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Libya offers ceasefire after no-fly zone vote

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Liverpool, Ajax dumped out of Europa


Bullets, bribes to tackle uprisings

Max 29 Min 14

Snipers kill 41 Yemenis • Obama warns Libya • Bahrain razes Pearl monument SANAA/RIYADH: Arab rulers used bombardment, bullets and bribes yesterday to try to stave off popular protests sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. In a Bloody Friday stretching from Yemen to Bahrain and Syria, veteran leaders tried to quash uprisings inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt after the UN Security Council authorized the use of force to protect civilians in Libya. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces shelled the rebel-held western town of Misrata, killing at least 25 people, according to residents, even as his government announced a ceasefire in response to the UN vote. President Barack Obama said the US will help its allies enforce a no-fly zone over parts of Libya if Gaddafi does not immediately cease military actions against rebels. Obama said the US would not send ground forces to Libya. He warned Gaddafi to comply with UN demands for a ceasefire or else face consequences that include military action. “All attacks against all civilians must stop,” Obama said in a White House East Room speech. France, Britain and the United States said their forces stood ready to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and prevent Gaddafi’s troops attacking civilians in what would be the first international intervention since a wave of pro-democracy protests began sweeping the Arab world. Bahrain’s army yesterday demolished the 300-foot (90-meter) monument that had become a symbol of a month-long Shiite uprising against the Sunni monarchy in the Gulf nation. The destruction of the six white curved beams topped with a huge cement pearl underlined the resolve of the Sunni regime to root out any dissent in the kingdom, now under emergency rule. The structure was built in Pearl Square as a monument to Bahrain’s history as a pearl-diving center but became associated with the protests that have roiled the majority Shiite nation. A funeral for Abdul-Jaffer Mohammed Abdul-Ali, 40, took place in the village of Karranah, west of the capital. His brother Abdul-Ali Mohammed said Abdel-Jaffer was killed on Wednesday morning on his way to Pearl Square to reinforce the protesters’ lines during the military assault on the encampment. Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said

SANAA: Friends and relatives of anti-government protesters are seen next to their bodies in a mosque, following clashes with security forces in Sanaa, Yemen yesterday. (Inset) The 300-foot (90-meter) Pearl Square monument (top) in Manama that had become a symbol of the uprising. (Bottom) The remains of the structure after it was demolished yesterday. — Agencies three or four Gulf states were sending troops es said security forces and snipers opened fire and the forces would remain in the kingdom on the crowds. Yemen’s tourism minister resigned over the shootings. In Syria, demonfor as long as it takes to restore order. Yemen’s beleaguered president, a US ally strators clashed with police in the southern city against Al-Qaeda, declared a state of emer- of Deraa and at least three were killed and gency after at least 41 protesters were killed dozens wounded, a resident reported, in the and hundreds wounded at an anti-govern- most serious outbreak of unrest to hit tightly ment rally after Friday prayers in the capital, controlled country so far. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah offered an unprecedented $93 billion Sanaa. President Ali Abdullah Saleh, struggling to in handouts and boosted his security and relikeep his 32-year grip on power, denied police gious police but made no political concessions carried out the shooting, blaming armed oppo- to prevent unrest spreading to his absolute sition groups. But medical sources and witness- monarchy. — Agencies (See Page 7 and 8)



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in brief

Pay rise for Kuwaitis KUWAIT: The government has reportedly completed the necessary procedures to provide an additional KD50 monthly ‘social allowance’ to every Kuwaiti citizen working in the private sector who is registered with the Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) and meets the criteria for financial support. According to local daily AlJarida, the government recently informed the Civil Service Commission (CSC) that it aims to almost double the percentage of Kuwaitis working in the private sector in the next three years, increasing the level from the current 4.8 percent to 8 percent by the end of 2014. Kuwaiti support hailed BEIRUT: A Palestinian official yesterday praised the crucial role played by Kuwait in supporting the Palestinian people and their just cause under the most trying of circumstances. Hassan Sheshnya, a councilor at the Palestinian Embassy in Beirut, said: “Kuwait has been a supporter of the Palestinian cause since the ‘50s. It continues even now to provide this support at all political levels, represented by a bold stance and support for the [Palestinian] cause in the international and regional arenas, as well as its humanitarian and material support.” He also expressed tremendous admiration for Kuwait’s role under the leadership of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in defending the Palestinian cause. —KUNA Info ministry reshuffle KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Minister of Oil and of Information, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah has reportedly approved the permanent appointment of a number of senior officials the information ministry. According to Al-Anba, the new appointments include Yousef Mustafa, Ali Al-Rayes and Mohammed Al-Awash and Khalid Al-Enezi, who have been assigned the posts of assistant undersecretaries at the departments of news and current affairs, television, radio and commercial and advertising affairs respectively.

Iran appeasement policy dangerous: Tabtabaie Kuwaiti troops on standby: Military official KUWAIT: “The policy of appeasement towards Iran has previously proven to have serious repercussions,” warned a Kuwaiti MP on Thursday, adding that pursuing such a conciliatory strategy with the Islamic Republic now would lead to worsening problems, an oblique but clear reference to the recent sectarian clashes in Iran. Meanwhile, a senior military official has revealed that Kuwaiti troops, as well as naval and aerial forces are on standby for deployment to Bahrain if required. Veteran parliamentarian Walid Al-Tabtabaie said, “It’s hard to establish good relations with the current regime in Iran as long it continues to look down on neighboring nations with a superior gaze.” Ratcheting up the belligerent rhetoric a further notch, the MP asserted that protecting the sovereignty of GCC states “requires tough decisions and sacrifices,” and condemning statements by Iranian officials who have threatened that Gulf states will “pay” for sending a pan-GCC military taskforce to help restore security in Bahrain. “Those threats are not new and they’re only the latest episode of Tehran’s continuous use of an intimidation policy and

an attempt to shift the Iranian people’s attention away from [Iran’s] domestic problems.” Speaking to local daily Al-Watan, Al-Tabtabae urged Kuwaiti officials to step up precautionary security measures and to closely monitor those he referred to as “suspicious individuals.” The longstanding MP further stressed that the people of Kuwait flatly refuse the notion of their government failing to show anything less than full support for Bahrain in a similar fashion to all other GCC nations, insisting that the security of Kuwait and Bahrain are “two inseparable parts” of one whole. Meanwhile, in related news, a senior Kuwaiti military official rejected reports which suggested that Kuwaiti servicemen had been instructed to refuse to join the GCC-wide Peninsula Shield force currently in Bahrain. Speaking to local daily Al-Watan on condition of anonymity, the official said that a battalion of Kuwaiti troops is on standby and awaiting orders to travel to the fellow Gulf state if required. The official also indicated that Kuwaiti naval and aerial forces are also on standby for deployment if required.

Bedoon protesters’ detention extended KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Public Prosecution Service has extended the detention of 43 bedoon (stateless) protesters who were arrested at peaceful demonstrations in Taima and Sulaibiya last week. The PPS agreed to extend the detention of the 43 protesters, who face a number of charges, in order to allow police to continue their interrogation, as investigations continue into the allegations, with police officers recently giving their testimony about events at the demonstrations. Also in connection with the case, lawyer Eidan Al-Khaldi, a member of the legal team representing the detainees, on

KUWAIT: Undersecretary of the interior ministry Lt General Ghazi Al-Omar yesterday received at his office the GCC traffic police delegations taking part in the GCC Traffic Week held in Kuwait from March 13 till March 18, 2011 under the motto ‘Let’s Work Together to Stop Traffic Accidents.’

Thursday condemned the actions of state security officials at the Palace of Justice, who he said had refused to allow him to enter the building to represent his clients. Speaking to local daily Al-Qabas, Al-Khaldi warned that he would be submitting a formal complaint over the incident. A team of 19 lawyers have volunteered to represent the detainees, who they say have been subjected to gross injustice. They have rejected police accusations that the arrested protester incited an illegal demonstration, caused a public disturbance and resisted arrest.



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KUWAIT: A delegation from the Education Ministry visited the National Guard Officers Club during the national day celebrations: The visit was made by the boy scouts from elementary schools in order to demonstrate the principles of loyalty and love for the country. —KUNA

Kuwait may mediate to end Bahraini crisis Leadership rejects ‘foreign intervention’ in Bahrain KUWAIT: Kuwait may adopt a mediatory role in an attempt to end the growing rift between the government and the opposition in Bahrain, as soon as the security situation in the strife-torn Kingdom improves. A news report quoting senior official leadership sources indicated that during a meeting with King Hamad Bin Issa AlKhalifa in Manama on Thursday, Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Al-Sabah assured the Bahraini leader of Kuwait’s commitment to supporting Bahrain’s security and stability. Discussions during the meeting focused on finding the best means of resolving the current Bahraini crisis while restoring the nation’s security, stability and sovereignty. The sources further indicated that the two distinguished officials agreed on the importance of maintaining the full support of fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states for Bahrain, “which is the concept that Kuwait has adopted and played a role in the [GCC’s] Marshal Plan, which was

launched to help Bahrain and Oman”. The Bahraini News Agency (BNA) echoed the Kuwaiti foreign minister’s comments on his country’s commitment to “standing by Bahrain in the current circumstances.” The Kuwaiti leadership insider further indicated that King Hamad has expressed his gratitude for Kuwait’s support for the Kingdom’s stability and security. “Top-level coordination is currently ongoing for Kuwait to achieve mediation at high levels”, the insider added, stressing that although it is keen to act according to its commitment to maintain the stability of all the countries of the GCC region, Kuwait is waiting for conditions in Bahrain to stabilize before moving towards a mediation at the top levels. “When the security conditions calm down, a senior Kuwaiti delegation is expected to arrive in Manama”, the source added. The leadership insider also warned of “obstacles” that currently stand in the way of launching the national dialogue called for by the Bahraini government. “A

minority of the opposition is going too far with their demands beyond acceptable levels on the Gulf scene,” the insider told Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas, further claiming that “Backed by foreign influences, [the protesters] are demanding the declaration of an Islamic Republic in Bahrain.” The insider suggested that this alleged foreign-backed provocation is a deliberate move to foil any chances of dialogue. The Kuwaiti leadership insider also said that the majority of the protesters in Bahrain are demanding political changes, including the introduction of a form of constitutional monarchy with publicly-appointed ministers. The source told Al-Qabas that the best solution in this case could lie in the adoption of a similar political system to Kuwait’s, through granting the Bahraini parliament more legislative and supervisory powers. “Kuwait is focusing on achieving a common ground that includes the minimal level of demands for both parties, from which dialogue can be launched,” said the insider, explaining Kuwait’s approach and support from both the

official and public perspective. The insider also explained that an agreement was reached among the GCC countries on the legitimacy of Bahrain’s request for the Peninsula Shield Force “because the GCC countries act according to definite charters,” flatly rejecting the controversial “allegations of invasion made by Iran”. On the same issue, the insider added, “[Bahrain’s] Crown Prince has prepared a reform proposal, which includes constitutional amendments, as the governments waits for a representative from the opposition to set around the discussion table to find a solution” to the ongoing unrest. The insider stressed the leadership’s “rejection of foreign intervention [in Bahrain] in any shape or form” outside the GCC system “due to the risk of inciting sectarian troubles,” adding that other nations with closer ties to Iran, such as Syria and Qatar, are reportedly trying to put pressure on the minority of agitators amongst the Bahraini protesters to “avoid dragging the region into a serious sectarian crisis.”

Japan expresses gratitude to Kuwait To Mr. Abd Al-Rahman Alyan Editor-in-Chief, Kuwait Times Dear Sir, On behalf of the Government and the people of Japan, I would like to express most sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Government and all the people of Kuwait for their profound sympathy and support for the people of Japan on the destruction and the humanitarian sufferings caused by the devastating earthquake and Tsunami which hit Japan. The Tohoku district - off the Pacific Ocean Earthquake and tsunamis are beyond imagination and unprecedented, causing devastating damages and victims. The Government and the people of Japan, with the help of other countries, are currently working together and making every effort to rescue human lives,

support for disaster victims and restore the lifeline. Over 26,000 people have been rescued (by March 16th) by Japanese Self-Defense Force, police, firefighting, Japan Coast Guard and foreign teams. Regarding the Fukushima 1st Nuclear Power Plant, the Government of Japan continues stringent efforts to ensure safety and, to the extent humanly possible, keeps providing timely information, on the basis of their best knowledge, to the people of Japan and the international community. In doing so, the Government of Japan is receiving close cooperation and necessary support from several international organizations such as IAEA and the concerned countries. In order to obtain detailed information on the earthquake and the status of nuclear power plants, please refer to the following websites which are kept updated and provides informa-

tion from authentic sources: (All the websites are in English.) * Prime Minister of Japan and his Cabinet Official Website: * IAEA: * Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency: * Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: ndex.html * Japan Meteorological Agency: e.html * Environmental Radioactivity Measurement Result: As has always been the case in the past, the

Government and the people of Japan will work together to overcome these earthquake and tsunami disasters as well. In this connection, friendship and support of the international community helps gathering necessary strength and resources to cope with this daunting challenge. I would, therefore, like to express sincerest gratitude and appreciation to all the governments, international organizations and the people over the world for giving us their support. In closing, let me assure you that the Government of Japan is making every possible effort to keep under control of the situation in the Fukushima 1st Nuclear Power Plant. Sincerely yours, Yasuyoshi KOMIZO Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the State of Kuwait



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Minister opens ‘new, improved’ polyclinic KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health plans to enroll medical staff members and paramedical nurses for special training courses in first aid. The program comes as part of MOH’s campaign to improve the quality of medical services in Kuwait. Health Minister Dr Helal Al-Sayer underlined the government’s keenness to improve the healthcare services in Kuwait on the sidelines of the reopening of Al-Thahar polyclinic which was shut down for carrying out

maintenance works and improving its services. Al-Sayer explained that the renewed facility now offers four general medicine clinics, three dental clinics, a pediatric clinic and a laboratory in addition to a pharmacy, a clinic for chronic diseases and a new emergency room. The polyclinic, which is the sixth to be completed under the ministry’s program to renovate the country’s polyclinics, covers more than 40,000 residents living in AlThahar and its nearby areas.

KUWAIT: Health Minister Helal Al-Sayer and Ahmadi Governor Ibrahim AlDuaij jointly cut the ribbon to reopen Dahar Polyclinic after repairs.

Suspicion shrouds Filipina death, police launch probe Gunman arrested after hot chase KUWAIT: Hawally police are investigating the death of a Filipina woman who was dead on arrival at Mubarak Hospital, after being rushed there by a taxi driver. After pronouncing the woman dead and finding indications of a foul play, medical staff called police, who were quickly at the scene, reported Al-Rai. On questioning the taxi driver, he told them that the woman had been a regular customer and that he had rushed her to the hospital after she passed out shortly after he picked her up. An investigation is underway.

Gunman arrested

KUWAIT: Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) Director Maj General Jassem Al-Mansouri honored a number of firemen for their participation in various fire fighting competitions in Korea and the UAE. They also had participated in many local sport competitions.

Bedoon children to get birth certificates KUWAIT: Bedoon (stateless) parents of children aged over six will now be able to obtain special birth certificates for them, whilst those aged under six will be issued with birth certificates immediately, said Kuwait’s senior registrar on Thursday. Rashid Al-Azmi, the director of the Central Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry Office, instructed bedoon parents to apply to the Petitions and Kinship Committee to obtain the documents. Speaking with local daily Al-Anba, Al-Azmi further explained that the registry office will receive applications from Sunday, with the work to be carried out in alphabetic order.

After a Kuwaiti woman called the emergency services hotline to report that a drunken, gun-wielding male compatriot had crashed his car into her vehicle, police were quickly at the scene, with the inebriated motorist then smashing his car into two patrol vehicles whilst fleeing the scene. On arriving at the scene, police officers found the drunk motorist firing a handgun into the air before he drove away, hitting the two patrol cars. The officers immediately called for backup and a chase ensued, with police cars eventually surrounding the troublemaker’s car and forcing him to stop, before arresting him. On searching the vehicle, the officers were unable to find the gun he had fired, surmising that he had thrown it out of the car window whilst attempting to escape. Two police officers were taken to hospital for treatment to injuries inflicted by the culprit whilst they were attempting to restrain him, reported Al-Watan. The drunken gunman has been taken to hospital and a search is underway for the missing firearm.

Stairwell suicide An Asian man committed suicide by hanging himself from a balustrade on a stairwell in the Hawally apartment block where he lived. Emergency personnel were quickly at the scene after horrified fellow residents spotted the man’s body

hanging there, and the body was removed for autopsy.

broke off their relationship. An investigation is underway to determine the facts behind the mutual accusations.

Custody battle abduction Police have discovered that a Kuwaiti man who abducted his children from his former wife’s home following an argument over custody drove them to a neighboring GCC nation, reported AlRai. The man’s name has been put on the police blacklist and a search is underway for the missing children.

Two-way accusations After a female Arab expatriate accused her ex-boyfriend of raping her, police at Andalus station, where she reported the incident, summoned the accused man, who insisted that the charges were false. The man, who is already married to another woman, insisted that his mistress had made the false allegations in revenge for his breaking up with her after his wife found out about his affair. Police are investigating the case, reported Al-Rai. In a similar case, a Kuwaiti man who was accused by a female compatriot of intentionally smashing his vehicle into her car in revenge for rejecting his advances told police that the woman was his ex-girlfriend and was making the accusations as revenge after he

Drugs bust Ahmadi police arrested two Kuwaiti men at a location in the Abdullah Port area who were both under the influence of drugs, confiscating 15 narcotic tablets from their possession. According to Al-Anba, patrol officers became suspicious of the duo’s activities after the two men attempted to drive away when police approached their parked car to investigate what they were doing. The officers quickly thwarted the escape attempt, cutting off the escape route with their own vehicle and forcing the men to stop. On discovering that both were in an intoxicated state, police arrested the two, finding the drugs in the vehicle.

Taima burglary A burglar escaped with KD2,500 worth of jewelry and KD2,500 in cash from a Kuwaiti family’s home in Taima, reported Al-Rai. On discovering the break-in, the homeowner immediately called police, with crime scene investigators removing evidence from the scene in an attempt to identify the culprits.

Major Iran quake could fuel tsunamis: Geologist KUWAIT: Kuwaiti geology expert Dr Ibrahim Al-Rifae said on Thursday that a massive earthquake on the most quake-prone geological fault lines in western Iran could lead to tsunami waves if it were as powerful as the catastrophic one which recently devastated Japan. Dr. Al-Rifae, who lectures in geology at a local university, told

local daily Al-Anba that Kuwait is 200 miles away from Iran’s main quake zone, adding that if the area were hit by a massive earthquake this might in turn lead to tsunami waves. He stressed, however, that such effects would be far less severe in the Gulf than they were in Japan, which lies on the Pacific Ocean.



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Islamic art captivates exhibition ends today By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Islamic art and Arabic calligraphy have long been captivating art forms which beautifully express profound aspects of the Islamic faith. One young Kuwaiti artist is currently showcasing his artworks in a two-part ‘Islamic Contemporary Art’ exhibition, with all the profits going to charity.

The first part of the exhibition took place in Al-Rayya Gallery from March 2 -15, 2011, when it moved to the Avenues Mall, where art aficionados will be able to enjoy it until later today, March 19. The artist is Yousef Al-Haroun, a young architect and professor at Kuwait University’s Art and Design Faculty. Al-Haroun explained to the Kuwait Times that his passion for Arabic calligraphy and contempo-

rary Islamic design and a wish to gauge public responses to his work had led to his decision to hold the two-part exhibition. “The purpose of the exhibition is to get interaction and feedback from the public,” he said. “I aim to influence and motivate people, especially the younger generation, through these artworks. Our objective is to raise people’s awareness of Islamic designs and to let them appreciate art - it’s good to increase people’s appreciation of art.” Al-Haroun also offered some background on the fascinating history of Islamic designs. “Islamic design began from the first moments of Islam. Muslims felt the need to express this religion in beautiful concepts that seize the imagination. Almighty Allah knows everything and controls this great world, and this art expresses the worship of Allah. The concept of infinity is clear in all Islamic designs. For instance the dome of the mosque points to infinity; it has no end. Also the geometric patterns move infinitely, and we express this in Islamic contemporary art.” All the exhibited artworks on display are offered for sale, with the proceeds going to charity. “The profits from the sold artworks will go to charity for both Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospices and the Direct Aid Humanitarian Organization.” Al-Haroun told the Kuwait Times. “I sold some works during the Al-Rayya exhibition,

and I hope to sell more pictures during this exhibition. I consider this a great encouragement and support from the public for this art and for charity work as well.” There are currently 20 different

artworks on display at the Avenues Mall. “There were about 26 works in the Al-Rayya, and we sold some, and the remaining 20 we brought here to the Avenues,” said Al-Haroun. “The pictures are mixed media, including graphite, gold print, mirrors technique, and one is copper on marble. Most works are calligraphic, particularly

in the Kufic calligraphy style, which has a rectangular motif and offers a contemporary form of expression. I’m displaying different kinds of calligraphy here, presenting all sorts of inspiration.” Most of the pictures have print of paper on mirrors. “I used the best quality materials, found locally,” the artist explained. “Some are verses from the Holy Quran, some are duaa; also there are handwritten inscriptions on Kaba graphite which came from a mosque in Cairo whilst it was being renovated; this bears the names of Allah, as well as Ayat Al-

Kursi, Soorat Al-Khlas, and others.” Al-Haroun explained that he sees the exhibition as an inspiration for further such events, rather than a one-off. “The Islamic Contemporary Art Exhibition is the beginning,” he said. “We want people to be part of the process and to motivate them to start. This is my second exhibition; I held the first in 2008. It took me about three months to make these artworks, although I’ve been working on the idea for about two years. I invite people to come and visit this art exhibition before it finishes.”

Saudi king orders more handouts, security boost


With aid slow Japanese fend for themselves


After strike, Pakistan cancels US-Afghan talks


Libya offers cease fire after UN no-fly zone vote

BENGHAZI: Libyan people celebrate in the main square of Benghazi, eastern Libya yesterday.—AP TRIPOLI: Libya declared an immediate cease-fire yesterday, trying to fend off international military intervention after the UN authorized a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures” to prevent the regime from striking its own people. A rebel spokesman said Muammar Gaddafi’s forces were still shelling two cities. The United States said a cease-fire announcement was insufficient, calling on the regime to pull back from eastern Libya, where the once-confident rebels this week found themselves facing an overpowering force using rockets, artillery, tanks, warplanes. Eastern Libya has the majority of Libya’s oil reserves, the largest in Africa. Oil prices slid after the cease-fire announcement, plunging about $2.50 in the first 15 minutes of New York trading. By midday, they stood at $101. Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the rebels, said attacks continued well past the

announcement, which came after a fierce government attack on Misrata, the last rebel-held city in the western half of the country. A doctor said at least six people died. “He’s bombing Misrata and Adjadbiya from 7 a.m. this morning until now. How can you trust him?” Gheriani said. The UN Security Council resolution, which passed late Thursday, set the stage for airstrikes, a no-fly zone and other military measures short of a ground invasion. Britain announced that it would send fighter jets, Italy offered the use of its bases, and France made plans to deploy planes. The US, which has an array of naval and air forces in the region, had yet to announce its role. With the international community mobilizing, Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa said the government would cease fire in line with the resolution, although he criticized the authorization of international military

action, calling it a violation of Libya’s sovereignty. “The government is opening channels for true, serious dialogue with all parties,” he said during a news conference in Tripoli, the capital. He took no questions. In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the first goal of international action is to end the violence in Libya and protect civilians. Clinton said government forces, which have advanced along the Mediterranean coast in recent days, must pull “a significant distance away from the east.” A large crowd in the Benghazi, the city where the uprising started on Feb. 15, watched the UN vote on an outdoor TV projection and burst into cheers, with green and red fireworks exploding overhead. In Tobruk, another eastern city, happy Libyans fired weapons in the air to celebrate. “We think Gaddafi’s forces will not advance against us. Our morale is very high now. I think

we have the upper hand,” said Col. Salah Osman, a former army officer who defected to the rebel side. He was at a checkpoint near the eastern town of Sultan. Western powers faced pressure to act quickly as Gadhafi’s forces gained momentum. “We’re extremely worried about reprisals by pro-government forces and security agents in Libya. No one knows what’s going on in the towns recaptured, and what’s going on in prisons and other state security premises across the country,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “We are very concerned that the government could resort to collective punishment and we have no illusions about what this regime is capable of.” More than 300,000 people have fled Libya since fighting began, the UN said yesterday, and the exodus shows no signs of slowing.

In an interview with Portuguese television broadcast just before the UN vote, Gaddafi pledged to respond harshly to UN-sponsored attacks. “If the world is crazy,” he said, “we will be crazy, too.” The Libyan government closed its airspace yesterday, according to Europe’s air traffic control agency, Eurocontrol. Government tanks rolled into Misrata, 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of Tripoli, early yesterday, shelling houses, hospitals and a mosque for several hours before pulling back to the city’s outskirts, witnesses said. At least six people were killed, raising the total death toll in two days of fighting to nine, a local doctor said. Misrata is the rebels’ last western holdout after Gaddafi recaptured a string of other cities that fell to the opposition early. Its fall would leave the country largely divided, with the rebels bottled up in the east near the border with Egypt. —AP



Jordanians protest against slow pace of reforms AMMAN: More than a thousand Jordanian activists staged street protests yesterday urging King Abdullah to accelerate the tempo of promised political reforms, saying procrastination would only fuel growing dissent. The pro-democracy protestors who marched in downtown Amman, mainly supporters of the mainstream Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and leftist allies, said they would continue weeks of street protests inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world, until their demands are met. “This is a continuation of the movement to demand reforms and to accelerate it, especially since the

steps taken so far are worrying and do not inspire confidence,” said Jamil Abu Bakr, a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, told Reuters. While the US ally has faced nothing like the mass uprisings that toppled veteran authoritarian leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, dissent has built up and the opposition has become more vocal in its slogans and calls for change. “We want to reform the regime,” chanted the crowd, urging the monarch to introduce constitutional changes that curb his executive powers and to provide fair representation under a new electoral law. Many also chanted calls to dis-

solve parliament, a rubber-stamp assembly that ensures a comfortable government majority to pass unpopular laws. Opponents say the election law gives a bigger voice to less heavily populated tribal areas in the provinces that are considered the backbone of support for the monarchy, at the expense of urban areas where the opposition is stronger. Islamist, leftist, liberal and even tribal figures have called for constitutional reforms that would curb the monarch’s sweeping executive powers, demanding a government elected by a parliamentary majority rather than appointed by

the king. The Islamic Action Frontthe Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm and Jordan’s largest party-said this week it would not join a 52member government-appointed panel to discuss reform because its remit did not include constitutional changes to curb the monarch’s powers. The composition of the panel has dismayed many Jordanians already angered by last month’s appointment of a government led by Marouf al-Bahkit, a former military intelligence general who oversaw elections in 2007 which were marred by allegations of vote-rigging.—Reuters

Saudi king orders more handouts, security boost Kingdom struggling to stave off region-wide protests

CAIRO: An Egyptian woman wears an Egyptian flag as a face cover as she attends a rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Egypt yesterday as demonstrators call for a “no” vote in today’s referendum on constitutional amendments.—AP

Egypt gets first taste of a free vote in decades CAIRO: Forty million Egyptians get their first taste of a free vote in decades when a package of constitutional amendments sponsored by Egypt’s ruling military goes to a nationwide vote today. The referendum is the first major test of the country’s transition to democracy after a popular uprising overthrew President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian rule. The amendments drawn up by a panel of military-appointed legal scholars are intended to bring just enough change to the current constitution, which the military suspended after coming to power, to ensure that upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections are free and fair. They would open the elections to independent and opposition candidates and restore full judicial supervision of votes, a measure seen as key to preventing fraud. They would also limit presidents to two four-year terms, and curtail 30-year-old emergency laws that give police near-unlimited powers. A “yes” vote would allow parliamentary and presidential elections to be held before the end of the year. Critics are using social networks and full-page ads in newspapers to argue that the entire constitution must be scrapped and a new one drawn up to guarantee that Egypt is spared future dictators. Egypt has been ruled by men of military backgrounds since 1952 and the current constitution outlines a system that puts overwhelming power in the hands of the president. —AP

