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Saudi Arabia warns it won’t tolerate demos Kingdom bans all marches after Shiite protests RIYADH: Saudi Arabia warned potential protesters yesterday that a ban on marches would be enforced, signalling the small protests by the Shiite minority in the oil-producing east would no longer be tolerated. “Regulations in the kingdom forbid categorically all sorts of demonstrations, marches and sit-ins ... as they contradict Islamic sharia law and the values and traditions of Saudi society,” said an interior ministry statement carried by SPA state news agency. Police are “authorised by law to take all measures needed against those who try to break the law,” the statement added. Inspired by protests in other Arab countries there have been Shiite marches in the past few days in the east and unconfirmed activist reports of a small protest

Oman sultan sacks ministers after protests MUSCAT: Oman’s Sultan Qaboos has replaced two ministers, days after protests erupted demanding an end to corruption and reforms in the normally placid Gulf state, official media reported yesterday. The sultan has appointed Khaled bin Hilal bin Saud Al-Busaidi as a minister of the royal court, replacing Sayed Ali bin Hmud Al-Busaidi, the state ONA news agency said. He also appointed Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Numani as minister in the sultan’s office, replacing General Ali bin Majid AlMaamari, it added. About 200 protesters gathered in the capital Muscat yesterday at the headquarters of the Shura Council, a quasi-parliamentary advisory body, for a seventh consecutive day, while some 150 government supporters waved Omani flags from their cars. There were smaller protests in Salalah, the eastern coastal town of Sur where Oman’s liquefied natural gas export facilities are based, and Sohar where medical sources said six people were killed in clashes with security forces on Sunday. “It is clear our demands are being listened to and this is part of the reforms of clearing old ministers and bring in new blood,” Shaikh Soud Al-Amri, a protester in Muscat, told Reuters, referring to the new ministerial appointments. Protests erupted over the past week in various places in Oman, mainly in the industrial city of Sohar. Protesters occupied the Earth roundabout in Sohar, and blocked the entrance to the city’s Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: Giant kites fly in the skies over Rawdatain yesterday. — KUNA

Giant kites flutter over Kuwait skies KUWAIT: Signaling the end of the AlRawdatain popular heritage festival, which started last month, a Kuwaiti team of kite flyers made giant kites to rise up in the skies yesterday. The kites were brightly-colored and decorated with new and old Kuwaiti flags. In statements to KUNA, the Kuwaiti Kites team leader Amer Bu Hamad said the kites were diverse in size and form and were designed to show Kuwaiti heritage and to coincide with the

state’s celebrations of national occasions. Kuwait celebrated in the last few days the 50th anniversary of independence, 20th anniversary of liberation and fifth anniversary of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s assumption of power. This is the fifth time the kites’ team contributed to the annual festival, Bu Hamad said, noting that all kites were made in Kuwait and by the team members. — KUNA

Shiite protesters encircle Manama

MANAMA: A Bahraini girl holds a sign as she participates in a human chain yesterday stretching about seven kilometers around Manama, from the country’s main Fateh Mosque to the Pearl roundabout. The sign reads: “My father is Sunni, my mother is Shiite. I am non-sectarian.” — AP

MANAMA: Thousands of Shiite protesters in Bahrain formed a human chain around the capital yesterday as their campaign to loosen the Sunni monarchy’s grip on power in the strategic Gulf nation enters its third week. Tensions have been high in the Gulf kingdom since a street battle between Sunnis and Shiites on Thursday left at least a dozen people injured. No police were in sight as protesters - men and women - held hands to encircle Manama, where Bahrain’s Shiite majority has been leading daily demonstrations to end what they say are discriminatory policies and political persecution. Seven protesters have been killed since Bahrain’s Shiites took their grievances to the streets, rattling one of the wealthiest corners of the Middle East, where it was long assumed that oil riches would stave off the kind of unrest that has roiled Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya. Bahrain’s sectarian division, however, left it vulnerable. The island’s security forces have been on high alert after Thursday’s clash between Sunnis and the majority Shiites

leading anti-government protests, centered at Manama’s Pearl Square. One of the Shiites injured, 23-year-old Hussein Badr, said the attackers appeared to be Sunnis from other parts of the Arab world who were given Bahraini nationality under a policy to boost Sunni numbers. Bahrain’s Shiite majority has been ruled for 200 years by a Sunni dynasty. Its supporters rallied in separate demonstrations in the past weeks, but some members of Bahrain’s minority Muslim sect joined the Shiite protesters in opposition to the ruling Al-Khalifa family at yesterday’s event. “I am part of the human chain because I believe in unity,” said Amal Freed, a 28-year-old paralegal and a Sunni. “My love for Bahrain doesn’t mean that I have to be loyal to the royal family. I want my basic rights and the corrupted government to go.” Bahrain holds particular importance to Washington as the host of US Navy’s 5th Fleet, the main American military counterweight to Iran’s efforts to expand its armed forces and reach into the Gulf. — AP

Fear of Libya civil war TRIPOLI: Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists swept into the opposition-held city closest to Tripoli yesterday, tightening security around the regime-held capital. To the east, rebel forces captured a key oil port as the country veered toward civil war. The contrasting fortunes of the two warring sides suggest that the conflict in Libya could last for weeks and maybe months, with neither side mustering enough military power to decisively defeat the other. The government is fighting fiercely to maintain its hold in Tripoli and surrounding areas and the rebels are pushing their

front westward from their eastern stronghold. Gaddafi, who has led the country virtually

unchecked for four decades, has unleashed a violent crackdown against those seeking his ouster,

RAS AJDIR, Tunisia: Men, mostly Bangladeshis, who worked in Libya but recently fled the unrest, walk next to their tents in a refugee camp at the TunisiaLibyan border yesterday. — AP (See Page 7)

drawing international condemnation and sanctions. Hundreds have been killed, perhaps more, putting pressure on the international community to do more to stop the crackdown on protests that began on Feb 15, inspired by successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, its neighbors to the east and west respectively. US President Barack Obama has insisted that Gaddafi must leave and said his administration was considering a full range of options, including the imposition of a “no-fly” zone over Libya. Continued on Page 14

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at a mosque in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Friday. The US ally has not faced protests of the scale that hit Egypt and Tunisia that toppled veteran leaders, but dissent has built up as unrest has spread in Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Libya and Oman. More than 17,000 have backed a call on Facebook to hold two demonstrations this month, the first one on Friday. A loose alliance of liberals, moderate Islamists and Shiites have petitioned King Abdullah to allow elections in the kingdom which has no elected parliament, although even activists say they don’t know how many of the almost 19 million Saudis back them. Last month, Abdullah returned to Riyadh after a Continued on Page 14




Cabinet reshuffle essential to avoid new political crisis: MP

Local Spotlight

Leaders never resign

Ministers accused of providing ‘misleading report’ KUWAIT: There is a desperate need for a cabinet reshuffle in order to avert the imminent political crisis which will take place if this does not happen before summer, according to MP Dr Yousef Al-Zalzalah. If a reshuffle does not take place, he warned, the entire cabinet could be dismissed or parliament once again dissolved by the summer recess, adding that the only way to avoid this would be for His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah to dismiss “half the cabinet” before Tuesday when parliament resumes after the current break. Speaking in an inter view with Al-Rai TV, Al-Zalzalah, the chairman of the parliamentary finance and economic committee, indicated that six of the current cabinet ministers need to be replaced, although he did not name the ministers in question. “MPs have given this cabinet ever y possible form of chance, as per the instructions of His Highness the Amir who urged us to give the cabinet a year’s period to operate,” he asser ted, adding that eight months after that year’s period ended, the cabinet has still failed to achieve substantial results. Al-Zalzalah, a former minister, also accused the cabinet of providing a “misleading report” on the progress to date in the implementation of the government’s development plan, vowing to hold its members accountable for this. He referred to HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed as the

“maestro of an orchestra whose members can’t agree on one musical note due to the lack of cohesion between them.” Al-Zalzalah’s outburst could raise questions amongst obser vers, who have long regarded him as a pro-government MP given his previous supportive stance towards the cabinet. He insisted, however, that his position on issues is determined only by reason, stressing that he has no personal ambition to return to serving in government and would not exchange his parliamentar y seat for any government portfolio. Concerning the peaceful protest planned outside parliament for Tuesday by a group of young Kuwaitis calling for the premier to step down, AlZalzalah urged against such a demonstration, saying that it “would be regarded as a violation of the constitution, which indicates that appointing the

state’s Prime Minister is the sole authority of His Highness the Amir.” In the interview, the MP also touched on the “efforts” being made to increase salaries and allowances for Kuwaiti professionals, including teachers and retired servicemen. On the issue of Kuwait ’s bedoon (stateless) residents, AlZalzalah emphasized the importance of addressing all the complex problems associated with this matter. Meanwhile, several independent MPs have called for opposing any pressure from the Popular Action Bloc (PAB) and Development and Reform Bloc (DRB) to discuss the issue of bedoon rights during Tuesday’s parliamentary session. Speaking to Al-Watan on condition of anonymity, one independent MP said, “We as MPs do not belong to any bloc, and we know that the PAB and DRB are seeking to take the

opportunity of any case to turn public fury against the government, even if the government acts to fulfill the MPs’ demands, including some [MPs] who belong to blocs known for escalation of tensions.” The MP warned that the issue of bedoon (stateless) residents’ rights is not a bridge which the two blocs should cross at the expense of the country’s stability, in order to escalate tensions between the two authorities. The unidentified independent MP said that the majority of MPs will vote in favor of the cabinet’s decree giving bedoon residents rights, although they would not necessarily vote in favor of legislation in this area since the objective is to implement such measures rather than to pressurize the government. Since the government had expressed positive and honorable intentions to resolve the issue, MPs should go along

with this in order to achieve the desired results and implement them, after which they can take any further action if it is felt that the government’s response has been inadequate in resolving the issue. One parliamentary insider said, meanwhile, that the DRB and PAB had taken a decision to escalate tensions with the government through their insistence on passing legislation to enshrine bedoons’ rights and by expressing doubts about the government’s lack of compliance with its previous promises to the parliament on several other issues. The insider suggested that members of both blocs will attempt to influence the position of most parliamentarians on the bedoon rights issue and will attempt to embarrass them in front of Kuwaiti society and the bedoon community, especially those stateless people with Kuwaiti family members.

Muna Al-Fuzai

ibya has suddenly emerged on the global scene, usurping a prime slot that was until recently occupied by Egypt. I do not think Libya has been so hotly discussed before, as it is being done now. In case the ‘King of all Kings’ decides to go wild and use ‘forbidden weapons’ against its people, the world is waiting and watching. Maybe some have exaggerated the possible repercussions of letting the man in power go scot-free. The people in Kuwait have mixed feelings about what is really going on in Libya, most of us feel sorry for the Libyan people, especially for those who suffered at the hands of Gaddafi and lost their children. On the other hand, there have been a few who have benefited from him, through the power that Gaddafi exercises. There are not many now. I doubt if they are ready to lay down their lives for him. They either get killed, run away or are captured. Gaddafi will be remembered for many years. He has assigned himself many names. He has clearly stated that he is not a president and has no intention of resigning or being deposed. He is a leader and leaders never resign! Another one of his wisecracks goes like this: “Electricity is a blessing without which we would have been forced to watch TV in the dark!” He had also made a funny comment about voting, “Every woman has the right to vote regardless of being male or female!” I fail to understand how this man ruled a country for forty years! Now, af ter 40 years of ‘silence’ many Libyans are fed up and they have the right to feel that way. I forgive the countries who will object to his ouster. I think with time, this man have to relinquish power and succumb to the force of Libyan people and international laws.


KUWAIT: A fire broke out in a trash can in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. The fire department responded to an emergency call and doused the flames.

NBK’s social contributions exceeded KD 105 million in 20 years KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the best bank in the Middle East, has released its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report concurrently with its Annual Report. NBK’s CSR contributions amounted more than KD 105 million between 1992 and 2010, including its annual contributions to the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and National Labor Support. Depicting the latest 12-month episode of a decades-old tradition of community involvement and a longstanding legacy in social responsibility, the recently released CSR report sheds light on the bank’s various philanthropic, social, educational as well as sports-related initiatives and contributions throughout the year 2010. The report provides a further testament of NBK’s multilateral leading role, which constitutes a pioneering example for the Kuwaiti private sector’s serious social involvement. NBK’s CSR initiatives cover all sectors including recruitment and national labor support, healthcare, education, social support, sports, and environment. In 2010, NBK launched a full-fledged recruitment campaign to attract skilled graduates and young nationals to join the bank. The bank recruited more than 700 young Kuwaitis during the last two years, raising the percentage of nationals employed in the bank to over 60%; one of the highest ratios among local banks. NBK also plans to employ an additional 300 young Kuwaitis in 2011. NBK strongly supports the country’s health care institutions. As part of a firstof-its-kind initiative launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and entitled NBK Leukemia Treatment Program, the bank invited a medical team of British physicians from London’s world famous Great Ormond Street Hospital to

KUWAIT: One of the NBK activities during 2010. take up residence at NBK’s Children’s Hospital for a period of three years in order to provide the much-needed medical care for children suffering blood disorders and cancer. NBK will cover the entire $3 million annual cost of the program. NBK’s long standing support of the educational sector in Kuwait starts with a donation deducted from the bank’s net annual profits to endorse the activities of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), the volume of which during the past few years has surpassed the total contributions of all other Kuwaiti commercial banks. 2010 also saw NBK launching a number of innovative and exemplary community outreach initiatives. These included the introduction of the first-of-its kind sign language-based banking service in Kuwait and the Middle East by providing some local NBK branches with sign language certified experts to assist hearing and speech impaired customers.

Similarly, NBK made news in April 2010 by providing assistance to all customers who were stranded in Europe and were unable to fly home due to the travel paralysis caused by the Icelandic volcano eruption. The most prominent sports event during 2010 was crowning Kuwait’s national football team champion of the 20th Gulf Cup Tournament and the generous donation of $1 million provided by NBK. NBK’s Annual Walkathon in its 17th edition maintained its remarkable success this year with thousands of participants from all ages and both genders enthusiastically contesting amid a host of social, sports and health awareness activities. The event was launched as part of a large scale kidney awareness campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. As part of NBK’s nationwide campaign to encourage conservation, the implemented electricity and water rationalization campaigns at the head office as well as the branch network.

‘Ministry protects teachers’ rights’ KUWAIT: The rights of expatriate teachers are protected as per contracts signed with the ministry, asserted Dr Moudhi Al-Homoud, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education. This was the first official response to reports about a Facebook group that non-Kuwaiti teachers at public schools had begun, demanding more financial privileges. “The ministry is the prime protector of teachers’ rights,” she added. They also went on to say that any vio-

lation of articles mentioned in teachers’ contracts will be addressed in accordance with laws and regulations. Dr Al-Homoud was talking to reporters following a meeting she recently chaired for the ministry’s board of undersecretaries. She also explained that teachers can put forward demands or complaints they have with the Kuwait Teachers Society “which is the official representative [of teachers],” noting that the KTS includes Kuwaiti as well as non-Kuwaiti members.

X-cite, Safat Home’s Hala Feb celebrations come to an end KUWAIT: The most exciting and thrilling celebrations that took place this year have come to an end in Safat Alghanim’s courtyard after 12 days of festivities that were held by Safat Home and Xcite by Alghanim Electronics on the occasion of Kuwait’s 50th year of independence, 20th year of liberation and five years since the Amir’s ascension to rule. The 12-day celebration was a huge success as people from all walks of life attended the event and participated in sundry activities that suited individuals from different age groups. The event also included shows by traditional, local and international performers, exhilarating acrobatic and magic shows, interactive workshops for children, international pianists, live mimes, stilt walkers and cartoon characters as well as prizes and free gifts that were presented to the attendees and contestants. The audience was wowed by a brilliant fireworks display that was specially imported from Russia on the occasion of X-cite and Safat Home’s Hala Februar y celebrations. The event ’s attendees included members from the Kuwait Society for Handicapped and Down Syndrome Association who had greatly contributed to the competitions, performances and fun ac tivities that were enjoyed by many individuals and families. X-cite and Safat Home’s directors of marketing and events were determined to have the largest number of families and children attend the celebrations, as they believe in the importance of providing families with a joyous time as well as giving children the opportunity to enjoy fun activities, entertaining events and performances. The night of Feb 24 was a special night as it featured the formal ceremony that concluded the Hala

Februar y celebration that was attended by the organizing committee and representatives of the event’s official sponsors. The closing ceremony comprised of a magnificent display of fireworks that was broadcast by local television stations, showcasing the bright lights that adorned the skies. After the cake cutting ceremony was concluded, H ilal Farhat and Natasha Aqeel, the event’s management team, were presented with a congratulatory plaque on behalf of their efforts. X-cite and Safat Home honored the young Kuwaiti artists who partook in the Hala February activi-

ties, providing them with the necessary encouragement that will fur ther local talent in the near future. The audience interacted with the performers as the celebration’s closing ceremony was uplifted in a melodic ambience. X- cite from Alghanim Electronics and Safat Home congratulate His Highness the Amir, HH the Crown Prince, Kuwaiti government and Kuwaiti people on the occasion of Kuwait ’s grand occasion as well as looking forward to the country’s up and coming holidays that will hopefully always be celebrated in God ’s good will.



e niv rsar n





Amir took 8 flights in 24 hours to achieve Oman-UAE reconciliation A true show of shuttle diplomacy KUWAIT: The reconciliation of relations between Oman and the United Arab Emirates is still gaining positive reactions, all of which have lauded this important step, as well as the crucial role played by Kuwait’s Amir His Highness Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah in achieving it. Senior diplomatic sources revealed that HH the Amir had been shuttling between the two countries in a true show of shuttle diplomacy, taking eight flights between the two nations in under 24 hours, in order to ensure that the two neighboring nations turn the page of conflict between them. “Signs of the conflict between Oman and the UAE became to show after Sultan Qaboos of Oman failed to attend the Gulf Cooperation Council summit that took place in Abu Dhabi”, said a senior official, citing disagreement on commercial and labor issues, in addition to procedures over their joint borders as being behind the problem. “At the time, the Kuwaiti delegation made a modest activity to solve the dispute.” Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official explained that Kuwait attempted again to resolve the dispute during the Arab economic summit in Sharm Al-Sheikh on Jan 20 this year, but the Omani and UAE delegations insisted at the time that they were working on overcoming the disputes mutually. Following recent developments in the Arab region which have seen major uprisings in Bahrain and Oman however, Kuwait decided to take urgent steps to resolve any conflict within the countries of the GCC federation, the official explained “[Kuwait] realized that waiting would only make matters worse, and that solidifying relations between the GCC countries has become a necessity, especially after Egypt became unable to maintain its strong role on the Arab scene,” the insider said.

“With this in mind, the Kuwaiti leadership made communications with its Saudi counterpart, as well as the leaderships of other GCC countries, after which HH the Amir embarked in his journey of reconciliation that saw him taking eight flights between Abu Dhabi and Muscat within a 24-hour period.” The official also revealed that HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad had insisted that he would not return to Kuwait until the dispute between the two nations was resolved. The authorities in both Oman and the UAE were tremendously responsive to HH the Amir’s initiative, the insider went on, adding that both showed great commitment to cooperate with him in his drive to achieve reconciliation. “Sultan Qaboos personally told Sheikh Sabah that he welcomes any activity that His Highness does to seek the best interest of the region,” the official said, adding that the following day saw a historic meeting at AlShumookh Fort between Sultan Qaboos and the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammad Ben Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, which was mediated by HH the Amir.

Sandstorms disrupt port activities

KUWAIT: Capital Governor Sheikh Ali Al-Jaber Al-Sabah invited heads of tribes in Kuwait to a luncheon that was recently held at the Azayez farm in Abdaly, an initiative that was held for the first time to bolster unity among all sections of Kuwaiti society. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KUWAIT: Activities at Kuwait’s seaports in Shuwaikh, Shuaiba and Doha were suspended for nearly eleven hours on Friday by the heavy sandstorms that blanketed the country. Elsewhere, meanwhile, managing director of the operations department at the Kuwait International Airpor t Essam Al-Zamel indicated that the aviation traffic had not affected by the bad weather. “Three ships had to wait for 11 hours after maritime activity was stopped from 6:00 am until 4:00 pm,” said Shuwaikh Ports dock supervisor Musa Behbehani, citing low horizontal vision as the main reason for preventing vessels from

entering or departing from the ports. Veteran Kuwaiti meteorologist Dr. Saleh Al-Ujairi had indicated that north winds with a speed of 45 km per hour had resulted in the dusty weather, which subsided early on Saturday morning. Dr. Al-Ujairi fur ther noted that southeasterly winds expected today may bring cloudy weather, increasing the possibility of rain later in the week, around Wednesday. Dr. Al-Ujairi also warned that the higher temperatures get the greater the chance of sandstorms, with the hottest temperatures for Kuwait this year expected in the first two weeks of August.

Meanwhile, several Kuwaiti MPs lauded HH the Amir’s initiative, which they agreed is “not something new coming from the sponsor of Arab diplomacy.” “His Highness the Amir has a historic role in supporting the GCC federation by working to resolve any conflicts that takes place between its members,” said MP Musallam Al-Barrak, acknowledging the Kuwaiti monarch’s efforts since his time as the country’s foreign minister. Fellow parliamentarian Mohammad Hayef also praised the “profound efforts of His Highness the Amir which resulted in a brotherly reconciliation between the UAE and Oman,” while MP Shuwaib Al-Muwaizri said that the Kuwaiti leader’s initiative “proves that the GCC countries are members of a single family, each of whom are affected by anything that affects any of them.” Another Kuwaiti MP, Nadji Al-Abdulhadi, said that HH the Amir “has always been a pioneer in resolving conflicts between brotherly nations,” while the chairman of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee, MP Mubarak Al-Khurainej, asserted that the recent initiative “is an addition to His Highness’s successful efforts to resolve disputes between Arab nations in general.” —Agencies

MP proposes meals for private schools KUWAIT: A lawmaker put forward a proposal stating that private schools in Kuwait should provide kindergarten and first grade students with meals during lunch break, similar to practice followed in public schools. The process is supervised by the Ministry of Education to ensure quality, reported Al-Rai. In a recent press statement, MP Dr Mohammad Al-Huwailah explained that the proposal was made in light of higher fees paid in private schools. He said “students should be provided with healthy food that enables them to avoid medical conditions and focus on the educational process.” He further indicated that children are more vulnerable to diseases and that unhealthy diets cause most of the diseases in students.




2,000 bedoon servicemen to receive citizenship Plans to hold 8 additional NA sessions

KUWAIT: Members of the Kuwait Teachers Society pose for a group photograph.

KTS holds ‘positive meeting’ with head of NA panel KUWAIT: The head of the Kuwait

Teachers Society (KTS) yesterday acknowledged the "great cooperation" shown by chairman of the parliamentary legislative committee, MP Husain AlHuraiti, over the society's demands for the enforcement of a draft law to amend allowances for teachers at state schools. The bill was submitted to the parliament by MPs Dr Jamaan Al-Harbish, Falah AlSawagh, Dr Walid Al-Tabtabaie, Dr Faisal Al-Mislem and Mohammad Hayef. Mut'ab Al-Otaibi led a team of KTS members in a meeting with Al-Huraiti on Thursday morning, during which the two parties discussed the latest developments in regards to the draft law which would grant teachers larger allowances. In a statement issued to reporters following the meeting, Al-Otaibi indicated that the meeting had been "positive", and that Al-Huraiti "showed a great deal of understanding of the legitimate rights of teachers." He added that Al-Huraiti had promised to refer the draft law to the parliamentary educational committee as

soon as possible for it to be enforced later by the parliament. Noting that the KTS is increasing its efforts to enforce the bill "in light of the of current events which have seen pay rises being enforced for several professional categories," Al-Otaibi criticized the Ministry of Education "for having no activity in discussing the draft law with the Civil Service Commission," noting that the minister Dr. Moudhi Al-Humoud had previously promised the teachers' body that she would support the draft law. Concerning recent demands by expatriate teachers for more financial privileges, Al-Otaibi stressed that the KTS is the main representative body for teachers of all nationalities working in Kuwait, reiterating the society's "keenness on supporting their just demands." He added that the KTS is also studying the option of preparing a plan to increase the salaries of non-Kuwaiti teachers in cooperation with the MOE and the CSC.

False report By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Medical Emergency room received a call reporting a domestic helper's attempt at committing suicide. However, when the medical team reached the location in Mangaf the maid was found spreading out laundry in the balcony. Car accident In a car accident that took place in

Abdaly near Rawdatain, a 58-year-old citizen fractured his ribs and sustained back pain and internal bleeding. He was rushed to Jahra hospital. Row in office A quarrel broke out in one of the companies located in Sulaibiya. The fight resulted in a 36-year-old Indian suffering injuries to the head. He was admitted to Farwaniya hospital.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Defense plans to naturalize nearly 2,000 stateless residents who took part in wars in which the Kuwaiti Army was involved. According to officials, the servicemen have already met conditions that make them eligible to obtain Kuwaiti citizenship. This initiative is separate from the government’s announcement that eleven draft laws will provide stateless residents with various civil rights. In separate news, MP Dr Jamaan AlHarbash announced that efforts are currently ongoing to allocate a parliament session to discuss financial allowances to be paid to employees. These were never enforced by the

Civil Service Commission. Al-Harbash further indicated that MPs will discuss as part of March 8 session, the possibility of including the demands of Interior Ministry detectives as well as Fatwa and Legislation Department lawyers’ into the special session. In another development, the Cabinet has made plans to inform the Parliament that it approves holding eight additional parliamentary sessions in order to compensate for those that were not held owing to a lack of quorum. According to officials, the proposal remains as long as no extension can be made to the current term. Moreover, officials indicated that recent developments are going on in favor of

the governmental approach, especially since a recent meeting was held between His Highness the Prime Minister and a number of MPs. A similar meeting will take place this week, during which MPs will lend support to HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah. They will ask him to change a number of ministers to garner more support, reported Al-Rai. The Cabinet has also made plans to enforce several laws in cooperation with the Parliament, adding that achievements made through various interpellation motions, earned the Cabinet more confidence in the Parliament.

KIFCO continues with major oil, gas expo preparations KUWAIT: The Kuwait International Fair Company

(KIFCO) is continuing with its preparations for October's Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Exhibition at the Mishref Fairground. The event, scheduled to take place from October 18-20, will be patronized by Kuwait's Minister of Oil Sheikh Ahmad AlAbdullah Al-Sabah, who is also the country's information minister. KIFCO's Deputy Chairman and CEO Abdulrahman Al-Nasser said in a press release issued yesterday that the Ministry of Oil (MoO) has already extended official invitations to numerous local and international oil, gas and petrochemical companies, encouraging them to participate in the major international event. Al-Nasser explained that the exhibition aims to shed light on the latest activities in the oil and gas industry and related fields, including geographical studies and field discoveries, production, marketing, environmental protection and employee health and safety. The company CEO added that the exhibition will lift the curtain on many exciting new projects in these fields, as well as on various investment opportunities. He said that the exhibition is particularly relevant during a period when all the region's states are searching for new ways of developing their oil, gas and petrochemical organizations and other firms working in these sectors. Al-Nasser added that the participation of the major international oil companies in the exhibition will enable visitors to get acquainted with the latest, most up-to-date methods being used to tackle oil industry challenges and allow company representatives, experts and other visitors to exchange expertise and knowledge. The senior official said that the major significance

Abdulrahman Al-Nasser

of October's exhibition also comes from Kuwait's status as one of the world's main oil-producing nations, with the organizers' efforts being focused on making the exhibition one of the leading specialist expos in the region. Al-Nasser concluded by expressing hope that the world's leading oil companies and others in related fields would take part in the exhibition, both as sponsors and participants, in order to achieve this objective and to generate further forward-looking scientific dialogue about the future of the oil industry, which is crucial to both Kuwait and the wider Middle East region.

Hi-tech fireboat to sail from Korea to Kuwait KUWAIT: A new high-tech fireboat, commissioned as part of Kuwait's efforts to enhance its national firefighting squads' capabilities, is shortly to set sail from South Korea bound for Kuwait, a journey of 7,000 miles, the head of Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) revealed yesterday. The KFSD Director General, Major General Jassem Al-Mansouri, said that a delegation of senior directorate officials are currently in South Korea, arriving there last Thursday evening, for the official launch of the new KD5 million vessel. The high tech 40m x 13m fireboat, with a top speed of 13 knots per hour, is fitted with all the latest equipment, including night vision thermal cameras, engines and pumps to provide both water and foam to tackle different types of blaze, and electronic fire control apparatus, as well as other electronic devices, Maj. Gen. Al-Mansouri revealed. The vessel is expected to dock in Shuwaikh Port later this week. — KUNA

KUWAIT: ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Kuwait Limited announced yesterday the launch of the second annual science trip essay competition in collaboration with Bayan Bilingual School (BBS), as part of its ongoing support for math and science education in Kuwait. Finalists of the competition will be rewarded a five-day trip to London in April 2011 to visit ExxonMobil's UK refinery in addition to a tour of the UK's top universities and cultural sights. Students participating in the second "ExxonMobil Science Trip Essay Competition" are required to submit an essay on what they deem as the most significant scientific achievement made by an Arab scientist in the last two decades. The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges comprised of ExxonMobil Kuwait's President, Dr. John Hoholick, BBS Science Head Teacher, Seema Faruqui and Kuwait University Professor, Dr Khaled Mahdi. Winners will be announced on Jan 26. ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Kuwait Limited President, Dr. John Hoholick, said: "ExxonMobil Kuwait continues to support educational initiatives, especially in math and science, two fields with breakthrough innovations that have changed our everyday lives. It takes motivation to inspire students to challenge themselves and become the innovators of tomorrow. We look forward to welcoming participating this year and to hosting the winners at ExxonMobil's UK operations." Globally and in Kuwait, ExxonMobil is an active supporter of math and science education. In Kuwait, ExxonMobil is a co-founder of the annual Kuwait Science Fair competition, Kuwait's largest math and science competition launched in 2008. Bayan Bilingual School High School Principal, Jihad Saddedin, said: "We are very pleased to partner once again with ExxonMobil to help inspire students and engage them in science fields. ExxonMobil has been a great supporter of our school's science activities and continues to do so through exciting activities and amazing awards for students." Founded in 1977, BBS is a non-profit ArabicEnglish university preparatory educational institution in Kuwait, which fosters an environment for students to develop intellectual qualities, ethical values, and positive attitudes required for effective participation and leadership in the overall development of Kuwait and the rapidly changing world.



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Three dead, one hurt in traffic accidents Youth gang attacks waiter in Jahra KUWAIT: Two Kuwaiti men in their twenties died instantly in a car crash on Nuwaiseeb Highway. On receiving a call reporting that the men’s car had overturned, emergency personnel rushed to the scene, reported Al-Rai, but paramedics pronounced both men dead shortly after their arrival. In a separate incident, another Kuwaiti man died in a crash on King Fahad Road after his car overturned when he lost control of the steering whilst driving at high speed. Although paramedics were quickly at the scene, they pronounced the man dead shortly after their arrival, reported Al-Qabas. The victims’ bodies were removed for autopsy in both cases. In a separate incident, a senior Ministry of Interior (MoI) official sustained multiple injuries in a crash on Abdally Road near Roudhatain on Friday night. Paramedics had to remove the officer, Maj Gen Khalil Al-Shamali, from the wreckage of his vehicle before taking him to Jahra Hospital. An investigation is underway into the crash.

Jahra thugs A waiter at a Jahra restaurant was rushed to hospital with serious head injuries after he was attacked by a group of young thugs. The waiter had apparently been sprayed with water by the

young thugs as he approached their car to take their order, before they drove off laughing. When he retaliated by picking up a stone and throwing it at their car, smashing the back windscreen, their ‘humor’ quickly evaporated, however, and they returned, storming into the restaurant to find the hapless waiter who they assaulted with a hammer, leaving him unconscious. As he was being rushed to hospital, 20 of his attackers’ similarly thuggish friends then turned up at the restaurant, trashing and vandalizing it before stealing KD500 from the traumatized cashier and fleeing the scene, reported Al-Anba. A police search for the young thugs is underway.

Boozer, bootlegger Police arrested a Kuwaiti man who was discovered to be driving under the influence of narcotics on King Fahad Road, with officers recovering hashish and narcotic tablets from his possession. He was initially pulled over after patrol officers from Ahmadi noticed him driving erratically, reported Al-Watan, and was sent to sober up in a cell at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Meanwhile, an Indian man was arrested in Salmiya after officers carrying out a routine patrol caught him in possession of 53 bottles of homemade liquor. He was taken to Rumaithiya police station.

Fireworks seized Customs officers at Shuwaikh Port confiscated a large consignment of unsafe fireworks which the smugglers had attempted to disguise by putting them in boxes marked as containing cooking pots and accessories. The confiscated fireworks, which were found in a fortyfoot shipping container, are banned in Kuwait due to being deemed unsafe for use, reported Al-Watan. Officials have put the estimated market value of the seized shipment at between KD75,000 to KD100,000.

Strike provoker An employee at the Nuwaiseeb border checkpoint is being held for questioning after he was accused of inciting coworkers to hold a strike that could affect the progress of work there. A security official told Al-Qabas that substitute staff had to be called in to cover for a number of employees who failed to show up in an apparent cooperation with the calls for strike action. The official added that traffic at the checkpoint was not affected.

Wataniya initiated large scale national campaigns

PAYS concludes art, photography competitions KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Youth and Sport (PAYS) recently concluded competitions that were held for youngsters in creating plastic art, caricature, and photography. These were organized in cooperation with Kuwait Society for Plastic Arts (KSPA). The ceremony was held under the patronage of Acting Managing Director of PAYS Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad Al-Sabah Deputy Director General of Youth Affairs at PAYS and former Kuwaiti international footballer Jassem Yaqoob, as well as head of the Youth Center Department Tariq Al-Hassoun, and Chairman of the

Minister approves MoH reshuffle KUWAIT: Health minister Dr Helal Al-Sayer has approved a reshuffle of several senior Ministry of Health (M oH) officials. An MoH insider said that although most of these staff restructuring measures will take place in the health ministr y ’s legal affairs department, a number of health zone directors and other department heads will also be transferred. On a separate issue, M oH Assistant Undersecretar y for Allied Medical Services Affairs Dr Qais AlDuwairi announced on Thursday that a team of Canadian medical specialists from Toronto University is to undertake the management of the Hussein M ak k i Jumaa specialist surgery center from the beginning of April. He explained that the team will take over management of the technical services at the facility, as well as the medical and consultative services, reported Al-Jarida. Dr Al-Duwairi fur ther revealed that several prominent European and American medical institutions have submitted bids to run the physiotherapy hospital, adding that senior MoH officials are currently studying these proposals.

KSPA Abdulrasoul Salman made their presence felt. During the event, which took place at the KSPA headquarters’ building, an awards ceremony was held to felicitate the winners. In the opening speech, Yaqoub who represented Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad at the event said that PAYS organized events that reflected the energy of the youth, noting that holding such exhibitions was important to tap into the unlimited potential of Kuwaiti youth. In his speech, Salman said that the advent of such events and PAYS’ contribution to it, reflected authorities’ concern towards the youth.

KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom has not spared a chance to celebrate the joyful and blissful celebrations of Kuwait’s 50th Anniversary and 20th Liberation with its customers and the people of Kuwait. Whether you were a customer, participant, Kuwaiti, non-Kuwaiti or even an observer you must have felt and enjoyed the warm-hearted season of celebrations with Wataniya during the past two months. Starting with GiveKuwait campaign initiated in December giving a chance for anyone who considers Kuwait a homeland, to express their love and passion for this great country by simply uploading a photo, audio recordings and video clips for free on the GiveKuwait website. Thousands participated which made this campaign a big success. Participants of the Give Kuwait campaign got a chance to share their work with everyone in Kuwait during the Photo Gallery which took place at the Marina Bridge to honor the work of their talented and creative pieces of arts. Wataniya awarded winners who received the most votes on weekly basis with valuable gifts and will be holding a press conference soon to conclude the campaign and announce the names of the final three grand winners. Furthermore, on Feb 19 Wataniya brought together a number of renowned singers and well known folk dancers creating the biggest musical concert of the

month free of charge for anyone who wanted to join and take part in the joyful celebrations. The concert resulted in great success with the attendance of thousands of citizens and expatriates proudly sharing the happiness of nationalism and patriotism. Abdolaziz Al-Balool PR, Director at Wataniya Telecom expressed his contentment with Wataniya’s active role during Kuwait’s special occasions and commented: “At Wataniya we have a wonderful team working behind the scenes. They have been

the soul and heart of all these successful events and have worked very hard to bring to Wataniya’s customers and the people of Kuwait such amazing campaigns and initiatives.” Al-Balool also added: “We are glad that we were able to take part in such happy occasions and share the nationalistic vibe with everyone residing in Kuwait. We will surely not stop at this; there are more campaigns and exciting events to take place in the upcoming period.” In addition to the GiveKuwait

campaign and the musical concert, Wataniya participated at the Parade that took place at the Arabian Gulf Road on Feb 27 with all whom were witnessing it live on the streets or with those watching it at their homes. Taking the opportunity to make the occasion a memorable and exciting one for everyone, Wataniya promises to continue its surprises and nationalistic events until April 2011 celebrating Kuwait’s 50th Anniversary and 20th Liberation days.




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‘No reshuffle’ comments take anti-govt blocs by surprise MPs hold talks with premier KUWAIT: Several political and parliamentary blocs who were confident that a Cabinet reshuffle would take place following the national holidays have reportedly been taken aback at reports quoting His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah as telling a number of MPs during a recent meeting that no reshuffle will take place any time soon. A parliamentary insider with knowledge of the situation indicated that these blocs had been organizing their activities based on the information they received previously, which indicated that a reshuffle, including the appointment of a new premier, would take place prior to parliament reopening on March 8 after the current recess.

‘London bedoons’ protest against ‘Kuwaiti racists’ KUWAIT: A group calling itself the ‘London bedoons’ has placed a large placard bearing pictures of several prominent Kuwaiti political figures with the photos crossed out and ‘Racist’ written below them outside the Kuwaiti Embassy in London. A picture of the placard in Al-Watan shows the photographs of various prominent politicians, including the head of the government’s stateless residents authority Saleh AlFadhalah, political activist Sheikha Al-Ghanim Al-Sabah, MPs Adel AlSaraawi and Abdullah Al-Roumi, and former MP Ahmad Al-Mulaifi, amongst others. The placard also

bears statements in large letters, ‘Kuwaiti Racists’ and ‘They Shall Be Damned.’ Hitting back, Al-Mulaifi suggested that this is proof that “there are domestic and foreign organizations fuelling the bedoons’ demonstrations,” adding that these bodies would benefit further if the bedoons’ problems remain unresolved. He suggested that these organizations are linked to the Baath party of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, saying that not only would this party benefit from these problems going unresolved, but that he saw similarities between

the protesters’ use of the word ‘damned’ and senior Baath party officials’ use of it. “Apparently, Kuwaiti-Iraqi cooperation to help resolve the bedoons’ problems has awoken the Baath cells and made them move to obstruct any potential solution,” he said, adding, “Those protesting in London are dressed in dishdashas [traditional Arab male robes] to fool the public into believing that they are Kuwaitis, whereas in fact they could be people who fled from Iraq following the fall of Saddam’s regime and claimed to be bedoon in order to incite sectarianism in Kuwait.”

The same insider also indicated that the principal anti-government blocs, the Popular Ac tion Bloc (PAB) and the Development and Reform Bloc (DRB) plan to hold a meeting shortly in order to confer on their next step, and that they are also set to contact the National Action Bloc (NAB) as a possible source of further support for their strategy. The PAB and DRB, along with the Islamic Salafi Alliance (ISA) and the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) had released statements prior to the recess demanding a new Cabinet led by a new Prime Minister. Reports of HH the Prime Minister’s latest statement on Friday suggested, however, that the government had no intention of seriously considering any major reshuffle or change of premiers in the near future, while rumors of plans to replace a number of ministers were pure speculation. One parliamentary source indicated that during the premier’s meeting with the 12 MPs last week, a number of topics had been discussed, including the possibility of constitutional amendments. The source said that HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed had dis-

cussed the sensitive issue of possible constitutional amendments on a one-to-one basis with each of the lawmakers present, indicating that the cabinet is ready to look into any amendments proposed by parliament, but that it has no intention to propose any amendments. The premier also reportedly voiced support for any proposal which would be helpful to citizens, as long as it complies with the country’s laws. Among the MPs repor tedly present at the meeting with HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed were Khalid Al-Adwa, Dr. Yousef AlZalzalah, Saleh Ashour, Askar AlEnezi, Adnan Al-Mutawa, Ghanim Al-Mie’a, Dr. Salwa Al-Jassar, Saad Al-Khanfour and Khalaf AlDumaitheer. Following the meeting, parliamentarian Dr. Al-Jassar told the press that the premier had told the MPs that he “doesn’t mind facing a hundred grilling motions every day,” a reference to the many threats of further interpolations against him by some MPs should he fail to step down. Another parliamentary insider said that the Prime Minister welcomes any interpolation, “so long as it aims to achieve reform and

address faults.” On the talks addressing constitutional amendments, MP Khalid Al-Adwa voiced support for any such amendments “that are in accordance with Kuwait’s democracy,” but cautioned that the present period is an unsuitable time for any such activities. “I am all for an amendment to the 1962 constitution, but not at this time,” Al-Adwa said, referring to the turbulence currently affecting other Arab countries “which are used by some to influence the situation in Kuwait.” He added, “Kuwait is a state of institutions that is governed by the law and the constitution which are respected by all.” Al-Adwa was critical of those fellow parliamentarians who are currently calling for amendments to the constitution, saying that t h e s e a re t h e s a m e M Ps w h o strongly rejected such changes when they were proposed previously. “ They strongly disagreed with MP Ali Al-Rashid when he previously proposed an amendm e n t to t h e co n s t i t u t i o n”, A l Adwa indicated, adding that the s a m e M Ps n ow s u p p o r t i n g amendments described them on that occasion as an “unforgivable crime.” —Agencies

kuwait digest

Khairan resort celebrates national days KUWAIT: The Khairan resort held large-scale celebrations to mark the 50th anniversar y of Kuwait ’s I ndependence, 20th Liberation Anniversar y and the 5th Anniversar y of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah’s investiture. Deput y CEO and M anaging Direc tor of Touristic Enterprises Company Khalid Al-Ghanim attended the event, including Deputy Managing Director for Touristic Affairs Meshary Al-Sanousy and General Manager of Khairan resort Adnan Zinedine. Various events were held as part of a program that was prepared for the special occasion. It included a traditional circus display. AlGhanim and senior officials participated in the cake-cutting ceremony, before the event concluded with a fireworks display.

Khalid Al-Ghanim

Meshary Al-Sanousy

Al-Ghanim cuts the cake.

Adnan Zinedine

Attendees during the cake-cutting ceremony.

Serve your nation or step down By Dr Abdullatif Al-Suraikh

t the time of writing the article, news broke out that Egypt’s head of government Ahmad Shafiq had resigned, and that former transportation minister Essam Sharaf has replaced him. Given that Egypt occupies a leading role in the Arab World, serious events that take place there have the power to influence people and the governments of other Arab countries. The Egyptian revolution was an outburst against the ‘internal fear’ that disallowed civilians from demanding basic rights. It eventually led to the ouster of the highest figure in power. No one that occupies the country’s senior posts are protected. Either you serve your nation and fulfill your responsibilities, or leave the post. The situation is as simple as that. I hope this rule can be adopted in Kuwait. I hope that people can make their voices heard, not only through parliament representatives but also through young men and women who can make themselves heard. The government will remove all restrictions that obstruct public demands. Ousted Tunisian president Zine ElAbidine Ben Ali underestimated the revolution, and failed to analyze it correctly because of which he had to flee to Jeddah. Meanwhile, president Hosni Mubarak failed to comprehend the demands of protestors at the Tahrir Square and all over Egypt, until he was forced to step down. Today, Muammar Gaddafi is killing his people in Libya. He claims to take care of them. Hopefully, his rule is nearing an end. Governments err when they fail to learn lessons from certain experiences. Only when they do, can they make changes according to which they become more open to public’s demands. Then it is time to show them the door. People want their governments to be strong, faithful, honest, God-fearing and patriotic. These are not unrealistic demands. People seek to live free in their homeland. —Al-Rai


Kuwaiti ambassador to Malta celebrates national days

Traditional band takes part in a march.

