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14Protesters 12 with 8 clash 19 police at London rally Britons turn out en masse against austerity measures LONDON: Breakaway protesters scuffled with police and smashed windows in central London yesterday as tens of thousands of Britons marched against government austerity cuts. Groups dressed in black and wearing masks threw flares and smoke grenades and broke into a branch of HSBC bank in the centre of the capital. Police were pelted with paint and what they said were light bulbs filled with ammonia by protesters who split from the main rally called by unions to protest public spending cuts, rising unemployment, tax rises and pension reforms. They also cracked windows at a McDonald’s restaurant and at another shop and bank branch. Union leaders said well over 250,000 people angry at government economic policies joined what was billed as the biggest rally in the capital since

Kuwaiti duo caught with 40 pythons JAKARTA: Indonesian airport officials said yesterday they had foiled an attempt by two Kuwaitis to smuggle 40 pythons in their luggage. Suspects Yaqub Ebrahim and Ali Hasan were caught Friday at Jakarta’s international airport as they tried to carry the sedated serpents onto an Emirates Airlines flight to Dubai. “From many foiled cases, people often use the flights to Dubai to smuggle illegal animals,” Salahudin Rafi, operational and technical director at airport operator Angkasa Pura II, said in an emailed statement. He said the suspects usually sedated the animals so officers could not detect them. “For the sake of flight safety and security, no animals are allowed to be brought onto aircraft without permission and special handling. Especially pythons, which are considered as wild animals,” Rafi said. The two suspects were questioned by airport authorities and the pythons were taken to the animal quarantine centre at the airport. Rafi said the two Kuwaitis were about to enter the departure area Friday when X-rays showed their bags were filled with sedated snakes. The men told investigators they planned to sell the pythons to collectors in the United Arab Emirates. If charged with attempting to carry wild animals on board the plane, they could face up to seven years in jail and a fine of $32,000. In December, police at Abu Dhabi’s airport stopped a passenger who passed through an Indonesian airport carrying a box containing four snakes, two parrots and a squirrel.— Agencies

LONDON: A protester dressed in black throws a yellow smoke bomb during a Trade Union Congress (TUC) march yesterday. Tens of thousands marched through London yesterday in a demonstration against the government’s austerity measures, amid a heavy police presence that failed to stop outbreaks of violence. — AFP

Assad faces crisis as Baath offices burnt 260 prisoners freed

TANGERANG, Indonesia: An Indonesian customs officer shows a python, part of a haul discovered at the Sukarno-Hatta airport outside Jakarta yesterday. — AFP

DAMASCUS: Syria freed 260 political detainees in the biggest overture yet to protesters demanding reform, as demonstrators in the south torched yesterday an office of President Bashar Al-Assad’s Baath party. The Syria protests, which began on March 15, have turned deadly, with 15 people officially confirmed killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces. In Tafas, south of the capital Damascus, angry residents set ablaze a police station and the local headquarters of the Baath party, which has ruled Syria single-handedly for close to half a century. The residents had gathered yesterday for the burial of three demonstrators who had been shot dead by security forces in rallies the previous day, said a rights activist, requesting his name be withheld. In nearby Deraa, a tribal town that has emerged as the symbol of the Syrian protests, some 300 shirtless young men climbed yes-

terday on the rubble of a statue of late president Hafez Al-Assad, father of Bashar, shouting anti-regime slogans, witnesses said. In a brazen move in a country known for its iron clutch on security, Deraa demonstrators on Friday tore down the statue and burned the home of the governor. In the northern coastal city of Latakia, “armed men” on rooftops fired at passers-by yesterday, a Syrian official said, without disclosing whether there had been any casualties. Another official, contacted by AFP, voiced fears that what began as just, economic demands in the agricultural town could be turned into sectarian-based political unrest. Syrian authorities have announced a string of reforms in an apparent bid to appease the increasingly angry demonstrators, including the possibility of ending emergency rule which has been in place since 1963. Continued on Page 14

Rebels rout Gaddafi forces in key towns BENGHAZI, Libya: Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were retreating yesterday after rebels recaptured the key eastern town of Ajdabiya in their first significant victory since the launch of the Western-led air strikes a week ago. US President Barack Obama said the international mission had saved countless innocents from a “bloodbath” threatened by Gaddafi, and the rebels thanked France for its role in the military blitz but said “outside forces” could now leave the country. However, Russia’s top general called the air strikes unsuccessful, and said a ground operation would probably be needed to topple the Libyan strongman. Ajdabiya was “100 percent in the hands of our forces, and we are pursuing Gaddafi’s forces on the road to Brega,” 80 km farther west, a rebel spokesman, Shamsiddin Abdulmollah, told reporters in the stronghold of Benghazi. “Who is on the back foot are Gaddafi’s forces because they no longer have air power and heavy weaponry available” after a week of bombing by coalition warplanes, he said. Another spokesman, Ahmed Khalifa, said the rebels had taken at least 13 Continued on Page 14

AJDABIYA, Libya: Libyan rebels celebrate on a destroyed tank as they enter this strategic oil town following Western-led air strikes yesterday. — AFP

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protests against war in Iraq in 2003. Around 4,500 police officers, some wearing riot helmets, were on duty along with hundreds of union-trained stewards. The Conservative-led coalition is pushing ahead with a tough debt reduction program to virtually eliminate a budget deficit, currently running at about 10 percent of GDP, by 2015 to protect Britain’s triple-A credit rating. Unions and the opposition Labour Party say the measures go too far, too fast and are bringing misery to millions of Britons with unemployment at its highest level since 1994. Labour leader Ed Miliband told protesters in Hyde Park they followed in the footsteps of the suffragettes, the US civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid movement. “Our struggle is to fight to preserve, protect and defend the best Continued on Page 14


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Three killed in road accidents KUWAIT: A motorist was killed and his companion was seriously injured in a car accident on Fifth Ring Road, reported Al-Watan. The accident occurred when the victims’ car lost balance and flipped over several times before crashing into a tree on the side of the road. The driver, a Kuwaiti man, was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics and his Kuwaiti companion was admitted to a nearby hospital in a critical condition. An investigation was launched. Meanwhile, two people were killed and two more were injured in a similar accident on Sabhan Road, reported Al-Watan. The four victims were sharing a ride to work when the vehicle lost balance and overturned when one of the vehicle’s tires were punctured. Paramedics pronounced two of the victims, an Egyptian and an Indian, dead upon their arrival while the other two, also of Egyptian and Indian nationalities, were rushed to the hospital in critical condition. In an unrelated incident in Hawally a 10-year-old Jordanian boy suffered serious injuries to his head, back and legs after he was struck by a speeding vehicle while attempting to cross a street in the area, reported Al-Watan. He was brought to Mubarak Hospital in an ambulance and police placed the driver who hit him in custody. Alcohol confiscated Ahmadi police arrested a Korean couple for serving alcohol at their restaurant in Mangaf, reported AlWatan. Police monitored the suspected restaurant for ten days and were given permission to search it when they confirmed its illicit activities. During the raid 14 customers were arrested in addition to two Sri Lankan waiters serving alcohol. An investigation revealed that the liquor was being smuggled into the country by the Korean man that runs the place in cooperation with a Korean woman found without any form of identification. Several imported bottles of liquor and spoiled and expired food was found and confiscated in the restaurant. Meanwhile, two Indian men were arrested in Fahaheel for being in possession of and attempting to sell 120 bottles of homemade liquor, reported AlWatan. Brotherly hate A man was arrested by authorities for stabbing his brother and sending him to the hospital in critical condition, reported Al-Watan. The incident occurred at the two brothers’ house when one of the brothers’ wives approached her husband and demanded that the other brother be kicked out for his drug habit. The man decided to confront his brother and began throwing his belongings out of the house. The brother being kicked out of the house, who was under the influence of drugs at the time, attacked his brother with a kitchen knife and stabbed him. Police and paramedics responded to the emergency and placed the other brother under arrest. The other brother was brought to a nearby hospital in an ambulance. Impersonator held A man impersonating a police officer was arrested following a car chase that started in Rai and ended in Andalus, reported Al-Watan. Police launched an investigation upon hearing that an Asian man was mugged by a man driving a Toyota and claiming to be a police detective. Police found the vehicle that the victim described and pursued it when the driver refused to pull over. The suspect was eventually forced to stop and it was later revealed that he put fake license plates on his car and hid his real ones in the trunk. The bedoon man admitted to targeting several expatriate workers and said that he tried to target those that may be unfamiliar with state regulations. He was referred to the proper authorities. Mechanic in custody Mubarak Al-Kabeer police arrested a car mechanic accused of killing a compatriot at a construction site by running him over with a truck, reported Al-Rai. The incident occurred in Adan where the site’s janitor was pronounced dead by paramedics after he was hit by a truck. The suspect fled the scene at the time of the accident but an investigation led officials to the suspect’s place of residence in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh but found that the suspect was no longer there. Police then reported to the airport where they discovered that the suspect prepared to leave the country and arrested him before he could board his plane. Further investigations revealed that the mechanic did not have a license to operate the truck that killed the janitor. He was referred to the public prosecutor. Khutba interrupted Worshippers at a mosque in Salaam were startled when the ‘khutba’ speech was interrupted by a woman who voiced her disagreement to the contents of the speech. During the khutba the mosque’s imam addressed the situation in Bahrain and talked about the importance of unity amongst the people of the Gulf. The woman suddenly entered the main hall and started shouting, “your speech is full of lies” and then fled the scene, leaving worshippers behind to try and figure out what just happened. One of the men who witnessed the outburst said that a similar incident occurred previously in Ardiya. Rape case Police are looking for an Egyptian plumber accused of raping a housemaid inside her employer’s house. The Ethiopian woman was left alone in the house with the suspect who left his work and assaulted her before escaping. Following the assault the victim reported directly to her country’s embassy and reported the incident. The embassy’s attorney escorted her to the Um Al-Haiman police station and helped her file a report. An investigation was launched in search of the suspected plumber.

Pakistan embassy celebrates National Day KUWAIT: Pakistan Embassy in Kuwait organized a grand reception at a local hotel in Kuwait on March 23, to mark the 71st anniversary of Pakistan Day. Kuwait’s Minister for Communications Dr Mohamed Mohsen Busairi was the guest of honor at the reception which was attended, in large number, by Kuwaiti dignitaries, diplomatic community, top businessmen, representatives of Pakistani community and media elites. The ceremony commenced with the playing of national anthems of both Pakistan and Kuwait. Later, the Pakistan Ambassador to Kuwait, Iftekhar Aziz and Kuwaiti Minister of Communications cut a cake to mark the anniversary. The audience also watched with great interest a documentary on Pakistan which highlighted the progress made by Pakistan in all spheres of life and steps taken by the government for the welfare of the people of Pakistan. The guests relished the exotic Pakistani food delicacies including biryani, roast lamb and Kebabs served on the occasion.

Sandstorm clears, daytime temperatures set to rise A prelude to ‘Sarayat’ season KUWAIT: Weather conditions saw a remarkable improvement yesterday with the air clearing following Friday’s massive sandstorm, which swept across Kuwait, reducing visibility to zero in some areas and bringing road, air and sea traffic in the country to a standstill. Air traffic was suspended at Kuwait International Airport (KIA) until the sandstorms subsided, as were activities at the country’s sea ports. Many drivers, meanwhile, were forced to pull over at the roadside until the conditions were once again safe to drive in. Issa Ramadan, the senior meteorologist with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) meteorology depart-

ment, predicted yesterday that weather conditions would continue to improve over the next few days, with cool nighttime temperatures and gradually rising moderate daytime temperatures. Ramadan also predicted that northwesterly winds ranging from 12 to 35 kilometers per hour would affect large areas of the country for the next few days. Meanwhile, Kuwait is still coping with the aftermath of the massive sandstorms, which not only blanketed the country in thick clouds of fine sand, but also made their way into homes and other buildings, leaving everything covered in a patina of sandy dust. Another veteran Kuwaiti meteorologist, Dr. Saleh Al-

Ujairi, said that the sandstorms, which originated in Iraq, had now made their way to Saudi Arabia. Ministry of Interior (MoI) emergency services personnel were reportedly struggling during the sandstorm to locate those who had placed emergency calls during the sandstorms, with operators at the emergency call center receiving 6,000 calls throughout the period. Emergency operators reported receiving 150 calls from residents of Sulaibiya concerning health problems related to the sandstorms, while a further 100 callers at the Entertainment City reported similar problems. Another 100 people who were on board a ferry making its way from

Failaka Island to the mainland when the sandstorm struck also reported suffering health-related problems as a result. Dr. Al-Ujairi explained that the sandstorm was a prelude to the ‘Sarayat’ season, the period between Spring and Summer known for unstable weather conditions, including high winds which stir up large amounts of fine sand resulting in sandstorms. Another meteorologist, Adel Al-Saadoun, suggested that more dusty weather could be expected over the next few days, although he stressed that this would be far less serious than Friday’s sandstorms, which were greatly aggravated by winds of up to 80 kilometers per hour. — Agencies

MoI launches Amiri amnesty awareness campaign

KUWAIT: Fire fighter rescue officers removing the body that was found near Failaka island.

Nine accidents at sea By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Director of the Marine Fire Center, Col Khalid Al-Mikrd said that nine accidents occurred at sea as a result of Friday’s sandstorm. He said that all the accidents occurred in Kuwait’s territorial waters and that an unidentified body was found near Failaka Island yesterday morning.

He added that a search has been launched to find three others who were reportedly lost at sea. Fire departments from Shuaiba, Failaka, Shuwaikh and Salmiya as well as the National Guard joined forces to search for the missing persons. Al-Mikad urged all those heading out to sea to be careful and check weather forecasts for their own safety.

Outgoing GCC chief honored by Kuwaiti ambassador RIYADH: The Kuwaiti Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Hamad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, has praised the achievements of the outgoing Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Abdul Rahman Al-Attiah, for the services offered by the council during his tenure. Speaking during a ceremony held at the Kuwaiti Diwan in Riyadh’s diplomatic district on Friday evening, Ambassador Sheikh Hamad Al-Jaber said that the period of Al-Attiah’s tenure with the GCC had been marked by the implementation of a number of resolutions by the body’s Supreme Council and its ministerial council. He also hailed Al-Attiah’s active role at international forums and conventions, saying that these had contributed to strengthening the GCC’s political significance.

Speaking on behalf of the Kuwaiti people and the staff of the GCC Secretariat-General, the ambassador expressed gratitude to Al-Attiah for his accomplishments, noting that these would continue to have a positive effect after his departure from the position. For his part, Al-Attiah declared that he was handing over the post to Abdul Latif Al-Zayyani, praising the GCC states’ leaders for their support for the council’s staff. Ambassador Sheikh Hamad AlJaber held a banquet in honor of the outgoing GCC chief, following which he presented Al-Attiah with a memorial shield to mark the occasion. A number of prominent dignitaries and diplomats also attended the ceremony during which Al-Attiah was honored.— KUNA

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior’s Security Media Department has launched a comprehensive media campaign to help familiarize residency violators with the regulations of the Amiri amnesty, which enables them to leave the country without having to pay cumulative fees. In a press release issued yesterday, the head of the ministry’s public relations and security media departments, Colonel Adel Al-Hashash, indicated that the campaign is being organized in cooperation with the MoI’s General Department of Migration. He further explained that different media outlets would be utilized including television and radio broadcasts, in addition to the press and the internet. A number of seminars will also be held to raise awareness of the amnesty’s features. “[The media campaign] translates the true meaning of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah’s amnesty in finding legal solutions for victims of illegal practices, such as residency trading and human trafficking, who have become unable to leave the country due to financial obligations”, said Col. Al-Hashash in the statement. The senior interior ministry official further elaborated by stating that personnel from the security media department would be providing detailed explanations of the amnesty’s regulations on various local radio shows, while TV programs will be used to show footage of the procedures used by expatriates in taking advantage of the amnesty, focusing particularly on English-language programs in order to address non-Arabic speaking expats. Efforts will also be made to facilitate ways for the local press to cover procedures in helping expats make use of the amnesty, as well as publishing and displaying posters that detail the related regulations, particularly especially in non-Arabic language newspapers, which will be called

upon to issue special supplements on the subject along with their normal newspapers. Furthermore, Col. Al-Hashash also revealed that special booklets and brochures will be printed in Arabic and English, and distributed in locations popular with the public, such as supermarkets, shopping malls, restaurants, medical facilities, places of worship and public sector facilities. Text messages will also be sent in both Arabic and English, while social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter will also be utilized.

Col Adel Al-Hashash

KUWAIT: A poster released by the Ministry’s security media department, detailing the regulations of the Amiri amnesty.


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The NBK staff at the starting point of the walkathon

Starting point of the kids category

Another kids category kicked off at the Green Island

The blue kids category at start line

Boys category

The kids after finishing the race

14,500 get ‘Health with Every Step’ in NBK Walkathon By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Around 14,500 people participated in yesterday’s annual National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) walkathon, with this year’s event entitled ‘Health with Every Step.’ The number of participants in the yearly walkathon has been rising steadily, with this year’s turnout being more than double the 6,400 who took part in the 2008 event and almost twice the 8,000 who came along to take part last year. Walkathon participants were divided into three categories: men, women and children, with each then being further split into four subcategories to allow more people an opportunity to win. The event began yesterday morning at Green Island, with the children’s walkathon, with children aged between four and 14 divided in four age-defined categories and issued with different colored jerseys (in yellow, red, green or blue, according to category) to distinguish which group they were in. The kids’ walkathon was

limited to the Green Island area, with the distance for each category being different, based on the participants’ age. The walkathon for the youngest participants, who were accorded membership in the ‘Zeina Friends’ Club,’ was only a kilometer, with the event starting at 9:30 AM, while the older children, aged between 12 and 14, covered a distance of two kilometers. The women’s walkathon, over a sixkilometer distance, began at the Marina Crescent, concluding at Green Island, while the men’s event, over eight kilometers and also concluding at Green Island, began at the Scientific Center in Salmiya (Ras Al-Salmiya) at 15:OO PM. The participants in the women’s walkathon were also divided into categories according to age, with the younger walkers aged between 15 and 20, dressed in light blue tops, getting a head start at 2:15 PM. The second group, women aged between 21 and 35, clad in yellow tops, followed them

at 2:25, while the third and fourth categories, the 36-49 and 50-and-over groups, in red and pink respectively, began at 2:35. The participants in the men’s walkathon were also divided into four age-related categories, but in this case, the oldest group, the over-50s, clad in burgundy tops, started first, being succeeded respectively by the 36-49-yearolds (in green), the 21-35-year-olds (in white) and the 15-20-year-olds (in dark blue). The walkathon was also attended by some prominent dignitaries, including Kuwait’s health minister, Dr. Helal Al-Sayer, who praised the event, saying, “The NBK walkathon contains an awareness message for society to fight and eradicate disease. The participation of civil organizations and companies signifies that the issue of health is a joint responsibility between individuals and public authorities.” Once past the finish line on Green Island, participants and their families could enjoy a wide range of activities,

including a draw for NBK Jawhara Account holders for a KD125,000 prize. The ten winners in each of the walkathon categories were presented with their prize at a ceremony there, with each receiving a cash prize, while one lucky person at the event won the draw to win a new model Kia Cerato. A wide variety of entertainment was also on offer, as well as free gifts for all those attending. A local group, the Bilal Al-Shami Band, kept the crowd happy, playing a medley of folk and contemporary numbers. Whilst everyone enjoyed the afterrace activities, some walkathon participants weren’t entirely happy about the age categories for those taking part in the event. “The organizers aren’t respecting [participants’] age,” 66-yearold Jaber Abdulrahman told the Kuwait Times before the event. “I’m over 65-years-old, so it’s not fair that I should have to compete with the 50year-old men. In my opinion there should be another category for those who are over 65. Also, I think they

should also make the distance shorter for the older participants. I participate in the NBK walkathon every year, and I already won first and second place in the past. I hope this year I’ll rank within the first 10.” Abdulrahman was also not impressed by the prizes, saying that they’ve been reduced from what they were in previous years. “In the past they were giving KD 100 to the winners aged between three and 10, while they’ve now decreased that prize to KD 50 only. I think they should increase the value of the prizes.” Other participants in the same category complained of seeing fellow racers cheating. “Some participants were running although this is not allowed,” said Jaber Shalal. “I know it’s not the fault of the bank, but the judges should be more strict and there should be more of them along the route. Also last year when I was walking I was in fifth place the whole way, and finally I ended in 11th place, although I didn’t see these people in front of me. At the

awards ceremony I saw one of those first-place winners, who was fat and looked as if he were in the ninth month of pregnancy, and apparently that person can’t walk all this distance and rank on top!” Some first-time participants enjoyed the walkathon more, however, although the call for more judges to catch out those cheating seemed to be widespread. “I’m happy to take part,” said 20-year-old Ali Yousef. “I think it’s a great activity and I discovered my abilities in this race. I didn’t think I would be able to walk all this distance. I think it’s a well organized race, but there should be more judges along the route to disqualify those who run.” South African expatriate Paula Kgomo was participating in the NBK walkathon for the first time, although she’s lived in Kuwait for the past five years. “I enjoyed participating in the NBK walkathon, but my complaint is about the timing,” she said. “The weather was very hot today, and I’d prefer if they’d change this timing.”

Adult participants of the NBK walkathon in their respective age-bracket divisions. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat and Fouad Al-Shaikh

MP queries Iranian workforce numbers in Kuwait By A Saleh KUWAIT: Kuwaiti MP Mubarak Al-Waalan has submitted a number of parliamentary questions to the country’s foreign minister concerning the staff at the Iranian embassy in Kuwait and at the Kuwaiti embassy in Tehran. Al-Waalan also submitted other questions to the interior minister, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, concerning the total number of Iranians living and working in Kuwait. Al-Waalan asked the interior minister specifically for details of the increase in the numbers of Iranians working in Kuwait between 2003 and 2010 and the number of family visit visas for Iranians which were subsequently changed into residency or dependents’ visas in the same period. He also enquired about 15 local firms which have been bringing Iranian workers into Kuwait, adding that these workers were surplus to labor requirements, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor’s (MSAL) records. The MP further requested details of which of Kuwait’s immigration department offices had issued the highest numbers of such family visit visas and the reasons given for approving them. On a separate issue, a government insider has revealed that the Kuwaiti government recently received a request from their Iraqi counterparts to treat Iraqis living in the country in the same way that GCC nationals are treated concerning education, employment, medical treatment and residency laws. The insider said that the Iraqi government views these measures as a way to bridge the gap between the two nations

and to settle unresolved problems in a way that would enhance the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Iraq has also requested further Kuwaiti investment in Iraq, the insider added, with the Kuwaiti government promising to consider all the requests before responding. In other news, Kuwait University has conducted a comprehensive technical and environmental feasibility study prior to beginning work on the construction of the Sabah Al-Salem hostel, a new student accommodation facility to be constructed on the basis of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement. A KU source said that the university administration would review the bids for the project in the last week of April, with work scheduled to start on it before July. On a separate issue, it’s also been reported that the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) is set to introduce special equipment to test fiber-optic cables within the next two months as it prepares to renovate the internal communication network between the various departments at Kuwait International Airport, in order to facilitate the arrival and departure of passengers. On a final note, the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) has narrowed the shortlist of companies bidding to carry out a number of projects planned by its roads department down to nine, with an MPW insider saying that the winning bid will be selected by mid-June. Meanwhile, M inistr y of Interior (MoI) officers yesterday dismantled a tent erected by Syrian expatriates in Kuwait to mourn the deaths of protesters in the Syrian city of Deraa who were reportedly killed by government forces.

Kuwait Social Media Forum kicks off at GUST By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: With hundreds of youths in attendance Kuwait’s First Social Media Forum kicked off yesterday morning at the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST ) campus in Mishref. Featuring panel discussions, seminars and lectures by an eclectic group of local social media celebrities, the three-day event’s goal is to introduce the concept of social media to the public and discuss the benefits it can have on politics, business and media. Speaking at a panel discussion at the inaugural session, Hassan Al-Mutawa of the Kuwait Small Projects Company noted that the importance of s o c i a l m e d i a n e t wo r k i n g i s growing. He pointed out that today compan ies an d eve n politicians have begun using websites such as YouTube and Facebook to improve their marketing campaigns. “Social networking is now being incorporated into the curriculum of media students, which is a very positive step because social media is the future,” she noted. Social network ing activist Haya Al-Shatti, who was imprisoned in Israel for being on an aid flotilla that traveled to Gaza last May, said that social net-

working gathers the world onto the small screen of mobile devices. “I grew up in the United States in a diverse area with people from all over the world,” Al-Shatti said. “I was used to hearing news and stories from across the world every day. Af ter coming back to

With social networking people have been able to get closer to their favorite celebrities no matter where they are in the world, she said. “With Twitter a person can see very clearly the real emotions and feelings that lie behind someone’s name and personality. You can shed this

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s First Social Media Forum at the Gulf University for Science and Technology. Kuwait I was in a culture shock for a while but when I joined social net work ing websites, namely Twitter, I was able to get that feeling again; the feeling that you can be transported in a minute to the middle of a city miles away. When someone is wounded in Egypt, their pain resonates even here in Kuwait despite the distance.”

mask and speak about who you really are, there are no limitations when you write a tweet,” she added, speaking about her personal experience with social networking website Twitter. Political activist and TV host Abdullah Buftain noted that on a website like Twitter, where 140 million tweets are sent each day, users’ sense of social

responsibility should keep them from spreading rumors and messages that can hurt others. He noted that the presence of Twitter in Kuwait grew notably last December when people were organizing protests against the cabinet. “M any protests were organized via Twitter,” he said. “Messages were viral, everyone was immediately in the know about the happenings of the protests. Even politicians began signing up and creating Twitter accounts.” Dr Sajed Al-Abdeli, a political ac tivist and columnist who enjoys a large following on Twitter, said that even though he worked as a columnist with several publications over the past ten years interaction with the audience was very limited compared to the thousands of followers on his Twitter account, which he only set up several months ago. “ With Twitter there is immediacy and a wider range that you can reach. This, of course, suggests that there are rules and guidelines one must follow since their messages can literally reach thousands,” he said. Dr AlAbdeli will give a lecture tomorrow at 5:00 pm at GUST to discuss the most effective way to handle audiences on social networking websites.


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MPs still deciding stance on PM, deputy PM grilling motions Cabinet assigns legal team KUWAIT: A number of MPs have still to clearly define their stance on whether they will suppor t or oppose the various interpolation motions expected to be filed against a number of senior government members and debated in parliament during upcoming sessions. Whilst the cabinet has assigned a legal team to study the grilling motion already filed against the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, some parliamentary sources believe that MPs and National Action Bloc (NAB) members Adel Al-Sarawi and Marzouq Al-Ghanim have decided to include various queries concerning sports-related issues in the interpellation motion in order to increase their chances of gaining the upper hand during the debate session. NAB members are reportedly set to meet with their counterparts from the Reform and Development Bloc (RDB) today in order to discuss the grilling of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad. This comes a week after NAB members met with representatives of the Popular Action Bloc (PAB) for talks on the same subject. MP Khalid Al-Sultan warned, however, that the grilling motion against Sheikh Ahmad AlFahad would “negatively affect interpolations that follow,” adding that the timing of the motions’ presentation, one after another, is not

helping enable the cabinet to achieve radical changes for the better in its approach since it spends large amounts of time on combating grillings. On a related note, the rapporteur of the parliamentary housing committee, Nadji AlAbdulhadi, on Friday praised the deputy premier ’s cooperation with the panel. AlAbdulhadi asserted that Sheikh Ahmad AlFahad, who is also the Minister of Housing and of Development, had offered “terrific” cooperation with the committee, of the level its members seek from a cabinet minister. The MP also voiced hope that the results of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad’s grilling would take the form of helpful solutions to the points raised which would serve Kuwait’s interests. Meanwhile, a PAB insider revealed that the bloc members are trying to talk other MPs into supporting its grilling motion against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammed Al-Sabah. The insider also noted that the PAB is considering coordinating with the DRB, as well as a number of other Islamist MPs in order to include various new issues in the grilling motion against the premier following reports that the cabinet will be able to defeat the motion in its current form. Whilst voicing skepticism at the anti-government blocs’ motion against HH the Prime

Minister, which he said was targeting the premier “in the same way former interior minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid was targeted,” MP Dr Ali Al-Omair said that he would determine his stance on the actual motion following the parliamentary debate on the grilling. This came as several MPs controversially accused the cabinet of using “appeasement” tactics to bribe MPs into opposing the grilling motions, with leading anti-government MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun accusing the cabinet on Thursday of using funds from the KD1 billion real estate portfolio recently announced by the Public Authority for Investment (PAI) to “buy support.” On a separate issue, meanwhile, the DRB is planning to launch a campaign within the next six months to gather support for constitutional amendment proposals, which it plans to formally present to parliament at the beginning of the next parliamentary term. DRB member MP Dr Walid Al-Tabtabaie said that the campaign was to be launched “after concerns over reducing freedoms through constitutional reforms faded away.” The veteran MP also stated that the bloc’s objectives in its proposed constitutional amendments are restricted to expanding the parliament ’s legislative and super visor y authorities.

KUWAIT: The Viva function in progress.

VIVA appreciates mother’s giving through video recordings KUWAIT: As a part of VIVA’s giving philosophy and its belief that the mothers’ giving well is non -depletable, the company gave the opportunity for its customers and those who want to congratulate their mothers and express their love and gratitude to them by recording a video at a special event organized especially for this occasion at the Avenues Mall where all greeting videos were uploaded instantly to VIVA’s You Tube channel using the 21.6 Mbps internet USB. With the participation of its employees and their families in a unique way, VIVA granted the opportunity to its beloved employees to congratulate their mothers by recording videos in VIVA’s headquarter. On that day, the participation of staff members and their families created a family atmosphere that reflected the cement relationship between VIVA’s family members where paramount clips were chosen and broadcast on local TV stations. Omar Al-Houti, VIVA’s Corporate Communication Manager said “honoring the mother for its endless giving is a part of VIVA’s giving philosophy that is associated with the company since its establishment.” About this innovative way of congratu-

lation, Al-Houti noted that “we have diverged from the traditional methods and provided the opportunity to congratulate mothers in an innovative and modern way where we were the pioneers in Kuwait.” 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.

Kuwait ready to face chemical risks

Moment of peace for Japan in Kuwait KUWAIT: IHG Kuwait, represented by Crowne Plaza Kuwait, Holiday Inn Kuwait and Holiday Inn Downtown initiated the moment of peace for Japan as a mark of respect to those people who have lost their lives in this unexpected tragedy, a show of comfort and strength for those families whose dear ones are still missing and a mark of support to those relief teams who are working alongside the Japanese government to help restore normalcy to Japan. Standing in unity with their colleagues, co - workers and friends of the industry in Japan, and representing IHG in Kuwait, the staff of the 3 hotels converged simultaneously in their respective lobbies in a few moments of prayerful silence, holding candles. Speaking on this solemn occasion, Hani Kafafi, Director of Operations - Northern Gulf said, “With a responsibility towards the society and the general public, the IHG celebrates the joy

of each country’s National Day, Independence Day, etc. and in a similar manner and greater responsibility, we also take the time to be a part of the community and share in the moments of grief and sorrow, emphasizing on the core purpose Great Hotels Guests Love.” Ramy Haykal, General Manager, Holiday Inn Kuwait, spoke saying, “In line with the company mission to lend our support towards the general public, especially in their time of distress, we have decided to do a prayerful silence for all the people in Japan who have lost their lives in this disaster and to show our solidarity with rest who are still missing.” Krikor Kukeyan, General Manager of Holiday Inn Downtown, said, “Thousands have lost their lives and many are still missing, as relief teams continue their tireless efforts. We hope our few moments of silence will reach out to them as support in this time of tragedy.”

Rethinking about Arab school syllabi KUWAIT: The current Arab youth movement makes it ineluctable for governments to reconsider many issues, chiefly school syllabi, chief of UNESCO office in Doha Hamad Al-Hamami said here yesterday. “It is inescapable to rethink about the quality of education provided to children,” Al-Hamami, UNESCO’s representative in the Gulf and Yemen, said. He called for “educational democratization”, a thing which, if it materializes, would certainly have a positive reflection on the entire region. He hoped that the UNESCO would help the region’s countries in this respect by means of offering them technical expertise. Al-Hamami ascribed the happenings in the Arab region to unemployment, urging an about-face in vocational training in order to meet the requirements of the labor market. Hailing Kuwait-UNESCO relations as “firm”, he said Kuwait had offered several initiatives for helping and supporting the UNESCO’s programs and activities. Kuwait has backed several activities by the UNESCO for serving poor countries in view of educational revamp, intercultural dialogue and European-Arab rapprochement, he pointed out. He added that the next intercultural dialogue conference would be held in a Gulf country. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Participants in the first course to be offered to GCC officials on weapons of mass destruction yesterday visited the headquarters of the Kuwait National Guards’ chemical defense unit, where they were welcomed by the unit commander, Major General Fawaz Al-Aradeh. During their visit, the officials were briefed on de-

contamination and reconnaissance techniques, the dangers of radioactive and chemical contamination, and the methods used to cope with such hazards. The National Guards leadership has expressed a keen interest in holding similar coordination and information-exchange exercises with GCC states on a regular basis. — KUNA


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Years

LOCAL

Muslim countries urged to pursue efforts for countering challenges ISESCO chief sheds light on organization activities

KGL Holding Chairman Dr Ali E Dashti (second left) presents a plaque to Maj Gen Mahmoud Al-Dousary. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

KGL Holding sponsors GCC Traffic Week KUWAIT: KGL Holding in line with the celebration of the Unified Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Traffic Week under the auspices of the Interior Deputy Undersecretary Director-General of the Traffic General Department, Maj Gen Mahmoud Al-Dousary, hosted on March 16, 2011, a recognition ceremony at the Hilton Kuwait Resort to honor the GCC delegates to the Traffic Week, Traffic General Department personnel and the organizing committee at the Ministry of Interior. The Company for the seventh consecutive year is sponsoring the activities of the Unified GCC Traffic Week from March 13-18 under the theme ‘Let ’s work together to avoid traffic accidents’ which aimed at promoting traffic awareness and reducing the number of traffic accidents due to reckless driving. The event was also attended by key Ministry of Interior delegates from the European countries. During the honoring ceremony, key drivers from KGL Holding business units, selected citizens and residents of the State of Kuwait received certificates and monetary award for their exemplary safe driving records. The Trainers of the KGL Driving Academy were also awarded for their contribution to safe driving and for inculcating optimum road safety standards. Meanwhile, a number of media representatives were honored for their active role in promoting awareness of

KUWAIT: Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), called on the Muslim nation to pursue effor ts for countering “challenges and calls for tarnishing our religion and civilization.” Altwaijri, in an interview on sidelines of celebrations held by the Kuwait National Commission for Education, Science Culture, marking the 50th anniversary of Kuwait’s joining of the UNESCO, said Muslims would not be able to face such challenges unless they closed ranks and united. He urged wise Muslim leaders to play an effective role in tackling differences and discords among the Muslims to enable the nation restore its strength and respectable global status. Asked on outcome of the Arab-European dialogue, the ISESCO chief indicated that dia-

logue should have been launched a long time ago, noting the organization role in this respect, par ticularly within forums set up by the United Nations ISESCO has signed a memorandum of understanding with “the Alliance of Civilizations” and has been bound with the UNESCO since signing a cooperation agreement with it in 11984. The organization has been keen on representing the Muslim nation in international activities and events for promoting dialogue among civilizations and presenting Islam as a culture and civilization for service of global security and peace, he said. He praised the ex-president of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, for his call for establishing dialogue among nations of diverse civilizations and his urge for the UN to declare 2001 a year for dialogue among the civilizations. Altwaijri expressed gratitude

for the international community for the prompt response to Khatami’s appeal and the adoption of that year by the UN General Assembly. Since then, there have been a series of activities at the levels of the Islamic world, the UNESCO and the UN, in response to Khatami’s initiative that depicted the genuinity of the value of dialogue and peaceful co-existence among nations. For its part in this regard, the ISESCO has drawn up methods for such dialogue and took part in a series of events for the promotion of the dialogue. In addition to its participation in many forums for cultural dialogue, the ISESCO has also published books and studies about the dialogue among the diverse civilizations-in various languages. Moreover, the ISESCO has set up the program for the ISESCO ambassador for the dia-

logue among civilizations, including notable figures such as the former Malaysian prime minister, Mahatir Mohamad, the excrown prince of Jordan, Prince Al-Hassan Bin Talal and the spouse of the Azeri president. The program is designed to address misconceptions about Muslims and Islam, particularly such claims that Islam is a source of terrorism and chaos. Altwaijri indicated at ISESCO cultural and educational strategies targeting Muslim nations and Muslim communities in foreign countries. He indicated that the Secretary General of the Kuwaiti chapter of the UNESCO, Abdul Latif Al-Buaijan, takes part in the ISESCO meetings. He also praised the contributions of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, in support of joint Islamic and Arab action and activities.— KUNA

Kuwaiti students take part in law competition

KUWAIT: Kuwait Times Marketing manager Adnan Saad receiving a memento.

traffic rules and regulations in the country. The Unified GCC Traffic Week is an annual event, in line with the Ministry of Interior’s campaign of ensuring the optimum safety of the motorists and pedestrians while KGL Holding espousing on the principle of social responsibility gives back to the community it serves through its active participation in this campaign.

