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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

Kuwaiti survivor talks with tears, hopes


NO: 15034

150 FILS



Radiation discovery fans Japan food fears

Obama takes in Rio with Libya on his mind

Liverpool make the most of penalty controversy




Sectarian tensions high over Bahrain Shiite, Salafist MPs trade barbs, send flurry of questions

Max 32 Min 14 Low Tide 07:05 & 19:27 High Tide 00:35 & 12:55

By B Izzak


conspiracy theories

Force is the only language

By Badrya Darwish


his is the most difficult riddle I ever encountered so far - the situation in Libya. The whole world was crying: “Help Libya! Help Libya! Save Libya from Gaddafi and his military machine.” After two weeks of demonstrations, Gaddafi decided to take military action against the demonstrators whom he called “rats”. Every debate that was broadcast on TV showed disagreement - with the silence of the West and the silence of Obama over the Libyan crisis. Everybody was crying for a no-fly zone to be implemented, even the Arab League. Then the UN resolution came to introduce a no-fly zone which aimed to protect civilians from Gaddafi’s army as he started using air, ground and naval forces against unarmed civilians. This helped him regain liberated territories which were freed, such as Benghazi. A nofly zone on its own would have been useless. The UN resolution came to use force. Many European countries, France, the US and others started bombarding key positions and used air strikes against Gaddafi to dismantle his military power and a few strategic locations. Again the world is not happy. Now everyone debates that civilians are being killed and are dying. For God’s sake, wasn’t Gaddafi’s army killing civilians? Why did we cry and shout for the world to help? What was the other way to stop Gaddafi? Is he the kind of man who would listen to common sense? This is the man who came with 100 excuses. In the beginning he was even in denial that there was a revolution in his country. We all heard his hallucinations televised. He himself said he would fight to the last drop of his blood. One day he was blaming Al-Qaeda, one day he was blaming the West. Then he said it was crusade and now he claims it is a war against Islam. The man is really smart. He wants to play with the emotions of the Muslim world. What does he call bombarding his own people? Was it Islamic too?! I am surprised at some countries that are objecting the intervention of the West, claiming that it will result in killing civilians and is motivated by oil. I am sorry but these countries could have reached out to help the Libyan people who came in thousands asking for reforms and ended up dead. If Gaddafi was their friend, they could have advised him to use better methods with his own people. Or they could have themselves participated with the UN resolution to prevent any future control of Libyan oil. Gaddafi is the only one who should take the blame for what is happening in Libya. He is mad and he doesn’t listen to reason. The only language he understands is force. Force he is getting.

KUWAIT: Islamist MP Faisal Al-Mislem speaks during a protest late Saturday as Islamist MPs decided to grill the PM for not sending troops to Bahrain and strongly blasted Shiite Iran for meddling in its affairs. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Bahrain opposition seeks UN, US help Manama, Tehran expel diplomats MANAMA: Bahrain’s opposition asked for UN and American intervention in the government crackdown on the Shiite protests trying to loosen the monarchy’s grip, in a brief protest yesterday in the capital that disbanded before police could arrive to break it up. Bahrain’s main opposition groups also eased conditions for talks to end a crisis that has drawn in neighbouring armies, though tensions in the oilexporting region remained high as Bahrain and Iran expelled diplomats. The 21 opposition legislators protesting yesterday at the UN offices

in Manama resigned last month to protest the crackdown on the monthlong revolt, inspired by the prodemocracy uprisings across the Arab world. Bahrain’s king declared martial law last week, and a Saudi-led military force from other Gulf nations is in the country to back the Sunni monarchy. In the five-minute protest, the lawmakers appealed to the UN to stop the violence against protesters and mediate talks between the opposition and the monarchy; they asked the US to pressure the Gulf force to leave. Continued on Page 14

Gaddafi vows ‘long war’ as allies strike TRIPOLI: A defiant Muammar Gaddafi vowed a “long war” after the US and European militaries blasted his forces with airstrikes and over 100 cruise missiles early yesterday, hitting air defenses and at least two major air bases and shaking the Libyan capital with explosions and antiaircraft fire. Despite the strikes, Gaddafi’s troops lashed back, bombarding the rebel-held city of Misrata with artillery and tanks yesterday, the opposition reported. In the overnight barrage, ship-fired

Tomahawk cruise missiles and bombs and missiles from an international arsenal of warplanes including American B-2 stealth bombers and F-15 and F-16 fighterbombers rained down on Libyan targets including ground forces - in the widest international military effort since the Iraq war. The air assault came as Gaddafi’s overwhelming firepower was threatening to crush the month-old rebellion against his 41-year rule. State television said 48 people were killed in the strikes. Continued on Page 14

Unrest rocks Syria as thousands rally DAMASCUS: Thousands of Syrians demanded an end to 48 years of emergency law yesterday, a third consecutive day of protests emerging as the biggest challenge to Syria’s rulers since unrest swept the Arab world this year. Syrian security forces killed a protester named Raed Al-Kerad, residents said, the fifth civilian killed by them since protests erupted in the southern city of Deraa on

Friday as demonstrators called for freedoms and the release of political prisoners. A huge billow of smoke rose from main downtown area where key government buildings are located, but heavy gunfire heard earlier across the city, which is near the border with Jordan, subsided by late afternoon, witnesses said. Continued on Page 14

Saleh’s tribe demands he leave

SANAA: Tens of thousands of anti-government Yemeni mourners chant slogans yesterday as they gather next to the bodies of activists who were gunned down two days ago by snipers during a mass funeral procession in the capital. — AFP

KUWAIT: Sectarian tensions rose rapidly in Kuwait yesterday over the issue of whether Kuwait should send troops to Bahrain as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) force to help the Bahraini regime against Shiite-led protests. Two large gatherings were held on the issue: one by Shiites on Thursday to thank the government for not sending Kuwaiti troops and to express solidarity with Bahraini Shiites against the government’s violent crackdown against them; and another late Saturday by Sunni fundamentalists who want Kuwait to send troops to Bahrain to help the Sunni regime there. Harsh sectarian statements were made at the two gatherings which were held peacefully opposite the Seif Palace, which contains the government’s office. The consequences appear to be more alarming on the country’s social and sectarian harmony as MPs from both camps issued contradictory statements and sent opposing questions to the government. Tensions rose to new highs after Salafist MPs Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and Mohammad Hayef announced they will file to question the prime minister over the government’s decision not to send troops to Bahrain. The two MPs however said that they have not yet set a date for the grilling but added it will be filed only after the potential grillings against Deputy Premier Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Sabah, to be filed tomorrow, and another against the prime minister, expected to follow soon. Shiite MPs meanwhile strongly criticised what they called provocative statements made at Saturday’s gathering, especially those criticising Shiite figures inside and outside Kuwait. Continued on Page 14

SANAA: Tens of thousands of people joined a funeral procession yesterday for protesters killed by government gunmen and the Yemeni president’s own tribe called on him to step down, robbing the embattled USbacked leader of vital support. Yemen’s ambassador to the United Nations and its human rights minister resigned to protest the crackdown, further undermining President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Experts said the president’s dwindling influence was likely to either accelerate his departure or force him to resort to greater violence to retain power. Saleh later fired his entire Cabinet amid escalating protests demanding his ouster. Saleh also appeared to shy away from more force for the moment, disbanding police and special forces around Sanaa University, which has been the center of the deadly crackdown, and replacing them with a largely unarmed force. “From now on, we will be controlling the entrances and exits of the square by orders from the supreme military command,” said Lt Col Mohammed Hussein. Continued on Page 14

AL-WAYFIYAH, Libya: A Libyan rebel holds the rebellion flag as he stands over wrecked military vehicles belonging to Muammar Gaddafi’s forces hit by French warplanes yesterday. — AFP

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


Census aims to collect data to map demographic trends A vital resource for the country’s planners By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: The Ministry of Central Planning’s Central Statistical Office (CSO) yesterday announced its plans to conduct the country’s general census for 2011, which will be carried out between April 21 and May 31. Speaking at a press conference held yesterday at the CSO headquarters, its chairman, Dr Abdullah Sahar, said that the census aims to collect data to map the demographic trends and patterns of Kuwait’s total population in various areas. “ The data cover different aspects, including population growth, composition by nationality, geographic distribution across Kuwait, technological and professional competence, and employment distribution within the public and private sectors, as other areas,” he explained. Information from the census will

also serve as a vital resource for the country’s planners and decisionmakers. By using accurate, up-todate data and analyses, the state authorities will be able to make informed decisions in their plans to meet the needs of the population in various fields. The census will also serve as a statistical database for academic researchers investigating various aspects of life in Kuwait. Ultimately, said Dr. Sahar, the 2011 Kuwait General Census will be utilized to bring about improvements in the infrastructure and quality of life in Kuwait. Dr Sahar further explained that the census aims to utilize the data so that residents, whether locals or expats, can be provided with the proper services wherever they live. “We are not concerned whether residents visas are valid, or whether they live in the same area where they are registered or not; these are

all issues not of our concern,” he said. “We want to know how many people live and work in each building, so that we can provide them with appropriate services. We want to know how many hospitals we need to build, how many schools we need to establish, and basically how we can serve the residents better given their distribution across the country.” People can register online from tonight up until April 4. After registering online, they will be sent an email asking them to fill in applications for themselves and those living with them. “The information is available on the website:, or you can call if you have any questions,” added Dr. Sahar. Census takers will be visiting residential areas between April 21 and May 31, from 4 to 9 pm. More information can be found on the census website.

KTS’ 40th educational conference begins today KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Teachers Society will today (Monday) inaugurate its fortieth educational conference. The event, taking place under the patronage of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlSabah, will be attended by Kuwait’s Minister of Education and of Higher Education, Dr. Moudhi AlHumoud. This year’s conference, which concludes on Wednesday 23, will focus primarily on discussion of local schools’ curricula, with a number of distinguished academics researchers, teachers and senior educational figures set to participate in the various activities taking place as part of the event. The inaugural ceremony for the conference, which is being held at the Movenpick Hotel in the Shuwaikh Free Trade Zone, is scheduled to take place at 9:00 AM. This will be followed by a number of activities, including a discussion and workshop focusing on the role of school curricula in reinforcing patriotism, as well as the strategic plans required to improve local schools’ curricula as part of the state’s development-oriented strategy. In a press release issued yesterday, the general rapporteur of the conference, Dr. Walid Al-Kandari, urged all those working in the Kuwaiti education sector to attend the event, which he said “addresses a national, educational, and developmental issue of vital importance”.

His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at Seif Palace yesterday, in the presence of HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi, the visiting Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama Abdulaziz Al-Nujeifi and his accompanying party. The meeting was attended by Kuwait’s Deputy Parliament Speaker Abdullah Al-Roumi and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and several other senior state officials.

Burgan Bank sponsors Al-Kout festival in AUK KUWAIT: Burgan Bank, amongst the leading and most dynamic commercial banks in the state of Kuwait announced yesterday its sponsorship of the American University of Kuwait’s Arabian Heritage Project, “Al Kout Festival”, which was held on March 15 and 16 at the university’s premises. The event, which was patronized under Dr Moudhi Al - Humoud, Minister of Education and Higher Education, aimed at promoting and nurturing the true heritage of Kuwait through a wide range of interactive activities. The two-day event, which was attended by a large number of guests along with great student involvement, included a wide selection of educational as well as cultural programs that were devoted to raising more awareness and enriching the Kuwaiti identity, and providing a sense of what life was like in Kuwait’s history. The event included activities such as games, music, crafts, literature, community traditions, folklore, and poetry. Burgan Bank Acting Chief Marketing Officer Bashir Jaber said: “Al-Kout Festival is a great platform for showcasing Arabian heritage and raising public awareness of the rich traditions of the Arab world. We are extremely proud of the young students who have

participated in this year’s event. Such initiatives allow us to relive an iconic cultural aspect of our honorable heritage.” The Arabian Heritage Project, Al-Kout Festival, is a social event that is primarily focused on promoting and fostering culture across the peninsula. Burgan Bank continues to maintain and strengthen its position as an integral part of the Kuwaiti social fabric, stressing the importance of preserving the true identity, traditions and customs of Kuwait.




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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

local kuwait digest

The time is now By Ali Al-Baghli t’s hurtful to see the escalation of the situation in Bahrain which, if anything, only opens the door for spiteful people to stick their noses into something that is none of their business. The need for political reform in this dear Gulf nation is an undeniable fact. The current parliament has limited authority as long as the Consultative Council has the final say on their decisions given its status as the upper house in the kingdom’s national assembly. Already suffering from increased unemployment and poverty levels, Bahrain has seen an unjustified level of political naturalization to adjust the countries demographics. Meanwhile, direct privileges given by the government to newly naturalized people, such as employment and housing, have come much to the disappointment of citizens who have been waiting for years to be provided with housing welfare and a decent job. After the failure to hold dialogue between the government and the opposition, a state of emergency was declared when the situation reached a dead end. I hope that matters don’t escalate any more now that Peninsula Shield Forces were asked to step in. Hopefully the presence of foreign troops will be considered a form of support for the ruling system against the people, or for one social category over another. The majority of the demands being asked for by protestors are nationalistic with the goal of achieving reform, democracy and a respect for human rights. Those demands were inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and other parts of the Arab World. Don’t the patient and disadvantaged Bahrainis deserve to make similar demands? I acknowledge the approach of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to support mediation between the government and the opposition in Bahrain. Kuwaitis’ solidarity with their brethren in Bahrain is an unquestionable matter. Therefore, action that could hurt the relations between the two countries should be avoided. Hopefully Bahrain takes progressive steps similar to those taken by King Mohammad the Sixth of Morocco by enforcing political reforms to eradicate corruption, injustice and inequality in the Western Arab nation. It is time those rights are enjoyed by Arabs in all parts of the Arab World. —Al-Qabas


KUWAIT: Group photo of the participants, with Jamal Al-Shamri and Iman Areeqat. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Kuwait hosts conference on ways to eliminate human trafficking ‘Victims now number in the millions’ By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: A conference on ways to eliminate human trafficking opened yesterday at Kuwait’s Marina Hotel. The ‘Workers’ Rights, International Treaties, Migration Organizations and Eliminating Human Trafficking’ conference, an event jointly organized by the Kuwait Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies (KIJLS) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is scheduled to last until Wednesday 23. The conference is being held under the auspices of Kuwait’s justice minister Rashid Al-Hamad, who is also the country’s Deputy Prime Minister for Legal Affairs and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. The KIJLS is a department of the justice ministry. In his inaugural speech at the opening ceremony, KIJLS director Jamal Al-Shamri stressed the dangers posed by human trafficking not just to the victims but to the international community at large. “Human trafficking is increasing and is usually connected to the smuggling of immigrants,” he said. “The victims of this illegal act now number in the millions, with the number of illegal immigrants crossing international borders reaching 800,000 people per year.” Human trafficking also adversely affects the labor markets of the countries affected, added Al-Shamri. “Human trafficking is a breach of human rights, and leads to social alienation, harming general health, depriving nations of their manpower, damaging workers’ rights and even supporting organized crime.” The senior judicial official continued, “All these reasons require the coordination of efforts from all international supervisory institutions. We should fight this phenomenon to eliminate its effects. We

have coordinated with the IOM to estab- ary to protect the contractual rights of expalish a comprehensive strategy through triate workers through providing them [the organizing training programs and holding judiciary] with training and technical support symposiums and conferences to examine concerning international immigration law.” During the conthe various ference, Areeqat aspects of human explained, the trafficking, smugdelegates “will gling migrants, discuss subjects and increasing such as the new knowledge about challenges and workers’ basic cases of immigrarights. These tion and internarights include the tional ad-hoc freedom to committees and choose a job, the international conditions of courts, as well as time and location to do this job in, KUWAIT: Jamal Al-Shamri, Iman Areeqat protecting workand the legal and other attendees during the confer- ers’ rights and many other tools to deal with ence yesterday. issues.” and organize it.” The delegates attending the conferThe following speaker, Iman Areeqat, the head of IOM’s Kuwait chapter, said that the ence range from judges to prosecutors, primary objective of the conference is “to legal consultants, and prosecuting attorstrengthen the abilities of the Kuwaiti judici- neys, with a number travelling from other

Kuwaitis prepared to mediate in calming Bahrain turbulence KUWAIT: A delegation of prominent members of Kuwait’s civil community is awaiting instructions from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah in order to travel to Bahrain to hold joint talks with members of the kingdom’s leadership and opposition in order to avert further confrontation there. Ali Al-Matrouk, a leading member of Kuwait’s Shiite community, told local daily Al-Rai that all parties involved in the current political upheavals in Bahrain have made it

clear that they would welcome a Kuwaiti mediator’s role to achieve a satisfactory settlement. Al-Matrouk further indicated that the group who have volunteered to mediate in the situation have almost concluded work on a formula which could help restore order and prevent further sectarian tensions from flaring up in the future. He explained that the group had worked closely to finalize the details of the formula with members of the

opposition in Bahrain during a recent meeting there with them, warning that troublemaking by some seditious elements within the opposition had led to earlier arbitration and conciliation efforts collapsing, suggesting that these parties were following other agendas. Al-Matrouk said that the group of concerned citizens are awaiting HH the Amir’s instructions before taking any steps to travel to Bahrain for mediation talks which could help to subdue tensions there.

KUWAIT: A group photo of the staff members. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

Planet Hollywood restaurant opens in Olympia Tower tions featuring movie antiques and souvenirs. Al-Muzain described the competKUWAIT: The Planet Hollywood itive market in Kuwait of American restaurant chain opened a restaucasual food restaurants, which is a rant here in Kuwait recently. growing industry in the Americas, Hollywood lovers can select from a Europe, the Middle East menu of 80 items featuring and Asia. Hollywood stars. A press conThe public relations and ference was held yesterday by marketing manager, the Falcon International Ibrahim Al-Muzain Company, the business manannounced that Planet aging the restaurant locally. Hollywood Kuwait will “Lovers of movies, cinema, open for business on and Hollywood stars will enjoy March 24. He explained their stay at Planet Hollywood that there will be a light Kuwait,” said Hamad AlMuzain, the General Manager KUWAIT: Khalid Mustafa (left) Hamoud Al- opening followed by a grand opening. While he of Falcon International; the Muzain (middle) and Ibrahim Al-Muzain. did not specify the exact sole agent of the franchise Planet Hollywood Kuwait. Al-Muzain Balli, Cancon, Gwam, Jacarta, date of the grand opening, he did explained the history of the chain Merthel Coast, Riyadh, Dubai and hit that it will be in May. At the end of the press conferrestaurants, where it first started in this year in Kuwait and India. As Al-Muzain continued, he ence, Hamad Al-Muzain promised New York on October 22, 1991 by businessman Robert Eurl and with described how the restaurant pro- that the restaurant has plans to the support of big Hollywood stars vides a unique dining experience expand to malls as well as into indesuch as Sylvester Stallone, Bruce with Hollywood inspired decora- pendent locations. By Nisreen Zahreddine

Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Demi Moore. Ever since, Planet Hollywood restaurant found its way to the biggest cities in the world; Vegas, Orlando, Niagara Falls, Honolulu, London, Paris, Acapulco,

countries to attend the event, including France, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, the UAE, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan. During the conference, Areeqat explained, “four international experts and a local expert will be presenting lectures and exchanging their experience with the participants. We believe that judges are extremely interested in this issue. The IOM is also cooperating with the Kuwaiti government by supplying it with international experience and by executing projects with other ministries and public institutions.” The senior official explained that the IOM had organized 10 events to discuss various aspects of workers’ rights and migration in recent months, saying, “We’ve held conferences, symposiums, workshops, and lectures that discussed different subjects such as expatriate laborers on temporary contract in the GCC countries, the Kafeel [sponsorship] system and the challenges facing it, in addition to some training courses.”




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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


28 local schools participating in disability inclusion program By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Twenty-eight state primary schools in Kuwait are currently participating in a pilot program to encourage the ‘inclusion’ of children with disabilities in the educational mainstream. In an exclusive interview with the Kuwait Times, Dr Iesa Al-Jassem, the Assistant Executive Director of the Center for Child Evaluation & Teaching (CCET) revealed that 28 schools in Mubarak Al-Kabeer governorate have undergone a series of facility checks and exclusive training and workshops for their

siderable improvements the way schools, teachers and parents treat children with disabilities, even though we only launched the project last December.” The inclusion program instructs all the participating state schools to accept every child, whatever their economic status, condition, gender or nationality. “We dreamed of a public school in Kuwait where education is not only for ablebodied children but for everyone, regardless of their condition,” he added. Jassem noted that the current system was introduced in Kuwait

Dr Iesa Al-Jasem

teachers to provide the proper training and instruction for the inclusion program. Dr. Al-Jassem is in charge of the project, which is being organized by the CCET under the auspices of Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (MAIA). “ The program star ted in December 2010,” explained the senior academic. “First, we held two-week training programs for the school principals, then head teachers and supervisors. From then onwards we have seen con-

and play with [able-bodied] children.” In previous centuries, he continued, individuals with disabilities were unfortunately considered socially unwanted. “They were [considered to be] evil, a punishment or a curse from God that should be eliminated,” he said sadly “ That attitude has changed 100 years later, changing to one of simple isolation, but that isolationary attitude has now reached one of inclusion.” In educational terms, inclusion is the practice of educating children with disabilities along-

Alan Hunter

to adhere on the equal education oppor tunities for all as defined by international law. “Provisions in international law stress the rights to education of individuals regardless of whether they have disabilities or not,” he explained. “International law states that disabled people should be included in society and should be given the proper education, care and protection and should be merged with mainstream children and allowed to socialize

side their able-bodied peers. Dr. Al-Jassem admitted when the inclusion program was first introduced in Kuwait, some educators and parents were dubious of the potential benefits, raising numerous questions and doubts about the concept. “At first we were flooded with questions and doubts,” he said. “They didn’t know what to do. They believed we couldn’t implement such a program and it wouldn’t materialized. Some didn’t want to accept the con-

cept because they said it would bring an additional workload and more responsibilities for the teachers. But with the training provided by Alan Hunter, a child specialist, the whole program has been well implemented and well-accepted beyond my expectations.” Al-Jassem conceded, however, that an awareness campaign is still needed targeted at all those concerned, explaining that the program was adopted not only through choice but through legal necessity. According to international law, he explained, “everywhere in the world should adhere to this [inclusion] policy. In addition to this, every street, place, school, hospital building, etcetera, should be accessible not just to the able-bodied but to everybody.” Alan Hunter, a child specialist and educator, was hired by the CCET to help train teachers and educators in Kuwait. Hunter recently conducted a series of seminars and workshops for some local private schools, sharing his thoughts and concepts on the inclusion program. “Our concern is not just people with disabilities but with all pupils, because it’s an inclusive school in an inclusive society,” Hunter explained. “We don’t just care for children with disabilities but for all the children, in the mainstream as well. We are looking to enhance the way education is provided to children; the training should have a positive impact on all children, not just those with disabilities.” Hunter advises educators to adopt the learning style tailored to the children, not for the children to be forced to adopt the style of the teacher. “We want more learning and less teaching. Teaching should start with the learner, that is the reason why we are here; we exist because of the learner,” he explained.

Egyptians vote symbolically in favor caught up quickly, with those on both sides subsequently vying for supremacy until KUWAIT: As millions of Egyptians flocked to the last hours of the poll when the ‘Ayes’ carried polling stations across Egypt on Saturday to the day with over 52 percent of the votes. He also explained that the online referenvote on the referendum on proposed constitutional amendments, the ‘Egyptian in Kuwait’ dum was conducted during the same hours set website at conducted a sym- by the ruling Egyptian Military Council for the bolic parallel online referendum to gauge the actual referendum held throughout Egypt, Egyptian community in Kuwait’s views on the starting at 8:00 AM and ending at 7:00 PM amendments, pending demands to grant (CMT). The distinguished journalist further Egyptians overseas the right to vote in various revealed that the website visitors were offered full information about the constitutional article elections back home. According to the website founder, journalist to be amended, with both the original texts and Osama Galal, 2,743 Egyptian expatriates took the new ones being displayed there so that voters knew exactly what they part in the referendum, were voting for or against. with 52.23 per cent of “I hope Egypt will get respondents agreeing with over this critical experience the proposed amendments and end up having a true, while 47.77 per cent more people-focused conopposed them. stitution within a maximum “This symbolic referenof one year in order to terdum was conducted to minate the old one that help Egyptians overseas, entitles presidents to limitwho had been marginalless powers and authority,” ized and prevented from Galal stressed, predicting taking part in various electhat the referendum results tions taking place back in Egypt would closely home through Egyptian match those from the webembassies,” Galal explained, site’s online version, and pointing out that the webOsama Galal expressing sincere hopes site had advertised the referendum weeks earlier via its Facebook page that this would be the last time Egyptians overand other electronic and printed newspapers, seas would be marginalized in any voting which met with a considerable degree of partic- process back home. “What do we have to do to ipation, reflecting Egyptians’ increasingly posi- voice our demands to the Egyptian officials? Do tive outlook on and willingness to take part in we have to go on strike in Tahrir Square, as well?!”, Galal asked, urging the new cabinet and the change process. Galal revealed that in the first hours after the foreign minister to show more care for online referendum opened, the numbers of Egyptians overseas in order to avoid what he those voting against the proposed amend- described as endless protests by those frustratments was greater than those supporting it, ed expatriates when they return home on vacaadding that soon after this the number of votes tion next summer. By Hassan A. Bari

NBK celebrates Mother’s Day with Alshaya Restaurants KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the best bank in the Middle East, celebrates Mother’s Day by offering an exclusive promotion for its Laki Titanium MasterCard credit cardholders at selected M. H. Alshaya casual dining restaurants. The promotion runs from March 20 to 24 in which the cardholders dining at some of the Alshaya restaurants benefit from a discount totaling 25% of their dining bill. NBK Promotions Manager Consumer Banking Group, Anan Al-Madahka stated: “We continuously provide valuable promotions that cater to our customers’ needs and life styles. NBK has always celebrated Mother’s Day, and in collaboration with Alshaya we are able to offer mothers an instant 15% discount on their dining bill and another 10% as NBK Rewards Points when they dine with their Laki Titanium MasterCards at Alshaya participating restaurants. Women who don’t yet have a Laki Titanium MasterCard credit card can apply for one at any NBK branch to benefit from this offer and other upcoming promotions throughout the year.” “I would like to invite all of our Laki Titanium cardholders to take part in our monthly promotions where a lot of benefits and surprises await them. We will be collaborating with a variety of their favorite stores and outlets where they get special offers when shopping or dining,” added Al-Madahka. “We are pleased to collaborate with NBK in celebrating Mother’s Day through this promotion in which Laki Titanium cardholders will experience an array of tasteful cuisines, from the charms and romance of our traditional Parisian brasserie to Pizza Rustica, our Traditional Italian gourmet pizzeria, and many more”, stated Nader Hallal, Head of Marketing of Alshaya casual dining stated. “The Alshaya casual dining restaurants that are participating in this event offer cuisines from around the world, from the famous Indian cuisine at Asha’s, where contemporary Indian dishes combine with a contemporary approach without losing the warmth and richness of India. Brasserie de l’etoile, is dedicated to the simple pleasures of Paris, where eating is an art. Diners can also enjoy the finest Argentinean steak grilled to perfection in the elegant ambiance at the Gaucho Grill. A gem in Italian dining featuring traditional, authentic and hearty home-style cuisine from across the length and breadth of Italy can be experienced at Al Forno. Last but not least, Pizza Rustica the traditional Italian specialty pizzeria specializes in gourmet Italian pizza made with ingredients imported from Italy.

This is pizza that epitomizes ‘La Dolce Vita’ in every delicious bite.” Added Hallal. NBK’s Laki account offers women the Laki Titanium MasterCard credit card which is the first of its kind in Kuwait. The card comes with unrivaled offers and exclusive privileges such as free Valet parking, concierge service, and complimentary airport lounge access and instant discounts at numerous outlets in Kuwait. For more information about this month’s promotion and upcoming offers customers can visit

Anan Al-Madahka

Bahrain issue may be included in grilling KUWAIT: MP Khalid Al-Sultan has announced that he is to ask parliamentary colleagues in the Popular Action Bloc (PAB) to question His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah over Kuwait’s stance on the current turbulence in Bahrain and whether related leadership decisions on the issue have been retracted or amended during the planned grilling session against the premier. Al-Sultan, a member of the Salaf Alliance, said that raising this subjec t in the interpolation motion would “significantly help” the PAB’s

chances of achieving success with the grilling motion and in any subsequent no-confidence motion. The MP was speaking at a gathering held on Saturday evening to express solidarit y with the Bahraini rulers through supporting a proposal to send Kuwaiti troops to join those of other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC ) nations as par t of the Peninsula Shield Force currently in Bahrain. The event was organized by the Thawabet Al-Umma (Principles of the Muslim Nation) parliamentary bloc, which stressed the importance

of “differentiating between demanding one’s rights and rebelling against the ruling system.” The bloc insists that Kuwait should “return the favor for Bahrain’s unlimited support” during the 1990-91 Iraqi invasion and occupation. “We say a big ‘No’ to those who seek single Kuwait out of the Gulf Cooperation Council,” insisted Salaf Movement MP Mohammed Hayef, referring to calls from some for the Kuwaiti government not to send troops to Bahrain. Hayef also strongly condemned HH the Prime Minister in connection with the situation. —Agencies



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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011



Scam artist robs Kuwaiti woman of KD 35,000 Escape goes wrong in Salwa

KUWAIT: Al-Anjari in a group photo with course participants

Al-Anjari lectures in ‘Women Leaders’ course KUWAIT: A number of Ministry of Interior (MoI) servicewomen attended a special course organized by the Leader’s Group which focused on discussion of ways to improve women’s chances of success in leading positions by helping them get the most out of their efforts through utilizing progressive strategies. Lectures during the seminar were provided by prominent Kuwaiti businesswoman and political activist Nabila AlAnjari, who is considered an exemplary

model of how women can achieve success in leaderships in various fields, including the country’s tourism sector or in other private sector fields. The course program focused on explaining the concept of leadership and the characteristics required in women wishing to attain senior positions; Al-Anjari suggested that these include self-confidence, planning and an ability to adjust to various situations, as well as an aptitude for working well under pressure.

Seminar on role of women in development KUWAIT: Chairperson of the Women’s Affairs Committee of the Kuwaiti cabinet Sheikha Latifa AlFahad Al-Salem Al-Sabah declared yesterday that the committee will hold next Wednesday a seminar titled “Role of Kuwaiti Women in Development and Progress”. Sheikha Latifa expressed, in a press conference held earlier yesterday, her belief in the vital and effective role played by Kuwaiti women in developing and constructing society, as well as achieving sustainable development. She added that statistics show a steady increase in the rate of women’s participation in the Kuwaiti workforce, as they amounted to 14 percent in 1995, then 35 percent in 2000, and became 41 percent in 2005, and exceeded 50 percent today. “Kuwaiti women have recently joined the military corps to meet the society’s requirements in this field, and out of the belief in their abilities to address some societal issues,” Sheikha Latifa said. Further, Sheikha Latifa pointed out that Kuwaiti women also play a distinctive role in the social development through efforts made by the civil society organizations. She added that this came following the establishment of several non-governmental organizations, besides the specialized women’s societies, “in spite of lack of material resources, the reluctance of experienced human resources, and lack of communication between civil society organizations and the regional and international bodies, besides the influencing power of the cultural and social heritage.” Sheikha Latifa concluded by lauding the sublime patronage accorded by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Kuwaiti women, in what helped them achieve the current progress. —KUNA

Kuwaiti exhibition opens in Vienna VIENNA: Representative of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah said yesterday Kuwait’s travelling “Art from the Islamic Civilization” exhibition was sending a clear message that Kuwait was very much keen on highlighting Islamic culture and civilization. Speaking shortly after arrival in Vienna for the inauguration of the exhibition today, Sheikh Ahmad, also Minister of Oil, his representation of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in the inauguration reflected Kuwait’s desire to have cultural interaction with other societies. The holding of the exhibition in Vienna, he noted, came after Austrian president Heinz Fischer’s 2009 visit to Kuwait. The travelling exhibition will continue touring the world in coming months and will be held in Finland, South Korea and Canada, said Sheikh Ahmad, who opened the same exhibition in Milan, Italy, last October. The exhibition, to be inaugurated by Fischer, includes collection of Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and his wife Sheikha Hussah Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah. Sheikha Hussah is the Director General of Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyya (DAI). Meanwhile, Austria’s Museum of Art History said in a bulletin that Al-Sabah collection of Islamic arts was one of the key collections in the Islamic Art. It said Sheikh Nasser and Sheikha Hussah took at least 40 years to gather this collection. The Museum said the exhibition would be held in one of the halls of the Austrian Museum of Art History in Vienna to enable visitors to have a closer look at more than 1,000 years of Islamic civilization and history. It said the exhibition would include 350 pieces like weapons, jewelry, carpets, handicrafts of wood, steel and stone. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Jabriya police arrested a scam artist who robbed a female citizen of KD 35,000 after he convinced her to give him the money to join him in a business project, reported Al-Watan. The victim informed police that she was convinced by her friend to enter into the partnership with an alleged businessman who can import iPhone devices to Kuwait. She realized that she was being scammed when her business partner failed to return her calls and switched off his cell phone soon after receiving the cash. An investigation led to the suspect’s arrest and it was discovered that he was an unemployed man with a history of similar crimes. Meanwhile, an Arab man filed a case at the Um AlHaiman police station after he lost KD 100 to a scam in which he was fooled into believing that he won a prize, reported Al-Rai. The man was the latest victim of the phone-scam crimes that have been taking place throughout the country. The victim explained that he sent KD 100 worth of credit to a phone number after he received a call from an alleged local telephone company informing him that he won a KD 50,000 lottery. The man realized he was being scammed when the unidentified caller - who was speaking with an Asian accent - asked him for an additional KD 80. After the request the two got into an argument and the scammer hung up as well as turned off the phone. The victim decided to inform police of the situation after the telecom company denied making any calls to him. It was discovered that the scammer used special computer software to make it seem as though he was calling from the company’s customer service department. A case was opened and investigators are looking for the suspect. Woman injured An Indonesian woman was hospitalized in serious condition after falling from the window of a Salwa apartment where she works as a maid, reported AlWatan. The victim used rope to descend from the window but fell to the ground when the rope snapped unexpectedly. She was admitted to

Mubarak Hospital by her employer and a case was filed at the local police station. Armed delinquents Police reported to a location in Shuwaikh after being informed of a potential armed robbery of a bank in the area, reported Al-Watan. Upon arriving to the scene police found a man lying in the street and complaining of an injury to his foot. The man, an Egyptian national who made the emergency call, informed police that he was shot by a gang who he believed was planning to carry out an armed robbery. The suspects were nowhere to be found but eyewitnesses told police that the group was made up of a bunch of juveniles fooling around with an air rifle. The man was brought to Amiri Hospital and a case was opened at the area’s police station. Missing child found A toddler was found safe at the beach after she was initially reported missing by her parents, reported Al-Watan. A team of police officers, firefighters and coastguards searched for the 3-year-old after receiving an emergency call from her Syrian father who lost her during a family picnic. A group of citizens also volunteered to search for the missing child. Hours later, police were approached by a Kuwaiti man who handed them a child he found walking alone by the beach. Authorities confirmed that the child was the one reported missing and reunited her with her family. Lawbreakers caught Police held three people recently at the Rumaithiya police station for being intoxicated and for assisting in the escape of two people from authorities, reported Al-Rai. The incident occurred after police officers ordered a vehicle carrying five people driving in Salmiya to pull over. The driver decided to ignore the order and authorities called for backup. Police pursued the suspects’ car until it stopped next to a building in the area. Police reported seeing three young men assist two scantily clad women into the building. The

male suspects confronted the police officers with sticks while the female suspects escaped. Eventually the suspects were taken into custody and it was discovered that they were under the influence of alcohol. Drug dealer A young woman recently arrested for trafficking drugs told police that she resorted to prostitution and selling drugs in order to afford her addiction, reported Al-Anba. Officers placed the drug dealer under arrest after she unknowingly sold 15 grams of heroin to a police informant. When questioned by authorities, she told them she resorted to selling drugs after her attempt at being a prostitute was unsuccessful. She provided police with information about her two accomplices, who were then placed under arrest. Greedy beggar A female citizen called police after a beggar refused to let her go unless she gave him a KD 5 bill, reported Al-Anba. The woman was making her way out of Fahaheel Mall when an old man approached her and asked for a handout. She took out a KD 1 bill from her purse but the beggar was unsatisfied and demanded more money. He said, “your car’s worth KD 20 thousand” and “I want KD 5”. The man, who also claimed to be a Gulf national, stood in front of the woman’s car and refused to let her move. He eventually fled the scene upon hearing police sirens. Illegal photography A citizen was detained in the South Surra police station after he was spotted photographing the State Security Service building, reported Al-Rai. Police reported to the location when an emergency caller reported that a person wearing national dress used his cell phone to take pictures of the government building. When questioned, the man tried to explain that he was making an archive of different types of buildings in Kuwait. Several other photos of buildings were found in his phone. He was held for further questioning.

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


Kuwaiti survivor in Japan’s M9.0 quake talks with tears, hopes Embassy praised for positive efforts TOKYO: Kuwaiti citizen Abdullah AlMudafar and his family, who survived last week’s magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that devastated northeastern and eastern Japan, expressed gratitude to the Kuwaiti Embassy here for offering them special attention. In an interview after arriving in Tokyo in peace from the quake -hit Kesennuma City, Abdullah described how the Al-Mudafar family-his Japanese wife Miyuki and three children Yousef, Kazem and Sarah escaped from the catastrophe that has claimed more than 8,000 lives. Abdullah, 49, who runs a cram school and private English school, lived a happy life for 23 years in Kesennuma City in Miyagi Prefecture (390 km north of Tokyo) until the March 11 quake devastated the city. “When the massive quake struck here at 2:46 pm, I was working in the cram school adjacent to my house. It was too strong to keep standing. Bookshelves and furniture in my office collapsed, and I hastily dived under a large table to protect myself. The quake lasted more than 2 minutes,” Abdullah said. “I have come through many earthquakes in Japan, but never experienced such a big one. When the temblor stopped, I crawled to my house, then found Kazem and Sarah intact under a table. All the furniture fell down and walls crumbled.” His wife Miyuki was out at the moment the earthquake occurred, while the eldest son Yousef was also safe in Sendai City, about 90 km southwest of Kesennuma. Miyuki rushed home and urged Abdullah and their children to immediately flee to higher ground in the wake of tsunami warning. “After slipping into a car, we picked up Miyuki’s mother who lives nearby and raced to a hill. The road was filled with panicking crowds from fear of an impending tsunami,” he said. The family managed to reach a hill, where Abdullah saw a hideous scene below his eyes “just like a movie.” Thick brown smokes rose above the ocean, giant oil tanks float in the water like footballs and fires broke out in many places. The family stayed overnight in their car at the hill. A series of fires and flooding continued to be seen on the next day across Kesennuma City known for its fishing industry. The water level there was still very high when Abdullah returned to his house to

check its condition, forcing him to sink to his tummy in the water. “I was completely shocked. Only pillars were barely able to stand, and my house and newly-built cram school totally lost their original shapes. Inside my house, I saw a lot of dead fish

embassy,” said Abdullah. “ The Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman AlOtaibi provided us with transportation to Tokyo, temporary accommodation and necessities, which reflect courteous attention and great care by our government for

The Al-Mudafar family brought by tsunami waves,” he said. The Al-Mudafar family took refuge for five days at Miyuki’s relatives’ house, where there were no water, electricity and telecommunications, while food was scarce following the twin natural disasters. “We cried a lot, but tried to laugh together to lighten up our spirit,” said Abdullah. In the meantime, their eldest son returned from Sendai City, where he studies at the university, to search for his family. “After going back to Sendai again, Yousef was connected with the Kuwaiti Embassy in Tokyo through Facebook and other communication tools. Once an emergency cellular phone facility was established at Kesennuma’s city hall several days after the quake, I finally managed to call the

Kuwaiti citizens. We will remember this forever,” Abdullah said. He also expressed gratitude and appreciation to Ambassador Al-Otaibi and embassy staff for their desperate efforts in ensuring safety of his family and tracing them. “Our comfortable life, beautiful house, family memorabilia and new school building in Kesennuma suddenly disappeared, and we have to restart our life from zero. But I thank God for saving my family from the catastrophic disaster. The road ahead will be bumpy, but we won’t give up,” Abdullah said in tears. “I love Japan and the Japanese people, as much as my homeland Kuwait.” Abdullah plans to return to Kuwait and spend time for a while to reassure his

Kuwaiti family and relatives, who spent sleepless nights after losing contact with the Al-Mudafar family since the March 11 quake. “I asked my wife and children to travel with me to Kuwait. But my children said to me, “Many of our friends and classmates are still missing, and we cannot leave them behind. So, please let us stay in Japan for them. But we want you to go back to Kuwait on behalf of us and tell our Kuwaiti relatives that we are fine, then come back to us.” I was deeply impressed,” Abdullah said. Despite such a disaster, Abdullah considers himself lucky to be in Japan. “I was amazed to see how the Japanese people were well-behaved and stayed true to spirits of mutual aid in such a dire condition. “Unlike many other countries, here in Japan, people did not scramble or wrestle for water and food even when everything was in short supply. The Japanese people patiently and orderly waited their turns in a long queue, and when they received a little portion of food or relief goods, they never missed saying “Thank you.” Everyone was keen to help each other while crying for the loss of their loved ones and properties,” he said. Abdullah also worked as a volunteer at a supermarket owned by Miyuki’s brother to give water and living necessities to the people for free. He also shared candles, dry batteries, rice, water and other essentials with those who were in need. For his part, Ambassador Al-Otaibi said that the embassy hired a professional rescue team to locate the Al-Mudafar family, and the team completed its task on March 19 by bringing the family from Kesennuma to Tokyo. “The emergency measure was taken under the instructions of the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khalid Al-Jarallah, which underlines the care and attention by the Kuwaiti government toward our nationals,” Al-Otaibi said. The diplomat also said the embassy has arranged a comfortable accommodation for the Al-Mudafar family in Tokyo until the situations return to normal, expressing his readiness to provide further assistance and support necessary for them. According to the National Police Agency, as of March 20 noon, 8,133 people were confirmed dead and 12,272 others remained missing. In the hardest-hit Miyagi Prefecture alone, at least 4,882 people were killed. — KUNA

Kuwaiti envoy visits Indonesian energy minister JAKARTA: The Kuwaiti Ambassador accredited to Indonesia, Nasser Bareh Al-Enezi, last Wednesday paid a formal visit to Dr Darwin Zahedy Saleh, Indonesian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, conveying the best wishes of Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti Minister of Oil and of Information, to the eminent official. During the meeting, the ambassador not only reminded the minister of the invitation extended to him earlier to attend the forthcoming ‘Fourth Asian Oil and Energy Ministerial Round-Table Meeting’ scheduled to take place in Kuwait from April 17-19, but also assured Dr. Saleh of Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah’s eagerness to welcome him to the upcoming event. Dr Saleh, meanwhile, expressed his immense gratitude to the Kuwaiti minister for initiating such an important meeting, more especially during such a crucial period when the Middle East region is facing an energy crunch, along with other major problems. He confirmed that he will be attending next month’s meeting in Kuwait, expressing his keen anticipation of meeting with his counterparts, not only from Kuwait but from many other nations as well, with Ambassador Al-Enezi formally thanking him in advance for confirming his attendance at the high-level meeting. The Indonesian minister also lauded the initiatives taken by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah, wishing his Kuwaiti counterpart every success with the highly important upcoming meeting. Dr. Saleh was in absolute agreement with the ambassador over the need to utilize all possible ways and means of further enhancing and strengthening the bilateral relations between their two fraternal countries. Kuwait and Indonesia have maintained strong and longstanding, mutually cooperative relations in various fields, including energy, and economic, social and political issues and this relationship continues to grow and expand with time, said the two officials. Discussions during last week’s meeting focused in particular on exploring the different avenues available to both nations for more cooperation on investment in the oil and energy sectors, which it is felt will mutually benefit both countries.

Kuwait Times photography competition 2011 Kuwait Times Photography Competition 2011 ends on 30th of March 2011. We are encouraging everyone who likes snapping pictures to submit as many photos as they can. The competition is open to everyone who is armed with a camera. One thing needs to be considered: the photos sent should have an original coupon stick at the back which should include complete information. The last day for receiving entries is 2nd of April 2011. The coupon has to be given at the reception of Kuwait Times office in Shuwaikh. There will be a dinner party for the winners from the participants either in Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn. We are very honored to have the professional judges where we invited to choose among the best. Three judges will be on the judge panel and will make the final choice of winners. Uwe W. Wruck is a Commercial Photographer. He was born in 1954 in Germany. He was educated as a Photographer in Pyrmont/Hannover (BoPh). He holds a Master of Photography (MoPh, Bundesfachschule fuer Fotografie, Hamburg). He has Education as Aerial Photographer for the Air Force in Germany (Munich). He has been working in Germany for different Studios, in the field of People , Still live , Food and Industrial Photography. During that time he had several Exhibitions of his Photographic Works in Hamburg, Hannover , Koeln (Photokina) and Munich. In 1983 he moved to Kuwait and started the Commercial Studio for Boushahri Studios Worked for Boushahri Camera Arts 15 Years. In 1997 he founded with Reda Salem “Photographics” and “Photogenics”. We operated a Commercial and Portrait Studio in Salmiah. In 2004 he started “Uwe W. Wruck Photography” in Jabriyah. He has been working for the last 40 Years in Photography Publications in Magazines and Books and price winning Competitions during this time. Much of his Work in Commercial Photography can be

seen in the shelves and freezers of Supermarkets , Magazines / News Papers and Street Posters etc. In 2004 he made an Exhibition “20 Years of Kuwait” (with 190 Images of Kuwait). A year later he received an “ KAAA “ Award for Outstanding Advertising Photography. The same year he received prizes from KUNA and SAS / Radison. / Chevron Competitions His past Work reaches into all fields of Commercial Photography. He say he still enjoys Photography as a Hobby and Art. The second judge is Konstantin Assenov, executive creative director at Paragon Marketing Communications. He is a holder of a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Having more than 30 years of experience in the field of visual arts, graphic design, advertising, photography and mass communications, Konstantin has work featured in several international books on graphic design, branding and corporate identity. An active member of the IAA Kuwait Chapter, he has been part of judging panels at many creative awards. Konstantin is the author of more than 200 logos, more than half of which are created for companies in Kuwait. An avid photographer, Konstantin has work published and used in a wide platform of media such as packaging, advertisements and profiles. The third judge is Louai Alasfahani - Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Paragon Marketing Communication, an independent award winning agency with offices in Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman and Bulgaria established in 2001. In January 2010 Louai Alasfahani raised to the rank President of the International Advertising Association (IAA Kuwait Chapter) from his previ-

ous rank as IAA Secretary General. Back in December 1996 Louai Alasfahani helped in the establishment of the IAA Kuwait Chapter and has since its inception maintained his membership and support to make the local chapter the force it is today. He is also an active member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Louai Alasfahani’s work over the past two decades has won him numerous local, regional and international creativity awards. His work can be enjoyed on the pages of more than 18 international book titles on the subject of creativity and design. His most coveted award till date is Kuwait’s 1st (and only) corporate social responsibility (CSR) award as Louai has a strong conviction in the power of communication and its positive effect on our lives when practiced responsibly. When Louai Alasfahani was elected in 2005 to judge the Summit International Awards (SIA) he became the first and till date - the only Arab national to hold such honor. His continues reelection to judge SIA and other local and regional competitions as well as being the official representative of both the Dubai Lynx and Cannes Lions festivals for creativity is an indication of the respect the industry has for his personal achievements and trust in his professional integrity. He is a regular guest speaker in numerous universities in Kuwait and the United Kingdom. In his spare time, Louai Alasfahani regularly contributes articles to specialized trade magazines such as Arab Ad, GMR, Campaign ME, Communicate, Media Week, Byte, Al Tasweq Al Arabi, Aswaq, Awraq, Focus Intelligence report and others. In 2008 He created and still manages a a blog on intellectual property, creativity and Integrated Marketing Communications that is one-of-itskind in the Middle East. His passion is equally split between graphic design and photography.

International MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

Iraqis call for boycott of Saudi goods over Bahrain

Troops kill 2 Palestinians Page 8

Page 8

Thousands in Morocco march for rights Protesters say king has reneged on promises for reform

RABAT: A protester shouts slogans during a demonstration yesterday, calling for further democratic reforms and social justice. — AFP

RABAT: Thousands took to the streets in cities across Morocco on Sunday demanding better civil rights and an end to corruption in the moderate North African country where the king this month promised constitutional reform. “Morocco should start drawing some serious lessons from what’s happening around it,” said Bouchta Moussaif, who was among at least two thousand people marching alongside the city’s medieval walls in the capital Rabat. Thousands joined protests in Morocco’s main city, Casablanca, in Tangiers in the north, and in Agadir on the Atlantic coast where witness Hafsa Oubou said several thousands were marching. A government official said at least as many were protesting as on Feb. 20 when interior ministry estimates were 37,000. Unrest has swept across North Africa since December, toppling regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, prompting international military intervention against Libya, and protests in Algeria. “The king did not meet the demands made during the first nationwide protest, that’s why we are here again. He promised to reform the constitution and we all know how far those promises have got us,” Moussaif said. Morocco’s King Mohamed promised on March 9 to reform the judiciary, create a stronger role for parliament and political parties and boost the authority of local officials, and appointed a committee to work with political parties, trade unions and civil society groups to draw up proposals by June. “The Moroccan people want something that goes beyond the king’s speech,” said Abdelhamid Amine of AMDH human rights group. “They want their society to cease being one of subjects and become a society of citizenship.” Added Moncef Haddari, 82, said: “We will demonstrate until we get a new constitution chosen by the people.” Many women, some with hijab fully covering their

faces, carried pictures of relatives jailed in the wake of a security crackdown that saw thousands of people sentenced to often long prison terms after 12 suicide bombers killed 33 people in Casablanca in 2003. “My son has been on death row for seven years now. They have sentenced him to death because he prays. Death for being a good Muslim,” said Zahra Sahif, who carried a pink prison visit card with both her picture and her son’s. “ They did not even give him the chance for an appeal,” she continued. “What kind of justice is this? Is it because the Americans give them money?” King Mohamed VI succeeded his father in 1999 and holds ultimate power in the country of 32.6 million. Some in the crowd carried his picture and said they wanted changes under which the countr y would remain a kingdom. “We all are for our king. But I agree that the prime minister and the king’s two aides should get out,” said protester Dalila, referring to Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi, Mohamed Mounir El-Majidi, the king’s secretary who has made a fortune from billboard advertising and Fouad Ali Himma, a classmate of the king and former deputy interior minister. “We want an end to the corruption you find everywhere,” said Dalila, a woman dressed in Western clothes. Some protesters carried brooms as they chanted “We want an end to corruption”. A few people carried cardboard “F”s, a reference to the Internet site Facebook which has played an important role in helping organizing anti-government protests. The Socialists’ USFP party announced late on Saturday that it would join the protest-the first government coalition party to do so. Morocco was seen as less likely to face public protests than other countries in North Africa and the Middle East, but calls for change have intensified as people sense a rare opportunity. — Reuters

Gaddafi writes to ‘Dear son Obama’ Excerpts of letters Muammar Gaddafi sent to President Barack Obama and others involved in the international coalition supporting the uprising against him: Letter to Obama: To our son, the honorable Barack Hussein Obama, As I have said before, even if, God forbid, there were a war between Libya and America, you would remain my son and I would still love you. I do not want to change the image I have of you. All of the Libyan people are with me, ready to die, even the women and children. We are fighting nothing other than Al-Qaeda in what they call the Islamic Maghreb. It’s an armed group that is fighting from Libya to Mauritania and through Algeria and Mali. ... If you had found them taking over American cities by the force of arms, tell me what you would do?” Letter to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron and UN SecretaryGeneral Ban ki-Moon: Libya is not yours. Libya is for the Libyans. The Security Council resolution is invalid because it does not follow the charter regarding the internal affairs of any country. This is terrible oppression, crude aggression. You never have the right to intervene in our internal affairs. Who gave you this right? You will regret it if you dare to intervene in our country. Our country is not your country. We cannot fire a single bullet at our people.” — Reuters

SERBIA: Protesters hold up placards and pictures of Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi during a rally against the bombing yesterday. — AP



e niv rsar n

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


i n t e r n at i o n a l

Rocket fired from Gaza Troops kill 2 Palestinians

AL-WAYFIYAH: A Libyan rebel waves the rebellion flag at the site of wrecked military vehicles belonging to Muammar Gaddafi forces hit by French warplanes yesterday.— AP

‘Enough!’ the Arabs say, but will it be enough? AMMAN: The cry first rang out from the fed-up people of Lisbon and Madrid: “Basta!” It echoed across South America, to the banging of pots and pans. It resounded in the old capitals of a new Asia, was taken up in a Polish shipyard, awakened a slumbering Africa. And now, a generation later, it’s heard in the city squares of the Arab world: “Kifaya!” Enough. From Morocco in the west to Yemen in the east, the sudden rising up of ordinary Arabs against their autocratic rulers looks like a belated postscript to the changes that swept the globe in the final decades of the last century - a period scholars dubbed the “third wave of democracy.” “Now we’re witnessing the fourth wave of democracy,” a smiling Oraib al-Rantawi, Jordanian political activist, assured a visitor to Amman. “We’re lucky to live to see it.” You could see it one brilliant afternoon on Talal Street in this cream-colored city of minarets and hills, where more than 2,000 Jordanians marched along in a river of flags and protest signs, adding their voices to those in almost a dozen other Arab lands demanding greater freedoms, a bigger say in running their societies. “The people across the region have risen and our leaders are still asleep,” protest leader Sufian Tal told these unhappy subjects of Jordan’s King Abdullah II. “Enough is enough!” In Amman and Cairo, in Sanaa and Benghazi, it’s clear: They’ve had enough. But is the Arab world truly on the threshold of democracy? Why did it take so long? And why in our lifetimes did this idea of “one person, one vote” spread so swiftly over the globe? Twenty-six floors up in a Wall Street office tower, near the spot where George Washington took the oath to lead a newborn American democracy, Arch Puddington and his Freedom House staff meticulously track the idea’s planetary progress. For almost 40 years, this think tank’s New York researchers have annually assessed the state of democracy and associated freedoms, classifying nations in three categories - free, partly free or not free. The numbers tell a striking story: Almost half the world’s nations were rated not free in 1972, but by last year that proportion had dropped below one-quarter. “What impresses me is how it’s exploded when you had centuries when democracies didn’t exist at all, and for quite a few years were restricted to a few places,” Puddington said. Political scientists identify democracy’s “first wave” as the revolutionary period of the 18th and 19th centuries, and the second as the post-World War II restoration of traditional democracies. The third wave, they now see, began in the mid-1970s, when people in Portugal and Spain threw off decades of military dictatorship. That upheaval helped inspire their former Latin American colonies to topple their own authoritarians-in-uniform in the 1980s, when the rhythmic banging of cookware in the Santiago night signaled that Chileans, for one, were fed up. The wave rolled on to east Asia, to the Philippines’ “People Power” revolution, South Korea’s embrace of civilian democracy, Taiwan’s ending of one-party rule. Then, in 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. Eastern Europe’s postcommunist transition, foreshadowed by Solidarity’s rise in a Gdansk shipyard, delivered a dozen nations to Puddington’s democratic column. The wave then reached sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of countries with multiparty electoral systems soared from a mere three in 1989 to 18 by 1995. From about 40 democracies worldwide late in Spain’s Franco dictatorship, the number stood at 123 by 2005. Despots by the dozen - the Duvaliers and Marcoses, Stroessners and Ceausescus - were abruptly consigned to a grim past. Elections in some transformed states proved not

always free and fair. Some failed to protect minorities against the “tyranny of the majority,” the bane of mass rule. Some did little to better their impoverished people’s everyday lives. But, seemingly overnight, the world’s political landscape had unmistakably shifted, to power for the people. What had happened? A complex of factors is usually cited: the failed economic policies and military misadventures of the generals and strongmen; rising education, expanding middle classes, improved communications widening people’s horizons; a liberalizing Catholic Church in Latin America; a well-financed push by the US and the European Union to nurture more democracies through aid and political training programs. Puddington sees another big driver: the fading of what many once viewed as a non-democratic alternative, the communist promise of economic development with social equality in a one-party state. “In the ‘70s, looking back, the communist idea had exhausted itself as an economic force,” he said. When the third wave finally ebbed a decade ago, only Arab societies were left untouched, noted alRantawi, director of Amman’s Al-Quds Center for Political Studies. “Sometimes we believed we were another kind of human,” he said with a laugh. “Practically all the world had become democratic, except us.” Why? Again, a list of reasons is cited: poverty and illiteracy; a postcolonial period, including wars with Israel, that empowered local militaries; oil wealth enriching traditional sheiks and other authoritarians; the US and other oil-importing powers favoring the predictability of friendly autocrats. Now the shock of Tunis and Cairo, the removal of two seemingly immovable presidents, accompanied by explosions of protest elsewhere, seems to be leapfrogging those obstacles, propelled by the Internet and instant communication. But where the fed-up Arab millions are headed in Egypt and Tunisia, and possibly soon in other lands, is the unanswered question of the moment. “Democracy is not the certain outcome,” said Vidar Helgesen, head of the Sweden-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, a 27-nation consortium that aids political transitions. “Mass protests can overthrow a dictatorship but cannot build democracy,” Helgesen said. That requires overhauling constitutions, establishing free, fair elections, adopting laws guaranteeing political rights, freedom of expression, independent judiciaries. The biggest uncertainties hang over the biggest Arab nation, the 80 million people of Egypt. Will its military commanders, “interim” leaders now that President Hosni Mubarak is gone, fully surrender the control they have exercised directly or indirectly for almost 60 years? Can strong political parties emerge soon enough? Will the wellorganized Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood dominate a new Egypt? This prospect of Islamist ascendancy has long been another obstacle to Arab democracy. Arab leaders, US politicians, Israeli voices spoke nervously of “one man, one vote, one time” - imposition of undemocratic, puritanical rule if open elections put religious parties in power. It’s a fear that led Algeria’s military to suppress an incipient democracy there as Islamists neared election victory in 1992. But other voices today insist political Islam doesn’t endanger democracy. They point to the “Turkish model,” where an elected Islamist party governs without remaking the secular, multiparty state. “The majority of Muslims in the Middle East today believe there is no incompatibility between Islam and democracy,” said Radwan Masmoudi, founder of the USbased Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy. — AP

JERUSALEM: Palestinian militants fired a rocket into southern Israel yesterday, while Israeli troops killed two Palestinians in a new outburst of violence along the volatile border with Gaza. The violence came a day after Palestinian militants fired some 50 mortar shells into Israel - the heaviest Palestinian assault since a bruising Israeli military offensive two years ago. Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers have largely honored an informal cease-fire since the 2009 war, in which the Islamic militant group suffered heavy losses. Israel says the Iranian-backed Hamas has recovered, and a pattern of rocket attacks and Israeli reprisals has gained steam in recent weeks. The Hamas-allied Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for yesterday ’s rocket attack, which caused no injuries or damage. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Adham Abu Salmia said a 22-year-old man in Gaza suffered moderate shrapnel wounds from Israeli tank fire after the rocket attack. The Israeli military said militants fired upon troops patrolling the Gaza-Israel border, and troops returned fire, identifying one hit. Abu Salmia said rescue teams also recovered the bodies of two Palestinian men who were killed overnight along the border. There were no details on their identities, and the military had no comment. Hamas has signaled it is not interested in renewing major violence with Israel since the 2009 offensive. Some 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, were

NUSSEIRAT: A Palestinian woman reacts during the funeral of slain Palestinian Salah Abu Attwa and Imad Faraj, both 17-year-olds yesterday.— AP

killed in the fighting, in addition to 13 Israelis. Most violence emanating out of Gaza since then has been carried out by smaller rivals to Hamas. But the Islamic group claimed responsibility for some of Saturday’s mortar fire, which slightly wounded two Israelis. Israel’s UN ambassador, Meron Reuben, sent a letter of complaint Saturday about the mortar fire to Secretary-General Ban Kimoon and to the UN Security Council, demanding that they condemn continued attacks on Israel. “Such attacks constitute a clear violation of international

law and must be addressed with the utmost seriousness,” Reuben wrote. Hamas has ruled Gaza since seizing power in a five-day civil war against the rival Fatah movement in 2007. As a wave of pro-democracy unrest reverberates through the region, both sides have faced growing calls to reconcile. Fatah, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, controls only the West Bank. On Saturday, Hamas assaulted protesters and journalists at a demonstration calling for reconciliation. New York-based Human Rights Watch criticized Hamas for Saturday’s crackdown, as well

as a similar attack at another demonstration last Tuesday. “It is a dismal reflection on Hamas that it is violently cracking down on peaceful demonstrators calling for political reconciliation,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director of Human Rights Watch. “ This is just the latest instance of Hamas assaulting Palestinians’ fundamental freedoms.” Last week, Abbas pledged he would travel to Gaza to meet with Hamas leaders there in a renewed bid for reconciliation. Previous attempts to reconcile the two dueling factions have failed. — AP

Kurds celebrate spring festival ANKARA: Tens of thousands of Kurds celebrated a spring festival across Turkey yesterday with many chanting support for a Kurdish rebel group and its imprisoned leader, as clashes resur faced between Kurdish guerrillas and Turkish troops. About 30 Kurds, wearing khaki guerrilla uniforms and flashing victory signs, marched in unison amid tens of thousands of Kurds gathered in Istanbul to celebrate the Nowruz festival, which also drew large crowds in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the country’s Kurdish-dominated southeast. Some demonstrators waved images of imprisoned rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan, which is illegal. Kurdish activists used the festival, which has ended in violence in the past, to highlight demands for autonomy and other rights such as education in the Kurdish language. Meanwhile, the autonomy-seeking Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, threatened to “retaliate” against the military’s antirebel operations, pro-Kurdish Firat news agency reported. This year’s celebrations come after the rebels ended a unilateral ceasefire, accusing the government of not responding to their demands for an end to the prosecution of elected Kurdish mayors and for improvement of prison conditions for Ocalan. Turkish troops killed four Kurdish rebels in a clash near the city of Bingol on Friday, increasing the number of rebels killed since the truce ended on Feb. 28 to seven, the military said. An offi-

ANKARA: A man jumps over a bonfire as Kurds gather to celebrate the start of their New Year, Nowruz, yesterday. — AFP

cer and a pro-government village guard were wounded, it said. “We are calling on the prime minister to stop these operations,” the Anatolia news agency quoted Gultan Kisanak, deputy chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, as saying in an address to crowds in Diyarbakir. “The Kurdish people want freedom, peace and brotherhood. Give an ear to the sound of this arena.

Enough, enough, enough.” Mevlude Tanrikulu, a Kurdish mother whose son, Zubeyir, joined the rebel group a decade ago, echoed a similar call in an inter view with AP Television News in Diyarbakir on Friday. “We don’t want blood to be shed. Death is a cold feeling, we don’t want death,” Tanrikulu said. “We don’t want young people to die, it does not matter if the person is a rebel or a soldier.” Turkey cate-

Iraqis call for boycott of Saudi goods over Bahrain BAGHDAD: An Iraqi Shiite newspaper called yesterday for a boycott of goods from Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Gulf countries that have supported the government of Bahrain in a crackdown against a mainly Shi’ite opposition. Buying Saudi and Gulf goods contributes to the “slaughter of the Bahraini people” and boycotting them is a religious duty, the Al-Bayyna daily newspaper said in a front page headline that demonstrated the escalating regional rhetoric over Bahrain. Thousands of Iraqi Shiites have taken to the streets this week to protest against intervention by Saudi and other Gulf militaries in Bahrain, an issue which has cast a spotlight on Iraq’s own sectarian divisions after years of war. Bahrain invited Gulf troops in, and its security forces cleared protesters from a central square. Its main opposition groups, led by the largest Shi’ite opposition party Wefaq, have since eased their conditions on talks with the Sunni ruling family to try to end the crisis. Iraq, like Bahrain, has a Shiite majority that complained for decades of oppression under a Sunni ruling class that dominates throughout the Arab world. Prime Minister Nuri Al-

Maliki has said the intervention by Saudi and other Gulf troops in Bahrain risks igniting sectarian tensions. Shi’ite Iran has complained to the United Nations about the Gulf states’ intervention in Bahrain, and in another sign yesterday of rising tensions between the Sunni Muslim-ruled island kingdom and Iran, a diplomatic source told Reuters Bahrain had expelled the Iranian charge d’affaires. Protests have also been held in Lebanon, which along with Bahrain and Iraq is one of the rare Arab states where Shiites outnumber Sunnis. Baghdad has had uneasy relations with its overwhelmingly Sunni Arab neighbors since US troops toppled Iraq’s Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 allowing a Shi’ite-led government to come to power. “We, in the name of the oppressed Iraqi and Bahraini people, ask our top clerics especially (Grand Ayatollah) Ali Al-Sistani to release a Fatwa (religious order) to fight those arrogant regimes economically and boycott their goods,” Al-Bayyna wrote. Sistani, who rarely intervenes publicly in politics, has called on the authorities in Bahrain to stop using force against peaceful demonstrators. — Reuters

gorically refuses any cease-fire, vowing to fight the rebels, who are branded as terrorists by the West, until they lay down arms or are killed. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul denied discrimination against the Kurdish minority. “Whatever their ethnic roots, language, beliefs and political views, everyone is an integral and equal citizen of this countr y,” Gul said.— AP

2 die in botched bombing in Nigeria JOS: A botched bombing near a church yesterday morning killed two people in a Nigerian city beset by religious and ethnic violence where hundreds have died in the last few months alone, authorities said. The explosion comes after soldiers recently discovered a truck loaded with explosives, detonators and more than 33,000 pounds of ammunition in the troubled city of Jos. It also comes ahead of crucial April elections in Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous nation. The bomb detonated as two people rode a motorcycle in the city of Jos, an epicenter of massacres and targeted killings between Christians and Muslims, Plateau state police commissioner Abdurrahman Akanu said. The blast destroyed shops around a nearby church, but didn’t kill or injure any passers-by, he said. “The two of them died and burned down beyond recognition,” Akanu said. The commissioner said police would continue to investigate the failed bombing. He did not offer any possible target for the attack. Paramilitary police officers blocked journalists from the scene, though smoke could be seen rising from the neighborhood. Residents began taking all the possessions they could carry and fleeing the area. Jos sits in Nigeria’s “middle belt,” where dozens of ethnic groups vie for control of fertile lands. Politics, jobs and land often motivate violence that falls along religious lines that has left thousands dead in recent years. Human Rights Watch says 200 people have died since December. —AP



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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


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Merkel faces German electoral stress test Far-right NPD hopes to enter Saxony-Anhalt parliament

WASHINGTON: A woman, who could not be identified screams while being arrested near the White House by US Park Police Saturday, March 19, 2011, during an anti-war rally on the 8th anniversary of the Iraq invasion. — AP

Anti-war protesters arrested WASHINGTON: More than 100 anti-war protesters, including the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, were arrested outside the White House on Saturday in demonstrations marking the eighth anniversary of the US-led war in Iraq. The protesters, some shouting anti-war slogans and singing “We Shall Not Be Moved,” were arrested after ignoring orders to move away from the gates of the White House. The demonstrators cheered loudly as Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon’s secret history of the Vietnam War that was later published in major newspapers, was arrested and led away by police. In New York City, about 80 protesters gathered near the US military recruiting center in Times Square, chanting “No to war” and carrying banners that read, “I am not paying for war” and “Butter not guns.” Similar protests marking the start of the Iraq war were also planned Saturday in Chicago, San Francisco and other cities. The demonstration in Washington on Saturday merged varied causes, including protesters demanding a US military withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those supporting Bradley Manning, the jailed Army private suspected of giving classified documents to the website WikiLeaks. One chant that was repeated was: “Stop the War! Expose the Lies! Free Bradley Manning!” There was little talk of the US missile strikes against Moammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya on Saturday, part of an international effort to protect rebel forces. Manning is being held in solitary confinement for all but an hour every day at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia. He is given a suicide-proof smock to wear to bed and is stripped naked each night. On Sunday, a protest will be held in Quantico, outside the brig where Manning is being held. Ellsberg has publicly defended Manning, calling him a “brother,” and WikiLeaks. Hundreds of protesters attended the rally and marched around the White House, but the crowd - which included many military veterans - thinned considerably as the US Park Police warned that they’d be arrested if they didn’t move. As officers moved in with handcuffs, one protester who clutched the gates outside the White House shouted, “Don’t arrest them! Arrest Obama!” and “You’re arresting veterans, not war criminals!” Authorities said 113 protesters were arrested, processed and given violation notices for disobeying an official order. They could pay a small fine and be released, or be freed with a future court date. “The majority were cooperative,” said US Park Police spokesman David Schlosser. “A couple had to be carried, but altogether a polite and orderly crowd.” One military veteran who showed up for the rally was Paul Markin, a 64-year-old retired US Army colonel from Massachusetts who said he’s frustrated by what he sees as the US government’s escalation of the wars. He said he’s been against wars since coming home from Vietnam. “Ever since that time, I’ve gone to the other side. Instead of a warrior, an anti-warrior,” Markin said. Ralph Nader, a consumer advocate who has run unsuccessfully several times for president, attended the demonstration and said anti-war protesters needed to continue putting pressure on government leaders. He said he believed most Americans and even soldiers agreed with the views of the protesters. “I believe they reflect the majority opinion of the soldiers in Afghanistan,” Nader told The Associated Press. “This is a majority opinion movement.” — AP

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel began an electoral stress test yesterday, with the first of three state polls when she may suffer a major setback despite a nuclear policy U-turn and military opt-out in Libya. Voters in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt get the first chance to pass judgment on Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) since they suffered a humiliating defeat in Hamburg last month. Their verdict, due after 6pm (1700 GMT) yesterday, is followed next weekend by two more elections including in BadenWuerttemberg, a conservative stronghold which the CDU risks losing for the first time in over 60 years as support for the antinuclear Greens climbs due to the Japanese crisis. Provincial elections matter in decentralized Germany, where electoral success or failure in the states can influence the fate of federal leaders, and Merkel is exposed. In the past week she has taken two major policy decisions which should, on the face of it, prove popular with voters. First she suspended her unpopular nuclear policy and ordered the closure of seven ageing reactors, responding to the risk of a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima plant. Then Merkel declared German forces would take no direct part in military strikes on Libya. That should have pleased German voters who are usually hostile to foreign military adventures. But she drew criticism for breaking ranks with NATO allies, and lining up with China and Russia to abstain from the UN Security Council resolution authorising the action. “The impression that Germany is isolated in Europe or the international community is completely wrong,” said Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, saying Poland shared its views. Merkel is struggling in the provinces. A poll published by Focus magazine yesterday showed the Greens at 25 percent in

Baden-Wuerttemberg, up five percentage points in the past week. That put combined support for the Greens and their natural coalition partner, the Social Democrats, at 47 percent. By contrast the CDU and the liberal Free Democrats, its coalition partner in both the state and federal governments, had only 44 percent support in the poll by the Emnid institute. Loss of the state, an economic powerhouse, would deliver a heavy blow to Merkel’s authority. Defeat would also further weaken the coalition in the upper house of parliament, whose makeup reflects parties’ strength in the states. Yesterday’s vote in Saxony-Anhalt, whose economy suffered after communist East Germany collapsed in 1990, poses other problems. There the CDU shares power with the Social Democrats. Voters in the state, which has unemployment of 13 percent, appear more interested in basic issues-if they are interested at all. Turnout when SaxonyAnhalt last voted in 2006 was just 44 percent. This time the CDU and Social Democrats have scarcely criticized each other, drawing allegations of a “cozy campaign”. Apathy has raised the chances of the far-right NPD party crossing the five percent threshold to enter the state assembly. Merkel has already called for a high turnout to keep the NPD out. Yesterday she was joined at the other end of the political spectrum by Wulf Gallert, candidate of the Left party and a former member of the east German communist party. “We know the NPD’s supporters won’t hold back in voting,” he told Reuters TV. “What’s decisive is how many democrats turn out to keep the NPD out.” If the CDU falters, Gallert could even end up in power with the Social Democrats in a “red-red” coalition. “My aim is to become state premier,” he said.— Reuters

LISBON: Protesters hold posters showing Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a worker’s demonstration. — AP

Peru’s Cabinet chief quits LIMA: Peruvian President Alan Garcia announced Saturday that his Cabinet chief has resigned just three weeks before nationwide elections and four months before the end of his boss’s term. Jose Antonio Chang presented his resignation Friday for personal reasons, Garcia said, adding that “there is no crisis.” Chang, 52, was Peru’s fourth Cabinet chief since September and was also minister of education. He plans to return to academic life at a university where he has been rector since 2006, Garcia said. The president later swore in Justice Minister Rosario Fernandez to be the new Cabinet chief. Fernandez told reporters that during her brief tenure, she will focus on ensuring the government’s neutral stance during the campaign and election, as well as “an adequate transition” of power. Fernandez, a 55-year-old lawyer, is the second woman to be Cabinet chief in Peru. She will continue to serve as minister of justice. Garcia also promoted Education Vice Minister Victor Diaz to replace Chang in that ministry’s top post. Peruvian law dictates that when the Cabinet chief resigns, all other members must also resign and let the president decide whether to retain or replace them. Garcia left the rest of his Cabinet intact. — AP

Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher dies WASHINGTON: Warren M Christopher, the attorney turned envoy who tirelessly traveled to Bosnia and the Middle East on peace missions during his 1993-96 tenure as secretary of state in the Clinton administration, has died at age 85. Late Friday, Christopher died at his home in Los Angeles of complications from bladder and kidney cancer, said Sonja Steptoe of the law firm O’Melveny & Myers, where Christopher was a senior partner When he took over as secretary of state in the Clinton administration at age 68, Warren M Christopher said he didn’t expect to travel much. He went on to set a four-year mark for miles traveled by America’s top diplomat. The attorney turned envoy tirelessly traveled to Bosnia and the Middle East on peace missions during his 1993-1996 tenure - including some two dozen to Syria alone in a futile effort to promote a settlement with Israel. After his work finished carrying out the Clinton administration agenda abroad, the longtime Californian returned home for an active life in local and national affairs and with his law firm. Late Friday, the 85-year-old statesman died at his home in Los Angeles of complications from bladder and kidney cancer, said Sonja Steptoe of the law firm O’Melveny & Myers, where Christopher was a senior partner. President Barack Obama said Saturday that he mourned the passing of a man who proved to be a “resolute pursuer of peace” and dedicated public servant. “Warren Christopher was a skillful diplomat, a steadfast public servant, and a faithful American,” the president said in a statement. As Christopher prepared to step down in 1996 as secretary “for someone else to pick up the baton,” he said in an interview he was pleased to have played a role in making the United States safer. Along with his peace efforts, he told The Associated Press that his proudest accomplishments included playing a role in promoting a ban on nuclear weapons tests and extension of curbs on proliferation of weapons technology. The loyal Democrat also headed Clinton’s vice-presidential search committee, recommending Al Gore for the party’s 1992 presidential ticket, and he also supervised the contest-

ed Florida recount for Gore in the 2000 presidential election. The Supreme Court, on a 5-4 vote, decided for George W Bush. Clinton said Saturday that he was saddened by Christopher’s passing, calling him a public servant who “faithfully and effectively advanced America’s interests and values.” “Chris had the lowest ratio of ego to accomplishment of any public servant I’ve ever worked with,” Clinton

WASHINGTON: This file photo shows then-US Secretary of State Warren Christopher. — AFP said in a statement. “That made him easy to underestimate, but all Americans should be grateful that, along with great ability, he possessed the stamina and the steel to accomplish things that were truly extraordinary.” Clinton praised Christopher’s work in the Middle East peace process and in helping to end the war in Bosnia. While Christopher’s efforts with Syria didn’t bear fruit, he was more successful in the negotiations that produced a settlement in 1995 for Bosnia, ending a war among Muslims, Serbs and Croats that claimed 260,000 lives and drove another 1.8 million people

from their homes. Some critics said the administration had moved too slowly against the ethnic violence. Then-Rep Frank McCloskey, an Indiana Democrat, called for Christopher’s resignation and virtually accused the administration of ignoring genocide against Bosnian Muslims. A handful of State Department officials resigned in protest. Christopher also gave top priority to supporting reform in Russia and expanding U.S. economic ties to Asia. While Christopher often preferred a behind-the-scenes role, he also made news as deputy secretary of state in the Carter administration, conducting the tedious negotiations that gained the release in 1981 of 52 American hostages in Iran. President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. “The best public servant I ever knew,” Carter wrote in his memoirs. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday that she was saddened by the passing of a friend and a man who was one of the “giants who came before her.” “As well as anyone in his generation, he understood the subtle interplay of national interests, fundamental values and personal dynamics that drive diplomacy,” she said in a statement from Paris. James A Baker, who was a rival of Christopher’s during the 2000 Florida recount battle, said he admired him as a thoughtful diplomat and man of integrity. “Regardless of whether he was an adversary or an ally, Warren Christopher always exhibited utmost integrity, sincere courtliness and a noble nature,” Baker said. “His character was special and exemplary in the dog-eat-dog world of politics.” In private life, Christopher also served. Among many other things, he chaired a commission that proposed reforms of the Los Angeles Police Department in the aftermath of the videotaped beating by police of motorist Rodney King in 1991. When four officers arrested for beating King were acquitted of most charges the following year Los Angeles erupted in days of deadly rioting. In examining years of police records following the riots, the Christopher Commission found “a significant number of officers” routinely used excessive force. —AP

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

I N T E R N AT I O N A L US ambassador to Mexico quits amid WikiLeaks furor MEXICO CITY: The US ambassador to Mexico resigned Saturday amid furor over a leaked diplomatic cable in which he complained about inefficiency and infighting among Mexican security forces in the campaign against drug cartels. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in Paris to meet with US allies on Libya, said Carlos Pascual’s decision to step down was “based upon his personal desire to ensure the strong relationship between our two countries and to avert issues” raised by President Felipe Calderon. Clinton didn’t say specifically what she was referring to, but a furious Calderon has publicly criticized Pascual’s cable, which was divulged by the WikiLeaks website. Pascual’s resignation — less than two weeks since President Barack Obama met with Calderon at the White House appeared to be the biggest fallout yet from thousands of sensitive US diplomatic cables from around the world released by WikiLeaks. It was the first such public departure by a US ambassador during the Obama administration. Clinton took the unusual step of announcing the departure of an individual member of the diplomatic corps, and while she was on the road meeting with US allies to discuss the commencement of military attacks on Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan government. She went to lengths to praise Pascual’s work in Mexico and said the Obama administration never lost confidence in him. Clinton said Pascual’s work with Mexico to build institutions capable of fighting drug traffickers “will serve both our nations for decades.” She added that she was “particularly grateful to Carlos for his efforts to sustain the morale and security of American personnel after tragic shootings in Mexico” that killed a US employee and three other people tied to the consulate in the border city of Ciudad Juarez last year. “It is with great reluctance that President Obama and I have acceded to Carlos’s request” to step down, Clinton said in a statement. The ambassador’s resignation, however, laid bare how difficult relations between the US Embassy and the Mexican government had become since the release of the cable in December. Calderon has made no secret of his personal anger at Pascual. “I do not have to tell the US ambassador how many times I meet with my security Cabinet. It is none of his business. I will not accept or tolerate any type of inter vention,” Calderon said in an interview with the

Obama woos Brazil while Libya air assault unfolds Critics chide Obama for travel during Libya crisis

BERLIN: In this file photo, Carlos Pascual, listens during a press conference. — AP newspaper El Universal in late February. “But that man’s ignorance translates into a distortion of what is happening in Mexico, and affects things and creates ill-feeling within our own team.” There was no immediate reaction from the Mexican government, although an official from Calderon’s office said there would be a response shortly. Pascual also may have ruffled feathers in the Mexican government and Calderon’s National Action Party by dating the daughter of Francisco Rojas, the congressional leader of the former longtime ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party. Mexican officials and the US Embassy have declined to comment on that matter. One of the leaked diplomatic cable that most angered Calderon was dated Jan 29, 2010, and referred to friction between Mexico’s army and navy while detailing an operation that led to the death of drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva. Pascual said the US, which had information locating Beltran Leyva, originally took it to the army, which refused to move quickly. Beltran Leyva was eventually brought down in a shootout with Mexican marines, which have since taken the lead in other operations against cartel capos. Other US Embassy cables released since have reported jealousies and a lack of coordination between various Mexican security forces. Their release has marred a relationship that both the United States and Mexico have for years touted as being stronger than ever. — AP

RIO DE JANEIRO: President Barack Obama took in the sights of sunny Rio de Janeiro yesterday as he courted Latin America on an economic and goodwill tour overshadowed by a US and European air assault on Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya. Obama enters the second day of what aides have called his signature first-term trip south of the border, intent on sticking to his packed agenda but with his attention divided by the biggest military intervention in the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq. The military campaign against Gaddafi’s forces launched on Saturday intruded on Obama’s schedule of diplomacy and business promotion in the capital Brasilia and seemed certain to do the same in Rio where he will continue huddling regularly with top aides to stay on top of unfolding events. Obama is seeking improved Brazilian relations after a period marked by tensions and neglect, during which China overtook the United States as Brazil’s main trade partner. He will spend the day visiting a vibrant metropolis that encapsulates what he called Brazil’s “extraordinary” rise as a global power in recent years. The White House has justified Obama’s five-day Latin American tour in large part for its potential dividends of boosting US exports to help create American jobs, also considered crucial to his 2012 re-election chances. His talks on Saturday with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff focused heavily on strengthening economic ties with Latin America’s powerhouse, though little progress was made on key disputes. Conservative critics at home may seize the opportunity to chide Obama for being away from Washington-and in a city renowned for its pristine beaches-at a time when he is putting US forces in harm’s way. Republican foes have accused him of a failure of leadership in a string of international crises. But in keeping with the president’s “no-drama Obama” image, the White House wants to avoid any sense he is being held hostage by events or unable to tend to other crucial business. Obama’s only planned sightseeing in Rio will be to the city’s iconic Christ the Redeemer hilltop statue, and even that had to be postponed from morning until evening to give him time for early briefings on the Libyan situation. He will also visit Rio’s famous City of God slum to inspect beefed-up security and poverty-fighting efforts there and will deliver what

US law enforcement role in Mexico drug war surges MEXICO CITY: Arturo Beltran-Leyva, a notoriously cruel cartel boss and one of Mexico’s most wanted criminals, threw a riotous Christmas party two years ago with Grammy-winning musicians, prostitutes, and lavish food and drinks. US law enforcement agents in Mexico, electronically spying on Beltran-Leyva, relayed detailed information to US-trained Mexican Navy Special Forces, who crashed the fiesta. After a 90-minute shootout, the cartel leader fled with a gut wound. US detectives next electronically tracked Beltran-Leyva, 48, to a posh apartment in nearby Cuernavaca. With their help, 200 Mexican Special Forces rolled in on tanks and rappelled from helicopters. The next morning, photos of Beltran-Leyva’s bloody body, plastered with bank notes, were splashed across Mexican front pages. At the time, it was considered a rare success in USMexico law enforcement cooperation. Now, unprecedented numbers of US law enforcement agents work in Mexico, and high-profile arrests occur monthly. US drones spy on cartel hideouts, while US tracking beacons pinpoint suspect’s cars and phones. “Yes, we’re tracking vehicles, yes, we’re tracking people,” says Brad Barker, president of HALO Corporation, a private security firm that, among other things, helps rescue kidnapped people in Mexico. “There’s been a huge spike in agents down there.” The bilateral cooperation is touching off Mexican sensitivities about sovereignty, while stoking US debate about the wisdom of inserting American operatives so deep into the fight. More than 35,000 people have been killed in drug trafficking violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown four years ago, and the killing of a US agent last month prompted the US Congress to schedule hearings into the role of American personnel. The US agents generally provide intelligence and training, while Mexicans do the hands-on work. Neither side will say exactly how many agents are in Mexico, citing security concerns, but the Associated Press was able to identify several hundred using the Freedom of Information Act, federal

ACAPULCO: Forensic workers carry the body of a victim from the crime scene where 10 people were killed in the Pacific resort city of Mexico, Saturday March 19, 2011. — AP

budget requests, government audits, Congressional testimony and agency accountability reports. The Drug Enforcement Administration has the largest US presence in the drug war, with more than 60 agents in Mexico. Then there are 40 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, 20 Marshal Service deputies, 18 Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents, and dozens more working for the FBI, Citizen and Immigration Ser vice, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Coast Guard and Transportation Safety Agency. The State Department’s Narcotics Affairs Section staff alone jumped from 19 to 69 in the past three years, according to the US Government Accountability Office. There are so many State Department narcotics personnel that they took up two entire floors of the US Embassy in Mexico City before moving into a new building with their Mexican counterparts. This is the second so-called fusion center the two countries share in Mexico now. The US has spent $364 million of the $1.5 billion promised for Mexico since 2008 under the Merida Initiative, a US-Central American joint anti-crime effort, and Mexico will spend about $10.7 billion on public security this year. Despite close law enforcement collaboration, Mexican officials

often play down US involvement to avoid rubbing nationalist raw spots. The sensitivities were evident Wednesday in the angry reaction of Mexican lawmakers to news that US Customs and Border Protection has been operating Predator drones in Mexico for the past two years, while the US military’s Global Hawk drone began flying south of the border in March. They said they were not informed by Mexico’s National Security Council, which had invited the spy planes in. Earlier this month, members of Mexico’s Congress were infuriated to learn that US agents had allowed hundreds, possibly thousands, of guns to be smuggled into Mexico in undercover operations aimed at busting cartel bosses. Mexico’s Attorney General has launched an investigation. If US agents in Mexico worked on the operation, that “would force us to restate many issues in the relationship,” warned Jorge Alberto Lara Rivera, Deputy Attorney General for International Affairs. Joint enforcement is also controversial nor th of the border. Notable arrests and seizures were made last year, yet overall, success is less obvious than the dangers. Calls for congressional hearings were prompted by the murder of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in a highway ambush that also wounded his colleague, Victor Avila. — AP

RIO DE JANEIRO: Rinaldo Americo (center) a President Barack Obama impersonator, poses for pictures with residents prior to President Barack Obama’s visit to the slum Cidade de Deus, or City of God, yesterday. — AP

has been billed as a speech to the Brazilian people at a historic theater in the city center. Thousands of Rio residents were disappointed this week when U.S. officials, without giving a reason, canceled plans for Obama to give an open-air address to a much bigger audience. No matter the venue, Obama’s message will have to compete for attention with hostilities in Libya. US warships launched cruise missiles on Saturday, joining France, Britain, Canada and Italy in attacks aimed at crippling Libyan leader Gaddafi’s air defenses to stop his loyalists’ advances into rebel-held areas. Mindful of public concern of entangling the United States in another conflict on top of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama took pains to stress the limited US military role in Libya. He insisted that US forces were supporting, not leading, the international coalition against Gaddafi and there would be no commitment of American ground troops. Nevertheless, he could still face tough questions from anti-war liberals at home. In Rio, festive crowds lined the streets to greet the arrival of Obama’s motorcade at his beachfront hotel on Saturday night. While polls

show Obama popular among Brazilians, not everyone is welcoming him to the city of Carnival and samba. Police fired rubber bullets at a small group of leftist protesters on Friday after someone threw a Molotov cocktail at the US consulate in the city center. The city that seemed in inexorable decline a decade ago has been rejuvenated by Brazil’s economic boom, the discovery of vast oil fields off its shores, its selection as 2016 Olympic host and a big improvement in security. With crises rocking the Middle East and pushing up oil prices, the United States is taking a keen interest in the deep-sea oil reserves that Brazil is starting to tap off the Rio coast. Rousseff said on Saturday she saw opportunities for both countries to cooperate in developing the fields. Officials and business leaders from both countries were due to hold meetings yesterday to discuss investment opportunities around the oil development and an expected infrastructure boom arising from Rio’s hosting of the Olympics. Obama will leave Rio today morning for a visit to economic success story Chile and will wrap up his regional tour on Wednesday in tiny El Salvador. — Reuters

Wyclef Jean shot in hand Voting starts at snail’s pace in Haiti PORT-AU-PRINCE: Voting in Haiti’s presidential run-off started slowly in some places yesterday, with foreign donors hoping the poll would produce the stability needed to rebuild the earthquake-crippled nation. In the wrecked capital Port-au-Prince, several polling stations were unable to open on time because materials such as ink to mark voters’ fingers and labels to mark the urns had not arrived, witnesses said. Arguments also broke out over which officials and party representatives should be there. As groups of Haitians waited to vote, polling officials scrambled to get the stations ready. Blue-helmeted Brazilian UN troops guarded voting centers along with Haitian police, and white UN armored vehicles rumbled through the streets, many still strewn with debris left from last year’s quake. The election presents Haiti’s 4.7 million voters with a choice between a political newcomer, energetic entertainer and singer Michel Martelly, 50, and former first lady Mirlande Manigat, 70, a law professor and opposition matriarch. The run-off followed a chaotic first round vote on Nov. 28 that dissolved quickly into fraud allegations and unrest. The United Nations, which is supporting the election, says voting improvements have been made that should better ensure a clear, credible outcome for the run-off in one of the world’s poorest and most disaster-prone states. “I need a president to change the situation of the country,” said Adeline Hyppolite, 50, a small trader, who cast her ballot in the Petionville district of the capital. “We are hoping for a better life ... but only God knows. We hope we’ll find the change we’re looking for,” she added, saying her husband had been disabled in the quake. The Caribbean state desperately needs a capable leadership and government to steer a post-quake reconstruction that requires billions of dollars of foreign assistance. “This is the first time in Haitian history that they will have a run-off election, a second round, so I think the product of this election will be a legitimate one that will have the support of the majority of the Haitian people and that alone is already an asset for the next government,” Edmond Mulet, the UN’s top official in Haiti, told Reuters. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-

moon and other international leaders appealed for a calm, transparent vote. Weighing on many Haitians’ minds as they cast their ballots will be the reappearance of a political heavyweight from the past, former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who arrived back from exile on Friday. The return of the charismatic left-wing populist and former Catholic priest who still commands a big following in Haiti was opposed by the United States and United Nations as potentially disruptive to the polls. But Aristide is not a candidate and aides have said he will stay out of politics. Although Aristide, who was driven into exile by a 2004 rebellion, has not clearly endorsed any candidate, many voters have been trying to interpret who he favors in what is expected to be a close-fought runoff. Nevertheless, recent opinion polls have shown Martelly slightly ahead of Manigat. Mixed in with banners welcoming Aristide, the dueling slogans of the rival candidates were plastered on walls. Martelly’s “ Tet Kale” slogan, a Creole play on words that refers to his shaven head and also means “all the way” to convey his promise of forceful change, contrasts with Manigat’s more homely “Banm Manman’m” (Give me Mummy) slogan that seeks to bolster her image of experience and responsibility.

Reflecting ex-president Aristide’s enduring image as a champion of the poor, many Haitians said that if he were on the ballot they would vote for him. Under Haiti’s election law, the Provisional Electoral Council is due to announce preliminary results from the run-off on March 31, with final results being confirmed on April 16. The UN’s Mulet acknowledged this long wait for results ran the risk of rival camps stirring up supporters with noisy claims of victory or fraud-such claims in the first round triggered street protests. But he was confident UN forces supporting Haiti’s police could control the situation. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Wyclef Jean says the hip-hop star has been released from a hospital after being treated for a gunshot wound to his hand. Joe Mignon, senior program director for Jean’s Yele Foundation, says Jean was shot in the hand after 11 pm local time Saturday in the city of Delmas, just outside Port-au-Prince. Jean’s brother, Samuel, confirmed the musician was shot. Neither he nor Mignon had additional details. The shooting comes on the eve of presidential elections in Haiti. Jean is supporting fellow musician Michel Martelly. A spokesman for the Haitian National Police could not be immediately reached for comment. —Reuters

PORT-AU-PRINCE: People, one holding up his ID, wait in line to cast their ballots at a polling station during a presidential runoff yesterday. — AP



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Banished Tibetans vote for new chief Shift in power marks major change for community DHARMSALA: Tibetans across the world began voting yesterday for a new leader to take up the resistance against Chinese rule over their Himalayan homeland, as the Tibetan parliamentin-exile debated how to handle the Dalai Lama’s resignation from politics. Hundreds of monks in crimson robes joined Tibetan students, housewives and business people and the elderly in lining up in the courtyard of the Tsuglakhang Temple in India’s northern city of Dharmsala, where the exiled government is based, to cast their votes in a cheerful and festive atmosphere. Despite pleas from the Tibetan community in exile that the Dalai Lama stay on as head of government, the Buddhist spiritual leader has been adamant that the elected prime minister should take over. The shift in power marks a major change for the Tibetan community, which for decades has looked to the Dalai Lama for both spiritual and political guidance against the heavy-handed rule of China’s Communist authorities in Tibet. The parliament-in-exile was discussing constitutional changes yesterday to enact the change and free the 76-year-old Nobel Peace laureate to focus on spiritual matters. “He has conveyed his decision to give up his political responsibilities firmly,” parliament Speaker Penpa Tsering said Saturday, predicting the assembly would honor his wish despite passing a resolution a

day earlier asking him to stay. The Dalai Lama - who is vilified by China as a political schemer - has never fully explained his decision to resign, which he announced on the March 10 anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule over Tibet that sent him

sides together, as Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to separate Tibet from China, despite his claims to be working only for a high degree of autonomy under Chinese rule. Yesterday, some 85,000 registered Tibetans in exile - 11,000 of them in Dharmsala - were

would now be fighting against China on two fronts. “On one side we’ll have the Dalai Lama, who has historical legitimacy and global popularity,” he told The Associated Press. “And on the second, we have a democratic government functioning in exile. We are showing China

DHARMSALA: Tibetan Buddhist nuns wait in line to cast their votes for the Tibetan Parliamentary election at a polling station yesterday. — AFP into exile. But he has suggested negotiations with Beijing might be less complicated under another Tibetan figurehead, and he has said that, in the 21st century, the idea that leaders should be elected and representative was correct. Successive rounds of talks between Chinese officials and representatives of the Buddhist leader have made no apparent progress toward bringing the

choosing the new prime minister among three candidates, as well as some new parliament members, in a daylong election previously scheduled, even if its importance was only boosted this month when the Dalai Lama resigned. Election results will be likely announced April 27. Front-runner Lobsang Sengey - a senior fellow at Harvard Law School born and brought up in exile - said Tibet

that, if Tibetans are allowed to choose, they are capable of forming a stable democratic government.” The other candidates are Tenzin Namgyal Tethong, a diplomat also settled in the US, and Tashi Wangdi, who was the Dalai Lama’s representative in Brussels, New York and New Delhi. Earlier yesterday, when Sengey walked up to the temple to cast his ballot, the crowd

cheered and children jostled to shake his hand and take his photograph. If he wins, he said, he and his family will move to Dharmsala from their US home outside Boston, Massachusetts. Regardless, he would still consider the Dalai Lama his leader. “All I could hope for is to live up to his expectations and, according to his wishes, see our democracy mature,” he said. Though he knew of the Dalai Lama’s wish to step down politically, he did not expect it this year. “I felt a strong emotion, like all Tibetans. I was anxious, nervous and curious, and the news was difficult to digest.” The Dalai Lama, who is believed to be in fairly good health, will maintain his position as spiritual leader until his death, when a new Dalai Lama would be found. He has indicated his successor would come from the exile community, and could even be a girl. The question of succession has become all important within the Tibetan community, for whom the Dalai Lama is a symbol of cultural survival and political resistance. Beijing insists the reincarnation must be found in China’s Tibetan areas, and has made clear that it intends to have the final say giving Communist authorities immense power over who is chosen. Many observers believe there eventually will be rival Dalai Lamas, one appointed by Beijing and one by senior monks loyal to the current Dalai Lama. — AP

Palin warns of China’s rise in visit to India NEW DELHI: US politician Sarah Palin stressed the importance of America’s ties with India, saying they were based on the shared values of freedom and free-market capitalism, while sounding a warning note on China’s rise during a speech Saturday in New Delhi. The visit to India is a rare foreign venture for the ex-Alaska governor and reality TV star, who was John McCain’s running mate in his failed 2008 campaign for president. The trip, which also includes a stop in Israel, is raising speculation Palin wants to burnish her foreign policy credentials ahead of a possible 2012 presidential run. Palin told a well-heeled audience of Indian business leaders, professionals and socialites that US-Indian relations were “key to the future of our world.” “We’re going to need each other, especially as these other regions rise,” she said, in an apparent reference to China, during a Q&A that followed a keynote speech titled “My Vision of America.” “Free people that make up a free country don’t wage war on another free country,” she said. “I want peace on Earth.” She questioned the Chinese military’s ascent, saying the Communist country’s stockpiling of ballistic missiles, submarines and “new-age, ultramodern aircraft” seemed unjustified when it did not face an outside threat. “What’s with the military buildup?” she said. “China’s military growth can’t just be for defensive purposes.” Reporters who had been assured access were barred at the last minute. But the speech was shown on Indian television and in a live webcast. Palin was coy about whether she planned to run for the White House, but at times sounded like she was campaigning. She took a swipe at President Barack Obama and what she described as his “dithering” response to the political upheaval in the Middle East, saying he “should have done more for Arab protesters.” Obama visited India in November during a wider Asian tour, affirming the country’s growing importance on the global scene. Palin said the Republican Party’s apparatus was at times frustrating to deal with, but said presidents Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln were role models and reasons for why she joined the party. She also took aim at one of her favorite targets, the US media. She accused them of failing “to set the record straight” and joked that they willfully cost her and McCain the 2008 election. “I will not sit back and take media criticism,” Palin said. “Too often, Republicans, I don’t know, they kind of have the fighting instinct of sheep.” Palin is due to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during her visit to the Jewish state. — AP

NEW DELHI: The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin speaks at a conference organized by a media house, Saturday, March 19, 2011. — AP

HERAT: In this photo, an Afghan policeman aims his rifle gun during a patrol in Guzara district. — AP

Afghan security handover is more signal than real change KANDAHAR: Afghan President Hamid Karzai will announce within days plans for his security forces to take control of some parts of the country, but the handover from NATO troops is more a statement of intent than the start of real change. Diplomatic and military sources say the areas likely to be chosen are either among the most secure in the country or have been the focus of intense coalition efforts-that would be unsustainable nationwide-to pump up the army and police. Rather than providing much real relief to foreign troops, the showpiece transition aims to send a message that Karzai and NATO are both serious about Afghan control, while leaving years to grapple with a knot of recruitment, training and battlefield challenges that beset the national army and police. “We are very excited about this process. We see it as key to the Afghans assuming much greater responsibility, not just for security but overall responsibility for their own sovereignty,” Lieutenant General William Caldwell, who heads the NATO training mission, told Reuters in neighboring Kandahar province. “It will demonstrate to the Afghan people that their government is back in charge.” The showpiece of the transition is expected to be Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province, one of the areas where the insurgency has raged most strongly in recent years. But the city will still have a NATO base teeming with foreign forces, which will continue to secure the rest of the province and be on call for emergencies. And the Afghan army unit expected to take over is the elite of the new military, staffed with the best new recruits and lavished with equipment. The other areas slated for transition have far fewer security issues, with the three provinces slated for full handover probably the safest in the country. Panjshir has been an anti-Taleban stronghold for more than a decade, Bamiyan’s Shi’ite Muslim inhabitants have long had a bad relationship with the Sunni Taleban, and northeastern Badakhshan is remote, sparsely populated and largely peaceful. The remaining areas-western Herat city and the area around the capital, Kabulhave never been insurgent strongholds. Mazar-e-Sharif city was reported to have been taken off the list at the last minute as violence grows in the north. Even so, some military officials and ana-

lysts warn that the shift will be challenging. The Afghan forces are less well equipped, trained and disciplined than their NATO counterparts, and in many areas they are understaffed. Even so, just a year ago transition would probably have been near impossible. Despite the near decade-long foreign military presence in Afghanistan, building up local security forces was not a major concern until 2009. As the insurgency gained strength, the bill for fighting it grew and Western voters’ appetite for foreign wars shrank, it became clear that Afghan security forces would be critical to allowing foreign soldiers to go home. The police and army were not ready for the task however- weak and riddled with problems ranging from widespread illiteracy, drug abuse and corruption, to a dearth of leaders and equipment and a damagingly high rate of attrition. Many of these problems persist today although with Washington committed to start withdrawing some of its 100,000 troops this year, the NATO-led coalition is now rushing to make up for lost time bolstering the security forces. Caldwell’s mission aims to add another 40,000 police and soldiers by October. The budget for infrastructure, training and equipment, salaries and other costs is $11.6 billion for this year, and estimated at over $5 billion for some years to come. But they will need all the time they have before the full security handover planned for the end of 2014. Attracting educated Afghans who want to serve as officers or in skilled jobs like logistics remains hard, and striking an ethnic balance in a country where this is critical for a trusted and respected army is also tough. Despite a raft of initiatives to prevent desertion, NATO estimates more than 71,000 soldiers must be recruited and trained to hit an October expansion target of 29,000. The ratio is lower for police, but still high enough for concern. Afghan officials report an even more basic problem in areas where the insurgents are strong-young men are scared to take jobs that make them an explicit Taleban target. “The biggest challenge still is persuading young men to come and register. The fear is still there that they might be assassinated by the Taleban, or their families could be at risk,” General Nasrullah Zarefi, commander of the ANP regional training centre in Kandahar, told Reuters. — Reuters

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

Methane blasts in Pakistan kill 6 QUETTA: Methane gas sparked explosions inside a coal mine in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan yesterday, killing at least six miners and trapping over 50 whose chances of survival seem slim, a government official said. The blasts occurred in a mine run by stateowned Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) in Surran range, some 35 km (22 miles) east of the provincial capital, Quetta. “There were at least three explosions. There were 59 workers inside the mine when the explosions took place,” Mohammad Iftikhar, chief inspector of mines in the region, told Reuters. “So far bodies of six bodies have been retrieved. The rescue workers are trying hard but survival of remaining workers looks difficult because the mine is very deep.” Such explosions are not uncommon in coal mines in Pakistan, most of which are located in Baluchistan and neighboring Sindh province, where safety measures can be lax. The country has huge coal reserves estimated at more than 184 billion tons. It produces 4 million tons of coal annually, most of which is consumed by brick-making kilns. — Reuters

Are Afghan forces ready to take over? KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai will announce within days the first districts and provinces where Afghanistan’s army and police forces will take over security responsibility from international forces over the next few months. Here are some questions and answers about Afghanistan’s security forces and whether they are ready to take over: HOW BIG ARE THEY? As of January, the Afghan army numbered about 152,000 soldiers, up from 97,000 in November 2009, and there are about 118,000 police officers, up from 95,000 in November 2009, according to UN and NATO figures. In January 2010, international donors agreed to expand the army and police force to about 306,000 by October this year, including 171,600 soldiers and 134,000 police. In February, US General William Caldwell, head of the US and NATO training mission, said Afghan President Hamid Karzai had called for the expansion of Afghan forces to 370,000, but international allies had not decided yet whether to support that. There have also been tentative plans to increase the total size of the security forces to 400,000 by 2013, including 240,000 soldiers and 160,000 police. These figures are based on what commanders have said would be the minimum requirement to secure the whole country. In January, the spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry said, based on the current security situation, a target of 400,000 may even be too low if Afghans are to take over securing the whole country by the end of 2014. But US military officials have said high attrition rates, mainly from desertion and casualties for the army and police, meant the NATO training mission had to take in 111,000 recruits last year to expand the force by 79,000. To add the 34,700 necessary to bring the security forces to a target of 305,600 by October would mean recruiting and training a further 85,900 police and soldiers, they said. In February, Caldwell said Afghan troop level targets for this year would be met despite the current attrition rates. WHO TRAINS THEM AND HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? Since 2002, the United States has provided more than $27 billionmore than half of all US aid spending-for training and equipping the Afghan security forces, according to a March report by the US Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. Other international donors have made relatively nominal contributions. The police force suffered a serious lack of funding after Germany became the lead nation for building up the force in 2002, spending only $80 million by 2007. In contrast, the US military budgeted $2.5 billion for 2007, when it took over, and a further $800 million for 2008. US President Barack Obama has called for $12.8 billion to be set aside in the 2012 fiscal year to pay for training the Afghan security forces. But Obama is struggling to balance mounting fiscal concerns at home and many say that kind of figure is unsustainable in the long-run. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested last month one option might be to increase Afghan security force numbers and then gradually shrink numbers once the security situation allows. Others note it would be less expensive to train and equip Afghans than keep US troops in Afghanistan. Training for the army and police is carried out by the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) which combined in 2009 with the Combined Security Transition CommandAfghanistan (CSTC-A), a US military unit, which had been responsible for the bulk of the training. While NTM-A is a multinational mission, the vast majority of the trainers are still American. European Union Police also has several hundred trainers and has extended its mandate for another three years. Some police training is also outsourced to private security firms. Caldwell said last October the alliance was still short of 900 specialist instructors and had begun sending hundreds of recruits to study outside Afghanistan as a stopgap solution. In February, he said that by late 2012, NATO would have trained enough Afghans for them to become the primary trainers. HOW GOOD ARE THEY? The Afghan National Army is seen as a relative success story, especially in comparison to the police. The most common complaint is that there aren’t enough of them to hold territory, especially in the violent south, although Western commanders say numbers there have improved. But a report last year by the International Crisis Group think tank said too much focus had been placed on quantity over quality and combat readiness was “undermined by weak recruitment and retention policies, inadequate logistics, insufficient training and equipment and inconsistent leadership”. The Afghan National Police is seen as inept and corrupt and has long lagged behind the training of the army. Police are often the only face of the government in many remote areas and a chronic lack of equipment makes them vulnerable to attack-police have suffered much higher rates of casualties than the army. Police also usually end up working in their own neighborhoods, leaving them open to bribes and the influence of local power brokers. Illiteracy and drug abuse are also big problems. Only around 14 percent of current recruits are literate. ARE AFGHANS READY TO TAKE OVER? At the moment, no. Observers say not only is the 2014 deadline ambitious, but commanders have already scaled back the pace at which they intend to transfer security before then. While one or two less-populated and relatively peaceful provinces such as Bamiyan and Badakhshan are slated to be handed over in the coming months, other areas to be handed over will likely be cities or districts. Most of these areas will also likely be in the north and west which, although relatively calmer, have seen a spike in violence in the past year. Lieutenant General David Rodriguez, commander of day-to-day operations for US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, told Reuters last year the increase in violence in those areas would not delay the transition. When foreign troops go elsewhere, militants may launch attacks where Afghans have taken over. Commanders say the Afghan army has made strides in recent months and started leading more operations. However, in March 2010, SIGAR said systems used to assess the security forces had led to their operational capabilities being overstated. Only 23 percent of soldiers and 12 percent of police were able to work without the help of foreign troops, it said. Most ordinary Afghans agree. An Asia Foundation survey in November found that while 92 percent of people surveyed said they had confidence in the army and 79 percent in the police, more than two-thirds said they could not operate alone. A United Nations survey in February found public confidence in the police force had improved by 34 percent from 2009, although the level of public confidence in the south had decreased. — Reuters