Circus display

VALETTA: Kuwait’s non-resident ambassador to the Republic of Malta Sheikh Jaber Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah held a flamboyant ceremony marking the Gulf state national days, with attendance by President George Abela who underscored depth of the bilateral ties bounding his country with Kuwait. Sheikh Jaber Duaij, addressing the VIPs, eminent guests and ranking officials, also noted the solid ties between the two countries, praising Malta for supporting the just causes of Kuwait, namely the resistance against the 1990-1991 occupation by the defunct Iraqi regime. The ambassador expressed deep gratitude for the Maltese officials’ participation in the national celebrations, reflecting the desire for enhancing the distinctive bilateral relations and mutual cooperation in all sectors. The ceremonial gathering, held at the top-luxury Weston hotel, marked the golden jubilee of Kuwait’s independence, the 20th anniversary of liberation and the fifth anniversary of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s accession to the top ruling post. Among the prominent attendees was Chairman of the Maltese Parliament Michael Frendo and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tonio Borg. Moreover, Sheikh Jaber Duaij congratulated HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on the happy occasions. —KUNA

International SUNDAY, MARCH 6, 2011

Egypt’s once feared minister in the dock Page 8

Yemen president vows to stay in power until 2013 Page 8

Migrant workers flee Libya At the Libya-Tunisia border, thousands await evacuation RAS AJDIR: Thousands of migrant workers were on the move in Libya yesterday, trying to flee the fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, UN refugee agency officials said. Most of the thousands of foreign workers in Libya’s rebel-held port of Benghazi were evacuated, the officials said, and about 10,000 others inside Libya were heading for a border crossing at Salloum, Egypt. At the Libya-Tunisia border, thousands spent the night in a 20,000-capacity tent camp, awaiting evacuation. Some of those coming from Libya in the past two days said they had attempted the journey before but were held back by heavy fighting along the way. There has been a

marked drop in the number of migrant workers coming across the border, from a peak of 20,000 several days ago to between 1,400 and 1,800, the UN said. Yesterday, only 500 had crossed into Tunisia by midday, said a UN official at the border. People fleeing for Tunisia said they had to pass through dozens of checkpoints on the way from Tripoli to the border. UN officials are trying to obtain updated satellite images to see whether large groups of migrant workers are waiting on the Libyan border, said Gilbert Greenhall, a spokesman for a UN disaster aid agency. Those who crossed into Tunisia in the last two days have reported seeing thousands of fellow migrant workers on the Libyan side,

but it was unclear why they were not approaching the border. The UN refugee agency said it worries that thousands of people trying to cross over are being held back by Libyan authorities. Greenhall, based at the border tent camp in Tunisia, said the most recent satellite images are several days old, but that new data would only be available today. Sony Attakora, 30, said he and several dozen other men from Ghana arrived in Tunisia on Friday, after having money and cell phones taken by Libyan forces. He said the group had tried to travel last week but was ordered back by Libyan troops because of heavy fighting. Egyptian Foreign Ministry official Nagui Ghaba said evacuees told him that people

are afraid to make the trip to the border because the Libyan army was regrouping and there was the possibility that those fleeing might get caught in the fighting. “We are afraid that the situation in Libya is getting worse,” Ghaba said. International migration officials say 191,748 people, mainly migrant workers, had left Libya. Of those, 104,275 crossed into Tunisia, 84,973 went to Egypt, 2,500 went to Niger and 4,000 went to Algeria. In Cairo, the Foreign Ministry said 145,000 Egyptians overall have returned from Libya by land, air and sea. About 4,000 Egyptian workers remain in Tunisia, and most were being evacuated yesterday by sea and air, Ghaba said. Three naval vessels from

Libya picks new UN ambassador Libyan diplomat Treki seeks recognition UNITED NATIONS: Muammar Gaddafi’s government has requested that senior Libyan diplomat Ali Abdussalam Treki be accepted as Libya’s new representative to the world body in New York, a UN spokesman said. Libya also made it clear it wants United Nations sanctions lifted. Martin Nesirky, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said Friday that the UN chief’s office also received a letter requesting that diplomatic credentials for Ambassador Mohamed Shalgham and Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi be no longer recognized. Both men, and the rest of the staff at Libya’s UN mission, have publicly renounced Gadfafi for a violent crackdown by government forces on protesters seeking his ouster. Nesirky noted that Libya remains a recognized UN member state and “when any country sends a letter naming the permanent representative, that person is the person who will be recognized.” Treki will have to present his credentials to Ban in New York to become his country’s new ambassador to the UN. Treki earlier served in the UN post three times and was president of the UN General Assembly for the annual session that ended last August. He also was the country’s foreign minister from 1977 to 1980, and later envoy to the League of Arab States in Cairo and ambassador to France. Shalgham and Dabbashi could not be located for comment on Friday. Phones at the Libyan mission rang unanswered. Meanwhile, Gadhafi’s government asked the UN Security Council to suspend the sanctions it imposed against Libya a week ago, insisting that “no opposition has been raised to peaceful, unarmed demonstrators.” A letter disclosed on Friday and addressed to Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong, whose country currently holds the monthly rotating presidency, says the Libyan government “regrets” the council’s unanimous decision to impose an arms embargo against the country and an asset freeze and travel ban on Gaddafi, his relatives and top associates. It was signed by Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Mohammad Kusa. The Feb. 26 vote was taken “prematurely condemning and penalizing the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya when the situation does not require intervention” under the UN charter, the letter says. The letter says force has been used only against “lawbreakers that have included extremist elements” undertaking “acts of destruction and terrorism.”—AP

Germany and one from Egypt were at the Tunisian port of Gabes, waiting to take Egyptians home, he added. Over the weekend, European and US aid supplies streamed into Tunisia by air and ship, and dozens of flights carried migrant workers home. UN officials say significant progress has been made toward decongesting the Tunisia-Libya border, where 9,200 Egyptians left Thursday and another 3,000 left Friday. Most of those awaiting evacuation from Tunisia were from Bangladesh, whose the government is relying on help from the International Organization of Migration to bring them home. Since Friday, the camp has been running at full capacity, with tents and blankets

for all refugees, officials said. Greenhall said the top priority was now to clean up garbage and install more latrines and showers. Before the uprising, there were 2.5 million migrant workers in Libya, including 1 million Egyptians, migration officials say. Most were in the eastern city of Benghazi, which is held by the rebels. Many of the Bangladeshis and Africans, in particular, remain far down the pecking order of nations that have the resources to evacuate their citizens, and some were too scared to venture out. UN refugee agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said yesterday the agency’s team in Benghazi reported that most foreigners who sought help had been evacuated. — AP



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Mugabe’s medical trip prompts concerns HARARE: Zimbabwe’s leader of 30 years returned to Singapore for a medical check, his fourth visit there this year, his spokesman said, as questions about his health raised uncertainty about the country’s political future. Presidential spokesman George Charamba said Friday that President Robert Mugabe, 87, left Thursday for a medical examination after undergoing routine cataract surgery in Singapore in January. He is expected home on Sunday, state media reported. “There is nothing to cause any alarm” over Mugabe’s health, Charamba said. At celebrations marking his birthday on Feb 21, an increasingly frail Mugabe said even if his body “may get spent,” his mind remained alert. Mugabe has spent seven weeks in Asia since December - a month for medical purposes - fueling

doubts about his health. Officials have dismissed reports he received treatment for prostate cancer. Eldred Masunungure, director of Zimbabwe’s Mass Public Opinion Institute, said recent questions about Mugabe’s health raise uncertainty, but that even if the elderly president were to die, his military-political machine would remain strong. “The system is not going away if an individual dies,” added Susan Booysen, a South African pollster. A survey released Friday conducted late last year by Freedom House and the Mass Public Opinion Institute shows 75 percent of Zimbabweans believe Mugabe is solely or mainly in control, and 45 percent believe his ZANU-PF party has not ceded power. Mugabe’s party lost 2008 parliamentary elections, and later entered into

a unity government with longtime opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Recent shows of force by Mugabe’s security forces contribute to the perception that he’s firmly in control, the study concluded. The researchers also found more Zimbabweans in 2010 compared to 2009 were unwilling to say for whom they would vote if elections were held tomorrow - 42 percent, compared to 31 percent. A representative sample of 1,200 people were surveyed in November and December, and the margin of error was 2.8 points. Masunungure said the poll results show Zimbabweans believe Mugabe will not loosen his grip on power anytime soon. He attributed Mugabe’s strength to missteps by Tsvangirai and to the money that has flowed to Mugabe’s supporters

since the discovery of diamonds. Mugabe has called for elections this year to bring an end to his coalition with Tsvangirai. Mugabe left for Singapore soon after he launched a campaign for a 2 million signature petition against Western economic sanctions. His rally drew 20,000 to Zimbabwe’s capital earlier this week, which Masunungure said was a mark of the growing confidence of Mugabe and ZANU-PF. Witnesses said Mugabe militants went house-to-house and patrolled bus stops demanding support for the rally. In a rambling 80-minute address, a defiant Mugabe threatened to seize foreign businesses in retaliation for Western sanctions. US ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray on Friday described the petition as a one-sided political campaign by Mugabe’s party,

“while others seeking the right to assemble, petition and demonstrate are arrested and tortured.” He said about 120 Zimbabweans facing US visa, travel and financial bans were almost all ZANU-PF leaders involved in political violence against fellow citizens. He said violence, corruption and mismanagement - not the Western measures - led to the economic crisis. Alec Muchadehama, a lawyer representing 45 people facing treason charges for allegedly plotting an Egyptstyle uprising in Zimbabwe, said the case showed how determined Mugabe’s supporters are to crush any dissent. The group was arrested while watching videos of the Egyptian revolt during what organizers said was nothing more than a public discussion of current events. —AP

Jewish groups oppose circumcision ban in US SAN FRANCISCO: Jewish groups are angry over an attempt to outlaw male circumcision in the western US city of San Francisco by putting the issue to a popular vote. Self described “intactivist” Lloyd Schofield has been collecting signatures for a voter initiative that would criminalize infant circumcision in this Californian city. After two months of collecting names, he claims to be more than half way toward getting the 7,168 signatures he needs by late April to put the matter on the November ballot. Schofield and a growing community of anti-circumcision activists say that infants should not be forced to participate in what is essentially culturally accepted genital mutilation. They claim that the procedure can cause health risks and diminished sexual function. “This is a human rights issue,” he said. “What you’re doing is you’re taking an infant and removing the most sensitive

part of their body.” Jewish organizations have pledged to fight the measure should it be placed on the ballot. Anti-Defamation League director Daniel Sandman called Schofield’s effort discriminatory and misguided. “This is hurtful and offensive to people in the community who consider this a coveted ritual,” he said. Abby Porth of the Jewish Community Relations Council charged Schofield with wasting city resources for an inappropriate political stunt that was unlikely to become law. “This is one of the most fundamental practices to our tradition of over 3,000 years,” she said. “It’s symbolic of our covenant with God.” Both pro- and anti-circumcision advocates make health claims, but the medical research does not firmly support either position. The American Academy of Pediatrics holds that there

are both benefits and risks to infant circumcision, and recommends that parents make the choice for themselves. Several other health bodies are reviewing the evidence on circumcision with an eye to new policy recommendations. More than half of US male infants are circumcised, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. If the ban is approved, those caught cutting the foreskins of infants and other minors would face up to a year of jail time and up to $1,000 in fines. The ban would certainly face legal challenges, and could be found in violation of the First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion. Schofeld said that the issue is not one of cultural practice, but of individual freedom. “This is a painful and irreversible surgery,” Schofield said. “It’s a man’s body. It’s his right to choose and we’re trying to preserve that choice.”— AFP

Somalia troops seize border town, 15 die MOGADISHU: Somali government forces and government-friendly militia took control of the border town of Beledhawo from Al Shabaab rebels after fighting which killed more than 15 people, officials said yesterday. Located a stone’s throw away from the Kenyan town of Mandera and also the border with Ethiopia, Beledhawo, is a front on the Somali government’s push against the rebels in the capital and in their strongholds in the south of the country. “Beledhawo town is now under our con-

trol after heavy fighting. I see more than 20 dead bodies of Al Shabaab,” Colonel Mohamud Ali Shire said by telephone from the town. “We shall continue fighting till we sweep them out of the whole region.” The government later confirmed the seizure of the town. “Our national troops have completely seized Beledhawo district today,” Defense Minister Abdihakim Haji Fiqi said in a statement. “They will not withdraw. We urge the residents there to support the government,” he

MASLAH: An elderly man from a Somali tribal clan carries an AK-47 and the Islamist black flag with the words “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed Is the Prophet of Allah “ as he vows to fight Somali government forces and African Union peacekeeping troops in Mogadishu’s Maslah Square neighborhood yesterday. — AP

added. Residents said they were woken up by the sound of artillery fire early yesterday, prompting them to flee their homes. “We have run to the border. Kenya has fully closed its border and brought all its troops and weapons, we don’t know what to do. Even if the government troops and Ahlu Sunna push them (Shabaab) back we will be dead because of lack of shelter and the cross fire,” said Maryan Maalim, mother of two children. Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca is a moderate religious group that supports the transitional federal government. Led by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the government is viewed by the international community as the best hope of returning the Horn of Africa country to stability after two decades of conflict. It has been facing a four-year insurgency led by the al Shabaab rebel group which professes loyalty to Al-Qaeda. The government is also backed by an 8,000 strong African Union peacekeeping force, AMISOM. Hussein Ali, another Beledhawo resident said Kenyan and Ethiopian troops were still deployed along their borders close to Mandera. Kenya, which has been training Somali government troops, has looked on wearily at the fighting in Beledhawo, at one time contemplating an attack on Shabaab to secure its border. In Mogadishu, Burundian troops from AMISOM said they stopped a suicide car bomb attack. “Al Shabaab have targeted us with a suicide car bomb but we foiled before it entered our compound,” Colonel Frolibert Nsabiyumva, a spokesman for the Burundian forces said. The force is scheduled to hold a news conference on the situation in Somalia in the Kenyan capital later yesterday.— Reuters

African leaders urge end to I Coast killing NOUAKCHOTT: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has added her voice to calls for an end to the violence in Ivory Coast, accusing strongman Laurent Gbagbo and his forces of a “callous disregard” for life. She spoke soon after five African leaders mediating in the crisis called for an end to the killings and for Gbagbo’s siege on Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized president, to be lifted. Earlier Friday, aid agencies warned that the deteriorating situation in Ivory Coast was stopping refugee workers and medical staff from helping those worst hit by the crisis. The “United States strongly condemns” attacks by Gbagbo’s forces on his own people, Clinton said, including one Thursday on unarmed women demonstrators that left seven dead. “Gbagbo and his forces have shown a callous disregard for human life and the rule of law, preying on the unarmed and the innocent. He should step aside immediately in the name of peace,” she said. “Gbagbo’s selfish effort to cling to power despite losing the election has elevated tensions and eroded the fundamental rights of Ivorian civilians,” the chief US diplomat

said. His forces have denied responsibility for the attacks. Earlier Friday, Ouattara also condemned Gbagbo’s forces for their “unspeakable barbarism” in the attack on the demonstrators during a demonstration in Abidjan. The demonstration had been “bloodily repressed, with disproportionate means, including combat tanks used by the militia and mercenaries in the pay of Monsieur Laurent Gbagbo,” he said in a statement. Tens of people had been killed, including a child, and more than 110 wounded, he added. Gbagbo’s Defense and Security Forces (FDS) on Friday denied accusations from Abobo residents that they had shot dead the women, but the UN mission confirmed the allegations. “Seven women were shot dead by the FDS,” its human rights deputy director Guillaume Ngefa said. “Six women died on the spot and the seventh died in hospital,” he said. The African presidents, tasked by the African Union (AU) with finding a solution to the standoff in which two men claim to be president, issued their statement after six hours of talks in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott. —Agencies

ALEXANDRIA: Egyptians carry a fainting soldier during clashes between protesters and security police in Alexandria, Egypt. —AP

Egypt ex-interior minister denies criminal charges Once feared minister standing in the dock

CAIRO: Egypt’s once feared former interior minister Habib Al-Adly pleaded not guilty to corruption charges yesterday, in the first trial of a member of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Standing in the dock and dressed in white prison clothes, Adly denied accusations of money laundering and unlawful acquisition of public money. “It didn’t happen,” he said twice, in a calm tone. Throughout the trial, dozens stood outside the Cairo criminal court to demand the death penalty for Adly, whose forces have long been accused by rights groups of torture. Riot police surrounded the courthouse in the Tagammu Khames suburb and three army tanks were positioned at the entrance ahead of the high profile trial. “The people want the execution of the murderer,” the protesters chanted, as others held banners depicting Adly with a noose around his neck. The corruption case against Adly has fallen short of demands of some pro-democracy activists who want to see him tried for human rights abuses. The former minister is currently being investigated for ordering the shooting of protesters with live bullets during 18 days of riots that brought down Mubarak. Shortly after the start of the hearing, Judge Al-Mohammadi

Qunsua adjourned the session to April 2, after a heated exchange between the defence team and civil society lawyers attending the trial. Defense lawyer Mohammed Yussef Manaa had asked for more time to study the documents of the case, and refused to comment after the trial. Qunsua said Adly had used his position as a public servant to sell land to a contractor doing work for the interior ministry, in a deal worth 4.8 million Egyptian pounds (around $813,000). He also accused Adly of implication in money laundering to the tune of 4.5 million Egyptian pounds (around $762,000). Ibrahim Bassiuni, a civil society lawyer volunteering for the prosecution, called on Qunsua to allow television cameras into the courtroom. “It is the public’s right to see this murderer standing in the dock,” he said. Bassiuni also said money recovered from Adly’s alleged illegal deals “should be handed to the martyrs of the revolution.” Adly was arrested last month as part of a sweeping corruption investigation by the new authorities, along with several former ministers and senior members of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party. Mubarak, 82, resigned on February 11, handing power to a military council that pledged to pave the way for a free

democratic system and bring to justice those found guilty of abuses. The nationwide riots, that erupted on January 25 and saw bloody clashes between protesters and Adly’s security forces, left at least 384 people dead and over 6,000 injured, while scores were detained. A few days into the protests, police disappeared from the streets, sparking accusations that Adly had deliberately sought to sow disorder. On Friday, Egypt’s newly appointed Prime Minister Essam Sharaf vowed to respond to demands for democratic change as he addressed thousands of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. His speech was interrupted as protesters demanded the abolition of the dreaded state security apparatus, a branch of the interior ministry accused by rights groups of crushing dissent through torture. “I pray that Egypt will be a free country and that its security apparatus will serve the citizens,” Sharaf said. By Friday evening, hundreds of demonstrators tried to storm the state security building in Egypt’s second city of Alexandria with Molotov cocktails and were answered by gunfire, witnesses said. At least four people were wounded, one critically, a security official said, before troops intervened to end the clashes.— AFP

Yemen president vows to stay in power until 2013 SANAA: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday reiterated that he would remain in power until his term ends in 2013, rejecting an opposition plan for him to step aside this year. “The peaceful and smooth transition of power is not carried out through chaos but through the will of the people expressed through elections,” an official source at the presidential office said in a statement. The opposition on Friday said Saleh was sticking to an earlier plan to step down in 2013 but had agreed to a proposal by religious leaders to revamp elections, parliament and the judicial system. Saleh, an ally of the United States in its battle against an Al-Qaeda wing based in his country, has struggled to cement a truce with Shiite rebels in the north and quell a budding secessionist rebellion in the south. Protests have taken place across Yemen, a country of 23 million which borders the world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia. The protesters say they are frustrated with widespread corruption and soaring unemployment in a country where 40 percent of its 23 million people live on $2 a day or less and a third face chronic hunger. Separately Yemen’s Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Hashid Abdullah Al-Ahmar, resigned from the ruling party yesterday in protest at the use of violence against anti-government demonstrations, a source close to him told Reuters. His resignation comes just a day after an influential ally of the president,

Ali Ahmad Al-Omrani, a tribal sheikh from the southern Al-Baida province, resigned. Omrani’s resignation came a week after nine parliament members from the General People’s Congress Party (GPC) resigned. Earlier yesterday witnesses told Reuters three protesters were wounded on Friday evening when Yemeni security forces fired into the air and used tear gas to disperse demonstrators at a sit-in in the southern port city of Aden. Protestors were dispersed after they had gathered at a square in the city’s Sheikh

Othman district following Friday prayers, the witnesses said. Possibly more than 100,000 protested on Friday in one of the largest demonstrations in Sanaa yet and similar numbers rallied in Taiz, south of the capital, a Reuters reporter said. More than 20,000 protesters marched in Aden and tens of thousands marched in Ibb, south of Sanaa. Shiite Muslim rebels in the north of the country on Friday accused the Yemeni army of firing rockets on a protest in Harf Sufyan, where thousands had gathered. Two people were killed and 13 injured.—Reuters

SANAA: A Yemeni soldier flashes the victory sign as he joins antigovernment protesters demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday. — AP



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Italy makes immigrants speak Italian FLORENCE: Svetlana Cojochru feels insulted. The Moldovan has lived here seven years as a nanny to Italian kids and caregiver to the elderly, but in order to stay she’s had to prove her language skills by writing a postcard to an imaginary friend and answering a fictional job ad. “I feel like a guest,” said Cojochru. She had just emerged from Beato Angelico middle school where she took a language test to comply with a new law requiring basic Italian proficiency for permanent residency permits following five years of legal residence. Italy is the latest Western European country turning the screws on an expanding immigrant population by demanding language skills in exchange for work permits, or in some cases, citizenship. While enacted last year in the name of integration, these requirements also reflect anxiety that foreigners might dilute fiercely-prized national identity or even, especially in Britain’s case, pose terror risks. Some immigrant advocates worry that as harsh economic times make it harder for natives to keep jobs, such measures will become more a vehicle for intolerance than integration. Others say it’s only natural that new-

comers learn the language of their host nation, seeing it as a condition to ensure they can contribute to society. So far, Italy is only giving a gentle turn to the screw. Cojochru and other test-takers described the exam as easy. No oral skills were tested. In Austria, terms are tougher. There, where native speakers have been sometimes known to scold immigrant parents for not speaking proper German to their children, foreigners from outside the European Union need to prove they speak basic German within five years of receiving their first residency permit. Failure to do so can bring fines and jeopardize their right to stay. The government argues that foreigners who master German can better integrate and help foster understanding across cultures. But, like in Italy, critics say it’s a just a pretext for erecting barriers. “The German language is increasingly being used as a marginalization tool,” said Alev Korun, a Turkish-born member of the opposition Greens party who immigrated to Austria when she was 19. Austria’s Cabinet approved new rules requiring most immigrants to have elementary German skills before they even

enter the country. They’re part of a plan to create a new “red-white-red card” the colors of the Austrian flag - for a work permit for qualified non-EU citizens aimed at filling gaps left by an aging work force. The legislation now goes to parliament for consideration. Critics say requiring people to speak basic German before they set foot in Austria would be an unreasonable barrier for people from poor, rural areas who can’t afford or access German classes. “I think this is a very clear form of discrimination of certain type of immigrants,” said Barbara Liegl, head of the Austrian anti-racism organization ZARA. “I see massive disadvantages for specific groups.” Terrorism pushed Britain to start strictly enforcing a requirement for English-language competency for prospective citizens. Three of the 2005 London suicide bombers were native Britons of Pakistani descent while the fourth was born in Jamaica. Since 2005, would-be citizens and permanent residency holders have been asked to prove their command of “Britishness” by answering multiple choice questions, in English, on British history, culture and law, from explaining

the meaning behind the fireworks-filled Guy Fawkes Night, to knowing which British courts use a jury system. Britain’s government has pledged to dramatically cut immigration, and the language requirement is effectively a tool to put a cap on the number of newcomers, said Sarah Mulley, an immigration expert at the Institute of Public Policy Research, a London think tank. Home Secretary Theresa May, who aims to cut immigration to below 100,000 by 2015, said language tests will help weed out those who don’t plan to contribute to British life. She has singled out spouses seeking marriage visas to join English-speaking partners as a particular concern. “There is a concern about long-established communities in the UK who are not well integrated, for examples, some of the Pakistani (and) Bangladeshi communities, and that’s largely linked to language limitation,” Mulley added. But Mohammed Reza, a Pakistani on a student visa who is studying for Britain’s citizenship test, saw language as a path to integration. “If I’m wearing traditional clothing on my way to the mosque, everyone on the

tube (subway) looks at me funny and gives me wide berth,” Reza said. “It’s hard to beat the stereotype, but speaking English is probably the most important thing for fitting in. That’s why I read as much as I can and try to learn the lingo here.” In Italy’s case, there has been a much weaker tradition of immigration and no major Islamic terror attacks. Still, a strong spike in newcomers in recent years - along with the very newness of the immigration phenomenon - has fueled a xenophobia surge and boosted the popularity of the anti-immigrant Northern League, Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s main coalition partner. In 1990, immigrants numbered some 1.14 million out of Italy’s then 56.7 million people, or about 2 percent, according to the state statistics bureau, ISTAT. At the start of this year, foreigners living in Italy amounted to 4.56 million of a total population of 60.6 million, or 7.5 percent, with immigrants’ offspring accounting for an ever larger percentage of births in Italy. Amid the trend, Northern League leader Umberto Bossi’s influence in government has grown ever stronger, his rhetoric often laced with a racist tinge. — AP

Chechnya leader gets a new five-year term Lawmakers unanimously approve Kremlin nominee

MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at a meeting on formation of an international financial center in the country in the Gorki residence.— AP

Insurgency in Russia’s Caucasus a big threat MAKHACHKALA: A police officer stopped at a traffic light in Dagestan’s capital is gunned down from an adjacent car. A driver blows himself up at a checkpoint. The mayor has survived 15 assassination attempts. Attacks on authorities take place almost daily in Dagestan, the largest and most violent of Russia’s mostly Muslim provinces in the North Caucasus, a breeding ground for terror spreading all the way to Moscow. The separatist movement that began more than 15 years ago as a battle for Chechnya’s independence has mutated into a violent quest for an Islamic state in a region stretching some 650 kilometers east to west from the oil-rich Caspian Sea to Sochi, venue of the 2014 Winter Olympics. That’s hardly likely to happen, but it ensures that the Caucasus will continue to be post-communist Russia’s festering wound. The pattern is familiar: Poverty, a 50-percent unemployment rate and a government perceived as corrupt and abusive drive the discontented into the arms of Islamic militants, police crack down hard, innocents suffer and the separatists gain more recruits. “There is a colossal gap between authorities and society in Dagestan,” Alexei Malashenko, an expert on the Caucasus with the Carnegie Endowment’s Moscow office, said in an interview. “People feel increasingly frustrated and the Islamists are becoming increasingly popular.” The North Caucasus includes six semiautonomous republics, and the Islamic insurgency seems to have a way of jumping from one republic to another. No sooner did Moscow’s long war against Chechen rebels achieve a fragile peace than Ingushetia became a rebel staging ground. Government subsidies and better administration relieved the pressure in Ingushetia, so now the focus is on Dagestan. But the Kremlin appears to have no comprehensive strategy for countering the rising insurgency. Its response has largely been limited to reshuffling officials in charge of the region while failing to deliver promised reforms. Now, after years of assurances that Caucasus militants were being brought under control, Russian officials are sounding an alarm. In January, after a suicide bomber killed 36 people at Moscow’s biggest airport, President Dmitry Medvevev called terrorism the main threat to Russia and acknowledged that attacks had increased in 2010. After the bombing, Russia announced grand plans to build job-creating ski resorts in the region’s breathtaking mountains. But a month later militants responded by killing three Russian ski tourists and blowing up a major ski lift. Police said they also defused a massive car bomb outside a resort hotel. These attacks happened in another

republic, tiny Kabardino-Balkariya, where attacks on authorities multiplied more than sevenfold to roughly four a week in 2010 and killed 42 police officers, by official count. Overall, about 300 law enforcement agents were killed in the North Caucasus last year, and about 650 were wounded, according to official figures. Caucasus insurgents claimed responsibility for the airport bombing and last year’s double suicide bombing on the Moscow subway that killed 40. Doku Umarov, the Chechen who leads the rebellion and calls himself the Emir of the Caucasus, vowed that 2011 would be Russia’s “year of blood and tears.” Russian authorities have repeatedly said that the rebels have close links with alQaida and get funds from sympathizers in the Arabian peninsula. The insurgents don’t appear to have anywhere near the strength to force secession from Russia, but with Moscow unable to suppress them, the region could face a long and violent stalemate. The militants operate in small, autonomous cells that are hard for authorities to track down, says Gennady Gudkov, a veteran counterintelligence officer and now a member of the Russian parliament. Just over a decade ago, Dagestanis fought alongside Russian federal troops to fend off rebels who invaded from neighboring Chechnya. Chechnya has since grown more stable under the tough rule of its Kremlin-backed strongman, while Dagestan has become the main base for militants. “In the Caucasus, Russia has effectively turned into a failed state,” said political analyst Yulia Latynina. “In 1999 Islamists in Dagestan were marginals who suffered a defeat, but now they have become a powerful force.” Ruslan Gereyev, a sociologist monitoring the youth in Dagestan, said Islamic rebels are gaining popularity among the region’s teenagers, who “see them as their idols.” A Russian SWAT team officer, who asked to be identified only as Nikolai because of the sensitivity of his job, said recruits are trained for several months, then go into action in autonomous groups of 10. He estimated the number of militants in Dagestan at about 500, many in their teens. The recruiters seem to have large sums to attract jobless, impoverished recruits. Nikolai said a group of 12 militants recently wiped out by his unit had more than $1 million in cash. If they need funds quickly, the insurgents extort money from local businesses, he said. But Isalmagomed Nabiyev, a human rights activist here, says Dagestanis probably fear the Islamists less than they fear the police, who “have all the power, but they act like bandits.” Although Chechnya was the root of the insurgency, it’s now probably the toughest place for Islamic militants to operate.— AP

GROZNY: Lawmakers in Russia’s Chechnya region handed strongman leader R amzan Kadyrov a new five-year term yesterday, unanimously approving the Kremlin nominee in a vote whose outcome was never in doubt. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s nomination of Kadyrov for a new term earlier this week underscored the Kremlin’s reliance on the former rebel who rights activists say rules the volatile region by intimidation and abuse. In power since 2007, Kadyrov will start a new term in April af ter the unanimous vote in Chechnya’s 41-member parliament. The Kremlin credits K adyrov with maintaining a shak y peace and rebuilding Chechnya, devastated by two separatist wars since 1994, and

relies on him to keep a growing Islamist insurgency across the North Caucasus in check. But his critics say K adyrov rules the republic of 1.1 million as a personal fiefdom and directs campaign of violence against his opponents, claims he has repeatedly dismissed as attempts to blacken his name. “We have built roads, schools, hospitals and homes... We are transforming the republic into one of the best and most prosperous territories not only in the Nor th Caucasus, but in all of Russia,” Kadyrov told lawmakers after the vote. Russian Prime M inister Vladimir Putin scrapped popular elections of regional leaders in 2004, during his presidenc y, moving to strengthen Kremlin control after the Belan school siege in the

North Caucasus, in which 331 people were k illed. Regional leaders are now appointed by the president, subjec t to approval from local legislatures dominated by Putin’s ruling United Russia party. Analysts say that Kadyrov, 34, is also allowed by the Kremlin to implement his radical vision of Islam, which at times contradicts Russia’s secular constitution. A spate of attacks last year on women for not wearing headscar ves on city streets in Chechnya angered women who said being forced to dress a certain way violated their rights. Assailants who said they were under instructions from spiritual authorities targeted some women with paintball pellets. Kadyrov later said he was grateful to the attackers.— Reuters

Ramzan Kadyrov

Six dead as plane crashes in Russia MOSCOW: Six crew members, including two Myanmar nationals, died when a plane they were testing crashed in central Russia yesterday, the Russian emergency ministry said. The six died when the AN-148 plane crashed and burst into flames yesterday morning around 160 kilometers east of the city of Belgorod, the ministry said in a statement, citing preliminary data. The dead included two citizens of Myanmar, along with two pilots and two flight engineers who were Russian citizens, the regional emergency ministry said. The Myanmar citizens were identified as Htein Lin Aung and Zaw Htun Aung. In conflicting reports, a spokesman for the investigative committee’s military section said that seven people died, according to the Interfax news agency. The investigative committee said six were dead in an official statement. A source at the Voronezh aircraft factory, which built the plane, told the RIA Novosti agency it was undergoing tests prior to being sent to Myanmar. “The plane had been tested for two weeks. This was its first flight today. It was being prepared for

Myanmar,” the source said. The plane disappeared from the radar at 10:40 am (0740 GMT ), and a plane flying over the area later spotted a fire where it crashed, the source said. Russian television showed flames ripping through the wreckage and black smoke billowing from the crash site in a

snowy field close to wooden houses and trees. A witness cited by the Interfax news agency said the plane appeared to burst into flames before hitting the ground. “I saw the plane starting to circle over the school, then it burst into flames and fell on the vegetable

BELGOROD: In this image made from television, Russian firemen work at the site of the AN-148 jet crash in the Belgorod region about 600 kilometers south of Moscow yesterday. — AP

gardens of the villagers,” the agency cited a witness living in the village of Garbuzovo. The Investigative Committee said in a statement that it had opened a criminal investigation into breaches of flight safety rules. A source told Interfax the pilots from Myanmar had not trained on flight simulators. “If they were at the controls, it could have led to the air crash. The plane could have fallen into a spin.” The AN-148, designed by Ukraine’s Antonov factory and built by Voronezh aircraft factory in a joint project, is a jet liner with a regional range that can be used for passengers and cargo. Russian newspaper RBK daily reported in November 2009 that Russia planned to supply Myanmar’s defense ministry with two AN148 planes in 2010, to be built at the Voronezh factory, citing industry sources. Western governments have imposed sanctions on investment and travel over human rights abuses in military-ruled Myanmar. Last month, EU lawmakers urged China, India and Russia to pressure Myanmar to improve human rights and to stop supplying arms to the regime.— AFP

Succession, irate West behind new Uzbek laws Critics say Karimov seeks successor, tries to dupe West ALMATY: Uzbekistan yesterday amended its laws to devolve more power to parliament in a move a rights group said was aimed at securing a smooth power transfer from veteran leader Islam Karimov and placating a critical West. Karimov, 73, has ruled since 1989. The tough former Communist boss, who enjoys vast powers and brooks no dissent, is accused by human rights groups of violating basic freedoms and blocking

democracy in the Central Asian nation of 28 million. Predominantly Muslim Uzbekistan is a major producer of gold and cotton and also holds vast reserves of hydrocarbons. It lies on a cargo supply route for the US-led war in Afghanistan, and Karimov has struggled to improve ties with the United States and the European Union that soured after he suppressed an uprising in the city of Andizhan

in 2005. Last November, Karimov proposed to amend the constitution to allow parliamentarians to nominate their own candidate for prime minister and call a vote of no confidence in the premier. The Legislative Chamber lower house of parliament, which includes no opposition parties, voted on Friday to approve the proposed amendments. Few doubt that the loyal upper Senate house will now swiftly rubber-stamp the bill.

“This law seeks further democratization of the state...a more balanced distribution of prerogatives among the branches of state power,” parliament said in a statement yesterday. Buried among other amendments was the revised article 96 of the constitution, which now says the head of the Senate would become acting head of state in the event that the president was no longer able to carry out his duties. — Reuters




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Arizona suspect charged with murders PHOENIX: Federal prosecutors have announced new charges against the suspect in the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, accusing him of killing six people and wounding 13 others who were exercising the fundamental American "right to meet freely, openly and peaceably with their member of Congress." A federal grand jury returned the 49-count indictment Thursday, charging Jared Lee Loughner in the deaths stemming from a Jan. 8 shooting at a political event held by Giffords outside a grocery store. "This indictment is comprehensive and is solid, and covers all the murdered and injured victims," US Attorney Dennis Burke said. "There are no distinctions at all between the victims. These victims were exercising one of the most precious and fundamental rights of American citizens." The indictment charged Loughner in the murders of US District Judge John Roll and

Giffords aide Gabe Zimmerman, and with causing the deaths of four others who were not federal employees, including a 9-year-old girl. Loughner also was charged with causing the death of a participant at a federally provided activity; injuring a participant at a federally provided activity; and using a gun in a crime of violence. Loughner had pleaded not guilty to earlier federal charges of trying to assassinate Giffords and kill two of her aides. His attorney, Judy Clarke, didn't return a call and e-mail left at her office Friday. Federal prosecutors haven't yet said whether they will seek the death penalty against Loughner. But legal experts believe it's a virtual certainty. Burke said because Loughner is eligible for the death penalty if convicted on some of the charges, the US Attorney's Office is pursuing "a deliberate and thorough process" in prosecuting the case. Loughner will likely face state

Dog ate toes of diabetic owner ROSEBURG: A dog ate three of his owner's toes as the diabetic man slept, most likely out of instinct to help remove diseased flesh, animal experts say. James Little, 61, made an emergency call on Tuesday to say his dog had eaten the body parts while he was sleeping. He told The Associated Press on Friday that he is "doing fine." Little suffers from diabetes, of which one symptom is numbness in the hands or feet. The dog, a Shiba Inu, was acting on its instinct to remove diseased flesh and does not appear to be dangerous, said Douglas County Animal Control Deputy Lee Bartholomew. Dogs have been known to eat dead or diseased human flesh. A family's dog in Illinois ate the toes off a 10-year-old girl's left

foot while she slept last December. She had a sore on her foot. In August, a dog in Michigan bit off most of its owner's infected big toe after the man passed out from alcohol. The man had diabetes, and the animal was apparently attracted to a festering wound. Little has given up ownership of his dog, putting it up for adoption pending an examination and a standard 10-day quarantine to determine it does not have rabies, Bartholomew said. The dog was taken to Roseburg's Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center, where executive director Wendy Kang said the animal is healthy but appears anxious. Little was in fair condition at a hospital and expected to be released later Friday. — AP

'Harvard welcomes us army back to campus BOSTON: Harvard welcomed back a US military officer training program Friday that was booted off campus more than 40 years ago during the anti-war ferment at the height of the Vietnam War. Harvard President Drew Faust and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus signed an agreement clearing the way for the reestablishment of a Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program on the campus of America's oldest and most prestigious university. The agreement will fully restore the relationship when the repeal of a ban on gays openly serving in the military, known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," goes into effect later this year. White House press secretary Jay Carney called it "an important step in moving past the old divisions that often kept many Americans from seeing what we share with one another, including love of country and a profound respect for our brave men and women in uniform." He added: "With our nation at war, this sends a power ful message that Americans stand united and that our colleges, society and armed forces are stronger when we honor the contributions of all our citizens." Faust said the renewed relationship "affirms the vital role that the members of our armed forces play in serving the nation and securing our freedoms, while also affirming inclusion and opportunity as powerful American ideals." "It recognizes military service as an honorable and admirable calling, a powerful expression of an individual citizen's commitment to contribute to the common

good," she said in her prepared speech, posted on Harvard's website. Mabus called ROTC's return "good for the university, good for the military, and good for the country." The ROTC program was kicked off the Ivy League campus in 1969 amid protests over the war in Vietnam. Small numbers of Harvard students continued in ROTC but had to enroll in a program at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1995, Harvard withdrew funding for its share of the MIT program in response to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." But with the repeal, a number of elite universities have been reconsidering the ROTC programs, and allowing military recruitment on campus. Yale has expressed strong interest in hosting a ROTC program, and debate over whether to open its doors has intensified at Columbia, scene of some of the biggest campus protests during the Vietnam War. Faust said the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" underscored "the importance that all of us place on opportunity and inclusion-on opening pathways for students to pursue their ambitions, to cultivate their capacity for leadership, to lead lives of value to others." Faust disputed suggestions that hostility to the military still runs high among students. She told CNN that Harvard has an important role in "making sure that the individuals who are making decisions about war have been exposed to the widest range of education." The agreement was signed in an afternoon ceremony, said Harvard spokesman Kevin Galvin. — AFP

charges in the attack as well, but will be tried first in federal court before any prosecution begins on state charges. Federal and county prosecutors said federal law requires state prosecutions to be suspended while a federal case is pending. Loughner is scheduled for a court hearing in Tucson on Wednesday, when he will be arraigned on the new charges. A day after the shootings, prosecutors filed a complaint in court charging Loughner with trying to assassinate Giffords, attempting to kill two of her aides, and killing Roll and Zimmerman. Those charges were later replaced by federal indictments that mirrored the same charges. In many criminal cases, prosecutors will often file charges themselves without a grand jury indictment, but will later replace those charges with an indictment. It was not known why the charges against Loughner weren't contained in one indictment. — AP

ARIZONA: This photo provided by the office of Rep Gabrielle Giffords, shows the Arizona congresswoman listening intently as she talks with Jim and Doris Tucker in Tucson, Ariz. Shortly after the photo was taken, a man walked quickly up to the group and shot Giffords and 18 other people. — AP

Clemency denied, Ohio to execute with suicide drug US president raises $1 m for Democrats MIAMI: President Barack Obama took the first steps on the road to the 2012 elections on Friday, presiding over the first of many fundraising events to ensure his Democrats can compete against the Republicans. He cited an improving US economy in a signal that he believes it will help his bid for re-election. "Now what we're seeing is that having gone through the toughest time in recent memory, the country is on the rebound, the country is on the move," Obama said.The $1 million raised at two events was not for his own re-election bid but instead was for incumbent Democratic Florida Senator Bill Nelson and other Senate Democrats. Nelson told the second of the events that Democrats should see hope from the economy after a the jobless rate dropped to 8.9 percent on Friday. Obama fired up a crowd of loyalists at a Miami hotel by insisting he wants to find common ground with Republicans in a budget fight but is not willing to cut into what he considers needed investments in education, science and technology. "I'm willing to cut any spending we can't afford," he said. "I'm not willing to cut the basic investments we need for winning the future." Many experts believe Democrats could have trouble hanging on to control of the US Senate since they hold only a 53-47 advantage after last November's congressional elections and they will be defending more Senate seats in 2012 than the Republicans. Though his job approval rating is still below 50 percent, Obama's own chances of re-election in 2012 appear to be improving as the US economy picks up steam and Republicans face a long battle to determine their challenger to Obama. But to win again Obama will need independent voters who fled his Democrats last November and helped Republicans win the House of Representatives. Mindful of Americans' desire for less partisanship and more cooperation among Democrats and Republicans, Obama said he believes compromise can be found with Republicans over the budget. "I believe we can find common ground," he said. "Each side is going to have to give a little bit." Obama's day in Miami was not all politics, but it did feature a member of the Bush family that has produced two presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W Bush. Obama also appeared at a Miami high school for an education event with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the younger brother of George W. Bush. Jeb Bush has been pushed by some Republicans to challenge Obama in 2012 and has consistently said he would not. His appearance with Obama would seem to close the door to any further speculation about 2012 for him. Obama, who often criticized George W Bush in his first two years in office, joked of Jeb:

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE: President Barack Obama shares a laugh as he walks with US Air Force Col Jacqueline Van Ovost at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. — AP

"Aside from being a former governor of this great state, Jeb of course is best known as being the brother of Marvin Bush." "The truth is, I've gotten to know Jeb because his family exemplifies public service," he added. Obama is

putting off his own campaign activities for as long as possible to concentrate on governing while a mix of Republicans prepares to begin a long fight for their own party's presidential nomination. —Reuters

authorities identify bodies found in canal

FLORIDA: Delray Beach investigators gather in the backyard of the home of Clem Beauchamp in Delray Beach, Fla. — AP

DELRAY BEACH: The boy and girl whose bodies were found stuffed into luggage and thrown into a south Florida canal are believed to be the children of a woman found dead in a landfill last summer, police said Friday. Investigators said they have positively identified the children's bodies found Wednesday as siblings Jermaine McNeil, 10, and Ju'tyra Allen, 6. They believe their mother, Felicia Brown, is the woman whose body was found in a West Palm Beach landfill last August. Police said Brown was identified in part because she had tattoos bearing her children's names. Sgt Nicole Guerriero, a spokeswoman for the Delray Beach Police, said the three lived with Clem Beauchamp, who investigators say is their only suspect in the deaths. He has not been charged with their slayings but is being held on an unrelated weapons charge. Police said they didn't expect any charges in the case for several days, at the earliest. Friends and neighbors said they had been asking Beauchamp about Brown's whereabouts for months, but he had an explanation. "He said she was in jail," said Kenneth Marshall, 43, an acquaintance of the family.

