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SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

Bahrainis march on palace as Gates visits


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Apple fans line up to snap up the new iPad

South Africa down India in World Cup thriller



Resurgent United send Arsenal crashing out


Blast at Japan nuke plant, 10,000 missing Huge trail of devastation along northeast coast SENDAI, Japan: An explosion at a Japanese nuclear plant triggered fears of a meltdown yesterday, after a massive earthquake and tsunami left more than 1,000 dead and at least 10,000 unaccounted for. As workers doused the stricken reactor with sea water to try to avert catastrophe, Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the chaos unleashed by Friday’s 8.9-magnitude quake was an “unprecedented national disaster”. The quake, one of the biggest ever recorded, unleashed a terrifying 10-m wave that tore through towns and cities on Japan’s northeastern coast, destroying everything in its path. In the small port town of Minamisanriku alone, some 10,000 people are unaccounted for - more than half the population - public broadcaster NHK

Thick black smoke rises from burning buildings in a factory zone in Sendai, northeastern Japan, yesterday, one day after a giant quake and tsunami struck the country’s northeastern coast. (Inset) ship drifted by the tsunami sits on its side on the landnear a port in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, yesterday. — AP (See Page 10)

Retreating Libya rebels win Arab League boost Troops launch assault on Misrata UQAYLA, Libya: Libyan rebels beat a further retreat yesterday under air strikes and shellfire from Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, even as an Arab League decision to back a no-fly zone boosted their uprising. Having abandoned an operation to recapture the oil town of Ras Lanuf, the outgunned anti-regime fighters struggled to set up a new defensive line 30 km further east along a coastal road towards Brega. Brega is the last main town before Ajdabiya, gateway to eastern Libya on the roads to the main rebel cities of Benghazi and Tobruk. Meanwhile, troops loyal to Gaddafi launched an assault on the city of Misrata yesterday, attempting to recapture the last town in the west of the country still in rebel hands. The only rebel outpost between the capital and the eastern front around the oil town of Ras Lanuf is Misrata, Libya’s third largest city, with a population of some 300,000 people,

around 200 km east of Tripoli. “They are trying to get into Misrata, they are now 10 km away,” said rebel spokesman Gemal by telephone. “We are hearing shelling. We have no choice but to fight.” “I can hear loud explosions,” said a resident who would only give his name as Mohammad. “Everybody is rushing home, the shops have closed and the rebels are taking up positions.” It took a week of repeated assaults by government troops, backed by tanks and air power to finish off the uprising in Zawiyah, a much smaller town, 50 km west of Tripoli. While the death toll from the fighting in Zawiyah is unknown, much of Zawiyah was gutted and destroyed by the fighting, gaping holes blown by tank rounds and rockets through buildings around the main square. Gaddafi’s forces bulldozed a cemetery where rebel fighters had been buried. Continued on Page 14

Govt urged to free bedoons Naturalization unlikely By A Saleh and Agencies KUWAIT: Kuwait Human Rights Association called on the government yesterday to free people arrested during a crackdown on a protest by stateless Arabs demanding citizenship and other rights. The independent rights body called for the “release of all those arrested during the events on March 11 without delay and without pressing charges against them.” Media reported yesterday that security forces arrested dozens of stateless Arabs, locally known as bedoons, during and after the protest. The rights association also accused security forces of using excessive force in dispersing the protest and using teargas canisters inside people’s homes. The rights association said the government and parliament should immediately adopt legislation granting the undocumented people their basic rights. But informed official sources said that all talks about granting bedoons citizenship was irrelevant and that the government would only okay granting bedoons their civil and social rights through decisions rather than laws. Continued on Page 14

14 dead in NY bus accident

NEW YORK: Emergency personnel investigate the scene of a bus crash on Interstate-95 in the Bronx borough yesterday. — AP

NEW YORK: A tour bus flipped over on a highway in New York city early yesterday, killing 14 people and leaving a least six others in critical conditions, authorities said. “The accident was horrific. Fourteen people are dead and others are badly hurt,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The bus was carrying 32 passengers back from a casino in Connecticut to Chinatown when it went out of control on a highway through the Bronx at 5:30 am, police said. “The bus flipped over, slid on its side, hit a light pole,” a fire department spokesman told the New York Times. “The light pole stood intact and sheared the whole top of the bus off,” the spokesman said. “It went through the whole bus from front to rear.” The injured were taken to Jacobi Medical Center and Saint Barnabas Hospital. World Wide Tours, the company that owned the bus, could not be Continued on Page 14

Max 20 Min 17 Low Tide 10:42 & 23:59 High Tide 05:18 & 16:18

reported. Even as Japan struggled to assess the full extent of the devastation, the nation faced an atomic emergency as cooling systems damaged by the quake failed at two nuclear reactors. Smoke billowed from the Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant about 250 km northeast of Tokyo, after an explosion blew off the roof and walls of the structure around the reactor. Radiation leaked from the plant, but the government moved to calm fears of a meltdown, saying that the blast did not rupture the container surrounding the reactor and that radiation levels had fallen afterwards. Japan’s nuclear safety agency rated the accident at four on the international scale of 0 to 7. The 1979 Three Mile Island accident in the United States was rated five while the 1986 Continued on Page 14


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

LOCAL kuwait digest

Leaders’ fate sealed by their own people By Fouad Al-Hashem recent article entitled ‘National Anthem,’ written by my journalistic colleague Jalal Aref, caught my eye. For the benefit of our dear readers I intend here to reprint this thought-provoking article, which was published in the Egyptian newspaper AlAkhbar a couple of days ago. In it, Aref wrote: “Just 10 years ago, the only song that officials and the media in a number of Arab capitals couldn’t stop singing repeatedly was, “We are not like Syria.” This was the situation soon after Bashar Al-Assad was thrust onto the political stage in Syria, succeeding his late father, Hafez Al-Assad. The chants were echoed around Arab capitals out of fear of the father-to-son hierarchy being repeated in their own and other Arab countries. And in attempts not to have that legacy repeated, the chants “We’re not like Syria” echoed in capitals across the Arab world. However, some two or three years later, the capitals of those very countries were seen busily handling their own succession scenarios; mainly Cairo, Sanaa and Tripoli. It was rather strange, at times even unbelievable, to comprehend the son of a ruler (often young, inexperienced and unready for the succession) being handed the reins to rule a nation, as was the case with Tunisia at that time. Another familiar scenario was for power to be handed over to the wife or brother-in-law of the outgoing/deposed/ousted premier in an attempt to retain power within the ruling family rather than handed over to an untrusted stranger who could choose, at any given point in time, to reopen classified files or disclose long-hidden skeletons - especially those concerning corruption. And then, as expected, in the immediate aftermath of the revolution in Tunisia and the fall of Ben Ali’s regime, that patriotic song resounding in Arab capitals (especially in Egypt) changed to something like, “We are not like Tunisia.” That song too didn’t seem to last for long as the citizens of Egypt went on to launch their own revolution, changing the face of the region and bringing refreshing winds of change and a yearning for freedom across the entire Arab world. Citizens in other Arab capitals were then heard chanting the same old lyrics, now amended to “we are not like...Egypt.” It now seems like orchestras across the Arab world will keep playing the opening bars of that song again and again as more and more dictatorial regimes continue to fall until a time will finally dawn when the thunder of bullets and gunfire will suddenly cease to be heard...followed by a deathly silence...and then the barely audible quavering whispers of dictators will be heard from the rubble, saying, “Stop! We have finally heard your voice!” The third and final part of the new song will feature the jubilant voices of citizens demanding the unconditional departure of their respective despots amid bursts of reprisals ordered by leaders upon their peoples in attempts to quell the demonstrations and calls for overthrowing those regimes. In the end, the peoples will prevail after hearing promises from their leaders that they will not contest the elections any more. But the blood of the martyrs and the anger pent up in the hearts of millions, coupled with years of tyranny and oppression, will refuse to yield to any more promises. The people will only calm down when those leaders finally step down. I wonder in which country, we will have the immense pleasure of listening to the last part of this old song!” And if we keep on adding to the chorus of that song, allow me to mention what the ignoramus Saif Al-Islam Al-Gadaffi said: “Libya is not Egypt or Tunisia,” just as, a long time ago, Saddam Hussein said, “Iraq is not Afghanistan,” and, shortly after the fall of Baghdad, Tehran’s mullahs proudly proclaimed: “Iran is not Iraq.” What none of them realize is that in the end they will all share a common fate - their downfall. The morose Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi once described his own people as: “a group of people whose heads are infected with lice.” Why doesn’t the leader add another title to the scores of other titles that he has already awarded himself? How about “The leader who eliminated the heads (instead of the lice) of his people?” A protester in Yemen was seen holding a banner containing verses from the Holy Quran to describe the reality of the Arab and Islamic world. It read as follows: ● “Did We not destroy the men of old (for their evil)?” - referring to Zein El Abideen Ben Ali. ● “So shall We make later (generations) follow them.” - referring to Hosni Mubarak. ● “Thus do We deal with men of sin.” - referring to Muammar Gaddafi. ● “And woe, on that day, to the rejecters of truth!” referring to Ali Abdullah Saleh.” — Al-Watan


KUWAIT: The Capital’s governor Sheikh Ali Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah hosted an open day recently at the Azayez farm in Abdaly. Editors-in-Chief of local dailies as well as various journalists, columnists, Kuwait Journalists Association members, in addition to senior members of the Ministry of Information, the state’s official television channel were present. Several actors also graced the occasion. —Photos by Fouad Al-Sheikh

MPs, human rights groups condemn violence against bedoon protesters ‘Cabinet fails to commit to promises’ KUWAIT: A number of MPs and local human rights organizations have strongly condemned the use of tear gas and batons by security officers to disperse bedoon (stateless) protesters attending demonstrations to demand their human rights in Taima, Sulaibiya and Ahmadi on Friday. “The Cabinet failed to commit to the promises they made to the bedoons’ [parliamentary] committee,” said prominent anti-government MP Musallam Al-Barrak. Speaking to Al-Qabas, he pointed out that the Cabinet had given assurances that a decree offering bedoons a range of basic rights would be passed before the March 8 parliamentary session, “but they failed to live up to their promise as usual.” Fellow MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan urged the interior minister Sheikh Ahmad AlHumoud to avoid “using violence against demonstrators”, suggesting that beating people carrying Kuwaiti flags is “inappropriate,” reported Al-Qabas. MP Hassan Jowhar also expressed his “utter rejection” of the use of violence and “turning bedoons’ protest areas into warzones.” On her part, MP Dr. Aseel Al-Awadhi said that the government’s announcement of a decree offering human rights to stateless residents “is a step in the right direction” to resolving this decades-long problem, adding that “practicing the right of peaceful demonstration must not by suppressed.” Another parliamentarian, Dr. Rola Dashti, was critical of the bedoons, however. Whilst acknowledging the right of people to express themselves and protest peacefully, Dr. Dashti accused the protesters of damaging Kuwait’s reputation and assaulting police, saying, “Damaging the state’s reputation and attacking police officers is unacceptable.” The MP urged the Ministry of Interior and protestors alike to stay committed to the law. MP Ali Al-Deqbasi, meanwhile, assert-

ed that no good could result from the use of violence, adding that good could only come in this instance from enforcing human rights for bedoon people. Al-Deqbasi accused the cabinet of stalling over the imposition of its decree giving bedoon people basic human rights. Another MP, Yousef Al-Zalzalah, was also highly critical of the government’s handling of the situation, saying, “The way the government is dealing with the bedoon issue reflects its lack of serious will to solve the problem.” Fellow parliamentarian Adnan Abdulsamad also slammed the government over the situation, asserting that “the government’s continuous neglect of the bedoons’ human rights made the problem more complicated,” while MP Mubarak Al-Waalan questioned whether “the use of violence and tear gas the best method which the government could use in ending the issue?” Another MP, Salwa Al-Jassar, was strongly critical of the protests by bedoons, however, suggesting that they pose a threat to national security and calling them “unacceptable practices which stall the process of solving

their problems.” She called on the interior ministry to maintain the country’s security and “reject any attempts to threaten it.” MP Adel Al-Saraawi also condemned the protests, calling them an “abuse of freedom of expression to insult Kuwait and its sovereignty,” despite the protesters carrying many Kuwaiti flags and other symbols expressing their pride in the nation. He added at the same time that “practices seen recently from stateless residents are incited for the purpose of demanding random naturalization which we all refuse and reject.” Two local human rights organizations have also issued statements condemning the security forces’ “unjustified and excessive use of force” in dispersing the bedoon (stateless) protesters. In its statement, the Kuwait Human Rights Society (KHRS) criticized both the cabinet and parliament for failing during its March 8 session to enforce the decree recently passed to parliament by the government for approval, which is intended to provide Kuwait’s bedoon residents with a range of basic human rights. The KHRS also condemned the “excessive use of force in firing tear gas

against peaceful protesters in residential areas,” also slamming the arrest of some of the protesters and calling for their immediate release. The KHRS statement also demanded the introduction of “mechanisms to follow up on the enforcement of bedoons’ rights,” reported Al-Qabas. Another organization, the Kuwait Society for Basic Principles of Human Rights (KSBPHR), also strongly condemned “the use of tear gas against unarmed protesters who went out to protest in demand of their basic rights, which they have been deprived of for decades.” The organization urged the Ministry of Interior to employ a calm and measured approach to policing demonstrations by bedoon people, although it also indicated that “Bedoon residents ought to keep in mind the regional repercussions of their actions before they attend demonstrations”, urging bedoon people to give the government’s Central System for the Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR), the latest state body set up to resolve the longstanding problems facing Kuwait’s bedoon population, time to find a solution to their problems.

Safar arrives in Riyadh for GCC municipal conference RIYADH: Kuwait’s Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Fadhel Safar arrived here yesterday to participate in the 6th GCC Municipal Conference.. Safar was received by Saudi Municipal and Rural Affairs Minister Mansour Bin Miteb Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Charge d’affair at the Kuwaiti embassy here Theyab Al-Risheedi and a number of GCC General Secretariat’s members. The threeday conference, to be held under the slogan: New Horizons for GCC Joint Municipal Work, aimed to identify new experiences in municipal work and explore prospects of the joint municipal work in GCC countries. The gathering attendees will include municipal work officials, experts and researchers. The participants would also consider best practices and successful experiences that could be utilized to serve the interests of GCC peoples and countries. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Local truffles have been scarce this year owing to a lack of rain. Truffles are fruiting bodies of an underground mushroom that are highly sought after as food.

NA finance panel to freeze fiscal bill KUWAIT: The parliamentary financial and legislatives committees are scheduled to hold important meetings today to discuss the annual fiscal bill for 2011-2012, in addition to several parliamentary proposals concerning bills on combating corruption and enhancing transparency, reported Al-Watan. A parliamentary insider indicated that the parliamentary finance committee supports freezing all state budgets until the annual plan is approved this year in order to avoid premature approval of the budget as happened last year. The insider told Al-Qabas that the committee would not jeopardize the passage of any budget in order to link it to actual needs in the government’s annual plan, adding, “Therefore, the parliament will demand that the annual plan is completed as soon as possible in order to have all the necessary data prior to passing the budgets.” Another parliamentary source reported that the finance ministry has instructed all ministries to avoid overburdening their budgets with unnecessary expenditure or unplanned construction projects other than those mentioned in their respective annual plans.

Diving team publications released KUWAIT: The Environmental Voluntary Foundation released a number of publications and printed material, showcasing projects and works that were carried out by the Kuwait Diving Team. One of the publications cover the

team’s efforts to clean coral reef habitats in the country. Another leaflet explains the team’s achievement in removing valued ‘Fath AlKhair Boum’ ship to safety back in 1999. In addition to exhibitions held

locally, the publications are also shown at several expos around the world, including the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Video footage of the publications can also be found on YouTube.

MP inquires about 2011 international rally KUWAIT: A lawmaker posed a number of questions to M inister of Social Affairs and Labor Mohammad Al-Afasi on the recent news report about Kuwait hosting the 2011 Kuwait International R ally, organized by the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC). MP Adel Al-Saraawi asked that the Public Authority for Youth and Sport explain the reasons behind organizing the event. They demanded that photocopies of letters sent between PAYS and the

bodies organizing international rally races in Kuwait be produced, as well as information about the financial support that the authority has given during the past three years, reported Al-Qabas. Moreover, Al-Saraawi inquired about the role played by the PAYS in supporting the KIAC’s membership with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), as well as the procedures taken by PAYS after receiving the site allocated for the KIAC in Araifjan.



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KUWAIT: Kuwait witnessed heavy rains in different parts of the country yesterday. Roads were flooded with rainwater and traffic jams and accidents were reported. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Kuwait Digest

The ‘Kafi’ movement

Proud To Be Kuwaiti forum to showcase business ventures Event to last for six days

By Dr Abdullatif Al-Suraikh By Nawara Fattahova


have been asked a lot, online and offline, about my opinion on the calls made for His Highness the Prime Minister’s resignation, and the activities undertaken by youth movements. Regardless of whether I agree or disagree with those demands, I am asked whether their demands violate the rights of His Highness the Amir, or whether organizing public gatherings tantamount to rule-breaking. Before attempting to answer those questions, I must assert that selecting the state’s prime minister is the sole constitutional right of HH the Amir. And since parliament members have the right to cooperate with the selected premier and cabinet members, and the people have the right to elect their representatives in the parliament, the public and MPs have the constitutional right to express their rejection to cooperate with the prime minister or any minister. This is derived from a clear constitutional context which states that the public forms the basis of all authorities. Based on this fact, I personally see no problem in a movement carried out by a Kuwaiti group to express their opinion in criticizing the prime minister in accordance with the Articles of the Constitution and the law. Moreover, this right should always be protected, as long as democracy is practiced the right way. Some might argue that the time nowadays, is not right for such activities to take place. While I respect this opinion, it is also important to note that there are a lot of opinions. After all, if the current time is not right, then when exactly would it be? What was done by the ‘Kafi’ (enough) movement is in my opinion, a practice of a constitutional right. Whoever thinks otherwise is urged to refer to the Constitution and see what I am talking about. One thing I feel I should mention here, is the importance of avoiding the action of questioning each other’s patriotism. Everyone expresses their patriotism the way they desire, and we should learn how to respect different opinions - regardless of whether we agree with them or not. I am not a member of the ‘Kafi’ movement, but I wrote my article in defense of their right to express their opinions, while I do have reservations on the methods they use. — Al-Rai

KUWAIT: For the fourth consecutive year, young Kuwaitis will be able to showcase their own small businesses and products at the Proud To Be Kuwaiti (P2BK) forum, which will be held from March 15 to 20 at the Kuwait International Fair Ground in Mishref. This year, the forum is being held for a longer time period. Four days out of the six-day event will be open to public (March 16 to 19). Also, the number of participants have increased when compared to previous years, “ We have received more applications from people who aimed to participate. We have chosen this number after they passed the judging procedure,” Bader AlKanderi, one of two team leaders told the Kuwait Times. P2BK is a non-profit organization that was established by a group of independent Kuwaiti youth for the love, devotion, and patriotism to their beloved country. It sponsors and supports small and medium enterprises in Kuwait. The Proud to Be Kuwaiti team strives to enhance and develop the youth’s achievements and abilities in all fields and activities, while embracing and catering to the small and medium enterprises through continuous support and guidance. P2BK is the pioneer in this area. It aims to support and highlight Kuwaiti youth’s energies in various fields and levels by organizing activities, events, and national contributions, while exposing and overcoming the obstacles they face during

their inception. It was established to be the umbrella to all the youth innovations at the national level, and to highlight the Kuwaiti achievements and small projects . There are certain conditions that the applicant has to fulfill, “The applicant should be running a small business that is 100 percent Kuwaiti. We focus on the unique concepts that are different from the ones running in Kuwait during the whole year. We don’t want it to be a generic event. Their ideas should be unique with profitable exposures. During the forum, we will also hold roundtable discussions that are categorized according to the field and that held the participants to solve their problems and ask any question,” added Al-Kanderi. Some of the previous participants are making their presence felt again, others are taking part as sponsors this year, “It depends on the success of the participant. Some didn’t succeed due to different influences, while others have become known in the market. And if some visitors wish to find some of the previous participants that are not participating this year, we have published a small directory called ‘Al Muthakarat’. Here people can find most of the previous participants and their contacts. This directory will be distributed during the forum free of charge,” he explained. Visitors play key role as they are the consumers, “Consumers have different tastes and we try to please everyone. So the content of the forum differs from information, to clothing, and

KUWAIT: A view of the P2BK fair held at the Kuwait Fair Ground last year. many others,” he noted. This year the forum will be accompanied with activities for kids, “We know that kids are not interested in shopping and fairs. That’s why we prepared many entertainment activities for kids so they will have fun. Also there will be a food corner. Also we will highlight the achievements of Kuwaitis from different fields. So we will have inventors, sports medals holders, and others,” AlKanderi pointed out. P2BK has more plans for the future, “We are preparing a summer program called ‘Shigardi.’ It is aimed at high school stu-

dents, where they will learn more about business. We will also be expanding and holding a forum called Proud to Be Bahraini,” he concluded. The previous forums The first event was held on April 30, 2008 at Arraya Ballroom in Sharq. The event was inaugurated under the patronage of Ali Mohammad Thunayan Al-Ghanim, Chairperson of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry. At least 60 participants took part and about 4,000 people visited. It was held for one day only.

The second event was held on February 22 and 23, 2009 at Arraya Ballroom as well. The event was inaugurated under the patronage of Rasheed AlSayed Yousef Al-Tabtabaie under secretar y, Ministr y of Commerce and Industr y, Kuwait. That year it was held on two days with 102 participants and over 10 000 visitors. The third event was held on March 17 to 19 ,2010 and was hosted at the Kuwait International Fairground in Mishref. it was held for three days with 133 participants and over 45 000 visitors.

Camp-owner questioned over suspicious visitors KUWAIT: Kuwaiti authorities have summoned the owner of a campsite in the Jelai’a area for questioning over leasing a number of pitches to a group of campers whose activities raised suspicion amongst others there. Others at the site contacted police after becoming uneasy about their fellow campers, who reportedly spoke in an unusual Arab dialect and wore strange, all-black outfits, and raised further suspicions by hoisting flags bearing sectarian inscriptions beside their tents. On arriving at the scene, police discovered that the group of campers were Bahrainis and Saudis from eastern Saudi Arabia. One security official said that some of the foreign campers had apparently been shooting videos of their activities. On being asked by police what they were doing, the visiting campers insisted that they were only video-recording some religious lectures. Investigations are continuing into the campers’ activities.

‘Scrapping sponsorship may not end problems’

KUWAIT: The Minister of Public Works and State Minister of Municipality Affairs Dr Fadhel Safar inaugurated the Green Road project in Sharq, located opposite to the market area. The project is the third of its kind to be undertaken in the country. Similar ones were inaugurated in Jahra and Hawally governorates last month. Local products were also exhibited. This event was held with the aim of boosting support for local craftsmen.

‘Abide by traffic regulations’ KUWAIT: Motorists and pedestrians should abide by traffic regulations to avoid accidents, said Lt General Mahmoud Al-Dawseri, Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs. He was speaking on the occasion of the unified GCC Traffic Week which will be observed from

tomorrow under the slogan ‘Together we can reduce accidents.’ Cooperation between residents and the Traffic Department is a necessity to ensure safety on all roads. He explained that the Traffic Department charts out plans for different occasions, and is work-

ing in cooperation with the Public Relations Department this year. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Homoud AlSabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister and Undersecretary General Ghazi Al-Omer are supporting the campaign.

KUWAIT: With the imminent establishment of the Public Labor Authority (PLA), the government body that is viewed at as beacon of hope for expatriate laborers. Concerns remain on whether this authority will help address and eliminate all problems created by the sponsorship system which has tarnished Kuwait’s international image. Abdurrahman Al-Ghanim, Secretary general of the Kuwait Trade Union Federation and head of its expatriate laborers’ office. He explained that eliminating the sponsorship system - which he confirmed is the main goal to establish the labor authority - will help Kuwait eliminate 75 percent of problems. On the other hand, he expressed concern that riots may break out in Kuwait. AlGhanim mentioned for example the contracts which do not have a fixed time limit, saying that this might cause some confusion in the new authority since the sponsorship system indicates that a worker cannot change sponsors until after a year after he signs a contract. The labor law stipulates that the worker only has to notify his sponsor three months before he resignation. In the meantime, he mentioned some problems that oil sector staff members have been facing, since there are four to five kinds of contracts present in the oil sector. The labor law only mentions limited and unlimited contracts. Al-Ghanim also put forward questions about the mechanism which will be used to help workers whose rights were deprived by employers in the oil sector, reported Al-Shahed. Meanwhile, Al-Ghanim questioned, “How will the ministry compensate for employers whose funds were wasted in training staff members who eventually resign from services?”



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Al-Naibari reiterates demands for PM’s ouster KUWAIT: A political activist has put forward clear conditions demanding the current Cabinet’s dissolution. This is in addition to the calls made to elect a prime minister from the public. In an interview with Al-Rai TV, the forum’s member and former MP Abdullah Al-Naibari explained that the reason behind demanding a premier to be elected from outside the ruling Sabah family, is to make it easier for the premier to be held accountable “in order to achieve true security on power. “ The liberal activist further indicated that he would not object to having an Islamist premier “as long as he is supported by the public.” Describing the performance of the current Cabinet as ‘deteriorating,’ Al-Naibari noted that corruption is spreading ‘on all levels,’ adding at the same time that “the authority in power is trying to delegate the Constitution by failing to commit to its regulations.” Changing the state’s premier is the sole constitutional right of His Highness the Amir, Al-Naibari said, adding that there’s a misconception on this issue “since the Parliament has the right to reject the premier especially if supported by the public.” He noted at the same time a Parliament’s authority must be established in the future. “Kuwait is not isolated from movements made to counter corruption,” Al-Naibari said. While discussing public revolutions taking place in different place around the Arab World, he further denied speculations that the Democratic Forum lacks young leaders, explaining that one third of its assembly members are aged 45 or less, reported AlRai. Meanwhile, Al-Naibari said that the state security service should be removed “because its only duty is to spy on citizens and restrict freedom. He further accused the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and his brothers of “having control over the state security service as well as local sports authorities,” calling this issue “a serious threat to democratic life.”

Kuwaiti constitution ‘contract between nation, ruling family’ KUWAIT: A number of Kuwaiti legal experts praised yesterday the Kuwaiti constitution, describing it as a “contract” between the nation and the royal family, considering it as being respected and appreciated by all the authorities. This came in statements made by advisor at the Amiri Diwan, Dr Adel Al-Tabtabaei and professors of constitutional law at the Faculty of Law, University of Kuwait, Mohammad Al-Faili and Abdullah Al-Rumaithi. Al-Tabtabaei said that the State of Kuwait is witnessing political and economic stability and a rise in living standards, “which gives a positive atmosphere in the relations between public authorities with each other and the citizens among themselves as well.” He added that the political, economic and social conditions in Kuwait are different from other Arab countries, which necessarily means “difference in the political changes”, adding that Kuwait has a real democratic system where everyone can express his or her views freely through the constitutional and legal channels in force. For his part, Dr. Al-Rumaithi said that Kuwaitis enjoy a high standard of living “because the wealth of the homeland are the property of the people and not for a particular group,” explaining that the Constitution guaranteed to the citizen the right to work and to ensure a decent life for himself and his family even in old age or disability as well as the right to compensation in the event of disasters. He said the constitution guarantees freedom of expression in accordance with the principles and requirements prescribed by law, pointing out that the Constitution has forbidden discrimination between human beings on the basis of color, religion, origin or language “in addition to the rights and freedoms in its articles which may not be amended. For his part, Al-Faili said that the human community in Kuwait have organized themselves through the selection of the ruler, meaning that the process of governance in the group did not come through a winner president or a victorious force that imposes itself on others, or by a President based on the religious status in order to govern the country. He praised the style of governance in Kuwait, which he said was based on the Shura, adding that what best explains the blessing of stability in Kuwait is the existence of an elected council comprising representatives of the people and the ruling Al-Sabah family. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Officials inspecting a live chicken shop yesterday.

Municipality steps up inspection operations Crackdown on sale of out-of-date foodstuffs By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Officials from Capital governorate municipality have stepped up their supervisory operations, particularly focusing on cracking down on the sale of out-of-date foodstuffs and others unfit for human consumption. The move comes at the direction of the State Minister for Municipal Affairs Dr. Fadhil Safar and municipality director Ahmad AlSubaih. A number of recent operations have resulted in the seizure of large quantities of foodstuffs, with legal action being taken against all those stocking these goods and offering them for sale. Municipality inspectors launched an unannounced fourhour campaign at the meat market in Shuwaikh Industrial Zone on Friday evening, starting at 5:00 PM, with the aim of ensuring that all the meat on sale there is fit for human consumption. Another team of inspectors, meanwhile, visited restaurants in the Capital area to ensure that all the items on offer are fit for human consumption, and that all their staff are complying fully with all the relevant health and safety regulations, including those concerning personal hygiene and health. The director of the municipality’s inspections department, Mubarak Johar Bashir, revealed that the team had issued 29 citations to the owners of some of the various shops and restaurants visited, for various violations. During the operation, the inspectors also dealt with a complaint from a Kuwaiti man who told them that he had been cheated by staff when purchasing meat at a butcher’s shop in Shuwaikh Industrial Zone. The inspectors visited the shop in question and legal action is being taken against the outlet, revealed Bashir. Municipality inspectors in Ahmadi were also conducting inspections over the weekend, visiting various retail outlets and commercial businesses, including hotels, restaurants, malls and butchers’ shops. The director of Ahmadi municipality, Fahad Al-Otaibi,

KUWAIT: Two men, a Kuwaiti and a bedoon (stateless) resident, were arrested by General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) officers who caught them red-handed in possession of four kilograms of opium. The men were caught following a tip-off from an informant about the drug deal. Both have been referred to the Public Prosecutor for further action.

Drugs, contraband destroyed in MoH incinerator twice weekly

Second International Fire and Safety Conference to be held By Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: Deputy Director of Fire Department Brig Yousuf Al-Ansari emphasized on the importance of holding the Second International Fire and Safety Conference scheduled to be held at the end of the month. The conference will discuss several issues that concern several sections of the society in Kuwait, especially those working in engineering, safety and security, professional health, fire department, civil defense, and environment workers and oil sector, and owners of business entities. Al-Ansari said that committees working on

Kuwaiti students worried over safety in Egypt KUWAIT: A number of Kuwaiti students who were studying in Egypt prior to the recent revolution there have refused to resume their studies in the country over fears for their safety. Despite the Kuwaiti embassy in Egypt’s assuring students that following the deposal of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, Egypt would be safe for them to return and resume their studies, Kuwait ’s M inistr y of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is advising the students to postpone their return until the situation is more stable. “Kuwaiti officials have been contradicting themselves over whether or not [students should] go back to Egypt, and this has created a state of chaos among students,” said Fahad Al-Shemmari, a disgruntled Kuwaiti student waiting to resume his studies in Egypt.

stressed the necessity of encouraging municipality inspectors to fully perform their roles by conducting regular inspection campaigns of all local outlets and storage facilities, most particularly those selling or stocking foodstuffs. This weekend’s operations focused primarily on outlets in the Wafra area, he explained, with inspectors visiting a large number of outlets and warehouses. During these operations, the inspectors issued a total of 26 orders for the confiscation and destruction of foodstuffs deemed unfit for human consumption, as well as issuing 12 citations for various technical misdemeanors. The necessary legal action will be taken against all those involved in selling or storing the goods. Al-Otaibi also said that inspectors who visited a number of butchers’ shops and poultry factory farms in Al-Dhahr discovered that many of the chickens kept in the latter facilities appeared to be sick, extremely underweight or too old to be eaten, and thus had no commercial value. The inspectors issued 13 citations to the owners of these facilities during their visit, as well as issuing a further 21 citations to the owners of restaurants and butchers’ shops in the area for dealing in foodstuffs unfit for human consumption and other violations. The inspectors also closed down a Cooperative Society branch in Al-Dhahr, as well as ordering the closure of a restaurant at a local campsite, which belongs to a company based in the area. In Aqaila and Sabahiya, meanwhile, the inspectors visited a number of supermarkets, shops and restaurants, issuing 17 citations, mostly for offering foodstuffs unfit for human consumption. A total of 138 kilograms of foodstuffs, including chicken, were removed for destruction. A further 16 citations were issued to hotels in the area for dealing in foodstuffs deemed unfit for human consumption and for storing expired foodstuffs, with 62 kilograms of meat and chicken being confiscated for destruction.

Another student whose studies are on hold, Othman Al-Masoud, said that the students are torn between whether to believe the statements made by the Kuwaiti embassy’s cultural office in Cairo or by the MoFA on the issue. “Who’ll be held responsible if any of us are injured or our lives are put in jeopardy?” he asked, adding that everyday life in Egypt is still dangerous, and saying that there are many thugs on the street in the absence of state securit y officers or police. Ahmed Al-Nabhan, another worried Kuwaiti student whose studies in Egypt have been suspended, urged Kuwait’s Ministry of Higher Education to enroll all Kuwaiti students studying at Egyptian universities at universities in Kuwait in order to enable them to resume their studies without delay.

organizing the conference have made scientific preparations, like the importance of using technology and analyzing risks. It will be held from 20th March till 31st March. International expert Derick Love will deliver a lecture about the use of technology and analyzing risks in responding to accidents. An expert in firefighting, Stefan Queely will speak about the environment and the effects it has on responding to emergencies. A fire department report by Brig Al-Ansari will speak about facing challenges. An exhibition that is annexed to the conference will also be held.

MP urges financial parity for judiciary, FLD, PPS personnel KUWAIT: MP Askar Al-Enezi has urged the cabinet to ensure financial parity in the pay and conditions for Kuwait’s judiciary and personnel of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) and Fatwa and Legislation Department (FLD). Referring to existing legislation “which gave parity to financial and other employment privileges in those authorities,” Al-Enezi stressed the vital role played by the FLD in assisting the cabinet, which he said further proves that “all efforts should be made to maintain its position,” reported Al-Qabas. The MP also proposed that the subject should be discussed at the next parliamentary session in order to ensure that FLD personnel’s demands are met, “especially since they’ve remained patient for over two years.”

12 % citizens are asthmatic KUWAIT: At least 12 percentage of citizens suffer from Asthma, said Dr Najeeb AlGhanim, Thoracic consultant at the AlRashid Thoracic Medicine and Allergies Center. He said that an average of 500 people from all over Kuwait visit the center ever y day. Dr Al-Ghanim spoke to Al-

Shahed, noting that that chest and sinus allergies were extremely common in Kuwait, especially during the ‘pollen spreading ‘ season that falls between September and January. He said that smoking also plays a role in increasing the percentage of allergies and chest diseases.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health (MoI) and Ministry of Interior (MoI) conduct two joint weekly operations to destroy confiscated drugs and other contraband, said a senior health ministry official on Friday. Speaking to Al-Shahed Weekly, the supervisor of the MoH’s medical waste treatment department, Adel Al-Athari, revealed that work is to begin shortly on two new industrial incinerators to destroy waste matter of this nature, with the new facilities to be located near the Seventh Ring Road. Al-Athari explained that the gas emissions from the existing and future incinerator’s facilities are “completely under control,” explaining that tests for the presence of possible noxious gases, including dioxin and furan, are carried out regularly as per World Health Organization regulations. Al-Athari further explained that all medical waste materials, confiscated drugs and other items destined for incineration, are first transferred to the current incinerator facilities in AlShuaibah in special vehicles. Once there, they are transferred to special hydraulic equipment which feed the incinerators with approximately 50 kilograms of waste per hour. The temperature of the incinerators can be raised to up to 1400 degrees centigrade to ensure that all toxic waste matter is reduced to ash, Al-Athari revealed.

Timss and Pirls tests underway KUWAIT: The 2011 international Timss and Pirls tests will be held at public schools around Kuwait, Dr Redha Al-Khayyat Director of the National Center for Educational Development and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Education. In a statement made to the press, Dr Al-Khayyat indicated that an experiential 2011 Timss test will be carried out for fourth grade students in Kuwait starting today, reported Al-Rai. The official tests will be conducted next April. The test evaluates students’ skills in reading, mathematics and science.




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Japanese govt extols instructions of Amir for aiding quake victims No reports of injuries among Kuwaiti citizens TOKYO: Japanese government hailed yesterday His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s orders for sending urgent relief aid to quake-hit areas in Japan via the Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society. Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi said that the Japanese government welcomed HH the Amir’s initiative which is meant to alleviating the sufferings of victims. A 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit the northeast and eastern part of Japan on Friday, triggering a tsunami that left over 1.400 people are either dead or missing and thousands others injured.

KUWAIT: Group photo of the participants of the workshop with Rene Camilleri (middle).

Starwood Hotels and resorts holds ninth road show By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Starwood Hotels and Resorts held its ninth annual Middle East Road show on Wednesday evening at the Sheraton Hotel, Kuwait. The global hotel group operates the St Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element brands. Running from March 5 to 10, the road show visited Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Doha and Kuwait. Global representatives from across the company hosted a series of industry workshops and met with travel experts from across the region. Sessions were led by experts from Starwood properties worldwide, and provided an opportunity for regional travel industry leaders to learn more about Starwood’s brands, properties, products, and offers, as well as discuss the latest industry developments and trends impacting the region. Guido De Wilde, Vice President and Regional Director for Starwood Hotels and 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 road show.” The road show is an extremely important event in the Starwood calendar, “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 discuss those issues that matter most to the travel industry in the region,” he added. The Middle East region is a vital outbound market, “During our tour across these five GCC cities, Starwood delegates - who represent more than 30 hotels from 20 countries around the world - had the chance to discuss their products and offers for 2011 with more than 2,000 leading customers,” stated Rene Camilleri, Director of Global Sales for Starwood Hotels and Resorts in the Middle East. The evening concluded with a

Meanwhile, Al-Otaibi pointed out that he has contacted Kuwaiti residents in Japan following the quake to make sure they are safe and provided them with the instructions about what to do in emergencies. Al-Otaibi said there were no reports of injuries among Kuwaiti citizens in Japan so far. “ We have not received any reports of injuries among Kuwaiti citizens in Japan, including students, and I hope they are all safe and in good health,” Al-Otaibi said, adding that all Kuwaiti diplomats are safe. The ambassador said Kuwaiti citizens traveling in Japan are strongly encouraged to notify the embassy their whereabouts and contact numbers through the following phone numbers: 0081 224550361, 0081 334550362 and 0081 224550363 or the e-mail ( He pointed out that the embassy has posted on its website important information to help restore

contact between separated family members who were affected by earthquake. Meanwhile, Kuwait ’s Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah affirmed in Washington yesterday that the Embassy in Washington along with the Consulate General of Kuwait in Los Angeles are exer ting the required efforts to ensure the safety of the Kuwaiti students as tsunami triggered by the devastating earthquake that hit in Japan reaches the US West Coast. The Ambassador said that the Embassy and Consulate General in LA, in addition to the cultural office and the National Union of Kuwaiti Students - USA Branch (NUKS) — are in constant contact and coordination to confront any emergency that might occur. The Ambassador re-assured the families of the students that they are well and that the Embassy and Consulate General are exerting all efforts for the safety of the students, “especially that the instruc-

tions received from the Kuwaiti political leadership is to carry out all that is necessary” for the safety of our students. Sheikh Salem urged the students to call the Consulate and cultural office in LA if they feel endangered or need any help, calling on them as well to follow the instructions of the American local authorities. California and other U.S. West Coast states were awaiting the arrival of tsunami waves, where thousands of residents along the West Coast were asked to evacuate, including those along the coast in Santa Barbara County, California; Grays Harbor County, Washington state; and Seaside, Oregon. Evacuations were also being considered for the San Francisco Bay Area. Earlier Friday, waves crashing ashore were “larger than normal” in California, reaching over six feet, but only the town of Crescent City and Santa Cruz south of San Francisco suffered some real damage, according to reports. —KUNA

Urgent Arab medical aid to Libyan people KUWAIT: Caroline Al-Zahar and Amani Shokor from Sheraton Kuwait.

KUWAIT: Part of the workshop. —Photos by Joseph Shagra raffle draw for valuable prizes. It included airline tickets to Germany, France and Monaco, and a stay in different hotels in various cities. Starwood Hotels and 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 percent. 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. Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Worldwide, Inc is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,025 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit

Behbehani, Al-Qanaei and Gillett pose in a group photo with participants.

KJA concludes photography course KUWAIT: The Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) recently concluded a press photography workshop that was held under the patronage of Chairman Ahmad Behbehani. During the event, at least 27 photographers working for local newspapers attended a lecture delivered by international photographer Mark Gillett. In a press statement made following the event, Behbehani said that the workshop was aimed at improving the skills of photographers employed with local dailies. In the meantime, KJA Secretary General Faisal Al-Qanaei acknowledged Behbehani’s efforts to sponsor the course.

BEIRUT: Arab Health Ministers Council called yesterday to follow up executive health-related decisions of the Arab Economic, Development and Social Summit and present a report on achieved progress for the next summit, which would be held in Saudi Arabia in 2013. The Council’s 35th ordinary session which was held in Beirut from March 9 to 11, issued recommendations requesting its members, concerned organizations, Arab civil community institutes to continue offering urgent medical aid to the Libyan people due to the ongoing violence. It also asked the Arab Fund for Health Development to offer a $100,000 financial support to provide for the needed medical equipments and supplies in Libya. The Council has also decided to give financial aid worth of $100,000 the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Moreover, it encouraged the council’s members to participate in the Saudi project of building pharmaceutical factories. It encouraged Arab States to work on the production of serums and vaccines, according to terms and conditions followed by World Health Organization, to provide for the Arab countries need of these vaccines. Furthermore, the council recommended the adaptation the 2011-2016 strategic plan for developing primary health care and family medicine in the Arab countries. The council welcomed Kuwait for hosting the next health technical consultation meeting as well as thanking Jordan for hosting the Arab Hospitals Union Forum which was held in the second week of March of 2010. —KUNA



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LOCAL Kuwait to enhance educational cooperation with Britain

Kuwait Digest

HONG KONG: The visiting Kuwaiti Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Moudhi Al-Humoud discussed on means of enhancing higher educational cooperation with the British Minister of State for Universities and Science Hon David. Al-Humoud said yesterday, after meeting her British counterpart, on the sideline of the International Education Conference, that “the meeting focused on discussing bilateral ties between Britain and Kuwait, especially the issues of universities’ levels, academic acceptance as well as the opportunities of providing scholarships for Kuwaiti students to British universities.” She added that the meeting touched on the opportunity of opening new university majors and securing more college seats for Kuwaiti students, as well as maintaining the academic level of students enrolled in engineering, medicine and various other majors. There are more than 40 British universities accredited by Kuwait’s Higher Education and about 4,000 students enrolled in them, Al-Humoud pointed out. She further noted that she follows up on Kuwaiti students’ situation in the UK by visiting the Cultural Office there every year. United Kingdom takes second place, after the United States, as destination for abroad learning. — KUNA

Fake degrees, Appointments By Dr Mohammad Al-Muqatea


hree events took place recently at the international and Arab level, which I believe is wor th being compared to phenomenal issues. The first event is the resignation of Germany’s defense minister over the discovery that his doctorate thesis was forged, resulting in his PhD degree being stripped. Secondly, an investigation was opened about a case where former French president Jacques Chirac benefitted from ‘fake’ appointments that were made during his tenure as mayor of Paris. The third event concerns the ouster of Arab countries’ tyrannical leaders. The third case shares one same main aspect, which is the unreality factor, found in local issues that I would like to compare these cases with. The existence of fake degrees or scientific researches is commonly acknowledged. People are aware of several suspicious cases about PhD or other academic degree holders who have received certificates from universities abroad. Holders of fake certificates can be easily identified, especially by noticing their lack of contribution or basic ability to discuss matters that deal with their field of specialty. These people face the same fate as the German defense minister. In the second case that deals with undeserving appointments, we find that there are a lot of parliament members who are suspected of contributing to people appointed in public position. They may be granted with privileges such as overseas trips for treatment without actually suffering from a medical condition. The volume of corruption that can be found for a special tribune that singlehandedly address violations committed by some MPs in comparison with some ministers and senior officials. In the third case, senior figures in Arab countries are seen either resigning or getting sacked in an attempt to assuage public anger. Those actions however are considered ‘fake’ or futile. That is because while the figures have changed, the corrupt manner in which the state is run remains the same. The only way a true change can be achieved is by changing the approach of running the state, by getting rid of corruption and adopting reform.—Al-Qabas

Toddler chokes to death after swallowing a toy Hand grenade found in luggage KUWAIT: A three-year-old boy choked to death after swallowing a toy whilst playing in his parents’ home in Mubarak Al-Kabeer. The toddler was reportedly playing in the living room of the home when his parents, who were in another room, heard him let out a loud cry. They rushed into the room, but found him lying motionless on the floor, unable to breathe. Despite rushing the child to Adan Hospital, medical staff there pronounced him dead on arrival, reported Al-Rai. Initial investigations indicate that choking on the small object he swallowed was the cause of death, and the body was removed for autopsy. An investigation has been opened into the sad case. Explosive found A US soldier was taken into custody after customs officers at Kuwait International Airport recovered a live hand grenade from his luggage. The serviceman, who was in transit between Afghanistan and Germany, was preparing to board the plane for the second leg of his journey when the scanner alerted customs staff on the presence of the explosive device in his

suitcase. The soldier was taken to Jleeb AlShuyoukh police station for questioning, reported Al-Watan. Murder threat A Ministry of Defense (MoD) captain has brought charges against a former serviceman, accusing the man of sending him threatening and abusive text messages after he dismissed the man from a military training course. The complainant told officers at Roudha police station that he was in his home in the area when he received a text message reading, “I will kill you and rip you into pieces,” from the servicemen he had previously dismissed from the training course for insubordination. Child molesting Police are hunting for a mathematics teacher who has been accused of sexually molesting an 11-year-old female pupil who he was supposed to be providing with remedial one-to-one tuition. The girl, who fled from the teacher after he began touching her inappropriately, subsequently told her father what had taken place, with the

enraged parent immediately telling officers at Al-Roudha police station about the teacher’s actions. Police are coordinating with the charity which organized the tuition classes to apprehend the accused man. Bootleggers busted Khaitan police arrested an Indian bootlegger, after catching him red handed whilst he was selling liquor in an open area there. The officers caught the man after going to investigate a sizeable crowd gathering in the area, finding that they were all there to buy the illicit hooch. On seeing the police approaching, reported Al-Watan, the would-be customers fled, with the officers recovering 72 bottles of homemade liquor from the bootlegger. He was taken into custody. Meanwhile, a Sri Lankan woman was arrested at an apartment in Mahboula, which she had turned into a home distillery from which she was doing a busy trade in selling the illegal booze she produced. Police raided the apartment after receiving a tip-off from an informant telling them about the woman’s activities. The woman

was caught red-handed selling three bottles of the home-produced moonshine, and police recovered a further eight barrels of it from the flat. She is currently in custody awaiting trial. Drugs busts An Egyptian man who was pulled over by traffic police in Mangaf during a routine patrol was arrested after officers found eight narcotic tablets in his car, reported AlWatan. He was referred to the General Department for Drug Control. Meanwhile, patrol officers on King Fahad Road arrested a Pakistani man after finding nine narcotic tablets and a quantity of hashish when they searched his car after pulling it over. Gunfire report Jahra police are investigating a possible shooting in the area after a local resident reported hearing gunfire there one night last week, reported Al-Watan. The alarmed caller insisted he had heard gunfire from what sounded like an AK47 automatic rifle, although police have so far not found any evidence to substantiate his concerns.