RIYADH: Saudi King Abdullah offered $93 billion in handouts yesterday and boosted his security and religious police forces, opting for a mixture of carrot and stick to stave off unrest rocking the Arab world. The rare televised address to the nation was devoid of any concessions on political rights in a country where the public square is dominated by the Saudi royal family, political parties are banned and there is no elected parliament. There was no word either on a muchanticipated reshuffle of a cabinet where the main posts are held by senior Saudi princes, some of whom have been in the job for over four decades. “I was seriously disappointed to be honest. The least we expect is to establish a constitutional monarchy and freeing (political) prisoners,” said Mohammed al-Qahtani, a prominent reformist. “Is this going to be enough for the people? I don’t think so.” Reformers had been hoping for a move towards democracy such as new elections to municipal councils, or even elections to the Shura Council-an advisory body of appointees. But the ageing king appeared to thank Saudis for not having taken to the streets in large numbers as pro-democracy protests sweep the Middle East and the conservative Gulf Arab region. “I am so proud of you. Words are not enough to describe you,” he said, addressing Saudis. “You are the safety valve of this nation and you struck at that which is wrong with the truth and at treachery with loyalty ...” Almost no Saudis in major cities answered a Facebook call for protests on March 11, in the face of a massive security presence around the country, but minority Shiites have staged a number of street marches in the Eastern Province, where most of Saudi Arabia’s oil fields are located. Some Saudis reacted by taking to the strets of central Riyadh in cars, waving flags and beeping horns. “We are happy because the king

has spent money on us, that’s enough for us,” said Mohammed al-Mutairi, a navy official in his car on a main Riyadh thoroughfare. John Sfakianakis, Chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi, put the total value of yesterday’s handouts at 350 billion riyals ($93 billion) but only a small amount would be spent soon. After a brief speech, state television announced a series of decrees outlining a boost in welfare benefits, a minimum wage of 3,000 riyals ($800) for state employees, bonuses for public sector workers and students, and a drive to build new housing. The numbers announced were large: 250 billion riyals ($66.7 bln) would be spent on 500,000 housing units and 16 billion riyals ($4.3bn)w on more medical facilities. This follows a $37 billion package announced last month in an initial move to ease social tensions. “Only about a quarter will be spent this year as housing projects take time, so Saudi Arabia can still post a budget surplus of around 20 billion riyals in 2011,” Sfakianakis said. The king ordered the creation of 60,000 security jobs within the interior ministry, promised more money for the

religious police and, in a sign Saudi’s ruling Sunni elite will tolerate no dissent, said the media must respect the Sunni clerics, who oversee the application of Sharia law in the Islamic state. Abdullah said new branches would be built around the country of the religious body headed by Grand Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheikh that is responsible for issuing official religious opinions, or fatwas. The decree said the move was part of efforts to promote “moderation” and fight extremism. He also announced a new commission for combatting corruption, in a further effort to assuage the concerns of ordinary Saudis about government in the country without conceding them a role in decision-making. There was a strong focus on increasing benefits for the unemployed and measures to monitor job creation as well as increasing minimum wage,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at EFGHermes. “Perhaps the focus at the moment is to get some regional calm and then focus on other areas.” King Abdullah last month announced an economic package worth an estimated $37 billion in an initial move to ease social tensions. —Reuters

Demonstrators, police clash in south Syria city DAMASCUS: Clashes erupted in the southern Syrian city of Deraa yesterday between protesters demanding an end to corruption and security forces, a resident said. “The confrontations are ongoing. They are heavy,” the resident told Reuters. There was no word on any casualties. A video aired on Facebook showed what it described as demonstrators in Deraa shouting slogans earlier in the day against Syrian tycoon Rami

Makhlouf, a cousin of President Bashar al-Assad, who owns several large businesses. “Makhlouf you thief,” shouted dozens of demonstrators marching in the streets. Members of Syria’s ruling hierarchy have indicated that they believe they are immune from the uprisings sweeping the Arab world, but small nonviolent protests this week have challenged their authority for the first time in decades. — Reuters



BA worker jailed for 30 years for plane bomb plot Suspect pleads guilty to five other terrorism offenses

NAPLES: In this Nov 3, 2009 file photo, a crucifix hangs from the wall of a Naples elementary school’s classroom, Italy. The European Court of Human Rights is preparing to rule on whether crucifixes are acceptable in public school classrooms. —AP

European court: Crucifix acceptable in classrooms PARIS: The European Court of Human Rights ruled yesterday that crucifixes are acceptable in public school classrooms, and its decision will be binding in 47 countries. The ruling overturned a decision the court had reached in November 2009 in which it said the crucifix could be disturbing to non-Christian or atheist pupils. Led by Italy, several European countries appealed that ruling. The case originated in Italy, and yesterday’s final verdict was immediately welcomed in Rome. “The popular sentiment in Europe has won today,” said Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. All 47 countries that are members of the Council of Europe, the continent’s human rights watchdog, will be required to obey the ruling. The European Court of Human Rights, which is based in Strasbourg, France, said Italian public schools did nothing wrong by hanging crucifixes in their classrooms, in a case that divided Europe’s traditional Catholic countries and their more secular neighbors. Yesterday’s final decision by the court’s Grand Chamber said it found no evidence “that the display of such a symbol on classroom walls might have an influence on pupils.” The case was brought by Soile Lautsi, a Finnish-born mother who said public schools in her Italian town refused to remove the Roman Catholic symbols from classrooms. She said the crucifix violates the secular principles the public schools are supposed to uphold. Massimo Albertin, Lautsi’s husband, said yesterday that the family was disappointed and “disillusioned” by the ruling, saying it showed that the court didn’t respect the principles on which Italian society is built. “Freedom of religion, freedom from discrimination, freedom of choice are fundamental principles and in this case they weren’t respected,” Albertin said by phone from Abano Terme near Padua, where the family lives. A selfdescribed atheist, Albertin said he didn’t think the family had any further recourse, saying the ruling showed “the Vatican is too strong for individuals.” The children, who were 11 and 13 at the time the case began, are now 20 and 22 and in university. He said while Lautsi’s name was on the court documentation, it was very much a joint initiative. The original case was heard by a seven-judge panel. The appeal hearing was heard by a “grand chamber” of 19 judges. The case set up a confrontation between traditional Catholic and Orthodox countries and nations in the north that observe a strict separation between church and state. Italy and more than a dozen other countries fought the original ruling, contending the crucifix is a symbol of the continent’s historic and cultural roots. The ruling came as Vatican officials announced the Holy See is reaching out to atheists with a series of encounters and debates aimed at fostering intellectual dialogue and introducing nonbelievers to God. Ahead of the court decision, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, a top Vatican official, said the crucifix was “one of the greatest symbols in the West,” like the crescent moon is in the Muslim world, and that denying it or canceling it out risked canceling out Western identity. — AP

LONDON: A British judge sentenced a former British Airways computer specialist to 30 years in jail yesterday for plotting with US-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to kill hundreds of people by blowing up a US-bound plane. Rajib Karim, a 31-year-old from Bangladesh, was convicted last month of four counts of engaging in preparation for terrorist attacks. He had already pleaded guilty to five other terrorism offenses, but denied plotting an attack in Britain. Calling the offenses “of the utmost gravity,” Justice David Calvert-Smith recommended in his sentencing that Karim be automatically deported from Britain after completing his sentence. Prosecutors had argued that Karim used his position at the airline to conspire with al-Awlaki, a notorious USborn radical preacher associated with Al-Qaeda and thought to be hiding in Yemen. At one point, encouraged by al-Awlaki, he applied for training as a flight attendant, they said. While Calvert-Smith noted that he considered Karim more “of a follower than a leader,” the judge said Karim “worked incessantly to further terrorist purposes” despite his quiet lifestyle.

“You are and were a committed jihadist,” the judge told Karim at London’s Woolwich Crown Court. Karim was arrested at his BA desk in the northern English city of Newcastle in February 2010. He pleaded guilty to helping produce a terrorist group’s video, fundraising and volunteering for terror abroad _ but insisted he never planned an attack in Britain. The Bangladeshi national, who studied electronic engineering at a university in Manchester between 1998 and 2002 and has a British wife, returned to Britain in 2006 and joined BA the following year. The judge yesterday praised detectives for their painstaking work decrypting coded messages found on Karim’s computer. Prosecutors had said that in heavily encrypted exchanges, Al-Awlaki quizzed Karim about details of security flaws and urged the aspiring terrorist to train as a flight attendant to assist plans to use suicide bombers or mail bombs to take down US-bound flights. “Our highest priority is in the US,” al-Awlaki told Karim in an encrypted message, thought by police to have been sent in February 2010. “The

question is, with the people you have, is it possible to get a package, or a person with a package, onboard a flight heading to the US?” The cleric told Karim he hoped he would be able to supply “critical and urgent information” related to airline security because of his role at BA. He told the airline worker he “may be able to play a crucial role” in future attacks. Al-Awlaki is thought to have orchestrated the unsuccessful October plot to send mail bombs on planes from Yemen to the US, hidden in the toner cartridges of computer printers. He is also believed to have inspired or helped coordinate the failed December 2009 Christmas bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner and the 2009 shooting at a US Army base in Fort Hood, Texas. Last year, Britain’s top law enforcement official cited Karim’s case as proof that Al-Qaeda’s offshoot in Yemen, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was attempting attacks on Britain and the United States. Home Secretary Theresa May told intelligence chiefs and security experts the group had “shown the ability to project a threat far beyond the borders of Yemen.”— AP

Suspect in ’96 killing may be extradited to France DUBLIN: It remains one of Ireland’s great unsolved murders. But now, 14 years on, France may be about to get to the bottom of it. Irish authorities yesterday agreed to extradite Ian Bailey, the only suspect ever identified in the murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier, to France , a legal first for Ireland. Never before has an Irish resident faced extradition abroad to face charges for a crime committed in Ireland. High Court Justice Micheal Peart gave Bailey’s lawyers until Tuesday to decide whether to seek an appeal to the Irish Supreme Court. Bailey, 53, an English freelance journalist who resettled in rural County Cork in 1991, denies beating to death Toscan du Plantier, 39, outside her Cork holiday home on the night of Dec. 22-23, 1996. He has previously been arrested twice on suspicion of her murder, but never charged. France opened its own investigation after Ireland’s state prosecutors decided that, despite a 2,000-page police file, they lacked sufficient forensic and witness evidence to charge Bailey. France issued an extradition warrant for Bailey in February 2010. Most legal experts had expected Ireland to reject the warrant, given its unusual nature and Ireland’s track record for refusing most extradition

requests. In his 54-page judgment Peart said Bailey faced no risk of an unfair trial in France. The judge rejected a central argument of Bailey’s lawyers that it would be illegal under Irish law for anybody to be extradited overseas simply to face questioning, rather than a criminal charge. Peart said the extradition warrant clearly seeks Bailey for prosecution, not questioning. “It is nowhere stated that its purpose is simply for the investigation of the offense,” he said. All sides have conceded that the case against Bailey is largely circum-

stantial. He sported cuts on his face and hands the day after the killing that he attributed to plucking a turkey and putting up a Christmas tree. Several witnesses also claimed he had confessed to the murder, but Bailey contended that he had been joking or play-acting. The French victim was married to French film producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier , the producer of Italian director Federico Fellini’s “City of Women” , but bought a holiday home near the Cork tourist town of Schull that she used on her own. — AP

ROME: (From left) Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Italian president Giorgio Napolitano, Italian Senate president Renato Schifani, and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, arrive at Rome’s Opera theatre for the performance of Giuseppe Verdi “Nabucco” in Rome, Thursday. —AP



Djibouti evicts US vote group ahead of election NAIROBI: Djibouti’s government has kicked out an American election monitoring group less than a month before the nation’s presidential election, a vote opposition politicians are boycotting because they say the president is repressing dissent. Djibouti is a tiny East African nation that hosts the only US military base in Africa. Situated on the Gulf of Aden between Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Yemen, the city-state is a major shipping hub in a volatile region. The country is nominally democratic, but events leading up to the April 8 presidential election appear to show a hardline approach by President Ismail Omar Guelleh at a time when democracy movements are upending administrations. Democracy International, a US group that works on democracy and governance programs, was halfway through a two-year, $2.2 million US government-funded contract when it was accused of assisting opposition politicians and barred from the country earlier this month. The head of the group’s observation mission, Chris Hennemeyer, said the accusations are not true. Djibouti saw an estimated 6,000 people turn out to an opposition political rally on Feb. 18. The rally turned violent when riot police moved in, and opposition politicians said dozens of people were wounded and five killed. A second rally planned for March 4 didn’t happen after security forces filled the streets. Hennemeyer said many countries in the region are nervous during a time of popular protests, and that the February rally surprised Djiboutian leaders. “They were not expecting such a large turnout, and I think those two factors , regional nervousness and the protest , were enough to lead at least some people in the government to conclude that this was not the kind of program that they wanted to support,” Hennemeyer said of the reasons Democracy International was kicked out. Calls to Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf were not answered, and the government spokesman said he couldn’t immediately talk. But Youssouf told the Financial Times this week that Democracy International exhibited “concerning” behavior and that the US could nominate another observer group. He said the EU, African Union and Arab League have been invited to send observers to the vote. The US has outsized influence in Djibouti, a country of only 750,000 people. On the outskirts of Djibouti city, across from its international airport, lies Camp Lemonnier, the only US base in Africa. The base , which sits just miles (kilometers) from Somalia , is one of Djibouti’s major employers. The US ambassador met with Djibouti’s prime minister over the Democracy International expulsion, but the group was kicked out anyway, Hennemeyer said. A US Embassy spokesman said the embassy was not prepared to comment. Guelleh, the president, has served two terms already. His critics lament changes he made to the constitution last year that scrubbed a two-term limit from the nation’s bylaws. Guelleh will face one opponent on April 8, one not expected to win many votes. Last Friday Djibouti authorities arrested four opposition politicians and detained them several hours, according to the opposition leaders. The group said it “can no longer tolerate the repressive and deadly fury of this moribund regime.— AP

MOGADISHU: Ali Mohamed Said better-known as Ali Bees show a swarm of bees from which he collect honey to sell to people to earn a living yesterday in the Somali capital Mogadishu. He has his own equipment to implement beekeeping activities in order to earn an income for his family. Ali has been in this field since his childhood. —AP

S Sudan army-militia clashes kill 69: Army Militia coordinating under renegade army commander KHARTOUM: At least 59 soldiers and militiamen were killed and dozens wounded on Thursday in clashes between the South Sudan army and local militia groups in three oil-producing states, the southern army (SPLA) said yesterday. The petroleum ministry has said these and other recent clashes have not disrupted Sudanese oil production, most of it concentrated in the three states. South Sudan is expected to declare independence in July after its people voted in January to secede from the north, in a referendum agreed as part of a peace deal to end decades of civil war. The south, where most of Sudan’s 500,000 bpd of oil is pumped, accuses

Khartoum of arming southern militias to destabilise the region ahead of the split. Khartoum denies this. The SPLA said yesterday that at least 69 soldiers from both sides were killed and dozens wounded in Thursday’s clashes with militia groups in Unity and Upper Nile states. Casualty estimates were not available from less violent clashes in Jonglei state, where French oil major Total is due to begin drilling for crude later this year. “Civilians were aware of what was happening so they escaped the fighting,” army spokesman Philip Aguer said. North and South Sudan agreed on Thursday to resume talks on the mechanics of their impending separation-defining the border, oil sharing

and the future of the disputed Abyei region. George Athor, who left the SPLA saying the south’s dominant party had rigged the April 2010 election, said all the militia leaders were under his command. “We are all coordinating,” he told Reuters by satellite phone from the field. Johnson Madeng, a militia spokesman in Unity state, told Reuters the SPLA had attacked his group without provocation and his men had fled to avoid harm to civilians. The northern and southern economies both depend on crude oil exports, so they cannot afford to return to civil war. But some analysts fear local ethnic and tribal tensions, exploited by militia groups, could spark wider conflict if left to fester.— Reuters

Protesters in Swaziland call for government reform MBABANE: A protest sparked by Swaziland’s plans to freeze civil service salaries drew nearly 7,000 demonstrators, one of the largest crowds ever seen in the normally placid monarchy, as pro-democracy activists used yesterday’s gathering to push their cause. The crowd swelled as the daylong demonstration wound from downtown Mbabane to the prime minister’s office. It was largely peaceful. Students in the crowd at one point threw stones at police, who were out in large numbers and showed restraint, so the ten-

sion was quickly defused. Once the crowd reached the prime minister’s office, Sibongile Mazibuko of the teachers’ union called on the prime minister to resign. Swaziland’s budget presented last month calls for freezing civil service salaries for the next three years and selling off state-run companies. The austerity budget has galvanized an anti-monarchy movement in the southern African country of about 1 million led by King Mswati III. Some protesters yesterday carried signs say-

ing: “We want political reforms” and “tyrants must fall.” Mario Masuku, president of the main pro-democracy group, took part. He is usually arrested at such events, but was not yesterday, an indication authorities did not want to see the situation escalate. “We are tired of being subjects in our country,” Masuku told the crowd. “Swaziland cannot remain an island of dictatorship in the sea of democracy. Royalty has squandered the economy .... We want a government by the people.” He said the lesson of uprisings on

the northern tip of the continent is that leaders must respond to people’s demands. Democracy activists have struggled to draw support in the conservative kingdom. Even people who do not like the current king, denounced as free-spending and irresponsible by democracy activists, see the monarchy as central to their national identity. Swazi Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole has blamed corruption for some of his kingdom’s financial problems. —AP



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5 injured, 50 arrested in Honduras protests TEGUCIGALPA: Two Honduran soldiers and three policemen have been injured and about 50 protesters detained in clashes with supporters of ousted former president Manuel Zelaya. Authorities say police were attacked with sticks and stones as they used tear gas to clear protesters blocking streets in several Honduran cities. Teachers’ union leader Eulogio Chavez says the police “used barbarity and repression against us.” Many of those detained were teachers. Assistant national police director Rene Avila said Thursday’s demonstrations involved about 5,000 people. Ex-president Manuel Zelaya raised teachers’ pay before being ousted in a 2009 coup. His term ran out several months later. He lives in the Dominican Republic but wants to return.

Pro-government crowd taunts dissidents in Havana HAVANA: Pro-government demonstrators have gathered outside the home of a leading Cuban dissident to yell insults at her and other opposition figures inside. The “act of repudiation” is taking place on the date recognized by Cuba’s opposition as the anniversary of a March 2003 crackdown by security forces against peaceful dissent. About 200 government supporters called the dissidents “worms” and shouted slogans in support of brothers Fidel and Raul Castro yesterday. Some 75 activists, intellectuals and social commentators were arrested in the 2003 sweep and sentenced to long jail terms. The government agreed last year to free all that remained in prison, and just two of those arrested in the crackdown are still being held.

Venezuela: 1 death in swine flu outbreak CARACAS: Venezuelan health officials believe swine flu killed one person and have diagnosed 12 other people with the virus, the country’s health minister said Thursday. One 32-year-old person died on Wednesday and health authorities, seeing it as a suspicious case, began tests on others, Health Minister Eugenia Sader said. A total of 12 people tested positive in the southwestern state of Merida, including one who is hospitalized and others who are receiving treatment at home, Sader said. Health authorities believe they have isolated the cases and have been administering vaccines, Sader said at a news conference. All of the patients are adults, she said. The cases were announced earlier by Information Minister Andres Izarra, who said health officials were taking measures to prevent the illness from spreading. Venezuelan health officials in 2009 attributed dozens of deaths to swine flu and said hundreds of other people were diagnosed.

Colombia convicts No 1 fugitive paramilitary boss BOGOTA: A Colombian court has convicted the country’s No. 1 fugitive paramilitary boss of murder for ordering the killing of his brother, Carlos Castano. The Chief Prosecutor’s Office said Vicente Castano was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 2004 slaying of his brother, who headed Colombia’s paramilitary umbrella group. Thursday’s statement did not say when he was convicted. Colombia’s paramilitaries killed thousands of rights activists and suspected leftist-rebel sympathizers. Most of its leaders were also drug traffickers and Carlos Castano may have been killed for opposing trafficking. One jailed paramilitary leader recently called a scam the 2003-2006 demobilization of thousands of militia fighters in a peace pact.

BRASILIA: Soldiers who will provide security during President Barack Obama’s visit prepare in Brasilia, Brazil yesterday. Obama’s first official visit to South America will start today in Brazil and includes Chile and El Salvador. —AP

Obama’s trip seeks to engage with Latin America Effort to solidify relationships that have slipped WASHINGTON: A nuclear crisis in Japan, fighting in Libya, turmoil in the Mideast and the threat of a government shutdown at home. It’s a tough time for President Barack Obama to leave on a trip to Latin America. Over the next five days, Obama is to visit Brazil, Chile and El Salvador in what the White House casts as a mission to build job-creating opportunities for the United States and to address regional security concerns. The trip, considered by many in the hemisphere as long overdue, is also an effort to solidify relationships that have slipped two years after Obama declared “a new chapter of engagement” with the region. In that time, China has expanded its economic footprint in the region and has surpassed the United States as Brazil’s top trade partner. Despite the competing, pressing demands on the president, the White House has been determined to proceed with the trip, emphasizing the potential of the burgeoning region for US economic growth. “In this increasingly interconnected and fiercely competitive world, our top priority has to be creating and sustaining new jobs and new opportunities for our people,” Obama wrote in an opinion piece in USA Today. “We’ve got to keep competing for every new job, every new industry and every new market in the 21st century.” Obama’s planned departure was came a day after the UN Security Council approved a no-fly zone over Libya and author-

ized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from attacks by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. In Latin America, Obama will meet with recently elected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and El Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes. Each country offers Obama a different look at a diverse hemisphere. Yet in selecting those three, he is reaching out to nations whose political leaders have displayed a pragmatic governing style and where anti-Americanism is on the wane. As such they stand in stark contrast to Venezuela and Bolivia, led by leftist populists known for agitating against the United States. At the same time, in Brazil, Chile and El Salvador, Obama’s showcasing democracies that have emerged from turbulent pasts and that, in his administration’s view, serve as examples of a pathway out of the current upheaval in the Middle East. The trip also presents Obama with an opportunity to spell out his doctrine for the region _ much like he did for the Middle East in a speech in Cairo in June 2009. Obama is saving that moment for Monday in Santiago, Chile, where he will reiterate his goal of engaging with countries in the region as equals and emphasize their own role in becoming better neighbors. Obama is not traveling with a basket of ready-made accomplishments or major agreements to feature during the trip. Indeed, when it comes to trade, he embarks empty-handed.

Pending free-trade agreements with Colombia and Panama remain unfinished, provoking demands from the US business sector and Republican lawmakers that he complete the deals. First lady Michelle Obama, her mother and the Obamas’ two daughters will conduct their own brand of diplomacy on the trip, attending a series of separate events focused on young people, particularly in disadvantaged communities. Obama first traveled to the region in April 2009 when he attended a 34-nation summit in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Since then, however, his greatest attention to Latin America has been devoted to drug-related violence in Mexico as other issues in the region took a back seat to domestic and international priorities. “I think his honeymoon in the region is about to end. He’s aware of that,” said Mauricio Cardenas, a former Colombian economics minister and head of the Latin American Initiative at the Brookings Institution. “So he now needs to go and deliver on his promise. When he first met the leaders of this hemisphere, he created a lot of expectations.” Still, Riordan Roett, director of Western Hemisphere Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, said Obama is “seen very, very positively” throughout Latin America. According to Gallup, majorities ranging from 67 percent in Chile to 55 percent in Brazil approve of Obama’s job performance, though those numbers have been slipping. —AP



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Chile, US sign nuclear accord Agreement inked despite fears spreading in Japan SANTIAGO: Chile and the US signed a nuclear energy accord yesterday, despite fears of radiation spreading in Japan after a devastating earthquake and tsunami severely damaged some of its nuclear reactors. A day earlier, White House officials wouldn’t even confirm the long-awaited signing, which was supposed to be a high-profile moment in President Barack Obama’s visit with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Monday. The accord was signed by US Ambassador Alejandro Wolff and Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno. Chile’s mining and energy minister, Laurence Golborne, inked a similar accord with France last month. But

with Japan’s disaster still developing, he and Pinera left this signature to the foreign minister and stressed that it focuses on training nuclear engineers, not building reactors. They say Chileans need to be educated about nuclear power before deciding whether to use it. Many Chileans are against nuclear power, and environmental groups plan to protest Obama’s visit. Acknowledging the debate during the signing ceremony, Golborne denied that the accord is an inevitable step toward building reactors, and said any decision would be made after Pinera leaves office in 2014. Pinera said Thursday that Obama’s visit would include a working meeting,

5th child victim killed in Mexico drug violence ACAPULCO: Police early Thursday found the body of a 4year-old girl who had been shot in the chest — the fifth child killed in drug-related violence in this Mexican resort city in less than a week. The child was in a car next to a woman who had been shot three times in the back, Guerrero state police said in a statement. Police did not release the identities of the victims or discuss a possible motive for their slayings. At least five young people have died in drug violence in Acapulco since Sunday, including a 2-year-old boy and a 6-year-old boy killed with an elderly woman who tried to shield them when gunmen opened fire at their home. Police found more than 200 shell casings at the scene in a poor neighborhood in Acapulco, which has been the scene of bloody drug cartel turf battles. Witnesses told police a man being chased ran inside the house minutes before gunmen started shooting. It was not clear what happened to the man. That same day two 15-year-olds were killed in separate attacks. Children and youths have increasingly been targeted in killings or died as bystanders caught up in Mexico’s drug war, which has resulted in more than 35,000 deaths since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office and launched a stepped-up offensive against cartels. Also Thursday, police found the bullet-ridden body of a man outside a state prison in Acapulco. A threatening note was found next to the body. Authorities did not disclose its content. Guerrero state has seen a spike in violence since rival factions of the Beltran Leyva cartel began fighting over territory following the December 2009 death of capo Arturo Beltran Leyva. In the adjoining state of Michoacan, police found two bodies hanging from the neck in two different towns Thursday. Both had a threatening note with the same message signed by a purported new drug gang, state prosecutors said. Police first found a badly bruised body in the town of Lagunillas, near the state capital of Morelia, along with a message reading: “We killed him for being a thief and a kidnapper.” Prosecutors said it was signed “Knights Templar” — a little known gang that announced itself as the replacement for the weakened La Familia drug cartel last week in banners hung throughout Michoacan. The second body, which had bullet wounds, was found in the town of Mujica. In another Pacific coast state, marines found the bodies of two men and two women buried in two clandestine graves in the state of Jalisco, the Navy said in a statement. One of the bodies belonged to Saul Adame Barreto, who was the chief of staff for Colima state Gov. Mario Anguiano and who disappeared Feb. 23, the Navy said. It said an alleged member of a drug cartel detained in the neighboring state of Jalisco led them to the graves. The other three victims have not been identified, it said.— AP

and that “we have many accords that are important for Chile to sign.” In addition to energy, he said they include efforts to bring more US English teachers to Chile, and “matters of democracy and human rights, not just in Chile but in the rest of Latin America.” Yesterday’s ceremony also included seven other accords on topics including education, emergencies, culture and the environment. Chile’s senate president had lobbied to call off the nuclear accord. Some lawmakers were frustrated at not being able to see the wording in advance, and called Golborne to testify in hearings about Chile’s energy future , a confrontation now delayed until after

Obama leaves Chile. Chile’s booming growth is being held back by limits on its imported energy supply and outdated power grid. Both Pinera and Obama have said the solution is new technologies and “clean energy,” which they define as including nuclear as well as more sustainable renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal power. Opponents say even discussing long-term plans for nuclear energy in a country as prone to earthquakes as Chile distracts from other progress on securing domestic supplies. Now that Japan is in trouble despite serving as a model for protecting reactors against quakes, they say Chile should discard the option altogether. — AP

Mexico’s top diplomat defends US drone flights MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s top diplomat on Thursday defended allowing US drones to fly over Mexican territory to hunt drug traffickers, while acknowledging the government has disagreements and “moments of tension” with Washington. Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa said the drone flights do not violate Mexico’s sovereignty because they are “controlled” by Mexico and are unarmed. After the flights were reported Wednesday, Mexico’s National Security Council said US unmanned aircraft have been sent over Mexico on surveillance missions when requested by the Mexican government. A US official told The Associated Press that for each mission a Mexican official is present at the US command center where a drone is remotely piloted. Drone flights “do not violate (our) sovereignty because they are controlled by the government of Mexico and contribute to its capacity to fight organized crime,” Espinosa said in a meeting with senators. Facing criticism from legislators like Sen. Ricardo Monreal of the leftist Labor Party, who called Mexico’s foreign policy “timid, weak, servile and subordinate” in dealing with Washington, Espinosa said the government does have differences with the US The two countries “have disagreements, there are moments of tension,” Espinosa said. “But we also have a firm basis to address them in a frank, respectful and open manner.” President Felipe Calderon’s administration has

MEXICO CITY: Mexican army special forces soldiers hang from a helicopter during an exercise drill simulating combat against organized crime and drug cartels gunmen at the army’s Special Forces Training Center in the State of Mexico, Thursday. —AP expressed anger over comments by US officials in leaked diplomatic cables criticizing the Mexican military and law enforcement agencies. Mexicans also were angered by reports that agents of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed hundreds of

weapons purchased in the US to be smuggled into Mexico as part of an investigation into gunrunning by drug cartels. Espinosa said that if the reports are true, “that would be unacceptable for our country, and we would demand that those responsible be punished with all the weight of the law.” — AP

Canada deploying six jets to Libya no-fly zone OTTAWA: Canada is encouraged by reports that Libya has declared a ceasefire with rebel forces, but Ottawa will still send fighter jets to the region to help enforce a United Nations no-fly zone, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said yesterday. Officials said six CF-18 jets would leave for the region later on yester-

day to join a Canadian frigate that is already there. Harper spoke shortly after Libya said it would halt all military operations to protect its civilians and comply with a UN resolution authorizing a no-fly zone. “We are encouraged by late-breaking news that, in response to the threat of military action, the

Libyan regime has declared a ceasefire,” Harper said in a statement. “However, for that threat to remain credible, adequate military forces must be in place. Our deployment will therefore proceed.” Domestic media said 200 support staff will also be dispatched to the region. —Reuters