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


Pressure rises again in Japanese reactor Tap water shows radiation

MANILA: Filipino activists burn a mock US flag during a rally in suburban Quezon City yesterday. The group is condemning the bombings against Libya by the United States, Europe and other countries. — AP

Malaysia’s Sarawak state to hold poll KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s timber-rich Sarawak state on Borneo island will hold state polls, seen as a crucial barometer of support for the country’s ruling coalition that may determine whether it will call early general elections. Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said he will dissolve the state’s legislative assembly today to make way for elections. Taib, who marks his 30th year in power on March 26, also promised Saturday to step down sometime after the election in an apparent attempt to appease critics amid allegations of corruption and abuse of power against him. Taib said he would “call it a day” after leading the ruling coalition to victory and putting in place a smooth power transition, but was unclear on when he would leave and who would succeed him. The opposition called it a political bluff to return Taib to power. The Election Commission will meet

Wednesday to set an election date. The poll must be held within 60 days from today. Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state, has long been a stronghold of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling coalition, but allegations of graft against Taib, 75, and discontent among poor indigenous tribes over what they say is economic discrimination may bolster the opposition. The National Front ruling coalition currently holds 62 of 71 legislature seats in Sarawak. James Chin, a political science lecturer at Monash University in Malaysia, said the National Front has won five by-elections in the past six months, reversing its political fortunes after losing more than one-third of the seats in Parliament and control of several states to the opposition in 2008 general elections. “The Sarawak election is crucial for Najib as it can either build up or stop the National Front momentum,” Chin said. —AP

FUKUSHIMA: Technicians prepared to vent radioactive gas into the air yesterday because of a new spike in pressure at Japan’s crippled, leaking nuclear complex, while a safety official said protective iodine pills should have been distributed near the plant days earlier. Radiation, a danger for days in areas around the plant, already has seeped into the food supply, with the government warning that tests of spinach and milk from areas as far as 75 miles (120 kilometers) away exceeded safety limits. Tap water farther away turned up tiny amounts of radioactive iodine in Tokyo and other areas. Amid concerns of wider contamination, a nuclear safety official said the government was caught off-guard by the accident’s severity and only belatedly realized the need to give potassium iodide to those living within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex. The pills help reduce the chances of thyroid cancer, one of the diseases that may develop from radiation exposure. The official, Kazuma Yokota, said an explosion at the plant’s Unit 3 reactor last Sunday should have triggered the distribution. But the order only came three days later. “We should have made this decision and announced it sooner,” Yokota told reporters at the emergency command center in the city of Fukushima. “It is true that we had not foreseen a disaster of these proportions. We had not practiced or trained for something this bad. We must admit that we were not fully prepared.” While four of Fukushima’s six nuclear reactors have been dangerously overheating since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disrupted cooling systems, Unit 3 has proved particularly troublesome. After the government said Saturday that the unit appeared to be stabilizing after being doused with water, nuclear safety officials said

Taiwan finds radiation on imported Japanese beans TAIPEI: Radiation has been detected on fava beans imported from Japan to Taiwan, Taiwanese officials said yesterday, in what could be the first case of contamination in Japanese exports. The disclosure came a day after Japanese officials said radiation in low amounts had been found in spinach and milk produced near the damaged Fukushima nuclear power complex in northeast Japan that has been leaking radiation since being damaged by an earthquake and tsunami March 11. An official from Taiwan’s Department of Health said the radiation detected on the Japanese fava beans was slightly higher than naturally occurring trace levels. The department said in a statement the beans were part of a 30-pound (14kilogram) shipment that came from Kagoshima Prefecture on Japan’s southwestern Kyushu island. It said the amount of radiation, detected only on the surface of the beans, was well below Taiwan’s legal limit and not harmful to human health. The official told The Associated Press that the Taiwanese authorities suspected the batch was contaminated during its delivery route rather than in Kagoshima because the prefecture is far from Fukushima, home to Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors. The health official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Taiwan’s Cabinet-level Atomic Energy Council Radiation Monitoring Center said in a statement that a small amount of iodine and cesium had been found on the batch of fava beans imported to Taiwan on Friday. The center said 11 becquerels of iodine and 1 becquerel of cesium were detected in 1 kilogram (about 2 pounds) of fava beans made avail-

TAIWAN: In this photo released by the Department of Health, samples of imported Japanese fava beans tainted with radiation is seen in undisclosed place in Taiyuan county yesterday. — AP

able for testing. Taiwan’s regulations allow a maximum of 300 becquerels of iodine and 370 becquerels of cesium in 1 kilogram of food produce. So far, Taiwanese officials do not have an answer as to how the beans may have been contaminated. The health official said that the shipment went through Japan’s Narita Airport, which is 140 miles (220 kilometers) from Fukushima, but he cautioned there was no evidence to prove the batch was contaminated at the airport. He added the beans have not gone into circulation in Taiwan and will not be made available for sale. The official said that while Taiwan has been stepping up measures scanning Japanese goods for radia-

tion, it does not plan to suspend imports from its northern neighbor for now. Japanese officials said Saturday that tainted milk and spinach were collected from farms ranging from 20 miles (30 kilometers) to 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the leaking nuclear reactors. The area is rich farm country where a variety of foods are grown. Other tests are being conducted, and Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said food shipments from the area would be halted if further contamination was detected. Japanese officials said the radiation amounts in the milk and spinach were so small that people would have to consume unimaginable amounts to endanger their health. — AP

TOKYO: A woman holds a sign against nuclear power during an anti-war and anti-nuclear march yesterday. — AP

the efforts may not have worked. Pressure was rising again inside the reactor’s containment vessel, requiring a release of radioactive gas to prevent a more dangerous buildup, said safety agency official Hidehiko Nishiyama. The venting is an “unavoidable measure to protect the containment vessel,” Nishiyama said. He warned that a larger amount of radiation would have to be released than when similar venting was done a week ago because more nuclear fuel have have degraded since then. While battling Unit 3, emergency teams used an unmanned vehicle to spray water at another at-risk reactor - Unit 4 - while prepar-

ing to switch power back on for the first time since a March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out the plant’s crucial cooling systems. However, there was no guarantee the cooling systems would still work, even once power was restored. Japan has been struggling with an overwhelming chain of disasters prompted by the 9.0-magnitude quake. The quake spawned a tsunami that ravaged Japan’s northeastern coast, killing more than 8,100 people and knocking out cooling systems at the plant, prompting overheated reactors and fuel to leak radiation. More than 12,000 people are still missing, and more than 452,000 are living in shelters. — AP

Foreign aid pledged for Japan quake zone, but where is it? KAMAISHI: Scores of countries have pledged aid to the victims of Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami, but little of it can be seen in towns and villages devastated by the disaster. In some areas, as victims return to what remains of their homes, an unorganized and often chaotic array of help awaits them-from boxes of donated clothes to free pet food. The problem is finding it. “Word of mouth seems to work best,” said Machiko Kawahata as she, her daughter and granddaughter looked for clothes at a drop-off point in Kamaishi, a coastal town in northeastern Japan. No guards were around, no city officials on hand as victims took what they wanted from hundreds of boxes. “All we have had is the clothes on our backs. But they are good enough. They’ve kept us warm through all of this,” Kawahata said. “We will make do and we will make it through this. If one place offers us half a rice ball to eat, then that is all we will eat.” Offers of aid and support have poured in from scores of countries, including search and rescue teams, and clothes and blankets to ward off near-freezing temperatures in the quake zone. Over $10 million in financial help has been promised. While generous, it’s a far cry from the aid that poured in immediately after a tsunami in 2004 battered large swathes of South and Southeast Asia. Within eight weeks of that disaster, governments, aid groups, businesses and individuals had pledged $8 billion to $9 billion for tsunami relief. But that disaster affected developing countries, while Japan is rich. Its $5 trillion economy is the world’s thirdlargest. There’s also a sense that Japan’s fierce nationalism doesn’t

adapt easily to accepting foreign aid. Some aid workers recalled that rescue dogs brought in after the 1995 Kobe earthquake were put in quarantine for two weeks. “Disaster relief requires a huge amount of money, but Japan’s private sector has plenty of funds,” Economics Minister Kaoru Yosano told Reuters last week. “Household assets amount to 1,400 trillion yen and half of it is high-liquid cash and bank deposits. Of course there are uncertainties. But my gut feeling is that the Japanese people, with their efforts, can overcome them.” Yosano said he estimated economic damage from the disaster would exceed 20 trillion yen ($248 billion). Still, Japan’s foreign ministry has said rescue teams from 14 countries have started operating. A ministry spokesman declined specific comment on aid reaching the country. Francis Markus, a spokesman for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said aid efforts in Japan would be quite different from those after the 2004 tsunami. “There will be useful and significant amounts of financial support from outside, but there isn’t likely to be the same kind of set-up as after the tsunami when many organizations set up operations in a more or less autonomous way in those countries,” he said. Asked if the crisis over radiation leaks from a damaged nuclear plant was diverting attention from aid, Markus said: “Obviously the nuclear crisis has been a complicating factor in the human situation, but I wouldn’t say the government has been distracted.” US forces, many of them based in Japan, have mounted the biggest

of the foreign aid efforts. A total of 110 tons of relief goods have been taken by helicopter to distribution points, a US Navy statement said. But the statement added: “Helicopter crews reported that three sites visited yesterday (Saturday) required no assistance — a positive sign that groundbased relief efforts are starting to meet the needs of displaced persons. “ They also repor t an increased presence of Japan Ground Self Defense Force and medium to heavy equipment at such sites.” In places like Kamaishi, many people were finding things on their own. A Buddhist temple offers drinking water and rice, a fish market has clothes and there is a Japanese Red Cross distribution centre just behind the bank. For many in the town, their minds were fixed on salvaging what they could from devastated homes and restoring some semblance of normality. “There is no electricity and water, but asked which we want more, I’d say water. We want to clean up our house, recover what’s left,” said Kimio Arai, 66, a truck driver in the town of Ofunato, to the south along the coast. His mother’s house in the town was still standing, but the ground floor was completely submerged and all their belongings — tatami mats, dishes, chairs-were brought out into the yard. Asked if he wanted more help from abroad, Arai said: “What could they do?” “Where would they take all of this stuff?” he said, pointing to what used to be a quiet stretch of homes and houses now a pile of overturned trucks and cars, twisted metal, wood pieces from houses and logs washed up from the shore. — Reuters

Prince William visits Australian towns TOOWOOMBA: Prince William met yesterday with the family of a 13-year-old Australian boy who gave his life to save his younger brother during devastating floods earlier this year. The second in line to the British throne closed out a visit to disaster zones in Australia and New Zealand with brief but poignant stops in small towns where flash flooding ripped houses from their foundations and carried away cars during the worst of a weeklong crisis. Jordan Rice was among 35 people killed in the floods, washed away with his mother in their car when floodwaters cascaded through the town of Toowoomba on Jan. 10. Trapped in the car as the water rose around them, the teenager told rescuers who reached them to grab his brother, Blake, 11, first. William chatted with Blake and his father, John Tyson, yesterday at one of several functions where the prince mingled with survivors

of the flooding, which swamped a huge part of northeastern Queensland state starting late last year. “He could feel our pain, you could see it in his eyes,” Tyson said after meeting with the prince. William’s visit, which comes as anticipation builds around his wedding in late April to Kate Middleton, has been relatively low key out of respect for those affected by the disasters in the places he has toured, starting last week in the earthquake -struck city of Christchurch in New Zealand. The focus has been on the prince meeting survivors in informal gatherings and getting briefings from officials on recovery efforts, rather than speeches or large ceremonial appearances. William hasn’t talked directly to the media during the visits. Flown by military helicopter, William stopped in the town of Grantham, which was almost completely

wiped away by flash flooding in January that state officials described as an inland tsunami. He also visited Ipswich, a larger town that was one of many inundated by floodwaters that, at their worst, covered an area larger than France and Germany combined. William heard survival tales from residents who lived through the disaster, and attended functions that included many barbecues and a country music festival where he took to the stage and waved a cowboy hat in a gesture to the crowd. Australia, a former British colony, is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II William’s grandmother - as head of state but is governed completely independently from Britain. While there is a strong movement backing full independence in the form of a republic, the queen and most of her heirs remain personally popular in Australia. — AP

TOOWOOMBA: Britain’s Prince William meets people while attending a spirit of the country concert yesterday. — AP


MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011



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King’s ‘reformer’ reputation hit By Jason Benham, Amena Bakr ast week’s announcement by Saudi King Abdullah of lavish social handouts and a boost to security and religious police, but no political change, leaves his prized reputation as a reformist in tatters, analysts say. Saudis on the streets of Riyadh after the king announced $93 billion in social handouts reflected the divide in society. “There is no other king in the world who would give us what King Abdullah gives us,” said Fahad Al-Dosri, a 37-year-old bank official as he drove his car slowly through thick traffic of Saudis honking their horns in joy over the king’s largesse. But Abdul-Ahmed Ibrahim, a 35-year-old businessman watching from the sidewalk was not buying it. “No, it’s not enough,” he said despondently. “We want a change to the system. We want change because of the huge corruption.” The king, believed to be 87, has carefully crafted an image as a cautious reformer in a country ruled by a single generation of his brothers as absolute monarchs for nearly six decades. But faced with unrest rocking much of the Arab world, he is playing the old game of buying support from key sectors of society to keep family rule as it is. In a rare TV address to the nation on Friday, the king announced the new spending but gave no concessions on rights in a country where public space is dominated by the royal family, political parties are banned and there is no elected parliament. There was no word either on a much anticipated reshuffle of a cabinet whose main posts are held by senior princes, some of whom have been in their jobs for more than four decades in the key US ally and world’s top oil exporter. “I was expecting perhaps a cabinet reshuffle but unfortunately he focused on paying money and he has increased the role of the religious establishment,” said Tawfiq Al-Said, a leading intellectual among minority Saudi Shiites. “He is returning to the policy of the late King Fahd in the 1980s when money and religion was the only tool of the government,” he said. Measures to raise benefits for the unemployed, add jobs and increase the minimum wage were accompanied by the creation of 60,000 security positions and more money for the religious police who keep a firm grip on personal behaviour. And in a sign Saudi’s ruling elite will not tolerate dissent, Abdullah said the media must respect the Sunni clerics who oversee the application of sharia law in the Islamic state. With a wave of unrest toppling the governments of Egypt and Tunisia and spreading to neighbouring Yemen, Bahrain and Oman, the ruling family appears to have ruled out any big concessions, said Sam Ciszuk, senior analyst at IHS Global Insight. “The Saudi regime wants to demonstrate stability now. They do not do anything under pressure. Handing out money ‘from the bounty’ is their traditional role anyway, so that in itself is no concession,” Ciszuk said. “They want to make sure that nothing they do looks like a concession to their citizens and in the region, hence no cabinet reshuffle and a lot of security jobs and buttressing of the religious police,” he added. The one concession to criticism appeared to be the creation of a new body with a large budget to fight corruption. All this contrasts with the image of a reformer that King Abdullah’s supporters and Saudi media had built up since he ascended the throne in 2005 when US pressure was still strong because of presence of Saudis among the Sept 11 attackers. That year Riyadh held its first municipal elections in four decades and the king stated his support for “cautious reform”. Since then political openings have dried up, while the country has continued to liberalise sections of its economy, attract foreign investment and outflank religious hardliners who were seen as encouraging Al-Qaeda militancy. For all these efforts the country won praise from Western allies, accepting Riyadh’s argument that the ruling dynasty was a bulwark against extremist religious forces who could take over if political reform moved too fast. It is far from clear if the government’s bet that there is not a critical mass of young Saudis prepared to fight for more rights will pay dividends in the longer term. Shiites have staged marches in the Eastern Province, where most of Saudi Arabia’s oil fields are located, but the authorities are used to Shiite activism which the Sunni clerics paint as typical acts by deviant and disloyal citizenry. Few Saudis in major cities answered a Facebook call for protests on March 11. They would have faced a massive security deployment on the streets if they had tried. — Reuters


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Gaddafi bets on long war, outside sympathy By William Maclean ortraying his assailants as colonial bullies, Muammar Gaddafi is gambling that a long war would allow him to play the role of victim and erode Western resolve, enabling him to negotiate some form of continued rule. For now, that looks like a very long shot, analysts say. World powers who began a UN-backed military campaign overnight are acutely aware of the human cost of Gaddafi’s determined crackdown against a six-week-old popular uprising. And Libyans with four decades of grievances to address will not abandon their push to end his rule, the opposition says. But if Gaddafi can cling on, forcing the allied coalition and Libyan opposition to fight for months and possibly cause a large number of civilian casualties, his chances of cutting a deal allowing him continued rule of a rump regime may improve. Mounting bloodshed might stimulate the emergence of a Western peace campaign, altering the calculations of Western strategists sensitive to misgivings about intervention in Muslim lands amid continuing Western involvement in Afghanistan. “That is the one scenario where he might get advantage,” said Ashour Shamis, a UKbased opposition activist and editor, adding that the opposition now had to “get its act together” for an advance on Gaddafi’s bastion in the capital, Tripoli.” But Shamis and other analysts said Gaddafi would find it impossible to transform his personal image into that of victim, no matter how long the conflict lasted. “Trying to portray himself as a freedom fighter will not convince anyone. Libyans know it’s humbug,” he said. His life as well as his rule at stake, Gaddafi responded to the launch of the military campaign overnight by calling his assailants terrorists and colonialists greedy for Libyan oil. “This is an unjustified aggression. We will not leave our land and we will liberate it,” he said. Saad Djebbar, a London-based expert who acted as an intermediary in talks with Libya over the Lockerbie aircraft bombing, said despite Gaddafi’s remarks it was clear that Arab opinion was broadly favourable to the military campaign so far. “This will show the Arab street that ordinary Arabs actually count in Western policy,” he said. “The notion that this attack would mobilise the Arab street against the West, well, that’s what the remaining Arab despots would like to happen, because they themselves fear uprisings.” Gaddafi has seen his options shrink sharply since the UN Security Council on Thursday evening endorsed a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures” to shield civilians from his forces. Analysts who know the longtime autocrat, an old hand at surviving prolonged international isolation, say the goal of UN-backed action must be regime change. Any endgame short of that will offer openings he can exploit. For example, some expect Gaddafi, adept at brinkmanship, to call for talks mediated by African statesmen to gain time and carve rifts in the coalition ranged against him. “He’s a manipulator and a survivor,” said Djebbar. “He shouldn’t be allowed to negotiate to stay on in Tripoli. He wants to engineer the division of Libya, like Korea was split into a North and a South in the 1950s. “His only option should be to leave.” That endgame received explicit backing on Friday when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the international effort against Gaddafi was aimed at ousting him, although it would move “one step at a time” and first halt violence against civilians. “The overwhelming vote by the Security Council I think reflects a broad understanding that, Number One: stop the violence, and Number Two: we do believe that a final result of any negotiations would have to be the decision by Colonel Gaddafi to leave,” she said.


However, beyond ending the killing of civilians and Gaddafi’s departure from power in some way, much remains unclear about the aims of the rapidly assembled coalition on Libya. First, it is not clear that Gaddafi’s

departure is the principal objective of all major powers. Many may be content to ensure an end to civilian suffering. Some Western strategists would like to see a rapid transfer of Gaddafi and his associates to the

A Libyan rebel kicks the dead body of an African teenage member of Muammer Gaddafi’s forces lying among debris in Al-Wayfiyah, 35 km west of Benghazi, after being hit by French warplanes yesterday. – AFP

war crimes court at The Hague, an outcome implicit in the UN resolution. How big the constituency would be for that result is unknown. Then there are uncertainties about how a post-Gaddafi government would be assembled in a society taught for four decades that democracy is wrong and pluralism is a fraud. And there are the practical challenges of confronting a pragmatic leader adept at international machinations. Gaddafi skillfully negotiated Libya’s rapprochement with the international community in 2003-05 by agreeing to give up weapons of mass destruction programs. He later publicly admitted that he was motivated by his desire to escape the fate of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, toppled by the US-led invasion of 2003 and later hanged. One outcome that many analysts see as unlikely is a return by Gaddafi to sponsoring terrorist acts by armed groups overseas, his practice for much of his long rule. They see as mere bluster an interview Gaddafi gave to Italy’s Il Giornale in which he said he would join forces with al Qaeda in the event of an attack by the West. There was a time when a remark such as that would have been taken extremely seriously. The last time Gaddafi was attacked by the West, in 1986, a Libyan operative two years later blew up a Pan Am jumbo jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 259 people in the air and 11 people on the ground. —Reuters

Attack tests loyalty of Gaddafi insiders By William Maclean ight to the end for Muammar Gaddafi? Or defect and save your skin? The second question may not occur to most in Gaddafi’s inner circle, committed to Libya’s longtime leader by blood ties, ideology, business interest or complicity in repression, analysts say. Senior security officials, many of them relatives, are more likely to close ranks now that an allied assault has begun, believing they can hold on to at least parts of Libya. But other insiders who helped forge detente with the West in recent years may be weighing their options, especially those with children and second homes in Europe and the United States. Whether those options would include mounting a coup, or attempting to persuade Gaddafi to step aside, is hard to assess given the lack of reliable information about the activities of senior members of Gaddafi’s entourage. Diplomats say that in normal times Libya’s leadership is a fractious community of officials and relatives whose business and ideological rivalries were apparently encouraged by Gaddafi, a skilful, instinctive practitioner of divideand-rule. Many of these rifts appear to have been put aside in the common interest of survival since the start of a popular uprising in mid-February, political analysts say. But experts do not rule out the possibility that the string of defections Gaddafi has suffered in his army and diplomatic corps in the weeks since a popular uprising began may encourage others higher up in the hierarchy to follow suit. “Some officials worked so hard to get Libya back into the international mainstream, and now it’s back to square one,” said Noman Benotman, who led a guerrilla uprising against Gaddafi in the 1990s and now works for the British think-tank Quilliam. “Instead of enjoying their retirement, they are having to run for their lives. They will do everything possible to get rid of him (Gaddafi),” he said. Benotman said he believed some officials close to Gaddafi, including Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, had begun openly to express doubts about the leadership’s handling of the revolt. There was no independent confirmation of such dissent by Koussa. Diplomats tracking the Libyan crisis say the loyalty of some insiders may depend on the international coalition’s actions. For example if a credible offer of immunity from prosecution is made to senior officials and members of his Gaddadfa clan, in return for their defection, some may turn against him. Events on the battlefield may increase the prospects of a coup attempt, since Gaddafi’s prospects of achieving even a stalemate look grim, said Faysal Itani, of the London-based Exclusive Analysis consultancy. “His ability to sustain that stalemate is now much more limited, increasing the likelihood that he will be removed by an internal coup involving his inner circle and/or his tribal support base, and that a deal is then done with the rebels. “We think it highly unlikely that a negotiated settlement can be reached so long as Gaddafi is not removed from power,” Itani said.


“However... we think this will probably happen, opening the way for dialogue.” Some insiders accused by human rights groups of being implicated in killings of Libyans over many years will feel they have no option but to fight because their lives are on the line. US-based Libyan political scientist Mansour El-Kikhia said he believed some insiders would flee if they had the chance. But Gaddafi’s consistent strategy over four decades had been to delegate acts of repression to close associates in order to implicate them, he said. “They live or die with him. And if they disown him, no one would believe that they had a sincere change of heart. They are too bloodstained,” he said. But officials who defected in the early stages of the revolt were in a “much stronger position”. Saad Djebbar, a London-based expert who acted as an intermediary in talks with Libya over the Lockerbie aircraft bombing, said he suspected loyalties in the leadership were under new strain since the start of the allied air campaign. An “outer circle” of the top leadership comprising ministers and political activists, including longtime colleagues who participated in the 1969 coup that brought Gaddafi to power, may not be as loyal as direct family members, Djebbar suggested. “Most of Gaddafi’s entourage have realised that the family is operating on a different planet,” he said. Many of these senior officials were at Gaddafi’s main family compound in Tripoli, in effect under collective house arrest, Djebbar said, adding that he suspected there was a real degree of disaffection. “He’s keeping most of them very close to him to keep an eye on them.” Key members of the family believed to be involved in defending Gaddafi against the uprising include Saif alIslam, a onetime liberal reformist, Muatassim, national security adviser, Khamis, a senior military leader, and Saadi, a businessman. Other important players include: • Abdulkader Youssef Dibri, head of Gaddafi’s personal security • Bashir Saleh, chief of staff • Ahmed Ibrahim, a cousin of Gaddafi, senior member of revolutionary comittees • Bouzaid Dordah, Director, External Security Organisation • Mohammed Gaddaf Al-Dam, a cousin of Gaddafi. In the 1980s, was involved in a campaign of assassination of dissidents in Europe, according to the United Nations • Abdullah Sanussi, Gaddafi’s brother-in-law and senior security official • Services, Housing and Utilities Minister Maatoug Mohammed Maatoug. Has a history of involvement in suppression of dissent • Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi, Libya’s prime minister • Gen Abu Bakr Younus Jaber, Defence Minister • Moussa Koussa, foreign minister and former director, External Security Organisation. — Reuters



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Saudis gather for freeing prisoners RIYADH: Dozens of Saudi men gathered outside the Interior Ministry in the capital Riyadh yesterday to demand the release of jailed relatives, amid a heavy police presence. Some were seen arguing with police but were not shouting slogans or holding protest signs. At least 50 police cars surrounded the ministry, and three men were seen by a Reuters witness being put into police cars. “We have seen at least three or four police vehicles taking people away,” said an activist there who declined to be named. “Security have arrested around 15 people. They tried to go into the ministry to go and ask for the freedom of their loved ones.” Dozens of men in traditional white robes and red headdresses gathered outside while a large number of police and security forces

watched. Saudi Arabia, which practises the puritanical Wahhabi school of Islam and has no elected parliament, has warned those seeking reform that protests will not be tolerated, as they violate the Holy Quran’s teachings. The men gathered at the interior ministry two days after Saudi Arabia’s ruler, King Abdullah, offered $93 billion-worth of wage increases, jobs and construction projects, but gave no political concessions. Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour Al-Turki could not confirm the arrests. “There are many people who come to the ministry to see different officials for different reason,” he told Reuters. Saudi Arabia, a US ally, has not seen the kind of mass uprisings that have rocked the Arab world this year, but dissent has built up as unrest has taken root in neigh-

bouring Yemen, Bahrain and Oman. Saudi Arabia has a fast-growing population, and two thirds of its 25 million citizens are under 30. “It is a human rights issue and unless it is sorted out the gatherings will continue,” said a Saudi-based political analyst who declined to be named. “These Saudis do have issues with their relatives being held for a number of years... we need more transparency on this. “I never expected to see a mass movement in Saudi Arabia. People accept the system but people want a better system.” Protests planned earlier this month did not materialise amid a heavy police crackdown that appeared to have intimidated most potential protesters. Shiites have staged marches in Eastern Province, however, where most of the kingdom’s oil fields are located. — Reuters

Bahrain opposition seeks UN, US help Continud from Page 1 “They should return home. There is no need for them to be here since this a political, not a military problem,” said Jassim Hussein, a former parliament member of Bahrain’s largest Shiite group Al Wefaq. Led by Wefaq, opposition groups called late on Saturday on security forces to free all those detained in the wake of protests, end their crackdown and ask Gulf Arab troops to leave so talks could begin. “We will not back down under threat and we will not come to talks with guns pointed at our heads,” said Mattar Ibrahim Mattar, a Wefaq MP until the bloc withdrew from parliament a few weeks ago. But main opposition groups appeared to retreat from much more ambitious conditions they set last week for talks, including creation of a government not dominated by royals and establishment of an elected council to redraft the constitution. “Prepare a healthy atmosphere for the start of political dialogue between the opposition and the government on a basis that can put our country on the track to real democracy and away from the abyss,” their statement said. The new conditions would take the political process back to the position it was in before the uprising began a month ago. Bahrain forces moved on Wednesday to end weeks of mostly Shiite protests that prompted the king to impose martial law and drew in troops from fellow Sunni-ruled neighbours. The ferocity of the crackdown, in which troops and police fanned out across Bahrain, imposed a curfew and banned all public gatherings and marches, has stunned Bahrain’s majority Shiites and angered the region’s nonArab Shiite power, Iran. More than 60 percent of Bahrainis are Shiites, and most are campaigning for a constitutional monarchy, but calls by hardliners for the overthrow of the monarchy have alarmed Sunnis, who fear the

unrest serves Iran, separated from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by only a short stretch of Gulf waters. Iran, which supports Shiite groups in Iraq and Lebanon, has complained to the United Nations and asked neighbours to join it in urging Saudi Arabia to withdraw forces from Bahrain. In a sign of rising tensions between the two countries, Bahrain expelled Iran’s charge d’affairs on Sunday, a diplomatic source told Reuters yesterday. He left shortly after the Iranian ambassador, who was asked to leave last week. “Bahraini authorities said he had contacts with some (opposition) groups,” the source said. Iran later ordered a Bahraini diplomat to leave the country. Iran’s English language Press TV quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying Bahrain’s charge d’affaires had been summoned and told one diplomat must leave. Mehmanparast called the Bahraini action “illogical and incomprehensible”, it said. Bahrain also complained to Arabsat yesterday over “abuse and incitement” on Iran’s Arabic-language Al Alam television, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar and Shiite channel Ahlulbayt, which are all carried by the broadcaster, state news agency BNA said. Bahrain also condemned a protest outside the Saudi consulate in Tehran, after reports on Saturday that some 700 demonstrators broke windows and raised a Bahraini flag over the gate. Yesterday was the first working day after a week that saw closures of schools and universities to prevent outbreaks of sectarian clashes that had been erupting almost daily. An uneasy calm spread through the city as most Bahrainis went back to work and there were fewer checkpoints in the streets, though helicopters buzzed over Shiite areas. Over 2,000 mourners in the Shiite village of Sitra, pumping their fists and shouting “Down with the regime” joined the third funeral procession in as many days yesterday. Issa Radhi, 47, was one of four protesters killed in last

week’s crackdown. He went missing after a protest in Sitra on Wednesday and police called his family on Saturday to say they found his body. His brother said he was badly beaten, with birdshot in his legs. “We bury him today but we won’t bury the right to avenge his death,” his brother Khalil Radhi said. Hours after Radhi’s funeral, Wefaq said a man taken away by security forces two days ago was dead. It said police had told Abdulrusul Hajair’s family to collect his body from hospital. A former Wefaq parliamentarian said some 100 people had gone missing in the crackdown, speaking at a small 15-minute protest in front of the United Nations building in Manama. “We don’t know anything about them, we’ve asked hospital and ministry authorities and none of them are telling us anything about them,” Hady Al-Mussawy said, one of around 21 former MPs carrying Bahraini flags and calling on the UN to help ensure rescue medical services were working in Bahrain. At least 13 people have been killed in the monthlong revolt. Bahrain’s military tried to bring life back to normal, shortening the 12hour curfew that had been imposed on large areas of Manama to an 8 pm to 4 am ban. They urged public sector workers and schools and universities to return to work. But mourners in Sitra, many claiming they were on strike, struck a tone of defiance. “Of course we will continue (protesting),” said Ahmed Hussein, 25, Ridhi’s nephew, “Either victory or martyrdom.” Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Human Rights Center, was briefly detained yesterday by masked security officials, he said. Agents also confiscated computers, CDs and mobile phones. Rajab said his face was covered and he was handcuffed before being put into a car, where he was slapped and beaten. “They were insulting me, saying things like, ‘You’re Shiite so go back to Iran’,” he told AP after he was released. — Agencies

MALKIYA, Bahrain: A resident spreads his arms in front of riot police and tanks moving into this Shiite village southwest of Manama yesterday. — AP

Sectarian tensions high over Bahrain Continud from Page 1

Liberal MP Ali Al-Rashed however said that if the grilling was filed, he and other Sunni MPs will oppose it because it undermines national unity, while MP Salwa Al-Jassar warned that such sectarian statements will damage the country’s national interests. Rashed specifically deplored sectarian statements issued at Saturday’s gathering “by those who want to foment sectarian conflicts in the country”. He urged MPs to place Kuwait’s national interests on top of their selfish goals. The lawmaker said that Kuwaiti MPs who admire life in Saudi Arabia can leave the country and “I’ll pay for the ticket”, but should not impose their ideas on the rest. He was referring to calls for “true Gulf unity” with Saudi Arabia being the leader.

Rashed also said that HH the Amir is the supreme commander of the armed forces and he is the ultimate decision-maker on strategic issues. He said that what he decided serves Kuwait’s interests and Bahrain understands this. Islamist MP Faisal Al-Mislem meanwhile sent a number of questions to the defense minister and foreign minister asking about the official Kuwaiti position regarding sending of troops to Bahrain. Mislem asked if Kuwait has sent troops to Bahrain and their number, and if they are still in Bahrain and who issued the decision to send them. He also asked if a decision was issued to suspend sending of Kuwaiti troops to Bahrain or a decision was issued to bring back those troops while they were on their way to Bahrain. The lawmaker asked who issued the

decision and the reasons for issuing it and the justifications. Mislem asked the foreign minister if a decision was taken by the GCC nations to send troops to Bahrain, what was Kuwait’s position and if Kuwait has carried out the decision. Responding to such questions, Shiite MP Saleh Ashour sent a series of questions to the foreign minister on the supposed funding for AlQaeda. Ashour asked about the truth in reports claiming that Kuwaiti merchants have been funding Al-Qaeda and that there have been direct contacts between them and Al-Qaeda to carry out terror attacks in Arab countries, especially Iraq. He asked if Kuwait has been notified by international sides about names of people or societies linked to Al-Qaeda, and requested a list of those names.

Saleh’s tribe demands he leave Continued from Page 1 The police, who protesters blame for the deaths, withdrew from public sight near protest areas to be replaced by soldiers dressed in camouflage uniforms but bearing only batons, in an apparent bid to reduce tensions. Tanks stood guard near the presidential palace in Sanaa and armoured vehicles were positioned outside sensitive locations. But tension in the capital appeared lower, and ambulances ferried the bodies, draped in Yemeni flags, to the cemetery. In the protest camp near Sanaa University, mourners placed roses at a site where five protesters died. “We have one aim, but revolutions require sacrifices, and we are willing to give more of our blood for our cause,” said Wassim Al-Qudsi, a young man who was among the mourners. Friday was the bloodiest day of the monthlong uprising against Saleh, and government snipers killed more than 40 protesters. The violence drew condemnation from the UN and the United States, which backs his government with hundreds

of millions of dollars in military aid to battle a potent Al-Qaeda offshoot based in Yemen’s mountainous hinterlands. Some of the country’s most important religious leaders joined in the call for Saleh’s resignation. “This is definitely in my view now entering into some form of an endgame,” said Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center. Yemen’s most powerful tribe, its opposition parties and masses of young protesters have now united in calls for Saleh’s departure, Shaikh said, calling that a dire sign for the president’s ability to retain power. “The disparate elements of what can be called the oppsiton have now coalesced around the demand for him to step down,” Shaikh said. “This is now a very powerful, irresistible coalition.” Mohammad Al-Sabri, an opposition spokesman, told AP that the opposition will under no circumstances agree to a dialogue with Saleh after the crimes his regime has committed. “The president must understand that the only way to avoid more bloodshed and strife in this country is for him to leave. Nobody will have any regrets about

him,” he said. People living in apartment buildings around the square tossed down flowers at yesterday’s funeral procession. Electricity was cut off for about three hours in Yemen’s major cities, and activists accused the government of trying to block people from seeing television coverage of the march. Cell service was also interrupted. Massive crowds flooded into the Sanaa University square and solidarity demonstrations were held across the country in regions including Aden, Hadramawt, Ibb, Al-Hudaydah, Dhamar and Taiz. “We hail with all respect and observance, the position of the people at the (Sanaa University) square,” Sheikh Sadiq AlAhmar, head of Saleh’s Hashed tribe, said in a joint statement with the religious leaders issued after a meeting at his home late Saturday. Opposition parties taking part in the procession said they had have changed their position from demands for political reforms to calls for Saleh’s removal. “Our only choice now is the removal of the regime soon. We stand by the people’s demand,” opposition leader Yassin Said Numan told AP.— Agencies

Unrest rocks Syria as thousands rally Continud from Page 1

“No. No to emergency law. We are a people infatuated with freedom,” marchers chanted as a government delegation arrived in Deraa to offer their condolences for victims killed by security forces in demonstrations there this week. Security forces also fired tear gas at the protesters. At least 40 people were taken to be treated for gas inhalation at the main Omari mosque in the old city, residents said. “The mosque is now a field hospital. The security forces know they cannot enter the old city without spilling more blood,” one resident said. Syria has been ruled under emergency law since the Baath Party, which is headed by president Bashar alAssad, took power in a 1963 coup and banned all opposition. Security forces opened fire on Friday on civilians taking part in a peaceful protest in Deraa to demand political freedoms, an end to corruption, and the release of 15 schoolchildren whose arrests for scrawling protest graffiti had helped fuel the demonstrations. Four people were killed. An official statement said “infiltrators” claiming to be high ranking officers had been visiting security stations and asking security forces to fire at any suspicious gathering. Citizens should report anyone suspected of trying to fool the security apparatus “into using violence and live ammunition against any suspicious gathering”, the statement said. The government sought to calm popular discontent in Deraa by promising that the children, who had written slogans on walls inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, would be released immediately. On Saturday, thousands of mourners called for “revolution” at the funeral of two of the protesters. Officials later met Deraa notables who presented them with a list of demands, most impor-

tantly the release of political prisoners. The list demands the dismantling of the secret police headquarters in Deraa, the dismissal of the governor, a public trial for those responsible for the killings and the scrapping of regulations requiring permission from the secret police to sell and buy property. Non-violent protests have challenged the Baath Party’s authority this month, following the uprisings that toppled the autocratic leaders of Egypt and Tunisia, with the largest protests in Deraa drawing thousands of people. A silent protest in Damascus by 150 people this week demanded the release of thousands of political prisoners. At least one activist from Deraa, Diana Al-Jawabra, took part in the protest. She was arrested on charges of weakening national morale, along with 32 other protesters, a lawyer said. Jawabra, who is from a prominent family, was campaigning for the release of the 15 schoolchildren from her home city. Another prominent woman from Deraa, physician Aisha Aba Zeid, was arrested three weeks ago for airing a political opinion on the Internet. Residents say the arrest of the two women deepened feelings of repression and helped fuel the protests in Deraa, a conservative tribal region on the border with Jordan. Secret police made a slew of arrests in Deraa this month after graffiti appeared on school walls and on grain silos with phrases such as “the people want the overthrow of the regime” - the same slogan that became the rallying cry of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions. The authorities responded by increasing secret police patrols and asking staff at schools and public departments to man their premises around the clock and by requiring IDs and registration for buyers of paint and spray cans. “These measures only increased popular resentment,” one Deraa resident said.— Reuters

Gaddafi vows ‘long war’ as allies strike Continud from Page 1

The strikes gave immediate, if temporary, relief to the besieged rebel capital, Benghazi, in eastern Libya. Airstrikes, apparently from French aircraft, devastated a Libyan tank force 20 km south of Benghazi. At least seven demolished tanks were still smoldering in a field hours later, five of them with their turrets and treads blown off, alongside two charred armored personnel carriers and around a dozen damaged jeeps and SUVs of the type often used by Gaddafi fighters. Jubilant rebel fighters climbed on the remains on the tanks, shooting assault rifles in the air in celebration. It was not known how many people were killed in the strike - any bodies had been taken away in the morning - but shredded boots and foam mattresses and tomato paste cans strewn around the scene suggested the Gaddafi forces had been camped at the site when they were hit. US and European military officials said the assault was only the first wave in the international operation in Libya. But already there were signs of differences over the goals. France took a more assertive stance, suggesting the allies’ intervention must ultimately lead to Gaddafi’s downfall. The US military appeared more wary of overtly taking a side and getting pulled deeper into Libya’s conflict, with the top American US officer saying Gaddafi’s ouster wasn’t necessarily the goal. Libya’s claims of civilians among the dead from the strikes also appeared to make Arab countries nervous, after the Arab League took the unprecedented step of calling for a no-fly zone. Yesterday, Arab League chief Amr Moussa criticized the allied strikes, saying they went beyond what the Arab body had supported. “What happened differs from the no-fly zone objectives,” Moussa told reporters in Cairo. “What we want is civilians’ protection not shelling more civilians.” The initial assault aimed to take out Gaddafi’s air defenses to clear the way for enforcing a no-fly zone, targeting more than 20 radar systems, communications centers and surface-to-air missile sites. But the UN resolution authorizing the action goes much further, allowing “all necessary means” to protect civilians. That means the US and Europeans have a free hand in the next stages to attack Gaddafi’s ground forces besieging rebel cities or other military targets. The rebels, who control most of the eastern half of Libya, hope the allied intervention will tip the scales back in their favor after an onslaught by Gaddafi’s forces threatened to reverse their gains early in the uprising - and eventually lead to the toppling of the Libyan leader. The strikes hit one of Libya’s main air bases, on Tripoli’s outskirts, the opposition said. Also hit, it said, was an air force complex outside Misrata, the last rebel-held city in western Libya - which has been under siege the past week by Gaddafi forces. Those forces have been bombarding the city from the complex, which houses an air base and a military academy. Despite the strikes, Gaddafi forces resumed bombarding Misrata after daylight yesterday, said Switzerland-based Libyan activist Fathi Al-Warfali. “Misrata is the only city in western Libya not under Gaddafi’s control; he is trying hard to change its position,”

said Al-Warfali, who told AP he was in touch with residents in the city. In Benghazi, the rebel capital and first city to fall to the uprising that began Feb 15, people said the strikes happened just in time. Libyan government tanks and troops on Saturday had reached the edges of the city in eastern Libya in fierce fighting that killed more than 120 people according to Gibreil Hewadi, a member of the rebel health committee in Benghazi. He said the dead included rebel fighters and civilians, among them women and children. Yesterday, the city was quiet. As part of the international assault, French warplanes hit targets in the Benghazi area. “It was a matter of minutes and Gaddafi’s forces would have been in Benghazi,” said Akram Abdul Wahab, a 20-year-old butcher in the city. Mohammed Faraj, 44, a former military man who joined the rebels, held a grenade in each hand as he manned a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city. “Me and all of Benghazi, we will die before Gaddafi sets foot here again,” Faraj told AP. “Our spirits are very high.” Gaddafi vowed to fight on. In a phone call to Libyan state television, he said he would not let up on Benghazi and said the government had opened up weapons depots to all Libyans, who were now armed with “automatic weapons, mortars and bombs.” State television said Gaddafi’s supporters were converging on airports as human shields. “We promise you a long war,” he said. He called the international assault “simply a colonial crusader aggression that may ignite another large-scale crusader war”. Throughout the day yesterday, Libyan TV showed a stream of what it said were popular demonstrations in support of Gaddafi in Tripoli and other towns and cities. It showed cars with horns blaring, women ululating, young men waving green flags and holding up pictures of the Libyan leader. Women and children chanted, “God, Muammar and Libya, that’s it!” “Our blood is green, not red,” one unidentified woman told the broadcaster, referring to the signature color of Gaddafi’s regime. “He is our father, we will be with him to the last drop of blood. Our blood is green with our love for him.” The overnight attack early yesterday shook coastal cities, including Tripoli, where anti-aircraft guns could be heard firing. Libyan TV quoted the armed forces command as saying 48 people were killed and 150 wounded in the allied assault. It said most of the casualties were children but gave no more details. US President Barack Obama said military action was not his first choice and reiterated that he would not send American ground troops. “This is not an outcome the US or any of our partners sought,” Obama said from Brazil, where he is starting a five-day visit to Latin America. “We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy.” The US has struck Libya before. Former President Ronald Reagan launched US airstrikes on Libya in 1986 after a bombing at a Berlin disco - which the US blamed on Libya - that killed three people, including two American soldiers. The airstrikes killed about 100 people in Libya, including Gaddafi’s young adopted daughter at his Tripoli compound. —- AP



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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


sp orts

Contador wary of challenge

Bjoergen, Northug triumph FALUN: Norway’s Petter Northug and Marit Bjoergen capped exceptional seasons with victories in the men’s and women’s cross-country World Cup finals yesterday. The 24-year-old Northug was never under any threat after he set off with a head start of 1 minute, 28 seconds in the 15-kilometer freestyle pursuit on the last day of the multistage World Cup final event. A three-time winner at the recent world championships, Northug raced alone throughout to finish in 37:49.6. Northug’s compatriot Finn Haagen Krogh used the race to burst onto the international scene, finishing in second place in just his sixth World Cup race. The 20-year-old Krogh overtook World Cup champion Dario Cologna of Switzerland in the ski stadium to cross the line 1:45.1 behind. Cologna was a further 0.3 back. Earlier, Bjoergen powered to a convincing win in the women’s 10K pursuit.—AP

MADRID: Spain’s three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will have a lot on his mind when he begins his challenge today to be crowned champion of the Tour of Catalonia which is celebrating its centenary. The 28-year-old has been in good form this season finishing fourth in the Tour of the Algarve and winning the Tour of Murcia. However, his mental strength as well as his physical strength will be tested as aside from competing against a strong field he will also learn whether the International Cycling Union intends to appeal the decision by his national federation to exonerate him over a positive doping test. Contador, though, was more focussed in the riders that will be competing for the title.

Hasek eyes 1 more season

“The riders who are here are some of my main rivals for the Tour de France,” said the Saxo Bank rider. “There will be Cadel Evans (the crack Australian recent winner of the TirrenoAdriatico), Ivan Basso (two-time Tour of Italy winner), Dennis Menchov (Russia’s two-time Tour of Spain champion), Michele Scarponi (fourth in last year’s Tour of Italy) and others I forget,” he said. “They will be very difficult adversaries. They have begun the season in very good form and that is going to be clear in this race.” Contador, whose positive test came at last year’s Tour de France where he claims it emanated from a piece of contaminated meat he ate, pinpointed Wednesday’s mountainous third stage as the pivotal one.—AFP

BUFFALO: After leading Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League with seven shutouts last season, 46-year-old Dominik Hasek is eager to play at least one more year in Europe’s elite professional league. Hasek, however, ruled out a return to the NHL, where he played 16 seasons, the last in 2007-08 when he won the Stanley Cup with Detroit. “I definitely want to play one more year in Russia. I want to win the cup over there,” Hasek said Saturday, during a return to his former home in Buffalo. “I feel great, in good shape.” Hasek completed his first KHL season after signing a one-year contract with the Moscow Spartak, which was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. He went 23-19-3, finishing fourth in the league among wins, and 17th with a 2.48 goals-against average. He signed with Moscow a year after leading his hometown club, HC Eaton Pardubice, to the Czech league title. Hasek would prefer to sign with a contender. Spartak had a $9 million payroll, among the league’s lowest. He is also intent on playing for a team in which he would be the starter. The chance to start is one of the reasons Hasek doesn’t intend on an NHL comeback.—AP

Bristol drivers face speed bump with tire change BRISTOL: Carl Edwards had every reason to believe he had one of the best cars at Bristol Motor Speedway. Then Goodyear called for a rare tire change in the middle of a race weekend, sending every NASCAR team back to square one in their preparations for late yesterday’s Jeff Byrd 500. “The tire is a lot slower and it’s going to be a little more difficult to drive,” said Edwards, who was on the pole. “It’s a challenge for everybody.” Goodyear learned there was a problem on Friday when the tires did not lay enough rubber on the track surface. The right-side tires were subjected to considerable wear and lasted only about 30 laps before they began to disintegrate into a powdery substance. So Goodyear called for nearly 1,300 right-side tires to be shipped to Bristol from North Carolina, and they arrived in time for Saturday’s practice. Teams were given only one set to use over the two practice sessions. “It’s not an optimal situation for anybody,” four-time series champion Jeff Gordon said. “I feel like Goodyear is responding quickly and has created a safer environment for us. But anytime you change the tire the second day into the weekend, it’s going to be a pretty major change. And it has been. The car balance is completely different, the grip level is completely different.” The tire now being used was raced at California and Kansas last year, and has the same outer tread as the tire raced at Bristol last August. But there was no testing data on the tires for use at Bristol, and teams need that information to properly set the handling of the car. How were teams preparing? “A lot of reading and a little bit of guessing,” said Greg Erwin, crew chief for Greg Biffle. “The car doesn’t drive anything like it did most of the day (Friday).” Biffle qualified his Ford second behind his Roush Fenway

Racing teammate, but didn’t get much work in on Saturday because of a flat in one of the new right-side tires. Since teams had only one set to use, he wasn’t able to finish the practice. “We ran over something and we only got one set of tires, so there’s nothing we can do about it,” Biffle said. “We got a flat so unfortunately we didn’t get a fair shake at it like everybody else.” But it’s not as if Biffle or anyone else could even measure themselves against the competition. Although speeds were registered — Tony Stewart was fastest in the first practice, Mark Martin paced the second — nobody knew for certain who was using which tires. It’s believed most teams saved the new tires for the final practice session. But how long they used them and during which portion of the hourlong session was not that easy to discover. “That new tire, at very best, is probably three- or four-tenths a lap slower,” Erwin said. Gordon said the speed was down enough to “get your attention, and not make you very happy. “But once we get out there and we’re all the same _ it took me a little while to understand I just needed to slow the car down because the grip had changed. Once I did that, I thought we were pretty good against the competition. Probably even better than we were with the other tire.” And that’s the issue for everyone. Some cars improved with the new tire, others fell off from where they ran on Friday. In any case, there wasn’t enough time to sort it all out. “It feels like no matter how much practice they give us (at Bristol), you feel like you never have enough time,” Gordon said. “Things happen in a hurry here. It gets tense. It’s a short track. It creates even more intensity.” But it doesn’t mean it will be a wipeout. “I think we’re going to see some great racing,” Gordon said.—AP

BRISTOL: Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Scotts EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. —AFP

Bonds goes on perjury trial for 2003 testimony NEW YORK: More than seven years after he testified to a federal grand jury that he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs, Major League Baseball home run leader Barry Bonds will go on trail on Monday in the same federal courthouse in San Francisco. The charges? That he lied back in 2003. He won his seventh MVP award in 2004 and broke Hank Aaron’s MLB career home run record in 2007. Then in November that year, he was indicted on charges he lied to the grand jury with four short answers totaling nine words: “Not that I know of,” “No, no,” “No,” and “Right.” Even though he wanted to continue playing, all 30 MLB teams shunned him. And without Bonds, the Giants last year won their first title since 1954. Each of his charges — four counts of making false statements to the grand jury and one count of obstruction — carry a possible sentence of up to 10 years, although federal guidelines make a total of 15 to 21 months more probable if Bonds is convicted. Prosecutors claim he lied to protect the legacy of a career in which he hit home runs at an unprecedented pace, especially for someone his age. Bonds was 43 when he hit his 762nd, and last, home run. His apparent defense? He was truthful when he told the grand jury he didn’t know the substances he used were steroids, so even if they were per-

formance-enhancing drugs, that isn’t relevant to the charges against Bonds. “If you look at the cases of athletes internationally over the years, the defenses of those athletes has been, ‘I didn’t know,”‘ said Dr. Gary Wadler, former chairman of the committee that determines the banned substances list for the World Anti-Doping Agency. “They clearly know. The question is: In a hearing, can you prove it? But they know. Of course, they know.” Even if that is the case here, prosecutors may have trouble convincing jurors. Much of the government’s case has been gutted by the refusal of Greg Anderson to testify. Bonds’ personal trainer and childhood friend was sentenced in 2005 to three months in prison and three months home confinement after pleading guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering for his role in the Bay Area Laboratory CoOperative (BALCO) case. He is likely to be jailed again next week because he is refusing to testify at Bonds’ trial. Without Anderson to authenticate key evidence, US District Judge Susan Illston ordered that prosecutors couldn’t present three positive drug tests seized from BALCO and so-called doping calendars maintained by the trainer at the trial. Prosecutors tried and failed to get her decision overturned. The appeal delayed the trial by two years. —AP

NASHVILLE: Henrik Zetterberg No. 40 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against Martin Erat No. 10, Shea Weber No. 6, and Pekka Rinne No. 35 of the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena. —AFP

Sabres rout Thrashers BUFFALO: Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis scored 1:50 apart in the second period as the Buffalo Sabres opened ground in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race with an 8-2 rout of the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday. Rob Niedermayer scored twice and Ryan Miller (30-21-7) made 28 saves — and stopped Evander Kane’s penalty shot — to become the eighth NHL goalie with six consecutive 30-win seasons. Mark Mancari had a goal and two assists, and Tyler Myers had three assists for eighth-place Buffalo, which moved two points ahead of idle Carolina. Alexander Burmistrov and Chris Thorburn scored for the Thrashers, who dropped six points behind the Sabres with three weeks left in the season. Flyers 3, Stars 2 At Dallas, Ville Leino scored in the sixth round of the shootout as Philadelphia clinched a playoff spot by beating Dallas. Claude Giroux had a goal in the second round for the Flyers, but Mike Ribeiro tied it in the third round with a nifty hesitation move. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards scored goals in regulation and Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves for the Flyers. Philadelphia, with 96 points, broke a tie with the Washington Capitals atop the Eastern Conference. Defensemen Alex Goligoski and Stephane Robidas scored in regulation and Kari Lehtonen stopped 28 shots for the Stars. Blue Jackets 5, Wild 4 At St. Paul, Minnesota, Antoine Vermette scored at 4:26 of overtime, lifting Columbus over Minnesota. Rick Nash broke out of a slump with two goals and two assists for Columbus. Kris Russell and Jan Hejda also scored for Columbus. The Wild rallied from a 4-2 deficit with five minutes left in the third period on goals from Antti Miettinen and Pierre -Marc Bouchard. Brad Staubitz and Cal Clutterbuck also scored for the Wild, who have lost five straight for the second time this season. Maple Leafs 5, Bruins 2 At Toronto, Nazem Kadri scored his first NHL goal, and Joey Crabb added a goal and two assists as Toronto hammered slumping Boston. Luke Schenn, Mike Brown and Keith Aulie also scored for the Maple Leafs. All of Toronto’s offense come from players with fewer than five goals this season. Adam

McQuaid and Dan Paille had goals for Northeast Division-leading Boston. Senators 3, Lightning 2 At Ottawa, Jason Spezza scored goal 3:28 into overtime to cap Ottawa’s comeback win over Tampa Bay. Ryan Shannon’s short-handed goal 12:27 into the third period spoiled Dwayne Roloson’s shutout bid and drew Ottawa within 2-1. Nick Foligno tied it with his 12th goal at 16:05. Curtis McElhinney stopped 34 shots in his second straight start for Ottawa and fourth in five games. Vinny Lecavalier and Dana Tyrell scored for Tampa Bay. Roloson made 31 saves. Islanders 4, Panthers 3 At Sunrise, Florida, Frans Nielsen and PA Parenteau scored in the shootout and rookie Michael Grabner netted his 30th goal in the New York Islanders’ win at Florida. Sergei Samsonov and Mike Santorelli were both stopped in the tiebreaker by New York’s Rick DiPietro, who made his first start in six weeks after he was injured in a fight. Micheal Haley and Parenteau also scored in regulation, and DiPietro finished with 29 saves through overtime for the Islanders, who snapped a six-game skid on the road. Rookie Evgeny Dadonov scored twice, and Stephen Weiss added a goal for the Panthers, who got 18 saves from Scott Clemmensen.