Three other children who lived in Beauchamp's home were taken from his girlfriend and put into the custody of the Depar tment of Children and Families, Guerriero said Friday. The girlfriend was questioned in the killings but is not considered a suspect, police said. After Beauchamp was questioned in the children's deaths by Delray Beach police Thursday night, federal agents arrested him on the weapons charge, which will keep him behind bars as the investigation continues. Court records show the weapons charge dates to 2009, when officers found a homemade silencer inside a bag with a knit hat and a Halloween mask. On Friday, investigators sifted through his small home and towed away cars. The silencer was found in the trunk of Brown's repossessed car, documents show. Beauchamp denied any involvement with the silencer, according to court documents. It's not yet known if he has an attorney. His neighbors have described a complicated family situation in which multiple children who had different mothers lived with him. In 2008, Beauchamp fought an ex-girlfriend for and won - the right to have two children live with him; they were among the three taken away

this week. "I'm there to make sure they do their homework, to give them the proper guidance that they would need to succeed in life," he told a judge at a custody hearing. "Being a father means more than just making the kid. You actually got to be there for them. And I'm prepared to do all that." A person familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the matter said that Beauchamp used Brown's name to get food stamps and other government benefits after her death. That person said Brown put one of her children up for adoption several years ago. When the adoption fell through, the source said, Brown readopted the child and began collecting adoption subsidies. It's unclear whether it was her son or daughter. Beauchamp has a lengthy criminal record and has spent time in jail. Gissone said she had seen him hit her sister on two occasions. "He got a mean streak to him," she said. In recent days, those who know Beauchamp said they noticed some changes: He cut off his dreadlocks and could be found, late at night, sunk to his knees in prayer at a neighborhood church. "He said he was trying to change his life," said Marshall. — AP




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Yunus sacking sparks Bangladesh protest DHAKA: Thousands of employees and customers of Grameen Bank protested in Bangladesh yesterday over the sacking of Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus as head of the microfinance institution he pioneered. The 70-yearold economist was dismissed as managing director of Dhaka-based Grameen Bank by Bangladesh's central bank last Wednesday in what his supporters said was the culmination of a vendetta against him. Grameen Bank workers and customers formed peaceful human chains across the country, police said, carrying banners calling on the government to stop its "harassment" of the 2006 Nobel Peace prize winner. "We protested against the government's attempt to oust Professor Yunus. We think his dismissal is politically motivated and part of a long campaign to humiliate him," said Nurul Amin Khandaker, a Grameen Bank accountant. Supporters say Yunus's troubles stem from 2007, when he floated the idea of forming a political party, earning the wrath of Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina, who has publicly disparaged his work. Khandaker, an organizer of the protest, estimated that around 20,000 of the bank's work force and customers took part in yesterday's protest. Police had no precise total for the demonstrators but said the number was in the thousands as protests were held in scores of cities and towns. In the port city of Chittagong, "protesters, mostly officials and clients of the bank, formed a peaceful human chain by linking hands," Inspector Ruhul Amin said. The protests came as Bangladesh's main opposition party called the dismissal of Yunus part of a "conspiracy to destroy the Grameen bank" and US Senator John Kerry, who heads the powerful US Senate foreign relations committee, added his voice to international concern over Yunus's treatment. Kerry said he hoped the government and the Nobel winner could reach a "compromise" on the issue. "I am deeply concerned by efforts to remove Muhammad Yunus as managing director of the Grameen Bank,"

Kerry said in a statement. "The international community will watch this situation closely and I hope both sides can reach a compromise that maintains Grameen Bank's autonomy and effectiveness." Grameen Bank, which is 25 percent state owned and employs 24,000 people, provides collateral-free loans to eight million borrowers, the vast majority from rural areas. Since its launch in 1983, it has paid out more than $10 billion to its mainly female clientele, making it the largest microlender in the world. Yunus defied the Bangladesh central bank order and returned to work on Thursday at Grameen's headquarters before lodging a case in the High Court contesting the legality of his dismissal. The court is due to rule on Yunus's dismissal today. Yunus has launched a legal battle against the central bank's efforts to remove him from his position as Grameen Bank managing director over a technicality dating back to 2000. Moudud Ahmed, a senior official of the country's main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist

DHAKA: Microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus (center) emerges from the high court building to contest the decision to remove him from his post in Grameen Bank in Dhaka. —AFP

Party slammed the government for sacking Yunus. "The government has taken the move to take control of the

bank. Eventually, it will only compound woes of the poor people," Ahmed old reporters. — AFP

Lawyer suggests ‘blood money’ to free CIA man Families of the dead want justice, not money

MUMBAI: 'Slumdog Millionaire' child star Rubina Ali walks on the debris at a slum in Mumbai yesterday. — AP

Slumdog child star’s home burns down MUMBAI: Slumdog Millionaire child star Rubina Ali said yesterday her home and the awards she won for the Oscar-winning film had been destroyed in a fire that raged through a congested Mumbai slum. The family of 12-year-old Rubina, who played the role of young povertystricken Latika in Danny Boyle's movie, watched helplessly as their tin-roofed shack in the crowded slum went up in flames late Friday. "I have lost everything, including books and precious belongings like awards, photographs, newspaper clippings and memorabilia from the success of the film," Rubina said, according to the Press Trust of India. Rubina was just eight when she appeared in the rags-to-riches blockbuster, which won eight Oscars in 2009 and her journey from Mumbai slum to Hollywood red carpet made her famous

around the world. "We all were at home watching TV when a neighbor came to alert us about the fire. We all rushed out. We spent the entire night at the railway station," Rubina said. "So far nobody has come to help us." The blaze raced through the slum in the Mumbai suburb of Bandra on Friday evening, injuring at least 21 people and leaving 2,000 people homeless, a fire official said. "We feel relieved to see that all our family members are safe. But all the good memories of my daughter's fame have been reduced to ashes. We have lost everything," Rubina's father Rafiq Ali said. Rubina said the family was yet to move into a new apartment paid for by a trust set up by Slumdog director Boyle. More than half of Mumbai's estimated 18 million residents live in either officially designated slums or illegal shanties. — AFP

Nepal's former PM Bhattarai dies at 87 KATHMANDU: Nepal's former Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, who led a popular movement to restore multiparty democracy in 1990, has died at age 87. Bhattarai's physician, Dr Bharat Rawat, told reporters that he died in the capital, Katmandu, at midnight Friday due to multiple organ failure. He had suffered mainly from kidney problems. Bhattarai was admitted to a hospital in Katmandu last month with multiple health complaints. He served as prime minister of the Himalayan nation twice - first in 1990 and again in 1999. After multiparty democracy was restored in 1990, Bhattarai was appointed prime minister of an interim government comprising representatives from his Nepali Congress party and several communist parties. During his nine months in

power, he conducted Nepal's first free elections in 30 years and enforced a new constitution that guaranteed democratic rights in the country. In 1999, he again became prime minister after the Nepali Congress party won elections. However, feuds in the faction-ridden party forced him to step down after nine months in power. As prime minister, Bhattarai made official visits to India, Japan and the United Kingdom, and led the Nepalese delegation to the meeting of the South Asian Regional Cooperation in 1991 in the Maldives. His strict anti-corruption drive gave him the image of a clean politician. His anti-nepotism stand also helped him gain popularity among the public. Bhattarai spent nearly 14 years in prison for opposing the autocratic system imposed in the country in 1960. — AP

LAHORE: Since his brother was shot and killed by an American CIA contractor last month, scores of Islamist politicians have met with Waseem Shamzad in his bare sitting room to bring sympathy, offers of help and a stark message: if US envoys come offering "blood money" to get their man out of jail, tell them to go away. Shamzad and two other families mourning a dead relative because of the shooting say America has not offered compensation yet, but Pakistani officials have suggested such payments could help end a crisis that has exposed the fragility of ties between the two nations. While the United States insists Raymond Allen Davis, the detained CIA contractor, has immunity from prosecution, his lawyer said Friday that "bloody money" was "not just a good way, but the best way" to resolve the issue. The United States has not commented on whether it intends to try that approach, either formally or as a way of cooling popular anger if Davis is freed on other grounds. The families, meanwhile, say they want justice, not money. Davis was driving on a busy street in this eastern city when he says two men, at least one of whom was armed, tried to rob him. He shot them dead. Minutes later, an American vehicle speeding to the scene on the wrong side of the road ran into a motorcyclist, killing him. The United States is demanding the 36year-old Virginia native, currently on trial for murder, be released. The Islamabad government has yet to say whether Davis has immunity, apparently paralyzed in the face of media outrage and protests by Islamist parties. So far, all it's said is that the matter was up for the Lahore High Court, which may rule on the immunity issue this month. In the meantime, the families have found themselves at the center of a drive by rightwing and Islamist politicians who are relishing heaping pressures on America and its allied government in Islamabad and spreading conspiracy theories blaming Davis - not the Taleban and Al-Qaeda - for the violence roiling the country. Shamzad, the brother of one of the shooting victims, said he needed help, but not from United States. "Look at the state of this house," he said, pointing to the concrete floor, whitewashed walls and muddy lane outside the door where cows chewed on piles of grass. "People from all over Pakistan have come here. They only want to help." Shamzad and two relatives had just returned from Karachi on the dimes of a student group linked to the Jaamat Islami party, the first time they had been on an aircraft. The purpose of the visit was to meet with relatives of Aafia Siddiqui, another icon of the Pakistani rightwing, and drum up publicity. Siddiqui, a US-educated mother of three, is serving 86 years in an American jail for attempting to kill US agents in Afghanistan. Like the Davis case, the Siddiqui case is a staple for rightwing propaganda about America's malign intentions in the region. Police and American officials originally said Shamzad's brother Mohammad Faheem and Davis' other vic-

LAHORE: A Pakistani police officer stands before a banner displayed at a roadside in Lahore, Pakistan. American CIA contractor Raymond Allen Davis is detained on the charges of killing two Pakistanis but the United States insists Davis, the CIA contractor, has immunity from prosecution. — AP

tim, Faizan Haider, were robbers. Shamzad and Haider's family strongly denied that, but Shamzad admitted his brother was carrying a gun when he was killed. Pakistani law allows killers to walk free if they admit their crime and pay compensation or "diyat" to the heirs of the victim, who must forgive them. Firmly rooted in Islamic tradition, the practice is quite common but is criticized by human rights groups, which say it encourages impunity. The United States regularly pays money to the families of innocent people it kills in Afghanistan, but may baulk at doing so in this case, even if the families wanted it. Davis's lawyer, Zahid Bokhari, said any such deal would involve the US consulate directly, and he would draw up the legal papers to certify it. "When they settle with them, then my domain will start," said Bokhari, who was appointed on Wednesday. When it was pointed out that the families did not want to deal, he said: "To my mind, they are affected by the pressure of the public and the parties." The families say no government or American officials have visited them, making the Islamists' efforts stand out. "They are using us, but at least they are doing something," said Ibad-ur-Rehman, whose brother was killed by the speeding car. "I'm not anti-American or anything. I have looked up to the American judicial system since I was a child, but I haven't seen anything from them. It's like we have done something wrong and they are angry with us," said Rehman, who recently returned from the United Kingdom where he got a law degree. Unlike relatives of the other two families, he does not completely dismiss the idea of "blood money". "I can't straight away accept money, its a question of family honor. There has to be something toward justice first," he said.

But that looks likely to be fruitless American officials say the drivers of that vehicle have already left Pakistan. A spokesman for the US Embassy said it had publicly expressed regret for the incident, but declined to talk in detail about what it was doing to resolve the crisis. The irony of America possibly resorting to Islamic laws to free a CIA contractor is not lost on the Jaamat Islami, Pakistan's most-organized anti-US political party that has demanded stern punishment for Davis and routinely condemns US drone attacks. "They ridicule our laws and don't accept them and now they want to use them," said Farid Paracha, a senior party member in Lahore. "The families have made it very clear they do not want to sell their blood." He said the party may raise funds through its vast national network of mosques for the families, something that would be discussed with them at a meeting at its headquarters on the outskirts of Lahore later this month. "There should be a fund, to overcome US pressure," he said. The longer the standoff continues, the better it is for the opponents of the government of President Asif Ali Zardari. The fact that the political party in charge in Punjab province, where Lahore is situated, is locked in an increasingly bitter battle with Zardari does not bode well for a speedy resolution. Crude effigies of Davis hang from nooses outside shops in the city, and banners from the militant-linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity call for him to be put to death. "There is America on the other side, and there is the pressure of 180 million Pakistanis on the other," said Rana Sanaullah, the law minister in the province who himself been accused of sidling up to Islamist extremists. "There is no doubt he killed those guys. It seems likely he will be found guilty." — AP

India pledges action over horse farmer with $8bn

KATHMANDU: Nepalese pay tribute to former Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, in Katmandu yesterday. Bhattarai, who led a popular movement to restore multiparty democracy in 1990, has died at age 87. — AP

NEW DELHI: India's finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said yesterday "appropriate action" would be taken against a horse stud farm owner accused of stashing over $8 billion in Swiss banks. Mukherjee's promise came as the Congress-led government is reeling from a slew of corruption scandals that have created huge headaches for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his second term of office. Stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, based in the western city of Pune, is facing charges of concealing in Swiss banks over $8 billion in illegal funds, known in India as "black money." A "Look Out Circular" has been issued

against Khan at all airports to ensure that he does not flee India. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court lambasted the Congress administration for not having the "willpower" to act against black money hoarders, asking why Khan and others were not subjected to questioning in custody. "What the hell is going on in this country?" the Supreme Court bench asked, using unusually strong language. Mukherjee told reporters that the government had "noted the observations of the Supreme Court. All appropriate action (against Khan) will be taken." The Supreme Court has become increasingly sharp in its criticism of Singh's govern-

ment amid mounting public concern that corruption has reached unprecedented levels under his leadership. On Thursday, Singh's government suffered a fresh setback when its candidate to be the country's chief corruption fighter was rejected by the Supreme Court because of a pending criminal case. The decision to cancel the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner PJ Thomas heaped more pressure on the embattled Singh, who approved his nomination and stuck by him afterward. Singh said Friday that he respected the court judgment and accepted his "responsibility" for Thomas's appointment.— AFP



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China vows to build a ‘powerful’ military Beijing warns against ‘Jasmine rallies’

PYONGYANG: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il visits the Pyongyang Vegetable Science Institute in Pyongyang yesterday. — AP

N Korea urges South to repatriate citizens SEOUL: North Korea yesterday made a fresh demand for the repatriation of all 31 citizens whose boat drifted into South Korean waters, warning inter-Korean relations would be otherwise seriously affected. The latest message carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency came a day after the North refused to accept 27 of the 31, insisting that Seoul also hand over four others who want to live in the South. “The South Korean authorities are forcing the detained guiltless inhabitants to separate from their families by appeasement and pressure,” it said in a notice sent to the South yesterday. “If the South Korean authorities do not comply with the DPRK’s (North Korea’s) just demand, it will seriously affect the North-South relations and the South side will be held wholly accountable for it,” it said. The 31 North Koreans were on a fishing boat which drifted across the Yellow Sea border in thick fog on February 5. After almost a month the South said it would hand over 27 but announced that two men and two women would be allowed to stay as they had requested. In a message late Friday the North demanded the unconditional repatriation

of all 31, according to Seoul’s unification ministry, whose officials had been waiting in vain at the border village of Panmunjom to hand over the 27. A ministry spokesman has said the South would try to contact North Korea again early next week to send the 27 home across the border. The communist state late Thursday accused the South of “despicable unethical acts” and said the group on the boat had been held hostage since February 5 in a bid to fuel cross-border confrontation. Seoul’s Unification Minister Hyun InTaek has told parliament the four had been allowed to stay in the South in respect of their wishes. The four include the 38-year-old boat captain, who apparently feared punishment if sent back and decided to stay when he saw how different life in the South is, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper said. Relations have been icy since the South accused the North of torpedoing a warship in March 2010 near the disputed Yellow Sea border with the loss of 46 lives. Pyongyang denies the charge. In November the North shelled a South Korean island near the border, killing two marines and two civilians.—AFP

N Korea leader-in-waiting formally invited to China SEOUL: China has formally invited North Korea’s leader-in-waiting to visit, but it was not clear when Kim Jong-un would make the trip, a South Korean lawmaker said yesterday, quoting a senior spy agency official. China is the only major power isolated North Korea can count on as an ally. Jong-un is North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s youngest son and heir apparent, who came into the public eye in September when he was named to a senior ruling party post and promoted to the rank of four-star general. South Korea’s spy agency believes Jong-un is likely to accept the invitation and visit Beijing soon, said the lawmaker who is a member of the parliament intelligence committee after a closed-door briefing on Friday. Senior officials from the spy agency attended the briefing, and members of parliament are asked not to disclose the information they were briefed on, the lawmaker said, declining to be identified. Little is known about Jong-un other than he is in his late 20s and had a Swiss education. South Korean officials said the North’s official media have been on a campaign to paint him as the person best fit for leadership of the state founded by his grandfather. The visit, if it takes place, will boost Jongun’s standing as the North’s next leader, as China remains the reclusive North’s main economic and political backer. Jong-un is likely to ask China for large-scale economic aid when he

visits, a Japanese newspaper reported earlier last week, adding he could go as early as this month, after the end of China’s National People’s Congress meeting. China has stood by the North even when Pyongyang was harshly criticized after the sinking of a South Korean navy ship last year, which Seoul blames on its neighbor, and the shelling of a South Korean island in November that killed four people. Tension between the two nations rose to its highest since the 1950-53 Korean War, after the South accused the North of sinking one of its naval ships and later bombarding a South Korean island in the sea off the peninsula’s west coast. Pyongyang denies any involvement in the sinking and accuses Seoul of goading it into launching the later artillery attack. An attempt at reconciliation last month came to nothing after lowlevel military talks between the two sides collapsed. Yesterday, the North’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper called for an unconditional resumption of talks, saying in commentary carried by the KCNA news agency its offer for negotiations with the South remains standing. It did not specify what kind of talks they wanted. In a separate KCNA dispatch, the North demanded the return of all 31 people who drifted south of the sea border in February, after refusing to take 27 back on Friday. The South said four had expressed wish to defect and will not be sent back. — Reuters

Bali marks ‘Day of Silence’ DENPASAR: The Indonesian holiday island of Bali shut down yesterday for a day of silence to mark the Hindu new year. Retailers closed their shops and many tourists stayed inside their hotels for Nyepi, a day of reflection that is supposed to be free from daily routine, including work and play. “Kuta area, which is usually crowded and noisy, now is silent,” Kuta village cultural head Gusti Ketut Sudira said of the popular tourist spot. “Hotels are not allowed to let their guests go outside their areas,” he said. Guards in sarongs with sticks and traditional daggers enforced the public observance among the Hindu-majority Balinese. The island’s international airport and ports were also shut down, with hospitals the only public services functioning close to normally. Cars and motorcycles were not allowed on the road except in the case of an emergency. During the evening, lights and lamps will remain off in public areas and houses. On Friday, locals on the holiday island paraded effigies known as Ogoh-Ogoh, which represent demons, before burning

them as a symbol of renewal and purification. Although Balinese Hindus make up only a small minority of the national population, Nyepi is a public holiday across Muslim-majority Indonesia.—AFP

BALI: Balinese Hindu devotees carry effigies called ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’ symbolizing evil, in Denpasar on the resort island of Bali as part of a traditional celebration of the Day of Silenceor locally known as “Nyepi.” —AFP

BEIJING: Premier Wen Jiabao vowed yesterday that China would continue building a “power ful” militar y, one day after Beijing announced a return to double-digit percentage hikes in defense spending. “Strengthening national defense and building a powerful people’s army are important guarantees for safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests,” Wen said in a speech opening the nation’s legislature. “We will energetically yet prudently press ahead with reform of national defense and the military,” he said. A spokesman for the National People’s Congress said on Friday that China’s defense budget would rise 12.7 percent in 2011 to 601.1 billion yuan ($91.7 billion). A multi-year trend of double-digit percentage increases was broken in 2010 when the budget rose just 7.5 percent. China has upgraded the People’s Liberation Army’s capabilities over the past three decades, developing advanced weaponry like its first stealth fighter jet, revealed in January. The campaign has alarmed the United States, Japan, and others in the region and raised fears a more assertive China would seek to project its power overseas. “It is an extremely high ratio for defense spending,” Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara told reporters on Friday. “We cannot help worrying about what all the money is used for.” Wen said “great progress was made in the modernization of national defense and the army” in the past five years. China would continue to develop new weaponry and “vigorously adapt our military training to the Information Age,” he said. The announced budget is widely believed to be far lower than actual spending. The PLAthe world’s largest military forceis hugely secretive about its defense programs, but insists its modernization is aimed purely at defense of China’s vast land and sea borders. “This will not pose a threat to any country,” Li Zhaoxing, the parliament spokesman-and a former foreign

BEIJING: Hostesses jump as they pose for photos on the Tiananmen Square during the opening session of the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People yesterday.— AP

minister-said in announcing the budget. Wen said China also would continue strengthening the People’s Armed Police, a paramilitary force tasked with suppressing domestic unrest. China annually sees tens of thousands of public protests, which are often violent. It squelched violent 2008 antiChinese unrest in Tibet, and 2009 saw deadly ethnic rioting in its Xinjiang region, home to millions of members of the Muslim Uighur minority, a Central Asian people. “We will modernize the armed police force to improve its ability to carry out duties, respond to emergencies, combat terrorism and safeguard stability,” Wen said. China began revamping the PLAthe former ragtag peasant force formed in 1927 by the Communist Party-in earnest after a troubled 1979 incursion into Vietnam, when the neighbors vied for influence over Southeast Asia. Besides conventional weaponry upgrades, the push also has led to China’s fast-growing space program and the test of a satellite-killing weapon in 2007. Meanwhile, China’s state media yesterday warned citizens

to ignore calls for weekend antigovernment rallies in major cities, saying that similar protests across the Middle East had created “chaos”. The message-carried by the Beijing Daily, a mouthpiece of the city government-came as Premier Wen Jiabao noted the public’s “great resentment” over a number of issues in his speech to open the annual parliamentary session. Authorities in China have shown increasing nervousness about the Internet’s power to mobilize ordinary citizens in the wake of unrest in the Arab world, and the subsequent online call for anti-government “Jasmine” rallies at home. “This turmoil has brought a massive calamity to the people of these countries,” the Beijing Daily said in a commentary. “It is worth noting that at home and abroad some people with ulterior motives are trying to draw this chaos into China. They have used the Internet to incite illegal gatherings,” it said. Citizens have been urged to gather for subtle “strolling” demonstrations-but take no overt protest action-each Sunday afternoon at designated locations in

cities across China to highlight public anger with the government. The anonymous campaigners behind the so-called “Jasmine rallies” have said their movement has support in dozens of cities, though security have turned out in force at the rally sites in Beijing and Shanghai to prevent such gatherings. On February 27, several foreign journalists were roughed up in a popular shopping area of Beijing, and police have since threatened reporters that they could lose their permission to work in China unless they follow new rules. As the United States, the European Union and rights groups have criticized the treatment of foreign journalists and called for an explanation, state media on Thursday accused those same reporters of “fabricating news”. The Beijing Daily urged citizens to “conscientiously protect harmony and stability” rather than allow a small group of people both at home and abroad to “exploit the problems existing in our development to provoke trouble”. “Ever yone knows that stability is a blessing and chaos is a calamity,” the newspaper said.—Agencies


in brief

Taiwan executes 5 murderers TAIPEI: The Justice Ministry says Taiwan has executed five murderers, the island’s second use of the death penalty in a year. A ministry statement says the executions were carried out late Friday, just hours after minister Tseng Yung-fu signed death warrants. The statement says Guang Chung-yen, Wang Kuo-hua, Chung Teh-shu, Wang Chih-huang and Chuang Tien-chu were executed for committing “grave offenses that deprived victims of their lives.” The statement did not specify the method of execution used. Criminals in Taiwan who are sentenced to death are usually killed with a bullet to the head. The last executions in Taiwan were April 30, 2010, when four men were put to death. Those executions were the first in five years. CHRISTCHURCH: A floral tribute from the New Zealand Police is placed near the Christchurch Cathedral in Cathedral Square yesterday. — AFP

New Zealand quake death toll hits 165 CHRISTCHURCH: The dean of earthquakeshattered Christchurch said he wept yesterday at the “unbelievable” news there were no bodies in the rubble of the city’s cathedral. Since the 6.3 magnitude quake on February 22, it was feared there were as many as 22 bodies buried in the rubble of the 130-year-old cathedral, the centerpiece of New Zealand’s second city. But the dean, Peter Beck, said he was advised yesterday by the head of the Urban Search and Rescue task force there were no bodies inside. “I was expecting to get a call from him saying they had found a body and I and my colleagues were going to go down and say prayers at the side of the body. “But of course I got this other news and I just burst into tears. I was speechless, it was unbelievable.” The confirmed death toll from the destructive earthquake stood at 165 yesterday and police had previously said they expected it to rise to more than 240, although this figure may now be reduced. Police superintendent Sandra Manderson told Radio New Zealand that officials were trying to establish where the estimate of 22 people trapped in the cathedral had come from and the list of missing people was being reviewed. “Urban search and rescue have cleared the whole area,

they’ve cleared the tower, they’ve cleared the church and they’ve cleared the immediate surrounding area all round the church, and they’ve found no bodies,” she said. “It will be really good if (the likely toll) does go down, and it’s highly possible.” The assistant Urban Search and Rescue Force commander Paul Baxter confirmed his team had completed clearing the inside of the collapsed cathedral spire and “it is clear”. Baxter told a media conference it had been a “surreal feeling” when they completed the search of the cathedral without finding any bodies. Meanwhile, plans were under way to reduce the area of the city cordoned off for the past 10 days to allow access for inner-city residents and business owners. Areas where search teams had made considerable progress clearing destroyed buildings would be open from today, and people would be able to remove equipment and secure their properties. Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said he wanted a day of remembrance which would include a safe walk through the central business district so people could see firsthand the level of destruction. “We need to have that opportunity to remember, to grieve not only for the people that we have lost, but also for those buildings that are part of the story of our lives.” — AFP

Cold War-era US bombs disposed MANILA: Philippine President Benigno Aquino said yesterday the government had completed the safe detonation of some 181 tons of Cold War-era bombs left by US forces formerly stationed in the country. He said some 400,000 pounds of munitions, including anti-submarine depth charges, had been safely disposed of in an operation lasting several weeks. “Imagine, that was just a portion!” he told reporters after witnessing the safe detonation of the remaining five tons from the cache at Crow Valley, a former gunnery range of US forces previously stationed at Clark Air Base. “This was really one of my first nightmares upon assuming office” in June last year. Aquino said some of the bombs dated to 1947 and were previously stored at Caballo, a tiny island at the mouth of Manila Bay. US forces handed over Clark, Subic Naval Base and several smaller facilities to Manila in 1992, a year after the Philippine senate refused to ratify a new bases treaty between the two allies. The two countries remain bound by a mutual defense treaty. Manila asked Washington last year to help transport and dispose of the munitions because of the danger they posed while stored at Caballo, Aquino said. Buddhist monk slain PATTANI: Police say suspected Muslim militants have fatally shot a Buddhist monk in a drive-by motorcycle attack in insurgency-plagued southern Thailand. Police Maj Gen Rapeepong Sukpaiboon says two militants carried out the attack yesterday in the Kok Pho district of Pattani province. Two other people were wounded, including another monk. In a separate attack in nearby Kapo district, police Maj Gen Klanarong Phueakkumgrit says insurgents detonated a roadside bomb as a military truck passed by, wounding three soldiers. Pattani is one of three Muslimmajority provinces in southern Thailand that have been wracked by an insurgency that flared in 2004 and has claimed more than 4,00 lives since then.





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With Libya, is intervention talk back in style? By Peter Apps t a crowded London public meeting to call for Western military intervention in Libya, virtually nobody mentions the Iraq war. The chaotic, bloody aftermath of the US-led 2003 invasion, not to mention the 10-year and still ongoing struggle for control of Afghanistan, had looked to have destroyed enthusiasm for using force to export democracy or even halt rights abuses. But with unexpected revolutions sweeping the Middle East, calls for intervention may be back in fashion. Some fear outside inaction could simply allow Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi to crush a nascent rebellion, and a handful make the case that action could also be in the West’s economic interest. “That is the prize, a stable, democratic oil-producing country at the heart of the Middle East,” British Labour Party parliamentarian Gisela Stuart, a minister under former Prime Minister Tony Blair, told the meeting. Other speakers echoed her message to several hundred politicians, journalists, academics and others gathered in a parliamentary conference room. But interventionists such as the Henry Jackson Society, a British think-tank sympathetic to US neoconservatives that organised the meeting, see a nofly zone a first step in a gradual escalation of force. In Washington and London, they hope to grab the moment as they did after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, saying they had some support from senior British military officers and others. Earlier in the week, Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman called for President Barack Obama to take the lead in imposing a no-fly zone, saying the United States should do “everything in its power to shorten the number of days so that we can relieve the misery of the people of Libya”. Others worry that sends the wrong message, particularly at a time when Gaddafi himself occasionally talks of the uprising as part of an outside plot to oust him. Recent events in Iraq were largely ignored in Jackson Society presentations and a tightly controlled question-and-answer session, but speakers afterwards admitted Iraq did make the argument much more difficult. “There is a lot of squeamishness from Western policymakers because of Iraq,” said Daniel Korski, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, shortly after warning that unchecked Gaddafi could again become a state sponsor of militancy and terror. “There are worries about getting involved in another quagmire in a Muslim country.” Interventionists say nothing should be off the table, including shipping weapons to opposition forces, persuading regional powers such as Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey to provide support, and potentially using ground troops. But with Obama perceived as being cautious, some of those at the London meeting hope to persuade British Prime Minister David Cameron to take the lead as Tony Blair did over international intervention in Kosovo in 1999 and drag Washington behind him. Following criticism after a slow response in rescuing trapped British nationals trapped in Libya and an awkwardly timed tour of the Middle East with British arms exporters, Cameron has taken a particularly tough line on Libya this week. On Thursday, Britain and France together said they would press for a no-fly zone. But most believe appetite for any further engagement is strictly limited. US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen have openly talked down the likelihood of action, warning a no-fly zone would require huge forces and attacks on Libya’s air defences. “Their testimony is an attempt to break politicians of the mindset that there is a risk-free, no-cost option,” said Nikolas Gvosdev, professor of National Security studies at the US Naval War College. “If there is to be an intervention, there should be no illusions that it will be easy or simple.” Rather than focusing on the most recent wars, the pro-intervention lobby talk of failure to intervene in time in Bosnia and Rwanda and mourn the “missed opportunity” to oust Saddam Hussein after the 1991 Gulf War. —Reuters


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No quiet or quick exit seen for Gaddafi By Samia Nakhoul nyone who thought that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi would go quietly like his fellow dictators in Tunisia and Egypt may have to think again. He has never shied away from spilling blood, and his end may well prove a bloody affair. Gaddafi has shown this week that he clearly intends to fight on and leading Libyan analysts say regime change will only come if those close to him force him aside. The Libyan leader, experts say, believes so profoundly that he is the embodiment of his country that he is willing to bring Libya down rather than give in to a two-week-long revolt against his 41-year autocratic rule. “There is a real danger that Libya is sliding towards a long, protracted civil war,” said Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle Eastern politics at the London School of Economics. “From everything we have seen so far Gaddafi is cornered, his back is to the wall and he has no exit strategy. He will most likely fight to the bitter end,” he added. On the ground, Gaddafi appeared to have taken the initiative by launching a ground and air attack on rebels in control of the eastern oil terminal town of Brega. Both rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces are arming and positioning themselves for a longer fight and residents and tribes are being armed as well by both sides. “In the last 48 hours Gaddafi seemed to have absorbed the first shock. He is consolidating his limited power base,” said Gerges. “The Gaddafi regime is positioning itself for a prolonged fight. He has adequate military and financial assets to fight.” Even though Gaddafi has lost control over large swathes of Libya he seems ready to reduce the country to Somalia-like ruins rather than surrender power, experts say. “Gaddafi reduced the Libyan people to his persona,” said Saad Djebbar, a London-based Algerian lawyer who was involved in the negotiations over the Lockerbie bombing. “Gaddafi’s aim will be to create chaos and put the country through civil war or Somalisation - no central power, a divided country in which he will remain a force,” said Djebbar. “Gaddafi has containers of dollars, he has guns to arm people and he has loyalists, the more chaos he creates the better (for him),” Djebbar added. “His message is: apres moi le deluge. You force me out of power and I will leave either a divided country or a country in civil war like Somalia.” The uprising, the bloodiest yet against despotic rulers in the region, was sparked by the arrest of a human rights lawyer in Benghazi on Feb 14. Revolt quickly spread, with Libyans from all walks of life - professionals, academics, tribesmen, former soldiers and students - demanding an end to Gaddafi’s repressive rule. Libyans have not experienced democracy since he ousted King Idris and created a police state in 1969. The mercurial leader has managed to cling to power through a carefully constructed security apparatus. The press remains gagged, despite a slight easing of curbs in recent years, freedom of speech is unheard of and political parties are illegal. But 41 years of repression have brought simmering discontent to the boil. Added to that, for many Libyans and world leaders, the former army officer is the evil hand behind terrorism inside and outside his country. Gaddafi has spent much of Libya’s oil cash financing terrorists responsible for hijacks and killings and groups seeking to kill dissidents and destabilise pro-Western governments in Africa. The Libyan upheaval has not only proven to be bloodier and costlier but more protracted than Tunis and Egypt, raising the risks of ethnic war that could fragment the country, trigger a humanitarian crisis and further jeopardise oil supplies. In Egypt and Tunisia, powerful military elites ultimately decided the outcome of the revolutions, easing unpopular leaders Hosni Mubarak and Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali from office. But in Libya it is more opaque and complex tribal power structures that could decide how events play out. Having risen through the military himself, Gaddafi emasculated the army to prevent its commanders from threatening him following periodic failed coup attempts. “He knows from his own experience that coup d’etats come from the army so he closed the way for any potential coup d’etat a long time ago. He dismantled the army and set up instead what he called the popular army,” said Djebbar. He created well-armed and tightly knit brigades led by his own Al-Gaddadfa tribe and by Al-Magarha, another tribe headed by Abdullah Sanussi, Gaddafi’s brother-in-law and chief enforcer. Experts agree that part of the explanation for Gaddafi’s survival is linked to having his sons in charge of his security and his own tribe occupying the most important positions. “His units are die-hard loyalists, based on skin and kin, blood ties which for Gaddafi are more important than ideology. He has his son Khamis who is in charge of a special army unit,” Djebbar said. Those familiar with Gaddafi say he is the only decision-maker, a man with absolute authority who does not delegate power to anybody, not even to his own sons. On the ground, the balance of power looks equal. Gaddafi and his forces control the capital Tripoli and some nearby


towns as well as his birthplace Sirte further east, the site of large arsenals and bases designed to guard oil infrastructure. The rebels hold Benghazi, Misrata and Zawiyah and Jebel Nafusa southwest of Tripoli. “Gaddafi has not given up, the attack he launched on Brega is an indication that he intends to carry on,” said George Joffe, a Middle East expert at Cambridge University. Despite the defection of large numbers of tribes some still support him including his own Gaddadfa community. “The forces on the ground might be quite well balanced. It really can go on for quite some time. If you control Benghazi you control (the eastern region of) Cyrenaica,” said Joffe. “If you control Tripoli you control Tripolitania. In those circumstances you could have two forces relatively well balanced who can confront each other for a long time.” On the table is a peace plan devised by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, according to Secretary-General Amr Moussa. Venezuela says Gaddafi has accepted it, but there has been no confirmation. Rebels have said they would not negotiate with Gaddafi, and their reaction to the plan is not known. One scenario for a peaceful exit is to have some sort of a tribal deal. This might see a combination of the sons of Gaddafi, his daughter and Sanussi push him aside and allow the Gaddadfa tribe and AlMagarha, former officers and dignitaries to enter into talks with tribes in the east to grant Gaddafi safe passage to retire in his hometown of Sirte. They in turn could make commitments to guarantee the security of the family. The other option is for him to go abroad with immunity from prosecution. But this option may not be possible after the International Criminal Court said Gaddafi and members of his inner circle could be investigated for alleged crimes committed against civilians by security forces. Joffe said he suspected Gaddafi would eventually be overthrown in a palace coup. “The way it will come to an end is if his domestic support ends from his family, tribes, his own battalion or army unit - if they remove their support he is finished...It won’t end nicely.” — Reuters

Oman protests show no country immune By Mohammed Ali Harissi rotests fueled by political and social grievances that suddenly shattered the usual calm in Oman show that no country is safe from a wave of uprisings sweeping the Arab world, analysts say. The latest demonstrations in the normally placid, wealthy Gulf sultanate began last Saturday, after popular protests that toppled the long-time leaders of Tunisia and Egypt had spread to other countries in the region, including nearby Bahrain and Yemen. “Oman was a quiet country in the Gulf,” said Marina Ottaway, the director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for Internal Peace. “The fact that there are protests is a good reminder that there is no country in the Middle East or regime in the Middle East that can feel confidence that nothing similar will happen in it,” she said. Ottaway said that, “in the Gulf countries, it’s more about politics than it’s about economics”. “It’s not only about freedoms and political participation but it’s also about the malaise in these countries that they are not moving and that the world is changing and they are staying at the same place,” Ottaway said. The protests in Oman quickly escalated with at least one demonstrator shot dead by police on Sunday in Sohar, northwest of the capital of Muscat. A security official said police killed two demonstrators and wounded five as they tried to storm a police station on Sunday, while a protester said five were killed and a government spokesman put the toll at one. Protesters and police clashed again on Monday as hundreds of demonstrators attempted to storm a police station in Sohar but were repulsed by police firing tear gas. The protesters, who are demanding jobs and political reform, also continued to man roadblocks around Sohar on Monday. On Tuesday, tanks peacefully dispersed protesters blocking the port in Oman’s industrial city of Sohar and the coast road to Muscat while protests were also reported elsewhere, AFP journalists and witnesses said. And on Wednesday, hundreds of Omanis demonstrated in support


of Sultan Qaboos as more than 400 activists camped outside the consultative council protesting against corruption and demanding higher wages. The protests in Oman “constitute a surprise, as the focus has always been on other areas of the Gulf, especially in Bahrain,” said Ibrahim Sharqieh, the deputy director of the Brookings Doha Center. “It deserves attention and to be dealt with seriously, with the knowledge that there is not yet any indication that the country might follow in the footsteps of Tunisia and Egypt,” he said. Sultan Qaboos has announced various measures aimed at appeasing the protesters, including the creation of 50,000 new jobs for Omani citizens and benefits provided for the unemployed. A royal decree said a monthly allowance of 150 riyals ($390) would be given to each registered job seeker. Qaboos also ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, headed by Palace Affairs Minister Sayed Ali bin Hmud Al-Busaidi, to put together proposals to meet calls for more powers for the elected consultative council. “What we have learned from other countries is that simply economic concessions don’t make a difference,” said Ottaway. “Things to be watched are whether or not the government will make any political concession.” Mohammed Al-Oraimi, an Omani writer and researcher on Gulf political affairs, said “this generation is a generation of Facebook and the Internet and if they don’t get what they are looking for, they will take it.” He noted that the events in other Arab countries “contribute to fueling the moves ... and repression has a limit,” though he added that the demonstrators are not targeting Qaboos personally. “The goal is focused on finding a solution to unemployment and fighting government corruption that has emerged, especially during the last five years, but also providing greater space for freedoms that are suppressed,” he said. Protests had taken place in Oman before Feb 26, though they were not sustained. About 200 demonstrators hit the streets on Jan 17 in protest against rising prices and corruption. — AFP



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RAS LANOUF, Libya: An anti-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi rebel sits at his anti-aircraft machine gun in front of an oil refinery after capturing this oil town in eastern Libya yesterday. — AP

Oman sultan sacks ministers after protests Continued from Page 1 port, before army tanks ended the four-day protest peacefully. Hundreds of protesters also camped on Tuesday and Wednesday outside the headquarters of the consultative council, the sultanate’s equivalent of parliament, an elected body that enjoys advisory powers in limited areas. The protesters demanded an end to corruption and higher salaries. In a move aimed at addressing the grievances, Sultan Qaboos has announced the creation of 50,000 new jobs and a monthly allowance of 150 riyals ($390) for registered

job seekers. The sultan, in power since 1970, also ordered the formation of a ministerial committee to draw up proposals to meet calls for the consultative council to be given more powers. On Wednesday, Qaboos told the 83 members of the consultative council that he intends to “introduce reforms soon,” and “promised to expand the authorities” of the elec ted council, a council member told AFP. Qaboos also considered protesters who are demanding reforms as “children of Oman who should be treated wisely ”, he added. Last month, Oman raised the

minimum wage for nationals working in the private sector from $364 to $520. Oman is the latest country to be hit by the wave of popular protests that has rattled several Arab states and swept from power the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. Mass demonstrations also threaten the regimes of Bahrain and Yemen while Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is facing an armed insurrection. Oman guards the strategic Strait of Hormuz through which 40 percent of the world’s oil shipments passes and Muscat is a key Western ally in the region. Iran borders the waterway’s northern flank. — Agencies

Saudi Arabia warns it won’t tolerate demos Continued from Page 1 three-month medical absence and unveiled $37 billion in benefits for citizens in an apparent bid to curb dissent. On Thursday night, 22 people were arrested as police dispersed a rally in Qatif in which protesters demanded the release of prisoners, said Ibrahim Al-Mugaiteeb, the head of Human Rights First in Saudi Arabia. “The protesters demanded the liberation of nine ‘forgotten’ prisoners in Al-Qatif, and also of Sheikh Al-Aamer, whose picture they carried, and called for national

unity between Sunnis and Shiites,” Mugaiteeb told AFP by telephone. Aamer was arrested “after calling for the establishment of a constitutional monarchy” in the kingdom. On Friday, a dozen men gathered at the exit of Riyadh’s Al-Rajhi mosque, one of the capital’s most important, repeating slogans denouncing “oppression” and the monarchy, according to witnesses. Three men were arrested, witnesses said. For about two weeks, Saudi Shiites have staged small protests in the kingdom’s east, which holds much of the oil wealth of the world’s top crude exporter and is

near Bahrain, scene of protests by majority Shiites against their Sunni rulers. Shiite protests in Saudi Arabia started in the area of the main city Qatif and its neighbour Awwamiya and spread to the town of Hofuf on Friday. The demands were mainly for the release of prisoners they say are held without trial. Saudi Shiites often complain they struggle to get senior government jobs and other benefits like other citizens. The government of Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy without an elected parliament that usually does not tolerate public dissent, denies these charges. — Agencies

Fear of Libya civil war Continued from Page 1 So far, Gaddafi has had little success in taking back territory, with the entire eastern half of the country and some cities near the capital under rebel control. But the opposition forces have had limited success in marching on pro-Gaddafi areas, leading to a standoff that could last for weeks and maybe months, with neither side mustering enough military power to decisively defeat the other. Yesterday’s assault on Zawiya, a city of some 200,000 people just 50 km west of Tripoli, began with a surprise dawn attack by pro-Gaddafi forces firing mortar shells and machine guns. Witnesses who spoke to AP by telephone with the rattle of gunfire and explosions in the background said the shelling damaged government buildings and homes. The fighting sparked several fires, sending a cloud of heavy black smoke over the city, and witnesses said snipers were shooting at anybody on the streets, including residents who ventured onto balconies. Initially, the rebels retreated to positions deeper in the city before they launched a counteroffensive in which they regained some of the lost territory, according to three residents and activists, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

By mid-afternoon, the rebels had reoccupied central Martyrs’ Square while the pro-regime forces regrouped on the city’s fringes, sealing off the city’s entry and exit routes, the witnesses said. “We will fight them on the streets and will never give up so long as Gaddafi is still in power,” said one of the rebels, who also declined to be identified for the same reason. Pro-Gaddafi forces on foot and firing artillery, mortars and other heavy weapons launched a new attack on Zawiya in late afternoon from the south and west, two other witnesses said by telephone. The anti-Gaddafi rebels fared better elsewhere, capturing the key oil port of Ras Lanouf on Friday night, their first military victory in a potentially long and arduous westward march from the east of the country to Tripoli. Witnesses said Ras Lanouf, about 140 km east of pro-Gaddafi Sirte, fell to rebel hands on Friday night after a fierce battle with proregime forces who later fled. An AP reporter who arrived in Ras Lanouf yesterday morning saw Libya’s red, black and green pre-Gaddafi monarchy flag, which has been adopted by the rebels, hoisted over the town’s oil facilities. One of the rebels, Ahmed AlZawi, said the battle was won after Ras Lanouf residents joined the

rebels. Al-Zawi, who participated in the fighting, said 12 rebels were killed in the fighting, in which rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns were used. Officials at a hospital in the nearby city of Ajdabiya, however, said only five rebels were killed and 31 wounded in the attack. The discrepancy in the figures could not immediately be explained. “They just follow orders. After a little bit of fighting, they run away,” said another rebel at Ras Lanouf, Borawi Saleh, an 11-year veteran of the army who is now an oil company employee. The march on Sirte, said Al-Zawi, would start after the rebels regroup and reorganize. In the rebel-held east of the country, meanwhile, a large arms and ammunition depot outside Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, blew up Friday in a massive explosion that completely destroyed an area three times the size of a football field. Ambulance drivers told AP Television News that at least 26 people had been killed in the blast, which flattened entire buildings, cars and trees. It also deprived the rebels of arms and ammunition needed to fight their way westward toward Sirte on the Mediterranean coast. It was not immediately clear how the depot blew up, but suspicion immediately fell on Gaddafi agents. — AP

Frontlines hard to find in Libya unrest By Paul Schemm RAS LANOUF, Libya: Just 100 km from Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown, something didn’t feel right. There were no signs of the rebel army, and we were getting perilously close to where the government forces were supposed to be. In the distance we could see civilians manning the checkpoint into the town of Bin Jawad. They were not the exuberant gunmen flashing victory signs we were used to seeing in the rebel-controlled towns. There was also no sign of the flag of the old monarchy that had become the new symbol of the revolution. Our driver quietly pulled our own rebel flag off the dashboard and began turning the car around, as it appeared we had stumbled through the lines into the latest no man’s land of Libya’s uprising-turned-civil war. After a week-long stalemate, a time when rebel military gave no signs it was interested in advancing, a government strike against oil installations seems to have reignited the war in eastern Libya. Earlier in the week, government forces from Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown and the gateway to western Libya, moved against the lightly guarded oil facilities in Ras Lanouf and Brega, which together export some two-thirds of the country’s oil. Local rebel militias, later aided by their compatriots in Benghazi, fought them off and started a push westward that has the Libyan rebel army playing catch up. These days it can be a challenge to find the farthest limit of the rebel advance west, with every checkpoint providing conflicting information about the safety of the road ahead and the location of friendly forces. After retaking Brega on Wednesday, rebel forces pushed out about 45 km toward its sister oil refinery at Ras Lanouf. Army units soon followed and gave every indication they were digging in - until abruptly on Friday dozens of pickup trucks of volunteers went roaring off to the west. “We took the army camp near Ras Lanouf last night at 7 pm, but there were few weapons left, and the soldiers escaped,” said Borawi Saleh, an oil engineer and old veteran of the Libyan army who joined rebel forces as a volunteer. “All of the army, I am sure, don’t like Muammar. They are just following orders and after a little fighting they run away,” he said, explaining the victory of a rag tag mixture of professional soldiers and enthusiastic volunteers riding in trucks with machine guns bolted on the back. There has been little sign of the creaky armored vehicles the rebel army paraded around in the eastern cities after Gaddafi’s forces fled. The rebel forces, for all their apparent disorganization and spontaneity that would seem to be disastrous for purposes of military strategy, do seem to have momentum on their side. The swift advance and comparatively light casualties suggest that, at least for now, government troops are not offering a great deal of resistance. “He has planes and bombs but I have a strong heart and I am defending my land,” said Capt

