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Egypt revolt gave us back our lives: Hamas chief


West Bank farm offers way out of settlement work

Hat-trick by Kuyt stuns faltering leaders United

He’s only got 8 million faces left to draw


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40 fierce 7Gaddafi 20 21 launches offensive against rebels Tripoli celebrates regime ‘victories’ • British special forces seized conspiracy theories

Kuwait is no stranger to protests

Is this the new Middle East?

By Badrya Darwish


love conspiracy theories. Could somebody enlighten me? I feel confused with all the news surrounding me. What is happening in the Middle East, especially in the Arab world? A revolution started in Tunisia, ignited by Mohammad Bouazizi burning himself. Then the whole of Tunisia erupted. Ben Ali left with his beautiful and over-pampered wife Laila Trabelsi. We thought it would stop there. We thought it would never reach a country as large as Egypt. But no! In Egypt, protests were more organized and more fearful. Thank God the army did not interfere. I don’t know whether Mubarak was sensible enough to leave the country or he was forced to leave, either way he saved the country from civil war. Imagine a civil war between 80 million who have the 10th largest army in the world! God was merciful and spared Egypt bloodshed and devastation. Then the protests reached Libya. Here it is a totally different story. This is a mad man with mercenaries who does not give a damn about Libya or the Libyans. Could all this be a result of an accident? Can we attribute it to Facebook, Twitter or WikiLeaks alone? It is like when the prayer beads (misbah) break, they all scatter. Or it is like the domino effect - you push one piece and the whole chain collapses. Do you think this is what happened in the Arab world? Was this the result of dictatorships and people pushed to the edge over long periods of time? Or is it the new Middle East the West wants? Now the protests are closer to the Gulf. Bahrain is in turmoil day and night and there is no sign of end to it. Oman has followed suit. I have never thought that the Omanis will dare challenge their sultan. But they did. Don’t forget Yemen. But for me, Yemen is normal to be under disruption. They always had chaos and because there have always been tribal political disputes over power in this part of the world. I was surprised when I went on holiday to Jordan last week. The country wasn’t spared from whatever is happening in the rest of the Arab world. I have been going to this country for years and years. I was shocked to see demonstrators who hold sit-ins and refuse to leave a major roundabout in Aqaba demanding reforms. I don’t think any country in the region was spared from chaos but on different levels. When I asked what was going on, a Jordanian explained to me that they are demanding millions of reforms. One of the demands I heard at the protest was for the governor to be ousted. One Jordanian jokingly told me that a school in Amman demonstrated against the headmaster who was later fired. Are our demonstrations for reforms to oust this guy and that guy? We all welcomed the departure of Mubarak but we don’t welcome the state of chaos in Tunisia and Egypt. People demonstrated against figures they don’t like. Is this democracy or are we mixing democracy with chaos? Is the Arab world ripe for fullfledged democracy? Though I am for these revolutions, there is no happy ending as yet. It is chaos everywhere. I mixed up myself. Is this democracy what is happening in our part of the world? Is somebody from outside provoking it? Is there a foreign power contributing to the chaos? Who could that power be and why?

SANAA: Yemeni girl Mariam Mohammed, 2, is held by her mother during a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday. Wording on her face reads “Leave”. — AP (See Page 7)

Max 25 Min 10 Low Tide 07:42 & 19:55 High Tide 01:14 & 13:33

BIN JAWWAD, Libya: Smoke rises from heavy shelling as Libyan rebels who are part of the forces against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi retreat during a battle with Gaddafi’s troops outside this town in eastern Libya yesterday. — AP TRIPOLI: Libyan troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi launched counter-offensives against rebel-held towns yesterday as the popular uprising escalated into open warfare. The resilience of Gaddafi’s forces in the face of the widespread insurrection and their ability to counterattack will increase fears that Libya is heading for a protracted civil war rather than the swift revolutions seen in Tunisia and Egypt. Gaddafi’s troops, backed by tanks, artillery, warplanes and helicopters attacked the towns of Zawiyah and Misrata, to the immediate west and east of Tripoli, and positions near the oil port city of Ras Lanuf, 660 km east of the capital. Government spokesmen proclaimed a series of swift victories and Gaddafi loyalists poured into the streets of Tripoli at daybreak to fire weapons into the air, holding portraits of the leader who has led the OPEC oil and gas

producer for 41 years. “These are celebrations because government forces have taken control of all areas to Benghazi and are in the process of taking control of Benghazi,” spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said, referring to Libya’s second city, situated in the far east. But the celebrations appeared to be premature as Benghazi remained firmly under rebel control and insurgents at Zawiyah and Misrata said they had repulsed assaults and were now fighting to take back the town of Bin Jawad, west of Ras Lanuf. Government troops pushed the insurgents out of Bin Jawad which they had captured on Saturday. But the rebels regrouped around Ras Lanuf and moved back to the outskirts of Bin Jawad, a small, dusty town sandwiched between the coastal highway and the Mediterranean Sea, 160 km east of Continued on Page 14

DUBAI: The next scheduled stop on the Arab protest tour: Kuwait. This, however, is more of a return engagement. Calls for anti-government rallies tomorrow are an extension of nasty political skirmishes in Kuwait that were under way long before the first glint of dissent that began in Tunisia more than two months ago. Kuwait has the Gulf’s most powerful and combative parliament, and opposition lawmakers have already taken bold shots at the government, including twice staging no-confidence motions since Dec 2009 that nearly brought down the prime minister. The plan now is to take the demands for a political overhaul to the streets in the style of Egypt and nearby Bahrain. But while the tactics may be similar, it also shows that each of the Middle East’s protest movements carries its own spirit. “There’s a distinct personality to each place and each protest,” said Shadi Hamid, director of research at The Brookings Doha Center in Qatar. “That’s the challenge for policy makers trying to make sense of it all.” Libya and Yemen are all-or-nothing fights to bring down the leadership. Oman has generally cooled after an angry start - with protesters staging sit-in rallies to push for more jobs and state handouts, while being careful not to speak ill of the luteplaying sultan who has ruled for 40 years. Bahrain’s protests tap into deep-rooted claims of discrimination by the majority Shiites against the Sunni monarchy. The rumblings in Saudi Arabia - where protesters have called for a show of force Friday - seek even small breaks in the absolute control in the ruling House of Saud. Kuwait would join the Arab protest roster with quite a bit of experience and could become another Arab hot spot. Continued on Page 14

Thousands protest at Bahrain govt HQ

MANAMA: Thousands of Bahraini anti-government protesters chant slogans and wave national flags and posters while circling outside Al-Qudaibiya Palace where the office of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa is located yesterday. — AP

MANAMA: Thousands of demonstrators massed yesterday at Manama’s AlQudaibiya Palace, where Bahrain’s cabinet meets, chanting slogans against the tiny but strategic Gulf state’s government. White-helmeted police with riot shields stood behind one gate, looking on as the flag-waving demonstrators chanted “Down Hamad! Down Hamad!”, in reference to Bahrain’s King Hamad. “The people want to topple the regime!” the protesters roared, shaking their fists towards the light pink palace with its onion-shaped, pearlcoloured dome. The kingdom’s cabinet meets at the palace on Sundays, and the state news agency BNA said that the gathering went ahead as usual, despite the protests outside. “The government supports freedom of expression, in a peaceful way, which is guaranteed by the constitution,” Kamal Ahmed, the minister for cabinet affairs, said

according to BNA. But the cabinet warned against “harming the public, commercial and economic interests,” he said, adding that “jeopardising the interests of the people... goes against the calls for calm and dialogue.” In a statement released yesterday, Bahrain’s Chamber of Commerce said that “general economic conditions in the kingdom are very difficult”. The island’s tourism industry was hit the hardest, the statement said, adding that the revenue fell “by about 80 percent” and the losses stemming from damage to the sector were estimated in “hundreds of millions of dollars.” Much of Bahrain’s tourism comes from neighboring Saudi Arabia. Compounding the damage was the cancellation of Formula 1’s seasonopening Bahrain Grand Prix. The race, staged annually in the kingdom since 2004, is a major revenue earner for Bahrain. Continued on Page 14

GCC weighing stability fund CAIRO: Gulf Arab officials are considering setting up a fund that would help Bahrain and Oman deal with some of the economic issues that have helped stoke unrest in those two nations, an official with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council said yesterday. GCC finance ministers had met a day earlier in the Saudi Arabian capital and expectations were that they would announce what officials, ahead of that gathering, had described as a Gulf “Marshall Plan” to help Manama and Muscat. The plan called for a hefty financial contribution by the four wealthier GCC member states that would target key economic issues such as a housing shortage and unemployment. The financial boost is seen as pivotal for Bahrain and Oman, whose concurrent protests have brought the unrest that has thrown the Arab world into unprecedented turmoil right to Saudi Arabia’s doorstep. It also threatens to test the durability of the region’s monarchies, with nascent calls for demonstrations focusing largely on greater accountability by the rulers and a more direct political participation in government by the people. Continued on Page 14

For more information, see page 14

Years of Themes: Fifty ars e, Twenty Ye Independenc of Liberation

Shoot & Win from 25th h FFebruary b till ill 30th hM March h




Large crowds flock to Indian embassy for amnesty papers Ambassador looks to air carriers for special fares By Sajeev K Peter KUWAIT: Hundreds of Indian nationals without residence permits lined up yesterday at the Indian Embassy premises at Daiya to obtain documents to leave the country, as the four-month amnesty announced by the government took effect on March 1. According to official estimates, around 1,250 Indians came yesterday to obtain documents either to legalize their status or exit the country. “The response has been extremely good,” Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra told the Kuwait Times. According to him, about 200 Indians approached the embassy on March 1, the day the amnesty program came into effect.

KUWAIT: Judges and lawyers at the government’s Fatwa and Legislation Department continue their sit-in at the Deputy Director’s office. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Appeals Court rules against former PAYS head By A Saleh KUWAIT: The Appeals Court has rejected the appeal by the former Director General of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Dr. Fouad AlFalah against the decision of social affairs minister Dr. Mohammad AlBusairi ordering that he take early retirement. The court’s verdict means that the road is now clear for the minister to nominate a new candidate for the PAYS head’s post after the nomination is approved by the cabinet. Meanwhile, judges and lawyers at the government’s Fatwa and Legislation

Department yesterday continued their sit-in at the Deputy Director’s office, demanding pay rises and recognition of their status. The protesting officials also officially tendered their mass resignation in protest of the department’s failure to meet their demands. As part of their work-to-rule, protesters are refusing to process government tenders. They have also formed a coordination committee to press for their demands and have drawn up a schedule of future strike measures to be adopted until their demands are met, including a boycott of all court cases involving the treasury, which they usually represent.

“While 1,100 people came on March 3, 1,250 approached the embassy today (March 6). It is heartening to know that several Indians and Indian associations have come forward to help their brethren download and fill up the forms for availing of amnesty related services,” the ambassador said. Since Indians comprise the largest expatriate community in Kuwait, with approximately 640,000 Indians residing here, we expect about 15,000 or so to approach us to avail of our amnesty-related services, he said. While the amnesty is in effect for four months-from March 1, 2011 till June 30, 2011 — it would be preferable if Indian nationals would address residence permit concerns in MarchApril itself, before the summer heat sets in, he said. When asked whether the embassy has made any arrangements with Indian air carriers to transport financially weak candidates by reducing or waiving airfares, the ambassador answered in the affirmative. “Yes, we have. Some air carriers that fly to India, like Air India and Jet Air ways, have been approached and we expect them to shortly announce special fares for those availing of the amnesty. Moreover, the Embassy will bear the air ticket cost for destitute Indians,” he added. Detailing the preparations

KUWAIT: A long queue of Indian nationals seeking amnesty documents outside the Indian embassy facilitation counters in Daiya yesterday. —Photo by Sajeev K Peter made to meet the large crowds at its counters, he said the embassy has made special arrangements at its premises in Daiya, “We have deployed considerable additional staff, opened several new facilitation counters, and advanced the opening time of the embassy for amnesty related services from the normal 0830 hours to 0700 hours on every working day. “Forms to obtain emergency certificates can be printed for free from the embassy website

amnesty clearance. It is available at the embassy website ( and has been e-mailed to Indian media representatives in Kuwait. It was also copied to all Indian associations in Kuwait the same day, with a request to circulate it to members. Money exchanges in Kuwait have also been requested to publicize the release. It has also been translated into Indian languages that are widely used within the Indian community in Kuwait.

Mother, baby daughter die in accident

Documents prove violations in CTC tender awards process: MP KUWAIT: MP Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabaie has claimed that he has received credible information concerning the awarding of tenders for major development plan-related contracts which prove that the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) has committed a number of serious violations. Speaking to the press on Saturday, Dr. AlTabtabaie said that public sector workers have passed on a number of documents to him containing “serious information which proves that the CTC has violated the principles of transparency, equality and the commission’s general governing regulations.” According to Al-Qabas, the MP said that the documents in question show cases in which the CTC consistently awarded contracts to those companies which put forward the highest-priced bids, despite the fact that those firms which put forward lower-priced bids had met all the contractual criteria. Other documents passed to him, meanwhile, had shown details of contracts in which the CTC accepted low-priced bids from companies which did not even meet these criteria, he added. “In both cases, technical reports and State Audit Bureau reports, as well as CTC regulations, were ignored,” Al-Tabtabaie said, adding, “If this is government policy regarding projects arranged through the CTC, then you can kiss the billions [of Kuwaiti dinars] for the development plan goodbye!”

and are also available for free at the embassy itself. Moreover, we also provide a free form filling service at the embassy premises. We also offer free bottled water/snacks to those waiting to be served at the embassy. Ten portable toilets have been temporarily installed to cater to the large numbers visiting our premises,” he added. The Indian embassy in Kuwait had issued a press release on March 1 that provides the requisite guidelines for securing

By Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: A special course on artificial respiration was held yesterday. Administrative and Training Development Department Director Lt Colonel Ghazi Al-Khaldi delivered a lecture on how accident cases should be dealt with.

55 hoax calls per minute in January KUWAIT: Around five-sixths of the almost 284,000 calls to Kuwait’s emergency services in January this year were hoax calls, according to a Ministry of Interior insider. The statistics for phone calls to the emergency services operators in January show that of the 283,501 calls received, 238,551 were hoax calls, an average of 79,517 such nuisance calls per day. This works out at around 3,313 such calls per hour or 55 hoax calls per minute, with such calls wasting both operators’ and emergency services’ personnel’s time and potentially risking the lives of those in actual need of their help.

The latest statistics also show that staff from the Criminal Investigations Department handled 111 of the emergency calls made during this period, while a further 1,854 were dealt with by traffic department officers. Police handled a total of 4,875 of the emergency calls, while the coastguards department dealt with 47 callouts. Previous statistics show a similar high number of such time-wasting calls to the emergency services hotline, with almost 2.6 million of the phone calls to the hotline in 2010, or 82 percent of all the calls received, being hoax calls.

KUWAIT: A 32-year-old Asian woman and her three-year-old daughter died shortly after being hit by a car whilst crossing the Gulf Road. The Kuwaiti driver immediately stopped and ran back, calling an ambulance for the mother and child, but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene and the daughter died on her way to hospital. A case has been filed. Traffic trouble An officer with the Jahra traffic department office has accused a fellow citizen of insulting him whilst he was performing his duties. The officer said that when he pulled over the Kuwaiti

Fail for thieves Jahra police have launched an investigation to discover the identity of audacious if inept would-be thieves who broke into the Jahra traffic department late at night and attempted to break into the safe in which the money collected in traffic fines is stored. The would-be burglars apparently left empty-handed after failing in their efforts to open the safe.

PAHW tenders caused KD 71 million loss KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Housing Welfare(PAHW) has incurred a KD 71 million loss in public funds due to errors that occurred in the tenders that were floated. A report released recently by the State Audit Bureau states that excluding the authority from the Bureau’s monitoring as well as the Civil Service Commission’s regulations created these errors, reported Al-Rai. The report mentions the tenders perti-

Political scene divided over PM’s resignation KUWAIT: Kuwait’s political scene appears to be divided over the recent calls made to push through demands ahead of the March 8 parliamentary session. The ‘All except the Constitution’ bloc is currently divided between those calling for the Cabinet’s resignation and supporters of the formation of a new Cabinet under a different premiership. Those who have expressed reservations over such calls believe that they are unconstitutional, namely those concerning the reappointment of Sheikh Nasser AlMohammed as prime minister. Calls have also been made to hold rallies and demonstrations outside and inside the National Assembly on the same day. Most MPs and independent groups prefer discussing the matter in Parliament without resorting to the public opinion on the streets. The National Action Bloc (NAB) has tak-

driver on a street in Sulaibikhat and asked for his license, the man was brusque and dismissive, telling the officer that he didn’t have his license with him, insulting him and saying “If you want the cost of the traffic citation, I’ll pay you.” A case has been filed and police are investigating the allegations.

en a moderate stance on approving the government’s resignation if necessary, reported Al-Watan. NAB member MP Saleh Al-Mulla said that he would attend the March 8 session to support the cause of freedom of expression and demanded that the government resign, ‘My only reservation will be, however, the unconstitutional demands to exclude Al-Mohammed from premiership,” he asserted. On the other hand, the situation varies with the Popular Action Bloc (PAB) where MP, Ahmed Al-Saadoun denied holding rallies or demonstrations on March 8. MP Saleh Ashour asserted that staging demonstrations or sit-ins were part of the democratic process, “Yet, the dismissal of HH the PM is absolutely up to the man who brought him to office, HH the Amir,” he underscored.

nent with the Jaber Al-Ahmad and Sabah Al-Ahmad residential areas. It explains that the PAHW excluded seven companies despite being qualified. Thirteen other international companies were also excluded, ultimately jeopardizing competition. This increased the value of bids. Moreover, the report says that the “unjustified exclusion of international companies made them lose confidence.” This will negatively affect the state’s economy.




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Kuwait committed to stamping out human trafficking, jail violators

kuwait digest

One step at a time By Abdullatif Al-Duaij

Take advantage of amnesty, legalize stay By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Kuwait is completely committed to stamping out human trafficking and is dedicated towards protecting victims of human trafficking, said a senior official from the Ministry of Interior. Speaking at the inauguration of a workshop hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Major Gen Abdul Hameed Al-Awadhi, Undersecretary for Criminal I nvestigation Depar tment (CID) said Kuwait is very vocal about addressing issues if not totally eradicating human trafficking, “We gave due respect and impor tance to human beings and their dignity,” he said. “We have passed laws to protect the rights of humans both citizens and migrants a n d we s t r i c t l y b e l i e ve i n combating human traffickers and jail violators,” he said. Taking the point further, he stressed that the event that the ministr y has sponsored ser ved as proof of how Kuwait is sincerely committed to helping people whose

rights are being infringed upon. The Ministry of Interior is not only determined to wipe out human trafficking but is also ready to help victims, AlAwadhi stressed. “The ministry has taken the initiative to cre-

lation. The shelter will provide medical, social, legal and psychological assistance to victims,” he added. During the workshop held yesterday, Al-Awadhi thanked the IOM for their relentless campaign and efforts to help-

Maj Gen Abdul Hameed Al-Awadhi

Maj Gen Kamel Al-Awadhi

ate a department (shelter) for victims of human trafficking. The shelter is specifically dedicated to domestic helpers in order to check and inspec t local recruitment agencies’ involvement in crimes or instances of human rights vio-

ing the government deliver promised assistance, “Human trafficking is against the values, ethics and principles of civilized society. We support the IOM for playing an active role in dealing with this issue,” he said.

Detectives threaten strike action KUWAIT: Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detectives are reportedly planning to hold a meeting today evening at which they will sign a joint statement demanding the enforcement of a bill transferring that control of the department pass from the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to the Public Prosecution Service. The detectives have warned that they will take strike action if the Cabinet fails to act in meeting their demands. After being signed, the statement will

The workshop is being held from 6 to 17 March and is entitled, ‘Foundation Course to Protect Trafficking Victims and Investigating Traffickers.’ The event was inaugurated yesterday at the UN-House Building in Mishref. Several dignitaries including the US Ambassador Deborah Jones and a host of media representatives attended the event. The event is held in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior ’s Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah, Deput y PM and M inister of Interior. Participants are mainly police officers and people from non- governmental organizations. Iman Ereiqat, IOM-Kuwait Head noted that special training will be conducted to provide the latest information/techniques to help the ministry succeed in combating human trafficking. “We want our participants to make use of this opportunity. This will be conduc ted by experts and will last for ten consecutive days. We have 22 officers who will undergo training. This seminar will pro-

Ahmadi sitting on huge gas reserves: Oil industry insider

reportedly be submitted to both the cabinet and parliament, with the latter set to discuss the bill in question at Tuesday’s parliamentary session, the first after the current recess. Also included in the joint statement is a demand for increases in detectives’ salaries and allowances, an insider told Al-Qabas, explaining that the strike action would take the form of the detectives refusing to work on any but the most serious cases rather than boycotting work entirely. “

KUWAIT: A knowledgeable insider in Kuwait’s oil sector has revealed that the Ahmadi area is sitting on top of huge ten-meter-deep gas reservoirs, which could potentially provide sufficient quantities of non-toxic gas to make Kuwait entirely self-sufficient, as well as leaving plenty over for export. In an exclusive interview with AlWatan, the oil industr y insider also expressed amazement that the American and German experts brought

KUWAIT: Medical attention is being administered to Assistant Undersecretary Lt Gen Khalil Yousuf AlShamli. He met with an accident recently and was admitted to hospital. The announcement was made by Adel Al-Hashash, Public Relations Director at Ministry of Interior. He said that Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah and Undersecretary General Ghazi Al-Omar have been following up on Al-Shamali’s health conditions. —Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Expat teachers deny connection to Facebook group: KTS KUWAIT: The head of the Kuwait Teachers’ Society( K TS) said on Saturday that the society supports any demand made by teachers, be them Kuwaitis or expatriates, “as long as the demands are addressed through the proper channels.”, reportedAl-Watan. KTS director Dr. Abdulrahim AlK andari stressed that lawful demands are legitimate and should be addressed, but should be made through the proper channels. The KTS, he said, “is firmly against any attempt to destabilize the educational process in the country. Political turmoil and the internet shouldn’t be used as channels to raise issues. This will have a negative impact on the educational process, something which we are categorically against.” Al-Kandari added that KTS provides such an outlet for teachers

experiencing work-related problems, adding that while he agrees with teachers’ demands for greater rights the use of internet to cause problems in the country is unacceptable. “The Society is the representative body of all teachers. Our doors are open for everyone; it doesn’t matter where the teacher is from, what matters is his profession,” he asser ted, adding, “ We have been supporting teachers’ causes for years.” The union head also warned that any calls to go against the governing rules and regulations would have disastrous effect. He fur ther indicated that the K TS recently held a meeting with expatriate teachers, at which the latter asked the Society to intervene on their behalf to help attain their rightful demands, such as including a housing allowance in their

pay, as well as increasing their salaries and providing annual return airline tickets to allow them to return to their countries of origin during holiday periods, as a number of other GCC countries already do for expatriate teachers working there. On the recently set-up ‘Expatriate Teachers Society in Kuwait’ Facebook page, Al-Kandari accused it of inciting negative feelings amongst teachers, maintaining that expatriate teachers he had met with had denied any connection to or relation with the group. Al-Kandari also revealed that the K TS has been work ing on plans in coordination with the Ministry of Education and the Civil Service Commission with the aim of reviewing existing contracts and providing better packages for expatriate teachers.

‘Waves of change are fast, dangerous’ KUWAIT: Kuwait needs new constitutional and legislative reforms, MP Falah Al-Sawwagh stressed. Retaining HH the Prime Minister in office will not help end political tension in the country regardless of whether the Cabinet is reshuffled, he added. Al-Sawwagh went on to say

that unlike those suggested by the government, the amendments made by the Development and Reform Bloc (DRB) were ideal and would improve freedom, equality and democracy, reported Annahar. Fur thermore, Al-Saw wagh said that neither the ruler nor his position were questionable

vide a better understanding to our law-enforcers about trafficking concepts and the consequences of such crimes. We also want to train officers on properly handling and identifying victims and criminals, immediately and quickly,” she said. Maj Gen Kamel Al-Awadhi called on ambassadors of different countries to help identify resident violators so as to help correct legal status in the country under HH the Amir’s amnesty program. Resident violators’ amnesty began on 1 March and will last till June 30 allowing expats who violate residenc y laws to leave the country or legalize their status without paying penalties, “I really encourage our dear ambassadors to help us communicate and identify violators to encourage their compatriots to take advantage of t h e gra ce p e r i o d,” K a m e l stressed. “ The four-month grace period was allowed to violators in terms of duration,” he added, “Please take advantage of the amnesty and correct your status.”

ever since citizens chose AlSabah’s rule in the 1750s. AlSawwagh, however, expressed fear that Kuwait might be affected by the waves of change that are sweeping throughout the Arab world, par ticularly with widespread influence of Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones.

in to study the gas leaks that led to mass evacuations in the area and determine their cause had left without publicly explaining what had taken place. The newspaper claimed that although it had raised questions in December last year about the possible existence of such reserves, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), a subsidiary of the state - owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), did not respond to its inquiries on the subject.

et us hypothetically assume that our political system has changed to a pure parliamentary one. The prime minister’s powers will be transferred to the Parliament who will now have the authority to select the state’s premier and form the Cabinet. If that happens soon - God forbid - who will be selected as the prime minister? Would religious beliefs or tribal aspects play any role in the selection process? Enthusiasts who are optimistic about this approach would probably say that the parliament would select a ‘Kuwaiti, patriotic and democratic figure’ as prime minister if given the authority to form the Cabinet. My response is look at current members of the Parliament. Slogans and allegations aside, how many MPs qualify in terms of patriotism and democratic status? Perhaps, a handful. The remaining majority will have their approach controlled with personal interests or allegiance to the tribe. They lack a true sense of democracy and commitment to the principles of freedom, justice and equality. Can we entrust the fate of our future generations in the hands of these parliamentarians? A lot of people will answer this question by indicating that MPs are elected by people who ensure that the best is selected, while showing confidence that future members of the Parliament will be better and more democratic than current members. Some of this might be true, and it is true that we have been seeing some improvement from the public in recent months. The Kuwaiti voter will be more aware in the future, but are those ‘signals of hope’ strong enough to risk our security and stability, and gamble with the very future of the state? I believe that matters should be handled gradually, one step at a time. Subjects that can be put under control more easily than others, should be tackled first. For example, we can begin by reducing the number of members of the ruling family in the Cabinet, as well as reducing the number of ministers who are appointed from outside the Parliament. I do not think it is logical that while people are considered the source of authority, the Interior and Defense ministries remain exclusive to members of the ruling family. Let us handle matters one step at a time. The fate of the entire nation and future generations is on the line. —Al-Qabas




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Bedoons eligible for Kuwaiti citizenship to be summoned Govt serious on resolving situation KUWAIT: With the hope that the government will eventually enforce eleven of the stipulated rights, stateless residents in Kuwait now focus at being given the opportunity to make profit through decent means, as well as be entitled to receive basic living requirements such as education, medical treatment and employment. “To be bedoon is to be without rights,” an old woman told reporters from Al-Qabas. She toured stateless residents’ communities. Most reside in Taima and Sulaibiya. They witnessed some miserable conditions. Children are being forced to work in car garages so that they can help families financially. Senior female residents sell clothes to pay rent. The Cabinet will discuss during its weekly meeting, the procedures agreed upon in cooperation with the Parliament on solving bedoons’ issue. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Cabinet official asserted the government’s seriousness in resolving the situation, indicating that naturalization lists are being studied by the body that was set up to seek a solution to the issue. The official noted that

names of bedoons who are eligible to receive citizenship. He clarified that not all stateless residents in Kuwait will receive Kuwaiti citizenship “but only those who [meet the necessary conditions],” reported Al-Qabas. Meanwhile, Saleh Al-Fadhalah, Chairman of the government’s bedoons Authority, announced that stateless residents to be naturalized will be called immediately after the lists of deserving bedoons are finalized. AlFadhalah made these statements in recent news reports which suggest that the Ministry of Defense prepares to naturalize 2,000 stateless servicemen and their families. In other news, the Public Authority for Civil Information(PACI) is preparing to issue civil IDs to bedoons when a decree is released. He indicated that specifications of bedoons’ IDs will be outlined during the bedoon Authority’s next meeting, noting at the same time that the card will read ‘non-Kuwaiti’ as its holder’s nationality. Also, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Education at the Education Ministry Muna AlLughani indicated that the ministry has

received several applications from bedoon teachers that await notice from the Civil Service Commission. The Cabinet’s meeting will also address the protest carried out by Fatwa and Legislation Department detectives who demand equality with members of the judicial sector, as well as public demonstrations announced for March 8 in parallel with parliamentary sessions’ resumption, reported AlRai. MP Saleh Al-Mulla announced via his Twitter account that he will attend a gathering announced by the Fifth Fence youth group on March 8, “in support of the freedom of opinion” and “in accordance with [his] demands for the Cabinet’s resignation.” Al-Mulla also clarified that he has reservations on His Highness Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah’s decisions to not be assigned the premier post again. In the meantime, the National Action Bloc will discuss the demands for HH Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad’s ouster, reported Al-Qabas. This will be done before releasing an official statement sometime this week, said sources familiar with the bloc.

Cabinet hails Amir’s UAE-Oman conciliation initiative

KUWAIT: The inspection team from the Imported Food Department at Kuwait Municipality raided food stores in Shuwaikh. The campaign lasted for about nine hours. The team seized two tons of expired food items, along with items that bore manipulated production and expiry dates. The raid was carried out in cooperation with the Public Relations Department and Commerce Ministry inspectors. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

MP condemns ‘academic dress code’ KUWAIT: MP Saleh Al-Mulla has condemned recently introduced regulations “that include restrictions concerning the way students, teachers and staff members at higher education facilities should dress.” Al-Mulla was referring to the dress codes recently introduced for all staff and students at certain Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) facilities, as well as the similar charter introduced at Kuwait University. In a statement issued on Saturday, the

MP said that these regulations violate basic constitutional conventions and the principle of public freedoms, reported AlQabas. “Kuwaiti families know exactly how to raise their children and don’t need regulations telling him or her what or what not to wear or restricting their ideological and political freedoms,” AlMulla went on, insisting that regulations concerning students’ dress or behavior on campus are ‘unacceptable’ and ‘alien to Kuwaiti society.’


KUWAIT: During its weekly meeting yesterday, the Kuwaiti Cabinet, chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad AlSabah, hailed the success of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah’s initiative to achieve reconciliation between the fellow Gulf nations of Oman and Bahrain. Following the meeting, held at Seif Palace at noon, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudhan said that the cabinet had reviewed the positive results of the fraternal visits paid by HH the Amir to the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of

Oman where he led the reconciliation initiative to mend relations between the two countries, meeting with the UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed AlNahyan and the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos Bin Saaed, in his efforts to eradicate the tensions that had marred the relations between the brotherly nations. HH the Amir’s efforts had had the desired results, said Al-Roudhan, with his initiative further cementing his esteemed status amongst his fellow GCC leaders. After discussion of this issue, the cabinet moved onto discussion of a communique from the Secretary General of the

Development on this issue were acclaimed, Al-Roudhan noted. Praising the steps taken by the cabinet’s central authority established to address the status of Kuwait’s bedoon (stateless) residents in tackling this problem, the cabinet also reaffirmed Kuwait’s enthusiasm to deal with issue in a humane and civilized manner. The Cabinet also stressed that the solutions adopted for this longstanding problem are well on their way to being implemented just planned, he added. Finally, the Cabinet discussed political affairs in light of reports on recent developments on the regional and international scenes. — KUNA

GUST holds conference on human science crisis KUWAIT: A conference on human science crisis kick-started here yesterday, attracting a host of university rectors and scientists from inside and outside Kuwait. The three-day conference is being organized by the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST). The GUST’s deputy rector for academic affairs, Robert Cook, hoped in a keynote speech that the gathering would come up with effective recommendations that could lead to finding solutions to human problems. Several working papers running into this effect are to be on the agenda of the conference, he said. He boasted that the GUST is the first private university in Kuwait and always seeks to introduce fresh programs and activities. — KUNA

in brief

KUWAIT: Dr Mohammad Al-Busairi and other officials at the signing ceremony. — Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KD 4 million project signed

Unified auditing system KUWAIT: The Ministr y of Social Affairs and Labor(MSAL) has not received any response from local charity organizations on a proposal to adopt a unified accounting system. It was put forward more than a month ago. The unified system would enable the ministry ensure that the charitable work in Kuwait is protected against money laundering and terrorism funding, in the hope of enhancing Kuwait’s image worldwide, reported Al-Qabas. Officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity expressed a great deal of confidence in the system’s eventual adoption, “especially given their long experience in this field.” They further urged societies to file a report pertinent with the system “for the general benefit of Kuwait’s charitable work by putting an end to rumors.”

KUWAIT: A KD four million contract pertinent to the supply, installation, operation and maintenance of a telephone exchange(GNG exchange) was signed with a telecommunication company. The relevant announcement was made by Dr Mohammad Al-Busairi, State Minister for Council Affairs and the Minister of Communication. In a press conference, Al-Busairi said that as per the terms and conditions of the contract, the ministryís projects will be executed over a period of 18 months. Maintenance work will be conducted for

a period of three years. He explained that GNG exchange is one of the basic projects that serve the citizens and expatriates. The exchange will be linked using optic light net to provide high quality communication and internet service. He said that the project will serve Salwa, Salmiya, Ras Al-Salmiya, commercial city, downtown, Fahaheel, Rumaithiya, and Al-Qurain. He pointed out that the ministry is currently coordinating with consulting offices to receive offers to begin the second phase of optic light projects.

Sheikh charged with death threats following camel race row

GDDC’s anti-drug strategy KUWAIT: The anti-drug strategy adopted by the state’s General Depar tment of Drug Control (GDDC) takes into account Kuwaiti society’s ethos of privacy and discretion in meeting its objectives and achieving positive results in combating this problem, said a senior GDDC official on Saturday. Speaking at a seminar held to discuss the problems of drug abuse spreading in society and the way in which these can be tackled in accordance with the law, GDDC assistant director Brigadier General Saleh Al-Ghanim indicated that the department utilizes the most up-to-date methods in countering the drug problem, working closely with its regional and international counterparts, reported Al-Rai. Brig. Gen. Al-Ghanim was speaking at the seminar on behalf of a Ministry of Interior Undersecretary. Municipality appeal KUWAIT: Director-General of Kuwait Municipality Ahmad Al-Subaih urged desert-goers to abide by local camping deadlines and regulations, aimed at public safety and protecting the environment. He warned that emergency teams would proceed to remove any non-abiding camps. The period allowed for camping stretches from the beginning of November to the end of March, and after this period, any remaining camping sites will be brought down by the municipality.

Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, which included a request to support the restoration of Islamic monuments in the Russian Federation’s Republic of Tatarstan, which were devastated and ruined in wars in the area. The Cabinet also welcomed the positive parliamentary reactions to the results of the parliamentary-government committee meeting held last Thursday to discuss the status of illegal residents in the country. The pragmatic solutions agreed to and the roadmap adopted by the Cabinet and the Higher Council for Planning and

KUWAIT: The semi-final competition on traffic awareness among high school students was held in six governorates yesterday. The event was held under the patronage of Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs, Lt General Mahmoud Al-Dawsari in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. The final competition will be held on 15 and 16 March for boys and girls schools respectively.

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti attorney Nawaf Sari Al-Mutairi has brought legal charges against Sheikh Dhari AlFahad Al-Sabah, accusing the member of the ruling family of threatening to murder him in a phone call following a fight at a recent camelracing event. A row apparently broke out between the two men at the conclusion of the recent Popular Heritage Camel-Racing Festival concerning a dispute over the results of the final race. In his testimony to police, Al-Mutairi accused the sheikh of phoning him after the event and threatening to k ill him and his brothers. “He vowed on the grave of his late father [the martyr Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah] that my brothers and I would not live,” said the lawyer. Al-Mutairi indicated that although he had not been present at the camel-racing festival, nearly 100 of those who had attended the event, including his brother, had protested against the results

announced for the final race, believing that it had been manipulated ‘for certain agendas in favor of Sheikh Dhari Al-Fahad and Sheikh Sabah AlNasser. The lawyer also claimed that the death threats were made against him due to his criticism of some members of the ruling family whilst he was participating in recent seminars, reported Al-Rai. Al-Mutairi also condemned the Ministry of Interior (MoI) for what he said was its negligence in failing to protect his safety or that of his brothers, with investigations underway into all his allegations. Sheikh Dhari Al-Fahad, who is the Vice President of the Popular Heritage Festival”s organizing committee, responded to the accusations by insisting that they were entirely untrue, asserting that Al-Mutairi had fabricated a story purely because of resentment at the camel he backed losing the race. He also accused AlMutairi’s brother of verbally abusing the judging panel and attempting to sabotage the closing ceremony.



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Oil proven reserves may not dwindle in 30 years’ time ACK to host energy expert Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: As part of a series of events being organized by the Australian College of Kuwait (ACK), the college will host Dr Herman Franssen, Executive Director of Energy Intelligence Group in Washington, DC. He will deliver a lecture on ‘Long Term Energy Outlook and its Implications for the Middle East’ at the ACK’s premises on March 9. Advisor to the Chairman at ACK Dr Usameh Jamali spoke to the press about the soon-tobe held event. Franssen has served in many posts, prior to his incumbent position. Franssen served as the president of the International Energy Associates Inc, an energy advisory group in Washington and was also the International Energy Agency’s [IEA]chief economist from 1980 till 1985 and was responsible for the first major IEA World

Energy Outlook in 1983. Franssen has published several major congressional reports on Ocean Policy and Energy and has lectured on energy and energy policy around the world for more than thirty years. In addition to this, he has served on the Advisory Boards of several companies, publications and academic institutions. Jamali commented on the predictions made on the region’s oil reserves, remarking that no one can predict the exact amount because two major factors determine this; technological advancements and the price of oil. Some scientists theorize that oil can form out of non-organic matter, which means that there could be more oil reserves than previously believed. If proven to be true, doomsday predictions of dwindling oil reserves may not be accurate, he said.

He explained that at present only 30 percent of the oil in place are being extracted. If the oil price rises, the use of more expensive techniques will come into play to extract more quantities of oil from reservoirs. As for the introduction of renewable energy sources in GCC countries, Jamali opined that since GCC countries have abundant oil and gas, these will remain their main source of energy. Renewable sources namely solar and wind power can contribute to generating electricity and desalinating water, when the returns on the export of the oil and gas used in these two functions are higher. Jamali stated that the decisions should be based purely on economic considerations, namely opportunity cost. He went on to say that ACK plans to bring out a scholarly journal that deals with energy issues.

People could turn against political elites, warn activists KUWAIT: A group of local political and economic activists has warned that the Kuwaiti people “might turn against the political elites” if they feel that these leaders’ decisions are not serving the people’s interests. The activist group, G26, also described the distribution of “free gifts,” such as the Amiri Grant, as “destructive,” further warning that “people’s trust will turn to discontent with their governments if their requirements are negatively affected,” and condemning what it identified as the waste of public funds. In what could be said to be the group’s most critical outburst

KUWAIT: A fire broke out in a Jahra stable where electric tools and equipment were stored. The fire engulfed on area of 3,000 meters. Firemen tackled the blaze in oneand-a-half hours. The stable’s guard sustained injuries and was administered treatment on location. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Kuwaiti diplomats return from Libya KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Ambassador to Libya, Mubarak Al-Adwani said that his return from Libya along with embassy staff was temporary in light of the country’s current political turmoil, reported Al-Watan. In an interview with Al-Watan, AlAdwani stated that he had consulted the First Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Sabah and Undersecretary Khaled Al-Jarallah. He also noted that gun shots could be heard repeatedly at the embassy’s vicinity in Tripoli. Further, Al-Adwani added that for the sake of ensuring their safety, all embassy staff members sought shelter at the ambassador’s residence. In accordance

with the Foreign Ministry’s instructions, diplomats’ families left Tripoli when its airport was still open to public, “The situation has worsened when all shops closed down, except for some food stores and gas stations, making it impossible for diplomatic work to be performed in the absence of telecommunication and internet services,” he explained. Al-Adwani also denied the existence of Kuwaitis, “The only exception is two Kuwaiti women who are married to Libyans,” he remarked, noting that one of them left Libya while the other still remained in the country with her husband and children.

Reshuffle coming at info ministry KUWAIT: Several senior Ministry of Information officials face being reappointed to new posts in a wide-ranging reshuffle reportedly set to take place in the next few days, according to a ministry insider. The upcoming reshuffle was discussed during a recent meeting between Information Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah and a number of assistant undersecretaries at the ministry, the insider explained. During the meeting, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah, who is also the oil minister, reportedly supported the nomination of Mohammad Al-Awash and Ibrahim Al-Noah for assistant undersecretaries’ posts in the administrative and finance department and commercial advertising department respectively. Other staff set to be promoted or

transferred to other assistant undersecretaries’ posts include Ali Al-Rayes who has reportedly been nominated for the post in the ministry’s television department, Yousef Mustafa who has apparently been nominated for the news and current affairs programming department, and Munirah AlHuwaidi who is rumored to have been proposed for appointment to this level in the publications department. The news of the reshuffle comes as several department heads at the information ministry have voiced frustration at recent cabinet decisions on the appointment of these undersecretaries, reported Al-Qabas, with the department heads reportedly feeling that they have been ignored for these positions in favor of less qualified and able candidates.

$1 million water conservation contract KUWAIT: The chairman of the Kuwait Environmental Protection Society ’s (KEPS) management board announced on Saturday that the KEPS-headed GCC Environmental Network has signed a $1 million partnership contract with the Arab Fund for Economic Development on conserving and rationalizing water consumption in the Arab world. He further revealed that the society is currently preparing to sign another contract, this one worth $1.5 million, with a

major German firm to facilitate the penalization of oil polluters in the GCC. Speaking at a press conference held on Saturday following the KEPS’ annual general assembly, the society’s chairman, Mohammad Al-Ahmed, said that the KEPS intends to keep issuing clear and truthful reports on the environmental conditions in Kuwait, with the responsibility of any government body for any shortcomings being clearly determined.

since its establishment 15 months ago, it said in its latest statement, issued on Saturday, that “opening the door to unstudied policies of waste and depletion of resources is creating a time bomb that threatens the nation’s stability.” In its latest statement, the group compared the financing mechanisms used by the majority of the world’s countries, “which depend on long-term resources,” and that of Kuwait, “which is financed by the sale of oil resources, which are being reduced by nearly 2.3 million barrels every day.” Pointing out that other

economies maintain balance through continuous and diversified economic activities, the statement warned that Kuwait’s economy depends almost wholly on the sale of resources which will eventually be depleted, adding that “the problem is when the state’s legislative or executive authorities don’t realize the seriousness or the lack of vision concerning a replace ment.” The G26 statement went on, “Unfor tunately, the lack of awareness regarding the seriousness of the increase in the public sector spending policy still dominates the upcoming period.”

I t noted that the state’s expenses for funding the public sector have risen fivefold in the past 12 years, now reaching KD19 billion annually, and adding that the government will need to create more job opportunities in the next 15 years than it has created in the past 60. The group’s statement concluded with a call to hold a special parliamentary session for discussion of the state’s current public spending policy and its effects on future generations, reported Al-Qabas, as well as stressing the need to take measures to protect the nation’s wealth.




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Mishref chemical blast death toll rises to 3 Two dead in traffic accidents KUWAIT: Medical staff at Mubarak Hospital have pronounced two more people dead as a result of the injuries they sustained in an explosion in Mishref a few days ago, bringing the death toll from the incident to three. The blast was apparently caused by a volatile reaction between cleaning chemicals being used at the scene, reported Al-Rai. The dead men have been identified as three Syrian brothers who worked for the cleaning company doing the work at the home where the blast took place.