Predators 3, Red Wings 1 At Nashville, Tennessee, Jonathon Blum scored a powerplay goal at 8:12 of the third period as Nashville won for the fourth time in five games. Fellow rookie Blake Geoffrion also scored and David Legwand had an empty-net goal with 28.4 seconds left. Patric Hornqvist had two assists for Nashville, which moved back into eighth place in the tightly bunched Western Conference. Dan Cleary scored a goal for the Red Wings, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Detroit played without star forward Pavel Datsyuk, who was injured in Thursday night’s win over Columbus. Ducks 2, Kings 1 At Los Angeles, Corey Perr y scored his 37th goal 1:32 into overtime and Ray Emery made 31 saves in his second straight victory as Anaheim beat Los Angeles in the 100th Freeway Faceoff. Rookie Brandon McMillan scored in the first period for the Ducks, who gave up a tying goal with 8:56 left in regulation to Kings captain Dustin Brown. Anaheim earned its seventh win in nine games when rookie defenseman Cam Fowler got the puck to Perry in full stride with a long pass to midice. Perry beat Jonathan Quick for the All-Star forward’s sixth goal in four games. Sharks 5, Blues 3 At San Jose, California, Joe

Pavelski had two goals and an assist as San Jose topped St. Louis but might have lost a top scorer to an injury. San Jose jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than 8 minutes in and thoroughly dominated the Blues. But there was more of a cause for concern than celebration when rookie Logan Couture had to be helped to the locker room early in the second period with an apparent right leg injury. Couture was unable to put any weight on his leg when he was helped off the ice after his right skate slammed into the end boards 1:04 into the second. Torrey Mitchell, Devin Setoguchi, and Patrick Marleau also scored and Antti Niemi made 42 saves for the Sharks. T.J. Hensick scored his first goal in more than 16 months and David Backes and Andy McDonald added third-period scores for the Blues. Avalanche 3, Oilers 2 At Edmonton, Alber ta, Ryan Stoa scored the shootout winner as Colorado edged Edmonton to break a 10-game losing streak. Stoa scored the only goal of the shootout on a pretty backhand past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. Kevin Porter and Matt Duchene scored in regulation for the Avalanche. Jordan Eberle and Kurtis Foster had goals for the last-place Oilers, who are the only NHL team already eliminated from playoff contention. —AP

NHL results/standings Results and standings from NHL games on Saturday. Columbus 5, Minnesota 4 (OT); Buffalo 8, Atlanta 2; Toronto 5, Boston 2; Ottawa 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT); NY Islanders 4, Florida 3 (SO); Nashville 3, Detroit 1; Philadelphia 3, Dallas 2 (So); Colorado 3, Edmonton 2 (SO); Anaheim 2, Los Angeles 1 (So); San Jose 5, St. Louis 3. OT = overtime win. SO = shootout Western Conference Eastern Conference Central Division Atlantic Division Detroit 43 21 8 233 204 94 W L OTL GF GA PTS Chicago 38 25 8 232 201 84 Philadelphia 44 19 8 228 190 96 Nashville 37 25 10 186 169 84 Pittsburgh 41 22 8 206 172 90 Columbus 33 28 10 195 215 76 NY Rangers 38 30 4 210 177 80 St. Louis 32 31 9 201 214 73 New Jersey 33 34 4 151 182 70 NY Islanders




203 233


Boston Montreal Buffalo Toronto Ottawa

Northeast Division 39 22 10 213 39 26 7 192 35 28 8 211 32 31 10 192 27 36 9 164

175 184 204 225 223

88 85 78 74 63

Washington Tampa Bay Carolina Atlanta Florida

Southeast Division 42 21 10 198 39 22 11 214 33 29 10 201 30 30 12 202 29 33 10 182

176 217 214 238 198

94 89 76 72 68

Vancouver Calgary Minnesota Colorado Edmonton

Northwest Division 47 17 9 238 37 27 9 222 35 29 8 184 27 36 8 198 23 39 10 175

172 209 196 250 237

103 83 78 62 56

Pacific Division San Jose 42 23 8 211 191 92 Phoenix 39 23 11 212 205 89 Los Angeles 40 26 6 197 176 86 Dallas 38 25 9 203 202 85 Anaheim 39 27 5 199 204 83 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).



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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


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Blake, Gordon lead Clippers over Cavs LOS ANGELES: Blake Griffin had 30 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Eric Gordon scored 29 as the Los Angeles Clippers beat Cleveland 10092 on Saturday to end a nine-game losing streak against the Cavaliers. About 1 1/2 hours before tipoff, the arena was in lockdown while police subdued a knife-wielding man who got past security and ended up in front of the Cavaliers’ bench. Both teams were tucked away in their dressing rooms during the tense standoff. It did not delay the start of the game, which was followed by an NHL contest between the Kings and Anaheim Ducks. J.J. Hickson led the Cavs with 28 points and nine rebounds, and Samardo Samuels scored 17 before fouling out with 1:19 remaining.

DUBLIN: England captain Nick Easter lifts the Six Nations trophy following the Six Nations Championship match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium. —AFP

England wins Six Nations LONDON: England was crowned the Six Nations champion for the first time since 2003 despite having its Grand Slam hopes destroyed by Ireland on Saturday. The English were thrashed 24-8 in Dublin, denying them a clean sweep of five victories and leaving the door ajar for Wales to steal the title from its fiercest rival on points difference. Wales had to beat ousted champion France by 27 points or more in Paris but lost 28-9, allowing England to celebrate its 26th northern hemisphere championship and fourth since the competition expanded to six teams in 2000. “It’s a reward for the steps we’ve made but the squad is very disappointed,” said England No. 8 Nick Easter, who was the stand-in captain at Lansdowne Road. “I don’t want to sound ungracious but we missed out on the big one today.” France, Wales and Ireland all finished on six points but the French claimed second place on points difference, with the Irish coming third. Italy came last for the ninth time in 12 years by losing 21-8 at Scotland at Murrayfield. It was a bittersweet final day of the championship for England and its coach Martin Johnson, who was captain eight years ago when the team smashed Ireland 42-6 away to clinch its 12th Grand Slam. The English went on to win the World Cup that year but the William Webb Ellis Trophy looks a long way off on this display, even though they will go into this year’s tournament in New Zealand as the leading side in the northern hemisphere. “This is a scar and we’ll have to wear that scar. I told the players we’ll take this on the chin. We were beaten by a good team, an experienced team,” said Johnson, whose side celebrated the title from the confines of its team hotel in the Irish capital. “(But) we knew at the start of the championship it would take one heck of a team to win five and we were in with a shot.” Ireland was irrepressible in front of a fired-up crowd, producing easily its best display of the competition. No one typified the team’s passion more than captain Brian O’Driscoll, who scored one of Ireland’s two tries to take his overall championship tally to 25 _ a new record. That score, converted by flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, came in the 47th minute and put the hosts 24-3 up. A 55th-minute interception try by replacement hooker Steve Thompson was a mere consolation for England.

“We knew we had a performance like that in us but for some reason we hadn’t put it together in our four previous matches,” said O’Driscoll. “We were very good — we played a smart game, an intense game and they couldn’t live with us.” Winger Tommy Bowe grabbed Ireland’s other try, in the 28th, as the team went into halftime 17-3 up. Sexton kicked 14 points in an impressive all-around display. Wales was unable to capitalize on England’s slip-up as it was soundly beaten by France, which bounced back well from its embarrassing 22-21 defeat to Italy last weekend. “We just didn’t turn up mentally,” said Wales coach Warren Gatland. “France didn’t have to work for their points.” Lock Lionel Nallet’s 38th-minute try put Les Bleus 11-3 up at the break and the former captain got his second in the 44th to push the lead to 18-6. Winger Vincent Clerc wrapped up the victory for France with a well-taken try in the 59th. Scrumhalf Morgan Parra kicked the rest of France’s points, while Wales had three penalties by flyhalf James Hook. “I think everyone was ashamed of their own performance last week. There were no big speeches to prepare this match _ you could see it during the national anthems,” Nallet said. “We were close together, we had tears welling in our eyes and we know that we will turn up for the game in moments like that.” Despite Italy’s largely encouraging campaign, which included that historic win over France and narrow defeats to Wales and Ireland, Nick Mallett’s side again claimed the wooden spoon for finishing bottom of the pile — this year on points difference. “It was a very disappointed changing room afterwards,” said Mallett, who may have coached Italy for the last time in a Six Nations match as his contract expires after the World Cup. Scotland had to rally from an 8-6 halftime deficit to collect its first victory of the championship, replacement center Nick De Luca and winger Nikki Walker scoring tries within eight minutes of each other at the start of the second half. Fullback Chris Paterson kicked 11 points for the Scots through three penalties and a conversion, while Italy’s points came from Andrea Masi’s 10th-minute try and a penalty by Mirco Bergamasco. “It’s been a really frustrating championship. To get a couple of tries and a win is fantastic and gives us something to cheer,” said Scotland lock Richie Gray.—AP

T Blazers 110, 76ers 101 At Portland, Oregon, Wesley Matthews had 17 of his 28 points in the first quarter to help Portland beat Philadelphia. Gerald Wallace added 25 points and a seasonhigh eight assists for the Trail Blazers (40-29), who won for the seventh time in nine games to move within a half-game of Denver for the fifth playoff spot in the Western Conference. LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and Nicolas Batum finished with 16. Lou Williams had 24 points, part of a 59-point night for Philadelphia’s reserves. Thaddeus Young had 19 points and Jodie Meeks added 17. The Sixers (36-34) played without Andre Igoudala, who has been bothered by knee tendinitis. Celtics 89, Hornets 85 At New Orleans, Ray Allen scored 20 points, including the clinching free throws with 2.8 seconds left, as Boston rallied to get the win. Allen also had a key offensive rebound that led to Glen Davis’ two foul shots that made it 87-83 with 15.2 seconds remaining. Davis also had 20 points. David West led New Orleans with 32 points. Marco Belinelli added a season-high 23 points but Chris Paul went without a basket for only the fourth time in his career, finishing 0 of 9 from the floor. He finished with four points and 15 assists. Heat 103, Nuggets 98 At Miami, LeBron James scored 33 points and Dwyane Wade had 32 as Miami never trailed. Chris Bosh finished with his fifth straight double-double, 18 points and 11 rebounds. But the Heat may have taken a significant hit when starting point guard Mario Chalmers was carried off the floor late in the first quarter with what was preliminarily diagnosed as a sprained right knee. Chalmers, who has started 27 straight games since Jan. 22, will be re-examined on Sunday. Mike Bibby, the only other true point guard on Miami’s roster, scored 14. JR Smith had 27 points and Danilo Gallinari finished with 23 for Denver. Spurs 109, Bobcats 98 At San Antonio, Steve Novak scored 19 points while Tim Duncan took his first game off all season, helping San Antonio to the victory. The Spurs let the 34-year-old Duncan rest a night after they really needed him in a win over Dallas. They managed fine without him against the sliding Bobcats, who have dropped three in a row and nine of their last 11. Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 19 points. Stephen Jackson, the Bobcats’ leading scorer, didn’t play because of a strained hamstring. Grizzlies 99, Pacers 78 At Memphis, Tennessee, Tony Allen had 19 points and a career-high 11 rebounds to lead Memphis to the easy win. Zach Randolph added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, which moved 1 1/2 games ahead of idle Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Mike Conley also had 17 points to go along with nine assists. Danny Granger and Darren Collison led the Pacers with 17 points each, and Tyler Hansbrough had 14 points. —AP

NEW ORLEANS: Hornets forward David West (top) and Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo reach for a rebound in the first half of an NBA basketball game. —AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Saturday: LA Clippers 100, Cleveland 92; Miami 103, Denver 98; Boston 89, New Orleans 85; Memphis 99, Indiana 78; San Antonio 109, Charlotte 98; Portland 110, Philadelphia 101. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division Boston NY Knicks Philadelphia New Jersey Toronto

W 49 35 36 22 19

Chicago Indiana Milwaukee Detroit Cleveland

Central Division 49 19 .721 30 40 .429 27 41 .397 25 44 .362 13 55 .191

Miami Orlando Atlanta Charlotte Washington

Southeast Division 48 22 .686 44 26 .629 39 30 .565 28 41 .406 16 51 .239

The Knights opened a 34-6 lead and held on as North Queensland rallied with three late tries. Five-eighth Benji Marshall had a hand in four tries, including three in the last 18 minutes, as Wests rallied from 12-6 down to beat the New Zealand Warriors 20-12. Marshall created a double for Chris Lawrence and tries to Blake Ayshford and Robbie Farah as Wests exploited an error-ridded Warriors performance. The Bulldogs also posted their second-straight win when they beat Souths 28-19. Emerging star Jamal Idris scored a try in his first head-to-head clash with established test star Greg Inglis while teenager Tim Lafai touched down on debut to complete a strong Bulldogs performance. Idris is one of the most sought-after players in the NRL and is expected to attract huge salary offers as he comes off contract. But he put those distractions aside Sunday to play a vital role Sunday. “I’m taking some words from my brother. He’s 24 but he’s one of the wisest people I know,” Idris said. “He’s been in my ear a bit and he’s been telling me it’s all about footy, just play good footy and just perform.” Manly overcame a first round loss to Melbourne, and the absence through injuries co-captains Jason King and Jamie Lyon, to beat the Sydney Roosters 27-16. Penrith bounced back from their heavy first round loss to beat Parramatta 20-6 and Brisbane beat Canberra 20-4. —AP

PCT .721 .515 .514 .328 .279

GB 14 14 26.5 30 20 22 24.5 36 4 8.5 19.5 30.5

5 5.5 9.5 29

LA Lakers Phoenix Golden State LA Clippers Sacramento

Pacific Division 49 20 .710 34 33 .507 30 39 .435 27 43 .386 16 51 .239

14 19 22.5 32

San Antonio Dallas New Orleans Memphis Houston

Southwest Division 56 13 .812 48 21 .696 40 31 .563 38 32 .543 36 34 .514

8 17 18.5 20.5

Alonso carries Ferrari’s title hopes

Storm destroy Gold Coast in NRL SYDNEY: Fullback Billy Slater became Melbourne’s all-time top tryscorer, touching down once in each half as the Storm beat Gold Coast 20-12 in weekend second round matches in Australia’s National Rugby League. Slater’s double took his tally of tries for Melbourne to 114, breaking the club record held previously by retired winger Matt Geyer. The Storm scored five tries to dash to a 28-0 lead at halftime while Gold Coast took 77 minutes to put their first points on the board in a lopsided match. Slater clinched the record in his 180th game for the Storm while Geyer took 262 matches to post the previous record mark of 113. “It’s something down the track when I finish playing I’ll hold pretty highly,” Slater said. “It’s not real easy to score 114 tries, but at the moment I’m just focusing on what I need to do for the team and how I can improve because I feel I can improve a lot.” Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy praised Slater’s contribution to the club over nine years. “Billy’s brought a whole heap to the team. I could sit here for a half an hour and tell you what he’s brought to the team,” Bellamy said. “He’s brought a lot of enjoyment and excitement to our footy team and rugby league in general.” Newcastle also posted its second-straight win, following last week’s comprehensive victory over Penrith with a 34-22 win over North Queensland.

L 19 33 34 45 49

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 45 23 .662 Denver 41 29 .586 Portland 40 29 .580 Utah 36 33 .522 Minnesota 17 53 .243

MELBOURNE: Mark Webber of Australia drives his Red Bull Renault race car under the tolling station on the Bolte Bridge in Melbourne as part of the promotional leadup to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.—AFP

LONDON: With ‘team orders’ now legal in Formula One, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa will have to raise his game right from the start of the season in Australia next week. Otherwise, the Brazilian risks again playing a supporting role to ‘Team Alonso’, just as his compatriot Rubens Barrichello rode shotgun for ‘Team Schumi’ in the days when Michael Schumacher ruled Maranello. It may be too late already for a driver who has started 81 races for Ferrari, ranking him fourth in the team’s all-time list. Spaniard Fernando Alonso could have been lining up in Melbourne with a third title to his name had Ferrari not bungled their strategy and wrecked his chances in last year’s final race in Abu Dhabi. The team know that they owe him one and Alonso will be on their case more than ever. Massa, the only driver at the three top teams who did not win a race last year, was told crushingly at the German Grand Prix last July that Alonso was faster and effectively ordered to move aside and let him win. Team orders, banned after an even louder howl of outrage over Ferrari’s manipulation of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix in Schumacher’s favour, have now been made legal although teams can still be punished heavily if deemed to have brought the sport into disrepute. Any recurrence of the “Felipe, Fernando is faster than you” instruction will come as a body blow for a man who was seconds away from winning the title himself in 2008 before a serious head injury in Hungary ruled him out of the reckoning in 2009. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo at the end of last season judged Massa’s 2010 performance as a 7- compared to Alonso’s 9.5 and suggested jokingly that the Brazilian had been substituted by a lookalike. He has already made clear that he expects his team to be fighting for both titles this term. “Believe me, I often still wake up at night thinking of the race in Abu Dhabi, so it goes without

saying that we must absolutely look to the future,” Montezemolo said back in January. “We must make a good start, both in terms of reliability and, above all, on the performance front. Last year, we lost the championship in a first half that found us failing to live up to our expectations.” The 150 Italia, now on its third name after the threat of legal action from Ford who were seemingly concerned that someone might mistake the 300kph machine for the US company’s bestselling F-150 pickup truck, should do what is required. Ferrari have done more kilometres than any other team in pre-season testing while their pace has appeared to be on a par with champions Red Bull. On the long runs, rather than single laps, the sport’s most glamorous and successful team with 16 constructors’ titles and 15 drivers’ crowns, may even have the edge. “Hopefully we are not too far away from Ferrari to start with,” Red Bull’s Mark Webber told reporters in Barcelona last week. “I think Ferrari look very strong, I think people are under-estimating where Ferrari are. We hope that we are somewhere near competitive,” added Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. Ferrari have been boosted by the arrival last year of former McLaren chief engineer Pat Fry and Red Bull strategist Neil Martin. Australian Chris Dyer, the former head of race track engineering who was blamed in the Italian media for the Abu Dhabi debacle, has been effectively demoted. Alonso and Massa have both been pounding around the Spanish test tracks like irredeemable workaholics, with the Spaniard putting in 141 laps-a double race distance-on one day in Barcelona last week. “I am pleased with how the winter testing has gone,” said Alonso, who won on his Ferrari debut in Bahrain last year and also triumphed controversially in Germany before further victories in Italy, Singapore and South Korea. —Reuters




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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

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Nadal, Djokovic in Indian Wells final

COLOGNE: Ukrainian heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko celebrates with the winner’s belt after defeating Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis after their WBC heavyweight world championship boxing match. —AFP

Klitschko KOs Solis in 1st round COLOGNE: Vitali Klitschko retained his WBC heavyweight title with a firstround knockout of Odlanier Solis, who injured his knee in the fall on Saturday. Klitschko’s right to Solis’ left temple staggered the Cuban, who wobbled back then fell on his back and clutched his right knee. Solis managed to beat the count but was unsteady on his feet as referee Jose Guadalupe Garcia of Mexico called the fight. “It was a full blow,” Klitschko said in the ring, with the crowd in Cologne’s indoor arena booing. Klitschko’s punch came in the final second of the first round, after Solis hit him on the chin with a right. “It was definitely my knee,” Solis said, also in the ring. “It could be that I took a wrong step.” He hobbled with help back to his dressing room and was taken to a hospital on a stretcher to have a scan on his knee.

Solis’ promoter Ahmet Oner insisted it was the injury and not Klitschko’s blow that ended the fight. “He will now have a scan and probably have surgery immediately. He seems to have torn ligaments,” Oner said. The sudden end stunned the crowd, which booed and whistled for a long time. Solis, a 30-year-old former threetime world amateur champ, fell to his first defeat in 18 pro fights. The 39year-old Klitschko improved to 42-2. Solis fought a solid first round, taking the initiative and connecting with a couple of rights despite giving up 15 centimeters (six inches) in height to the Ukrainian champion, who relied on his left jab until the last-second punch. Vitali’s younger brother Wladimir, the IBF and WBO champ, fights WBA belt-holder David Haye in June or July. Solis, the 2004 Olympic champ, beat Haye to win one of his amateur world titles. —AP

Bute retains IBF title MONTREAL: Lucian Bute of Canada stopped Ireland’s Brian Magee with an uppercut to the chin two minutes into the 10th round Saturday to retain his IBF super-middleweight title. It was the third time that Bute (28-0) knocked down Magee (34-4-1), having dropped the 35year-old in the sixth and seventh rounds of the scheduled 12-round bout between southpaws. The Montreal fighter defended the IBF belt he won in 2007 for the seventh time. Magee failed to go the distance for only the second time in his career. Both fighters tried to establish the jab in a fight that took place almost entirely in the center of the ring. The first five rounds were mostly even, but there was a sense that the taller, quicker Bute had another move up his sleeve. It came out in the sixth when a quick left to the midsection put Magee down. The same thing happened in the seventh and then it was matter of time before the knockout blow came. As Magee winced and fell in the 10th, referee Pete Podgorski of Chicago immediately signaled the end of the fight before 12,219 fans at the Bell Centre. In the co-feature, hard-hitting Canadian Pier Olivier Cote stopped Michael Lozada of Mexico with three knockdowns in the first

round to win his light welterweight bout. A crushing right to the ear at 2:50 of the first gave Cote (15-0) an impressive victory over Lozada (37-8-1) and a second straight oneround win. “I thought he’d be more aggressive, but I saw he was backing up,” said Cote, one of Canada’s most promising young fighters along with middleweight David Lemieux. “I got him with a shot, he lost his legs and it was pretty much over from that point.” The victory assured Cote of a spot on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight May 7 in Las Vegas against an opponent yet to be announced. However, Cote said his top priority is to fight for a North American title and would take that over a non-title bout, even in Las Vegas. The 26year-old Cote was born in Cali, Colombia, but at 18 months old was adopted by Canadians Rejean Cote and Christiane Pleau. In another co-feature, Armenian-born Vanes Martirosyan (29-0) dropped Bladimir Hernandez (18-5) of Mexico just 57 seconds into the second round of a scheduled eight-round light middleweight bout. Martirosyan was using the fight to shake off rust after a sub-par win by decision in his last appearance in June against Joe Greene. —AP

Rose blooms at Palm Harbor PALM HARBOR: Justin Rose ran off five birdies on the front nine and wound up with a successive 6-under 65 at Innisbrook to take a one-shot lead over Brendon de Jonge and Webb Simpson at the Transitions Championship on Saturday. A 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole put Rose at 13-under 200 — one shot off the 54-hole tournament record — and his one-shot lead looks even more daunting considering the guys chasing him. De Jonge and Simpson have never won on the US PGA Tour. Neither have the two guys another shot behind — rookie Scott Stalling, who only made his first cut in the big leagues last week in Puerto Rico; and Gary Woodland, who lost in a playoff at the Bob Hope Classic this year. Rose won his first two US tour events last year at the Memorial and AT&T National, and knows what to expect from his emotions. “It doesn’t mean it’s all going to go smoothly tomorrow,” Rose said. “You have to be ready for whatever happens. But at least I kind of am aware of the ups and downs, and the things I’m going to face. And I think that maybe it’s a lot easier to deal with.” Then again, even consecutive 65s are not enough to feel comfortable on the Copperhead course. Simpson, whose wife recently gave birth to their first child, kept pace with Rose for much of the day until dropping shots on two of the tough par 3s on the back nine. He still had a third straight 67. —AP

INDIAN WELLS: Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic outlasted Roger Federer 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to stay undefeated this season and reach the BNP Paribas Open final while knocking the Swiss star from the No. 2 spot in the world on Saturday. Djokovic and Federer will switch spots when the rankings are updated today, with the Serbian moving up to No. 2 and Federer slipping to third with an 18-3 mark this season. All three of his losses have been against Djokovic, who is 17-0. “It’s the crown for my achievements this year. I think I deserve it,” Djokovic said. “I’ve played the best tennis of my life in the last three months. I have been very dedicated, very professional, and I want to keep on going.” Neither of them had lost a set in reaching the semifinals, although Federer had a tougher time, dropping 29 games in eight sets, while Djokovic had lost just 12 games in eight sets — the fewest games lost in four matches in a Masters tournament since 1990. Djokovic will play top-ranked Rafael Nadal in late yesterday’s final. Nadal rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the first set to beat Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-4, ending a three-match losing streak to him. Nadal improved to 31-4 all-time at Indian Wells, where he won titles in 2007 and ‘09. It was the third time in 25 years at Indian Wells that the world’s top three men reached the semifinals. On the women’s side, topranked Caroline Wozniacki plays 15th-seeded Marion Bartoli in late yesterday’s final. Sania Mirza of India and Russian Elena Vesnina defeated eighth-seeded Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy 6-0, 75 to win the women’s doubles title in their third tournament together. Federer became just the fourth player to take a set off Djokovic this year when he won the second. Federer lost to him in straight sets in the Australian Open semifinals and in the Dubai final this year. “My approach to the matches against Roger is maybe different than it was in the past two years. Right now I kind of have more self-belief when I step on the court against him,” Djokovic said. “Before it was, ‘Let’s hope that I can play well.”‘ Djokovic broke Federer to open the third set, then staved off two break points and hit a forehand winner that kissed the sideline to hold for 2-0. Federer broke back when Djokovic double-faulted at love40 to tie the set at 2-all. But Federer double-faulted to lose the next game as the Serb won the final four games to close out the win. Djokovic reeled off 11 straight points in that span, breaking Federer once more on a forehand winner in the corner. “It’s really important to get the upper hand in some part of the match against an opponent like Roger,” he said. “When you have the chance, you better use it

INDIAN WELLS: Rafael Nadal of Spain lunges to return a forehand to Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. —AFP

INDIAN WELLS: Elena Vesnina (left) of Russia and Sania Mirza of India pose with the trophy after winning the WTA doubles final against the team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. —AFP because he can come back easily. I could feel that.” With Djokovic serving on his second match point, Federer sent his forehand return long. Djokovic pounded his heart with his right fist, delighting his Serbian flag-waving female fans who screamed for him. “I had my chances. I know I wasn’t far away at all because I really had him going,” Federer said. “I guess he escaped. I guess confidence is a big thing for him at the moment.” Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine and Belgian Xavier Malisse defeated Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-7 in the men’s doubles final. Del Potro, formerly No. 4 in the world, has been on a roll the last month, when his ranking surged from 484th to No. 90 with strong showings in the United States. The Argentine reached the semi-

finals in San Jose and Memphis, and then won the title in Delray Beach, Florida. At Indian Wells, he beat three seeded players to reach the quarterfinals, then caught a break when injured Tommy Robredo withdrew, leaving him fresher to face Nadal to try to become only the second player to beat the Spainard four consecutive times in his career. Nadal needed a third-set tiebreaker to beat Ivo Karlovic in the quarters. Against Del Potro, Nadal started out slowly on a mostly cloudy day in the desert, with the temperature dipping to 70 degrees F (21 C) _ 20 degrees (6 degrees) cooler than earlier in the week. He got broken on his forehand error in the second game and Del Potro held for a 3-0 lead. Del Potro held again for a 4-1 lead before Nadal won the final five games, including an ace

down the middle in the 10th game that gave him the first set. “After that, I started to put more balls inside, play higher to his backhand, and trying to get the right rhythm,” Nadal said. “I did well. I played a few good games. He had a few more mistakes than usual. That helped me a little bit.” Tied 2-2 in the second, Nadal earned the set’s lone break after two deuces to go up 3-2. He closed out the match by serving a love game, punctuated by Del Potro’s backhand service return error on match point. “Of course, in the beginning I felt really good, but that means nothing. Against Rafa, you have to play in the beginning until the last point very nice tennis,” Del Potro said. “If you don’t take your opportunities, you will lose. He broke me twice: one in the first, one in the second set, and that’s it. The match is over.”—AP

Angela leaves pack behind PHOENIX: Angela Stanford shot her second straight 6-under 66 to open a threestroke lead over Brittany Lincicome on Saturday in the LPGA Founders Cup. Stanford, the 33-year-old who has four victories in 10 full seasons on the tour, is playing for her own foundation in the charity event at Wildfire Golf Club. Instead of paying the players, the tournament honoring the 13 tour founders is donating $1 million to charity — half to The LPGA Foundation and its LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program and half to the top-10 finishers’ designated charities. “I play with the guys at Shady Oaks in the 1 o’clock and I’m out there trying to beat them — and they’re out there to enjoy the weekend,” Stanford said. “It always matters to me. I don’t care if it’s for money. I don’t care if it’s for money for my charity or for the LPGA Foundation. I don’t care what’s it’s for. If you tell me it’s official and I have a chance to compete to win something, I’m going to show up.” Stanford’s foundation provides scholarships for children from families affected by cancer. The winner will receive $200,000 to donate. “It would do wonders for my foundation,” Stanford said. “We could help a lot of kids a lot faster than I thought we would. There’s a lot on the line in that respect.” The long-hitting Lincicome followed her opening 67 with a 68, holing an 8-foot par putt on No. 18 just before dark. “I just putted lights out,” said Lincicome, Stanford’s US Solheim Cup teammate. “My driver let me down today, but my putter

saved me.” The three-time tour winner was frustrated by the pace of play in the round that took about 51/2 hours to finish. “I’ve never waited that much in my life,” she said. “We waited about 20 minutes on every tee shot.” Mindy Kim birdied the first five holes and finished with a 67 to reach 8 under. Cristie Kerr, also a US Solheim Cup player, was another stroke back after a 68. She rallied to beat Stanford twice in 2006, overcoming a four-stroke deficit in the final round in Tennessee and an eight-stroke margin in the Canadian Women’s Open. “Anything can happen on Sunday,” Kerr said. “It’s a different feel when you’re playing in the last group, especially with the lead, because you tighten up and try to protect it. And I can stick with my game plan. It depends on the pins and the conditions tomorrow, but sure anything five and in is doable.” In 2006 at London Hunt in Ontario, Kerr closed with a 7-under 65, while Stanford bogeyed the final two holes — three-putting the last — for a 74. Stanford began that round with a four-stroke lead over Meena Lee. “I learned a lot in those two losses. People say you learn more in a loss than a victory,” Stanford said. “Not that I played scared, but if there was pin tucked left, the first day you’re probably going at it. Well, if you have a five-, six- or seven-shot lead on the final day, you may go at the middle of the green. For me, I learned that when I did that, it wasn’t very successful. “I learned that I have to keep hitting

PHOENIX: Stacy Prammanasudh hits her tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club. —AFP golf shots. You can’t just say, ‘I’m going to go out and make 18 pars and hope I win.’ I think I was still maturing as a player at the time and I didn’t know what it took to win.” While many players have had struggled to adjust to their approach shots releasing on the firm greens, Stanford is right at home on the sun-baked layout. She grew up near Fort Worth, played at TCU and still lives in the area. “Fortunately for me, I’ve always played release,” Stanford said. “I’m not one that spins the ball a whole lot. So, it doesn’t bother me if it releases 5 or 25 feet. I think for me that’s good because I expect it already. ... I’ve seen it my whole life.”

She played in the morning before the wind picked up a bit on the partly cloudy, 80-degree day at Desert Ridge. Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, the winner three weeks ago in Singapore, shot a 67 in the afternoon to match Seon Hwa Lee (69) and Mina Harigae (70) at 6 under. Webb won the last Phoenix event in 2009 at Papago and also won in 1999 at Moon Valley. Top-ranked Yani Tseng, the winner of the season-opening LPGA Thailand and three other worldwide events this year, had her second straight 73 to make the cut by a stroke at 2 over. No. 2 Jiyai Shin was 2 under after a 70. —AP

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

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Walk? Not me, says Ponting COLOMBO: Australia captain Ricky Ponting reignited the walking debate at the World Cup after admitting he stood his ground despite knowing he had been caught behind in his team’s defeat to Pakistan. Ponting had made 19 when he edged off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez to Kamran Akmal in Saturday’s game at the R. Premadasa stadium. When on-field umpire Marias Erasmus gave the Australian captain not out, the decision was reviewed and overturned. Ponting admitted he knew he had

edged the ball. “There were no doubts about the nick, I knew I hit it, but as always I wait for the umpire to give me out. That’s the way I’ve always played the game,” he said. Pakistan coach Waqar Younis said it would be a boost for the sport if players walked. “It’s nice to see people walking but that doesn’t happen now I guess,” said Waqar. Ponting’s admission came just a day after a similar controversy in Mumbai when Sri Lanka vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene and Kiwi off-spinner Nathan McCullum clashed over a ‘clean’ catch.

McCullum took a brilliant, one-handed diving catch off Jaywardene but TV umpire Amish Saheba was called in and he ruled it not out. New Zealand’s stand-in skipper Ross Taylor said it would make things easier if batsmen were to take the word of the fielder in such situations. “It depends upon the person. You look at (South Africa batsman) Jacques Kallis. He asks the fielders if they caught it cleanly and he trusts the words of the fielders,” said Taylor. —AFP

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

Scoreboard CHENNAI, India: Full scoreboard in the World Cup Group B match between India and the West Indies at the Chidambaram Stadium here yesterday: India G. Gambhir c Russell b Rampaul 22 S. Tendulkar c Thomas b Rampaul 2 V. Kohli b Rampaul 59 Yuvraj Singh c and b Pollard 113 MS Dhoni st Thomas b Bishoo 22 S. Raina c Rampaul b Sammy 4 Y. Pathan b Rampaul 11 Harbhajan Singh c Pollard b Russell 3 R. Ashwin not out 10 Zaheer Khan b Rampaul 5 M. Patel b Russell 1 Extras (b5, lb2, w9) 16 Total (all out, 49.1 overs) 268 Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Tendulkar), 2-51 (Gambhir), 3173 (Kohli), 4-218 (Dhoni), 5-232 (Raina), 6-240 (Yuvraj Singh), 7-251 (Pathan), 8-259 (Harbhajan Singh), 9-267 (Zaheer Khan), 10-268 (Patel). Bowling: Rampaul 10-0-51-5 (5w); Benn 4-0-32-0; Russell 9.1-1-46-2 (2w); Sammy 6-0-35-1 (1w); Bishoo 10-0-48-1; Pollard 10-0-49-1 (1w). West Indies D. Smith b Zaheer 81 K. Edwards lbw b Ashwin 17 D. Bravo c Harbhajan b Raina 22 R. Sarwan c Ashwin b Zaheer 39 K. Pollard c Pathan b Harbhajan 1 D. Thomas st Dhoni b Yuvraj 2 D. Sammy run out 2 A. Russell c Pathan b Yuvraj 0 S. Benn c Patel b Zaheer 3 D. Bishoo not out 6 R. Rampaul b Ashwin 1 Extras (lb8, w6) 14 Total (all out, 43 overs) 188 Fall of wickets: 1-34 (Edwards), 2-91 (Bravo), 3-154 (Smith), 4-157 (Pollard), 5-160 (Thomas), 6-162 (Sammy), 7-165 (Russell), 8-179 (Benn), 9-182 (Sarwan), 10-188 (Rampaul). Bowling: Ashwin 10-0-41-2 (1w); Zaheer 6-0-26-3 (3w); Harbhajan 9-1-35-1 (1w); Pathan 7-0-28-0; Raina 2-0-12-1; Yuvraj 4-018-2; Patel 5-0-20-0 (1w). Result: India won by 80 runs

Yuvraj sets up India-Australia clash CHENNAI: Yuvraj Singh scored his maiden World Cup century and took two wickets as India beat the West Indies by 80 runs yesterday to set up a quarter-final against defending champions Australia. West Indies, set 269 to win, finished on 188 all out with seven overs left. India’s victory in the last match of the group phase means they will face Australia, bidding for a fourth straight World Cup title and fifth in total, in Ahmedabad on Thursday. West Indies, whose run of one-day international defeats against leading nations was extended to 18 by this reverse, will face Pakistan in Bangladesh in their last eight clash on Wednesday. While Devon Smith, doing his best to compensate for the absence of injured fellow left-handed opener Chris Gayle, was making 81 the West Indies were in the hunt. But Smith’s exit sparked a collapse that saw the last eight wickets lost for 34 runs as the Caribbean slumped from 154 for two. When Zaheer Khan returned to the attack Smith looked uncomfortable and he was bowled by a fine ball from the left-arm quick that cut in a touch. India’s spinners then took over. Big-hitting Kieron Pollard tried launching Harbhajan Singh only to find Yusuf Pathan at long-on. West Indies, on the ground where just days earlier they had surrendered a winning position in an 18-run defeat by England, then saw Devon Thomas stumped by wicketkeeper and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni off a wellflighted delivery from left-arm spinner Yuvraj, who took two for 18. And West Indies captain Darren Sammy was then run out before Yuvraj dismissed Andre Russell for a duck. Earlier, Yuvraj’s 113 was the cornerstone of India’s 268 but the host nation lost their last six wickets for just 36 runs. Ravi Rampaul marked his World Cup debut with a career-best five for 51 including the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar. That surpassed the fast bowler’s 4-37 against India in Kingston in June 2009 — the last time the West Indies beat a top nation in a one-dayer. Yuvraj’s innings revived a 38,000 capacity Chidambaram Stadium crowd stunned into silence by the early loss of Sachin Tendulkar for two. Yuvraj and Virat Kohli (59) shared a third-wicket stand of 122 after India were reduced to 51-2 following an early double strike by Rampaul, in for Kemar Roach. Yuvraj faced 123 balls and hit two sixes and 10 fours in an innings that ended when he was caught and bowled by Pollard. India were already in the quarter-finals and many fans

CHENNAI: India’s Yuvraj Singh (left) plays a shot next to wicket keeper Devon Thomas off the bowling of West Indies’ Kieron Pollard during the Cricket World Cup match. —AP hoped to see Tendulkar score his 100th international century. But Rampaul had Tendulkar, undone by a lifting delivery, caught behind off the last ball of the first over. Australia umpire Steve Davis rejected Rampaul’s appeal but Tendulkar walked off anyway. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni vowed his team will be at their best when they face defending champions Australia in the World Cup quarter-finals. “We will be at our best for the quarter-finals,” said Dhoni. “Australia are a very strong side and very expressive on the field. But it’s about how we prepare for the game to achieve what we want. “In the process, we hope to give our best.” Dhoni praised strike bowler Zaheer Khan, whose three wickets included the key dismissal of opener Devon Smith who had made 81 when he was clean-bowled, a wicket which precipitated the West Indies collapse. “He changed the game. He got the breakthrough by

getting rid of Smith. Once we got his wicket, we were able to put pressure on all the batsmen at both ends.” All-rounder Yuvraj Singh was man of the match for his 113 runs and 2-18 with the ball. Yuvraj overcame illness to help his team to victory and doubled-up in pain during his innings. “I had stomach cramps and I was struggling in the morning but I was just worried about the match and the team,” said Yuvraj. Zaheer praised his team’s tactics which saw the new ball tossed to spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. “We knew that with the new ball it would come on to the bat and that the seamers would get reverse swing later on in the innings, so that’s why we used a spinner to open the bowling,” said Zaheer, who took 3-26. West Indies captain Darren Sammy admitted that his men will need a radical improvement against Pakistan. “We are in the knockout stages and that was our first objective,” said Sammy.—AFP


World Cup drags on as Twenty20 flourishes COLOMBO: After four weeks and 40 matches, the World Cup has crawled its way to the quarterfinal stages. With some notable exceptions, especially England and its wild fluctuations in form, the 2011 World Cup has been a torrid affair with subcontinental slow-turning wickets known historically as bowlers’ graveyards offering little to fans seeking excitement. World cricket’s marquee tournament is in danger of handing its crown over to the impudent child of the 50-over format, the Twenty20 game that is pulling in crowds around the world. The International Cricket Council has partially recognized this, agreeing to slash the number of teams in the quadrennial tournament from 14 to 10 for the 2015 edition, effectively excluding the Associate nations like Kenya, Netherlands, Canada and Ireland. After four weeks of qualifying matches, the world’s top eight teams have predictably qualified for the last eight places in a World Cup that will still carry on for another two weeks. The ICC’s T20 World Cup, on the other hand, is contested in 16 days at a rate of two games a day and is now being held every two years. The explosive nature of the 20-over format has seized the attention of fans around the world. T20 makes the 50-over game look painfully slow. The structure of the ICC competition does not help, but there is little doubt that T20 does away with elements of the 50-over game that can be dull. Overs 20 to 35, for instance. What’s the point of them? Teams concentrate on ticking the scoreboard over with singles, happy to score at four or five runs an over and conserve wickets for the big heave in the last 10 overs or so. The ICC has fiddled so much with power plays in an attempt to liven up the game that fans no longer know what’s going on and fielding restrictions are amazingly complicated. That’s why the ICC appears to be quietly condemning the 50-over tournament to the fringes of cricket, especially considering attempts to introduce a global test championship, aimed at highlighting the five-day games. South Africa batsman Jacques Kallis, who excels in all forms of the game, said T20 has had a deep effect on players. “There is no doubt that T20 has changed not only the way ODI cricket is played but the way test cricket is played, too,” he said. “Players take a lot more risks

now when chasing and when run rates get up to eight or nine, teams don’t panic anymore because they know they have chased it down in T20 cricket.” “I think T20 has been a revelation for the game. It has made the batters play more freely and with a lot more open minds and a lot more new shots have come up,” he said, adding that bowlers have developed new skills because of T20 cricket. The advance of T20 has its victims. They are the “Associate” members that are often the whipping boys at World Cups. Excluded from the next World Cup and ineligible for test cricket, those countries will struggle to improve unless the ICC gives them more touring opportunities against top countries. After cutting the Associate members from the World Cup, the ICC suggested the Twenty20 format was the ideal international environment for them. Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is pleased to see changes to the World Cup. “I think a tournament of 10 teams will be more competitive and we won’t see many one-sided games,” he said, “so it’s a good decision to reduce the teams from 14 to 10.” Kenya’s Jimmy Kamande disagrees, saying the Associate countries need the tough competition to improve. “One thing I know for sure is that if we keep playing against the Test-playing nations or their ‘A’ sides the performances will be there,” he said. “But the thing is after this World Cup you might go and never see these teams again so it becomes very difficult. If we’re going to prepare to play Australia again in the next five or 10 years it’s going to become very difficult for us.” Sambit Bal, editor of the cricinfo website, disagrees with critics of the World Cup, saying staging it in the cricket-mad atmosphere of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had helped. “The cricket hasn’t been of consistently high quality,” he said. “In fact, matches have often been exciting because teams and players haven’t been good enough to hold on to dominant positions.” “But these matches have underlined, if any confirmation was ever needed, that the 50-over game provides a tapestry of drama and fluctuations that Twenty20, despite its raw appeal, never can. “Despite its limitations, the one-day game has space for a bowler to string together a spell of bowling, for strategy, for planning a dismissal, for close-in fielders, for the building of an innings, and for a team to stage a comeback.”—AP

KOLKATA, India: Complete scoreboard of the World Cup Group A match between Zimbabwe and Kenya at Eden Gardens in Kolkata yesterday:

KOLKATA: Zimbabwe’s Vusi Sibanda (left) plays a shot during a Cricket World Cup match between Kenya and Zimbabwe.—AP

Zimbabwe crush Kenya KOLKATA: Craig Ervine, Vusimuzi Sibanda and Tatenda Taibu cracked impressive halfcenturies to set up Zimbabwe’s crushing 161-run victory over hapless Kenya in their final World Cup match yesterday. Zimbabwe showed their batting prowess to post 308-6, their highest total of the tournament, with man-of-the-match Ervine (66), Sibanda (61) and Taibu (53) all making the most of a mediocre Kenyan attack. Kenya, who have looked out of their depth on the Indian subcontinent, losing all six of their matches, put in another disappointing batting performance, slumping to 147 all out in 36 overs at Eden Gardens. Nehemiah Odhiambo (44 not out), Rakep Patel (24) and opener Alex Obanda (23) were the mainstays of their batting. Left-arm spinner Raymond Price, who shared the new ball, off-spinner Greg Lamb and leg-spinner Graeme Cremer took two wickets apiece for Zimbabwe. Both African nations were already out of contention for a place in the quarter-finals, but Zimbabwe had the consolation of ending their World Cup campaign with two wins in six matches. “Today we can take a lot of positives, especially with the bat. I am also happy with the bowling per formance,” said Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura. Zimbabwe were earlier struggling at 362 after electing to bat, but Sibanda steadied the innings with a 110-run stand for the third wicket with Taibu, who also completed 3,000 one-day runs during his half-century. Ervine and Chigumbura (38) then added 105 for the fifth wicket as Zimbabwe plundered 104 runs in the last 10 overs, with Prosper Utseya (19 not out) smashing

three fours and a six in seamer Elijah Otieno’s final over. Left-handed Ervine, who cracked one six and nine fours in his 54-ball knock, survived a stumping chance on 15 off spinner James Ngoche as stand-in wicket-keeper Patel failed to collect the ball. Patel kept wicket for a brief spell in place of regular wicket-keeper David Obuya, who suffered an injury while trying to stop a wide delivery. Veteran all-rounder Steve Tikolo, making his last World Cup appearance, led Kenya in the absence of Jimmy Kamande, who was ruled out of the match due to a knee injury. “We are disappointed. We wanted to put up a good performance but there were no partnerships,” said Tikolo. Sibanda hit one six and seven fours in his 57-ball knock before being run out following a mix-up with Taibu. Taibu hit seven fours before being trapped leg-before by

Zimbabwe: B. Taylor c Ngoche b Otieno 26 R. Chakabva c D. Obuya b Odhiambo 9 T. Taibu lbw b Ngoche 53 V. Sibanda run out 61 C. Ervine b Otieno 66 E. Chigumbura c Mishra b Ongondo 38 G. Lamb not out 17 P. Utseya not out 19 Extras (b2, lb3, w14) 19 Total (for six wickets; 50 overs) 308 Fall of wickets: 1-32 (Chakabva), 2-36 (Taylor), 3-146 (Sibanda), 4-165 (Taibu), 5-270 (Chigumbura), 6276 (Ervine). Bowling: Ongondo 10-0-53-1 (w3), Otieno 10-0-612, Odhiambo 10-1-58-1 (w3), Ngoche 10-0-68-1 (w5), C. Obuya 3-0-14-0, Tikolo 7-0-49-0 (w3). Kenya: A. Obanda lbw b Price 23 D. Obuya lbw b Mpofu 0 C. Obuya run out 1 S. Tikolo lbw b Price 10 T. Mishra c Cremer b Utseya 4 T. Odoyo lbw b Lamb 14 R. Patel c Chakabva b Lamb 24 N. Odhiambo not out 44 P. Ongondo lbw b Cremer 6 E. Otieno run out 5 J. Ngoche c Mpofu b Cremer 9 Extras (lb4, w3) 7 Total (for all out; 36 overs) 147 Fall of wickets: 1-3 (D. Obuya), 2-10 (C. Obuya), 3-27 ( Tikolo), 4-44 (Mishra), 5-44 (Obanda), 6-73 (Odoyo), 7-95 (Patel), 8-101 (Ongondo), 9-124 (Otieno), 10-147 (Ngoche). Bowling: Mpofu 6-0-27-1 (w2), Price 7-1-20-2, Utseya 9-0-47-1, Lamb 7-0-21-2, Cremer 7-0-28-2 (w1). Result: Zimbabwe win by 161 runs

Q-finals line-up NEW DELHI: Line-up for the World Cup quarter-finals after the completion of the group stages yesterday (times in GMT): March 23 At Dhaka (0830) Pakistan v West Indies March 24 Australia v India

At Ahmedabad (0900)

Semi-finals March 29 At Colombo (0900) New Zealand or South Africa v Sri Lanka or England

March 25 At Dhaka (0830) New Zealand v South Africa

March 30 At Mohali (0900) Pakistan or West Indies v Australia or India

March 26 At Colombo (0900) Sri Lanka v England

Final At Mumbai (0900)

