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Extra security at Egyptian Embassy to deter protests

No: 14991


Jordanians demonstrate for reform, Egypt

Inter Milan up to third in Serie A after Bari win

150 Fils

2Egyptians7 rally48 for Mubarak to go now Mubarak says early resignation would bring chaos

CAIRO: Egyptian demonstrators held a massive “departure day” show of force yesterday aimed at ousting President Hosni Mubarak as both the United States and Europe indicated the time has come for him to step down. Tens of thousands filled Cairo’s central Tahrir (Liberation) Square, the epicentre of 11 straight days of protests that have shaken the pillars of Mubarak’s three-decade rule, on the Muslim day of rest and weekly prayers. Mubarak said in an interview late on Thursday that he would like to quit but feared that chaos would result. The New York Times reported that Washington has been pushing proposals for Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s veteran intelligence chief and now vice president, to head a transitional government. The transition would begin a process of reform to pave the way for elections scheduled in September. The White House took issue with aspects of the report, but did not deny it outright, and its response hinted that the United States may be studying a range of options to prod Mubarak to go and defuse the confrontation in Cairo. The atmosphere in the square yesterday was more festive and relaxed than on the previous two days when deadly clashes erupted, with authorities vowing the army would not use force and instead setting up razor barriers to keep rival demonstrators apart. In isolated violence, however, Al-Jazeera news channel which ran round-the-clock coverage of the uprising after it erupted on Jan 25 said a “gang of thugs” had ransacked its Cairo offices. At one end of the Tahrir Square epicentre of the revolt, the faithful prayed out in the open yesterday, beneath two traffic lights from each of which hung an effigy of Mubarak. “We were born free and we shall live free,” prayer leader Khaled Al-Marakbi said in his sermon. “I ask of you patience until victory.” Worshippers used newspapers, banners and even Egyptian flags as impromptu prayer mats, reciting the traditional prayer for the dead in memory of the more than 300 people killed - according to UN figures - since the protests began, sending shock waves around the world. “Game over” said one banner, in English for the benefit of international television channels beaming out live coverage. In Tahrir Square, the prayer leader and many in the vast open-air congregation wept, still shaken by the clashes with stone-throwing Mubarak supporters that left at least eight people dead and more than 800 hurt on Wednesday and Thursday, drawing a stern rebuke from Washington. A new pro-government rally took place at the same time in the upscale Mohandeseen neighbourhood of the capital, but it was attended by dozens rather than the tens of thousands in Tahrir Square. Defence Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi - regarded by Washington as a key plank of any post-Mubarak administration visited the square to appeal to demonstrators to give up their protest in the light of Mubarak’s pledge earlier this week not to seek re-election in September. “The man (Mubarak) told you he won’t stand again,” Tantawi told the protesters flanked by troops. He urged opposition leaders, including the supreme guide of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, to join talks with the government on political transition. In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Badie reiterated the opposition’s position that there could be no talks until Mubarak stepped down. “We stand with all the political forces supporting dialogue with whoever wants to implement reforms in the country after the departure of this unjust, corrupt tyrant,” he told the Qatar-based satellite channel. In his first interview since the protests erupted, Mubarak on

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CAIRO: Egyptian anti-government protesters gather at Cairo’s Tahrir Square yesterday during “departure day” demonstrations to force President Hosni Mubarak to quit. (Inset) ABC News journalist Christiane Amanpour and Mubarak talk after an interview on Thursday. — AFP /AP (See Pages 8, 9 & 15) Thursday blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the violence of recent days, ABC television’s Christiane Amanpour reported. The veteran leader was “fed up with being president and would like to leave office now, but cannot, he says, for fear that the country would sink into chaos,” Amanpour said. “He told me that he is troubled by the violence we have seen in Tahrir Square over the last few days but that his government is not responsible for it. Instead, he blamed the Muslim Brotherhood.” Mubarak’s onetime foreign minister, Arab League chief Amr Moussa, said he doubted his former boss would leave any time soon. “I do not think he will leave. I think he will stay until the end of August,” Moussa told France’s Europe 1 radio before venturing out into Tahrir Square in what his office described as a “calming gesture”. State news agency MENA yesterday , amid charges of corruption under the Mubarak regime, said the prosecutor-general had barred former trade minister Rashid Mohammed Rashid from leaving the country and frozen his bank accounts. Back on the streets, demonstrations for Mubarak’s departure were also held in a raft of provincial cities. In Egypt’s second city

Alexandria, tens of thousands gathered in the city centre and Brotherhood official Sobhi Saleh said tens of thousands more were marching in from various suburbs. There were also demonstrations in Suez, Ismailia and Port Said, all east of Cairo, as well as Nile Delta cities to the north such Mansoura, Damanhour and Qalyoubia. More demonstrators protested in Aswan in the south. At a summit in Brussels, meanwhile, the European Union’s 27 leaders said Egypt’s “transition process must start now” and condemned this week’s violence, while issuing a veiled threat of suspending aid. But Russia called UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s calls for change in Egypt overtly political. Without calling for Mubarak to leave office, Ban said yesterday that “a process of peaceful and orderly transition leading to free and fair elections” must start as soon as possible. Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, told reporters the role of the United Nations “does not include giving political advice to sovereign states.” Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei fanned Western concerns about the turmoil in their key ally Egypt, calling on its people to rise up and create an Islamic state. — Agencies



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Amir established pillars of Kuwait foreign policy: GCC chief RIYADH: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah established the pillars of Kuwait’s foreign policy, said GCC Secretary General Abdulrahman AlAttiyah yesterday. Al-Attiyah was speaking on the occasion of Kuwait’s upcoming major national celebrations as the country marks its fiftieth anniversary of independence, twentieth Liberation Day, and the fifth anniversary of HH the Amir’s investiture. The GCC chief lauded HH Sheikh Sabah’s status as a first-class statesman who helped to shape his country’s unique foreign policy, voicing hope that the monarch would help the country continue along the path to development. AlAttiyah also expressed confidence that this would certainly be achieved through Kuwait’s continuous dialogue with its fellow GCC member states. — KUNA

Cabinet asks court to clearly define constitutional articles Misinterpretation of constitutional articles KUWAIT: In a step which it hopes will strengthen future political stability, the cabinet has asked the Constitutional Court to provide a detailed explanation of certain constitutional articles and internal parliamentary regulations. The cabinet believes that these have been misinterpreted by those MPs who filed a series of interpellation motions against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah. In a letter sent by State Minister of Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudhan to the court, the cabinet has requested detailed explanations of Articles 50, 1/100, 111 and 163 “in order to provide a conclusive decision which can be followed by all state authorities.” The letter further states that all eight of the interpellation motions filed against the premier since 2006 share a common denominator in addressing subjects which actually fall under the jurisdiction of cer-

tain ministers, reported Al-Rai. It initially cites the first of the grilling motions against HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed, which concerned electoral constituencies, pointing out that this matter is under the jurisdiction of the State Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. The second motion, meanwhile, concerned security restrictions and should have been directed to the interior minister, it continues. On the premier’s diwan expenses, which were the subject of three further motions against him, the letter indicates that these should have been filed against the Minister of Cabinet Affairs. The letter goes on to say that the misinterpretation of constitutional articles continued with the grilling. The cabinet believes that these have been misinterpreted by those MPs against the premier concerning the longstanding problems with pollution in Um Al-Hayman, which it insists again ignored the minister whose remit covers these issues. On the most

recent grilling motion against the premier, says the letter, the first subject mentioned - lifting the parliamentary immunity of an MP - falls under the jurisdiction of the country’s judicial authorities. Meanwhile, the cabinet insists that the other subject of this latest grilling motion - the violent dispersal of seminar guests from outside MP Jamaan Al-Harbish’s diwaniya in December last year - was adequately handled by the security forces concerned, under article eight of the constitution, which permits the state to maintain safety and security for Kuwaiti society and its citizens. In the letter, the cabinet also insisted that the court should focus on determining exactly which areas come under the premier’s jurisdiction according to the constitution, as well as clearly establishing the state’s public policy, without in any way intervening in the jurisdiction of the judicial or legislative authorities.

KUWAIT: Security measures seen around the premises of the Egyptian embassy in Kuwait. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Egyptian Embassy, others, request extra security to deter protests Kuwaiti students’ exams postponed KUWAIT: The Egyptian Embassy here, along with those of a number of other Arab nations, have reportedly asked Kuwait’s foreign ministry to increase the security measures imposed around their premises in order to deter any potential pro-freedom demonstrations by their nations’ expatriate citizens. A foreign ministry insider said that the cabinet has asked the interior minister to intensify security measures and prevent any “chaos” or attempts by expatriates or Kuwaitis to hold demonstrations. The examinations of Kuwaiti students studying in Egyptian universities will be

postponed, following an agreement reached between the Ministry of Higher Education in Kuwait with its counterpart. This announcement was made by Dr Moudhi Al-Homoud, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education. In the meantime, Al-Homoud revealed that the Ministry Of Education has started coordinating with the Civil Service Commission to create more chances to appoint teachers from Kuwait; including Bedoon (stateless) teachers, given the unstable situation in Egypt. The country has been one of the main exporters of teaching staff members to the Gulf state, reported Al-Qabas. MP Dr

Jamaan Al-Harbash announced that he adopted all the demands put forward by the National Union of Kuwait Students Egypt branch. It covered students who were referred to by the state as scholars. Meanwhile, Egypt’s national airline, Egyptair, cancelled eight Kuwait-bound flights from Alexandria, Cairo and Asyut on Thursday, according to a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official, who indicated that 13 other flights had arrived from various Egyptian airports the same day. The DGCA official said that aviation traffic levels at Kuwait International Airport

(KIA) had returned to normal on Thursday after seeing heavy traffic in the previous few days as many Kuwaitis and expatriate Egyptian residents of Kuwait returned here to escape the turbulence that has affected the country. The present situation in Egypt is expected to cause a sharp drop in the number of flights between the country and Kuwait, usually one of the busiest regional air routes. According to travel industry insiders in Kuwait, dozens of Kuwaitis and expatriate residents have already cancelled scheduled trips to Egypt as a result of recent developments there. — Agencies



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local SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

MPs slam State Security Service’s lapses ‘Ahmadi gas leak is geological’ KUWAIT: A lawmaker criticized the State Security Service for “wasting time by monitoring bloggers and Twitter users instead of maintaining Kuwait’s security.” He stressed on security personnel’s irresponsibility, especially at a time when MPs have been coordinating to find a solution to discuss the authority’s imposition of restrictions on public freedom. In a statement made recently to the press, MP Saleh Al-Mulla compared online monitoring these days with events that preceded the Iraqi invasion more than twenty years ago. They stated that “the same situation took place in 1990; when the State Security Service monitored citizens that participated in public weekly diwaniya gathering. At that time, Iraqi invaders entered Kuwait.” He further asked the service’s senior officials “not to go any further.” Meanwhile, a number of MPs are coordinating to address the subject of suspects’ torture at the hands of security officers, either by assigning the interior and defense committee for this duty, or by forming a new committee to probe the subject. Separately, the Parliament’s environmental and nuclear energy committee believes that the main reason behind the Ahmadi gas leak is geological; not a result of the damaged pipeline net-

work that supplied cooking gas. MP Dr Ali AlOmair, Chairman of the committee in charge of probing the case, indicated that a team formed by the Kuwait Oil Company to inspect the leak had discovered a cap rock that sustained cracks. He revealed information about a decline in the percentage of gas leak, which could be as a

option of establishing companies that will provide loans to citizens that want to purchase homes, apartments or residential units. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, also the State’s Minister for Housing Affairs and Minister for Development Affairs, further explained that these companies would receive twenty to thirty

State’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs revealed that the government is studying the option of establishing companies that will provide loans to citizens result of air pressure changes. This means that the gas leak rates could increase again, depending on the air pressure. He insisted that there are plans to convince citizens that refuse to relocate, move out of their homes “due to the serious risks that the situation in the area poses,” reported AlQabas. Moving on to another subject, the State’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs revealed that the government is studying the

percent from a citizen for a housing loan. The remaining portion will be paid in long-term installments. The project aims to eliminate the waiting period involved before receiving housing care. Sheikh Al-Sabah, who spoke to reporters during the signing ceremony of the Jamal Abdul-Nasser road development project, was asked about a potential Cabinet reshuffle. He answered that

the decision is subject to the sole discretion of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah. MP Musallam Al-Barrak revealed ‘a serious problem’ that children at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor’s social care homes face, explaining that those that have not obtained their identification papers will subsequently be unable to receive their share of the Amiri grant. He urged the minister Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi to ‘speed up’ the procedures involved to resolve the issue. An Islamist lawmaker urged Kuwaiti businessmen to support Kuwaiti detainees imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay prison. Speaking to reporters following a meeting with American attorneys who are defending citizens Fayez Al-Kandary and Fawzi Al-Oda in prison, MP Mohammad Hayef explained that the two detainees “were sold by mercenaries in Afghanistan in exchange for money,” reported Al-Rai. In other developments, MP Saad Al-Khanfour is holding discussions with other lawmakers to prepare a draft law according to which the base salaries of public sector employees - including retirees - will be increased by 30 to 35 percent, reported Al-Watan.



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local SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

in the


Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port to be among ME’s largest: Minister KUWAIT: The State of Kuwait has numerous plans to develop its sea port facilities, which will be carried out through a number of plans included in the national development plan in coordination with the Kuwait Ports Association, according to a senior government member. Minister of Communications Dr. Mohammad Al-Busairi, who is also the State Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, was speaking on Thursday during the inauguration of the KPA’s celebrations to mark the upcoming national holiday. He also indicated that the second phase of work on the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port is already underway, saying that the new facility “is regarded as one of the largest in the Middle East,” reported Al-Rai. He said that the new port facility will connect Kuwait with northern nations, further voicing hope that it would become “an access point for Kuwait to markets in Central and East Asia.” Schools license KUWAIT: Ministry of Education (MoE) insiders have revealed that several foreign firms have tendered bids for the re-evaluation of private schools in Kuwait, with the licensing system of 44 bi-lingual, British and American schools to undergo appraisal. The ministry insider told Al-Jarida that the closing date for bids is February 25, with the winning bidder going on to classify the schools into various categories based on a number of criteria, reported Al-Jarida. The current categorization into A and B-class schools will also be reviewed, the insider revealed. Anti-smoking awareness day The rapporteur of Kuwait’s anti-smoking program in Ahmadi health zone revealed on Thursday that an antismoking awareness day will be held on Monday to introduce the health services and help for smokers wanting to give up the habit. Dr. Hamdiya Al-Fadhli said that an upcoming campaign will focus particularly on adolescents, to persuade teens not to take up the deadly habit. “The national anti-smoking program has organized several awareness campaigns, and there will be one focusing particularly on adolescents smoking with the slogan “I can say no” to help teenagers resist the urge to smoke,” revealed Dr. Al-Fadhli. She revealed that the number of teenage girls smoking has risen sharply, with at least 40 percent doing so, while the habit has become less popular among boys in the same age group, with only 17 percent of them smoking. The medical expert said a number of events will be staged in malls and cafÈ’s where young people gather, adding that there will be a prize for the best facility that participate in fighting smoking, as ell as for ministries that implement the law. Interior minister extends treatment abroad categories The Minister of Interior has issued a directive increasing the categories of eligibility for treatment abroad among ministry staff members and their families. In addition to the police force officers and civilian personnel and retired Kuwaiti civilian ministry personnel already covered by the ministry for medical treatment abroad, the new directive will offer the wives, children and parents of interior ministry staff eligibility for overseas treatment, whether the personnel themselves are still in service, retired or deceased. There are a number of conditions, however, reported Al-Rai, including one stating that only those employees’ children aged 21 or under will be eligible. Meanwhile, male children up to aged 15, all female children, and senior citizens aged 60 and over will be able to take two accompanying travel companions, whose travel and accommodation costs will also be covered by the ministry.

Jordan security delegation in Kuwait KUWAIT: The Assistant Undersecretary for Correctional Facilities Maj General Anwar Al-Yaseen recently received a Jordanian security delegation headed by Lieut Colonel Faisal AlZaidan. They were later escorted by the Acting Director of Correctional Facilities Colonel Adel AlIbrahim on a visit to correctional facilities.

KUWAIT: Acting Correctional Facilities director, Colonel, Adel Al-Ibrahim escorting the Jordanian security delegation on a tour.

Bomb squad officers defuse landmines Two dead in car crashes KUWAIT: A Pakistani man in his forties was killed in a car accident at the road near the Doha junction recently. Although paramedics rushed to the scene, the man had died of horrific head injuries before their arrival, reported Al-Watan. The body was removed for autopsy and an investigation is underway. Meanwhile, an Egyptian man also died as a result of the head injuries he sustained in a crash on King Fahad Road. Although paramedics rushed him to Mubarak Hospital, he died shortly after arrival, reported Al-Qabas. The body was removed for autopsy and an investigation has been launched. Suicide attempt A Filipina maid was rushed to hospital after her employer found her unconscious in her room at the sponsor’s home in Jabriya, having consumed a large quantity of prescription tablets, reported Al-Qabas. The woman remains in a serious condition and police are waiting until she recovers to question her over the suicide attempt. Body found Police have launched an investigation after the dead body of a Filipino man was discovered in a street in the Hassawi area. Crime scene investigators were quickly at the scene, reported Al-Qabas, and the body

was subsequently removed for autopsy to determine the cause of death. Knife attack A young Kuwaiti man was rushed to Mubarak Hospital and underwent emergency surgery after receiving stab wounds to the head and different parts of his body in a vicious attack by thugs armed with knives at the Sea Sports Club in Ras Al-Ard. Police have launched an investigation into the incident and are searching for the culprits, reported Al-Watan. Landmines defused Bomb squad officers were able to defuse a number of landmines discovered near a boy scout camp site in Kabad. The munitions, believed to have been left after the 1990-91 Iraqi invasion and occupation, were discovered by two of the scouts, who found them partially buried not far from the camp. They immediately informed their seniors, who quickly made an emergency call, with the bomb squad turning up shortly after, reported Al-Anba. A sweep of the area found a number of additional buried munitions, although the majority were already inactive due to their age. Opportunist theft KD130 in cash were stolen from a subsi-

AMMAN: Kuwaiti students touring East Amman power plant. — KUNA

dized commodities’ distribution outlet in Mubarak Al-Kabeer, whilst staff there were busy providing citizens with free food as per the Amiri grant. An inventory conducted after the theft revealed that none of the food items were stolen, reported Al-Watan, while detectives believe that the thief may have not been aware of the free distribution, believing that the safe would be full of money after a busy day at the center. Phone scam A Bangladeshi man lost his savings after being taken in by a phone text scam. The man received a message telling him that he had won KD20,000 and needed to send KD250 in credit to a number provided in order to claim his prize. Thrilled at the prospect of his big win, the man did so, only to discover that the message was a cruel hoax sent by fraudsters to con people out of money. The victim then became hysterical, pleading with his sponsor to help him. The sponsor took him to a local police station to file a report of the incident, reported AlWatan, but the stricken victim told officers that after losing all his meager savings to the cruel hoaxers he no longer wished to press charges and simply wanted to go home to Bangladesh. Thieves caught Two men, a Kuwaiti and a Bedoon (stateless) resident, were caught red-handed breaking into a car near a garage in Shuwaikh to steal the contents. Police had been put on alert in the area after a spate of vehicle break-ins by thieves who smashed the cars’ side windows before stealing various items from inside them. The two men subsequently admitted being behind all the recent thefts, leading police to where they had hidden the stolen goods. Crooked cop Police are currently searching for a fellow officer charged with stealing KD 800 in cash which three detained suspects had handed over for safekeeping during their incarceration at Firdous police station. On being released, the men discovered that their money had gone, along with the officer responsible for its safekeeping.



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In my View

Stay true to one’s mother tongue

By Abdellatif Sharaa

KUWAIT: ‘Zain world’ children’s city in The ‘Science Club’.

‘Zain world’ attracts many children to ‘Hala February’ Calls on citizens and expatriates to attend events KUWAIT: The head of the Supreme Committee and Chairman of the Media Committee of ‘Hala February Festival 2011’, Walid Mohamed Al-Saq’ab’ invites citizens and expats to attend the festival, which focuses this year on the children. The festival provides fun and excitement that contribute to attract the young majority of audience. Al-Saq’abi said, “The festival in its 12th session offers varieties of events and activities that takes care of the children such as ‘Zain world’ children’s city in The ‘Science Club’ - which is located beside 360 Mall - that includes many activities, including studio’s, February-educational entertainment and electronic games - that contribute to the development of skills and abilities of the child’s mental and physical development - as well as ‘Mazyona’ corner and dental clinic. He pointed out

in the


Four-day national holidays KUWAIT: The national holidays will last for four days until the end of the month, during which no work will be conducted at public facilities, the Civil Service Commission made a recent announcement. The public holidays will officially begin on February 25 and end on 28th of this month. The following Sunday and Monday will also be days off, reported Al-Watan. This also includes the independence and liberation holidays that fall on Friday and Saturday. Labor Authority draft law ready The Minister of Social Affairs and Labor informed senior ministry officials that they should finalize the draft law on setting up the Public Labor Authority, in order to be referred to the Cabinet. It will be sent to the Parliament for voting after approval, Al-Qabas reported. Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi was speaking during a meeting attended by Undersecretary Mohammad Al-Kandari, Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs Mansour AlMansour, and the undersecretary assistant for planning and administrative development. He insisted on the importance of completing the proposed authority’s structure. It will be passed by the Civil Service Commission ( CSC). Board members resign The board members of the Kuwait Human Rights Society Salah Al-Madhaf and Rakan Al-Nisf submitted their resignations on Thursday, Aljarida reported.

that the audience will see many “Zain World” competitions and the distribution of valuable prizes to the audience. Al-Saq’abi added that the City ‘Zain world’ theatre will have circus ‘Beauty and the Beast’ performing on it for the third year in a row, but appearing this year with a new look through telling the story by a global musical for children. The circus will introduce the story through acrobatic movements to create a spirit of excitement and delight to the children and will include diverse, European circus performances creating a distinct experience in a special family atmosphere. Al-Saq’abi pointed out that ‘Aladdin’s lamp’ will be performing daily as it is an educational stage performance that holds many values by which children can learn about self-reliance.


few days ago, I spoke to my sister who lives in Italy and asked her about my nephews and their education. When I asked her whether they receive Arabic language lessons, she told me that they do not. This really shocked me. I know Kareem and Waseem are bright, outstanding students but what good will it be when they grow older and decide to return to their roots and live in an Arab country? I wondered how they can perform prayers in Arabic! How will they read the holy Quran? How are they going to speak with their friends? For sure, they will be ridiculed when they speak Arabic in Italian accent! How are they going to process their documents in Arabic. It is so difficult, hard to imagine! I recall few years ago when I was in Texas, USA, a scandal was uncovered in Chicago. An outstanding athlete who passed his exams with ‘flying colors,’ was discovered to be unable to write! The man was bold and smart enough to go back to classes and learn how to write, and also read correctly. Here in Kuwait, we have just about every other type of school - Arabic, English, Bi-lingual, Multinational, German, Iranian, Japanese, Pakistani, I just cannot name them all. Just as many Kuwaiti and Arab students are enrolled into those schools, close attention must be paid to their Arabic language skills. It is true that the Education Ministry instructs that students be taught Arabic and Islamic studies. Special attention should be paid towards making them practice what they learn in school, create opportunities to improve their Arabic language skills, not just study from text books and pass at the end of the day. Let us, as we seek good education make sure they have a good future also. God Bless Kuwait Note: As I was driving along Seventh Ring Road towards Shuwaikh, a driver changed his lane from extreme left to extreme right in front of me. When we asked him what happened, he said, “me go there, you see, you stop, no probrem (problem), sank (thank) you.” Please dear motorists, do what my father told me early on - “You are a perfect driver, just pay attention to what others are doing”!

Spoilt fish seized at Kuwait airport By Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: The Import Department Inspectors at Kuwait International Airport foiled an attempt to smuggle in a large quantity of fish to Kuwait market. Istiqlal AlMusallam, Director of Imported Food Department said that the total amount of confiscated spoiled fish was 1,000 kilograms of Naqrour from India. Meanwhile, Ahmadi Municipality destroyed 22 kilograms of spoiled food materials in an inspection campaign.

Algeria opposition bent on protest


Berlusconi calls Mubarak a wise man


Pakistan PM to dissolve cabinet


Hundreds march against govt in Jordan Opposition group wants to give new leader a chance

AMMAN: Jordanian protesters from opposition parties shout slogans and hold anti-government placards as they gather in front of the Jordanian prime minister’s office yesterday. —AFP

AMMAN: Hundreds of Jordanians inspired by Egypt’s uprising yesterday staged a protest against Jordan’s prime minister, installed just days earlier in response to anti-government marches. However, Jordan’s main Muslim opposition group said it wants to give the new leader a chance to carry out promised political reforms, and yesterday’s turnout was much smaller than in previous protests against rising prices. The scenes of mass protests in Egypt have riveted the Arab world, and unrest has spread to other countries, most recently Yemen where tens of thousands on Thursday called on their long-time president to step down. However, expectations of large-scale protests in Arab countries after yesterday’s noon prayers, the highlight of the Muslim religious week, did not

materialize. In Syria, where authoritarian President Bashar Assad has resisted calls for political freedoms, an online campaign calling for protests in the capital, Damascus, fizzled. Plainclothes police deployed in key areas of Damascus yesterday, and no protesters showed up yesterday. In Iraq, residents seizing on the Egypt protests staged two small demonstrations to protest corruption in their own security forces, rampant unemployment and scant electricity and water supply. About 100 Iraqis gathered in central Baghdad’s famous Mutanabi book market to complain about limited civil liberties and a lack of services. “No to the restriction of freedoms,” read one of their banners. Even the march in the Jordanian capital of Amman yesterday was far smaller than pre-

vious anti-government protests. Jordan’s King Abdullah II has tried to preempt further unrest by sacking his Cabinet earlier this week and installing a new prime minister, Marouf Al-Bakhit, amid promises of political reform. The Islamic Action Front, the political arm of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, said it is confident about change after meeting with the king and Al-Bakhit, said a leader of the group, Nimer Al-Assaf. “We are very optimistic that change will happen,” AlAssaf said after Friday prayers at a mosque near the prime minister’s office where the activists gathered. He said the opposition would give the new government a chance and that he did not expect further protests. Yesterday’s protesters in Amman included Islamists and supporters of other opposi-

tion groups. Small protests took place in three other towns in Jordan. “We want jobs and an end to corruption, which is making government officials rich on the expense of poor people like me,” said unemployed Mahmoud Abu-Seif, 29, who joined some 150 marchers in the city of Karak. Across the Muslim world, worshippers and leading clerics expressed support for the uprising in Egypt, where huge crowds of protesters have been pressing for President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. In Malaysia’s biggest city, Kuala Lumpur, hundreds marched outside the US Embassy, calling on the US to pressure Mubarak to resign immediately. Protesters, including many from Malaysia’s Islamic opposition party, shouted “Down, down, Mubarak.”— AP



Algeria opposition bent on protest despite govt move Govt wants to keep out wave of protest in Arab states

TEHRAN: Iranian women perform Friday prayers yesterday. —AP

Iran’s Khamenei calls for Islamic regime in Egypt TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday called for an Islamic regime to be installed in Egypt, saying the wave of Arab revolts is an “earthquake” triggered by the 1979 Iranian revolution. The all-powerful Khamenei said the Arab uprisings, if successful, would lead to failure of US policies in the region and that the revolts were the most worrying for the Islamic republic’s arch-foe Israel as its alliance with Egypt could be broken. “Do not back down until the implementation of a popular regime based on religion,” said Khamenei, Iran’s commander-in-chief, who switched from Persian to Arabic during his Friday sermon directed at Egyptians. “The clergy should play a role. For example, when people come out of mosques and chant slogans, they should support. Inshallah (God willing) part of the Egyptian army will join the people. The main enemy of the Egyptian army is the Zionist regime and not the people,” he said. The sermon marked the first time in seven months that Khamenei has addressed the weekly Friday prayers and came as protesters massed in Egypt for sweeping “departure day” demonstrations to force President Hosni Mubarak to quit. Tehran, which severed diplomatic ties with Cairo in 1980, has backed the revolt in Egypt and warned Washington against “interfering” in what it says is a movement of the people. “Today’s events in North Africa, Egypt and Tunisia and some other countries have different meanings for us,” Khamenei said in Persian at Tehran university where thousands of worshippers gathered to hear the nation’s spiritual guide. “This is what was always talked about as the occurrence of Islamic awakening at the time of the Islamic revolution of the great Iranian nation and is showing itself today,” he said. “Our revolution has been able to be inspiring and a model because of perseverance, stability and its insistence on principles,” he told crowds of cheering worshippers who chanted “Death to America! Death to Israel!” Khamenei said the Iranian revolution showed what “political independence and (ability) to resist enemies is.” “Today in Egypt one can hear your voice echoing there. The American president who was in power during the (Iranian) revolution has said in an interview that what you hear in Egypt is familiar. What is heard in Cairo today was heard in Tehran during his days,” Khamenei said referring to former US President Jimmy Carter. He said the Arab revolts are “a real earthquake” and if successful would lead to “failure of American policies” in the Middle East. Khamenei attacked Mubarak, calling him as the “servant” of Israel and the United States. “For 30 years this country (Egypt) has been in the hands of someone who is not seeking freedom and is the enemy of those seeking freedom,” the cleric said. “Not only he is not anti-Zionist, but he is the companion, colleague, confidant and servant of Zionists. It is a fact that Hosni Mubarak’s servitude to America has been unable to take Egypt one step towards prosperity.” Khamenei also said that Israel had cause to be concerned about the Arab revolts. —AFP