WASHINGTON: A Kuwaiti student delegation that consists of four senior year students and their professor Dr Nada Al-Duaij from Kuwait University College of Law is taking part in the 52nd Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition being held in the American capital, which is the world’s largest moot competition with participants from 500 law schools in over 80 countries. The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the UN, where only one team is allowed to participate from every eligible school. Dr Nada said that Kuwait University Law School has been participating in this competition since 2003, each year with four students, of whom two are applicants and two respondents. She added that this year four senior law school students have been selected out of 37 students to take part in this competition, where they have been picked based on their fluency in English and their high level of legal base and understanding. She noted that the competition has a legal theme as it is held by the International Law Students Association (ILSA) and that this year there are 130 teams representing 80 countries. The problem this year addresses the “legality of the use of unmanned drones and international anti-corruption law.” As for the nature of the competition, Dr Nada indicated that “there is a case that deals with many legal issues, where the team has to defend the issue in this case.” She said that this year the issue is about “the Zetien Provinces, which is basically an imaginary situation about an international and non-international armed conflict, so each team will try to defend its point of view in front of three judges with a legal background.” The teams, she added, are judged according to their oral and written pleadings, with how much treaties and international conventions they are relying on and how much legal background they have in convincing the judges. She indicated that it took the team about seven months to work on the case, as they had to write a memorial which takes around four months, in addition to getting ready for the oral pleadings and arguments. Kuwaiti student Maryam bin Ghaith said that her participation experience in the competition is “unbelievable” as she got a chance to meet people from all around the world, as well as the experience being gained from standing in front of a panel of judges and gaining practical training. As for the difficulties they faced, she indicated that one of the difficulties was the barrier of language especially as they lack the legal terminology in English. She indicated that they are presenting the State of Rigalia in the case concerning the matters of the legality of the drones attack under international law, as well as target killing and the anti-bribery convention. For her part, law student Dalal Al-Hasan said that this is her second year participating in the competition, saying she was keen on participating again this year due to the vast experience and knowledge she gained from her participation last year. She added that the amount of experience she gets through her participation in the competition is equal to four years of doing law school, especially the preparation of months in advance for the competition before coming here. “It gives you the chance to know every possible treaty in international law and represent your country and stand before judges, which is considered like a test to prove to them your legal background and your ability to solve certain cases,” she stressed. She noted that this year, as well as last year, the cases they had to face were “very difficult and complicated as they were concerning not only humanitarian law but also international business and corporate law and international human rights law so all these laws fall under one case.” “As a law student and competitor you have to go through and revise every angle and aspect of international law to present your argument in the best possible way and to me that is the best training you can get for graduating and a personal benefit we gain as students,” Dalal remarked. Dalal thanked Dr. Nada for her support and for removing any obstacles faced and she also thanked the Kuwait Cultural Office in Washington D.C. for their support and attention. Also, student Latifah Al-Ghanem indicated that this competition gave her more knowledge and experience to take it with her back to the Law School. She said she “loved this experience especially getting to meet people from all over the world and having knowledge on all the treaties, laws and protocols, in addition to learning how to write memorials and oral pleads.” Anwar Al-Ammar, a fresh graduate from KU’s Law School said she participated twice in the competition but that this year she is participating as a junior coach under the supervision of Dr Nada and she is trying to help the her colleagues in preparing better for their memorials and give them an idea how to work with the judges. She said this experience gave her a global perspective on the international law and better practice, as well as meeting people from all over the world, including judges and lawyers which gave her better networking. For his part, Cultural Attache at the Kuwait Cultural Office in Washington D.C., Dr Hamad Al-Adwani said that the Office facilitate the visit of the students in the best way possible “through providing them with either communications with different agencies and arranging visits to different places like the White House, Congress and Environmental Protection Agency,” and also providing them with moral support, saying he personally attends their sessions to encourage them during their participation and “to further push for their high performance and to provide them with any other possible logistics to make their stay here pleasant.” He affirmed “we were extremely pleased by the participation of KU’s College of Law students delegation in this international legal contest and I personally was extremely pleased when I attended the sessions, as I was honored to see the students take the defense stand with total self confidence in front of a legal panel compromised of American legal experts.” —- KUNA

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Youth and Sports organized a Family Festival that was attended by members of Daiya, Jahra and Qusour’s youth sports and their families. In addition to various competitions and entertaining events, the festival also featured demonstrations for new activities that will be introduced to the PAYS’ youth centers in the near future.

Arab-Euro cultural dialogue positive KUWAIT: A senior official with the Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) yesterday voiced confidence that the organization’s current efforts to foster ArabEuropean dialogue would be successful. Talking to KUNA after the organization was honored during a ceremony marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Kuwait National Commission for Education, Science and Culture’s membership of UNESCO, Mohammed Al-Qodsi, ALESCO’s Assistant Director General, said that Arab legislative bodies have praised ALESCO’s efforts in actively fostering dialogue and are seeking to utilize similar strategies. Al-Qodsi also stressed the need for patience, which he said should prevail at this stage, so as to enable those participating in the dialogue to understand the educational and cultural requirements of the other side, and to select points appropriate to Arab culture. The senior ALESCO official urged Arab governments in the meantime to rely more on social research centers, which he said could provide a more pragmatic assessment of the existing social realities, in order to correct their direction for the benefit of all. Al-Qodsi also stressed the importance of change in the overall attitude to the importance of the role played by young people in the region, given their crucial significance. He insisted that Arab governments should pay more attention to this social group, and try to better understand young people’s wishes, thoughts and needs, more especially in the present age of rapid technological advancement, including the internet. — KUNA


International SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

Qatar joins West against Gaddafi

Morocco: Website gives new twist to ‘arranged’ marriages Page 8

1st Arab country to fly over Libya

SOUDA BAY: In this image provided by the US Navy, a Qatar Emiri Air Force Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighter jet takes off from Souda Bay, Greece. — AP

TRIPOLI: Fellow Arab and African nations raised the international pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with tiny Qatar flying the Arab world’s first combat missions over his countr y and the African Union imploring him to move toward democratic elections. The military operation against Gaddafi, which on Friday also included airstrikes by British and French jets, remains a US-led operation, though NATO was preparing to assume at least some command and control responsibility within days. A Libyan government delegation meeting in Ethiopia with African leaders - but not the rebels seeking Gadhafi’s ouster - said he is ready to talk with his opponents and accept political reform, possibly including elections. But the delegation also said Libya is committed to a ceasefire that Gaddafi’s forces have flouted since the government announced it, and blamed the current violence on “extremists” and foreign intervention. NATO named Canadian Lt Gen Charles Bouchard to lead its Libyan

operation, finalizing what it hopes will be a unified command to oversee military action against the North African nation. Envoys from NATO’s 28 member countries agreed late Thursday to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya. By Monday, the alliance expects to start doing so, as well as coordinating naval patrols in the Mediterranean to enforce the UN arms embargo against Gaddafi’s forces. With further approval expected Sunday, NATO will take over the responsibility for bombing Gaddafi’s militar y to protect civilians from attack. A NATO official said Friday that NATO now hopes to launch both operations simultaneously within a couple of days, avoiding the need for dual commands - NATO for the no-fly zone and the US for the airstrikes. The official requested anonymity because of regulations about speaking to the media. A Qatari fighter jet flew the country’s first sortie alongside a French jet on Friday to enforce the no -fly zone, the first nonWestern military flight in support of

the operation. “Having our first Arab nation join and start flying with us emphasizes that the world wants the innocent Libyan people protected from the atrocities perpetrated by pro-regime forces,” US Air Forces Africa Commander Maj Gen Margaret Woodward said. Aside from the United Arab Emirates, which has pledged 12 warplanes, the international effort to protect Gaddafi’s opponents has no other countries from the Arab League, a 22-member group that was among the driving forces behind the UN Security Council decision to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. The United States has provided millions of dollars in equipment to many of the league’s countries, including Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Qatar has close ties to the US military, a reputation for international mediation, and hosts the pan-Arab Al-Jazeera network. “Qatar has been a great ally from Day One,” said Mustafa Gheriani, spokesman for opposition Benghazi city council. “It’s an Arab country to be proud of.”

A Health Ministry official, Khaled Omar, said a total of 114 Libyans have died in the international airstrikes, but he did not provide a breakdown of how many were soldiers or civilians. “ We think it is immoral and illegal to kill even our soldiers because we are tak ing defensive positions only,” said government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim. Army Gen. Carter Ham said late Thursday that although he was not sure whether civilians died in airstrikes, “we have been very, very precise and discriminate in our targeting.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague went further, saying there have been “no confirmed civilian casualties” from airstrikes. The UN Security Council authorized the operation to protect Libyan civilians af ter Gaddafi launched attacks against anti-government protesters who demanded that he step down after 42 years in power. The airstrikes have sapped the strength of Gaddafi’s forces, but rebel advances have also foundered, and the two sides have been at stale-

Jordan’s oppn demands PM’s ouster after unrest AMMAN: Jordan’s Islamist opposition, leftists and trade unions yesterday demanded the ouster of Prime Minister Maaruf Bakhit, blaming him for violence that has killed one person and injured 130. “The Islamist movement demands the resignation, or the sacking, of the government and the formation of a national unity and reformist government that would win the people’s trust and protect their lives,” Hamzah Mansur, chief of the powerful Islamic Action Front (IAF), said. “Any government that kills citizens loses legitimacy,” he told a news conference. Youth movements backed the call. “ We demand the prime minister and intelligence chief (Mohammed Raqqad) quit,” Firas Mahadin of the March 24 youth group told reporters. “We have reached a point of no return.”His father, Muwaffaq Mahadin, a prominent leftist writer, warned “the country is heading towards a civil war and the government is responsible for that because it wants to avoid reforms.” The rift between Jordan’s government and Islamists widened after the premier on Friday accused the main opposition movement of spreading chaos following the death of a protester, the first in the kingdom.”Stop playing with fire... stop hiding your real intentions,” Bakhit told Islamists in an address broadcast on television. “We have invited the Muslim Brotherhood for talks, away from protests and demonstrations, but apparently they have an agenda to create chaos in the country,” Bakhit said. Brotherhood

AMMAN: A Jordanian pro-government supporter throws stones at opposition protesters in Amman. —AP

spokesman Jamil Abu Bakr said “by accusing the Muslim Brotherhood, the government is trying to escape its responsibilities,” proving that his calls for reform and freedom were false. Mansur accused the government of “crimes against humanity.” “The government of Maaruf Bakhit has given proof that it does not believe in the reforms, it is a government with blood on its hands which today has committed crimes against humanity,” he said. The IAF is the main opposition party and political branch of the Brotherhood which found protection in Jordan in the 1950s and 1980s when its members were persecuted in Egypt and Syria. Adopting an unusually strident tone, Bakhit accused the Brotherhood of “taking orders from the Muslim brothers in Egypt and Syria,” adding that their refusal to attend talks signaled they had chosen the path of “chaos.” The Islamists rejected his accusations. “We always hear such lies from time to time. We are leaders and we have the right to consult with our brothers in Damascus about the Palestinian cause,” Brotherhood leader Hammam Said told reporters. “We do not take orders or instructions from anybody.” Friday’s violence in Amman, the first since protests erupted three months ago, left one person dead and 130 wounded, three critically, medics said. According to the police 60 civilians and 58 policemen were wounded. The son of the protester killed on Friday said the family will not bury him until the interior minister quits and security officials are sacked.—AFP

mate in key cities. The rebels claimed late Friday that they had taken the eastern gates of Ajdabiya, although that could not be independently confirmed, and such claims have been made before and proven wrong. Earlier Friday, British and French warplanes hit near Ajdabiya, destroying an ar tiller y batter y and armored vehicles. Ajdabiya, the gateway to the opposition’s eastern stronghold, and the western city of Misrata have especially suffered because the rebels lack the heavy weapons to lift Gaddafi’s siege. Rida al-Montasser, an activist from Misrata, said Gaddafi forces fired mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades from roof tops along a main street, hitting a market and a residential building. He said rebels were tr ying to chase the snipers from rooftops, and had rounded up about 30 of them so far. A Libyan delegation met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with five African heads of state to discuss a solution to the crisis. Rebels, who were not at the

Ethiopia meeting, demand Gadhafi’s ouster and say they will not negotiate with him. African Union commission chairman Jean Ping said the AU favors a transition period in Libya that would lead to democratic elections. The statement is the strongest to come out of the AU since the Libya crisis began, and could be seen as a strong rebuke to Gaddafi, who has long been well regarded by the continental body. Libyan negotiator Abdul-Ati al-Obeidi blamed the violence in Libya on “extremists” and foreign intervention but said the government was willing to consider talks. “We are ready to discuss what the Libyan people want,” he said. “What kind of reform do they want? If it is elections we are willing to discuss about the details. We are willing to negotiate with anyone. These are our people. There is no division between the Libyan people; there is a division between extremists and the Libyan people.” Britain’s senior military spokesman said the international mission was succeeding.—AP


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Mideast turfs out presidents who would be king DUBAI: Revolts across the Arab world have targeted longtime presidents seen as eager to set up ruling dynasties, while the region’s established monarchies have so far emerged relatively unscathed.”It is clear that the ones who have been in the line of fire of the Arab revolts are the presidents, but even the monarchies might not be immune to the contagion,” says analyst Saman Shaikh of the Brookings Institute in Doha. Tunisia started the ball rolling in January when president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was sent packing into exile, to be followed by Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak the following month under the weight of mass street protests. “People power” has since set its sights on embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh: between them, the three heads of state have amassed several decades in power. “People have revolted against republicans that wanted to become royal families,” says Mustapha Alani of the Gulf Research Centre in Dubai. “If you are president, you have to stick to your republican

principles.” Ben Ali and Mubarak were both perceived to have their sons lined up as successors to rule Tunisia and Egypt, respectively, in the decades ahead. In Syria, which was unaffected until a tentative first protest on March 15, the date of a Facebook-organised “Day of Dignity,” Bashar Al-Assad took over the mantle as president on the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, in 2000. But protests have since boiled over, with activists accusing security forces of killing more than 100 people on Wednesday alone in a southern town. Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has been president for the past 12 years and plans to run again in a 2014 election for another five, faces a growing protest movement. And leading the Arab pack in longevity, self-styled “king of kings” Moamer Kadhafi has ruled Libya for more than 40 years and was apparently grooming son Seif al-Islam to take up the baton. But unrelenting coalition air strikes with the blessing of a UN Security Council resolution combined with an armed revolt on the ground

suggest his days in power are numbered. “A lot of these leaders had started as revolutionaries but they turned out to become tyrants,” says Jamil Mroue, an Abu Dhabi-based Lebanese commentator and former newspaper publisher. “They all looked like liars.” In the case of Tunisia and Egypt, the army’s intervention proved decisive, while the military is now also being seen as pivotal in determining the outcome of an anti-Saleh revolt in Yemen. The Arab monarchies in Morocco and the countries of the oil-rich Gulf-apart from Bahrain, and to some extent Jordan, Kuwait and Oman-have fared better in resisting dramatic change. The issue is complicated in Bahrain where a Sunni royal family rules over a Shiite majority. “Monarchies constitute systems that are more rooted in society, that refer to a certain social order,” says Shaikh. Alani points out that the rules of succession, even if lacking transparency and at times disputed within the ruling family, are seen as an internal affair. “Kings can pass their power to their

DAMASCUS: Anti-Syrian government protester, displays Arabic words on his hands, reading “Yes for freedom, no to violence” during a protest after Friday prayers in Damascus. — AP sons or to their brothers,” he says. But even monarchs, he warns, “if they want to survive, they need to reform as well. They cannot survive the old-fashioned way. They cannot turn the clock back,

their historical legitimacy cannot last forever.”And Shaikh points out that Western powers have strategic interests at stake in the Gulf, deterring them from rocking the boat. — AFP

Yemeni president’s party rejects ouster Saleh’s concessions, offers snubbed by opposition SANAA: The ruling party of Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday said he should serve out his term until 2013, after he offered to hand over power but only to “safe hands.” In the south of the crisis-hit country, the army killed six suspected AlQaeda members. Saleh, in power for more than 30 years and a key US ally in its fight against Al-Qaeda, has faced two months of street protests and his regime been hit by defections in the ranks of top military and tribal leaders over the past two weeks. “It is unacceptable and illogical to override the constitutional legality or for the minority to impose its will on the majority of the people,” Saleh’s General People’s Congress said in a

meeting. The GPC accused the opposition of having “closed the door to dialogue and sought isolation,” and said the crowds who took part in a rally of solidarity with Saleh on Friday numbered as many as three million. “Power will only be handed over to someone chosen by the people through elections, the only way for a peaceful transition of power,” party spokesman Tareq al-Shami said on the morning after the meeting. “The people have had their say,” Shami said. “In the absence of a national agreement, we are committed to the constitutional process, which provides for presidential elections in 2013.” Saleh himself said he would hand over power but only to “safe hands,” in a defiant

SANAA: An elderly anti-government protestor reacts during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday. — AP

speech to his massed supporters, a day after talks with a top defector apparently failed to defuse the crisis. “You are the ones who will be handed power,” the Yemeni strongman told his supporters. In the south of the country, a security source said army soldiers killed six suspected Al-Qaeda members who attacked a post at a power plant in Loder, a town in restive Abyan province, a stronghold of the Islamist militants. Government forces and Al-Qaeda militants fought a pitched battle in the town of Loder in August 2010, when at least 33 people were killed, including 19 militants. Analysts have said Saleh’s role as a key US anti-Qaeda ally has likely contributed to Washington’s relatively muted response to deadly crackdowns on pro-democracy protests in Yemen. The president, whose concessions and offers to stand down by the end of 2011 have been snubbed by the opposition, renewed his invitation for youths at the forefront of the protests to join a dialogue. “I am ready to talk to you and to form a political party for the youths,” said Saleh, 69, who has ruled Yemen since 1978. In behindthe-scenes talks aimed at averting more bloodshed, Saleh and top dissident General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, considered the second strongest man in Yemen, failed to strike a deal on Thursday night, the two sides said. Defections to the opposition accelerated after Saleh regime loyalists opened fire during a protest in Sanaa on March 18, killing 52 people and sparking worldwide condemnation. Ahmar, a regional army commander who has vowed to defend the protesters, is leading efforts to form a transitional council grouping all sides, according to sources close to the secret negotiations. With hundreds of thousands of rival demonstrators on Sanaa’s streets on Friday, soldiers fired warning shots to prevent loyalists from attacking anti-regime protesters. There were no reports of casualties. Many in the anti-regime camp brandished football referee-style red cards signaling it was time for Saleh to go. — AFP

Muslims face growing attacks in Ivory Coast ABIDJAN: Souleymane Sissouma became the third imam slain this month in an attack so brutal his family members went into hiding, too afraid even to attend his funeral. As dozens of mourners gathered at a mosque, the twisted wreckage of a burned car lay outside - another sign of the growing campaign of violence against Muslims who widely support Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of November’s presidential election. Ouattara, who is Muslim, is locked in a battle with the entrenched president Laurent Gbagbo for power, and their conflict is veering dangerously toward sectarian violence. At least 10 mosques across Abidjan have been set ablaze, and another was abandoned after attackers threw a grenade through a window during prayers. “Us Muslims, we’re not safe. We are the object of every kind of violence. We’re afraid. We don’t know how this is going to end,” said Imam Idriss Koudouss, president of the National Islamic Council. “And we aren’t even involved in politics.” Ouattara supporters also have been beaten to death with bricks, even doused with gasoline and burned alive. Cell phone videos of the horrors are traded on the street and broadcast on state television along with calls to arms. “It’s the political manipulation of ethnicity,” said Corinne Dufka, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch. “The root of the conflict is competition for political power and the fault lines are drawn along religious, ethnic and national lines.” November’s presidential election was sup-

posed to reunite the country after a 20022003 civil war split it into a rebel-controlled north and a loyalist south. But when Gbagbo refused to recognize UN-certified results showing that he lost, Ivory Coast was plunged back into a cycle of violence. The UN says up to 1 million people have fled the fighting and at least 462 people have been killed, though Ouattara’s camp puts the toll at 832. The vast majority of these deaths were Ouattara supporters who were abducted and killed by Gbagbo-allied security forces, human rights groups say. “ We’re afraid. Everyone’s leaving,” said Abdias Goita, a father of two who waited outside the Malian embassy for evacuation Friday. “My brother had his door broken down by pro-Gbagbo militias. He gave them all the money he had about 200,000 francs ($430) - but they slit his throat anyway.” During the presidential campaign, little was made of the fact that Ouattara would be Ivory Coast’s first Muslim president, drawing much of his support from the north. In the aftermath though, pro-Gbagbo police and militias have been widely accused of targeting Muslims because they are perceived as being defacto Ouattara supporters. Last week, riot police showed up at Imam Sissouma’s mosque, arresting him and his son and taking the offering box. A fellow imam immediately called the interior minister to plead for their release and thought everything would be fine when Sissouma’s wife called to say they were back at home, safe and sound. But Sissouma’s wife called back a half

hour later to say the riot police had executed him and five other people, including his elderly mother. Interior Minister Emile Guirieoulou acknowledged receiving the call, but refused to confirm the arrests or the killings, because the investigation is ongoing. “In Ivory Coast, there have never been religious problems, Christians and Muslims live side by side. This tragic incident is a pure result of the political crisis,” said Imam Moussa Drame, whose own mosque was attacked in December. Some 38.6 percent of Ivorians are Muslim, and 32.8 percent are Christians, according to the CIA World Factbook. An inter-religious council, made up of Christian and Muslim leaders is one of the country’s most respected institutions. But xenophobia has long been a problem in this country, which has attracted millions of immigrant laborers from neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso. They came to work on plantations, especially cocoa farms that produce the raw material that goes into much of the world’s chocolate. Resolving who would even be allowed to vote in the presidential election took years. Now armed youth who support Gbagbo are stopping and threatening people at makeshift roadblocks across Abidjan. Those with northern or Muslim names are accused of being pro-Ouattara rebels, and are beaten or killed, activists say. Human Rights Watch reported dozens of ethnically and religiously motivated killings earlier this month, often carried out by the police or by pro-Gbagbo youth with police consent. —AP

RABAT: A Moroccan looks at an Internet page of a marriage dating site on March 24, 2011. — AFP

Morocco: Website gives new twist to ‘arranged’ marriages CASABLANCA: Marriage in Morocco has an increasingly changing face these days as young men and women in search of lifetime partners head for the souk, in this case a “cyber” marriage souk. In a country where many marriages are still arranged, a click of a computer mouse will take the Internaut to Soukzouaj, a free site where thousands of lonely hearted young Moroccans look for their soul mates “This marriage site was created in June 2010,” Yasser Nejjar, founder of soukzouaj.ma said. “So it’s recent but but it has a real success because it’s free and it’s near.” Every day almost 2,600 prospective partners visit the site, two thirds of them women. Its shows a map of Morocco divided into 16 sections, and the user can click on the part of the country they choose to start their search. “Today, for example, there are 1,670 posts from women as against 870 from men. To my mind that means women are more daring than men,” Nejjar observed. “Most of the posts show there is a great desire for commitment and ‘seriousness’, in what they call ‘halal’, that is to say legal, which is in line with religious norms. In short, marriage.” Observers of Moroccan society regard matrimonial sites as a new phenomenon, linked to new forms of communication, even if there are many family-arranged marriages in a country where Islam is the state religion. “ Today girls make demands,” said sociologist Soumaya Naamane Guessous. “They want husbands who love them, who respect them, men not smothered by their mother, who allow them to live far from their in-laws.” She says that the success of soukzouaj, quite apart from the fact that

it is free, in a country where arranged marriages are common, is due to the fact “that young girls no longer accept the first suitor who knocks at their family’s door, or whom the family suggests.” Latest official figures show more than 13 million surf the net in this North African kingdom of about 32 million residents. The Internet has also played a role in recent demonstrations for pro-democracy reform in Morocco, following a trend across the Arab world that started in Tunisia where sweeping protests led to the ouster of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January. The first rallies in several Moroccan cities on February 20 were in answer to a call by young people via Facebook. On Soukzouaj, most of the posts by women, in the Moroccan dialect, darija, and French, emphasize the need for “respect” for them and a requirement that the prospective spouse be a “practicing Muslim”. “Young Moroccan woman, teacher, seeks Muslim with a good heart, good man, who respects women and is generous from every point of view,” reads one post. The men, for their part, highlight their social standing and “seriousness”. “I am Simo, 28, from Rabat, computer engineer in a ministry, practicing, nice and very serious, looking for serious girl from same city for serious relationship which, God willing, will result in a bright and holy marriage,” said one man in search of the wife of his dreams. The arrival of marriage sites demonstrates the upheavals and changes resulting from the modernization of part of Moroccan society, observers say. “We see, too, that there is a lot of loneliness, disappointment among both men and women,” said N‚amane Guessous. —AFP

Saudi prince is behind disputed mega-mansion LOS ANGELES: A Saudi prince is the previously unidentified owner of a proposed mega-mansion site that has been the subject of gold-plated protest in the wealthy neighborhoods around Beverly Hills, the property’s previous owner said. Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud - one of the sons of Saudi King Abdullah - in 2009 bought the three adjacent parcels with the famous 90210 zip code in Benedict Canyon, where the massive mansion on Tower Lane that is roughly the size of the famed Hearst Castle is set to be built, movie producer Jon Peters told the Los Angeles Times. The prince paid $12 million for the 5.2 acre hillside lot, set up a business, Tower Lane Properties Inc. in London, and made lawyers and contractors sign secrecy agreements to hide his identity. Residents of the neighborhood that is home to latenight TV host Jay Leno, David Beckham and rocker Bruce Springsteen, held a news conference earlier in the week to publicize their objections to the palatial home.

They complained that the project is oversized for the narrow streets, that years of construction will destroy their quality of life and that the proposal would create mudslide and fire hazards. “I warned the prince that he was surrounded by very powerful neighbors and that he should be extremely careful in what he proposes to build,” said Jarrett Hedborg, a Los Angeles interior designer who has worked on residences for Prince Abdulaziz in Saudi Arabia, Paris and Beverly Park and consulted on the new mansion. “Working for the prince for 20 years, I knew his taste,” Hedborg told the Times. “He had expressed to me that he wanted a house that evoked old classic California Spanish architecture.” Residents said the compound’s size - a 42,681-square-foot house, a 27,000square-foot villa, a guest house, staff quarters and a gatehouse - doesn’t fit in with the neighborhood of stately mansions, with one neighbor complaining that the pool is bigger than his house. —AP


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Libya shows US policy inconsistencies WASHINGTON: The US-led attacks against an autocrat in oil-rich Libya have opened the Obama administration to questions about why it’s holding back from more robust support for opposition forces challenging other dictators. What is the difference, some have asked, between the situation in Libya and the uprisings in Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria and even sub-Saharan African nations such as Ivory Coast? The bombardment by Washington and its allies of the air defenses and troops of Muammar Gaddafi, unquestionably an international pariah, was motivated by a desire to prevent a possible slaughter of rebels fighting to end his erratic 42-year reign. There’s hope among US and allied leaders that the anti-government forces will move toward democracy as they appear to be after revolutions in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia But the military intervention begs many questions and illustrates once again the stark inconsistencies in an American foreign policy that tries to balance democratic ideals against pragmatic national interests. The easy but unsatisfactory answer is that the United Nations called for action against Libya as did that nation’s neighbors in the Arab League. And the UN also is already deeply involved in Ivory Coast, where the internationally recognized president is calling for UN peacekeepers to use force against incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, who has attacked civilians and refuses to cede power. Mark Quarterman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Obama was engaged in the “art of the possible”

in Libya. “The ability to reach a consensus on action in Libya, in the face of potential crimes against humanity,” he said in a recent commentary, “is not illegitimate simply because a similar consensus cannot be reached in other circumstances.” Nicholas R Burns, a Harvard professor who was in the upper reaches of State Department decision making for much of the past two decades, said Obama had no choice. “With Benghazi being overrun by Gaddafi, the president had to use force,” he said. “It has been done effectively. It saved those people and gave new life to the rebels.” But why not act on behalf of anti-government forces that have come under attack as they challenge entrenched autocracies in Yemen and Bahrain? “We can’t be antiseptically consistent,” Burns said. “The United States has huge national security interests in those countries.” And that’s where the pragmatism over national security interests comes in. The US 5th Fleet base in Bahrain allows the United States to project military power in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea and Indian Ocean. In Yemen, the long-time president works closely with Washington in the fight against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula. Also at work are fears of Iran - in Bahrain and its mentor and neighbor Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil producer. The monarchies in both countries are deeply distrustful of their Shiite Muslim populations who are suspected of being under the influence of Iran. Arab nations dread an expansion of Iran’s outsized political and military ambitions in the Gulf. Burns, whose State Department

tenure included the administration of President Bill Clinton, also recalls that many of the foreign policy decision makers now working for Obama have deep and troubling memories of the mass killings in Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo.

adviser for President Clinton. History argues forcefully that US intervention could have prevented the Rwanda massacres and limited the carnage in the Balkans. That would explain pressure Obama reportedly felt from

DAR ES SALAAM: Tanzanian Muslim protesters carrying Muammar Gaddafi’s pictures take to the street in the capital Dar es Salaam, protesting the western military strike on Libya. The posters on the right read Obama stop killing children and Obama terrorist. They condemned the strike calling to an end of bombardment on Libya. — AP Among that group are the former first lady and now Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and current UN Ambassador Susan Rice, a key Africa

both Hillary Clinton and Rice as the UN resolution for a no-fly zone and other action in Libyan started coming together last week. Beyond that, the American

relationship with Israel, Washington’s closest Mideast ally, always hangs above US decision making in the region. Any final peace agreement among the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors depends heavily on both Saudi Arabia and Syria. Saudi endorsement of any peace plan would carry huge weight with other Arab nations. That’s especially important after the revolution that swept Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power. He had served as a US proxy in attempts to arrange peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the wider Middle East. What’s more, Syria is still seen - despite its close ties with Iran and its support for Hezbollah forces in Lebanon - as a potential peace partner. It is desperate to win back control of the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in the 1967 war. That reality keeps Damascus in play as one of the Arab rejectionist states that could be coaxed into a peace deal. Obama has worked assiduously since taking office to repair the US image in the world, an image that was badly damaged by Washington’s invasion of Iraq and its long war to defeat the Taleban militancy and its Al-Qaeda allies in Afghanistan and in the border region with Pakistan. As he stepped into the Libyan conflict in a major way, Obama was eager to keep America’s profile as low as possible. He has routinely said, as has Clinton, that the operation in Libya would soon be ceded to NATO control. The White House has no interest in attaching itself deeply to yet another conflict in a Muslim country. That’s easier said than done.— AP

French diplomacy: 2 wins, 1 loss on Libya France fails to limit role of NATO in future operations

VATICAN: Pope Benedict XVI tries on a metal worker’s protective helmet during a special audience at the Vatican yesterday. — AP

Vatican launches public dialogue with atheists PARIS: The Vatican has launched a series of public dialogues with non-believers, choosing leading intellectual institutions in Paris to present its belief that modern societies must speak more openly about God. The decision to start the series in France, where strong secularism has pushed faith to the fringes of the public sphere, reflected Pope Benedict’s goal of bringing religious questions back into the mainstream of civic debates. The dialogues, called “Courtyard of the Gentiles” after the part of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem where Jews and non-Jews met, will continue in at least 16 cities in Europe and North America over the next two years. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s culture minister, told participants at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) the dialogue was meant not to confront believers and atheists but to seek common ground. Rather it was “an invitation to non-believers ... to start a voyage with believers through the desert,” he said. The meeting was due to continue on Friday with sessions at the Sorbonne university and the Institut de France, home of the prestigious Academie Francaise. Pope Benedict, who recently launched another Vatican drive to revitalize the faith in traditionally Catholic countries, proposed these meetings with non-believers in 2009. “We must be concerned that human beings do not set aside the question of God, but rather see it as an essential question for their lives,” he said in a speech to the Vatican hier-

archy. “We must make sure that they are open to this question and to the yearning concealed within it.” Addressing the UNESCO meeting, former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato said a so-called honor killing in his country, in which a Pakistani murdered his daughter for behaving as freely as Italian youths, presented a challenge to open democracies that believers and atheists had to think about. “Democratic societies are founded on the hypothesis that everyone can differentiate between just and unjust, good and evil, and everyone can find the limits” he said. “If one is no longer conscious of this, then democracy doesn’t work anymore.” Although he said Christianity offered a moral compass, Amato did not present it as the only way to counter the problems challenging affluent liberal societies. Even Ravasi, despite his Roman collar, did not present his views as a sermon for more Catholicism. Instead of the Gospels, he quoted secular thinkers such as the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Argentinean novelist Jorge Luis Borges. The discussions are due to end on Friday evening with a youth rally outside Notre Dame Cathedral highlighted by a video address by the pope from Rome. Fur ther dialogue meetings are planned in Italy, Albania, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Spain, Russia and the United States.— Reuters

PARIS: France scored diplomatic victories during the international imbroglio over Libya in the form of two UN resolutions, but has failed in its bid to limit the role of NATO in future operations, French diplomats say. Paris helped spearhead Security Council Resolution 1970, which opens up the possibility of Muammar Gaddafi or his top lieutenants being hauled before the International Criminal Court; and Resolution 1973, which mandates “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians. Both are unprecedented in the breadth of action they enable against a dictator in power, analysts say. “It is a high point for the credibility of the United Nations, and above all a signal to the Arab people, whose aspirations for liberty and democracy we all salute,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said. The first resolution emerged from a moment of high emotion, after a tearful appeal by Libya’s ambassador, who had defected to the opposition, appealed to the global body for prompt and decisive action. The second was delivered with some difficulty-and to the surprise of many-with several countries, including Russia and China, abstaining on the vote. Its passage, say supporters, likely avoided a bloodbath in the rebel-held eastern city of Benghazi, which was under siege by Gaddafi loyalists who were rapidly closing in. France’s bold leadership on this issue has been in sharp contrast to its response to the Tunisian uprising in January: it only distanced itself from the regime of El Abidine Ben Ali, once his downfall became inevitable. But a week after getting the military operation approved at the UN, France’s bold diplomatic push has lost momentum, bogged down in its increasingly isolated efforts to shape the anti-Gaddafi coalition. Washington, London and Rome have said they favor transfer-

CORSICA ISLAND: French Air Force Rafale jet fighter takes off for a mission to Libya, at Solenzara 126 Air Base, on Corsica Island yesterday. — AP ring all military operations to the NATO: not just the enforcement of a no-fly zone, but also the airstrikes. But Paris has resisted handing decision-making power to the transatlantic alliance. “We will not be in a NATO operation-there is not the slightest wavering” in the French position, a high-level diplomat said Friday. A day earlier though, NATO members-including France-agreed that the alliance would take on the job of policing the skies over Libya, even if they remained divided on whether it would also take over command and control of attacks against targets on the ground. “Operational, technical co-ordination will be at NATO level, but political coordination... will be at the coalition level,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday at a European Union summit. To enforce the distinction,

Republicans attack Obama over Libya WASHINGTON: Lack of leadership, indecision, confusion: These are some of the charges hurled at President Barack Obama for his handling of the conflict in Libya by Republicans who want his job. Obama’s move to launch military operations in Libya without a clear end in sight has given his Republican opponents an opening to criticize his handling of foreign policy and accuse him of displaying weakness. Libya is providing one more talking point on a Republican campaign script that until now has focused largely on criticizing the president’s handling of the US economy and stubbornly high unemployment. Democrats have done their share of complaining as well, and have agreed with Republicans who say the Obama administration has some explaining to do to Congress. But the would-be Republican candidates are fanning the flames. “We haven’t provided leadership in this administration,” Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, pondering a 2012 run for the Republican presidential nomina-

tion, told Telesouth radio. “Lots of confusion,” former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told Fox News. “What is the mission here in Libya?” The no-fly zone over Libya came too late, said former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. If done weeks ago as he had wanted, “It not only would have been successful, but would have given the rebels the window of opportunity to overthrow” Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Pawlenty told Fox News. “I would not have intervened,” former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Gaddafi.” The president did not help himself by seeming at first to lean against military action before deciding to direct the US military to act in support of a UN resolution aimed at protecting Libyan civilians. A mixed US message has also given Republicans fodder for criticism: Obama says Gaddafi “needs to go,” but that the objective of US and allies’ forces is not to topple him but rather protect Libyans from his forces. “Republicans would be blind not to see an

opening,” said Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the University of Virginia. “This is one of the biggest mistakes Obama has made, arguably. We’re still waiting for an explanation for what the real objectives are and how and when we get out of this.” So far a solid majority of Americans back the operation. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found 60 percent of Americans support the effort by the United States and its allies. But when asked to choose between descriptions of Obama’s leadership style, over a third picked “indecisive and dithering,” suggesting a potentially rich vein of criticism for Republicans to mine. Among Republicans, 64 percent of those polled saw Obama’s leadership style as weak, while 63 percent of Democrats selected “cautious and consultative” to best describe him. “American military action, international military action has saved an enormous number of lives in the past five days, and that is something that Americans should be very proud of,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.—Reuters

France engineered a “political contact group” of foreign ministers, whose first meeting will be in London next Tuesday. France will likely propose a two-tiered structure, diplomatic sources said. The first would be inclusive, gathering up to sixty representatives from different countries, parties and regional organizations. The second would be much smaller, composed of countries that have already taken part in the military campaign against and are prepared to keep doing so if violence continues against civilians and rebel strongholds. But in the end, it seems likely that France is fated to see the offensive against Gaddafi slip from its control into the grasp of the 28-member alliance, comprised of European nations, the United States, Canada and Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made it clear Friday he

was pleased that Paris was losing its grip on the operation. “Paris has started to be sidelined. I found this pretty positive especially for the current process in Libya,” Erdogan told reporters. Turkey, NATO’s sole predominantly Muslim member and a key regional player, has condemned the air strikes on Libya and ruled out taking part in any combat mission there, vowing to “never point a gun at the Libyan people”. Operationally, it is NATO’s base in Naples, Italy-also the headquarters of US naval forces for Europe and Africa-which will call the shots militarily on Libya, a high-level French official acknowledged. There is at least one upside for Paris, he said: letting NATO take charge will “help distribute the costs” of the operation, which could mount rapidly if it drags on for months rather than weeks.—AFP