Ice Skating Rink’s main hall reopens

KUWAIT: Paramedical staff and police officers rushed to an accident scene where two vehicles had collided into each other at a cross roads between Al-Andalus and Al-Firdous. Casualties as well as material damage was reported. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KUWAIT: The Ice Skating Rink’s main hall will be reopened today, March 13, following the end of maintenance operations. Jassem AlShumais, Director of the Parks and Ice Skating Rink Department of the Touristic Enterprises Company made the announcement in a press statement. The facility’s minor hall had previously been reopened on March 9, 2011 after it Jassem Al-Shumais was closed for a short while. The Ice Skating Rink welcomes visitors in seven separate sessions starting 8:30 am and ending at 10pm. On Tuesdays, the 6:30 pm to 10 pm has been reserved for female visitors. The facility also offers training courses for children and adults.

Kuwaiti team removes tumor in liver through laparoscopic surgery KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti medical team, from the Amiri Hospital, conducted yesterday an exceptional surgical procedure of which they used speculum to remove the left part of a Kuwaiti woman’s liver. Consultant at the Liver and Pancreas Surgical Unit Dr. Hani Haider said the left liver of the patient, who is in her seventies, had a big tumor in the bile ducts. The procedure did not require the need for blood transfusion, he noted, adding that the removed portion of the liver was extracted through a small abdominal incision. Dr Haider pointed out that the laparoscopic surgery contributed to the fast recovery of the patient and lessened the need for any painkillers. The success of this surgery came as a result of the cooperative and supportive efforts of medical teams from the various departments of the Amiri Hospital, who held joint meetings to discuss such cases on a weekly basis before surgeries, in order to decided the best medical approach for each case, he noted.

Dr. Hani Haider He went on lauding the Ministry of Health’s policy, headed by Minister Dr. Helal Al-Sayer, which gave specialized young Kuwaiti doctors a chance to prove their competence and sent them to international medical centers abroad for training. This policy contributed to the elevation of local medical standards and lessened the need to send patients

abroad to receive treatments, thus reduced the government’s expenses in this arena. The Liver and Pancreas Surgical Unit was established in 2010 by a ministerial degree and encouraged by head of surgical units Dr Taleb Jomah. The unit consists of a number of specialized Kuwaiti doctors who have conducted many critical surgeries of removing tumors from livers, pancreas and bile ducts. —KUNA

International SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

In birthplace of Arab uprising, discontent lingers Page 8

Desperation, panic grip Japan after nuke emergency Page 10

Germany warns against ‘crusade’ perception GODOLLO: German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said yesterday that military intervention in Libya might be seen as a Western crusade, as EU states discussed imposing a possible no-fly zone. “It is crucial not to give the impression that this is a conflict between the West and the Arab world, of a Christian crusade against people of the Muslim faith,” Westerwelle told journalists on the margins of an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers outside Budapest.EU countries have been debating the need for a no-fly zone in Libya to protect the population from being attacked by Kadhafi’s forces, in various meetings over the past two days. Britain and France have been pushing for a no-fly zone, but in a final statement following an emergency meeting in Brussels on Friday, EU states made no mention of such a move, although they acknowledged the need to eye “all necessary options” to protect civilians. Westerwelle also insisted yesterday on the need to hold talks with southern Mediterranean countries, to avoid endangering the democratic process evolving in Libya’s neighbors, Egypt and Tunisia. “(If ) the freedom movement in the entire Arabic world collapses, succumbs, because there is the impression that this is an intervention by the West and not a freedom movement, then we will be doing the democrats a disservice and that I want to avoid at all costs,” he said. Foreign ministers from the European Union’s 27 member states were meeting in Godollo yesterday just as the Arab League, whose green light is seen as key for a nofly zone, convened in Cairo. Many European states have also been calling for a resolution by the UN Security Council as as “legal framework” authorizing an air-exclusion zone, which has also been described as a military intervention. — AFP

DESERT: Anti-Gaddafi rebel vehicles drive back from the front line at a desert road between Agela and Ras Lanouf towns yesterday. (Right) A pro-Gaddafi soldier smokes a cigarette on the top of a tank on the main square of Zawiya. — AP

‘Day of Rage turns Day of Allegiance’ Saudis crave change but wary of revolts WASHINGTON: Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has called the protests in the oil giant a “tempest in a teacup,” saying instead of it being a “day of rage” people were demonstrating their love for the king. A day after police fired on marchers to break up a demonstration in the eastern city of Al-Qateef, Alwaleed told the US CNBC television that the country was nothing like Libya or Egypt, and the government had strong support of its people. Alwaleed said nobody showed up after midday prayers in Riyadh Friday for a “day of rage” demonstration calling for democracy and rights called for in an anonymously-launched Internet campaign. With a heavy police presence on the streets of the Saudi capital, “I didn’t find a single human being there after the prayer,” he said. “In a nutshell, this whole thing was a tempest in a teacup.” “You should call it day of allegiance, of love for the King Abdullah,” said Alwaleed, a nephew of the king and an investment tycoon with a fortune pegged at $20 billion. “Today in the street, people had their flags up, they were just embracing themselves, and they were saying we will not tolerate and accept any demonstrations here.” According to other reports, rights activists stayed home Friday after police boosted patrols and monitoring in Riyadh and Jeddah. But scores of protestors were on the streets for a second day in Al-Qateef, a Shiite stronghold in the predominantly Sunni country. On Thursday an estimated 700-800 Shiite protesters marched in the city to call for the release of arrested activists and for the government to stop repressing their religious practice. Three people were injured in a confrontation in which police fired bullets according to some reports, rubber bullets-and stun grenades at the crowd. But Alwaleed dismissed it as a small misunderstanding involving “40-50 people.” “Authorities talked to them, and dispersed them amicably ...This was not a demonstration,” he said. Alwaleed, who was ranked number 26 on the Forbes list of billionaires this week with a fortune put at $19.6 billion, is the largest single shareholder in Citigroup and controls stakes in large groups like Apple and Newscorp through his tightly-held Kingdom Holdings group. He is also a confidant of the king-the half brother of Alwaleed’s father and, in the context of the kingdom’s ultrastrict Islamic laws and traditions, a social progressive. He said the king is moving to address some of the country’s problems, but did not mention political reform of the absolute monarchy. “Sure enough, we would like to make many changes internally,” he said. “King Abdullah is a reformer... it’s an ongoing process. Each country has to advance and go at its own speed. “Saudi Arabia is no Egypt, and no Libya, and no Tunisia, period.” The Saudi people hunger for deep political and economic reform but the failure of a “Day of Rage” called by cyber activists showed they

CAIRO: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud AlFaisal attends an extraordinary Arab League meeting to discuss a response to the crisis in Libya yesterday. — AFP are not ready to revolt, analysts said. There were no reports of unrest in the kingdom on Friday as security forces launched a massive clampdown to deter demonstrators from answering a Facebook call to take to the streets. “I think the Saudi people are prepared for change but not ready to revolt. This explains why calls for protests miserably failed,” human rights activist Fuad Al-Farhan said. Rallies to press for democratic reform in the oil-rich absolute monarchy were supposed to start after Muslim weekly prayers on Friday but the mosques emptied with no signs of unrest, only a menacing security presence. However, tensions were high in the Eastern Province city of Al-Qateef, where three Shiite protesters were shot and wounded by police dispersing a demonstration late Thursday. A small demonstration calling for reforms and the release of Shiite prisoners also took place on Friday, a witness said, but there were no reports of unrest. Farhan expected another call for protests by other online activists to fizz out in similar fashion on March 20. Crude oil futures slumped as traders breathed a sigh of relief that Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, had not been shaken by protests such as those seen in

Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Oman, Bahrain and Libya. Expectations that a massive earthquake in Japan would slash the countr y ’s crude imports also saw New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for April delivery, fall to $99.01 — the lowest level since February 25. Analysts said most of those calling for demonstrations-which are illegal in Saudi Arabia-were based abroad and did not have any local support. The powerful clerics of Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam’s holiest places, also came out strongly against the planned protests, saying they were unjustified under Islam and would only cause chaos. “Local activists have not called for protests nor have they encouraged others to join. A majority of youth did not support the calls,” Farhan said. The head of the Jeddah-based Middle East Legal and Strategic Studies Centre, Anwar Eshki, said the campaign flopped because it lacked domestic impetus and came up against strong opposition from the religious establishment. “Most of the online calls for protests came from various Arab countries and apparently did not have any following in the kingdom and accordingly failed,” Eski said. “A fatwa (religious edict) by the top Saudi clerics also helped keep people indoors.” The Euroasia Group think-tank said in a note on Saudi Arabia that the majority of Saudi opposition figures were not seeking the overthrow of the regime, setting them apart from other Arab countries facing unrest. But Eshki stressed that Riyadh must speed up reforms and understand that no country in the region was immune from change. “We need to accelerate the rhythm of reforms because it should be understood that the aftershocks of the earthquake in the Arab world could reach here if we do not act,” Eshki said. Analysts said unemployment was a key indicator to gauge the pulse of dissent in the kingdom. “When the unemployment rate hits 30 percent and health, housing and other services slide further, it is possible to see people revolting. The pace of reforms is the key to stop that,” Farhan said. The general unemployment rate is 10.5 percent but the rate is as high as 30 percent in the 20-29 age group, according to official figures. The Saudi government is facing the task of finding jobs for over 450,000 unemployed youth and hundreds of thousands more who will enter the labor market in the next few years. Oil wealth is also unequally distributed, consigning around 40 percent of the population to relative poverty. Rising food and other prices have fueled frustration. Stability until now has depended on the monarchy’s ability to cooperate with allied religious clerics, provide economic aid and deploy the security services. In line with the royal family’s long standing practice for keeping its people happy, King Abdullah has decided to release $36 billion in public expenses to ease popular tensions. — Agencies



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In birthplace of Arab uprising, discontent lingers SIDI BOUZID: From this sleepy town in Tunisia, revolution swept across the Arab world. But while one man’s act of defiance and despair has transformed the Middle East, it has changed little in his hometown. Residents of Sidi Bouzid can now express their anger more freely. But they’re still clamoring for jobs and rail against the official chicanery that drove a local fruit vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, to set himself on fire on Dec 17. The desperate act by the high-school dropout set off mass protests that brought down President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in less than a month. The revolt inspired others who toppled autocratic Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, launched an armed rebellion against Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi, and rattled governments in Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere. The protests have common roots: anger against official corruption and political oppression, a “youth bulge” that means economies can’t grow fast enough to provide jobs for all, and

growing expectations of a better life as a result of improved education and widespread Internet and satellite TV access. In Sidi Bouzid, a town of about 70,000 people and the provincial capital of a district of about 410,000 people in the Tunisia’s central plain, disillusionment has largely replaced the euphoria of the uprising. Unemployed young men spend their days playing cards in coffee shops, dreaming of sneaking into Europe. Since the overthrow of Ben Ali, thousands of Tunisians have attempted the dangerous trip across the choppy Mediterranean in old fishing boats. Other job seekers throng the local governor’s office, just yards from where the 26-year-old Bouazizi turned himself into a human torch, to try to press crumpled CVs and college diplomas into the hands of officials across coils of barbed wire. Officials say they had to barricade the compound because they fear angry crowds might try to break

in. But for those waiting outside the gates - some come every day and try for hours to get someone’s attention - the barriers signal that those in charge now are as inaccessible as their predecessors. “I don’t understand why the governor can’t open the door,” said jobseeker Kamal Hamdi, 38, who holds a degree in economics, but has been forced to work as a waiter for the past 11 years because there are no jobs in his field. “Since the revolution, nothing has changed,” said Hamdi, a father of three. “We threw out Ben Ali, that’s all.” Unemployment is perhaps most demoralizing for the young men who spearheaded the street protests after Bouazizi’s selfimmolation and now find themselves back in the coffee shops, smoking and talking about ways to get to Europe. One of them is Ali Chouaibi, 22, who earns a little spending money with odd jobs, such as fixing antennas. “We think that work is dignity. We are people without dignity,” said Chouaibi. “I want to live a normal life ... to marry the woman I

love, because without money, you can’t marry.” Tunisia’s interim government is appealing for patience, saying it needs time to put in place an ambitious economic development plan. Officials promise that remote places like Sidi Bouzid, which saw the earliest and some of the bloodiest protests, will be given priority as part of this plan. However, with Tunisia still trying to find its way after the uprising, it appears unlikely the transition government will get much done. The interim Cabinet has already gone through several shakeups, sporadic street protests in the capital continue, and elections are set for July for a body meant to rewrite the constitution and pave the way for a presidential vote. That leaves not much time to get started on massive job-creation programs. Meanwhile, unemployment is almost certain to rise from the pre-revolt national average of 14 percent because the unrest devastated Tunisia’s tourism industry. —AP

Gates meets Bahrain rulers Police, protesters clash near Bahrain palace

MANAMA: Thousands of Bahraini Shiite antigovernment demonstrators chanted slogans against the king in Manama. — AFP

Brotherhood backs vote on constitution CAIRO: Egypt needs to start functioning again and prevent army rule from dragging on too long, the Muslim Brotherhood said, calling for the swift implementation of constitutional amendments to restart political life. A month after a popular uprising forced President Hosni Mubarak from office, politicians from across the spectrum have begun to debate whether a new constitution is needed to breathe life into political institutions. But the Muslim Brotherhood, who can rally support quickly and would benefit from a quick election, said it would take too long to draw up a new constitution that included all parties’ desires, so amending the current one was the only way forward. “Constitutional amendments are the most suitable, not the most ideal solution for this transitional period that cannot drag for too long,” Brotherhood deputy Khairat Shater said in an interview late on Thursday. The army has dissolved parliament, suspended the constitution and mapped a path to parliamentary and presidential elections within six months. Planned constitutional amendments would include a clause that once elected, a new president would call on parliament to draft a new constitution. The Brotherhood, long suppressed by Mubarak and his state security, plans to be part of this. “We are a segment of Egyptian society and so are others who will join parliament from across the political spectrum. We want the new constitution to reflect all views,” said Shater. Presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei has called for a new constitution instead of temporary amendments and suggested that army hands power to a presidential council that would oversee a new constitution and elections. “A new constitution is most ideal but that will take up to a year,” Shater said. “The country cannot remain without state institutions like parliament and the presidency this long, especially that the army is set to hand power to civilian rule by September.” The Islamist group aims to run for 35-40 percent of the seats in the new parliament in a vote the army scheduled for June, Shater said. The Brotherhood said it would not seek the presidency or a parliamentary majority. Shater reemerged on the political scene earlier this month after serving part of a seven-year prison sentence for allegedly providing military training to university students. Shater denied the charges. “We need to end this transitional period and get political institutions motoring again,” Shater said, who added that the group’s aim in the next stage was to help develop political life through forming coalitions with other opposition parties. “During Mubarak’s era, all parties were under pressure from Safwat Sherif to refuse forming coalitions with us,” said Shater. “But now this is history”. Sherif was the secretart general of Mubarak’s ruling party. With the potential political opening the revolution has brought, the Brotherhood is busy changing and developing its political platform ahead of elections. The Islamist group will announce the program for its “Freedom and Justice Party” within two to three weeks and some high profile Christian figures have expressed interest in joining the Islamist party, said Shater. “Egypt will not return to the days of one-party rule. The Brotherhood will help strengthen other parties. Even if one party is a majority, it should never have a monopoly,” he said. — Reuters

MANAMA: US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is meeting in Bahrain with the kingdom’s top rulers, who are facing growing demands for more political freedom. In yesterday’s meetings, Gates is expected to urge a more open dialogue with political opposition groups, while offering reassurances of US support for the rulers. Gates is the first member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet to visit this tiny Arabian Gulf nation since street protests began in mid-February. Bahrain’s rulers are facing rising conflict between Sunni Muslims who support the ruling system and majority Shiites demanding the Sunnis give up their monopoly on power. The country is of great strategic importance to the United States, whose naval 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain as a bulwark against Iran. Meanwhile, security forces reinforced by pro-government mobs fired rubber bullets and tear gas Friday to scatter protesters near Bahrain’s royal palace, witnesses said, as conflict deepened between Sunni Muslims backing the ruling system and Shiites demanding it give up its monopoly on power. The clashes broke out after an hours-long standoff between tens of thousands of demonstrators facing down lines of riot police and Sunni vigilantes carrying swords, clubs, metals pipes and stones. One protester, Habib Ibreeq, said people used private cars to ferry the injured to hospitals. The latest clash reinforces the sense that nearly a month of protests led by the Shiite majority to demand sweeping political reforms was veering toward sectarian street battles between the divided communities. Shiites, who complain of discrimination, are also increasingly calling for the ouster of the Western-allied Sunni monarchy ruling the small but strategic island

nation that is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, meanwhile, was in Bahrain on a mission to encourage dialogue between the protesters and the country’s monarchy, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters.

and Tunisia. On Thursday, students clashed at a school and Sunni groups burned a Shiiteowned supermarket and threatened other businesses. But Shiite youth groups ignored the appeals to call off the protest near the offices and compounds of

MANAMA: US Defense Secretary Robert Gates (left) meets with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa at Sakhir Palace in Manama yesterday. — AP More than 700 people were treated for breathing problems and other troubles linked to tear gas, hospital officials said. Several others were hit by stones or cut by blades. Some main opposition parties had called for the march to be canceled, fearing Bahrain was moving dangerously close to full-scale sectarian battles after weeks of protests modeled on the uprisings in Egypt

Bahrain’s king and other members of the ruling dynasty that has held power for more than two centuries. The brief - but intense melee began as protesters began to withdraw from a razor wire barrier separating the two sides. Witnesses said some stones were thrown from the pro-government mobs and they began to pour through an opening in the blockade.

Within moments, police had fired tear gas and rubber bullets to drive back the demonstrators, according to Sayed Yousef Al-Mahafdha of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, who witnessed the clash. The use of rubber bullets was also witnessed by two protesters and Dr Ali Al-Iqri, who was part of an ambulance crew treating the wounded. A statement earlier by Bahrain’s Interior Ministry warned against holding the march amid a “level of sectarian tension that threatens Bahrain’s social fabric.” Hours before the clash, pro-government bands attacked several cars trying to reach the area near the royal compounds. Johnny Miller, a British cameraman on assignment for Iran’s state-run Press TV, said dozens of assailants broke the windows of their car and insulted his Bahraini Shiite assistant. Many Shiites in Bahrain claim the pro-government mobs include Sunnis from other Arab states and South Asia who are given citizenship and jobs under a government program to try to offset the Shiites’ demographic advantage. “This is a systematic operation to unleash these thugs to threaten Shiites and act as enforcers for the ruling system,” said a prominent human rights lawyer, Mohamed Al-Tajer. Major Sunni-Shiite clashes occurred during the 1990s and forced Bahrain’s Sunni rulers to introduce political reforms that included an elected parliament. But the island’s Shiites - about 70 percent of the population - still see themselves stuck in a permanent underclass status. They are effectively blackballed from top government or security posts and complain that voting districts are gerrymandered to prevent a Shiite majority in the 40-seat parliament, where the main Shiite bloc took 18 seats in elections last year. —Agencies

Women’s rights at risk in Arab revolts NEW YORK: Women are being shut out of political life in the aftermath of democracy revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. Clinton, speaking at the Women in the World conference in New York, said that the two North African countries had “inspired” with their recent overthrow of decades-old regimes. However, she warned that women, despite taking part in the street protests, now risked a reduction in rights. Clinton is due to travel to Egypt and Tunisia next week. “Unfortunately, in both countries now there is a very real danger that the rights and opportunities of women could be eroded in this transition period,” Clinton said in the speech to the conference. Clinton said that only two women were on Tunisia’s transitional government fewer than the number serving under ousted strongman Ben Ali. “There is even talk of rolling back the country’s historic Personal Status Code that has protected women’s rights for half a century,” Clinton said. “In Egypt, the women who marched for freedom in Tahrir Square are now

shut out of the committees and the councils deciding the shape of Egypt’s new democracy,” Clinton said. “ The Constitutional Committee has not a single woman member. And when women marched on Tuesday to celebrate International Women’s Day in their new democracy, they were met by harassment and abuse. “Now the women of Tunisia and Egypt are working hard to ensure that these developments do not derail the transition to democracy.” Earlier this week Clinton said Washington would push for women to be included in the transition process. “The United States will stand firmly for the proposition that women must be included in whatever process goes forward. No government can succeed if it excludes half of its people from important decisions,” Clinton said. The chief US diplomat said women who took part in mass protests in central Cairo-which forced president Hosni Mubarak to step down last month-”were clearly saying they expected to have a voice and a vote in the future.” “We will certainly be watching and the world will watch,” Clinton said.— AFP

DESERT: Anti-Gaddafi rebel flashes V signs at a desert road between Agela and Ras Lanouf towns yesterday.— AP

SANAA: Anti-government female protesters rally as they call for the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, following clashes with Yemeni police yesterday. — AFP

3 die in renewed Yemeni protests US urges opposition to accept dialogue SANAA: Police killed a boy and wounded hundreds of people in pre-dawn clashes in the Yemeni capital yesterday and a 12-yearold youth died during anti-government demonstrations in the southern city of Mukalla, witnesses said. A man watching protests from his office window in Sanaa was also shot dead by a stray bullet, a security source said. Thousands of protesters have been demanding the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 32-year rule and at least 30 people have lost their lives in weeks of unrest in this poverty-stricken country, a neighbor of oil giant Saudi Arabia. In an upswing in the violence, security forces battled protesters in the capital, Sanaa, early yesterday in an apparent effort to prevent a makeshift camp housing thousands of government opponents from spreading any further. A doctor said a young boy had been fatally shot in the head. “We think around 300 are wounded,” he added. The Interior Ministry accused protesters of opening fire during the fighting and said 161 police were injured. Dozens of demonstrators were apparently overcome by volleys of police teargas, with friends using torn pieces of cardboard to fan them as they lay stretched out on the ground. “The gas used by the police is strange. It causes cramps and a collapse of the nervous

system,” said Bashir al-Kahli, a doctor helping the injured. “Many of those affected come back with complications after receiving first aid.” The Interior Ministry denied using any sort of nerve gas. In Mukall the 12-year-old boy died when police fired live rounds to disperse the crowds, residents said. A wave of protests, inspired by popular revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, has weakened Saleh’s grip on Yemen, but he has steadfastly refused calls for his immediate resignation and the police response to the crisis has become increasingly tough. Opposition to his rule also shows no sign of fading and hundreds of students marched in the southern port city of Aden yesterday in support of the protesters in the capital, residents said. Police shot in the air and used tear gas to disperse the crowd, wounding two protesters, they said. In a separate rally in Aden, hundreds of girls from local schools marched, chanting support for demonstrators in Sanaa. In Taiz, 200 km south of Sanaa, clashes broke out between police and protesters, who set fire to a police car. Clashes between rock-throwing Saleh loyalists and protesters broke out late on Friday in the capital as demonstrators tried to extend the area of the sit-in to make room for new arrivals.—Reuters



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Obama keeps low profile on high profile issues WASHINGTON: Call it an above-the-fray strategy. On hot partisan issues that Democrats and Republicans have found cause to fret about from spending reductions to state labor disputes - President Barack Obama is keeping a low profile. Democrats like Sen Joe Manchin of West Virginia want him more publicly engaged in budget negotiations in Congress while others want him to denounce Republican proposed program cuts. Democrats like Rep Keith Ellison want him to go to Wisconsin to stand in solidarity with public unions fighting to retain their bargaining rights. Some lawmakers in both parties want him to take a greater lead against Libya’s idiosyncratic strongman, Muammar Gaddafi. But the White House sees no upside in outspokenness. “There is a very strong gravitational pull in this town to try to drag the president to every single political skirmish and news story,” said White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer said Obama has enough issues on his agenda and said the White House doesn’t believe the public wants the president weighing in on an array of subjects. “They want him leading the country; they don’t want him serving as a cable commentator for the issue of the day,” he said. In a news conference Friday, Obama defended the role he has played in seeking a compromise on spending cuts in the current federal budget to avoid a government shutdown. But he made it clear that resolving the impasse rests mainly with congressional leaders. “This is an appropriations task,” he said, putting the issue firmly in Congress’

domain. Manchin this week said an agreement could only be reached if Obama led the negotiations. “And, right now - that is not happening,” he said. But Obama pointedly noted that he has spoken to Republican House Speaker John Boehner

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama answers a question during a press conference on the White House complex in Washington. — AP

US approved $40 bn in 2009 private arms sales More than $7 billion arms sales to troubled Mideast WASHINGTON: The US government approved $40 billion in worldwide private arms sales in 2009, including more than $7 billion to Mideast and North African nations that are struggling with political upheaval, the State Department reported. From 2008 to 2009, the US authorized increasing sales of military shipments to the now-toppled Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak and the embattled kingdom of Bahrain. But the US reduced its defense sales approvals in 2009 to Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan government, which is now under a blanket weapons ban imposed last month by the Obama administration. The $40 billion figure during the first year of the Obama administration reflects a rise in total approved arms sales over the final year of the Bush administration in 2008, when the State Depar tment licensed $34.2 billion. The latest figures describe sales of military hardware from missile systems to bullets that the State Department authorizes from private US defense companies to other countries. The figures do not include direct US military aid to other nations, providing a limited snapshot of the ebb and flow of American arms abroad. The figures also detail only proposed sales - not actual shipments. The new numbers issued in a report from State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls indicate that international sales sought by US defense firms have surged in the last two years after holding steady for most of the 2000s in the range of $20 billion. And the report’s details show the willingness of the Obama administration, like preceding White Houses, to sometimes provide military and crowd-control weaponry to regimes with little popular support. “There’s been a general relaxation of restraints on defense trade,” said William D Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation, a

RAS LANOUF: Anti-Gaddafi rebel fires an RPG against pro-Gaddafi warplanes at a desert road yesterday. —AP non-partisan Washington think tank. “There’s a tendency to give industry the benefit of the doubt, instead of being more aggressive in regulating.” Most of the biggest recipients of licensed arms deals in 2009 were US neighbors and allies, among them Japan ($4.5 billion), Britain ($3.4 billion) and South Korea ($1.9 billion). The leader in 2009 was Singapore, with $5.5 billion in approved defense buys - largely because of a proposed $3.7 billion sale of American aircraft, supplies and logistics support. The State Department figures do not describe details of the sale, but Singapore has made repeated buys of US F-15 fighter jets in recent years, totaling 24 jets. The $7.3 billion in USapproved defense sales to Mideast and North African countries in 2009 totaled up to nearly a fifth of the entire $40 billion in licensed sales indications of both the region’s strategic importance and their governments’ willingness to pay top dollar for American defense equipment. Iraq, where US forces are still drawing down and the fledgling government is struggling against militants, was the biggest buyer

($1.51 billion), closely followed by Turkey ($1.50 billion) and the United Arab Emirates ($1.09 billion). US-approved sales to Libya dropped in 2009, to $15 million from $46 million in 2008. All Libyan sales were restricted to non-lethal equipment. Almost all of the equipment approved in 2009 were aircraft parts, compared to more than $1 million that had been approved in 2008 for explosives and incendiary agents. State Department spokesman Mark C Toner said earlier this week that the explosives were limited for use in oil exploration, but other officials raised concerns that the material could be converted into crude battlefield munitions. The AP reported earlier this week that the State Department had also greenlighted a $76.7 million deal in 2009 that would have upgraded at least 50 old US-built armored troop transports for the Libyan army. The deal - not detailed in the latest figures - stalled in Congress, bogged down by concerns that it would improve the mobility of Gadhafi’s forces. Last week, State Department officials notified congressional committees that the deal was now off the table.—AP

Aristide to end 7 years in exile Ousted Haitian President to return within days JOHANNESBURG: Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide will return within days to his homeland, ending seven years in exile, a South African official said. The former slum priest remains hugely popular and his return could disrupt an election this month in his earthquake-ravaged country. In Haiti, an official with Aristide’s Lavalas Party confirmed Friday that his “return is imminent,” but declined to say how or when he’s coming back. “It’s an important event for the people in Haiti because they have waited so long for this,” said Maryse Narcisse, the head of Lavalas’ executive council. “He will not be traveling incognito. People will know he is coming.” The party has been barred from taking part in the vote, and thousands of his supporters marched last month, threatening to disrupt the election if he is not allowed to return. Many said they

and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid “about how they should approach this budget problem.” That doesn’t preclude a White House role, however.

PORT-AU-PRINCE: A woman holds a photo of Haiti’s ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide during a protest in Port-au-Prince. — AP

would boycott the March 20 runoff to a disputed presidential vote because any election excluding Lavalas is not valid. The US has said Aristide’s presence “would prove to be an unfortunate distraction to the people of Haiti,” amid fears it could change the course of the race by causing unrest. On Friday, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said “this is a matter for the government of Haiti.” “The US remains focused on helping ensure a peaceful and democratic transition of power in Haiti, and that the second round of elections, scheduled for March 20, accurately reflect the will of the Haitian people,” he said. A South African Foreign Ministry official told the AP that Aristide would return in the coming days, before March 20. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make the official announcement. —AP

White House officials point to the negotiations in December that produced a deal with McConnell on extending Bush-era tax rates as a template for other deals. But unlike the tax deal, in which both sides got something they wanted, the debate over spending would require both sides to give something up while gaining little. While Democrats have attacked the Republican spending cuts as cruel or heartless, Obama has avoided such loaded language. He has drawn a line at education spending, saying he would not support cuts that reduce money for schools or college tuition. “What I’ve done is, every day I talk to my team,” the president said, responding directly to criticism that he has been absent from the debate. “I give them instructions in terms of how they can participate in the negotiations, indicate what’s acceptable, indicate what’s not acceptable.” On the Wisconsin labor dispute, Obama initially appeared to be stepping into that fight when he told a Milwaukee television station that Gov Scott Walker’s effort to make it harder for public employees to engage in collective bargaining “seems like more of an assault on unions.” Around the same time, his political arm at the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America, coordinated with unions that were mobilizing demonstrators. But the DNC has played down its role, and Obama has left most of the criticism to his spokesman, Jay Carney. This week, the Wisconsin’s legislature passed the collective bargaining restrictions and Walker signed the law Friday. —AP

Nigeria seizes truck carrying bomb-making equipments JOS: Security forces in the central Nigerian city of Jos have seized a truck laden with bomb-making equipment, less than three months after explosions tore through Christmas Eve celebrations. Sectarian violence in the region, where the mostly Muslim north meets the largely Christian south, has killed at least 200 people since the December attacks and the security forces are on high alert ahead of national elections next month. Charles Ekeocha, spokesman for a joint military and police taskforce, said the truck was carrying a large amount of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer which can be used to make improvised explosive devices, as well as fuses and detonators. “The vehicle was intercepted at our checkpoint coming from (the northern city of ) Kaduna to Jos very late in the night,” Ekeocha told reporters. The tensions around Jos are rooted in

decades of resentment between indigenous groups, mostly Christian or animist, and settlers from the Muslim north who are vying with them for control of fertile farmland and economic and political power. Plateau state, of which Jos is the capital, is seen as a potential flashpoint, a few weeks before presidential, parliamentary and state governorship elections. Previous polls in Africa’s most populous nation have been marred by local violence but the use of bombs and other explosives is a new development. Three people were killed and 21 injured by an explosive device thrown from a car at a ruling party election rally in the town of Suleja near the capital Abuja last week. There have also been fire bomb attacks on opposition party offices and campaign rallies in Bayelsa state in the southern oil-producing Niger Delta. —Reuters



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Nuke emergency: Desperation, panic grip Japan Quake survivors spell SOS on building, wait for rescue FUKUSHIMA: Survivors of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami huddled in shelters and hoarded supplies on Saturday as rescue workers searched a mangled coastline of submerged homes, cars and stranded boats. Aerial footage showed buildings and trains strewn like children’s toys after powerful walls of seawater swamped areas around the city of Sendai, about 130 km from the epicenter of the earthquake and among the worst-hit areas. “Ever ything is so hard now,” said Kumi Onodera, a 34-year-old dental technician in Sendai, who says her ordeal the night before was “like a scene from a disaster movie”. “The road was moving up and down like a wave. Things were on fire and it was snowing,” she said. “You really come to appreciate what you have in your everyday life.” Adding to the panic, radiation leaked from an unstable nuclear reactor in Fukushima prefecture, near Sendai, a port of 1 million people known as the “City of Trees” and cradled by dormant volcanoes. In districts around Fukushima, survivors lined up for drinking water in town centres, filling teapots and plastic containers, while Japan’s Self-Defense Force officers searched for missing people. In Iwanuma, not far from Sendai, people spelled SOS on the roof of a partially submerged hospital, one of many desperate scenes. Hundreds of fishing vessels, many upturned, stood stranded in fields, pummeled by the 10-metre tsunami. Tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate, many seeking refuge in shelters, wrapped in blankets, some clutching each other sobbing. At least 1,300 people were killed by the earthquake, the world’s fifth most powerful in the past century. Off Japan’s northeastern coast, an oil tanker lay eerily stranded in shallow water. Inland, in Sendai, a black minivan perched perilously on a metal post. Power and cellphones remained down for much of the region. In Mito, another town in the area, long lines formed outside a damaged supermarket as hundreds waited for medicine, water and other supplies. Supplies ran low as people stocked up, not knowing how long it would take for fresh goods to arrive. “All the shops are closed, this is one of the few still open. So I came to buy and stock up on diapers, drinking water and food,” Kunio Iwatsuki, 68 said. In the nearby town of Oarai, sur vivors crammed into a school gymnasium turned into a shelter. In Tokyo, where many have long feared the prospect of another monster earthquake of the scale that killed about 140,000 people in 1923, residents struggled to come to terms with damage inflicted on the country and their city. Some were relieved the damage in the capital was not greater, but many remained panic-stricken about the continuing chaos elsewhere, especially as radiation leaked from the nuclear reactor in Fukushima prefecture. “People make manuals for earthquakes, but when the earthquake actually happens, can you actually follow the manual?” said 60-year-old officer worker Kiyoshi Kanazawa. “Everyone runs away when things are shaking, and they ask you to stop the gas and fire in your house, but you do not have enough space for this in your brain.”—Reuters

MIYAGO: Vehicles are piled up in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture yesterday, a day after a strong earthquake-triggered devastating tsunami hit Japan’s east coast. —AP

Japan’s tsunami grazes Americas

MIYAGI: Gas storage facilities burn in Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture yesterday after Japan’s biggest recorded earthquake slammed into its eastern coast. —AP

California surfers chill despite killer tsunami MALIBU: Friday’s tsunami may have killed hundreds in Japan and caused havoc in northern California, but further south in Malibu, surfers were philosophical-and still taking to their boards. “We wanted to say we were in a tsunami,” said Julie Gandolfo, a nanny and disc jockey who spent two hours in the surf and caught 10 waves on her long board, even as the tidal waves washed ashore on the US West Coast. “We’re all part of the ocean. I just wanted to send some love to my brothers and sisters in Japan,” added the tattooed 31-year-old. The southern Californian coastline was markedly less hard hit by the tsunami than further north, where boats were damaged in Santa Cruz and Crescent City and one man swept out to sea. In Malibu, a surfers’ paradise less than an hour’s drive up the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles, the sea surface was perfectly calm, with small curls on waves under an almost cloud-free sky. “There’s nothing,” said Paul Harman, a 42-year-old sales executive taking the morning off from his clothing company in nearby Culver City. “Even with the tsunami, there’s nothing... Now we are desperate.” Fellow surfer, Ernie McCoy, a 73-yearold retired utility company manager

from Van Nuys, CA, was hoping for bigger waves, but would not want to be caught in a tsunami. “It’s not a wave, it’s a

surge,” McCoy said. “You wouldn’t want to be in that.” A lone, bare-chested life guard stood near a Malibu bluff as he

PUERTO SAN JOSE: Esperanza Albizurez holds her granddaughter inside the ocean in Puerto San Jose, Guatemala. All Latin American countries with a Pacific coast area are following precautions due to an alert of tsunami after a magnitude-8.9 earthquake hit Japan Friday. —AP

surveyed the half-dozen surfers calmly sitting on their surfboards in the flat water below his vantage point. The official request for people to keep out of the sea seemed to have had no effect-even though a few hundred miles further north, one man was swept out to sea while trying to take pictures of the incoming tsunami. Along the Pacific Coast Highway tourists stopped and parked to watch the tsunami-free beach. “Just enjoying the moment,” said Oliver Fyfe of Montreal, Canada. Gandolfo, with classic California laidback surfer-girl charm, explained that about 10 of her fellow surfers were texting each other Thursday night excited about the tsunami’s impact to make great California waves. After about two hours in the water, Gandolfo said the waves were just, “beautiful, gentle water.” Her surf pal, software engineer manager Rich Yaker, was less diplomatic about the unimpressive surfing conditions. “I’ve been out here on days with much bigger currents than today,” Yaker said. By noon Friday, the scent of marijuana could be smelled near one Malibu headland, as at least one beach fan drifted happily into the afternoon, the sparkling ocean spread out before him. —AFP

SAN FRANCISCO: Tsunamis triggered by Japan’s devastating earthquake that prompted thousands to flee the Pacific coast of North and South America caused flooding as far away as Chile yesterday, but damage was limited. The tsunami lost much of its energy as it moved thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean, although governments took no chances and ordered large-scale evacuations of coastal areas, ports and refineries. Despite the power of Japan’s biggest-ever quake that killed at least 1,300 people, the tsunami waves were relatively benign as they rolled into the Americas, causing only isolated flooding, and fears of a catastrophe proved unfounded. The tsunami swept past Chile’s remote Easter Island in the South Pacific, generating swells but no major waves, and there was little impact when they made landfall on Chile’s coast. But the sea later flooded as far as 330 feet inland in Dichato and Talcahuano, some 310 miles south of the capital Santiago and near the epicenter of the massive 8.8 magnitude quake that struck Chile in February 2010. “We call on people to stay on high ground and keep away from coastal areas,” Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter said. “There have been a series of (flooding) incidents along the coast.” Strong waves also lashed northern Chile, but the government had lifted a tsunami warning for Easter Island, he said. Ecuador ’s Galapagos Islands, a wildlife sanctuary and popular tourist spot, suffered some damage to infrastructure, and several harbors in California were hit. Peru, which evacuated thousands, was largely unaffected. About 35 boats and most of the harbor docks were damaged in Crescent City near the California border with Oregon, where waves were more than 6 feet. Santa Cruz south of San Francisco sustained about $2 million in damages to docks and vessels, emergency management officials said. Rescue services were searching for a 25-year-old man who was swept out to sea while standing on a sandbar at the mouth of the Klamath River in California. The port of BrookingsHarbor, the busiest recreation port on the Oregon coast, was largely destroyed, said operations manager Chris Cantwell. “Right now we are in the middle of a big mess,” he said. “The surge pulled some (boats) out to sea, about a dozen sank and we’ve got boats everywhere sitting on top of one another and all over the place.” In Hawaii, 3,800 miles from Japan, the main airports on at least three of the major islands-Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii-were shut down as a precaution on Friday, when the US Navy ordered all warships in Pearl Harbor to remain in port to support rescue missions as needed. No injuries or property damage were reported after a series of four tsunami waves hit the Hawaiian island of Oahu, said John Cummings, a spokesman for emergency management in Honolulu. The tsunami warning for Hawaii was later lifted. Ecuador took extreme precautions after President Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency across the Andean nation on national television and urged residents to move inland. Oil firm Petroecuador also halted production, but navy officials said on Friday night that the risk of danger had passed. Many ports along Mexico’s western coast closed, including Los Cabos and Salina Cruz in southern Oaxaca, the only oil-exporting terminal on the country’s Pacific side. Mexican officials said high waves had hit the northwestern Pacific coast but there were no reports of damage. Authorities in Canada’s British Columbia advised residents to evacuate marinas, beaches and low-lying areas. Officials there said the waves were minimal.—Reuters

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


Pakistan Christian village sees rising tensions KHUSHPUR: In the Pakistani Christian hamlet that buried its most famous resident last weekthe assassinated minister for minorities-locals say religious tolerance is giving way to rising tensions. Khushpur village has been a base for the struggle against religious suppression for more than a century and remains a rare example of Muslims and Christians in rural Pakistan living harmoniously alongside one another. But since the killings this year of two senior politicians who spoke out against strict Islamic blasphemy laws, the tiny Christian community that forms part of the country’s three percent non-Muslim population is feeling increasingly insecure. “My best friend Aamir is Muslim. We studied and played together, he even goes with me to the church. But now we are scared of this increasing tension. It is killing both communities,” said 22-year-old villager Shahid Samuel. Minority affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, an outspoken campaigner against Pakistan’s Islamic blasphemy laws that carry the death penalty, was killed by Taleban militants as he left his family home in Islamabad last week. For his funeral black flags flew atop the mud and brick houses of Khushpur, his home village, in which 150 Muslims form the minority among the 5,000-strong Christian population. Controversy over the blasphemy law, which punishes inflammatory comments on the Prophet Muhammad, flared late last year over the case of a poor Punjabi Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, who was sentenced to death over the charge.