Abdel-Hamid Ali, while his fleet of six pickup trucks pulled over at a rest stop in the grim, featureless desert. Ali, who had no obvious rank insignia and wore wraparound sunglasses, camouflage pants, a down vest and a green army sweater, estimated that there were just 500 rebel forces involved in the push westward, but could not say when the next move would come. “I am awaiting orders,” he said, waving his ancient Nokia mobile phone in a desert country with often patchy reception. North Africa, and especially the Libyan desert, has witnessed lightning campaigns before. In World War II, Allied and Axis forces fought years of seesaw battles across these same grim deserts, with the victors often being pushed back after overextending their supply lines. The rebels are traveling light in their pickup trucks, but it remains to be seen if the apparent organized chaos of their advance can be sustained until the stronghold of Sirte. The town of Bin Jawad lies almost between Ras Lanouf and Sirte and was supposed to be the limit of the army’s advance. As we drove in, however, it seemed a quiet, eerie place without any of the revolutionary excitement further east. A trailer on the edge of town was burning fiercely for no apparent reason. Residents were shifty and just answered that the road was clear up ahead, insisting that no one had seen forces from either side. “The people here are frightened, they are still afraid of Gaddafi,” said Ibrahim Al-Gouri, a Benghazi resident traveling in our car. “They would raise up the green flag if they had to,” he said, referring to the Libyan government standard. We had reached the edge of Libya’s popular uprising and it was time to turn back and find the rebels. Back in the landscaped grounds of the Ras Lanouf oil facility, whose foreign workers had been evacuated long before it became the frontline, soldiers and volunteers lounged in grass, firing off occasional celebratory volleys. They boasted about heading off immediately for Sirte or even all the way to the Tunisian border in the far west. Ali Suleiman, a 34-year-old volunteer from Benghazi with a college degree, however, thought perhaps it was time to take a break. “We will rest for a while and then we will advance, all the way to Sirte and Tripoli,” he said, wearing mirrored aviator sunglasses, a leather jacket and an Arab-style scarf dyed different colors on his head. The laid back atmosphere evaporated suddenly with shouted orders on a truck carrying a loudspeaker to withdraw troops to an earlier checkpoint. Cars revved up and rebels jumped into the back of pickups. The reason soon became apparent with the sound of a jet overhead, evoking everyone’s fear of the unstoppable air strike. As our car raced back, the rebels opened up, perhaps futilely, with their heavy caliber anti-aircraft guns bolted to their trucks, against the unseen jet far overheard. A few hours later we heard that rebel forces had finally reached Bin Jawad, and were continuing to advance. — AP

AMRAN, Yemen: A Yemeni girl chants slogans and waves her national flag during a rally to support Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday. — AP



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Ogier leads in Mexico MEXICO CITY: Frenchman Sebastien Ogier held a narrow lead in the Rally of Mexico over compatriot and Citroen team mate Sebastien Loeb at the end of the first day on Friday. Ogier was 2.3 seconds ahead of seven times world champion Loeb on the first full day of action in the second rally of the season in the central state of Guanajuato. “I’m happy but to be really happy you have to be first Sebastien on (the final day) today,” Ogier told reporters. “It will be Loeb difficult to keep this place to the end because I’ll have to clean the road (drive first).” Loeb, having stayed on Ogier’s tail throughout the day winning four of the nine special stages, was confident of going on to win a fifth successive Mexico rally. “It was a great battle from the start of the day, we’re giving our maximum. Ogier was very fast today and I’m happy with my position in tomorrow’s starting order because I didn’t want to have to clean the road,” said Loeb. — Reuters


sp orts

A perfect shot, a perfect season, then heartbreak

Bid for FIFA presidency NEWPORT: Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar dropped a fresh hint yesterday that he could challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency in June. The Asian Football Confederation president has not yet publicly announced whether he will stand for soccer’s top job but kept the pressure on Blatter yesterday while the FIFA president was in Wales for a meeting of the law-making International Board. Bin Hammam posted a message on his Twitter and Facebook accounts, linked to his official website (, that “competition is good for the organisation (FIFA), whether the president or any other posts.” He added that “competition is the

best way to make the organisation vibrant and alive.” Blatter, 75 next week, has been president since succeeding Joao Havelange in 1998 and is up for re-election for a fourth four-year term. The deadline to announce a challenge is March 31 and Bin Hammam could score a notable double by becoming FIFA president following Qatar’s success in winning the right to stage the 2022 World Cup last year. Bin Hammam told Reuters in January: “A change is a demand for an improvement really. “I cannot be 100 percent frank with you but I think FIFA needs lot of improvement. I think there is a scope of work I can do, there is something I can present and do for international football.”—Reuters

FENNVILLE: One moment: a perfect shot to end a perfect season. The star player, just 16, lifted off the floor in celebration. Teenagers triumphant, crowds cheering, the district playoffs ahead, the future open wide. The next: Wes Leonard on the gym floor, his enlarged heart failing, his life fading just a few moments after his victory layup. Packed bleachers suddenly stunned by an event that made basketball seem a distant, unimportant memory. A day after Leonard died from an enlarged heart, this small town near Lake Michigan remembered an “all-American kid” whose athletic heroics had been local legend since middle school, when opposing coaches sometimes asked to see his birth certificate, not believing someone so young could be so skilled. —AP

Mexican sensation gets a title shot ANAHEIM: The prince of Mexican boxing is ready for his coronation, and only the kid brother of a famous English brawler stands in his way. Saul Alvarez’s career has been on a skyward trajectory since his early teens, and the hard-hitting 20-year-old can make championship history even more quickly than he imagined Saturday night. The redheaded, freckle-faced slugger ubiquitously known as “Canelo” — the Spanish word for cinnamon — will fight for the vacant WBC super welterweight belt against Matthew Hatton (41-4-2, 16 KOs), the less heralded brother of former 140-pound champion Ricky Hatton, at Anaheim’s Honda Center. “I didn’t expect it to happen this quickly, but I’ve been preparing for this for a long time,” said Alvarez, who turned pro at 15. “I’m grateful for the opportunity, but I know I still have to earn it.” Alvarez (35-0-1, 26 KOs) nearly missed the opportunity to become the youngest fighter to win the 154-pound title when he came in nearly 2 pounds over the fight’s 150-pound catch weight limit on Friday. Given two hours to lose the weight, the sculpted fighter could only shave off less than half a pound. Hatton, who made the catch weight, agreed to stay in the fight despite Alvarez’s mistake. The fighters’ managers agreed to an undisclosed financial penalty, which could mean Alvarez won’t earn a whole lot more than a belt if he wins. That’s more than enough motivation. Given the power in his fists and the expectations heaped upon him by Golden Boy Promotions and the Mexican public, both Alvarez and Hatton realize Canelo is expected to seize his apparent destiny with ease. Hatton has few major accomplishments beyond his European welterweight title. He’ll likely be the toughest opponent of Alvarez’s relatively short career, but not many people outside the Hatton family think he’ll be tough enough to take the belt back to Manchester. “He’s never fought anyone as good as me, anyone as fit and determined as me,” Hatton said. “I was highly motivated for the fight in the first place, but to get to fight for the world title motivates me even more. I’ll leave nothing in the locker room.” The WBC fell all over itself to add a big, ugly belt to the virtual crown Alvarez already wears in Mexico, where his cowboy image and beauty-

queen girlfriend make him the biggest name in the fight-crazy country’s younger generation of boxers. Just last week, the Mexico City-based sanctioning body abruptly ruled the winner of this fight would fill its 154-pound title vacated by Manny Pacquiao — even though the fight is at a catch weight, and even though Hatton has never fought at super welterweight. “This is a huge stage for Canelo, the biggest challenge he has ever faced,” promoter Oscar De La Hoya said. “We all think he’s ready for the challenges of this fight and everything that lies beyond it. I really believe he’s the next big thing in this sport. He’ll be bigger than me.” Mexican brawler Daniel Ponce De Leon also meets Cincinnati’s unbeaten Adrien Broner on Alvarez’s first headlining HBO show, while 168-pound contender Daniel Jacobs and formerly incarcerated middleweight James Kirkland also are on a card expected to attract a vocal pro-Alvarez crowd to the Anaheim Ducks’ home arena. A villain’s role is something novel for Hatton, who often fought in front of sympathetic crowds on the undercard of his brother’s bouts. Ricky Hatton’s career peaked with big-money knockout losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao, sending him into an effective retirement, but setting him up for life. Many see the fight in similar terms — Matthew will get his biggest payday, but he’ll go down hard. Ricky isn’t among them. “He’ll never take a backwards step,” Ricky Hatton said. “I was worried about him moving up in weight, but after seeing him in the gym, I’m not worried any more. As my brother, I’m proud to say he’s made of the same material. We didn’t come here for a payday. We came here to take home a belt.” The brothers still get along famously and work together, with a promotions company and a website, but Matthew has never been his brother’s twin. For starters, Matthew supports Manchester United, while Ricky and most of their family prominently support Manchester City. “I’m more professional now,” Hatton said. “I also used to put on a bunch of weight between fights, like Ricky. I’m not going to say I still don’t like a pint, but when you’re a sportsman, when it’s your job, you’re supposed to stay in shape. I’ve learned from some of both our mistakes.” —AP

CHICAGO: Patrick Kane No. 88 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates around Tim Gleason No. 6 of the Carolina Hurricanes at the United Center.—AP

Blackhawks stop Hurricanes

FLORIDA: Kyle Stanley hits out of a bunker on the fourth hole during the second round of the Honda Classic golf tournament.—AP

Stanley leads Honda Classic MIAMI: Unheralded American Kyle Stanley returned a four-under 66 to knock Rory Sabbatini from the top of leaderboard on Friday and grab a one shot lead after two rounds at the Honda Classic. On another windy day at the Palm Beach Gardens layout, Stanley mixed six birdies with two bogeys to get to six-under 134, replacing Sabbatini as the midway leader after the South African spent much of the day in top spot after a sizzling six-under 64 to match the PGA National Champion course record. “I like playing these conditions,” said Stanley, who is still chasing his first top 10 PGA Tour finish. “I think it kind of really brings a feel aspect into it and you kind of have to use your instincts and feel. “I enjoy doing that, so I’d like to see the wind stay up a little bit.” Sabbatini, one of the early starters, made the most of the slightly improved conditions carding seven birdies against a single bogey to rocket into the lead. “After the way I struggled yesterday I wasn’t exactly looking forward to getting out there today,” Sabbatini told reporters. “I knew the conditions were going to be tough ... you know, crazy things happen. “Put the ball in the right spots a few times and make a couple of putts and all of a sudden you stop worrying about everything and you just start trying to make some more birdies.” South African Charl Schwartzel drained a birdie at his final hole for a one-under 69 to take ownership of third place and lurk just three off

the pace on 137. Briton Lee Westwood, who can reclaim the number one world ranking with a solo third place finish or better, eased into contention with a one-under 69 to join first round leader Spencer Levin and 2009 Honda champion South Korean Yang Yong-eun five back of the leader on 139. “It’s great to be number one but it’s not something that I keep an eye on,” said Westwood earlier in the week. “My primary concern this week is to play well and try and win the Honda Classic ... That’s first and foremost in my mind.” After an opening round 73, Briton world number three Luke Donald had a 68 to jump up the leaderboard settling in at one-over 141. Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, the world number four, battled to a one-over 71 to leave him at four-over through two rounds alongside Briton Rory McIlroy (71). Ernie Els, the 2008 Honda winner, wobbled to the finish line with double-bogey at 15 and a bogey at the 18th but a one-over 71 was just enough to allow the big South African to scrape into the weekend right on the cutline of six-over 146. Camilo Villegas’s Honda defence ended with an eight-over 78 and a two round total of 157. Canadian Mike Weir, the 2003 U.S. Masters champion, who needed a strong result at the Honda Classic to retain his PGA Tour exempt status, did not come close to his goal, bumbling his way to a 15-over 85 that included a triple bogey, four double bogeys and four bogeys.—Reuters

CHICAGO: Ryan Johnson, Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane scored in a 4:32 span early in the third period to break open a tight game as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on Friday to extend their seasonhigh winning streak to seven games. Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell scored in the first period for surging Chicago, which led only 2-1 after 40 minutes. Toews has goals in four consecutive games, scoring six times and adding two assists in the span. Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp and Chris Campoli each had two assists to help the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks pull ahead of Los Angeles and Phoenix for fourth place alone in the tight Western Conference standings. Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner scored for the Hurricanes. Chicago rookie Corey Crawford, making his 10th straight start, made 18 saves. Devils 2, Penguins 1 At Newark, New Jersey, Ilya Kovalchuk scored on a power play with 24.9 seconds left in overtime as New Jersey continued their remarkable playoff push with a victory over Pittsburgh. The goal was the second straight winner for the $100 million man, his sixth in the last 12 games and his ninth of the season. New Jersey won for the 19th time in 23 games (19-2-2) and handed the injury ravaged Penguins their eighth loss in 10 games (2-5-3). Travis Zajac scored in regulation for the Devils and Martin Brodeur made 25 saves. Tyler Kennedy scored for Pittsburgh, which continues to play without Sidney Crosby (concussion). Rangers 4, Senators 1 At Ottawa, Derek Stepan had a goal and an assist, and Mats Zuccarello and Artem Anisimov scored 12 seconds apart in the second period as New York beat Ottawa to end a three-game losing streak. Vinny Prospal also scored to help New York move into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, a point ahead of Carolina. The Hurricanes played at Chicago on Friday night. Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves in his 11th consecutive start. The NHL leader with eight shutouts, he lost his bid for another 4:56 into the third on Sergei Gonchar’s power-play goal.

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Friday: New Jersey 2, Pittsburgh 1 (OT); NY Rangers 4, Ottawa 1; Chicago 5, Carolina 2; Calgary 4, Columbus 3; Anaheim 4, Dallas 3 (OT); (OT denotes overtime win).

Detroit Chicago Nashville Columbus St. Louis

Western Conference Central Division 39 19 7 215 188 36 23 6 213 179 33 23 9 165 153 31 26 7 176 191 28 27 9 175 189

85 78 75 69 65

Vancouver Calgary Minnesota Colorado Edmonton

Northwest Division 40 16 9 210 154 34 24 9 204 191 34 25 6 169 171 26 30 8 184 219 22 35 8 164 214

89 77 74 60 52

San Jose Los Angeles Phoenix Dallas Anaheim

Pacific Division 38 21 6 183 36 24 4 179 33 23 10 186 34 23 7 177 35 25 5 182

82 76 76 75 75

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division

Philadelphia Pittsburgh NY Rangers New Jersey NY Islanders

W 40 37 34 29 24

L 17 21 29 31 32

OTL 6 8 4 4 9

GF 205 190 186 136 177

GA 162 164 164 166 208

PTS 86 82 72 62 57

Boston Montreal Buffalo Toronto Ottawa

Northeast Division 38 19 7 197 149 35 23 7 172 165 30 25 8 181 182 29 27 9 170 197 22 34 9 147 206

83 77 68 67 53

Tampa Bay Washington Carolina Atlanta Florida

Southeast Division 37 20 7 193 194 35 20 10 173 164 31 26 9 191 201 26 28 11 180 211 26 31 7 160 177

81 80 71 63 59

Flames 4, Blue Jackets 3 At Calgary, Alberta, Miikka Kiprusoff became the first goalie in 25 years to stop two penalty shots in a game and finished with 37 saves, leading Calgary past Columbus. It’s the first time a goalie has turned aside two penalty shots in an NHL game since Detroit’s Corrado Micalef stopped Pierre Larouche and Mike Ridley of the New York Rangers on Feb. 16, 1986. Rene Bourque and Curtis Glencross scored power-play goals in a 1:21 span midway through the second period with Columbus’ Antoine Vermette serving a double-minor for high-sticking to make it 4-2. Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen scored first-period goals for Calgary. Vermette, Craig Rivet and Jan Hejda scored for Columbus. Ducks 4, Stars 3 At Anaheim, California, Defenseman Lubomir

164 156 190 181 190

Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L). Visnovsky completed his second three-goal game in the NHL on a power play with 3.8 seconds left in overtime, and Teemu Selanne scored the tying goal with 1:03 remaining in the third period in Anaheim’s victory over Dallas. Dan Ellis, who made 23 saves, kept the Ducks alive with an acrobatic glove save on a onetimer from short range by Trevor Daley at the end of a 2-on-1 break with Mike Ribeiro with 1 1/2 minutes left in OT. Getzlaf had three assists, one of them on Selanne’s 400th goal with the Ducks and another on Visnovsky’s 12th goal of the season. Visnovsky is the first defenseman in Ducks history to record a hat trick. Jamie Benn triggered a three-goal second period for Dallas, Loui Eriksson scored his teamhigh 10th power-play goal, and Adam Burish added a goal. —AP


S P ORT S BELGIUM: Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns the ball towards Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans on the first day of the Davis Cup World Group, first round. — AP

Nadal fires Spain as Serbia struggle Davis Cup LONDON: World number one Rafa Nadal’s return helped Spain make a commanding start in their quest to regain the Davis Cup but Novak Djokovic’s absence left holders Serbia surprisingly struggling against India on Friday. Australian Open champion Djokovic, the best player in the world on current form, skipped his country’s World Group first round tie against India to prepare for Indian Wells next week. However, that decision could return to haunt Serbia who ended the first day locked at 1-1 in Novi Sad. After Viktor Troicki scraped past Rohan Bopanna, a player 600 rungs below him on the tennis ladder, 6-3 6-3 5-7 3-6 6-3 India hit back when their highest-ranked player Somdev Devvarman stunned Janko Tipsarevic 7-5 7-5 7-6. Late yesterday’s doubles, when Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac take on Devvarman and Bopanna, looks set to be a nervy affair for the hosts who claimed their first Davis Cup triumph against France in Belgrade just three months ago. “We definitely believe now we can win this tie and we will go out there to give it our best shot,” the 93rd ranked Devvarman told reporters inside the Spens Sports Centre. Spain roared into a 2-0 opening day lead against Belgium in Charleroi despite a late reshuffle

in which Fernando Verdasco replaced the injured David Ferrer. For most nations an injury to a player ranked sixth in the world would be a major blow but with Nadal in the ranks and Verdasco, the world number nine, as back-up Spain captain Albert Costa has one of the easiest jobs going. Verdasco thumped Xavier Malisse 6-4 6-3 6-1 before Nadal, back in action for the first time since injuring himself in a quarter-final defeat by Ferrer at the Australian Open, flexed his muscles during a 6-2 6-4 6-2 battering of Ruben Bemelmans. The home crowd were offered little encouragement by their own players but at least they got to see some explosive hitting from Nadal who looked fresh and eager after his lay-off. With Indian Wells and Miami on the horizon the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion was satisfied with his form in a smooth two-hour workout. “I felt comfortable and I think that in general it was a pretty controlled match throughout,” Nadal said. “I thought I started well without making any errors. Then in the second set and at the start of the third I took my foot off the gas a bit but finished a little better.” Spain, champions in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2009, should wrap up the tie in Saturday’s doubles, rendering today’s singles meaningless, but several of the other

World Group first round ties look set to go the distance. The United States and Chile, possible quarter-final opponents for Spain, were all square after the first day in Santiago. Andy Roddick beat Nicolas Massu in four sets but John Isner squandered a two-set lead against 165th-ranked Paul Capdeville, losing a gruelling match 6-7 67 7-6 7-6 6-4. US coach Jim Courier will not be hitting the panic button, however, with Bob and Mike Bryan, the world’s top doubles pair, in action at the Estadio Nacional late yesterday. Germany and Croatia were tied at 1-1 in Zagreb while World Group debutants Kazakhstan shared the opening day’s singles with the Czech Republic in Ostrava. Former US Open semi-finalist Joachim Johansson, now ranked 749 in the world after terrible injury problems, helped Sweden take a 2-0 lead against a belowstrength Russia in Boras. He beat Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-3 7-6 64 after world number four Robin Soderling crushed Igor Andreev. Argentina were 2-0 to the good against Romania, although David Nalbandian is a doubt for the rest of the tie after injuring himself in a victory over Adrian Ungur. France also led 2-0 against Austria inside an aircraft hangar at Vienna’s international airport. — AP

Glasgow Celtic Football Club visit PGA Kuwait KUWAIT: Senior Coaches from Glasgow Celtic FC visited Kuwait recently to support football development and provide expert coaching to hundreds of young players attending the Premier GOAL Academy. Greig Robertson, the International Academy Development Officer and Senior Youth Team Coach at Celtic was joined by Mark Reid, Senior Football Development Officer and Senior Youth Team Coach. Greig and Mark visited Kuwait as part of their role to develop strong working relationships with clubs and associations globally focusing on key elements such as coach education, player development, talent identification, facilitating tours to Scotland and parent education. Both hold

elite level coaching positions at Celtic FC, working with the very best young players in the country and focusing on development of technique and game awareness. They delivered the PGA coaching sessions during the five-day visit, training all age groups and casting a close eye over some of Kuwait’s most talented young players at the Premier Goal Academy based at Shaab Park. In addition they provided certified coaches education sessions for over forty local football coaches, visited the Sheikh Jaber National Stadium and held productive talks with clubs from the Kuwait Football Federation and the Ministry of Education.

Reds tame Brumbies CANBERRA: The Queensland Reds ground down the ACT Brumbies 31-25 in a workmanlike performance yesterday to end 15 years without a win at Canberra Stadium. Razor-sharp flyhalf Quade Cooper slotted home seven penalty goals and a wobbly drop goal in a 26-point game as the Reds staved off a late fightback to spoil Tony Rea’s debut as Brumbies caretaker coach. “We said at half-time, just to grind the game out, take the points on offer and just be patient and that was the key,” said Cooper, who quashed the Brumbies’ last-ditch attempt for a winning try by stealing the ball at the breakdown after the final whistle. “We tried to rush things in the previous weeks and it just hasn’t paid off for us... It’s been a bigger contest at the breakdown and we really worked on that this week.” The Brumbies scored four tries to the Reds’ one, and finished with a second bonus point for losing within seven points, but that was little consolation for the Canberra-based side who sacked coach Andy Friend midweek following their last-gasp, one-point loss to the Melbourne Rebels. After being trounced by the Waratahs last week, the Reds shelved their entertaining running game, stacking their bench with forward muscle and showing fierce resolve at the breakdown. The result was a 10-0 lead within 12 minutes, with flanker Scott

Higginbotham crashing over the line right of the posts after receiving a slick pass out of a ruck from flyhalf Will Genia. Wallaby front-rower Steven Moore caught the Reds defence napping eight minutes later, however, taking a quick tap after an offside penalty in the 22 and bursting through for the Brumbies’ first try. Fullback Pat McCabe gave the Brumbies their second try eight minutes before the break, stepping past Cooper and ducking back inside to plant the ball right of the posts. The enterprising Cooper kept the Brumbies at bay, however, slotting a drop goal and a fourth penalty kick on the stroke of half-time to give the Reds a 22-15 lead at the break. The Reds were reduced to 14 until eight minutes into the second half after prop Ben Daley was sin-binned for a high tackle on McCabe. The Brumbies rallied to within two points after prop Ben Alexander threw long and wide into the arms of Tongan number eight Ita Vaea, who cantered over for his first career try. Cooper stepped up again, however, scoring another three penalties to give the Reds an 11-point break with 10 minutes left. Matt Giteau had a chance to bring the Brumbies within a try of winning after Alexander crossed four minutes later, but his conversion kick pounded the left upright to ease the pressure. It was Giteau’s third missed conversion of the night. — Reuters

The visit was organised by the PGA and supported by the British Ambassador, Frank Baker, and the Movenpick Hotel, Salmiya. The support and active involvement of Scottish Premier League giants Glasgow Celtic alongside the association with English Premier League club Everton ensures that players at the Premier GOAL Academy receive the very best football development programme available in the State of Kuwait. The PGA coaching courses have commenced. For further details contact Academy Director, Mike Finn on 99981327, Executive Director, Baker Al Nazer on 66918666 email; premier_fa_kuwait

Avdeyeva wins women’s shot put at Euro indoors PARIS: Anna Avdeyeva of Russia narrowly beat Germany’s Christina Schwanitz to win the women’s shot put at the European indoor championships yesterday. Avdeyeva set her winning mark of 18.70 meters with her second throw. Schwanitz threw 18.65 with her third to ensure a tight finish but failed to get past 18.50 on her next three attempts. “I really wanted a medal and, of course, I dreamed about gold,” Avdeyeva said. “The competition started with a fault for me, and in the second (attempt) I managed 18.70. I was so happy that I almost could not concentrate for the other attempts.” Josephine Terlecki gave Germany another medal by taking the bronze with a personal best of 18.09. “My aim for Paris was to achieve a new PB (personal best) and to qualify for the final,” Terlecki said. “Now I improved my PB twice and won a bronze medal. This is just amazing. Wonderful and crazy championships for me.” Meanwhile, on Friday, draped in the French flag, Antoinette Nana Djimou Ida burst into tears and rolled around on the floor in hysterics after taking women’s pentathlon gold for the hosts at the European indoor championships. The Frenchwoman set a world’s best score this year of 4,723 after winning the long jump and the 60 metres hurdles to dash the hopes of silver medallist Austra Skujyte of Lithuania, who had led after the morning session at the Bercy complex. “I dreamt about this national anthem. I have to say thank you to my coach, Sebastien Levicq, because I hesitated a lot before doing the indoor season. And I didn’t get so much training,” Nana Djimou Ida told reporters. “But I still have some

work to do before thinking about a medal in Daegu (at the outdoor world championships in South korea in August).” A host of personal bests fell on the fast track on the first of three days of competition, which British pentathlon favourite Jessica Ennis has skipped because of injury. In the women’s 60 metres hurdles, Germany’s Carolin Nytra took the title in 7.80 seconds just ahead of Tiffany Ofili with a British record and Norway’s Christina Vukicevic. Petr Svoboda took the crown in the men’s

sprint hurdles in front of a modest Paris crowd which is set to increase to full capacity over the weekend. The Czech, who ripped off his shirt to celebrate like a soccer player, beat France’s Garfield Darien and Belgian Adrien Deghelt into second and third respectively. The only other medals awarded on Friday were for the men’s shot put where Ralf Bartels seized gold with a throw of 21.16 metres to edge out compatriot David Storl and bronze medallist Maksim Sidorov of Russia.—Agencies

PARIS: France’s Antoinette Nana Djimou Ida reacts after winning the women’s pentathlon during the European Indoor Athletics Championships. — AP



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Janka wins giant slalom 10 days after heart surgery SLOVENIA: Olympic champion Carlo Janka of Switzerland won a men’s World Cup giant slalom race yesterday, 10 days after having surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat. The defending overall champion was second after the opening leg and finished in a combined time of 2 minutes, 27.05 seconds for his first victor y of the season ahead of Alexis Pinturault of France and Ted Ligety of the United States. “This is the perfect comeback for me,” said Janka, who went back to ski training last Tuesday. “It’s a win with a history and it’s a nice feeling to be back at the top.” Janka was diagnosed with a heart rhythm problem in December. The 24-yearold Swiss originally planned to have surgery after the season but then chose to have it done during a break from racing. “My health is getting better and better,” Janka said. “That’s the most important for the future ... I am happy we did this (operation) now so I can have a good summer training and hopefully go into next season with a good feeling.” Janka won six races last year to become the first Swiss overall champion since Paul Accola in 1992, but has had a disappointing season so far. In January, he said he was giving up on the fight to defend his overall title. Five days before the operation, he also lost his GS world title to Ted Ligety of the United States. The American said he was not surprised by Janka’s winning return to the circuit. “We saw each other at training in Austria a couple of days ago,” the American said. “I knew he has well recovered by seeing him ski four

days ago. It is pretty remarkable though.” Pinturault had a blistering second run to jump from 16th to second, trailing Janka by 0.02. It was the first podium finish for Pinturault, who turns 20 later this month. “It’s my second top-30 result ever (in GS) so I am ver y happy,” Pinturault said. “To share the podi-

SLOVENIA: Switzerland’s Carlo Janka stands on the podium after winning an alpine ski, Men’s World Cup giant slalom race. —AP

um with Carlo and Ted — two of the biggest names in ski racing — is quite unbelievable for me.” Ligety, who had won here for the past three seasons, was 0.12 back in third to boost his chances of retaining the World Cup discipline title. The American has 383 points and - with just one more race - can only be overtaken by Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal on 306 or France’s Cyprien Richard on 303. Svindal

took a diappointing 22nd after two runs in which he never looked comfortable. Richard was 0.36 behind Ligety in fourth. “Other guys helped my cause probably more than I did today by making mistakes,” Ligety said. “I should have a bigger buffer going into the final race as I won a lot more races than in previous years.” To be assured of another GS title, Ligety needs at least 24 points from the season-ending GS on March 18 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. If Svindal wins that race, Ligety must finish 11th or better. “The world title means more to me this season as I have won two globes before,” Ligety said. Philipp Schoerghofer of Austria, a bronze medalist at the world championships last month, held a commanding lead after the first leg but caught a bump and skied out early in his final run. Ligety’s teammate, Bode Miller, skipped the event and planned to return next week to World Cup skiing for speed races in Kvitfjell, Norway, the US ski team said. Overall World Cup leader Ivica Kostelic hurt his left arm when he hooked a gate at the bottom of the course in his first run and seemed to hold back in his second to take 18th place. The Croat further extended his lead over main rival Didier Cuche to 1,307-725. The Swiss skier sat out the event after undergoing surgery on a broken thumb following the world championships. Svindal is third with 722 points. A slalom at the 50th Pokal Vitranc event in Kranjska Gora is scheduled for today.—AP

LOS ANGELES: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (right) puts up a shot as Charlotte Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game. —AP

Spurs crush skidding Heat SAN ANTONIO: Manu Ginobili scored 20 points and Tony Parker made a surprise return to the starting lineup as the San Antonio Spurs handed the Miami Heat their most lopsided loss of the season, 125-95 on Friday. In the first meeting between these NBA heavyweights, the Spurs (51-11) improved the league’s best record and kept the Heat in a tailspin. Parker had 15 points and eight assists. He returned less than a week after the Spurs feared their point guard might miss up to a month with a strained calf. LeBron James scored 26 points and Dwyane Wade had 19. It won’t get much easier for the Heat, who return home to play Chicago on Sunday. Bulls 89, Magic 81 At Orlando, Florida, Derrick Rose had 24 points and Luol Deng added 16 to help Chicago hang on for a win over Orlando in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Dwight Howard led Orlando with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but also picked up his 16th technical foul of the season. He faces a one-game suspension Monday against Portland if the foul is not rescinded by the NBA. Jason Richardson and Brandon Bass each chipped in 16 points.

ITALY: Lindsey Vonn of the United States speeds past a pole in the slalom portion of an alpine ski, women’s World Cup super-combined race. —AP

Vonn clinches downhill title TARVISIO: Lindsey Vonn clinched her fourth consecutive downhill crystal globe yesterday by finishing second to Anja Paerson, who posted her first victory of a frustrating season. Paerson clocked 1 minute, 26.91 seconds down the Prampero course to record a commanding win in a season hampered by knee problems. Vonn finished 0.73 behind and now holds an insurmountable 143point lead in the downhill standings over German rival Maria Riesch, who finished sixth but remains the overall leader. Vonn and Riesch have each won three downhills this season, with Paerson now becoming the only other woman to win in the discipline. Last season, Vonn won six of eight downhills. “I wasn’t able to win as many times as last year, so it definitely wasn’t easy,” Vonn said. “Maria gave me a run for my money and I had to keep fighting hard the whole season.” It was the 42nd World Cup vic-

tory of Paerson’s career, improving her fourth-place position on the alltime list and moving her two in front of Vonn. “It’s been kind of a struggle this season and I finally picked a run where I could (be) perfect,” said Paerson, who pulled up short due to knee pain during a race on home snow in Are last weekend. While she knew she had clinched the title, Vonn didn’t celebrate upon crossing the finish line, showing her competitiveness at having missed a race victory and a chance to cut even more points off Riesch’s overall lead. “I didn’t know that Anja had had such a good run, but I didn’t see what else I could have done to ski faster,” Vonn said. “I made a little mistake in the middle but she was just really fast on the flats.” Riesch is now just 136 points ahead in the overall ranks with Vonn favored to make up more ground in Sunday ’s super-G, when the American can clinch her third discipline title in three days, having tak-

en the super-combined globe Friday. “It’s still possible,” Vonn said. “In ski racing, things can change very quickly. I obviously would love to be ahead right now but I’m not in a bad position. I’m skiing like I have nothing to lose and sometimes that can be really dangerous.” Having made a mistake midway down, Riesch was visibly disappointed with her run, slamming into the protective padding at the finish and banging her pole in frustration. “I just saw that I’m eight hundredths back with this mistake, so I was frustrated in the first moment, but you can’t always have runs without mistakes,” she said. “It’s just normal that one race is not perfect. This is not my favorite downhill track, it’s really, really flat and sixth place is not a really good result but it’s still OK.” In a day full of emotions, not even Paerson celebrated, instead grimacing in pain due to her knee problem. “Landing that jump in the middle of the course was really painful,” said Paerson. —AP

Kenseth grabs Las Vegas pole LAS VEGAS: Matt Kenseth won the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a track record lap. Kenseth’s lap at 188.884 mph (303.979 kph) beat the record of 188.719 (303.714 kph) set last year by Kurt Busch. Marcos Ambrose qualified second Friday and was followed by Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle as Fords swept the top two rows. Kyle Busch qualified fifth in a Toyota, and briefly held the pole. But his bid to ensure either Kurt Busch or Kyle Busch won the pole for the fourth consecutive year was dashed when the Fords made their qualifying attempts. It was the fifth pole of Kenseth’s career, and first since Darlington in 2009. “Five in 12 years? That’s a little bet-

ter than I thought,” he deadpanned. “Qualifying is not my strong suit but I knew we had a really fast car. Honestly this is the most nervous I have been before qualifying in probably five years because I knew we had a shot at the pole. I didn’t want to mess up a fast car.” Carl Edwards, Kenseth’s teammate at Roush Fenway Racing, qualified second and was followed by Marcos Ambrose and Greg Biffle, another Roush driver, as Fords swept the top four spots. All four cars are powered by Roush engines. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Joey Logano qualified fifth and sixth. Busch, the current points leader, was briefly on the pole and try-

ing to make sure Kurt or Kyle Busch won the top starting spot for the fourth consecutive year. Instead, Ambrose knocked Busch down a spot with a quick lap that lifted the Australian’s spirits after a disappointing start to his first season with Richard Petty Motorsports. “My team has really supported me through a slow start. I felt some pressure coming in here and I really wanted to step up,” he said. Ambrose was still doing interviews about his lap when Edwards bettered his speed. Edwards then brushed his car against the back of Ambrose’s legs when he came off the track, a grazing the drivers were laughing about after. —AP

Cavaliers 119, Knicks 115 At New York, Baron Davis scored 18 points in his Cavaliers debut, leading a stunning rally in the fourth quarter as Cleveland beat the New York Knicks for the 11th straight time. JJ Hickson scored 23 and Luke Harangody also had 18, but the spark came from Davis in his first game since his trade from the Los Angeles Clippers last week. He scored 12 points in the final 6plus minutes after the Knicks had built a 12-point lead, including a 3pointer that gave Cleveland a 116112 lead with 10.6 seconds left. Amare Stoudemire matched a season high with 41 points and Carmelo Anthony added 29, but the Knicks still haven’t defeated the Cavs since Dec. 19, 2007. Celtics 107, Warriors 103 At Boston, Ray Allen scored 27 points and pulled down a crucial offensive rebound with 12 seconds remaining to help Boston hold off Monta Ellis and Golden State. Paul Pierce also scored 27 for the Celtics, who let an 18-point lead slip to just one late in the fourth quarter and struggled to put away the pesky Warriors. Ellis scored 28 of his 41 points in the second half as Golden State rallied and gave the shorthanded Celtics a scare right to the end. Jeff Green added 21 points and Rajon Rondo had 16 assists for Boston. David Lee had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors. Thunder 111, Hawks 104 At Atlanta, Kevin Durant scored 29 points despite a sore ankle and Russell Westbrook hit a clinching 3pointer to lead Oklahoma City over

Atlanta. Durant sprained his left ankle two nights earlier and wasn’t cleared to play until an hour before the game, but the NBA’s leading scorer turned in his usual performance. He came in averaging 28.4 points a game. Westbrook finished with 28 points. Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 24 and Kirk Hinrich added 21. Nets 116, Raptors 103 At London, Brook Lopez scored 25 points and New Jersey ended a six-game losing streak by beating Toronto in the first regular-season NBA game played in Europe. Deron Williams added 16 points and 11 assists at the O2 Arena despite playing with injuries to both hands — a strained right wrist and bruised left hand. It was the All-Star guard’s first win with the Nets since being acquired from Utah last week. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 30 points and Andrea Bargnani added 23. Attendance was an announced sellout of 18,689, but there were some empty seats. The teams will face each other again at the O2 on Saturday, as the NBA decided to bring regular-season games to Europe for the first time as part of its push to increase its fan base on the continent. The O2 has hosted preseason games for the last four years. 76ers 111, T’wolves 100 At Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala had 22 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his second triple-double of the season as Philadelphia overcame another stellar effort from Kevin Love to beat Minnesota. Elton Brand scored 21 points and Thaddeus Young added 16 for the Sixers, who climbed back above .500 at 31-30. They currently hold the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Timberwolves got 21 points and 23 rebounds from Love, the 10th time he’s had a 20-20 game this season. Love leads the league with 58 double-doubles. Hornets 98, Grizzlies 91 At Memphis, Tennessee, Chris

Paul broke out of a scoring slump with 23 points and 14 assists as Willie Green keyed New Orleans’ fourth-quarter rally against Memphis. Green scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, Jarrett Jack had 19 points, and while Marco Belinelli and Carl Landry scored 14 apiece. Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Lakers 92, Bobcats 84 At Los Angeles, Kobe Br yant scored 27 points as the Los Angeles Lakers downed Charlotte. Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Derek Fisher sprained his left elbow as the Lakers grinded out a shockingly rare victory over the NBA’s youngest franchise. The two-time defending champions had lost eight of their previous 10 meetings with Charlotte, the only team other than Boston with a winning record against the Lakers (8-6). D.J. Augustin scored 22 points for the Bobcats. Suns 102, Bucks 88 At Milwaukee, Channing Frye scored 20 points as Phoenix used a 19-0 run in the third quarter to switch a deficit into a big lead against Milwaukee. The Suns are chasing Memphis for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and are just a half-game back after winning 12 of their last 16. Corey Maggette scored 21 points for the Bucks, who were missing four regulars due to injuries or illness, including center Andrew Bogut. Mavericks 116, Pacers 108 At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points and Jason Terry added 21 as Dallas pulled away from Indiana in the final 3 minutes to stretch its winning streak to eight games. Jason Kidd’s 15 points and Rodrigue Beaubois’ 13 helped the Mavericks to their 18th victory in 19 games. Danny Granger had 22 points and Darren Collison 17 for the Pacers.—AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Friday. New Jersey 116, Toronto 103; Chicago 89, Orlando 81; Philadelphia 111, Minnesota 100; Oklahoma City 111, Atlanta 104; Boston 107, Golden State 103; Cleveland 119, NY Knicks 115; New Orleans 98, Memphis 91; Dallas 116, Indiana 108; Phoenix 102, Milwaukee 88; San Antonio 125, Miami 95; LA Lakers 92, Charlotte 84. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 45 15 .750 NY Knicks 31 29 .517 Philadelphia 31 30 .508 New Jersey 18 43 .295 Toronto 17 45 .274 Central Division Chicago 42 18 .700 Indiana 27 34 .443 Milwaukee 23 37 .383 Detroit 22 41 .349 Cleveland 12 49 .197 Southeast Division Miami 43 19 .694 Orlando 40 23 .635 Atlanta 37 25 .597 Charlotte 26 35 .426 Washington 15 45 .250

GB 14 14.5 27.5 29 15.5 19 21.5 30.5 3.5 6 16.5 27

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City38 22 .633 Denver 37 26 .587 Portland 34 27 .557 Utah 32 30 .516 Minnesota 15 48 .238 Pacific Division LA Lakers 44 19 .698 Phoenix 32 28 .533 Golden State 27 34 .443 LA Clippers 22 40 .355 Sacramento 15 44 .254 Southwest Division San Antonio 51 11 .823 Dallas 45 16 .738 New Orleans 36 28 .563 Memphis 34 29 .540 Houston 31 32 .492

2.5 4.5 7 24.5 10.5 16 21.5 27 5.5 16 17.5 20.5

NFL, union extend labor talks NEW YORK: NFL fans can take heart from news that the league and union representing its players extended labour negotiations for another week rather than end talks and let the current deal expire, experts said on Friday. After agreeing to a 24-hour extension ahead of the original deadline at the end of Thursday, the two sides agreed on Friday to tack on another seven days after speaking with federal mediator George Cohen. “This gives the public hope,” Bill Sutton, sports business professor at the University of Central Florida, told

Reuters. “We should have much less negativity.” League and union officials both expressed optimism going forward, and experts agree the extension was a positive sign in a dispute that had looked headed toward the first NFL work stoppage since 1987. “The months of bluster and rhetoric have given way to a quiet mediation; that’s the atmosphere in which deals get done,” Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist, author of several sports business books, told Reuters. Had talks broken off, the sides

would likely have taken their squabble to the courts with legal actions that could have led to further polarization and threatened the 2011 season. “It is very much a tangible sign,” said David Carter, head of Sports Business Group and a professor at the University of Southern California. “If it became more of a legal matter, it would have changed the outlook rather dramatically and would have sent everybody involved in the business of the NFL scrambling to figure out what the fallout was going to be in the months to come.”—Reuters



e niv rsar n




Afridi speaks up for UDRS COLOMBO: The use of technology to enable teams to challenge decisions by umpires at the World Cup is proving controversial, but Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi wants reviews to be doubled. The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is being used for the first time at a World Cup, with some backing its use and others raising serious doubts. But one player who does not need to be con-

vinced is Afridi.”I think UDRS is good,” said Afridi after Pakistan’s win over Canada on Thursday, when Pakistan picked up three dismissals with the use of the system after umpires Daryl Harper and Nigel Llong gave batsmen not out. “I think one decision can change the whole match, so I think UDRS should be there. It should be raised to four from two, because two are proving less for us and in bigger matches this would

be beneficial,” said Afridi. Two unsuccessful appeals mean you lose the right to any further challenges during an innings. Canadian captain Ashish Bagai was left fuming after the Pakistan match. “There was a bit of controversy over the use of it. Some go your way, some don’t,” said Bagai, who escaped an lbw decision before becoming a victim of the system when Afridi referred it to review. —AFP

Group A: Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, Kenya Group B: Bangladesh, England, India, South Africa, West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands

Lanka-Aussies match washed out Dhaka in security row NEW DELHI: Torrential rain washed away defending champions Australia’s World Cup clash with Sri Lanka yesterday, just as the eagerly awaited encounter between the fierce rivals was coming to the boil. Sri Lanka had made 146-3, with skipper Kumar Sangakkara hitting an unbeaten 73, when Colombo’s R. Premadasa stadium, packed with 35,000 fans, was

Scoreboard COLOMBO: Scoreboard of the abandoned World Cup Group A match between Australia and Sri Lanka at R. Premadasa stadium yesterday: Sri Lanka U. Tharanga c Smith b Lee 6 4 T. Dilshan c White b Tait K. Sangakkara not out 73 M. Jayawardene run out 23 T. Samaraweera not out 34 Extras: (lb1, w5) 6 Total: (for three wkts; 32.5 overs) 146 Did not bat: Chamara Silva, Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Dilshan), 2-31 (Tharanga), 3-75 (Jayawardene) Bowling: Lee 5-0-27-1 (w2), Tait 5-0-23-1, Watson 7-029-0, Johnson 4-0-15-0 (w2), Krejza 7.5-0-34-0 (w1), Smith 4-0-17-0 Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Michael Clarke, David Hussey, Cameron White, Steve Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait Result: Match abandoned due to rain

swamped by a downpour. After a delay of two-and-ahalf hours, play was abandoned as a no result with both sides awarded a point apiece. “It’s a shame, it was shaping up to be a terrific game. Sangakkara was controlling the match for them,” said Australia skipper Ricky Ponting. “It would have been a tough wicket to bat on second, it would have been a tough run chase.” The build-up to the Group A match had been clouded in controversy when former Australian umpire Darrell Hair made new ‘chucking’ allegations over Sri Lanka’s record-breaking spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. Hair, who caused a storm in the international game when he first called the spinner for an illegal action in 1995, said that many current match officials share the same doubts. However, he insisted that some umpires are scared to intervene, content to see the 38-year-old enjoy his World Cup swansong before slipping into international retirement. “A couple of current umpires have said to me, ‘something is wrong’, but they prefer to let it go,” Hair, who quit in 2008, told Australian media yesterday. “There is still a lot of doubt about his deliveries. A few have told me, ‘there is definitely something wrong with his action, but I’m not going to call him’.” Despite Hair’s suspicions, Muralitharan has been cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after undergoing biomechanical tests on his controversial action. Tensions spilled over onto the pitch with Australian speedster Shaun Tait and home opener Tillakaratne Dilshan exchanging angry words in the second over when the batsman edged a ball for four. Dilshan then enraged Tait by pulling away from the crease just as the bowler went into his delivery stride, a gesture which brought Ponting and umpire Ian Gould into the fray.

