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No help from embassy, say Kuwaitis back from Egypt


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SAFAR 27, 1432 AH

Face of Mideast unrest: Young and hungry for jobs

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Kuwait backs Egypt government, people

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Amir condemns violence • Egypt bans Al Jazeera • Thousands escape from prisons KUWAIT/CAIRO: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah has expressed Kuwait’s support for the “Egyptian government and people” in a telephone call to Egypt’s embattled president, KUNA news agency reported yesterday. Sheikh Sabah telephoned President Hosni Mubarak late Saturday night and told him that “Kuwait stands with the government and people of Egypt,” KUNA said. The Amir also said he was confident Egyptian “brothers will overcome this delicate stage so the country can enjoy security and stability”. “The state of Kuwait condemns acts of violence, arson and destruction and frightening of peaceful citizens,” HH the Amir told Mubarak. Separately, a Kuwaiti ex-general died after suffering a heart attack at Cairo airport yesterday, Kuwait’s Ambassador to Egypt Dr Rasheed Al-Hamad said. Maj Gen (Rtd) Ammash Al-Maimooni was undergoing medical tests in a hospital in Cairo but cut short his stay because of the security conditions in Egypt, Hamad told KUNA. The man was rushed to a hospital near the airport but he passed away on the way. Military and civilian aircraft also brought back Kuwaiti servicemen and citizens from Egypt yesterday. Military planes, which left for Egypt earlier yesterday, returned home carrying military personnel studying at colleges and military academies in the country, a statement by the ministry of defense said. Kuwait Airways yesterday operated seven flights to Cairo to bring back Kuwaiti citizens and Egyptians residing in Kuwait. Board Chairman Hamad Al-Falah told KUNA the carrier was keen on facilitating the return of citizens and residents. He said all airplanes were full. Continued on Page 14

CAIRO: An Egyptian army soldier tries to stop anti-government protesters as they walk towards Tahrir Square yesterday. — AP (See Pages 10, 13, 21 & 24)

Oman busts UAE spy ring

Panel rejects penalties for ‘skimpy’ garb

MUSCAT: Oman has dismantled an Emirati spy ring that was targeting the government and the military in the Gulf sultanate, a security official said yesterday. “Security forces (of Oman) were able to discover a spy ring belonging to the state security forces of the United Arab Emirates targeting the regime in Oman and the mechanism of governmental and military work there,” said the official, quoted by the official ONA news agency. The cell was uncovered five months ago, before it was watched and dismantled by Omani security services, an official close to the case told AFP. The cell “gathered information on the Sultanate’s military, security and economy, in return for large sums of money from Emirati security services,” the same official added requesting anonymity. The cell “was interested in the issue of the succession of Sultan Qaboos, in the absence of an heir to the throne,” a security official said. But the United Arab Emirates later yesterday denied any “knowledge of or link to” the alleged spy ring. The UAE “has received with shock and surprise the information reported by Oman’s news agency over the discovery of what it described ‘a spy ring belonging to the state security forces of the United Arab Emirates,” said a foreign ministry statement carried by WAM. The Gulf state said it “denies any knowledge of or link to such an alleged network.” Another Omani government source, also speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said a number of Omani nationals had been arrested, including some who worked for the government. Continued on Page 14

Gulf Egyptians torn between fear and hope JEDDAH: Security guard Nadi Ali Al-Din, like many Egyptian labourers in the Gulf Arab region, would rather be in Cairo than patrolling a lavish Saudi shopping mall. But, like most Egyptians working in the oil-exporting Gulf to help their families make ends meet, all he could do was head in to work and wait anxiously for news from home. “I’m not only worried about my children, I’m worried about the country as a whole,” Ali Al-Din, whose four young children live with his family in Cairo, told Reuters in Jeddah yesterday. “I wish I was in Egypt so I can join in. I feel like a big change is coming and I want to be a part of it.” Like Ali Al-Din, many Egyptians in countries like Saudi Arabia feel detached from the unrest at home. Gulf Arab states, where public protest is often not tolerated, have suppressed any hints of protests. While Egyptians in Western capitals have held demonstrations in solidarity with protests at home demanding President Hosni Mubarak step down, Egyptian doctors, engineers and labourers in the Gulf can only watch and wait. On Friday, Saudi authorities dispersed demonstrators in Jeddah who waved briefly Egyptian flags and sang its national anthem. Also on Friday, Dubai authorities told protesters at Egypt’s consulate to disperse, while Egyptians living in Kuwait were warned that any protesters would be deported along with their families, according to Kuwaiti media. Continued on Page 14

Qallaf pulls resignation By B Izzak KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee yesterday rejected a draft law proposed by Islamist MPs to toughen penalties on women who wear swimsuits or indecent dress in public, saying the bill has “constitutional suspicions”. The bill was proposed by five Islamist MPs who said that there was no law to help authorities curb women who wear improper dress or swimsuits on public beaches. But rapporteur of the committee MP Maasouma Al-Mubarak said that the committee rejected the bill on the grounds of constitutional suspicions and because the penal code includes penalties sufficient to curb such behaviours. The Assembly’s interior and defense committee meanwhile yesterday unanimously approved a proposal to move the responsibility of the investigation department from the interior ministry to the public prosecution. Rapporteur of the committee MP Salem Al-Namlan said that the decision was taken to ensure more neutrality of the department. He said the bill will be sent to the Assembly for approval. The bill was among the main demands of opposition MPs who also want the forensic department to be under the public prosecution so as to ensure that cases are investigated by neutral bodies. But the committee decided that female investigators in the department will remain with the interior ministry and will not move to the public prosecution because of the controversy over whether women can be members of the judiciary or not.

In another development, Assembly Speaker Jassem AlKhorafi said yesterday that MP Hussein Al-Qallaf has withdrawn his resignation which he submitted last month after 10 opposition MPs filed a non-cooperation motion against the prime minister following a marathon grilling. Last week, Khorafi told the Assembly that he will meet with Qallaf and discuss with him the issue of the resignation. Under Kuwaiti law, the Assembly must approve the resignation of any MP. Khorafi said that he had the opportunity to meet Qallaf and convey to him the feelings of many MPs who wanted him to continue. He also said that Qallaf was received by HH the Amir yesterday who asked him to continue in the service of Kuwait and the lawmaker agreed and withdrew his resignation. In the meantime, a number of MPs warned the interior minister of attempting to cover up what they claimed to be a major crime committed by a police officer at the Nugra police station. MPs Mohammad Hayef, Mubarak AlWaalan and Falah Al-Sawwagh said that the officer raped an Asian maid at the police station and “there are attempts to cover up the crime because the officer is a relative of a lawmaker, whom they did not name”. Also, MP Marzouk Al-Ghanem sent a series of questions to the electricity and water minister about awarding a contract for the north Al-Zour power plant amid press reports that Ghanem’s father’s company was given the contract although it made the most expensive bid among five companies. Ghanem categorically denied that this had happened and wanted the minister to explicitly provide detailed information about the contract.

Thousands greet Tunisia Islamist leader’s return

TUNIS: A Tunisian holding a board reading “No fear from Islam” welcomes opposition figure Rachid Ghannouchi (inset) during his arrival at the international airport yesterday. — AP

TUNIS: Thousands of Tunisians turned out yesterday to welcome home an Islamist leader whose return from 22 years of exile indicated that his party would emerge as a major force in Tunisia after the ousting of its president. The reception for Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda party, at Tunis airport was the biggest showing by the Islamists in two decades, during which thousands of them were jailed or exiled by president Zine alAbidine Ben Ali. Ghannouchi was exiled in 1989 by Ben Ali, who was toppled on Jan 14 by popular protests that have sent tremors through an Arab world where similarly autocratic leaders have long sought to suppress Islamist groups. Protesters in Egypt demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule have been inspired by the example of Tunisia. Egypt’s main opposition group is

also Islamist, but played no part in organising the protests there. Ennahda is expected to contest future legislative but not presidential elections, dates for which have yet to be set. The Islamists were Tunisia’s strongest opposition force at the time Ben Ali cracked down on them in 1989 but are thought not to have played a leading role in the popular revolt. But at Tunis airport yesterday, they were out in force. Up to 10,000 young men and veiled women packed the arrival hall and car park. Some climbed trees and electricity pylons to catch a glimpse of the 69-year-old Ghannouchi, who says he has no ambition to run for state office. The crowd intoned a religious song in honour of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as supporters held up olive branches, flowers and copies of the Holy Quran. Continued on Page 14

JUBA, Sudan: Southern Sudanese celebrate the announcement of preliminary referendum results in this southern capital yesterday. — AP

South Sudan votes 99% to separate Protests in Khartoum JUBA/KHARTOUM: South Sudan almost unanimously voted to declare independence from the north in a referendum, officials said yesterday, sparking mass celebrations in the southern capital Juba. Thousands cheered, danced and ululated after officials announced the first official preliminary results which overall showed a 98.83 percent majority for separation, according to the vote’s website. “This is what we voted for, so that people can be free in their own country ... I say congratulations a million times,” south Sudan President Salva Kiir told the crowd. The vote was promised in a 2005 peace deal which ended decades of north-south conflict, Africa’s longest civil war, which cost an estimated 2 million lives. Kiir, the head of the former southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), praised his former foe, Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, for agreeing to the 2005 accord. “Omar Al-Bashir took the bold decision to bring peace. Bashir is a champion and we must stand with him,” said Kiir, speaking in a mixture of English and the local Arabic dialect. “The project has not finished ... We cannot declare independence today,” he added. Continued on Page 14




Torture probe continues, 19 suspects in custody Cases routinely covered up KUWAIT: The Public Prosecution Service is continuing with its investigation into the death of Kuwaiti man Mohammed AlMutairi in police custody following extensive torture. Sixteen police officers are being held in connection with the case, along with the son of the owner of the jakhour (livestock farm) where some of the torture took place, and three Bangladeshi caretaking staff ordered to clean it following the incident. Despite being under strict instructions to continue their investigation around the

clock, however, the prosecution service has yet to complete its investigation, attributing the time taken length to its determination to ensure that all individuals named in the investigation process as being involved in any way are questioned. One security insider told Al-Qabas that the suspects are facing charges of kidnap, torture, murder and abuse of their powers, while the jakhour owner’s son and the three Bangladeshi men are facing charges of conspiring to conceal evidence of a crime.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the security insider said that while AlMutairi’s murder in police custody is regrettably not the first such case in Kuwait’s history and is unfortunately unlikely to be the last, the case has had a huge impact locally due to the horrific details, combined with the subsequent emergence of numerous similar accounts of horrendous police brutality against both Kuwaitis and expatriates. There have also been widespread accusations that such cases are routinely covered up and get lit-

tle, if any, attention in the media or elsewhere. The security official said that the Ministry of Interior (MoI) should learn its lesson from this latest atrocity and ensure that police and other security personnel are compelled to attend training programs to instruct them not only on human rights legislation, but on legislation outlawing torture which, if proven by a medical report, can lead to even a guilty suspect, being automatically acquitted on all charges.

Kuwait Digest

One phone call to save us from a disaster By Ahmad A-Sarraf letter sent by the manager of the environmental affairs department at the Kuwait Municipality to the deputy managing director indicates that all of Kuwait’s landfills are unlicensed. This means that not only is their status illegal but it is likely they don’t meet the conditions by which a license would be issued. Furthermore, the letter, dated late this December, notes that current landfills are not subject to any form of supervision, meaning all kinds of waste is being buried there regardless of environmental concerns. While it could be said that the Environmental Public Authority isn’t even aware of this situation, the main concern regarding this subject is that at some point in the future, locations currently being used as landfills could be sites for residential areas. The subject noted in the letter is not the first time light has been shed on the threats to our country’s environment because of the government’s negligence to find a suitable solution to Kuwait’s landfill problem. I need someone to explain to me the reason behind the government’s inaction on a problem that could directly result in the collapse of buildings that are built on these sites. The government is aware of the environmental and health risks imposed by unlicensed landfills, they have enough funds to run projects on safe waste disposal, they have a Municipal Council that makes legislation as well as land that can be used to run licensed landfills that meet environmental conditions and are operated by capable local companies. So what’s holding them back? The only thing that needs to be done is give permission for the projects to be initiated. I urge His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMuhammad Al-Sabah to instruct his government to move on this issue because it is a serious threat to our health and environment. The entire subject can be fixed with a simple phone call - similar to the order that was made to bust unlicensed enterprises in the Free Trade Zone. — Al-Qabas


KUWAIT: State Minister for National Assembly Affairs and Minister of Communication and Transport Mohammad Al-Busairy (right) is seen opening Infoconnect and Infobase exhibition in Mishref yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat KUWAIT: Family members and friends receive Kuwaiti citizens at the airport on their return from Egypt yesterday. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

No help from embassy, say Kuwaiti tourists returning from Egypt KUWAIT: A number of Kuwaiti tourists who returned from Alexandria on Saturday said they had received no help from Kuwaiti officials to get back home, adding that their attempts to contact the Kuwaiti Embassy and other official departments for help had been entirely fruitless. The tourists said that they had witnessed furious demonstrations against the Egyptian

regime on Alexandria’s streets from their hotel rooms, and had felt compelled to remain inside their hotels until their departure to avoid the protests, clashes with security forces, tear gas and looters. One returning Kuwaiti tourist, Souad AlSaeedi, offered thanks to Allah for his safe return, telling Annahar, “At first the protests started peacefully but then got really wild,

and many government and private properties were destroyed and looted.” He explained that the heavy clouds of tear gas fired by Egyptian police to dispel the protesters had even permeated the hotel rooms where he and his family members were staying. Another returning Kuwaiti tourist, Mohammed Al-Ajmi, voiced a wish that Arab countries could live in peace, expressing hope that “stability will prevail” in Egypt and calling the scenes he had seen there “sorrowful.” Speaking on condition of anonymity, another of the Kuwaiti tourists returning from Alexandria said that he had been through “very hard times” of anxiety and worry about

his own wellbeing before returning safely. Meanwhile, the first of the flights chartered by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to bring Kuwaitis stranded in Cairo back home, which was briefly stranded in Cairo, arrived back, with most of the passengers being students who have been studying at universities in the Egyptian capital. One student, Nasser Al-Shemmari, complained that Kuwaiti officials at the country’s embassy in Cairo had nothing to help Kuwaitis, who had instead gone to the Saudi embassy, where they were offered all kinds of help and protection.

Al-Busairi opens Infoconnect 2011 expo By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: This year’s International Information Technology, Office Systems & Communications Exhibition, more widely known as Infoconnect 2011, began yesterday at the Kuwait International Fairground in Mishref. The event was inaugurated by communications minister Mohammed Al-Busairi, who stressed that the major exhibition is one of the first indications of the great development-related and economic advances made in Kuwait since the launch of the government’s major development plan last April. Al-Busairi, who is also the State Minister for National Assembly Affairs and the official government spokesman, explained that the Cabinet and the Supreme Council for Planning and Development had worked closely with one another to implement the development plan projects. He also revealed that the government will be presenting the second phase of the development plan to the National Assembly (parliament) after the present brief recess, voicing hope that it will be approved shortly after parliament resumes following the upcoming national celebrations. During the press conference held following yesterday’s opening ceremony for the conference, Al-Busairi said that the unity of the firms participating in Infoconnect 2011 offers a positive image as the country prepares to celebrate the upcoming major national anniversaries. Kuwait is currently in a celebratory mood, he said, with this feeling of joy strengthened by the Amiri grant of KD1,000 to every Kuwait citizen born before February 1 this year, along with a present of free foodstuffs for all Kuwaitis for the next 14 months. The minister said that the exhibition is a keenly-awaited event, with the average number of visitors exceeding 250,000, adding that he expected the numbers attending Infoconnect 2011 to exceed those seen on previous years. Al-Busairi concluded his address by lauding the exhibition, pointing out that technology is one of the key foundations of the national development plan, and adding that the exhibition, which is open until February 5, is showcasing all the latest advances in cutting edge technology. Ahmed Al-Mansour, the general manager of Infocenter, which jointly organized the major exhibition, explained that this year’s event is a truly specialist one, with three major firms organizing it. He voiced hope that it would be a great success, as well as revealing that this is the most international Infoconnect event to date, with firms coming from nations as varied as Dubai, India, Singapore and Egypt. He also revealed that industry leaders such as Microsoft, HP, Cisco and the Canadian creators of the BlackBerry device, Research in Motion, are also represented at the major event for the first time. Amongst other participants, meanwhile, are internet service providers like FastTelco, KEMS, Qualitynet and United Network, as well as Zain Telecom, Al-Mansour revealed. Another of the major local firms participating, Wataniya Telecom, has established its own special zone, complete with games to attract visitors in. Like all the other participating firms, Wataniya will be offering visitors a chance to participate in a number of competitions, including raffle draws, with KD 100 being the lowest prize and a brand new car the top prize, as well as giving visitors the opportunity to take advantage of a number of special offers. Mohammad Terro, the Public Relations officer with Microsoft Kuwait, explained that for Infoconnect 2011 Microsoft is focusing on attracting students and other individual prospective customers visiting the event, as well as attracting corporate business. The Microsoft zone is divided into three sections, with one specializing in computer games and advanced technology where visitors can play to their heart’s content, the second focusing on Microsoft’s new program ‘Windows Mobile 7,’ and the third being more targeted at the corporate sector, offering advanced electronic systems designed for use in an office setting.



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local Thukhur initiative launches program to train leaders 100 Kuwaitis to attend Cornell program By Nawara Fatthoava KUWAIT: Kuwait is in the process of developing into a regional financial and commercial center. “As Kuwait transforms itself into a leading financial and trading center it will require the talents of many of its citizens to sustain the progress made by implementing the nation’s development plan,” said Jassem Al-Safran, Executive Director of the Leaders for Development Initiative (Thukhur) during a press conference at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel yesterday. Thukhur is the first initiative to develop a sizable cadre of highly trained project executives. Following their successful completion of the program in Cornell, graduates will become eligible for membership in the National Club for Leaders for Development and serve in various developmental capacities as needed. Thukhur in Arabic implies building and nurturing precious assets that can be used as needed. Thukhur announced the candidates for training program. “Today we announced the names of the first 100 Kuwaitis to attend an extensive training program in high-level executive project management at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Cornell University was selected as the academic advisor to the initiative because of its international reputation as the most educationally diverse member of the prestigious Ivy League American universities,” added Al-Safran. Representatives from Cornell conducted a series of interviews in Kuwait throughout November before returning to the university to design the project’s executive program. Over the past eight weeks a nationwide recruiting campaign was conducted to identify candidates for the program. “All candidates completed application forms on the Thukhur website and were assessed on their per-

Jassem Al-Safran

sonality traits,” said Al-Safran. He explained that they used an internationally recognized assessment instrument to compare individual profiles with job profiles specifically tailored to the Project Executive assignment. He added that applicants participated in an extensive behavioral interview conducted by highly trained inter viewing experts from the UK.. “Cornell’s High-Level Project Executive Program will train Kuwaiti participants to “oversee, monitor, guide and evaluate implementation of development projects to minimize changes from the project plan and achieve project results as well as actively engage key internal and external stakeholders and provide project leadership,” stressed Al-Safran. The intense learning program is divided into three stages: “First, participants will attend a 12-day Foundation for Success program at Cornell’s main campus. Following their return to Kuwait, participants will be involved in a five-week Applied Learning session before returning to Cornell for a final six-day program on Sustaining Success program,” concluded Al-Safran. Before departing to the US participants will attend a three day orientation program from March 1 - 3 in Kuwait. The first group of 50 participants will begin training on March 12, while the second group of 50 participants will begin their training on May 7.

RIYADH: Members of the Kuwaiti delegation presenting memento to Prince Khalid Bin Sultan. — KUNA

Saudi official hails Sheikh Jaber’s great role in liberating Kuwait RIYADH: Saudi Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs Prince Khalid Bin Sultan said here yesterday that late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah had a great role in liberating Kuwait in 1991. Prince Khalid was speaking at a meeting with a delegation of Kuwaiti journalists, which was attended by Kuwait’s Embassy in Riyadh Sheikh Hamad Al-Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah. Prince Khalid said that Sheikh Jaber insisted during the Iraqi occu-

pation on staying in Al-Khai city, which is close to Kuwait, and did not agree on moving to Riyadh until late King Fahad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud urged him to leave. The Saudi prince also hailed the role of the Kuwaiti resistance, saying that its formation in less than one week was a surprise. The resistance had an effective role on the success of the coalition forces, he emphasized, noting that the Kuwaiti resistance’s reports on the activities of Iraqi forces in Kuwaiti

were accurate and were important to the coalition’s leaders. It is significant to document the efforts of the Kuwaiti resistance, he said. Prince Sultan stressed that the Kuwaiti-Saudi relations were very strong. He emphasized that he was proud of his role in liberating Kuwait, noting that Kuwait was in his heart. “I would never forget the trust I got from late Sheikh Jaber and late Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salem AlSabah,” he said. On his part, the Kuwaiti ambassador said that the del-

egation of Kuwaiti journalists was keen on meeting Prince Khalid to express appreciation to his role and Saudi Arabia’s role in liberating Kuwait. Member of the delegation Yousef Al-Jassim hailed the role of Prince Kalid in liberating Kuwait. The delegation presented a souvenir to Prince Khalid on the occasion of Kuwait’s 50th Independence Day, 20th Liberation Day, and the 5th anniversar y of Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah’s assumption of power. — KUNA

29 bogus Kuwaiti firms involved in human trafficking KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interiorís Migration Investigation Department has received the details of 29 local companies found to be involved in human trafficking activities from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL).

One MSAL insider told Al-Rai that senior MoI personnel had requested the details of all employees registered with the non-existent ëfrontí companies, as well as of the firmsí owners, in order to take legal action against them.

The recent discovery was enabled through joint cooperation between the two ministries, said the insider, stressing that further cooperation could enable the country to fully eliminate human trafficking-related crime.



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Citizen shot dead by his brother-in-law Maid physically abuses employer’s child KUWAIT: A citizen was shot dead in Ferdous by his brother-in-law after a dispute between the two escalated to the point of violence, reported Al-Watan. The victim, a Kuwaiti in his thirties, went to his sister’s home to talk with her husband — also a citizen in his thirties. Their argument escalated to the point that the husband shot his brother-in-law with a handgun, striking him in the head and abdomen. When police responded to the emergency the assailant turned himself in to authorities. The killer faces first-degree murder charges and is being questioned by authorities to determine the exact circumstances that led to the man’s death. Fatal accidents A 17-year-old citizen was killed and two other young citizens were injured in a car accident on Abdaly Road, reported Al-Watan. The accident occurred when the driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed directly into a truck. Paramedics responded to the incident and

brought the injured to the hospital. Meanwhile, a young Iraqi man died in an accident on Salmi Road when his car lost balance and overturned. His body was freed from the wreckage by firefighters from the Jahra fire department, reported Al-Watan. Deaths An investigation was launched after authorities discovered a dead Asian man inside his vehicle in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, reported AlWatan. Investigators discovered evidence of foul play at the scene, including bruises on the victimís body. Meanwhile, a Pakistani construction worker was fatally wounded when he fell from a building he was working on, reported AlWatan. The body was referred to the coroner and an investigation into the case was opened. Bnaid Al-Gar theft Lawyers filed a case with the Ardiya police station after the contents of their vehicles were robbed while they were playing a game of

football, reported Al-Watan. The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Kuwait Lawyer Association’s Cooperative Society in Bnaid Al-Gar while the four lawyers were at a nearby playground. The stolen items included cell phones, a laptop computer, cash and documents. An investigation was launched by authorities. Khaitan fire An Arab burned his arm when a fire occurred in an abandoned house in Khaitan, reported Al-Qabas. He was brought to Farwaniya Hospital in an ambulance and firefighters extinguished the flames before they could spread to any nearby buildings. Workers charged A police officer pressed charges against three Asian cleaning workers at the police station he works at, accusing them of stealing his wallet, reported Al-Qabas. According to his report, the man left his wallet on his desk

before going out briefly only to return and discover that his wallet was gone. He said he was able to determine that the cleaning workers were the only ones to enter his office while he was out. The three were held for questioning. Missing citizens A citizen filed a missing person report for his daughter at the Sulaibikhat police station after she failed to return home for two days, reported Al-Qabas. Furthermore, the man informed police that his 15-year-old daughter seemed emotionally stressed, adding that it may have led to her disappearance. Authorities launched an investigation in search of the young woman. Meanwhile, a Kuwait man filed a case at the same police station when his 30-year-old son disappeared after he went out with his friends four days previously, reported Al-Qabas. Police tried to contact the missing man but discovered that his cell phone was switched off. An investigation was launched in search of the man.

Wataniya showcases ‘GiveKuwait Campaign’ at InfoConnect KUWAIT: Wataniya is enjoying tremendous success at the InfoConnect exhibition this year. There are several exciting activities, engaging events and surprises for visitors and customers at the Wataniya booth. One of the biggest highlights of the Wataniya booth is a sound proof recording studio for GiveKuwait; the largest social media campaign which was launched in midDecember, 2010 dedicated to Kuwait’s upcoming 50th anniversar y. Customers can record songs and upload video clips or pictures showcasing their talent and love for Kuwait. All Wataniya customers can participate in the “GiveKuwait” campaign by uploading their pictures audios and videos on w w uwait. Customers can increase their chances to win by encouraging their friends to vote for their entries by sharing them through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The campaign will come to an end on Feb 20, 2011. On behalf of Wataniya, Abdolaziz Al-Balool, Director of Public Relations said: “ The Wataniya booth at InfoConnect this year is full of exciting activities and surprises because we

Abdolaziz Al-Balool want to create customer experiences that are memorable and interactive. The recording studio for our GiveKuwait campaign was especially liked by people since it gives them a chance to show off their talent and express their patriotism. We are proud of being such an integral part of this creative celebration.” Wataniya is going to give away iPads every week to the winner from each category (picture, audio and video) and there will be grand prizes

such as: Audio winners will get to record a song and a video clip composed by Abdulla Al-Quood in addition to a travel package for two to attend an international musical concert. The grand photography prize is a Digital DSLR and a travel package for two to a world class destination. Last but not the least; the video winner will get a free trip for two to Hollywood and the chance to participate in a cinema production. The Wataniya booth is open to all visitors from Jan 30 to Feb 6 at the InfoConnect exhibition on Mishref Fairgrounds, hall number 6. Wataniya has gone beyond the usual to create lucrative offers plus there are some fantastic freebies and daily prizes for everyone who wants to enhance their communication experience. Wataniya Telecom was commercially launched in 1999 as the first privately owned operator in Kuwait. National Mobile Telecommunications Company (NMTC) trading under the brand name Wataniya Telecom is listed in the Kuwait Stock Exchange and has operations in 6 countries including Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Palestine. Qatar Telecom (Qtel) owns 52.5% of Wataniya Telecom.

In my view

The air is for everyone

By Abdellatif Sharaa


s I was leaving my home yesterday morning I was hit by the smell of cigarette smoke, which is very unpleasant, and when I got to the elevator it was unbearable! This morning I noticed a note inside the elevator discouraging people from smoking for health reasons. However, the person who smoked in the elevator did not care about other people’s health and did not show any consideration for others who use the elevator. There are many warnings against smoking and health authorities from countries all over the world recognize how dangerous it is. A few examples of some of the warnings I have found are:

KUWAIT: Inspection campaigns in progress.

Three stores shut following food inspection campaign By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Three stores in Ahmadi were shut down, while 111 citations were issued to various other retail outlets in the area during a recent health and safety crackdown by municipality inspectors there, with 270 kilograms of foodstuffs deemed unfit for human consumption being confiscated and destroyed. Meanwhile, senior municipality official Fahad Al-Otaibi said that another series of inspections in Fahaheel resulted in the issuing of 37 more citations and the confiscation and destruction of 120 kilograms of rotten meat and fish. Meanwhile, in Ali Al-Salem and Shuaiba, inspectors confiscated a further 75 kilograms of meat, shellfish and white rice from local outlets which was found to be unfit for human consumption. Dr. Fadhil Safar, the Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Municipality Affairs, expressed his confidence in the inspectors’ ability to protect consumers from unscrupulous retailers’ attempts to sell foodstuffs unfit for human consumption. The minister was speaking following another operation, this time in the Shuwaikh Industrial Zone, which resulted in the confiscation and destruction of 1.25 tons of expired foodstuffs and 610 liters of rancid milk.

• Smoking causes peripheral vascular disease. Smoking causes emphysema. • Smoking causes mouth and throat cancer. • Smoking clogs your arteries. • Don’t let children breathe your smoke. • Smoking - A leading cause of death. • Quitting will improve your health. • Smoking harms unborn babies. • Smoking causes blindness. • Smoking causes lung cancer. • Smoking causes heart disease. • Smoking doubles your risk of a stroke. • Smoking is addictive. • Tobacco smoke is toxic. • Smoking severely harms you and the people around you. • Smoking clogs blood vessels and causes heart attacks and strokes. • Smoking can damage sperm. • Smoking can reduce blood flow and cause impotency and reduce fertility. • Smoking can cause a slow and painful death. • Smoking causes gangrene. • You are not the only one smoking this cigarette. • Over 80 percent of lung cancers are caused by smoking. • Tobacco smoke is poisonous. • Smoking causes foul and offensive breath. I am not asking smokers to quit, as this is their choice, but as I accept their free choice I expect them to respect my choice of wanting to be healthy. If a person eats a bar of chocolate he will not harm me in any way shape or form, even if I was severely allergic to it. However, if I am exposed to one puff of smoke I will be harmed and I will be at risk of everything that was mentioned above. The air is for everyone. Some governments now have laws in place banning people from smoking in public. In places such as airports there are designated smoking areas where smokers are crammed into a closed room, all to keep them from harming other people. Again, smokers should look around and think 101 times before attempting to remove a cigarette from their pack and light it. Please, be considerate and think of yourself, your family and your fellow humans. Stop smoking and be a real quitter! What do you think? Tell me! God Bless Kuwait

Local training company launches new program By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Project management saves time, effort and money, as well as redirecting energy used in implementing development projects towards the right technical methods to obtain the best results, according to a senior official with a local training and consultancy firm. “It’s necessary to find the solutions and implement strict inspections while carrying out the large-scale development projects to prevent mistakes or disasters that could harm our economy and society,” explained Ahmed Al-Majed, the Executive Director of Tatra Training and Consultancy, speaking at a seminar yesterday on project management mechanisms and strategies as a crucial technical aspect of implementing the national development plan. During the event, Tatra launched its new ‘Prince 2’ project management training program. “It’s useful to transfer the British experience in project management to Kuwait,” he said, explaining, “The British government has approved legislation that unifies project management across the public sector. This law states that the contractor should be accredited and follow the new project management system. This system is called ‘Prince.’ Al-Majed further revealed that the new system had gone through various stages of development until the final ‘Prince 2’ program was unveiled in 2009. “The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills adopted this updated version,” he continued. “Today, Tatra Training and Consultancy is presenting this new idea to all the local public sector bodies in order to enable them to follow a unified strategy for managing governmental projects, especially since the different implementation techniques currently used by each public authority lead to shortcomings in the quality of projects and tenders in Kuwait.” Al-Majed called on the Kuwaiti government, which is working towards the realization of its long-term development plan, to approve a unified project management strategy, saying that doing so would “result in greater

KUWAIT: Chris Haden and Dr. Ahmed Al-Majed

control and meant that contractors would be scrutinized by all of the executive, legislative, and inspecting authorities.” To help achieve this, said Al-Majed, Tatra had invited British project management consultant Chris Haden, “one of the top global trainers of this program in Europe,” to present the training program in Kuwait. The program has initially been offered to staff from the Ministry of Interior, the State Audit Bureau, and Kuwait University’s project management supervision team. “Fifteen trainees have already received the first certificate of basic project management implementation in the Prince program,” Al-Majed revealed. Tatra reviewed many nations’ experience in project management training, including the American, Japanese, German and the British models, Al-Majed explained, before finally choosing the British model. “Applying this program in Kuwait will save years of experience and effort and it will let all the contracting companies deal in one unified way with the government,” Al-Majed concluded. In his own speech during yesterday’s event, Haden spoke about the Prince 2 training program, explaining that it is already in use in numerous nations, including Australia, Holland, New Zealand and Denmark, amongst others, and is designed to reduce the failure rate in public sector projects to the minimum.



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LOCAL Interior to divide, form voters committees’ HQ KUWAIT: Interior Ministry has issued a decision to divide, form and identify the headquarters of voters committees in the election tables, indicating that the committees will begin their work in February. The ministry said in a press statement that the revised laws on elections for members of parliament, which came in the decision requires that each electoral district shall have a permanent table or more under the supervision of a single committee or committees consisting of two presidents and two members. It explained that the annual adjustment includes the addition of names of those who have become qualified for electoral rights and the addition of names of those who have attained the age of 20 years and they meet all the requirements stipulated by the law. The statement pointed out that among these amendments are addition of names of those who had been unjustly neglected in the previous tables and deletion of names of the deceased as well as the deletion of names of those who lost the qualities required since the last review. — KUNA

Illegal structures may be main cause of power cuts Massive overload on transformers KUWAIT: While the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) struggles every summer to find ways of tackling the heavy rates of electricity use, which threaten is ability to maintain a steady supply throughout the season, one problem remains overlooked despite being a main factor in the equation: the illegal buildings and other structures whose power supply adds to the problem. Every area in Kuwait is equipped with a number of transformers that provide power to residential and commercial facilities. The MEW works closely with the Kuwait

Municipality to determine the number of licensed structures that require an electricity supply in order to ensure that the supply remains constant. However, the rising number of unapproved and unlicensed buildings and structures in some areas which hook up illegally to the mains power supply without MEW permission or supervision cause a serious overload and put heavy pressure on the transformers’ capacity. According to un-sourced statistics offered by Al-Qabas, those areas that suffer from

informed that it had been caused by a massive overload on the local transformer resulting directly from the unexpected heavy use of power by the residents of these illegal structures. Many residents are calling on the municipal authorities to introduce new and stringent legislation against the construction of these illegal buildings, extensions and other structures, and to disconnect the existing power supply from such facilities without doing so to the surrounding homes, shops and other facilities.

Children’s art workshop inspires new generation

Kuwait, Iranian officials hold talks in Tehran TEHRAN: Members of Iran-Kuwait Trade Committee discussed yesterday investment opportunities in both countries and matters related to freight, ports and free trade zones. Kuwait’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Rasheed Al-Tabtabae, in remarks during the committee meeting, said the Iranian side tabled a host of issues like the cooperation between chambers of commerce and industry. Both sides will reach common understanding in the coming two days over all issues on the table, he said. Chairman of the Iranian Trade Development Organization Hamid Safdel, who chaired the Iranian side, said keenness of the governments in Kuwait and Tehran to further develop trade and economic cooperation would enable private sector play a leading role to elevate bilateral economic ties. Al-Tabtabae, speaking to KUNA after the meeting, said Kuwait was looking forward to developing of cooperation in domains of investments, industry and export. Kuwait and Iran are parties to agreements over industrial cooperation, standardization and specification, encouraging and protecting investment, and trade, he said. “So we believe there are great potentials and capabilities to develop the trade relations,” he added. The Kuwaiti official said Iranian exports to Kuwait in 2008 were around $250 million but dropped in the following year because of the global economic crisis. Trade exchange between Kuwait and Iran is around $430 million a year, he said. Safdel, for his part, said Iran’s exports to Kuwait included carpets, handicrafts and some industrial products, while importing some steel materials. He said many Kuwaiti and Iranian investors were keen on collaborating on projects on food industry, agriculture, tourism and hotels. — KUNA

regular power cuts are generally found to be the same ones with a high proportion of these illegal structures. Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, for instance, which was affected last summer by extensive power cuts, is well known for the number of extensions and additions to buildings, including whole additional floors, which are then illegally connected to the mains power supply. One resident indicated that when he phoned an MEW emergency operator to complain about the latest power cut, he was

By Wendy Clayton

Hala (left) and sister May with their marquetry projects.

Deng proudly shows off his marquetry achievement. — Photos by Wendy Clayton

KUWAIT: Children attending a marquetry workshop at the Dar AlAthar Al-Islamiyya completed their projects on Saturday. Sophie Budden, the head of conservation for the Al-Sabah Collection, organized and ran the workshop introducing the art of marquetry to the next generation of artists. Marquetry is the art and craft of covering a structural object with pieces of veneer forming decorative patterns, designs or pictures. It differs from the closely related art form of parquetry in that, although it uses similar techniques, parquetry uses simple repeating geometric shapes, forming tile patterns usually as a floor covering. Assisting the children at the workshop were student volunteers Bashayer Al-Arfaj and Mohammad Makhseed. Al-Arfaj, who is studying Design Technology at school, explained that assisting at the workshops helps with her studies. Makhseed, meanwhile, revealed that he is using the workshops to fulfill his service requirements for an International Service Award. Eight-year-old workshop participant Hala Ghorayeb explained that all those taking part had to first design a pattern using geometric shapes. “After we designed our pattern on paper, we decided which parts would be which color. We then stuck the paper onto the wood,” Hala revealed. “Then we had to cut around the shapes”. Hala said the cutting out was rather hard but also quite good fun. Another of the students, May Ghorayeb, was equally enthusiastic. “I chose a circular pattern for my design because I thought it would look nice inside the rectangular shaped frame work ,” she said. “We talked about geometry at the start of the workshops. Designing the pattern was the best part for me because it was fun. I like the topic of wood and learning about marquetry and par-

quetry”. Budden revealed that the children were first introduced to the two craft forms during a theory session with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, visual aids and pictures of artifacts from the Sabah collection. “We showed the children pieces from the collection where they could see marquetry being used,” she explained. “We gave them a package containing patterns from which they all designed their own patterns”. Another of the delighted young participants, Chinese schoolboy Deng Ke, said, “I came up with my design all on my own. I liked cutting out the wood pieces even though it wasn’t easy. Once I made a mistake and broke a piece and had to do it again”. Deng explained that he found a circular shape within one of the pattern pieces he was given by Budden and that inspired him to add his own customized design lines in the middle. After the children had cut out their pieces and painted them it was time to glue them together. Once the pattern was completed the design was then framed. “Oh Wow! That’s cool,” exclaimed Deng when he saw his framed work of art. “That’s super-cool. It’s the first time I’ve ever done something like this. I’m going to put this in my room where I can see it every morning when I wake up.” For Hala the easiest part was the painting. She squealed with excitement at seeing her finished product and thanked her assistant Bashayer. “I’m very happy with what I have done,” said Hala. Hala’s sister May was also very proud of her piece, as was their mother when she came to pick them up. In previous interview with Kuwait Times Dar Al-Athar AlIslamiyya’s director, Abdul Kareem Al-Ghadban, explained that the Children’s Art Workshop program is molding future conservators. “It is our goal to instill in children the importance of conserving Islamic and Kuwaiti culture,” said Al-Ghadban. “We want them to respect the art that is their culture”.



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‘Wisdom of Kuwait rulers behind national integrity, independence’ National celebrations in Bern

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at Al-Seif Palace yesterday Minister of Interior Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Abdulaziz Al-Roudhan. The Amir also received Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Dr Mohammad Mohsen Al-Afasi who recently returned to Kuwait after getting medical treatment abroad.

Marine pollution continues to trouble Kuwait KUWAIT: Despite Kuwaiti authorities stressing their determination to tackle various forms of damage to the local environment, one form of environmental pollution remains problematic, with the country’s offshore waters remaining as heavily polluted as in previous years. The failure of the various state bodies to resolve these problems has been blamed by some local environmentalists not on the authorities’ lack of funds, available solutions or determination, but simply on their lack of expert staff and failure to act decisively. The problems have been magnified by the massive equipment breakdown at the Mishref sewage treatment plant on August 23, 2009, which, up until January 1, 2011, had resulted in 73.8 million square meters of raw sewage being dumped directly into the Gulf, reported Al-Qabas. This has only added to the sewage problems experienced in the country for almost 40 years. One major problem is the ageing system of sewage pipes along the Ghazali Road, which is unable to cope with the steadily increasing levels of sewage going through it, from the several areas it now covers. This means that increasing amounts of the liquid waste supposed to be carried away for treatment by this system are instead transferred to an illegal network of

pipelines feeding directly into the rainwater drainage system that dumps the raw effluent directly into the Gulf waters. Another problem that’s come to public attention recently after being neglected for some years is the longstanding violation of laws against chemical waste dumping by various facilities in the Ushairej industrial zone. It’s believed that 47 of the local manufacturing facilities in the zone, located on the coast at Doha, have been dumping liquid chemical waste directly into the Gulf, causing immense harm to the marine environment. Other facilities in Shuwaikh and Al-Rai have also been accused of similar dumping of chemical waste into the rain drainage network, which again runs directly into the Gulf. These problems are augmented by the flow of heated waters used at the power generation and water desalination plants into the Gulf, along with the occasional oil leaks that have seen substantial amounts of oil pouring directly into the offshore waters. All these factors have led to many of Kuwait’s residents, both local and expatriate, questioning the safety of the country’s waters, which provide not just the sole source of desalinated tap water including the drinking water - and of fish and other seafood.

Outstanding students travel to Morocco KUWAIT: A group of outstanding Kuwaiti high school students will travel to Morocco today in a trip organized by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED). “Visiting Morocco is a great opportunity to acquaint the students with efforts made by the fund, as Morocco and KFAED go a long way back,” Ahmad Al-Sarraf, supervisor of the trip dubbed “Be a Well-achiever, said. This is the second trip to be organized by the fund to 11th grade students, as the first was last year and took them to Cairo, Egypt, whereas female students went to Beirut, Lebanon. This year, the male students will travel to major Moroccan cities like the capital Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakesh, whilst Jordan will be the destination of female students. “Morocco is of the most countries beneficiary of

the fund through numerous developmental projects,” AlSarraf said, adding that infrastructure-related projects like highways and power stations, top the fund’s list. The students will be accompanied by supervisors from the Ministry of Education and KFAED. “The trip is also of a cultural, touristic and recreational nature, with one of its objectives being the nurturing of patriotic spirit of the students and encouraging them to carry on with their studies with flying colors,” Al-Sarraf concluded. KFAED will arrange annually similar one-week trips for top students to visit countries that benefit from the KFAED’s funds in order to become acquainted with the Fund’s various activities in those countries. — KUNA

BERN: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Switzerland Dr Suhail Khalil Shuhaiber said yesterday that Kuwait was able to maintain its integrity and independence with the skill and knowledge of its rulers. This came in a lecture he delivered before the Swiss Social Forum in Berne, founded in 1759, which includes a number of the most prominent and influential figures in Switzerland, that the embassy continues to prepare for Kuwait’s national celebrations after His Highness the Amir raised the Kuwaiti flag marking the beginning of the national celebrations. Ambassador Shuhaiber praised Kuwaiti-Swiss relations, especially after the visit of Swiss President and Foreign Minister Micheline CalmyRay to the state of Kuwait last November. He said that the political geography of the region and the experience of Kuwaiti rulers played a key role in the protection of country’s entity during that period, as there wasn’t a central force in Persia in the east, north, and Ottoman Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula to the south. He added, “But things have changed in the eighteenth century, where increased risks and Kuwait needed to provide the same protection from the British to ensure its security and autonomy.” He explained that ruler of Kuwait at that time, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Kabeer, who was known for his political skills, played a historic role to exploit competing European powers in the Gulf to persuade officials in Britain, to protect Kuwait which was not of high importance to Britain at the time. He noted that the effor ts of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, successful-

ly signing an agreement in 1899 after he recommended the Undersecretary of the Foreign Office in London in January of that year to the Deputy King of India, saying “We do not want Kuwait, but we do not want somebody else to control it.” He also explained how Kuwait and after six decades in 1961 decided to cancel the protection agreement with Britain and replace it with an agreement of cooperation and friendship to claim complete independence of Kuwait. He then moved to the impact of oil wealth on Kuwait, turning the economy from dependence on trade to reliance on oil and how the state pursued a policy of redistribution of wealth to all citizens through the “valuation” and the implementation of several infrastructure projects that have moved in Kuwait to the State of modern luxury. He told attendees, “We did not import democracy from outside, but inspired by the founding fathers of Islamic principles and in particular the principles of consultation and provision of equitable and legacies and traditions of Kuwait.” He added that the institutional work of the principle of Shura has also yielded an elected parliament, and that the principle of equitable governance has led to ensure the citizen’s right to act in accordance with Article 41 of the Constitution, which has had a deep effect on the country and people. The Ambassador Shuhaiber that Kuwait continues to this day the voice of moderation in the region in support of human rights and political freedom, giving the initial development of the Arab Economic and con-

vergence of views between brothers and friends, where His Highness the Amir called for the first Arab economic summit hosted by Kuwait in 2009 to discuss economic development efforts. He said that the summit has resulted in the establishment of an Arab fund to suppor t small and medium industries in the Arab world and to contribute in the fight against poverty and unemployment in Arab countries. Kuwait is reaching out to help in various parts of the earth through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development which has done much in five decades in more than one hundred countries around the world with a capital of $14.d billion, equivalent to 1.3 percent of gross national product of the state, double the rates accepted globally. Kuwait has doubled its aid to five times the voluntary desire to support humanitarian efforts and strengthen its cooperation with the United Nations. He concluded his lecture by referring to a translation of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah’s vision to transform Kuwait into a financial and international trade center in the region, as has been adopted by the Development Plan 2010-2014 with a budget of $140 million. He noted that the plan will address the development of infrastructure and building ports, railways and new towns and improve basic services and improving the quality of education and living conditions, health services and gender equality, political freedom and economic status. — KUNA

‘UK, Kuwait historically connected’ LONDON: The United Kingdom and Kuwait are strong allies and historically connected for more than 200 years, British Minister affirmed yesterday. British Minister of Middle Eastern Affairs Alistair Burt made his remarks on the occasion of the 50th Independence Day, 20th Liberation Day, and the 5th anniversary of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s assumption of power.