Bibi’s defenders say that like many other victims of the law, she was wrongly prosecuted because of a petty village dispute. Bhatti defended Bibi, just like Punjab provincial governor Salman Taseer who was assassinated for the same reason in January by one of his own bodyguards. Taseer’s killer has since been feted by legions of fans-their loud defense of the blasphemy law underscoring rising religious feeling across the country. “This is personal enmity which is being settled under the blasphemy law and it is increasing now,” said 65-year-old villager Emmanuel, wearing a blue turban and holding a hookah waterpipe. “We Christians and Muslims never thought in the past that these things would create distance between us. This has really increased tension among the communities which is not good for the country and our society.” Muhammad Ghufran Arshad, a Muslim man from Khushpur who dug the graves for Bhatti and the rest of his family, said that until the minister’s death he had never heard of Bibi. “We are living together in this village since childhood. We respect them and help them in all affairs of life,” he said. Muddy trails bogged with stinking irrigation water and lined with fields where farmers with bull carts harvest wheat and sugar-cane, abruptly end at an intricate colonial red-brick church and missionary school building. Founded during British rule in 1903 by a Roman Catholic priest, the village has long fought for religious freedoms. Unlike most

Thailand ‘red shirts’ mark versary of chaotic protest BANGKOK: At least 20,000 “red shirt” protesters massed in Bangkok yesterday to mark the anniversary of a 10week rally that plunged Thailand into prolonged violence and political chaos last year. The protest was one of the biggest since clashes between troops and demonstrators in April and May that killed 91 people, wounded more than 1,800 and sparked widespread arson and rioting in Bangkok and several rural provinces. The red shirts said they would continue their regular rallies, despite Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s announcement on Friday that an election-their key demand last yearwould be held by the first week of July, after parliamentary dissolution in early May. “As long as there is no democracy, our people will have to keep moving for ward,” Jatuporn Prompan, a red shirt leader, told Reuters, adding more rallies would be held on March 19 and April 10. Police estimated at least 22,000 people had joined the rally by early evening. More were expected to arrive later to mark the beginning of a protest last year that shut down swathes of Bangkok’s commercial heart and drew 150,000 people at its peak. The red shirts say justice and democracy remain elusive in Thailand and are demanding the release of more than 100 demonstrators held in jails across the country and a transparent investigation into the deaths of protesters. They have promised to honor the result of the election, regardless of who wins, if the vote is fair. The polls are expected to be a close race between the ruling Democrats and the opposition Puea Thai, and analysts say there is a possibility the outcome will be rejected by supporters of both parties, leaving considerable scope for more instability. The poll will be his first test of popular support

after Abhisit’s coalition government came to power in late 2008 in a parliamentary vote the opposition says was influenced heavily by the military. Many opposition figures believe the army top brass might try to intervene in the formation of another coalition, or even stage a coup to prevent Puea Thai, a party allied with the red shirts and ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, from taking power. A Puea Thai win is seen as a less favorable outcome for investors because of the intense opposition to Thaksin among the army top brass, influential conservatives and “yellow shirt” nationalists. Another proxy of Thaksin could face a rocky time in office. Economists say a maintenance of the status quo would bode better for political stability and policy continuity, and allow spending plans and infrastructure projects-often scrapped or delayed when governments change-to go ahead. The red shirts gathered yesterday in Bangkok’s old quarter near to where 25 people, mostly protesters, were killed and hundreds wounded on April 10 in a botched attempt by the military to evict them. Hiro Muramoto, a 43-year-old Japanese cameraman working for Reuters, was among those killed. The incident remains shrouded in mystery and the military insists it was not responsible for any of the deaths or injuries, a claim most independent observers say is highly implausible. A small group of yellow-shirts, a movement that helped undermine two Thaksin-backed governments and once supported Abhisit, continued its prolonged sit-in yesterday to protest the government’s handling of a border dispute with Cambodia. They said their rally would continue, regardless of the election. — Reuters

BANGKOK: Red Shirts protesters cheer to a speech during a rally at the Democracy Monument yesterday. — AP

UN and Afghans oppose Buddha reconstruction UNITED NATIONS: The UN culture agency and the Afghan government are against the reconstruction of one of two giant 1,500-year-old Buddha statues dynamited by the Taleban in central Afghanistan 10 years ago at this time, the agency’s assistant chief said. UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture Francesco Bandarin said the agency has asked for a feasibility study for reconstructing the smaller Buddha, which several German scientists have been promoting and will carry out. But Bandarin told a briefing Thursday that the study “doesn’t change our posi-

tion on the reconstruction, which we think is not feasible” and would unnecessarily divert resources from other priorities at the UNESCO world heritage site in the Bamiyan Valley. The two statues, standing 54 meters and 38 meters tall, were chiseled about 400 meters apart into a cliff face teeming with cave shrines and paintings about 1,500 years ago when Bamiyan was a major Buddhist center. The Taleban dynamited the giant Buddhas in March 2001, deeming them idolatrous and anti-Muslim, prompting a worldwide outcry. — AP

KHUSHPUR: Pakistani Christian women gathering on top of a house roof during the funeral ceremony of slain Pakistani minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti in his native village of Khushpur. —AFP

Christian enclaves in the central Punjab region, Khushpur’s community is relatively wealthy and highly educated, producing doctors, engineers and teachers, as well as its minority rights advocates. Roman Catholic Bishop John Joseph shot himself in 1998 in protest against the blasphemy laws and is also buried here, as is Father George Ibrahim, who fought for a Christian school and was killed in 2003. Pakistani Christians are observing 40 days mourning for Bhatti. But the government has

resisted calls from the international community to amend the blasphemy law, saying it has no plans to do so. “After the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Christians are very sad and angry, it has hurt their hearts and they are now feeling unsafe in this country,” said local Jacob Paul. “They feel that they will be suppressed here forever. It is a common thought over here that as long as this blasphemy law exists, their lives are not out of danger and the fuelled tensions can grip them at any time.” — AFP

Afghan leader blasts international troops End operations in Afghanistan, Karzai tells NATO ASADABAD: An emotional Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday urged international troops to “stop their operations in our land”, his strongest criticism yet of mistaken killings of civilians. Karzai’s comments came after a week in which a relative of his was killed in a raid by foreign forces and he rejected an apology by the US commander of troops General David Petraeus for the deaths of nine children in a NATO strike. “I would like to ask NATO and the US with honor and humbleness and not with arrogance to stop their operations in our land,” Karzai said in Pashto as he visited the dead children’s relatives in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan. “We are very tolerant people but now our tolerance has run out.” In an apparent reference to Pakistan, he said international forces “should go and fight this war where we have showed them (it is) over the last nine years.” Insurgents have hideouts in Pakistan’s lawless border regions. “This war is not in our land,” Karzai added. A spokeswoman for the the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) could not immediately comment. Karzai also met relatives of those caught up in another incident in Kunar in which Afghan officials say 65 people died but ISAF says left nine people injured. The president wept as he held a girl who he said had her leg amputated following the latter attack. The family of every person killed who attended was given 100,000 Afghanis ($2,300) while those injured received half that amount from the head of an official delegation investigating civilian casualties, an AFP reporter said. The latest Kunar incident, which occurred as the children gathered firewood, forced the ever-sensitive issue of civilian casualties caused by international troops back to the top of the political agenda. Karzai had already angrily rejected a public

Afghan President Hamid Karzai

apology from Petraeus, the US commander of foreign troops, over the deaths. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates also said made a personal apology to Karzai during a visit to Afghanistan Monday. Then on Thursday, it emerged that Karzai’s father’s cousin had been shot dead near his home in the family’s village in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan. Karzai’s spokesman Waheed Omer said the president was “extremely sad” at the news and “once again calls on NATO forces to avoid killing civilians.” A UN report Wednesday revealed that the deaths of Afghan civilians in the war had

Kabul project seeks peace through skateboarding KABUL: They may not be a common sight on the streets of Kabul yet, but hundreds of young Afghans have taken up skateboarding thanks to the unlikely dream of an Australian with a passion for peace. Thirtysomething Oliver Percovich, who first stepped on a skateboard aged six, helped set up Skateistan after arriving in Kabul armed with just three boards in 2007. Now around 330 young Afghans regularly ride the giant ramps at the skateboarding school and educational NGO’s indoor skatepark in a giant hall in Kabul. As well as teaching both boys and girls, aged between five and 19, how to carve and boardslide, Skateistan aims to help educate and build trust between young Afghans of different ethnicities. After 30 years of war-most recently a Taleban insurgency which has brought 140,000 international troops to the country-many Afghans have grown up knowing nothing else, and suspicions between different ethnic groups are common. The country’s educational system has also been hit hard by the conflict. Schools have been frequently targeted by the Taleban, particularly those for girls and in rural areas, despite international efforts at rebuilding. “I like skating because of the movement and speed,” says 16-year-old skater Omar, who works as an apprentice in a tailor’s shop. “Here is better than school-we can relax, train, read, paintwe feel free.” Two boys alongside him, 13-year-old Nawab and 14-year-old Nawi, came across Skateistan when they were selling chewing gum and cleaning car windows in the street to support their families. Percovich, who grew up in Papua New Guinea and used to work for the Australian government, is convinced that education can “solve things” in Afghanistan, where around half of the population is aged under 25. “Ultimately, what Skateistan wants to achieve is building trust, links between Afghans... some understanding between ethnicities,” the youthful executive director of Skateistan says.”Skateistan is mixing social backgrounds. Here a street kid can meet the son of a minister.” He adds: “We promote activities that don’t exclude-how do you reconcile a kid that has Internet at home and writes emails with one holding a pen for the first time?”Everything at the project is free. — AFP

increased 15 percent to a record high last year, adding that insurgents were responsible for three-quarters of the killings. The report recorded 2,777 civilian deaths last year, underscoring the level of violence in the country as foreign troops prepare to start handing control of security to Afghan forces in some areas from July. Afghan security forces are due to take responsibility for security across the country by 2014, allowing international combat forces to withdraw. There are currently around 140,000 international troops serving in Afghanistan, around two-thirds of them from the United States. — AFP

Pakistan eyes cross-party accord on blasphemy law LONDON: Pakistani politicians should be able to reach a cross-party accord to end misuse of the blasphemy law, based on proposals made by the leader of a religious party, Pakistan’s interior minister said. The comments by Interior Minister Rehman Malik were the clearest sign yet of Pakistan’s attempts to reduce tension over the blasphemy law, which has become a bitterly divisive issue that has highlighted the power of the religious right in Pakistani society. Two senior politicians, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer and Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, were assassinated this year after they called for amendments to the blasphemy law, which critics say is often misused to settle personal scores. Malik said in an interview party leaders would meet to try to reach a consensus on the law, as proposed by Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, head of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) religious party. “Its misuse is being, of course, taken into account and the party leaders are going to sit together as proposed by Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman ... and I hope this matter can be thrashed out, whenever this meeting takes pace,” he said. Fazl-ur-Rehman, a pro-Taleban cleric close to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), quit the government in December after a row over the sacking of one of his ministers. He has been a vocal defender of the blasphe-

my law. However, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper quoted him as saying last week that “if a law is being misused against minorities, we are ready to discuss this”. Malik declined to answer a question on whether politicians would discuss amendments to the law, or simply introduce measures to prevent its misuse, saying this would be a collective decision and he would abide by the consensus. Critics say the law is not only misused, including against minorities, but is also too vaguely worded to be fair. It provides for the death penalty for insulting the Prophet Mohammad. Malik said Fazlur-Rehman’s proposals would be likely to gain support, without giving details. “Everybody, I think will follow him in this connection.” Asked whether this meant the PPP had resolved its differences with him, Malik said, “he has always favored and taken the side of the Pakistan People’s Party ... “He is a great friend of mine, he is a great friend of the president, he is a great lover of democracy so you can draw the inference that there is nothing wrong.” The PPP-led government has been accused of appeasing the religious right after Taseer was shot by his own bodyguard in Islamabad. The man who confessed to his killing was celebrated as a hero, and the religious right organised large protests to insist there could be no change to the blasphemy law. —Reuters


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011



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Final goodbye to superpower US? By Bernd Debusmann ombre analyses of America’s decline come in waves and the latest seems to be gathering strength. “AMERICAN DECLINE. This Time It’s Real” proclaims a recent magazine cover. “Yes, America is in Decline,” echoes another. Time to prepare obituaries for the world’s remaining superpower? How long will it take for the US to follow the example of the Roman Empire and end up as Italy? That’s a question the prognosticators of America’s waning power and influence (also known as declinists) tend to sidestep, perhaps because so many past predictions of doom have been so wrong. The “This Time It’s Real” assertion is on the cover of Foreign Policy, a magazine closely read by the foreign policy community. Inside, the British commentator Gideon Rachman lays out a well-argued case for saying the US will never again enjoy the dominance it had in the 17 years between the collapse of the Soviet Union and the global financial crisis of 2008. The “Yes, America Is in Decline” headline is on the cover of TIME, the country’s most widely-read news magazine. The author and foreign policy analyst Fareed Zakaria bemoans the fact that Americans seem unable to grasp the magnitude of the challenges facing their country and that the political and economic changes now being debated in the US “amount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”. America’s modern-day Cassandras (Rachman and Zakaria are not the only ones) draw on a wealth of statistics to back up their arguments, from spending on research and development (once 1st in the world, now 6th) and domestic savings (84th) to life expectancy (27th) and college graduation (once 1st, now 12th). They all add up to a bleak picture that could lead to the following observation: “The decline driven by concern about the vast federal deficits of recent years and, consequently, the immense growth of the national debt. It reflects apprehensions regarding the deficits in the balance of trade, the necessity to borrow staggering sums abroad and the dramatic shift of the United States from a great creditor nation to the world’s largest debtor.” That sounds as if it were culled from today’s headlines but it was written in the summer of 1988, by James Schlesinger, a former secretary of defense and then scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. At the time, there was a full-blown debate over whether the United States was past its prime and headed for second-rank status. The dispute was prompted by the historian Paul Kennedy’s book “The Rise and Decline of Great Powers.” In Kennedy’s view, the decline of the United States could probably be slowed but not averted and “the American share of world power has been declining relatively faster than Russia’s over the past few decades.” Not long after the book came out, the Berlin Wall fell. Not long after that, the Soviet Union collapsed. The Soviet threat to American dominance turned out to be more imagined than real and that may well prove to be true for China, the country that today looms large in the popular imagination and in forecasts about the future alignment of world powers. According to a Gallup poll in February, 52 percent of Americans think China is the world’s leading economic power. Such perceptions are out of synch with reality. China’s Gross Domestic Product is less than two thirds that of the United States. GDP per capita is roughly one to six ($47,123 to $7,518), according to 2010 figures from the International Monetary Fund. As far as productivity is concerned, one American produces, by some estimates, as much as six Chinese. Harvard University’s Joseph Nye, in a response to Zakaria’s gloom-and-doom analysis, says polls such as Gallup’s highlight “cycles of declinism” that say more about America’s collective psychology than underlying shifts in power. “In the last half-century, polls showed Americans believed in their decline after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, after Richard Nixon’s devaluation of the dollar and the oil shocks in the 1970s, and after the closing of Rust Belt industries and the budget deficits of Ronald Reagan’s administration in the 1980s,” he writes. —Reuters


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Long guerrilla war would follow Gaddafi ‘win’ By William Maclean ar from ending Libya’s conflict, a militar y vic tor y by Muammar Gaddafi would see his enemies retreat to a few urban strongholds and relaunch their revolt as a grinding guerrilla war. A decisive win for the government in conventional military terms remains unlikely, in the view of many, but is no longer unimaginable: Enjoying supremacy in the air and in heavy armour, Gaddafi’s forces appear to have regained the momentum in the OPEC member country’s three-week old conflict. If Gaddafi’s military advance retains the initiative, it could overtake cautious international efforts to halt him. A defeat for rebels even in their eastern heartlands is seen by some analysts as no longer beyond the bounds of the possible. Noting Gaddafi’s forces were better equipped and disciplined than the opposition, National Intelligence Director James Clapper told a Senate hearing in Washington on Thursday that eventually “the regime will prevail.” But analysts say a traditional military victory would not restore to Gaddafi complete control of the north African country of the kind he enjoyed in the 41 years of his rule to date. That is probably gone forever. Instead, eastern cities such as Benghazi that have been the historic heartland of opposition to Gaddafi’s rule will likely resist complete government control. There, an urban guerrilla insurgency will be able to nest in the cities, drawing support from residents horrified by the government’s violent crackdown on civilian protesters. It might also draw on the covert provision of foreign military expertise. Guerrilla chiefs would also be able to manipulate rifts in a ruling establishment now riven by numerous defections by army officers, tribal leaders and veteran former state officials. And Gaddafi and his entourage will be constrained by tightening international sanctions aimed at denying him access to funds, weapons and foreign travel. “If Gaddafi reasserts control it will be in the face of new tribal and regional divisions,” said Yezid Sayigh, a professor in the War Studies Department at King’s College, London. “Large sections of the population will no longer be willing to provide the intelligence Gaddafi would need to confront an urban insurgency. There may be physical control of key state buildings but that’s not like having real security control.” Graham Cundy, a military specialist at Diligence, a Western security and intelligence consultancy, said there was no shortage of arms and ammunition in the east, the traditional bastion for disaffection to Gaddafi’s rule. So urban centres in the region could provide havens for a core of committed fighters drawing on support from locals. “You’ve got everything that’s required for a continued campaign of armed dissent against Gaddafi were he to reassert power,” said Cundy, a former British military officer with long experience of guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan. Guerrilla war fare against an entrenched incumbent power requires safe areas where fighters can recuperate, rearm and plan, military experts say. Examples are mountains, captured territory, remote regions, a friendly neighbouring country or large cities which afford a degree of anonymity. Libya,


more than 2-1/2 times the size of France, lacks mountains, and many of its remote regions might end up being controlled by groups of uncertain afiliation. As a result, said Shashank Joshi, associate fellow at Britain’s Royal United Service

Institute, cities in the east were the most likely places to emerge as bastions for the rump of a defeated rebel force. “What I think you are going to see is the northeast remaining a bastion of the opposition,” he said.

A Koni class frigate of the Libyan navy, crewed by anti-Gaddafi rebels, sails past the waterfront of Benghazi in eastern Libya Friday. – AP

He pointed to the northwestern city of Zawiyah, taken by the army only after days of violent assault, as an example of the kind of tough resistance urban guerrilla forces could offer. But the rebels will have to up their game if they are to survive further assaults of similar ferocity, analysts say. Rebel commanders appear to lack an agreed strategy and a unified command, profound weaknesses for which their fighters’ evident enthusiasm does not compensate, analysts say. Noman Benotman, who fought against Gaddafi as an Islamist guerrilla in the 1990s, said the rebels had to make haste and build a secret network of rural and urban bases in the east. In the event Gaddafi reasserted his grip on eastern towns, a web of arms caches, food, water and fuel would be essential to enable an insurgency to survive, said Benotman, who now works as a counter-radicalisation expert for British think tank Quilliam. “They need urgently to reorganise in the east, and they lack experience, which will be a problem. But if they can build those bases, they can wage a war without frontlines and create hell for Gaddafi’s forces.” — Reuters

No outside help in sight for rebels By Alistair Lyon ebels trying to topple Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi have so far fought alone. Help is not in sight, even as he strikes back with tanks, artillery and warplanes. Gaddafi is widely reviled in the Arab world, even by his fellow autocrats. Nor is he loved by the Western powers that had courted him for his oil until the revolt against him. Yet with the military momentum appearing to shift in his favour, the Libyan leader of 41 years may succeed where Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine alAbidine Ben Ali failed, in clinging to power. His willingness to use extreme force, with no effective riposte from the outside world, could also set a dangerous example to other Arab rulers confronting disaffected populations. According to a sombre assessment by US President Barack Obama’s national intelligence chief, James Clapper, Gaddafi is “in this for the long haul” and is likely to prevail. Public calls are growing for some action to save rebels and civilians from the firepower of pro-Gaddafi forces, now regaining ground near Tripoli and along the eastern coast. Yet nothing has been done beyond sanctions in the form of an asset freeze and arms embargo, threatening prosecution for war crimes, and French-led moves to recognise a rebel national council. The rag-tag Libyan fighters battling Gaddafi’s military cannot fathom what the world is waiting for, even as the leader’s son Saif al-Islam declares that they face a full-scale assault to crush their three-week-old uprising. “I am disappointed as we have asked for air and sea blockades,” Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, head of the opposition national council in Libya, told the BBC on Friday, saying that delaying action further “might allow Gaddafi to regain control and remain in power against the will of the Libyan people”. Yet there is no international consensus on robust action. Judging by Thursday’s meetings of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the African Union and NATO, none will emerge soon. European Union leaders met on Friday to discuss Libya. Many fear mission creep if, say, a no-fly zone were imposed. “What happens if it is not the Libyan air force that is gaining ground, but their armour ... and heavy artillery?” asked Timur Goksel, a former UN peacekeeping adviser in Beirut. “Then what do you do, attack those? Because that’s not a no-fly zone, it’s war. It’s a very complicated decision. The Western countries have to think very hard,” Goksel said. For all their anti-Gaddafi rhetoric, Western powers are wary of plunging into another conflict in a Muslim nation in the absence of any simple way to remove a leader bent on survival. The United States is hamstrung by its costly and contentious military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia and China, along with Arab nations such as Algeria and Syria, are queasy about any precedent for meddling in another country’s affairs. So it is hard to get the UN Security Council to authorise military action - nofly zones or sending military advisers or weapons to rebels are arguably acts of war - and no nation or alliance is yet ready to step in without such approval.


The International Crisis Group has argued instead for a ceasefire and negotiations to end a burgeoning Libyan civil war. “Western calls for military intervention of one kind or another are perilous and potentially counter-productive. There are no quick or easy fixes,” the conflict resolution group says. “Insisting that Gaddafi step down will not make it happen. Imposing a nofly zone, bombing airfields or arming the rebels could tilt the balance of power in the rebels’ favour, but is unlikely to swiftly bring down the regime.” The African Union, rejecting any military intervention, plans to send five heads of state to Libya to seek a truce. The Arab League has suspended Libya’s membership. Saudi Arabia and its five partners in the GCC have voiced support for a no-fly zone and declared Gaddafi’s rule illegitimate. The Arab League was due to meet in Cairo yesterday and officials said it would not let a delegation from Tripoli attend. But decisive action from the League would be a surprise. “The Arab League has become an entirely emasculated body that is essentially capable of doing nothing except rhetoric and speeches,” said Karim Makdisi, who teaches international relations at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He said most Arab regimes remained intact despite the overthrow of leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and popular unrest against others. None of them wanted the Arab League to lead the way in intervening against the government of a member state. NATO is also skittish about proposals to crimp Gaddafi’s military with a no-fly zone. This would require evidence of war crimes against civilians, a clear legal basis and firm regional support, said its secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasumussen. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has signalled that her country will not go solo in imposing a no-fly zone on Libya. “Absent international authorisation, the United States acting alone would be stepping into a situation whose consequences are unforeseeable,” she said on Thursday, belittling the effect of past no-fly zones in Iraq and Serbia. Gaddafi, like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, would portray any Western intervention as a selfish, colonial venture - rhetoric that for many Arabs is grounded in decades of bitter reality. “What we fear most is this European and Western eagerness to take control of Libya’s oil,” said Omar Nashabe, an editor at Beirut’s alAkhbar newspaper, which is sympathetic to Hezbollah. Many Arabs feel outraged by Gaddafi’s bloody strikes against his foes, but might also mistrust Western action, especially if an air embargo produced unintended civilian casualties. “There is no belief that US intervention will be brief, in the interests of Arabs, or serve the interests of stability,” said AUB’s Makdisi. Many Arabs would see it as oil-motivated or as a US bid to get ahead of the curve after failing to respond adequately to the pro-democracy revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. “The wider context is the abysmal failure of the Obama administration to have any coherent US policy toward the Middle East,” Makdisi said, citing its past support for Arab strongmen and its ill-starred Israeli-Palestinian peace drive. — Reuters



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KUWAIT: An SUV splashes through rainwater that flooded several streets in Kuwait after heavy rains. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Govt urged to free bedoons Continued from Page 1 “MPs’ persistence to get bedoons rights passed as a law might foil the whole project,” warned the sources, adding that the issue is a matter of sovereignty and one of the liabilities of the executives. “It’s inappropriate to force the government through binding laws that would hinder responding to possible future changes,” said the sources, pointing out that natu-

ralizing bedoons the way some MPs were demanding was out of the question. “Only a small group of bedoons might be entitled to citizenship according to very strict conditions,” the sources reiterated. About 500 demonstrators took to the streets in Jahra immediately after Friday prayers, while hundreds protested in two other locations. Stateless Arabs, estimated at more than 100,000, protested last month for three consecutive days until

officials gave them assurances their grievances would be addressed. But parliament refused on Tuesday to debate a bill that would give them civil rights because the government, backed by many MPs, said it preferred to issue executive decisions granting those rights rather than a law. Kuwait launched a crackdown on the bedoons in 2000, depriving them of healthcare, education and jobs.

Blast at Japan nuke plant, 10,000 missing Continued from Page 1 Chernobyl disaster was a seven. Work to bring the situation under control was ongoing, to prevent cooling liquid from evaporating and exposing the fuel rods to the air, which could trigger a major radiation leak. “We have decided to douse the (reactor) container with sea water in order to reduce risks as quickly as possible,” Kan’s top spokesman Yukio Edano told reporters. Kyodo and Jiji reported before the explosion that the plant “may be experiencing nuclear meltdown”, while NHK quoted the safety agency as saying metal tubes that contain uranium fuel may have melted. An evacuation order for tens of thousands of residents was expanded to 20 km around the Fukushima plant, and thousands more were shifted from another damaged plant, Fukushima No. 2. Media reports said that three residents - bedridden patients evacuated from a hospital near the plant - had been found to be exposed to radiation after spending a long time in the open waiting for rescue. Ron Chesser, director for the Center for Environmental Radiation Studies at Texas Tech University, said it was critical to cool the reactor core to avoid a meltdown that would result in “a large release of radiation”. “Reactors are not like your car that you can turn off and walk away. They’re going to continue generating a great amount of heat until the core is disassembled,” he told the US-based ScienceDaily website. The raging tsunami picked up shipping containers, cars and the debris of shattered homes. It crashed through the streets of Sendai and across open fields, forming a mud slick that covered vast tracts of land. “There are so many people who lost their lives,” an elderly man told TV reporters before breaking down in tears. “I have no words to say.” Police reportedly said 200-300 bodies had been found in the city of Sendai. Up to 400 bodies were recovered in Rikuzentakata, a coastal town of some 23,000 people, NHK quoted the military as saying. The premier’s spokesman said at least 1,000 people were believed to have lost their lives. Police said more than 215,000 people were huddled in emergency shelters. “What used to be residential areas were mostly swept away in many coastal areas and fires are still blazing there,” Kan said after surveying the damage by helicopter. In the shattered town of Minamisoma, 34-yearold housewife Sayori Suzuki recalled the utter horror of

the moment the quake hit, shaking her home violently and washing away the house of a relative. “It was a tremor like I’ve never experienced before,” she told an AFP reporter. “Another relative said he was fleeing in a car but watched in the rearview mirror as the waves were catching up on him from behind. He escaped very narrowly.” “My brother works at the Fukushima No.2 nuclear power plant,” Suzuki added. “He worked all through the night. I’m so worried about him because of the risk of radiation exposure.” Some 50,000 military and other rescue personnel were spearheading a Herculean rescue and recovery effort with hundreds of ships, aircraft and vehicles headed to the Pacific coast area. The towering wave set off alerts across the Pacific, sparking evacuations in Hawaii and on the US West Coast. The Bank of Japan said it would do its “utmost” to ensure the stability of financial markets after the quake brought huge disruption to key industries, raising short-term concerns for the nation’s struggling economy. In quake-hit areas, 5.6 million households had no power yesterday and more than one million households were without water. Telecommunications networks were also hit. In a rare piece of good news, a ship that was earlier reported missing was found swept out to sea and all 81 people aboard were airlifted to safety. Leading international offers of help, which saw foreign rescue teams begin arriving in Japan yesterday, President Barack Obama mobilised the US military to provide emergency aid after what he called a “simply heartbreaking” disaster. The United States, which has nearly 50,000 military personnel in Japan, ordered a flotilla including two aircraft carriers and support ships to the region to provide aid. The quake hit at 2:46 pm (0546 GMT) and lasted about two minutes, making buildings sway in greater Tokyo, the world’s largest urban area and home to some 30 million people. More than a day after the first, massive quake struck just under 400 km northeast of Tokyo, aftershocks were still rattling the region, including a strong 6.8 magnitude tremor yesterday. Japan sits on the “Pacific Ring of Fire” and Tokyo is in one of its most dangerous areas, where three continental plates are slowly grinding against each other, building up enormous seismic pressure. The government has long warned of the likelihood that a devastating magnitude-eight quake will strike within the next 30 years in the Kanto plains, home to Tokyo’s vast urban sprawl. — Agencies

MIYAKO, Japan: People walk by a car stuck into a building in Iwate Prefecture (state) in northern Japan yesterday, a day after a strong earthquake-triggered devastating tsunami hit the area. — AP

JERUSALEM: A Jewish couple and three of their children were stabbed to death in a West Bank settlement yesterday in what Israeli officials said was an attack by a Palestinian who broke into their home in the early hours. Troops from the Israeli occupation forces set up roadblocks and were searching the area around the settlement of Itamar, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, for the suspect. A baby was among the five dead, officials said. Army radio said two children aged four and two had been spared and a third, a girl of 10, had discovered the massacre when she arrived home and alerted neighbours. The radio said the killer or killers had managed to get past an electric fence surrounding the settlement. One paramedic told news website Ynet one of the children still had a pulse when they arrived, but that they had been unable to resuscitate him. “This is the despicable murder of an entire, innocent family, parents and their young ones while they slept in their house,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “Israel will not ignore such a contemptible murder and will act aggressively to ensure the security of its civilians and to punish the murderers,” he said in a statement. He called on the Palestinian Authority to assist in catching those responsible. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, whose government demands the removal of settlements in order to establish a Palestinian state, said such violence was never justified. “There should be no doubt over our position regarding violence. We have rejected it totally and we have always condemned it,” Fayyad was quoted as saying by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA. In a strongly worded statement, the office of US President Barack Obama later called on the Palestinian Authority to condemn the attack, leaving it unclear whether the White House was aware of Fayyad’s earlier comment. “ There is no possible justification for the killing of parents and children in their home,” the White

House said in its statement. “We call on the Palestinian Authority to unequivocally condemn this terrorist attack.” No group claimed responsibility for the attack but the Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip said it offered its “full support” to any actions taken against settlers. However, a senior figure in Hamas’s exile leadership in Syria, Izzat Al-Rishq, said: “We had nothing to do with it.” Israelis responded with horror to the attack on the Jewish sabbath, and it may complicate efforts to restart peace talks. These are frozen in arguments over whether Israel should first stop expanding settlements on occupied land, which Western governments view as illegal under international law. Kabha Ma’awiyeh, one of the first paramedics to arrive on scene, said the family members were stabbed in bed and pools of blood had collected on the floor. Troops entered the Palestinian village of Awarta, near Itamar, searching house-by-house and questioning “many residents” There was no immediate claim for the attack, but the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Brigades, the armed wing of the hardline Islamic Jihad movement, excused it. “This operation is normal because it symbolises the right of resistance against the (Israeli) occupation and its crimes,” a statement said. Danny Dayan, the head of Yesha, the main settlers’ organisation, said the “fact that the Israeli army has to rely on the Palestinian security forces as partners to keep us safe can only explode in our faces”. Violence in the occupied West Bank has dropped significantly since its peak during a Palestinian uprising a decade ago. Tensions in the area had risen earlier in the week when Israeli troops fired live rounds at Palestinians af ter they clashed with settlers. Ten Palestinians and one Israeli were wounded in the confrontation. Israel has been loosening restrictions on the movement of Palestinians and goods in the occupied territory but maintains a system of roadblocks and checkpoints. — Agencies

14 dead in NY bus accident Continued from Page 1 reached for comment. No other vehicle was involved in the crash. Bloomberg said many of the victims were Chinese, and translators were brought in to help their families. He said the New York state police was investigating the accident. “Our - and the entire city’s - prayers, thoughts and sympathies are with the victims, and their families and loved ones,” he said. The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) also said it was conducting its own investigation. The driver, who survived, told police he lost control while trying to evade a swerving tractor trailer. Police began a hunt for the truck, which did not stop after the crash, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. It was unclear whether the two vehicles made contact, he said. The early morning wreck left a scene of carnage and closed the southbound side of Interstate-95 in the borough of the Bronx for hours while emergency workers attended to critically injured survivors and removed bodies. The bus was headed to Manhattan’s

Chinatown neighborhood carrying a full load of passengers returning from the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Many of the passengers on the bus were residents of Manhattan’s Chinatown. They ranged in age from 20 to 50, officials said. According to the driver, the accident was triggered by a close encounter with a tractor trailer as the two vehicles were entering the city at 5:35 am. The bus was in one lane. The truck was in the lane to its left. “The truck either starts to swerve or perhaps even hits the bus,” Kelly said. He said both vehicles were moving at “a significant rate of speed.” As the bus took evasive action, it hit a guard rail, scraped along it for 90 m, toppled and crashed into the support post for a highway sign indicating an exit. The pole entered through the front window, then sheared the bus from front to back along the window line, cutting like a knife through the seating area and peeling the roof off all the way to the back tires. A majority of the passengers were hurled to the front of the bus by the sudden impact with the pole, fire chief

Edward Kilduff said. The wreck also closed the northbound side of the highway, but those lanes were moving again by mid-morning. Limo driver Homer Martinez, 56, of Danbury, Connecticut, happened on the scene just moments after the wreck and saw other drivers sprinting from their cars to assist the injured. He said they were horrified by what they found. “People were saying, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God’, holding their hands on their heads,” Martinez said. “I saw people telling other people not to go there, ‘You don’t want to see this’.” Firefighters and medics were on the scene quickly, running to the vehicle with bags and stretchers, he said. “I see a lot of accidents. I’ve even seen accidents happen. But I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Martinez. Kelly said investigators had been given some numbers from the license plate of the tractor trailer, but hadn’t identified or located a vehicle yet. After the crash, firefighters took out seats and cut through the bus roof to reach a handful of passengers pinned in the wreckage. Kilduff called it “a very difficult operation.“ — Agencies

Retreating Libya rebels win Arab League boost Continued from Page 1 Gaddafi’s guns are now trained on Misrata. “We are bracing for a massacre,” said Mohammad Ahmed, a rebel fighter in Misrata. “We know it will happen and Misrata will be like Zawiyah, but we believe in God. We do not have the capabilities to fight Gaddafi and his forces. They have tanks and heavy weapons and we have our belief and trust in God.” Further east, Gaddafi’s troops pushed insurgents out of Ras Lanuf yesterday a day after carrying out an amphibious assault on the oil port and pitting tanks and jets against rebels armed with light weapons and machine guns mounted on pick-up trucks. Libya’s flat desert terrain heavily favours the use of heavy armour and airpower. The Libyan army is also better trained and disciplined than the ragtag, though enthusiastic, rebel force. Diplomats in Cairo said the Arab League in crisis talks came out in support of plans to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and decided to make contact with the rebels’ provisional national council. Arab League foreign ministers “have agreed to invite the (UN) Security Council to assume its responsibilities and impose an air-exclusion zone to protect the people of Libya,” one diplomat said on condition of anonymity. The decision was adopted by nine of the 11 foreign ministers attending the meeting at the organisation’s headquarters in the Egyptian capital from which Libyan envoys were excluded, with Algeria and Syria voting against, he said. “The ministers also decided to open channels to contact the transitional national council in Libya in order to help the Libyan people,” the diplomat added. The rebels’ 30-member council had urged the Arab League to recognise it as representing Libya instead of Gaddafi’s regime and to back a nofly zone to curb attacks on its fighters, in a letter to the League’s chief, Amr Moussa. Moussa himself called for a no-fly zone as proposed by

Western countries and said he wanted the pan-Arab organisation to play a role in imposing it, in an interview published yesterday. “The United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union, the Europeans - everyone should participate,” Moussa told German weekly Der Spiegel. “I am talking about a humanitarian action. It consists, with a no-fly zone, of supporting the Libyan people in their fight for freedom against a regime that is more and more disdainful.” EU leaders agreed at an emergency summit on Friday to talk to Gaddafi’s opponents and protect Libyan civilians “by all necessary means” while stopping short of an outright military threat. They demanded Gaddafi “relinquish power immediately” and deemed the opposition council based in Benghazi “a political interlocutor”. However, there was no mention of calls from Britain and France for a nofly zone, and strident demands from French President Nicolas Sarkozy for “targeted action” against Gaddafi went unheeded. Seif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s son, said in Italian newspaper interviews published yesterday that he was confident government troops would defeat the rebels, adding they had already retaken control over “90 percent of the country”. He swore there would be no negotiations, branding the rebels terrorists and saying there would be a “war to the end”. A UN mission was due in Libya yesterday to evaluate the country’s humanitarian needs, after Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim said the team would tour hospitals to check on food and medicine supplies. Kaaim made no mention of the arrival of former Jordanian foreign minister Abdul Ilah Khatib, dispatched by United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon to raise international concerns about Gaddafi’s deadly crackdown on protests. Khatib, due in Tripoli early this week, would put across to the regime “in no uncertain terms the concerns of the United Nations and the international com-

munity,” Ban told reporters in New York. The envoy would have a political role in trying to end the conflict but also to try to open up humanitarian access to the Libyan population, Ban said. US President Barack Obama said Friday the world was “tightening the noose” on Gaddafi, but acknowledged he was “concerned” the Libyan strongman could defeat the rebels. Obama said he would appoint an envoy to the Libyan opposition as part of a bid to “change the balance” of the military situation in Libya, and warned the world had an obligation to avoid a massacre. The president added he was gauging support with regional powers for a no-fly zone, which Washington has so far resisted. Obama’s defence secretary Robert Gates played up the US reluctance again yesterday, saying: “This is not a question of whether we or our allies can do this. The question is whether it’s a wise thing to do and that’s the discussion that’s going on at a political level.” The European Union has also stressed the need for “a clear legal basis and support from the region,” reflecting divisions over the political fallout from a foreign military intervention. The EU called for an urgent summit on the crisis along with the Arab League and the African Union, which on Friday rejected military intervention but tasked five presidents of member states to mediate. And Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Saturday the EU was still looking for Libyan interlocutors, even within the ruling regime, after the bloc refused to talk to Gaddafi and France recognised the opposition council. “No one is excluded apart from Gaddafi,” he said on the margins of an informal EU meeting in Hungary. “We need to have contacts with all different sectors of Libyan society.” “ The Benghazi council is an essential partner ... There can be other interlocutors,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe added. — Agencies



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Ricco vows to quit cycling ROME: Disgraced Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco has vowed to quit cycling after being sacked by his Vacansoleil team following reports he tried to give himself a blood transfusion. Last month Italian press cited an unnamed doctor who claimed that Ricco had fallen ill after carrying out a transfusion of his own blood from a three-week-old sample at his home which he feared had gone off. Speaking to yesterday’s Gazzetta dello Sport, Ricco claimed he is done with professional cycling. “I don’t want to race any more, no chance. I’ve turned the page, I’m fed up with the cycling world, it makes me want to vomit,” he said. “I’m fed up with everyone in cycling. They already wanted me to stop when I came back but now enough’s enough, Ricco is no more.” Ricco, who won two stages at the 2008 Tour de France only to be thrown off the race after a positive test for Cera EPO (erythropoietin), had only returned from the consequent 20-month ban last March and now faces investigations by both the Italian Olympic Committee and the Modena prosecutor. —AFP

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Lawmaker questions probe

Cologna, Kowalczyk clinch overall World Cup titles LAHTI: Dario Cologna of Switzerland clinched the men’s overall cross-country World Cup title yesterday by winning the 20-kilometer pursuit at the Lahti Ski games, while Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland secured her third straight women’s crown. Cologna beat Maurice Manificat of France in a sprint, winning by 0.8 seconds. Vincent Vittoz of France was third. Cologna has a lead of more than 450 points over Petter Northug of Norway, who skipped this event after winning three gold medals at the world championships in Oslo this month. Northug cannot make up the difference at the World Cup finals in

WASHINGTON: US Congressman Jack Kingston criticized the ongoing federal probe into seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and allegations of doping. The Georgia Republican made the comments on Friday during a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on budgeting for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That is the office whose staffers include agent Jeff Novitzky, who handled the BALCO steroid scandal that rocked baseball and athletics and who is looking into Armstrong. Former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis, himself an admitted dope cheat whose use of performance-enhancing drugs cost him a Tour de France crown, said Armstrong and others routinely used banned substances. Armstrong has steadfastly denied the claims. “If he has broken the law, then that is a serious matter,” Kingston said. —AP

Sweden next week. “I had a good feeling during all of the race,” Cologna said. “I knew I can win, and focused more on the sprint ahead.” Cologna also won the overall title in 2009, and his second crown helps make up for a disappointing worlds, after leaving Oslo without a single medal. “It feels good to be on the podium again,” Cologna said. “You cannot get a medal every time. Our team had difficulties with the snow in Oslo, we had not much experience of that, it was very special. But I will look ahead, not back. I had a very good season and am satisfied.”—AP

Japanese players try to get news after earthquake NEW YORK: Boston pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka tried to get in touch with his grandmother. Oakland slugger Hideki Matsui prayed for the victims. Mets reliever Ryota Igarashi stayed up all night to see the devastation. All across spring training, Japanese ballplayers worried Friday about those at home. Hundreds of people were killed or missing after Japan was struck by its biggest recorded earthquake and a massive tsunami. “It’s a tough situation,” Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima said through a translator. “You can’t control nature, but when something like this happens, you really realize the power of nature.” Matsuzaka said his parents in Tokyo were all right, but “I haven’t been able to get in touch with my grandmother,” he said. At the Texas camp, pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama stood in front of a TV tuned to CNN. As he watched the pictures, he used his fingers to draw a map of Japan on a table, trying to show Rangers teammates Josh Hamilton and Mitch Moreland where the damage occurred. Tateyama said he found out what happened in an e-mail from a friend after the morning workouts. “At that time I realized how big it was,” he said through a translator. More than a dozen players from Japan played in the majors last season. Through his translator, Seattle star Ichiro Suzuki said he hadn’t been able to reach his family with so many cell phone towers down. “I am deeply concerned and affected by what is happening in Japan,” Matsui said in a statement before his A’s played the Dodgers. “I pray for the safety of all the people that have been affected and continue to be affected by this disaster.” Commissioner Bud Selig said his staff had been in contact with its office in Tokyo. In Japan, baseball games in Tokyo, Chiba and Yokohama were called off, as were all pro sports in the country. “Major League Baseball will certainly provide aid with the relief efforts in the days and weeks ahead. We will do everything we can to help

Japan,” Selig said in a statement. The New York Yankees donated $100,000 for relief and rescue efforts in Japan, splitting the total between the Salvation Army and Red Cross. The Oakland Athletics said they would help relief aid by adding a fundraising effort to the previously scheduled Japanese Heritage Day on April 3, when Ichiro and the Mariners visit Matsui and the A’s at the Coliseum. The San Diego Padres are pledged to raise money during their Japanese Heritage Night on May 20 against Seattle. Beyond baseball, other sports were affected by the magnitude-8.9 earthquake. There was a moment of silence before the NBA game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Bobcats in Charlotte, North Carolina, and before the Utah Jazz played the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis. Golfer Ryo Ishikawa woke up and heard about the destruction. He managed to keep his focus and shot a 7-under 65 at the first round of the Cadillac Championship in Doral, Florida. “I was able to communicate with my family,” Ishikawa said. “If not for that, it would have been extremely difficult.” At the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, Kimiko Date-Krumm worried about loved ones back in Tokyo. “I tried to call my mother and she was OK. And this morning my family sent me an e-mail and said everyone was fine,” she said. “But I saw the news and it is very horrible.”“I’m still in shock. I hope there isn’t anything else coming,” she said. Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula One world champion, said he was relieved after reaching his girlfriend by Twitter. The driver said Japanese model Jessica Michibata had been in an underground photo shoot in Tokyo when tremors began to rock the building. “She’s fine, very shaken,” Button said in Spain. “Right now, my thoughts go out to everybody in Japan, particularly in the worst-affected area of Sendai. My heart is with them.” The San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer will donate $1 for every fan who attends their home opener Saturday to victims in Japan. —AP

DENVER: Goalie Dan Ellis No. 38 of the Anaheim Ducks celebrates with George Parros No. 16 and their teammates after their victory over the Colorado Avalanche during NHL action.—AFP