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka batsman Thilan Samaraweera plays a shot during the ICC Cricket World Cup match between Australia and Sri Lanka. — AP But Tait had the last word, tempting Dilshan into a rash drive which was eagerly snapped up by Cameron White in the slips. Saturday’s result leaves Pakistan top of Group A with a perfect six points from three games. Sri Lanka and Australia have five points each, but Sri Lanka have played a game more. Bangladesh ramped up security after the West Indies team bus was stoned by fans furious at the home side suffering a humiliating loss that could trigger an early exit from the tournament.

Police said fans thought it was the Bangladeshi team bus they were attacking. Fans also attacked the house of Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan after his team had been bowled out for a record low of 58 in Friday’s match. ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat condemned the attack on the West Indies bus, but said there were no immediate plans to move games out of the country which is due to stage two quarter-finals. Police have made 38 arrests in connection with the Dhaka bus attack. — AFP



S Africa’s Smith wary of England backlash CHENNAI: South African captain Graeme Smith said he expected to face a fired-up England following their humiliation by Ireland, when the Test rivals met in a World Cup match today. Andrew Strauss’s team were victims of one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history when Ireland, inspired by Kevin O’Brien’s record-breaking 50-ball century, chased down a 328-run winning target in Bangalore on Wednesday. It was a victory that threw the race for quarterfinal places from Group B wide open. England have a win, one defeat, as well as their memorable tie against India from their three matches while South Africa have two wins in two games after comfortable victories over West Indies and the

England’s Kevin Pietersen during a nets training session

Netherlands. However, England have a good recent record against the Proteas, winning seven out of their past eight completed one-day internationals against South Africa. “I think England-South Africa’s always a big game,” Smith told reporters at the Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai yesterday. “It’s very competitive and it’s a game you look forward to.” As for England’s response after the Ireland loss, Smith said: “They are a very proud team and have had some good ups over the last few years. “They have the ability to play really well tomorrow and as a team we know that. We expect them to bounce back. “The Ireland result will have hit them. It was terrific for the World Cup to watch them (Ireland) get the victory. Tomorrow will be a very different game.” England off-spinner Graeme Swann urged his team-mates to hold their nerve. “If we start panicking and thinking we’re the disgrace that half the people on Twitter thought we were on Wednesday night, there’s no point in us playing,” he said. “But to win three-quarters of the game (against Ireland) and throw it away so catastrophically, that’s the sort of thing that can ruin momentum.” It is in the field where England have problems. They went into the Ireland match keeping faith with senior seamer James Anderson and fit-again Stuart Broad in place of Ajmal Shahzad. They persisted with Anderson despite the fact the swing specialist had conceded 91 runs against India-the most by an England bowler in a World Cup match. It seemed their faith was being rewarded with a tight early spell but Anderson ended up conceding 49 runs in 8.1 overs. Those figures were miserly compared with Broad’s none for 73 and with South Africa boasting the world’s two leading ODI batsmen in Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, England face a dilemma over the composition of their attack. Amla and De Villiers both made hundreds Thursday in a crushing 231-run win over the Netherlands, with de Villiers’s ton his second in as many matches following his hundred against the West Indies. Smith said de Villiers had overcome a minor back injury. Previous campaigns have often seen the Proteas accused of choking but, with the exception of all-rounder Jacques Kallis, few of the current squad have much in the way of a lengthy World Cup history behind them. Significantly, an attack once over-reliant on fast bowling has been boosted by the inclusion of Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir and he could have an impor tant role to play on a Chidambaram pitch set to take turn. —AFP

Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien (front second left) runs with teammates during a practice session.

Ireland pledge all-out attack against India BANGALORE: Giant-killing Ireland have vowed to play aggressive cricket in today’s World Cup match against India as they attempt to add the host nation to their list of scalps. The non-Test-playing nation provided the shock of the tournament to stun England by three wickets on Wednesday and all-rounder John Mooney said they would adopt the same fearless approach in Bangalore. “Our expectations going into the India game will be the same and we will go all out. Every game we play, we play to win,” said Mooney, who took four wickets and scored a crucial 33 not out against England. “As it was against Bangladesh, it will be the same against India too. It didn’t happen in the first outing, but we went out with the same attitude against England and the approach will be the same against India.” “We have our own expectations and we don’t want to put pressure on ourselves.” Ireland, who

lost a close opening match against Bangladesh, have two points from as many games and a win over India would be a major step towards reaching the quarter-finals. They owed their victory to powerful batsman Kevin O’Brien, who hammered a 50ball hundred-the fastest in World Cup history-as they overhauled England’s imposing 327 for eight. India, with three points after two matches, including a dramatic tie against England, may be struggling to find the right bowling combination but O’Brien said the hosts had the resources to keep pressure on his team. “A couple of bad matches won’t make them a bad bowling attack. I’ve seen the likes of (paceman) Zaheer Khan and (spinner) Harbhajan Singh and they’re very good bowlers,” said O’Brien, who turned 27 on Friday. “It’s going to be a difficult game on Sunday. I’m looking forward to it as it’s not every day that you play in front of 50,000 screaming fans. If I’m playing on a flat wicket, I’d try to hit the ball if it is there to hit.” —AFP

Standings Group A Pakistan Sri Lanka Australia N Zealand Zimbabwe Canada Kenya

3 4 3 3 3 3 3

3 2 2 2 1 0 0

0 1 0 1 2 3 3

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

(played, won, lost, tied, no result, points, net run rate) Group B S Africa 2 2 0 0 0 0 6 +1.747 W Indies 3 2 1 0 0 1 5 +2.663 India 2 1 0 1 0 1 5 +1.813 England 3 1 1 1 0 0 4 +1.584 Ireland 2 1 1 0 0 0 2 +0.079 Bangladesh 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 -2.873 Netherlands 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 -4.825

4 4 3 3 2 2 0

+2.763 +2.667 +0.870 +0.035 -0.207 -1.764 -3.058



Wigan gift City victory

Soccer results/standings English Premier League results Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0; Birmingham 1 (Beausejour 48) West Brom 3 (Mulumbu 47, Morrison 58, Scharner 72); Bolton 3 (Cahill 45, 75, Klasnic 86) Aston Villa 2 (Bent 15, Albrighton 64); Fulham 3 (Duff 37, 59, Zamora 89-pen) Blackburn 2 (Hanley 45, Hoilett 65); Newcastle 1 (Best 23) Ever ton 2 (Osman 31, Jagielka 36); West Ham 3 (Ba 21, Da Costa 29, Hitzlsperger 83) Stoke 0; Man City 1 (Silva 38) Wigan 0.

Swindon 0 Walsall Huddersfield 1.

0; Yeovil

Man City 1

Division Two Cheltenham 0 Chesterfield 3; Crewe 4 Burton 1; Gillingham 2 Bradford 0; Hereford 0 Bury 3; Lincoln 0 Accrington 0; Morecambe 2 Southend 1; Northampton 2 hrewsbury 3; Port Vale 2 Macclesfield 1; Rotherham 0 Barnet 0; Stockport 2 Oxford 1; Torquay 2 Stevenage 0; Wycombe 2 Aldershot 2. Scottish Premier League results

Playing later Man City v Wigan

Celtic 2 (Commons 42, 52) Hamilton 0; Hearts 0 Kilmarnock 2 (Silva 50, Eremenko 56); Inverness CT 3 (Sutherland 18, Foran 64, Macdonald 72) Motherwell 0; St Johnstone 1 (Towell 46-og) Hibernian 1 (Wotherspoon 80).

Playing today Liverpool v Man Utd Wolves v Tottenham Playing tomorrow Blackpool v Chelsea

Playing today St Mirren v Rangers English Football League results

Playing tomorrow Dundee Utd v Aberdeen

Championship Burnley 1 Crystal Palace 0; Coventry 1 Bristol City 4; Derby 0 Barnsley 0; Leeds 5 Doncaster 2; Nor wich 1 Preston 1; Nottingham Forest 0 Hull 1; Portsmouth 1 Sheffield Utd 0; QPR 1 Leicester 0; Reading 5 Middlesbrough 2; Scunthorpe 1 Swansea 0; Watford 1 Millwall 0. Playing later Cardiff v Ipswich Division One Bournemouth 3 Oldham 0; Brighton 4 Carlisle 3; Bristol Rovers 0 Dagenham and Redbridge 2; Charlton 1 Tranmere 1; Colchester 0 Southampton 2; Hartlepool 3 Brentford 0; Leyton Orient 2 Notts County 0; Peterborough 3 Exeter 0; Rochdale 1 Milton Keynes Dons 4; Sheffield Wednesday 2 Plymouth 4;

his fingers and dribbled away from his grasp, before creeping over the line in agonizing fashion. At the other end, James McCarthy smashed a shot narrowly wide after pouncing on Vincent Kompany’s loose clearance in the 30th, and the Latics wasted more chances after the break. Antolin Alcaraz nonchalantly flicked a volley


Scottish Football League results First Division Dunfermline 1 Morton 3; Partick 0 Dundee 0; Queen of the South 0 Raith 2; Ross County 2 Falkirk 1; Stirling 3 Cowdenbeath 4. Second Division Airdrie 0 Ayr 5; Alloa 1 East Fife 3; Brechin 3 Stenhousemuir 1; Dumbarton 0 Livingston 3; Peterhead 1 Forfar 1. Third Division Arbroath 2 Annan Athletic 1; Berwick 4 Elgin City 0; East Stirling 1 Montrose 2; Queen’s Park 4 Clyde 0; Stranraer 1 Albion Rovers 3.

English Premier League table

Wigan 0

MANCHESTER: Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi’s first-half blunder gifted third-place Manchester City a 1-0 victory in the English Premier League at Eastlands yesterday. Spain midfielder David Silva’s low shot in the 38th minute should have been easily scooped up by Al Habsi but the Oman international allowed the ball to dribble into the back of the net. A tired-looking City was unconvincing throughout but did just enough to earn a crucial win that narrowed the gap to second-place Arsenal to four points, although the Gunners have a game in hand. Wigan, which remained bottom of the table, created enough chances in the second half to claim a point in the northwest derby. Silva, who was also on target in the 3-0 victory over Aston Villa in a fifth-round FA Cup replay on Wednesday, was City’s most impressive player and saw an early shot drift just wide of Al Habsi’s post. That was City’s only chance of note before the goal, which Al Habsi will rue as he was right behind the effort by Silva from 12 yards (meters) out. The Wigan keeper didn’t get down low enough, however, and the ball brushed against

28 28 29 27 27 29 28 29 29 28 29 29 29 29 28 29 29 27 28 29

17 17 15 14 13 10 11 9 9 8 7 10 8 9 9 8 7 6 8 5

9 6 8 6 8 10 6 11 9 12 14 4 9 5 5 8 10 12 4 12

2 5 6 7 6 9 11 9 11 8 8 15 12 15 14 13 12 9 16 12

62 57 45 48 38 42 36 33 44 37 32 32 37 37 42 39 36 26 31 27

27 27 25 23 31 40 35 35 41 37 31 38 50 49 55 54 49 38 46 50

60 57 53 48 47 40 39 38 36 36 35 34 33 32 32 32 31 30 28 27

Birmingham 1

West Brom 3

English Football League tables Championship QPR 35 Swansea 35 Cardiff 34 Norwich 35 Nottingham 35 Leeds 35 Burnley 33 Hull 35 Leicester 35 Reading 35 Portsmouth 35 Watford 34 Millwall 35 Bristol City 35 Barnsley 35 Ipswich 33 Doncaster 35 Derby 35 Coventry 34 M’brough 34 Crystal 35 Scunthorpe 34 Sheffield Utd 35 Preston 34

19 19 18 16 15 15 14 13 15 12 14 13 12 12 11 12 11 11 11 10 9 10 7 5

Division One Brighton 32 Bournemouth 34 Huddersfield 34 Peterborough 33 Southampton 32 Milton 35 Charlton 32 Colchester 34 Leyton Orient 31 Hartlepool 34 Oldham 34 Carlisle 33 Rochdale 31 Brentford 33 Exeter 34 Sheffield 32 Notts County 30 Tranmere 33 Yeovil 33 Walsall 35 Dagenham 31 Swindon 34 Bristol 34 Plymouth 34 Note: Plymouth

19 8 5 61 26 17 10 7 59 33 16 9 9 54 38 17 5 11 75 60 16 7 9 56 29 16 7 12 49 47 13 9 10 50 47 12 12 10 41 44 12 11 8 53 42 13 8 13 36 47 11 13 10 44 48 12 9 12 47 40 11 12 8 43 38 12 7 14 38 44 11 10 13 48 58 11 7 14 47 46 11 6 13 36 37 10 9 14 40 46 10 7 16 32 47 9 8 18 40 57 8 8 15 35 46 7 11 16 42 58 7 9 18 37 69 11 6 17 42 58 deducted 10 points

13 5 7 12 14 12 11 13 7 15 8 10 11 8 10 6 9 7 7 7 8 4 8 10

3 11 9 7 6 8 8 9 13 8 13 11 12 15 14 15 15 17 16 17 18 20 20 19

57 48 55 55 45 67 50 40 51 56 48 60 43 45 40 43 48 43 37 42 33 32 30 36

20 31 38 43 30 57 39 36 52 41 46 51 37 50 51 43 65 48 44 52 55 58 55 62

70 62 61 60 59 57 53 52 52 51 50 49 47 44 43 42 42 40 40 37 35 34 29 25

65 61 57 56 55 55 48 48 47 47 46 45 45 43 43 40 39 39 37 35 32 32 30 29 for

going into administration Division Two Chesterfield 35 Bury 33 Wycombe 34 Rotherham 34 Shrewsbury 34 Port Vale 33 Gillingham 35 Torquay 33 Southend 33 Oxford Utd 35 Crewe 33 Stevenage 33 Cheltenham 35 Accrington 31 Lincoln City 33 Northampton 34 Morecambe 34 Aldershot 34 Hereford 32 Bradford 33 Macclesfield 31 Albion 29 Barnet 34 Stockport 35

19 16 16 15 15 15 13 12 13 13 12 11 11 10 12 9 10 8 9 11 9 8 7 7

11 9 9 10 10 9 13 12 8 8 9 12 11 13 6 13 10 15 10 4 8 8 10 10

5 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 12 14 12 10 13 8 15 12 14 11 13 18 14 13 17 18

673868 60 35 50 42 59 42 52 35 39 31 48 40 51 39 45 41 44 45 64 53 41 31 45 55 43 44 37 51 45 50 42 51 36 44 40 50 31 44 39 49 35 43 39 59 39 79

57 57 55 55 54 52 48 47 47 45 45 44 43 42 40 40 39 37 37 35 32 31 31

Scottish Premier League table Celtic Rangers Hearts Kilmarnock Motherwell Inverness CT Dundee Utd Hibernian St Johnstone Aberdeen St Mirren Hamilton

28 25 28 28 29 29 25 29 28 28 27 28

21 4 3 61 17 67 19 2 4 57 23 59 17 4 7 41 24 55 12 6 10 42 33 42 11 4 14 31 38 37 9 9 11 39 37 36 8 10 7 30 31 34 9 5 15 31 45 32 8 8 12 18 34 32 9 4 15 30 44 31 5 7 15 22 44 22 2 9 17 16 48 15

Scottish Football League tables First Division Raith 25 14 6 5 36 Dunfermline 24 12 6 6 42 Falkirk 23 11 4 8 39 Morton 25 8 8 9 26 Q of South 22 8 5 9 34 Partick 23 6 8 9 24 Dundee 25 14 8 3 35 Ross County 24 4 11 9 16 C’beath 23 6 4 13 28 Stirling 24 3 6 15 23 Note: Dundee deducted 25 points

19 24 24 26 32 27 18 25 52 56

48 42 37 32 29 26 25 23 22 15

Second Division Livingston 25 Brechin 23 Ayr 22 Forfar 22 East Fife 24 Airdrie Utd 25 Alloa 26 Dumbarton 27 S’ housemuir 24 Peterhead 26

17 11 12 10 8 8 8 9 7 5

4 9 3 6 6 6 6 3 3 8

4 3 7 6 10 11 12 15 14 13

51 42 40 32 52 31 38 36 29 37

24 25 37 27 42 41 52 51 39 50

55 42 39 36 30 30 30 30 24 23

Third Division Arbroath 24 Stranraer 25 Albion 25 Queens Park 25 Annan 24 Elgin 25 Berwick 23 Montrose 24 East Stirling 24 Clyde 21

14 12 12 12 9 10 8 6 6 3

3 8 6 3 9 5 9 6 3 4

7 5 7 10 6 10 6 12 15 14

54 51 37 36 38 38 39 35 19 23

41 39 30 27 32 45 30 41 36 49

45 44 42 39 36 35 33 24 21 13

LONDON: Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli (bottom right) attempts an overhead kick as Wigan Athletic’s captain Gary Caldwell (top right) looks on during their English Premier League soccer match. — AP

West Brom boost Zamora’s winner survival hopes lifts Fulham

English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, Man Utd Arsenal Man City Chelsea Tottenham Bolton Liverpool Sunderland Newcastle Everton Fulham Stoke Aston Villa Blackburn Blackpool West Brom West Ham Birmingham W’hampton Wigan

against the woodwork following a corner in the 50th, and McCarthy’s fierce drive was too close to City goalkeeper Joe Hart minutes later. Hugo Rodallega brought a low save out of Hart in the 88th before substitute Connor Sammon pulled a close-range effort wide in injury time. — AP

BIRMINGHAM: West Bromwich Albion boosted its hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League with a 3-1 victory over Birmingham at St. Andrew’s yesterday. Youssouf Mulumbu, James Morrison and Paul Scharner scored second-half goals for West Brom, which claimed a first league win since Jan. 15 to climb into 16th place and above Birmingham. Host Birmingham came back down to earth after beating Arsenal 21 to win the League Cup last Sunday, falling apart after Chile midfielder Jean Beausejour had made it 1-1 in the 48th minute. It was West Brom’s

first victory since former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson took charge of the team on Feb. 10, and a vital one considering how tight the table is at the bottom. “We knew Birmingham were around us (in the table) and the lads stood up and did a good job today,” said Morrison, who scored the standout goal of the match. Birmingham shaded a poor first half but conceded two minutes into the second when substitute Peter Odemwingie stabbed the ball through to Mulumbu, who poked a rising shot past goalkeeper Ben Foster from 12 yards. The home side replied barely 60 seconds later through Beausejour, who slotted home at the far post after meeting a low cross from Lee Bowyer. West Brom, though, started to dominate possession and retook the lead when Morrison collected a pass from Steven Reid, spun past a leaden-footed Curtis Davies and smashed a left-footed shot home from 18 yards. —AP

Matches on TV (Local Timings) English Premier League Liverpool v Man United 16:30 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5 Wolves v Tottenham Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5



Lazio v Palermo Al Jazeera Sport +1 Al Jazeera Sport 1 HD


Spanish League

Italian League Sampdoria v Cesena Al Jazeera Sport +1 Al Jazeera Sport 1 HD

Inter v Genoa Al Jazeera Sport +1 Al Jazeera Sport 1 HD


Udinese Calcio v As Bari 17:00 Al Jazeera Sport +5

Atletico v Villarreal Al Jazeera Sport +2 Al Jazeera Sport 2 HD


Levante v Espanyol Al Jazeera Sport +7



Malaga v Osasuna Al Jazeera Sport +9


Napoli v Brescia Al Jazeera Sport +5


Hercules v Almeria Al Jazeera Sport +4


Chievo v Parma Al Jazeera Sport +2


Bilbao v Sevilla Al Jazeera Sport 2 HD


Bologna v Cagliari Al Jazeera Sport +4


Racing v Real Madrid Al Jazeera Sport +3 Al Jazeera Sport 2 HD


Fiorentina v Catania Al Jazeera Sport +9

Villa pay the penalty Bolton 3

Aston Villa 2

BOLTON: Aston Villa were left to rue a missed Ashley Young penalty after Ivan Klasnic snatched a dramatic 3-2 victory for Bolton in a pulsating clash at the Reebok Stadium here yesterday. After their midweek FA Cup drubbing at Manchester City, Gerard Houllier’s Villa travelled to Lancashire determined to keep alive their recent run of positive league results. For much of the match, everything seemed to be going to plan for Villa, who opened the scoring

through January transfer signing Darren Bent on 15 minutes when he jabbed in the opener from Kyle Walker’s cross. Bent might have had a second on 21 minutes when he leapt to meet a Marc Albrighton cross with Bolton defender David Wheater, only to see the ball ricochet back off the woodwork. With Albrighton and Young wreaking havoc down the flanks, Villa seemed certain to extend their lead. Instead it was Bolton who hit back, Gary Cahill heading home a Martin Petrov corner o n t h e s t ro k e o f h a l f - t i m e to make it 1-1. But Villa again took a grip on the match after the break, and Bent, Downing and Young all went close to scoring. Eventually the Villa pressure told, Albrighton getting on the end of Downing’s cross to make it 2-1 on 64 minutes.—AFP

Fulham 3

Blackburn 2

LONDON: Bobby Zamora scored a late penalty winner as the Fulham striker marked his first Premier League appearance since September with the decisive moment in yesterday’s 3-2 win over Blackburn. Zamora had made only one substitute appearance in the FA Cup since suffering a broken leg at the start of the season and the England international came off the bench at Craven Cottage to drill home the winner after Grant Hanley had held back Aaron Hughes. Damien Duff twice gave Fulham the lead only for Blackburn to draw level through Hanley’s deflected effort and David Hoillet’s strike. While Fulham remain comfortably in mid-table, Rovers have now lost four of their last five league games and are hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone. The Cottagers were more incisive in attack from the start and took the lead through Duff in the 37th minute. Dickson Etuhu slid the ball to Duff who raced into the area and slotted the ball between Martin Olsson’s legs. Paul Robinson, his sight partially blocked by Olsson,

dipped his hands to his right but the ball had already passed into the net. Fulham were unlucky not to win a penalty moments later when Christopher Samba tripped Johnson without touching the ball, but referee Mark Clattenburg waved away their appeals. The Cottagers’ good work was undone in first-half injury time when Etuhu lost the ball to Hanley on the edge of his area. Hanley took the ball forward and pulled the trigger with his shot deflecting off Brede Hangeland and into the net. Fulham’s second goal arrived in the 59th minute when Duff struck once again. Moussa Dembele and Andy Johnson exchanged passes before the ball was slipped to Duff who powered his shot between the legs of Samba from the edge of the area. But once more their lead was shortlived as poor defending in the 66th minute saw the ball bounce through for the unmarked Hoilett to power home. However, the last 10 minutes belonged to Fulham with a poor first touch from Duff squandering good work from Zamora. Robinson made a fine save from Johnson before the Cottagers’ pressure told with a minute to go. Hanley held back Hughes at a corner and Clattenburg pointed to the spot and Zamora rifled home the spot-kick. — AFP

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

West Ham cruise to victory West Ham 3

Stoke 0 LONDON: Senegalese striker Demba Ba scored his fourth goal in three matches for West Ham here yesterday as they coasted to an impressive 3-0 win over Stoke City in their Premier League clash. Ba’s goal along with Manuel da Costa and a second-half one from the outstanding Thomas Hitzlsperger saw the Hammers strike a psychological blow a week away from the two sides FA Cup quarter-final. Victory also saw the Hammers move out of the bottom three as they made it a return of 11

points from the last 18 and are fourth from bottom a point ahead of League Cup winners Birmingham, who suffered a 3-1 defeat by West Brom earlier on Saturday. Stoke, who pulled out of a deal to sign Ba after a medical during the January transfer window, will be looking anxiously at the relegation battle as defeat - a record sixth successive away Premier League loss - sees them lying in 12th, but only four points clear of Birmingham, who have two games in hand. The hosts pretty much had the points in the bag by half-time with two goals in 10 minutes in the middle of the first-half. Ba - who earlier this week was moved to dismiss claims that he had a bad attitude as claimed by his former coach at Hoffenheim - struck in the 21st minute as he shot sweetly home from Mark Noble’s pass.—AFP

S Africa’s Smith wary of England backlash

Spurs crush skidding Heat




Janka wins giant slalom 10 days after heart surgery Page 17

Arsenal title push stalls with Sunderland draw Arsenal 0

Sunderland 0

LONDON: Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere (right) competes with Sunderland’s Kieran Richardson during their English Premier League soccer match at Emirates Stadium. —AP

Jagielka gets Everton back on track Newcastle 1

Everton 2 NEWCASTLE: Everton bounced back from their shock FA Cup exit against Reading as Phil Jagielka’s goal clinched a 2-1 win against Newcastle yesterday. David Moyes’ side crashed out of the FA Cup fifth round after a

lacklustre effort at home to Championship opposition, but the Toffees were able to make amends with a more convincing performance at St James’ Park. Leon Best had given Newcastle the lead in the first half but Leon Osman equalised before England defender Jagielka bagged the winner close to the interval. Best thought he had snatched a draw when he headed past Tim Howard for a second time, but referee Howard Webb had spotted a push on Jagielka as the ball came across

and disallowed the late effort. After a scrappy start, it was Newcastle who took the lead from their first meaningful attack with 23 minutes gone. Fabricio Coloccini’s quickly-taken free-kick to Jonas Gutierrez caught the visitors napping and when the Argentinian’s low cross was turned on to skipper Kevin Nolan by Mike Williamson, he powered a shot towards goal from a tight angle. Howard could only parry the ball across goal to present Best with the

simplest of tasks to head home his sixth of the season. Newcastle’s dominance was fleeting and Everton equalised in the 31st minute when Mikel Arteta laid a perfect pass for Osman to side-foot home with the help of a deflection off Jose Enrique. It got even better for Everton in the 36th minute as Newcastle’s defenders failed to deal with a Leighton Baines free-kick, giving Jagielka room to shoot home off the underside of the crossbar. —AFP

LONDON: Arsenal’s hopes of closing the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester United to just one point were dashed as Arsene Wenger’s side were held to a 0-0 draw by Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium yesterday. With United not due to face Liverpool until the following day, Wenger’s side knew this was a great chance to increase the pressure on Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. But despite dominating the second period and striking the woodwork twice through Marouane Chamakh and Samir Nasri, they were unable to find a matchwinning goal. Having failed to overcome Birmingham six days previously in the League Cup final, Wenger’s men were once again found wanting when the stakes were high. Their next test will come when they travel to face Barcelona in the second leg the last 16 Champions League tie when they will defend a one goal advantage. The Gunners League Cup hangover had already been partially eased by the time they returned to winning ways last week with the comprehensive 5-0 FA Cup defeat of Leyton Orient. Manchester United’s loss at Chelsea 24 hours earlier had opened up the title race and while Wenger’s side were clearly distraught at losing to Birmingham at Wembley, the prospect of a bigger prize was suddenly more real. To take advantage of United’s slip, though, the Gunners knew they had to avoid the kind of setback that has marred an inconsistent season. And having won just one of their previous five league meetings with Sunderland, they were well aware of the task con-

fronting them as they faced Steve Bruce’s side. Not that the Black Cats arrived at the Emirates Stadium in any kind of form. The Black Cats had lost their previous four games, undermining their ambitions of claiming a place in next season’s Champions League. They quickly showed they were determined to end that run, however, by stifling Arsenal’s hopes of establishing an early lead and allowing Wenger to rest key players ahead of the Barca clash. The visitors were quick to close the home side down, restricting the Gunners to a couple of hopeful early efforts from Nasri and Jack Wilshere whilst offering an occasional threat themselves. With Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song injured, Wenger had been forced to reorganise his midfield, pushing Wilshere further forward and employing Abou Diaby and Denilson in front of the back four. Wilshere and stand-in skipper Nasri created the best of the home side’s first half openings but there was no doubt Fabregas’s drive from the central areas was missed. Nasri opened up the left hand side of the Sunderland defence with a neat dribble to force a corner from which Nicklas Bendtner directed an overhead kick into the arms of keeper Simon Mignolet. Then five minutes before the interval, Bendtner was presented with the best chance of the half when Wilshere’s chip sent the Denmark striker beyond the Sunderland back four but the forward was again denied by Mignolet. Arsenal needed to up the tempo in the second period but there were few signs the Sunderland defence would wilt. Wenger introduced Chamakh and Tomas Rosicky to strengthen his side’s attacking options but the longer the game wore on, the more desperate Arsenal’s attacks became. Andrey Arshavin had an excellent chance to ease home nerves in the 63rd minute when he shot straight at Mignolet after being teed up by Chamakh. —AFP



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Regional panic sent KSE stocks crashing


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Political spending cuts to hit economy: Obama



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Japan launches ‘Hayabusa’ bullet train Page 23

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Zain Group posts record net profit of $3.675bn in 2010 Impressive growth in several key indicators KUWAIT: Zain yesterday announced its Group consolidated financial results for the twelve months ending 31 December 2010. The results showed an impressive growth in several key performance indicators, with a consolidated net profit soaring 445% to KD 1.063 billion ($3.675 billion), the highest ever in Zain’s history and a record in the private sector of Kuwait. This net profit amount is inclusive of the capital gain of KD 770.3 million ($2.653 billion) from the sale of

Zain Africa assets on June 8, 2010. If the capital gain from the Africa Assets sale is not taken in account, net income reached KD 293 million ($1.022 billion) for the year, representing a notable 50% increase on 2009 net income of KD 195 million ($675 million). With such impressive earnings, the Board of Directors have recommended a cash dividend of 200 fils per share ($0.72) that is subject to the necessary approvals at the Annual General Assembly that will be held in the very near future.

Twelve months 2010 Key Performance Indicators (Kuwaiti Dinars & USD) Total Managed Active Customers Consolidated Revenues EBITDA (margin 46%) EBIT Net Income (including capital gain) Net Income (excluding capital gain) Earnings Per Share

37.2 million up 23% on Dec 2009 KWD 1.35 Billion (US$ 4.72 billion) KWD 616 million (US$ 2.15 billion) KWD 449 million (US$ 1.57 billion) KWD 1.063 billion (US$ 3.675 billion) KWD 293 million (US$1.022 billion) Fils 275 (US$0.95)

Saudi shares rebound DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s index made its largest gain in more than two years yesterday, easing away from the previous session’s 22-month low after the country’s finance minister sought to reassure nervous investors. The benchmark climbed 7.3 percent to 5,709 points, its largest gain since Nov 29, 2008. The index plunged 15 percent last week as panicking investors dumped shares on fears Saudi Arabia would be hit by unrest following recent deadly protests in neighboring Oman and Bahrain. —Reuters

HYEDERABAD: An Indian worker sorts watermelons at a fruit market in Hyderabad yesterday. India’s poor have been hit hardest by the rise in food prices caused by increasing demand and woefully inadequate storage and distribution systems. — AP




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Regional panic sent KSE stocks crashing GLOBAL WEEKLY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: The Kuwait market took direction from several factors last week. A new plunge was caused by a panic that swept across the GCC stock markets last week prompting investors to cash out of the markets. The huge drop in the Saudi market, the biggest market in the region, spurred a selling spree in all the regional markets including the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE). During the first two trading days of the month, the Kuwaiti bourse lost 7.12 percent of its value, as measured by Global General weight index. The index reached its lowest level since August 8, 2010 on Wednesday, March 2, at 194.57 points. However, new hope that the Zain-Etisalat deal could still happen as per Etisalat’s announcement injected some positive sentiment into the market and caused the biggest listed company in KSE, Zain to add 4.7 percent to its value. Also several large capitalization companies were able to pare losses during the last trading session helping the market to regain some of its earlier losses. Global General index, which is a market weighted index ended the week down by 5.63 percent at 197.69 point. On a year-to-date basis, the index losses reached 11.56 percent. On the other hand, Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) price index was also down by 5.14 percent (333.40 points) during the week and closed at 6,147.7 points, its lowest level since November 2004. Investors lost more than KD1.9bn of their wealth during the last three trading sessions as total market capitalization retreated to KD32.15bn. Market breadth was almost fully negative with only two stocks managing to end the week with an advancing while 129 stocks retreated out of 137 shares traded. Trading activity was around average. Total trading volume reached 399.73mn shares changing hands, at a total traded value of KD113.96mn. Trading volume was the highest on the Services Sector for the week, accounted for 26.87 percent (107.42mn shares traded) of the total market volume. Al-Safwa Group Holding was the highest volume traded stock in the sector with 20.8mn shares changing hands. On the value side, the banking sector topped the value traded list accounting for 53.12 percent (KD60.54mn) of the overall market traded value. The biggest two Kuwaiti banks, National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House, topped the value list, accounting for 33.72 percent of the total traded value in the market. The scripts ended the week down by 4.29 percent and 8.62 percent respectively. As measured by Global weighted

sectoral indices, all market sectors were down with no exception. Being the biggest in market capitalization, the Banking index, lost 5.59 percent of its value while the Services index shed 4.30 percent. The biggest listed Kuwaiti company, Zain was down by 2.90 percent this week causing extra pressure on the sector’s index. Non-Kuwaiti Index was the steepest loser, shedding 8.74 percent of its value. Egypt Kuwait Holding Company and Gulf Cement Company were the top losers in the sector, shedding 19.40 percent and 12.28 percent, respectively of their share values. Only two listed companies succeeded in achieving gains this week. Gulf Insurance Company and KGL Logistics Company added 3.28 percent each to their share values. Global’s special indices were also down. Global Large Cap (Top 10) index shed 4.91 percent while Global Small Cap (Low 10) Index dropped by 3.83 percent. However, Global Islamic Sharia Index was the biggest loser, being down by 7.10 percent. Macroeconomic news The inflation rate in Kuwait rose last January by 5.2 percent compared to the same month last year, while it declined 0.3 percent compared to last December, official data showed this week. A report-made by Central Statistical Department of the Kuwait on the inflation rate in Kuwait - said that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) posted 146 points last January. It added that CPI registered 146.4 points last December, making clear that the consumer segment which saw the most price hike last January was foodstuffs that soared by 9.6 percent compared to the same period of 2010. As for clothes and footwear segment, it posted a hike by 4.5 percent yearon-year, while the educational and health services rallied by 3.9 percent compared to January 2010, and the same consumer group had its prices dwindling compared to last December by 0.1 percent. However, the inflation rate of household commodities and services soared by 4.3 percent year-on-year, while the beverages and tobacco group had its rate declining by 3.7 percent in contrast with the transport and communications group which saw its rate rallying by 1.4 percent compared to January of 2010. As for the month-on-month inflation, namely the rate of last January compared to that of last December, the food-

stuffs group declined by 0.8 percent, the clothes and footwear group slipped by 1.1 percent, the commodities and other services group dipped by 0.1 percent, and the educational and health services group retreated by 0.1 percent. Finally, it pointed out that transport and communications group soared by 0.3 percent last January compared to last December, while the beverage and tobacco saw a decline by 3.1 percent as a result of the double effect of the sub-categories of this group, namely the beverage prices that went down by 4 percent, and tobacco group that dropped by 1.1 percent. Oil related news OPEC member, Kuwait, has the capacity to pump more crude to help calm volatile oil markets if production in Libya comes to a halt, a top official at state -run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said. “In August, Kuwait pumped 2.85mn barrels a day into the market to reduce the volatility of prices when

prices were at $147 a barrel,” Mohamad Al-Shatti, Manager for the Office of the CEO at KPC said. AlShatti said that Kuwait could raise output again to calm the nervous markets about the ongoing unrest in Libya, which has reduced oil production and exports from the North African state, but would take the lead from Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s top producer. Kuwait pumped around 2.315mn bpd in January, 93,000 barrels above its agreed OPEC quota of 2.222mn bpd, according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey published in early February. Current political unrest in the Middle East drove oil prices to higher levels over the past week. Price of Kuwaiti crude oil recorded a new high this year reaching $110.57 per barrels (pb) on February 24 before retreating back to $105.65 pb on Tuesday, March 01. During this week crude price was up by $2.80 compared with Tuesday’s, February 22, price of $102.85 as announced by Kuwait

Petroleum Corporation (KPC). The oil price hike for the past weeks was due to ongoing unrest and demonstrations in Libya, which is a key oil producer in the world. Libya, the world’s ninth oil producer, produces 1.6mn barrels per day (bpd). Major banks warned on Thursday an output loss from another oil producer after Libya would lead to global shortages and demand rationing and said OPEC needs to act quickly as the oil rally could derail economic recovery. Goldman Sachs issued a note saying the world would not be able to cope with another Libya-style oil production outage as Brent oil prices rallied by over $8.50 a barrel to near $120 a barrel this week. Italian oil firm ENI, a key Libyan oil player, said the OPEC member had lost three quarters of its production. Kuwait’s crude oil exports to Japan fell 7.4 percent in January from a year earlier to 7.18mn barrels, or 232,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the first decline in two months, according to official data.

Kuwait supplied 5.8 percent of nation’s crude oil January, compared with 6.1 percent in the same month of last year and 7.8 percent in December, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency, a unit of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said in a preliminary report. Japan is Kuwait’s largest oil buyer with accounting for roughly 20 percent of its total crude exports of 1.3-1.5mn bpd, the staterun Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) Managing Director of International Marketing Abdullatif Al-Houti said in late January. Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the Gulf state’s sovereign fund, is not considering liquidating any of its investments in Middle East North Africa region, an unnamed source said in published remarks this week. Recent political unrest in the region has roiled financial markets and threaten to derail investment prospects of the region. “KIA assesses its investments periodically, assuring that it does not mean exist-

ing or liquidating any of it,” the source said, adding that KIA’s investments were not affected by the current political events. Kuwait’s Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali said the government is involved as investor in the local bourse through its funds, portfolios and financial institutions, not as speculator, and does not want to interfere directly in the market. The government doesn’t want to interfere in the market directly because direct intervention means that the market will be steered and commanded by the government, AlShamali added. There is no collapse in the stock market and what’s happening now is natural as traders and the market are affected by the current political events in the region, he said. The financial situation in the country is very good and at a time when the economies of some countries are collapsing, Kuwait continues to move towards becoming a financial and commercial hub, Shamali said. Kuwait Stock Exchange Al-Enma’a Real Estate (ERESCO) has been awarded tender No 3/2010/2011, as declared on the website of the Central Tenders Committee (CTC), at a total value of KD15.79mn. Under the agreement, the company will construct and maintain the administrative building and prayer place at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) at Shuwaikh over a period of 810 days starting from the site delivery date. KGL Logistics Company has signed a Defense Distribution Depot Kuwait, S outhwest Asia (DDKS) contrac t with the US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). Under the four-year agreement worth $157.27mn, the company will provide multi-storage services for the agency. Highlights of the week Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK ) Sheik h Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah will participate in the I nstitute of International Finance (IIF)’s Spring 2011 meeting scheduled for 2-4 March. The gathering will tackle key issues of global finance including the cumulative global economic impact of the proposed changes in the banking regulatory framework, policy requirements for sustaining global growth, banking in the new world of Basel

III, infrastructure investment and financing, and economic and financial challenges facing Europe. A considerable number of the world’s leading bankers, investors, insurers, and polic ymakers are expec ted to par ticipate in the meeting. The IIF is the world’s only global association of financial institutions. Created in 1983 in response to the international credit crisis, the IIF has evolved to meet the changing needs of the financial community. Members include most of the world’s largest commercial and investment banks, as well as a growing number of insurance companies and investment management firms. Among the Institute’s members are multinational corporations, trading companies, export credit agencies, and multilateral agencies. Today the Institute has more than 400 members headquartered in more than 70 countries. Al-Imtiaz Investment Company received approval to be listed on the KSE. The company was established in April 2005 as a Kuwaiti Shareholding Company KSC (closed). The paid-up capital reached KD97.5mn (approximately $339mn). The Company aims to meet the increasing demand in the business investment sector within the GCC markets in accordance with the rules and provisions of Sharia law. National Cleaning Company met on March 01, 2011 to mull acquiring a peer. The board gave a nod to taking over Kuwait First Cleaning Company at a total value of KD0.850mn. This step is par t of the company ’s strategy aimed at pursuing local and global expansions. Gulfinvest International, dropped from the list of investment firms in Kuwait, was asked by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to liquidate its assets, a daily newspaper said. The paper noted that the ministry asked the company to hold an ordinary annual general meeting for 2009, and an extraordinar y meeting for 2010 within the next two weeks. The shareholders will be asked to take the liquidation procedures, based on the Ministry of Finance’s decision in this regard, said the source. The Investment Dar ( TID)proposed asset sales of about $1.69bn over three years to creditors to restructure its debt pile, banking source said this weeks. TID, as part of a $3.58bn restructuring plan, will sell its stakes in Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank and Bahrain Islamic Bank. The 20 percent Boubyan stake, whose ownership is under dispute, is valued at $752mn while its 40 percent Bahrain Islamic stake is wor th around $155mn, based on current market capitalization.

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2735000 .2835000 .4495000 .4580000 .3810000 .3880000 .2955000 .3040000 .2835000 .292000 .2800000 .2870000 .0045000 .0075000 .0020000 .0035000 .0753630 .0761210 .7342410 .7416210 .3900000 .4080000 .0710000 .0780000 .7197910 .7270250 .0045000 .0072000 .0460000 .0560000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2776000 .2797000 GB Pound/KD .4516270 .4550440 Euro .3832820 .3861820 Swiss francs .2978540 .3001070 Canadian dollars .2858910 .2880540 Danish Kroner .0514040 .0517920 Swedish Kroner .0439030 .0442350 Australian dlr .2819030 .2840350 Hong Kong dlr .0356410 .0359110 Singapore dlr .2184110 .2200630 Japanese yen .0033790 .0034040 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 .0062290 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 .0025370 Pakistan rupee .0000000 .0032940 Bangladesh taka .0000000 .0039670 UAE dirhams .0755990 .0761710 Bahraini dinars .7365350 .7421070 Jordanian dinar .0000000 .3956150 Saudi Riyal/KD .0740460 .0746070 Omani riyals .7212260 .7266820 Philippine Peso .0000000 .0064670

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.427 6.221 3.254 2.516 3.875 219.830 35.837 3.843

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

6.406 9.134 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 74.431 76.712 725.170 741.350 76.007

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

ARAB COUNTRIES 50.750 47.328 1.307 199.630 394.260 185.200 6.053 34.668

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 279.080 Euro 385.830 Sterling Pound 454.900 Canadian dollar 287.710 Turkish lire 172.780 Swiss Franc 302.530 Australian dollar 282.180 US Dollar Buying 278.095

Sterling Pound US Dollar

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

285.900 740.940 4.180 290.400 547.200 14.100 53.200 167.800 50.240 394.000 36.450 6.400 0.033

284.400 740.940 3.840 288.900

221.100 47.307 392.500 36.300 6.195 0.032

0.257 0.248 3.480 395.380 0.188 94.070 47.100 4.370 209.500 1.889 51.100 723.670 3.370 6.630 77.070 74.390 221.130 42.800 2.703 457.500 45.100 305.000 6.100 9.500 198.263 76.020 279.000 1.350

393.780 0.187 94.070 3.890 208.000

723.490 3.270 6.440 76.640 74.390 221.130 42.800 2.520 455.500 303.500 6.100 9.350 75.920 278.600

GOLD 1,478.430

10 Tola

GOLD 271.000 137.000 70.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 455.500 278.600

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

Selling Rate 278.850 287.135 450.340 386.150 300.456 738.041 75.898 76.571 74.330 393.907 47.358 2.513

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

6.169 3.259 3.840 6.356 684.009 3.513 9.193 6.082 3.939 91.708

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 278.900 3.265 6.210 2.530 3.865 6.425 76.040 74.580 741.500 47.345 458.900 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 396.200 5.750 389.300 292.800

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 278.550 Euro 387.000 Pound Sterling 455.700 Canadian Dollar 287.850 Japanese Yen 3.425 Indian Rupee 6.210 Egyptian Pound 47.315 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.514 Bangladesh Taka 3.837 Philippines Peso 6.395 Pakistan Rupee 3.254 Bahraini Dinar 741.800 UAE Dirham 75.925 Saudi Riyal 74.375 *Rates are subject to change



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Moody’s: NBK performance remains robust KUWAIT: Moody’s Investors Service yesterday announced that National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) financial performance remains robust supporting its stand alone baseline credit assessment score (BCA) within the single A range. NBK is the highest rated bank in the Middle East by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings. The Bank’s ratings are supported by its strong capitalization, high asset quality, prudent lending, and its much disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to its experienced and highly qualified management team. Moody’s had expressed some concerns on most Middle Eastern banks with regional exposures as political unrest in the region continues escalating. However, Moody’s said that NBK’s reported asset quality (with NPLs at a low 1.65%) has exhibited resilience amidst adverse operating conditions in 2009 and 2010 outclassing its domestic competitors. Concurrently capitalization is strong (tier 1 capital adequacy ratio at 18.2%) underpinning its loss absorption capacity and placing the bank in preferential position to grow by utilizing opportunities that may arise once increased government spending materializes. NBK reported total assets of KD12.9 billion ($45.6 billion) at YE2010.

