .0045000 .0480000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2786500 .4459100 .3794240 .2906540 .2805440 .0509340 .0423260 .2758770 .0357640 .2171860 .0033730 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0758850 .7393210 .0000000 .0743260 .7239540 .0000000

.2840000 .4520000 .3840000 .2970000 .2870000 .2820000 .0075000 .0035000 .0764080 .7444200 .4100000 .0780000 .7297700 .0072000 .0560000 .2807500 .4492700 .3822830 .2928440 .2826580 .0513180 .0426450 .2779570 .0360340 .2188230 .0033980 .0062040 .0025410 .0032930 .0039820 .0764570 .7448930 .3971000 .0748870 .7294100 .0063810

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka

3.429 6.179 3.265 2.527 3.873 219.580 36.083 3.942

Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash

6.317 9.221 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

74.838 77.111 729.120 745.400 76.424 ARAB COUNTRIES

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

52.100 48.151 1.317 196.860 396.310 186.400 6.078 34.295

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer Euro Sterling Pound Canadian dollar Turkish lire Swiss Franc Australian dollar US Dollar Buying

280.530 379.750 451.370 284.860 182.670 293.840 281.400 279.295 260.000 132.000 68.000

SELL CASH 280.600 744.380 4.260 285.100 549.700 14.100 51.800 167.800 51.730 385.300 36.680 6.500


395.620 0.188 94.500 3.850 214.300

292.400 6.100 9.340 76.280 279.900


Sterling Pound US Dollar

SELL DRAFT 279.100 744.380 3.923 283.600

219.400 48.184 383.800 36.530 6.140

Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees

Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees

6.178 3.284 3.959 6.310 689.045 3.501 9.269 6.226 3.952

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 726.870 3.280 6.310 77.000 74.730 219.400 42.180 2.519 450.200

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 450.200 279.900

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 279.800 3.270 6.150 2.545 3.935 6.330 76.270 74.820 743.800 48.180 453.300 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 397.500 5.750 386.800 287.500

Al Mulla Exchange

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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

0.032 0.262 0.252 3.490 397.220 0.189 94.500 46.200 4.390 225.800 1.904 48.300 727.050 3.360 6.610 77.430 74.730 219.400 42.180 2.715 452.200 43.100 293.900 6.100 9.550 198.263 76.380 280.300 1.350 GOLD

10 Tola

GOLD 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

Selling Rate 280.900 287.625 445.935 377.899 291.973 743.476 76.456 77.134 75.876 396.806 48.511 2.533

Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change

279.450 382.700 449.600 283.500 3.400 6.130 48.185 2.517 3.900 6.312 3.275 744.250 76.150 74.700




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Kuwait Stock Exchange: A Year in Review 2010 KUWAIT: In contrast to its 2009 performance, 2010 will be remembered as a year that witnessed the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) record robust gains and outperform its peers in the GCC region, as the KSE Weighted Index recorded yearly returns of 25.5 per cent. In spite of the robust gains recorded during 2010, liquidity in the market suffered during the year; the average daily traded value retreated to KD 51 mn ($179 mn) versus the KD 88 mn ($308 mn) recorded in 2009. This deterioration in liquidity was mainly due to the weak investor sentiment, tight liquidity conditions for most investors and asset managers, the suspension from trading of many companies which failed to submit their financial statements to the regulatory authorities along with the erosion in the share price of 90 listed stocks, equivalent to 42 per cent of total listed stocks, which are currently trading below their par value of 100 fils per share. During Q1-10, market sentiment remained positive, as the Parliament approval of a KD 30 bn four year economic development plan, CBK discount rate cut, approval of the Capital Market Authority’s law and positive developments surrounding market heavyweight ZAIN with regards to the sale of its African assets shaped the per formance of the market. As a result, the performance of the Kuwait Stock Exchange, as measured by the KAMCO TRW Index, gained 10.3 per cent during Q1-10 to close at 2,759.66. The absence of new growth drivers and lack of confidence in the market, triggered by a slump in real estate and equity prices coupled with the liquidity problems faced by stressed investment companies led investors to remain on the sidelines during Q2-10. Also, renewed concerns over the fiscal erosion and deteriorating creditworthiness of the European Union economies and its impact on the already fragile global economy added to the negative sentiments. As a result, the KAMCO TRW Index

dropped 7.6 per cent during Q2-10 to close at 2,549.14. The Government initiatives to step up the economic development of the country, its decision to finance the KD 30 bn development plan through local banks and its readiness to back the same with guarantees coupled with better than expected 1H-10 earnings announced by the majority of listed banks shaped the performance of the market during Q3-10. Delay in announcing FY-09 earnings by the majority of banks and listed companies, absence of new growth drivers coupled with investor concerns that local banks would book additional provisions during the last quarter of 2009, which would in turn affect the full year profitability, weighed on investor sentiments as the KSE Weighted and KAMCO TRW Index shed 2.9 per cent & 2.05 per cent, respectively, during Jan-10. However, Parliament approval of a KD 30 bn four year economic development plan coupled with the cut in the CBK discount rate by 50 bps, approval of the CMA law and the positive developments surrounding the sale of ZAIN’s African units boosted investor sentiments and shaped trading activities during the months of February and March -10. As a result, led by gains recorded on the heavyweight Banking and Services sector which witnessed its market cap surge 14.8

SIMPLE, EFFICIENT AND AFFORDABLE EMC HELPS SERVE SMB MARKET WITH VNXe SYSTEMS KUWAIT: With the unveiling of the simple, efficient and affordable EMC VNXe series unified storage systems yesterday, EMC Corporation is enabling partner to address the demand for Storage Area Networks (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions in the SMB market with one easy solution (see separate release). To make the new VNXe series accessible, EMC has created the new Authorized Reseller program for partners of any size to easily add the VNXe series into their product portfolio. For partners aspiring to join the EMC Velocity Solution Provider Program, the VNXe series makes it easier than ever to attain the minimum training and revenue requirements of the Affiliate tier to enjoy all the benefits and resources the program offers. All partners can quickly and costeffectively get up to speed in under three hours through free training, and enjoy the associated benefits of offering leading storage technology from EMC. By completing the time-efficient QuickStart training that combines selfpaced eLearning and short videos, partners are authorized to deliver basic implementation and support services to enhance margins. Additionally, the industry-leading Velocity partner program provides the most powerful tools to help partners identify new business opportunities, increase profitability, differentiate their offerings across market segments and provide extensive partner service enablement. Key features of the Authorized Reseller and Velocity partner programs combined with the simplicity and affordability of VNXe include: • Simplified process managed by distributors for resellers to sell the VNXe with the introduction of the Authorized Reseller category of partners that provides a path to joining the Velocity Solutions Provider Program. • Entry-level Velocity Affiliate tier makes it easier than ever to join the Velocity partner program and enjoy the associated benefits and rewards to drive profitability. • Simple and efficient free training to be authorized to sell the VNXe systems in under three hours to take advantage of significant sales opportunities and free QuickStart online training that combines self-paced eLearning and short videos to capture profitable implementation and support services opportunities with the VNXe systems, including providing

customers with hardware and software upgrades. • Dedicated demand generation, marketing support and advertising to drive awareness of the VNXe series and help partners capture the unified storage demand in the SMB market. • Simple online ordering process enabling partners to easily customconfigure a system to meet their customer’s requirements. The new channel-optimized VNXe systems are the result of a multi-year development effort and were designed to meet the needs of SMB customers including their preferences for purchasing and deploying new storage technology. With the VNXe series entry price of under $10,000, EMC is for the first time enabling a broad range of new and existing partners to address the SMB unified storage demand with leading technology from EMC. Now EMC partners can easily bundle advanced storage technology into comprehensive, differentiated solutions and services they offer to SMB customers. Partners Quote: “Specialist cloud infrastructure consultancy MTI is delighted with the introduction of EMC’s new VNX family of unified storage systems, which deliver customers a unified storage solution, designed and optimized for virtualized environments. The breakthrough efficiency, simplicity and power of the VNX family offer our customers a better way to manage their demanding and growing environment-affordably. —Aad Dekkers, Chief Marketing Officer at MTI “In the past year we have expanded our partnership with EMC, our main business is in the small and medium-sized business market, and until second half 2010 we only choose EMC products in the higher end of the market. In Q2 we had the opportunity to be a part of a test program, where we tested a couple of systems at our SMB customers with great success. In our opinion the VNXe is perfect for SMBs-the simple management, performance, scalability and the pricing of the product make it the perfect fit! With the VNXe family EMC is the perfect fit for about 80% of our customers, and we are looking into 2011 with great optimism, these products will definitely change our storage business.” —John Bartram, Senior Consultant Virtualization and Storage Design, Syskon Solutions A/S

per cent and 20.5 per cent, respectively, the KSE Weighted and KAMCO TRW Index ended the first quarter of the year gaining 14.3 per cent & 10.3 per cent, respectively, as compared to its Dec-09 close. During the same period, the KSE witnessed its market capitalization jump 14.1 per cent to KD 34.47 bn ($120.3 bn). Second Quarter - Low liquidity triggered by the absence of growth drivers coupled with the concerns surrounding the EU debt crisis. The absence of new growth drivers and lack of confidence in the market led investors to remain on the sidelines during the second quarter of the year, thereby resulting in low liquidity as value traded plunged 65 per cent to KD 584 mn for the same period. Also, renewed concerns about Europe’s debt crisis had weakened the near-term outlook for the euro and EU economic outlook and would hurt the already fragile global economy added to the negative sentiments. As a result, led by losses incurred on the Services sector which witnessed its market cap shed 20.5 per cent, the KSE Weighted and KAMCO TRW Index ended the second quarter of the year dropping 9.9 per cent & 7.6 per cent, respectively, as compared to its March-10 close. During the same period, the KSE witnessed its market capitalization plunge nearly 12 per cent to KD 30.34 bn ($105.9 bn).

Third Quarter - Healthy 1H-10 earnings, Government’s decision to finance the development plan through local banks coupled with positive developments surrounding ZAIN shaped the performance of the market. Various initiatives taken by the Government to step up the economic development of the countr y, the Government’s decisions to finance its KD 30 bn development plan through local banks and its readiness to back the same with guarantees coupled with better than expected 1H-10 announced by a majority of listed banks, boosted investor sentiments and shaped the market performance during the third quarter of the year. During the same period, market heavyweight ZAIN witnessed its share price surge 21.4 per cent to KD 1.360 mainly on the back of Emirates Telecommunication Corp. (ETISALAT) preliminary conditional offer to buy 46 per cent stake in the company. As a result, led by gains recorded on the heavyweight Banking and Services sector which witnessed their market caps surge 21.7 per cent and 17.7 per cent, respectively, the KSE Weighted and KAMCO TRW Index ended Q3-10 gaining 17.3 per cent & 12.3 per cent, respectively, as compared to its Jun10 close. During the same period, the KSE witnessed its market capitalization jump nearly 14 per cent to KD 34.58 bn ($120.7 bn).

Fourth Quarter - Speculations surrounding the legal position of the ZAIN-ETISALAT deal exposed the market to vulnerability and increased volatility. Better than expected 9M-10 earnings announced by a majority of the listed banks, the KSE’s proposal to launch an over-the-counter market in 2011 to enhance its efficiency and clean up the market from troubled companies that trade below their par value, coupled with the Finance Ministers announcement that banks would play a very significant role in financing the development plan boosted investor sentiments during the last quarter of the year. Market heavyweight ZAIN continued to remain highly volatile during Q4-10 over high investor speculations regarding its 46 per cent stake sale to ETISALAT and witnessed its share price gain nearly 12 per cent to KD 1.520 as compared to its close during Q3-10. As a result, led by gains recorded on the Banking and Services sector which witnessed their market caps gain 6.9 per cent and 8.3 per cent, respectively, the KSE Weighted and KAMCO TRW Index ended Q4-10 gaining 3.9 per cent & 2.7 per cent, respectively, as compared to its Sep-10 close. During the same period, the KSE witnessed its market capitalization jump nearly 4.7 per cent to KD 36.2 bn ($128.4 bn).

Elites to tackle ‘fundamentally changed’ world at Davos DAVOS, Switzerland: The eurozone’s debt battle and the power shift towards emerging giants like China and India will be at the heart of discussions on a “fundamentally changed world” at this week’s Davos meeting of global elites. “The world has fundamentally changed,” said Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum which organizes the annual meeting at the Alpine resort. “One of the most important factors of the new reality is the shift of geopolitical and geoeconomic power from north to south, from west to east. “This has not only political and economic consequences. I think the world will go through some shock waves of adaptation,” he added. The south and east are taking up a bigger seat in this new world, as illustrated by the participation of emerging giants like India and China at the meeting. Compared to a decade ago, Chinese representation is up fivefold while that from India is up four-fold, said Robert Greenhill, who is the WEF’s chief business officer. “It’s a reflection of the accelerated leadership of China and India in the global and economic and intellectual discus-

DAVOS: People arrange the logo of the WEF at the Davos forum venue.

sions globally,” he explained. Several Indian ministers including home affairs, finance and commerce and industry will be at Davos while China’s Commerce Minister Chen Deming is expected to give a rundown on the country’s decade as a member of the World Trade Organization. With US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also on the guest list, Washington’s concerns over its trade balance with China and the value of the renminbi against the US dollar is expected

to be a subject of discussion. But beyond issues surrounding the emerging giants, the 2,500 participants at the forum are also expected to focus on the ongoing euro-zone debt crisis. “The big question right now is what Europe is going to do about debt restructuring,” Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at analyst group IHS, told AFP. Participants will be looking to Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou and Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou for a progress on Athens’ fight to con-

Dubai PE firm Abraaj to invest $2bn in 2011, 2012 RIYADH: Dubai-based Abraaj Capital expects to invest $2 billion in 2011 and 2012, and the private equity firm is eyeing a number of deals this year, its top executive said, signaling a revival for the battered industry. “We have a fund which is worth $2 billion dollars, and we are looking to deploy most of it this year and next year,” Arif Naqvi, Abraaj’s chief executive officer, told reporters on the sidelines of an investment conference in Riyadh yesterday. The private equity firm expects to complete several deals during the year. “I would be disappointed if we did not do at least 3-4 deals. The market is back,” he said. Middle East private equity investments plunged in the last couple of years, with investors backing out of capital calls, sellers demanding higher prices than buyers

were willing to pay and increasing competition from family groups hampering growth. But the industry is slowly showing signs of revival in 2011, and experts see more deals closing than in the previous two years. Earlier in the month, British-based international bank Standard Chartered said its private equity arm expected to complete two transactions in the Middle East in 2011 and does not rule out another $100 million deal. In December, Dubai-based lender Emirates NBD said it would sell a 49 percent stake in its subsidiar y Network International for 2 billion dirhams ($539 million) to Abraaj. Abraaj is the Middle East’s biggest private equity fund, having raised $7 billion since it started in 2002. — Reuters

tain its debt since a near meltdown a year ago. Other European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain’s David Cameron will also be at hand to discuss issues in the region. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to outline the G20 agenda under France’s presidency. Russia is also out in force. Flanked by deputy prime ministers Aleksei Kudrin and Igor Shuvalov as well as foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian President Dmitr y Medvedev is to open the meeting. With Israeli President Shimon Peres, a regular guest, in attendance, conflicts in the Middle East will not be neglected. Latin American and African leaders due at the meeting include Mexican President Felipe Calderon, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame. For a bit of stardust to break the serious business, the WEF is turning to Hollywood veteran Robert De Niro, U2 frontman Bono and Spanish opera singer Jose Carreras. “In terms of quality and diversity, the list of participants has never been as good as this year,” said Schwab. —AFP

China to expand property controls BEIJING: China is to expand its limits on property purchases to second and third-tier cities, a report said yesterday, as it steps up efforts to cool its real estate market. Authorities have drawn up a list of cities that will have to implement the limits, the Chongqing Evening News quoted an unnamed high-level official at the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development as saying. Qingdao and Jinan in the nation’s east are among cities set to put the rules into effect, the report said. The ministry was not available for comment when contacted by AFP. Several cities around China have already issued property purchase limits. Beijing was the first to announce such rules last year when it limited families to one new apartment purchase, and Shanghai followed suit in October. According to the report, a total of 16 cities have issued such regulations one of several measures aimed at cooling China’s property market. The government has also hiked minimum downpayments needed for property transactions to at least 30 percent, and the central bank has raised interest rates twice since October. It has also increased the amount of money banks must keep in reserve in a bid to curb lending. — AFP



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Kuwait equities rally GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwaiti equities rallied yesterday, staging a session of broad-based advance. Global General I ndex reached new highs since December 24, 2008. The gains were broad-based with 6 out of the 8 sectors managing to eke out some gains. I nvestor sentiments were cheered up by high expectations of healthy earnings reports. Furthermore, blue chips continue to lift up the market. Global General Index (GGI) closed 2.52 points up (1.13 percent), at 226.42 point as the market capitalization increased reaching KD36.81mn. On the other hand, Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index closed in the green zone adding 43.90 points (0.64 percent) from its value and closed at 6,940.1 point. Market Breadth During the session, 121 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 67 equities advanced versus 20 that retreated. The advance was accompanied by growing trading activity. Volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 109.30 percent to reach 306.38mn shares, the value of shares traded increased by a 97.90 percent to stand at KD35.78mn. The Real Estate Sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 31.0 percent of total shares and the Banking Sector was the value leader, with 34.28 percent of total traded value. Company-wise, Investors Holding Group Company was the most actively traded stock, with 64.20mn shares exchanged, , accounting for 20.97 percent of total shares. I n terms of top gainers,

Qatar CBQ net misses forecast despite rise DOHA: Commercial Bank of Qatar’s (CBQ) fourth-quarter net profit soared 66 percent, the bank said yesterday, but the results fell short of analysts’ expectations. Qatar’s second-largest bank by market value posted a net profit of 309 million riyals ($84.93 million), compared with 186 million riyals a year earlier. Analysts on average expected the bank to make a quarterly profit of 441.99 million riyals, according to a Reuters poll. In the prioryear quarter, CBQ’s earnings suffered a 170-million riyal hit related to a corporate default. The bank had full-year net profit of 1.64 billion riyals, it said in a statement to the Qatar bourse. CBQ’s board recommended a cash dividend of 7 riyals per share. Impairment losses on loans and advances totalled 166.5 million riyals for 2010, while losses on investments were 128 million riyals, it said. On Tuesday, CBQ said it received funds from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, after it sold 20.62 million shares to the fund at a price of 78.3 riyals per share.