Burt expressed the British government and people’s sincere congratulations to His Highness the Amir and the people and government of Kuwait on the national celebrations, wishing the Gulf country progress and prosperity. He also stressed that the United Kingdom is looking forward to further promoting and deepening political, cultural, educational, commercial, and military ties with the state of Kuwait. —KUNA

ACK training courses for Coast Guard

KUWAIT: The Australian College of Kuwait (ACK), held an advanced training course over the past two weeks in Maritime Communication and Navigation, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior and the Coast Guard. ACK is one of the first private educational training institutions in Kuwait that have a proven track record in this field compatible with international standards adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The training course focused on the latest methods used in communication and navigation and provided a detailed explanation of the basics of navigation along with an illustration of its applications. Since its establishment, ACK has been keen on developing a department specialized in maritime training and development in order to offer customized training courses to personnel in the commercial marine field. Moreover, the college focuses on an integrated training process that includes qualified experts and trainers from various counties to instruct in its all important field of compliance with international maritime law. The Director of Training at the Coast Guard, Col Abdul Karim Karam, expressed his pride and appreciation in

regards to cooperating with ACK, which established such highly developed courses for his department cadres. Moreover, he pointed out that such courses greatly assist in the development of technical capacity. ACK’s Director of Training and Marine Development, Abdullah Al-Failakawi, mentioned that this training program for the Coast Guard is the second collaboration with the Ministry of Interior. This reflects the trust and confidence in the efficiency and effectiveness of the training programs that ACK offers. Al-Failakawi also stated that ACK is proud of the continuing collaboration with the Ministry of Interior. He noted that this mutually beneficial relationship has resulted in the development of many professional capacities that are considered to be assets in the service of the country and public interest at large. ACK is keen on developing its Maritime department through offering customized training courses tailored to fit industry requirements. Furthermore, the college hires the most qualified experts in the industry from all over the world to pass on their knowledge and experience to personnel in the local maritime field while also complying with international maritime laws.

International MONDAY, JANUARY 31, 2011

Is WikiLeaks leaking? Norwegian paper scoops Assange OSLO: As if there isn’t enough intrigue around Wikileaks and its enigmatic founder, a Norwegian daily that laid hands on the same US classified documents says it has infuriated Julian Assange by playing his own game. Since last December, the daily Aftenposten, the Nordic country’s paper of reference, has been “leaking” the Wikileaks diplomatic secrets but according to its own choice and pace-independent of the script set by Assange in a deal with five world-renowned papers. Only three staff members know how Aftenposten obtained the documents-thought exclusive to Wikileaks-and won’t let on. “This took quite a lot of work,” news editor Ole Erik Almlid said. “Let’s just say that we didn’t get it through an email that went astray. “But we did not pay for it, no conditions have been attached and we can publish exactly what we want following our regular strict editorial criteria,” he said. At the paper’s cosy offices in the heart of Oslo, a team of some 30 journalists trawl through the gargantuan database of 250,000-odd confidential US cables. Their “scoops” have put a hitch in Assange’s bid to carefully orchestrate how and where the secrets concerning US diplomatic exchanges and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are released. The 39-year-old Australian - called both a crusader and a criminal and whose other troubles include possible extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual molestation-reacted by saying Aftenposten’s access to the cables was intentional. The paper is “a media partner” of WikiLeaks, Assange, who is now free on bail in Britain, told Norwegian financial daily Dagens Naeringsliv in early January. That is something Aftenposten categorically denies. “According to our information, Julian Assange is, to put it mildly, not very pleased that Aftenposten, too, has obtained ... the 251,287 US diplomatic cables from a source,” the paper’s chief editor Hilde Haugsgjerd wrote on January 4. Under Assange’s plan, Wikileaks made a deal with five major publications-The New York Times, Le Monde, El Pais, The Guardian and Der Spiegel-to gradually release the diplomatic cables, although the terms of the agreement are not known. Aftenposten itself has created its own network to help pore over the cables, cooperating with three major papers: Die Welt in Germany, Svenska Dagbladet in Sweden and Politiken in Denmark. In recent weeks, the Norwegian daily, with a circulation of 240,000, has filled its pages with information extracted from the documents. Israel, it reported, deliberately choked Gaza’s economy, and Germany aimed to develop a secret spy satellite with the United States under the guise of a commercial program. Another article said Syria backed attacks on Scandinavian embassies in Damascus as violent protests erupted in early 2006 over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. The paper systematically backs up its reports by posting the US diplomatic documents it quotes on its website, And the daily’s WikiLeaks leaks have not been without consequence. Berry Smutny, the head of German firm OHB Systems which is working on Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system, was recently suspended after a WikiLeaks cable cited him as describing the system as a “stupid idea”. “Even if there is no big scoop in the documents, we will remember these cables as fascinating,” Almlid said. The immense stash of cables should in any case provide Aftenposten with enough material to fill its pages “for another year, if not two”, Almlid said. — AFP

HORDORF: The engine of a cargo train stands on the track after a crash with a passenger train in Hordorf, near Oschersleben, eastern Germany yesterday. — AP

Train crash kills 10 in Germany BERLIN: A head-on collision between a cargo and a passenger train killed 10 people and injured 23 others in eastern Germany, police said yesterday. Authorities believe the death toll could rise in one of the country’s worst train accidents. The trains crashed in heavy fog late Saturday on a single-line track near the village of Hordorf, close to Saxony-Anhalt’s state capital Magdeburg. It’s about 125 miles southwest of Berlin, Germany’s capital. “The crash was so strong that the passenger train was catapulted off the tracks onto a nearby field,” Armin Friedrich, the police officer in charge of the rescue efforts, said at a news conference in Hordorf. The front rows of the first passenger compartment were completely crushed and several seats were lying outside the train. The dark imprints of some of the bodies that had been removed could be seen on the white frosty ground next to the crash site. The noise of the collision was heard in Oschersleben village, more than four miles away. “We are still speechless and shocked by the images and the level of destruction,” said Holger Hoevelmann, the interior minister of Saxony-Anhalt. The cause of the crash was under investigation, with experts looking at all possibilities, including technical failure and human error. Nearly 200 police and rescue workers were sent to the crash site. About 50 people were on the passenger train when the accident happened, police said. Most of the injured were so severely hurt that doctors fear the death toll could rise, he added. Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her condolences, saying she too was shocked. “My thoughts are with the families of the victims,” Merkel said in a statement. The chancellor also thanked the many rescue workers for their immediate and tireless help. “I trust that everything will be done to find the cause of this horrible tragedy,” Merkel said. Two bodies have been identified, but police did not want to release their identities before informing relatives. A phone hotline was activated for family members and friends, and psychologists and ministers were on the scene to counsel rescue personnel. Police said they were having trouble identifying victims because most of them were not carrying any kind of ID with them when the accident happened. In 2006, 23 people were killed in a train accident in Emsland in northern Germany and 101 people died in 1998, when a high-speed train derailed near Eschede in LowerSaxony. — AP

CAIRO: An Egyptian man uses his mobile phone to take a picture of the Arcadia shopping center, that was looted, damaged and set on fire by people in Cairo yesterday. — AP

Indians protest against govt corruption Page 11



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Buildings burn, death toll mounts in central Nigeria 15 slain in Jos; 19 killed in Bauchi

MINSK: Three year old Danik Sannikov, the son of former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov and journalist Irina Khalip, washes his hands with the help of his grandmother. Sannikov and Khalip are currently jailed on charges of instigating mass post-election riots in Minsk on December 19. Their fate, and their conditions in the KGB security service prison remain a mystery to their family. — AFP

Europe under attack for ‘soft’ diplomacy BRUSSELS: Europe’s foreign ministers consider joint action on global hotspots from Tunisia to Belarus yesterday, as the EU comes under mounting pressure to offer its fledgling diplomatic corps a louder voice on the world stage. Set up barely a year ago to raise the European Union’s international profile, its new diplomatic corps-the European External Action Service (EEAS) - is stumbling against criticism over its failure to do just that. “The EU has been dithering to respond to events in its neighbors” Belarus and Tunisia, said the European Policy Centre, a Brussels think-tank, “despite this being indicated as its priority foreign policy area.” Because of misguided belief that “status quo equals stability”, Tunisia’s ousted repressive regime was one of the least criticized by the EU, while its model economy set it on a path to win special “status” in its ties with the 27-nation bloc. And when the Jasmine Revolution ejected dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the EU was caught napping as a US envoy hit the ground running to offer Washington’s help in the turbulence, days before Brussels sent in its own man. Today, EU ministers will slap sanctions on Ben Ali and his associates, as well as on Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarus leader in office for 16 years who in December threw hundreds of protestors behind bars after disputed polls. Yet much criticized English baroness Catherine Ashton, who heads the EEAS, was last week singled out by Human Rights Watch for her “obsequious approach” in allowing trade and energy interests to outgun rights concerns. Her “quiet dialogue and cooperation often look like acquiescence” on rights abuse, the group said in its annual report. The EU denies diplomatic double-standards and trade-offs in its dealings with the world. “We’re conscious of the need to act on human rights,” said a diplomat from one of the big EU member states, who asked not to be identified. — AFP

JOS: Youths dragged people from their cars and murdered them at illegal roadblocks in central Nigeria over the weekend, while rioters burned fuel stations and homes in the latest clashes between Christian and Muslim gangs. Youths from the mostly Christian Berom ethnic group set up the roadblocks on Saturday at Gada Biu, on the edge of the city of Jos, stopping vehicles and pulling out people they believed to be Muslims, witnesses said. One witness, who asked not to be named, said he had counted 15 bodies, although the security forces could not confirm this. The latest burst of violence in Plateau state, where an estimated 200 people have been killed in ethnic and religious clashes over the past month, was triggered when Muslim youths attended a burial ceremony near a Christian village on Friday. Soldiers opened fire to try to quell fighting that ensued between rival mobs of students. “The situation was aggravated when the soldiers attempted to repel them into the campus. In the process, many students sustained various degrees of injuries,” Plateau State Information Commissioner Gregory Yenlong said. Reports on Saturday that some of the students had died in hospital triggered rioting, with

youths setting up the roadblocks and protesters burning two fuel stations, a college and vehicles in the Farin Gada area of Jos, police said. There have been almost daily clashes between Christian and Muslim mobs in villages around Jos, the capital of Plateau state, since a series of bombs were detonated during Christmas Eve celebrations a month ago, killing scores of people. Police in neighboring Bauchi state said they were still recovering bodies after clashes between rival gangs triggered by a game of snooker last week and so far had a confirmed death toll of 19. A local government official put the toll at 30. The tension in central Nigeria’s “Middle Belt” is rooted in decades of resentment between indigenous groups, mostly Christian or animist, who are vying for control of fertile farmlands and for economic and political power with migrants and settlers from the Muslim north. The unrest is largely contained in one region of Africa’s most populous nation and does not, on its own, risk derailing presidential, parliamentary and state elections in April. But it is likely to escalate in the run-up to the polls and gives President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration another security challenge on top of attacks

by a radical Islamic sect in the remote northeast and the threat of renewed violence in the oil-producing Niger Delta, on Nigeria’s southern coast. Soldiers shoot at students Meanwhile, soldiers in a central Nigerian city opened fire on university students protesting continuing violence between Christians and Muslims, witnesses said, with at least nine people killed in the ensuing violence. The shooting came as gas stations and farmers’ markets smoldered after late Friday violence that sparked when Christian students attacked Muslims trying to bury a corpse in Jos, a city at the epicenter of tensions between Nigeria’s two dominant faiths. One Muslim died in that attack, which sparked retaliatory assaults on Christian churches in the region Saturday morning. This is the latest violence in Jos and its surrounding villages, a region once known as a vacation spot for British colonialists and as a tin mining town. Human Rights Watch said at least 1,000 people died in 2010 and another 200 more have died within the last month in violence largely fueled by ethnic, economic and political disputes. — Agencies

E Guinea’s Nguema: 30 years of iron rule ADDIS ABABA: Teodoro Obiang Nguema, expected to be designated chairman of the African Union, has ruled Equatorial Guinea with an iron fist for more than 30 years. With the discovery of petroleum, his country rose from being a Gulf of Guinea backwater to sub-Saharan Africa’s third oil producer after Nigeria and Angola. In an attempt to boost his much-maligned image, Nguema tried in 2009 to float an international scientific prize under the auspices of the UN cultural body UNESCO, offering to allocate $3 million for five years to reward “research in life sciences”. The Equatorial Guinea president, who has built up a real personality cult in his country, has for a long time come under fire for rights abuses from numerous NGOs and international organizations. Non Government

Organizations, academics, and even Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu spoke out in indignation at the idea of a UN prize bearing Obiang’s name, and in the end the project was shelved. Born on June 5, 1942 in Akoakam-Esangui in the east of the mainland chunk of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro was a timid, almost retiring boy with a taciturn streak. After attending a religious school in Bata, the biggest town in the mainland part of the country, he joined the army which in 1963 awarded him a scholarship to a military academy in Zaragoza, Spain, the then colonial power. He returned home in 1965 and one year after independence in 1968 was put in charge of troops in the capital Malabo. He rose up quickly through the ranks. A former comrade-in-arms, now in retirement, called him “someone who is cun-

ning ... who can give you the impression he’s on your side whereas in fact he thinks quite the opposite.” “He knows how to turn a situation to his advantage even when you think there’s nothing in it for him,” the same officer went on. Under the country’s first president, the late Francisco Macias Nguema, Teodoro’s uncle, the future presidewnt was known in the local Fang language as “Ze Bere Ekum” which translates roughly as “the most watchful panther.” In 1977 Obiang Nguema became deputy defence minister and a very powerful figure in the regime. On August 3, 1979, he toppled his uncle Macias and had him shot. His regime is often accused of corruption and Obiang is one of three African heads of state accused by French NGOs of having acquired private property in France with funds taken

from state coffers. His detractors, who have often been jailed or exiled, accuse him of controlling politics, business and the military in his country of some 650,000 inhabitants. To keep all opposition at bay he brandishes the specter of “internal and external enemies.” His country’s recent history is peppered with plots, attacks and attempted coups, some real, others imaginary. In an attempt to whitewash his image Obiang signed up prominent western public relations companies. On the recommendation of his spin doctors he started donating money after earthquakes in China and in Haiti and lending his planes to fellow African presidents. His money has enabled him to acquire some standing in diplomatic circles and to obtain posts for Equatorial Guineans at the head of certain regional organizations. —AFP



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Quadruple slaying in North Dakota Mother, 2 kids, boyfriend killed MINOT: The victims of a quadruple slaying in North Dakota were a mother, two of her children and her boyfriend, and all four suffered gunshot wounds, police said. No arrests have been made in the two shootings, but authorities said they’ve questioned a “person of interest” and insist residents aren’t in danger. North Dakota averages only 11 homicides a year. Sabrina Zephier, 19, was found dead after police received a call about “a woman down and bloody” at an apartment Friday afternoon, police said in a statement Saturday. Less than an hour later, a similar call came in about a boy lying on the floor bleeding from the mouth in a trailer southeast of town. Police responded and found three

more victims: Zephier’s mother, Jolene Zephier, 38; her brother, Dylan Zephier, 13; and Jolene Zephier ’s boyfriend, Jeremy Longie, 22, said Minot Police Capt. Dan Strandberg. Strandberg said police have questioned a “person of interest,” but officials would not say whether that person was being held or what may have led to the shootings. “Nobody has been taken into custody,” Strandberg said. “But we don’t have somebody out there randomly shooting people at random.” A steady stream of onlookers drove past both crime scenes in the snow-covered city Saturday. Rick Ricker, of Dallas, rented an apartment next door to Sabrina Zephier’s place a week ago to take a construc-

tion job in town. Ricker said police were at her apartment well into Friday night. “I’m ready to head back to Texas,” he said. Andrea Proper, 34, said she learned about the killings Saturday morning. “I’m not scared,” she said. “I think it’s just an isolated incident.” “Everyone’s going to say that this doesn’t happen in Minot, but it has,” added her husband, Derek. “Welcome to the real world.” Minot, about 100 miles north of Bismarck, has a population of about 36,000 and is home to the Minot Air Force Base, which has about 4,800 active-duty military personnel. It’s also in the shadow of the state’s booming oil patch and has benefited from the region’s increased crude production in recent years. — AP

Troops revamp training for foggy battlefields

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Clinton to give quake-hit Haiti post-election boost WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was due in Haiti to give a boost to an impoverished Caribbean nation struggling to rebuild from last year’s quake and decide its future leaders. The chief US diplomat, who traveled to Port-au-Prince days after a devastating temblor which killed 220,000 people a year ago, was to meet outgoing President Rene Preval as well as candidates in the disputed November polls. She will also visit a cholera clinic. Not only has little been rebuilt in Haiti since the January 2010 quake; its people have seen a cholera epidemic claim more than 4,000 lives since October and suffered violence and uncertainty following presidential and parliamentary elections. Clinton will “consult with members of civil society, political actors, Haiti’s president and international partners on the ongoing electoral situation as well as reconstruction efforts,” her spokesman Philip Crowley said. Among those she will meet is Edmond Mulet, the special representative of UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon who urged the world not to abandon Haiti when the anniversary of the quake was marked just over two weeks ago. “The United States and Haiti share the mutual commitment to building Haiti anew after the devastating earthquake one year ago, and to ensure a strong future for Haiti’s people and its democracy,” Crowley said in a statement. Haiti’s election commission has said it will announce definitive results from the election’s first round on Wednesday and has scheduled a longdelayed second round for March 20. — AFP

FORT BENNING: As the war in Afghanistan enters its 10th year the US military is shaking up its traditional training regimen to prepare troops for the country’s complex battlefields. At boot camps nowadays soldiers are taught to think on their toes as they prepare for missions that will require them not only to fight shadowy enemies on rough terrain but also protect civilians caught in the crossfire. “Thirty years ago it was blind obedience. Today we teach them to think,” says Command Sergeant Major John Calpena, who honed his skills during a 29-yearlong career, including on deployments to Iraq. “We expect them to think. We force them to make a decision under stress.” First aid courses now teach soldiers to make tourniquets from scratch, while the traditional black and white bull’s-eyes at shooting ranges have been replaced by moving targets, some which are not to be shot. Command Sergeant Major Richard Weik, who just returned from a rotation in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, watched as the soldiers navigated the revamped firing range here at Fort Benning in the southeastern state of Georgia. “Most of these guys within a year will be somewhere on a theater,” he said, with Afghanistan the most likely destination following US President Barack Obama’s decision over a year ago to flood 30,000 troop reinforcements into the war-torn country. Posted with a gun behind the window of a plywood shed used for urban combat training, Private Antuan Lecounte is preparing for the murky battlefields to which he may soon be deployed. “If you see a uniform, you know what to do. If you see someone using a cell phone, you don’t know if he’s going to detonate a bomb or say to his wife ‘I love you,’” he says, following 12 weeks of training. Specialist Dan Zaborowski, 27, has also noticed the changes since his first stint in the army seven years ago. “They’re constantly hardening on integrity. There is more emphasis on teaching rather than disciplining.” The soldiers’ physical training has also been revised to better match the demands of combat, with fewer push-ups and sit-ups, says Lieutenant General Mark Hertling of the army’s training and doctrine command.

HELMAND: A US Marine from 1st Battalion, 8th Marines stands behind the barbed wire the base after returning from a patrol outside Musa Qala District Center base. — AFP

“It’s linked directly to the kind of things we expect the soldier to do on the battlefield-short burst of energy, carrying heavy loads,” he says. It’s the kind of training that, among other things, will prepare the soldiers to carry wounded comrades to safety. “I’ve been on the battlefield for three years in my life. I’ve never done a two-mile run on the battle-

field, but a lot of short bursts,” Hertling said. The morning workout saw some 200 soldiers mix sprints and gymnastics, exercises designed to strengthen their muscles and prevent injuries. The scene would not be out of place in a neighborhood gymnasium, but here the soldiers were planted in the mud. — AFP



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Cambodian govt ‘tears up freedom to muffle dissent’ PHNOM PENH: The Cambodian government is choking freedoms and locking up detractors in an increasingly bold effort to silence critics as elections loom, observers say. Prime Minister Hun Sen, 59, who has vowed to remain in power until he is 90, recently said on national radio that his aim was “not just to weaken the opposition, but to make it die”. The comment was the latest in a string of outbursts against critics, prompting fears that freedoms are under threat as the government looks ahead to local polls next year and a general election in 2013. “The space for dissent has shrunk to the point where people are gasping for air,” said Mathieu Pellerin of local rights group Licadho. “Vast areas of political debate have been effectively declared off-limits. The most minor venture into these fenced-off topics can bring the authorities’ wrath, whether you are a prominent politician or an anonymous village farmer.” Outspoken opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who lives in self-imposed exile, has been sentenced in absentia to 12 years in jail over two cases related to border issues with Vietnam. If the sentences are upheld, he will be unable to challenge Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) in the 2013 poll. “The CPP is preparing for the next election, that much is clear,” said a Cambodia-based Western expert, on the condition of anonymity. “To do that, they want to reduce as much as possible any public criticism that would cost them ballots.” Dismissing concerns about a crackdown on freedoms, government spokesman Tith Sothea said the government was “working to protect human rights and carry out reforms in order to ensure political stability”. Mark Turner, a Cambodia expert at the University of Canberra, said the legacy of the country’s recent bloody history has allowed the ruling party to tighten its grip on power. “One of the leading themes of post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia has been the search for stability,” he said. “If incomes are rising, education improving, health facilities more accessible, then people may accept a certain curtailment of freedoms.” Cambodia remains haunted by its past, after decades of civil war and the brutal 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge regime that left up to two million dead in its bid to forge a communist utopia. Cambodian independent analyst Chea Vannath said it was important to recognize how far the nation had come considering its “terrible past”. Hun Sen, who has ruled since 1985, has been credited with the country’s long spell of peace and stability, while also improving infrastructure and opening up the country’s markets. But he also has a history of riding roughshod over his rivals, and analysts say the CPP-bolstered by a 2008 election landslide-has exerted executive power without limits. It is now a crime to criticize judges or public officials under a new penal code that activists say could be used as a government tool to muzzle freedom of expression. “Impunity is deepening for government powerholders and their cronies to abuse rights,” said Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson. “At the core of all of this is the continued lack of independence of the Cambodian judiciary, which suffers endemic political interference from the CPP and other governing elites.” One of the first to be arrested under the new code was a World Food Program worker, sentenced to six months in prison for incitement after he printed an article from an anti-government website. The government has mounted what Robertson terms a “campaign of intimidation” against the UN in Cambodia, threatening to expel the organization’s resident coordinator Douglas Broderick after he called for more transparency in the debate about a new anti-corruption law. The government also used a high-profile visit by UN chief Ban Ki-moon to demand the removal of local human rights director Christophe Peschoux. Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said Peschoux had acted as “the spokesman for the opposition”, after the Frenchman spoke out on issues such as land-grabbing and crackdowns on government critics. Despite steady economic growth Cambodia remains one of the region’s poorest nations, presenting foreign donors with an opportunity to defend those that have come under attack, activists said. Outside aid contributed around one billion dollars, or about nine percent of Cambodia’s economic output in 2010. “Donors need to wake up and recognize the human rights situation in Cambodia is rapidly deteriorating,” said Robertson. —AFP

MPs back Ahmadinejad ally as foreign minister Iran to showcase new rockets, satellites TEHRAN: Iran’s parliament yesterday narrowly approved President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s choice of Ali Akbar Salehi as foreign minister after his predecessor was abruptly sacked during an official visit to Africa last year. The lawmakers’ verdict on Salehi is seen as a test of the hardline president’s support in parliament, after his disputed re-election in 2009 which caused a rift among the country’s hardline rulers. “Salehi secured the vote of confidence from the legislative body by getting 146 votes,” parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said. Parliament has 294 seats and 243 MPs were present for the vote yesterday. The vote in favor of Salehi will be a relief to Ahmadinejad, who has faced growing criticism from lawmakers who mainly accuse him of concentrating power in his own hands and riding roughshod over the views of lawmakers. “ Today we need a very transparent, active, powerful and influential foreign policy,” the president told parliament in an address. He added: “Cooperation between the government and parliament is very important and, through this cooperation, we should disappoint our enemies.” Ahmadinejad wanted Salehi to be his foreign affairs chief when he became president in 2005, but factional pressures forced him to accept Manouchehr Mottaki, whose relations with the president were never smooth. Mottaki is seen as a close ally of Ahmadinejad’s conservative rival Larijani, who has publicly criticized the president’s economic policies. IMPORTANT ROLE Salehi, appointed as head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization in 2009, was

TEHRAN: Iranian cleric lawmakers talk during the debates for a confidence vote for the new foreign minister in an open session of parliament yesterday. — AP

opposed by some lawmakers who said he had little political experience. “There is nothing but sloganeering in Salehi’s program ... He has no expertise in foreign policy,” said moderate lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian. With a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Salehi has played an important role in Iran’s nuclear program, which the United States and its allies fear is a cover to build atomic weapons. Iran denies this. Born in Kerbala in Iraq, a city holy to Shiite Muslims, Salehi speaks fluent English and Arabic and, with his close ties to Ahmadinejad, might prove important in his new role. “Salehi and the president share same views over many issues, including nuclear and foreign policy,” a close relative of Salehi’s said.

However, his appointment was not expected to lead to any shift in Iran’s nuclear policy or the broad lines of its foreign policy since Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the last word on all state matters, including nuclear. Salehi faces the challenge of overcoming Iran’s political isolation under US, UN and the European Union sanctions, imposed over its disputed nuclear program. “I believe Iran can intelligently organize its diplomatic relations with the world ... We are ready to improve our relations based on mutual respect,” Salehi told parliament. In another development, Iran said yesterday it will showcase what it called a new range of rockets and satellites during annual celebrations marking the

32nd anniversary of the Islamic revolution. Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Safir 1-B and Kavoshgar 4 rockets and Rasad and Fajr satellites would be unveiled during the 10-day celebrations that start on Tuesday, according to state television website. Iran will mark on February 11 the 32nd anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution which toppled the US-backed shah. Every year Tehran uses the occasion to tout its scientific and technological achievements. The Safir (Ambassador) 1-B rocket can carry a satellite weighing 50 kilograms into an elliptical orbit of 300 to 450 kilometers, the website said. Iran sent into space in February 2009 the Safir 2 rocket carrying its first home-built satellite, called Omid (Hope). The state television report said the other Kavoshgar (Explorer) 4 rocket has a range of 120 kilometers. In Februar y 2010, Iran launched a capsule carrying live turtles, rats and worms aboard a Kavoshgar 3 rocket in what was its first experiment to send living creatures in space. In December, Vahidi said Iran would launch a Fajr (Dawn) reconnaissance satellite in the next few months, along with a Rasad (Observation) 1 satellite that was initially to have been launched in August 2010. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meanwhile yesterday opened a new space research and training centre, media reports said. Iran’s missile and space programs have sparked concern abroad that such advanced technologies, combined with the nuclear know-how that the nation is acquiring, may enable Tehran to produce an atomic weapon. Iran denies its nuclear program has military aims. — Agencies

Flood-weary Australia braces for cyclones SYDNEY: Flood-shattered Australia braced for further downpours yesterday as two tropical cyclones hammered toward the devastated northeast, threatening further misery for already submerged towns. Tropical Cyclone Anthony was intensifying as it closed in on Queensland State, where it was expected to make landfall near the northeastern city of Townsville, the weather bureau said. Abnormally high tides were forecast along the coast along with intense rain and flooding to catchments already brimming from a deluge that hit vast areas of the state earlier this month, swamping tens of thousands of homes and killing 35 people. “After the summer that’s been you just think, ‘Can any more cruel blows actually land on Queensland and the nation?’ and unfortunately the answer seems to be yes,” said Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “We’re all made of tough stuff and we’ll get through this but this is another big cruel blow coming on top of what has been a summer of tragedy already.” An especially strong La Nina weather pattern is gripping Australia, bringing flooding rains and increasing the chance of cyclones due to cooler waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Record flooding devastated an area larger than France and Germany combined in mining and farming Queensland state earlier this month after Tropical Cyclone Tasha unleashed huge downpours which engorged rivers to bursting point. Currently a category two cyclone, Anthony is expected to peak in the evening and weaken as it makes landfall, with winds of up to 165 kilometers an hour and between 200 and 400 millimeters of rain. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the looming cyclones-the second of which has been forecast to reach a severe category four by the time it makes landfall on Thursday-could bring renewed flooding

to already swamped towns. “We are looking at not only a potentially damaging cyclone but more very heavy rainfall which... could fall into river catchments and cause further flooding beyond the cyclone,” she said. The last category four cyclone to strike northeastern Australia, Severe Tropical Cyclone Larry, wrought almost Aus$1 billion in damage in March 2006 and unleashed some of that region’s heaviest flooding in decades. Queensland weather Chief Jim Davidson said the second cyclone, Yasi, would bring winds in excess of “several hundreds of kilometers” per hour and unleash rain over a large area, also whipping up severe storm tides. Davidson said Cyclone Larry was the last time the region had faced such intense storms. Bligh described Yasi as a “very disturbing weather pattern” and said authorities were preparing as best they reasonably could “for something of this size,” insisting they were “battle ready not battle weary”. “This event has affected thousands of people, it’s of a magnitude... way beyond anything any state of Australia has had to deal with,” she said. Another Tropical Cyclone, Bianca, was downgraded yesterday as it moved towards Australia’s west coast. It was expected to dissipate by 2am Monday, and warnings were cancelled for towns in its path. Meanwhile a wall of floodwater continued to inch across southeastern Victoria State, inundated earlier this month, where scorching weather offered some limited relief. “Obviously it is beneficial in the sense that it may aid some evaporation of the floodwaters and maybe even slow the spread a little bit, but the water will still be coming,” said emergency spokesman Lachlan Quick. “We are talking about a record amount of water creeping through that area.” — AFP

‘Yellows’ return to Thai street politics BANGKOK: With neatly spaced tents, massages, free vegetarian meals and a heavy dose of nationalist rhetoric, Thailand’s powerful royalist “Yellow Shirts” are back on the streets of Bangkok. More than a thousand people have camped out around the government’s compound since Tuesday, demonstrating against its handling of a border dispute with neighboring Cambodia. Despite relatively small numbers compared to their arch enemies-the anti-government “Red Shirts” whose most recent rally attracted nearly 30,000 peoplethe group has managed to choke off streets around Government House. Yellow Shirts are a force to be reckoned with in Thailand’s color-coded politics and have helped to claim the scalps of



three governments in under five years, including that of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. The group, officially the People’s Alliance for Democracy, want the government to take a tougher stance on the thorny issue of the ThaiCambodian border. Tensions centre on 4.6 square kilometers of land around the ancient Preah Vihear temple, which the World Court ruled in 1962 belonged to Cambodia, although the main entrance lies in Thailand. “I came here to help my country. We have to fight to protect our land,” said protester Chutikarn Rattanasupa, 42, a grocery shop owner from Nakhon si Thammarat in southern Thailand. The Yellows, who boast support from Bangkok elites and elements

BANGKOK: A supporter of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, also known as the Yellow Shirts, waves a clapping tool during their protest outside Government House in Bangkok. — AP

in the military, used to be linked to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, but the relationship has soured. Abhisit came to power in 2008 after Yellow rallies which helped

to eject two pro-Thaksin governments. The protests culminated in the seizure of two Bangkok airports, stranding over 300,000 travelers. — AFP

CAIRO: Egyptian anti-government protesters chant slogans as they stand atop an Egyptian army tank during a protest in Tahrir square in Cairo. — AP

Asia raises alarm on Egypt travelers China issues ‘red’ warning; Hong Kong issues ‘black’ alert SYDNEY: Australia and China told their citizens not to travel to Egypt yesterday, as Tokyo appealed for help for 500 Japanese stranded at Cairo airport and Asian nations voiced concern about the country’s turmoil. The Philippines is setting up shelters in case thousands of migrant workers need to be evacuated, and the Hyundai-Kia car group was reported to have temporarily closed its African headquarters in Cairo. The rising concern came as Egypt faced another day of angry revolt against Hosni Mubarak’s regime yesterday, with more than 100 already dead in protests demanding the veteran president quit. Australia called for calm and restraint, and the foreign office upgraded its travel warning from “reconsider your need to travel” to “do not travel”. It advised Australians against journeying to Egypt and counseled those currently in the troubled country to get out if possible. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said 870 Australians were registered as staying in Egypt but given its popularity as a tourist destination said the real number was “likely to be in the thousands”. She told anyone who could safely leave to strongly consider doing so, condemning violence on both sides. “The Australian government certainly understands the desire of the people of Egypt for reform, for democracy, we understand that,” the prime minister said. “But we are monitoring the situation closely and calling on everybody to exercise calm and restraint, to make sure that the security forces are being restrained, and also to make sure that demonstrations are peaceful.” Australia’s foreign office said the situation “remains unpredictable and may deteriorate quickly” and urged travelers to avoid demonstrations. “The army is on the streets of the main towns and there are widespread reports of arson and

looting. The civil police are not present to maintain law and order,” Australia’s foreign office said, adding that travelers should respect a curfew. China’s embassy in Cairo said on its website that the foreign ministry in Beijing had issued a “red” warning yesterday, “requiring all Chinese citizens not to travel to Egypt”. It urged Chinese nationals in Egypt to be careful of their safety and not to not to go outside unless necessary, adding that 300 Chinese nationals had been stranded due to cancelled flights. Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara expressed his concern at a meeting with Cairo’s ambassador and called on Egypt’s government and people to “establish a stable government through dialogue and solve the problem in a peaceful manner,” the foreign ministry said. The minister highlighted the plight of Japanese tourists whose flights home with flag carrier EgyptAir had been cancelled, asking the airline to restore services and lay on extra aircraft for those who were stranded. The Philippines said it had set up four “relocation sites” for its citizens mostly migrant workers-in case they seek to flee violence in Egypt. Presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said none of the estimated 6,500 Filipinos in Egypt were reported hurt. “In case there is a real need to evacuate them, we have already prepared four relocation sites-three in Cairo and one in Alexandria,” Valte said over government radio. “We are looking at what we can do, and our contingency measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of our citizens.” South Korea’s Hyundai-Kia car group temporarily closed its African headquarters in Cairo, Yonhap news agency reported, adding that its employees had been moved to Dubai while their families would return home. — AFP



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New British troops aim to beat Taleban on trust SALISBURY PLAIN: The next British brigade heading to Afghanistan will enter Helmand Province with a new emphasis on giving locals enough confidence to oust the Taleban from their strongholds. Ten years and now 350 British military deaths into the mission, their focus will be on improving the lives of ordinary Afghans first and on front-line fighting second, in a clear strategy shift. Leaders of the 6,500strong 3 Commando Brigade believe success rests on convincing nervous residents of the long-lawless Helmand that they can place their trust in the democratic governance on offer. The Royal Marines formation is heading back to Afghanistan in April with memories still fresh of the 33 men it lost when it led British operations in the country in 2009. The first British brigade to go on a grueling fourth tour, they will take charge in the southern province’s central belt-fighting the insurgency, training up local troops and assisting reconstruction efforts. “The central pillar of our approach is to focus on the people first and the insurgents second,” Brigadier Ed Davis, who will command the operation, told journalists Thursday as his troops underwent final training. “If we are going to succeed in Afghanistan, we need to focus on the cause of the insurgency-which is the intimidated, vulnerable, disenfranchised people-and not the symptom, which is the insurgent fighter. “It is our job to make sure we give them the confidence and the courage to reject the insurgency, accept the offer that the government is giving them and put their hopes for the future in the Afghan state. “They need tangible evidence that their own security forces will be able to protect them.” He added: “We’ll be going out there with our eyes wide open: the progress is fragile and it is reversible.” The brigadier’s troops have had 12 months of general and then mission-specific training before entering final rehearsal maneuvers on Salisbury Plain in southwest England. On the bleak grassland home to the famous Stonehenge monument, Chinook and Sea King helicopters sweep down to drop off a platoon outside a replica village. While the

Cold War-era buildings are modeled on Germany and the Afghan troops in the mixed patrol are played by Gurkhas, the civilians are played by genuine Afghans. So when the troops sit down for a “shura” meeting with the local elders, complete with tea and sweets, the Pashto dialogue is translated for the fresh-faced British officers-but these days they take a back seat to their Afghan counterparts. Outside, as Afghan women chop carrots and boil rice on a wood fire, Marine Sam Magowan keeps watch. “For lads like myself it’s the first time out there. It’s a new experience but the training prepares you well,” the 18-year-old said. “ We’re trained to deal with IEDs (improvised explosive devices), mine strikes, suicide bombers, small arms fire, indirect fire, absolutely everything. “I’m anxious to get out there, do the job and see whatever comes our way.” Britain wants its troops out of a combat role in Afghanistan by 2015 and is therefore training up local security forces so they can gradually take over. Defense Secretary Liam Fox visited 3 Commando to see the next deployment’s preparations. “They’ve got the security mission on the ground to look after but they’re going to be in a very different political environment when the shift in Afghan policy is going to move to the political arena,” he told said. “The security improvement that we want will not be won by the military alone.” A critical part of the effort is the 200-strong Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team, headed by Foreign Office diplomat Michael O’Neill. He said progress in building up the infrastructure of a functioning state had taken off in 2010, with governors now in 10 of the 14 Helmand districts and an increasing numbers of judges across the province. “The challenge in 2011 is to consolidate and deepen that because it is still fragile,” he said, 24 hours after leaving Helmand’s capital Lashkar Gah. “The most important part is building the confidence and trust of the Afghan people in their own government. “An Afghan face, an Afghan lead-that is what will win them over.” —AFP

NEW DELHI: People hold placards as they participate in a rally to protest against widespread corruption and poor governance yesterday. —AP

Protests in India against government corruption High-profile scandals, revelations spark public anger NEW DELHI: Thousands of people marched through New Delhi and several other Indian cities yesterday to protest against corruption in the country’s government and state bodies. Public anger has grown over the longstanding issue of graft in India after a series of high-profile scandals and revelations of financial mismanagement that have damaged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s administration. The rallies in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities called for an effective anti-corruption agency to be set up to counter the cul-

ture of bribes and scams that affect the everyday lives of many Indians. “This campaign is neither aligned to nor against any political party,” the umbrella group organizing the protests said in a statement. “We feel that every political party has misused its position whenever they have been in power or otherwise. Therefore, it is extremely important that the citizens of this country unite to demand systemic changes.” Recent corruptions scandals include the cut-price sale of mobile phone licenses, which may have cost the treasury as much as $40

billion, and allegations of widespread corruption related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games. About 5,000 people attended the rally in central Delhi with other similar gatherings in cities across India on the anniversary of the death of independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, who was shot dead in 1948. Demonstrators carried placards reading “Sack and jail the corrupt” and “Enough is enough”. Politicians and business leaders have said corruption in India is slowing development and threatening the country’s future economic prosperity. —AFP





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Leaks deepen Palestinian split By Karin Laub f an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal seemed remote before, it looks downright unattainable after a stormy week of leaks of confidential Mideast protocols by Al-Jazeera TV. The disclosures hurt the credibility of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas among his people, weakening him as a leader. They deepened the chasm between him and Hamas, distancing already faint hopes of restoring Palestinian unity as the Islamic militants burned him in effigy and branded him a traitor. The papers also affirmed that there seems virtually no chance of a deal between Abbas and hardline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without more forceful US intervention. If Abbas and Netanyahu’s more pragmatic predecessor, Ehud Olmert, couldn’t close the gaps - even if they came close on some issues, as the transcripts show - it’s unlikely the current leaders will be able to. The Obama administration says it hasn’t given up, but hasn’t signaled whether it’s ready to put its own ideas on the table. On substance, the documents haven’t offered many surprises. The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, but are ready to adjust the border in a land swap to let Israel to keep some of the Jewish settlements it has build on occupied land. In 2008, Abbas and Olmert got down to details. Olmert asked to annex 6.3 percent of the West Bank, according to excerpts from his memoirs published Friday. Abbas offered to trade 1.9 percent. As part of the swap, Abbas was ready to let Israel keep all but one of the Jewish enclaves built in east Jerusalem after 1967, now home to 200,000 Israelis. While Abbas had not said publicly that he offered to give up large tracts of east Jerusalem, it couldn’t have come as a shock to Palestinians. Such a trade-off was already proposed a decade ago by then-US President Bill Clinton, as part of parameters still widely seen today as the foundation of any deal. Perhaps most damaging for Abbas were his private comments on the fate of several million Palestinian refugees and their descendants. Officially, the Palestinian position is that refugees should be able to choose whether they want to return to lost property in Israel, move to a future Palestinian state, stay in their host countries or settle elsewhere. Israel has said it would at best accept a nominal number of returnees, arguing that a mass resettlement to Israel would destroy the state’s Jewish character. The leaks quoted Abbas as telling Palestinian negotiators in a 2009 meeting that it is “illogical to ask Israel to take 5 million or indeed 1 million.” Such a demand, he said, “would mean the end of Israel.” However, Israel’s offer at the time, to take 5,000, is unacceptable, he added. Abbas has never shared such assessments with the Palestinian public. In part, he may have wanted to avoid making inadvertent concessions to Israel by discussing the issue openly. But he may also have been fearful of a massive outcry. The “right of return” goes to the emotional core of the conflict with Israel, since a majority of Palestinians live in exile, including camps scattered across the region. Some argue the leaks could force a more candid public debate among Palestinians. “The papers have made it clear to every single refugee that the right of return is not part of a future deal between the PLO and Israel,” said West Bank analyst Khalil Shaheen. “Now everything has become clear and the refugees should decide without any illusion.” However, others say Al-Jazeera deliberately incited against Abbas, making rational debate difficult. “Things were either taken out of context or given the worst interpretation, with a very clear objective of getting the Palestinians angry and trying to strike at the credibility of the negotiators,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a leading PLO member. “Some say, OK, now things are out in the open ... Others say this is treason.” Abbas seems to have survived the tumultuous week of nightly broadcasts largely intact, judging by the response in the West Bank, where his Palestinian Authority is based. His Fatah movement led a few rallies in his support, while critics stayed at home. In Gaza, run by Hamas since a 2007 takeover, the Islamic militants jumped at the chance to discredit their Western-backed rival, leading thousands in chants of “traitors go home.” Relations between the rivals were tense before, but this week’s attacks on Abbas were unusually harsh. “This will deepen the already bad situation and diminish even the slim chances of bringing them (Hamas and Fatah) back together again,” said Khaled Hroub, a Mideast analyst at Cambridge University. The Palestinian split is a major obstacle to any peace deal, because Abbas cannot negotiate for all Palestinians. The Obama administration’s attempts to start talks between Abbas and Netanyahu never got off the ground, except for a brief round in September. —AP


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No papering over of Mideast divisions By Crispian Balmer flood of secret documents leaked last week suggests the Palestinians and Israelis came tantilising close to a peace deal in 2008, but the chances of narrowing the divide now look beyond reach. The release of 1,600 highly-confidential papers by the Al-Jazeera news channel laid bare more than a decade of Middle East diplomacy and showed the Palestinians were ready to make bigger concessions than they had admitted to in public. The distance between the two sides on core issues like the borders of a future Palestinian state, the right to return for refugees and the status of Jerusalem appeared to narrow during a succession of meetings in 2008. But that was another era and the mood is very different now. Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister at that time, has been replaced by the more uncompromising Benjamin Netanyhu; the United States has adopted a different negotiating stance and the faction-riven Palestinians have hardened their own position. “Maybe there was a bridgeable gap in 2008, but it is not bridgeable anymore,” said Alon Liel, a former director-general of Israeli Foreign Ministry. “Under the existing circumstances I don’t see anything happening. You have a right-wing government in Israel, ideological rifts amongst the Palestinians and a US administration that has lost its credibility.” The Al-Jazeera leak has only worsened the atmosphere. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been denounced in parts of the Arab world for his


2008 concessions, making it very unlikely that he will be ready to offer up the sort of ground that Israel says is still necessary to sew up an accord. In addition, the leaks have deepened divisions between his Palestinian Authority, which governs in the occupied West Bank, and the Islamic group Hamas, which rules in the Palestinian enclave Gaza and has never endorsed direct negotiations. On paper, the Al Jazeera documents contained nothing very surprising to people who had followed the issue for years. Everyone knew that if the Palestinians wanted their own state they would have to let Israel keep hold of most, if not all, the Jewish urban settlements it has built up around Jerusalem on land seized in a 1967 Middle East war. It was also obvious that, just as Abbas concedes in the leaks, very few of the several million Palestinian refugees and their descendents would be able to return to modern-day Israel. The trouble is, Abbas failed to ready his people for this. “The Palestinian leadership should immediately clarify in public to its own people what it has been saying in private to Israeli and American officials,” said Beirut-based analyst Rami Khouri, adding that the papers showed the Palestinians lacked the diplomatic clout to wring concessions from the Israelis. However, Gidi Grinstein, a former head of the Israeli negotiating delegation whose name appears in the documents, said talks had to remain secret and the fact that transcripts had now emerged would wreck trust between the various parties.