Kuwait launches Breast Diseases, Reconstructive Surgery conference KUWAIT: Kuwait University Rector Abdullateef AlBader stressed yesterday the importance of holding specialized health conventions to provide an opportunity for scientists to exchange the latest medical knowledge and to encourage young doctors to scientific research. In the opening speech of Kuwait’s 3rd annual convention for Breast Diseases and Reconstructive Surgery, held under the patronage of Health Minister Helal Al-Sayer, Al-Bader said that this conference holds great importance to surgeons and physicians concerned with cancer diseases and their reconstructive surgeries. It also provides a great opportunity to develop medicine science and cancer cures as well as encouraging researchers to delving into can-

cer disease and partial pathology research, Al-Bader noted. He further pointed out that cancer, especially breast cancer, is an old disease that existed for over 1,600 years BC in old Egypt, adding that there are numerous ancient manuscripts written about cancer. On her part, Head of the conference Dr Mervit AlSaleh affirmed that this event strives to shed light on vital scientific resources which are needed to establish a joint medical system for breast cancer diseases. The convention, which lasts for two days, will discuss various clinical axes and scientific seminars lectured by local and international specialized professors. An exhibition of general and specialized surgeries will be held on the sidelines of the convention. —KUNA

Kuwait donates $1 million to UNHCR KUWAIT: Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) announced yesterday that Kuwait has donated $1 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to aid it in its humanitarian mission. KRCS President Barjas Al-Barjas said that the reason behind the donation was due to the serious

bad humanitarian situation on the Tunisian-Libyan borders. He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with KRCS, will deliver the financial support to UNHCR to aid it in accomplishing its mission of providing food and shelters for those who are waiting to return to their countries. The Kuwaiti leadership and

people have sympathy with the Libyan brothers in their tragic situation, Al-Barjas added, noting that the Kuwaiti gesture is a translation to the Kuwaiti humanitarian face to what is happening on the Tunisian-Libyan borders. KRCS will continue its support to Libya by cooperating with other philanthropic organizations. —KUNA

Road accidents A Kuwaiti man died in a crash on Kabad Road when his car overturned after hitting a truck as it swerved into the next lane when he lost control of the steering. The victim, who was thrown out of the vehicle by the impact of the collision, was pronounced dead at the scene, reported Al-Watan. Meanwhile, an Arab expatriate worker was killed when he was run over by a garbage truck in West Sulaibikhat whilst standing behind the vehicle giving directions to the driver. According to Al-Rai, the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, which reversed sharply, killing the man instantly. Peeping toms Peeping toms who broke into the grounds of a chalet in Julai’ah to spy on a woman in her room there attempted to flee after a male neighbor of the woman spotted them and raised the alarm. The two men called on an accomplice, who drove his black SUV without any license plates at speed into and through the entrance gates to the chalet resort to fetch them, intentionally hitting and injuring four bystanders in the process. Although the peeping toms were able to scramble onto the car as their friend drove up the spot where they were waiting, they did not manage to get inside and fell from the vehicle as the driver was attempting to ram it into the resort’s exit gates to escape, reported AlWatan. The two men were quickly apprehended, with both discovered to be Kuwaiti. They have been referred for questioning and a search is underway for their accomplice. Magical conman Police are hunting for a man accused of stealing money from a number of caretakers at local residential complexes in Maidan Hawally after

reportedly providing them with ‘magic water,’ which is believed to contain some form of sedative. The suspect, described as a darkskinned Egyptian man aged between 35 and 40, reportedly talked his victims into believing that he had ‘miraculous powers’ and could help them achieve success if they washed their hands and faces with the ‘blessed water’ he provided them with. The complainants told police that after using the supposedly magical water, they had woken up to find the money in their possession had disappeared, along with the fraudster. Police are hunting for the conman. Suicide bids An Indian man was rushed to Amiri Hospital in a critical condition after drinking car battery acid in an attempt to end his life. The victim was found unconscious by members of his sponsor’s family in Kaifan where he works as a chauffeur and rushed to hospital, reported Al-Qabas. After his condition stabilized, the man told police that family problems back home had led him to take the drastic action. Meanwhile, another Asian man who attempted suicide by slashing his left wrist with a razor was found just in time by his Kuwaiti sponsor in his room at the sponsor’s home in Jabriya. The horrified employer immediately staunched the bleeding and called an ambulance, which rushed the man to Mubarak Hospital. An investigation has been opened into the reasons behind the man’s suicide bid. Phone fraudsters Police in Sulaibikhat are hunting for a fraudster who callously conned an Indian expatriate out of KD50 worth of phone credit by deceiving him into believing that this was the way to claim a KD15,000 lottery prize he had won. This is the second such case reported at the station in the past week, reported Al-Qabas. The

Temperature to rise, chance for scattered rain soon KUWAIT: Temperatures are to rise considerably across the country and there is a chance of scattered rain as of today and throughout the week, said meteorologist Eisa Ramadan yesterday. Ramadan said a low pressure system is approaching the country and is to collide with the Cypriot low pressure system which brings along a block of warm air which hikes temperatures in the country above 30 degrees centigrade. He also predicted higher humidity and more active southeasterly wind, which is expected to cause dust and result in poor visibility in desert areas. Monday to Thursday would see temperatures at a minimum of 13-19 degrees and maximum of 24-31 degrees. Humidity is likely to go up and there is a chance for rain Monday and even more Tuesday, with possibility of thunder showers Thursday evening and dawn Friday, he said. Southeasterly wind is expected at speed of 16-55 kmph, and could pick up Thursday to reach 65 kmph, and visibility is to go down due to fine dust, particularly in desert areas. Waves are also expected to increase in height to reach over 7 feet in open sea. — KUNA The meteorologist urged people to stay alert and take precautions at times of low visibility and rain. Those who go fishing in particular are strongly urged to follow up the latest weather forecasts, and most importantly owners of smaller boats. —KUNA

Kuwaiti exhibition to visit Vienna KUWAIT: Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiya’s travelling exhibition of Islamic art continues its voyage, making its next stop in Vienna after a successful visit to the Italy’s Milan in October, last year. The exhibition, held under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, aims to provide a balanced showing of the different eras of Islamic art. There are some 350 items on display, including antiquities stretching from the civilisation’s eras in Spain to China. The collection comprises antiquities made of ivory, glass and precious stones as well as carpets. Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiya, headed by its General Coordinator Sheikha Hessa Sabah Al-Salim Al-Sabah has been committed to varying its foreign displays of Islamic art. The exhibition, to be inaugurated by Minister of Oil and Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah AlSabah, on behalf of HH the Amir, is also a source of attraction for diplomats, local icons, academics and media outlets as well. In its first stop in Milan, the exhibition achieved huge success, through carrying its cultural message to the world. After Vienna, the Kuwaiti exhibition will travel to the South Korean capital, Seoul, followed by the Canadian city of Edminton in 2013, and is expected to continue its global message of dialogue. —KUNA

latest victim told officers that he had received a text message informing him that in order to claim the KD15,000 that he had won in a lottery, he needed to transfer KD50 worth of phone credit to the fraudster. After he had done so, he grew suspicious on receiving no reply to his repeated phone calls to the conman asking where his ‘winnings’ were. Police have opened investigations into both cases. Drugs bust A bedoon (stateless) motorist on Fahaheel Highway who was pulled over by patrol officers for a routine check immediately aroused the officers’ suspicions by fleeing on foot as soon as he stopped his car. The officers quickly apprehended him, finding that he was under the influence of narcotics, with a search of the vehicle uncovering a quantity of hashish and a narcotic tablet, reported Al-Watan. The man was taken into custody. Bootlegger busted Patrol officers in Sulaibikhat who pulled over an Asian man’s car discovered 26 bottles of homemade liquor in the vehicle, reported Al-Rai. The man was taken into custody. Subsidized foodstuffs Customs officials who stopped a Gulf national’s vehicle as he was leaving the country via the Salmi border checkpoint found the car was loaded with large amounts of subsidized food given only to Kuwaitis. The man, who lives in Kuwait explained that he bought the items from a number of subsidized food outlets and wanted to take them into Saudi Arabia, reported Al-Rai. After customs officers informed him that trade or export of subsidized food is strictly prohibited, however, the man was forced to leave the food items behind in order to be allowed to leave.

kuwait digest

Demonstrations in developing countries By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah requently staged public revolts in developing countries that are not full-fledged democracies suffer from economic, social, political and cultural problems. These usually result in chaotic negative aspects which ultimately stirs up demonstrations, causing more damage. When sectarianism, clashes, thefts and property damage dominates the scene during demonstrations, it is indicative of the plans that have been prepared previously to create chaos to achieve the state’s goals and Constitution. Protests that stemmed from the culminated frustration of poor living conditions, do not necessarily reflect nationalistic and reformatory intentions all the time. It is easy to sugarcoat protests with slogan such as ‘the day of rage’, ‘outburst against poverty’ or ‘the youth revolution’ in order to achieve malicious goals. Peaceful demonstrations in developed countries take place almost every day as part of a complete and mature practice of democratic life. They reflect public opinion and practice their right to demand reduced taxes, maintain the age of retirement, or enhance living conditions in general. In most cases, demands of protestors are fulfilled either partially or fully by negotiating with authorities. They have already given permission to - coordinate - demonstrations. These protests usually never stray away from goals, as they rarely feature the use of violence or defamation. We see security presence during the demonstration, but no clashes take place. The civilized approach towards protests, undoubtedly, reflects the maturity level that people in developed countries have achieved. Protestors do not offend their country, while governments do not suppress demonstrators. On the other hand, we cannot say the same about demonstrations that are staged in developing countries. They are confused between people’s rights. The Egyptian revolt is a prime example of the outburst of mounted frustration that people have been suffering from for years. However, it never had clear goals or studied programs. Protestors’ main demand is the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak. What is next? What about the situation of the state following Mubarak’s ouster? Is there a program to achieve the people’s demand as per an applicable time schedule? There were never any clear plans to address those question which could have created a better image for the future, mainly in terms of maintaining national security. The difference is huge between demonstrations which call for the ouster of the entire policies system, and others calling for the reform of a certain aspect of that system. Protests in developed countries always focus on improving living conditions, while those in developing countries aim toward scrapping the political system and start from the scratch! This contrast reflects a huge gap between cultures, as well as social and political systems that clash with the approach of leaders who do not seek advancement. It also reflects the widening gap between democracy and bureaucracy, as well as adoption of the suppressive approach commonly seen in developing countries.-—Al-Rai


Safar lauds crackdown on spoiled food By Hannan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Fahdel Safar lauded here yesterday the efforts on part of municipal teams to crack down

shops and vendors providing spoiled food products. Safar told the press that the municipal teams, in cooperation with its counterparts in the Ministries of Commerce and Interior, would continue their efforts in protecting consumers.

Yesterday, inspection teams succeeded in busting 690 kg of expired and spoiled food products during a mission in Shuwaik Industrial Area. The teams also issued some warrants and tickets to violators.

Investors to complain over minister’s statements KUWAIT: A large number of Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) investors repor tedly intend to lodge official complaints with the Council of M inisters this week against finance minister Mustafa Al-Shamali, with many labeling his recent statements about the stock exchange “misleading” and blaming the $17 billion losses sustained by the KSE since January of this year on the panic created by his words. After some investors incurred losses running into many millions of dinars, said a few investors speaking to Al-Shahed, they feel

bitterly disappointed at AlShamali’s apparently blase attitude. Some major investors have been discussing the minister ’s statement with MPs and have asked them to question AlShamali over his reasoning in his recent statements and the data which he has been using to assess the situation at the KSE. A number of these investors apparently expec t the MPs in question to raise the issue during Tuesday’s opening session of parliament. Some of the investors spoken to said that the minister ’s pronouncements were hardly unusu-

al, given his previous statements during the recent financial crisis. During this period, they said, he and the minister of commerce and industry had both made several entirely irrational assertions concerning economic issues, but neither had been held accountable for these. The investors insisted that Kuwait’s financial market could not take any more such negative announcements, adding that many who are demanding government support to make up for their losses are waiting for a response from the minister.

International MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2011

Hundreds protest civilian deaths in Kabul Page 11

Iraq blast kills 6 in oilrich Basra Page 8

NICOSIA: A girl dances through in the street during a traditional parade to mark the end of the carnival period yesterday. Thousands of people gather every year to celebrate the Carnival in the streets. —AP

‘Egypt revolt gave us back our lives’ Hamas chief calls for reconciliation between Hamas, Fatah KHARTOUM: Exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal hailed the sweeping political changes in Egypt, which he said had given the Palestinian people their lives back, in a speech in Khartoum yesterday. “Today we are witnessing Cairo returning to its natural state, after it disappeared from that state for a long time,” the Palestinian Islamist leader said in a speech broadcast live on Sudanese state television. “ The people in Egypt and Tunisia have given us

back our lives,” he added. Meshaal was speaking at the opening of the eighth Al-Quds (Jerusalem) International Foundation conference, being held in the Sudanese capital this year and funded by Iran. Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, in 1979, and president Hosni Mubarak, who came to power two years later after his predecessor was assassinated by Islamists, was overthrown last month after weeks of nationwide

protests. The toppling of Mubarak was celebrated across the Hamasruled Gaza Strip, which neighbor Egypt had blockaded since 2007 when the Islamists seized power and ousted the secular Fatah movement of president Mahmud Abbas whose writ is now limited to the Israelioccupied West Bank. Hamas, which won parliamentary elections a year earlier, has refused to amend its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel. Yesterday,

Meshaal called for reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah based on “jihad”, or struggle, against the Jewish state. “The first step (to liberating Jerusalem from Israeli occupation) is refusal to negotiate with Israel... and to establish a new, reconciled Palestinian position based on jihad,” he said. Under Mubarak, Egypt played an active part in trying to revive moribund IsraeliPalestinian peace talks and also sought vainly to reconcile the feud-

Yemen opposition vows to intensify protests SANAA: Yemen’s opposition movement vowed yesterday to intensify protests against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, after the embattled leader refused to resign by the end of the year. With violence gripping the strategic US ally on multiple fronts, Washington and London advised citizens to consider leaving the Arabian Peninsula nation. The opposition Common Forum called on protesters to step up demonstrations which have left at least 19 people dead since January 27, according to an AFP toll. Amnesty International counts at least 27 dead. “We have called upon the people to widen demonstrations and escalate the peaceful struggle in all regions until he (Saleh) is left with one option, that is to leave,” said Mohammed Sabri, a leading member of the forum. The ultimatum came a day after the president-who has ruled the deeply tribal nation since 1978 — dismissed opposition calls for his resignation by the end of the year and vowed to serve out his current mandate until 2013. In a statement carried late Saturday on the state-run Saba news agency, an official close to the president said an opposition transition plan envisaging Saleh’s

AMRAN: A female supporter of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh kisses his portrait during a rally to support Saleh. — AP departure before the end of this year was “vague and contradictory”. “A peaceful transition of power cannot be done with chaos, but by having recourse to the people through elections, so that they can decide who they want to lead without acts of violence and trouble,” the statement said. In other violence, suspected AlQaeda gunmen killed six soldiers, including two officers, in three separate attacks. Four elite Republican

Guard soldiers were shot dead as they delivered food near Marib, about 170 kilometres (110 miles) east of Sanaa, an official told AFP. In the south, Al-Qaeda gunmen shot and killed a colonel in the army while he was shopping at a market in Zinjibar, Abyan province, a security official said. Another officer was later shot dead at a restaurant in the city of Sayun, in the southeastern province of Hadramut. Yemen is a key

US ally in the fight against Al-Qaeda’s branch in the Arabian Peninsula, which a State Department official last month described as the “most significant” threat to the US homeland. Yesterday’s attacks were not known to be connected to the antigovernment unrest, but were a reminder of what is at stake if Saleh is ousted and a power vacuum ensues. A State Department travel advisory issued yesterday said US citizens in Yemen “should consider departing” and described the security threat as “extremely high due to terrorist activities and civil unrest.” “ The US embassy’s ability to assist US citizens in the event of a crisis in Yemen is very limited,” it warned. The British Foreign Office issued a similar advisory, warning of the “threat of terrorism, kidnapping and tribal violence.” The demonstrations in Yemen echo political turmoil that has gripped many Arab nations this year, forcing the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt to quit and throwing Libya into conflict. Opposition spokesman Sabri said Saleh’s refusal to leave office by the end of the year “proves that the president is a political corpse” and the only option left for the opposition was the “street”. — AFP

ing Palestinian factions. The Palestinian Authority abandoned direct peace talks with Israel last autumn over an intractable dispute about persistent Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank. The status of Jerusalem was another key sticking point in the negotiations, with the Palestinians wanting the mostly Arab part of the city now annexed by Israel as the capital of their future state. Sudan’s President Omar Al-

Bashir reiterated his country’s support for the Palestinian people in their “battle” for Jerusalem. “What is going in the region is a prelude to the battle for Jerusalem. And we are committed to supporting the (Palestinian) people of Jerusalem in their jihad,” he told the conference in Khartoum, adding that Egypt’s 1979 peace accord with Israel had been a blow to the Arabs. Egypt’s newly-ruling military has vowed to abide by the agreement. —AFP



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Iran minister spared impeachment by 1 vote TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad narrowly avoided losing his second minister in as many months yesterday when parliament voted not to impeach him by just one vote. In parliament, which ousted Ahmadinejad’s transport minister in February, 101 lawmakers voted to impeach Energy Minister Majid Namjou but 102 voted against, with 209 voting in total. Namjou’s survival spares Ahmadinejad the defeat he suffered last month in an impeachment that he branded “illegal” and which illustrated on-going divisions between parliament and the executive. In a conciliatory move, Ahmadinejad, who snubbed the impeachment hearing for Transport Minister Hamid Behbahani, attended yesterday’s session to appeal for Namjou’s career. “What the lawmakers said (during the debate) indicated how much they care about the country’s affairs ... But I hope Mr Namjou remains in the office,” he said. Speaking in favor of the impeachment, lawmaker Yussef Najafi said the minister had to go due to “his mismanagement and lack of tangible program”. In Iran the energy minister oversees the electricity and water networks but is not in charge of the vitally important oil and gas sectors which come under the Oil Ministry. Pre-empting any accusation that parliament was trying to undermine the government, Najafi added: “If the lawmakers use their legal supervisory means, it does not mean they

oppose the cabinet members.” In February, Ahmadinejad said the impeachment of the transport minister, which followed a fatal air crash, was illegal and said: “I will speak to the Iranian public about the performance of the legislative body.” The hardline president has often angered members of parliament, which is also dominated by conservatives, who accuse him of being slow to submit national budgets for their scrutiny and failing to disburse funds for projects such as the expansion of Tehran’s metro. In January, Ahmadinejad accused the heads of parliament and the judiciary of “interfering” in his government’s business-a warning to two high profile conservative rivals: parliament speaker and former presidential hopeful Ali Larijani and his brother Sadeq who heads the judiciary. Factional divisions within the ruling elite prompted Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last August to order the executive and legislative branches of government to stop squabbling. Infighting among the conservatives who rule the Islamic Republic have became more apparent since after the huge reformist opposition protests that followed Ahmadinejad’s contested 2009 re-election were crushed. The “Green” movement has experienced something of a resurgence over the past month, inspired by uprisings in the Middle East and the apparent incarceration of opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi. — Reuters

Turkish journalists jailed over alleged coup plot ANKARA: A Turkish court yesterday ordered two leading investigative journalists jailed pending the outcome of a trial into an alleged plot to topple the Islamicrooted government, raising further concerns over media freedom in the country. Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik were charged with links to the alleged conspiracy to overthrow Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government in 2003, and ordered jailed, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. Police had raided their homes, seized hard disks and notes as evidence and detained them along with six other journalists on Thursday, drawing expressions of concern from Western governments and international media rights groups. One of the six was released without charge yesterday, while the others were still being questioned. About 400 suspects are already on trial for membership in the alleged hardline secularist network, called Ergenekon, which prosecutors say plotted to create chaos in Turkey and overthrow the government. The government insists the trial is strengthening democratic rule in Turkey by helping to unravel shady networks linked to state institutions that once operated with impunity in Turkey. Critics contend that the government is using the Ergenekon case to jail Erdogan’s secular-minded foes and undermine Turkey’s secular legacy. They say there is no solid evidence against many of the accused and denounce their long detention periods. The prosecutor’s office issued a brief statement saying the journalists were not detained because of their reporting. “The investigation is not about opinions or books that have been written,” the statement said, according to Hurriyet and

Milliyet newspapers. “No one has been detained because of their duty.” There is evidence “that cannot be disclosed due to the confidentiality of the investigation,” the statement said. Earlier, President Abdullah Gul was quoted as expressing worries that the detentions were undermining a country that some have touted as a model democracy for Middle Eastern nations. “When I follow the developments, the impression I get is that there are certain developments that the public conscience cannot accept,” he told Milliyet newspaper in an interview published yesterday. “This is casting a shadow over the level that Turkey has reached and the image that is lauded by everyone. I am concerned about this.” Erdogan and other government members have insisted the case is being handled by the independent judiciary and has nothing to do with the arrests. Journalists staged an all night protest outside the courthouse where Sik and Sener were being questioned, demanding their release and blocking traffic on a main road. The journalists’ detentions come amid an upswing in cases filed by state prosecutors against reporters. The Turkish Journalists’ Association says thousands of journalists face prosecution, and about 60 are currently imprisoned for their writings. In addition, massive tax fines against the Dogan business group, which owns secular-oriented media outlets including Hurriyet newspaper, are viewed by some as a government-engineered attack on press critics. Thursday’s detentions were a follow up to a raid last month on the anti-government news website Oda TV and the detention of its owner and two of his colleagues. Sik was already on trial for a book he coauthored about the Ergenekon case. —AP

BASRA: An Iraqi policeman stands guard near a destroyed bus at the site of a bombing yesterday. — AP

Iraq blast kills 6 in oil-rich Basra Gunmen storm Iraqi radio station, halt broadcasts BASRA: A roadside bomb killed six people and wounded 12 yesterday morning in the oil-rich city of Basra in southern Iraq, local officials said. A police officer in Basra and a morgue official confirmed the death toll from the blast in the city’s Maqal area, 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad. Another police officer said the bomb hit a bus after it missed a passing US army patrol. He put the death toll at three, but there was no way to immediately reconcile the difference in numbers. Conflicting reports on casualties are common in the immediate aftermath of attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information. Under the 2008 security agreement between the US and Iraq, all American troops must leave Iraq by the end of next December and the US operations will shift to the State Department. There are now fewer than 50,000 US troops in Iraq. The US troops are not intended to have a combat role, but they still come under attack on an almost daily basis. Also yesterday, police said someone broke into a local radio station in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq and broke some equipment. It was the second attack on a media outlet in the self-ruled region since thousands of protesters began taking to the streets Feb 17, taking inspiration from the demonstrations going on across the Middle East and demanding political and economic reforms. Rahman Gharib, who heads a center defending journalists in the Kurdish region, said the radio station in Kalar,

called Voice, that was vandalized yesterday is an independent station established by two young journalists about two years ago. He did not know who was responsible for the attack but said the station had been aggressively covering anti-government demonstrations in the city. Two people have been killed in the demonstrations so far. Gunmen burst into a Kurdish television station in Sulaimaniyah on Feb 20, shooting up equipment and setting fire to the building, apparently in retaliation for footage it aired earlier in the week of a deadly protest. While the three provinces that make up the Kurdish region have enjoyed relative stability and prosperity compared to the rest of Iraq, many Kurds chafe at the tight hold that the region’s two main political parties retain on the economy and politics. Meanwhile in Abril, Gunmen raided a privately-owned radio station in Iraq’s Kurdish region yesterday, shutting down broadcasts encouraging protests against the Kurdish government, officials said. The pre-dawn raid on the Kurdish Voice radio station in Kalar, a town south of Sulaimaniya in northern Iraq, was carried out by unknown gunmen who broke into the channel and smashed and looted equipment, the station manager and a security official said. The Voice radio channel, owned by two Kurdish journalists, was broadcasting programs encouraging people to demonstrate and calling for political reforms in the Kurdish region, inspired by uprisings across the Arab world. “I

New Egypt minister takes over after offices stormed CAIRO: A new Egyptian interior minister took office yesterday pledging to restore public confidence in the police a day after protesters stormed several state security buildings. In an acceptance statement carried by the state MENA news agency, Mansur Al-Issawi said he would take “all necessary measures to restore confidence between citizens and the police.” He also promised to make “every effort in the coming period to restore security and stability in the Egyptian street.” Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, who was appointed on Thursday after demonstrations against the presence of associates of Hosni Mubarak in the caretaker government running affairs since the former president’s departure, named Issawi late on Saturday, the government’s Facebook page said. He replaces Mahmud Wagdi, who was appointed by Mubarak in the dying days of his three-decade rule in a vain bid to appease mass protests demanding he step down. Wagdi in turn replaced Habib Al-Adly, the long feared head of Egypt’s internal security apparatus who went on trial on Saturday on corruption charges. He pleaded not guilty on all counts. Protesters attacked several state security buildings on Friday and Saturday trying to retrieve files kept on the population by the security police, who have long been accused of human rights abuses. Around 2,500 protesters stormed the state security building in Cairo’s Nasr City “grabbing official documents before officials burn or shred them,” a security official told AFP. Hundreds more tried to barge their way into another state security building in the Cairo suburb of Sheikh Zayed, where guards inside fired into the air to try to disperse the crowd. In the northwestern city of Mersa Matruh, protesters surged into the state security headquarters, gathering up thousands of documents before setting the building on fire. Residents of the coastal resort then sat at nearby cafes leafing through the documents for evidence of human rights abuses as smoke billowed from the headquarters, a witness told AFP. On Friday, hundreds massed outside the local state security headquarters in Egypt’s second city Alexandria, hurling Molotov cocktails and burning police cars. Some managed to get inside the building, and security officials inside fired gunshots before troops intervened. — AFP

hold the government responsible for the attack. They want to suppress personal freedoms in Kurdistan,” Jaza Mohammed, the station manager, told Reuters. A senior security official in Kalar confirmed that unknown gunmen attacked the radio station, but could not give further details. The incident was the second attack by gunmen against the media in the Kurdish region in less than a month. Gunmen raided and set fire to a television station in Sulaimaniya on Feb 20, shutting down broadcasts of protests. Demonstrations in Sulaimaniya and other cities of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region have been almost a daily event for the past weeks as hundreds have protested against corruption and called for political reforms. Last month, protesters clashed with security forces when they tried to storm the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party headed by President Masoud Barzani. Unlike their regional counterparts, Iraqi protests generally have not called for the removal of the elected government, installed just two months ago after months of tense negotiations between political factions. Rallies have demanded more jobs, better public services, the ouster of local officials and reforms. Iraqi Kurdistan has enjoyed virtual independence under Western protection since the end of the first Gulf War in 1991, attracting foreign investors as a relatively stable area compared with the rest of Iraq, which fell into sectarian strife and a raging insurgency after the 2003 US-led invasion. — Agencies

IAEA faces Iran deadlock, slight progress on Syria

AMMAN: Jordanian Muslim militants shout slogans as they call for the release of jailed Al-Qaeda terrorists during a protest outside Prime Minister Marouf Al-Bakhit’s office yesterday. — AP

Jordan Islamists demand freedom for Qaeda men AMMAN: Islamic extremists staged a rare demonstration in Amman yesterday, demanding release of suspected AlQaeda leaders now on trial. The protest by the group of about 300 Salafi Muslims, whose ultraconservative sect is banned in Jordan, was only indirectly tied to weeks of demonstrations in Jordan, calling for significant changes in the regime. Protest leaders said they were taking advantage of the government’s more lenient stance toward demonstrations to make their demands public. The key figure on trial is Isam Mohammed Taher , known as the mentor of the dead leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, killed in a June 2006 US airstrike. Al-Barqawi. He and three others are facing terrorism charges. Protester Abed Shihadeh Al-Tahawi said

Al-Zarqawi is a “nationalist figure” defending Islam and “isn’t a terrorist.” Protesters chanted jihad, or holy war, “is our way to liberate Muslim lands from autocrats.” They also demanded a regime of strict Islamic Sharia law in Jordan. Men in the crowd had long beards and knee-long tunics and pants, typically worn by Afghan warriors. Women, standing separately, wore full-face veils and long black robes. Tayseer Abu-Obada, a convicted militant from the southern Jordanian town of Maan, said the Salafis were holding a rare public protest because “of the atmosphere of openness we’re witnessing these days.” In mostly peaceful demonstrations, Jordanians have been pressing for government reforms. Jordan is ruled by King Abdullah II and a parliament. The king has the final say in matters of state. — AP

VIENNA: The UN nuclear watchdog IAEA starts its board meeting from today with the Iranian nuclear issue still deadlocked but amid slight progress on Syria’s disputed program. In its last report on Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose 35-member board of governors will meet from today to Friday in Vienna, said it had “new information” of possible military dimensions to Tehran’s program. “Iran is not engaging with the agency in substance on issues concerning the allegation that Iran is developing a nuclear payload for its missile program,” it said, calling again for more cooperation. For eight years now, the IAEA has been investigating Iran’s nuclear program to try to establish whether it is entirely peaceful as Iran claims or masks a covert drive to build a bomb as western powers believe. How the agency should respond to Tehran’s constant obstructions is the biggest challenge, as this behaviour, which Syria also seems to adopt, risks damaging the IAEA’s credibility permanently, a Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity. The UN Security Council has repeatedly asked Tehran to halt uraniumenrichment activities and a series of resolutions coupled with economic sanctions have had no effect so far. Iran maintains it has the right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium for electricity and medical purposes. The concern is that, in highly refined form, enrichment can also produce the fissile core of an atom bomb.

According to the IAEA’s repor t, Tehran informed the agency that it planned to have its second uranium enrichment plant in Fordow up and running “by this summer.” The construction of the Fordow plant in the country’s southwest infuriated the West after Tehran admitted the site’s existence in September 2009 and Iran was censured by the UN atomic watchdog over the issue. While discussions over Iran’s nuclear prograe seem to be heading nowhere, the Syrian issue however appears to be making slow progress. This week, diplomats said Damascus had agreed to a visit by IAEA inspectors for the first time since June 2008. This “could represent a step forward,” the watchdog noted. The inspectors were on April 1 due to visit the nuclear site at Homs in the west of the country, which is known to the IAEA and is not thought to be suspect, a source close to the agency said. The visit will not take in a possible uranium enrichment facility at Al-Kibar, which was bombed by Israeli warplanes in 2007, the source added. Details of the visit had yet to be finalized, the source said. In November, IAEA chief, Japan’s Yukiya Amano, sent a letter to Syria’s foreign ministry demanding full cooperation, in what diplomats saw at the time as a sign of Amano’s growing impatience. Several states, including the United States, have been pushing for months for a possible IAEA resolution against Damascus or perhaps a socalled “special inspection,” according to diplomats. — AFP



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Obama steers clear of ‘doctrine’ over unrest WASHINGTON: As a wildfire of revolt whips through the Middle East and North Africa, the White House is embracing pragmatism and shying away from embroidering a grand “Obama doctrine” for a region in turmoil. For a politician as fond of the grand gesture as President Barack Obama, the idea of an eponymous school of foreign policy thought might seem tempting. After all, presidents have long etched their names in history with monumental doctrines, or clear prescriptions of principles rationalizing America’s posture to a treacherous world. President James Monroe’s 1823 doctrine, for instance, warned Europe’s meddling colonial powers out of the new American backyard in the Western hemisphere. Harry Truman’s doctrine meanwhile committed the United States to a generational battle with Communism. But analysts and officials say that while Obama has laid out general principles to deal with the “Arab spring,” he is eschewing a rigid US philosophy for a region in tumult. His actions towards each turmoil-wracked nation are different and do not adhere to a laid-down system of rules. “The closest we have to a policy is to allow the different revolutions to take place at their own pace, based on the timing of the people involved and intervening only through general statements of support,” said Julian Zelizer of Princeton University. “Other than that I don’t think there is any consistent principle.” Asked for his Middle East “doctrine,” Obama replied on Thursday: “number one, no violence against citizens; number two, that we stand for freedom and democracy.” While not ruling out military action, he argued the United States must not become a player in the Libyan-or any other-revolt, to avoid a backlash in a region that reviles the US invasion of Iraq and is stained by colonialism. “One of the extraordinary successes of Egypt was the full ownership that the Egyptian people felt for that transformation,” Obama said. “We did not see anti-American sentiment arising out of that movement in Egypt precisely because they felt that we hadn’t tried to engineer or impose a particular outcome.” The administration has often seemed to be making policy on the hoof during the Arab revolts, a factor reflected in its difficulty in framing a

consistent message. While Obama called for Libya’s Gaddafit o go, and eventually sought to push Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak out, US pressure has been more subtle on allies like Bahrain and Yemen, stopping short of regime change. At the same time, however, the White House has openly taunted its foe Iran over demonstrations. Obama aides argue that a “one size fits all” doctrine is inappropriate. “Each country is different. Each situation that we have encountered in the region in the past number of weeks has been different,” Obama spokesman Jay Carney said. Anthony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Obama’s approach was rooted more in pragmatism than political dogma. “You have a doctrine when you have an enduring policy that you’re constantly applying or you state,” Cordesman said, adding that Obama had not acted in such a way. Obama’s insistence that America can not engineer outcomes has exposed him to domestic political attacks. Critics charge he was too slow to support uprisings in Iran following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection in 2009. As Egypt erupted, Obama was accused of being “on the wrong side of history ” as the masses demanded Mubarak’s ouster. Now, with an apparent terror raging in Tripoli, Obama is again under pressure-as calls mount for a US-policed no-fly zone. And while operating without a doctrine and keeping America out of internal politics may turn out to be a good long-term bet, it gives an opening to critics who say Obama lacks coherence and foreign policy leadership skills. The closest Obama has come to a “doctrine” for the Middle East came in his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo in 2009 which appears to explain his actions toward the Arab revolts. “Let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other,” Obama said, breaking with George W Bush-era regime change policies. “That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people.” While doctrines offer a place in history for presidents, they sometimes take them down dangerous paths. “It can push you into wars where you should not be because you want to follow the logic of the doctrine,” said Zelizer. — AFP

French far right surges as Sarkozy spurs Islam debate ‘Multiculturalism is dead’: Sarkozy PARIS: A shock poll showed far-right champion Marine Le Pen leading the race for the French presidency yesterday, as incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy faced claims he is fuelling anti-Muslim sentiment. An opinion poll conducted by Harris Interactive for Le Parisien newspaper put the National Front leader Le Pen’s likely support in next year’s vote at 23 percent, against 21 percent for the centreright’s Sarkozy. The survey itself must be taken with a pinch of salt. It was conducted online, a method sometimes seen as less accurate than telephone polling, and it presumed that Socialist leader Martine Aubry would be in the race. International Monetary Fund director Dominique StraussKahn has signaled he is preparing to declare himself as a candidate for the Socialist Party’s nomination-and other polls have shown him favorite if he does. In any case, French presidential elections take place over two rounds, so even if Le Pen’s score is enough to get into the second round, centrist voters would likely rally to whichever mainstream candidate joined her there. But, reservations aside, the big surge in far-right support since Marine Le Pen took over the party from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in January shows she could repeat his 2002 feat and knock out the third-placed candidate. That prospect has sent shockwaves through the political establishment, and the left is training its fire not on the 42year-old far-right challenger, but on Sarkozyaccusing him of stirring dangerous antiMuslim opinion. The National Front has always been an anti-immigration party, but under Le Pen junior it has attempted to shed its racist image and concentrate the debate on the place of Islam in French society, picking up votes as it has done so. Sarkozy and his UMP have followed suit, taking on the issue in a bid to stop support leaking to the Front and to force the Socialists off topics like unemployment and purchasing power where they have made inroads. The government has passed a law banning the full-face Islamic veil-worn by only a tiny handful of France’s five to six million Muslims-from public places. The ban is due to come into effect next month. Sarkozy last month declared that “multiculturalism is dead” and said he wanted to see a “French Islam and not an Islam in France”, while his party has called for a national debate on religious practice in a secular state. Meanwhile, the president last week reached out to his

conservative base, hailing France’s “Christian heritage” in a speech in a Catholic pilgrim town. The left, and many Muslim groups, sense a cynical plot. They accuse Sarkozy of stirring up disputes that can only increase tensions in French cities, all in the service of 2012 presidential electoral mathematics. “It’s doubtless a plan by Nicolas Sarkozy to boost the National Front in order to find himself in a head-to-head with them in the second round, and disqualify the left,” said Socialist parliamentary leader Jean-Marc Ayrault. The left remembers all too well that in 2002, Le Pen senior bumped their man Lionel Jospin out of the running in the first round, only to be roundly trounced in the second by the right’s Jacques Chirac. “What’s clear is

that Nicolas Sarkozy has been playing double or quits for the past few weeks,” said Aubry, who should perhaps take some comfort from the fact that the Harris poll had her level-pegging with Sarkozy on 21 percent. But while the Socialists and the UMP slug it out, Le Pen has stolen a march on both of them already. Elected leader of her party in January, she is already openly campaigning for the presidency. No one expects Sarkozy to drop out, but he has yet to declare his candidacy, and his personal approval ratings are catastrophically low. And the Socialists have yet to settle on a candidate. The party will hold a primary in October but the apparent front-runnersAubry and Strauss-Kahn have yet to confirm that they will stand. — AFP

NEW ORLEANS: David Kennedy (center) tries to stay dry as he looks to Mardi Gras revelers tossing beads from a balcony above on Bourbon Street, Saturday, March 5, 2011. Severe thunderstorms moved through the region Saturday afternoon, but forecasters expect sunny weather when Mardi Gras season ends with an all-day celebration tomorrow. — AP



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British personnel ‘detained’ in Libya UK negotiating release

HUNGARY: Masked Busho men cross the River Danube before marching through the town of Mohacs during the annual Busho Carnival yesterday. This end of winter carnival tradition dates back to the 16th century to Hungary’s Ottoman occupation when men of the Sokac ethnic group (related to the Croatians) of Mohacs dressed up in sheep fur and wooden masks in a bid to frighten off their Turkish invaders. — AP

Ministers’ houses looted by police in Ivory Coast ABIDJAN: Gangs of youth, actively aided and supported by uniformed police, ransacked at least 10 houses belonging to senior ministers, mayors and other allies of the internationally recognized president of Ivory Coast, an adviser said yesterday. Security forces loyal to incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power more than three months after the United Nations says he lost an election, have turned to increasingly criminal behavior in the past week, killing six unarmed women protesters in the street on Thursday. An eyewitness reported having seen a pickup truck belonging to the elite paramilitary police force CECOS leaving the house belonging to Alassane Ouattara’s finance minister on Saturday. The CECOS truck was loaded down with a refrigerator, he said, and it later returned to the house, owned by Charles Koffi Diby, leaving a second time with a large safe. Dozens of teenagers smashed the doors and windows of the house and later left wearing suits and robes, carrying dishes and other valuables, said the witness, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. Top Ouattara adviser Amadou Coulibaly said that police recruit youth to participate in the lootings, which began Thursday. “They’re trying to install an atmosphere of terror,” he said, “but you can’t do more than what they’ve already done, firing on unarmed women. They’re getting desperate,” he said. Thursday’s killings, which were documented in a video obtained by The Associated Press, were quickly followed by a deluge of international reproach, with governments around the world expressing their disgust. US State Department spokesman P J Crowley denounced the killings as “morally bankrupt.” At least 10 houses have been looted, according to an Associated Press tally made from witness reports, interviews with homeowners and reports from Ouattara’s government. The houses belong to ministers and mayors in Ouattara’s RDR party, but also to their family members and businessmen per-

ceived as being pro-Ouattara. Ouattara is the internationally backed and U.N.recognized winner of Ivory Coast’s presidential elections. Ouattara women’s issues adviser Ami Toungara had her house looted and burned on Friday. She said that the police are targeting people they know to be at the Golf Hotel and unable to protect their houses. Ouattara and his government have been confined to the luxury Golf Hotel since early December by elite security forces loyal to Gbagbo. Toungara said that after the valuables were taken from her house, the looters made off with tanks of cooking gas and bags of rice. “They stole a back massager and we later found it in the garden,” she said. Analysts fear that Ivory Coast’s crisis will spill over into full-blown civil war, and the UN has warned that the escalating violence could be leading in that direction. Nearly 400 people have been killed since the Nov 28 election, according to a UN and an AP tally of bodies. The UN refugee body says more than 200,000 people have fled fighting in Abidjan in the last week and more than 70,000 have crossed the border into Liberia to avoid fighting in the country’s west. Charles Ble Goude, a minister in Gbagbo’s government who is also the leader of the violent youth organization Young Patriots called on “real” Ivorians to protect their neighborhoods, block all U.N. vehicles and “denounce” foreigners last week. Since then, hundreds of barricades run by neighborhood youth sprung across Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s biggest city. Some of the barricades are run by a mix of police and youth and an Associated Press reporter saw at least one adolescent at a roadblock armed with an AK-47 rifle. The barricades provide essential protection for the looting, a witness explained. “First they block off the area completely, then the police shoot in the air to clear pedestrians out,” said the witness who didn’t want to be identified. “Then the police send in the kids to break in ... when they’re ready they bring trucks to take away all the furniture and appliances,” he said. — AP

US ‘dragging feet’ on Gaddafi WASHINGTON: The United States may have missed an opportunity to oust Muammar Gaddafi by “dragging its feet” on aiding rebels in the first weeks of Libya’s uprising, a former minister said yesterday. “We asked for help when he was on the ropes,” Libya’s former immigration minister Ali Errishi, who resigned shortly after the uprising began nearly three weeks ago, told CNN talk show “State of the Union.” “I said, you give us little help now. It was just a little nudge,” when what was needed was greater US military support at the height of the chaos as Gaddafi loyalists were on the back foot when several key government and military figures abandoned the regime, Errishi said. “They were dragging their feet, I don’t know why,” said the former minister. “We asked-we don’t want a no-fly zone actually-we just want air cover.” He also stressed he had “no doubt” that Gaddafi would refuse to negotiate terms for his own departure after more than 41 years

in power in the North African nation. “This is a man who has shown that there’s only one choice for Libyan people: either I rule you or I kill you.” US President Barack Obama has insisted that all options remained on the table with respect to Libya, including military action. Calls grew louder yesterday for establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, where Gaddafi’s military forces have unleashed deadly airstrikes on rebel forces and civilians as the regime struggles to maintain control. Stephen Hadley, national security advisor for Obama’s predecessor George W Bush, said it was time for the administration to look at more direct diplomatic or military options-including arming the rebels. “Obviously, if there is a way to get weapons into the hands of the rebels, if we can get anti-aircraft systems so that they can enforce a no-fly zone over their own territory, that would be helpful,” Hadley told CNN on the same show. Former New Mexico governor and one-time US envoy to the United Nations Bill — AFP

LONDON: Britain said yesterday that it had a small diplomatic team in Benghazi but refused to confirm reports that a diplomat and Special Air Service soldiers were being held in Libya’s second city. The Sunday Times newspaper said the SAS unit was captured along with the junior diplomat they were escorting through the rebel-held east and who was seeking contact with opponents of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. “We can neither confirm nor deny the report,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP. A correspondent for the BBC based in Benghazi said he had been informed that a helicopter carrying six people dressed in black and carrying weapons had landed in the region in the early hours of Friday. “These six people who came off the plane were in black clothing which make them sound like they were SAS forces,” he told BBC television. According to his sources, they were arrested and taken to a militar y base

although the situation was expected to be resolved fairly soon. “The opposition here have an understanding of the situation that these people are not hostile people. The problem was to arriving on a helicopter, in the middle of the night, carrying weapons. You can understand the sort of fear that provoked here,” the correspondent added. The defense ministry said it did not comment on the special forces, while Defense Secretary Liam Fox told BBC television: “I can confirm that a small British diplomatic team is in Benghazi. “We are in touch with them but it would be inappropriate for me to comment further,” he added. For his part, Mustafa Gheriani, spokesman for the rebels’ selfdeclared national council in Libya’s second city of Benghazi, refused to comment. “I have absolutely nothing to say,” he told AFP. The Sunday Times claimed that the uninvited appearance of

the SAS alongside the diplomat “angered Libyan opposition figures who ordered the soldiers to be locked up in a military base”. Opponents of Gaddafi “fear he could use any evidence of Western military interference to rally patriotic support for his regime”, the weekly broadsheet added. The newspaper said that according to Libyan sources, the SAS soldiers were taken by rebels to Benghazi, held by the opposition, and hauled up before a senior figure. The Sunday Times said a British source, who confirmed the men had been detained, said the diplomat they were protecting had wanted to make contact with the rebels to prepare the way for a visit by a senior colleague. It cited a source close to the opposition leadership as saying rebel officials were worried that Libyan people might think from the escort party that “foreign troops have started to interfere by landing in Libya”. British service per-

Estonian govt favored to win first post-euro vote TALLINN: Estonians voted yesterday in their first election as eurozone members, with opinion polls predicting another term for a center-right government that has piloted one of Europe’s most depressed economies back to growth. Unlike Irish voters, who punished their government last month for their own boom-to-bust experience, Estonians appear to have retained confidence in Prime Minister Andrus Ansip’s two-party coalition. His government has already made history as the first to serve a full term since the Baltic country of 1.3 million introduced Western-style democracy in the early 1990s following five decades of Soviet occupation. “This has brought us political stability,” Ansip, 54, told reporters this week. Ansip has won praise both at home and in European capitals for his handling of Estonia’s severe economic crisis, which ended years of roaring growth as a housing bubble popped and the global financial meltdown sapped all hopes of a quick recovery. Economic output plunged a staggering 14 percent in 2009, leaving one in five workers without a job. Fueled by strong exports, growth has returned and the jobless rate has dropped, but at 14 percent it’s still among the highest in the European Union. Ansip’s government introduced tough austerity measures to bring down the deficit - it’s now among the lowest in the 27-nation EU - and keep Estonia’s euro hopes on track. The eurozone entry on Jan 1 capped a two-decade-long effort of closer integration with the West, and was a strong boost for the government, even though it occurred in the midst of a European debt crisis. Tonis Saarts, a political scientist at Tallinn University, said many voters credit Ansip for bringing Estonia out of recession while “avoiding the fate of countries like Latvia or Hungary,” which had to seek bailouts from international lenders. Ansip’s government survived another crisis, not long after the previous election in 2007, when he followed up on promis-

es to relocate a World War II memorial to Soviet soldiers killed in Estonia. The move of the so-called Bronze Soldier drew sharp rebukes from Moscow and triggered mass protests among Estonia’s Russian-speaking minority, which makes up nearly one-third of the population. Hundreds were detained and dozens hurt as rioting youths clashed with police officers firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Tensions have eased since, but Estonia remains divided by language. Those with Russian as their first language include Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and other ethnic groups who were relocated to Estonia during Josef Stalin’s attempts to “Sovietize” the rebellious Baltic republics. About 100,000 of them are not considered Estonian nationals, either because they don’t meet the strict Estonian language requirements for citizenship or they don’t want it. Many of the Russianspeakers who are eligible to vote support the main opposition Center Party, led by political veteran Edgar Savisaar. Polls show his party could finish in the top three, but it’s unlikely to find coalition partners to form a government. Polls suggest Ansip’s center-right Reform Party and its conservative partner IRL could win more than half of the votes and secure a majority in the 101-seat Parliament. Right now they govern in a minority with 50 seats. If they fail to muster a majority, they may need to seek renewed support of the Social Democrats, who dropped out of the coalition in 2009. A key disagreement between them is that the Social Democrats want to scrap Estonia’s flat tax and introduce progressive taxation. Just over a quarter of Estonia’s 912,000 eligible voters cast advance ballots. About 140,000 did so online - a voting method that tech-savvy Estonia has pioneered. Yesterday’s vote also was key in determining who will be Estonia’s next head of state because lawmakers will vote for a president in the fall. Both the Reform Party and Social Democrats support the re-election of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves. — AP

ABJA: Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves receives his ballot during parliamentary elections at a polling station yesterday. — AP

sonnel have already been involved in the rescue of British nationals working on oil installations in remote desert camps. Prime Minister David Cameron last week said Western countries should be stepping up contact with the Libyan opposition to gain a greater understanding of their intentions. In a statement yesterday, Foreign Secretary William Hague called upon Gaddafi “to put an immediate stop to the use of armed force against the Libyan people”. He added: “The UK reiterates its support for the transition to a government that will deliver greater democracy, justice, transparency, human rights and accountability in Libya.” In Britain on Saturday, the defense ministry said about 200 troops had been placed on standby to help with evacuation and humanitarian operations in Libya. However a YouGov poll of 2,413 adults for The Sunday Times found low support for using troops in Libya. — AP

Ex-French President Chirac to stand trial PARIS: After years of claiming presidential immunity to avoid legal proceedings, Jacques Chirac is finally facing a court. The former president, a bugaboo for George W. Bush during his rush to war in Iraq, today becomes France’s first former head of state to go on trial since its Nazi-era leader was exiled That is, if the whole case isn’t derailed by a last- BRUYERES LE CHATEL: In minute protest by this file photo, French another defendant. If President Jacques Chirac is the trial goes ahead as pictured as he visits the planned, Chirac, 78, Atomic Energy Mission’s faces a month in court military arm. — AP on charges that he masterminded a scheme to have Paris City Hall pay for work that benefited his political party when he was mayor - before he became president in 1995. A prison term is seen as highly unlikely, but in principle if convicted, Chirac could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined €150,000 ($210,000). France’s restive political circles are gearing up for next year’s presidential race, but the fallout from this trial is unlikely to hit anyone other than Chirac and the nine other defendants including a grandson of Gen Charles de Gaulle and a former left-wing labor union leader. Still, the trial looms as an embarrassing coda to Chirac’s 12-year presidential term, potentially denting his legacy, recent philanthropic work and image as one of France’s most popular personalities since he left office. The trial will also shine a spotlight on the underside of high-level politics that could be uncomfortable background noise for Chirac’s successor and one-time protege, President Nicolas Sarkozy, who wants to rebuild his depleted poll numbers before a possible re-election bid. The trial fuses two separate but similar cases. One of the other defendants, former Chirac aide Remy Chardon, says the two cases shouldn’t be combined. His lawyer told The Associated Press he will ask the judges today to decide whether the decision was constitutional, which could throw the whole trial into disarray. In the first case, investigating magistrate Xaviere Simeoni in Paris has focused on claims that Chirac had City Hall pay for 21 contract hires who never worked for the city but instead worked for his party, then called RPR. He faces charges of embezzlement and breach of trust. Simeoni, in her order for Chirac to stand trial, wrote that he was the “conceiver, author and beneficiary” of that system. The other case, led by investigating judge Jacques Gazeaux in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre, centers on seven jobs at Chirac’s former party said to be improperly paid for by City Hall. Chirac is accused of illegal conflict of interest in that case. That case netted a conviction and temporary ban from political office in 2004 for Chirac’s longtime political ally Alain Juppe, a former prime minister who recently returned in a big way to political life - and is now foreign minister. Chirac will answer for only a fraction of the scandals that have hounded him over the years: the others were either thrown out for a lack of evidence or had exceeded the statute of limitations. Even for those going to court, he will answer for just 21 total jobs out of 481 turned up in the investigation by Simeoni’s team: Those before 1992 are too old to warrant prosecution. —AP

Renegade leader clashes with S Sudan army KHARTOUM: Renegade militia fighters clashed twice with south Sudanese soldiers, both sides said yesterday, in the latest sign of instability in the oil-producing territory months ahead of its expected independence. Militia leader George Athor, a former army officer who rebelled last year saying he had been cheated out of the governorship of the southern state of Jonglei, told Reuters he was ready to call a ceasefire to end

weeks of violence. Just short of 99 percent of southern voters chose to split away from the north in a referendum in Januar y, a vote promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with the north. The south is due to secede on July 9. Athor, speaking by satellite phone, said his forces exchanged fire with southern army patrols on Friday and Saturday in Jonglei-where French oil

giant Total was due to start exploring this year. “ There were skirmishes between reconnaissance patrols on Friday, in a village called Pachot, the SPLA (southern army) had seven injured, four killed.” He said there were no fatalities in fighting a day later in the village of Alow. Athor said he had ordered his men not to launch more attacks. “We are ready to declare a ceasefire. We will only respond if we are attacked ...