ALGIERS: Algerian opposition groups said yesterday they would probably go ahead with a planned protest march next week despite promises from the president to heed some of their demands and allow more political freedoms. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, keen to stop uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia spreading to his energy-exporting state, said on Thursday he would give the opposition air time on television and soon lift a 19-year-old state of emergency. “I believe we will march as Bouteflika’s new measures did not convince us,” said Rachid Malawi, head of the independent union of civil servants and one of the protest organizers. “I don’t think this government is serious about implementing democracy in Algeria,” he told Reuters. A coalition of civil society groups, small trade unions and some opposition parties had been planning to hold a protest march in the capital on Feb. 12 to demand a change of government and reforms including the lifting of emergency powers. The protest is not backed by Algeria’s main trade unions or the biggest opposition forces-the FFS party and Islamist parties which were banned in the early 1990s but still retain some influence. Officials have said they will not

BERLIN: In this file photo, Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika briefs the media after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the chancellery. — AP

give permission for a march for reasons of public order, potentially setting the stage for clashes with riot police. The authorities have said the protesters can instead hold a protest in a designated venue. “We will march because Bouteflika did not accept our demand to lift the state of emergency without conditions,” said Mohsen Belabes, a spokesman for the opposition RCD party. “Algiers is the safest

city in Algeria but Bouteflika is against allowing marches in Algiers.” The state of emergency had been cited as the grounds for banning marches across Algeria, but Bouteflika said on Thursday that restriction would stay in force in the capital. Several members of the opposition coalition told Reuters they would meet in the next few days to reach a final decision on the protest and what form it would take. Algeria shares many features with its neighbor Tunisia, where a popular uprising forced the long-serving authoritarian president to flee on Jan 14, and with Egypt where President Hosni Mubarak is under siege from over a week of mass protests. Many Algerians express anger with their government over unemployment and limits on democracy. But analysts say a revolt is unlikely because the government can use cash from energy exports to satisfy economic grievances. Many Algerians are also wary of turmoil after enduring years of conflict between security forces and Islamist insurgents. A banned protest in Algiers organized by the RCD party on Jan 22 attracted a few dozen supporters and was quickly snuffed out by riot police. Several people were injured in the clashes. — Reuters

Al-Qaeda kidnaps Italian woman tourist in Algeria ALGIERS: An Italian woman on a tourist trip to the Sahara desert in Algeria has been kidnapped by AlQaeda insurgents, Algeria’s official news agency and a government security source said yesterday. Insurgents operating as Al-Qaeda’s north African wing have been active in the Sahara desert and have kidnapped several foreigners, but until now most of their activities have been in areas of the desert south of Algeria’s borders. “It seems that this is a group which was freed from prison a few months ago and which then joined Al-Qaeda and has now kidnapped this Italian woman,” the Algerian security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. The woman was kidnapped on Wednesday night in the desert south of the Algerian town of Djanet, the official APS news agency reported, citing an unnamed source in the local authority. It said a major operation, involving security services and the military, was under way to find

the woman. The kidnappers allowed the woman to use a satellite telephone to call her tour operator, who then notified the authorities, the agency reported. Tourist area The Algerian security source said the hostage was a 56-year-old woman and she was in an area of the desert frequented by tourists when she was seized. She was kidnapped along with her guide and a cook, but they were released, the source said. Al-Qaeda’s local branch, known as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has for years targeted Westerners for kidnap in the Sahara, mostly releasing them in exchange for ransoms or prisoner releases though some hostages have been killed. The group said last month it was responsible for the abduction of two Frenchmen found dead after a failed rescue attempt in Niger. It is also holding seven hostages, including five French nationals, who were

kidnapped from a uranium-mining town in Niger last September. It killed French tourist Michel Germaneau in July last year after kidnapping him in Niger three months earlier. It also killed British man Edwin Dyer in 2009 after kidnapping him on the border between Niger and Mali. AQIM emerged out of a long conflict between security forces and Islamist militants in the populous north of Algeria, along the Mediterranean coast. Under pressure from Algerian security forces in the north, it moved some of its operations to the desert area straddling Niger, Mali, Algeria and Mauritania where the vast expenses and porous borders have provided it with a safe haven. It is unusual for the group to carry out attacks inside Algeria, but several Western countries changed their travel advice last year to urge visitors to exercise caution if going to some traditional tourist areas in the Algerian desert. — Reuters


EU leaders urge dialogue, end to violence in Egypt Cameron slams Egyptian govt

In this handout photo, actress Hayden Panettiere portrays US student Amanda Knox in the made for TV film about the murder of British student, Meredith Kercher. — AP

TV re-enactment of Italy murder draws parents’ ire LONDON: The father of slain British student Meredith Kercher yesterday harshly criticized a US television movie that shows a re-enactment of his daughter’s murder. The Lifetime movie, due to air later this month, is based on the trial that followed the stabbing death of Meredith Kercher on Nov 1, 2007, a killing for which Kercher’s roommate, University of Washington student Amanda Knox, was eventually found guilty. “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy” has “Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere in the title role. A preview posted to Lifetime’s website shows scenes from the run-up to the murder - including a split-second scene showing Kercher, wearing a gray bra, being attacked by Knox’s thenboyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and another man, Rudy Guede, both of whom were also convicted in the killing. John Kercher was quoted in Britain’s The Sun newspaper as calling preview clips “absolutely horrific.” “To actually see it like this is very distressing,” he said, according to the tabloid. “It’s awful what these film people have done.” The case - which involved lurid sex allegations and two photogenic, educated young women - became a media sensation from the moment Kercher’s body was found with her throat slit in the bedroom of her house in Perugia, a university town in Umbria, central Italy. Prosecutors said the Leeds University student was the victim of a violent, drug-fueled sex game. According to the prosecutors, Sollecito held Kercher by the shoulders while Knox touched her with a knife. At one point, they say, Guede tried to sexually assault Kercher and Knox fatally stabbed her in the throat. All three deny wrongdoing. Knox is appealing her 26-year sentence and Sollecito is appealing his 25-year sentence. Italy’s highest criminal court has already upheld Guede’s conviction and his 16year-prison sentence. The movie was filmed last year in Rome and Perugia. Producers didn’t talk to any of the families, and instead worked from courtroom documents, including a 400-page report written by the judge in the case, and media reports. Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden, who plays Knox’s mother, Edda Mellas, said Knox’s innocence or guilt was a daily topic among the cast. Panettiere, meanwhile, focused on staying true to who she believes Knox was before the trial. “This wasn’t a dark, angry girl,” she told The Associated Press last month. “She was a young girl with dreams and aspirations. I don’t think guilty or innocent takes away from that.” The film airs on Feb 21. Following the movie, Lifetime will air an hour-long documentary “Beyond the Headlines: Amanda Knox” that features interviews with Knox’s mother, father, friends, investigators and prosecutors discussing the legal evidence and allegations. — AP

BRUSSELS: British Prime Minister David Cameron said that if the Egyptian regime uses violence on protesters in Cairo yesterday it will lose any remaining international credibility it has left. The steps the Egyptian government has taken so far have failed to meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people, Cameron said as he arrived in Brussels for a European Union summit that was supposed to be dominated by economic matters. The EU has been criticized for lagging behind United States President Barack Obama in distancing itself from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Cameron appeared to challenge his fellow European leaders to take a stronger stand. “Above all, the message is this: if we see on the streets of Cairo today statesponsored violence or the hiring of thugs to beat up protesters, then Egypt and its regime would lose any remaining credibility and support it has in the eyes of the watching world, including Britain,” Cameron said. Other EU leaders arriving for the summit yesterday called for a national dialogue between Egypt’s government and the opposition, but shied away from echo-

ing the Obama administration’s calls for Mubarak to step down. The summit is expected to adopt a call for an orderly transition to democratic rule in Egypt, including early elections. It may also ask the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton - who has been criticized for inaction on the issue - to travel to Cairo and press Mubarak to relinquish power peacefully. As violent protests in Egypt’s major cities continued, Ashton said it was essential that the government and people “move forward together.” The EU has had a close relationship with Cairo as part of its partnership with other Mediterranean nations. Critics have said it has been too timid in supporting pro-democracy demonstrations and is trailing behind the US in distancing itself from Mubarak’s regime. Mubarak, in power for nearly three decades, has been under heavy pressure from demonstrators to leave office, and everyday life in Cairo has been turned upside down by Egypt’s largest anti-government protests in decades. In Washington, US officials said Thursday that talks were under way between the Obama administration and top Egyptian officials regard-

ing Mubarak’s possible immediate resignation. That would in theory be followed by the formation of a militarybacked caretaker government that would prepare the country for free elections later this year. But speaking to reporters before the European Union summit, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said it would be “gratuitous and arrogant” for the EU to follow US’ moves. “We have to be very practical about things,” he said. “Look, Obama has influence with Mubarak; that is what (Obama) has to take care of.” In the European Parliament, lawmakers blasted the EU for choosing the “easy option” of simply condemning the violence and calling for restraint. “They need to be much tougher and make it clear that Europe will not tolerate Mubarak clinging desperately to office,” the German Socialist leader in the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said yesterday. “On foreign policy issues, the EU too often behaves like a frightened rabbit in the headlights of a car,” he added. “The EU summit should use all its weight to ensure that today is Mubarak’s day of departure.” — AP

New anti-government protests in Albania TIRANA: Thousands of Albanians converged on central Tirana yesterday to demand the government step down over corruption allegations, two weeks after a similar antigovernment demonstration turned violent and left three people dead. Protest marches were also being held in another three cities, including the town of Lezha northwest of Tirana, Vlora to the southwest and Korca to the southeast. The demonstrations come two weeks after three protesters were shot dead in clashes with security forces during anti-government protests in Tirana. Another 150 were injured in the violence. The opposition Socialists are demanding that conservative Prime Minister Sali Berisha hold early elections over allegations of corruption and vote rigging in the previous 2009 general election. But Berisha has refused to resign, accusing the opposition of trying to stage a coup. The Socialists are seeking “an Albania that is freed from the escalating corruption,” opposition leader Edi Rama told the AP during the demo, adding that the government had “transformed itself into a regime that wants to make of Albania something completely different of the European dream.” Tensions rose sharply last month when the country’s deputy prime minister, Ilir Meta, resigned amid allegations he tried to influence a state tender for a hydropower station. Chanting “We want Albania without Sali” and carrying banners with slogans such as “Berisha, thief,” at least 5,000 protesters marched through the center of the capital, but avoided the main government building, outside of which the Jan. 21 riots occurred. “The only way out is that Berisha should leave. He has plunged the country deep into poverty, unemployment,” said Ruzhdi Hoxha, a middle-aged demonstrator. Police and opposition figures for the numbers of demonstrators were radically different, with police saying a total of about 9,000 people demonstrated in all four cities, and the opposition Socialists putting the total figure at 100,000. Police said about 3,000 protesters marched in Tirana, another 3,500 in Vlora, about 2,000 in Korca and up to 600 in Lezha. — AFP

LEHZE: Opposition supporters carry banners during an anti-government opposition protest yesterday. — AP

Uganda war of words stokes violence fears KAMPALA: A war of words between Uganda’s main presidential candidates escalated yesterday, sparking fears of Egypt-style street violence should the opposition say the poll was rigged. Uganda’s main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, repeated a warning he made to Reuters last week that Ugandans may overthrow long-standing President Yoweri Museveni with mass public protests if a Feb. 18 poll is not fair. The once close ally of Museveni elaborated yesterday, saying he would appeal to the public and not to the Supreme Court if he suspected foul play. “The struggle for change is not mine alone. It belongs to all our supporters across the country,” Besigye told a news conference in the capital Kampala. “If our victory is stolen, it is to the court of public opinion that I will appeal.” Besigye told journalists Uganda had become a “ruthless dictatorship.” Government spokespeople were unavailable to comment. The 2001 and 2006 polls were judged flawed by the Supreme Court but it upheld Museveni’s win, saying that irregularities were not substantial enough to affect the overall result. — Reuters


Berlusconi calls Mubarak a wise man Protests, spoofs on ‘Rubygate’ sex scandal multiply BRUSSELS: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday praised Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as a wise man and called for an orderly transition to democracy. “I hope that in Egypt there can be a transition toward a more democratic system without a break from President Mubarak, who in the West, above all in the United States, is considered the wisest of men and a precise reference point,” he said. “I hope there can be continuity in government,” he told reporters, adding he welcomed the fact that Mubarak had announced he would not run in the next elections. An aide to Berlusconi said later his comments meant the transition should not be traumatic or violent, without taking a stance on whether Mubarak should or should not remain in power during the transition. On Thursday, Berlusconi and four other European leaders said in a joint statement they were “extremely concerned” about the situation in Egypt and called for “a rapid and orderly transition towards a broadly representative government.” Meanwhile, from plans to shower Silvio Berlusconi’s villa with condoms to parodies set to the soundtrack from the musical Grease, Italians are protesting the prime

BRUSSELS: Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives for an EU summit yesterday. — AP

minister’s sex scandals with a mix of outrage and humor. Polls show Berlusconi’s conservative voter base has mostly shrugged off the “Rubygate” affair in which he is accused of paying for sex with a teenage nightclub dancer. But leftist

activists and youth have been galvanized by a scandal featuring a surreal mix of showgirls, envelopes of cash and sex games. Some of the bigger demonstrations planned include a Milan protest featuring writers Umberto Eco and Roberto Saviano and a nationwide women’s rally on Feb 13. But countless smaller, more colorful initiatives have also sprung up on the Internet. In one rally publicized via Facebook, protesters plan to march to Berlusconi’s sumptuous villa outside Milan this weekend and throw condoms at the gates-a twist on the hail of coins that a crowd pelted on former prime minister Bettino Craxi in 1993 when he was accused of corruption. Another protest for Feb. 12 calls on Italians to follow a Neapolitan tradition of banging on saucepans and pots to create an “infernal” racket loud enough, they hope, to send Berlusconi packing. “Italy is not a republic founded on prostitution,” longtime anti-Berlusconi agitators, the “Purple People”, said, a play on the opening line of the country’s constitution, which says: “Italy is a democratic republic founded on work”. “The idea is to march into squares in every part of Italy in a peaceful but noisy manner with pots, ladles, saucepans and

Lenin’s body still divides Russia MOSCOW: Nearly a century after his death, communist leader Vladimir Lenin still rests in a glass display case on Red Square, his embalmed body a stark counterpoint to Russia’s latest modernization effort. The controversial idea of burying Lenin has been a permanent feature of Russian politics since the Soviet Union’s fall in 1991, when millions happily parted ways with a system that had outlived its times. But so far, no one has dared take the ultimate step of so dramatically breaking links with a leader who introduced Russia to both the promises of communism and the horrors of Gulag death camps. While Russia tries to present a modern new image under its iPad-toting President Dmitry Medvedev, tens of thousands of people still come every year to see the communist founder, his finely-coiffed body reclining in a sarcophagus. This dissonance seems to be needling the ruling United Russia party on the eve of December parliamentary elections, with several officials leading calls for Lenin to be laid to rest alongside his mother in Saint Petersburg. “I do not see a single thing standing in the way of his burial,” United Russia lawmaker Vladimir Medinsky told AFP, arguing that a Saint Petersburg burial was a part of the Lenin family’s will. United Russia has even set up a special website,, named after a 2003 German tragicomedy about the fall of the Berlin Wall. Two-thirds of the respondents to the site’s survey said they wanted to see Lenin go. Though informal, the poll was confirmed by another study conducted by the respected Levada Centre, which showed that 56 percent of those questioned favored seeing the body removed from public viewing. But while it might make for good pre-election politics, a Kremlin official said last month that for now at least, Lenin was staying. “As far as I know, no decision on this subject has yet been reached, and none is forthcoming,” said Kremlin property manager Viktor Khrekov. Analysts say that while the issue is less poignant than it was a decade ago, government officials still raise the prospects of burying Lenin to draw in the country’s younger voters, some of whom have no memory of Soviet times. — AFP

lids,” the group said. Another group plans to throw underwear outside the media tycoon’s villa, while a Facebook initiative urges Italians to hang banners from their balconies saying “Berlusconi go away”. Women wearing white scarves already traipsed through Milan last month, protesting Berlusconi and a culture demeaning women. No uprising The fast-multiplying protests promise to become a headache for Berlusconi as he tries to regain political momentum and deflect attention towards plans to kick start the economy. But the tycoon has ridden out such protests before, and analysts do not expect the latest ones to erupt into mass uprisings that force him out-not least because for most Italians a strong family network has softened the pinch from a stagnant economy, 29 percent youth unemployment and corruption. “We haven’t really had the general population rising up against Berlusconi because people aren’t going hungry like in some other countries,” said pollster Luigi Crespi. He said the protests were spurred by organized political groups rather than indignant voters and that many Italians remain skeptical of the magistrates pursuing Berlusconi. — Agencies

France launches search for Air France crash

MOSCOW: A file photo shows Soviet honor guards marching after their shift at the mausoleum of Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician Vladimir Ilyich Lenin at the Red Square. — AFP

Gunmen attack airport in Congo’s copper capital KINSHASA: Armed men attacked the airport in Democratic Republic of Congo’s main copper mining town, Lubumbashi, yesterday, forcing it to close for five hours, the government said. Between 20 and 30 unknown combatants launched an assault against an ammunition depot used by airport security in the early hours of the morning, the Minister of Information Lambert Mende told Reuters. “We are awaiting a report to know exactly the identity of these people, but the situation is returning to normal and flights have resumed,” he said. Police have arrested some suspects and continued to pursue the attackers, he said. He did not say whether anyone had been killed or injured. Lubumbashi, in Katanga province, is at the heart of the central African state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Several international firms have operations in Katanga, including Freeport McMoran which runs the giant Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt project. Katanga is seen as one of the most stable parts of Congo, which suffers from widespread insecurity following a brutal 1998-2003 war that killed five million people. —Reuters

PARIS: French officials are preparing to launch a new search for the wreckage of Air France flight 447 in a bid to discover why the jet carrying 228 people plunged into the mid-Atlantic during a storm two years ago, killing all aboard. Three advanced underwater robots will begin scouring the mountainous ocean depths between Brazil and western Africa in mid-March, looking for wreckage of the Airbus A330 that went down June 1, 2009 after running into an intense high altitude thunderstorm. Air France and Airbus will finance the estimated $12.5 million cost of the new search, France’s Transport Minister Thierry Mariani said yesterday at a news conference. Already §20 million ($27.5 million) has been spent on three previous search attempts that failed to find Flight 447’s “black box” voice and data recorders. Without those, investigators may never learn why the plane crashed in a remote part of the ocean, in depths of up to 4,000 meters (13,120 feet). France’s transport ministry says the new search will use specialized submarines and underwater robots to search an area of about 3,900 square miles (10,000 square kilometers) for the wreckage of the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. The search zone in the mid-Atlantic contains “the most rugged mountains on the planet,” said David Gallo, a director of special projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who will lead the new search. Only a small percentage of the area has ever been explored, making the search “very difficult,” Gallo said. The Remus 6000 underwater robots that will be used in the search “are the most advanced robotics in the world, and provide the best possibility of finding the wreckage,” Gallo said. Only six of the devices exist in the world, and three are to be used to search for the wreckage, Gallo said. “We have confidence that if the plane is in this area, we will find it,” Gallo said. The Transport Ministry said in a statement yesterday that search vehicles should be in place in the second half of March. The hunt is scheduled to last until July. Automatic messages sent by the plane’s computers just before it crashed show it was receiving false air speed readings from airplane sensors known as pitot tubes. — AP



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Egypt in focus as Clinton goes to security meeting ‘Quartet’ of Mideast peace mediators to meet in Munich

SAN ANTONIO: Bomb-sniffing Labrador, Eli, licks Brady Rusk, 12, during an adoption ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Thursday, Feb 3, 2011. The US envoy to Baghdad and the senior US commander in Iraq assured skeptical lawmakers Thursday that the US diplomatic mission there will be well protected after US troops withdraw in late 2011. — AP

US mission will be safe after Iraq withdrawal WASHINGTON: The US envoy to Baghdad and the senior US commander in Iraq assured skeptical lawmakers Thursday that the US diplomatic mission there will be well protected after US troops withdraw in late 2011. A private security force some 5,500 strong will protect the large US diplomatic presence in Iraq, US Ambassador James Jeffrey told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Jeffrey and General Lloyd Austin, the commander of US military forces in Iraq, said they were confident that the force was adequate, and that Iraq will remain stable once US troops have departed. Both also said they were confident Iraq’s US-trained military and police could maintain order once US troops exit. Iraqi security forces “have a good capability” to confront Shiite extremist groups and AlQaeda in Iraq, Austin said. Republican Senator John McCain however was not convinced. “I’m deeply concerned about this issue of complete US withdrawal,” said McCain, a strong supporter of the 20072008 military “surge” in Iraq. McCain questioned the Iraqi military’s capacity to use high-tech weapons to pinpoint targets and avoid unnecessary civilian deaths, and its ability to build an air force without US help. McCain also said he was was “very concerned” about radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his close ties with Iran. The fiery Sadr gained widespread popularity among Shiites in the months after the 2003 US-led invasion, and his Mahdi Army militia battled US and Iraqi government forces in several bloody confrontations. Sadr suspended Mahdi Army activities in August 2008, after major US-supported Iraqi assaults on its strongholds in Baghdad and southern Iraq. Sadr came to Iraq in early January after four years of self-imposed exile in Iran, but returned to Iran after just two weeks. Austin and Jeffrey also said they had no indication the Iraqis want the US military to remain beyond 2012 — shattering a long-held assumption in official Washington. Republican senator Lindsey Graham was skeptical about the strength of a private protection force. “Would it make sense financially, security-wise, to have a military footprint left behind, if the Iraqis request, to continue to provide security for US State Department officials and others?” he asked.—AFP

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed for a global security conference in Germany yesterday as US planners struggle to assess how Egypt’s political crisis may rewrite both the future of the Middle East and the deadlocked IsraeliPalestinian peace process. Clinton will meet her European Union counterpart Catherine Ashton and other world leaders at the Munich conference, where she is also due to finalize the new USRussia nuclear arms pact with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. She is also due to lead the US team at a meeting on Saturday of the “Quartet” of Middle East peace mediators, which includes the EU, Russia and the United Nations. The meeting, originally planned to discuss how to nudge Israel and the Palestinians back to peace talks, looks certain now to be dominated by the mounting revolt against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who for 30 years has been a key US ally and a central player in Middle East peace efforts. Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel, and Mubarak still plays a constructive role, US officials say. Many in Washington and Jerusalem fear that any government that succeeds Mubarak’s may follow a radical Islamist line, which could hugely complicate US efforts in the region. “Egypt obviously is the major issue of the day right now ... but especially in Europe there is a feeling that what is happening in Egypt calls for an even more invigorated peace process. It is important that the Quartet meets and coordinates its views,” said Robert Danin, a former Quartet advisor and a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank. The United States succeeded in relaunching direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians in early September only to see the negotiations grind to a halt three weeks later when Israel’s partial moratorium on building in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank expired. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to return to talks until Israel freezes construction on land it captured in a 1967 war. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who heads a coalition dominated by settler parties, has not acceded to this demand. — Reuters

MUNICH: Britain’s Foreign Minister William Hague speaks during an interview at the International Conference on Security Policy at the hotel ‘Bayerischer Hof’ yesterday.— AP

Uproar over adopted boy’s punishment in US ANCHORAGE: Russian officials are closely watching a case involving a US mother of six who was charged with child abuse after a video aired on a TV talk show showing her punishing her adopted Russian son by squirting hot sauce into his mouth and forcing him into a cold shower. The case has sparked a public uproar in Russia at a time when that nation is nearing completion of a bilateral treaty with the US on adoptions. Russia called for the agreement following the deaths of Russian children who were abused or neglected by their adoptive American parents in recent years. Russian officials say they have not ruled out pushing for the return of the 7year-old boy to his native country should his adoptive mother, Jessica Beagley, be found guilty. “This video caused a huge wave of outrage in Russia,” said Andrey Bondarev of the Russian Consulate in Seattle. “We’re going to pay attention because this behavior is absolutely unacceptable.” Beagley’s attorney, meanwhile, maintains she is a caring mother who submitted the video to the “Dr Phil” show because she genuinely wanted help.

The boy and his twin brother remain in the home with Beagley, her husband and their four biological children. Bondarev, who twice visited the family, said he saw no reason to have the boys removed at this point, and neither did authorities. He said Beagley vowed to never exert that kind of discipline again. Authorities began investigating Beagley, 36, after the video aired in November in a segment on the CBS show called “Mommy Confessions.” The city of Anchorage charged Beagley with one misdemeanor count of child abuse last month. She has pleaded not guilty. The video, shot by Beagley’s 10-yearold daughter, included sounds of the boy screaming behind the shower curtain and Beagley yelling about the consequences of misbehavior. It brought many in the show’s audience to tears. On the air, host Phil McGraw called Beagley’s actions abusive and over the top. Beagley is married to an Anchorage police officer who was aware of the punishment, Bondarev said. The husband, Gary Beagley, also was investigated, according to municipal prosecutor Cynthia Franklin. She declined to elabo-

rate, saying only that he has not been charged. On the show, Jessica Beagley said the boy acts up and lies. She said other disciplinary actions such as timeouts, spankings and soap in the mouth have had no effect on his misbehavior. “I would definitely say that (the boy) is the biggest stress in my life,” she said. Bill Ingaldson, Beagley’s attorney, declined to make his client available for an interview. He said she was on the show to seek help about the boy, who was adopted with his brother when they were 5 years old. She saw a “Dr. Phil” episode inviting frustrated parents to the show, according to her lawyer, so she wrote to producers but didn’t hear back until 18 months later. She originally sent a video showing her talking to her children about cold showers as a consequence of misbehavior, but producers wanted to see the actual discipline, Ingaldson said. The subsequent video was made after legitimate misbehavior, and Beagley’s sole motivation was to find solutions, he said. “She’s being portrayed as this evil person, which isn’t at all the case,” he said. —AP



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Haiti vote switch gets thumbs-up Ruling party candidate out of electoral race PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haiti’s fraud-tainted ruling party candidate was pulled from the presidential race on Thursday in a move widely welcomed as good for stability after months of deep political uncertainty. The decision to reverse the results of disputed first round polls in November was met with calm on the streets of the quake-hit Caribbean nation, which has endured decades of political upheaval, dictatorship and bloodshed. Announcing definitive results, the commission said popular singer Michel Martelly-and not the ruling party’s Jude Celestin-would face off against former first lady Mirlande Manigat in a longdelayed run-off on March 20. “This is a victory for the people,” said Martelly. “We’re here to tell the world that a new day has dawned on Haiti, one that brings hope and change.” The reversal came after international monitors from the Organization of American States (OAS) found significant vote rigging and fraud in favor of Celestin. The United States and the United Nations welcomed a decision they hope will clear the way for a more stable political climate and allow international aid efforts to be stepped up. “After a year marked by the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010 and the ongoing

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haitian presidential candidate Michel Martelly speaks during a press conference on February 3, 2011. — AFP

cholera epidemic, it is of paramount importance for Haiti to have a new democratically elected government to continue to tackle the pressing issues of recovery, reconstruction and the fight against cholera,” said a statement from UN spokesman Farhan Haq. Haiti is still reeling from the earthquake that killed more than 220,000 people and left 1.3 million homeless, and has been battling a cholera epidemic that has sickened 200,000 people and killed more than 4,100 since November. “It’s a good day in Haiti again,” the US ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, told reporters. The United States led international pressure on Haiti’s leaders to accept the OAS findings, threatening to review aid if no credible government was installed. Some observers, though, accuse Washington and others of interfering yet again in Haiti’s internal affairs. “It appears that the international communityled by the United States, Canada, and France-has used its tremendous power and influence to determine the outcome of the first round of the elections and the candidates for the run-off,” said Democratic US congresswoman Maxine Waters. “Once again, it appears that the international community is determining the political fate of Haiti.” Senator Joseph Lambert, national coordinator of the ruling INITE (Unity) party hinted at this, but accepted Celestin’s departure. “Despite the fact that we believe our candidate was in the best position to go into the second round, we accept to withdraw him from the race to avoid economic sanctions against Haiti and ease social tensions,” he told AFP. Thursday’s announcement, which came after journalists waited through the night for the results, was greeted with joy by Martelly supporters. “Martelly in the second round, there will be no more problems. Today he’s in second place, but tomorrow he will be our president,” added Kesnel Samedy, brandishing a picture of the candidate. Manigat, a 70-year-old longtime opposition figure angling to become Haiti’s first female president, was aware that she could not afford to underestimate her opponent due to his popularity with the country’s many young voters. It does not matter to them that he “has no skills, is new, is inexperienced in politics and everything. They will vote for Sweet Micky,” Manigat said, using the singer’s stage name. — AFP

US intelligence on Arab unrest draws criticism WASHINGTON: US intelligence agencies are drawing criticism from the White House and Congress that they failed to warn of revolts in Egypt and the downfall of an American ally in Tunisia. President Barack Obama has told National Intelligence Director James Clapper that he was “disappointed with the intelligence community” over its failure to predict that the outbreak of demonstrations would lead to the ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunis, according to one US official familiar with the exchanges, which were expressed to Clapper through White House staff. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence, said there was little warning before Egypt’s riots as well. Top senators on the Intelligence Committee are asking when the president was briefed and what he was told before the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. “These events should not have come upon us with the surprise that they did,” the committee’s chairwoman, Democratic Sen Dianne Feinstein said in an interview. “There should have been much more warning” of the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, she said, in part because demonstrators were using the Internet and social media to organize. “Was someone looking at what was going on the Internet?” she asked. Top CIA official Stephanie O’Sullivan told senators Thursday that Obama was warned of instability in Egypt “at the end of last year.” She spoke during a confirmation hearing to become the deputy director of national intelligence, the No 2 official to Clapper. The leading Republican on the committee, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, asked for a written record of the timetable of Obama’s intelligence briefings.—AP