“It is a devastating blow to negotiators to think that the ideas they explored in private could one day be exposed and taken totally out of context,” said Grinstein, who is president of the Reut Institute think tank. “I saw our papers there. It was like someone had punched me in the face. People will be very afraid in future meetings.” The truth is there are no meetings at present. Palestinians have refused to return to talks until Israel ceases settlement building on occupied land. The Americans are also taking time out after their intensive efforts last year came to nothing. Peace optimists say publication of the documents should spur on the partners and shows the importance of talking. “The gaps are small,” the Geneva Initiative peace lobby said in adverts that appeared in newspapers this week. “Agreement is possible.” But most analysts doubt a return to old-style direction negotiations any time soon. Instead, they expect the Palestinians will seek to build international support for their drive to statehood, possibly using the United Nations as a springboard, while continuing to ready their own institutions for eventual independence. Israeli officials, increasingly concerned by perceptions abroad that they are largely to blame for the breakdown in peace talks, say they must prepare for unilateral Palestinian moves. “Israel must in such a situation set itself a border, border crossings, and a borders regime. Even if it would not be recognised, the main thing is to have a border,” said Yuval Diskin, head of the internal intelligence service Shin Bet. — Reuters

Yemen protests challenge Saleh’s long rule By Alistair Lyon emeni protesters inspired by unrest in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere are demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s long rule, but peaceful change looks unlikely in a tribal land mired in conflict and poverty. At least 16,000 demonstrators took to the streets in Sanaa on Thursday in the biggest of a wave of anti-government protests this month, echoing the Arab ferment touched off by the popular overthrow of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. “People are upset. They want Saleh to leave. He’s been in power for 33 years and has destroyed the country,” said Abdullah al-Faqih, a political science professor at Sanaa University. Secular Tunisia, with its relative wealth, educated middle class and absence of regional or religious cleavages, offers many contrasts to Yemen, a deeply Muslim society riven by southern separatism and a recent war with northern rebels. “The Yemeni socio-political context is fiercely tribal,” said Khaled Fattah, an expert on Yemen and state-tribe relations in the Arab world at Scotland’s St Andrews University. “The keys to any major political change in Yemen are not in the hands of unions and political parties, but influential tribal leaders and members of the Saudi royal family.” Neighbouring Saudi Arabia, worried by instability in Yemen where an Al-Qaeda network has taken root, helps bankroll Saleh, but also maintains independent ties with some Yemeni tribes. Yemen is in far worse economic shape than Tunisia or Egypt, but popular grievances in all three nations focus on high prices and unemployment, along with highlevel corruption and misrule.


Unemployment in Yemen is in the 35 percent range, according to Yemeni political analyst AbdulGhani Al-Iryani, citing what he said were conservative government estimates. One third of Yemen’s 23 million people now live below an absolute poverty line defined as access to 1,200 calories per day, he added. “In the absence of a strong middle class and a strong civil society, having a velvet revolution in Yemen is impossible,” Iryani said. “I don’t

military, including the one which brought him to office in 1978. A master of clan and tribal politics, Saleh has survived many stern challenges, including an attempted secession by the south in 1994, only four years after unity with the north. But the money he needs to keep tribes and soldiers loyal is diminishing. Rapid population growth has coincided with a decline in the modest oil revenue that makes up 70 percent of Yemeni government revenue and

Saleh’s survival “largely depends on how much money he is given to keep his patronage network oiled and greased”. The president has responded to the latest unrest by denying he will seek another term in 2013 or will try to hand power on to his son. He has also promised to raise the salaries of civil servants and military personnel by at least $47 dollars a month. “I’m not sure the Yemeni government knows how to respond

Yemenis attend a protest calling President Ali Abdullah Saleh to quit on Jan 27, 2011 in Sanaa. – AFP think grass-roots mobilisation can oust the regime. It would lead to tremendous bloodshed.” Although Saleh’s two predecessors were assassinated, the last two power transitions in Yemen were arranged smoothly by the

90 percent of exports. “The Americans and Saudis are throwing money at the regime to keep it from imploding,” said Bernard Haykel, assistant professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University.

to this stuff - economic discontent, corruption grievances,” said Christopher Boucek of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “This is the biggest threat to the stability of Yemen.” He said it was not clear

how the government, which is trying to cut its budget deficit, would pay for the promised handouts. Gregory Johnsen, a Cairobased Yemen expert, said Saleh needed foreign aid to stay in power. “If he can’t pay the civil servants and military, it’s a real problem for the government. “If the outside aid that lets him meet the budget shortfalls is cut off, you’d have a very serious problem in Yemen.” When protesters toppled Tunisia’s Ben Ali, no foreign power stood up for the ousted ruler. Saleh, by contrast, is viewed by the West as a vital ally in the struggle against Al-Qaeda. “The Saudis, the Gulf states, the Europeans, the Americans, they all have an interest in seeing stability in Yemen and that means continuing this government,” Boucek argued. The West faces a dilemma in supporting Yemen’s government on terrorism and security issues, while promoting reform and the redress of grievances - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touched on both strands when she visited Sanaa this month. “The Americans, all the international actors, need to be careful they don’t send different messages to Yemen, one to the people and one to the government,” Boucek said. “There needs to be one message about Yemeni security and stability and what the international community is going to do on that.” Some still hope that Saleh himself can organise a peaceful transition and spare Yemen a descent into bloody chaos. “It’s possible only if Saleh himself orchestrates it,” said Iryani, the Yemeni analyst. “It would be a waste if he doesn’t use his incredible power and experience to implement the reforms Yemen so badly needs. If he doesn’t, they may never happen.” — Reuters




Egypt army holds key to Mubarak’s fate

Syrians gripped by Arab upheaval

By Alistair Lyon

gypt’s military wants to survive, not to be swept away in what looks like the imminent collapse of President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling apparatus. So will the generals hasten his exit as their Tunisian counter-parts did in persuading former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country on Jan. 14 after weeks of protests? The armed forces’ response to the earthquake of unrest shaking Egypt for the past six days has been ambivalent. Troops now guard key installations after police lost control of the streets, but have neglected to enforce a curfew and have often fraternised with protesters, rather than confronting them. Soldiers stood by tanks sprayed with slogans like “Down with Mubarak. Down with the despot. Down with the traitor. Pharaoh out of Egypt. Enough.” Asked to explain, one soldier said: “These are written by the people. It’s the views of the people.” Mubarak, clinging to power as his legitimacy vaporises, on Saturday named his intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, a former military man, as vice-president, a post vacant for 30 years. He also appointed former airforce commander Ahmed Shafiq as prime minister after sacking the entire cabinet. But it remains to be seen whether the military men now in charge will keep the 82-year-old Mubarak in power, or decide he is a liability to Egypt’s national interests - and their own. Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Endowment’s Middle East Centre in Beirut, noted that the “whole ship of state” foundered in earlier upheavals, such as the 1979 overthrow of Iran’s shah or the ouster of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein by US invaders in 2003. “Events in Tunisia have shown quite the opposite,” he wrote in a commentary. “Indeed, the army realised that to save itself it had to send the ruler away rather than stand by him. “The lesson that getting overly involved in politics might weaken military institutions rather than strengthen them is a lesson that was learned by most military establishments around the world in past decades - including the Turkish military. “We hope it is being learned among Arab military officials as well, particularly in Egypt,” Salem wrote. Egypt’s sprawling armed forces - the world’s 10th biggest and more than 468,000-strong - have been at the heart of power since army officers staged the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy. All four Egyptian presidents since then have come from the military, now led by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, 75. It benefits from about $1.3 billion a year in US military aid. Egyptians tend to revere the military, less associated with daily repression than the police and security agencies, which leaked US diplomatic cables say have grown into a vast force of 1.4 million since the failed Islamist revolt of the 1990s. Yet the crowds flooding the streets clearly have no desire to see Mubarak’s three decades of authoritari-



By Khaled Yacoub Oweis n the surface all is calm in Syria, tightly ruled by the same authoritarian party for half a century, despite the upheaval in several of its Arab neighbours. Below, ordinary Syrians are quietly captivated by the tumult. The government has barely commented on the six days of unprecedented protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and its control over the media has stifled public reaction in a country struggling with similar poverty and unemployment. “People are afraid to express an opinion, but between themselves they’re saying: ‘Mubarak be damned’,” said a man waiting for a haircut at a Damascus barber. “What are the authorities waiting for? Are they waiting for instability to hit Syria before they act? Open the country up,” another man said. But there is no sign that the upheaval in Egypt will spark reform in Syria. Syria’s ruling hierarchy has moved swiftly to neutralise dissent since Tunisia’s uprising earlier this month which overthrew strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and inspired Egyptian protests against Mubarak’s 30-year rule. The government raised a key fuel subsidy and tightened Internet controls, while a special security court jailed a 69-year-old leftist for seven years this month for discussing alternatives to the Baath Party’s monopoly on power. Although Syria and Egypt have been at odds politically, backing different Palestinian and Lebanese factions, the two countries are ruled through emergency law and suffer an acute gap between rich and poor, widespread corruption and 10 percent unemployment estimated independently at least double that. They have similar Gross Domestic Product per capita at around $2,500 and two great rivers - Egypt the Nile and Syria the Euphrates. But water mismanagement has turned Syria’s eastern region that borders Iraq and Turkey into a dustbowl. The water crisis in the east, Syria’s agricultural heartland, has displaced hundreds of thousands of people over the past five years. Violent demonstrations by the ethnic Kurdish minority swept the east in 2004, resulting in scores of deaths. A United Nations report last year said 800,000 people in the region were severely affected by lack of water and living in extreme poverty and “should be benefiting from much higher level of support than is now provided by the Syrian government”. In a stark reminder of Syria’s wealth gap, the region produces all of the country’s output of 380,000 barrels of oil per day, down from a peak of 590,000 bpd in 2006. “You have a lot of discontent, and many people of the east have found themselves dispossessed refugees and are now around major Syrian cities,” an unemployed Syrian engineer said. A lawyer educated in Europe said the upheaval in Tunisia and Egypt shows that corruption is a difficult habit to stop, although “the billions of dollars officials and their cronies amass will not help them one single iota when their end comes”. “Stop the corruption. Stop the thefts. When is enough enough? There seems never to be a limit,” he said. But change is not favoured by all, with ordinary Syrians living in a complex society of myriad sects and ethnicities. Members of the professional class worry that shattering the current system could result in mob rule, due to low education standards and the erosion of the middle class in recent decades. “At least we know who is ruling Syria now. If change comes it may not be the middle classes and people with Facebook accounts leading it,” a Syrian doctor with a practice in an upscale area of Damascus said. “Our rulers have to rebuild the education system and clean up the judiciary, fast,” he said. “Syria is running out of time.” — Reuters


Egyptian demonstrators demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak shout slogans on top of Egyptian army armoured personnel carriers in Cairo on Saturday. Graffiti reads: Down With Mubarak. – AFP an rule replaced by a military line-up featuring his closest cronies. Mubarak met his top commanders yesterday, state television showed, in another indication that he sees the military as his only hope as the other pillars of his establishment crumble. His widely discredited political machine, the National Democratic Party, symbolically went down in flames when demonstrators torched its Cairo headquarters on Friday. A business elite, seen as the main beneficiary of Egypt’s liberal economic reforms, can offer no bulwark against the outpouring of anger fuelled by the government’s failure to listen to popular political, economic and social grievances. The military is notoriously opaque. Reporting on it remains taboo, even in the much more vibrant media scene that has blossomed in Egypt in recent years. Little is known about its substantial land holdings, huge economic interests or budget. “The idea that the military remains a key political and economic force is conventional wisdom here,” said a US diplomatic cable from July 2009 released by WikiLeaks on Friday. “However, other observers tell us that the military has grown less influential, more fractured and its leadership weaker in recent years,” the cable from the US embassy in Cairo said.

Nevertheless, the military may see its duty now as ensuring an orderly transition to an undefined new political order. Among the many imponderables of the extraordinary turmoil is a possible disconnect between the generals in Mubarak’s circle and the sentiments of the soldiers on the streets. “It’s one of those moments where, as with the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, it can come down to individual lieutenants and soldiers to decide whether they fire on the crowd or not,” said Rosemary Hollis, Middle East expert at London’s City University. The army quelled bread riots in Egypt in 1977 and halted a rampage by policemen over pay in 1986, but the scale of the past week’s uprising across the country dwarfs those events. Until recently, most speculation about Egypt’s military centred on its attitude to Mubarak’s supposed - and often denied - ambitions to hand over the presidency to his son Gamal, a businessmen and politician with no military background. Suleiman’s appointment as vice-president and the manifest popular hostility to Gamal have put that question to bed. Presidential elections are due in September, but many Egyptians are hoping the incumbent will be long gone by then. “Mubarak, Mubarak, the plane awaits,” protesters chanted. — Reuters



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Kuwait backs Egypt government, people

Oman busts UAE spy ring

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Al-Falah said Kuwait Airways has prepared seven planes for Cairo tomorrow, predicting the arrival of around 2,000 people. Ambassador Hamad affirmed that all Kuwaitis in Egypt will fly back home safely. He said the Embassy was working in “full swing” for the evacuation of all Kuwaiti citizens, especially those at the airport, calling on Kuwaitis to be patient due to the overcrowding of passengers and air traffic. Hamad said embassy teams were at the airport to facilitate the return of all Kuwaiti citizens, estimated at 2,500. He said around 3,500 Kuwaitis were airlifted by six airplanes so far. Earlier, the Kuwaiti Directorate General of the Civil Aviation (DGCA) said Kuwait airport had received 3,025 citizens and residents coming back from Egypt till Saturday. Kuwait International Airport’s Operation Manager Essam AlZamel told KUNA yesterday that this figure was expected to jump to 3,900 by the end of the day. Al-Zamel named the airlines that carried those passengers as Kuwait Airways (1,500 passengers), Wataniya Airways (155), Jazeera Airways (367), EgyptAir (359) and Air Arabia (100). He added that a number of planes had already left for Egypt to bring all those trying to leave. Meanwhile, top dissident Mohamed ElBaradei told a sea of angry protesters in Cairo yesterday that they were beginning a new era after six days of a deadly revolt against embattled President Hosni Mubarak. Nobel peace laureate ElBaradei, mandated by Egyptian opposition groups including the banned Muslim Brotherhood to negotiate with Mubarak’s regime, hailed “a new Egypt in which every Egyptian lives in freedom and dignity”. “We are on the right path, our strength is in our numbers,” ElBaradei said in his first address to the protest epicentre on Cairo’s Tahrir square. “I ask you to be patient, change is coming.” “We will sacrifice our soul and our blood for the nation,” the angry crowd shouted. “The people want to topple the president.” In Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for an “orderly transition” in Egypt but stopped short of demanding he step down. Asked if Mubarak had taken sufficient steps to defuse Egypt’s worst crisis in decades by appointing a vice president and naming a new premier, Clinton told ABC: “Of course not.” “That is the beginning, the bare beginning of what needs to happen, which is a process that leads to the kind of concrete steps to achieve democratic and economic reform that we’ve been urging.” The Obama administration, she added, has not discussed cutting off aid to Egypt, a key Arab ally. US military aid to Egypt amounts to $1.3 billion a year, and the total American aid bill to the country averages close to $2 billion annually. Six days of nationwide protests against Mubarak’s three-decade rule have shaken Egypt and left at least 125 people dead as the veteran leader clings to power. Mubarak has struggled to placate a nation angry at this three decades of autocratic rule with token gestures such as sacking the government. Parliament speaker Fathi Surour yesterday made another concession, saying the results of last year’s fraud-tainted parliamentary elections would be revised. Mubarak yesterday met with army brass seen as holding the key to his future as warplanes in an apparent show of force flew over the downtown Cairo protest. A number of foreign governments said they would evacuate their nationals, while the United States authorised the departure of embassy families. State television said the embattled Mubarak yesterday visited Egypt’s central military command where he met with his newly appointed vice president, Omar Suleiman, the military intelligence chief; as well as with outgoing defence minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi and chief of staff Sami Anan. Mubarak, a former air force chief, appeared to be seeking the army support as he faces down the revolt which those driving it say will continue until he steps down. The United States, a key ally of Egypt, called yesterday on Mubarak to do more to defuse the crisis but stopped short of saying he should quit. As he was meeting the army chiefs, two Egyptian fighter jets flew repeat low-altitude sorties over Cairo, deafening the protest-hit city. “Mubarak, go to Saudi Arabia,” the crowd shouted, encouraging the leader in power for 30 years to follow deposed Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali into exile. A banner in English read: “USA, why do you support the tyrant and not the people.” A group of women shouted: “1, 2, where’s the people’s money?” Egypt also moved yesterday to shut down Al Jazeera’s coverage of mass protests against Mubarak’s regime, but the pan-Arab broadcaster vowed that it would not be silenced. Outgoing information minister Anas Al-Fikki has “ordered the closure of all activities by Al Jazeera in the Arab republic of Egypt and the annulment of its licences,” Egypt’s official MENA news agency reported. The press cards of all Al Jazeera staff in Egypt were also being withdrawn, it added. Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat meanwhile halted its relays of Al Jazeera programming, although the Qatar-based television channel could still be viewed in Cairo via Arabsat. On Twitter, an Al Jazeera correspondent, Dan Nolan, wrote: “Aljazeera Cairo bureau has been

The UAE, a regional financial and tourism hub, has typically had friendly relations with Oman. Theodore Karasik, director of research and development and research at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said the arrests were puzzling. “This is all very murky,” he said. “One possibility is that the UAE wants to know more about Iran-Oman relations because of Tehran and Muscat’s long ties in security and military cooperation.” Oman maintains good relations with Iran and was instrumental in helping to negotiate the release of one of three US hikers accused by Tehran of straying from Iraq into Iranian territory. Sultan Qaboos has pushed for a diplomatic solution to the international dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. The sultanate has strong military and diplomat-

ic ties with the West, and US and British forces have been stationed in Oman for years. Succession could pose a problem in Oman, as the 70-year-old sultan, who overthrew his father in a bloodless coup in 1970, does not have children. Qaboos was briefly married in 1976 to his cousin Kamila, the daughter of his paternal uncle Tariq bin Taymur. The basic law of Oman, adopted in 1996, stipulates that the ruling family meets in the case of a vacuum in power to choose a successor to the sultan within three days. If they fail to reach an agreement, the Council of Oman, which consists of the Council of State and Majlis ash-Shura (the Consultative Council), appoints the person named in a will left by the sultan. “The accused will be presented for trial,” the official cited by ONA said. In a Sept 2010 decree, the sultan canceled the state security court. The dis-

mantling of the spy ring could strain relations between the two countries that are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In July 2008, Oman and the UAE completed the delineation of their 1,000-km shared borders, in line with a June 2002 accord. The UAE also has a long-lasting dispute with Tehran over three Iran-controlled islands in the Gulf. Qaboos, known for rarely travelling out of Oman, was the first foreign leader to travel to Iran since its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed 2008 re-election. Oman has always had close relations with Iran and remained neutral during the war between the Islamic Republic and Iraq that lasted from 1980 to 1988, unlike most of its Arab neighbours who had supported the regime of the toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. — Agencies

Thousands greet Tunisia Islamist leader’s... Continued on Page 14

CAIRO: Women shout slogans, as one of them waves an Egyptian flag, during a demonstration yesterday. — AP shut down. Just visited by plain clothes govt security, TV uplink is now closed.” In a statement, Al Jazeera expressed “utter disappointment with the blockage of its signal on Nilesat and sees this as a further attempt to hinder and obstruct the carriage of its reporting coming out of Egypt.” Earlier, Al Jazeera said the shutdown of its Egyptian operations - on day six of unprecedented and often violent street protests - was aimed at “censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people”. “Al Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists,” it said. “Al Jazeera assures its audiences in Egypt and across the world that it will continue its in-depth and comprehensive reporting on the events unfolding in Egypt,” it said. It added: “In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society, it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard.” The National Coalition for Change, which groups several opposition movements including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, yesterday charged ElBaradei with negotiating with Mubarak’s embattled regime. With fears of insecurity rising and a death toll of at least 125, thousands of convicts broke out prisons across Egypt overnight after they overwhelmed guards or after prison personnel fled their posts. With rampant pillaging in more than five days of deadly protests, many Egyptians believe that the police have deliberately released prisoners in order to spread chaos and emphasise the need for the security forces. “The government wants the people to think that Mubarak is the only option faced with the chaos,” said young demonstrator Sameh Kamal. Groups of club-carrying vigilantes have deployed on Cairo’s streets to protect from looters amid growing insecurity as the Arab world’s most populous nation faced an uncertain future. Youths handed over to the army those they suspected of looting, with the police who had been fighting running battles with stone-throwing protesters in the first days of the demonstrations hardly visible. Many petrol stations are now running out of fuel, motorists said, and many bank cash machines have either been looted or are no longer working. Egyptian banks and the stock exchange have been ordered closed yesterday. Meanwhile, bodies were lined up in a mosque near a Cairo prison yesterday and troops with bayonets fixed surrounded another facility after thousands of convicts broke out of jails or were abandoned by guards amid a nationwide revolt. Soldiers set up checkpoints along the Nile in the upmarket Maadi district, near the notorious Tora prison, searching cars for escapees. Troops took one man from a car, threw him on the ground and tied his hands with a scarf as they did not have handcuffs. Asked why he was detained, a soldier told an AFP journalist: “He’s just escaped from prison.” At Tora jail, where rights groups say many Islamist militants have in the past been detained and tortured, an AFP correspondent said shots could be heard coming from inside while soldiers with bayonets fixed surrounded the complex. Soldiers deployed outside the prison, home to some of the country’s most notorious inmates, and an armoured personnel carrier fired its heavy machine gun into the air to clear civilians from the area. In Abu Zaabal, on Cairo’s outskirts, bodies were arranged in rows in a tented section of a mosque as residents crowded outside to identify the dead. Amgad, a member of the town’s “popular committee” set up to deal with rampant looting, said two of the 14 bodies were police and the rest were escaped inmates.

Heavy gunfire was heard overnight at the prison, with many prisoners escaping during the rioting. Witnesses said inmates seized police weapons and either shot out or pried open the cell locks. Yesterday, people who had come to look for jailed relatives scoured the torched prison, with some trying to break out maximum security prisoners. Spent bullet casings and police equipment littered the area. Some convicts with little time left to serve refused to leave, fearing rearrest and being given new sentences. Eight members of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas also escaped from Abu Zaabal, and at least two made it back to the Gaza Strip via smuggling tunnels yesterday, a Palestinian official said on condition of anonymity. A senior official in the Hamas government confirmed that all eight escapees were on their way back to the Gaza enclave. Among those who returned yesterday was Mohammed Al-Shaer, a big name on the cross-border smuggling scene, arrested six months ago, and Hassan Wishah, who served three years of a 10-year term for unspecified security offences. The remaining six prisoners were said to have reached Egypt’s port city of El-Arish and were expected to reach Gaza later, official sources said. And 34 Muslim Brothers, including leaders of the banned Islamist group, left Wadi Natrun north of Cairo unhindered after guards there abandoned their posts, one of their lawyers told AFP. The Islamists, who are regularly rounded up and detained by the security forces, had been arrested on Thursday either at their homes or during anti-Mubarak protests. “Their lives would have been in danger if they’d stayed,” lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud said of the Muslim Brotherhood members. A security source told AFP that during the night several thousand inmates had overwhelmed guards at Wadi Natrun and spilled out into nearby towns and villages. Eight people died in the rioting, a security source said. The official MENA news agency reported that the prisoners made off with the guards’ weapons. Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mursi told Al-Jazeera television that the Islamists had not escaped. “We did not escape. It was residents who opened the doors,” he said. “We’re fine,” he said, adding that Brotherhood leaders Essam El-Erian and Saad El-Katatni were among those freed. Dozens of people held at a facility in Fayum, south of Cairo, escaped on Saturday evening in clashes that left one policeman dead. Prisoners also fled from small prisons in other governorates across Egypt, but exact details were not immediately available. Meanwhile, Gaza’s Hamas rulers yesterday closed the Rafah border crossing after guards on the Egyptian side fled their posts amid the spiralling unrest gripping the country. As the angry revolt against Mubarak entered its sixth day, Hamas officials announced the Rafah crossing would be closed for “several days,” preventing hundreds of Palestinians from crossing into Egypt. The move came after Egyptian troops stationed on their side of the crossing fled during the border’s normal closure at the weekend, as angry protesters rampaged across the country. Every day between 400 and 500 people cross from Gaza into Egypt. The closure was likely to keep thousands of people trapped inside the Gaza Strip, while the lack of personnel on the Egyptian side of the divided border town of Rafah would also prevent hundreds of Gazans from returning home. — Agencies

“Oh great people who called for this blessed revolution, continue your revolution, preserve it and translate it into democracy, justice and equality,” Ghannouchi told the crowd, to chants of “Allahu Akbar”. Ennahda supporters embraced each other in joy. A group of men performed prayers on a grass verge, a scene unthinkable in Tunisia just a few weeks ago. Ennahda likens its ideology to that of Turkey’s ruling AK Party, saying it is committed to democracy. Experts on political Islam say its ideas are some of the most moderate among Islamist groups. “I am so happy to be bringing him back home. I never thought I would see my brother again alive in Tunisia,” his sister, Jamila, told AFP. Ghannouchi said he was elated as he checked in for his historic flight at London’s Gatwick airport, where he posed with a Tunisian flag and embraced relatives before boarding for a country that he had not seen since 1989. “When I return home today I am returning to the Arab world as a whole,” he told reporters, adding that the popular Ennahda (Awakening) movement that he founded now planned to take part in Tunisia’s first democratic elections.

Tunisia has imposed a secular order since independence from France in 1956. Habib Bourguiba, the independence leader and long-time president, considered Islam a threat to the state. Ben Ali eased restrictions on the Islamists when he seized power in 1987, before cracking down on them two years later. The protests which dislodged Ben Ali and electrified the Arab world have largely dried up in the last few days following the announcement on Thursday of a new interim government purged of most of the remnants of Ben Ali’s regime. The security forces have tried to restore order to the capital, where confrontations between shopkeepers and protesters have indicated dwindling support for demonstrators on the part of Tunisians who want life to return to normal. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, said the United Nations would be “pleased to help the people of Tunisia freely choose their leaders through timely and credible elections”. Ghannouchi told the crowd the path to democracy was “still long”. “Unite and consolidate, democracy cannot happen without national consensus and development can only happen with justice and democracy,” he said. — Agencies

Gulf Egyptians torn between fear and hope Continued from Page 1 “I have been living in Saudi for seven years, because I couldn’t find a job back home, but I wish I was there with them now,” said one Egyptian man, 30, outside the consulate in Jeddah. “I want to do something here and get my message across but it is not allowed here,” added the man, who did not want to be identified. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, like other Gulf leaders, is keen to avoid the further spread of anti-government unrest in the Arab world. He has expressed support for Mubarak, calling him twice after days of protests, Saudi media said. Around office parks, stores and cafes in the region, Arabs of various nationalities were glued to images of unprecedented civil unrest in Egypt where more than 100 were reported killed. More than a million Egyptian expatriates are thought to

live in the Gulf, the lion’s share in Saudi Arabia, where they rely on the stronger but autocratic Gulf economies to send home remittances worth billions of dollars. Some, like restaurant manager Mahmoud Jaballa, were balancing their desire to head home to help their families or take part in the historic demonstrations with their need to hold on to their livelihoods abroad. “I am worried and want to go back,” said Jaballa, 24, outside a waterfront lounge where he works in Dubai’s Marina area. “But if I go I will lose my job. We all hate the president and the government, but we don’t want to risk anything in Dubai, because we wouldn’t find a better life if they send us back to Egypt,” he added. Some Egyptians in the United Arab Emirates tried to find smaller ways to help, including by volunteering to give blood but encountered difficulty finding a hospital

that could send on their donations to Egypt. “We have a lot of people who want to donate now. I can get you more than 500,” said Egyptian Marwan Nouh, who was trying to help organise a drive in Dubai via Facebook after hearing media reports that Egyptian hospitals needed blood. In Qatar, home to the satellite channel Al Jazeera whose operations in Egypt were ordered shut down yesterday, Egyptians did hold a small vigil near the embassy in Doha, where some said prayers and others carried banners calling for Mubarak’s exit. “The last two days have been a panic,” said Riham El Houshi, 22, an Egyptian public relations consultant in Qatar who has found support from Qatari friends, some of whom went to the Egyptian embassy in a show of sympathy. “I don’t want to say that I’m happy, because this is kind of a nightmare. But I’m hopeful.” — Reuters

South Sudan votes 99% to separate Continued from Page 1 According to the terms of the accord, south Sudan will be able to declare independence on July 9, pending any legal challenges to the results. Northern and southern leaders still have to agree on their shared border, how they will split oil revenues after secession and the ownership of the disputed Abyei region. “I am so happy. Imagine having schools, no fear, no war. Imagine feeling like any other people in their own country,” student Santino Anei, 19, told Reuters. UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon welcomed the peaceful vote but told an African Union summit in Addis Ababa he was still concerned about the unresolved issues. Washington’s Sudan envoy Scott Gration told Reuters at the summit the “tough part” of the peace deal was still to come. “ These issues, whether it be borders or citizenship or oil revenues, cannot be solved unless there is an effort (by north and south) to work together in a partnership,” he said. Secession campaigners described the vote as a chance to end years of perceived northern exploitation. Bashir, who campaigned for unity, later announced he would accept a separation vote. Chan Reek Madut, the deputy head of the referendum commission, told the crowd 99.57 percent of voters in the 10 states of south Sudan voted for independence. Commission spokesman George Makuer said the 98.83 percent figure published on the website included votes from southerners in north Sudan and eight other countries. Makuer said the final figure was still

subject to a final tally and last minute legal challenges. “But it will not change, maybe by a few decimal points.” Overall, the website showed almost 3.8 million votes for separation and 44,888 votes for continued unity. Final results are due out in early February. Separately, Sudanese police beat and arrested students yesterday as hundreds protested throughout the capital demanding the government resign, inspired by a popular uprising in neighbouring Egypt. Armed riot police broke up groups of young Sudanese demonstrating in central Khartoum and surrounded the entrances of four universities in the capital, firing teargas and beating students at three of them. Some 500 young people also protested in the city of el-Obeid in North Kordofan in the west of the country. Police beat students with batons as they chanted anti-government slogans such as “we are ready to die for Sudan” and “revolution, revolution until victory”. Groups have emerged on social networking sites calling themselves “Youth for Change” and “The Spark”, since the uprisings in nearby Tunisia and close ally Egypt this month. “Youth for Change” has attracted more than 15,000 members. “The people of Sudan will not remain silent anymore,” its Facebook page said. “It is about time we demand our rights and take what’s ours in a peaceful demonstration that will not involve any acts of sabotage.” The prodemocracy group Girifna (“We’re fed up”) said nine members were detained the night before the protest and opposition party officials listed almost 40 names of protesters arrested on Sunday. Five were

injured, they added. Sudan has a close affinity with Egypt - the two countries were united under British colonial rule. The unprecedented scenes there inspired calls for similar action in Sudan, where protests without permission, which is rarely given, are illegal. Before Tunisia’s popular revolt, Sudan was the last Arab country to overthrow a leader with popular protests, ousting Jaafar Nimeiri in 1985. Opposition leader Mubarak Al-Fadil told Reuters two of his sons were arrested on their way to the central protest. Editor-in-chief of the Al-Wan daily paper Hussein Khogali said his daughter had been detained by security forces since 8 am (0500 GMT ) accused of organising the Facebook-led protest. Around 500 protestors engulfed the market in the North Kordofan capital El-Obeid in Sudan’s west, before police used tear gas to disperse them, three witnesses said. “They were shouting against the government and demanding change,” said witness Ahmed who declined to give his full name. Progovernment newspapers carried front page warnings against protests which they said would cause chaos and turmoil. The Sudan Vision daily’s editorial blamed the opposition. “Our message to those opposition dinosaurs is to unite their ideas and objectives for the benefit of the citizens if they are really looking for the welfare of the Sudanese people,” it read. Police spokesman Ahmed AlTuhami told Reuters the police did not have figures for any injured or arrested. “We did not use more violence than necessary - we did not want anyone to spoil this day with the referendum results.” — Agencies



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sp orts

Italy add three players to Six Nations squad

Lorenzo changes No. from 99 to 1 MILAN: MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo has decided to change his racing number from 99 to one for artistic as much as sporting reasons. Defending champions have the right to take No 1 but not all do, with some preferring to keep their existing number for branding purposes. “I am very proud because you have to work very hard to have the option to wear it,” the Spaniard said in a statement yesterday from his Italy-based Yamaha team. “I have been lucky with my design because the No 1 works really well with my JL initials, maybe with different letters it would have been difficult to make it look right. “I won’t forget my No 99 this season, it will be there somewhere on my leathers because No 99 is in my heart. It was a difficult choice to change my number but I have earned the right for this unique opportunity to wear it,” added Lorenzo. The new season starts in Qatar on March 20. —Reuters

ROME: Italy coach Nick Mallett has promoted New Zealand-born flanker Josh Sole, lock Valerio Bernabo and versatile back Matteo Pratichetti to his Six Nations squad for the opening two matches against Ireland and England. All three played in Saturday’s 45-17 defeat to England Saxons in Worcester. However, with flanker Paul Derbyshire out of the first two tests and captain Sergio Parisse, flanker Robert Barbieri and centre Gonzalo Garcia all struggling with injuries, Mallett has decided to increase his working squad. “We decided to increase the number of players available to us to 26 to allow the technical

staff to prepare in the best way possible for the first two Six Nations matches,” said team manager Luigi Troiani. “In the meantime we will continue to monitor the progress of the injuries to Sergio Parisse, Robert Barbieri and Gonzalo Garcia who are not yet able to train with the rest of the group. “As for Paul Derbyshire, we decided to send him back to his club given that the muscular problem he had when he arrived at the gettogether cannot be resolved in time for the first two games.” Italy open their campaign at home to Ireland on Saturday before travelling to Twickenham to face England on February 12. —AFP

Chara retains hardest shot crown with record blast RALEIGH: Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara retained his crown as the NHL’s hardest shooter with a record 105.9 mph blast during the NHL All-Star skills competition on Saturday. The hulking 6-foot 9-inch Slovakian bettered the previous record of 105.4 mph he set in 2009 to win the contest for the fourth consecutive time. “Records are meant to be broken,” Chara told reporters. “I like to have fun at these things but at the same time when it comes down to showing what you have, we have to sell it.” New York Islanders rookie Michael Grabner claimed the fastest skater honors while Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks won the accuracy competition, as the fastest to shoot out four targets. Washington Capitals’ Russian showman Alexander Ovechkin claimed a third straight win in the breakaway challenge event held on the eve of Sunday’s annual All-Stars game. “If I win something I’m pretty,” said Ovechkin, who also competed in the hardest shot competition. “Lots of guys make different moves but a couple of them were pretty cooled.” — Reuters

Kostelic wins supercombined CHAMONIX: Ivica Kostelic bounced back from a mediocre downhill performance to win the men’s World Cup supercombined for his seventh victory this month yesterday. Fellow Croatian Natko Zrncic-Dim took a deserved second place with Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal in third. Kostelic’s chances of claiming a third consecutive combined win this season looked compromised when he finished 2.5secs behind downhill winner Beat Feuz of Switzerland. However the Croatian produced a slalom masterclass on the ‘Verte des Houches’ run to take the provisional lead, and held on to top spot as a host of potential challengers straddled gates or failed to finish the race. In a combined time of 2min 57.12sec, Kostelic held off Dim by 0.51sec with speed event specialist Svindal, who took a lead of 2.42 on Kostelic into the slalom, in third at 0.53. It means Kostelic, the brother of retired alpine legend Janica, is now guaranteed to win the supercombined World Cup title. The final two-discipline race will be held in Bansko, Bulgaria and his closest challenger, Swiss Silvan Zurbriggen, has only 143 points. Kostelic’s win allowed him to pocket 100 points for his overall account, taking his tally to 1178 after 25 of 38 races. With a healthy lead over Swiss downhiller Didier Cuche (673) Kostelic has taken a massive step towards what would be a first overall World Cup crown.—AFP

FRANCE: Croatiaís Ivica Kostelic celebrates in the finish area after winning an alpine ski, menís World Cup super-combined in Chamonix.—AP

Snow and fog wipe out women ski races in Italy

Dream run for ‘McDreamy’ comes to end at Daytona FLORIDA: Patrick Dempsey’s bid to win the most prestigious road race in America came to a close early yesterday when his car went off the course while leading its class in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Dempsey, the “Grey’s Anatomy” star, brought two entries to the twice around-the-clock endurance race at Daytona International Speedway, and drove the No. 40 Mazda into the lead of the Grand Touring class yesterday. Tom Long was behind the wheel when he spun on his own with just under six hours remaining in the race. Long was unable to get the car restarted after a pit stop, and the Dempsey Racing team fell four laps down. It was the first time Dempsey has ever led a race at this level. The weekend wasn’t a complete loss for “McDreamy,” though. He attended the Sundance Film Festival on Friday for the premier of his new film “Flypaper” and said it got strong reviews. He also produced the film. Dempsey said after Saturday’s driving stint that the trip from Daytona to Park City, Utah, and back to the track had left him exhausted, but thought the effort to participate in both events was worth the energy. “It went really well. The

DAYTONA: Juan Pablo Montoya, of Colombia, drives the Telmex/Target BMW Riley into the East Horseshoe turn during the Grand Am Rolex 24 hour auto race.—AP

screening was phenomenal. The response was huge right from the beginning,” Dempsey said. “So on that side of things, I couldn’t ask for a better response to the movie. It’s the

first time I’ve produced a movie and for it to be received that strongly was a really good thing. “We paid for it a little (Saturday) with some fatigue, but we’ll be good.”

Meanwhile, the Chip Ganassi Racing teams remained in control of the Daytona Prototype class and appeared poised to battle each other for the overall title. Juan Pablo Montoya powered past teammate Memo Rojas on a restart to put the No. 02 BMW Riley out front, continuing a trend of the two Ganassi entries controlling the front of the field. Early morning fog led to a nearly three-hour period under yellow — the most significant delay in the event since a red flag for heavy rain stretched almost three hours in 2004 — and the Ganassi cars wasted no time jumping out front when racing resumed around 8 a.m. Three-time Rolex winner Scott Pruett passed Buddy Rice to put Ganassi’s No. 01 back into the lead with a little over seven hours remaining. Dario Franchitti then worked Ganassi’s No. 02 into second place. It was another comeback for the No. 02 entry, which suffered two blown right rear tires in the early stages of the twice around-the-clock endurance race. Then while leading, Montoya struck debris entering the pits overnight and the car had to go to the garage to change the front end. The team lost two laps while completing the work.—AP

SESTRIERE: An ongoing snowstorm and thick fog have forced organizers to call off both women’s World Cup ski races this weekend - downhill and super-combined events. The decision was made yesterday morning with 40 centimeters of snow having fallen over three days on the Kandahar Banchetta course. Organizers had already postponed the downhill, which was originally slated for Saturday. The women’s circuit now has four races to make up, since giant slalom and slalom races were postponed due to warm weather in Maribor, Slovenia, earlier this month. The International Ski Federation has given no indication to when the races might be made up, but it will likely be after the world championships, which begin Feb 8 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. “It’s probably hard to replace every single race,” said overall World Cup leader Maria Riesch of Germany. “I think they will try to replace some of the races, but which ones I don’t know.” Riesch holds a 1,232-1,087 lead over three-time defending champion Lindsey Vonn in the overall standings with 22 of the 39 races scheduled at the start of the season completed. Riesch has excelled in the technical events this season and is keen on getting the Maribor races in, while Vonn favors the speed disciplines and is hoping the races called off here get made up. “Yeah, but I want them to be fair races as well,” Vonn said. “I don’t want to race in an unsafe situation and obviously I would really love to race but you can’t force the matter, either. It’s going to be what it’s going to be. I’m hoping for a little luck in my direction, but you can’t change nature.” With no racing this weekend, Vonn also gets some extra time to rest her injured left knee, which she tweaked during a strenuous recovery in a downhill in Cortina last weekend. She has a possible strained MCL. “Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad, but progressively it’s getting better, so I’m pretty happy with it,” said Vonn, who did a few days of slalom training this week. The injury affects the American more in downhill than slalom. “The jumps and the vibration and the bumps in downhill seem to be what agitates it the most,” Vonn said. “The knee is funny, it responds differently to different events but it seems like it doesn’t like downhill too much.” Former overall winner Anja Paerson, meanwhile, is now heading home to Sweden to train for the worlds. She will skip the giant slalom and slalom races in Zwiesel, Germany, next weekend. — AP

Nesbitt and Groothuis win speedskating races MOSCOW: Christine Nesbitt of Canada set a track record yesterday in winning a 1,000-meter speedskating World Cup race. The Vancouver Olympic champion clocked 1 minute, 15.59 seconds on the Krylatskoye Ice Stadium oval. She shaved 0.42 seconds off the old mark set by Anni Friesinger of Germany during the 2009 world sprint championships. Ireen Wust of the Netherlands was 0.35 seconds behind for second. American Heather Richardson timed 1:16.18 for third and remained at the top of the 1,000-

meter standings with 560 points after seven of eight races. Nesbitt, who hasn’t lost a race in the 1,500 and 1,000 this season but skipped a World Cup event in Obihiro, Japan, in December, is 60 points behind for second. Nao Kodaira of Japan is third with 339. In the men’s 1,000, Stefan Groothuis clocked 1:08.82 to secure his third World Cup victory of the season. The Dutchman edged Denny Morrison of Canada by 0.75 seconds. Norway’s Mikael Flying-Larsen was another 0.08 behind in third place.