April 2


MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

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Rondon fires Malaga off bottom MADRID: Venezuelan striker Jose Rondon took his league tally to 12 goals with a vital brace as Malaga moved off the bottom of the Spanish first division with a 2-0 home win over European hopefuls Espanyol yesterday. Rondon struck on seven and 25 minutes as Malaga won two consecutive league games for the first time this season and climb off bottom spot just one point from safety. For Espanyol it was a seventh league defeat in nine games as they cling on to fifth place, a point ahead of Athletic Bilbao who have a game in hand. Promoted Hercules, the only side to beat Barcelona in the league this season, replace Malaga at the bottom following a 4-0 home loss at the hands of Osasuna yesterday. It was a third consecutive victory for Osasuna who move six points above the relegation zone. Second from bottom Almeria are on 26 points alongside Hercules after a 1-0 defeat at relegation rivals Sporting Gijon yesterday. Winger Miguel de las Cuevas scored the only goal of the game on 13 minutes as Sporting moved three points clear of the drop zone. Racing Santander did their survival hopes the power of good with a 2-1 victor y over Real Sociedad yesterday. Mexican international striker Giovanni dos Santos, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, scored the decisive goal on 77 minutes as Racing moved four points clear of the bottom three. Villarreal travel to Athletic Bilbao later on Sunday in a huge game for both sides. Villarreal are three points behind third-placed

Valencia and on course to qualify for the Champions league, while Bilbao lie sixth on the back of their impressive record at San Mames. “We are going to San Mames full of hope with the clear idea of winning the match,” said Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi. “We know that this is the key game and a good result would be one step closer to the Champions League.” Third-placed Valencia host Sevilla later on Sunday looking to bounce back from a 4-0 mauling by Real Zaragoza last time out. “Valencia are the champions of the other league (aside from the top two of Barcelona and Real

Madrid), they have great players and know Villarreal are very close behind them,” said Sevilla coach Gregorio Manzano. Sevilla are three points off the top six after a turbulent campaign that has included 11 wins and 11 defeats. Barcelona continue to lead the way in Spain and stayed five points ahead of rivals Real Madrid with a 2-1 home win over Getafe on Saturday. Real responded with a nervy 21 victory over derby foes Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday. Real were indebted to goalkeeper Iker Casillas who pulled off a string of saves to deny Atletico who have not beaten their neighbours since 1999. —AFP

Spanish League results/standings Hercules 0, Osasuna 4 (Camunas 10, Nelson 35, Vadocz 59, Sola 67); Racing Santander 2 (Kennedy 42, dos Santos 77) Real Sociedad 1 (Griezmann 72); Malaga 2 (Rondon 7, 25) Espanyol 0; Deportivo La Coruna 0 Levante 1 (Suarez 90); Sporting Gijon 1 (De las Cuevas 13) Almeria 0. Playing later Athletic Bilbao v Villarreal Valencia v Sevilla Played Real Mallorca 1 (de Guzman 67) Real Zaragoza 0; Barcelona 2 (Alves 16, Bojan 49) Getafe 1 (Manu del Moral 87); Atletico Madrid 1 (Aguero 86) Real Madrid 2 (Benzema 11, Ozil 32). Spanish league table after yesterday’s early matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Barcelona 29 25 3 1 Real Madrid2923 4 2 Valencia 28 16 6 6 Villarreal 28 15 6 7 Espanyol 29 14 1 14 A’Bilbao 28 13 3 12 A’Madrid 29 11 6 12 Sevilla 28 11 6 11 R’ Mallorca29 11 5 13 Osasuna 29 9 8 12

81 69 42 47 37 44 42 42 30 34

15 21 32 30 41 40 39 43 38 33

78 73 54 51 43 42 39 39 38 35

R’ Sociedad2911 2 16 Levante 29 10 5 14 Getafe 29 9 7 13 R’ Santander298 9 12 S’ Gijon 29 711 11 D’ La Coruna29710 12 R’ Zaragoza29 7 9 13 Malaga 29 8 5 16 Almeria 29 511 13 Hercules 29 7 5 17

39 30 39 28 27 23 28 38 30 25

48 39 45 43 35 39 40 59 48 47

35 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 26 26

Leverkusen cut Dortmund’s lead BERLIN: A Michael Ballack-inspired Bayer Leverkusen beat Schalke 04 2-0 yesterday to cut Borussia Dortmund’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga to seven points. Dortmund were held to a draw at home by Mainz on Saturday, tightening things at the top of the table with seven matches to go, but Borussia remain on course for their first German title since 2002. First-half goals by Schalke’s Germany defender Christoph Metzelder, who headed into his own net after 27 minutes, and Leverkusen’s Eren Derdiyok sealed the win which keeps Bayer second. Ballack, 34, making only his tenth league appearance of the season after back-to-back injuries, was left out of the squad named on Friday to face Kazakhstan and Australia, but the former German captain bolstered Leverkusen’s attack. He played the full 90 minutes and was heavily involved in the build-up for Derdiyok’s goal after linking with Germany team-mate Simon Rolfes and is showing glimpses of the form which saw him win 98 caps for his country. Leverkusen fans called Ballack over to celebrate with them and lead their victory chants through a loudspeaker-as is traditional in the Bundesliga after a big win-an honour for the ex-Chelsea star. “The fans called him over to get on the ‘speaker,” said Leverkusen captain Rolfes. “This has all been good.” The defeat leaves Schalke, who drew Inter Milan in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Friday, tenth in the league and only a good performance by Royal Blues’ Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer kept the score down. On Saturday, Mainz poached a point at Dortmund as Croatia striker Petar Sliskovic’s controversial late goal sealed a 1-1 draw. Dortmund took the lead when Germany defender Mats Hummels managed to scramble the ball over the line after just eight minutes. Turkey midfielder Nuri Sahin had a penalty saved after 19 minutes which proved costly in the dying stages. With Dortmund defender Neven Subotic laid out on the pitch, Sliskovic fired home with time almost up. France star Franck Ribery netted a late winner to give Bayern Munich a 2-1 win at Freiburg as the Bavarian giants began their recovery after their Champions League exit last week at the hands of holders Inter Milan. Hanover took a step closer to European football next season with a convincing 2-0 win over Hoffenheim that leaves them third in the league and on course to qualify for the Champions League. Hamburg, whose coach Armin Veh was sacked last Sunday after

Inter close gap on Milan ROME: Inter Milan closed the gap on leaders AC Milan to just two points ahead of the top of the table city derby in two weeks time with a 1-0 victory over lowly Lecce yesterday. Giampaolo Pazzini scored the only goal of the game seven minutes into the second period to close even further a gap that once stood at 13 points. And it now means that Inter could go top for the first time this season if they beat their bitter rivals when Serie A resumes after next week’s international break. Inter coach Leonardo was keen to play down the crunch super-clash. “It won’t be decisive because there will still be another seven games to play and hence all of them will be decisive,” he said. “What we wanted was to close in as much as possible and from this perspective we’re arriving in the best way. “Unfortunately we’ll have many players all over the world with their national teams and that worries me a bit. “That being said, they’re all professionals who are used to managing themselves and on top of that we’ll have some important players back (from injury) in two weeks.” It has been a remarkable comeback for Inter as they search for a sixth scudetto crown in a row having appeared out of the title running in December. And, following Milan’s shock 1-0 defeat at Palermo on Saturday, Italy could even have a three-way fight to the end if Napoli beat Cagliari in Sunday’s late game. That would see the top three separated by just three points. Inter were far from their best against Lecce as they struggled to raise their game following their dramatic late efforts in the 3-2 success at Bayern Munich in midweek that saw them through to the Champions League quarterfinals on away goals. Daniele Corvia had the best early chance for Lecce but flicked his shot wide of the near post. Wesley Sneijder bent a freekick over the wall at the other end but he too curled it past the near post. Pazzini struck just a minute after Lecce goalkeeper Antonio Rosati had made a brilliant onehanded save low to his right from the striker’s free header from eight yards. But with his second chance he controlled the ball with his chest as he burst past his marker and fired across Rosati into the far corner. Julio Cesar had to come to Inter’s rescue late on as he blocked a point-blank shot from Andrea Bertolacci. Earlier Francesco Totti

TURIN: Juventus’ Alessandro Del Piero (right) scores during the soccer match between Juventus and Brescia at the Olympic stadium. —AP scored his 200th Serie A goal for Roma but it wasn’t enough to inspire his te am to vic tor y at Fiorentina. Twice the hosts led through Adrian Mutu and Alessandro Gamberini, who scored his first goal since 2007, but Totti netted from the spot and then added his 201st league strike after the break. One -club man Totti, who is sixth on the all-time Serie A scoring list, just four goals behind Roberto Baggio, said there’s plenty more to come. “The numbers speak of a great career in which I’ve always wanted to honor the same shirt,” he said. “I’m proud of what I’ve done but

I’m not stopping there. I always try to do my best.” The point did little to help either side’s respective ambitions as Roma remain out of the Champions League qualifying places and Fiorentina short of the Europa League spots. Fiorentina will feel aggrieved that they didn’t take home the three points having had a goal ruled out for offside and twice hit the bar. Udinese went back above Lazio into the Champions League qualification positions with a 2-0 win over Catania while Juventus won for only the fourth time in 14 league games with a 2-1 success against secondbottom Brescia. —AFP

Italian League results/standings Fiorentina 2 (Mutu 21, Gamberini 34) Roma 2 (Totti 27-pen, 52); Bari 1 (Ghezzal 41-pen) Chievo 2 (Pellissier 38, Moscardelli 49); Bologna 1 (Di Vaio 28) Genoa 1 (Dainelli 43); Inter Milan 1 (Pazzini 52) Lecce 0; Juventus 2 (Krasic 23, Del Piero 68) Brescia 1 (Eder 42); Sampdoria 0 Parma 1 (Zaccardo 20); Udinese 2 (Inler 22, Di Natale 74-pen) Catania 0. Playing later Napoli v Cagliari Played saturday matches day Lazio 1 (Zarate 2) Cesena 0; Palermo 1 (Goian 10) AC Milan 0. Italian Serie A table after yesterday’s (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): AC Milan 30 18 8 4 Inter Milan30 18 6 6 Udinese 30 17 5 8 Napoli 29 17 5 7 Lazio 30 16 6 8 Roma 30 14 8 8 Juventus 30 12 9 9 Palermo 30 13 4 13 Fiorentina30 1011 9 Bologna 30 1110 9 Cagliari 29 11 6 12 Genoa 30 10 9 11

51 56 56 44 36 47 45 45 35 33 35 29

22 32 30 26 25 41 38 46 31 37 34 33

62 60 56 56 54 50 45 43 41 40 39 39

Chievo 30 Parma 30 Catania 30 Sampdoria30 Cesena 30 Lecce 30 Brescia 30 Bari 30

811 11 711 12 8 8 14 710 13 7 8 15 7 7 16 6 8 16 3 8 19

30 29 25 25 25 31 24 17

32 41 40 34 41 52 38 45

35 32 32 31 29 28 26 17

Note: Bologna deducted three points for unpaid taxes and player salaries

Rangers clinch League Cup

GERMANY: Leverkusen’s Sidney Sam (left) and Schalke’s Anthony Annan of Ghana challenge for the ball while Michael Ballack (right) looks on during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match. —AP their 6-0 defeat at Bayern last weekend, bounced back with a 6-2 win at home to Cologne. Werder Bremen boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop after their 3-1 win at Nuremberg kept them four points away from the relegation zone. Eintracht Frankfurt stayed above the bottom three after a 2-1 win over St Pauli, who remain in the drop zone. On Friday, Borussia

Moenchengladbach were sent closer to their third relegation from the Bundesliga when they were beaten 1-0 by Kaiserslautern thanks to an own-goal by goalkeeper Logan Bailly. Second-from-bottom Wolfsburg host Stuttgart late yesterday with ex-Schalke coach Felix Magath, who guided ‘ Wolves’ to their 2009 German league title, back at the helm after his appointment on Friday. —AFP

German League results/standings Bayer Leverkusen 2 (Derdiyok 19, Metzelder 27-og) Schalke 04 0. Playing later: VfB Stuttgart v VfL Wolfsburg Played Saturday: Hamburg 6 (Petric 12, 38, 43, Ben-Hatira 32, Kacar 52, Ze Roberto 58pen); Cologne 2 (Jajalo 50, Podolski 62); Eintracht Frankfurt 2 (Gekas 34, 77) St Pauli 1 (Takyi 42); Freiburg 1 (Cisse 17) Bayern Munich 2 (Gomez 9, Ribery 88); Hanover 96 2 (Ya Konan 38, Abdellaoue 53) Hoffenheim 0; Nuremberg 1 (Guendogan 30) Werder Bremen 3 (Wagner 27-pen, 89-pen Pizarro 50); Borussia Dortmund 1 (Hummels 8) Mainz 05 1 (Sliskovic 89). Played Friday: Borussia Moenchengladbach 0, Kaiserslautern 1 (Bailly 61-og). German League table after yesterday afternoon’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): B’ Dortmund27195 3 B’ Leverkusen2716 7 4 H’over 96 27 16 2 9 B’ Munich 27 14 6 7 Mainz 05 27 14 2 11 Nuremberg2712 6 9 Hamburg 27 12 4 11 Freiburg 27 11 4 12 Hoffenheim27 9 9 9

54 56 39 59 42 42 43 34 42

16 34 36 34 34 36 44 38 39

62 55 50 48 44 42 40 37 36

Schalke 0427 9 Cologne 27 9 W’ Bremen27 8 K’slautern 27 8 E’ Frankfurt27 9 V’ Stuttgart26 8 St. Pauli 27 8 V’ Wolfsburg266 B’ M’gladbach276

6 12 5 13 8 11 7 12 4 14 4 14 4 15 8 12 5 16

31 37 37 36 27 45 29 30 38

33 49 53 43 37 48 47 39 61

33 32 32 31 31 28 28 26 23

GLASGOW: Nikica Jelavic scored a dramatic winner in extra time as Rangers clinched the Scottish League Cup with a 2-1 win over tenman Celtic at Hampden. After the off-field antics in the last Old Firm league fixture the fireworks were kept to the pitch this time round as Steven Davies gave Rangers the lead in the 24th minute before Joe Ledley headed the Hoops level seven minutes later. Jelavic looked to have won his side a penalty just before half-time after referee Craig Thomson pointed to the spot following a tussle with Thomas Rogne but he rescinded his decision and booked the Croatian for diving. However, after a goalless secondhalf, it was the Croatian who had the last laugh when he popped up in injury time to slot the ball in off both posts eight minutes into extra time. Celtic then had Emilio Izaguirre sent off in the final minute of extratime for a foul on substitute Vladimir Weiss as Walter Smith, in his last appearance at the national stadium before he retires this summer, lifted the trophy and gained revenge for defeat from their rivals in the final two years ago. Jelavic was in fine form from

kick-off and had the first chance when Sasa Papac picked him out with a cross field pass but he miss hit his shot allowing Fraser Forster to gather. Celtic had a double appeal for a penalty in the 16th minute when Gary Hooper fell at the edge of the box then Wilson took a tumble as he raced past Madjid Bougherra but referee Thomson waved away their protests. Rangers opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a solo goal from Davies. The Northern Irish international drove at the Celtic defence who backed off him allowing the midfielder to send an angled shot past the outstretched arm of Forster and in off the post from 18 yards. However they held the lead for just over six minutes before Ledley hauled Celtic level. Izaguirre’s cross from the left was flicked on by Georgios Samaras to the Welsh midfielder who directed his header past Neil Alexander for his third goal in two games. The second-half got off to a pulsating start with Forster beating away a fierce strike from Steven Whittaker before Papac nearly turned a Kris Commons cross into his own net. Jelavic then blazed a

shot over the bar from eight yards before referee Thomson turned down another penalty appeal in the 61st minute after Maurice Edu’s flick appeared to hit Wilson’s arm. Celtic were dealt another blow when captain Brown limped off to be replaced by South Korean international Ki Sung-Yeung in the 65th minute. Bougherra’s injury saw Kyle Hutton introduced with Whittaker moving into the centre of defence. With five minutes to go Ledley forced Alexander into a save before Ki sent a free-kick straight into the keeper’s arms as the match headed to extra-time. Only a superb save from Forster stopped Rangers taking the lead in the 96th minute. Jelavic’s free-kick took a wicked deflection, sending the keeper the wrong way, but he produced a magnificent reflex save to tip the ball over the bar. However the Croatian soon had the Rangers fans in raptures when he restored their lead in the 98th minute. He raced clear of the Celtic defence and as Forster rushed out his low shot went past him and off both posts before crossing the line. Izaguirre was shown a straight red in the last minute of extra-time as he bundled Weiss to the ground as he looked to race clear. —AFP

Monaco hovering above trapdoor PARIS: Monaco squandered the chance to move out of the French first division relegation zone by losing 1-0 at home to direct rivals Nancy yesterday. Brazilian centre-back Andre Luiz claimed the gameís only goal, rising to meet Julien Feretís corner with a crashing header in the 18th minute. Monaco were awarded a penalty two minutes before the interval after a handball inside the Nancy box but Park Chu-Youngís spot-kick was pushed away by the excellent Damien Gregorini. Monaco remain third from bottom, three points from safety, while Nancy climb three places to 14th, six points clear of danger. In the dayís other afternoon kick-off, late goals from Yohan Mollo and Youssef El Arabi saw Caen defeat bottom club Arles-Avignon 2-0 to move up to 13th.

Sundayís late game sees Paris Saint-Germain visit arch-rivals Marseille in the second ëclasicoí of the Ligue 1 season between Franceís two most popular clubs. Victory for Marseille would take them up to second place, four points behind leaders Lille, while PSG will draw level on points with OM if they prevail at Stade Velodrome. Lille opened up a five-point lead on Saturday by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Brest, with Gervinhoís fine solo goal cancelling out Benoit Lesoimierís opener before Moussa Sow made sure of the points in the second half. Third-place Lyon were prevented from leapfrogging Rennes into second place when the game between the sides at Stade Gerland ended 1-1 thanks to an 87th-minute equaliser by Rennes leftback Kevin Theophile-Catherine. —AFP

Yuvraj sets up India-Australia clash

Blake, Gordon lead Clippers over Cavs



MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

Nadal, Djokovic in Indian Wells final Page 17

LONDON: Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic (left) competes with Manchester City’s David Silva during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge.—AP

Luiz lifts Chelsea over City Chelsea 2

Man City 0

LONDON: David Luiz broke the deadlock with a late header before Ramires added the second goal as Chelsea beat M anchester Cit y 2-0 at Stamford Bridge yesterday to move up to third place in the Premier League. Once again Chelsea’s £50 million s i gn i n g Fe r n a n d o To r re s f a i l e d to score, however, and the breakthough came in the 78th minute af ter the Spaniard had been replaced by Didier Drogba. The victory extends Chelsea’s recent upturn in form and maintains their lingering hopes of retaining the title they won last season - they trail leaders Manchester United by nine points with a game in hand. More significantly, this win tightened their grip on a top four place, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side taking full advantage of fifth-placed Tottenham’s failure to beat West Ham on Saturday. City drop down to fourth and are now the team most likely to be threatened by Spurs. They paid the price for a lack of adventure in their approach and when Luiz headed home from Drogba’s free kick, they had no way of responding before Ramires sealed the victory with a fine run and finish. Ancelotti’s team sheet confirmed the Chelsea manager is still undecided about how to get the best out of his forwards by taking the surprise decision to drop both Drogba and Nicolas Anelka to the bench and pair Salomon Kalou with Torres. Torres had failed to score for his new club coming into this game and while Ancelotti insists the forward is under no pressure, the player himself admitted in the build-up to this game he was anxious to get off the mark. City, who were without Carlo Tevez

after the Argentina international failed a late fitness test on a groin, started brightly with Yaya Toure forcing an early save from Petr Cech. But Chelsea soon took control of the midfield with City content to sit back and attempt to catch the home side out on the break. Florent Malouda, restored to the side as one of five changes to the one that drew 0-0 with FC Copenhagen midweek, worked effectively on the left hand side of midfield. Yet the quality of service to Kalou and Torres was poor and when Chelsea did manage to create space inside the City area, the chance went begging when Ramires and Kalou got in each other’s way. Torres threatened to break clear just once before the break when he was released by Kalou but was denied by an excellent covering tackle by Nigel de Jong. Kalou then tested City keeper Joe Hart with a shot on the turn moments before the interval but the home side reached the break knowing they would have to do a lot more to break down City’s blanket defences. While City’s attacks were sporadic and lacked conviction, there was no doubt the stalemate suited Roberto Mancini’s team more. Chelsea had stepped up their game superbly to come from behind and beat Manchester United at Stamford Bridge recently and there were early signs they would repeat that performance at the start of the second half. Malouda linked superbly with Torres and Kalou to carve open the visitors’ defence but spoiled the move by firing tamely at Hart in the 51st minute. Then ten minutes later Branislav Ivanovic was unlucky to see his powerful header deflect to safety off Kompany. Torres and Malouda were replaced by Drogba and Anelka in the 70th minute and the Ivorian made his impact felt, floating in the free kick for Luiz to head home before Ramires scored a superb solo effort in stoppage time.—AFP

Sunderland pay penalty for Friend’s blunder

LONDON: Liverpool’s Andy Carroll (right) vies for the ball with Sunderland’s Anton Ferdinand (left) and captain Titus Bramble (right) during their English Premier League soccer match. —AP

EPL results/standings Chelsea 2 (Luiz 78, Ramires 90) Manchester City 0; Sunderland 0 Liverpool 2 (Kuyt 33-pen, Suarez 77). Played Saturday Aston Villa 0, Wolves 1 (Jarvis 38); Blackburn 2 (Samba 49, Hoilett 90) Blackpool 2 (Adam 25-pen, 29); Everton 2 (Coleman 36, Saha 49) Fulham 1 (Dempsey 62); Manchester United 1 (Berbatov 88) Bolton 0; Stoke 4 (Walters 28, Pennant 46, Higginbotham 49, Fuller 90) Newcastle 0; Tottenham 0 West Ham 0; West Bromwich 2 (Reid 3, Odemwingie 58) Arsenal 2 (Arshavin 70, Van Persie 78); Wigan 2 (Cleverley 25, Figueroa 90) Birmingham 1 (Ridgewell 6). English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd Arsenal Chelsea Man City Tottenham Liverpool Bolton Everton Sunderland Stoke

30 29 29 30 29 30 30 30 30 30

18 17 16 15 13 13 10 9 9 11

9 7 6 8 10 6 10 13 11 4

3 5 7 7 6 11 10 8 10 15

64 59 53 45 41 41 42 40 33 36

30 29 24 27 34 36 41 39 37 38

63 58 54 53 49 45 40 40 38 37

Newcastle 30 9 9 Fulham 30 7 14 Blackburn 30 9 6 Aston Villa 30 8 9 Blackpool 30 9 6 West Brom 30 8 9 West Ham 30 7 11 Wolverhampton 30 9 Birmingham 29 6 13 Wigan 30 6 12

12 9 15 13 15 13 12 5 10 12

44 33 39 37 45 41 36 16 28 29

45 33 51 51 60 56 49 35 41 51

36 35 33 33 33 33 32 4932 31 30

SUNDERLAND: Liverpool kept alive their hopes of Sunderland 0 qualifying for Europe with a controversial 2-0 Premier League win over 10-man Sunderland yesterday. Liverpool 2 Kenny Dalglish’s sixth placed side need to catch fifth placed Tottenham to avoid missing out on a place in Europe and they were given a helping hand by the officials at the Stadium of Light. Referee Kevin Friend and his linesman played an important part in the win, with a hotly-disputed decision allowing Dirk Kuyt to break the deadlock with a penalty before Luis Suarez sealed the victory. Friend made his error when he allowed the linesman to persuade him to give a penalty for John Mensah’s challenge on Jay Spearing even though he had initially given a free-kick. Replays showed the tackle was outside the area but Kuyt scored the penalty to set Liverpool on the way, while Friend sent off Sunderland defender Mensah late in the match for a professional foul on Suarez. The early stages were notable only for Sunderland’s injury problems — Sulley Muntari and Kieran Richardson both limped off injured and Phil Bardsley might have followed if it had not meant using their last substitute already — until Friend intervened. On Liverpool’s last trip to the Stadium of Light, Sunderland’s winning goal went in off a discarded beachball. This time the Reds got lucky. Faced with a routine long ball, Ghana captain Mensah made a mess of chesting it down and allowed Spearing to pounce onto the loose ball. The midfielder was heading for the penalty area when Mensah brought him down. Friend stood on the spot outside the area where he thought the foul had taken place, but linesman Billy Smallwood disagreed, signaling for a penalty. Although television replays proved Friend correct, he was persuaded by the linesman and Kuyt drilled the penalty to Simon Mignolet’s left. Mensah had escaped with a booking, but received a red card after 82 minutes for a professional foul on Suarez. The Belgian goalkeeper’s first save of note came after 37 minutes when he stretched to keep out Suarez’s effort from a brilliant Spearing pass. Until then Andy Carroll had been Sunderland’s only real concern. The former Newcastle United forward was his usual dominant self in the air, and although he discomforted the home defenders on his Premier League debut, his side had little to show for it until he forced substitute Lee Cattermole to cleared off the line at a 51st-minute corner. —AFP



e niv rsar n


Kuwait bourse faces selling pressure


Page 22

PAI Kuwait implements Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Page 23

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

Geopolitical crisis pummels GCC markets Page 25

VIVA signs an agreement with Kuwait TeleCard Page 25

JEDDAH: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan looks at a screen of a smart phone at the Jeddah Economic Forum yesterday during the four-day summit discussing key issues in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East that will allow sustained economic growth.—AFP

Saudi Arabia sees no capital outflows Economy insulated from turmoil: Al-Jassar, shares jump JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s economy is reasonably insulated from the regional turmoil and the central bank has seen no abnormal capital outflows, its governor Muhammad Al-Jasser said yesterday. Revolts have been sweeping through the Arab world since December, shaking the world’s top oil exporter’s neighbors Bahrain, Oman and Yemen, while raising debt insurance costs and pressuring markets across the Gulf. When asked about the impact of the regional turmoil on the economy and capital flows, the Saudi cen-

tral bank governor told reporters: “I think very little because simply, economically you have to look at what you are exporting and importing.” “I have checked all the numbers and there has not been any noticeable outflows or abnormal outflows in Saudi Arabia during the past few weeks so it has been normal business,” he said on the sidelines of a financial conference. With investors worried by the regional unrest, Saudi one-year currency forwards held near their highest levels since

stocks edge up on Saudi reform, eclipsing Libya GULF STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Gulf investors moved to perceived safer havens in the region, as news of a $93 billion handout by the Saudi king eclipsed concerns over military action in Libya. Saudi King Abdullah offered $93 billion in handouts on Friday 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 Saudi stock index had climbed 4.7 percent at 0830 GMT, with most stocks surging in early trade. Bourses in Gulf states UAE and Qatar also rose more than 2 percent. Kuwait’s index edged higher, despite Etisalat scrapping its $12 billion deal to buy a controlling stake in Kuwaiti telecoms group Zain. Zain dropped 2.9 percent. An exodus of businesses from unstable North African markets may eventually help relatively safer Gulf markets of UAE and Qatar, analysts say. “Local institutions and foreign buyers in the region are on a lookout for markets away from political tensions.....UAE and Qatar provide such an environment,” Samer Al-Jaouni, general manager of Dubai-based Middle East Financial Brokerage Co, said yesterday. Dubai bluechips Emaar Properties and Arabtec led the advance in Dubai, gaining 3.2 percent and 5.7 percent by 0720 GMT. The index climbed 2 percent to 1,502 points. Qatar’s benchmark gained 2 percent, led by heavyweight Industries Qatar that climbed by 3 percent. The bourse moved a step closer to acquiring emerging market status from index compiler MSCI on Thursday by adopting a standard international settlement system for stock trading. “Foreign investors are pumping funds into Qatar as they see it as a safe haven in the region. Markets like Dubai and Doha will look to benefit from the unrest around.”

said Al-Jaouni. Saudi Arabia’s index is expected to be in positive territory for the whole week on the latest $93 billion handout by King Abdullah. This was in addition to the $37 billion announced last month to ease social tensions. “In combination, both the stimulus plans in Saudi, will have some positive impact on the ground in the short-term,” said Akber Naqvi, fund manager at Al Masah Capital in Dubai. Saudi Basic Industries Corp advanced by 5.4 percent and Al-Rajhi Bank climbed 5 percent. European and US forces unleashed warplanes and cruise missiles against Muammar Gaddafi’s troops in the biggest Western military intervention in the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Tension also continued in other Gulf Arab states like Bahrain where troops cracked down on mainly Shiite protesters in the oil-producing region last week. However, the markets showed little reaction to the attacks in Libya. “Regional markets have priced in what’s happening in Libya,” said Naqvi said. “Investors have been discounting a civil-war kind of situation there for a while. More important for the region is what’s happening in Bahrain and we are watching that situation closely.” Bahrain’s five-year credit default swaps have doubled since January as the unrest gripped the Arab world, hitting 355 basis points on Tuesday, their highest level since July 2009. The yield on Bahrain’s Islamic bond maturing in 2014 jumped to a oneyear high of 4.5 percent from 3.0 percent, af ter the Gulf state declared a state of emergency last week. Bahrain’s main opposition groups have eased their conditions for talks to end a crisis that has drawn in neighboring Gulf armies and raised tensions in the oil exporting region. — Reuters

January 2009 over past weeks, pointing to a weakening in the riyal, which is pegged to the dollar, over the next 12 months. Saudi five-year credit default swaps have eased from February highs, but still remain some 74 percent above levels seen in January before protests began in Egypt. Saudi Arabia, a US ally and top Arab economy, has escaped the mass uprisings but some dissent has built up in the kingdom, whose economy expanded by 3.8 percent in real terms last year. However, Saudi stocks gained as much

as 5.7 percent yesterday, boosted by new social spending worth $93 billion, offered by King Abdullah to ease tensions in the desert kingdom, where more than 10 percent of Saudis are without a job. The overall social package amounts to nearly 30 percent of economic output when combined with an estimated $37 billion worth of handouts announced last month. Analysts polled by Reuters before the latest spending plan was released had expected the Saudi economy to expand by 4.5 percent this year.— Reuters

JEDDAH: Prince Khaled Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, (left) governor of Holy Makkah, addresses the Jeddah Economic Forum yesterday . —AFP

Economic aftershocks of Japan quake roil Asia E conomic aftershocks of the devastation in Japan are rolling through Asia. It is here, among Japan’s neighbors, that the reverberations of the catastrophe are being felt hardest. Automakers in Thailand are slowing production. South Korean electronics manufacturers face shortages of critical parts. Thousands of Japanese have canceled trips to Taiwan. Panic buying has driven up prices of Japanese cameras in China, while Indian policymakers brace for higher oil prices. The 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami that laid waste to Japan’s industrial northeast on March 11 and triggered an unfolding crisis at a crippled nuclear power plant has exacted a terrible human toll with estimates of more than 10,000 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. It might also undermine Japan — and China — as manufacturing bastions as the catastrophe gives global companies further reason to spread suppliers over more countries to avoid reliance on a handful of production powerhouses. “Even before the Japan disaster, there was a sense that many multinationals had become too dependent on a single source of production,” said Frederic Neumann, HBSC’s cohead of Asian economics research. “The broad trend to diversify production will not just affect Japan, it will affect China. China’s production has become very concentrated.” South Korea, a manufacturing force in its own right, has been among the first to shudder as Japanese suppliers grappled with damaged factories and power shortages. SUV and luxury sedan maker Ssangyong Motor Co is facing production constraints because of shortages of Japanese parts, said its chairman Pawan Goenka. “Most of the parts sourced from any given country are developed over time,” he said. “It’s not possible in most cases to switch sources. By the time you’re able to switch sources the crisis will be over.” Samsung Electronics Co. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. buy 50 to 60 percent of the wafers they use to make computer chips from Japan’s Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., which shut two factories damaged in the quake. Operations at other plants have been affected by rolling blackouts, the Japanese company said on its website. Samsung Heavy Industries Co. gets 30 to 40 percent of the large metal plates it uses for ship-

GENERAL SANTOS: A worker carries a tuna fish for export to Japan at the fish port in General Santos, in southern island of Mindanao yesterday. Asian diners are still tucking into sushi at restaurants around the region despite fears that elevated radiation levels in Japan could reach the food chain and contaminate raw ingredients. — AFP building from Japan. “If the disaster in Japan lasts and affects our supplies, we would have to consider ordering more from our South Korean and Chinese suppliers,” said public relations manager In-chun Hwang. Profits at Taiwanese electronics firms will likely slump in the second quarter due to shortages of Japanese components, said Alex Huang, an analyst at Taipei’s Mega Securities Corp. In mainland China, businesses have already started looking for replacement markets for the some $100 billion of exports they ship to Japan annually. Chongqing Kinglong Fine Strontium Chemical Co., in the southern megacity of Chongqing, sells more than 80 percent of the strontium carbonate it produces to Japan, where it is used to make LCD monitors. “We may have to expand our domestic market to deal with the impact,” a company spokesperson told the Chongqing Times newspaper. Many Chinese manufacturers that use imported components are still able to run on inventory, but companies that rely

on high end Japanese electronics and auto parts are bracing for shortfalls and rising prices, said Wang Shaopu, director of the Center for PanPacific Studies at Shanghai’s Jiaotong University. Though disruption to supply chains and production is being felt across Asia, most economists say the impact of the Japanese disaster on regional economic growth will not be severe. The quiet message behind that belief is that Japan, which lost its spot as the world’s No. 2 economy to China last year, doesn’t have as much clout as it used to. “Japan is still important but it’s a much smaller piece of the global economic pie and much less important to the global supply chain than it has been historically,” said Moody ’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi. Japan’s contribution to Asia’s growth has been near zero for the last five years, says Moody ’s. China accounts for over 20 percent of global growth, and US consumers alone are about twice as important for global growth as Japan’s entire economy, according to UBS.


MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


Kuwait bourse faces selling pressure

KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti bourse witnessed a high-level of selling pressure on the second trading day of the week following the escalation of tension in other GCC countries. Fear from additional drop in the regional stock markets prompted investors to cash out their investments to maintain the gains achieved during the previous four trading sessions. However, after three consecutive losing days interference from local government funds helped slightly lifting up the market once again but leaving it in the negative compared to the week before. However, the announcement of the Capital Market Authority (CMA) bylaws coming into effective at the beginning of this week is expected to add more transparency to the market and encourage foreign investors to step in, which will reflect positively on the performance. Looking at the Global General Index, which is a market weighted index it dropped by 2.12 percent this week and closed at 200.69 point. On a year-to-date basis, the index remained down by 10.22 percent. On the other hand, Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) price index followed the trend as it was also down by 0.36 percent (22.8 points) during the week and closed at 6,263.8 points. Investors’ wealth deteriorated by KD705mn during the week as total market capitalization dropped to KD32.62bn. Market breadth was back towards negative with only 45 stocks managing to end the week advancing against 78 stocks retreating out of 148 shares traded. Not like the last week, trading activity started at high levels this time but gradually decreased throughout the week. However, it was still above last week’s levels. Total trading volume reached 935.65mn shares changing hands, at a total traded value of KD173.73mn. Trading volume was the highest on the Investment Sector, accounted for 30.68 percent (287.05mn shares traded) of the total market volume. International Financial Advisors was the highest volume traded stock in the sector, with 61mn shares changing hands. However, National Ranges Company topped the volume list for the week with 65.28mn shares traded. On the value side, the Banking Sector remained on top of the value traded list, accounting for 32.55 percent (KD56.54mn) of the overall market traded value. Three banks were seen on the top value traded list this week. National Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait International Bank and Kuwait Finance House with KD18.78mn, KD17.30mn and KD12.42mn traded, respectively. However, the value list was headed by Zain with KD23.63mn traded. The scrip ended the week flat at KD1.360. As measured by Global weighted sectoral indices, major financial indices were the biggest losers this week. Global Banking Index was seen down by 3.67 percent after seven out of nine listed Kuwaiti banks ended the week at lower prices. While the Investment Index lost 3.25 percent of its value with only few gainers in the sector. AlDeera Holding Company was the biggest gainer in the sector, adding 21.31 percent to its share value and made it to the top gainers list this week. The Services Index, which is the second biggest in market capitalization was also down by 0.61 percent. However, the sector had the biggest gainer this week among its constituent with Arabi Group Holding Company adding 24.53 percent to its share value and leading the gainer list. On the other hand, smaller sectors managed to record gains during the week. Global Real Estate Index was up by 0.21 percent while the Food Index was the biggest

GLOBAL WEEKLY MARKET REPORT gainer this time, adding 3.22 percent to its value. Global’s special indices were all down. Global Large Cap (Top 10) index lost 2.65 percent of its value while Global Small Cap (Low 10) Index was seen down by 1.27 percent. However, Global Islamic Sharia Index was the biggest loser, being down by 3.34 percent this week. Macroeconomic News Kuwaiti inflation is expected to be between 5 and 6 percent this year, Central Bank of Kuwait’s (CBK) Governor Sheikh Salem Abdul-Aziz Al-Sabah said, adding that interest rates are at a ‘suitable’ level. Kuwait’s annual inflation eased to 5.2 percent in January from a nearly two-year high. Price pressure rose in Kuwait last year, led by food costs, pushing inflation to 6.0 percent in December, the highest rate in the oil exporting Gulf. “We expect inflation in Kuwait in 2011 to reach 5 to 6 percent,” the governor said at news conference. High global food prices, which helped trigger popular uprisings in several Arab countries, is one of the factors seen lifting inflation in the Gulf, which imports majority of its food, this year. Kuwait’s key discount rate currently stands at 2.5 percent, after being cut from 3 percent on Feb 7, 2010. Sheikh Salem noted that current Kuwait interest rates are ‘very suitable’ also he sees no need to drop the peg and will stick to basket of currencies. Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah said the economic performance in 2010 was so good that the country enjoyed the highest sovereign credit rating in the Middle East. “The country maintained good domestic and foreign balance surpluses particularly in terms of current account which constitutes a benchmark for economic indices,” Sheikh Salem said. The investment spending in the current FY which ends in late March continued to grow, posting a 77 percent increase over the previous FY,” he noted. Sheikh Salem also said Kuwait’s 2011 nominal gross domestic product (GCP) was expected to be 8.3 percent, after an expected 17.3 percent in 2010, based on IMF forecasts. In the first half of 2010, Kuwait’s economy recovered at a slower pace than expected after shrinking 21.2 percent in nominal terms in 2009 due to weak oil prices, data showed last year. The nominal GDP of Kuwait, the world’s four th largest oil expor ter, dropped to KD31.5bn ($113.4bn) in 2009, from KD40.0bn in the previous year. The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) issued KD200mn worth of one-year treasury bonds on Wednesday, March 16, 2011, with a coupon rate of 1.25 percent. Bids for the bonds amounted to KD1,048mn, central bank data showed. The last issue was on March 09, for KD100mn, with 1.25 percent coupon, while bids for the bonds amounted to KD565mn. Price of Kuwaiti crude oil retreated by $4.20 reaching $103.29 per barrels (pb) on Wednesday, March 16 compared to $107.49 recorded on Wednesday, March 9 as announced by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC). Crude prices dropped during the week amid gloomy expectations of the drop in demand of the globe’s third largest consumer, Japan, which was recently affected by a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. The natural disaster not only affected oil prices, but also led to a slump in global stock markets in light of a decrease in investor con-

fidence towards taking risks. Oil prices are sustainable at their current levels and there will be no need for OPEC to meet before June as prices are dropping, Kuwait’s oil minister said this week. “The oil price is sustainable at this level, the price is falling so there’s no need for OPEC to meet,” said Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, adding that Kuwait had not increased its output yet. State-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) has signed a joint venture deal worth around $9bn to build an oil refinery and petrochemical plant in southern China. KPC and Sinopec, China’s biggest refiner, are equal partners in the project. Earlier this month, China approved the $9bn joint venture, which will be built in the southern coastal city of Zhanjiang. The project will secure Kuwait, the world’s fourth-largest crude exporter, a solid outlet for its oil, ahead of competitors such as Venezuela, Russia and Qatar, all of which are planning refineries in China. Kuwait aims to more than double its crude exports to China to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), versus last year’s sales at just under 200,000 bpd. KPC in 2009 briefly tapped potential investors Shell and Dow Chemical Co but the companies did not make any commitment for a consortium. Moreover, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) bought one cargo of gasoline from Totsa in a tender last week, traders said. Kuwait is not a regular buyer of the motor fuel. KPC paid a premium of around mid $50s over the Middle East benchmark naphtha quotes in a deal it sealed last week. The cargo is for April-delivery, traders said. A standard gasoline cargo is 33,000 tons or around 280,000 barrels. The premium was significantly below the market, traders said. “The gasoline market is oversupplied, which allows some very advantageous deals like this for the buyers” one gasoline trader said. Traders peg spot premiums for gasoline at around mid $80s over Middle East benchmark naphtha quotes. Other Local News On March 13th, Kuwait’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) bylaws were published in Al-Kuwait Alyoum official government newspaper. This action constituted the official declaration that the CMA bylaws are now in effect. Further, the CMA reminded of this in a statement posted on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE)website this week. Although most laws are in effect as of March 13, the law provides a time frame of between 6 - 12 months for the KSE, brokerages companies, and investment companies to fully comply. For example, according to the bylaws of the CMA, the KSE will have to transform into a private company equally owned by listed companies through an auction and Kuwaiti citizens through a free public offering. This process must be completed in the next 12 months. (Source: Local media) Kuwait is expected to spend at least KD5bn ($17.98bn) on development projects in the second year of its development plan, which was approved by parliament in early 2010. The Kuwaiti parliament’s economic and financial committee has approved the second year’s plan which will be referred soon to parliament for voting, Adel Al-Wugayan, secretary general of the country’s supreme council for planning, said. In the second year of the development plan, the

focus will be on completing underway projects in addition to implementing other projects involving human development and spending will boost the local construction sector, he added. Visiting officials of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) lauded this week the strong relations between Kuwait and Russia, stressing the fund readiness to increase joint investments with Russian companies. In a press conference held in Kuwait, KFAED Regional Director for Central Asia and Europe Youssef AlBader announced that the Kuwaiti fund is seeking to develop investment relations with Russia. Kuwait Stock Exchange Kuwait National Air ways ( Wataniya Air ways) announced halting operations due to heavy losses and deteriorating security in the region. “The board has decided to cease all Wataniya Airways operations with the return of its last scheduled flight to Kuwait on March 16, 2011,” said the board of directors in a statement. It said the move was caused by “the current financial situation of the company and the lack of fair trade requirements in the local market, as well as the difficult political and security situation in the region.” “As a result, the board has decided to call a meeting of the company’s shareholders as soon as possible to discuss the future course of the company,” it said. Kuwait’s Agility and France Telecom are to acquire 44 percent stake in fast-growing Iraqi mobile operator Korek Telecom, the groups said in a joint statement this week. The two groups will form a joint venture, 54 percent-owned by Agility, to control the stake, they said. Agility will contribute existing convertible debt and will inject an additional $50mn for its 24 percent indirect stake. Highlights Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education Mohammad Al-Sayegh revealed that the tenders of a number of projects will be floated as part of the State Development Plan. Al-Sayegh said that 11 projects included in the list of priorities of the ministry will be offered in public tenders by the Central Tenders Committee. Al-Sayegh said that the projects in clued the restoration of a number of schools and establishment of new ones, building and multi-store parking lots for educational zones, demolition of public libraries and building new ones, building a museum in Al-Riqei, building a sport complex for educational zones, accommodation for female teachers, three training centers, 10 bowling halls, 36 gyms and swimming pools. The move was in line with a strategy to expand in Africa and the Middle East, will pay $245mn for its 20 percent indirect stake in Korek and will also extend a $185mn four-year loan to the Iraqi operator. It can also exercise option to raise stake in Korek to 27 percent by 2014. Kuwait International Bank is about to sign an agreement to offload its 11.25 percent stake or 11.8mn shares of Pearl of Kuwait Real Estate at a total value of KD2.19mn. Upon finalizing the deal, the lender is expected to generate nearly KD1.38mn net earnings. The bank will inform Kuwait Stock Exchange(KSE) management of relevant updates duly when the sale is completed and the final contract is inked. Tamdeen Investment Company got the approval from the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) on March 13, 2011 to extend the period for buying back or selling 10 percent maximum of its issued shares for additional six months as of April 01, 2011.

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

.2720000 .4460000 .3890000 .3040000 .2785000 .2730000 .0045000 .0020000 .0751460 .7321300 .38900000 .0710000 .7177210 .0045000 .0450000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .276100 .4483170 .3914820 .3064030 .2805750 .0524830 .0439730 .2751890 .0353980 .2168550 .0034280 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0752010 .7328470 .0000000 .0736460 .7177020 .0000000

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

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.476 6.160 3.254 2.515 3.853 218.830 35.667

.2820000 .4560000 .3970000 .3130000 .2870000 .2810000 .0075000 .0035000 .0759020 .7394880 .4080000 .0790000 .7249340 .0072000 .0555000 .2782000 .4517270 .3944600 .3087340 .2827090 .0528820 .0443080 .2772820 .0356680 .2185050 .0034540 .0062170 .0025290 .0032730 .0038910 .0757730 .7384210 .3934940 .0742060 .7231610 .0064320

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

3.864 6.356 9.175 0.271 0.273

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

GCC COUNTRIES 74.192 76.451 722.700 738.820 75.749

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 50.750 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.844 Yemen Riyal 1.275 Tunisian Dinar 203.160 Jordanian Dinar 392.920 Lebanese Lira 184.600 Syrian Lier 6.033 Morocco Dirham 35.476 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 278.130 Euro 397.730 Sterling Pound 455.300 Canadian dollar 284.680 Turkish lire 175.630 Swiss Franc 312.510 Australian dollar 275.960 US Dollar Buying 276.930

Sterling Pound US Dollar

SELL CASH 280.300 737.620 4.160 285.500 544.800 14.100 53.300 167.800 50.020 397.500 36.280 6.370

392.010 0.187 93.960 3.860 205.400

SELL DRAFT 278.800 737.620 3.817 284.000

219.500 46.935 396.000 36.130 6.150

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

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

310.200 6.100 9.370 75.580 277.300

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

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 452.900 277.300

Selling Rate 278.150 286.270 447.825 391.295 303.748 736.186 75.707 76.378 74.143 392.917 46.920 2.519 6.160

3.266 3.835 6.331 682.289 3.534 9.224 6.067 3.930 91.477

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 720.240 3.260 6.370 76.300 74.050 219.450 42.160 2.510 452.500

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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


GOLD 1,466.620

10 Tola

GOLD 270.000 137.000 70.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

0.033 0.253 0.246 3.540 393.620 0.188 93.960 46.900 4.350 206.900 1.880 50.500 720.420 3.350 6.590 76.730 74.050 219.450 42.160 2.691 454.900 44.500 311.700 6.100 9.430 198.263 75.680 277.700 1.330

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 277.300 3.255 6.160 2.525 3.830 6.380 75.595 74.150 737.200 46.745 455.800 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 394.000 5.750 399.000 288.200

Al Mulla Exchange Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 276.950 395.800 452.700 283.800 3.475 6.158 46.700 2.509 3.825 6.315 3.253 737.450 75.500 74.000




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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


Seminar discusses Islamic finance amid ME unrest Deloitte Kuwait holds seminar on debt restructuring

CBK launches biggest daily draw in Kuwait with new Najma Account KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD 7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another 4 mega prizes during the year worth KD 100,000 each on different occasions: The National Day, Eid el Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and on the 19th of June which is the date of the bank’s establishment. With a minimum balance of KD 500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or 2 months prior to the mega draw. In addition, for each KD 25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD 50. All existing customers will be given a grace period till June 27 to increase their balances and until that date they will be eligible to enter the weekly draw even with amounts less than KD 500. On this occasion, Simon Clements GM Retail Banking said that this new account is being launched as a result of extensive customer research and detailed analysis of market needs. He added, we always try to develop new products to satisfy our customers in line with feedback from the market.

KUWAIT: “In Islamic Finance, debt can only be recovered on face value, it cannot be sold, and both discounting of debt and selling on premium are not options. However, a determinable direct cost, which can be added to the debt and given away as charity, is permissible. This also serves as a minimum deterrent to defaulting,” explained Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Kaleem, a sharia scholar and a Deloitte Middle East Islamic Finance Advisor, at a seminar on the Debt Restructuring under Islamic Finance seminar organized by Deloitte and Touche Al-Fahad, Al-Wazzan and Co, the Kuwait member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. In his introductory speech, Thomas A George, Managing Partner of Deloitte Kuwait said that debt restructuring under Islamic Finance is complex and continues to be of relevance even though the economic and financial crisis began some two years ago. He added that the purpose of the seminar was to hear Islamic scholars views on the concepts so that related risks on business could be better understood. Introducing the keynote speaker and the seminar’s subject matter, Dawood Ahmedji, Director, Financial Advisor y Ser vices Leader, Deloitte & Touche - Bahrain, described Sheik h Muhammad Hassan Kaleem as a scholar with considerable experience on Sharia’a compliance in Islamic Finance and who had made

seminal contributions to Islamic economics. Ahmedji added, “Globally, Islamic banking and finance is undergoing rapid expansion and is today the fastest-growing segment of the global financial system. This presents numerous opportunities for companies around the world.” Beginning his presentation with a brief explanation of the term ‘Debt ’ from an Islamic finance and Sharia’a point of

options. However, a determinable direct cost, which can be added to the debt and given away as charity, is permissible. This also serves as a minimum deterrent to defaulting.” On the concept of debt restructuring, Kaleem added that marrying traditional economic terms into an Islamic perspective presents its own set of difficulties. Giving examples, he said that, conventional debt restructuring

through mutual consent.” Kaleem then pointed out the difference between default in promise and default in debt. “In Sharia, a promisor is not liable to become a debtor for the monetary value if he fails to fulfill his promise at a future date. Though there is no legal standing for opportunity cost, nevertheless, a person can resort to legal courts to enforce a default in promise, especially if there is a genuine loss.

view, Kaleem said, “Within a Sharia compliant framework, receivables from a loan, the price in a deferred sale, rent overdue from a prior rental period, compensation for a loss incurred, are all considered as debts. In Islamic Finance, debt can only be recovered on face value, it cannot be sold, and both discounting of debt and selling on premium are not

t ypically involved either, reduction in debt or re-negotiating of repayment period. In Islamic Finance the restructuring process is not just an agreement on re payment schedule, it involves a new, co m p l e te l y re v i s e d S h a r i a compliant contract. Moreover, one party cannot unilaterally impose the terms of the contract; it has to be

Expanding on the models of debt restructuring in Islamic finance, Kaleem added that key Sharia considerations and the restructuring options and possibilities varied depending on type of debt incurred. Highlighting two case studies of ‘sukuk’ restructurings, he pointed out that in restructuring ‘sukuk’ it was important that a ‘No Objection Certificate’

PAI Kuwait implements Microsoft SharePoint 2010 KUWAIT: Microsoft Gulf yesterday announced that the Public Authority for Industry (PAI) in Kuwait has implemented Microsoft SharePoint 2010, the business collaboration platform for the enterprise and Internet. In the process, the PAI which develops, promotes and supervises the industrial activity in the State of Kuwait has received significant benefits in the form of enhanced productivity and greater operational efficiency by automating and managing their legal department contracts and providing users with relevant information through Microsoft SharePoint. Abdul Kareem Taqi, Information Center and Decision Support Manager at PAI, said, “The implementation of Microsoft SharePoint has been a critical development for us to provide a superior knowledge management platform to access information across the entire lifecycle of our tendering process encompassing tender preparation, tendering and contract awarding in addition to contract execution and follow- up. We have seen a quantum jump in terms of employee productivity thanks to SharePoint which has provided our employees with a seamless experience as they quickly access the information and tools they need to do their jobs in an optimal manner.” Ehab Mostafa, Country Manager, Microsoft Kuwait, added, “The successful implementation of Microsoft SharePoint at the Public Authority for Industry (PAI) - Kuwait is a great validation of the enormous benefits that SharePoint as a dynamic business collaboration platform provides to help customers quickly respond to chang-

ing business needs. Using SharePoint 2010, customers like Public Affairs Authority are increasingly using the solution to find the right business information to be more productive and make smarter decisions to enhance operational efficiency.” The solution has been customized in accordance with the CTC (Central Tendering Committee)

Ehab Mostafa, Country Manager, Microsoft Kuwait Law which each government entity in Kuwait must follow in the offering and awarding of tenders. With the implementation of this knowledge management solution, employees at PAI have benefitted from fast access to all contract data via a proper document management system. They can now validate the proper approvals for all tenders according to local laws, alert users on tasks and provide management with an overview on the progress of completion of required tenders and contracts. The solution has also been

inte grated with a work flow engine and an SMS Gateway to automate the entire process and provide timely alerts for tasks and milestones. It has also been integrated with back office applications like the financial system and active directory to extract relevant data. Public Authority for Industry in Kuwait is using the full capa-

Mazaya Qatar participates in Qatar Investment Expo Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Development QSC, a Qatar Exchange listed company and one of the leading property developers in the GCC, will be participating in the sixth Qatar International Investment and Real Estate Exhibition, which will take place at the Doha Exhibition Centre from 22 to 25 March 2011. During the exhibition, Mazaya Qatar will present its latest developments, updates on its projects and future plans while networking with decision-makers, fellow exhibitors and the public. Commenting on the company’s participation, Seraj Al-Baker, CEO of Mazaya Qatar, said: “As a major player in the Qatari real estate sector, Mazaya Qatar can significantly contribute to the success of events that serve the interests of the real estate sector while helping exhibitors stay abreast of the latest industrial developments and changes.” Al Baker added: “Our participa-

tion in the sixth Qatar International Investment and Real Estate Exhibition is part of the marketing plan adopted by Mazaya Qatar,

Seraj Al-Baker which aims to promote the company’s projects and innovative services. We aim, also, through our presence at the exhibition, to find ways of cooperation and to create alliances with other parties in order to enter into new joint ventures

with high potential and low risk. We further aim to communicate with our clients at the event.” Al Baker stressed the importance of the current period for the real estate sector and for real estate companies operating in Qatar as the country is preparing to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, saying: “Significant joint efforts from all sectors and organizations are required to ensure the success of the greatest event on earth.” The sixth Qatar International I nvestment and Real Estate Exhibition is an exclusive International exhibition held in the state of Qatar which has accomplished great success in the last five years, and which has been widely attended by companies from the region and abroad. The exhibition is considered as an international meeting place that brings together real estate, investment consultanc y and engineering companies and decision-makers.