SANTA FE: This undated image shows Zook’s Pharmacy (left) in New Mexico. — AFP

Trotsky killing ‘planned from drug store in US’ SANTA FE: The assassination of Leon Trotsky in Mexico City, where he was famously killed with an ice pick to the head, was organized from a drugstore in the US, according to a former CIA agent. The KGB agent who planned the Bolshevik revolutionary’s 1940 assassination first established a safe house in Santa Fe, 1,200 miles away in New Mexico, says a new book by intelligence expert E.B. Held. “A Spy’s Guide to Albuquerque and Santa Fe” by Held-who is now director of intelligence at the US Department of Energy-appears to confirm years of speculation about a spy hideaway here. In a 1994 memoir, “Special Tasks,” KGB spy master Pavel Anatolievich Sudoplatov wrote that a Santa Fe pharmacy served as a safe house for Trotsky’s assassins. Held’s new book identifies the hideaway as Zook’s Pharmacy, visible in archive photos although it was replaced in 1990 by a Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop. “CIA operations officers just have to be students of local history because we have to know the environment that we’re operating in,” said Held, who began researching New Mexico’s spy history in 2002 after retiring as a CIA agent. Fifty-eight year-old Held’s book covers atomic spying at Los Alamos, 1943-45; CIA turncoat Edward Lee Howard’s defection in 1985 and accusations against Los Alamos engineer Wen Ho Lee in 2000. But its most provocative chapter concerns KGB hit man Josef Grigulevich’s hideaway from 1940-41. Born in Lithuania, Grigulevich immigrated as a child with his family to Argentina where his father founded a chain of pharmacies. He was recruited by Soviet strongman Josef Stalin’s secret police as a university student in Paris and learned the assassin’s trade during the Spanish civil war. When he arrived in Santa Fe, he was 27, “cosmopolitan, and a ladies’ man akin to James Bond,” Held wrote. Katie Zook, 33 and single, was running Zook’s Pharmacy, established by her father, son of Lithuanian immigrants. She had long braids, loved fancy hats and traveled widely. Held speculates that Grigulevich insinuated

himself with the Zooks through their common roots and professions, and told them he was researching Latin American history. That would explain his trips to Mexico. After he left the KGB, Grigulevich published 58 books on Latin American history. After establishing himself in Santa Fe, Grigulevich left for Mexico City to implement two separate plans to assassinate Trotsky, a leader of Russia’s 1917 October Revolution forced into exile after falling out with Stalin. One involved the Mexican painter David Siqueiros, a founder of the Mexican Communist Party. The other relied on Ramon Mercader, a Spanish aristocrat. In the pre-dawn hours of May 23, 1940, Siqueiros and two dozen armed men stormed Trotsky’s home in the elegant Coyoacan district of the Mexican capital. They machinegunned the bedroom where Trotsky and his wife were sleeping, but the two escaped injury. According to Held, Grigulevich had tricked Sheldon Harte, an idealistic young American serving as Trotsky’s volunteer secretary and bodyguard, into leaving the gate open to the fortified compound. Harte, who might have identified Grigulevich, was later kidnapped and executed. Siqueiros was accused of the attempted assassination, but escaped to Chile with the help of the poet Pablo Neruda, who was then Chilean consul general to Mexico. “Grigulevich disappeared, presumably slipping across the American border and hiding out in Santa Fe with Katie Zook,” Held wrote. On August 20, 1940, Mercader, posing as a Canadian businessman, plunged an ice pick into Trotsky’s head. He died the next day. Mercader, who maintained he killed Trotsky because he forbade him from marrying his secretary, spent 20 years in prison. Upon his release, he went to the Soviet Union where he was decorated as a hero. “Grigulevich laid low in Santa Fe until 1941, then parted company with Katie Zook,” Held wrote. Held said there is no indication that Katie Zook ever knew what Grigulevich was doing, or even knew his real name. He died in 1988, and she died a decade later.— AFP



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Damage at epicentre of Australian mega-cyclone CARDWELL: Smashed yachts lay stacked like matchwood near a marina, while the ruined husk of a church, its walls sheered off as if from tank fire, stood vigil amidst the ruins of Cyclone Yasi. As rescuers struggled yesterday to get to areas worst hit by Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi’s 290-kilometre (180mile) per hour winds, they witnessed scenes of destruction that rival a war zone. Although rescuers and soldiers have yet to make it to some of the worst hit areas because road closures are preventing them getting to “ground zero”, officials and locals say the damage is humbling. But there have been no confirmed deaths caused directly by Yasi. In the town of Cardwell, “ground zero” of the storm’s terrifying impact, a pensioner in his eighties who did not evacuate before Yasi hit huddled in his bathroom, one of the only parts of his former beachfront home still standing. “I underestimated the strength of it a bit,” said 83year-old Theodore Chrisohos. “I’ve lived through four cyclones, but that was something else,” he said as rescuers arrived in the devastated town. Some of the most shocking images are from the marina at Port Hinchinbrook near Cardwell, where massive yachts were hurled through the air, landing blocks awaysome inside homes. Aerial photos show Cardwell buried in mud from the storm surge, with huge trees blocking the Bruce Highway, which passes along the thin strip of land between the ocean and rainforestcovered mountains.

Dozens of luxury yachts, some 20 metres (65 feet) long, lay smashed against each other or the shoreline. Floating walkways were twisted among the other wreckage and luxury homes had been shattered. Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, on a 30-minute tour of the nearby town of Tully that appears to have been among the worst hit by Yasi’s pounding winds and torrential rain, said he was shocked by the level of devastation. Doubled-over street lamps arched over the debris-strewn main street of the small Queensland community south of Cairns that officials said had received 90 percent damage. “It’s a war zone,” Swan said. Rescuers who were hacking their way through debris to reach towns on the country’s northeastern coast that have been effectively isolated by Yasi were finding scenes reminiscent of battle zones. Fisherman Stephen Hughes, who described the scene as “catastrophic”, is the owner of one of only four vessels that appear to have survived the storm surge in Port Hinchinbrook. “There’s got to be Aus$20 million to Aus$30 million worth of ships wrecked here,” he said. Queensland state Premier Anna Bligh appeared visibly shaken as she stood on a slab of concrete torn from the road by the winds. “No briefing can prepare you for what it is like out there on the ground, this is complete devastation of some of our prettiest little towns,” she said. “This is a major recovery effort and like Cyclone Larry and Innisfail, it’s going to take a long time.” —AFP

CARDWELL: A clutter of boats and yachts are piled together at Port Hinchinbrook yesterday. — AP

Myanmar picks junta insider as president Military retains stranglehold on power YANGON: Myanmar named a key retired general as president yesterday, as the military hierarchy retained its stranglehold on power in the country’s new political system. Thein Sein, who shed his army uniform to contest controversial elections last year, received 408 votes out of a potential 659 from a committee of lawmakers. The prime minister and former junta number four had been tipped for the post even before the vote, supporting fears that the regime has engineered the political process to hide military power behind a civilian facade. A key ally of junta strongman Than Shwe, the 65-year-old became a civilian to contest the November election as head of the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which claimed an overwhelming majority in the poll. One of the president’s first jobs will be to appoint a government, and he can be confident of little resistance from a parliament controlled by the military and its cronies, analysts said. Sources said he was likely to retain his position as prime minister in addition to his new role. A select committee yesterday chose the president from three candidates, all of them members of the USDP, as Myanmar’s military, which has ruled the country for nearly half a century, continued its domination. The two vice presidents are Tin Aung Myint Oo, another retired top general and Than Shwe ally, and an ethnic Shan, Sai Mouk Kham. Though Than Shwe, after governing Myanmar with an iron fist since 1992, has not taken the top political role, many analysts believe he will attempt to retain some sort of control behind the scenes to ensure his safety. “The most crucial question is

YANGON: In this photo, Myanmar’s Prime Minister Thein Sein delivers a speech during a meeting with departmental officials. — AP whether Than Shwe will relinquish the power to single-handedly control the armed forces and other security apparatus. My answer is categorically no,” said Maung Zarni, of the London School of Economics. He said the country’s power structure was “classic dictatorship”, adding “the good guys do not get promoted”. But Myanmar expert Aung Naing Oo said the very fact that Than Shwe was apparently taking a back seat could present a small opportunity for change. “Anything is possible if Than Shwe leaves. Maybe now Thein Sein is considered a very loyal ‘yes man’ but soon he will have to find his own way,” he said. The formation of a national assembly in Naypyidaw, convened for the first time on

Monday, takes the country towards the final stage of the junta’s so-called “roadmap” to a “disciplined democracy”. A quarter of the parliamentary seats were kept aside for the military even before the country’s first poll in 20 years, which was marred by the absence of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and claims of cheating and intimidation. USDP lawmakers bagged 388 of the national legislature’s 493 elected seats. The opposition National Democratic Force (NDF), which split from Suu Kyi’s party in order to contest the election, has a total of 12 seats in the parliament’s two chambers, and the Democratic Party (Myanmar) has none. Khin Maung Swe, of the NDF, said his party had expected Thein Sein to be chosen. “It’s not important for our party who becomes president or who will rule the country. We care more about how the administration can benefit the people,” he said. Another NDF lawmaker said parliament will reconvene on Tuesday morning. “The newly elected president did not give a speech to us. I hope that we will be able to work together with him,” said Soe Win. Thein Sein’s rise to president comes after the United States said it was “disappointed” with Myanmar, adding it was “premature” to consider lifting sanctions. Suu Kyi, released from seven consecutive years under house arrest a few days after the vote in November, also downplayed the impact of political changes in a recent Financial Times interview. “I don’t think the elections mean there is going to be any kind of real change in the political process,” she was quoted as saying. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has no voice in the new parliament after it was disbanded for opting to boycott the election. — AFP

2 die as Thai, Cambodian troops battle at border PHNOM PENH: Cambodian and Thai troops battled for two hours yesterday along a disputed stretch of their shared border, trading artillery fire that killed at least two people near an 11th century temple that is a UN World Heritage Site. The fighting was some of the fiercest in years between the two southeast Asian countries. Tensions between the neighbors have been exacerbated in recent days by pressure from powerful Thai nationalist groups, which have been staging protests in Bangkok urging the government to reclaim the land. While a cease-fire was quickly reached and full-blown war seemed unlikely, the territorial dispute remains volatile, with nationalist passions enflamed on both sides- and no clear way to settle it. One Thai villager was killed and four Thai troops were slightly injured, Thai army spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd said. In Cambodia, privately owned Bayon TV reported that one Cambodian soldier was killed and five were wounded. Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told reporters Cambodian forces captured four Thai soldiers, a claim denied by Bangkok. He said Cambodia would file a complaint to the UN Security Council over the “Thai invasion.” The fighting erupted near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple, which belongs to Cambodia. Thailand claims a small patch of land near the temple. Sporadic artillery fire lasted for more than two hours, but the battle ended after Thailand’s defense minister called Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, according to the private Cambodian Television Network. Thailand’s Sansern confirmed the cease-fire. Maj Prom Sarouen, commander of the Cambodian police unit guarding the temple, said both sides used artillery and heavy machine guns in the clash. He said some shells had fallen on the temple grounds but did not know if they had caused any damage. Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said troubles began when Thai troops ignored warnings to stop crossing into Cambodia and then sought to remove a Cambodian flag from a small temple in disputed territory. He said the Cambodians shot into the air and the Thai soldiers returned fire. Thailand disputed that account. Sansern said the clash was triggered by artillery shots fired from the Cambodian side. “We don’t want to say that it was intentional. It could have been caused by a misunderstanding,” Sansern told The Associated Press, adding that Thai troops returned fire as a warning. He said there had been no order to evacuate local residents from the area. However, a Thai TV station showed villagers fleeing for safety. Cambodia’s relations with Thailand have been contentious for years. They have had a series of small but sometimes deadly skirmishes over the demarcation of the border near the Preah Vihear temple. The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple belongs to Cambodia, but the decision rankled Thailand. The issue was virtually dormant until Cambodia successfully applied in 2008 to UNESCO to have the temple declared a World Heritage site, an application backed by the government in power in Thailand at the time. Thai nationalists have argued that the action threatened Thailand’s sovereignty, though their protests were seen mainly as a way of rallying criticism of the Thai government. —AP



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Pakistan PM to dissolve cabinet Shake-up unlikely to satisfy opposition ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ruling party decided yesterday to dissolve the cabinet, a party official said, a concession to the opposition unlikely to help win its support for wholesale economic reform as demand by the IMF. The main opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-N) faction, has demanded a smaller cabinet as part of a 10-point economic agenda accepted by the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in early January. But the faction continues to oppose plans to impose are formed general sales tax (RGST) — a key condition of the International Monetary Fund for continued financial aid. “President Asif Ali Zardari has given the authority to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani ... to dissolve the cabinet whenever he wants,” PPP Secretary General Jehangir Bader told reporters after the meeting of the party’s central executive committee. “All the ministers have submitted their resignations to the president.” He did not say when Gilani would act. Political stability in Pakistan, a vital US ally, is crucial to the war effort in neighboring Afghanistan and to combating militancy in northwest Pakistan’s ethnic Pashtun lands along the Afghan border. Pakistan’s already feeble economy was

KARACHI: A Pakistani supporter of Hezbul Tahreer party shouts slogans during a rally against a US consular employee, suspected in a shooting yesterday. A judge ruled Thursday that police can keep holding a US Embassy employee accused of killing two Pakistanis for at least eight more days, officials said. — AP

battered by devastating floods last year that inflicted nearly $10 billion in damage. Foreign aid has been slow in coming, in

part because of concern about the government’s ability and willingness to implement financial reform. Pakistan’s main

financial problem is a chronic lack of tax revenue. The country taxes only about 10 percent of its economy, one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the world. The IMF says widening the tax base and implementing the RGST is key for securing the next tranche of an $11 billion emergency loan, which has propped up Pakistan’s economy since 2008. “The government thinks that if they demonstrate that they are reducing expenditure (by reducing the cabinet) they can mobilize support for the (RGST),” said Hasan Askari Rizvi, an independent political analyst. But the PML-N says Gilani is making too many concession to international donors. Despite the planned cabinet reduction, the prospects of passing the RGST seems more remote than ever. The PML-N has also demanded a 30 percent cut in spending, the removal of corrupt officials and a plan to control inflation. Gilani is likely to reduce his cabinet of 52 ministers, one of the largest in the world, to between 20 and 30, a senior party official said. Most of the shed portfolios will devolve to Pakistan’s four provinces under a recently passed constitutional amendment. — Reuters

Panel slams Indian minister over riots

Nepal’s new leader begins forming govt

NEW DELHI: A panel probing anti-Muslim riots in India’s Gujarat state in 2002 has criticized the “partisan” handling of the unrest by the state’s Hindu nationalist chief minister, Narendra Modi. The panel, set up by India’s Supreme Court, concluded that Modi-a senior Hindu nationalist leader touted as a future prime minister-had sought to play down the seriousness of the violence that claimed 2,000 lives. However, according to its report, seen by AFP yesterday, the panel felt it had not uncovered enough material to justify criminal prosecution. The Gujarat riots were one of the bloodiest incidents of sectarian violence in India since independence in 1949. The unrest was triggered by the death of 59 Hindu pilgrims in a train fire. The cause of the blaze was never clearly established, but Hindu groups blamed Muslim protesters. Modi, who has been the state’s chief minister since 2001, has long been accused by human rights groups of turning a blind eye to the violence, with some suggesting he actively encouraged it. The findings of the panel only appear to substantiate some of the lesser allegations made against Modi and his government, and stop well short of confirming any criminal negligence. “In spite of the fact that ghastly and violent attacks had taken place... the reaction of the government was not the type that would have been expected by anyone,” it said. “The chief minister had tried to water down the seriousness of the situation,” it said, while describing as “sweeping and offensive”. “His implied justification of the killings of innocent members of the minority community, read together with an absence of a strong condemnation of the violence... suggest a partisan stance at a critical juncture,” the panel said. It also noted Modi’s “discriminatory attitude” in visiting the scene of the train fire, but not the riot-affected areas in Gujarat’s largest city, Ahmedabad. Modi, who has firmly denied all allegations arising from the riots, is a prominent member of India’s main opposition grouping, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). As chief minister he has been feted for fuelling Gujarat’s rapid economic development with investor-friendly policies that have drawn in major companies from other states and overseas. — AFP

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s new leader began the task of forming a coalition government yesterday that will face major challenges as the country struggles to complete its transformation to a peaceful, secular democracy. Jhalanath Khanal, chairman of the UML (Unified Marxist Leninist) party, is expected to be sworn in as prime minister tomorrow after securing the backing of the Maoists, the largest force in parliament, in a vote Thursday. His election ends a damaging seven-month leadership vacuum in the troubled Himalayan nation, which is still struggling to recover from the impact of a decade-long civil war between Maoist rebels and the state. The conflict ended in 2006 and led to the abolition of a centuries-old Hindu monarchy, ushering in a period of transition to democracy that has not always proved smooth. Nepal has been without a government since June, with political leaders unable to reach agreement on the formation of a new administration in 16 previous rounds of voting. A new constitution, intended to reshape the country after the downfall of the monarchy, should have been completed by May last year but has been repeatedly delayed by disagreements between the parties. Progress on completing the peace process that began when the Maoists laid down their arms in 2006 has also been held up, with thousands of former Maoist soldiers living in camps as they wait for their fate to be decided. — AFP

BANGALORE: Activists of Socialist Unity Center of India (SUCI) shout slogans with placards and pictures in support of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin (right), as they burn an effigy of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a protest rally yesterday. United Russia unveiled a website, which polled people on whether they thought it was time to bury the body of Russia’s revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin, which is still displayed in a special tomb on Moscow’s Red Square. The recurring issue of Lenin’s burial is a contentious one for the Communist party and many people of the older generation. — AFP

Lanka releases 1,600 prisoners COLOMBO: Sri Lanka freed over 1,600 convicts yesterday to mark the 63rd anniversary of independence from Britain, but the jailed opposition leader received no reprieve. President Mahinda Rajapakse issued a decree granting freedom to 1,669 inmates, including 57 women, all of whom were released yesterday, a prison official said. The amnesty applied to

those convicted for minor offences. However, former army chief and defeated opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka was not among those released. He did not qualify for an amnesty because he had been convicted by a court martial, the official said. Sri Lanka’s main opposition boycotted the official independence day celebra-

tions at the southern pilgrim town of Kataragama to protest the jailing of Fonseka. The opposition planned to hold a demonstration later in the day outside the main prison in Colombo where Fonseka is serving a 30-month sentence after a court martial found him guilty of irregularities when he was army chief. — AFP

Business US payrolls barely grow, jobless rate plummets


France, FAO see food crisis as prices soar


Corruption stain on India’s image: Singh


Paris, Berlin launch EU competitiveness pact



CAIRO: An anti-government protestor in a wheelchair is carried above the crowd during a demonstration in Tahrir Square yesterday. — AP

Egypt protests cost $310m daily Cairo creates $854m compensation fund CAIRO: Egypt’s economy has lost at least $3.1 billion as a result of the political crisis in the country, investment bank Credit Agricole said in a report released yesterday, as tens of thousands of protesters massed in downtown Cairo demanding the president’s ouster. The unrest that began on Jan. 25 led to the shuttering of businesses and companies, the closure of banks and the stock exchange and the exodus of thousands of tourists as the demonstrations. The ensuing violence almost overnight drove a nation once seen as a pillar of stability to the brink of chaos. Credit Agricole, in one of the first assessments quantifying the damage to the economy, said the crisis is costing Egypt at least $310 million per day. The bank also revised down its forecast for 2011 GDP growth to 3.7 percent from 5.3 percent and said the Egyptian pound could see a depreciation of up to 20 percent. The losses are the tip of the iceberg of Egypt’s economic

woes. Meanwhile, Egypt has created a 5 billion Egyptian pound ($854 million) fund to compensate people for property damaged during the political protests that have rocked the country, Finance Minister Samir Radwan said yesterday. Much of Egypt’s economy has ground to a halt since the violent unrest broke out on Jan 25, and banks and the stock exchange have been closed for a week. “We have made the calculations and found we could bear the expenses without damaging the position of the budget,” Radwan told Reuters by telephone without elaborating. Tax collectors throughout the country will immediately begin accepting compensation requests from owners of cars, shops and other businesses, Egypt’s official news agency quoted him as saying. The size of the fund is equivalent to about 5 percent of the government’s budget deficit in the fiscal year to June 2010, which was 98 billion

Egyptian pounds or 8.1 percent of gross domestic product. Revenues during that year were 269 billion pounds, down from 282.5 billion in 2008/09. Officials have said they aim to keep the deficit at 7.9 percent of GDP this fiscal year, and then cut it to between 3.0 and 3.5 percent in 2014/15. Asked about the ability of the government to handle an expected outflow of capital from Egypt when banks reopen tomorrow, Radwan said this was the responsibility of the central bank. “We are watching the situation closely. We are cooperating with the central bank closely,” he said. The Finance Ministry, which has 4 billion pounds in Treasury bonds maturing on Feb 28, will be able to be able to handle its bond obligations, Radwan said. “There is no problem.” Any post-crisis government will face major challenges in rebuilding the country’s image and dealing with a range of fundamental economic problems that are sure to be exac-

erbated by the unrest. “The economy is at the heart of Egypt’s problems,” John Sfakianakis, chief economist at the Riyadhbased Banque Saudi Fransi-Credit Agricole Group, said in the report. Egypt’s GDP grew by about 7 percent for three years, before the global meltdown cooled the economy to a still respectable 4.7 percent in 2009. Still, Egypt faced major obstacles that have helped fuel, if not spark, the popular uprising. Poverty is rampant, with about 40 percent of its 80 million people living on or below the $2 per-day poverty benchmark set by the World Bank. Unemployment is officially pegged at around 10 percent, but believed to be more than double that particularly among the youth. Food inflation has hovered at about 17 percent per year, raising the cost of living for millions. The disruption to daily life stemming from the protests has only exacerbated those issues.

business SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

Banks square bonus circle with doughnuts LONDON/NEW YORK: From Wall Street to the City of London, “doughnuts” are on the menu this bonus season. While the carbohydrate-packed variety may damage their health, it is the wealth hit from the zero bonus known by the same name that investment bankers increasingly fear. Anecdotal evidence from banking and headhunting sources suggests a combination of market and regulatory pressure has failed to curb the overall amount paid by investment banks. But it is effecting a sea change in the way bank employees are compensated. Aggregate pay for last year is set to top 2009. As banks seek to reward their top staff with a bigger

bonus, they are dishing out doughnuts to many more of the rest. “For the first time in 13 years in the City I’ve been hearing that not only were bonuses low in some areas, but that some people got zero,” Andrew Evans from recruiters Morgan McKinley in London, said. In Europe, where the compensation row is hotter than elsewhere, the most visible impact of stricter bonus rules has been a bumping up of fixed salaries. So although most year-end bonuses are down, average total compensation is similar to 2009. The other effect of regulation is that more is being paid in shares and more is being deferred. This in turn is having some unforeseen effects on

bankers’ spending. The big earners are still big spenders, but now they’re bigger negotiators too, according to one real estate agent in New York’s exclusive Hamptons region. “They’re using that as a little bit of leverage, saying to the sellers ‘I’m here and I’m here at a price but because I haven’t gotten my anticipated bonus, I can’t be increasing my offer. The sky’s not the limit,’” said Paul Brennan, regional manager for Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Imbalances between the regions are starting to show, especially when it comes to hiring, as new regulation in Europe restricts the upfront cash award. Despite calls for restraint by politicians, the top five US banks paid out $119 billion for 2010,

up 4 percent on the year, swelled by an increase in headcount. In Europe, where compensation details are only just trickling in, Deutsche Bank paid its investment bankers more than $500,000 each on average, up 5 percent on the previous year and topping even Goldman Sachs payouts. “It is no secret that the European headquartered banks currently feel at a competitive disadvantage on this front,” said Francisco Paret, co-head of the US investment banking practice at executive search firm Egon Zehnder. “We’ve seen quite a bit of disparity in compensation structure, particularly when it comes to the proportion of cash versus deferred components.” — Reuters

US payrolls barely grow Jobless rate falls

WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke smiles as he listens to introductions before speaking at the National Press Club on Thursday. — AFP

Bernanke: More jobs needed for true US recovery WASHINGTON: The US economic recovery has strengthened and is gaining pace, but victory cannot be declared until the job market improves, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke warned in a rare press conference Thursday. “Until we see a sustained period of stronger job creation, we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established,” he said in remarks at the National Press Club in Washington. Walking a thin line between talking down the recovery and undue optimism, Bernanke cited improvements in stubbornly low consumer spending and bank lending, in the same breath as warning unemployment will take several years to return to normal levels. “The economic recovery... appears to have strengthened in recent months, although, to date, growth has not been fast enough to bring about a significant improvement in the labor market,” he said. Bernanke also sought to rebuff critics who argue the recovery no longer needs Fed support. Detractors say the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates at historic lows and pump $600 billion into the US economy risks stoking inflation. “The economy, although it does look to be growing more quickly, is still in a deep hole,” Bernanke insisted. He said overall inflation remains below the Fed’s target levels - indicating weak consumer demand - despite price rises for commonly used goods like food and gas. “We have recently seen significant increases in some highly visible prices, notably for gasoline,” he said. “Nevertheless, overall inflation remains quite low.” Doubling down, Bernanke said the Fed stood ready to pump more money into the economy if needed. “If output is too low and unemployment is too high, then that would be a situation that requires more stimulus.” Bernanke made the comments in a rare, and sometimes nervous exchange with journalists. Instead of delivering the ever-so-carefully manicured speech and then slipping off the dais, Bernanke remained for questions. While Fed chairmen have occasionally given interviews and spoken to journalists off the record, press conferences by a sitting chairman are a rarity. During the financial crisis Bernanke appeared with then-Treasury secretary Hank Paulson to explain how they proposed to rescue the US banking system, but by-and-large the Fed has stuck to tightly crafted speeches and meeting statements to get its point across. It’s a seemingly small step, but with his unscripted responses parsed, reported on and put to work by investors, with billions if not trillions of dollars at stake, it was a risky one. Taking written questions through a moderator, he admitted to being concerned that ad-hoc statements could be misunderstood by jittery markets. —AFP

WASHINGTON: US employment rose by a meager 36,000 jobs in January, far less than expected, as severe snow storms slammed large parts of the nation, but the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since April 2009. The increase in nonfarm payrolls reported by the Labor Department yesterday was a quarter of the 145,000 increase that economists had expected. But there were sharp differences in the information contained in the two surveys the Labor Department uses to generate the employment report. Its poll of households showed nearly 600,000 more people reported they were employed, which explains the sharp drop in the jobless rate to 9.0 percent. The rate has come down 0.8 percentage points since November, the biggest two-month decline since 1958. The survey of business establishments gave a more somber assessment, although the government noted that severe weather could have affected construction payrolls, which dropped 32,000 last month. There were also large declines in the employment of couriers and messengers. A department official also said 886,000 people in the separate household survey said they did not work in January because of severe weather. That was nearly double the average number for January, according to Wells Fargo chief economist John Silvia. “Weather did have an impact, construction was weak, below trend, and transportation and warehousing was also pretty soft and that could be affected by weather,” said Sean Incremona, an economist at 4Cast in New York. US stock index futures fell on the data, while US bond prices extended losses The dollar fell, then recovered against major currencies. The modest jobs gains are at odds with other data for January, which had suggested employment growth was picking up and had raised hopes that the manufacturing-driven recovery was now spreading to other sectors of the economy. The drop in the unemployment rate was encouraging because it reflected more people finding work, even after adjustments for updated population controls. In recent months, a large portion of the decline in the jobless rate reflected people giving up the search for work, meaning they were no longer counted among the ranks of the unemployed. Still, the decline is unlikely to discourage the Federal Reserve from completing its $600 billion government bondbuying program to support the economy. The labor market has lagged the broader economy, which grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter. Fed Chairman

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: In this Feb 1, 2011 photo, unemployed Jorge Garcia waits for work at the Day Worker Center of Mountain View. — AP Ben Bernanke on Thursday acknowledged the pick-up in the recovery, but said “it will be several years before the unemployment rate has returned to a more normal level.” The government revised November and December payrolls to show 40,000 more jobs created than previously estimated. “All economic data is two steps forward, one step back. We’re certainly going in the right direction; however, nowhere near as fast as everyone wants us to,” said Robert Lutts, president and chief investment officer at Cabot Money Management in Salem, Massachusetts. The Labor Department also finalized its annual benchmark revisions to its payroll series, which showed the level of employ-

ment for March 2010 was overstated by 378,000. Last month, the private services sector added only 32,000 jobs after increasing 146,000 in December. The sector accounts for more than 80 percent of jobs in the United States. Payroll increases in goods-producing sectors rose 18,000, as manufacturing employment grew 49,000, the largest increase since August 1998, after rising 14,000 in December. Government payrolls dropped 14,000 in January, marking a third straight month of declines, pulled down by state and local governments. The weather effect was also apparent in the average workweek, which slipped to 34.2 hours from 34.3 hours in December. —Reuters

business SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

BRUSSELS: (Front row, left to right) Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, Romania’s President Traian Basescu, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, Lithuania’s Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton; (back row left to right) Belgium’s Prime Minister Yves Leterme, Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Petr Necas, Slovenia’s Prime Minister Borut Pahor, Portugal’s Prime Minister Jose Socrates, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Finland’s Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Estonia’s Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Malta’s Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Slovakia’s Prime Minister Iveta Radicova, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker stand for a group photo at an EU summit yesterday. - AP

Paris, Berlin launch EU competitiveness pact Talks focus on enlarged EFSF fund, economic coordination

BRUSSELS: Protesters wearing face masks depicting (from left) European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a sign during a demonstration outside of an EU summit yesterday. — AP