G ro o t h u i s l e a d s t h e s t a n d i n g s w i t h 4 3 0 points, followed by Kyou-Hyuk Lee of South Korea with 402. Vancouver Olympic champion Shani Davis, who skipped the event in Moscow, is third with 380. In the team pursuit, Russia won the men’s eight-lap race with a new track record of 3:43.70, shaving 6.32 seconds off of the old mark set by Norway a year ago. Norway won the discipline title with 270 points from three races in the season. Russia was second with 250, followed by the United States with 232. The Netherlands were favored to win the title

but lost their chance after Wouter Olde Heuvel fell two laps into the race and the team was disqualified. But the Netherlands won the women’s race to clinch that discipline title. The Dutch women clocked 3:01.13 for a new track record. The old mark of 3:04.64 was set by Russia in 2009. Nor way timed 3:03.02 for second, followed by Germany at 3:04.11. The Netherlands top the standings with 300 points, followed by Norway (250) and Germany (250). The seventh stop on the eight-leg World Cup is scheduled for Feb. 18-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah. — AP



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Late bogey costs Haas outright lead Frustrated Woods tumbles out of contention

RIFFA: Paul Casey of England (left) holds his trophy after winning the European Tour’s Volvo Golf Champions Tournament at the Royal Golf Club in Riffa, Bahrain. Sheikh Nasser Al-Khalifa, son of the Bahraini king (right) presented the trophy. —AP

Casey wins in Bahrain RIFFA: England’s Paul Casey held his nerve at the last to win the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions yesterday, his first title in 20 months. Casey needed to sink a five-foot par putt on the 18th at the Royal Golf Club to secure victory after his playing partner and co-leader, Sweden’s Peter Hanson, missed an up and down from the greenside bunker. The Englishman closed with a 4-under 68 for a four-day tally of 20-under 268, while Hanson fell into a tie for second with Spains Miguel Angel Jimenez, who had made a birdie at the last earlier to finish on 19-under 269. Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher was fourth at 18-under following a finalround 67, while Sweden’s Robert Karlsson, last year ’s Dubai World Championship winner, opened the new season with a 271, good for fifth. Casey said he was “ecstatic” with the victory. “It was just Peter and I coming down the last. He opened the door slightly and I still had a very difficult up

and down. I’m just happy I had that opportunity and I took it,” Casey said. “It doesn’t feel like 20 months because I had the six months of injury, and even after coming back, I was sort of rebuilding. I’ve played some very, very good golf the latter half of last year, and I was disappointed not to win. I just wanted to put that right as soon as possible.” Hanson was disappointed by a run of bad luck on the last hole. “I was a bit upset with the lie on the last one really bad lie in the rough there off the tee and then in the bunker where someone didn’t rake it properly and it was sitting in a footprint. “Tough day when you catch a couple of bad breaks. What can you do? It was just one of those days,” he said. Topranked Asian player Noh Seung-Yul of South Korea was tied for sixth with firstround leader Johan Edfors of Sweden at 16-under 272. Noh shot a final-day 66, while Edfors, who parred every hole on the back nine, came home in 69. —AP

SAN DIEGO: Overnight pacesetter Bill Haas bogeyed the par-five last to drop back into a tie for the lead with fellow American Phil Mickelson in Saturday’s third round of the PGA Tour event in San Diego. Haas, who lost out in a three-way playoff for last week’s Bob Hope Classic, overhit the green with his third shot at the 18th as the wind gusted before missing a four-foot par putt to card a one-under 71. That put him level at 12-under 204 with three-times winner and fan favorite Mickelson, who fired a five-birdie 68. “I got to two under (for the round) and I’m disappointed with the six at the last,” Haas, whose father Jay won here in 1978, told reporters. “But I’m in a decent position for tomorrow.” Mickelson, who lives in nearby Rancho Santa Fe and has not triumphed at Torrey Pines since 2001, felt his risk-free strategy had helped him into a share of the lead. “This course doesn’t reward you for taking on any challenge,” said the American left-hander, who was dubbed ‘Phil the Thrill’ in his younger days for his daring shot making. “And my more conservative approach into the greens, albeit boring, has led me to be on top of the leaderboard.” US Ryder Cup players Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson were a further stroke back in a share of third after they both eagled the 18th for matching 69s. It was a frustrating day, however, for six-times champion Tiger Woods who again struggled off the tee on the way to a 74 and a tie for 24th, a distant eight strokes off the pace. “I did not play well at all today,” Woods said after four bogeys and just two birdies gave him only his second over-par score at the event in 46 rounds. “It was a struggle all day. I finally found something at 16 (with his swing), but 15 holes already had gone by so that was pretty frustrating,” added the former world number one, who has not won a tournament since the 2009 Australian Masters. TOTALLY UPSTAGED Woods was totally upstaged by his playing partner, PGA Tour rookie Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela who was a shock winner of last week’s Bob Hope Classic. The long-hitting Vegas birdied three of the last six holes for a 69 to lie sixth at nine under, a stroke behind American Anthony Kim who birdied the last for a 71. “I’m playing pretty good golf right now,”

SAN DIEGO: Bill Haas tees off on the second hole of the South Course at Torrey Pines during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament. —AP

said Vegas who is competing in only his sixth PGA Tour event. “Today was an incredible day playing alongside Tiger Woods. I really enjoyed it a lot.” Haas, two ahead of the chasing pack overnight, made a stumbling start on another glorious day of sunshine on the southern California coastline. He ran up a three-putt bogey at the parthree third to drop back to 10 under and then parred the next three holes to share the lead with compatriots Brandt Snedeker, Watson and Kim, plus Swede Fredrik Jacobson. Haas picked up his first shot of the day at the par-five ninth, where he got up and down from a greenside bunker, to reach the turn at 11 under, level with

Jordan’s Ammar Hijazi set to debut new Skoda in 2011 Qatar International Rally AMMAN: Jordanian rally driver Ammar Hijazi will debut his new Skoda Fabia S2000 in next weekend’s Qatar International Rally, round one of the 2011 FIA Middle East Rally Championship. The event takes place over challenging timed gravel stages in the Qatar desert on February 4-5. Hijazi has been a regular on the Middle East rally scene in recent years and has pieced together a deal to run the exciting new Skoda Fabia S2000 for the first time in the regional series. S2000 cars have dominated the podium positions in recent rallies in the Middle East and Hijazi is relishing the prospect of challenging for the podium in Qatar. The car runs with the full support of Hijazi’s Amman-based company Al Mimari Est. for Trade & Industry. It has

been supplied by top Lebanese rally driver Roger Feghali, who will run the Czech car under his Motor Tune banner in Qatar. Hijazi will be partnered by the experienced Lebanese co-driver Joseph Matar, the winning co-driver in the 2009 Pirelli Star Driver category alongside youngster Nick Georgiou. Last season Matar and Georgiou tackled select rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship as part of their Pirelli prize. “The Skoda is a strong, competitive car and our team is really looking forward to using it for the first time in the Qatar International Rally,” said Hijazi, who also confirmed he will tackle the Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Dubai rounds of the 2011 regional championship.” The Jordanian faces fierce compe-

tition over the two days of gravel special stages, with recent Dakar Rally winner Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah heading the international entry in his Ford Fiesta S2000. The UAE’s Sheikh Abdullah AlQassimi also drives one of the S2000 Fords, while there is strong local competition from the likes of defending regional champion Misfer Al-Marri, Khalid Al-Suwaidi, Abdulaziz AlKuwari, Mubarak Al-Hajri and the 1993 FIA Middle East rally champion Sheikh Hamed Bin Eid Al-Thani. Hijazi is one of two Jordanian entrants in the 2011 Qatar International Rally. Nancy Al-Majali teams up with Nadia Shnoudeh in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and is seeded at the tail of the entry list at number 24.

China dominates Korea Open SEOUL: China dominated the finals of the Korea Open badminton championship in Seoul yesterday, sweeping four titles in the sport’s richestever tournament. In the men’s singles, China’s Lin Dan defeated arch-rival and defending champion Lee ChongWei from Malaysia 21-19 14-21 21-16 in a 73minute duel, taking home 90,000 dollars. Total prize money in the tournament was 1.2 million dollars. It was the third time Lin, who had beaten the world’s number one Lee to win gold at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games in November, had taken the Korea Open crown. China also prevailed in the women’s singles with Wang Yihan defeating Wang Shixian in straight sets 21-14 21-18. Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli of China won the women’s doubles title over their compatriots Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei 21-18 19-21 21-4. In another all-Chinese match, Zhao and Zhang Nan beat Tian and Tao Jiaming in the mixed doubles 21-17 13-21 21-19. South Korean duo Lee Yong-Dae and Jung Jae-Sung were the only non-Chinese winners, defeating Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen from Denmark in the men’s doubles. Lee and Jung retained their title by beating the world’s number one pair 21-6, 21-13 in a 33minute final. The Korea Open is one of five Premier Super Series events hosted by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the sport’s global governing body. Men’s and women’s singles champions get 90,000 dollars each, while men’s, women’s and mixed doubles winners earn 94,800 dollars per pair. —AFP

Cycling union creating athletes’ commission AIGLE: The International Cycling Union is creating an athletes’ commission to “oversee the interests of cyclists.” The UCI says the 14-member panel will comprise of riders who are active or have been retired for no more than two years. It says riders will elect eight representatives from the disciplines of road, track, mountain biking, BMX, paracycling and cyclo-cross. The governing body will appoint the other six members to ensure a balanced mix of men and women from each region and discipline. The panel was approved by the UCI’s management committee which met in St. Wendel, Germany. Meanwhile, Alberto Contador vowed to fight on against a proposed doping suspension, saying he was a victim of a flawed system and declaring it was a “question

of honor” to prove he did not cheat to win the Tour de France. An emotional Contador promised to defend his innocence “until the end” as he spoke publicly for the time since learning of the proposed one-year ban from the Spanish cycling federation for a positive clenbuterol test that could cost him his Tour title. “In the next 10 days I’m going to work and do all I can to receive justice. It’s a question of honor, defending your pride and your innocence,” said the 28-year-old Spaniard, whose watery eyes were replaced by a rebellious glare at the end of the hour-long news conference in Mallorca. “This is about honor.” Contador blames his positive result on eating contaminated meat, and he characterized the Spanish federation’s

decision to accept his defense yet still sanction him as “shameful.” The reduced ban, instead of the standard twoyear penalty, would still leave Contador stripped of the 2010 Tour title and off the starting line of this year’s race. “They are recognizing that I’m innocent and then they give me a one-year ban,” the three-time Tour winner said. “I can’t explain that. I can’t defend that. I can’t do anything more.” “Of course I feel like a victim — a victim of the system,” he said. Contador has until Feb. 9 to present more evidence before the Spanish authority’s disciplinary committee renders a final verdict. That decision can be appealed to the Cour t of Arbitration for Spor t by Contador, the International Cycling Union or the World Anti-Doping Agency. — AP

Mickelson. The two Americans then dueled for the lead over the back nine. Haas sank a 10footer to birdie the 10th and edge one stroke clear before slipping back with a bogey at the 11th. Although Mickelson struck a superb tee shot to six feet at the par-three 16th and coolly rammed in the birdie putt to regain a share of the lead, Haas birdied 13 and 15 to stay in control until his final slip at the last. “I hung in there,” said Haas, who is seeking a third PGA Tour victory. “I saw my name up there most of the day and was able to hang in there. I hit a lot of quality shots on the back nine. Tomorrow will be fun.” — Reuters

Springboks Ralepelle, Basson cleared to play JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s rugby union is at fault for the positive doping tests of players Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson, a judicial committee said in a ruling. The three-man committee said it was “comfortably satisfied” that Ralepelle and Basson were not aware that the supplement that the entire team consumed ahead of a match against Ireland in Dublin on Nov. 6 contained the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine. The players had not intended to enhance performance through the use of a prohibited substance, the committee found, and the South African Rugby Union should have tested the supplement more thoroughly. Ralepelle and Basson have been cleared to return to rugby immediately with a warning, the committee said, which was an appropriate sanction “in the exceptional circumstances of this case.” The world champion Springboks team took the nutritional supplement known as Anabolic Nitro Nitric Oxide Extreme Energy Surge in the pre-match warmup and during halftime of the 23-21 win over Ireland on the instructions of Springboks conditioning coach Neels Liebel. It was later discovered to contain methylhexaneamine, even though the same supplement had been used by the Springboks during the Tri-Nations earlier in 2010 without any problems. Liebel also had no knowledge that the supplement contained the stimulant and a new batch of the product, delivered to the South Africa team in Britain during the tour, was blamed. The committee, which was appointed by the South African Rugby Union, disagreed with SARU’s argument that the positive tests were the fault of the two players, who should have refused the supplement. “The management of SARU knew that the medical team of the Springbok team supplied the players with supplements,” the committee said. “SARU, one assumes, in fact paid for the supplements. “If there is any blame to be apportioned in this matter, SARU should be blamed for not having the supplements tested more comprehensively.” Ralepelle, 24, and Basson, 23, can now join their provincial team, the Bulls, for its buildup to the new Super 15 season, which begins next month. They had been facing bans of up to two years for the doping offense. Speaking on behalf of both players, Ralepelle said the experience had been traumatic and they were looking forward to returning to rugby. “Finally the facts are out there and people can see that we were not guilty and are not doping cheats,” Ralepelle said. “We were only doing what the large majority of professional rugby players around the world do by using a supplement. “Bjorn and I were the unlucky ones to be tested on the day and to have had to go through the trauma of the past 21/2 months.” The Bulls said later Friday the pair would now play in a warmup match against an invitational team in the northern city of Nelspruit on Feb. 5, ahead of the start of the Bulls’ Super Rugby title defense on Feb. 19. — AP



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Australia take series after Brisbane victory England beaten by 51 runs BRISBANE: Australia wrapped up a morale-boosting one-day series victory over England with two games to spare after a 51-run win in the fifth match at the Gabba yesterday. Michael Clarke’s team took an unassailable 4-1 lead in the seven-match series after hitting 249 in 49.3 overs and then bowling out the visitors for 198. “The boys are very excited. It’s great to come back after losing the Ashes test series and it shows a lot of courage,” skipper Clarke told Australia’s Channel Nine. “We still see a lot of room for improvement so the next couple of games are very important for us. The feeling in the camp is fantastic.” Pace pair Brett Lee and Doug Bollinger reduced England to 22 for three before Kevin Pietersen (40) and Ian Bell (36) combined for a 73-run partnership. England, however, self destructed when they still had plenty of overs remaining and two well-established players batting. Pietersen again succumbed to a rush of blood to the head when he misread a slower John Hastings delivery and spooned the ball to Lee at mid-on to leave his team 95 for four. Eoin Morgan (two) also threw away his wicket when he smashed Steve Smith straight to Mitchell Johnson at long off while Bell chopped Hastings on to his stumps to leave England 103 for six. Shane Watson then dismissed Paul Collingwood (18) and Chris Woakes (eight) in his first over, the 33rd of the innings, to all but end the run chase despite some final-wicket defiance from James Anderson (22 not out) and Steve Finn (35). “We thought 250 was very chaseable but fair play to Australia, they bowled well with the new ball and got

early wickets and it was hard for us to keep the momentum up without losing wickets,” said England captain Andrew Strauss. “Australia have deserved to win this series but we still have two games to go and need to finish with a bit of a bang heading into next month’s World Cup.” Earlier, Clarke ended his poor run of scores with a half century while the tail provided a late flurry to help the home side post a good total despite man of the match Woakes claiming six for 45. Clarke, who had been under pressure, combined for a 65-run partnership with David Hussey (34) for the fifth wicket. He then needlessly charged Woakes in the 41st over and top edged a simple catch to Strauss on 54. Clarke’s dismissal left Australia 190 for six but Smith (24 not out), Johnson (16) and Hastings (13) combined well in the latter stages to set up a victory charge that will give them confidence heading into the World Cup. The match was also used to help raise money following recent flooding. The floods have swamped the eastern seaboard of Australia, killing 35 people, crippling coal mines, ruining crops, damaging infrastructure, destroying homes and causing an estimated A$5 billion ($4.98 billion) in damage in Queensland alone. More than A$6 million ($5.96 million) was raised from the game, with the final figure to be matched by the Australian federal government. “It makes you really very proud to see the way Australians have got out and responded, from a local barbie (BBQ) ... to some of our biggest companies in the country,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard told Australia’s Channel Nine. —Reuters

LOS ANGELES: Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (right) puts up a shot as Charlotte Bobcats small forward Gerald Wallace defends during the first half of their NBA basketball game. —AP

Spurs defuse Rockets for 40 wins this season Woeful Wizards drop 23rd road game in a row SAN ANTONIO: Manu Ginobili scored 22 points and the San Antonio Spurs became the first to reach 40 wins this season, beating the Houston Rockets 108-95 on Saturday night. Richard Jefferson added 18 points to help the Spurs win their 18th in a row at home. But it was San Antonio’s last game at home for three weeks with the Spurs embarking on their annual Rodeo Road Trip. The NBA-best Spurs (40-7) will play nine straight on the road heading into the All-Star game, in which Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will direct the West squad. Luis Scola led the Rockets with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Bucks 91, Nets 81 In Milwaukee, Australian Andrew Bogut had 17 points and 18 rebounds to help Milwaukee to its third consecutive win. Carlos Delfino led Milwaukee in scoring with 21 points and Keyon Dooling had 14 points and nine assists. Brook Lopez scored 26 points for New Jersey.

BRISBANE: Australia’s Shane Watson appeals for the wicket of England’s James Anderson during their 5th One Day International cricket match. —AP

Scoreboard Scoreboard at the end of the fifth one-day international between Australia and England in Brisbane on yesterday: Australia won the toss and chose to bat Australia innings S. Watson c Collingwood b Woakes 16 B. Haddin b Finn 37 S. Marsh c Strauss b Collingwood 16 M. Clarke c Strauss b Woakes 54 C. White c Prior b Woakes 16 D. Hussey b Woakes 34 S. Smith not out 24 M. Johnson b Anderson 16 J. Hastings c Collingwood b Woakes 13 B. Lee c sub b Woakes 0 D. Bollinger run out 6 Extras: (w-11, b-2, lb-3, nb-1) 17 Total: (all out, 49.3 overs) 249 Fall of wickets: 1-48 2-72 3-96 4-113 5-178 6-190 7-212 8-233 9-234 10-249 Bowling: Anderson 10-1-42-1 (w-4), Shahzad 8-146-0 (w-4), Finn 10-0-61-1 (w-3), Woakes 10-0-456 (nb-1), Collingwood 10-1-36-1, Trott 1.3-0-14-0.

England innings A. Strauss c Smith b Bollinger 3 M. Prior b Lee 14 J. Trott c Bollinger b Lee 0 K. Pietersen c Lee b Hastings 40 I. Bell b Hastings 36 E. Morgan c Johnson b Smith 2 P. Collingwood c Hastings b Watson 18 C. Woakes c Haddin b Watson 8 A. Shahzad c Haddin b Bollinger 9 J. Anderson not out 22 S. Finn b Watson 35 Extras: (w-4, nb-5, lb-2) 11 Total: (all out, 45.3 overs) 198 Fall of wickets: 1-20 2-20 3-22 4-95 5-98 6-103 7128 8-128 9-145 10-198 Bowling: Lee 7-0-21-2 (w-1, nb-1), Bollinger 9-157-2 (nb-1), Johnson 8-1-29-0 (w-1, nb-1), Hastings 9-0-35-2 (w-2), Smith 8-0-29-1, Watson 4.3-1-25-3 (nb-2) Result: Australia won by 51 runs

Grizzlies 107, Wizards 93 In Memphis, Zach Randolph had 24 points and 20 rebounds, Darrell Arthur added a career-high 22 points and Memphis kept Washington winless on the road this season. Mike Conley and Tony Allen added 15 points each to help Memphis improve to 5-1 in its last six games. John Wall led the Wizards with 14 points and eight assists. The loss was the fourth straight for the Wizards, and left them 0-23 on the road. Bulls 110, Pacers 89 In Chicago, Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Derrick Rose added 20 points despite two stomach ulcers to help Chicago to a comfortable 21-point win over Indiana. The Bulls improved to 11-0 against Central teams while remaining the lone unbeaten team against its own division. Josh McRoberts led Indiana with a career-high 20 points. Atlanta with 27 points.

Mavericks 102, Hawks 91 In Dallas, Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points and Jason Terry added 18 points and a season-high 11 assists to help Dallas improve to 5-1 following a six-game losing streak. Jason Kidd had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Tyson Chandler also had 12 points for the Mavericks. Joe Johnson led

T’wolves 103, Raptors 87 In Minneapolis, Kevin Love scored his NBA-leading 42nd double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds as Minnesota handed Toronto its 11th straight loss. Minnesota ended a sixgame losing streak, mainly by holding Toronto to 33.7 percent shooting — the lowest this season for both sides. Andrea Bargnani and Ed Davis each had 15 points for Toronto.

Kings 102, Hornets 96 In Sacramento, California, DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists as Sacramento ended New Orleans’s winning streak at 10 games. Sacramento never trailed in winning consecutive games for just the second time all season. Fouled-plagued Tyreke Evans had nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter for the Kings with Samuel Dalembert adding 16 points. David West scored 21 points for the Hornets, who were looking to set a franchise record with 11 straight victories.

Clippers 103, Bobcats 88 In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 24 points and 10 rebounds as Los Angeles extended its home winning streak to eight. The victory allowed the Clippers to match the 1992-93 squad for the longest home winning streak since the franchise moved from San Diego to Los Angeles for the 1984-85 season. Griffin scored his 38th double-double of the season and 32nd in 33 games, shooting 11 for 23 in 41 minutes. Stephen Jackson and reserve Gerald Henderson each scored 14 points for Charlotte. —AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Saturday. Chicago 110, Indiana 89; Minnesota 103, Toronto 87; Memphis 107, Washington 93; Dallas 102, Atlanta 91; Milwaukee 91, New Jersey 81; San Antonio 108, Houston 95; Sacramento 102, New Orleans 96; LA Clippers 103, Charlotte 88. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L 35 11 24 22 20 26 14 34 13 35

PCT .761 .522 .435 .292 .271

GB 11 15 22 23

Central Division 33 14 19 26 17 27 17 30 8 38

.702 .422 .386 .362 .174

13 14.5 16 24.5

Southeast Division 32 14 30 17 30 18 20 26 13 33

.696 .638 .625 .435 .283

2.5 3 12 19

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 30 16 Denver 28 18 Utah 28 19 Portland 25 22 Minnesota 11 36

.652 .609 .596 .532 .234

2 2.5 5.5 19.5

LA Lakers Phoenix Golden State LA Clippers Sacramento

Pacific Division 33 14 21 24 19 27 18 28 12 33

.702 .467 .413 .391 .267

11 13.5 14.5 20

San Antonio Dallas New Orleans Memphis Houston

Southwest Division 40 7 31 15 31 17 24 24 22 27

.851 .674 .646 .500 .449

8.5 9.5 16.5 19

Boston NY Knicks Philadelphia New Jersey Toronto Chicago Milwaukee Indiana Detroit Cleveland Miami Orlando Atlanta Charlotte Washington

Freund wins ski jump event

Bangladeshi beggars to be paid during WCup DHAKA: A southeastern city in Bangladesh will pay local beggars to stay off the streets during next month’s cricket World Cup. Chittagong mayor Manzurul Alam said yesterday that the city will pay about 300 physically disabled beggars up to 150 takas ($2.11) a day. “Initially, it will continue for three months till end of April,” Alam said. “We are planning to permanently rehabilitate them after that.” Chittagong, the second largest city in Bangladesh, is located 135 miles southeast of the capital, Dhaka.

Alam added that he expects to meet with the beggars’ representatives on Tuesday to discuss the plan, which could also include free food and clothes. Alam said he hopes to allow the “tourists and guests” to move freely on the streets during the “prestigious” event. Beggars are a common sight in Bangladeshi cities, with an estimated 700,000 calling the country home. The World Cup takes place Feb. 19 to April 2 and is co-hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. —AP

GERMANY: Thomas Morgenstern of Austria jumps during the FIS World Cup ski jumping in Willingen yesterday. —AP

WILLINGEN: Severin Freund won a large hill event yesterday for his second career ski jump World Cup victory. The 22-year-old German had the day ’s longest jump of 143.5 meters in the first round and reached 139 on his second for a total of 289.1 points. “My heart fluttered a bit beforehand but I think you need that for the extra punch,” Freund said. Austria’s Martin Koch was 2.2 points behind in second place after jumps of 141.5 and 140.5 meters. Double Olympic champion Simon Ammann of Switzerland was third with jumps of 143.0 and 140.5 meters for a total of 284.5 points. Thomas Morgenstern, who finished fourth with jumps of 139.0 and 138.0, leads the standings after 19 of 26 events with 1,434 points. Ammann is second with 1,013 and Austria’s Andreas Kofler is third with 930.—AP



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Djokovic humbles Murray in final MELBOURNE: Serbia’s Novak Djokovic holds the trophy after defeating Andy Murray of Britain in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships. —AP

MELBOURNE: Britain’s Andy Murray holds his runner-up trophy after his men’s singles final loss to Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Australian Open. —AP

Lopez top seed as S Africa Open feels cash pinch JOHANNESBURG: Spaniard Feliciano Lopez defends his South African Open title from today amid media criticism of a star-less line-up for the ATP event. After wooing ‘names’ like Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils and Spaniard David Ferrer in the past two years, the organizers have been hamstrung by a lack of appearancefee funds. “No player appearing this year is receiving a cent of appearance money. We are happy to host the event with some strong entries,” countered tournament director Ian Smith. “Stars like Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are out of reach for the South African Open because it begins a day after the Australian Open finals. “Another factor is that the fees being demanded by their agents are quite prohibitive in the current financial environment,”

added the official credited with reviving South African tennis in recent years. “We were hopeful of securing Australian Open semi-finalist David Ferrer but he decided against making a third visit to South Africa at the last minute while saying he would like to return in the future.” Adding to the concerns of Smith is that a three-year ‘trial’ return to the ATP circuit for South Africa ends this year and there is uncertainty whether they will make the next calendar. The 2012 London Olympics and the wish of players to reduce their strenuous schedules will mean fewer tournaments, leaving South African officials anxious not to miss out, and also praying for a date change. “We would like the South African Open to be staged at a time when it does not closely follow a grand slam tournament as is the case this year with the Australian Open,”

Asian Winter Games opens in Kazakhstan ALMATY: The seventh edition of the Asian Winter Games was officially opened yesterday in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana in a spectacular three-hour ceremony staged at the city’s indoor football stadium. The event curtain-raising show began with a dramatised performance based on traditional Kazakh epic poems accompanied by a group of ethnic drummers, which was followed by a volley of red fireworks. The procession of the athletes continued the performance under the watchful gazes of the International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge, Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev and several other heads of Asian states. The Games participants, who paraded in front of a capacity 30,000 local crowd at the arena were all given warm receptions, but that was nothing compared to the deafening welcoming roar, when the hosts’ team entered the stadium last by tradition. Kazakh opera diva Nurzhamal Usenbaeva performed a song especially composed for the Games opening an impressive show that involved more than than 700 actors and dancers including Belgian singer Lara Fabian. Nazarbayev than officially declared the Games open after the Olympic Council of Asia flag was hoisted. The Olympic torch relay, which had crisscrossed the country during January, arrived at its final destination at the Astana Arena, with a group of the country’s most decorated sports veterans jointly lighting the Games flame. That triggered another barrage of fireworks that lit up the night sky of the Kazakhstan capital. More than 1,100 competitors from 27 countries will contest 65 titles in 11 categories, with the events staged in the country’s two biggest cities - Almaty and Astana-between January 30 and February 6. —AFP

said Smith. While local star Kevin Anderson is seeded below Lopez, Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan and Serb Janko Tipsarevic, the Spaniard fears the South African could upset his dreams of a third ATP title after Vienna in 2004 and Johanmesburg last year. Lopez-one of three top-50 players in the field-suffered a 6-3, 6-1 defeat by Anderson in Brisbane this month, but said he was suffering from a virus. “If we should meet again in South Africa I would hope to give a better account of myself,” he stressed ahead of the seven-day tournament at the Montecasino entertainment complex in a northern Johannesburg suburb. French pair Florent Serra (5) and Adrian Mannarino (6), German Rainer Schuettler (7) and Pole Michal Przysiezny (8) are the other seeds for the 442,500-dollar event. — AFP

MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic claimed his second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open yesterday with a dominant display which shattered Andy Murray ’s dream of becoming Britain’s first male major-winner in 75 years. The Serbian world number three controlled the final on a warm Melbourne evening, winning 64, 6-2, 6-3 for his second Australian title, after also triumphing in 2008. It was the first major final without Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer for three years, as Djokovic proved superior to the listless fifth seed. “It’s been a fantastic tournament for me and I just take it that way,” Djokovic said. “Rafa (Nadal) and Roger are the two best players in the world. No question about that. You can’t compare my success and Murray’s success to their success. “Certainly, this will give me a lot of motivation and confidence for the rest of this season because to win a Grand Slam at the start of the season is the best start you can ask for.” But the misfiring Murray suffered further heartbreak and is now yet to win a set in three Grand Slam finals. “You always have to try and find a way to get back in. I thought Novak played unbelievably well tonight,” Murray said. “So when I got ahead in some games and even just in the points, he was sticking up lobs that were landing on the baseline, passing shots that were very close to the lines. “I was trying to find a way. I just wasn’t able to put enough good points together.” Murray was bidding to become the first British man to win a Grand Slam since Fred Perry in 1936, and the first since Perry to win the Australian Open since 1934. But he was never in the hunt as his game spluttered in the second set and Djokovic ramped up the pressure to seize the final in 2hr 39 min. It was Djokovic’s second successive Grand Slam final after losing to Nadal in last year’s US Open decider. “This was a

East rules West on the field — at least in Asia

Devon Alexander (right) and Timothy Bradley fight during the WBC/WBO World Championship Unification boxing match at the Silverdome. —AP

Bradley takes WBC belt after head butt DETROIT: Timothy Bradley defeated fellow American Devon Alexander by technical decision on Saturday to add the WBC super lightweight belt to his WBO junior welterweight title. The scheduled 12-round contest went to the scorecards after it was halted in the 10th, with Alexander unable to continue following an accidental head-butt. “I couldn’t see,” said the previously unbeaten Alexander, 21-1 (13 KOs). “I’ve never been head-butted like that. He’s got a tough head.” The two

men had earlier clashed heads in the third round, opening a cut over Alexander’s right eye. Although the contest had been much anticipated by boxing fans, it never exploded into life the way many had hoped. Alexander attempted to control the contest from a distance, circling Bradley, 27-0 (11 KOs), and firing fast jabs and southpaw left hands. The shorter Bradley stalked his opponent, walking him down and landing hard right hands to Alexander’s head. A Bradley right

rocked Alexander in the third round, as did several others in the ninth. Bradley’s flurries of hard punches saw him build a lead on all three judges’ scorecards when the 10th round began. Ultimately, it was Bradley’s head that caused the most damage. The newly unified champion was full of praise for his beaten opponent. “Devon Alexander is a great fighter,” said Bradley. “I tip my hat to him. He’s going to be a world champion in the future.” — Reuters

America blank Atlas in Clausura Championship MEXICO CITY: Matias Vuoso and Angel Reyna scored second-half goals to give America a 2-0 win at league-leader Atlas in the four th round of the Mexican Clausura championship on Saturday. Vuoso opened the scoring in the 71st minute and Reyna made it 2-0 in the 84th as America gave new coach Carlos Reinoso a win in his first game in charge after replacing Manuel Lapuente this week. America remains bottom of Group 2, but moved to four points to close the gap to Atlas atop the group. In Pachuca, Droguett scored with a low shot to give

Cruz Azul the lead in the 40th minute. Cruz Azul raced away after the break, with Julio Dominguez adding a second after Miguel Calero could only parry an Emanuel Villa free kick in the 62nd minute. Substitute Castro curled in a shot from long range in the 75th and Villaluz completed the rout after stepping inside his marker in the box in the 87th. The win put Cruz Azul atop Group 3, with Pachuca stuck on five points in Group 2. In Saturday ’s other matches Carlos Esquivel scored the only goal of the

great match. From the start to the last point, I did what I intended of doing tactically and what I prepared for,” he said. “Physically I was very fit. I had two days between the semi-finals and finals match, which was important at this stage of the tournament.” Symbolically, the last time Djokovic finished runner-up at the 2007 US Open, he also went on to win the title at the Australian Open the following year against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Djokovic and Murray are close friends from their junior playing days and it was their first meeting at a Grand Slam with the Serb now leading 5-3 in their matches. Despite the triumph Djokovic will remain world number three behind Nadal and Federer when the new ATP rankings are published on Monday. It was another bitter experience for Murray in the majors after going down in straight sets to Federer in last year’s Australian final and at the 2007 US Open. “It’s better than it was last year. It’s tough, but got to deal with it,” Murray said. “I was in a much worse state last year than I was this year. I don’t know why. That’s it.” In 2010, Murray choked back tears and apologised to British fans after he was unable to serve out the third set while leading Federer 5-3, and then squandered five set points in an agonising tie-break to bomb out 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (13/11). Murray ’s opening ser vice game Sunday fluctuated for 14 minutes and five deuces before holding as both players held their serve until the 10th game. The Scot coughed up a double-fault on his opening serve and a netted forehand gave Djokovic two set points to take the opening set in just under an hour. But Djokovic went on a sevengame run to have the second set in his pocket at 5-0. Murray fought off a set point in the sixth game before holding and broke back to 5-2, before Djokovic went two sets up in 40 minutes when he forced a Murray backhand into the net. Murray began the final set well, breaking Djokovic in the opening game, but dropped his next two service games before the Serb relinquished his lead with a tame sliced backhand into the net. But Murray looked devoid of energy and inspiration and continued to make errors. The lethargic Scot was broken a third time in the set to leave Djokovic to serve out the match, and he took it when Murray netted a forehand. —AFP

game to give Toluca a 1-0 win at previously unbeaten Tigres, while Santos moved level with Tigres on points atop Group 1 after a 2-1 win at Chiapas thanks to first-half goals from Christian Benitez and Darwin Quintero. Omar Flores scored for Chiapas in the 72nd. Elsewhere, Efrain Cortes scored the winning goal in the 59th minute in a 1-0 win for Queretaro at home against Necaxa, while an own goal from Yasser Corona in the 40th minute and a second from Christian Bermudez in the 88th gave Atlante a 2-0 home win against ten-

man Puebla. Jose Gonzalez was sent off for Puebla in the 35th minute. The 18 teams in the Mexican Primera Division are split into three groups, with the top two in each group making the end-ofseason playoffs to decide the champion. The two clubs best-placed in the general table which have not qualified from their group also make the playoffs. Atlas stays top of the general standings ahead of Sunday’s fixtures when San Luis could take over if it wins at Morelia. UNAM Pumas hosts Monterrey in Sunday’s other match. — AP

DOHA: Japan’s record fourth Asian Cup title demonstrated that the east of the continent remains the region’s dominant force on the field even if the power in the boardroom has switched to the west. Japan, Australia and South Korea claimed the top three positions in Qatar and their level of soccer was head and shoulders above their west Asian rivals and in particular Middle Eastern opponents. Japan, with just one member of their 23-man squad over 30, and South Korea produced a number of high-tempo, attacking displays that left their opponents in a daze and their youthful sides show the future is bright. In contrast, it was the first time that a side from the Middle East had failed to reach the semi-finals of the tournament since the knockout stages were introduced in 1972. Three-times winners Iran looked like the most likely Middle Eastern side to win the title but Afshin Ghotbi’s side eventually succumbed in extra time of their quarter-final against a dominant South Korea. Ghotbi, who has stepped down to take charge of J-League club Shimizu S-Pulse, thinks organization is to blame. “If you look at South Korea and Japan they have good models and they are showing it with a generation of good players playing in Europe. “We need to learn from them and invest long term. If you want to consistently produce you need to develop long term plans. “There is a lot of growing up to do in this region starting with infrastructure, education, professional clubs, youth players,” Ghotbi said. The failings of the Middle Eastern sides comes at a time when the region is still celebrating Qatar being awarded the right to host the World Cup in 2022. Earlier this month, Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein ousted long-serving South Korea Chung Mong-joon to claim the role of FIFA vice-president and leave east Asia without a representative on the decision-making board after Japan’s Junji Ogura retired. Saudi Arabia, Syria, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, the Gulf Cup champions, exited in the group stage and Qatar coach Bruno Metsu believes the teams were forced to play too many games after the conclusion of the Gulf Cup in December. “It’s difficult to play two big tournaments in two months and I think that you have to ask, are the players capable of withstanding the mental pressure of playing in two competitions back to back?” Metsu asked after his team were knocked out by Japan in the quarter-finals 3-2. “It’s a mental thing, not about morale. It’s difficult for young players to come back and play in two big tournaments.” Qatari AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam believes the sides in the west lack the experience of their compatriots. “I think east today and in particularly Japan, (South) Korea, Australia are enjoying the benefit of the professionalism. “The players from these countries are more mature on the field. They can handle the matches and decide what to do unlike their other colleagues from the west, they panic if they are losing.”— Reuters




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moNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2011

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Qatar passes first test of World Cup credentials

LONDON: Fulham’s Mousa Dembele (left) vies for the ball with Tottenham Hotspur’s Steven Pienaar during their English FA Cup fourth round soccer match. —AP

Man City held, Tottenham crushed Arsenal, Stoke and West Ham advance in FA Cup LONDON: Edin Dzeko opened his goalscoring account for Manchester City to salvage a 1-1 draw with Notts County as Tottenham were sent crashing out of the FA Cup in a humiliating 4-0 rout by Fulham yesterday. Bosnian striker Dzeko netted in the 80th minute to rescue City, who were left staring down the barrel of a shock fourth round upset after Neal Bishop headed the lowly Magpies in front on 59 minutes at Meadow Lane. City — who have spent more than 300 million pounds on players since their takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008 — are currently 58 places above Notts County, languishing in 18th spot of League One. But the gulf between Roberto Mancini’s expensively assembled squad and Paul Ince’s side was rarely obvious as a quagmire of a pitch acted as a leveller. “We didn’t want a replay before the game but I am happy to have one now,” said relieved City boss Mancini. Notts County manager Paul Ince meanwhile said his side deserved credit for stifling City. “On days like this, the club from the lower echelons should be given the credit they deserve and not have people say City did not play well,” Ince said. “We stopped them playing. It just felt like the clock stopped after we scored.” In the most one-sided result of the day, high-flying Tottenham suffered a four-goal mauling at Craven Cottage, their heaviest ever defeat to Fulham. A disastrous opening 15 minutes saw Spurs concede two penalties-both converted by Danny Murphy-and captain Michael Dawson red-carded. Shambolic defending allowed Brede Hangeland to make it 3-0 on 23 minutes before Moussa Dembele scored a fine individual effort on half-time to pile on the agony for Spurs. In other fourth round matches on Sunday, 10-man Arsenal needed a late Cesc Fabregas penalty to overcome Huddersfield 2-1 while Stoke downed Wolves 1-0 to advance to the last 16.