Abdul Kareem Taqi bilities of Microsoft SharePoint through features like Search to cut through the clutter of information. A unique combination of relevance and refinement are helping users at the authority to find the information and contacts they need to get their jobs d o n e . W i t h S h a r e Po i n t 2 0 1 0 Insights, people can access the information they need to do t h e i r b e s t wo r k . I t s re p o r t i n g and analysis features are both power ful and easy to use, and its familiar inter faces make users feel comfortable analysing data.

BAPCO oil output falls due overhaul DUBAI: Long-planned maintenance rather than the knock-on effects of political upheaval in Bahrain is to blame for a cut in oil products output at state-owned Bahrain Petroleum Co (BAPCO), its chief executive said yesterday. Output is down to 190,000 barrels per day from a full capacity of 260,000 barrels per day mainly due to major refinery maintenance, CEO Faisal Mohamed Al-Mahroos said. “We have the biggest maintenance shutdown in our history. We have 190,000 barrels per day available at the moment...Our terminals are running as normal,” he told Reuters. Traders said on Thursday the refinery was partially shut down due to staff shortages because of political unrest in the kingdom. But Al-Mahroos said reduced production was mainly due to the maintenance, and that the operations were not affected much by the political upheaval. “We have 80 percent attendance in our workforce,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview. “We have done two shipments from our terminal over the weekend.” Shipping sources said on Sunday that Bahrain’s three ports Sitra, Mina Sulman and Hidd-were operating as normal. The refinery, which started its major maintenance turnaround in

be received from previous investors, and, in case where the useful life of an asset has been significantly reduced, the underlying asset value be fully determined. The session concluded with a lively audience Question and Answer session. Speaking on the sidelines of the seminar, Jassim Ahmad AlFahad, Senior Par tner at Deloitte & Touche, and Thomas A. George said that the growing impor tance of Islamic Finance in Kuwait and the negative consequences of the global economic downturn on the banking and financing sector, made the seminar on ‘Debt Restruc turing - The Islamic Finance Way’, important. “This is the first time that such a seminar is being held in Kuwait and we are happy that Deloitte could bring such an eminent scholar like Kaleem, to discuss key issues related to Islamic Banking and Sharia compliance,” said Al- Fahad. Noting that Deloitte and Touche has operated in Kuwait since the 1940s, Thomas said that the seminar was part of Deloitte’s continued support to offer value added solutions to clients. “Deloitte will be holding similar seminars in future so that finance professional in Kuwait can exchange views on issues specific to Islamic financing. Deloitte has the necessary expertise and experience on Islamic Finance matters in the region and globally to meet the needs and expectations of businesses,” Thomas added.

February that shut down multiple units, was due to come back to full capacity in the first week of April, Al Mahroos said. BAPCO’s natural gas operations have not been affected by the unrest, Al-Mahroos said, adding that supplies to power stations and the aluminum industry continued. “It hasn’t slowed down or stopped,” he said, adding that 30 percent of the 1.5 billion cubic feet per day production was going to the aluminum industry, while another 30 percent was for power generation. “We run a local marketing business and this is where we have a problem,” Al-Mahroos said, adding that 10 out of the 40 petrol stations in the country were closed to due unrest. He said the company was supplying 24,000 barrels per day of oil products to the domestic market. Yesterday was the first working day in the kingdom after a week that saw closures of schools and universities to prevent outbreaks of sectarian clashes that had become virtually a daily event. BAPCO was also building a 420,000 barrels-perday lubricants plant for $400 million, Al-Mahroos said. “The construction is moving as normal... We should be starting in June,” he said. —Reuters

LG aims to maintain top market share in MEA Cool, powerful and durable air conditioner released KUWAIT: LG Electronics (LG) is set to release the Titan, a premium residential air conditioning model, in the Middle East and Africa (MEA). This updated version of an already successful, high-tech LG air conditioner will deliver powerful cooling made to withstand the region’s often punishing weather conditions. According to GFK, a global market research group, LG currently holds the lead position in major countries across the MEA with a market share of approximately 30%, giving it the largest monthly market share in MEA. The company is looking to further consolidate its position by securing a larger chunk of mid- to high-income consumers, who typically place a premium on technology. With the very latest air conditioning technology offering even and powerful cooling, LG is targeting the GCC markets with the aim of securing the sale of 15,000 units with a product that is dynamic, powerful and efficient. The Titan can blast out cool air over a distance of up to 10 meters, the longest range of any air conditioner in the market today. The Jet Cool function and the 4-way Swing system enable the unit to blow cool air in practically any direction at maximum speed, making rooms cooler in the shortest possible time. Additionally, a special Multi-stage Tropical Compressor combines a highly efficient motor, minimized oil circulation and a specially designed resonator and cylinders to ensure powerful cooling even in extreme weather conditions.

To ensure the Titan provides customers with the most comfortable and refreshing environment, LG has added unique health features. LG’s Air Purifying system is equipped with special filters that eliminate germs, capture harmful airborne viruses, and remove unpleasant odors. In particular, the plasma filter, which eliminates germs by burning microscopic dust particles through its patented electric field, represents the latest in LG’s innovation. The Titan is also built to last, an essential requirement in what can be an extremely hot region. The Multi-stage Tropical Compressor is designed to function, unhindered, for 24 hours a day, despite possible sandstorms and temperatures as high as 60oC. The Inbuilt Automatic Voltage Switcher helps the unit respond to unstable power supplies, while the Anti Corrosion Gold Fin coating makes the unit’s heat exchanger more resistant to corrosion. “The Middle East and Africa market is expected to be a huge market for the air conditioning industry, with demand for high-end models quickly rising,” said H S Paik, President of LG Electronics Gulf FZE. “To make sure we stay the unquestioned leader of the AC market in this region, we’re going to keep raising the bar for air conditioners that keep customers perfectly comfortable and cool, whatever the temperature outside.” The Titan will be released Across GCC region from March onwards.




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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


Kuwait equities nose-dive GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwaiti equities remained under the spell of negative trend yesterday after one session of advancing recorded last Thursday, staging a session of broad-based retreat. It was a brutal day, after the Etisalat withdrew the $12bn takeover offer on Saturday. Zain dropped 4.41 percent and closed at KD1.300. Investors continued to close their positions, sending the Global General weighted index to its worst standing since March 08, 2011. Overall, the past few weeks increased volatility in stock prices with a bearish mode in most of the regional stock markets has been witnessed due to growing concerns about Middle East tension. Global General Index (GGI) closed 3.31 points down (1.65 percent), at 197.38 point. The Market capitalization decreased, reaching KD32.08bn. On the other hand, Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index closed in the red zone, shedding 12.20 points (0.19 percent) to its value and closed at 6,251.6 point. Market breadth During the session, 106 companies were traded. Market breadth was even as 34 equities advanced versus 34 that retreated. Yesterday ’s per formance was accompanied by growing trading activity. The market as a whole saw 165.77mn shares traded, up by 21.19 percent from Thursday’s level. At the same time, the value of shares traded rose 19.01 percent, reaching KD34.22mn. The Investment Sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 33.19 percent of total shares. The banking sector was the value leader, with 42 percent of total traded value. Company-wise, Kuwait International Bank was the most actively traded stock during the day, with 16.46mn shares exchanged at a

Iraqi inflation hits 5.5% in February Higher food prices push up inflation BAGHDAD: Iraqi inflation is under control, despite a rise in the annual rate to 5.5 percent in February a central bank official said yesterday. “February’s year-on-year core inflation was 5.5 percent,” senior central bank advisor Mudher KasimKasim told Reuters, adding that the big source of the increase from January’s 5.3 percent came from electricity, housing and rent. “It is a tangible increase but it is still under control.” Iraqis began receiving electricity bills containing 100 percent tariff increases last October following a government decision aimed at encouraging consumers to economize and help tackle the country’s crippling power shortages. However, a wave of protests across

the region has encouraged Iraqis to protest over poor basic services and the Electricity Ministry last month moved to appease them by giving them their first 1,000 kilowatt-hours of power for free each month. A rise in food prices in one of the world’s largest wheat and rice importers had also affected inflation, Kasim said. Popular anger at rising food prices has been a major factor in the mix of grievances that triggered the fall of leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, and is now putting the heat on authorities in Iraq and other Arab countries. Iraq’s inflation rate is calculated by the COSIT statistics agency. The bank defines core inflation as excluding expenditure on fuel. —Reuters

Oil up $2 to over $112 on Middle East unrest total value of KD16.46mn. The scrip closed down by 1.61 percent at KD0.305. In terms of top gainers, Ithmaar Bank was the biggest gainer for the day, adding 10.87 percent and closed at KD0.0255. National Investment Company came in as the biggest decliner, dropping by 8.62 percent and closed at KD0.265. Sector-wise Sector-wise, seven out of eight indices went down for the day, with Global Real Estate Index being the only gainer, as it increased by 0.21 percent to close at 49.60 points. This was a result of Mabanee Company’s share price which added 1.43 percent to its value to close at KD0.710. While Arab Real Estate Company was the biggest gainer in the sector, adding 7.69 percent to its share price and closed at KD0.035.

Meanwhile, Global Food Index was the biggest decliner as it shed 3.1 percent to close at 359.07 points. Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana) traded ex-dividend during the session. Earlier the AGM was held and approved the distribution of 65 percent cash dividends. Global Services Index too closed sharply lower during the day’s trading, down 2.47 percent. Heavyweight Zain dropped 4.41 percent and closed at KD1.300. Five of the ten Global Large Cap. Index (GLCI) constituents lost ground, sending the index tumbling by 2.43 percent. Global High Yield Index was the top loser shedding 3.47 percent backed by Kuwait Projects Company (Holding). The scrip closed down by 1.27 percent. Corporate news Shuaiba Industrial Company has

received a letter of award from a Saudi-based cement producer to supply bags till 2011-end at a gross value of KD0.335mn. Further to its earlier announcement dated Januar y 31, 2011, Kuwait Company for Process Plant Construction & Contracting KSC (KCPC) has signed a contract worth KD24.73mn with the Ministry of Public Works for previously-awarded tender No HS/95. Under the agreement, the company will renovate the sewage network in Kuwait cit y, phase 8, S ec tion B, for Al Firdaws Area, north of Al Arediah over 1095 days. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $108.08 a b a r r e l o n T h u r s d a y, c o m p a r e d with $105.80 the previous day, a cco rd i n g to O P E C S e c re t a r i a t calculations.

LONDON: Oil was up over $2 as tensions in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain fuelled fears of further supply disruption while investors weighed the impact on energy demand from quake-hit Japan. Brent crude for May, the front-month contract after April expired on Wednesday, was up $1.96 to $112.56 a barrel at 0935 GMT. Earlier it had fallen as much as 1 percent to $109.45 but then rebounded to an intraday high of $112.65. US crude rallied over $1 as London traders arrived at their desks, reaching an intraday high of $99.29 before slipping back to $99.24 a barrel. “The market is seeing risks from the supply side and the demand side, and has to decide which is weighing more,” said Barbara Lambrecht, a commodity analyst at Commerzbank. “It is looking for orientation-I think we can expect more volatility.”

Prices had slid about 4 percent since Japan’s earthquake and tsunami six days ago, touching a three -week low of $107.35 on Wednesday. But increased tensions in the Middle East have helped prices rebound. In Bahrain at least six opposition leaders have been arrested, a day after a crackdown on protests by the Shiite Muslim majority. Bahraini forces used tanks and helicopters to drive protesters off the streets and clear a camp that had become a symbol of their demand for more democratic rights in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. Bahrain lies less than 100 km from the hub of the Saudi oil industry at D h a h r a n , i n c l u d i n g t h e w o r l d ’s largest oil fields, oil terminal and processing plant. “The demonstrations in Bahrain are a potential threat to Saudi Arabia,” said Thorbjorn Bak Jensen, oil market analyst at Global Risk Management. —Reuters



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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011



Geopolitical crisis pummels markets KAMCO GCC EQUITY MARKETS REPORT KUWAIT: Despite Positive FY-10 earnings announced by a majority of GCC companies, escalating political unrest in the region weakened market sentiment. Escalating geopolitical risks in the Middle East and the fear of contagion to the whole region along with the potential threat to global oil supplies weighed heavily on markets; the GCC bourses witnessed waves of sell-off, losing around $42 billion in February as the fear of spread across the region took its toll on investors’ sentiment. TADAWUL slipped to a new nine-month low as protests in Oman continued the third neighboring country to be engulfed in unrest after Bahrain and Yemen. As of March 2nd, the heightened tension has eroded around $120 bn in market capitalization from GCC stock markets since the beginning of the Egyptian protests in January 25, 2011. Furthermore, oil prices for ‘OPEC Basket’ surged 13.6 per cent during February to close the month at $108.5 pb triggered by the increased political tensions in the region and the disrupt it might cause to oil production. GCC equity markets have ended the month on a negative note despite the positive FY-2010 corporate earnings announced so far by the majority of GCC companies. So far, 412 companies out of 634 listed companies have announced their FY-2010 earnings with an increase of 24 per cent to $45 bn versus $36 bn for 2009. Most of this gain has come from the Saudi Stock Exchange and Kuwait Stock Exchange increasing by 34 per cent and 142 per cent to $20.96 bn and $7.7 bn, respectively. Despite being the only gainer during February, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange was the only market recording a drop in earnings of 47.7 per cent to $3.6 bn as compared to $6.8 bn a year earlier. Muscat Securities Market (MSM) was the worst performer during February, incurring a loss of 10.18 per cent. MSM was followed by Qatar Exchange and Dubai Financial Market with monthly losses of 9.29 per cent and 8.06 per cent, respectively. KSE Weighted Index

Euromoney Kuwait Conference on April 11 and 12 KUWAIT: Euromoney Conferences is pleased to announce that the 2011 Euromoney Kuwait Conference will take place at the Arraya Ballroom, Cour t yard by M arriott Kuwait Hotel, on 11-12 April 2011. The Ministry of Finance will be the official partner and Dr Mustafa Al-Shamali, Minister of Finance and Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz AlSabah, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, will deliver the opening keynote speeches. Other speakers include: • Michel Accad, Chief General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Bank • Hamad Al-M ar zouq, Chairman and Managing Director, Ahli United Bank and Chairman, Kuwait Banking Association • Mohammed Al Omar, Chief Executive Officer, Kuwait Finance House • Sunny Bhatia, Chief Financial Officer, Global Investment House • Francois Dao, Regional Director, Middle East, Acciona Water • Jean-Christophe Durand, Head of Region, BNP Paribas Middle East and Southern Africa • Dr. M ahmoud Abul Eyoun, Chief Executive Officer, Kuwait International Bank • Ali Khalil, Chief Operating Officer, Markaz • Moazzam Mekan, Head of Infrastructure Advisory Services, IFC • Arun R atra, Head of Global M arkets Group, Gulf Investment Corporation • Faisal Sarkhou, Executive Vice President and Head of Financial S er vices and I nvestment, K AMCO (KIPCO Asset Management Company) • Gerhard Urschitz, Director International Projects, Strabag “This year’s Euromoney Kuwait Conference is entitled Developing Finance: Financing Development and its convening at this precise time is a clear demonstration that Kuwait is taking the need to revitalize its finance and investment environment very seriously,” said Richard Banks, Director of Emerging Markets for Euromoney Conferences. “Although parts of the region exist in a state of some turmoil this is not true of Kuwait and I can think of no better time for us to be here.” “There is a fundamental need for Kuwait to put its capital to use developing the country and to move away from government procurement towards a pragmatic use of more diversified capital structures,” Banks said. “ The Euromoney Kuwait Conference 2011 will provide the environment in which to explore how this may be done.” Euromoney will consider such topics as bank capital structures, project financing, accessing international capital markets, making development plans a reality and many more. Please visit for more details.

also dropped by 5.8 per cent and ended as the fifth worst performing market among its peers in the GCC region. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange ended with a marginal gain of 0.08 per cent while Bahrain Bourse shed 1.25 per cent over the month. Better than expected FY-2010 earnings and positive economic outlook was overshadowed by the political turmoil that engulfed Egypt, Bahrain and Libya during February weighing on investors’ sentiment. Aggregate market cap of GCC equity markets ended February on a negative note with a sharp drop of 5.72 per cent to $707.2 bn. More than 90 per cent of this drop came from the Saudi, Kuwaiti and Qatari bourses together shed around $39 billion to end the month at $318.3 bn, $121.5 and $110.6 bn,

The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) continued its previous month negative trend to shed 6.55 per cent and close at its lowest level since 7 Jun-2010 at 5,941.63, leading the TASI to end as the fourth worst performer amongst its peers in the GCC region. Since the intensification of the political crisis in Egypt on 25 Jan-11, TADAWUL has witnessed its market cap slump nearly 20.6 per cent to $286.4 billion as of 2 March11 as compared to $ 360.5 billion on 25 Jan-11. In a move to ward off any prospects of political unrest in the Kingdom, King Abdullah announced a $37 billion social spending program for the Kingdoms citizens. Kuwait Stock Exchange: Delay in FY10 earnings disclosures by listed firms coupled with the escalating geopolitical tensions shaped the market per-

respectively. Following this drop, the GCC equity markets are currently trading at a P/E multiple of 15.1x and at a P/B multiple of 1.55x. Attractive valuation multiples should continue to support the GCC bourses, looking forward; however, it is unlikely to be a smooth rally and instead is expected to be interrupted by escalation in geopolitical risks in the region. Saudi Stock Exchange (TADAWUL): Escalating geopolitical tensions and fears that the unrest could spread to Saudi Arabia weighed on investor sentiments.

formance. Widespread unrest in the region led the KSE Weighted Index slump 3.73 per cent on 20 Feb-11 to record its lowest level since 5 Sep-10 at 441.57. As a result, the KSE Weighted Index continued its previous month negative trend and dropped 5.8 per cent during February. The Services sector continued to dredge in negative territory and witnessed its market cap drop nearly 6 per cent mainly on the losses incurred on market heavyweights ZAIN and Agility. On the back of sell offs witnessed across all sectors, total market capital-

ization during the month shed 5.7 per cent to KD 34 billion ($121.5 billion) Dubai Financial Market: DFM followed through its downward trend with a significant increase in market volatility driven by wave of sell offs. During the month of February, the Dubai Financial Market declined for the fourth consecutive month upon regional geopolitical developments, profit booking activities ahead of annual earnings announcements and lack of local market catalysts to close the month at 1,410.70 with a decline of 8.06 per cent. The DFM General index has reported gains of around 5.3 per cent during the first half of the month until February 15th on the back of positive economic indicators before spiraling down by 12.7 per cent during the second half of the month to end the period with a loss of 8.06 per cent. Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange: Investor sentiment remained negative triggered by the financial problems suffered by Al Dar Properties and the lack of market catalyst. The ADX General Index continued its previous three months’ lackluster performance to end the month flat, at 2,589.90 points. Market sentiment during the month remained on the downside as investors kept track of volatile global markets, Al Dar’s government bailout, as well as marked political uncertainty in numerous regional countries, namely Bahrain and Libya. Despite the modest gains registered during most trading sessions in the month, the Index could not gain any real positive momentum. The index registered gains on 13 out of the 19 trading sessions during the month, with a maximum single-day gain of 1.12 per cent; nevertheless, the latter half of the month was plagued with negative trading sessions (5 sessions out of 9). Qatar Exchange: Geopolitical tensions and fears of further unrest adversely impacted investor confidence and weighed on the market performance. The QE 20 Index reversed its previous month’s trend plagued by the ongoing political unrest taking place in

the Middle East, leading the Index to shed 9.3 per cent during the month, to close at 7,932.84. Geopolitical concerns in the Middle East and the fear of a spill over to other Arab countries weighed down on investor sentiment, shaping the Qatari bourse performance during the month, thus eroding all the Index’s earlier gains. Accordingly, driven by the sell-off and the instability in the regional political scene, volatility surged to 20 per cent during the month, its highest level since May-2010 and the Index’s YTD-11 losses widened to 8.63 per cent by the end of Feb-11. Bahrain Bourse: Political instability in the country weighed on market performance. The Bahrain All Share Index returned to negative territory this month, erasing the gains recorded during January, to record a 1.25 per cent loss for the month and a 0.10 per cent YTD-11 loss. Regional political events spilled into Bahrain during the month with public protests breaking out similar to those spreading across the Middle East. As the protests are ongoing, the end result is uncertain leaving investors to watch from the sidelines for a resolution. Losses during the month stemmed from losses of the heavyweight Commercial Banks and Investment sectors, which together represent 77.45 per cent of the Bahrain Bourse market cap. February also witnessed the largest one day drop for Bahrain All Share Index since April-09 of 2.73 per cent on February 24. Muscat Securities Market: The worst performing market during February, inspite of announcing healthy FY-2010 corporate earnings and strong dividends. The Omani Bourse was the worst performer in the GCC region during February as political turmoil spreading across the GCC and MENA region, reversed any positive performance recorded during January. After witnessing protests in the country, the MSM 30 index slumped 10.18 per cent in February-11 to close at 6,142.42 points, erasing its previous gains to record losses YTD-11 of 9.07 per cent.

VIVA signs an agreement with Kuwait TeleCard KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait Telecom Co signed a cooperation agreement with Kuwait TeleCard. The agreement was signed by Salman Al-Badran Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of VIVA and Lina Al-Harbi, CEO of Kuwait TeleCard. Al-Badran expressed his happiness for signing this agreement by saying, “this par tnership will enhance the spread of the VIVA through wings affiliated to “Kuwait TeleCard” at cooperative societies which will make it easier to the company to sell its services and products allowing it to be closer to its customers. As a result, customers can finish their transactions and pay their bills easily.” Al-Badran added, “VIVA always seeks to cooperate and coordinate with leading Kuwaiti companies and institutions to leverage their expertise to support VIVA’s expansion Strategy and to spread more broadly to reach all segments of the Kuwaiti society.” It is worthy to mention that Kuwait Telecard is leading prepaid international calling service provider in Kuwait for more than 12 years.

VIVA is the newest, most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider in Kuwait. Launched in December 2008, VIVA makes things Possible for our customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences. The company has rapidly established an unrivalled

position in the market through our customer and employee centric approach. VIVA’s quest is to be the mobile brand of choice for Kuwait by being transparent, engaging, energetic and fulfilling. VIVA continues to take a considerable share of the market by offering an innovative range of best value products,

services and content propositions; a state of the art, nationwide network and world-class service. VIVA offers Internet speed up to 21.6Mbps due to the implementation of the most advanced third generation (3G and HSDPA) network in Kuwait resulting in superior coverage, performance and reliability.

Qatar Airways launches 100th destination with special offers KUWAIT: Qatar Airways yesterday announced an array of special offers and promotions for travellers around the world to celebrate its 100th destination launch. The Gulf carrier will reach the historic milestone on April 6 when it begins scheduled flights to the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo, a mere 14 years after the airline launched operations. Effective March 15, customers can sign up for the promotion on for a chance to win free tickets to over 100 destinations. The airline has 100 pairs of Economy Class tickets to give away to lucky passengers. The airline’s frequent flyer loyalty program Privilege Club is offering members bonus Qmiles and a special discount on award tickets redeemed at For Qatar Airways’ QNB co-branded credit card holders, additional bonus Qmiles are on offer. Further details on these offers are available at Qatar Airways Holidays, the airline’s holiday division, is introducing an attractive Doha stop-over package at special rates giving travellers a chance to explore the sights of Qatar before continuing to their onward destinations. The Doha-based carrier will also announce a fabulous global offer to be

unveiled before the 100th destination launch. The offer will only be accessible through the airline’s website Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that the airline’s 100th route launch was a major milestone and the promotions were a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the travelling public. “We are preparing to mark a great mile-

watch this space. “The airline sincerely appreciates all the goodwill and encouragement that we have received since re-launching in 1997, and we are pleased to be celebrating and sharing this historic moment with our existing customers and new ones,” said Al Baker. The 100th destination promotions are available worldwide and are in addition to offers already promoted throughout the air-

stone of reaching 100 destinations, a remarkable achievement in the short few years we have been operating. This would not have been possible without the full support of our valued partners, be they travel agents, corporates and, of course, our leisure customers. “Over the next few weeks, further details of the promotions worldwide will be unveiled, so

Aleppo becomes Qatar Airways’ 100th destination line’s extensive global route network. Today, the airline flies to 99 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America with a modern fleet of 95 air-

craft. The latest route launch was on March 6 to the German city of Stuttgart. “By 2013, Qatar Airways will have surpassed 120 destinations worldwide and will shift the goalposts even further with further expansion. Our ultimate goal is to be widely recognised as the best airline in the world.” Qatar Airways is today ranked the third best airline among the top 10 carriers in the world in the prestigious annual Skytrax audit of global passenger travel. Ranked Five Star for excellence by Skytrax, the airline’s competitive product focuses on comfort, cuisine, in-flight entertainment, award-winning in-flight service and a fleet of aircraft that is young and modern averaging just less than four years old. On June 5, Qatar Airways embarks on a busy month of further route growth, launching flights to its third destination in Iran - to the southern city of Shiraz. Flights to Venice, the carrier’s third Italian gateway start on June 15, and the airline spreads its wings to Canada for the first time with new services to Montreal, beginning on June 29. On July 27, Qatar Airways starts new flights to Kolkata (Calcutta) - its 12th Indian gateway - followed by the Bulgarian capital Sofia on September 14 and the Norwegian capital city of Oslo on October 5.1




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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


Investors look for clarity after Japan GLOBAL MARKETS WEEKLY OUTLOOK 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 energy-rich 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. Volatility has risen, but is still far from where it was during the height of the euro zone debt crisis. The second implication of having investors waiting, or at least not changing plans wholesale, however, is that there is a large potential for major moves when things become clearerpossibly in the coming week.

Equity losses have also been partly restrained by an initial fall in oil prices. That was already being reversed by the United Nations authorizing military attacks on Libya, where forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi were closing in on Libyan rebels. Libya’s pledge to halt its actions will be tested in the coming week, but Bahrain is also in focus, having cracked down on mainly Shiite protesters, a move that has angered Iran and raised tensions in the oil-exporting region. The heart of the uncertainty for investors is what the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear breakdown will mean for the world economy and financial markets, and this could well become clearer in the coming week. The initial reaction was that the world economy would cope quite well, seeing only 0.2 or so trimmed from global growth that was running at around 4.4 percent. —Reuters

TOKYO: A worker stocks tomatoes from Tochigi Prefecture at a market yesterday in Tokyo —AP

No Goldman smoking gun to hit Draghi’s ECB hopes Focused on corporates, sales, not ‘nitty gritty’ of deals ROME/LONDON: Critics of Mario Draghi may have few arguments to block his chances of becoming Europe’s top central banker other than just mentioning the fact that he worked at Goldman Sachs for a number of years. So powerful is the memory of the financial crisis and the role that investment banks played in it, that the Italian’s time at the world’s best known-and often maligned-investment bank is seen by some as a threat to his hopes. But there was nothing sinister about the 63-year old’s time at Goldman, several people who worked with Draghi at the bank have told Reuters. His role was primarily to win business among corporate clients through his strong contact book. “In 2003 and 2004, Goldman Sachs did everything that happened in Italy and that had a lot to do with Draghi,” said one banker who advised Draghi when he was at the Italian Treasury, and later worked for him at Goldman. “My team did the groundwork, but he was essential in providing advice to clients,” this person said. Goldman Sachs and Draghi declined comment. Since last month’s shock withdrawal of Bundesbank President Axel Weber, most analysts say Draghi is left as the best qualified and, for the moment, only obvious candidate to take over the top spot at the European Central Bank in October. Yet many are still loath to see the hugely powerful job go to a southern European country with a history of high inflation and wayward public finances. For these critics, who cannot publicly admit nationality is an issue, Draghi’s time as a

Goldman managing director from 2002 to 2006 risks becoming the only obstacle they can raise. “I don’t think people can point to anything specific on what Draghi did at Goldman,” said Citibank analyst Giada Giani. “It’s just that investment banking in general is now associated with financial crisis, sub-prime investments and too much risk,” she said. Goldman Sachs’s role in swap operations conducted for the Greek government in the early 2000s that helped Greece mask the size of its public debt provide a handle for Draghi’s criticseven if these deals were legal at the time and he was not involved in them. “For someone aiming high in the public sphere, work experience at the top levels of Goldman Sachs is fast becoming a toxic asset,” former

Lehman Brothers trustee sues Citibank for $1.3bn NEW YORK: The trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers’ brokerage unit is suing Citibank for more than $1.3 billion. Trustee James Giddens said in a lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan that he seeks to recover a $1 billion deposit for foreign exchange settlement services and more than $300 million in deposits that Citibank froze after the investment bank filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2008. Citigroup Inc. said in a statement received on Saturday that the suit was “without merit” and that it will “vigorously defend its right to recover its losses.” The bank said it required the $1 billion deposit from the brokerage unit to “specifically” cover any losses it may incur related to Lehman’s settlement of foreign exchange trades. Citigroup said it suffered more than $1 billion in losses to settle those trades. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy was the largest in US history. When it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it listed $613 billion in debts. In January, the investment bank offered a revised plan to exit bankruptcy to its creditors. They will vote on the proposal later this year. —AP

International Monetary Fund chief economist Simon Johnson wrote in his blog last year. “You can pretty much count Mr Draghi out of the running for the ECB job,” he said at the time. But a year after Johnson said that, Draghi’s cards are excel-

Mario Draghi lent, and he’s now widely seen as the favourite to replace ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet. The Bank of Italy, which Draghi now heads, said he had no role in the controversial Greek foreign exchange swap, which in any case took place in 2001, before he joined Goldman. Another source with direct

knowledge of Draghi’s work said he focused on the corporate sector with clients in numerous countries and had a broad, not a specialist, remit which often included debt restructuring, corporate strategies and market placements. His prestige as a former World Bank executive and Italian Treasury director general often won Goldman business. “He often came along to meetings with company CEOs just to exchange interesting ideas, sometimes he knew them before and sometimes he didn’t,” this banker said. Another senior banker who worked at Goldman during Draghi’s time there, said he operated at a “very high level” and did not get involved in the “nitty gritty” of deals. “He was one of the finest bankers I met at Goldman. He w a s i n c re d i b l y s m a r t b u t operated with honesty and integr it y,” said this source,

who has since left Goldman. Citigroup’s Giani said Draghi’s time at Goldman should be seen an advantage, as it gives him the direct experience of how markets work that many policymakers lack. That view seems to be winning ground even in Germany, where resistance to an Italian ECB chief is widespread. Former German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck, who had himself been touted as possible ECB candidate, last month described Draghi as “first rate” and said his Goldman experience should be seen as an asset rather than a drawback. Another problem for Draghi’s critics is that for the last three years he has won wide praise as head of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), charged with coordinating global financial regulation since the 2008-09 crisis. “People asked me to chair the FSB because I had market experience,” Draghi said recently. He no doubt also had other credentials for the job, but it will be hard for opponents to argue that having worked for Goldman should disqualify him from the ECB presidency when it helped to qualify him for the presidency of the FSB. —Reuters

Omantel revenues in line with expectations GLOBAL RESEARCH REPORT MUSCAT: Omantel’s group revenues grew marginally by 1% YoY in 2010 to OMR416.6mn which was in-line with our estimate of OMR417.3mn (variation of 0.2%). Revenue for 2010 was impacted by decline in international gateway revenues as Nawras (the 2nd operator) started its own international gateway. With competition in fixed line segment and commissioning of international gateway operations by Nawras beginning May’10, the international origination traffic has been switched to their own network impacting wholesale revenues of Omantel (Dec by 10.7% YoY). Apart from this with intense competition in the GSM segment we expect revenue growth to remain on check going forward. Group Opex jumped 10.7% YoY in 2010 to OMR297.1mn compared to OMR268.3mn in 2009. The operating expenses of the company ’s subsidiar y Worldcall Telecommunications Ltd, Pakistan ( WTL) accounted for 11% of the group’s total operating expenses. The financials for the year 2010 included full 12-months operations of WTL whereas year 2009 financials included 6-months of WTL’s operational results from 1 July 2009. Omantel has been making large scale investments in the development and enhancement of its network and in particular the introduction of Next Generation Network (NGN) and the roll out of 3.5G net-

work. So far, the company has completed the installation of about 1,000 3.5G stations across the Sultanate of Oman. These large scale infrastructure investments led to an increase in operating expenses such as higher depreciation and other operating expenses in 2010. In 2010, the group EBITDA declined by 6.8% YoY to OMR198.1mn while EBITDA margin declined to 47.6% in 2010 from 51.6% in 2009. Going forward we expect EBITDA margin to remain under pressure (46.3% - 2011e) due to increased competition across all the telecom segments. Omantel’s net profit (att. to shareholders of parent co.) for 2010 fell 10% YoY to OMR112mn while we had projected net profit of OMR102mn. The group’s net profit for 2010 is not comparable on YoY basis as net profit for 2009 included extra ordinary income from settlement of insurance claim (OMR3.6mn) and also an expense on voluntary end of service (OMR9.5mn). Therefore, on 2009 adjusted profit the company’s profit for 2010 saw a YoY decline of 14.5%. 4Q10 performance Revenue declined by 7.0% YoY while grew by 3.5% QoQ to OMR100.8mn. The net profit (att. to shareholders of parent co.) declined 3.0% YoY on adjusted 4Q09 profit while increased by 21.9% QoQ. In 4Q10 reversal of provisions for doubtful debt had

some positive impact on the net profit. Growing market share The growth in total customer base was 9.8% YoY with group subscriber base of 3.33mn at the end of 2010. The company’s Oman mobile subscriber base grew by 18.1% YoY to 2.49mn with customer net addition was around 64% of the total market net additions. Since last few quar ters Omantel witnessed gradual increase in mobile subscriber’s market share which increased from 52.8% in 3Q09 to 54.6% at the end of 4Q10. Omantel’s mobile revenue market share was around 58% for the year 2010. High dividend The company announced a dividend of OMR0.100 per share for the year 2010. The dividend yield for 2010 comes out to 7.8%. The stock is a good dividend yield play with 8.6% yield on 2011e dividend. We have kept our 2011 revenue estimates unchanged while made slight upward revision for EBITDA (1.3%) and net profit (2.2%). Due to the current unrest in the MENA region we have increased the country risk premium from 6.5% to 7.5%. Consequently, we have downgraded our fair value for Omantel by 3.8% to OMR1.226 per share. The stock at its current price of OMR1.161 provides a potential upside of 5.6%. Therefore, we maintain our HOLD recommendation on the stock.


Parents gone wild: Empty nest to empty wallet Here’s the stereotype of the typical empty nester: Depressed, without purpose, weeping quietly into your chamomile tea and staring out the window as Junior finally heads off to college. Not so for Carol Margolis. Quips the 52-year-old Orlando, Florida travel writer: “It’s been so great. I’m having the time of my life.” No wonder. After the last of her three kids left the family home - they’re now 30, 28, and 26 - Carol and husband Bruce quickly got to work creating their dream life. Without all the playdates and soccer games and school dances to attend, they’ve jetted off to Hong Kong, Sydney and much of Europe, and taken cruises to Alaska and Panama. They redecorated their house, top to bottom - starting with the youngest kid’s room, in what the Mob might call a “message job”. Next up on the couple’s Magical Mystery Tour: An Ultimate Wine Fantasy trip, led by a French baron whose family has been in the wine business for hundreds of years. The eight-day jaunt will take them through storied chateaux in regions like Bordeaux and Beaujolais, and will set them back a cool $20,000. “It was a spur-of-the-moment decision,” says Margolis, a former project manager who now runs the site “I just said, ‘I want to go,’ and my husband held his heart like he was having an attack.” Actually Margolis’ spending patterns aren’t that surprising, especially for empty-nesters who feel like they’ve been let out after 20 years at Alcatraz. According to analysts at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, households whose children set off on their own lives end up spending 51 percent more on personal consumption for things like clothes, vacations and dining out. “When kids leave home, the savings rate ought to increase,” says Anthony Webb, a research economist and co-author of the report Do Parents Live It Up When Children Fly the Coop? “What we find in practice is that parents don’t increase their saving; instead, they just increase their standard of living. They upgrade from chicken to steak.” As a result, parents need to tread very carefully in their new lives. The desire to splurge on yourself can be very powerful, after all those years of fanatical dedication to your kids. But if such spending comes at the expense of retirement saving, you could be creating a much leaner future for yourself. Especially since many Americans are already far behind in their savings goals as it is. “It’s a worrying finding, and there are two bad consequences,” says Webb. “The first is that parents aren’t saving for their old age. The second is that they’re upgrading their lifestyle, and will want to continue that in retirement. That’s why it will come as even more of a shock, if they have to downgrade again later.” Susan Tordella is one of those who felt the urge to splurge. The parenting expert and author of Raising Able: How Chores empower young people, along with her contractor husband Bob Williams, bought a charming 1910 lakeside cottage in Ayer, Massachusetts. Once their two girls and two boys (all now in their 20s) had gone off into the world, the couple focused their energies on transforming it into their ultimate dream home. Among the more delicious features: A master bathroom with a clawfoot tub, two sinks, a walk-in shower and radiant heat in the floors; and a dream kitchen renovated “down to the studs,” with high-end appliances and a center island, all designed around a 250lb antique cast-iron sink. Dreams like that cost serious money, of course. In this case, around $100,000. “It was a little stressful, to spend that much money and wonder if we’ll still have enough,” admits Tordella. “It was a bit of a shock, and we did have to hold our breath a little bit.” But with the renovation now complete, the couple has returned to a relatively frugal life, with Tordella doing much of her shopping at thrift stores and yard sales. She’s confident that the couple’s retirement goals are on track - so much so they can continue to revel in the life of the empty-nester, and take the occasional trip to far-flung locales like China, Thailand and St. John. No disrespect to her kids, of course, but Mommy’s having a fabulous time. “I love them, and wouldn’t trade those years for anything,” she says. “I’m happy to see them come - and happy to see them go.” —Reuters


MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


Sandy Bridge and Fusion: New combo chips from Intel, AMD BERLIN: The race has begun: Early this year the first desktop computers and notebooks based on the latest processor architectures from AMD and Intel hit the shelves. AMD calls its new chip Fusion; Intel’s is named Sandy Bridge. While the names are different, the underlying principle is the same: both manufacturers placed the processor and graphics chip on a single circuit board. This, say the manufacturers, results in faster and more efficient computers. Many new devices incorporating this processor technology were presented recently at the CeBIT IT trade show in Hanover, Germany. MSI, for example, introduced a broad range of notebooks equipped with AMD Fusion processors. Acer, on the other hand, presented the Aspire Timeline X line of notebooks powered by Sandy Bridge processors. At present, the combo chips are mainly used for mobile devices. And there’s a reason for that, says Christian Siemers, professor for processor architecture at the Technical University of Clausthal in Germany. “There’s a clear trend towards highly special-

ized devices,” he says. As these are powered by batteries and must be kept from overheating, energy-efficient chips are the ideal solution. “The days of the traditional desktop PC designed to accommodate any application are numbered,” he adds. While Sandy Bridge and Fusion represent a viable alternative for notebooks and tablet computers, the integrated graphics processors do not always live up to the high requirements of desktop PCs and demanding users or gamers. As opposed to Sandy Bridge graphics processors, the AMD Fusion chips support DirectX 11. This explains why, for instance, the Akoya P7750 desktop PC from Medion showcased at CeBIT houses a Radeon HD6870 graphics card, although the PC is powered by a Sandy Bridgetype Intel Core i7 2600. A range of manufacturers expect to release PCs with AMD’s new chips by early spring. Other manufacturers have communicated similar release dates for devices based on Intel’s new line of chips. This delay is owing to the fact that some of the Sandy Bridge chip sets shipped

early in the year were faulty and did not provide sufficiently reliable connectors for hard disks or other drives. The resulting product recall and changed production processes have caused supply bottlenecks. Intel and AMD advertise the new processor generation to be both energy efficient and fast. According to Professor Siemers, “even modern processors are often quite ineffective and leave a great fraction of their potential untapped.” This means there’s a lot of room for improving the performance. An easy way to verify that the new chips consume less energy is to look at the battery life of notebooks. Manufacturers Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard just presented business notebooks with previously unthinkable battery lives. Lenovo lists its new Thinkpad T420 15 with a standard battery life of 15 hours, which can even be upgraded to work for 30 hours with an optional module. Hewlett Packard’s Elitebook 8460p reportedly runs for up to 32 hours but requires an additional plug-in battery to do so.

For the time being, both devices will be introduced in the US market only. So how realistic are these figures? Siemers is rather skeptical, but considers a 10-per-cent performance increase to be well within the realm of the possible for the first generation based on this new processor architecture. “Quantum leaps are not very likely to occur,” he says. His colleague Rainer Leupers concurs. “Energy efficiency is also closely tied to the software employed,” he says. “But this topic is still not being addressed very seriously.” One factor in this equation is the so-called GPGPU (general purpose computation on graphics processing unit). This technology allows the graphics chip to be used for general tasks when no graphicsrelated computing chores are pending. However, this technology can only be tapped with the right programming, says Leupers. “For combo processors to unfold their potential, the software needs to actively draw on their strengths. And it will still take a good while before this requirement is met,” he says. — dpa

New browsers seek to enrich web experience IE 9 supports HTML5 components like integration of video elements

Product shots of the latest iteration of Android smart phones are featured in the studio. — MCT

A fresh new look at Android cell phones SAN JOSE: Google’s Android operating system has come a long way in the past year. A year ago, you had two choices if you wanted an Android smart phone, and both were offered only by T-Mobile. Since then, the Android ecosystem has exploded with options. Every major US carrier now offers Android phones, and they come with a variety of features and in various shapes, sizes and prices. I’ve been testing some of the latest - Samsung’s Epic 4G, Motorola’s Droid 2 and Motorola’s Charm. All share the same basic Android OS and some core features, but each is likely to appeal to different audiences. The Epic 4G, one of Samsung’s recently debuted Galaxy line of smart phones, is the new star of Sprint’s Android lineup. It sports a slide-out keyboard, a speedy processor, and a much more pocketable design than the jumbo-size HTC Evo 4G that formerly topped the list of Sprint Android phones. It also comes with a 16-gigabyte flash memory card, which is a good amount of storage compared with other Android devices. But the big selling point of the Epic 4G is its “super” OLED (organic lightemitting diode) screen. A new type of display technology, OLED screens tend to produce deeper blacks and a wider range of contrast between lights and darks than the LCD displays used in most TVs and phones. The Epic 4G’s screen is able to display a beautiful range of colors and multiple levels of brightness. Pictures and videos look good but not great; the screen is not nearly as high-resolution as Apple’s iPhone 4, so it can’t display high-definition videos. And for some reason, whites - such as the background of a Web page - can look dim even with the screen’s brightness turned all the way up. Another selling point for the Epic is its keyboard. While many of the first Android phones included physical keyboards, more recent ones have largely abandoned them for virtual ones accessed by tapping on their touch screens. I generally prefer virtual keyboards because I can type faster and because keyboards add extra weight and size to a phone. But I liked the Epic’s keyboard. It’s well laid out, with dedicated number keys, adequate space between the buttons and, in a nice touch, a system buttons such as “home” and “menu.” These duplicate the functions of the touch-sensitive system buttons on the phone’s face, but those buttons can be hard to press when you have the phone turned on its side to use the keyboard. I was less impressed with other aspects of the Epic. Its rounded, thick shape is somewhat uncomfortable in the hand and hearkens back to the smart phones made before the sleek iPhone debuted three years ago. A much bigger problem, though, is that it’s linked to Sprint, whose coverage can be spotty compared with other carriers. I wasn’t able to get a steady signal at my desk, for example. And

when driving in south San Jose, I was able to get a signal only by roaming on another company’s network, which can incur extra fees. Even then I was unable to use the Epic’s GPS to navigate back to the office. The Droid 2 is Motorola’s answer to Samsung’s Galaxy phones. It’s an update of the original Droid, the first hit Android phone, and has basically the same rectangular case. But it sports many of the same updated features as the Epic, including a 5megapixel camera and a 1-gigahertz processor. The Droid 2 has some significant advantages over the Epic. The biggest is that it is on Verizon’s network, which has the best coverage of any major carrier. Also, unlike the Epic, the Droid 2 comes with the latest iteration of Android - version 2.2 - preinstalled. It includes Adobe’s new mobile Flash player, which allows users to watch videos, play games and view websites that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. The Epic is likely to get the latest version of Flash soon, but users will have to download and install it. Additionally, the Droid 2 felt better in my hand. It’s thinner and narrower than the Epic, making it easier to hold. Still, the Droid 2 is not a clear winner when compared with the Epic. Its screen has a similar resolution, but images seem washed out by comparison. And despite a comparable processor, the Droid 2 felt sluggish at times, slower than expected at changing screens or pulling up applications. Also, the keyboard felt cramped, with small buttons and no dedicated number keys. The Droid 2 is merely one of many Motorola Android phones; the company is producing a full line with a range of options and designs. Another recent effort is the Charm, which is more of a messaging phone or entry-level smart phone than a full-featured one. It’s priced accordingly; T-Mobile is selling the Charm for about $50 with a twoyear contract. The Charm is squarish in shape, with a keyboard on its face, much like a BlackBerry from early last decade. It’s thin and light, making it easy to fit in a pocket and carry around. The Charm runs Android 2.1 and includes the latest version of Motoblur, Motorola’s software that aims to bring all of your messaging and social networking updates into one widget. But in many ways, users will get what they pay for. The Charm’s screen is small - about half the size of the Epic’s - and low-resolution, making photos and graphics look pixelated. The keyboard, which takes up about a third of the Charm’s face, is cramped, with tiny keys that can be hard to press. And T-Mobile tends to have even worse coverage than Sprint. None of the three new phones, then, is a home run. But they each add to the Android options and, for many consumers, will definitely be worth a look. — MCT

BERLIN: The web is getting more colorful and animated every day. The two leading browser makers, Microsoft and Mozilla, presented new versions of their software at the recent CeBIT technology fair in Hanover, Germany. Both support videos and animations in the new HTML5 standard. “Integration of all HTML5 elements is very important to us,” Mozilla head Gary Kovacs told the German Press Agency dpa. “It’s fascinating how much it enriches the web experience.” While Microsoft hasn’t yet indicated precisely when the ninth version of Internet Explorer (IE 9) will be released, it is currently in the final “release candidate” test version. Microsoft, for its part, has also worked HTML5 into the software’s structure, although in a more conservative way. Microsoft technology consultant Daniel Melanchthon emphasized at the CeBIT fair that HTML has not yet been ratified as a standard and remains in “working draft” status. IE 9 supports significant HTML5 components like the integration of video elements and canvas elements for interactive graphics. Other HTML5 elements won’t be available, since it would be “irresponsible to make them available to end customers while things are still in flux,” he says. Microsoft is instead focusing on IE 9 features like speed boosts gained

by tapping the graphics processor, energysaving modes for mobile devices in battery mode, and a more orderly user interface for the program. “The web browser is the fastest that we have on the market,” Melanchthon says. “We also believe that it’s too far ahead for other browsers to catch it in the future.” To prove this point, Melanchthon launched a web application developed by Microsoft to include HTML5 - and indeed, IE 9 pulled it up quicker than Firefox and Google’s Chrome browser. “They depict the page significantly slower than IE 9 does,” Melanchthon says. IE 9 places the tabs holding the different webpages at any given time along the address bar. There’s enough space to hold up to five tabs - the amount that the average user has open at any given time, Melanchthon explains. Heavy users can arrange the tabs to appear under the address bar. When a new tab is opened, a list of most-frequently opened websites is shown - a useful feature already available in Apple’s Safari browser, for example. One new feature in IE 9, the tracking protection, promises better security for personal data. It can be used to block phishing and analysis services typically used for advertising purposes. “It is very important that we afford

the user full control of his own data,” says Microsoft’s Dorothee Ritz. It should be noted that the protection is switched off by default and must first be configured by the user. Firefox achieves the same functionality using special add-ons. Over at the Mozilla Project, CEO Kovacs praises IE 9 as a “nice looking product” that supports more open standards than before. “We’re not so concerned on whether we win or they win,” Kovacs says. The Open Source project is instead primarily focused on a uniform web experience, he indicates, and that on as many different types of devices as possible. Thus the roll-out of Firefox 4 will also see a version released at around the same time for the Android operating system. The Firefox Sync tool will make it possible to keep bookmarks and an over view of recently called-up websites uniform across all devices. Kovacs believes that Firefox can continue to gain ground in the competition with IE 9, Safari, Chrome and Opera - not least because it supports a broad range of operating systems. While IE 9 runs only on computers with Windows Vista or Windows 7, Firefox works on all Windows versions. “We also support XP,” Kovacs says. “That is the platform where the greatest number of Windows users can be found.” — dpa

YouTube shifts from Google’s offshoot to strategic model SAN JOSE: Once derided as Google’s folly, the home of cheesy cat videos and the moneylosing stepchild of an otherwise wildly profitable company, YouTube is emerging as a model for the more nimble, faster-paced company Google co-founder Larry Page hopes to foster as he takes the reins as CEO. That’s quite a shift. While YouTube was a cultural phenomenon when Google bought it in 2006, it was bleeding money - losing nearly half a billion dollars as recently as 2009, by one estimate. And while YouTube wasn’t Google’s Siberia, it wasn’t exactly a hub for many ambitious Googlers. But now, YouTube’s revenue has grown dramatically. Many Google employees increasingly see it as an attractive place to work, with a less bureaucratic environment that lets them run with their ideas. Page, by all accounts, is looking to inject that same energy into Google, spurring the mother company to innovate more quickly in its rivalry with fast-moving Facebook. “YouTube has proven it can flourish in a model where there is more autonomy, and in that way I think it is an example and a potential model for other areas of the business,” said new YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar, who as Google’s ninth employee has worked closely with Page and co-founder Sergey Brin since Google’s earliest days. “Larry is really focused on making sure that Google has a culture where impatient people can be successful, where we are doing bold things on the technology side that matter for end users. And I think YouTube is a good example of where, if you’re an engineer, you can get things done quickly and you can have a big impact.” The shift comes as the online video site is increasingly focused on revenue. Analysts disagree whether YouTube is profitable, and Google won’t disclose YouTube’s finances except to say revenue more than doubled in 2010. Critics of its $1.65 billion purchase have melted away. “No one would fault Google for making the acquisition of YouTube at this point,” said Kenneth Sena, an analyst with Evercore Partners who has issued some of the most bearish estimates of YouTube losses. Now Kamangar, who designed Google’s tremendously profitable AdWords advertising program, is pursuing an ambitious agenda to reorganize YouTube’s videos around topics much like niche TV channels - rather than individual videos. The site hopes to be as revolutionary as cable television, which reshaped TV a generation ago by introducing a host of new niche channels that offered a broader array of programming than the three big net-

works - ABC, CBS and NBC - were able to show. “I think 995 of the next 1,000 TV channels will be created on YouTube,” said Hunter Walk, YouTube’s director of product management. With more than 600 workers, YouTube remains a sliver of 25,000-person Google. But YouTube plans to increase its work force by more than 30 percent in 2011, an even faster pace of growth than the parent company. “We’ve got a lot of stuff we want to build, and we’re going to need some more people to do that,” said Judy Gilbert, YouTube’s human resources chief who, with Kamangar and former Google Books chief Dan Clancy, is one of several Google executives now at YouTube. From its distinct red, black and white color scheme to open office spaces devoid of cubicles, and a prominent indoor putting green, YouTube has a different feel from the Googleplex. At YouTube, an engineer referring to “the company” often isn’t talking about Google. Under Kamangar, who became CEO last fall after the departure of co-founder Chad Hurley, YouTubers like Jenna Bilotta, a user experience designer who transferred to San Bruno, Calif., from Google, say they are attracted by the chance to quickly develop ideas. “I have definitely recruited a bunch of people I know from the mother ship to come over,” Bilotta said. “There are some people that just have that startup thing inside of them. ... A lot of people end up coming over to YouTube to satisfy that part.” An example of YouTube’s build-it-now culture, she said, was a

sudden insight she had recently to solve an issue that had stymied her team. Bilotta, who works on the Watch Page, the frame for watching YouTube video, canceled her meetings and spent the day on a mock-up of her idea to improve a user control feature. Alex Nicksay, the technical lead for the team, took Bilotta’s mock-up and worked all night - 14 straight hours - writing the software code. “People can build what they want to build and say, ‘Look what I did,’ and you evaluate it that way,” Nicksay said. “That’s a very strong cultural value we have here that no one will say, ‘Don’t try that.’ “ That culture can also come with a bit of attitude. Toby Watson, a software engineer who works on Leanback, the version of YouTube designed for largescreen televisions, found the culture to be “feisty,” with a “gunslinger aspect” when he joined in October. “You are encouraged to experiment with anything that won’t land (anyone at YouTube) in jail,” Watson said, half-joking. Kamangar, one of Google’s most media-shy executives, said those cultural qualities attract talent. “If you’re an engineer and you’re trying to decide where to work, if you’re able to do things quickly and those things have a big impact, that’s a pretty tough combination to beat,” he said. Those traits - quickness, lack of bureaucracy and a culture where people are encouraged to run with their ideas - are among those Page, who becomes CEO April 4, has hinted he wants Google to adopt. And plenty of Googlers seem eager to learn about them: Internal transfers to YouTube from Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters are up. —MCT

SAN BRUNO: YouTube Software Engineers Vasili Pantazopoulos (from left) and Simon Ratner, with YouTube Web Developer Toby Watson sit at the YouTube office in California. — MCT




e niv rsar n


MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

health & science

Fans mourn Knut’s death at Berlin zoo Experts to conduct postmortem today BERLIN: Fans of polar bear Knut flocked to lay flowers yesterday outside his zoo enclosure, mourning the sudden death of a bear who burst into the limelight as a cuddly, fluffy cub hand-fed by his keeper. The four-year-old celebrity bear died Saturday afternoon in front of hundreds of visitors, taking keepers, animal experts and fans by surprise. The life expectancy of polar bear in the wild is between 15 and 20 years, but animals in captivity can live even longer because they are not exposed to hunger, thirst or infections. “I can’t comprehend what happened there. He was happy before, there were no signs of anything it’s so shocking,” said fan Eveline Litowski, who said she had come to the zoo to find out more about Knut’s early death. Litowski was among a throng of fan’s at Knut’s empty compound yesterday morning who laid down white roses, lit candles or put up pictures of Knut with personal messages for the bear - and speculated on the cause of his death. The bear was rejected by his mother at birth on December 5, 2006, along with his twin brother, who only survived a couple of days. He first attracted attention when his main caregiver

camped out at the zoo to give the button-eyed cub his bottle every two hours. Fan clubs soon sprung up across the globe, including in

“Knutmania” led to a 2007 Vanity Fair cover with actor Leonardo DiCaprio shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz, a film and plush likenesses. Though the zoo has

BERLIN: Red roses and a picture of Knut the polar bear can be seen in front of the entrance to the Berlin zoo (Zoologischer Garten) yesterday. —AP Japan, the United States and Germany. They followed his every move, including his weight battle he had a weakness for croissants or plans to move to a different zoo.

never released exact numbers, Knut merchandise including postcards, key chains, candy and stuffed Knuts have brought in hundreds of thousands of euros.