Capitals rally to down Hurricanes WASHINGTON: Alex Ovechkin and Matt Hendricks scored in the third period to rally the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL on Friday. Goalie Braden Holtby made 40 saves as the Capitals ran their winning streak to seven with their fifth straight win over Carolina this season. Ovechkin scored his 28th goal of the season to extend his points streak to seven games. Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu scored late in the second period to briefly give his team the lead. The Hurricanes are two points behind the New York Rangers for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

WASHINGTON: DeMaurice Smith, executive director for the NFL Players Association, arrives to speak with reporters as negotiations between the NFL owners and players go unresolved, at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.—AP

Player lockout puts NFL future in limbo WASHINGTON: Unable to decide how to divvy up $9 billion a year, NFL owners and players put the country’s most popular sport in limbo Friday by breaking off labor negotiations hours before their contract expired. The union decertified; the league imposed a lockout. Ten players, including MVP quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, sued the owners in federal court in Minneapolis. Then, at midnight, the owners locked out the players — signaling the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987. “We are locked out,” union president and former player Kevin Mawae said in a text message to The Associated Press. “We were informed today that players are no longer welcome at team facilities.” Despite two extensions to the collective bargaining agreement during 16 days of talks overseen by a federal mediator — and previous months of stop-and-start negotiating — the sides could not agree on a new deal. Now they will be adversaries in court: The players already requested an injunction to block a lockout, even before one was in place. As was clear all along, the dispute came down to money. In the end, it appeared the sides were about $185 million apart on how much owners should get up front each season for certain operating expenses before splitting the rest of the revenues with players _ a far cry from the $1 billion that separated the sides for so long. But the NFL Players Association refused to budge any further without getting

detailed financial information for each team. “I would dare any one of you to pull out any economic indicator that would suggest that the National Football League is falling on hard times,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said. “The last 14 days, the National Football League has said, ‘Trust us.’ But when it came time for verification, they told us it was none of our business.” By dissolving and announcing it no longer represents the players in collective bargaining, the union cleared the way for class-action lawsuits against the NFL, which opted out of the CBA in 2008. The antitrust suit — forever to be known as Brady et al vs. National Football League et al — attacked the league’s policies on the draft, salary cap and free-agent restrictions such as franchise-player tags. Invoking the Sherman Act, a federal antitrust statute from 1890 that limits monopolies and restrictions on commerce, the players are seeking triple the amount of damages they’ve incurred. That means the stakes here could be in the hundreds of millions. It could take a month for there to be a ruling on the union’s injunction request, and antitrust judgments should take longer. The court fights eventually could threaten the 2011 season for a league whose past two Super Bowls rank as the two most-watched programs in US television history. The last time NFL games were lost to a work stoppage came when the players struck 24 years ago, leading to games with replacement players. —AP

Stars 4, Wild 0 In Dallas, defenseman Trevor Daley ignited a three-goal flurry over in 1:31 span in the second period that propelled Dallas to a big win over Minnesota. Kari Lehtonen made 14 saves for his 15th career shutout while Tom Wandell and Mike Ribeiro added second-period goals for the Stars, 6-0-2 in their past eight games. Jamie Benn scored a goal in his sixth consecutive game to help Dallas move to fourth in the Western Conference playoff race with 82 points. The Wild, 0-10-4 in their past 14 road games against the Stars, were shut out for the second consecutive night. Kings 4, Blue Jackets 2 In Columbus, Los Angeles inflicted a seventh straight loss on Columbus. Anze Kopitar had his second career three-goal game, picking up the hat trick by midway through the second period. Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 shots while Justin Williams had a goal and two assists for the Kings. Scottie Upshall and Derick Brassard scored for the Blue Jackets. Islanders 4, Bruins 2 In Uniondale, New York, Matt Moulson, Michael Grabner and Jack Hillen scored in a 6minute span in the second and third periods to help New York overcome Boston. P.A. Parenteau added an empty-net goal, and Al Montoya made 26 saves for New York. Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara scored for the Bruins. Chara, booed every time he touched the puck, was playing his second game since his check on Max Pacioretty that sent the Montreal left wing to the hospital with a severe concussion and a fractured vertebra. Senators 2, Lightning 1 In Tampa, Curtis McElhinney made 34 saves in his debut for Ottawa to beat Tampa Bay. McElhinney was claimed off waivers from the

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Friday: NY Islanders 4, Boston 2; Washington 2, Carolina 1; Detroit 2, Edmonton 1 (OT); Los Angeles 4, Columbus 2; New Jersey 3, Atlanta 2 (OT); Ottawa 2, Tampa Bay 1; Dallas 4, Minnesota 0; Anaheim 6, Colorado 2. (OT denotes overtime win)

Detroit Chicago Nashville Columbus St. Louis

Western Conference Central Division 40 20 8 222 196 37 24 7 223 189 34 24 10 173 159 31 27 9 185 204 31 28 9 190 202

88 81 78 71 71

Vancouver Calgary Minnesota Colorado Edmonton

Northwest Division 44 16 9 225 162 36 25 9 211 199 35 27 7 176 184 26 33 8 189 235 23 37 9 171 226

97 81 77 60 55

San Jose Dallas Los Angeles Phoenix Anaheim

Pacific Division 39 22 7 192 37 23 8 191 38 25 5 189 35 23 11 197 37 26 5 193

85 82 81 81 79

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division

Philadelphia Pittsburgh NY Rangers New Jersey NY Islanders

W 42 39 35 31 27

L 19 21 30 32 32

OTL 6 8 4 4 10

GF 215 196 195 143 192

GA 177 167 169 172 218

PTS 90 86 74 66 64

Boston Montreal Buffalo Toronto Ottawa

Northeast Division 38 21 9 205 164 37 24 7 181 172 33 26 8 194 193 29 29 10 178 209 25 34 9 153 209

85 81 74 68 59

Washington Tampa Bay Carolina Atlanta Florida

Southeast Division 39 20 10 185 168 38 22 8 201 205 31 27 10 194 206 28 28 12 189 219 27 32 9 169 188

88 84 72 68 63

Lightning but never played for Tampa Bay, which obtained him four days earlier in a trade with Anaheim. Jason Spezza opened the scoring midway through the first period on a power play, and Bobby Butler scored 53 seconds into the second to make it 2-0. Tampa Bay held a two-man advantage when Martin St. Louis tipped in a rebound 2:53 into the third period. Ottawa had killed the prior 33 consecutive penalties over 10 games. Red Wings 2, Oilers 1 In Detroit, Pavel Datsyuk scored with 42 seconds left in overtime as Detroit beat Edmonton after only tying the game in the final seconds of regulation thanks to a lucky deflection. The Oilers were only 25 seconds from victory when Nicklas Lidstrom’s shot from the point deflected off Edmonton’s Andrew Cogliano high in the slot and slid into the net to make it 1-1. In overtime, Datsyuk took a pass from Johan Franzen, dragged the puck around a sliding Oiler and beat the goalie with a wrist

174 190 166 198 197

Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L) shot. Ryan Jones scored in the first period for Edmonton. Ducks 6, Avalanche 2 In Denver, Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists to help Anaheim beat slumping Colorado. Corey Perry and Saku Koivu each had a goal and an assist while Bobby Ryan, Brad Winchester and Dan S ex ton also scored for the Ducks, who are ninth in the Western Conference, two points behind Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix and Calgary. David Jones and Ryan O’Reilly scored for Colorado. Devils 3, Thrashers 2 In Atlanta, Travis Zajac scored on a power play 4:18 into overtime to lift surging New Jersey over Atlanta. Zajak also had a powerplay goal in the second period, and Ilya Kovalchuk added his 25th goal — also on a power play — for New Jersey. The Devils are 21-3-2 since Jan. 8. Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien scored for the Thrashers who have just three regulation wins in the past 33 games.—AP



e niv rsar n


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


Mahan loses his cushion but keeps lead at Doral DORAL: The only thing Hunter Mahan liked about the end of his round at the Cadillac Championships of Friday was his name being atop the leaderboard. Mahan stretched his lead to four shots until he stumbled with a pair of bogeys toward the end of his second round at Doral, had to settle for a 1-under 71 and suddenly had the No. 1 player right on his heels. Martin Kaymer, in his second week atop the world ranking, played bogey-free in a steady breeze for a 70 that put him one shot behind Mahan and in the final group, a position that is becoming familiar. “I hit a lot of good shots, just didn’t finish as strong as I would have hoped,” said Mahan, who was at 9-under 135. “But I’m pretty happy with where I am.” Francesco Molinari, going after his second World Golf Championship, had a 68 and joined Kaymer at 8 under. Mahan brought more than Kaymer back into the game. Dropping those two shots — one of them one a long three-putt at the 14th, the other on a poor tee shot at the 16th — brought a host of others into the mix on the Blue Monster. Rory McIlroy (69), Matt Kuchar (69) and Nick Watney (70) were among those two shots behind, while Dustin Johnson (69) and Adam Scott (70) were another stroke back. Tiger Woods, a threetime winner at Doral, was not among them. Neither was Phil Mickelson. Woods again struggled with his putter, missing four birdie putts inside 10 feet and looking bad at the end. A pair of 6foot birdie attempts at the 16th and 18th holes never had much of a chance and he wound up with a 74, nine shots behind. Even so, the lasting image of Woods will be a pair of tee shots. He hit a smother hook with the driver on the second hole, which traveled only 122 yards _ about the same distance he typically hits a sand wedge. Then came a pop-up on the 14th hole and a 188-yard drive. “It’s pretty tough not to giggle,” US Open champion Graeme McDowell said about Woods’ tee shot on No. 2. “We all hit bad shots. Hit a couple of those in my time. The guy is working on his golf swing, and every now and again, you have a few weird ones in there.” When someone suggested he didn’t appear to be having fun, Woods didn’t look like he was having fun answering the question. “You’re not going to have a lot of fun when you’re nine back,” he said. “I don’t know if a lot of people are very happy with that.” Mickelson dropped three shots when he returned to finish the storm-delayed first round, including two shots in the water on the par-5 eighth for a double bogey that led to 73. He was slightly better in the second round with a 71. McDowell called a penalty on himself when he noticed the ball move during his putting stroke on the ninth. That gave him a 73. Woods and Mickelson will be paired Saturday, the first time they have ever been in the same group for three straight rounds.

DORAL: Yuta Ikeda, of Japan, tees off on the second hole during the third round at the Cadillac Championship golf tournament. — AP

They could be just a warmup act, however, being so far out of contention. Kaymer is becoming an intimidating name on the leaderboard. He won the Abu Dhabi Championship by eight shots to start his season, and reached the final of the Match Play Championship two weeks ago in Arizona. With seemingly little effort, he is right back in the mix. Mahan had a chance to beat the “Germanator” at the Match Play until losing a late lead. “It’s quite impressive, his run,” Mahan said. “He seems mentally tough and that’s what separates him. And he’s a great putter. But he’s playing great. He’s actually winning, and that’s what sets the good players and great players apart.” McIlroy, who played in the last group with Kaymer in Abu Dhabi, said he looked at the second spot on the leaderboard to assess his chances going into the weekend. “Even though Hunter is a couple of shots ahead of me, to give Martin a stroke lead is going to be pretty tough to sort of keep up with him,” McIlroy said. A dozen players were separated by four shots going into the weekend, including defending champion Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington. Kaymer had to play eight holes in surprisingly cold

Al-Bisher and Al-Kazemi organizes Mercedes Trophy Golf Tournament By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: The Kuwait National Final of the prestigious Mercedes Trophy Golf tournament was held at the Sahara Golf and Country Club on Friday, March 11. This year was a very special tournament that marked the 14th anniversary of this unique event in Kuwait. It was an exciting finish to the keenly contested championship with the top three winners getting a chance to play in the Mercedes Trophy World Final in September of 2011. Mercedes-Benz’s involvement in international golf is a key component of the brand’s international sports sponsorship activities. The image dimensions of this sport are a perfect match for the values espoused by the premium automotive brand. Moreover, Mercedes-Benz has been active in amateur golf since 1989. The Mercedes Trophy is a dedicated tournament series of amateurs in which more than 58,000 players tee-off each year in more than 43 countries or regions. The contestants aim to reach the World Final in which the best individual players and the best team are decided in Stuttgart. At least 92 golfers participated in this year’s tournament in Kuwait, all of them vying for the exclusive prizes and the most coveted top three positions for the chance to compete in the World Finals in Stuttgart, Germany. The day started off with participants registering with the club and collecting their welcome gift packs provided by AlBisher and Al-Kazemi, followed by a hearty breakfast at the Club House. The tournament was divided into three-handicap classes as per the official structure of the Mercedes Trophy Golf tournament. There were more than ten prizes up for grabs. The play started at 12:15 PM and already one could feel the energy and competitiveness in the air as the golfers commenced on the challenging course. Everybody had their eyes set on Hole number 4, for the Hole-In-One prize - a fabulous Mercedes-Benz GLK-300 Sports Utility Vehicle provided by Abdul Rahman Al-Bisher and Zaid AlKazemi Company. The fiercely contested tournament was won by the following Mercedes-Benz customers: First Place Handicap Division A - Ahmed Al-Sarawi First Place Handicap Division B - John Morgan First Place Handicap Division C - Ali Al-Jazzaf

All three golfers who won the trophy are now eagerly awaiting the World Finals of the Mercedes Trophy golf championships to be held in Stuttgart, Germany. A complete list of other winners follows below • Winner (Non-Mercedes-Benz Customer) — Aziz AlMulla • Winner (Non-Mercedes-Benz Customer) - Renny Mathews • Winner (Non-Mercedes-Benz Customer) - Wayne Gosling • 2nd Place Division A - Chris Hutton • 2nd Place Division B - Robert Drolet • 2nd Place Division C - Sunny Kim • 3rd Place Division A - Ghassan Al Saleh • 3rd Place Division B - Farhan Al Shammary • 3rd Place Division C - Mohan Singh • Nearest To Pin (Ladies) - Lee Jong Tae • Nearest To Pin (Men) - Ki Won Yoo • Longest Drive (Ladies) - Sunny kim • Longest Drive (Men) - Paul Larner Michael Ruehle, General Manager Abdul Rahman AlBisher and Zaid Al-Kazemi Company (Mercedes-Benz) said, “We wish to thank all the sponsors who supported this year’s competition.” He continued to say - “A very special word of thanks to the sponsors of the tournament Jumbo Travels, Tiffany and Co., Golf ME, Magnitude Communications and Waves Printing Press for helping to make this year’s event such a great success. The Mercedes Trophy, as most of you are aware is a way of showing our appreciation to Mercedes-Benz customers and friends of Mercedes-Benz. This is also a solid platform to promote the sport of golf in Kuwait,” concluded Ruehle. As a token of appreciation, Abdul Rahman Al-Bisher and Zaid Al-Kazemi Company extended to the golfers playing in this tournament a very exclusive offer of a complimentary ‘Two Days Test Drive’ of new Mercedes-Benz SUVs Al-Bisher and Al-Kazemi company has been organizing this tournament continuously for the past thirteen years, and this very special fourteenth edition of the Mercedes Trophy Final came to a close with a sumptuous dinner accompanied by a live jazz band at the terrace of the Sahara Golf Club.

weather — so cold that Mahan donned a ski cap in Miami — and shot 66. He was steady in the afternoon, never a serious threat to chase down Mahan, just hanging around. It was the work of a No. 1 player, and one that doesn’t figure to relinquish it any time soon. “Especially after the PGA Championship, a lot of people thought that this may be the end of my career, especially in Germany,” he said. “For me, it was very important that I keep winning. Of course, I’m happy and I’m very satisfied. But it’s not the final satisfaction.” It was tough for Ryo Ishikawa, Yuta Ikeda or Hiroyuki Fujita to take much satisfaction out of whatever they did. The three Japanese players in the field struggled with news of the devastating earthquake at home. Ishikawa at least was able to contact his family just northwest of Tokyo before resuming his first round in the morning, and he shot a 65 to trail Mahan by one. The afternoon was a struggle, mostly because of the wind, and Ishikawa shot 76. “I received a communication from my father, and the message was, ‘Focus on your golf, we are fine, do what you need to do,”‘ Ishikawa said. For the second round, he said, “It was simply that the Blue Monster decided to be what it’s known to be.”—AP

Price matches record with 60 NEWPORT BEACH: Nick Price matched the lowest round in Champions Tour history, eagling two of final four holes Friday for a career-best 11-under 60 in the Toshiba Classic. Seeking his fourth victory on the 50-and-over tour, Price eagled the par-5 15th and 18th holes and had seven birdies in a bogey-free round at Newport Beach Country Club. “There was a flash in my mind when I eagled 15, I sort of thought to myself, if I birdie the last three holes, I can break 60,” Price said. “I’ve never done that before.” The Zimbabwean joined several other players to have scored a 60 on the Champions Tour: Tom Purtzer in the 2004 event here, Isao Aoki (1997 Emerald Coast Classic), Walter Morgan (2002 AT&T Canada Senior Open), Bruce Fleisher (2002 RJR Championship), Jim Thorpe (2003 Long Island Classic) and Craig Stadler (2005 Blue Angels Classic). Price, a three-time major champion with 18 PGA Tour victories, had a five-stroke lead over Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Mark Wiebe and Brad Bryant. Defending champion Fred Couples opened with a 66. The 54-year-old Price hit a 2-iron approach from 218 yards to 2 feet to set up the eagle on the 495yard 15th, then chipped in from off the green on the 510-yard 18th. At the beginning of the year, Price decided to make some switches with his equipment, switching his driver and irons and going with a blade belly putter instead of a mallet. They were similar to his old clubs, but with some minor adjustments. “It’s funny when you start playing well, it’s not one particular thing, it’s a combination of a lot of little things,” Price said. “The few times, three or four times that I’ve run into really good streaks in my career, that’s what did it.” Langer, coming off a victory Feb. 20 in the ACE Group Classic in Naples, Fla., had a double bogey on one of the easiest holes on the course when his 8-iron shot on the 143-yard, par-3 fourth hit the bank in front of the green and rolled back into the pond. I could have hit maybe a 7,” Langer said. “I pulled my 8 a fraction and it still came up a little short. It might have been a 7.” The 2008 Toshiba champion then bogeyed the par-4 sixth and failed to birdie the relatively easy 18th. “I’m a little ticked off that I didn’t birdie 18,” Langer said. “I had a beautiful drive down there.” Australian Ian Baker-Finch shot a 74 in his Champions Tour debut. — AP

Courageous Italy stun France for historic win ROME: Mirco Bergamasco kicked a penalty five minutes from time and then Italy held firm to stun France in a historic 22-21 victory at the Stadio Flaminio here yesterday. It was the hosts’ first ever Six Nations win against the French, whose championship hopes are all but in tatters following a second successive defeat. For Italy this stunning and dogged performance will have banished memories of their 59-13 capitulation to England at Twickenham earlier this season. Bergamasco kicked five penalties and a conversion for a personal haul of 17 points with man-of-the-match Andrea Masi adding Italy’s try. For Italy coach Nick Mallett it was a victory he had been yearning for and perhaps will make the Italian rugby federation reflect about whether they should replace him after the World Cup by Frenchman Jacques Brunel. “The team played really well against Ireland and had a good game against Wales when we had a bit of bad luck,” said the 54year-old former Springbok coach. “This win against a good French team is a huge huge achievement, I am so proud of the players and proud of what they’ve done for the Italian supporters. “Sport is a funny thing, you lose a few in a row and then things change very quickly the fans realise we were improving all the time.” Masi was almost moved to tears. “This has been a result of a lot of hard work and on the day a lot of courage,” said the 29-year-old. “Today we have beaten one of the strongest teams in the world.” France coach Marc Lievremont was seething. “I haven’t bothered talking to the players yet, I just spoke to Titi (captain Thierry Dusautoir),” said the 42-year-old, for whom little has gone right since guiding France to their first Grand Slam since 2004 last year. “We have to congratulate the Italians because from the first minute to the last minute they were better than us. “This is yet another disappoimtment and yet another huge disillusionment.” France made a shaky start, knocking on from the kick-off and giving away a freekick at the subsequent scrum before Dusautoir was penalised for straying offside and Bergamasco kicked the hosts into a

ROME: Italy’s Mirco Bergamasco (right) is tackled by France’s Vincent Clerc during a Six Nations international rugby union match. — AP second minute lead. However, it didn’t take long for France’s greater class, and mostly speed, to tell. On the quarter hour mark Francois Trinh-Duc kicked ahead and although Masi blocked off Yoann Huget to allow Bergamasco to recover the ball deep in the Italian 22, when Masi went to kick clear he failed to find touch. France spread it left and Vincent Clerc chipped over Gonzalo Canale, easily outstripping him in a foot-race to touch down, although Morgan Parra missed the extras. Moments later Gonzalo Garcia stopped Clerc in the corner before Aurelien Rougerie burst through towards the posts, but as he stretched out his arm in the tackle to touch down, he dropped the ball. Italy, though, were penalised at their own scrum and Parra kicked the penalty from right under the posts. Canale made a great break on 24 minutes but lacked support, although France were penalised for offside and Bergamasco kicked another easy penalty, reducing the arrears to two points at the break. Early in the second period, Italy wasted a great break from Masi with a poorly executed grubber from Luciano Orquera and they

were made to pay when Parra kicked France 11-6 ahead. Italy’s resistance was seemingly broken on 51 minutes as a quick tap pass from Parra found Trinh-Duc, who stepped inside two men, burst through a gap and passed back inside for his scrum-half to go under the posts. Italy weren’t helping themselves as Bergamasco missed two kickable penalties from just outside the 22. But that seemed to spur them on and suddenly, starting with a break from captain Sergio Parisse, Italy went through the phases out on the left with Fabio Semenzato popping the ball out to Masi to sneak over in the corner. Bergamasco even kicked the conversion from the touchline and when he finally landed a penalty from 30 yards, the hosts trailed only 18-16. Parra kicked a penalty but then two more from Bergamasco gave Italy an unlikely one-point lead with only five minutes to go. The wait for victory to be confirmed was agonising as a scrum was reset twice after the 80 minutes were up but when the final whistle went, the Flaminio erupted into joyous scenes of celebration. — AFP

Brett penalty earns draw for Blues

KUWAIT: A group picture of the 14th Mercedes Trophy winners held in Sahara Club on Friday.

PERTH: Replacement flyhalf Stephen Brett landed a penalty goal after the full-time siren yesterday as the Auckland Blues rallied from a 10-point deficit with three minutes remaining to earn a 22-22 draw against the Western Force. The Force led the fourth-round Super 15 encounter 22-12 after a try from center Nick Cummins out wide just before halftime and 17 points from James O’Connor, but capitulated after backrower Jono Jenkins was sent off with four minutes remaining. The Blues’ All Blacks hooker, Kevin Mealamu, scored a 77thminute try, which Brett converted to reduce the margin to three points. And then the Force forwards were penalized with 15 seconds on the clock for an infringement in the ruck and Brett took his time before calmly slotting the goal from almost 40 meters out.

“I’m pretty gutted to be honest,” Force coach Richard Graham said. “I thought we worked really well there for 80 minutes.” Auckland coach Pat Lam conceded the Blues were fortunate to share the competition points. “They really got into us,” Lam said. “We made too many errors. We put ourselves under pressure and we know we’re fortunate to get a draw out of that game.” After Blues flyhalf Luke McAlister missed two penalty kicks in the first six minutes, O’Connor landed two goals to give the Force a 6-0 lead after 15 minutes. McAlister leveled the score with two penalties before the Force surged ahead. The Force had a try disallowed to lock Sam Wykes after an O’Connor chip and chase and then led 16-9 at the break after Cummins’ late try. Two more penalties gave them a 22-12 lead after 62 minutes before the Blues staged a comeback. — AP

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


Bulls charge past Hawks CHICAGO: Derrick Rose came on strong after a slow star t to finish with 34 points as the Chicago Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks 94-76 on Friday to move within half a game of NBA Eastern Conference leader Boston. The Bulls used a strong third quarter to prevail on a night when Carlos Boozer sat out with a sprained left ankle. Leading the way was Rose with 18 points in the period as the Bulls outscored Atlanta 24-10 to turn a two-point halftime deficit into a 7260 lead. Luol Deng shook off a bruised thigh to add 18 points.

INDIAN WELLS: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia serves to Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan during a second round match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. —AP

Jankovic and Clijsters cruise at Indian Wells INDIAN WELLS: Holder Jelena Jankovic and Belgian world number two Kim Clijsters each made short shrift of their opponents as they cruised into the third round of the Indian Wells WTA tournament on Friday. Serb Jankovic launched her title defence with a crushing 6-2 6-1 victory over American teenager Coco Vandeweghe while Clijsters demolished Russian Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2 6-0. Jankovic, wearing a bright apricot dress, broke the error-prone Vandeweghe twice in the opening set and three times in the second to make a triumphant start as the sixth seed in the elite event at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The 26-year-old Serb, who beat Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki in last year’s final, sealed victory on her second match point when the American wildcard netted a backhand. “ There wasn’t a lot of rhythm out there,” Jankovic told reporters after playing the first match of the day on the showpiece stadium court in dazzling sunshine. “She made a lot of mistakes ... and the points were very short. I didn’t really have a chance to hit a lot of balls, because that’s the style of play she has. She really goes for every shot, goes for a big serve. “So all I had to do was get the ball in play and kind of wait for my chances. I did what I had to do, and I’m happy to get to the next round.” World number six Jankovic will next meet either 32nd-seeded German Julia Georges or Austria’s Sybille Bammer. Vandeweghe, making her debut this week in the main draw at Indian Wells, struggled to make much of an impact

with her power ful but erratic game against the rock-steady Jankovic. “I’m definitely a little bit more accustomed to getting more free points off my serve,” the 19-year-old said. “Some of the shots that she’d get back, sometimes I thought: ‘Hey, that’s a winner.’ “But, you know, she’s a top-10 player and those players are gonna do that. That’s what I’m striving to be, so I have to be prepared to continually play those points more consistently.” Clijsters, champion here in 2003 and 2005, needed only 52 minutes to brush aside the 23-year-old Kudryavtseva. “Everything could be better, of course,” the four-times grand slam champion said. “But for a first match, I’m at a stage now where I haven’t played for a while and when I was playing, my last few tournaments were indoors.” Clijsters, who won the Australian Open in January, had not previously competed for almost a month since losing to Czech Petra Kvitova in the Paris Open final. “So I kind of just have to get back into playing outdoors again and in big arenas ... just get a feel for it all over again because it’s been a while,” said the 27-year-old Belgian, who will next face Italian Sara Errani. In other matches, French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy, the fifth seed, eased past Czech Zuzana Ondraskova 6-2 6-0 and 17th-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova brushed aside Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 7-5. Third-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva beat Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 6-3 7-6 while Kvitova, the 12th seed, was upset 3-6 6-2 7-5 by fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. —Reuters

76ers 89, Celtics 86 In Philadelphia, Spencer Hawes had 14 points and 10 rebounds as Philadelphia edged Boston. Elton Brand scored 14 points for the Sixers, who led by 10 points and controlled the Celtics for most of the fourth quarter. The Celtics missed eight straight baskets over a 6-minute span late in the fourth to lose only their eighth conference game of the season. Lou Williams’ jumper just a shade over the 5-minute mark put the Sixers ahead 83-81 and they never trailed again. Jodie Meeks made two free throws after he was hammered by Paul Pierce on a fast break attempt and the Sixers came away with one of their biggest wins of the season. Nenad Krstic had 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Celtics. Warriors 123, Magic 120 In Oakland, Golden State used some hot shooting to come from 21 points down and stun Orlando in an overtime win. Monta Ellis had 39 points and 11 assists while Dorell Wright scored 32 points for the Warriors, who made a franchise-record 21 3-pointers to highlight a furious second-half push that toppled the Magic in thrilling fashion. Jason Richardson scored 30 points for the Magic, who again put in a substandard performance against an opponent they were expected to beat. They wasted a big lead with a poor defensive effort after the break. Spurs 108, Kings 103 In San Antonio, the hosts made it 11 straight wins over Sacramento. Tony Parker scored 27 points and Manu Ginobili had 24 for the Spurs, whose streak dates to 2007, but the West’s worst team didn’t make it easy for the NBA-best Spurs. The Kings led 91-88 in the fourth before the Spurs pulled away with a 172 run. Jermaine Taylor and Omri Casspi led Sacramento with 16 points apiece. Bobcats 97, T Blazers 92 In Charlotte, Stephen Jackson scored 18 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead three-point play, as Charlotte defeated Portland. In his first game back from a hamstring injury, Jackson finished one point shy of the team record for points in a quarter held by Gerald Wallace as Charlotte snapped a six-game losing streak. The last original member of the seven-yearold franchise and its only All-Star, Wallace was traded last month to Portland. In his return game, he had 13 points and nine rebounds, but fouled Jackson on his layup to put Charlotte ahead to stay with 48 seconds left. Thunder 104, Pistons 94 In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 24 points to help Oklahoma City beat Detroit. James Harden kept his late-season surge going with 22 points for the Thunder, who pulled ahead to stay just before halftime then held off a charge by the Pistons. Richard Hamilton had his second straight 20-point game for Detroit. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook became the fifth player in NBA history to reach 4,000 points, 1,500 assists and 1,000 rebounds during his first three years in the league. The others are Chris Paul, LeBron James, Anfernee Hardaway and Oscar Robertson. T’wolves 122, Jazz 101 In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 24 points

NEWARK: New Jersey Nets’ Brook Lopez (right) puts up a shot over Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan during overtime of an NBA basketball game. —AP and 12 rebounds to extend the longest double-double streak since 1973-74 to 53 straight games, and help M innesota down Utah. Michael Beasley scored 23 points for the Timberwolves, who snapped a 20-game losing streak to Northwest Division opponents. Gordon Hayward scored 18 points for the new-look Jazz, who are falling out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Nets 102, Clippers 98 In Newark, New Jersey, Brook Lopez and Jordan Farmar each scored 24 points, combining for all of New Jersey’s overtime scoring,

and the Nets rallied to beat Los Angeles. The Nets erased a 20-point deficit for a fourth straight win; their longest streak since 2008-09. Chris Kaman had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who lost their first game in five. Raptors 108, Pacers 98 In Toronto, the hosts sent Indiana to a sixth consecutive defeat. The Pacers dropped into a tie with Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the East. Leandro Barbosa scored a seasonhigh 29 points and Ed Davis had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors. —AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Friday: New Jersey 102, LA Clippers 98 (OT); Philadelphia 89, Boston 86; Toronto 108, Indiana 98; Charlotte 97, Portland 92; Chicago 94, Atlanta 76; Minnesota 122, Utah 101; Oklahoma City 104, Detroit 94; San Antonio 108, Sacramento 103; Golden State 123, Orlando 120 (OT). Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 46 17 .730 NY Knicks 34 30 .531 Philadelphia 34 31 .523 New Jersey 21 43 .328 Toronto 18 47 .277 Central Division Chicago 46 18 .719 27 38 .415 Indiana Milwaukee 25 38 .397 Detroit 23 43 .348 Cleveland 12 52 .188 Southeast Division Miami 44 21 .677 41 25 .621 Orlando Atlanta 37 28 .569 Charlotte 27 38 .415 Washington 16 47 .254

GB 12.5 13 25.5 29 19.5 20.5 24 34 3.5 7 17 27

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 41 23 .641 Denver 38 27 .585 Portland 37 28 .569 Utah 34 32 .515 Minnesota 17 50 .254 Pacific Division LA Lakers 46 20 .697 Phoenix 33 30 .524 Golden State 29 36 .446 LA Clippers 25 41 .379 Sacramento 15 48 .238 Southwest Division San Antonio 53 12 .815 Dallas 47 18 .723 New Orleans 38 29 .567 Memphis 36 30 .545 Houston 33 33 .500

3.5 4.5 8 25.5 11.5 16.5 21 29.5 6 16 17.5 20.5

Red-hot Raonic powers through KUWAIT: General Director of Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad said that the authority will spare no efforts to accommodate Kuwait youths and give them necessary support to practice their activities and hobbies. AlFahad was speaking during a reception made to the founding Board of Directors for Al-Qurain sports club, after it has been approved and announced. He expressed happiness to be the General Director of PAY while a new club has been formed.

Nadal keeps goals short INDIAN WELLS: Having suffered an ill-timed leg injury at the Australian Open in January, Rafa Nadal is reluctant to look too far ahead for the rest of this season. The world number one was sidelined for 10 days after losing to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the Australian Open quarter-finals and has competed in only two Davis Cup matches since then. Nadal is back in action at the Indian Wells ATP tournament, where he won the title in 2007 and 2009, and will launch his campaign against South African Rik de Voest in the second round on Saturday. Asked by reporters what his goals were for 2011, the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion replied: “The goal is the match of tomorrow. That’s the first goal, no? We will see. “I felt I was in very good position to try to start this season very well. I felt per fect but I was unlucky in the beginning of the season, so I am just trying to find again the performance of the beginning of the season.”

Nadal, bidding to become only the third man to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time, was stunned 6-4 6-2 6-3 by Ferrer in the last eight at Melbourne after suffering a leg injury early in the match. “That’s part of the game,” Nadal said of his premature departure from the first grand slam event of the season. “In the second game, I felt the leg. That’s what happened. I tried to recover very fast and practise in Mallorca, so that’s what I did. I played Davis Cup last week, and I’m here to try my best.” Nadal won both of his singles encounters in Spain’s first-round Davis Cup tie against Belgium last week, describing his form there as “normal”. He was delighted to be back in the California desert at Indian Wells for the opening Masters Series event of the season at a venue he has long enjoyed. “I don’t have any reason to not play well here because I was playing really well before the injury and I came back,” Nadal said. —Reuters

INDIAN WELLS: Fast-rising Canadian Milos Raonic unleashed 10 aces and a series of withering groundstrokes to blast past Marsel Ilhan 6-2 7-6 in the first round of the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Friday. The baby-faced 20-year-old, whose boyhood idol was bigserving Pete Sampras, broke Ilhan twice in the first set and once in the second, where he led 5-3 before fending off a late fightback by the Turk. “I feel good,” a smiling Raonic told reporters after wrapping up the match with an ace in the second set tiebreaker. “It’s been two weeks since I played a tournament, so I was happy to be back feeling like I’m playing a lot better.” Despite hammering down one ace at a blistering 148 mph (238 kph), the Montenegro-born Raonic was not satisfied with his all-round ser ving during the match. “A few times I hit the second serve harder than the first, so that’s not how I want to be serving,” he said. “ There are a few things I want to work on. “I didn’t serve that well today but I feel compared to Memphis and San Jose I’m playing (at) another level from the baseline.” Raonic, who has rocketed from 156th in the rankings at the start of this year to 37th, won his first ATP title by upsetting top seed

and defending champion Fernando Verdasco at last month’s San Jose Open. The following week, he reached the final in Memphis where he lost a thrilling encounter with the experienced Andy Roddick 7-6 6-7 7-5. “My goals are to keep playing better and better and improving, and I have been doing that well in the practices,” said Raonic, who became the first Canadian since

Greg Rusedski in 1995 to win an ATP title. “I’ve been improving from the baseline, playing a lot better, even compared to when I have been playing to date my best tennis since San Jose and Memphis. “As far as everything else is coming together with the pressure, I know I’ll always be the one to put more pressure on myself than anybody else,” added Raonic, whose win-loss record for

the year is 15-3. “So I have been doing that well, and I have been expecting a lot from myself. I have been doing a lot of good things, and I hope to keep doing a lot more.” In other men’s first-round m a t c h e s , B r a z i l ’s R i c a r d o Mello eased past Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-4 63 and Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas beat Pablo Andujar of Spain 75 6-3. —Reuters

INDIAN WELLS: Fabio Fognini of Italy serves to Nikolay Davydenko of Russia during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. —AP



e niv rsar n


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


Kostelic wins men’s title

SPINDLERUV MLYN: Austria’s Marlies Schild reacts at finish line after winning an alpine ski, World Cup women’s slalom. —AP

Schild bags 6th slalom of season SPINDLERUV MLYN: World champion Marlies Schild led an Austrian 1-2 finish yesterday to win her sixth World Cup slalom of the season and clinch the discipline title. Schild had the fastest time in both runs to clock 1 minute, 43.85 seconds on the Black course. Kathrin Zettel finished 0.93 second behind and Tina Maze of Slovenia was 1.16 back in third. Schild holds an insurmountable 111point lead over second-place Tanja Poutiainen of Finland in the slalom standings with only one more race remaining in the discipline. “It’s great to win (the discipline),” said Schild, who won the slalom title for the third time.” I didn’t expect to win it before the finals.The last races will be really cool.” The Austrian has won six of eight slaloms this season and has 29 World Cup wins in her career. Yesterday’s was the final race before the March 16-20 World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Three-time overall defending champion Lindsey Vonn of the United States was tied for 16th, but still narrowed the gap to overall World Cup leader Maria Riesch from 38 to 23 points after the German went out in the second run. Riesch didn’t finish three races this season, all slaloms, but is third in the discipline standings. Vonn has been struggling in slalom this season, only finishing events in Levi, Finland, and Aspen, Colorado previously, both in November. She was in 12th place after the first run and had the 20th fastest time in the second. She remains 20th in the slalom standings. “I didn’t ski well in my second run,”

Vonn said. “I know it was little bit too turny for me on the top. I just never really got into a good rhythm.” She said she didn’t know Riesch was out before she started the second run. “I just had to keep charging as if she was winning. It still wasn’t my best slalom run but it’s the first slalom race I actually finished in a long time.” Riesch was 15th after the first run, where she lost her rhythm shortly after the start and also had problems on the lower part of the course. She then skied out just seconds into the second leg. “This was a really, really bad and disappointing weekend for me,” Riesch said. “I’ll try to forget about that as soon as I can.” With four more races — a downhill, super-G, slalom and giant slalom — to come, the battle between Riesch and Vonn over the overall title remains wide open. “This is a new challenge I never really faced before, to be down in the World Cup,” Vonn said. “Bring it on. I’m pushing myself harder than I ever have.” On Friday, Vonn finished third in the giant slalom in Spindleruv Mlyn for her first career podium in the discipline to narrow Riesch’s lead from 96 to 38 points. Riesch almost skied off in the second round and placed 29th. “It’s going to be really exciting finals, it’s going to push me to a new level of skiing I never seen before myself,” Vonn said. “This is going to be on the same level as the Olympics as far as the pressure goes.” Despite her disappointment, Riesch still sounded optimistic before the finals. “I’m still in the lead overall and we have four races to go,” she said. —AP

KVITFJELL: Ivica Kostelic became the first Croatian to win the men’s overall World Cup yesterday after taking an unassailable lead in the standings with five races to go. A 20th place in yesterday’s downhill at Kvitfjell was enough to put the 31-year-old 518 points clear of Switzerland’s Didier Cuche, who finished seventh. A win in a World cup race is worth 100 points. Kostelic, whose sister Janica won the overall women’s World Cup three times, won seven races this season, all in a stunning run in January, as he became the first slalom specialist to clinch the title since Benjamin Raich in 2006. The overall World Cup is considered by many skiers to be more than prestigious than an Olympic or world championship gold medal as it is decided over the whole season and various disciplines. Austria’s Michael Walchhofer won the race, his third victory in a downhill this season, one week before the 35-year-old’s retirement. “I have been dreaming of this and fighting for this for years,” Kostelic, who also leads the slalom standings and is second in Super G, told reporters. “The overall World Cup title is the greatest achievement you can reach in Alpine skiing. “I grew up in respect of the all-rounders. My sister won it three times and that has been a big inspiration for me. “I’m proud to have done it, being a slalom

NORWAY: Austria’s Klaus Kroell speeds down the course on his way to take second place in an alpine ski, World Cup men’s downhill race. —AP skier.” Kostelic, a sometimes outspoken critic of skiing authorities and something of a traditionalist, added that it had become tougher for slalomists in the last few years. “(1995 champion) Alberto Tomba was also a slalom skier but nowadays you need to score points in the speed events, you have to be a more complete skier than in his year. “What I achieved in January is

pretty unique, to win so many events in one month,” added Kostelic, who said he intended to go on and compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. Walchhofer covered the Olympiabakken course in one minute 45.92 seconds, beating his compatriot Klaus Kroell by 0.13 seconds, to go top of the downhill standings, leap-frogging previous leader Cuche. Swiss outsider Beat Feuz, who

stunned the rest of the field when he won Friday’s downhill, had another impressive run and finished third, 0.31 behind the winner. Cuche’s unhappy day was complete when he was fined 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,377) and warned after an angry exchange with a race director over what the Swiss considered to be a dangerous jump in the downhill course. — Reuters

Lin edges towards unique achievement BIRMINGHAM: Lin Dan’s bid to become the first player of the open era to win five All-England men’s singles titles carried him into the final with flashes of his old genius here yesterday. Lin, regarded by many as the greatest player ever, was close to his best in the first and third games but allowed Germany’s Marc Zwiebler to fight back unexpectedly in the second during his 21-9, 16-21, 21-11 victory. The performance of the unseeded German was also of high quality, especially as he had spent much of the tournament recovering from flu, but perhaps because he was able to perform without pressure of expectations he surprised everyone including himself. “It’s always fun playing against Lin Dan,” he said. “I can just try to do my best. I have to accept he is the better badminton player and if he plays like he did in the first and the third games there is nothing I can do. “In the second he started making mistakes,” Zwiebler added, “and I am happy I was able to go to three games.” It was tough for him to do so, because, as he said, he ‘woke up in the morning feeling like he was 62 and not 26.’He was also facing an opponent who established such an early dominance that he felt able to experiment with some outrageous disguises, especially with flicks from the net and wrong-footing blocks

from the mid-court. Lin made Zwiebler work hard, and several times made the crowd coo with pleasure at the deftness of his touch and width of his vision. But after Lin reached 4-3 in the second game, with Zwiebler clearly breathing very hard, the focus of the four-ties former champion appeared to become less intense. The remainder of that game became an exercise in seeing whether Zwiebler, who in the second round had beaten world champion Chen Jin, had the energy to take it the distance. He just about did, but never looked like getting his nose ahead in the third, when Lin introduced some potent airborne attacks and some sharp switches of direction from the mid-court. “What happened was normal,” Lin said of the Zwiebler comeback. “I was disappointed with my second game.” China is certain of contesting both singles finals. Its hopes of winning the women’s singles title back will rest with top-seeded Wang Shixian, who won the Malaysian Open and then reached the final at the world’s first million dollar tournament, in Korea, in January. She overcame her compatriot Wang Xin, the world runner-up, 21-19, 21-17, coming from 10-5, 11-7, and 13-10 down in the first game, and gradually getting on top. —AFP

BIRMINGHAM: China’s Lin Dan dives to reach a shot during his men’s singles semi final match against Marc Zwiebler of Germany at the All England Badminton Championships. — AP

SPAIN: McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his F1 racing car during a test session at the racetrack of Montmelo, near Barcelona. — AP

Button worries about girlfriend in Japan BARCELONA: Jenson Button spoke of his relief on Friday after anxious hours testing his Formula One car without knowing whether his girlfriend was safe in earthquake-hit Japan. Button, the 2009 world champion, told Reuters he tried in vain to contact JapaneseArgentine lingerie model Jessica Michibata before she sent out a reassuring message on her Twitter feed hours later. “I couldn’t speak to the missus, to Jessie, because the phone lines weren’t working in Japan,” said the McLaren driver after wrapping up his final day of testing before the seasonopener in Australia on March 27. “The only way I could get in touch with her really was through Twitter because the telephone lines weren’t working. I found out that she was okay. “She sent me a text saying: ‘How’s testing going?” and it was like: ‘Honey, that’s not really the most important thing at the moment. How are you? How are you feeling?’” Button, who has been dating Michibata for some three years, said the model had been doing a photoshoot in an underground studio in Tokyo when the biggest quake on record in Japan struck. At least 1,000 people died when the 8.9 magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami along the country’s northeastern coast. McLaren, well off the pace of rivals Red Bull and Ferrari in testing, had another disappointing day at the Circuit de Catalunya but Button’s thoughts were mainly elsewhere. “My heart and thoughts go out to all of the people (in Japan) because motorsport is one thing but something like that happening is so much bigger than the problems that we have here today,” he said. “I’m not going to lie. It’s not the best way to go into the season,” he said after completing 57 laps and ending up 13th of the 14 drivers on the timesheets. Seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher was fastest in a morale-boosting

turnaround for Mercedes while Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso completed a whopping 141 laps in front of his home fans and was second fastest. “You look at Red Bull’s mileage and Ferrari’s mileage and we are a long way down on it but there is no point getting negative about it and down at this point of the season,” said Button. “We’ve got to pick ourselves up, be positive, sort the problems out and turn up in Melbourne hopefully with a much more reliable car, have a good Friday and put it on pole. It’s easy,” laughed the 31-year-old. Button has won in Melbourne for the past two years, with Brawn in 2009 and McLaren last year, and he refused to give up hope of a hat-trick. “In Melbourne last year nobody thought I’d

win the race starting fourth, the Red Bulls were half a second up the road or something so you never really know, especially when the weather’s up and down,” he said. “We are not in the best position arriving there and you’d say the Red Bulls and Ferraris are a good chunk in front of us and I don’t know about anyone else. “So I think we’ve got to forget about where we stand at the moment compared to others and just get our heads down and move this thing forward because this isn’t where McLaren should be or where McLaren will be for long,” he added. “There’s a great bunch of people here and we are all working as hard as we can to hopefully resolve some of the issues and turn up in Melbourne even with a stronger package.”—Reuters