NATO airstrike kills 7 civilians KABUL: A provincial governor in Afghanistan’s dangerous south said yesterday that seven civilians were accidentally killed when a NATO helicopter fired on two vehicles believed to be carrying Taliban fighters. Civilian casualties have long been a source of friction between the US-led international force and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has bluntly told the coalition that they must end. A recent UN report said at least 2,777 civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year, with about three-quarters of the deaths blamed on the insurgency. The international alliance said it was investigating the strike, which occurred on Friday in the Naw Zad district of Helmand province. The helicopter airstrike followed intelligence reports that suggested a Taliban leader and his associates were in the vehicles, NATO said. In the aftermath of the strike, coalition troops found bodies of civilians in the wreckage, NATO said. It did not released the number of the dead and

wounded. A statement issued by the Helmand provincial governor’s office said seven people - two men, two women and three children - were killed when coalition forces fired on the suspects. Those killed were in another vehicle traveling near the targeted ones. Five others Afghan civilians - a man, woman and three children - were wounded, the governor’s office said. Helmand provincial Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal condemned the civilian casualties. The deaths came only two days after the international coalition accidentally killed two civilians in the eastern province of Khost. The two were walking near a car with suspected insurgents and were not seen until after a NATO helicopter gunship launched Wednesday’s strike, NATO said. At least four other people were killed in three separate attacks in southern Afghanistan on Friday, including a child, a NATO soldier, and two civilians on a motorcycle. — AP


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Canada’s Harper: Too conservative or not enough? OTTAWA: A committed proponent of free markets with sometimes buried social conservative values, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be aiming to win an elusive majority in snap elections. The Tory leader has led two successive minority governments since February 2006 after unseating the Liberals, the party that controlled parliament for almost 13 consecutive years and for much of the past century. Once seen as prickly, awkward, and more at home plowing through economic theory than gladhanding voters on the campaign trail, Harper has managed to smooth his image since taking office. A father of two with clear blue eyes and a neatly parted mop of gray hair, Harper, who turns 52 in April, carved out an early reputation as a brilliant theoretical economist. He marginalized more extreme elements of his own party and steered clear of thorny issues like gay marriage and abortion, which has helped him win in mostly moderate Canada. Belting out a few Beatles tunes and playing piano at a concert, accompanied by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, as well as a passion for ice hockey, also helped endear him to Canadians. Opponents charge his new softer image masks an autocratic governing style, and complain that under his leadership Canada has lost clout on the world stage after losing a bid for a UN Security Council seat. They also blame him for turning a surplus inherited from the Liberals into a record deficit. Born April 30, 1959 in Toronto, Harper packed up at 18 and moved to work in the oil fields of the western province of Alberta. In the early 1980s he studied economics in

Calgary and became a leading proponent of the socalled Calgary School of economic conservatism, a group calling for lower taxes, smaller federal government, and free markets unfettered by social programs. First elected to the House of Commons in 1993, Harper quit politics in 1997 to work for a conservative lobby group. He returned to Ottawa in 2002 as head of the Canadian Alliance, a conservative party, and succeeded in merging it with the Progressive Conservatives, which traced its roots to Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John Macdonald. Canada’s two right-wing parties merged to form the Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. The political task left him little time to lay out a coherent electoral strategy, and his party lost out to Paul Martin’s Liberals in June 2004. The Conservative campaign sank under the weight of controversial statements on social issues, and the Liberals formed a minority government. By the January 2006 election cycle Harper had learned from past mistakes. His party sounded more centrist and focused on fiscal initiatives instead of social conservatism. Conservative Party victory was based on promises of tax cuts to middle-class Canadians, more military spending, and vows to devolve more power to the provinces. In another ballot in 2008, Harper castigated the Liberal’s proposal for a carbon tax as Canada headed into what was then described as the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. He won again with a larger minority. Unflappable in the face of criticism, Harper has once again laid out a “stay the course” campaign focused on the economy. This contrasts with Liberal plans for more social

OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper leaves Rideau Hall with his wife Laureen after announcing a federal election will be held on May 2. — AP spending and ethical governance during a period of economic uncertainty. As prime minister, Harper radically changed Canadian foreign policy from being an impartial arbiter to asserting itself on the world stage and pushing its own agenda. The shift-due in part to the failed Security Council seat bid-included bolstering support of Israel and refocusing aid from Africa to

South America. Harper also increased support for the military and defended Canada’s Arctic claims, while appearing to show little interest in climate change. On the domestic front, some supporters say that Harper has strayed from his fiscal conservative roots. Opponents however fear that giving him a majority in parliament would unleash his core political beliefs. — AFP

Huckabee: Potential presidential hopeful Support for GOP’s Romney and Palin slips

Former US vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin

BOSTON: Mike Huckabee holds a small lead in the field of potential Republican US presidential candidates, while Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin have slipped, according to a Gallup Poll released on Friday. Gallup’s survey of 1,000 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents taken on March 18-22 put support for former Arkansas Governor Huckabee at 19 percent. Huckabee has been creeping up, from 18 percent last month, while backing for Romney has slipped from 16 percent in February and 19 percent in November. Palin, who held at 16 percent since September, dropped to 12 percent in the latest poll. Gallup said its poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Sixteen percent of Republicans currently have no preference in the upcoming contest for the Republican nomination for 2012, the poll said, and most leading contenders have not yet committed to run. The presidential election is 18 months away, but there is widespread interest in who will face President Barack Obama, a Democrat. The first Republican primary elections to select their nominee will start in February. Observers think Romney, now on a nationwide fund-

raising swing, will almost certainly announce a second run for his party’s nomination after falling short in 2008 to John McCain. Prospects are less certain for Huckabee, a 2008 candidate who hosts a television show on Fox News. Palin, who was McCain’s running mate in 2008, also has a lucrative media career. The poll also showed that if Huckabee does not run, Palin would be the most likely to pick up his supporters, and Huckabee would benefit if Palin does not run. Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the US House of Representatives, has said he could announce a run for the nomination in May. He ran fourth in the Gallup poll with 10 percent support, up slightly from 9 percent the previous month. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Monday announced an exploratory committee, the first highprofile Republican to show serious intent for 2012. He had 3 percent support in the Gallup poll, the same as a month ago. Former US Senator Rick Santorum and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, who will campaign in the key early-voting state of New Hampshire next week, each captured just 2 percent of potential voters in the poll. — Reuters

Canadians face new vote after govt falls OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was expected to ask the governor general yesterday to officially dissolve parliament and order new elections after the opposition toppled the country’s government. In an unprecedented move, a no-confidence motion, brought by the main opposition Liberal Party and backed by two other opposition par ties, declared Harper’s conservative government in contempt of parliament. The vote sprang from a row over Harper’s budget plans. The motion, which passed by just 11 votes Friday — 156 votes in favor to 145 againstwas the first time a Canadian government has been found in contempt of parliament. “The vote today obviously disappoints me and will, I suspect, disappoint most Canadians,” Harper said, after the separatist Bloc Quebecois

and leftist New Democrats voted with the Liberals to oust his government. He said he would ask Governor General David Johnston to send Canadians to the polls in early May. In forcing yet another general election the opposition parties had scuttled a federal budget crucial to Canada’s fragile economic recovery, he said. “The economy has been and will continue to be the number one priority for me as prime minister and for all of the members of our Conservative government,” he said. “This is what Canadians expect of us in parliament, all of us.” Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff had accused the government of having “stonewalled” parliament for four months on details of its core spending priorities, and of having broken election laws. The Liberals also accused a minister of forging docu-

ments and misleading parliament. Last week, an influential opposition-dominated committee recommended the government be held in contempt for failing to provide sufficient cost information on its plans for new prisons and fighter jets. The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs voted that “the government’s failure to produce documents constitute contempt of parliament” and that “this failure impedes the House in the performance of its functions.” The Conservatives objected that the committee’s decision was “far more about politics than it is about trying to get information.” Following Friday’s vote, Ignatieff declared a “historic” victory for democracy. He accused the Tories of breaking Canada’s election laws by overspending during the 2006 cam-

paign, and said Harper had appointed as his top advisor a man who is now facing accusations for influence-peddling. “This government is out of control and out of touch,” he said. “It’s time for a change.” But the Tories go into election campaign leading in the opinion polls. A poll conducted by Ekos and released on Friday by CBS television gives the Conservatives 35.3 percent support, to 28.1 percent for the Liberals and 14.2 percent for the New Democrats, the latest I psos Reid sur vey for Postmedia News released on Thursday put support for the Conservatives at 43 percent-enough for a technical majority in parliament-against 24 percent for the Liberals. The New Democrats and Bloc both trailed in that poll with 16 percent and 10 percent, respectively.— AFP

230,000 displaced by Mexico drug violence MEXICO CITY: About 230,000 people have been displaced in Mexico because of drug violence, and about half of them may have taken refuge in the United States, according to a new study. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre based this week’s report on studies by local researchers, saying that the Mexican government does not compile figures on people who have had to leave their homes because of turf battles between drug gangs. “Independent surveys put their number at around 230,000,” according to the global report’s section on Mexico. “An estimated half of those displaced crossed the border into the United States, which would leave about 115,000 people internally displaced, most likely in the States of Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila and Veracruz.” While that number is far below the estimated 3.6 to 5.2 million displaced by decades of drug- and guerrilla-war violence in Colombia, the report suggested that people who had to flee drug violence in Mexico have received little support. “In Mexico, state and federal authorities did not acknowledge or start to respond to the internal displacement caused by drug cartels,” the Geneva-based organization said. Mexico’s Interior Department said it had no immediate comment on the report. However, government census figures released this month support the idea of an exodus, at least in some areas. The census, carried out in mid-2010, listed as uninhabited 61 percent of the 3,616 homes in Praxedis G Guerrero, a border township in the Rio Grande Valley east of Ciudad Juarez. The area has suffered turf battles between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, and people in the town said gunmen have them to leave. A striking 111,103 of the 488,785 homes in violencewracked Ciudad Juarez were abandoned, or about 23 percent, and almost one-third of the 160,171 houses in Reynosa were unoccupied. The figure for Mexico as a whole was 14 percent, and many of those, especially in southern states, may belong to migrants who went to the United States seeking work. Part of the exodus, the IDMC report noted, was because of the indiscriminate nature of the drug violence, which has killed more than 35,000 people since President Felipe Calderon ramped up an offensive against drug cartels in late 2006. Police in the northern city of Monterrey reported Friday that a local television host on a children’s variety program was kidnapped and killed by gunmen and his body left on a roadside. A cousin of host Jose Luis Cerda and a cameraman on his show also were also kidnapped late Thursday and were killed. Cerda used the stage moniker “The Cat” on the children’s program known as “The Club.” Police officials said the motives were still under investigation. Cerda’s blindfolded, bound body was found in a vacant lot, then stolen by gunmen as police were cordoning off the area. A spokesman for the state government who was not authorized to give his name said Cerda’s body turned up for a second time later Friday beside a main road in the city center and was secured by authorities. Nuevo Leon public security office says five Guadalupe police officers have been detained and will be investigated for failing to provide adequate security after the initial finding of La Gata’s body. In the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco, five dismembered bodies, four of them police officers who were abducted hours earlier, were found just a few blocks from where President Felipe Calderon and Guerrero State Governor Zeferino Torreblanca inaugurated the city’s annual Tourism Fair for international tour operators and industry officials.—AP

Venezuela students stitch lips in protest CARACAS: Four students in Venezuela have partially sewn their lips together to press their demands for funding for public universities as part of a growing hunger strike. One 18-year-old student, Gabriela Torrijos, stitched the left corner of her mouth together Friday as she and a group of other students maintained their hunger strike outside the UN Development Program office in Caracas. Three other students have partly sewn their lips in the past several days. The hunger strike began with five students Feb 23 and has grown since. Students say their universities may not be able to keep operating if the government does not provide adequate funding. University administrators have said that by early April more than two dozen public universities in the country may not have enough funds to keep cafeterias running or purchase supplies. Government officials dispute those claims, saying the students are being manipulated by President Hugo Chavez’s opponents. “If they want to walk naked through the street, let them do it. If they want to sew whatever they want to sew, let them sew it, but ... we’re going to

CARACAS: Student Gabriela Torrijo, 18, participates in a hunger strike with her lips partially sewn together outside the United Nations Development Program (PNUD) in Caracas. — AP

keep working for our homeland,” Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said during a televised event in southeastern Bolivar state. Referring to the protest, Maduro

said it shows the right-wing in Venezuela “continues with its madness.” Torrijos, a political science student at the Central University of Venezuela, said she joined

the hunger strike four days to demand action by the government in providing needed funding. Torrijos was in pain after she partially stitched her lips together with her own hands. “After seeing my friends take this action, I did it in solidarity with them,” she said. Another student, 28-year-old Villca Fernandez, had a swollen face three days after he sewed up the edge of his mouth. He was visibly weak from the hunger strike, saying he hadn’t eaten solid food for 30 days and has no intention of stopping until he and others succeed in achieving their demands. “I’m willing to die for my university,” he said. “I’m willing to die for my country.” Gaby Arellano, one of the protest organizers, said there were 55 university students participating in the hunger strike as of Friday in Caracas and elsewhere in the country, though that claim could not be independently confirmed. Chavez on Tuesday announced plans to increase students’ stipends and said the government was willing to review university budgets. Students participating in the hunger strike have dismissed those announcements as inadequate. — AP

CARACAS: Student Villca Fernandez, 28, participates in a hunger strike with his lips partially sewn together outside the United Nations Development Program (PNUD) in Caracas. — AP


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Japan’s tsunami defenses brutally exposed TARO: If anyone in Japan had reason to feel safe from a tsunami, it was the residents of Taro, a small fishing town protected by a seemingly impregnable, giant seawall of reinforced concrete. But the monster wave that hit the northeast coast on March 11 surged over the barrier with ease-its force undiminished as it crashed into Taro and leveled everything in its path. “I had never imagined that this seawall could be breached,” said Yayoi Onatomo, looking down over the devastated town from the top of the wall whose construction had promised to consign such a tragic sight to history. “It was the pride and symbol of Taro,” said the 42-year-old local restaurant employee, who had brought her son and daughter along for an object lesson in the futility of man’s efforts to tame nature.

Taro has been here before. Giant tsunamis destroyed the town in 1896 and 1933, and it was the latter disaster that spurred construction of the towering seawall that was completed in 1958. Known as a Japanese “Great Wall of China,” it stretches for 2.4 kilometers and rises as high as 10 meters, sealing off the serene, coastal bay where Taro sits. So strong was the townspeople’s faith in the security it afforded that some, according to long-time resident Fumiko Hirata, actually climbed the barrier to watch the March 11 tsunami as it approached. “They were just swept away. The tsunami came very fast,” said Hirata, 74. No country in the world is more experienced in or better protected against the threat of tsunamis. The word itself is Japanese, and what is arguably the country’s most famous

painting, by the 19th century artist Hokusai, depicts a tsunami-like wave passing by Mount Fuji. As well as seawalls, like the one at Taro, the eastern coast is dotted with other defenses, such as offshore breakwaters and raised river dykes-complemented by sophisticated early warning systems. Their impotence in the face of the March 11 tsunami, which barreled unhindered through the world’s deepest breakwater in Kamaishi Bay, south of Taro, has led some officials to suggest more drastic preventive measures. Jin Sato, mayor of Minamisanriku, one of the hardest-hit towns, called for a a “fundamental change” in policy and hinted at regulations that would put low-lying coastal areas off-limits to residential construction. “Do our citizens want to go back to the same

place after facing such a massive tsunami?” Sato asked. Yoshitaka Tomoda, a professor in civil engineering at Iwate Prefectural University, said there would always be limits on what man-made defenses could achieve. “It’s impossible to protect all lives and property with hardware alone,” Tomoda said. It’s a lesson the residents of Taro learned in the most brutal fashion. Two weeks after the disaster, survivors could still be seen gazing blankly at the wreckage of the town, while others scoured the debris for possessions and mementos of those who died-pictures, diaries, toys. The only sounds were of mechanical diggers removing rubble and military vehicles moving in convoy down a nearby road. “Most people here placed too much trust in the seawall,” said Tomio Hakoishi, a 63-year-old barber who man-

aged to escape to higher ground and returned to find his house had simply disappeared. “Many people underestimated it, I’m afraid,” he said. Others echoed that judgment, citing a sense of complacency that had set in after frequent tsunami warnings over the years that had resulted in little more than some angry surf. Masaru Arakida, a senior researcher at the Asian Disaster Reduction Centre, said Japanese coastal towns needed to be redesigned to prevent another disaster in the future. “This tsunami was bigger than what the nation, experts and local residents had originally thought,” Arakida said. “Do you think it’s enough to merely upgrade expectations of levels of tsunami from three or five meters to 15 or 30?” Arakida said. “We are facing a new challenge.”— AFP

Radiation spike in sea near Japan nuke plant More than 10,000 dead, 17,500 missing after tsunami

BAHDUWA: Nepalese women from Bakduwa para-legal committee speak during their frequent meetings in the village of Bahduwa, Saptari District, some 240 kms southeast of Kathmandu. — AFP

Women tackle Nepal’s flawed justice system SAPTARI: In a dusty courtyard in southeastern Nepal, around a dozen women in matching blue saris sit cross-legged and discuss their neighbors. “I heard that a landowner beat an 11year-old boy just because he suspected the child of letting his animals escape from their field,” says one. “In my village, there is a Muslim man who wants to take a second wife,” says another, while a third tells the story of a 13-yearold girl whose father is rumored to be planning to sell her to a man from neighboring India. To the outsider, these stories might sound like mere village gossip. In fact, they are part of a groundbreaking effort to deliver justice in Nepal, where law enforcement is weak at best, and non-existent at worst. Since 1999, women in many parts of the impoverished Himalayan nation have been meeting every month to fight back against the discrimination and abuses they and other marginalized groups have been subjected to for centuries. Known as paralegal committees, they were first set up in 1999 as part of an anti-trafficking program run by the UN children’s agency, UNICEF. Since then they have expanded their remit to include many other forms of abuse, with a focus on issues the authorities have tended to turn a blind eye to, such as child marriage and domestic violence. There are now 644 paralegal committees working in the 23 districts of Nepal where UNICEF is active, and the UN agency has plans to expand the scheme to cover all 75 districts by 2013. The members are given basic legal training covering a wide spectrum of issues, from trafficking and sexual harassment to property laws and the rights of divorced women. Their role is three-fold-prevention, detection and victim support-and a 2008 UNICEF study found they made a “significant contribution” to ensuring victims of violence and other crimes seek justice. UNICEF child protection specialist Patrizia Benvenuti said the committees played a vital

role, particularly in areas where the state has little or no presence. “We hope that over time the links between formal and informal mechanisms will increase, but in the meantime we are investing in community-based protection structures because they are necessary,” she said. “They are also important in promoting the role of women and children in society. “When you talk to authorities, they say that abuses of women are now starting to be reported, although that is only the tip of the iceberg. But cases of child abuse rarely even come up, so much still needs to be done.” The district of Saptari in Nepal’s southeastern plains, on the border with India, has more problems than most. A high proportion of its population is Tharu, an ethnic group indigenous to the area-known as the Terai-that has traditionally suffered high levels of poverty and discrimination. Maoist bomb attacks shut down all but two of its 114 police posts during the 10year civil war between the leftist insurgents and state security forces that ended in 2006. Most have now been rebuilt, and police officers have slowly returned to the district over the past five years. But they face huge challenges from criminal gangs that use Nepal’s porous border with India to evade detection from authorities on both sides, leaving little time to tackle the crimes that affect local women and children. Official corruption is also a major problem. A recent report from Human Rights Watch said police in Nepal “routinely refuse to accept complaints from relatives of victims” and bow to pressure from local political groups to drop investigations. Nonetheless, the blue-uniformed women of the Bakduwa paralegal committee in Saptari say they are forcing the authorities to take the problems of their community seriously. Last year, the Bakduwa committee managed to resolve 41 cases, most of them involving either domestic violence or child abuse. —AFP

TOKYO: Radioactivity levels are soaring in seawater near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japan’s nuclear safety agency said yesterday, two weeks after the nuclear power plant was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami. Even as engineers tried to pump puddles of radioactive water from the power plant 240 km north of Tokyo, the nuclear safety agency said tests on Friday showed radioactive iodine had spiked 1,250 times higher than normal in the seawater just offshore the plant. Officials said iodine 131 levels in seawater 30 km from the coastal nuclear complex were within acceptable limits established by regulations and the contamination posed little risk to aquatic life. “Ocean currents will disperse radiation particles and so it will be very diluted by the time it gets consumed by fish and seaweed,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a senior official from Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Despite that reassurance, the disclosure may well heighten international concern over Japanese seafood exports. Several countries have already banned milk and produce from areas around the Fukushima Daiichi plant, while others have been monitoring Japanese seafood. The prolonged efforts to prevent a catastrophic meltdown at the plant have also intensified concerns around the world about nuclear power. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it was time to reassess the international atomic safety regime. Radioactive water was found in buildings housing three of the six reactors at the crippled plant. On Thursday, three workers sustained burns at reactor No 3 after being exposed to radiation levels 10,000 times higher than usually found in a reactor. The crisis at the nuclear plant has overshadowed the massive relief and recovery effort from the magnitude 9.0 quake and the huge tsunami it triggered on March 11 that left more than 27,500 people dead or missing in northeast Japan. The US Department of Energy said on its website (http://blog.energy.gov/content/situationjapan/)that no significant quantities of radiological material had been deposited in the area around the plant since March 19, according to tests on Friday. Nishiyama said Japanese agencies were trying to work out ways of “safely bailing out the water so that it does not get out into the environment, and we are making preparations”. He initially said the high radiation reading inside reactor 3, where the workers were injured, could indicate damage to the reactor. He later said it could be from venting operations to release pressure or water leakage from pipes or valves. “There is no data suggesting a crack,” Nishiyama said. Reactor number 3 is the only one of the six that uses a fuel mixture of plutonium and uranium. Plutonium is the most deadly radioactive isotope. On Friday, Nishiyama

YAMAMOTO: A Japanese funeral company worker looks at the coffins before burying during a mass funeral in Yamamoto, northeastern Japan yesterday. — AP chided plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) for not following safety procedures inside the turbine building. FOUR VOLATILE REACTORS More than 700 engineers have been working in shifts to stabilize the plant and work has been advancing to restart water pumps to cool their fuel rods. Two of the plant’s reactors are now seen as safe but the other four are volatile, occasionally emitting steam and smoke. However, the nuclear safety agency said yesterday that temperature and pressure in all reactors had stabilized. When TEPCO restored power to the plant late last week, some thought the crisis would soon be over. But lingering high levels of radiation from the damaged reactors have hampered progress. At Three Mile Island, the worst nuclear power accident in the United States, workers took just four days to stabilize the reactor, which suffered a partial meltdown. No one was injured and there was no radiation release above the legal limit. At Chernobyl in Ukraine, the worst nuclear accident in the world, it took weeks to “stabilize” what remained of the plant and months to clean up radioactive materials and cover the site with a concrete and steel sarcophagus. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Friday the situation at Fukushima

was “nowhere near” being resolved, although his chief cabinet secretary sounded a cautiously optimistic note the next day. “We are preventing the situation from worsening-we’ve restored power and pumped in fresh water-and making basic steps towards improvement but there is still no room for complacency,” Yukio Edano told a news briefing. NORMAL RADIATION RANGE In Tokyo, a metropolis of 13 million people, a Reuters reading yesterday morning showed ambient radiation of 0.22 microsieverts per hour, about six times normal for the city. That was well within the global average of naturally occurring background radiation of 0.17-0.39 microsieverts per hour, a range given by the World Nuclear Association. An official at the Science Ministry, however, confirmed that daily radiation levels in an area 30 km (18 miles) northwest of the stricken plant had exceeded the annual limit. But experts say it is still below levels of exposure from medical X-rays. The Japanese government has prodded tens of thousands of people living in a 20 km-30 km zone beyond the stricken complex to leave. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the residents should move because it was difficult to get supplies to the area, and not because of elevated radiation.—Reuters

Malaysian govt softens stance on seized Bibles KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s government has reversed its decision to stamp a seized shipment of Malay-language Bibles with serial numbers and government seals, softening its stance after Christians slammed the move as desecrating their holy book. A dispute over the distribution of Malay-language Bibles containing the word “Allah” as a translation for God has caused authorities to hold 35,000 Indonesian-made Bibles at two Malaysian ports since 2009. The government in this Muslim-majority country bans the use of “Allah” in non-Islamic texts, saying it could confuse Muslims or even be used to convert them. Malaysian Christians say the Arabic word “Allah” is a common reference for God that predates Islam and in Malay language it has been used for centuries by both Muslims and Christians. They say the ban is unconstitutional and threatens the religious freedom of minorities. Last week, the government agreed to release the Bibles on condition they are stamped with serial numbers and seals with warnings that the books are meant for Christians only. The Christian Federation of Malaysia, which represents most of the country’s churches, said that would amount to desecrating the Bibles. Late Tuesday, the Prime Minister’s Department offered what it called a “fair and reasonable solution” to resolve the dispute. The Bibles will be released with only the words “For Christianity” stamped on them, the department said in a statement. For books already stamped with serial numbers and seals, it said Christian donors have offered to replace them with new imported Bibles. It reiterated that the serialization of the Bibles was standard practice and not meant to deface the books. The government will issue a directive to allow future imports of all Malay-language Bibles as long as the books contain the stamp “For Christianity,” the department said. The Christian federation said it would issue a statement after church leaders meet next week to discuss the government’s offer. While the government’s proposed release of the Bibles aims to ease religious friction, it also attempts to assure Muslims that their interests will not be undermined in an ongoing court case on whether nonMuslims have the constitutional right to use “Allah.” The government is appealing a December 2009 court ruling that religious minorities - mostly Christians, Buddhists and Hindus - have the right to use “Allah.” The verdict caused a brief surge in tensions last year, when 11 churches were attacked amid anger among some Muslims.— AP

PHNOM PENH: A handout photo received shows Cambodian men and women about to take part in a mass wedding ceremony organized by Khmer Rouge officials at an undisclosed location in the late 1970s. — AFP

Heartache of Khmer Rouge forced marriage victims PHNOM PENH: When the Khmer Rouge ordered Phalla to marry a man she had never met in 1976, the young woman knew she had to obey if she wanted to survive Cambodia’s infamous “Killing Fields” era. Having already angered the superiors in her labor camp by refusing to wed her cousin, she was warned that such defiance would not be tolerated twice. “I was told I was to marry another man and if I still refused, I would be re-educated,” she said, a term she knew meant certain death. “Then I agreed because I was very afraid,” Phalla, 54 said, not wanting to use her real name. Experts say the Khmer Rouge forced tens of thousands of men and women to wed, often in mass ceremonies, as part of leader Pol Pot’s plan to boost the population. Authorities wanted to control every aspect of an individual’s life and sought to destroy family bonds, claiming the state was all the family a person needed. The hardline communist regime strove to create an agrarian utopia

but was ultimately responsible for the deaths of up two million people from overwork, starvation and execution between 1975 and 1979. Four of the movement’s most senior surviving leaders-”Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, former head of state Khieu Samphan, ex-foreign minister Ieng Sary and ex-social affairs minister Ieng Thirith-are set to face a UN-backed court for atrocity crimes in the middle of this year. With forced marriage included as a crime against humanity in the indictments, the trial will provide the first forum for these husbands and wives to seek justice. More than 600 forced marriage victims have been included as civil parties in the upcoming case, international civil party co-lawyer Silke Studzinsky said, and many are hoping to give testimony. According to the indictments, the unions “were part of the attack against the civilian population, in particular the imposition of sexual relations aimed at enforced procreation”.—AFP


13

SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

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Libya and selective US intervention By Bernd Debusmann e stand for universal values, including the rights of the ... people to freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and the freedom to access information.” (President Barack Obama, during the Egyptian mass uprising against a detested dictator.) “The United States is ... to construct an architecture of values that spans the globe and includes every man, woman and child. An architecture that can not only counter repression and resist pressure on human rights, but also extend those fundamental freedoms to places where they have been too long denied.” (US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a foreign policy speech in September.) That is the theory - US foreign policy in defense of universal values. In practice, the United States has often been unable or unwilling to live up to the values it preaches. Like other big powers, it has placed its self-interest first, which meant dividing the world into acceptable and unacceptable authoritarians. Soaring rhetoric since the beginning of the pro-democracy uprisings in the Arab world notwithstanding, the gap between theory and practice is in full view again. In an act of selective intervention, the US, France, and Britain launched air and missile strikes on Libya on March 19 to prevent the government of Muammar Gaddafi from using “illegitimate force” against Libyans demanding his ouster and clamoring for the same freedoms the Obama administration, after dithering and zig-zagging, eventually cheered in Egypt. While Gaddafi’s brutal crackdown on opponents provoked a war, equally ruthless repressions (though on a smaller scale) of pro-democracy demonstrators in Bahrain and Yemen prompted rhetorical American slaps on the wrists of the respective rulers, Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years, and a royal family which declared martial law in Bahrain last week. So why Libya and not Yemen and Bahrain? Here is where lofty talk of universal values collides with selfinterest and here is where policies the United States pursued for more than half a century live on. George W. Bush’s secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, put it succinctly in a 2005 speech in Cairo: “For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy ... here in the Middle East.” It still does, where Yemen and Bahrain are concerned. As a newly leaked cable (dating back to 2005) from the US Embassy in the Yemeni capital put it: “Saleh has provided Yemen with relative stability ... but has done little to strengthen government institutions or modernize the country. As a result, any succession scenario is fraught with uncertainty.” Uncertainty in a tribal country that is home to AlQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is the stuff of nightmares for the US government, which has been counting on Saleh’s cooperation in the fight against AQAP. So, there has been no public American push for him to step down, not even after the killing of 52 prodemocracy demonstrators in a Sana’a square on March 18. Washington shrugged off a call by Human Rights Watch, a New York-based group, for a suspension of military assistance to Yemen. Which brings to mind a remark attributed to Franklin D Roosevelt, more than 60 years ago, about Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza: “He may be a son of a bitch but he is our son of a bitch.” Who says there is no consistency in US foreign policy? In the case of Bahrain, too, US national interests trump universal values. The tiny island, connected by a causeway to Saudi Arabia, is home to the US Fifth Fleet, there to guard shipping lanes that carry around 40 percent of the world’s tanker-borne oil. Saudi Arabia sent more than 1,000 troops into Bahrain to help the royal family in a ruthless crackdown on dissent. With martial law imposed, the freedoms of which Obama spoke so approvingly when the Egyptians ousted Hosni Mubarak have been suspended in Bahrain. Hillary Clinton’s talk of an “architecture” to extend fundamental freedoms “to places where they have long been denied” sounds quaint in this context. But critics of Washington’s dealings with the world should take note that hypocrisy and double standards are not an American monopoly. —Reuters

“W

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Ground shifts as new order takes shape By Samia Nakhoul he scene is eerily similar, everywhere you look in the Middle East. The physical geography may be different but the political geography is the same. Switch on any Arab satellite TV channel and you can watch pro-democracy demonstrators openly defying the rulers who have controlled their lives for decades. But it may take more than a moment to figure out whether you are seeing Libya or Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia or Syria, maybe Morocco, Bahrain or perhaps Oman. The ground is shifting underneath these ruling elites and few seem likely to survive without undertaking major changes. “You have a sense of empowerment, people feel emboldened. They realise they can really change their governments,” said Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle East politics at the London School of Economics. “That’s why almost every Arab country is undergoing social upheaval. These are more than protests. “People want real change.” The revolts have not just exposed the vulnerability of Arab autocrats but have extracted concessions from them unimaginable only a few months ago. The old ways no longer work. “ The whole system is changing,” said Beirut-based commentator Rami Khoury. “Arab leaders have to change. They can no longer use the same techniques they used before. Every single country without exception has to make changes.” Gerges said: “I think we have reached a point of no return. I don’t think the Middle East will be the same. It is a new order in the making. It is revolution in the making.” In a region where opposition has come in recent decades from militant Islam, the

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nature of the sparks that have touched off explosive anger reveal a much broader, less religious, movement intent on reclaiming a sense of personal destiny and dignity. The protesters are often young, but always courageous and mostly determined. No longer cowed by the arsenal of repression available to their rulers, these young Arabs have a sense of climbing out of a dungeon that has been their disfigured world. In Tunisia, it all began with a slap and a slur hurled at a vegetable seller by a policewoman in a rundown provincial city. Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight in protest and, three months after his death, he would scarcely recognise the region he knew. In Egypt, it started with a march of anger against police brutality and the beating to death of an activist, Khaled Said. In Libya, the spark was the arrest of a human rights lawyer in Benghazi. In Syria, peaceful protests began in the border town of Deraa to demand the release of 15 schoolchildren. They were jailed for daubing on walls slogans about freedom which they had heard beamed in from Egypt on satellite television. The balance sheet so far is: two dictators have gone, in Tunisia and Egypt; another is under siege in Libya; yet another autocrat whose days in power seem numbered in Yemen; and a host of other Arab leaders whose thrones are beginning to wobble. What these states have in common is not just socio-economic profiles - plus or minus the ruler’s ability to offer oil cash to appease citizens. It is also that a common language and culture have helped foster a thirst for emulating successful revolutions in neighbouring states like Tunisia and Egypt. Promises of prosperity have not deflected calls for change. “It is not just

about bread and butter or jobs. It is more than that. It is about freedom in society. It is about having a representative government. People want to be proud citizens. They want to have a say in the way their countries are governed and how their society is managed,” Gerges said. Young people - typically one in two or three of these fastgrowing Arab populations - have thrown off traditions of deference to elders to spearhead a drive against an old, postcolonial order that is marked by tyranny and stagnation. A generation or two ago, revolutions often military coups - brought to power some of these men with promises of people power. Yet many ended up establishing their own dynasties, sharing out their nations’ wealth among their families, clans, and loyalists in the military and business elites. They held power through wholesale repression, exercised by ubiquitous secret police using torture, imprisonment without trial and, on occasion, massacres. Promises of prosperity and education for all translated into very little for the majority. Faced with the unprecedented protests, many Arab leaders have made concessions in recent weeks that they had never contemplated in decades of absolute power. Yet the wave of revolt keeps on building among populations who believe their countries will change only once the old order is pushed aside. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, who has joined the ranks of leaders facing challenges, made a rare public pledge to grant greater freedoms on Thursday after attacks by security forces on protesters in the southern city of Daraa that left 44 dead. Yet Friday saw more and more widespread protests, and more killings, in a

country at the heart of the Arab cultural world. The LSE’s Gerges said many leaders in trouble have failed to understand their people: “They have been throwing money around but I don’t think they have grasped the depth or the longing of people for a more open society, more freedoms, more representation in the government. This is across the board.” For Khouri, changes will be deep and widespread: “Citizens have revolted against their system,” he said. “Not every country wants to topple its ruler but everybody wants significant changes in the governance and the exercise of power, change in the role of the security forces and the rights of citizens.” Satellite television, mobile phones and social media have weakened leaders’ ability to kill thousands without challenge, as for example Egypt’s new deposed Hosni Mubarak did in the 1990s or Assad’s father did against Islamists in Hama in 1982. When the forces of President Ali Abdullah Saleh killed 52 unarmed protesters in the Yemeni capital Sanaa last Friday, he lost the support of key figures in the elite. Division at the top has become a feature of difficulties Arab leaders have found themselves in. Some believe Syria could follow a similar pattern. One analyst familiar with the country’s power structures said the bloodshed in Daraa could show a rift between President Assad, who has spoken of cautious reform, and his brother Maher, who is seen as a hardliner. “The killing in Daraa crosses a line which is very difficult to retract from. There is tremendous hate,” the analyst said. “Will the iron fist be met with the iron will of rebellion, as was the case in Tunisia and Egypt, and now Yemen? “If they continue killing people, they are in danger.” — Reuters

Kan safe for now, at risk when crisis over By Linda Sieg it by bit, the gloves are starting to come off. The media and opposition politicians who muted their criticism of Japan’s government as it struggled with the triple calamities of a massive earthquake, tsunami and a crippled nuclear plant are growing more vocal, a prelude to fiercer attacks that will come when the crisis fades. That bodes ill for Prime Minister Naoto Kan, whose grip on power was weakening before the deadly March 11 earthquake struck and who could well face pressure to resign once the uneasy political truce inspired by the disaster ends. “In a paradoxical way, as long as the situation is critical, he is secure, but if he succeeds in containing the crisis, he will be criticised,” said Koichi Nakano, a political science professor at Sophia University in Tokyo. “I’m not sure any politician at the helm would have made much difference, but it’s natural that when people relax, they will vent anger.” Kan’s resignation could conceivably clear the way for a rejigged ruling coalition, and that would break a parliamentary deadlock that has kept Japan from crafting policies to address the country’s most profound problems, a fast-ageing society and huge public debt. But pes-

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simists wonder if any replacement of Kan - already Japan’s fifth premier since 2006 - would do any better. Kan, 64, was already in danger before the disaster struck. His voter approval rating had sunk to around 20 percent, opposition parties which control parliament’s upper house were blocking budget bills to force a snap election that his Democratic Party (DPJ) was at risk of losing, and critics inside the DPJ were pressing him to quit to revive their fortunes. Since the disaster, the pressure on Kan has faded as critics inside and outside the ruling party tried to avoid the appearance of political manoeuvring at a time of crisis. Opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Sadakazu Tanigaki has refused a request to join the cabinet, but he has pledged to cooperate in what could be Japan’s costliest reconstruction effort since its defeat in World War Two. Kan has mostly shunned the public in the past two weeks, giving three news conferences but taking few questions since the earthquake and tsunami, which devastated northeast Japan, killed at least 10,000 people and

probably thousands more, and turned a nuclear power plant north of Tokyo into a radiationleaking wreck.