North Korea proposes joint volcano research with South SEOUL: North Korea, apparently spooked by the earthquake in Japan, has proposed conducting research with rival South Korea on volcanic activity at their highest mountain, considered sacred by the North. North Korea’s earthquake bureau sent a letter to South Korea’s weather agency on Thursday proposing joint quake and volcano research “in the common interests of the nation” at Mount Paektu, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported. South Korea’s Unification Ministry confirmed the proposal yesterday and said Seoul was considering the idea. “The South Korean government recognizes the need for inter-Korea cooperation regarding natural disasters such as volcanic activities and earthquakes,” spokesman Chun Hae-sung said at a briefing in Seoul. “We will examine the North’s proposal from this perspective.” Iconic Mount Paektu, which borders China, last erupted in 1903 but remains active, with the region regularly registering quake activity, experts say. Paektu, spelled Baekdu by the South Koreans, is considered one of the peninsula’s most beautiful sites. North Korean lore calls it the birthplace of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and official portraits of the leader and his father, late President Kim Il Sung, often show them standing in front of Paektu. Pyongyang’s proposal comes as relations between the two Koreas remain strained a year after the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship and an artillery attack on a front-line South Korean island that killed four people in November. Seoul blames Pyongyang for the sinking of the Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors in the worst military attack on the South since the Korean War. North Korea denies involvement. Pyongyang acknowledges firing the artillery that struck Yeonpyeong Island four months ago, but called it a response to South Korean military drills in disputed waters claimed by both Koreas. The Korean peninsula remains in a technical state of war because their three-year conflict ended in 1953 in a truce, not a peace treaty. The US keeps 28,500 troops in South Korea to protect the ally against aggression. State media in North Korea have been providing consistent coverage of the quake and tsunami off Japan’s east coast. Japan has a sizable ethnic Korean population, with many pledging allegiance to Pyongyang. “The great quake that hit Japan, in particular, underscores the urgency to conduct in a foresighted and successful manner the researches into earthquake and volcanic activities on the Korean Peninsula as it is geographically located close to that country,” the letter from North Korean officials said, according to KCNA.—AP

ACEH PROVINCE: An Acehnese boy holds a Japanese flag during a prayer for the victims of earthquake and tsunami in Japan, at a tsunami memorial monument in Banda Aceh, Aceh province, Indonesia yesterday.—AP

KAMAISHI : Survivors go get relief goods amid the rubble in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan yesterday just one week after a massive earthquake and resulting tsunami. —AP

With aid slow, Japanese fend for themselves Many rise to the occasion KARAKUWA: There may be no water, no power and no cell phone reception in this tsunami-struck town, but in the school that serves as a shelter, there are sizzling pans of fat, pink shrimp. Relief supplies have only trickled into the long strip of northeast Japan demolished by a powerful earthquake and the wave it unleashed a week ago, leaving affected communities to fend for themselves. Many have risen to the occasion. No water for the toilets? No problem. Students in Karakuwa bring buckets of water from the school swimming pool to give survivors the dignity of a proper flush. In the kitchen, a giant rice cooker given to the school by a resident sits on a table, steam rising from the heaping mounds of rice inside. “For a long time, in the countryside, even if you didn’t have enough for yourself, you shared with others,” said Noriko Sasaki, 63, as she sat on the ground outside another relief center in the town. “That is our culture. Even if they’re not relatives, we feel as if they’re sisters or brothers.” There are hardships , a junior high hardly offers the comforts of home , and while the sense of community runs all along the coast, not all survivors are as well off. Blustery snow, fuel shortages and widespread damage to airports, roads and rails have hampered delivery of badly needed assistance to more than 450,000 homeless trying to stay fed

and warm, often without electricity and running water in shelters cobbled together in schools and other public buildings. More than 6,900 people are confirmed dead so far and another 10,700 are missing. The disaster also damaged a seaside nuclear power plant, which remains in crisis as workers struggle under dangerous conditions to prevent a meltdown and major radiation leaks. In the flattened hamlet of Shizugawa, Koji Sato, a carpenter who usually builds homes, is making coffins. He said he hasn’t had time to really think about the hardship he’s faced. “All I have been doing is making coffins.” In Hirota, helicopters have delivered some food, but not much. So far, the survivors have instant noodles, fruit and bread. Water comes from wells and mountain rivers. Companies and residents unaffected by the disaster have donated bedding and blankets. Kouetsu Sasaki, a 60-year-old city hall worker, said they still need gas, vegetables, socks, underwear, wet wipes and anti-bacterial lotion. There is some medicine, but not enough. “People here aren’t angry or frustrated yet. ... But it’s a big question mark whether we can keep living like this for weeks or months,” said Sasaki, who is not related to Noriko. “I try to concentrate on what I need to do this morning, this day, and not think about how long it might last.” With roads

and airport runways being cleared of debris, aid workers hope to ramp up relief soon. Helicopters operating from two US aircraft carriers off the coast of Japan are already ferrying in supplies. Two American helicopters touched down on a hilltop above Shizugawa yesterday with boxes of canned beans and powdered milk for a community center that has become a shelter for those who lost their homes. But snow has limited helicopter flights, and American aircraft are also under orders to skirt the area around the nuclear plant to reduce the risk of radiation exposure. The region can expect some relief in about 24 hours in the way of warmer weather replacing bitter cold and snow, said Herbert Puempel of the UN’s World Meteorological Organization in Geneva. He said temperatures should climb enough to “take a little pressure off the people who are not housed.” “It’s frustrating,” said US Navy rescue swimmer Jeff Pearson, 25, of Amarillo, Texas. “But we’re doing all we can do. I think we are going to be able to get much more involved very soon.” His helicopter crew, based on the southern island of Okinawa, was heading farther north from Japan’s Jinmachi Air Base in Yamagata city. A 24-vehicle US Marines convoy reached the base yesterday, where the Marines will run a refueling hub, move supplies by road and provide communications support. —AP



Ruling party sweeps Lanka post-war polls COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s ruling party was headed yesterday for a landslide victory in the country’s first local elections since the end of its long ethnic war two years ago, official results showed. President Mahinda Rajapakse’s United People’s Freedom Alliance secured control of 196 out of the 222 councils declared so far while the main opposition United National Party managed to win only eight. Another 12 councils were still to be declared after Thursday’s vote conducted mainly in rural parts of the country. The opposition Tamil National Alliance captured 11 local bodies in the island’s former war zones in the north and the east of the island, according to results declared by the Elections Commission. Since government troops defeated the Tamil Tiger separatist rebels in 2009 after decades of warfare, Rajapakse has tightened his grip on power by securing a second presidential term and winning parliamentary polls last year. Polls in urban areas were put off until the cricket World Cup, currently being co-hosted by Sri Lanka along with Bangladesh and India, ends in April. Rajapakse has vowed to speed up post-war infrastructure development across the island, but minority Tamils accuse him of ignoring their needs.—AFP

Germany may boost Afghan role, free US for Libya BERLIN: Germany, which abstained in a UN Security Council vote that backed military action in Libya, may free US reconnaissance planes to monitor action against Muammar Gaddafi by sending more German crews to Afghanistan. Coalition sources said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition members were discussing the proposal yesterday, after Berlin broke with its NATO allies on the UN vote and said German troops would not take part in a Libyan operation. NATO is operating 24-hour surveillance of Libya with AWACS reconnaissance aircraft which are based in Germany, and about a third of the NATO AWACS crews are Germans. Merkel and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle met members of their coalition yesterday to discuss Libya and Westerwelle was due later to explain the government’s position to parliament. Increasing the number of German AWACS crews in Afghanistan would require parliament’s approval, which could be hard to get as the Afghan mission is increasingly unpopular and the last annual vote on extending it showed growing resistance. But Merkel and Westerwelle would have a tougher time still persuading parliament to approve involvement in a campaign in Libya, especially when they are struggling to defend their hold on state governments in six regional elections.— Reuters

After strike, Pakistan cancels US-Afghan talks Tensions rise between the two uneasy allies ISLAMABAD: Pakistan pulled out of talks this month with the United States on the future of Afghanistan in protest of an especially deadly American missile attack, the government said yesterday, in a sign of rising tensions between the two uneasy allies. Pakistan’s powerful army chief has already criticized Thursday’s missile attack on a house close to the Afghan border in a rare personal statement. Intelligence officials say around 36 people , most of them civilians , were killed. A US official familiar with details denied that innocent people were targeted and suggested all the dead were militants or sympathizers. The relationship was already fraught over the case of an American CIA contractor who shot and killed two Pakistanis but was freed on Wednesday, putting the weak government on the defensive against critics who accused it of selling out to the Americans. The missile attack added to the heat on the government, which summoned US Ambassador Cameron Munter to protest. “It is evident that the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement that did not mention how many civilians were killed. “Pakistan should not be taken for granted nor treated as a client state.” The statement said Pakistan would not attend talks proposed by the United States in Brussels on March 26. Pakistan had been scheduled to send its deputy foreign minister to the meeting, which was also to include a delegation from Afghanistan, it said. The US Embassy declined to comment because it was not aware any meeting had been proposed. An earlier round of the trilateral talks was canceled by the United States in February, apparently in protest of the detention of Raymond Allen Davis, the contractor. America routinely fires

PESHAWAR: Pakistani protesters burn an effigy of an American CIA contractor Raymond Allen Davis in Peshawar, Pakistan yesterday.—AP

missiles against Al-Qaeda and Taleban targets close to the Afghan border, and US officials say privately Pakistan assists in some of the strikes. But the program is publicly opposed by Pakistan’s government and army because it believes admitting collaborating with America in attacks on its own people would be highly damaging politically. Davis shot and killed two Pakistanis on Jan 27 in the eastern city of Lahore and was arrested at the scene. Washington claimed Davis acted in self-defense and had diplomatic immunity, but Pakistan’s government did not accept this. He was released from prison as part of a court deal in which the victims’ relatives received $2.3 million in compensation. Both countries agreed on the “blood money” deal because it meant they could plausibly deny any responsibility for his release. Washington was never likely to allow a CIA contractor to stand trial in Pakistan, while Pakistan’s economy is kept afloat with

money from America and the International Monetary Fund, meaning Islamabad could not afford to sever its ties with Washington over the affair despite domestic pressure to put him on trial. There were small demonstrations yesterday against the release of Davis in several towns and cities across Pakistan. The national government in Islamabad and the opposition-led local administration in Lahore have been blasted in the media over the deal. Pakistan’s powerful army and the intelligence agencies, which are rarely publicly criticized, have also been attacked. Few believe that releasing Davis would have been possible without their permission and involvement. Responding to the criticism, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the country had agreed that the Davis case would be decided in the courts. “It is therefore inappropriate to hold any single institution responsible for the final outcome of the case,” he said.—AP

Gunmen on bikes kidnap workers in Afghanistan KABUL: Gunmen on motorcycles kidnapped six road engineers and their driver as they were traveling to a work site in northern Afghanistan, a public works official said yesterday. Three Afghan and three Pakistani construction workers and their Afghan driver were carjacked around 5:30 pm Thursday and led away at gunpoint, Abdul Qadir Mahmoud Zada said. They were targeted by at least 15 men on motorcycles in the province of Sar-e-Pul. Mohan Marouf, an engineer for the construction firm Aman Afghan, said the abducted men were employees on a United

Nations-funded road building contract. United Nations officials said they had no knowledge of the attack. No one has claimed responsibility for the abductions, Afghan police officials said. Kidnappings, mostly of Afghans, for ransom or for political reasons are common in Afghanistan, where violence has made efforts to rebuild the country costly and dangerous. In January, two Chinese engineers and four Afghans were kidnapped while traveling back to their base after working on a road construction project in Faryab province in the north.— AP

KABUL: Ruqaya, an Afghan girl plays in the compound of an abandoned Russian building in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday.—AP

Business 16

Supply concerns grow as Japan lacks parts, power


EU: 2011 bank stress tests to be tougher than 2010


Fed clears way for some banks to boost dividends


Wall St rebounds after three days of decline


TOKYO: Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, center left, speaks to journalists as Bank of Japan Gov Masaaki Shirakawa, center right, listens at the ministry in Tokyo after Noda talked with G-7 finance ministers on the phone yesterday. G-7 countries agreed on coordinated currency intervention to support Japan’s economy. — AP

Central banks move to weaken yen Yen falls, shares rally as Japan kicks off day of action TOKYO/NEW YORK: Japan bought billions of dollars to restrain a soaring yen yesterday, backed by action from European central banks as the world’s richest nations moved to calm markets made nervous by Japan’s nuclear crisis. The moves are the first joint intervention in currency markets by the Group of Seven leading powers since they came to the aid of the newly launched euro in 2000, and signal the weight of concern about the wider impact of events in Japan. The US dollar surged two full yen to as much as 81.98 yen in response, up from a record low of 76.25 hit on Thursday, with traders estimating the Bank of Japan bought more than $25 billion. A series of European central banks confirmed they were intervening and stock markets surged, although dealers said the

initial intervention had been much smaller in scale than the Bank of Japan’s and the impact in European time was more limited. Ahead of North American market openings, the Federal Reserve and Bank of Canada confirmed that they had joined the intervention as well-a show of resolve to market participants that the whole G7 was solidly behind Japan. No figures were available for how much they may have committed but analysts said the point was to show unity. “It’s going to have a very huge resonating effect on the market,” said Kathy Lien, director of currency research at GFT in New York. “Because the only type of intervention that actually works is coordinated intervention and it shows the solidarity of all central banks in terms of the severity of the situation in Japan.”

The decision by the G7 came as a surprise to many because Tokyo had indicated it was looking only for moral support for its attempts to assuage markets rather than joint action. Japan’s Nikkei share index climbed close to 3 percent, recouping some of the week’s stinging losses as Japan reeled from an earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear power plant crisis. The market’s losses for the week are 10 percent. A source told Reuters the BOJ would also leave the yen it sold in the banking system rather than mopping it up, thus adding to the vast amount of liquidity it had already provided to support its domestic markets. Central banks will often issue bonds to soak up any extra cash in the economy that results from currency intervention for fear that the additional liquidity could

fuel inflation. G7 financial leaders may be worried that a surge in yen repatriation could create a crisis of confidence in markets already struggling in the face of Europe’s debt problems and the impact of unrest in the Middle East. President Barack Obama underlined the concern in Washington by saying on Thursday the United States would do all it can to help Japan recover while playing down fears a drifting cloud of radiation could reach the US West Coast. Japan’s triple disaster, unprecedented in a major developed economy, is already disrupting global manufacturing. Makers of equipment for mobile telephones to car makers and chipmakers have warned of a squeeze on their businesses given Japan’s crucial role in many supply chains that keep global commerce ticking over. —Reuters



N Zealand settles price-fix case with 3 airlines WELLINGTON: Three airlines have reached financial settlements with a New Zealand regulator for participating in a price-fixing scheme in the global air freight market, the regulator said yesterday. The New Zealand Commerce Commission also said it discontinued a similar case against United Airlines. The regulator’s statement did not reveal the size of the settlements with British Airways, Qantas Airways and Cargolux International Airlines for their actions from 2000 until 2006.

HK, China shares higher HONG KONG: China property issues led broad gains in Hong Kong stocks yesterday morning as investors turned cautiously optimistic after the Group of Seven rich nations agreed to a rare joint intervention to restrain a soaring yen. “A yen pull-back would reduce carry trade pressure,” said Ben Kwong, chief operating officer at KSI Asia Ltd. “If this continues, it will benefit the Nikkei and other stock markets, even commodity markets. ”The benchmark Hang Seng Index was up 0.75 percent at 22,451.29 by the midday trading break. China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd , the country’s largest developer by market value, was up 5.1 percent after reporting 2010 net profit rose by two thirds. Analysts said its strong earnings report gave fresh trading impetus after a double negative impact late last week, with Hong Kong banks beginning to raise mortgage rates around the same time as Japan’s earthquake. Other property counters also gained, including China Resources Land Ltd , up 5.8 percent, and Henderson Land Development Co Ltd , up 3.73 percent. The Hang Seng Index traded above its 200-day moving average after dipping below the key technical level at yesterday’s close. A close above this level, currently at 22,358.01, needed to come in good volume to encourage buyers to return to the market, said traders. China’s main stock index was up 0.6 percent by midday, led by large-caps such as PetroChina Co Ltd , after it posted a record quarterly profit. PetroChina, the world’s second-biggest oil and gas producer by market value, posted an 81 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on the back of strong crude oil prices and robust domestic economic growth. PetroChina, China’s largest listed company by market capitalisation, was up 0.7 percent, while Sinopec Shandong Taishan Petroleum Co rose 4 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was at 2,913.6 points. after a 1.1 percent fall on Thursday on concern over radiation leaks in Japan. Analysts said the most important influence on the index was China’s next policy tightening step. Japan’s crisis sparked worries in some sectors but would not change the index’s trend in the longer term. “The influence of Japan’s crisis is temporary,” said Wang Aochao, analyst at UOB Kay Hian in Shanghai. “What we need to worry about is the next tightening steps by the government.” Almost all 15 securities listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets rose. Haitong Securities Co Ltd, China’s No.2 listed brokerage, was up 2.1 percent, and GF Securities Co Ltd rose 2.8 percent. Salt producers, the biggest gainer on Thursday, underperformed after China’s economic agency told shoppers to stop panic buying , blaming baseless rumours that its iodine content could prevent radiation sickness. Yunnan Salt & Chemical Industry Co Ltd tumbled 7 percent after jumping by its 10 percent daily limit on Thursday, while Inner Mongolia Lantai Industrial Co Ltd dropped 8.9 percent. — Reuters

But Qantas said it agreed to pay a 6.5 million New Zealand dollar ($4.7 million) fine and would continue to cooperate fully in the regulator’s case against other airlines. The Australian carrier said in a statement the fine represented a 50 percent discount for cooperating with the regulator’s investigation. Further terms of the deal are confidential. A number of countries are prosecuting airlines over a massive cartel that artificially inflated passenger and cargo fuel surcharges on routes

extending to the United States, Europe, South America and the Asia-Pacific region. New Zealand’s regulator started proceedings against 13 airlines in 2008, alleging they colluded on fuel surcharges on cargo into and out of New Zealand. The pending cases involve Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Japan Airlines International, Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways. — Reuters

Supply concerns grow as Japan lacks parts, power Apple may face parts delays for iPad 2 TOKYO/SEOUL: From Apple Inc’s new iPad to Chevrolet pick-ups and many of the world’s airplane kitchens, concern is spreading down the global manufacturing supply chain about the impact from Japan’s earthquake last week. Plant shutdowns across Japan following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis threaten supplies of everything from semiconductors to car parts to manufacturers across the globe. Even where factories in Japan are operating, power outages, shortages of fuel and raw materials and ruptured logistics mean products and parts face delays in getting to customers. Honda Motor Co said yesterday it extended a production halt in Japan, where it makes more than a fifth of its cars, for a further 3 days until next Wednesday. And, citing a memo distributed by the automaker, the Wall Street Journal reported Honda had warned US dealers it was not sure if it could resume full production at some of its Japanese plants before May. Japan’s grip on the global electronics supply chain is causing particular concern. The world’s third-biggest economy exported 7.2 trillion yen ($91.3 billion) worth of electronic parts last year, according to Mirae Asset Securities. “Should the Japan crisis be prolonged, I expect a shortage of electronic parts in the second quarter,” said James Song, an analyst at Daewoo Securities, noting Japan provides 57 percent of the world’s wafers, used to make the chips that go into mobiles phones, cameras and other electronic devices. Apple may face shortages of key parts for its newly-released iPad 2, according to a report from research firm IHS iSuppli. Several parts of the new version of the popular iPad tablet PC come from Japan, including the battery and the flash memory used to store music and video on the device. “Logistical disruptions may mean Apple could have difficulties obtaining this battery, and it may not be able to secure supply from an external, non-Japanese source,” iSuppli

TOKYO: A man looks at the stock price board yesterday in Tokyo. — AP

said. Toshiba Corp , one of the companies that produces the NAND flash memory used in the iPad 2, according to IHS iSuppli’s research, had briefly shut a flash memory facility in Japan, and warned it could face problems getting raw materials. Apple launched the iPad 2 in the United States last week to strong demand, with many stores selling out and analysts estimating sales of 1 million units during the debut weekend. Several other iPad 2 parts are sourced from Japan, said the IHS iSuppli report, noting some of these, particularly the chips, could be procured from alternative suppliers. Goldman Sachs warned of potential bottlenecks in the supply of silicon wafers, conductive film used in LCD circuits and resin used to connect chips to boards-products made by Japanese companies such as Shin Etsu and divisions of Sony , Hitachi and Mitsubishi . In Taipei, shares of electronics supply companies rebounded from recent falls, with Hon Hai Precision and touch panel maker Wintek both gaining more than 1 percent. Japan’s top car manufacturers including Toyota Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co are struggling to restart pro-

duction amid a shortage of parts, labour and power following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami. The largest US automaker, General Motors Co, said it would temporarily idle a pick-up truck plant in Louisiana, where it builds the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon models, due to a parts shortage stemming from the crisis in Japan. “Like all global automakers, we will continue to follow the events in Japan closely to determine the business impact,” GM said in a statement on Thursday. North American output is likely to be affected unless Japanese suppliers revive their plants and send parts within 10 days, Wolfe Trahan & Co analyst Tim Denoyer said in a note. Renault Samsung, the South Korean unit of French car maker Renault SA, said it will cut back on weekend and overtime production because of a potential parts shortage, and GM’s South Korean unit said it was considering a similar move. “We have an inventory until the end of March. But we expect the crisis to be prolonged until April before being normalised in May,” said a spokesperson for Renault Samsung, which makes one in every 10 Renault vehicles. — Reuters



EU: 2011 bank stress tests to be tougher than 2010 New simulation will assume EU economic output

BUDAPEST: Guests attend the inauguration of the “SkyCourt”, the new terminal building of Hungary’s main international airport, which was renamed after Hungarian composer and piano virtuoso Franz Liszt in Budapest, Hungary, yesterday. — AP

Turkish markets rally after Libyan ‘ceasefire’ ISTANBUL: Turkish stocks, the lira and bonds reversed earlier losses yesterday as oil prices turned down after Libya announced a ceasefire and said it would halt all military action against the rebels. By 1351 GMT the yield on the Nov. 7, 2012, benchmark bond fell to 8.75 percent after rising as high as 8.8 percent earlier today. The lira firmed to 1.5750 per dollar, having traded as weak as 1.5880 earlier. The Istanbul Stock exchange National 100 benchmark index swung back to positive territory, to stand 0.5 percent higher at 63,778.72 and trading in line with the emerging benchmark, which rose 0.53 percent. Libya declared a ceasefire in the country to protect civilians and comply with a United Nations resolution passed overnight, Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa said, which erased earlier losses for Turkish assets, according to traders. “Everyone was watching the oil price. Now with this latest declaration, the oil price has dropped, decreasing supply disruption fears,” said one trader in Istanbul. ICE Brent May crude fell $1.02 to $113.88 a barrel by 1247 GMT, trading from $113.07 to $117.29. Brent crude rose $2 earlier in the day after the UN approval of military action in Libya heightened geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Turkey is vulnerable to higher oil prices as imports cover 95 percent of its oil and gas needs. Adding to concerns, Turkish contractors have large projects in Libya. Otherwise, global market sentiment was helped by concerted central bank intervention to curb sharp rises in the yen. Japanese shares jumped and the yen tumbled yesterday after the Group of Seven rich nations agreed on rare joint intervention aimed at calming markets unnerved by the nuclear crisis in Japan. “We are observing optimism on financial markets caused by the intervention of the Group of Seven countries,” said Fatih Keresteci, a strategist at HSBC Bank. The Turkish market is shifting its focus to the central bank’s monthly monetary committee meeting next Wednesdsay. The bank is expected to leave its policy rate, the repo rate, unchanged for a second month at 6.25 percent, according to a Reuters poll. Critics say the bank is falling behind the curve in fighting inflation, particularly after oil prices rose, but the crisis in Japan has left markets in disarray and dented expectations of sharply rising inflation. Bank governor Durmus Yilmaz said last week the bank’s measures were working and would in time slow domestic demand and credit growth-reducing any chance that the bank might suddenly raise rates earlier than expected due to costlier oil. — Reuters

BRUSSELS: The European Union bank regulator said yesterday that this year’s stress tests on banks will be harsher than last year’s, which were widely considered a failure, though important elements of the exercise deemed crucial to the region’s crisis strategy remained undecided. The test will see how banks fare with an extreme deterioration in financial markets and economic activity in order to gauge where the weak links in Europe’s financial system are. Last year’s tests were discredited after some banks passed, only to require bailouts weeks later. The new simulation will assume EU economic output will shrink 0.4 percent in 2011 and will show no growth in 2012 — a 4 percentage point difference from current forecasts, the European Banking Authority said. That compares with a 3 percentage point drop assumed in the 2010 stress tests. However, even though the tests’ results are due to be published in June, some important elements are still up in the air. Crucially, the bar that banks would have to jump to pass the tests — namely the minimum capital ratio they have to maintain despite the shocks — was still missing from the scenarios published yesterday. The socalled core Tier-1 capital ratio currently varies from country to country and the EBA said it was still in the process

of defining the one to be used for the tests. It also wasn’t clear how many banks would be tested this year. The EBA only said that the tests would cover a “broadly similar group of banks” as last year, when 91 banks were included, and that the banks would represent more than 65 percent of EU banking assets. In recently leaked documents the EBA said 88 banks would be tested but the number was not included in yesterday’s release. The EBA faces the challenge of asserting its credibility against 27 national banking supervisors, many of whom are eager to protect the banks under their own watch. The discovery of huge capital holes in one country’s banking system could not only become expensive to the national government but also make those banks vulnerable to takeovers. The EBA has come under fire for not setting stricter shock scenarios for banks, with critics saying a partial default of a highly indebted country like Greece cannot be ruled out. However, banks will have to disclose all relevant exposure to sovereign bonds — including those of non-EU countries like the US and Japan — which would allow analysts to run their own calculations. The bank stress tests are seen as a central part of Europe’s efforts to find its way out

of a debt crisis that has already forced Greece and Ireland into international bailouts. Huge problems in Irish banks were the main reason that Ireland had to seek international help. Analysts are also concerned about the health of banks in stronger countries like Germany and France, which are very exposed to Europe’s troubled economies. EU stress tests conducted last year were widely seen as a whitewash when only seven of 91 tested banks failed, and two Irish banks that passed the tests had to be rescued soon after. This year’s scenario is based on three elements set out with the help of the European Central Bank, the EBA said: A set of shocks within the EU mostly related to the debt crisis, a negative demand shock caused by problems in the United States, and a drop in the value of the dollar. These developments would trigger increased unemployment and a decline in house prices, which would both hurt banks’ chances of getting loans repaid. For the eurozone, the shock scenarios foresee an average increase in long-term government bond yields of about 0.75 percentage points, with the interest rate for German bonds remaining stable. On top of that, stock prices would drop 15 percent under the scenario. — AP

Airline industry sees drop in Japan traffic GENEVA: Japanese air travel will suffer a major slowdown in the shortterm due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami and its recovery will depend on how the nuclear crisis unfolds, the global airline industry’s trade group said yesterday. The burgeoning markets of China, Taiwan, and South Korea are most exposed to a drop in Japanese traffic, with at least a fifth of their air travel revenue coming from business with the country, said the International Air Transport Association. The next most affected are Thailand, the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore. In Europe, France, Germany and Britain have the busiest air links to Japan. “The $62.5 billion Japanese aviation market represents 6.5 percent of worldwide scheduled traffic and 10 percent of the industry’s revenues. A major slowdown in Japan is expected in the short-term,” said Giovanni Bisignani, who directs the trade group. “And the fortunes of the industry will likely not improve until the effect of a reconstruction rebound is felt in the second half of the year,” he said. In its first assessment of the potential impacts of the disasters, the IATA said it’s too early to assess the long-

DALLAS: A woman wearing a surgical mask enters Terminal D of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport after arriving on American Airlines Flight 60 from Tokyo Thursday, in Dallas. — AP

term impact of Japan’s quakes, tsunami and damaged nuclear reactors on the global air transport industry. The Geneva-based trade group noted that because some Japanese refineries were damaged, prices for jet fuel could rise. The country produces 3 to 4 percent of global jet fuel supplies, part of that exported in Asia. Most Japanese airports have enough fuel to

last another 10 days, the trade group said, but carriers are trying to work together to make supplies last longer — preparing even for possible “rationing regimes should supply shortages arise.” The IATA is tracking on its Web site the new regulations that governments are imposing around the world for flights and passengers arriving from Japan. —AP



UK regulator eyes energy networks price controls LONDON: Britain set out plans yesterday to control prices on the country’s sustainable energy networks, in a move aimed at saving consumers some 1 billion pounds ($1.61 billion) over the next eight years. Ofgem, the country’s energy regulator, said the new framework would encourage the efficient investment and innovation required for Britain’s gas and electricity transmission and gas distribution networks.