Citi Wins Top Awards in Islamic Finance News Deals DUBAI: The Islamic Finance News Deals of the Year 2010 have recently been announced with Citi winning in several categories: Deal of the Year; Sukuk Deal of the Year; Turkey Deal of the Year; and Most Innovative Deal of the Year. Winners were decided by a distinguished judging panel, organized by Islamic Finance News, the global Islamic finance news provider. Citi was recognized for its work on the following projects: • Government of Ras Al Khaimah $400 million Sukuk Liability Management: Most Innovative Deal of the Year

• Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank $100 million Sukuk, which won all three categories: Deal of the Year; Sukuk Deal of the Year; and Turkey Deal of the Year. Commenting on the awards, Atiq ur Rehman, Citi’s Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East Division and Chairman of the Citi Islamic Investment Bank, said: “For the second year in a row, Citi is recognized by the specialized Islamic Finance News for its leadership in creating innovative Islamic banking solutions that meet the needs of regional clients. We are delighted to share these awards with our clients and col-

leagues in the industry.” Citi’s Global Islamic Banking operations were established in 1981 in London, and in 1996 Citi became the first international financial institution to set up a separately capitalized sharia-compliant subsidiary- Citi Islamic Investment Bank- in Bahrain. Since inception, Citi Islamic has played a pioneering and leading role in the development of Islamic Finance globally, having successfully arranged several billion dollars of Islamic transactions for issuers in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Latin America. This includes the origination, structuring and distribution of numerous land-

mark Sukuk, syndications, project financings, Islamic advisory and investment products. Today, the bank is an innovator in this industry and one the leading bookrunners of international Islamic Finance transactions. Samad Sirohey, Chief Executive Officer of Citi Islamic Investment Bank & Head of Global Islamic Banking, added: “With a dedicated team of Islamic Finance professionals working with their colleagues across the global Citi network, we are proud to be able to deliver award winning results for top clients, whether private sector corporates or sovereign entities.”

ETIHAD APPOINTS VP OF CORPORATE STRATEGY AND SPECIAL PROJECTS Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced the appointment of Juliana Kfouri as Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Special Projects. Based in Etihad’s head office in Abu Dhabi, Kfouri will lead the corporate strategy team working closely with Etihad’s senior management to further align Etihad’s corporate strategy with its business plans and management processes. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Juliana brings strong industry experience to Etihad, gained predominantly with market-leading companies in South America. Juliana’s extensive experience in aviation strategy will be pivotal to Etihad’s next stage of its business development, including strengthening the airline’s alignment to its strategic objectives.”

Juliana Kfouri

Ms Kfouri joins Etihad from TAM Linhas Aereas S.A. where she held the positions of Chief Information Officer and Director of Information Technology, Processes and Projects. Prior to that, she held senior roles in finance and technology

strategic planning, information technology, e-commerce and operations in a range of companies including Grupo P’ao de Acucar Net Services de Comunicado S.A. and the financial division of Grupo Silvio Santos .


India works on plan to pay Iran oil bills NEW DELHI: Energy-hungry India says it is still working out a longterm method to pay for oil imports from Iran after the Reserve Bank of India rejected an earlier settlement method. India’s central bank said in December that oil and other import payments could not be made through a Tehran-based clearing house which the United States alleges is being used to bypass international sanctions against Iran. “Efforts are on to find suitable mechanism for payment of current or future oil imports,” Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply to parliament late Friday. Meena’s statement appeared to contradict earlier reports that a long-term solution had already been found. Iran, which is under sanctions over its nuclear pro-

gram, is the second-largest crude supplier to India after Saudi Arabia and supplies up to 14 percent of the country’s oil import needs. India imports around 80 percent of its crude oil. After India’s central bank ruled that New Delhi could not use the Asian Clearing Union

S Jaipal Reddy

house due to the sanctions, the country has been making piecemeal payments to Iran. The two sides have been negotiating for more than two months on ways to resolve the payment deadlock on a long-term basis and salvage the trade, which is worth around $12 billion annually. Earlier this month, India’s oil minister S Jaipal Reddy said the government had paid $2.1 billion to the National Iranian Oil Co after the back-payment bill reached $4 billion. Reddy did not say how the payment had been made. Indian state-owned refiners and privately-held Essar Oil imported 8.9 million tons of crude from Iran in the six months ended September 2010. They imported 21.2 million tons in the last financial year, according to government data. —AFP

KSE index plunges new low Open: 6,430, High: 6,430, Low: 6,128, Close: 6,147

MARKAZ WEEKLY KSE UPDATE KUWAIT: The KSE market weight index started on a weak note and plunged to 418 level before closing at 427 level, a loss of 5.6% or 25 points. While the KSE price index saw heav y sell off and closed down 5.1% or 333 points at 6147 level compared to last week. All the sectors indices declined hugely and the top loser was Non-Kuwaiti index which lost 7 .4 %. Th e B a nk ing, t he Investment, the Real estate and the Industrial indices were down in the range of 5.4% to 5.8%. While the Food and the Services indices ended lower by 4.6% and 4.3% respectively on weekly basis. The market sentiment was negat i ve a s 128 s toc k s decl ined against 3 stocks gained and 12 stocks closed at same level as the previous week. Among the large caps stocks the major losers were NINV -15.7%, NIND -14.5%, AGLTY -12.2%, NMTC -9.1%, KFH -8.6%,

BPCC -7.5%, FOOD -6.8%, GBK 7%, KPROJ -5.1%, NBK -4.3% and ZAIN -2.9% on weekly basis. The KSE Weighted index faces upside resistance at 435 to 438 lev-

els and support remains at 420 level, While the KSE market price index has downside support at 6,050 level and upside it face resistances at 6,250 to 6,300 levels.

DOHA: Qatar Airways, the national airline of the State of Qatar is set to make its debut in Canada with the launch of scheduled flights to Montreal, effective June 29. Canada’s second largest city will be served with three-flights-a-week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays using the airline’s flagship Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft. The non-stop journey from the airline’s hub in Doha to Montreal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport will be a total flying time of 13 hrs 20 minutes. The destination marks Qatar Airways’ first foray into Canada following a series of bilateral negotiations in Doha last year, when the airline secured rights to fly passenger and cargo flights to the country. Montreal becomes the airline’s fourth destination in North America. The award-winning airline, ranked Five Star for service, excellence and high standards, currently operates daily flights to New York, Washington and Houston. The highly anticipated Doha Montreal route will facilitate trade and leisure business, providing seamless connectivity for travellers from east to west. With Qatar Airways’ extensive network of destination across the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Far East, the airline will offer excellent connections over Doha to and from Montreal. Qatar Airways is the first Gulf carrier to operate flights to Montreal, a city renowned for its festivals and arts scene, being home to the well established international dance troupe Cirque du Soleil, the IMAX cinemas, aircraft manufacturing company Bombardier and top-

ranked universities world-wide, McGill and Concordia. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Yet again, we are announcing another new chapter in our remarkable short history with a move into Canada and a strengthening of our North American operations. “It truly is a milestone to bring Canada and, in particular, Montreal, into the Qatar Airways’ family of international routes. The introduction of our Montreal service will provide a strong transportation link between Canada and Qatar and further facilitate the already strong economic ties between our countries. “According to the government agency Export Development Canada, there are more than 1,500 Canadian companies doing business in the Gulf and Qatar, in particular, is one of Canada’s largest trading partners in the Middle East. “With the oil and gas industry being a key connection that naturally aligns us, we hope that as soon as our thrice-weekly service is wellestablished and boosts the Qatari

and Canadian economy to receive additional traffic rights for a daily operation to Montreal. “Montreal is one of the most sought after destinations in the world and we hope to have paved the way for expanded capacity into Canada and operate to additional cities in the future. There is natural demand for travel from many parts of our international network to Canada, and thanks to our scheduling we are able to offer convenient connections over Doha,” he added. These include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, Beirut, Tehran, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City, Delhi, Mumbai and Karachi. During a visit to Qatar last year, the Canadian Minister of International Trade, Peter Van Loan, revealed that the first Canadian Embassy in Qatar was expected to open in the capital Doha during Summer 2011. Van Loan said there were immense business opportunities tapping into Qatar’s burgeoning economy. These include legal firms, engineering consultancies and construction companies.

GCC chief wants early launch of custom union RIYADH: GCC Secretary General Abdul Rahman Al-Attiah called on member states of the council yesterday to resolve pending issues related to the establishment of the GCC custom union during the current year. Al-Attiah, in a statement inaugurating the 88th meeting of the GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee, noted that the member states should adhere to the guidelines, declared during the 31st session of the GCC Supreme Council regarding the custom union. The GCC secretary general called on the member states to set a

timetable for resolving some of the problems obstructing the establishment of the union during the year. Al-Attiah indicated at the particular recommendation during the latest meeting of the supreme council, emphasizing that there must be no further delay for launching the custom union. GCC states, amid current circumstances prevailing across the globe, need to elevate the level of the inter-Gulf economic integration to enhance joint benefits for the citizens, strengthen the ties among the member states and find new domains of cooperation, Al-Attiah noted.

GCC citizens are pinning high hopes on the GCC commission to end the eightyear interim period for the custom union and be relieved of time-consuming bureaucracy at the border checkpoints, the GCC chief elaborated. Sacrifices and mutual concessions are needed to face some of the challenges and fully effect the federation, so aspirations of the GCC peoples be met, he added. He hoped that a final date of the launch of the union be set and refer a decision in this respect to the upcoming supreme consultative meeting of the GCC leaders. —KUNA




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Investors spooked by regional unrest BAYAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the red zone, as both its main indices recorded losses. The price index ended last week with a decrease amounted to 5.14%, while the weighted index retreated 5.61% compared to the closings of the week before. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover increased by 25.68%, compared to the preceding week, reaching KD 37.99 million whereas trading volume average was 133.24 million shares, recording decrease of 15.52%. The market suffered from severe losses due to the continuance of the current political disturbance in several Arab countries. As there is no answer yet about how or when this disturbance will end, specially that some of GCC countries had its share

from this disturbance. Moreover, Banks sector kept its role as the market leader, as its stocks suffered from buying trend pressure, along with other leading stocks, including Mobile Telecommunication Company (Zain) as some negative news about its Deal to sell 48% of the company stocks contributed in creating negative effect among the traders. Caution state was present in the market, due to the annual companies’ results, as of Thursday, the number of companies announced their results were around 29%. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 6,147.7 points, down by 5.14% from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 5.61% weekly loss after closing at 427.59 points.

Sectors’ indices All of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the red zone. Last week’s biggest loser was the Non-Kuwaiti companies sector, as its index declined by 7.41% to end the week’s activity at 6,030.0 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Banks sector’s index closed at 11,073.5 points recording 5.77% decrease. The Industry sector came in third, as its index closed at 4,561.5 points at a loss of 5.61%. The Insurance sector was the least declining as its index closed at 2,585.2 points with a 2.84% decrease.

ing 26.87% of the total market trading volume. The Banks sector was second in terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 24.20% of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 96.72 million shares. On the other hand, the Banks sector’s stocks where the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 60.54 million or 53.12% of last week’s total market trading value. The Services sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD 28.83 million represented 25.30% of the total market trading value.

Sectors’ activity The Services sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 107.42 million shares changing hands, represent-

Market capitalization KSE total market capitalization declined by 5.67% during last week to reach KD30.91 billion, as all of KSE’s sectors recorded a

decrease in their respective market capitalization. The Non Kuwaiti Companies sector was the most declining as its total market capitalization reached KD 1.88 billion, decreasing by 8.76%. The Real Estate sector was the second in terms of recorded decline with 7.09% decrease after the total value of its listed companies reached KD 1.59 billion. The third place was for the Industry sector, which total market capitalization reached K.D. 2.41 billion by the end of the week, recording a decline of 6.60%. The Insurance sector was the least declining with 4.13% recorded decrease after its market capitalization amounted to KD 311.08 million. For further details, please visit our web site:




Japan launches 'Hayabusa' bullet train TOKYO: Japan's latest bullet train, the thin-nosed "Hayabusa" or Falcon, made its 300 kilometre per hour (186 mph) debut yesterday, boasting a luxury carriage modelled on airline business class. Japan has built up a network of cutting-edge Shinkansen train lines since the 1960s that criss-cross the island nation and now hopes to sell the infrastructure technology abroad, including to the United States. The latest ultra-fast tech-marvel will make two trips a day from Tokyo to Aomori, a scenic rural backwater on the nor thern tip of the main Honshu island that has until now been off Japan's bullet train map. It will also make one more trip a day to Sendai, located between Tokyo and Aomori. Mutsutake Otsuka, chairman of East Japan R ailway Co. ( JR East), stressed the engineering sophistication of the new ride. "To the best of our ability, we will strive to improve Hayabusa's passenger comfort, safety and environmental friendliness, not just its speed," he told hundreds of people who came to Tokyo station to see the futuristic train. The mood at

the launch was dampened slightly by a seven minute delay to the first service after a passenger fell from the platform at Tokyo station, where more than 1,000 train hobbyists rushed to take pictures. The train was not moving at the time, and the man climbed back up to the platform unaided. The green-and-silver E5 series Hayabusa travels at up to 300 kilometres per hour to make the 675 kilometre trip to Aomori in three hours and 10 minutes. From next year, it will push its top speed to 320 kilometres per hour to become Japan's fastest train. Passengers will glide quietly along the straight stretches and tunnels that cut through Japan's mountainous countryside, said JR East, which has heavily promoted the launch of the new service. Those willing to pay 26,360 yen ($320) for a one-way trip can enjoy the comfor t of a 'GranClass' car, where a cabin attendant will serve them drinks and food in their deeply reclining leather seats on thick woollen carpets. To promote the service, the train company has also

Saudi FM says economy in excellent shape KHOBAR: Saudi Arabia's economy is in an "excellent" shape and a rise in oil prices will boost the strong economic and financial position of the world's top oil exporter, its finance minister said yesterday. "The Saudi bourse and the overall Gulf stock markets react away from economic factors," Ibrahim Alassaf told Al Arabiya TV. Public revolts against autocratic regimes and economic hardships have swept through the Arab world over the past two months, unseating Egyptian and Tunisian leaders. The unrest now challenges governments in oilexporting Libya, Bahrain and Oman. Gulf stock markets have suffered from the regional jitters, while debt insurance costs rose across the world's top oil exporting region. "For the first time, the Public Pension Agency bought some shares last week for the simple reason that prices became very attractive," Alassaf said. "Me too, I seized the opportunity to buy some shares." He expected the buying into shares to continue in the coming period. Saudi Arabia's index surged after the minister's comments, rising from Wednesday's 22-month low. But investors are likely to stay nervous ahead of a planned March 11 protest despite the king's plan to spend an estimated $37 billion to ease social tensions in the OPEC member, where over 10 percent among 18 million locals is unemployed. Alassaf said earlier this week that Saudi Arabia's economy had not seen any adverse impact from the regional turmoil. Saudi Arabia, a key US ally, has outlined spending of 580 billion riyals ($155 billion) for 2011 in its third consecutive record budget, with a conservative revenue estimate of 540 billion. Oil prices, which rose above a $100 per barrel mark on the regional unrest, are expected to help the kingdom and other Gulf crude exporting countries to finance the increased social spending in the short term. — Reuters

UK central banker warns of second financial crisis LONDON: The Governor of the Bank of England has warned that Britain could face another financial crisis if the banking sector is not reformed. Mervyn King said that imbalances in the banking sector remain and are "beginning to grow again" according to an interview published late Friday on the website of Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper. The UK allowed a banking sector to build up "which contained the seeds of its own destruction," King said. In the interview, he also expressed regret for not sounding a louder warning over his concerns before the last banking crisis, which culminated in a multibillion pound (dollar) state bailout of the financial sector. "We've not yet solved the 'too big to fail' or, as I prefer to call it, the 'too important to fail' problem," he said. "The concept of being too important to fail should have no place in a market economy." King accused banks of exploiting customers, citing a culture where it is "perfectly acceptable" for banks to "make money out of gullible or unsuspecting customers." That approach -- coupled with an eye for shor t-term profits and banker bonuses -- could be driving problems in the banking sector, King said. "Why do banks in general want to pay bonuses?" he said in the interview. "It's because they live in a 'too big to fail' world in which the state will bail them out on the downside." His comments come after the British government last month struck a deal with the country's top banks to curb bonus payments and boost lending to businesses -- moves aimed at addressing a public outcry over lenders' role in the financial crisis. In the interview, King urged lenders to take a longer-term approach toward customers, saying that good businesses are "run by people who don't think they should simply maximize profits next week." The British government is currently considering whether to force banks to separate their retail and investment-banking arms. Business Secretary Vince Cable has been pressing for the separation, but any such moves await the publication of the report of the Independent Commission on Banking in September. —AP

TOKYO: Japan's new bullet train "Hayabusa" or Falcon arrives at the Tokyo station yesterday. The thin and long nosed Hayabusa will make its 300 kilometer per hour (186 mph) debut between Tokyo and Aomori, northern Japan, boasting a luxury carriage modeled on airline business class. — AFP

heavily adver tised Aomori as a tourist destination, praising its landscape, seafood and winter snow. Japan's ultra-fast, frequent and punctual bullet trains have made them the preferred choice for many travellers, rather than flying or road travel, ever since the first Shinkansen was launched in time for the 1964 Tokyo

Olympics. But as Japan, and its railway companies, struggle with a fastgreying and shrinking population and falling domestic demand, the government and industry are aggressively seeking to promote the bullet trains abroad. Japan has in the past sold Shink ansen technology to Taiwan and hopes to capture other

overseas markets, such as Brazil and Vietnam, but faces stiff competition from train manufacturers in China, France and Germany. The biggest prize is a future highspeed US rail network that President Barack Obama has promoted, to be backed by 13 billion dollars in public funding. California's then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was treated to an early test ride on the Hayabusa when he visited Japan in September. Japan says its trains boast a strong safety record: despite running in an earthquake-prone country, no passenger has ever died due to a Shinkansen derailment or collisionalthough people have committed suicide by jumping in front of the trains. Japan has also been developing a magnetic levitation or maglev train that, its operator says, reached a world record speed of 581 kilometres per hour in 2003 on a test track near Mount Fuji in Tsuru, west of Tokyo. The plan is to launch maglev services between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya by 2027. By 2045 they are expected to link Tokyo with the main western city of Osaka in just one hour and seven minutes, compared with the current two hours 25. —AFP

China targets budget deficit of 2% of GDP Spending on low-income housing to rise 35% BEIJING/SHANGHAI: China will target a budget deficit of 900 billion yuan ($137 billion) this year, or 2.0 percent of GDP, the finance ministry said on Saturday, aiming to continue to shrink its deficit even as it steps up social spending. The budgeted deficit for this year compares with an actual gap of 1 trillion yuan in 2010, which accounted for 2.5 percent of gross domestic product. In 2009, the deficit came in at 2.8 percent of GDP, as Beijing primed the pump of the economy through fiscal spending. The ministry had originally reported a deficit of about 650 billion yuan for 2010, well below its original target of 1.05 trillion yuan, but contributions to the budget stabilisation fund and bringing forward some local government expenditures for 2011 enabled it to come in close to the original target. In its 2011 budget, unveiled at the opening of the annual session of parliament, the finance ministry said China's central and local governments would together aim for revenue growth of 8.0 percent and expenditure growth of 11.9 percent this year, both slowing from 2010. Last year, revenues increased 21.3 percent and expenditures rose 17.4 percent, the ministry said, easily outstripping the original targets of 8 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively. Tax revenue has grown rapidly in the past few years as the economy has boomed, and authorities intensified efforts to collect taxes. The ministry is looking for

BEIJING: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao gestures as he delivers the government report at the opening session of the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People yesterday. —AP domestic VAT to rise 11 percent this year to 2.3 trillion yuan, while property taxes are expected to bring in 11 percent more than a year ago and resource taxes are seen rising 22 percent. On the expenditure side, the ministry plans to increase spending on education, social security and employment by 14 percent, while that on low-income

Abu Dhabi's non-oil trade slips 2% in 2010 ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi's non-oil trade fell by over two percent in 2010 due to lower imports although exports grew 22 percent, latest figures from the General Directorate of Customs showed yesterday. Abu Dhabi's non-oil trade volumes totaled 109.17 billion dirhams ($29.71 billion) in 2010, down 2.58 percent from 2009, it said in a statement. Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, the third largest oil exporter in the world is investing billions of dirhams in industry, tourism and infrastructure to diversify its economy away from oil. Imports into the emirate stood at 86.57 billion dirhams in 2010, down 7.8 percent while non-oil exports grew to

11.61 billion dirhams, up 9.5 percent over the previous year. Re -exports touched 10.99 billion dirhams in 2010, an increase of 26.4 percent. "The statistical data for 2010 shows continued growth in non-oil exports and re-exports with a minor decline in imports. They reflect the overall improvement of the trade balance of Abu Dhabi," Saeed Ahmed al Muhairi, the directorate's director-general said in the statement. The US was Abu Dhabi's top trading partner in terms of imports, followed by Saudi Arabia and Japan. The top non-oil export partner was Brazil. Norway and Saudi Arabia came next, the statement said. — Reuters

NEW DELHI: Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (left) gestures during a post budget meeting with Reserve Bank of India officials in New Delhi yesterday. —AP

housing will rise 35 percent. Spending on police and domestic surveillance will also hit new heights, with "public security" outlays planned to reach 624 billion yuan -- 23 billion yuan more than the defense budget. While the central government's finances are seen as being in good shape, provincial and other local governments could continue to face a tougher time raising the money they would like to spend to help fuel local economic growth, analysts said. The finance ministry said it was planning to sell 200 billion yuan in debt on behalf of local governments this yearthe same as last year. At the same time, local governments could see income from the sale of land use rights, which make up a large portion of their revenue, take a hit as authorities try to cool the property market through limits on the purchase of property for investment purposes, analysts said. That in turn could prompt local authorities to raise more funds via the financing vehicles through which they have racked up significant amounts of debt, which some experts say risks leading to a mountain of defaults down the road. "Two hundred billion yuan in local government debt is a relatively moderate amount," said an analyst with a large securities firm in Beijing. "If it were up to local governments, that number would be higher, because they face more pressure than the central government." — Reuters

Courtroom showdown in sweeping US trading probe NEW YORK: A sweeping insider trading case that shook the hedge fund world is finally set for trial, with onetime billionaire Raj Rajaratnam fighting to stay out of prison in a courtroom drama over corporate secrets, tapped telephones and friends-turned-government witnesses. Jury selection in the case against the Galleon Group founder in New York starts on Tuesday. The trial, expected to last up to two months, comes as US authorities push on with other probes into stock trading in the $1.9 trillion hedge fund industry based on leaked company earnings and deals. Rajaratnam is accused of making $45 million in illicit profits through tips from former friends and associates at the highest levels of Corporate America. Once named the richest person born in Sri Lanka, the 53-year-old US citizen has vowed to clear his name at trial. Galleon managed $7 billion at its peak. "All signs are pointing to a battle royal," said Chicago securities attorney Andrew Stoltmann, who is not involved in the case. "Just by being a hedge fund manager he is a gambler by trade. The mentality is a little bit different than what we see with other defendants." At a hearing on Friday, prosecutors said they would play audio tapes of conversations between Rajaratnam and a former Goldman Sachs director, Rajat Gupta, as evidence to the jury that they conspired in 2008 to share confidential Goldman information and that Rajaratnam traded on it. Rajaratnam, arrested in October 2009 and free on bail, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud in Manhattan federal court. The government's wide-scale use of phone taps sets it apart from past insider trading cases, which are notoriously difficult to prove. In announcing the case, prosecutors called it the biggest ever probe of insider trading at hedge funds, sending a warning to money managers that the government might be covertly listening to them. The prosecutions are reminiscent of the blockbuster insider trading cases of the 1980s, when speculator Ivan Boesky pleaded guilty and cooperated with authorities. That led to criminal charges

against Drexel Burnham Lambert, which was destroyed in the scandal, and Michael Milken, its former junk bond chief. While Rajaratnam lost a key ruling that will allow jurors to hear audiotapes of his telephone conversations secretly recorded by the FBI, his lawyers argue the tapes prove nothing. The tapes could be an issue for appeal if he is found guilty because there is "at least some lack of clarity in the statute about whether it authorized wiretaps here" (for insider trading), said Manhattan Institute think tank legal policy director James Copland. Part of defense trial strategy is to tell the jury that the government has significantly expanded the bounds of what insider trading means, court papers show. Rajaratnam's representatives have said repeatedly that "he intends to establish his innocence at trial before a jury of his fellow citizens." The prosecution team must convince the jury that their evidence proves Rajaratnam knew that between 2003 and March 2009, he was trading on confidential information given to him by people who had a fiduciary duty not to disclose it. "Just because there is a wiretap it does not mean this evidence is going to be absolutely conclusive" for the jury, said New York attorney Nathaniel Burney of Burney Law Firm LLC in New York, who is not involved in the case. "There is a lot of room for skillful advocacy. The tapes could be misinterpreted or misunderstood." The allegations extend far beyond Rajaratnam. Besides him, 25 former traders, executives and lawyers have been charged with being part of two overlapping insider trading networks. Nineteen have pleaded guilty, and some of those defendants are expected to testify against him at the trial. Prosecutors told Judge Richard Holwell at Friday's hearing that former McKinsey & Co executive Anil Kumar and FBI Special Agent Diane Wehner would be the first government witnesses. Kumar pleaded guilty to sharing client secrets and receiving $2 million in payments from his friend Rajaratnam. — Reuters




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Stocks hit oil slick but economy to trump WALL STREET WEEKLY OUTLOOK NEW YORK: Stocks will take their cues from the oil market next week as unrest rumbles through the Middle East. But so far equity investors are sanguine, believing the economic recovery wins the day. Sentiment is driving large daily swings as traders vacillate between the fear oil prices will hit consumers and derail the recovery and the euphoria that the US labor market is turning a corner. Reports of escalated fighting in Libya and protests in Bahrain, Yemen and top oil-exporter Saudi Arabia rattled investors on Friday: oil rose, equities fell. “We are in such a sentiment-driven market right now and everyone is watching the equity market with one eye and oil and commodity markets with the other,” said Michael James, senior trader at Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles. Some hedge funds are trading the inverse correlations between oil and equities that have grown in recent weeks, while other investors are shifting their exposure to oil stocks and paring back in overvalued areas of the market. Through it all the S&P 500 is down less than 2 percent from a near 3-year high hit in late February, which even bears concede is a remarkably robust performance. For the week stocks ended flat. So far the trade seems to be a reallocation of risk within equities rather than a move out of stocks altogether. Zahid Siddique, a portfolio manager at the Gabelli Equity Trust, has used the

Decline in US jobless rate fuels optimism WASHINGTON: A bumper US employment report published showed the troubled jobs market cranked up a gear last month, raising hopes that a final piece of the recovery puzzle is falling into place. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate dipped to 8.9 percent in February from 9.0 percent the month before, while the economy created a solid 192,000 jobs. If that trend continues in the next few months, “the employment situation in the United States would be well on its way to recovery,” according to Jason Schenker of Prestige Economics. It was the first time the unemployment rate has fallen below nine percent in nearly two years. The new numbers were much better than the anemic 63,000 jobs created in January, and capped three months that have seen the unemployment rate fall by almost a percentage point. President Barack Obama lauded the report: “This morning we learned that the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly two years,” he told an audience in Miami. “Our economy has now added 1.5 million private-sector jobs over the last year and that’s progress.” Amid fears over rising oil prices, the strong report raised optimism that higher prices can be absorbed without doing too much damage to vital consumer spending and without denting company profits. According to the American Automobile Association, gasoline pump prices have increased by about 18 cents a gallon (3.8 liters) to an average $3.47 in the last week alone. The report also increased confidence that government layoffs can be offset by a resurgence in private-sector hiring. As federal and state authorities cut costs in the face of mounting debt, some 30,000 government workers were laid off in February. But those losses were more than offset by private companies creating 222,000 jobs, much to the relief of the White House and the millions of Americans who are struggling to get back on their feet. “The labor market may not be great just yet but it is firming and that is good news for job seekers,” said Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors. Since the recession ended in June 2009, it has seemed like the world’s largest economy has taken two steps forward and one step back. Last year, debt crises in Europe threatened to derail the recovery on both sides of the Atlantic. Today, rising global oil prices and cuts to government spending at home threaten to make life tougher. In the interim, US unemployment has remained stubbornly high and the housing market has been moribund, leaving two pillars of the economy looking like Corinthian relics-no longer fit to carry the load. House of Representatives Republican leader Eric Cantor said Friday’s report was an “encouraging sign that businesses are beginning to hire and people are getting back to work.” Still, after watching some 8.75 million jobs disappear during the recession, millions are still out of work and many experts fear the economy remains vulnerable. “Tempering the positive tone of today’s report was unexpected weakness in hours and average hourly earnings, which suggests a bit less growth of consumer spending in the first half than we previously expected,” said analysts at Macroeconomic Advisers. And according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the number of job cuts announced by US-based firms increased for the second consecutive month in February. “It is too soon to say whether the increases in January and now February represent a trend,” said chief executive John Challenger. “Certainly the specter of rising gas prices could impact employers’ staffing decisions over the next six months,” he added. — AFP

turmoil as a chance to raise his exposure to energy stocks, which have surged with oil prices. The S&P energy sector has risen 10 percent since the middle of January when troubles in the Arab world broke out. Since then the wider market has crept up by just a fraction of that. Over the same period Brent crude oil rose nearly 18 percent to over $116 per barrel. “These type of crises make you refresh your portfolio and just take another look,” said Siddique. “Near term we may have some volatility in the market ... although the markets could still trend higher within that.” In the energy sector Siddique has added to positions in Suncor Energy, Marathon Oil, and Exxon Mobil. At the same time he has taken the opportunity to pare back positions that he believes are starting to look over priced. Those include Deere & Co and Caterpillar Inc. If oil prices spike higher, other areas of the market could start to look more vulnerable. Barry Knapp, managing director of equity research at Barclays Capital in New York, recently downgraded the consumer discretionary sector, a move he partly attributes to risks posed by higher oil prices. “If there is one sector that is particularly vulnerable, it would be the consumer discretionary sector,” Knapp said. That sector is the only cyclical sector that Knapp has underweighted as he continues to believe the economy will strengthen. “On balance we do not think that this oil price supply

shock is going to be strong enough to offset the economic momentum,” he said. Spending, savings and jobs data during the week continued to inspire confidence in the consumer. Although Friday’s payrolls report fell short of the fireworks the market expected, many investors feel the jobs situation has finally turned. That is feeding into general optimism that the recovery is becoming self sustaining and will continue after the Federal Reserve stops its stimulative asset purchases later this year. “The game changer for this market is and con-

tinues to be the consumer,” said Douglas Cote, senior market strategist at ING Investment Management in New York. “ The consumer, despite 9 percent unemployment, is setting records in not only in their incomes but their spending.” That theory will be tested again this week when consumer confidence and retail sales data are published on Friday. The Reuters consensus forecast is that confidence will ease slightly in March. Any indication that consumers are less stalwart about rising energy and gasoline prices could be a warning sign. — Reuters

Political spending cuts to hit economy: Obama More budget and deficit battles to come WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama said yesterday that spending cuts to narrow the US budget deficit must not be politically motivated or threaten the economy as it climbs out of recession. Obama’s fellow Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been debating how to best narrow the budget shortfall, with Republicans dismissing Democratic plans as far too timid to deal with a deficit projected to hit a record $1.65 trillion this year. Obama said he was open to more spending cuts, but drew the line at slashing programs in a way that would be a risk to his top priorities-investment in technological development, education and infrastructure. “Getting our fiscal house in order can’t just be something we use as cover to do away with things we dislike politically. And it can’t just be about how much we cut. It’s got to be about how we cut and how we invest,” Obama said in his weekly radio address, recorded at a Miami high school where he spoke on Friday about the importance of funding for education. Some Republicans have pushed to cut funding for public broadcasters, criticized by some conservatives as too liberal, or Planned Parenthood family planning centers, which also provide abortions. Democrats have sought to preserve funding for Obama’s landmark healthcare reform law enacted last year and for high priority environmental programs the administration wants. Republicans have made spending cuts their top priority since Tea Party-aligned conservatives helped them win control of the House of Representatives in November. They say their proposed reductions are essential to trim a dangerous shortfall. “It (Obama’s budget) continues out-of-control spending, it adds to our $14 trillion debt and it adds to the uncertainty that makes it harder to create jobs,” Representative Diane Black said in the Republicans’ weekly radio address. “Maintaining the status quo-and refusing to offer a credible plan to cut spending-is just unacceptable and

CLEVELAND: Job seekers pack the aisles of the 32nd Annual Spring Career Fair at Cleveland State University on Friday. Over 120 organizations were on hand to talk to prospective candidates about employment and internships. — AP inexcusable,” Black said. Obama praised Democrats and Republicans in Congress for agreeing on a two-week spending bill that averted a government shutdown, but said legislators have to come up with a long-term spending plan. “We can’t do business two weeks at a time. It’s not responsible, and it threatens the progress our economy has been making. We’ve got to keep that momentum going,” he said. Vice President Joe Biden met with top Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on Thursday in an opening round of White House-led budget talks.

Obama also cited an encouraging monthly unemployment report released on Friday as evidence that his economic programs, including a tax relief plan supported by both Republicans and Democrats, were working. The US jobless rate slipped to a nearly two-year low of 8.9 percent in February, showing the economy is finally kicking into a higher gear as private employers hired 222,000 workers, the most since April. But Obama said more had to be done. “Our top priority right now has to be creating new jobs and opportunities in a fiercely competitive world,” Obama said. — Reuters

Conservative EU leaders struggle for crisis unity HELSINKI: Europe’s center-right leaders struggled to show a united front amid stark divisions on how to tackle the debt crisis that has rocked the continent for more than a year. At a summit of the conservative European People’s Party in Helsinki, some of Europe’s most powerful decision makers made some progress on lowering the interest rates on Ireland’s

bailout and reiterated previous commitments to coordinate their economic policies more closely. But they failed to agree on more pressing issues that have preoccupied financial markets for the past months. The most crucial of these is a promised overhaul of the euro zone’s bailout fund, which could see it get more powers such as buying government bonds on the open market to

HELSINKI: European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (left) gestures while speaking during an EPP party heads of state meeting at the Kamp Hotel in Helsinki on Friday. — AP

stabilize struggling countries’ funding costs and potentially save them from having to seek multibillion euro rescue loans. “We don’t have an EPP opinion of that,” said Finnish Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen, who hosted Friday’s meeting. The Helsinki summit kicked off three weeks that will decide whether the euro-zone can finally get a grip on the crisis that has already pushed Greece and Ireland into international bailout. The debate will culminate on March 25, when heads of state and government hope to seal the “comprehensive solution” to the region’s debt and banking troubles. But with even members of the same party failing to find a common position, analysts are increasingly pessimistic that that solution will turn out to be the promised turning point in the currency union’s struggles. German Chancellor Angela Merkel remained reluctant to put up more money to help less disciplined countries. Enda Kenny, Ireland’s prime minister in waiting found some open ears for his demands for lower interest rates on Ireland’s §67.5 billion ($93.7 billion) rescue loan, which average some 5.8 percent, but fell short off a clear commitment. —AP

Treasury prices climb on oil price worries NEW YORK: Investors jumped back into the Treasury market on Friday on concerns that spiking oil prices may stifle the economic recovery. The price on the 10-year Treasury note rose 53 cents per $100 invested. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction, fell to 3.50 percent from 3.56 percent late Thursday. Oil topped $104 a barrel after fighting in Libya intensified. Stocks dropped and investors sought safety in Treasurys. Fears mounted that a sustained rise in oil prices could hurt consumer spending and slow the economy. Traders appeared to shrug off news that employers added almost 200,000 new jobs in February. The increase in hiring had been expected by most analysts. The Treasury Department also plans to auction off $32 billion in three-year notes, $21 billion in ten-year notes and $13 billion in 30year bonds next week. In other trading, the price of the 30-year bond added 32 cents per $100 invested, while its yield slipped to 4.60 percent from 4.62 percent late Wednesday. The yield on the two-year note dipped to 0.69 percent from 0.77 percent. The yield on the three-month T-bill fell to 0.11 percent from 0.12 percent. The discount was 0.12 percent. — AP




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Computer expert says US behind Stuxnet worm LONG BEACH: A German computer security expert said he believes the United States and Israel's Mossad unleashed the malicious Stuxnet worm on Iran's nuclear program. "My opinion is that the Mossad is involved," Ralph Langner said while discussing his indepth Stuxnet analysis at a prestigious TED conference in the Southern California city of Long Beach. "But, the leading source is not Israel... There is only one leading source, and that is the United States." There has been widespread speculation Israel was behind the Stuxnet worm that has attacked computers in Iran, and Tehran has blamed the Jewish state and the United States for the killing of two nuclear scientists in

November and Januar y. "The idea behind Stuxnet computer worm is really quite simple," Langner said. "We don't want Iran to get the bomb." The malicious code was crafted to stealthily take control of valves and rotors at an Iranian nuclear plant, according to Langner. "It was engineered by people who obviously had inside information," he explained. "They probably also knew the shoe size of the operator." Stuxnet targets computer control systems made by German industrial giant Siemens and commonly used to manage water supplies, oil rigs, power plants and other critical infrastructure. "The idea here is to circumvent digital data systems, so the human operator could not get there fast enough," Langner said. "When digital

safety systems are compromised, really bad things can happen your plant can blow up. Most Stuxnet infections have been discovered in Iran, giving rise to speculation it was intended to sabotage nuclear facilities there. The worm was crafted to recognize the system it was to attack. The New York Times reported in January that US and Israeli intelligence services collaborated to develop the computer worm to sabotage Iran's efforts to make a nuclear bomb. Russia called on NATO in January to launch an investigation into the computer worm that targeted a Russian-built Iranian nuclear power plant, saying the incident could have triggered a new Chernobyl. Russia's envoy to NATO in January said Stuxnet caused centrifuges pro-

ducing enriched uranium at the Bushehr plant to spin out of control, which could have sparked a new "Chernobyl tragedy," the 1986 nuclear meltdown in Ukraine. "The operators saw on their screens that the centrifuges were working normally when in fact they were out of control," Dmitry Rogozin told reporters after meeting with ambassadors from the 28-nation Western alliance. Russia is helping Iran build a nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr for civilian use. Langner said the Stuxnet code was designed to trick human operators by showing them recorded readings indicating machinery is running normally while behind the scenes they are heading for destruction. — AFP

Goal-line technology tests extended one more year

In this screen shot provided by Matt Thomas, a Mediacom Communications Corp. Internet ad for home phone service is displayed on the website. — AP

S Korean websites come under further attack SEOUL: Unidentified attackers targeted more than two dozen South Korean government and private websites yesterday, a day after two waves of similar attacks, but officials reported no serious damage. A total of 29 websites were hit yesterday in so-called "denial of service" attacks, in which large numbers of "zombie" computers try to connect to a site at the same time in an attempt to overwhelm the server, the Korea Communications Commission said. Commission official Lee Sang-kug said the attacks were "so weak that no actual damage was detected so far." Lee said the commission would keep a close watch on the situation in coming days, but that the fallout was likely to remain limited because the government and computer security companies were well prepared. Yesterday's attacks on sites including South Korea's presidential office, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, some financial institutions and US Forces Korea followed two rounds Friday in which damage was also limited.Lee said that 40 websites were originally targeted Friday, though only 29 came under actual attack. A total of 29 were targeted Saturday, he said. The National Police Agency said the attacks originated from 30 servers in 18

foreign countries or territories including the United States, Israel, Russia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, India, Brazil and Iran. "We may find more servers behind this attack as it is only the beginning of the investigation," said Jung Suk-hwa, head of the agency's Cyber Terror Response Center. "Generally, there is someone else who controls all of these servers and we are working to figure out who it is." In 2009, some government websites in South Korea and the US were paralyzed by a similar type of attack that South Korean officials believed was conducted by North Korea. But US officials have largely ruled out North Korea as the origin, according to cybersecurity experts. South Korean media have previously reported that North Korea runs an Internet warfare unit aimed at hacking into U.S. and South Korean military networks to gather information and disrupt service. Park Kun-woo, a spokesman for South Korean computer security company AhnLab, said Friday that China is also pointed to as a source of cyberattacks because a large amount of malware, or malicious software, originates from there. — AP

SEOUL: Technicians of AhnLab Inc. work against cyberattacks at the company's Security Operation Center in Seoul, South Korea. Hackers attacked about 40 South Korean government and private websites Friday, prompting officials to warn of a substantial threat to the country's computers. — AP

NEWPORT: FIFA President Sepp Blatter said he would welcome the use of goal-line technology at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil if a suitable system can be found. Football's rule-making body agreed yesterday to extend the technology trial after 10 systems had failed to meet FIFA's requirements when they were tested last month. Blatter has reversed his opposition to high-tech aids for referees, citing the failure to award a goal to England despite the ball clearly crossing the line in the last-16 match against Germany at the 2010 World Cup as a "blatant ... and immense error." The goal would have leveled the match at 2-2, but Germany went on to win 4-1. In a bid to eradicate such errors at the 2014 tournament, the International Football Association Board said further tests will now take place in games rather than being conducted at FIFA House in Zurich. "On goal-line technology, we will go on with the technical experiments and then to bring back this item to the IFAB meeting next year in London, and then a final decision will be taken," Blatter said, referring to the March 2012 meeting. "If it works definitely, the board will say yes to the technology. And if the board says yes, then there is a no problem, then there should be no problem to have it in 2014. "(But) I have to restrict my natural optimism and come a little bit back because the tests we have had so far are not conclusive." The English Football Association, which holds one of the eight IFAB votes, was unhappy that the testing was only extended. "It's not perfect because we wanted to get the principle of goal-line technology adopted," said Alex Horne, the FA general secretary. "Given where we were last year, when it got thrown out, that was my worst fear that it would happen again. "My preferred position was we accept the principle and wait for the technology to prove itself. We are

NEWPORT: FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter arrives for a press conference at the 125th annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board at the Celtic Manor resort near Newport yesterday. During the AGM, IFAB has agreed to a one-year extension of Goal Line Technology tests. — AFP

now in the position where they want to look at the technology in different environments and then we will make a decision in March next year. That's why next year's meeting will be so important." The IFAB has approved the use of two additional referees' assistants at the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine following successful tests based on UEFA President Michel Platini's five-official system in the Europa League. The five-official system could also be used at the World Cup, Blatter said. "It is with a lot of optimism that we will have additional referees for 2014," Blatter said. In

Europe unveils life-enhancing 2011 inventors award shortlist BRUSSELS: Glasses that adjust to wearer's eyesight, titanium implants for your teeth or steel fibres allowing architects to twist and bend concrete were among innovations shortlisted for the 2011 European Inventor Award. The Munich-based European Patent Office released a 15-strong shortlist ahead of the awards ceremony in Budapest on May 19, with the theme very much one of saving and improving lives rather than wild and wacky products that sometimes catch on in a big way. Other inventions on the list were also aimed at improving cancer treatment, heart disease diagnosis or early-warning of Alzheimer's, road safety, power generation, water purification and fibre optics. University of Oxford atomic physicist Joshua Silver's adjustable glasses are already being worn by 30,000 people in the world's poorest countries, the European Union said in a statement. It cited World Health Organization data saying that "uncorrected vision problems are responsible for production losses amounting to around 121 billion euros per year. "Soon it could cost just a dollar to correct them," it underlined of Silver's nomination in the key research category. He is up against Estonian scientist Mart Min whose "new method for measuring electrical impedance... has above all made it far easier to diagnose heart disease," and Belgium's Christine Van Broeckhoven, for her work on Alzheimer's drugs and treatments. Sweden's Per-Ingvar Branemnark is nominated for a lifetime achievement award, as one of the pioneers of osseointegration, the titanium-implant treatment that "created a stable connection between the implant and the living bone and today is a standard technique among dentists." The Czech Republic's Blanka Rihova, responsible for devising a new method of chemotherapy that spares healthy cells, and France's Emmanuel Desurvire, for trailblazing work on high-speed mass data transmission, make up this sectional shortlist. US, Israeli and Indian scientists behind turbines for power generation in shallow or sluggish water, miniscule camera technology for endoscopy and an ultraviolet technique for water disinfectant are also nominated under a non-European section. Other nominations cover industry-from the steel fibres to radar-based cruise control in cars and early detection of power losses-as well as breakthroughs by small- and medium-sized enterprises, covering silicon implants into tumours, low-emission furnaces and a virtual 3D microscope for scanning tissue samples. All emerge as having widespread implications for the public at large. — AFP

a ruling that will displease some footballers in cold conditions, IFAB banned players from wearing neck-warming snoods from July 1. "There was not even a discussion because this is not part of the uniform and it can be dangerous," Blatter said. IFAB is a 125-year-old body comprising officials from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, plus FIFA representing the other 204 football nations and 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

Internet traffic in Libya goes dark amid upheaval NEW YORK: Internet services in Libya, already spotty throughout the country's violent upheaval, appeared completely halted in what analysts consider an attempt to stifle information about the insurrection. The move, coming ahead of planned protests in Libya, appears similar to Egypt's response to the demonstrations that led President Hosni Mubarak to step down last month. The Libyan government controls the country's primary Internet service provider. Arbor Networks, a Chelmsford, Mass., company that monitors networks, said Friday that all Internet traffic coming in and out of Libya had ceased, starting at about noon EST Thursday (1700 GMT). Google's transparency report, which shows traffic to the company's sites from various countries, also showed that Internet traffic had fallen to zero in Libya. Several days into Egypt's largely nonviolent protest, the government there shut down Internet access for almost a week. Anti-government protesters there had been using socialmedia services such as Facebook and Twitter to organize and share personal experiences of the unrest. That wasn't the case in Libya, a country where relatively few people have Internet access. Only about 6 percent of Libyans have Internet access in the home or in public places, such as Internet cafes, according to the research group OpenNet Initiative. That compares with 24 percent of Egyptians and 81 percent of people in the US, according to OpenNet. As a result, services such as Facebook and Twitter have played a marginal role in galvanizing anti-government protesters, said Jillian York, who coordinates the OpenNet Initiative, a research project run by scholars at Harvard University and the University of Toronto and by the Canadian consultancy SecDev Group. Nonetheless, because the Internet isn't as central to everyday life in Libya, it is more likely that the few who can get online are educated,

influential and using the Web to keep informed about politics, York said. "You've got millions of people in Egypt using the Internet. It's not just the few people with access are reporting on protests. It's mommy blogging. It's all sorts of things not related to the protests," she said. "In Libya there's a stronger chance they'd be focused on what's happening right now politically." But the blackout will affect even those who are not politically active. The loss of Internet access will make it more difficult for Libyans, particularly those living in the capital of Tripoli, to receive updates about the uprising in other parts of the country, said Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based nonprofit that promotes free expression on the Internet. "For the people not in Tripoli the Internet is not so central in what's become an armed rebellion," she said. "For the people in Tripoli it's going to further isolate them from people in other parts of the country and information about what's happening there." In particular, an Internet blackout in Libya will make it tougher for people outside the country to know how the uprising is unfolding. That was likely the government's main motivation in shutting down the Internet in a country where people are more likely to communicate using cell phones, said Richard Esguerra, policy analyst with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "I think what it raises is illuminating about how desperate this act is," he said. "Shutting off the Internet seems to be one of the last things in the playbook in terms of a dictator that's being threatened by uprisings." It was not clear on Friday whether cell phone service in Libya had been disrupted. Libya has one of the highest concentrations of cell phone users in Africa. The Libyan government owns the country's two mobile phone operators. — AP


H E A LT H & S C I E N C E

Experts to weigh consumer gene test standards FDA advisers to meet March 8 and 9 CHICAGO: US health officials plan to ask advisers next week about the benefits and risks of direct-to-consumer genetic tests, including whether various kinds of tests should have to meet different regulatory standards, according to documents released yesterday. The Food and Drug Administration for months has been weighing what to do about the increasingly popular test kits but grew concerned when Pathway Genomics in April announced a pact with Walgreen Co to distribute tests through its 6,000 neighborhood pharmacies. Pathway has since stopped selling its tests to consumers.