One day after the quake hit, Kan flew by helicopter to view the crippled nuclear complex, and was widely reported to have dashed to the headquarters of the facility’s operator to blast executives there for mishandling the crisis. Both actions have come under fire. “As top commander, the prime minister’s role is to remain firmly at his office ... and coordinate,” Sadatoshi Ozato, a former lawmaker from the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, was quoted as saying by the Sankei newspaper yesterday. “ The top commander shouldn’t be absent because he is flying in a helicopter or going to the power company,” said Ozato, who was minister for disaster measures after the 1995 quake that struck the western city of Kobe, which killed more than 6,400. More than 700 workers have been mobilised to stabilise the plant and some progress has been made, but fresh fears were raised on Thursday when three workers were exposed to highly radiated water, sparking concerns about further contamination and delays to efforts to move beyond ad hoc cooling measures. Concern and confusion also grew after Chief Cabinet

Secretary Yukio Edano said on Friday that the government was urging thousands of people living in a 20-30 km radius zone beyond the stricken complex to leave voluntarily, but would not for now widen a 20 km evacuation zone. “It will be hard to avoid the weak, such as the elderly and sick, being left behind,” the Yomiuri newspaper quoted LDP lawmaker Yasutoshi Nishimura as saying. Such criticism may remain mild as long as the nuclear crisis persists and tsunami survivors in the northeast, where more than a quarter of a million are in shelters, are still suffering. “If the situation at the Fukushima plant stabilizes though we don’t know when that will be - intense criticism will emerge,” said political commentator Minoru Morita. A Supreme Court ruling last week urging parliament to correct a big disparity in the weight of electoral votes between rural and urban districts makes a snap poll unlikely in the near term. Kan’s resignation might clear the way for a broad coalition between the Democrats and the LDP, making it easier to tackle long-stalled reforms. “If he goes, the LDP will consider a coalition. That is really the only path forward,” analyst Morita said. Others, however, were less sanguine. “I don’t see any alternative that would make things better,” Nakano said. — Reuters


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Lights off as ‘Earth Hour’ circles globe PARIS: Hundreds of landmark buildings and millions of ordinary homes were switching off their lights yesterday as the annual “Earth Hour” moved around the globe in what was dubbed the world’s largest voluntary action for the environment. Australia’s Opera House was the first of many global landmarks to go dark as the event got under way, as hundreds of millions of people prepared to follow suit to enhance awareness of energy use and climate change. Others in their turn included Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” stadium that hosted the 2008 Olympics, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the London Eye Ferris wheel, Times Square in New York and Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue. Most were switching off their floodlighting, advertising signs and other illuminations for an hour from 8:30 pm local time. “The amount of power that’s saved during that time is not really what it’s about,” Earth Hour co-founder and executive director Andy Ridley told AFP in Sydney, where the movement began in 2007. “What it is meant to be about is showing what can happen when people come together.” Ridley said a record 134 countries or territories were on board for this year’s event, which organisers have dubbed the world’s largest voluntary action for the environment. Organisers this year also asked people to commit to an action, large or small, that they will carry through the year to help the planet. For example, Dalian city in northeastern China will spend $1.5 billion planting 340 million trees and Chengdu city in the southwest will make up to 60,000 bicycles available for public rental. The event kicked off in the Pacific, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia, rolling into Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas as it followed the descending sun. Ridley said Earth Hour, organised by global environment group the WWF, this year would also focus on connecting people online so they could inspire each other to make commitments to help protect the environment. Nearly 600,000 people had “liked” Earth Hour’s official Facebook page by the time the event began in the Asia Pacific, while hundreds of tweets with the #earthhour hashtag were appearing on Twitter every few minutes. In Australia, organisers said an estimated 10 million people, nearly half the population, took part, with Sydney Harbour Bridge another of the landmarks to go dark. Hong Kong’s neon waterfront dimmed, while in Singapore all decorative lights were switched off and non-critical operational

lights lowered at Changi Airport for an hour. The airport said the effort would result in energy savings equivalent to the total amount of electricity consumed by a four-room apartment over three months. In Japan, which is reeling from a huge earthquake and tsunami that struck this month, several thousand people and a hotel-turned-evacuation centre in the northeast marked Earth Day. “People in Japan will have a special feeling this year when they turn the switches off,” WWF spokeswoman Hideko Arai told AFP ahead of the switch-off. “We will not only think about climate change but also the people who need energy in the disaster-hit areas,” she said. “We want to show our support for disaster victims.” The March 11 twin disaster left more than 27,000 people dead or missing and hundreds of thousands more homeless, sheltering in emergency facilities. In Paris a minute’s silence was to be observed for Japan as the city of light went dark, with illuminations switched off at the cathedral of Notre Dame, City Hall, the two opera houses and many bridges, fountains and public places. Another 129 French towns and cities were also taking part in EarthHour. In Russia some 30 cities were joining in, from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the most easterly city on the Kamchatka peninsula, through Moscow to Murmansk in the far north. Moscow was to turn off floodlighting on more than 70 buildings and bridges, including the 540-m television tower and the 32-storey Moscow State University building. In Athens monuments being darkened included the Acropolis, the parliament building, the presidential palace and at the temple of Poseidon near the city. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon backed Earth Hour, urging people to celebrate the shared quest to “protect the planet and ensure human well-being”. “Let us use 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light,” he said. British Prime Minister David Cameron said sharing responsibility was the key to fighting climate change, describing Earth Hour as “a huge symbol of global solidarity, an inspiring display of international commitment”. Ridley said he never expected the Earth Hour movement to become so large. “We didn’t imagine right at the beginning... it would be on the scale that it is now. And the fact that it is so cross cultural, beyond borders and race and religion,” he said. — AFP

Rebels rout Gaddafi forces in key towns Continued from Page 1 Gaddafi fighters who were being treating as prisoners of war. A rebel fighter later told AFP insurgents retaken Brega also. “We are in the centre of Brega,” Abdelsalam Al-Maadani told AFP by telephone. “Gaddafi’s forces are on the retreat and should now be at Al-Bisher (30 km) west of Brega.” A journalist travelling with them confirmed seeing rebels in control of the centre of the oil town, and told AFP government forces had completely withdrawn. The rebels, backed by the Western barrage, earlier poured into Ajdabiya, where destroyed tanks and military vehicles littered the road, AFP correspondents at the scene reported. The bodies of at least two proGaddafi fighters were surrounded by onlookers taking photos, while a mosque and many houses bore the scars of heavy shelling as the rebels celebrated, firing into the air and shouting “God is greatest.” Outside the town, the bodies of 21 loyalist soldiers had been collected, a medic told AFP. Osama Al-Qasy from Benghazi’s Hawari hospital said the bodies were found 10 km west of Ajdabiya. Other charred corpses remained in the desert, covered by blankets. Regime loyalists had dug in at Ajdabiya after being forced back from the road to Benghazi by the first coalition air strikes. They were accused by residents of brutalising the population. Resident Ibrahim Saleh, 34, told AFP: “The tanks were firing on the houses non-stop. I couldn’t move from my house for days. There was no water or fuel or communications, and when people went out even to get fuel they were fired on. The coalition air strikes were yesterday and the day before. They attacked from the skies and the revolutionaries came in afterwards and freed the city.” Ajdabiya, straddling the key road to Benghazi, is the first town to fall back into rebel hands since a coalition of Western forces launched UN-backed air strikes on March 19 to stop Gaddafi’s forces attacking civilians. But in Libya’s west, where the capital Tripoli and most of Gaddafi’s support is located, the port city of Misrata was in dire need of outside help from coalition jets and humanitarian groups because of attacks by Gaddafi forces, the rebels said. “Please, do something about Misrata,” one member of the rebellion, Mustafa Gheriani, pleaded. “People there are willing to take casualties. They need intervention,” he said. “Please, they need a floating hospital.” Abdulmollah said he believed a hospital ship organised by non-governmental organisations was en route to Misrata under NATO escort from Malta. Elsewhere, huge explosions shook a military site in an eastern suburb of Tripoli early yesterday as Western forces piled pressure on the regime. The blasts left a radar facility in flames in Tajura, home to several military bases, a witness told AFP. “The district was shaken by three explosions in succession,” the resident said, adding that the explosions had shattered windows. “The raid targeted a military radar site which is still on fire,” added the resident, who lives nearby.

Libyan state television was broadcasting occasional, brief news reports of Western air strikes. Mostly it showed footage - some of it grainy images years old - of cheering crowds waving green flags and carrying portraits of Gaddafi. Neither Gaddafi nor his sons have been shown on state television since the Libyan leader made a speech from his Tripoli compound on Wednesday. State TV said the “brother leader” had promoted all members of his armed forces and police “for their heroic and courageous fight against the crusader, colonialist assault”. In a screen caption, Libyan TV later said that tens of thousands of Britons had massed to condemn the “colonialist, crusader aggression” against Libya, an apparent reference to a march in London against government spending cuts. Under pressure to explain his strategy to Americans, Obama gave his most detailed review of the conflict so far, and insisted national interests were behind his decision to order US forces into UN-mandated combat. “Make no mistake, because we acted quickly, a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided and the lives of countless civilians - innocent men, women and children - have been saved,” he said in his weekly radio and online address. Obama said a week into the operation that when innocent people were brutalised by a leader like Gaddafi threatening a “bloodbath,” and when nations were prepared to respond together, “it’s in our national interest to act”. “And it’s our responsibility. This is one of those times,” he said. “Our military mission in Libya is clear and focused,” he added, noting the no-fly zone was mandated by the UN Security Council and that an international coalition was protecting Libyans to prevent “further atrocities”. “We’re succeeding in our mission. We’ve taken out Libya’s air defences. Gaddafi’s forces are no longer advancing across Libya.” Obama repeated his warnings that Gaddafi should go. “Muammar Gaddafi has lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to rule, and the aspirations of the Libyan people must be realised,” he said. The Libyan opposition’s interim national council leader Mahmoud Jibril said his people no longer needed outside help, in a letter addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and published by the daily Le Figaro. “In the middle of the night, your planes destroyed tanks that were set to crush Benghazi. ... The Libyan people see you as liberators. Its recognition will be eternal,” he wrote. However, Jibril added: “We do not want outside forces. We won’t need them. We will win the first battle thanks to you. We will win the next battle through our own means.” Russia’s chief of staff, General Nikolai Makarov, told the Interfax news agency in Moscow: “Air (strikes) as I see it have not given them results.” “If their aim was to topple the regime of Gaddafi, then probably they will not manage without a ground phase,” he was quoted as saying. “I would not rule it out.” He reaffirmed Russia’s position that it would not join the international operation, saying that “there is not even any thought of this”. — Agencies

Protesters clash with police at London rally Continued from Page 1 of the ser vices we cherish because they represent the best of the country we love,” he said. Brendan Barber, general secretary of the umbrella labour organisation, the Trades Union Congress, said earlier he expected the march to be London’s largest since up to 1 million protested against the planned invasion of Iraq in 2003. Many European countries have seen mass protests in recent months as governments slash public spending to try to help their economies to recover from the global financial crisis. The government says it is clean-

ing up a mess left by the previous Labour government and that failure to act would leave Britain exposed to market turmoil. Retired journalist Karl Dallas, 80, said he had got up at 5:30 am to travel to the march from Bradford in north England. “The cuts are totally unnecessar y,” he told Reuters. “Britain had a worse deficit after the (second world) war, we established the National Health Service, nationalised the railways and the coal mines, laid the basis of the welfare state. Now they are destroying the welfare state - it’s political, not economic.” Police said one group of a few

hundred people broke away from the main march, scuffling with police officers and attempting to smash shop windows on two of London’s main shopping streets. Others threw objects at the posh Ritz Hotel in nearby Piccadilly. Members of protest group UK Uncut later broke into the nearby luxury department store Fortnum and Mason and broke some displays. But the protests otherwise had a carnival feel. School teachers, nurses and students all marched through central London toward Hyde Park, one of London’s biggest public gardens, with banners, balloons and whistles. — Agencies

SYDNEY: This combo shows the lights around Sydney’s Harbour and the iconic Opera House taken on March 23, 2011 and yesterday as the city switches off its lights to mark “Earth Hour”. — AFP

Assad faces crisis as Baath offices burnt Continued from Page 1 In Latakia, dozens of people protested before attacking the Baath offices, said Ammar Qurabi, an exile in Egypt who heads Syria’s National Organization for Human Rights. A Syrian activist in touch with protesters in Latakia said hundreds had been demonstrating there since Friday evening, burning tyres and shouting “Freedom!” A few protesters were attacking cars and shops, the activist said. Qurabi said four people had been killed when armed forces fired on protesters Friday in Latakia, which is almost evenly divided between the country’s majority Sunni Muslims and Alawites, members of a branch of Shiism who hold most positions of power, including the presidency. Rights groups yesterday said 260 political detainees had been freed from the notorious Saydnaya prison, north of the capital Damascus, in the biggest concession yet. “Syrian authorities have freed 260 detainees from Saydnaya prison, mainly Islamists but also including 14 Kurds, in a move that comes as part of the promises authorities made recently to boost freedom in Syria,” Abdul Karim Rihawi, president of the Syrian League for the Defence of Human Rights, told AFP. A highranking official confirmed the release of detainees but would not give a number. The release came one day after 15 people were officially confirmed killed in demonstrations across the country, where Assad is facing unprecedented domestic pressure. Activists put Friday’s death toll at more than 25, while Amnesty International said 55 people were killed during a week of unrest in and around Deraa. Authorities have clamped down on demonstrations in the capital, and Deraa has emerged as the hub of the protests and has sustained the most casualties as resident continue to hit the streets. But access to Deraa has been restricted, and a team of AFP reporters were escorted by security

forces out of the town on Friday. Despite a call on Facebook group The Syrian Revolution 2011 for massive protests yesterday, there were no signs of any demonstration in the capital Damascus. AFP reporters have witnessed activists being dragged away by plain-clothes security forces from two separate protests at the landmark Omayyed mosque over the past week. Several thousand mourners prayed yesterday over the body of 13-year-old Seeta Al-Akrad in Deraa’s Omari mosque, scene of an attack by security forces earlier in the week, and then marched over to a nearby cemetery in the old quarter. Security forces were not in evidence at the procession, in which mourners chanted “the people want the downfall of the regime”, a refrain heard in uprisings across the Arab world from Tunisia to Egypt to Yemen. Emboldened by the lack of security, the mourners also chanted “strike, strike, until the regime falls”. Abu Jassem, a Deraa resident, said: “We were under a lot of pressure from the oppressive authority, now when you pass by (security forces), nobody utters a word. They don’t dare talk to the people. The people have no fear anymore.” Thousands of Assad supporters have also flooded the streets of Damascus on foot and in cars and buses by night Thursday and Friday, chanting their loyalty to the Baath party and the Assads in counterprotests that continue into the early morning. The crackdown by Syrian authorities on the protests has drawn harsh rebukes from the United Nations, European Union and the United States, which has issued the latest of an almost daily string of condemnations. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights yesterday warned Syria the violent crackdown on “reformist” protests risked plunging the country into a “downward spiral” of violence. Internally, rule by the Assads has favoured the minority Alawite sect, causing resentments among the Sunni majority. Syria’s governmentappointed Sunni Mufti Ahmed Badr

Hassoun blamed the “strife” on some “infiltrators” and “corruptors”. “What happens requires that people reconcile together and not goad them against each other ... what’s happening in Libya, do you want it to happen in Syria?” he told al al-Jazeera television, siding with the ruling party. Edward Walker, a former US ambassador to Egypt, said that friction made many in the establishment wary of giving ground to demands for political freedoms and economic reforms. “They are a basically reviled minority, the Alawites, and if they lose power, if they succumb to popular revolution, they will be hanging from the lampposts,” he said. “They have absolutely no incentive to back off.” Asked if there could be a repeat of Hama, deputy head of Middle East and North Africa Forecasting at Exclusive Analysis Faysal Itani, said such a severe crackdown was possible. “There is a very real risk of such a thing happening. For a minority regime this is an existential struggle,” he said, adding: “If the unrest continues at this pace the Syrian army is not going to be able to maintain cohesion.” Abdelhalim Khaddam, a former vice president who resigned and defected from the ruling Baath Party in 2005, said yesterday “the blood of our martyrs will burn this regime”. Many believed a tipping point had been reached in Syria. “ The Syrian regime is attempting to make promises such as a potential lifting of the state of emergency, which has been in place since 1963, a record in the Arab world,” Bitar said. “But if this happens it will be the end of a whole system, prisoners will have to be released, the press will be free ... when this kind of regime considers relaxing its grip, it also knows that everything could collapse.” A serving Western diplomat said he had been surprised, however, by how far demonstrators had gone in taking to the streets to demand change. “They’ve crossed the fear line, which in Syria is remarkable,” the diplomat said. — Agencies


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Langer out for 2 months ORLANDO: Two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer had surgery on his left thumb and will miss the next two months, ending his streak of 27 consecutive appearances at Augusta National. Langer sustained the injury six months ago while riding his bike to the beach, and it never properly healed. “Knowing that it wouldn’t heal itself, I had to have surgery,” Langer said Friday night after returning home from New York, where he had the ligaments in his thumb repaired. “It’s not a good time for it, but you can’t choose these things.” Langer, who has missed the cut the last five times at the Masters, won his first green jacket in 1985, and returned to Augusta National the following year as No. 1 in the world when the world ranking was first published. He won his second Masters in 1993. He said he still plans to attend the Champions Dinner on Tuesday night and be at the Masters for other obligations. Even so, he was disappointed to miss the Masters for the first time since 1983, calling it one of the highlights of his year. Adding to his frustration is that a record three Germans were to play Augusta National this year — Langer, PGA champion Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka.—AP

FIFA and UEFA could ban in-game betting ZURICH: FIFA and UEFA are considering a ban on in-game betting, saying it represents a bigger threat of manipulation than the more conventional gambling on results. Marco Villiger, head of legal affairs at world soccer’s ruling body FIFA, and Gianni Infantino, general secretary of European counterparts UEFA, expressed concern over betting on things like the next free kick, throw-in or yellow card. “These live bets are a problem,” said Villiger on Friday at a conference on early warning systems designed to alert soccer authorities to irregular

betting patterns and possible matchfixing. “It’s very easy to manipulate if you contact a player and tell him to kick the ball into touch at the start. “You would be able to bet on that and it would be difficult to decide if it is an irregular bet or not. We will have to think about whether we should continue to offer such live bets,” added Villiger. Infantino said the soccer authorities were planning talks with the betting operators. “This is ... something we want to address and the next discussion we will have is with the betting operators,” he told reporters.—AP

Gay sidelined after surgery MEMPHIS: Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay has been ruled out for the rest of the season after having surgery on Friday to repair a partial dislocation of his left shoulder, the team said. The 24-year-old, who initially hurt his shoulder against the Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 15, is expected to be ready for the start of the 2011-12 season, Memphis general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. The six-foot eight-inch, 240-pound Gay averaged 19.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game this season before being sidelined. In Gay’s absence, the (40-32) Grizzlies have compiled a 9-6 record in their bid to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 20052006 season. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Hornets’ playoff hopes were dealt a huge blow on Friday when their top scorer David West was ruled out for the remainder of the season because of a knee injury. West injured his left knee whilst landing a dunk in the fourth quarter of the Hornets 121-117 overtime win over the Utah Jazz on Thursday and, after a scan on Friday, was told he had damaged the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).—Reuters

Penguins edge Devils in shootout PITTSBURGH: James Neal scored in the third round of a shootout and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New Jersey Devils 1-0 on Friday night in a game dominated by goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Brodeur. Fleury made 21 saves for his third shutout of the season and 19th of his career. He also stopped Brian Rolston, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias in the shootout. Brodeur extended his NHL shutout record to 116 with his sixth of the season. He made 26 saves and stopped Alexei Kovalev in the shootout. Kris Letang missed the net leading off the tiebreaker. The Penguins moved within two points of idle Philadelphia in the race for both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference leads. Canucks 3, Thrashers 1 In Atlanta, Roberto Luongo stopped 30 shots as Vancouver set franchise records for road wins and points in a season, beating Atlanta. Mason Raymond and Alexandre Bolduc scored second-period goals for the Canucks, who have won nine of 10 to improve the NHL’s best record. Alexandre Burrows added an empty-net goal with 13 seconds remaining. The Canucks earned their franchise-record 24th road win and set another team high with 107 points. Bryan Little ended Luongo’s shutout bid with an unassisted goal with 5:30 remaining in the third period. The Thrashers, 11th in the Eastern Conference, suffered another blow to their fading playoff hopes. Senators 2, Capitals 0 In Ottawa, Craig Anderson made 31 saves for his second shutout, with Colin Greening and Erik Condra scoring in Ottawa’s victory over Washington. Anderson has won both of his starts since he signed a four-year, $12.75 million contract extension Monday. Semyon Varlamov stopped 21 shots for Washington, which played its second straight game without injured captain Alexander Ovechkin. The Capitals, first in the Southeast Division with 96 points remain two points behind the Flyers for the Eastern Conference lead. Sabres 4, Panthers 2 In Buffalo, New York, Jordan Leopold and Drew Stafford scored 13 seconds apart in the third period to move Buffalo closer to securing a playoff spot. Stafford had two goals and an assist, while Pominville had a goal and assist for Buffalo, which won back-to-back games for the first time in three weeks. Ryan Miller was sharp in making 22 saves as the eighth-place Sabres (37-28-9) moved within two points of the idle New York Rangers. Sergei Samsonov and Evgeny Dadonov scored for the 14th-place Panthers, now eliminated from playoff contention. Hurricanes 4, Lightning 3 In Tampa, Florida, Erik Cole scored two goals to help Carolina beat Tampa Bay. Cole put the Hurricanes up 2-1 with a power-play goal at 8:23 in the second period and added an unassisted backhander 6:50 into the third. Eric Staal scored for the first time in eight games to give Carolina a 4-1 lead. Tampa Bay answered with goals less than a minute apart by Vincent Lecavalier and Simon Gagne, but the rally fell short.—AP

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Friday. Pittsburgh 1, New Jersey 0 (SO); Buffalo 4, Florida 2; Ottawa 2, Washington 0; Vancouver 3, Atlanta 1; Carolina 4, Tampa Bay 3. (SO denotes shootout win) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS X-Philadelphia 44 19 10 233 197 98 Pittsburgh 44 23 8 216 182 96 NY Rangers 40 30 5 217 181 85 New Jersey 34 35 5 155 187 73 NY Islanders 29 34 12 209 237 70 Northeast Division Boston 41 22 10 224 176 92 Montreal 40 28 7 200 194 87 Buffalo 37 28 9 220 210 83 Toronto 34 31 10 199 228 78 Ottawa 29 37 9 171 228 67 Southeast Division X-Washington 43 22 10 203 182 96 Tampa Bay 39 24 11 219 226 89 Carolina 35 29 10 209 220 80 Atlanta 31 31 12 205 242 74 Florida 29 36 10 184 207 68 Western Conference Central Division Detroit 43 22 9 238 211 95 Nashville 40 25 10 198 177 90 Chicago 40 25 8 238 202 88 Columbus 33 30 11 199 226 77 St. Louis 33 32 9 206 216 75 Northwest Division Y-Vancouver 49 17 9 243 174 107 Calgary 37 28 11 230 222 85 Minnesota 35 31 8 185 207 78 Colorado 28 37 8 206 258 64 Edmonton 23 41 10 176 244 56 Pacific Division San Jose 43 23 9 220 198 95 Phoenix 41 24 11 218 208 93 Los Angeles 42 26 6 203 180 90 Anaheim 41 28 5 212 216 87 Dallas 38 25 10 206 206 86 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L) X denotes clinched playoff spotY denotes clinched division

OTTAWA: Marek Svatos No. 10 of the Ottawa Senators tries to move around Karl Alzner No. 27 of the Washington Capitals during a game at Scotiabank Place.—AFP


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Dominant Vettel on pole

McLaren ready for victory after rapid turnaround

Hamilton knocks Webber off front row MELBOURNE: Red Bull’s world champion Sebastian Vettel blew away his rivals in a dominant qualifying performance to claim pole position for the seasonopening Australian Grand Prix yesterday. The 23-year-old German set the quickest time in all three sessions and managed a searing best lap of one minute 23.529 seconds, 0.778 seconds quicker than second-placed Briton Lewis Hamilton. “Although the gap now might appear to be big, it’s a long season and a lot of things can happen,” said a cautious Vettel, who failed to finish the race here last year. “It’s a good position to be in, and I’m very happy with that (but) we need to keep our feet on the ground.” Hamilton’s late lap of 1.24.307 in his McLaren knocked Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber (1.24.395) off the front row of the grid, leaving the Australian to line up alongside Jenson Button in the second McLaren (1.24.779). Ferrari’s twice former world champion Fernando Alonso claimed a spot on the third row in fifth place next to Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, the best ever qualifying position for the Russian. Button, who will be gunning for a third successive win at Albert Park, conceded that Vettel had been untouchable. “If you look at the pace of Sebastian, I mean they’re in a different league really in qualifying, whether it’s the same in the race I don’t know,” said Button. “We don’t really know what our pace is really going to be like in the race distance yet.” McLaren struggled for reliability in testing and Hamilton paid tribute to the “fantastic job” done by the team to give their two British drivers a competitive car. “Absolutely thrilled to be here today, we’ve really got ourselves back on track and, although there’s a lot of work to do, we laid a fantastic base,” the 2008 world champion said. Webber is aiming to become the first Australian to win his home grand prix and was clearly disappointed at being so far behind his team mate. “I’m not overly rapt to be third on the grid,” he said. “I wasn’t really in the fight for pole and I need to address that.” German Nico Rosberg steered his Mercedes to seventh place on the grid ahead of

MELBOURNE: Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany controls his car on turn 2 during the qualifying session of Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. — AP Brazilian Felipe Massa on what was a disappointing day for Ferrari. “Position we are happy, distance from pole we are not so happy, so it’s what we have to look at and analyse tonight,” Spaniard Alonso said. German Michael Schumacher failed to fulfil the promise of good pre-season testing with Mercedes when he was unable to get through to the final session of qualifying by 0.089 seconds. “After testing, coming to the first race we had expected certainly a different performance so natu-

rally there is some disappointment,” the seven-times world champion, who will start 11th, told the BBC. “We don’t match this performance here and we need to understand why we don’t and that’s going to be the major job that we have in front of us.” HRT’s Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan failed to get within 107 percent of the best time in the first qualifying session so will not be allowed to race. The struggling Spanish-based team’s appeal to the stewards was dismissed later on Saturday, leaving just 22 cars on the grid for today’s race. — Reuters

MELBOURNE: McLaren could barely conceal their delight yesterday at going from a team in crisis to having Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button on the front two rows of the grid with pretentions of winning the Australian Grand Prix. Just a few days after making what the team declared were “dramatic changes” to a car which had proved so unreliable they were unable to complete their testing, the duo of British former world champions were back among the frontrunners. If world champion Sebastian Vettel’s blistering lap to claim pole position for Red Bull dimmed their satisfaction at Hamilton’s second place and Button’s fourth in qualifying, it was difficult to tell. “Both of these guys will go to bed tonight knowing they can win tomorrow and quite rightly, they can win tomorrow,” team principal Martin Whitmarsh, flanked by his drivers, told reporters. “Sebastian in the Red Bull has looked impressively quick but ... we could have been a bit quicker and we’ve got two great racers. Our aim is to win the race tomorrow.” Hamilton’s late flying lap edged Red Bull’s Mark Webber off the front row of the grid and the 26-year-old said his car had felt “fantastic” after a new exhaust system was installed. “The plan is always to go forward or at least stay in the place we’re in,” Hamilton, who won here on his way to claiming the world title in 2008, said. “I think we’ve got good race

pace compared to most of the other competitors, perhaps not compared to Sebastian’s, but generally we have good starts. “The plan is to overtake at the start (and if not) to get through the first lap clean and just attack, attack and hope that I can jump them at the pit stops.” There will be many more pit stops in today’s race because of the new Pirelli tyres introduced for this season, which are designed to degrade more quickly. Button, who won from fourth place in the rain last year and will be going for a third successive victory at Albert Park today, said it would be an unpredictable season opener. “Who knows what’s going to happen in the race?” he said. “I think that’s why it’s going to be a very exciting race, there’s so many variables. We’ve got the new tyres, which are working differently than they did in testing. “I think every team will be looking at each other to see who’s going to stop when. It’s going to be difficult going into a race without knowing the strategy. “But I think we have to play it by ear and just enjoy the car because tomorrow will be the longest run we’ve done with this car.” Button said he thought the problem the team had in testing meant there was still plenty of room for more rapid progress with the car. “This is start for us, and it’s great to be in this position after the winter we’ve had, knowing that there is so much more to come,” he said.— Reuters

Anna wins individual sprint for second gold

KEY BISCAYNE: Alex Bogomolov of the United States, hits a return to Andy Murray of Great Britain, during the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament. — AP

Murray loses to 118th-ranked player KEY BISCAYNE: Andy Murray’s post-Australian Open slump shows no sign of ending. The three-time Grand Slam runner-up lost Friday in his opening match at the Sony Ericsson Open to American qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr., 6-1, 7-5. “I was trying to get myself back into the match, trying to find ways,” Murray said. “But I just didn’t have that spark.” The Scotsman hasn’t won a set in three matches since he was routed in the Australian Open final by Novak Djokovic. Following Murray’s departure, Djokovic improved to 19-0 in 2011 by drubbing Denis Istomin 6-0, 6-1. Djokovic’s record is the best to begin a year since Ivan Lendl started 25-0 in 1986. “I know it has only been a couple of months of the year,” Djokovic said, “but I have been playing great, and I want to keep on doing that.” Murray, meanwhile, has lost nine consecutive sets, a remarkable drought for a player ranked fifth in the world. “The same thing happened around the same time last year,” Murray said. “I have been practicing well, training well, and then in the matches can’t get anything going.” A year ago Murray lost opening-round matches in back-toback tournaments, including at Key Biscayne as defending champion. This swoon is worse, with consecutive defeats against players ranked outside the top 100. Donald Young was ranked 143rd when he upset Murray two weeks ago at Indian Wells. Bogomolov is ranked 118th, and his only other win over a top 10 player came in 2002, his senior year in high school, when he beat No. 3 Tommy Haas in Los Angeles. Born in Moscow, Bogomolov moved to the United States at age 11 and lives in New Jersey. He has never been ranked higher than 97th but has played well this year on the minor-league circuit. An hour after his big victory, Bogomolov said the news had spread quickly. “I was just checking the 20 text messages I received from people I haven’t heard from for 20 years,” he said. While his victory gave US tennis fans something to brag about, the last American in the women’s draw was eliminated in the second round when Varvara Lepchenko lost to Petra Kvitova 6-1, 6-2. Defending champion Kim Clijsters needed only 50 minutes to win her opening match, beating qualifier Anastasiya Yakimova 6-1, 6-1. The No. 2-seeded Clijsters

was playing for the first time since retiring two weeks ago in the fourth round at Indian Wells with a right shoulder injury. “It’s not fully healed, but it’s healing,” she said. “After Indian Wells I was pretty worried. Now I feel that I’m almost able to do everything that I want.” Reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone advanced by beating Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4. No. 3-seeded Vera Zvonareva rallied to defeat former No. 1 Dinara Safina 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. In other men’s play, No. 4 Robin Soderling earned his 20th victory this year _ most on the men’s tour _ by beating Ivan Dodig 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Americans Mardy Fish, John Isner and James Blake also reached the third round. Fish, seeded 14th, won his opening match against Julien Benneteau, 6-4, 6-3. The unseeded Blake edged No. 27 Thomaz Bellucci 2-6, 6-4, 76 (6), while Isner, seeded 30th, defeated Russia’s Igor Andreev 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (2). Juan Martin del Potro took another step in his comeback from right wrist surgery by edging No. 29 Philipp Kohschreiber 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5. No. 9 Fernando Verdasco lost to fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4. No. 31 Milos Raonic, at 20 the youngest player in the men’s top 50, lost to Somdev Devvarman 7-6 (5), 7-5. Murray’s biggest problem against Bogomolov was serving. His first serves ranged from 133 mph to 95, and he complained of being unable to find a rhythm after holding only three times in 10 service games. “You serve one at 130 and then the next one at 95 and then one at 115,” he said. “There’s no consistent sort of hitting the serves and feeling good about them. There was no consistency on any part of my game, really.” Murray looked sluggish with his footwork and repeatedly steered groundstrokes into the middle of the court, allowing to Bogomolov to take charge of rallies. “In the second set I definitely felt like he’s missing something,” Bogomolov said. “Everybody goes through that.” Murray couldn’t catch a break, either. In the final game, Bogomolov hit a forehand that kissed the net cord and dropped over for a winner. That one left Murray mumbling. “It’s not unlucky, but ... “ Murray said. “When you’re not playing that well and you’re struggling a little bit, you start to miss balls by a few inches, and net cords, challenges and stuff seem to go against you more.”—AP

APELDOORN: Anna Meares won her second gold medal of the track cycling world championships yesterday, beating Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania in two races to add the individual sprint title to her victory in the team sprint. The Australian dominated Krupeckaite in the first sprint of the final, leading throughout the final lap and easing up as she crossed the line. She repeated the feat in the second race, raising a fist as she crossed the line well ahead. Shane Perkins won Australia’s second gold of the day by holding off a strong challenge from Olympic champion Chris Hoy to cross the line first in the keirin. Teun Mulder of the Netherlands was third. Meares knocked out world and Olympic sprint champion Victoria Pendleton over three races in the semifinal and Krupeckaite overcame 500meter time trial champion Olga Panarina to reach the final. Pendleton beat Panarina in two races to take the bronze medal. On Friday, Gregory Bauge of France won his third straight sprint world title overpowering British young gun Jason Kenny twice in two races of the final at the track cycling world championships. Bauge’s victory came just minutes after defending champion Sarah Hammer of the United States powered around the closing laps to overtake Alison Shanks of New Zealand and retain her individual pursuit title. Bauge hoisted his bike onto his huge shoulders and grinned broadly on the track before clambering up the steep banking to hug family and friends after cruising past Kenny. The Frenchman reached speeds of 70.4 kph around the banked track of the Omnisport velodrome in both of the races and easily passed Kenny in the final. “The season has gone really well for me,” he said. “I’m well on track for the Olympics, but there’s still lots of work to do.” Hammer wrapped herself in an American flag as she pedaled around the Omnisport velodrome celebrating

APELDOORN: Anna Meares of Australia jubilates as she crosses the finish line to win a gold medal in the women’s sprint final defeating Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite (rear) during the Track Cycling World Championships. — AP the first US gold of the championships. Hammer was three-quarters of a second behind Shanks at the 2,000meter mark but turned on the power over the closing kilometer to speed home and win by a fraction of a second. Hammer finished in 3 minutes, 32.933 seconds and Shanks could only manage 3:33.229 after expending too much energy in the early stages. “ That was really, really close,” Hammer said. “I knew it was going to come down to that last final crunch and luckily I’m good at that push at the end.” Olympic champion Chris Hoy of Britain was third in the sprint and Vilija Sereikaite of Lithuania took bronze in the women’s pursuit. In the night’s first medal race, Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas of Colombia grabbed 20 bonus points for gaining a lap on the peleton and won a key late sprint to win the points race. Avila Vanegas grinned and punched the air with both hands as he ended the tactical 40-kilometer race with 33 points. He said he had to be patient after taking the lap lead early, even as

defending champion Cameron Meyer of Australia was chipping away at his lead late in the race. Riders earn points during sprints held every 10 laps of the 160-lap race and can also earn 20 bonus points for lapping the rest of the field. “I was going crazy but my coach was telling me to wait and wait and stay cool and it worked,” Avila Vanegas said. Meyer scored 25 points to take second place and Morgan Kneisky of France was third with 23 points. “I didn’t have the legs to take that lap and break the field when I needed to,” Meyer said. “The Colombian rode an excellent race and made the right move at the right time and he takes the world title.” Avila Vanegas was the only rider who managed such a decisive breakaway and it made him world champion. Meyer tried to peg back the difference in the sprints and looked like he might overhaul the Colombian late, but Avila Vanegas surged back to the front of the race and won another sprint with 20 laps to go to put himself out of danger. — AP

Dominant NBK top Banks League KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait maintained its position on top of the 2011 Banks Football League standings with a dominant 7-0 win over Commercial Bank in the latest match of the tournament organized by the Kuwait Bank Clubs being held at the Ministr y of Information ground.

NBK ended the first half ahead by two goals scored by Nasser Bu Abbas and Hamad Al-Khubaizi, before dominating the second half with five uncontested goals, two scored by Ali Al-Ali, with other goals scored by Waleed Bassam, Abdullah Al-Khaldi and again by Bu Abbas with his second goal of the night.