Even after packing on hundreds of pounds (kilograms) and trading in his soft fuzz for yellowish fur, many fans remained loyal. News of Knut’s death on Saturday afternoon around 3 p.m. spread instantly and internationally via Twitter, Facebook and text messaging. “We received condolences from all over the world: Australia, New Zealand, Honolulu,” bear keeper Heiner Kloes told German news agency DAPD. He said Knut’s body yesterday morning was pulled out of the pool in which he died, after it had been emptied of the most of the water. Experts will conduct a postmor tem today to identify the cause of death. Some fans already had their own theories. Nadine Hipauf said she worried somebody may have poisoned Knut whether on purpose or not. “My biggest fear is that somebody may have thrown something in for him to eat,” Hipauf said. Others claimed that Knut had died of stress, saying he was bullied by the three female bears he shared the enclosure with -Tosca, Nancy and Katjuscha. “They should have given him a compound of his own,” retiree Brigit Krause said. “ The ladies were constantly harassing him.” —AP

Radiation in food worries Japan TOKYO: At a bustling Tokyo supermarket yesterday, wary shoppers avoided one particular bin of spinach. The produce came from Ibaraki prefecture in the northeast, where radiation was found in spinach produced up to 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Another bin of spinach - labeled as being from Chiba prefecture, west of Tokyo - was sold out. “It’s a little hard to say this, but I won’t buy vegetables from Fukushima and that area,” said shopper Yukihiro Sato, 75. From corner stores to Tokyo’s vast Tsukiji fish market, Japanese shoppers picked groceries with care yesterday after the discovery of contamination in spinach and milk fanned fears about the safety of this crowded country’s food supply. The anxiety added to the spreading impact of the unfolding nuclear crisis triggered when the

March 11 tsunami battered the Fukushima complex, wrecking its cooling system and leading to the release of radioactive material. There were no signs yesterday of the panic buying that stripped Tokyo supermarkets of food last week. Instead, shoppers scrutinized the source of items and tried to avoid what they worried might be tainted. Mayumi Mizutani was shopping for bottled water, saying she was worried about the health of her visiting 2-year-old grandchild after a tiny amount of radioactive iodine was found in Tokyo’s tap water. She expressed fears that the toddler could possibly get cancer. The government said the level of radiation detected on spinach and milk was minuscule and should be no threat to health. The tainted milk was found 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the

KORIYAMA: An official in a radiation protection suit scans a dog with a Geiger counter at a shelter yesterday. —AP

Smithsonian keeps meteorite that fell WASHINGTON: A small meteorite that crashed through the roof of a Virginia medical office last year is becoming part of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington. The Smithsonian paid $10,000 for the meteorite to Marc Gallini and Frank Ciampi, the doctors who found it. They have in turn given the $10,000 check to the Doctors Without Borders charity. Museum spokesman Randall Kremer said Saturday the meteorite is part of the museum’s research collec tion. The Smithsonian holds the world’s largest collection of meteorites. Meteorites are lucrative, and after the tennis-ball-sized rock fell from the sky and landed in an examination room in the office in January 2010, the landlords at the doctors’ building made a legal claim to it. But that claim was later dropped. —AP

plant, a local official said. The spinach was collected from six farms between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 75 miles (120 kilometers) to the south of the reactors. Farmers and merchants expressed fears of their own that public anxiety might hurt even producers of goods that were free of contamination. “There will probably be damaging rumors,” said farmer Shizuko Kohata, 60, who was evacuated from the town of Futaba, near the Fukushima complex, to a sports arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo. “I grow things and I’m worried about whether I can make it in the future,” Kohata said Saturday. Yesterday, an official of Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council said radiation was detected on fava beans imported from Japan, although in an amount that was too low to harm human health. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to deal with the press. Japan’s food exports are worth about $3.3 billion a year - less than 0.5 percent of its total exports - and seafood makes up 45 percent of that, according to government data. In Tokyo, others said they weren’t concerned and put the crisis in perspective with other calamities. “I experienced the war, so if there is enough food for a day or two, I feel we can get by,” said Nagako Mizuno, 73, originally from Iwaki, a city in the quake zone, but has lived in Tokyo for 40 years. “You can’t go on living if you worry about it,” she said. “It’s all the same if everybody ends up dying. I’m not concerned.” Fears of radioactive contamination hurt sales at the Tsukiji market, a vast maze of aisles where merchants at hundreds of stalls sell tuna, octopus and other fish fresh off the boat. The market was unusually quiet over the weekend, a time when it is normally packed with shoppers and tourists. Traders have been hit hard by power cuts and an exodus of foreigners, and they worry about long-term damage from public fears over possible contamination of fish stocks. “The impact would last long, like a decade, because people would not eat fish,” said merchant Mamoru Saito, 72. The market had plenty of fresh fish despite the destruction of much of Japan’s northeastern fishing fleet in the tsunami. Whole fish and shellfish were laid out on wooden tables washed by a flow of cold water. Fishmongers sawed slabs of frozen tuna into steaks. At a restaurant adjacent to the market, sushi chef Hideo Ishigami said the nuclear scare and transportation disruptions due to power cuts have cost him business. “I have a massive drop in the number of customers,” said Ishigami, 72. —AP

BERLIN: In this file pictures Knut the polar bear cub plays with a blanket during his first public appearance in the Berlin zoo. —AP

Don’t go jogging on an empty stomach COLOGNE: Jogging before breakfast will not necessarily increase performance, according to Professor Ingo Froboese from the Centre for Health at the German Sport High School. The reason is because, just like at night, our bodies are still breaking down fats in the morning hours. “When training on an empty stomach, fat metabolism only remains active until the body’s sugar reserves are used up.” When that point is reached, the body’s performance rate falls and you will be forced to end training. If you must go jogging early in the morning, then you should at least eat a food high in carbohydrate such as a banana.

However, Froboese recommends eating breakfast first and then engaging in some weightlifting to build muscles. “That activates the body and will make it fit for the rest of the day,” he says. Weight training raises pressure in the peripheral blood vessels and increases the overall blood pressure in the body, thus making you more aler t. An endurance exercise such as jogging makes more sense in the evening, according to Froboese. Moderate jogging relaxes the body and can have a meditative effect. Stop exercising at least two hours before going to bed in order to guarantee a restful night’s sleep. —dpa

SAN DIEGO: An eightday old capybara and its mother are seen at the San Diego Zoo. Capybaras, the largest rodent in the world, are semi-aquatic mammals found wild in much of South America, in densely forested areas near bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds and marshes, as well as flooded savannah and along rivers in tropical forest. Many escapees from captivity can also be found in similar watery habitats around the world. Sightings are fairly common in Florida, although a breeding population has not yet been confirmed. Though it has been erroneously stated that a population of capybara existed in the River Arno in Florence, Italy, this was determined to be the nutria or coypu (Myocastor coypus), a considerably smaller South American aquatic rodent with a similar appearance. —AFP

Chocolate-based cosmetics pamper senses BERLIN: Chocolate-based cosmetic products and wellness treatments are popular these days. You can bathe in hot chocolate, rub warm dark chocolate on your skin and put on a creamy chocolate face pack. But experts say that chocolate pampers the senses more than the skin. Chocolate, to begin with, is chock-full of calories. This sweet temptation is not merely a palate-pleaser, though. Eaten regularly in small quantities, it can even lengthen your life. A long-term study by the German Institute of Human Nutrition found that eating six grams of dark chocolate daily reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. So chocolate taken internally can be healthy. But does applying it externally have the benefits that are advertised for the many chocolaty shampoos, creams and oils on the market? Do the many chocolate treatments offered by spas and beauty parlors really beautify the skin? Hans Meffert, a dermatologist in Berlin, is skeptical. “It’s more of a psychological effect,” he said, “The feeling, in other words, that chocolate is doing you

good.” Chocolate does, in fact, have components that can do the skin good. “It’s been proven that the cocoa butter in chocolate gently lubricates the skin and can thereby protect dry skin from moisture loss,” Meffert said. A research team from Germany’s Muenster University discovered that a component of cocoa beans can even heal wounds and stimulate skin cell growth. “These beneficial components are only minimally present in beauty products, however, and don’t have these dermatological effects,” Meffert noted. Sabine Zenker, a dermatologist and vein expert in Munich, also cautions against expecting too much of chocolate-based cosmetics. “There are much better skin care products than those with chocolate extracts,” she said. So is there anything to the chocolate trend in cosmetics and wellness treatments? “Chocolate products and treatments simply make your body feel unbelievably pleasant both during and after use,” said Kerstin Moog, manager of a spa in the German town of Bad Zwischenahn.

For a price of more than 200 euros (about 280 dollars), spa guests can have a three-hour luxury treatment beginning with immersion in hot chocolate cream baths. This is followed by a fullbody chocolate peel on a hot stone, a chocolate face pack in a steam bath and the application of warm “gold oil” to the body. The beautifying effect is caused less by the chocolate than by other ingredients, for example shea butter. “After all, chocolate alone would immediately harden,” Moog pointed out. “The creams, lotions, peels and baths are put together in a way that has an optimal effect on the skin and feels pleasant.” The main contribution made by chocolate is its aroma. “It awakens memories of childhood and releases happiness hormones,” Meffert said. “Bathing in chocolate makes you feel that you’re treating yourself to something very luxurious and special.” Caution is advised for people wanting to enjoy chocolate treatments at home, however. Homemade chocolate face packs or peels with liquid chocolate could do more harm than good,

Zenker warned. “The melted chocolate can be too hot for the skin,” she said. And a face pack mixed at home may overstrain sensitive skin that inflames easily. Cocoa powder contains phenylethylamine, theobromine, anandamide and tryptophan, all of which are known to have mood-enhancing and stimulating effects. But the presence of these substances does not provide sufficient scientific proof that chocolate makes people happy. “The main effects of chocolate are psychological,” remarked Meffert, who said that consuming chocolate was a kind of self-reward. Results of a study last year by researchers at the University of California in San Diego suggest a link between mood and chocolate. The study, which used a sample of about 1,000 adults, found that people eat more chocolate when they are sad or in a bad mood. So chocolate really does seem to enhance mood, at least sometimes. In Meffert’s view, this psychological aspect likely explains the pull of chocolatebased cosmetics. —dpa



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New Zealand aims to be smoke-free by 2025 Smoking kills 5,000 New Zealanders annually WELLINGTON: The government of New Zealand, where nearly 1 in 4 adults use cigarettes, made a commitment last week to try to make the country smoke-free in 14 years. Anti-smoking campaigners said they do not envisage prohibition or making it illegal to smoke but creation of an environment where the practice is virtually extinct. Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia, a member of the indigenous Maori ethnic group, which is the country’s biggest user of tobacco, hailed the government’s announcement as a landmark moment in the fight against tobacco’s “long shadow of death and disease that has touched almost every household in New Zealand.” “It is about us asserting our own identity as a nation and defining for ourselves the role tobacco is allowed to play in the life of this country,” she said. “This is not something we are just going to leave in the hands of the tobacco industry.” According to the Health Ministry, 45 percent of Maoris smoke, and Maori members of parliament have led the drive against tobacco, calling for

moves to declare the nation smoke-free by 2025 after an exhaustive inquiry last year. Prime Minister John Key’s centre-right government approved the target, even though he has said publicly that it would be “extremely difficult” to implement. He said government policy was to keep increasing the price of cigarettes and tobacco, which had proved to be a deterrent for the 15- to 19-year-olds who comprise the biggest single group of smokers. Tobacco maintains a grip on teens and particularly Maoris, who account for about 15 percent of the population, despite a series of law changes designed to restrict smoking, which officials said kills 5,000 New Zealanders annually. Smoking was banned in all workplaces, including cafes, bars and restaurants, in December 2004, and cigarette manufacturers were made to put graphic depictions of the diseases it can cause on their packets three years ago. The government has announced it would make it illegal for shops to display cigarettes and tobacco later this year, forcing the products under the

Exeperince & excellence

counter. “There is still so much to be done, but I’m more confident than ever that we can reach the goal of New Zealand being a nation free of tobacco,” Turia said. “New Zealand could lead the world by committing to be a smoke-free country by 2025,” said Dalton Kelly, chief executive of the Cancer Society. But there were doubts about what exactly smoke-free would mean. A vocal and active lobby group, the SmokeFree Coalition, said prohibition, or making it illegal to smoke, has never been its goal. “What it does mean is that smoking rates of prevalence, consumption and uptake will be reduced as close to zero as possible through the collective efforts of the government and tobacco control community working with the government to make it a reality,” it said. It suggested a comprehensive campaign to promote smoke-free living combined with government measures to reduce the supply of tobacco, regulate its market movements, price it out of its target consumer’s budget allowance and fund sustainable and growing cessation services and products. — dpa

WASHINGTON: A perigee moon rises on March 19, 2011. A perigee moon is visible when the moon’s orbit position is at its closest point to Earth during a full moon phase. The full moon coincided with its closest approach to the Earth, 221,565 miles (356,575 km), making the so-called “super moon” look slightly larger than average. — AFP

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Al-Najat School honors students


l-Najat Intermediate School in Hawally, held a ceremony to honour outstanding students from the sixth upto ninth grades. The ceremony was held on March 17. Students and their parents attended the function.

Abdulmohsen Abdulaziz Al-Babtain Co achieves re-certification to ISO 9001


bdulmohsen Abdulaziz Al-Babtain Company WLL - Automotive Division, a leading automotive distributor of Nissan, Infiniti, Renault, CitroÎn, CMC, JMC & Tadano vehicles for Kuwait, announced that it has been recertified by Intertek Semko Certification AB Kista (Stockholm) of Sweden as meeting the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 standard for “Import, Sales & After sales service of Nissan, Infiniti, Renault, CitroÎn & CMC Passenger and Light Commercial vehicles including JMC & Tadano and Sale of parts”. Commenting on the occasion Saleh Al-Babtain, CEO and Vice Chairman of Al-Babtain Group said, “our company is committed to providing our customers with high quality products and services at a fair price meeting and exceeding their expectations. This Re-certification is a clear demonstration of our commitment to continually improve the quality and consistency of sales and services to our customers. This is another important milestone in our journey towards process excellence leading to business excellence”. “Especially during economic times like these, Customers want to be confident that they are doing business with an organization that can meet or exceed their requirements in a timely manner. Because it is an internationally recognized Quality Management System, ISO 9001:2008 certification gives our customers a reason to have that confidence”, said Mohammed Shalaby, COO of Al-Babtain Group. “I regard this as a big win for everyone within our company and, I am extremely grateful to all those who played their part in the audits. Because this re-certifica-

tion covers all our company’s automotive division activities, it means that the auditors could choose any site to assess. Therefore, everyone has to ready to welcome them. Having to the confidence to allow the auditors such open access is a testament to the faith we have in our quality systems across the country”, said Abey Thomas, Manager - Business Excellence Process of AlBabtain Group - Automotive Division. Intertek’s Regional Manager for Systems Certification, Andrew Cunningham, said on the occasion: “ISO 9001:2008 clarifies and bolsters the previous requirements of ISO 9001:2000 based on eight years of imple-

mentation experience worldwide. It also further improves consistency with other management system standards including ISO 14001:2004 [Environmental Management Systems]. Certification reflects an organization’s solid foundation for continuous improvement through data use and analysis. Intertek wishes the management and employees of Abdulmohsen Abdulaziz AlBabtain Company WLL - Automotive Division all success in maintaining the registration by continually improving and consistently providing quality services to their customers”.

Indian Central School holds award ceremony


ndian Central School held its Annual Award Distribution Ceremony on 19th February 2011 (Saturday). Parents besides the well-wishers, teachers and students of the school graced the occasion. The meritorious students of the school were honoured by the Chief Guest H K Mohan, Second Secretary (Cultural & Commerce) from Embassy of India, Kuwait. The chief guest congratulated the principal and the award winners. The salient feature of the function was the spectacular performance of artistic and creative faculties through a variety of songs, dances by the students. The awards were given to the overall toppers of classes I to XII. The prizes were distributed to 18 students of Class X who secured 9 and above in the CGPA score, in the examination conducted

by the Central Board of Secondary Education. Altogether 52 trophies were distributed to the deserving students with a commendable score. The dazzling trophies were stolen by the subject toppers in Classes X and XII. The most coveted ‘Berchman’s Ever Rolling Cup’ which was bagged by the Indian Central School was given to the team gleaming with pride. The Principal Mrs Shantha Maria James, in her address, described the achievements of Indian Central School in curricular and co-curricular activities. With vigor and gusto, the principal congratulated all the winners for leaving no stone unturned.

Admissions to science students


ood news for the students seeking admissions to Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing courses. Science students, who are aspiring for a career in Engineering, Medicine, Nursing or Pharmacy from BITS PILANI, Dubai Campus and RAK Medical and Health Science University, UAE, should submit their application to Asha Sharma, principal, Indian Learners Own Academy. Sharma is the sole representative of these two universities in Kuwait and all applications from the country should be routed only through her. The following courses leading to BE (Hons) are on offer at BITS PILANI: Computer Science; Electronics; Electricals and Electronics; Electronics and Instrumentation; Mechanical; Chemical; and Biotechnology. Meanwhile, MBBS, BDS, B.Pharm and B.Sc Nursing courses are offered at the RAK Medical and Health Science University, UAE. For any further consultation, Sharma can be approached during the school hours.

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

St Peter’s CSI Congregation Vacation Bible School of St Peter’s CSI Congregation is scheduled to be held from March 18 to April 1, 2011 at the National Evangelical Church of Kuwait (NECK ). Our Vicar, The Rev Binju Varghese Kuruvilla will be the Superintendent. Abraham Varghese, (children’s ministry, Kerala ), will be the Director. All children from 3 to 17 years old are invited to attend the VBS. This is a time for making new friends, singing , learning and fellowship. Please come and join and be blessed! For registrations and more details please visit the website . For further enquiries and details, please email us at or contact the VBS Secretary: 94416421. Hurry! Only limited seats available! Dr. B. Iqbal to launch Kala language website The leading Indian association in Kuwait, Kerala Art Lovers Association, KALA is launching the first phase of the interactive web portal which is ultimately a big leap, by the Malayalam Education Mission, which currently KALA is undertaking in Kuwait, with a much higher and Global Perspective. Under the directives and broad vision of Mr. John Mathew, renowned Social activist and Industrialist of Kuwait, a dedicated team has paved way for the Children from other areas of the globe to get the benefit of learning Malayalam and thereby our culture too. Utilizing the multimedia and IT resources, the first phase of the web portal is all set for the global take off. Former Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University and well known personality from Kerala Dr.B. Iqbal will formally launch the web portal at United Indian School on 25 March 2011 at 5 PM. The programme will commence with the commemoration of the legends EMS, AKG & Bishop Dr.Poulose Mar Poulose, who left us in the month of March. Further, the essay collection “Athijeevanathinte Kazhchappadukal”, written and compiled KALA President Mr. Sam Pynummodu will be formally released in the same function. All are welcome and the entrance is free. For more details kindly contact 66656642, 97817100, 99539492, 24317875 Music festival The Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia is organizing the First Kuwait International Music Festival to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Kuwait. Pathanamthitta association - membership campaign The executive committee of Pathanamthitta District decided to end this year’s (2010 April - 2011 March) membership drive by 31st of March 2011 as the General Body of the Association will be held in April to elect the new Office Bearers and Executive Committee. Residents of Pathanamthitta District and persons of Pathanamthitta origin residing in other areas of Kerala, who are interested in joining Pathanamthitta District Association and who have not completed and submitted the Membership Form are requested to do so before 31st of March 2011. Our Areawise Committee members to be contacted for the Membership Form and submitting the completed Forms are as follows:Fahaheel/Mangaf/Abu Halifa/Ahmadi : Sunil Joy, email id:, Mobile no. 99420146, Harish Kumar, email id:, Mobile no. 66991572. Salmiya/Hawali/Kuwait City: Abraham Daniel, Email id:,Mobile no. 97863052, Geetha Krishnan, Email id:, Mobile no. 66361777, Sony Idiculla, email id:, Mobile no. 97211683. Abbassisya/Hasawi/Farwaniiya: Abu Peter Sam, Email id:, Mobile no. 97219734, Kuriakose (Alexander K.V.),, Mobile no. 97932815. Kurian Benny, email id., Mobile no. 66462726. Sabu Oilckal, email id:, Mobile no. 97695664. The following Office bearers can always be contacted for any information or if there is difficulty in reaching the Committee members listed above:Jose Mannil (Oommen George), President, Mobile no. 99722437 Benny Pathanamthitta (General Secretary), Mobile no. 66501482 Email id: KEA friendship cup The third and final round of league matches of the Gulf Bank sponsored 2nd Annual KEA Friendship Cup Football organized by the Keralite Engineers Association (KEA) will be held on Friday, 18 March, at the Al Sahel Sports Club, Abu Halifa. The matches will be AECK vs TKMCE and KEA vs NSSCE in Group A; TEC vs NIT and MACE vs CETA in Group B. The tournament has been rescheduled as no play was possible due to bad weather on March 11. The semifinals will now be held on 25th March and the finals on 8th April. Website:

Pathanamthitta picnic Pathanamthitta District Association will be holding a family picnic on Friday 25th March 2011 at FINTAS GARDEN from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm. Members of Pathanamthitta Association and those who are interested to become members of Pathanamthitta District Association are invited to attend this Picnic. For more details and registration contact mobile nos. 99363448, 99722437 or 66501482 or email id:



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Embassy Information EMBASSY OF AUSTRALIA The Embassy encourages all Australians to register their presence in Kuwait through Smartraveller Online (see link below). Australians who are registered are asked to update their details. The information provided will assist us in contacting you in an emergency. Kuwait citizens can apply for and receive visit visas to Australia online at This usually takes two working days. All others visa applications are handled by the Australian Visa Application Centre Tel. 22971110. Witnessing and certifying documents are by appointment only, please contact the Embassy on 2232 2422. The Australian Embassy is open from 8.00am to 4.00pm, Sunday to Thursday.

Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive holds Open Day Camp for staff


li Alghanim & Sons Automotive, the exclusive importer of BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce, Range Rover, Land Rover and McLaren vehicles in Kuwait, organized an entertaining open day for their staff at “The Camp”, to the north of Metlah Area. The open day was named “Joy Camp 2011”. The long entertainment day included many children activities such as face painting, magic show, jumping castles, pony and camel riding, in addition sports games like soccer, basketball, volleyball and tug of war to both adults and children alike. Valuable prized were won in group, family and entertainment contests. Commenting on the open day, Yousef Al-Qatami, General Manager, Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive said, “Organizing such a day arises from the company’s strong belief in the necessity of incentivizing our staff and strengthening their spirit of teamwork, also to show our appreciation for their hard work. At Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive we consider our staff as our most important assets”, “This function coincides with a dear occasion, Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive silver jubilee or 25th anniversary”, he added. Al-Qatami promised to repeat such family gatherings, which contribute positively in building company morale far from work tensions and responsibilities.

‘Stay satisfied’ grand raffle winner declared at Holiday Inn


aving a very successful month throughout February and winding up its Stay Satisfied promotion, Holiday Inn Kuwait held its Grand Raffle Draw to announce the winner of the brand new Sports Coupe Actyon. Mohammed Abdul Aziz was declared the lucky winner of the car for the Grand Raffle Draw that was held for a whole month at the hotel, in conjunction with its Stay Satisfied promotion. A great success from its inception, the every guest spending only KD 5 at any of the restaurants were entitled to enter daily and weekly draws, giving them attractive gifts that made them come back for more. Held at one of the newest ballrooms of the hotel, Al Danah, the guests were welcomed by Ramy Haykal, General Manager, members of the management team and the Marketing Team. In an ambience of festive delight, the winners of various gifts came together to celebrate their winning as well as congratulate the winner of the Grand Prize, whose name was announced by Ramy Haykal. In his speech, Ramy Haykal welcomed the guests and expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the co - sponsor, Al Dabbous International Company as well as all the customers of the hotel who made the promotion and the evening’s event a success. He also welcomed the Privilege Club members, whose contribution to the promotion was great. Mohammed Abdul Aziz, winner of the car, was gifted the key to the car by Ramy Haykal jointly with the co - sponsors of the promotion, Al Dabbous International Company. In addition, the winners of the daily and weekly draws were also announced and gifts were given away. Following this, a memento of appreciation was presented to the Sales Manager of Al Dabbous International Company, Abbas Al Halabi.

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. The Chief Electoral Officers of the states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Puducherry, where elections have been declared, have issued notification under Rule 8A of Registration of Electors Rules, 1960, allowing overseas electors to submit registration forms to exercise their franchise in their respective constituencies. Relevant application forms, guidelines for filling them, as well as postal addresses of the Electoral Registration Officers of all constituencies in India are on the website of the Election Commission of India ( and Indian nationals in Kuwait desirous of exercising their franchise are advised to access the website. It is clarified that the attestation of Form 6-A and other documents relating to the election process are to be done by the applicant himself/herself (i.e., self attestation) and not by the Embassy of India, Kuwait.


He announced the launch of the new promotion, Stay Shiny, where every guest is invited to enjoy a delightful lunch for the coming month. During their lunch hour, their car will be treated to the best of cleaning services, so that they can drive away in a clean and shiny car. The invitees enjoyed a delicious dinner to the strains of soft music, with photographs taken and plenty of memories created to remember. Holiday Inn Kuwait has 6 signature restaurants for you to choose from and enjoy delicious meals at any time of

the day - global buffet at Al Diwan, perfect steaks from Rib Eye Steakhouse, authentic Japanese delights at Sakura Xpress, Chinese delicacies at Tang Chao, Lebanese traditional dishes at Ayam Zaman, snacks treats from L’Aroma CafÈ and pastries from Sucre.

Should you come into contact with British nationals in or transiting Kuwait requiring consular assistance please have them contact us at the following new consular inquiry numbers: 972 71877 or 972 71922. Our new temporary switchboard number is 999693651 For the latest FCO travel advice please visit: The Embassy is open Sunday to Thursday 7:30am to 14:3Opm. EMBASSY OF PAKISTAN On the occasion of Pakistan National Day, a flag hoisting ceremony will be held at the Chancery premises in Jabriya, on Wednesday, 23rd March 2011 at 08:00 am. All Pakistanis resident in Kuwait are cordially invited to attend the ceremony. Pakistan Embassy has also organized a National Day program with participation of Pakistani schools and Pakistani community. The program would open late afternoon on Wednesday 30th March, 2011 at Green Island, Al-daiyah, Gulf Road, Kuwait. The program would include a mini fair including traditional Pakistani food stalls and a stage performance by school children. The stage performance would start at 6:15 pm (entry is free for Pakistani community). The Embassy will remain closed for consular work on 23 March 2011. For details please contact: Mohammad Akbar 25327647 (from 08 am to 4 pm).



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05:15 08:10 08:35 09:00 09:50 10:40 11:25 12:15 13:05 13:50 14:15 14:40 16:00 16:50 20:40 21:30 22:20 23:10

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

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

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

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

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

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

00:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 00:40 Chowder 01:05 Cow And Chicken 01:30 Cramp Twins 01:55 George Of The Jungle 02:20 Adventure Time 02:45 Eliot Kid 03:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 03:35 Ben 10: Alien Force 04:00 The Powerpuff Girls 04:15 Chowder 04:40 The Secret Saturdays 05:05 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 05:30 Ben 10: Alien Force 05:55 Best Ed 06:20 Skunk Fu! 06:45 Cramp Twins 07:10 Eliot Kid 07:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 08:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 08:25 Cow And Chicken 08:50 Best Ed 09:15 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 09:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 10:05 The Secret Saturdays 10:30 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 10:55 The Powerpuff Girls 11:20 Robotboy 11:30 The Life And Times Of Juniper Lee 11:55 Ben 10 12:20 Chowder 12:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 13:10 Camp Lazlo 13:35 George Of The Jungle 14:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 14:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 14:50 Ben 10 15:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 15:40 Squirrel Boy 16:05 Eliot Kid 16:30 Ed, Edd N Eddy 17:00 Cow And Chicken 17:25 Chop Socky Chooks 17:50 Skunk Fu!


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

00:40 Destroyed In Seconds 01:10 Destroyed In Seconds 01:35 Battle Machine Bros 02:30 Fifth Gear 03:00 Fifth Gear 03:25 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 04:20 How It’s Made 04:50 How Does It Work? 05:15 Destroyed In Seconds 05:40 Destroyed In Seconds 06:05 X-Machines 07:00 Really Big Things 07:50 American Chopper 08:45 How Does It Work 09:10 How It’s Made 09:40 Mythbusters 10:30 Cake Boss 10:55 Border Security 11:25 Chop Shop: London Garage 12:20 Ultimate Survival - The Pilot 13:15 Mythbusters 14:10 Miami Ink 15:05 Dirty Jobs 16:00 Chop Shop: London Garage 16:55 Mythbusters 17:50 Deadliest Catch 18:45 Cake Boss 19:10 Border Security 19:40 Deconstruction 20:05 How Does It Work 20:35 How It’s Made 21:00 Man vs Fish With Matt Watson 21:55 Extreme Fishing 22:50 Top Five Eaten Alive 23:45 Monsters Inside Me

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

Mighty Ships Mega World The Gadget Show The Gadget Show What’s That About? Colony Colony Weird Or What? How Does That Work? The Future Of... Scrapheap Challenge Alien Storms Sci-Fi Saved My Life How Does That Work? The Gadget Show How Stuff Works Green Wheels Scrapheap Challenge Patent Bending Engineered Nextworld The Gadget Show Futurecar Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Brainiac Building The Biggest Mighty Ships Kings Of Construction How It’s Made The Gadget Show The Future Of... Mighty Ships Kings Of Construction

00:20 Replacements 00:45 Replacements 01:10 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 01:35 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 02:00 A KIND OF MAGIC 02:20 A KIND OF MAGIC 02:45 STITCH 03:10 STITCH 03:35 Kim Possible 04:00 Kim Possible 04:25 Emperors New School 04:50 Emperors New School 05:15 STITCH 05:35 STITCH 06:00 Phineas & Ferb 06:20 Phineas & Ferb 06:45 KIM POSSIBLE 07:05 SONNY WITH A CHANCE YR 2 07:30 JONAS LA 07:55 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 08:20 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 08:35 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE Y1 (CEMA) 09:00 Handy Manny 09:25 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 09:50 JUNGLE JUNCTION 10:10 IMAGINATION MOVERS 10:35 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 10:50 Handy Manny 11:15 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE Y1 (CEMA) 11:35 GOOD LUCK CHARLIE 12:00 SHAKE IT UP 12:25 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 12:42 HAVE A LAUGH 12:45 Phineas & Ferb 13:10 Hannah Montana 13:30 GOOD LUCK CHARLIE 13:55 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 14:20 JAKE & BLAKE 14:40 HAVE A LAUGH 14:48 HAVE A LAUGH 14:55 A KIND OF MAGIC 15:20 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 15:40 Kim Possible 16:00 HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER 16:25 SONNY WITH A CHANCE YR 2 16:45 JONAS LA 17:08 HAVE A LAUGH 17:10 JAKE & BLAKE 17:35 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 18:00 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 18:22 HAVE A LAUGH 18:25 HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER 18:45 Phineas & Ferb 19:08 HAVE A LAUGH 19:10 GOOD LUCK CHARLIE 19:35 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 20:00 SONNY WITH A CHANCE YR 2

20:25 20:50 21:12 21:15 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:35


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

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

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

00:00 I’ll Do Anything 00:50 Untracked 02:30 Gumball 3000: 2008 03:20 Eds Up 05:50 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 07:30 iEX 2009 09:00 Quattro Events 2009 09:25 Summer Dew Tour 2010 11:05 Saab Salomon Avalanche Trophy 2008 11:30 Saab Salomon Avalanche Trophy 2008 11:55 Ride Guide Snow 2009 12:20 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 12:45 Untracked 13:35 Fantasy Factory 14:25 Carpocalypse 15:15 World Combat League 16:05 Ride Guide Snow 2009 16:30 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 16:55 Untracked 17:45 Quattro Events 2009 18:10 Summer Dew Tour 2010 19:50 Saab Salomon Avalanche Trophy 2008 20:15 Saab Salomon Avalanche Trophy 2008 20:40 Untracked 21:30 Fantasy Factory 22:20 Glutton For Punishment 23:10 World Combat League

00:40 01:30 02:20 03:10 04:00 04:50 05:45 06:15 07:10 08:00 08:50 09:40 10:30 11:20 12:10 13:00 13:50 14:40 15:30 16:20 17:10


The Super Hero Squad Show

True Crime Scene Who On Earth Did I Marry? Deadly Women Most Evil True Crime Scene Dr G: Medical Examiner Crime Scene Psychics Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Forensic Detectives Impossible Heists Diagnosis: Unknown Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? FBI Files On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Diagnosis: Unknown Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Forensic Detectives

18:00 18:50 19:40 20:30 21:20 22:10 23:00 23:50

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

Impossible Heists FBI Files Diagnosis: Unknown Real Emergency Calls On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Couples Who Kill Who On Earth Did I Marry?

Earth Tripping Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Market Values Word Travels Earth Tripping Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Banged Up Abroad Departures The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Word Travels Word Travels The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Departures The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Word Travels The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Departures

00:00 Diary Of The Dead-18 02:00 Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans-18 04:00 Deadly Impact-PG15 06:00 Gran Torino-PG15 08:00 Arlington Road-18 10:00 Shinjuku Incident-PG15 12:00 Obsessed-PG15 14:00 Arlington Road-18 16:00 Star Runners-PG15 18:00 Obsessed-PG15 20:00 Tears Of The Sun-18 22:00 From Hell-18

01:00 Order Of Chaos-18 02:45 Carnera: The Walking Mountain-PG 05:00 The People Speak-PG15 07:00 The Prince And Me 3: A Royal Honeymoon-PG15 09:00 When In Rome-PG15 11:00 Stuart Little 2-FAM 13:00 Phoebe In Wonderland-PG 15:00 Astro Boy-PG15 17:00 Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian-PG15 19:00 The Cake Eaters-PG15 21:00 Harry Brown-18 23:00 Crazy Heart-PG15

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

17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Just Shoot Me 18:30 According To Jim 19:00 Billable Hours 19:30 Kath And Kim 20:00 Hot In Cleveland 20:30 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:00 Tracy Morgan: Black And Blue 23:00 American Dad 23:30 Hot In Cleveland

01:00 Killshot-18 03:00 District 13: Ultimatum-18 05:00 It’s Alive-R 07:00 House Under Siege-PG15 09:00 Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia-PG15 11:00 The Order-PG15 13:00 Final Encounter-PG15 14:45 Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia-PG15 16:15 Independence Day-PG15 18:45 National Treasure-PG15 21:00 From Hell-18 23:15 Children Of The Corn-18

00:00 Garage Days-18 02:00 Two Can Play That GamePG15 04:00 I Spy-PG 06:00 Paper Heart-PG15 08:00 Cop And A Half-PG15 10:00 Hannah Montana Movie-PG 12:00 Adventures Of Power-PG15 14:00 The Wedding Singer-PG15 16:00 Garage Days-18 18:00 Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder-PG15 20:00 Head Of State-PG15 22:00 Without A Paddle: Nature’s Calling-PG15

01:00 The Knot-PG15 03:00 Gattaca-18 05:00 Genova-PG15 07:00 The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond-PG15 09:00 A Dance For Bethany-PG15 11:00 Motherhood-PG15 13:00 From Mexico With Love-PG15 15:00 Bran Nue Dae-PG15 17:00 Racing For Time-PG15 19:00 Punch-Drunk Love-18 21:00 Underground-PG15 23:00 Red Rock West-18

00:30 02:30 04:30 06:30 09:00 11:00 13:45 15:30 17:00 19:00 21:00 22:45

Edward Scissorhands-PG Maneater: Part I-PG15 Maneater: Part II-PG15 Sherlock Holmes-PG15 Dean Spanley-PG Avatar-PG Solaris-PG15 Cutting Edge: Fire And Ice-PG Dean Spanley-PG Toy Story 3-FAM Head Of State-PG15 Order Of Chaos-18

00:00 Pocahontas III: The Journey In Time-PG 01:45 Batman: Under The Red Hood-PG 03:45 Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home-FAM 06:00 Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco-FAM 08:00 The Three Musketeers-PG 10:00 Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home-FAM 12:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 14:15 Batman: Under The Red Hood-PG 16:00 Fly Me To The Moon-PG 18:00 Au Pair 3: Adventure In Paradise-PG 20:00 Scruff In Midsummer Night’s Dream-FAM 21:45 Hotel For Dogs-FAM

00:00 02:00 04:15 06:00 08:00 PG15 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 PG15 18:00 20:00 22:00 18

Tenderness-18 The Vintner’s Luck-PG15 Max And Co.-PG Hachiko : A Dog’s Story-PG15 Everything’s Gone GreenMorning Light-PG 500 Days Of Summer-PG15 National Security-PG15 Everything’s Gone GreenAmelia-PG15 Four Last Songs-PG15 Battlestar Galactica: The Plan-

00:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 01:00 Criminal Minds 02:00 C.S.I. Miami 03:00 Detroit 1-8-7 04:00 The View 05:00 The Bachelor 06:00 Good Morning America 07:00 One Tree Hill 08:00 Emmerdale 08:30 Coronation Street 09:00 The Martha Stewart Show 10:00 The View 11:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 12:00 Detroit 1-8-7 13:00 C.S.I. Miami 14:00 Live Good Morning America 16:00 One Tree Hill 17:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Covert Affairs 20:00 Desperate Housewives 21:00 Law And Order: Criminal Intent 22:00 Scoundrels 23:00 One Tree Hill

01:30 ICC Cricket World 02:00 PGA European Tour 06:30 ICC Cricket World 07:00 Scottish League Cup 09:00 Anglo Welsh Cup 11:00 Live NRL Premiership 13:00 ICC Cricket World 13:30 World Hockey 14:00 Scottish League Cup 16:00 Futbol Mundial 16:30 Trans World Sport 17:30 ICC Cricket World 18:00 NRL Premiership 20:00 Futbol Mundial 20:30 Live Goals On Monday 21:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:00 Scottish Premier League

01:30 NRL Premiership 03:30 Football Special 04:00 Scottish League Cup 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 PGA European Tour 12:30 Golfing World 13:30 NRL Premiership 15:30 Futbol Mundial 16:00 Scottish Premier League 18:00 Ladies European Tour Highlights 19:00 Golfing World 20:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 21:00 NRL Premiership 23:00 Golfing World

01:00 02:00 05:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 12:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 18:00 21:00

WWE Bottom Line WWE NXT UFC 128 WWE Bottom Line Red Bull X-Fighters Sports Adventure Airsports World V8 Supercars Championship WWE Vintage Collection WWE Smackdown V8 Supercars Championship UFC 128 Prelims UFC 128 UFC Unleashed

Classifieds MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

ACCOMMODATION I The word “tsunami” comes from two Japanese words: “tsu” (harbor) and “nami” (wave). I The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami — triggered by a magnitude 9.3 earthquake — is the deadliest on record with more than 300,000 people killed.

Sharing accommodation available for decent Kerala bachelor in Abbasiya near German Clinic. Call: 66941892. (C 3209)

“Today’s events remind us of just how fragile life can be” — President Barack Obama, after the March 11 earthquake that struck Japan, on


Epicenter of massive earthquake

Fault lines





Pacific Ocean

B R I A N VA N D E R B RU G / L O S A N G E L E S T I M E S / M C T

Junichi Otomo and his daughter Yui Otomo, 11, stand in front of their home in Natori, Japan, March 14. They returned to the flattened home for the first time since the earthquake and barely recognized the neighborhood where the family has lived for decades.



years and I’ve never felt anything like this before. The aftershocks keep coming. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know whether it’s me shaking or an earthquake.”

A strong quake, followed by powerful waves, causes major damage to the Asian nation


massive earthquake struck Japan on March 11. The quake registered a 9.0 magnitude — upgraded from an original 8.9-magnitude reading by the U.S. Geological Survey. It was the most powerful tremblor to hit Japan since officials there began keeping records 140 years ago. Japan lies on the “Ring of Fire” — an area rimming the Pacific Ocean. About 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes take place in that region. With the updated 9.0 reading, The quake ranks as the fourth largest quake in the world since 1900, scientists say. The center of the quake was located about 17 miles beneath the ocean floor, in a spot 80 miles off the eastern coast of the island nation. “The earthquake has caused major damage in a broad area in northern Japan,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan said. Millions of people are without water, food or heat as recovery efforts continue. Dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile stretch of coastline were shaken by the violent tremors. Because it struck below the

Tsunami waves

Most often created by movement of Earth’s plates on the ocean’s floor, a tsunami wave intensifies as it approaches land. Wave direction

1 Ocean

Shore Wave created 2

Ocean Ocean floor shifts and sea water is pushed upword


Sea floor shifts MCT


Approximate wave speed in 100 ft. of water is 40 mph and the speed in 15,000 ft. of water is approximately 475 mph. A tsunami wave 5 ft. high equals a 5-ft. rise in sea level. Source: U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA

Build-a-poem for poetry month


Pacific Ocean, the quake set off waves as high as a three-story building. The monstrous waves, called a tsunami (soo-nah-mee), swept away homes, boats and cars as the water roared several miles inland, stopped, and rolled back out to sea. Highways buckled, telephone lines snapped and fires broke out. Hundreds of aftershocks, or smaller quakes, have followed the big quake, causing more damage and forcing residents to seek safety outside. Tokyo, Japan’s capital, is about 230 miles away from the center of the quake. But even there, people felt the ground shake. Buildings swayed, at least 2 million homes were without electricity and trains stopped running. “At first it didn’t feel unusual, but then it went on and on. So I got myself and my wife under the table,” said Jesse Johnson, an American living in Tokyo. “I’ve lived in Japan for 10


Here’s one chip bag your parents will want you to open. Potato Chip Science includes supplies (wire connectors, packing peanuts and more) and instructions for 29 science projects that use everything spud-snack related: the bag (make a hydrofoil), a lid (fly a saucer), potatoes (engineer a sound system) and chips themselves (make fingerprint powder). Ages 8 and up. Workman, $18. — Disney FamilyFun magazine

2 Slows, intensifies When the tsunami nears shore, waves may rise 10 times in height

The total damage, deaths and injuries won’t become clear for weeks. Officials report the death toll is in the thousands. The number will continue to rise as rescuers find more bodies. “In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan,” Prime Minister Kan said. The effects of the quake and tsunami have had dire effects on Japan’s nuclear power plants. Several explosion have occurred and some radiation has been released into the air. This can cause radiation sickness and pose cancer risks for people exposed to radioactive material. So far, the current radiation levels outside the power plants are not believed to be dangerous. And experts are working round the clock to shut down the reactors before any more problems come up. A large-scale emergency response operation continues in northern Japan. So far, about 15,000 people have been rescued. A 60year-old Japanese man floated on a piece of his house’s roof for over two days. He was rescued 10 miles offshore when sailors spotted the man waving a red flag. And a fourmonth old baby girl was found alive three days after a tidal wave swept her away from her parents’ arms. Many of the world’s nations have offered to assist Japan. President Obama has ordered five Navy ships to the island to help, as well as search and rescue teams. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is closely watching the situation. She promised immediate disaster relief assistance. “We are working closely with the government of Japan to provide additional help,” she said in a statement. © 2011 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved. TIME FOR KIDS and are registered trademarks of Time Inc.