In a thrilling encounter at Upton Park, West Ham striker Victor Obinna scored a hat-trick as the Premier League side overcame Nottingham Forest 3-2 to advance. Stoke meanwhile ended Wolves’ FA Cup campaign after defender Robert Huth struck on 81 minutes at Molineux. Wolves had a golden chance to equalise from the penalty spot late on but Thomas Sorensen saved Nenad Milijas’ spot-kick. At the Emirates, second-half substitute Fabregas scored from the spot on 86 minutes after League One side Huddersfield had fought back bravely from 1-0 down to level in an open encounter. Fabregas’s winner came after Terriers defender Jamie McCombe flattened Nicklas Bendtner in the area. The Gunners, who had Sebastien Squillaci sent off just before half-time, had earlier taken the lead through a Peter Clarke own goal on 22 minutes. Huddersfield hit back through an Alan Lee header on 66 minutes to leave Arsenal facing the unwelcome prospect of a fourth round replay before Fabregas’s late spot-kick saved the day. Arsenal were later drawn against League One side Leyton Orient in the fifth round. Victory came at a cost for Arsenal however, with in-form midfielder Samir Nasri suffering a serious hamstring injury which could rule him out of his team’s Champions League clash with Barcelona on February 16. “It looks a serious hamstring injury and that’s usually three weeks. We have to see whether it’s a grade one or two tear,” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said. “It’s big blow for us at the moment. It’s two weeks to that (Barcelona) game and you will soon know if he’s out. But he is doubtful. At this important stage of the season to lose bodies is disappointing for us.” Arsenal, who are challenging on four fronts, have a heavy fixture schedule and face Everton in the Premier League tomorrow. —AFP

DOHA: Billed as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup, the 2011 Asian Cup was nothing of the sor t. Qatar’s shock win in the December vote for the 2022 World Cup hosting rights led to a storm of criticism, and put the spotlight on the Asian Cup like never before. The Gulf nation looked to be passing the first test quite comfortably until Saturday’s final when many fans complained of being locked out of the stadium, despite holding tickets. It was the first major organizational hitch in the tournament, and perhaps it proved Qatar still has lessons to learn about handling big sporting events. The main criticism up until Saturday had been the rows of empty seats at many games, but a look back at previous tournaments shows that is a common problem at the Asian Cup, which is still catching up with its continental equivalents. “We would like to see our competition is comparable to the best in the world. This is a target,” Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed bin Hammam said last week. Not many sporting events, let alone football tournaments, are comparable to the World Cup, however. Visiting fans, other than from neighboring countries, were a rare sight at the Asian Cup. In 2022, thousands of suppor ters from across the globe will descend on Qatar, and the locals should be more willing to turn out to watch the world’s best teams and their star players than they were to watch the best that Asia has to offer. Indeed, while football is Qatar’s most popular sport, fans are more likely to be found avidly watching Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United on the television than they are at a stadium supporting their local club. What did become clear at the Asian Cup is that Qatar, for better or worse, will produce a World Cup like no other. For many fans, football and beer are inseparable partners but they may have to take an enforced break in 2022. Alcohol is available only in licensed bars in mainly five-star hotels — and at a high price. A Budweiser, one of the official sponsors of the World Cup, can cost nearly $10 in a hotel. Ae-young, a 27-year-old South Korean who lives in the United Arab Emirates and came to Qatar for the Asian Cup, described Doha as a city that “sleeps early.” “It is not like in Korea where life is 24 hours,” she said. “And the places we do go to have fun are all closed, and cost a lot.” The alcohol restrictions are expected to be relaxed in time for the World Cup, with drink ing allowed in designated fan zones, but rowdy reveling seems unlikely

to be tolerated. In its place, visitors are encouraged to visit the Corniche, take a trip on a dhow boat, wander through the imposing Museum of Islamic Art or shop in one of the many air-conditioned malls or at the Souq Waqif — all in Doha. If none of those options appeal, fans could spend most of their time at a football match. Qatar will be the smallest country to have hosted a World Cup, a fact the bid committee was keen to play up. “We promoted a compact World Cup,” Bin Hammam said. “We told the world: please come and feel how much more comfor table a World Cup can be organized in a small countr y.” It is possible to drive around the entire country in less than a day, and with World Cup venues no more than an hour apart from each other, dedicated fans might even be able to squeeze in three matches in 24 hours. At the Asian Cup, every game took place in Doha or nearby, and

w i l l m a k e i t re a l i t y. Th e y a re determined to make it a memorable experience. Whatever may b e l a c k i n g, w i l l b e b u i l t .” Providing cheaper hotels will take up part of the multibillion dollar budget: five-star hotels far outnumber two-stars in Doha. However, changing the weather is an insurmountable problem, e ve n w i t h t h e Q a t a r i b i l l i o n s. Expats appreciate Qatar for its safe, family-friendly environment and the ease of daily life, but all a gre e t h a t t h e s u m m e r h e a t , which can top 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), is almost impossible to bear. Most leave the country, those who stay avoid going outside. Derek Lyon, a Scotsman teaching at a school outside Doha, talks of taking his dog for a walk in the height of summer, and the dog having “ had enough af ter five minutes.” “It’s unbearable,” Lyon said. “It’s all very well to say you’ll air-condition the stadiums. I went to the game at Al-Sadd Stadium

DOHA: Qatar’s Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (right) and FIFA President Sepp Blatter attend the AFC Asian Cup final soccer match between Japan and Australia in this file photo. —AP no stadium was more than a short drive away, although the city ’s o p p re s s i ve t r a f f i c m e a n t 1 5 minute journeys could take more like an hour. There is no public transport to speak of, but Qatar plans to build a new rail network and metro system and provide a shuttle bus system in 2022. Wi t h a b u l gi n g b u d g e t a n d s e ve r a l s p a ce - a g e s t a d i u m s planned, one of which will be wrapped in video screens, 2022 promises to be a World Cup to satisfy tech-heads and gadget geeks. The attitude of this gas-rich nation was summed up by Bora Milutinovic, an ambassador for the bid who has coached five different nations at World Cup tourn a m e n t s. “ W h a te ve r m i g h t become a problem, won’t be a problem,” the Serb said. “It’s not only a matter of money, it’s how it is spent. Qatar buys the best possible professional advice. “ They have a vision and they

they organized when the FIFA inspectors were here, and the air conditioning was used. I t was a m a z i n g. I t w a s 1 9 d e gre e s (Celsius) in the stadium and 45 (degrees Celsius) outside. “But you can’t air-condition a whole country.” The debate seems set to rumble on for a while yet, but it would not be a major surprise if, as FIFA President Sepp Blatter has already proposed, the World Cup is moved to the Qatari winter months. Bin Hammam was initially opposed to a move, but seems to have softened his stance of late. Fo r n ow, h e i s h a p py t h a t t h e Asian Cup has passed off without adding more fuel to the critics’ fire. “For me, (the Asian Cup) was actually more an opportunity for those who have less confidence in Qatar’s capability of organizing a World Cup, to witness for themselves what can be done,” he said. It will take more than a successful Asian Cup to change hearts and minds completely. —AP

Rangers set-up Celtic showdown LONDON: Huddersfield Town’s Tom Clarke (right) and Arsenal’s Neves Denilson battle for the ball during the English FA Cup fourth round soccer match at the Emirates Stadium. —AP

Montpellier climb to fifth spot PARIS: French League Cup finalists Montpellier climbed three places into fifth on the strength of a come from behind 2-1 win at Nancy yesterday. Nancy couldn’t have asked for a better start, with Youssouf Hadji firing them into a second minute lead, and the Morrocan international narrowly missed out adding a second four minutes later. Montpellier coach Rene Girard, sitting out a one-match ban and having to direct affairs via a walkie-talkie from the stands, saw his side pull level when Souleymane Camara headed home in the eighth minute. The game lost some of its intensity after the break with Montpellier happy to pounce on a series of mistakes by their hosts, and defender Garry Bocaly grabbed the all important win with a strike from the right hand side of the

box on the hour. The result pushed Montpellier up to 33 points, one shy of fourth-placed Rennes, who were swept aside 5-1 by Sochaux on Saturday, while Nancy are hovering dangerously two points above the drop zone. In yesterday’s other early game former champions Bordeaux gained a much needed 2-0 home win over Nice, Lamine Sane putting Jean Tigana’s team into the lead in the 39th minute with Anthony Modeste ensuring the win after the interval. The result will go some way to easing the pressure on Tigana, whose side slid out of the French Cup at second division Angers last week. They are now placed eighth, 11 points off the top of the table. Sunday’s late game pits champions

Marseille, Montpellier’s opponents in the League Cup final, against struggling Monaco. On Saturday Lille came out on top in the northern derby over Lens, the 1-0 win leaving them leading the league by four points from Paris Saint Germain, who enhanced their own title aspirations with a 2-1 victory over bottom club Arles-Avignon. Lyon, hustled out of the French Cup last weekend by Nice, came unstuck 2-1 Saturday courtesy of a 51st minute spot kick converted by Valenciennes’ Serbia midfielder Milan Bisevac, with Gregory Pujol doubling up seven minutes later. Michel Bastos gave Lyon hope in the 71st minute but the hosts held on gamely thanks in no small part to the sterling efforts of goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau. —AFP

GLASGOW: Rangers set up a mouth-watering Old Firm League Cup final against Celtic as they ground out a narrow 2-1 win over Motherwell at Hampden yesterday. Rangers took the lead against the run of play in the 20th minute through a Maurice Edu strike from distance. Mother well deser vedly grabbed an equaliser in the 66th minute when Keith Lasley drove the ball home from the edge of the box. But as Motherwell pushed forward looking for a winner they were caught by a fast Rangers counterattack and Nikica Jelavic crossed for the unmarked Steven Naismith to head home with 15 minutes remaining. Rangers manager Walter Smith was pleased to reach the first cup final of the season. “That’s our fourth since coming back to the club so I’m delighted with that,” said Smith. “We are happy to win what was always going to be a hard fought match.” Motherwell manager Stuart McCall, a former Rangers player, thought there was nothing between the sides. “It is mixed emotions really. I’m hugely disappointed because I thought the performance merited us at least to go to extra time but I’m really proud of them,” the Motherwell boss said. “It wasn’t a backs to the wall performance and thought we had good possession of the ball but it wasn’t to be in the end.” Motherwell made one change as Lasley came in for Steve Jones while Neil Alexander was handed the gloves for Rangers. Alexander, who replaces regular number one Allan McGregor in cup competitions, was tested ear-

ly when Jamie Murphy raced down the inside left channel but his shot was easily held by the keeper. Rangers took a while to get a foothold in the game and their first chance came after some fancy footwork from Edu set up Lee McCulloch at the edge of the box but he sent his drive well wide. Chris Humphrey picked out John Sutton with a cut-back from the by-line but the Englishman sent a soft header straight to Alexander as Motherwell had the first shot on target. Rangers took the lead in the 20th minute when Edu created a goal out of nothing. The American midfielder got the ball on to his left foot before cracking an angled drive past Darren Randolph. Motherwell were appealing for a penalty in the 54th minute when David Weir clambered over Sutton to win a header in the box but referee Willie Collum waved away their protests. Motherwell deservedly grabbed an equaliser in the 66th minute when Keith Lasley drove the ball home from the edge of the box. Rangers were being pinned in their own half at times but restored their lead in the 75th minute through a break away goal. Jelavic controlled a long ball from Davies and after some fancy footwork on the left he beat Shaun Hutchinson and sent over a cross to the far post where the unmarked Naismith headed past the helpless Randolph. Motherwell pressed forward to try and nab a late equaliser and only the feet of Alexander saved Rangers as he blocked a Steven Saunders header on the line. —AFP

Bradley takes WBC belt after head butt



Man City held, Spurs crushed in FA Cup


Casey wins Volvo tourney in Bahrain Page 16

SPAIN: Osasuna’s Javier Camunas (right) celebrates with his fellow teammate Carlos Aranda after he scored against Real Madrid during their Spanish League soccer match.—AP

Real’s title bid in tatters MADRID: Real Madrid’s title hopes were left hanging by a thread after Jose Mourinho’s side suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at relegationthreatened Osasuna yesterday to fall seven points behind league leaders Barcelona. It was Mourinho’s second league defeat in charge as Madrid-born striker Javier Camunas scored the decisive goal on 62 minutes to seal a historic win for Osasuna and deal Real’s title aspirations a hammer blow. Even Togalese debutant Emmanuel Adebayor, on loan from Manchester City, could not inspire Real who have now dropped 12 points on the road and have an uphill task to dethrone double champions Barcelona. Barcelona made it a recordequalling 15th consecutive league win with a 3-0 victory at Hercules on Saturday to match the long-standing record of the great 19601961 Real Madrid side. Real were under pressure to respond and had a star-studded substitutes’ bench with Xabi Alonso, Kaka and new signing Adebayor ready to be called into action. Adebayor joined Real on loan from Manchester City on Thursday but had to wait for his debut with French forward Karim Benzema retaining his place after scoring the winning goal in his last two matches. Osasuna drew 0-0 with Real in the corresponding fixture last season and squandered the best chance of the first half on 32 minutes. A ball from the left picked out the unmarked Walter Pandiani but the Uruguayan glanced his header over the crossbar. Two minutes later Real had their first real sight on goal with Benzema collecting a Cristiano Ronaldo pass before fizzing in a low shot that goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez did well to save at his near post. Lopez then denied Ronaldo with his legs in the 43rd minute as the two sides went into the interval at 0-0. Ronaldo, who has scored 22 out of Real’s 48

goals in the league, was Madrid’s most dangerous player in the second half, firing one shot just wide and then seeing another drive blocked at the last minute. However, Osasuna were ambitious going forward and took the lead on 62 minutes after a mix-up between Real defenders Raul Albiol and Ricardo Carvalho. Camunas broke the offside trap and thumped his shot past Iker Casillas to delight the home fans. Mourinho, who was quoted as saying that he wanted to return to manage in England on Sunday, responded with a triple substitution with Adebayor, Kaka and Alonso all coming on. Adebayor was full of running and had a half chance with a header, but it was Osasuna who should have made it 2-0 with Alvaro Arbeloa saving the visitors with an 84th minute block to prevent a certain goal. Madrid lacked the imagination to open up a well-organised Osasuna side managed by former Real Madrid legend Jose Antonio Camacho. Elsewhere under-fire Atletico Madrid coach Quique Sanchez Flores felt the pressure intensify as his side lost 2-0 at home to Athletic Bilbao. Gaizka Toquero scored in each half, on 45 and 64 minutes, to down 10man Atletico, who had Colombian defender Luis Perea sent off on 38 minutes for conceding a penalty, and sixth-placed Bilbao move five points clear of Atletico in the table. Flores, who got the dreaded vote of confidence from the board this week, is under extreme pressure with Atletico, who are already out of out of the Europa League and Kings Cup, lying 10 points off the top four. Champions League hopefuls Espanyol and Villarreal face off at the Cornella-El Prat later yesterday. Espanyol are five points adrift of third-placed Villarreal but have won eight out of their nine league home matches.—AFP

Spanish League results/standings Atletico Madrid 0, Athletic Bilbao 2 (Toquero 45, 64); Osasuna 1 (Camunas 62) Real Madrid 0. Spanish League table ahead of yesterday’s late match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Barcelona 21 19 1 1 67 11 58 Mallorca 21 8 3 10 23 29 27 Real Madrid 21 16 3 2 48 18 51 Sporting 21 5 7 9 22 27 22 Villarreal 20 13 3 4 40 21 42 Hercules 21 6 4 11 22 34 22 Valencia 20 12 4 4 33 23 40 Deportivo 21 5 7 9 18 30 22 Espanyol 20 12 1 7 28 26 37 Zaragoza 21 5 7 9 20 33 22 Bilbao 21 11 2 8 34 31 35 Osasuna 21 5 6 10 20 28 21 Atletico 21 9 3 9 31 26 30 Racing 20 5 5 10 15 29 20 Sevilla 21 9 3 9 33 35 30 Levante 21 5 3 13 22 34 18 Sociedad 21 9 1 11 32 33 28 Almeria 21 3 8 10 20 36 17 Getafe 21 8 3 10 29 34 27 Malaga 21 5 2 14 28 47 17

Pazzini stars in Inter fight-back ROME: Giampaolo Pazzini scored a brace on his debut as Inter Milan fought back from a two-goal half-time deficit to beat Palermo 3-2 yesterday. The win kept the champions in the title race following leaders AC Milan’s 2-0 win at Catania on Saturday, leaving them nine points behind but with a game in hand. Fabrizio Miccoli and Antonio Nocerino had given the visitors a 2-0 lead at the break while Javier Pastore hit the post and had a penalty saved for the Sicilians. But Pazzini’s double got Inter back on level terms before Samuel Eto’o smacked home the winner from the spot. “I never imagined having a day like this, it really was a dream,” Pazzini told SkySport. “This team isn’t satisfied, we still have the desire to win. For me it was great to play with so many great players. It was a great day, I really enjoyed it.” Inter made a blistering star t as Maicon’s shot with the outside of his right boot flashed just wide on three minutes. But two minutes later it was Palermo who went in front as Mattia Cassani skipped around Davide Santon and crossed for Miccoli to tap home from close range. Inter came storming back and Eto’o crossed into the box but Diego Milito arrived a split second too late. Lucio headed a Miacon corner straight at goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu while Thiago Motta blazed over. Palermo went two up on 36 minutes as Inter again failed to deal with a Cassani cross from the right, Nocerino arriving at the back post to turn inside Maicon and beat Julio Cesar at his near post. Inter immediately put Palermo on the back foot as captain Javier Zanetti and Milito both came close. But they were vulnerable on the counter attack and Santon blocked a

Cassani effort before Cesar got a crucial touch to stop Nocerino rounding him. Sirigu saved from Motta with Eto’o slotting home the rebound only to be denied by an offside flag. It should have been three before the break but Pastore’s venomous drive crashed back off the upright. Inter were back on the attack after the break as Sirigu made a brilliant onehanded save to push away Eto’o’s 20yard free-kick. But then debutant pair Houssine Kharja and Pazzini, both on as second ITALY: Inter Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini celebrates half substitutes, combined to haul Inter after scoring, during a Serie A soccer match between back into the game, the Moroccan mid- Inter Milan and Palermo. —AP fielder chipping into the box and the Italy Italian League results/standings forward holding off his marker before turning and shooting low past Sirigu. Cesar kept Inter in the game on 64 min- Brescia 0 Chievo 3 (Pellissier 45, 90, Mandelli 47); Cagliari 2 (Matri 8, 12) Bari 1 (Okaka 14); Genoa 3 (Palacio 16-pen, Paletta utes as he saved Pastore’s penalty after 44-og, Kaladze 45) Parma 1 (Crespo 32); Inter Milan 3 (Pazzini Motta had cynically brought down sub- 57, 73, Eto’o 76) Palermo 2 (Miccoli 5, Nocerino 36); Lecce 1 stitute Pajtim Kasami. (Corvia 11) Cesena 1 (Bogdani 90); Napoli 4 (Cavani 16, 45-pen, Pazzini grabbed his second 17 min- 57, Hamsik 48) Sampdoria 0. utes from time as he headed home Maicon’s free -kick at the near post. Italian League table ahead of yesterday’s late match (played, Moments later Ezequiel Munoz was won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): adjudged to have brought down the AC Milan 22 14 5 3 39 18 47 striker in the box and Eto’o stepped up Napoli 22 13 4 5 36 20 43 Lazio 22 12 4 6 29 21 40 to sweep home the penalty. Inter Milan 21 11 5 5 36 24 38 Inter had a late escape when Federico Roma 21 11 5 5 31 24 38 Balzaretti’s fierce goalbound volley Juventus 21 9 8 4 35 25 35 clipped Maicon’s heel and then Cesar’s Palermo 22 10 4 8 36 28 34 before flying away to safety. Udinese 21 10 3 8 34 28 33 Napoli remained four points behind Cagliari 22 8 5 9 26 23 29 table-topping Milan in second as Serie A Chievo 22 6 9 7 23 22 27 top scorer Edinson Cavani smashed a Sampdoria 21 6 9 6 20 22 27 hat-trick in their 4-0 thrashing of Genoa 21 7 6 8 18 20 27 Sampdoria. Fiorentina 21 6 7 8 21 23 25 Cavani took a pass from Ezequiel Bologna 21 7 7 7 23 29 25 Lavezzi, turned inside his marker and Parma 22 6 7 9 22 28 25 rifled home on 16 minutes before netCatania 22 5 7 10 18 29 22 ting a spot-kick just before the break Lecce 22 5 6 11 21 39 21 after he was fouled. Cesena 22 5 5 12 16 28 20 Marek Hamsik made the game safe Brescia 22 5 3 14 17 30 18 with a cross shot three minutes after the Bari 22 3 5 14 14 34 14 break before Cavani notched his third on Note: Bologna deducted three points for unpaid taxes and 57 minutes as Hamsik set him up.—AFP player salaries



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‘Britain in Kuwait 2011’ showcases business



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BlackBerry’s PlayBook comes to Kuwait Page 23

Minister defends UK cuts as public criticism grows Page 26

Leading experts meet at Oman Air’s summit Page 23

ALEXANDRIA: Egyptian demonstrators demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak gather on the statue of Alexdander the Great in Alexandria. — AFP

Mideast anger stems from ‘hunger’ ‘Arab soul is broken by poverty, unemployment, recession’ DUBAI: Just days before fleeing Tunisia, the embattled leader went on national television to promise 300,000 new jobs over two years. Egypt’s stunned President Hosni Mubarak did much the same on Saturday as riots gripped Cairo and other cities: offering more economic opportunities in a country where half the people live on less than $2 a day. The pledges-under-siege have something else in common: an acknowledgment that the unprecedented anger on Arab streets is at its core a long-brewing rage against decades of economic imbalances that have rewarded the political elite and left many others on the margins. With startling speed - less than two months since the first protests in Tunisia - underscored the wobbly condition of the systems used by some Arab regimes to hold power since the 1980s or earlier. The once formidable mix of economic cronyism and hard-line policing - which authorities sometime claim was needed to fight Islamic hard-liners or possible Israeli spies - now appears under serious strain from societies pushing back against the old matrix. Mubarak and other Arab leaders have only to look to Cairo’s streets: a population of 18 million with about half under 30 years old and no longer content to have a modest civil servant job as their top aspiration. One protester in Cairo waved a hand-drawn copy of his university diploma amid clouds of tear gas and shouted what may best sum up the complexities of the domino-style unrest in a single word: Jobs. “The regimes and the leaders are the ones under fire, but it’s really about despair over the future,” said Sami Alfaraj, director of the Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies. “ The faces of this include the young man with a university degree who cannot find work or the mother who has trouble feeding her family.” The narrative of economic injustice has surrounded the protests from the beginning. Tunisia’s mutiny that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was touched off by a struggling 26-year-old university graduate who lit himself on fire after police confiscated his fruit and vegetable cart in December. Apparent copycat self-immolations quickly spread to Egypt, Yemen and elsewhere. In Yemen, the poorest nation on the Arabian peninsula, sporadic riots have forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh into quick economic concessions, including

slashing income taxes in half and ordering price controls on food and basic goods. On Friday in Jordan, thousands of marchers clogged streets to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai and call for measures to control rising prices and unemployment. Many chanted: “Rifai go away, prices are on fire and so are the Jordanians.” King Abdullah II also has tried to dampen the fury by promising reforms, and the prime minister announced a $550 million package of new subsidies for fuel and staple products like rice, sugar, livestock and liquefied gas used for heating and cooking. What feeds the flames is common across much of the Arab world: young populations, a growing middle class seeking more opportunities and access to websites and international cable channels, such as Al-Jazeera, which have eroded the state’s hold on the media. There are no clear signs on whether more protests could erupt. Syria’s authoritarian regime remains in firm control and has taken gradual steps to open up the economy. Rulers in the wealthy Gulf states have the luxuries of relatively small populations that often receive generous state benefits and other largesse. Kuwait’s amir, for example, pledged this month 1,000 dinars ($3,559) and free food coupons for each citizen to mark several anniversaries, including the 1991 US-led invasion that drove out Saddam Hussein’s army. But there have been stirrings of discontent in North Africa. Earlier this month, security forces in Algeria clashed with opposition activists staging a rally apparently inspired by neighboring Tunisia. In Mauritania, a businessman died after setting himself ablaze in a protest against the government. A state-backed newspaper in Abu Dhabi, The National, ran interviews from four men from across the Middle East describing their trouble finding work. One 33-year-old Syrian, who has an English literature degree from Damascus University, complained he cannot find a teaching job or afford to get married. “I feel as though I am in the Samuel Beckett play ‘Waiting for Godot,’ which I studied during my degree,” Khaled Kapoun was quoted as saying. “I keep hoping that tomorrow a job will come along.” Even high Arab officials have expressed unusual candor following Tunisia’s upheaval. — AP

Egypt must decide own future Davos political guests struggle to advance agenda DAVOS: While politicians weigh in on the ance in the Middle East. It makes everything careful listening through the Internet to the Egyptian crisis, international experts said the else look very simple, because suddenly we tones of public opinion and then ... perhaps outside world should act with deliberate cau- go back 30 years. So be careful what you design or implement procedures to quickly tion and leave it to the Egyptians to decide wish for,” Mahbubani said. Zedillo said that respond to certain new messages in the their future. Former Mexican President he, Malloch-Brown and Mahbubani are all Internet,” he said. Li said decision-makers in Ernesto Zedillo, who now heads the Yale “very close friends” of Mohamed ElBaradei, China “know this by heart.” They know distriCenter for the Study of Globalization, said the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Egyptian bution and inclusive growth are important one of the key principles of international law opposition leader who is reported to be and “they have got training classes, training programs for listening and responding to “is do not intervene in the internal affairs of under house arrest. “Here we are, the three of us, saying be public messages on the Internet,” he said. other countries, and I think as a rule that is a Malloch-Brown agreed that “in China, you very fine rule.” Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, a prudent, let the situation become clearer have one of the most sensitized govformer UN deputy secretary-general ernments anywhere to local, rural who is now chairman of global protest = when things aren’t working affairs at FTI Consulting in Britain, right.” “We’re really living in a world said the United Nations recorded the where you could say the profound inequalities and lack of political point is sensitive, representative, space that Egyptian protesters are inclusive governments that keeps its demonstrating against in its Arab ear to the ground and responds to Development Report nearly 10 years popular anger ... are the kinds of govago. ernments that are going to make it, “It’s an extraordinary moment for and they are usually, but not always Egypt,” he said Saturday, but “there democracies,” he said. “The ones that shouldn’t be glib, instant punditry get ossified and formalistic, there for from Davos. One’s just got to hope it too long, and rely on their security emerges in the outcome as a much forces rather than use their political more inclusive government. But how antennae to respond and control the they get there, when and if governpeople, are the ones that get into ment changes, must be a matter for trouble - and frankly there are some Egyptians.” Kishore Mahbubani, democracies that start to show some Singapore’s former UN ambassador of those ossified tendencies too,” who is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew Malloch-Brown said, without revealSchool of Public Policy, reminded ing any names. VIPs attending a panel at the World Meanwhile,global business leadEconomic Forum that “these kinds of ers headed home from Davos yesterstreet revolutions can lead to negaday after a week in which were courttive results.” “That’s why you’ll find ed by politicians seeking plans to that the kind of enthusiasm in the deal with debt, food scarcity, climate Western media coverage on these change and revolt on the Arab street. events is not carried elsewhere The world economy may be steering because they all think, be careful itself cautiously out of the doldrums, what you wish for, you may get but leaders have struggled to agree something much worse,” he said. remedies to the key threats on the Mahbubani cited the example of the 1979 Iranian revolution, which top- DAVOS: Founder and President, Life Without Limbs, Nick agenda at the annual World pled the pro-Western Shah of Iran Vujicic speaks during a session ‘Inspired for a Lifetime’ at Economic Forum’s elite annual netand installed Ayatollah Ruhollah the World Economic Forum yesterday. The WEF wrapped up working event. “Let me highlight the its final day of meetings yesterday focusing on the global one resource that is scarcest of all: Khomeini who established the counagenda for 2011 and inspiration for a lifetime. — AP time,” said UN Secretary General Ban try’s Islamic-controlled government. Ki-moon, as dozens of senior interna“Everyone said, ‘Hey, wonderful. You have a revolution in the streets,”‘ and we are friends of the opposition and we tional figures swung by to lobby some of Mahbubani said. “You get rid of the shah. are saying be prudent,” Zedillo said. Li the richest and most powerful people on You get Khomeini. Come on, is that better?” Daokui, director of the Center for China in the planet. Ban was specifically talking “Just imagine if you’re in Israel today,” he the World Economy, said he was “extremely about the battle to halt climate change, but added. “The biggest geopolitical nightmare cautious about what may happen.” “Maybe he could just have easily be addressing for Israel is to have the most populous Arab one profound implication of whatever hap- stalled world trade talks, Europe’s debt cricountry at your doorstep with political insta- pens now in Egypt for the rest of the world is sis, Chinese asset-price inflation or soaring bility.” “Believe me, it changes the whole bal- that many, many governments will be very world food prices. — Agencies




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Emirates NBD’s contribution to FDI in Saudi recognised

Mohamed Talaat

EMC has new GM KUWAIT: EMC, the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, yesterday announced the appointment of Mohamed Talaat as General Manager of the company’s Saudi operations. Based in Riyadh, Talaat will be responsible for driving the overall strategic development of EMC business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and will focus on continuing the growth of EMC operations, strengthening strategic customer and channel partner relationships in the Kingdom, as well as managing the entire business of EMC Saudi towards success. Talaat brings to EMC more than 19 years of collective experience in enterprise IT solutions and business management where he has held a number of senior positions in the region. “Talaat brings extensive experience in the IT Market and understands the Kingdom’s market very well. With his experience and leadership, I am confident that he will execute the right vision and strategy for EMC’s business in Saudi Arabia and help bring our customers’ satisfaction to higher levels while broadening our relationships with local channel partners,” said Mohammed Amin, Vice President & General Manager of EMC Turkey, Middle East and Africa. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a strategic market for EMC and we are very much committed to all our customers in the region”. Prior to joining EMC, Talaat worked with Microsoft Saudi as a Director, Enterprise and Partner Group, for four years where he, while managing the Enterprise Sales Division, developed effective customers and partners oriented strategies to enhance loyalty and the overall customer and partner satisfaction. He assisted large customers in addressing business and technology needs associated with the acquisition, adoption and deployment of Microsoft technologies and products and at the same time engaged and supported a vast enterprise partner ecosystem. Talaat previously spent more than 12 years at Oracle where was a manager for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence and Warehousing iOracle Egypt, followed by a move to KSA as its Western Region Manager. “I am very proud to have been given the opportunity to lead EMC’s operations in one of the most dynamic markets in the region. It’s amazing to see the growth and development this region has witnessed over the last few years in the IT sector. My priorities as the new General Manager of EMC in the Kingdom will be maintaining EMC growth and leadership in the market while adding new successes, meeting our customers’ expectations and empowering them to realize their business objectives with increased value for their investment in our Technologies; and last but not least helping partners grow their businesses and profitability.” With the exponential growth of data expected in 2020 to be 44 times as big as it was in 2009, EMC is offering its customers in the Kingdom and around the globe a wide range of reliable technologies that can help them transform the way they build, consume and manage IT, while walking them through the Journey to the Private Cloud.

KUWAIT: Emirates NBD, a leading bank in the region, has been recognised as the largest financial services contributor to foreign direct investment (FDI) in Saudi Arabia in 2010, by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). The award was presented to Emirates NBD at a special ceremony on the final day of this year’s annual Global Competitiveness Forum, sponsored by SAGIA and held in Riyadh from January 22-25, 2011. On accepting the award for largest contributor to FDI in the Finance Services and Insurance Category, Mohammed Al-Hegelan, Country Manager-KSA, Emirates NBD, said: “We are honoured to receive this award, and would like to thank the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority for this recognition. Emirates NBD would also like to thank the Government of Saudi Arabia for their supportive legislative and regulatory policies. Despite challenging conditions globally, Saudi Arabia continues to provide attractive opportunities for investors due to its welldeveloped infrastructure and pro-business economic environment.” The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been rated as the 13th most economically competitive country in the world, according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC)-

World Bank annual “Doing Business” report for 2010. According to the report, this high ranking is due to economic reforms introduced by the government in recent years, which make it easier for companies to do business in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom itself was ranked eighth largest recipient of FDI inflows in the world during the same period. “Saudi Arabia has always played an important part in our international expansion strategy,” continued Hejelan. “In addition to our strategically positioned branch in Riyadh, which provides a full range of products and services, Emirates NBD has further plans to expand its operations in the Kingdom with new initiatives to be announced later in the year.” The award was based on the National Competitiveness Centre’s annual survey of foreign or joint-venture companies in the Kingdom and Emirates NBD was named the largest contributor of FDI in 2010 among all finance services and insurance providers. The Global Competitiveness Forum is held in Saudi Arabia every year, bringing together industry leaders and policy-makers from across the globe. Its focus is on concerns and debates on how the region can become more economically competitive, highlighting progress and developments in this area.

AyoWorld names winner of contest AyoWorld is pleased to announce the results of the recently concluded “Win a BlackBerry” Contest on Facebook. The lucky winner was Anete T Thomas, who was presented a brand new BlackBerry Torch 9800 by Nasir Aijaz, Head of VAS and New Ventures, Emitac Mobile Solutions LLC. Anete T Thomas was adjudged to have been the best participant in the competition and contributed his thoughts about the use of the BlackBerry applications from most actively. AyoWorld is thankful to all the entrants as your participation is a very integral aspect of this contest. There were a number of entries received and it was a tough decision. The contest ran for four weeks in the month on December and visitors to the AyoWorld BlackBerry App Store Facebook page were encouraged to comment on the usefulness of the BlackBerry application of the week. The person with the most ‘liked’ comments each week were also awarded a weekly prize. AyoWorld hopes to continue to receive the support from its patrons and is thankful to everyone for making the contest a huge success.

KUWAIT: Mohammed Al-Hegelan Country Manager KSA, Emirates NBD receives the award from SAGIA.

Dubai Investments Q4 net profit drops 36 percent Shares plunge 4.5 percent DUBAI: UAE conglomerate Dubai Investments reported a 36 percent drop in its fourth-quarter profit, as revenues for 2010 fell as the local economy remained weak after the burst of the asset bubble two years ago. Dubai Investments, which is involved in sectors from real estate to manufacturing, said its profit for 2010 was 804.9 million dirhams ($219.2 million). Its net profit for the fourth quar-

ter is 89.7 million UAE dirhams ($24.43 million), according to Reuters calculations. The company made a profit of 141 million dirhams during the same period last year. Revenue for 2010 fell to 3.3 billion dirhams in comparison to 3.7 billion dirhams in 2009. The company’s chief executive said it has shifted focus to other markets in the region like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Turkey, Qatar and

Kazakhstan. Dubai Investments, in which the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai has a stake, also said earlier that it plans to sell 30 percent of private equity unit Masharie through an IPO before June 30. Shares of Dubai Investments ended lower by 4.5 percent before the earnings were announced, in line with the broader index that fell 4.3 percent. — Reuters

GE appoints new CEO of healthcare in ME KUWAIT: GE Healthcare, the healthcare business unit of the global technology, media and financial services company General Electric Company (GE), has appointed Karim Karti as President and CEO of its GE Healthcare regional operations in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Central Asia, and Russia & CIS. The strategic management move in creating an independent region reaffirms GE Healthcare’s commitment to strengthening its presence and investments across these fast-growing markets. From his base at the regional operations headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey, Karim Karti will play a leading role in strengthening GE Healthcare in these key emerging markets. He is responsible for developing and expanding customer relationships, as well as executing strategies to strengthen long-term public and private sector partnerships that will help transform healthcare delivery.

“Our goal is to reinforce GE’s continued commitment to provide world-class healthcare solutions and services to the region, and proactively identify new areas where we can make a difference. Supporting emerging markets is central to GE Healthcare’s global growth, and we are committed to significantly advance GE’s localization efforts via infrastructure build-up and leveraging our strength in service capabilities across this dynamic region,” said Karti. He added: “Emerging markets are in need of innovative products adapted to its needs. It’s important to increase people’s access to healthcare technology but healthcare benefits will only follow if that technology is relevant to solving local issues. Our focus is to locally tailor our innovative solutions and services and use them in a way that they become significant drivers of change. In this region, it’s about

driving increased access, part of GE’s healthymagination initiative. Another key area will be to foster more collaborations with local universities and healthcare providers to design and develop innovative solutions that benefit the communities.” Karti joined GE in 1996 in the GE Corporate Audit Staff. He joined GE Healthcare in 2000 in Global Business Development and served in several General Management, Commercial, Product Development & Services leadership roles in the US, Europe and Asia. Most recently he served as President and CEO of GE Healthcare in Korea before moving into his current role. Before joining GE, Karim was a Brand Manager with Procter & Gamble. Karti has an engineering degree from Ecole Centrale de Lyon in France and also graduated from the Entrepreneur program of Business School of Lyon.

Karim Karti

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

.2730000 .4390000 .3770000 .2930000 .2760000 .2740000 .0045000 .0020000 .0756210 .7367490 .3900000 .0730000 .7222500 .0045000 .0470000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2785500 .4418780 .3791900 .2957480 .2783690 .0508680 .0426670 .2766700 .0357640 .2167370 .0033920 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0758580 .7390550 .0000000 .0743000 .7236940 .0000000

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.430 6.111 3.260 2.518 3.834 217.950 35.908 3.893

.2850000 .4500000 .3850000 .3020000 .2850000 .2820000 .0075000 .0035000 .0763810 .7441530 .4100000 .0780000 .7295090 .0072000 .0560000 .2806500 .4452090 .3820490 .2979770 .2804680 .0512520 .0429890 .2787560 .0360340 .2183710 .0034180 .0062020 .0025400 .0032920 .0039810 .0764300 .7446270 .3969590 .0748600 .7291500 .0063780

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

6.336 8.997 0.271 0.273

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

GCC COUNTRIES 74.585 76.850 726.650 742.870 76.165

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

ARAB COUNTRIES 51.650 47.729 1.312 198.070 394.970 185.800 6.077 34.431

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 279.580 Euro 384.840 Sterling Pound 447.890 Canadian dollar 283.550 Turkish lire 173.290 Swiss Franc 301.660 Australian dollar 277.570 US Dollar Buying 279.045

0.032 0.262 0.252 3.510 397.080 0.189 94.770 46.700 4.390 220.800 1.903 49.300 726.790 3.350 6.590 77.400 74.710 219.830 41.560 2.714 448.000 43.900 300.600 6.100 9.470 198.263 76.350 280.200 1.350


395.480 0.188 94.770 3.840 219.300 726.610 3.275 6.350 76.970 74.710 219.830 41.560 2.519 446.000 299.100 6.100 9.210 76.250 279.800

GOLD 10 Tola


GOLD 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

255.000 129.000 66.500

Sterling Pound US Dollar

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

SELL CASH 282.300 744.120 4.250 283.200 549.500 14.100 52.100 167.800 51.020 384.900 36.620 6.430

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 446.000 279.800

SELL DRAFT 280.800 744.120 3.900 281.700

219.800 47.788 383.400 36.470 6.120

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

Selling Rate 279.700 280.760 444.315 382.995 296.495 740.295 76.129 76.804 74.556 395.109 47.972 2.515

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

6.120 3.267 3.913 6.335 686.097 3.502 9.083 6.200 3.931

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 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) 279.700 3.275 6.130 2.525 3.900 6.375 76.245 74.790 743.600 47.795 451.800 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 397.400 5.750 389.700 287.800

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 279.350 Euro 383.200 Pound Sterling 445.800 Canadian Dollar 281.400 Japanese Yen 3.425 Indian Rupee 6.110 Egyptian Pound 47.735 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.512 Bangladesh Taka 3.855 Philippines Peso 6.318 Pakistan Rupee 3.258 Bahraini Dinar 744.020 UAE Dirham 76.100 Saudi Riyal 74.500 *Rates are subject to change



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BlackBerry’s PlayBook comes to Kuwait By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Research In Motion (RIM), the designer and manufacturer of BlackBerry smartphones introduced a new BlackBerry PlayBook to local media yesterday. The Blackberry PlayBook is the new professional-grade BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and BlackBerry Tablet OS. Key features include 7” LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support. It also include dual HD cameras, video and audio playback, Bluetooth and weighs less than a pound. Although, Blackberry PlayBook will be out in the market by the end of second quarter this year, according to Mohammed Al-Mefleh, Director of Product Management, RIM Middle East, it is high time for the Kuwaiti market to get a glimpse of the new Blackberry PlayBook. “The new Blackberry PlayBook is designed to take advantage of social networking applications,” he said. Blackberry PlayBook also took pride being high performance multimedia while also providing advanced security features, out-of-the-box enterprise support and a breakthrough development platform for IT departments and developers. “ The incredibly power ful and innovative BlackBerry PlayBook is truly a game-changing product in the growing tablet marketplace. This is for people who mean business and not just those in business as the technology will be known as multi-tasking, multi-processing and uncompromised web browsing,” he said. Unlike other k nown tablets, BlackBerr y PlayBook can run as many applications at the same time. “You can watch movies, videos while playing games, accessing emails, You Tube or chatting in any of the social networking sites,” he said. The user friendly Blackberry PlayBook is ultra portable, thin and convenient for both work and play. “Measuring less than half an inch thick and weighing less than a pound, the BlackBerr y PlayBook features a vivid 7” high resolution display that looks and feels great in your hand. With such a unique mix of utility, performance and portability, you’ll want to take it everywhere,” a press statement noted. Asked on the comparison among k nown tablets [such as iPad] already in the market AlMefleh explained there are incomparable differences.”This is completely different, we are talking about here performance, a great professional tablet, with multi-processing experience, we are talking about security provider, accessing your email, we are talking about real multi-media experienced, all in one device, something quick and works at the same time,” he asserted. The cost per unit will be determined before the launched which is expected in the second quarter of this year. Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day.

KUWAIT: Mohammed Al-Mefleh presents the new Blackberry PlayBook at a press conference yesterday.

MUSCAT: Darwish bin Ismail Al-Balushi

MUSCAT: The Oman Air Communication delegates are pictured.

Leading experts meet at Oman Air’s summit Focus on projecting consistent brand image MUSCAT: Defining a communications strategy and laying down a robust blue print was what Chief Officer Corporate Affairs, Philippe Georgiou, set out to achieve at Oman Air’s first Communications Summit which witnessed the coming together of more than thirty public relations and advertising professionals representing the Airline’s strategic global communications partners across the Airline’s network. The summit, a first of its kind, was inaugurated by Darwish bin Ismail Al-Balushi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance and Chairman of the Executive Committee at Oman Air, who reiterated the importance of engaging stakeholders in addition to maintaining a long-term outlook and projecting a consistent brand image. “Communicating what we do and how we do it bears almost equal importance to our actual deeds and actions. It is only when our target audiences hear about our stories in an efficient and credible way that we develop their allegiance and loyalty,” said Al-Balushi.

Georgiou stressed that communications is the linchpin of any organization’s image and reputation. “We are laying the foundations for the future of the Airline and transforming the way we communicate in a manner that fortifies the calculated growth Oman Air has undergone in the last twenty-four months and the ambitious expansion planned for the coming years,” he said. “The summit allowed us to effectively debate and brainstorm many ideas, concepts, positioning statements, communication messages, as well as address tools of communication, synergies and coordination. The benefits of this gathering are too numerous to count,” Georgiou stated. “The challenge now lies in filtering this information and firming up of our desired communications strategy to cultivate Oman Air’s core message of luxury, comfort and uniqueness of which I am confident our communications partners will take the onus to work tirelessly to propagate in their territories and build on the success we have achieved to date.” In his keynote

Sayyid Faisal bin Turki Al-Said address, His Highness Sayyid Faisal bin Turki Al-Said, Chief Operating Officer of Brand Oman Management Unit, highlighted the fact that “Oman needs to identify,

promote and celebrate for example its offer in areas that include: tourism, business, logistics, manufacturing, shipping, education and IT and communicate and promote this to Oman-based residents, employers, international visitors and potential investors. Again, this is an area where Oman Air will play an important role.” He added, “By developing and communicating a strong national brand identity we can speed up development by attracting foreign investment and tourists. That, in turn, will increase Oman’s global influence and help domestic corporations grow. In this regard, Oman Air plays a pivotal role.” During the two-day summit held at the Shangri-La’s Barr Al-Jissah Resort & Spa, Agencies appointed by Oman Air shared industry acumen and best international practices from their respective markets during highly interactive sessions in efforts to create synergy between advertising and public relations disciplines and build a niche and differentiating global positioning for the national carrier.

‘Britain in Kuwait 2011’ showcases best of business KUWAIT: The much awaited annual ‘Britain in Kuwait 2011’ exhibition is set to showcase a number of British and Kuwaiti companies which are currently operating across an extensive range of industry sectors. The exhibition, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Naser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of Kuwait, will be open between February 7-9, 2011, at the Salwa Al-Sabah Ballroom, Marina Hotel, with the participation of over 40 British companies and 80 stands, exhibiting. This major annual event, which is open to the public, covers industry sectors including retail, automotive, healthcare, education, engineering, aviation, banking and finance, and hospitality. The exhibition will feature inspiring brands and collections such as Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, a collection of vintage automobiles, as well as representation from renowned British hospitals, and schools such as the British School in Kuwait and prominent British universities. Duncan Hoyland, Commercial Attache at the British Embassy said: “The ‘Britain in Kuwait’ tradeshow is an important opportunity for British companies and their Kuwaiti counterparts to demonstrate their latest products and services. It also provides a unique platform to draw attention to the close trade and investment links between the Kuwait and the United Kingdom. We look forward to developing these important ties even further in the years to come and maintaining the close relationship both our countries enjoy. Our aim is for Britain to be the commercial partner of choice in Kuwait” Emiranda Winter, Organizer of the exhibition said: “ This is a special year for the State of

Emiranda Winter Kuwait; it marks the countr y ’s 50th anniversary since independence and 20th year since liberation, and underlines the unique history and close relationship between the two countries. We take this opportunity to thank our sponsors and exhibitors and we invite the community to visit the exhibition and share the joyous occasion. The main sponsors of this annual event include Aston Martin, Al-Zayani, Hill & Knowlton, and Al-Fanar. Other exhibitors include, HSBC, Gulf Bank, Tony & Guy, Kuwait Air ways, British Air ways, Equilibrium, HR Invest, Crown Logistics, Otis, Kuwait Banking Association, Selex Galileo (UK), St Martins Healthcare (as part of HCA), Great Ormond Street Hospital, and a number of companies in different segments. Long term awards will be presented as a token of appreciation to Al-Zayani, The British School of Kuwait, The British Council, The British Business Forum, Shell, British Petroleum, and Kuwait Airways for participating in the exhibition for 15 consecutive years.

CFC sponsors Al-Bawara project KUWAIT: The Commercial Facilities Company Hamad Al-Muzaini, Abdul Rahman Al-Matouq project that ties the past and present of Kuwait. It (CFC) sponsored the Al-Bawara project at the and Abdullah Al-Sllayem for all the efforts they is focused on making Kuwait the “Arabian Gulf’s 19th Engineering Design Projects Exhibition of put in towards Al-Bawara.” Al-Bawara is a heritage Pearl” and make an impact on tourism and the Kuwait University’s College of country’s overall economy. It consisted Engineering and Petroleum, which was of two towers one with 30 floors havheld under the patronage of Dr Bader ing residential flats and commercial Al-Shreaan, Minister of Electricity and offices and the other with 25 floors Water. The Ceremony was attended by having a mall with entertainment facilthe Assistant Undersecretary of Ministry ities. Al-Qattan further stated “The of Electricity for Planning and Training exhibition featured the creative Affairs Dr Mashaan Mohammed Alachievement of talented students. We Otaibi and senior officials from Kuwait are always keen on supporting these University. talented students and encourage them Commenting on this sponsorship, to use their creative skill to further Mohammed Bader Al-Qattan, Manager grow and contribute towards the counof Service Development of CFC, said try’s development process”. The exhibi“This sponsorship stems from CFC’s tion included student designs relevant desire to share its success with the comto commercial architecture, oil and gas munity through CFC’s Corporate Social as well as petrochemical industries. The Responsibility (CSR) Program which projects exhibited are a par t of a devotes great attention to educational KUWAIT: Mohammed Bader Al- Qattan, Manager of Service course which aims to enable students development, especially higher educa- Development, CFC, and Abdullah Al-Hilal, Makreting translate their theoretical knowledge tion. We congratulate Bader Al-Terkait, Coordinator, CFC pose with the students of the project. into practical models.

Citroen’s shares seen steady at 15% FRANCE: Citroen noted three main highlights in 2010: almost 400,000 vehicles sold, market share steady at 15 percent, and unprecedented success for the Citroen DS3. The year ended on a record high with almost 75,000 orders in December (car+LCV), up 50 percent on December 2009. 2010: successful and promising new vehicle launches - Citroen C3: the New C3 sold more than 73,000 units for its first year on the market, and is still the most popular car in the range. More broadly, total registrations of the C3 Classic and C3 are approaching the 100,000 mark. In December alone, 28,000 orders were taken for the New C3. - Citroen DS3: with more than 26,000 registrations in nine months, the DS3 - the first car in the distinc-

tive DS line -has largely exceeded targets and clearly established itself as the leader in stylish compact cars. - New Citroen C4: the new C4 has taken 14,000 orders since its launch in October. The outlook for 2011 is promising! The year ended with a record number of orders in December: 75,000 car/LCV orders for December alone, a rise of 50 percent on 2009. 2011: A full DS line The year 2011 will see a strong focus on products, with special series including the C3 Airplay and Rossignol series. As well as being the first full year for the new Citroen C4, 2011 will also herald the launch of two new models in the distinctive DS line: the Citroen DS4 and the Citroen DS5.