Europe launches trillion-euro energy revamp BRUSSELS: European leaders launched yesterday a trillion-euro bid to slash dependency on Middle East oil and Russian gas, clearing the way to place nuclear power at the centre of 21st century needs. At a summit shaken by instability over Egypt’s popular revolt and soaring oil prices, the European Union moved to reclaim control over energy supply for the rest of the century with reforms designed to unlock private investment. The EU is the world’s largest regional energy market - 500 million people and 20 million companies. Governments committed to a broad sweep of market reforms, linking national and regional electricity grids and gas pipelines by 2014 to allow power to circulate freely and cheaply, from those who produce it and have surpluses to those who don’t and need it. “No EU member state should remain isolated from the European gas and electricity networks after 2015 or see its energy security jeopardised by lack of the appropriate connections,” read summit conclusions whose adoption was announced by EU president Herman Van Rompuy on Twitter. “Beyond the management of today’s crisis, we’re also laying the ground for a sustainable and job-creating growth,” Van Rompuy tweeted. Island states Cyprus and Malta, as well as Baltic countries whose infrastructure remains tied to the former Soviet Union, feared their needs may be considered too insignificant for the big energy players to invest in costly transmission networks. —AFP

BRUSSELS: Germany and France proposed a competitiveness pact for Europe yesterday and EU leaders discussed strengthening a euro zone rescue fund, hoping to win back market confidence in the bloc’s public finances. Paris and Berlin - the driving forces behind euro zone policy - set out a wish-list of measures they want euro zone and other countries to sign up to including: • limits on debt levels written into national laws • a higher retirement age, based on demography • the abolition of wages indexed to inflation, and • a minimum corporate tax rate “Germany and France will make it very obvious that we intend to defend the euro as a currency ... we also want to defend it as a political project,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a joint news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy just before a presentation to EU leaders. “We want to send out a clear message, that as the European Union, we intend to grow together. What we want to establish is a pact for competitiveness,” she said. The two biggest euro zone economies want the pact to be part of a “comprehensive package” that leaders agree in March, when they hope to agree a series of measures to help draw a line under the euro zone’s year-long sovereign debt crisis. “We are working hand in glove, France and Germany, with a clear, total determination to support the euro,” Sarkozy said. The package is to include changes to the European Financial Stability Facility, the 440 billion euro bailout fund agreed last May, to increase its effective lending capacity and give it more flexibility on how to use its money. In draft conclusions prepared ahead of the summit, the 27 heads of state and government said they would consider “concrete proposals” for strengthening the EFSF “to ensure the necessary flexibility and financial capacity to provide adequate support”, with those discussions being finalized next month. EU diplomats said no major decisions would be taken on Friday as market pressure on debt of Greece, Ireland, Portugal or Spain has eased. But officials understand that failure to agree on concrete measures before the next scheduled summit on March 2425 could reignite the conflagration in the markets. In a sign of returning investor confidence, Spain’s borrowing costs fell sharply at bond auctions on Thursday. Portugal has also had encouraging recent debt sales. Strengthening the EFSF

has been the focus of discussion for months, since it became clear its effective lending capacity was only about €250 billion, not €440 billion, due to guarantees built into the fund to maintain its triple-A credit rating. Given its lending limitations, there are concerns that if Portugal and Spain were both to end up needing a bailout, the EFSF would not have sufficient funds. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, who held talks with EU leaders over lunch, is among those calling for the EFSF to be enlarged and made more flexible, so that it is not just a bailout lender of last resort. The EFSF is the chief weapon in the EU’s arsenal, but deep disagreement remains over how it should be strengthened, with Germany determined to secure stricter budgetary commitments from other euro zone members and reforms boosting competitiveness in exchange for agreeing amendments to the fund. Economics and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn praised Germany for entering the crisis stronger than others in the EU thanks to broad structural reforms since the 1990s. “It is important for everyone that other countries now manage to do what Germany and a few other member states have already managed in past years,” Rehn wrote in a column in the German daily Handelsblatt. Most of the proposals by Berlin and Paris have already been set out by the European Commission in January in its Annual Growth Survey as part of the new, tighter budget coordination process called the European Semester. “The ideas presented by some member states fit very well with this overall approach of reinforcing our governance,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said. But some of the competitiveness reforms proposed by Brussels, Paris and Berlin met with immediate resistance. “I don’t think it’s possible for the European Union to regulate the pension age because there are large differences in the individual countries,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said. “I don’t think it’s right to interfere in wage negotiations, like some have demanded.” There remains the risk that yesterday’s summit will underline just how far apart states remain, with Germany largely backed by the likes of France, Finland and the Netherlands, while Greece, Italy, Spain and others pull in different directions. Euro zone officials privately express concerns about how slowly work is progressing and say they doubt whether a complete package can be agreed by late March. Leaders will consider holding an extra summit in early March to maintain momentum. — Reuters

business SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

OPEC, oil majors still cautious on investment LONDON: OPEC’s newly announced plans to spend billions of dollars on future supplies are unlikely to unleash a flood of oil on to the market as it maintains a policy of restraint and supporting prices for years to come. At the same time, some of the biggest oil companies are investing less than before the 2008 oil price crash even though economic recovery is forecast to drive global demand to unprecedented levels. OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badri said this week the 12-member group would spend $155 billion on projects

coming on stream between 2010 and 2014, which would add 12 million barrels per day (bpd) of gross production capacity. But much of that is likely to go into maintaining output at existing fields rather than developing new ones. Top exporter Saudi Arabia spends billions each year to hold capacity where it is, said Paul Tossetti, senior energy adviser at PFC Energy. “When you look at the Saudis, they’ve basically finished their incremental oil capacity increases,” he said. “I don’t see much in the way of OPEC capacity increases in the next few years,

aside from Iraq.” Among the world’s three largest fully publicly traded oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and BP Plc are raising their spending this year but not to the levels the companies were spending before the 2008 crash. Exxon Mobil stands apart in that it increased its outlay through the downturn, although it has yet to announce investment plans for this year. Shell said its cautious approach was based on a long-term view and sought to avoid the boom and bust of previous economic swings, when

waves of new oil sent the price crashing. “We aim to keep our investment levels relatively constant through the business cycle,” said Simon Henry, Shell’s chief financial officer, at a postresults news conference this week. “One of the ways of losing money in this industry is to follow the cycle too much and invest more as the prices go up.” While the oil majors’ focus is relatively short-term, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are concerned with maximising oil revenues over the long term. —Reuters

Rosneft 2010 profits top $10 billion MOSCOW: Russia’s largest oil firm Rosneft, which struck a milestone partnership with BP and is eyeing ambitious global expansion, said yesterday its net profits rose 64 percent in 2010 to $10.67 billion. The results were unveiled as a press report said the Russian shareholders of TNK-BP were considering selling out their stake in the RussianBritish oil joint venture to state-controlled Rosneft in a deal worth up to $30 billion. The 2010 earnings underlined the profitability of Rosneft, which became Russia’s largest oil firm after snapping up assets of jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s dismantled private oil giant Yukos in controversial auctions. Net profits for the fourth quarter 2010 amounted to $3.06 billion, up 19 percent from the third quarter, Rosneft said, a figure that was at the upper end of analysts’ expectations. “We achieved very strong results in 2010, substantially outperforming our profitability and operating targets while also limiting controllable cost growth,” Rosneft chief executive Eduard Khudainatov said in a statement. Driven by higher oil prices and production growth, Rosneft revenues rose by 35 percent in 2010 to $63.0 billion. The biggest contributors to growth were the Vankor and Verkhnechonsk fields in East Siberia, and also Samaraneftegaz. “Looking ahead, we are focused on our strategic investment projects, including continuing Vankor’s development to deliver peak production in 2014 and our refinery upgrade programme,” Khudainatov said.—AFP

KOZISHCHE, Belarus: A worker catches an ostrich at a farm in this village some 330 km from Minsk. About 300 exotic birds are grown up here to supply local and foreign restaurants with meat and eggs. — AFP

JAKARTA: A vendor sells vegetables at a market yesterday. —AFP

France, FAO see food crisis as prices soar Food prices triggering global unrest: UN ROME: G20-leader France and the UN food agency FAO warned yesterday about the risk of a new global food crisis and ensuing riots, calling for greater regulation to curb speculation on commodities markets. The warning came a day after the Food and Agriculture Organisation said its global food price index had climbed to a record high in January, increasing for the seventh consecutive month. FAO said prices were likely to rise even higher as supplies of grains and other main agricultural commodities were tight and bad weather in key producing countries threatened new crops. “We share the same view that today the real risk of a global food crisis exists,” French Farm Minister Bruno Le Maire said at a joint news conference with the head of FAO, Jacques Diouf. Surging food prices have come back into the spotlight after they helped fuel protests that toppled Tunisia’s president in January and have spilled over to Egypt and Jordan. This has raised

speculation other countries in the region would secure grain stocks to reassure their populations. Without naming countries, Le Maire and Diouf spelled out the risk that rising prices would fuel more food riots, calling for structural measures - including increased market regulation - to curb price volatility. France and FAO have blamed financial speculation in commodity markets for contributing to soaring prices. France has put the issue of volatile food prices high on the G20 agenda and has called a meeting of G20 agriculture ministers in June in Paris to discuss concrete measures. Le Maire reiterated France’s view that more transparency in commodities stocks, better coordination between G20 states to avoid unilateral measures such as export curbs, and market rules to fight speculation in commodity derivatives were key. “Regulation does not mean fighting against markets, but improving the way in which markets function,” he said, without elaborating on the con-

crete details. French farm ministry sources told Reuters last month that Paris will propose including position limits, identifying commodity players as either speculative or commercial, and seeking a framework to record over-the-counter trades. However, there are stark differences among producing and consuming countries over new global regulations, or over the degree to which hedge funds and other financial investors have inflated food prices. France is also focusing on improving the transparency of global commodity supplies. It wants to see an agriculture database similar to the Joint Oil Data Initiative, which gathers oil data. Le Maire said reliable information about production and stocks in particular was crucial. However analysts say that is also a difficult target because countries may not be inclined to divulge information about, for example, their strategic reserves or have the infrastructure in place to collect reliable data from their farmers. — Reuters



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business SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

Corruption stain on India’s image: Singh PM calls to revamp administrative practices NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said “the menace” of corruption was tarnishing India’s image overseas and demeaning it at home. His warning followed the arrest this week of his former telecom minister over an alleged $40 billion mobile phone licence scam the latest in a raft of scandals to batter the government. “Corruption strikes at the roots of good governance,” Singh told top state government bureaucrats at a meeting in New Delhi. “It dents our international image and it demeans us before our own people,” he said, adding that the problem had “to be faced frontally, boldly and quickly”. His speech came as his government struggles to counter opposition charges of inaction over a series of scandals, including last October’s hugely over-budget Commonwealth Games, in which investigators found suspect contracts. They have added to mounting public anger over high food prices, creating a toxic mix for Singh’s Congress-led administration less than two years into its second term. Singh enjoys a reputation for honesty in India’s murky political world, but has been criticised for failing to prevent the scandals and for delays in exposing those responsible. Along with legislation, the prime minister

said it was necessary to revamp administrative practices and procedures. “The introduction of competition, greater choice and modern technology can cut down the opportunities for corruption,” he said. In the same speech, Singh also warned that high inflation - particularly in food prices - was threatening India’s rapid economic growth. Surging food costs have pushed overall inflation to 8.43 percent and a rise in crude oil prices to over $100 a barrel is fuelling the problem. Official data on Thursday showed annual food inflation running at 17.05 percent. “Inflation poses a serious threat to the growth momentum,” Singh said, while calling for a “paradigm shift” in India’s antiquated production and distribution methods to improve the availability of goods. India’s central bank has already hiked interest rates seven times in under a year and a further rise is expected later this month. Some analysts fear the aggressive hikes could slow India’s near-nine percent growth rate and jeopardise the government’s goal of attaining the double-digit economic expansion it needs to significantly reduce poverty. India’s stock market has already slumped this year and analysts say any signs that inflation is spinning out of control could scare away badly needed global investors. — AFP

JAMMU: Indian vegetable vendors wait for customers at a market yesterday. — AP

KATARAGAMA, Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse waves during the island’s 63rd Independence Day celebrations in this southern district town yesterday. – AFP

Lanka president promises growth KATARAGAMA, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse promised Friday to promote economic development at all costs to make up for opportunities lost during the country’s separatist war. In an address on the country’s 63rd anniversary of independence from Britain, Rajapakse said he would press ahead with infrastructure projects and double per capita income to over $4,000 in the next few years. He also said he was ready to make unspecified “tough decisions” even if they were unpopular as the country battles high inflation. “It is the nation’s responsibility to take hard and difficult decisions to bring light to the future of our children, rather than take popular decisions that will lead them to darkness ahead,” the president said in Kataragama, 280 kilometres (175 miles) south of Colombo.

“Whatever the obstacles, we shall not delay to regain the lost opportunities for economic development,” he added. Rajapakse received a 21-gun salute and inspected a military parade which was followed by a cultural show by students. The president, who is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said the nation should also work towards uniting the minority Tamils and the Sinhala majority after the end of the island’s ethnic conflict in May 2009. “We must have the same commitment to building a united nation as we had in defending our country,” he said. Sri Lanka’s main opposition has boycotted the independence day celebrations to protest the imprisonment of former army chief Sarath Fonseka, who failed to unseat Rajapakse at Jan 2010 presidential elections.— AFP

Bank of Spain: Economy shrank 0.1% in 2010 MADRID: The Bank of Spain estimated yesterday that the economy shrank by 0.1 percent in 2010, a better performance than expected by the government after an expansion in the final quarter. Spain is fighting to revive its economy, Europe’s fifth-largest, and convince nervous investors that it will grow enough to bring its massive public deficit under control without resorting to a Greek or Irish style bailout. The government signed Wednesday a “grand social pact” on reforms covering pensions and collective bargaining to boost growth and slash an unemployment rate of just over 20 percent, the highest level in the industrialised world. It had predicted the economy would shrink by 0.3 percent in 2010 after contracting 3.7 percent the previous year, although in recent weeks officials had forecast the decline this year would be limited to 0.2 percent. The Spanish economy slumped into recession during the second half of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded the collapse of a credit-fueled property boom that had been the driver of growth for over a decade. It emerged with tepid growth of just 0.1 percent in the first

quarter and 0.2 percent in the second, but then stalled with zero percent growth in the third. The Bank of Spain estimates the economy expanded 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter in its latest monthly economic bulletin published yesterday. “It is true that it is very modest growth but it indicates that little by little, but very slowly, we are starting to grow,” Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told a news conference after a weekly cabinet meeting. “We no must now convert this expansion of 0.2 percent into consistent growth that translates into the creation of jobs. As you know for growth to create jobs it has to be more solid and stronger than this 0.2 percent.” The government predicts Spain will expand by 1.3 percent this year and will grow faster than the European Union average as early as 2013. The International Monetary Fund predicts the Spanish economy will post growth of just 0.6 percent this year which will pick up to 1.7 percent in 2012 and 1.9 percent in both 2013 and 2014. Stronger growth is key to the government’s goal of slashing Spain’s public deficit to below the a European

Union limit of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product by 2013. Spain’s public deficit hit 11.1 percent of GDP in 2009, the third-highest in the eurozone after Greece and Ireland, both of which have subsequently required European bailouts. Madrid has since announced a raft of austerity measures, including an average cut to public workers’ pay of five percent and plans to sell stakes in the national lottery and the country’s main airport operator, to help bring the deficit under control. It has also taken steps to strengthen the financial system by requiring all lenders to raise their levels of rock-solid core capital or face state intervention.German Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed the reforms undertaken by Spain to cut its deficit and promote growth during a visit on Thursday to Spain. “Spain has really done its homework and for that reason I think Spain is on a very good path,” she said when asked at a joint news conference with Zapatero if she could “absolutely” rule out the need of a rescue package for Spain. The national statistics institute will publish its provisional data for fourth quarter GDP growth on February 11. It will publish final data for the period five days later. — AFP


Al-Ain International Aerobatics Show


AL-AIN: The Royal Saudi Hawks, the aerobatic team of the Royal Saudi Air Force, perform during the Al-Ain International Aerobatics Show at the emirate’s airport yesterday. — AFP photos

Gerald Cooper of Britain performs. Turkish Stars, the Turkish Air Force team, perform during the aerobatics show.

The Royal Saudi Hawks perform.

The Skip Stewart Team of the US perform.


Japan tabloids make hay of royal family foibles (Page 25)

Kenneth Cole sorry for Egypt tweet (Page 28)

A model presents a creation by Spanish designer Pilar Vera during the SIMOF 2011 (International Flamenco Fashion Exhibition) on February 3, 2011, in Sevilla. —AFP


Gisele Bundchen comes clean T

he Brazilian beauty - who has 12-month-old son Benjamin with husband Tom Brady, and helps care for his three-year-old son Jack claims since becoming a mother, one of her favorite things to do is to tidy her house. She said: I love it. Cleaning the house is actually very therapeutic for me. Becoming a parent has given me a whole new perspective on life. I can’t put into words how much I love it.” Gisele has recently been working on her own animated webseries, ‘Gisele and the Green Team’, which is designed to promote environmental awareness, something which is important to the 30-year-old supermodel, who strives to be as green as possible in her own life. She explained to website ParentDish: “We are building a home in Los Angeles and for light we bought hydrogen light bulbs because they use less electricity and last longer, we have solar panels, we are using recycled wood so we are not cutting down new trees. “ Our house in Costa Rica is powered by solar panels and wind. We have a water collection system since it rains anywhere between four and five months out of the year. “I gave Benjamin toys from his older brother Jack as opposed to buying all new toys and creating more waste. Hand me downs work well in this case.”

David Schwimmer set to be a dad



he ‘Piano Man’ singer - who split from third wife, chef Katie Lee Joel last year - is reportedly dating 29-year-old Alexis Roderick, who works for Morgan Stanley bank in New York after meeting her in a restaurant. Explaining how they met, Alexis told the New York Daily News newspaper: “He was going to dinner. I wasn’t. And we were friends for a while before we started dating.” The pair were spotted together in September but this is the first time Alexis has acknowledged the relationship. Billy was also previously married to his business manager Elizabeth Weber Small and supermodel Christie Brinkley, with whom he has a 24-year-old daughter Alexa Ray Joel. Alexa revealed last year she was helping her 61-year-old father get over the ending of his third marriage and claimed he found it hard to trust people. She said: “He was the first person that told me, being who he is, he can’t just trust everybody. I like knowing that my dad can talk to me in the same way that I come to him... I’m just supporting him right now.” Billy’s new girlfriend Alexis will be busy helping the singer recuperate after he recently underwent surgery on both hips. He was admitted to hospital in Long Island, New York, last month to be treated for a congenial hip ailment and decided to have both joints looked at in order to stop himself backing out of later surgery.

he former ‘Friends’ star’s wife Zoe Buckman is pregnant with their first child and the couple are delighted with the happy news. A representative for the actor said: “They couldn’t be more thrilled.” David’s family has known about the pregnancy for the last few weeks but the couple were determined to keep the news under wraps until the time was right to share their joy with the world. A source told Bangshowbiz: “Everyone is overjoyed for them. They are such a great couple and they have been thinking about having a baby since they got married in the summer. They will be great parents and this is the right time for them to start a family. This has topped off a great year for them both.” David and British photographer Zoe met in London in 2007 when the 44-year-old star was directing comedy movie ‘Run, Fat Boy, Run’ with Simon Pegg and she was working as a waitress at the Cuckoo Club. They announced their engagement in March 2010 and tied the knot in a private ceremony in early June.



he ‘Love and Other Drugs’ actress - who has been in a relationship with actor Adam Schulman for two years - wants to start a family, but admits she is not ready to settle down just yet. She is quoted by the Daily Express newspaper as saying: “I’m dying to be a mum. I’m not ready for it yet but it’s one of the joys of life that I’m looking forward to so very much.” While Anne, 28, isn’t ready to have children yet, she and Adam recently took their relationship to the next level by moving in together. A source said in December: “She’s moved into his Brooklyn pad. They’ve been together for a long time, so she’s confident about mov-

ing in with him.” Anne started dating Adam shortly after splitting from Raffaello Follieri who was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison in 2008 after pleading guilty to cheating investors out of millions of dollars - but the brunette beauty recently insisted it never put her off the idea of finding love again. She said: “I think the thing that I have learnt is that a bad love experience is no reason to fear a new love experience. Everybody has bad relationships and, at the end of the day, they are just a great way to set yourself up for a good relationship.”

Justin Bieber thinks his fans are ‘crazy’


he 35-year-old beauty - who raises kids Maddox, nine, Pax, seven, Zahara, five, Shiloh, four and twins Knox and Vivienne, two with Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt - loved having them on set with her during the filming of new movie ‘The Tourist’ and reveals they laughed at her portrayal of English character Elsie Ward in the film. She said: “It’s always fun to have family on set. I think it wouldn’t be the same without them. They get to come and laugh at mommy for playing dress up and having a funny accent. “Fortunately, we’ve given them a love of discovering new places and new people and new cultures. And they like to pack their bags and have new adventures.” Angelina relished the opportunity to play a “real lady” on the project alongside Johnny Depp as it was something new for her. She told MTV News: “I liked that she was a real lady, a real European lady, and I’ve never played that before. I thought it was a challenge for me to be a girl, a real girly girl.” She recently revealed she hoped her kids would grow up to be “beautiful individuals” who are

Carey Mulligan has beauty issues

T “happy and loved”. She said: “Hopefully they are happy, and they know that they were loved, and that they were encouraged to be who they are, and not pushed into something that they’re not. “Hopefully they’ll be the strong, beautiful individuals that they are today, and be happy in their lives, be fulfilled in their lives, and be living their lives honestly.”


he 24-year-old actress - who recently split from her ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ co-star Shia LaBeouf hates wearing skimpy clothes and thinks she is too sensible to be considered a sex symbol. She said: “I’ve never felt like a sexy person... I’ve always felt like a sensible person. I’ve always felt absurd wearing anything revealing.” Talking of the Hollywood trend to look a certain way, the British star added that she has never felt bad about her looks - although she won’t wear short skirts because she doesn’t like her legs. She told Britain’s Elle magazine: “I’ve always felt different here. I remember going up for auditions, walking into rooms of girls in denim minis, with cut off tank tops, tanned legs, long hair and manicures, thinking, ‘Erm...’ But it never made me feel bad. I’ve never felt pressure to look like that.” Instead of worrying about her wardrobe, Carey is more interested in being a good actress who is respected for her talent. She said: “I’m not trying to sell myself as a visual. I’m selling my willingness to play a part really well. If your body doesn’t look normal, how can you convey normal people, how can you be relatable?” —BangShowbiz

he teenage heartthrob says there is nothing some girls won’t do to get close to him and some admirers even hid in a dumpster in a bid to meet their idol. He said in an interview with The Sun newspaper: “The Beliebers have done some pretty crazy stuff. “Last week, the night before I was due to do a show in Germany, four girls went into a dumpster so they could sneak into the building. “They climbed in and hid. When the guys working on the truck started getting the garbage they found them straight away. It was crazy.” The program Justin was due to appear on was the German TV show ‘Wetten, Dass?’ (‘You Bet’) but he had to cancel after contestant Samuel Koch suffered serious back injuries as he attempted to jump over cars on spring-powered stilts. The hysteria that surrounds the ‘Baby’ hitmaker can sometimes be dangerous. Last November some fans were injured in a crush in Long Island, New York, when he appeared at a mall for a show. The 16-year-old pop star said: “I’ve had a few gigs where things have got out of hand and there has been a huge crush with my fans. They are important and I don’t want them being hurt. They are a mad crowd.” One thing Justin has enjoyed about finding fame is getting to meet his idols, but he insists he always manages to keep his cool when he is introduced to his heroes. The singer - who is a huge soccer fan - said: “I don’t get nervous meeting famous people really. I have met David Beckham a few times. He’s a nice guy. He came to my show in Los Angeles. His kids were with him. They were nice too.”




xclamation points in the title of musicals are usually a promise of fun, merry confection ahead. Think “Oklahoma!” or “Hello, Dolly! or “Mamma Mia!” That’s definitely not the case with “The Road to Qatar!” a bad musical that is based on the creators’ real experience writing an apparently even worse musical for the emir of Qatar in 2005. The exclamation point is meant to capture the zany fun of a Bob Hope-Bing Crosby road movie. But what opened Thursday at off-Broadway’s York Theatre Company is a frantic, groan-producing embarrassment. No punctuation can save it. Sample lyric: “There’s a place where oil is pumpin’/That’s the place I know I wanna sit my rump in!” Sample joke: “Paula Abdul. She from Middle East. I talk to her father, Abdul Abdul.” The musical is supposed to be a lighthearted look at how composer David Krane and lyricist Stephen Cole - “two short Jews,” as they describe themselves in the show - were commissioned to create “Aspire,” the first American musical to premiere in the Middle East. In “Aspire,” the duo were force-fed a ridiculous plot, and producers insisted the work had to have camels, pearl diving, ancient Greece and Muhammad Ali, among other topics. The two completed the musical in a Dubai hotel in just five weeks and then quickly lost control of it. The show that opened had 100 imported actors, dozens of camels and fire-eating jugglers, all accompanied by a 70-piece orchestra. It was apparently quite horrible - a vanity project gone mad - and yet Krane and Cole compounded the error with their own vanity project by creating “The Road to Qatar!” It seems like it came out of a frat house - and should have stayed there. It’s gamely sung and acted by a five-member cast trying hard. James Beaman and Keith Gerchak play the creative duo, while Bill Nolte, Sarah Stiles and Bruce Warren play a series of other roles, mostly Arab. Under the direction of Phillip George, they plow through 16 musical numbers and one reprise in just 90 minutes. The best song, it turns out, is not from this musical at all but is the theme song from the original show. If anything, “The Road to Qatar!” is a live-action Looney Tunes cartoon, complete with offensive stereotypes of Egyptians, Lebanese, Indians, Qataris, Italians, Jews - the list goes on. Perhaps the creators thought making fun of everyone would be hysterically daffy, but the jokes are so crude as to be offensive. Nolte, Stiles and Warren have great timing and obvious physical comedy skills, but they are wasted with this sophomoric material. In one scene,


an Air India flight attendant hands our heroes a bag of food. “Here is your curried curry balls with a curry sauce. The choice of drinks is red and curry.” There also are camel jokes, “Walk Like an Egyptian” dancing, terrorism jokes and blowup palm trees. Those old Hope-Crosby road movies look positively politically correct by comparison. At a time when Egyptians are dying on the streets of Cairo and turmoil bubbles in other parts of the region, “The Road to Qatar!” is out of place, a throwback - and not in a good way. It should have been the road not taken. Put an exclamation point on that! — AP

or decades, New Zealand has campaigned for museums to repatriate the mummified and heavily-tattooed heads of Maori warriors held in collections worldwide-now it must decide what to do with the gruesome but culturally valuable relics. New Zealand’s national museum Te Papa has more than 100 of the heads, known as toi moko, in storage in Wellington, along with about 500 skeletal remains plundered from Maori graves as recently as the 1930s. In Maori culture, the dark swirls and geometric designs of traditional facial tattoos on men recognised high birth and rank, as well as achievements on the battlefield. Te Herekiekie Herewini, who leads Te Papa’s repatriation programme, said the heads of deceased chiefs or family members would be mummified as a way of preserving their spirit, while enemies’ heads were preserved as This file photo shows a Maori warrior war trophies. “Initially the performing the “Powhiri”, a ceremony mummification of heads and to welcome visitors, at a giant rugby bodies was part of our normal ball pavilion placed beside the Tokyo mourning process,” he said. Tower. — AFP “But when Europeans came, they saw the exotic nature of the heads and they became a coveted trading item because they were of commercial value in Europe,

America and Australia.” The heads became so valuable that in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, some Maori hunted members of rival iwis (tribes) and murdered them to supply the burgeoning market in European museums for exotic human remains. “For some of the iwi, trading in toi moko was strategic in accessing items such as muskets and European tools,” Herewini said. The trade in human heads was banned in the 1830s but over the next century museums turned their attention to skeletal remains. New Zealand medical students also fed the demand, as they were required to take their own skeletons when they attended overseas colleges, with most of the bones robbed from Maori tombs. “People would go to known caves or hidden burial sites where they knew Maori remains were and, without permission, they would take them and trade them,” Herewini said. “Every museum wanted their own Maori head or Maori skeleton.” The grisly curios continued to be displayed in museums around the world, including New Zealand, until the 1970s. Herewini said it was around then that Maori began pushing for the repatriation of their ancestors’ remains, often meeting fierce resistance from institutions which feared it would set a precedent that could eventually see them forced to return human remains such as ancient Egyptian mummies. The French parliament last year voted overwhelmingly in favor of returning around 15 Maori toi moko after years of debate about the implications of the move. “These are much more than simple museum pieces,” French lawmaker Michele Tabarot said at the time. “These are human remains and some of these people were deliberately murdered to satisfy a despicable trade.”Herewini said repatriating remains was an emotional issue for Maori, who had a strong connection to the land and wanted to give the warriors the dignity of a proper funeral. “For

In this theater publicity image, (from left) Sarah Stiles, Bill Nolte, James Beaman, Keith Gerchak, and Bruce Warren are shown in the York Theatre Company production of the musical “The Road To Qatar!,” performing through Feb 27, 2011 at The Theater at St Peter’s in New York. — AP

us, it’s taking an ancestor back home, so it’s the whole process of remembering,” he said. “They’re family members and it’s important for them to be returned home to their resting place. “The iwi don’t know exactly who these people are but they do know they’re connected to the land. They think about the different battles they were in, the different lifestyle they lived and the possible connections they have with them directly.” While the remains are returned to their iwi whenever possible, Herewini said that a lack of historical records meant about a quarter of the heads and bones held at Te Papa could not be identified. They are stored in acid-free boxes in a special area of the museum and never go on display. Even viewing images of toi moko is considered taboo in Maori culture, Herewini said. Building a permanent mausoleum for the unidentified remains in Wellington is under consideration but the Ngati Kuri tribe, in the country’s far north, has put forward an alternative proposal. They want to bury them near Te Rerenga Wairua, or Cape Reinga, the northernmost point in New Zealand, where Maori believe the spirits of the dead depart for the afterlife. “It’s a special area where there are ancient burial sites,” Ngati Kuri Trust chairman Graeme Neho said. “Provided the other iwi agree, we believe placing their final resting place there would be a comfort to them and we would be their guardians.” Regardless of the remains’ final destination, Herewiri said he would continue his quest to return Maori ancestors to their homeland.”For me, it’s about righting a wrong, whether that was committed by Maori or Europeans is really immaterial,” he said. “It’s completing the circle and bringing these people back home.” — AFP



Ed and Joanna Thornton, and one of their cats, this one is called Jane, seen inside their house near King’s Cross in London. They are aiming to let their house during the week of the Royal Wedding on April, 29, 2011, for them it fits well as they have a wedding to attend in Australia at the same time, and would help off-set the cost of their trip. — AP


he Japanese emperor is a quiet, studious type. The paragon of respectability. But, oh, what a family! In a country where old folks still remember when it was a serious crime to defame the imperial household, Japan’s tabloid-style weekly magazines just can’t get enough unflattering gossip on its royal family - and especially the women who marry into it. Emperor Akihito, 77, is portrayed as beyond reproach, but his

In this file photo, Japanese Empress Michiko (right) honorary president of the Japanese Red Cross Society, and Crown Princess Masako (center) honorary deputy president of the society, and Princess Kiko smile during the awarding ceremony of the 39th Florence Nightingale Medals at Japanese Red Cross Society headquarters in Tokyo. — AP

wife, who had epic battles with her in-laws when she was young, is painted as, well, let’s say sensitive. And their daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Masako? What a tragedy! Still no son. Masako, the Harvard and Oxford educated wife of the heir to the throne, is a favorite target. Any piece of trivia will do. “Lady in Waiting Quits: ‘They Won’t Let Me Do My Job,”‘ screamed one recent headline. Another took aim at Masako’s 9-year-old daughter: “Aiko Holed Up In Limo - Refuses To Go To School.” The story, accompanied by blurry photos, acknowledged the young princess stayed in the limousine only about 15 minutes. As Britain gears up for its royal wedding in April, Japan - taking a page from the British tabloids - is firmly in soap-opera mode. The constant and often ungenerous scrutiny has taken a toll. It has been linked to serious bouts of depression in Masako, 47, and Empress Michiko, 76, the two who get the most attention. Those in the business say they are simply giving readers - predominantly women what they want. They argue that the public has a right to know the royal family better than the largely uncritical, one-dimensional picture in the mainstream media. “There are times when, to be honest, I feel sorry for the royal family,” said Shu Hatakehori, who is in charge of imperial coverage for the Shukan Josei, a weekly magazine with a circulation of about 700,000. “But we are responding to the needs of our readers.” —AP


he Recording Academy is finally getting some satisfaction, with Mick Jagger’s first appearance on the Grammy stage. The Rolling Stones frontman will perform at the Feb 13 ceremony as part of a tribute to soul great Solomon Burke, who died last year. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer opened for the Rolling Stones several times during his career comeback late in life. Jagger will perform with soul singer Raphael Saadiq during the 53rd annual Grammy Awards, which will air live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles (8 pm EST, 0100 GMT). “We’re thrilled, delighted, excited and very much looking forward to Mick doing his debut on the Grammy stage,” said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy. “It’s extraordinary to many of us that the fact is, this will be the first time; he has never performed on the Grammy stage.” This won’t be Jagger’s first appearance on a Grammy telecast. In 1986, the Rolling Stones were given a lifetime achievement award by Eric Clapton, and they performed on the show by satellite. “We did a remote from London, and it was at least three o’clock there,” said show producer Ken Ehrlich. “I think they had been celebrating a little time before we went on camera,” he said. “It was quite a moment.” Ehrlich has produced the show for 31 years and has always wanted Jagger and the Stones to perform, but it didn’t work out until this year. Ehrlich said it was Jagger’s admiration for Burke that brought him to the Grammy stage.