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NSW grab tight win over Brumbies CANBERRA: Replacement lock Sitaleki Timani scored a last-gasp try to give the New South Wales Waratahs a 29-22 victory at the ACT Brumbies in a tough defence-oriented tussle in their Super rugby match yesterday. The two-metre tall Timani stretched out one of his long arms and planted the ball in the final minute following a succession of close attacks after Brumbies prop Ben Alexander had scored his side’s only try, which was converted by Matt Giteau, to level the game at 22-22 with less than five minutes remaining. Fullback Kurtley Beale added five penalties and converted Timani and Ryan Cross’s tries to give him a personal tally of 19 points and helped the Waratahs erase the disappointment of their 23-3 loss to the lowly Cheetahs last week in Sydney. Giteau, who had charged down Beale’s clearing kick that led to Alexander’s try, scored five penalties but the Brumbies still slumped to their fourth successsive loss-three of which have come since coach Andy Friend was sacked. “It was a pretty tough week after last week’s performance and to put ourselves into a position to win that game and come back right at the death was a big effort from the guys,” Waratahs’ captain Phil Waugh said. Neither side was able to stamp any real authority on the match, with much of it played

between the 22-metre areas as both teams’ attempts to build pressure were snuffed out by well-drilled defences. The first-half scoring action was restricted to four penalty goals each to Beale and Giteau, whose late penalty on the half-time hooter levelled the score at 12-12. Giteau added his fifth penalty in the 48th minute, which had been awarded for an infringement at the breakdown but also followed Waratahs’ inside centre Tom Carter being sinbinned for kicking the ball away to prevent a quick penalty being taken. Cross then scored his try, after a strange kick from Beale somehow found its way into space close to the line. Beale converted from wide out then added a penalty to give the Waratahs a 22-15 lead before Giteau’s charge down gave the final five minutes some real excitement, which had been mostly lacking throughout the earlier 75 minutes. “We didn’t really get a lot of possession in the second half and when we did we left a few (scoring opportunities) out there and they were good enough at the end,” Giteau said. “The Tahs tend to get their points by building leads early on so we thought if we could get into an arm wrestle with them we fancied our chances but unluckily we didn’t get it.”—Reuters

LOS ANGELES: Lakers forward Pau Gasol of Spain dunks the ball during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers. —AP

Heat beat 76ers, Bobcats triumph MIAMI: Dwyane Wade scored 39 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, LeBron James finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds of his own, as the Miami Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 111-99 on Friday night. Chris Bosh added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who went on a 23-2 run in the second quarter to erase what was a 16-point deficit, then put it away with a 24-5 burst in the fourth. Louis Williams scored 24 points for Philadelphia, which got 15 more from fellow reserve Thaddeus Young.

HONG KONG: Neil Powell of South Africa (right) is tackled by Ed Haynes of Hong Kong during their match on the second day of the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament. —AP

Kiwis, England struggle in Hong Kong 7s q-finals HONG KONG: Tournament favorites New Zealand and England were made to work hard yesterday on the second day of the Hong Kong Sevens to retain their unbeaten records and advance to the quarterfinals. New Zealand fought off a spirited Portuguese outfit 19-12 in the afternoon before returning in the evening and struggling to see off France 19-7. England was pushed by Japan before winning 33-14 and then overcame the United States 37-12. The quarterfinal draw for today is: New Zealand plays Portugal, South Africa faces Fiji, Samoa meets Australia while England takes on Russia. New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens said his team — joint leaders with the English in the Sevens World Series coming in to the tournament with points worth double — had to learn from its mistakes to have any hope of lifting the title. “We’ve won our pool and the thing that is going to get our experienced players up is the younger players putting pressure on them,” he said. “You learn from close games. That’s just what happens at this event — the unfancied teams lift against the top sides and that’s what we’ve been seeing today. “We’ll have to go away now and have a think and regroup. If you’re not up for it mentally you’re going to get beaten. I’ve seen it happen.” The Kiwis were conspicuously lacking spark in their last game, and their coach said his players were aware of the importance of giving the people back home a lift following the Christchurch earthquake tragedy that claimed 182 lives on Feb. 22. “If we can put everything that’s been hap-

pening behind us and click as team, we’ll certainly be doing everything we do for the people back home,” Tietjens said. The English left Hong Kong Stadium confident they could raise their games when it counts again on Sunday’s final day. “The Sunday here is massive, it is just the biggest atmosphere,” said Oliver Lindsay-Hague, who scored two tries against Japan and another against the Americans with a brilliant goosestepping solo effort. “We’re joint top points with New Zealand in the world series, so we have to get the 30 points here and get clear of them. It’s really important for us to win the world series this year, that’s the goal we set ourselves. We’ve got a lot more in us.” Other teams that remain unbeaten after day two to top their groups were reigning champion Samoa, South Africa, Fiji and Australia. But it was the South Africans who impressed the most, shrugging off Hong Kong 45-0 and then Wales 42-12. And they had Sevens World Series leading points and try scorer Cecil Afrika to thank as he scored three tries and 11. “With Cecil it is all about the athletic ability,” South Africa coach Paul Treu said. “He is a constant threat to the defense line. But more importantly is the guys around him who must do the hard work so Cecil can dance. Every player must commit to their jobs out on the field so he can play to his potential.” There was some cheer for Japan after its first win of the event, 17-12 over China. It had been hard graft before then for the Japanese, who had their arrival in Hong Kong delayed due to the devastation of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, responsible for more than 10,000 deaths.—AP

Blues triumph over Chiefs WELLINGTON: Luke McAlister slotted a 72nd minute long-range penalty to give the Auckland Blues a tight 16-13 victory over the Waikato Chiefs in their Super rugby match at a rain-drenched Waikato Stadium in Hamilton yesterday. McAlister added two other penalties and a conversion of Jared Payne’s try, which he had set up with a grubber kick, to give the Auckland-based side the lead in the New Zealand conference of the southern hemisphere’s competition. Chiefs captain Liam Messam and prop Sona Taumalolo scored tries for the Chiefs, while flyhalf Mike Delany slotted a penalty. “Conditions evened the game out and both teams played with a lot of passion and we were lucky to come away with the points and win that game,” Blues captain Keven Mealamu said. “Playing at the right part of the field at the right time and we did that better in the second half and were able to build pressure.” The Chiefs used the slippery conditions to perfection in the first minute when they hacked ahead a dropped pass by winger Rene Ranger and kept chasing as Blues defenders struggled to control the ball before Messam

got the final touch and dived on the ball over the line. The home side doubled the advantage after Lelia Masaga somehow managed to squeeze out of a tackle and sparked an attack that ended after several phases when Taumalolo burrowed over in the 22nd minute. The Blues, who were dominating the scrums used that superiority to set up camp on the Chiefs’ tryline for almost six minutes winning penalty after penalty as the hosts collapsed the scrum or infringed in the tackle. However, they were unable to convert and a counter-ruck by the Chiefs after another scrum broke up to alleviate the pressure and ensured they went into the break leading 10-6 after McAlister, who had slotted an earlier long-range penalty, kicked another on halftime. The Blues seized the lead for the first time when All Blacks winger Sitiveni Sivivatu bobbled a grubber kick from McAlister only for Payne to toe ahead and dive on the ball just before it went out the back of the in-goal area. McAlister converted to give the Blues a 13-10 lead, though Mike Delany tied the game again with his first penalty, before McAlister’s third penalty sealed it for the visitors.—Reuters

Bobcats 83, Celtics 81 In Boston, Dante Cunningham hit a 15-foot jumper with 34 seconds left as the Charlotte Bobcats erased a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the struggling Boston Celtics. The Bobcats outscored the Celtics 30-15 in the final period. Boston’s hopes ended when Ray Allen missed a 3-point attempt and Kevin Garnett failed on a jumper in the final 5 seconds. Charlotte moved two games behind Indiana, which lost to Sacramento, for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston, which began the night a half-game behind Chicago for the best record in the East, lost for the sixth time in 10 games. DJ White led the Bobcats with a career-high 17 points. Boston was led by Paul Pierce with 18. Magic 95, Nets 85 In Orlando, Florida, Dwight Howard had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Hedo Turkoglu added 20 points and 13 assists to lead Orlando over New Jersey. Orlando won its fifth straight game and completed a 40 season sweep of New Jersey. Anthony Morrow had 19 points for the Nets, while Jordan Farmar added 15 points and 16 assists. New Jersey lost for the fifth time in six games. Bucks 102, Knicks 96 In New York, Brandon Jennings scored a seasonhigh 37 points to help Milwaukee send New York to its fifth consecutive loss. Australian Andrew Bogut added 21 points and 17 rebounds for the Bucks, who won for the third time in four games and pulled within two games of Indiana for the final playoff spot in the East. Amare Stoudemire scored 28 points for the Knicks, losers of eight of nine and 7-11 since acquiring Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 25. Kings 110, Pacers 93 In Indianapolis, DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and 14 rebounds to help Sacramento to its fourth win in seven games. Samuel Dalembert had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Francisco Garcia scored 16 points and Marcus Thornton added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Kings. Danny Granger scored 20 points for the Pacers. Cavaliers 97, Pistons 91 In Cleveland, J.J. Hickson scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and Baron Davis hit a critical 3pointer with 9.9 seconds remaining, to lead Cleveland to a win over Detroit. The win was only the second in the last 10 games for Cleveland, while Detroit has lost three straight and six of eight. Davis returned for Cleveland after missing three games because of back spasms. He scored 16 points and had five assists in 24 minutes. Tayshuan Prince and Richard Hamilton scored 15 points apiece for Detroit. Bulls 99, Grizzlies 96 In Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 24 points and added seven rebounds and seven assists as the Bulls won their 11th in 12 games. Rose made two free

throws with 2 1/2 minutes left to give Chicago the lead, then drove past Tony Allen and converted over Marc Gasol with 10 seconds remaining to give Chicago a match-winning lead. Luol Deng scored 23 and Carlos Boozer added 12 points and nine boards for Chicago. Zach Randolph scored 16 points and Gasol added 14 for Memphis. Thunder 111, T’wolves 103 In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 23 points and Russell Westbrook added 19 points in Oklahoma City’s eight-point win over Minnesota. Serge Ibaka had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double in the past four games, and the Thunder had seven players score in double figures. Anthony Randolph started in place of Kevin Love for the second straight game and had 24 points and 15 rebounds for Minnesota. Nuggets 114, Wizards 94 In Denver, Chris Andersen had 11 rebounds and was one of four players to score 17 points for Denver, which improved to 12-4 since trading Carmelo Anthony to New York. Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson and Al Harrington also had 17. Jordan Crawford had 19 points, JaVale McGee had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards. Washington fell to 1-34 on the road and has two games left on its five-game Western trip. Lakers 112, Clippers 104 In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 37 points, Pau Gasol added 26 points and eight rebounds, and Los Angeles never trailed in its 14th victory in 15 games since the All-Star break. During a game filled with flashy plays and two more jaw-dropping ‘alley-oop’ dunks by rookie Blake Griffin, the Lakers maintained a steady lead over their city rivals for their NBA-leading 10th start-to-finish win of the season. Mo Williams scored a season-high 30

points and Griffin added 22 for the Clippers, who have lost four of six. T Blazers 98, Spurs 96 In Portland, Oregon, Nicolas Batum had 21 points to give Portland its sixth straight home win. San Antonio led by as many as 10 in the fourth quarter, but Portland pulled back to 91-90 after a pair of free throws from Batum. Parker answered with a layup and Manu Ginobili made a 3-pointer to put San Antonio in front 96-90 with 1:21 left, before the Trail Blazers stormed home. Ginobili finished with 21 points and seven assists for the Western Conference-leading Spurs, who were coming off a 122-115 loss at Denver on Wednesday that opened a three-game road trip. Warriors 138, Raptors 100 In Oakland, California, Monta Ellis had 27 points and 10 assists and the Golden State Warriors scored an NBA season-high 84 points in the first half. Stephen Curry added 23 points and eight assists to help the Warriors end a six-game losing streak. The first-half points total topped this season’s previous high of 80 set by Denver in a 127-99 victory over Cleveland earlier this season. DeMar DeRozan, Leandro Barbosa and Ed Davis scored 19 points each in a demoralizing defeat for a Toronto team also assured of missing the playoffs. Hornets 106, Suns 100 In Phoenix, Carl Landry scored 19 points and New Orleans sent Phoenix sinking further out of the Western Conference playoff race. The Hornets, who lost leading scorer David West for the season with a knee injury in a victory at Utah on Thursday night, won for the fifth time in six games to stay in a virtual tie with Portland for the No. 6 spot in the West. Chris Paul led five Hornets in double figures with 22 points. Jarrett Jack added 17. Marcin Gortat had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns. Grant Hill also scored 18.—AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standing on Friday: Sacramento 110, Indiana 93; Orlando 95, New Jersey 85; Charlotte 83, Boston 81; Cleveland 97, Detroit 91; Miami 111, Philadelphia 99; Milwaukee 102, NY Knicks 96; Chicago 99, Memphis 96; Oklahoma City 111, Minnesota 103; Denver 114, Washington 94; New Orleans 106, Phoenix 100; Portland 98, San Antonio 96; Golden State 138, Toronto 100; LA Lakers 112, LA Clippers 104. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division L 21 35 37 48 52

PCT .704 .514 .486 .324 .278

GB 13.5 15.5 27 30.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 47 24 .662 44 29 .603 4 Denver Portland 42 30 .583 5.5 Utah 36 37 .493 12 Minnesota 17 56 .233 31

Boston Philadelphia NY Knicks New Jersey Toronto

W 50 37 35 23 20

Chicago Indiana Milwaukee Detroit Cleveland

Central Division 52 19 .732 32 41 .438 21 29 42 .408 23 25 47 .347 27.5 14 57 .197 38

LA Lakers Phoenix Golden State LA Clippers Sacramento

Pacific Division 52 20 .722 36 35 .507 31 42 .425 28 45 .384 19 52 .268

Miami Orlando Atlanta Charlotte Washington

Southeast Division 50 22 .694 47 26 .644 3.5 40 32 .556 10 29 42 .408 20.5 17 54 .239 32.5

San Antonio Dallas New Orleans Memphis Houston

Southwest Division 57 15 .792 50 21 .704 6.5 42 31 .575 15.5 40 33 .548 17.5 38 34 .528 19

15.5 21.5 24.5 32.5

Oxford defeat Cambridge in annual Boat Race LONDON: Oxford dominated the annual university Boat Race yesterday to beat defending champion Cambridge by about four lengths. The lighter, less-experienced Oxford crew upped the pace after an early push by a team featuring three of last year’s winners, and was half a length ahead even before taking advantage of its inside line on the left-curving Surrey bend of the River Thames. Oxford’s stroke rate dropped to 32 to Cambridge’s 34 for the last mile but the Dark Blues’ power kept them on course for victory by about 14 seconds. Oxford’s victory in the 157th race trimmed Cambridge’s lead to 80-76 in a contest first held in 1829. Oxford’s Moritz Hafner celebrated the huge win by clambering the length of his boat immediately after crossing the line, hugging each of his teammates in turn. “You can do anything you want when you’ve won a boat race,” Hafner said. “I never dared to think we could win that early.” The Dark Blues went into the race as underdogs but surged from 33 strokes per minute to 36 by the time they were past the Surrey bend, taking a lead of almost two lengths when they reached the Chiswick Eyot island about halfway through the 6.8kilometer (4.2 mile) race. Oxford was completely unhindered by that point and able to take a tighter line heading into the right-hand bend at Barnes Bridge as a demoralized Cambridge crew slipped further and further behind. — AP

LONDON: Oxford celebrate after beating Cambridge in the 157th Boat Race on the River Thames, in London yesterday. — AP


SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

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Mills, Vettori and du Plessis fined NEW DELHI: New Zealand’s Kyle Mills and Daniel Vettori and South African Faf du Plessis have been heavily fined for an altercation during Friday’s World Cup quarter-final in Dhaka, the ICC said yesterday. Mills has been fined 120 percent of his match fee for “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players”

and for conduct that is “contrary to the spirit of the game”. His captain Vettori has been fined 90 percent match fee for the deliberate physical contact with a player and for bringing the game into disrepute. Du Plessis has been fined 50 percent of his match fee for his involvement in the heated exchange with the Kiwi play-

ers, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement. After the 28th over of the South African innings, du Plessis had a heated exchange with some of the New Zealand players following the fall of a wicket. Mills, who was not in the playing XI for New Zealand, was on the field carrying drinks. —Reuters

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

Sri Lanka demolish England COLOMBO: Both of Sri Lanka’s openers scored unbeaten centuries yesterday as the World Cup’s co-host cruised effortlessly into the semifinals with a crushing 10-wicket victory over England. England stuttered to 229-6 on an easy, slow wicket at

Scoreboard Scoreboard in the World Cup quarter-final match between Sri Lanka and England at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday: England innings A. Strauss b Dilshan 5 I. Bell c Samaraweera b Mathews 25 J. Trott c Jayawardene Muralitharan 86 R. Bopara lbw b Muralitharan 31 E. Morgan c Mathews b Malinga 50 G. Swann lbw b Mendis 0 M. Prior not out 22 L. Wright not out 1 Extras: (lb-3, w-6) 9 Total: (six wickets, 50 overs) 229 Did not bat: T. Bresnan, J. Tredwell, C. Tremlett Fall of wickets: 1-29 2-31 3-95 4-186 5-186 6-212 Bowling: Malinga 10-0-46-1 (2w), Dilshan 6-125-1 (1w), Mathews 5-0-20-1, Herath 10-1-47-0, Mendis 10-0-34-1, Muralitharan 9-0-54-2 (1w). Sri Lanka innings U. Tharanganot out 102 T. Dilshan not out 108 Extras: (b-9, lb-6, w-6) 21 Total: (for no wicket, 39.3 overs) 231 Did not bat: K. Sangakkara, M. Jayawardene, T. Samaraweera, C. Silva, A. Mathews, R. Herath, L. Malinga, A. Mendis, M. Muralitharan. Bowling: Bresnan 8-1-40-0, Swann 9-0-61-0 (2w), Tremlett 7.3-0-38-0 (1w), Bopara 5-1-22-0, Tredwell 6-0-38-0, Wright 4-0-17-0 (1w). Result: Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets

the Premadasa stadium, making batting look difficult. Sri Lanka replied with 231-0 in 39.3 overs, scattering fours and sixes to the delight of the home crowd. Tillakaratne Dilshan, with 108 not out, and Upul Tharanga, with 102 not out, made striking the ball look easy for batsmen who had the confidence to use their feet. England’s start-stop World Cup campaign ended with a whimper, while 1996 champion Sri Lanka progresses to a semifinal Tuesday against New Zealand. England captain Andrew Strauss summed it up simply: “We’ve been thoroughly beaten by a better side.” “We have to be honest, we haven’t been good enough and that’s why we are going home,” he said. “We just haven’t played with enough quality with the bat and the ball.” Dilshan and Tharanga smashed 22 fours and three sixes between them and both suffered cramps and soreness from their lengthy innings played in high heat and humidity. Tharanga needed a runner toward the end of his innings and Dilshan collapsed at the end of the match and was helped from the field. All of England’s bowlers were treated harshly, with spinner Graeme Swann conceding 61 in nine overs. Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said his team had a good chance of making the final and he paid tribute to his players. “The guys really fought hard and they had a lot of pride in the way they played,” he said. Sangakarra’s only real concern was the condition of his star bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, who seemed to struggle again with a hamstring strain and hobbled through his last two overs to return 2-54. The 38-year-old Muralitharan, the leading wicket taker in international cricket, will retire after the tournament and is desperate to win the World Cup for a second time. He got started on rehabilitation straight away, never having to put the pads on or think about batting. Having witnessed the hesitant England batting display, Dilshan and Tharanga could have been forgiven for searching for demons in the wicket. But there were none, and even fewer demons among England’s bowlers. Sri Lanka moved to 50 in nine overs and England tried six bowlers in the first 12 overs as the batsmen scored at will, being particularly hard on pace bowlers Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett and Swann, all of whom bowled far too wide to present any threat. Foot movement was the crucial difference between the two teams. England’s batsmen rarely middled the ball as

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan celebrates his century during the Cricket World Cup quarterfinal match between England and Sri Lanka. — AP they remained planted in the crease, seemingly scared of using their feet to get to the pitch of the ball. Dilshan and Tharanga, conversely, were constantly stepping down the wicket and using high backlifts to produce shots that were reminiscent of the great West Indies batsmen in their prime. Spinners James Tredwell and Luke Wright were a little more effective, but the effusive Sri Lankan batting could not be suppressed and the openers moved to 100 in 114 balls. Dilshan was first to reach his 50 in 57 balls, including five fours and a six, while Tharanga took 70 balls to reach his half century. The 200 came up in the 36th over as the broken Englishmen stood and watched the ball being hammered to the boundary. Dilshan rubbed salt into England wounds at

the end, blocking out part of a Swann over to ensure Tharanga could reach his century. Tharanga obliged by smacking a boundary to reach triple figures and the victory target. By contrast, the English batsmen completely lacked the aggression needed to ensure a match-winning total in the sultry humidity of a Colombo afternoon. Jonathan Trott crawled to 86 in 115 balls and England was helped by calamitous Sri Lankan fielding. Eoin Morgan was dropped three times — twice in one from Muttiah Muralitharan — on his way to a 53-ball 50. He also escaped an lbw decision that was there for the taking if Sri Lanka had asked for a review. Ian Bell, promoted to open, reached 25 before he lazily clipped an Angelo Mathews delivery to Thilan Samaraweera at short midwicket. —AP

India arrives for semi amid tight security MOHALI: Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s India cricket squad arrived in Mohali yesterday and immediately secluded themselves at a heavily barricaded hotel as security ramped up ahead of the World Cup semifinal against archrival Pakistan. Armed soldiers and police lined the roads and traffic was diverted as Dhoni’s squad made its way to the hotel, where the Pakistan squad has also been staying since arriving on Friday. An exclusion zone set up around the hotel prevented fans and media from getting close to the players. Security arrangements are equally stringent at the PCA Stadium, where Pakistan held its first training session yesterday. Bilateral tours involving the nucleararmed neighbors are always tense. With a spot in the World Cup final spot at stake in Wednesday’s match, and with the proximity of the venue to Pakistan, India’s security organizers are taking absolutely no risks. Pakistan allrounder Mohammad Hafeez

said the squad was happy with the arrangements. “There is no fear in our minds, no feeling that there is any shortcoming when it comes to security,” he said Saturday. “We are very happy with the system in place, and we are enjoying ourselves.” Pakistan’s coach Intikhab Alam urged the media not to overhype the rivalry between the two countries, and to keep its focus on sport. “Let it remain as cricket and don’t make us feel as if we are standing on a warfront,” Alam said Saturday. “We don’t want to pressurize our players. This is needless.” The pressure from the teams’ own supporters will be high enough. The 30,000capacity PCA Stadium is the smallest of the eight World Cup host venues in India, and tickets for the semifinal sold out days ago. That has not stopped fans continuing to arrive at the ground in the hope of more being released. Reports suggest that tickets are fetching up to 12 times their face value on the black market, with 250 rupee

($6) seats selling for 3,000 rupees ($67). Local politicians are even clamoring for seats, using a session of the state parliament to ask the speaker to try to get them tickets for the game. Several thousand fans are expected to cross the border from Pakistan into the state of Punjab to attend the match — most of the visas were only granted by India after Pakistan qualified for the knockout stage.A Punjab police official was quoted as saying that 2,000 police would be deployed in and around the PCA Stadium on Wednesday when Pakistan will play its bitter rival in India for the first time since 2007. India and Pakistan have played at neutral venues since the 2008 attacks on Mumbai when 10 militants from Pakistan killed 166 people. Spotting a diplomatic opportunity, India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari to join him in watching the match. —AP

Ponting walks into World Cup sunset

AHMEDABAD: Australia’s captain Ricky Ponting reacts as he leaves the ground after losing his wicket during the Cricket World Cup quarterfinal match against India. —AP

AHMEDABAD: Ricky Ponting’s battling century could not prevent another blot on his captaincy record but the Australian walked into the World Cup sunset knowing he had at least salvaged his batting reputation. Back home, the clamor was growing for his removal and a day before the quarter-final defeat by India, Ponting was busy quashing retirement rumors sparked by a string of low scores in the tournament. The 36-year-old batsman did not want to leave one-day cricket’s biggest stage without a last hurrah. His 30th ODI century-a 118-ball 104 against India on Thursday-may not rank among his best but it bore the hallmark of his characteristic belligerence. Having led Australia to three Ashes defeats, Ponting also presided over their spectacular demise as ODI world champions after a remarkable 12-year reign that ended in what he reckoned was his last World Cup match. “As things turn out, it could be my last World Cup game. If I end up having made a hundred in my last World Cup game, then I guess I can be pretty happy at the end of the day,” Ponting told reporters.

But the pain was written all over his face when asked if he felt like a tragic hero since his ton failed to lift his team to victory. “I don’t know how to answer that question. I’m not a tragic hero. I’m not feeling much of a hero right now,” he said. “This is not the first time I’ve got a hundred and we lost. It happens.” It, however, did not happen in the 2003 final-last time India and Australia met in the World Cup-when Ponting’s blistering century earned his team the title. He disagreed Australia’s days at the top ended with the defeat. “I don’t think so. It’s premature to say that it was an era in cricket,” he said. “We are still a very competitive side... we lost our last two games in this World Cup. I’m disappointed about that. I think we are probably a better game than we showed in the last two games.” Ponting, who has accumulated more than 25,000 international runs, made it clear that he is not interested in retirement talks. The Tasmanian even mildly rebuked a journalist for asking if he would give retirement a re-think after the defeat. “Nothing has changed,” he asserted. — Reuters

South Africa’s captain Graeme Smith

S Africa to return home to ‘chokers’ headlines JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s cricketers will see the dreaded “chokers” term in nearly every newspaper headline they look at when they return home late yesterday following another World Cup failure. The squad will brace itself for a backlash from a heavily critical media and bitterly disappointed fans. South African newspapers blasted the team for its apparent inability to again handle the pressure of big matches after another defeat in a World Cup knockout game with Friday’s quarterfinal loss to New Zealand. It continues a horror World Cup run for the country, which has lost every knockout match it has played at the tournament. The Proteas appeared to be on course for victory chasing a modest score against the Black Caps in Bangladesh, before losing eight wickets for 64 runs to crash out of the tournament. South Africa has now fallen short in two World Cup quarterfinals and three semifinals in six World Cup appearances. The team was eliminated in the first round in its home event in 2003. This year, Graeme Smith’s team had topped its group and was again considered one of the contenders for the title before the shock 49-run defeat to the Kiwis. “What a choke!” said the Citizen newspaper on its front page yesterday, accompanied by a photograph of Smith walking back to the dressing room after he was dismissed and New Zealand’s fielders celebrating behind him. The Afrikaans-language Beeld used the same photo on its front page with the headline: “Horrible! Super-chokers do it

again.” The Star led its sports section with the headline “Chokers!” in large black letters, adding “More mental meltdown misery as Kiwis klap (smack) SA out of World Cup.” On the front page of The Star there was a photograph of Smith, head bowed, and the caption: “Horror as Proteas choke again.” While The Sowetan tabloid said: “Here’s Why SA Players are Called The Chokers.” South Africa’s squad is set to fly to Johannesburg later yesterday and is already preparing itself for a grilling from its own media. Coach Corrie van Zyl will appear at a news conference alongside South Africa Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula today, according to Cricket South Africa. Van Zyl had already decided to step down as coach following the World Cup. Smith, who was also already set to resign from the one-day captaincy after the tournament, said Friday in Dhaka that he expected “daggers and swords” to be directed at his team on its return home after an all too familiar World Cup failure. “There’s nothing I can say right now that’ll make the fans feel better,” Smith said. “We feel terrible. We’ve given our best and today we let ourselves down and we let a lot of people down. There’s no excuses for that. “When the team goes home there’s going to be daggers and swords thrown and whatever, there’s a group of 25 people here that have just got to take it on the chin,” Smith added. The Star said a “crestfallen” Smith was now readying himself “for his toughest battle yet — bitter fans.”—AP


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Victoire Pisa wins Dubai World Cup

INDUSTRY: Chella Choi of South Korea, tees off on the first hole in the second round of the LPGA Kia Classic golf tournament. —AP

Shin leads Kia Classic INDUSTRY: Second-ranked Jiyai Shin shot a bogey-free 9-under 64, birdieing nine of the first 14 holes, to take a four-stroke lead in the rain-delayed Kia Classic. “I jumped on the birdie bus,” Shin said. The South Korean star, an eight-time winner on the LPGA Tour, had a 12-under 134 total on the Industry Hills Golf Club course at Pacific Palms. Seventy-two players, all the afternoon starters, were unable to finish the round after rain delayed the start three hours. “I think I’m really lucky to finish,” Shin said. “I played very well, so I’ll take a good rest.” Germany’s Sandra Gal was second at 8 under with nine holes left when play was suspended for the day because of darkness. Amanda Blumenherst, the first-round leader, and Chella Choi were third at 6 under. Blumenherst had nine holes remaining, while Choi shot a 68. “Because of the rain delay this morning, I was a little tired,” Choi said. “But it actually gave me more time to prepare and warm up, and things went well from there.” Michelle Wie, returning to the tour after finishing exams at Stanford, followed an opening 68 with a 75 to drop nine strokes behind Shin at 3 under. Wie bogeyed three of her final four holes.

“Just kind of didn’t get a couple of holes going,” Wie said. “Just kind of mis-hit a couple of shots and missed a couple putts and I guess that’s the difference it makes. ... You have to be on the right side of the fairway, because there are trees blocking out half of the green, so it’s really about management.” Shin, trying to regain the top spot in the world from Yani Tseng, missed only one fairway and one green in regulation and finished with 25 putts. She made four birdie putts from 12 feet or longer. “My goal was 3-under par, so I just kept thinking before the round to make a couple birdies and no bogeys,” Shin said. “I just kept focused for my shot. It was really easy, simple play.” Blumenherst, a stroke ahead of Gal after the first round, was four shots behind when she started the second round late in the afternoon. “I was not watching at all,” Blumenherst said. “I had no idea of what was going on. It’s just part of the game.” Tseng, the winner of the season-opening LPGA Thailand and three other worldwide events this year, was 2 under for the tournament with five holes left. Karrie Webb, coming off her second straight victory Sunday in Phoenix, was 2 over — also with five holes remaining in the round.—AP

Laird charges one ahead at Bay Hill ORLANDO: Britain’s Martin Laird fired a superb seven-under-par 65 to move one stroke ahead of American Spencer Levin and South Korean KJ Choi in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Friday. Laird, who has been based in the United States for the last decade, is searching for his second win on the PGA Tour following his breakthrough victory at the 2009 Las Vegas Open. An eagle at the par-five 16th, the Scot’s seventh hole of the day, made the difference for the 28-year-old who sank a 30-foot putt there after hitting his second shot from the rough. “I’m driving really well and putting really well and ask any pro and they will tell you that’s a pretty good combination to have, especially on a long course where you have to drive the ball on the fairway,” Laird told reporters. The Scotsman has quietly risen up the world rankings to 40th but has enjoyed an excellent March, tying for 10th in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral before finishing joint fifth at last week’s Transitions Championship in Tampa. Overnight leader Levin looked completely at home on a course which was much easier to handle on Friday without the strong winds of the opening round. The 26-year-old carded a 70, bogeying the par-three 14th and the short 17th before signing off with a birdie at the last

for an eight-under total of 136. Choi had the round of the day, though, with a spectacular, bogey-free 64 highlighted by an eagle at the 16th where he made a 20-foot putt. The Korean credited his success to a return to his trusty old Odyssey putter and to his unusual choice of including three hybrid clubs in his bag. “The key thing was going back to my old putterthat helped so much,” Choi said. “I’ve always had trouble playing these par threes but I changed to the hybrids and they go far and high and I am able to stop the ball on the green. I think the strategy of going with the hybrids really paid off for me. Steve Marino and Charles Howell III put themselves strongly in the frame for the weekend with respective rounds of 67 and 65, ending the day tied for fourth at six under with fellow Americans Hunter Mahan (69) and Vaughn Taylor (68). Six-times champion Tiger Woods, seeking his first win since November 2009, moved into contention with a fivebirdie 68, finishing six off the pace alongside Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who also carded a 68. “I’m right there, there is a long weekend ahead of us ... unfortunately I left a lot of putts dead center short,” said Woods. “There were about five putts that were dead center. It could have been a pretty special round.”—Reuters

Contador closes on Tour of Catalunya SAPIN: Triple Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, fighting to clear his name of a doping offence, is set for Tour of Catalunya victory today after maintaining his 23-second lead in the penultimate stage. The Spaniard, who learned on Thursday that the International Cycling Union would appeal against the Spanish federation’s decision to exonerate him, finished safely in the main pack in the stage won by compatriot Jose Rojas. Contador failed a dope test for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol during last year’s Tour but has denied any wrongdoing and said it came from contaminated meat. With one short, flat stage remaining from Parets dels Valles to Barcelona on Sunday, and a 23-second advantage over American Levi Leipheimer to his name, the Saxo Bank rider said he was pleased to have got through a deceptively difficult stage.