WASHINGTON: This picture shows Chesnie Shaver, 2, with her mother, Jessica Hyatt, 21, in their Spokane, Wash. house. Hyatt said Chesnie has had four ear infections, including a recent one that lasted close to two months. Health officials report nearly a 30 percent drop over 15 years in young children’s doctor visits for ear infections. In other words, each year there have been, on average, half a million fewer trips to doctors because of ear infections, but middle ear infections still plague many US children. — AP

Are plant hydraulics a path to adaptive dream machines? WASHINGTON: Airplanes might soon have flexible wings like birds and robots could change shape as they please thanks to research under way on mimosa plants, researchers said. The shrub’s leaves, which can retract at the slightest of touches, could inspire a new class of structures that can twist, bend, harden and even repair themselves, explained University of Michigan professor of mechanical engineering Kon-Well Wang. “This and several other characteristics of plant cells and cell walls have inspired us to initiate ideas that could concurrently realize many of the features that we want to achieve for adaptive structures,” he said Saturday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “The phenomenon is made possible by osmosis, the flow of water in and out of plants’ cells. Triggers such as touch cause water to leave certain plant cells, collapsing them. Water enters other cells, expanding them. These microscopic shifts allow the plants to move and change shape on a larger scale,” he said. The mimosa is a type of plant able to move itself in a way that is visible to the naked eye in real time. The plant’s “hydraulic system” makes that “nastic motion” possible. “Triggers such as touch cause water to leave certain plant cells, collapsing them. Water enters other cells, expanding them. These microscopic shifts allow the plants to move and change shape on a larger scale,” the researcher explained. Observing the process can be a gateway to designing cells with special mechanical properties, he believes. “This and several other characteristics of plant cells and cell walls have inspired us to initiate ideas that could concurrently realize many of the features that we want to achieve for adaptive structures,” Wang said.

“We can design those cells according to our needs. We can put those cells into structure, control them in different sequences,” he explained. “Currently we are looking at basic research only, but there are some applications that we have in mind,” Wang said. He mentioned the notions for example of planes able to change the shape of their wings while in flight as birds do; and other machines that change their shape perhaps to go under a bridge. “You cannot make a plane wing deform to be able to achieve optimum flight condition in different scenario,” he said. But “this kind of technology could help that because we can make the wing active and change its mechanical properties.” Meanwhile, auditory sensory cells that help humans hear and give them various detection capabilities are another source of inspiration from nature to develop more sophisticated technologies. Chang Liu, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan (north), led a research group that produced artificial hair cells. “The hair cell is interesting because biology uses this same fundamental structure to serve a variety of purpose,” he told a press conference. “This differs from how engineers typically design sensors, which are often used for a specific task.” In creating these artificial cells with the use of nanotechnology, researchers have significantly improved the sensitivity of the sensors while understanding better how various animals use them. And all fish are equipped with lateral auditory cells as well. However, amphibians are not equipped with such sensors, which provide still more information about the movement of water, said Chang Liu. For now, he is focusing on medical applications as sensors of fluid in the apparatus or at the end of a catheter. — AFP

HANOI: In this photo, a rare giant soft-shelled turtle shows an open wound on its neck at Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi, Vietnam. Hundreds of people are working around the clock at the famous lake, cleaning debris, pumping in fresh water and building a little island, all in hopes of saving the beloved turtle that’s believed to be sacred. — AP

Unlike genetic tests ordered by doctors, genetic tests sold directly to consumers give people information about potential health risks online or in the mail. Regulators are worried people may not understand the limitations of the tests, or that they may take action on their ownsuch as not taking prescribed medication-without consulting a doctor. Several companiesincluding Decode Genetics’ DeCodeME based in Iceland, 23andME in which Google has invested, and privately held Navigenics-sell tests online that allow people to learn if they have inherited risk for disease. In briefing documents released ahead of the advisory panel meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, FDA said it will ask its outside experts to consider whether the tests can be placed into different categories, including genetic tests that look for inherited disease; tests that predict the risk of future disease, such as breast or ovarian cancer; and tests used to predict the treatment response to specific drugs. The agency is also looking for input on the

risks of incorrect or misunderstood results for testing done without counseling. And it wants the panel to determine what level of evidence is needed for direct-to-consumer genetic tests to make claims about their tests. “The DTC model for offering tests has created public health and social quandaries, where tests that predict drug response, tests that predict serious future health risks, and tests that provide preliminary findings of genotype-phenotype associations are now available to persons ordering their own testing,” FDA wrote. Many experts say genetic test kits give incomplete information, and any results about disease risk, especially for incurable diseases such as Huntington’s or Parkinson’s, should only be done with genetic counseling that clearly explains the limitations of genetic testing. Testing companies, however, say the tests are useful for modifying bad habits that could contribute to future health risks, especially if someone is predisposed to a disease. The FDA said genetic tests for consumers are

similar in several ways to home use medical tests. But unlike those tests, many over-the-counter genetic tests have disclaimers stating that they are for “educational and informational” purposes and that the person getting the test results may want to follow up with a doctor. FDA regulates home use tests, such as collection kits used to take samples of blood or urine that are sent to a certified labs to be interpreted. Often counseling is provided. It has also cleared several home use test kits for things like glucose, cholesterol and pregnancy tests. Genetic tests, the agency says, “effectively create a third type of home use tests” in which follow-up is often left to the individual taking the test. The agency says it does not intend to tackle doctor-ordered genetic tests in clinics or consumer genetic tests that do not make medical claims but are used to research family history or by law enforcement. It also will not address the prickly issue of how to safeguard consumers’ personal information stored in DTC testing company computers. — Reuters

Glory satellite fails to make orbit: NASA VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE: A rocket carrying the Glory Earth-observing satellite launched on Friday but failed to place the satellite into orbit, sending both plummeting into the Pacific, NASA said on Friday. The space agency said a protective covering on the Taurus XL rocket did not separate as planned three minutes after launch at 5:09 a.m. EST/1009 GMT. With the covering intact, the rocket was too heavy to get the satellite into orbit. “We failed to make orbit and all indications are that the satellite and rocket are in the South Pacific Ocean somewhere,” NASA launch director Omar Baez said at a news conference. The satellite and rocket were built by Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp, which suffered a similar failure with a Taurus XL rocket in 2009 on another NASA launch. Shares in Orbital Sciences, where sales to the U.S. government and its contractors make up 80 percent of the company’s business, fell by as much as 10 percent in morning trade. After the 2009 launch failure, Orbital Sciences redesigned the system for shedding the protective covering. Ron Grabe of Orbital Sciences said the company considered the problem to be fixed and had carried out three successful launches with the new system before Friday’s failure. The Glory satellite was to have provided scientists information on how the sun and atmospheric particles called aerosols affected Earth’s climate. The satellite had been scheduled for launch Feb. 23 but was delayed by a computer problem. Orbital Sciences has been expected to be among the private companies that will be used to get cargo to the International Space Station once NASA retires its shuttle fleet. — Reuters

HOUSTON: In this April 8, 2011 file picture, NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, STS133 mission specialist, shakes hands with Robonaut 2 during a news conference in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Ron Diftler, NASA Robonaut project manager, is at left. Astronaut Catherine Coleman said Friday that she and the 11 other humans aboard the shuttle-station complex want to get R2 out of its packing material as soon as possible. — AP

Global warming could spur toxic algae, bacteria in seas WASHINGTON: Global warming could spur the growth of toxic algae and bacteria in the world’s seas and lakes, with an impact that could be felt in 10 years, US scientists said. Studies have shown that shifts brought about by climate change make ocean and freshwater environments more susceptible to toxic algae blooms and allow harmful microbes and bacteria to proliferate, according to researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In one study, NOAA scientists modeled future ocean and weather patterns to predict the effect on blooms of Alexandrium catenella, or the toxic “red tide,” which can accumulate in shellfish and cause severe symptoms, including paralysis, in humans who eat the contaminated seafood. “Our projections indicate that by the end of the 21st century, blooms may begin up to two months earlier in the year and persist for one month later compared to the present-day time period of July to October,” said Stephanie Moore, one of the scientists who worked on the study. But the impact could be felt well before the end of this century-as early as 2040, she said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “Changes in the harmful algal bloom season appear to be imminent. We expect a sig-

nificant increase in Puget Sound (off the coast of Washington state where the study was conducted) and similar at-risk environments within 30 years, possibly by the next decade,” said Moore. In another study, NOAA scientists found that desert dust, which contains iron, deposited into the ocean from the atmosphere could lead to increases of harmful bacteria in the seawater. Researchers from the University of Georgia found that adding desert dust to seawater significantly stimulated the growth of Vibrios, a group of ocean bacteria that can cause gastroenteritis and infectious diseases in humans. “Within 24 hours of mixing weathered desert dust from Morocco with seawater samples, we saw a huge growth in Vibrios, including one strain that could cause eye, ear and open wound infections, and another strain that could cause cholera,” said Erin Lipp, who worked on the study. The amount of iron-containing dust deposited in the sea has increased over the last 30 years and is expected to continue to rise, based on precipitation trends in western Africa that are causing desertification. Rising precipitation in some parts of the world and lack of rain in other parts has been blamed on climate change by some experts. Global warming has also been blamed for

rising ocean temperatures, and “a warming ocean, which we know is happening, increases the likelihood of disease that affects both wildlife and humans,” NOAA administrator Janet Lubchenco told AFP. Unhealthy oceans impact not only human and animal health but also affect countries’ economies, said Lubchenco, noting that US coastal states are home to eight in 10 Americans and generated 83 percent of US GDP in 2007. Last year, Americans got a stark reminder of the key role played by marine ecosystems in their lives and livelihoods when a BP deepwater well ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico, sending millions of barrels of oil spewing into the sea waters and crippling the region’s tourism and seafood industries. President Barack Obama for a $2.9 million funding increase for NOAA in his 2012 budget to establish an oil spill research and development program to provide “useful information, methods and tools for prevention, response and assessment of oil spill impacts,” noted Lubchenco. NOAA also wants to consolidate its climate change services into a single office, but the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Saturday to slash funding to the agency, putting many of its programs in jeopardy. — AFP

US team makes key memory cells in lab dish CHICAGO: US researchers have coaxed stem cells into becoming a type of brain cell that dies off early in people with Alzheimer’s disease. The new technology would provide a ready supply of cells for use in testing new drugs or even transplants to help restore lost memory, the team reported on Friday in the journal Stem Cell. While most Alzheimer’s research is done in genetically modified mice, the new technique would allow researchers to study a key aspect of the disease in human cells. “These are cells that are critically important for memory functions,” said Dr. Jack Kessler of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, who worked on the study. Kessler said the team used embryonic stem cells to create the neurons, which are thought to be among the earli-

est brain cells lost in Alzheimer’s disease. Stem cells are the body’s master cells, the source of all other cells. Embryonic stem cells, taken from days-old human embryos, are especially pliable. The technique to convert stem cells into neurons was developed by Christopher Bissonnette, a former doctoral student in Kessler’s lab, who was inspired by the death of his own grandfather from Alzheimer’s disease, a fatal brainwasting form of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. When Kessler and Bissonnette implanted the newly grown nerve cells into the brains of mice, they functioned normally, producing nerve fibers called axons and making the brain chemical acetylcholine, used to retrieve memories from other parts of the brain. The researchers say the

technique can produce an almost infinite number of these cells, giving other scientists the chance to study these cells. The team has used the same approach to make induced pluripotent stem cells, in which ordinary skin cells are reprogrammed into an embryonic-like state. Using these cells, also known as iPS cells, the researchers converted them into brain cells or neurons. The advantage of iPS cells, Kessler said, is they can be made from people with known Alzheimer’s disease, allowing researchers to study differences between healthy cells and diseased cells. The team made neurons from Alzheimer’s patients, healthy people with no family history of Alzheimer’s, and people who are healthy but have a genetic predisposition to develop the disease. “These are real people with real dis-

ease. That’s why it’s exciting,” Kessler said. Kessler said the technology is far from ready, but that eventually it may be possible to make replacement memory cells that can be transplanted into people with Alzheimer’s. “This is exactly the type of fundamental research that is needed,” William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, said in an e-mail. “Knowing more about what causes and prevents brain cell death in Alzheimer’s disease will undoubtedly be important for the development of future Alzheimer’s treatments.” Currently, there are no drugs that keep the disease from progressing. Alzheimer’s affects 26 million people in the world-most of them elderly-and costs $604 billion to treat. — Reuters




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health & science

Medical journals retract ‘unethical’ research Experts say little risk to patients LONDON: The editors of 16 international medical journals have retracted “unethical” research carried out by a German doctor on drugs known as colloids, which boost blood volume in patients having surgery. Joachim Boldt, an anaesthesiologist at the centre of an investigation into allegations that he may have forged up to 90 studies, was sacked from Klinikum Ludwigshafen, the German hospital where he worked, late last year. British surgeons’ organisations said they were withdrawing and reviewing their guidelines on the use of colloids following the retractions, although experts said there was little risk to patients. In an open letter, 16 editors of various medical journals, including the US-based Anesthesia & Analgesia, the European Journal of Anaesthesiology and the British Journal of Anaesthesia, said 89 of 102 studies published by Boldt had so far been found not to have had approval from an ethics body known as the institutional review board (IRB).

“At this stage we can’t say it’s fraud, all we can say is that the studies were not conducted with ethical approval and should therefore not have been published,” Charles Reilly, editor-in-chief of the British Journal of Anaesthesia (BJA), told Reuters. “The most important point is that there are no immediate safety concerns for patients because these studies are small and they are not fundamental to how doctors use intravenous fluid in clinical practice,” said Rupert Pearse, a consultant in intensive care medicine at Barts and The London Medical School. “The wider issue is research fraud, which is rare but very serious,” he added in an emailed statement. “As doctors, we must continue our efforts to ensure the integrity of our research.” The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) said it had been made aware that Boldt was “at the centre of a criminal investigation following allegations about his research”. “Whilst these investigations take place

the ASGBI has withdrawn the document entitled ‘British consensus guidelines on intravenous fluid therapy for adult surgical patients’ from its website,” ASGBI president John MacFie said in a statement. “The guidelines are being rewritten and will not be placed back on the website until we are assured of their accuracy.” In their open letter, the 16 editors said they were retracting the papers, some of which date back to 1999, because “the research was unethical” and because “IRB approval for the research was misrepresented in the published article.” “It does not mean the research results per se are fraudulent,” they said. The Anesthesia & Analgesia journal said in a statement on its website that it had received notification from the Rheinland State Medical Board, Landesaerztekammer Rheinland-Pfalz, that there was no IRB approval for 89 articles by Boldt, including 22 published in its journal between 1999 and 2009. — Reuters

Ibuprofen could cut Parkinson’s risk WASHINGTON: Adults who take the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen may reduce their risk of getting Parkinson’s disease by about 27 percent compared to those who do not, said a study published last week. “There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, so the possibility that ibuprofen, an existing and relatively non-toxic drug, could help protect against the disease is captivating,” said senior author Alberto Ascherio of the Harvard School of Public Health. Parkinson’s is a neurological disease that attacks the central nervous system and causes tremors and motor difficulty, mainly in people over 50, though it can strike younger people. US-Canadian actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when he was 30. Scientists found an even greater effect when they compared ibuprofen-commonly found in the over the counter pain relievers Advil, Motrin and Nuprin-to aspirin, acetaminophen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). “We observed that men and women who used ibuprofen two or more times per week were about 38 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who regularly used aspirin, acetaminophen, or other NSAIDs,” said lead author Xiang Gao, also of Harvard. “Our findings suggest that ibuprofen could be a potential neuroprotective agent against Parkinson’s disease, however, the exact mechanism is unknown.” The study appears in the journal Neurology. — AFP




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w h at ’s o n

Announcements International Women’s Group We know you will join us in welcoming Dr Nada Al Mutawa as our speaker on Sunday 6th March 2011. Our Theme will be International Women’s Day and the topic of Dr. Al Mutawa’s presentation is: “The role of Kuwaiti Women in the Economic and Political History.” The meeting will take place at the Radisson Blu., at the Boubiyan Room, with doors opening 9:30 am. NBK Walkathon Registrations started Sunday at NBK Walkathon Tent next to the Scientific Centre in Salmiya on Sunday, February 13 and continues until March 11, which is one day before the start of the walkathon. National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the best bank in the Middle East, announced the launching of its 17th Annual Walkathon on the 12th of March 2011 on the occasion of Kuwait’s celebration of 50 years over its independence, 20 years over its liberation from the Iraqi invasion and 5 years since H.H. the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah assumed his post. The Walkathon event will also feature a host of functions, activities and competitions with rewarding prizes and rewards awaiting the participants. NBK’s Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Bank & Community Committee, Nasser Musaed Al Sayer said that it has been clear that NBK’s Walkathon is growing year on year, and we are extremely thrilled to take our involvement with this exciting event to new levels. This year, we are expecting participation to be much more than previous walkathon which witnessed more the participation of more than 12,000 contesters”. St Peter’s CSI Congregation

Gulf British Academy welcomes Al Ameer


ulf British Academy, Salmiya welcomed Khalil Al Ameer, Director Public Relations and Media, Kuwait Fire Department who presented the GBA staff with fire safety training certificates. Al Ameer also spoke to the students regarding fire safety during their National Day celebrations. The Kuwait Fire Department are supporting Gulf British Academy’s health and safety program.


Starwood increases portfolio in Kuwait with expansion of Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait


Happy birthday to Abel Joseph Alex. May he be blessed throughout his life. Best wishes from well wishers.

Najla Al-Naqqi attends ‘All for Kuwait’ seminar


atwa and Legislation Department state attorney Najla AlNaqqi took part in a seminar that was held recently at the social service center in AlQusour, and titled ‘All for Kuwait’. The event was attended by undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Mohammad Al-Kandary.

Dr. B. Ekbal to launch Kala language website


he leading Indian association in Kuwait, Kerala Art Lovers Association, KALA is launching the first phase of the interactive web portal which is ultimately a big leap, by the Malayalam Education Mission, which currently KALA is undertaking in Kuwait, with a much higher and Global Perspective. Under the directives and broad vision of Mr. John Mathew, renowned Social activist and Industrialist of Kuwait, a dedicated team has paved way for the Children from other areas of the globe to get the benefit of learning Malayalam and thereby our culture too. Utilizing the multimedia and IT resources, the first phase of the web portal is all set for the global take off. Former Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University and well known personality from Kerala Dr.B. Ekbal will formally launch the web portal at United Indian School on 25 March 2011 at 5 PM. The programme will commence with the commemoration of the legends EMS, AKG & Bishop Dr.Poulose Mar Poulose, who left us in the month of March. Further, the essay collection “Athijeevanathinte Kazhchappadukal”, written and compiled KALA President Mr. Sam Pynummodu will be formally released in the same function. All are welcome and the entrance is free. For more details kindly contact 66656642, 97817100, 99539492, 24317875

Vacation Bible School of St Peter’s CSI Congregation is scheduled to be held from March 18 to April 1, 2011 at the National Evangelical Church of Kuwait (NECK ). Our Vicar, The Rev Binju Varghese Kuruvilla will be the Superintendent. Abraham Varghese, (children’s ministry, Kerala ), will be the Director. All children from 3 to 17 years old are invited to attend the VBS. This is a time for making new friends, singing , learning and fellowship. Please come and join and be blessed! For registrations and more details please visit the website . For further enquiries and details, please email us at or contact the VBS Secretary: 94416421. Hurry! Only limited seats available!

tarwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Oriental Hotels Co. announce the expansion of the Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait Hotel. The significant 42-storey extension will add another 218 rooms to the existing 160-room hotel. Scheduled for completion in 2013, the hotel will offer panoramic views of the capital city and dazzling Arabian Gulf. Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait entered the Kuwaiti market in 2003 and has since positioned itself in the market as one of the leading hotels in its category. The foundation stone of this project was laid in a festive ceremony during a recent visit of Starwood’s Senior Leadership Team to Kuwait. Abdulaziz Al Shaya, Chairman of Oriental Hotels Co. says, “We are excited to witness the active development of a project that we have proudly started 45 years ago with the inauguration of Sheraton Kuwait, a project that has grown phenomenally and has become part of our history. After the inauguration in 1966, the hotel further expanded

its presence with the addition of two buildings in 1969 and 1978 consecutively. In 2003, the Four Points by Sheraton hotel was established and a decade later we forge ahead with this exciting expansion thanks to our partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.” “We are delighted to broaden our footprint in Kuwait with our long-standing partner, Oriental Hotels Co. The expansion of the Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait further underlines our commitment to this important market”, said Roeland Vos, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle

East. “Starwood’s history in Kuwait dates back to 1966 with the debut of the Sheraton Kuwait Hotel & Towers, our first Sheraton hotel in the Middle East and the first Sheraton hotel to open outside of North America.” Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait will offer a range of comfortable rooms and suites equipped with thoughtful amenities. An all-day dining and two specialty restaurants will add to the hotel’s extensive facilities. The rooftop will be home to an indoor swimming pool and a state of the art health club whereas an entire floor will be dedi-

cated to the extensive spa facilities. The expanded lobby will be the perfect venue to relax while surfing the free wireless high speed internet and enjoying the simple pleasures synonymous with the Four Points brand. “We are thrilled about this new addition and are confident that the new product and our exemplary service that we have long been famed for, will offer guests the opportunity to experience a new level of comfort and convenience”, says Fahed Abushaar, Area Director & General Manager of Sheraton Kuwait. Starwood currently operates six hotels in the Middle East under its Four Points by Sheraton brand including three hotels in the United Arab Emirates, two in Lebanon and one in Kuwait. Starwood continues to grow its Four Points by Sheraton portfolio in this region with new hotels set to open in Tartous, Jeddahe Dhahran following the latest openings of the Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road and the Four Points by Sheraton Down Town in Dubai.




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w h at ’s o n

Embassy Information EMBASSY OF BRITAIN

Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels celebrate National day with Montessori


elebrating the National Day and the Liberation Day of Kuwait, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Kuwait hotels made the occasion memorable with a delightful visit to the little ones at the Salmiya Montessori. Organized by the Marketing &PR department, the group took plenty of gifts and goodies in

addition to light snacks for the children. Simple and light hearted moments were spent by the team with the children, with games involving the enthusiastic participation of the children. Small tips on general and personal hygiene were shared and the day was completed with a series of magic tricks from the famous

clown, who visited them. The programme was concluded with the singing of the Kuwait national anthem and cheerful waving of flags. The teams of Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Kuwait came away with smiles, celebrating the patriotism of the people of Kuwait, with the children.

The Rhythm House - A medley & melody!


lass I of FAIPS celebrated its Annual Day on 16th February 2011 with pomp and jest. The tiny tots put up a colourful display based on the theme ‘The Rhythm House’. This included a musical show, with children dressed up as animals dancing to rhythmic beats, a fairy-tale skit with a comic twist and an Arabic dance with flowing costumes and foot tapping music. To instill the importance of healthy food in a fun way, the little ones walked on stage representing a vegetable or a fruit.This was followed by a medley of Indian folk dances from Sikkim, Punjab, Goa, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, in which the children looked resplendent in their ethnic costumes. The excitement and energy peaked in the grand finale, with all the participants on stage swaying to ‘Made in India’ and ‘Jai Ho’ - stressing on patriotism and world unity. True to the theme ‘Rhythm House’ the ever enthusiastic tiny tots had the audience enthralled and entwined in the blissful world of rhythm and melody.

The opening hours of the Visa Application Centre are 0930-1630. Application forms remain available online from the UKBAs’ website: or from the Visa Application Centre’s website: And also, from the UK Visa Application Centre located at: 413, First Floor, Al Banwan Building (Burgan Bank Branch Office Building), Al Qibla area, opposite Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait City. For any further inquiries, please contact the Visa Application Centre: Website: E-mail: Telephone: 22971170 The Consular Section will also be closed on the same dates. For information on the British Embassy services, visit the British Embassy website:

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. EMBASSY OF THE US

Writers’ Forum holds monthly meeting


riters Forum, Kuwait held the monthly meeting on 25th Feb 11 at Fahaheel residence of Gurbakash Singh Dogra; the Vice President of Forum. The meeting was presided over by Jasbir Singh Dhiman; a renowned Punjabi poet and Madathil Rajendran Nair; an English & Malayalam poet was the chief guest. In the beginning, Mrs Maimuna All Chougle; President of the Forum congratulated the citizens of Kuwait on occasion of 50th year of Independence 20th year of Liberation and 5th years of acceding Honorable Emir of State of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah. All the members of Forum prayed Almighty God for peace and multi directional development and prosperity in the country. This was followed by recitation of poetries in various Indian languages

by Milind Chaubal (English), Aamir Diwan & Umesh Sharma (Hindi), Gurbaksh Singh Dogra & Jasbir Singh Dhiman (Punjabi), VE P. Mathiyazhagan (Tamil) and Mrs Shahjahan Jaffery (Urdu). Madathil Rajendran Nair; the Chief Guest presented his English poetry wherein he relived his memories of Bombay where he was born & worked for a long period of life. In the last, Jasbir Singh Dhiman; president of the meeting presented his Punjabi poetry followed by his lecturette wherein he appreciated the efforts of all members of the forum for the noble cause of National integration. The meeting was beautifully convened by Sunil Sonsi General Secretary of the Forum. All the members conveyed their thanks to Gurbakash Singh Dogra and his family for their warm hospitality.

The United States Department of State announces the increase in various visa fees to ensure sufficient resources to cover the increasing cost of processing nonimmigrant visas (NIVs). US law requires the Department to recover the cost of processing non-immigrant visas through the collection of the application fees. The increased fees are to take effect June 4, 2010. Under the new rule, applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, will pay a fee of $140. Applicants for petitionbased visas will pay an application fee of $150, as each of the below categories requires a review of extensive documentation and a more in-depth interview of the applicant than other categories, such as tourists. These categories include: H visa for temporary workers and trainees L visa for intra-company transferees O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors R visa for religious occupations The application fee for K visas for fiance(e)s of US citizens will be $350. The fee for E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors will be $390.

EMBASSY OF GERMANY The German Embassy wishes to extend and update its information base on German business in Kuwait. Therefore all Kuwaiti companies representing German companies are invited to register at the embassy. For more information on the registration, please visit



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00:50 01:45 02:40 03:35 04:30 05:25 06:20 07:10 08:00 08:25 08:50 09:15 09:40 10:10 12:00 12:55 13:20 13:50 14:45 Brink 15:40 20:15 21:10 22:05 22:30 23:00 23:55

Untamed And Uncut Wild Dog Island Dogs 101 Austin Stevens Adventures Whale Wars Buggin’With Ruud Untamed And Uncut Dogs 101 Meerkat Manor Monkey Business Monkey Business Predator’s Prey Breed All About It Pandamonium Animal Precinct Wildlife SOS E-Vets: The Interns Animal Cops Houston Saving A Species: Gorillas On The Journey Of Life Face To Face With The Polar Bear Dogs 101 Orangutan Island Orangutan Island Pit Bulls And Parolees I’m Alive

00:35 Crisps 01:05 01:30 02:00 02:45 03:15 03:40 04:10 04:40 05:00 05:20 05:40 05:50 05:55 06:10 06:30 06:50 07:10 07:20 07:25 07:40 08:00 08:20 08:40 08:50 08:55 09:10 09:30 09:50 10:10 10:20 10:25 10:40 11:10 11:40 12:25 12:40 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:15 16:45 17:30 18:15 18:30 19:20 20:10 21:00 21:45 22:00 22:30 23:00 Crisps 23:30

2 Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show Ideal The Weakest Link Doctors Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show Last Of The Summer Wine Last Of The Summer Wine Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Little Robots The Adventures Of Spot Penelope K, By The Way Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Little Robots The Adventures Of Spot Penelope K, By The Way Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Little Robots The Adventures Of Spot Penelope K, By The Way Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Little Robots The Adventures Of Spot Penelope K, By The Way Last Of The Summer Wine Last Of The Summer Wine Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential Mutual Friends Eastenders Eastenders Eastenders Eastenders The Weakest Link After You’ve Gone The Weakest Link Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential Mutual Friends Holby City Holby City Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential My Family My Family 2 Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of

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Cash In The Attic Cash In The Attic Daily Cooks Challenge Daily Cooks Challenge


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Daily Cooks Challenge Antiques Roadshow Fantasy Homes In The City Daily Cooks Challenge Antiques Roadshow Daily Cooks Challenge Daily Cooks Challenge Design Star Design Star Fantasy Homes In The City Daily Cooks Challenge Fantasy Homes In The City Design Star Design Star Fantasy Homes In The City

00:40 Police Women Of Maricopa County 01:35 Dirty Jobs 02:30 Fifth Gear 03:00 Fifth Gear 03:25 Speed Machines 04:20 Mythbusters 05:15 How Does It Work? 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 American Chopper 07:50 Overhaulin’ 08:45 Street Customs Berlin 09:40 Mythbusters 10:30 I Could Do That 10:55 I Could Do That 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 Built From Disaster 16:55 World’s Toughest Tools 17:50 How It’s Made 18:15 Storm Chasers 19:10 American Loggers 20:05 Ultimate Survival 21:00 Man vs Fish With Matt Watson 21:55 Extreme Fishing 22:50 Shark Shrinks 23:45 Chilean Miners Rescue

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

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Nyc: Inside Out The Gadget Show Creating Synthetic Life Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science Weird Or What? How Does That Work? Junkyard Wars Robotica Weird Connections Perfect Disaster Weird Or What? Da Vinci’s Machines Brainiac Mega World Patent Bending The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Space Pioneer Cosmic Collisions How Stuff Works The Future Of... Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science Engineered Mighty Ships Colony

Bakugan Battle Brawlers Chowder Cow And Chicken Cramp Twins George Of The Jungle Adventure Time Eliot Kid Ed, Edd N Eddy Ben 10: Alien Force The Powerpuff Girls Chowder The Secret Saturdays My Gym Partner’s A Monkey


TV PROGRAMS 05:30 Ben 10: Alien Force 05:55 Best Ed 06:20 Skunk Fu! 06:45 Cramp Twins 07:10 Eliot Kid 07:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 08:00 Casper’s Scare School

00:15 Kendra 00:40 Behind The Scenes 01:30 25 Most Memorable Swimsuit Moments 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:45 Behind The Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:25 Extreme Close-Up 09:50 Extreme Close-Up 10:15 Style Star 11:05 Kendra 11:30 Kendra 12:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 16:15 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 16:40 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 17:35 Fashion Police 18:00 E! News 18:50 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 19:15 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 20:05 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 20:30 Fashion Police 20:55 The Soup 21:20 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 22:10 E! News 23:00 The Soup 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:50 Kendra

00:40 01:05 01:30 01:55 02:20 Basics 02:45 03:35 04:25 05:15 05:40 06:05 06:30 06:50 07:35 08:00 08:50 09:15 09:40 10:05 10:30 10:55 11:20 11:45 12:10 12:35 13:25 13:50 14:15 14:40 15:30 15:55 16:20 16:45 17:35 18:00 18:25 18:50 19:15 20:05 20:30 20:55 21:20 22:10 23:00 23:50

Good Eats - Special Unwrapped Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives Barefoot Contessa Barefoot Contessa - Back To Chopped Good Eats - Special Food Network Challenge Good Eats - Special Unwrapped Ten Dollar Dinners Paula’s Best Dishes Paula’s Party Barefoot Contessa Chopped Guy’s Big Bite Boy Meets Grill Good Deal With Dave Lieberman Ten Dollar Dinners Paula’s Best Dishes Barefoot Contessa Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives Throwdown With Bobby Flay Unwrapped Paula’s Party Good Eats - Special Paula’s Best Dishes Throwdown With Bobby Flay Ultimate Recipe Showdown Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives Unwrapped Boy Meets Grill Chopped Paula’s Best Dishes Barefoot Contessa Good Deal With Dave Lieberman Ten Dollar Dinners Paula’s Party Good Eats - Special Guy’s Big Bite Throwdown With Bobby Flay Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives Food Network Challenge Chopped Ultimate Recipe Showdown

Alabama at Michigan -HD 04:00 Prime/Time Boxing -HD 06:00 NHL Dallas Stars at Anaheim Ducks-HD 08:30 Inside The PGA Tour -HD 09:00 Golf Central International -HD 09:30 Golf Channel - TBA 12:00 PGA Tour: The Honda Classic Rd. 2 Palm Beach Gardens, FL-HD 15:00 Inside The PGA Tour -HD 15:30 NFL Programming #3 - TBA 17:30 NHL Dallas Stars at Anaheim Ducks-HD 20:00 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Wildcard: Teams TBA -HD 22:00 Inside The PGA Tour -HD 22:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 23:00 PGA Tour: The Honda Classic Rd. 3 Palm Beach Gardens, FL-HD

00:40 01:30 02:20 03:10 04:00 04:50 05:45 06:15 07:10 08:00 08:50 09:40 10:30 10:55 11:20 12:10 13:00 13:50 14:40 15:30 15:55 16:20 17:10 18:00 18:50 19:40 20:30 20:55 21:20 22:10 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 Impossible Heists Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Disappeared FBI Files Murder Shift Royal Inquest Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Disappeared Forensic Detectives Impossible Heists FBI Files Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Murder Shift Ghost Lab The Haunted Ghost Lab

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

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 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 21:30 22:00 23:00

The Kawaii Wild Wild Nights Wild Nights My Life Is A Zoo Hooked Predator CSI Journey Into Amazonia Bavaria’s Alpine Kingdom Shark Men Wild Freaks Animal Impact Wild Rescue Wild Nights Will Work For Nuts Predator CSI Animal Autopsy Monkey Thieves Monkey Thieves Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Space Crab Predator CSI Animal Autopsy Monkey Thieves Monkey Thieves Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Space Crab

02:00 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics

00:00 Clive Barker’s Book Of Blood-R 02:00 Tears Of The Sun-18 04:00 The Ruins-R 06:00 Journey To The Center Of The Earth-PG 08:00 Changing Lanes-PG15 10:00 Obsessed-PG15 12:00 S.W.A.T.-PG15 14:00 Changing Lanes-PG15 16:00 Arlington Road-18 18:00 S.W.A.T.-PG15 20:00 The Taking Of Pelham 123-18 22:00 Signs-PG15


01:15 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:30

Order Of Chaos-18 Harold-PG15 Love Happens-PG15 The Dust Factory-PG15 Harold-PG15 Surrogates-PG15 Rugrats Go Wild-FAM The Ramen Girl-PG15 Surrogates-PG15 Ira And Abby-PG15 Inglourious Basterds-18 Dorian Gray-18

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

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report Boondocks Rita Rocks Community Family Guy Hung Boondocks The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Coach Yes Dear The Drew Carey Show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon According To Jim Coach Just Shoot Me The Drew Carey Show Yes Dear Rita Rocks Coach According To Jim The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Just Shoot Me Coach Yes Dear Community Rita Rocks The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report The Drew Carey Show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Just Shoot Me According To Jim 30 Rock Community The Tonight Show With Jay Leno The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report Sarah Silverman Program Hung Boondocks Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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

The Ellen Degeneres Show American Idol Glee The View Good Morning America One Tree Hill Emmerdale Coronation Street The Martha Stewart Show The View The Ellen Degeneres Show American Idol One Tree Hill Live Good Morning America The Ellen Degeneres Show Emmerdale Turn Back Your Body Clock Bones American Idol The Gates One Tree Hill

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

Predator-PG15 Killshot-18 Halloween 2-18 House Under Siege-PG15 Mortal Kombat-PG Snake Eyes-PG15 Wushu Warrior-PG15 Snake Eyes-PG15 The Marine 2-PG15 Mindhunters-18 Punisher: War Zone-18 Friday The 13th-18

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

Evolution-PG15 Mr. Baseball-PG School Of Rock-PG15 Hotel For Dogs-FAM America’s Sweethearts-PG15 G-Force-PG All’s Faire In Love-PG Ed-PG Evolution-PG15 The Good Girl-PG15 Just Buried-18 American High School-18

01:00 L’ivresse Du Pouvoir-PG15 03:00 Chicago-PG15 05:00 Hamlet-PG15 07:00 A Shine Of Rainbows-PG15 09:00 Living Proof-PG 11:00 The Missing Person-PG15 13:00 Shadows In Paradise-PG15 15:00 Shine A Light-PG15 17:00 The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond-PG15 19:00 Cabaret-PG15 21:00 Cutting Edge 3-PG15 23:00 The Baader Meinhof Complex-

01:15 Seven Years In Tibet-PG15 03:30 Beauty And The Beast-FAM 05:00 Did You Hear About The Morgans?-PG15 07:00 Solaris-PG15 09:00 Astro Boy-PG15 11:00 Last Chance Harvey-PG15 13:00 Stuart Little 2-FAM 15:00 I Spy-PG 17:00 Astro Boy-PG15 19:00 The Damned United-PG15 21:00 Lower Learning-PG15 23:00 The Lovely Bones-PG15

00:00 The Jungle Book I-FAM 02:00 The Trumpet Of The Swan-FAM 04:00 The Enchanted Mountain-PG 06:00 Christopher Columbus-PG 08:00 Gladiators: The Conspiracy-PG 10:00 The Trumpet Of The Swan-FAM 12:00 Monsters vs. Aliens-PG 14:00 The Enchanted Mountain-PG 16:00 Wild Records!-PG 18:00 Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco-FAM 20:00 Ulysses-PG 22:00 Monsters vs. Aliens-PG

00:30 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00

Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassin’s Ball-18 Dolan’s Cadillac-PG15 Mee Shee-PG Dean Spanley-PG Legally Blondes-PG Nativity!-PG Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past-PG15

HALLOWEEN 2 ON OSN MOVIES ACTION 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 PG15

Saved!-PG15 Legally Blondes-PG Toy Story 3-FAM Lower Learning-PG15 The Art Of War III: Retribution-

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 09:30 11:30 13:30 14:00 16:00 16:30 17:30 18:00 20:00 22:00 22:30 23:00

Super 15 Super 15 Super League Super 15 Total Rugby Live Super 15 Live Super 15 Total Rugby Live Super 15 Futbol Mundial Trans World Sport Total Rugby Live Super 15 Live Super 15 ICC Cricket World Futbol Mundial Super 15

00:00 01:00 05:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 18:15 20:15 21:15 23:30

The All Sports Show Dubai Int’l Racing Carnival The All Sports Show European Tour Weekly ICC Cricket World Trans World Sport The All Sports Show ICC Cricket World European Tour Weekly Super League Trans World Sport The All Sports Show European Tour Weekly Futbol Mundial ICC Cricket World Total Rugby Live Aviva Premiership Live Aviva Premiership Trans World Sport Live Super League Futbol Mundial

04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 20:00 23:00

WWE Bottom Line WWE NXT UFC Unleashed WWE Bottom Line WWE NXT WWE SmackDown Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge V8 Supercars Championship V8 Supercars Championship V8 Supercars Extra FIM World Cup Airsports World WWE Vintage Collection Futbol Mundial Live Scottish Premier League UFC Fight Night WWE SmackDown

00:55 The Package-PG15 02:45 I Want To Live!-PG15 04:45 Jezebel-FAM 06:25 The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight-PG 08:00 36 Hours-PG 09:55 Humoresque-PG 12:00 Ride The High Country-PG 13:30 The Shoes Of The FishermanFAM 16:00 Flipper-FAM 17:30 Captain Blood-FAM 19:25 Ten Thousand Bedrooms-PG 21:20 Singin’ In The Rain-FAM 23:00 No Small Affair-PG15

00:40 01:30 02:20 03:10 04:00 04:55 06:40

The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets The Korean War Dead Men’s Secrets Decoding The Past Investigating History The Universe

07:30 08:20 09:10 10:00 10:55 12:40 13:30 14:20 15:10 16:00 16:55 18:40 19:30 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:55 23:50

Dead Men’s Secrets The Korean War Dead Men’s Secrets Battles B.C. Investigating History The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets The Korean War Dead Men’s Secrets Battles B.C. Investigating History The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets The Korean War Dead Men’s Secrets Lost Worlds Battle Stations Tunnellers

10:30 Rudy Maxa’s World 11:00 Planet Food 12:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 Cruising To The Northern Lights 15:00 Chef Abroad 15:30 Spring 16:00 Planet Food 17:00 Globe Trekker 17:30 Rudy Maxa’s World 18:00 Tall Ship Explorers 19:00 Cruising The Spirit Of Adventure 20:00 Globe Trekker 21:00 Essential 21:30 Globe Trekker 22:00 Globe Trekker 23:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides

00:00 01:00 02:00 02:30 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 21:00 22:00 22:30 23:00

How Do I Look? Jerseylicious Fashion Avenue Fashion Avenue How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Homes With Style Area Clean House Big Boutique Fashion Avenue Fashion Avenue Bridalplasty Jerseylicious Dude, Where’s Your Style? Fashion Avenue The Dish Jerseylicious

00:15 00:17 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:45 03:15 03:17 07:15 07:17 08:00 08:45 09:15 09:17 11:00 11:40 13:00 13:45 14:00 15:00 15:15 15:17 16:00 16:45 17:15 17:17 18:00 20:00 20:45 21:00 22:00 23:00 23:40

Top New Playlist New Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Top Gossip Playlist Top Money Playlist R&B 10 Playlist Monthly Top Playlist Club 10 Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Focus Guest Star Top Sexy Playlist French 10 Playlist Top Mobile Playlist Urban Hit 30 Africa 10 Playlist Trace Video Mix Legend Club 10 Playlist

00:00 Programmes Start At 7:00am KSA 07:00 Kid vs Kat 07:20 Kick Buttowski 07:40 Pokemon 08:05 American Dragon 08:30 Phineas And Ferb 09:20 Suite Life On Deck S3 09:45 Pair Of Kings 10:10 Have A Laugh 10:25 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 10:50 New Spiderman 11:15 Zeke And Luther 11:40 I’m In The Band 12:05 The Super Hero Squad Show 12:30 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 12:55 Have A Laugh 13:00 Kick Buttowski 13:30 Kid vs Kat 13:55 American Dragon 14:30 Kid vs Kat 15:00 The Super Hero Squad Show 15:25 Kick Buttowski 15:50 Pair Of Kings 16:15 Phineas And Ferb 16:45 I’m In The Band 17:10 Have A Laugh 17:15 Zeke And Luther 18:05 The Super Hero Squad Show 18:30 Pokemon 18:55 Suite Life On Deck S3 19:20 Suite Life On Deck S3 19:45 Phineas And Ferb 20:10 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 20:35 New Spiderman 21:00 Kick Buttowski 21:25 Have A Laugh 21:30 Kick Buttowski 22:00 Zeke And Luther 22:25 I’m In The Band 22:55 American Dragon 23:20 Pokemon

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 Four Men And A Lady 04:30 Raiders Of The Lost Snow 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 07:00 Panasia 07:30 Great Scenic Railways-Us And Canada 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Spring 09:30 Australia’s Great Wildlife Islands

00:00 00:25 01:15 01:35 02:00 02:25 02:50 03:35 04:00 04:25 04:50 05:15 06:00 06:20 06:45 07:10 07:35 08:00 08:25 08:50 09:00 10:30 10:55 11:15 11:40 12:00 12:25 12:50


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Classifieds SUNDAY, MARCH 6, 2011

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FOR SALE Running garage in Shuwaikh (Opposite London Supermarket) for sale with commercial license and four Ikkama.


FEMALE BEAUTICIAN Experienced in hair, nails & threading.