Mick Jagger

for the London 2012 Olympics, but expanded once inquiries about the wedding streamed in from owners looking to cash in. “People love the royal family,” said Parker. “So a lot of people are willing to pay top dollar to actually be near them.” After seeing friends pocket sizable sums for renting their apartments during Wimbledon, Jonathan Thornton decided to try his luck for April.—AP

Jagger set for first time on Grammy stage

hey may not get chocolate on the pillow - but at least they’ll have a pillow. Tourists eager to soak up the pomp of this spring’s royal wedding will be hard pressed to find a hotel room, as an estimated half-million others will be here with the same idea. But for those willing to pay a premium (and do without amenities) there’s a solution: their very own London flat. “Hotels are going to be very full,” says Jane Ingram, head of Savills Plc’s rentals unit. “People are going to need to look at private apartments as an alternative.” London’s roughly 120,000 hotel rooms are nowhere near enough to accommodate the hordes of royalty buffs expected for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. That means many Londoners plan to do what they always do whenever a big event hits town - rent out their homes for a huge profit. Homeowners have been known to rake in up to 50 percent more than normal rental rates during big ticket occasions such as Wimbledon, but around the April 29 wedding date, apartments are expected to go for three to four times normal. But that won’t put off die-hard royal watchers eager to hear wedding bells chime. “It’s not every day that a royal gets married,” says Kim Bourke, who booked her ticket from Melbourne, Australia as soon as the wedding date was announced. She opted for a “guerrilla approach” to accommodation hunting by posting an ad on the UK’s Gumtree website in hopes of finding a nice, cozy apartment to rent to witness the latest chapter of a “real life fairytale.” What she found was a sobering reality - offers from homeowners asking sky-high rents. “I don’t want to pay for someone’s holiday,” she complains. Still, after surveying the market, she’s resigned to having to pay a royal wedding premium. “It’s a special occasion,” Bourke says. “I have to be realistic because it’s going to cost a little bit more.” Some property websites are specifically geared to connecting homeowners with people looking for housing during major London events. Matthew Parker’s started as such a matchmaker


In this undated theater publicity image, members of the Beatles tribute band Rain (from left) Joey Curatolo, as Paul McCartney, Joe Bithorn, as George Harrison, Ralph Castelli as Ringo Starr and Steve Landes, as John Lennon, are shown in New York. — AP


teve Landes is shocked at the mere suggestion that listening to the Beatles too much may get tedious. Fair enough. But that’s coming from a guy who taught himself guitar at age 10 by listening to the Fab Four and who for the past 13 years has made a career by playing dozens of the band’s songs on stage week in and week out while acting as John Lennon. Tired of John, Paul, George and Ringo? Not Steve. “How in the world could you ever get sick of the Beatles?” he asks. “I play these songs a million times and then I’ll hear them on the radio going home and it just fills me with the same sense of enthusiasm and energy.” Landes is a member of “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles,” a Fab Four cover band that has crisscrossed the globe over two decades despite grousing from some that what they do is just glorified karaoke. Landes’ crew is merely one of the better-known groups belting out “Twist and Shout.” Other cover bands include 1964 the Tribute, The Get Back Band, The Bootleg Beatles, The Fab Four, The Fab Five and The Fab Faux. They’re helping quench a thirst for Beatles-related music that’s virtually unquenchable, illustrated by the popularity of the play-along Beatles video games and the 5 million songs and 1 million albums downloaded from iTunes since late last year. “I think there’s just something personal about their music that touches everyone, whether it speaks of a romantic love or a greater understanding,” says Landes. “There’s some sort of positive message - usually of peace and love and togetherness - and it hits people and it stays with them, whether they were there at the time, whether they’re just finding out about it now.” Members of “Rain” have performed for over 1.5 million people around the world and regularly rank in the Top 20 grossing concert tours, with a consistent weekly revenue of over $500,000, according to the trade publication Pollstar. They’ve lasted far longer than the Beatles were actually together. Their recent visit to Broadway illustrates their draw: Originally intended as a 12-week stand, the show got extended, recouped its $2 million investment in seven

weeks and has now moved into a smaller theater for another run starting Monday, even as a national tour with a different cast roams the US. “I think we’ve hit a nerve with Beatles fans,” says Mark Lewis, Rain’s founding member and now its manager. Like the other band members, Lewis put his own money in the show and nurtured it from its roots in the 1970s as a struggling club band in southern California to an international hit. “We worked our way from bars to amusement parks and casinos and cruise ships and private parties and county fairs - you name it, we did it all - and always maintained the integrity and always tried to do it better and better,” he said. “Now all those people who told me I was crazy are calling me up for house seats.” The show is essentially an extended Beatles concert with near-perfect reproductions of “Hard Day’s Night,” “Yesterday,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Strawberry Fields” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” among many others. There’s no plot, except for some between-song patter in fake Liverpool accents. With very little production costs and no big stars to pay, the show was able to gross more than $1.4 million in the week from Christmas to New Year’s Eve. In the show, the faux Fab Four mimic the Beatles’ Feb 9, 1964, first US appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” then mutate into their Shea Stadium concert at the peak of American Beatlemania, in 1965. The audience gradually sees them mature - and change outfits - until they finish in their “Abbey Road” days. “We fill the void where you can go and actually buy a ticket and see what it must have been like to be there,” says Joey Curatolo, who sings and plays bass, guitar and piano as Paul McCartney. The two - who often perform with other founding members Joe Bithorn, who plays George Harrison, and Ralph Castelli, who drums as Ringo Starr - are veterans of “Beatlemania,” a 1970s-era show about the 1960s that used music by the Beatles and others. Both Landes and Curatolo take their roles seriously and get visibly upset when they are compared to cover-band artists. They see what they do as a labor of love. “Would you say Jamie

Foxx was just doing a tribute or an imitation of Ray Charles in that great film? No, he’s telling a story. We’re telling a story that really needs to be told,” says Landes, referring to the movie “Ray,” which earned Jamie Foxx an Academy Award for best actor. “We write our own music. We’re musicians outside of this. ... We came at this from a standpoint of, ‘We want to do this and we want to do it right.’ You have to be at the top of your game to pay tribute to the greatest band ever.” Both men have pored over concert and backstage footage, pulled Beatles songs apart to see how they were made, learned to play more than 200 songs and imagined how Fab Four performances may have looked in later years since the real band stopped playing live in 1966. “We’ve studied every subtle nuance, every chord phrasing, every vocal harmony to the point where not only do you know how they did it, but why they did it,” says Landes. “It’s a constant looking into their character and translating it to the stage.” “You become an authority,” adds Curatolo. They are licensed by Sony/ATV, the Beatles’ publishing company, and are proud to be the only performers beside Cirque du Soleil to have access to the Beatles’ catalog, although not for recording their own cover albums. They have even taken their act to one of the toughest crowds in the world and survived: the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where the Beatles once held center stage. “Going in, I thought, ‘They begat The Beatles. Why in the world would they want four Americans coming in?’ But they realize: The Beatles belong to the world,” says Landes. — AP


The Black Eyed Peas (left to right) Taboo Fergie, and pose for a picture during a news conference at the NFL football Super Bowl XLV Media Center Thursday, Feb 3, 2011, in Dallas. The Black Eyed Peas are scheduled to perform at halftime of Super Bowl XLV. — AP


ven the Black Eyed Peas are protecting their Super Bowl playlist. During a news conference on Thursday, the group declined to reveal the set list for their scheduled halftime appearance during tomorrow’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers - but said they’re ready to give an energy-packed performance. “We want everybody to have a good time and just dance, party,” said about the performance that’s expected to include R&B star Usher and former Guns ‘N Roses guitarist Slash. A person familiar with the plans for tomorrow’s halftime show told The Associated Press that both musicians were slated to make surprise appearances. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday, because the musicians’ performances were not going to be announced. “Hopefully we will bring the heat because it’s cold as hell here in Dallas,” said Black Eyed Peas band member Taboo. The band spoke at a news conference in downtown Dallas on the third consecutive day of subfreezing temperatures during a rare cold spell that greeted the first Super Bowl week in North Texas. Taboo said the opportunity to provide entertainment for the NFL’s ultimate game is “a dream come true for us as football lovers.” Fellow band member, Fergie, said it was a “huge honor” to be picked as halftime performer. The Black Eyed Peas have sold more than 28 million albums worldwide and are known for songs such as “Boom Boom Pow,” “I


he Guggenheim Museum is returning to its roots with an exhibition presenting the masterworks of modern art that form the foundation of Solomon R Guggenheim’s collection. Beginning in the late 1920s, Guggenheim began to branch out into new artistic directions with the help

This image from the Guggenheim Museum shows ‘Yellow Cow’ by Franz Marc. It is part of the show ‘The Great Upheaval,’ at the Guggenheim Museum in New York which opened yesterday and runs through June 1. — AP of an adviser, German artist Hilla Rebay. She steered the American industrialist toward artists who were making nonobjective, almost abstract art. Until then, Guggenheim had been fond of old master paintings, the realistic landscapes of the French Barbizon school and similar works; under Rebay’s

Gotta Feeling” and “Imma Be.” “Some people write songs for radio. Some people write songs for clubs. We like to write songs for life,” said, adding that the group is flattered that many of their energetic songs are featured at sporting events. — AP

direction, he began acquiring art of the moment that captured the vast social and technological changes transforming early 20th century society. The paintings and sculpture in the show, which range from 1910 to 1918, are displayed on the spiral ramp of the museum in chronological order. Now almost a century old, they still manage to evoke the dynamic energy of Europe on the eve of World War I as cities rapidly industrialized, and automobiles and air travel collapsed distances and quickened the pace of life. French artist Robert Delaunay captures a sort of destructive but thrilling energy in a series of fractured images of the Eiffel Tower in which the delicate iron latticework of the Parisian landmark appears ready to tumble down. Just as skyscrapers were an innovation of the era, so were X-rays. In a beautiful nude portrait of his wife, Czech artist Frantisek Kupka uses broad planes of purple, blue, yellow and green to suggest what’s inside her body. Every artist, it seems, was joining a group or issuing a manifesto proclaiming his or her intention to overthrow the art establishment and picture the world anew. In France, it was cubism; in Germany, expressionism. In Italy, the futurists were captivated by the speed and violence of modern technology. The fascination with motion is evident in their efforts to capture the movement of bodies and objects through space, as in Umberto Boccioni’s “Dynamism of a Cyclist” and Gino Severini’s “Red Cross Train Passing a Village.” When Vasily Kandinsky and Franz Marc formed the group Der Blaue Reiter, or the Blue Rider, in 1911, they were hoping for a “great upheaval” in that arts that would turn to the “inner realm of nature.” Marc, who was particularly drawn to nature, devoted himself to studies of animals, using color to express emotion and assigning a symbolic value to each hue. Blue was masculine and severe; yellow, feminine and gentle. The exhibition, which opened yesterday and will not travel, features a large number of Marc’s powerful and brilliant works including the

spectacularly joyful painting “Yellow Cow.” Curators Tracey Bashkoff and Megan Fontanella suggest it might be his wedding portrait, with the cow representing his wife and the blue mountains an abstraction of himself. Marc, who had been deeply idealistic, was initially enthusiastic about the prospect of a European war, believing it had the potential to cleanse Europe of its spiritual ailments. After volunteering for the German army in 1914, however, he quickly became disillusioned, writing to his wife that all the bloodshed was “for nothing.” — AP

This image shows “Red Cross Train Passing a Village,” by Gino Severini. — AP



ashion designer Kenneth Cole on Thursday apologized for a message on Twitter that used the crisis in Cairo to promote his spring line. It touched off an online flash mob of criticism and inspired a fake Twitter feed that mocked Cole’s original while attracting thousands of followers on the micro-blogging site in a matter of hours. The offending tweet from (at)KennethCole read: “Millions are in an uproar in (hashtag) Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.” The tweet went on to provide a link to the collection, but it was taken down about five hours later, when Cole said he was sorry on Facebook. “I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate,” the post read. He had earlier sent an apology by Twitter, but that wasn’t good enough for whoever put up

the satirically biting (at)KennethColePR. “Wardrobe got you waterBORED? GITMO of our new spring collection,” read one send-up. The fake feed included, “Rolling through Germany? Gestapo by our new Berlin store!” and “Jeffrey Dahmer would have eaten up our spring collection!” Cole is known for timely, news-related ads. Shortly after the Gulf oil spill last year, he opened an online T-shirt store to raise money for the cleanup with shirt slogans like “I Clean Up Well.” After a jet landed safely on the Hudson River in 2009, Cole plastered a billboard with, “In tough times, some land on their feet (others on the Hudson).” A spokeswoman for Kenneth Cole, Laura Kline, confirmed that the designer himself had written the original tweet and the apology. “And the day’s award for corporate insensitivity goes to: Kenneth Cole,” wrote Nick McMaster on Newser, a news aggregator site. Cole is married to Maria Cuomo Cole, the sister of New York Gov Andrew Cuomo. — AP Kenneth Cole

Models present autumn/winter 2011 collection creations by Danish Fashion house Baum und Pferdgarten at Copenhagen Town Hall during the Copenhagen Fashion Week 2011. — AFP

Models present autumn/winter 2011 collection creations by Danish Fashion house Ole Yde at the Royal Theatre during the Copenhagen Fashion Week 2011 in Copenhagen on February 3, 2011. — AFP


Models present creations by Spanish designer Vicky Martin Berrocal during the SIMOF 2011 (International Flamenco Fashion Exhibition) on February 3, 2011, in Sevilla. — AFP photos



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technology SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

Europe aiming to boost innovation BRUSSELS: Remi Caron, a computer programmer and entrepreneur in Amsterdam, thought he had the perfect idea. One of his clients, a researcher, had been collecting the blood pressure, temperature and other vital signs of thousands of livestock across Europe. Now he was looking for an easy, cheap way to store all that data. Caron suggested cloud computing, which allows people and businesses to store their data on servers managed by big tech companies like Google or Microsoft, at much lower cost than building up their own data storage. But he ran into a problem: Luxembourg law forbids personal data to be stored on shared servers outside the country, and livestock like cows or sheep might be included in that legislation - or so Caron feared. He headed for Brussels, the headquarters of the European Union, which oversees data protection on the continent, to find answers, but even there no one could help him, he says. “The EU itself doesn’t really know where to find the legislations of various member states,” says Caron. Roadblocks to innovation like the one encountered by Caron have caught the attention of European policymakers as they scramble for ways to get their economies growing after a financial crisis that has pushed several states to the brink of bankruptcy. Like US President Barack Obama and his “sputnik moment”, the EU is touting innovation as the magic bullet for economic recovery. At a summit in Brussels Friday, the EU wants to get leaders to agree on investing more in education, research and technology, even as they slash spending elsewhere. “Growth and jobs depends upon bringing research results to market. Our competitors have acted on this,” Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, commissioner for research, innovation and science, told journalists this week. The continent has long lagged behind the US and Japan when it comes to turning bright ideas into money. There aren’t many rags to riches stories of businesses starting out in a garage, like Apple, or a dorm room, like Facebook, to become the next big thing on Wall Street - no European Facebook, Google, or Nintendo. And now Brazil and China are quickly catching up by putting more money into innovation, having weathered the financial crisis much better than their more developed rivals. According to EU data published earlier this week, the EU trails the

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: (From left) Google employees Steve Crossan, Ujjwal Singh and Twitter Vice-President International Katie Stanton discuss a joint project at Google headquarters Thursday. – AP U.S. in all but two of 13 innovation indicators. China has a higher rate of growth than the EU on all but two of the factors contributing to innovation. But it’s not because Europeans lack creativity, innovation experts insist. Europeans invented biodegradable plastic, the hepatitis B vaccine and the streaming webcam in recent years, not to mention past innovations including aspirin, radio and the automobile. Rather, they say, putting new ideas into action is much more difficult in Europe, where the money needed to fund risky investments is scarce, patents are expensive and the different legal systems in 27 countries have left many aspiring businessmen confused. Caron and his company Sparked eventually decided to stay out of Luxembourg all together - having tried and failed to figure out if their use of cloud computing would break the law. Diverging laws, often written in a foreign language, create a burden everyone, says Jonathan Zuck, president for the Association of Competitive Technology, whose members include Sparked. “But it’s felt in a more exaggerated way by small-business owners.” Small com-

panies, the traditional birthplace for innovation, are often desperately looking for economies of scale, and shutting entire countries out of their business models can break them. When the EU tries to get rid of some of the legal hurdles, its efforts are often hampered by national governments jealously watching their sovereignty. One example for that is the European patent, which could save innovators from getting their patent validated in 27 states and - crucially - having to translate it into each country’s official language. That laborious process, the EU says, makes getting a patent 10 times more expensive than in the US. The idea of the European patent was to limit translations to English, German and French, the bloc’s most widely used languages and require only one validation. But Spain and Italy - the next biggest countries _ cried foul. Some EU states have now decided to go ahead with the European patent anyway, leaving Italy and Spain to fend for themselves. The move came too late for Mike Sax, the founder of the Association of Competitive Technology. Frustrated with the

lengthy patenting procedure in Europe, Sax, whose company SaxSoft makes iPhone apps, left Belgium and has now set up shop in Oregon. Another big obstacle to getting new ideas off the ground is a lack of private financing. Venture capital firms - dubbed “angels” in business-speak for a reason - make money by investing in risky businesses, hoping one of them will strike it rich. But there are far fewer of them in Europe than in the US. Without this private money, which banks are unwilling to provide, it is tougher for new companies to establish themselves. “Europe is weak on this, so that’s definitely a problem,” says Reinhilde Veugelers, senior fellow at Bruegel, a think tank in Brussels. Veugelers says the lack of venture capital in Europe has been known for a long time, but so far policymakers haven’t been able to do anything about it. Europe’s innovation gap might also have cultural roots, experts suggest. Bankruptcy, for instance, is seen as a greater failure in Europe than it is the US Lenders in Europe shy away from serving entrepreneurs who have already filed for

bankruptcy, says Roland Straus, managing director of Knowledge4Innovation, another Brussels think tank. “We obviously do not honor enough risk taking and entrepreneurship,” says Straus. “In the U.S this is completely different because if you fail twice, then you know how it really goes, and the third time you succeed.” One way the EU works to change this perception is through recognition. For the past four years the EU has given out the European Enterprise Awards to companies that foster entrepreneurship. Categories include encouraging entrepreneurial thinking and raising awareness of entrepreneurs in society. Last year, for instance, one of the prized went to Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, for a program that trains art students to run their own companies. What European politicians need to recognize, the EU insists, is that boosting innovation is not a luxury but an economic necessity. “Innovation is as essential to sustainable growth and jobs as water is to life,” GeogheganQuinn warned in a recent speech. “Economies that do not innovate will wither away.” — AP

technology SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

Canada vows no limits on Internet downloads OTTAWA: Canada’s industry minister has vowed to overturn a regulatory ruling that effectively put an end to small Internet service providers offering unlimited downloads. “It is unacceptable that this decision stands and we will reverse this decision,” Industry Minister Tony Clement told the House of Commons. “It is important to protect consumers, innovators and creators, as well as small and medium-sized businesses,” he said. The Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission, or CRTC, ruled last week that telecommunications giant Bell can charge wholesalers that lease bandwidth on its network based on usage. Many of these smaller service providers offered their customers unlimited Internet access at set rates, relying on bandwidth Bell and other big operators are required to lease to them. Major telecommunications firms Bell and Telus, as well as cable companies Rogers, Shaw and Videotron do not offer unlimited plans and Bell suggested those offered by smaller service providers were congesting its networks. Nearly 360,000 Canadians signed an online petition call-

ing for the decision to be overturned, fearing it could lead to higher prices as consumers download more and more data such as high resolution movies or play games online. Earlier CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein defended the ruling, telling a parliamentary committee: “Ordinary Internet users should not be made to pay for the bandwidth consumed by heavy users.” He noted that a very small percentage of consumers are heavy Internet users. According to the CRTC’s Communications Monitoring Report, Canadians used on average 15.4 gigabits per month in 2009. Likening the Internet to a public utility, von Finckenstein added the CRTC’s view remained “that usage-based billing is a legitimate principle for pricing Internet services.” Clement told reporters he felt the CRTC’s ruling “would have a huge impact on consumers and would hurt small businesses, would hurt innovators and creators.” He said he understands that bandwidth capacity is a problem, but usage-based billing “is the wrong way to do it.” The CRTC “must go back to drawing board,” Clement also tweeted. — AFP

Internet address warehouse empty No ‘IPocalypse’ seen MIAMI: The global warehouse for Internet addresses ran empty on Thursday. The nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) doled out its last five batches of “IP” numbers that identify destinations for digital traffic. “A pool of more than four billion Internet addresses has been emptied this morning,” ICANN chief Rod Beckstrom said at a Miami press conference. “It is completely depleted. There are no more.” He brushed aside fears of modern life being devastated by an “IPocalypse”, saying Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) worldwide will be doling out remaining addresses to support a shift to a bountiful new “IPv6” format. “It is like running out of license plates,” said Internet Architecture Board chairman Olaf Kolkman. “Driving on the road the next day would not change.” The touted solution to the problem is a switch to an “IPv6” format which allows trillions of Internet addresses, while the current IPv4 standard provides a meager four billion or so. The effort and expense of changing to IPv6 would fall mostly on Internet service providers, websites and network operators that have to make sure systems can handle the new online addresses and properly route traffic. “If an ISP (internet service provider) gets its act together, it shouldn’t be a massive problem,” Trefor Davies, chief operating officer of British ISP Timico, told AFP. “We really should see this as an historic event,” he continued. “The very nature of the Internet has changed with the transition.” Beckstrom expected the full switch to IPv6 to take years with potential overall costs in the billions of dollars, some of which could be factored into routine replacement of equipment. “We are talking about billions of dollars here globally, not trillions of dollars,” Beckstrom said. Consumers, for the most part, should remain oblivious to the switch since complex IP numbers would still appear to them as words and domains, such as “My mother, my neighbor, my kids - they should never notice,” Kolkman said. Some people might need to update routers or modems that connect computers to the Internet. “All conditions are in place for a successful IPv6 transition,” Beckstrom said. “The future of the Internet and the innova-

tion it fosters lies within IPv6.” Registries could begin running out of IPv4 addresses as early as next year, according to US computer scientist Vint Cerf, who is revered as one of the “fathers of the Internet”. “Today’s ICANN announcement marks a major milestone in the history of the Internet,” Cerf said. “IPv6, the next chapter, is now under way.” ICANN has been calling for a change to IPv6 for years but websites and Internet service providers have been clinging to the old standard since the birth of the Internet. With about seven billion people on the planet, the IPv4 protocol doesn’t allow for everyone to have a gadget with its own online address. The situation has been equated to not having enough telephone numbers for everyone. The number of addresses that IPv6 allows for amounts to 340 “undecillion” (followed by 36 zeroes); enough for a trillion people to each be assigned trillions of IP numbers, according to Beckstrom. IPv4 addresses were expected to run out first in Asia, where demand has been highest as people and businesses in emerging markets embrace online lifestyles. Once RIRs run out of IPv4 addresses, they will turn to IPv6. The formats have been likened to different languages, with translation needed for systems to handle both. Computers and other gadgets that don’t get the new format might have to start sharing instead of having unique identifying numbers. “The Internet won’t stop working; it will just slowly degrade,” Google engineer Lorenzo Colitti said of not making the move to IPv6. “Things will get slower and flakier.” Google, Facebook and other major Internet players will add IPv6 addresses to their systems in a one-day trial run on June 8 to let all parties involved check for trouble spots. “We need to kick the tires on it at a global scale and see if there are some unforeseen problems,” Colitti said. “There is really a rallying cry element to it. No single player can do it alone; we need to work together.” World IPv6 Day will start at 0001 GMT on June 8. Adoption of IPv6 is vital to preventing the Internet from becoming “balkanized” with localized addressing frameworks, according to Internet Society chief technology officer Leslie Daigle. — AFP

Britain wants int’l rules on cyberspace LONDON: Britain, worried about a growing threat from cyber espionage and cyber crime, offered yesterday to host an international conference to tackle such issues. Foreign Secretary William Hague, speaking at a security conference in Germany, revealed details of recent attacks on British government and defence industry computers to underline the threat from cyber spying. He also cited how the Egyptian government had tried to shut down the Internet, mobile phone networks and broadcasters during mass protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. He said cyber security was on the agenda of some 30 international organisations, but the debate lacked focus. “We believe there is a need for a more comprehensive, structured dialogue to begin to build consensus among like-minded countries and to lay the basis for agreement on a set of standards on how countries should act in cyberspace,” he said. “The UK is prepared to host an international conference later this year to discuss norms of acceptable behaviour in cyberspace,” he added in the speech, the text of which was released in London. Cyberspace had opened up new channels for hostile governments to try to steal secrets and created new means of repression, “enabling undemocratic governments to violate the human rights of their citizens”, Hague said. “It has promoted fears of future ‘cyber war’,” he said. International rules on the use of cyberspace should be based on principles including respect for individual privacy, protection of intellectual property and a collective effort to tackle the threat from criminals acting online, he added. Hague described several recent attacks on British government or defence contractors’ computer systems. Last year, a malicious file posing as a report on a nuclear Trident missile was sent to a defence contractor by someone masquerading as an employee of another defence firm, Hague said. “The email was detected and blocked, but its purpose was undoubtedly to steal information relating to sensitive defence projects,” he said. Britain’s eight-month-old coalition government has produced a new national security strategy which ranks cyber attack and cyber crime as a high priority risk. It is spending £650 million ($1.05 billion) on a national cyber security program. — Reuters

health SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

China drought could have serious impact BEIJING: Wide swathes of northern China are suffering through their worst drought in 60 years-a dry spell that could have a serious economic impact worldwide if it continues much longer, experts say. Some areas have gone 120 days without any significant rainfall, leaving more than five million hectares of crops damaged-an area half the size of South Korea-China’s drought control agency said Sunday. There are fears that the problem could send global prices soaring at a time when food costs are already causing governments headaches. According to the UN last month world prices broke their peak levels of 2008 to hit a record high. “If the dry spell continues into March or April, wheat production could be seriously affected, with losses of more than 10 million tonnes,” Ma Wenfeng, an analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultants, told AFP. “China would be forced to boost its imports.” More than 2.5 million people lack drinking water, particularly in the eastern and central provinces of Shandong and Henan, which each have around 95 million inhabitants. Weather authorities are not forecasting much rain over the next two months for the regions around Beijing, in the Yellow River basin and along the Huai, the waterway that divides the rice-plenty south and the wheat-growing north. Shandong’s Rizhao city, which means “sunshine”, has suffered from its longest drought in 300 years, stretching back to September 11, according to local media. Beijing meanwhile has not seen any rain or snow for 100 days-its worst run since 1951. The water shortage is also expected to worsen as warmer weather kicks in after two months of particularly cold temperatures. In some areas, the earth is all cracked up and if rain does not fall in the next few weeks, the wheat that farmers sowed in autumn might not even germinate when the weather warms up. —A FP