HRT scrap Spanish test of new F1 car LONDON: Formula One tail-enders Hispania (HRT) will not be able to run their new car until the first day of practice at the seasonopening Australian Grand Prix after calling off a planned test in Spain. The Spanish-owned team, who build the car at a factory in Germany, blamed a problem with Spanish customs for their inability to take part in Saturday’s final pre-season test in Barcelona. The F111 was unveiled on Friday by Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan and Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi but did not run because team boss Colin Kolles said certain suspension parts had not cleared customs. In a later statement, the team-one of three newcomers last year that failed to score any points and were well behind the established outfits-said the problem had not been

resolved and called off Saturday as well. “Unfortunately we could not get the dampers out of customs... This is life and we will overcome this problem,” said Kolles. Teams are due to send their cars to Melbourne next week for the March 27 season-opener. It will be the second year in a row that Cosworth-powered HRT have arrived at the first race with a completely untested car. Last year, their debut season, they also missed much of Friday practice in Bahrain as they rushed to complete the cars. The Formula One season would have started this weekend, had the March 13 Bahrain Grand Prix not been called off due to unrest in the Gulf kingdom. Karthikeyan and Liuzzi did at least manage to test with the 2010 car earlier this year. — Reuters

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


Black Caps target quarters NEW DELHI: New Zealand are hot favorites to seal a place in the World Cup knockout round when they face minnows Canada today but will have to do it without injured skipper Daniel Vettori. Defeat in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium would be a major shock for the Black Caps, who have a total of six points after thumping 10-wicket wins over Kenya and Zimbabwe, and a 110-run victory against Pakistan on Tuesday. Their only blemish was a seven-wicket defeat

against Australia. “No Dan Vettori, but no alarms. That should be the outcome of New Zealand’s penultimate group game at the World Cup against Canada at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium,” the New Zealand Herald said yesterday. The paper reported that the absence of Vettori would likely mean an opportunity for either left-arm spinner Luke Woodcock or paceman Hamish Bennett. But it warned the Black Caps should guard

against complacency following Ireland’s shock win over England earlier in the tournament. “The players should be setting all expectations for the Canada game aside. If New Zealand assume the game to be a doddle, someone should roar loudly in their ears: ‘Ireland!’” Vice-captain Ross Taylor will lead the side into the match full of confidence after starring in his side’s win over Pakistan in Pallekele, smashing 131 in 124 balls after getting two early let-offs. —AFP

New Zealand’s Ross Taylor

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

Scoreboard NAGPUR, India: Complete scoreboard of the World Cup Group B match between India and South Africa at the Vidarbha Cricket Association’s Jamtha Stadium in Nagpur on yesterday: India: V. Sehwag b du Plessis 73 111 S. Tendulkar c Duminy b Morkel G. Gambhir c Kallis b Steyn 69 Y. Pathan c Smith b Steyn 0 Yuvraj Singh c Botha b Kallis 12 MS Dhoni not out 12 V. Kohli c and b Peterson 1 Harbhajan Singh b Steyn 3 Zaheer Khan c Morkel b Peterson 0 A. Nehra c Smith b Steyn 0 M. Patel b Steyn 0 Extras (lb2, nb1, w12) 15 Total (for all out; 48.4 overs) 296 Fall of wkts: 1-142 (Sehwag), 2-267 (Tendulkar), 3268 (Gambhir), 4-268 (Pathan), 5-283 (Yuvraj), 6286 (Kohli), 7-293 (Harbhajan), 8-294 (Zaheer), 9296 (Nehra), 10-296 (Patel). Bowling: Steyn 9.4-0-50-5 (w6), Morkel 7-0-59-1 (nb1), Kallis 8-0-43-1 (w1), Peterson 9-0-52-2 (w2), Duminy 3-0-29-0, Botha 9-0-39-0 (w2), du Plessis 30-22-1 (w1). South Africa: H. Amla c Dhoni b Harbhajan 61 16 G. Smith c Tendulkar b Zaheer J. Kallis run out 69 AB de Villiers c Kohli b Harbhajan 52 JP Duminy st Dhoni b Harbhajan 23 F. du Plessis not out 25 M. van Wyk lbw b Patel 5 J. Botha c sub (Raina) b Patel 23 R. Peterson not out 18 Extras (lb7, w1) 8 Total (for seven wickets; 49.4 overs) 300 Fall of wkts: 1-41 (Smith), 2-127 (Amla), 3-173 (Kallis), 4-223 (de Villiers), 5-238 (Duminy), 6-247 (van Wyk), 7-279 (Botha). Bowling: Zaheer 10-0-43-1, Nehra 8.4-0-65-0, Patel 10-0-65-2, Pathan 4-0-20-0, Yuvraj 8-0-47-0, Harbhajan 9-0-53-3 (w1). Result: South Africa win by three wickets

South Africa win Cup thriller NAGPUR: South Africa backed up paceman Dale Steyn’s five-wicket burst with their batting depth to end India’s winning run with a thrilling three-wicket victory in the World Cup yesterday. Needing 13 to win in the last over off seamer Ashish Nehra, South Africa found an unlikely star in Robin Peterson who plundered 16 runs off the first four balls to help his side achieve a 297-run target. India looked set to post a mammoth total when they reached 267-1 following Sachin Tendulkar’s brilliant 111 for his 48th one-day hundred, but lost their last nine wickets for just 29 runs in nine overs to be bowled out for 296. Man of the match Steyn (5-50) played a key role in his team’s fightback to bag his maiden five-wicket haul in one-day internationals. India, who had been hoping to wrap up a quarter-final place, still top Group B with seven points from five matches. They are followed by West Indies (6/4), South Africa (6/4), England (5/5) and Bangladesh (4/4) as the pool heads for a thrilling conclusion in the final week of first round games. “For 15 overs up front we took an absolute beating but for 75 we played some incredible cricket,” said South Africa skipper Graeme Smith who was criticised last weekend for not being able to chase down a 172run target to beat England. “Chasing 300 on that deck, second innings was a hell of an effort from the guys and I think we’re all pretty speechless at the moment.” India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni defended his team’s tactics in the latter part of their innings when wickets collapsed and runs dried up. “You don’t play for the crowds. They always want you to hit sixes and fours,” he said.

Standings (played, won, lost, tied, no result, points, net run rate) Group A Sri Lanka

5 3 1 0 1 7 +2.705 qualified

N Zealand 4 3 1 0 0 6 +1.848 Pakistan

4 3 1 0 0 6 +0.760


3 2 0 0 1 5 +1.813

Zimbabwe 4 1 3 0 0 2 -0.690 Canada

4 1 3 0 0 2 -2.083


4 0 4 0 0 0 -3.403 Group B

NAGPUR: South Africa’s Robin Peterson (right) and Faf du Plessis celebrate beating India by three wickets in the Cricket World Cup match. —AP “It’s always better that the batsmen play the overs, delay the slog a bit and get maybe a par score and don’t look for that extra 20 or 25 runs.” Jacques Kallis (69), Hashim Amla (61), AB de Villiers (52), Faf du Plessis (25 not out) and JP Duminy (23) also contributed to South Africa’s win. Tendulkar earlier dominated the South African attack, cracking three sixes and eight fours in a 101-ball knock. He now needs just one more century to become the first player to score 100 international hundreds, having already made 51 in Test cricket. South Africa’s attack came under pressure for the first time in four matches as Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag (73) and

Gautam Gambhir (69) comfortably gathered runs against pace and spin, much to the delight of a capacity crowd. India made the most of winning the toss on an easy-paced pitch as Sehwag and Tendulkar provided an explosive 142-run start off just 17.4 overs. Gambhir continued the good work, adding 125 for the second wicket with Tendulkar. Sehwag, who survived on four and 70, hammered 12 fours in his 66-ball knock. He began his fifth successive innings with a four when he lofted Steyn over mid-on. He had a lucky escape in the next over, his edge off paceman Morne Morkel flying past wicket-keeper Morne van Wyk. Sehwag did not curb his strokes after the let-off, smashing Steyn for two more bound-


5 3 1 1 0 7 +0.768

W Indies

4 3 1 0 0 6 +2.206

S Africa

4 3 1 0 0 6 +1.352


5 2 2 1 0 5 +0.013


4 2 2 0 0 4 -1.241


4 1 3 0 0 2 -0.444

Netherlands 4 0 4 0 0 0 -2.728 aries and then punishing Morkel for three fours in an over as India raced to 50 off just 41 balls. Runs flowed from both the ends as Tendulkar also fluently drove Morkel through the covers and then straight-drove the next delivery for two successive fours. Tendulkar offered a difficult chance on 47 when he lofted left-arm spinner Peterson over extra cover but de Villiers, running in from long-off, failed to hold on to the ball even after making a fine diving effort. —AFP

Mahan keeps lead at Doral

Courageous Italy stun France for historic win


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

Page 16

Jankovic and Clijsters cruise at Indian Wells


LONDON: Manchester United’s Chris Smalling (right) vies for the ball against Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey during their English FA Cup quarter final soccer match at Old Trafford. —AP

Fabio, Rooney shoot down Gunners MANCHESTER: Fabio da Silva and Wayne Rooney scored the goals as Manchester United progressed to the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 victory over Arsenal in the quarter-finals at Old Trafford yesterday. It rounded off a miserable week for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, who were knocked out of the Champions League at Barcelona on Tuesday after losing the League Cup final against Birmingham last month. The Gunners now have just the Premier League title to aim for, while United are still on course for a treble. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson sprung a major surprise by selecting seven defenders, with Rafael da Silva, his twin brother Fabio and John O’Shea all playing in midfield. But Fabio opened the scoring after a quick counter attack in the 28th minute and Rooney added a second just after half time, with his sixth goal in nine matches. Arsenal dominated possession early on, with Andrei Arshavin testing Edwin van der Sar with a low effort after swapping passes with Samir Nasri. The Russian also dragged a shot wide from just outside the area before Fabio headed over from a cross from Rafael at the other end. The visitors continued to look the better side going forward and Van der Sar took two attempts to get hold of Robin van Persie’s curing effort before saving Abou Diaby’s deflected shot. But United took the lead just before the half-hour mark with a swift counter attack. Rafael guided the ball out to Fabio on the right and he laid the ball off for Rooney. The England striker lifted a cross into the area and Javier Hernandez’s header was palmed away by Manuel Almunia, only for Fabio to tap in to an empty net from six yards. After more fine work from Nasri, Van Persie’s cross-shot was pushed

past the post by Van der Sar and from the corner that followed, Van Persie headed narrowly wide after meeting the ball unmarked. Nasri went even closer when he cut in from the left and managed to squeeze a low shot towards the near post, only for Van der Sar to make another decent save. United winger Antonio Valencia replaced Fabio at half time, making his first appearance since suffering a broken ankle against Rangers in September. Van der Sar pulled off an impressive double save after Laurent Koscielny’s shot span off Wes Brown and then the French defender produced another effort from the loose ball. But three minutes after half time, United doubled their advantage. Rafael ran past Kieran Gibbs and when his cross was met by Johan Djourou ahead of Hernandez, Rooney was on hand to head in the rebound from close range. Van der Sar denied Nasri after the Frenchman met a loose clearance on the volley on the edge of the area. Van Persie just missed the top corner with a curling effort from the right as Arsenal searched for a way back into the game. Substitute Marouane Chamakh also had a low effort held by the impressive Van der Sar. Van der Sar, who will retire at the end of the season, pulled off another fine stop, getting a hand to Chamakh’s downward header to again deny Arsenal. He rescued United again, when he blocked Tomas Rosicky’s thumping drive from just outside the area. Almunia prevented United making it three when Hernandez got a foot on Rooney’s cross only for the Spaniard to claw the ball away. The visitors were reduced to 10 men late on when Djourou was stretchered off after appearing to injure his shoulder while blocking Hernandez.—AFP

Bayern rout Hamburg

LONDON: Bolton Wanderers’ Chung-Yong Lee (center) scores against Birmingham City during the English FA Cup sixth round soccer match at St Andrews. —AP

Super-sub Lee fires Bolton into last four BIRMINGHAM: South Korean substitute Lee Chung-Yong hit a 90th-minute winner as Bolton booked their first FA Cup semi-final appearance since 1975 with a 3-2 quarter-final win over Birmingham yesterday. Johan Elmander and Kevin Davies had twice given Wanderers the lead only for goals from Cameron Jerome and Kevin Phillips to pull Alex McLeish’s team level at St Andrew’s. But Lee had the final say with his late header as Owen Coyle’s team ended League Cup winners Birmingham’s hopes of a cup double and reached Wembley for the first time since 2000. With his squad severely depleted by injuries, McLeish could name only six substitutes, but the Birmingham manager was able to call on Barry Ferguson after the midfielder agreed to take a pain-killing injection to play with a broken rib. It took 13 minutes for the game’s first chance to arrive with Birmingham defender Curtis

Davies’ looping header saved comfortably by Trotters goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen from Sebastian Larsson’s free-kick. Yet eight minutes later it was Bolton who took the lead when Fabrice Muamba overpowered Ferguson to head goalwards, Ivan Klasnic hooked the ball on and Sweden international Elmander fired inside the left post for his first goal since January 8. McLeish’s frustrations grew further when Martin Jiranek, who took an early knock to the ankle, and Ferguson, with what looked to be his thigh, were both forced off with injuries inside the opening half hour with Liam Ridgewell, himself not fully fit, and Nathan Redmond, who only turned 17 last week, brought on. Yet just as the momentum appeared fully in Bolton’s favour, Birmingham demonstrated their famous fighting spirit thanks to a fine goal to level things up from Jerome seven minutes before half-time. —AFP

BERLIN: Dutch winger Arjen Robben netted a hat trick as Bayern Munich broke their losing streak with a 6-0 rout of Hamburg yesterday, while leaders Borussia Dortmund were beaten 1-0 at Hoffenheim. After Bayern boss Louis van Gaal was told last Monday that his contract will be terminated at the end of the season-a year earlier than plannedBayern secured their biggest win of the season following three straight defeats. “Who would have thought this, eh? Certainly not my friends from the media,” gloated van Gaal, whose side host holders Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday. “But that is football. “In the beginning, we played well and we could have gone into the half-time break behind. Fortunately, that didn’t happen and I am very glad we put in a good performance. This is a good preparation for Inter Milan.” Bayern started strongly at Munich’s Allianz Arena and hit the woodwork three times in the first half before Robben netted his first goal after 40 minutes. He curled in a direct free-kick on 47 minutes and completed his hat-trick eight minutes later after French winger Franck Ribery tore through the Hamburg defence and squared to the Dutchman, who rifled home. Not to be outdone, Ribery then scored his first goal since December when he outpaced the Hamburg defence and chipped home on 64 minutes. Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller scored the fifth with 10 minutes remaining after a great pass from Turkey’s Hamit Altintop split the Hamburg defence. To complete the humiliation, Ribery teased the defence and then saw his low cross deflected in off the legs of Hamburg captain Heiko Westermann in the 85th minute. The league’s top side Dortmund were beaten for only the third time this season through a second-half goal from Hoffenheim striker Vedad Ibisevic. “This game was predestined for such a result,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp. “We were better in nearly all areas, but we didn’t make it count. “Our approach to the game was right, so I am not worried by our first defeat of the year.” With second-place Bayer Leverkusen at Mainz today, Dortmund keep their 12-point lead at the top, while defending champions Bayern are still 16 points off the pace despite their win in Munich.—AFP



e niv rsar n


Earnings reports buoy KSE stocks Page 22


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

Microsoft focuses on New Era of Opportunities Page 25

Euro-zone agrees to boost defenses

Page 26

CFC reports record profits in 2010 Page 23

An aerial view shows vehicles washed away by an earthquake triggered tsunami in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan. Japanese leaders yesterday pushed for an emergency budget to counter economic damage from the earthquake and tsunami that killed hundreds and caused widespread destruction. — AP

ABK reports net profit of KD 53.2m for 2010 By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank Kuwait (ABK) held its annual general assembly yesterday at the bank’s headquarters. During his address at the event, ABK board chairman Ahmed Yousef Behbehani revealed that the bank was able to report an outstanding growth in net profits, which rose by 36 percent to KD 53.2 million in 2010. He added that the bank earnings per share had risen by 19% to 38 fils each, with the return on assets for the period standing at 1.8 percent and the return on equity 13.3 percent. “These figures indicate our sound performance in the course of the year, with all the core businesses performing robustly,” he commented, reassuring the bank’s shareholders and asserting that they can be confident about the continuing strength and robustness of the bank’s operations and management structures. Based on these financial results, the Board of Directors proposes a dividend of 20 fils per share, a 33 percent increase on last year’s dividend. Behbehani went on to state that the global economy has continued a gradual recovery from the unprecedented financial turmoil of the previous two years. Regional economies also recovered in this period, he said, adding that this was supported by an improvement in market sentiment towards Dubai and the UAE, where ABK has important business interests. However, the bank head said, the financial markets are still prone to volatility and fragility due to the lack of corrective measures taken to rectify their positions, which he suggested makes it exceptionally difficult to assess the long-term economic consequences of the global crisis. Speaking at the press conference which took place after the AGM concluded, the bank’s CEO Collin Plowman described anyone attempting to predict or offer a definite view on the market’s future as “very brave,” bearing in mind the current instability in the MENA region, not to mention the recent events in Japan. He added that these events were reflected by instability in the regional and global markets, as well as by volatility in oil prices. “The market situation in Kuwait is very slow and will continue to be for the first half of 2011,” Plowman cautioned, although he was upbeat about ABK’s positive attainments, revealing that the bank is currently enjoying strong capital adequacy ratios and an increase in low-cost customer deposits, which he said leave the bank in good shape to maintain good position. “Our outlook is still stable”, Plowman stressed, though he admitted some criticism of the bank’s policy in not moving towards regional diversification. He emphasized, however, that the bank is continuing to reduce the provisions policy that it launched three years ago. Development plan Behbehani, meanwhile, indicated that the continued resilience of oil prices offers the bank’s administration some level of confidence for the future, adding that oil prices at their current levels will have a positive effect in boosting Kuwait’s development and help in commencing the implementation of major projects. On the same subject, Plowman said that many local banks will be participating in underwriting the infrastructure projects proposed in the development plan. Another senior ABK official, Chief General Manager Abdullah Al-Sumait, said, “ABK is ready to finance governmen-

KUWAIT: ABK Board Chairman Ahmed Yousef Behbehani with other top executives during the general assembly session. — Photo by Yasser-Al-Zayyat On the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, tal project as we are reliant on a half billion dinars as a capital adequacy ratio and we do not need any increase in this ratio.” Behbehani said, “At ABK we firmly believe that Kuwait’s finanOn the subject of funding private sector funding, he said that cial industry is an essential part of the fabric of society, and this has to be carried out in compliance with the bank’s condi- that our great financial institutions should be integral to the tions, as well as pointing out that local banks can finance lives of citizens and residents of the country.” He added that development plan-related projects through jointly-provided the bank has strengthened and extended its policy of support for the wider social community, offering donations and syndicated loans. financial assistance to a wide range of organizations which provide services and opportunities in the fields of education Corporate lending Plowman, meanwhile, explained that whilst banks’ deci- and recreation, especially sporting activities. Concluding his address, the bank chief expressed optisions on corporate loans are generally dependent on the external economic situation, ABK will “not need to do that, at mism about the further recovery of the regional and global economies during 2011, saying that this would help to more least now, as the year 2011 is a difficult one.” On the bank’s investment in its own Human Resources rapidly advance the economic wheel and enhance developDevelopment (HRD), Behbehani said that ABK continues to ment in Kuwait. He added that amongst ABK’s major achievements during invest in employee development and has conducted numerous training programs at the ABK Academy specially designed 2011 will be the conclusion of the KD 101 million capital to enhance staff members’ skills and technical expertise. “ABK increase in May, and the decision by international ratings is committed to develop ABK’s human resource capabilities agencies to maintain ABK’s ratings at investment grade which will remain an important priority for 2011 and will con- reflecting the intrinsic strength and resilience of the bank during the recent difficult market conditions. tinue to invest the resources needed,” he asserted.

NBK named Best Trade Finance Bank in Kuwait Global Finance recognition for 2011 Global Finance, the renowned international magazine in the finance industry, has named the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) as the Best Trade Finance Bank in Kuwait in 2011. “We have selected the banks that are best serving the needs of corporations worldwide as they engage in cross-border trade” said Joseph D Giarraputo, Global Finance president and publisher. NBK was among Global finance annual survey for best trade finance banks along with major global banks such as Citi, BNP Raribas, UniCredit Group and Standard Chartered. Criteria for choosing the winners included: transaction volume, scope of global coverage, customer service, competitive pricing and innovative technologies.

Global Finance highlighted NBK’s leadership status, thanks to its impressive performance, prudent management and conservative approach to risk. In 2010, NBK was named the Best Bank in the Middle East by the world’s premier financial voices: Global Finance, Euromoney and The Banker. NBK was also named one of the 50 safest banks in the world for the second consecutive year. NBK enjoys the highest credit ratings in the region by international rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings. It has the largest overseas network encompassing 175 branches, representative offices and subsidiaries strategically located in 17 countries spread over four continents, including 10 countries in the Middle East.

Japan considers emergency quake budget, BOJ meets TOKYO: Japanese leaders pushed for an emergency budget to counter economic damage from a powerful earthquake and tsunami that killed hundreds and caused widespread destruction. The Bank of Japan, which has struggled to return the country to growth, said it will cut short a two-day policy review scheduled for next week to one day tomorrow and promised to do its utmost to ensure financial market stability. Auto plants, electronics factories and refineries shut, roads buckled and power to millions of homes and businesses was knocked out. Several airports, including Tokyo’s Narita, were closed and rail services halted. All ports were shut. Japan’s biggest quake on record occurred as the world’s third-largest economy had been showing signs of reviving from an economic contraction in the final quarter of last year. The disaster raised the prospect of major disruptions for business and a repair bill of billions of dollars. Leaders of the ruling and opposition parties agreed on the need for an extra budget after Prime Minister Naoto Kan asked them to “save the country,” Kyodo news agency reported. “The government would have to sell more bonds, but this is an emergency, so this can’t be avoided,” Yasuo Yamamoto, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute in Tokyo. “Given where the Bank of Japan’s benchmark interest rate is now, they can’t really lower rates. The BOJ will focus on providing liquidity, possibly by expanding market operations.” New Zealand’s central bank slashed interest rates on Thursday after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that wrecked Christchurch’s central business district. The Bank of Japan’s options are more limited. It policy rate is already 0.1 percent following cuts during the global financial crisis. The government’s fiscal hands are also tied as it wrestles with the biggest public debt among industrialised countries at two times the $5 trillion economy. “The government must act quickly to announce support packages and the central bank should pump more money into the economy,” said Tsutomu Yamada, a market analysts at Securities. Japan’s economy looked set to return to growth in the first quarter of 2011, according to a Reuters poll this week. After the disaster, it will probably fall again before growing more strongly as a result of rebuilding work, said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York. The 8.9 magnitude quake sent shares skidding in Japan. Global stocks sank to their lowest level in nearly six weeks before recovering. Electronics giant Sony Corp, one of the country’s biggest exporters, shut six factories, just one of scores of major companies affected by the disaster. “There are car and semiconductor factories in northern Japan, so there will be some economic impact due to damage to factories,” said Yamamoto said. Miyagi accounts for 1.7 percent of Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP), Macquarie Research said. Manufacturing and utilities shut down including Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co plants, officials said and media reported. Refineries also closed. “There are two basic economics-related concerns. The first is that the fragile economic cycle is not in a position to withstand significant disruption,” Macquarie said in a note. “The second is that the combination of a softer economy and the additional strain on public finances will put upward pressure on bond yields.” The yen initially fell but then recovered strongly, helped by Japanese investors bringing home investments held abroad as they lost their appetite for risk. Japanese investors that have been heavily invested overseas bring it back home in periods of risk aversion,” said Michael Woolfolk, strategist at BNY Mellon.—Reuters


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


Earnings reports buoy KSE stocks KUWAIT: The beginning of the earnings season and cash distributions starting to pour into the market coupled with the announcement of 40 percent cash dividend by the biggest Kuwaiti bank, National Bank of Kuwait, the robust recovery of the Saudi market and the encouraging economic indicators revealed in the GCC, are factors that caused a rebound in the Kuwaiti stock market. Global General weighted index, formed a double bottom pattern during the last couple of weeks at around 195 points before rebounding back up, reaching 205.03 points at the end of the last trading session, gaining 3.71 percent during the week. The recent bullish pattern suggest an additional increase in the index up till 209.6 point in the coming few sessions, while crossing it over will lead to the next resistance level at around 211 point on the short to medium-term. The bullish trend tightened the index’s yearto-date losses to 8.28 percent. On the other hand, Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) price index followed the trend as it was also up by 2.26 percent (138.9 points) during the week and closed at 6,286.6 points. Investors wealth appreciated by KD1.18bn during the week as total market capitalization rose to KD33.32bn. Market breadth reversed to positive this time with 90 stocks managing to end the week advancing against 38 stocks retreating out of 148 shares traded. Trading activity started at low base but gradually increase throughout the week. Total trading volume reached 800.77mn shares changing hands, at a total traded value of KD146.85mn. Trading volume was the highest on the Services Sector, accounted for 29.18 percent (233.67mn shares traded) of the total market volume. National Ranges Company was the highest volume traded stock, with 94.08mn shares changing hands. The scrip topped the gainers list as well with a 32.43 percent increase in its price. Kuwait On the value side, the Banking Sector topped the value traded list, accounting for 41.40 percent (KD60.79mn) of the overall market traded value. This time Kuwait International Bank was the highest value traded in the sector with KD15mn traded. This occurred after the bank announced this week signing a KD25mn credit-facility deal with Manabee Company. The scrip ended the week up by 8.93 percent. However, the top value traded in the market was Zain with KD15.8mn traded taking the share price slightly up by 1.49 percent. As measured by Global weighted sectoral indices, and barring the Insurance Index which was down by 3.15 percent for the week, all other market sector indices achieved gains. Heavy weighted Banking index was up by 4.83 percent with no losing stock seen among the Kuwaiti banks, while the Services index added 2.37 percent to its value. Also the Investment Index managed to record good gains, reaching 4.58 percent. However, the Real Estate Index was the biggest gainer this week with a 6.02 percent increase in its value. Global’s special indices were also up. Global Large Cap (Top 10) index added 3.86 percent while Global Small Cap (Low 10) Index gained 1.31 percent. However, Global Islamic Sharia Index was the biggest gainer among all Global indices, being up by 8.65 percent this week. On the year-todate basis, the index is the least to lose with a mere 0.16 percent drop in its value.

GLOBAL WEEKLY MARKET REPORT Macroeconomic News The Central Bank of Kuwait sees its key interest rates as appropriate as they are in line with economic developments. Governor Sheikh Salem Abdul-Aziz Al-Sabah was quoted as saying last week, “The current discount rate is considered reasonable given the economic, monetary and banking conditions at this particular stage,” Sheikh Salem said. 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 oilreliant 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. Kuwait, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, is forecast to see economic growth of 4.0 percent this year after an estimated 3.0 percent rise in 2010 growth rate 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. Kuwait is ranked 26th globally in terms of its foreign trade value, Richard Eglin, head of the Trade Policies Review Division at World Trade Organization, said. Eglin added that Kuwait is one of the WTO founding fathers, and that it owns a free economy which is reflected on its foreign trade. Oil Related News Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah said that OPEC is in consultations regarding a potential output rise but added that there was no decision for the group to produce over quotas yet. Asked if Kuwait has increased its own production, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah said, “We did not increase production, sticking to quotas.” However, he believed Saudi Arabia was already moving to boost its own production in response to the supply shortfalls from OPEC member Libya. Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria were to ramp up their production by as much as 300,000 barrels per day in coming weeks, the paper said, quoting industry officials. The production increase, expected by early April, would together with an earlier rise by Saudi Arabia - almost make up the shortfall in supply from falling Libyan crude exports, it added. Official selling prices (OSPs) for April-loading Iranian, Iraqi and Kuwaiti crude oil heading to Asia will probably rise after Saudi Arabia raised the price of its rival Arab Light to the highest since July 2008. Iranian Light is expected to rise to a premium of USD2.17 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average, if National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) follows the Saudis. State oil company Saudi Aramco raised the premium of Arab Light by 65 cents to $1.95 above the Oman/Dubai average, the biggest premium since oil prices touched records in July 2008. Saudi Aramco raised the price of Arab Medium crude for April also by 65 cents to a dis-

count of 45 cents to Oman/Dubai, which is expected to trigger similar increases in the prices of Iranian Heavy, Forozan Blend, Kuwaiti and Iraqi crude. Iran discusses its crude OSPs quarterly with term lifters and regularly fine tunes the spread between its grades and Saudi crudes during these negotiations. Kuwaiti crude is usually priced 30-40 cents below Arab Medium, while the correlation between Iraq’s Basra Light and Arabian Medium prices is more fluid, making the grade’s OSP less predictable. Price of Kuwaiti crude oil retreated from its year high at $110.57 per barrels (pb) reaching $107.49 on Wednesday, March 9. The crude was down by $0.73 compared with Wednesday’s, March 02, price of $108.22, as announced by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC). The decrease of crude oil came as part of Kuwait’s Oil Minister Statement, stating the rise of production due to Libya’s crisis. In other news, the mayor of Zhanjiang, the Southern Chinese city which will host Kuwait’s $9 billion refinery and petrochemical complex, pledged to strive for officially putting the project into operation on the eve of the opening of the Guangdong Provincial Games in 2014. China has approved a $9bn oil refining and petrochemical joint venture between Kuwait and Sinopec. The project, to be built in the southern coastal city of Zhanjiang , will secure Kuwait, the world’s seventh-largest crude exporter, a solid outlet for its oil, ahead of competing investors such as Venezuela, Russia and Qatar, all of which are planning refineries in China. Kuwait aims to more than double its crude exports to China to 500,000 barrels per day, versus last year’s sales at just under 200,000 bpd. For China, which imports some 55 percent of its crude requirements, a commitment to lock up long-term oil supplies is essential. The Guangdong province venture includes a 300,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery and a 1 million ton-per-year ethylene complex. It makes Kuwait the second OPEC producer after Saudi Arabia to have a major refining presence in the world’s fastest growing major oil market. China, which burned some 9mn bpd of oil last year, the world’s second-largest after the United States, has rapidly expanded its refining sector over the last two decades to feed a robust economy now the world’s second-largest. Chairman of the Kuwaiti Capital Market Authority Saleh Al-Falah announced last week the statute of Law 7/2011 on establishing the authority and organizing local money markets. Al-Falah, in a press conference on the issue, underlined relentlessness to cement any loopholes in the law in order to upgrade the Kuwaiti market into the global level.” With the law being issued, a new phase in the market begins, which requires all efforts to be exerted from all concerned bodies, from investment companies to media,” he noted. Authority board member Dr Youssef Al-Ali reviewed the law’s items that concern acquisitions, rights and enlisting terms, in addition to disambiguating between activities and roles of investment firms from the ones of financial mediation companies. The Central Tenders Committee (CTC) has recently approved 16 tenders that were put forward by 11 governmental directorates, valued at an estimated total of

KD62.487mn. The most notable tender concerns the installation of an osmosis water desalination unit at the South Zoor plant for the Ministry of Electricity and Water. It will have a production capacity of 30mn imperial gallons per day. The CTC has also approved another tender for the MEW to clean 228 main electricity transformers located in the northern part of the country. Meanwhile, the CTC has approved another tender presented by the Interior Ministry to create a computer network project. Kuwait Stock Exchange Kuwait International Bank (KIB) has signed a financing agreement with Mabanee Company, thereby raising the company’s credit facilitation to KD25mn for the five-year period for the purpose of financing the new expansion of The Avenues Mall. Sheikh Mohammad Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, Chairman of KIB said: “This cooperation reaffirms KIB’s confidence in Mabanee as one of the pioneering real estate companies. He added that KIB is financing this project out of its belief in the need to support commercial activity and boost economic development in Kuwait. Mohammad Abdulaziz Al-Shaya, Chairman and Managing Director of Mabanee said that the company is intensifying construction operations for the New Expansion of The Avenues, which is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2012 at the cost of KD150mn. With this, the total cost of The Avenues will stand at KD370mn. Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Turkish unit will launch a $500mn Islamic bond by the end of the year, its chairman Mohammed Al-Omar said. He added that the Islamic lender will issue the benchmark Sukuk following the success of Turkey’s first Islamic bond offering, from lender Kuveyt Turk in August. The Kuveyt Turk Sukuk fetched a yield of 5.25 percent and was oversubscribed by investors from the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Zima Holding Company announced that the Central Tenders Committee will award on June 3, 2011, a tender to a subsidiar y of the Zima Holding Company to rent machinery and equipment and hire labor to remove encroachments on government property and other violations related to the Municipality system. The contract is worth KD1.68mn valid for three years. Combined Group Contracting Company (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 1600mm diameter to supply fresh water from Mina Abdullah complex. MENA Holding Group stated that “As some mass media circulated news about a recommendation to the Egyptian Prime Minister on invalidating the land sold to MENA’s subsidiary EgyptianKuwaiti Development and Investment Co. (EKDIC); and as the company is taking the procedures necessary for confirming these recommendations and protecting shareholders’ equity, MENA requests Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) to suspend the stock for one more week, as of Sunday, March 06, 2011, until the outlook becomes clearer. The company will duly inform the market management of relevant updates.” Abyaar Real Estate Development (Abyaar) stated that it was in the process of inking a final contract of divesting some assets to settle some liabilities amounting to KD2mn.

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

.2730000 .4470000 .3850000 .2965000 .2820000 .2780000 .0045000 .0020000 .0752140 .7327900 .3910000 .0720000 .7183680 .0045000 .0470000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2770500 .4490290 .3874270 .2988830 .2846500 .0519500 .0436370 .2804440 .0355740 .2188220 .0033690 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0754490 .7350760 .0000000 .0739000 .7197970 .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 Bangladesh Taka

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.401 6.177 3.267 2.529 3.877 219.590 35.812 3.829

.2830000 .4560000 .3920000 .3050000 .2900000 .2860000 .0075000 .0035000 .0759700 .7401550 .4110000 .0790000 .7255880 .0072000 .0560000 .2791500 .4524320 .3903630 .3011490 .2868080 .0523440 .0439680 .2825700 .0358440 .2204800 .0033950 .0062450 .0025410 .0033040 .0039600 .0760210 .7406470 .3948370 .0744600 .7252530 .0064920

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

6.402 9.182 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 74.392 76.658 724.650 740.820 75.953

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

ARAB COUNTRIES 50.750 47.110 1.306 199.630 393.980 185.100 6.049 34.991

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 278.880 Euro 390.010 Sterling Pound 453.180 Canadian dollar 290.500 Turkish lire 176.280 Swiss Franc 304.790 Australian dollar 279.190 US Dollar Buying 277.645 GOLD 270.000 136.000 70.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

SELL CASH 286.500 741.470 4.180 290.400 547.600 14.100 52.600 167.800 50.280 391.700 36.480 6.400

Sterling Pound US Dollar

SELL DRAFT 285.000 741.470 3.838 288.900

220.600 47.181 390.200 36.330 6.175

0.033 0.255 0.247 3.490 395.670 0.189 94.440 47.000 4.370 211.100 1.890 50.500 724.190 3.370 6.620 77.120 74.440 220.590 43.060 2.705 452.500 44.700 303.700 6.100 9.550 198.263 76.080 279.200 1.350


394.060 0.188 94.440 3.870 209.600

302.200 6.100 9.370 75.980 278.800

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 450.500 278.800

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

Selling Rate 278.700 288.455 451.210 389.560 297.229 737.644 75.857 76.530 74.290 393.695 47.213 2.528 6.197

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

3.291 3.842 6.416 683.640 3.459 9.272 6.079 3.967 91.658

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 724.010 3.280 6.415 76.690 74.440 220.590 43.060 2.530 450.500

GOLD 1,485.740

10 Tola

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

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

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 279.100 3.275 6.170 2.535 3.850 6.460 76.065 74.595 741.700 47.160 456.000 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 396.400 5.750 390.800 293.100

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 277.850 Euro 3918800 Pound Sterling 453.200 Canadian Dollar 287.850 Japanese Yen 3.395 Indian Rupee 6.175 Egyptian Pound 47.120 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.521 Bangladesh Taka 3.826 Philippines Peso 6.410 Pakistan Rupee 3.265 Bahraini Dinar 740.100 UAE Dirham 75.800 Saudi Riyal 74.220 *Rates are subject to change



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SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011



Commercial Facilities Company reports record profits in 2010 Net profit reaches KD17.142 , up from KD14.267 in 2009

Lama Ataya

When a positive ‘NO’ works About report


am utterly over-worked but cannot possibly mention it to my boss! I have so many things on my plate but still cannot get myself to say no to my colleagues! My to-do list for this week has exceeded all expectations, and is still getting longer by the minute! So many things to do, so few resources and so little time! I am stressed out but I just cannot get myself to say NO! What if I lose my job? What if my boss gets infuriated with me? My colleagues will never ask for my help again!” These are random statements we often hear ourselves/ colleagues/ friends repeat. The illusion that working professionals are doomed to get career quagmired, reprimanded, or somehow shunned at the workplace should they dare say “No” at work haunts many professional minds today, probably more than ever before, with the economic crunch forcing many organizations to lay off people and adding more responsibilities to remaining staff. A Survey about Employee Motivation at the workplace shows 57% of Middle East professionals who have participated in the survey tend to suffer from excessive work pressure in the workplace, 32% of whom state the pressure they endure is almost on a daily basis. Work pressure more often than not stems out of a combination of factors that can include significantly extended working hours, newly increased responsibilities, very tight deadlines and a lack of clarity on expected procedures or outcomes. All the above can be regulated with a crystal clear plan of where you stand, what you can offer, how much you can stretch yourself and what are the resources you require. Setting reasonable limits for yourself and your workplace peers will not only ensure you a much more lucid state of mind but will also boost your focus, and thereby your workplace productivity! Below are some tips from the Middle East’s #1 jobsite on when you can feel comfortable to say ‘’No’’ at work:* Getting buried with job responsibilities you cannot handle all at once: Most professionals dread saying ‘’no’’ to the boss so that the fragile “boss/ employee” relationship keeps flowing smoothly. This is unfortunately a potential quagmire. Managers do not usually get involved in every tiny little detail of your working schedule and thus cannot possibly realize on every occasion that they are placing too much on your plate. You need to ‘’manage your manager’’ and professionally and calmly point it out. The equation here is very simple: Is there balance between your working schedule and the job tasks assigned to you. Are you working extra hours already and in danger of having to work weekends with an incremental project you have just been assigned? Managers do understand that work overload might eventually lead to poor quality of work, so lay your cards on the table loud and clear and respectfully backed with solid facts to support you. Should you be a usually productive and committed employee, your boss will not judge you or provoke you; he/she will instead appreciate your transparency, your commitment to optimal efficiency and the timely wake- call. • Being asked to complete a task that does not relate to your scope of work at all: Were you asked to take charge of filing employee leave applications when you are actually a graphic designer? Or maintain the company’s blog when you are in fact the company accountant? As useful as the above might turn out to be, eventually perhaps, to your long term career development plans, analyzing the short run and taking into consideration the amount of time each task could consume of your working day may well warrant raising the issue calmly and openly to your management. It is, of course, both challenging and flattering to be entrusted with novel and interesting job tasks, even when they are in an entirely different department or field of work, but acquiring the relevant knowledge and resources could entail a considerable time investment, on top of the time you are required to allot to your regular job activities. If you are certain your schedule will not allow it right now, convey the message promptly and professionally to the executive concerned. • Getting pressured by deadlines that risk leaving you wounded: Task 1 is quite urgent (needed end of day), task 2 is even more urgent (needed end of day). Task 3 and 4 have just been thrown into your plate (needed yesterday). You can definitely complete all 4 tasks, and complete them with pride and professionalism, but the deadlines are a bit too unrealistic. You fully understand the key here is prioritizing but since all 4 are matters of urgency to your management, you might want to turn to your management for help in prioritizing these specific tasks. This gesture will not only be appreciated, but will also take a bit of weight off your shoulders and help you abide by more reasonable set of deadlines. Turning to your line manager whenever you are stuck will show you are committed, trustworthy and sincerely care about the wellbeing of your professional reputation and his/hers! • Getting asked to do personal favors during work time: Pick up the boss’s laundry, dog and children during work time when that isn’t part of your job description? Run errands for your associate as she’s stuck in meetings all day and busy preparing for her glamorous party after work? Set your own priorities straight first and then, should you wish to take pleasure in stretching yourself a bit further and doing people favors in the office, make it clear that this cannot and will not interfere with your working schedule! Its great being helpful, flexible and cooperative in times of need, providing of course your favors are recognized and appreciated as such, but job responsibilities come first. Everything else can wait! Learn to politely refuse such requests should they repeat or become chronic. Indicate politely that your schedule does not allow you to entertain social favors while piles of urgent work under your direct responsibility accumulate at your desk. NO, it is not being rude: it is being frank and realistic! To conclude, the workplace today is probably more hectic than ever before, and as much as you would want to please your colleague/boss/ upper management, you should first make sure your important deliverables would not be adversely affected. Do not entertain out-of-this world requests when your performance is at stake. Always ask yourself if the request is reasonable first, if your time allows it, if it aligns with your goals. Do not feel urged to profusely apologize or make excuses that weaken your position. Do not allow for manipulation or feelings of guilt or fear to rip you into pieces. You need not be provocative, you need not stress. Instead, stay calm but firm: Saying NO is not a taboo in the workplace any more than it is in real life. You will, interestingly enough realize, at the end of the day, learning how to say NO can very much be a win-win situation for all parties concerned! — Lama Ataya, Chief Marketing Officer,

KUWAIT: Led by strong revenue growth in its core operations with premium and convenient installment credit facilities, the Commercial Facilities Company (CFC) announced yesterday its record profits and positive financial results for the 12 months ending December 31, 2010. Thanks to its substantial growth in financing new and used cars, computers and electrical appliance, in addition to equipment for consumers, institutions and companies, CFC recorded a net profit of KD 17.142m for 2010, an increase of 20.2% compared to KD 14.267m in the previous year. Stable growth in terms of the shareholders’ equity has added to the gains achieved by the company during 2010. The company also announced the shareholders’ equity

for the year 2010 reaching KD 161.357m as opposed to KD 153.283m in 2009. Moreover, the company’s board has approved dividends for 22 fils per share compared to 20 fils of last year despite the global financial crisis. Commenting on the company’s 2010 performance, Abdullah Saud Al-Humaidhi, Chairman and Managing Director, CFC, said, “We are ver y pleased with our 2010 financial performance that resulted in an excellent profit, given the market circumstances. This achievement demonstrates our outstanding performance and is a clear confirmation that the business model defined under the direction of the Board of Directors is solid and dynamic. We are particularly pleased to announce the significant

results in our core operations throughout 2010. “Led by strong, experienced management and with a clear vision for future, we believe that CFC has performed admirably in 2010. More importantly, this is due to the performance of our loyal customers and the driving power of the company and its team, which have helped keep the outlook for CFC extremely positive and positioned us to continue to contribute to the economic growth and diversification of Kuwait.” he added. CFC, the first leading finance company with strong presence in the market for the past 34 years, has gained a stronger position thanks to its uniqueness in best serving its clients, quick processing of transactions and remarkable convenience.