“It was a hard day, very fast until a break could actually get away, then things calmed down,” Contador told reporters. “At least we got some help controlling the race from other teams, which wasn’t the case yesterday. “This is proving to be a tough race, when there are breaks, they always contain riders who are threats to my lead. “The stages are so long too, this is going to be a good workout for upcoming races on my calendar.” Contador said he was not prepared to think of himself as the overall winner yet even though Catalunya’s hardest stages were behind him. “Tomorrow will be fast as well, and I’m pretty sure there will be some more attacks.” “You have to be extracareful, too, when the race route goes into a large city like Barcelona.” “As ever, I’m taking this on the day by day.” After four podium finishes in previous stages, Rojas was delighted with his bunch sprint victory. —Reuters

DUBAI: Japan’s Victoire Pisa won the $10 million Dubai World Cup, overtaking Transcend to win the world’s richest horse race and give the disaster-ravaged countr y something to cheer about yesterday. Three Japanese horses were entered, and the March 11 earthquake and tsunami which decimated the country’s northeast was on the minds of the owners and trainers — with many wearing polo shirts with the word “hope” on the sleeve and the date of the double-disaster on the back. The lesser-known of the trio, Transcend, stormed out of the gates and held the lead for much of the race, with Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco and longshot Monterosso coming on. On the home straight, Victoire Pisa broke from the pack to beat Transcend by half a length. Monterosso was third. The Dubai World Cup was the highlight of the eight-race card that featured 110 horses racing for $26.25 million. The Japanese came into the World Cup with some of the stronger horses, but it was this month’s disasters that seemed to inspire many of the owners. Several of the Japanese teams said their operations were damaged by the quake and tsunami, which have left more than 10,400 dead and more than 17,000 listed as missing. Many said early on that they hoped a victory by one of the three horses would inspire the horse-mad country to overcome the string of disasters and

DUBAI: Mirco Demuro the jockey of Victoire Pisa from Japan (third right) holds the trophy with Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Finance Minister (first left) after he won the $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup at the Meydan. —AP

encourage them to persevere as they begin rebuilding coastal areas nearly wiped out by the massive, tsunami waves. Much of the talk ahead of the race was on Buena Vista, the horse of the year in Japan in 2010, and a fan favorite. She finished second in Dubai last year in the Sheema Classic. In 17 career star ts, she’s had eight wins, six seconds and three thirds — meaning she has never finished out of the money. But Victoire Pisa had the momentum, beating Buena Vista

in December in the Arima Kinen, a Group 1 race in Japan. Still, trainer Katsuhiko Sumii came into the race with doubts since Victoire Pisa hadn’t raced against such a “strong field” that included the likes of favorite Twice Over and American heavyweight Gio Ponti, and never on the allweather Tapeta surface in Dubai. In the earlier races, Godolphin stables, owned by Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, showed again why it’s a force. Three of his horses won, led

by Rewilding which blew away the field in the $5 million Sheema Classic. The horse ridden by Lanfranco Dettori came from behind, passing Rulership of Japan and then outrunning the field with 250 meters to go to beat the Saudi- owned Redwood by three-and-a-quarter lengths. A second victory came in the $2 million UAE Derby, in which Khawlah barely edged Master of Hounds. A third came in the $1 million Godolphin Mile won by Skysurfers. —AP

Villa saves Spanish blues France, Italy roll in Euro 2012 qualifiers MANCHESTER: David Villa became Spain’s leading goal scorer as the world champions came from behind to beat Czech Republic 2-1 and join three other heavyweights in taking charge of their Euro 2012 qualifying groups on Friday. France, Italy and Netherlands also extended their leads at the top with wins ranging from the laboured to the convincing but it was Spain’s near hiccup that caused the biggest stir. The European champions were trailing to a first-half Jaroslav Plasil goal before Villa scored twice in four minutes to reach 46 goals for his country, two more than Raul, and send Spain six points clear of the second-placed Czechs in Group I. “Villa is a boy with a lot of poise in front of goal,” Spain coach Vicente del Bosque told a news conference. “Twelve points from four matches is the ideal position but we have to keep it up.” Spain’s blushes were spared while France and Italy went some way to soothing their bruised reputations with Les Bleus beating Luxembourg 2-0 and the Azzurri sneaking a 1-0 win in Slovenia. The two teams who contested the 2006 World Cup final were not at their most convincing though and were given a lesson in how to stamp authority over weaker opposition by 2010 World Cup runners-up Netherlands who thrashed Hungary 4-0. While a noisy Granada stadium cheered Spain’s fight back, there were few witnesses to Serbia’s resilience in a 2-1 comeback win over battling Northern Ireland in a match played behind closed doors in Belgrade. After miserable World Cup showings last year, France and Italy have been seeking to make amends and standing on top of Groups D and C respectively the future is looking brighter. France took their time to settle

GRANADA: Spain’s David Villa reacts after scoring against Czech Republic during their Euro 2012 Group I qualifying soccer match at the Los Carmenes stadium. —AP against a Luxembourg team ranked almost 100 places below them and despite dominating possession they had to wait until the 28th minute before defender Philippe Mexes headed home. They sealed the points and a fourpoint lead in their group 18 minutes from time when Yoann Gourcuff volleyed in after a Franck Ribery cross was deflected by a Luxembourg defender. Much of the pre-match talk focused on the return of World Cup rebels Ribery and Patrice Evra but the pair had a quiet game apart from being booed by 2,000 of their own fans who had travelled across the border. “They were subdued, just like the rest of the team,” France coach Laurent Blanc told a news conference. Also having a quiet game were Serbia, serving a one-match crowd ban imposed because of a

riot their fans caused in a qualifier in Italy last year. The 265 Northern Ireland fans allowed into the Belgrade stadium, the only supporters in an eerily quiet ground, were given something to cheer five minutes before the break when defender Gareth McAuley headed in a Chris Brunt cross. However, two goals in nine minutes midway through the second half by Marko Pantelic and Zoran Tosic were deserved reward for dominant Serbia who leapfrogged the visitors into third place in Group C with seven points from five games. Italy are the runaway leaders in that group with 13 points from five matches thanks to Brazil-born Thiago Motta’s 73rd-minute strike against second-placed Slovenia. The Azzurri had plenty of chances, with Giampaolo Pazzini striking the woodwork, and were glad not to have paid for failing to convert more

of their opportunities as Slovenia substitute Zlatan Ljubijankic also went close. “This victory will help us rebuild confidence in Italian football,” Italy coach Cesare Prandelli told reporters. Netherlands, who like Spain have made a perfect start to qualifying, marched six points clear in Group E with 15 points from five matches after their demolition of secondplaced Hungary in Budapest. The visitors took an early lead thanks to Rafael van der Vaart’s eighth-minute effort after he was set up by Wesley Sneijder before Ibrahim Afellay doubled the advantage with a powerful low drive on the stroke of halftime. The Dutch then added goals through Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie to suggest they are likely to be even less forgiving when they host the Hungarians in Amsterdam on Tuesday. —Reuters

Montoya on pole at Fontana FONTANA: Juan Pablo Montoya will start from pole position in his 150th career NASCAR race. Montoya had the fastest time in Friday’s qualifying at Auto Club Speedway, hitting 184.653 mph on the 2-mile oval. The former Formula One driver will start today’s 400-mile race on the front row next to Denny Hamlin. Montoya has two career Sprint

Cup victories, both on road courses. He hasn’t qualified particularly well this season, but has two top-10 finishes, including a third at Las Vegas. Joey Logano qualified third and Regan Smith was fourth. “I think we’ve got a decent car,” Montoya said. “We always run good here, but the main thing is that we’re in good position for the points and

we have to take advantage of that.” Montoya and the rest of the field had to play a bit of a guessing game after a series of storms, including one that lasted into Friday morning, pushed practice back two hours and trimmed it down to about 45 minutes. The short practice session made qualifying difficult, though

Hamlin didn’t seem to mind. He’s struggled qualifying this season and had his worst day last week at Bristol, starting 25th and moving backward from there to 33rd. “It was probably good for me, as bad as I am in qualifying,” said Hamlin, who was about a half-second behind Montoya. “The least amount of practice everyone else has is better off in my favor.”—AP


Oxford defeat Cambridge in annual Boat Race

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Sri Lanka demolish England

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Dominant Vettel on pole in Melbourne Page 16

CARDIFF: Wales’ Danny Collins (left) fights for the ball with Stewart Downing of England during their Euro 2012 Group G qualifying soccer match in the Millennium Stadium. —AP

England defeat cross-border rivals Euro 2012 qualifier CARDIFF: England ripped apart cross-border rival Wales in European Championship qualifying yesterday, coasting to a 20 victory to reclaim top spot in Group G. The goals came in the opening 15 minutes, with Frank Lampard netting from the penalty spot and Darren Bent tapping in another against their abject hosts. Aside from a few moments of carelessness at the start of the second half, England was rarely troubled by a side that has now lost its first four Euro 2012 qualifiers. By moving ahead of Montenegro on goal difference, the pressure should ease slightly on coach Fabio Capello, who has faced intense criticism over his handling of the decision to restore John Terry to the captaincy. The English were in control from the start, with that superiority imposed by the midfield trio of Scott Parker — making his first international start since October 2006 — Jack Wilshere — making his competitive debut — and Ashley Young. It was the first time the Millennium Stadium had been sold out for a match since England’s last visit six years ago, and the fiery home fans, who booed the English national anthem, were silenced after seven minutes by Lampard’s spot kick. James Collins stumbled as John Terry knocked the ball forward and, while trying to recover, he caught Aston Villa teammate Darren Bent, who tumbled. The Welsh had barely had time to regroup before England ripped through their defense again. Glenn Johnson launched the ball down the right flank to Ashley Young, who squared to Bent to sweep the ball into the net from close range. In Gary Speed’s first competitive match in charge of the Welsh, Tottenham winger Gareth Bale, whose energetic bursts could have troubled England, was sorely missed due to hamstring troubles. “We gave away two early goals and could not recover,” Aaron Ramsey said after his first match as Wales captain. “After that we had a mountain to climb. We showed glimpses of what we are capable of doing. It was a great occasion for me but the result has put a downer on it.” The huge gulf between the neighbors was clear. While sixth-ranked England’s players all feature in the Premier League, just four Welsh starters play in the top flight in England. Despite England’s dominance, striker Wayne Rooney lunged at Joe Ledley, earning a booking that means he will be suspended for the June 4 qualifier against Switzerland. “That might give him a longer break in the summer,” Manchester United teammate Gary Neville pointed out at halftime while commentating on TV. Wales nearly conceded at the start of the second half, with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey giving the ball away to Ashley Young, whose cross had too much elevation for Rooney’s head to connect with. A rare break forward by the Welsh came eight minutes into the second half, with Andy King released by Craig Bellamy but the Leicester striker fired wide. England was too relaxed, with a sloppy pass from Johnson allowing Steve Morrison to seize possession, but the Millwall player squandered the opportunity. Ramsey was also given space to bring the ball down on the edge of the penalty area, but he struck over.—AP

Bulgaria, Switzerland in trouble after draw SOFIA: Bulgaria and Switzerland look increasingly unlikely to qualify for Euro 2012 after sharing a 0-0 draw in Group G yesterday. Home captain Stilian Petrov became the second player from his country to reach 100 caps, following Bulgarian Football Union president Borislav Mihaylov (102), but was unable to inspire his team to their first home victory over the Swiss. Bulgaria, chasing their first home win in the qualifying campaign, began brightly with Ivelin Popov shooting just wide in the first minute and Dimitar Makriev going close with a header. Aston Villa midfielder Petrov could have marked his century with a goal but blasted the ball over the bar after a fine solo run and cross from Popov. Switzerland also had their chances, with skipper Alexander Frei’s bullet header being parried by keeper Nikolay Mihaylov on the halfhour. Bulgaria were again the livelier side after the break and Stanislav Manolev went narrowly wide with a header while Spas Delev tested keeper Marco Woelfli with a snap shot from the edge of the penalty area. England, who won 2-0 in Wales on Saturday, and Montenegro are joint top of the group with 10 points from four games. Switzerland are third and Bulgaria fourth, both with four points from as many matches.—Reuters

YEREVAN: Russia’s Alexander Kerzhakov (top) and Armenia’s Hrayr Mkoyan, right, in action during their Euro 2012 Group A qualification soccer match. —AP

Armenia hold toothless Russia to a drab draw YEREVAN: Misfiring Russia were held to a 0-0 draw by hard-working Armenia in their Euro 2012 qualifier yesterday, missing a chance to extend their lead in Group B. The top-seeded Russians now have 10 points from five matches while Armenia surprisingly moved into second place with eight points, ahead of both Ireland and Slovakia who play their qualifiers later on Saturday. Russia have now failed to score for a third consecutive match after losing two friendlies to Belgium (20) and Iran (1-0) in the last five months. After a slow opening, the Russians took control,

creating several scoring chances but failed to find the target. Yura Movsisyan wasted Armenia’s best chance early in the second half when he fired wide from close range. Alexander Kerzhakov, who scored for Russia in each of their two previous qualifiers against Ireland and Macedonia, missed the top corner when he was sent clear a few minutes later. Russia captain Andrei Arshavin had a quiet game, missing the target with his only shot at goal late in the game. The two teams meet again in their next qualifier on June 4.—Reuters

Georgia surprise Croatia TBILISI: A last-gasp goal by Levan Kobiashvili earned Georgia a surprise 1-0 win over Group F leaders Croatia in Euro 2012 qualifying yesterday. Goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili pulled off a string of fine saves to keep Croatia at bay before substitute Otar Martsvaladze stole in behind the defence in the 89th minute and laid the ball off to Kobiashvili who scored with his left foot. After a scrappy opening Slaven Bilic’s Croatia took control with Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Luka Modric dominating the midfield. Revishvili kept out long-range efforts from Mladen Petric and Tomislav Dujmovic either side of halftime but Georgia came out far livelier after the break, repeatedly hitting Croatia on the counter-attack. The win lifted Georgia into second place, one point behind Croatia. Greece, in third spot one point behind the Georgians, visit Malta later yesterday. —Reuters


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GIC profits grow by 66% to $151 million Page 23 ‘Oracle of Omaha’ Buffett dispenses wisdom in India Page 25

SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

KSE indices post marginal gains

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Behbehani unveils all-new GMC Terrain 2011 Page 22

KUWAIT: The Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Aliyu Idi (center right and inset) and the Nigerian ambassador to Kuwait Ahmed Gusau Bala (center left) are pictured with other Nigerian officials during a press conference at the Nigerian embassy in Kuwait.

Kuwait, Nigeria ink cooperation accords Agreements aimed at luring investors, avoiding double taxations By Chidi Emmanuel KUWAIT: Kuwait and Nigeria signed two agreements for economic and commercial cooperation. The announcement was by the Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Aliyu Idi Hong on Thursday during his two-day visit to Kuwait with other top ranking officials. The Nigerian minister said that the agreements are part of a legal framework aimed at luring investors. The document signed included trade, economic cooperation and double taxation avoidance agreements. “These agreements would strengthen a more meaningful and concrete partnership between the business communities of both nations,” Hong said. “The two countries share similar objectives for development and improving the standard of living for our people and the promotion of international peace and security in our respective regions and the world at large. These agreements will protect investments and boost trade.” The Nigerian delegation, lead by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, was the first of its kind since Kuwait opened its embassy in Nigeria. It is part of the efforts by the Kuwaiti and Nigerian diplomats to cement bilateral ties between the two countries. Commercial exchange between Kuwait and Nigeria is on the rise as both countries look to avail the opportunities in their oil-rich nations. On trade, the Nigerian minister said that the prospect and potential for robust and mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation is enormous. He added that the volume of

Abu Dhabi hires Goldman for $1.4b bank stake sale HONG KONG/ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has hired Goldman Sachs to sell its 25 percent stake in Malaysian bank RHB Capital valued at $1.4 billion, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters yesterday. ADCB had shortlisted three to four banks and it was still deciding whether to appoint a second adviser for the sale, sources added. The proposed sale is expected to draw interest from Chinese banks and other Asian buyers due to Malaysia’s rapidly growing economy, though lack of control could deter strategic buyers from bidding aggressively, sources said. An ADCB spokesman did not offer an immediate comment while a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Goldman Sachs was not available for an immediate comment. Sources declined to be identified as the information has not been formally made public yet. A 30 percent foreign ownership limit in Malaysian banks has proved to be a stumbling block for foreign banks planning to expand in Malaysia through acquisitions. But in a recent interview to Reuters, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak signalled that he was ready to ease bank ownership rules and would consider allowing Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd to double its stake in Malaysian lender AMMB Holdings to 49 percent. Malaysia’s economy is forecast to grow by 5-6 percent in 2011, driving up demand for consumer loans and credit cards, which is the main attraction for the banks. Sources said Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Malaysian investment bank CIMB and JP Morgan were the other banks who made it to the shortlist. A BofA spokesman declined comment while J P Morgan and CIMB were not available for comment. It was not entirely clear why ADCB is planning to sell its stake at a time when several Asian and some European and US financial institutions are sniffing around to buy banking assets in Southeast Asia. “ADCB has failed to have significant influence over RHB or provide much banking expertise,” one of the sources said. “Now that RHB’s share price is hovering above what ADCB had paid, ADCB probably thinks the best option is to exit,” the source added. ADCB paid 7.20 Malaysian ringgit per share to buy the stake in 2008. The stock closed at 8.30 ringgit on Friday. — Reuters

trade between Kuwait and Nigeria will grow exponentially with the two corporate agreements in place. He encouraged Kuwaiti entrepreneurs to explore investment opportunities in the most populous African nation, especially in the telecommunication, agriculture, energy, oil and gas sectors. “Nigeria is a liberal and open country with a robust rule of law,” the minister continued. “The rate of return for investors is one of the best in the world. With a population above 150 million people it has a large market for investors.” On tourism, Hong - who was once Nigeria’s minister for culture and

tourism - said that the government has launched an ecotourism development plan that is open for investors. Commenting on geo-political issues, the minister expressed with dismay the situation in Libya and the Ivory Coast. He called on both parties to end the bloodshed and embrace peace through dialog. “Nigeria has played a major role in promoting peace and stability in the African continent. It voted for a no-fly zone in the United Nations against Libya to reduce civilian casualties,” the minister remarked as he highlighted Nigeria’s role as the main player in maintaining

regional peace. On Nigerian-Kuwaiti bilateral ties, the minister said both nations have enjoyed cordial relations for decades. “Kuwait and Nigeria belong to OIC, OPEC and the UN among others. We admire Kuwait’s democratic principles, its vibrant economy and rich cultural heritage. We have a long history and share many cultural values,” he added. Amazed at Kuwait’s hospitality, Hong lauded Kuwait’s leadership and praised Kuwait’s efforts to maintain peace and tranquility in the region.

Britons turn out en masse against austerity measures LONDON: Tens of thousands of protesters kicked off a march through London yesterday in a demonstration against the government’s harsh austerity measures, as police deployed in large numbers amid fears of violence. Huge crowds of demonstrators kicked off the march along the banks of the river Thames in the British capital to oppose spending cuts introduced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition to tackle a record deficit. Trade unions have said more than 100,000 demonstrators are expected to attend, but Len McCluskey, head of the Unite union, predicted the march would exceed expectations. “Turnout is past our wildest dreams,” he told AFP, adding that it could be “the biggest protest that the union movement has seen in London in a generation.” Pubic sector workers, pensioners and students were out on the streets for Saturday’s “March for the Alternative”, brandishing banners reading “Don’t Break Britain”, “No to Cuts” and “Defend Our Public Services”. Many families with children were among the protesters and the air was filled with the distinctive lowpitched bellow of the vuvuzela, the plastic trumpet whose droning provided the soundtrack for the football World Cup in South Africa. Steel bands, choirs and dancers also joined the march, giving a carnival atmosphere to the mass demonstration. Scotland Yard has deployed around 4,500 officers, mindful of several huge student protests against plans to triple university tuition fees that turned violent late last year. Yesterday’s march was to pass the Houses of Parliament and Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing Street residence before ending in a rally in Hyde Park to be addressed by opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband. After coming to power in May, the coalition announced cuts worth £81 billion ($131 billion, 92 billion euros) over five years in order to slash a

record public deficit it blames on the previous Labour government. Dave Prentis, head of the public sector union Unison, hailed the turnout which he said was “absolutely enormous and showed the anger of ordinary working people at the government’s cuts”. Speaking before the march set off, Education Minister Michael Gove insisted that the protests would not force a change in government strategy. “Of course people will feel a sense of disquiet, in some cases anger, at what they see happening,” he told BBC radio. “But the difficulty we have as the government inheriting a terrible economic mess, is that we have to take steps to bring the public finances back into balance.” British newspaper reports said between 250,000 and 300,000 were expected, which would make it the largest protest in the capital since around one million people marched against the Iraq war in February 2003. Barber said the unions would deploy teams of stewards to ensure a peaceful rally because they wanted “nothing to distract” from their message. The officer in charge of policing the march, Commander Bob Broadhurst, said he hoped for minimal use of the controversial tactic of “kettling” protesters by keeping them confined in small areas. The cuts announced involve most government departments, with the loss of 300,000 public service jobs and pay freezes for civil servants. Several student demonstrations descended into violence last year, with one culminating in protesters damaging the car carrying heir-tothe-throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla. The latest march takes place just days after finance minister George Osborne delivered his annual budget on Wednesday. He had already announced the cuts via an emergency budget and spending review last year. — AFP

LONDON: Demonstrators walk past the Houses of Parliament during a Trade Union Congress (TUC) march in London yesterday. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the United Kingdom took part in the march to protest against government cuts. — AFP

Singapore widens import ban on Japan produce SINGAPORE: Singapore suspended food imports of fruit and vegetables from more Japanese prefectures yesterday after “radioactive contaminants” were found in two new food samples from the disaster-hit country. The announcement means imports of fruit and vegetables from the entire Kanto region, a large area including greater Tokyo, are banned to the city-state. “Radioactive contaminants have been detected in another two samples of vegetables from Japan,” the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), the country’s food regulator, said in a statement. “In view of the latest developments, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority will extend its suspension on the import of fruits and vegetables to include the prefectures of Kanagawa, Tokyo and Saitama,” it said. The AVA said radioactive contaminants were detected in cabbage samples from Kanagawa and in leek samples from Tokyo that reached the city-state on Friday and yesterday. “This means the entire Kanto region of Japan is now suspended from exporting fruits

and vegetables to Singapore as AVA had earlier suspended the Kanto prefectures of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba,” the AVA said. A global food scare is spreading as a result of severe damage to a nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture following the March 11 quake and tsunami that have left more than 27,000 dead and missing in northeastern Japan. China, Russia, Australia, Singapore, the United States, South Korea and Taiwan have all restricted imports of certain foods from affected regions and stepped up monitoring of food imports from other parts of the country as a precaution. The quake has become Japan’s deadliest natural disaster since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which killed more than 142,000 people. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and taken shelter in emergency facilities. Radiation levels have surged in seawater near a tsunami-stricken nuclear power station in Japan, officials said yesterday, as engineers battled to stabilize the plant in hazardous conditions. — AFP


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KUWAIT: Behbehani unveils the All-American-Made GMC Terrain 2011 during a special launch event at the Sahara Kuwait Resort in the presence of many VIP customers, representatives of General Motors and many representatives of the press and media. —Photos of the event by Joseph Shagra

Behbehani unveils all-new GMC Terrain 2011 KUWAIT: Behbehani unveiled the All-American-Made GMC Terrain 2011 during a special launch event at the Sahara Kuwait Resort in the presence of many VIP customers, representatives of General Motors and many esteemed representatives of the press and media. The new crossover vehicle will join GMC ’s popular line -up in the region. The 2011 Terrain is a crossover immaculately combining bold styling with a smooth ride delivered through a powerful and economic engine giving it segmentleading fuel efficiency. The Terrain has the bold design of a GMC SUV, with the commanding outward view that many customers appreciate. The Terrain’s front end, with squared-off edges and flared fenders, appeals to

those who want something stronger looking than the typical “soft road” vehicle. “The All New GMC Terrain is an answer to the needs of a varied group of individuals who seek a vehicle that provides them a combination of beauty and power, with strong outer appearance, comfortable interiors and state of the art features. The New Terrain bears a very strong resemblance to GMC’s battle -horse brand of years, the Yukon and although it is smaller in size, it inherits the key features of the Yukon such as Power, Performance and Durability in a compact, practical package and hence, it is also called “Wald Al Yukon”, said Adel Behbehani, Sales Director at MSRY Behbehani. “We’re continuing to build on the successful formula of taking

the bold styling, premium features and functionality our customers have come to expect from our full-

East,” said by Luay Alshurafa, Regional Brand Manager for GMC in the Middle East. When equipped with the new 2.4L direct injected Ecotec engine and six-speed automatic transmission producing 182hp and 233Nm, the Terrain is EPA-rated at a segment-leading 7.35 liters per 100km on the highway (FWD model) - giving the crossover best-inclass fuel economy. The 3.0L direct injected V-6 engine producing 264hp and 301Nm is EPA-rated at 9.4 liters per 100km on the highway (also the FWD model), thereby also beating out some of the competition. The 2011 GMC Terrain is exemplary of a vehicle with integrated technological solutions which makes for a smarter, safer, fun and convenient vehicle. In terms of

size truck products and creating smaller vehicles to appeal to a broader audience in the Middle

safety, the Terrain comes with a standard rear-vision camera, allowing the driver to view objects and people directly behind the vehicle. In terms of convenience, the Terrain comes with optional features such as a programmable liftgate which can be set for a lower height, clearing possible garage obstructions and making it easier to reach for those of a shor ter stature. Meanwhile, the driver can remotely start the vehicle to automatically cool down on a hot afternoon. With a rigid, body-integral structure with single-piece body side stampings allows more precise assembly, with tighter and more uniform gap tolerances. The result is a vehicle that will feel solid for years.

Adel Behbehani’s Speech In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful. Honorable GMC customers, my fellow General Motors Corporation representatives and esteemed members of the press and media, It is a great pleasure and privilege to welcome and thank you for accepting our invitations, especially representatives of General Motors, our esteemed guests to Kuwait and the company who came here specially to grace this occasion. It was nearly 48 years ago in 1963 that Mohammed Saleh & Reza Yousuf Behbehani Company began its partnership with General Motors. Since then a long history of success continued during which we made great accomplishments and received many awards that reflects our excellence, dedication and motivation to provide superior services to our customers. It is with great pride that I mention that our company has recently been awarded the 2010 “ World’s largest Standalone GMC Dealer” title. This award will certainly not be the last as we are working toward a

strategy that makes such achievements a motivation for us to continue our hard work and dedication to provide outstanding services to our customers, which may result in more of such awards and recognitions and above all, continued success. During our partnership, we have launched many vehicles and models of high quality that lived up to the aspirations of Kuwaiti people. I recollect that we were in a similar event about four years ago in 2008, when we launched the first generation of GMC Terrain which was well received in the Kuwaiti market and achieved the fame and appeal we aspired for it. Here we are today to launch the second generation of this vehicle. We bring you the “All American Made” second generation Terrain 2011, a total remake of the first generation you knew 4 years ago. The All New GMC Terrain is an answer to the needs of a varied group of individuals who seek a vehicle that provides them with a strong exterior appearance, comfortable interiors and premium state of the art features. The New Terrain bears a

very strong resemblance to GMC’s battle-horse brand of years, the Yukon and although it is smaller in size, it inherits the key features of the Yukon such as Power, Performance and Durability in a compact, practical package and hence, it is also called “Wald Al Yukon”. It is worth mentioning that the New Terrain has been on the American roads for over a year now and has had wide-spread acceptance since its launch and is a highly demanded vehicle today. The Terrain has also been awarded as “The Best Car in Fuel Economy ” in its class by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Without taking much of your time, I would leave it for Mr. Bassim Attaya, our Fleet Manager to speak about the vehicle in more detail later. Now, please allow me to introduce Mr. Luay AlShurafa from General Motors to say a few words. Once again, thank you for accepting our invitation and gracing this event, a very warm welcome to all.

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 .4475000 .3900000 .3030000 .2800000 .2755000 .0045000 .0020000 .0749160 .7298870 .3890000 .0705000 .7155220 .0045000 .0460000

.2820000 .4570000 .3980000 .3130000 .2880000 .2830000 .0075000 .0035000 .0756690 .7372220 .4080000 .0770000 .7227130 .0072000 .0555000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2759500 .2780500 .4498400 .4532630 .3924280 .3954150 .3054570 .3077820 .2819560 .2841010 .0526210 .0530210 .0440170 .0443520 .2776450 .2797880 .0353850 .0356540 .2179530 .2196110 .0034080 .0034340 .0000000 .0062130 .0000000 .0025280 .0000000 .0032710 .0000000 .0038890 .0751600 .0757320 .7324490 .7380230 .0000000 .3932810 .0736060 .0741660 .7173120 .7227710 .0000000 .0064290

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

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.472 6.218 3.252 2.513 3.897 220.550 35.645 3.814

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

6.409 9.176 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 74.098 76.355 721.790 737.890 75.653

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

ARAB COUNTRIES 50.750 46.651 1.271 201.290 392.430 184.300 6.025 35.552

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 277.780 Euro 395.560 Sterling Pound 450.000 Canadian dollar 287.740 Turkish lire 178.640 Swiss Franc 307.180 Australian dollar 284.970 US Dollar Buying 276.580

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

GOLD 270.000 136.000 70.000

Sterling Pound US Dollar

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

287.700 738.550 4.080 287.200 545.400 14.100 53.400 167.800 49.250 396.000 36.330 6.360 0.033

286.200 738.550 3.823 285.700

221.500 46.718 394.500 36.180 6.210 0.032

392.510 0.187 93.770 3.910 211.000

721.150 3.265 6.410 76.390 74.150 221.460 42.900 2.512 449.000 304.900 6.100 9.390 75.680 277.700

GOLD 1,493.380

10 Tola 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

0.254 0.246 3.520 394.110 0.188 93.770 46.900 4.350 212.500 1.883 51.100 721.330 3.360 6.600 76.820 74.150 221.460 42.900 2.695 451.000 45.400 306.400 6.100 9.540 198.263 75.780 278.100 1.340

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 449.000 277.700

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

Selling Rate 277.100 286.215 454.575 398.125 307.041 733.402 75.421 76.090 73.863 391.432 46.684 2.507 6.176

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

3.251 3.820 6.377 679.709 3.523 9.251 6.044 3.942 91.132

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 277.600 3.270 6.225 2.525 3.835 6.440 75.680 74.230 738.000 46.660 457.300 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 394.400 5.750 397.800 289.900

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 276.750 Euro 395.600 Pound Sterling 455.900 Canadian Dollar 284.400 Japanese Yen 3.445 Indian Rupee 6.170 Egyptian Pound 46.535 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.507 Bangladesh Taka 3.820 Philippines Peso 6.378 Pakistan Rupee 3.243 Bahraini Dinar 737.050 UAE Dirham 75.450 Saudi Riyal 73.950 *Rates are subject to change


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Banker ME awards NBK ‘Best Premium Banking service’ Bank also wins ‘Best Business Internet Banking Service’ award KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the best bank in the Middle East, has been awarded the “Best Premium Banking Service” and “Best Business Internet Banking Service” in the Middle East for 2011 by the renowned regional financial magazine, “Banker Middle East”. Abdulla Al-Najran Al-Tuwaijri, NBK’s Deputy Group General Manager, and Kevin Turner, Assistant General Manager, Consumer Banking Group have received the awards on behalf of NBK in a ceremony held in Dubai. Turner said “the awards underscore NBK’s strong leadership among all the banks in the Middle East in providing the best services and quality products to its customers on both retail and corporate fronts”. “NBK was recognized as the Best bank in the Middle East by the leading global financial voices. This unprecedented global consensus underpins the excellence of NBK services and its pioneer in offering specialized and innovative products to its clients,” added Turner. Thahabi is NBK’s award winning

Abdulla Al Tuwaijri receives the award from “Banker Middle East”. Premium Banking package from NBK. It offers customers personalized and ‘best in class’ products and services delivered by professional Personal Banking Officers. Thahabi customers also enjoy many banking related dis-

Kevin Turner receives the award from “Banker Middle East”.

counts, fee waivers and value-added lifestyle benefits. Qualification for the Thahabi package is subject to criteria. For more information on how to apply for Thahabi call 1801801. NBK is the highest rated bank in

the Middle East by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings. NBK also enjoys the largest presence in Kuwait with 70 branches, as well as a growing regional and international network comprising an additional 107

branches covering 16 countries in both the MENA region and the world’s leading financial centers including London, Paris, New York, Singapore, Geneva, China and Vietnam.

GIC profits grow by 66% to $151 million Major investment projects executed KUWAIT: The Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) announced a 66% percent increase in profits for the year 2010. Net income grew to $151 million in comparison to $91 million in 2009. The General Assembly meeting reviewed and approved the audited financial statement in the meeting that took place last Thursday 24th March 2011 in Kuwait.

Canon ME unveils new PowerShot, IXUS models DUBAI: Canon Middle East yesterday launched five stunning HS System cameras across its acclaimed PowerShot and IXUS ranges, fusing leading imaging quality, incredible performance and stand-out style. New to the PowerShot range are the PowerShot SX230 HS and PowerShot SX220 HS the perfect cameras to take on your travels, with the PowerShot SX230 HS featuring both GPS tagging and logging functionality. Joining the IXUS range today is the IXUS 310 HS, which offers an enhanced intuitive touch interface and an ultra-wide angle 24mm lens with a bright f/2.0 maximum aperture. The IXUS 220 HS, featuring an ultra-wide 24mm 5x optical zoom lens in a stunning, slim design, and the chic entry level IXUS 115 HS completes the lineup. These cameras introduce a series of exciting features across the range, including Full HD movies, high speed shooting and outstanding low-light performance thanks to Canon’s HS System. Unrivalled performance: The HS System and Canon lenses All of the new models feature Canon’s HS System - combining a high-sensitivity 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor and powerful DIGIC 4 processing. Canon’s HS System delivers consistently high image quality in all conditions even in low light. From stunning sunsets on holiday to group shots and portraits of friends on a night out in the city, users can capture beautiful pictures with less noise and blur. Each of the models feature genuine Canon lenses developed using the same high quality standards employed to manufacture Canon’s professional lenses. From the 24mm ultra wideangle f/2.0 large aperture lens in the IXUS 310 HS, to the PowerShot SX230 HS’s high quality 14x optical zoom, the range gives users the flexibility to shoot a variety of subjects with the high image quality and clarity that Canon is renowned for. Canon’s leading optical Image Stabilizer corrects camera shake to prevent image blur, especially at the tele-end of the zoom, or when shooting in low light - allowing users to capture sharp, detailed images when shooting handheld. Exceptional shooting The new range also features a greater choice of shooting functions - providing the perfect platform for users to experiment and create superb images and movies: ● Full HD movies with stereo sound and optical zoom1 allows users to record movies with superb clarity. An HDMI connector also enables the playback of movies and images to a compatible HDTV with no loss of quality ● Creative Filters add a new perspective to shots, including Fish-eye Effect which mimics the distortion of a fish-eye lens and Toy Camera Effect which allows users to recreate the effect of an older style camera. Also included are Poster Effect, Miniature Effect (available in stills and video), Monochrome and Super Vivid ● Manual Modes2 enable users to control the shutter speed and the aperture, ideal for more

experienced users who want to enhance their creativity using the manual controls ● Movie Digest mode records up to four seconds of video footage before every still image is captured and combines them to create a movie of the day’s events - capturing the story behind the pictures ● Super Slow Motion Movie mode provides a great way to slow down fast-paced sports action, adding drama and atmosphere to fast paced action scenes ● PureColor II G LCD screens3 incorporate a protective tempered glass layer, offering increased strength and enhanced contrast for clear viewing in all conditions ● Smart Auto can detect 32 different scenes automatically selecting the settings to achieve the best result, meaning photographers can take great photos and videos without having to worry about the settings ● Smart Auto in Movie4 can recognize and choose the optimum settings for movie recording from 21 different variables, enabling users to make great movies with the minimum of fuss ● GPS tagging and logging5 offers the ability to tag location information onto pictures and log travels, allowing users to review their journey after they have returned home ● Touch UI6 allows full camera control and operation by using only simple gestures and motion ● iFrame video7 format from Apple(r) offers a simple way to work with video on users’ computers. It’s designed to work with Mac and PC video applications and can dramatically speed up the process of importing, editing and sharing movies across multiple platforms and devices. ● High-speed Burst shoots a continuous burst of images when the shutter is pressed, capturing a sequence of photographs so every moment of a fast paced action scene is captured ● Best Image Selection automatically selects the best image from a sequence of high speed shots, so users don’t need to waste time trying to find the best image from the burst before deleting the unwanted versions ● Handheld Night Scene captures a high speed sequence of shots and combines them into a single image, therefore capturing scenes in very dark conditions with the least possible blur and the best possible exposure Class-leading design In addition to exceptional image quality, all models also offer incredible style. The signature IXUS elegance of the IXUS 310 HS, IXUS 220 HS and IXUS 115 HS makes these models stand out from the crowd, whilst the compact and practical designs of the PowerShot SX230 HS and PowerShot SX220 HS offer truly portable cameras combining a host of shooting features with super-zoom performance. The PowerShot SX230 HS is available in pink, blue and black and the sleek metal body of the PowerShot SX220 HS comes in purple and grey. The IXUS 310 HS’s stainless steel body is offered in silver, brown, pink and gold, whilst the IXUS 220 HS comes in a choice of silver, black and red, and the IXUS 115 HS’s chic metal body is available in silver, grey, pink and blue.

The Chairman of the Board Dr Zakaria Ahmed Hejres commended the solid performance saying: “In 2010, GIC achieved well on multiple dimensions that include increased profitability, enhanced capital base, improved liquidity and leverage levels and better risk profile. In tandem with these improved financial performance indicators, GIC successfully executed important principal investment projects in the GCC region, and completed several initiatives that contributed to optimizing asset allocation, strengthening risk controls and enhancing overall corporate governance. These achievements distinguish GIC as a winner in the region. GIC’s solid financial strength and established regional franchise provide a platform for future growth. I see a bright future for GIC. “ Net Operating revenues grew by an annual 46% to $223 million, driven by revenues from GIC’s core business activities. The corporation’s capital base was further strengthened through revaluation gains and realized profits. As of 31st December 2010, total shareholders’ equity stood at $2,117 million, a year-on-year increase of $367 million, representing a 21% growth. The enhanced capital base, combined with improved overall asset quality, augmented capital adequacy ratios resulting in a Tier 1 capital ratio of 30%. Noteworthy,

the balance sheet continues to be conservatively leveraged at about 2.7 times, reflecting a lower risk profile. At the year-end 2010, GIC maintained ample liquidity, with cash and equivalents of $654 million, on top of other

Hisham A. Al-Razzuqi, Chief Executive Officer liquid assets of nearly $3,000 million. Commenting on the Corporation’s notable performance, Hisham A. Al-Razzuqi, Chief Executive Officer, stated that “The year under review was an excellent one for GIC in several

aspects. The sustained improvement in profitability and financial strength over the past two years reaffirm the corporation’s success in overcoming challenging operating environments and reflect GIC’s inherent resilience. It is gratifying to note that all business lines performed well during 2010, exceeding revenue targets, while conforming to desired risk profiles. Whilst steadily improving all key financial performance indicators, we are also able to expand our business and regional franchise. Going forward, I am confident that the strong foundations which we have anchored will enable us achieve our objectives and goals to the benefit of our shareholders and to the region we serve.” Established in 1983, GIC is a regional financial institution owned by equally by the six GCC states. It strives to provide a comprehensive range of financial services that support the development of private enterprise and economic growth in the region. GIC managed to achieve a number of major projects throughout GCC countries with diversified activities covering different sectors via financial, petrochemical, steel, power, communications amongst others. For any additional information, please contact Qais Al-Shatti, Corporate Communications, Gulf Investment Corporation, at (965) 2222 5430.

Kuwait profits drive 2010 GCC earnings Markaz Economic Report

Joyalukkas announces winners of ‘Easy Gold Plan’ in Kuwait KUWAIT: Joyalukkas has announced the winners of their ‘Easy Gold Plan’ for the month of February. The Joyalukkas ‘Easy Gold Plan’ is a unique installment-based initiative for customers to save and buy jewelry of their choice in easy installments. The plan assures the customers of more value than other savings, since Gold is considered as one of the safest investment options today. Under the Joyalukk as ‘Easy Gold Plan’, customers can choose a monthly payment option starting from KD 10 and retain it for a period of 12, 18 or 24 months. At the end of the period customers can pick the jewelry of their choice from the Joyaluk k as showrooms based on the value saved. Most customers who have participated in the scheme have endorsed that the Joyalukkas Easy Gold Plan’ has given them much better returns than Fixed Deposits. “Joyalukkas is committed to giving customers convenience, value, choice

and excellent service. The ‘Easy Gold Plan’ is part of our convenience initiative to make the purchase of jewelry ver y easy and secure for our customers. We assure their returns and we give them the flexibility of picking the jewelry they like and would love to own”, said Joy Aluk k as, Chairman, Joyalukkas Group. The two winners for the month of February under the Joyalukkas ‘Easy Gold Plan’ are Tomson Jose, EGP card no 1491000955 and Thomas P Mathew, EGP card No 1491002076. They each get to win gold coins from Joyalukkas. Joyalukkas is one of the first ISO certified jewelry retailers in the Middle East and has also recently won the status of Superbrand in the UAE. In addition to this, Joyalukkas has been reco gn i ze d w i t h t h e D u b a i Q u a l i t y Awards certificate for its best practices in all aspects of jewelry retailing and has also been awarded with the status of Middle East’s Retailer of the Year, by Retail ME.

KUWAIT: As of third week of March 2011, we have 90% visibility in terms of market cap and 72% visibility in terms of number of companies to measure performance in GCC corporate earnings, according to a recent report by Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz”... Saudi Arabia enjoys 100% market capitalization visibility while Bahrain lags at 69%, the lowest in the GCC region. In terms of GCC Corporate Earnings visibility, Saudi Arabia leads the region with 95% visibility while Kuwait lags at 37%. During 2010, GCC Corporate earnings grew by 25% YoY to $43.1bn. The earnings were driven by an increase in the region’s commodities, telecom and banking segments’ earnings. Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia (at 100% coverage) reported 34% YoY growth in corporate earnings to $20.8bn in 2010 aided by commodities sector. KSA’s earnings received a boost from the commodities sector led by SABIC, which reported earnings of $5.7bn in 2010. However, the real estate sector’s profits contracted 38% in YoY in 2010. The banking sector was flat as high provisioning continued to erode the bottom line amidst a slow lending scenario. Kuwait After two consecutive years of losses, corporates returned to positive growth in 2010. Kuwait recorded one of the fastest growths in earnings to $7.1 bn versus a loss of $438mn in 2009. Banks and Telecom led the surge. NBK and Zain are notable performers, though in the latter it was due to extraordinary earnings from the sale of its African assets to Bharti Airtel. UAE During 2010, UAE posted a 47% YoY decline in corporate earnings to $4.8 bn, marred by poor performances in real estate sector. UAE real estate sector was dragged by Aldar Properties PJSC that posted a loss of $3.5bn in 2010 compared to profit of $228mn in 2009. Other markets Qatar’s corporate earnings fell nearly 20% YoY in 2010 relative to the 26% YoY growth in 2009, mainly due to $2.3bn gain booked by Ezdan real estate during Q4 2009. Oman’s earnings increased 15% YoY in 2010, led by financial services sector. The banking sectors of Bahrain, Oman and Qatar posted YoY growths of 72%, 29% and 11%, respectively, during 2010, confirming the recovery trend.