Hunger stunts Philippine kids Chronic malnutrition rate rises MANILA: A third of Philippine school children are stunted because poverty has forced them to eat too little food for years, according to a government study released this week. The latest findings of a rolling survey carried out for decades by the government’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute reflect the general poverty rate and the boom-andbust economic cycles of the country. The latest data, which is for 2008 but was only released on Thursday, showed 33.1 percent of 100,000 students surveyed across the country suffered from chronic malnutrition. This was due to them not eating enough food over a long period and led to them being shorter than they should be, although the survey did not publish specific heights. “Being underheight is a result of a long period of inadequate nutrition,” Eva Goyena, a science research specialist at the institute said yesterday. The chronic malnutrition rate had risen slightly from 32 percent in 2005, the last time the survey was carried out, but was down from a high of 44.8 percent recorded in 1990. The 2008 study found that Philippine students aged between six and 12 consumed an average of 599 grams of food a day. Half of the food was steamed rice, while 76 grams were fish and 33 grams were

milk products. “This is really inadequate because rice is mostly carbohydrates for energy and there are more protein-rich foods than fish,” Goyena said. She said a long-term diet of this type would lead to the child becoming stunted. The malnourished children were deficient in key nutrients such as iron, Vitamin A, calcium and iodine, according to Goyena. Chronic malnutrition begins in infancy, the

study suggested, with more than eight in 10 Philippine toddlers aged between six months and five years not eating enough to meet the recommended daily energy and nutrient intake. Acute malnutrition, which reflects more recent setbacks such as illness or failing to eat properly over the past week, stood at 25.6 percent in 2008 among school children, up from 22.8 percent in 2005. — AFP

MANILA: Homeless children sleep at the Divisoria market in Manila. — AFP

Severe drought threatens millions in Somalia GAROWE: A severe drought has plunged millions of Somalis into crisis after rains failed for several consecutive seasons in this Horn of Africa nation, and the UN and aid groups are warning of the possibility of a looming catastrophe. The drought has increased the number of malnourished children in some regions, displaced thousands of people and killed thousands of animals. Officials in a central Somali region said 18 people died of drought-related effects. “The situation is dire. It is an added vulnerability to an already extremely vulnerable people,” the UN’s humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos said after touring camps for displaced people in Somalia’s semiautonomous region of Puntland on Wednesday. Amos’s one-day trip was intended, she said, “to remind the people that there is still a long, ongoing problem in Somalia. I don’t want the people to forget Somalia. When you have an ongoing problem anywhere in the world, it is easy to slip it from the agenda.” The drought is the latest in a long line of problems for Somalia, which has been mired in conflict since 1991, when warlords toppled the country’s last central government and then turned on each other. According to the UN, the malnutrition rate among children has jumped to 30 percent in Somalia’s southern Juba region, a figure that is double the emergency threshold. Food prices have soared up to 80 percent in some regions. The price increase in the south is attributable in part to traders who are hoarding the food to profit off the drought, said Grainne Moloney, the head of the UN’s food security and nutrition analysis unit in Nairobi, Kenya. Many drought-affected families are flee-

PUNTLAND: Makeshift structures that displaced people live in are seen on the outskirts of Galkayo town, the capital city of Somalia’s semiautonomous region of Puntland. The UN and aid agencies are warning of a possible catastrophe in Somalia, where a severe drought has plunged millions of Somalis into crisis. — AP ing their homes in search of food. In the Galmudug region of central Somalia, officials said they haven’t seen such drought conditions since 1974. Citing a recent survey conducted by his administration, Omar Mohamoud, a local government official, said the drought has killed 18 people and displaced thousands. Mohamoud said his

community has seen about 70 percent of its sheep and goats, 50 percent of its cattle and 30 percent of its camels die in the last three years. “We are appealing to the international community to respond to the crisis and provide the people with water, food, medicine and shelter,” said Mohamoud. “If the international community does not respond to

the crisis urgently, a catastrophe of huge proportions is staring us right in the eyes.” The British aid group Oxfam says Somalia’s current drought could be as serious as one in the early 1990s, when thousands of people died. “The situation is bad now, but with more months of no rainfall it could become an absolute catastrophe,” said Alun McDonald, the

group’s spokesman in Nairobi. He noted that weather predictions suggest that the next rains “will also be poor or even fail.” The poor rains are even affecting marriages. In a makeshift camp in Garowe town, Nura Farah, a mother of seven children, told AP that the lack of rains led to a divorce from her husband. “When the drought hit us we quarreled,” Farah said. “I told my husband, ‘Look, you are a man. So go to town and look for ways to support your family.’ But he rejected my request and divorced me and left.” Farah said she quit the nomadic life after her family’s one male camel and 200 sheep and goats died in a month. Poverty has forced her and her children to seek shelter in relatives’ homes in Garowe, the capital city of Puntland. Her 15-year-old son contracted tuberculosis because of a lack of food, she said. The UN has released $4.5 million from its emergency fund to respond to the drought and is likely to release more in coming weeks, said Mark Bowden, UN’s Somalia humanitarian coordinator. This figure is separate from the $530 million the UN appealed for this year to finance its aid projects in Somalia. The drought’s effects are worsened by the fact aid agencies’ work is restricted in many regions where Islamist insurgents are in control. Peter Smerdon, the spokesman for the World Food Program, called on all parties to the Somali conflict to allow his agency free access to help the needy population. He said WFP has had to feed more than 130,000 additional people in Somalia because of the drought. Of Somalia’s estimated population of around 8 million people, about 2.4 million need food aid and about 1.5 million are internally displaced. —AP


S African school kids to be tested for HIV JOHANNESBURG: South African children as young as 12 will from next month be able to test for HIV at school in a new plan to curb the virus that has been met with mixed feelings. The government says the campaign will allow early treatment in a country with the world’s highest AIDS infection rate but some activists fear it will pressurize children to test, once the campaign is rolled out in March. “It must be approached with a great deal of caution. The push to curb the spread of HIV must not infringe on childrens’ right to privacy,” Joanne van Niekerk, the director of Childline said. “Having testing facilities in schools may also result in undue pressure from parents to get their children tested.” South Africa battles a high teenage pregnancy rate, with one school reporting at least 50 pregnancies this year, with pictures of heavily pregnant school girls in uniforms often splashed across media. The voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) initiative has been hailed by Lovelife, a government funded HIV prevention project aimed at teenagers, who believe that early testing will increase AIDS awareness. “Children are already having sex at a very young age and the large number of teenage pregnancies shows that they are not using protection,” said Scott Burnett, the organization’s Youth Programs director. He said different surveys had indicated that children in South Africa started having sex at around 1314 years of age. “If we are serious about fighting HIV, it is important that everyone stands up and be tested,” Burnett said. According to the department of health, the campaign will be phased in at carefully selected schools and districts. The coastal provinces of KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape which have the highest HIV infections in the country are likely to be the first to beneficiaries of the program. Fears abound that young children barely in their teens would be forced to undergo testing. Under the country’s Children’s Act, children have the right to consent to HIV testing at the age of 12. “The role of the parents must be clear, as to who gives consent for the test. Children must not be coerced by teach-

One in 8 British women will get breast cancer LONDON: Breast cancer rates in Britain increased over the last decade, with one in eight women now expected to develop the disease at some point in their life, figures released by a cancer charity showed yesterday. The number of women diagnosed with the disease in 2008 was 47,700, up from 42,400 cases in 1999, according to Cancer Research UK data. The figures, released on World Cancer Day, revealed that there were 124 cases diagnosed per 100,000 British women in 2008, compared with 120 in 1999, representing a rise from one in nine women to one in eight. Experts pinpointed lifestyle factors including alcohol consumption, obesity and the fall in birth rate as contributing factors. The biggest jump occurred among women aged between 50 and 69, where cases rose by six percent. Rates among women aged between 25 and 49 fell by 0.5 percent. However, the number of women surviving the disease increased with more than 75 percent of women now living for more than 10 years after developing the cancer. Almost 65 percent of women with breast cancer now live for 20 years beyond diagnosis. British women over 50 qualify for a screening every three years, and around 1.5 million women are screened in the country every year. Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of health information, said: “Women cannot change their genes but small changes in everyday habits can help to reduce cancer risk. “Cutting back on alcohol by keeping within Government recommended limits of no more than 14 units a week (a small drink a day) helps. “Taking more exercise and eating a diet high in fiber but low in saturated fat can help maintain a healthy weight which in turn reduces breast cancer risk. “Women should also discuss hormone replacement therapy with their doctor as long-term use can raise breast cancer risk.” — AFP

JOHANNESBURG: Pupils from the Deutsche school (German school) carry a banner wishing well to former South African president and Nobel Peace prize laureate Nelson Mandela outside the Mill park hospital in Johannesburg. — AFP

ers or parents into testing,” said Jonathan Berger, a researcher with the AIDS Law Project. “It is no secret that school children are having sex, that puts them at risk of contracting HIV.” The health ministry, which wants 15 million South Africans to undergo HIV tests by mid-year, says they will be targeting teenagers. “What has been said so far is that the campaign is

not looking at your typical seven, eight or nine-year-old primary school learner,” it said. South Africa has 5.6 million people who are HIV-positive out of a 50-million population, according to UN estimates. In December the government said a million people were now receiving anti-AIDS drugs, in what is said to be the largest therapy program in the world. —AFP

Obesity epidemic risks heart disease ‘tsunami’ Experts see rash of cardiovascular disease CHICAGO: More than half a billion people, or one in 10 adults worldwide, are obese- more than double the number in 1980 - as the obesity epidemic spills over from wealthy into poorer nations, researchers said on Thursday. And while rich nations made big strides in cutting rates of high cholesterol and hypertension, or high blood pressure, the overall number of people with high blood pressure rose from 600 million in 1980 to nearly 1 billion in 2008, fuelled by an aging and expanding global population. “Overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are no longer Western problems or problems of wealthy nations,” said Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London and Harvard University, who led the studies published in the Lancet journal. The research, conducted with the World Health Organization, benchmarks changes in key risk factors that affect heart health. Heart disease is the No 1 killer of people in the industrialized world, and billions of dollars are spent every year on medical devices and drugs to treat it. Thursday’s study showed progress in some areas, but also areas of major

concern. In North America, for example, there have been big advances in reducing rates of uncontrolled high blood pressure in men. In Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea, rates of hypertension in women have also improved. But body mass index, a key measure of obesity, has risen broadly. “The world is getting more and more overweight and obese,” Ezzati said in a telephone interview. Being overweight or obese raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and arthritis. Hypertension, another key risk factor for heart disease, is the world’s biggest killer. Obesity-related diseases account for nearly 10 percent of US medical spending or an estimated $147 billion a year. In Europe, more than half of adults are overweight or obese, piling pressure on already stretched healthcare budgets. But the studies showed that major heart risks are no longer just an affliction of wealthy, western nations. “When you put aside two or three countries-the US, Australia and New Zealand-it’s a lot more middle income countries where obesity is the highest,” Ezzati said. Average levels of total blood cholesterol fell in North America,

Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and Europe, but increased in East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific region, the studies found. Blood pressure levels are highest in the Baltic countries, and in East and West Africa. Commenting on the findings in the Lancet, Sonia Anand and Salim Yusuf from McMaster University in Canada said they showed a global “tsunami of cardiovascular disease” which needed to be met with population-wide efforts to cut intake of bad fats and salt, and increased levels of exercise. Ezzati said it was “heartening” that many countries had successfully reduced blood pressure and cholesterol despite rising levels of BMI, and said steps to get people to eat less salt and healthier, unsaturated fats, had helped-as well as improved screening and treatment. These lessons should be implemented more widely in nations of all levels of economic development, he said. A special meeting of the United Nations General Assembly is scheduled for September to talk about the rising threat of socalled non-communicable, or chronic, diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, particularly in poorer countries. —Reuters

W h a t ’s O n SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

Thursday, February 3rd at 7:30pm THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE Director: Daniel Alfredson Country: Sweden Release: 2010 Genre: Crime | Drama Language: Swedish | English Subtitle nnnnnnnnn

Saturday, February 5th at 7:30pm THE TIME THAT REMAINS Director: Elia Suleiman Country: UK | ITALY | FRANCE Release: 2010 Genre: Drama Language: Arabic | English Subtitle Awards: 3 awards, Best DIRECTOR, Best Film... nnnnnnnnn

Thursday, February 10th at 7:30pm DEPARTURES Director: Yo?jiro? Takita Country: Japan Release: 2008 Genre: Drama | Music Language: Japanese | English Subtitle Awards: 34 wins, Best Film, Actors, Cinematography, editing, sound, costume. Saturday, February 12th at 7:30pm nnnnnnnnn

FOUR LIONS Director: Christopher Morris Country: UK Release: 2010 Genre: Comedy | Drama Language: English | English Subtitle Awards: 7 Nominations, Best Director, Best Film, Best Screenplay nnnnnnnnn

Thursday, February 17th at 7:30pm THE SECRET OF KELLS Director: Tomm Moore Country: France | Ireland Release: 2009 Genre: Animation Language: English | English Subtitle Awards: Best Animation nnnnnnnnn

Saturday, February 19th at 7:30pm NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS Director: Bahman Ghobadi Country: Iran Release: 2009 Genre: Drama Language: Persian | English Subtitle Awards: Cannes - Un Certain Regard, Special Jury Prize nnnnnnnnn

Thursday, February 24th at 7:30pm nnnnnnnnn

SURPRISE FILM Cinemagic Kuwait, is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by Increasing the public’s interest in - and appreciation for - the art of film-making. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the roof on top of Alghanim Electronics and LG. There is a KD1 charge for the venue fees which includes refreshments, popcorn and much more.

Unite in the right path: RSC


oncluding the membership campaign that lasted for two months in the slogan of famous Hadith of Prophet (PBU) “The wolf only eats the sheep that stray from the flock” Kuwait Risala Study Circle (RSC) conducted its delegates meet in Farwaniya SYS hall. The program was presided by Abdullah Vadakara and inaugurated by Abdul Hakeem Darimi (SYS President Kuwait). Addressing the audience, chief guest Ashraf Manna (Risala Weekly web editor) urged the members to stay united under the roof of Quran and Hadith rather than being separated. In the second session, the meeting reviewed the activities of the year 2009 - 2010 and approved the annual report and financial report. Returning officer Ashraf Manna controlled the election process for the year 2011 - 2012. The newly elected office bearers for the year 2011 - 2012 are: Abdullah Vadakara (Chairman), Muhammad Badusha Muttannoor (Gen. Convener), Shuhaib Muttom (Treasurer), Abdul Latheef Saqafi, Fasal Thennala, Shameer Muslyar (Vice Chairman), Mishab Villyappalli, Haris Chapparappadavu, Sadiq Koyilandi (Jo. Convener).

Ahmed K Maniyoor and Alavi Saqafi Thenjeri emphasized the importance of organization in their felicitation speech. Shukoor Kaipuram and C T Abdl Latheef also attended the meet. Welcome speech delivered by Shuhaib Muttom and session concluded with vote of thanks by Mishab Villyappalli.

W h a t ’s O n SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

Embassy Information EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH he 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).



he little angels of Kindergarten of Kuwait Indian School celebrated “One Day Fun Day” on 28th December 2010. The day was full of fun and frolic. The tiny tots enjoyed playing games, dance, music and much more. At the end gifts were distributed to the children.

AMICOS Annual Day

Free Arabic language course IPC and all its branches is opening free Arabic language course for ladies accessible in beginners and advanced levels. Class will commence on February 13, 2011. Islamic and Quran courses are also presented in different languages. Registration is on! Call the nearest IPC branch: Rawdah: 22512257/ 97290278, Salmiyah: 25733263/ 97533263, Mangaf: 23723002 ext. 124/123, Jahra: 24558830/ 91533948, Kheitan: 24730137/ 99285459

World schools debating championships


he trials to select the National Schools’ Debating Team which will represent Kuwait at the World Schools’ Debating Championships in Scotland on August 2011 will take place from 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm on Tuesday 8th February at the British School of Kuwait. Interested parties must register their intention to attend no later than Sunday 6th February in order to be considered. To register your interest and to receive further details please contact Emma Bowie at

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


MICOS (Association of Mar Ivanios College Old Students) 14th Annual Day is being held on February 25, 2011 at Jawhara Ahlia School Auditorium, Riggae. Renowned Malayalam Playback Singer, G Venugopal and famous Playback Singer, Rajalaxmi will be the star attractions for the annual day celebration. An updated members’ directory will be released on this occasion.


s part of a series of events to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Kuwait’s independence and the 20th Anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait after the first Gulf War, the British Council brings the Arun Ghosh Quintet to Kuwait for two live music performances on February 17 and 18, 2011. The Arun Ghosh Quintet will come to Kuwait from their participation in the British Jazz Showcase - ‘Best of British Jazz’ at the Network Jazz Gardens, Dubai Jazz Festival (February 8-15, 2011), a British Council initiative in partnership with the Dubai Jazz Festival (DJF). Arun Ghosh Quintet Arun Ghosh - clarinet, Wayne Francis - tenor saxophone, Chris Williams - alto saxophone, Liran Donin - double bass, Rastko Rasic - drums/darbuka Arun’s Indo-Jazz Group plays original music of South Asian origin with a contemporary jazz attitude. Arun Ghosh released his debut album “Northern Namaste” on camoci records in 2008 to critical acclaim and the opening track on “Northern Namaste” entitled “Aurora” also appears on Gilles Peterson’s compilation album “Brownswood Bubblers Three”. The band delighted the Southbank Centre at their debut gig at the London Jazz Festival in November 2007 and has since lit up the British jazz scene with intense and cathartic performances at clubs, festivals and melas in London and throughout the United Kingdom. In 2007, Ghosh was selected for the Jerwood/PRS Foundation ‘Take Five’ initiative for emerging jazz musicians produced by Serious. In 2008, he was one of the featured artists in Jazzwise magazine’s first Indo-Jazz Festival.

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Daíaiyah. Please visit our website at Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration 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 EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. Embassy of India would like to inform that application forms for passport/visa services and labor contracts that are on its website,, 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.



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TV listings SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011 09:40 Breed All About It 10:10 Panda Adventures With Nigel Marven 11:05 Cats 101 12:00 Animal Precinct 12:55 Wildlife Sos 13:20 Wildlife Sos 13:50 Animal Cops Houston 14:45 A Panda Is Born 15:40 Into The Pride 20:15 Escape To Chimp Eden 20:40 Snake Crusader With Bruce George 21:10 Dogs 101 22:05 Gorilla School

00:00 Kings 01:00 Good Morning America 03:00 Supernatural 04:00 Kings 05:00 Commander In Chief 06:00 Good Morning America 08:00 Kings 09:00 Burn Notice 10:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 11:00 Survivor: Nicaragua 12:00 American Idol 14:00 Commander In Chief 15:00 Karen Sisco 16:00 Live Good Morning America 17:00 The Philanthropist 18:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 19:00 Commander In Chief 20:00 Glee 21:00 Psych

00:50 Untamed And Uncut 01:45 The Beauty Of Snakes 02:40 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 03:35 Austin Stevens Adventures 04:30 Whale Wars 05:25 Buggin’ With Ruud 06:20 Untamed And Uncut 07:10 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 08:00 Meerkat Manor 08:25 The Crocodile Hunter Diaries 09:15 Planet Wild

00:40 Supernova 01:10 Lab Rats 01:40 Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive 02:10 The Weakest Link 02:55 Doctors 03:25 Last Of The Summer Wine 03:55 Last Of The Summer Wine 04:25 Gigglebiz 04:40 Balamory 05:00 Tweenies 05:20 Fimbles 05:40 The Large Family 05:50 Spot’s Musical Adventures 05:55 Gigglebiz 06:10 Balamory 06:30 Tweenies 06:50 Fimbles 07:10 The Large Family 07:20 Spot’s Musical Adventures 07:25 Charlie And Lola

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 11:40 12:25 12:40 13:30 15:30 16:15 16:45 17:30 18:20 18:30 19:20 21:00 21:45

00:00 02:30 04:00 04:50 06:30 07:20 08:05 08:55 09:25 13:35

Balamory Tweenies Fimbles The Large Family Spot’s Musical Adventures Charlie And Lola Balamory Tweenies Fimbles The Large Family Spot’s Musical Adventures Charlie And Lola Last Of The Summer Wine Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential New Tricks Eastenders The Weakest Link After You’ve Gone The Weakest Link Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential New Tricks Holby City Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential

Come Dine With Me Design Star Antiques Roadshow Come Dine With Me Antiques Roadshow Fantasy Homes In The City Antiques Roadshow Glamour Puds Antiques Roadshow Glamour Puds

15:50 17:20 21:00 22:30

Design Star Fantasy Homes In The City Design Star Fantasy Homes In The City

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 PG15 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 18:45 21:00 23:00

Primo Basilio-18 Cadillac Records-18 Chicago-PG15 Race To Witch Mountain-

00:40 Police Women Of Broward County 01:35 Dirty Jobs 02:30 Fifth Gear 03:25 Extreme Explosions 04:20 Mythbusters 05:15 How Do They Do It? 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 American Chopper 07:50 Overhaulin’ 08:45 Street Customs 2008 09:40 How Do They Do It? 10:05 How It’s Made 10:30 Time Warp 11:25 Wreckreation Nation 12:20 Mythbusters 13:15 American Chopper: Senior Vs Junior 14:10 Battle Machine Bros 15:05 Mega Builders 16:00 Mega Engineering 16:55 Heart Of The Machine 17:50 How It’s Made 18:15 Storm Chasers 19:10 Extreme Loggers 20:05 Ultimate Survival 21:00 River Monsters 21:55 Extreme Fishing 22:50 Air Jaws 23:45 Could It Happen Here?

00:40 01:30 01:55 02:45 03:35 04:25 04:50 05:45 06:40 07:10 08:00 08:55 09:50 10:45 15:55 16:20 17:10 18:00 18:50 19:40 20:30 21:20 22:10 23:00

Ninja Assassin on Super Movies

Temple Grandin-PG15 From Time To Time-PG15 Three Investigators-PG15 Temple Grandin-PG15 One Week-PG Defiance-PG15 Frost/Nixon-PG15 Seven Years In Tibet-PG15

Engineering Thrills The Gadget Show Building The Future Sci-Fi Science Weird Or What? How Stuff’s Made Thunder Races Brainiac Patent Bending Perfect Disaster Weird Or What? Catch It Keep It Brainiac Weird Connections Patent Bending The Gadget Show Weird Or What? Bad Universe How Stuff Works The Future Of... Sci-Fi Science Engineered Mighty Ships The Colony

00:00 Programmes Start At 7:00am KSA 07:00 Kid vs Kat 07:25 Kick Buttowski 07:48 Phineas And Ferb 08:00 Pokemon 08:25 Phineas And Ferb 08:50 Phineas And Ferb

09:15 Suite Life On Deck 09:40 Have A Laugh 09:45 Suite Life On Deck 10:10 Have A Laugh 10:25 Pair Of Kings 11:15 Suite Life On Deck 12:05 Pair Of Kings 12:55 Have A Laugh 13:00 Suite Life On Deck 13:55 Pair Of Kings 14:55 Have A Laugh 15:00 Suite Life On Deck 15:50 Pair Of Kings 16:15 Phineas And Ferb 16:40 Have A Laugh 16:45 I’m In The Band 17:15 Zeke And Luther 18:00 The Super Hero Squad Show 18:30 Pokemon 18:55 Suite Life On Deck 19:45 Phineas And Ferb 20:10 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 20:35 New Spiderman 21:00 Kick Buttowski 22:00 Zeke And Luther 22:25 I’m In The Band 22:50 Have A Laugh 22:55 American Dragon 23:20 The Super Hero Squad Show

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

00:40 Good Eats 01:05 Unwrapped 01:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:55 Barefoot Contessa 02:20 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:45 Food Network Challenge 03:35 Chopped 04:25 Ultimate Recipe Showdown 05:15 Good Eats 05:40 Unwrapped 06:05 TEN DOLLAR DINNERS 06:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 06:50 Paula’s Party 07:35 Barefoot Contessa 08:00 Chopped 08:50 Guys Big Bite 09:15 Boy Meets Grill 09:40 Good Deal with Dave

Lieberman 10:05 TEN DOLLAR DINNERS 10:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 10:55 Barefoot Contessa 11:20 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 11:45 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 12:10 Unwrapped 12:35 Paula’s Party 13:25 Good Eats 13:50 Paula’s Best Dishes 14:15 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 14:40 Ultimate Recipe Showdown 15:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 15:55 Unwrapped 16:20 Boy Meets Grill 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Paula’s Best Dishes 18:00 Barefoot Contessa 18:25 Good Deal with Dave Lieberman 18:50 TEN DOLLAR DINNERS 19:15 Paula’s Party 20:05 Good Eats 20:30 Guys Big Bite 20:55 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 21:20 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 21:45 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 22:10 Food Network Challenge 23:00 Chopped 23:50 Ultimate Recipe Showdown

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 11:20 12:10 13:00 Zahn 13:50 14:40 15:30 16:20 17:10 18:00 18:50 19:40 20:30 21:20 Zahn 22:10 23:00 23:50

Dr G: Medical Examiner The Haunted A Haunting Fbi Case Files Disappeared Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghosthunters The Haunted Mystery Diagnosis Forensic Detectives Accident Investigator Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Disappeared Fbi Files On The Case With Paula

01:40 03:10 04:50 06:45 08:10 10:05 Lingo 11:35 13:05 14:40 16:05 17:50 20:20 22:00 23:25

Oleanna Molly Lifeforce L.A. Bounty Gator The Legend Of Johnny

Royal Inquest Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Disappeared Forensic Detectives Accident Investigator Fbi Files Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls On The Case With Paula Ghost Lab The Haunted Ghost Lab

Caveman Italian Movie Sibling Rivalry Paper Lion The Group Bojangles The Medgar Ever Story Who’ll Stop The Rain?