Abdullah Saud Al Humaidhi, Chairman and Managing Director, CFC

Management development program at a sparkle pace at Al Mulla Group

KUWAIT: Despite a recovering global market, businesses worldwide are still facing a number of tuff challenges to bring back their activities at pre-recession scenario. To meet the present and future challenges, we have diverted our prime focus towards employee training and development. Reducing errors, increasing productivity, exceeding customer’s satisfaction and retaining good talents. One of the initiatives Under KAIZEN Team Leadership Development is “ Management Development Program “. A systematic development of required competencies and attitudes needed for an effective management within the automotive division. Building a culture of self-development as well as taking a responsibility to develop subordinates for greater responsibilities on a continuous basis is a focal point of the initiative. Some of the objectives of the program are 1. Improving the overall managerial performance. 2. Motivating the managers to perform more effectively in accordance with

the organizational long-term strategies. 3. Updating managers about the latest changes and developments in the management arena. 4. Improving analytical and logical

Program is open for all Managers and Potential Managerial Candidates. Under this program participants are experiencing how to behave and react in different economic circumstances like Boom,

skills as required by our leadership competencies model. 5. Improving employee relation skills and encouraging creative behavior. Al Mulla Group - Automotive Division’s Management Development

Recession and Recovery as all these three phases of economy needs different sets of leadership competencies. Al Mulla Group - Automotive Division’s Leadership Competencies revolve around Customer Orientation,

People Management, Team Work, Process Excellence, Quality Management, Strategy & Planning, Risk Management, Managing Change and a set of specialized tech-functional competencies related to specific job function. KAIZEN, which, means “Continuous Improvement”, applies to all facets of management, so it implies to Leadership Development as well. Organizations cannot achieve competitive edge unless it creates a leadership-nurturing environment. We have understood the philosophy that, leadership cannot be enhanced in one day; it is a continuous process and its needs dedicated efforts with modern management techniques. In today’s high demanding corporate work culture, introducing such programs are directly linked with the participants expectations and to make it interesting, topics must be relevant and approach should be interactive with total involvement, hence, our program is designed and developed with the required features that, meet participants expectations.

Ahmed Belal, Ahmed Ramdan vice president of Gulf Express and Baravees Maxxis Tyres Marketing Manager, during the meet.

Presentation by Baravees, Maxxis marketing manager, during the seminar.

Maxxis Tyres dealer meet KUWAIT: Gulf Express Co, a subsidiary of Al-Babtain Group, the distributor of Maxxis tyres in Kuwait conducted Maxxis Tyre dealers meet at Hotel Crowne Plaza in Al-Afrah hall in the auspicious presence of Ahmad Ramadan, Vice President, Gulf Express Co and Maxxis sales team. Ahmad Ramadan explained that Maxxis is one of the most respected tire companies in the world. It is amongst top 10 international tire company’s worldwide, the operations are spread over USA, Canada, Germany, UK, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and China. Maxxis distributes its products in approximately 170 countries from their 9 factories located all over the world and employs more than 22,000 people. The company was established in 1967 and gradually became international company. Maxxis offers

high-quality tire products range includes UHP, PCR, SUV, TBR, Truck, Motorcycle & ATV tires. Maxxis tires users are lifelong Maxxis customers. Maxxis tires are known for its quality and are available at all the tire shops and Gulf express co’s showrooms and service centers and across Middle East countries. Maxxis tires are backed up with customer service and 1-year warranty for technical defect and workmanship. The dealers took active participation in question and answer open session all the questioned were very professionally answered by Ahmad Ramadan to the satisfaction of customers. A lucky draw has been made, gifts were handed over, group photos have been taken with the happy and delighted customer, and all the customers were invited for the dinner.

Jazeera Airways leads Kuwaiti airlines Popular winter destinations in January 2011 KUWAIT: Award winning airline Jazeera Airways yesterday issued its operational performance report for the month of January 2011, which showed that it had a continued to lead in market share over other Kuwaiti airlines on popular winter routes that were served in January 2011. The yesterday-issued report is based on data from Kuwait’s Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA). The report does not include the Kuwait-Jeddah and Kuwait-Riyadh routes, where the airline has lower seat-allocation restrictions compared to other Kuwaiti airlines. Jazeera Airways grabbed a 28% market share on the Kuwait-Beirut route, a 35% market share on the Kuwait-Amman route, a 46% market share on the Kuwait-Alexandria route, a 40% market share on the

Kuwait-Damascus route. The report also showed that Jazeera Airways was the largest Kuwaiti operator on business and weekend destinations as well, capturing a 14% market share on the Kuwait-Dubai route, and 19% market share on the Kuwait-Bahrain route. The report also mentioned that Jazeera Airways operated the month with an on-time performance of 93%, making it one of the most punctual airlines in the Middle East. Winner of Arabian Business Magazine’s ‘Best in Aviation 2010’ award and Gold Winner of Magnum Opus 2010 awards, Jazeera Airways operates to 17 destinations across the Middle East and North Africa during the winter season of 2010/2011.



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SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


Kuwait equities pare losses after trouble BAYAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) was able to compensate some of its preceding weeks’ losses, resulted from the recurring political turbulence witnessed and still taking place in some Arab countries. In parallel to most of the other GCC stock markets’ performance, which in turn witnessed speculative increases in a relatively quiet political events, the KSE ended the week in a green zone as both its main indices recorded gains. The price index ended last week with an increase of 2.26%, while the weighted index grew by 4.24%. Furthermore, last week’s trading volume average increased by 20.20%, compared to the preceding week, whilst average daily turnover recorded a decrease of 22.69%. The market initiated last week with

high trading activity motivated by the return of purchasing power to emerge again, especially after feeling traders that prices of many stocks have become attractive to buy. Most of buying activities took place on blue chip stocks of the market with special focus on banking sector, which still plays a leadership role in moving the helm of the trading. Moreover, the market witnessed some speculative trading of ordinary and small shares particularly in investment and real estate sectors, with positive overall performance driving the market indices to close in green zone. In addition, the market was influenced by the profit and dividends distribution, which contracted its gains to a certain extent, and was able to push

it to the red zone in some sessions. Caution state was present in the market, due to the annual companies’ results; as of Thursday, the number of companies announced their results were around 37%. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 6,286.6 points, up by 2.26% from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 4.24% weekly gain after closing at 445.74 points. Sectors’ Indices All of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the green zone except for one sector. Last week’s highest gainer was the Banks sector, achieving 7.23% growth rate as its index closed at 11,873.9 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Investment sector’s index closed at

4,394.2 points recording 3.60% increase. The Real Estate sector came in third as its index achieved 3.26% growth, ending the week at 2,110.7 points. The Industry sector was the least growing as its index closed at 4,589.1 points with a 0.61% increase. On the other hand, the Insurance sector was last week’s only loser as its index declined by 2.88% to end the week’s activity at 2,510.7 points. Sectors’ Activity The Services sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 233.67 million shares changing hands, representing 29.18% of the total market trading volume. The Investment sector was second in terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 25.31% of last

week’s total trading volume, with a total of 202.71 million shares. On the other hand, the Banks sector’s stocks where the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 60.79 million or 41.40% of last week’s total market trading value. The Services sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD 37.05 million represented 25.23% of the total market trading value. Market Capitalization KSE total market capitalization grew by 4.30% during last week to reach KD 32.12 billion, as all of KSE’s sectors recorded an increase in their respective market capitalization except for one sector. The Banks sector headed the growing sectors as its total market capitalization reached KD 13.62

billion, increasing by 5.98%. The Real Estate sector was the second in terms of recorded growth with 5.97% increase after the total value of its listed companies reached KD 1.69 billion. The third place was for the Non Kuwaiti Companies sector, which total market capitalization reached KD 1.94 billion by the end of the week, recording an increase of 5.08%. The Industry sector was the least growing with 1.18% recorded growth after its market capitalization amounted to KD 2.44 billion. On the other hand, the Insurance sector was last week’s only decliner as its total market capitalization decreased by 3.15% to reach, by the end of the week, KD 301.27 million. For further details, please visit our web site:



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SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011



Microsoft focuses on New Era of Opportunities at Tech-Ed Mideast Highlights on proliferation of devices and Cloud Computing

ASUS launches stylish redesigned K Series Notebooks KUWAIT: New K Series notebooks from ASUS deliver the power of Huron River-based 2nd generation mobile Intel Core processors and discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 500 series graphics. These specifications result in a greatly accelerated computing experience, with particular performance gains in multitasking, multimedia and gaming. Models in the new K Series feature highly durable aluminum texture covers that offer a personal touch and a unique look in both brown and silver. The inclusion of exclusive ASUS IceCool technology provides users with an extra-comfortable typing experience, as palm rests remain cool at all times. Intel second generation Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce graphics New K Series notebooks ship with second generation Intel Core CPUs to accelerate multitasking and improve visual performance with integrated graphics engines. Their 32nm fabrication, low power requirements and inclusion of NVIDIA Optimus technology all extend the battery life of ASUS K Series notebooks for enhanced usability. ASUS goes further in its quest to provide consumers with better performance and value by including discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 500 series graphics on K Series notebooks. All offer DirectX 11 support, with up to GeForce GT 540M and 2GB DDR3 dedicated video memory available. As a result, gaming performance with the latest titles on the K Series exceeds that of competing notebooks in the same segment. Subtle and elegant choice of colors The premium aluminum textures used on the covers of new K Series notebooks serve a dual purpose. They resist wear and tear to retain their luster even over extended product cycles, while at the same time conveying a business-like but nonetheless stylish attitude with choice of brown and silver. For consumers interested in a classic notebook look, new K Series models present a solid balance of design and performance. Superior typing thanks to ASUS IceCool and Palm Proof technology ASUS IceCool technology uses a special internal layout that places heat generating components like the CPU and GPU on the underside and away from users. Coupled with IceCool heat pipes and vents, this makes new K Series notebooks much cooler to use, with palm rest temperatures always staying below body heat and thus cool to the touch. IceCool technology effectively eliminates the sticky feeling users experience when typing on standard notebooks for prolonged periods. The K Series also features ASUS Palm Proof technology to detect errant touchpad contact and prevent accidental mouse pointer movement. Coupled with an iF Award-winning chiclet keyboard featuring wide keys and responsive tactile feedback, these technologies make K Series notebooks perfect for serious typists.

UAE property market faces contraction DUBAI: It was reported that, according to Landmark Properties and Jones Lang LaSalle, the additional supply of two million square feet of commercial office space in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in the next 18-24 months may lead to some serious competition between property owners. This could exert downward pressure on rentals in the area which has reportedly seen low levels of vacancy compared to other parts of Dubai. Abu Dhabi: The estimates of supply was estimated lower at c. 5,600 units during 2010 mainly due to delays in the expected release of new units in Al Reem Island. It was reported that Sorouh Real Estate Company PJSC has even started delivering ownership of houses on the Al Reem Island, marking the first handover on the island by any real estate company, forming part of the c.7,000 units estimated to be released in Al Reem Island during 2011. Separately, it was reported that HSBC estimated a price contraction of 20% during 2011. KSA: It was reported that, according to the Saudi Arabia Finance Ministry, the government is planning to set up a fund that would guarantee loans provided by private financial institutions, intended to reduce cost of lending of banks and encourage them to provide more loans. Separately, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah pledged to spend SAR55bn ($15bn) to boost housing supply. It was reported that the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs allocated 130 plots to the General Housing Authority in an attempt to make affordable housing available for as many citizens as possible. Additionally, it was reported that in an effort to solve Jeddah’s housing problem, the Jeddah Municipality is planning to flatten the hilly areas in order to discover more land.

DUBAI: S Somasegar, Senior Vice President, Developer Division, Microsoft Corp yesterday opened the second edition of Tech-Ed Middle East in Dubai with a keynote speech focusing on a new era of opportunities across the technology landscape. He addressed more than 1700 developers and IT professionals along with technology partners who came together at the start of Tech-Ed Middle East which Microsoft’s premier technology event is offering the region’s IT community a chance to explore Microsoft’s latest, ground-breaking technologies. Somasegar pinpointed two overwhelming trends changing technology experiences today starting with proliferation of devices. The number of smartphones in the world is expected to exceed the number of desktops and laptops by 2012 accompanied by an explosion of applications and data flow. Cloud Computing was the second major trend e highlighted with 80% of enterprises evaluating cloud computing for reasons as simple as economics and the agility it can offer IT. The keynote covered how Proliferation of devices & Cloud Computing can enable more immersive and rich experiences to connect users around the world. Speaking about developer opportunity around devices, Somasegar outlined an opportunity for game developers with the Kinec t for Windows SDK (Software Development Kit) being made available within the next few months as a free download. This “starter kit” for developers makes it easier to create richer experiences using Kinect technology, giving them an opportunity to access key pieces of

the Kinect system - like audio technology, system application programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor itself. Expanding on his proliferation of devices theme, Somasegar touched upon how mobile phones are increasingly extending into the cloud realm. According to Somasegar, “At Microsoft we believe the best user experiences span multiple devices and form factors and we’re seeing more and more device scenarios where applications are synched and tethered to the cloud. With Windows Phone 7, for example, consumers will be able to access their Xbox via their smar tphone and engage in a host of other online experiences.” Since the launch of Microsoft ’s Windows Phone 7 in 2010, over 1 million tools have been downloaded worldwide. Currently there are 8,271 apps available with over 100 new apps added very day. Focusing on the regional developer opportunity for Windows Phone 7, Somasegar announced the launch of Yalla Apps which is a solution for MEA developers to have Windows Phone 7 global marketplace access. Yalla Apps is a Windows Phone 7 marketplace which enables developers (Individuals, ISVs and students) to register, unlock their phones and submit their Apps to the Windows Phone 7Marketplace. Touching upon the significance of Cloud Computing, Somasegar commented on the fac t that Cloud Computing has the potential to accelerate the speed and lower the cost of IT while delivering reliable services. Somasegar added: “Microsoft has the most comprehensive approach to cloud computing which gives cus-

DUBAI: S Somasegar, Senior Vice President, Developer Division, Microsoft Corp, speaks

tomers the freedom to access the full power of the cloud on their terms. It’s important to Microsoft that our customers have options. So - whether in your datacenter, with a ser vice provider, or from Microsoft datacenters - Microsoft provides the flexibility and control to consume IT as a Service whichever way best meets your unique business needs.” He concluded, “ One of the benefits of working with clouds powered by Microsoft technologies is that you will be able to use a common set of tools - the ones you’re already familiar with - across our private and public clouds. Microsoft has a common set of identity, management, and Developer tools.” Commenting on the launch of

new developer tools, Somasegar talked about the impending launch of Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta 2. Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta 2 demonstrates significant advancements from Beta 1, including the addition of the ability to deploy a LightSwitch application directly to Windows A zure. Visual Studio LightSwitch will give developers a simpler and faster way to create highquality line-of-business applications for the desktop, the web, and the cloud by providing a simplified development model with tools that abstract away a majority of the code writing and technology decisions enabling them to focus on their business needs.

Damas’ new Mother’s Day collection Designed to show ‘everlasting appreciation’ KUWAIT: Damas, a leading international jewellery and watch retailer in the Middle East, has launched its Mother’s Day collection, which includes 5 new limited edition Mother’s Day pendants, designed to reflect your undying love and appreciation for her. The stunning collection set in 18k gold, which is studded by diamonds, pearls and colorful precious stones, has a unique twist, as 4 of the pendants are designed with the word “Ummi” (which means “My mother”) in Arabic calligraphy. The beauty of the Mother’s Day pendants by Damas is that each pendant has a strong and emotional meaning that will make any mother feel truly appreciated the way that she should be. The affec tionate and beautiful pieces are timeless classic pendants that ever y mother will be proud to wear. Dhanji Dedhia, Marketing Director of Damas, said: “When you think of the word “Mom” you think of unconditional love and all the time a mother has spent raising you to be the best you can be. We wanted to show the love that children have for their mothers through these pendants, appreciating her undying love even though they may not express themselves enough. This Mother’s Day, make it up to her for all the times you have been too busy to call or too tired to spend time with her by presenting her with one of Damas’ Mothers Day pendants.” Each of the Mother’s Day pendants is set around the “Ummi” engraved word in Arabic calligraphy. The small and large pearls on the 18k gold Kiku Pearls Mothers Day pendant symbolize the mother and her child. The train of diamonds indicates her continuous and “forever love of a mom”. The pendant has precious stones that add more

MD Hayati

vibrancy and color to the pendant. Express the love you have for your mother with the 18k gold Hayati Mother ’s Day pendant, which has a trail of diamonds representing how a mother ’s love is always growing in time. The pendant is available in white or yellow gold. Show your mother’s colorful personality with the beautiful 18k gold floral theme from the Mother ’s Day Farasha pendant. The gold flower, embedded with diamonds and mother of pearl, symbolizes the mom while the various colorful pre-

MD Farasha

cious stones in the centre are her children embracing her. The fourth 18k Mother’s Day pendant consists of precious stones and round cut diamonds. The outer circle of the pendant symbolizes a mother embracing her children which is indicated by the various colored precious stones. The fifth piece in the new collection is the pear drop shaped 18k gold pendant that includes precious s to n e s s u r ro u n d i n g t h e d i a m o n d inscribed “Ummi”. The diamonds and precious stones are beautifully set

MD Kiku

closely together - just how a mother will always be there for her children. “Damas’ Mother’s Day jewellery is a gift that will last a lifetime and will always remind her of your love. The pendants represent a symbol of your boundless love and respect in your heart for your mother and a way to say “Thank you mom” for her tireless care as a child and grooming you to be who you are today. Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate moms, and express love and gratitude for hardships they bear in bringing up children,” Dedhia concluded.

Swiss-Belhotel International new website Online visitors of Swiss-Belhotel International’s website are set to be wowed by its brand new look. The new design, with its leading-edge technology and luxurious user interface, highlights the Group’s commitment and passion to providing a memorable and exciting customer experience. Nearly a year in the making, the new site brilliantly showcases each of the hotels in their rapidly expanding portfolio of world-class hotels. New and emotive images of the hotels and their destinations - shot by a world-renowned, award-winning photographer - await each visitor, promising to take them on a enjoyable journey from exploration to confirmation quickly and intuitively. Navigation is vastly improved, allowing visitors to move freely around the site, but return to the hotel of their choice in

just 1 click. Booking rooms is now a quick and enjoyable experience with the site’s state-of-the-art customized booking engine built entirely on web services. To help customers find the best deal at any Swiss-Belhotel hotel or resort, a new dedicated Promotion and Packages sec-

tion will provide an appealing way to hunt for that special offer for anything from a weekend getaway in a resort to a day-trip in a city-centre business hotel. The site also caters to the needs of both Groups and Meeting planners with easy-to-read descriptions of all hotels facilities and packages.

Swiss-Belhotel International Chairman and President Gavin Faull said, “The new website will enable our visitors a quick tour of the Group’s properties and promises a no-hassle approach to the booking process. We do understand that in this era where people’s time is of so much value, ensuring that we take care of our clients on the very first time they interact with us is important. The launching of our new website design will make the lookers and bookers tasks simpler and bring us much closer to our most important asset: our customers. And we aren’t stopping here. Our tech teams are already working on the next 2 updates of the site for release in the next 8 months. 2011 will indeed be an exciting year for both our company and our customers.”


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


SriLankan Airlines to start services to Kochi, raises capacity KUWAIT: SriLank an Airlines continues to expand its global route network, with increases in capacity star ting in March to K arachi, Bahrain, Doha and Muscat, and the launch of a daily service to Kochi. Just last November, SriLankan increased capacity across its network in support of Sri Lanka’s rapidly expanding tourism industry which is enjoying good times following the permanent end to a 30-year war. Tourist arrivals grew by 46 percent in 2010. S r i L a n k a n’s H e a d o f Wor l d w i d e S a l e s Mohamed Fazeel said: “Global travelers have on ce a gain discovered Sri Lank a , an d SriLank an Airlines is expanding ser vices around the world as rapidly as possible to spur on this boom. We are also acquiring more aircraft while upgrading our product and ser vices to give passengers the most delightful experience on board.” The airline last year began reinventing its service vowing “to change the way we fly and the way our passengers experience travel.” Much of the increase in capacity is in the Middle East, with the present flights to Bahrain, Doha and Muscat being de-linked and operating as direct non-stop flights from Colombo to

each city. SriLankan will also add a fifth frequency to Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi. The airline’s seventh destination in India, Kochi will see services recommence from 27th March. This will increase SriLankan’s flights to India up to 63 per week. The other destinations are Chennai, Mumbai, Trichy, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Trivandrum. SriLankan earlier served Kochi from 2003, but temporarily suspended the service in 2009 during the global economic crisis causing a worldwide slump in air travel. SriLankan also launched a new ser vice to Guangzhou in January, its fourth destination in China. The airline is in the midst of a period of sustained long-term growth and has a global route network serving 51 cities in 32 nations. It is expected to acquire seven more aircraft in 2011 in addition to the three it took delivery of in the second-half of 2010. It will also upgrade its passenger cabins with Flat Bed Seating and the latest AudioVideo-On-Demand (AVOD) enter tainment s ys te m s t h i s ye a r. I t s d o m e s t i c s e r v i ce, SriLankan Air Taxi, commenced services last December, mak ing any par t of the island accessible within minutes.

Euro-zone agrees to boost defenses and coordination Leaders seek to bolster debt rescue fund BRUSSELS: Euro-zone leaders agreed yesterday to boost defenses against a destabilizing debt crisis stalking weaker members by strengthening a debt rescue fund and increasing economic policy coordination. European Council President Herman van Rompuy said the agreements, to be finalized at a full EU summit March 24-25, “should allow us to finally turn the corner” on a crisis that has tested the whole euro project to breaking point. Van Rompuy spoke after drawn-out talks, which ended shortly before dawn and saw testy exchanges between new Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his colleagues over the terms of Dublin’s debt rescue. Greece meanwhile earned praise and easier repayment conditions. After Greece was bailed out last May to save it from a debt default, the EU set up the European Financial Stability Facility with funds of 440 billion euros ($610 billion) to help others in need-in the event, Ireland in December. The EFSF, however, can in practice only make some 250 billion euros available-but this will be increased to a full 500 billion euros under the permanent European Stability Mechanism which replaces it in 2013, van Rompuy said. The systems will also be allowed to buy up government bonds directly, providing another important source of funds for countries facing funding problems. These changes have been in the pipeline for some time as the financial markets have heaped pressure on weaker euro-zone states struggling to raise fresh money to help stabilize their public finances. Van Rompuy said the meeting had also adopted a ‘Euro Pact,’ which

“expresses everybody’s strong political commitment to do what is required for our common good, the euro. “All 17 leaders of the euro-zone are convinced that their economies need to be more competitive and more convergent. This is key,” he said. Germany, Europe’s powerhouse economy, had wanted progress on the pact and especially its policy convergence provisions in return for increasing the funds available to the EFSF and ESM. The pact covers four areas for closer cooperation-competitiveness, employment, sustainable public finances and reinforcing financial stability. Individual states will be responsible for specific measures-an important caveat for smaller members jealous of their independence-but they are all supposed to work towards these same goals. The logic is that if euro-zone states have the same goals and obey the same rules, then the huge debt burdens and public deficits straining public finances and threatening the euro will ultimately be brought under control. Van Rompuy said that the “objectives may sound familiar. What has changed, however, is the political commitment.” The Financial Times however called the summit a “wasted opportunity”, saying that Germany and other creditor countries appeared to be “determined to foist their narrow recipes for reform” on the likes of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. “Euro-zone policymakers are still reluctant to concede that the origins of the debt crisis lie not just in the policy errors of Irish and southern European governments but in the willingness of banks, in Germany and other ‘core’ countries as much as in the ‘peripherals’ to engage in reckless and dodgy invest-

Oil settles lower for 4th day after quake NEW YORK: The recent surge in oil prices skidded to a halt this week as economists raised concerns about weakening world demand, and a massive tsunami struck one of the world’s biggest oil importers. Japan is the third-largest oil importer in the world, and it’s unclear how much its economy will be affected by Friday’s disaster. Analysts said it’s likely Japan will consume less oil after some refineries shut down. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate for April delivery lost $1.54 to settle at $101.16 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices fell as low as $99.01 per barrel at one point. The tsunami that ravaged Japan hit the east coast of the country with a 23-foot (7-meter) high wall of water, sweeping away ships, cars and homes. It was unleashed by a magnitude-8.9 offshore quake that was followed for hours by more than 50 aftershocks. Hundreds are believed dead in the coastal city of Sendai. “Our initial assessment indicates that there has already been enormous damage,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. A large fire erupted at the Cosmo oil refinery in the city of Ichihara and burned out of control with 100-foot flames leaping into the sky. Other refineries and power plants were shut down as a precaution. Exxon Mobil Corp. suspended operations at the TonenGeneral Sekiyu Kawasaki Refinery, which the company partially owns, though it doesn’t appear to have suffered any damage. TonenGeneral refines 296,000 barrels per day of crude. Royal Dutch Shell also reported no damages to its refineries in Japan or at any of the 3,900 Showa Shell-branded stations in the country. Tesoro Corp. said its refineries in Hawaii and Alaska were safe, though a few retail stations in Hawaii were closed as a precaution. Halliburton Co. said all of its employees working in the region are OK. — AP

BRUSSELS: German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves after an euro-zone EU summit, yesterday at the European Council headquarters in Brussels. Euro-zone leaders agreed to increase the effectiveness of the debt rescue facility set up in 2010 after Greece was bailed out to save it from default, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said. — AFP ments,” the paper said in an editorial. “European leaders cannot afford to pretend much longer that all will be well with a bit more belt-tightening and a set of fiscal rules that lack credible enforcement mechanisms.” Agreement had at one stage looked uncertain as the talks dragged on, held up by sharp exchanges between Kenny and his peers over Dublin’s request to renegotiate the terms of its bailout. Kenny warned he would fight for “weeks” to get the rates on Ireland’s bailout reduced as his euro-zone part-

ners agreed to cut the cost for Greece’s package by a full percentage point and extend its repayment to seven-and-a-half years from three years. The special summit was called with Portugal coming under intense pressure, as skeptical markets bet Lisbon would have to seek help sooner rather than later. The meeting congratulated Lisbon for its efforts to restore its public finances to EU norms but the real test comes on Monday when markets reopen in the shadow of Japan’s earthquake and violence in Libya. — AFP

Oil and Japan to keep stock investors wary NEW YORK: It may be too close for comfort for stock investors. After seeing oil prices skyrocket from days of turmoil in Libya, investors now must grapple with political protests in the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, and the impact of the biggest earthquake on record to strike Japan. The S&P 500 was trading below its 50-day moving average this week, and is within reach of support at 1,275, a low touched in late January. The confluence of events is making investors increasingly cautious. The market’s recent weakness revived talk a correction is near, analysts said, even though stocks recovered on Friday from early losses to finish the day higher with the Dow back above 12,000 and the S&P 500 back above 1,300. Stocks have rallied sharply since the start of September, with the S&P 500 still up 24 percent for that period, but have faltered in the last two weeks. At Friday’s close, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 1.3 percent for the week. “Oil prices were already moving higher before unrest in the Mideast, and if we do have something that is pronounced in Saudi Arabia-and I don’t think that’s a high probabilitybut if we do, the cards are off the table as far as where prices could go,” said Thomas Villalta, portfolio manager for Jones Villalta Asset Management in Austin, Texas. “The impact from that is, I think you’ve got a chance for another recession.” Protests in Saudi Arabia were more muted than what some had anticipated on Friday. Concerns arose that planned “Day of Rage” protests in the country could lead to


further instability in the Middle East and North Africa. The jump in crude oil prices to 2 1/2-year highs has raised anxiety about their dampening effect on the economy. Given those concerns, investors will be tuned into any comments on energy from the Federal Reserve when it releases a statement following its policy meeting next Tuesday. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet warned last week about inflation risks, and surprised investors by saying the bank may raise interest rates as soon as next month. The US central bank is unlikely to hint at policy changes next week, and is expected to keep interest rates near zero. “The Fed is essentially on autopilot. I think the market is correct in assuming they

will do everything it takes, including initiating a ‘quantitative easing part three,’ if they have any evidence this economy doesn’t have an escape velocity,” said Joseph Battipaglia, market strategist at Stifel Nicolaus, in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Next week also brings readings on inflation in the US Producer Price Index and the US Consumer Price Index, as well as data on industrial production. The massive earthquake and deadly tsunami in Japan, a top energy consumer, hit other markets hard on Friday. It triggered an increase in risk aversion, with nervous Japanese liquidating investments overseas and bringing capital back to yen-denominated assets, according to options strategist Frederic Ruffy. —Reuters

Japan quake threatens to disrupt auto shipments DETROIT: A massive earthquake in Japan on Friday threatened to delay US-bound exports of Japanese vehicles and parts, straining the supply base of the still-recovering auto industry. All of Japan’s major ports were closed after the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and related 10meter (33 feet) high tsunami struck near the coastal city of Sendai. “It’s a very bad situation,” said Dennis Virag, president of the Automotive Consulting Group. “Japan has excellent ports, but they’re going to be the focus of rescue efforts. I don’t know how much (non-relief shipping) is going to be going out for while,” he said. North American auto production could also be slowed if parts are delayed, Virag said. Auto manufacturing represented about 17 percent of Japan’s industrial output in 2008. Toyota Motor Corp said it had stopped production at two assembly plants and two parts factories in Japan. The smallest Toyota sold in the United States, the Yaris, is built at one of those plants near Sendai. US demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars is expected to rise, along with gasoline prices, in late spring and summer. Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, said earlier in March that low inventory of its Lexus luxury brand was hurting North American sales. All of the Lexus models sold in North America, with the exception of the RX sport utility vehicle, are made in Japan. Baird analyst David Leiker told clients in a note that infrastructure damage from the quake could affect shipments. “The situation requires watching,” he wrote, adding that interrupted shipments from Japan could have a ripple effect around the world. Toyota’s US-based spokeswoman Mira Sleilati said the Japanese plant that makes Toyota’s Prius, which dominates sales of hybrid cars, was still operating. Toyota’s Tohoku parts factory was closed, and production was suspended at a plant run jointly by Toyota and Panasonic Corp that produces batteries for hybrid vehicles. Toyota’s Hokkaido plant, which makes transmissions and aluminum wheels, was also closed. North American auto sales tend to increase in the spring and summer, at the same time gasoline prices start inching up in anticipation of summer driving. But in the past two weeks the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose 40 cents to nearly $3.55 as tensions spread in the Middle East along with concerns about oil supply. Higher prices can drive consumers to buy more fuel efficient vehicles, which manufacturers have played to in the past. In 2008, for example, the last time US gasoline prices reached current levels, Toyota took advantage of truck-heavy lineups of US automakers and sold more fuelefficient models. Honda Motor Co Ltd’s, which according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, has the most fuel efficient lineup of the major automakers in the United States, is less exposed to the earthquake than Toyota. Honda spokesman Ed Miller said this was because 91 percent of Honda’s cars and trucks sold in North America are made locally, including the best-selling Accord and Civic sedans. But, Honda’s subcompact Fit is imported from Japan. Miller said Honda’s Suzuka assembly plant was closed for only a short time on Friday but its Sayama auto assembly plant would be closed through Monday. Both plants are near Tokyo, which is 300 km (180 miles) southwest of Sendai. The Suzuka factory makes the Accord and a version of the Odyssey, neither of which is shipped to North America. At Honda’s research and development center in Tochigi, one man was killed and 30 workers were injured in the earthquake. A Honda parts plant there that makes crankshafts and other transmission parts was closed after the quake. Nissan Motor Co halted production at all four of its Japanese assembly plants. Operations at the five assembly and parts plants for Subaru vehicles were halted, according to Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, which owns the Subaru brand. — Reuters


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


Tips to prolong BlackBerry smartphone’s battery life ts official - more and more people are relying on their smartphones for business and personal communication. A Gartner report from December 2010 reported that the smartphone market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) has grown nearly 65 percent in the last year, indicating a booming market with users embracing the mobility and functions that their smartphone device offers. Smartphones help us to keep in touch with the office, stay connected to friends and family, and remain on top of what’s happening in the world. So it can be very frustrating to find your device running low on battery. Mike Al Mefleh, Product Management Director for Research In Motion (RIM) Middle East, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, provides us with a few useful tips to help prolong the battery life.


Avoid power hungry apps While media and gaming are part of the BlackBerry experience, excessive game playing or media consumption will drain your battery no matter what. Other battery drainers are any apps that stream data over wireless connections. You can also save battery life by limiting notifications that are sent from an app. Understand and maximize use of wireless connections Manage your connections. Turn off wifi and Bluetooth when they are not in use as they can really drain your battery. If you are in a no coverage area, turn off the mobile network so that your BlackBerry doesn’t waste power trying to find a cellular connection. Close unused apps Open the BlackBerry Application Switcher by holding down the BlackBerry Menu button and close all unused applications. If you haven’t done this before, chances are that you have all kind of apps open and sitting there eating away at your battery life. Standby mode Put your BlackBerry smartphone in standby mode when it is not in use. It not only locks your keyboard, but also deactivates the display, conserving battery life. Depending on your model of BlackBerry smartphone, this can be done by either holding down the Mute button or by holding down the red power button. Disable camera flash Granted, using your camera’s flash once in a while won’t make a big difference but repeated use of your BlackBerry device’s flash will deplete the battery life. The options for turning off your automatic flash can be found under camera settings. Add Email Accounts Sparingly Do you really need to add that email account that you set up in the 90’s, which now only receives junk mail? Every time you get a notification from that account it is taking away from your battery life. Only add the accounts you use. Adjust Your Screen Backlight The brighter your screen and the longer it is on the more of your battery it uses. Another alternative? You can adjust the backlight brightness settings by going into your Options or Preferences and selecting Screen/Keyboard. Here, you can adjust the backlight settings to your preferences. You will want to set the Backlight Timeout to your preferred time setting. Or, use your holster! Doing this automatically shuts off the display, ensuring a longer battery life. Alternatively if you press the ‘lock’ button on the top of your smartphone, this also blanks out the display. Keep Battery Connections Clean As with all battery-operated devices, it is a good idea to take the battery out of your smartphone from time to time and make sure there is no dust on the connections, as this can cause your BlackBerry smartphone to use much more juice than it would if it were clean.

Give your BlackBerry smartphone some shut eye One way to improve battery life is to turn off your device while you’re sleeping. With the Auto On/Off feature, you can set your BlackBerry smartphone to turn off at a specific time each day and turn back on again in the morning, either at a preset time or with your alarm clock setting. You can access this feature in Options-Device-Auto On/Off. Once you make changes here, hit the Menu key and select Save to save your changes. You can even set your BlackBerry smartphone to come on/go off at different times on the weekend, giving both you and your device a much-deserved lie-in! And finally, be prepared It may seem like common sense, but all too often people forget to charge their smartphone battery. After long hours at the office or on the go using social apps and keeping in contact with friends, your battery can easily run down. Try keeping a spare charger at the office or with you when you are on the go. Also, a spare, fully charged battery is inexpensive and will always be there for you in a bind.

huge crowds greet Apple’s iPad 2 in NY Version 2 considered an improvement, but not revolution SAN FRANCISC0: Thousands of people thronged Apple stores on both US coasts as the iPad 2 went on sale Friday, signaling strong appetite for a device that dominates the fledgling market it created. Braving chilly rain and curious stares, the hordes of fans many of whom had queued up overnight-formed presale lines from New York to San Francisco hours before the device went on sale at 5 pm. The crowd erupted as a sea of blue-shirted Apple staff threw open the doors and gave high-fives to the first eager iPad shoppers in Manhattan. The turnout will offer hints as to whether demand for Apple’s tablet remains strong nearly a year after the original proved a smash hit, single-handedly created the tablet market, and inspired a wave of imitators from Motorola to Research in Motion. More than 800 queued outside the Apple store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue ahead of the launch, hoping to get first dibs on the thinner, lighter and faster iPad that Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled last week to strong reviews. “I wanted to be a par t of it,” said Andrew Christian, 26, a pharmacy technician from the Bronx who was No 11 in line after waiting all night in the rain. He wrapped his sneakers in plastic Apple bags. Shares of Apple rose 1.5 percent to close at $351.99 on Nasdaq. Wall Street anticipates a strong start to the iPad 2, on par with the original’s, though some analysts were more bullish. Ticonderoga Securities’ Brian White said Apple could potentially sell 1 million iPads over the weekend-roughly matching sales in their first month on the market in 2010. “It looks to me like it’s going to be a very strong launch,” he said. More than 200 people waited outside Apple’s flagship San Francisco store at 9 a.m. local time, more than doubling by lunchtime. The lines were in themselves a spectacle. More than 100 onlookers gathered just to watch the antics of Apple fans in Manhattan. “It’s curious to see how people can get so fanatic. Its interesting. I don’t know whether it’s good or not,” mused Giordano Cioni, 23, who is on vacation. Apple is no doubt hoping for a repeat of April 2010, when thousands of people lined up to buy what was then a largely novel device with an uncertain market. But analysts say the 10-inch touchscreen iPad 2 has been improved incrementally, not reinvented wholesale. It is thinner, faster and adds a pair of cameras for

LOS ANGELES: Apple employees cheer as the iPad 2 goes on sale at The Grove Apple store, Friday, March 11, 2011. — AP video chat. The benchmarks for the iPad 2 are clear. The first iPad sold 300,000 units on its first day, 500,000 in the first week, and crossed the 1 million unit mark in 28 days. Given that the iPad 2 will be available in far more stores to start than the original model, Wall Street would be surprised if the device fails to outpace its predecessor in the early going. In addition to being sold at more than 200 Apple outlets in the United States, the iPad 2 will be available starting Friday in the stores of AT&T and Verizon Wireless, as well as Best Buy, Target Corp and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Unlike last year, Apple did not take orders ahead of the release, so anyone wanting first dibs on an iPad will have to journey to a store. That may help bulk up store lines, providing Apple the buzz it craves and is

expert at generating. That buzz may prove important as rivals gear up for their own full-blown assault on the same market. Tablet sales are expected to surge to more than 50 million units this year, with Apple capturing more than 70 percent of the market. The iPad 2 hits store shelves in more than two dozen additional countries on March 25. Apple is releasing the second version of the iPad before many of its rivals have even brought their first tablets to market. Apple sold 15 million iPads last year, generating $9.5 billion in sales, and had the tablet market largely to itself. The iPad remains the most affordable tablet on the market, starting at $499. JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz warned this week of a potential bubble forming in the market as early as this

A wake-up call for gadget lovers Text, tweets rob us of needed sleep: Study HACKENSACK: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they’re not getting enough sleep and late-night computer use, texting and video games are a significant part of the problem, according to a national survey released. Virtually all of Americans surveyed in the Sleep in America poll reported “very active” use of technology at least a few nights a week within an hour of bed. “It is clear that we have a lot more to learn about the appropriate use and design of this technology to complement good sleep habits,” said David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation, which conducted the survey. More than half of kids aged 13 to 18 text an hour before bed most nights and this group reports being the sleepiest of all, the survey found. On average they report seven hours and 26 minutes of sleep a night on weeknights, nearly two hours shy of the nine hours and 15 minutes recommended by sleep experts. It’s a familiar story to Dr Tracy Carbone, a sleep expert at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ, who treats a growing number of adolescents for sleep disorders which are affecting school performance, driving ability and moods and mental health. “We’re seeing more and more of this,” said Carbone, director of The Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders and Apnea. Not only is texting and web surfing stimulating, but the artificial light from screens and cell phones suppresses the release of the hormone melatonin, which induces sleep, Carbone said. It becomes a vicious cycle as the body’s natural sleep cycle shifts to later and later, which in turn leads people to use their computer or surf the Internet when they can’t sleep, she said. While most parents and teens are aware of the dangers of drunken driving, very few are talking about the risks of driving while sleepdeprived, which can limit response time and increase the risk of acci-

PARAMUS: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they’re not getting enough sleep and late-night computer use, texting and video games are a significant part of the problem, according to a national survey. Here, customers wait online outside of a Verizon Wireless store on Route17 in New Jersey, recently to be among the first to purchase the latest iPhone. — MCT dents, she said. Jonathan Paul, a Pequannock, NJ, teen, is among the perpetually exhausted. The 17-yearold said he texts his girlfriend every night until he falls asleep around 2 am, then wakes five hours later for school. He fell down some stairs last week because he was so drowsy, he said, revealing scrapes on his arm from the mishap. Focusing at school is a problem, especially early in the day, he said. “The first couple of periods of the day, I try to function as much as possible,” he said. But trading in the cellphone for a few more winks? “No way, I need my phone,” he said. Dr Susan Zafarlotfi, clinical director at the Institute for SleepWake Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center, is also treating more patients for sleep disorders that are fueled by late-night technology. Whether it’s teens on Facebook, executives preparing for presentations or stressed parents paying bills and arranging schedules after hours, the effect is the same,

she said. “You are reversing the clock,” she said. “The stimulation makes it much harder to fall asleep.” While people in all age groups report technology use prior to sleep, the poll found - not surprisingly that different age groups use different types of technology. About two-thirds of baby boomers, those ages 46 to 64, watch television every night or almost every night within an hour of going to bed. Yet only 5 percent of boomers report texting before bed compared to 42 percent of people ages 30 to 35. Miriam Morales, a 42-year-old Clifton, NJ, woman, said she typically gets in bed around 9 pm and watches two hours of television before falling asleep. A legal secretary with children, she often wakes in the middle of the night for an hour or two and can’t get back to sleep because her mind is filled with a to-do list. “It’s terrible,” she said. “But you do the best you can to be a good parent.” — MCT

year, as Apple’s rivals make more tablets than consumers will buy. He said supply could outstrip demand by as much as 36 percent in 2011 — a whopping 17.2 million units. Blackberry maker RIM and HewlettPackard Co are set to release tablets in coming months. Some analysts believe RIM and HP could provide Apple with some competition, because both devices offer unique software, and both have formidable sales channels. And although Samsung Electronics and Motorola have launched tablets, neither appears to poised to give the iPad a run for its money. “The technical and form factor improvements of the iPad 2 stand to make it tougher for the first generation of competitive offerings to play catch-up,” Moskowitz wrote in a research note on Wednesday. — Reuters

John Paul II gets Facebook page VATICAN CITY: The Vatican will unveil the latest installment in its social media transformation this week - a Facebook page dedicated to the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II, officials said. The site, which will link to video highlights of John Paul’s 27-year papacy, is designed to promote the May 1 beatification. But it may well continue beyond given the global and enduring interest in the late pontiff, Vatican officials told The Associated Press. The Vatican’s first attempt at an event-themed Facebook page - to promote Pope Benedict XVI’s September trip to the United Kingdom - is still active six months later and updated near-daily with 10,000-15,000 regular fans checking in, said Monsignor Paul Tighe, the No 2 in the Vatican’s social communications office. “What we found is that Facebook doesn’t just share information, it creates community,” Tighe said in an interview Friday. “People begin talking to each other and sharing ideas.” That interactivity - and the potential it brings to the church’s evangelization mission - is behind the Vatican’s new social media push, the culmination of which will be launched at Easter with a new Vatican information web portal whose contents are specifically designed to be tweeted, posted and blogged. The portal will serve as a one-stop-shop aggregator of news from the Vatican’s various information sources: Vatican Radio, Vatican Television, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Holy See’s press office and Fides, the Vatican’s missionary news agency, Tighe said. The Vatican’s current website - - will remain since that’s more of a stable site with basic information about the Holy See, key Vatican documents and offices, and papal activities. The new site, rolled out first in English and Italian and then other languages, will be more news-based, bringing together onto one page the current disorganized web presence of Vatican media. Designed thematically, with each format’s take on, say, the Japan earthquake or the Libyan uprising posted together, it will be multimedia focused but specifically designed for social media use, so people can tweet, post and blog its contents onto their own friends and fans, Tighe said. “For us it will be a beginning of drawing on the riches of what we have, of our existing communications apparatus, and integrating that to ensure that its formally working with new media,” he said. — AP


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

health & science

90% coral killed in Aceh province Bleaching and resilience: Can reefs survive?