National Ranges Company was the biggest gainer for the day, adding 11.90 percent and closed at KD0.0235. On the other side, United Gulf Bank came in as the biggest decliner, dropping by 7.35 percent and closed at KD0.315. Sector-wise Blue chips continue to lift the market. Today’s gains were bolstered by a sizeable 1.93 improvement in the Global Ser vices Index. A KD0.040 incline posted by Zain was sufficient enough to lift the index. The Non-Kuwaiti sector followed, clocking 1.80 percent in gains. Ahli United Bank, Ithmaar Bank, and Egypt Kuwait Holding

Co. share values improved by 4.90 percent, 1.43 percent & 1.09 percent respectively. Sharjah Cement Co too was up by 1.19 percent. Shares of Kuwait Finance House (KFH) surged by 1.59 percent, rallying to their highest level since June 3, 2009 of KD1.280. The Global Banking Index climbed by 0.76 percent. KFH has picked up because it lagged other banks like National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and so is seeing a catch-up play,” says Shahid Hameed, Global Investment House head of asset management for the Gulf region. On the earnings front, National Slaughter Houses Co.

reported a whopping increase of 798.20 percent in its 2010 earnings. The scrip closed flat. Corporate News Combined Group Contracting Co (CGC) reported winning a 16-month tender at a total value of KWD5.5mn (AED 69.05mn). Through its Abu Dhabi-based subsidiary, the KSE-listed company will provide infrastructure ser vices for a camp of the General Command of the UAE armed forces. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $92.95 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $93.99 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

The sovereign fund is taking up a 10 percent stake in Qatari banks-the remainder of a planned 20 percent purchase announced during the global financial crisis-to provide support to its local lenders. QIA’s move is slated to take place in the first quarter and is likely to boost confidence in the sector. Qatar’s central bank issued a 50 billion-riyal ($13.74 billion) three-year bond to local banks last week to raise funds for development projects and to drain excess money from the banking system. Qatar National Bank, Qatar’s largest lender by market capitalisation, posted a 40.2 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 10, beating analysts’ expectations as financing and interest income soared. Qatar National Bank was the first major regional lender to report earnings and is closely watched for indications of the sector’s performance. CBQ shares closed 2.2 percent lower on the Qatar bourse yesterday before the results were announced. The broader index dropped 1.5 percent.— Reuters

Oman’s NBO Q4 net falls 16%, misses estimates DUBAI: Fourth-quarter net profit at National Bank of Oman, the sultanate’s second-largest lender by assets, dropped 16 percent, Reuters calculations showed yesterday. The bank made a quarterly net profit of 5.5 million rials ($14.3 million), Reuters calculated, compared with 6.54 million rials in the same period in 2009. Analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average fourth quarter profit of 7.6 million rials. “In 2010, we focused on streamlining our operation, in laying a strong foundation for growth in 2011 and beyond,” Salaam Al Shaksy, NBO’s chief executive, told Reuters. “Overall, a weak set of results. We maintain our Neutral rating, but we will be reviewing our estimates once detailed results are released,” investment bank EFG-

Hermes said in a research note. Reuters calculated quarterly profit from previous financial statements. The bank reported net profit of 21.7 million rials in the nine months to Sept. 30 last year. NBO reported a full-year net profit of 27.2 million rials, it said in a bourse statement yesterday. Net loans and advances in 2010 were almost flat from the previous year at 1.36 billion rials, while customer deposits rose 5.1 percent, the statement said. Last week, Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest lender by market value, beat analysts’ forecasts and returned to profit in the fourth quarter of 2010, benefiting from a decrease in impairments and growth in loans and deposits. NBO shares closed 0.9 percent higher on the Muscat bourse prior to the results. — Reuters




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By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The legendary Ford Mustang’s 2011 version made its debut in Kuwait during a drive event at the International Fair Grounds yesterday. Attendees at the event, both media and Mustang lovers, enjoyed twice the excitement; the event featured the awesome entry level 305HP 3.7LV6 and the super performing 412HP 5.0 liter V8 Mustang GT.

Drive event at International fair Grounds thrills Mustang lovers The new 2011 Ford Mustang puts 305 high-performance horses in the hands of V-6 coupe buyers with a new all-aluminum double-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) engine that delivers 31 miles per gallon (13.18 kilometers/liter) on the highway with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2011 lineup also sees the modern 5.0-liter four-valve Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) V-8 engine in the new Mustang GT, with fuel economy projected to be better than the previous model and unsurpassed in the segment. The all-new six-speed automatic is joined by a six-speed manual transmission for the shift-it-yourself crowd, while handling and cornering is bolstered by the addition of Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) and a host of suspension improvements. “Mustang is truly an all legend, no compromise car,” said Theo Benson, Ford Middle East’s Regional Marketing and Product manager. “Following the dramatic design changes we introduced to the Mustang in 2009, we’re adding technology and fuel economy to Mustang’s legendary reputation for handling and road holding; taking the game to a totally different level. Mustang not only looks as aggressive as ever, but it’s ready to

leap and immediately deliver that horsepower and torque, while also looking after its owner’s budget. We know it will attract a whole new group of Mustang buyers.” “We are very excited to offer the two new Mustangs to the Kuwaiti market as our 2011 opening salvo. The legendary Mustangs will surely be a hit with our customers who will love the total performance of both the V6 and the 5.0-liter V8,” said Mohammed Khuzam, AMG’s General Sales and Marketing manager.

Arrival of the 5.0 The 2011 Ford Mustang GT arrives with an all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine, delivering more than 400 horsepower along with best-in-class fuel economy and driving fun. “This all-new 5.0-liter engine is the next chapter in the devel-


Mixed Housing Data The housing sector is still showing mixed signs of weakness after more than a year into the US economic recovery. Housing starts fell 4.3% to a 529,000 annual rate, the lowest level since October 2009. In parallel, building permits, a proxy used to estimate future construction, jumped to a monthly rate of 16.7% in December, reflecting attempts to get approvals before year-end. Finally, purchases of existing homes increased by 12% to 5.28 million sales on an annual basis, exceeding markets forecasts. The sales were positively impacted as buyers tried to lock in low mortgage rates before the economic recovery pushed borrowing costs up further. Jobless claims fall The number of Americans filing for firsttime claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, adding signs that the labor market might be improving. Jobless claims were down 37,000 in the week ending on January 15th

Peace of mind Ford is offering even more peace of mind to owners of its 2011MY products, by extending the 24-hour free roadside assistance to five years or 100,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. This comes with the existing five year/100,000 kilometer powertrain warranty and a three year/60,000 kilometer manufacturer warranty.

New all-aluminum 3.7-liter V-6 For 2011, Mustang’s new 3.7-liter Duratec 24-valve V-6 uses advanced engineering to deliver its power and economy: Aluminum construction means light weight. It’s an engine designed to crank out torque down low, rev to 7,000 rpm and deliver the mechanical music sports coupe lovers crave everywhere in between.


KUWAIT: The US dollar hit a two-month low last Friday amid rising confidence about global growth and as China let its currency rise to a record high of 6.5815. The yield differentials between the US and the rest of the world widened last week on growing economy optimism and speculation of higher rates in Europe and UK, putting further pressure on the US dollar. The strong IFO reading for the German business sentiment propelled the euro to a two-month high of 1.3626. The euro opened the week at 1.3390, reached a low of 1.3245 on Monday then strengthened progressively to close the week at 1.3621. In parallel, the Sterling was supported by rising yields as inflation figures sparked speculation that the Bank of England will be forced to raise rates earlier than expected. The British currency traded above the 1.6050 level on Tuesday before closing on Friday at 1.6000, up 0.8% for the week. Similarly, the Yen was able to strengthen against the US dollar to a high of 81.85 on Wednesday before paring back part of its gains and closing the week at 82.87.

opment of the world-class Mustang power train portfolio,” added Benson.

to 404,000. Market consensus was pointing towards 425,000 claims. The latest unemployment figure stands at a rate of 9.4% Europe German business confidence rose in December to its highest level for two decades, adding signs that the recovery of the largest European economy is relying further on domestic demand. The IFO economics institute showed its business-climate index hitting 110.3 points in January, up from 109.8 the previous month. The German economy rebounded strongly last year as increasing exports have been accompanied by signs of improving domestic demand. The government also raised, this week, its growth forecast for 2011 to 2.3%. Unemployment at 7.9% The unemployment rate as measured by the ILO standards was unchanged at 7.9% in the 3 months through November, compared with 10.1% in the euro-zone, 9.4% in the US and 5.1% in Japan. The new government is counting on the private sector to keep creating jobs as it prepares to cut 330,000 public sector staff over the next 4 years. Separately, jobless claims unexpectedly dropped in December to their lowest in 21 months; the decline came at 4,100 to a total benefits number of 1.457 million. The report of the Office for National Statistics also said that joblessness among 16-24-year olds was the highest since 1992. Retail Sales Despite Britons’ holiday shopping season, retail sales dropped the most ever for a December because of snowfall and increasing prices. Sales fell 0.8% for the month, versus an increase of 0.4% in the previous month and expectations of a 0.2% drop. Compared to year-ago levels, sales were unchanged. UK suffered last month from the coldest December in a century. Kuwait Dinar at 0.27920 The USD KWD opened at 0.27920 on Sunday morning.

ZAK SOLUTIONS BEST MICROSOFT GULF EDUCATION PARTNER 2010 KUWAIT: Microsoft Corporation granted ZAK Solutions an Award for Best Microsoft Gulf Education Partner for their achievements in the education sector and their implementation of a number of projects in the field of smart schools and e-learning. The conference was attended by Eng Ehab Mostafa General Manager, Microsoft Kuwait, Azza AlShinnawy Public Sector Education Manager - Microsoft Gulf and the Gulf region’s ZAK Solutions by Jaber Al-Kazimi Chairman and Engineer Ashraf Abu Al-Khair, Vice Chairman and Managing Director. This award is an addition to the many awards received by ZAK Solutions Company from many leading IT international companies as recognition to their efforts in implementing a number of projects, especially in the education sector. Azza Al Shinnawy presented the company the award for its achievements in the year 2010 specifically the implementation of a high profile project, the technological infrastructure project of the Ministry of Education in Kuwait. Ehab Mostafa stated during the conference, “We are delighted today to recognize one of the leading partners in Kuwait and the region, and we are proud of our partnership with ZAK Solutions that portrays an example of a local company of excellent standards in the technology sector, which is confirmed today that Microsoft local partners can carry out giant projects and with the highest international quality standards. I would like to thank ZAK’s leadership and its staff on this achievement and we are confident that this is just the start of many high profile projects that serves this vital sector. In the end I would like to emphasize we have committed ourselves to working with our local partners to provide solutions that serve all sectors and contribute to building knowledge based society”. In the same context, Jaber AKazimi, ZAK solutions chairman said, “We are proud today with this recognition from Microsoft as we are proud to partner with them for over 10 years, and the fact that this award motivates us to exert more efforts on servicing the Education sector in Kuwait, amongst many other sectors. ZAK

KUWAIT: Azza Al Shinnawy ñ Public Sector Education Lead hands award to Jaber Al Kazimi — Chairman of ZAK Solutions.

A view of the audience. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

is present in. Additionally, I would like to thank the team whom work on the education sector, which made considerable efforts for projects to be carried out in this leading level of quality and we hope to see our students in the near future benefit from the boom of technology in education which qualifies them to compete in the future labor market.” Ashraf Abu Al-Khair, ZAK solutions Vice president and Managing Director said, “I want to thank Microsoft for this honor, which we highly value and thank the team for their hard work and

overcoming many difficulties and challenges in order to implement such high profile projects. Additionally, I thank the Ministry of Education, which gave the opportunity for local companies and the confidence to take on high profile projects in order to develop and improve the level and quality of education in Kuwait to the highest international standards, the coming period will witness further cooperation with Microsoft and the major international companies to achieve further success in various sectors,” A zza Al Shinnaw y Public

S ec tor Education M anager Microsoft Gulf stated, “I am honored to be here today in Kuwait to recognize ZAK Solutions on their achievements on the Education sector, which is truly a role model for many Microsoft partners and we are looking forward to more successes in the future. Microsoft is committed to support the Education sector in Kuwait through variety of programs and solutions that aim to encourage students to creativit y and innovation in order to prepare a generation able to absorb and adapt the latest technology age.”



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Yukos specter lurks as Russia fetes BP deal MOSCOW: Russia has celebrated the alliance of Rosneft with BP as a historic breakthrough in its economic relations with the West but the deal remains shadowed by the break-up of its former top oil firm Yukos. Rosneft gained its status as Russia’s largest oil firm by acquiring prize Yukos assets when the firm was broken up by the Russian state after the arrest of its chief executive and founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2003. As Rosneft feted taking a major step towards realizing its dream of becoming a global oil giant, Khodorkovsky is languishing in prison and faces staying there until 2017 after receiving a new jail term less than a month ago. Markets and analysts hailed the deal for Rosneft to form a joint venture with BP for Arctic oil exploration and take a cross-shareholding as a huge boost for the Russian company. “We expect this joint venture to assist Rosneft in its plans to expand its international presence,” said analyst Ildar Davletshin of Renaissance Capital. “It could potentially be the first step in transforming Rosneft from a leading national company to a leading global player.” The Kremlin’s top economic advisor Arkady Dvorkovich said this week that the deal looked like it would become one of the “star” transactions of 2011 and would blaze a trail for more foreign investment in Russian state assets. But in the same candid interview with readers of online newspaper, Dvorkovich also admitted that investors’ “assessment of the risks of working in Russia will increase” as a result of the new Yukos verdict. The deal is pervaded by ironies which have forced BP to draw a line under previous conflicts between the West and Russia. The deal was signed by its new chief Robert Dudley-the same executive who was booted out of Russia in 2008 at the height of the row between Moscow and London over its Russian joint venture TNK-BP. Also smiling broadly at the signing ceremony was Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s energy pointman Igor Sechin, who Khodorkovsky supporters accuse of instigating the Yukos case along with his boss.

But above all, BP now holds a large stake in a company that benefited hugely from the Yukos case which Western politicians long contended was politically motivated. Its total 10.8 percent stake in Rosneft is only slightly more than the holding that Yukos used to have in Rosneft and the Russian firm bought back at a 2007 auction where it outbid none other than BP. The Yukos asset sales were among the most controversial auctions in Russia’s economic history. In an opaque process, Rosneft more than once bought stakes off successful bidders who were completely unknown and subsequently vanished. Rosneft’s largest oil-producing enterprises Yuganskneftegaz and Samaraneftegaz are all former Yukos assets picked up by the firm in the auctions held between 2004-2007. Before the auctions Rosneft was in no way a dominant player and many had speculated that it could be swallowed up by state gas leviathan Gazprom. But after the BP deal, Rosneft looks like it will join Gazprom in competing on the global market. “The partnership between BP and Rosneft in essence legalises the Yukos case,” wrote Russia’s leading business daily Vedomosti. “The magnitude of potential advantages, it seems, makes business close its eyes to whatever it wants. The example of BP shows this again.” Moreover, the BP deal will in no way change overnight investors’ concerns about Russia, which for many are typified by the Yukos case. Chris Weafer, chief strategist at UralSib, said the deal was a “game changer” for Rosneft which had now secured a strategic partnership that would allow it to secure know-how and technology. But he warned that it would not change the wider foreign investment climate, pointing out that US retail giant Wal-Mart had shut its Moscow office in December after failing to find a way into the Russian market. “The fact there is another big deal in the oil industry makes litte difference to strategic investors in other sectors,” he said. “WalMart walking away from Russia is a more important-and negative-event.” — AFP

BEIRUT: People sit at a restaurant in Downtown Beirut, Lebanon. The political crisis in Lebanon is threatening to derail economic progress after a year that saw 7 percent economic growth, a record number of tourists and bank deposits among the highest in the Middle East.—AP

The Arctic: A new frontier for oil and gas companies LONDON: BP’s deal with Rosneft to jointly explore the Arctic’s huge oil and gas reserves sets out a new frontier in the race for resources, but one that is dogged by technical and environmental concerns. More than one fifth of the world’s undiscovered but technically recoverable reserves of hydrocarbons are located north of the Arctic Circle, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The region accounts for about 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas, USGS data shows. About 84 percent of the resources occur offshore, trapped below the icy waters. After its disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP hopes to secure its future with the January 14 deal with state-owned Russian firm Rosneft, which gives it access to 125,000 square kilometres of sea in the Russian Arctic. For Western firms struggling to access known reserves, particularly in the Middle East, the British oil giant’s move highlights the potential of a largely untouched new frontier. “The potential is there, but exploring requires risk-taking,” said Manouchehr Takin, senior analyst at the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) in London. “The costs are high, much higher than elsewhere, and the summer seasons are short, so it takes a long time.” Jonathan Jackson, analyst at stockbroker Killik & Co, suggested that the drilling window was about 100 days a year because of the winter ice. “The early-stage nature of the assets and the limited drilling window available in the Arctic means production is a long-way off,” he continued. BP itself has said that it does not expect to produce its first barrel of oil in the Rosneft venture until 2020. But while it may be a long game, the competition is well underway. When Greenland asked for bids for the latest round of exploration licenses last year, 12 international companies put in an

offer, including ConocoPhillips of the United States, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell and France’s GDF Suez. Exploration off Greenland has yet to produce any commercially exploitable reserves, but that did not stop British firm Cairn from boosting its investment there by one billion dollars on the back of “encouraging” first results. Alaska, where the Prudhoe Bay oil field has been operating since 1977, is currently the most exploited area of the Arctic and its wells are responsible for more than one tenth of the oil production of the United States. But drilling there has been hugely controversial and environmental campaign group Greenpeace was quick to condemn BP and Rosneft’s new venture in the Russian Arctic. “Any company that drills for oil in the Arctic forfeits any claim to environmental responsibility. An oil spill in the cold waters of the Arctic would be catastrophic and extremely difficult to deal with,” it said. A report last November by the US group Pew Environment suggests that nothing can prepare energy companies for the hostile environment of the Arctic, where violent winds whip up nine-meter waves and icebergs clutter the waters. BP says that its experiences in deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska mean it is well equipped for the task. But its critics are not reassured, noting both the Gulf oil spill and a spill in Alaska in 2006, where BP’s US subsidiary was blamed for leaking 760,000 litres of oil on the tundra and on a frozen lake. The situation is further complicated by the geopolitical tensions that surround the Arctic, as border countries Russia, Norway, the United States, Canada and Denmark (via Greenland) battle it out to stake their claims. Global warming is also providing new opportunities all the time as the Arctic ice melts. In August, a Russian oil tanker set off for China on a previously impassable route through the Arctic ocean. — AFP