Malaysian economy grew 7 percent in 2010 ABU DHABI: Malaysia’s economy grew 7 percent last year, Prime Minister Najib Razak said, adding the Asian country could tap global bond markets this year with an Islamic issue. “The economy has expanded by 8.1 percent in the first nine months of 2010 and is expected to achieve 7 percent growth in 2010,” Najib Razak said yesterday, speaking in the United Arab Emirates’ capital. “To maintain growth, it must be private sector-led.” Last week, Malaysia’s central bank held rates steady for the third straight time and forecast steady growth, helped by expansion in domestic demand amid more moderate external demand. Razak also said Malaysia may sell sovereign Islamic bonds, or sukuk, in 2011. Malaysia issued a $1.25

billion, five-year global sukuk last year, its first foray into global debt markets since 2002. Asked whether Malaysia would issue sovereign debt this year, Razak said: “If it is government (debt), it will be Islamic. We have not yet made a firm decision. The government has been encouraging the private sector to look into Islamic financing, he said. The bulk of sukuk issuance in 2011 was expected from borrowers in Malaysia and the Middle East, according to a Reuters survey this month. Razak said Malaysia will begin negotiations on a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council, a loose economic and political bloc, in March. — Reuters



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KSE stocks plummet over Egypt unrest GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: KSE stocks saw its shares slump yesterday, as tension in Egypt made for cautious trading. There was a big panic from the investors and the shares of all sec tors have dropped. That is the result of the current sentiment on the market. It’s worth mentioning that, most of the GCC markets closed in red except Saudi market. Market indices Global General Index (GGI) closed 4.40 points down (1.95 percent), at 221.13 point as the market capitalization decreased reaching KD35.95 million. On the other side, Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index closed in the red zone shedding 122 points (1.76 percent) from its value and closed at 6,822 point. Market breadth During the session, 117 companies were traded. M arket breadth was skewed towards decliners as four equities advanced versus 104 that retreated. Daily trading activity The advance was accompanied by mixed trading activity. Volume of shares traded on the exchange decreased by 14.06 percent to reach 351.79 million shares, the value of shares traded increased by 39.04 percent to stand at KD58.88 million. The services sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 32.02 percent of total shares and the banking sec tor was the value leader, with 47.21 percent of total traded value. Company-wise, National Ranges Company was the most actively traded stock, with 56.48 million shares exchanged. The scrip closed down by 5.77 percent.

Top gainers and biggest decliners In terms of top gainers, Safwan Trading & Contracting Company was the biggest gainer for the day, adding 6.58 percent and closed at KD0.405. Safwan Trading and Contracting signed a contract with the Ministry of Health on Gulf tender No (32) for the drugs supply. The contract is worth $5,755,249. On the other side, AlAhlia Holding Company came in as the biggest decliner, dropping by 11.63 percent and closed at KD0.019. Sectors wise Sector-wise, all the indices went down yesterday with Global Investment Index being the

biggest decliner as it shed 2.73 percent to close at 110.29 points. The index’s drop was caused by heavyweights Kuwait Projects Company (Holding), and Global Investment House which decreased by 2.17 and 7.02 percent, respectively. The second biggest decliner was Real Estate which decreased by 2.69 percent to close at 53.53 points. All Real Estate stocks ended the session in negative note except Mena Real Estate Company. The scrip closed up by 4.21 percent. During yesterday’s session, Global Special Indices ended the day on a negative note. Global Large Cap Index (Top 10), down by 1.85 percent to its value on the back of banks drops.

Corporate news Fitch Ratings has affirmed AlAhli Bank of Kuwait’s (ABK) Longterm Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A-’ with a Stable Outlook, Shortterm IDR at ‘F2’, Individual Rating at ‘C/D’ and Support Rating at ‘1’. The Support Rating Floor is affirmed at ‘A-’. The Kuwaiti dinar stood at KD0.279 against the dollar, while its rate decreased against the euro, settling at KD0.379. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $93.42 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $92.58 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Gulf markets tumble on Egypt commotion DUBAI: Gulf stock markets tumbled yesterday as investors, rattled by turmoil in Egypt and concerns the unrest may spread, quit their positions to push indices to multi-week lows. Egyptian protesters were on the streets again in central Cairo, demanding President Hosni Mubarak step down while security forces struggled to contain looters. Egypt’s bourse was shut yesterday after falling 16 percent in two days last week. The Egyptian pound has fallen to six-year lows. D ubai led regional declines as its index fell 4.3 percent to a 21-week low, with companies exposed to Egypt among the biggest losers. “Equity premiums in the region are rising to take into account increasing political r isk ,” said M ajed A zzam, Alembic HC real estate analyst in Dubai. “Uncer taint y is mak ing foreign investors question their presence in our markets and there is indiscriminate selling, whether companies are exposed to Egypt or not.” Emaar Properties which has four major projects in Egypt including commercial and residential developments near Cairo, fell 8.3 percent. Azzam said about 10 percent of the Dubai developer’s assets were in Egypt. “Emaar is in 18 countries and Egypt is one of the important markets for the company,” Emaar said in a statement, adding it was monitoring the situation closely. Builder Arabtec and contrac tor Drake & Scull, both active in the North African state, fell 6.7 and 8.3 percent, respectively. UAE-based low cost carrier Air Arabia, which flies to four destinations in Egypt and operates a hub in Alexandria, fell 6.1 percent. It was the most active stock on Dubai’s index, accounting for more than a quarter of all shares traded. “Our flights are operating normally but we had to adjust the timings of flights to ensure it operates outside curfew hours,” said Adel Ali, the chief executive of Air Arabia. “Any longterm comments would be premature right now. We are watching the situation closely and at present our hub operations are normal.” Qatar ’s index fell 3 percent, but rebounded from an eight-week intraday low and like markets in Dubai, Abu

Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar, Doha’s bourse ended near its intraday peak, indicating some buyers returned following an initial sell off. “Listed Qatar companies do not have much exposure to Egypt and if you think risk is from Egypt alone and unrest will not spread further, there is a good buying opportunity,” said Robert Pramberger, acting head of asset management at Doha-based investment firm The First Investor. Oman fell 3 percent, Kuwait dropped 1.8 percent and Abu Dhabi lost 3.7 percent. “There’s an assumption from foreign investors that unrest could spread to other countries in the region and that is risk they don’t want to participate in,” said Robert McKinnon, ASAS Capital chief investment officer. “When everybody is scared, it is maybe a good time to take on risk, but there are so many permutations of what could happen politically in Egypt.” Saudi Arabia’s index fell to a three-month low in initial trade, but subsequently rose to end 2.5 percent higher, rebounding following Saturday’s 6.4 percent drop, its largest in eight months. Yesterday’s highlights Abu Dhabi The benchmark dropped 3.7 percent 2,561 points. Dubai The measure fell 4.3 percent to 1,543 points. Saudi Arabia The benchmark rose 2.5 percent to 6,422 points. Kuwait The index dropped 1.8 percent to 6,822 points. Qatar The index dropped 3 percent to 8,710 points. Oman The index fell 3 percent to 6,732 points. Bahrain The measure dropped 1.4 percent to 1,452 points. —Reuters




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India courts investment as FDI slides NEW DELHI: As India was pitching itself as a hot investment destination at the World Economic Forum in Davos, figures showed the amount of foreign money entering the country has fallen by nearly a third. It may seem a surprising figure given scorching growth running at nearly nine percent. But the culprits are delays in environmental clearances and land acquisition, red tape, and infrastructure bottlenecks, a report by India’s central bank said last week. In 2010, foreign direct investment (FDI) in India slid 32 percent from a year earlier to $24 billion. At the same time, rivals were drawing ever more FDI. Singapore grabbed 122 percent more than the previous year with $37 billion, China drew 6.3 percent more than 2009 at $100 billion, while FDI inflows into Malaysia grew by a staggering 410 percent to $7 billion. “The numbers are a wake-up call. India has been dragging its heels on economic reforms for too long,” Kevin Grice, international economist at London-based Capital Economics, told AFP. The figures came as India sent a huge corporate and government presence to the Davos meeting in the Swiss Alps, with bullish chief executives hailing India’s booming economy and investment potential. But the central bank noted that the biggest investment falls were in construction, real estate, mining, and business and financial services.”India should take note. Its peers are marching ahead. India’s policies are not as open, competitive and welcoming as they should be,” Deepak Lalwani, head of London-based Lalcap Ltd, an Indian investment consultancy, told AFP. Businesses regularly complain about India’s byzantine regulations, burdensome standards and cumbersome visa rules. The central bank said India must pull up its socks to reverse the investment decline by shortening approval times and sorting out land acquisition issues. Industrialization has long been championed by economists as a way to pull tens of millions of Indians out of poverty. But across the country, acquiring land for factories has frequently created battlegrounds. Among the host of stalled high-profile projects are South Korean steelmaker POSCO’s plans to build a $12-billion mill. The scheme, which would be India’s largest single foreign investment, has hung in limbo since 2005, running into trouble over land rights and environmental clearances. Giant steelmaker ArcelorMittal has also found itself unable to acquire land for five years for a proposed plant in eastern India. “Wherever land acquisition and environment clearance are concerned, the projects are piling up,” Indian Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh said recently, adding delays trigger a “chain reaction” by deterring other investors. The central bank said India must also speed up its economic reform process, hamstrung by political opposition. Since the Congress government was re-elected two years ago, it has taken no major steps on opening up the economy. The investment decline, if it continues, spells bad news for the country, which the bank said “needs a quantum step” in investment to propel economic growth to the double-digit levels needed to reduce massive poverty. Another dampener is high inflation, running at nearly nine percent, together with a series of aggressive interest hikes by the central bank that could hit growth, reducing India’s allure for investors, analysts say. The bank last week raised borrowing costs to a nearly three-year peak to curb rising prices. The bank also warned that if global recovery turns out to be faster than expected, it could increase the attractiveness of investing in developed economies, which would hit capital flows to India. “The longer-term picture of Asia outperforming the US is taking a breather,” Tim Moe, Goldman Sachs’ chief Asia-Pacific strategist, recently noted. Goldman Sachs and Nomura are among a clutch of investment houses that have warned economic growth could be slower than previously expected in India, with the nation’s benchmark stock index already down 10 percent since the start of the year. — AFP

HONG KONG: This file photo shows a bird’s eye view of residential and commercial property— AFP

Chinese property ‘bubble’ fuels hard landing fears Government corruption linked to realty development DAVOS: The world business elite raised concerns over China’s property prices at its annual get-together in Davos, with some worrying that if the bubble bursts it could hurt growth. “Can China deflate its real estate bubble without generating a hard landing in its economy? It’s a serious problem. The Chinese themselves are quite worried about it,” said Nariman Behravesh, an analyst at IHS Global Insight. “If you look at the ratio of home values relative to GDP, China is about the same level as Japan’s before Japan’s bubble burst,” he warned. Fueled by rapid economic growth and urbanization, China’s property prices last year defied cooling measures, climbing four straight months to December. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think-tank, warned in December that of 35 major cities surveyed, property prices in eleven, including Beijing and Shanghai, were overvalued by

between 30 and 50 percent. On Friday, authorities launched a property tax on two of the country’s biggest cities-Shanghai and Chongqing. Those who buy high-end second homes in those cities must now pay a 0.4 to 1.2 percent annual tax. Earlier in the week, the government hiked the minimum downpayment for second homes to 60 percent from 50 percent. Down-payments for first homes have to reach at least 30 percent, and banks have been ordered not to provide loans for third or later homes. Zhang Xin, who founded Beijing’s biggest property group Soho China Limited, said housing “has somehow become a very political issue” in the Asian giant. “This industry somehow manifests the two most important social elements in China. One is the income disparity between the rich and the poor, the other is corruption,” she told a panel at the World Economic Forum.

“When somebody has money and they go to buy expensive houses, then asset prices go up. This is a sword in the eyes of the less well-to-do people, so it has created a public outcry,” she said. Government corruption has also been linked to property development, and stories abound of peasants forced off their land by crooked developers. “The government is likely to continue the austerity measures, but the question is if these are effective,” Zhang said. “In my own view the market economy has grown to the stage that it’s very strong and sizeable, that is much stronger than government thinks, and that’s why these measures have not been the most effective and I think next year will be the next year to watch,” she said. However, he was more confident that policymakers would be able to rein in the problem. “Every year you come to Davos, there is a cause for it to be about to blow

Fight to finish on US-Korea trade pact

Inflation clouds hang over ECB rate meeting FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank meets here to mull interest rates Thursday amid persistent inflation fears, though a landmark bond auction should let ECB policymakers breathe a little easier. The bank’s mandate is to ensure price stability, a topic that has gotten hotter since eurozone inflation hit 2.2 percent in December, breaching the ECB target of just below 2.0 percent. Prices will likely rise more this year owing to higher costs for energy products and other commodities that caused a sharp increase in consumer inflation expectations in the European Commission’s latest sentiment survey. “Inflation is gradually turning into an issue for consumers and for industry,” Berenberg Bank chief economist Holger Schmieding noted. ECB president JeanClaude Trichet has said that the ECB was watching the situation carefully but that price increases should moderate later this year, a view backed by the latest money supply and credit data. ECB executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi nonetheless warned Thursday that “imported inflation can no longer be ignored,” a reference to pressure from higher energy and food prices. Economists feel the bank could raise interest rates if necessary later this year to keep inflation at bay despite the eurozone debt crisis. They expect the ECB to maintain its main rate at 1.0 percent on Thursday however, marking 22 consecutive months at that record low level. An interest rate hike now would hobble Greece, Ireland and Portugal as they struggle with weak economies and difficult debt issues. It would also come as the EU Commission survey suggested an end to improving economic momentum, with its confidence indicator sliding to a five-month low in January. International Monetary Fund economist Olivier Blanchard said it will take years for European job markets to recover completely from the global economic crisis.

Although Europe has probably stopped shedding jobs, forecast growth of 2.5 percent for the world’s advanced economies for 2011 and 2012 means unemployment would persist for the next two years, Blanchard warned. For Commerzbank economist Christoph Weil, “the key question is: For how long the ECB will take the situation in the crisis countries into account and leave its key rates at the current, very low level?” In Germany, inflation hit a provisional 1.9 percent in January, the highest level in more than two years and a sign that ECB monetary policy might not be appropriate for its economic engine much longer. Eurozone inflation data is due out today, and “probably accelerated to 2.3 percent, clearly above the ECB target,” UniCredit economist Nikolaus Keis said. Central bank governors can take some comfort however in the results of a bond auction last week that might mark a turning point in the debt crisis. A temporary eurozone aid scheme, the European Financial Stability Facility pulled off its first five-year bond auction worth five billion euros ($6.8 billion) to raise funds for Ireland and calm financial markets. “It may well be a turning point” in the crisis, EFSF head Klaus Regling said after demand surged to almost nine times greater than what was on offer, with investors worldwide leaping at the chance to buy the toprated bonds. Clients, including many in China and Japan, were signed up in a blistering 15 minutes with “record breaking” bids totalling 44.5 billion euros, an EFSF statement said. Trichet has said the EFSF should be given more flexibility and allowed to buy eurozone government bonds, a role currently held reluctantly by the ECB. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde confirmed Friday in Davos, Switzerland that European leaders were discussing that possibility. — AFP

up. But you have a group of very smart policymakers there. “I suspect they will take measures to cool down the economy, perhaps they will grow at nine percent instead of 10 percent,” he said. Kishore Mahbubani, a pundit on Asia, also voiced faith in Chinese authorities to get a grip on the situation. “I definitely think they will have to do something about housing prices, but you can control the bubble. I think the Chinese government is trying to do that,” said Mahbubani, dean of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. “There will always be challenges, it’s not normal for societies to keep growing. They will stumble,” he said. “The key is the capacity of the Chinese government to recover from this crisis. The capacity for them to do so is really at an all time high and when the capacity to recover is so strong, they can ride through a few crises too,” added the dean. — AFP

FARNBOROUGH: A Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft does a flyby at the Farnborough Airshow, Hampshire, in this file photo. — AFP

‘Milestone’ WTO ruling due in EU-US aircraft skirmish GENEVA: The WTO is expected today to hand over a final but confidential ruling to the United States and EU on their bruising dispute over decades of multi-billion dollar US public aid to aircraft giant Boeing. “We are about to reach another important milestone in the WTO aircraft dispute,” said Boeing Vice President for trade policy Ted Austell. The ruling-which marks the second major stage in a seven-year, tit-for-tat subsidies battle along with the separate US challenge to European support for rival Airbusshould remain out of the public eye for a few months under World Trade Organization rules. Sources in Washington said the lengthy ruling on large civil aircraft should be handed over to the two governments today around 1530 GMT, giving lawyers on both sides the chance to come to grips with its complex findings. Airbus said last Tuesday that it expects the WTO’s arbitrators to award the European Union 45 billion dollars (32.8 billion euros) in “compensation”, after interim findings were provided to the two sides last September. “It will confirm that Boeing received illegal aid,” said Maggie Bergsma, spokeswoman for European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. “The aid given to Boeing was in fact much more significant in terms of distorting competitiveness than any sort of aid which Airbus has received.” “We consider that an amount of at least 45

billion dollars will be called for in compensation,” she added. The EU has estimated that Washington gave Boeing 24 billion dollars in disguised subsidies. Not all subsidies or public support are illegal under WTO rules, which seeks to stop those distorting international trade. Although the dispute involves governments, both companies have been waging a public relations battle on the sidelines of the dispute. Boeing swiftly rejected Airbus’s claim. The “statement from Airbus is simply ridiculous,” a spokeswoman for the US aircraft maker said. Boeing has nonetheless acknowledged that the interim findings did show that some US support was “inconsistent with the rule set”, although the amounts are disputed. “In fact, those findings suggested that any assistance that was alleged to have been found against Boeing in United States was far far smaller, not even comparable to the findings in the USA against Europe case,” Austell explained. Washington has estimated that the economic damage suffered as a result of European support to Airbus amounts to up to 200 billion dollars, an amount that Brussels contests. Beyond tax breaks and other advantages, a key issue in the EU complaint is the question of aid to Boeing from NASA and the US Defense Department for aerospace research and development, and its scope or impact on civil aircraft. — AFP

WASHINGTON: With US President Barack Obama and his main foes both embracing a trade pact with South Korea, opponents are racing against the clock to regain momentum while supporters are leaving nothing to chance. Obama, delivering his annual State of the Union address, pressed lawmakers to act “as soon as possible” on the trade agreement which would lift 95 percent of tariffs between the United States and the fourth-largest Asian economy. His stance marked a rare point of agreement with the rival Republican Party which swept November elections and have pressed Obama to go further by moving ahead as well on pending trade deals with Colombia and Panama. Han Duck-Soo, the South Korean ambassador to Washington who has spent months persuading lawmakers and business leaders to back the deal with his country, said he was “definitely confident” that the two legislatures will approve it. He said that negotiations were complete and that a final text would be ready soon. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk has set a goal of ratification by July when the European Union will enter its own trade pact with South Korea. The South Korea deal was first drafted under former president George W Bush and Obama opposed it as a senator. But Obama says the revised pact would support 70,000 US jobs and believes a concerted effort to boost exports can revitalize the US economy. Former opponents including the Ford Motor Co and United Auto Workers labor union support the pact as renegotiated by the Obama administration as it gives more time for the United States to end tariffs on South Korean cars. But the AFL-CIO, the largest US labor confederation, and the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen have vowed to fight the pact, which they argue would primarily benefit corporations. A group of left-leaning South Korean lawmakers, along with labor and farm activists, visited Washington in late January to counter their government’s advocacy of the trade agreement and form common cause with US opponents. While US policymakers say the trade pact would boost a key alliance, the visiting lawmakers warned it could also breed resentment against the United States-particularly among South Korea’s farmers. “This agreement would only further polarize Korean society so that people will suffer more and more and a very small portion of society will get richer,” said Kang Ki-Kab, a farmer turned lawmaker from the Democratic Labor Party.Chun Jung-Bae, a lawmaker of the main opposition Democratic Party, called for a “mass uprising” in South Korea against the pact but said it was also critical to stop ratification in the US Congress. “If this agreement gets passed in the United States, that will have a great impact in Korea. If it doesn’t, then we see that as a very positive step toward stopping this agreement,” Chun said. The agreement also faces opposition from US lawmakers in ranching states who want South Korea to buy more beef. Seoul has pushed back after the beef dispute triggered major protests in 2008. US critics of free trade agreements question if exports themselves would create jobs.— AFP




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Stock markets in BRIC nations show worst returns By Ole S Hansen n this weekly update we take a look at some of the themes that drove commodity sectors in different directions during January. The global economy in general is moving towards higher growth with the IMF this week raising its global economic growth forecast to 4.4 from 4.2 percent. What has also become very clear is that inflation, caused by higher energy and food prices, is on the rise and looks set to increase further over the coming months. The low interest environments in recovering economies, especially the US has supported its stock markets but also assisted some of the price rises seen in commodities. Stock markets in BRIC nations, minus Russia, showed the worst return among equity markets during January. Higher inflation and worries about further tightening, especially in China saw these markets perform poorly. How China will cope with additional economic tightening remains one of the important themes when looking at future commodity market performance. In Europe the sovereign debt fears were eased somewhat with Italy, Spain and Portugal managing to issue debt. This was followed by a successful auction of the first European bail out bond which was heavily oversubscribed. The euro recovered from its early January low while the dollar lost nearly five percent against a basket of currencies. In commodities the speculative length of futures positions as measured by the CFTC has seen a slight reduction during the month primarily from a reduction in energy and precious metals. The Reuters Jeffries CRB index is


WEEKLY COMMODITIES UPDATE almost flat on the month but performances differs with soft commodities like cotton, cocoa and sugar performing strongly while precious metals have lost their shine a bit. Cotton jumped to a record amid a global shortage of the fiber with new production from the southern hemisphere not expected to reach the market until April. Surging demand from Chinese cotton mills on the back of global economic recovery has left growers struggling to meet demand. Prices have now more than doubled over the past year as increased demand has failed to be met with adverse weather reducing global crops. Cocoa had the strongest rally in more than three years, reaching a one year high, on worries about supply disruptions from the Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer. The President-elect ordered to halt shipments for a month in order to cut funds for the incumbent president who refuses to accept defeat in the recently held election. With more than 80 percent of shippers respecting the order stocks are barred from reaching the global market adding upside pressure on prices. The price of spot month lean hogs reached the highest prices in at least 24 years after the worst outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Asia for at least 50 years has put upside pressure on US exports and prices. South Korea alone has been forced to remove about 25 percent of the breeding herd due to the disease. Higher food prices have been a contribut-

ing factor to the recent wave of social unrest across North Africa and the Middle East. This has subsequently driven governments across the developing world to stockpile food staples like wheat, rice and sugar in an attempt to contain social unrest and dampen panic buying and inflation. The price of wheat rallied to a near three year high; surpassing the levels seen during the Russian drought last summer, after several countries announced extraordinary purchases. After the weather related slump in production last year the US currently hold most of the quality wheat required and this is aiding prices and exports. Turning to the energy sector the thing that

have had many puzzled recently has been the incredible widening of the price spread between WTI crude and North Sea Brent. During January we have seen Brent outperform WTI by more than ten percent and in the process WTI’s status as a global benchmark for oil has weakened. Looking at some of the other international oil indices like Oman Crude, African Bonny Light and Light Louisiana Sweet it is pretty clear that spot WTI has dislocated and is cheap on a relative basis. This cheapness is being caused by the supply overhang at Cushing, Oklahoma, the landlocked delivery hub for WTI crude. Currently the market is discounting this problem to be solved in 2012 when a new pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico will ensure that production from Canada can reach the coast and be exported instead of being stored at Cushing. With spring reaching the northern hemisphere we should see demand for products decrease and refineries going into maintenance. This will add additional pressure on crude storage facilities and with Cushing already holding a near record of 37.7 million barrels spot month WTI crude could find it hard to progress in the near term. This is also reflected in the spread between spot and delivery in six months time. Since December this spread has widened from 80 cents to 850 cents making investments in ETFs that track spot crude increasingly unprofitable due to the monthly cost of rolling.

Minister defends UK cuts as public criticism grows Scrapping austerity plan would mean turmoil: Osborne LONDON: Britain’s finance minister and his opposition party counterpart clashed yesterday on the pace of austerity cuts, after a series of negative economic data and a slump in the government’s popularity. Finance minister George Osborne renewed his commitment to the tax increases and spending cuts his Conservative-led government hopes will eliminate Britain’s record budget deficitabout 10 percent of national output-by 2015, despite figures issued on Tuesday showing an economic contraction. Inflation at 3.7 percent is almost double the Bank of England’s target, and British consumer morale tumbled to its lowest in almost two years in January, one survey showed. Opinion polls in the past week showed rising support for the opposi-

tion Labour Party and growing economic pessimism. “If on Monday morning I went to parliament ... and said, ‘I’m abandoning the deficit reduction plan that Britain set out last year’, what do you think the reaction would be? Within minutes Britain would be in financial turmoil,” Osborne said in a BBC interview to be aired yesterday. “I’m not prepared to let that happen. It requires tough, difficult decisions. No politician likes cutting spending, increasing people’s taxes, but I was delivered a mess by the previous government and I’m trying to clear it up.” Labor Party finance spokesman Ed Balls, in a media offensive yesterday, criticized the government for cutting spending too far and too fast, and having no back-up plan.

Bankers’ bonuses “The fundamental issue on growth is what’s happening to the economy, and you’ve got the continuing (government) denial, claiming that there would be turmoil if they were to (not) cut spending now,” Balls told the BBC in an interview. “George Osborne, the only plan B he needs to get right now is ... to stop the drastic scale of these spending cuts, to look again at these tax rises, and realize that if people aren’t in work paying taxes, you can’t get the deficit down,” he added. In a letter to the Independent on Sunday newspaper, he called on the government to reinstate a tax on bankers’ bonuses, which under the previous Labor government raised about 3.5 billion pounds ($5.6 billion). A

Reuters/Ipsos MORI poll on Thursday showed support for Labor at a threeyear high, a sharp drop in support for the Conservatives, and a new low in economic optimism. An Angus Reid poll for the Sunday Express newspaper put suppor t for Labour at 43 percent, 11 percentage points higher than the Conservatives at 32 percent. The Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives’ partners in government, were on 11 percent. The right-leaning News of the World newspaper said business groups did not believe cuts alone would fix the economy. Signs of growing unpopularity could be an ominous sign for the Conservatives before local elections in May which will be an important gauge of support for the government a year after it took office. —Reuters

Cuba’s economic changes create new entrepreneurs HAVANA: Where some might see a rotten window frame pocked by termites, Julio Cesar Hidalgo envisions a polished take-out counter, the rich smell of garlic and oregano wafting out onto a warm Havana street. In his mind’s eye, the coarsely laid concrete covering the surfaces of his shabby living room already is a gleaming white countertop laid with sandwiches, pastries, and balls of yeasty dough; a gas oven in the coner bakes mouthwatering pizza. After Cuban authorities announced in September that they were opening the island’s closed Marxist economy to a limited amount of private enterprise, Hidalgo was one of the first to line up for a new business license. Ever since, the 31-year-old baker has been transforming the front of his narrow apartment in a run-down section of Old Havana into a standup pizza joint and cafe. In a land of modest dreams, Hidalgo says his is simple: to be the master of his own labor. “It’s not going to make me rich,” he laughs, adding that he may make only a little more than he does now in a $12-amonth job at a state-run bakery. “But I’ll be working in my own home, and I’ll be my own boss.” Hidalgo and tens of thousands like him are chasing their entrepreneurial ambitions in 2011, Cuba’s year of economic change, hopeful that a sweeping overhaul of the economy announced last year by President Raul Castro is for real. The Cuban leader said the country would lay off half a million state workers by March 31, while granting licenses for a broad, if slightly random, array of businesses. The new entrepreneurs face towering challenges in getting their enterprises off the ground, including high taxes, a lack of raw materials, an uncertain customer base, labyrinthine bureaucratic rules and limited access to startup capital. Yet, their success or failure will go a long way toward determining the future of Cuba’s revolution. The Cuban state now employs 84 percent of the island’s workers and controls 90 percent of the economy in one of the world’s last bastions of Soviet-style communism. If the freemarket experiment works, the cash-strapped government could shed millions of dollars from its payroll while boosting much-needed tax revenues and creating a new business and consumer class. It could also legalize part of a booming black market that provides everything from sausages to satellite television. If the experiment fails, however, this already disillusioned and dysfunctional country will have turned hundreds of thousands of people out of their government jobs and into an uncertain future. All of this in the same year that Raul Castro turns 80, and his older brother Fidel is widely expected to step down from his final official post - head of the Communist Party. Through January 7, more than 75,000 people had received new licenses, joining about 143,000 private sector workers left over from the island’s last dabble with capitalism. Government econ-

The International Energy Agency predicts that 2011 demand will rise by 1.4 million b/d to 89.1 million after having risen by 2.75 million b/d in 2010, the strongest growth in 30 years. At the same time they warned that high crude prices could put a brake on the economic recovery. OPEC despite no official statement seems to have responded and is now unilaterally raising output. They do not want prices to rise too high, too quickly and with signs of synchronized economic growth they will have to use some of its spare capacity, currently expected to be around 5 million barrels per day. Gold and silver sits at the bottom of the performance table and are heading for the first monthly loss in six months and the longest losing streak in almost a year. Investors have been scaling back positions during January as higher equity prices and reduced sovereign risk in Europe has left other markets looking more attractive. Gold rallied strongly during 2010 on the back of increased inflation fear and now that it has become a fact profit taking has set in indicating a belief that this was somewhat priced in already. Going forward it is very important to keep a close eye on investments flows in and out of ETFs as many large hedge funds and asset managers are positioned in gold and silver through these products. During January investments via gold ETFs dropped by 77 tons to 2,047 tons and some hedging and liquidation of positions has been the driver. The 200 day moving average on gold is now getting close at 1,285 and could be the line in the sand just like June last year or be the trigger for additional position should it give way.

Persil donates part of 2010 profits to train GCC women RIYADH: Persil Liquid Detergent for White Thobes, a world-class innovation from the world’s first self-acting laundry detergent in the world, Persil, yesterday announced that it is donating part of its 2010 profits to be allocated for training women across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in tailoring Thobes. The move reinforces Persil Liquid Detergent for White Thobes’s commitment to the GCC society and will go a long way in creating more jobs for women in the region. The training, associated with Nafisa Shams Academy for Arts and Crafts, part of Bab Rizk Jameel which includes Abdul Latif Jameel Community Ser vices Programs, also paves the way in creating vital indigenous skill sets in tailoring Thobes. With the training programs, Persil Liquid Detergent for White Thobes would help create more jobs for women in KSA and across the GCC. “This is a long-term solution to help women across Saudi Arabia and the GCC shape their future by learning to tailor White Thobes and earn a livelihood. By donating funds and supporting this initiative, we are also encouraging other companies & individuals to come forward and support the cause they like or the cause they see might fit their organization even with a little amount. Drops like these make an ocean,” said Abdul-Aziz Elyas, Senior Brand Manager at Henkel Arabia. He added:”Henkel, Persil’s manufacturing company, proved that it could be successful from the financial perspective when providing help on both the social and economic levels. We are confident that this training program will play a vital role in building capabilities and helping women in the GCC in getting jobs and earning a livelihood. Best ideas are the ones that are beneficial to all parties.” The Persil Liquid Detergent for White Thobes - the first liquid detergent for Arab men - has already made a mark with this innovative product, which gives the brightest White Thobes wash after wash because of its unique German Opti-Brite technology. The Persil Liquid Detergent for White Thobes has revolutionized men’s laundry, fulfilling their needs in an effective manner and offering the most convenient, simplified laundry experience ever. It is also suitable for all white garments. Ever since its launch in the market in January 2010, the products have achieving an impressive increase in consumer demand month-on-month.

Spanish banks’ social role threatened

HAVANA: Eddy Cantallos attends to customers after receiving his new license to sell goods in front of a home in the El Cerro neighborhood. Tens of thousands are chasing their entrepreneurial ambitions in 2011. —AP omists say they hope a quarter of a million new entrepreneurs eventually will sign up. Almost all the new businesses are small, operating out of homes or on street corners. But the stakes for Cuba could not be higher, with the economy weighed down by crippling disorganization, a broken infrastructure, endemic corruption and an enormous labor force that has become accustomed to getting paid very little, and doing very little in return. Among the thousands who have taken the leap into private enterprise are Maria Regla Saldivar, a 52-year-old black belt in Tae Kwon Do who plans to open a gymnasium in the ruins of a destroyed laundromat, and Javier Acosta, who has opened an upscale restaurant catering to tourists. There is Danilo Perez, a 21-year-old accountant who has received a license to buy and sell bootleg DVDs in Havana’s hardscrabble El Cerro neighborhood, and Anisia Cardenas, a seamstress with a license to make clothes. Many others are giving manicures, painting homes, fix-

ing cars and driving taxis, services on the list of 178 officially sanctioned private activities. Some of the other opportunities are a bit more obscure, such as fresh fruit peeling. Some are so specific they refer to just two people, like No. 159, which makes it legal to be part of the Amor Dance Duo Even the Cuban government, in an internal document to party leaders obtained by The Associated Press, warned that many of the businesses will fail within a year. And many Cubans say privately that they will wait and see if ventures such as Hidalgo’s prosper before jumping into the fray themselves. But for now, optimism and excitement reign among the new entrepreneurs. “We are going to be a success. I am sure of it,” says Gisselle de la Noval, 20, Hidalgo’s bright-faced girlfriend, who will work the till at the pizzeria and share in its profits. “This (economic) opening was marvelous. ... I think those who know how to take advantage of it will have a bright future.” —AP

MADRID: Spain’s regional savings banks have long been a source of funding for social projects like libraries but this role is under threat by a new government requirement that all lenders raise their capital or face state intervention. Many of the savings banks, known as cajas, were originally pawnshops started by Catholic charities. The clergy gradually ceded control of most of them to regional politicians, who were eager to use them to finance city projects. The unlisted cajas, which account for around half of all lending in Spain, voluntarily dedicate about a quarter of their revenues to social works, said a spokeswoman for Caja Madrid, the country’s oldest savings bank which was founded in 1838. “The money is used to build libraries, care centers for Alzheimer’s, employment training programs, ambulances, cultural centers,” she said. In 2009, the last year for which figures are available, they spent 1.8 billion euros (2.5 billion dollars) on social projects which accounted for 33,600 direct and indirect jobs, according to the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks. But they are now under pressure to find private investors after the government announced last week that all Spanish lenders will have to have a core capital level of 8.0 percent by September. Finance Minister Elena Salgado said the amount needed to recapitalize the country’s banking system will not exceed 20 billion euros and “all or part” of that sum will come from financial markets. The government will step in to take temporary stakes in those savings banks that do not meet the new requirements by then. —AFP




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Ebook revolution accelerates in sales and status NEW YORK: The ebook revolution has swept past two more milestones in its ferocious advance upon the bastions of literary culture. As the Man Booker prize embraces the digital era, the online retail giant Amazon has announced that sales of Kindle editions have overtaken paperbacks in the US. Publishers entering books for the £50,000 Man Booker prize are now being asked to make all submissions available both as physical books and in digital form. This year’s judging panel which includes writers Susan Hill, Matthew d’Ancona, and politician Chris Mullin as well as the Daily Telegraph’s head of books Gaby Wood, and is chaired by former M15 chief Stella Rimington - have been issued with e-readers. The move will help them prepare for the 2011 prize longlist, to be announced in July, without hauling around back-breaking numbers of submissions. Man Booker administrator Ion Trewin said: “Traditionally we rely on proofs and hard copies, but it seemed to me if publishers were in a position to supply us with electronic downloads any earlier, it would help because time is of the essence. And it gives the judges an alternative. This is what the Kindle will do - it’s not going to take over from print, but will offer another way

Can I ditch my computer and be green? There is a disheartening moment when your computer makes weird noises and enforces Moore’s law - which decrees that the computing power bought for a certain amount of money doubles every 18 months - by signalling its own obsolescence. When it gives up the ghost, don’t let it become another piece of unloved e-waste. The UK is responsible for 15% of Europe’s total. Around 900 containers of e -waste from Western Europe lands in Asia and Africa each week. Some 80% is dumped, often burned in pits, releasing pollutants ranging from mercury in flatscreens to toxic heavy metals in a PC’s central processing unit or barium in the plastic casings. Also think of the squandered energy and resources used in making it. As Julie Hill reminds us in The Secret Life of Stuff, computing is one of the top water-using industries. Turning the 3G off on your iPhone reduces its energy consumption by 43-60%. You can buy greener, too - rates electronics. The latest Greenpeace report shows electronics companies making progress on phasing out toxic materials but not on increasing longevity. Hardly suprising given their mission is to sell more. But this should be our focus. While the advice used to be to buy a sleek laptop (less power hungry), now it’s to invest in a modular PC built with replaceable, repairable components and a capacity to upgrade. Eco beauty isn’t all about being sleek and wafer thin. — Guardian

A New York commuter uses a Kindle e-reader. — Guardian

of reading as well.” The judges who’d responded to him thus far thought the development was “wonderful”, Trewin added. Meanwhile Amazon, posting its latest financial results, said that so far in 2011 its US wing had sold 120 Kindle ebooks for every 100 paperbacks. “Additionally, during this same time period the company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books,” the company said in a statement. Print still appears to predominate if both editions are taken together, and hard figures are thin on the ground, but the move represents a decisive new shift in the fast-changing balance between traditional and electronic book-buying. While the numbers of ebook readers in the UK lag well behind their American counterparts, they are growing very swiftly, with huge leaps in sales reported over Christmas. On both sides of the Atlantic, publishers trying to predict the future shape of their business face rapidly moving goalposts. How far the shift to ebooks will go, and how speedily, is still unclear, but at this week’s Digital Book World conference in New York, publishers were predicting that 2014 will be the year when ebooks reach parity with print for the first time. — Guardian

Flying cars finally lift off It’s easy to fly, it takes normal petrol The Transition Roadable Aircraft, created by American company Terrafugia, has fold-out wings and is able to convert between driving and flying in around 20 seconds. Those of us waiting patiently for the era of flying cars have been stung before. Usually by some delusional old tinkerer appearing on Tomorrow’s World or Blue Peter, tantalisingly showing off some hovering hatchback or Cortina-withwings and promising it’ll be an everyday form of transport - soon. It never happens. As the characters in Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes comic strip complained way back in 1989: “A new decade is coming up. Big deal! Where are the flying cars?” Finally, in 2011, some action. Later this year an American company called Terrafugia will go into “low volume production” on its Transition Roadable Aircraft - a genuine, non-delusional, youcan-actually-buy-it-and-it-actually-flies flying car. It looks a bit like the Ghostbusters’ vehicle with fold-out wings, and will cost something between £125,000 and £160,000. Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich hopes to sell 200 a year. “A lot of people said they never thought it would fly,” Dietrich has said. “But we have a vehicle right here, right now that drives and flies, and converts between the two in 20 seconds.” Terrafugia (Latin for “escape from land”) was founded by Dietrich and a team of pilots and aeronautics engineers. Partly funded by the US Department of Defence, they’ve been quietly beavering

away on the car in Woburn, Massachussetts since 2006, and are almost ready to start selling. Owners of a new Transition will need 20 hours of flying time on record before being allowed to unfurl the car ’s mechanical wings and take off, but it’s easy to pilot once they do - or so says Colonel Phil Meeter, the first man to fly

the Transition in tests over upstate New York in 2009. On landing he enthused: “My daughter could do this! Anyone can do it!” The retail machine will have a flight range of just less than 500 miles (enough to get from London to, say, Zurich) and will travel at speeds of up to 115mph. This being an American firm, targeting

American customers, Terrafugia’s flying car is not without its luxuries. It has touch-screen controls in the cockpit, and the “cargo area holds golf clubs”. With the wings in tucked-up mode the Transition can be filled up in any normal petrol station, and parked in any normal garage. It also has built-in parachutes. But let’s not dwell on that. — Guardian

Sharp files LCD patent suit against Taiwan’s AUO TOKYO: Japan’s Sharp Corp. said last week it had filed a lawsuit a g a i n s t Ta i wa n’s AU O p t ro n i c s Co r p. (AU O) a n d s i x o t h e r s fo r allegedly infringing its patented liquid crystal display technology. In two complaints filed with the US International Trade Commission and District Court for Delaware on Monday, Sharp is seeking an order to prohibit imports and sales in the United States of LCD panels and modules that use the technology at the centre of the dispute. The company is also demanding

compensation from AUO. A company spokesman declined to disclose t h e s i ze o f co m p e n s at i o n t h at Sharp is demanding. The six customers of AUO that Sharp alleges use LCD panels and modules adopting its technology i n c l u d e S o u t h K o re a’s LG Electronics and China’s Haier. The litigation came after Sharp and AUO failed to renew a contract at t h e e n d o f 2 0 1 0 to l i ce n s e Sharp’s patented LCD technology to AU O, a cco rd i n g to t h e spokesman. — AFP

O2 opens up free Wi-Fi access to all internet users in the UK. - Guardian

O2 launches free Wi-Fi service LONDON: O2 launches its free nationwide Wi-Fi broadband network today, pitting the UK’s largest mobile operator head-to-head with rivals including BT and The Cloud. The Spanish-owned operator will open up free Wi-Fi access to all internet users, including customers not with O2, through partnerships with restaurants, shops, and high street retailers across the UK. O2 said it will double the number of premium public internet hotspots - those which do not piggyback on existing residential networks - currently offered by rivals by 2013. O2 claimed it is the only “genuinely free” Wi-Fi network and the only one open to customers from other companies. The demand for data-hungry sites such as YouTube and the increasing popularity of smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone, have put a huge strain on operators’ Wi-Fi networks. Although BT and The Cloud operate tens of thousands of public Wi-Fi hotspots, uptake has largely fallen short of expectations. Tim Sefton, O2’s director of new business development, said only 20% of O2 customers opt for free pub-

lic Wi-Fi instead of mobile data due to uncertainty over pricing and variable quality of the experience. “Building networks is a core capability. We have pioneered the explosion of mobile data over the last three years and know better than anyone where people are accessing data. O2 Wi-Fi hotspots will bring high quality public Wi-Fi access to the majority of mobile users,” Sefton added. BSkyB is tomorrow expected to join the public Wi-Fi market by confirming an investment in The Cloud, the eight-year-old broadband network connecting three million laptops and smartphones to the internet each month. The Cloud has deals in place with Marriott hotels, McDonald’s and Pret a Manger, with 22,000 hotspots in Britain, Germany and Sweden. BT Openzone has more than 2m hotspots around the UK and has deals with British Air ways, Ramada Jar vis hotels and Starbucks coffee stores. Virgin Media has also signalled its intention to launch a public Wi-Fi network. O2 Wi-Fi will address the “many shortcomings” of existing public Wi-Fi offerings, the

company said, adding that it will increase its investment in its overall mobile network by 25% this year. The six-month Wi-Fi network project cost “in the low double-digit millions”, Sefton confirmed, but the plan was for it to become self-financing. “We’ve been watching this space with interest for some time, and it will be interesting to see how the market will evolve, but we’re announcing a model that’s fundamentally better and others will have to look to change their business models significantly,” he said. Gavin Franks, the managing director of O2 Wi-Fi, added: “We’re very excited about this. It’s win, win, win, win for the end user because of its ease of use, win for the venue, and a win for us,” he said. “You wouldn’t get many people saying that Wi-Fi is where it needs to be at the moment. We believe the market is changing, and that it’s been stagnant over the last three years. Big players have had a massive interest in mobile data, but we’re taking that to the next level.” — Guardian

CALIFORNIA: The Dr. Bott-created AmpliTude Fender was on display at the Macworld 2011 showroom in San Francisco, California, January 29. The applications allows a user to plug in an instrument or microphone and record music directly into an iPad. More than 25,000 people attended the world’s largest gathering for the Apple-products marketplace. — AFP




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monDAY, JAnUARY 31, 2011

health & science

For US soldiers, a healthy food revolution FORT BENNING: Pizzas, sodas and doughnuts are off the menu at some US Army bases as new recruits are being weaned off fast food for healthier fare, which the military believes will make them better soldiers. The military’s culinary revolution is on display at a mess hall at Fort Benning, Georgia, where the young troops, with their assault rifles slung over their shoulders, file past a breakfast buffet in silence. To help them choose a balanced meal, green, yellow and red labels indicate the nutritional value of each dish. Grapes, apples and melon slices get a healthy green label. Old staples such as scrambled eggs are still served, but with a yellow label, Bacon also qualifies as yellow, though it’s turkey instead of pork.