Doc orders steps for a happier motherhood “The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity” (Ballantine Books), by Meg Meeker: In 25 years as a pediatrician, Dr Meg Meeker has met a lot of mothers. And she’s not always pleased by what she sees. “We are tired,” writes Meeker, who has four children. “We are trying to do too much, too well... (We) compete with other mothers and compete with ourselves. The problem is, none of us feels as though we’re winning. In short, we’ve gone off the deep end.” So Meeker, author of the parenting books “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” and “Boys Should Be Boys,” now presents “The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity.” She acts as both cheerleader and coach, celebrating what she sees as the intrinsic goodness of mothers even as she points out where many have gone astray. It’s hard to argue with her recommendations for making moms happier. Maintain key friendships, ditch the “frenetic mother culture” of competition, live simply, let go of fear, have faith in people and God, develop a healthy attitude about money, etc. And then there’s what she calls the greatest secret to happiness: hope. “None of us lives with enough hope,” she writes. In some cases, like her suggestion to carve out time for peace and solitude, she gives moms permission to do things many of them would probably love to do anyway. Other ideas, like cutting back on expectations for children and loving them more as they are, might be harder. In our tight economy, some moms might roll their eyes when Meeker suggests they might work a day or two less a week or hire an assistant if their jobs interfere with a good home life. Most moms can get along without the pool or the second home, Meeker says. No kidding, Doc. Still, just about any mom, or dad, can find useful wisdom in this book. Meeker acknowledges that she isn’t a perfect mom herself - she’s a “slowly recovering obsessive worrier” - but she certainly points her readers in the right direction. — AP

WAKATOBI: Red anthia fish and rainbow-colored wrasse dart among the glittering reefs of Indonesia’s Wakatobi archipelago, as eagle rays and barracudas cruise past in the blue depths. It’s hard to believe Wakatobi is anything but a thriving marine paradise, packing a bewildering abundance of life that supports 100,000 people and contributes millions of dollars to Indonesia’s economy. But scientists are worried. 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. Up to 70 percent of the coral in Wakatobi, off the southeastern tip of Sulawesi island, was totally or partially bleached. In Aceh province, off the northern tip of Sumatra, as much as 90 percent was killed, scientists said. Experts from environmental groups The Nature Conservancy and WWF, as well as the Indonesian government, returned to Wakatobi last month to see if the marine park’s reefs had bounced back. Over two weeks of diving at sites with names like Table Coral City and Blue Hole, the team looked for signs of long-term damage or resilience, in the hope of learning more about how reef systems respond to climate-related stresses. “In Aceh about 90 percent of the coral bleached, and that included some of the really big varieties that are hundreds of years old and had survived the (2004) tsunami but died because of the bleaching,” said Joanne Wilson, deputy director for science in TNC’s Indonesia Marine Program. “Very fortunately in Wakatobi ...

see which kinds of reefs, under which circumstances, are best suited to adapt to warmer seas. The aim is to develop a kind of survival checklist which can be used to identify key reef systems that should be given priority in the designation of marine parks and conservation zones. TNC’s Coral Reef Conservation director Rod Salm, who joined the Wakatobi expedition from his base in Hawaii, said last year’s bleaching hit the reefs of Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia “very hard”. “It was a tragic event but at the same time we can get something from it-we can learn how the corals respond, and we can relate how they respond back to our original resilience principles,” he said. Wakatobi is the only marine park designed with those principles in mind that has been hit by bleaching, he said. “What’s exciting is the chance to see if we got it right,” he told AFP after a dive off Wakatobi’s Tomia island. Other teams are doing similar studies in Aceh and Bali, looking at local characteristics and micro-climates-perhaps a cooler current or upwell of cooler water-that may indicate a better chance of surviving global warming. The researchers will come together at a workshop in April to compare their findings. “We’re trying to come up with the factors that are the real drivers of resilience... The idea is to identify the 10 or 12 factors that are absolutely crucial,” Salm said. Indonesia has introduced penalties for destructive activities like bomb and cyanide fishing, and declared 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of sea as Marine Protected Areas. The mas-

sive archipelago of 17,000 islands hopes to boost this area to 20 million hectares by 2020, a recognition of the importance the government places on reefs as sources of revenue and food for millions of people. “The question isn’t whether 20 million hectares is the right number, the thing is does Indonesia have the resources and skills to manage effectively?” Wilson said. “I think there’s a real recognition within the government that now the hard work begins.” Globally, the value of coral reefs in terms of goods and services has been estimated at $385 billion annually. In Indonesia it’s more than $3 billion. Some 500 million people-mainly in developing nations in Southeast Asia and around the Indian Ocean-depend on reefs for their daily livelihoods. A study by two dozen conservation and research groups led by World Resources International released last month said that without quick action to arrest global warming and reduce other human impacts, the world’s reefs could be wiped out by 2050, with grave implications for humanity as a whole. On Tomia, local fishermen are doing their bit by banding together to protect their precious reefs from bomb and cyanide fishing. They said they had received death threats and been harassed by police working on behalf of commercial fishing interests. “Some people are against us. We’ve been threatened,” said 32-year-old fisherman Eliswan, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name. “Some of our members have been beaten... The bad guys are the businessmen and the politicians.” — AFP

US state cites abortion facilities violations

ZILINA: Magdalena, a tortoise with two heads and five legs, is displayed. Magdalena has become in recent days, the most popular animal in Slovakia. — AFP

2-headed turtle raises eyebrows BRATISLAVA: A two-headed turtle with five feet is raising eyebrows in Slovakia after the bicephalic reptile hatched in the northern town of Zilina seven weeks ago, local news agency SITA reported. “I call it Magdalena or just Magda and Lena. Magda, is the larger head and the smaller one is Lena,” explained owner Roman Gresak. The African Spurred Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata) still fits neatly in the palm of Gresak’s hand, but it could

Secondhand smoke linked to higher diabetes risk NEW YORK: Cigarette smoke is tied to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, formerly known as adultonset diabetes, for both smokers and the people around them, a study said. And the more secondhand smoke people are exposed to, the greater their risk of the disease, which results from insulin resistance-in which cells fail to use insulin properly- sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency, according to the study, published in “Diabetes Care.” “Accumulating evidence has identified a positive association between active smoking and the risk of diabetes, but previous studies had limited information on passive smoking or changes in smoking behavior over time,” wrote John Forman at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, who led the study. The study followed 100,000 women over 24 years. In 1982, the women-all participating in the Nurses’ Health Study-provided information about how much time they spent around cigarette smoke. During the next 24 years, about one in 18 women were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Forman and his group found that women who smoked more than two packs a day had the highest odds of developing diabetes, with about 30 of the heavy smokers getting diabetes a year for every 10,000 women in the study, compared to

it seems that only about five to 10 percent of the corals actually died. We’re very lucky here.” Bleaching occurs when corals respond to stress, such as stronger than normal direct sunlight or elevated sea temperatures, by expelling the algae that live inside them and give them their brilliant colors. In normal conditions the symbiotic algae provide the corals with nutrients, and without them the corals turn white and can die within days. They may also recover, depending on the circumstances. Wilson described the “eerie” experience of diving on wintry, frozenlooking reefs during the height of the bleaching at Wakatobi last year, the warmest year on record. “I saw that a lot of the corals were affected by the bleaching to various stages. Some were completely white but still alive,” she said. Scientists feared a repeat of the 19981999 global bleaching that was linked to the El Nino and La Nina weather cycles in the Pacific Ocean. About 16 percent of the world’s reefs died in that crisis, providing a wake-up call to scientists about the dangers posed to reef systems-and the millions of people who depend on them-from global warming. Ove HoeghGuldberg, the director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia, said the effects of El Nino and La Nina were being magnified by “background warming” linked to general climate change. “Over the next five to 10 years, we will probably return to fairly serious bleaching conditions,” he said. Last year ’s bleaching event has given scientists a chance to test theories of resilience and

about 25 women who didn’t smoke and didn’t spend time exposed to other people’s cigarette smoke. The risks were actually higher, though, for ex-smokers and women exposed to second-hand smoke, and in both of these groups, about 39 of every 10,000 women developed diabetes each year. When variables such as weight, age, and family history of diabetes were taken into account, the exsmokers had a 12 percent higher risk of diabetes compared to women who were regularly exposed to secondhand smoke. The potential risks of diabetes from being exposed to secondhand smoke weren’t previously known, said David Nathan, who heads the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and is a professor at Har vard Medical School. “This just reinforces the lesson from a public health point of view that we’ve been stressing for decades,” which is to limit exposure to cigarette smoke said Nathan, who was not involved in the study. He told Reuters Health that no one knows why smoking and type 2 diabetes are linked, but inflammation may play a role in both, adding that even though the study involved women there was no reason to believe its results would not apply to men as well. — Reuters

grow to 90 centimetres, SITA reported. Magdalena’s fifth foot sticks out between the two heads, which move independently. Gresak insisted the turtle can thank its lucky stars that it was born in captivity. It would likely perish among predators in the wild as there is not enough room inside the shell for both Magda and Lena to hide their heads at once, he said. — AFP

Alzheimer’s drug hits 2 forms of toxic protein CHICAGO: Early studies suggest an experimental Alzheimer’s drug attacks free-floating bits of a protein called beta amyloid, a sign the drug may fight what some researchers consider to be the disease’s chief culprit. Bapineuzumab, being developed by Pfizer Inc and Johnson & Johnson, is among the most advanced in the search for effective treatments for Alzheimer’s, a fatal brain-wasting disease that affects 26 million people globally and costs $604 billion a year to treat. Current drugs only address symptoms, and recent attempts by Eli Lilly and Co and Medivation Inc for a meaningful treatment have largely failed. A small brain imaging study last year showed bapineuzumab was able to shrink solid clumps of beta amyloid in the brain by 25 percent in 28 patients. But several recent studies in mice and rats suggest that the much smaller floating, or soluble, pieces of beta amyloid found in cerebrospinal fluid - the clear, watery substance that bathes the brain and spinal cord-are the real bad actors in Alzheimer’s disease. That has raised questions about whether bapineuzumab-an engineered immune-system molecule called a monoclonal antibody — is targeting the wrong thing. To study this, researchers at J&J did a series of studies in mice and cells. They suggested that the drug not only binds to soluble beta amyloid, but also may neutralize some of the protein’s ability to harm brain cells. “We can feel very comfortable that it is engaging both soluble and insoluble forms,” said Gene Kinney, head of research for J&J’s Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, who worked on the studies presented at an Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease meeting in Barcelona on Thursday. In one study, the team showed that injecting the drug in mice bred to develop amyloid plaques helped them overcome learning problems. “What it suggests is you’ve got an antibody approach that can interact with both forms of amyloid,” Kinney told Reuters in a telephone interview. Kinney is not ready to concede that soluble amyloid is more important than insoluble amyloid. “In our minds there is significant evidence that both the soluble and insoluble forms contribute to the disease, and it is likely an ongoing process that occurs as patients progress,” he said. Bapineuzumab has had mixed results in a mid-stage clinical trials in people and the drug is now being tested in late-stage studies that aim to show whether it can prevent reasoning problems in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. — Reuters

HARRISBURG: Pennsylvania health officials say renewed inspections uncovered poor conditions at two Philadelphia-area abortion clinics in the months after a drug investigation revealed a “house of horrors” facility operating for years in the city. The Iranian-trained physician who operated the two Abortion as an Alternative Inc. clinics in Philadelphia received scathing reports and was ordered to suspend performing abortions. Two days later, Dr Soleiman M Soli announced he would shut down the clinics instead. He then retired, according to the state Department of Health. Conflicting records with the same month and day of birth show Soli is either 73 or 83. Soli’s operations are distinct from those of Dr Kermit Gosnell, whose Women’s Medical Society in Philadelphia was the target of a major Philadelphia grand jury investigation. Gosnell is charged with eight counts of murder for the deaths of a woman and seven babies born alive, then fatally stabbed in the spine with scissors. Problems at Soli’s clinics were found after Pennsylvania regulators renewed long-dormant routine inspections of free-standing abortion clinics around the state in the wake of the investigation into Gosnell and his staff. At Soli’s clinics, the Department of Health found drugs decades past their expiration dates, inadequate or inoperable equipment, poor record-keeping and mishandling of fetal tissue. “Dr. Soli served his patients for more than 53 years as a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist. He retired last year,” his attorney, Stanley J Milavec Jr., said in an e-mail response. Milavec said Soli, who retired from practice Nov 19, was not available for further comment. An Oct 26 inspection report of Soli’s Bensalem facility found that drugs and equipment required to resuscitate abortion patients were missing and that it took Soli and a secretary 10 minutes to figure out how to use the clinic’s oxygen tank, the mask for which was found covered in dust. Dozens of expired drugs and medical equipment were found, some dating back decades, including Benadryl from 1970, a saline vial from 1978, progesterone from 1982 and Depo-Provera from 1989.

Sterile trays of instruments were not wrapped properly and the ultrasound machine, microscope and blood pressure cuffs had not been inspected, certified or calibrated, they said. Soli’s medical license, first issued in 1967, expired at the end of December and he was placed on inactive status last month, according to the Department of State. The agency’s Board of Medicine had no discipline history for him. Soli received a medical doctor’s degree from Shiraz University in Iran in 1958, according to American Board of Medical Specialties records. At the Bensalem clinic, inspectors found that tissue from fetuses was left outside the building in unsecured containers for collection “for an undetermined length of time with potential exposure to the public.” The Nov 1 inspection of his Philadelphia clinic also found nonworking or missing equipment and expired pharmaceutical drugs, some that dated back to the early 1990s. When inspectors inquired about fetal tissue samples inside a cabinet in procedure room, Soli responded that he did not know why they were there and then placed them in a trash bag for disposal, the state agency said. It was unclear how much tissue was handled that way, but the reports said it was used for microscopic examination. Soli told the inspectors he did not have a written transfer agreement with a hospital for emergency care, as required, but did have privileges at two hospitals. Inspectors said Soli’s handwritten notes, in English and Arabic, were so hard to read it took him several minutes to decipher them himself. After the inspections, the Health Department ordered him to cease performing abortions at both clinics and to file plans of correction. The reports were provided to The Associated Press by the office of Gov Tom Corbett more than a month after state officials disclosed the results of inspections of 22 other Pennsylvania abortion clinics following a January Right-to-Know Law request by the AP. Corbett spokeswoman Janet Kelley said the Abortion as an Alternative clinic inspection reports were discovered as state officials reviewed the other 22 reports. — AP

VALLE DEL CAUCA: A black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) born in captivity a month ago, hangs on the back of its mother at the zoo in Colombia. It is the second time there is a birth of this species in captivity in Colombia. — AFP



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H e a lt h & S c i e n c e

FDA to oversee J&J plants after flood of recalls J&J recalls 300m bottles of Tylenol NEW YORK: US health authorities will take over supervision of three Johnson & Johnson manufacturing plants after the healthcare giant failed to stem quality lapses that sparked a flood of recalls for consumer medicines like its Tylenol painkiller. J&J’s McNeil unit has recalled more than 300 million bottles and packages of Tylenol, Motrin, Rolaids, Benadryl and other products in the past year over faulty manufacturing. The US Food and Drug Administration said a consent decree was filed on Thursday in Philadelphia federal court against McNeil. It gives the FDA authority to oversee plants operated by J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit, which makes Tylenol and the company’s array of other over the counter medicines. The decree will prevent the McNeil unit from making consumer medicines at a large factory in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania until the now-closed facility corrects quality lapses. It also sets a strict timetable to fix quality problems at McNeil’s plants in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Las Piedras, Puerto Rico. The company must retain an independent expert to inspect all plants and ultimately verify that violations have been corrected. Morningstar analyst Damien Conover said J&J, now that it will be under far closer FDA scrutiny for years, will have less flexibility in solving its manufacturing problems. “The company will have to jump through these hoops differently, which will be more expensive,” he said. J&J said two company executives were named as defendants in the consent decree. They are Veronica Cruz, vice president of quality at J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit, and Hakan Erdemir, vice president of operations at McNeil. “This is a strong, but necessary, step to ensure that the products manufactured by this company meet federal standards for quality, safety and purity,” Deborah Autor, head of compliance in the FDA’s drug division, said in a statement. Some of the lapses led to metal par-

ticles entering liquid medicines, and also included mislabeling and moldy odors. While the medicines recalled have not proven harmful to any consumers, they have tarnished J&J’s reputation, which was built on a pledge to serve its patients first and deserve their trust. As recently as late February, the company recalled Sudafed allergy tablets for incorrectly repeating the word “not” on its label to say “do not not divide, crush, chew or dissolve the tablet.” For a Factbox on the recalls, see: J&J shares closed down 1.3 percent, or 79 cents, at $59.61 after the news. No upfront penalty The chain of recalls lost the company $900 million in consumer product sales last year and hurt earnings.

Consumer products account for about one-quarter of J&J’s total annual sales of $62 billion. Wall Street analysts initially downplayed the potential financial costs of the escalating number of recalls, which were partly to blame for a 7.5 percent decline in J&J shares since the end of 2009, compared with a 16 percent rise in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in the same time. J&J said the decree does not require it to pay an upfront penalty to the government. By contrast, Schering-Plough Corp in 2002 had to pay the federal government $500 million as part of its consent decree to fix a slew of quality control problems. If McNeil violates the agreement, the FDA can order a manufacturing halt, product recalls or fines of up to $10 million annually. McNeil said it expects the consent

decree will govern its operation of the facilities for at least five years once a plan to rectify its problems is completed. “Being monitored for five years tends to be very expensive with a lot of lawyers and outside consultants,” said Jeff Jonas, analyst at Gabelli and Co. “For a company of J&J’s size it’s not going to move the numbers. It’s just another step in the process.” “There’s one thing that’s positive and that is now they have an actual road map for what they have to do to get back in compliance,” Jonas said. J&J shut down the Fort Washington plant almost a year ago after recalling scores of products made there, including a wide variety of children’s formulations of Tylenol. It plans to reopen the plant after costly installation of new equipment and better quality-assurance procedures. — Reuters

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Wedding celebrations M

ustafa Bushehri celebrated the wedding of his son Ahmad Busheri to the daughter of Mohammad Al-Saffar in a ceremony held on Thursday at the Abdurrahman Al-Me’jel Hall in AlFaiha’a. The wedding was well attended by several state figures, diplomats, and other dignitaries. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Kuwait Charity Run


n March 19, a team of runners from Kuwait English School in Salwa will participate in The Kuwait Charity Run. The team consists of team leader Lisa Fletcher and 65 staff and students and parents who will run over 700 km between them. The athletes have been training very hard for this event over a number of months in an attempt to raise awareness and money for charity. Already the team has contributed nearly KD700 in entry fees and donations to Bayt Abdullah Children’s’ Hospice. The KES team is also looking for individual and company sponsorship and donations to the ‘C.R.Y.’ charity.

Cardiac Risk in the Young is a charity that is attempting to raise awareness of the sudden and unexplained cause of death in young people between the ages of 15-35. Please have a look at the website This is a registered charity and is run solely on the contributions and generosity of sponsors. Please contact Lisa Fletcher at or through Kuwait English School tel; 25655216 ext 126 for further information.

Announcements 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 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! 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 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.

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

KPFA’s National Day celebrations


uwait Pakistan Friendship Association (KPFA) will celebrate jointly the National Days of Kuwait and Pakistan on Monday, March 21, 2011 at Crowne Plaza Hotel. Prominent Kuwaitis and Pakistanis are expected to participate in this event. The patron of KPFA, Mubarak Sadoun Al-Mutawa cordially invites all the KPFA members to participate in this function. However participation will only be

allowed to those KPFA members who have valid membership for the year 2011. For collecting your invitation card and to renew your membership for the year 2011, please contact, Rana Ijaz - 99578339, Fayyaz Chauder y - 66013499, Ehsan Ul Haq 99720238, Khalid Amin - 99005703.




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SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

Embassy 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

GUST hosts lecture on religion and science


he Gulf University for Science and Technology was graced with a visit from Dr Zakir Naik, a renowned orator on Islam and comparative religion, to assess the lasting debate between the concepts of religion and science and was met by an eager audience and a warm welcome from GUST ’s Assistant Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs, Ibrahim Emran. Even at a short notice, GUST auditorium witnessed more than 700 people which exceeded the auditorium capacity. The lecture started with recitation of ‘Surah Rahman’ from the Holy Quran and then compeered by Shakeel Khan. Further Ibrahim Emran described Dr Zakir Naik’s persona to the audience and welcomed him to the dais. In order to draw on how the debate between religion and science does not refer to the two concepts as mutually exclusive, Dr Naik opened with a quote by Albert Einstein saying, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” This quote interwoven with the speech, shed light on how religion and science are not independent of each other, but are derived from another. To be more specific, scientific discoveries are recorded within the Quran and just being rediscovered by those who did not know of their presence within the Holy Quran. Throughout the speech, Dr Naik gave example after example proving this point. After the lecture, Dr Zakir Naik answered several

questions posed by several people of other faith and religion. Dr Zakir Naik, who had been trained in the field of medicine, particularly surgery, became an orator or Da’wah for Islam in 1991. He turned away from his medical profession and began his study into the field of Religion. Inspired by Ahmed Deedat, Dr Naik set out to educate people about Islam and clear any circling misconceptions. Since then, Dr Naik has given many speeches across the globe targeting both Muslims and non-Muslims and welcoming people of all faiths to his sessions. His message has reached many people around the world and has landed him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential people in India. After the lecture, Dr Zakir Naik was presented by a memento by Dr Salah Al-Sharhan, Director of Elearning, on behalf of GUST. In addition to the general public, the lecture was attended by several GUST staff, faculty and students. The event was co-organized by GUST & Kokan United on March 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm. The event organizers were Shakeel Khan, Junaid Kardame and Mohsin Rakhangi.

Kuwait Pakistan English School stages play


earty congratulations to Rajesh and Bijina on the occasion of their engagement last week. May they be blessed with rains of prosperity! Love and greetings from well wishers.


he students of grade seven of Kuwait Pakistan English School located in Salmiya staged one of the most celebrated Shakespearian play ‘The Merchant of Venice’ as an activity. The aim was to generate within the students an interest in classics of English literature. If was really a scintillating performance with costumes that presented a glimpse of the Elizabethen era. The audience enthusiastically applauded the captivating performance of the students.

Captain Sean Chapple visits BSK


tudents at The British School of Kuwait were privileged to be visited by Captain Sean Chapple an inspirational man with a fascinating and inspiring story to tell. In 2006/2007 Captain Chapple led two teams on ground-breaking expeditions. First to the magnetic North Pole, and then onto the geographical South Pole. The South Pole journey was one of the longest overland journeys in history, with only a handful of expeditions having previously made the return journey. As one of the World’s most successful polar expedition leaders, the ‘Ice Man’ has planned, managed and led over twenty expeditions over 20 years, beyond the Arctic and Antarctic circles. Sean began his career as an officer with the elite Royal Marines gaining operational and management experiences across the globe. Sean has held positions in senior commercial leadership roles and is currently employed as the Project Manager of a 200 strong multi-national organization in Kuwait. This lifetime of extreme leadership offers tangible and inspiring lessons in high performance, which are invaluable to all adventurers operating in today’s high-risk environments. Chapple talked about and presented a log of his expedition to the South Pole to students in years 9-13, some of whom were due to depart for their Gold practice expedi-

tion for the International Award For Young People later that day. It was a perfect opportunity to gain some tips and useful information about camping in harsh conditions, working as a team and keeping the adventurous spirit alive. Dressed in his extreme weather jacket, Chapple talked about the challenges he and his team of three other men faced in the South Pole expedition. He talked of the difficulty that the team faced after they reached the South Pole and had to return to where the plane had landed them. Using highly elaborate and expensive kites on the return leg of the journey, they pulled themselves across the harsh icy grounds of Antarctica whenever the wind would pick up. Chapple stated if they didn’t get there in time, the plane would leave and they would be abandoned in a pitch-black Antarctica for eight months awaiting another plane - a risk they could not afford to take. Some thoughtprovoking words from Chapple were that the team had to ensure they did not succumb to the 3 common pitfalls whilst on their journey, namely; complacency, arrogance and ignorance. The BSK students found Chapple’s presentation to be inspiring and motivating; it will encourage many students to join the International Award programme at BSK and to become involved in teambuilding activities.

PIC camp


n the occasion of the national celebrations of the National Day and Liberation Day the Petrochemical Industries Company held a spring camp for its employees and their families, which included various activities and the kids received prizes.

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, AlAbraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. Embassy of India would like to inform that application forms for passport/visa services and labor contracts that are on its website,, have been upgraded to include the facility for online data entry. Affidavit forms on the embassy website have had this facility since May 6, 2009. EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People's Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed on Thursday, 17 March 2011 on the occasion of 91st birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Embassy will arrange the following programs to observe the 91st birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Children Day 2011 at the Chancery. Day & time: Friday, 11 March 1600 hrs, venue: 1st floor of the Chancery, Programme: Art Competition. Thursday, 17 March 1600 hrs 1st floor of the Chancery - Discussion Meeting. EMBASSY OF THE US The United States Department of State announces the increase in various visa fees to ensure sufficient resources to cover the increasing cost of processing nonimmigrant visas (NIVs). US law requires the Department to recover the cost of processing non-immigrant visas through the collection of the application fees. The increased fees are to take effect June 4, 2010. Under the new rule, applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, will pay a fee of $140. Applicants for petition-based visas will pay an application fee of $150, as each of the below categories requires a review of extensive documentation and a more indepth interview of the applicant than other categories, such as tourists. These categories include: H visa for temporary workers and trainees L visa for intra-company transferees O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors R visa for religious occupations The application fee for K visas for fiance(e)s of US citizens will be $350. The fee for E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors will be $390. EMBASSY OF GERMANY The German Embassy wishes to extend and update its information base on German business in Kuwait. Therefore all Kuwaiti companies representing German companies are invited to register at the embassy. For more information on the registration, please visit



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

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

00:15 01:00 01:20 02:10 02:50 03:40

Untamed And Uncut The Most Extreme Dogs 101 Orangutan Island Orangutan Island Pit Bulls And Parolees I’m Alive Untamed And Uncut Meerkat Manor Growing Up... Michaela’s Animal Road Trip Corwin’s Quest Project Puppy Project Puppy Animal Precinct Wildlife SOS E-Vets: The Interns Life Of Mammals Life Of Mammals Animal Crackers Animal Crackers Must Love Cats Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Last Chance Highway World Wild Vet Wildest Africa Dogs 101 Weird Creatures With Nick Last Chance Highway Up Close And Dangerous

Big Top Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential The Weakest Link The Weakest Link The Weakest Link My Family My Family Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Little Robots Buzz And Tell Penelope K, By The Way Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Little Robots Buzz And Tell Penelope K, By The Way Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Little Robots Buzz And Tell Penelope K, By The Way Balamory Tweenies Fimbles Little Robots Buzz And Tell Penelope K, By The Way My Family My Family Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential The Weakest Link Casualty Casualty The Weakest Link The Weakest Link Doctors Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential My Family My Family Full Circle With Michael Palin Robin Hood Sunshine Survivors

Fantasy Homes By The Sea Cash In The Attic USA Fantasy Homes By The Sea Design Star Fantasy Homes In The City Fantasy Homes By The Sea

04:25 07:40 11:15 14:30 15:20 16:00 16:55 17:45 18:30 19:15 20:05 20:50 21:35 22:25 23:10 23:55

Come Dine With Me Daily Cooks Challenge Come Dine With Me Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic Home For Life Superhomes Design Star Come Dine With Me Come Dine With Me Design Star Design Star Come Dine With Me Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic Home For Life

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

BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News World Features Our World BBC World News World Features Spirit Of Yachting BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News Newsnight BBC World News Click BBC World News India Business Report BBC World News Fast Track BBC World News World Features Spirit Of Yachting BBC World News World Features Dateline London BBC World News My Country BBC World News World Features Newsnight BBC World News Third Eye BBC World News World Features Click BBC World News Sport Today Doctors On The Frontline BBC World News The Real... Istanbul BBC World News BBC World News BBC World News India Business Report BBC World News Newsnight BBC World News World Features Third Eye BBC World News Sport Today Click BBC World News World Features Spirit Of Yachting

00:00 00:25 00:50 01:15 Doo 01:40 02:05 02:30 02:55 03:20 03:45 04:10 04:30 04:55 05:25 05:50 06:15 06:40 07:05 07:30 08:00 08:25

Hong Kong Phooey A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 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 Droopy: Master Detective Dastardly And Muttley The Flintstones Tex Avery Show Droopy And Dripple Looney Tunes

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

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

Pink Panther And Pals The Scooby Doo Show Tom And Jerry Paddington Bear Duck Dodgers The Garfield Show Duck Dodgers Hour Wacky Races Scooby Cinema Dastardly And Muttley The Jetsons Hong Kong Phooey Looney Tunes The Flintstones Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch King Arthur’s Disasters Dexter’s Laboratory Johnny Bravo Tom And Jerry Wacky Races Dastardly And Muttley Top Cat The Scooby Doo Show Tom And Jerry Looney Tunes The Garfield Show Duck Dodgers Pink Panther And Pals Tom And Jerry The Jetsons Droopy: Master Detective The 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 Chop Socky Chooks 08:50 Chowder 09:15 Ben 10: Alien Force 09:40 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 10:05 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 10:30 The Secret Saturdays 10:55 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 11:20 George Of The Jungle 11:30 Angelo Rules 11:55 Best Ed 12:20 Eliot Kid 12:45 Skunk Fu! 13:00 Ben 10: Alien Force 22:00 The Powerpuff Girls 22:25 Ed, Edd N Eddy 22:50 Robotboy 23:00 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 23:25 Skunk Fu! 23:50 Ben 10

00:40 Monsters Inside Me 01:35 Dual Survival 02:30 Destroyed In Seconds 03:00 Destroyed In Seconds 03:25 Battle Machine Bros 04:20 How It’s Made 04:50 How Does It Work? 05:15 Extreme Fishing 06:05 Mythbusters 07:00 Fifth Gear 07:25 Fifth Gear 07:50 Battle Machine Bros 08:45 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 09:40 Mythbusters 10:30 Man vs Fish With Matt Watson 11:25 Extreme Fishing


12:20 Extreme Loggers 17:50 How It’s Made 18:15 Man vs Fish With Matt Watson 19:10 Extreme Fishing 20:05 I Could Do That 20:35 I Could Do That 21:00 Mythbusters 21:55 Aircrash Confidential 22:50 Dual Survival 23:45 Police Women Of Maricopa County

00:40 Weird Or What? 01:30 Nextworld 02:20 The Gadget Show 02:45 The Gadget Show 03:10 The Future Of... 04:00 Sci-Fi Science 04:25 Sci-Fi Science 04:50 How Stuff Works 05:45 Engineered 06:40 How Does That Work? 07:10 Superships 08:00 What’s That About? 08:55 Brainiac 09:50 Perfect Disaster 15:05 Alien Storms 15:55 Patent Bending 16:20 The Gadget Show 16:45 The Gadget Show 17:10 Sci-Fi Science 17:35 Sci-Fi Science 18:00 Nextworld 18:50 How Stuff Works 19:40 Mega World 20:30 Mighty Ships 21:20 What’s That About? 22:10 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 23:00 Science Of The Movies 23:50 Space Pioneer

00:20 Replacements 00:45 Replacements 01:10 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 01:35 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 02:00 A KIND OF MAGIC 02:20 A KIND OF MAGIC 02:45 STITCH 03:10 STITCH 03:35 Kim Possible 04:00 Kim Possible 04:25 Emperors New School 04:50 Emperors New School 05:15 STITCH 05:35 STITCH 06:00 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 06:20 JUNGLE JUNCTION 06:45 Handy Manny 07:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 07:35 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 08:00 SONNY WITH A CHANCE YR 2 08:25 Phineas & Ferb 08:50 HAVE A LAUGH 09:00 JOHNNY KAPAHALA: BACK ON BOARD 10:30 HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER 10:55 GOOD LUCK CHARLIE 11:15 SUITE LIFE ON DECK S3 11:40 SUITE LIFE ON DECK S3 12:00 FISH HOOKS 12:25 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 12:50 SONNY WITH A CHANCE YR 2 13:12 HAVE A LAUGH 13:15 HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER 13:40 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 14:00 JONAS LA 14:25 Replacements 14:47 HAVE A LAUGH 14:50 Phineas & Ferb 15:15 JONAS LA 15:35 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 16:00 SUITE LIFE ON DECK S3 16:25 HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER 16:45 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 17:10 SHAKE IT UP 17:30 FISH HOOKS 17:55 HAVE A LAUGH 18:00 HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER 18:20 GOOD LUCK CHARLIE 18:45 SONNY WITH A CHANCE YR 2 19:10 Princess Protection Programme 20:35 HAVE A LAUGH 20:40 HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER 21:00 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 21:25 JONAS LA 21:50 GOOD LUCK CHARLIE 22:15 Sonny With A Chance 22:40 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 23:05 Jonas 23:30 Hannah Montana 23:55 Kim Possible

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

00:15 Kendra 00:40 Fashion Police 01:05 Chelsea Lately 01:30 Young, Beautiful And Vanished 03:15 Extreme Hollywood 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 20 Acts Of Love Gone Wrong 07:45 Behind The Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:25 Extreme Close-Up 10:15 Style Star 10:40 Style Star 11:05 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 12:00 E! News 12:50 Fashion Police 13:15 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 13:40 E!es 14:30 Kendra 14:55 Kendra 15:25 Style Star 15:50 Style Star 16:15 Extreme Close-Up 17:10 Behind The Scenes 18:00 E! News 18:50 Married To Rock 19:15 Married To Rock 19:40 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 20:30 Kendra 20:55 Kendra 21:20 Kourtney And Kim Take New York 21:45 Kourtney And Kim Take New York 22:10 E! News 23:00 Chelsea Lately 23:25 The Soup 23:50 E! News

00:00 IFMXF 2010 00:25 IFMXF 2010 00:50 Untracked 02:30 M1 Selection 2010 03:20 FIM World Motocross Mx3 Championships... 03:45 FIM World Motocross Mx3 Championships... 04:10 FIM World Motocross Mx3 Championships... 04:35 FIM World Motocross Mx3 Championships... 05:00 Ty Murray’s Celebrity Bull Riding Challa 05:50 Continuum 06:40 Prophecy 07:30 iEX 2009 08:00 iEX 2009 08:30 iEX 2009 09:00 Drop In TV 10:40 FIM World Motocross Mx1/Mx2... 11:30 FIM World Motocross Mx1/Mx2... 12:20 Harvest 13:10 China Invitational 2009 14:00 X Games 16 2010 14:50 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 15:15 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 15:40 Eds Up 18:10 I’ll Do Anything 19:00 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 19:25 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 19:50 Harvest 20:40 China Invitational 2009 21:30 X Games 16 2010 22:20 Final Fu 22:45 Final Fu 23:10 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 23:35 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009

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

A Haunting Psychic Witness The Haunted Ghost Lab A Haunting Psychic Witness Crime Scene Psychics Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Forensic Detectives Impossible Heists Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls The Prosecutors FBI Files Murder Shift Who On Earth Did I Marry? Who On Earth Did I Marry? Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls The Prosecutors Forensic Detectives Impossible Heists FBI Files Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Murder Shift Who On Earth Did I Marry? Who On Earth Did I Marry? I Escaped Death On The Case With Paula Zahn

00:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 01:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 02:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 03:00 Bondi Rescue 03:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 04:00 Exploring The Vine 04:30 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 05:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 06:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 07:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 08:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 09:00 Bondi Rescue 09:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 10:00 Bondi Rescue 10:30 Market Values

AWAY WE GO ON OSN CINEMA 11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:30 23:00 23:30

00:00 02:00 04:00 PG15 06:00 07:45 09:15 12:15 14:15 16:00 18:00 20:00 18 22:00

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 PG 11:00 13:00 14:45 16:45 19:00 21:00 23:00

Word Travels Word Travels Earth Tripping Wedding Crasher Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Market Values Word Travels Earth Tripping Earth Tripping Wedding Crasher Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Market Values Word Travels Word Travels

Halloween 2-18 Transporter 3-18 A Lonely Place For DyingMortal Kombat-PG Dragonball: Evolution-PG Wyatt Earp-PG15 Vertical Limit-PG15 Dragonball: Evolution-PG The Truth About Charlie-PG15 Vertical Limit-PG15 Battlestar Galactica: The PlanDeath Race-18

Away We Go-PG15 Adventures Of Power-PG15 Delgo-FAM Aliens In The Attic-FAM Where The Wild Things AreCharlotte Gray-PG15 Mes Stars Et Moi-PG15 Mama’s Boy-PG15 Capitalism: A Love Story-PG15 The Stepfather-PG15 World’s Greatest Dad-18 Preacher’s Kid-PG

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Boondocks 02:00 Melissa And Joey 02:30 The Office 03:00 Saturday Night Live 04:00 Boondocks 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Coach 06:00 Yes Dear 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 08:30 Coach 09:00 Family Biz 09:30 The Drew Carey Show 10:00 Yes Dear 10:30 Melissa And Joey 11:00 Coach 11:30 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 12:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 13:00 Family Biz 13:30 Coach 14:00 Yes Dear 14:30 The Office 15:00 Melissa And Joey 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Just Shoot Me 18:30 According To Jim 19:00 Billable Hours 19:30 Two And A Half Men 20:00 Entourage 20:30 Cougar Town 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:00 American Dad 23:30 Entourage

01:15 03:15 PG15 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:30 17:30 PG15 19:15 PG15 21:15 23:00

Casualties Of War-18 A Lonely Place For DyingThe International-18 Heaven’s Fall-PG15 12 Rounds-PG15 Gran Torino-PG15 Independence Day-PG15 12 Rounds-PG15 X-Men Origins: WolverineG.I. Joe: The Rise Of CobraQuarantine-18 Bitch Slap-18

00:00 A Low Down Dirty ShamePG15 02:00 Reality Bites-PG15 04:00 Bring It On 5: Fight To The Finish-PG15 06:00 Dirty Work-PG15 08:00 Can’t Buy Me Love-PG15 10:00 Before You Say I Do-PG15 12:00 Imagine That-PG 14:00 A Dog Year-PG 16:00 A Low Down Dirty ShamePG15 18:00 The Last Supper-PG15 20:00 Role Models-18 22:00 Chasing Amy-18

01:15 Croupier-18 03:00 Man In The Chair-PG15 05:00 Awakenings-PG 07:00 From Time To Time-PG15 09:00 Nurse.Fighter.Boy-PG15 10:45 Defiance-PG15 13:00 Call Of The North-PG 15:00 It’s A Free World-PG15 17:00 April Showers-PG15 19:00 Le Premier Jour Du Reste De Ta Vie-PG15 21:00 Dead Man Walking-18 23:00 Yasmin-18

02:15 Evolution-PG15 04:00 Smart People-PG15 06:00 Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel-PG15 07:30 The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle-FAM 09:00 By The People: The Election Of Barack Obama-PG15 11:00 Fantastic Mr. Fox-FAM 13:00 Wild Child-PG15 15:00 Old Dogs-PG 17:00 By The People: The Election Of Barack Obama-PG15 19:00 Revolutionary Road-PG15 21:00 One Hot Summer-PG15 23:00 Orphan-18

00:00 Last Of The Mohicans-PG 02:00 The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle-FAM 04:00 Dr. Dolittle 2-PG 06:00 Monsters Inc-FAM 08:00 Rolie, Polie, Olie: The MovieFAM 10:00 Dr. Dolittle 2-PG 12:00 Scooby-Doo And The Loch Ness Monster-FAM 14:00 The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle-FAM 16:00 Treasure Island-PG 18:00 Zorro’s Secrets-PG 20:00 Red Wall: The Movie-FAM 22:00 Scooby-Doo And The Loch Ness Monster-FAM

00:30 Long Weekend-PG15 02:00 Cheri-PG15 04:00 Did You Hear About The Morgans?-PG15 06:00 I Spy-PG 08:00 Thor: Hammer Of The GodsPG15 10:00 Ambrose Bierce: Civil War Stories-PG15

12:00 Did You Hear About The Morgans?-PG15 14:00 My Son, My Son, What Have You Done?-PG15 16:00 Thor: Hammer Of The GodsPG15 18:00 Alice In Wonderland-PG 20:00 One Hot Summer-PG15 22:00 Diary Of The Dead-18

00:00 Super League 02:00 Futbol Mundial 02:30 World Hockey 03:00 IRB Sevens 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Super League 09:00 Asia Pacific Ironman Championship 10:00 Futbol Mundial 10:30 ICC Cricket World 11:00 IRB Sevens 15:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 15:30 Super 15 17:30 Ladies European Tour Highlights 18:30 Trans World Sport 19:30 European Tour Weekly 20:00 Golfing World 21:00 Super 15 23:00 Super 15

00:00 Anglo Welsh Cup 02:00 Scottish FA Cup 04:00 Asia Pacific Iron Championship 05:00 ICC Cricket World 05:30 Futbol Mundial 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Live NRL Premiership 09:00 NRL Premiership 11:00 Super 15 13:00 Futbol Mundial 13:30 European Tour Weekly 14:00 NRL Premiership 16:00 NRL Premiership 18:00 ICC Cricket World 18:30 Trans World Sport 19:30 Total Rugby 20:00 Futbol Mundial 20:30 Anglo Welsh Cup 22:30 Scottish FA Cup


00:00 WWE Vintage Collection 01:00 WWE Bottom Line 02:00 WWE NXT 03:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 04:00 UFC Unleashed 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Vintage Collection 08:00 WWE Bottom Line 09:00 WWE NXT 10:00 WWE SmackDown 12:00 UAE National Race Day Series 13:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 14:00 WWE Vintage Collection 15:00 WWE Bottom Line 16:00 WWE NXT 17:00 WWE SmackDown 19:00 UFC 127 Prelims 20:00 UFC 127 23:00 WWE NXT

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

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






Trib u ago Chic

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New review


Outstanding Worthy effort So-so A bomb


Movie picks

Tim es mi H eral d Phil ade lphi a In quir Min er nea poli s St ar T Sea ribu ttle ne Tim es

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

Adjustment Bureau Beastly Gnomeo and Juliet

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for a Keralite couple or a decent bachelor in a 2 bedroom flat in Beneid Al-Gar, behind Safir International hotel. Interested please call 66612842. (C 3182) Sharing room accommodation available in Abbassiya near Highway Center, family or working ladies for Keralite family. Call 99509436. (C 3181) 13-3-2011 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: 60046720. (3177) 12-3-2011

Hall Pass I Am Number Four Rango Take Me Home Tonight Unknown © 2011 MCT

Sharing accommodation available for couples in a CA/C flat near Holi sweet

restaurant Abbassiya. Contact: 60796866. (C 3175) 10-11-2011

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla model 2009, white color, 1.8 engine, dealer maintained, cash price KD 3400, installment possible. Tel: 66507741. (C 3176) Original leather beige sofa 3+2+1+1, deluxe bedroom set with medicated mattress, 6 door wardrobe, dressing table, Farwaniya behind Crowne Plaza, KD 200. Contact: 97838920. (C 3173) 10-11-2011 Toyota Corolla model 2008, 1.6 engine, white color, 67,000 km, excellent condition, single hand used, price KD 3,150. Call 60682204. (C 3174) 9-3-2011

CHANGE OF NAME Chennu Kavitha, holder of Indian Passport No. G3930273, hereby change my name to Chennu Saroja, resided in Kuwait with civil ID No. 275041003163. 13-3-2011

SITUATION WANTED Ethiopian lady looking for job American/European family. Please contact: 55658124. (C 3180) 13-2-2011 Accountant Indian (male) 10 years experience (2 years in Kuwait), Accounts up to Finalization, Bank Reconciliation, Inventory, Cash, Creditors and Debtors Management. Good knowledge in Tally, Oracle, MS Office. Tel: 65990299. (C 3179) 12-3-2011


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


134 341 110 304 303 857 215 510 213 800 239 127 227 177 502 542 618 786 614 744 674 166 102 552 405 61 647 572 372 217 104 81 402 136 859 172 981 981 157 185 3553 135 553 389 636 646 205


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



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

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SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

s ta r s CROSSWORD 255



Aries (March 21-April 19) You are unusually talkative today. You have a zeal to sample the new and unique that is all around you. Visiting with friends that come by your place or playing a competitive game in your yard is the glue that keeps your friends communicative and in-touch. Companionship with close family and friends is important now and you will want to take every opportunity to keep this network of loved ones close to you. An instinctive urge to get serious about taking care of you at many levels is emphasized now. A loved one is supportive. Refinement and relationships are the keys to emotional satisfaction. Your base of security, which is your home and loved ones, is the place you want to be this evening.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) If your friends could read auras, yours would be shinning gold and green today. Curiosity and good feelings promote new ideas and healing results in your body. Your inner resources and emotions are emphasized today. Good relationships are the keys to emotional satisfaction. Travel could be available, if you wish. Enlightenment in many areas of your life gives you a greater understanding of many life matters. Look well groomed—you may be more pleased with the results than you thought. An insight about your support system, your mother or other females may be as interesting as important just now. This can be a far-reaching, creative and even romantic phase of your life. A love relationship can flourish this evening.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. Fiddler crabs. 4. A kind of heavy jacket (`windcheater' is a British term). 10. A man who serves as a sailor. 13. (computer science) Memory whose contents can be accessed and read but cannot be changed. 14. A member of an Athapaskan people that migrated to Arizona and New Mexico and Utah. 15. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 16. The state of being unsure of something. 18. The content of cognition. 19. A piece of furniture that provides a place to sleep. 20. A republic in southeastern Europe. 22. Wool of the alpaca. 24. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 25. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 26. (heraldry) An ordinary consisting of a broad horizontal band across a shield. 29. Nut of any of several trees of the genus Corylus. 31. Evergreen trees and shrubs having oily one-seeded fruits. 35. A federal agency that supervises carriers that transport goods and people between states. 37. Run away. 39. Perversely irritable. 42. Any taillike structure. 43. A sensation (as of a cold breeze or bright light) that precedes the onset of certain disorders such as a migraine attack or epileptic seizure. 44. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 47. The federal department responsible for safeguarding national security. 48. 10 grams. 51. A small cake leavened with yeast. 53. A Muslim or Hindu mendicant monk who is regarded as a holy man. 56. 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. 60. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 61. Capital and largest city of Iraq. 65. The cry made by sheep. 66. An advanced law degree. 67. Naked freshwater or marine or parasitic protozoa that form temporary pseudopods for feeding and locomotion. 68. A cgs unit of work or energy. 69. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 70. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 71. A nucleic acid consisting of large molecules shaped like a double helix.