HAVANA: View of roots and plants for sale inside a religious articles store is pictured. After Raul Castro government authorized private businesses as part of the economic reform, Cubans are making their debut as small managers, crawling decades of prohibitions. — AFP

Economic opening has Cubans allured, puzzled Private enterprises bubbles up in Cuba HAVANA: Milagros, a typist, wants to know if she is allowed to use a computer or only her old typewriter, and Lazaro wonders whether the law will stop him from advertising the sale of cult candles and necklaces. As private enterprise bubbles up in Cuba after decades of official disfavor, Cubans have a million questions about how far they can go under the economic reforms being pushed by President Raul Castro, the first such overhaul in 14 years. “There is bewilderment-a lot of people have the desire to act and not much knowledge of the new laws, because there were a lot of restrictions before,” said Lazaro Mendez, who has been in business for himself for 26 years. “I worked alone because I wasn’t allowed to have assistants,” he added. Mendez is surrounded by the herbs, mortars and bowls in a store where he sells paraphernalia used in Santeria, the syncretic Afro-Cuban cult that blends Yoruba religious beliefs and Christianity. At the entrance to his shop, strategically located in the populous Cuatro Caminos neighborhood, one of his 10 employees is barking into a megaphone: “Candles for 3.50, necklaces for 10. Compare prices and see!” Next door, in a store five times smaller, Miriam Velazquez complains: “I don’t understand this, he can use a megaphone, but the sector

(police) chief won’t let me play religious music as mood music. They’ll take away the license I just took out to earn a living.” What’s allowed and what isn’t? The confusion is so great that state-run Radio Rebelde recently turned over its microphones to Labor Ministry experts for several days to take questions from the public. Hilda called from Camaguez for guidance on what she can and can’t sell in her snack shop. Maribel, a teacher from Granma, asks if she has to get permission from her school to moonlight selling sweets. Adrian from Holguin wants to know if he can let a sales assistant work alone in his shoe store from time to time. Despite the uncertainties, doubts and risks, 85,000 people have requested business permits since Castro authorized private ventures in 178 fields as an option for the 500,000 Cubans who face being laid off from the bloated state bureaucracy. But old habits die hard. In the licensing offices, government bureaucrats still ask for the burdensome paperwork once required of the few people given permission to go into business for themselves. So officials have taken to repeating over and over again to the public: “Two photos and an identity card. Nothing else!” Restaurants still produce menus that list only a fraction of the available dishes, a practice

born from evading past prohibitions on serving certain prohibited items, like meat. And their caution is not gratuitous. Small businesses were abolished in 1968 by Fidel Castro, and only allowed back in 1993 to ease the economic crisis that swept Cuba after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The regime backpedaled in 2004, and many Cubans who went into business for themselves wound up giving up because of the onerous bureaucratic controls and the stigma of being known as potential capitalists. In pushing the latest wave of reform, Castro acknowledges that the times call for a change of mentality. “We must defend the interest of those who work on their own account, just as we do any other citizen,” he said in a speech in December. “Erroneous and unsustainable concepts about socialism have to be transformed.” At the same time, however, he warned that “the concentration of wealth will not be allowed.” But Lazaro Mendez is undaunted. He has big plans for the entryway of his shop, where he exhibits images of Yoruba deities. Not satisfied with just a megaphone, he is getting ready to do something that until now has been prohibited in Cuba-hang a sign that advertises: “Herbalist of 4 Caminos. Religious articles.” — AFP

British expert: Banks need major revamp LONDON: Britain’s banks need major reforms as their failure to manage risks had been “spectacular,” the chair of the Independent Commission on Banking said on Saturday. Economist John Vickers, who heads a body reviewing whether to split banks’ investment and retail entities, said taxpayers should not have to provide “a generous safety net” to stop banks from collapsing. “For the most part, retail customers have no effective alternative to their banks for vital financial services, and hence there is an overriding economic, social and political imperative to avert any disruption to the continuous provision of those services,” Vickers said. “The task is to find better ways of ensuring this, if possible, while allowing unsuccessful individual institutions to fail safely,” he said in a speech at the London Business School. “Ultimately, financial risks have to be borne, and in a market system they should not be borne by the taxpayer providing a generous safety net.” Vickers is a former chief economist of the Bank of England who served on the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee from 1998 to 2000. He was then head of the Office of Fair Trading until 2005. “If the probability and/or impact of bank failure particularly of retail service provision can be reduced by forms of separation between banking activities, then so too might capital requirements,” he said. “If so, the case for structural reform might be greater the higher is the cost of bank capital.” Just six banks control almost 90 percent of all deposits in Britain, a far higher figure than in Germany or the United States. The fear that British banks have become “too big to fail” was fuelled by the financial crisis when the government had to bail out Royal Bank of Scotland, Northern Rock and the Lloyds banking group. The commission is due to publish interim proposals in April, with a final report to follow in September. — AFP

DHAKA: Bangladeshi pedestrians walk past the Bangladesh Stock Exchange in Dhaka. In a report dated yesterday the Dhaka Stock Exchange is in meltdown and observers are blaming the crisis on mistimed interventions by regulators triggering mass panic among millions of inexperienced retail investors.—AFP

Regulators on the rack as Bangladesh stocks crash DHAKA: The Dhaka Stock Exchange is in meltdown and observers are blaming the crisis on mistimed interventions by regulators triggering mass panic among millions of inexperienced retail investors. A correction was widely expected on the DSE, which is up 400 percent since the start of 2007, but the speed at which it has happened and the sudden slide has alarmed experts and prompted investors to cry foul. “Untimely policy measures and interventions by regulators are to blame for this crisis,” Salauddin Ahmed Khan, professor of finance at Dhaka University and former chief executive of the DSE, told AFP. The DSE has fallen 29.3 percent since peaking on December 5 at a record 8,918.15 points. On Thursday, the last day of trading before regulators suspended operations, it lost 599.76 points or 8.6 percent in just six minutes. In December the central bank raised the percentage of money commercial banks must hold in reserve in an effort to curb local lenders’ exposure to the market and rein in inflation. Experts say this move played a key role in the crash, prompting a mass stock sell-off by banks as they sought to raise cash. “This was what triggered the crisis-it sucked up the funds from the market and now almost all banks are running without liq-

uidity,” Khan said. The introduction last week of a so-called “circuit breaker” to automatically halt trading if the market rises or falls more than 225 points was also ill-advised, he said. “It creates panic (among retail investors). The government has to get rid of it,” he said. Every time trading was halted, protests broke out and on Thursday investors pelted riot police with bricks, smashed scores of vehicles and demanded the finance minister and the Bangladesh Bank governor resign. The unrest is set to continue this week with regulators saying trading will be suspended on Sunday-the fifth time in two weeks, with no date yet announced for when it will be allowed to resume. Ifty Islam, managing partner at Dhaka-based AT Capital, told AFP the protests were unfortunate but understandable as many “unsophisticated investors” believe that regulators can control the level of the market. “One needs to avoid the view that you can control the market as a regulator or your retail investors will hold you accountable” for crashes, he said. “Let’s call it growing pains for the market place, but I’d say that allowing a perception to persist that you control the level of the market is very, very dangerous.” — AFP



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Internet running out of addresses, but no Ipocalypse The pool in the sky is a fast-draining reservoir of IP addresses PALO ALTO: The Internet is running out of addresses. With everything from smartphones to Internet-linked appliances and cars getting online, the group entrusted with organizing the Web is running out of the “IP” numbers that identify destinations for digital traffic. The touted solution to the problem is a switch to a standard called IPv6 that allows trillions of Internet addresses, while the current IPv4 standard provides a meager four billion or so. “The big pool in the sky that gives addresses is going to run out in the next several weeks,” said Google engineer Lorenzo Colitti, who is leading the Internet giant’s transition to the new standard. “In some sense, we are driving toward a wall. We have to do something, and IPv6 is the only real long-term solution.” The pool in the sky is a fast-draining reservoir of IP addresses maintained by the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN has been calling for a change to IPv6 for years but websites and Internet service providers have been clinging to the old standard since the birth of the Internet. “One of the reasons it has taken so long to change is that there is no obvious advantage or killer application for IPv6,” Colitti said. The number of addresses that IPv6 allows for amounts to 340 “undecillion” (followed by 36 zeroes); enough for a trillion people to each be assigned trillions of IP numbers, according to ICANN chief Rod Beckstrom.”I guess if we could somehow link an IP address to every atom, we might begin to run into problems,” Beckstrom said of IPv6 during an interview in his office in the Silicon Valley city

BELGRADE: In this Jan 20, 2011 photo, a hole is seen in the wing of a US F-117A stealth fighter downed during the 78-day air-campaign against Yugoslavia at Belgrade’s aviation museum. — AP

China stealth fighter may be using US tech BRUSSELS: Chinese officials recently unveiled a new, high-tech stealth fighter that could pose a significant threat to American air superiority - and some of its technology, it turns out, may well have come from the US itself. Balkan military officials and other experts have told AP that in all probability the Chinese gleaned some of their technological know-how from an American F-117 Nighthawk that was shot down over Serbia in 1999. Nighthawks were the world’s first stealth fighters, planes that were very hard for radar to detect. But on March 27, 1999, during NATO’s aerial bombing of Serbia in the Kosovo war, a Serbian antiaircraft missile shot one of the Nighthawks down. The pilot ejected and was rescued. It was the first time one of the much-touted “invisible” fighters had ever been hit. The Pentagon believed a combination of clever tactics and sheer luck had allowed a Soviet-built SA-3 missile to bring down the jet. The wreckage was strewn over a wide area of flat farmlands, and civilians collected the parts - some the size of small cars - as souvenirs. “At the time, our intelligence reports told of Chinese agents crisscrossing the region where the F-117 disintegrated, buying up parts of the plane from local farmers,” says Adm. Davor Domazet-Loso, Croatia’s military chief of staff during the Kosovo war. “We believe the Chinese used those materials to gain an insight into secret stealth technologies ... and to reverse-engineer them,” Domazet-Loso said in a telephone interview. A senior Serbian military official confirmed that pieces of the wreckage were removed by souvenir collectors, and that some ended up “in the hands of foreign military attaches.” Efforts to get comment from China’s defense ministry and the Pentagon were unsuccessful. China’s multi-role stealth fighter - known as the Chengdu J-20 - made its inaugural flight Jan. 11, revealing dramatic progress in the country’s efforts to develop cuttingedge military technologies. Although the twin-engine J-20 is at least eight or nine years from entering air force inventory, it could become a rival to America’s top-of-the-line F-22 Raptor, the successor to the Nighthawk and the only stealth fighter currently in service. China rolled out the J-20 just days before a visit to Beijing by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, leading some analysts to speculate that the timing was intended to demonstrate the growing might of China’s armed forces. Despite Chinese President Hu Jintao’s high-profile visit to the United States this week, many in Washington see China as an economic threat to the US and worry as well about Beijing’s military might. Parts of the downed F-117 wreckage such as the left wing with US Air Force

insignia, the cockpit canopy, ejection seat, pilot’s helmet and radio - are exhibited at Belgrade’s aviation museum. “I don’t know what happened to the rest of the plane,” said Zoran Milicevic, deputy director of the museum. “A lot of delegations visited us in the past, including the Chinese, Russians and Americans ... but no one showed any interest in taking any part of the jet.” Zoran Kusovac, a Rome-based military consultant, said the regime of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic routinely shared captured Western equipment with its Chinese and Russian allies. “The destroyed F-117 topped that wish-list for both the Russians and Chinese,” Kusovac said. Russia’s Sukhoi T50 prototype stealth fighter made its maiden flight last year and is due to enter service in about four years. It is likely that the Russians also gleaned knowledge of stealth technology from the downed Nighthawk. The F-117, developed in great secrecy in the 1970s, began service in 1983. While not completely invisible to radar, its shape and radar-absorbent coating made detection extremely difficult. The radar cross-section was further reduced because the wings’ leading and trailing edges were composed of nonmetallic honeycomb structures that do not reflect radar rays. Kusovac said insight into this critical technology, and particularly the plane’s secret radiation-absorbent exterior coating, would have significantly enhanced China’s stealth knowhow. Alexander Huang of Taipei’s Tamkang University said the J-20 represented a major step forward for China. He described Domazet-Loso’s claim as “a logical assessment.” “There is no other stronger source for the origin of the J-20’s stealthy technology,” said Huang, an expert on China’s air force. “The argument the Croatian chief-of-staff makes is legitimate and cannot be ruled out.” The Chinese are well-known perpetrators of industrial espionage in Western Europe and the United States, where the administration has also been increasingly aggressive in prosecuting cases of Chinese espionage. Western diplomats have said China maintained an intelligence post in its Belgrade embassy during the Kosovo war. The building was mistakenly struck by US bombers that May, killing three people inside. “What that means is that the Serbs and Chinese would have been sharing their intelligence,” said Alexander Neill, head of the Asia security program at the Royal United Services Institute, a defense think tank in London. “It’s very likely that they shared the technology they recovered from the F-117, and it’s very plausible that elements of the F-117 got to China.” — AP

of Palo Alto. “As far as thinking about the number of objects that humans own and use, we are pretty safe.” With about seven billion people on the planet, the IPv4 protocol doesn’t allow for everyone to have a gadget with its own online address. The situation has been equated to not having enough telephone numbers for everyone. Once the supply of IPv4 addresses ICANN distributes to the five regional centers around the world are gone, computers and other gadgets might have to start sharing instead of having unique identifying numbers. “You will start to share with your neighbors, and that causes problems because applications can’t distinguish you apart,” Colitti said. “If your neighbor ends up in a blacklist, you will too.” “The Internet won’t stop working; it will just slowly degrade,” he continued, explaining that systems would eventually have trouble handling multiple connections on shared addresses. “Things will get slower and flakier.” New websites or online services stuck with shared IP addresses wouldn’t perform as well as pre-existing offerings that have numbers all to themselves. The effort and expense of changing to IPv6 would fall mostly on Internet ser vice providers, websites and network operators that have to make sure systems can handle the new online addresses and properly route traffic.Consumers, for the most part, shouldn’t notice the switch since complex IP numbers would still appear to them as words and domains, such as Some people

might need to update routers or modems that connect computers to the Internet. “It is important that users don’t worry,” Colitti said, dismissing talk of an ‘IPocalypse.’ “But, it is important that we as an industry work together,” he noted. “It is critical we preserve this extremely precious Internet and allow it to grow.” Google, Facebook and other major Internet players will add IPv6 addresses to their systems in a one-day trial run on June 8 to let all parties involved check for trouble spots. “We need to kick the tires on it at a global scale and see if there are some unforeseen problems,” Colitti said. “There is really a rallying cry element to it. No single player can do it alone; we need to work together.” World IPv6 Day will start at 0001 GMT on June 8. In a worst case scenario, running out of IPv4 addresses with no switch to IPv6 would mean new gadgets wouldn’t be able to connect to the Internet because addresses weren’t available, according to ICANN. “Ideally, people will see nothing,” Beckstrom said of a transition to IPv6. But, “if enough networks don’t move to IPv6,” he continued, “people could literally see nothing because they can’t connect the next iPad, iPhone, or whatever.” IPv6 allows for seemingly limitless innovation in the Internet as well as addresses enough for sensors in anything from chairs and thermostats to individual bottles of wine in a cellar to signal when vintages peak. A full shift to IPv6 will take years, with the remaining stock of old IP addresses being allocated to support the transition, according to Beckstrom. — AFP

Nepal uses satellites to track rare tiger KATHMANDU: An injured wild tiger that strayed into a tourist resort in Nepal has been moved to a new home in the jungle and fitted with a satellite collar so its progress can be tracked, the government said. The tiger, an adult male, was captured after it wandered into the resort on the outskirts of the Chitwan national park in southern Nepal, a major tourist attraction, and nursed back to health by park authorities. It was then driven about 600 kilometres (400 miles) with a team of vets and conservationists in a specially constructed trailer to the remote jungles of Bardia in western Nepal, where it was released on Saturday. The tiger, named Namobuddha by park authorities, has been fitted with a special collar carrying a GPS tracking system that will allow scientists to monitor how well it adapts to its new home. The government said the initiative, carried out with the help of experts from WWF, would also help to improve understanding of how the endangered animals behave in the wild. “This translocation-the first of its kind in Nepal-is a concrete example of our commitment to saving wild tigers using the best science available,” said Deepak Bohara, minister of forest and soil conservation.The project is part of Nepal’s efforts to double its population of Royal Bengal tigers, which once roamed the country’s southern plains in large numbers but have been depleted by poaching and the destruction of their habitat. A WWF survey carried out in 2008 found just 121 adult tigers of breeding age in the country. Krishna Acharya, Nepal’s head of national parks and wildlife conservation, said Bardia was an ideal home for the animal because it of its vast size, available prey and relatively low levels of poaching.”Nepal is one of the countries in the world where the prospect of doubling the tiger population is quite good, if tigers are given enough space, prey and proper protection,” he added. Experts say poverty and political instability in Nepal have created ideal conditions for poachers who kill the animals for their skin, meat and bones, which are highly valued in Chinese traditional medicine. The WWF says tigers are in serious danger of becoming extinct in the wild. During the last 100 years their numbers have collapsed by 95 percent, from 100,000 in 1900 to only around 3,200 tigers, its says. — AFP

Logitech unveils mouse designed for living room DUBAI: Logitech unveiled the Logitech(r) Wireless Mouse M515, delivering easy navigation from soft surfaces like your sofa, bed or a pillow. The Logitech Wireless Mouse M515 features a sealed bottom case that makes gliding on fabric easy and worry free, and a hand-detection sensor so the mouse is only active when you want it to be. “Millions of people are connecting their computer to the TV, and the M515 mouse was built to address the unique needs of this experience,” said said Yousef Atwan, General Manager, Logitech Middle East FZ-LCC.. “As technology evolves and consumers’ habits change, Logitech continues to develop navigation devices that make it easier to control and access the things people love to do in the digital world.” With its hand-detection sensor, the Logitech Wireless Mouse M515 is active only when you’re gripping it - the mouse is only active when you want it to be, and it stays asleep when you don’t. A sealed bottom - so fabric fuzz won’t collect in the sensor opening gives you cursor control no matter what

surface you’re using your mouse on. And the easy-gliding base makes mousing around on couches (and blankets, cushions, clothing, carpets, even desks) easy. Also featuring effortless Logitech Hyper-Fast Scrolling, the M515 mouse lets you coast smoothly through long blogs or social networking feeds. And you can switch to click-to-click mode when you need more control. Logitech’s newest mouse also offers up to two years of battery life, helping you save time and money by eliminating the need to change batteries frequently. And, you’ll enjoy plug-and-forget wireless connectivity thanks to the tiny Logitech(r) Unifying receiver. The receiver stays in your laptop so it’s less likely to be lost, and gives you a reliable connection with virtually no delays or dropouts. Plus, you can easily add other Unifying-compatible mice and keyboards to the same receiver. The Logitech Wireless Mouse M515 is expected to be available in UAE beginning in June for a suggested retail price of 250 AED.