Ofgem also announced the establishment of a 400 million pound ($645.2 million) fund for transmission and gas distribution companies, in order to encourage them to find new ways of doing their business while maintaining low prices for customers. “Britain’s energy networks have a huge role to play in delivering over 30 billion pounds of the 200 pounds billion of energy investment needed in the next ten years,” Ofgem Chief Executive

Alistair Buchanan said in a statement. “It is now up to companies to rise to the challenge. They must set out by the end of July how they are going to ensure safe, reliable networks with high levels of customer service while delivering the investment necessary to meet the needs of a low carbon economy,” he added. Leading British energy utilities include Scottish & Southern Energy, National Grid and foreign groups such as EDF and E.ON. — Reuters

Oil slips on Libyan ceasefire, gold holds up Copper edges lower, aluminium higher LONDON: Oil prices tipped lower yesterday after Libya said it would halt all military action, but gold held most of its gains as global uncertainty still unnerved investors. Oil prices gave up gains and turned negative after Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa told reporters Libya had called an immediate ceasefire, accepting a UN resolution. Brent crude shed 0.8 percent to $114.04 a barrel by 1430 GMT, off a session high of $117.29. US crude fell 0.5 percent to $100.96. Oil markets had risen to their highest in more than a week after a UN meeting on Thursday evening that authorised Western-led military intervention against Muammar Gaddafi. Although the ceasefire triggered a sell-off, analysts noted the situation

was still complex. “This does not mean we are near a resolution of the situation in Libya. We may be facing the possibility of an entrenched status quo between pro and anti Gaddafi groups,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, analyst at BNP Paribas. Gold gave up some of its gains after the Libyan ceasefire announcement, but the metal’s safe-haven status kept it firmly in positive territory. “The uncertainty across the different global centres is still there and that should support precious metals,” said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen. Gold came off a daily high of over $1,423 an ounce to $1,422.25, up more than 1 percent from late levels in New York on Thursday. Among industrial metals, copper edged lower after the succession of

MANILA: Students display placards as they picket the entrance to the office of oil giant Shell yesterday at suburban Makati city east of Manila, Philippines in protest of another round of oil price increase. — AP

global crises, but a G7 joint intervention to calm market nerves over the Japanese earthquake disaster helped cushion the losses and boost overall risk appetite. Copper had briefly extended losses after China’s central bank said it would raise lenders’ required reserves again. “China is taking some moderate measures to cool down the economy. This may have a negative impact in the near-term but we don’t think it will derail China’s growth in terms of base metals,” Credit Suisse analyst Stefan Graber said. Analysts said commodities should benefit from an agreement by the Group of Seven on joint intervention to curb the soaring yen and calm markets jittery over the Japanese nuclear power plant crisis. “Overall we are seeing a rebound in risk appetite and in demand for commodities,” Danske Bank analyst Christin Tuxen said. “The idea that a weaker yen would be able to improve Japanese companies’ competitiveness is spurring market optimism that the Japanese industry will be coming back on track sooner ... This is quite positive for base metals.” Copper dipped 0.5 percent while aluminium rose 1.2 percent and nickel added 1.3 percent. European wheat prices surged again yesterday to hit new week-long highs as robust grain exports turned attention back to fundamentals. May milling wheat futures in Paris surged 3.5 percent to 231.50 euros a tonne, after rising earlier to 237.50 euros, a highest level since March 9. Robusta coffee futures touched a fresh three-year high on a shortage of deliverable supplies. London second-month robusta coffee futures rose to a fresh three-year high of $2,672 per month basis second-month on investor buying. The premium of May robusta over July robusta stood at $142 per tonne, an indication of how tight the deliverable supply situation is, although it was down from $200 per tonne on Thursday. — Reuters

HONG KONG: Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC Peter Sands speaks during a news conference in Hong Kong yesterday. Standard Chartered bank has reported a record profit for the eighth straight year largely on the back of the bank’s operations in Hong Kong and India. — AP

GM to shut plant due to parts shortage DETROIT: General Motors Co said it would temporarily idle its pick-up truck plant in Louisiana due to a parts shortage stemming from the crisis in Japan. GM said it had “sufficient” vehicles to meet consumer demand and that it hoped to open the plant as soon as possible, although it did not specify a timeframe. “Like all global automakers, we will continue to follow the events in Japan closely to determine the business impact,” GM said in a statement on Thursday. The largest US automaker builds two pick-up truck models, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, at its Shreveport Assembly plant. The company said its other North American plants are operating normally. The plant closure was a sign of the growing stress on the global auto industry after yesterday’s earthquake in Japan. Toyota Motor Co and Honda Motor have shut plants in Japan until next week. North American production is likely to be affected unless Japanese suppliers revive their plants and send parts within the next ten days, Wolfe Trahan & Co analyst Tim Denoyer said in a note. Denoyer said infrastructure issues in Japan threatened to extend the time these plants are idled. He said Honda is still not in touch with 44 of its 113 suppliers in the quake zone.Honda could not be reached for comment. “It only takes one supplier to stop a car plant,” Nissan Senior Vice President Andy Palmer said in an interview with Reuters. — Reuters



Batelco to raise Zain Saudi funds DUBAI: Bahrain Telecommunications, which made a joint $950 million cash bid for a stake in Zain Saudi last week, is confident it will raise the necessary financing for the deal, its chief executive said yesterday. Batelco teamed up with Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding to bid for Kuwaiti telco Zain’s 5 percent stake in Zain Saudi. The sale is a key condition of UAE telecoms firm Etisalat’s $12 billion offer for a 46 percent stake in Kuwaiti Zain as both firms operate in the kingdom. “Batelco Group, based on proposals received from financial institutions, is confident that it has the capability to raise debt up to $1.2 billion,” Batelco CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos said in an email yesterday. “Events in the last few weeks may increase in the short term the cost for such financing but based on feedback from (Gulf) and international banks, there is healthy interest and a competitive spirit, from banking partners to deliver the required financing.” Middle East unrest, including in Bahrain where the government imposed a state of emergency last week, has raised risk premiums. The escalating political tension has closed Bahrain’s access to international capital markets and banks are nervous of taking any Bahraini risk in a week which saw Saudi troops deployed in the Gulf Arab state to quell unrest. — Reuters

gold to hit record $1,480 NEW YORK/LONDON: Gold rose for a third straight day yesterday after a unilateral ceasefire declared by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi failed to calm investor nerves as political tensions heightened across the Arab world. Bullion also benefited from a weaker dollar as traders braced for more official action after the G7 nations coordinated to intervene into the yen, and as fresh political unrest was reported in Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. “It’s the concern about what would happen in Libya. Will Gaddafi really stick up to the cease-fire? That’s probably the only reason why gold’s being bid up at all,” said Dennis Gartman, author of the Gartman Letter, a daily investment newsletter. Gartman, however, said that recent weaker volume suggested gold could lack the conviction to rise further, and the metal’s gains on Friday were largely driven by a dollar drop. Gold rose 1 percent to $1,418.70 an ounce by 12:35 pm. Earlier in the session, the metal was little changed after China’s central bank raised lenders’ required reserves by 50 basis points, a move viewed by some as a confirmation of gold’s inflation-hedge appeal. — Reuters

Wall St rebounds after three days of decline Investors seek bargains, S&P 500 back in black for year NEW YORK: Wall Street rebounded after three days of declines, but the advance could be temporary as concerns about Japan’s nuclear crisis persisted. The S&P 500 recovered after giving up the year’s gains, but options activity showed traders are increasing hedges against another decline in stocks. “As the headlines come out of Japan, there are more nervous traders liquidating their long positions in futures put on this morning,” said Steve Leuer, stock-index futures trader at X-FA Trading firm in Chicago. The recent losses brought out investors looking for bargains. However, volume was lackluster, with just 7.89 billion shares changing hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, below last year’s daily average of 8.47 billion and down sharply from Wednesday’s record for the year of 11.1 billion shares traded. If the market is to refocus on fundamentals, more news from bellwethers like FedEx Corp will help. The world’s largest cargo airline forecast improved revenue on strong demand, lifting shares 3.1 percent to $87.89. The Dow Jones Transport average gained 1.4 percent. A total of about 1.16 million option contracts traded in the S&P 500 as puts outpaced calls by a ratio of 2.15, above its recent daily ratio of 1.93, according to options analytics firm Trade Alert. A put option conveys the right to sell the stock at a fixed price at any time up until expiration. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 161.21 points, or 1.39 percent, at 11,774.51. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 16.81 points, or 1.34 percent, at 1,273.69. The Nasdaq

NEW YORK: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. — AP

Composite Index was up 19.23 points, or 0.73 percent, at 2,636.05. But the S&P 500 is down 2.3 percent for the week so far. Stocks’ recent declines followed a rally of nearly six months. The rally in itself has prompted predictions of a market correction. From a chart standpoint “I don’t see anything right now that suggests that the near-term decline is over,” said Chris Burba, short-term market technician at Standard & Poor’s in New York. The CBOE Volatility Index VIX, Wall Street’s fear gauge, fell 10 percent to 26.46 as stocks rose, but the VIX was still high compared with the recent average of about 20. The market could see greater volatility on Friday as the two-day quadruple witching period ends. Quadruple witching is the expiration and settlement of March stock index futures, single-stock futures, equity options and stock index options.

On Thursday, natural resource stocks helped lead the market as commodity prices rebounded. Tensions in the Middle East and North Africa drove oil prices up sharply. Brent crude for May delivery gained $4.40 to $115.00 a barrel. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc rose 5.8 percent to $88.60 while Chevron Corp gained 2.7 percent to $102.24. The S&P energy index shot up 3.1 percent to be the leading sector, even though the prospect of higher fuel costs in general have hurt investor enthusiasm. A correction at this point could be short-lived, some analysis suggests. Cleveland Rueckert, an analyst at Birinyi Associates Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, said in a note: “Since 1945, 5 percent declines that occur during a broader rally last an average of 41 days and decline 8.29 percent. “If the averages hold, the S&P 500 will bottom at 1,232” on March 31, Rueckert wrote. - Reuters

Continental recalls tires on Ford pickups

Caterpillar reports strong sales in Feb

DETROIT: Continental AG’s North American unit is recalling about 391,000 tires, most of which were put on new Ford Motor Co F-250 and F-350 heavy duty pickup trucks, US regulators said yesterday. About 330,000 were put on the new trucks, and some were sold as replacements, Continental said of the tires made in Mexico from May 2007 to September 2008. Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood said the tire recall affected 65,000 pickup trucks in the United States and Canada. Vehicles affected are trucks for model years 2008 and 2009. Each truck typically has four tires and a spare. Ford will be providing Continental with its owner information. Continental will replace the tires, some of which may experience uneven wear and vibration, the company said in a letter to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. — Reuters

PEORIA: Caterpillar says February was another strong month for sales of its mining and construction equipment, and global sales grew 59 percent over last year. The company reported sales figures yesterday in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Caterpillar says equipment sales were strongest in Latin America, which reported a 76 percent jump over the previous year. But even in the weakest region of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, sales grew 53 percent in February. Caterpillar’s sales figures are watched closely because its results are considered an indicator of the health of the economy. Engine sales also improved for Caterpillar but not as much as machinery sales. Caterpillar says total engine sales grew 31 percent. — Reuters

PEORIA: In this file photo provided by Caterpillar Inc., a Bucyrus 495HR Electric Mining Shovel is shown loading a Catepillar 793C mining truck at a mine site, near Peoria, Ill. Caterpillar said yesterday, February was another strong month for sales of its mining and construction equipment, and global sales grew 59 percent over last year. — AP



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Jupiter misses forecast, shares fall LONDON: Jupiter Fund Management missed revenue forecasts in its maiden full-year results after fee margins fell below analyst expectations and warned regulation would pressure fee margins in future. Jupiter said yesterday net revenue jumped 27 percent in 2010 after it pulled in new client funds, though the money it earned from the influx of assets disappointed some in the market. Shares in Jupiter were down 5.75 percent to 300 pence at 1445 GMT, underperforming a 1.06 percent rise in the FTSE 250. “(This reflected) the mix of business more towards platforms than other forms of distributions where you have another person taking some of the management fee,” David McCann at Numis Securities told Reuters, after

reducing his earning’s forecasts for 2011. McCann said that Jupiter shares, which trade at about 15 times earnings, are relatively expensive compared with larger rival Schroders which has also posted strong inflows of new funds but trades at about 12 times earnings. “It deserves a premium but not quite that much,” he said. Chief executive Edward Bonham Carter said fee margins, which rose slightly to 98 basis points in 2010, would fall following a regulatory shake-up of how investors are charged for fund management in Britain. “We expect net management fee margins to decline slowly over time, as distributors take an increasing share of fees and the Retail Distribution Review alters industry

pricing structures,” Bonham Carter said. Jupiter said total management fees rose to 230.5 million pounds ($372 million), reflecting robust investment performance and a 27 percent increase in net inflows to 2.3 billion pounds. The positive net inflows helped Jupiter extend its run of positive net sales in its British mutual funds business in every quarter since January 2000. Bonham Carter said it was premature to predict how much of an impact recent unrest in the Middle East and the Japanese earthquake would have on net inflows in 2011. “If there is any effect one can surmise from awful events in Japan and the Middle East it is that interest rates will in general be maintained at a lower level for longer,” he said,

“Combining that with pretty strong inflationary figures on the cost side that would help (by) pushing people at the margin into investment products,” he told Reuters. Jupiter said almost two thirds of its mutual fund products were performing above benchmarks over a three year period which-when combined with improving markets-has boosted total assets under management to 24.1 billion pounds. Net performance fees, however, came in at 5.7 million pounds, only marginally ahead of 2009. Bonham Carter said Jupiter planned to bulk up its sales and marketing resources for selling products into central and southern Europe this year. Shares in Jupiter have risen around 90 percent since they floated last June. — Reuters

Fed clears way for some banks to boost dividends 19 banks overseen by Fed were subject to examinations

STUTTGARD: The CEO of Porsche Automobil Holding SE Martin Winterkorn (L) and the CEO of Porsche AG Matthias Mueller talk ahead of the annual balance press conference of the Porsche Automobil Holding SE in Stuttgart, southern Germany. — AFP

After turmoil, investors yearning for clarity LONDON: After the turmoil of the past few weeks, investors are yearning for clarity on a broad swathe of extraordinary issues that have turned this year’s assumptions on their head. The question before them is how to absorb and price in the impact on the global economy of Japan’s triple disaster-with the threat of nuclear reactor meltdowns the biggest unknown- as well as increasing violence in energyrich Arab countries. And there is also the festering issue of euro zone debt, due to come under scrutiny at a European Union Summit at the end of the week. In the past week, all of this has meant that stocks have fallen in a move away from risk, currencies have been agitated by the prospect of Japanese investors bringing their money home, oil has bounced back - threatening again to manacle future global economic growth - and policymakers have become worried.It is enough to make some longer-term investors freeze, or at least not make major moves. “The situation is too fluid and too uncertain to warrant changes,” Joost van Leenders, strategist at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, said in a note to clients. This has two implications. One is that markets have held up relatively well over the past week-relatively, given what has occurred. Equity market losses since the earthquake in Japan on March 11 have been around 2-3 percent, except for Tokyo’s 10 percent fall. Volatilty has risen, but is still far from where it was during the height of the euro zone debt crisis. —Reuters

WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve yesterday cleared the way for some major banks to boost stock dividends. Banks can increase dividends if they pass “stress tests” showing that they can weather another recession. The Fed said it had completed those tests and expects that “some firms” will increase or resume dividend payments, buy back shares or repay government capital. The Fed isn’t revealing either the names or number of banks that are expected to do so. All of the 19 largest banks overseen by the Fed were subject to the examinations. Those banks include Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo. During the financial crisis banks slashed dividends to build capital cushions to absorb losses. Regulators barred banks from boosting dividends without obtaining approval. By increasing payments, banks may be able to attract new investors. JPMorgan Chase is among the banks interested in boosting dividend payments. The Fed said it is taking a “measured and conservative approach” on banks’ dividend requests. The Fed said it expects banks to limit dividends to 30 percent or less of their anticipated earnings. A green light from the Fed on bigger dividend payments also would signal that banks are in better financial shape. Federal regulators have been working closely with banks to strengthen operations and get lending flowing more normally again after the worst crisis since the 1930s. The Fed said yesterday that the 19 banks had increased common equity by more than $300 billion from the end of 2008 to the end of 2010. Overall,

both the banks’ amount and mix of capital have improved since the financial crisis, the Fed concluded in a paper released yesterday. Under the stress tests, banks had to show that they could weather another recession. That was defined as a scenario in which US economic activity would shrink 1.5 percent this year and unemployment would spike to 11 percent. In addition, stocks and home prices would fall sharply. Across the Atlantic, European regulators pledged to make their banks’ stress tests this year more difficult than last year’s. The Fed didn’t publicly release the results of this latest round of stress

tests. It is keeping the information confidential, which is standard practice in bank exams. However, the Fed deviated from that practice when it conducted its first stress tests in 2009. The country was reeling from a severe recession and financial crisis. Those results were made public in a move to boost confidence in the fragile US banking system. At the time, the government had launched a taxpayer-funded bailout of banks. The fear was that by withholding information on banks’ health, investors’ and the American public’s shaky confidence would be further hurt, worsening the recession. — Reuters

GLENDALE: In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, Jonathan Velazquez phones in to get unemployment benefits at the Verdugo Job Center in Glendale, Calif. Fewer laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits, marking third drop in four weeks. — AP


Batman’s ‘butler’ Michael Gough dies (Page 25)

Diana’s dressmaker: Kate’s style will be different (Page 24)

In this image, a 1946 oil painting, “Colored Rhythm,” by the artist and textile designer Sonia Delaunay is on display in the show “Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay” at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in New York. The show opened yesterday and runs through June 5. — AP



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he 51-year-old rocker will receive the accolade in an induction ceremony on March 21 in front of the Musician’s Institute at Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. His website made the announcement adding, “Everyone is welcome to attend!” The news comes just a day after the ‘Everything I Do (I Do it For You)’ hitmaker announced he is expecting his first child with his personal assistant Alicia Grimaldi, who is due to give birth in May. He told TV show ‘Entertainment Tonight Canada’: “Alicia Grimaldi and I are expecting a baby. She helped me start my foundation years ago and it looks like she’ll be running the family now!” However, a spokesperson for the star who is currently touring the US - declined to comment on whether he is in a relationship with the mother of his unborn child, who is rumoured to be living with him in London. An insider said: “Many of their friends still don’t even know that they are a couple, but they are living together at his house.” Celebrities who have received stars on the Walk of Fame this year include Colin Firth, Donald Sutherland, Adam Sandler and Alec Baldwin.

Kelly Brook is expecting a baby girl


he 31-year-old model has announced that she is pregnant with her first child with her rugby player boyfriend Thom Evans and revealed that she already knows the sex of the baby. She wrote on her twitter page: “Thom and I are happy to announce we are expecting a baby girl. We are delighted XXXX.” The ‘Piranha 3D’ star has been dating the athlete for just over three months and the baby will also be his first child. Kelly has recently been busy spending her time between London and Los Angeles working on various campaigns including one for Reebok and promoting her swimwear range for British high street store New Look. The brunette beauty - who has dated Billy Zane and Jason Statham - recently admitted that she makes more effort with her appearance when in London because her she thinks people have a more relaxed style in Los Angeles. She said: “When I’m in London I like dressing up. I’ll wear lots of 50s-style prom dresses, pencil skirts, and blouses because they really flatter my hourglass figure. But right now I’m living in LA so I’m living in jeans and t-shirts.”

Mel Gibson is an ‘incredibly loving and sensitive’ person


ctress-and-director Jodie Foster has defended the controversial star - who last week pleaded guilty to a charge of battery relating to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva - saying he’s the “most loved” actor she has ever worked with. Speaking at the premiere of her film ‘The Beaver’ - in which Mel stars -in Texas, she said: “He’s so incredibly loving and sensitive, he really is. He is the most loved actor I have ever worked with on a movie. “And he’s not saintly, and he’s got a big mouth, and he’ll do gross things your nephew would do. But I knew the minute I met him that I would love him the rest of my life.” Jodie has been close to the ‘Braveheart’ star since they appeared in 1994 movie ‘Maverick’ together, and she admits she has helped him deal with the end of his relationship with Oksana - with whom he has an 18-month-old daughter, Lucia - in April 2010. She said: “I know him in a very complex way. I know that he has troubles, and when you love somebody you don’t just walk away from them when they are struggling. “We talked about it all the way through, about what was going on in his life. I don’t think he told me until it was something he couldn’t handle by himself.” Jodie, 48, also thinks Mel, 55, gives an “extraordinary performance” in the film, which sees him play a deeply

depressed husband who starts speaking only to a beaver hand puppet as he struggles to resolve his relationship with his wife and son. She told The Hollywood Reporter: “I think anybody who comes to see the film and understands Mel’s extraordinary performance in the movie can’t go away untouched by his humanity. “The performance he gave in this movie, I will always be grateful for. He brought a lifetime of pain to the character that we’ve been talking about for years, that I knew was part of his psyche and who he is. “It’s part of him that is beautiful and that I want people to know, too. I can’t ever regret that.”



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Nicole Scherzinger or Edna Krabapple?



he former Pussycat Dolls singer who has been dating Formula 1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton for the past three years - uses ‘The Simpsons’ cartoon character’s name in order to stop fans from discovering her whereabouts. A source said: “Celebrities have been using fake names at hotels for years. Nicole’s is tame compared to a lot of them but she loves ‘The Simpsons’ and thinks it’s funny. “It’s done the trick so far as nobody has twigged.” Nicole’s ruse was successful on a recent romantic trip to Paris with Lewis where fans showed up at a hotel where ‘Nicole Scherzinger and Lewis Hamilton’ were booked to stay, not realizing that ‘Edna Krabappel’ was in another hotel.

Nicole is not the only celebrity to use a pseudonym. British actress Kate Beckinsale has revealed she chose to call herself Sigourney Beaver on the “spur of the moment” because of her admiration for Sigourney Weaver, although her husband, director Len Wiseman, hates it when hotel employees call him “Mr Beaver.” Ozzy Osbourne reportedly has two fake names, Harry for when he books weekends away with his wife Sharon and the more sedate Prince Albert for other times.



he couple, who were together for around nine months, have called time on their relationship after their busy work schedules kept them apart. Despite the break-up the former couple remain friends. A source told the New York Post newspaper: “It was mutual and amicable.” The 21-year-old singerand-actor only recently praised the 24-year-old actress for putting his “feelings first” and claimed he was very happy in their relationship. In an interview with Details magazine, he said: “I think what works about it with Ashley is she really puts my feelings first. She understands my busy schedule. She’ll fly out to my shows - she’s been to places in South America that I can’t even pronounce.” Joe has previously dated Taylor Swift, Camilla Belle and Demi Lovato. Country singer Taylor claimed he dumped her over the phone, and has previously revealed their split inspired her song ‘Forever & Always’. The 21-year-old musician mocked her ex during an appearance on sketch show ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 2009. While performing a comedy song, she sang the lyrics: “You might think I’d bring up Joe Jonas, that guy who broke up with me on the phone / But I’m not gonna mention him in my monologue. “Hey Joe, I’m doing real well. Tonight, I’m hosting SNL. / But I’m not gonna brag about that in my monologue. La la la. Ha ha ha.”

he 18-year-old actress - who was recently pictured holding hands and kissing the ‘Baby’ hitmaker - did not meet the Canadian heartthrob until his management got in touch to ask to meet. Discussing how long she knew Justin, Selena said: “Uh, almost, like, two years now. His manager called my mom, who’s my manager.” Although neither has yet officially confirmed they are dating each other, Selena “blushed” when asked further about their relationship and said it was “nice” to have him around. She told US TV talk show host David Letterman: “I’m blushing! He’s been in my life

for so long and it’s just nice to have someone that understands what you’re going through.” Selena recently confessed she was “hurt” by Justin’s fans who criticized her via social networking site twitter, but has her fans and family who keep her strong. She said: “It’s hard. It hurts, it really does. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything wrong. I’ve been best friends with him for a very long time. It does hurt my feelings a lot but I try not to focus on it. I have a strong family and great fans.” — Bang Showbiz


Diana’s dressmaker: Kate’s style will be different


nly a handful of insiders know which designer Kate Middleton has chosen to create her top-secret wedding gown, but at least one person - dressmaker Elizabeth Emanuel - understands what that person is going through. The woman who co-designed the taffeta confection that Princess Diana wore in 1981 when she walked down the aisle to marry Prince Charles believes Middleton’s mystery designer is probably more than a bit anxious as the April 29 royal wedding approaches. “I’m sure they are nervous now,” said Emanuel, relaxed and chatty in her central London studio, surrounded by mannequins wearing dramatic handmade wedding gowns. “It’s such a big event, with billions watching, you cannot make mistakes. There is no second chance, it has to be perfect.” Emanuel and her ex-husband David triumphed in their own pressure-packed moment, coming up with a showstopping gown that transformed Diana from a little-known nursery school teacher into a glamorous princess. The dress was groundbreaking for its tight bodice, cinched waist and what seemed like miles and miles of taffeta, silk and lace. Rosemary Harden, director of the Fashion Museum in Bath, England, said the dress set trends throughout the globe. “It definitely set the tone for 15 to 20 years,” said Harden. “It was something everyone remarked upon - it took people’s breath away. It was the archetypal fairy princess dress, with an incredible quantity of beautiful fabric and beautiful silk and that long train.” Harden said the tight bodice, puffed sleeves and very full skirt Diana favored eventually fell out of style as strapless wedding gowns came in - and she believes styles will change again once Middleton’s dress is unveiled. There have been leaks suggesting that Sarah Burton, creative director of the Alexander McQueen house, is designing the dress, but she has denied the reports - though some believe she may be covering up her involvement to maintain secrecy. Middleton, with her long, lean figure, has likely chosen a classic design with some distinctive “edgy” detailing or feature to make the gown memorable, Emanuel predicted. She thinks Middleton may wear her long hair swept up, while other fashion figures have suggested Middleton should let it cascade to her shoulders as it usually does. The designer, whose long career has encompassed making outfits for stage and screen, does not expect Middleton’s dress to resemble Diana’s. The two brides are very different: Diana was still in her teens when she married, and she had not yet plunged into the fashion world. Middleton is 29 and has developed her own style, which emphasizes her slender figure, pale skin, and dark brown hair. Fashions have changed as well, with softer fabrics like tulle and organza more popular in gowns than the stiffer taffeta used in Diana’s dress. There also may be fewer frills, and less volume in the skirt. “It was perfect for the ‘80s, but not for today,” Emanuel said of her most famous work, which is often on public display at Althorp House, Diana’s ancestral home, or touring museums throughout the world. Emanuel thinks Middleton’s designer has moved beyond the planning phase and is now cutting the actual fabric in a nerve-wracking, unforgiving process that can become quite expensive if an error is made and some of the pricey material ruined. Emanuel remembers her own time in the spotlight as a

Designer dressmaker Elizabeth Emmanuel, who designed the wedding gown for the late Princess Diana for her 1981 wedding to Britain’s Prince Charles, talks about the pressures of coping with the commission to design a royal wedding dress. — AP

blur. She and David worked around the clock, even making the bridesmaids’ dresses and backup gowns for emergency use by Diana in case the press discovered the real design ahead of time. They were so worried that something might go wrong that they made an “overskirt” that could be worn on top of the real skirt in case someone accidentally spilled juice or coffee on Diana as she was dressing for the ceremony. There were endless fittings with the incredible shrinking bride - Diana lost so much weight in the weeks before the ceremony that the designers had to make several successively smaller bodices. She had a 23-inch waist by her wedding day. Emanuel, 57, said as the wedding date neared she started to worry that the gown’s 25-foot (7.6-meter) train would separate from the rest of the dress as Diana entered St Paul’s Cathedral. She feared she would be remembered as the woman who designed the dress that fell apart. Emanuel used safety pins, hooks and stitches to secure the train and make sure calamity didn’t strike. “We made a parasol in case it rained,” she said. “Actually two: one ivory, one white, so the umbrella maker wouldn’t know the color of the dress.” Sounds a bit paranoid? Not really. She remembers reporters constantly begging her for information, making up sob stories about how they would be fired if they didn’t find out details about the dress. That was in the quaint, pre-Internet era. Today, Emanuel said, the pressure is even more intense and the need for secrecy even higher because anyone with a camera phone could flummox the palace’s best laid plans if they get a shot of Middleton entering a design salon for a gown fit-

ting. Regardless of the designer, Emanuel believes the fittings are taking place at one of the royal palaces in a secure environment, because the design studios are likely staked out by the ultra-competitive British press. But why hasn’t the name leaked out? Why hasn’t the designer boasted to his or her partner, who told the dentist or the school teacher, with the whispered warning not to pass it on, starting a chain reaction that ends with the designer’s identity on the front page of tabloids? Emanuel said it hasn’t happened because it’s in everyone’s interest to maintain secrecy so that Middleton can surprise fiance Prince William - and the world - on their wedding day. Keeping the design out of the news is an important part of the royal wedding gown commission, she said. “It’s got to be a surprise, that’s the whole thing,” Emanuel said. “Bit by bit, all the details of the wedding are being released, and that’s the last thing, and everyone wants to know.” She had faith that the designer - expected to be British - will engineer a showstopper. “I’m sure it will be a fantastic surprise when she gets out of the car; that’s what everyone’s waiting for,” she said. — AP


Batman’s ‘butler’