Our people are really suffering. When there is fighting they leave their homes and go to the bush. There is need for a ceasefire for our people to go back to their villages.” SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer said Athor’s forces attacked the army on Friday and Saturday, but had no details of casualties. Aguer said the south’s semi-autonomous government would have to agree to any ceasefire. No one was immediately available to

comment from the government. The SPLA has accused Athor of breaking an earlier truce by massacring more than 200 people in the Fangak area of Jonglei in mid February. Athor accused the SPLA of starting that fighting. The south has regularly accused nor th Sudan of arming Athor to destabilize the region and keep control of its oil. Athor and Khartoum have dismissed the allegations. — Reuters



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ORISSA: In this photo, an interceptor missile is launched from a test site yesterday. — AP India tests interceptor missile NEW DELHI: India’s defense ministry said it successfully shot down a missile yesterday in a test of a homegrown missile interception system. The interceptor missile destroyed a medium-range missile over the Bay of Bengal after the missile had been fired from a test site in the eastern state of Orissa, ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said. “It hit the target missile at an altitude of about 10 miles (16 kilometers),” Kar said. A test of the system last March was unsuccessful, with the interceptor missile failing to take off. Yesterday’s exercise tested the system’s ability to track, intercept and destroy incoming missiles and was part of a series of trials, he said. Nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan usually notify each other ahead of major missile tests, in keeping with an agreement between the two nations. It was not immediately known whether India informed Pakistan about yesterday’s test. Bangladesh police disperse rioting students DHAKA: Police yesterday fired tear gas and charged with batons to disperse angry students smashing vehicles at Bangladesh’s main Dhaka University after one of them died in a road accident. Local police chief Rezaul Karim said they were compelled to take action after the students started hitting vehicles in the streets. He did not say if there were any injuries, but student Jahangir Alam reported that several colleagues were hurt in the police action. The violence broke out after 25year-old Redwan Ahmed died early yesterday at a hospital after he was hit by a truck the previous night. Karim said Ahmed’s father claimed his son’s body and was preparing for a burial.

Taleban exploits govt vacuum in Afghanistan YAHYA KHEL: Insurgents are exploiting a governance vacuum in Afghanistan’s remote eastern hinterland, finding funds and safe haven to fuel an escalating war against NATO-led forces. In the border province of Paktika, US and Afghan intelligence officials describe a “shadow” Taleban authority that levies taxes on the harvest of pine nuts, skims money from the salaries of teachers and runs a network of governors from over the border in Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt. They mediate in disputes where the government cannot. In this province of at least 400,000 people, there are just three judges, and only one who actually lives here. Western officials say government staff lists are full and salaries being paid, but officials rarely venture to the villages due to security fears. The frustration is palpable. “When you talk to the people, when was the last time the governor was here? When was the last time the minister of education was here?” US army Captain Al Lemaire said in Yahya Khel, the most hostile district for US forces in Paktika. “Nobody knows, because they don’t come here, they don’t care about it. You do kind of wonder-why are we here?” Remote, mountainous and poor even by Afghan standards, US forces say Paktika is a priority neither for them, as they battle the Taleban in their southern heartland, nor for the Afghan government. But Paktika is riddled with supply routes channeling fighters and weapons across the border from Pakistan to feed an insurgency that is spreading from traditional Taleban strongholds in the south such as Kandahar and Helmand. Failure to entrench the central government, and reverse spiralling violence, is reinforcing doubts about the viability of a plan for the gradual withdrawal of NATO’s 150,000 troops and handover of security by the end of 2014. Insurgent attacks in Paktika were up 137 percent last year, according to a report by the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office. “It’s enemy routes, sustainment zones, support zones, so the enemy can move to those highways or up those passes,” said Colonel Sean Jenkins, commander of Taskforce Currahee in Paktika. US commanders acknowledge resources are limited, even after a 30,000-strong troops surge last year. Some of those extra troops went to Paktika but most went to the south, where NATO says it has driven back insurgents ahead of an expected spring offensive by the Taleban. Under the US counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, US soldiers are tasked with building up the central government and bringing it to the areas they patrol. But the priority is large towns and cities. In Paktika, villagers are being asked to shun the Taleban in favor of a government they rarely see. “Where you have civilian leadership and good governance ... makes a huge difference,” said Major General John F Campbell, commander of NATO-led forces in eastern Afghanistan. “You can’t kill yourself out of this, you’ve got to really build the governance and development piece up.” —Reuters

Hundreds protest civilian deaths in Kabul Bomb kills 12 in Afghanistan KABUL: Hundreds of people chanting “Death to America” protested in Kabul yesterday against a spate of civilian casualties caused by international forces, a sign of the simmering anti-Western emotion among many ordinary Afghans. The demonstrators marched through the centre of the capital, some carrying banners bearing pictures of blood-covered dead children they said were killed in air strikes by foreign forces. The protest came five days after nine Afghan boys were gunned down by two attack helicopters as they collected firewood in eastern Kunar province. The incident, in a volatile area that has seen a recent spike in foreign military operations, prompted a rare public apology from the top two US military officers in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama also expressed “deep regret” over the killings to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the United Nations called for a review of air strikes by foreign forces in Afghanistan. “We will never forgive the bloodshed by our innocent Afghans who were killed by NATO forces,” said protester Ahmad Baseer, a university student. “The Kunar incident is not the first and it will not be the last time civilian casualties are caused by foreign troops. All we can do is protest and condemn it.” Dozens of women were also among the protesters, a rare occurrence in a country where women are largely banned from public life. Using loudspeakers, some of the women chanted: “We don’t want Americans, we don’t want the Taleban, we want peace.” Civilian casualties caused by NATO-led and Afghan forces hunting insurgents have again become a major source of friction between Karzai and his Western backers, even though UN figures show that more than threequarters are caused by insurgents. In the latest attack by insurgents, 12 civilians were killed yesterday when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in southeastern Paktika province, governor Mohebullah Sameem said. The incident took place in Waza Khwa district as they travelled from neighbouring Pakistan, Sameem said, adding two women and five children were among the dead. Karzai condemned the attack as “un-Islamic”. There have been at least four incidents of civilian casualties by foreign troops in eastern Afghanistan in the past two weeks in which Afghan officials say more than 80 people died. International concern has grown considerably and the fallout from the recent incidents is even threatening to hamper peace and reconciliation

KABUL: An Afghan supporter of left wing political party holds his son as he shouts anti US slogans during a protest yesterday. Poster reads in Arabic ‘Gift of America’. — AP efforts, with a gradual drawdown of the 150,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan to begin in July. US and NATO commanders have tightened procedures for using air strikes in recent years, but mistaken killings of innocent Afghans still happen, especially with U.S. and NATO forces stepping up operations against insurgents in the past few months. Although civilian casualties caused by foreign forces have decreased over the past two years-mainly due to a fall in air strikes-aid groups last November warned a recent increase in the use of air power risked reversing those gains. Civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose 20 percent to

6,215 in the first 10 months of 2010 compared with 2009, according to UN figures. Those caused by foreign and Afghan troops accounted for 12 percent of the total, an 18 percent drop, but it is those which rile Afghans most. While they do not condone them, many Afghans say militant attacks would not happen if international troops were not in Afghanistan. Many Afghans blame both sides. “Killing civilians, whether it is the Taleban or foreign forces, is a crime,” said protester Shahla Noori. “Both the Taleban and Americans are responsible for the killings of thousands of civilians,” she said. — Reuters

Bangladesh court defers ruling on Yunus DHAKA: Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus was illegally removed from his pioneering microfinance bank, his lawyers told a packed courtroom in Dhaka yesterday, before the hearing was adjourned. Yunus, who won the Nobel Prize in 2006 for his concept of small cash loans to help tackle poverty, attended the Dhaka High Court hearing into whether the central bank was within its legal rights to sack him from Grameen Bank. Attorney General Mahbubui Alam told AFP that the court would reconvene today. Yunus, 70, was dismissed as managing director of Dhaka-based Grameen Bank on Wednesday in what his supporters said was the culmination of a political vendetta against him. He has defied the

central bank order, returning to work at Grameen’s headquarters and lodging the High Court case contesting his dismissal. “The Bangladesh Bank has not been vested with the power to appoint or remove people from Grameen Bank,” Yunus’s lawyer Rokonuddin Mahmud told the court during a speech in which he compared Yunus to Nelson Mandela. Mahmud said claims that Yunus was “clinging to his job” at Grameen Bank were baseless, citing a March 2010 letter written by Yunus to Finance Minister A M A Muhith in which he asked to be allowed to step down as managing director. “Yunus could have gone anywhere, he is only still at Grameen out of love for his country,” Mahmud said, adding that the bank’s celebrated microfinance work was

Yunus’s “brainchild”. The central Bangladesh Bank has said that Yunus did not seek its approval when he was reappointed as managing director of Grameen Bank in 2000 and that he has therefore been illegally holding the position. “It is a case of implied approval-they didn’t raise any questions about his reappointment for all these years,” Mahudul Islam, another of Yunus’s lawyers, told AFP. “The question is what prompted them to wake up to this technicality now”. 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. In December, following the release of a

India Congress tries to woo back ally NEW DELHI: India’s embattled prime minister yesterday tried to patch things up with a key ally that said it would quit his cabinet, aiming to avert another crisis for a government shaken by a raft of corruption scandals. The southern Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) party, which gave the Congress party-led coalition a slim majority in parliament, said on Saturday it was pulling out its ministers because of a dispute over seats to be contested in state assembly elections next month. Analysts, however, said the move was more likely linked to a massive telecoms graft scandal that has implicated the DMK and which has called into question Singh’s ability to govern Asia’s third largest economy. Congress Secretary-General Ghulam Nabi Azad was flying to the southern city of Chennai to meet with leaders of the DMK to try and resolve the crisis, a party official said. The government is not under immediate threat of collapse because the DMK ministers, who handle departments ranging from textiles to chemicals and fertilisers, have yet to officially tender their resignation and the party has said it would offer issue-based support. But if the DMK were to quit, the government would become more vulnerable to pressures from other coalition partners. The ministers’ withdrawal from the cabinet could complicate the government’s efforts to pass the 2011-12 federal budget through parliament’s current session. The government would fall if it loses the budget vote. The DMK’s move would also make it harder for the government to pass reform bills including a uniform sales and services tax, a key piece of tax reform that will cut busines costs and boost government revenues. Regulatory concerns, combined

NEW DELHI: This file photo shows Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (right) greeting then Telecoms Minister Andimuthu Raja. — AP with the global economic slowdown have hit foreign direct investment in India and contributed to making the Mumbai stock exchange the worst performing of the world’s major share markets. Singh’s government is also under attack from the opposition over its inability to tackle rising prices, especially food inflation which, hit 18 percent in December, is among the highest in Asia. Singh must either depend on the DMK to support bills or seek other alliance partners. “The DMK’s move to break the alliance is not about seat sharing. It is about the investigation into the 2G scandal,” said political commentator Cho Ramaswamy referring to the sale of 2G mobile licenses. The DMK, which said it was upset over a seat sharing plan in its stronghold southern state of Tamil Nadu, is at the centre of the $39 billion telecoms licensing scandal in which the former telecoms minister A Raja, a DMK member, faces possible charges.

Raja was sacked and is now in prison, but there is concern that the federal investigation into the scandal may touch on other top leaders of the DMK which is led by strongman M Karunanidhi and members of his family. The scandal in which telecoms concessions were granted at rock bottom prices has already been widened out to include a probe into a TV channel linked to the DMK. “The alliance is wounded. The Congress and the DMK have become a libility for themselves,” said Arun Jaitly, a leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party which has steadily increased the pressure on Singh. Singh has seen his unimpeachable reputation dashed following the scandal, said to be independent India’s biggest scam. Last week he suffered another setback when the Supreme Court rejected his appointment of a tainted civil servant as the head of the countr y ’s main anti-graft agency. — Reuters

Norwegian documentary critical of Yunus, Hasina accused him of “sucking blood from the poor” and pulling a financial “trick” to avoid paying tax. Yunus has since been vilified in the Bangladeshi press, summoned to court three times in cases nominally connected to Grameen and seen his bank become the target of a government probe. The removal of Yunus sparked street protests in Bangladesh and condemnation from overseas, including from US Senator John Kerry. 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 being founded in 1983, its work has been copied in developing countries around the world. — AFP

3 Bangladeshis fleeing Libya die 14 remain missing ATHENS: Nearly 50 Bangladeshi migrant workers evacuated by sea from Libya to the Greek island of Crete jumped ship during the night, Greek authorities said yesterday, apparently to avoid being sent back to Bangladesh. Three died, 14 remained missing and many others were hospitalized. Nearly a dozen Greek Coast Guard and Navy vessels, a military helicopter and fishing boats were scouring the waters off the coast of Crete in search of the missing, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The 49 evacuees had been on board the Ionian King, which docked late Saturday in the port of Souda after sailing from Tripoli with 1,288 evacuees from Libya, most of them Bangladeshi nationals. The men used a rope to lower themselves from the Cypriot-flagged ship into the sea during the night, the ministry said, in an apparent attempt to avoid being sent home after arriving in Crete. Authorities have not said why they think the men jumped, but they may have been trying to avoid being quickly sent back to Bangladesh. Tens of thousands of migrants seeking a better life cross illegally into the European Union through Greece every year. Ships have been ferrying thousands of evacuees from Libya to Crete, with Chinese workers among the first to arrive on the island in recent days aboard chartered ships. The Ionian King and another ship, the Nissos Rhodes, were the latest arrivals, both carrying mostly migrant workers from Bangladesh fleeing the fighting in Libya between the regime of Muammar Gaddafi and rebels seeking to topple him. Local residents alerted authorities after seeing people in the water and on a beach near Souda in the early hours yesterday, and the Coast Guard initially found 29 men. Four were treated in the nearby Naval Hospital, while the other 25 were taken to a hospital in the city of Chania, mostly suffering from hypothermia the ministry said. One died on the way to the hospital, while authorities found the bodies of two more men in the water. A further four people were found alive later yesterday morning, the ministry said. Libya’s borders have been flooded by people trying to escape the escalating fighting. Crete, where a US base is also located at Souda Bay, has also seen hundreds of U.S. Marines arrive as part of a military building around Libya. The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and the USS Ponce left Souda Bay Saturday, a day after docking in the area. —AP



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Can Jasmine Revolution make it to North Korea? SEOUL: North Korea is facing many of the same issues that led to revolutions from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya, but what are the chances of a similar uprising in the authoritarian Asian state? Why it might The so-called Jasmine Revolution started in Tunisia in January when the rural poor took to the streets to protest against high unemployment, rising prices and corrupt rule. It swept the Arab world into North Africa over a matter of weeks. Many of the same ingredients for a revolt are present in North Korea, where Kim Jong-il has ruled with an iron fist since 1994. He followed in the footsteps of his father, the country’s founder Kim Il-sung. A third generation of the Kim dynasty,

Jong-un, is being groomed to take over the centrally-planned economy. Like the revolution-hit states, the North is beset by dire poverty, worsening food shortages and steep inflation. It relies on its ally China for basic needs such as food and electricity. The country’s economic mismanagement was underlined by a botched currency reform just over a year ago which wiped out the savings of the merchant class overnight. There were reports of dissent following the currency reform, and South Korean media say there have been small-scale protests demanding rice and electricity this year, though none of this can be verified independently. North Korea boasts a million-strong military, and reports say it is struggling to feed

Japan foreign minister quits TOKYO: Japan’s centre-left government suffered a blow yesterday when its foreign minister resigned for taking money from an ethnic Korean who is not a citizen, drawing fire from the conser vative opposition. Seiji Maehara, 48, had been seen as a likely successor to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has struggled in the face of support ratings below 20 percent and a split parliament that has threatened to derail his reform agenda. The ambitious Maehara came under pressure last week when he admitted he had accepted the equivalent of several hundred dollars in campaign donations in recent years from a Japaneseborn woman of Korean ethnicity. Under Japanese law, it is illegal for politicians to accept donations from a foreign national and the scandal has been all the more damaging to Maehara, who as foreign minister had taken a hawkish and strongly patriotic stance. Maehara had been the most vocal cabinet minister in recent diplomatic battles Japan has fought with China and Russia over disputed territories, legacies of Japan’s troubled wartime history with its neighbors. After days of braving angry protests from conservative politicians in the Diet legislature and on T V talk shows, Maehara yesterday evening met Kan to resign, then announced his decision in a televised press con-

ference. “I apologize to the Japanese people for stepping down after only six months and provoking distrust over a problem with my political funding, although I have sought to pursue a clean style of politics,” Maehara said. For K an-the Democratic Par ty of Japan’s (DPJ) second premier since it ended half a century of conservative rule in a 2009 landslide-the loss of a popular minister compounds serious political troubles. The opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has signaled high hopes of retaking the levers of power in Asia’s secondlargest economy and has challenged Kan to call a snap election-which it thinks it would win. The LDP and its allies have threatened to paralyze the Kan government by using their upper house majority to block bills to finance the record 1.1trillion-dollar budget for the fiscal year star ting April 1. This would threaten a government shutdown at a time when the DPJ is seeking to rejuvenate the five-trillion-dollar economy, whittle down massive public debt and implement policies to reinvigorate a graying population. The troubled premier also faces a party revolt, with 16 of his own lawmakers who are close to his DPJ nemesis, scandaltainted faction boss Ichiro Ozawa, boycotting the government vote for the budget last week.—AFP

Philippine leader vows punishment in scandal MANILA: President Benigno Aquino III vowed yesterday to punish officers linked to a high-profile corruption scandal and ordered a new military chief to make reforms aimed at halting largescale graft in one of Asia’s weakest militaries. Aquino used a speech at a graduation ceremony at the prestigious Philippine Military Academy - traditionally focused on anti-insurgency and national security issues - to admonish the 196 graduating cadets to resist graft. “I hope you can say ‘no’ when somebody dumps a truckload of money in front of you,” Aquino said to loud applause at the academy, patterned after the US Military Academy at West Point. “You’re here not to get rich.” Corruption, long entrenched in Philippine society, is an especially explosive issue in the ill-equipped and poorly paid 126,000-strong military and has sparked several insurrections by disgruntled troops in the last two decades. Soldiers have been struggling with a dearth of weapons while battling communist and Muslim rebels and Al-Qaedalinked extremists. A new scandal broke out in January when a former military budget officer testified before the Philippine Senate that at least three retired military chiefs of staff pocketed huge amounts of money siphoned off from budgets for troop salaries, weapons, intelligence and a military hospital. One of the accused, Gen.

Angelo Reyes, denied the allegation but committed suicide at his mother’s grave last month as the Senate investigation continued. Aquino, who won a landslide election victory last year on a promise to battle corruption and poverty, told the cadets at the academy in northern Baguio city that corruption flourished in the past because it was tolerated. Aquino said some officers openly enjoyed lavish lifestyles, splurging on foreign trips with their wives. “We’ll have these robbers and their cohorts pay for their crimes,” he said. “Nobody will be spared.” Aquino said his anti-corruption campaign has raised funds that allowed the government to finance 20,000 lowcost houses for soldiers and police officers this year. He also announced that retiring military chief of staff Gen Ricardo David Jr will be succeeded this week by Eduardo Oban Jr., a three-star air force general without extensive combat experience but whose name has not been tainted by graft scandals. Aquino ordered Oban to press on with reforms aimed at curbing graft, promoting human rights and bolstering talks with insurgents. Leading a military hounded by corruption controversies “is a big challenge,” said Oban, who assumes his post today. Oban told the ABS-CBN T V network that he would review the handling of the military’s finances, including procurement. — AP

its soldiers. Discontented soldiers could be tempted to rise up against the leadership. Some information about the distant uprisings is filtering through to the North. South Korea’s military has been dropping leaflets detailing the protests, as well as sending food, medicines and radios for residents in a bid to encourage North Koreans to think about change. Information also flows across the North’s porous border with China. Thousands of North Koreans are engaged in black market activity and smuggling of goods from China to the North, and relay information from the outside world. Why it won’t The North’s long-time isolationist

policy largely keeps its people in the dark about the goings in outside world, and experts say the chances of a repeat in North Korea are unlikely. There has been no mention of the Jasmine revolts in the North’s strictly controlled state media, and though some outside information can slip across the border, the vast majority of North Koreans are totally unaware of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. And unlike the Jasmine Revolution where the internet and mobile phone technology catalyzed the protests, communication via such networks is virtually non-existent in the North. The internet is available to only the elite and powerful who support the Kim regime. There is only one

‘Jasmine protest’ calls doomed to fail: Beijing China’s capital tightens controls on foreign media BEIJING: Calls for “Jasmine Revolution” protests in Beijing are doomed to fail as people want peace and stability and government policies are popular, a spokeswoman for the city ’s government said yesterday. Chinese police have rounded up dozens of dissidents since online messages from abroad urged pro- democrac y gatherings inspired by the “Jasmine Revolution” in Tunisia, and have banned foreign reporters from sites of would-be protests in Beijing. “Cool-headed people know that these people have chosen the wrong place, and their ideas and plans are wrong,” city government spokeswoman Wang Hui said of those calling for protests. “In Beijing we have had and will have no such incidents.” “Over the past 30 years or more China’s success and economic progress has been broadly recognized. The Communist Party’s leadership and government’s policies are in line with the people’s will and their hear ts,” she told repor ters. Defending one-party control has been a priority since the prodemocracy demonstrations of 1989, but analysts expect official anxieties about social stability to multiply as President Hu Jintao prepares to hand power to a successor from late 2012. Beijing has imposed tighter censorship, intense security and

new restrictions on foreign reporters, some of whom were beaten and k icked by plainclothes security officers while at the site of one of the proposed protest gatherings last weekend. There was a heavy police presence yesterday in parts of Beijing and Shanghai for which protests had been called, but no obvious sign of any protesters.

Police smothered last weekend’s planned protest sites before any gatherings had a chance of forming, and dozens of dissidents, human rights activists and critics of the government are in detention or house arrest. Internet censorship also means that few Chinese residents are aware of the protest calls. The official alarm over the

BEIJING: Chinese police officers stand on duty near the Xidan shopping district, one of two sites designated on an Internet call for protest yesterday. — AP

9 killed in Taiwan TAICHUNG: Nine young people including two couples were killed and 12 injured in a vicious blaze that gutted a two-storey pub in central Taiwan early yesterday, firefighters and police said. The fire-one of the worst in many years in Taiwan-prompted the National Fire Agency to order a comprehensive check of all restaurants and pubs. The victims were so badly burnt identification was difficult. Initial investigations showed the blaze may have started when a dancer used sparklers during a show at the “Ala” pub in Taichung, a city of 2.65 million people. The dancer and pub owner had been detained by police for questioning. The fire was swiftly extinguished but firemen discovered nine charred bodies inside-all on the second floor of the building. The dead were five men and four women, most aged 20 to 35. A firefighter told local television that one body was discovered lying near the safety exit on the second floor, meaning other people may have been blocked from getting out alive. An injured woman surnamed

Chuang told the United Evening Newspaper that she could not remember how she managed to escape the flames. “Many people were still dancing and drinking when thick smoke started and fast drifted to the second floor, sparking panic and a stampede,” she said, adding that there were about 70 people in the bar when the fire started. An official from the city’s Fire Bureau, who only wanted to be identified by his surname Lin, told AFP: “The bodies were so badly burnt that it was difficult to swiftly identify them.” All 12 of the injured were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment and all but one were released later, he said. A National Fire Agency official said they were considering amending the existing law to restrict the use of fire during shows at pubs and clubs. Six prosecutors have set up a special group to look into the tragedy-the deadliest in Taichung since 1995, when huge flames engulfed a restaurant, claiming 64 lives. The pub had passed 21 safety tests by authorities over the past five years, fire officials said. — AFP

N Korea jams S Korea’s GPS SEOUL: North Korea used jamming equipment to block South Korean military communication devices last week, a report said yesterday, amid high tension over the joint drills between Seoul and Washington. Yonhap news agency said strong jamming signals sent across the border on Friday had caused minor disruptions to phones and navigational devices using GPS (Global Positioning System) at military units near the capital Seoul. The signals are believed to have been sent from the North’s military facilities in Haeju and Kaesong close to the heavily-fortified border, it said, citing Seoul intelligence and military officials. “The signals were sent intermittently every five to 10 minutes... we suspect the North was testing new GPS jamming devices imported from overseas,” said an intelligence official quoted

by Yonhap. “We are preparing systems to control and overcome such jamming signals,” it quoted another official as saying. A defence ministry spokesman declined to comment. South Korea’s former defense chief Kim Tae-Young said last year a device the North had that was capable of disrupting guided weapons posed “a fresh security threat” to the South. Kim said Pyongyang was thought to have been behind the intermittent failure of GPS receivers on naval and civilian craft along the west coast during the joint military exercise between the South and the US last August. The North had modified Russian equipment to make its own jamming devices, he said, warning the communist country was capable of interfering with GPS reception over a distance of up to 100 kilometers (60 miles). —AFP

mobile phone network , which is strictly controlled, and international calls are blocked. Smartphones capable of carrying Twitter or other social networking sites cannot be used. There are no civil society-type organizations of the sort that gave rise to the organized, solidarit y-st yle protests. Analysts say ordinary people, battered into submission by decades of repressive rule, lack the will to revolt. Military and organized pro-government networks strictly monitor all facets of society and troublemakers are dealt with swiftly. South Korea’s Unification Minister Hyun In-taek says the impac t of the Jasmine Revolution on the Nor th will, for now, be “insignificant”. —Reuters

TAIPEI: Filipinos residing in Taiwan hold placards reading “Apologize” at a protest rally in front of the president’s office yesterday. Taiwanese government is considering to freeze workers from the Philippines after Manila refused to apologize for deporting 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China, an act appearing to recognize China has jurisdiction over Taiwanese criminals. — AP

protest calls has overlapped with the convening of the annual national parliamentary session in the capital, which draws intense security even in normal times. Chinese police have said that repor ting from the phantom protest sites in Beijing and Shanghai without prior authorization is illegal, and threatened to revoke the visas of foreign journalists who tr y to do so. Wang repeated the government’s line that reporters in busy parts of Beijing needed permission first before reporting there, and called on foreign journalists not to “create news” and to respect all Chinese laws. “Those who want to find in China news along the lines of what has happened in the Middle East and North Africa will come up empty handed,” she added. Beijing has mobilized 739,000 police officers, officials, security guards and residents recruited into local patrols to guard against mishaps during the parliament, the official China News Ser vice repor ted this week . On Saturday, China’s Finance Ministry unveiled to the parliament a 13.8 percent jump in the national “public security” budget compared to 2010, pushing spending on law and order items to 624.4 billion yuan ($95.0 billion) — higher than the official military budget, which rose 12.7 percent to 601.1 billion yuan. —Reuters


in brief

Samoa’s 28-year-old govt wins re-election APIA: The party that has ruled Samoa for 28 years has retained power in elections, according to preliminary results, despite criticism over the government’s handling of a deadly tsunami that struck the South Pacific island nation in 2009. The Human Rights Protection Party of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi went to Friday’s polls with 30 seats and the support of five independent lawmakers in the 49-seat parliament. HRPP lost one seat but has the support of an additional two independents, giving Tuilaepa control over 36 seats, a single seat increase, according to preliminary results released Saturday by Samoan Electoral Commissioner Tanuvasa Meleisea Isitolo Lemisio. The main opposition Tautua Samoa Party increased its representation by two seats, to 13. It had based its election campaign on accusations that the government mismanaged aid following the 2009 tsunami, which killed 183 people, and did not do enough to help victims of the disaster. It was the first election test for the opposition party, which was formed by 11 independent lawmakers in 2008. The Electoral Commission said 90 percent of the 76,000 registered voters in the island nation of 192,000 people voted, some lining up for hours before polling stations opened. 2 killed in attacks in Thailand PATTANI: Suspected Islamic insurgents shot dead a retired policeman as he jogged near a market and a young Buddhist man in two separate attacks yesterday in Thailand’s restive south, police said. The 64year-old former policeman was jogging with friends when he was gunned by two unidentified assailants in Pattani province, police said. Another policeman and two teachers were seriously wounded. A 23-year-old Buddhist man was killed and his mother wounded in a drive-by shooting in the same province, police said. More than 4,500 people have been killed since 2004 as ethnic Malay Muslims fight for autonomy from Thailand’s Buddhist majority in the rubber-rich region, just a few hours drive from some of Thailand’s top tourist destinations. The attacks followed the murder of a Buddhist monk on Saturday in a gun attack that wounded two other monks, one seriously, as they collected alms. Local Muslims largely oppose the presence of tens of thousands of police, soldiers and statearmed Buddhist guards in the three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, a region that was part an independent Muslim sultanate until annexed by Thailand a century ago. — Agencies





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Iraq marks one year of polls as impasse lingers By Prashant Rao ne year after landmark polls, a political impasse in Iraq remains, with several key cabinet posts unfilled and analysts warning bad habits are setting in to the country’s nascent democracy. The March 7, 2010 election, which saw 62.4 percent of Iraqis turn out to vote despite violence, was hailed as free and fair by international observers, and was seen as a key marking point ahead of the pullout of US forces at the end of the year. But the final results showed the two biggest parties were separated by only two seats and resulting bickering meant it took nine months before a national unity cabinet was named, and an incomplete one at that. Most recently, Iyad Allawi, whose Sunni-backed bloc won the most seats in the election, said he would not take up the chairmanship of a statutory body to be formed as a sop for his not receiving the top job and a key part of the power-sharing deal that was eventually agreed. The prolonged period of haggling has sparked concern such a delay could become habit - it took months for politicians to form a government after 2005 elections - and raised questions over whether “national unity” governments built on quotas of ethnic and confessional boundaries are the future. “The legacy of this election and the buy-in it got is that there will likely be other free elections,” said Ali Al-Saffar, a London-based Iraq analyst with the Economist Intelligence Unit. “Another less encouraging legacy is that because it’s taken so long, it’s set a precedent, and they (politicians) will think it’s ok to do it again. “Another yet is the issue of ethno-sectarianism - all the deal-making is made before the prime minister is chosen, and because of the sectarian quotas that have seeped into the process, but are not constitutionally mandated, there have been massive delays in the government formation process.” Much like the last government, eventually formed in 2006, several positions have been determined based on candidates’ ethnic or confessional background. Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, a Shiite, has three deputies - a Sunni, a Kurd and a Shiite, representing Iraq’s three biggest communities. Parliament speaker Osama Al-Nujaifi, a Sunni, has Shiite and Kurd deputies. And while President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, has not yet appointed his deputies, they are widely expected to follow a similar pattern. Iraq expert Reidar Visser notes, meanwhile, that a national unity cabinet also leaves little in the way of an organised political opposition, given the country’s four main parties, accounting for 90 percent of parliamentary seats, are in government. “Iraq may be on the road to democracy, but the road is still very long,” said Visser, an academic and editor of the recently-published book on Iraq, “A Responsible End?”. “Unless Iraqi politicians move away from the basic idea of having all the big parties inside government, there will be no healthy opposition and not a functioning parliamentary democracy.” The negotiations to form a government took months, and saw Iraq set the dubious record of taking the longest amount of time to form a government after elections, a mark that has since been eclipsed by Belgium. In that time, already poor public services such as electricity and clean water provision showed little improvement, forming the crux of frustrations expressed by thousands of Iraqis who have taken to the streets in nationwide protests over the past month. “The past year is best described as a year of deadlock,” said Ranj Alaaldin, an Iraq analyst with the London-based Next Century Foundation. “The ninemonths of political wrangling it took to form a government put the country in a state of paralysis and indecisiveness,” he added, noting that businesses, for example, were unsure of whom they should be dealing with and whether previously-signed contracts would be honoured. Cabinet positions in the government were largely doled out to parties on the basis of their clout within the governing coalition, and questions remain over whether Maliki can effectively discipline ministers for poor performance. —AFP


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Washington Watch

Islamophobia can create radicalization By Dr James J Zogby et me state quite directly: Islamophobia and those who promote it are a greater threat to the United States of America than Anwar Al-Awlaqi and his ragtag team of terrorists. On one level, Al-Awlaqi, from his cave hideout in Yemen, can only prey off of alienation where it exists. Adopting the persona of a latter-day Malcolm X (though he seems not to have read the last chapters of the “Autobiography” or learned the lessons of Malcolm’s ultimate conversion), he appears street-smart, brash, self-assured and assertive - all of the assets needed to attract lost or wounded souls looking for certainty and an outlet for their rage. Like some parasites, Al-Awlaqi cannot create his own prey. He must wait for others to create his opportunities, which until now have been isolated and limited - a disturbed young man here, an increasingly deranged soldier there. Islamophobia, on the other hand, if left unchecked, may serve to erect barriers to Muslim inclusion in America, increasing alienation, especially among young Muslims. Not only would such a situation do grave damage to one of the fundamental cornerstones of America’s unique democracy, it would simultaneously rapidly expand the pool of recruits for future radicalization. I have often remarked that America is different, in concept and reality, from our European allies. Third generation Kurds in Germany, Pakistanis in the UK, or Algerians in France, for example, may succeed and obtain citizenship, but they do not become German, British, or French. Last year, I debated a German government official on this issue. She kept referring to the “migrants” - a term she used to describe all those of Turkish descent, living in her country, regardless of the number of generations they had been there. Similarly, following their last election, a leading British newspaper commented on the “number of immigrants” who won seats - without noting that many of those “immigrants” were third generation citizens. America has prided itself on being different. Being “American” is not the possession of a single ethnic group, nor does any group define “America”. Not only do new immigrants become citizens, they also secure a new identity. More than that, as new groups become American and are transformed - the idea of “America” itself has also changed to embrace these new cultures. Within a generation, diverse ethnic and religious groups from every corner or the globe have become Americans, dramatically changing America in the process. Problems remain and intolerant bigots, in every age, have reared up


against new groups, but history demonstrates that, in the end, the newcomers have been accepted, incorporated and absorbed into the American mainstream. This defines not only our national experience, but our defining narrative, as well. When immigrant school children in Europe learn French, German or British history they are learning “their host’s” history. In the US, from the outset, we are taught that this is “our new story” - that it includes all of us and has included us all, from the beginning. It is because new immigrants and diverse ethnic and religious communities have found their place and acceptance in the American mainstream that the country, during the last century, survived and prospered despite being sorely tested with World Wars, economic upheaval and bouts with internal strife. During all this time we had to contend with anti-black, anti-Asian, anti-Catholic, antiJewish, anti-immigrant, and anti-Japanese movements. In the end, after creating their moment of pain, these efforts have always lost. They lose, but they do not always go away. The Islamophobia we are witnessing today is the latest campaign by bigots to tear apart the very fabric of America. We know the groups promoting it. First, there is the well-funded “cottage industry” on the right, of groups and individuals with a long history of anti-Arab or anti-Muslim activity. Some of the individuals associated with these efforts have been given legitimacy as commentators on “terrorism”, “radicalization” or “national security concerns” - despite their obvious bias and even obsession with all things Arab or Muslim (in this, they remind me of good old-fashioned anti-Semites who never tired of warning of Jewish threats or conspiracies or who while always claiming to like individual Jews, rallied against any and all Jewish organizations). If these “professional bigots” have provided the grist, the mill itself was run by the vast network of rightwing talk radio and TV shows and websites and prominent preachers who have combined to amplify the anti-Muslim message nationwide. Their efforts have done real damage. They have tormented descent public servants, created protests that have shuttered legitimate institutions, fomented hate crimes and produced fear in the Muslim community. In just the past two years, we have seen a dramatic upsurge in the activity of these bigots. More ominously, their cause has been embraced by national political leaders and by elements in the Republican Party - who appear to have decided, in 2010, to use “fear of Islam” as a base-building theme and a wedge issue against Democrats for electoral advantage. In the past only obscure or outrageous Members of

Congress (like: North Carolina’s Sue Myrick who expressed nervousness and insecurity because of “who was owning all those 7/11’s”; or Colorado’s Tom Tancredo who once warned that he “would bomb Makkah”) were outspoken Islamophobes. After the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee embraced opposition to Park 51 as a campaign theme, it is hard to find a leading Republican who has not railed on some issue involving Islam or Muslims in the US. The net impact here is that this current wave of Islamophobia has both played to the Republican base, while firming up that base around this agenda. The polling numbers are striking and deeply disturbing. Fifty-four percent of Democrats have a favorable attitude toward Muslims, while 34 percent do not. Among Republicans, on the other hand, only 12 percent hold a favorable view of Muslims, with 85 percent saying they have unfavorable views. Additionally, 74 percent of Republicans believe “Islam teaches hate” and 60 percent believe that “Muslims tend to be religious fanatics”. The danger here is that to the degree that this issue has become a partisan and, in some cases, a proven vote getter for the GOP, it will not go away any time soon. The longer we are plagued by this bigotry, and the displays of intolerance it breeds (the anti-mosque building demonstrations or the anti-sharia law efforts now spreading across the country) the longer young Muslims will feel that the “promise of America” does not include them - and they will feel like aliens in their own country. It is this concern that has prompted many inter-faith religious groups and leaders and a diverse coalition of ethnic and civil rights organizations to so vigorously oppose Congressman Peter King’s hearings that will deal with the radicalization of American Muslims later this week. They know, from previous statements made by King, of his personal hostility to American Muslims. They also know that what King is doing will only aggravate an already raw wound, creating greater fear and concern among young Muslims - who have already witnessed too much bigotry and intolerance. What they should also know, is that in the process of targeting a religion in this way and engaging in this most “un-American activity” King and company are, in fact, opening the door for increased alienation and future radicalization. Al-Awlaqi must be smiling from inside his cave. NOTE: Dr James J Zogby is the President of the Arab American Institute

After Iraq, Arabs wary of Western action By Jacques Charmelot rab states are reluctant for Western military intervention in Libya after being stung by the US-led invasion of Iraq, analysts say, adding that an intervention could fuel extremism. Anti-government protests broke out against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year rule in midFebruary and quickly escalated into armed conflict. The patchwork Libyan opposition now controls swathes of eastern and western Libya including the key eastern city of Benghazi and some oil installations, while Gaddafi remains firmly in control of the capital Tripoli. The possibility of a Western no-fly zone to prevent Gaddafi launching air raids on his people, as well as other types of military intervention, have been raised. “The Arabs have a special sensitivity when it comes to military intervention because of the Iraqi experience,” said Ibrahim Sharqieh, the deputy director of the Brookings Doha Center, referring to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent occupation. “The Iraqi experience was managed poorly and has resulted in the deaths of too many people,” he said. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in violence in Iraq since ruler Saddam


Hussein was toppled in 2003. The Arab League said Wednesday it would consider backing a no-fly zone over Libya to end the crackdown on anti-regime rebels, but ruled

West. Those people have failed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and they can fail again,” said analyst and journalist Jamil Mroue. Tens of thousands of US and allied troops

A Libyan rebel walks on Saturday past the covered body of a Libyan Air Force pilot and the remains of an aircraft that witnesses say crashed near the recently captured oil town of Ras Lanuf, eastern Libya. – AP out supporting any direct foreign military intervention. “The Arab League fears the vagueness of the terms of the military intervention,” Sharqieh said. And Libyan opposition members “fear the incompetence of the

have been bogged down fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001. “The Libyans fear the crumbling of the revolution into a civil war and then into Islamism,” Mroue said. “Local people have seen the impact of inter-

vention in many places, and they are very protective of their ownership of the process, of their sovereignty.” Mustafa Alani, an analyst at the Gulf Research Center, said it was premature to talk about military intervention. “It is too early,” Alani said. “Arab countries believe that it is premature to talk about military operations. The regime could fall. The countdown has started. And an intervention would only complicate things” by being counterproductive, he said. “Gaddafi could survive,” Alani said, while extremists step up attacks on Western interests. “And who wants a jihadist state in Libya? Do we want to see this scenario in Libya?” Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, several Western countries maintained no-fly zones over the north and south of the country with the professed aim of protecting civilians from Saddam, but during which Iraqi air defences were also destroyed. But “the no-fly zone in Iraq was justified by a human disaster. It was imposed by the scope of human tragedy. We have not seen that yet in Libya; we don’t have a justification yet,” Alani said. “We won’t have a solution for weeks, we are heading for the status quo. It is not clear for how long but I don’t see and end game in the coming weeks,” said Sharqieh. “What we need is an Arab successful diplomatic intervention.” — AFP



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Group backs constitutional amendments By B Izzak KUWAIT: The liberal Democratic Forum yesterday gave its total backing for proposals to undertake key constitutional changes that would dramatically improve the Kuwaiti democratic experience. Calls for amending the constitution to expand public freedoms and upgrade Kuwaiti democracy has already come from at least three political groupings which previously objected to any constitutional change. The Democratic Forum in a statement yesterday called for selecting a prime minister from outside the Al-Sabah ruling family in order to avoid the impact of disputes within the ruling the family on the management of the state. It also called for amending article 80 of the constitution to prevent unelected ministers of becoming members in the National Assembly with voting rights equal to elected MPs with the exception of voting on no-conďŹ dence votes. The Democratic Forum also called for amending article 98 of the constitution to stipulate that before Cabinets can assume power, they must obtain conďŹ dence from the Assembly, which is not the case now. Similar proposals were made by the Islamist Ummah Party and the Islamist Reform and Development Bloc in the Assembly. Last week, the Reform Bloc made several proposals to amend six key articles in the 1962 constitution that would mainly prevent unelected ministers from becoming members in the Assembly. On top of the Democratic Forum calls, the Reform Bloc proposed amending article 101 and 102 to make the procedures for grilling the prime minister similar to other ministers, and article 116 to allow holding Assembly sessions without the presence of any ministers as is the case now. The Reform Bloc also proposed amending article 56 to break the link between the Assembly membership and the number of the ministers. At present, the number of ministers must not exceed one-third of MPs. The new demands came as the National Democratic Alliance called for resolving what it claimed disputes with the ruling family that are “the basis for any political reforms in the countryâ€? according to the liberal Alliance. The developments came as 10 opposition groups called for changing Prime Minister HH Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah as an essential requirement for reforms and cooperation between the government and the Assembly. They also came as three youth groups have intensiďŹ ed calls for a public rally at the Safat Square in downtown Kuwait City tomorrow as smaller youth groups plan to gather at the Assembly early tomorrow as it resumes regular sessions following a six-week break for marking national occasions. A number of progovernment MPs led by Hussein Al-Qallaf however opposed the calls, saying it was not timely and insisted that they only back Sheikh Nasser. Meanwhile, the issue of basic rights for bedoons, although accepted by the Assembly and the government, is expected to snowball into another ashpoint between the two bodies. MPs supporting bedoons’ civil rights insist that they want to pass them in a law so the government will not back down on promises it had made, but the government wants to pass the promised rights in executive decisions. The cabinet yesterday gave full powers to the Central Bedoons Authority headed by Saleh Al-Fadhalah to issue the necessary decisions that would give bedoons their civil rights.

in the


Diplomatic car with Gulf envoys shot at KARACHI: A gunman in Pakistan opened ďŹ re on a car carrying Qatar’s consul and two other Gulf diplomats in an apparent robbery attempt, but no injuries were reported, Qatar’s state-run news agency said yesterday. Pakistani police conďŹ rmed an attempted robbery on a Qatari mission vehicle in the southern city of Karachi but gave conicting accounts on whether any diplomats were directly targeted. The Qatar News Agency said the assailant tried to open the car door Saturday, then ďŹ red shots at the vehicle from a pistol. The Qatari oďŹƒcial was accompanied by Oman’s consul and the deputy consul for Kuwait, but no one was injured, the agency said. A senior Pakistani police oďŹƒcial said two armed men on a motorcycle held up a van carrying the consul. A police guard in the vehicle gave them some money and a cell phone. As the robbers sped away, one ďŹ red a bullet at the van, hitting it from behind, said the oďŹƒcial.

Mubarak sons got fee from Israeli gas deal KUWAIT: The two sons of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak received a hefty commission from Israel to back controversial natural gas exports to the Jewish state, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported yesterday, citing what it said were classiďŹ ed documents. Al-Jarida daily said it obtained the documents, concerning Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, from a special department at the Egyptian interior ministry that was looking at the interests of the family of the former president toppled in a popular uprising last month. Based on the documents, the paper said negotiations took place involving Israeli oďŹƒcials, former Egyptian oil minister Sameh Fahmi and Hussein Salem, a businessman close to the Mubarak family, in Jan 2005. Gamal Mubarak initially demanded a 10 percent commission but eventually agreed to half of that while his elder brother and Salem settled for 2.5 percent each from the $2.5 billion deal signed in May 2005. Al-Jarida published photocopies of the alleged documents.

Gaddafi launches fierce offensive against... Continued from Page 1 GaddaďŹ â€™s hometown of Sirte. One ďŹ ghter returning wounded to Ras Lanuf from the government assault on Bin Jawad was asked what he had seen. “Death,â€? he replied, too distraught to say any more. Rebels surrounded by GaddaďŹ troops near the centre of Zawiyah, 50 km west of Tripoli, faced another onslaught yesterday after repelling two major assaults by tanks and infantry the day before. “This morning, there was a new attack, bigger than yesterday. There were one and a half hours of ďŹ ghting ... Two people were killed from our side and many more injured,â€? spokesman Youssef Shagan said by telephone. “We are still in full control of the square,â€? he added. Elite brigades under GaddaďŹ â€™s son Khamis also launched an assault on Misrata, 200 km east of the capital. “The brigades tried to reach the centre of the town but revolutionaries managed to repel them. They retreated to the airbase,â€? said a resident who declined to be named. “The revolutionaries captured 20 soldiers and seized a tank. The town is now fully in the control of the youths,â€? he said. Rebels ďŹ rst took Bin Jawad on Saturday, but later withdrew. Army units then occupied local homes and set up sniper and rocketpropelled grenade positions for an ambush. “It’s real ďŹ erce ďŹ ghting, like Vietnam,â€? rebel ďŹ ghter Ali Othman told Reuters. “Every kind of weapon is being used. We’ve retreated from an ambush and we are going to regroup.â€? When the rebels returned, a ďŹ erce exchange of rockets and mortar bombs ensued just outside Bin Jawad with the army also using heavy artillery. Behind rebel lines, hundreds of ďŹ ghters armed with machine guns and assault ries waited to advance. “The ďŹ ring is sustained, there is the thud of shells landing, the whoosh of rockets, pus of smoke and heavy machine gun ďŹ re in the distance,â€? a Reuters correspondent there said.