Iran announces launch of new cyber police units

CHITWAN: This handout photo released by the World Wide Fund (WWF) Nepal yesterday shows President and CEO of WWF-US Carter S. Roberts and Minister of Forest and Soil Conservation of Nepal Deepak Bohara (L) fitting a satellite collar on the wild tiger ‘Namobuddha’ before it was translocated to Bardia National Park from Nepal’s Chitwan National Park on January 21. —AFP

TEHRAN: Iran’s state TV says the country has launched its first cyber police unit in the latest attempt by authorities to gain an edge in the digital world. The Internet has been a key outlet for Iran’s political opposition since the disputed presidential election in 2009. Iran also has been trying to boost its web defenses after the Stuxnet computer worm made its way into computers involved with its nuclear program. The Sunday report quotes Iran’s top police chief, Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, as saying the Net has provided opportunities to ‘others’ for spying as well as misuse of both public and private information. The first cyber cops patrolling the web are in Tehran. Gen. Moghaddam says they will be in all police stations in the country by early 2012. — AP



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monDAY, JAnUARY 24, 2011

health & science

‘Bug Mac’ and larva quiche - food of the future: Scientists

NYON, Switzerland: A file picture shows a festival-goers enjoying an ‘insects pizza’ at one of the many food stalls during the 34th edition of the Paleo festival on July 22, 2009. —AFP

US company to stop making drug used in executions CHIC AGO: An anesthetic used in lethal injections will no longer be made by its only US manufacturer because the company does not want it to be used in executions, forcing states that allow the death penalty to look for other suppliers. Hospira I nc said on Fr iday that sodium thiopental has been in short supply for about a year because of manufacturing problems. The company was planning to shift production to its plant in Liscate, Italy, but the Italian parliament will only allow the drug to be made there if Hospira can guarantee that it will not be used in capital punishment. Italy is a member of the European Union, which has banned the death penalty and criticized the United States for allowing it. Sodium thiopental is the first of a sequence of three drugs administered in US lethal injections that paralyze breathing and stop the heart. A sedative is legally required in all lethal injections of US death row inmates. “This is not how the drug is intended to be used,” Tareta Adams, a spokeswoman for Hospira, said in a telephone interview. “We’ve decided we’re no longer going to wor k to bring the drug back.” Adams said Hospira typically distributes the drug through wholesalers, making it difficult to guarantee that it will not end up in the hands of U.S. correctional authorities. At least two U.S. states that execute inmates through lethal injection have already tr ied to impor t sodium thiopental from a British company,

the name of which has not been disclosed. London-based human rights group, Reprieve, sued the British government in November to stop export of the drug. Texas, one of the United States’ biggest users of the lethal drug combination, is looking for alternative drugs, according to Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Clar k sa i d fo u r exe c u t i o n s h a d already been scheduled for this yeartwo for February, one for May and one for July. “At this time, we have enough sodium thiopental on hand to carry out the two executions scheduled for February. In March, our supply of this particular drug is set to expire,” Clark said in an emailed response. Texas has 317 men and women on death row, he said. Hospira , b a s e d i n L a k e Fo re s t, Illinois, said that halting production of the drug would mean hospital customers using it for medical purposes would be unable to obtain it. “We’ve been working to get it back because of the medical use,” Adams said. The drug is an older anesthetic and many doctors who used it for medical purposes have turned to substitutes because of its scarcity. Oklahoma executed a man in December using pentobarbital, a drug used to euthanize animals, and as a sedative for humans. A majority of US states have the death penalty, with lethal injection being the primary method of execution in most cases. —Reuters

Obesity, alcohol fuel UK’s soaring breast cancer rates LONDON: UK ranks 11th out of 50 co u nt r i e s i n t h e rate s o f b re a s t cancer, according to a new report published yesterday. High levels of obesity and a taste for alcohol are fuelling rates among British women, exper ts said. Overall, the UK comes 22nd for cancer in both sexes, according to the most recent estimates from the World Health Organisation ( WHO) for the year 2008. Of the top 50 countries worldwide by cancer rates, the UK comes 33rd for male cancer and 12th for female, the media here said, while highlighting the report. However, rates of cancer overall are higher in men than women, the analysis showed. On breast cancer, more women per 100,000 develop the disease in the UK 260. 5 t h a n i n Fr a n c e 2 5 4 . 9 , I t a l y 251.6, Germany 245.7, Sweden 241.2, Switzerland 236 or Spain 187, however, the highest rates are in Denmark 325.3, New Zealand 287.1 and Ireland 285.1.

Overall, for both men and women, Denmark is the cancer capital of the world 326.1, while the UK is in 22nd place with 266.9. Exper ts believe some of the explanation for Danish data could be down to better diagnosis but noted high rates of smoking among Danish women. The country also has high levels of alcohol consumption. All the rates are age-standardised, which allows a true comparison between countries. The World Cancer Research Fund ( WCRF), which compiled the league tables from WHO data, said it showed that high income countries generally have much higher cancer rates than lower income ones. While this may be down to better diagnosis and data collection, high income countries have higher rates of obesity, drinking and lower levels of exercise. Many cancers are linked to these lifestyle factors, including those of the mouth and larynx, lung, stomach, pancreas, liver, bowel, breast, prostate and kidney. —KUNA

WAGENINGEN: Dutch student Walinka van Tol inspects the worm protruding from a half-eaten chocolate praline she’s holding, steels herself with a shrug, then pops it into her mouth. “Tasty ... kind of nutty!” the 20-year-old assures her companions clutching an array of creepy crawly pastries at a seminar, which forecast that larvae and locusts will invade Western menus as the price of steak and chops skyrocket. Van Tol and about 200 other tasters were guinea pigs for a group of Dutch scientists doing groundbreaking research into insects replacing animal meat as a healthier, more environmentally friendly source of protein. “There will come a day when a Big Mac costs 120 euros ($163) and a Bug Mac 12 euros, when more people will eat insects than other meat,” head researcher Arnold van Huis told a disbelieving audience at Wageningen University in the central Netherlands. “The best way to start is to try it once,” the entomologist insisted. At break time, there is a sprint for the snack tables with a spread of Thai marinated grasshopper spring rolls, buffalo worm chocolate gnache, and a seemingly innocent pastry “just like a quiche lorraine, but with meal worms instead of bacon or ham”, according to chef Henk van Gurp. The snacks disappear quickly to the delight of

the chef and organisers. But the university’s head of entomology Marcel Dicke knows that changing Westerners’ mindset will take more than disguising a worm in chocolate.”The problem is here,” he tells AFP, pointing at his head while examining an exhibition featuring a handful of the world’s more than 1,200 edible insect species including worms, gnats, wasps, termites and beetles. Three species: meal worms, buffalo worms and grasshoppers, are cultivated by three farmers in the Netherlands for a small but growing group of adventurous foodies. “People think it is something dirty. It generates a Fear Factor response,” citing the reality series that tests competitors’ toughness by feeding them live insects. Dicke said Westerners had no choice but to shed their bug bias, with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation predicting there will be nine billion people on the planet by 2050 and agricultural land already under pressure. “We have to eat less meat or find an alternative,” said Dicke, who claims to sit down to a family meal of insects on a regular basis. ‘Why do we not eat insects?’Bugs are high in protein, low in fat and efficient to cultivate — 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of feed yields six to eight kilograms of insect meat com-

pared to one kilogram of beef, states the university’s research. Insects are abundant, produce less greenhouse gas and manure, and do not transfer any diseases, when eaten, that can mutate into a dangerous human form, say the researchers. “The question really should be: ‘Why do we NOT eat insects?,” said Dicke, citing research that the average person unwittingly eats about 500 grams of bug particles a year anyway-in strawberry jam, bread and other processed foods. According to Van Huis, about 500 types of insects are eaten in Mexico, 250 in Africa and 180 in China and other parts of Asia-mostly they are a delicacy. One avid European convert is Marian Peters, secretary of the Dutch insect breeders association, Venik, who likes to snack on grasshoppers and refers to them as “the caviar of insects”. On a visit to an insect farm in Deurne in the south east Netherlands, she greedily peels the wings and legs off a freeze dried locust and crunches down with gusto. “They are delicious stir fried with good oil, garlic and red pepper and served in a taco,” said Peters. The owner of the farm, Roland van de Ven, produces 1,200kg of meal worms a week of which “one or two percent” for human consumption, the rest as animal feed. —AFP

Despite hurdles, families want Nepal adoptions ‘I am ecstatic, scared, hesitant, happy’ IILINOIS: Last summer, Vicki and Jed Taufer excitedly traveled from their home in Illinois to Nepal to adopt a baby girl. “We’ll be back in September,” Vicki wrote Aug. 4 in a new blog named after their daughter-to-be. That hopeful timetable did not hold. Only this Sunday, after six challenging months in Nepal, is Vicki finally due home with 19-month-old Purnima. For most of that stretch the couple was divided, with Jed back at his job in the United States trying to minimize the huge financial hit resulting from the delay. The very day of the Taufers’ arrival in Katmandu, Aug. 6, the US government suspended adoptions of abandoned children from Nepal due to concerns about unreliable and fabricated documents such as birth certificates. As an example of the problems, US officials cited a case where a child put up for adoption to America was being searched for by her Nepalese birth parents. Pending adoptions by the Taufers and about 80 other US families were put on hold and subjected to lengthy new investigations requiring the families to provide solid evidence that the children were indeed legitimate orphans. Many felt compelled to hire private investigators to make their case. Some families abandoned their quest but more than 60 persevered. As of mid-January, 13 of them, including the Taufers, had received US visas for their children, but most remain in limbo after months of uncertainty, separations and financial stress. Many of the families have formed close bonds, sharing skepticism over the US government’s decisions and unwavering commitment to seeing their planned adoptions through to completion. “The other moms, they’ve been

KATHMANDU: In this Jan 18, 2011 photo, Karina, second left, adoptive daughter of Celia Bergman, left, plays with Chris Kirchoff, right and her adoptive daughter Orion in Kathmandu, Nepal. —AP my family for the past six months,” Vicki Taufer said via Skype from Katmandu. “They are the only ones who understand what we went through.” The Taufers first met Purnima Jade, their new daughter, on Aug. 7 at the orphanage she had entered as a newborn. “She spent this afternoon eating my watch,” Vicki Taufer wrote in a euphoric entry on her blog, “I am going to have to get her some toys to chew on.” Taufer at one point gave a hug to one of the other babies at the orphanage. “Nima got jealous and crawled right up onto my lap!” she wrote. “It was the best feeling in the world.”

Within days, the couple began to realize that their hoped-for timetable had been thwarted by the suspension. They completed the adoption under Nepalese law and moved Purnima into their Katmandu apartment. By early September, Jed Taufer, 36, was headed back to work in Illinois, not to return to Nepal until a brief Christmas visit. “The hardest part of the whole thing was not knowing what was going to happen and when it was going to happen,” he said by phone. He said his employers at a printing lab have been supportive, but the photography business that he and his wife started jointly 10 years

ago in Illinois suffered greatly in the absence of Vicki, a 35-year-old professional photographer. One of the employees has been laid off, and they missed out on the peak preChristmas season. “Right out of pocket, this adoption has cost about $100,000, when it should have been $30,000,” Jed said. “You add the revenue we lost out on, and the total hit is maybe $250,000 or $300,000. ... We’ve been pushed to the limit, emotionally and financially as well.” Vicki Taufer said she and her husband had sold one of their cars and a mountain bike to raise money. Eventually, they overcame potential embarrassment and solicited donations via PayPal on their blog. —AP

Vivus tumbles as FDA seeks birth-defect data

AMRITSAR: An Indian boy receives anti-polio vaccination drops by an Indian Health worker as part of a Polio vaccination campaign in Amritsar yesterday. Polio is a pandemic threat in four countries, namely India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, compared to 125 countries in 1988. There were 1,606 cases of polio in 2009, down from about 350,000 in 1988. —AFP

NEW YORK: US health regulators want more information about birth defects involving a component of Vivus Inc’s experimental obesity drug, posing a delay in the approval process and sending the company’s shares down more than 16 percent. Officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told Vivus at a meeting on Wednesday that they wanted the company to assess the feasibility of analyzing existing databases to determine the historical incidence of oral cleft-commonly known as cleft lip-in offspring of women treated with topiramate, according to Vivus. The company’s shares dropped 16.3 percent to $8.73 in morning trading. Vivus’s Qnexa combines topiramate, which has been used for seizures and migraines, with another drug, phentermine. Vivus said in its Qnexa studies, which included 15 births from women exposed to Qnexa or topiramate, there were no reports of any fetal malformations. The company said it believes the agency’s request stems from previously published reports involving findings of clefts. The company said the timing of the resubmission of Qnexa will be determined after agreement with the FDA is reached on the feasibility assessment. Leerink Swann analyst Steve Yoo said he was encouraged by the fact that the FDA did require Vivus to conduct any additional studies, but instead to review data from existing databases. “But it may concern some investors that Vivus did not give an estimated time for resubmission” of the experimental drug for FDA approval, he said in a research note. Woo speculated it could take the company five to six months to complete an analysis of existing healthcare databases to assess the incidence of cleft lips for babies whose mothers were on topiramate. —Reuters



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monDAY, JAnUARY 24, 2011

health & science

Women say abortions left them sterile, near death Gosnell was charged with killing seven babies born alive PHILADELPHIA: Just days after Marie Smith got an abortion at a West Philadelphia clinic, her stomach swelled and she began vomiting. Her mother, Johnnie Mae Smith, took her to a hospital where doctors rushed the unconscious 20-year-old into surgery to remove numerous fetal parts that were left inside her body, causing a potentially fatal infection. The doctor who performed the abortion, Kermit Gosnell, turned up at the hospital with his checkbook, aiming to settle immediately, the mother said. Instead, Johnnie Mae Smith chased him away, vowing to sue. Later, her daughter got just $3,000 — after lawyer fees — from a $5,000 settlement. Gosnell, by contrast, took in at least $1.8 million a year from his corner-store medical practice at the Women’s Medical Society, which prosecutors who charged him with eight counts of murder last week called his drug mill by day and abortion mill by night. “His entire practice showed nothing but a callous disdain for the lives of his patients,” Philadelphia prosecutors wrote in a nearly 300-page grand jury report released Wednesday. “His contempt for laws designed to protect patients’ safety resulted in the death of Karnamaya Mongar.” The grand jury had scathing criticism for Pennsylvania state health and medical regulators who had numerous opportunities to shut Gosnell down over the years but ignored complaint after complaint about filthy conditions and illegal operations. Gosnell was charged with killing seven babies born alive and with the death of Mongar, a 41-year-old refugee who prosecutors say died in 2009 after a botched abortion at the clinic. Unlicensed staff members gave her far too much anesthesia for her 4-foot-11inch (1.5 meter), 110-pound (50-kilogram) body hours before Gosnell arrived for his evening slate of abor-

tions, a grand jury charged. Mongar had fled Bhutan and had survived nearly 20 years in refugee camps in Nepal, even after cholera took the life of a 4year-old daughter. She and her family had made it to the United States just four months earlier to pursue “all that America has to offer,” said lawyer Bernard W. Smalley, who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Gosnell this week. “She was the matriarch of their family and now she’s no longer there. Her children will all have to be raised without her,” Smalley told The Associated Press. “At the end of the day, this man has deprived her of her life.” He spoke for the family because Mongar’s husband, Ash, a chicken farmer in western Virginia, does not speak English. Their three surviving children include a 22year-old daughter, now working at a McDonald’s, who had accompanied her 18-weeks-pregnant mother to Gosnell’s clinic. Another clinic in Virginia had referred them there because it did not do second-trimester abortions. Although Gosnell did not advertise, pregnant women throughout the midAtlantic learned through word of mouth about his Women’s Medical Society in the city’s impoverished Mantua section. Abortions are legal in Pennsylvania until 24 weeks, although many clinics won’t do them past 20 weeks, or sometimes 12 weeks, unless the mother’s health is in danger. Gosnell routinely performed illegal third-trimester abortions, when babies are viable and the procedure is far more dangerous, authorities charged. One 17-year-old who was 30 weeks pregnant nearly died in 2008 after he tried to perform an abortion on her at 30 weeks, they said. The girl’s great aunt had paid $2,500 in cash for the lateterm procedure, they said. Another girl, 14, went into labor and delivered a stillborn 29-week-old baby at a hospital after being dilated at

In this Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011 photo, members of the Philadelphia police crime scene unit Robert Flade, left, and John Taggart view a grand jury report before a news conference in Philadelphia. Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who catered to minorities, immigrants and poor women at the Women’s Medical Society, was charged Wednesday with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors, prosecutors said Wednesday. —AP Gosnell’s clinic and then sent home, authorities said. She was supposed to return for the abortion later that Sunday, a day that Gosnell’s unlicensed wife sometimes performed abortions, authorities said. Gosnell was certified in family practice but had never finished an obstetrics/gynecology residency. In the words of Joanne Pescatore, a lead city prosecutor on the case, “He does not know how to do an abortion.” Gosnell perforated uteruses, bowels and cervixes of countless patients, the grand jury report charged. He left fetal parts inside them, ignored postoperative pain and bleeding and passed venereal diseases from one patient to

the next through bloody and dirty instruments, the report said. Davida Johnson first went to Planned Parenthood in downtown Philadelphia when she got pregnant in 2001. She was 21 and already had a 3year-old girl at home. “The picketers out there, they just scared me half to death,” Johnson recalled last week. Someone sent her to Gosnell, saying abortion protesters wouldn’t be a problem there. She said she paid him $400 cash. Eyeing what she described as the dazed women in dirty, bloodstained recliners at the clinic, she had a change of heart as the procedure got under

way. “I said, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ and he smacked me. They tied my hands and arms down and gave me more medication,” Johnson, now 30, told The Associated Press. She experienced gynecological problems a few months later. An examination revealed venereal disease, which she declined to identify. She blames Gosnell, 69, for the lifelong illness and for the four miscarriages she has subsequently suffered. Johnson never sued over the abortion or ensuing venereal disease, but 46 other parties have, including the family of 22-year-old Semika Shaw, who prosecutors say died of sepsis at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in

March 2002, two days after Gosnell perforated her uterus and cervix during an abortion. Gosnell’s insurer later settled the family’s lawsuit over her death for $900,000 and referred a complaint and settlement to state health officials who oversee the clinic and Gosnell’s medical license. The insurer’s complaint brought no action, prosecutors said, because a Board of Medicine attorney said “the risk was inherent with the procedure.” In all, state officials failed to inspect the clinic, despite repeated complaints, from 1993 until January 2010, when a federal drug raid investigating heavy painkiller distribution at the clinic shut it down. Gosnell by then ranked third in the state for the number of prescriptions he wrote for OxyContin, the highly addictive narcotic painkiller. Authorities allege that he left blank prescriptions for such drugs at his office and allowed staff to make them out to the cash-paying patients who streamed in during the day when he wasn’t there. Johnson’s husband, Bobby, was one of Gosnell’s pain patients. He said he went to Gosnell last year, paying $250 cash, to see the doctor about a debilitating pinched nerve. At the time, he said, he did not know his wife had gone to Gosnell years earlier, before they were married, for an abortion. Gosnell typically worked from about 8 p.m. until after midnight, arriving only after his pregnant patients were dilated, sedated and ready for the abortion procedure. During the day, his untrained or undertrained staff ran the clinic and practiced medicine there, authorities said. They ranged from two supposed “doctors” who had finished medical school but had no licenses to Ashley Baldwin, the 15-year-old daughter of office manager Tina Baldwin, prosecutors said. The teenager came after school to administer anesthesia and assist with abortions, even past midnight, the grand jury charged. —AP




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monDAY, JAnUARY 24, 2011

w h at ’s o n

Kuwait’s traditional flavors, prosperous presents meet in the newly opened Al Roshina restaurant


VIP guests at “Al Roshinah” restaurant.