Celebrate National Poetry Month with a poemwriting activity that’s all about saying a lot with just a few words. From an old magazine, cut out a wide selection of largetype words. Remember to gather essential smaller words, such as the, of and is. After you write your masterpiece, affix your verse with a glue stick to a piece of card stock or keep the words in an envelope to use whenever inspiration strikes. — Disney FamilyFun magazine

Sharing Accommodation available for decent single bachelor separate room Mulhak in Jabriya near Hadi Hospital. From April 2011 onwards. Rent KD 65/-. Contact: 99546413. (C 3213) 21-3-2011 Sharing accommodation available for a decent Indian Christian couple or two working ladies, near Salmiya garden. Please contact: 66884273, 25657832. (C 3206) C-A/C big room available for executive bachelor to share with Indian, Goan small Hindu family, in Salmiya, Amman street. Please call: 99408202. (C 3207) Single room available, central A/C, for working ladies, very near to AlSalam hospital, Bneid AlGar 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) 19-3-2011 One room available for a executive bachelor or a couple in a CA/C flat with a Goan family behind Metro Cinema, Farwaniya. Contact: 97245851. (C 3196)

M A RT Y W E S T M A N / M C T

Sea of Japan

Bet you can’t do just one experiment

Sharing room accommodation available in Abbasiya near High Way Center. Family or working ladies with Keralite family. Call: 99509436. (C 3211)

Sharing accommodation available (today onwards) with Christian family near highway center Abbassiya

for couple or bachelor (single) couple KD 75, bachelor (single) KD 50. Contact: 99645213. (C 3197) 16-3-2011 Sharing accommodation available for couples in Abbassiya in a 2 bedroom central A/C flat, with attached bathroom from today onwards, rent KD 85. Contact: 99416236. (C 3192) 15-3-2011 Sharing accommodation available for decent Kerala bachelor in Abbasiya near German Clinic. Call: 66941892. (C 3183) Sharing accommodation available for bachelors, working ladies or families with an Indian family in Farwaniya on the 6th Ring Road. Kindly contact: 50540846, 97337658. (C 3185) 14-3-2011

FOR SALE Items for sale in a single bedroom flat 1st floor opposite Ajmal Restaurant Abbasiya, from end of March 11. Contact: 99585211. (C 3212) Toyota Yaris 2008 model 5 door Hitch-back dark silver color, alloy room, fog lights, digi shoilez, condition like new, 15,930 km done, installment possible, cash price KD 2,350. Tel: 99105286. (C 3214) 21-3-2011 Toyota Corolla 2004 model, white color, good condition, serious buyer can call: 60604853. (C 3198) 17-3-2011

CHANGE OF NAME I, Achubatla Shaik Chan Basha, s/o Shaik Achulla Ghouse Saheb, resident of D.No. 2/20, Naidu-Varipalli village, H/o Itamapuram Penagaluru Mandal, Kadapa Dt, AP, India presently residing in Kuwait, holder of Passport bearing No: G7935657, would be henceforth known as Shaik Chand. (C 3204) I, Achubatla Shaik Noorjahan, w/o, Shaik Chand, resident of D.No. 4/67-T, Usman Nagar Rajampeta - 516115, Kadapa Dt, AP, India, presently residing in Kuwait, holder of Passport bearing No. E0642699 would be henceforth known as Shaik Noorjahan. (C 3205) I, Achubatla Shaik Ayisha, d/o A.S. Chand Basha, resident of D.No. 2/20, Naiduvaripally village, H/o. Itamapuram, Penagaluru Mandal, Kadpa Dt, AP, India, presently residing in Kuwait, holder of Passport bearing No. J0975666, would be henceforth known as Shaik Ayesha. (C 3205)

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 spouse’s name from Joseph Franklin Fernandes to Jose Francklin Anthony Fernandes. (C 3190) 15-3-2011

SITUATION WANTED MECHANICAL ENGINEER: M.S, B.E - 6 years experience, an incisive professional with 6 years of experience in Industrial and Process Piping, looking for a job in local and MNC companies in Kuwait. Qualifications of M.S & B.E in Mechanical Engineering is stationed at Kuwait for a month. Contact: 60789880. (C 3208) 21-3-2011

MATRIMONIAL I, Achubatla Shaik Mohammed, s/o A.S. Chand Basha, resident of D.No. 2/20, Naiduvaripalli village, H/o Itamapuram, Penagaluru Mandal, Kadapa Dt, AP, India, presently residing in Kuwait, holder of Passport bearing No. G7935657, would be henceforth known as Shaik Noor Mohammed. (C 3205) 20-3-2011 I have changed my name from Salim Mehboob Shaikh to SALIM MEHBOOB NAIKWADI, and father ’s name is Mehboob Ali Naikwadi. As per gazette

Egyptian Engineer, 49 years old, needs an Asian wife, working, serious and decent who recently came to Kuwait. Email: (C 3210) 21-3-2011

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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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

s ta r s CROSSWORD 263



Aries (March 21-April 19) Although this is a Monday, you may still have a schedule and a few appointments to keep. You may find yourself lecturing. Be on time for appointments and take a businesslike attitude towards any plans that have been made. You could be most persuasive with others and eloquent in your communication skills. New ideas and an independent or pioneering mental orientation take on more importance in your life at this time. Teaching, learning, communicating and social contact have a way of outlining new directions in your life; there is much activity and involvement with these kinds of issues. Today provides a natural opportunity for self-expression and lends itself to your particular ideas and thoughts. Your inner emotions are quite pleasant.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Puzzling over what to do to boost the appearance of the clothes in your closet, you may grasp the idea of a jacket that you can use to dress up a dress or slacks. You want to look your best and may spend some time looking through the magazines or Internet to see about getting some new addition to your clothes. Technical or scientific equipment has your attention later today and you may find that the hours fly by as you work or play on some new equipment . . . it could be a new musical instrument. New accomplishments and new insights and breakthroughs are in order. Fill up your inner spaces with something spiritual this evening—sing. Underneath your calm exterior there is a need for physical hugs and long talks. Express your needs to your loved ones tonight.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. (folklore) A small grotesque supernatural creature that makes trouble for human beings. 4. Saudi Arabian minister of petroleum who was a central figure in the creation of OPEC (born in 1930). 10. System of measurement based on centimeters and grams and seconds. 13. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 14. French engineer who constructed the Eiffel Tower (18321923). 15. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 16. Officer in the (ceremonial) bodyguard of the British monarch. 18. Informal terms for money. 20. A state in midwestern United States. 21. A region of Malaysia in northeastern Borneo. 23. A city in northeast Minnesota on Lake Superior. 25. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 27. Air pollution by a mixture of smoke and fog. 28. Characteristic of a baby. 31. Worn or shabby from overuse or (of pages) from having corners turned down. 34. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 35. The part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands. 38. Hoop that covers a wheel. 39. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 40. A nucleic acid that transmits genetic information from DNA to the cytoplasm. 41. The square of a body of any size of type. 42. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 43. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 45. An affirmative. 47. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 50. Scottish sea captain who was hired to protect British shipping in the Indian Ocean and then was accused of piracy and hanged (1645-1701). 52. Property of a personal character that is portable but not used in business. 56. A condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people. 60. A collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn. 61. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 64. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 65. The sixth month of the civil year. 66. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 68. The corporate executive responsible for the operations of the firm. 69. Sewing that repairs a worn or torn place in a garment. 70. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 71. Imperial dynasty that ruled China (most of the time) from 206 BC to 221 and expanded its boundaries and developed its bureaucracy. DOWN 1. United States lawyer and politician who formulated a production code that prescribed the moral content of United states films from 1930 to 1966 (1879-1954). 2. Evergreen trees and shrubs having oily one-seeded fruits. 3. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 4. Not only so, but. 5. Belonging to or on behalf of a specified person (especially yourself). 6. 300 to 3000 kilohertz. 7. An abnormally large amount of this fetoprotein in the fetus can signal an abnormality of the neural tube (as spina bifida or anencephaly). 8. In such a manner as could not be otherwise. 9. Make lighter or brighter. 10. Being ten more than one hundred forty. 11. The rate of moving (especially walking or running). 12. Title for the former hereditary monarch of Iran. 17. Relating to or characteristic of Hungary. 19. The time interval between the deposit of a check in a bank and its payment. 22. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 24. One of the two branches of the Finno-Ugric family of languages. 26. An analytic or interpretive literary composition. 29. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 30. A hotel providing overnight lodging for travelers. 32. (used as a sentenced connector) Therefore or consequently. 33. Made of fir or pine. 36. An accidental hole that allows something (fluid or light etc.) to enter or escape. 37. Before noon. 44. A woman's dress style that imitates the caftan cloaks worn by men in the Near East. 46. Tropical starchy tuberous root. 48. The hair growing on the lower part of a man's face. 49. Being ten more than one hundred ninety. 51. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 53. A golf shot that curves to the right for a right-handed golfer. 54. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 55. (biology) Shed at an early stage of development. 57. (of persons) Highest in rank or authority or office. 58. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 59. Very dark black. 62. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 63. A decree that prohibits something. 64. A state in New England. 67. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Everything points to your taking control of the day. You could feel great support from those around you, or circumstances could dictate your taking action. You feel healthy and natural. A new exercise program makes you feel like a new person. You grab hold of a few exercise dance ideas, teach them to others and agree to meet twice a week. You will soon have a mean, lean team. All will have fun when you gather and each will be pleased to see the result of healthy bodies. Good for you. Consider opening a class or just keep it the same and enjoy each time you gather. Tickets for an upcoming exciting event just fall in your lap today. Tonight there is time to enjoy a different sort of animal, perhaps a kitty or puppy or birds that enjoy a special treat.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


Although this may not be a moneymaking day for most, you will find that money has a nice ring to it today. A little gambling, a good purchase, a hidden letter or any bonus from working a tough job is likely to land right in your lap. If you don’t see green before the end of the day, you will be knocking yourself out to show someone how much you appreciate that person’s help to do or give or share some very special time with you and, you know the old saying, time-ismoney. Your humanitarian urges should be satisfied to help you find a balance. Consider some volunteer work now. An instinctive urge to get serious about taking care of you at many levels is emphasized. Positive thinking, diet, exercise and work put you in the right places.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Making your mark on the world has a special significance. You have an increased desire to succeed in many avenues of your life. You are full of wit and sharp insights. This could be a time for real breakthroughs in the idea department. A financial increase is in the making. This is an excellent time to talk business or engage in discussions about philosophy, religion or the arts. Everything conspires to value and brings out your unique and unusual qualities. You may find that someone close to you understands and is supportive of your future plans; they may even have an idea or two that you had not considered. Good things happen all day long. Something that was lost will be found before this day is over.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Careful—you may be susceptible to all sorts of ideas to keep the family busy this summer. There are offers in the religious sector of your life, to organize and perhaps guide a young married group. This afternoon, you and a few of your friends may have set aside some time to learn a new dance step. Perhaps you have rented a video. Dance is a great way to express yourself and can be a good aerobic workout that will help to improve your overall health as well as reduce stress. You see people as they are and not as you want to see them, particularly in your circle of friends and loved ones. Your friends and loved ones give you some insight into the workings of different personalities. Later this evening there is time to just enjoy what you have.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Good luck may increase your finances now. You spend some time going over some of your records to see where you can improve your budget. The young people in your family are industrious, you might consider showing them what some of the household expenses are and allow them to ask questions. Just share enough so that they gain an idea of the responsibilities that come with family and earning money, etc. There can be more money talk later. A friend returns a favor this afternoon, giving you a great opportunity to catch up on the activities of each other. You may make some future plans to get together. A favorite meal and a few candles will help you enhance the evening with your beloved. Romance is probable.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You face tremendous responsibilities in relationship with loved ones and are apt to have difficulty expressing wants and desires openly at this time. Perhaps it is time to have a chat and talk about goals. If it is important to you, it will be important to your mate. This chat could be about goals of home, travel, profession, etc. Whatever the case, easy-does-it; no real answers just now, only thoughts and dreams and a promise to think on these things for deeper results later. You will be entering a period of heightened sensitivity—your creativity is inspired— exploit it. Having reruns on television this evening means you can catch up on some of the things you recorded last winter—if that is how you want to spend your time. A sense of harmony makes this a happy time.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

This is an easy, calm day that should find everything running smoothly. You can demonstrate a great deal of understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others. Ideas and interaction with the elder people in your family, neighborhood or a religious group may come to your attention today. Perhaps you have researched or plan to research the options that are within your community to help the elderly. If there are no elderly in your family, there will be some day and you plan to have answers. This afternoon is spent with people that want to have contact with animals. There may be a new animal born at your zoo or your very own animal has decided this afternoon is the time to give birth. Much is discovered, talked about and laughter can be heard.

Fun is easy to find today! It is easy for you to gain strong mental impressions. You enjoy reading about new ideas and the progress in healing and discoveries in science. Your home is due for some basic enhancements. After you spend a great deal of time catching up on the world of science and health events, you look at ways to improve and enhance your living arrangements. When you start asking for approval, you may run into all sorts of problems—instead, look for ways to improve your own personal surroundings and sit back and listen to all the great comments. You are open to new ideas and with some sort of color chart for your skin color you would be able to make good decisions for yourself. Social surroundings are positive tonight.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Directing, advising and encouraging others fill your day. This may mean you will be lecturing or teaching or performing some artistic talent. You are buoyed with confidence in any project you attempt. Make sure, however, that both your expectations and abilities are realistic before diving into something you may not be able to get out of without some embarrassment. You enjoy having opportunities to broaden your intellectual and spiritual horizons. This afternoon may be a good time to get the gang together for a little musical ensemble. If you do not have this talent, it could be you have a desire to get your group of friends together for a little spur of the moment gathering, particularly if you have several friends living close together with similar interests.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

This is a good time to double your money. We are not talking about gambling but perhaps your eye for antiques or the resale value for some item will be the focus of your monetary gain. The day is working in your favor to create some extra savings or funds. You have a natural sense of what the public wants at this time. You will be dealing with young people this whole day. This may mean you run your own table at a flea market, or some other fun market place. Patience, persistence, fairness and a sense of limits are in order. This is a good time for new emotional beginnings, a fresh start, perhaps the establishment of new habit patterns—make sure they are good ones, because they will set the tone for you for quite some time to come!



e niv rsar n

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


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e niv rsar n


MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

lifest y le G o s s i p

Portman obsessed with germs N

attached to toy hloe Moretz won’t go anywhere without her toy rabbit. The 14-year-old actress - who is known for playing tough characters such as Hit Girl in ‘KickAss’ and a murderous vampire in ‘Let Me In’ - is often photographed with the childhood mascot as she won’t travel without it. She said: “I still sleep with him and he goes everywhere with me - not in the hold, I carry him right on to the plane, and they take those pictures in airports.” The teenage star also admitted that she refuses to have the stuffed animal - which she has owned since the age of seven - washed for fear of losing its comforting scent. She said: “He used to be cream but now he’s brown and my mom wants to wash him. But I won’t let her because I’m afraid he’ll lose his smell.” Chloe also confessed to having even more toys at home as well as memorabilia from her own movies on her bedroom wall. She said: “I have a lot of other stuffed animals in my bedroom too. Ballerina bears, Harrods bears, everything! “And then I have a painting of Audrey Hepburn and a 3D poster from ‘Kick-Ass’ on the wall.”


eth Ditto loves watching TV shows about cleaning. The Gossip frontwoman wishes her favorite program, ‘How Clean Is Your House?’ - in which presenters Kim Woodburn and Aggie McKenzie help people sort out their filthy surroundings - would launch in her native America because it would be such a challenge for the hosts. She said: “My favorite TV show is ‘How Clean Is Your House’, the British one - there is no American one. “Though sometimes they come to America and than can be better - I feel there’s no dirtier house than in the United States.” Beth also revealed her favorite film is ‘Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit’ because she is such a huge Whoopi Goldberg fan. She said: “I don’t know what it is about it, but I just love Whoopi Goldberg. She’s amazing - every role she does, she’s so underestimated and underrated. “When she’s given a script, she always goes through it as a black woman and asks for things to be changed if they’re not accurate to life. That’s just really amazing. “And I love the ideas of nuns running around and going wild.”


he ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ hitmaker who is dating British racing driver Lewis Hamilton - doesn’t rate her body highly, and doesn’t like her feet, worn down as a result of strenuous dance routines. She said: “I’m not really fit right now and exercise is very important. When I work really hard I can feel like a perfect 10 when I’m all cosy and wrapped up in bed. “My least sexy body bits are my dancer’s feet. I don’t have bunions but then can get a little dry. They’re not soft and supple.” However, the 32-year-old singer is not worried about ageing because she has a young spirit keeping her outlook fresh. She said: “I don’t think I’ll have a grey hair ever. I don’t have those kind of aging fears because my spirit is still so young, so fortunately when I take off all the make-up and I wash my face at night, I still look like a kid in some ways.”


atthew McConaughey took a pay cut to appear in ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’. The 41-year-old actor known for his roles in romantic comedies ‘The Wedding Planner’ and ‘How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days’ was “really excited” about the script for the legal drama from the moment he saw it. He added: “The role came around to me. But I will say I made less money than a romantic comedy. So that is a measure of saying that not many movies like this can get made. “This was something I was really excited about doing and something I didn’t feel like I had done before.” The ‘Fool’s Gold’ star also admitted he opted for the film because he “didn’t feel” like doing another rom-com, but hasn’t ruled out a return to the genre in future. He explained: “I


Williams struggled with desert heat ichelle Williams “cursed the ground” constantly while making her new film. The blonde beauty stars in period western ‘Meek’s Cutoff’ and she admits she found filming in high temperatures in the Oregon desert made the shoot the most difficult she had ever done. She said: “There were times that I cursed the ground. It’s definitely the most demanding experience I’ve had in making a film. “It stretched my understanding of what I was physically capable of. “When it’s 110 degrees it’s hard to keep your energy up. You just want to curl up in a puddle of shade.” The film sees Michelle teem with director Kelly Reichardt - who she previously worked with on 2008’s ‘Wendy and Lucy’ - for the second time and despite the tough conditions, the actress says she jumped at the chance to work with the filmmaker. She added in an interview with Total Film magazine: “The day Kelly handed me this script is in my top five happiest moments of all time. “With Kelly I could show her anything, share anything and it would be OK.”—Bang Showbiz


birth to twins Max and Emme in 2008, it was reported she had installed dispensers containing a special hand lotion for people to use before they entered the babies’ nursery. Jennifer and husband Marc Anthony are said to be so concerned about microscopic nasties they also request guests put on surgical masks before meeting the tots. Gwyneth Paltrow - who is married to Coldplay star Chris Martin - wouldn’t let anyone handle her children when they were babies unless they used a special soap beforehand to rid themselves of dirt. She also insisted visitors remove their shoes before entering her London home.

Ryan Phillippe loves burgers

atalie Portman has become obsessed with germs. The ‘Black Swan’ actress - who is expecting her first child with fiance Benjamin Millepied this summer - reportedly carries hand sanitizer everywhere she goes as a precautionary measure to prevent herself from catching any unwanted bugs in the leadup to the birth of her baby. An insider explained: “She’s become a bit of a germaphobe. She carries hand sanitizer everywhere she goes and doesn’t like to shake hands or stand too close to people.” However, the 29-year-old actress’ fiance - who she met on the set of ‘Black Swan’, which he choreographed - is supporting Natalie’s new found germ obsession and even rushed out to buy a humidifier for the couple’s Los Angeles home. The source added to National Enquirer magazine: “Ben’s been great. He humors Natalie.” Natalie is not the only star to become a “germaphobe” after falling pregnant. Shortly after Jennifer Lopez gave

he Hollywood hunk - who is known for his trim physique - admits he has to take care of his body but does enjoy eating “old fashioned” fast food occasionally. He said: “I do eat healthy but there’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned American cheeseburger and fries. “I go to In-N-Out Burger, a healthy fast food place in Los Angeles. You can have a ‘protein style’ burger without the bun and wrapped in a lettuce leaf.” However, the 36-year-old actor - who was previously married to Reese Witherspoon - can’t eat too many of the calorific treats because it would mean he would no longer be able to fit into his jeans - an item of clothing he is particularly fond of. He said: “I have lots of pairs of jeans in my closet. One of my favorite brands is True Religion. I have a few pairs of those, all with different denim washes.”Bang showbiz


was reading some other scripts and some of them were rom-coms and I just didn’t feel like doing that right now. I may do them again. I just didn’t feel like doing them right now. “I loved the consequences that were in this movie. I love the traps the guy was in. I wanted to be the guy getting out of those traps.”



e niv rsar n

MONDAY , MARCH 21, 2011


lifestyle Music and Movies

Actor Denis O’Hare accepts an award on behalf of his television show ’True Blood’.

Russell Simmons, left, accepts the ‘Excellence in Media Award’ from the Rev Al Sharpton.

Ricky Martin accepts the ‘Vito Russo’ award at the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Saturday.—AP photos

Martin gets top award by US media group


atin pop star Ricky Martin was honored by media group GLAAD for his work as a role model at a gala held on Saturday where he urged people to spread gay rights throughout Latin America. “I just want to be free. I can say, today I am free,” the Puerto Rican singer said at New York’s Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards, which recognize the best portrayals of gay community members in film, television, radio, music, newspapers and blogs. Martin, the 39 year-old singer of hits such as his 1999 single “Livin’ la Vida Loca” who has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide, revealed he was gay in 2010 after more than a decade in the interna-

tional spotlight. His coming-out included a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey and since then, he has been heralded as a gay role model, especially for Latin Americans. Martin thanked his parents and boyfriend before urged the audience to “let’s go Latin America and let’s share the love.” US comedian Tina Fey accepted the outstanding individual episode award for a program on her TV show “30 Rock,” and music mogul Russell Simmons received an excellence award for breaking boundaries in the world of hip-hop music. Vampire TV show “True Blood” won outstanding drama series, while “The Oprah Winfrey Show” claimed best talk show episode for “Ricky Martin

Coming Out as a Gay Man and a New Dad.” Martin, who became the father of twin boys with a surrogate mother in 2008, was given the Vito Russo Award, named for the late gay activist and film historian. Among other winners were U.S. band Scissor Sisters and stage play “The Pride.” CNN’s Anderson Cooper, newspapers The Star-Ledger and The Denver Post and online magazine were singled out for their coverage of gay and lesbian issues. GLAAD, which promotes positive images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the media, will present additional media awards in Los Angeles on April 10 and San Francisco in May 14.—Reuters

Tina Fey accepts an award on behalf of her television show ‘30 Rock’ at the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards.

HK film festival opens, mood hurt by Japan crisis


Bill Cosby waves to people on their porches as he walks down Woodland Drive in Toledo, Ohio on Saturday.—AP

Cosby visits Ohio to urge community responsibility


omedian Bill Cosby is visiting northwest Ohio to encourage parents and community members to take responsibility for keeping their children and neighborhoods safe. The Toledo Blade reports he spoke Friday to 750 people at a dinner in Maumee for the Greater Toledo Urban League. He also was expected to participate in a rally at a park on Saturday. Cosby told the Friday audience he’s “tired of children

raising themselves” and others doing nothing about it. The newspaper says Cosby shared childhood stories and talked about a tough elementary school teacher and others who helped guide his life and offered accountability. He said the Saturday rally would include marching and drums, and he urged people to smile, shake hands and connect with those they meet along the way.—AP

Thornton hopes documentary will be lasting tribute

Billy Bob Thornton arrives at a SXSW Film Festival screening of the Willie Nelson documentary he directed titled ‘King of Luck’ in Austin, Texas on Saturday.—AP


illy Bob Thornton thought a documentary tribute to Willie Nelson was long overdue. So he made one himself. Thornton’s “The King of Luck” premiered Saturday in Austin, the final film to premiere as part of the South by Southwest Film Festival. “We just wanted to do an accurate and loving tribute to Willie,” Thornton said from the red carpet, shortly before the start of the premiere. “He’s a guy that’s been a legend, especially in these parts, for a long time and we thought he deserved kind of a fulllength documentary.” Thornton started shooting the documentary while on the road touring with Nelson. The title is a reference to Nelson’s Austin-area ranch, which he named Luck, Texas. “His crew and his band and Willie, they’re all such laid back and nice people,” said Thornton, whose mother

turned him onto Nelson’s music as a kid. “It’s a real easy thing, they have no ego about them.” Like a lot of folks, Thornton said, he can’t quite remember the first time he met Nelson. “I can’t remember it, it just happened,” he said chuckling. “But it was a long time ago.” Fittingly, Nelson was on the road again and did not attend the premiere. Several of Nelson’s contemporaries, like entertainer Kinky Friedman, musician Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, were in attendance. Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel also attended the premiere, as did US Rep Lloyd Doggett, who introduced the film. “This is really a movie that’s told by the people around him, who love him and we thought he deserved it,” Thornton said.—AP

ome of Asia’s top filmmakers screened their new movies to kick off the 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival yesterday, although the mood was subdued because of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters. Japan’s crisis cast doubt on whether its actors and directors will attend the Hong Kong festival. Popular Japanese director Shunji Iwai, a native of hard-hit Sendai city, has canceled his appearance at the Asian premiere of his first English-language movie, “Vampire.” It remains unclear whether prominent Japanese nominees like Koji Yakusho, Rinko Kikuchi and Takako Matsu will attend the awards ceremony, the Asian Film Awards, on Monday. However, a delegation from the Tokyo International Film Festival attended Sunday’s opening ceremony. Festival chairman Wilfred Wong expressed solidarity with Japan’s people and its film industry. “Ever since the Hong Kong International Film Festival started 35 years ago, Japanese film has occupied an important place at the event. Our Japanese friends in the film industry have also supported the festival continuously,” Wong said. “At this difficult time, I want to deliver our sincere condolences and best wishes to the entire Japanese people, including our many friends in the film industry.” The Hong Kong event’s two opening films were “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” a romantic comedy directed by Hong Kong veteran Johnnie To and regular partner Wai Ka-fai, and “Quattro Hong Kong 2,” which combines four shorts set in this southern Chinese financial hub made by filmmakers from Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. The omnibus work was commissioned by the Hong Kong festival. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is part of To’s recent push into the mainland Chinese market with blander fare than his signature crime thrillers, which are often too violent or gritty to pass mainland censorship. But the movie’s story of a playboy Hong Kong trader and an earnest Canadian-Chinese archi-

tect pulling all stops to win the heart of a mainland Chinese financial analyst reads like political commentary on China’s growing geopolitical clout. To didn’t attend Sunday’s opening ceremony, but his co-director denied any political overtones in the movie. “There is nothing like that,” Wai told The Associated Press. “This is more simple. We just wanted to capture the common dilemma that women face

evoked comparisons to Australian director Patrick Hughes’ hit short, “Signs,” which has received more than 6.5 million views on YouTube. Wai, however, said the Hong Kong filmmakers came up with the idea independently and only later saw “Signs.” “If you live in Hong Kong, you’ll notice that many buildings are very close together. My home is like that,” he said.—AP

when choosing between two very different boys.” The film derives much of its comedy through the unusual courtship between the main characters-they work in neighboring office buildings and communicate by writing signs they display to each other. The narrative tool has

(From left) Hon Kong actor Daniel Wu, Chinese actress Gao Yuanyuan, Hong Kong director Wai Kai-fai and Hong Kong actor Louis Koo pose for photographers at the opening of the 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival in Hong Kong yesterday.—AP

Cameos by Gibbons, Badu liven SXSW N

obody seemed to notice at first when legendary blues guitarist Billy Gibbons, front man for ZZ Top, jumped up on the stage Saturday at Stubbs BBQ for a free showcase marking the final hours of the South by Southwest Music festival. But fans excitedly rushed over once the long-bearded bluesman began playing “Dust My Broom.” They eagerly snapped cellphone pictures of Gibbons while he did a stand-in with the New York-based group The Cringe. The cameo underscored the sometimes magical and impromptu feel of South by Southwest, which wraps up this weekend in hipster Austin, Texas, with last-minute acts scheduled to include Kanye West on Saturday night. On Friday, singer Erykah Badu unexpectedly jumped on stage with rapper Bun B, and Jack White of White Stripes fame delighted street walkers Wednesday when he plugged into a mobile amp and staged a free show in a downtown parking lot. Gibbons appeared Friday unannounced at the free food and music event called “Feedback” hosted by cooking celebrity Rachael Ray. Other acts that performed: Wanda Jackson, the “first lady of rockabilly,” Charlie Mars and Fitz and The Tantrums. “It’s a mash-up of everything I love: actual friends and family, food, and great music,” said Ray, host of a nationally syndicated TV show. Ray said she worked for months on the seven recipes for consideration at the event Saturday. Her “culinary coordinator,” Andrew Kaplan, had to knock off three of them, a process she likened to killing a family member or “putting

down a pet.” She was disappointed he shot down the mini deviled corndogs on a stick, but the four he finally settled on left fans waiting in a staggeringly long line: shredded pork “ropa vieja” on tortillas, 5 chili chili-a vegetarian chili thickened with portabella mushrooms, jalapeno popper sliders and flank steak “tost-achos.” People began lining up at 5 a.m. to attend the free event, which Ray has hosted several years running to “pay back” Austin for hosting the festival. Gibbons was hawking his own food product, a new hot sauce called BFG 44: “Let’s spice it up a little bit,” he said as he handed out bottles sporting a label that reads, “Have Mercy. Shake Well.” Other than that, Gibbons said he’s in the studio with his ZZ Top band mates working a new album. South by Southwest, now in its 25th year, draws about 2,000 musical acts and pumps over $100 million into the local economy, officials say. There’s also a film conference still running. For those who can’t catch the music during the festival, ABC comedy show host Jimmy Kimmel is in town to find the most “buzzed about” group that he will put on his show March 29. The acts sign up on , and fan responses produce the winner. “Hopefully it will help good bands get an audience,” said Kimmel, making his own cameo appearance at the Rachael Ray event. “I want to see some bands that I’ve never heard of before.” —AP ZZ Top’s Billy Gibons, foreground, plays with John Cusimano at Rachael Ray’s Feedback side party during the SXSW Music Festival.



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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


lifestyle T r a v e l

Still the King: In

Las Vegas,

Elvis is everywhere


ike ancient Mayans at a towering temple, the army of dancers in the final scene of Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva Elvis” bowed to a floating image of the King as if he were a god. And in a way, he actually did represent their salvation. “Elvis is the heart of this city,” the show’s Col Tom Parker character (and narrator) said in an emotional, sermonic tone. “Las Vegas is and always will be the home of the king of entertainment.” You couldn’t believe much of what the real Col Parker said, but after a three-day tour of all-things-Elvis in Vegas I was willing to buy those closing lines of Cirque du Soleil’s newest mega-production. Never mind that Memphis is the home of Elvis Presley, and Graceland tops the Cirque empire in terms of spectacles. Still, the garish yet surprisingly heartfelt and rocking “Viva Elvis” show underlined the many traits Vegas shares with Elvis’ latter years: The all-American quest for a second act, the bloated excess, the gaudy jumpsuits and the Parker-infused idea that money is the real king, especially over art. These similarities are as evident now as they’ve ever been in Las Vegas, where the aforementioned excess has led to some of the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates among US cities. During my trip in January, several giant construction projects were visibly stalled near the Strip and downtown. One of my cabdrivers-who convincingly claimed she moved to Vegas to get a master’s degree in psychology-told us the slump is starting to take a psychological toll on citizens. Sounds like a job for the King. Elvis first came to Vegas hot off the rebound of his “‘68 Comeback Special,” when Vegas itself needed a comeback. The heyday of Sinatra and the Rat Pack had long since passed. With the King’s help, the International Hotel (now the Las Vegas Hilton) ushered in the era of mega-casinos, mega-stars and mega-contracts. Four decades later, Elvis still seems to be the city’s most valuable entertainer. His bronze bust greets customers at both the Hilton and one of the poshest new hotels, the Aria (home to “Viva Elvis”). His microphone-clutching image is plastered across the side of the glass towers looming over the shimmery new City Center hotel/retail complex. His outfits and memorabilia outnumber every other dead rock star at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. His likeness remains the centerpiece of the town’s best-known impersonator revue, the “Legends in Concert” show at Harrah’s. There’s even an implausibly wonderful reminder of Elvis’ greatness (and girth) in one of the Strip’s mustiest old casinos, Bill’s Gambling Hall. “When Elvis would come and perform, the whole town would go from being dead to being alive and crazy in an instant,” recounted Peter (Big Elvis) Vallee, who sings Presley’s songs daily at Bill’s. Low on frills and production, Vallee’s Big Elvis show is almost the antithesis to the Cirque du Soleil production, but it’s still a feast for the eyes and ears. Vallee sits on a chair big enough to hold his sizable body at eye level with the dance floor, which itself sits just across the room from the tables and slots. What it lacks in glitz and glamour and glassware (my beer came in a plastic cup), the Big Elvis show makes up for in sincerity and rich musical charm. A church-reared singer with a high-bellowing voice just like his idol, Vallee bases his repertoire-hundreds of songs-largely on Elvis’ Vegas shows of the early ‘70s, which started out strong but got weaker as Elvis’ health got worse. He remained a top draw till the end, though. Vallee’s show proves he can still pack ‘em in, too. “I think he’s bigger today than he’s ever been,” said Vallee. “I get people of all ages to the show, younger people who tell me how much their parents loved Elvis’ music, and now they do, too. When they come to Las Vegas, it’s like he’s still here in a way.” The marriage between the city and Elvis takes on a whole other level at Graceland Chapel. “I promise to be your hunka burning love,” Brian Gertsch said to his wife of 17 years, Shannon, as part of the renewal vows pushed on him from the altar by an Elvis impersonator. “I will always love you tender. I will never return to sender.” Decked out in matching tuxedo and wedding-dress T-shirts, with their 14-year-old daughter, Mariah, for a witness, Brian and Shannon paid $100 to re-pledge their love at the Graceland Chapel. Brian sat on the idea since before they left for vacation from Spokane, Wash. “For some reason, when you think of getting married in Vegas, you think of Elvis,” he said. Elvis and Priscilla were married in 1967 at the Aladdin Hotel (where Planet Hollywood’s casino is now), but legend has it that the singer actually stopped in at the chapel that would be renamed Graceland while scoping out wedding sites. Plenty of rock stars have tied the knot and/or renewed their vows there in front of an Elvis lookalike, including Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rob Zombie and Kiss’ Ace Frehley. The impersonator who officiated-and then sang-for the Gertsches’ ceremony, Brendan Paul, can preach on the big money that Elvis still generates. He made enough of an income performing as the King at Harrah’s and pri-


vate events over 15 years to buy the Graceland Chapel in 2003. It’s essentially his retirement plan now. “I can’t still be playing Elvis when I’m 65,” Paul quipped, before explaining how serious the impersonator business can be. “It’s cutthroat amongst the guys doing it, and the really hardcore fans will really grill you on everything that has to do with Elvis, to make sure you’re not just in it for the money.” Paul said the only other star who rivals the King’s dead-star-power in Las Vegas these days is the King of Pop. However, he said, “Michael Jackson’s career just doesn’t mean anything to Vegas. Not like Elvis.” In the “Legends” show at Harrah’s, Elvis still headlines over MJ, and for good reason: The current Presley player, Matt Lewis, does a great job with it, while most of the other impersonators in the show are royal cheeseballs, especially the new Tim Magraw and Faith Hill stand-ins. One thing that made Lewis’ Elvis more endearing was the playfulness of it. After delivering the requisite “Thank you very much” following the opener “Heartbreak Hotel,” he cracked, “Hey, someone had to say it.” In Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva Elvis,” nobody says the King’s lines except the King himself. The show interlaces real audio and video clips of Presley alongside the live dancers, while a live band and a duo of female singers deliver tastefully updated versions of both obvious and lesser-known songs (some with Presley’s original vocal tracks). It’s actually sort of refreshing there’s not a fake Elvis in “Viva Elvis,” and it’s also very fitting. The production emulates his memory to the point of sacred adulation, as if he’s as untouchable as the Holy Spirit or Obi-Wan Kenobi following his duel with Vader. After the show, though, you leave the theater past the official “Viva Elvis” merchandise store-which rivals a Gap in size and an American Girl Doll outlet in its volume of unnecessary accessories-and you realize what’s still holiest in this city. 5 more views of Vegas Circa 2011 From the high-end City Center to a lowbrow country singer, here’s what stood out. 1. Their pain might be your gain. Vegas is a relative deal-no doubt thanks to its downturned fiscal state. Sun Country practically gave me my refurbished room at the Tropicana in a package deal ($317 with two nights’ hotel, vs. $280 airfare alone). Once there, many hotels are also doling out coupon books offering 2-for-1 and other deals on event tickets, meals, spa treatments, etc. There seemed to be a general boost in politeness and quality of service, too. And then there’s the gambling. I’m not sure if hard times produce looser slots or vice versa, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that among four travelers, one of us won a substantial amount, two won enough to brag about, and the fourth person pretty nearly broke even. I might yet come out ahead, too, if my ticket on the Twins winning the Series (18-1 odds) turns out better than did my bet on the Jets for the Super Bowl.

additions include the Coyote Ugly bar in New York New York and both NASCAR- and Harley-themed restaurants along the Strip. Yee-haw! 3. The new visual wow is City Center. Step aside, Bellagio’s fountain show and Wynn’s Lake of Dreams. A stroll through the $8.5 billion City Center mall/city-within-a-city and its hotels-the Aria, Mandarin Oriental and Vdara-is now Vegas’ must-see eye-popping experience. That’s if you can figure out where the entrance is (the layout is a bit maze-like). Funded by MGM Grand and Dubai World, its silvery design and grandiose architecture are a marvel throughout, albeit in a Frank Gehry-wannabe way. The art alone reportedly cost $40 million. 4. Nope, not for families. A few hotels haven’t given up completely on the ‘80s-bred idea of Vegas as a family-friendly destination (including Mandalay Bay, New York New York and Circus Circus), but I certainly have. Even if you aren’t discomfited by the sight of young children walking through smoky, boozy casinos to get to hotel rooms-and even if you have the perfectly made-up explanation for all those magazine/pamphlet racks with nude women on them-you’re still not likely to find much kid-friendly comfort amid the city’s mayhem. 5. The fun really never stops. Every time I’ve gone to Las Vegas over the past 15 years, it has been through coincidence or circumstance and never because I said, “Let’s go to Vegas!” And yet every time I go there, I have a blast. Mind you, it’s best enjoyed with a laid-back attitude and in short, two- or three-day doses, but you can and should cram a lot into those days besides gambling and eating. My side trips this past time included an excellent hike in Red Rock Canyon and a wacky visit to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, featured in the hit History Channel series “Pawn Stars.” Point is, you never know what to expect. — MCT

2. Bubba culture is in, period. While Elvis’ presence has been a constant, there seems to be a new influx of an even greater Southern/country/good-ol’-boy flavor. Garth Brooks’ engagement at the Wynn is as hot a ticket right now as Cher’s stand at Caesars’. Treasure Island now boasts its own Texas-sized version of the Houston rodeo bar Gilley’s, made famous by John Travolta’s “Urban Cowboy.” Other recent

t an event in Mount Dora, Fla, we met a couple with their shar pei tagged along. In that Central Florida town, you can take Fido to lunch, and stop by the pet bakery. ( We purchased several gourmet dog treats for less than $5.) Other activities include the monthly Paws for Mount Dora event where pet owners and their four-legged children can collect stamps at various locations around town for a chance to win prizes. You don’t have to keep vacation fun on a tight leash when you travel with

your pets. In fact, you have a wide menu of options. Nature: Remote cabins are a great way for families to have fun without leaving Rover behind. At Eagle Island Lodge (, off the coast of Georgia, weekday rates for parties of three to 12 travelers, start at $500 per night. That price provides a private island for your sole enjoyment and boat transportation. If you split that cost with two or three other families of four, you’ll spend roughly the same amount as a basic busi-

A bandana-clad dog frolics with her owner at a nature park in Clearwater.—MCT

ness hotel plus doggie daycare. Infrastructure: Visitors to the St Petersburg-Clearwater area of Florida have numerous venues to enjoy with pets, including a free off-leash dog beach at Fort DeSoto Park (complete with shower stations), and the complimentary, multi-acre Enterprise Dog Park with obstacle course, walking bridge, trotting trails and self-operated canine water stations. At nearby Honeymoon Island State Park, there is another dog beach available for family strolls and waterfront picnics. Pedestrian malls: Outdoor shopping centers provide several layers of fun for families with pets. In the South Beach section of Miami, for example, the Lincoln Road Mall offers an open-air pedestrian mall with a casual mix of sidewalk cafes, vendors and outdoor entertainment. Some pet-friendly stores provide complimentary water and free treats for canines. Lincoln Road is also home of the Dog Bar, a pet boutique that sells baked goods and other items for animals. The store is a fun destination for children and pets, with eye-catching displays and a great community of fellow shoppers. Research: Travel writer and dog owner Rori Paul ( recommends for pet travel made easy. The site offers searchable listings for dog parks, restaurants, camping areas, activities and more for pet parents on the road. Paul also enjoys Celebration, Florida with its pet-friendly restaurant patios, walking trails and in-town dog bakery.—MCT



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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


lifestyle T r a v e l

Built for kids, with grown-ups in mind T

he new Disney Dream has a water ride, the AquaDuck, that propels guests through a clear tube that loops out over the edge of the ship. It has two interactive game floors that parents want to play on. too; a 3-D theater that screens Disney films; “virtual portholes” in windowless cabins that stream real-time views of the ocean; “enchanted art” that comes to life when someone walks by; a spa for teens; video screens where Crush from “Finding Nemo” has two-way conversations with kids over dinner, and a dance club where teens can be the deejay. The creativity and high-tech gadgetry on Disney Cruise Line’s new ship make it clear that bringing a few characters on board-whether they’re Mickey and Donald (Disney), Shrek and Princess Fiona (Royal Caribbean), or SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer (Norwegian) — is only the beginning of creating a cruise for families with young children. “This space is all about magic and pixie dust,” Lysa Migliorati, an Imagineer —- a member of Disney’s creative team-said as she showed off the Oceaneer Club, one of the kid zones. But she could have been talking about the whole ship, which made its inaugural cruise a few weeks ago. It’s not that other cruise lines aren’t providing increasingly creative entertainment for kids _ they are. But they’re following Disney’s lead, and nowhere is the childoriented creativity as deeply ingrained as it is on this new ship. If executives of other lines thought they were catching up, Disney has just sprinted way out in front again with its first new ship since 1998. But with a Disney cruise ship, the question is never whether there’s enough fun for kids. It’s whether there’s enough for adults. With that in mind, the Disney Dreamwhich is 40 percent larger than its sister ships-devotes a substantial chunk of real estate to grown-up fun. While Disney’s two older ships have spaces that are off-limits to children, adults-only areas on the Dream are more expansive. They include a bar/nightclub complex, two extra-fee restaurants, spa, pool, sundecks and an Italian coffee bar. The idea, said cruise line spokesman Jason Lasecki, is to give adults the opportunity for a date night (or several) while Disney entertains the youngsters. Are the adultsonly facilities so extensive that a grown-up could sail on this ship without coming in contact with children? Probably not. In fact, an adult Mickey fan traveling without children might find some of the ship’s features downright annoying (example: When Crush the animated sea turtle comes to life during dinner in Animator’s Palate, conversation is impossible). And it may not be the right ship for a family with older teens, said Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners. Disney ships “are the perfect choice if you have small childrenseeing the princesses, being able to take your picture with Mickey and Minnie. And if the grandparents want to tag along, it’s a good fit. But if you have 16-, 17-year-olds, that’s where other cruise lines might be a better choice.” Parents will pay a hefty price for the innovations on Disney Dream, some of which will be added to the line’s two older ships. The Dream sails cruises of three to five nights from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas. A check of cruises on found three-night cruises on the Dream in March starting at $679 per person double occupancy for an inside stateroom, while comparable cruises on Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian all start at less than $250. One reason is that the other lines put their older ships on the short cruises, but Disney prices traditionally are higher. When the Dream’s twin, the Disney Fantasy, now under construction in Germany, joins the fleet next year, Disney will have four ships and 2 { times the capacity it had just a few weeks ago. Cruise line executives won’t comment on the price, but the Orlando Sentinel reported the Dream and Fantasy will cost a combined $1.8 billion. The two new ships will be based at Port Canaveral, doing short Bahamas cruises and weeklong Caribbean cruises; the Disney Wonder will be based on the West Coast and do weeklong Mexico and Alaska cruises; and the Disney Magic will do Caribbean cruises in winter and Mediterranean cruises in summer. It’s a big jump for a niche cruise line, which now is looking at expanding its reach into Asia. Karl Holz, Disney Cruise Line president, twice quoted a guest he overheard saying that Disney had “recreated the Golden Age of cruising with magic and elegance.” Standing in the ship’s three-story atrium, where Disney princesses sweep down a grand staircase under an Art Deco chandelier, it’s easy to think he might be right. These impressions of the ship are based on a twonight media preview cruise, which was not enough time to check out each restaurant, club and show. The ship carried about 2,300 guests, far less than its capacity of 4,000, so it was hard to judge how well the Dream’s staff and facilities operate under crowded conditions. Design The ship has 14 public decks. Guests enter on Deck 3 into the three-story atrium, where they are announced much like a guest at a state dinner. There’s a statue of Admiral Donald Duck in the atrium, while Sorcerer Mickey dangles off the stern of the ship. Decor is a combination of nautical and Disney character motifs, mostly in red, white and blue. Although there are plenty of “hidden Mickeys” for ardent fans to seek out, most of the character decor is subtle rather than in your face. “The ship was done in such great taste,” Fee said. “It isn’t overboard Disney. When you walked in, you felt like you were in an upscale hotel with all that wood and brass.” Traffic flow is not always good; on some decks it’s

Pelican Plunge is a new water slide on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, that is visited by Disney ships such as the Disney Dream. — MCT photos difficult to get from one end to the other without detours and doubling back. I was standing outside the Walt Disney Theatre, where live shows are staged, when I heard a whirring sound. It came from an old framed black-and-white photo of Walt Disney himself with a film projector. As I watched, a strip of film along the edge of the photo began to move and a crudely drawn cartoon titled “Alice’s Mysterious Mystery,” by Walt Disney, played. This was my first encounter with the “enchanted art” that is all over the ship-photos, cartoon cells and other art that come to life when a passerby sets off a motion detector. Restaurants The Dream uses the same dining system as the older ships. Guests are assigned to a seating group that rotates through three main dining rooms, along with their waitservice team. The restaurants are: Animator’s Palate, an updated version of the restaurant on the Wonder and Magic. Here the dÈcor-design sketches and scenes from films that look like papers pinned to bulletin boards but are really video screens-starts out mostly in black and white, and gradually turns to color during the evening. This is also where Crush, the surfer-dude sea turtle from “Finding Nemo,” appears on huge video screens and talks with diners. Enchanted Garden, inspired by the gardens at Versailles, has trees, trellises, light fixtures that “bloom” into flowers, and a Mickey Mouse fountain. At night, the ceiling becomes a sky full of stars. Royal Palace, the most elegant of the three, has a design inspired by four of Disney’s classic princess movies: “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Beauty and the Beast.” The decor is regal-hand-blown glass chandelier, wall sconces from “Beauty and the Beast,” fluted columns from “Cinderella,” portraits of the princesses, and window valances topped with tiaras. In addition, Cabanas on Deck 11 is the casual venue, a buffet at breakfast and lunch, with table service at dinner. Nearby is Flo’s Cafe, which serves quick food such as burgers, wraps, salad and pizza, most of it pre-made. There are also two alternative restaurants, both only for adults. Palo, which specializes in upscale Northern Italian cuisine, is also on Wonder and Magic. Dinner and brunch cost $20 per person, high tea is $20. Remy, new on the Dream, is an 80-seat restaurant with Art Nouveau decor that offers a gourmet experience inspired by the movie “Ratatouille.” Dinner consists of eight or nine small French-influenced courses (the smoked bison with fennel salad and the pigeon pie-similar to beef Wellington with foie gras and spinach-are fabulous). Cost is $75; optional wine pairings are $99. The District At night, this Deck 4 complex, entered via red carpet, turns into an adults-only zone, with Evolution, a nightclub; the Skyline Lounge, with video skylines of five cities (New York, Chicago, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Hong Kong) and drinks inspired by those cities; Pink, a champagne bar with Murano pink glass bubbles, Riedel pink champagne flutes and pink champagne by Tattinger; 687, a pub; and the District Lounge, with live piano music. “The idea is to give the adults their own playground,” said Mike Davie, an Imagineer, who gave tours of the District during the preview cruise. “People with kids don’t always have that opportunity. Here, you’re on the red carpet, you’re a VIP guest. We try to create that sense of arrival.” Staterooms One of the ship’s most notable innovations is in its cheapest staterooms. Inside cabins, which don’t have a window, have a “virtual porthole” over the bed that dis-

The Mickey Mouse Pool is one of the options available for water activities on the pool deck of the Disney Dream cruise ship.

plays real-time video of the ocean from an outside camera and is intended to make the stateroom — 169 to 204 square feet-less confining. Periodically a Disney character will flit across the screen. While I was watching, Russell from the movie “Up” floated by, carried straight up by a fistful of balloons. Perhaps because Disney carries a greater percentage of families than other lines, it also has one of the best bathroom setups, carried over from the older ships. The bathroom is split by a full wall with a toilet and sink on one side, and a small tub, shower and sink on the other. In addition, all 1,250 staterooms have some kind of bed-a convertible sofa, a pull-down berth or a second standard bed-to accommodate at least a third person and usually a fourth. Because of that, while the official capacity is 2,500 (figured at two people per stateroom), the ship can carry 4,000 guests. Staterooms range from 169 square feet for a standard inside cabin to the 1,781-square-foot concierge royal suite with veranda, which sleeps five and has a living room, dining salon, pantry and wet bar. Two-thirds of the staterooms are oceanview cabins with verandas, have 246 or 299 square feet, and sleep 3-4 or 4-5 people. Nearly three-quarters of all cabins have outside verandas. Pools, sundecks The star attraction is AquaDuck, a sort of elevated flume ride where guests on rubber rafts are propelled by bursts of water over small rises and through 765 feet of clear acrylic tube that loops out over the ocean, then laps the central pool deck. “Water slides are pretty much standard now on ships,” said Joe Lanzisero, senior vice president for Creative. “Being Disney, we wanted to reinvent how people think about these things. We first wanted to have a lazy river on the ship, but deck space is pretty limited. Then someone said, ‘Why not elevate it?’” The main pool deck also has two small family pools, the Mickey pool for younger children and the Donald pool for everyone, plus a large jacuzzi. There’s also a small water slide and Nemo’s Splash Zone for toddlers. Around the corner in the adults-only Cove area is another small pool and jacuzzi. And Vibe, the teen club, has a water play area. The plus: At night, rollaway decking covers the pools and turns the space into a dance floor. This is where Mickey holds his pirate parties and where guests can watch the fireworks show. The minus: Space for lounge chairs is awfully cramped. Kids’ clubs The Oceaneer Club and the Oceaneer Lab-both for children ages 3 to 10 — each has a Magic PlayFloor. It is an interactive floor and video screen that provides the playing field for all sorts of games. In one game, children got points for stamping on colorful balloons as they appeared on the floor. In another, they flew over London with Peter Pan. And in yet another, virtual jump ropes appeared on the floor in a game of Double Dutch. As kids tried to keep up with the moving ropes, a mom-perhaps remembering her own jump-rope skillsjoined in. A counselor immediately put a hand on the woman’s back and walked her off the floor. “I’m sorry, ma’m, this is just for kids.” The play floor “is probably better than we expected it to be,” said Al Weiss, president of worldwide operations for Disney Parks and Resorts. The clubs give children an opportunity “to be transported to different lands to play with their favorite characters,” said Migliorati, the Imagineer. Crush the sea turtle appears here, too, for conversations with kids, as does Stitch from “Lilo and Stitch.” In Andy’s Room, children play with oversized characters from “Toy Story.” In Monster’s Academy, youngsters climb on a play structure fashioned after the scare floor in “Monsters, Inc.” In Pixie Hollow, children will find Tinker Bell, play dress-up and do crafts. In Explorer Pod, inspired by “Finding Nemo,” children can play games at computers in a submarine. There is equipment for creating and recording music, conducting science experiments and learning to draw. That’s just a sample of what’s available for kids. There’s more for other age groups. In addition to the two Oceaneer zones, the ship has the It’s a Small World Nursery for infants and toddlers; the Edge lounge for tweens with a dance floor, video wall and computers; the Vibe teen club with media room, video-editing technology, a dance club and a private deck with wading pools and fountains; and Chill, a spa for teens. Miscellaneous Like the other Disney ships, the Dream does not have a casino. It does have a 16,000-foot spa with exercise equipment and classes, salon, barber shop and spa treatments. Three live shows rotate through the Walt Disney Theatre. The Buena Vista Theatre screens movies all day, some in 3-D. The Disney dream Passengers: 2,500 at double occupancy; 4,000 total capacity

Passenger decks: 14 Passenger staterooms: 1,250 Height from waterline: 187 feet Length: 1,115 feet Beam: 121 feet Draft: 27 feet Volume: 130,000 gross tons Itinerary: The Disney Dream sails from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Castaway Cay in the Bahamas on cruises of three to five nights. Pricing: The Disney website shows cruise fares starting at $1,150 per person double occupancy for a three-night cruise in an inside stateroom in March, and from $1,718 for a four-night cruise in April. Shop around or consult a travel agent - some online travel agencies list lower prices. More beach, play areas for private island When Disney Cruise Line launched construction of its first cruise ship, it bought a tiny island in the Bahamasundeveloped except for a rough airstrip-so the ship’s guests could spend a day on a private beach. Castaway Cay opened in 1998 with the arrival of the Disney Magic and has been a stop on the lines’ Bahamas cruises ever since. But the Magic and its twin, the Disney Wonder, carry a maximum of 2,600 guests each. The new Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy, which arrives next year, carry 4,000 guests each. The line upgraded and expanded the island’s facilities, completing the work a few months ago, in time for the Disney Dream’s inaugural cruise last week.

Pelican Plunge is a new water slide on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, that is visited by Disney ships such as the Disney Dream.

“Mother Nature provided the stage. We just provided the sets,” said Jim Durham, a vice president with Disney Imagineering. The centerpiece of the new facilities is Pelican Plunge, a floating platform anchored just off the beach that supports an elaborate structure with two water slides. . Other highlights include: Sixteen rental cabanas on the main beach and four cabanas on Serenity Bay, the adults-only beach at the north end of the island. Price is $499 a day for up to six people on the main beach, with soft drinks and use of bicycles, floats and snorkel equipment included; $399 for up to four people on Serenity Bay. • Spring-A-Leak, a new water splash play area aimed at younger kids who don’t go in the ocean. • About 700 linear feet of developed beach, bringing the total to 1,700 feet of beachfront. • Cookies Too, a second location for the island’s restaurant, Cookies BBQ. — MCT •

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Martin gets top award by US media group


MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

That special day for that special



other’s Day is celebrated around the world to honor the heart of the family. It’s a day is when children (and in many cases husbands) show their love and compassion for their mothers by giving them thoughtful gifts. Saudi Arabia celebrates Mother’s Day on March 21, so mark your calendar! Arab News asked local mothers what they want the most on their day. Maha Bakr, mother of three girls, said she would rather spend some quality time with her kids over a good meal.

Iman Hussain gets a praise from her proud grade 2 son Wael who is happy about his mother’s learning of English for him. — Photos by Sunil Cherian

“Every year my daughters give me expensive gifts and I love each and every one of them — but the best part of that day is when they take me out to dinner and we talk all night,” she said. “They always take me out but on that exceptional day it makes me feel special and joyful.” The Arab News team came up with a list of gift ideas especially for Mother’s Day. Most of the ideas can be found in Saudi stores and departments. Send the spa to her Make your mother feel good by scheduling a muchdeserved spa treatment where mom can forget about her responsibilities for the day and give her hands and feet some special attention. Better yet: send the spa to her and let her experience a new level of relaxing right at home. Say it with fine leather Branded handbags and wallets are always a safe choice for stylish and fashionable moms. Check out the latest Dior wallets made from high-grade soft leather. Add a touch of gold and you will win more than a smile from your beloved mother. Or you could go with a shiny and polished nude Chanel classic handbag. Although expensive, this handbag is worth every riyal. 18-karats of appreciation Damas is offering a special 18k gold necklace engraved with the word “Ummi” (“My Mother” in Arabic). The small and large pearls symbolize the mother and child while the string of diamonds indicates the continuous and unquestioning love of and for mom. The pendant has other precious stones that add more vibrancy and color to the pendant. Flower power There’s a reason flowers are associated with Mother’s Day: you can’t go wrong giving a floral arrangement to your No 1 fan. Flowers, especially simple rose arrangements, often have symbolic meaning. It’s wise to avoid red roses, which represent passion, or yellow roses, which hold various meanings, none of which are appropriate for mom. If you go with a rose arrangement, stick with pink, which represents love and femininity. Other good colors include white (purity) and gold (to tell your mom she’s precious). Better still Go with a tasteful arrangement from a professional. Your local flower shop can offer you various well-chosen options. Wrap her up in style If jewelry isn’t an option you can hardly go wrong with a colorful and stylish Hermes silk scarf from the Spring 2011 collection. Scent of a woman Mothers tend to go classy when it comes to perfumes. Most of them are picky when it comes to their signature fragrance, so choosing the right scent is an acquired skill and not something for amateurs. If you don’t know for sure, the classic Chanel No 5 or Versace Bright Crystal are safe bets. Gifts to do, not to give Being chas-poor around Mother’s Day is no excuse. Why? Because most moms are sentimental and a foolproof gift is to do something for your mom on her special day. Getting up early and doing house chores is one option. Another is to spoil her by cooking, or taking care of the garden, or doing laundry - or all of the above. — Arab News


21 Mar  

Kuwait Times

21 Mar  

Kuwait Times