The rebels said they had shot down a helicopter yesterday and Reuters was shown the wreckage of a warplane on Saturday near Ras Lanuf that rebels said they had brought down. Doctors at Ras Lanuf hospital said two dead and 22 wounded had arrived from the ďŹ ghting. A French journalist was shot in the leg, a doctor said, and four rebels were seriously wounded and unlikely to survive. Rebels in Benghazi captured members of the British special forces 30 km from the city, but said authorities were treating them well and hoped to resolve the issue shortly. The Sunday Times earlier reported a British Special Air Service (SAS) unit had been captured after a secret diplomatic mission to make contact with opposition leaders backďŹ red. “They (the rebel army) did capture some British special forces. They could not ascertain if they were friends or foes. For our safety we are holding them and we expect this situation to be resolved soon,â€? a rebel source in Benghazi said. “I can conďŹ rm that a small British diplomatic team is in Benghazi. We are in touch with them, but it would be inappropriate for me to comment further,â€? British Defence Secretary Liam Fox told the BBC. But the insurgents were puzzled by the way the mission was carried out. “If this is an oďŹƒcial delegation, why come with helicopters? Why not say ‘we are coming, permission to land at the airport?’ There are rules for these things,â€? one rebel source said. Western leaders have denounced what they call GaddaďŹ â€™s brutal response to the uprising, and the International Criminal Court said he and his inner circle face investigation for alleged targeting of civilians by his security forces. The International Energy Agency said the revolt had blocked about 60 percent of Libya’s 1.6 million bpd (barrels per day) oil output. The drop, due largely to the ight of thousands of foreign oil workers, will batter the economy and have already jacked up crude prices abroad. — Reuters

GCC weighing stability fund Continued from Page 1 “The political commitment is thereâ€? for such a plan, said John Sfakianakis, chief economist with the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based Banque Saudi-Fransi. Bahrain’s protests are more rooted in sectarian strife, with the Shiitemajority demanding greater rights from the Sunni-minority monarchy. Oman, meanwhile, is seeing building pressures against the country’s sultan, who has tried to stave o the unrest with a Cabinet reshue and some ďŹ nancial measures. But neither country has the wealth of the other oil-rich GCC nations: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Momentum is building in the region for demonstrations. Calls for protests in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia this week have surfaced, and Riyadh

issued a statement outlawing all forms of demonstrations as contrary to Islamic laws and Saudi values. It warned that security forces were authorized to take action against violators. Unrest in Saudi Arabia is particularly worrisome for many. The kingdom sits atop the world’s largest proven reserves of conventional crude oil - much of it in the eastern provinces where the country’s minority Shiite population lives. The violence in Libya has already rattled oil markets and even the perception that oil supplies from Saudi Arabia could be disrupted would be enough to send shock waves through global oil markets. GCC foreign ministers are slated to meet in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi today, with the GCC’s secretary general quoted in Gulf newspapers as saying that the meeting takes on “partic-

ular importanceâ€? given the unrest in the region. It appears unlikely that the ministers will make any formal announcement about providing funds for Bahrain and Oman during that gathering, and many experts expect that the steps could take place behind the scenes, without the oďŹƒcial framework of a fund or a speciďŹ c plan. Analysts said the general hope in the region is that propping up Bahrain and Oman will help the two nations address some of the economic catalysts behind the disquiet and that, in turn, could buy other GCC nations with more time to gradually phase in at least some of the political reforms that are being demanded. “The money will be allocated,â€? said Sfakianakis. “It’s a matter of how they will do it and what will the mechanisms be.â€? — AP

Thousands protest at Bahrain govt HQ Continued from Page 1

y Years of Themes: Fifftty wenty Years T e, Tw Independenc n o of Liberati

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The Gulf archipelago of Bahrain, a strategic US ally and home of the US Fifth Fleet, has been shaken by demonstrations calling for political reform since Feb 14. “Hey Khalifa, get out! Get out!â€? demonstrators chanted Sunday, referring to the country’s prime minister of four decades, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, who has an oďŹƒce at the palace and has been a target of demonstrations. “We want the prime minister to go,â€? said Alaa AlNasr, a 24-year-old demonstrator. Another protester, 42-year-old Osama Al-Nuwain, agreed. “It’s mainly against Sheikh Khalifa - they want this government to go,â€? said Nuwain. Protesters also chanted for the 2002 constitution, which established an appointed upper house that has veto powers over the decisions of the elected chamber, to be scrapped. “The 2002 constitution falls for the sake of Bahrain,â€? demonstrators chorused in a refrain that rhymes in Arabic. Bahrain is ruled by the Sunni Muslim Al-Khalifa family but has a Shiite Muslim majori-

ty which has been at the forefront of the protests. “Our problem is a political one,â€? Sheikh Ali Salman, the head of the Shiite opposition Islamic National Accord Association, or Al-Wefaq, told the crowd of protesters. “We need political reforms - lead the people to elect their government, and not a government that remains on our chests for 40 years, with all its failure,â€? he said, referring to the premier’s four-decade tenure. As in a speech on Friday, Salman also emphasised Sunni-Shiite harmony. “We want a home which has security for Sunnis and security for Shiites, and dignity for Sunnis and dignity for Shiites,â€? he said. “We want to get rid of Al-Khalifa dictatorship, but we don’t want to be under a Shiite dictatorship, or a dictatorship of a party,â€? Salman said. Residents of Hamad Town, south of Manama, said police had intervened to break up Sunni-Shiite clashes late on Thursday, the ďŹ rst outbreak of sectarian violence since the protests began. The government warned yesterday against sliding into sectarianism, saying “acts that

perpetuate sectarianism and sedition are rejected by the people and the religion,â€? BNA reported. Opposition groups have stopped short of demanding outright regime change, instead calling for major reforms including an elected parliament “with full legislative powersâ€?. “We came here because we don’t want this government,â€? said Nawal Hassan, a 29-year-old protester at the palace, who wore the traditional black abaya robe and veil, with a Bahraini ag around her neck like a cape. “We don’t want them! Let all the world know,â€? she said. The protest began around 9:00 am (0600 GMT) and lasted about three hours. Demonstrators continue to keep vigil in hundreds of tents at Manama’s Pearl Square, which has become the epicentre of the antigovernment protests. Thousands of people on Friday made a human chain between the square and the Al-Fateh Sunni mosque six kilometres away, calling for the removal of the government and sectarian harmony. — Agencies

Kuwait is no stranger to protests Continued from Page 1 Kuwait’s opposition bloc in parliament - a mix of Islamists and anticorruption reformists - has gone toe-to-toe for years with the handpicked government of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah over allegations that include ďŹ nancial mismanagement and attempts to roll back political freedoms. The dissident lawmakers draw heavily from the desert provinces outside Kuwait City, where many feel overlooked and cut out of the country’s oil wealth. The most signiďŹ cant change this week could be adding pro-reform youth groups into the fray. At a protest strategy meeting last week, some organizers of new youth-oriented factions - including one called KaďŹ , or Enough, in Arabic pledged to occupy a main square in Kuwait City to copy the round-theclock stand by demonstrators in Bahrain’s Pearl Square. The top target for Kuwait’s protesters is the Prime Minister HH Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah, who has been accused of trying to limit political freedoms and muzzle dissenting voices. Sheik Nasser - a nephew of the Amir - narrowly survived a parlia-

ment vote in January that would have forced him to resign. Weeks earlier, he was grilled in a rare parliamentary questioning session called after security forces clashed with opposition deputies and their supporters at a December rally. The prime minister, who took oďŹƒce in 2006, also survived a no-conďŹ dence vote in Dec 2009 after allegations that public funds were misused. The opposition is also demanding fasttrack parliament elections, claiming some pro-government lawmakers won seats in 2009 through vote rigging. In Kuwait last week, security forces ďŹ red tear gas to disperse protests by the descendants of desert nomads, known as bedoons, demanding citizenship and the generous state beneďŹ ts that go with it, such as free healthcare and public service jobs. “The opposition wants a government that is responsive to parliament, but you have a political system that is essentially responsive to the ruling family and, to a great extent, often comprising the ruling family,â€? said F Gregory Gause III, an expert on Gulf aairs at the University of Vermont. “How do you reach a compromise between these two principles? Something has got to give.â€?

Kuwait’s leader has already cut loose one top government minister last month. I t was enough for opposition groups to postpone protest rallies until this week. Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled Al-Sabah stepped down as interior minister after a suspect arrested for illegal liquor sales was allegedly tortured to death while in police custody. In January, HH the Amir also granted KD 1,000 ($3,559) and free food coupons for each of the 1 million citizens. The gifts were linked to three anniversaries early this year: 50 years of independence, the 20th anniversary of the US-led invasion that drove out Iraqi troops and the fifth year of Sheikh Sabah’s rule. But it also came just as stunned Arab leaders watched the revolt in Tunisia swell into an unstoppable force. “ The absence of political freedoms, tyranny, corruption and the inability to make ends meet all these and other problems are the same� around the region, said Jordan-based political analyst Labib Kamhawi. “The primary cause of all this is the regimes. However, some countries which are able to pre-empt the problems through quick concessions and serious reforms may be able to survive the turbulence.� — AP


sp orts

Marshall charged with assault

Contador eyes Giro win

Haye set for Klitschko fight LONDON: Britain’s David Haye has confirmed that he will fight Vladimir Klitschko in the summer for the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight championships. Both men have been calling for the fight to be finalised for some months, but Kiltschko’s withdrawal on Saturday from a scheduled April 30 defence against Dereck Chisora appears to have clinched the deal. Haye told the BBC that the fight, which is expected to take place on June 25 or July 2, was secured late Saturday. “I finally had that contract in front of me and I couldn’t wait to put pen to paper,” he told the BBC. “It’ll be either June 25 or July 2, either date is fine by me. “It’s the fight every boxing fan has to see, and every sports fan. “He is ranked by many as the best heavyweight in the world - in front of myself, even though I’m the WBA champion.” The fight looks set to take place in Germany, where Ukrainian Klitschko has a big following. On the negotiation process, Haye said: “He wanted all these little things - he’s a bit precious, is Vladimir, so I gave him all these little things to make him feel like he’d got a mental edge.—AFP

MURCIA: Provisionally cleared of doping Alberto Contador said Saturday he has fixed the Tour of Italy as his first major objective of the season with an eye on a bid for a fourth Tour de France title later in the summer. Contador tested positive for traces of the banned muscle-building substance clenbuterol during last July’s Tour de France, which he won, but was cleared last month by the Spanish cycling federation who accepted his claim that he ate contaminated meat. “The Giro d’Italia (May 7-29) is my first big objective,” said Contador, who took the lead in the Tour of Murcia on Saturday. It is the Saxo Bank rider’s second race of the season after finishing fourth in the Tour of the Algarve last month. “I’ve seen the (Giro) stages on the

internet. It’s tough, really tough. There isn’t one standout stage, there are six! But the Tour de France (July 2-24) remains in my plans. If I can, I’ll race it.” The Spaniard must still wait to see whether the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have the Spanish cycling federation’s judgement overturned. But he insists he is slowly recovering from the trauma of his positive test. “I’ve gone through a difficult time .... People said nasty things, stupid things in the media,” he said. “But I have a lot to thank my fans for, without them maybe nothing would have been resolved. They forced me to clear up the situation. I don’t think I can be as I was before, I’ve suffered a lot and now I’m more reserved, I’m more careful.”—AFP

SYDNEY: Australian National Rugby League star Benji Marshall was charged yesterday with assault following an altercation that his manager says was racially motivated. Marshall, the New Zealand test captain and Wests Tigers player, allegedly punched a 24-year-old man outside a Sydney fast food restaurant early Saturday morning. He was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm after being interviewed by detectives yesterday. Marshall’s manager, Martin Tauber, told Australian newspapers that the Maori player had been provoked by racial taunts from a man in a group of eight to 10 people. “He (Marshall) tried to walk away from him — he tried to make light of it and then the guy did it again,” Tauber told The Sunday Telegraph. Marshall is scheduled to appear in court on April 20. National Rugby League officials have asked for an immediate report on the incident from the Wests Tigers. The first round of the NRL season begins next weekend. “We can’t escape the fact that the game does not need to be dealing with an issue such as this at such an important time of year,” NRL chief executive David Gallop said in a statement. “Players are not always in the wrong but incidents such as these will always demand close scrutiny by the game and the public.” —AP

Flyers fall to Sabres

NHL results and standings on Saturday: NY Islanders 5, St. Louis 2; Buffalo 5, Philadelphia 3; Vancouver 3, Los Angeles 1; Pittsburgh 3, Boston 2 (OT); Chicago 5, Toronto 3; Atlanta 4, Florida 3 (OT); Montreal 4, Tampa Bay 2; Phoenix 5, Detroit 4 (SO); Edmonton 5, Colorado 1; Dallas 3, San Jose 2. (OT denotes overtime win), (SO denotes shootout win)

PHILADELPHIA: The Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers lost three straight games for the first time since December when they fell to the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 in the NHL on Saturday. Drew Stafford, Tyler Ennis and Andrej Sekera scored three straight goals in the second period to put the Sabres ahead. Jason Pominville hit the tie-breaking winner in the third and Nathan Gerbe added a late empty-netter. Ryan Miller bounced back from a shaky first period to stop 33 shots. Kris Versteeg, James van Riemsdyk and Kimmo Timonen scored for the Flyers, who have cruised atop the East for most of the season, but haven’t been able to match the desperation of teams fighting for a playoff berth.

Philadelphia Pittsburgh NY Rangers New Jersey NY Islanders

Islanders 5, Blues 2 At Uniondale, New York, Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald scored two rare goals, John Tavares and P.A. Parenteau both had a goal and an assist in the first period, and New York sent sinking St. Louis to a fourth straight loss. MacDonald, who entered his 100th NHL game with only three career goals, scored his third in two games. Each goal on Saturday gave the Islanders a three-goal lead. They held on to win their second in a row at home. Canucks 3, Kings 1 At Los Angeles, Daniel Sedin scored the tiebreaker with 8:24 to play, Roberto Luongo made 21 saves, and Vancouver opened a five-game road trip with a gritty victory over Los Angeles. Jannik Hansen scored in the first period and Alexandre Burrows added an empty-net goal for the Canucks, who have stayed on top of the NHL standings despite alternating wins and losses for a full month. Jonathan Quick stopped 33 shots, and Dustin Penner scored his first goal for the Kings, who lost in regulation for just the third time in 18 games. Coyotes 5, Red Wings 4 At Glendale, Arizona, Radim Vrbata’s shootout goal completed a furious Phoenix comeback as the Coyotes topped Detroit. Down 4-1 in the final period, the Coyotes got goals from Kyle Turris and Ray Whitney to get within one by the middle of the frame. Martin Hanzal leveled the score at 4-all with 1:57 left in regulation. After Phoenix’s Kyle Turris was stopped by goalie Jimmy Howard in the shootout, Vrbata put a backhander in behind him to win it. Phoenix ended a five-game losing streak, while Detroit went winless for the third straight game. Penguins 3, Bruins 2 At Boston, Dustin Jeffrey scored his second goal of the game 1:52 into overtime as Pittsburgh ended Boston’s sevengame winning streak. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots, and Jordan Staal also scored for Pittsburgh, which had won only one of its last seven games _ including four overtime losses. David Krejci and Zdeno Chara scored for Boston, which was on its longest winning streak since in two years. Canadiens 4, Lightning 2 In Tampa, Florida, Max Pacioretty scored two goals and Carey Price made 43 saves to lead Montreal over Tampa Bay.

NHL results/standings

Boston Montreal Buffalo Toronto Ottawa Tampa Bay Washington Carolina Atlanta Florida

GLENDALE: Vernon Fiddler No. 38 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates with the puck past Brad Stuart No. 23 of the Detroit Red Wings during the NHL game. — AP Montreal has won four consecutive games, including three on the road. The Canadiens are now only one point behind fifthplace Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Price stopped all but three of the 116 shots he faced during a three-game road sweep of Atlanta, Florida and Tampa Bay. The Canadiens went up 2-0 when Hal Gill and David Desharnais scored 3:14 apart in the first period. The Lightning have lost three in a row. Blackhawks 5, Maple Leafs 3 In Toronto, Jonathan Toews scored a goal to extend his points streak to nine games as Chicago won its eighth straight. Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik, Viktor Stalberg and Bryan Bickell also scored for the Blackhawks. The defending Stanley Cup champions took a 3-0 lead in the first period, a night after a 5-2 home victory over Carolina. Joffrey Lupul, Joey Crabb and Luke Schenn scored for the Maple Leafs, which have earned at least a point in nine straight games. Thrashers 4, Panthers 3 In Atlanta, Andrew Ladd scored his second goal of the game in overtime to help Atlanta beat Florida. Blake Wheeler also scored twice for the Thrashers, who ended a two-game losing streak.

Sergei Samsonov, Stephen Weiss and David Booth scored for the Panthers, who have dropped four straight and are winless in 17 of 22. Oilers 5, Avalanche 1 In Denver, Sam Gagner had a goal and two assists and Devan Dubnyk stopped 33 shots as Edmonton won its third straight. Ryan Jones, Shawn Horcoff, Alexandre Giroux and Andrew Cogliano also scored for the Oilers in a matchup of the two worst teams in the Western Conference. Ryan O’Reilly had the lone goal for the Avalanche, who have dropped 15 of their last 16 games. The Oilers jumped out to a 4-0 lead midway through the second period, chasing Colorado goalie Brian Elliott from the game. Stars 3, Sharks 2 At San Jose, California, Jason Williams scored his first goal of the season to break a third-period tie as Dallas ended San Jose’s eight-game winning streak. Williams signed as a free agent with Dallas last month after sitting out the first four months of the season. Janie Benn and Loui Eriksson also scored for Dallas and Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves as the Stars improved to 4-0-1 following a five-game losing streak. Kyle Wellwood and Patrick Marleau scored for San Jose, which lost at home for the first time since Jan. 13. — AP

Detroit Chicago Nashville Columbus St. Louis Vancouver Calgary Minnesota Colorado Edmonton San Jose Phoenix Dallas Los Angeles Anaheim

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF 40 18 6 208 38 21 8 193 34 29 4 186 29 31 4 136 25 32 9 182 Northeast Division 38 19 8 199 36 23 7 176 31 25 8 186 29 28 9 173 22 34 9 147 Southeast Division 37 21 7 195 35 20 10 173 31 26 9 191 27 28 11 184 26 31 8 163 Western Conference Central Division 39 19 8 219 37 23 6 218 33 23 9 165 31 26 7 176 28 28 9 177 Northwest Division 41 16 9 213 34 24 9 204 34 25 6 169 26 31 8 185 23 35 8 169 Pacific Division 38 22 6 185 34 23 10 191 35 23 7 180 36 25 4 180 35 25 5 182

GA PTS 167 86 166 84 164 72 166 62 210 59 152 167 185 202 206

84 79 70 67 53

198 164 201 214 181

81 80 71 65 60

193 182 153 191 194

86 80 75 69 65

155 191 171 224 215

91 77 74 60 54

167 194 183 159 190

82 78 77 76 75

Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

Crusaders win for quake victims WELLINGTON: The Canterbury Crusaders’ vic tor y in the face of tragedy leant a sheen of poignancy to the third round of rugby’s Super 15 and warned opponents the habitual champions are a force in this year’s competition. The Crusaders overcame 10 days of emotional strain since a magnitude 6.3 earthquake devastated their home town of Christchurch by beating the New South Wales Waratahs 33-18 for their first win of the season. After losing their opening game to the Auckland Blues and foregoing their second against the Wellington Hurricanes in the immediate aftermath of the deadly ear thquake, the Crusaders found the strength in adversity on Friday to express their best form. Forced from their broken home stadium by the quake, they played at Nelson near the top of New Zealand’s South Island which received a visiting team from New South Wales for the first time in almost 120 years. The Waratahs scored early tries through center Tom Carter and scrumhalf Luke Burgess to lead 13-6 before the Crusaders turned the match in the last 10 minutes of the first half, when Robbie Fruean scored two tries. Sonny Bill Williams enlarged the lead with a second-half try on his Super rugby debut and All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter hammered home the advantage by kicking seven goals from as many attempts. The match was played against the backdrop of two tragedies. The Crusaders honored a pledge to play their first home match of the season in memory of 29 men killed in an explosion at the Pike River coal mine on the west coast of the S outh Island in November. They played in the red and white jerseys of the West Coast Rugby Union, ensuring that observance was not sub-

sumed by the more recent and larger tragedy. “You know it’s just a game of rugby but if it makes people feel really proud, that’s what we’re here to do,” coach Todd Blackadder said. “The guys play for our community, they serve them. We’re going to keep flying our flag very proudly, I can assure you of that.” Friday ’s win improved the Crusaders’ record this season to one win, one loss and one draw _ they shared points with the Hurricanes when their scheduled match, immediately after the earthquake, was abandoned. The shock of the round came from the Crusaders’ South Island neighbors, the Otago Highlanders, who extended their unbeaten star t to the season to three games, beating last year’s Super 14 champions the Bulls 35-28 on their home ground at Pretoria. The Highlanders finished no higher than ninth in the last four years of the Super 14 but have been transformed this season under a new coach, former All Black Jamie Joseph. They not only defeated the Bulls on their usually impregnable home ground _ ending a three-year, 20match winning streak _ but took a four-try bonus point in doing so. They now comfortably lead the New Zealand conference with an unblemished record, heading the Auckland Blues who also won in South Africa, rallying to beat the Lions 41-32. From the fifth minute when flanker Adam Thomson scored a tr y, the Highlanders led and never trailed. “ To beat the Bulls at Loftus, I think, is one thing everyone wants to do in their career and to do it as captain of the Highlanders is just a great feeling,” said Jamie Mackintosh. The Highlanders were one of three teams to preserve unbeaten records in the

third round, along with South Africa’s Sharks, who are unbeaten in three games, and last year’s finalists the Stormers, who have won two from two. The Sharks gained their first bonus point win of the season, beating the Western Force 39-12 in Perth. The Durbanbased Sharks have also yet to concede a tr y but their win came at a cost, with Odwa Ndungane stretchered off after being spear tackled. The match turned when Force replacement center Rory Sidey was sent off in the 18th minute for a dangerous lift tackle on Ndungane. The Force were also counting their wounded. Wallabies flanker David Pocock went off with a knee injury and center Mitch Inman dislocated an elbow, all within the first 20 minutes. “ There’s been numerous games throughout the years when 14 men have gone on to win,” Force coach Richard Graham said. “But when you’re down to 14 men you’ve got to make sure you control the game, and we didn’t value possession and as a consequence paid a fairly heavy price.” The Stormers beat the winless Cheetahs 21-15, with all points coming from penalties. Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant k icked seven penalties while Cheetahs counterpar t Naas Olivier responded with four for the visitors. Cheetahs replacement R iaan Viljoen kicked another penalty in the final minute to secure a bonus point. “No excuses, it was ugly,” Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said. “But whilst we need to fix things, it’s good to keep winning.” The Waikato Chiefs broke an almost two -year losing streak on their home ground at Hamilton, beating the M elbourne Rebels 38-10 while the Queensland Reds achieved their first-ever Super rugby win at Canberra, beating the ACT Brumbies 31-25. — AP

FLORIDA: Jerry Kelly plays a shot on the 6th hole during the third round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa. — AFP

Sabbatini tames wind for five shot lead at Honda MIAMI: South African Rory Sabbatini mastered gusting winds to card a four-under 66 and seize a commanding five shot lead after three rounds at the Honda Classic on Saturday. Sabbatini, who matched the PGA National champion course record of 64 in the second round, was again an island of calm in diabolical conditions, mixing five birdies with a single bogey -just his fourth of the week - to sit on nine-under 201. “You can’t be complacent out there because if you lose focus for a second, it can take shots away in a hurry,” Sabbatini told reporters. “I’ve seen it with my playing partners over the past couple of days. “I just have to remain focused on what I’ve been doing, just trying to keep the ball on the fairway, trying to put it on the green in regulation and just trying to let the putter do the work.” Another day of whipping winds created havoc at Palm Beach Garden layout, 2009 Honda champion South Korean Yang Yong-eun (67) and American Jerry Kelly (68) battling to stay in touch on four-under 206. American Gary Woodland (68) is one shot further adrift at 207 while 22-year-old PGA Tour rookie Kyle

Stanley, who had held a one shot lead on Sabbatini overnight, slipped down the leaderboard with four-over 74 to sit seven back. “I just try not to be greedy,” said Yang. “You can’t beat a course like this. So sometimes a course just let’s you take a birdie or two on it and I just capitalise on the moment. “I’m just trying to play my own game and we’ll see at the end of tomorrow where I stand. “If I am in contention tomorrow then I’ll try to maybe pick it up a notch, but if not, I’ll just try to play my own game.” British world number two Lee Westwood, who had a chance to reclaim top ranking from German Martin Kaymer with a solo third place finish or better, fell out of contention with a sloppy five-over 75 ending in a run of four bogeys from the 15th. Ernie Els, Honda champion in 2008, continued to struggle in the breezy conditions opening and closing his round with bogeys on his way to an eight-over 78. Through three rounds the big South African has managed just six birdies - five in the second round - against four double bogeys and 12 bogeys to leave him at the bottom of the leaderboard. — Reuters



e niv rsar n


MONDAY, MARCH 7 , 2011


Ogier clings to lead in Rally of Mexico

MEXICO: World Rally team’s pilot Petter Solberg, from Norway, and co-driver Chris Patterson, from Great Britain, compete on the FIA’s WRC Mexico Rally.—AP

MEXICO CITY: Frenchman Sebastien Ogier extended his slender lead in the Rally of Mexico on Saturday after his compatriot and Citroen team mate Sebastien Loeb suffered gearbox problems. Ogier started the second day leading by 2.3 seconds and finished it 10.5 ahead despite falling behind Loeb, the seven-times world champion. The final three stages will be held late yesterday. As the first car on the gravel course in the Sierra de Lobos mountains near Leon, Ogier had to confront the worst of the conditions while sweeping the rocks off the road for his chasing rivals. Loeb took full advantage, winning Saturday’s opening stage to take the overall lead, and opening up a 19.7 seconds gap midway through the day. However, he lost his advantage when his car got stuck in third gear and he was forced to carry out running repairs. He arrived five minutes late for the start of the next stage and was handed a 50-second penalty, dropping him back behind Ogier into second spot. “Of course the gap was better before and I would have preferred to have this starting the final day than to be behind,” said Loeb, who also won the last two super stages

of the day held back in the city. “I will have to really push because there will not be so much cleaning tomorrow as the stages have been used already in some way. It won’t be easy.” Ogier, chasing his third career win, had his own problems late in the day when he suffered a power loss and was then called up before the stewards, who reopened an investigation into whether he should be punished for an incident on Friday when he drove into service rather than regroup as required by the regulations. “It was a good day although almost everybody had problems,” he said. “We are first and that is good but Seb is very close and when it is like this it is very complicated.” Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen, who won last month’s season-opening Rally of Sweden, was third, one and a half minutes behind Ogier despite puncturing a front tyre on the 16th stage, while another Finn, Jari-Matti Latvala, ended the day fourth. Norway’s Petter Solberg won four of Saturday’s nine stages to climb from 13th overnight to fifth but nearly seven minutes behind the leader after engine problems stalled his progress on day one.—Reuters

Vonn adds to haul with super-G crown TARVISIO: Lindsey Vonn clinched her third discipline title in three days with a super-G victory yesterday to wrap up a memorable weekend of racing for the American. Vonn took the super-combined and downhill titles the past two days and has moved within 96 points of German rival and good friend Maria Riesch in the overall standings with six races remaining this season. “It was a great weekend for me,” Vonn said. “I was most happy about the supercombined title — it’s been a really tough season for me in slalom and to finally put a slalom run down that was right in there with all the other girls made me really happy. “But I wanted to try to end the weekend with a win and I’m really happy that I was able to do that,” added Vonn, who placed second Friday and Saturday. In the super-G standings, Vonn now holds an insurmountable 171-point lead over Riesch with only one more race remaining in the discipline this season. Vonn clocked 1 minute, 21.75 seconds down the sun-drenched Prampero course. Fellow American Julia Mancuso was second, 0.23 behind, and Riesch was third, 0.50 back. In a banner day for the Americans, World Cup rookie Laurenne Ross was fourth, 0.70 behind, for her career-best result. The last time US women took three of the first four spots was on Jan. 14, 2007 in a super-combined race in Zauchensee, Austria, with Mancuso first, Vonn second and Resi Stiegler fourth. “It’s incredible. The team has such good energy right now and we’re all working off each other,” Vonn said. “All the girls — Laurenne and Leanne (Smith, who finished 11th) — are always wanting to learn and are always pushing themselves, and you can see every race they’re getting better and better. It shows how much depth we have and how well we’re working as a team, so I’m really happy for everyone.” Vonn, Mancuso and Ross stood 1-2-3 until Riesch came down and ended the

chances of the U.S. team’s first podium sweep. Still, Ross earned a spot at the World Cup finals, where only the top 25 ranked skiers in each discipline qualify. Vonn couldn’t celebrate when she came down because Riesch and other top-ranked skiers were still to start. When the results became clear, however, her joy was evident. Vonn skipped the second half of last month’s world championships to recover from a mild concussion that left her temporarily “skiing in a fog”. “It was just a matter of being able to focus and concentrate that was slowing me down,” she said. “That time off was what has enabled me to ski the way I am now. I’m really thankful that we had the foresight to do that, and that I had support from my doctors, my coaches and my husband. That’s what really has gotten me through this ordeal.” It was the eighth win for Vonn this season and the 41st of her World Cup career, moving her within one of Sweden’s Anja Paerson on the all-time list. Paerson finished fifth yesterday to follow up her downhill victory a day earlier. Only three women are ahead of Paerson on the all-time wins list: Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Proell with 62, Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider with 55 and Austria’s Renate Goetschl with 46. The women’s circuit now travels to Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic, for giant slalom and slalom races next weekend, the last stop before the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, March 16-20. “I can’t lose any more points to (Riesch) the rest of the season if I want to win the (overall) title, and that’s going to be really tough to do, but it’s still possible,” Vonn said. “It’s a lot different when you’re in the lead for the title by only 96 points and trailing by 96 points. I’ve been in that position before and it’s not an easy one. It’s a lot of pressure and a lot of stress, so you never know what’s going to happen and I just have to keep trying to ski the best that I can and really risk.”—AP

PARIS: France’s Renaud Lavillenie, reacts as he takes the gold medal in the pole vault men’s final at the European Indoor Athletics Championships.—AP

Russia and France dominate European indoors PARIS: Russia bagged three golds and hosts France two on the second day of the European indoor athletics championships on Saturday while Britain Mo Farah defended his crown in the men’s 3,000 metres final. Russian Yelena Arzhakova triumphed in the 1,500 metres in a time of four minutes 13.78 seconds and was at a loss to explain the result. “I really did not expect to win this race. I do not know what was in my mind, I was just running like crazy and I had a lot of luck,” Arzhakova told reporters. Farah completed the 3,000 metre course in a slow time of seven minutes 53 seconds, holding off Azerbaijan’s Hayle Ibrahimov for Britain’s first gold of the championships. “It was a tough race. I had to push myself in the last lap,” Farah said. Anna Avdeeva started Russia’s dominance

by winning the women’s shot put with a throw of 18.70 metres to beat German duo Christina Schwanitz and Josephine Terlecki. Ivan Ukhov then leapt 2.38 metres to claim the men’s high jump gold with Jaroslav Baba of the Czech Republic second and fellow Russian Aleksandr Shustov taking bronze at the Bercy complex in the French capital. Italy’s Simona La Mantia dashed Russia’s hopes of an early clean sweep by seizing victory in the women’s triple jump final with a world best effort this year of 14.60 metres to leave Olesya Zabara frustrated with her silver medal. France enjoyed success on Friday with Antoinette Nana Djimou Ida winning the women’s pentathlon and day two brought more gold with Renaud Lavillenie’s championship record of 6.03 metres in the pole vault where he edged out compatriot Jerome Clavier.

A capacity Paris crowd was then thrilled by Leslie Djhone winning the men’s 400 metres title but there was disappointment for the French in the men’s long jump where silver medallist Kafetien Gomis lost out to Germany’s Sebastian Bayer. France’s Teddy Tamgho, who qualified first on Friday, was fourth but has another chance in Sunday’s triple jump when he will aim to break his own indoor world record set last month. Denisa Rosolova of the Czech Republic set a personal indoor best of 51.73 seconds to take the women’s 400 metres gold. Several heats and semi-finals also took place on Saturday with hosts France boosted by Christophe Lemaitre qualifying fastest for the 60 metres final late yesterday while defending champion Dwain Chambers of Britain was joint third fastest.—Reuters

Spain cruise in Davis Cup Serbs edge ahead of India

SLOVENIA: Austria’s Mario Matt clears a gate on his way to place fifth during the first run of an alpine ski, Men’s World Cup slalom.—AP

Matt wins World Cup slalom SLOVENIA: Mario Matt of Austria won his second straight World Cup slalom race yesterday while the two favorites for the discipline title, Ivica Kostelic and Jean-Baptiste Grange, were disqualified for straddling a gate. Matt, who was fifth after the opening run, finished the Podkoren course in a combined time of 1 minute, 49.19 seconds for his 12th career victory. The Austrian also won in Bansko, Bulgaria, last week. “I had the self-belief to fully attack. My material is perfect, that makes ski racing a pleasure for me,” said Matt, who struggled with his equipment for the first part of the season. “I got new boots by the end of December. Since then, everything goes well. Being at the start and knowing that everything is OK, that’s just a great feeling.” Axel Baeck of Sweden and Nolan Kasper of the United States, who had the fastest second-run time, both earned their first career podium finish as they shared second place, 0.09 behind Matt. With both Kostelic and Grange failing to score points, the slalom title will be decid-

ed at the season-ending race in two weeks. The Croat leads the Frenchman by 36 points, while Andre Myhrer of Sweden is also in with a slim chance as he trails Kostelic by 95 points. Grange initially completed his first run and finished 0.52 off the lead but later admitted the mistake. “I don’t know yet what the consequences of my mistake are,” said Grange, referring to the finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. “I am not focussing on Ivica. He’s a great slalom skier but I have to concentrate on my own performance.” Kostelic, who was 11th after the opening run, could have secured the crystal globe by finishing in the top two. He failed to finish for a second straight race as he also went out in the opening run at Bansko a week ago. A total of seven racers — including Ted Ligety, who finished third in Saturday’s GS — failed to finish their second run. Most skied out while coming off the difficult first steep section of the course. The men’s World Cup circuit travels to Kvitfjell, Norway, for speed races next weekend.—AP

LONDON: Spain, Sweden and Argentina reached the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup after sealing World Group first round victories with a minimum of fuss on Saturday. Holders Serbia edged 2-1 in front of India, although as was the case in Friday’s singles, their unfancied opponents put up fierce resistance in Novi Sad. Favourites Spain, seeking to regain the title they have made a habit of winning over the past 11 years, took a 3-0 lead against Belgium in Charleroi as Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco beat Olivier Rochus and Steve Darcis 7-6 6-4 6-3. Belgium have yet to win a set in the tie with Sunday’s two “dead” rubbers to come -one of which world number one Rafa Nadal will treat as a glorified practice against Xavier Malisse. Nadal made a winning return on Friday after more than a month out injured when he cruised past Ruben Bemelmans to give his side a 2-0 lead that Belgium were illequipped to overhaul. Lopez is already casting his mind ahead to a quarter-final against the United States, after Bob and Mike Bryan gave Jim Courier’s side a 2-1 lead against Chile in Santiago. “The match against the United States will be extremely tough,” he told reporters. “They are one of the toughest teams we could get playing away, with Andy Roddick and John Isner and the world’s best doubles team.” Sweden took an unassailable lead against a below-strength Russia with Simon Aspelin and

Robert Lindstedt beating Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitr y Tursunov while in Buenos Aires, Argentina also established a 3-0 lead. The other five first round ties are all still alive going into Sunday’s

reverse singles with the US, Germany, France, Czech Republic and Serbia one point away from progressing to the last eight. Serbia probably expected to be home and dry against India even

LISBON: Rui Machado from Portugal celebrates after winnig a set point during his Davis Cup Group I Europe/Africa first round tennis match with Lukas Lacko, from Slovakia. —AP

without world number three Novak Djokovic who skipped the tie to prepare early for next week’s Indian Wells tournament. However, Janko Tipsarevic’s defeat by Somdev Devvarman on Friday threw a spanner in the works, meaning Saturday’s doubles featuring Ilija Bozoljac and Nenad Zimonjic against Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna took on huge significance. Once again the Indians were in no mood to be bullied in the 6,000capacity SPENS Sports Centre in the town that produced former women’s world number one Monica Seles. The Indian duo took the first set but Bozoljac and Zimonjic responded to win 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 and give Serbia a 2-1 lead. It was edge-ofthe-seat stuff in a 12-10 tiebreak where India were within a point of forcing a fifth set. “We were in a tight spot after dropping the first set and had to raise our game considerably to win the match,” said Zimonjic. “We were a bit lucky to save that set point when we hit some impossible shots and we are glad we are ahead in the tie.” Viktor Troicki, who sealed Serbia’s epic triumph against France in December ’s final in Belgrade, faces Devvarman in late yesterday’s first reverse singles. The winners face an away tie in Sweden. France were stalled by Austria inside a hangar at Vienna’s international airport-Juergen Melzer and Oliver Marach keeping the tie alive for the hosts with victor y over Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra.—Reuters



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Nets snare Raptors in triple OT

INDIANAPOLIS: Michael Phelps swims in the menís 200-meter individual medley at the USA Swimming Grand Prix swim meet.—AP

Phelps bags more gold medals in Indianapolis INDIANAPOLIS: Michael Phelps posted the fastest times in the world this year in winning two more races at the Indianapolis Grand Prix on Saturday, bringing his gold medal total in the event to five. The 14-time Olympic gold medalist won the 200-meter individual medley in 1 minute, 56.88 seconds, and the 100-meter freestyle in 48.89 at the Indiana University Natatorium. “In my eyes, it just feels good to be able to race and race at a good speed,” said Phelps, who didn’t win either event in his only other meet this year two months ago in Austin, Texas. The most highly anticipated race in Indianapolis was the 200 individual medley, pitting Phelps, the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist in the event, against his chief rival, world-record holder Ryan Lochte. Phelps led Lochte by more than eight-tenths of a second at the midway point, extended the margin to nearly 11/2 seconds at the third turn

and wound up beating the fatigued Lochte by more than two full seconds. Phelps’ time also supplanted Lochte’s previous best as the fastest time in the world this season. Lochte, who finished in 1:59.19, had beaten Phelps in the event at the Austin Grand Prix in January. “He’s back, there’s no doubt about it,” said Lochte, who was the world’s most dominant swimmer in 2010. “I don’t think he’s ever not there, no matter what he says. I feel like he can step up and race any time.” In the 100 freestyle, Phelps came back from third place with a strong finish to win the gold and set another world-best time this year. Matthew Grevers finished second in 50.01 and Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak was third in 50.08. “The last 50 just felt incredible,” Phelps said. “I felt like I really was able to build a lot of momentum coming off the wall. You know, I’m never really satisfied, but I am happy to put up the

five fastest times in the world here.” Phelps also won the 200 butterfly on Friday night and the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly on Thursday. Phelps is coming off a somewhat disappointing 2010 in which he lost to Lochte in the 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke finals at the US national championships and only captured five golds at the Pan Pacific championships to Lochte’s six. Even his coach, Bob Bowman, said last September that Phelps was no longer the best swimmer in the world. Then, at the Austin Grand Prix earlier this year, he was relegated to the consolation final of both the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle — something that had never happened before in his career. “After the weekend at Austin, I felt like I didn’t get one thing out of it other than feeling slow and out of shape,” he said Saturday. “Being able to slingshot into this meet just shows how fast things can change.” —AP

Alvarez stops Hatton to clinch WBC crown ANAHEIM: Saul Alvarez of Mexico beat Matthew Hatton in a unanimous decision Saturday night to win the vacant WBC super welterweight belt, the first world title of his promising career. The redheaded, freckle-faced 20-year-old known as Canelo — the Spanish word for cinnamon — became the youngest man to win the 154-pound (70-kilogram) title by beating Hatton, the younger brother of former world champion Ricky Hatton. Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KOs) dominated Hatton from the opening bell with repeated head shots and his brute force. The smaller Englishman twice went to the canvas after getting hit out of a clinch with Alvarez, but wasn’t seriously hurt either time. “This was a great experience for me,” said Alvarez, who’s already among his nation’s most famous athletes. “This was my first world title shot, but it’s the first of many, and I’ll win them all for my fans. I want to fight the biggest and the best. I’m going to be the next big name of Mexico.” Alvarez has won 32 consecutive fights since June 2006, when he was a raw 15-year-old. He tried to finish off Hatton (41-5-2), who hasn’t been stopped in more than eight years, but never knocked down the Manchester native. “He’s a good fighter,” Alvarez said. “People criticized him, but he was a tough guy.” All three judges scored the

ANAHEIM: Saul Alvarez (right) of Mexico, punches Matthew Hatton of England during the ninth round of their WBC super welterweight title boxing match.—AP bout 119-108, meaning Alvarez won every round on every card. He lost one point for an illegal punch in the seventh round, which was uniformly scored 9-9. Alvarez landed 47 percent of his 626 punches, including 53 percent of his power shots, while Hatton connected with just 25 percent of his 546 total blows. Alvarez missed the 150-pound (68-kilogram) catch weight by 1.4 pounds (0.6 kilograms) on Friday, but the fight went on after Alvarez apparently agreed to pay a penalty to his opponent. —AP

Mohammad Karam hands a shooter his first place trophy

LONDON: Travis Outlaw scored the final eight points for New Jersey to help the Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 137-136 in triple overtime and sweep the NBA’s European doubleheader on Saturday. Outlaw made two free throws with 12.6 seconds remaining to put the Nets ahead for good and Andrea Bargnani missed a jumper at the buzzer. Brook Lopez had 34 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets but fouled out in the second overtime. Deron Williams added 21 points and 18 assists for his fifth straight doubledouble since joining the team from Utah last week. Outlaw finished with 14 points. Bargnani scored 35 points, but also missed a potential winner with 2 seconds left in the first OT. New Jersey won the first game 116-103 on Friday. It’s the first time the NBA has staged regular-season games in Europe. Rockets 112, Pacers 95 In Houston, Kevin Martin scored 20 points and Chase Budinger and Kyle Lowry added 18 apiece as Houston won for the sixth time in its last seven games. Luis Scola scored 16 and Chuck Hayes had 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who are climbing back into the Western Conference playoff race. Houston began the night in 11th place, only three games behind Memphis for the eighth spot in the playoffs. Tyler Hansbrough scored 17 points, Danny Granger added 16 and Roy Hibbert had 15 for the Pacers, who’ve dropped five of six. Jazz 109, Kings 102 In Salt Lake City, Al Jefferson scored 27 points and Raja Bell had two crucial jumpers and a steal in overtime to lift Utah past Sacramento. Jefferson scored six points in overtime to lead a 10-2 Utah run that put the game away. Andrei Kirilenko and Bell each finished with 16 points for the Jazz, who had lost three straight coming into the game. DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and 18 rebounds and Francisco Garcia returned from 21 games on the sidelines with a strained left calf to add 18, but the Kings lost for the fourth time in their last five. T Blazers 93, Bobcats 69 In Portland, Oregon, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points to lead Portland over Charlotte a little more than a week after the two teams pulled off a trade just minutes before the deadline. Patty Mills scored 12 points and Brandon Roy had 10 for the Trail Blazers. Gerald Henderson had 16 points for the Bobcats, who have lost four straight, all on the road. The Blazers sent Joel Przybilla, Sean Marks, Dante Cunningham, and a pair of draft picks to Charlotte on Feb. 24 in exchange for Gerald Wallace, who was the last original member of the 7-year-old Bobcats. The deal was struck just seven minutes before the deadline. Clippers 100, Nuggets 94 In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 18 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high nine assists as the Clippers overcame

LOS ANGELES: Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin (top) has his shot broken up by Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin during the second half of their NBA basketball game. —AP yet another injury to leading scorer Eric Gordon to beat Denver. Eric Bledsoe scored 15 of his career-high 20 points in the fourth quarter to help the Clippers win their second game so far this month after finishing February 2-12. Nene led Denver with 25 points and tied a season high with 14 rebounds. Gordon left with 5:08 remaining in the second quarter after he was fouled by Timofey Mozgov and crashed to the floor, reinjuring his right wrist. It was just his second game back after missing 18 games with a sprained wrist.

Wizards 103, T’wolves 96 In Washington, John Wall scored 18 points and had 11 rebounds to help Washington end a seven-game losing streak. Kevin Love scored 20 points and had 21 rebounds for Minnesota, his 50th consecutive double-double, putting him just one game shy of equaling the mark set by Moses Malone in 1978-79. Andray Blatche scored 20 points and had seven rebounds for the Wizards, who have won their last seven games at home against the Timberwolves.—AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Saturday. New Jersey 137, Toronto 136 (OT); Washington 103, Minnesota 96; Houston 112, Indiana 95; Utah 109, Sacramento 102 (OT); Portland 93, Charlotte 69; LA Clippers 100, Denver 94. (OT Denotes Overtime) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 45 15 .750 NY Knicks 31 29 .517 Philadelphia 31 30 .508 New Jersey 19 43 .306 Toronto 17 46 .270 Central Division Chicago 42 18 .700 Indiana 27 35 .435 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 36 .419 Washington 16 45 .262

GB 14 14.5 27 29.5 16 19 21.5 30.5 3.5 6 17 26.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 38 22 .633 Denver 37 27 .578 3 Portland 35 27 .565 4 Utah 33 30 .524 6.5 Minnesota 15 49 .234 25 Pacific Division LA Lakers 44 19 .698 Phoenix 32 28 .533 10.5 Golden State 27 34 .443 16 LA Clippers 23 40 .365 21 Sacramento 15 45 .250 27.5 Southwest Division San Antonio 51 11 .823 Dallas 45 16 .738 5.5 New Orleans 36 28 .563 16 Memphis 34 29 .540 17.5 Houston 32 32 .500 20

Victorious shooters with sponsor and club officials

Al-Subaie sets new record in Mustafa Karam shooting tourney By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: The Mustafa Karam and Sons Company Cup was marked with success following the Late Sheikh Fahad Al-Salem Grand Prix Shotgun Tournament, as it was limited to the firearms weapons (10m Rifle and Pistol, 50m Prone Rifle and 50 meter Free Pistol). The tournament witnessed wide ranged participation and fierce competition to get best results. The tournament witnessed a new record by Kuwaiti Shooter Khalid Al-Subaie who recorded 692.3 out of 700 in the air rife event. The tournament comes amidst Kuwait team’s preparation

for several world events that will lead to the qualification for the London 2012 Olympics, as Kuwait is looking forward to qualify at 5 of its shooters to the Olympics. President of the Arab Shooting Federation, vice president of KSF and ISSF Administrative Council Member Eng. Duaij Al-Otaibi said “The tournament is very important for Kuwait shooting, as it comes within plans for upcoming tournaments in Sydney, Germany and Korea”. He added, “We are very pleased with the shooters results, which promise that the shooters will getgood results at the regional and Internationall level. Engng. Al-Otaibi thanked

Mustafa Karam Company and its General Manager who continues to support the shooting sport for more than 20 years. Meanwhile MK Director General Mohammad Karam congratulated HH The Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad, HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad and the Kuwait people on the occasion of National Days and celebrations. He said “no matter how much we give, we will never be able to give Kuwait its dues, and I am very happy that this tradition of supporting the sport of shooting continues, and we will always do our best to encourage Kuwait’s shooters.