Helmut Meckelburg, CEO of Safir Hotels & Resorts (middle) with the Safir Hotel & Residences team.

afir Hotel and Residences in Fintas celebrated the opening of ‘Al Roshinah’, the first authentic fine dining Kuwaiti restaurant in a five star hotel. The restaurant was inaugurated by Sheikh Daij Al Khalifa Al Sabah in the presence of a number of high dignitaries, ambassadors, diplomats, media and senior management. General Manager, Urs Weisskopf and the entire hotel’s management team welcomed the guests upon their arrival to a joyful experience that evoked memories and capturing moments from the country’s heritage. Speaking on the occasion, Weisskopf said: “We are delighted to have Sheikh Daij Al Khalifa Al Sabah inaugurate our icon restaurant that reflects a genuine identity of the local Kuwaiti culture in a modern style representing Kuwait today”. Simple, original and authentic, the Al Roshinah’s most essential design element is predominantly the Roshina - a niche in the wall which is a traditional architectural element in the Kuwaiti house and the art works that reflect scenes from life in Kuwait in the past but in a very modern technique. “With the launch of Al Roshinah, we will revive the genuine cultural experiences through modern context reflecting a young, vibrant and modern country such as Kuwait and in the same time maintain the essence of Kuwaiti food through real - life experiences”. The Al Roshinah fine dining restaurant, designed and created by Safir International Hotel Management’s technical and design department along with the food and beverage department, opens its doors to guests every day for lunch as of 12 noon until 3:30pm and for dinner from 7 pm to 11 pm. Safir Hotel & Residences Kuwait marks the fifth property for Safir International Hotel Management Company (SIHM). Their current hotel portfolio in Kuwait includes Safir Marina Hotel, Safir International Hotel, Failaka Heritage Village and Safir Airport Hotel.

Urs Weisskopf General Manager - Safir Hotel & Residences, Fintas and Sheikh Duaij Al Sabah signing the opening of “Al Roshinah” restaurant.

Cupid takes aim at Movenpick Hotels & Resorts all month long


reat your loved one to a Valentine’s to remember by taking up the ‘Month of Romance’ offer at all Movenpick Hotels & Resort properties in the Middle East and Asia during February. Couples can enjoy 50% off on their second night, unwrap a romantic welcome gift and treat themselves to an in-room breakfast for two, as well as 4.00 pm late check-out, between February 1-28. Toufic Tamim, Vice President Sales & Marketing for Movenpick Hotels & Resorts. Middle East. said: in this day and age, it can be difficult for couples to be free on Valentine’s Day - particularly as it falls early in the week this year - and so the Month of Romance offer takes the stress out of the day itself, and means couples can treat themselves whenever it best suits their schedules.” Guests can choose from a range of alluring city and resort hotels in both regions, be it a relaxing sun-kissed break in Dubai or Phuket, or a romantic getaway with a cultural twist in Jordan or Hanoi. The breadth of Movenpick Hotels & Resorts portfolio means residents in the Middle Fast can choose from a wide range of hotels in Beirut, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE and Yemen while properties in Asia include exciting destinations such as Vietnam and Thailand.

Georges Saade, Food and Beverage Manager (middle) with “Al Roshinah” team

Urs Weisskopf General Manager - Safir Hotel & Residences Fintas giving the opening speech.

Opening of “Al Roshinah” restaurant at Safir Hotel & Residences, Fintas.

Chhipa helps save another unwanted baby KARACHI: Sunday January 23, 2011. The unwanted infant that the Chhipa Welfare Association (CWA) had taken in their custody from CWA’s “CHHIPA CRADLE” has recovered in a local hospital. The physical condition of the babe was quite serious at the time she was found. Someone had dropped her in the cradle believing she was an unwanted child. On knowing the babe has fully recovered prompted the “CWA” Social Worker Founder & Chairman “Ramzan Chhipa” to visit the child. “He took her in his lap and fondled her with parental affection.” Later, Mr. Asim and Mrs. Tehmina Naz took the custody of the child from Ramzan Chhipa. The adopting couple had approached the “CWA” showing their desire to adopt a child. The couple assured him that they would never let the babe know she was not their biological child and they would fulfill their commitment for rearing her while provisioning all the best

Carnival on February 18th


okan United (KU) will be celebrating the 50th National Day of Kuwait by holding an Indian Carnival “Funzoo” on Friday, 18th February at ICSK, at Kheitan. The event promises to provide a complete family entertainment package for people of all ages with lots of fun and frolics in an ambience of warmth and weather perfect for a day-long outing. This event will bring a perfect blend of oriental and modern innovative games and topped with mouthwatering cuisines to everyones taste. Mark Friday, February, 18th in your calendar not to miss this exhilarating event and watch out for more information coming soon. Meanwhile, if you need any Information regarding the event or interested in putting up food or game stall, please call on 50587010, 99643047, 99866484, 99414938 or email:

Carnatic Vocal Kachery today, Thrikkodithanam Padmakumar , Indian Community School Senior , Salmiya 6.30 PM Entrance: Free

Write to us Send to What’s On necessities of life she would ever need. “Ramzan Chhipa urged the couple that they should bring up the child as their own child and should invest on her so that she could get well education and manners so that she could serve the country with pride.”

upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: Fax: 24835619 / 20



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monDAY, JAnUARY 24, 2011

w h at ’s o n 23rd CBSE Gulf Principals’ conference winds up in Kuwait


he 23rd CBSE Gulf Principals’ Conference reached its last leg with the Conference being held at Swiss Bel hotel Plaza Kuwait, entering the fourth and final day. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Vineet Joshi IAS, Chairman, CBSE who consented to preside over the valedictory function. The Guests of Honour were Dr. SadhanaParashar, Head of Innovation & Research (CBSE) and Dr. Srijata Das, Education Officer (Science & Maths). The melancholy of adieu was nullified with the farewell song rendered by the students of Indian Public School, Kuwait rejuvenating the audience. The telephone directory of the Gulf Council was released by the CBSE Chairman, Mr. Vineet Joshi. All the members of the Council also received a memento as a token of love and appreciation by the honourable Chief Guest. The Council appreciated the

efforts put in by the team of Principals of the entire Kuwait Chapter for organizing the Conference. The Convener of the Kuwait Chapter and the Principal of Indian Central School, Kuwait Mrs. Shantha Maria James thanked the members of the Council for their support and cooperation in making the event a grand success. The Office Bearers for the year 2011 will be M. C. Abraham, Principal, Indian School Muladha, Oman (Chairman), Shantha Maria James, Principal, Indian Central School, Kuwait (Secretary), Rocky W. Miller, Principal, Our Own English High School, Al Ain (Treasurer) and Malathi Das, Principal, Indian School Ajman (Custodian of Funds). The proceedings of the day came to an end with the members empowered and having a clearer vision of their objectives and with the hope to meet for the next conference to be held at Doha, Qatar.

Birthday Greetings


randparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends worldwide wish Amrutha Annadatha, as she celebrates her 13th birthday today. Happy birthday to you Amrutha, from your loving parents Murali Manohar Manjula and sisters Ashritha and Sushmitha.

Ambassador hosts Indian educationists


he Ambassador of India, Ajai Malhotra, hosted at India House the Principals of 79 Indian schools in the GCC countries and other educationists from India who were attending the “23rd Conference of the Council of CBSE Schools in the Gulf” held in Kuwait from 19-22 January 2011. Addressing them, Ambassador Malhotra expressed satisfaction that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had recently adopted a new international curriculum that addressed global needs and met the requirements of students outside India. He noted that the new curriculum envisaged an enquiry based approach, will link teachers and students as partners in learning, and will empower students. It will promote critical and creative thinking, effective communication and interpersonal skills, and cater to the different pace of learners. It will build upon the basic strength of the Indian education system, while relating to local issues and culture. It would also focus on physical and moral development and the arts, so as to develop a well-rounded personality. Ambassador Malhotra noted that the new international curriculum would be especially beneficial to Indian diaspora students and those coming to India for higher education. It would also be welcomed by those seeking an international curriculum without the high fees charged by other international boards.

Embassy Information EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait has taken up an initiative to update the database of Bangladesh nationals residing in the State of Kuwait. For inclusion in the database all the Bangladesh nationals are requested to collect the Registration Form from the Labour Wing of the Embassy. The forms can also be collected sending request to e-mail address. The filled-in forms can also be submitEMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Daíaiyah. Please visit our website at Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration ser vices to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are EMBASSY OF INDIA On the occasion of the Republic Day of India, a flag hoisting ceremony will be held at the Embassy of India premises at 9 am on Wednesday, January 26, 2011. This will be followed by the reading of the message of the President of India by the ambassador, singing of patriotic songs by Indian school children, and an Open House reception. All Indian nationals in Kuwait are cordially invited to attend the ceremony. ●●●

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) conEMBASSY OF THE US

The United States Department of State announces the increase in various visa fees to ensure sufficient resources to cover the increasing cost of processing nonimmigrant visas (NIVs). US law requires the Department to recover the cost of processing non-immigrant visas through the collection of the application fees. The increased fees are to take effect June 4, 2010. Under the new rule, applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, will pay a fee of $140. Applicants for petition-based visas will pay an application fee of $150, as each of the below categories requires a review of extensive documentation and a more in-depth interview of the applicant than other categories, such as tourists. These categories include: H visa for temporary workers and trainees L visa for intra-company transferees O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors R visa for religious occupations The application fee for K visas for EMBASSY OF VIETNAM The Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the State of Kuwait has the honor to inform that the Embassy remains close from Monday 31st January to Monday 7th February, 2011 for its Tet Holidays ( Traditional Lunar New Year Holidays). The Embassy will resume its normal work on Tuesday 8th February, 2011.



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The Ellen Degeneres Show Karen Sisco Good Morning America Supernatural Kings Commander In Chief Karen Sisco Good Morning America Glee Survivor: Nicaragua The Ellen Degeneres Show Psych Survivor: Nicaragua Commander In Chief Glee Karen Sisco Good Morning America Psych The Ellen Degeneres Show The Closer The Deep End Criminal Minds Alias Dollhouse

00:50 Untamed & Uncut 01:45 Killer Jellyfish 02:40 Dogs 101 03:35 Gorilla School 04:00 Gorilla School 04:30 Pit Bulls and Parolees 05:25 I’m Alive 06:20 Untamed & Uncut 07:10 Cats of Claw Hill 08:00 Meerkat Manor 08:25 Growing Up... 09:15 Planet Wild 09:40 Breed All About It 10:10 Baby Planet 11:05 Project Puppy 12:00 Animal Precinct 12:55 Wildlife SOS 13:50 Animal Cops Houston 14:45 Gorillas Revisited with David... 15:40 Baby Planet 16:35 Panda Adventures with Nigel Marven 17:30 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 18:25 Speed of Life 19:20 World Wild Vet 20:15 Incredible Journeys with Steve Leonard 21:10 Dogs 101 22:05 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 23:00 K9 Cops 23:55 Whale Wars

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Live At The Apollo Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential The Weakest Link Live At The Apollo The Weakest Link My Family Gigglebiz Balamory Tweenies Fimbles The Large Family Gigglebiz Balamory Tweenies Fimbles The Large Family The Adventures Of Spot Gigglebiz Balamory Tweenies Fimbles The Large Family The Adventures Of Spot Gigglebiz Balamory Tweenies Fimbles The Large Family The Adventures Of Spot Gigglebiz My Family My Family

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DISCOVERY CHANNEL 00:40 Ross Kemp On Gangs 01:35 Surviving Disaster 02:30 Destroyed In Seconds 03:25 Motor City Motors 04:20 How Machines Work 04:45 How Do They Do It? 05:15 River Monsters 06:05 Mythbusters 07:00 Fifth Gear 07:25 Fifth Gear 07:50 Motor City Motors 08:45 American Chopper: Senior Vs Junior 09:40 How Do They Do It? 10:05 How Machines Work 10:30 River Monsters 11:25 Extreme Fishing 12:20 I Could Do That 17:50 How Machines Work 18:15 River Monsters 19:10 Extreme Fishing 20:05 Time Warp 21:00 Mythbusters 21:55 Oil Disaster: A Race Against Time 22:50 Surviving Disaster 23:45 Police Women Of Maricopa County

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Nextworld Weird Or What? Bad Universe The Future Of... Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science How Stuff Works Engineered How Does That Work? Superships What’s That About? Da Vinci’s Machines Brainiac

10:45 Ultimate Power Builders 11:40 Ultimate Power Builders 12:30 Ultimate Power Builders 13:20 Ultimate Power Builders 14:15 Science Of Storm Chasing 15:05 Science Of Storm Chasing 15:55 Patent Bending 16:20 The Gadget Show 16:45 The Gadget Show 17:10 Sci-Fi Science 17:35 Sci-Fi Science 18:00 Nextworld 18:50 Mighty Ships 19:40 Mega World 20:30 How Stuff Works 21:20 What’s That About? 22:10 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 23:00 Bad Universe 23:50 The Future Of...

00:15 Extreme Close-Up 00:40 Fashion Police 01:05 Chelsea Lately 01:30 Too Young To Kill 03:15 Extreme Hollywood 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 Ths 07:45 Behind The Scenes 08:10 Behind The Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:25 Extreme Close-Up 09:50 Extreme Close-Up 10:15 Style Star 10:40 Style Star 11:05 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 11:30 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 12:00 E! News 12:50 Fashion Police 13:15 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 13:40 Ths 14:30 Giuliana And Bill 15:25 Style Star 15:50 Style Star 16:15 Extreme Close-Up 16:40 Extreme Close-Up 17:10 E! News 17:35 Behind The Scenes 18:00 E! News 18:50 Married To Rock 19:15 Married To Rock 19:40 Extreme Close-Up 20:05 Extreme Close-Up 20:30 Then And Now 20:55 Then And Now 21:20 Giuliana And Bill 22:10 E! News 23:00 Chelsea Lately 23:25 The Soup 23:50 E! News

00:00 Throwdown with Bobby Flay 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:00 Iron Chef America 02:00 30 Minute Meals 02:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 03:00 Chopped 04:00 Barefoot Contessa 04:30 Unwrapped 05:00 Ultimate Recipe Showdown 06:00 Good Eats - Special 06:30 Guys Big Bite 07:00 Iron Chef America 08:00 Paula’s Best Dishes 08:25 Good Deal with Dave Lieberman 08:50 Guys Big Bite 09:15 Barefoot Contessa 09:40 Everyday Italian 10:05 30 Minute Meals 10:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 11:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 11:30 Barefoot Contessa 12:00 Unwrapped 12:30 Paula’s Party 13:30 Good Eats - Special 14:00 Good Deal with Dave Lieberman 14:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 15:00 Barefoot Contessa

15:30 Everyday Italian 16:00 30 Minute Meals 16:30 Guys Big Bite 17:00 Chopped 18:00 Barefoot Contessa 18:30 Unwrapped 19:00 Paula’s Best Dishes 19:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 20:00 Good Eats - Special 20:30 Good Deal with Dave Lieberman 21:00 Iron Chef America 22:00 Barefoot Contessa 22:30 Everyday Italian 23:00 Chopped

00:30 PGA Tour: Bob Hope Classic Rd. 4 from La Quinta, CA 05:00 Golf Central International 05:30 Golf Channel - TBA 08:00 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Arizona St. at Washington 10:00 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Oregon at Oregon St. 12:00 European Tour Abu Dhabi Golf Championship Final Rd. Abu Dhabi, UAE 16:00 Champions Tour: Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai Rd. 2 Ka’upulehu-Kona, HI 18:30 Rolex Spirit of Yachting Review of the Year 19:00 The Greatest Seasons 1976 Basketball 20:00 ACC Basketball Miami at North Carolina State 22:00 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Minnesota at Michigan

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A Haunting Psychic Witness The Haunted Ghost Lab A Haunting Psychic Witness Crime Scene Psychics On The Case With Paula Zahn Mystery Diagnosis Forensic Detectives On The Run Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Accident Investigator FBI Files On The Case With Paula Zahn Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Accident Investigator Forensic Detectives On The Run FBI Files Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls On The Case With Paula Zahn Murder Shift True Crime With Aphrodite

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Dreamchild Chains Of Gold Cold Heaven L.A. Bounty Number One Fan 10:30 P.M. Summer Walk Like A Man It Runs In The Family Movers And Shakers Love Bites Memories Of Me Nothing Personal The 60’s Book Of Days Scorpio Who’ll Stop The Rain?