Michael Gough dies at 94


ichael Gough, the British actor best known for playing Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred in a series of Batman movies, has died at age 94, his ex-wife said. Gough appeared in more than 150 movies and television shows, including British science-fiction show “Doctor Who,” and recently voiced characters in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “Corpse Bride.” But he remains best remembered for his role as Alfred Pennyworth in the Batman franchise, opposite three different Batmans: Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney. The veteran actor died at home in England Thursday, surrounded by family, his ex-wife Anneke


merican Idol” viewers are saying adios to Karen Rodriguez. The bubbly, bilingual 21-year-old wannabe diva from New York, who crooned Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back” in English and Spanish on the Fox talent competition Wednesday, was revealed Thursday to have received the fewest viewer votes. The judges decided against saving her following a last-chance performance of Mariah Carey’s “Hero.” “It just felt great to at least have that one chance,” Rodriguez said after her swan song. Haley Reinhart, the 20-yearold college student from Wheeling, Illinois, who belted out Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” while smudging her lipstick, and Naima Adedapo, the 26-year-old dance instructor from Milwaukee who delivered a pitchy rendition of Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” joined Rodriguez as the bottom three vote-getters. Before the elimination, the top 12 finalists plowed through a mash-up of Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” The Black Eyed Peas later dedicated a performance of “Just Can’t Get Enough” to their “friends in Japan,” and last year’s “Idol” winner Lee DeWyze offered advice to this season’s brood after singing “Beautiful Like You.” “Just remember why you tried out in the first place,” DeWyze told the contestants. “At the end of the day, no matter when you leave, you still love music, and you’re gonna keep doing it. You guys are fine no matter what happens.” The other remaining finalists are Casey Abrams, 20, of Idyllwild, California; Lauren Alaina, 16, of Rossville, Georgia; James Durbin, 22, of Santa Cruz, California; Stefano Langone, 21, of Kent, Washington; Jacob Lusk, 23, of Compton, California; Scotty McCreery, 17, of Garner, North Carolina; Paul McDonald, 26, of Nashville, Tennessee; Thia Megia, 16, of Mountain House, California; and Pia Toscano, 22, of Howard Beach, New York. — AP

Wills said through her agent. Wills, who herself starred in the “Dr Who,” said in an obituary posted on its website: “As his body was deteriorating this week, he said that he wanted to hang on for St Patrick’s Day. And he did, just. In the end ... there is only love.” Gough starred in “Batman Returns,” directed by Burton in 1992, and “Batman Forever” in 1995 and “Batman and Robin” in 1997, both by Joel Schumacher. — AP

In this 1997 photo originally released by Warner Bros Pictures, Michael Gough portrays Alfred, the trusted butler of Bruce Wayne in a scene from the movie “Batman and Robin.” — AP


he father of teen idol Miley Cyrus is dropping divorce plans, and says he no longer feels that her Disney Channel TV show “Hannah Montana” ripped his family apart. “I dropped the divorce. I wanted to put my family back together,” country singer Billy Ray Cyrus said in an interview to be broadcast Friday on daytime chat show “The View”. Transcripts from the program were released late on Thursday. Cyrus, 49, filed for divorce from his wife Tish in October to end their 17-year marriage. Last month, the “Achy Breaky Heart” singer made headlines by telling GQ magazine that he felt “Hannah Montana” had destroyed his family and blamed the program for sending his daughter out of control. “Hannah Montana” began in 2006 and launched the worldwide career of Miley Cyrus, 18, as a singer and actress. But she has been caught up in a series of scandals in the last year as she tries to move away from her wholesome young image. Billy Ray Cyrus, who played the father to his daughter on the

Disney Channel show, told ABC’s “The View” he wanted to set the record straight. “I love ‘Hannah Montana’. I love Disney. I love our fans who’ve been with us throughout this whole show. This has been an incredible journey. “That didn’t tear my family apart. Now fame, fame is a different animal, now fame you’ve got to be careful with that thing because it can (pause), all things considered, hey, it’s all good,” he added. Cyrus said he had become closer to his wife and daughter in recent weeks, and he sought to clear up a recent photos that appeared to show Miley drunk outside a Los Angeles restaurant. Cyrus said Miley told him she had stumbled because of the glare of paparazzi camera flashes. “She said, most importantly, ‘I wasn’t drinking. I wasn’t drunk. I was just trying to get into my car after a meeting’,” he said. — Reuters

Shakira, Brazilian prez pledge to help kids


olombian singer Shakira and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff are pledging to improve the welfare of children in Brazil. Shakira met with Rousseff for about 20 minutes Thursday in front of reporters in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia prior to a scheduled concert. The two discussed the work of Shakira’s Alas Foundation, which promotes early-childhood development in Latin America. The singer gave Rousseff a guitar after the meeting. Before coming to Brazil, Shakira inaugurated 20 childhood development centers in Argentina. She has said she has plans to do similar work in Panama and Mexico. - AP

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff (left) receives an autographed guitar from Colombian singer Shakira at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday March 17, 2011. — AP


Country singer Ferlin Husky dies at 85 C

ountry music great Ferlin Husky, a pioneer in both the hard-twang Bakersfield and lushly produced Nashville sounds who scored his biggest hit with the ballad “Gone,” died on Thursday at age 85. “Gone,” which spent 10 weeks at the top of the country charts in 1957 and reached No 4 as a pop hit, was easily the most requested song of Husky’s half-century-plus career as a performer. The Flat River, Missouri, native died at his daughter’s home in Westmoreland, Tennessee, about an hour north of Nashville. He had a history of heart problems and most recently had been hospitalized for congestive heart failure. It had been a long decline, and Husky surprised many when he attended the ceremony for his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame last May. He showed up connected to an oxygen tankhe jokingly referred to it as his “own airline” at the ceremonies-and was helped to his feet so his old friend Charley Pride could hang his Hall of Fame Medallion around his neck. “I want to thank everybody who had anything to do with bringing me into this group, the people I’ve admired since I was a little child,” he said during the ceremony. But at the time, the country singer reckoned he would never make it into the Hall because voters might have forgotten him. “Some of the people that vote are so young...I figured they thought Ferlin Husky was some kind of a disease,” he told the Tennessean country music writer Peter Cooper.

A true showman At the height of his career, in the 1950s and ‘60s, Husky was considered unmatched as a country music showman. “There were a lot of years when nobody in the business could follow Ferlin Husky,” fellow star Merle Haggard once said of him. “He was the big live act of the day. A great entertainer.” Other hits besides “Gone” included his version of the gospel song “Wings of a Dove,” which spent 10 weeks at the top of the country charts in 1960. His last No 1, “Wings,” spent nine months on the country charts and also was a pop hit. Husky was best known for being in the vocal vanguard of the Nashville sound, a smooth, richly textured form of country music developed by producers Chet Atkins and Owen Bradley in an attempt to expand the music’s appeal. Husky’s 1957 version of “Gone” was one of the recordings “considered to be the birth of the Nashville sound,” said country historian Eddie Stubbs, host of the Grand Ole Opry radio program. An earlier version of “Gone” had been cut by Husky in 1952 in California, where he settled for a time after World War Two and recorded under the name of Terry Preston, becoming a pioneering force in the raw-edged Bakersfield sound. “The birth of the bright, treble, twang-sound guitar that so many people associate with the Bakersfield sound and with Buck Owens and Merle Haggard can be traced back to Ferlin Husky,” said Stubbs, noting that Husky played lead guitar on Tommy

Reid to join Simon Cowell’s ‘X-Factor’


In this image musician Gene Simmons of KISS, donates his famous Punisher bass guitar to Hard Rock Cafe at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood during a news conference, Thursday, March 17, 2011 in Hollywood, Fla. The guitar will be added to the property’s legendary memorabilia collection. — AP

usic executive Antonio “L A” Reid stepped down from his job at Island Def Jam Music on Thursday and was widely reported to be headed for a judging job at upcoming TV talent show “The X-Factor”, Reid, 54, who helped Justin Bieber, Usher and Pink become stars, resigned as chairman of the Island Def Jam record label, telling staff in a memo leaked to the media that he was looking forward “with much enthusiasm to what the future holds.” Reid’s resignation came a day after The Hollywood Reporter said the music producer would be joining Simon Cowell as one of four judges on the US version of “The X-Factor.” Entertainment industry website Deadline Hollywood reported that Latin singer Enrique Iglesias had been approached to host the singing talent show when it makes its US debut on Fox in the fall of 2011. Fox, the network behind the show, declined to comment on the reports. The acerbic Cowell, who quit “American Idol” last year to work on bringing his “X-Factor” to US television, is offering a $5 million prize to the winner of the new show. Cowell has said in recent weeks that his old “American Idol” sparring partner Paula Abdul is on his shortlist for a place on the program, in which judges will take a leading role in mentoring contestants.—Reuters

Collins’ “You Gotta Have a License” in the early 1950s. In addition to his hits as Preston and Husky, the musician also performed under comic alterego, Simon Crum, who had his own contract and hits. — AP

Ferlin Husky


ollywood has made plenty of disaster movies, but the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan is no fiction and the entertainment industry has responded to the dire situation there with generosity. Oscar winner Sandra Bullock became the latest to join the cause when the American Red Cross said on Thursday that she had given $1 million to help victims of the disaster in Japan. Several other celebrities and Hollywood studios have also pledged support to the nation. Charlie Sheen, the embattled Hollywood bad boy, is donating $1 per ticket for all his upcoming live stage shows to the Red Cross. Pop star Lady Gaga designed a bracelet for Japan relief and within 48 hours it raised $250,000, with sales ongoing. Singer Katy Perry is donating sales of glow sticks on her concert

British pop singer Seal performs in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday March 17, 2011. — AP

tour to Red Cross relief in Japan. Earlier this week, the Walt Disney Co donated $2.5 million to the American Red Cross for humanitarian efforts in Japan, and it also said it would match employee donations up to a total of $1 million. The Warner Bros studio has pledged DVD and Blu-ray sales of its movie “Hereafter” to Red Cross efforts in Japan. The donation by Bullock stands out as one of the biggest donations by a single Hollywood star. The American Red Cross, which earlier this week announced an initial contribution of $10 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society, said it was “extremely grateful” to Bullock and her family for the gift. — Reuters


Japan Society exhibit says goodbye to Hello Kitty I

n a catalog essay for a new exhibition at the Japan Society, curator David Elliott talks about a pervasive anxiety in Japanese culture. He links it to Japan’s history as the only nation to endure an atomic bombing and to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, which makes the archipelago susceptible at any time to a devastating earthquake. Elliott’s words could not have been more prescient as Japan struggles to recover from the March 11 earthquake, now

measured at 9.0, that triggered a catastrophic tsunami and the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. Despite the tragedy, the Japan Society, which is leading a fundraising drive for victims of the earthquake, proceeded with plans Thursday to open the exhibition and announced that half the proceeds of ticket sales will go for disaster relief. “Bye Bye Kitty!!!” showcases the work of a younger generation of Japanese artists who reject the childlike, “cute” aesthetic of contemporary Japanese pop culture, exemplified by comic books (manga), animation (anime) and the ubiquitous white cat of Hello Kitty merchandise. New Yorkers may be familiar with one of the artists in the show: Makoto Aida, whose work struck a raw nerve in post-9/11 New York. It was with a piece from 1996, included in a 2003 show at the Whitney Museum, showing Japanese fighter planes bombing midtown Manhattan. This exhibition features three of his works, including a beautiful, 23-foot (7-meter)-wide painting appearing to depict mountains rising out of the mist, in the tradition of Chinese landscape painting. But closer inspection reveals that the mountain is composed of meticulously drawn and painted corpses of salarymen (Japan’s “new” middle-class workers) draped over their office furniture. If the painting, titled “Ash Color Mountains,” stands as a critique of Japan’s conformist corporate culture, then “Harakiri School Girls,” showing seductive schoolgirls in leg warmers ecstatically disemboweling themselves, is a sardonic take on the ritual suicide associated with the samurai code of honor. Nature, and the destructive effect humans have on the natural world, is another recurring motif in the show. Inspired by the delicate patterns of leaf veins, sculptor Tomoko Shioyasu made a stunning, room-size membrane of cut paper that casts giant shadows on the wall behind it. Akira Yamaguchi’s meticulous ink and watercolor drawings of Narita Airport depict the concrete, commercial behemoth outside Tokyo through beautiful golden clouds of toxic smog.

In this publicity image released by the Japan Society, a work by Makoto Aida, “Harakiri School Girls,” part of an exhibition called “Bye Bye Kitty!!!” at New York’s Japan Society, is shown. — AP



E M., “Collapse Into Now” (Warner Bros) The fifteenth studio album from R.E.M. finds the band at turns combative and mellow. The opening song, “Discoverer,” could have been a bonus track on “Accelerate.” It’s all hard-driving guitars and that classic Stipe growl. With ten of the dozen tracks under four minutes, “All The Best” follows quickly with a challenge to the younger generation: “I think I’ll sing in a rhyme/I’ll give it one more time/I’ll show the kids how to do it fine, fine, fine.” The album then hits its stride with a quartet of contemplative songs: “UBerlin,” “Oh My Heart,” “It Happened Today” and “Every Day is Yours to Win.” This is the R.E.M. mainstream audiences love. Stipe’s lyrics are sung poetry over

the top of Peter Buck’s simple chords. The biggest misfire is the final track, “Blue.” Patti Smith’s guest vocal is mostly lost amid Stipe’s monotone reading of a poem. Diehard R.E.M. fans may deconstruct it for meaning, but at more than five minutes it literally stops the momentum of an otherwise well-balanced album. Check out this track: “It Happened Today” features Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder backing up Stipe during the chorus before they together belt out a wordless harmony in a song that would be fun to see performed live. Alas, R.E.M. says they don’t plan to tour behind this album. — AP

A work by Akira Yamaguchi, “Narita International Airport: Various Curious Scenes of Airplanes,” is pictured. — AP

One of the most arresting works is Kohei Nawa’s “PixCell Deer,” a taxidermy animal covered with a grotesque, yet beautiful skin of different-sized, transparent glass globes. These shimmering beads act like a magnifying lens, reflecting the hide of the animal underneath and the people, lights and movement in the gallery. Elliott says that with this show, he wanted to say goodbye to Hello Kitty and show “an adult view of life.” He deserves credit for bringing difficult, at times unsettling, work by a largely unknown group of artists to these shores. The show opened yesterday and closes June 12 in New York City. It will not travel. — AP



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Booted Texas beauty queen in court


dethroned Texas beauty queen suing for a shot to enter the Miss America pageant had to listen as her former pageant handler told jurors the size-2 teen gained enough weight to ruin a bikini photo shoot and didn’t follow through on obligations. Domonique Ramirez could respond on the witness stand as early as yesterday when testimony resumes in her trial - the 17-yearold’s last shot at reclaiming her Miss San Antonio sash. Ramirez claims pageant organizers ousted her in January, after she was harassed about her weight and told to “get off the tacos.” Ramirez wants her crown restored so she can compete for Miss Texas, and if she wins there, Miss America. The head of the Miss San Antonio pageant told jurors Thursday that Ramirez was no beauty queen when it came to her actions. Linda Woods, president

Touring juggernaut Chesney on the road again


enny Chesney isn’t happy with what he’s seeing on the video screen. He’s been watching it while singing a song during a rehearsal for his “Goin’ Coastal” tour and it just doesn’t snap. He gives instructions over the sound system to personnel at the back of the warehouse space where Chesney and his crew have been at it for several weeks. “I want the picture to change every time he hits the snare drum BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP!” he says while air hammering an imaginary kit. A little later, his seven-piece band stumbles a bit and Chesney tells the group, “We’ve got to get that intro down.” He worries over what he’s going to say to the crowd at certain key moments, crafting and discarding drafts as he goes. “I’m glad you’re here. You can help me with this,” he tells a small group of record label executives and media. This is Chesney in lock-down mode. With just a few rehearsals left till his tour kicks off Thursday in West Palm Beach, Florida, Chesney was agonizing over every detail. “There’s a lot of mixed emotions for me right now because I’m for the first time seeing everything we’ve worked so hard on come together,” Chesney said. “And I’m very happy about that. But on the other hand it’s not all together yet so it’s the thing that keeps me up at night when I’m preparing to do this.” The attention to detail is what has made Kenny Chesney one of the most bankable acts in the touring business, regardless of genre. Since 1999, Pollstar figures show he has sold more than 8.8 million tickets and grossed more than $460 million. Only the Dave Matthews Band has sold more tickets over the last decade and only Matthews and Celine Dion have grossed more.—AP

of the Miss Bexar County Organization, testified that Ramirez gained enough weight that publicity photos of the teenager in a bikini were rendered “unusable.” Woods, however, said it wasn’t adding a few inches to her figure that cost the 5-foot-8, 129-pound college student her crown. “Domonique is not fat by any stretch of the imagination. She’s a beautiful girl,” Woods testified. She said the teen violated her contract by being chronically late for events or not showing up, not writing thank-you notes for gifts, and embarrassing the pageant board by turning down vocal coaching from an opera singer. Ramirez also modeled in a wedding dress without permission, and Woods said the pageant felt that wasn’t the right image for a 17year-old. Former pageant executive director Glynda Coyle said she

Journalist takes readers back to future Review


h, the 1980s. Those carefree years spent spinning the gears of Rubik’s Cubes, popping Pac-Man cartridges into Atari consoles, slipping on legwarmers or parachute pants, and checking out the latest episodes of “Family Ties,” “Diff’rent Strokes” or “Knight Rider.” That’s one remembrance. Here’s David Sirota’s: Those carefree years spent sitting idly and naively by as a cabal of ill-willed corporate leviathans and backward-looking governmental decision-makers put their stamp on a society whose seemingly innocuous, kitschy pop culture masked a me-first, militaristic outlook that is having negative ramifications in the 21st century. Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Sirota? It’s an oversimplification of Sirota’s thesis, but the journalist and radio host’s book, “Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now - Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything,” is indeed about what he sees as a return to 1980s-style themes and mindset in today’s society. Look no further, Sirota says, than the “greed is good” ethos of “Wall Street” villain Gordon Gekko playing itself out in the massive swindle by Bernie Madoff. Or, he says, witness President George W Bush swooping down on an aircraft carrier “Top Gun”-style to proclaim victory in his dogfight against a squadron of Soviet warplanes - er - the Iraqi army. “Now today, almost every major cultural touchstone is rooted in the 1980s - whether obviously or subtly,” Sirota writes. “Back to Our Future” is thought-provoking and worth reading - if, that is, you’re willing to suspend a little disbelief. Let’s say for the sake of argument that the 1980s are making a comeback. How, then, is that any different than the 1970s channeling their inner ‘50s in the form of “Happy Days,” “Grease” or Richard Nixon? American culture is cyclical, and history tends to repeat itself regardless


Kenny Chesney

suggested only once that Ramirez lose weight. “The only thing I suggested to her, is that she might want to try to lose an inch in her hip,” she said, “but because she is who she is, I said we can pad the top part to make you more symmetrical.” Ashley Dixon, who was runner-up to Ramirez, was crowned Miss San Antonio last month after a judge refused Ramirez’s efforts to obtain a temporary injunction stopping the pageant from naming a new winner. — AP

of place. Of course, the events and attitudes of the 1980s are having an impact in 2011. The same could be said about the 1960s, 1970s or 1990s, for that matter. Still, Sirota’s book is a fun, engaging read if not taken too seriously. After all, the guy spends paragraphs wondering why average citizens could track down “The A-Team,” yet the US Army couldn’t, and debating the merits of the Statue of Liberty-as-movable-object ending of “Ghostbusters II.”— AP

imon Pegg and Nick Frost are clever and endearing fellows. So one could easily expect the British duo of the zombie comedy “Shaun of the Dead” and the cop buddy riff “Hot Fuzz” to make their alien-meets-lads comedy “Paul” an out-ofthis-world ride. Alas, it is not to be. There are chuckles, even some deep guffaws, as sci-fi guys and comic book creators Clive Gollings and Graeme Wily hook up with a real alien by the name of, well, you know. But in the end - as well as the middle and maybe even at the outset - “Paul” is more often a close encounter of the middling kind. Seth Rogen provides the wisecracking voice of the green pintsize alien with the huge blue eyes. Paul crashed in America’s desert Southwest in 1947. Since then, he’s been the guest of a clandestine government operation. One thing is clear from Rogen’s turn: As Paul schooled his hosts, he also picked up the kind of crass habits that require an R rating. Too often “Paul” penned by Pegg and Frost - unfolds like one long string of inside jokes. Of course, a huge portion of the audience will be in on the gags. After all, pop culture’s material on alien-human interaction is vast. —AP




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fter years of (often shirtless) fun both on and off screen, Matthew McConaughey is donning a suit and digging back into drama. His most recent credits include starting a family with girlfriend Camila Alves. They have a 1-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son, Vida and Levi. Before that, McConaughey was on a comedy run, with roles in “Fool’s Gold,” “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” and “Tropic Thunder.” He also played the shirtless, shoeless lead in a little indie called “Surfer, Dude.” Now, the 41-year-old actor is suiting up for the courtroom, playing opposite Ryan Phillippe and Marisa Tomei in the legal thriller “The Lincoln Lawyer,” which opens Friday. The role is something of a homecoming for McConaughey, whose turn as an idealistic young lawyer in 1996’s “A Time to Kill” marked his big-screen breakthrough, introducing the handsome Texan to moviegoers as a new leading man. And it goes back further than that - McConaughey also wanted to study law as a University of Texas student. “That’s probably instinctually why I feel comfortable jumping into these kinds of shoes,” says McConaughey, his real-life size-10s up on a sofa at the Four Seasons hotel. “I love the world. Ideally, I love the scale of justice, guilt and innocence and right and wrong. And then realistically, I’ve learned to love this game they play.” McConaughey plays Mick Haller, a savvy defense attorney who operates out of the back of his chauffeur-driven Lincoln Town Car. He mostly serves street-level criminals, until he’s hired to defend a rich playboy accused of domestic violence. McConaughey first found the script, based on the novel by Michael Connelly, several years ago. After some revisions, it came back around and the actor hopped on board. “It was exactly what I was looking for at the time,” he says, explaining that lately he’s been drawn away from romantic comedies into more dramatic

roles. “It’s not really a conscious decision. I’m just naturally turned on by this kind of story and this kind of character now,” he says. “And it’s fun. It’s different.” Incidentally, it was one of McConaughey’s comedic roles that convinced Connelly the actor could take on his roadworthy attorney. “I feel like I was ahead of the game, because long before he was involved, I thought that he could play this part pretty well,” says the author, who appreciated McConaughey’s performance in “Tropic Thunder” as “the kind of slippery, sleazy” Hollywood agent. “We went to that movie and I leaned over to my wife and said he would be a good Mickey Haller,” Connelly says. “It was at least a year later that I heard that he was Mickey Haller.” McConaughey was ready for a meaty drama. After logging his share of romantic comedies - he also counts “The Wedding Planner,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Failure to Launch” among his credits - he understands the “buoyancy” they require. It’s a challenge all its own, he says, to maintain the “hyper reality” of those movies. “In a funny way, there’s more acting to do in the rom-coms,” he says. “The work is to keep them light.” But McConaughey welcomes the depth and intensity that dramas allow him. “You can hit as hard as you want. You can love as hard as you want. You can be in as much pain and hurt as much as it really hurts,” he says. “The ceiling and the floor of how hard or how much to do something, the width is so much more vast.” Romantic comedies still have something to say, but “you can’t hit that hard, because we all know we’re getting together in the end,” McConaughey says. —AP

Matthew McConaughey

Ne-Yo has No 1 movie but deals with poor CD sales


Indian Bollywood actress Sarah Jain displays a creation by Indian designer Joyti Narula during the final day of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011 in Mumbai. — AFP

A six months pregnant, Ivanka Trump, launches her footwear collection at Macy’s, in New York, Thursday, March 17, 2011. — AP

e-Yo’s first three albums were Grammy Award-nominated, platinum successes. His latest effort, “Libra Scale,” could still be up for a Grammy next year, but it’s miles away from reaching platinum status. Since its November release, the disc has sold only 277,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks music sales. The CD’s singles - “Beautiful Monster,” “Champagne Life” and “One In a Million” - failed to crack the Top 40. Ne-Yo says when recording “Libra Scale,” he focused more on the music videos instead of dedicating time to the songs. “It’s just that I didn’t get to pay as much attention to the music as I normally would because I was so focused on the story line that the album is based off of,” said Ne-Yo, who co-directed the video clips with Wayne Isham. “There was so much energy put into that, that when it came time to put the music together, you know, for one there wasn’t as much time and for two there wasn’t as much energy.” But Ne-Yo, who stars in the country’s No 1 movie, said the musical concept was a chance for him to take a risk - and he’s OK with the outcome. “‘Libra Scale’ was my opportunity to do some things I’ve never done before,” he said. “There are so many firsts (and) I think that had a lot to do with why the album came out the way it did, and I’m not in any way saying that I think the album is bad. I don’t think the album’s bad at all, I think it’s a pretty solid album. ... Some people got (and understood) it. Some people didn’t. The majority of people didn’t.” The 31-year-old hit songwriter says he’s already begun work on a new album, to be released in September. “I’m stepping back to where it’s just about the

music,” he said. “I’m going to let it be just about that, and you determine your own story from there.” Ne-Yo appears in the alien invasion sci-fi film “Battle: Los Angeles,” which hit No 1 at the box office over weekend with a $35.6 million debut. He filmed the movie over the summer, when he also was working on “Libra Scale.” “You know I was kind of back and forth with (both projects),” he said. “It’s almost impossible to take the amount of focus to shoot a film like this and the amount of focus it takes to put an album together and do them at the same time. ... I won’t say that was why the ‘Libra Scale’ album didn’t do as well as I expected it to, but I will say it had a lot to do with me not being able to pay as much attention to the process of putting together the ‘Libra Scale’ album, you know, because my focus was absolutely in another place in regards to this film.” Ne-Yo said he was mainly attracted to the role in “Battle: LA,” about a Marine platoon fighting aliens intent on colonizing Earth, because it didn’t require him to use his musical talents. But that didn’t come without challenges. “The cool thing about a lot of the actors is that everybody kind of wanted to do their own stunts,” said Ne-Yo, who plays Cpl Kevin Harris in the movie. “Everybody wanted to get in there and get their hands dirty to a fault. I did my own stunts, and I’ve got the bruises and slipped disc to prove it.” — AP



The death of the iPod M

onday lunchtime at the world’s largest Apple Store in London’s Covent Garden and Georgina Evans, visiting from Bath for a day’s shopping, is trying to score some cred points with her daughter Emily. “I want to see how competent I am,” she says, jabbing the screen of an iPhone 4. “Put it down,” tuts her husband, Andrew. “You’re not.” Across the cavernous chambers of the Grade II-listed building similar human-technology interactions are taking place. At other tables, as in any of Apple’s 300-plus stores worldwide, tourists check their emails and update their Facebook pages. Like everything else Apple does, its store layouts are ruthlessly designed. Pricey laptops and desktops by the door to lure you in, then iPads, then iPhones, then iPod Touches. The only table not occupied by a small cluster of people prodding, touching and fondling the technology is right at the back, in the store’s depths. It’s the table with the iPods on it. The iPod Classic, as the famous scrollwheel design is now known, hasn’t been updated now since September 2009, with a modest capacity jump from 120GB to 160GB. On the Apple Online Store, shipping times have slipped from 24 hours to 1-3 days. Across the US, several major retailers have reported short supplies, leading to speculation the device may soon be discontinued. It didn’t even warrant a mention at Apple’s annual Developers Conference in 2010. “The iPod’s essentially finished, give or take,” says Dr Alice Enders, a former senior economist at the World Trade Organisation who now reports on global music markets for media consultancy Enders Analysis. “Sales have been in decline for some time. The converged media device is the way forward.” In other words: the iPhone, the iPod Touch and the iPad devices that the iPod paved the way for, devices that have helped push Apple’s latest profits to a record-breaking $20bn. If the iPod now finds itself as the least-loved of the company’s shiny portable devices, you get

The assembled media probably figured that was just as well. Apple’s most recent computer, the G4 Cube, had failed to match the success of its iMac - the candycoloured, egg-shaped machine that had transformed the desktop computer from functional grey workstation to translucent object of desire. And even its appeal was dwindling. Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, who had recently returned to the company after being dismissed as the head of the Mac division in 1985, had failed to appreciate quite how important downloading would become to the online generation. The “i” in iMac was supposed to stand for “internet”, but the first models had no slot drives users had no way of burning their own CDs or DVDs. Given that almost 30m PCs were sold with this capability during 2000, Apple

It’s 10 years since Apple’s original iPod shuffled on to the scene, changing the way we listen to and buy music for good. But could it soon be time to hang up our white headphones? the sense Apple is probably OK with that. iPod turns ten The iPod is 10 this year. Developed during spring 2001 and brought to market in just eight months, the circumstances surrounding its launch were hardly auspicious. For a start, it debuted days after 9/11. The press launch promised “the unveiling of a breakthrough device”, the only other information on the invitations from Apple’s Silicon Valley HQ was some small print along the bottom: “Hint: It’s Not a Mac.”