The closing ceremony on Saturday began with a speech by secretary general of both Kuwait and Arab shooting federations Obeid Al-Osaimi who thanked the sponsor for his support and belief in the importance of backing sports activities to get best results in the name of Kuwait. Al-Osaimi said the chairman and board members of Kuwait Shooting Club laud the many stands of Mohammad Karam has towards the club’s shooters and his presence shows his keenness on preserving the sport of our forefathers.

Jassim Abdelmalik Ali Saad

The results are as follows: Air Pistol-Men: Mishal Al-Mutairi

Air Pistol-Women: Ghizlan Hussein Israa Bahman

Air Rifle-Men: Khalid Al-Subaie Abdallah Al-Haiby Ali Al-Mutairi Free Pistol-50m-Men: Mideth Al-Sahly Zaid Al-Thafeeri Abdallah Al-Mulla Air Rifle 50m-Prone-Men: Khalid Al-Subaie Bader Al-Dousary Jamal Al-Hajiri

Iman Bouland Air Rifle-Women: Mariam Irzouqi Ayat Al-Duwaikhi Zahraa Al-Saffar Air Rifle-Juniors: Ali Al-Mutairi Mohammad Abdelrahman Bandar Al-Mutairi Air Rifle-Juniors-Women: Ayat Al-Duwaikhi Zahra Al-Saffar Duaa Al-Duwaikhi Air Pistol-Juniors: Jassim Addelmalik Nasser Al-Hudaibi Fuhaid Al-Fadhi



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Hussey gets Aussie World Cup call NEW DELHI: Australia yesterday called up veteran batsman Michael Hussey to replace injured fast bowler Doug Bollinger in their World Cup squad. The 35-year-old Hussey was in the original 15-man squad but did not make the trip to the sub-continent because of a hamstring injury despite his insistence he would be fit by the later stages of the six-week tournament.

“Michael has successfully recovered from major hamstring surgery and is seen as someone who is capable of assisting Australia as we strive to win this tournament,” said chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch. “His skill, experience, ability against spin and the fact that he provides a left-hand option in the middle order is seen as critical in our World Cup defence now that he has successfully recovered from injury.”

Hussey has played 151 ODIs, making 4,469 runs with a highest score of 109 not out and an average of over 51. He will be available to play in Australia’s fourth Group A game against Kenya in Bangalore on Saturday after successfully proving his fitness in a Sheffield Shield match with Western Australia. Cricket Australia also said that seamer Dirk Nannes would fly to India to act as bowling cover. — AFP

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

India down fighting Ireland Yuvraj shines with bat and ball

Scoreboard BANGALORE, India: Complete scoreboard of the World Cup Group B match between Ireland and India at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on yesterday: Ireland: W. Porterfield c Harbhajan b Yuvraj 75 P. Stirling b Zaheer 0 E. Joyce c Dhoni b Zaheer 4 N. O’Brien run out 46 A. White c Dhoni b Yuvraj 5 K. O’Brien c and b Yuvraj 9 A. Cusack lbw b Yuvraj 24 J. Mooney lbw b Yuvraj 5 T. Johnston lbw b Patel 17 G. Dockrell c Dhoni b Zaheer 3 B. Rankin not out 1 Extras (lb4, nb6, w8) 18 Total (for all out; 47.5 overs) 207 Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Stirling), 2-9 (Joyce), 3-122 (N. O’Brien), 4-129 (White), 5-147 (K. O’Brien), 6-160 (Porterfield), 7-178 (Mooney), 8-184 (Cusack), 9-201 (Dockrell), 10-207 (Johnston). Bowling: Zaheer 9-1-30-3 (w1), Patel 4.5-0-25-1 (w1), Pathan 7-1-32-0, Harbhajan 9-1-29-0 (w1), Chawla 8-0-56-0 (nb6, w3), Yuvraj 10-0-31-5 (w2). India: V. Sehwag c and b Johnston 5 S. Tendulkar lbw b Dockrell 38 G. Gambhir c Cusack b Johnston 10 V. Kohli run out 34 Y. Singh not out 50 MS Dhoni lbw b Dockrell 34 Y. Pathan not out 30 Extras (lb4, w5) 9 Total (for five wickets; 46 overs) 210 Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Sehwag), 2-24 (Gambhir), 387 (Tendulkar), 4-100 (Kohli), 5-167 (Dhoni). Bowling: Rankin 10-1-34-0 (w2), Johnston 5-1-162 (w1), Dockrell 10-0-49-2, Mooney 2-0-18-0, Stirling 10-0-45-0 (w2), White 5-0-23-0, Kevin O’Brien 1-0-3-0, Cusack 3-0-18-0. Result: India win by five wickets

BANGALORE: Yuvraj Singh put in a superb all-round display as India survived some anxious moments to post a five-wicket victory over a fighting Ireland in their World Cup match yesterday. The part-time spinner bagged a maiden five-wicket haul to restrict Ireland to a modest 207 and then hit an unbeaten 50 to help his side achieve the target with four overs to spare in the day-night match in Bangalore. India were wobbling at 100-4 before Yuvraj and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (34) added 67 runs for the fifth wicket. Yusuf Pathan gave the finishing touches to India’s second win in three matches with an attractive 24-ball 30 not out, which included two sixes and one four in one over from left-arm spinner George Dockrell. “I think the most important thing is that everyone got a chance to bat. We were batting under pressure,” said Dhoni, whose side now sit top of Group B. “We are showing signs of improvement. I feel it’s important to peak at the right time because it’s a long tournament. What we have seen is slow and gradual improvement in the bowling side.” Ireland captain William Porterfield, who made an impressive 75 as opener, said his side were 40 runs short of a challenging target. “I think we got ourselves into a great position after losing two early wickets. We’re fighting well and we fought right until the end. An extra 40 runs could have been interesting,” he said. Ireland, who upset England in their last match at this venue on Wednesday, made India struggle for runs with their disciplined bowling and brilliant fielding. Paceman Trent Johnston, who became the third Irish player to figure in 50 one-day internationals, jolted India when he dismissed Virender Sehwag (five) and Gautam Gambhir (10) in his opening three overs. Johnston, who sustained an injury after falling on his follow-through, did not bowl after five overs. India looked in trouble when Sachin Tendulkar (38) was trapped lbw while attempting to sweep Dockrell

BANGALORE: Indiaís captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni bats during their ICC Cricket World Cup match against Ireland. —AP

and Virat Kohli (34) was run out. The pair added 63 for the third wicket. Left-arm spinner Yuvraj (5-31) earlier played a key role in restricting Ireland despite an impressive 75 from Porterfield. His victims included Kevin O’Brien (nine), who hammered the fastest century in World Cup history against England, as Ireland lost their last eight wickets for 85 runs in a dramatic collapse. Yuvraj gave the capacity crowd plenty to cheer

England win low score thriller South Africa crack under pressure CHENNAI: England revived their madcap World Cup campaign with a dramatic six-run win over South Africa yesterday, raising new doubts over the Proteas’ ability to close out matches under pressure. South Africa, set just 172 for victory, were bowled out for 165 as England, who only days earlier had been humbled by Ireland, won with 14 balls to spare. Paceman Stuart Broad finished with four for 15 in 6.4 overs, ending the contest when he had Morne Morkel caught behind. The Proteas lost four wickets for three runs to be 127 for seven on a wearing Chidambaram Stadium pitch having been in control at 75 for one as once again Graeme Smith’s men appeared to choke on the big occasion. “There are plenty of things we didn’t do well in this game but we got away with a win. Sometimes a win’s all you need to really kickstart things and get yourself going,” said England skipper Andrew Strauss. Smith admitted it was a tough task batting second on a crumbling pitch. “We did well most of the game. We knew that chasing would be very difficult on this wicket and it proved to be that,” he said. “I think after getting off to a solid start with the bat it just became more and more difficult to score and once we lost a few wickets in the middle it became tough.” Earlier, South Africa left-arm spinner Robin Peterson took three for 22, including two wickets in the first over of the match to dismiss England openers Strauss and Kevin Pietersen. Ravi Bopara, recalled in place of the dropped Paul Collingwood, was named manof-the-match after top-scoring with 60 in England’s 171. With 10 overs left, South Africa only needed 30 to win with three wickets remaining. The eighth-wicket pair of Dale Steyn and Morne van Wyk got the target down to 12 before van Wyk (13) bottom-edged a cut off Tim Bresnan. The Proteas then needed eight off three overs but Broad had Steyn lbw for 20 before removing Morkel. From 124-3, South Africa lost three wickets with no addition to the total. AB de Villiers (25) was bowled by a James Anderson delivery that just clipped the top of the stumps and then Faf du Plessis (17) was needlesly run out before JP Duminy was bowled by Anderson for nought. Peterson fell cheaply when wicketkeeper Matt Prior caught him off left-arm spinner Michael Yardy for three. Smith (22) and Hashim Amla (42) had enjoyed an opening stand of 63. Off-spinner Graeme Swann had Smith caught behind after a lengthy review suggested the ball had brushed the left-handed opener’s glove before Amla chopped on to Broad. Broad gave England renewed hope when he had Jacques Kallis edging to Prior for 15, the batsman taking the fielder’s word the ball had carried rather than requesting a review. When England batted, Bopara, in at 15 for

three, shared a fourth-wicket stand of 99 with South Africa born Jonathan Trott (52) that ultimately proved vital to the outcome. Strauss fell for nought when he lofted Peterson only to be well caught by de Villiers, running in from deep midwicket. South Africa-born Pietersen (two) has a his-

tory of getting out to left-arm spinners and, off the last ball of the opening over, he pushed forward to Peterson and Kallis made no mistake with the ankle-high slip catch. Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir took four for 38 to take his tally for the tournament to 11 from three matches. —AFP

CHENNAI: England’s players celebrate as they win by 6 runs in the Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and England. —AP

Scoreboard CHENNAI, India: Final scoreboard in the World Cup Group B match between England and South Africa at the Chidambaram Stadium on yesterday: England A. Strauss c de Villiers b Peterson 0 K. Pietersen c Kallis b Peterson 2 J. Trott c and b Imran Tahir 52 I. Bell c and b Peterson 5 R. Bopara lbw b Morkel 60 M. Prior c van Wyk b Morkel 10 M. Yardy c Peterson b Imran Tahir 3 T. Bresnan lbw b Steyn 1 G. Swann c Duminy b Imran Tahir 16 S. Broad lbw b Imran Tahir 0 J. Anderson not out 2 Extras (b1, lb7, w12) 20 Total (all out, 45.4 overs) 171 Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Strauss), 2-3 (Pietersen), 3-15 (Bell), 4-114 (Trott), 5-134 (Prior), 6-148 (Bopara), 7-149 (Bresnan), 8-161 (Yardy), 9161 (Broad), 10-171 (Swann). Bowling: Peterson 8-2-22-3 (1w); Steyn 9-037-1 (1w); Morkel 7-0-16-2 (1w); Kallis 4-1-140 (1w); Imran Tahir 8.4-1-38-4 (1w); Du Plessis 5-0-16-0; Duminy 4-0-20-0 (1w).

South Africa H. Amla b Broad 42 G. Smith c Prior b Swann 22 J. Kallis c Prior b Broad 15 AB de Villiers b Anderson 25 F. du Plessis run out (Bell/Prior) 17 JP Duminy b Anderson 0 M. van Wyk b Bresnan 13 R. Peterson c Prior b Yardy 3 D. Steyn lbw b Broad 20 M. Morkel c Prior b Broad 1 Imran Tahir not out 1 Extras (lb2, w4) 6 Total (all out, 47.4 overs) 165 Fall of wickets: 1-63 (Smith), 2-75 (Amla), 3-82 (Kallis), 4-124 (De Villiers), 5-124 (Du Plessis), 6-124 (Duminy), 7-127 (Peterson), 8-160 (Van Wyk), 9-164 (Steyn), 10-165 (Morkel). Bowling: Yardy 9-1-46-1; Anderson 6-0-16-2 (3w); Bresnan 8-1-27-1; Swann 10-2-29-1; Broad 6.4-0-15-4; Pietersen 8-0-30-0. Result: England won by six runs

about after left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan had rocked Ireland with two early wickets. Porterfield, dropped on nought by Pathan in the slips off Zaheer, went on to complete his fifth half-century in one-dayers before being caught in the covers off Yuvraj. He hit one six and six fours. Ireland were on course to post a challenging total following a 113-run stand for the third wicket between Porterfield and Niall O’Brien (46) before they slipped from a healthy 122-2. — AFP


Battle of no-hopers Canada’s Balaji Rao prepares to bowl during a practice session

NEW DELHI: Kenya and Canada contest a battle of no-hopers today, but both are determined to prove that the decision to drive them into the World Cup wilderness is wrong. The two non-Test playing teams are languishing at the bottom of Group A without a point after having lost three games each. Their performances have added weight to the International Cricket Council’s decision to chop the number of teams to 10 from 14 for the next World Cup. However, Kenya wicket-keeper Maurice Ouma believes the ICC will be throwing money away by its decision. “ They have pumped in huge money with its High Performance Development Programmes. With this decision, their entire programme will go to waste,” he said. The middle-order batsman said the ICC should work towards creating more opportunities for the minnows to play leading nations on a consistent basis. “The associate nations should be given more opportunity to play Test playing countries on a regular basis and not once in four years,” said Ouma. “We really deserve to be there considering the fact that we consistently played in the last five World Cups. We have qualified for the World Cups more than any other nation.” Ireland are the only associate nation who have managed to throw the form book out of the window and script an upset win, against England in Bangalore last week. Canada had a golden chance to imitate Ireland against Pakistan when they bowled their rivals (played, won, lost, tied, no result, out for a below-par 184 points, net run rate) following some inspired bowling led by mediumpacer Harvir Baidwan. Group A But the opportunity Pakistan 3 3 0 0 0 6 +1.747 was squandered with Sri Lanka 4 2 1 0 1 5 +2.663 Ashish Bagai’s men foldAustralia 3 2 0 0 1 5 +1.813 ing up for 138 in 42.5 N Zealand 3 2 1 0 0 4 +1.584 overs despite being comZimbabwe 3 1 2 0 0 2 +0.079 Canada 3 0 3 0 0 0 -2.873 fortably placed at 104-3 Kenya 3 0 3 0 0 0 -4.825 at one point. Bagai refused to play the minGroup B now card when explainIndia 3 2 0 1 0 5 +0.768 ing his team’s 46-run England 4 2 1 1 0 5 -0.012 defeat and accepted W Indies 3 2 1 0 0 4 +2.667 that his side had no S Africa 3 2 1 0 0 4 +1.840 answers to the leg-spin Ireland 3 1 2 0 0 2 -0.296 of Shahid Afridi, who B’desh 3 1 2 0 0 2 -1.764 picked a match-winNetherlands 3 0 3 0 0 0 -3.058 ning 5-23. — AFP





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Inter crush Genoa 5-2

SPAIN: Espanyol’s defender Jordi Amat Maas (left) vies with Levante’s Uruguayan forward Christian Stuani (right) during their Spanish League football match. —AFP

Almeria off bottom with Herculean win MADRID: Almeria moved off the bottom of the Spanish first division with two goals in three minutes sealing a comeback 2-1 win at relegation rivals Hercules yesterday. Promoted Hercules had taken the lead on 50 minutes through Abraham Paz but French substitute Sofiane Feghouli equalised in the 69th minute and Cameroon midfielder Modeste Mbami struck three minutes later to secure a vital win. Almeria move off the foot of the table, two points from safety, while Hercules drop into the bottom three. Malaga now prop up the table after a late 1-0 home loss to fellow strugglers Osasuna yesterday. Sergio Gonzalez scored a stoppage time winner to lift Osasuna three points above the relegation zone, while Malaga are four points from safety. Sporting Gijon moved out of the bottom three with a 2-0 home win over Getafe yesterday. First half goals from Miguel de las Cuevas and Andre Castro clinched an important victory for Gijon who move two points above the relegation zone. Elsewhere Espanyol saw their European hopes suffer a setback following a 1-0 loss at promoted Levante yesterday. Ecuadorian striker Felipe Caicedo, on loan from Manchester City, scored his 11th league goal of the season on 26 minutes to decide the game. Espanyol stay fifth but have three teams just two points behind them in

Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao. European rivals Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao cross swords at San Mames later on Sunday in a crucial game for both sides. Bilbao are above Sevilla on goal difference and looking to end a run of four consecutive league losses that have allowed yesterday ’s opponents and Atletico Madrid to move level on 38 points. Real Madrid are in action later yesterday as they travel to Racing Santander trying to close the ten point gap on league leaders Barcelona. Barcelona defeated Real Zaragoza 1-0 on Saturday to put the pressure on Real who must do without Cristiano Ronaldo, top-scorer with 27 league goals, who is out for 10-15 days with a thigh strain. “Real Madrid are more than just one player although the statistics show that he (Ronaldo) is a footballer that makes a difference,” said Racing coach Marcelino. “Obviously it is an advantage for us that he is not playing, but what worries me about Madrid is everything not just one player.” Real boss Jose Mourinho admitted his side would miss Portuguese star Ronaldo, but said they had enough quality to win at Racing. “Despite his (Ronaldo’s) absence, our ambition will not be affected and we are convinced that we can win in Santander,” said Mourinho. “We have good players who are focused on the task in hand.” —AFP

Spanish League results/standings Sporting Gijon 2 (De las Cuevas 32, Andre Castro 40) Getafe 0; Hercules 1 (Paz 50) Almeria 2 (Feghouli 69, M’Bami 72); Malaga 0, Osasuna 1 (Sergio 90); Levante 1 (Caicedo 26) Espanyol 0. Playing later Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla Racing Santander v Real Madrid

Played Saturday Real Mallorca 1 (Ramis 31-pen) Valencia 2 (Hernandez 32, 56) Barcelona 1 (Keita 43) Real Zaragoza 0 Atletico Madrid 3 (Reyes 5, Aguero 68, Forlan 72) Villarreal 1 (Rossi 34)

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ITALY: Inter Milan forward Samuel Eto’o, of Cameroon, celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Inter Milan and Genoa at the San Siro stadium. —AP

Italian League results/standings Sampdoria 2 (Volta 83, Maccarone 90pen) Cesena 3 (Parolo 43, Giaccherini 46, 48); Inter Milan 5 (Pazzini 50, Eto’o 51, 57, Pandev 71, Nagatomo 84) Genoa 2 (Palacio 40, Boselli 90)

Napoli v Brescia, Lazio v Palermo

Playing later Bologna v Cagliari, Chievo v Parma, Udinese v Bari, Fiorentina v Catania,

Played Friday Lecce 1 (Giacomazzi 75) Roma 2 (Vucinic 32, Pizarro 90-pen)

Italian league table ahead against, points): AC Milan 28 18 7 Inter Milan 28 17 5 Napoli 28 16 5 Udinese 28 15 5 Lazio 27 14 6 Roma 28 13 7 Juventus 28 11 8 Palermo 27 12 4 Cagliari 28 11 6 Fiorentina 28 9 10

Bologna Genoa Chievo Sampdoria Parma Catania Cesena Lecce Brescia Bari

Played Saturday Juventus 0 AC Milan 1 (Gattuso 68)

of Sunday’s late matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals 3 6 7 8 7 8 9 11 11 9

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Matches on TV

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(Local Timings) Playing today Deportivo La Coruna v Real Sociedad

English Premier League

Spanish league table after yesterday’s early matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Barcelona Real Madrid Valencia Villarreal Espanyol Atletico Bilbao Sevilla Sociedad Mallorca

ROME: A blazing second-half performance saw Inter Milan come back from a goal down to crush Genoa 5-2 at the San Siro and stay five points behind leaders AC Milan yesterday when fading Napoli dropped more points. A brace from the brilliant Samuel Eto’o and one goal each from Giampaolo Pazzini, Goran Pandev and Yuto Nagatomo - all in the second half, cancelled out Rodrigo Palacio’s 40thminute opener for Genoa before the visitors scored a last-minute consolation through Mauro Boselli in an end-to-end game. Third-placed Napoli’s own title challenge appears to have run out of steam after the Azzurri were held to a goalless draw by lowly Brescia at the San Paolo where coach Walter Mazzarri was sent from the dugout in the first half for protesting. In Udine, Antonio Di Natale’s second-half penalty, his 22nd goal of the campaign, gave Udinese a 1-0 win over rock-bottom Bari, temporarily taking them fourth ahead of Lazio’s evening match against Palermo. Eto’o was in the thick of things from the start in Milan. Playing to the left of Pazzini, the Cameroonian tested Eduardo on 20 and 35 minutes with right-foot drives. Genoa though had come to play and after the stretching Alberto Paloschi shot into the side-netting, the visitors took the lead when fellow forward Palacio fired a rasping crosshot into the corner after being found by the creative Abdoulay Konko. Leonardo’s words and Pandev’s introduction for Dejan Stankovic at half-time witnessed a very different Inter. On 50 minutes, Eto’o fed Maicon whose cross was side-footed home by Pazzini. A minute later Eto’o slotted home after Pandev’s shot had been fumbled by Eduardo. Six minutes on and Eto’o robbed the ball, slipped inside another challenge before poking past Eduardo for a brilliant individual effort and his 18th goal of the season. Pandev, who had gone close following two mazy runs, made it 4-1 after 68 minutes with his second goal of the season after Eto’o and Sneijder had combined to tee him up. With the hosts flying forward at every opportunity, Nagatomo swivelled on the penalty spot to fire home left-footed for his first Inter goal before Boselli’s late header made it 5-2. Elsewhere, Adrian Mutu struck a first-half brace to help mid-table Fiorentina to a 3-0 win over Catania at the Artemio Franchi stadium. A first-half penalty from Marco Di Vaio, his 18th goal of the season, helped Bologna to a 2-2 draw against Cagliari, who stay ninth. Earlier yesterday, two goals from Emanuele Giaccherini helped Cesena to a 3-2 win at struggling Sampdoria and above the drop zone. On Saturday, a goal from Gennaro Gattuso saw Milan defeat a sorry Juventus side 1-0 to claim their seventh win in 2011, while a lastminute penalty from David Pizarro gave Roma a confidence-boosting 2-1 win at in-form Lecce on Friday. —AFP

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Getafe Levante Racing Osasuna Sporting Deportivo Zaragoza Hercules Almeria Malaga

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Blackpool v Chelsea


Abu Dhabi Sports HD3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5

Spanish League Depertivo v Sociedad


Al Jazeera Sport +2

Lyon hit Arles for five PARIS: Multiple former champions Lyon brushed aside relegation-bound Arles-Avignon 5-0 yesterday with Lisandro Lopez grabbing a hat-trick. The Argentine striker, sidelined for his club’s three last matches with a thigh problem, opened the scoring within the first quarter of an hour, adding two more goals, one a header, in the space of four second half minutes. Miralem Pjanic, who scored against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last season, got Lyon’s second, having been set up by Lisandro - Ligue 1 Player of the Year last term. Michel Bastos wrapped up a torrid encounter for Arles in injury time off a corner. Lyon’s five star per formance moved Claude Puel’s men up ahead of Paris Saint Germain and Marseille into third behind second-placed Lille, who are at Marseille in Sunday ’s late kick-off, and Rennes. Arles’s 17th loss of the season left them anchored at the foot of the table on 11 points, a yawning 13 adrift of the second from bot-

tom side Lens. Bordeaux have not had much to shout about this campaign but they did their chances of securing European action next term a power of good with a 3-1 win at Brest. Brazilian winger Wendel set the former champions on the path to success when he opened the scoring shortly after the break with a sublime 25m free kick. Jaroslav Plasil doubled up in the 67th minute only for Brahim Farridj to give Brest some hope by cutting the deficit with three minutes on the clock , but Bordeaux sealed the three points with Cheikh Diabate’s strike in the second minute of time added on. Bordeaux ’s reward was to jump from 11th to seventh and the result was a welcome filip for coach Jean Tigana, who had his offer of resignation turned down by the club management last week. The two early Sunday matches produced a total of nine goals between them, five more than all seven games on Saturday could muster.

FRANCE: Lyon’s French midfielder Yoann Gourcuff (left) vies with Arles-Avignon’s French midfielder Romian Rocchi (right) during the French League football match. —AFP Rennes took provisional control of the summit with a 1-0 win over Montpellier. The Brittany side had Razak Boukari’s 27th minute goal to thank for the victory which lifted them up to 49 points, as title-rivals PSG slipped up 1-0 at Auxerre. Caen scraped home in their tie against Saint Etienne due to Youssef El Arabi’s late winner, while Sochaux saw off Toulouse

by a similarly slim margin after Modibo Maiga’s 64th minute contribution. Elsewhere it was a case of blanks being fired all round, with goalless stalemates at Lorient v Nancy, Nice v Lens, and Valenciennes v Monaco. A win for Lille in yesterday’s late game will see them take over from Rennes at the summit on goal difference. —AFP

Ancelotti hopes Chelsea can maintain their revival BLACKPOOL: Carlo Ancelotti has warned his Chelsea stars not to waste the momentum from their victory over Manchester United when the Blues face struggling Blackpool at Bloomfield Road today. The champions are searching for a third successive victory, which would strengthen Chelsea’s grip on fourth place, the most immediate target for Ancelotti’s side after a difficult season. The second half performance in the 2-1 win against United, though, served as a reminder of the Chelsea quality that remained hidden when they slipped away from the top of the Premier League during a disastrous run that placed a question mark against Ancelotti’s future at the club. David Luiz stood out in only his second star t for the club while Fernando Torres showed signs of returning to the form that persuaded the Blues to pay out a British record £50 million for the former Liverpool forward. And with passage into the quarter-finals of the Champions League virtually assured following the 2-0 first leg win against FC Copenhagen in Denmark, Ancelotti is understandably more upbeat. “It was an important victory for us,” Ancelotti said. “We put in a very good performance in Copenhagen and we maintained that. “ The team is living in a good moment and we want to maintain this preparing for the next game. It was an important performance. “We were 1-0 down but we maintained our composure and, in the end, deser ved to win. We won against a fantastic team that deserve to stay at the top of the table at this moment.” Midfielder Frank Lampard said

after the United clash that the win would count for nothing unless Chelsea maintained their recent form at Bloomfield Road and Ancelotti agrees. “It’s an important game, a difficult game because Blackpool have had fantastic performances at home,” he said. “They beat Tottenham in their last home game, and were 2-0 up against United. It’s one team who like to play football with intensity and a good pace, attacking football.” Torres’s lack of goals will remain an issue until the striker finally gets off the mark but Ancelotti insists he is unconcerned. He said: “Everyone here isn’t afraid or worried because he hasn’t scored. Everyone is looking at his performances. “I’m asking him to have good movement for the team and to have combinations with the other strikers.” Chelsea cruised to a 6-0 victory over Blackpool in the first meeting in west London, prompting suggestions that the newly promoted club were certain to make a swift return to the Championship. Blackpool recovered well after a difficult start but after registering just two wins in the last 12 games, they are in danger of getting dragged back into a relegation fight. “It’s scary what they did to us down there,” said Seasiders manager Ian Holloway “They seemed to score every 10 minutes and it was a field day for them. We played them when they were absolutely flying. “We could have played them a few months ago when we were doing better and they were having a troubled period. “But we’re going to find them at their best because they’ve just beaten Manchester United and we’ve got five or six players out.” —AP

Phelps bags more gold medals in Indianapolis

Ogier clings to lead in Rally of Mexico




England win low score thriller Page 18

LONDON: Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt (left) fights for the ball against Manchester United’s Rafael during their English Premier League soccer match. —AP

Kuyt’s treble shatters United Liverpool 3

Man United 1

LIVERPOOL: Dirk Kuyt scored a hat-trick to blow the Premier League title race wide open as Liverpool cruised to a 3-1 win over leaders Manchester United at Anfield yesterday. United went into the game knowing that victory would earn them a six-point lead over nearest rivals Arsenal at the summit with nine games remaining. But Kuyt’s treble condemned Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time in two years after their midweek loss at Chelsea. United are locked on 18 domestic league titles with Liverpool but the Merseyside club were clearly in no mood to help their bitter rivals towards a record 19th success. Kuyt put Liverpool in control with two goals in five minutes towards the end of the first half and he scored his third in the 65th minute before Javier Hernandez’s late effort for United. And Liverpool, who climb to sixth in the table, were able to give their £35 million signing Andy Carroll his long-awaited debut as the striker, fit after a thigh injury, came on for the final 15 minutes. Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish said: “The players deserved that for the discipline, application and pride shown in themselves and the club. “It’s been a tough season, it’s not finished yet but this has been the highest point so far for our supporters. “It always matters who the opposition are, because you’re not going to get too many opponents who are as good as Manchester United. We deserved to win, no doubt.” Ferguson went into this game leading Dalglish 7-4 ahead of the 20th league meeting between the two Scottish managers. Ferguson also won the tactical battle between the pair when United defeated Liverpool 1-0 in the FA Cup two months ago in what was Dalglish’s first match back since returning to the Anfield hot seat. But there was revenge in the Merseyside air as Kuyt’s first half double put the hosts in command. United were missing their first-choice

central defensive pairing of Nemanja Vidic, who was suspended, and Rio Ferdinand, who was injured, forcing Ferguson to field Wes Brown alongside Chris Smalling. And the inexperienced partnership was immediately tested as Luis Suarez, twice, and Maxi Rodriguez both had efforts before Dimitar Berbatov was denied by the post in what was United’s first serious attack in the 16th minute. Up until that moment the game had been fairly even but the hosts took control in an explosive finish to the half. Kuyt’s opening goal in the 34th minute was down to the brilliance of Suarez, the Uruguay forward leaving Rafael da Silva and Michael Carrick chasing shadows before squaring for the Netherlands international to score his first ever goal against United. His second followed five minutes later courtesy of an error by Nani, the Portuguese winger heading into the path of Kuyt to nod past Edwin van der Sar and double his side’s lead from close range. Yet what had been a compelling first half took an ugly turn as both sides were fortunate to retain 11 men. Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was extremely fortunate to escape with a caution for a nasty 39th minute challenge on Nani, the United player climbing off the floor to remonstrate with the referee before being carried off on a stretcher after collapsing. Then Rafael, who was booked, was lucky to stay on after his X-rated challenge on Lucas in the 44th minute. United desperately needed a goal early in the second half and they nearly got one when Berbatov’s 58th minute header was heading for the net only to be chested off the line by Raul Meireles. But Liverpool survived and seven minutes later confirmed their fifth win in nine Premier League games since Dalglish returned when Kuyt completed his hat-trick. Once again Suarez was again involved as his curling free-kick was beaten away by Van der Sar into the path of Kuyt to become the first Liverpool player since Peter Beardsley in 1990 to score three against United. There was still time for Carroll to come off the bench and make his long-awaited debut in the 74th minute before substitute Hernandez scored in stoppage time with a glancing header.—AFP

Fletcher rescues draw for Wolves

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspurs Steven Pienaar (left) competes for the ball with Wolverhampton Wanderers George Elokobi during their English Premier League soccer match.—AP

EPL results/standings Liverpool 3 (Kuyt 34, 39, 65) Man Utd 1 (Hernandez 90); Wolves 3 (Doyle 20, 40pen, Fletcher 87) Tottenham 3 (Defoe 30, 35, Pavlyuchenko 48). Played Saturday 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); Man City 1 (Silva 38) Wigan 0; Newcastle 1 (Best 23) Everton 2 (Osman 31, Jagielka 36); West Ham 3 (Ba 21, Da Costa 29, Hitzlsperger 83) Stoke 0. Playing today Blackpool v Chelsea

English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, goals for, goals against, points): Fulham 29 7 14 Man Utd 29 17 9 3 63 30 60 Stoke 29 10 4 Arsenal 28 17 6 5 57 27 57 Aston Villa 29 8 9 Man City 29 15 8 6 45 25 53 Blackburn 29 9 5 Chelsea 27 14 6 7 48 23 48 Blackpool 28 9 5 Tottenham 28 13 9 6 41 34 48 West Brom 29 8 8 Liverpool 29 12 6 11 39 36 42 West Ham 29 7 10 Bolton 29 10 10 9 42 40 40 Birmingham 27 6 12 Sunderland 29 9 11 9 33 35 38 Whampton 29 8 5 Newcastle 29 9 9 11 44 41 36 Wigan 29 5 12 Everton 28 8 12 8 37 37 36

won, drawn, lost, 8 15 12 15 14 13 12 9 16 12

32 31 32 38 37 50 37 49 42 55 39 54 36 49 26 38 34 49 27 50

35 34 33 32 32 32 31 30 29 27

LONDON: Steven Fletcher came off the bench to resWolves 3 cue a point for Wolves as his late goal capped a thrilling 3-3 draw against Tottenham at Molineux yesTottenham 3 terday. Mick McCarthy’s side looked destined for an undeserved defeat when referee Mark Halsey ruled out what looked like a late equaliser from Richard Stearman, but Fletcher ensured Wolves got their reward with his 87th minute leveller. It was a suitably dramatic end to a pulsating encounter in which the lead changed hands several times. Kevin Doyle put Wolves ahead before two superb strikes from Jermain Defoe gave Spurs the advantage. That lead was short-lived as Ireland international Doyle equalised from the penalty spot but Roman Pavlyuchenko fired Spurs back in front before Fletcher’s late intervention. Wolves remain second bottom, while Spurs are behind fourth placed Chelsea on goal difference. Jamie O’Hara, on loan at Wolves from Spurs, was ineligible to face his parent club, while Harry Redknapp left Aaron Lennon, Sebastien Bassong and Wilson Palacios on the bench ahead of Wednesday’s clash with AC Milan and there was a place among the substitutes for Gareth Bale after a back injury. Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause from supporters in honour of former Wolves and Tottenham defender Dean Richards who died last week aged 36. Wolves had already secured shock wins over Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool this season and it was the hosts who settled quickest. Nenad Milijas volleyed over the bar after Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes had fisted clear a Adam Hamill free-kick. Wolves were enjoying a sustained spell of possession and Hammill picked out the run of Milijas into the Spurs area but the midfielder could not keep his header down. The hosts made the breakthrough in the 20th minute as Doyle bagged his seventh goal of the season. Milijas delivered another quality cross and Doyle got in front of Gomes to flick his header into the net. When Tottenham’s Steven Pienaar was denied by a superb block from Christophe Berra, Luka Modric should have done better than drag the rebound wide. That didn’t matter for long as Defoe brought Spurs level on the half hour with a superb curling effort from the edge of the penalty area. It was Defoe’s first Premier League goal of the season but five minutes later another brilliant strike doubled that tally. Modric’s shot deflected back to Defoe and from the left of the area he curled a shot past Wayne Hennessey inside the far post. Wolves hit back again and Doyle made it 2-2 in the 40th minute after Milijas had his shirt tugged by Hutton, who appeared to be the last defender. Halsey decided not to send off Hutton before Doyle sent Gomes the wrong way from the spot. —AFP



Kuwait economic outlook remains bullish

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Business Years

Page 23

Pressure rises as euro debt deadline looms Page 26


Al Sayer extends a message of peace

Kuwait equities bounce back Page 24

Page 25

TAMMUN: A Palestinian boy and a former laborer at an Israeli settlement harvests strawberries at a greenhouse in the West Bank village of Tammun, near Nablus. An enterprising farmer has begun employing Palestinians who used to work for Jewish settlers in what is regarded as a test case ahead of an official ban on working in settlements — a lucrative yet controversial form of work which employs some 30,000 Palestinians. — AFP

West Bank farm offers new hope New venture to help workers stay out of settlement work TAMMUN, Palestinian Territories: Under the watery winter sun, a handful of Palestinian workers are plucking strawberries from rowupon-row of plants inside a sprawling greenhouse in the northern West Bank. Once upon a time, these men raised crops and flowers in hothouses in Jewish settlements scattered throughout the Palestinian territories. Now, they are working for their own people on a new venture which is being seen as a test case ahead of an official Palestinian ban on working in settlements-a lucrative form of work which currently employs more than 30,000 Palestinians. “This is the first project of its type in Palestine,” boasts project owner Abu Dargham, whose farm grows flowers and strawberries and

is situated on several hectares (acres) of land in Tammun village in the northern Jordan Valley. “We have to offer an alternative to the workers,” he says, clicking prayer beads between his fingers. “ This is an economic, national, social and political project.” Prime minister Salam Fayyad has made no secret of his desire to disentangle the Palestinian economy from the Israeli settlements and in 2010 pushed through a successful boycott on trading in settlement goods. He has called on people to stop working on the settlements, but so far the Palestinian Authority has not tried to pass legislation banning it-mainly because there is no alternative employment to offer. Any ban on working in settlements would have serious repercussions for the West Bank’s econo-

my, where unemployment stands around 15.2 percent. “The prime minister told us to stop buying from the settlements and to stop working on them,” says Abu Dargham, who received $10,000 from the Dutch government to get his project off the ground last August. He employed up to 30 workers for the launching of the project but doesn’t get any funding from the Palestinian Authority. For Bashar al-Masri, life is much easier working for Abu Dargham. For one thing, he no longer has to get up in the middle of the night to go through the security checks at the checkpoints located outside every settlement. “ The working conditions are much better here,” says Masri, 30, who for years worked in the neighboring settle-

ment of Roi for a daily salary of some 70 shekels ($19, 14 euros) — the same as he earns working for Abu Dargham. “I used to have to leave at 3:00 am to be at the checkpoint at 5:00 am and start work at between 6:30 or 7:00,” the father of two told AFP. “Over there, the soldiers on duty could open fire or make us wait several hours for no particular reason.” After 25 years of growing plants and flowers on one of the nearby settlements, Mahmud Mansur Beni Awdeh, 45, suddenly found himself out of a job after a dispute with his bosses. “We were all laid off without any severance pay,” he told AFP. “All my former colleagues wanted to come here but there wasn’t space for everyone,” he says. He thinks he was selected due to his

Kuwait CB satisfied with interest rates KUWAIT: Kuwait’s central bank sees its key interest rates as appropriate as they are in line with economic developments, its governor Sheikh Salem Abdul-Aziz AlSabah was quoted as saying yesterday. “The current discount rate is considered reasonable given the economic, monetary and banking conditions at this particular stage,” Sheikh Salem told Arabic daily Al-Jarida. The central bank last cut its discount rate by 50 basis points to 2.5 percent in February 2010 to help OPEC member’s economy recover from a sharp contraction in the previous year, which it had estimated at 4.6 percent. The oil-reliant Gulf Arab country dropped its peg to the dollar in 2007 in favor of a basket of currencies dominated by the greenback, to stem then high inflation. The world’s fourth largest oil exporter, which plans to form a currency union with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, is forecast to see economic growth of 4.0 percent this year after an estimated 3.0 percent rise in 2010 helped by robust crude prices. Sheikh Salem also said the central bank will consider lifting guarantees of deposits at local banks “once the circumstances that led to it are over.” In 2008, Kuwaiti lender Gulf Bank was rescued by the central bank after derivatives losses. Its troubles prompted the government to guarantee all deposits in local banks to restore confidence. — Reuters

years of experience. “There are at least 30,000 Palestinian workers in the settlements, and we can’t find work for all of them straight away but the Palestinian Authority must start setting up more projects like this,” he says. According to the Ramallahbased Ministry of Labor, around 32,000 Palestinians work in the settlements, around a third of whom are employed without a proper work permit. Although the ministry says it has encouraged workers to register their interest in finding alternative sources of employment, so far, it has received ver y few responses. In another greenhouse full of strawberry plants, 20-yearold Imran Bishara, who was taken on in October, is happy to be done with the job insecurity of working in the settlements of Mekhora or

Bekaot. “Over there, it was one day of work, then one day without,” he told AFP. Jihad Beni Awdeh, 22, used to do odd jobs in Bekaot as well as in an Arab town inside Israel. “To get into Israel, we had to get over the wall,” he told AFP. “You would stay for a few weeks or a month, sleeping in a tent, for fear of being arrested by the police,” he said, referring to the vast barrier Israel is building across the West Bank. Although Abu Dargham is pleased he has improved life for his workers, he happily admits that there is also an economic incentive for doing so. “I recruited them not only to give them an alternative to working in the settlements,” he says, “but also because they have a level of skill which doesn’t exist in Palestinian agriculture.” —AFP

HSBC rebuffs talk of London exit

The HSBC headquarters building (C) stands in Hong Kong yesterday.—AFP

LONDON: The heads of HSBC insisted yesterday that Europe’s biggest bank would like to remain headquartered in London after a newspaper said it was considering relocation to Hong Kong for tax purposes.In a joint statement, HSBC chairman Douglas Flint and chief executive Stuart Gulliver said that “talk of imminent change in HSBC’s position ... is entirely speculative and presumptuous.” HSBC, which has been headquartered in London for 19 years, has warned key investors that it is looking at moving to Hong Kong owing to high levels of British tax and red tape, The Sunday Telegraph had reported. The group was founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865 and the bank regards Asia as its most important region. HSBC insisted that it would prefer to remain headquartered in the British capital, while highlighting investor concerns about the continued international competitiveness of the City, London’s financial district. “London continues to be widely recognized as one of the world’s leading international financial centres, a position it has built over many decades

through deliberate policy action,” said Flint and Gulliver. “We have been very clear that it is our preference to remain headquartered here. We are however, in light of possible regulatory changes and additional costs such as the bank levy, being increasingly asked by shareholders and investors about the likely additional cost of being headquartered in the UK. “We are very clear that the City of London’s competitive position deserves protection and HSBC will play a full part in this; we are encouraged by the UK government’s recent commitments to do the same. “Talk of imminent change in HSBC’s position on this matter is entirely speculative and presumptuous,” the pair added. Britain’s coalition government last month increased its annual banking levy to £2.5 billion (2.9 billion euros, $4.0 billion), in a surprise move that has angered the banking sector. A source described as a top institutional investor in HSBC told The Sunday Telegraph: “HSBC has a review of its domicile every three years. Normally it’s a formality. This time we were told that a move is now more than likely.”—AFP




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Toyota genuine spare parts draw winners of the winter promotion Mohamad Naser Al Sayer & Sons Automotive celebrates Kuwait National Day

Gulf Bank announces winners of eighth Al Danah draw for 2011 KUWAIT: Gulf Bank held its eighth Al Danah weekly draw in 2011 on March 1, 2011, announcing a total number of ten Al Danah weekly prize draw winners, each awarded with prizes of KD 1,000. The ten winners are: Ahmed Abdulaziz Mohammad Al-Sabah, Mohammad Khalil Essa Al-Sairafi, Ghafran Ulhaq Barkat Riaysat Khan, Ali Nader Sardar Ali, Abdulrazaq Yahya Mohammad Al-Ayoub, Yaqoub Yousef Qambar Jaafar, Khaled Mohammad Abdullah Al-Hulan, Iqbal Siddique Mohammad Sadiq, Sahar Saad Ajmi Najem Al-Adwani and Kafaya Abdullah Mansur. Gulf Bank encourages everyone in Kuwait to open an Al Danah account and/or increase their deposits to maximize their chances of becoming a winner in the upcoming weekly, quarterly and annual draws. Gulf Bank’s Al Danah allows customers to win and encourages them to save money. Chances increase the more money is maintained and the longer it is kept in the account. Al Danah also offers a number of unique services including the Al Danah Deposit Only ATM card which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience; as well as the Al Danah calculator to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an Al Danah winner. To be part of the Al Danah draws, customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 53 branches, transfer on line, or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Customers can also log on to, Gulf Bank’s bilingual website, to find all the information regarding Al Danah or any of the Bank’s products and services or log on www.e, to find out more about Al Danah and who the winners are.

UAE’s Union Railway issues tenders DUBAI: Union Railway, which plans to begin construction on the United Arab Emirates’ rail network in mid-2011, said yesterday it has issued tenders for rolling stock for the Western region railway. The firm plans to complete an $11 billion, 1,500 km railway project across the UAE by 2017 that will also connect the UAE to Saudi Arabia and Oman. Union Railway did not give the value of the rolling stock tender. Earlier this month, it also issued a tender for civil and track works on the same segment of railway. The rail operator’s first project will carry granulated sulfur from Habshan to Ruwais for export from state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) Shah gas field in 2013. Construction of the national rail network project is slated to begin in the middle of this year after the contracts are awarded, Union Railway said. Gulf Arab states are spending more than $100 billion on rail projects across the region as they tackle poor public transports networks and growing populations. The six oil and gas producers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) seek to create a similar model to Europe’s high-speed rail system, with plans to extend the estimated 1,940 kilometre network to Yemen in the south of the Arabian peninsula and connect the entire Gulf network by 2017. — Reuters

KUWAIT: M ohamad Naser Al Sayer & S ons Automotive Co held the Grand Draw of its promotion campaign on the 2nd of March 2011 at the Shuwaikh - Canada Dry St, Al-Sayer used the electronic raffle draw to ensure that all of Al-Sayer’s customers have an equal and fair chance in the draw, the event was attended by a representative from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Noumas Al Noumas, and from Al Sayer MNSS Saied Mohamed Taih Al Shurafa Senior Manager, Parts and Accessories Sales. The pro-

motion carried on during winter from 23rd Jan. - 28th Feb. 2011 on all Toyota genuine spare parts by entitling all customers to a coupon to enter the draw on exciting prizes for every KD5/- they spend on Toyota genuine spare parts at any Al Sayer parts showrooms or Toyota service centers. The Grand Prize : 1st Winner : 250grms Gold Bar 24 Carat 2nd Winner : KD 500 Voucher (redeemable at Al Sayer Electronics & Canon).

3rd to 5th Winners : KD 250 Voucher (redeemable at Al Sayer Electronics & Canon). 6th to 12th Winners : KD 100 Voucher (redeemable at Al Sayer Electronics & Canon). The lucky winner of the grand prize is Mohammad Ebrahim Esmail Al-Muhannadi. Mohamad Naser Al Sayer & Sons congratulates all winners and thanks all customers for their wise choice of Toyota genuine spare parts and their trust in Toyota service centers.

STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS HOSTS 9TH ANNUAL MIDDLE EAST ROADSHOW Starwood Hotels & Resorts - the global hotel group operating the St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le MÈridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element brands - announced it will host its 9th annual Middle East Roadshow this March. Running from March 5th - 10th, the roadshow will visit Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Doha and Kuwait. Global representatives from across the company will host a series of industry workshops and meet with travel experts from across the region. Sessions will be led by experts from Starwood properties worldwide, and will provide an opportunity for regional travel industry leaders to learn more about Starwood’s brands, properties, products, and offers, as well as discussing the latest industry developments and trends impacting the region. Guido De Wilde, Vice President and Regional Director for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in the Middle East, said, “2011 is already turning out to be a very exciting year for Starwood here in the Middle East. We started the year by signing five new hotel deals in the region, and are now gearing up to launch our ninth annual Middle East roadshow. “The roadshow is an extremely important event in the Starwood calendar because we share such strong partnerships with travel companies across the region. It is a great opportunity to network and share with our customers the advances made by Starwood over the past year, as well as discussing those issues that matter most to the travel industry in the region.” “The Middle East region is a vital outbound market for us,” added Rene Camilleri, Director of Global Sales for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in the Middle East. “During our tour across these five GCC cities, Starwood delegates - who represent more than 30 hotels from 20 countries around the world - will have the chance to discuss their products and offers for 2011 with more than 2,000 leading customers.” Starwood Hotels & Resorts currently operates 47

hotels in the Middle East and has a pipeline of 22 new hotels, primarily in the luxury and upper-upscale segments, representing an increase of almost 50 per cent. By 2015, the Middle East will become the second region, after North America, to operate all nine of

Starwood’s world-class brands - St Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft and Element - further reinforcing the company’s commitment to the region.

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

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

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 .4495000 .3810000 .2955000 .2835000 .2800000 .0045000 .0020000 .0753630 .7342410 .3900000 .0710000 .7197910 .0045000 .0460000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2776000 .4516270 .3832820 .2978540 .2858910 .0514040 .0439030 .2819030 .0356410 .2184110 .0033790 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0755990 .7365350 .0000000 .0740460 .7212260 .0000000

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

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.

Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.427 6.193 3.258 2.520 3.883 220.300 35.799

.2835000 .4580000 .3880000 .3040000 .292000 .2870000 .0075000 .0035000 .0761210 .7416210 .4080000 .0780000 .7270250 .0072000 .0560000 .2797000 .4550440 .3861820 .3001070 .2880540 .0517920 .0442350 .2840350 .0359110 .2200630 .0034040 .0062290 .0025370 .0032940 .0039670 .0761710 .7421070 .3956150 .0746070 .7266820 .0064670

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

3.837 6.429 9.136 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 74.325 76.603 724.130 740.280 75.898

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

50.750 47.240 1.305 200.060 393.700 184.900 6.045 34.879

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 278.680 Euro 393.910 Sterling Pound 457.450 Canadian dollar 290.290 Turkish lire 174.280 Swiss Franc 304.900 Australian dollar 282.470 US Dollar Buying 277.645 GOLD 270.000 136.000 70.000

SELL CASH 285.600 740.140 4.180 290.100 546.600 14.100 53.100 167.800 50.190 393.500 36.420 6.390

393.360 0.187 93.970 3.890 207.800

303.000 6.100 9.340 75.840 278.300

220.900 47.256 392.000 36.270 6.185

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


Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 455.000 278.300

278.300 3.260 6.195 2.525 3.880 6.450 75.845 74.400 739.600 47.195 458.000 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 395.200 5.750 394.900 291.700

Al Mulla Exchange

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd SELL DRAFT 284.100 740.140 3.835 288.600

3.259 3.840 6.356 684.009 3.513 9.193 6.082 3.939 91.708

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 722.710 3.265 6.430 76.560 74.310 220.890 42.750 2.518 455.000


Sterling Pound US Dollar

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


GOLD 10 Tola

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

0.033 0.257 0.247 3.470 394.980 0.188 93.970 47.000 4.360 209.300 1.887 51.100 722.890 3.360 6.620 76.990 74.310 220.890 42.750 2.700 457.000 45.100 304.500 6.100 9.490 198.263 75.940 278.700 1.340

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 6.169

Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal

*Rates are subject to change

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 277.850 381.800 454.800 288.450 3.400 6.185 47.170 2.512 3.825 6.429 3.260 740.100 75.800 74.220




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Kuwait economic outlook remains bullish KAMCO RESEARCH REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait’s macroeconomic performance during the years prior to 2008 was strong due to high oil prices and growing private sector especially real estate and financial services, but performance during 2009 and the short to medium term outlook was adversely affected by the economic crisis and the drop in oil prices from its 2008 high of around USD 137 per barrel. The sharp drop in oil prices during late 2008 and the beginning of 2009 has substantially reduced the fiscal and external current account surpluses. Kuwait’s economy was hit hard during 2009 mainly on the back of lower oil prices and production cuts. During the first half of 2009, oil prices tumbled to $37.5 per barrel, real estate and asset prices plunged, and external financing dried up. Kuwait current account surplus fell to KD 8.2bn ($28.5bn) in 2009, after having increased by more than tenfold over the past decade to KD17.4bn ($64.8 bn) in 2008. According to the Central Bank of Kuwait’s latest data, Kuwait Nominal oil GDP contracted by about 40 per cent during 2009 but a massive stepup in government spending along with central bank liquidity support to the banking sector helped mitigate the impact of the crisis on the non-oil sector which grew by 5.7 per cent over the period. The output is projected to improve gradually over the medium to long term horizon mainly on the back of a strong projected oil demand in time with the global economic recovery. The new government regulatory initiatives and increased projected spending are likely to play a major role in pushing the economic performance forward. In addition, the implementation of structural reforms, the four year development plan and the establishment of the Capital Market Authority are crucial measures in order to diversify the Kuwaiti economy through private sector-led growth. Supported by an expansionary fiscal stance and high oil prices we estimate a recovery in 2010, with Nominal

GDP expected to grow by 17 per cent after a sharp contraction of 21.2 per cent during 2009. The 2010 projections stem from a modest recovery of around 5 per cent in the non-oil GDP upon sluggish credit markets and a struggling private sector, especially real estate and financial services. While Oil GDP projections are based on the recovery in oil prices from 2009 average of USD 60 per barrel to around USD 75 per barrel during 2010 along with an estimated 3 per cent increase in production levels driving the Oil GDP component to grow by KD 4.5 bn (USD 15.7 bn) over the period. The outlook for 2011 will be primarily dependent on the government initiatives and its ability to carry through

likely, scenario which is based on an average oil price of around USD 87.5 per barrel will witness Oil GDP grow by 17.1 per cent upon this increase in oil prices, and keeping the growth in the non-oil GDP at the same level of 10 per cent, it will result in Nominal GDP growth for 2011 of 13.6 per cent, crossing the 2008 GDP level to register KD 41.9bn ($149.6bn). Falling commodity and property prices, lower import prices and weaker domestic demand are expected to keep inflation rate at a stable single digit over the next few years. The fiscal surplus is expected to decline significantly over the next 4-5 years on the back of increased government spending.

financial crisis. The government of Kuwait has the capacity and the intent to follow such aggressive policies in order to offset the weakness in the private sector and support economic growth. This, along with key structural reforms, new regulations and enforcement of new laws will be crucial success factors that determine the fortunes of Kuwait in the new decade. Kuwait Oil Market Outlook As petroleum revenue accounts for about 45 per cent of GDP and 95 per cent of government revenue, the government’s main strategy lies in using the oil revenues to boost other non-oil sectors. Furthermore, bearish developments in financial markets during the

currently stand at around 104 bn barrels as per the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Over the long term, oil prices are expected to be driven mainly by the rising worldwide oil consumption which is forecasted to reach 105 mn barrels per day by the year 2030, in contrast with 2010’s 86.09 mn barrels per day, as per the Oil Market Report by OPEC. After two years of declining oil prices, the global oil demand is estimated to rebound during 2011 by 1.43 per cent to 87.32 mb/d from 2010’s 86.1 mb/d on the back of a recovery in the global economy and higher demand, with world gross domestic product estimated to grow at 4.2 per

with its spending plans. Overall, we believe that 2011 will witness higher government spending, increased consumer demand and strong oil prices. Currently, we maintain a conservative base case scenario for growth during 2011 putting the Nominal GDP forecast at around 7 per cent. This growth will be driven by the expected recovery in non-oil GDP of around 10 per cent upon the restoration of the credit markets and stabilization in real estate sector. Oil GDP is expected to register a modest growth of 4 per cent upon expectations that the current rally in oil prices will not continue throughout 2011 as it will witness a correction once the geopolitical tensions have stabilized. Our best case, and most

We see signs of economic strength in 2011 in Kuwait and the GCC region, as credit markets are starting to ease, expansionary monetary and fiscal stimulus policies adopted by GCC states, stability in oil prices driven by the recovery in global economy and gradual recovery in real estate and equity prices combine to deliver strong GDP growth over the next two years. During the tough economic times that we passed through over the past couple of years, Kuwait’s relative resistance to the weak external economic environment and capacity to recover is determined by its ability to follow anti-cyclical policies in order to clean up the debris in the aftermath of the

second half of 2008 and the first half of 2009 have exerted downward pressure on oil prices across the world; however, recovery in equity markets, and improvement in demand projections due to the process of economic recovery have turned market sentiment and lifted crude prices during the second half of 2009 and 2010 with the expectation that it would keep prices at a stable and improving pace throughout 2011. Kuwait remains the fifth largest OPEC producer with an average daily production of around 2.38mn barrels during 2010. Kuwait also has the fourth largest proven oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. Kuwait’s total proven oil reserves

cent according to the IMF after an increase of 4.8 per cent during 2010. Furthermore, Non OECD countries dominate growth and absolute demand, accounting for 52 per cent of the market by 2015. Given the medium to long term positive outlook about the oil market along with the fact that it usually takes around ten years to find, develop and begin production from a new field, the Kuwaiti government shows a great deal of commitment to the oil sector. As part of a new strategic plan, the Ministry of Oil has embarked on massive spending efforts to further develop the hydrocarbon industry in Kuwait with funds allocated to upstream and downstream projects, a new refinery,

Wataniya Airways launches ‘We Love Egypt’ initiative KUWAIT: Wataniya Airways, Kuwait’s best airline, in cooperation with the Egyptian Embassy in Kuwait and travel agents, has launched a tourism initiative called ‘We Love Egypt’ to encourage tourism to Egypt following the revolution on 25 January. The initiative was launched with a special visit by tourists flying with Watanya Airways from Kuwait to Sharm El Sheikh and Cairo. The Egyptian General Consul to Kuwait Ambassador Salah Al-Wasaime said: “We are touched by the love of Kuwaitis for Egypt and their concern during the past times and how eager they are to revisit Egypt, now that the situation is back to normal. This demonstration of love for Egypt is truly genuine, and we feel and appreciate the love of Kuwaitis for Egypt. “We thank the Kuwaiti people for the wonderful expression of their love for Egypt, and assure you that this love is mutual. As representatives of the Arab Republic of Egypt, we will be holding a range of festivities to celebrate with our Kuwaiti brothers and sisters Kuwait’s 50th anniversary of independence, and 20th year since liberation to express how much the Egyptian people love the Kuwaiti people too.” Jassim Al Qames, Wataniya Airways’ Head of Public Relations said: “As a national Kuwaiti carrier, we are proud to take part in this Arab show of support and help build a new bridge of love and communication between the Kuwaiti and Egyptian peo-

ples. “This initiative is to support the tourism industry in Egypt and help it return to normal, especially in key tourism areas such as Sharm El Sheikh and Cairo. Egypt always attracted many visitors from Kuwait and it is now open and ready to welcome them again.” “Our top priority at Wataniya Airways is the safety and security of our guests, and we would not have invited Kuwaitis to visit Egypt and supported this initiative if we believed the security situation was not fully resolved.” Al Qames added: “We are already seeing an increase in the number of tourists and visitors from Kuwait and other countries. It is known that the majority of tourists visiting Egypt are from Europe, and the number of European tourists is currently starting to return to where it was before the revolution. We would like to support our

Egyptian brothers and help them promote the tourism industry between Kuwait and Egypt through such activities and trips.” Several Kuwaiti families and members of the Kuwaiti Diving team, who will diving in one of the best diving sites in the world in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheikh, were onboard the flight. After spending some time in Sharm El Sheikh, the group will visit Cairo in order to enjoy the antiquities and unique cultural heritage and hospitality the city has to offer visitors. Guests wishing to travel on Wataniya Airways can book tickets by logging on to the airline’s website or by calling the Kuwait Guest Contact Centre on 118 or +965 24379999, or by making a reservation through their preferred travel agent.

Saxo Bank trebled profits KUWAIT: With net profit of DKK 644 than three times to DKK 914 million. Total assets increased during the million, the trading and investment specialist announced Saxo Bank’s best year - from DKK 16.0 billion in 2009 to DKK 23.9 billion in 2010. The increase is full-year results ever. Operating income reached DKK 3.3 due to a growth in client’s cash deposits billion for the Group in 2010, compared as well as acquisitions by Saxo Bank such as the acquisition of to DKK 2.2 billion in 2009. E*Trades Nordic activities This 50% year-on-year and Broerup Sparekasse. rise in operating income Clients’ collateral can be attributed to largdeposits related to the er client numbers, online trading business in increased deposits and Saxo Bank more than high trading activity in doubled to DKK 31.3 bilthe first half of the year. lion as at 31 December Total costs for the year 2010. Excluding Saxoincreased by DKK 0.5 billion to DKK 2.4 billion for Lars Seier Christensen Etrade Bank, which was acquired during the year, the Group, an increase of 24% from the previous year. Saxo Bank the growth was DKK 5.6 billion, equivacontinued to invest in geographical lent to 36% In addition, by means of expansion, product and platform devel- organic growth in Sirius, Capital Four opments, systems upgrades and new and Global Evolution, Saxo Asset business. Despite these investments, Management grew its assets under profit before tax increased by more management from approximately DKK

19.0 billion to more than DKK 31.2 billion as at 31 December 2010. The founders and CEOs of Saxo Bank, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, said in a joint statement: “Since autumn 2008, Saxo Bank has been implementing a transformation plan with the aim of maintaining growth while simultaneously ensuring profitability and efficiency. The external events following the financial crisis and the performance posted in 2010 prove that our initiatives are steering the Bank on the right track. We consider this year’s results very satisfactory. “Saxo Bank will continue to focus on maintaining its technological advantage in the financial industry and will open more local sales offices through acquisitions or as green field start-ups with a view to improving client sales and service”. As at 31 December 2010, the solvency ratio for the Group was 15.3%.

transportation and petrochemicals. This plan also envisages raising oil output capacity to 3.5 mb/d by 2015 from the current 3.1 mn. The ultimate goal of Kuwait’s long-term strategy is to raise its output capacity to four mb/d by 2020 and sustain that until 2030. More than a third of the amount earmarked will be for two major projects to build a new refinery at a cost of $14bn and upgrading two existing refineries for $16.3bn. Although a higher oil price means a boost in government revenues, most oil producing countries, including Kuwait, do not wish to see oil prices north of USD 100 per barrel because it may hinder on global economic growth. Producers are looking for a more stable market environment keeping oil prices at a level that justifies capital investments. Kuwait has the highest economic dependence on oil in the GCC region. The Hydrocarbon sector accounts for around 95 per cent of government revenues, while oil accounts for approximately 94 per cent of total exports. This situation sheds light on the problem of economic diversification in the country and stresses on the importance of innovation and investment in the hydrocarbon sector. Policy for the oil sector is set by the Supreme Petroleum Council. Domestic and foreign oil investments are governed by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), with Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) acting as the upstream arm domestically. In order to promote Kuwait as a transport and production center for hydrocarbons, KPC has plans to renew and upgrade its transportation fleet to meet international standards, while the government is required to build key infrastructure such as new ports and roads. Over the next few years KPC will invest around $54bn in downstream projects including refinery, a clean fuel project, an aromatics plant, and an upstream gathering and early production facilities. These efforts together should ensure Kuwait’s role as a global and regional hydrocarbons center.




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Kuwait stocks bounce back GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait equities strongly bounced back yesterday on the back of a rise in banking sector. Trading was intense on the counter of banks stocks. The biggest two Kuwaiti banks, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and Kuwait Finance House (KFH), topped the value list, accounting for 27.63 percent of the total traded value in the market. Kuwait Central Bank said it viewed its interest rates as appropriate as they are in line with economic developments, its governor Sheikh Salem Abdul-Aziz Al-Sabah said. “The current discount rate is considered reasonable given the economic, monetary and banking conditions at this particular stage,” Sheikh Salem added. The central bank last cut its discount rate by 50 basis points to 2.5 percent in February 2010. Global General Index (GGI) closed 1.86 points up (0.94 percent), at 199.55 point. The Market capitalization increased, reaching KD32.43bn. On the other hand, Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index closed in the green zone, adding 42.20 points (0.69 percent) to its value and closed at 6,189.9 point. Market Breadth During the session, 110 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 67 equities advanced versus 22 that retreated. Volume was up by 30.78 percent to 207.68mn shares changing hands with a total value amounting to KWD41.45mn (an decrease of 0.67 percent compared to the previous session). The Real Estate Sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 30.88 percent of total shares. Banking sector was the value leader, with 47.69 percent of total traded value. Company-wise, Investors Holding Group Company was the most actively traded stock during the day, with 28.08mn shares exchanged at a total value of KD0.523mn. In terms of top gainers, National Ranges Company was the biggest gainer for the day, adding 13.51 percent and closed at KD0.021. On the other hand, Coast Investment & Development Company came in as the biggest decliner, dropping by 5.26 percent and closed at KD0.090. Sector-wise During the last session, all sectors indices ended the day with gains, barring insurance sec-


Renaissance to raise $500m in London IPO DUBAI: Oman’s Renaissance Services aims to raise about $500 million in a London listing of its Dubai-based oilfield services unit and may also divest part of its stake in a secondary offer, it said yesterday. Renaissance’s Topaz Energy and Marine stake is expected to be above 51 percent after the IPO, it said in its 2010 annual report. The exact size of the secondary share sale will be decided closer to the date of Topaz’s IPO pricing. A source close to the deal said on Thursday that the offering is expected to be completed in early April and is being run by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan. “Renaissance now believes a listing of Topaz on the London Stock Exchange offers the most effective way to optimize future growth opportunities and increase shareholder value,” Chairman Samir Fancy said in the report. Renaissance did not provide a specific timeline for the IPO but said valuations for the share sale will be through a book building process. It said the precise timing of the IPO will need “careful consideration” due to the political unrest in the Middle East and north Africa. The company will announce a timetable for the IPO, once Topaz advises of its readiness to proceed, it said. Renaissance’s chairman and chief executive

will be on the board of the listed firm. The company said Topaz will have the “attributes” to become a FTSE 250 company after the IPO. The Gulf’s IPO market has suffered in the wake of the global financial crisis with investor appetite for regional offerings severely dampened, forcing some firms to look at London as an alternate destination. Global ports operator DP World has been eyeing a dual listing on the London exchange unhappy with its market valuation on Nasdaq Dubai. Topaz-one of the biggest oil services companies in the Middle East-is the top holding in Renaissance’s portfolio of companies. Muscat-listed Renaissance has operations mainly in Oman and calls itself a “multinational holding company” offering services to the oil and gas industry. “It’s a classic case of value unlocking of a subsidiary,” said Joice Mathew, head of research at Muscat-based United Securities. “As the fully owned subsidiary, Topaz is the major revenue generator for Renaissance and the IPO should provide Renaissance global visibility with access to diverse sources of funding, and benchmarking with international peer group.” Renaissance bought Topaz in 2005 through a share swap deal. Last year, Topaz had revenues of $408 million and profits of $70 million, Renaissance said in the report.—Reuters

New Zealand govt says quake to cost $11bn tor, which ended the day flat. Banking sector topped the gainer’s list for the day, adding 1.40 percent, on the back of the sector’s heavyweight stocks. Among the sector’s main gainers, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) rose by 5.66 percent to close at KD1.120. Gulf Bank also soared by 3.23 percent, closing at KD0.480. Investors exchanged 14.14mn shares of Kuwait International Bank with a total value of KD4.06mn. The scrip closed up by 1.79 percent. Earlier, Zain said it posted a net profit for FY2010 of KD1.06bn compared with KD195.01mn in FY2009. Total assets of the company stood at KD3.71bn at the end of December 2010, down 34.88 percent from KD5.69bn recorded in the corresponding period in FY2009.

The scrip closed flat at KD1.340. Global Services Index rose by 0.43 percent backed by Agility. The scrip closed up by 3.08 percent. Corporate News Updating its previous announcement dated November 04, 2010, Combined Group Contracting Co. (CGC) has signed a two-year contract worth KD37.59mn for a previously awarded tender. Under this agreement, the company will build and maintain five pipelines of 1600 mm diameter to supply fresh water from Mina Abdullah complex. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $110.48 dollars a barrel on Thursday, compared with $110.84 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

WELLINGTON: The New Zealand earthquake will cost the country up to NZ$15 billion ($11 billion) and knock gross domestic product growth down by 1.5 percentage points, the Treasury department said yesterday. But it predicted an economic boost next year when rebuilding is under way following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake on February 22, which devastated the main South Island city of Christchurch. “We estimate that GDP growth will be around 1.5 percentage points lower in the 2011 calendar year solely as a result of the February earthquake,” the Treasury said in its monthly report. The Treasury had previously forecast that GDP, which is worth around $125 billion, would rise 3.0 percent in 2011. “From

2012, the recovery will bring a sizeable boost to residential, commercial and infrastructure investment, placing upward pressure on prices depending on the rate of rebuilding,” the Treasury said. The department said the earthquake had a large cost in economic and human terms-with a death toll at 166 and expected to pass 200 — and emphasized its estimates were early and tentative. “The outlook for the New Zealand economy was weaker even before the earthquake as domestic demand was soft despite income gains from high commodity prices,” it said. It said the domestic developments also occurred against an international backdrop of political unrest, high commodity prices and rising inflation. —AFP



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Al Sayer extends a message of peace Speeches by Mubark Al Sayer and Musaed Al Sayer


l Sayer Group” congratulates His Highness The Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah AlAhmed Al-Sabah and the Kuwaiti people for the Golden National Days of the 50th National Day and 20th anniversary

of Liberation, and the 5th Anniversary of HH the Amir ’s ascension to the throne. Welcome our dear guests: Amiri Diwan Vice Minister Sheikh Ali AlJarrah Al-Sabah, the press and all participants. Al-Sayer Group has com-

Stock markets shrug off higher oil prices COMMODITY UPDATE By Ole S Hansen


he crisis in Libya escalated during the week and now more than half of its oil production is removed from the market. The US stock market however staged a strong recovery as recent data points towards increased economic activity despite the ongoing surge in oil and food prices. The European Central Bank surprised the market by signalling a rate rise as soon as next month in order to bring rising inflation under control. It was a surprise as Europe, just like several other regions, struggles with the potential effect of higher oil prices and in addition it could tip indebted EMU nations deeper into crisis. The euro nevertheless strengthened against the dollar on the back of the striking difference between how the ECB and the Federal Reserve view the world. The yield spread between two-year German and US government bonds, an important gauge for currencies, has widened by nearly 50bp over the last couple of weeks thereby supporting the euro rally. Oil markets continue to react to headlines from the developing situation in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. Signs that extra oil has begun to reach the market are emerging and unless the situation escalates or spreads to other countries in the region current inventories and price levels ought to be sufficient. For now though the continued uncertainty means that established positions will be maintained and only a significant change could bring about some long liquidation. The Libyan crisis supports North Sea Brent crude prices as the Mediterranean crude market has tightened substantially and European refiners have to find alternative supplies to the high quality light sweet crude from Libya. The impact on jet fuel, diesel and gasoline in Europe is very noticeable as the price of these this week surpassed $1,000 per metric ton for the first time in more than two years. Meanwhile, in the US the countrywide average price of gasoline continues to rise strongly and now costs $3.43 per gallon, some 23% above the 2010 average. Staying with the inflation theme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ index of global food

prices rose to a record high in February, the eighth consecutive monthly rise. Since June 2010, the index, which comprises 55 different commodities, has risen 40% and is now 5% higher than its 2008 peak. The International Monetary Fund said that the world is facing a prolonged period of high food prices on the back of a structural shift in demand. Temporary factors such as the weather shocks of 2010, which left many inventories at low levels, are still the main reason for the surge over the last six month. But structural changes in the global economy cannot be reversed and could mean higher prices in the years to come. All commodities bar a few rose last week for different reasons. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index gained more than 4% during the week, its strongest performance since December. Cotton and sugar both recovered strongly from a recent correction; with cotton now back in record territory as global supplies are failing to meet increased demand from China, the world’s biggest consumer. In the week gold broke its shackles and raced to a new record high of $1,440, before declining again on news that rates in Europe could go up in the near future. This news brought to the fore expectations for higher rates elsewhere and this removed some support for gold, an asset class that does not carry any yield. Inflation projections and current unrest should however keep gold prices supported. The failure to break into a new territory has left a few nervous longs which need to be addressed before another attempt to move higher can be initiated.

menced its business in Kuwait since 55 years. We are grateful for the trust that the people of Kuwait has been put in us for all those years. On this golden occasion, I extend a message of peace to Kuwait and the world by putting

Kuwait in the Guinness Book of Records by flying 5,000 doves in less than 5 minutes. We intended to choose this event which symbolizes love and peace. We started the preparations two months ago and we invited people of Kuwait to

share with us the joy of the beloved national days on Thursday, 24th Feb here from The Marina Crescent. This historical event is a sign of Al Sayer Group’s participation in the happiness of Kuwait’s people.

Rising inflation pressures ECB NBK MONEY MARKETS REPORT KUWAIT: The trend of stronger euro and sterling pound continued this week as more comments emerged questioning the “safe haven” status of the greenback. The Dollar index, which measures the US dollar value against a basket of six major global currencies, dropped by 1.2% during the week, approaching a 4-month low. The euro climbed after the European Central Bank warned that inflation risks were gaining momentum and that “strong vigilance” was warranted, suggesting that an interest rate hike is possible in the upcoming meeting. The euro opened on Monday at 1.3750 before surging by more than 100 points during Trichet’s speech on Thursday. On Friday, the Euro breached the 1.40 psychological barrier before closing back at 1.3987. In parallel, the Sterling Pound was able to continue its strengthening trend. The British currency surged on Monday to 1.6280 then rangetraded around that level before closing the week at 1.6269, up 1%. The yen traded calmly during the first half of the week before Trichet’s comments where it weakened subsequently to 83.07 against the US dollar then closed the week at 82.32. Consumer spending Rising food and fuel prices contributed to a lower-thanexpected consumer spending of 0.2% for Januar y, after rising 0.7% in the previous month. The commerce depar tment also repor ted that winter storms might have also discouraged shoppers. Recent reports also showed the saving rate increasing to 5.8%; the rate has been dropping since its 2010 high of 6.3% as consumers started gaining confidence to spend. Pending home sales Pending home sales, a figure reflecting the number of Americans signing contracts to

buy previously-owned homes, dropped by 2.8% in January after a revised 3.2% decrease for December. Sales are still affected by the high foreclosures and unemployment. Additionally, rising long-term interest rates pose another challenge for the housing market. The number of Americans filing claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly dropped last week by 20,000 to 368,000, the lowest since May 2008. Other reports from the Labor Depar tment showed that Non-farm Productivity, a measure for an

Inflation in the 17-nation euro-zone accelerated to 2.4% in February, compared with a 2.3% figure in Januar y. Inflation is increasing progressively the pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to raise interest rates later this year. The current inflation level is above the ECB’s target of slightly below 2% for the third consecutive month. Looking into the breakdown, Germany ’s inflation reached 2.2% while in Spain the rate accelerated to 3.4%. ECB’s President Jean-Claude Trichet signaled tighter policy in

from 55.9 in the previous month, while manufacturing reached 59, up from January’s level of 57.3. The Halifax house prices index reported a decrease of 0.9% in February, after rising 0.8% in January. The Halifax said the economic outlook may have dampened property demand, where the average value of a home in UK came at £162,657. Separately, the Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said during the week that the UK housing sector faces a greater threat from developments in the global economy than from domestic factors. Fac tor y output in Japan reported an increase of 2.4% in Januar y from the previous month, below expectations of a 4% gain. Analysts said the slowdown is likely to be temporary as the mobile phones and flat screens televisions output declined. Separately, retail sales rose by 0.1% In January, beating economists’ forecasts for a 1.5% drop; sales in Japan have been dropping as the government started unwinding its stimulus and incentives programs.

employee’s output per hour, rose to by annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter. In parallel, labor costs fell more than expected at a 0.6% pace, following 0.1% gain in the previous quarter.

the upcoming months to fight mounting inflation pressures. After keeping the benchmark rate at the record low 1% for a 23rd month, Trichet said an “increase of interest rates in the next meeting is possible” and that “strong vigilance” is warranted. He also added that any move would not necessarily be the start of a “series” of interest rates hikes. The composite PMI index for the euro -zone showed that growth in Europe’s services and manufacturing industries accelerated less than initially estimated in February. The index rose to 58.2 from 57 in January, below market’s consensus of 58.7. I ndividually, ser vices advanced to 56.8 in February

Oil still rising Oil continued its climb to record a third weekly gain. The increase in price is primarily linked to the unrest in Libya which renewed concerns that supply disruptions may spread to other regional oil-exporters. Additionally, rising economic optimism supported by better employment spurred speculation that fuel demand will increase. WTI crude oil closed on Friday at 104.4 after reaching a 28-month high of 105.17. ICE Brent Crude closed the week at 115.97

Unemployment drops The unemployment rate dipped to 8.9% in February, the lowest since April 2009, as more people reported finding jobs. The jobless rate has dropped so far 90 basis points since November. The Labor Department also said that nonfarm payrolls increased by 192,000; employment rose in manufacturing, construction and temporary help agencies, while state and local government payrolls dropped.

Kuwait Dinar at 0.27760 The USDK WD opened at 0.27760 on Sunday morning.




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Mooted ECB rate hike highlights euro-zone plight FRANKFURT: A huge European Central Bank hint at a rate hike next month jolted markets and highlighted the ECB’s predicament faced with rising inflation and a three-speed euro-zone recovery. “The contrast between financial crises at the periphery and a strong Germany could really make things extremely difficult for the ECB,” Berenberg Bank’s senior economist Holger Schmieding told AFP last week. He referred to struggling economies such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Schmieding spoke after ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet suggested the central bank would raise lending rates in April to combat inflation which hit 2.4 percent in February. An interest rate increase “is possible,” but “not certain,” Trichet said, which markets interpreted as a sign it would probably happen. The rate has been at a record low of 1.0 percent since May 2009 but is no longer appropriate for Germany where the economy has bounced back from recession and might be starting to overheat. The 17-nation euro-zone also includes Greece however, which is still in recession, along with others where timid signs of growth have appeared and stronger states like Austria, Finland and France. The ECB has also oriented exceptional cash supply measures towards banks in weaker countries and Trichet said it would keep providing unlimited liquidity through June at least. The bank’s apparent decision to raise the benchmark interest rate for 330 million people before a recovery was ensured for all was disputed by many economists, but Schmieding said the ECB was “doing it exactly the right way.” A higher rate should dampen inflation expectations, while fragile banks would not suffer unduly since ample cash would still be available.

The situation nonetheless underscores a core issue for the 17 nations and a single central bank, the trouble in finding one monetary policy for all, what Thorsten Polleit at Barclays Capital called “the curse of the compromise.”

the individual governments,” ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski said. Euro-zone and European Union leaders are to meet this month to discuss a permanent rescue mechanism for heavily-indebted countries and pos-

ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet Euro-zone founders assumed member’s economies would gradually converge, but 12 years on some have not and “a lot is really in the hands of

sible economic reforms, but expectations for a broad and deep agreement have dwindled. Some analysts think the mooted ECB rate hike was also

aimed at focusing political leader’s minds on the problems at hand, like how to compete with emerging economies. For that, “there is nothing the central bank can do,” Brzeski said, while Schmieding added: “The heavy fiscal lifting and the institutional reform has to come from governments and finance ministers.” Capital Economics economist Jonathan Loynes said: “Crunch time for euro-zone policymakers could be approaching and the stakes are higher than ever” because dithering by EU leaders could provoke a sharp reaction from markets and see the debt crisis take a turn for the worse. Germany and France have come up with ways for partners to become more competitive but many of the ideas have been rejected by governments or watered down and Berlin criticized for seeking to impose its model on others. Brzeski underscored differences between the euro-zone’s industrial- and agricultural- or servicebased economies and concluded: “We don’t need a monetary union with 17 Germanies.” As far as narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor, he and Schmieding see only longerterm solutions. Once housing and labor markets rebound in Ireland and Spain for example, structural reforms will help close the gap with Germany, which will cool down at some point as well. Meanwhile, “the debt problem is unlikely to be solved with monetary policy without causing other problems, most notably inflation problems,” Barclay’s Polleit said. And even with help from the ECB and EU funds, indebted states will probably suffer for a few more years, as Germany did until painful reforms finally bore fruit, Brzeski forecast. “It’s simply something that takes awhile,” he said.—AFP

Pressure rises as euro debt deadline looms Political chasm running from north to south

SPAIN: An operator changes a highway speed sign from 120 kilometers per hour, to the new regulation of 110, on the highway to the Pyrenees route, near to Zulueta, northern Spain, Saturday, March 5, 2011. Spain will lower highway speed limits, cut train ticket prices and use more biofuel under an emergency energysaving initiative because of soaring oil prices brought on by unrest in Libya. —AP

Spain’s savings banks race to find funds by Thursday MADRID: Spain’s ailing regional savings banks are scrambling to raise billions of euros of fresh funds to meet strict new capital requirements by a Thursday deadline. The country’s 17 savings banks, known as “cajas,” are weighed down by loans that turned sour after the collapse of a housing bubble in 2008 and are at the heart of fears the country could need an Irish-style international rescue. Last month the government approved stricter rules on the amount of rock-solid core capital that banks must hold on their balance sheets, seeking to shore up confidence in the battered economy. Under the new rules, savings banks must raise the proportion of core capital they hold to 8.0 percent of total assets from the current six percent, or 10.0 percent if they are unlisted. The Bank of Spain will determine Thursday which savings banks have met the new core capital requirements and in the case of those that have fallen short, how much capital they need to raise to meet the new requirements. Up to 11 of Spain’s 17 regional savings banks will need additional capital to reach the levels of solvency set by the government, the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said last month. The government estimates that all the savings banks will need to raise 20 billion euros to meet the new requirements, a figure many analysts describe as too low. The state is threatening to take temporary stakes-a form of nationalization-in those lenders that fail to abide by the new rules by September. Credit rating agency Moody’s put a 50-billion-euro price tag Monday on the recapitalizing of Spanish banks hit by the property market collapse. “The government is trying to attract foreign investors for the cajas, so it is logical that it attempt to downplay the amount to make it more attractive,” said Gonzalo Gomez Bengoechea, a researcher at Madrid’s IESE Business School. The government is encouraging the savings banks to recapitalize using private funds which gives them several options: • selling assets; • opening their capital to investors; • listing on the bourse, which would require they become fully fledged banks. Under pressure from the government, many of the savings banks merged last year, reducing their numbers from 45 to 17, to improve their efficiency. Ten of these new savings bank groups have decided to transform themselves into banks, or are thinking of doing so, and of these five plan to list on the stock market. Foreign investment funds-about a dozen according to Spanish media reports-as well as Spanish banks have shown interest in investing in the cajas. — AFP

BRUSSELS: Europe faces mounting pressure this week to bridge a political chasm running from north to south, and right to left, over how to harmonize economic policy. While the 27-state European Union is preoccupied by upheaval in Libya going into an emergency summit on Friday, markets are sounding ever more pessimistic about progress within the 17-nation eurozone towards resolving its debt crisis. They are already on edge over high oil and food prices, with the knock-on effect that has on inflation and the euro-zone already has plans for its own special summit in Brussels later the same day. One major concern will be the decision by Fitch Ratings on Friday to downgrade Spain’s sovereign credit outlook at the weekend. Fitch Ratings is one of the three top agencies assessing borrower reliability and was a prime mover in Greece and Ireland’s drift to the edge of the precipice last year. Fitch moved Spain from stable to negative, with the agency blaming a weak economy, banking woes and big-spending regional administrations. Fitch also warned that Spain could be punished if another summit on March 24-25 failed to produce a “credible and comprehensive” response to its stated goal of deciding the size, shape and scope of a financial rescue system. Fitch’s rating decision-and its warning on sorting out the rescue mechanismcame after EU leaders separated across old political faultlines on the how to solve the bloc’s economic problems. Right-wing leaders gathered in Helsinki,

while the left met in Athens Friday and Saturday. The near 2,500-kilometre distance was more than just symbolic. One EU source close to negotiations on the “comprehensive” package EU president Herman Van Rompuy is negotiating described it as a “chess game” being played out against

“competitiveness pact” first launched alongside French President Nicolas Sarkozy at an already fractious summit last month. Designed to even out gaps in performance across the euro-zone economy, it is presented as a condition for further rescue funding guarantees post-2013.

the clock. He told AFP Germany would not budge on boosting rescue funds and allowing those funds to buy up government bonds from weaker economies such as Portugal, unless Chancellor Angela Merkel could go to voters with “commitments from other countries to reform their economies.” In Helsinki late on Friday, Merkel rallied Europe’s conservative majority behind a

The centre-right European People’s Party signed up to a call for states to open up national accounts to EU scrutiny, and face “clear sanction mechanisms” if they failed to comply with new fiscal rules. However, demands which would see everything from wages, pensions or business taxation policies lurch to the right have angered the left. In Athens on Saturday, Europe’s socialists launched “an

alternative to the Sarkozy-Merkel plan, for creating eight million jobs in Europe,” according to Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, head of the Party of European Socialists. “The European right wing is missing the big picture,” their gathering concluded. “It ignores the causes and dimension of the multi-faceted crisis that threatens our economy and societies.” Other items on the socialist wish-list include the creation of joint euro-zone bonds-which Germany fears would lead to a fiscal transfer union-and a tax on financial transactions. But a call for a softening of what the left sees as rapacious interest rates for the Greek and Irish bailouts seems unlikely to go the distance. Conservative EPP deputy head and incoming Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s own calls have failed to move their political allies in Helsinki. “The real subject of the negotiations is what the current fund can do,” said the EU insider of the fall-out over the Berlin-Paris pact. “Can it buy up euro-zone public debt or not? And will it be able to offer shortterm credit lines to countries? “On these issues, Germany and the Netherlands aren’t moving much and if nothing happens there, the markets are likely to start attacking the weakest countries again.” An internal EU assessment of the state of play seen by AFP shows a welter of division in the detail: states are unable even to agree on how to calculate debt data. Such basic differences suggest that major changes are almost certain to take years to be implemented. — AFP

Kenya coffee eyes new golden era NAIROBI: Kenyan coffee producers are hoping that soaring global prices will end years of neglect, that saw output drop fourfold, and herald a new golden age for what was once the country’s top export. The arabica that grows in the volcanic soils of Kenya’s highlands is sought worldwide as a high quality bean used in the blends that fill the cups of the ever-growing global army of espresso connoisseurs. Yet production has dwindled steadily in recent years to hit 36,000 tons last year, down from 130,000 tons in 1997. Coffee is the most traded commodity in the world after oil but Kenyan growers are also among the poorest and many of those who enjoyed the coffee heyday of the seventies have since uprooted their trees and diversified. Most of Kenya’s remaining bushes are centennial and the farmers not much younger. “The average age of a Kenyan farmer is about 55 years and I think I’m being conservative. So without somebody to carry the mantle... the sector is under threat,” said Lucy Kimani, head of the Kenya Coffee Producers’ Association. At Nairobi’s coffee exchange, just under veteran President Mwai Kibaki’s portrait, hangs a ceramic sign for Mincing Laneonce a hub for tea and coffee trade in London-that was donated in 1951. The pre-colonial auction room-with panelled walls, faded lime green seats and writ-

ing tables sporting large built-in tin ashtrays-reeks of long-gone glory days. But lately, the numbers flashing in red on the digital trade screen have gone wild, with lots of Kenya’s benchmark AA grade fetching a record $1,022 last month, more than double the highest prices achieved last year. “Right now what’s trading in front of you is at six dollars a kilo,” said Jay Sondhi, one of the buyers in the auction room cranking the prices by keeping their finger down on their bidding button. “Over the past weeks we’ve had coffee trading at 10 to 12 dollars a kilo... and that represents a 100 percent increase in some of the top qualities... That’s huge,” said the managing director of Sondhi Trading Limited. Prices have reached 40-year highs because global demand-spurred notably by the spread of cafe culture to emerging powers such as India-keeps growing while stocks are at an historical low. Top world producer Brazil is heading into the off year of its biennial crop cycle while bad climate in Colombia, the fourth producer behind Vietnam and Indonesia, has resulted in poor harvests for three consecutive years. But John Logan, Kenya Coffee Initiative Director at Technoserve, a non-profit body that helps people in the developing world build businesses, warned that much more was needed to rejuvenate the industry than

Coffee is the most traded commodity in the world after oil but Kenyan growers are also among the poorest and many of those who enjoyed the coffee heyday of the seventies have since uprooted their trees and diversified. just high prices. Kenya’s estimated 600,000 coffee farmers work through cooperatives but trust needs to be rebuilt after years of bad governance that drove small scale holders away from the crop. “A coffee buyer will tell you that the best fertilizer for coffee is price, it’s true but it’s not only that... It’s how much the farmer really gets that counts,” said Logan. While prices are expected to remain bullish for some time, prices will fall again. The growers’ trust in their cooperatives needs to be rebuilt and production needs to increase, Logan said. “The average coffee farmer in Kenya pro-

duces less than two kilos of cherries per tree when he could be producing 10 kilos” with the right inputs, he said. “Farmers will need higher yields, there’s no spare land.” John Waweru has a small plot near Thika, an hour’s drive from Nairobi, and has been farming coffee all his life, just like his father before him. “In latter years the coffee prices were very low but of late it has increased so it is now bringing in an income for us, helping us educate our children as well as maintaining our family,” he said. He said younger farmers were being drawn back to old neglected bushes. —AFP




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RSA establishes cloud trust authority to accelerate cloud adoption RSA, The Security Division of EMC, announced the RSA Cloud Trust Authority, a set of cloudbased services designed to facilitate secure and compliant relationships among organizations and cloud service providers. By enabling visibility and control over identities, information and infrastructure, the RSA Cloud Trust Authority will foster the trust necessary for organizations to adopt cloud computing for mission-critical applications and sensitive information. To further support and strengthen this requirement, EMC announced the new EMC Cloud Advisory Service with Cloud Optimizer from EMC Consulting, which helps customers create a balanced cloud strategyextending from legacy architectures through cloud service providers at the lowest cost while achieving trust objectives. “Surveys show that lack of trust in cloud computing is slowing broader adoption of cloud

Use Facebook like a pro WASHINGTON: With over 500 million users, Facebook is not just popular. It’s also filled with features and customisation options that most don’t even know about. Learn a few of the Facebook tricks below, and you can can separate yourself from the crowd and increase your productivity at the same time. Keyboard shortcuts Sure, Facebook is a website. But it’s surprisingly keyboard friendly. For instance, if you use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer on Windows, you can hold down the Alt key, tap the number 4 (Alt-4), release the keys, and press Enter to open your message list (and then Tab through the messages). The same sequence, but using different numbers, accesses other parts of the Facebook screen. Alt-1, Enter goes to your Home page; Alt-2, Enter goes to your profile; Alt-3, Enter lets you view Friend requests; Alt-M, Enter starts a new message; Alt-?, Enter places your cursor in Facebook’s Search box. If you’re using Firefox, the same shortcuts apply, but you’ll have to hold down both Alt and Shift rather than just Alt. Search secrets There’s a good deal of power hidden behind Facebook’s simple search box. Search filters, for example, let you both narrow the results of your searches and refine searches so that you can find information in Facebook that would otherwise be impossible to unearth. To access the filters, first enter a search term in Facebook’s Search box, but instead of pressing Enter, click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the Search box itself. Doing so takes you to a screen that lists search filters in the left-hand column. These filters include “groups,” for narrowing your search result to relevant Facebook groups; “apps,” for displaying only Facebook apps relevant to a search term; “posts by friends,” for honing in on relevant posts made by those on your friends list; and “posts by everyone,” for finding any post on Facebook that includes your search term. Facebook also includes a dedicated “classmate search” feature (, which helps you to locate classmates simply by entering the name of your school, your graduating year, and optionally a specific person you’re looking for. Similarly, a co-worker search tool ( makes it easy to find any co-workers on Facebook by entering the name of your company. You can also search for two things at the same time on Facebook - similar to using an “or” command in search engines - by inserting a vertical line character (|) between your search terms. If, for instance, you’re looking for an old friend and you think she might be listed under one of two names, search for both names with the vertical line between them, and you’ll quickly get a list of good possibilities. Navigation gems Knowing how to get around in Facebook can save you almost as much time as knowing the fancy keyboard shortcuts mentioned earlier. If you get buried deep within Facebook and want to get back to where you started when you first logged on, just click the Facebook logo. That’ll take you to your public wall, or news feed - it’s the same as clicking Home in the menu bar of the upper right-hand corner. Clicking Home and then your user name will take you to a page displaying the publicly visible profile information you have provided, including Wall postings you’ve made, photos you’ve provided, and any notes you’ve added. Privacy customisations Take charge of what the world knows about your Facebook page. Click the Account link in the upper righthand corner, and select Privacy Settings from the dropdown menu. On the resulting Choose Your Privacy settings page, look closely at the Connecting on Facebook and Sharing on Facebook sections. Anything that is set to “Everyone” can be seen or found by anyone who searches the internet. Click the Customise Setting links to determine exactly who sees what on your Facebook page. Application power One of the reasons Facebook is so popular is that, like the iPhone, there are developers around the world building add-on programs that make Facebook more fun or customisable. These programs are called “apps,” and you’ll find them in the official Facebook Applications Directory ( There’s also a dedicated search box just for finding apps. Remove ads If you use the Firefox web browser, you can download and install the popular Adblock Plus plug-in, which pretty much makes Facebook ads a thing of the past. Occasionally with Adblock Plus installed, you’ll still see a section header where ads used to be, but the ads themselves should not appear. To install Adblock Plus, just point Firefox to the Adblock Plus website (, and then click the Add to Firefox button. — dpa

services,” said Art Coviello, Executive Chairman, RSA, the Security Division of EMC. “While cloud computing offers tremendous benefits in cost and agility, it breaks down some of the traditional means of ensuring visibility and control of infrastructure and information. Forcing enterprises to develop trusted relationships individually with each cloud service provider they wish to use is cumbersome and will not scale. New thinking in security and compliance is required to provide a future in which organizations can consume services from a wide variety of cloud service providers on-demand and for all their application needs.” Organizations will be able to manage relationships with cloud service providers via the RSA Cloud Trust Authority console making it easy to configure and deploy cloud-based security services. The system is being architected to greatly streamline the ongoing management of

trusted relationships eliminating the need for multiple point-to-point integrations involving custom code with both organizations and service providers. The RSA Cloud Trust Authority will make it easier for organizations to adopt cloud computing and will give cloud service providers the opportunity to deliver classes of applications that previously would be off-limits due to security or compliance concerns. “Today, enterprises wanting to leverage one or more cloud service providers have to create secure access methods, establish compliance measurement and data controls and solve a number of other security challenges,” said Drew Simonis, Group Information Security Officer, Willis Group Holdings, plc. “The complexity and cost of establishing trusted relationships with each provider erodes the value of cloud computing by slowing down the ability to provision new providers as part of the total IT portfolio. The

approach RSA is taking with the RSA Cloud Trust Authority holds promise for changing that by creating an intermediary for hosted security and compliance services and will move the burden of establishing trusted cloud computing from the customer to the cloud.” “The fundamental value of the RSA Cloud Trust Authority approach to services providers is that it helps eliminate a key source of friction slowing down adoption of cloud computing-the requirement to ensure security and compliance across their enterprise IT resources and their outsourced cloud-based resource,” said Ken Owens, Vice President of Security and Cloud Technology, Savvis. “Byoffering an elegant model for customers to establish trusted relationships with service providers more rapidly, RSA’s approach will accelerate the adoption of our services by a wider set of customers for security-sensitive applications.”