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The Best Job In The World Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Exploring The Vine Weird And Wonderful Hotels The Best Job In The World Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Market Values Bondi Rescue Banged Up Abroad Don’t Tell My Mother The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Market Values Bondi Rescue Banged Up Abroad Don’t Tell My Mother The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Market Values Bondi Rescue Banged Up Abroad

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00:00 The Office 00:30 Family Biz 01:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Saturday Night Live 04:00 South Park 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Malcolm In The Middle 06:00 Hope And Faith 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Family Biz 08:30 Malcolm In The Middle 09:00 Hope And Faith 09:30 The Drew Carey Show 10:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 10:30 Melissa And Joey 11:00 Malcolm In The Middle 11:30 Hope And Faith 12:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 13:00 Family Biz 13:30 Malcolm In The Middle 14:00 Hope And Faith 14:30 The Office 15:00 Melissa And Joey 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Til Death 18:30 According To Jim 19:00 Billable Hours 19:30 Two And A Half Men 20:00 Entourage 20:30 Cougar Town 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live (Uncut) 23:30 Billable Hours

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Frida-18 Panic Room-PG15 Frost / Nixon-PG15 Last Chance Harvey-PG15 Moon-PG15 Coraline-PG Surrogates-PG15 Bride Wars-PG15 Moon-PG15 Run Fatboy Run-PG15 Death Race-18 Amusement-18

00:30 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 05:30 06:30 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00 23:30

Coronation Street The Pacific Glee C.S.I. The Pacific Scrubs Smallville The Ellen Degeneres Show Coronation Street C.S.I. 24 The Ellen Degeneres Show Scrubs Coronation Street Smallville Glee C.S.I. 24 Scrubs Coronation Street The Ellen Degeneres Show Smallville C.S.I. New York C.S.I. Miami Criminal Minds True Blood Scrubs The Ellen Degeneres Show

00:00 New York I Love You-18 02:00 Killshot-18 04:00 It’s A Wonderful Afterlife-PG15 06:00 Harold-PG15 08:00 Beneath The Blue-PG15 10:00 Annihilation Earth-PG15 12:00 Fantastic Mr. Fox-FAM 14:00 Ambrose Bierce: Civil War Stories-PG15 16:00 Beneath The Blue-PG15 18:00 Annihilation Earth-PG15 20:00 Land Of The Lost-PG15 22:00 Orphan-18

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The General’s Daughter-18 Beyond A Reasonable DoubtThe Hills Run Red-18 Heaven’s Fall-PG15 Along Came A Spider-PG15 Hardwired-PG15 The Blackout-PG15 Along Came A Spider-PG15 Scream 3-18 Dragon: The Bruce Lee StoryThe Taking Of Pelham 123-18 El Orfenato-18

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Marley And Me-PG15 Death Becomes Her-PG15 Leaving Normal-PG15 Christmas At The Riviera-PG The Scout-PG15 The Elder Son-PG15 Moon Over Parador-PG15 Before You Say I Do-PG15 Marley And Me-PG15 Two Can Play That Game-PG15 Miss March-18 The House Bunny-18

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Gladiators: The Tournament-PG Scruff In Halloween-FAM Wonder Woman-PG Gladiators: The Tournament-PG Christopher Columbus-PG Scruff In Halloween-FAM

The General's Daughter on Super Movies 12:00 The Jungle Book III: Mowgli’s Adventure-FAM 14:00 Wonder Woman-PG 16:00 Papelucho And The MartianFAM 18:00 Ramses Of Egypt-PG 20:00 Monsters vs. Aliens-PG 22:00 The Jungle Book III: Mowgli’s Adventure-FAM

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Scoundrels Damages The Martha Stewart Show Warehouse 13 The View Downsize Me Emmerdale Coronation Street Warehouse 13 The Martha Stewart Show Downsize Me Warehouse 13 The View Emmerdale Coronation Street The Martha Stewart Show Scoundrels Damages Downsize Me The View Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. New York Huge Warehouse 13 The View Downsize Me

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Spirit of a Champion ICC Cricket World Live Cricket ODI ICC Cricket World Futbol Mundial Total Rugby Cricket ODI

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Pool World Cup PGA European Tour Scottish Premier League Futbol Mundial European Challenge Cup Total Rugby Live PGA European Tour Scottish Premier League Futbol Mundial Total Rugby Live European Challenge Cup PGA European Tour

00:00 WWE Vintage Collection 01:00 WWE Bottom Line 02:00 WWE NXT 03:00 FIA GT1 World Championship 04:30 UFC All Access 05:00 The Ultimate Fighter 06:00 Live UFC Fight For The Troops 09:00 WWE NXT 10:00 WWE Smackdown 12:00 UAE National Race Day 13:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 14:00 Red Bull X-Fighters 15:00 WWE Vintage Collection 16:00 WWE Bottom Line 17:00 WWE NXT 18:00 WWE Smackdown 20:00 UFC Fight For The Troops 23:00 The Ultimate Fighter

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Adam-PG15 Michael Jackson’s This Is It-PG Mes Stars Et Moi-PG15 The Building-PG15

09:00 Michael Jackson’s This Is It-PG 11:00 Carnera: The Walking Mountain-PG 13:00 Enid-PG15 15:00 Creation-PG15 17:00 Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal-PG15 19:00 Management-PG15 21:00 Fireflies In The Garden-PG15 23:00 Ninja Assassin-18

01:30 Easter Parade-FAM 03:10 Beau Brummell-PG 05:00 The Comedians-PG 07:30 Screening Room, The - Sydney Film...-PG 08:00 How The West Was Won-PG 10:30 Beau Brummell-PG 12:20 Grand Prix-PG 15:05 The Wizard Of Oz-PG 16:45 Across The Wide Missouri-FAM 18:05 Screening Room, The Director’s Special-PG 18:30 Anchors Aweigh-FAM 20:45 Screening Room, The - Film Piracy-PG 21:15 3 Godfathers-FAM 23:00 High Society-FAM

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Dinosaur Secrets Life After People Mummy Forensics Lost Worlds Man Moment Machine Tunnellers Evolve Dinosaur Secrets Life After People Mummy Forensics Lost Worlds Man Moment Machine Tunnellers Evolve Dinosaur Secrets Life After People Mummy Forensics Lost Worlds Man Moment Machine Tunnellers Evolve Dinosaur Secrets Life After People Mummy Forensics America: The Story of the US Sliced Sliced Pawn Stars Pawn Stars Nato’s Secret Armies

00:00 01:00 02:00 02:30 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 14:00 16:00 17:00 20:00 21:00 21:30 22:00 23:00 23:30

Mel B: It’s A Scary World Homes With Style Fashion Avenue Fashion Avenue How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Married Away Homes With Style Area Clean House Big Boutique Clean House My Celebrity Home Homes With Style Homes With Style Fashion Avenue Style Her Famous Awards Fashion Police Style Her Famous Awards Fashion Police Fashion Police Fashion Police Jerseylicious Mel B: It’s A Scary World Mel B: It’s A Scary World

00:15 00:17 01:00 01:45 02:00 02:45 03:15 03:17 07:15 07:17 08:00 08:45 09:15 09:17 13:00 15:00 15:15 15:17 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 18:45 20:00 20:45 22:15 22:17

Top Fashion Playlist Sound System 10 Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Top Money Playlist Monthly Top Playlist Africa 10 Playlist Top Sexy Playlist Urban Hit 30 Playlist Top Mobile Playlist New Playlist Focus Urban Hit Playlist French Only Playlist Top Fashion Playlist

00:00 Globe Trekker 01:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 02:00 Globe Trekker 03:00 Globe Trekker 04:00 Australia’s Great Wildlife Islands 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 07:00 Great Scenic Railways-US & Canada 07:30 The Big Fish 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Swiss Railway Journeys 10:00 The Thrillseekers Guide 10:30 Skier’s World 11:00 Skier’s World 11:30 Great Scenic Railways - 175 Years 12:00 Down the Line 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 Globe Trekker 15:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 16:00 Word Travels 16:30 Wild At Heart 17:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Nomad’s Land 18:00 Down the Line 19:00 Globe Trekker 19:00 Inside Luxury Travel with Varun Sharma 20:00 Australia’s Great Wildlife Islands 20:00 Globe Trekker 21:00 Globe Trekker 22:00 Globe Trekker 23:00 Nomad’s Land

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Saturday Night Fever VH1 Music Chill Out Smooth Wake Up Aerobic VH1 Hits Music For The Masses Top 10 Rock Legends Cover Power Young And Beautiful Weekend VH1 Loves The Album Chart Show Guess The Year Young And Beautiful Weekend Storytellers Coldplay

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Classifieds MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2011



Sharing accommodation available at new Riggae in two bed room, two bathroom flat for singles or couples with Keralite family. Contact: 99471680. (C 3060) To let, behind Safir Intl hotel, one big room together with a small adjoining room consisting of a toilet from a 3 bedroom flat. 1 to 2 persons only. Contact: 60046720. (C 3061) 24-1-2011 Accommodation available for a bachelor with a Goan family in a C-A/C flat in Farwaniya behind Arbed buildings. Contact: 97245851. (C 3057) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for couple or 2 working ladies in fully furnished new C-A/C bath attached specious room and car parking with Keralite family from March 1. Contact: 66013882. (C 3058) 23-1-2011 Required Indian bachelor to share with another bachelor in a 2 BHK with a Goan family in Kuwait city. Call 22425878 after 5 pm. (C 3056) 22-1-2011

Ministry of Education in Salmiya. Please contact: 97809291. (C 3053) 20-1-2011


Household furniture like double cot, kitchen table, shelf, table, etc, and various household appliances for immediate sale at throwaway prices, expat leaving Kuwait. Contact: 66807117. (C 3055) 22-1-2011 Toyota Corolla 1.8 model 2009, color silver, km done 28000, excellent condition, cash price 3,650. Contact: 66211779. (C 3051) Mitsubishi Outlander 2004 model, silver color, runs only 1,14000 km only, very good condition, price KD 2,100, please contact 97906185. (C 3049) Nissan X Trail 2005 model, golden color, low mileage, accident free, excellent condition alloy wheels, price KD 2,400, owner leaving Kuwait. Please contact: 50596036. (C 3050) 19-1-2011

Ph: 22452208/9, Fax: 22452207. (C 3041) 17-1-2011 SITUATION WANTED M.Com qualified senior Accountant with 15 years experience in Travel Industry, capable of independently finalizing Accounts, seeks suitable placement. Call: 66019422, E-mail: (C 3037) 17-1-2011 Sri Lankan male having 20 years experience well versed in bookkeeping up to Final Accounts with all financial and banking work, computer literacy, seeks a suitable position. Please call: 66216353. (C 3021) 15-1-2011


CHANGE OF NAME Abdul Aslam Alias Ateeq, Hyderabad, India and holding Passport Z1848428 place of issue Kuwait, hereby change my name as (sir name) Ali name (Mohd Ateeq Uddin Mohammed Hussain). (C 3054) 20-1-2011

A Pakistani Muslim well educated, wife expired, age 55, monthly income KD 400, seeking a suitable Muslim alliance widow w/o kids or unmarried educated age 30 to 40. Email: (C 3059) 24-1-2011

No: 14979


Sharing accommodation available in a C-A/C flat Jabriya area 10, near Jabriya Indian school for decent working ladies or family. Please contact: 99300513. (C 3052) 1 bedroom with bathroom available for a single Indian executive nonsmoking bachelor near

Policy No.633003319-6 issued by the state life insurance corporation of Pakistan Gulf Zone on the life Mr. Azhar Bilal is reported to have been lost. Anyone finding the same or claiming any interest in it should communicate with the manager (PHS) state life P.O. Box No. 11278, Dubai, U.A.E within one month from this date after which no claim will be entertained.


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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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s ta rs CROSSWORD 208



Aries (March 21-April 19) Good luck and charm surrounds you wherever you go today. You will be successful with all the projects you begin. You perform best when you compete with yourself. You are able to prove your proficiency when you come up with the perfect design or problem-solving technique. Imagination and creativity are in full swing. Have you taken a writing course? You might enjoy a writing course through your community college. Your routine has been so tough lately you will probably be feeling like breaking away from the predictable. An alternative healing therapy like acupuncture or massage may be just what is needed to help you bring a balance into your life now. Break away from your routine and start planning a very special vacation.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Taking care of business is a major theme where your emotional orientation is concerned. This may mean family business but you could be tending to a bit of paperwork from the office. A problem encountered today may actually become an opportunity. You crave organization and practicality and you want to get things accomplished. Set this work aside for the afternoon and enjoy some sort of exercise with a friend. You plan to be at an early evening dinner with neighbors and do not want to miss the get-together. A good conversation with people you enjoy is possible this evening. The situation is a natural for self-expression and lends itself to your particular ideas and thoughts. By having time to visit with neighbors you feel a sense of security.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A doctor’s degree in dental surgery. 4. South American shrub having edible greenish plumlike fruit. 10. A human limb. 13. A former agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States. 14. A basin for washing the hands (`wash-hand basin’ is a British expression). 15. (Norse mythology) One of the Aesir known for his beauty and skill with bow and skis. 16. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 18. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 19. Being of use or service. 21. Having a melody (as distinguished from recitative). 23. Soft smooth leather from the hide of a young goat. 25. A reason for wanting something done. 26. An Indian nursemaid who looks after children. 27. (computer science) A standardized language for the descriptive markup of documents. 33. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 34. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 37. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 39. Being ten more than one hundred ninety. 42. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 44. Emblem usually consisting of a rectangular piece of cloth of distinctive design. 45. English author whose work used such techniques as stream of consciousness and the interior monologue. 47. Tall hat. 51. A ruler of the Inca Empire (or a member of his family). 54. (Greek mythology) The goddess of youth and spring. 56. A recurring sleep state during which dreaming occurs. 57. Too numerous to be counted. 60. The basic unit of money in Nicaragua. 62. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 63. An Indian side dish of yogurt and chopped cucumbers and spices. 65. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 66. Informal terms for the mouth. 67. A long and hard-hit fly ball. 68. A small cake leavened with yeast. DOWN 1. An informal term for a father. 2. Dearly loved. 3. Division of a group into opposing factions. 4. Bottle that has a narrow neck. 5. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 6. Any of various coarse shrubby plants of the genus Iva with small greenish flowers. 7. Old World nocturnal canine mammal closely related to the dog. 8. A Russian river. 9. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 10. City in eastern Belgium. 11. (Norse mythology) Goddess of old age who defeated Thor in a wrestling match. 12. (Scottish) A narrow secluded valley (in the mountains). 17. Sluggish tailless Australian arboreal marsupial with gray furry ears and coat. 20. Anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the function of the thyroid gland. 22. The branch of engineering science that studies the uses of electricity and the equipment for power generation and distribution and the control of machines and communication. 24. The eighth month of the civil year. 28. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 29. Being one hundred more than three hundred. 30. A rotating disk shaped to convert circular into linear motion. 31. Being one more than ninety. 32. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 35. The United Nations agency concerned with civil aviation. 36. The eleventh month of the Hindu calendar. 38. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 40. Property of a personal character that is portable but not used in business. 41. (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) Optical device that produces an intense monochromatic beam of coherent light. 43. The basic unit of money in China. 46. A gonadotropic hormone that is secreted by the anterior pituitary. 48. Any property detected by the olfactory system. 49. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 50. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 52. Monotypic genus of palms of Australasia. 53. The men who man a ship or aircraft. 55. A small vessel for travel on water. 56. An informal term for a father. 58. Someone who engages in arbitrage (who purchases securities in one market for immediate resale in another in the hope of profiting from the price differential). 59. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 61. A light touch or stroke. 64. A state in midwestern United States.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Today you have insight into a difficult situation that you are determined to turn into a positive end. You see what is wrong and you know what to do. This means cooperation and organization, authority and discipline, responsibility—and all these things are what it takes to get you where you know you must go. Careful—if your vision is only for yourself, what you create cannot last: it must be for some greater good. Your career takes top priority and your drive to accomplish your aims can be quite strong. Ambition, practicality and achievement are admirable, but they are means to an end—not ends in themselves. This is a day that you can dismiss the work force and stick with the home and friends. Call some friends or visit a spa or get a massage.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


You may try and make time to do a little writing for a project that will be coming up at work next week. A minor amount of preparation work could make the difference toward moving in a positive direction with as few hang-ups as possible. Later today, you may be helping someone move or work on his or her special project. Be sure to take protein breaks to keep up your energy. Playful antics can get out of control so use good judgment. On the home front, check all the appliances, smoke detectors, food supply, automobile upkeep, batteries for flashlights. There is nothing like feeling secure if the weather turns bad. You are very intuitive when it comes to understanding what foods your body needs; be prepared.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Your image is highlighted today and it increases your self-confidence. Many people value you for your independence and the way you handle difficulties as well as difficult people. This is a great time to be with friends. The opportunity comes up today for you to decide on how you want to help in your religious or your community surroundings. You are good with people and may be asked to volunteer some time in organizing groups of people. If you were wondering whether you should involve yourself in this project, find a partner that will share help and go for it. A good, trouble-free relationship is important to you and while this is not always possible, you will certainly come close to this goal. You have a most understanding and positive attitude.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Subjects concerning money can be set aside for another time. You really do not have time to spend money today. Most of today, your head is down and the wheels in the brain are turning. You achieve better communication today between relatives. Figuring out how to help someone may become a topic of special interest—and a challenge. Opinions are not enough now; they must be backed by practical worth. Perhaps someone wants to move to a smaller place or there is some other scenario. This evening may be the time you and your mate have set aside to talk about those messy financial matters—patience. You may have to agree to talk again. You have something special cooking so that your evening is sure to end on a fun and pleasant note.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Much knowledge can be made available through other people this year. Romance and sexual attraction comes into play now through the first week of February. You can be in charge with regard to love. Now through the twenty-fifth of next month, travel will also have the green light. You may, however, have to make confirmations and possibly adjust your plans from time to time. This could mean travel that is short-range or long-range and possibly involves working conditions that include filming, research or testing. Your interest in the occult may intensify and you could find yourself really looking forward to the place you will be visiting because of its history and surroundings. Good luck follows you around today.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Take time to enjoy nature today—perhaps a little walk or bicycle ride around the neighborhood. Relaxation is important and sometime this afternoon you might find yourself falling asleep in the warm surroundings of your home. Later today, grocery shop for those healthy, crispy vegetables and fruits to put in your lunches or add to your meals. Keep that lazy attitude for today and stretch like a cat, perhaps a little Yoga. All forms of escape could prove very enjoyable. There is a bit of luck that surrounds you for the next few days and may be the key that opens new and positive things in your life. A balanced life is not easy to achieve but very important for your peace of mind and you teach this ability to embrace each moment to those that know you.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Information pollution is the subject that keeps running through your mind this morning. Young people tell you about the latest cartoon, toy or technical equipment. You make the decision to do a little more research and reading from time to time just so you can keep up with all the modern gimmicks. You feel important to be included in these conversations and you love to hear all the renditions of their experiences with the different types of hi-tech fun. Young people around you are into a variety of hobbies and they enjoy visiting with their friends. You may hear a bit of negativity but you can teach them that energy follows thought and positive thinking creates positive outcomes. You choose what is in your life tomorrow by your actions today.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution


There are times that your nerves can feel on edge. This may be an indication that you are frustrated from not completing a task fast enough; or perhaps someone else is not responding as you think they should. You must learn now, to accept the human part of you and practice patience. Worry does not help to speed things up, action does and action is a sequence of activity that brings about result. Walking for exercise is a way to focus your thoughts as well as work off anxiety. When the weather is appropriate, try walking. You had many opportunities for a social life in December and it seems those opportunities will be coming up again. Your financial concerns are warranted; however, you will see ways for improvement.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your intuitive powers are at their best today and you can come up with many answers to important questions. You need the respect of others and you will work well with others if you can be allowed to give advice or to guide and be helpful. Travel is possible in the next few weeks and money should soon be available for a trip. You will be pleased at the air miles you have accumulated as well as a special discount to travel. Be aware of what you promise today, especially to a young person; keep your promises. You are to be commended for your actions—you are what you preach. You tend to push yourself too far at times and this can take its toll. Think about establishing new routines that will improve your overall health.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

If you can be open to suggestions as well as a logical technique, you will see some improvements in your finances. It is time again to review any contracts or business agreements for any loopholes. Being slavish to established ideals could result in a loss of freedom and insight. Be aware that lofty ideals do not automatically guarantee honesty. If there has been a personal disagreement, it can be smoothed out now—at work or at home. Be careful to keep a lid on that heady feeling that comes with being self-assured. A friendship could easily turn to love at this time. Your creative side is showing tonight. The evening provides opportunities for the refurbishing of your spirit through some fun times with those you love.