had missed a trick. Along with other companies associated with the dotcom bubble, its stock was on the slide. “When I joined Apple, the company was in decline,” Jonathan Ive, senior vice-president of industrial design and the man who would help revolutionise the business, has said. “It seemed to have lost what would become a very clear sense of identity and purpose.” New digital ecosystem Nevertheless, the launch saw Jobs mak-

ing great play of Apple’s “digital hub” strategy. He envisaged the Mac as the centre of a new digital ecosystem, a place where we would soon come to plug in all manner of wonderful new devices. The first of these turned out to be something of a surprise. With no previous experience in music, Apple announced it was launching an MP3 player. “Why music?” Jobs asked. “Well, we love music, and it’s always good to do something you love.” He suggested music was something that touched everyone. “It’s a large target market. It knows no boundaries. And there is no market leader. No one had really found the recipe yet for digital music.” Apple’s iPod would hold 1,000 songs, could be recharged within an hour and would cost $399. “Do you remember what it was like when you got your first Walkman?” asked the singer Seal, who alongside other musicians appeared behind Jobs on a giant video screen. “‘Wow! I want to carry this wherever I go.’” Others were less convinced. Apple’s MP3 player was neither the first nor the cheapest nor the largest capacity device on the market. At that point it was only compatible with Macs - the majority of people used PCs. What’s more, it had a silly name. Technology bloggers soon decided iPod must stand for “Idiots Price Our Devices”, “I Pretend It’s An Original Device” or “I’d Prefer Owning Disks”. But within five years, via its iTunes Store, Apple would go on to become the number one music provider in the world - all but taking over the music business. After the introduction of iTunes video in 2007, it would quickly become the world’s most popular video store. Now, in 2011, Apple is set to become the world’s most valuable company full stop, overtaking the current leader, oil multinational ExxonMobil. Apple has changed the way we think about technology and design, the way we shop, the way we consume media and the way we interact with each other. Via the

iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad it has opened up doors for other methods of technology to come into our lives. None of that would have happened without the iPod. “It was the first cultural icon of the 21st century,” says Dr Michael Bull, a lecturer in media and film at the University Of Sussex, where his studies on the sociology around the MP3 player have earned him the sobriquet “Professor iPod”. “It was the first MP3 player that really worked. With the earlier ones you had to get down on your knees and pray to get a bit of music out of them. And it became symbolic of the way people like to move around in cities. It fitted the desire for a technological freedom, whereby you moved to your own soundscape. Roland Barthes argued that, in medieval society, cathedrals were the iconic form. Then by the 1950s it had become the car - the CitroÎn DS. I argue that 50 years later it was the iPod, this technology that let you fit your whole world in your pocket. It was representative of a key moment in the social world of the 21st century.” “Apple got the consumer experience right from the start,” says Enders. “In 2004 they started introducing smaller iPod variants [the iPod Mini, the iPod Nano] that dramatically increased its penetration.” But the real key to Apple’s success wasn’t so much the iPod, but iTunes. Track the company’s share price and it starts heading skywards in 2003, right after the introduction of the iTunes Store. “They made life as simple as possible,” Enders says. “Payment issues are a major stumbling block with all ecommerce. Amazon has patented its so-called ‘1-click’ ordering but iTunes does it so much better.” It is usually assumed the iPod was dreamed up by Jobs and Ive. But this isn’t quite right. Before there were any MP3 players, there were MP3s: invented in 1987 by a group of German scientists looking for a way to shrink video files so that they would be easier to use on computers. —Guardian



EMC’s anti-hacking division hacked SAN FRANCISCO: The breach is an embarrassment for EMC Corp, also a premier security vendor, and potentially threatens highly sensitive computer systems. The incident is a rare public acknowledgement by a security company that its internal anti-hacking technologies have been hacked. It is especially troubling because the technology sold by EMC’s security division, RSA, plays an important role in making sure unauthorized people aren’t allowed to log into heavily guarded networks. The scope of the attack wasn’t immediately known, but the potential fallout could be widespread. RSA’s customers include the military, governments, various banks and medical facilities and health insurance outfits. EMC, which is based Hopkinton, Mass., itself is an RSA customer. EMC said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that RSA was the victim of what is known as an “advanced persistent threat,” industry jargon for a sophisticated computer attack. The term is often associated with corporate espionage, nation-state attacks, or high-level cybercriminal gangs. EMC didn’t offer clues about the suspected origin of the attack. It said it recently discovered an “extremely sophisticated” attack in progress against its networks and discovered that the infiltrators had made off with confidential data on RSA’s SecurID products. The technology underpins the ubiquitous RSA-branded keychain “dongles” and other products that blanket important computer networks with an additional layer of protection. The products make it harder for someone to break into a computer even if a password is stolen, for example. The RSA device, working in concert with back-end software, generates an additional password that only the holder of the device would know. But if a criminal can figure out how those additional passwords are generated, the system is at risk. RSA is one of the best-known names for this type of “two-factor authentication” technology. RSA declined to comment on what type, or how much, information was stolen. Richard Stiennon, a security analyst with the ITHarvest firm, said there would be “tremendous repercussions” if the criminals were able to silently tap into critical systems using the stolen information. “You’d never have a sign that you’ve been breached,” he said. In its SEC filing, RSA said that it is “confident that the information extracted does not enable a successful direct attack on any of our RSA SecurID customers.” However, it warned that “this information could potentially be used to reduce the effectiveness of a current two-factor authentication implementation as part of a broader attack.” “We have no evidence that customer security related to other RSA products has been similarly impacted,” said the company’s executive chairman, Art Coviello. “We are also confident that no other EMC products were impacted by this attack. It is important to note that we do not believe that either customer or employee personally identifiable information was compromised as a result of this incident.” The company said it is providing “immediate remediation steps” for customers. It didn’t specify what those are. It outlined some generic security tips that offer clues about how its customers might be targeted with the information stolen from RSA, such as closely monitoring the use of social networking websites by people with access to critical networks and the need to educate employees on the danger of clicking on links or attachments in suspicious emails. EMC said it doesn’t expect the breach to have a meaningful impact on its financial results. Its shares slipped 8 cents to $25.58 in extended trading Thursday. They ended the regular session up 25 cents at $25.56. —AP

Toshiba, Hitachi halt LCD production in Japan Disruptions could spill over into global supply chains Toshiba Corp said an assembly line in Japan making small liquid crystal displays would be closed for a month, and PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd voiced worries over parts, highlighting the threat to global supply chains from Japan’s devastating earthquake. Hitachi Ltd also said production of small LCDs will be halted at its factory near Tokyo for a month as it deals with damage and power outages stemming from last week’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake. The closures are the latest in a series of plant shutdowns by Japanese companies following the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear fallout threat, which threaten supplies of everything from semiconductors to car parts to manufacturers across the globe. Any lengthy disruptions to regional production networks could spill over into global supply chains, potentially putting a dent in corporate profits and economic growth more broadly-wor-

ries over which have been reflected in falls in global share prices. Toshiba’s assembly line at a plant near Tokyo making LCDs for smartphones and other devices will be closed to repair sensitive equipment knocked out of alignment by the quake, a Toshiba spokeswoman said on Thursday. Another plant in Japan making small displays was undamaged, she said. The Toshiba plant supplies the mobile phone industry and auto makers for navigation displays, and its two factories including the one still operating account for about 5 percent of the global small LCD display market, said Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities in Japan. “Given that car production in Japan is down anyway, a one-month stop in production may not be as problematic as it might seem,” Thong said. “However, given that the market for smartphones outside Japan is pretty active, supply disruptions there

could cause problems for some handset makers of some models.” Toshiba shares, down over 30 percent this week, closed 0.9 percent weaker on Thursday. Toshiba is a sprawling conglomerate that also made some of the reactors at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, north of Tokyo. Chipmaker Maxim Integrated Products and Lenovo, the world’s No.4 personal computer brand, joined a growing list of companies in a range of industries warning of disruptions to their production. “In the short term there won’t be much impact. We are more worried about the impact in the next quarter,” Lenovo Chief Executive Yang Yuanqing told reporters in Shanghai on Thursday. Sunnyvale, California-based Maxim, which makes widely-used analog chips, said a power outage has affected its Seiko Epson partner plant in Sakata and that it is shifting production to other facilities. —Reuters

China closes 130,000 Internet cafes as it seeks more control China shut down more than 130,000 illegal Internet cafes in the country over a six year period, as part of crackdown to control the market, according to a new Chinese government report. Internet cafes in China are highly regulated by the government, which can issue and revoke their licenses. Authorities have made it illegal for Internet cafes to serve minors under the age of 18, stating that the Web’s content could endanger their well-being. Last April, the Ministry of Culture issued new rules declaring that Internet cafes would be closed down if they were found admitting minors. The Ministry of Culture said it will make the report public in a month’s time. But in statements made to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, the ministry said it is continuing to promote Internet cafe chains, while enforcing rules to stop the establishment of independently run Internet cafes. The ministry also plans on instituting harsher penalties for Internet cafes found admitting minors. “Promoting Internet cafe chains allows the government to have more control,” said Yu Yi, an analyst with Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. “The Internet cafe chains all adhere to the same standards on service and security.” Around a third of China’s Internet population surfs the Web from Internet cafes. The Ministry of Culture said the number of Internet cafe users in China reached 163 million in 2010. The country’s total Internet population stands at

457 million users. There are currently 144,000 Internet cafes in China, according to the ministry, and close to 30 percent of them are operated by chain businesses. China has invested

heavily in systems to control how users access information on the Web. Sites or content deemed too politically sensitive are blocked or taken down by government censors. —PCworld

CHIBA: In this Sept 29, 2010 file photo, a visitor operates a Nintendo 3DS featuring 3-D imagery during a press conference by Nintendo Co. Nintendo Corp has warned that the 3-D screen on its new 3DS handheld game device shouldn’t be used by children 6 or younger because it may harm their immature vision. —AP

TV listings


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Untamed And Uncut Wild Dog Island Dogs 101 Austin Stevens Adventures Whale Wars Buggin’ With Ruud Untamed And Uncut Dogs 101 Meerkat Manor Monkey Business Monkey Business Michaela’s Animal Road Trip Pandamonium Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Animal Precinct Wildlife SOS E-Vets: The Interns Animal Cops Phoenix Wildest Africa Cell Dogs Cell Dogs Cell Dogs Cell Dogs Orangutan Island Orangutan Island Pit Bulls And Parolees I’m Alive

00:35 2 Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps 01:05 Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show 01:25 Ideal 01:55 The Weakest Link 02:40 Doctors 03:10 Ideal 03:40 Green Green Grass 04:40 Balamory 05:00 Tweenies 05:20 The Roly Mo Show 05:35 Spot’s Musical Adventures 05:40 Little Robots 05:50 Buzz And Tell 05:55 Penelope K, By The Way 06:10 Balamory 06:30 Tweenies 06:50 The Roly Mo Show 07:05 Spot’s Musical Adventures 07:10 Little Robots 07:20 Buzz And Tell 07:25 Penelope K, By The Way 07:40 Balamory 08:00 Tweenies 08:20 The Roly Mo Show 08:35 Spot’s Musical Adventures 08:40 Little Robots 08:50 Buzz And Tell 08:55 Penelope K, By The Way 09:10 Balamory 09:30 Tweenies 09:50 The Roly Mo Show 10:05 Spot’s Musical Adventures 10:10 Little Robots 10:20 Buzz And Tell 10:25 Penelope K, By The Way 10:40 Green Green Grass 11:40 Doctor Who 12:25 Doctor Who Confidential 12:40 Mutual Friends 13:30 Eastenders 15:30 The Weakest Link 16:15 After You’ve Gone 16:45 The Weakest Link 17:30 Doctor Who 18:15 Doctor Who Confidential 18:30 Mutual Friends 19:20 Holby City 21:00 Doctor Who 21:50 Doctor Who Confidential 22:00 My Family 22:30 My Family 23:00 2 Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps 23:30 Ideal

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

Cash In The Attic Daily Cooks Challenge Antiques Roadshow Fantasy Homes By The Sea Cash In The Attic Daily Cooks Challenge Antiques Roadshow Daily Cooks Challenge Design Star Fantasy Homes By The Sea Cash In The Attic USA Fantasy Homes By The Sea Design Star Fantasy Homes By The Sea


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Daredevils Dirty Jobs Fifth Gear Fifth Gear Really Big Things Mythbusters How Does It Work How It’s Made Dirty Jobs American Chopper Chop Shop: London Garage Street Customs Berlin Mythbusters I Could Do That I Could Do That Time Warp Mythbusters American Chopper: Senior vs Battle Machine Bros Mega Builders Built From Disaster X-Machines How It’s Made Storm Chasers American Loggers Ultimate Survival Man vs Fish With Matt Watson Extreme Fishing Sharkbite Summer Aircrash Confidential

00:40 Building The Biggest 01:30 The Gadget Show 01:55 Futurecar

02:45 Sci-Fi Science 03:35 Weird Or What? 04:25 How Does That Work? 04:50 Junkyard Mega-Wars 05:45 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 06:40 Patent Bending 07:10 Perfect Disaster 08:00 Weird Or What? 08:55 Brainiac 09:50 Space Pioneer 10:45 Race To Mars 14:15 Mars: The Quest For Life 15:05 Stephen Hawking’s Universe 15:55 Patent Bending 16:20 The Gadget Show 17:10 Space Pioneer 18:00 Bad Universe 18:50 Sci-Fi Science 19:40 The Future Of... 20:30 How Stuff Works 21:20 Engineered

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00:15 Kendra

00:00 Fight Girls 00:50 M1 Selection 2010 01:40 Winter X Games 14 2010 02:30 World Combat League 03:20 Fight Girls 04:10 M1 Selection 2010 05:00 FIM World Motocross Mx1/Mx2... 06:40 World Combat League 07:30 iEX 2009 09:00 Drop In TV 10:40 FIM World Supermoto 2010 12:20 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 13:10 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 14:00 X Games 16 2010 14:50 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 15:15 Ride Guide Snow 2009 15:40 FIM World Motocross Mx3 Championships... 17:20 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 18:10 BMX Megatour 19:00 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 19:25 Ride Guide Snow 2009 19:50 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 20:40 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 21:30 X Games 16 2010 22:20 BMX Megatour 23:10 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 23:35 Ride Guide Snow 2009

00:40 Good Eats - Special 01:05 Unwrapped 01:30 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 01:55 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 02:20 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 02:45 Chopped 03:35 Good Eats - Special 04:25 Food Network Challenge 05:15 Good Eats - Special 05:40 Unwrapped 06:05 Ten Dollar Dinners 06:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 06:50 Paula’s Party 07:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 08:00 Chopped 08:50 Guy’s Big Bite 09:15 Boy Meets Grill 09:40 Good Deal With Dave Lieberman 10:05 Ten Dollar Dinners 10:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 10:55 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 11:20 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 11:45 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 12:10 Unwrapped 12:35 Paula’s Party

13:25 Good Eats - Special 13:50 Paula’s Best Dishes 14:15 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 14:40 Ultimate Recipe Showdown 15:30 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 15:55 Unwrapped 16:20 Boy Meets Grill 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Paula’s Best Dishes 18:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:25 Good Deal With Dave Lieberman 18:50 Ten Dollar Dinners 19:15 Paula’s Party 20:05 Good Eats - Special 20:30 Food Network Challenge 21:20 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 22:10 Food Network Challenge 23:00 Chopped 23:50 Ultimate Recipe Showdown

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

00:00 World’s Deadliest 01:00 Caught In The Act 02:00 The Kawaii Wild 03:00 The Living Edens 04:00 Predator CSI 05:00 The Pack 06:00 The Megafalls Of Iguacu 07:00 Shark Men 08:00 Malaysia’s Most Wanted Animals 09:00 Meat Lovers 10:00 Restless Planet 11:00 My Life Is A Zoo 12:00 Wild Nights 13:00 The Lion Ranger 14:00 Monkey Thieves 15:00 Monkey Thieves 16:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 16:30 Wild Freaks 17:00 Predator CSI 18:00 The Lion Ranger 19:00 Monkey Thieves 20:00 Monkey Thieves 21:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 21:30 Wild Freaks 22:00 Restless Planet 23:00 Wild Nights

00:00 The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations-PG15 02:00 X-Men Origins: WolverinePG15 04:00 Jennifer’s Body-18 06:00 The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor-PG 08:00 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-PG15 10:00 The Marine 2-PG15 12:00 The Sum Of All Fears-PG15 14:00 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-PG15 16:00 A Knight’s Tale-PG15 18:15 The Sum Of All Fears-PG15 20:15 Universal Soldier: Regeneration-PG15 22:00 Wild Things: Foursome

TV listings


01:30 While She Was Out-18 03:30 The Last Station-PG15 05:30 Car Babes-PG15 07:00 Chatterbox-PG 09:00 Whip It-PG15 11:00 Car Babes-PG15 13:00 The Invention Of Lying-PG15 15:00 Old Dogs-PG 17:00 17 Again-PG15 19:00 The Informant!-PG15 21:00 Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant-PG15 23:00 Staten Island-PG15

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 American Dad 02:00 Outsourced 02:30 The Office 03:00 Nut Case 03:30 Weeds 04:00 American Dad 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 Outsourced 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 Outsourced 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Family Biz 18:30 10 Things I Hate About You 19:00 Melissa And Joey 19:30 The Office 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report

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

The Ellen Degeneres Show American Idol Survivor: Redemption No Ordinary Family Lie To Me Good Morning America One Tree Hill Downsize Me The Bachelor The View Lie To Me American Idol Survivor: Redemption The Bachelor Live Good Morning America One Tree Hill The Ellen Degeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Persons Unknown The Event 24 Justified One Tree Hill

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00

House American Idol Royal Pains Survivor: Redemption No Ordinary Family House The Ellen Degeneres Show 8 Simple Rules ... Two And A Half Men Friday Night Lights House The Ellen Degeneres Show

11:00 8 Simple Rules ... 11:30 Two And A Half Men 12:00 American Idol 13:00 Survivor: Redemption 14:00 Friday Night Lights 15:00 House 16:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 16:30 Coronation Street 17:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 18:00 Friday Night Lights 19:00 Persons Unknown 20:00 The Event 21:00 24 22:00 Boardwalk Empire 23:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show

01:00 Psycho-18 03:00 The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day-18 05:00 The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations-PG15 07:00 Messengers-PG15 09:00 Appaloosa-PG15 11:00 The Fan-PG15 13:00 Polar Storm-PG15 15:00 Appaloosa-PG15 17:00 New Town Killers-PG15 19:00 The Tournament-1821:00 Wild Things: Foursome 23:00 El Muerto-PG15

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00

My One And Only-PG15 Rock Slyde-PG15 Mama’s Boy-PG15 Blank Check-FAM Moon Over Parador-PG15 Jack-PG15 Management-PG15 Before You Say I Do-PG15 My One And Only-PG15

18:00 Death Becomes Her-PG15 20:00 French And Saunders Still Alive-PG15 22:00 Aim Low: The Very Best Of Dylan Moran-PG15

01:00 Keeping The Faith-PG15 03:30 Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs-FAM 05:00 Jonas Brothers Concert-PG 07:00 Everybody’s Fine-PG15 09:00 Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs-PG 11:00 Surrogates-PG15 13:00 Cutting Edge 3-PG15 15:00 Mr. Deeds-PG 17:00 Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs-PG 18:30 You Don’t Know Jack-PG15

00:00 Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs Wakko’s Wakko-PG 02:00 G-Force-PG 04:00 Winx: Secret Of The Lost Kingdom-PG 06:15 Pocahontas II-FAM 08:00 Scruff A Christmas Tale-FAM 10:00 G-Force-PG 12:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By The SeaFAM 14:00 Winx: Secret Of The Lost Kingdom-PG 16:00 Pollyworld-FAM 18:00 Tom And Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes-FAM 20:00 Christopher’s Dream-FAM 22:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By The SeaFAM

01:00 Super 15

03:00 05:00 07:00 07:30 09:30 11:30 13:30 15:30 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 23:00

01:30 02:30 04:30 05:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 09:00 09:30 11:30 13:30 14:30 15:00 19:00 20:15 20:45 21:15 23:30

Super 15 Super League Total Rugby Live Super 15 Live Super 15 Live Super 15 Live NRL Premiership Total Rugby Live Anglo Welsh Cup Live Super 15 Live Super 15 Trans World Sport Anglo Welsh Cup

The All Sports Show Trans World Sport Futbol Mundial The All Sports Show European Tour Weekly ICC Cricket World Trans World Sport The All Sports Show NRL Full Time Live NRL Premiership Live NRL Premiership Trans World Sport European Tour Weekly Live PGA European Tour Trans World Sport Futbol Mundial Total Rugby Live Super League PGA European Tour

02:00 WWE Bottom Line 03:00 WWE NXT 04:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 05:00 UFC 128 Countdown 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 Live V8 Supercars Championship


09:00 10:00 11:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 17:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 23:00

WWE Bottom Line WWE NXT WWE SmackDown WWE Vintage Collection UFC 128 Countdown Live Scottish Premier League WWE Vintage Collection Live Scottish Premier League V8 Supercars Championship UFC 128 Countdown UFC The Ultimate Fighter

00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:30 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 13:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 17:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 Dixon 22:30 23:00 23:30

News, Sport, Weather News, Sport, Weather Sky News At Ten Sky News At Ten Sky News Tonight Press Preview Sky Midnight News Cbs News News On The Hour News, Sport, Weather News On The Hour News, Sport, Weather News On The Hour News, Sport, Weather News On The Hour News, Sport, Weather News On The Hour Cbs News Sunrise Saturday Live Saturday Sport Weeekend Lunchtime Weekend Lunchtime News, Sport, Weather Live At Five Sky News At Six Sky News At Seven With Steve

00:50 04:00 06:00 08:00 09:35 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 19:40 21:20 23:00

Ryan’s Daughter-PG15 The Night Of The Iguana Castaway-PG15 Black Legion-PG Till The Clouds Roll By-FAM Never So Few-PG The Dresser-PG The Yellow Rolls-Royce-PG The Liquidator-PG Manpower-PG The Wizard Of Oz-PG Tempest-PG15

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

The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets Declassified Battle Of Tripoli Hitler And Stalin: Roots Of Evil Night Of The Long Knives Gestapo The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets Declassified Battle Of Tripoli Hitler And Stalin: Roots Of Evil Night Of The Long Knives Gestapo The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets Declassified Battle Of Tripoli Hitler And Stalin: Roots Of Evil Night Of The Long Knives Gestapo The Universe Dead Men’s Secrets Declassified Battle Of Tripoli

00:00 01:00 02:00 02:30 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 09:00

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

Sportsline News, Sport, Weather News, Sport, Weather

10:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 21:00 22:00 22:30 23:00

Big Boutique Fashion Avenue Bridalplasty How Do I Look? Married Away: Italian Wedding Fashion Avenue The Dish Jerseylicious

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

Top New Playlist New Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Top Gossip Playlist Top Money Playlist R&B 10 Playlist Monthly Top Playlist Club 10 Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Focus Guest Star

00:00 Globe Trekker 01:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 02:00 Globe Trekker 03:00 Word Travels 03:30 Wild At Heart 04:00 Four Men And A Lady 04:30 Raiders Of The Lost Snow 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 07:00 Spring 07:30 Great Scenic Railways-Us And Canada 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Spring 09:30 Travel Today 10:00 Exotic Lives 11:00 Planet Food 12:00 Food Tripper 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 Australia’s Great Wildlife Islands 15:00 Essential 15:30 Spring 16:00 Planet Food 17:00 Globe Trekker 18:00 Tall Ship Explorers 19:00 Food Tripper 20:00 Globe Trekker 21:00 Travel 360 22:00 Globe Trekker

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



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What’s On SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2011

Forum held


tate attorney’s lawyer at the fatwa and legislation department Najlaa Al-Naqi, honored the deputy chairman of the cassation court that tried Saddam Hussein, judge Munir Haddad, who sentenced him to death. The forum also honored the captain Hussein Al-Jazaf who came up with the one million flowers to the Amir idea. Forum guests expressed their appreciation to those who love Kuwait including Dr Ayed Al-Manna, historian Farhan Al-Farhan and lawyer Adel Qarban.


ACBSP awards accreditation to AUK’s business division



ishing you a very happy birthday Anirudh! May God shower you with all the happiness of the universe. We wish you all the best from the bottom of our hearts for a bright future. From Amma , Appa, Pavithra, Adhitya, Chithappa, Chitthi, uncles, aunties, Dhiwa, Raju, Ken,Luka, Rugved and Ruthuja.

he Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Board of Commissioners has awarded the American University of Kuwait accreditation for its business programs. ACBSP accreditation certifies that the reaching and learning processes within the Business & Economics Division of the American University of Kuwait meet the rigorous educational standards established by ACBSP. “American University of Kuwait has shown a commitment to teaching excellence and to the process of quality improvement by participating in the accreditation process,” said ACBSP Director of Accreditation Steve Parscale, who will present the Certificate of Initial Accreditation at the ACBSP Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 26, 2011. “This accreditation is evidence that American University of Kuwait is committed to providing the highest quality business education for their students.” AUK President Dr Winfred Thompson said, “I congratulate the division of business and economics on this achievement. It is a significant step forward as we strive to attain international recognition of Our programs. We are pleased to join the ACBSP in its continuing effort to improve the quality of business education.” ACBSP is a leading specialized accreditation association, for business education supporting, celebrating, and rewarding reaching excellence. Established in 1988, ACBSP is the only business accrediting organization for all associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degree programs. In 2001, ACBSP was recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

ACBSP Region 8 Representative, Bruce Stetar said, “We are pleased to have AUK among our family of accredited institutions, they ate opening a new chapter by ensuring that their programs meet the highest standards. This is the first step in a long process of being committed to better quality education for days to come, and for the future. This is what the ACBSP tries to do, help business programs achieve this goal.” Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr Nizar Hamzeh added, “The value of this accreditation embodies not only the acceptance of the B&E Division to the membership of reputable business schools and programs but also in recognizing the Business programs as professional programs blended with the tradition of liberal arts education. These wouldn’t have come true had it not been for the hard work and commitment invested by the faculty and staff of the 13&E Division, the Dean’s Office of Arts and Sciences and the University at large.” Business and Economics Division Head Dr Mohsen Bagnied said, “This confirms the commitment of the Business and Economic Division to continuous improvement to ensure that our program ranks among the highest quality business schools in the World.” ACBSP continues to grow, having recently added its ninth region to better serve member institutions in Latin. Central and South America. There are currently more than 825 members, including 134 institutions from outside the United States. ACBSP member institutions represent 44 different countries.



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What’s On SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2011

Embassy Information EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH he Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait has taken up an initiative to update the database of Bangladesh nationals residing in the State of Kuwait. For inclusion in the database all the Bangladesh nationals are requested to collect the Registration Form from the Labour Wing of the Embassy. The forms can also be collected sending request to e-mail address. The filled-in forms can also be submitted by hand, by email or by fax (number 2491-3204).


Interschool Talawate-Quran competition


nternational School of Pakistan, Khaitan was fortunate enough to organize the Award Giving Ceremony for the Inter School Quran Competition on February 16, 2011. The Chief Guest for this auspicious occasion was the Minister of Legal Affairs, Justice and Aouqaf - Rashed Al Hammad who was represented by Yousuf shoaib, the Supervisor Jaliat Islamlyat Masjid Al Kabir. The various other dignitaries included Jasim Al-Misbah, the Head of Islamic Studies for Private Education, inspectors, the teachers from all the participating institutions along with the position holders. The ceremony started with the recitation of the Holy Quran by Husnain Ejaz from Grade 8. The esteemed Principal of ISP Anjum Masood presented a welcome note and thus began the distribution of prizes and certificates to the top three position holders among all the Pakistani, Indian and Iranian Schools in Kuwait. Besides the 127 prize winning students, ISP very proudly presented shields to the Chief Guest, Yousuf Shoaib, Jasim AlMisbah and to all the eminent guests including Abdullah Rashid Al-Hufaiti - Owner of ISP, Nadia Al Hufaiti - the Director of ISP, Anjum Masood - the Principal of ISP and all the Section In-charges. The Islamic Studies Teachers were awarded with certificates for their untiring efforts. At the end Abdullah Rashid Al-Hufaiti, Madam Nadia Al Hufaiti and Anjum Masood thanked all the participants for gracing the occasion. Thus, the ceremony ended up with a luncheon for all the guests.

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Daíaiyah. Please visit our website at Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. Embassy of India would like to inform that application forms for passport/visa services and labor contracts that are on its website,, have been upgraded to include the facility for online data entry. Affidavit forms on the embassy website have had this facility since May 6, 2009.