Contact: 66871432 (Mr Thomas) Cool water flowing into the other bottle gets warmer and rises


ttScissors Scissors



Email CV:



in South Surra 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms Rent KD 650/Tel: 99945453 please 60046720 . (C 3157)

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for bachelors/ spinsters/ couples to share with an Indian family in Sharq, Kuwait City. Contact: 99682526, after 5 pm. (C 3160) Sharing accommodation available for decent Keralite Christian bachelors, or couples in a C-A/C flat in Sharq, opp Behbehani Complex. Contact: 224445791. (C 3159) Sharing accommodation available for one non-cooking executive bachelor, one room available, rent KD 50, near Abbassiya United Indian School. Contact: 24318941 after 3 pm. (C 3164) 6-3-2011 Room available for Indian executive bachelor in a CA/C building with small Hindu Goan family at Salmiya Amman Street. Please call: 99408202. (C 3155) Sharing accommodation available for Indian bachelors in old Riggae area, St. 1, Jada 3. Contact: 97525930. (C 3156) A small room with attached toilet and a big room with separate toilet to let from a flat located behind Safir International Hotel, ideal for decent couple/spinsters/ bachelors. Serious callers

Sharing accommodation available for bachelors or family at Abbassiya street no. 12, rent KD 70, with gas, water electricity, big balcony, kitchen facility, with Malayali. Contact: 99133770, 66787581, 99307591. (C 3154) 5-3-2011 Sharing accommodation available for bachelors, single ladies or couples with two bedroom, central A/C apt. in Farwaniya from April 2011. Phone: 66625901, 24716975. (C 3151) Accommodation available for decent executive bachelor in Abbassiya new building, single, separate bathroom, balcony, room available, Kalabhavan building. Contact: 97208351. (C 3152) 3-3-2011 One room available for Pilipino couples only to share with Pilipino family in Hawally behind Popeyes Restaurant. Please call: 66440968/66266105. (C 3149) 1-3-3011 Sharing accommodation available for an Indian bachelor in a fully furnished C-A/C building in Farwaniya, near Crowne Plaza with kitchen facilities. Interested call: 99038601. (C 3146) One big full furniture room available for single decent bachelor with 3BR C-A/C

flat with DSL internet, in Salwa, Block-9, near Sultan Center Salwa. Rent KD 90. Please contact: 99526394. (C 3147) Big room available with attached bathroom for decent couple or one bachelor, behind London Hospital, Fintas, walking distance to Fahahleel highway. Rent KD 80. Please contact: 60020168. (C 3148)

FOR SALE Dell laptop & HP desktop PC with LCD monitor multimedia, general configuration all in excellent condition and good price. Contact: 99337034. (C 3162) 6-3-2011

MATRIMONIAL Proposal invited for Marthomite girl, Chartered Accountant, 29 years working in Kuwait from parents of professionally qualified boys here or abroad. Email: (C 3145) 27-2-2011

MISCELLANEOUS Want a car KIA “Soul”, only serious sellers to contact 66773840. (C 3161) 6-3-2011

SITUATION WANTED Highly experienced Indian graduate (male) seeking suitable placement, excellent computer knowledge, transferable residence no. 18, ready to join. Please call 99183437. (C 3163) 6-3-2011 25 years experienced person in maintenance fitter/ piping etc, 6 years experience in Gulf, required job. Please contact 66920587. (C 3153) Planning engineer, civil, 9 years experience, 1 year in GCC seeks employment, handled planning and project controls for high rise buildings, roads, bridges. Phone: 97754142, email: (C 3158) 5-3-2011 Highly experienced Indian MBA (Male) seeking suitable placement. Proficient on MS-Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet etc. & Tally) Fluent in English, Arabic and Hindi. Transferable residence and available immediately. Please call: 66516791. (C 3150) 1-3-3011


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


500 562 257 134 341 110 304 303 857 215 510 213 800 239 127 227 177 502 542 618 786 614 674 744 166 102 552 405 61 647 572 372 217 104 81 402 136 859 172 981 157 185 3553 135 981 553 389 636 205


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


Flt 394 981 576 637 620 46 773 371 68 854 306 139 560 164 803 786 94 120 54 641 156 171 671 256 511 561 771 856 124 303 133 117 302 214 602 204 611 212 541 238 6802 103 614 405 501 785 176


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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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



s ta rs CROSSWORD 248



Aries (March 21-April 19) You and a loved one may visit a different religious group from your own belief today. Widening the scope of possibilities or enjoying the different rituals, you draw close in the experience. The mystic, the martyr, the sinner and the saint are archetypes that take on a greater importance in your life. If anyone ever does know such things, you will probably come to understand them as this cycle unfolds. This can be a phase of sublime spiritual development, to be sure. You should be aware of any tendencies to believe too quickly, too deeply or to become dependent on things or people that seem to offer quick and easy answers to life’s deepest yearnings. Family, home, friends and relatives play a very important part in your life now.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Today and tomorrow are the best times this month to begin a diet—or at least, give it a boost. Be careful not to encourage your friends to adopt the same diet methods that you choose for yourself. Steam baths and good masseurs will keep you feeling at the top of your energy—careful to keep your water intake up. Today you will be able to tackle tasks that require real discipline or organization. Whether you are male or female, the family chores can become quite tedious and boring. You may decide that you can best spend your money by hiring a cleaning person for this day. Someone else in the family springs for dinner out of the house this evening—yeah! You thoroughly enjoy time with family members this weekend.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. Tag the base runner to get him out. 4. Type genus of the Alaudidae. 10. A sweetened beverage of diluted fruit juice. 13. A self-funded retirement plan that allows you to contribute a limited yearly sum toward your retirement. 14. The eighth month of the Hindu calendar. 15. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 16. A region of Malaysia in northeastern Borneo. 18. God of death. 19. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 20. (Old Testament) The first of the major Hebrew prophets (8th century BC). 22. A port city in southwestern Iran. 24. Large high frilly cap with a full crown. 26. In some unspecified way or manner. 29. A metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables. 33. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 34. The branch of engineering science that studies the uses of electricity and the equipment for power generation and distribution and the control of machines and communication. 36. The 21st letter of the Greek alphabet. 39. Physicist honored for advances in solid state electronics (born in Japan in 1925). 41. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 42. A lipoprotein that transports cholesterol in the blood. 43. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 46. An associate degree in applied science. 48. A contorted facial expression. 51. A river in southeastern Australia that flows generally northwest to join the Darling River. 55. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 56. Marked by or showing unaffected simplicity and lack of guile or worldly experience. 59. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 60. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 62. On or toward the lee. 63. Lacking in light. 64. Large antelope with lightly spiraled horns of desert regions of North Africa. 65. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. DOWN 1. Not final or absolute. 2. A river that rises in northeastern Turkey (near the source of the Euphrates) and flows generally eastward through Armenia to the Caspian Sea. 3. A small cake leavened with yeast. 4. A Loloish language. 5. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily. 6. A human limb. 7. A reptile genus of Iguanidae. 8. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 9. Jordan’s port. 10. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 11. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 12. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause). 17. Having help. 21. Group insurance that entitles members to services of participating hospitals and clinics and physicians. 23. Relating to or having the characteristics of bees. 25. Be obliged to pay or repay. 27. United States newspaper publisher (1858-1935). 28. Type genus of the Majidae. 30. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 31. That which is responsible for one’s thoughts and feelings. 32. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 35. Hungarian choreographer who developed Labanotation (1879-1958). 37. A genus of Mustelidae. 38. The cry made by sheep. 40. God of love and erotic desire. 44. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin. 45. The hair growing on the lower part of a man’s face. 47. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 48. A public promotion of some product or service. 49. East Indian cereal grass whose seed yield a somewhat bitter flour, a staple in the Orient. 50. (Islam) The man who leads prayers in a mosque. 52. A public area set aside as a pedestrian walk. 53. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 54. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 57. Any of various coarse shrubby plants of the genus Iva with small greenish flowers. 58. Duplicator that transmits the copy by wire or radio. 61. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Don’t be too quick to jump into a financial opportunity—further negotiations may be needed. Talk to someone today that will not be afraid to give you negative input regarding this matter. You have a desire for beauty and harmony, stimulating your creativity and imagination—yet making you prone for delusion. You are apt to put a love interest on a pedestal or fall in love with an ideal—careful. This is a good time to get rid of any unrealistic thinking. A love relationship will just naturally get better after the twenty-fourth of this month—patience. Stamp out the negative emotions now; go with the flow and insert much laughter, a light heart, etc. Brisk walking, bicycling or horseback riding will certainly help to round out your day.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


Take it easy on yourself and others today—those changes that need to be made around the house or garden do not have to be made in one day. These changes could involve planting, painting or any little repair jobs. A little humor will see you through the rough spots today. You will enjoy being with your friends or loved ones all day long. Most of this is because everyone has been out of touch with each other—out of town. Your mind is quick and sharp and you have insight into most situations that help you to portray the truth and help others. Communicating with style is important to you this evening. You could find yourself entering contests or writing poems. Neighbors or brothers and sisters will likely bring all kinds of good experiences your way.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Obtaining and exchanging information takes on more emotional significance now. If you have an important point to make, now is the best time to make yourself heard. People are in a receptive mood. Being more involved with neighbors or sibling(s) satisfies a deep emotional need. It may be time to do some serious planning toward making or keeping your neighborhood a safe environment. You may want to do a little research so that you will have choices to put in your presentation and if your ideas come to a vote there will be choices in how you expect to make improvements around your city. You work hard during this time to keep close relatives just that, close. The times spent in meditation have created a light heart and loving spirit.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Family and friends begin your day with smiles and good feelings. This can be a phase of sublime spiritual development, to be sure. You should be aware of any tendency to believe too quickly, too deeply, or to become dependent on things or people that seem to offer quick and easy answers to life’s deepest yearnings. You may find yourself being put to good use by your friends, or it could be that circumstances force you to reorganize and be more conservative. You could be helping friends move or perhaps babysitting for friends while they enjoy an afternoon movie. This should go rather smoothly. Fondness and appreciation for the past and for your roots in life take on a great deal of importance for you now as you enjoy visiting with these young people.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Set short-term goals along with your long-term goals so that you will actually see that you are making progress with some changes in your home surroundings. A silent auction or some other opportunity to invest may take place this afternoon. Purchasing possessions does not make you better—keep a focus. Although you have a fine eye for investments and you feel you can splurge more often than most, there is a spiritual side of you that may seem stifled. Stay away from the temptation of purchasing new things for now. However, opening yourself up to new experiences is a good thing. Have patience with an elderly individual today. Emotional security, a sense of belonging and nurturing are issues felt instinctively by yourself and others that you love.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You desire a pleasant environment at home today. This fills you with the longing to be with the people you know and love. Having a family get-together may be quite enjoyable at this time. This can be an expansive, creative and even romantic phase, a time you will look back on with pride and fondness. Spreading your good thoughts along to others means much to you just now. This is a time of the year to plant seeds of hope. It helps everyone when you walk into a room with the intention of creating a climate of happiness. You could come up with new solutions or inventions since your creative side is working full time just now. You may find yourself looking for a little romance this evening or at least enjoying some emotional release.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) There may be some serious decisions made about the future of a project at this time. You take this opportunity to be communicative to the associates around you and to listen as well. An exchange of ideas will help you decide on future plans. You draw emotional sustenance and a sense of security from ideals, friends and social involvement. You may become aware of petty problems between you and a friend this evening. Do not try to force an issue during the next few days. Some problems are never what they seem, so listen and keep your opinions to yourself for now. It is time to consolidate your friendships, strengthening them before they wither away. Spending time with close, old friends is advisable now.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


You are vibrant, witty and ready to come to the aid of whoever needs your advice. People seek you out for your psychological insight and understanding. This afternoon you solve one of your own unsolved problems. Young people will enjoy your company this afternoon. Close relationships take on more emotional depth, power and importance. You will have a grasp for theoretical and spiritual ideas and the ability to present or communicate these to others. Everything is formulated to reveal you at your most elegant, particularly in social situations. A relationship brightens your life. Take time now to savor life’s little joys. You seem to know just what a loved one is thinking or needs this evening. This talent can bring rewards.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Dynamic, you become aware of new options that make life a little easier in the home place. A recent home show or garden show encourages your creative side. Whatever the case, you are ready for the spring cleaning-repair-install and cook out-of-doors type of day. You may, however, have to just settle for one or two of those activities. Whatever the case, there are large pieces of time available for some of these activities. This is an excellent time to sway others to your way of thinking. Be careful not to take it to extremes in trying to find the logical reason for every event that occurs; especially the action of loved ones. If you are not traveling physically, you certainly will be mentally. This could involve anything from magazines to movies.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

You are praised for your ability to spring back from disappointment. Your habit is to jump into an activity that demands close attention. How about a round of spring-cleaning? This time of month is good for just such a project. This and similar activities like it can bring about much satisfaction. Keeping in touch with friends and relatives is important just now. Your timing should be perfect for whatever needs discussing. This can become a lucky period. You need to be needed and you have an intuitive way about you in knowing when your loved ones have needs. This is a good time to share with a loved one. Stay away from caffeine this evening and enjoy an early, relaxed evening. Consider baking a cake with applesauce instead of oil.



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lifestyle G o s s i p

Mike Myers secretly gets hitched he ‘Austin Powers’ actor and his long-term girlfriend Kelly Tisdale tied the knot in a “beautiful” private ceremony in New York, his representative has confirmed. The pair first started dating in 2006, soon after the 47-year-old funnyman split from his first wife Robin Ruzan after 12 years of marriage. The pair were first revealed to be an item when they were spotted holidaying in Hawaii together. Kelly - who has previously dated dance star Moby - confirmed their romance, saying: “We’re actually surprised you didn’t find out about us sooner.” Mike recently admitted he thinks he is similar to Shrek, the green ogre he voiced in four animated movies, because they are both “insecure”. Asked


if he and his character have anything in common, he said: “Insecurity. I’m secure enough to admit I’m quite insecure. Growing up in Canada you feel like you walk amongst Americans, but you are slightly different. I think ogres feel slightly alienated.” The 47-year-old star will have more time to spend with his new bride now his work on the ‘Shrek’ franchise has completed. He said: “I’m very grateful and appreciative and proud about being part of it. I’m also proud that it ended very gracefully. It just comes to an end so eloquently.”

Miley Cyrus misses Hannah Montana he 18-year-old singer-and-actress - who shot to fame playing the titular character in the Disney TV series from the age of 12 - is looking forward to hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’ but regrets the fact she no longer gets to portray the student and secret pop star on the hit show. Asked if she misses ‘Hannah Montana’, she told US TV talk show host Jimmy Fallon: “Yeah. I miss doing that stuff you know. “I love doing this and writing the skits and everything [on ‘SNL]’. I mean, I kinda want to beg to let them let me stay for a little while.” Miley also donned a fake moustache during her appearance on the talk show after revealing she is obsessed with facial hair. She admitted: “I have a diamond moustache with me at all times. “I collect all kind of things with moustaches - pins and mugs and people.” While Miley misses ‘Hannah Montana’, her father Billy Ray Cyrus - who also appeared in the show - recently claimed it had ruined his family. The country singer - who is in the process of divorcing wife Tish - said: “The damn show destroyed my family. I hate to say it, but I’d take it back in a second.”


he 94-year-old screen legend - who lost her right limb below the knee earlier this year after gangrene set in - was advised by doctors to undergo the operation after she was admitted to hospital on Wednesday when blood flow to the leg suddenly stopped. However, she has refused the surgery and is instead taking medication, with her husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt saying she has a 5050 chance” of surviving another year without having the operation. Zsa Zsa is expected to leave Los Angeles’ Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center later yesterday. The actress has been in and out of hospital since suffering from two blood clots following hip surgery last July, and was even read her last rites by a priest in November. She was released from hospital last month in order to celebrate her 94th birthday at home surrounded by friends and family. Her publicist John Blanchette revealed doctors worked hard to have her ready to leave hospital for the celebrations, saying: “They did a magnificent job getting her back. They treated her with an aggressive treatment of antibiotics. The doctors said it was 50-50, but it worked. “This has been a long, tough road since 2002, when she had an accident that originally disabled her. She has never been able to walk and her health has spiraled down. “But she has kept her sense of humor and she’s a fighter. She always has been.”


he Australian singer-and-talent show judge has a seven-month-old son Ethan with boyfriend Kris Smith, and though their life has totally changed since becoming parents, the couple wouldn’t have it any other way. Kris said: “There are no words that could describe how it feels to be a dad. It turns your life upside down and nothing is ever the same, and you never, ever want it any other way. “Ethan dictates everything that goes on in our lives now, and he’s the happiest, most amazing baby ever.” Kris, 32, also revealed he and 39-year-old Dannii - who have been in a relationship since August 2008 - are already considering having more children, though the model admits their careers could make it difficult to manage more kids. He explained to Britain’s OK! magazine: “I’d like more children, but Ethan is getting all our attention at the minute and I love it. It’s difficult when we’re not in the same place, it’s hard on us both and on him, so I think to leave Dannii on her own with two children - or for me to be in that position - could be difficult.”


he singer - who recently admitted she felt “horrible and embarrassed” about being paid $1 million to sing for the son of Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi - plans to donate the proceeds from her new song ‘Save the Day’ to human rights causes and may even set up her own charitable foundation. This is not the first time the pregnant pop star - who is expecting twins with her husband Nick Cannon - has donated money to charity, her singles ‘Hero’ and ‘One Sweet Day’ have generated millions for good causes. Mariah released a statement admitting her embarrassment at giving a private performance for family members of dictator Gaddafi - who has been linked to terrorist activity and accused of running a brutal regime over his people for 40 years - at a party in the Caribbean in 2006 and vowed to be careful about who she works for in future. She said: “I was naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess. “Ultimately we as artists are to be held accountable. Going forward, this is a lesson for all artists to learn from. We need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows.” — Bang Showbiz


he ‘Mad Men’ actress - who is known for her elegant style -had a very distinct look when she was a teenager and admits it meant her beauty was often overlooked. She said: “I was a goth and a little punk in high school. I had knee-high Doc Martens, a leather jacket, black, purple and red hair and black lipstick. “So no-one was saying, ‘You beauty! Yeah, get her in the magazines.’” The 35-year-old beauty explained she had a “tough” time at school and chose to keep her head down to avoid getting into fights with her classmates. Christina explained to Stylist magazine: “It was a tough high school, although I thought it was quite fashionable. You got a real mix of social and financial backgrounds among the students, which caused tension. There were lots of fights and violence and it was just not a nice place to be. “I tried to keep my head down and avoid conflict. The way I looked caused a little bit of conflict but I was really just trying to set myself apart.”


Mariah Carey’s new song to raise money




Superstition still widespread in high-tech Asia rom the compatibility of her groom, to the timing of her wedding and the naming of her child, Shen Yi-ching has always turned to fortune tellers for guidance on life’s big decisions. “It’s for good luck and peace of mind. I’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Taiwanese teacher Shen, 38, whose parents consulted a soothsayer to pick a name with an auspicious arrangement of Chinese characters for her. Young and old, rich and poor, ancient spiritual practices and folk beliefs still sway daily life for many across Asia despite the region’s rapid modernization. In ethnic Chinese communities, and societies where their influence remains strong such as Korea and Thailand, the age-old art of feng shui commands a huge following when it comes to seeking ideal homes, offices and burial sites. Many of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers were built in line with feng shui ‘rules’, while the direction of the world’s biggest observation wheel in Singapore was reversed after warnings it was sapping good fortune from the city-state. “People who are not doing well want to reverse their bad luck, and people who are successful want to retain their wealth,” said Dave Hum of Singapore’s Classical Feng Shui Consultancy. Superstitious beliefs can often be extreme. Hong Kong property tycoon Nina Wang allegedly shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars for feng shui rituals aimed at curing her terminal cancer. A court in the city earlier this month rejected a “thoroughly dishonest” claim by a bartender-turned-fortune teller who laid claim to her estimated $13 billion estate. Some Chinese are willing to pay extra to register phone numbers and car plates containing the number “eight” simply because it sounds similar to the word for “lucky” in Mandarin and Cantonese. Conversely, the number four is avoided as it is pronounced almost exactly like “death”. China’s Sichuan Airlines paid about $280,000 to register the phone number 8888-8888 while Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa casinos both opened on the dot at auspicious times ending with eight. The ancient Chinese zodiac system also deeply affects people’s choices. In Taiwan, birth rates always fell sharply in the years of the Tiger


because of a belief that babies, especially girls, born to the sign are less lucky as they bear the animal’s fierce attributes. Just as the Chinese consult the lunar calendar, Indonesia’s Javanese people turn to their traditional calendar, created during the 17th-century Sultanate of Mataram, before making important decisions. Imam Syafei, a 35-year-old construction contractor, said he always fasts on his birthday to avoid misfortune and times the start of new projects according to the calendar. “If the beginning is good, then the goodness will follow,” he explains. Most Indonesian conglomerates reportedly have sent representatives to Mount Kawi on the East Java province, where believers make offerings to seek fortunes for their business. Indians too are ardent followers of astrology and numerology, which uses numbers and alphabets to predict the future, deferring to the techniques for everything from sealing business deals to picking the title for a Bollywood movie. “People are much more insecure today, and when they see numerology work for others, they want to try it out for themselves,” said Mumbai-based numerologist Sanjay B Jumaani. Jumaani said he came up with the names for some of 2010’s biggest hits, including one with the simple addition of an extra letter to the spelling of Mumbai in the film “Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai”. The services of witch doctors remain popular in multicultural Malaysia while in hi-tech Japan, Shinto priests hold purification rites for new bullet trains and many entrepreneurs are said to seek the advice of palm readers and star gazers. Perhaps nowhere defers to the stars quite like Sri Lanka, where the country’s name was once modified to “Shri Lanka” by then president Ranasinghe Premadasa, after astrologers warned bad vibes from original spelling augured ill for him. Both the military and the Tamil Tiger rebels, crushed in 2009, were said to have consulted astrologers before mounting attacks against each other at the height of the separatist war. “People don’t always have the power to solve their problems so they resort to superstition as a way out,” said sociologist Chudamani Basnet in Nepal. “The belief in a higher power that you

housands of Britons are planning to get out the bunting, balloons and fold-up tables and hold street parties across the country to celebrate next month’s wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. About two thousand requests have already been made to local councils for road closures to allow street events to be held on April 29th when the couple tie the knot at London’s Westminster Abbey, the Local Government Association said yesterday. London has received the most applications with 70, followed by Essex, the county northeast of the capital, which has had 46. Dozens of requests have also been sent to local authorities in Wales, western, northern and central England. “Street parties are an established part of British culture, they’re a great way for people to meet their neighbors and strengthen community bonds,” said Chris White, chairman of the LGA’s Culture and Tourism Board. “It’s great that we’re seeing such community spirit sweeping the nation. And these applications are only for parties which require a road closure, there will be many more celebrations in gardens and homes across the country.” In order to help, some councils have waived the usual fee

can appease by offering it something can be reassuring.” Jumaani, the Indian soothsayer, even has a suggestion on ending India’s violent insurgency in the border region of Kashmir. “They should change its name to Kashmiar,” he told AFP. “Nothing else has worked so far, why not give this a shot?” — AFP

A fortune-teller waits for customers in Taipei. —AFP


John Polson and Wayne Borg ropfest, the world’s largest short film festival, today announced that it is to bring the world renowned festival to the Middle East and North Africa. The new event, Tropfest Arabia, will premiere in Abu Dhabi in November 2011 with exciting prizes on offer. The prize pool available includes cash prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000, a visit to Los Angeles for a week of facilitated meetings with the senior executives from the film industry, a trip to Australia to take part in Tropfest 2012, the opportunity to work with established producers and directors on regional productions, places on international standard training workshops delivered by twofour54 tadreeb and access to state of the art production and post production facilities at twofour54 intaj. Tropfest Arabia aims to become one of the most influential and popular short film events on the region’s film calendar. One of its priorities will be to help nurture the region’s growing film making community by taking a grass roots approach and supporting talent that might otherwise be excluded from the region’s film festivals. One of Australia’s and New York’s most iconic cultural events, Tropfest was founded by the award winning actor and director John Polson, as a short film festival for friends and family at the Tropicana CafÈ in Sydney, Australia almost 20 years ago. Today it is a world class platform and is widely regarded for its support of new film making talent through festivals and film maker initiatives. Commenting on the launch of Tropfest Arabia, John Polson, founder of Tropfest said: “It is clear that over the last few years the short film industry has been growing throughout the Middle East. As this industry continues to develop so too does the need to provide budding film makers with a channel through which to showcase their creative talents. We hope that the introduction of Tropfest Arabia will do just this.” Criteria for entering Tropfest Arabia are that the film must be made specifically for the festival, with the first public screening happening during the event. Each film must be no more than seven minutes long (including credits) and must contain a specific object, known as the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI). Each year filmmakers wait with anticipation for the announcement of the coming festival’s Tropfest Signature Item. Some of the films entered are heavily inspired by the Item and others have only small and sometimes hidden references to it. The Tropfest Signature Item is designed to test the creativity of professional and amateur filmmakers by challenging them to reference it in their film. The signature item for the first running of Tropfest Arabia will be ‘star’. Aspiring film makers across the region can submit their entries to Tropfest Arabia until September 22, 2011. Judging will commence from October 1, 2011, with the 12 short-listed finalist films picked by a specialist jury announced on October 16, 2011. Those short listed films will then be premiered and screened at the Tropfest Arabia festival in Abu Dhabi, with a celebrity jury seeing the films live for the first time and picking the winner for 2011 at the beginning of November. In order to be eligible to submit an entry, participants must be a citizen of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region including Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen. Entrants must conform to the religious, cultural and political sensitivities of the region and films must be appropriate for public screening in Abu Dhabi. Supporting Tropfest Arabia as the main sponsor is twofour54, the Abu Dhabi government initiative for the development of a world class Arabic media and entertainment content creation industry. Commenting on the launch, Wayne Borg, Chief Operating Officer, twofour54, said: “We are delighted to be bringing Tropfest to the region as we believe that we share a common mission in our efforts to help young and aspiring film makers in their first step on the journey to fulfill a career ambition and unlock their potential. There is an abundance of talent in this region and, since short films are seen as the entry point to the film industry, we believe that this grass roots festival will provide a unique platform for emerging film makers.” Further information on Tropfest Arabia including details on how to submit a film can be found at


Canadian Ambassador Reid Henry

Porcelain figures of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on sale at Mulberry Hall in York, northern England are pictured. — AFP to close roads while others are offering party packs for organizers, with free bunting and flags. “The eyes of the world will be on William and Kate on April 29 and I am sure that many Britons will use the excuse to celebrate,” said Claudia Joseph, author of “Kate: The Making or a Princess”. “After all it is a public holiday-and everybody loves a party.” One company that could be benefitting from the interest in street

parties is the firm founded by Middleton’s mother Carol. Party Pieces is offering a “Best of British” range with all the accessories to hold a traditional street party, with plates, cups, bunting, hats and a host of other items featuring the British “Union Jack” flag. — Reuters

The stars of the show.

ar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah held a concert on March 2, 2011 at Al-Maidan Cultural Center and showcased Iain Farrington on piano. The event called ‘The Schumann Letters: A Story Of Love and Music In the Shadow Of Madness’ was attended by the Canadian Ambassador Reid Henry among other dignitaries and music connoisseurs.


The enthralled audience.



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lifestyle F a s h i o n

Fashionistas lament end of

Galliano’s Dior T

The meager list of Friday’s celebrity attendees included mostly littleknown French starlets, including actress Melanie Laurent and Vanessa Paradis’ sister, Alysson Paradis, and also Chinese actress Fan Bing Bing.

he fashion world shed a tear for an icon fallen from grace as a somber Dior show went on Friday without star designer John Galliano - sacked by the luxury group earlier last week amid allegations he hurled anti-Semitic insults during a barroom altercation. It was the most solemn moment for the industry since last year’s suicide of another gifted British designer, Alexander McQueen. Dior was quick to condemn Galliano, suspending him soon after the allegations emerged and firing him after a brief video in which the visibly inebriated designer slurs “I love Hitler” went viral on the internet. The brand’s newest spokesmodel, Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, said she was “disgusted” by the comments and wanted nothing more to do with Galliano. The fashion world, though, has been more forgiving. Many insiders say his drunken rant didn’t all reflect the man, whose work drew its inspiration from farflung cultures. So it was with a heavy heart that fashionistas took in Dior’s fall-winter 2011-12 ready-to-wear collection, Galliano’s last after 15 years with the label. Eyes misted over. Tears were shed.

LANVIN Alber Elbaz has done it again. The preternaturally talented Lanvin designer delivered a ravishing fallwinter collection that somehow managed to exceed the enormous

integral, whole, like they were too hermetic and pure to be scarred as anything as pedestrian as a seam. And then, a rainbow of flouncy cocktail dresses in poppy red, fuchsia and shocking pink. In classic Lanvin style, they sprouted oversized, rounded ruffles and rawseamed paneling that fluttered down the models’ backs. Nary a pair of pants was to be seen, and outerwear, too, made itself scarce. But who needs pants when you’ve got those dresses?

ISSEY MIYAKE Dai Fujiwara, the creative director of Issey Miyake, likes complicated stuff. He regularly seeks inspiration in fields like astrophysics and fluid dynamics, delving in with extensive research and hands-on experiments. But Fujiwara’s inspiration for Friday’s collection - his last as the label’s creative director - couldn’t have been simpler: It was all about origami. Stage hands clad in black and brandishing staplers unrolled oversized scrolls of paper on the

Models show creations from British designer John Galliano as part of Dior’s Fall-Winter 2012 ready-to-wear fashion collection, presented in Paris, Friday, March 4, 2011. — AP photos

Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova, one of just a handful of A-listers at the show, expressed sympathy for Galliano, saying he is “under influence of a disease.” “This is beyond his power. And I know, because I’m Russian, I’ve met people under the influence of alcohol doing monstrous things before,” Vodianova told Associated Press Television News as she left the show. Though the dramatic saga of Galliano’s fall has cast a pall over Paris fashion week, day four of the nine-day-long marathon included strong displays from Lanvin and Maison Martin Margiela and marked the final collection for another departing designer, Dai Fujiwara of inventive Japanese label Issey Miyake. After the emotive day was over, the in-crowd flocked to parties hosted by Italian shoemakers Sergio Rossi and Hogan to drown their sorrows in free Champagne. Women in bustier dresses and men in sharp suits elbowed their way into Rossi’s new Paris boutique, on the chic rue du Faubourg Saint Honore, and then descended en masse on a nearby hotel where Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld unveiled his latest collaboration with Hogan. The collections reach their halfway mark on Saturday with displays by Jean Paul Gaultier, France’s queen of knitwear, Sonia Rykiel and Haider Ackermann, who rumor has it is a top contender for Galliano’s old job.

DIOR Absent in the flesh, Galliano’s spirit filled the darkened tent where about 1,000 fashion insiders, most of them clad in black, paid the disgraced designer their last respects. The clothes on the runway were unmistakably his: You could see Galliano’s hallmark featherlight touch on the bias-cut gowns in sheer silk and his over-the-top outrageousness in the ‘70s boho looks in rich jewel tones that opened the show. But for the first time in 15 years, he didn’t emerge at the end of the fashion parade - looking as puffed-up, haughty and triumphant as Napoleon after a hard won victory on the battlefield - to take his victory strut. Instead, Dior’s studio - the dozens of seamstresses, tailors and embroiders who brought Galliano’s designs to life - emerged for the final bow. The audience gave them a standing ovation, and the craftspeople, all clad in white lab coats, clapped back. “I want to say it’s history in the making, but it’s more like history in the unmaking,” Linda Fargo, Bergdorf Goodman senior vice president, and a fixture at Dior shows, told The AP. “It’s a sad day. Everyone’s

kind of wistful.” Dior CEO Sidney Toledano opened the show, reading in French from a statement that had all the solemnity of a eulogy. In it, he apologized for Galliano’s “unacceptable” and “hurtful” remarks. “These statements have deeply shocked and saddened all at Dior who give body and soul to their work, and it’s particularly painful they come from someone so admired for his remarkable creative talent,” Toledano said. He said Galliano’s comments went against the very grain of the house, founded by Christian Dior as Europe emerged from the horror of World War II. Dior’s “family had been ruined in the crash of 1929 and his own beloved sister had been deported to (the) Buchenwald” death camp, Toledano said. “In the aftermath of those dark years of the war, he sought to free women, to give them back their sparkle and joyfulness. “The values that Mr Dior taught us are unchanged today,” said Toledano, stressing that the house will weather the current crisis. Celebrities normally flock to the Dior show, but supermodel Vodianova was one of just a handful of A-list guests to turn out Friday.

expectations on him. Elbaz, who over the past several years has turned the musty old house into fashion gold, injected his trademark flouncy romantic look with a minimalist strain and a ‘70s bohemian spirit that was on-trend with Dior and other Paris catwalks. “Inspiration was over flowing,” gushed British actress Rosamund Pike, who dressed up the front row in a salmon off-the shoulder number.Models, their faces shrouded by the wide-brim hats that have swept runways here, strutted in black dresses adorned at the neck or sleeves by oversized metal hardware. Perhaps it was all that metal, or perhaps it was because we couldn’t see their faces, but there was something menacing about those looks that made you worry these molls might just pull a knife on you. Then came the minimalist gowns, one-shoulder numbers in washed silk that seemed somehow

MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA The models’ sluggish gait and general state of dishevelment suggested the theme of the collection was sleepwalking. Dressed in coats where the seams had been replaced by zippers which were left unzipped, with snap-up panels that hung limply, unsnapped, and belts that dragged, unbuckled, on the ground, the glassy-eyed models looked like they’d slipped out of bed and unconsciously into whatever they managed to fish off the floor. The fact they were wearing stockings over their stilettos seemed to support that theory. Still, these were some stylish sleepwalkers. The coats were wellcut and looked like they might just be cute if someone had only bothered to zip and snap them up properly. The cropped jackets in pigeon’s blood patent leather were to lust after, and the djellabas in sheer silk, worn over pencil skirt suits, were equally lovely. It was a big improvement over last season’s show, when the label beat the theme of “button-down shirts still in their plastic envelopes” to a bloody pulp, sending out a “dress” that vacuum-packed a model between two square pieces of black vinyl. The intellectual Belgian house is known for being a laboratory for ideas, a petri dish for extreme looks that trickle down into more conventional labels’ collections. Friday’s collection - the third since the house’s reclusive founder left in December, 2009 - pushed the envelope less far than usual. But the clothes definitely were all the better for it.

Models present creations by Israeli fashion designer Alber Elbaz, for Lanvin Fall-Winter ready-towear 2012, fashion collection.

catwalk and, working in teams, folded and stapled them into clothes: a stiff white paper vest, a jacket, a dress, a scarf, and a skirt that looked like an upside-down tulip. They fitted them onto models in black leggings and T-shirts as a child banged out a beginners’ version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star ” on a grand piano at the end of the runway. Five other models then appeared, wearing sophisticated cloth-and-thread versions of the origami garments, and the audience burst into spontaneous applause - a rare sign of enthusiasm in the generally blase fashion crowd. The collection that followed, dresses and princess coats in graphic zigzags, checks and houndstooth knits and puffer coats folded, origami-style, into innovative shapes, was among Fujiwara’s strongest in his five years at the helm of the Tokyo-based label. The soundtrack - “ Twinkle, Twinkle” over and over again - got progressively more sophisticated as the show went along, its complexity matching the growing sophistication on the runway. The house, which has struggled in recent years to match the earlier success of founder Issey Miyake following his retirement, announced Fujiwara was leaving after Friday’s show, though he is to help oversee the studio’s design of next season’s collection. His replacement will be named in April, staffers said. “I feel the time is right that I pass the baton onto this next generation, and I do so with joy and anticipation,” said a letter from Fujiwara in the show’s collection notes. With Friday’s fine collection, Fujiwara leaves on a high note. — AP



lifestyle F a s h i o n

Centrepoint’s fashion brand

Splash brings ‘Fashionism’



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ashionistas once again got to don their highest heels and team them with heavenly whites as fashion’s favorite child Splash hailed the SS’11 collection on to the catwalk. Moving on from the remnants of the AW’10 Fashion Revolution, 35 international models presented to over 3000 fashion lovers a new ideology, a new way of life. Set in the elegant Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah, Splash Fashionism reflected the belief that we are all one under fashion and together we can use style to improve our lives. Splash organized a Big Ticket competition from the January 22 to February 5, 2011 wherein a winning couple was sent to witness the Spring Summer collection on display. So also included was a 2 nights/ 3 days stay at the Burj Al-Arab with business class airfare; borne by Splash, Kuwait. The catwalk came alive with the latest trends from Splash’s all new Spring Summer 2011 collection which finds inspiration from popular trends like ‘Pretty Boho’, ‘Modernist Resort’, ‘Divinity’, ‘Humble Classics’ and ‘Sophisticated Safari’. Creating the brand’s own 10 Commandments of Fashion, Splash Fashionism hails in an era of style as the mantra to live by. Quirky yet fun these commandments embody the true spirit of how Fashionism should be practiced as not just a necessity but an art. ‘Achieve immortality through your wardrobe’, ‘Learn from your mistakes, especially your fashion faux pas’, ‘The path to enlightenment begins on the runway’, Don’t Preach, dress by example’ are just some which lead the

style pack this season. The catwalk offered a fresh deviation in the form of a circular white catwalk used for the very first time in the region. Four star-podiums were placed in the middle of the catwalk ring to signify the Splash button, the icon for the SS’11 fashion show. Several quarter-circle curved walls were bunched together to form a conceptual projection surface while special video vignettes were produced by top visual artists from Tokyo to compliment this season’s collection and theme. Raza Beig, CEO of Splash said “At Splash we have always strived to work on campaigns and concepts which raise the bar season after season. Our SS’11 fashion show is an ode to the term style which has been embodied by Splash all these years. This season we took to the streets for our SS’11 Campaign and explored Voyeurism in Fashion and now with our fashion show we chose to set precedent for living the way of life through style.”

Continuing with the lineup of the two consumer shows, fashion followers and loyal customers got a taste of the season’s most awaited runway action which was then followed by the VIP show where UAE’s crËme de la crËme attended in full force. Raza Beig, CEO of Splash walked the red carpet for the finale of Splash Fashionism. The Splash catwalk saw wide ranging influences from international catwalks with a blend of design and showmanship symbolic of the brand. The show charted four stages of life symbolized by style and trends of the season. The first stage ‘Infancy’ is a time of innocence and colour and the start of fashion exploration. The collection was represented in the ‘Pretty Boho’ theme which is exuberant, vibrant and playful. Embracing a folk lifestyle contrasted with a colour palette of natural greens, pastel pinks, subtle blues, red and white teamed with indigo were bohemian dresses. T-shirts and tanks paired with medium to light washed denims along with rompers and pinafore dresses were complimenting with accessories like head scarves, bandanas and oversized canvas bags. With the advance of Fashionism arrives the stage of ‘Adolescence’ which set ground for experimentation, rebellion and finding one self. The collection showcased on the catwalk brought a very welcome explosion of colour, infused with plenty of seventies styled flamboyant colour mixes from head to toe. The mixing of a bold colored blouse and skirt with miss matched accessories brought statement dressing to a new level. As the stage of ‘Maturity’ was reached, Fashionism brought forward a more grounded style, finally defining the inner icon. This stage found heavy inspiration from the ‘Luxe Traveler’ collection where 1970’s vintage is mixed with glamour and topped with a hint of Moroccan safari. Bringing an ethnic aesthetic to the Western world with strong tribal influences, the silhouettes were dressy and daring maintaining sophistication and allure. Exotic animal skins and geometrics mixed with traditional paisleys and floral separates were teamed with cropped high-waisted pants to compliment the look. Key silhouettes were wide leg and flared trousers and 70’s inspired bow tied blouses. Exploring the last stage of Fashionism, the collection arrived at the stage of Divinity, where all is surpassed to become one with fashion. The collection finds an Artisan influence with understated classic muted colors and humble fabrics. Signaling an escape from everything excess while delving into spirituality and enriched by the abundance of nature. White was dominant in the form of spotless relaxed clothes and unveils an unstructured easy to wear collection in soft cotton fabrics. The finale brought a vision of dreamy looking chiffon in billowing volume, antique lace, crochet and cutwork smothered in clear crystals created a sparkling evening look. The four stages of Fashionism were followed by Splash’s much sought After Life After Party in the Splash Fashion Paradise setting the mood for all fashion lovers to unwind and rejoice all things Fashion. To get your pick of the latest looks for the season at prices that won’t break the bank hurry now to any Splash store located in Centrepoint stores across Kuwait in Al-Rai, Salmiya, Kuwait City, Hawally, Fahaheel, Jahra, Fintas and the stand alone store at The Avenues. This collection will be available from now until July 2011. Let Splash save your style. Choose Fashionism!


Superstition still widespread in high-tech Asia




A dancer performs during the Unidos do Peruche samba school parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, March 4, 2011. Brazil’s official carnival is held this year March 4-8. — AP photos

A dancer performs during the parade of Unidos do Peruche samba school.

A dancer performs during the parade of Tom Maior samba school.

uns in hot pants, nuns in full habits and even nuns with bushy mustaches - the motley band of costumed revelers gathered to celebrate the first day of Carnival, joining one of the growing number of roving street bands that take over Rio de Janeiro during the fiveday party. The “nuns” are all followers of the Carmelitas, a group started in 1991 by friends who gathered for soccer just outside a convent of Carmelite nuns. Jokes about the sisters escaping to join the party gave rise to the band, which parades twice: at the beginning of Carnival, when the nuns supposedly escaped the convent join the fun, and on the last day, when they returned to their cloistered existence. “We’re keeping the tradition, remembering the first nuns who jumped the fence,” said Eliete dos Santos, 25, who was out with five other costumed “sisters” as the partying began Friday. While the public face of Rio’s Carnival is the famed two-day parade of samba groups, which can each spend more than $5 million on extravagant costumes and floats, its heart lies in these roving groups of irreverently costumed, mostly inebriated partiers who create a free, open-to-all street Carnival. A revival over the past 10 to 15 years has given the roughly century-old tradition of street bands a new swagger. This year, 424 of them registered with the mayor’s office. Countless others, some little more than a group of good friends with a band and some beers, don’t even bother with the legalities. About three weeks before Carnival’s official kickoff, they start parading around town, tying up traffic and playing traditional tunes or their own, wacky theme songs composed to make fun of the year’s news, politicians, celebrities, or anyone who strikes their fancy. This being Carnival, there are only the loosest rules. Generally, they congregate on a street corner, a bar or a square. Once their following swells to a sufficiently animated band of revelers, they perform a short circuit around the neighborhood, drawing along the dancing masses. Their names reflect their idiosyncrasies Many of these roving street bands go for laughs with impossible to translate names that make not-too-subtle references to two favored Carnival pursuits: making out and drinking. “Come with me, I’m easy,” “I’ve stopped drinking, but I haven’t stopped lying” and “Poke her and she’ll jump,” are among the tamer examples. For the Carmelitas, nuns reign even though all are welcome. “After all the scandals, you can’t shame the Catholic Church anymore.” The “Carmelitas” band entices thousands through the steep, cobble-stoned streets of Santa Teresa, one of Rio’s most picturesque neighborhoods. Some bands call out to small but specific crowds. One group devoted to pets and their owners leaves in the early morning and promenades along Copacabana beach. Its sound truck, topped by a giant inflatable puppy, draws a family-friendly crowd. The animals range from dogs in fairy wings, party hats and ballet tutus to more exotic pets like a rooster in a polka-dot clown suit. Rita dos Santos has brought her white poodle every year since the band’s inception nine years ago. “For every day of carnival she has a costume,” she said, holding up the fluffy white pup in a burlesque outfit of black leather and lace. “Me Beija que sou Cineasta” - translated as “Kiss me, I’m a filmmaker” - appeals to those in the industry and their fans. “Imprensa que Eu Gamo,” which translates loosely as “Press me and I’ll fall for you,” brings together journalists and friends. The lyrics of their theme song always play off the year’s news: This time, WikiLeaks, Hosni Mubarak’s fall in Egypt, and the election of Brazil’s first female president were all fair game. “Come uncover my scoop, and read between my lines. ... Use and abuse your thesaurus, and fall into samba, my friend,” participants belted out the chorus in a marketplace as they drew followers. “The dancing is not their specialty, but the conversation

A reveler, with his face painted as musical group Kiss member Gene Simons, sticks his tongue out during the “Carmelitas” street carnival parade. A woman pe

ct. rforms her a

A woman pe

rforms on a fl


is great,” said Erica Paim, 21, a college student who has donned the press group’s black-and-red colors for three years in a row. “Everyone knows everyone, and everyone drinks.” Others have become Rio institutions. The “Banda de Ipanema” was founded in 1965, in the wake of a coup that established a military dictatorship in Brazil, and prizes irreverence above all. It draws cross-dressers galore: men in elaborate fruit-topped hats and halter tops a la Carmen Miranda together with police officers in short shorts and strings of condoms as ammo belts. It’s the gayest street band in town, Alci Bueno, 41, said as it met near an Ipanema street that concentrates many of the area’s gay bars. Bueno comes from Niteroi, a town across the bay from Rio, to join the fun. “It’s a Carnival classic - traditional and eclectic,” he said of Banda de Ipanema. “You find all kinds of people - anything you can imagine. Anything - so be careful!” — AP

Dancers perform on a float during the parade of the Vai Vai samba school in Sao Paulo, Brazil yesterday.

A dancer performs during the parade.

6 Mar  

Kuwait Times

6 Mar  

Kuwait Times