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KSE indices post marginal gains BAYAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the green zone, as both its main indices recorded gains. The price index ended last week with an increase amounted to 0.34%, while the weighted index raised 0.50% compared to the closings of the week before. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover decreased by 10.03%, compared to the preceding week, reaching KD 31.26 million, whereas trading volume average was 171.37 million shares, recording a retreat of 8.42%. Moreover, the general performance of the market marked with limited changes on daily basis, as KSE came under the political impact of the hearing requests for both His Highness the Prime Minister and - the Deputy Prime Minister for the Economic Affairs. As a result, caution state dominated the market, which was reflected on the daily market activities. On the other hand, negative effects arising from the political events in several Arab

countries contained to be present in the market; yet, its effect was less than the previous weeks. In addition, the listed company results were contained as main player in the market during last week, where the majority of the listed companies still didn’t announce its annual results, as only 53% of listed companies announced its results until mid of Thursday. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 6,285.0 points, up by 0.34% from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 0.50% weekly gain after closing at 440.09 points. Sectors’ indices Five of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the green zone, while the other three recorded declines. Last week’s highest gainer was the Food sector, achieving 1.89% growth rate as its index closed at 4,387.0 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Real Estate sector’s index closed at 2,154.4

points recording 1.37% increase. The Services sector came in third as its index achieved 1.34% growth, ending the week at 14,201.0 points. The Banks sector was the least growing as its index closed at 11,544.3 points with a 0.002% increase. On the other hand, the Industry sector headed the losers list as its index declined by 1.51% to end the week’s activity at 4,515.3 points. The Insurance sector was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 0.79%, closing at 2,538.2 points, followed by the Investment sector, as its index closed at 4,241.5 points at a weekly loss of 0.50%. Sectors’ activity The Investment sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 265.64 million shares changing hands, representing 31% of the total market trading volume. The Real Estate sector was second in terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares

were 25.38% of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 217.46 million shares. On the other hand, the banks sector’s stocks where the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 61.03 million or 39.05% of last week’s total market trading value. The Services sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD 44.21 million represented 28.29% of the total market trading value. Market capitalization KSE total market capitalization grew by 0.50% during last week to reach KD 31.56 billion, as five of KSE’s sectors recorded an increase in their respective market capitalization, whereas the other three recorded declines. The Real Estate sector headed the growing sectors as its total market capitalization reached KD 1.73 billion, increasing by 1.87%. The Food sector was the second in terms of recorded growth with 1.65% increase after the total value of its listed

companies reached KD 724.73 million. The third place was for the Non-Kuwaiti companies sector, which total market capitalization reached KD 1.90 billion by the end of the week, recording an increase of 0.97%. The Investment sector was the least growing with 0.50% recorded growth after its market capitalization amounted to KD 2.45 billion. On the other hand, the Industry sector headed the decliners list as its total market capitalization decreased by 1.01% to reach, by the end of the week, KD 2.40 billion. The Insurance sector was second on this list, which market value of its listed companies declined by 0.95%, reaching KD 299.62 million, followed by the Services sector, as its market capitalization amounted to K.D. 8.83 billion at a 0.07% decrease. For further details, please visit our web site: www.bayaninvest.com Prepared by the Studies & Research Department Bayan Investment Co.


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How to best promote yourself at the workplace You’ve been happily overworking yourself all year, you’ve been putting your every effort into your “dream-turned-reality” job and you have modestly assumed that the Top- Notch quality of your work, your utmost devotion to the job and the organization, the voluntary overtime you have been indulging in are enough reason to “magically” earn you a long awaited and much deserved promotion/raise etc? Think again! You might consider the following statement cheerless, but it is largely true: doing your job, even if “a la perfection”, in many cases will not get you the praise/ reward/ promotion you so much deserve, it may not even get you the employee of the year or quarter or month award, unless you go that extra mile. What more can a steadfast employee do? Blast your own horn. Yes, you’ve read it correctly; sing your own praises; and do so loud enough for all to hear but pleasantly and delicately enough to alienate none. Should you wish for your co-workers, boss, director, CEO to know about your accomplishments (and maybe later on consider the superstar that you are for that senior position you have been eying), you need to lay all the facts out to the public (the workplace in your case), in a gentle and thoughtful way of course, never aggressively or offensively. Think of it as pitching yourself for a new position, you’ve been there and done that successfully already, the only difference is that right now, you need to pitch yourself while on the actual job, leaving your options open for career advancement and promotion opportunities as well as of course the bonus, rewards, recognition and words of appreciation.

Wolff Olins on branding Wolff Olins, the international brand consultancy that operates from New York, London and Dubai, and works strategically with ambitious organizations worldwide, recently won the competitive pitch for Kuwait Finance Bank (KFH). Earlier, Wolff Olins had worked with Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) to create their Q8 brand and served as advisors for KFH on naming and brand architecture. They now plan on taking the KFH brand-building strategy to new heights. In an exclusive media chat, Charles Wright, one of the four main board directors at Wolff Olins, answered questions on branding and its practice in the region as well as specific challenges in the Middle East. How would you define branding and why is it an integral part of marketing strategy? At Wolff Olins we believe that: Brand = New = Growth Charles Wright These days people believe, not what you say, but what you do. So we use brand to help clients do new things; enter new businesses; create new experiences; find new relationships. It is about finding new ways of doing things that challenge, provoke, reinvent and create spectacular new growth. The thought that branding is an integral part of marketing strategy is true for product brands but it is debatable for service brands where staff is an intrinsic part of the brand delivery. In this case, brand delivery is a joined-up effort from different parts of the organization, not just from the marketing department. From that point-of-view, marketing is a part of brand strategy rather than vice versa. What are some of the challenges in building brands that are unique to Mena region? The reality is that it is hard to build a brand anywhere. If it wasn’t, then firms like ours would not be in business! Having said that, there are challenges specific to this region just as there are challenges specific to other parts of the world. Ambition and ability: The fact that there are so few world-class brands in the region is not for want of ambition, because there is no scarcity of ambition in this region. Most of the briefs we receive are characterized by soaring ambition; which is great. But then there is often a challenge that the ability to execute is not equal to the ambition. Brand as identity: On a bad day it often feels that branding in this region still means identity. Moreover, the fashion in branding sometimes seems to be big, bold and somewhat vacuous promises. All too often, the emphasis is not on delivery. The snag is that delivery of the brand is the reality for the customer. It is about what you do, not what you say. Product branding is not Service branding Service brands cannot be treated the same way as shampoo or chocolate brands. Every bottle of shampoo and every bar of chocolate that comes out of the factory is the same as the next one (unless it has been damaged in transport). A service brand could not be more different. Each phone call to the call centre, each visit to a bank branch could be completely different from the next one, why? because we are talking about people who are notoriously fickle in their behavior. Here lies a big trap for service brands: Overpromise. It is unfair to give an example, but I will do for clarity. I know what Zain meant with their promise of “A Wonderful World” but what does it actually mean to me when I go to the store to top up my phone and there is a long queue? Service companies need to realize that their staff is their brand. Is staff training here focusing on what matters to customers? Businesses need to realize that the inside is as important as the outside. Is my store really a wonderful world? How do you see the future of brand building consulting firms, such as yours, in the region? Last year despite the economic turmoil, we managed to grow 50 percent. One of the reasons we originally setup the office in Dubai is because we expect the emergence of strong international brands from this region rather than from the West. Two years on, we believe this more than ever, despite the challenges. We are very optimistic about the prospects in the region.

Bayt.com report What are the best ways for you to market yourself at the workplace according to career experts at Bayt.com the Middle East’s #1 jobsite? 1. Be nice to your direct boss: You do not necessarily need a grave reason to pop by his / her office or cubicle. Make it a point to drop by very regularly to give him/ her a face to face update about your job activities and plans and perhaps have a light casual chit-chat about other things that appeal to you both (perhaps football, extra-curricular activities, pancakes with blueberries, a good book or whatever else might put a smile on the boss’s face). Frequent interaction will ensure the air between you remains clear, you are always top of mind and your boss remains informed of your plans and activities. 2. Be present during department/organizational meetings: By being present, we are not referring to mere physical presence but also active presence and positive contribution when and where convenient. Always aim to ask a useful question (don’t settle for less than brainy ones) or answer a question (most especially when you are 100% certain it’s an answer to wow the crowd)! You will be surprised by how many people will remember and refer to you as the positive team player with remarkable insights and a genuine interest in the department/organization’s growth and wellbeing.

3. Don’t restrict yourself your office connections to only people in your department: Are you the senior marketing executive? Befriend other colleagues in other departments such as IT, Accounting or maybe HR. You never know where the next opportunity lies; an opportunity that might perfectly suit your bundle of exceptional skills may not necessarily be bound only to your present area of activity. Broaden your horizons and expand your networks! 4. Voice your accomplishments: Have you just closed a deal with a hot shot client? Have you made your department’s filing system much easier by suggesting an efficient simpler “personal” technique? Have you saved the company time or money by your ingenuity and finesse? Spread the news (in writing if doable) - a statement of facts that need not transcend a self congratulation letter. Make sure you do however include a line or two that state how your deed will contribute to your company’s betterment. Documenting your accomplishments will be a great resource for your boss to refer to during the annual appraisal (and this might actually just get you that raise you’ve been longing for). 5. Gear up to wow the crowd: Your arsenal of skills does not merely consist of technical and interpersonal skills required for your role, you do have as well many other skills (and hidden talents). Put them in use when the situation allows it. Do you have an eye for design? Volunteer (in front of your boss & upper management) to give the decorators a hand with

Lama Ataya, Chief Marketing Officer, Bayt.com

the new office design. Have you studied Spanish as a foreign language? Offer to be the middleman between a colleague and one of his “Only Spanish” speaking clients. News flies, and so do good deeds. Be a good-doer who does not shy away from sharing his accomplishments with an entourage that he respects and learns from everyday! — By Lama Ataya, Chief Marketing Officer, Bayt.com.

‘Oracle of Omaha’ Buffett dispenses wisdom in India He came, he saw, he charmed NEW DELHI: He came, he saw, he charmed. Warren Buffett, known as the Oracle of Omaha for his legendary investment acumen, dispensed his trademark homespun wisdom and market savvy to Indians on his first visit to the fast-growing South Asian giant this week. The 80-year-old Buffett was in India to join his close friend, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, to prod India’s super-rich to part with some of their wealth as part of the charity drive the pair launched last year. Buffett, worth an estimated $50 billion through his investment company Berkshire Hathaway, told Indian business leaders bluntly there was no conflict between making money and being philanthropic. “You can create jobs and be Santa Claus at the same time,” joked Buffett, who has pledged to donate 99 percent of his wealth. “When I give away my Berkshire Hathaway shares, they have no utility to me and great utility to others (who are poorer).” “Mr Buffett is a man with a great humanity and puts the human face far above business considerations,” said Analjit Singh, managing director of the Max India conglomerate, after attending a meeting with Buffett. Buffett, who made his billions by buying stocks at bargain prices, also handed out some tips to eager Indian investors.

“My advice is to invest in what you understand-and when you’re not paying the right price don’t buy,” said Buffett, who got wall-to-wall Indian TV coverage. Large and small investors hang on Buffett’s every word-and for sound reasons. If an investor invested just $1,000 in the shares

of Berkshire when Buffett took control in 1965, they would be sitting on millions of dollars now. On world recovery and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster, he was sanguine. “ The economy of America, United

NEW DELHI: US billionaire Warren Buffett (right) is watched by Melinda Gates - wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates - as he addresses a joint press conference in New Delhi. He came, he saw, he charmed. Warren Buffett, known as the Oracle of Omaha for his legendary investment acumen, dispensed his trademark homespun wisdom and market savvy to Indians on his maiden visit to the fast-growing South Asian giant this week. — AFP

Samsung unveils next generation washing machines KUWAIT: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, a global leader in consumer electronics, yesterday unveiled a new line of washing machines to the Middle East market incorporating the latest advancements from the company’s global portfolio. The ‘Purple Pair’ (WD0150VDX), the world’s biggest washer and dryer and the number 1 best seller in the US, is a flagship model of the line bringing a series of innovations to consumers looking to clean better, faster and in a more environmentally-friendly way. One of the key adaptations is the use of Bubble Wash Technology, which allows users to achieve the same powerful wash performance associated with hot water temperatures but in colder temperaturessaving on electricity consumption. The system also offers gentle fabric care for delicate materials, generating foam by dissolving detergent with air and water before the normal cycle starts. This bubble is distributed evenly and penetrates into the fabrics faster than regular detergents, providing thorough cleaning to fabrics with less damage than traditional washers as the cleaning bubbles act as a cushion. The use of Samsung’s vibration reduction technology (VRT) brings a long list of advanced features to transform the chore of laundry into an easier, faster and more enjoyable experience. VRT significantly reduces noise and vibration, a problem commonly associated with front-loading washers, and allows the washer to sit in more convenient locations such as the living area or next to a bedroom. The Purple washer and dryer also features an extra-large 17 kilogram capacity for washing and 10 kilogram capacity for drying with a 1300 RPM maximum spin speed, resulting in fewer loads each week. Equipped with Samsung’s Diamond Drum, the diamond-shaped contact surface has smaller drain holes that significantly reduce the number of fabric snags, prolonging the life of delicate and fragile clothing. Integrated into an overall home dÈcor or used to bring flair to the traditional laundry room, the ‘Purple’ washer and dryer line can be lifted with pedestals or stacking kits for added convenience.

States and others around the world are improving month-by-month,” he said. “It might not be quite as fast as everybody would like but it is happening.” Buffett added that he thought global economies would only be “slightly affected” by the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan. He said the Japanese disaster will set the country “back for a while” but “they will come back.” The investment guru praised fastgrowing India, a country of 1.2 billion people, as a “dream market.” “The number of people, the buying power they are gaining, the ability to produce things, everything is getting better,” he said. Buffett said he pleaded “guilty to being late in visiting India.” “I should have come sooner but I’ve been a sort of stay-athome fellow for most of my life,” he said. “We hope to spend some money here,” added Buffett, who has declared he is ready for some big acquisitions. “Our elephant gun has been reloaded and my trigger finger is itchy.” Berkshire, which had a cash pile of $38 billion at the end of 2010, this month bought US lubricant maker Lubrizol for $9 billion. “But it’s a great challenge to find the right deal, there are not that many elephants out there,” he said. “If I get one great investment a year-that’s a good year.” — AFP

Portugal heads for election despite bailout threat LISBON: Portugal’s political parties opted to hold an early election rather than form a new government, even though that could hasten the debt-stressed nation’s financial woes and force it to take a bailout. Portugal is rudderless and at the mercy of nervous financial markets after the Socialist government quit earlier this week in a dispute with rivals over new austerity measures. President Anibal Cavaco Silva, who is largely a figurehead but oversees election procedures, met on Friday with all the country’s political parties to see if they would voluntarily form a coalition government. But all backed a new election instead, which would take place in late May or early June. Portugal, one of western Europe’s poorest countries, is being engulfed by a financial crisis that is pushing it toward a bailout it doesn’t want. A decade of anemic growth during which Portugal ran up high debts has spooked the markets, sending its borrowing costs to unsustainably high levels. Although Europe’s bailout fund is able to come up with the 75 billion euros that analysts estimate Portugal may need, its problems have contributed to investor fears about the entire 17-nation euro-zone’s financial soundness. The parties’ decisions Friday means that bailout request to the European Union and the International Monetary Fund will be deferred until early summer, after the election. That might set up a cash-flow problem. The outgoing government says Portugal has enough cash to meet a 4.5 billion euros ($6.4 billion) bond repayment next month, but there is uncertainty about whether it will have enough for a 4.9 billion euros ($6.9 billion) debt due in June. Barclays Capital said Portugal’s funding was tight but the June repayment doesn’t spell disaster. “In our opinion, Portugal is likely to find financing, but it is not in a comfortable position,” it said.


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Stock investors to focus on hot sectors WALL STREET WEEKLY OUTLOOK NEW YORK: US stock investors could scramble to pick up some of the market’s best recent performers this week as the quarter comes to an end, putting the spotlight on energy and industrial companies. But worries about Japan, the Middle East and oil prices will persist and keep uncertainty high, analysts said, even as the VIX, the CBOE Volatility Index, slid 27 percent this past week. Another driver could come from economic data, with the US government’s monthly payrolls data-the most widely watched economic report of the month-due on Friday. Economic data lately has taken a backseat to geopolitical events, with Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami sparking fears of a nuclear disaster in the country and driving the most recent pullback in stocks. But many expect window dressing, where fund managers sell stocks with big losses and buy ones with big gains to spruce up their portfolio’s quarterly performance, to dominate trading. “I think a number of people viewed the harshness of the sell-off as an opportunity to pick up some inappropriately punished stocks,” said Michael Strauss, chief economist of Wilton, Connecticut-based Common fund. The strategy contributed to a bounce back late this week, with the Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq posting their best weeks since July. The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 had its best week since early February. Analysts say the stock market’s recent performance has been strongly influenced by expectations for the upcoming earnings reporting period, which kicks off the second week of April. Oracle’s upbeat outlook late Thursday and its stock’s 1.6 percent rise on Friday is one example of that, while the energy sector has benefited

from the view that the run-up in oil prices will mean stronger-than-anticipated results for producers and refiners. Energy, up about 14 percent since the start of the quarter as measured by the S&P energy index, is by far the sector with the biggest gains for the quarter to date. Brent crude oil prices are trading at $115 a barrel, just off recent 2 1/2-year highs, as western powers last weekend launched a military campaign in oil producer Libya and unrest escalated in other countries, including Yemen and Bahrain. While higher oil prices are seen as an overall drag on the global economy, they boost the earnings and shares of energy companies. “If they’re able to sell oil at anywhere near the spot prices, they should post a really good quarter, and we’re already seeing that in the stock prices,” said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist of D A Davidson & Co in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Marathon Oil, up about 40 percent for the quarter to date, has the fourth-best gain in the S&P 500 for the last three months, and energy companies dominate the quarter’s top performers. El Paso Corp is up 31 percent and Valero Energy is up 30 percent. Among the stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average, Chevron Corp, up 17 percent for the quarter, is the Dow’s top gainer so far for the quarter. Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager at Dallasbased Hodges Capital Management, which he described as “heavy in energy,” said the firm likes Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. But he said Hodges also likes small-capitalization energy companies, including Brigham Exploration, up 30 percent so far for the quarter. Among top sectors, energy is followed by industrials, up about 6 percent so far for the quarter; consumer discretions, up 4 percent, and

technology, up 3 percent. Caterpillar, up 16.5 percent for the quarter, has the second-best gain among the Dow’s 30 stocks. Strauss predicts investors will turn even more to industrial and agricultural companies, seen likely to benefit from the economic recovery in the United States and growth elsewhere. “The manufacturing component of the industrial sector has had a very nice economic cycle upturn, and it’s happened at a time when we haven’t been able to rebuild depleted inventory positions,” Strauss said. That should help US companies overcome the shock of what’s happening overseas, including debt problems in Portugal, he said. According to a Reuters poll this week, the S&P 500 should end the year with gains of 11 percent. Friday’s payrolls report for March should

show improvement in the slow-to-recover labor market. Last month, the government’s monthly jobs report showed the jobless rate slipped to almost a two-year low in February. Investors are going to become more “stock-specific” going forward, even within better-performing areas like the cyclical sectors, said Scott Billeaudeau, portfolio manager of Fifth Third Asset Management in Minneapolis. “There are certain areas that still have significant leverage and they haven’t overspent,” he said, noting he owns Cummins Inc, down about 5 percent for the quarter. “I think there are lots of legs in a company like that.” Earnings for the S&P 500 as a group are expected to rise 14 percent for the quarter from the year before, according to Thomson Reuters data. — Reuters

Tsunami-hit rice farmers face challenges in Japan Paddies are ankle-deep in black, salty sludge

MADRID: Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero gestures during a news conference after a meeting with Spanish businessmen at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid yesterday. — AP

EU’s Rehn optimistic for Spain, Portugal: Media HELSINKI: EU economic affairs chief Olli Rehn said yesterday that he believed both Spain and Portugal could still avoid resorting to the EU’s emergency bailout fund. “Spain’s debt burden is lower than the EU average,” Rehn told national public broadcaster YLE. “In addition, Spain began last year making decisive decisions to balance public spending, enact structural reforms both in the pension system and the labor market, and, very importantly, in their own savings bank system,” he said. The European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs pointed to Spain’s national savings bank system as a weakness, but said he believed that the government was taking measures that would lead it out of crisis. “You can see that Spain’s inflation rate has not increased in the past few days even though Portugal’s rates have risen,” the Finnish commissioner noted. Portugal meanwhile headed towards crisis when the opposition successfully blocked the government’s attempts to pass a stringent budget-balancing plan, prompting Prime Minister Jose Socrates to resign on Wednesday. Nonetheless Rehn does not think it inevitable that Portugal will turn to the EU for a bailout. “The significant thing is that their central political forces are committed to the goals to rapidly shrink the government debt, which were agreed between the commission and the government a couple of weeks ago,” Rehn said. If the necessary steps are taken, Portugal will “move forward with reforming its public finances,” he said. Asked whether he was considering running for president in Finland next year, Rehn said he would think about it over the summer, once the work on the EU’s temporary and permanent rescue funds was largely over. — AFP

SENDAI, Japan: The rice paddies on the outskirts of this tsunami-hit city are ankle -deep in a black, salty sludge. Crumpled cars and uprooted trees lie scattered across them. His house destroyed, rice farmer Shinichi Shibasaki lives on a square of blue tarp on the top floor of a farming cooperative office with others like him. He has one set of soiled clothes. But all he can think about is getting back to work. “If we start washing the soil out now, we can start growing our rice seedlings at the end of April at a different location, and plant them here a month later,” the 59-year-old farmer said. That may prove overly optimistic, but agriculture experts — as well as Indonesian farmers hit by a tsunami in 2004 — say a quick recovery is possible, maybe within a year. A key factor will be how long it takes for the salt to wash out from the fields, some still flooded with seawater. Whenever it comes, the return of bright green stalks swaying in the breeze will be a symbol of rebirth. The affected area may represent only a small part of Japan’s overall production, but rice is a spiritual touchstone in this country. The nation’s soul — despite a modern fascination with all things high-tech — remains rooted in the soil. In the name of preserving tradition, Japan’s mostly small-scale rice farmers are heavily protected from cheaper foreign competition. The emperor plants and harvests symbolic stalks every year, and some city dwellers rent small plots to grow rice on the edge of town. The country’s mythology is filled with references to rice, and the written character for “rice field” forms part of many surnames. In the small city of Natori, Akemi Miura can only laugh as she looks at the land around her home, which her family has worked for more than a century. But the 46-year-old says they will replant, though she thinks it will take a few years for the soil to recover. A fishing boat washed more than a mile (1.5 kilometers) inland smashed into her carnation greenhouse and caught fire. Debris and a thick, sticky mud covers the fields. “I think we’re finished with carnations, but we’ll always grow rice,” she says. There are no official estimates yet of how much farmland was affected. The Associated Press made a rough calculation based on last year’s harvest in tsunami-hit towns. It indicates that at most 8 percent of Japan’s 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) of rice farms has been hit, affecting about 4 percent of total production. Makie Kokubun, a professor at Tohoku University in Sendai, will soon accompany government officials on a trip to take samples and analyze the soil. Japan’s coastal farmland has been damaged by salt from major typhoons in the past, and farmers have been able to flush it clean. “Recovery may be faster than some think. The key is the water flow

SENDAI: Smoke billows from an oil refinery with submerged rice paddy in foreground following a massive tsunami triggered by a powerful earthquake in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. The rice paddies on the outskirts of this tsunami-hit city are ankle-deep in a black, salty sludge. Now some older farmers, their homes gone and land in tatters, are saying they will call it quits. —AP through the land, which varies by region,” he said. “There is also some evidence that light salt can actually help crops grow, though this is obviously in far greater amounts.” The 2004 tsunami ravaged rice fields in Indonesia’s Aceh province, and scientists made dire predictions of years without a crop. But many recovered quickly. “Thank God, we were able to harvest rice just one year after the tsunami decimated my rice fields,” said Sulaiman Abdullah, 55, who farms a third of an acre (1,300 square meters) in the village of Beuradeuen. “And the quality is even better than it was before, maybe because the mud,

garbage and sea water brought in by the wave made the land more fertile,” he added. “ The same tsunami that first destroyed our lives was in the end a blessing of sorts.” Even if the soil recovers, farmers in Fukushima prefecture _ known for the light and sticky “koshihikari” strain of rice preferred by many Japanese — face another problem. Radiation from a damaged nuclear power complex has found its way into vegetables, milk and the water supply. Japanese consumers are notoriously fickle about food safety and may shun Fukushima products, even if health experts say the radiation is not a threat.

Up and down the tsunami-ravaged coast, a greater concern may be manpower. Many of the tsunami victims came from coastal families that have farmed for generations. Here in Miyagi prefecture, the state that includes Sendai and Natori, farmland was converted from swamps about 400 years ago to generate funds for the local ruler. But the younger generation increasingly doesn’t want to farm. The average age of farm workers in Miyagi topped 65 last year, according to a prefectural survey. Now some older farmers, their homes gone and land in tatters, are saying they will call it quits. —AP

Cuba minister replaced, to focus on reform HAVANA: Cuban Economy Minister Marino Murillo has been replaced by his top deputy so he can concentrate on overseeing economic reforms expected to be approved at an upcoming Communist Party conference, the Cuban government said on Friday. An official note read on state-run television said First Vice Minister Adel Izquierdo, 65, would take over the job in a move proposed by President Raul Castro. Murillo will stay on as vice president in the Council of Ministers and as coordinator of the congress’s Economic Policy Commission, where he will be in charge of “supervising the implementation of measures associated with the updating of the Cuban economic model,” the statement said. He “will have to concentrate his work after the approval of the economic and social policy guidelines of the party and the revolution,” it said. Murillo will “look after” the Economy Ministry and other “productive sectors,” it said. Murillo took center stage in December at a National Assembly meeting where he outlined proposed reforms to Cuba’s Soviet-style economy and explained the inefficiencies and policy failures that made them necessary.

Afterwards, some had pegged him as future presidential material when Cuba’s current, aging leadership moves on. Whether Friday’s change was a promotion or demotion was not clear, but there have been rumors of late that Murillo was on the hot seat for a slow start to reforms. Castro wants to strengthen Cuba’s troubled economy by expanding “non-state” retail and agriculture activities, making state-run companies more efficient and reducing government expenditures. More than 170,000 self-employment licenses have been issued, but his plan to chop 500,000 workers from government payrolls by this month had to be put off indefinitely because of an assortment of problems, including worker resistance and a lack of alternative jobs. The Communist Party congress, set for April 16-19, will be the first since 1997. Its primary task is to approve 32 pages of guidelines for Castro’s reforms. Castro, who officially succeeded older brother Fidel Castro as president three years ago, has said the reforms are needed to assure the survival of Cuban communism after current leaders are gone. — Reuters


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TECHNOLOGY Appeal to keep Twitter data from WikiLeaks probe SAN FRANCISCO: Internet rights attorneys on Friday appealed a US judge’s order that Twitter must hand over data of three users in contact with the controversial website WikiLeaks. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged the March 3 ruling on behalf of Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, one of the Twitter users targeted by the decision. The EFF and ACLU want Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan’s decision overturned and WikiLeaks investigators to reveal any similar requests for information from other Internet firms. “Except in very rare circumstances, the government should not be permitted to obtain information about individuals’ private Internet communications in secret,” said ACLU staff attorney Aden Fine. “If the ruling is allowed to stand, our client might never know how many other companies have been ordered to turn over information about her, and she may never be able to challenge the invasive requests.” Besides Jonsdottir, the Twitter accounts belong to US computer researcher Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp, a Dutch volunteer for WikiLeaks. The government request for information from Twitter became public because the California-based micro blogging service notified them, according to the EFF. In her decision, Buchanan rejected arguments that the grab for Twitter information violated freedom of speech and privacy. She said the three “already made their Twitter posts and associations publicly available” and voluntarily provided information to Twitter pursuant to the website’s privacy policy. Buchanan also dismissed the argument that the order violated the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which protects people against “unreasonable” searches. When the trio relayed information to Twitter, they gave up “any reasonable expectation of privacy,” she said. “Services like Twitter have information that can be used to track us and link our communications across multiple services including Facebook and Gmail,” said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. “The Magistrate’s ruling that users have no ability to protect that information from the US government is especially troubling.” President Barack Obama’s administration obtained a court order last year seeking information from the Twitter accounts as it considers action against WikiLeaks, which has released a flood of secret diplomatic documents. WikiLeaks, which has strongly criticized the order, said that three Twitter users never worked for the site but that two helped make public a video that showed a 2007 US helicopter strike in Baghdad that killed several people. The footage appeared to show the Apache pilots mistaking a camera carried by an employee of the Reuters news agency as a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. WikiLeaks has since angered US authorities by posting secret documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and releasing a slew of internal correspondence among US diplomats around the world. — AFP

Kodak patent complaint against Apple, RIM revived Decision revives hopes of negotiating royalties NEW YORK: A federal agency said Friday that it will review Eastman Kodak Co.’s high-stakes patent-infringement claim against technology giants Apple Inc and Research in Motion Ltd. The US International Trade Commission in Washington, DC, agreed to examine a judge’s finding in January that Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry don’t violate an image-preview patent the photography pioneer obtained in 2001. The decision revives Kodak’s hopes of negotiating royalties worth $1 billion or more. The agency’s six commissioners will decide by May 23 whether to alter the initial determination by its chief administrative judge, Paul Luckern, or let it stand. Kodak spokesman Gerard Meuchner said “we are pleased with the decision and we look forward to the next step in the process.” The company has amassed more than 1,000 digital-imaging patents, and almost all digital cameras rely on that technology. Mining its rich array of inventions has become an indispensable tool in a long and painful turnaround. That campaign was stalled by the recession, which began just after Kodak completed a three-year, $3.4 billion digital overhaul in 2007. Its payroll has plunged to 18,800 people, from 70,000 in 2002. Kodak’s shares jumped 27 cents, or 8.6 percent, to

close at $3.40 Friday, then shot up 72 more cents to $4.12 in after-hours trading. They are trading in a 52-week range of $2.90 to $9.08. Messages seeking comment from RIM were not immediately returned. An Apple spokeswoman said the company had no comment. After failed negotiations, Kodak filed a complaint against California-based Apple and Ontario-based RIM in January 2010 with the commission that oversees US trade disputes. It also filed two lawsuits against Apple in federal court, but it has not specified the damages it is seeking. In December 2009, the commission ruled that cell phones made by Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. infringed the same Kodak patent, and Kodak received a one-time $550 million royalty payment from Samsung and a $414 million deal was reached with LG Electronics. The 131-year-old camera maker has said it expects to continue to generate an average of between $250 million and $350 million annually through 2013 from licensing its digital technology. Over the last three years, it outpaced that figure, booking $1.9 billion in revenue. Kodak has banked on replacing hefty profits it once made on film, with promising new lines of home inkjet printers and high-speed inkjet presses. It expects to generate its first profits from

February figures show spammers regaining lost ground Kaspersky Lab announces the publication of its spam report for February 2011. Compared to the previous month the amount of unsolicited mail traffic increased by 1.1 percentage points and averaged 78.7%. “Spammers are gradually regaining their position following the closure of major botnets in the second half of last year, and we foresee a return to spam levels of 81-82% by April-May 2011,” said Maria Namestnikova, Senior Spam Analyst at Kaspersky Lab. Sources of spam India remained the leading source of spam in February, accounting for 8.83% of all spam traffic - a drop of 1.02 percentage points compared to January. Almost half as much spam came from Russia - the second biggest source - compared to the previous month after a drop of 4.26 percentage points. Brazil rose to third place (+0.41 percentage points) and Indonesia moved up one place to fourth (-0.39 percentage points). Newcomer to the top five South Korea climbed six places to claim fifth place following a rise of 1.4 percentage points compared to the previous month. Italy, meanwhile, dropped to sixth place (0.78 percentage points).

Facebook drums for ‘popular uprising’ in Syria DAMASCUS: A Facebook group that has emerged as the motor of unprecedented protests in Syria called for “popular uprisings” in all cities yesterday, as reports of killings in clashes continue to surface. “Today, Saturday... popular uprisings in all Syrian governorates,” read a posting on The Syria Revolution 2011, which has garnered the support of over 86,000 fans. The “main goal” of the Facebook group, which has pages in English and Arabic featuring videos of protests and scenes of police brutality, is “freedom in Syria” with postings stating the “intifada against injustice has begun.” The call for fresh protest in Syria, which has been ruled by the Baath party for close to 50 years, came one day after at least 13 people, including two firemen, were killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Homs, the southern town of Sanamen and a Damascus suburb. An unnamed Syrian official put Friday’s toll at 13, but activists said at least 25 people were killed on the Muslim day of prayer and rest. Protests demanding major change spread across Syria on Friday despite an official announcement of a series of reforms, including the release of all activists detained this month and plans to “study” ending emergency rule which has been in place since 1963.—AFP

consumer printers this year and its commercial line is targeted to turn profitable in 2012. Separately, ITC judge E. James Gildea issued an initial ruling in a dispute between Apple and Nokia Corp. on Friday, saying Apple did not infringe on five of Nokia’s patents. Nokia, the world’s largest maker of cell phones, filed a complaint with the ITC in Dec. 2009, alleging Apple’s iPods, iPhone and computers violate Nokia’s intellectual property rights. At issue were key features found in Apple products, including aspects of user interface, cameras, antenna and power management technologies, Nokia said at the time. The company claimed that the technologies in question help cut manufacturing costs, reduce gadget size and prolong battery life. The cell phone maker began its patent fight with Apple in October 2009, filing its first patent infringement claim against Apple in Delaware. Apple filed a countersuit, claiming Nokia was infringing on a variety of its patents. Apple countersued Nokia in the US, and also filed a counter-complaint with the ITC. Nokia has also filed patent lawsuits last year against Apple in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. Apple had no comment on Gildea’s ruling. A spokeswoman for Nokia did not immediately respond to requests for comment. — AP

LONDON: A staff member tries out the GarageBand application on the new iPad 2 at the Apple store in central London, on March 25, 2011. Apple’s eagerly-awaited iPad 2 went on sale today at 16:00 GMT in 25 countries in Europe, Oceania and the Americas, two weeks after its official launch in the United States. —AFP

Revival of spam traffic from the USA The USA may only have ended the month as the eighth biggest source of spam, but it should be noted that there is a gradual increase in the amount of spam traffic coming from the country. After the closure of the Pushdo/?utwail botnet in August 2010, the volume of spam emanating from the USA fell considerably with

record-low levels at the end of last year (approximately 1-1.5% from October to December). In February, that figure reached its highest level in four months - 4.27% - and it looks like it will continue to rise over the next few months. Malware in mail traffic Malicious files were found in 3.18% of all emails in February, a rise of 0.43 percentage points compared with the previous month. Most of the malicious programs in February’s rating can be split into two groups. The first group consists of mail worms whose primary function is to harvest email addresses to continue propagating. Some of these worms also install other malicious programs on infected systems. The second group of malware consists of programs designed to steal confidential information, primarily of a financial nature. February’s rating also included a malicious program capable of disabling victim computers and demanding payment to restore access to them. Anti-spam legislation A joint document drafted by officials from China and the USA entitled ‘Fighting Spam to Build Trust’ is due to be published in March. “This is a major event in the sphere of anti-spam legislation,” explained Maria Namestnikova. “Spam is both an international and regional business, which means any measures to tackle it have to go beyond those of individual states. Hopefully, this initiative will encourage officials in other countries to follow suit.”

Girl Scout cookies go high-tech: Smartphone sales OHIO: The Girl Scouts were selling their cookies the old-fashioned way, pulling a creakywheeled red wagon laden with Thin Mints and Samoas down a suburban street. But the affair took a decidedly 21st-century twist when, with a polite smile, one of the girls pulled out a smartphone and inquired: “Would you like to pay with a credit card?” The girls are among about 200 troops in northeast Ohio who are changing the way Girl Scouts do business. For the first time, the girls are accepting credit cards using a device called GoPayment, a free credit card reader that clips onto smart phones. Girl Scout leaders hope that allowing customers to pay with plastic will drive up cookie sales in a world where carrying cash is rapidly going the way of dial-up Internet. Keeping pace with changing technology is a priority lately for the historic Girl Scouts, an organization that’s preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. “Normally I think a lot of customers would love to buy cookies, but they have to walk by the booth because they’re not carrying cash,” said Marianne Love, director of business services for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio. “I know I never carry cash when I’m out shopping.” If all goes well, Love plans to roll out the device to all 2,700 troops in northeast Ohio. Ten troops in San Diego, Calif., are also testing out the device this month. “I know there’s a lot of interest across the country with other Girl Scout councils,” Love said. “So I wouldn’t be surprised if you see it everywhere this time next year.” GoPayment is just one of several popular mobile payment devices that took off

in 2010, with hundreds of thousands of people signing up to use them, said Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group of Centennial, Colo., a consulting company focused on the mobile payment industry. “Everyone from delivery drivers to Girl Scouts to baby sitters are swiping cards on their phones to take a payment,” Ablowitz said. “I mean, this barely existed before 2010. The numbers are staggering.”