As Google matures, startups keep it young ‘We need to be close to people who are moving quickly’ SAN FRANCISCO: Google co-founder Larry Page is taking charge of the maturing Internet giant in a move seen as recapturing youthful roots in the face of competition from hip upstar t star tups like Facebook. The California firm isn’t waiting for Page to formally take the chief executive chair being emptied by Eric Schmidt in April, it is tapping into the energy of nimble entrepreneurs bought with Google’s ample war chest. “Any engagement that Google can have with the startup community, with entrepreneurs, we learn and we are inspired,” said David Krane of Google Ventures, an arm of the firm that invests in new ideas and young companies. “We need to be close to the people who are moving quickly and chasing big dreams at the early stage, he said in a Friday interview with AFP. “Because that can influence and shape the way that we run as we try to fight off some of the natural side effects that come as a company gets larger.” Google has grown to a global powerhouse with 25,000 employees in far-flung locations since it was started by fellow Stanford University students Sergey Brin and Page in 1998. Acquisitions of startups have brought technology and talent to Google, with entrepreneurs help-

ing keep in-house engineers in tune with front line innovations. “I feel it is more that we are having an impact on Google versus Google changing us,” said Jonathan Sposato, the founder of two startups bought by the ruler of the Internet search market. “That is a good strategy for bigger companies to stay on the edge and inoculate the organization with fresh thinking and different perspectives.” Sposato became head of photo products at Google after it bought his online picture editing startup Picnik in 2010. The first company he sold to Google became “gadgets” tools that let people make mini-programs for Web pages. “You see this really respectful way Google treats the incoming companies,” Sposato said. “Things don’t get broken apart.” Sposato works at Google offices in the Washington State city of Seattle where Picnik began, occasionally commuting to the headquarters in Mountain View, California. “Google is learning a lot from the team and at the same time we are learning a lot,” Sposato said. “There is benefit to bringing in the acquired company’s culture.” Early last year, Google bought DocVerse for a price pegged at $25 million or more and put founder Shan Sinha to work on a Cloud Connect

service that lets people to collaborate online on Microsoft Office documents. “There is definitely merit to the idea that entrepreneurs can bring unique perspectives,” said Sinha, who worked at US technology titan Microsoft before starting DocVerse. “You bring risk-taking personalities in to rethink the way markets and products should be working.” Sinha’s team sells Web-based Gmail to businesses and it is one of Google’s fastest growing products. While Google has grown to the point that its gaze is naturally drawn to bigger markets, entrepreneurs are often keenly tuned into smaller markets that could explode into big trends, Sinha observed. “Google firmly believes it should have a startup culture,” said Danny Sullivan of search news website Search Engine Land. “That core foundation is what Larry and Sergey remember,” he continued. “They like to have those kinds of people around Google.” Acquisitions are not a sign that Google can’t create innovations in-house, but rather an indication the firm is smart enough to find emerging talent, according to Sullivan. —AFP

New tech products

Surround speakerphone and smartphone protection BERLIN: Samsung is introducing a more affordable variant of its Galaxy Tab tablet computer. The Galaxy Tab WiFi comes without a 3G module and the related slot for a mobile phone SIM. Its only option for connecting to the internet is via WLAN. The 7-inch device runs on Android 2.2 (Froyo). The Galaxy Tab WiFi is expected in March and will start at around 499 dollars. The existing Galaxy Tab with 3G capability will see its price cut from 799 to 599 dollars.

HANOVER: A woman wearing a watch holds an iPad at the CeBIT IT fair which concluded in Hanover, central Germany. — AFP

Motorola’s Xoom tablet leads charge of iPad rivals SAN FRANCISCO: Motorola’s Xoom tablet computer went on sale in the US, amidst positive reviews that labeled the device as the most powerful rival yet to Apple’s iPad. Apple sparked the tablet computer craze last April with the iPad, and has since sold 15 million of the devices. It is expected to launch a second-generation iPad at a media event slated for March 2 in San Francisco. Though companies like Samsung and Dell have tried to respond with tablets of their own based on Google’s Android operating system, the Xoom is the first tablet to feature the latest Android version, Honeycomb, which is optimized for tablets as opposed to smartphones. The Xoom is roughly the same size as the iPad, and costs about the same for a similarly spec’d version, though buyers who opt for an iPad with limited memory and restricted to wi-fi connections can save hundreds of dollars. The Xoom has slightly higher screen resolution than the iPad, and boasts front and rear facing cameras for picture-taking and video conferencing. Powering the device is a dual core 1GHZ processed with 1GB of RAM, and battery life is assessed at 10 hours. Nevertheless, the consensus among established reviewers is that the device is a worthy competitor to

the iPad. “Both Motorola’s hardware and Google’s new software are impressive and I believe the Xoom beats the first-generation iPad in certain respects, though it lags in others,” noted Walt Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal. “As much as I like the Xoom and Honeycomb, I’d advise consumers to wait to see what Apple has up its sleeve next before committing to a higher price for the Motorola product.” Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky said that the Xoom’s ability to multi-task gave it a key advantage over the iPad, but that the device still lacks polish. “Honeycomb and the Xoom are spectacular - unfortunately they’re a spectacular work in progress,” he noted. MSNBC’s Wilson Rothman said the Xoom was a “worthy competitor” to the iPad and would only gain momentum as the price dropped and more apps became available. However he criticized both the screen and the body for being less scuff-proof than the iPad’s. Like Mossberg, Rothman said potential purchasers might like to wait to see what other tablets come out in the coming few months. Not only may they prefer the iPad 2, both LG and Samsung have new Android tablets set to launch soon, while HewlettPackard and Research in Motion will both debut tablets based on their proprietary operating systems. — dpa

Sonos music system controlled by smartphone Sonos, a specialised manufacturer of wireless music broadcasting in living spaces, has announced a free software application for Android smartphones. The application will allow mobile phones running the Google operating system to remotely control Sonos music systems. Songs and radio broadcasts can be selected directly from the phone, as can volume selection for all rooms. The Sonos Controller for Android also features speech recognition, so you can dictate which songs should be playing. New Android tablet from Toshiba Toshiba is planning to launch an Android-based tablet PC before the end of June. Dubbed the Toshiba Tablet, the device will be equipped with a 10.1-inch 16:10 screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It will feature a front and rear camera, an HDMI output and motion sensors. Toshiba announced both a UMTS version as well as a pure WLAN model; prices are not yet available. Network storage media with room for two hard disks The latest Network Attached Storage device from D- Link is designed to house two S-ATA hard disks. The Sharecenter Shadow DNS325 can store up to four terabytes of data, music or video files. The device is connected to the network using a Gigabit Ethernet interface. According to D-Link, the maximum data throughput rate is 38 megabits per second. As an option, the DNS-325 can automatically backup files. The device - with built-in 1.2-gigahertz processor, 256 MB RAM and software

- costs 279 dollars. Hard disks are not included in the purchase price. Hands-free unit with surround sound for use in cars Manufacturer Jabra is unveiling Freeway, a new surround-sound, hands-free unit for use in vehicles. The 119-dollar device can be retrofitted, has three speakers that produce stereophonic sound, and includes a motion sensor to automatically turn the unit on or off when the car door is opened. The Stone2 headset, an optional accessory, allows users to make calls via voice commands. It is slated to cost 99 dollars. Both products are scheduled to hit stores in the second quarter of 2011. Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 protects Android, Blackberry The Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 smartphone security software now also protects devices running Android and Blackberry. Previously, support had only extended to the mobile operating systems Symbian and Windows Mobile. In addition to warding off viruses, the program can also hide sensitive data and block undesired calls. Should the mobile phone get stolen, it can be locked remotely and located via GPS. The new version for Android and Blackberry, which has already been released, sells for 25 dollars and is valid for one year. New netbooks from Acer and Samsung Acer and Samsung have introduced new 10.1-inch netbooks to the market. Both the Acer Aspire One 522 and Samsung’s NF210 HZ1 come preinstalled with a 250-gigabyte hard disk, one gigabyte RAM and the Windows 7 operating system. While the Acer netbook is powered by AMD’s 1-gigahertz C-50 Fusion processor and an integrated HD-6250 graphics card, Samsung relies on Intel’s dual-core Atom N550 processor (1.5 GHz), a GMA3150 graphics chip and a UMTS module. The Acer display offers 1280 x 720 pixels of resolution; the Samsung netbook displays 1024 x 600 pixels. The Aspire One 522, configured as detailed above, sells for 299 dollars, and Samsung’s NF210 HZ1 can be had for 399 dollars. — dpa


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

Transplant patients a target of Arizona budget cuts PEORIA: A pacemaker and defibrillator fitted to carpenter Douglas Gravagna’s failing heart makes even rising from the couch of his Phoenix-valley home a battle. But it is not congestive heart failure that is killing him, he says. It is a decision by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to stop funding for some organ transplants as the state struggles to reduce a yawning budget deficit. “She’s signing death warrants-that’s what she’s doing. This is death for me,” says Gravagna, 44, a heavy-set man who takes 14 medications to stay alive. Gravagna is among 98 people denied state Medicaid funding for potentially life-saving transplants and at the forefront of a harrowing battle over the state’s public finances. The measure enacted last October by Brewer trimmed spending on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program, to help close a projected 2012 budget deficit of $1.15 billion. It eliminated coverage for transplants including lung, heart, liver and bone marrow after weighing the success and survival rates for certain transplant procedures. Two patients on the Medicaid waiting list have since died, although it is unclear if transplants would have saved them. In a statewide speech, the Republican gover-

nor singled out the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, as the Medicaid program is called in the desert state, as the greatest drain on state coffers. “At the deficit’s core is the explosive growth in Medicaid spending which, over the last four years, has soared by almost 65 percent and now consumes 29 percent of our state budget,” she said. “If we are to regain control of state spending, we must reform Medicaid and free Arizona from the fiscal manipulation of the federal government,” Brewer said. Medicaid, which covers about 60 million Americans-poor adults and children, people who are elderly or have disabilities-is one of the top expenses for states. It makes up about 16 percent of state budgets, said Judith Solomon at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It pays for more than 40 percent of all births in the United States and is the primary bill-payer for nearly two-thirds of the country’s nursing home residents, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In Texas the proposed budget would cut rates to Medicaid providers, including doctors, dentists, hospitals and nursing homes, by 10 percent, making it more difficult for patients to find healthcare

providers who accept Medicaid. Other states, among them Nevada, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, Colorado and South Dakota, have also proposed provider rate cuts. Proposed cuts range from limiting prescription and doctor visits in California to eliminating adult vision and dental services in Georgia, the center says. Brewer has proposed dropping about 250,000 Arizonans- mostly childless adults-from the program. Most states are not proposing to trim Medicaid rolls because the new federal health reform law requires that they maintain current Medicaid coverage. But the U.S. Health and Human Services Department has said Arizona can drop coverage because the state is providing it through a temporary waiver, and the new law does not require extending that. Taking an ax to transplant funding is backed by many Republicans in Arizona, some of who sympathize with Brewer. “It’s a very difficult unenviable position to be in for her,” said Kathy Boatman, a conservative Tea Party activist in the Phoenix valley. “It’s not fun, it’s unpleasant, but when expenses have outpaced income, that’s what you have to do.” But opponents, including state Democrats, the families of desperately sick patients like Gravagna

and some doctors say savings can be made without putting lives on the line. “There are other places to make cuts. We’ve cut taxes on the very rich, we have corporate tax loopholes,” said Bruce Madison, a doctor who spoke at a rally to restore transplant funding in Phoenix on Saturday. Madison received a life-saving heart transplant six years ago. State Representative Anna Tovar, a Democrat and former kindergarten teacher, received two transplants to combat a rare form of leukemia. She says Arizona stands to lose more than $3 million a year in federal matching funds for Medicaid to save $1.4 million a year by restricting transplants. “When you look at the big scheme of things, saving $1.4 million for 96 lives is not money well spent,” said Tovar, who has introduced four bills seeking to restore Medicaid funding for transplants. As he grows sicker after being denied a liver transplant last year, Francisco Felix, 32, says any savings from denying him the operation are in some measure a false economy. “If I got a transplant, I could get back to work ... pay my taxes, and help Arizona to get back on its feet,” he said at the rally. — Reuters

Rwanda looks to vasectomy to tackle population growth Rwanda is introducing the ‘no-scalpel’” (NSV) procedure

CAPE CANAVERAL: An Atlas 5 rocket blasts off with an unmanned space plane Saturday afternoon, March 5 from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Air Force officials aren’t saying much about the X-37B orbital test vehicle. It’s the second of its type to be launched. — AP

NASA reels from climate science setbacks WASHINGTON: A pair of costly satellite crashes have dealt a major blow to NASA’s earth science efforts just as the US space agency faces scrutiny from Congress over whether climate science should be part of its focus at all. The $424 million Glory satellite to monitor aerosols and the sun’s power plunged into the Pacific on Friday shortly after launch, just two years after a similar satellite to study carbon dioxide in the atmosphere met the same fate. “The loss of the Glory satellite is a tragedy for climate science,” said Bruce Wielicki, senior scientist for earth science at NASA’s Langley Research Center. “The time to heal a lost space mission is typically three to seven years depending on budgets and how many spare parts remain from the last instrument builds,” he said. Both NASA and the rocket maker, Orbital Sciences Corp, have launched investigations into why the protective nose-cone, or fairing, failed to separate, weighing down the satellite and preventing it from reaching orbit. “It’s not like we have spares on the shelf,” said Glory program scientist Hal Maring, adding that the advanced instruments on board would have offered detailed data in an area that desperately needs more study. “The effect of aerosols is the place where our uncertainty is greatest in terms of being able to understand and predict climate,” he told AFP. Perhaps that’s why the loss hurts most, because Glory “was directed very specifically at the place where our knowledge was weakest,” he said. Glory’s crash came just hours after NASA administrator Charles Bolden finished two days of testimony before lawmakers, defending the US space agency’s plans for the future of human spaceflight and climate science. President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget, which has yet to be approved by Congress, calls for a 25 percent increase in NASA’s budget for earth science, bringing the total to $1.8 billion of NASA’s overall $18.7 billion budget. But some Republicans, who hold a majority in the House of Representatives, want to see NASA give up climate science so it can focus on returning astronauts to space once the 30-year-old shuttle program ends later this year. “NASA’s primary purpose is human space exploration and directing NASA

funds to study global warming undermines our ability to maintain our competitive edge in human space flight,” said Republican Congressman Bill Posey last month. Earth science has been a distinct mission of NASA ever since Congress formed the agency with the 1958 Space Act, setting its first objective as “the expansion of human knowledge of the earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space.” Further revisions of the Space Act in 1976 gave NASA “authority to carry out stratospheric ozone research,” and a 1984 change broadened NASA’s earth science authority from the stratosphere to “the expansion of human knowledge of the Earth.” But budget squeezes have crippled NASA’s efforts since the 1990s, when NASA first set out to create a global Earth observing system and budget deficits forced engineers to scale back to one third of their original plan, according to Wielicki. “What we have now are pieces of that system that have lived well beyond their design life,” he said. “Space missions are expensive by nature, risky by nature, and our nation has decided not to spend the kind of resources it would take for a more robust set of climate research observations.” Rocket launch failures happen in other countries too. In December, three Russian satellites crashed into the Pacific Ocean after their rocket couldn’t reach orbit. The same month, an Indian rocket on a mission to launch a communications satellite exploded less than a minute after takeoff. But such setbacks should not deter scientists’ efforts to gain knowledge of climate through space observations, said astrophysicist Ray Weymann. “There is no getting around the fact that the type of data Glory was to get must really be done from space,” Weymann said. “So, if not NASA, who else? NOAA (the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration) really has not been the agency in charge of satellite climate science, though of course they are involved in using the data. “It seems to me that either the US, which is by far the leader in these efforts, cedes this critical science to ESA (European Space Agency), Japan and others, or NASA continues in this effort and corrects what needs correcting.” — AFP

KIGALI: Rwandan domestic worker John Rutaremara plans to sign up for a “no-scalpel” vasectomy as soon as it becomes available in Africa’s most densely populated country: He has two children and cannot afford more. His is a fairly unusual decision for sub-Saharan Africa where vasectomies are rare amid a widespread but misguided belief that it is tantamount to castration and impairs a man’s virility. But Rutaremara is determined: Even though his daily pay of six dollars is a good one by Rwandan standards, he and his wife struggle to make ends meet. “We have many expenses. School fees, food, electricity are all very expensive in Kigali,” said Rutaremara, 31. “If we had more children, life would be very difficult.” He already works 80 hours per week, leaving home each morning well before the sun rises and returning well after it sets. “I would rather have only two children who are well taken care of and educated than have eight children who spend each day in hunger,” he said. Rwanda is introducing the “no-scalpel” (NSV) procedure in a typically bold approach to curb an explosion in its population, which has risen fourfold over the past 50 years to top 10 million. The tiny country is already the most densely populated in mainland Africa and the government sees further growth as one of the main threats to its achievements in rebuilding after the 1994 genocide. Under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, Rwanda has been hailed for pioneering development policies that have helped it beat the odds and become one of the continent’s most dynamic economies. Concerned about the pressure on scant resources, it has begun scaling up its family planning programmes to include NSV vasectomy which is quicker, cheaper and less likely to cause complications than female sterilisation. “The procedure takes about 15 minutes and is painless. We use only a very small needle along with a local anaesthetic,” said programme trainer Leonard Kagabo. It was developed in China in the late 1970s and introduced to the United States about a decade later, spreading across the world. Rwanda’s NSV project initially met with controversy after media reports said the country wanted to carry out vasectomies on 700,000 men over three years.

KIGALI: Photo made February 17, 2011 shows Rwandan, John Twizeyimana, 31, (L) standing with his wife, Francois, 26, and their two children, Ernest, 4 (L-front ) and Kate, 7 (Rfront) outside their house in the capital, Kigali. Twizeyimana says he loves his two children but doesn’t want more of them and he is anxious to participate in an ambitious program by the Rwandan Ministry of Health to offer “No Scalpel Vasectomies” to thousands of Rwandese men in an effort to promote better family planning and curb population growth. — AFP The government was “emasculating the poor”, an opposition party quickly charged. But the health ministry insists it had no such plan. “There is no target to carry out 700,000 vasectomies nor will there ever be one,” ministry second-in-charge Agnes Binagwaho said. “It would be both unethical and a violation of human rights to allocate targets to family planning options of this nature,” she said. Some experts have expressed concern that widespread use of vasectomy would lead to lower usage of condoms and so to higher HIV rates. But Fidel Ngabo, health ministry director of nursing, mother and child health, says that would be countered by proper education. “We always give HIV and family planning counselling together because they go hand in hand. With vasectomies, we give this counselling

Australians getting shorter SYDNEY: Australians born today are not only likely to have shorter lives than their parents but also have shorter limbs, an Adelaide University anthropologist said yesterday. “We’ve reached the point where we can’t keep getting taller,” Maciej Henneberg said. “There are biomechanical limitations of human growth.” Several studies have warned that the obesity epidemic among children will result in a drop in average life expectancy. Henneberg predicted a slight decrease in height as lifestyle factors kicked in. “Children are much less mobile,” he said. “They play less, they watch television more. There’s no stimulation for the muscular skeletal system to develop as well as it did in previous generations.” He noted that research elsewhere also pointed to shrinkage, saying a study released in Germany last year showed children becoming slightly shorter over the past two decades. Henneberg told Australia’s AAP news agency that height has its disadvantages. “People who’re very tall, they have problems with blood circulation,” he said. “Giraffes have additional valves in their blood vessels so they can push the blood up to their head whereas humans don’t. “People who are too tall have increased blood pressure, they have problems with circulation, they have problems with coordination of movement. It’s not that easy to coordinate very long limbs.” —dpa

both before and after the procedure,” said Ngabo. Men wanting to sign up for the procedure must first sign a lengthy consent form which explains its irreversible nature. Married men are asked to bring along their wives to ensure their consent. The vast majority of Rwandans are farmers whose families have lived in poverty for generations. With food insecure and land scarce, larger families are becoming less and less sustainable. “Eighty percent of our population lives off the land,” Ngabo said. “In the past, the more children a farmer had, the more wealth he had. But that has radically changed. “Now more children mean more education and healthcare costs for the agricultural worker as well as less land for each child to inherit,” he said. — AFP

BOJO: In this photograph taken January 28, 2011 fishermen’s houses stand on stilts at a Bojo village in Indonesia’s Wakatobi archipelago, a thriving marine paradise, packing a bewildering abundance of life that supports 100,000 people and contributes millions of dollars to Indonesia’s economy. Last year, coral bleaching caused by higher sea temperatures wreaked havoc across the Coral Triangle, a region of rich tropical reefs spanning much of Southeast Asia and almost all of Indonesia. — AFP



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Gloves come off as Church weighs in on birth control TARLAC: As their priest listed the reasons why a bill promoting birth control should not be made law in the Philippines, the congregation of San Sebastian Cathedral nodded their agreement. “This is not a fight between the Church and the government,” Melvin Castro said. “ This is a struggle between good and evil,” he told his parishioners gathered for mass in Tarlac City, 105 kilometres north of Manila. The struggle he referred to is the acrimonious debate sweeping the countr y over the Reproduc tive Health Bill, currently before Congress, which would make artificial birth control more accessible. Catholic priests and bishops all over the Philippines have been calling on worshippers to oppose the bill, alleging that it would lead to decadence and undermine morality. Some have even threatened to excommunicate supporters of the bill, while Catholic universities were giving extra points to students for

posting statements against the proposed law on social net work ing sites. Local administrations are also joining in - as the bill headed for Congress, a village in southern Manila started requiring prescriptions to buy condoms, despite the move being illegal. Even before its campaign against the bill, the Catholic Church maintained a long tradition of opposing ar tificial bir th control in the Philippines, where condoms and contraceptive pills are already available to those with the education and money to buy them. Doctor Esmeraldo Ilem, chief of the family planning unit of the government-run Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, said the Church’s influence is strong, particularly in rural areas. Ilem, who conducts outreach family planning programmes in remote towns, recalled an incident last year in the southern Philippines where only three out of more than 100 women who signed up for free tubal

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ligation - a form of sterilization actually showed up on the day of the operation. “We later learned that the town parish priest scolded those women who wanted to undergo ligation,” he said, “so they decided not to have the procedure.” At present, the Philippines is the 13th most populous country in the world with over 94 million people, more than 80 per cent of whom profess to the Catholic faith. The population is growing by over 2 per cent annually. The new bill proposes to make condoms and contraceptive pills available free to the poor, and to provide education programmes to inform all couples of the full range of family planning options. The law would also provide for some sex education for pre-teens, a particularly contentious issue for the Church, but an initiative welcomed by development groups. Emma Cruz, a non-government organization worker and advocate of

the Reproductive Health bill, said the best argument for the proposed law can be found slum areas where girls as young as 12 were already bearing children. “Under the bill, pre-puberty girls would have education about reproductive health and sexuality so they would k now how to take care of their body,” she said. Cruz, a mother to seven children herself - four more than she would have wanted - said the proposed law also upholds women’s general right to health care choices. “ The bill provides women with choices. Women know our bodies best so we must be given the widest range of choices possible,” she said. “The Church should not impose on us what they think is right for us.” Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the bill is based on the misunderstanding that it promotes abor tion, which is illegal in the Philippines unless the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life. But Congressman Edcel Lagman,

the main author of the bill, said that it “does not in any way endorse abortion as a family planning method nor does it propose to change the country’s current law prohibiting abortion.” “There’s a lot of misinformation about the bill but I believe that my colleagues will see through this black propaganda and enact the bill,” he said, referring to the upcoming debate. Above all, the bill aims to achieve “the promotion of the right to reproductive health and reproductive selfdetermination by making available to couples who want to plan their families all forms of family planning options as long as they are legal, medically safe and effec tive,” Lagman said. The plenary sessions on the bill were scheduled for Tuesday, but had to be postponed when the air conditioning failed. No date has been set for the rescheduled debate, but it was expected to resume in the coming days. — dpa

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National, Liberation Day and HH the Amir’s assumption of Power Events

The Schumann Letters


he Canadian Embassy in Kuwait hosted ‘The Schumann Letters’ show held at Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyah (Al-Maidan Cultural Center) recently. A story about Robert Schumann was performed on stage by Susan Gilmore Bailey, Iain Farrington and Andrew Kwan. The production was lauded by many visitors as one of the best eliciting numerous rounds of applause from ecstatic audience. The performance started with a welcome remarks from John Reid Henry, Ambassador of Canada to Kuwait. The show was group’s first ever performance outside Canada. —Photos by Joseph Shagra


Thuraiya Al-Baqsami invites Tatar PM to Dewan


uwaiti artist and writer Thuraiya AlBaqsami welcomed at her dewan the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture of the Tatarstan Republic, Zilya Valeeva along with her accompanying delegation and that during their latest visit to the country. AlBaqsami and her husband, Mr. Mohammad Al-Qudairi, invited the Tatar delegation to the ‘Ghadeer Gallery Hall’ located in the dewan, which contains her artworks. During the visit, the Tatar deputy premier received a painting as a gift from AlBaqsami; who had previously visited the Kazan City in the Tatarstan Republic as per an invitation from the culture minister. Al-Baqsami was also given an invitation to attend an international arts forum that Kazan is set to host next summer.

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 AlJaber 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 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


QATAR CLASSICAL ENSEMBLE Consists of virtuoso members of Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. Program: Rachmaninoff and Schoenberg Date & Time: Friday, March 11th 2011 at 8pm

Location: Al Hashemii II Grand Ballroom at Radisson Blu Hotel. SINFONIETTA CRACOVIA ORCHESTRA One of the leading European orchestra from Poland with soloist Robert Kabara (violin) Program: Mozart -Symphony No. 40 in G minor (KV 550), Violin concerto D-Major KV 218, Karlowicz, Kilar, Gorecki, Date & Time: Saturday, March 12th 2011 at 8 pm.

Dr. B. Iqbal to launch Kala language website The 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. Iqbal 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


Music festival he Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia is organizing the First Kuwait International Music Festival to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Kuwait.

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!

Location: Al Hashemi II Grand Ballroom at Radisson Blu Hotel and Date & Time: Sunday, March 13th 2011 at 8 pm. Location: Mishref Theater YOUNG MUSICIANS OF THE GULF Date & Time: Sunday, March 14th 2011 at 7 pm. Location: Mishref Theater. Tickets are available at Radisson Blu Hotel Tel: 25673000 and Virgin Megastore.


appy birthday to our dearest dad Caitan Filipe Azavedo who is celebrating his 80th birthday today in Kuwait. You bring joy to everyone. May you be blessed with good health and happiness. We love you dad. We thank God for blessing us with such loving and wonderful parents. From your loving wife: Rosy, children Connie/ Rudolph, Maria /Wellington, Nazy /Nancy, Sabina /Cyriaco and Benny /Neeta, grand children: Savio, Samson, Shawn, Warner, Warren, Nisha, Messi, Shannon, Shane and baby Jonathan.




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Faculty Highlight: Dr. Lisa Urkevich


merican University of Kuwait Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Arabian Heritage Project Dr. Lisa Urkevich, presented a poster session in Boston, USA, at the annual American Historical Association (AHA) Conference on January 8, 2011. The session, titled “Zar Spirit Rituals and Music in the Arabian Peninsula,” explored musictrance events from the past as they were practiced in the upper Gulf States and parts of Saudi Arabia. “Zar” rituals, which are rooted in African traditions, encompassed all-night musical events in which participants, who believed themselves possessed by a spirit, partook in specialized practices including dancing in an attempt to communicate with the entity and appease it. The presentation discussed how these customs spread from east Africa through slavery and migration, the musical styles that were used, and the decline of these in modern times. Dr.

Urkevich’s presentation was one of twenty-four unique poster sessions presented at the large conference. The American Historical Association (AHA) was founded in 1884 for the promotion of historical studies, the collection and preservation of historical documents and artifacts, and the dissemination of historical research. It is the largest historical society in the United States, and has been holding an Annual Meeting for the past 125 years. Approximately four-dozen affiliated societies meet jointly with the AHA, and attendance at the conferences averages 4,800 to 5,200. This is Dr. Urkevich’s third time taking part in the AHA, via traditional paper or poster presentation, and she was pleased to see so many interested scholars visit her session.

Information EMBASSY OF BRITAIN 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:

Dr. Lisa Urkevich at the American Historical Association Conference, Boston, Jan. 2011.

Najla Forum awards media personalities, artists

Al-Hakeem, Al-Mansour and Salaam display their ‘Najla Al-Naqqi Forum’ plaques.


he Najla Al-Naqqi Forum hosted a ceremony to award media personality Wajdi Al-Hakeem, as well as artists Najaah Salaam and Mansour Al-Mansour. The event was attended by various artists and cultural figures, including actresses Suad Abdullah and Zahra Al-Kharji, as well a media personalities Amal Abdullah, Nazeera Al-Awadhi and Redha Al-Feeli, in addition to Saudi poets Mohammad Al-Jalwah and Mohammad Al-Haddad, and authors Dr. Layla Al-Sab’an, Layla Saleh, Muna Al-Shaf’ei and Dr. Ayed Al-Mane’a.

Suad Abdullah and Najaah Salaam

Maiyadah Al-Mufti and Tariq Al-Mufti

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

Mansour Al-Mansour

Chairman of Al-Sharq newspaper, Fawaz Al-Shemmary

Wajdi Al-Hakeem

Sabah Al-Saq’abi and Dr. Zainab Al-Ali

Indian artist in Jleeb receives plaudits from French president


rtist Johnarts Kalabhavan has received many letters of appreciation from various celebrities and politicians for his caricatures about them, drawn in a loose, casual style sprinkled with humor and a personal touch of what those in the caricatures make them distinct. Last week the artist was pleasantly surprised to receive a letter from none other than Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France. The letter is the reply to John’s caricature that was sent to the French president last year, appreciating the ‘generosite’ and kindness the artist has shown and wishing him a prosperous new 2011. Johnarts who has been in Kuwait for the last

17 years is famous in the Indian expats circle for his presentations of caricatures to the VIPs who come to Kuwait as part of various functions organized by Indian expat associations that are registered with the Indian embassy in Kuwait. The Friday Times has carried a story about the artist who has drawn more than 1000 caricatures half of which are stored in his Jleeb apartment. He plans to organize an exhibition of those caricatures and paintings later in the year, he told Kuwait Times.

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



00:50 Untamed And Uncut 01:45 Jungle 02:40 Dogs 101 03:35 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 04:30 K9 Cops 05:25 Whale Wars 06:20 Untamed And Uncut 07:10 Project Puppy 07:35 Project Puppy 08:00 Meerkat Manor 08:25 Planet Wild 08:50 Monkey Business 09:15 Monkey Business 09:40 Breed All About It 11:05 Wild Dog Island 12:00 Animal Precinct 12:55 Wildlife SOS 13:20 Wildlife SOS 13:50 Animal Cops Philadelphia 14:45 RSPCA: Have You Got What It Takes? 15:10 E-Vets: The Interns 15:40 Galapagos 16:30 Dogs 101 17:30 Planet Wild 18:00 Breed All About It 18:25 Project Puppy 18:50 Project Puppy 19:20 Austin Stevens Adventures 20:15 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 21:10 Cats 101 22:05 Sharkman 23:00 Planet Earth 23:55 Up Close And Dangerous

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

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Come Dine With Me Come Dine With Me Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic Home For Life

04:05 04:55 08:00 08:45 09:20 10:10 10:50 11:40 12:30 13:15 13:40 14:05 15:30 16:20 20:40 21:30 22:20 23:10

Superhomes Daily Cooks Challenge 10 Years Younger Daily Cooks Challenge Antiques Roadshow Fantasy Homes In The City What Not To Wear Antiques Roadshow Fantasy Homes In The City Glamour Puds Glamour Puds Daily Cooks Challenge Antiques Roadshow Daily Cooks Challenge What Not To Wear Antiques Roadshow Home For Life Superhomes

00:00 BBC World News 00:30 The Real... Buenos Aires 01:00 BBC World News 01:10 Explore 02:00 BBC World News 02:10 World Features 02:30 Asia Business Report 02:45 Asia Today 03:00 BBC World News 03:10 World Features 03:30 India Business Report 04:00 BBC World News 04:30 Asia Business Report 04:45 Asia Today 05:00 BBC World News 05:30 Asia Business Report 05:45 Asia Today 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 Asia Business Report 06:45 Asia Today 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 Hardtalk 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 BBC World News 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 Sport Today 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 World Business Report 11:45 Sport Today 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 Hardtalk 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 World Business Report 13:45 Sport Today 14:00 BBC World News 14:30 World Business Report 14:45 Sport Today 15:00 GMT With George Alagiah 15:30 GMT With George Alagiah 16:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 BBC World News 18:30 Hardtalk 19:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 World Business Report 20:45 Sport Today 21:00 BBC World News 21:30 World Business Report 21:45 Sport Today 22:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 23:30 World Business Report 23:45 Sport Today

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Hong Kong Phooey New Yogi Bear Show Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch Scooby-Doo And ScrappyDroopy And Dripple Popeye Classics The Jetsons Dastardly And Muttley The Flintstones Scooby Doo Where Are You! Tom And Jerry A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Yogi’s Treasure Hunt Looney Tunes Hong Kong Phooey

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

Droopy: Master Detective Dastardly And Muttley The Flintstones Tex Avery Show Tom And Jerry Kids Top Cat Pink Panther And Pals The Scooby Doo Show The Addams Family Tom And Jerry The Garfield Show Looney Tunes The Jetsons King Arthur’s Disasters The Flintstones Scooby-Doo And ScrappyPopeye Wacky Races Yogi’s Treasure Hunt The Scooby Doo Show Tom And Jerry Looney Tunes Duck Dodgers Top Cat Scooby Doo Where Are You! Dexter’s Laboratory Johnny Bravo The Scooby Doo Show Tom And Jerry Top Cat Dastardly And Muttley Wacky Races The Scooby Doo Show The Garfield Show The Addams Family Duck Dodgers Pink Panther And Pals Tom And Jerry The Jetsons Scooby-Doo And ScrappyThe Flintstones Looney Tunes Tom And Jerry Kids

00:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 00:40 Chowder 01:05 Cow And Chicken 01:30 Cramp Twins 01:55 George Of The Jungle 02:20 Adventure Time 02:45 Eliot Kid 03:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 03:35 Ben 10: Alien Force 04:00 The Powerpuff Girls 04:15 Chowder 04:40 The Secret Saturdays 05:05 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 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 Codename: Kids Next Door 08:25 Cow And Chicken 08:50 Best Ed 09:15 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 09:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 10:05 The Secret Saturdays 10:30 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 10:55 The Powerpuff Girls 11:20 Robotboy 11:30 The Life And Times Of Juniper Lee 11:55 Ben 10 12:20 Chowder 12:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 13:10 Camp Lazlo 13:35 George Of The Jungle 14:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 14:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 14:50 Ben 10 15:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 15:40 Squirrel Boy 16:05 Eliot Kid 16:30 Ed, Edd N Eddy 17:00 Cow And Chicken 17:25 Chop Socky Chooks 17:50 Skunk Fu!


18:15 Chowder 18:40 Best Ed 19:05 Hero 108 19:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 19:55 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 20:20 Ben 10: Alien Force 20:45 The Secret Saturdays 21:10 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 21:35 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 22:00 The Powerpuff Girls 22:25 Ed, Edd N Eddy 22:50 Robotboy 23:00 Camp Lazlo 23:25 Hero 108 23:50 Ben 10

00:40 Destroyed In Seconds 01:10 Destroyed In Seconds 01:35 Battle Machine Bros 02:30 Fifth Gear 03:00 Fifth Gear 03:25 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 04:20 How It’s Made 04:50 How Does It Work? 05:15 Destroyed In Seconds 05:40 Destroyed In Seconds 06:05 World’s Toughest Tools 07:00 Really Big Things 07:50 American Chopper 08:45 How Does It Work? 09:10 How It’s Made 09:40 Mythbusters 10:30 Cake Boss 10:55 Border Security 11:25 Hot Rod Apprentice: Hard Shine 12:20 Ultimate Survival 13:15 Mythbusters 14:10 Miami Ink 15:05 Dirty Jobs 16:00 Hot Rod Apprentice: Hard Shine 16:55 Mythbusters 17:50 Deadliest Catch 18:45 Cake Boss 19:10 Border Security 19:40 Deconstruction 20:05 How Does It Work? 20:35 How It’s Made 21:00 Man vs Fish With Matt Watson 21:55 Extreme Fishing 22:50 Bull Shark: World’s Deadliest Shark... 23:45 Monsters Inside Me

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

Mighty Ships Mega World The Gadget Show The Gadget Show What’s That About? Colony Colony Weird Or What? How Stuff’s Made The Future Of... Da Vinci’s Machines Cosmic Collisions Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science How Does That Work? The Gadget Show How Stuff Works Green Wheels Da Vinci’s Machines Weird Connections Engineered Nextworld Savage Planet Creating Synthetic Life Nyc: Inside Out The Gadget Show How Does That Work? Brainiac Mighty Ships Kings Of Construction How It’s Made The Gadget Show The Future Of... Mighty Ships Kings Of Construction

00:20 Replacements 00:45 Replacements 01:10 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 02:00 A KIND OF MAGIC 02:45 STITCH 03:35 Kim Possible 04:25 Emperors New School 05:15 STITCH 06:00 Phineas & Ferb 06:45 Kim Possible 07:05 Sonny With A Chance 07:30 JONAS LA 07:55 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 08:20 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 08:35 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE Y3 09:00 Handy Manny 09:25 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 09:50 JUNGLE JUNCTION 10:10 IMAGINATION MOVERS 10:35 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 10:50 Handy Manny 11:15 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE Y1 (CEMA) 11:35 GOOD LUCK CHARLIE 12:00 SHAKE IT UP 12:25 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 12:42 HAVE A LAUGH 12:45 Phineas & Ferb 13:10 Hannah Montana 13:30 Sonny With A Chance 13:55 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 14:20 JAKE & BLAKE 14:40 HAVE A LAUGH 14:55 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 15:20 A KIND OF MAGIC 15:40 Kim Possible 16:00 Hannah Montana 16:25 Sonny With A Chance 16:45 Wizards of Waverly Place 17:10 JAKE & BLAKE 17:35 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 18:00 HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER 18:42 HAVE A LAUGH 18:45 Phineas & Ferb 19:08 HAVE A LAUGH 19:10 SHAKE IT UP 19:35 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 20:00 Sonny With A Chance 20:25 JAKE & BLAKE 20:50 HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER 21:12 HAVE A LAUGH 21:15 Phineas & Ferb 21:35 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 22:00 Replacements 22:25 Hannah Montana

22:50 Sonny With A Chance 23:15 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 23:35 Jonas

00:00 KSA 07:00 07:25 07:50 08:15 08:40 09:05 09:30 09:55 10:00 10:25 10:50 11:15 11:40 12:05 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 14:55 15:00 Cody 15:25 Cody 15:50 16:15 16:45 17:10 17:15 17:40 18:05 18:30 18:55 19:20 19:45 20:10 20:35 21:00 21:30 22:00 22:25 22:55 Cody 23:20

Programmes Start At 7:00am Kid vs Kat Kick Buttowski Pokemon Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Kick Buttowski American Dragon Have A Laugh Zeke And Luther Zeke And Luther I’m In The Band The Super Hero Squad Show Suite Life On Deck Suite Life On Deck Escape From Scorpion Island Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Kid vs Kat Kid vs Kat Have A Laugh The Suite Life Of Zack And The Suite Life Of Zack And Zeke And Luther Suite Life On Deck Kick Buttowski Have A Laugh I’m In The Band Suite Life On Deck Zeke And Luther Zeke And Luther Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Escape From Scorpion Island Pokemon American Dragon Aaron Stone Kid vs Kat Phineas And Ferb I’m In The Band The Suite Life Of Zack And The Super Hero Squad Show

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

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

Taig Jumping The Tower Untracked Final Fu Eds Up Taig Jumping The Tower Mind The Addiction iEX 2009 Quattro Events 2009 Summer Dew Tour 2010 Winter X Games Europe 2010 Ride Guide Snow 2009 Untracked Fantasy Factory Mantracker World Combat League Ride Guide Snow 2009 Untracked Quattro Events 2009 Summer Dew Tour 2010 Winter X Games Europe 2010 Untracked Fantasy Factory Glutton For Punishment World Combat League

00:40 01:30 01:55 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 11:45 12:10 13:00 13:50 14:40 15:30 15:55 16:20 16:45 17:10 18:00 18:50 19:40

I Almost Got Away With It Who On Earth Did I Marry? Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Solved I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghosthunters Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Forensic Detectives Accident Investigator Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Who On Earth Did I Marry? FBI Files On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Who On Earth Did I Marry? Forensic Detectives Accident Investigator FBI Files Mystery Diagnosis

17 AGAIN ON OSN MOVIES HD 20:30 20:55 21:20 22:10 23:00 23:50

Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Couples Who Kill Who On Earth Did I Marry?

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

Don’t Tell My Mother Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Market Values Cruise Ship Diaries Don’t Tell My Mother Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Banged Up Abroad Departures The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Word Travels Word Travels The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Departures The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Word Travels Word Travels The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Departures

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:15 10:00 12:00 14:15 16:00 PG15 17:45 20:00 22:00

Wild Things-18 Blindness-18 Armored-18 National Treasure-PG15 Blue Crush-PG15 The Order-PG15 The Rock-PG15 Blue Crush-PG15 Thor: Hammer Of The Gods-

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

Cat City-PG15 Messengers-PG15 One Last Breath-PG15 Home Run-PG15 My Bollywood Bride-PG15 Messengers-PG15 2012: Startling New Secret-PG Drunkboat-PG Accidents Happen-PG15 Surfer Dude-PG15 The Last Station-PG15 Shutter Island-18

The Rock-PG15 The Gene Generation-18 Pearl Harbor-PG15

00:00 Cougar Town 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Boondocks 02:00 Billable Hours 02:30 Two And A Half Men 03:00 Saturday Night Live 04:00 Boondocks 04:30 Entourage 05:00 Cougar Town 05:30 Coach 06:00 Yes Dear 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 According To Jim 08:30 Coach 09:00 Just Shoot Me 09:30 The Drew Carey Show 10:00 Yes Dear 10:30 Billable Hours 11:00 Coach 11:30 According To Jim 12:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 13:00 Just Shoot Me 13:30 Coach 14:00 Yes Dear 14:30 Two And A Half Men 15:00 Billable Hours 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show

17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Just Shoot Me 18:30 According To Jim 19:00 Billable Hours 19:30 Two And A Half Men 20:00 10 Things I Hate About You 20:30 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:00 Comedy Central Presents 22:30 Comedy Central Presents 23:00 Boondocks 23:30 10 Things I Hate About You

01:00 Dog Pound-18 03:00 Transporter 3-18 05:00 Children Of The Corn-18 07:00 Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia-PG15 09:00 Inkheart-PG 11:00 The Fast And The FuriousPG15 13:00 The Betrayed-PG15 15:00 Inkheart-PG 17:00 Gone In Sixty Seconds-PG15 19:00 The One-PG15 21:00 Pearl Harbor-PG15

00:00 Management-PG15 02:00 Bob Roberts-PG15 04:00 The Perfect Score-PG15 06:00 A Simple Wish-FAM 08:00 Mama’s Boy-PG15 10:00 Flirting Wth Flamenco-PG15 12:00 Mr. Deeds-PG 14:00 Wild Child-PG15 16:00 Management-PG15 18:00 The Immaculate Conception Of Little Dizzle-PG15 20:00 I Love You, Man-18 22:00 Women In Trouble-PG15

01:00 Soul Food-18 03:00 The Apostle-PG15 05:15 Amreeka-PG15 07:00 From Mexico With Love-PG15 09:00 Racing For Time-PG15 11:00 45 R.P.M.-PG15 13:00 The Secret Lives Of Second Wives-PG15 15:00 Stevie-PG15 17:00 Einstein And Eddington-PG15 19:00 Husbands And Wives-18 21:00 Combien Tu Gagnes-PG15 23:00 Lean On Me-PG15

01:00 In America-18 03:00 Rugrats Go Wild-FAM 05:00 Hannah Montana Movie-PG 07:00 12 Rounds-PG15 09:00 17 Again-PG15 11:00 I Love You Beth Cooper-PG15 13:00 Planet 51-PG15 15:00 My Sister’s Keeper-PG15 17:00 17 Again-PG15 19:00 Without A Paddle: Nature’s Calling-PG15 21:00 Killshot-18 23:00 Role Models-18

00:00 Gladiators: The TournamentPG 02:00 Fly Me To The Moon-PG 04:00 Snow 2: Brain Freeze-FAM 06:00 Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths-PG 08:00 Scruff Cinderella’s CarnivalFAM 10:00 Snow 2: Brain Freeze-FAM 12:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea-FAM 14:00 Fly Me To The Moon-PG 16:00 Scooby-Doo And The Ghoul School-FAM 18:00 Pete’s Dragon-PG 20:15 The Prince Of Dinosaurs-PG 22:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea-FAM

00:00 Live!-18 02:00 L’affaire Farewell-PG15 04:00 Hardwired-PG15 06:00 Prisoner-PG15 08:00 By The People: The Election Of Barack Obama-PG15 10:00 Max And Co.-PG 12:00 Paper Man-PG15 14:00 Annihilation Earth-PG15 16:00 By The People: The Election Of Barack Obama-PG15 18:00 Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time-PG15 20:00 Animal Kingdom-PG15 22:00 Greenberg-18

00:00 Scottish Premier League 02:00 Aviva Premiership 04:00 Super 15 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Scottish Premier League 09:00 Aviva Premiership 11:00 Ladies European Tour Highlights 12:00 Asia Pacific Ironman Championship 13:00 ICC Cricket World 13:30 World Hockey 14:00 Scottish Premier League 16:00 Futbol Mundial 16:30 Trans World Sport 17:30 ICC Cricket World 18:00 Rugby League 20:00 Futbol Mundial 20:30 Live Goals On Monday 21:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:00 Golfing World 23:00 Live Scottish Premier League

00:30 ICC Cricket World 01:00 Futbol Mundial 01:30 Super League 03:30 Scottish Premier League 05:30 Asia Pacific Iron Man Championship 06:30 ICC Cricket World 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Dubai Int’l Racing Carnival 12:00 Golfing World 13:00 World Hockey 13:30 Aviva Premiership 15:30 Futbol Mundial 16:00 Super 15 18:00 Ladies European Tour Highlights 19:00 Golfing World 20:00 World Hockey 20:30 Aviva Premiership 22:30 ICC Cricket World 23:00 Golfing World

00:00 WWE Bottom Line 01:00 WWE SmackDown 03:00 UFC 127 Prelims 04:00 UFC 127 08:00 Red Bull X-Fighters 09:00 Sports Adventure 09:30 Airsports World 10:00 V8 Supercars Championship 12:00 WWE Vintage Collection 13:00 WWE SmackDown 15:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 16:00 V8 Supercars Championship 18:00 WWE Bottom Line 19:00 WWE SmackDown 21:00 UFC Unleashed

00:50 Zabriskie Point-PG15 02:45 Mutiny On The Bounty 05:35 Kelly’s Heroes-PG 08:00 42nd Street-FAM 09:30 Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo-PG 11:55 Some Came Running-PG 14:15 A Day At The Races-FAM 16:05 The Adventures Of Quentin Durward-FAM 17:45 The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse-PG 20:15 Quo Vadis-PG 23:00 Pennies From Heaven-PG15

e niv rsar n



Classifieds MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2011


Science Matters


Spying on giant predator Sensors linked to satellites may help explain the mysterious migration of giant hammerhead sharks between feeding and breeding grounds.