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health & science


European life expectancy rising despite obesity LONDON: Life expectancy in Europe is continuing to increase despite an obesity epidemic, with people in Britain reaching an older age than those living in the United States, according to study of trends over the last 40 years. In a report in International Journal of Epidemiology, population health expert David Leon of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said the findings counteract concerns that the rising life expectancy trend in wealthy nations may be coming to an end in the face of health problems caused by widespread levels of obesity. They also suggest that simple factors like how rich a nation is and how much it spends on health care do not necessarily correlate with its people’s lifespans. Despite spending more per head on health care than any other country in the world,

life expectancy in the United States is at the same level as the lowest of any Western European country- Portugal for men and Denmark for women-and the rate for women is increasing at a much slower pace than Western Europe. In 2007, life expectancy in the United States was 78 years, compared to 80 in Britain, Leon noted. “This simple observation once again underlines that GDP and health-care expenditure per capita are not good predictors of population health within high income countries,” he wrote. The report said that one of the most important contributors to the continued general upward trend in life expectancy had been the decline in deaths from heart disease. Cardiovascular diseases, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other fatal events, are the leading cause of death worldwide, killing around 17.1

million people a year, according to the World health Organisation (WHO). Leon’s report said deaths from heart disease in Britain had seen some of the largest and most rapid falls of any Western European country, “partly due to improvements in treatment as well as reductions in smoking and other risk factors”. Within Europe, Leon pointed to a sharp contrast in life expectancy between east and west as the former communist bloc struggles to catch up with its longer-living neighbours. Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, life expectancy has been rising in countries of central Europe such as Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, but as this has been at similar rates to Western Europe, the two halves of the continent have been following parallel trajectories, he said, making the eastwest gap “very difficult to eliminate”. —Reuters

WHO: Radiation risk from Japan remains localized Japan passengers, cargo screened for radiation

This image released by NASA shows an enhanced photo image of Mercury from its Messenger probe’s 2008 flyby of the planet. NASA says it was a taste of pictures likely to come after March 17, 2011, when the probe enters Mercury’s orbit. — AP

US advisers back ban on menthol cigarettes SILVER SPRING: Banning sales of menthol-flavored cigarettes would improve public health, U.S. advisers have concluded in a draft report released yesterday. “Removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would benefit public health in the United States,” said Dr. Mark Clanton of the American Cancer Society in summarizing the panel’s findings. The committee was debating the findings before sending a final report to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA will consider the advisers’ views as it decides whether to ban or otherwise limit menthol. Any curbs would be a severe blow to top menthol maker Lorillard Inc, which sells the Newport brand. — Reuters

BEIJING: The World Health Organization offered reassurances yesterday that the radiation risk from Japan’s nuclear crisis remains highly localized, with no sign it threatens anywhere else in Asia. “To date, we don’t have any information of a significant spread of radioactive material beyond the evacuation zone,” said Michael O’Leary, head of WHO in China. “At present, we still understand it’s very confined. That’s why there’s an evacuation zone around the nuclear reactor itself.” Workers are fighting to cool the overheating reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant in northeast Japan critically damaged by last week’s earthquake and tsunami. The zone within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the plant has been evacuated, while people within 20 miles (30 kilometers) were told to stay indoors. Health experts say there is little risk beyond that, including in the capital of Tokyo, 140 miles (220 kilometers) away. Still, China and other neighboring countries increased monitoring of radiation levels, and fears of radioactive contamination have prompted panic-buying across China of iodized salt. Shoppers in Beijing, Shanghai and other parts of China have stripped supermarket shelves empty of table salt in recent days in the false belief that it either wards off radiation injuries or that the nation’s supply would be contaminated by radioactive fallout. Experts have said the first rumor is not true and the second is unlikely: any catastrophe at the Japanese nuclear plant would most likely affect the immediate area, and wind patterns usually blow away from China at this time of year. The rumors are part of a swirl of misinformation regarding Japan’s nuclear emergency. China Central Television reported yesterday that China’s salt makers have 2 million tons of salt in reserves

FUKUSHIMA: Mother and daughter receive radiation exposure scanning in Fukushima, northern Japan yesterday, one week after a massive earthquake and tsunami. — AP

and have stepped up production as the government seeks to control rampant sales. “The panic buying at such a large scale tests our coordination and distribution abilities, but we have confidence we can resume the normal supply to the market within 2 weeks,” Dong Yongsheng, deputy general manager of China National Salt Industry Company, told CCTV. Beijing started a seven-day inspection on table salt prices. Those found to have illegally hiked prices will be punished, the city government said. The National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center reported late Thursday that air and seawater levels in China are not under immediate threat. Ocean and wind currents are moving east, so any contaminants would be pushed into the Pacific Ocean, the forecasting center said in a

statement. China lies to the west of Japan. China said it was providing 30 million yuan ($4.6 million) worth of humanitarian assistance - along with delivering 10 tons of bottled water Thursday at the request of the Japanese government, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Earlier this week, the first batch of Chinese relief supplies — blankets, tents and emergency lights — arrived. The Department of Homeland Security is screening passengers and cargo entering the United States from Japan for “even a blip of radiation,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday. Customs and Border Protection said there have been reports of radiation being detected from some cargo arriving from Japan at several airports. — Agencies

Exeperince & excellence

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information SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2011



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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

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ACCOMMODATION Single room available, central A/C, for working ladies, very near to Al-Salam hospital, Bneid Al-Gar from April 2011, please contact: 97879611. (C 3203) Room available with attached bath in 2 bedroom apartment in Qurtaiba street, Hawally, rent KD 85. Call 55753797. (C 3201)

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MISCELLANEOUS Executive Srilankan working in a company needs good quality meals. Please call 97263962 for details. (C 3202) 19-3-2011

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CHANGE OF NAME I have changed my name from Salim Mehboob Shaikh to SALIM MEHBOOB NAIKWADI, and fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name is Mehboob Ali Naikwadi. As per gazette no. X17039 Dt. 2nd Jan 2003. (C 3200) I, Vasanthada Nani Ratna Dev Ambedkar S/O V

Devadanam, Passport No. F0684149, have changed my name to NASIR AHMAD. (C 3199) 19-3-2011 I, Benedicta Alzira Natividade Gracias, holder of Indian Passport # J1328410 like to change my spouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name from Joseph Franklin Fernandes to Jose Francklin Anthony Fernandes. (C 3190)

MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited for Christian girl 23 years of ancient Orthodox family in central Travancore from God fearing parents of professionally qualified boys. Contact: (C 3191) 15-3-2011


2 6 1


Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday始s Solution

ACROSS 1. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 4. Place a value on. 10. Experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness. 13. An ugly evil-looking old woman. 14. Someone who takes spoils or plunder (as in war). 15. (informal) Of the highest quality. 16. Hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitressin) and also by nerve endings in the hypothalamus. 17. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin. 19. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 21. (Sumerian and Akkadian) A demon personifying death. 23. (in Gnosticism) A divine power or nature emanating from the Supreme Being and playing various roles in the operation of the universe. 26. The production of eggs (especially in birds). 27. Having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude. 30. Water frozen in the solid state. 31. A high-crowned black cap (usually made of felt or sheepskin) worn by men in Turkey and Iran and the Caucasus. 37. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 38. A Turkish unit of weight equal to about 2.75 pounds. 42. (Irish) Mother of the Tuatha De Danann. 44. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 45. A heavy brittle metallic element of the platinum group. 46. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 50. In a stingy manner. 54. A short labored intake of breath with the mouth open. 57. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 58. Bearing or marked with a label or tag. 61. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 62. The use of nuclear magnetic resonance of protons to produce proton density images. 63. A large fleet. 64. A light touch or stroke. 65. A lyric poem with complex stanza forms. 66. United States newspaper publisher whose introduction of large headlines and sensational reporting changed American journalism (18631951). 67. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 2. A quantity of no importance. 3. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 4. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 5. United States anarchist (born in Italy) who with Bartolomeo Vanzetti was convicted of murder and in spite of world-wide protest was executed (1891-1927). 6. Estrangement from god. 7. Any place of complete bliss and delight and peace. 8. A town in east central Missouri. 9. A soft silver-white or yellowish metallic element of the alkali metal group. 10. East Indian tree yielding a resin used medicinally and burned as incense.

11. Fruit of the oak tree. 12. Locate and correct errors in a computer program code. 18. An infection of the sebaceous gland of the eyelid. 20. An inhabitant of Lappland. 22. (British) A waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. 24. The 7th letter of the Greek alphabet. 25. A soft gray ductile metallic element used in alloys. 28. An informal term for a father. 29. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause). 32. A heavy odorless colorless gas formed during respiration and by the decomposition of organic substances. 33. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 34. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 35. The residue that remains when something is burned. 36. Large brownish-green New Zealand parrot. 39. Preaching the gospel of Christ in the manner of the early church. 40. A resource. 41. (informal) Exceptionally good. 43. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 47. Great brightness. 48. In such a manner as could not be otherwise. 49. (Irish) Chief god of the Tuatha De Danann. 51. Not easy. 52. A member of an Iroquoian people formerly living on the south shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania and western New York. 53. A major god. 54. A heavy odorless colorless gas formed during respiration and by the decomposition of organic substances. 55. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 56. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 59. Primitive predaceous North American fish covered with hard scales and having long jaws with needle-like teeth. 60. An audiotape recording of sound.

Yesterday始s Solution



Knicks rout Grizzlies Rose, Deng power Bulls past Nets NEW YORK: Toney Douglas shot a sparkling 29-point haul off the bench to help the New York Knicks set a franchise record for three-pointers in their 120-99 rout of the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday. The second-year guard Douglas also tied the franchise’s individual three-point record, his ninth successful shot landing with 17 seconds to play and handing the Knicks (35-32) their record-setting 20th for the night. “The dude at the scorer’s table just said, ‘Hit one more three.’ I was like, ‘Huh?’ I didn’t really realise it would tie the (individual) record,” Douglas told reporters. “He just said to hit one more three, but I didn’t really pay any mind. I was just playing my game and taking what the defense gave me.” Douglas’s shooting masterclass allowed the Knicks to hold on to sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a half-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers. Carmelo Anthony added 28 points while Chauncey Billups finished with 18 points and eight assists for New York in his best performance since returning from a thigh injury earlier this week. The Grizzlies (37-32) trailed for most of the match and fell 18 behind after three quarters as their hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference was trimmed to just one game. Mike Conley scored 16 points and had six assists. Zach Randolph put in 14 in the loss, Memphis’s third in four games. New York shot seven three-pointers in the third quarter to keep the Grizzlies at bay. “We tried to play zone and we tried to go a little smaller, but they’re a very talented team and nothing worked for us the two times that we played them,” said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins. Bulls 84, Nets 73 At Newark, New Jersey, Derrick

NEWARK: Chicago Bulls’ Omer Asik, of Turkey, is fouled by New Jersey Nets’ Kris Humphries (right) as Nets’ Sundiata Gaines (left) helps out during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Thursday, March 17, 2011. — AP

Rose scored 21 points as Chicago extended its longest winning streak in six years to eight games. Luol Deng added 19 points for the Bulls (49-18), who took a half-game lead over idle Boston in the race for the best record in the Eastern Conference. Rookie Omer Asik added 11 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. The Nets rallied in the fourth quarter but Kyle Korver had seven of his 12 in the final period, helping the Bulls hold on. Brook Lopez scored 22 points for New Jersey, which had won five straight for its longest winning streak in the last three years. Kris Humphries added 13 points and 16 rebounds, and Deron Williams had 11 assists, but Rose controlled

him on defense, limiting him to five points on 1-of-12 shooting. Trail Blazers 111, Cavaliers 70 At Portland, Oregon, LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 11 rebounds before heading to the sideline late in the third quarter as Portland routed Cleveland. Portland led by as many as 44 points while easily surpassing its largest margin of victory this season. Gerald Wallace added 17 points for the Blazers, who had 29 assists compared to Cleveland’s total of six. The Cavaliers, with the league’s worst record at 1354, made just 21 shots from the floor in shooting 35.6 percent. Ramon Sessions had 14 points. — Agencies

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Thursday. Chicago 84, New Jersey 73; NY Knicks 120, Memphis 99; Portland 111, Cleveland 70.

Boston NY Knicks Philadelphia New Jersey Toronto

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L 48 18 35 32 35 33 22 44 18 49

PCT .727 .522 .515 .333 .269

Western Conference Northwest Division 44 23 41 27 39 29 36 33 17 52

.657 .603 .574 .522 .246

3.5 5.5 9 28

GB 13.5 14 26 30.5

Oklahoma City Denver Portland Utah Minnesota

Pacific Division 48 20 33 33 30 38 26 43 16 50

.706 .500 .441 .377 .242

14 18 22.5 31

Southwest Division 54 13 48 20 40 30 37 32 35 34

.806 .706 .571 .536 .507

6.5 15.5 18 20

Chicago Indiana Milwaukee Detroit Cleveland

Central Division 49 18 29 39 26 41 24 44 13 54

.731 .426 .388 .353 .194

20.5 23 25.5 36

LA Lakers Phoenix Golden State LA Clippers Sacramento

Miami Orlando Atlanta Charlotte Washington

Southeast Division 46 22 43 26 39 29 28 39 16 50

.676 .623 .574 .418 .242

3.5 7 17.5 29

San Antonio Dallas New Orleans Memphis Houston

Ted Ligety wins World Cup giant slalom title LENZERHEIDE: Ted Ligety of the United States won the World Cup giant slalom title yesterday, adding to the world championships gold medal he earned last month. Ligety completed a season sweep of titles in his specialist event when the final World Cup GS race was cancelled by poor weather and snow conditions. “Having accomplished both of these things is pretty awesome,” Ligety said. “I definitely wanted to get the medal. And you’re always wanting to go for the season’s title because it’s a better indicator of your skiing.” Ligety won his third World Cup crystal globe trophy in four years, beating Phil Mahre’s US men’s record of two giant slalom titles in 1982 and ‘83. “Winning titles is a big deal. These are the things you are remembered by and a measure of your consistency,” Ligety said. His eight career GS race wins in the World Cup trails teammate Bode Miller, the 2004 discipline champion, who has nine. Ligety led the standings all season long after reeling off a three-win streak in the first completed races at Beaver Creek, Colorado; Val d’Isere, France; and Alta Badia, Italy. He was also third, trailing by just 0.12 seconds, at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia in the last of six races. Ligety dominated in many races with a clean, aggressive style of skiing. In Alta Badia, he knocked Olympic champion Carlo Janka out of the leader’s box with a run that had the Swiss racer visibly astonished at the American’s time. “I was definitely happy with the way I won it this year,” Ligety said. “Last year, I didn’t feel like I skied all that amazingly. This time I skied the way I wanted to.” He arrived at World Cup finals week 77 points ahead of Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, needing to finish 11th or better to seal the title. Race officials called it off at 7 am local time (0600 GMT) after struggling with persistent rain and warm temperatures. Ligety was sleeping when he received news of his title from US men’s ski team head coach Sasha Rearick. “I woke up to a text from Sasha - then rolled over and went back to sleep. The coaches then asked me to come down for a little champagne,” he said. World Cup organizers were still trying to run yesterday’s scheduled women’s slalom that could be decisive in the race for the overall title. Threetime defending champion Lindsey Vonn of the US holds a slender 27-point lead on Germany’s Maria Riesch with just the slalom and Saturday’s giant slalom left to race. The slalom was set for two runs through the same gate setting to avoid churning the fragile race surface by setting a different course for the second leg. — AP

LENZERHEIDE: Ted Ligety of US shows his trophy of the alpine ski, men’s World Cup giant slalom discipline title, at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide yesterday. — AP



LOS ANGELES: St Louis Blues right wing Matt D’Agostini (left) tries to score on Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, March 17, 2011. — AP

Canadiens overcome Lightning Stubborn Senators dent Devils’ playoff hopes MONTREAL: Montreal’s Carey Price made three big saves in the shootout to give the Canadiens a vital 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL on Wednesday. Price sprawled to the ice to poke-check the puck away from NHL goal leader Steven Stamkos and then turned aside Martin St. Louis’ 360degree turn attempt. After Simon Gagne scored on Tampa Bay’s third attempt to extend the shootout, Michael Cammalleri snapped a shot past Dwayne Roloson. Price then stopped Teddy Purcell’s deke with a glove save to secure the win. Price stopped 35 shots, and Brian Gionta and Andrei Kostitsyn had goals in regulation for sixthplace Montreal, which has 85 points - three fewer than fifth-place Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Senators 3, Devils 1 In Ottawa, Chris Neil scored two third-period goals to help Ottawa beat New Jersey for the second time in nine days. The Devils are six points behind eighth-placed Buffalo for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Ryan Shannon also scored for the Senators. Brian Rolston scored for the Devils. Predators 4, Bruins 3, OT In Nashville, Shea Weber scored a powerplay goal with 1:23 left in overtime to lift Nashville past Boston. Steven Kampfer was penalized for holding to set up the power play. Weber scored off a pass from Ryan Suter and Nashville won for the first time in overtime this season. Nashville’s David Legwand tied it at 10:56 of the third period. Colin Wilson and Sergei Kostitsyn each had a goal and an assist for the Predators. Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and David Krejci also scored for Boston. Stars 5, Blackhawks 0 In Dallas, Jamie Benn extended his point streak to nine games with a goal and an assist that helped Dallas rout Chicago. Kari Lehtonen made 23 saves for his 16th NHL shutout, while Steve Ott, Brenden Morrow, Jason Williams and Brandon Segal added goals for the Stars.

Red Wings 2, Blue Jackets 0 In Columbus, recently recalled goalie Joey MacDonald made 37 saves for only his second NHL shutout as Detroit downed Columbus. Drew Miller and Valtteri Filppula scored firstperiod goals for the Red Wings, who won their fourth in a row to give Mike Babcock his 300th win with Detroit. He is the third NHL coach to win 300 games with a team over a six-season span, joining Montreal’s Scotty Bowman (321) and Edmonton’s Glen Sather (307). MacDonald joined the team on Wednesday while Chris Osgood continues to rehab from hernia surgery. He preserved the shutout with a late goal-line glove save that withstood a video

review. The Blue Jackets have lost nine of 10. Sharks 3, Wild 2 In San Jose, Patrick Marleau got a fortunate bounce on his tiebreaking, power-play goal early in the third period and San Jose went on to beat Minnesota. Logan Couture and Jamal Mayers also scored for the Sharks, who stayed atop the tight Pacific Division standings. John Madden and Kyle Brodziak scored for Minnesota, which finished an 0-4 road trip that put a severe dent into their playoff hopes. Thrashers 4, Flyers 3, SO In Atlanta, Rob Schremp and Blake Wheeler scored in the shootout to give Atlanta victory over Philadelphia after squandering three leads. The Thrashers closed within four points

NHL results/standings Results and standings from the NHL games on Thursday. Atlanta 4, Philadelphia 3 (So); Detroit 2, Columbus 0; Montreal 3, Tampa Bay 2 (SO); Ottawa 3, New Jersey 1; Florida 4, Toronto 0; Nashville 4, Boston 3 (OT); Dallas 5, Chicago 0; Calgary 5, Colorado 2; Phoenix 3, Edmonton 1; St. Louis 4, Los Angeles 0; San Jose 3, Minnesota 2. Western Conference Eastern Conference Central Division Atlantic Division Detroit 43 20 8232 201 94 W LOTL GF GA PTS Chicago 38 25 8232 201 84 Philadelphia 43 19 8 225188 94 Nashville 36 25 10183 168 82 Pittsburgh 41 22 8206 172 90 Columbus 32 28 10190 211 74 NY Rangers 37 30 4 204174 78 St. Louis 32 30 9198 209 73 New Jersey 33 33 4151 179 70 Northwest Division NY Islanders 27 33 11197 227 65 Vancouver 47 16 9237 169 103 Northeast Division Calgary 37 27 9 222209 83 Boston 39 21 10211 170 88 Minnesota 35 29 7180 191 77 Colorado 26 36 8 195248 60 Montreal 39 25 7189 178 85 Edmonton 23 39 9173 234 55 Buffalo 34 28 8203 202 76 Pacific Division Toronto 31 31 10187 223 72 San Jose 41 23 8206 188 90 Ottawa 26 36 9161 221 61 Phoenix 38 23 11209 204 87 Southeast Division Los Angeles 40 26 5 196174 85 Washington 41 21 10195 176 92 Dallas 38 25 8201 199 84 Tampa Bay 39 22 10212 214 88 Anaheim 38 27 5197 203 81 Carolina 32 29 10198 212 74 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one Atlanta 30 29 12200 230 72 point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L). Florida 29 33 9179 194 67

of eighth-placed Buffalo in the playoff race with their second win in six days over the Eastern Conference-leading Flyers. Atlanta will face Buffalo today. Danny Briere scored two goals, including a tying shot with 1:17 left in regulation for the Flyers. Blues 4, Kings 0 In Los Angeles, Jaroslav Halak stopped 17 shots for his 14th NHL shutout as St. Louis had a surprisingly easy win over Los Angeles. Matt D’Agostini had his third career two-goal game for St Louis, which swept Los Angeles in four games this season. The loss, which snapped a four-game winning streak by the Kings, dropped them from fourth to fifth in the tight Western Conference. The Blues, 10 points behind eighth-place Calgary, are likely to miss the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. Alex Pietrangelo and TJ Oshie also scored for St Louis. Flames 5, Avalanche 2 In Calgary, Jarome Iginla scored two goals as Calgary sent Colorado to its 10th straight loss. Rene Bourque and Alex Kotalik had a goal and an assist each for the Flames, who snapped a three-game losing streak and moved back into eighth place in the Western Conference. Mark Giordano also scored for Calgary. Mark Olver and Cody McLeod had goals for the Avalanche. Coyotes 3, Oilers 1 In Edmonton, Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata each had a goal and an assist as Phoenix beat Edmonton for its fourth straight win. Lee Stempniak also scored for the Coyotes. Magnus Paajarvi scored for the Oilers who have lost five straight and are last in the NHL. Panthers 4, Maple Leafs 0 In Sunrise, Florida, Sergei Samsonov and Stephen Weiss each had a goal and an assist in Florida’s win over Toronto. Scott Clemmensen stopped 24 shots for his first shutout of the season while Mike Santorelli also scored for the Panthers, whose last 11 victories had been by one goal. Keaton Ellerby added an empty-netter. — AP

Sports SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2011

Wozniacki and Sharapova on varied paths to semis Sharapova scrapes past Peng in erratic match INDIAN WELLS: Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki reached the Indian Wells semi-finals in markedly different fashion on Thursday, one surviving a crisis of confidence and the other benefiting from a withdrawal. Former champion Sharapova battled past China’s Peng Shuai 6-2 5-7 6-3 after top-seeded Dane Wozniacki was gifted a place in the last four when her opponent, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, retired because of a hip injury while trailing 3-0. Russian Sharapova, playing her first tournament in five weeks after suffering a viral infection, appeared to be in cruise control against Peng after sweeping through the first set and going 2-0 up in the second. However she then double-faulted seven times and was broken three times in a marathon, mistake-littered second set on the showpiece stadium court for the Chinese to level the match.

CALIFORNIA: Maria Sharapova of Russia, returns a shot to Shuai Peng of China, during a quarterfinal match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells. — AP

The final set began with four successive breaks of serve before the Russian, regaining form with her crunching forehand, broke Peng in the seventh and ninth games triumph in two hours and 22 minutes. “I’m really happy to be in the semis of this tournament,” 2006 champion Sharapova, 23, told reporters after sealing the match with a rasping forehand return down the line. “I was playing really well for the first set and a half, and then I let her back in the game. She played some good points and after that I was forcing so many things. I just started making too many errors. “But the most important thing is I got myself together, I focused and regrouped. The match is never over till the last point. I was really strong, and I’m really happy about that.” DESERVING NUMBER ONE “She’s the number one player in the world, and she certainly deserves it,” Sharapova said. “She’s doing a lot of things really well right now and she’s a very consistent player. “I didn’t have a great match against her at the US Open. I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll come out and it will be a different situation. I’m just gonna fight for every point. I look forward to it.” Peng was largely satisfied with her deepest run ever at Indian Wells, despite failing to reach her third WTA semi-final this year. “I was really happy to be into the quarter-finals here but Maria is a tough match,” the 25-year-old said. “In the third set I have a chance, but she played well. I have a lot of things (I) have to improve.” — Reuter

Nadal overpowers Karlovic INDIAN WELLS: World number one Rafa Nadal withstood a barrage of power serving by Croat Ivo Karlovic to reach the semifinals of the Indian Wells ATP tournament with a thrilling 5-7 6-1 7-6 victory on Thursday. The top-seeded Spaniard, champion here in 2007 and 2009, ended a tightly balanced match on the showpiece stadium court by winning the third set tiebreak 9-7 when a Karlovic forehand floated long. Lefthander Nadal had earned his third match point of the night with a sublime inside-out forehand crosscourt winner and the crowd erupted with deafening roars when he converted it moments later to seal victory in two hours, 23 minutes. He collapsed to the ground in delight and will next meet Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, who was gifted a place in the last four when Spaniard Tommy Robredo pulled out of their match earlier in the day with a strained left abductor muscle. “It was an unbelievably difficult match,” a beaming Nadal said courtside after beating the 6ft10in Karlovic for a fourth time in four career meetings. “This was the first one (of the tournament) that I felt really that even if I play well, I can lose. That’s always hard, to go on court with this feeling. “You lose a set against Karlovic, and you are under pressure the rest of the games of the match.” Karlovic, who became the fastest server of all time with a 251 kph (156 mph) blast during his country’s Davis Cup tie against Germany in Zagreb this month, ended the

match with a total of 23 aces. “Right now, I’m a little bit disappointed because it was close,” said the 239th-ranked Croat, whose 2010 season was cut short by six months due to Achilles surgery. “It could have also gone the other way, my way. It didn’t but, all in all, it was a good week for me, so I am happy.” The first set went with serve until Nadal was broken in the 11th game when he ran back after a protracted rally and, on the stretch, hit a forehand lob long. Karlovic held serve to clinch the set but he was broken in the second and fourth games of the second as the Spaniard began to dominate from the baseline with searing groundstrokes. — Reuters

CALIFORNIA: Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during his match against Ivo Karlovic of Croatia during a quarterfinals match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells. Nadal won 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7). — AP

Sheikh Talal Al-Sabah (second right) pictured with champions and WTA president (left)

Narrow victories for champions KUWAIT: Two-time Asia No 1, Hussain Al-Suwaidi of UAE captured the ABF Tour Tournament of Champions Men’s title while ex-Malaysian national bowler, Lai Kin Ngoh returned to the winning circle with victory in the women’s division. Hussain narrowly defeated local favorite, Khaled Al-Dubyyan 233-213 in the title match en-route to emerging as Asia’s best for the third consecutive year and Lai edged Hong Kong’s Milki Ng, 168-156 in the women’s final. Hussain Al-Suwaidi, who finished second last year, started off with a vengance as he struck twice in his two opening frames against Asian Championship Masters gold medalist, Khaled AlDubyyan of Kuwait, who only spared two frames. Despite a split in the third frame by Hussain, the Emirati rolled three consecutive strikes to open up a gap of 20 pins as the Kuwaiti continued to struggle in the early stages. Khaled bounced back with four strikes-in-a-row to draw level at the eighth frame and needing another in the tenth to have any chance of sealing the match. But Hussain responded by striking out from frame nine to take the match and the coveted title, 233-213. The champion had edged PBA pro, Jason Belmonte of Australia, 195-194 to reach the finals. “The match against Jason was crucial and I made sure I put in 110 percent focus,” said the delighted 29-year-old Hussain. “Khaled was having a good run to the finals and I knew it will be tough match.” “It was very close right up to the end and I needed to strike in the tenth frame to stand a chance of winning. Luckily I kept my nerves and I guess my previous experiences helped me pull it through.” Khaled sailed into the finals with a comfortable victory over Bahrain’s Yousif Falah, 207-168 in the first semi-final match. Khaled was equally impressive in the quarter-finals when he ousted Thailand’s Phiriyahbhoon P, 256-217. Belmonte shot the tournament’s highest game when he beat No. 3 seed, Wu Siu

Hong of Hong Kong, 265-200 in the other quarter-finals and Hussain knocked out defending champion, Ryan Laisang of Indonesia, 195-170 in his quarter-final match. Meanwhile, ex-Malaysian national bowler, Lai Kin Ngoh returned to the winning circle after she edged Hong Kong’s Milki Ng in the low-scoring women’s final, 168-156 to capture the women’s crown. Both Lai and Ng had an opened frame each and were locked together at the sixth frame. Two more open frames from Ng gave the Malaysian a lead of 23 pins by the time they reached the eighth frame. Lai went on to beat Ng, 169-156 to win the women’s crown. The champion also eliminated defending champion, Sharon Limansantoso of Indonesia, 200-193 in the second semi-final to advance while Ng beat Korea’s Kim Eun Jung, 184-161 in the other semi. “I came here without any high expectations and my target was to make the top 8 finals,” said 29-yearold Lai, whose only victory in the tour was the 2008 Indonesia leg. “I wanted to come and renew my friendship with some of the Asian bowlers. “To go home with this victory is simply fantastic. I don’t bowl as much as I use to when I was a national bowler so the win is beyond my expectation really.” Lai won $10,000 as champion while Ng took home $5,000 as runnerup. Both the losing semi-finalists settled for $3,000 each. Hussain pocketed the biggest prize of $20,000 for his victory. Khaled won $8,000 with Belmonte and Yousif settling for $4,000 each for finishing third and fourth positions. The top 16 men and top 16 women had qualified for the tournament of champions through eight legs contested in 2010. Kevin Dornberger, WTBA president presented the trophy to the women champion while Sheikh Talal Al-Sabah, ABF and Kuwait Bowling Federation president gave away the trophy to the men champion.