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i n f o r m at i o n FIRE BRIGADE

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lifestyle G o s s i p

Ryder swaps work for family inona Ryder would give up acting to have a baby. The 39-year-old actress believes having children takes a lot of “work” so she would rather step out of the spotlight to raise a family. She said: “I think if I had a child, I would. I think I’d just want to be a mum. And I’ve seen from my brother and sisterin-law how much work children are so I think I’d want it to be my priority.” However, if she did have children, Winona would worry about being able to return to acting, admitting last month that she wonders if it would


end her career. She said: “If I wanted to have a family now, would I be able to come back to work in a couple of years?” The ‘Black Swan’ actress recently admitted she has delayed getting married for so long because she only ever wants to walk down the aisle once. She said: “I very much believe in marriage. I hope to only be married once, which is why I’ve never been married. But I am a strong believer. My parents have been together for 40 years and are still very much in love so I think I have very high standards.”

s r a e f g n i e g a s ’ ell


ly I genuine ing. But Mezhgan, th ’ o o g ga d whole ‘ga imon also admitte h a s fi n a ll y S old to d ” . n o s a id to k im is like he h in k d” h “s o ft e n e m a d e h im t wn ld music well fears o imon Co n. The 51-year-o make- 3 6 , h a s d g n li tt dre a b o u t s e added on have chil ho got engaged to e H forever. in g mogul - w g a n fo r t h c o m r a h h z e M t s a ti p up ar o f ‘O la s t y e p is o d e Master H u s s a in - a d m it s s t y Pre s e n as softh F e b r u a r g le s t o h ss’: “Mis g la ’s u C r t s he g e. She very youn ned m see the e to te la re e me would lov h e lp e d rently. She kids, but ungsters fe if d d rl o wo my to have y to p la y k n o c k e d ever n s a w h o n d : I’ o f h is “ id . ith. He sa s o c k s o ff with relagames w b o u t it d o o g n e a e er b “ I w o r r y f my age. and I nev h s ip h s n o o ti e it s w becau a I’d b e I was thought on - I do When d a s d r e y r, m one p u in e ly yo u n g s te y soccer . “I gen one w la o p n to d no use e. es with m b e li e v e d t to marry and gam y that if I n a w rr would if fi c u lt to And I wo “A ls o , if . e. I a m d selfish, .. m 0 7 s a w e . I’m c o u ld b live with ir d a n d I c h il d r e n e a g e o f e w e th q u it wn b o rn a t u it e li k e e on my o I m ti d e q e n n d e I’ th e d v t fi - an e th e m a to think ht long. th a t. I li k hen they ig w work all n that age d undern a lk I can ta not sure stand. I’m with the al could de

Buscemi loved being a fireman teve Buscemi would be a fireman if he wasn’t an actor. The 53-year-old actor - who worked in the emergency services for four years before finding bigscreen success - enjoyed the job and can’t see himself having changed careers for anything other than his current profession. He said: “I’d probably still be on the fire department. I would have had 30 years on, so I no doubt would have continued doing that.” When New York’s World Trade Centre was attacked in 2001, the ‘Big Lebowski’ star even returned to his old unit to help them sift through rubble for 12 hours, showing dedication to his old job. Among Steve’s unusual previous jobs, he has been a newspaper vendor, ice-cream truck driver, furniture remover, dishwasher and bus boy, and though he had mixed feelings on all his old careers, the one thing he would never return to is stand-up comedy. He said: “I like having people around... and doing stand-up, it’s just you. And um... I guess I didn’t like the aloneness. “It’s terrible when you’re not connecting with the audience. There are times when, being the new guy, you would get up on stage at 3am when there’s hardly anybody there. “I just felt like, for me, it just... I couldn’t find my own comedic voice and I was taking acting classes at the same time, and I realized I liked acting better.”

ndrew Gar field didn’t think the ‘Social Network’ would be an exciting movie. The 27-year-old actor who portrays ousted Facebook founder Eduardo Saverin in the film - was initially sceptical about the subject matter, but quickly fell in love with the project. He explained: “When I first heard about it, I was confused, like most people. “It doesn’t conjure images of an exciting film when you hear the words ‘Facebook movie’. “But then as soon as I knew who had written the script I thought, ‘Well, there must be something in it’ and of course, I was proved right upon reading it.” Andrew believes part of the appeal of the movie - which follows the power struggle between the creators of Facebook - is how there are no clearly defined good and bad characters. He explained: “What’s wonderful about this film is that everyone feels they are the good guy. I don’t think anyone feels they are the bad guy. “There are no villains, no heroes, just a bunch of human beings with different opinions of the situation.”


ts to n a w e l Ade n sound

w nt find ohneeLikre Yoou’ singeorploesvtoes otoneexdpaeyricmreceaoteg-

he ‘Some nt genres but h d instinctively re d. n re un with diffe t are distinctive a find my own so e. a to r th e s ’d lik ght fo m record he said: “I mething that’s ri nd know S . rs e h s nizable a ing new, just so you hear a song a all this eth e when overing Not som sound, lik y. “But after disc million genres, e iv it n fi e a aw Ad ther straight hat’s out ere’s ano who it is merica, it’s like th me to listen to w s excitti A at’ whole life t, and th music in to take a t I’ll discover nex m ‘21’ is heavily g in o g ’s u a it s a y s is s new alb onder wh there. I w 2-year-old singer’ s ic , w h ic h A d e le r y . S h e 2 u o ing.” The d b y c o u n t r y m o f t e ll in g a s t e minre e ay in fl u e n c s h e li k e s t h e w cords can take th ’t know n re o e d s ry u u a pora es yo bec : “Contem int, and sometim n it ’s fi n is h e d . d e in la p e ex h po song you t even w et to the utes to g s o n g w a s a b o u nds of a country to imago e w h a t t h in the first 20 sec . “I found it easy an old k on “Whereas tly what’s going s and k ind of pic d. “I like c n e a o n x ti e te a s u know e sit as I li about it lf in thos sounding ine myse f mine and think nd triumphant- otional a m o memory ’s quite euphoric bitter. It’s more e d it n l, a e s fe u the gero really dan but also ” . ic s u m than pop


Garfield expected ‘ Social


Network’ to be boring


Redford reinvigorated by wife obert Redford’s second wife has given him a “whole new life”. The 74-year-old actor tied the knot with German-born artist Sibylle Szaggars, 55, two years ago and insists having a younger spouse keeps him very active. He said: “She’s a very special person. She’s younger than I am and European, which I like, so that’s a whole new life. “I ride horses, ski, play pretty hard tennis. I still have energy. When that starts to shut down, I might start to think about age.” The ‘Conspirator’ star also admitted he feels his advancing years have made him a better director and producer because he has a greater perspective on events. He explained: “When you get older, you learn certain life lessons. You apply that wisdom, and suddenly you say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a new lease on this thing. So let’s go.’ “ Robert insists he has no intention of quitting acting despite his advancing years, and still thinks he has a lot to offer on the big screen. He said: “There are movies I want to make. For a long time I’ve wanted to do a thriller. I like being scared, and I like scaring. And I want to keep acting, though I think the business has concluded that I don’t want to act anymore. In 1959, Robert and first wife Lola suffered tragedy when their baby son Scott died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and he admits the couple struggled to cope with their loss. He added in the March/April issue of AARP The Magazine: “It was really hard. We were very young ... We didn’t know anything about SIDS, so the only thing you think is that you’ve done something wrong. As a parent, you tend to blame yourself. That creates a scar that probably never completely heals.” —Bang Showbiz




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lifestyle Music and Movies

For Araki filmmaking remains ‘struggle’

a r i k a h S


fil m m ak er Gr eg g Ar wh os e m ov ie s ha ak i, m os t of ve m ad e th ei r debuts at the Sund ance independen t fil m fe st iv al s, to ld AF P th at fin movie remains “a an cin g a struggle,” despite a revolution in technology. Ar aki, who was disco vered at this festival in the 1990 s, brought to this his second film na Utah city med “Kaboom” an d shared his thoughts about th e independent film industry. “People think it’s easier wh mak ing en you are someone establish ed and you’ve m ade a few m ov ies,” sa id th e fil m di re ctor, wh os e cred its include “Mysterious Skin” and “Smiley Face.” “But really, it does n’t get any easier, tinued. “I would sa y that it’s kind of ge ” he contting harder. There are mor e an an d m or e pr oj ec d more filmmakers, more ts sources of financin ou t th er e, le ss an d le ss g.” tunate” to have be Araki believes he was “foren able to make “K aboom” with the help of tw o tribution companie French production and diss, Wild Bunch and “It was a Cinderel la dream,” he point Why Not. ed out, noting that his movie ha budget. But mak d been made with a small ing always been a strug an independent film “has gle,” Araki said. “It ’s a different kind of struggle today.” Th perhaps recalled that when e dir he started his film ector career, it was hard mak ing to make a movie. “To shoot in 16mm, to edit th e damn thing, to mix st ep of th e wa y wa s so in sa ne ly it-ever y ha rd ,” he explained. “Technic all with all the camer y, it was so archaic. Today, as, with Final Cut, all the computers, there is so much Araki, 51, considers you can do. himself a veteran pe nd en t fil m m ak of indein already presented g. Hi s la te st m ov ie wa s at the film festival in Cannes, France, last Octobe r, and inventiveness with critics note the energy of its director. “I put a lot of energy in this mov ie, do movies like th ” he recalled. “People don’t at today. The youn g filmmaker s, fo r ex am pl e, a lo t of th em m ak movies, but they don’t have that so e go od rt of joy of cinema. There’s a lack different, be outside of trying to do something the box.” “Kaboom” tells a story of a bisexual from California wh student o wi explores adolescen tnesses a terrible crime. It t desires, unbridled and youthful bored sexuality om-all framed with in a horror flick. “It came very naturally, it was kin at in g to m ak e a d of liberm ov “Because of the sm ie lik e th is,” sa id Ar ak i. all budget, the sc ale of it, I di dn’t have th e bu rd en of th in kin g th at th is movie had to be very mainstream .” He noted that “creatively an d artistically it wa s very innocent in a way, just very lik “I didn’t censor mys e having a free spirit. elf in any way, I jus ed the story to be t wantas free, wild and crazy and unique as possible ,” th fessed that every m e director said. Araki conovie he made was a sn of who he is and what he thinks. “A apshot nd I don’t think that I could have made this m ovie 10 years ago,” he pointed ou stronger filmmak t. “Technically, I’m a much er than I was wh en I did my first movie.”—AFP

joins Ushe r, Black Eyed Peas a t French music awar ds


he-wolf Shakira was the belle of the ball as she stalked the red carpet at the 12th annual NRJ Music Awards in Cannes .The 33-year-old singer looked stunning in a tight black frock as she waved to the hundreds of fans from the red carpet at the glitzy bash. The star also played live at the event, belting out songs Loca, from her album of last year Sale El Sol, and her World Cup anthem of last summer, Waka Waka, while hypnotizing the crowds with her trademark slinky hip moves. She also ended up one of the big winners at the ceremony, picking up gongs for International Female Artist of the Year and International Song of the Year for her World Cup hit. It’s the first time the star has been seen out in public since she announced the breakup . The couple revealed in a joint message on Shakira’s website that they actually broke up last August, but had kept it private until their announcement. Shakira and Antonio de la Rua said they viewed their separation as temporary, and de la Rua will continue to oversee Shakira’s business and career interests. Also at the do were Jermaine Jackson, Usher, and of The Black Eyed Peas and David Guetta. Model Victoria Silvstedt had also donned a short black dress for the black tie event, run by French radio station NRJ. It’s the first big event of the Midem, the world’s music industry trade fair, which takes over Cannes in the south of France every January. Other winners at the event included Justin Bieber, who won International Revelation Of The Year, Black Eyed Peas who won Best International Group and Concert Of The Year and Usher won International Male Artist Of The Year. David Guetta equalled Shakira’s two awards. —

Colombian singer, songwriter, musician, Shakira arrives at the Cannes festival palace, to take part in the NRJ Music awards ceremony.—AP

r o b a G

a we e k e m o h g n i h e ad t atio n u p m a r e t af

Actor and producer Sean Penn arrives at the 2011 Producers Guild Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif.—AP

Colin Firth poses with his award for Best Per formance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for “The Kings Speech” at the 68th annual Golden Globe awards.—AFP

‘King’s Speech’ reigns with Producers Guild award


he King’s Speech” won best-produced film from the Producers Guild of America on Saturday, a regal boost to its Oscar aspirations in an awards season so far swept by “The Social Network.” The producers of “King’s Speech”Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin-said they thought they were “the last guys in the running” among the 10 nominees for the top Producers award, which comes just before Tuesday’s Oscar nominations. The drama depicts the struggles of the stammering British King George VI, played by Colin Firth, and his unlikely savior of a speech therapist. Firth won best actor at the Golden Globes a week ago, but his film did not fare as well there. The Facebook founding saga “Social Network” took home four Globes, including best dramatic film and best director, and has won several of the critics and industry awards this season. While “The King’s Speech” has also made several best movie lists among critics, the Weinstein Company-backed film has not been considered a front-runner. It was not even nominated by the Writers Guild of America for its awards this season. Other films in contention for the best-produced movie of the year were “Black Swan,” “The Fighter” and “Toy Story 3,” which won bestproduced animated film.

Producers help predict Oscars Hollywood is counting the days until the Feb 27 Oscars, the industry’s biggest movie awards held in Los Angeles and given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Producers Guild and other industry honors can offer insight into Oscar chances because many members of the PGA and WGA also belong to the Academy, whose members cast votes for the Oscars. In the last three years, the Producers Guild and the Academy have agreed on best picture winners. The Producers Guild gave its best-produced documentary award to “Waiting for Superman,” a film that details the failures of the US educational system. Best-produced television comedy series went to ABC’s “Modern Family,” while best TV drama was won by AMC’s “Mad Men.” The best-produced long-form television award went to HBO’s World War Two drama “The Pacific,” which counts actor Tom Hanks among its producers. Actor Sean Penn was honored by the Producers Guild with the Stanley Kramer Award for his work in social issues, including his recent relief efforts in earthquakestruck Haiti. “Social Network” producer Scott Rudin, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, may have lost out on the bestproduced film award this year, but he did take home the coveted David O Selznick Achievement Award. —Reuters


sa Zsa Gabor’s publicist says the actress is going home from the hospital, a week after doctors amputated most of her right leg. John Blanchette says doctors are pleased with Gabor’s recovery and she’ll be transported by ambulance Saturday evening back to her Bel Air mansion. Doctors at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center decided to amputate Jan 14 when a persistent infection wouldn’t heal. She had been expected to remain in the hospital for at least two weeks. Blanchette says the 93-year-old “Moulin Rouge” and “Queen of Outer Space” star will be monitored daily by nurses. He says Gabor is happy to be heading home. Gabor broke her hip and had replacement surgery in July. She has been hospitalized several times for swelling in her legs and blood clots throughout her body. —AP

This Aug 15, 1986 file photo shows actress Zsa Zsa Gabor on her wedding day in Los Angeles.—AP

top 10

singles and albums on iTunes 1- “Hold It Against Me,” Britney Spears 2- “Grenade,” Bruno Mars 3- “Tonight (feat. Ludacris & DJ Frank E),” Enrique Iglesias 4- “Firework,” Katy Perry 5- “Black and Yellow,” Wiz Khalifa 6- “What the Hell,” Avril Lavigne 7- “The Time (Dirty Bit),” Black Eyed Peas 8- “We R Who We R,” Ke$ha 9. “6 Foot 7 Foot (feat Cory Gunz),” Lil Wayne 10. “H.A.M,” Kanye West, Jay-Z Albums: 1. “Country Strong (More Music from the Motion Picture),” Various Artists 2. “Sigh No More,” Mumford & Sons 3. “Thank You Happy Birthday,” Cage the Elephant 4. “Country Strong (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack),” Various Artists 5. “Showroom of Compassion,” Cake 6. “Brothers,” The Black Keys 7. “Rehab: The Overdose,” Lecrae 8. “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” Kanye West 9. “TRON: Legacy,” Daft Punk 10. “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” Bruno Mars—AP



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lifestyle F a s h i o n

Men in tights, coveralls: have it all

Models wear creations by Belgium designer Kris Van Assche for Dior men’s fall-winter 2011/2012 fashion collection presented in Paris, Saturday. —AP


rom easy elegant uniforms for feckless aristocrats at Dior Homme to Damir Doma’s business formal from some bygone age to the world’s most expensive mechanic’s coveralls at Hermes, Paris’ fall-winter 2011-2012 menswear shows had something for everyone Saturday. At Kenzo, designer Antonio Marras looked to Britain and its star sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, to crack the case, while Germany’s Bernhard Willhem gave the world all the knit long johns we could possibly need. Mayhem broke out on Dior’s set — decorated like a tony Paris town house, complete with working fireplaces, twinkling chandeliers and wooden parquet — when music mogul Sean “Puffy” Combs and Chanel uber-designer Karl Lagerfeld arrived. Usually, several A-listers turn out for the Paris shows, but this season it’s been slim pickings celebrity-wise, so every TV journalist, blogger and fashionista in the house was all over Combs and Lagerfeld. Paris’ menswear shows wrap up Sunday with displays by Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent, concluding the marathon that began in New York and continued in Milan. But before the fashion world has a chance to recover from the long, sleepless weeks, Paris’ rarified haute couture displays start up Monday. DIOR HOMME Soaked in old school Parisian decadence, Dior was tailor-made for aimless, world weary nobles circa about 1975. Filled with ample pants and swingy cardigans, this was a collection for those who don’t have an office to report to, those whose only dress code is easy chic and no-fuss elegance. Sweater trenches and poncho coats in chocolate and gray cashmere were the perfect antidote to a long night of carousing: Shorn of their fussy buttons, with casual tie closures, they exuded devil-may-care glamour, requiring little effort and no thought. “There was lots of cashmere, a lot of knitwear, to be really comfortable and elegant at the same time,” the label’s menswear designer, Kris Van Assche, told The Associated Press in a post-show interview. And did the collection’s decadent ease strike a chord with the Combs and Lagerfeld, the two biggest celebrities to hit the Paris shows all week? “I liked the capes,” Combs pronounced. HERMES It was, without a shadow of a doubt, the most expensive mechanic’s coverall of all times. Hermes — the historic Paris saddle-maker that now handcrafts exquisite leather goods and clothing with astronomical price tags —delivered its take on that most humble of garments, with two small differences: First, Hermes’ coverall was in shearling, and second, it would probably cost the yearly salary of the average mechanic. Besides the coveralls, which came in black and taupe, the collection, by designer Veronique Nichanian, was made up of the tasteful classics that have long been the label’s hallmark: Two-button jackets, lightweight flannel, perfectly cut trousers, slim cardigans and long, lean coats. It was all there —in olive drab and navy tones, punctuated with eye-popping Ceylon and deep Bordeaux. And as per usual with this house of unparalleled workmanship, it was all exquisite.