Giant hammerhead shark Tall curved dorsal fin

Up to 20 ft. (6 m) long

Sharing accommodation available for decent Keralaite bachelor in Abbassiya near German medical care. Call 66941892. (C 3167) 7-3-2011

Long upper tail Wide head with straight front edge Eats crabs, squid, fish; prefers stingrays and skates



Sharing accommodation available for bachelor or couple in Abbassiya near Holy Sweet restaurant. Contact: 67681031, 65129145. (C 3165)


Researchers attach GPS location finding device to fin


Radio sends location data to satellite

One shark tracked by researchers swam 750 mi. (1,200 km) in just 62 days

Worldwide range

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

Lives in warm and temperate coastal waters; often travels outward to continental shelf

Sensors on wide head can find stingrays hiding under sand

© 2011 MCT

Source: University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Graphic: Helen Lee McComas

Room available for Indian executive bachelor in a C-A/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)

No: 15020

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 please 60046720 . (C 3157) 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)

SITUATION WANTED M.Com qualified senior accountant with 15 years experience in Travel & Freight (Cargo) & General Accounting, capable of independently finalizing accounts, seeks suitable position. Mobile: 66019422 e-mail: (C 3166) 7-3-2011 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.

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

MATRIMONIAL FOR SALE 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

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

FLIGHT SCHEDULE FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161 In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Airlines KLM JZR ETH WAN WAN THY UAE QTR DHX ETD JZR JZR FCX BAW KAC KAC KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC UAE QTR ABY ETD GFA KAC JZR JZR JZR MEA IRC MSR MSR KAC FDB UAL OMA KAC SVA KAC

Flt 447 205 622 646 306 772 853 138 370 305 531 503 201 157 412 352 204 53 382 302 676 284 362 855 132 123 301 213 344 151 555 165 404 6521 623 610 672 57 982 645 618 500 552


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


745 134 110 546 550 304 303 857 118 215 402 510 213 777 800 239 127 227 502 542 786 614 674 744 575 104 774 61 647 572 179 372 81 104 217 402 136 859 445 3553 135 981 636 327 802


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


Flt 406 981 390 982 206 447 637 623 773 371 854 306 554 139 164 150 54 545 156 671 551 549 856 124 133 302 214 617 165 212 776 541 238 103 405 501 6522 624 785 611 58 673


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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


646 982 746 501 178 613 773 135 743 103 103 304 82 216 858 801 128 511 266 228 285 305 134 283 62 331 528 648 571 373 675 218 403 206 381 102 137 445 301 860 205 502 3554 411


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



s ta rs CROSSWORD 249



Aries (March 21-April 19) Great temptations to spend money can be headed off by thinking of the future and what you really want instead of the desires of the moment. There are several times this year in which you see areas in your life where you will want to make improvements. You may be thinking about changes and improvements that may be needed in the neighborhood. Talking to neighbors and getting approval on those improvements encourages progress. This is an easy, calm day that should find everything running in a smooth manner. Working with rather than against the flow should be easy to do. Duties and concerns demand your attention most of the afternoon. A rush of activity is understandable at this time of the year. Plan a meal for eating on the patio.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Deeply appreciative of your friends, family and life status at this time leads to showering those you love with gifts and kind deeds. You are enterprising and may have several suggestions for entertainment ideas this day. Luck seems to be on your side now as plans, decisions and just finding your way through situations and/or projects will end in a positive way. Good advice from a guide or older person may be inevitable—listen. You may find yourself being put to good use by an elderly person later today. This may mean running shopping or cooking errands. Laughter and encouragement from others contribute toward making this a good day. Emotional security, a sense of belonging and nurturing are felt instinctively now.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A blow from a flat object (as an open hand). 5. Kindly endorsement and guidance. 10. The part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands. 13. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 14. Son of John Cabot who was born in Italy and who led an English expedition in search of the Northwest Passage and a Spanish expedition that explored the La Plata region of Brazil. 15. A conspicuous disparity or difference as between two figures. 16. The eleventh month of the civil year. 17. Type genus of the Aceraceae. 19. A member of the Siouan people of the northern Mississippi valley. 21. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 23. The compass point that is one point south of due east. 25. A person with an unusual or odd personality. 26. 100 pyas equal 1 kyat. 29. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 30. Flat tableland with steep edges. 31. The fatty flesh of eel. 32. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 34. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 38. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 41. A United Nations agency created by a multinational treaty to promote trade by the reduction of tariffs and import quotas. 44. Light informal conversation for social occasions. 45. Having the leading position or higher score in a contest. 46. Economically important Old World tropical cereal grass. 48. A fraudulent business scheme. 50. (Hindu) A manner of sitting (as in the practice of Yoga). 51. Before noon. 53. In a murderous frenzy as if possessed by a demon. 55. A protocol developed for the internet to get data from one network device to another. 58. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 60. A region of Malaysia in northeastern Borneo. 63. (Norse mythology) Goddess of old age who defeated Thor in a wrestling match. 64. Avoid or try to avoid, as of duties, questions and issues. 65. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 66. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 67. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 68. A light touch or stroke. 69. (astronomy) A measure of time defined by Earth’s orbital motion. DOWN 1. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 2. Rock that in its molten form (as magma) issues from volcanos. 3. A public promotion of some product or service. 4. The state prevailing during the absence of war. 5. (informal) Of the highest quality. 6. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 7. A unit of magnetomotive force equal to 0.7958 ampereturns. 8. A salt or ester of hydriodic acid. 9. Tiered seats consisting of a structure (often made of wood) where people can sit to watch an event (game or parade). 10. 100 agorot equal 1 shekel. 11. Relating to or accompanying birth. 12. A fragment broken off from the edge or face of stone or ore and having at least one thin edge. 18. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 20. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 22. A port city in southern Kenya on a coral island in a bay of the Indian Ocean. 24. An enclosed space. 27. Not only so, but. 28. Elk or moose. 33. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 35. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 36. The 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. 37. A defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. 39. Genus of tall smooth herbs of forested mountains of Europe and Asia minor. 40. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 42. A flat tortilla with various fillings piled on it. 43. Membranous tube with cartilaginous rings that conveys inhaled air from the larynx to the bronchi. 47. Former measure of the US economy. 49. (Old Testament) The Hebrew prophet who led the Israelites from Egypt across the Red sea on a journey known as the Exodus. 52. The arch of bone beneath the eye that forms the prominence of the cheek. 54. (Polynesian) An alcoholic drink made from the aromatic roots of the kava shrub. 56. A small cake leavened with yeast. 57. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 59. A white linen liturgical vestment with sleeves. 61. A decree that prohibits something. 62. An informal term for a father.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) This can be a great time to be with friends or family in an atmosphere of play. You can play a new role in the family now, particularly if you accept an unusual opportunity. You are cheerful and you encourage others with your positive attitude. Although you are not one to go backwards, this is a day you may improve something old—turning lemons into lemonade. This may be the correction of an idea, a feeling or the improvement of some technique. A friend needs your help, but what they are really asking is for you to do the work. Look for ways in which you can gently encourage this person. To be truly content, spiritual needs must be met and today you find that music is highly spiritual. Expressing affection is an easy matter this evening.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


Avoid some of the frustrations that come with raising children by creating a backup system, of sorts. Send out some invitations to your children’s friends’ parents for a small get-together soon. When you are together, agree to network and trade baby-sitting or help share insights or tips into making life a little easier. Share important information about education, pets, health and play. Parents in a group can solve many problems as well as head off some possible problems. This could involve neighborhoods, classrooms, church groups, etc. You have a lot on your mind and feel a strong need to communicate and gather ideas. Focus; pay attention! Learn something new this evening and teach it to someone else. This can be anything from a simple joke to a song.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Organizing people and projects will become central to your lifestyle now. Evaluate your standing at work or in your profession while you are at home today. You should not hesitate to plan on how you will execute new ideas and new projects—just as long as all the facts are known. There is a lot of energy petitioning you to strive to accomplish whatever you set out to do. To satisfy emotional needs, keep a powerful flow of energy and balance between both giving and receiving love and support. One-way risks rarely provide satisfaction. Today could be a most fulfilling day. You make a concentrated effort to be a mentor to the young. Smile! Your physical attractiveness is enhanced and there is a desire for intimacy and love with a partner this evening.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Today has the look of being a high-energy day. Make a determined effort to remain flexible. If you feel inclined to spend lots of money, don’t. Wait a while longer before splurging as there could be some unexpected bills you have forgotten. You are at your most practical when it comes to dealing and working with groups of people. You may feel confident volunteering for a young people’s group. You know just what to do and can act without haste and emotion. You could also be most persuasive with others and may be called upon to clear away any misunderstandings. Take care when interacting with your friends. If you are slow to judge, you will go far. A good conversation with those you love this evening is possible.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


This is a good day, with lots of energy and ambition. Respect, status and achievement are central goals for you as a new phase begins in your life. You are productive with a Midas-touch kind of experience. Creating a structure to empower and maintain your ideals and principles becomes a high priority—an article of faith. By taking on greater responsibilities of this kind, you inspire others. Taking care of some personal business is a major theme where your emotional orientation is concerned. Someone will seek you out for your psychological insight and understanding. A lover or child who is bright and articulate plays a big role in your life this evening. You may find yourself teaching or helping this child with some type of homework.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Reading material may provide new ideas for you this morning. Emotional security, a sense of belonging and nurturing are felt instinctively now. You enjoy learning new things and you enjoy showing others what you have learned. This afternoon you find ways to give to others what you have been given. This may include patience, time, energy and a listening ear. You show your true appreciation for friends, family and the love of life they bring to you. While you are in this time element, you will benefit greatly from platonic relationships. Forgiveness, compassion and understanding come naturally when you look at life from an eternal perspective. If anyone ever does know such things, you will probably come to understand them as this cycle unfolds.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Diving in and doing more than you wanted to do for another person makes one feel used. If you are feeling this way today, you need to tell the other person how you feel. Perhaps an exchange of purpose or clearing up a misunderstanding will be just what is needed to create a healing. Your expectations of others will confuse and create future problems—drop them, no matter what they involve. Be careful to set a time limit on your next commitment, before becoming too involved. Later today you may see yourself finding good answers to ways that will help you increase your financial position. You may want to purchase a home or a car in the near future and you will want to prove you can handle the payment responsibility. You can do it.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


You are the family type and would like to see the people in your life succeed. You decide to help fix up a resume, reassess a wardrobe or outline some interview techniques that will benefit this person’s future job potential. You may find yourself doing this so well that ideas come to you to schedule a series of presentations, lectures or teaching at schools. Unfinished business from the past may busy your mind later today. Use extreme care regarding your finances. Refer to an accountant when doubts surface. With a few telephone calls, handshakes or letters written—answers regarding your finances will become available. Take time this evening to enjoy life’s little joys: music, fashion, a movie, bicycle riding or enjoy a bowl of ice cream with a child.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You explore new outlets for self-expression today. Your timing should be perfect and those around you should find you most spontaneous. Look around for ways in which to strike a balance in your life. This will help you to feel the peace of mind that you strive to achieve. This month will present plenty of opportunities to enhance true romance. Lots of evenings will be spent in the enjoyment of social activities, whether it is with a loved one or with your many friends. Finances are strong all month and new ideas for investments next week may come across your path more than once. Check out these opportunities before you plunk down the money. Take advantage of this quiet evening to rest, catch up on your reading; refurbish your energies.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Your family circle is always pulsating with activity and you are an energetic and willing participant in many activities. You may even decide to help round up the kids so that some of the other people in the family can relax with some personal time. You may decide to broaden your interests by visiting a museum, exhibit, etc. You gain new perspectives. Your bright ideas keep you busy with creative endeavors and relationships. You will find your friends true to their word and very helpful. The more fact gathering and detail hunting you do—the closer you are to making your dreams a reality. Make a list of repair needs that you can correct in April. You might enjoy planting a few spring flowers or vegetables tonight for a spring show.



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lifestyle G o s s i p

Witherspoon always needs a beauty kit eese Witherspoon keeps a make-up bag wherever she goes. The ‘Water for Elephants’ actress - who is engaged to Hollywood agent Jim Toth - hates to be caught without her favorite cosmetics, though she insists she tries to limit what she takes with her. She said: “I have a bunch of different make-up bags - one in my car, one in my handbag and one at home. “I try to keep them small, but I have about five lipglosses, mascara, cover-up, lipstick and blush.” One of the things the actress relies on keeping in her make-up bag is a white eyeliner pencil, as she believes it keeps her looking refreshed. Asked for her best beauty tip, she said: “Put a little white eyeliner in the centre of your inner eye when you’re tired. It makes your eyes look awake!” Reese - who has children Ava, 11, and Deacon, seven, with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe - also admits that she takes more care of her appearance now she is getting older. The 34-year-old beauty told Britain’s Glamour magazine: “I’ve always used moisturizer and SPF, but as you get older you really have to take care of your skin - you must take off your make-up and put on your moisturizer.”


he ‘Red Riding Hood’ actress - who has starred in a whole variety of films, from musical ‘Mamma Mia!’ to high school movie ‘Mean Girls’ to playing a lesbian in ‘Chloe’ - says it’s important to appear in lots of different genres as then audiences will believe in your character more. She said: “I’m an actor. I’m not a socialite. I’m playing a character, I’m playing versions of myself. For me it’s important to be a chameleon. “I like challenging people’s perceptions. That’s the trick. It’s like a game.” Amanda also revealed how there would never be a ‘Mamma Mia!’ sequel, even though she really enjoyed filming the ABBA-inspired film, which also starred Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda’s ex, Dominic Cooper. She told Britain’s Marie Claire magazine: “It was the best experience ever but a sequel is never going to happen. Like, what would they do? What would they write about? How would they get all the actors back?”


eaches Geldof once vomited on her boyfriend. The 21-year-old star who is currently dating SCUM rocker Thomas Cohen - took a trip to a theme park with her unnamed lover and disaster struck when she boarded a daring ride shortly after eating. She said: “I was on a date with a boy at Alton Towers and I vomited on him on a roller coaster. It wasn’t good. “Luckily, we’d been dating for a year so he didn’t mind as much as he should have. “My advice would be not to over-eat before riding on roller coasters.” Peaches also admitted she has a number of bad habits, including not washing her hair or clothes as often as she should. She added: “What’s my worst habit? Where should I start? Chewing my nails, wearing the same socks three days in a row, not washing my hair enough... although I’ve got it short at the moment so I have to wash it daily otherwise it looks disgusting.”


Beyonce hates strong aftershave eyonce Knowles gets turned off by men who wear too much aftershave. The singer-and-actress - who is married to hip-hop superstar Jay-Z - says it’s much sexier if a man has a subtle scent rather than something that is overbearing. She said: “A man should never be too overbearing with his scent. I’ve been in too many elevators next to too many men with strong aftershave and it’s a total turn-off. With men, a scent should be subtle, clean and fresh, and just make you want to lean in to smell more. That’s sexy.” Beyonce has just launched her second fragrance, Heat Rush, and says Jay-Z was involved in the creative process because she will only wear perfumes he approves of. She told Britain’s Cosmopolitan magazine: “One of the most important aspects of my perfume is that they get his seal of approval. When you wear a perfume, you want your man to love it. He loves my scents because he was part of the decision-making process. I wouldn’t wear a scent of he didn’t like it.”


he ‘Do It Like a Dude’ singer - who recently picked up the Brit Awards’ Critics’ Choice prize - is uncomfortable with fame and plans to surround herself with friends and family who won’t agree with everything she says. Jessie explained: “I don’t have any yesmen around me. I have friends that want to come round and play Wii, eat spaghetti Bolognese and talk to me about stuff other than music. I’ve never been that girl and I’ve got a great family and friends. It’s important to stay grounded.” The 22-year-old pop star also revealed she struggles to deal with negative comments and can’t understand why people would ever get obsessed with her. She explained: “You don’t go to pop star school to learn how to be a pop star or how to be papped, you just have to get on with it. “That’s the kind of thing people think, that if you sign up to be a singersongwriter you know how to deal with people setting up hate websites or people being obsessed with you and crying when you touch them, but you don’t, you just have to deal with it.”

Brook wants desert bike trip


elly Brook wants to drive through the desert on a motorbike. The model-and-actress - who has been single since splitting from rugby ace Danny Cipriani last year - has never ridden one of the vehicles before, but thinks a biking trip through the US would make a perfect holiday. She said: “I’ve never done anything like ride a motorbike, but I’d definitely give it a go. “I’d love to rent a Harley and cruise through there desert in Arizona. It would be a really fun holiday.” Despite her dream, Kelly also confessed to finding the desert “creepy” after recently taking part in a photoshoot there. She added in an interview with FHM magazine: “The desert is always a bit eerie and creepy, and my make-up artist spent a night fearing for his life after booking into a dodgy motel but I loved it. The scenery was stunning and I think the shots looked great.”— Bang Showbiz




lifestyle M u s i c

ean Penn thanked Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday for supporting the actor’s relief organization in Haiti, saying the aid has helped its humanitarian work in distributing medicines. Chavez met with Penn at the presidential palace and praised the actor’s efforts with his J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which was founded in response to the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Neither provided details about how much financial assistance Venezuela has provided to the group. The Oscar-winning actor noted that in addition to Venezuela’s financial help, his organization has also received support from the US military. Penn called that ironic, adding: “We hope that this kind of collaboration can be an example for future approaches to many other issues” — in spite of limited US-Venezuelan diplomatic contacts.



M o v i e s

The US and Venezuela have been without ambassadors since December, when Chavez formally rejected the White House’s nominee for envoy in a diplomatic dispute. The US government revoked the visa of Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez in response. Penn has met four times with Chavez in recent years. Chavez has praised the actor for his critical stance toward US foreign policy. The leftist president said their meeting Saturday was productive in discussing “new plans and ideas.” “Sean is an activist of the struggles for the world’s oppressed peoples, and he’s leaving for Haiti right now,” Chavez said outside the presidential palace when they emerged from their meeting. —AP

(From right) Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez speaks with US actor Sean Penn at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday. — AP

Drugs jail term was karma: George Michael L P op star George Michael said he deserved to be jailed for a month for crashing his car while high on cannabis, describing his time inside as karma, in a BBC radio interview. The former Wham! singer said he was now receiving therapy over his drug abuse issues and was “ashamed” to have broken the law repeatedly. The 47-year-old was jailed in September last year after admitting driving under the influence of drugs. “I was assured I wasn’t going to prison but I thought I was, and it was much easier to take because I felt it was deserved,” he said, in an interview to be broadcast today. “This was a hugely shameful thing to have done repeatedly so karmically I felt like I had a bill to pay. I went to prison, I paid my bill. “Remarkably enough-I know people must think it was a really horrific experience-it’s so much easier to take any form of punishment if you believe you actually deserve it, and I did.” Besides his jail term, Michael was also been banned from driving for five years and was forced to pay fines and costs worth £1,365 ($2,220, 1,590 euros). The singer said he felt he was jailed partly because “I’m George Michael and the poster boy for cannabis”.

awyers for US pop icon Lady Gaga have threatened legal proceedings against the makers of breast milk ice cream named “Baby Gaga”, according to papers seen by AFP on Saturday. The New York singer’s lawyers have given the manufacturers until 1600 GMT Wednesday to change the name “if you wish to avoid proceedings for trade mark infringement and passing off ”, according to a letter addressed to London restaurant The Icecreamists Limited. The cafe in the trendy Covent Garden district must also “cease and desist from in any other way associating with Lady Gaga any ice cream you are offering,” said the letter from law firm Mishcon de Reya. The letter accuses The Icecreamists of “taking unfair advantage of, and riding on the coattails of” Lady Gaga’s trademarks in a manner that is “deliberately provocative and, to many people, nauseainducing”. The ice cream has proved a big hit, with the first batch sold out within days of going on

sale. It is made with milk expressed by 15 women who replied to an advertisement posted on an online mothers’ forum. Each serving costs £14 ($22.5, 16 euros) and is brought out by waitresses wearing flamboyant costumes, something Lady Gaga is well-known for. But it is now off the menu after Westminster City Council, the local authority, seized the ice cream for health and safety checks. “We are taking the ice cream away for samples,” a spokeswoman told AFP, adding that they expected the results on Monday. “It’s not a ban. The owner has voluntarily agreed not to make any more or sell any more until we’ve got all the results.” Breast milk could carry viral infections, including hepatitis, she explained. The manufacturers have said they use the same screening procedures as blood donation centers or milk banks in London.—AFP

Lady Gaga shows a creation, part of French designer Thierry Mugler Fall-Winter ready-towear 2012, fashion collection, presented in Paris, Wednesday. — AP

British singer George Michael arrives for sentencing at Highbury magistrates court in London, in this Sept 14, 2010 file photo. — AP Michael, whose real name is Georgios Panayiotou, said many fellow musicians wrote to him in jail, including Paul McCartney, Elton John and Boy George. Describing his first night in prison, he said: “It wasn’t a weekend break, put it that way. “I didn’t feel sorry for myself. I thought, ‘Oh my God, this place is absolutely filthy’. “I just thought, ‘you get your head down’.” He said his last night inside was “great”, with “every single staff member” and prisoner getting his autograph-some of them on headed prison paper. The singer-who first found fame in 1980s pop group Wham! and has gone on to sell more than 100 million records worldwide-has a long history with drugs and scrapes with the law. In June 2007, Michael was given a two-year driving ban after pleading guilty to driving while unfit the previous October, when he was found collapsed in his car. In 1998 he was fined after making lewd advances to an undercover male police officer in a public toilet in Beverly Hills, California.—AFP

Moroccan film about rape and incest of a young woman by her father who believes she is demon-possessed scooped the top honors at Africa’s biggest film festival. “Pegase” by Mohamed Mouftakir from Morocco, late Saturday won the Golden Stallion of Yennenga, the grand prize of the Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso’s desert capital Ouagadougou. Set in the countryside of the north African nation of Morocco “Pegase”, the debut film of young filmmaker Mouftakir, is a drama of rape of Rihanna, 20, perpetrated by her father in the belief she is “pregnant” with a demon. “The prize is a pride, it’s recognition. It’s encouraging,” said Mouftakir. The runner-up Silver Stallion, went to “Un homme qui crie” (“A Screaming Man”) by Chad director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. The film received the jury’s prize, a mark of special recognition, at last year’s Cannes prestigious Palme d’Or, the first time in 13 years an African feature competed for the top award in Cannes. Romantic comedy “Le mec ideal” (“The ideal guy”) by Ivory Coast’s Owell Brown took the Bronze Stallion. The jury prize for special recognition went to “Notre etrangere” (“The Place in Between”), the poignant story of a mixed race woman who returns to Burkina Faso from France to find her mother. It was directed by Sarah Bouyain. In all 18 films were competing for the feature film awards. Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore handed out the awards at the closing ceremony of the 22nd FESPACO before some 22,000 dignitaries at Ouagadougou’s main


best movies made in 1988 ake Me Home Tonight,” about a group of friends on a wild, all-night adventure, wallows in ‘80s nostalgia, from big hair and acid-washed jeans to one-hit wonders like “Safety Dance” and “Come on Eileen.” So we thought we’d go back and revisit that magical time of wretched excess and choose the five best movies that came out the year “Take Me Home Tonight” is set: 1988. It’ll be rad, I promise. * “Big”: Tom Hanks could not be more winning as a little boy trapped in a man’s body in this highconcept delight from director Penny Marshall. Hanks already had proven his comic chops on the TV series “Bosom Buddies” at this point, and in movies like “Bachelor Party” and “Splash,” but “Big” allowed him to show the full range of his charm, and it earned him his first Oscar nomination. He’s goofy and sweet, vulnerable and unabashed. “Big”


feels a little dated aesthetically and in its music choices, but its themes of friendship, loyalty and the thrill of innocent youth hold up beautifully today. * “Beetlejuice”: A quintessential early Tim Burton movie, with its cheeky humor, wild visuals and gleefully subversive vibe. Michael Keaton does some of the best work of his career as the title character, a horny, foul-mouthed zombie who helps a couple of recent ghosts scare away the obnoxious new owners of their idyllic Connecticut home. The great supporting cast includes Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Catherine O’Hara, and the score from Burton’s frequent collaborator, Danny Elfman, perfectly complements the film’s playful energy. Here’s how influential “Beetlejuice” remains today: My hairdresser changed her name to Lydia because she identified so strongly with Winona Ryder’s character.

* “Dangerous Liaisons”: John Malkovich is freakishly sexy and seductive, and Glenn Close is every bit his intellectual equal, in director Stephen Frears’ adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’ novel about bored aristocrats deceiving and manipulating each other in 18th century France. The strong supporting cast features Michelle Pfeiffer as well as a young Uma Thurman and Keanu Reeves. Nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture, it won three: for its sumptuous costumes and art direction, as well as for Christopher Hampton’s screenplay. This is a refined guilty pleasure you can feel good about giving into. * “Die Hard”: Just a big, booming action flick, an unapologetic blockbuster, and very much a product of its time. Bruce Willis is front and center, at the height of his ‘80s-era popularity, in one of the main roles that would define his varied career. As New York cop John McClane, he’s quick-witted and ready for anything-and he delivers a line that would become his signature. (Sorry, we can’t repeat it here. We are a family-friendly news service.) Still, director John McTiernan’s film remains funny, tense and gripping, with Willis and an excellent Alan Rickman going toe-to-toe during a hostage crisis in an LA skyscraper. * “A Fish Called Wanda”: Delightfully silly and so very, very British. A screwball comedy that’s precise in its sloppiness, with proper humor that couldn’t be more profane. Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin and Tom Georgeson set out to steal $20 million in diamonds, but naturally ending up double-crossing each other. Palin’s “Monty Python” cohort John Cleese, who co-wrote the script, is at his deadpan best as the unwitting lawyer who gets dragged into their scheme, and Kline earned a supporting-actor Oscar for his hilariously volatile performance. There are heavy-duty laughs to be had here, but the tone always remains light. — AP

stadium. The best actor award was given to Sylvestre Amoussou of Benin, who is also director of “Un pas en avant, les dessous de la corruption”, a film that takes a look at the misappropriation of international aid. Samia Meziane in “Voyage a Alger” (“Journey to Algiers”) was named the best actress in the movie by Algerian Abdelkrim Bahloul. “Les amours d’un zombie” (“The Loves of a Zombie”) by Arnold Antonin from earthquake-scarred Haiti was awarded the African Diaspora prize. While some critics and filmmakers were disappointed by the FESPACO’s standards, Compaore hailed the festival as “a victory for Africa” with “quality production that can integrate markets”. A record number of films, 475 instead of 300 expected, applied for entry into the biennial festival, testimony that African cinema is vibrant, organizers said. But the African film industry, which represents only three percent of the world market, is under threat from piracy-a “culture AIDS”-and the disappearance of cinema, they said. FESCAPO remains a popular festival attracting thousands of filmmakers, celebrity actors and filmlovers since its inception in 1969. This edition took place against the backdrop of the Arab world uprisings, and yet still attracted entries from Algeria, Egypt and Morocco - all touched by upheavals.—AFP

Ziggy Marley, son of late reggae musician Bob Marley, performs during a concert at the Pop Festival in Buenos Aires on March 5, 2011. —AFP


lifestyle F a s h i o n


he one-time enfant terrible of French fashion, Jean Paul Gaultier, embraced his age, sending out a fallwinter 2011-12 ready-to-wear collection Saturday that pushed back against Botox, fillers and the chimera of eternal youth and declared gray beautiful. Gaultier also gave a measured reaction to the high-drama saga that has riveted the fashion world for the past week-the fall of brilliant Dior designer John Galliano, who was sacked Tuesday after 15 years with the luxury supernova amid allegations he made anti-Semitic insults. The scandal, with its airs of Greek tragedy, has cast a pall over Paris’ ready-to-wear shows and elicited a wide gamut of reactions from industry insiders, from catty remarks from some to impassioned pleas in Galliano’s defense from others. “Everything that he has ever done shows him to be not a racist, but just the opposite,” Gaultier told reporters after his show. Asked about a video that went viral on the internet that shows an inebriated Galliano, drinking alone at a Paris bar, telling the people at the next table “I love Hitler,” Gaultier said, “I think that with video we can make people say things they really didn’t. He said certain words, but in what context, what questions did they ask him, how long did it last? “The only harm he’s done to anyone is to himself,” said Gaultier. “I find it really quite sad,” he said, adding fashion “is a pitiless milieu.” Dior went ahead with its runway show on Friday, showing the Galliano-designed collection sans the designer-who is rumored to be in rehab in Arizona-and his signature John Galliano line is to be shown in a presentation to certain media outlets on Sunday. Saturday, then, provided a brief respite from the all-consuming story. Besides Gaultier’s gray behive-topped collection, inventive Dutch duo Viktor & Rolf sent out a battleready looks that looked like what Joan of Arc would have worn to a cocktail party. France’s reigning queen of knitwear, Sonia Rykiel, sent out an outwear-focused collection, while Japan’s Tsumori Chisato sent out wacky, colorful knits that appeared aimed at dethroning Rykiel. That most Parisian of labels, Azzaro, continued to churn out little black dresses that hit the sweet spot between modesty and sexiness. Newcomer Caroline Seikaly-whose abbreviated cocktail dress in Solstice lace became an instant hit after Madonna wore it to a Marc Jacobs fashion show last year-presented 14 looks that proved she can do more than just ultra-feminine dresses. The 37-year-old Franco-Libano-American, who divides her time between Paris and Beirut, sent out slick, glam rock pant- and short-suits in silver jacquard and gold lame. Seikaly paging David Bowie. Paris’ nine-day-long ready-towear marathon moves into the final stretch with an actionpacked day six including shows by Hermes, Celine and Kenzo, as well as the much-anticipated presentation at John Galliano and the Givency display by Riccardo Tisci, a preternaturally talented Italian who’s the rumor mill’s top contender to replace Galliano at Dior.

catchy rhyme in French that translates, flatly in English, as the ageless bourgeois lady. The 46-year-old French actress Valerie Lemercier opened the show, a modest affair by the standards of the man who gave the world Madonna’s pointy-cone bra as daywear and has made a career out of showing skin. Still, just because the collection had embraced middle age-and covered up-doesn’t mean it resigned itself to dowdiness. Models peeled off layer after layer as they walked, removing their gloves, tossing their scarves into the crowd and shrugging off trompe l’oeil trenchcoats that mimicked men’s pinstriped suits and even a tuxedo to reveal ‘70s-inspired jumpsuits in eyepopping prints shot with glinting Lurex. The action was lost on many in the audience, though, because the house didn’t install the raised runway that usually affords the whole crowd a good head-to-toe view. This season, the models walked on floor-level, reducing the show to a parade of the oversized gray beehive wigs for all but those in the front row.

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER Instead of fighting its age, Gaultier’s collection embraced it. “It was about women who say ‘I don’t want to look like my teenage daughter,”‘ Gaultier told journalists in a post-show interview. “It’s the ‘bourgeoisie sans age,”‘ a

Models show creations by Netherlands designers Victor and Rolf.

Models present creations by French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, as part of the presentation of the Fall-Winter ready-to-wear 2012, fashion collection. — AP photos


lifestyle F a s h i o n

VIKTOR & ROLF Marauding medieval barbarians had nothing on these girls. The drawbridge installed at the top of the catwalk clanked as it lowered to reveal models in silver lame cocktail dresses that had the menacing shine of battle-ready suits of armor, blouses with sleeves bristling with stiff pleated ruffles, like serrated knives, and outerwear emblazoned with oversized disks evoked razor-edged throwing stars. A dress in black knit bisected by a red cross, with two red roses, looked like the flag of some warring kingdom. Pleated pencil skirts in hefty black leather looked sturdy enough to resist a battle ax. It was like what Joan of Arc would wear to a cocktail party. And with that war paint, she’d be sure to make a big entrance: The model’s faces were entirely slathered in red body paint. The Dutch duo had been obsessed with volume of late, sending out models that looked like ambulant pup tents for the last couple of seasons, but Saturday’s collection brought that unfortunate episode to an end, with sharp-lines that hugged the body. A literal-minded pantsuit-made out of an elongated pair of trousers that cinched over the bust-was long and sexily lean. AZZARO Azzaro’s Argentine-born, British-raised designer Vanessa Seward is the consummate Parisienne. Season after season, Seward delivers wardrobes for the chic young things of Paris’ beaux quartiers, the tony, moneyed districts where the ladies’ appetite for demure-but-sexy cocktail dresses is insatiable. The striking, dark-haired designer is that kind of woman herself, and she’s her own best ambassador, wearing her sultry-yet-proper concoctions with aplomb. For Saturday’s show, Seward sported a red wrap dress in fluid silk jersey, sitting demurely as two models-both of whose resemblance to her was striking _ pranced in her abbreviated chemisier dresses and pantsuits. At Azzaro, the hemlines are always sky-high, and Saturday’s collection was no exception. Little was the operative word for the little black dresses that had flippy hemlines or flirty pleated skirts. Everything twinkled with rhinestones, which glinted out from beneath the collar of a black wool cocoon coat and dressed up the necklines of the sexy pantsuits. It all had a vaguely retro feel, and looked like what a bored Parisian housewife circa 1972 would wear to a secret rendezvous with her lover. Even the label’s presentations are old school: Instead of a proper runway show, with thousands of people crammed, sardine-style, into a tent, Azzaro holds intimate little “mini-shows” in the house’s mirror-covered showroom on Paris’ chic shopping street, the rue du Faubourg Saint Honore. Two models change in the dressing rooms as the gathered fashion editors, journalists and stylists sip cups of tea and nibble on macaroons.


SONIA RYKIEL The house founded by fashion’s queen of knitwear focused on outwear, with a fall collection of utilitarian-chic loden parkas and princess coats made from tartan blankets. There was still a hefty dose of knits, like the trompe l’oeil coveralls and cableknit sweaters emblazoned with oversized bows. A beige and toffee colorblocked sweater with a bold emerald green stripe in guise of a belt was pure, old-school Rykiel. The coats-in ochre, blood orange, lilac and Bordeaux-were fitted out with patch pockets or sprouted oversized sleeves in fox fur dyed eyepopping hues. The trend of grafting fur sleeves onto wool coats has swept Paris’ runways, from Balmain to Dries Van Noten. It’s a big-statement style, but one that’s not without its hazards: At Rykiel, a model brushed up against the vertical fluorescent light bulbs that for some reason dotted the catwalk, and the bulb shattered all over the runway-which for another inexplicable reason was bisected by a chain-link fence. Unlike most other shows, where serious, even dour expressions are de rigeur, Rykiel is all about smiles, and models are instructed to act spontaneous and happy on the runway-a tall order for some of the girls. At Saturday’s show, the models congregated around the fence, chitchatting as others walked the catwalk. One model, in a sexedup gown with a flowing emerald skirt attached to a black bra top, plopped herself down in the front row next to Andre Leon Talley and made smalltalk with the iconic US Vogue editor as her colleagues walked.

Models show creations by designer Sonia Rykiel.

TSUMORI CHISATO The Japanese designer is clearly out to oust Rykiel. Chisato sent out jumpsuits in zany pastel colorblock, sweaterdresses with striped knit leggings and high-waisted culottes knit with kooky designs. Ribbed caps that looked like old school bathing caps, complete with the sensible chinstraps, topped off all the outfits. Paired with the oversized Iris Apfel-style owl glasses, it was really quite a look. Admittedly, it was not for everyone: Those in the market for officewear might do better looking elsewhere, except if you work from home. But the clothes were embued with a sense of fun and lightheartedness that took a page straight out of Rykiel’s playbook. — AP

n the two decades since its launch, Allure magazine has tracked an evolution of the American definition of beauty. Surprisingly-although it really shouldn’t be considering the changing collective face of the country-is that the public is more accepting of a variety of ideals. There isn’t the blond bombshell mold that everyone has to fit in to be considered attractive, either by oneself or others, says editor-in-chief Linda Wells. You can be old or young, dark skinned or light, slim or voluptuous, she says. For its 20th anniversary issue in March with Victoria Beckham on its cover, Allure conducted a “beauty census,” showing photographs of models of different races and ethnicities to 1,000 men and women. “We anticipated that the whole beauty ideal has changed, but the results are really different from the results 20 years ago,” Wells says. “It’s not blue-eyed blond anymore, it’s a woman of mixed race, dark hair, darker skin, she’s more voluptuous with a bigger butt and a flat stomachnot that easy to do, thank you very much.” But people understand that even this new, more diverse image isn’t attainable by the masses, she says, and that’s what makes it aspirational. “It wouldn’t be the ‘ideal’ if it was the

Models show creations by Japanese fashion designer Tsumori Chisato.

everywoman. Models ARE younger, thinner and prettier than the everywoman because they’re models. But what’s interesting is the underlying social commentary that while the value people place on being beautiful has increased ... there is a wider range.” Also, Wells adds, people are more interested in improving on their own assets instead of mimicking what models do. There’s also an emphasis on a “natural look,” even if that takes time to achieve. Women aren’t using heavy, matte makeup anymore, she says, favoring instead products with sheerer and thinner textures. She does, however, miss the loyalty to perfumes that are largely gone. They gave a woman a signature, she says. “I miss the attention to fragrance. It has diminished in value in women’s lives. I miss the whole romance of fragrance. Women still buy it, but people change quickly and they don’t wear it every day.” The biggest trend in the industry is anti-aging skin care, something that was only on the radar of “women over a certain age” back in 1991. “Now it’s a way of saying you take care of your skin. Now it’s synonymous with health in the way that sexy is a synonym with attractive,” she observes.

Use of sunscreens with higher SPFs-so much so that people use it as part of their daily routine-feeds into the healthy skin trend. “When we started the magazine, SPF 8 was the best-seller. Now you’d think it’s a joke-you wouldn’t wear that to work on a cloudy day!” Looking ahead, Wells predicts that consumers will further take quasi-medical procedures that used to be done in doctor’s offices into their homes, like they took teeth whitening from the dentist’s chair to their bathroom mirror. Could a wipe-on Botox or faux tan in a pill be far behind? She wonders. These treatments might seem at odds with that more accepting, natural beauty ideal-but not really, says Wells. “People don’t want to look like they’re trying too hard or that they’re uptight, yet we’re thinking about it more. It’s one of the wonderful contradictions of our society.”—AP


Penn thanks Venezuela?s Chavez for Haiti aid


Dancers from the Vila Maria samba school perform on their float during carnival celebrations in Sao Paulo, Brazil, yesterday. —AP


io yesterday was preparing to put on the climax to its Carnival celebrations: the extravagant and sensual parades famed the world over. The processions, featuring near-naked dancing queens and spectacularly imaginative floats trailed by thousands of extras, were to run yesterday and tonight before a stadium audience of 70,000 and a worldwide broadcast audience. In fact a competition, the two nights of parades are put on by Rio’s top dozen samba schools, which have worked for months to ready shows costing up to five million dollars. The winning group, judged on choreography, music, dancing and creativity, is regarded as triumphantly as any champion football team. The whole contest itself reinforces the iconic image of Brazil as a sexy, multicultural society with a fervent party spirit. Seats at the Sambodrome stadium to watch the official parades cost between $50 and several thousand dollars, depending on whether one sits on packed benches in the open or in air-conditioned VIP boxes stocked with champagne. The millions who have already been packing Rio’s streets since Carnival started here late Friday are hoping light rain that fell Saturday will give way to clear summer skies. But they are fully diving into the festivities regardless. Free neighborhood dance parades known as “blocos” have been raising decibel levels and flirting around the city. The biggest of them all, the Bloco da Bola Preta, gathered up to two million people in Rio’s center on Saturday, filling it with a motley crowd in all manner of garb-or in many cases, little at all. “Everybody is mixing here. There’s no class differences. None. Everybody is here with the same plan, to have fun,” said one young woman sporting Elton John-style oversized yellow sunglasses and a bouffant Afro wig. Nearly 800,000 tourists, Brazilian and foreign, were taking part in the extravaganza alongside most of Rio’s population of six million. Some


Children revelers of Unidos de Vila Maria samba school sing and dance atop of a float during the second night of Carnival parades at the Sambadrome, in Brazil yesterday. — AFP

50,000 police have been deployed throughout Rio de Janeiro state to clamp down on crime. Several visiting foreigners told AFP they felt reasonably safe thanks to the beefed up police presence, and because of the general prosperity Brazil is enjoying that has pushed back some of its worst poverty. Still, “you don’t carry a handbag, or wear a watch-or carry a camera, which is really frustrating, because you really want to take pictures of everything, the partying, the landscape,” said Victoire Guerlay, a 22-year-old But in exclusive parties for Brazil’s wealthy, such precautions were unnecessary thanks to significant private security measures. At the most exclusive of them all, a masquerade ball at the luxury Copocabana Palace Hotel late Saturday, guests who had been paying between $800 and $1,300 for their tickets quaffed champagnes and cocktails. Inside the various sumptuously decorated rooms, they partied to classic samba rhythms-accompanied by some of the dancing queens, who were warming up for their more public shows about to take place. Guerlay said she was spending around $130 a day, a relatively low amount for her budget, because she was staying with friends. But others in the city were finding Rio’s prices a little higher than expected. “We’re staying in what could be best described as a homeless shelter, for $100 a night each,” said Brett, a 24-year-old US consultant on vacation with two buddies. He declined to give his last name.—AFP

A drummer performs during the parade of Mocidade Alegre samba school.—AP



rtist Jason Polan won’t be running out of live models any time soon-in trying to draw every person in New York, he’s got at least eight million more to go. The plan may sound crazy, but Polan, 28, is serious. Every day he’s out there with ink pen and sketch pad, posting the results on Three years into the project, he’s up to about 14,000. “I know I’m going to fail, I won’t draw everybody, but I enjoy trying,” he says. The artist on this quixotic mission is a quiet, non-descript man with glasses and an anorak. He blends easily into the crowds that obsess him so much. On a recent rainy day Polan stood unnoticed in various corners of Grand Central station, relentlessly capturing new faces on his pad. Many of his targets were moving, but he’s learned to draw quickly, barely looking at the paper. A figure took shape on the page within seconds. In a minute or so he had the person down: a man with a leg brace stopping to call on

his cell phone; a woman with a long package; a man in a fedora; a man hunched over. Polan, a professional illustrator, has a thing for cataloguing. He once sketched every single work of art in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Another time he drew every individual piece in a bag of popcorn. He may have a meek demeanor, but he scans crowds with the intense concentration of a hunter. And the goal, Polan says, is not to scratch out any old picture, but some defining characteristic of the person’s look. The sketch must be live, not remembered and embellished later. “I crave authenticity,” he said. Part of that authenticity is to keep himself anonymous. Polan never asks permission to draw portraits and he stands at enough of a distance so that he is rarely spotted. An exception is that he invites members of the public, through his website, to set up a rendezvous. Give him a time, place and rough personal description and he will come to draw you-

Artist Jason Polan stands in Grand Central Station February 28, 2011 working on his project of trying to draw every person in New York City.—AFP

although you might never realize. “I kind of hide. I like to get there early so there’s a surprise element for them when they look at the blog that evening and wonder if I got them,” he said. In his spare time, Polan haunts busy streets, restaurants, museums and the outer reaches of New York. The effort is unscientific, but nevertheless impressively determined. In Grand Central that day, Polan’s portraits included Susan Dunlap, aged 43. She was reading a book while waiting for her train and had no idea she was being observed, let alone reproduced as a detailed line drawing labeled “Woman in Grand Central.” Told about the experiment, Dunlap said she thought it was “cool”. As a native New Yorker, she wasn’t put out. “New York is a weird place,” she said. Another of Polan’s unwitting subjects was Carlo Dioguardi, an elegantly dressed man of 75 relaxing in one of the armchairs down in the station food court. “It’s pretty good!” he said, clearly pleased at his likeness, which caught him sitting pensively in the chair, his chin in his hand. Dioguardi said that half a century ago while sitting in a Manhattan park another artist had sketched him-it turned out to be the great Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali, who’d been undergoing medical work nearby. “I’m going to put this drawing right next to the one by Dali. That’s exactly what I’m going to do,” Dioguardi said happily. When Polan shyly told Dioguardi about his plan to draw every New Yorker, the old man said: “I think it’s a great idea. But that’s going to take you forever.” Polan says the goal may be elusive, even impossible, but that he enjoys this artistic embrace of an entire city. “There are times I feel alone, but other times I kind of like it-I feel separated but also know that people can experience this on the blog, or can reach out and email me,” he said. What if he were on the other side of the drawing pad? “I get nervous when someone takes my picture,” he grinned. “I’ll even get nervous when someone draws me.” — AFP

lberto Granado, the travel companion of leftist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara on their famed 1950s motorcycle trip through South America, died Saturday in Cuba, official media reported. “In today’s morning hours in the capital, comrade Alberto Granado, the close friend of commandante Ernest Guevara, died at age 88,” an announcer read on state television. The Argentine biochemist had lived on the communist-ruled island since 1961, and “as a faithful friend of Cuba, he contributed to the training of professionals in medicine and genetics.” Granado was a doctor and Guevara a medical student when they set out on their eight-month odyssey. They left Buenos Aires in December 1951 and traveled through much of South America, where they witnessed poverty of local communities, lack of access to medical care, and disenfranchisement of native people. The trip was immortalized in Brazilian director Walter Salles’s 1994 film “The Motorcycle Diaries,” which drew from books about the voyage by both participants, and won an Oscar for best original song. Asked in an interview a few years ago about his friendship and time on the road with “Che,” Granado said: “We hit it off well.” “When there was talk about politics, disease and what not, we almost always shared a similar view,” he added. State media said Granado’s body was taken to a funeral home in Havana and, “according to his wishes,” his remains will be cremated and the ashes spread across parts of Argentina, Cuba and Venezuela. Guevara, who became a Cuban and internationalist guerrilla leader, was tracked down and killed in the Bolivian jungle on October 9, 1967.—AFP

In this Oct 3, 2007, photo, Alberto Granado, close friend of Argentinean born Cuban revolution leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Havana.—AP

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