DOWN 1. Relating to the Urdu language. 2. Someone who cooks food. 3. An Asian river between China and Russia. 4. Ludicrously odd. 5. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 6. A city in northwestern Spain near the Cantabrian Mountains. 7. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 8. Having the leading position or higher score in a contest. 9. Sluggish tailless Australian arboreal marsupial with gray furry ears and coat. 10. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 11. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 12. English monk and scholar (672-735). 17. Having or denoting a low vocal or instrumental range. 21. The iridescent internal layer of a mollusk shell. 23. Type genus of the Phocidae. 27. A very light brown. 28. A mark left by the healing of injured tissue. 30. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 32. Characterized by or producing sound of great volume or intensity. 33. (prefix) Within. 34. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 36. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 38. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 40. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 41. A person forced to flee from home or country. 45. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 46. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 49. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 50. Pasture grass of plains of South America and western North America. 52. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 54. (usually followed by `to') Having the necessary means or skill or know-how or authority to do something. 55. God of love and erotic desire. 57. In bed. 58. An outlying farm building for storing grain or animal feed and housing farm animals. 59. Mentally or physically infirm with age. 62. Any thick messy substance. 63. A young woman making her debut into society. 64. A light touch or stroke.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You are expressive and sociable today. There are things you have always wanted to try and never had the time—you are creative and curious. The exchange of ideas becomes a focal point of your day. This could involve a trip to a new computer store or a day at a new exhibit your local museum or an invention idea that someone is willing to help you create. Learning, knowing a little about a lot of things, staying in touch and on top of the latest developments are the things that satisfy a need for mental stimulation. Neighbors and brothers or sisters may play a role in this; young people figure more prominently in your life these days. The Chinese believe that disorder causes disease, so you busy yourself this afternoon to clean and put things right.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


Helping your friends, even in the subtlest manner, should prove successful today. Remember your friends and family at this time and try to include them in your good fortune. Use your time as wisely as possible so as not to overtax yourself. Look at a particular project before you begin and decide how you can best accomplish what you want to accomplish. This is a great time to reflect and understand your own situation, just how you feel about yourself. Emotions in particular, or the feelings of those around you, may be very clear. Your inner resources and emotions are accented. Fasten your seat belt; your luck is about to improve in many areas of your life. Sweet music and a light meal create the perfect atmosphere for romance.

Leo (July 23-August 22) A wedding or some other reason that brings family and friends together has you eager to lend a helpful hand. You could be preparing to sing at the wedding. Refinement and relationships are the keys to emotional satisfaction now. Harmony and beauty are deeply satisfying—and the lack of them can be emotionally unsettling. You are learning to put the super-sensitive you in the past. You are also learning to look past the emotional or manipulative comments of another with compassion. Smiles and frowns do not exist at the same time and you have the power to choose. Good for you—you are the ruler of your own emotions and you will be good at teaching others. Close personal ties to people are a strong pull today. Celebrations are wonderful!


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Keeping your diary updated with simply a log of your activities with outstanding experiences noted. In no time at all you will see a book emerging from your daily doodles. A conversation with old friends may bring up old memories and give you plenty to write about in your diary or rather, daily doodles. A fun gathering is inevitable and perhaps a game of chance will bring many opportunities to laugh and join in the art of deepening your friendships. Coming to grips with the past or getting in touch with the mystical and the spiritual things gives a sense of satisfaction and completeness. Romance and such creative pursuits as hobbies are outlets for much of your energy later today. This evening is a good time to express yourself to a loved one.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) A garage sale may be the order of this day. Your spring-cleaning brings monetary rewards. Don’t be too surprised when unexpected friends drop over this afternoon. They may want to buy your stuff. This may be the boost you need as the short time that they visit with you brings good news. Communicating is at a high just now as there are phone calls, catching up with the newest happenings of neighbors, etc. Others find you full of energy. You may be sought after for your advice and counsel regarding very personal and emotional issues. Your psychic abilities are high and not one person would dare to try to fool you today. Keep up with your physical exercise! You will want to build your stamina and get in shape for the good things that are ahead.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) This whole day is exciting in that you complete your chores early and you are helpful to those around you; you have time for a hobby moment. This may mean you know just where to shop for a particular part or you finish building a special project. If you wish, you will be able to show off your hobby to others. If you are with a religious group later today you may decide to enjoy each other’s company with a meal together after your meeting. There are good conversations and the group melds together into future possibilities. Later today is a good time to just relax and enjoy yourself, perhaps in reading or enjoying a movie, music or strolling through the neighborhood. You may find an animal relaxing this evening. There is a bit of cheerful laughter.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

You may find yourself feeling more private and in a stay-athome mood today. Now is a time to spend with loved ones. Everything you see or do this day deepens your compassion and brings out your unique and unusual qualities. You could come up with new solutions to something as simple as an easy can opener or shoe polish. Family, home, relatives and real estate have your attention. You may enjoy looking at new houses later today. The layout of other homes and the smell of fresh wood are creatively stimulating as well as physically relaxing. Good feelings and a sense of support and harmony make this a happy time. Real insight into your own inner workings and future possibilities is fun and enjoyable to ponder.

Early morning quandaries set the tone for a somewhat strange day. You may busy yourself with these thoughts for a short while— then you go about looking for ways to create and accomplish your goals. Now may be the best time to consider a move. Perhaps the apartment you live in is beginning to feel a little small. This is a good day to go hunting for something new. Later today you will find yourself trying to catch up on chores; writing letters and getting caught up on paying the bills, which is a good idea. This will also give you time to focus and plan. This is not a wildly romantic time but one where small endeavors will meet with success. This is a good time to express your affections. Don’t wait until it is too late to become better organized.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You will have opportunities today to state your case—so to speak. You will be able to put your ideals into practice and enlarge the range of your creativeness. Put your mind to work and take care of any details that you may have, for mental discipline should come easily. Problems and obstacles that have previously been confounding should find easy explanations under your keen examination. This could mean you finally finish a puzzle, a model, memorize a song, teach a lesson to a difficult child, etc., etc. Later today, do a little something special for yourself—share time with a friend. You may find your friends will happily join you this afternoon in some spur of the moment activity. Close personal ties to other people are a focal point for your love.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

One of the best things about not having to work today is that you can enjoy the celebrations of spring around your city. You attach more importance to friendships and taking part in group activities. Having been so busy with a heavy workload, you may now move fun and frivolity to a better position on your list of activities. If you are tempted to buy pretty things today, remember that all that glitters is not necessarily gold. Readjust your priorities without delay. You and your loved one may decide to have a party for your friends this evening. This is a favorable time to repair any broken relationships. Romantic feelings are deepened, encouraging you to bestow tokens of your affection upon a loved one.



e niv rsar n


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

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e niv rsar n


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

lifestyle G O S S I P

David, Victoria Beckham expecting a baby girl

ritish celebrity couple David and Victoria Beckham are expecting a baby girl, putting a new kick into their family of three rambunctious boys. The pair announced in January that they were having another child, and on Friday at a gathering of the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer club for whom Beckham plays, the proud papa let it slip that the new baby would arrive in pink, according to a report by sports TV channel ESPN. ìObviously, weíre very lucky to be expecting again, and this is the first time Iím going to say it: Itís a little girl,î the Galaxy midfielder said at a luncheon in Los Angeles. The English sports star, 35, and his singer-turned-fashion designer wife, 36, are currently raising sons Brooklyn, 12, Romeo, 8, and Cruz, 6. She is due in July.

’ e n i f ‘ l e w Je ccident a r e t f a


spokeswoman for Jewel says the pregnant country singer was involved in an auto accident but appears to be fine after being checked out at a hospital. Nicole Perez-Krueger said in an e-mail Friday that hospital tests indicate that Jewel and the fetus are healthy. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the singer and Erath County Commissioner Jim Pack were involved in the two-vehicle collision Friday at a rural intersection in Stephenville. The agency says Pack was driving a fire department truck with his lights and siren on while on his way to a grass fire. Perez-Kreuger says the fire truck struck Jewel’s vehicle. The accident is being investigated. Jewel and her rodeo champion husband, Ty Murray, live in Texas.




files for divorce

granted restraining order

livia Wilde has filed for divorce from Tao Ruspoli. The 27-year-old ‘Tron: Legacy’ actress filed papers in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week, citing Irreconcilable Differences from her husband of eight years. A representative for Olivia had already confirmed she had split from documentary filmmaker Tao last month. The pair had been together since she was 18, eloping just six months after they met. A source told US “It was Olivia’s decision. Olivia got married really young. “She’s done a lot of growing since then, just like anyone would. They’ve just grown in different directions. “They have been separated for a while. “Her career has exploded and she saw being married is not as much fun. She feels she missed out on being single getting married so young, and wants to sow her wild oats.” Tao - the son of an Italian aristocrat - and Olivia were wed in an abandoned school bus in rural Virginia with just two witnesses to the ceremony. A source close to him said: “He is heartbroken and really wanted to stay together.” Since their split Olivia has been spotted with ‘Blue Valentine’ star Ryan Gosling.


Sheen brings live show to Detroit, Chicago

harlie Sheen is taking his show on the road. A spokesman for the outspoken actor said tickets go went on sale yesterday for shows in Detroit and Chicago next month called “Charlie Sheen Live: My Violent Torpedo of Truth.” Publicist Larry Solters said Sheen is promoting the show himself and has already begun rehearsals. Solters said he does not know the nature of the show or whether additional performances will be scheduled. Sheen announced the show Thursday and Friday to his more than 2 million Twitter followers, calling it “the REAL story.” The 45-year-old actor was fired from the hit CBS show “Two and a Half Men” on Monday. He sued the show’s producers Thursday for $100 million for breach of contract. Hours later, he reached a custody agreement with his estranged wife over their twin sons. Sheen has been making headlines with his colorful, rambling interviews, in which he has claimed to be a “Vatican assassin warlock” with “tiger blood” and “Adonis DNA.” Solters is apparently replacing the actor’s longtime publicist, Stan Rosenfield, who abruptly resigned two weeks ago when Sheen began giving interviews to various news outlets and radio programs. Solters described himself Friday as “a warlock in training.”


ose McGowan has been granted a restraining order against a fan who threatened her staff. Louis S. Santo was handed the three-year order to stay away from the ‘Death Proof’ actress after he made repeated threats against members of her staff, and bombarded them with calls demanding that she meet him. Rose said in an affidavit: “He has threatened my employees with violence if he is not permitted to talk to me because he states that I am in love with him even though I never met him. “His constant calling and threats have severely unnerved me and members of my staff as well as my family.” The restraining order was granted by a judge in Los Angeles and updates a temporary one put in place in February after messages left by Louis were said to have become aggressive. Louis, 36, has claimed that he and Rose dated in college and that he had written a movie script for her, but she had tried to steal it. He is not allowed to contact her until March 2014 under the terms of the order.

Depp admits to being ‘weird’ child J

ohnny Depp felt like a “complete freak” growing up. The ‘Rango’ star who has children Lily-Rose, 11, and eight-year-old Jack with long-term partner Vanessa Paradis - used to shut himself away when he was younger because he never felt like he fitted in. He admitted: “When I was growing up I felt a complete freak. Very strange. I felt weird at five. At the age of 12 it was me against the world. “I remember locking myself in my bedroom and playing my guitar. It seemed like I was in there for two or three years.” However, the 47-year-old actor has learned to accept himself since finding love with Vanessa 12 years ago, and admits he views his life in two stages, before and after meeting the French singer-and-actress. He explained: “The most important thing is that Vanessa has made me not have to pretend any more about who I am. I feel comfortable with myself. “My life is divided in two. In the time before I met Vanessa, I was searching for something. “Since our time together I have found it. She keeps me calm. There were times when I was burning inside.” — Bang Showbiz


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e niv rsar n

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


lifestyle Music and Movies

Actor Mel Gibson enters the Los Angeles Courthouse Airport branch on March 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.—AFP

Mel Gibson pleads no contest to battery charge M

el Gibson used some lightning legal moves Friday to abruptly end a domestic violence case involving a fight last year with his then-girlfriend. Within hours, Gibson was charged with misdemeanor spousal battery and pleaded no contest in a deal with prosecutors that kept him out of jail. In a separate case, prosecutors announced they found insufficient evidence to pursue Gibson’s extortion allegations against Oksana Grigorieva, the victim in the battery case and the mother of Gibson’s infant daughter. As part of the plea deal, Gibson will spend three years on probation, undergo a year of domestic violence counseling, and perform 16 hours of community service. If he complies and doesn’t get into further trouble, he won’t have to make another court appearance in the case. Gibson, 55, dressed in a blue suit and blue striped shirt, said little during the brief hearing beyond acknowledging his rights and the terms of the plea deal. Grigorieva did not attend the proceeding. The developments marked a swift ending to a legal saga that began last summer when Grigorieva, a Russian musician, reported Gibson had hit her during a fight at his Malibu home in January 2010. By the time she went to police, the pair were locked in a bitter custody battle and the actor-director soon accused her of attempting to extort him during negotiations for custody arrangements involving their daughter. Months of investigation by deputies followed. Sexist

and racist rants by Gibson were leaked to celebrity website, and Grigorieva did interviews with CNN’s Larry King and People magazine detailing threats she attributed to Gibson. The custody battle continues in a Los Angeles court, but the proceeding is closed to the public and the records are sealed. In the battery case, Gibson entered a plea in which he did not admit guilt. It cannot be used against him if Grigorieva files a lawsuit. His lawyer Blair Berk said the Academy Award winner made the move with the best interests of his children in mind. “It is with only that in mind that he asked me to approach the district attorney with a proposal that would bring all of this to an immediate end,” Berk said in a statement. Prosecutors said they agreed to the deal because it offered adequate protection for Grigorieva and her daughter with Gibson. A protective order issued by Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner forbids Gibson from threatening or becoming violent with Grigorieva or her children. Grigorieva, 41, also has a teenage son with British actor Timothy Dalton. The order, however, will not keep Gibson from seeing his infant daughter. “The protective order has restrictions, as long as he complies with the protective order, he can see his daughter,” said John Lynch, a head deputy district attorney who helped handle the case. Lynch thought the plea agreement was warranted,

given Gibson’s lack of a serious criminal history. “I think that this disposition would have occurred if we had taken it to trial,” Lynch said. The battery charge was another blow to Gibson’s reputation, which took a major hit after his 2006 arrest for drunken driving. A deputy’s report leaked to the celebrity website TMZ revealed the action star had used anti-Semitic and sexist slurs. His conviction was later expunged after he completed terms of his sentence. The charge came a week before Gibson’s latest film, “The Beaver,” is due to premiere at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. It is only the second major film that Gibson has starred in since 2002. He portrays a deeply troubled man able to communicate only through a beaver puppet in the film directed by Jodie Foster. Although Gibson’s prominence as an actor has diminished, he has remained a Hollywood fixture and drawn audiences as a director. His 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ” was a surprise blockbuster, earning more than $300 million. His relationship with Grigorieva helped return Gibson to the limelight, with the pair appearing on red carpets and award shows. Gibson confirmed her pregnancy on “The Tonight Show.” Gibson was accused of striking her on Jan. 6, 2010, although she did not report it until months later. The Sheriff’s Department opened its investigation in July, and later began its probe into the extortion allegation made by Gibson.

By then, the pair had broken up and reached a confidential custody agreement regarding their daughter Lucia. Although the exact details are not public, Gibson’s attorney said last year the actor was paying for a house and car for Grigorieva along with child care. The former couple has appeared opposite each other several times in a family law court that has heard issues related to child care, financial issues and evidence in the criminal investigations of both parents. Grigorieva’s attorneys lauded the decision to not charge her with extortion, saying the conclusion was reached “after very careful consideration of all the facts and with complete fairness to all involved.” Grigorieva never invoked her constitutional rights to refuse to answer investigators’ questions during interviews and turned over numerous confidential documents, according to a statement issued to The Associated Press by her lawyers Daniel Horowitz, Ronald Litz and Martin Garbus. “Ms Grigorieva will now concentrate on co-parenting Lucia, resuming her charitable work for the children of Chernobyl and moving forward with her life,” the statement said, declining further comment. Grigorieva has helped raise funds for Chernobyl Children’s Project International which assists victims of the 1986 nuclear accident in Ukraine. The lawyers declined further comment.—AP

‘Survivor’ star Hatch gets 9 months on violation


‘Spider-Man’ gets new date for Broadway opening


he producers of Broadway musical “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark” Friday set a new opening night of June 14 for the spectacle that has been panned by critics but unbowed at box offices. To meet the date, producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris said in a statement that preview performances have been canceled between April 19 and May 11 for more rehearsing. The announcement comes only two days after Cohl and Harris shook up the show by hiring a new creative team and relieving director Julie Taymor of her daily duties. The move was a blow to Taymor’s reputation as a visionary because her stage version of “The Lion King” had been a massive hit and a successful “Spider-Man,” which at $65 million is the most expensive show ever on the Great White Way, would have furthered her fame. But the show with music written by U2’s Bono and the Edge has suffered several setbacks in its long trek to the stage. There were problems in financing and development. In some early preview performances, the show was stopped and actors performing aerial stunts were left suspended in mid-air. In December, a stuntman was injured when he fell from a high platform on the stage, and one actress suffered a concussion when she was hit by a rope while offstage. The injuries caused officials to order new safety rules. The show’s official opening was delayed so many times that critics gave up waiting and reviewed the show anyway, with many lambasting it. The New York Times concluded it was “so grievously broken that it is beyond repair.” But fans seem to love it, judging by the box office. “Spider-Man” took in $1.28 million last week, for instance, as tourists and others flock to the spectacle.—Reuters

eality TV star Richard Hatch was ordered back to prison Friday to serve a nine-month sentence for failing to pay taxes on the $1 million he won on the first season of the hit CBS show “Survivor.” Hatch, who is currently appearing on NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” spent more than three years in prison for tax evasion before being released in 2009, and has been serving a three-year term of supervised release. During that period, he was supposed to refile his 2000 and 2001 taxes and pay what he owed, but he never did. US District Court Judge William Smith on Friday said Hatch, who has strenuously maintained his innocence, had exhibited no remorse and had made no effort to comply with an order that he straighten out and pay his taxes. He imposed a sentence three months longer than what was recommended by prosecutors: six months — the maximum in the federal sentencing guidelines. He said the term of supervised release, which is supposed to be a time of rehabilitation, did not appear to be doing any good in Hatch’s case. He said a substantial sentence was required to send a message to Hatch and others who flout the court’s orders. “You can continue to proclaim your innocence,” Smith said. “You don’t have the option of engaging in this type of game or negotiation with the court. It needs to be a severe punishment. That’s the only thing that will deter you in the future.” He also ordered Hatch serve 26 months supervised release, during which time 25 percent of Hatch’s gross income would be garnished and paid to the Internal Revenue Service. Prosecutor Andrew Reich said Friday that Hatch now owes an estimated $2 million to the IRS on the Survivor winnings and other income, including penalties. Hatch, who lives in Newport, Rhode Island, was ordered to report for his prison term on Monday. He said outside court that he was disappointed and planned to appeal. During the hearing, Hatch told Smith that he had fully cooperated with the terms of his release, and that his taxes were extremely complicated and he was working with an accountant to determine from the IRS what he owed. His lawyer said he had only made $26,000 to $27,000 in income since being released from prison, and said he

had sought jobs in marketing, on a fishing boat and was currently trying to leverage his charity appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice” into paying jobs in the entertainment industry. Hatch also told the judge he recently discovered he had a second son and was trying to build a relationship with him. He asked Smith because of that and the job opportunities that could come out of his “Celebrity Apprentice” appearance not to send him back to prison. NBC said 11 of 12 episodes of “Celebrity Apprentice,” which features 16 celebrities competing for charities, have already been taped. It premiered March 6. The finale, which ordinarily features the last two contenders and a winner chosen, is scheduled to air live on May 22. NBC spokesman Sean Martin said Hatch’s legal problems would have no effect on the show. “The finale will move forward regardless,” he said. Asked outside court whether he was prepared to go back to prison, Hatch didn’t answer.—AP

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert talks

‘Idol’ Lady Gaga and new album


File photo shows “Survivor” TV star Richard Hatch federal court in Providence, RI.—AP

dam Lambert made his “American Idol” return on Thursday with several purposes: to promote his latest anthem, “Aftermath,” recently released as a dance remix; to help the Trevor Project, which provides a life-line to LGBTQ kids, and to remind the “Idol” viewers- and no doubt the Season 10 finalists-what it takes to make it on that stage and in the pop world. THR caught up with Lambert after his performance for a quick chat about the song’s message, Lady Gaga’s crusade, being back at “Idol” and his new album. Fans can purchase the “Aftermath” remix on Lambert’s official site. THR: You performed on “Idol” last season with lasers and smoke, this acoustic version of “Aftermath” was far more stripped down. Is that meant to convey the vulnerability of the song? How did you feel about the performance? Adam Lambert: I felt really good. It was a bit out-of-body, as usual, but I always find that those are probably the best performances. There’s something kind of magical that happens when you’re completely in another zone. It’s like peoples’ energy affecting you from the outside in. THR: And getting across the message of the song was important to you Lambert: Yeah, it’s about being honest with yourself and the people you love. We’ve all been there where we’ve been worried about that moment-whether it’s having a secret or something to overcome or get past of chaos that happens right before you make

the big step to fix it or to relieve yourself. It’s a scary time, it’s uncertain, so that’s one of the things that I wrote the song about. In my mind, it was about coming out and how scary a step that is. And how once you do make the leap, you go, “Wow, I feel liberated, there are other people like me, all I feel now is love!” Hopefully the message gets out there. THR: Which ties together nicely with the Trevor Project initiative? Lambert: It can be about a lot of different things. It’s a really interesting song because one of the people I wrote it with was talking about overcoming addiction, someone else said it spoke about family. When I was an adolescent, I was really confused and had the good fortune to be raised in a very liberal, open home, but not everybody is. Back when I was dealing with that, I didn’t really have a lot of examples. So that was one of the other reasons why I wanted this song to be a battle-cry, because there’s not a lot of people that are championing this type of issue. THR: One star that is championing the issue is undoubtedly Lady Gaga, who recently terminated her relationship with Target over their LGBT policy. What’s your take on her recent actions? Lambert: I think the responsibility of today’s pop stars is to liberate the masses. In that everyone can be whatever they wanna be. You can march to your own beat. It’s so hard sometimes in our country because conformity is the way things are pushed. I’m anticonformity, as you can tell.—AP



e niv rsar n

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


lifestyle F a s h i o n

Exercising in style


A photo shows a look from ALO’s spring line.

hose vows to hit the gym more often or adopt a new exercise regimen seem to be part of the human condition. And although your choice of outfits is secondary to the search for motivation, the right clothing can’t hurt. “ Women want to look good while exercising,” says Kelly Cooper, vice president of merchandising, design and product development for Athleta, the Gap-owned athletic and lifestyle manufacturer and retailer. “When you’re wearing things that are more flattering, then you’re more motivated to work out.” Many of us appear to agree with her. In 2010, Americans spent more than $30 million on women’s fitness clothing, a 2 percent increase over the previous year. This spring, fitness brands are focusing on pieces that are streamlined, lightweight and versatile enough to wear post-workout. The most ubiquitous workout staple for women is the basic black capristyle legging from brands such as Lululemon or Hard Tail, which generally retail anywhere from $70 to $90. “The tight capri legging doesn’t die,” says Riale. “Everyone wears them. We can’t keep them in stock, even in New York when it’s cold.” The cropped and skinny silhouette of the capri has eclipsed the boot-cut workout pant of three or four years ago, and fitness instructors are happy to have their clients wearing more streamlined gear. “ The more form-fitting the fabric you wear is, the more it will stay out of your way and you can focus on your technique. Also, the instructor can see your form and make proper corrections,” says Kimberly Weber, executive director of Physique 57, a cardio program based on the Lotte Berk method, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Yoga teacher Clio Manuelian agrees with the idea that less is more. “In yoga, the teacher needs to see the shoulder blades,” she says. “There’s so much focus on that area, so wearing something like a tight tank top or a racer-back tank top is good so the trapezius (muscle) is visi-

Nike Free TR Fit shoes are built with minimum construction. —MCT photos

adding that tank-style cotton dresses and ‘skorts’ are big sellers. Alo, an LA-based company, manufactures a collection of apparel designed to transition from the gym to the street. Fitted, funnel-neck, zip-up jackets and lightweight sweatshirts layer easily over more body-conscious workout basics such

ble.” On the footwear front, companies such as Nike are also adopting this less-is-more attitude. The Nike Free Quick and the Nike Free TR are built with minimal construction to let the foot act as if nothing is there and move as it would naturally. Staying in your workout clothes to run errands or go pick up the kids is certainly a familiar concept to many LA women. The market for clothes that layer over those tight leggings-so as not to feel quite so exposed when running into Whole Foods for a smoothiehas grown larger in the last several years, furA photo shows a tank top ther blurring the lines from Lululemon. between fitness and fashion. “You see it all the time,” says Kar yn as leggings and a fitted tank Riale, a national top or T-shirt. Per formance retail buyer for apparel, such as tank tops with Equinox gyms. a built-in bra, come in a bright A photo shows a She notices mix of colors. Reebok Easy Tone women buying Style plays a big role in what Top in pink. and wearing a lot women who work out at the of what she calls West Hollywood Equinox or “to and from the gym” jackets-gener- attend Clio Manuelian’s yoga flow ally a fitted zip-up structured jacket classes wear. She says brighter colors with a fashionable element, such as and nautical stripes are being incoran exaggerated funnel or fold-down porated into workout gear. Purple neckline and a subtle print. Athleta and berry tones are showing up too. focuses heavily on items that layer “But people are definitely staying over gym clothes. “Layering is a huge away from anything oversized,” she trend for us for spring,” Cooper says, says. “They’re looking for fitted and

slimmer silhouettes.” Some of her students might be taking their styling cues from “Black Swan,” wearing traditional leg warmers to class. “Everybody’s back to leg warmers,” she says. When it comes to long runs or marathon yoga sessions, manufacturers are addressing issues such as chafing, irritation and odor. Consider: Lululemon has created a pair of yoga pants that aren’t just minimal in style, they’re also minimal in care. The Silverescent Luon pant is made to withstand lengthy yoga retreats where washing your workout wear after a day of sweating isn’t necessarily an option. The pant wicks away sweat, is quick-drying and has anti-odor technology sewn into the company’s signature Luon fabric. The sleeves of the new Nike Cyclone jacket are articulated and allow for optimal range of motion to avoid chafing and reduce irritation. And then there is the clothing that claims to enhance and tone the body during a workout. Reebok has taken the same approach to clothing that it did with its line of Easy Tone sneakers. The fitted tops, capri pants and shorts are equipped with bands that, according to the company, create resistance to help tone and strengthen muscles and encourage better posture and body alignment. The look of these clothes is not unlike the brightly colored Spandex sports bras and shirts cyclists wear, but the feel is a lot more rigid and taut, with the resistance bands creating a plastic-like strip down the front of the shirts and tank tops. The black boot-cut pants look and feel smooth, as if they would create a long, lean silhouette. Lytess claims its Slimming Leggings drain fluids and activate lipolysis (the hydrolysis of fats resulting in the production of carboxylic acids and glycerol). The fabric is embedded with caffeine and shea butter, which supposedly reduces fat and smoothes the skin for more toned thighs and hips. Whether or not you believe those claims, Tracie Hendricks, a group fitness instructor at Equinox gym, says toning clothes can offer benefits. “It

Nigeria Fashion Week

Models walk the runway during the Arise Magazine Fashion Week in Lagos, Nigeria, Friday. —AP

The Nike Cyclone jacket allows for an optimal range of motion.

A photo shows a cropped pant from Lululemon.

might make a difference in someone with bad posture. Any time you stand up straighter, you’re going to engage your core and lengthen your spine,” Hendricks says. “But do I believe you can get a yoga butt by putting on pants? No, yoga will give you yoga butt.” — MCT

A photo shows a look from ALO’s spring line. —MTC



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SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011


lifestyle F a s h i o n

Beauty brands

go outside the lab for ingredients


Mellon is at the heart and sole of

Jimmy Choo

hey do not quite stumble upon them, but high-tech, skin-care researchers and developers sometimes find new ingredients in unexpected places: under a rock, behind a tree, in the garden. The tips to look outside the laboratory box can come from traditional medicine, alternative medicine, folklore and history. Just in the world of botanicals, where many beauty ingredients emerge, there is so much more exploring to do, says Dr Marcus McFerren, a dermatologist and ethnobotanist based in Danbury, Connecticut, who recently consulted with Origins on its newest anti-aging, plant-based product called Plantscription. McFerren says fewer than 5 percent of plants have been tested, and fewer, of course, are used for cosmetic purposes. “Sometimes with plants, you’ll find something that’s good, but you can’t use it commercially because it’s too rare or too hard to get, so you look for

plants with similarities,” adds Lieve Declercq, a plant physiologist and molecular biologist for the brand. Dr Andrew Weil, a leading proponent of integrative medicine, says he has stumbled upon new ingredients in his travels or from his broader network of naturalproduct enthusiasts. He promotes use of evening-primrose oil, black currant oil and Japanese medicinal mushrooms, for example, in the treatment of the skin, particularly to reduce inflammation. “I look for novel ingredients with useful properties that meet specific needs,” he says. Sibu Beauty, a Salt Lake City-based family business, basically bet the farm on the sea buckthorn berry from the mountains of India. Realestate developers by trade, Peter McMullin had to stir their entrepreneurial spirit when the housing market turned sour, and he put faith in this berry that his father had been told about years ago during a business trip

to India. A family friend who studied ayurvedics led the McMullins to the Himalayas and to the berry that is the base for all 10 of its products. It has been harvested and used locally as a healing ingredient for centuries, McMullin says, and Western companies, including Kiehl’s, are having it hand-harvested in the early morning hours 13,000 feet above sea level and bringing it to medicine cabinets in the West. “At first, the story about sea buckthorn made us roll our eyes, but the ancient uses got our interest. ... you can use the cream made from oils topically, and people took oil internally,” he says. It is a source of the fatty acid omega-7, which macadamia nuts also have, and is used for skin blemishes, dryness, wrinkles, elasticity, as well as fuller, shinier hair. “We know there are a lot of other great ingredients out there, McMullin says. “It’s our intention, our planning, to find something that isn’t necessarily sea

buckthorn as its key ingredient. We pay as close attention as we can to what’s out there that’s cutting edge. We don’t quite travel to remote areas picking up things off jungle floors and testing them, but we’re always listening for what’s being used in that part of the world. Origins’ big new launch, Plantscription, is being sold as a botanically based anti-aging serum that taps into the extract of the African Anogeissus tree, coupled with extracts from the herb rosemary and the Asian shrub siegesbeckia. The serum, designed to diminish wrinkles, also features star anise, an antioxidant from Asia, and geranium native to Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, used for anti-irritant properties. Anogeissus’ most traditional use was in healing wounds, says Declercq, but Anogeissus can be used to dye cloth, and twigs of this tree were used as brushes. Origins’ initial interest in Anogeissus

was a hunch that it might help protect collagen production in the skin. Initial results showed, however, that it boosts natural production of fibrillin, which enhances the structure of the skin. “It was serendipity,” said Lieve Declercq, a plant physiologist and molecular biologist for the brand. “It was a fortunate discovery. ... In research, you don’t know what you’re going to find. You might test 100 things before you find one thing that might work.” Shoppers are hungry for plant-derived products, says Jane Lauder, global president and general manager of Origins. “We’re listening to the consumer who has concerns about prescriptions, and we’re looking for products that will match those results. We’re putting plant against prescription.” Weil says researchers might not always have to look as far as they do. “I love to make people aware of the beneficial proper ties of common foods, herbs, spices and weeds.” —AP


immy Choo’s heart and soul - and sole, too belongs to a woman. Tamara Mellon is growing the luxury brand that has built its reputation on towering high heels into a full-fledged fashion (mode) house. She works on it every single day, she says, and she lives it, too. She is jetsetter, with her stylish leather luggage (and the wet wipes tucked in her weekender - as she’s also a bit of a germophobe); she is business executive, recently being named a business ambassador by British Prime Minister David Cameron; she’s eager creative sponge, one season becoming an expert on the life and times of Blondie’s Deborah Harry, who was her inspiration; and she’s single mother, who wears Uggs or Wellies, depending on the weather, to the park to play with her 8-year-old daughter. However, as a can-do person, Mellon tackled that whole comfort-mom wardrobe thing headon, working with both Uggs and Hunter to develop Jimmy Choo-cross branded products that would meet her own style standards. Her shoes, wardrobe, hair and makeup each time she walks out the door can’t be an afterthought, says Mellon. She’s wearing a leopard-print sheath and pointy-toe patent pumps on this day for an interview in a plush private room at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship on Fifth Avenue before a public appearance to promote the new Choo fragrance. “I do have to think about how I look - and it’s really in you or it isn’t if you care - but I have to be the brand,” she says. It’s not all black tie and red carpet, mind you, she says, although those are the photos people will see. But when she goes to the office, the outfit will still be chic, fashion (mode)forward and “on the right side of sexy” - complemented with her biker boots. Anamaria Wilson, fashion (mode) news director for Harper’s Bazaar, says Mellon’s stamp is all over every piece. “The collection is chic and refined, but with a sexy sensibility - much like Tamara herself.” If she wouldn’t wear something, there’s really no point in offering it to other women, right? Mellon wonders aloud. “If you think you can rely on some sort of science for all this, you will make a mistake. fashion (mode) is about emotion. It’s about, ‘What do I want?’ and ‘ What do women want?’” Considering the number of shoppers lined up to speak to Mellon on Saks’ first floor - definitely dozens - it seems Mellon hears regularly from customers. They want fashion (mode) advice, style tips and even guidance on what shoes to wear for their wedding day. Her answer - to all of them: “My favorite thing to tell people is, ‘Dare to do it and don’t be afraid.’” Mellon was accessories editor at British Vogue back in 1996 when she sensed the opening for a new collection of luxury-label shoes to rival the likes of Manolo Blahnik. Jimmy Choo, the man, had a reputation of craftsmanship for his small couture-level business based in East London. They launched the brand together, moving production to Italy and courting retailers as well as opening their own boutique. Equinox Luxury Holdings bought him out of his share in 2001, and in 2007, a private equity firm bought a majority of shares, although Mellon retains creative control. She knew she had a success on her hands, er, feet, when, in 1998, a flood of boxes arrived at the Motcomb Street store and she was surrounded by what she felt were little works of wearable art. “That’s when my vision came to life,” Mellon says. “I can still get that excited - you know when you get that rush when you feel you’ve got it right.” Mellon says it took years to develop the fragrance because it had to be the perfect blend, one that she thinks she and her customers will want to wear on a daily basis for years to come. She wanted it “sensual - and not weak in any way,” she explains, ultimately settling on a scent dominated by orchid and patchouli notes. She’ll spray it on every time she’s about to disembark a plane to her next destination, hoping it’ll become part of the signature style that is Tamara Mellon - and Jimmy Choo. — AP

Models display creations by Indian designer Little Shilpa during the second day of 2011 Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai yesterday.


Fashion Week

n by desig reations ee. c y la p is Models d byasachi Mukhrj Sa

Indian models display creations by designer Masaba Gupta’s creations.


Mel Gibson pleads no contest to battery charge


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

A Lebanese dance and music group, performs during a commemoration marking the 20th anniversary of an uprising against the regime of toppled dictator Saddam Hussein in the northern Kurdish city of Arbil yesterday. Iraqi Kurds in the north and Iraqi Shiite Muslims in the south of the country carried out an uprising to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein after the Gulf War in 1991.—AFP

Koons sculpture could

Death threats for actress who ‘shamed’ Pakistan


well-known Pakistani actress yesterday said she had received death threats from militants after appearing on the Indian equivalent of hit reality television show “Big Brother”. Veena Malik, 27, incurred the wrath of hardline Islamic clerics for her performance on “Big Boss”, during which she indulged in several intimate scenes with Indian actor Ashmit Patel that included massaging his head and neck. Clerics accused her of shaming Pakistan in rival India and she also received a letter threatening to “punish” her. “I am quite shocked after receiving this letter. First I got only verbal threats but now it is in writing,” Malik told AFP by telephone from India, where she is hosting cricket World Cup show “Big Toss”. “Security is a concern and the Pakistani government is responsible for me and my family’s security. I hope that the government will provide me that security,” Malik said. The actress said people with tight security details had been killed in Pakistan, referring to the January assassination of Punjab governor Salman Taseer over his opposition to a draconian blasphemy law. “What can I say except that I have firm belief in God and life and death is in his hand,” she said. Malik said she would return to Pakistan despite the threats. “To live in my country is my right. I am a daughter of this soil. I guarantee

that I will come back to Pakistan and will live in my own country,” she said. “My hands are clean. And I have done nothing wrong. I am not the person to back out after such threats.” Sohail Rashid, Malik’s media manager, said she had received a letter from the little-known Maulana Ahmed Masood, who claims to be a leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban, or the Taliban movement. The authenticity of the threat letter or the credentials of its writer could not be verified and the spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was not immediately available. “The letter says that Tehreek-eTaliban has taken a decision as a Muslim to punish Veena Malik soon,” Rashid told AFP. “We want our daughters and sisters in our homes only and Veena Malik, who is humiliating Pakistan’s name in India, will be punished soon,” Rashid quoted from the letter. “We are soon going to punish Veena Malik so that our future generations may be afraid of going to India. It is the responsibility of all Pakistanis and Muslims, but now we are going to accomplish it,” Rashid quoted the letter as saying. Ties between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, which have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over Kashmir, have been dogged by border and resource disputes, and accusations of Pakistani militant activity in India.—AFP

fetch $30 million at auction


File photo shows Pakistani actress Veena Malik posing as she attends Indian Bollywood actor Ashmit Patel’s birthday party in Mumbai.—AFP

eff Koons’ iconic “Pink Panther” sculpture is hitting the auction block in May and could sell for as much as $30 million, which would be a record for the artist, Sotheby’s said on Friday. The 1988 porcelain sculpture of a semi-naked blonde woman cuddling a large pink panther toy is the artist’s proof from an edition of only three, according to the auction house. The others are in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and a private US collection. It is expected to be one of the highlights of Sotheby’s contemporary art auction on May 10. “Pink Panther is one of the most outstanding achievements of Jeff Koons’ illustrious career. It is immediately identifiable as a masterpiece not only of the artist’s historic canon, but also of the epoch of recent Contemporary Art,” said Tobias Meyer, Sotheby’s worldwide head of contemporary art about the vibrant pink-and-yellow work. The record for a Koons is $25.7 million, set when “Balloon Flower (Magenta)” was sold in June 2008 on the eve of the financial crisis that sent art market prices tumbling. Lucian Freud holds the auction record for a work by a living artist, with $33.6 million for “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping,” also set in spring 2008. Sotheby’s said the work from Koons’ “Banality” series combines his themes of materiality and artificiality, eroticism and naivety, pop culture and rarefied elitism. Other pieces from the “Banality” series include “Michael Jackson and Bubbles,” “Bear and Policeman” and “Ushering in Banality.” The pink panther character was first introduced during the credits of the 1963 Peter Sellers film of the same name, in which the actor played the bumbling

id ed by d ph ot o pr ov a porceTh is un da te s ow sh e us ion ho Sotheby’s auct artist Jeff Koons titled by e ur pt ul sc lain —AP r.’ he ‘Pink Pant

Inspector Clouseau. The title refers to a pink diamond that figures in the plot. Later the lanky animated character was featured in a television show that became a staple in US households with children, leading to widespread licensing for everything from toys to breakfast cereal. The “Pink Panther” edition in private hands was bought at Christie’s in 1999 for $1.8 million, which at the time set an auction record for Koons. Sotheby’s declined to identify the seller of the work, but published reports said it was German publisher and art collector Benedikt Taschen, known for oversized books on such figures as Muhammad Ali and Helmut Newton.—Reuters

Japan chases Chinese tourist yuan


apanese geishas are learning Mandarin, hotspring resorts are putting on Chinese acrobatics shows and the government is easing visa rules for big-spending mainlanders. Japan is rolling out the red carpet for Chinese tourists, hoping to tap into the growing wealth of the giant population next door that last year overtook it as the world’s second biggest economy. As Japan’s own population greys and shrinks, the government, hospitality and retail industries have launched an aggressive drive to lure Chinese visitors with fat wallets. Rie Kimishima runs a traditional ryokan, an inn-style hotel, in the scenic countryside near Nikko north of Tokyo. She has been boning up on her Chinese language skills and learning how to make Chinese visitors feel at home. “I think not just my hotel but this entire resort area needs to learn to better welcome Chinese

tourists,” she told AFP. “One thing is not to serve cold dishes because they don’t like cold food.” The central prefecture-or county-of Fukui is home to many “onsen” hot springs, a top draw for tourists. In March ryokan owners, geisha hostesses, restaurateurs and souvenir sellers will attend a seminar on “winning the hearts of the Chinese”. “Currently we receive many people from Taiwan, and Chinese tourist numbers are expected to rise with the relaxed visa requirements,” said the event’s organizer, Yasuko Yoshie of the local tourism association. Japan’s government, desperate to revive a lacklustre economy hurt by flaccid domestic demand, has set a long-term target of attracting 30 million overseas visitors a year, focusing heavily on China’s new rich. Last year visa rules were relaxed for Chinese and the income threshold for visa applicants was low-

ered. The government is also launching new sixmonth medical visas to attract overseas patients to Japan’s hospitals. And the money is flooding in-transactions through China’s UnionPay bank card system grew ten-fold from 3.9 billion yen in 2007 to an estimated 40 billion yen last year (from $47 million to $487 million). The Yano Research Institute expects that by 2015 Chinese visitors will spend nearly 560 billion yen a year-four times more than in 2009. In Tokyo’s famed “electric town” shopping district of Akihabara, red and gold lanterns lined the street during the recent Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, as Chinese shoppers poured out of tour buses. “I want games for my PlayStation,” said an 18-year-old high school boy from Shanghai, travelling with his family. “My parents are more interested in buying (Japanese) medicines because they are well-known

to be good.” Akihabara’s business owners have marveled at the frenzy for Japanese goods fuelled by the country’s reputation for high-tech wizardry, craftsmanship, copyright and brand protection, and food safety. “The most popular product is definitely rice cookers, no doubt,” said Yoko Yamazaki, a spokeswoman for consumer electronics retailer Laox, a chain that was recently taken over by Chinese investors. She said that during the lunar New Year, more than 1,000 Chinese tourists a day flocked to their Akihabara store, many buying four or five rice cookers and splashing out on other goods in the duty-free section. “They also buy watches and-you may be surprised-medicines and health food supplements as well as cans of baby formula,” said Yamazaki, saying Laox had widened its product range to suit Chinese tastes. —AFP

13 Mar  

Kuwait Times

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