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TV listings SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011

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

Market Values Weird And Wonderful Hotels The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Graham’s World Bondi Rescue Banged Up Abroad By Any Means Market Values Weird And Wonderful Hotels The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Graham’s World Bondi Rescue Exploring The Vine Weird And Wonderful Hotels Banged Up Abroad Departures Departures Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Exploring The Vine Weird And Wonderful Hotels Banged Up Abroad Departures Departures Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Exploring The Vine Weird And Wonderful Hotels Banged Up Abroad

00:00 The Office 00:30 Just Shoot Me 01:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Nut Case 03:30 Weeds 04:00 South Park 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Coach 06:00 Yes, Dear 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Family Biz 08:30 Coach 09:00 Yes, Dear 09:30 The Drew Carey Show 10:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 10:30 Brothers 11:00 Coach 11:30 Yes, Dear 12:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 13:00 Family Biz 13:30 Coach 14:00 Yes, Dear 14:30 The Office 15:00 Brothers 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Family Biz 18:30 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 19:00 Melissa And Joey 19:30 The Office 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

01:00 Diary Of The Dead-18 02:45 Swing Vote-PG15 04:45 Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs-PG 06:15 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button-PG15 09:00 Mean Girls-PG15 11:00 Dragonball: Evolution-PG

13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

America’s Sweethearts-PG15 Shorts-PG Mean Girls-PG15 Gran Torino-PG15 Dean Spanley-PG15 Adam-PG15

00:00 01:00 01:30 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 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

The Ellen Degeneres Show 30 Rock Two And A Half Men No Ordinary Family The Philanthropist The Pacific 30 Rock How I Met Your Mother The Ellen Degeneres Show Two And A Half Men How I Met Your Mother No Ordinary Family The Ellen Degeneres Show 30 Rock Two And A Half Men American Idol How I Met Your Mother No Ordinary Family The Simpsons Coronation Street The Ellen Degeneres Show Smallville C.S.I. Glee 24 The Pacific The Ellen Degeneres Show

00:00 Man About Town-18 02:00 Man On Wire-PG15 04:00 Everybody’s Fine-PG15 06:00 Maneater: Part I-PG15 08:00 Before You Say I Do-PG15 10:00 It Might Get Loud-PG15 12:00 End Of The Spear-PG15 14:00 Maneater: Part II-PG15 16:00 Before You Say I Do-PG15 18:00 Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time-PG15 20:00 Dean Spanley-PG15 22:00 New York I Love You-18

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

Severed-R Quarantine-18 Dead Snow-PG15 Polar Storm-PG15 The Italian Job (1969)-PG Blue Crush-PG15 Arlington Road-18 The Italian Job (1969)-PG The Marine 2-PG15 Punisher: War Zone-18 Inkheart-PG The Bank Job-18

00:00 The First $20 Million Is Always The Hardest-PG15 02:00 Dead Man On Campus-PG15 04:00 A Simple Wish-FAM 06:00 Good Burger-PG 08:00 Mr. Deeds-PG 10:00 Lucky Break-PG15 12:00 Orange County-PG15 14:00 Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel-PG15 16:00 The First $20 Million Is Always The Hardest-PG15 18:00 Working Girl-18 20:00 Surfer Dude-PG15 22:00 How To Lose Friends And Alienate People-PG15

00:00 Yogi And The Invasion Of The Space Bears-FAM 02:00 Treasure Island-PG

Auditions-PG 08:00 A Day At The Races-FAM 09:50 Billy The Kid-PG 11:25 Meet Me In St. Louis-FAM 13:15 Gigi-PG 15:10 Ziegfeld Follies-FAM 17:00 Vengeance Valley-PG 18:20 Viva Las Vegas-FAM 19:45 That Midnight Kiss-FAM 21:20 The Cincinnati Kid-PG 23:00 Passion Fish-PG15

Man on Wire on Show Movies 04:00 Basket Fever-FAM 06:00 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-PG 08:00 Welcome Back Pinocchio-FAM 10:00 Basket Fever-FAM 12:00 The Jungle Book I-FAM 14:00 Treasure Island-PG 16:00 Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs Wakko’s Wakko-PG 18:00 Free Willy: Escape From Pirate’s Cove-PG15 20:00 Red Wall: The Movie-FAM 22:00 The Jungle Book I-FAM

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

No Ordinary Family Friday Night Lights The Martha Stewart Show Hawthorne The View Mercy Downton Abbey Hawthorne The Martha Stewart Show Mercy Hawthorne The View Downton Abbey The Martha Stewart Show No Ordinary Family Friday Night Lights The Deep End The View Emmerdale Coronation Street Scoundrels Damages White Collar The View The Deep End

00:30 PGA European Tour 05:00 Pool World Cup 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Brazil League Highlights 07:30 Futbol Mundial 08:00 The All Sports Show 09:00 Anglo Welsh Cup 11:00 Brazil League Highlights 11:30 Pool World Cup 12:30 World Hockey 13:00 The All Sports Show 14:00 Anglo Welsh Cup 16:00 Futbol Mundial 16:30 The All Sports Show 17:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 18:00 Live Scottish FA Cup

00:00 Dubai Int’l Horse Racing Carnival 04:00 The All Sports Show 05:00 Anglo Welsh Cup 07:00 PGA European Tour 11:30 Futbol Mundial 12:00 European Tour Weekly 12:30 Live PGA European Tour 16:30 World Hockey 17:00 Futbol Mundial 17:30 Trans World Sport 18:30 ICC Cricket World

00:00 02:00 03:00 04:00

WWE Smackdown WWE Bottom Line WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter

05:00 UFC Unleashed 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Bottom Line 09:00 WWE SmackDown 11:00 WWE Vintage Collection 12:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 13:00 Red Bull X-Fighters 14:00 UAE National Race Day Series 15:00 Full Throttle 15:30 FIM World Cup 16:00 Air Sports World 16:30 UFC All Access 17:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 18:00 UFC Fight For The Troops 21:00 UFC 126 Countdown 22:00 WWE SmackDown

01:00 Kisses-18 03:00 Creation-PG15 05:00 Rugrats Go Wild-FAM 07:00 Shorts-PG 09:00 Creation-PG15 11:00 When In Rome-PG15 13:00 Run Papa Run-PG15 15:00 Enid-PG15 16:30 Love Happens-PG15 18:30 Harry Potter And The HalfBlood Prince-PG15 21:00 Ninja Assassin-18 23:00 World’s Greatest Dad-18

00:55 Demon Seed-PG15 02:30 Lolita-PG15 05:00 Poltergeist-PG15 06:55 Screening Room, The Animation Special-PG 07:20 Screening Room, The -

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

The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets Ancient Discoveries Clash Of The Gods Decoding The Past The Crusades How The Earth Was Made The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets Ancient Discoveries Clash Of The Gods Decoding The Past The Crusades How The Earth Was Made The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets Ancient Discoveries Clash Of The Gods Decoding The Past The Crusades How The Earth Was Made The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets Ancient Discoveries Clash Of The Gods Lost Worlds Man Moment Machine

00:17 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:45 03:17 07:17 08:00 08:45 09:17 11:00 11:40 13:00 13:45 14:00 15:00 15:17 16:00 16:45 17:17

Playlist New Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Playlist Playlist Rnb 10 Playlist Playlist Club 10 Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Focus Guest Star Playlist French Only Playlist Playlist

00:00 Globe Trekker 01:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 02:00 Globe Trekker 03:00 Word Travels 03:30 Wild At Heart 04:00 The Thrillseekers Guide 04:30 Great Scenic Railways - 175 Years 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 07:00 Taste Takes Off 07:30 Great Scenic Railways - 175 Years 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Globe Trekker 10:00 Culinary Asia 11:00 Food Tripper 12:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 Rajasthan - A Colourful Legacy 15:00 Taste Takes Off 15:30 Taste Takes Off



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information SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011



Time 0:05 0:10 0:25 1:45 1:50 2:15 2:35 2:45 2:55 2:55 3:05 3:10 3:40 4:25 5:20 6:00 6:10 6:25 6:40 6:45 7:00 7:35 7:45 7:55 8:05 8:10 8:20 8:20 8:30 9:05 9:05 9:30 9:35 10:00 11:10 11:20 12:55 13:00 13:25 13:45 13:50 13:50 13:50 13:55 13:55 13:55 13:55 14:10 14:15 14:25 14:30 14:35 14:50 14:55 15:00 15:00 15:05 16:10 16:20 16:35 16:45 16:50 16:55 16:55 17:05 17:15 17:15 17:20 17:30 17:30 17:30 17:40 17:45 17:55 18:10 18:15 18:40


542 607 674 3125 104 774 562 642 458 93 61 647 572 612 789 575 614 372 104 217 104 402 201 136 859 445 513 1405 502 606 5006 788 185 612 5555 135 981 636 393 802




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

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


214 712 617 617 401 611 165 541 776 238 176 611 58 58 713 561 622 622 3126 673 982 5005 5005 746 512 200 505 200 200 5065 501 773 135 787 787 702 613 342 304 6792 82 216 858 801 714 184 128 511 266 792 228 285 134 3558 604 62 331 790 648 571 457 543 373 675 218 403 206 102 137 445 301 554 860 205 1405 607 545 222 613 411


Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

10:20 10:50 11:10 11:10 11:40 11:45 11:45 12:00 12:00 12:10 13:50 13:55 14:35 14:35 14:40 14:45 14:50 14:50 14:55 15:10 15:25 15:30 15:30 15:40 15:40 16:00 16:00 16:00 16:00 16:10 16:15 16:25 16:30 16:50 16:50 17:00 17:30 17:35 17:40 17:50 18:00 18:05 18:10 18:15 18:20 18:20 18:25 18:35 18:40 18:45 19:10 19:15 20:05 20:10 20:20 20:50 21:00 21:05 21:10 21:15 21:25 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:15 22:20 22:20 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:45 22:45 22:50 23:00 23:00 23:05 23:10 23:35 23:45 23:55


ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in a C-A/C flat in Jabriya, area-10, near Jabriya Indian School for decent working ladies or family.Contact: 99300513. (C 3081) Sharing accommodation available for a couple / single bachelor in Mangaf Fire

Station road (Prince rent a car) KD 65, contact between 7am to 9am and 7pm to 9pm. Tel: 23719415 / 99562317. (C 3082) 3-2-2011 Room for rent in Hawally opposite Al-Bahar Center near Jabriya Bridge, decent bachelor and family. Contact: 99593486 / 97672748. (C 3079) 2-2-2011

Fully furnished sharing accommodation available for Christians in C-A/C new building in Abbassiya, big bedroom attached bathroom with separate bed, cot, cupboard, washing machine, fridge, dining table from Feb 1. Contact: 97167323. (C 3078) 1-2-2011 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)

FOR SALE Mitsubishi Galant for sale model 2004, color white, good condition, price KD 1,300. Tel: 66723518. (C 3086) 5-2-2011 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)

LOST Original document policy no. D/63/0001717 of Mr. Ahmed Ali by the state Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan, Gulf Zone is reported to have been lost. Anyone finding the same or claiming any interest in it should communicate with the Manager (PHS) State Life - P.O. Box: 11278 Dubai (UAE) or Kuwait State Life office -Ph: 22452208 / 22452209. (C 3083) 3-2-2011

SITUATION VACANT Urgently needed babysitter part time or stay-in, in Kuwait City. Please call: 66512443 / 66809431. (C 3084) Housemaid wanted, full time live-in, Salwa area. Must read and write English, to perform all household duties including cooking western food, must like animals, immediate start. Contact: 25639806 after 6pm. (C 3085) 3-2-2011 Housemaid wanted for immediate employment. Visa provided. Must speak some English. Excellent salary. Call 99817530 between 2 and 10pm. 2-2-2011


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Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday始s Solution

ACROSS 1. A sharp projection on an edge or surface. 4. The estate of a baron. 10. Someone who engages in arbitrage (who purchases securities in one market for immediate resale in another in the hope of profiting from the price differential). 13. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 14. A city in northwestern Syria. 15. Term of address for a man. 16. A deep bow. 18. In small tight curls. 20. A translucent mineral consisting of hydrated silica of variable color. 21. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 24. Fertility goddess in ancient Greek mythology. 25. A colorless odorless gaseous element that give a red glow in a vacuum tube. 26. An inflammatory disease involving the sebaceous glands of the skin. 28. The capital and chief port of Qatar. 30. (Old Testament) The second patriarch. 31. Spider monkeys. 34. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 36. A fraudulent business scheme. 38. The production of young from an egg. 39. Water accumulated in the bilge of a ship. 42. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 44. An expression of greeting. 45. Submerged aquatic plant having narrow leaves and small flowers. 46. Capital and largest city of Indonesia. 49. A metric unit of length equal to one billionth of a meter. 51. (Jungian psychology) The inner self (not the external persona) that is in touch with the unconscious. 52. God of wisdom or prophesy. 56. Report or maintain. 59. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 60. (Greek mythology) A sorceress who detained Odysseus on her island and turned his men into swine. 62. Exhibiting or restored to vigorous good health. 63. (used informally) Very small. 64. Reports of the work of a society or learned body etc. 66. A user interface based on graphics (icons and pictures and menus) instead of text. 67. Large brownish-green New Zealand parrot. 68. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 69. Late time of life. DOWN 1. (Greek mythology) The husband of Medea and leader of the Argonauts who sailed in quest of the Golden Fleece. 2. With the mouth wide open as in wonder or awe. 3. Offering fun and gaiety. 4. The cry made by sheep. 5. An annual publication including weather forecasts and other miscellaneous information arranged according to the calendar of a given year. 6. A rare heavy polyvalent metallic element that resembles manganese chemically and is used in some alloys. 7. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 8. A radioactive transuranic metallic element. 9. Distant but within sight.

10. Covered with paving material. 11. Fully developed or matured and ready to be eaten or used. 12. Genus of prickly shrubs and small trees of the Caribbean region. 17. By bad luck. 19. Type genus of the Ardeidae. 22. A summary that repeats the substance of a longer discussion. 23. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 27. Covered or protected with or as if with a case. 29. A Greek island west of Greece. 32. Not fake or counterfeit. 33. One of the two main branches of orthodox Islam. 35. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 37. Type genus of the Majidae. 40. 1 species. 41. Willing to face danger. 43. The basic unit of luminous intensity adopted under the System International d'Unites. 44. Distant but within sight. 47. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 48. (usually plural) A destructive action. 50. A communist nation that covers a vast territory in eastern Asia. 53. On or toward the lee. 54. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 55. A river in central Italy rising in the Apennines and flowing through Florence and Pisa to the Ligurian Sea. 57. The twelfth month of the civil year. 58. Scottish philosopher of common sense who opposed the ideas of David Hume (1710-1796). 61. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 65. A metallic element having four allotropic forms.

Yesterday始s Solution



Four tied for lead in chilly Phoenix Open SCOTTSDALE: Bill Haas, Jason Bohn, Tom Gillis and Champions Tour player Tom Lehman shot 6-under 65s in chilly conditions Thursday to share the lead in the suspended first round of the Phoenix Open. The start of play was delayed four hours because of heavy frost at TPC Scottsdale and only the scheduled morning starters completed the round. “It’s cold,” Haas said. “You’ve got four layers on.” Another long frost delay was expected Friday, likely forcing most of the second round to Saturday and possibly setting up a 36-hole finish Sunday. Lucas Glover was a stroke back along with Chris Couch and Ben Crane. “It was cold, and it’s getting colder,” Glover said. Phil Mickelson,

coming off a one-stroke loss to Bubba Watson last week at Torrey Pines in San Diego, topped the group at 67. “It wasn’t too bad,” said Mickelson, who played his final nine holes in short sleeves. “I expected the golf course to be frozen and balls to be bouncing on the greens quite a ways. It played terrific. The greens were receptive.” Haas was amazed that his playing partner didn’t need a sweater on the final nine. “I don’t know how he was doing it because I didn’t think it was that warm out,” Haas said. “Better than it was in the morning, but it’s still pretty cold.” Watson, also playing in the group, started play with a ski cap and kept his hands warm with mittens between shots. He shot a 70. Gillis

said it seemed colder than it was over Christmas in Michigan when he played ice hockey on a frozen lake. “I was wearing the same stuff and it felt a little colder today,” Gillis said. “Probably because we weren’t moving as much as we were when we were playing hockey.” Lehman won the tournament in 2000 for the last of his five PGA Tour titles. The 51-year-old won the Senior PGA Championship last year and opened the season two weeks ago with a second-place finish in the Champions Tour event at Hualalai.”It was chilly, but once you get playing, you kind of forget about it,” Lehman said. “Somebody mentioned about playing in Minnesota where I grew up. There were some days there

where it was so brutally cold that I can tell you, one time in high school, a kid broke his hand, but didn’t know it until the ride home because his hands were numb all day. That’s cold. Today wasn’t there.” Fellow Champions Tour player Mark Calcavecchia, a three-time winner at TPC Scottsdale, had a 77. Colombian star Camilo Villegas also struggled in the cold, shooting a 78 - the worst round of the day. Defending champion Hunter Mahan was even par after five holes. Geoff Ogilvy was 1 under through six holes in his first start since gouging a finger on a coral reef in Hawaii before the Tournament of Champions. He needed 12 stitches to repair the cut to the side of his knuckle. —AP

Brier on Goosen chase in Qatar DOHA: Austrian Marcus Brier joined overnight leader Retief Goosen on top of the leaderboard midway through the second round of the Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club yesterday. Brier, who was two shots behind the South African after the first round, shot four birdies over his first nine holes on Friday to go five under and match the south African on a much calmer day after strong winds on Thursday had caused much havoc on the desert course. Goosen, who also has nine holes to play in his second round, too had a bogey-free front nine, picking up birdies on the first and eighth. A bunch of four players are a shot behind Goosen and Brier on four under. They include three former champions in Paul Lawrie of Scotland, Darren Fichardt of South Africa and Robert Karlsson, who won the title last year. The only non-winner among them is South Africa’s Thomas Aiken, although he has completed his round and is sure to slip down by the time Karlsson, Fichardt and Goosen are through for the day. Meanwhile Martin Kaymer shot a 70 yesterday for an aggregate of three over par 147. Kaymer, who is challenging Lee Westwood for the world’s top ranking, had a “birdie free” 77 on Thursday, but retrieved his position somewhat with a bogey-free second round. “To be honest, I really struggled here,” said the Kaymer who is hoping to become the first German world number one after Bernhard Langer. “I don’t know why. I play good golf but I can’t score.” Kaymer is almost certain to make the cut now and is contemplating making a charge for the title over the next two rounds. “The thing is that the tournament here is very tight and no one is running away, and I am only seven shots off the pace. And I heard the weather is going to be good tomorrow, so I will play more aggressive in order to make a few more birdies. “We’ll see if I have a chance tomorrow.” — AFP

DOHA: Marcus Brier of Austria competes during the second day of the Qatar Masters golf tournament at the Doha Golf Club yesterday. — AFP

LONDON: This file combination of pictures show Pakistan cricketers Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, (left) Mohammad Asif (center) and Mohammad Aamer. Pakistan cricketers Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, together with their agent, have been charged with corruption offences. — AFP

Pakistan cricketers to face criminal charges UK charges trio with ‘spot-fixing’ LONDON: Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir will face criminal charges in Britain over allegations they conspired with bookmakers to fix a match last year against England. The trio have protested their innocence to the International Cricket Council but Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said yesterday they and their agent have been summoned on charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat. The players have been suspended from all cricket since Sept 3 after a British tabloid alleged they bowled no-balls at prearranged times during August’s fourth test at Lord’s to fix spot betting markets. It was alleged 150,000 pounds ($241,000) was forwarded through businessman Mazhar Majeed. CPS head Simon Clements said the organi-

zation, which was responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by British police, believed it had enough proof to convict the players. “We are satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute,” Clements said. “The International Cricket Council tribunal is due to announce its decision tomorrow, but criminal proceedings are active now.” Clements said the CPS will apply for extradition orders against Butt, Asif and Amir - the latter of whom has apologized for bowling five overs in a friendly last week - if they do not return to Britain next month. Majeed is due to appear for an initial hearing at London’s City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 17. “I would remind everyone that these men are entitled to a fair trial and should be regarded as innocent of

these charges unless it is proven otherwise in court,” said Clements, whose organization received a file of evidence from Metropolitan Police on Dec 7. “It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice the trial.” An ICC anti-corruption tribunal, which questioned the players for more than 45 hours in Doha last month, is expected to deliver its own verdict on the players’ cricket future on Saturday in the sport’s biggest fixing scandal of the past decade. The Pakistan Cricket Board says it might consider the three players for the World Cup if they are exonerated. Amir’s lawyer Shahid Karim hopes for a positive judgment for his 18-yearold client, who troubled England and Australia batsmen during the English summer until the scandal broke following an investigation by the News of the World. — AP



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Flyers leave it late to beat Predators PHILADELPHIA: Ville Leino scored twice, including the late winner, to give the NHL Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday. Leino’s second goal came with 3:16 left in the game. He went 360 degrees in front of the net to avoid sliding Nashville forward Martin Erat and beat goalie Anders Lindback with a backhand on the high glove side for the winner. Jeff Carter also scored for the Eastern Conference-leading Flyers. Marcel Goc and Joel Ward scored for the Predators.

Bruins escape fight night with win over Stars

Bruins 6, Stars 3 In Boston, the hosts overcame Dallas in a game littered with fights. In the first 4 seconds of the game, there were three separate fights; Stars agitator Steve Ott bloodied Boston’s Gregory Campbell one second after the puck was dropped. That was followed by Boston’s Shawn Thornton pounding Stars forward Krys Barch one second later. And then Boston’s Adam McQuaid was fighting Dallas’ Brian Sutherby 4 seconds in as the crowd roared with approval. Patrice Bergeron had two goals and an assist. An energized Bruins team raced to a 2-0 lead in the first 1:20 courtesy of goals by Milan Lucic and Bergeron. Flames 4, Thrashers 2 In Atlanta, Calgary beat Atlanta to finally win a game in the team’s former host city. The Flames, who played in Atlanta as an expansion franchise from 1972-80, won in Atlanta for the first time in seven games since leaving the South. Calgary was 0-5-1 in Atlanta since the Thrashers joined the league as an expansion team in 1999. Mikael Backlund scored the go-ahead goal with about 6 minutes to go, adding to earlier goals from Mark Giordano and Brendan Morrison, while Curtis Glencross scored the late empty netter as the Flames earned their sixth straight win, their longest streak for two years. Bryan Little and Anthony Stewart scored for the struggling Thrashers. Wild 4, Avalanche 3 In Denver, Andrew Brunette scored twice to help Minnesota edge Colorado. Jose Theodore stopped 38 shots while Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard also added goals as the Wild won for the sixth time in their past seven games. The Avalanche started off sluggishly in their first contest in more than a week, allowing two goals in a 61-second span at the outset.Milan Hejduk scored twice and Chris Stewart added anotherwith 11 seconds remaining for the slumping Avalanche.

PHILADELPHIA: Nashville Predators’ Joel Ward (left) and Philadelphia Flyers’ Danny Briere collide and go down in the third period of an NHL hockey game. The Flyers won 3-2. — AP

Maple Leafs 3, Hurricanes 0 In Toronto, rookie goaltender James Reimer stopped 27 shots for his first NHL shutout, helping Toronto down Carolina. It was the ninth career NHL appearance for the 22-year-old, who appears to have elbowed Jonas Gustavsson out of a job for the time being. Clarke MacArthur, Darryl Boyce and Kris Versteeg scored for Toronto which shut out a team for the first time this season. Devils 3, Rangers 2 In New York, Dainius Zubrus had a goal and an assist to help New Jersey beat New York and escape the NHL cellar. Zubrus set up Ilya Kovalchuk’s goal in the first period and scored along with Brian Rolston in the second to give the Devils a seemingly comfortable 30 lead. Ryan Callahan and Vinny Prospal, in his season debut after offseason knee surgery, got the Rangers close, but the Devils hung on to move a point ahead of Edmonton and level with the New York Islanders in the overall standings. New York defenseman Dan Girardi nearly tied it with 0.8 seconds left, but his shot hit the right post.— AP

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Thursday: Boston 6, Dallas 3; Toronto 3, Carolina 0; New Jersey 3, NY Rangers 2; Philadelphia 3, Nashville 2; Calgary 4, Atlanta 2;Minnesota 4, Colorado 3. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division GP W L OT Pts Philadelphia 52 34 13 5 73 Pittsburgh 52 33 15 4 70 N.Y. Rangers 54 29 21 4 62 New Jersey 51 18 30 3 39 N.Y. Islanders 51 16 28 7 39 Northeast Division Boston 52 30 15 7 67 Montreal 52 29 18 5 63 Buffalo 49 23 21 5 51 Toronto 51 21 25 5 47 Ottawa 52 17 27 8 42 Southeast Division Tampa Bay 52 32 15 5 69 Washington 52 27 15 10 64 Atlanta 54 24 21 9 57 Carolina 52 25 21 6 56 Florida 51 22 23 6 50

GF 177 161 153 106 123

GA 136 117 133 149 166

161 136 137 131 114

117 127 144 156 169

158 142 155 155 136

154 132 174 161 138

Wesren Conference Central Division Detroit 50 31 13 6 68 173 148 Nashville 52 27 18 7 61 138 125 Chicago 51 27 20 4 58 164 143 St. Louis 49 22 20 7 51 130 146 Columbus 50 23 22 5 51 134 159 Northwest Division Vancouver 52 33 10 9 75 175 122 Minnesota 51 27 19 5 59 135 137 Calgary 53 26 21 6 58 151 156 Colorado 51 25 20 6 56 164 169 Edmonton 50 15 27 8 38 123 171 Pacific Division Dallas 52 30 17 5 65 151 147 San Jose 52 27 19 6 60 148 144 Anaheim 53 28 21 4 60 143 150 Phoenix 53 25 19 9 59 152 156 Los Angeles 52 28 22 2 58 146 126 Note: Two points for a win, one point for overtime loss.

Schild wins slalom as favorites falter ZWIESEL: Marlies Schild warmed-up for next week’s world championships by winning her fifth slalom of the season yesterday, while American Lindsay Vonn opted not to start the World Cup race after crashing in training earlier in the week. Austrian Schild clocked a combined time of one minute, 55.19 seconds to bag the 26th victory of her career in her favorite event. Three-times World Cup winner Vonn came to the race warm-up in the morning but decided against entering the race. She did

not explain her decision. The withdrawal did not affect her contest with German rival Maria Riesch for the overall crystal globe as the World Cup leader failed to complete the first leg. “It was a tough race. Nobody finished without a mistake,” said Schild of the slalom held amid strong winds and poor visibility. The Austrian was one of a few to avoid any major mishap as 21 skiers failed to cross the line in the German resort. Most technical-event specialists were

looking for clues before the worlds as no slalom had been held for three weeks after the cancellation of races in Maribor last month. “It was a long time without skiing at competition level but it’s great to go to the world championships with this,” said Schild. The Austrian, who has never won a major title despite grabbing seven medals at world or Olympic events, is eager to end her drought at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. “Each time I close my eyes, I see the

(Garmisch) piste. It’s a course I know like the palm of my hand and I try to keep in mind the image of last year’s World Cup finals in which I did so well,” the Garmischbased skier said. Slovakia’s Veronika Zuzulova was second, while Finn Tanja Poutiainen, arguably the most consistent slalom specialist, was third, 1.78 adrift. In the overall World Cup standings, positions remained unchanged, with Germany’s Riesch leading with 1,232 points to Vonn’s 1,087. — Reuters



French look to restore pride

LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (left) of Spain, is defended by San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan and Antonio McDyess (right) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. — AP

Spurs edge Lakers LOS ANGELES: Antonio McDyess tipped in Tim Duncan’s missed jump shot right before the buzzer to give the San Antonio Spurs a thrilling 89-88 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Thursday’s clash of NBA championship aspirants. Tony Parker scored 21 points and Richard Jefferson added 18 as the Spurs held off a fast-finishing Lakers team to prevail in a meeting of sides that entered the game as the top two teams in the Western Conference. San Antonio nursed a small lead through most of the second half until Lamar Odom’s 3-pointer with 1 minute to play and Pau Gasol’s free throws with 22.7 seconds left put the Lakers ahead. Manu Ginobili missed an open 3-pointer and Tony Parker missed a floater in the lane on the Spurs’ final possession, but San Antonio got both rebounds. Duncan’s shot after an inbounds play then bounced high off the back rim, but McDyess slipped inside to tip it home. Gasol scored 19 points for the Lakers. Heat 104, Magic 100 In Orlando, LeBron James had 51 points, 11 rebounds

and eight assists - including a team-record 23-point first quarter - to lead Miami past Orlando. It was a season high for James and the fifth-highest total of his career. The Heat exploited a thin Magic front line that was missing injured starting forward Brandon Bass. They led by as many as 23 points. Dwyane Wade added 15 points. Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 22 points. Dwight Howard had 17 points and 16 rebounds, but only one point after halftime and was just 3 for 13 at the free throw line. The victory was the Heat’s fourth straight. The Magic fell behind 2-1 in the season series against Miami. Warriors 100, Bucks 94 In Oakland, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry combined for 15 points in the final 4:38 to lift Golden State over Milwaukee. Ellis hit a jumper with 17 seconds left to put the Warriors up by four. He scored 24 points to lead Golden State. Curry had 16 points. Corey Maggette scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Bucks, who lost their third straight. — AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Thursday: Miami 104, Orlando 100; Golden State 100, Milwaukee 94; San Antonio 89, LA Lakers 88;

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

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L 37 11 25 23 22 26 15 35 13 37 Central Division 34 14 19 27 19 29 17 32 8 41 Southeast Division 35 14 31 18 31 19 21 27 13 35

PCT .771 .521 .458 .300 .260

GB 12 15 23 25

.708 .413 .396 .347 .163

14 15 17.5 26.5

LA Lakers Phoenix Golden State LA Clippers Sacramento

.714 .633 .620 .438 .271

4 4.5 13.5 21.5

San Antonio Dallas New Orleans Memphis Houston

Oklahoma City Denver Utah Portland Minnesota

Western Conference Northwest Division 31 17 29 20 29 21 26 23 11 37 Pacific Division 34 16 23 24 21 27 19 29 12 34 Southwest Division 41 8 33 15 32 19 26 24 23 28

.646 .592 .580 .531 .229

2.5 3 5.5 20

.680 .489 .438 .396 .261

9.5 12 14 20

.837 .688 .627 .520 .451

7.5 10 15.5 19.