Models wear creations of French designer Veronique Nichanian for Hermes men’s fall-winter 2011/2012 fashion collection presented in Paris. —AP

KENZO Kenzo delivered a whodunit of collection that looked to British sleuths to solve the mystery of menswear. “Every season is like a mystery, a search for clues that allow you to find new looks, new shapes that stay true to the style of the house,” Marras, the label’s Italian designer, told The AP ahead of the show. Marras cracked the case this time, serving up a strong collection that managed to be at once very British and classic Kenzo, with bold mixes, eye-popping colors and kooky knitwear. Sherlock Holmes’ favorite fabric — tartan — dominated the collection

of snug Saville Row-style suits, paired with V-neck argyle sweaters and droopy satin bow ties. Trouserkilt hybrids were surprisingly fetching, requiring only a bold, fearless personality to pull them off. Still, it was hard to imagine a personality bold enough to work the trousers with gathered paper-bag waists that reached the mid-chest. The sole glitch in an otherwise outstanding collection, the pants gave even the beanpole male models an unflattering gut paunch. PHILIP LIM For someone showing in Paris for the first time, Lim was oddly on-trend with the layering that has taken catwalks here by storm. The New York-based designer, a critical darling, layered chunky ribbed vests over long sleeved sweaters and piled jackets on top of coats — a key look at designers from Louis Vuitton to Givenchy. Lim described his decision to show in Paris — with a presentation with models standing immobile on industrial metal platforms — as a whim. “I thought ‘let’s go where the party is,”‘ he said, adding the experience had proven “invigorating.” DAMIR DOMA A boxy V-neck jacket and a pair of leather harem pants; a white shalwar kameez with a strip narrow strip of black fabric down the front, like a sort of minimalist tie. Put the two together and you have a business suit, according to Damir Doma, whose dark, tribal and almost Medieval vision of fashion has catapulted him into the spotlight. For fallwinter, Doma fielded drop-crotched pants in nubby wool and washed silk that were as close to a skirt as a pair of trousers can be without crossing over. Bulky ribbed sweaters that loosely swathed the models’ bodies and starched white shirts with dangling flaps in the front completed the look. Not for everybody, but then again, who needs more classic two-button blazers and wearable business slacks? BERNHARD WILLHELM Men in tights have never looked so good. Willhelm gave the men of the world all the clingy leggings and long johns they could possibly desire. Knit with kooky designs and dizzying patterns, the leggings were paired with matching hoodies and tennis shoes. A long john-dirndle hybrid, complete with a lace-up eyelet closure at the crotch, and a sexy sweat suit knit with trompe l’oeil police “do not cross” tape were standouts. They were the kind of statement looks that you could imagine Rihanna or Katy Perry nicking from their boyfriends’ closets for a paparazzistalked trip to the grocery store. Saturday’s performance art-steeped presentation was just as wacky as the outfits. Painted-faced models held umbrellas hung with swaths of tulle - some ringing ridiculous little brass bells. The models fought to keep a straight face as packs of fashionistas descended on them to snap endless photos with their cell phones. FRANCK BOCLET Since striking out on his own last season, Frenchman Franck Boclet — the longtime menswear designer at Emanuel Ungaro and Smalto — has sharpened his vision of a varied wardrobe that allows men to play with their style much as women do. “Men don’t want to be stuck in a rut, wearing the same exact things every day,” said Boclet, a style chameleon who dons rockabilly staples one day and a tuxedo the next. “The only rule for me is that it has to be top-notch quality, with excellent design and great materials.” For next fall, he served up a potpourri of day and evening separates in stark black and white that ran the gamut, from hardcore leather vests and rock star fur maxi-coats to drop-crotched cashmere trousers meant for lounging, to razor-cut three-piece-suits serious enough for any banker. Boclet showed his second collection in Milan earlier this month.—AP



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lifestyle F a s h i o n

display Models s part sa creation Boclet. k c n of Fra

Models present creations by German-born designer Bernhard Willhelm. —AP/AFP photos


t s e t a


Models show creations during the Italian luxury fashion label Prada fashion show in Beijing on January 22, 2011. —AFP

l e lab

to target booming China market


iuccia Prada ha s al dits for her sprin ready won plaubrands do local g/ bran collection-simpl summer 2011 Ch ina is now front d-building events; ycu t dresses and suits in a quirk y and centre in lu brands’ global xury m marketing cam with bold splash ix of stripes and solids, paigns,” Bruno Lannes, a Shan es of orange, vi ghai-based part olet and elec tric blue. Bu ner at Bain, told AFP. t by displaying the clothes on a runway in Beijing on Satu Ch an el , Lo uis Vu rday her first catwalk the most desired itton and Gucci remain show outside Eu evening, br rope, and adding a few lo ing to Bain, in pa ands in China, accordoks from her sp ring rt due to their ic menswear line, which convey st onic logosthe Italian desig atus ne her focus on Ch ina’s huge marke r signalled Chinese buyers-b , a key driver for ut experts say ta t. Ac tresses Gong changing. In Ba in’s research stud stes are added a bit of hi Li and Maggie Cheung y which first unve gh-wattage star iled its spring/su Prada, power to the show at the mmer 2011 collection in M Central Academ ilan y of Fine Ar ts museum-a ninth most desir in September, is now the surefire way to ed brand. “Prada maximize local media cove good taste and stands for ra individuality. Th sage to the mas ge and get the Prada mes- th at shows ses. China is the at Chinese cons world’s fastest-growing umers are beco mor min m is forecast to be arket for luxury goods and fe e sophisticated,” said Zhou Ting g ssor at the Univ the world’s top , buyer of ersit y of Internat a prosuch produc ts-c Business and Ec os onomics of Chin ional es, shoes and cl metics, handbags, watcha. O ther more subtle labe othes-by 2015, according to ls consultanc y Pr Balmain have re such as Balenciaga and iceWaterhouseC ce oopers. Sales of luxury luxury mall in ce ntly set up shop at a new goods in mainl nt totalled $10.3 bi and China brand synonym ral Beijing. Lanvin, a lli ous with unde from the year be on in 2009, up 14 percent rstated ga fore, according nce, is soon to op to Bain and Company. Whe en its doors in th elecomplex. n purchases by e same Chinese citizens abroad are factored in, the HS BC ’s Ra m bourg explaine market was wor th $23.7 billi d that while som on ion brands, Prad . Like many Western fash- di e foreign labels adapt their m erchana is already esta se in China to be bl China, with at response to cons more logo -driven in least 15 stores in ished in umer demand, operation and plans for ne th approach is quic ar kly being abando is 2012. It has also ly 30 more by the end of think the fascin ned. “I announced it w ation of Chines ill open a design studio in e people for Western brands Hong Kong in 20 is 11. But luxury good stuff. That is the that they want the real s analysts say fo aspirational aspe firms have only produc t. If you ct of the scratched the su reign mak rfa market’s vast po tential, which is ce of the not going to be in e it too Chinese, they are terested,” he said based on the countr y’s po influential edito pu r of American Vo . The the mounting w lation of 1.3 billion and gue, Anna Wintour, visited ea Be middle class. “In lth of an ever-growing local media that ijing last month, telling China, we cons she wanted to ex ider that luxur y is still in a pu China for hersel perience re recruitment f so she could en phase,” HSBC analyst Er courage US labels to boost wan Rambourg th told AFP, eir pr explaining that 90 Analysts say fore esence in the countr y. ers are newcom percent of Chinese buyign brands have even conquer m ers to a brand, yet to while the rest ajor cities such are repeat cust as Beijing and om penetrated mar ers. “It is still a very under- on Shanghai. They can then targ et the secket.” d and third-tier cities in the co The M ilan-base va un st tr y’s d in fa te m rio ily r-home to tens -owned Prada, which is rumor of millions of savv y shoppers ed to be consid . er “E in ket listing in Ho three cities is on xpansion in tier two and ng Kong, is of co g a mare urse not the first fashion po directions for al of the major strategic werhouse to st l luxury brands age a major event in China , not leading ones,” La to lu nnes said. Amer just the the cash register re more customers to ican designer Diane . Fendi used the Vo as a catwalk in Great Wall ing into China w n Furstenberg is ventur2007, Christian Dior used ith shops in Be Shanghai as the ijing and Shanghai, and backdrop for a a retrospec tive show and an ad campaign st featuring her sketches, desig arring French ac ns tress M arion Cotillard, and Ph Beijing’s trendy and prints will begin in ill 79 Beijing’s Forbid ip Lim staged a show at always had this 8 ar t distric t in April. “I’ve den City last ye fantasy. I’d like ar. “China has become a place to se Chinese a t-shirt where not only ,” she told the Ne ll ever y luxury Times last mon w York th. —AFP

‘King’s Speech’ reigns with Producers Guild award MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2011


Popularity of vampires spawns subculture, scholar says


hey work as doctors and lawyers by day but lurk as vampires by night. While they may not wish to suck your blood, there are plenty of willing victims on tap, says the nation’s top scholar on a subculture that emulates the undead. Idaho State University sociologist DJ Williams, newly hired as a consultant for a proposed television documentary about “self-identified vampires,” said true modern acolytes of Dracula seek consensual blood-sharing relationships. The popular fascination with vampires dates back to the 1897 publication of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, and later books such as Anne Rice’s “The Vampire Chronicles.” But it exploded in recent years with the best-selling “Twilight” series of novels by Stephenie Meyer and movie adaptations. The seductive vampire character Edward Cullen in the movie, played by actor Robert Pattinson, became a teen idol and made vampires cool. Vampire mania Vampire mania has spawned an international subculture that strongly relates to traits associated with mythical vampires. They are believed to be seductive beings unafraid to explore the dark side of human nature that is usually masked for the

sake of social acceptance. “Self-identified vampires realize humans are a mix of light and dark,” said Williams. “There is the socially desirable self that people show in public and then there is the shadow self that may not be as nice, not as optimistic. It varies from person to person, but generally vampires don’t pretend it’s not there: they acknowledge it and try to manage it.” What separates them from mere vampire wannabes-the guy in a cape who sleeps in coffins or believes he is capable of morphing into a bat-is an internal lack of energy that makes them seek energy from external sources such as the high that comes from the crowd at a rock concert or from the blood of a willing donor. “They call it feeding,” said Williams, who also moonlights as an FBI consultant for investigations involving violent criminals who are claiming to be vampires. Sucking blood Williams says self-identified vampires seek significant others with an abundance of energy willing to allow them to suck blood from a small incision made high up on the chest by a scalpel. “Quite often, they are in a relationship with a donor, where one person has energy blockages

and the partner has excess energy; it’s a perfect, symbiotic relationship,” he said. The arrangement is legal because it is struck between two consenting adults and aims to have no ill effect, said Williams. He is pioneering the study of such alternative lifestyles. It took years for the scholar in forensic social work, criminal justice and leisure sciences to gain the trust of self-identifying vampires, whom he says are widely misunderstood. “The negative discourse out there about blood and the transmission of infectious diseases just drives them underground,” said Williams, who advises vampire acquaintances to abide by safe blood-drinking practices like having donors tested for HIV and other ailments transmitted by blood. And with American serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed 17 young men and boys in a frenzy of necrophilia and cannibalism between 1978 and 1991, billing himself as a vampire, what’s a law-abiding vampire to do? “The vampire community would argue that Jeffrey Dahmer and others aren’t real vampires, they’re murderous criminals,” Williams said. “Those high-profile cases damage the image of self-identified vampires.” Vampire myths span the centuries, with some pinned to real-life figures like Vlad the Impaler, a 15th-centu-

ry Romanian noble known for the fearsome punishment he inflicted on enemies. Most admired monsters Pointing to a UCLA study that ranked vampires as the most admired of monsters, Williams said self-identified vampires wage an uphill battle with stereotyping. The subculture sometimes sinks its teeth into debates about proper vampire attire and etiquette, with some clans requiring black clothing and others insisting on beverages like blood. Surveys circulating among vampires ask questions about their energy level, whether they heal quickly from wounds and whether blood bothers them. Williams said virtually every age, race, religion and profession is represented in the subculture, which is strongest in urban areas. “They see themselves as normal, regular people in normal regular jobs: they are teachers, lawyers, accountants, they may be parents,” he said. “They have normal lives but there is this aspect to needing to take energy from time to time and in certain ways.”—Reuters

Britain embraces ‘gastroporn’ but stays shy in kitchen “But we call it ‘gastroporn’. People look at the cooks but don’t necessarily put them into practice.” The queen of gastroporn is the food writer and TV star Nigella Lawson- the wife of art collector Charles Saatchi-whose innuendos, sly smiles at the camera and provocative way of licking a spoon have won her many fans. Despite such encouragement, and hit reality TV shows such as “Come Dine With Me” where a group of ordinary people compete to throw the best dinner party, Caraher believes British people are actually cooking less and less. He points to the huge variety of ready meals and packaged food available in the shops, from stir-fry sauces in a jar to microwaveable curries.

British TV chef Jamie Oliver presents his book, “Cook for Friends,” in Berlin.—AFP


ecipe books are bestsellers, cooking shows dominate TV and celebrity chefs abound in Britain-all signs of a major shift in culinary habits in recent years, even if many still struggle in the kitchen. The trend, which some have dubbed “gastroporn”, is growing fast and is epitomized by the success of the latest book by popular television chef Jamie Oliver, which sold more than one million copies in just three months. At the end of December, “Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals”-accompanied by a TV series broadcast this month-became the biggest selling work of non-fiction since industry monitor Nielsen Bookscan began keeping records in 1998. Oliver is only one among a clutch of celebrity chefs who saturate the airwaves with their demonstrations of delicious recipes, as the nation once renowned for its awful food is glued to the telly, rapt. Experts question, however, whether the enthusiasm for cook books and television programs translates into action at home. “There’s never been so much interest in cooking and we’ve never talked so much about food,” said Martin Caraher, professor in the department of food policy at City University London.

‘We are not rubbish over here’ “The whole culture here is based in the notion of convenience around food. Even our cooking at home seems, for a lot of people, to reflect that convenience of opening packets and not cooking from scratch,” he said. But with households tightening their belts amid a squeeze in public spending, food blogger Marie Rayner hopes more people will turn to home cooking and use the celebrity-inspired recipe books gathering dust on the shelf. “These people show us that we can have a really nice meal at home with not a lot of effort and sometimes not a lot of expense either,” she said. When Rayner, 55, moved to Britain from Canada 10 years ago, “I was told that the food over here was horrible, that the only thing they could do right was roast beef.” But she was pleasantly surprised and says her blog, “The English Kitchen”, is aimed at “de-bunking the myths of English cookery, one recipe at a time”. “We are not rubbish over here, we do know the difference between good food and bad food and good cooking and bad cooking,” she said. Her experiences are supported by the bible of gastronomy, the Michelin guide, which this year confirmed the top three-star ratings for four British restaurants, two of them run by chefs who have become television celebrities. —AFP

A file picture shows a man looking at some Nympheas paintings by Claude Monet displayed as part of the exhibition “Claude Monet” 1840-1926” on September 17, 2010 at the Grand Palais in Paris.—AFP


housands of art lovers queued in freezing temperatures on Saturday night for a final glimpse of a major retrospective on French Impressionist Claude Monet, after Paris’ Grand Palais opened round the clock to cope with demand. Wrapped in scarves and heavy coats, people queued for more than three hours to see the nearly 200 works by the 19th century master before the historic exhibition, the biggest one on Monet in decades, closes today evening. Staff from the museum brought hot drinks and slices of cake to keep up their spirits, and a clarinetist serenaded the shivering crowds. Jean-Paul Cluzel, chairman of the Grand Palais, said the museum had decided to keep its doors open continuously from Friday to cope with the record number of visitors, expected to total nearly 1 million since the exhibition opened in late September. “The three nights add up to 40,000 more visitors,” Cluzel told Reuters TV. “There

is a special experience, a special feeling when you visit such an exhibition by night. You’re going out of a show, you’re going out of a discotheque and then you dive into art, into painting, colors.” Some of the Parisians waiting outside confessed they had already seen the exhibition. For others, it was the highlight of a visit to the French capital. “I’m painting myself in a way that Monet is doing and that’s why I’m waiting here for three hours in the cold,” said Bram Steenys from Holland. “And if it takes more than three hours, I think my feet should be amputated.” Among those braving the cold for a late-night viewing was American movie star Jodie Foster. “I came all the way here (to Paris) to work and then i got sidetracked and decided to go see the Monet,” she told Reuters.—Reuters

24 Jan  

Kuwait Times

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