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Stirling fires Ireland to win with blazing ton KOLKATA: Paul Stirling smashed an explosive century as Ireland posted an emphatic six-wicket victory over the Netherlands in their last World Cup match on Tuesday. The 20-yearold opener gave a superb exhibition of hitting, cracking two sixes and 14 fours in his 72-ball 101 as Ireland chased a stiff 307-run target with 14 balls to spare at Eden Gardens. Stirling also upstaged the Netherlands’ Ryan ten Doeschate, who scored 106 for his second World Cup hundred. South African AB de Villiers and India’s Sachin Tendulkar are the only other batsmen to have made two centuries in this tournament. Ireland and the Netherlands were already out of contention for a place in the quarter-finals, but Ireland had the satisfaction of posting two victories in the tournament while the Netherlands remained winless. The Dutch recorded their highest total at the tournament but failed to keep pressure on the Irish openers William Porterfield (68) and Stirling, who delighted a few thousand spectators with an exciting exhibition of strokeplay. Their 177-run stand was Ireland’s best for the first wicket in one-dayers, surpassing the 118 between the same pair against Bangladesh in Belfast last year. “It was a great innings from Paul and he showed a lot of character. We were pretty confident, but slightly disappointed with the way we bowled. To finish it off in Eden Gardens with a win is great,” said skipper Porterfield. Man-of-the-match Stirling was more aggressive than Porterfield, racing to his half-century off just 25 balls and then taking 45 more deliveries to complete his second one-day hundred. The Dutch had to wait until the 27th over to break the stand when

off-spinner Tom Cooper had Porterfield caught behind. Stirling fell in the next over, caught by Alexei Kervezee at deep mid-wicket off leftarm spinner Pieter Seelaar. All the other batsmen chipped in, with Niall O’Brien hitting 57 not out, Ed Joyce scoring 28 and Gary Wilson 27. Kevin O’Brien finished on 15 not out. Earlier, the Dutch were struggling at 53-3 after being put in to bat, but ten Doeschate came to his team’s rescue with his third one-day hundred. He hit one six and 13 fours in his 108ball knock. “We made a pretty good comeback and were happy with the score. We felt we had a chance, but a lot of credit to young Paul Stirling,” said Dutch captain Peter Borren. Four batsmen were run out off successive balls in the last over, but the Netherlands had crossed the 300mark at that stage, thanks to ten Doeschate, Borren (84) and opener Wesley Barresi (44). Ten Doeschate, who made 119 against England, put on 121 runs for the fifth wicket with Borren. Ten Doeschate was also involved in another useful stand, putting on 60 for the fourth wicket with Barresi, who played some handsome shots during his brisk knock after overcoming a painful blow to the head. Barresi, who retired in the second over after being hit on the back of his head by a throw, returned to bat after the fall of the third wicket. Ireland, the most impressive of the non-Test-playing nations at the World Cup, were a bowler short when left-arm spinner George Dockrell dislocated his right shoulder while fielding off his own bowling in his fourth over. The spinner went to hospital for a check-up and did not take any further part in the match.—AFP

Scoreboard KOLKATA, India: Complete scoreboard of the World Cup Group B match between Ireland and the Netherlands at Eden Gardens in Kolkata yesterday: Netherlands: E. Szwarczynski c N. O’Brien b Johnston 1 W. Barresi lbw b Stirling 44 T. Cooper c Porterfield b Rankin 5 R. Doeschate c Mooney b Stirling 106 A. Kervezee c K. O’Brien b Mooney 12 P. Borren c Porterfield b Mooney 84 A. Buurman run out 26 M. Bukhari run out 11 P. Seelaar run out 0 A. Raja run out 0 B. Loots not out 0 Extras (b1, lb8, nb3, w5) 17 Total (all out; 50 overs) 306 Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Szwarczynski), 2-12 (Cooper), 3-53 (Kervezee), 4-113 (Barresi), 5-234 (ten Doeschate), 6-287 (Borren), 7-305 (Buurman), 8-305 (Seelaar), 9-305 (Raja), 10-306 (Bukhari). Bowling: Rankin 9-0-74-1 (nb3, w3), Johnston 10-1-50-1, Mooney 10-0-59-2, Dockrell 3.4-0-15-0, Stirling 10-0-51-2,

Cusack 2.2-0-15-0, K. O’Brien 5-0-33-0 (w2). Note: Alex Cusack bowled the last two balls of George Dockrell’s fourth over after the bowler suffered a shoulder injury. Ireland: W. Porterfield c Buurman b Cooper 68 P. Stirling c Kervezee b Seelaar 101 E. Joyce c Buurman b Cooper 28 N. O’Brian not out 57 G. Wilson c Buurman b Doeschate 27 K. O’Brien not out 15 Extras (lb10, w1) 11 Total (for four wickes; 47.4 overs) 307 Fall of wickets: 1-177 (Porterfield), 2179 (Stirling), 3-233 (Joyce), 4-279 (Wilson). Bowling: Bukhari 7-0-42-0, Raja 8-1-440, Loots 2-0-29-0, ten Doeschate 9-158-1 (w1), Seelaar 9.4-1-55-1, Borren 50-38-0, Cooper 7-1-31-2. Result: Ireland win by six wickets

MUMBAI: Sri Lanka’s cricketer Nuwan Kulasekara (center without cap) celebrates with fellow team members after the dismissal of New Zealand’s Martin Guptill (not seen) during the Cricket World Cup Group A match in Mumbai yesterday. — AP

Sri Lanka thump New Zealand by 112 runs Injured Muralitharan sets up Lankan victory MUMBAI: Off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan ignored a hamstring problem as he propelled Sri Lanka to a thumping 112-run victory over New Zealand in their final Group A match at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. The win catapulted the co-hosts, who were playing away from home for the first time in the tournament, to the top of the group but their final position will be determined only after Saturday’s match between Australia and Pakistan. The two sessions in yesterday’s match was dominated by two of Sri Lanka’s most experienced cricketers-captain Kumar Sangakkara and the wily off-spinner Muralitharan, who made life uncomfortable for the Kiwis despite picking up a hamstring injury during the match. First, Sangakkara (111) led from the front by scoring his maiden World Cup century to rescue his team after some early jitters and set New Zealand a 266-run target. Then the Sri Lankan spinners, led by Muralitharan (4-25), made sure that the New Zealand batsmen never found their footing to launch a fitting reply. On a track that offered a bit of turn, Muralitharan foxed the batsmen by mixing his sharp off-spinners with the occasional ‘doosras’. The Kiwis failed to read his line and length and were skittled for just 153 in 35 overs, with seven wickets going to the spinners. Earlier, left-handed Sangakkara braved sweltering heat and humidity to reach his 11th ODI hundred and added crucial 145 runs for the third wicket with Mahela Jayawardene after Sri Lanka were tottering at 19 for two. Tim Southee, with three for 63, was the most successful New Zealand bowler as the co-hosts ended their innings at 265 for nine after opting to bat first. Sangakkara, who hit 12 fours and two sixes, took just six deliveries during the batting powerplay to canter from 80 to his hundred after blasting three boundaries and a six. Jayawardene (66) provided able support with some cheeky hits to the fence after the islanders lost openers Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan cheaply. —Reuters

Scoreboard Scoreboard in the World Cup Group A match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai yesterday. Sri Lanka innings U. Tharanga run out 3 T. Dilshan c Oram b Southee 3 K. Sangakkara b N. McCullum 111 M. Jayawardene lbw b Southee 66 A. Mathews not out 41 T. Samaraweera c B. McCullum b Styris 5 C. Silva c & b N. McCullum 3 N. Kulasekara c Guptill b Southee 1 L. Malinga c B. McCullum b Oram 6 M. Muralitharan run out 7 A. Mendis not out 0 Extras: (lb 4 w 12 nb 3) 19 Total: (for nine wickets; 50 overs) 265 Fall of wickets: 1-13 2-19 3-164 4-210 5-219 6-224 7-232 8-239 9-260 Bowling: Southee 10-0-63-3 (5w), Oram 10-1-57-1 (1nb 1w), Bennett 4.1-0-16-0 (1nb, 1w), Ryder 3.5-018-0 (1nb, 1w), Franklin 3-0-11-0, Styris 8-0-44-1, N. McCullum 10-0-48-2, K. Williamson 1-0-4-0. New Zealand innings M. Guptill lbw b Kulasekara 13 B. McCullum c Jayawardene b Mathews 14 J. Ryder c Sangakkara b Mendis 19 R. Taylor lbw b Muralitharan 33 K. Williamson st Sangakkara b Muralitharan 5 S. Styris c & b Muralitharan 6 J. Franklin c Dilshan b Muralitharan 20 N. McCullum c Jayawardene b Dilshan 4 J. Oram not out 20 T. Southee lbw b Mendis 8 H. Bennett b Malinga 0 Extras: (lb 4 w 6 nb 1) 11 Total: (all out; 35 overs) 153 Fall of wickets: 1-29 2-33 3-82 4-88 5-93 6-102 7115 8-129 9-144 Bowling: Malinga 5-0-38-1 (3w), Kulasekara 7-0-191 (2w), Mathews 3-0-19-1, Mendis 6-0-24-2 (1w), Dilshan 6-0-24-1, Muralitharan 8-0-25-4 (1nb) Result: Sri Lanka won by 112 runs.



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Casey holds two-shot lead after flawless 64

Japan tour aims to help quake victims TOKYO: The Japanese men’s golf tour will begin on schedule next month to help raise money for the victims of last week’s devastating earthquake, a senior official said yesterday. The JGTO tour’s executive director Andy Yamanaka said sponsors were in favor of playing the events as planned while an official announcement is expected next week. “We’re planning to hold the season opener in Nagoya, the Token Cup, on April (14-17) as planned,” said Yamanaka. “Most of the sponsors want to host the events, even though there has been major damage (in the north of Japan). “We’re thinking about what we can do to raise money and make donations to support the victims.” Thousands died in the 9.0-magnitude quake last Friday, triggering a massive tsunami that wiped away entire towns and badly damaged a nuclear power plant 240-km north of Tokyo. The women’s JLPGA tour scrapped a handful of events following the earthquake but Yamanaka insisted the JGTO would try to stick to its schedule, despite the crisis. “It’s difficult to judge (if golf events should go ahead under the circumstances), but many say we should carry on in order to raise money,” he said, adding that sponsors and players alike would make donations. “The JLPGA already cancelled four tournaments but our season hasn’t started yet. It’s easy to cancel tournaments but we must find a way to help the victims-that’s the bottom line.” Yamanaka admitted, however, that the JGTO would rethink their plans in the event of a Chernobyl-style meltdown at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. “Of course you must think about a worst-case scenario,” said Yamanaka, who will hold talks with players including JGTO teen sensation Ryo Ishikawa before the organization’s formal announcement. “We have to look at the situation very carefully,” he added, while hundreds of workers battled to repair the quake-battered nuclear reactor. “You just don’t know what’s going to happen and things could get worse, so we have to change our plans accordingly.”— Reuters

Watney, Laird, Willis, Stallings two strokes back TAMPA: Paul Casey of Britain enjoyed his best ball-striking round of the year as he shot an impeccable seven-under-par 64 to grab the first-round lead in the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook Thursday. World number seven Casey, who won the Volvo Golf Champions event on the European Tour this season, held a twostroke lead over fellow-Briton Martin Laird, red-hot Nick Watney and his unheralded compatriots Garrett Willis and Scott Stallings. Casey, starting at the 10th hole, registered seven birdies without a bogey, capping his stellar card with back-to-back birdies from the seventh at the challenging Copperhead course. “Today was lovely. Bogey-free is always nice,” Casey told reporters after taking advantage of ideal conditions. “It was very benign out there. “Best ball-striking round of the year. This was fun today,” added Casey, who wore a bright green shirt for St Patrick’s Day and said precision iron play was the key to his success. Watney, who won last week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship and has finished in the top-10 in each of his five tournaments this year, also got to seven-under with a string of three birdies after making the turn but two late bogeys dropped him to 66. “I started off great and kind of ran out of steam there at the end,” explained Watney, who continued his hot hand with the putter in a round delayed for 70 minutes due to morning fog. “I putted great last week and the ball, it’s just kind of taking off where I’m looking right now which is a really good feeling. Luckily a lot of the putts fell in.” Willis, ranked 277th, had four

Bosnian shooter seen during training

FLORIDA: Paul Casey, of England, chips on the 10th hole during the first round of the Transitions Championship golf tournament on Thursday, March 17, 2011. — AP birdies in a row from the second hole, his 11th hole of the day, to vault into contention. Scotsman Laird posted a bogeyfree round, and 25-year-old Stallings had five birdies after making his turn. Bunched at 67, three shots off the pace, was a group of 10 that included

defending champion Jim Furyk, South African Rory Sabbatini and Australians Stuart Appleby and John Senden, who called a one-stroke penalty on himself at the par-five fifth after his ball moved just before he struck his second shot. — Reuters

Sheikh Salman (center) with the Bosnia delegation

Bosnia and Herzegovina shooting team in Kuwait By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: The Bosnia and Herzegovina shooting federation is holding a training camp, the first of its kind at the Sabah Al-Ahmad Olympic shooting ranges. The training will be concluded on March 30, 2011. The delegation is headed by board member Amir Dicovic and it includes two male and two female shooters. Amir said he is happy

to hold the training camp in Kuwait, among the Kuwaiti shooters who are considered among the best in the world. He said that President of the Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federations, and ISSF vice president was very happy when Kuwait was selected to host the training. He lauded the role of Kuwait’s political leadership headed by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber. Amir said hold-

ing the camp in Kuwait gives an excellent opportunity to participate in the ISSF. The Sabah Al-Ahmad Olympic shooting complex is unique with a huge size. He added that the complex has all what a shooter needs. “All delegation members are very happy,” Amir said as he thanked Sheikh Salman and KSSF board members for their efforts in making this camp possible.



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LDU, Estudiantes hit 5 apiece in Libertadores BUENOS AIRES: Estudiantes and LDU, both recent winners of the Libertadores Cup, each scored five goals as the demolished their opponents in onesided contests on Thursday. Estudiantes, champions in 2009, thumped Guarani of Paraguay, helped by a hat-trick of headers from Rodrigo Lopez. LDU, winners in 2008 and the only Ecuadorean club to have won South American’s equivalent of the Champions League, routed five-times former champions Penarol 5-0 in Quito. Colombia’s Atletico Junior beat Oriente Petrolero 2-1 to qualify for the

last sixteen and Peruvian champions Leon de Huanuco drew 1-1 with Brazilians Gremio. In La Plata, Lopez, who won the Libertadores with Olimpia in 2002, scored twice in the first 20 minutes to set Estudiantes on their way before Leandro Gonzalez added the third in the 25th minute, again from a header. Despite have defender Facundo Roncaglia sent off for elbowing in the 51st minute, Estudiantes continued to dominate. Uruguayan Lopez completed his hat-trick just before the hour and Gonzalez notched his second, while

Bin Hammam launches bid to unseat Blatter

Julian Benitez scored the Paraguayan’s consolation goal in between. The Argentineans, who have nine points, moved one behind Group Seven leaders Cruzeiro with both teams looking set to qualify. In high altitude Quito, Walter Calderon scored twice as LDU demolished once-mighty Penarol of Uruguay. Carlos Luna and Hernan Barco were also on target, while Carlos Suarez put through his own goal and Fabian Estoyanoff missed a late penalty for the visitors. The result left Group Eight wide open with LDU, Godoy Cruz and Penarol

on six points each and Independiente on three. In steamy Barranquilla, Group Two leaders Atletico Junior notched their fourth straight 2-1 win thanks to two goals in eight minutes from Carlos Bacca to qualify with two games to spare and leave their Bolivian opponents pointless. The Colombians are five points clear of Gremio, who should join them in the last sixteen after former Porto midfielder Carlos Alberto scored early in the second half to give them a 1-1 draw in Peru. Carlos Elias had put the Peruvians ahead just before halftime. — Reuters

Embassy tournament kicks off By Hussain Al-Qatari

AFC chief promises to cut FIFA bureaucracy KUALA LUMPUR: AFC chief Mohamed Bin Hammam yesterday launched his bid to unseat Sepp Blatter as head of global soccer with a campaign built on transparency and technology. The 61-year-old Qatari ended weeks of speculation with confirmation of his move at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. “After careful consideration... I have decided to contest in the FIFA presidential elections on June 1 at the FIFA congress, Bin Hammam told massed reporters. “My chances, I would say, are 50-50. Sepp Blatter is a very experienced person and has made a significant contribution to the development of the game. The world knows him very well.” Blatter, 75, who is seeking a fourth term as head of FIFA, and Bin Hammam will stand in an election at the two-day FIFA Congress in Zurich starting on May 31. “Blatter has worked very hard to develop the game, he did his best and he has made a number of changes since he came to the game, but change is always needed,” Bin Hammam said. “There is always a time limit for everything and now is the time for new faces, new blood, new air too. This is my message and I hope the voters are going to address these things.” ‘TOO BUREAUCRATIC’ Bin Hammam, who was sworn in unopposed for a third and final four-year term as AFC head in January, is hoping to become the ninth president of FIFA and the first from Asia. Dressed in a sharp dark suit he spoke with poise as he delivered a manifesto which centered on distributing power more evenly across FIFA’s 208 members and said he would ask bigger nations to offer more help to the less privileged. “I will always put into consideration the need and the requirement of every member association to have more technical and financial support to enable them to close the gap between their nations and those of the advanced football nations.” The Qatari promised to double donations to member associations and to increase the size of, and rebrand, the executive committee to ensure more votes for all confederations after criticising much of FIFA’s administration. “The way I see FIFA functioning today, it is too bureaucratic and very much centralized and its efficiency is in doubt in so many areas, especially when it comes to the technical and legal matters,” he said, vowing to address this. The FIFA executive committee would be called the FIFA board and have 41 members, including the president, with UEFA, CAF and AFC enjoying four more seats each, CONCACAF three more, and CONMEBOL and Oceania one more. PERSONAL BELIEFS “These are my own beliefs but these things are very much influenced by the view of the public,” the Qatari told Reuters in an interview after his announcement. The move to give more seats to member confederations, especially his own continent of Asia where he does not hold total support, and double donations to member associations are eye-catching proposals which could sway

KUWAIT: Yesterday was not just another Friday - it was a colorful, flavorful Friday. A big number of the Embassies staff across Kuwait gathered to compete in the First Annual Mini Football Tournament organized by Idiom Advertising Agency. Since Kuwait is a multicultural country that harbors a number of societies from different continents, the event organizers decided to bring the staff of the different embassies together to perform an exciting activity. Nothing is more exciting than sports in such amazing weather. Sports is a universal language. At its best it can bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status. That is why the organizers of the event turned to sports, stemmed from the belief that it aids in the efforts to achieve more cultural awareness and enthusiasm. With that in mind, Idiom organized its first annual mini-football friendly tournament for the embassies in Kuwait. The participants came from fourteen countries: United States of America; United Kingdom; Philippines; Switzerland; Bosnia; Russia; Ukraine; Austria; Turkey; Iran; Lebanon; Syria; Jordan and Qatar. This eclectic blend of cultures and nations signed up to compete for the cup! The tournament is scheduled for two weekends, starting from this weekend (March 18 and 19) and next weekend, March 25 and 26. Staff and expats from each country headed to the Municipalities Club in Salmiya and eagerly cheered for their teams hoping for their Embassy to raise the cup at the end of the tournament. The main sponsors of the event, Kuwait Proteins and Americana ensured that everybody is happily satisfied and full of energy with the beverages and snacks that were served. If you are eager to find out which team will win next, head to the Municipalities Club in Salmiya today or next weekend. Cheer for your favorite team and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

British and Philippines team seen during the game

Russian and Swiss team battling it out.



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Chelsea get chance for revenge against United Shakhtar face Barca in tie no-one wanted

NYON: The group formations are shown on an electronic panel after the drawing of the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals at the UEFA headquarters yesterday. — AP

PSV, Benfica to meet in Europa League quarters NYON: Former European champions Benfica and PSV Eindhoven have been drawn together in the quarterfinals of the Europa League. FC Porto was paired with Spartak Moscow and Braga will face Dynamo Kiev, meaning Portugal’s three qualifiers for the last eight of Europe’s second-tier club competition were kept apart. In the other quarterfinal, Spanish side Villarreal will take on Dutch champion FC Twente, which eliminated 2008 winner Zenit St. Petersburg in the last 16. The first legs will be played on April 7, with the return matches on April 14. — AP

Captain Ballack fails to win call-up again BERLIN: Germany captain Michael Ballack’s international competitive career appeared to be drawing to an end after he failed yesterday to make the squad for his country’s next two games. Germany, top of Euro 2012 qualifying Group A with full points from four games, host Kazakhstan, who have yet to win a point, on March 26 before entertaining Australia in a friendly game three days later. Coach Joachim Loew opted not to pick Ballack despite the midfielder’s return to full fitness following a shinbone injury earlier in the season. Ballack, 34, has won 98 caps and scored 42 goals but has not played for Germany since March last year. An injury ruled him out of the World Cup in South Africa where Germany finished third. Loew has said he will discuss Ballack’s international future after the two matches. The coach, who recently extended his contract to 2014, recalled midfielder Toni Kroos and forward Mario Gomez who missed the previous international against Italy in February through injury. He also called up again Mainz’s Andre Schuerrle, who won his first cap late last year. Werder Bremen’s Tim Wiese returns as the third goalkeeper. “We want to win against Kazakhstan in order to consolidate our position at the top,” Loew said. “We now have various alternatives in many positions and because Andre has played a good and consistent season he is back with us.” — Reuters

Magath returns to Vfl Wolfsburg BERLIN: Felix Magath has returned as coach of VfL Wolfsburg almost two years after steering them to the Bundesliga title and just two days after his acrimonious split with Schalke 04, Wolfsburg said yesterday. Magath was sacked by Schalke on Wednesday following a mediocre Bundesliga season and despite their Champions League last eight and German Cup final qualification. “VfL Wolfsburg have hired Felix Magath as coach and sports director. He will be officially presented later on Friday,” Wolfsburg said in a brief statement. Magath will again hold both posts, making him the most powerful individual in the club’s sports department, just as he did when he first coached Wolfsburg from 2007 to their maiden Bundesliga success in 2009. —Reuters

LONDON: Chelsea have the chance to avenge their shattering penalty shootout defeat to Manchester United in the 2008 final after being drawn to play them in the quarter-finals of the Champions League yesterday. Favorites Barcelona will face Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine who beat them 32 at the Nou Camp in a group stage match two years ago. Nine-times winners Real Madrid will play Tottenham Hotspur, meaning a return to London for former Chelsea manager and current Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, while holders Inter Milan will meet Schalke 04. The winners of the Inter/Schalke match will play Chelsea or Manchester United in one semi-final, while Real Madrid will face Barcelona in the other semi if they both win their quarterfinal games ruling out the chance of an all-Spanish final. The quarter-final matches will be played on April 5/6 and 12/13 with the semis on April 26/27 and May 3/4 with the final at Wembley Stadium on May 28. Manchester United’s victory over Chelsea in Moscow in the final three years ago was on a night of relentless rain and high drama with the teams battling to a 1-1 draw after extra time. PENALTY SHOOTOUT The game then went to penalties, with Chelsea skipper John Terry only needing to convert his to give his side victory but he slipped on the wet surface and missed as his kick hit the outside of the post. United went on to win the shootout 6-5. Chelsea’s former boss Mourinho is bidding to become the first man to win the European Cup with three different clubs following

NYON: The group formations are shown on an electronic panel after the drawing of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the UEFA headquarters yesterday. — AP

his success with Porto in 2004 and Inter last year. He guided Real into the last eight for the first time in seven years this week and will welcome the game against Spurs. The London side, playing in the Champions League for the first time, lost to Real as holders of the UEFA Cup in 1985, their 1-0 defeat being the first time they had lost at home since they began competing in Europe in 1961. Real director Emilio Butragueno, who played in the Real team who beat Spurs that night, said he was delighted to be going back to White Hart Lane. “I think it is going to be a fantastic tie, but I am sure it will be difficult for us, Spurs have some great players including Rafael Van der Vaart who

Ferguson fears defensive crisis may derail title bid MANCHESTER: Sir Alex Ferguson is praying a defensive crisis doesn’t come back to haunt his Manchester United side’s push for silverware. A string of injuries has left the Manchester United manager down to his bare bones ahead of today’s visit of Bolton. If the thought of his five-match touchline ban wasn’t enough, Ferguson has been left counting the cost of their midweek Champions League win over Marseille. With Rio Ferdinand already joining Nemanja Vidic on the sidelines, John O’Shea and Rafael have been added to the growing injury list. And having to cope with a mountain of defensive problems, the veteran Scot admits the latest setbacks is the last thing his depleted squad needed. “It has been a bad spell for us,” Ferguson said. “Only a few weeks ago we had every defender fit and things were looking great. “It has all just fallen apart in the last week or so. Hopefully Jonny Evans may be fit. —AFP

used to play for us. I am sure that will inspire him to have a great game.” Barcelona, the overwhelming favorites to lift the European Cup for the second time in three seasons, will be wary about facing Shakhtar who have a good record against them. They have met six times with the Ukraine side winning twice, including their shock win at the Nou Camp two seasons ago. Inter and Schalke are also old rivals, having met in the 1997 UEFA Cup final which Schalke won on penalties. London bookmakers kept Barca as 11/10 favorites, followed by Real Madrid (7/2), Manchester United and Chelsea (7/1), Inter Milan (8/1), Spurs (20/1), Shakhtar Donetsk (33/1) and Schalke (50/1). — Reuters

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English Premier League Tottenham v West Ham


Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Wigan v Birmingham

SS Lazio v AC Cesena


Aljazeera Sport 1 HD 18:00

Abu Dhabi Sports HD 7 West Brom v Arsenal

Italian League

Palermo v AC Milan


Aljazeera Sport +1 18:00

Aljazeera Sport 1 HD

Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Stoke v Newcastle


Man United v Bolton

18:00 18:00 18:00

Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3

Aljazeera Sport +2 Atletico de Madrid v Real Madrid

Abu Dhabi Sports HD 4 Everton v Fulham


Aljazeera Sport 2 HD

Abu Dhabi Sports HD 8 Aston Villav Wolves


Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Barcelona v Getafe

Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5 Blackburn v Blackpool

Spanish League Real Mallorca v Zaragoza

Abu Dhabi Sports HD 6


Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD





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Sports Years

Chelsea get chance for revenge against Utd


PORTO: CSKA Moscow’s Vagner Love (left) from Brazil falls on the pitch against FC Porto’s Rolando Fonseca during their Europa League round of 16 at the Dragao Stadium, Porto, Portugal. Porto won 2-1 (3-1 in aggregate) and passed to the quarter-finals. — AP

Liverpool, Ajax dumped out of Europa Brit pack crash out as Braga, PSV qualify BERNE: Liverpool and Ajax Amsterdam, who have won the European Cup nine times between them, failed to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League after making embarrassing exits from the competition on Thursday. Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at home in their last 16 second leg by modest Portuguese side Braga, who have never even won a domestic league title, and went out 1-0 on aggregate. Ajax, knocked out of the Champions League earlier this season, were outclassed 3-0 in Russia by Spartak Moscow for a 4-0 aggregate defeat in Europe’s second string competition. Manchester City beat Dynamo Kiev 1-0 despite having Mario Balotelli sent off in the first half but still lost 2-1 on aggregate while a 1-0 home defeat for Rangers against PSV Eindhoven ended British interest. Braga were one of three Portuguese sides to make the last eight, with Benfica and Porto also going through, while Twente Enschede and Villarreal completed

the quarter-final lineup. Liverpool made a bright start at Anfield but faltered against a strong Braga defense, failing to create many chances. They are now in danger of missing out altogether on European football next season. In Moscow Alex Meschini, a Libertadores Cup winner with Internacional in 2006, inspired Spartak, setting up the first goal for Dmitri Kombarov and curling in a freekick for the third after halftime. Fellow Brazilian Welliton got the other goal. Porto, already 1-0 up against CSKA Moscow from the away leg, raced to a 2-0 lead with goals from Brazilian Hulk and Colombian Fredy Guarin before Zoran Tosic pulled one back before the half hour. But they held on comfortably for a 3-1 aggregate win. Benfica went through with a 1-1 draw at Paris St Germain giving them a 3-2 aggregate win. Argentine Nicolas Gaitan put the Portuguese side ahead while Mathieu Bodmer volleyed the equaliser for the

French team before halftime. Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was left wondering what might have happened if the notoriously volatile Balotelli had not lost his head. The Italian, who also missed a header and blocked a shot by team mate David Silva, was shown a straight red card in the 36th minute for a reckless challenge on Goran Popov with the score still goalless. Against all the odds, City hauled themselves back into the tie when Aleksandr Kolarov fired past unsighted Kiev keeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy. But they could not muster a second goal despite creating more chances after halftime. “I am disappointed with the result because we deserved to score at least another goal,” said Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini. “I hope (Mario is frustrated) because I think that with 11 players we would have won this game and gone to the quarter-final.” Zenit, UEFA Cup winners in 2008, looked capable of wiping out their 3-

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool’s Andy Carroll (right) heads at goal against Braga during the second leg of their round of 16 Europa League soccer match at Anfield, Liverpool. — AP

0 first leg deficit against Dutch champions as Roman Shirokov and Aleksandr Kerzhakov put them 2-0 by halftime. But the second half was a different story with the visitors playing far more aggressively. Villareal’s 2-1 win at home to Bayer Leverkusen gave them a 5-3 aggregate victory ending German interest in the competition. Rangers started in the driving seat against PSV, thanks to a 0-0 draw last week in Netherlands. But Jeremain Lens poked Balasz Dzsudzsak’s low cross past Neil Alexander in the 14th minute and the Scots never recovered. The draw for the Europa League quarter-finals and semi-finals was held in Nyon, Switzerland yesterday.—Reuters

19 Mar  

Kuwait Times

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