PARIS: France start their defense of the Six Nations title here today against Scotland determined to produce an impressive performance that will erase memories of the 59-16 humbling by Australia last November. In a Jekyll and Hyde year typical of French rugby, they left the Stade de France last March to a standing ovation having clinched their first Grand Slam since 2004 but left to jeers and worse in November following their abject display against the Wallabies. Coach Marc Lievremont and his squad have vowed they owe the spectators and themselves a performance worthy of their status as defending champions and viable World Cup contenders. But that could prove difficult against a Scottish side that has improved steadily under former England coach Andy Robinson. Lievremont, who revamped the coaching structure in response to the Australian defeat giving himself a more hands-on role, has selected a much changed side from the one torn apart by Australia with, among others, veteran No8 Imanol Harinordoquy restored after being dropped for the Wallabies match. However, Lievremont has once again raised eyebrows over his selection policy with his choice in the backs, pairing specialist winger Aurelien Rougerie alongside Maxime Mermoz in the centers whilst sending 32-year-old veteran Yannick Jauzion back to Toulouse. Lievremont has also chosen the pedestrian Damien Traille to fill the pivotal role of fullback while the admittedly more inconsistent but more visionary Clement Poitrenaud warms the bench. The coach, however, believes he has the right formula. “I think it is an attack-minded backline,” said the 42-year-old former international backrow forward, whose playing highlight was the 1999 World Cup final defeat to Australia. “Now I think about it I have in the past selected other backlines which appeared to be well-balanced and often ended up being disappointed,” added Lievremont, who has chosen a different backs division for the 18th time in his four year tenure. His players are not taking the Scots lightly with both scrum-half Morgan Parra and Harinordoquy aware that if they throw caution to the wind in their desperate desire to woo back the favor of the home supporters the French could be caught on the counter-attack by their opponents. “Scotland are both an ideal adversary and also one that could lure us into a trap,” said Parra, who was one of the stars of last season’s Grand Slam side. “It is a team which likes to play which is something that one rarely gets in the Six Nations, a team which has nothing to lose against France. “The worry is that in wanting to quickly get the crowd on our side by playing free-flowing rugby and trying all sorts of things we will be hit on the counter-attack,” added the 22-year-old Clermont scrum-half. Robinson hopes to carry the momentum of five wins from the last six Tests - including a superb win over world champions South Africa - into the match and pull off their first win in Paris since 1999 and their first in their opening match since beating France in Edinburgh in 2006. “International rugby is about maintaining forward momentum and, as Test matches go, France in the cauldron of Stade de France will be a stern examination,” said Robinson, who has bounced back from a difficult period as England coach. “I’ve remarked before that Scotland have produced some stirring one-off victories in the championship in the recent past and that what we need to do is produce winning performances consistently. “We showed last year that that could be achieved following up our win against Ireland with our tour results in Argentina, though we know that we must be 100 percent on our top game for that aim to be realized.” — AFP



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Players gird for worst as labor talks continue DALLAS: With just four weeks to go before the deadline for a new labor deal expires, the NFL players union says it is bracing for its first work stoppage in almost a quarter century. “Every player has heard me say to prepare for the worst,” said DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, on Thursday. “I believe the owners have been taking steps for a lockout for a long time. Only one side can lock us out.” Smith is meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week in Dallas to try to hammer out a deal before the current collective bargaining agreement expires on midnight March 3. The two men have scheduled talks for Saturday with full negotiating teams at their sides. Smith said he has personally sat down for 40 sessions and about 200 hours of bargaining with the league but they remain miles apart on issues like financial transparency, expanded regular season schedule and revenue sharing. Smith says the owners having been wanting a lockout for a long time so they can cut a new deal which would give the owners’ a larger share of the overall revenue pie. “It wouldn’t be an understatement to say there is disagreement,” said Smith at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Dallas Thursday. “Who would have thought

that every NFL team would be worth one billion dollars today? “The league had nine million dollars in revenues last year and that was generated through the worst recession of our lives.” One of the key stumbling blocks is the players want the owners to turn over their books so the players can have their lawyers and accountants go over them with a fine-tooth comb. Jeff Pash, NFL executive vice president, insisted on Wednesday in Dallas that the league has already given the union all their financial information. Smith scoffed at that suggestion on Thursday. “I don’t know how we can get it done without the financials,” Smith said. Another major factor in the talks was expanding the NFL regular season from 16 to 18 games for each club, trimming two pre-season games in August from schedules in favor of more games that matter in the standings. Smith says the wear and tear of an 18-game season on the players would be too much. “Anything that increases the risk of injury and has the potential to shorten careers is something not in the best interest of the players,” Smith said. The last time labor troubles came to a head was in 1987 when a players’ strike lasted three weeks and clubs used replacement players to field teams. — AFP

Roethlisberger’s mood for a melody causes stir DALLAS: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger caused a media stir by taking team mates out for a drink in a Texas piano bar, but his team laughed off any suggestions that he was returning to his controversial ways. Celebrity website posted a video of Roethlisberger out late on Tuesday singing along to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” five days before the Steelers face the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl in Dallas. “It was superstition and tradition,” Roethlisberger said on Thursday, adding that the team curfew had not been broken. “Tuesday night I take my linemen out to dinner and we went to a great barbecue spot. We went there and wanted to listen to some live music, so we went to a piano bar. We just had an enjoyable night.” The interest in Roethlisberger’s offfield behavior is due largely to his attempt to change his image after he served a four-game suspension at the start of the NFL season following allegations of sexual assault in a nightclub. While Roethlisberger was not charged with a crime, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he still violated the league’s personal conduct policy. The quarterback has since stressed that he has changed his lifestyle. Steelers coach

Mike Tomlin said he had no problem at all with his players taking some time out to relax during the build-up to tomorrow’s game. “I am not concerned about that one iota. We were talking about approaching this game like we would any other game. It’s normal for guys to eat dinner, believe it or not, every now and then during the course of the week,” said Tomlin. “So, this week is no different than any other. I understand that some things may be reported and viewed differently, but that’s not our concern, really. During the course of the season on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, or what have you, believe it or not, guys live lives.” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, when asked how he spent his downtime during Super Bowl week, said studying video of his opponents was taking up a lot of his time outside of practice. “I haven’t been out carousing. I am a homebody so I’ve been spending a lot of time in my hotel room watching film,” said Rodgers. “It is important, at the same time, that you are sticking with your normal routine. I like to go out to dinner when I’m back home in Green Bay ... and then come home, relax and watch film.” — Reuters

DALLAS: Workers clean off snow outside the NFL football Super Bowl XLV Media Center in Dallas yesterday. A winter storm hit Dallas with up to 5 inches of snow cancelling hundreds of flights as football fans descended on the city for the Super Bowl. — AFP

Steady Steelers stay on the four-decade plan DALLAS: Instead of focusing on the eight Super Bowl trips and six Lombardi Trophies, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell likes to talk about these numbers: Four and nine. That’s four players he’s coached on the Pittsburgh squad for nine or more seasons. Mitchell’s veteran linemen Casey Hampton, Brett Keisel, Aaron Smith and Chris Hoke may not be the Steel Curtain of the 1970s, but they speak to a larger truth. They were brought to the team, given time to develop and never jettisoned when the going got tough. And through it all, they were coached to play a single, specific, hard-nosed style. In short, that’s the “Steeler Way” - an unwavering devotion to getting one kind of player and playing one brand of football that has resulted in one outcome more often than any other over the past 40 years: The season ending with the Steelers holding the Super Bowl trophy. They play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in search of their seventh NFL championship. “In the ‘70s, when you had the Steel Curtain, those guys were there for a long time,” Mitchell said. “They had continuity with the scheme, the coaches, the ownership, and you look at it, and it’s those same reasons we’re playing very well today. I don’t think there’s many teams in this league that can say they’ve had four players with the same

assistant coach for nine years or more. That’s the thing. Because the Rooneys, they don’t panic.” The Rooney family, of course, has owned the Steelers since the beginning, back in 1933. They do more than talk the talk about “family.” To build a sense of togetherness, they like to eat with the players in the team cafeteria. When it comes to the big picture, they run an organization that loves stability but isn’t fond of drama. One of the most significant tests of the Rooney resolve came when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got in trouble in the offseason, when police investigated allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman at a bar in Georgia. One of Roethlisberger’s loudest critics during that time: The team president, Art Rooney II. No charges were filed against the quarterback. Roethlisberger ended up with a four-game suspension from the NFL and a second chance from the Steelers. About the same time, though, the team said goodbye to receiver Santonio Holmes, who caught the winning pass in Pittsburgh’s last Super Bowl, but whose trouble with drugs, legal problems and untoward Twitter messages became too much for the team to stomach. “The key to it is, we’ve always believed in having good people,” Rooney said. And for the most part, they have. While other teams dominate headlines

with contract holdouts, loudmouth coaches and videotaping scandals, about the most news the Steelers serve up on a regular basis - from the Mean Joe Greene days in the ‘70s to the present time - is that they hit too hard. The biggest flare-up of Super Bowl week so far has been James Harrison’s decision to use the big game as his platform to call out the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell for cracking down on violent hits, among other things. Harrison is this season’s mostfined player. Perhaps, then, it’s not surprising that he finished third in the recent voting for Associated Press defensive player of the year, while his teammate and fellow defender Troy Polamalu won the award. “It’s always about talent and evaluation of talent,” Steelers and NFL great Terry Bradshaw said. “It’s always about a style. Their style of play is not any different than when we started winning in 1972. It’s great defense, ball-control offense, big plays in the passing game.” What could seem boring to some - the Steelers ran 43 times and passed 19 in their AFC title game win over the New York Jets - might come off as refreshing to others, especially in cities where changes in offensive and defensive philosophies, to say nothing of overhauls of coaching staffs, hardly raise an eyebrow anymore. They do in Pittsburgh. — AP



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Drogba recalled to Ivory Coast squad JOHANNESBURG: Didier Drogba returned to Ivory Coast’s squad for the first time since the 2010 World Cup yesterday ahead of next week’s friendly against Mali. Striker Drogba was named in a 22-man squad by Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui for the game against Mali in Valence, France, on Tuesday. Elsewhere, Ghana will again be without midfielder Michael Essien for its friendly against Togo and South African pair Katlego Mphela and Teko Modise were left out of the Bafana Bafana squad for a game against Kenya after they failed to turn up for training with their clubs. The 32-year-old Drogba returns having last played for his country in the 3-0 win over North Korea last June, Ivory Coast’s final game at the World Cup. He was rested for the start of the Ivorians’ 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign, where the Elephants top their qualifying group with two wins from two games ahead of a home match vs. Benin on March 26. Fellow Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou, Manchester City defender Kolo Toure and Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue were also included for the Mali game at Valence’s Georges Pompidou Stadium. Ivory Coast has won 13 and lost just one of its 20 previous matches against Mali. While Essien is again missing for Ghana as coach Goran Stevanovic announced his first squad for a friendly vs. Togo in Antwerp, Belgium, midfielders Sulley Muntari and Derek Boateng return for the first time since the World Cup quarterfinals last

year. The coach will also be without injured AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng for his first game in charge. Essien was given a break from international football by Ghana after he missed the World Cup with a knee injury - his second serious knee injury while playing for his country. Blackpool goalkeeper Richard Kingston, Fulham defender John Pantsil, Marseille midfielder Andre Ayew and Partizan Belgrade strike pair Prince Tagoe and Dominic Adiyiah are all named. Uncapped Ernest Sowah, a goalkeeper for Berekum Chelsea, is the only Ghana-based player in the 19-man squad to play the Hawks of Togo. With a win and a draw so far in their campaign, the Black Stars are away to Congo in their next Cup of Nations qualifier. Ghana recently took over from Egypt as the highest-ranked African team at No 15 in FIFA’s list. Striker Mphela and midfielder Modise were left out of South Africa’s squad for Wednesday’s home friendly against Kenya after they both broke club rules. Mphela, a World Cup regular with Bafana, angered club Mamelodi Sundowns when he failed to show at training, while Modise was transferred from Soweto giant Orlando Pirates to Sundowns because of his absence. “We had to take a good stand and send a strong message that discipline at clubs should be maintained and brought to Bafana Bafana,” South Africa coach Pitso Mosimane said, “hence some of the familiar faces are not in this squad. —AP

Beckham still a target for Spurs LONDON: Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp still wants to sign David Beckham and is prepared to wait until the former England captain’s contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy expires in November. Beckham trained with the north London club after Redknapp’s attempt to sign him on loan last month faltered, but the Spurs manager said he could try again - even though Beckham will be 36 by then. “I could do, yeah,” Redknapp said. “I love him. I love the way he plays.” Having failed in his attempt to play on loan in Europe for a third straight year, Beckham is set to return to the United States next week ahead of the Major League Soccer season. Redknapp said the midfielder showed enough in training to suggest he could still compete in the Premier League, which he left in 2003 when he left Manchester United for Real Madrid. “David has been fantastic,” Redknapp said. “He is a top-class bloke. He has been great around the place. You would love to have him at your club. “He is so slim and so fit. He is a fanatical trainer. He works in the morning and the afternoon in the gym. He just loves playing football.” Tottenham is fifth in the Premier League after beating Blackburn 1-0 on Wednesday through Peter Crouch’s thirdminute header from Rafael van der Vaart’s long pass. Redknapp thinks his team could be scoring a lot more like that if he had Beckham in his squad to deliver his trademark crosses and free kicks. “That ball that Van der Vaart hit for Crouchy, David hit about seven of them the other morning in training,” Redknapp said. “It was like he had radar and Crouchy kept heading them in the goal.

“I kept saying, ‘that’s what I have been asking you to do lads.”‘ Beckham had been hoping that playing in the Premier League would boost his chances of being recalled to the England squad to add to his 115 appearances. The Galaxy, however, was reluctant to allow Beckham to go to Europe for a third consecutive MLS offseason after he damaged his Achilles’ tendon at AC Milan last year and was sidelined for six months. “He’s still keen to keep playing, that’s for sure,” Redknapp said. “I’m sure he’s got a decent enough place in Los Angeles but he’s over here wanting to keep playing. “Most footballers would rather be in Los Angeles.” — AP

David Beckham

APPIANO GENTILE: Inter Milan’s new player Yuto Nagatomo of Japan (left) shakes hands with Inter coach Leonardo, in Appiano Gentile yesterday. The 24year-old Nagatomo joined Inter on transfer deadline day on January 31, 2011, with fellow full-back Davide Santon heading the other way to Cesena. — AFP

Italian League Preview

Inter and Roma clash to stay in title hunt ROME: Champions Inter Milan and Roma face a crucial clash at the San Siro this weekend as both sides try to stay in the scudetto hunt. Inter pipped Roma to the title by two points last year as they finished as the top two for the fourth time in five years-with Inter winning the championship every time. But this time around both have been left lagging in leaders AC Milan’s wake and defeat in tomorrow’s game could prove terminal for either side’s trophy hopes. With just 15 games left, this would be a bad time to start losing touch with the teams above but Roma club captain Francesco Totti insists there is still a long way to go. Asked about his own lack of goals this season-he has scored just three times in 19 league games-Totti claimed he would soon click into gear. “There’s still a long way to go in the championship and my goals will come,” he said. “It’s a vital match, if we get a result tomorrow we’ll be able to remain hot on AC Milan’s heels, even though right now we’re nine points back with a game in hand.” Milan have stumbled several times since the turn of the year but both Roma and third-placed Inter have failed to take full advantage, themselves slipping up when there was the opportunity to close the gap. However, things are going a lot better for both of them than for Italy’s most successful side, Juventus. Following the disaster of last season when Juve fin-

ished seventh and went through two coaches, they spent big in the summer and hired Luigi Delneri to revive the club’s fortunes. Things started out well enough this season but they have completely lost their way since the turn of the year, losing five out of eight games in all competitions, including their last three. They come into the weekend games in eighth place with a tricky trip to Cagliari looming on the horizon. They lost 2-1 at Palermo in midweek, increasing the pressure on Delneri, who responded by blaming refereeing decisions. “The club will evaluate at the end of the season if I’ve done well or not,” he said. “We need to push on from the desire we showed (against Palermo) but then if there are two or three penalties that don’t get given it becomes difficult, also for the coach.” Milan travel to Genoa looking to maintain the five-point lead at the top they extended in midweek despite a 0-0 draw at home to Lazio. Napoli failed to capitalize as they produced a listless display in losing 2-0 at Chievo. However, they return home to host struggling Cesena tomorrow while Lazio entertain Chievo. Of the other sides challenging for a Champions League finish, Udinese host struggling Sampdoria, who have lost their way since Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini left in the January transfer window, and Palermo travel to lowly Lecce. — AFP



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French League Preview

French pretenders chase Lille PARIS: Stubborn northerners Lille will be aiming to hold off a handful of close pursuers this weekend as they continue their hunt for a first French league title in 57 years. Ahead of Lille’s trip to struggling Auxerre tomorrow they have a four-point cushion over a clutch of sides, with only nine points separating the top seven teams. Leading the chase are Paris St Germain, whose last championship success came in 1994 and who have endured several near misses since. The capital club travel Saturday to a Rennes side who are also sitting snug in the top four and who would draw level with PSG in the event of a home win in Brittany. Both sides endured contrasting fortunes midweek in the French Cup, with PSG swamping minnows Martigues 4-1 away while Rennes slid out to second tier Reims 4-3 in extra-time after first missing two spotkicks. PSG had been hoping to beef up their squad for the second half of the league campaign but lost Stephane Sessegnon to English side Sunderland and have been rebuffed regarding any move for Saint Etienne striker Dimitri Payet. Payet’s attempts to angle for a transfer from Les Verts have not impressed France coach Laurent Blanc - who after awarding him three caps left him off the squad announced Thursday to face Brazil in a friendly next week. Like PSG, Lille continue to harbor hopes of a league and cup dou-

ble - they are among just six top flight sides to make it to the last 16 of the latter tournament. And Rudi Garcia’s men will expect to stay well out in front after tomorrow’s away test at Auxerre, who like Monaco and Lens are currently residing in the bottom six. At the same time Garcia will be hoping PSG and Rennes can cancel each other out as he and his charges gear up for a frantic few weeks chasing glory on two fronts. “The diary is filling up - but at least we haven’t got anyone in the treatment room,” he reflected. Lyon meanwhile are showing signs of awakening after a mediocre - by their recent standards - start to the campaign which saw them in the lower reaches of the table following only three wins in their opening ten games. Now, Claude Puel’s side are third and only three points behind PSG - although they blotted their copy book with last week’s loss at Valenciennes. Tomorrow Lyon, serial champions between 2002 and 2008, will face a Bordeaux side who have also endured a mini-slump since ending the Lyon hegemony in 2009. “We have been lacking consistency and the Bordeaux match will be very important - for both clubs,” said Puel. Reigning champions Marseille, currently fifth, are eight points off the pace and anything less than a home win over rock-bottom Arles would be seen as a huge failure for Didier Deschamps and company. — AFP

VILLENEUVE-D’ASCQ: Lille’s players celebrate at the end of the French Cup football match Lille versus Nantes on Febuary 2, 2011 at Lille metropole stadium in Villeneuved’Ascq, northern France.— AFP

FIFA to test goal-line technology systems GENEVA: Ten different goal-line technology systems will compete to persuade FIFA’s rules-making panel that referees need high-tech help to make decisions. FIFA said yesterday that the 10 systems, which it did not identify, will be tested privately at its headquarters next week by researchers from a Zurich-based technology institute. “A report will be presented to the IFAB (International Football Association Board) following an independently monitored testing phase of 10 companies and their respective technology systems,” FIFA said in a statement. The subject will top the agenda when IFAB - comprising FIFA and the four British federations - meets March 5 in Wales for its annual review of football’s laws. IFAB also will consider letting UEFA use the five-referee match official system at the 2012 European Championship. Other proposed rules changes relate to stray objects on the field, players wearing snoods and tights, plus referees using vanishing spray to mark where defensive walls stand. Goal-line technology has long been resisted by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who has insisted that human error is part of the game. However, Blatter bowed to pressure and promised to reopen the debate at the 2010 World Cup after England was denied a goal against Germany when Frank Lampard’s shot clearly crossed the line. The goal would have leveled the round-of-16 match at 2-2 before halftime, but England eventually lost 4-1. IFAB said when approving the tests last October that “indication of whether a goal has been scored must be immediate and automatically confirmed within one second.” Only match officials would receive the information. The panel will now evaluate how accurate and

efficient the systems are before taking a “decision of principle and potential next step.” Even if at least one system meets all FIFA’s demands, further discussions are likely about commercial use and which competitions will adopt the technology before goal-line technology is finally approved. Candidates are expected to include the camerabased Hawk-Eye system used in tennis and cricket, and the Cairos team which has a microchipped ball. Both systems were rejected by IFAB in 2008 and again last March. FIFA also has proposed tightening rules on what referees should do when stray objects interfere with play. An amendment regarding an “extra ball, other object or animal” could be added to Law 5, requiring referees to stop the match and restart with a dropped ball. Currently, a section of Law 2 concerning the match ball only refers to “an extra ball” affecting play. That rule caused confusion when Sunderland scored its notorious “beach ball” goal to beat Liverpool in a Premier League match in October 2009. A shot by Darren Bent deflected into the goal off a red beach ball which was thrown onto the field by a Liverpool fan. IFAB also will debate whether the current players’ fashion for wearing neck-warming snoods is a safety risk, and consider a Wales federation proposal that tights must be worn in the same color as team shorts. The existing rule applies only to undershorts. IFAB is a 125-year-old body comprising officials from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, plus FIFA representing the other 204 football nations plus referees, coaches and players worldwide. Each British member has one vote, FIFA has four and a proposed new rule needs six votes to be passed. — AP

Spanish League Preview

Barcelona must focus on title: Mascherano BARCELONA: Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano has warned his team to put any thoughts of the Copa del Rey final with Real Madrid to one side and focus fully on the visit of Atletico Madrid in La Liga this weekend. Mascherano has only been a bit part player for Barca since his summer move from Liverpool but has been a regular in the Cup side which has reached the final after eliminating Almeria this week. Real knocked out Sevilla in the other semi-final. The Argentine has been unable to uproot Barcelona’s key midfield trio of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets who have been the engine room of the team which has now opened up a sevenpoint gap at the top of the table following Real’s defeat by Osasuna. “We need to forget about the final now as otherwise we will have problems in other competitions,” said Mascherano. “It is important that we arrive at this game (the Cup final) in a good position but as the rival is Real Madrid everything will be built up. “We are not machines but humans and any weekend we can lose although I am not concerned at the moment because I do not see signs of relaxation, in fact quite the opposite. “Atletico are a strong side and we will take nothing for granted. They won the Europa League last season and beat the world champions (Inter Milan) in the Super Cup.” With Barcelona having dropped so few points it will be a tough task for Real Madrid to claw back the difference in the league but they start against Real Sociedad. “Now we have to focus on the league and then the Champions League,” said midfielder Angel Di Maria. “We have done what we have had to do in the Cup to reach the final and we will try to win every competition we are in.” Di Maria also played down the fact that team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo has now not scored in four games. “At times things don’t go for you and it is also a while since I scored. Cristiano is playing well and has to be calm knowing that the goals will start coming again.” — AFP



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sports SATURDAY, FEBUARY 5, 2011

Argentina beat Chile AREQUIPA: Argentina came from a goal down to defeat Chile 3-2 on Thursday in the second round of South American qualiyfing for the Under-20 World Cup. Brazil, the tournament favorite, stayed unbeaten with a 2-0 victory over Colombia while the day’s other match saw Ecuador draw 1-1 with Uruguay. Bryan Carrasco gave Chile a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute, but Argentina broke the match open with secondhalf goals from Facundo Ferreyra, Juan Manuel Iturbe and Nicolas Tagliafico. Felipe Gallegos scored late for Chile. Argentina was poor in the first half, but got a boost when Ferreyra converted a disputed penalty in the 50th. Iturbe scored in the 62nd, beating several defenders in a solo run from midfield and then slotting home from 10 meters. Tagliafico took advantage of a defensive lapse in the 73rd before Gallegos scored a consolation for Chile in stoppage time. Argentina’s victory set up tomorrow’s match against archrival Brazil. Brazil wasted little time, taking a 1-0 lead in the third minute on Casemiro’s header. Colombia had plenty of chances to equalize but Mauricio made sure of the win in the 89th. Edson Montano’s 60th-minute goal gave Ecuador a 1-1 draw with Uruguay. Camilo Mayada put Uruguay up 1-0 in the 17th. Brazil has a perfect six points from two second-round games, and Ecuador and Uruguay have picked up four points. Argentina has three and Chile and Colombia bvoth have lost their first two matches. All six teams in the second round play each other once with the top four advancing to the U20 World Cup later this year in Colombia. The top two advance to the 2012 London Olympics. —AP

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English Premier League Stoke v Sunderland...........................................................15:45 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5 Wigan v Blackburn............................................................18:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 8 Aston Villa v Fulham.........................................................18:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 7 Everton v Blackpool.........................................................18:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 4 Man City v West Brom.......................................................18:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Newcastle v Arsenal..........................................................18:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5 Tottenham v Bolton .........................................................18:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 6 Wolves v Man United........................................................20:30 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5

Spanish League UD Almeria v Espanyol......................................................20:00 Aljazeera Sport +5 Getafe v Deportivo............................................................20:00 Aljazeera Sport +10 Athletic de Bilbao v Sporting Gijon.................................20:00 Aljazeera Sport +7 Osasuna v Real Mallorca...................................................20:00 Estadio Reyno de Navarra Aljazeera Sport +8 Villarreal v Levante .........................................................22:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport +3 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Barcelona v Atletico de Madrid .......................................0:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD

Italian League Udinese v Sampdoria .....................................................20:00 Aljazeera Sport +1 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Cagliari v Juventus .........................................................22:45 Aljazeera Sport +1 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD

AREQUIPA: Ecuador’s John Narvaez (left) fights for the ball with Uruguay’s Federico Rodriguez at an U-20 South American Championship soccer game in Arequipa, Peru. —AP

‘Devastated’ Man City seek Baggies revival MANCHESTER: Manchester City keeper Joe Hart admits the team is “devastated” going into today’s home game with West Brom after seeing their title aspirations fade badly. Roberto Mancini’s side went top of the table on their last home league appearance three weeks ago. But since defeating Wolves 4-3 at Eastlands, City have suffered serious setbacks against struggling opposition. They were hoping to return to winning ways at Birmingham on Wednesday after a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa. But, despite twice taking the lead at St Andrew’s, they were held to a 2-2 draw by Birmingham and start the weekend eight points behind leaders Manchester United with 13 games remaining. Hart is refusing to write off City’s title hopes, but the England international said it was vital Mancini’s side returned to winning ways against West Brom. “We’re devastated. These (Birmingham) are the kind of games we’ve got to look to be winning and we’re not happy with it,” said Hart. “We prided ourselves at the start of the season of being a very tough team to get a goal against and people had to work hard to get it. “They are coming a bit freely at the moment and it concerns all of us. “We had that stage of the season where everything hit us or we blocked it and I think it’s just around the corner where it’ll be that case again. “We’ll only need one at the other end as we’ll be keeping clean sheets. “We’re playing against teams that come the end of the season, they couldn’t care

less if it hits them on the bum and it flies into the top corner or we tackle it in.” With a make-or-break game against United on the horizon, Hart insists there is still everything to play for with City still in the Europa League and FA Cup. “We’re in three cup competitions and we’re looking to win every game we play,” added Hart. “We’ve got a massive game coming up against West Brom. “That’s our whole focus at the moment. We’ve got to try and get the three points at Eastlands today. “I think every team in the top five or six will think the same. Everyone wants to get that top spot. You can’t really rely on other teams. You can only rely on yourselves.” Mancini could be forced to reshuffle his defense as Micah Richards suffered a nasty looking neck injury against Birmingham while striker Mario Balotelli will not be rushed back and Adam Johnson remains on the long-term injury list with a knee problem. West Brom, two points above the relegation zone, are waiting on the fitness of leading scorer Peter Odemwingie. The Nigeria international registered his ninth goal of the season in Tuesday’s 2-2 home draw with Wigan before suffering a damaged ankle. “It is always interesting to play against a big team like Manchester City so I am hoping there will be no difficulties with the ankle,” said Odemwingie. “I enjoy big occasions and big games and this one fits into that bracket. It is easy to prepare for a big game because the pressure is there and you

have to go all out. “It is not like a home game, with not the biggest team, where you think today is going to be less running after the ball. “With these games, you know you have to be ready 100 percent. It is a good pressure to have.” — AFP

Gunners aim to bolster title bid at Newcastle LONDON: Second-placed Arsenal can close the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester United by winning at Newcastle today. Victory for Arsenal at St James’ Park will cut United’s advantage to two points, although Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will have the opportunity to restore that to five again by winning the day’s late kick-off game, at bottom club Wolverhampton Wanderers. Robin van Persie, Arsenal’s Netherlands forward, was hoping United’s unbeaten run, which has seen then win 15 and draw nine of their 24 league games this season, would soon end. “I’m confident Manchester United will drop points - 100 percent,” he declared. “They have got big games coming up, the (Manchester) derby, Chelsea and other big games.” However he added: “It’s vital to keep looking at yourself, because we all know Chelsea’s schedule and Manchester United’s schedule. “But the main thing is to look at our own schedule, we have a tough opponent today in Newcastle away.” —AFP




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Sports Years


Pakistani cricketers to face criminal charges in UK

BARI: Inter Milan forward Giampaolo Pazzini (center) challenges for the ball with Bari defender Kamil Glik of Poland (right) and Bari defender Andrea Masiello during their Serie A soccer match at the San Nicola stadium in Bari. — AP

Inter Milan rout Bari 3-0 Kharja, Pazzini, Sneijder power Inter up to third ROME: Inter Milan reignited their Serie A title charge thanks to Morocco midfielder Houssine Kharja setting up a 3-0 win at bottom side Bari on Thursday. The victory lifts the defending champions to seven points behind leaders AC Milan, who drew 0-0 with Lazio on Tuesday, while a game in hand for Leonardo’s third-placed side makes the scudetto run-in even more interesting. Inter’s bid for a sixth straight title was floundering under Rafael Benitez, who left in December after six months in charge, but ex-Milan boss Leonardo has quickly rediscovered the

spark which took them to a Jose Mourinho-inspired treble last term. Kharja, signed on loan from Genoa last week to boost Inter’s injured ranks, broke the deadlock on 70 minutes when he finished off some good interplay with Samuel Eto’o. Giampaolo Pazzini then netted his third goal in two games for his new club on the counter attack deep into stoppage time before substitute Wesley Sneijder marked his return from over a month out injured with the final goal. “Tonight it was difficult to find space. We faced a Bari side

who are bottom in name only,” Leonardo told Sky TV. “There are still lots of games left and even if we don’t forget we have won six of the last seven in the league, it doesn’t count for anything now, only at the end.” The score slightly flattered Inter, whose three-pronged attack with goalpoacher Pazzini out wide looked disjointed before Dutch playmaker Sneijder’s introduction. They were also fortunate not to concede in the first half and they could have be down to 10 men before Kharja’s opener after the officials missed left back Cristian Chivu lashing out at defender

Marco Rossi. “We have talked about it. A wrong thing is a wrong thing. It’s an internal issue and we’ll deal with it,” Leonardo added. Post-match television evidence will probably lead to a ban for Chivu and could give Inter’s new Japan left back Yuto Nagatomo the chance to make his debut in Sunday’s big league clash at home to last season’s runners-up AS Roma. Bari, who stayed up easily last term in their first season back thanks to some delightful football, look doomed this time after falling nine points adrift of safety with 15 games left. —Reuters

05 Feb  

Kuwait Times

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