Cheese receives a red color code, while pastries and cakes are nowhere to be found. The soldiers, most of them under the age of 21, seem to be embracing the healthier dishes. After an hour of exercise outdoors before dawn, their plates are piled high with fruit, yogurt and granola. Before they joined the military, the soldiers had fast food about four to seven times a week, said Lieutenant General Mark Hertling of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. “That’s a lot of fat,” Hertling said. After seeing the physical condition of incoming recruits steadily decline over the past decade, the army launched the effort to introduce a healthier diet to new soldiers. “In the mid-90s, most US primary and sec-

ondary schools eliminated mandatory fitness education at school. At about the same time, the technology explosion occurred with gaming, people playing with their hands instead of going out running and jumping,” Hertling said. The result: obesity among 17- to 24-yearolds has increased from 14 to 23 percent in the past 10 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the junk food diet has helped narrow the pool of potential military recruits. About 75 percent of possible recruits are not able to serve in uniform because of a lack of education, arrest records or mental problems, while about 25 percent are ruled out because they are physically unfit, the general said. Even among those who are accepted, one

in five recruits still need to shed pounds to meet the army’s standards, said Command Sergeant Major Robert Boudnik, who oversees the mess hall. The new regime seems to work, he said. “I’ve seen soldiers losing 70 pounds through basic training,” said Boudnik, still sweating from morning exercises. For lunch and dinner, French fries, pizzas and hot dogs have been scrapped. Sugary sodas are banished as well, but the soldiers don’t seem too bothered as they guzzle down brightly colored energy drinks instead. The new approach to the mess hall, which at the moment only applies to bases that conduct basic training, has grabbed the attention and praise of First Lady Michelle Obama, who has tried to promote healthier habits amid an

epidemic of obesity. She paid a visit Thursday to Fort Jackson in South Carolina, where General Hertling briefed her on the army’s new approach to food and fitness. The first lady came away impressed, saying the initiative could serve as a model for civilian society. Hertling said the program was not out to force soldiers to eat healthy foods. “You can’t control lifestyle, you just try to influence it,” he said. After eating with his 200 comrades, 20year-old Reid Reifschlager, from Houston, Texas, said he liked his new diet. “It’s true, we don’t eat a lot of junk food, but the food is good,” he said. “Since I’m here I feel more energized.” —AFP

Czech gender-bending family puzzles sex experts ‘We don’t know why transsexuality occurs’ PRAGUE: Dominik’s tiny, hairy hands disappear in the manly, silky-smooth grasp of his girlfriend as she reaches across the table in a tender gesture affirming their gender-bending love. Before they started dating two years ago, Dominik Sejda, 45, and Andrea Kajzarova, 32, both underwent sex changes, one of just a handful of similar couples in the Czech Republic. But a boy named Radim, whom Dominik gave birth to 25 years ago, makes their family even more special-he is now becoming a woman named Viktoria. “I think there has only been one case of a (transsexual) parent and child on record” worldwide, says Czech sexologist Petr Weiss. “We don’t know why transsexuality occurs. But we maintain there are certainly inherent dispositions, though we don’t know whether they are genetic,” he told AFP. Dominik and Andrea, who both hail from the north-eastern Czech Republic and work as ambulance assistants in Prague hospitals, met on a transgender website at a time when Andrea was in the neutral phase of gender change. “She had a man’s genitals when we met, but she had a neutral name and looked rather like a woman,” Dominik, formerly Ilona Tomeckova, told AFP as he sipped a beer in a Prague pub. Dominik, who left his family 20 years ago, learnt he could become a man only after the 1989 demise of communism in the former Czechoslovakia. “During communism, it was taboo.

Everyone told me I was either a hermaphrodite or a lunatic who will end up in an asylum,” he said. “Then my doctor told me my kid can’t have two fathers, so I found my ex-husband a lover, left everything behind, spent two years crying for my son and moved to Prague to start the switch. I got hormones within a year,” he added. The openness he found in the Czech capital was like a breath of fresh air after life in the provincial eastern city of Ostrava. “People in Prague are more tolerant, they are used to transvestites and various shows. The city is full of lesbians and gays,” said Andrea, who earned her master’s degree in economics as a man named Tomas Kajzar. A former bodybuilder, now studying to become a registered nurse, Andrea started her gender switch six years ago. “I got the hormones when I was 26, but my problem was that I never believed I could become a genuine woman, because I was too masculine,” says Andrea, who is completely feminine except for her large hands. “My family never learnt to live with it. They are religious and take this as a sin,” she says with a trace of regret in her voice. Dominik has no regrets over the costly and painful switch. “Why? It was a relief. I have no regrets at all, not even about having a child, because I know I won’t be able to have children now,” he said. After meeting Andrea, Dominik decided to resume contact with the family he had left behind, only to find out his son was turning

into a girl. “She looks like a woman, she has the hips and all,” Dominik says about Radim as he becomes Viktoria. “But she doesn’t yet have a clear idea about her role or sexuality-if she’s after boys or girls. She thinks she’s lesbian but I don’t know,” Dominik adds. Interviewed by public broadcaster Czech Television last year, Radim believes his need to switch gender is a matter of genetics. “I found a sexologist in May, she sent me to different checks, including genetics. My diagnosis was always ‘transsexual’,” he said. Sexologist Hana Fifkova agrees that transsexuality is most likely genetic. A January article on Britain’s New Scientist website said many studies on identifying transsexual people are focusing on brain matter, but worldwide research is so far inconclusive. Doctors are keen to find concrete physical evidence potentially “to make a case for delaying puberty to improve the success of a sex change later,” it said. Dominik, meanwhile, believes his “cultivated and effeminate” father would have changed his gender had it been possible under communism. His grandchild may bring yet more clues. “I have learnt I have a granddaughter, or maybe a (future) grandson. Simply, my daughter-as a boy-fathered a baby with a woman,” said Dominik. “They took her to kindergarten and when the girl was offered a skirt, she said she wanted trousers instead. This is exactly what I did 40 years ago!” —AFP

How worn-out Britain finally woke up to its chronic sleep problem My first serious sleep problem was triggered by looming redundancy. Faced with the prospect of losing my job, worries over money just before Christmas and anxiety about the future, I lay awake for hours, my thoughts racing, or wandered around a freezing house, munching bowls of cereal. I’d finally drop off about five, only to have to get up at seven. This led, in turn, to days spent in a haze of nervous exhaustion and fatigue, just at a time when I needed all my energy to stay positive about the future rather than sinking into a pit of misery. Sleeping pills made life more tolerable at first, but turned out to add to my troubles in the long term. Advised by the GP to take the pills “as needed”, it was easy to convince myself I couldn’t get to sleep without them. Soon I was taking them every night and starting to panic that I’d become dependent. I finally stopped taking them on New Year’s Eve - and, distressingly, found myself awake the whole night. Just over a year later I’ve recovered and am, for the most part, sleeping like a baby. But everywhere I look there’s someone with a sleep problem. My husband lies awake thinking about his business, looking corpse-like each morning; a college student I know often doesn’t drop off till three or four; a psychotherapist friend tells me that four years ago, afflicted by money worries, she started to wake regularly at 4am and has done so ever since; a friend of a friend says she often goes whole nights without sleep. “I’m retired, so life doesn’t fall apart,” she says. “But the next day I stagger around on automatic pilot. I’m not safe to drive and I never feel like going out.” Are we becoming a nation of insomniacs? Are we in the midst of an epidemic of sleep disorders, caused by stress at work (or by the lack of work), soaring anxiety levels

People who live longest report sleeping for six to seven hours a night. —Guardian and the pressures of a 24/7 lifestyle? It would seem so, judging by a survey of more than 6,000 British adults, in a report published last week by the charity the Mental Health Foundation. It found that nearly twothirds have problems getting a good night’s sleep while about one in three may suffer from chronic insomnia, affecting mental and physical health, mood, energy, concentration levels, relationships and day to day functioning. Insomnia, it says, is a “massive public health problem”, the most commonly reported mental health complaint in the UK. “Obviously a survey like this attracts people with sleep problems,” says Professor Colin Espie, director of Glasgow University’s sleep centre and co-founder of Sleepio, a new organisation dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of good sleep, which collected the survey data. People with chronic insomnia - usually defined as having sleep problems three or more nights a week for at least six months, causing distress and affecting daytime functioning - probably form 8-10% of the population and possibly 15% of those over 65, he says. Still, there are clearly many more who are troubled by episodes of sleeplessness, which

can develop into chronic problems, he warns. So why is sleep so crucial? In humans, its main purpose is to allow the brain - in particular, the cortex, the region that plays a key role in memory, perception and thought to recover and regenerate, enabling us to learn and function during the day. In most people, sleep is regulated by the circadian rhythm, the internal biological clock that responds to light and darkness, so that (hopefully) we sleep at night and are awake during the day. This explains why for many people shift work is a problem and is thought to be linked to a greater risk of cancer and heart disease. How much sleep individuals need varies, with some naturally needing less than others, although research at California University has found that people who live longest report sleeping for six to seven hours each night. What happens when we can’t get to sleep? Espie describes insomnia as a “disorder of arousal”. “It’s a little like an overrun when we switch off the car engine but it keeps on ticking over before cutting out. People with insomnia have higher levels of arousal at all levels, both of the mind and body, and find it difficult to shut

down - hence the racing thoughts.” Initially, sleep problems are usually triggered by an external, stressful event such as illness, bereavement or (as in my case) redundancy. But while most people can repay the “sleep debt” caused by sleepless nights and eventually get back to normal, in some people insomnia becomes entrenched, continuing even when the initial stress has disappeared or been resolved. “Some people just seem wired up to be more vulnerable to insomnia,” says Professor Kevin Morgan, from Loughborough University’s sleep research unit. While individual risk of insomnia varies, he adds, there is good evidence that social changes and, in particular, economic recession is linked not only to higher levels of anxiety but an increased incidence of insomnia. “One advantage of a daytime job is that it helps our bodies stay synchronised to the 24-hour clock. Without the need to get up for a job or go to bed, our biological clock can become weaker.” In the short term, lack of sleep makes us weary, apathetic, forgetful and irritable; in the longer term it is linked to impaired performance, job problems, mood disorders and mental health problems such as depression (although depression can also lead to poor sleep); while research from the US has found it a risk factor for obesity, high blood pressure and depression. Chronic insomnia may affect the immune system. While sleep experts agree there is an urgent need to address the problem, sleeping tablets - for which, says Morgan, there are about 10m prescriptions annually- are definitely not the answer. They may be useful for short-term sleep problems but, used for more than a few weeks, they can cause withdrawal symptoms when stopped - the principal ones being increased anxiety and more severe insomnia. —Guardian

LOGIQ E9’s advanced elastography and needle tracking capabilities GE Healthcare, the healthcare business of G eneral Elec tric Company (GE), recently highlighted the newly launched advanced elastograhy and needle track ing capabilities of its LOGIQ E9 general imaging ultrasound systems. More than 3000 LOGIQ E9 machines have been shipped as an increasing number of healthcare organizations experience the impact of innovative, advanced, imaging technology. The aggressive adoption and consistent use of the LOGIQ E9, spanning a global customer base, is fueled by innovative benefits that provide clinicians with the ability to deliver quality patient care defined by extraordinary image qualit y and increasingly accurate, effective ultrasound procedures. The elastography and needle tracking capabilities further differentiate the LOGIQ E9 from traditional ultrasound systems by providing clinicians with the tools to help interpret internal tissue structures and aid challenging inter ventional procedures such as biopsies, ablations, drainage, fluid aspiration and general injections. Launched in 2008, the LOGIQ E9 has continually added advanced capabilities to meet the needs of physicians tasked with delivering uncompromised, quality, patient care. Ultrasound imaging acts as one of the pillars for disease diagnosis and determining treatment options-image quality and procedure accuracy are paramount and may lead to fewer invasive procedures. “Healthcare organizations worldwide have embraced the LOGIQ E9 for

its technology advancements that lead to improved accuracy and increased confidence-two attributes that help ensure every patient receives consistent, quality care,” said Anders Wold, Vice President, GE Healthcare Ultrasound. “Shipping 3000 units is a significant milestone and reinforces the fact that GE is meeting a global need for advanced ultrasound technology. In today’s healthcare, environment clinicians are tasked with doing more with less time without compromising quality care. GE is committed to delivering ultrasound technology that provides extraordinar y image quality, eases workflow and offers advanced technological tools that ensure accuracy.” The LOGIQ E9 is equipped with innovative technologies including its patented Agile Acoustic Architecture, Volume Navigation, Needle Tracking, Elastography and Scan Assistant capabilities. These unique attributes have led to an expanded global user base that increasingly relies on the LOGIQ E9 as the ultrasound of choice for radiology and vascular care. VScan, GE Healthcare’s innovative, pocket-sized visualization tool for point-of-care imaging, is also being showcased at Arab Health. VScan was recently recognized by Popular Science magazine as the Grand Award winner for Health in the 23rd annual “Best of What’s New” issue. Additionally, GE Healthcare highlighted the Venue 40, Voluson E8, LOGIQ e, LOGIQ P6 and ViewPoint ultrasound systems at Arab Health 2011.



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health & science


Ramachandran: The Marco Polo of neuroscience

ilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran is not a name that rolls off the tongue, even in its more common abbreviated form of VS Ramachandran. Perhaps this is the reason its owner is not as well known by the general public as his fellow neurologist and friend Oliver Sacks. But within the sciences he is seen as one of the great pioneers of our time. In an often-quoted description, Richard Dawkins once wrote: “Ramachandran is a latterday Marco Polo, journeying the Silk Road of science to strange and exotic Cathays of the mind.” Such is his reputation for pushing back the boundaries of neuroscience that Newsweek magazine identified him among the “100 most prominent people to watch” in the 21st century. The former Cambridge PhD student has also been feted in Britain, giving the Reith lectures in 2003, gaining fellowships of All Souls College and the Royal Institution, as well as a twopart Channel 4 series. Furthermore, his book Phantoms in the Brain was highly acclaimed. But for all that recognition, he’s still not easily recognised. That may change with his latest book, The Tell-Tale Brain, which, according to the Financial Times, is an unimprovable “sweep of contemporary neuroscience”. And neuroscience is where the intellectual action is these days. In a recent edition of the New Yorker, the journalist David Brooks declared: “We are living in the middle of a revo-


lution in consciousness... brain science helps fill the hole left by the atrophy of theology and philosophy.” If so, then no one has supplied more theories and findings to fill that hole than Ramachandran. The Cartesian division of mind and body long ago fell out of fashion in both philosophy and neuropsychology, but only recently have we begun to realise that not only is the brain part of the body but the body is also part of the brain. Ramachandran has been at the forefront of reimagining this interdependence with his ground-breaking work on phantom limbs. Among amputees, 90% suffer from phantom limb pain, which can often cause excruciating discomfort. For most of the 20th century, medical science was divided over whether the cause was psychological or as a result of traumatised nerve endings. Neither hypothesis did much to help the afflicted. In the mid-90s, Ramachandran approached the question from a more holistic perspective. The brain, we now know, contains a sensory map of the body and when the body fails to send sensory data that fits the map all manner of problems can occur. Ramachandran suspected that memories of the signals sent out by a limb before amputation remain locked in the central nervous system and the brain. In an era of highly advanced and expensive brain scanning equipment, much of Ramachandran’s work is characterised by a low-tech approach that he attributes to his Indian education. Thus, he devised a simple experiment with a mirror in which, through a visual trick, the amputee gained the impression that he was able to move his non-existent limb. His trial patient reported a shrinking of the phantom limb and diminution in pain. Ramachandran noted that it was “the first example in medical history of a successful ‘amputation’ of a phantom limb”. The result led Ramachandran to speculate on the wider sensory causes of a variety of mental conditions that had previously been ascribed to brain malfunction. He postulated that schizophrenics who hear voices may have suffered damage to a sensory mechanism in their vocal cords which signals to the brain, when healthy people think, to let it know that no one is actually saying the thought. If that mechanism is faulty, Ramachandran suggests, then an unconscious movement of the vocal cords might be perceived as an external voice speaking in the schizophrenic’s head. This kind of gadfly speculation, founded on a mixture of solid research, inspired intuition and a free-ranging imagination, has shaped Ramachandran’s scientific outlook ever since he was a boy. He was born into a well-established Brahmin family in Tamil Nadu in India. His father was a UN diplomat and his grandfather a former attorney general of Madras who had helped draft the Indian constitution. Like many children, when Ramachandran was a young boy, he collected seashells and fossils. Unlike most children, however, he sent his findings to the American Museum of Natural History, often unearthing rarities that were of interest to the museum. He retains an abiding love of palaeontology.

Two years ago, he received his most enduring honour: a strated that damaged brains are able to transfer functions to dinosaur - Minotaurasaurus ramachandrani - was named after healthy sections of the brain and, in so doing, reorganise the sensory map. him. These neurons were first discovered in monkeys in the Although he was attracted to pure science, under his father’s instruction, he studied medicine in Madras. It was 1990s and last year they were formally identified in humans. there as a second-year student that he set up an experiment Ramachandran, the mirror therapist, was quick to reflect on to examine how the brain merges the two slightly different their potential and he predicts that their discovery “will do for images seen by each eye. He decided, as he precociously put psychology what DNA did for biology”. What they appear to tell us is that humans are first and it, that “concepts of retinal rivalry need drastic revision”. He wrote a paper on his findings in 1971 and sent it to Nature, foremost mimics. We make ourselves up as we go along by arguably the world’s most prestigious scientific journal, and it improvising from what we see. This model also suggests the self is in dynamic interaction with otherness, both copying was published unrevised. Soon afterwards, he found himself at Trinity College, behaviour and projecting its emotions on to others, which is Cambridge, doing a PhD in visual perception. His fellow sci- the basis for the vital human quality of empathy. (Ramachandran speculated in 2000 that entists turned out to be disappointments. “I autism was caused by deficient mirror thought they’d be like Faraday and the great neurons and medical research is now Renaissance scientists,” he later complained. going in this direction.) However, he was galvanised by a visiting lecIt’s Ramachandran’s contention that turer from Bristol University, the neuropsyself-reflection was formed somewhere in chologist Richard Gregory, whom he rates as this process of self-projection. The mir“one of the five most amazing” people he’s ror-neuron system enables us to see ever met. another person’s point of view, what’s They’ve since collaborated on a variety of known as an allocentric view, as opposed disparate projects, including a study of how to an egocentric one. Ramachandran flounder fish change their body colouring to suggests that “at some point in evolufit in with their background. That was also tion, this system turned back and published in Nature, but this time the journal allowed you to create an allocentric view insisted on removing the co-writers’ puns. of yourself. This is, I claim, the dawn of Ramachandran, who is 59, is known for self-awareness”. One day, we may recogwhat his critics see as sophomoric humour. nise Ramachandran as the scientist who In The Tell-Tale Brain, he recounts the neurorealised that in learning to think about logical case of a man who saw a different others, humans learned to think for woman each time he looked at his wife. “We VS Ramachandran themselves. But before that we first need should all be so lucky,” quipped to learn to recognise his name. Ramachandran when speaking to the man’s lawyer on the phone. The lawyer duly hung up. “My sense of THE RAMACHANDRAN FILE humour is not always well received,” he admits. Born August 1951 into the Brahmin caste in Tamil Nadu, While grounded on the page, he, like Sacks, is easily lost in abstraction in life. He continually forgets where he has India. His father was a diplomat and his mother a mathematiparked his car, for example, and can’t remember his wife’s cian. Getting a paper published in Nature in 1971, while a birthday; they’ve been married for 24 years. His mind seems second-year undergraduate. In 2007 he was awarded the to be relentlessly engaged in much larger questions than the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honours. Two years later a dinosaur was named after him. whereabouts of his car. Worst of times His early speculations on autism caused After the breakthrough with phantom limbs, Ramachandran did something that very few scientists great controversy. “The trouble is, it’s a minefield,” he later attempt: he changed discipline, leaving visual perception for said. “The parents are involved. There’s big money involved.” What he says “Often, the best experiments begin as neurology. He is now professor in the psychology department and neurosciences programme at the University of jokes.” “The next revolution will be understanding the organ that made all the previous revolutions possible. Your mind, California, San Diego. The paradigm shift in neurology in recent years has been your ambitions, your love life, even what you regard as yourthe adoption of a more flexible model of how the brain self, all of it is the activity of little wisps of jelly in your head.” works. It used to be thought that there was a series of zones What others say “He has no idea where he’s going. He just that governed separate hard-wired functions. But walks.” His wife, Diane Rogers-Ramachandran. “[He is] jourRamachandran has helped revise that view. In the 90s, he neying the silk road of science to strange and exotic conducted brain-imaging experiments that clearly demon- Cathays. — Guardian



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ABK organizes Open Day for employees & their families


n the continual quest to be a socially responsible institution, the Ahli Bank of Kuwait organized an open day for its employees and families in the ABK Winter Camp. All ABK employees, their families and friends were invited to the Camp for a day full of activities filled with fun for kids and adults. Moreover, a series of competitions enticed the crowd in an exciting atmosphere with lots of gifts. Group Marketing & PR are very proud to have organized such a successful event that provided their guests with all the comfort and relaxation needed away from the hectic work environment. In return the guests were very pleased with the experience and atmosphere at the ABK Winter Camp where they voiced their appreciation and thanks to the Bank’s management and organizing committee.

BHCK: Fire drill evacuation



Mutthamizh Aringar Narpani Manram hosts Pongal festival & Tamil New Year


uwait Muthamizh Aringar Narpani Mandram hosted the Pongal & Tamil New Year at Ruchi Restaurant 14th January. The program was honored by the Chief Guest Eng. Senthamizh Arasu (President, Tamilnadu Engineering Forum). M. Rajasekar (Manager-Faisal Al

Qatami Steel Co.) presided the function and E. M. Hanifa, Eng. Sekar, Eng. Raman were present on dais. Welcome speech delivered by Sheikh Adam (Secretary) and the program was convened by Mrs. Radika Selvam (Treasurer). The program was well organized by K. Jayabalan

(President) in such a way that other Tamil Associations in Kuwait were participated and delivered a short speech on topic of Pongal & Tamil Cultural by Dr. K.S Anwar Batcha (Kuwait Quaid-e-Millath Forum), Tamil Nadaan (Pongu Tamil), Anbarasu (Taaiman Kalai Elakkiya Peravai), Louis

Rozario and Kavingar Vidaya Sagar, Kavingar Kavisai Sekar, Kavingar Krishnamoorthy, Kavingar Zuvairiya Sheikh Adam were presented the Lyrics of Pongal Festival. Among the prominent attendees of the meeting was Al Mass Mustafa, Shajahan, Selvam, Rajendran,

Dr. Paul Manual, Arif Maricar, Zahir Husain, Gopal and many audiences inclusive of families, important personals visited and made the program grand success. The program concluded with vote of thanks by K. Natarajan (Vice-President) followed by dinner.

Toastmasters ‘Clean environment’


arthoma Bishop for DelhiMumbai-Kuwait Dioceses Rt.Rev. Dr Abraham Mar Paulos visited the Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra and conveyed the greetings of the Marthoma Community here in Kuwait on the occasion of the 62nd Indian Republic Day. During the meeting the ambassador appealed the Bishop and accompanying Clergy to spread the slogan “Clean Environment’ among the members. Dr Mar Paulos was accompanied by Rev.A.Y.Varghese (Vicar-St.James Parish), Rev.Thomas Koshy (VicarSt.Thomas Parish) Rev.Genil Abraham (Vicar-St.Johns Parish) Rev.Thomas Varghese ( Vicar-St.Peters Parish) and Roy Varghese.


uwait Toastmasters club is holding its monthly club meeting at the HOLIDAY INN SALMIYAH, tomorrow Feb 1. The meeting will start at 6:30 pm. Kuwait Toastmasters is a club of Toastmasters International. This club fosters a fun and friendly atmosphere for personal and professional development of public presentation and speaking skills. Kuwait Toastmasters club meets the first, and third Tusday of each month. For more information, please contact: Mariam Othman at 66405018

Write to us Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: Fax: 24835619 / 20




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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 submitted by hand, by email or by fax (number 2491-3204).

Kavitha at the Crowne Plaza Kuwait


rowne Plaza Kuwait was host to the famous female playback singer Kavitha Krishnamurthy one more time. Her every visit to Kuwait is highlighted by her stay at the famous award - winning 5 -star hotel, which caters to her every need with its luxurious and modern room amenities. The management of the hotel warmly welcomed her, wishing her greater success in her career and hoping for more accolades to come her way. The Hotel Manager, Ahmed Serafi, along with the

Marketing Team met with Kavitha Krishnamurthy, in addition to members from the Indian Cultural Society, Kairali TV and journalists from the newspapers. Her short but delightful stay at the hotel included a package at the exquisite Spa Aquatonic at the hands of expert therapists at the Les Thermes Marins De Saint Malo and a beauty treatment at the Franck Provost Beauty Salon. Giving her comments on her stay this year, she mentioned that the Spa Aquatonic

was totally a unique experience, something she had not had before. She commented that the ambience combined with the skilled staff made her experience a memorable one. To delight her fans and all Indian music lovers, Kavitha Krishnamurthy was in Kuwait for her concert performance ‘Dil Ki Awaz’, held at the American International School Auditorium, Maidan Hawally. A prolific singer from India, her career spans over thirty years and more than 15,000 songs.

IEAS team represents Kuwait at the CBSE National Athletic meet


he students of Indian English Academy School represented Kuwait at the CBSE National Athletic Meet 2010-11 which was held at Maharaja Synthetic Tracks, Kerala, India from 20th Dec 2010 to 24th Dec 2010. This meet was organized by Labour India Public School, Kottayam, Kerala, India. At this athletic meet our school team consisting of 11 enthusiastic athletes participated in different events. IEAS is proud to recognize the hard work and commitment of the following athletes who participated in various events namely; Sharon Natasha Lewis, Sharen Vanessa D’Souza, Melinda Agnes Fernandes, Marilyn Ann Victoria Dias, Rovita Robert D’Souza, Sinatra Lorraine Dias, Jenesia Jane Filipe, Sonal Takkar, Varshini Suresh, Jona Merlin Thomas, and David Aaron Saldanha. The Under 16 girls relay team reached the finals and secured the 6th place in the Nationals. Well trained by our Physical Director Ivan D’Souza and his team. The team was escorted by physical education teacher Michael Dias and Ms. Leena Fernandes, who has been a very co-operative parent of the school. IEAS is indeed indebted to the Commercial Bank of Kuwait for their part sponsorship. We would like to record our appreciation for the timely and consistent assistance and support of the Bank’s Management and Staff towards many of our educational ventures.

KJ Francis strokes his presence in Friends of Kannur art exhibition


riends of Kannur organized a 10 day art exhibition comprising of 37 paintings selected out of a friendly competition held for Indian artists residing in Kuwait. Renowned artists and budding talents took part in the competition and are proud to be part of the exhibition that was held at Lulu Hypermarket, Al-Rai. Many works were sold and are reserved by a lot of art enthusiasts who came to view the exhibition. Among the artists whose works were exhibited was K J Francis, a renowned artist who uses abstract, surreal images in his works. In a work titled, Reflections, Francis speaks volumes of the need of harmony and tolerance in a community. The cross in this work does not stand vertical, touching the earth and looking high, instead his cross is parallel to the sky, revealing a worldly look. In Shadows, another work by Francis, women are depicted as faceless amidst their glittering makeup. In Questions, Francis questions the axiom that a sculpture sleeps in a stone. Another artist featured in the exhibition was Shaji Bhaskaran who has been in Kuwait for the past 15 years. First ever in an exhibition, his pictures are close to realism. Although the 10 day exhibition is over, the remaining paintings can be seen at AlShamel bookshop where some works are stored, and some other works are kept at FOKE office. Anyone interested please contact: 65071434, 65960611


NSS celebrates Mannam Jayanthi


air Service Society (NSS)-Kuwait, a leading Indian socio cultural organization, celebrated Mannam Jayanthi for the 10th consecutive year on 28th January 2011 from 4:30 PM at Cambridge English School, Mangaf, to commemorate 134th birth anniversary of Bharata Kesari Padmabhushan Mannathu Padmanabhan, the great social reformer and founder of the Nair Service Society. Eminent Indian space scientist and the former ISRO Chairman Padmavibhushan Dr. G. Madhavan Nair was present as the Chief Guest and Ajai Malhotra, the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, inaugurated the function. The ceremony was presided over by Shri Narendranathan Nair, Treasurer, Nair service Society, NSS Head Quarter, Kerala. NSS Kuwait president Sri Muralee Krishnan.P welcomed the audience and Sri.

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The forms are available on the internet at: ms/IMM5257E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here:

RC Suresh and Dr.N Namboory spoke on the occasion The celebrations went on with cultural extravaganza, commenced with the performance of Ottamthullal a traditional dance form of Kerala, by Sri. Kalamandalam Mohanakrishnan. The renowned artist from Kerala , enthralled the audience with the humor and wit which was perfectly created by the dancer by blending his acting skills and recital of the verses. The signature event of the function was Nadaswara Kacheri, a classical instrumental concert of Nadaswaram and Thavil. The scintillating musical performance which lasted for an uninterrupted two hours was performed by South India fame Sri. Thiruvizha Jayashankar and Sri. Karunamoorthy & Party. Dr. G. Madhavan Nair also felicitated the academic achievers of the year 2010 during the function.

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

would like to inform that application forms for passport/visa services and labor contracts that are on its website,, have been upgraded to include the facility for online data entry. Affidavit forms on the embassy website have had this facility since May 6, 2009. EMBASSY OF 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 today (January 31) 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 Alias Dollhouse Strong Medicine Karen Sisco Good Morning America The Deep End Survivor: Nicaragua The Ellen Degeneres Show Criminal Minds Survivor: Nicaragua Strong Medicine The Deep End Live Good Morning America Criminal Minds The Ellen Degeneres Show Strong Medicine Parenthood My Generation Alias Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-

00:50 Untamed & Uncut 01:45 Return to the Wild 02:40 Dogs 101 03:35 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 04:30 K9 Cops 05:25 Whale Wars 06:20 Untamed & Uncut 07:10 Project Puppy 07:35 Project Puppy 08:00 Meerkat Manor 08:25 Night 08:50 The Crocodile Hunter Diaries 09:40 Breed All About It 10:10 Cats of Claw Hill 11:05 Chimp Family Fortunes 12:00 Animal Precinct 12:55 Wildlife SOS 13:50 Animal Cops Houston 14:45 SSPCA: On the Wildside 15:10 Vet on the Loose 15:40 Kingdom of the Elephants 16:30 Breed All About It 17:00 Night 17:30 Corwin’s Quest 18:25 Project Puppy 19:20 Austin Stevens Adventures 20:15 Escape to Chimp Eden 20:40 The Snake Buster 21:10 Cats 101 22:05 Incredible Journeys with Steve Leonard

00:20 01:10 02:00 02:45 03:35 04:25 04:40 05:00 05:20 05:40 05:50 05:55 06:10 06:30 06:50 07:10 07:20 07:25 07:40 08:00 08:20 08:40 08:50 08:55 09:10 09:30 09:50 10:10 10:20 10:25 10:40 11:10 11:40

Moses Jones The Jonathan Ross Show The Weakest Link Himalaya With Michael Palin The Weakest Link Gigglebiz Balamory Tweenies Fimbles The Large Family Spot’s Musical Adventures Gigglebiz Balamory Tweenies Fimbles The Large Family Spot’s Musical Adventures Gigglebiz Balamory Tweenies Fimbles The Large Family Spot’s Musical Adventures Gigglebiz Balamory Tweenies Fimbles The Large Family Spot’s Musical Adventures Gigglebiz Dinnerladies As Time Goes By The Weakest Link

12:25 13:15 13:45 14:15 15:10 15:40 16:10 16:40 17:30 18:15 18:45 19:15 20:10 21:00 21:45 22:15 22:45

Inspector Lynley Mysteries Doctors Mastermind 2006 Himalaya With Michael Palin As Time Goes By As Time Goes By As Time Goes By Inspector Lynley Mysteries The Weakest Link Doctors Mastermind 2006 Himalaya With Michael Palin Inspector Lynley Mysteries The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City

00:20 01:10 02:00 02:50 03:15 08:00 08:30 09:20 10:05 10:55 12:20 13:10 14:00 14:40 15:35 16:30 17:15 18:05 18:50 19:40 21:20 22:10 22:55 23:40

Coastal Kitchen Beachcomber Cottage Mitch And Matt’s Big Fish New Scandinavian Cooking Bargain Hunt Daily Cooks Challenge 10 Years Younger Cash In The Attic Antiques Roadshow Daily Cooks Challenge The Home Show Cash In The Attic Bargain Hunt What To Eat Now - Autumn Daily Cooks Challenge The Home Show Cash In The Attic Bargain Hunt What To Eat Now - Autumn Come Dine With Me The Home Show Cash In The Attic Bargain Hunt New Scandinavian Cooking

02:00 The Outlaw Josey Wales-PG15 04:15 Four Extraordinary Women 05:45 December Boys-PG15 07:30 The Memory Keeper’s Daughter-PG15 09:00 The Other Man-PG15 11:00 Four Extraordinary Women 13:00 Stevie-PG15 15:00 The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond-PG15 17:00 Coraline-PG 19:00 Sticks And Stones-PG 21:00 Che Part Two: Guerilla-PG15 23:15 Red Rock West-18

00:40 01:10 01:35 02:30 03:00 03:25 Junior 04:20 04:45 05:15 05:40 06:05 07:00 07:50 08:45 09:10 09:40 10:30 11:25 12:20 13:15 14:10 15:05 16:00 16:55 17:50 18:45 19:10 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00

Destroyed In Seconds Destroyed In Seconds Motor City Motors Fifth Gear Fifth Gear American Chopper: Senior Vs How It’s Made How Do They Do It? Destroyed In Seconds Destroyed In Seconds Extreme Engineering Extreme Explosions American Chopper How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Mythbusters Cake Boss Overhaulin’ Ultimate Survival Mythbusters Miami Ink Dirty Jobs Overhaulin’ Ultimate Survival Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security The Gadget Show How Do They Do It? How It’s Made River Monsters



00:40 01:30 02:20 03:10 04:00 05:45 06:40 07:10 08:00 08:55 09:50 10:45 11:10 11:40 12:30 12:55 13:45 14:15 15:05 15:55 16:20 17:10 18:00 18:25 18:50 19:40 20:30 21:20 21:45 22:10 23:00 23:50

Mighty Ships Mega World Engineered What’s That About? The Colony Weird Or What? How Stuff’s Made The Future Of... Scrapheap Challenge Sci-Fi Saved My Life Sci-Fi Science Stuntdawgs The Gadget Show How Stuff Works How Stuff’s Made Scrapheap Challenge Weird Connections Engineered Nextworld Savage Planet Futurecar Building The Biggest The Gadget Show How Stuff’s Made Brainiac Mighty Ships Kings Of Construction How It’s Made The Gadget Show The Future Of... Mighty Ships Kings Of Construction

00:40 Style Star 01:05 Style Star 01:30 20 Most Shocking Unsolved Crimes 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 50 Cutest Child Stars: All Grown Up 07:45 Style Star 08:10 Fashion Police 08:35 Extreme Close-Up 09:25 Giuliana And Bill 10:15 Ths 11:05 E!es 12:00 Extreme Close-Up 12:50 Fashion Police 13:15 Style Star 13:40 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 14:05 Kendra 14:30 Ths 16:15 Behind The Scenes 17:10 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 17:35 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 18:00 Extreme Close-Up 18:25 Extreme Close-Up 18:50 Style Star 19:15 Style Star 19:40 Ths 20:30 The Soup 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 Married To Rock 22:10 Extreme Close-Up 22:35 Style Star 23:00 Fashion Police 23:25 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 23:50 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami

00:00 00:30 01:00 02:00 02:30 03:00 04:00 04:30 05:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 08:25 08:50 09:15 09:40

Throwdown with Bobby Flay Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Ultimate Recipe Showdown Ten Dollar Dinners Tyler’s Ultimate Iron Chef America Barefoot Contessa Unwrapped Chopped Good Eats - Special Guys Big Bite Ultimate Recipe Showdown Paula’s Best Dishes Good Deal with Dave Lieberman Guys Big Bite Barefoot Contessa Everyday Italian

10:05 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 22:00 22:30

00:00 NHL 2011 All Star Game from Raleigh, NC 06:30 Sport Express 07:00 Golf Central International 08:00 Golf Channel - TBA 10:00 ACC Sunday Night Hoops Maryland at Georgia Tech 12:30 ACC Sunday Night Hoops Miami at Virginia Tech 14:30 Golf Central International 15:30 Sport Express 16:00 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Washington at Washington St. 18:00 NHL 2011 All Star Game from Raleigh, NC 21:00 NFL: Pro Bowl from Honolulu Hawaii: TBA at TBA

00:40 01:30 02:20 03:10 04:00 04:50 05:45 06:15 07:10 08:00 08:50 09:40 10:30 10:55 11:20 12:10 13:00 13:50 14:40 15:30 15:55 16:20 17:10 18:00 18:50 19:40 20:30 20:55 21:20 22:10

01:15 03:00 04:45 06:30 08:25 10:15 11:55 13:35 15:25 17:20 18:40 20:20 22:00 23:40

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

Couples Retreat on Show Movies

Ten Dollar Dinners Tyler’s Ultimate Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics Unwrapped Paula’s Party Good Eats - Special Good Deal with Dave Lieberman Paula’s Best Dishes Barefoot Contessa Everyday Italian Ten Dollar Dinners Guys Big Bite Chopped Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics Unwrapped Paula’s Best Dishes Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Good Eats - Special Good Deal with Dave Lieberman Ultimate Recipe Showdown Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics Everyday Italian

Couples Who Kill Ripped From The Headlines True Crime With Aphrodite Jones Dr G: Medical Examiner Couples Who Kill Ripped From The Headlines Ghosthunters On The Case With Paula Zahn Mystery Diagnosis Forensic Detectives Impossible Heists Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Murder Shift FBI Files True Crime With Aphrodite Jones Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Murder Shift Forensic Detectives Impossible Heists FBI Files Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls True Crime With Aphrodite Jones Disappeared

Crisscross Watch It Dream Lover Lifeforce Hickey And Boggs Salt And Pepper Nothing Personal Tune In Tomorrow Gator Movers And Shakers Love Bites Maxie The Magnificent Seven Ride Inherit The Wind

Don’t Tell My Mother The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Market Values Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Banged Up Abroad Don’t Tell My Mother The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Passport To Wine Meet The Natives USA 62 Days At Sea Departures Banged Up Abroad Destination Extreme Bondi Rescue David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Passport To Wine Meet The Natives USA 62 Days At Sea Departures Banged Up Abroad Destination Extreme Bondi Rescue David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Passport To Wine Meet The Natives USA

00:00 Wet & Wild 01:00 Caught In The Act 02:00 Predator CSI 03:00 Restless Planet 04:00 Shark Men 05:00 Triumph Of Life 06:00 Wet & Wild 07:00 Caught In The Act 08:00 Predator CSI 09:00 Restless Planet 10:00 Shark Men 11:00 Animal Extractors 12:00 The Zookeepers 13:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 14:00 Wild Freaks 15:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 16:00 Prehistoric Hunters 17:00 Animal Extractors 18:00 The Zookeepers 19:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr

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

Two And A Half Men Just Shoot Me The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report Entourage Cougar Town Saturday Night Live (Uncut) Entourage Cougar Town Coach Yes, Dear The Drew Carey Show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Just Shoot Me Coach Yes, Dear The Drew Carey Show According To Jim Billable Hours Coach Yes, Dear The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Just Shoot Me Coach Yes, Dear Two And A Half Men Billable Hours The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report The Drew Carey Show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Just Shoot Me According To Jim Billable Hours Two And A Half Men 10 Things I Hate About You It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia The Daily Show Global Edition The Colbert Report Global Edition Comedy Central Presents Comedy Central Presents South Park Billable Hours

01:00 The Truman Show-PG15 03:00 Rugrats Go Wild-FAM 05:00 Appaloosa-PG15 07:00 Michael Jackson’s This Is It-PG 09:00 X-Men Origins: Wolverine-PG15 11:00 Anger Management-PG15 13:00 Journey To The Center Of The Earth-PG 15:00 Bring It On 5: Fight To The Finish 17:00 X-Men Origins: Wolverine-PG15 19:00 The Taking Of Pelham 123-18 21:00 Friday The 13th-18 23:00 Watchmen-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 True Blood C.S.I. New York C.S.I. Miami True Blood The Simpsons Smallville The Ellen Degeneres Show Coronation Street C.S.I. New York C.S.I. Miami The Ellen Degeneres Show The Simpsons Coronation Street Smallville Criminal Minds C.S.I. New York C.S.I. Miami The Simpsons Coronation Street The Ellen Degeneres Show Smallville The Event Desperate Housewives My Generation True Blood The Simpsons The Ellen Degeneres Show

00:00 Taking Woodstock-18 02:00 My Son, My Son, What Have You Done?-PG15 04:00 Prisoner-PG15 06:00 12 Rounds-PG15 08:00 H2O Extreme-PG15 10:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea 12:00 Amelia-PG15 14:00 Far North-PG 16:00 H2O Extreme-PG15 18:00 Appaloosa-PG15 20:00 Couples Retreat-18 22:00 Wrong Turn At Tahoe-18

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

Death Race-18 Pride And Glory-18 Alone In The Dark 2-18 Captain Drake-PG S.W.A.T.-PG15 Jesse Stone: No Remorse-PG15 The Fan-PG15 S.W.A.T.-PG15 Con Air-PG15 Predator-PG15 Predator 2-18 The Forsaken-18

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

Killer Bean Forever-PG15 Clerks-18 Baby Mama-PG Splinterheads-PG15 Ghost Town-PG15 Marley And Me-PG15 Confessions Of A Shopaholic-PG The Associate-PG15 Killer Bean Forever-PG15 Semi-Pro-PG15 College-18 Lonely Street-PG15

00:00 Cars-PG 02:00 Barbie In A Fashion Fairytale-FAM 04:00 Last Of The Mohicans-PG 06:00 Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs-FAM 08:00 The Jungle Book IV: Hate And Love-FAM 10:00 Cars-PG 12:00 Robin Hood: The King’s Return 14:00 Last Of The Mohicans-PG 16:00 Monster’s Inc-FAM

Inglourious Basterds on Super Movies 18:00 Wild Records!-PG 20:00 Igor-PG 22:00 Robin Hood: The King’s Return

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

C.S.I. New York Huge The Martha Stewart Show White Collar The View Downsize Me Emmerdale Coronation Street White Collar The Martha Stewart Show Downsize Me White Collar The View Emmerdale Coronation Street The Martha Stewart Show C.S.I. New York Huge What’s Good For You The View Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. Miami Desperate Housewives White Collar The View What’s Good For You

00:15 Futbol Mundial 01:30 PGA European Tour 01:45 ICC Cricket World 06:00 Pool World Cup 07:00 Anglo Welsh Cup 09:00 Scottish League Cup 11:00 Scottish Premier League 13:00 ICC Cricket World 13:30 PGA European Tour 18:00 Scottish League Cup 20:00 ICC Cricket World 20:30 Futbol Mundial 21:00 Brazil League Highlights 21:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:00 Scottish Premier League

00:30 02:30 04:30 06:30 07:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:30 15:30 16:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 22:00 22:30

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

Anglo Welsh Cup Scottish League Cup Scottish Premier League Futbol Mundial PGA European Tour Futbol Mundial Extreme Sailing Series Pool World Cup Anglo Welsh Cup ICC Cricket World Scottish Premier League Pool World Cup PGA European Tour Highlights Anglo Welsh Cup Extreme Sailing Series Pool World Cup

UFC Fight For The Troops FIA GT1 World Championship UFC All Access UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed WWE Bottom Line Red Bull X-Fighters FIM World Cup Full Throttle Air Sports World FIA GT1 World Championship WWE Vintage Collection WWE SmackDown Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge FIA GT1 World Championship FIM World Cup WWE Bottom Line WWE SmackDown UFC Wired UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed

01:00 44 Inch Chest-18 03:00 Operating Instructions-PG15 05:00 2012: Startling New Secret-PG 07:00 Delgo-FAM 09:00 W-PG15 11:15 The Ramen Girl-PG15 13:00 Capitalism: A Love Story-PG15 15:15 A Number-PG15 17:00 Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs-FAM 18:45 The Invention Of Lying-PG15 20:30 Inglourious Basterds-18 23:00 Perrier’s Bounty-PG15

01:20 Edge Of The City-PG 02:45 Screening Room, The - Human Rights-PG 03:10 The Asphalt Jungle-PG 05:00 Tempest-PG15 07:20 Screening Room, The - Berlin Film...-PG 08:00 Never So Few-PG 10:00 The Asphalt Jungle-PG 12:00 The Time Machine-FAM 13:40 Edge Of The City-PG 15:05 The Champ-PG 17:10 Quo Vadis-PG 20:10 Mutiny On The Bounty-PG15 23:00 Coma-PG15

00:30 01:20 03:00 03:55 04:25 04:50 05:40 06:30 07:20 09:00 09:55 10:25 10:50 11:40 12:30 13:20 15:00 15:55 16:25 16:50 17:40 18:30 19:20 21:00 21:55 22:25 22:50 23:40

Nostradamus Effect Ice Road Truckers 3 America: The Story of the US Sliced Sliced UFO Files Modern Marvels Nostradamus Effect Ice Road Truckers 3 America: The Story of the US Sliced Sliced UFO Files Modern Marvels Nostradamus Effect Ice Road Truckers 3 America: The Story of the US Sliced Sliced UFO Files Modern Marvels Extreme Trains Ice Road Truckers 3 Ice Road Truckers Pawn Stars Pawn Stars Tales of the Gun Man Moment Machine

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

Fashion Avenue Fashion Police Clean House Fashion Avenue How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Married Away Homes With Style Area Clean House Big Boutique Homes With Style Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? How Do I Look? Fashion Avenue Big Boutique Clean House Clean House Comes Clean Fashion Avenue Jerseylicious Ruby How Do I Look? Fashion Avenue Fashion Avenue Clean House Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

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 13:45 15:15 15:17 16:00 16:45 17:15 17:17 18:00 18:45 20:00 20:50 22:15 22:17

Top Gossip Playlist Africa 10 Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Monthly Top Playlist Top Sexy Playlist Sound System 10 Playlist Top Mobile Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Top New Playlist Latina 10 Playlist Top Fashion Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Hit Us Playlist Top Gossip Playlist

00:00 Globe Trekker 01:00 The Soller Railway 02:00 Globe Trekker 03:00 Globe Trekker 04:00 Nomad’s Land 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 The Soller Railway 07:00 Great Scenic Railways - 175 Years 07:30 The Thrillseekers Guide 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Inside Luxury Travel with Varun Sharma 10:00 Nomad’s Land 11:00 Culinary Asia 12:00 The Blue Continent 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 Taste Takes Off 14:30 Planet Food 15:30 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 16:30 Destination Art 17:00 Globe Trekker 18:00 Chef Abroad 18:30 Flavours Of Mexico 19:00 Planet Food 20:00 Globe Trekker 21:00 Travel Today 21:30 Travel Oz 22:00 Rajasthan - A Colourful Legacy 23:00 Inside Luxury Travel with Varun Sharma

00:00 00:30 01:00 02:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

VH1 Rocks Smells Like The 90s Music For The Masses VH1 Music Chill Out VH1 Hits Aerobic VH1 Hits Music For The Masses Top 10 Phil Collins Music For The Masses VH1 Pop Chart VH1 Hits Music For The Masses VH1 Loves Guess The Year Music For The Masses Black Eyed Peas Offcial Top 20 Black Eyed Peas Offcial Top 20

e niv rsar n



Classifieds MONDAY, JANUARY 31, 2011


ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for single decent bachelor, non smoking, to share with family. Opposite Al Rashid hospital, Shara Amman, Salmiya. Tel: 25651678, 66232356 (C 3075) 30-1-2011 One big full furniture room available for single decent bachelor, 3 bedroom CA/C flat with DSL Internet, Salwa Block-9, near Sultan Center. Rent KD 90. Please contact: 99526394. (C 3070) 29-1-2011 Sharing accommodation available for single bachelor, and family also. Al Rashid hospital, opp Shara Amman. Contact: 65515717 Sharing accommodation available for Keralite family, working ladies or couple, Abbassiya. Contact: 97769931. (C 3064)

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla 2007 1.8 XLi, white color, full automatic, run only 70,000km, wooden

decor, excellent condition, price KD 2650. Contact: 66015265. (C 3077) 31-1-2011 Toyota Corolla model 2009, 1.6 engine, white colour, wooden decor, CD player, single hand used, excellent condition, owner leaving. Price KD 3,350. Call: 55427367. (C 3071) (Desktop) Dell VOSTRO V230 MT SYSTEM, INTEL Core 2 Duo 2.93GHZ, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB HDD, DVDRW, CARD READER, NIC, KEYBOARD, MOUSE, Windows 7 Professional Original + Kaspersky Antivirus 2011 (1 year) + DELL 18.5” LCD MONITOR BUNDLE, (Brand New). Call: 66158602, email: (C 3072) NOTEBOOK HP PROBOOK 4520s, INTEL Corei3 2.4GHZ, 6GB RAM, 320GB, WEBCAM,

ed. Elders of interested candidates may write at: (C 3076) 31-1-2011 Inviting proposals from well employed (non medical) professionals for Catholic boy, B.Tech IT and MS in IT Security and Computer Crime (UK) 28 years, currently working in a reputed audit firm in Kuwait. Parents (Ex-NRI)in Kerala. Preference given to Catholics. Interested may please email: (C 3067)

No: 14986

CHANGE OF NAME I, Thiru R. Arul Murugan, holder Indian Passport No: A 9927766 have converted to Islam with the name of R. Abdul Saleem. (C 3066) 27-1-2011


MATRIMONIAL Pakistani Muslim parents are seeking suitable match for their educated and wellmannered daughter. Grooms must be age 33+ years old and well-educat-

I have experience as clerk in bank and investment companies, want full time job, preferably in exchange company. Call 66513057. (C 3074) 30-1-2011


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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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s ta rs CROSSWORD 215



Aries (March 21-April 19) You can sometimes be restless. You always seem to be in search of something new. Today is no exception. You will be feeling this restlessness from time to time rather intensely. You will also be moving toward a better balance in your life. When this restless time occurs, you must realize it is a time to look at balance. It is also time to look forward. This may mean a new project, a new sales approach or updating your surroundings in some way. Always involve yourself in at least two interests each day, the creative and the business. In business for today you may discover your activity centers around becoming updated and informed. You may have the privilege of being able to interview a famous author or attend a lecture this evening.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) How you feel about yourself is expressed in the way you communicate with others. Today you may try to see if you can keep a steady-as-she-goes type of pace. This is a better time to reflect on your own life and perhaps those close to you. If you are home today, you may want to snuggle in a warm room and read a good book. If you are working, this day will be productive if you can concentrate on writing, advertising, computer related work, etc. Compliment the people in your life—they either teach you lessons or support you in some way. A grateful attitude emits respectfulness and this behavior will take you into many positive places. Your mood is in a healing place today, no matter where you are located. Relax to a different sort of music.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. Imperial dynasty that ruled China (most of the time) from 206 BC to 221 and expanded its boundaries and developed its bureaucracy. 4. Wood of a sumac. 9. A large number or amount. 13. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 14. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 15. A Kwa language spoken in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. 16. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 18. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 19. A quantity of no importance. 20. Celebes megapode that lays eggs in holes in sandy beaches. 21. A small cloth bag filled with dried beans. 23. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 26. The cry made by sheep. 29. A unit of information equal to one million (1,048,576) bytes. 32. The face of a timepiece. 34. In bed. 36. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 37. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 39. A French abbot. 42. Of or relating to or characteristic of the people or language of Malaysia and the N Malay Peninsula and parts of the W Malay Archipelago. 44. Large bamboo having thick-walled culms. 46. A castrated tomcat. 48. A thrusting blow with a knife. 49. Small genus of shrubs and small trees of New Zealand. 53. Lower in esteem. 56. A unit of dry measure used in Egypt. 57. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 60. Surface layer of ground containing a matt of grass and grass roots. 61. Made warm or hot. 62. Of or belonging to an aecium. 64. A shape that sags. 65. The month following October and preceding December. 66. City in northeast Pakistan. 67. (Hawaiian) A small guitar having four strings. DOWN 1. Leafless East Indian vine. 2. Strike with disgust or revulsion. 3. French physicist noted for research on magnetism (born in 1904). 4. Conforming to truth. 5. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 6. (informal) Roused to anger. 7. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 8. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 9. An ambitious and aspiring young person. 10. Jordan’s port. 11. An informal term for a father. 12. An unforeseen obstacle. 17. Of or like a cecum. 22. A defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. 24. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 25. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 27. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 28. A young woman making her debut into society. 30. An accidental hole that allows something (fluid or light etc.) to enter or escape. 31. An inflammatory disease involving the sebaceous glands of the skin. 33. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 35. A software system that facilitates the creation and maintenance and use of an electronic database. 38. A language of Australian aborigines. 39. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 40. Suitable for use as food. 41. Tall feather palm of northern Brazil with hard-shelled nuts yielding valuable oil and a kind of vegetable ivory. 42. An informal term for a father. 43. American novelist (1909-1955). 45. A light touch or stroke. 47. A heavy brittle diamagnetic trivalent metallic element (resembles arsenic and antimony chemically). 50. Chocolate cookie with white cream filling. 51. A television system that has more than the usual number of lines per frame so its pictures show more detail. 52. United States writer (born in Poland) who wrote in Yiddish (1880-1957). 54. The process of becoming softened and saturated as a consequence of being immersed in water (or other liquid). 55. At or constituting a border or edge. 58. A federation of North American industrial unions that merged with the American Federation of Labor in 1955. 59. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 63. (Akkadian) God of wisdom.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You may have been too busy to communicate with family members or confer with the one who matters most in your life. This is the more important of your communication developments this year and has much to teach you. Tonight is a good time to keep your appointment with a loved one. Open up and let them in on the good things you want to accomplish this year. The recent research you do in the professional realm may be taking a bit more time than usual. You could be a bit nervous on meeting a deadline. Perhaps you have not wanted to share your anxieties with your partner, but it is important to remember that a problem shared is a problem halved. Open communication is most important.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


A lucky day! The secret to your financial security is in your attitude and today your attitude and thinking about money is positive. Money represents power and freedom. It also represents prestige and safety to some. We create or destroy our own security. Money in itself is not everything we make it out to be. It is, however, an instrument in life. Like any possession, it serves us best when we take care of it. Taking care of your money in a sound, well-balanced way is an important spiritual lesson to master. You can attract many friends through your compassion and positive, lovable ways. Show your appreciation to the many friends in your life at this time—you are pleased with your life. All is well within the family circle!

Leo (July 23-August 22) You may find it better to write down your thoughts today instead of expressing them verbally. Frustration could be easy to experience if you are trying to change an old habit, or the thinking of another person. Easy does it; just express these thoughts and know that the truth will eventually take hold. Your easygoing manner will be more encouraging than a pushy one. Wisely giving yourself time to think through tough situations, you can become quite convincing in creating a change for the positive. This is a good money day; in fact, beginning now through next week, there will be opportunities to double your investments! Perhaps you will decide to go to Las Vegas, or you will employ a good financial advisor. Use your common sense to guide you.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are interested in everything and everyone with very little prejudices to interfere. People pay attention when you make strong statements. You will find that you must gather facts that will back you up on some issue in the workplace today. You are successful in your search to convince, change, put an end to or add to any other big piece of information needing attention now. If you have not noticed, progress comes from outside forces this month. Being in control is an important factor here and learning to share the control will create progress. Before the day is over there will be compliments and encouragement coming your way. This boost gives you lots of energy in making decisions and accomplishing your goals. The evening is fun.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You will have some good news on an increase in money but do not go spending it until you see the green paper in your hands. Professional ethics may be a bit slack for now, perhaps because encouragement to the work force is needed. The profession you are in will do a turn-around regarding money and production. An increase in money will happen, perhaps not on schedule. You encourage others in their work and are in a good position to communicate. Participate in some form of music today. Perhaps you play the harmonica or you dance. You may get a phone call this evening from a family member that wants you to be a godparent, or some other responsible duty—find out what this means with regard to your religion and with the family.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Your communication abilities may depend upon your concentration and your concentration will improve as the day advances. Others may interrupt you, or make it difficult for you to express yourself. Your ideas will be supported and the more patient you can be, the more interest you will gain to your benefit. Take notes to stay focused. Emotions are sentimental and you may enjoy listening to others express their ideas or experiences. You may feel particularly empathetic with a friend or loved one. Someone may compliment you and enjoy your sense of humor today. This is a great time to be with others and to work together. There is an opportunity to be more understanding to the plight of others and perhaps you will lend a helping hand.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

Intuitive insights come and go but today?s forecast is almost too much to resist! Keep track of your intuitive visions for at least one month, perhaps a longer time with a notebook. You may enjoy research into just what makes you tick and what your accomplishments are in the intuitive field. Communicating with others of your own sex is an enjoyable way to learn more about yourself. You may come to the realization that you are happy with just who you are and what you have accomplished. Other people enjoy being with you. This will be a full day on the workload, but with determination, you will complete your tasks and enjoy the fun parts of the day as it comes to you. This evening, a loved one gives you encouragement for whatever you need.

Yesterday’s Solution


Are there too many stress factors this morning? Stop now and analyze the current situation. If it is a problem of interruptions, consider placing a sign on your desk or door that says, in some fun way, that you are not available; then you can get back to work. You do not look up until you have the current business or project is completed and out of the way. Take the noon break away from your desk. Perhaps you can stop in at the flower shop around the corner and purchase a flower for your lapel or blouse; bringing a little color into your day. How long has it been since you expressed your talents? Consider some creative writing this evening; if you are tired of writing you might put your thoughts, story or poem into a tape-recorder for transcribing later.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Although you remain in a quiet mood most of the morning, you jump to the call of any needy voice. This may involve an encouraging word to a family member or a smile for a little child. You always seem able to create a harmony. Communication with those living some distance from you could have you planning entertainment or greeting committees. There could be visiting dignitaries. This is the time to plan your next vacation, possibly a weekend ski trip. If you are not going on a trip soon you will be visiting with someone who is widely traveled. You find yourself busy and active this evening but there is a window of opportunity for a healing to take place; if needed. Allow art to transpose your thoughts this evening.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

There is great confidence with your professional life. You are quite busy now and you may not be paying attention to your finances. Watch the mail and pay attention to the bank statement when it comes in; to make sure all your areas are covered. You could see some monetary rewards from teaching your hobby if you wish. Your self-image can improve through teaching because there are many people that would like to be taught what you know about your hobby. Just knowing you can succeed in making a home project work will give you quite a lot of security and peace of mind. You have the opportunity to be a tremendous help to a friend this evening, though you may not realize it immediately. Take the time to really listen to this needy individual.



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lifestyle G o s s i p


Jane Lynch

buys £8.5 million home in Venice

loves married life

ohnny Depp has splashed out on an £8.5 million home in Venice after falling in love with the city during filming last year. The 47-year-old actor spent several months in the Italian city with his family while shooting ‘The Tourist’ with Angelina Jolie and he was reportedly so besotted with the stunning location, he has bought the 17th century Palazzo Dona Sangiantoffetti. According to local newspaper La Nuova Venezia, the Hollywood star outbid an Arab prince for the empty building which is one of the only available homes overlooking the famous Grand Canal. Johnny - who has two children Lily-Rose, 11, and eight-year-old Jack with his French partner Vanessa Paradis has previously spoken of his love for the city and revealed he loved to explore late at night when the streets were quiet. He said: “My experience of Venice really happened between 10pm and 2am when the streets closed and I was able to walk around and experience the poetry of Venice, the ghosts of Venice, all those wonderful dark alleys. “For an actor being able to film within the confines of that magical city certainly helps... The city’s magic shone through completely.” While the actor and his family spent most of their time at their estate in France, he also owns a home in Hollywood and a 45 acre island in the Bahamas.


he ‘Glee’ actress tied the knot with longterm girlfriend Lara Embry last summer and is delighted to be able to spend all her time with her partner and even enjoys watching ‘Glee’ with stepdaughter Hayden, eight. She said: “I love it! I always wanted to have a partner. I always wanted to have someone to walk through life with, and I really have not had that before. We spend all day together and we make home together very well. We all watch the show. My daughter loves it, so the three of us watch it together.” Though Jane, 50, gets on well with Hayden, she admits she never expected to raise a child and is relieved that Lara does the majority of the youngster’s care. She added: “I’m a stepparent right now. And forever, I guess I’m committed. I’m going to do it! I’m telling you right here and now. “I have never been much of a child person - I’ve always loved dogs much more. The minute I meet a dog, I am in love and could take that dog home with me. Cats, too. But children, I’ve always been like, ‘Hmm, cute...’ “It had to be a very special child for me to want to be a parent - and she is. My parenting instincts are lacking, but my wife is a wonderful mother, so thank God I’m not expected to do the bulk of the parenting. I’m not even expected to do 50 per cent of it, because she is so good. It’s wonderful, though, and it’s a part of myself I never expected to know.”



feels he

has had a lot of ‘luck’ att Damon feels he has had a lot of “luck” in his career. The 40-year-old actor - who won an Oscar for his writing skills in 1997 movie ‘Good Will Hunting’ - is grateful to have had the chances he has had throughout his working life, but also feels gratitude for the jobs he didn’t get. He said: “I like to think that my choices matter, but I’ve had so much luck in my life that it leaves me wondering. “It’s all those things that you wish for at the time and then you realize, ‘Thank God that didn’t happen for me because things worked out so much better.’ “Looking back at myself at 20 going on auditions, I’m so lucky that I didn’t get those parts.” Matt recently confessed he knew nothing about the fourth ‘Bourne’ movie - a follow-up to the previous three he has starred in as lead character Jason Bourne - and only read about it on the internet. He said: “I read online they are doing another Jason Bourne movie with Tony Gilroy directing that I’m not in. “No one told me, literally nobody called me. People think I have inside information, but you can get a sense of where I am in the pecking order.”


Paradis pleases herself anessa Paradis doesn’t want to “please everyone”. The French singer-and-actress who has children Lily-Rose, 11, and seven-year-old Jack with partner Johnny Depp was upset when she once heard a TV presenter criticize her vocal ability but learned to accept not everyone will enjoy her work. She said: “A TV presenter was once talking about people he couldn’t stand and one of them was me. “He said my voice was too quiet; as a singer, that’s a pretty bad thing to hear. But then you can’t please everyone, and I don’t want to.” The 38year-old beauty - who shot to fame as a singer aged just 14 - has also spent time as a model for brands such as Miu Miu and Chanel, but doesn’t think it overshadows her other work. She revealed: “I started in music - and modeling and acting came later, so I don’t think that side of things has made people in the music industry take me any less seriously. “Anyway, I started at an age when I didn’t look my best - I was only a teenager.”


Jennifer Aniston loves knitting he ‘Switch’ actress was gifted a basket of wool and some special needles recently and is now making the most of her new hobby to create new items for her wardrobe. She said: “I’ve been knitting a lot lately. My make-up artist gave me a basket of needles and yarn as a present and I just said, ‘Alright, I can do this. I did it in school.’ Now, I’m loving it. “I’ve knitted a couple of hats and a couple of scarves and I’m starting on my first poncho.” As well as knitting, Jennifer, 41, also enjoys cooking and admits she feels insulted if people don’t finish her culinary creations. She added: “I’m half Greek, so I’m partial to Greek food. “I remember the first time I was going to make my first Spanakopita - spinach pie - for Thanksgiving. My dad gave me my grandmother’s recipe and eight hours later I was still baking! It was exhausting and then nobody ate it! “Usually, if I serve people food, I make them finish it. That’s a Greek characteristic.”


Carey’s pregnancy craving plan ariah Carey has come up with a unique way to deal with her pregnancy cravings. The 40-year-old singer is currently pregnant with twins and her husband Nick Cannon revealed he is in more danger than his wife of putting on weight during the pregnancy because she keeps cooking food and then refusing to eat it. He explained: “I think she’s figured out brilliantly that when she craves stuff she doesn’t necessarily have to eat it. When she cooks, she cooks everything from scratch and then the cravings go away. So I get stuck with eating all the food. I’ll be gaining weight during this pregnancy.” Nick, 30, also revealed he is in awe of his wife and admitted she is handling expectant parenthood much better than he is. He told RadarOnline: “She’s holding up beautifully. To see this strength! It’s a different type of strength to carry around two babies. She’s not even concerned with her aches and pains which I’m sure are great. She’s so nurturing right now. It’s wonderful. It’s amazing to see.” “I’m extremely excited about bringing new life into the world. It’s a journey every single day. It’s something new. I’m nervous. I’m excited. We’re just taking it one day at a time.”




keen on getting free clothes arey Mulligan thinks the free clothes she gets can be wasteful. The ‘Never Let Me Go’ actress admits she often gives away the items she is sent by designers, and feels sad that she rarely gets to wear beautiful red carpet dresses more than once. She said: “If someone sends me a bag and it’s really expensive, I think, ‘You should give these things away, you should make some money.’ “I just gave most of my shoes to my brother’s girlfriend, she went crazy. “I tend to hang on to really nice things, but what can you do with a dress you wore to the Oscars? It sits there. It’s a bit of a shame really.” The 23-year-old star also admitted she has a bigger interest in fashion now after working with good stylists, but doesn’t take many risks with her wardrobe. She said: “I definitely have a greater appreciation for designers than I did two years ago, because I’ve worked with people who have made me dresses and I can appreciate the artistry. “I don’t mind what I wear as long as it’s knee length and fits well - I don’t like revealing clothes.” —Bang Showbiz




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lifestyle Music and Movies Director and writer Maryam Keshavarz, right, accepts the Audience Award: US Dramatic for the film “Circumstance” as cast members react on stage.—AP

wins top drama film award at Sundance

‘Like Crazy’

Winners at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival US, DRAMA FILMS


ove story “Like Crazy” and assisted suicide documentary “How to Die in Oregon” won the top awards at the Sundance Film Festival Saturday, putting both on the list of must-see independent movies for 2011. “Like Crazy,” directed by Drake Doremus, picked up the jury prize for best drama with its tale of an American woman and British man who fall in love for the first time but move away from each other, testing their relationship. Doremus, accepting his award, said it is “about love never dying and being with you for the rest of your life.” The movie also earned a special prize for its actress, Felicity Jones. The documentary winner, “How to Die in Oregon,” has been among the most talked about movies at Sundance 2011, with its examination of assisted suicide and its footage of a terminally ill woman taking an overdose of drugs and literally dying on camera. Special juries of industry professionals vote on winners, and those are considered the top prizes, but audiences also vote for their favorites. The Audience Award for best drama went to “Circumstance,” which tells of two Iranian teenagers who fall in love but are not allowed to be together due to cultural influences. “The cast and the crew have

given up a lot to do this (movie) because we believe in the story, and we believe in human rights and artistic expression,” said “Circumstance” director Mar yam Keshavarz when accepting her trophy. The Audience Award for documentary was given to “Buck,” a revealing tale of animal trainer Buck Brannaman, who was the inspiration for the film “ The Horse Whisperer.” Other top prizes went to John Foy, director of documentary “Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles,” and to Sean Durkin for directing drama “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” Look out art houses Sundance, which is backed by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute for filmmaking is the largest US gathering for independent movies, and winners here will go on to become some of the most talked about films in art houses. Last year’s Sundance jury winners included drama “ Winter ’s Bone” and documentary “Restrepo,” and both are nominated this year for Oscars. Sundance 2011 has proven to be exceptionally strong, audiences and filmmakers seem to agree. “This year, what has excited me, is I think the quality is increasing in diversity and is increasing in depth” of artistry, Redford told Reuters. He

Director Drake Doremus reacts as he accepts the Grand Jury Prize: US Dramatic award for the film “Like Crazy” during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Awards.—AP

said that three years ago, the Sundance Institute set out to get back to its roots of supporting alternative voices in cinema and he felt like this year that strategy paid off. In addition to prizes for US films, Sundance also gives awards in world cinema. The Danish/Norwegian co-production “Happy, Happy,” about a woman engaging in an extramarital affair, won the jur y prize for best drama, and Afghanistan war film “Hell and Back Again,” was the jury’s pick for best documentary. “Hell and Back Again” director Danfung Dennis also won the prize for best cinematography. “This is for those that didn’t come back ... It’s something

that we need to keep thinking about, remember those who didn’t come back.” Best directing for world cinema documentary went to Oscar winner James Marsh for his “Project Nim,” a movie about a chimpanzee who teaches audiences about humanity. The Audience Award for the festival’s top drama went to Rwandan genocide movie “Kinyarwanda,” and for best documentary to “Senna” about Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. In other awards, the unconventional love story “Tyrannosaur” picked up two world cinema awards, a special jury prize and best directing for its maker Paddy Considine.—Reuters

Best film, Jury Prize - “Like Crazy” Best film, Audience Award - “Circumstance” Directing - Sean Durkin, “Martha Marcy May Marlene Screenwriting - Sam Levinson, “Another Happy Day” Cinematography - Bradford Young, “Pariah” Special jury prize, film - “Another Year” Special jury prize, acting - Felicity Jones, “Like Crazy” US, DOCUMENTARY FILMS Best documentary, Jury Prize - “How to Die in Oregon” Best documentary, Audience Award - “Buck” Directing - John Foy, “Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles” Editing - Matthew Hamachek, Marshall Curry, “If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” Cinematography - Eric Strauss, Ryan Hill, Peter Hutchens “The Redemption of General Butt Naked” Special Jury Prize - “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” WORLD CINEMA, DRAMA Best film, Jury Prize - “Happy, Happy” Best film, Audience Award - “Kinyarwanda” Directing - Paddy Considine, “Tyrannosaur” Screenwriting - Erez Kav-El, “Restoration” Cinematography - Diego F Jimenez, “All Your Dead Ones” Special Jury Prize, acting - Olivia Colman, Peter Mullan, “Tyrannosaur” WORLD CINEMA, DOCUMENTARY Best film, Jury Prize - “Hell and Back Again” Best film, Audience Award - “Senna” Directing - James Marsh, “Project Nim” Editing - Goran Hugo Olsson, Hanna Lejonqvist, “The Black Power MixTape 1967-1975” Cinematography - Danfung Dennis, “Hell and Back Again” Special Jury Prize, film - “Position Among the Stars” OTHER AWARDS US short film, “Brick Novax pt 1 and 2” World short film, “Deeper Than Yesterday” Alfred P Sloan Award for science film - “Another Earth” Best of NEXT! for low-budget film - “to.get.her” —Reuters

‘King’s Speech’ gets new Oscars boost

(From right) Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and director and feature film award nominee Tom Hooper pose in the press room at the 63rd Annual Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday.—AP

the four nods each. In for the SAGs, with mited no ina ce m an no t rm os rfo m st ensemble pe eech” were the be Sp e g’s th y, Kin cial or So teg for he ca e ht” and “T in the rac e best film ” got a new boost Gs’ equivalent of th he King’s Speech,” “The Kids Are All Rig ch SA ee Sp of d g’s en Kin ek he we a “T er,” “T in a ritish historical dram , as its director won a key prize nees are: “The Fight ar’s ortlist with last ye rday anding directorial tst ou for ” ng k. or go p tw r at the SAGs, in a sh Jesse Eisenberg for to Oscars glor y Satu Ne e to th ac r t st to go be ica er for ind op y er Ho ke nn ” Tom seen as a Firth is clear front-ru ue Grit,” Robert Duvall for “Get Low, Hollywood awards. inees erica (DGA) show, of st actress SAG nom es for “Tr Be Directors Guild of Am ttering Academy Awards. The winner ” idg s. e Br ur th ff Ho Je at t 27 er en “1 nn m wi for le,” ve o Ho nc gli es achie bit ’s Fra th tim ab es on “R m six r t m Ja fo xt d bu ccess at ne l Network” an Nicole Kidman director on all cia ” , st So ht be he rig y for “T Al r lar ca Hi are d Os of prospects for su s e an g for “The Kid “Black Swan” s gone on to win th er are Annette Benin “Winter’s Bone,” Natalie Portman for aft s s the DGA award ha ek ha we VI o ge tw e or m g Ge s ca for Jennifer Lawrence DGA and SAG award lden Globes, the first the stammering Kin since 1948. rring Colin Firth as season progresses, and he was up Swank for “Conviction.” This weekend’s the Go sta at ie ng ov m go ’s le er so op ing Ho awards ards season. ard. He disappoint m as Hollywood’s industry’s annual aw omentum . ’s Speech” scored a ers for the DGA aw ie nn ing ov ru “K m e nt r th lla fro r do ca gained momentu ich on Os illi wh early m e multi-b rs of four other Social Network,” r Globes, giving it an luding winning -name show of th against the directo cher, director of Facebook movie “The ped away with fou inc e weeks and big m s, th ro se k” as es or cc nd tw Fin su ou Ne l vid gr ted t cia Da ea Its “The So joyed rep notably beat ry but which los ards last weekend. Darren Aronofsky l yarn has since en ite for awards glo ild of America aw 12 nominations for the DGA had been h-tech thriller But the British roya Gu for s er was an early favor ing uc nn od ru Pr e e th th in for hig . Others l flush of award at Theater Tuesday with a roya awards shows go on ama “Black Swan,” Christopher Nolan ” The films are all up best picture then crowned last Hollywood’s Kodak ered er. dr at re ht ed ax we Fig m m cts cli he he a pe “T t-t to os ie lle pr ov on ba m as rn g se for 27 s ga xin , “1 ard rn bo ing aw ste for e tat ll We th pu c the classi vid O Russe it,” arm-am which bring “Inception,” and Da en brothers’ take on starring Leonardo DiCaprio rn remake “True Gr anik’s “Winter’s Bone” the Oscars, Co ste e th We ” it, th Gr wi e ng Tru “ . alo Gr 27 r, ion” for best film Osca are Alright,” Debra star- on February ns while eight each went to “Incept Academy Awards g movie “The Kids British movie, also th to go before the on m a an ading th Hours,” gay parentin ster “Toy Story 3.” But the understated e kind’s voice coach, 10 nominatio s les twork.” With h film could be he bu and “The Social Ne offrey Rush as th ssible that the Britis Ge po e an and animated block fol or ali m be str er to Au ev re d s an we Carter r, it seem awards t show, howeve ring Helena Bonham e the film to beat. Saturday’s DGA —AFP expected to give ye lik , ry. gly ing glo sin en rs ev ca rea ay Os inc nd for ars Su appe screen actors’ hter” and “The e Fig th he by “T . er th lat s on ur m lowed 24 ho cars glory next who will sweep Os another pointer to


Britney Spears

Spears album confir for March 15 med release rit ne y Sp


ea rs’ ne w alb um is sla te d fo r a Ma rch release, according to 15 a leaked one-sheet created by her label Jive Records th at ou tlin es the marketing ca paign for the set. Jiv me confirmed to MT V News that the da listed on the sheet is te accurate. Also confi rm ducers and songwr iters who worked on ed are various prothe album, which sti does not have a titl ll e. In addition to Dr Luke and Max Marti who together helm ned lead single “Hold It Ag the album’s co -exe cutive producers-R ainst Me” and are od singer Avant, Starga te, Fraser T Smith an ney Jerkins, R&B d Bloodshy are listed as collaborators. Other details ment ioned on the sales include a description -solic of Britney ’s highly-an itation sheet video for “Hold It Ag ticipated music ain Billboard Hot 100 las st Me,” which debuted at No 1 on the t we as “a sexy, edgy danc ek. The one-sheet sums up the video e showing Britney at pe piece directed by Jonas Akerlund and ak for Spears seventh stu m and ability.” dio album, the fo “Circus,” will be avail able in both standard llow-up to 2008’s and deluxe versions, according to the sh eet, er booklet pages an with the latter including additional lind three or four extra tracks. Fans can also expect “a major TV event to launch th e album,” worldwide online contests and a “LGBT/lifestyle camp aig fans. Spears’ mana ger, Adam Leber, rec n” to market it to ently spilled a few details involving he r photo shoot for th e album via Twitter, describing the shoo t as “pure glam.” Fa ns should be on hig alert for another lea h k, as Leber added, “Ph otos are nothing les than spectacular. We s ’ll share some soon.” —Reuters



e niv rsar n



lifestyle Fa s h i o n

Kutcher, M oore arrive in



Models wear the creations by Neon during the Sao Paulo Fashion Week, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday. — AP

for fashion show

horde of fa n Sao Paulo s has welcomed ac to Fashion W on the catw eek. Acco r Ashton Kutcher to m Brazil, wh a panied by lk to show o Brazilian ere h wif ff which sta supermodel Gisele winter designs for e Demi Moore, Kutc e has come for rted Frida th her took a Bundchen e Colcci la y Sao Paulo Thursday. and run through W also modeled for bel this past weeke turn S n e es have sh C ows book he will be modeling dnesday. Socialite olcci during the sh d. ed for the P a fo ows, ri r s th H e Triton la week. — A bel. More ilton also arrived in P than 30 d esign hou s-

A photo shows the Pop Africana’s second cover. —AFP



e niv rsar n



lifestyle Fa s h i o n

Fashion Week

Pakistani models present creations by Pakistani designer Kamiar Rokni during the third day of Islamabad Fashion Week in Islamabad on Saturday. Some 90 Pakistani male and female models, mostly newcomers, are participating in the four-day “Islamabad Fashion Week” which aims to promote Pakistan’s textile industry.— AFP

Internet abuzz over African high-fashion magazine new collection a mixture of everything



ee by Chloe spring summer 2011 collection is a heartwarming transition from cold winter layers to summer lightness. Influenced by hippie chic, 90’s grunge glamour and classic work wear elements, this collection caters to trendy and ambitious young women by providing a delightful range of mix and match classics that capture the style of the moment. This easy-to-wear collection is oriented around three key trends for the upcoming season: Minimal Chic, downtown Romantic and casual Work wear. The spirit of this collection is based on a mix of contemporary effortless attitude with a feminine touch of embroideries and a romantic yet modern silhouette with draperies and frills. The colour palette spreads from basic black and beige to delicate blues, almond green, lilac and nude. Patterns are also beautifully captured with colourful floral prints. The See by Chloe collection is all about letting the sunny and relax mood of spring shining through.

A photo shows the Pop Africana’s second cover.—AFP

frican fans of haute couture may have been upset about Conde Nast’s recent decision not to invest in an edition of Vogue magazine for the continent, but they might just find a mouthpiece in new publication Pop Africana. While the biannual magazine’s first issue went almost unnoticed, their second effort is generating buzz on the web, with respected publications including Jezebel, Coolhunting, and Dazed & Confused chiming in. When interviewed by Dazed & Confused, Pop Africana’s editor-in-chief, the Nigerian fashion designer turned photographer Oroma Elewa, said: “There is a plethora of fashion/art magazines out there, but I don’t think there is a multitude of non-mainstream, art-driven, inspiring magazines about Africans out there. And if there is, I don’t know of them. But whether or not these publications exist, there can always be more.” Even though the magazine is based in New York, it features African artists and fashion personalities living and working all over the world from the designer Duru Olowu to the model Nina Keita. It is available for $15 per copy at selected international stockists.—AFP

‘Like Crazy’ wins top drama film award at Sundance MONDAY, JANUARY 31, 2011

37 This undated handout picture received on January 27, 2011 shows a scene from a Turkish action movie ‘Valley of the Wolves Palestine’.—AFP

Turkish action film set to worsen ties with Israel


new Turkish film in which an action-man hero avenges the death of Turkish activists in Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship is likely to put new strain on already tense relations between Turkey and Israel. “Valley of the Wolves: Palestine”, one of the most expensive Turkish films ever made, has drawn accusations at home of excessive violence and abroad of anti-Israeli propaganda, but it attracted big audiences at its opening this weekend. In the film Polat Alemdar, a secret agent more akin to Rambo than James Bond, emerges from a series of bloody clashes to track down and kill the Israeli commander who ordered the storming of an

aid ship heading for Gaza. The film starts with a depiction of the real-life incident last May when Israeli marines boarded the Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla organized by a Turkish Islamic charity, and killed nine Turkish activists who tried to stop them, creating a crisis between the former allies. In the film, an Israeli soldier asks Alemdar why he came to Israel. He says: “I didn’t come to Israel, I came to Palestine.” In the ensuing scenes, many Israeli troops and Palestinians die before Alemdar and his comrades free Palestinians from jail and set off an uprising. The film was popular among the mainly young male audience which filled an upmarket Istanbul cinema. “I found the film successful. I

Fireworks explode over Kek Lok Si Buddhist temple with lighting decorations as part of upcoming Chinese new year celebrations in Penang Island, northwestern Malaysia, Saturday.—AP


the film, saying its makers are “profit-driven people”. A previous film in which Alemdar fought U.S. troops who captured Turkish soldiers in Iraq sold well throughout the Arab world. “It won’t be very helpful at this time but we can’t stop private companies,” a foreign ministry official said. A week before the film opened, an Israeli inquiry into the Mavi Marmara raid cleared the Israeli government and military of wrongdoing. Turkey said it was “appalled and dismayed” by the findings and made public its own report, submitted to a UN inquiry in September, which found Israel’s blockade of Gaza and its raid on the aid convoy violated international laws. —Reuters

Eskimo masks a highlight of Winter Antiques Show


Ancient toolkit offers new clues to humans’ journey n ancient toolkit unearthed in the United Arab Emirates suggests modern humans may have left Africa over 100,000 years ago, much earlier than typically thought, researchers said. The findings by a team of British and German archeologists have sparked debate among scientists over whether they provide sufficient evidence that homo sapiens could have traveled directly from Africa to Arabia. The stone tools found in the archaeological site at Jebel Faya include basic hand axes, blades and scrapers, indicating that the user likely had a primitive level of skill, said the study published in the journal Science. That would “imply that technological innovation was not necessary for early humans to migrate onto the Arabian Peninsula,” it said. The team also examined climate and sea-level records for the region dating back 130,000 years and found that low sea levels meant the Bab al-Mandab strait that separates the Horn of Africa from the Arabian Peninsula would have been narrower and easier to cross. Unlike the harsh desert conditions of today, the land would have been wetter and filled with more vegetation, lakes and rivers, making a journey by foot more feasible for early humans. Using a technique called luminescence dating to determine the age of the toolkit,

think it’s set to break a box office record. It was very brave of the filmmakers to show Israel’s policies, the Mavi Marmara raid, and the unjust treatment of Palestinians,” said Emre Bilgin, 22, a student. The film, of which some 300 copies have been distributed across Turkey, has also stirred controversy as its premiere coincided with International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “This is a very disturbing situation for Jews. I can’t understand why the producers of this movie held the premiere on a day that is extremely important for my people,” Israel’s ambassador to Ankara, Gabby Levy, told state-run Anatolian news agency. The Turkish government has distanced itself from

scientists believe it is between 100,000 and 125,000 years old, according to lead author Simon Armitage from Royal Holloway college, University of London. Most other evidence has suggested modern humans left Africa around 60,000 years ago and made the trek along the Mediterranean Sea or the Arabian Coast, but some finds in recent years have suggested otherwise. The journal Science noted that some early homo sapien skulls and tools have also been found in Israel and scientists have been able to estimate their age at 100,000 to 130,000 years old. “At Jebel Faya, the ages reveal a fascinating picture in which modern humans migrated out of Africa much earlier than previously thought, helped by global fluctuations in sea-level and climate change in the Arabian Peninsula,” said Armitage. The site, located about an hour’s drive from the city of Sharjah, is marked by a rock shelter at the edge of a mountain. Previous artifacts uncovered in the area have been dated to the Iron, Bronze, and Neolithic periods as well as the Middle Paleolithic era, some 300,000 to 30,000 years ago. But not all experts are convinced that the toolkit is what the authors believe it is. “I’m totally unpersuaded,” said archaeologist Paul Mellars of the University of Cambridge. —AFP

he design for the ceremonial Eskimo mask comes from a shaman’s dream. Fantastical, with a wide grin of pointed teeth and a halo of feathers, it is a highly expressive piece of Native American art — and had been tucked away in a private collection, unseen by the public for a half-century. Until now. The mask, and another like it, once belonged to Surrealist painter Enrico Donati, and were sold for a combined $4.6 million at the Winter Antiques Show this month. Donald Ellis, owner of the gallery that offered them for sale, said it was a record price for Native American art. The two masks, more than a century old, were among the most important items on display at the show, one of the country’s premiere antiques events. Seventy-five dealers are at the annual bazaar, which runs through Jan. 30. Wealthy New Yorkers tend to be the main clientele, and museum curators peruse works both well-known and obscure. The Donati masks were created by Yup’ik Eskimos in Alaska for use in winter ceremonies, based on ideas envisioned in dreams by their holy men. Donati and his contemporaries felt the masks were more surreal than the Surrealists, Ellis said. Some pieces at this year’s show came from private collections in living rooms. Others were hidden in attics and some were covered in grime. One, a painting of two boys in turn-of-the-century New York City, was the work of a well-known artist, misidentified. The painting, titled “The Dead-fall,” is by Martin Johnson Heade, an artist known for landscapes and images of orchids and hummingbirds. It depicts two boys in a forest clearing as they set a trap for an animal. The clearing was smack in downtown New York, in an area that later was torn up to make room for the World Trade Center. The painting was not signed and had been thought to be the work of William Sidney Mount, a contemporary of Heade’s. It had not been shown publicly since 1844, adding to its mystery. The Alexander Gallery bought the work when it came up for sale recently and started to wonder about its origin. Gallery representative Laurel Acevedo said they did extensive research, and the way a tree stump was painted eventually convincec scholars that the painting was Heade’s. The gallery is offering the work for $2 million and says it would be good for a museum. “It’s thrilling, to go through the whole history and to figure out what you have,” Acevedo said. Kim Hostler of Hostler Burrows gallery was offering for $48,000 a cabinet by Josef Frank, found in near-perfect condition complete with

delightful images of herbs that Frank found in magazines and lacquered on. “We feel a little like explorers and archeologists when we look for new pieces,” Hostler said, “and we’re giddy when we find pieces in this shape.” Other works need a little TLC, like a bust of sculptor Antonio Canova found by Daniel Katz Ltd. covered in grime. Only plasters of the sculpture were ever displayed; it turns out the real thing was kept by the artist himself, Antonio D’Este, a friend and studio assistant of Canova. The white marble bust stayed in his family for years. While Canova’s self-portraits tend to make him resemble a Greek god, this bust shows him as a man, with furrowed brow and longish hair. “It’s a much more honest image of the man himself,” said Stuart Lochhead of Daniel Katz, which is offering the bust for $510,000. Dealers may wait decades for a booth at the Winter Antiques Show, which benefits the East Side House Settlement, a nonprofit that offers social services and educational programs in the New York City’s South Bronx area. They view it as a prime chance to show off their best and most fabulous pieces. For first-time participant Carlton Rochell, that meant a massive sandstone carving of the Buddha, his legs in a lotus position, that dates from the second century in India. The carving is among surviving images of the Buddha depicted as a man, and is on sale for $4 million. Portraits of willowy, pale women by Thomas Wilmer Dewing in their original frames had hung for years in a room dedicated to the artist at a fancy estate in Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. Alice Levi Duncan of Gerald Peters Gallery came across them recently and is selling them in New York as separates ranging in price as high as $1.8 million. “Can you imagine, going into this room, perhaps it’s never even used, and there is this entire collection of paintings? It’s amazing,” Duncan said. The Eskimo masks were created to appease the gods and prevent starvation. “They were functioning things, but these artists made them extraordinary, though they were not seen as art until later,” said Ellis, the dealer. The masks were sold — likely for food — to a trader along the Kuskokwim River in Alaska at the turn of the 20th century. Donati bought them in 1945. They influenced his work so much that they will be part of an exhibit of works by Surrealists called “The Colour of My Dreams: Surrealism and Revolution in Art” on display in a few months in Canada’s Vancouver Art Gallery.—AP

This photo shows the “Complex Mask (Donati Studio Mask),” Yup’ik; Kuskokwim Region, Alaska, circa 18901905.—AP

31 Jan  

Kuwait Times

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