The technology has actually existed for years, but it wasn’t until San Francisco-based Square, Inc., began offering its card readers for free that the industry really gained momentum, Ablowitz said. Intuit, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company that manufactures GoPayment, charges a small fee per transaction and offers various pricing plans to customers based on sale volume. GoPayment has been on the market for

about two years. Intuit charges the Girl Scouts its lowest rate, at 1.7 percent plus 15 cents per transaction. Most customers pay 2.7 percent per transaction. “We saw people that wanted to take electronic payments and just didn’t have a way to do it,” said Chris Hylen, vice-president of Intuit’s payments business. “It’s been the fastest-growing part of our business.” Sales are already picking up in Ohio, with one troop reporting selling 20 percent more than they did in the same location the previous year, Love said. “And we also had a customer earlier today say he was taking out cash to buy two boxes, and he ended up buying seven because he was able to use his credit card,” she said. Selling cookies is a massive and lucrative operation for the Girl Scouts, hauling in about $714 million every year. It started out in 1917 in Muskogee, Okla., when Girl Scouts began baking cookies at home with their mothers, said Michelle Tompkins, spokeswoman for Girl Scouts of the USA. The sale went commercial in 1935. Nowadays, the actual baking of the cookies is done by commercial bakers, who receive a small portion of the profit. But the rest goes to local troops, who use the money for whatever they like. Some girls decide to pool their funds to travel abroad, while others donate money to charity. Transitioning to mobile payments was natural for most of the girls, said Gwen Kolenich, a troop leader in Parma, a Cleveland suburb. “ This is something that makes it easy because we’re now in a touch generation,” she said. “So being about to offer this kind of pay-

ment method and technology to girls is right up their alley.” Cassie Walko, 10, was stationed at an outdoor shopping mall in Oakwood Village on one cold Saturday morning, where most shoppers who stopped by the booth still insisted upon using cash, despite the girls’ best efforts to wield their cell phones. Cassie said it was confusing the first time she tried to ring up a customer. “At first the machine wouldn’t work because it was so cold,” she said. “But then we figured it out.” Linda Bellomy, who bought 10 boxes and donated them to the troops, said she used her credit card because she never carries cash anymore. “I gave her my card, they zipped it through, and they actually were able to key in an email address that my receipt goes to,” she said. About 30 miles away in Parma, the Girl Scouts pulling their wagon from door to door encountered a problem that can’t be fixed by technology. Most people weren’t home to answer the door. For the geographically challenged, Girl Scouts of the USA is introducing yet another digital innovation: an app for the iPhone called the “USA Cookie Finder,” which uses GPS technology to pinpoint the user’s location and map out the nearest cookie sales. Users can even post cookie sale locations on Twitter and Facebook. “When it comes to technology, I think the best way to sum up Girl Scouts is: We are where the girls are,” Tompkins said. “We listen to what they say. And when they tell us that they are on Facebook, then we go on Facebook.” — AP


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health & science

Seven cholera deaths in Dominican Republic SANTO DOMINGO: A cholera outbreak has killed seven people and infec ted nearly 650 in the Dominican Republic, a Caribbean country bordering Haiti, where the illness has claimed 4,500 lives in the past five months, officials said Friday. A 43-year-old woman living in Pedernales, 205 miles (330 kilo-

meters) west of Santo Domingo, died this week, bringing the total to seven deaths, the public health minister said in a statement. Authorities plan to launch a public awareness campaign to warn people about the waterborne bacterial disease and urge strict hygiene measures to control the outbreak.

Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. It can strike swiftly, causing intense diarrhea, vomiting and nausea that leads to severe dehydration and sometimes death. More than five months after the disease broke out in Haiti’s Artibonite valley, the death toll from the cholera

epidemic there has reached 4,672, Haiti’s health ministr y said this month. Earlier this month, a US team led by a Harvard School of Public Health researcher predicted that up to 800,000 Haitians will contract cholera this year, double the estimates of UN agencies. The findings, published in The

Lancet medical journal, suggested that a combination of access to clean water, oral vaccination and increased antibiotic use could save thousands of lives. Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola. —AFP

FDA clears first melanoma drug to extend life Drug is an important milestone: Experts

ZURICH: Lawa, a young pileated gibbon (Hylobates pileatus), rests in the arms of her mother Iba in the zoo in Zurich, Switzerland Friday. —AP

Canada increases seal hunt quota OTTAWA: The Canadian government on Friday announced an increase in the number of seals to be killed in a controversial commercial hunt off its Atlantic coast. The quota was hiked 20 percent from last year’s 388,200 seals to a total of 468,200, including 400,000 harp seals and 60,000 grey seals. The hooded seals quota stayed at 8,200. Canada’s 6,000 sealers once made an average of 10 million dollars from the annual hunt, with a quarter of it from exports to Europe, according to the Canadian government. But a lack of sea ice in one of the warmest Canadian winters on record and a European ban on seal products, according to Ottawa, ruined what was to be a banner seal hunt last year. Most sealers stayed home, unable to find buyers for their catch or stymied by a lack of ice floes for the first time in 60 years on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, which usu-

ally hosts hordes of seals birthing pups. In January, Fisheries Minister Gail Shea announced a deal with China to allow imports of Canadian seal meat and oils, and said she was hopeful access to this new market would restore Canada’s sealing industry. Meanwhile, Ottawa continues to contest the EU ban on imports of seal products imposed after a public outcry over the annual commercial seal hunt, which animal rights activists denounce as cruel. The Humane Society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) both called the increased quota “irresponsible,” saying the market for pelts and seal meat was soft and a lack of sea ice again this year would lead to the birth of fewer pups. They accused the government, which was toppled in a no-confidence vote earlier in the day, of using the seal quota to ply east coast voters in the coming election.— AFP

WASHINGTON: The Food and Drug Administration has approved a breakthrough cancer medication from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. that researchers have heralded as the first drug shown to prolong the lives of patients with advanced skin cancer. The federal health agency approved the injectable drug, called Yervoy, for late-stage or metastatic melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer, but the FDA has only approved two other drugs for advanced melanoma. The newest of those drugs was cleared more than 13 years ago. Neither drug has been shown to significantly extend patient lives. Known chemically as ipilimumab, the biotech drug only worked in a small segment of patients studied, and on average they lived just four months longer than patients given older medications. But experts say the drug is an important milestone in treating melanoma, which is often unresponsive to therapy. “Clearly this is not a home run, but it’s a solid base hit,” said Tim Turnham, director of the Melanoma Research Foundation. “And because we see other things in the pipeline, we think this the first in a series of important new therapies for melanoma.” Ipilimumab is part of a group of targeted cancer medicines that harness the body’s immune system to fight off cancer, rather than attacking the disease with outside chemicals like chemotherapy. The drug works by blocking a molecule linked to melanoma called CTLA-4, which interferes with the protective activity of white blood cells. When the molecule is blocked, the cells behave normally and help fight off cancer. Yer voy carries several side effects related to its effect on the immune system, including: diarrhea, swelling of the colon, rash and fatigue. It can cause fatal

NEW JERSEY: In this June 15, 2005 file photo, a sign stands in front of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company’s headquarters in Lawrence Township, NJ. —AP immune system reactions. The most frequent severe reactions included inflammations of the colon and small intestine, liver, and skin, as well as nerve damage and endocrine disease. Those side effects usually occurred during treatment, but some occurred after treatment ended. The FDA said severe to fatal immune reactions occurred in 12.9 percent of patients during clinical trials. The agenc y is requiring Bristol-Myers Squibb to create a risk evaluation strategy designed to identify and reduce the severe risks associated with the drug. Mike Brockey of Frederick, Md., was diagnosed with latestage melanoma in 2008 and tried both conventional and alternative medicines before starting therapy with ipilimumab last September. He received four infusions of the drug every three weeks through November, which is the recommended dosing regimen. Though the drug took time to work, he says his latest scans show that his tumors are inactive. “This is the first time in two years I had a sense that anything was going in the right direction,” Brockey said. Melanoma is the fastest growing form of cancer in terms of new diagnoses. Researchers attribute the acceleration to

longer life expectancies among the elderly and increased use of indoor tanning by the young. About 68,000 people in the US were diagnosed last year and 8,700 patients died, according to the American Cancer Society. FDA approved the drug based on a Bristol-Myers study of 676 people with advanced, inoperable melanoma who had already failed two other treatments, giving them a ver y shor t life expectancy. They were given one of three treatments: ipilimumab by itself, ipilimumab combined with another immune-stimulating treatment, or the immunestimulating treatment alone. Average sur vival was 10 months with ipilimumab versus just more than six months for the others. But a very small group of patients survived longer than six years, suggesting that with more study the drug could be targeted to those who will respond the most. About 85 percent of patients had little response to the drug. Researchers say the response rate should improve as the drug is used earlier in the disease cycle. “I think the direction this is headed is toward intervening earlier, when patients’ immune systems are still intact, rather than waiting until they are so sick,” said Dr. Anna Pavlick, director of the New York University’s

States look overseas for scarce execution drug ATLANTA: Prison officials around the country have been going to extraordinary , and in at least one case, legally questionable , lengths to obtain a scarce lethal-injection drug, securing it from middlemen in Britain and a manufacturer in India and borrowing it from other states to keep their executions on track, according to records reviewed by The Associated Press. “You guys in AZ are life savers,” California prisons official Scott Kernan emailed a counterpart in Arizona, with what may have been unintentional irony, in appreciation for 12 grams of the drug sent in September. “Buy you a beer next time I get that way.” The wheeling and dealing come amid a severe shor tage of sodium thiopental, a sedative that is part of the three -drug lethal injection cocktail used by nearly all 34 death penalty states. The shortage started last year after Hospira Inc., the sole US manufacturer of the drug and the only sodiumthiopental maker approved by the Food and Drug Administration, stopped making it. As supplies dwindled, at least six states , Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Nebraska and Tennessee , obtained sodium thiopental overseas, with several of them citing Georgia as the trailblazer. Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan said the state plans to switch to using just one execution drug , pentobarbital. Documents obtained through open-records requests show Georgia managed to execute inmates in September and January after getting the drug from Dream Pharma, a distributor that shares a building with a driving school in a gritty London neighbor-

hood. Dream Pharma’s owner has not returned several calls and emails for comment, and an AP reporter who visited the office last week was told the owner was not available. Last week , however, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized Georgia’s entire supply , effectively blocking the scheduling of any further executions , because of concerns over whether the state circumvented the law. “We had questions about how the drug was imported to the US,” agency spokesman Chuvalo Truesdell said, declining to elaborate. Federal regulations require states to register with the DEA before importing a controlled substance and to notify the agency once they have it. John Bentivoglio, a former Justice Department attorney who represents a condemned Georgia inmate, said in a February letter that Georgia appears to have broken those rules, and that such violations mean “adulterated, counterfeit or otherwise ineffective” sodium thiopental could be used in executions, subjecting prisoners to extreme pain in violation of the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Georgia Corrections Depar tment spokeswoman Joan Heath said only that the state is cooperating with federal investigators to “make sure we’re in regulatory compliance with the DEA over how we handle controlled substances.” K athr yn Hamoudah of Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty praised the DEA for forcing Georgia to “give up its black market drugs.” Defense attorneys elsewhere have called on the Justice Department to investigate whether their states

broke the law in the way they obtained sodium thiopental. But most of the states that swapped or impor ted it have said they followed protocol. And the DEA has refused to say whether it is investigating them. According to the DEA, states can share or sell each other doses of the drug as long as both sides are registered with the agency and the substance was imported properly. The documents obtained by the AP show that authorities in Kentucky frantically reached out to more than two dozen other states, several companies and the federal Bureau of Prisons throughout 2010 in hopes of finding sodium thiopental. Kentucky even considered carrying out three executions in quick succession before the state’s supply expired. Kentucky officials were getting rejected everywhere they turned. “I am beginning to think drug companies and suppliers are not real happy to have to supply us for this use,” Phil Parker, warden of the Kentucky State Penitentiary, wrote in a July email. He was right. Hospira has publicly objected to the use of its drugs in executions. Kentucky finally bought 18 grams last month from a Georgia pharmacy. Nebraska announced in January that it had acquired 500 grams from Kayem Pharmaceutics of India, the minimum amount available for sale. That is enough for nearly 170 executions; the state has a dozen men on death row. California was so anxious for a supply of sodium thiopental to execute its first inmate in nearly five years that prison officials were ordered to call dozens of hospitals. The state also asked the DEA for help importing the drug from a

Pakistani company, apparently in vain, before wheedling some out of Arizona. California said it also obtained more than 500 grams from Archimedes Pharma, an English manufacturer. Eventually, though, the state’s lone scheduled execution was scrubbed, in part because of the shortage. The documents also show that Arkansas and Tennessee obtained sodium thiopental from an unidentified provider in England, and that Arizona bought some from Dream Pharma. Attorneys for a condemned Arizona man filed a motion Friday seeking to block the state from using the imported drug in his execution, saying the batch was manufactured for use in animals and may not work effectively in people. Over the past year or so, Tennessee shared some of its supply with Georgia and Arkansas. And Arkansas shared with Ok lahoma, M ississippi and Tennessee, largely without money changing hands. Wendy Kelley, an Arkansas health official, said in a deposition that she understood “there would be a payback when needed.” Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas, the nation’s busiest death penalt y state, have switched to another sedative, pentobarbital. Other states are worried that switching could prove a drawn-out legal and regulatory process that could put more executions on hold. —AP

melanoma program. Pavlick, a spokeswoman for the Skin Cancer Foundation, helped conduct several early-stage trials of ipilimumab. On Monday Bristol-Myers reported that ipilimumab also improved survival times when used as a first-line treatment against advanced skin cancer in patients who hadn’t taken any other treatments. These patients are generally less sick than those first studied by the company and could see even longer survival times. Bristol said it would release those findings at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in June. Bristol said it would disclose pricing details of the drug later. Citi Investment Research analyst John Boris estimates ipilimumab could reach total sales of $960 million by 2015. Ipilimumab is one of several key medications Bristol is counting on to sustain its business in coming years. Like most d r u gm a k e r s, t h e N e w Yor kbased company faces a wave of patent expirations that will expose key drugs to generic competition. The company will lose patent protection for both its blood thinner Plavix, the wo r l d ’s s e co n d - b e s t- s e l l i n g drug, and for the high blood pressure drug Avapro in the first half of 2012. —AP

News

in brief

Healthcare startup treats uninsured patients SEATTLE: Dr Garrison Bliss has found a way to decrease the role of insurance companies in dayto-day medical care that leaves both doctors and patients with more money. As a co-founder of the Qliance Medical Group (www.qliance.com), Bliss operates three clinics in the S eattle, Washington area that treat both insured and uninsured patients who pay a monthly fee of between $49 and $89, depending on their age.

Counting carbs may help type 1 diabetes NEW YORK: Tallying the number of carbohydrates in the diet may be helpful to people using an insulin pump to treat type 1 diabetes, a small study suggests. The study, of 61 adults on insulin pump therapy, found that those who learned to count carbs had a small reduction in weight and waist size after 6 months.

Five years on breast cancer drug tamoxifen beats two NEW YORK: A new study has a bit of good news for most women who’ve had breast cancer surgery. It turns out that sticking with the older and relatively cheap drug tamoxifen for the recommended 5 years instead of just 2 will cut the risk of having the cancer return.

More boys than girls wet their beds NEW YORK: About five in 100 kids wet the bed at night, but boys are more than twice as likely to do it than girls, a new study says. In a study of about more than 6,000 children, researchers found that about seven out of 100 boys and three out of 100 girls wet their beds at least once a month.


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States look overseas for scarce execution drug ATLANTA : Prison officials around theUS have been going to extraordinary , and in at least one case, legally questionable , lengths to obtain a scarce lethal-injection drug, securing it from middlemen in Britain and a manufacturer in India and borrowing it from other states to keep their executions on track, according to records reviewed by The Associated Press. “You guys in AZ are life savers,” California prisons official Scott Kernan emailed a counterpart in Arizona, with what may have been unintentional irony, in appreciation for 12 grams of the drug sent in September. “Buy you a beer next time I get that way.” The wheeling and dealing come amid a severe shortage of sodium thiopental, a sedative that is part of the three-drug lethal injection cocktail used by nearly all 34 death penalty states. The shortage started last year after Hospira Inc., the sole US manufacturer of the drug and the only sodium-thiopental maker approved by the Food and Drug Administration, stopped making it. As supplies dwindled, at least six states, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Nebraska and Tennessee , obtained sodium thiopental overseas, with several of them citing Georgia as the trailblazer. Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan said the state plans to switch to using just one execution drug, pentobarbital. Documents obtained through open-records requests show Georgia managed to execute inmates in September and January after getting the drug from Dream Pharma, a distributor that shares a building with a driving school in a gritty

London neighborhood. Dream Pharma’s owner has not returned several calls and emails for comment, and an AP reporter who visited the office last week was told the owner was not available. Last week, however, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized Georgia’s entire supply , effectively blocking the scheduling of any further executions , because of concerns over whether the state circumvented the law. “We had questions about how the drug was imported to the US,” agency spokesman Chuvalo Truesdell said, declining to elaborate. Federal regulations require states to register with the DEA before importing a controlled substance and to notify the agency once they have it. John Bentivoglio, a former Justice Department attorney who represents a condemned Georgia inmate, said in a February letter that Georgia appears to have broken those rules, and that such violations mean “adulterated, counterfeit or otherwise ineffective” sodium thiopental could be used in executions, subjecting prisoners to extreme pain in violation of the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Georgia Corrections Department spokeswoman Joan Heath said only that the state is cooperating with federal investigators to “make sure we’re in regulatory compliance with the DEA over how we handle controlled substances.” Kathryn Hamoudah of Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty praised the DEA for forcing Georgia to “give up its black market drugs.”

Defense attorneys elsewhere have called on the Justice Department to investigate whether their states broke the law in the way they obtained sodium thiopental. But most of the states that swapped or imported it have said they followed protocol. And the DEA has refused to say whether it is investigating them. According to the DEA, states can share or sell each other doses of the drug as long as both sides are registered with the agency and the substance was imported properly. The documents obtained by the AP show that authorities in Kentucky frantically reached out to more than two dozen other states, several companies and the federal Bureau of Prisons throughout 2010 in hopes of finding sodium thiopental. Kentucky even considered carrying out three executions in quick succession before the state’s supply expired. Kentucky officials were getting rejected everywhere they turned. “I am beginning to think drug companies and suppliers are not real happy to have to supply us for this use,” Phil Parker, warden of the Kentucky State Penitentiary, wrote in a July email. He was right. Hospira has publicly objected to the use of its drugs in executions. Kentucky finally bought 18 grams last month from a Georgia pharmacy. Nebraska announced in January that it had acquired 500 grams from Kayem Pharmaceutics of India, the minimum amount available for sale. That is enough for nearly 170 executions; the state has a dozen men on death row. California was so anxious for a supply of

sodium thiopental to execute its first inmate in nearly five years that prison officials were ordered to call dozens of hospitals. The state also asked the DEA for help importing the drug from a Pakistani company, apparently in vain, before wheedling some out of Arizona. California said it also obtained more than 500 grams from Archimedes Pharma, an English manufacturer. Eventually, though, the state’s lone scheduled execution was scrubbed, in part because of the shortage. The documents also show that Arkansas and Tennessee obtained sodium thiopental from an unidentified provider in England, and that Arizona bought some from Dream Pharma. Attorneys for a condemned Arizona man filed a motion Friday seeking to block the state from using the imported drug in his execution, saying the batch was manufactured for use in animals and may not work effectively in people. Over the past year or so, Tennessee shared some of its supply with Georgia and Arkansas. And Arkansas shared with Oklahoma, Mississippi and Tennessee, largely without money changing hands. Wendy Kelley, an Arkansas health official, said in a deposition that she understood “there would be a payback when needed.” Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas, the nation’s busiest death penalty state, have switched to another sedative, pentobarbital. Other states are worried that switching could prove a drawnout legal and regulatory process that could put more executions on hold. — AP

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

Announcements St Peter’s CSI Congregation Vacation Bible School of St Peter’s CSI Congregation is scheduled to be held from March 18 to April 1, 2011 at the National Evangelical Church of Kuwait (NECK ). Our Vicar, The Rev Binju Varghese Kuruvilla will be the Superintendent. Abraham Varghese, (children’s ministry, Kerala ), will be the Director. All children from 3 to 17 years old are invited to attend the VBS. This is a time for making new friends, singing , learning and fellowship. Please come and join and be blessed! For registrations and more details please visit the website www.csikuwait.org/vbs . For further enquiries and details, please email us at vbs@csikuwait.org or contact the VBS Secretary: 94416421. Hurry! Only limited seats available! Music festival The Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia is organizing the First Kuwait International Music Festival to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Kuwait.

Egyptian community holds open day at Shaab Amusement Park By Hassan A Bari

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n such a celebratory atmosphere for Egyptians who rejoiced the freedom they won after the January 25th revolution and expressed deep attachment to their home, and with the motto of “For Love of Kuwait, Egypt”, the Egyptians in Kuwait website ( www.egkw.com) recently organized an open day activity for hundreds of the Egyptian community in Kuwait members at Al-Shaab Amusement Park. Speaking on the occasion, the website founder, journalist, Osama Galal stressed that the success of last year’s open day

activity was the main motive behind holding this year’s and stressed that it would be an annual event from now on so

that members of the Egyptian community could meet, socialize and their kids have fun in a most familial atmosphere.

Galal added that the open day included various activities and competitions for family members of all ages in addition to some folkloric dancers and new revolutionary songs in a most patriotic scene where Egyptians flags were everywhere and covered all bodies and faces. Further, Galal highlighted that attendees competed in various competitions to win various rewards such as round flight tickets to Cairo, TVs, free vouchers, cosmetics, watches and free subscriptions to Al-Rai, Al-Dar, Al-Wasat, Al-Sabah and Al-Horriya newspapers who sponsored the event along with others.

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: sunil_joy07@yahoo.co.in, Mobile no. 99420146, Harish Kumar, email id: harishkdm@gmail.com, Mobile no. 66991572. Salmiya/Hawali/Kuwait City: Abraham Daniel, Email id: a.daniel63@hotmail.com,Mobile no. 97863052, Geetha Krishnan, Email id: geethkrishna@hotmail.com, Mobile no. 66361777, Sony Idiculla, email id: s_idiculla@yahoo.com, Mobile no. 97211683. Abbassisya/Hasawi/Farwaniiya: Abu Peter Sam, Email id: abupetersam@hotmail.com, Mobile no. 97219734, Kuriakose (Alexander K.V.), kuiakosekadammanitta@yahoo.com, Mobile no. 97932815. Kurian Benny, email id. kurian.benny@yahoo.com, Mobile no. 66462726. Sabu Oilckal, email id: sabuolickal@gmail.com, 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: pta.association@gmail.com

Medical staff at a hospital take a lighter moment during a blood donation camp organized by Syro Malabar Cultural Association, Fahaheel Unit.

Malhotra launches Shaastrotsav Logo

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ndian Ambassador His Excellency Ajai Malhotra launched the logo of Shaastrotsav - 2011 in a function attended by members of NSS College of Engineering Alumni (Kuwait Chapter) who organize the event in association with Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST). Shaastrotsav - Festival of Science, which is the most popular and unique science and technology

extravaganza in Kuwait, will be held on Friday, 6th May 2011 in the state of the art campus of GUST, MishrefKuwait. Ambassador appreciated Shaastrotsav for creating opportunity for students to develop interest in science & technology and introducing latest developments in science & technology to the society. Ambassador expressed keen inter-

est in the details of Shaastrotsav and accepted invitation to participate in it. This year Shaastrotsav offers a robotic workshop, computer animation contest and science project & exhibition contest. Visit www.shaastrotsav.org or call 66699504/99778352/ 99379966/ 99377238 for details of ShaastrotsavFestival of Science.

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he central co-ordination Committee of Overseas Indian Cultural congress (OICC) conducted a farewell meeting in the Orma Auditorium for Sajeev Mohammed , the central committee member who is leaving for good. OICC Chairman M.A.Hilal presided the function. Joseph Thankachan, RajuZacharias, ChackoGeorgekutty, AbiVarikad, JoyJohnThurithikara, KhrishnanKadulundi and Varghse Joseph Maraman spoke on the occationh. General Convenor Varghese Puthukulangara welcomed the audience and Mathew Chennithala proposed vote of thanks. In the reply speech Sajeev Mohammed expressed this thanks and gratitude for the co-operation received from the members during the past years of the activities of the organization. Chairman presented a memento as the token love and appriciation.


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Embassy Information

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Al- Parliament Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi is welcomed by the celebrating Sabah stands between Adel Buresly (right) and the groom for a photo. family.

Veteran Kuwaiti parliamentarian Ahmad AlSaadoun is also welcomed.

Kuwait Journalists Association Treasurer Adnan Al-Rashid was also present at the wedding.

The celebrating family is greeted by Chairman of Kuwait’s Red Crescent Society Bargas Al-Bargas.

Congratulations Kuwait Airways Corporation Director of Public Relations, Adel Buresly, celebrated recently the wedding of his son Mohammad to the daughter of Badr Abu Talib, in a ceremony that was attended by various dignitaries including state personalities as well as political, media and social figures, in addition to family and friends.

Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad AlHaroun with Buresly and the groom.

Managing Director of the Touristic Enterprises Company, Khalid Al-Ghanim was also among the guests.

Former MP and head of the Democratic Forum Dr. Abdullah Al-Naibari congratulates the celebrating family.

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. www.smartraveller.gov.au Kuwait citizens can apply for and receive visit visas to Australia online at www.immi.gov.au. 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. 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, www.indembkwt.org, 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. ●●●

Former MP Ahmad Al-Mulaifi stands between Buresly and the groom as they share a group photo with other guests.

Kuwaiti religious figure Mohammad Al-Awadhi stands on right of the groom for a photo.

Arpan office-bearers call on Indian ambassador

Greetings

Happy birthday to Sara Sayed (right) who turned 10 last week. Love and greetings from Fajer Saleh (left).

Write to us

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rpan Kuwait office-bearers on Thursday called on Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra at his office. They informed the ambassador that a new Arpan executive team for the year 2011 has been constituted by the general body. They also briefed him about Arpan’s activities for the year including its charity programs. The ambassador consented to be the Chief Guest of Arpan’s ‘Kathakali 2011’ programme scheduled to

be held on April 30, 2011 at the Indian Community School (Senior Girls), Salmiya. The office-bearers those who called on the ambassador are General Secretary Sajeev K Peter, Treasurer Venkatakrishnan N. S., Joint Secretary Satheesh Prabhakaran, Ladies Wing Convener Rajeshwari Subbaraman and Executive member and Kathakali Program Souvenir Convener K Mahadevan.

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: local@kuwaittimes.net Fax: 24835619 / 20

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 (http://eci.nic.in) 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.

EMBASSY OF BRITAIN 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: www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-livingabroad/travel-advice-by-country/middleeast-north-africa/kuwait The Embassy is open Sunday to Thursday 7:30am to 14:3Opm. EMBASSY OF FRANCE In order to prepare for your summer vacation in France, a period which is considered to be “high season”, particularly in terms of visa requests, the French Embassy kindly asks you to submit your application form along with all requested documents to Al Qabas Assurex Company, allowing enough time for your visa to be processed and delivered before your travelling date. We would like to remind you that for housemaids and other domestic staff a temporary work permit is requested and needs to be processed at least 3 weeks before it is delivered. Please note that only one person is allowed per request, 2 exceptionally, as derogation to the rule. Visa Requests have to be submitted at least 2 weeks (3 weeks for domestic staff) before travelling date and 3 months maximum below travelling date. The French Embassy in Kuwait thanks you in advance for respecting these above-mentioned deadlines.


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SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

Years

TV PROGRAMS

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

Untamed And Uncut The Most Extreme Orangutan Island I’m Alive Untamed And Uncut Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Meerkat Manor Growing Up... Michaela’s Animal Road Trip Corwin’s Quest Project Puppy Project Puppy Animal Precinct Wildlife SOS E-Vets: The Interns Galapagos Speed Of Life Extraordinary Dogs Cats Of Claw Hill Must Love Cats Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Last Chance Highway World Wild Vet Swarm Chasers Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Weird Creatures With Nick

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

Jam And Jerusalem Doctor Who The Weakest Link The Weakest Link My Family My Family Tweenies The Roly Mo Show Spot’s Musical Adventures The Large Family Buzz And Tell Penelope K, By The Way Me Too Tweenies The Roly Mo Show Spot’s Musical Adventures The Large Family Buzz And Tell Penelope K, By The Way Me Too Tweenies The Roly Mo Show Spot’s Musical Adventures The Large Family Buzz And Tell Penelope K, By The Way Me Too Tweenies The Roly Mo Show Spot’s Musical Adventures The Large Family Buzz And Tell Penelope K, By The Way My Family My Family Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential The Weakest Link Casualty Casualty The Weakest Link The Weakest Link Doctors Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential My Family My Family Full Circle With Michael Palin Robin Hood North And South Survivors Spooks

00:20 01:05 01:35 02:20 03:00 03:45

Last Chance Highway Phobias Untamed And Uncut

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

04:20 07:00 07:30 10:25 17:00 17:45 18:30 19:20 20:10 20:55 21:40

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

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

BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News The Doha Debate BBC World News World Features One Square Mile BBC World News World Features Talking Movies BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News The Doha Debate BBC World News Newsnight BBC World News Click BBC World News India Business Report BBC World News Fast Track BBC World News World Features Talking Movies BBC World News World Features Dateline London BBC World News My Country BBC World News World Features Newsnight BBC World News Russia Business Report BBC World News World Features Click BBC World News Sport Today Doctors On The Frontline BBC World News The Real... New York BBC World News The Doha Debate BBC World News India Business Report BBC World News Russia Business Report BBC World News Sport Today Click BBC World News Talking Movies BBC World News World Features The Real... New York

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

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 Looney Tunes Hong Kong Phooey Droopy: Master Detective Dastardly And Muttley The Flintstones Tex Avery Show Droopy And Dripple Looney Tunes Pink Panther And Pals The Scooby Doo Show Tom And Jerry Paddington Bear

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

Duck Dodgers The Garfield Show Duck Dodgers Hour Wacky Races Scooby Cinema Dastardly And Muttley The Jetsons Hong Kong Phooey Looney Tunes The Flintstones Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch King Arthur’s Disasters Dexter’s Laboratory Johnny Bravo Tom And Jerry Wacky Races Dastardly And Muttley Top Cat The Scooby Doo Show Tom And Jerry Looney Tunes The Garfield Show Duck Dodgers Pink Panther And Pals Tom And Jerry The Jetsons Droopy: Master Detective The Flintstones Looney Tunes Tom And Jerry Kids Hong Kong Phooey A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch

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 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 04:15 Chowder 04:30 Ben 10: Alien Force 04:55 Best Ed 05:20 Skunk Fu! 05:45 Cramp Twins 06:10 Eliot Kid 06:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 07:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 07:25 Chop Socky Chooks 07:50 Chowder 08:15 Ben 10: Alien Force 08:40 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 09:05 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 09:30 The Secret Saturdays 09:55 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 10:20 George Of The Jungle 10:30 Angelo Rules 10:55 Best Ed 11:20 Eliot Kid 11:45 Skunk Fu! 12:10 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 12:35 Bakugan: New Vestroia 13:00 Ben 10 13:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 13:50 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 14:15 The Life And Times Of Juniper Lee 14:40 George Of The Jungle 15:05 Ed, Edd N Eddy 15:35 Chop Socky Chooks 16:00 Robotboy 16:25 Squirrel Boy 16:50 Chowder 17:15 The Secret Saturdays 17:40 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 18:05 Bakugan: New Vestroia 18:30 Angelo Rules 18:55 Best Ed 19:20 Adventure Time 19:45 Cow And Chicken 20:10 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 20:35 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:00 The Powerpuff Girls 21:25 Ed, Edd N Eddy 21:50 Robotboy 22:00 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 22:25 Skunk Fu!

HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE ON OSN ACTION HD

22:50 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:40 Chowder

00:40 Monsters Inside Me 01:35 Dual Survival 02:30 Destroyed In Seconds 03:00 Destroyed In Seconds 03:25 Ultimate Weapons 04:20 How It’s Made 04:50 How Does It Work 05:15 Extreme Fishing 06:05 Mythbusters 07:00 Fifth Gear 07:25 Fifth Gear 07:50 Ultimate Weapons 08:45 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 09:40 Mythbusters 10:30 Man vs Fish With Matt Watson 11:25 Extreme Fishing 12:20 Deconstruction 17:50 How It’s Made 18:15 Man vs Fish With Matt Watson 19:10 Extreme Fishing 20:05 I Could Do That 20:35 I Could Do That 21:00 Mythbusters 21:55 Aircrash Confidential 22:50 Dual Survival 23:45 Daredevils

00:40 Weird Or What? 01:30 Nextworld 02:20 The Gadget Show 03:10 The Future Of... 04:00 How Stuff Works 04:50 Engineered 05:45 How Does That Work? 06:10 Superships 07:00 What’s That About? 07:55 Brainiac 08:45 Head Rush 08:48 Sci-Fi Science 09:15 Weird Connections 09:45 Cool Stuff And How It Works 10:15 How Stuff’s Made 10:45 What’s That About? 14:55 Patent Bending 15:20 The Gadget Show 16:10 Sci-Fi Science 17:00 Nextworld 17:50 How Stuff Works 18:40 Mega World 19:30 Mighty Ships 20:20 What’s That About? 21:10 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 22:00 Science Of The Movies 22:50 Space Pioneer 23:40 Mighty Ships

14:50 15:15 15:35 16:00 16:25 16:45 17:10 17:30 17:55 18:00 18:20 18:45 19:10 20:40 20:58 21:00 21:25 21:50 22:15 22:40 23:05 23:30 23:55

Phineas & Ferb JONAS LA FAIRLY ODD PARENTS SUITE LIFE ON DECK S3 HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE SHAKE IT UP FISH HOOKS HAVE A LAUGH HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER GOOD LUCK CHARLIE SONNY WITH A CHANCE YR 2 HALLOWEENTOWN HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER HAVE A LAUGH WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE JONAS LA GOOD LUCK CHARLIE Sonny With A Chance WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE Jonas Hannah Montana Kim Possible

00:00 Programmes Start At 7:00am KSA 06:00 Kid vs Kat 06:20 Kick Buttowski 06:40 Pokemon 07:05 American Dragon 07:30 Phineas And Ferb 08:20 Suite Life On Deck S3 08:45 Pair Of Kings 09:10 Have A Laugh 09:25 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 09:50 X Men 10:15 Zeke And Luther 10:40 I’m In The Band 11:05 The Super Hero Squad Show 11:30 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 11:55 Have A Laugh 12:00 Johnny Kapahala: Back On Board 13:30 Kid vs Kat 14:00 The Super Hero Squad Show 14:25 Kick Buttowski 14:50 Pair Of Kings 15:15 Phineas And Ferb 15:45 I’m In The Band 16:10 Have A Laugh 16:15 Zeke And Luther 16:40 Zeke And Luther 17:05 The Super Hero Squad Show 17:30 Pokemon 17:55 Suite Life On Deck S3 18:45 Phineas And Ferb 19:10 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 19:35 X Men 20:00 Kick Buttowski 20:25 Have A Laugh 20:30 Kick Buttowski 21:00 Zeke And Luther 21:25 I’m In The Band 21:55 American Dragon 22:20 Pokemon

AIR FORCE ONE ON OSN MOVIES ACTION 12:50 13:40 14:30 15:20 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:40

Who On Earth Did I Marry? Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls The Prosecutors Forensic Detectives Solved FBI Files Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Murder Shift Who On Earth Did I Marry? Who On Earth Did I Marry? Deadly Women: Face To Face Deadly Women: Face To Face True Crime Scene Dr G: Medical Examiner

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 Seinfeld 19:30 Kath And Kim 20:00 Two And A Half Men 20:30 Cougar Town 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:00 American Dad

00:00 New York I Love You-18 02:00 Fanboys-PG15 04:00 Mee Shee-PG 05:45 Che Part Two: Guerilla-PG15 08:00 Dean Spanley-PG 10:00 Annihilation Earth-PG15 12:00 My Sister’s Keeper-PG15 14:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel-FAM 16:00 Dean Spanley-PG 18:00 Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel-PG15 20:00 Dance Flick-18 22:00 Animal Kingdom-PG15

HD 00:40 Good Eats - Special 01:05 Unwrapped 01:30 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 01:55 Paula’s Party 02:45 Good Eats - Special 03:35 Cooking Clubs 04:25 Fantasy Food Camps 05:15 Good Eats - Special 05:40 Unwrapped 06:05 Ten Dollar Dinners 06:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 06:50 Paula’s Party 07:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 08:00 Chopped 08:50 Guy’s Big Bite 09:15 Boy Meets Grill 09:40 Good Deal With Dave Lieberman 10:05 Ten Dollar Dinners 10:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 10:55 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 11:20 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 11:45 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 12:10 Unwrapped 12:35 Paula’s Party 13:25 Good Eats - Special 13:50 Paula’s Best Dishes 14:15 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 14:40 Ultimate Recipe Showdown 15:30 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 15:55 Unwrapped 16:20 Boy Meets Grill 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Paula’s Best Dishes 18:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:25 Good Deal With Dave Lieberman 18:50 Ten Dollar Dinners 19:15 Paula’s Party 20:05 Good Eats - Special 20:30 Guy’s Big Bite 20:55 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 21:20 Guy’s Big Bite 22:10 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives

00:20 00:45 01:10 02:00 02:20 02:45 03:10 03:35 04:00 04:25 04:50 05:15 05:35 06:00 06:20 06:45 07:10 07:35 08:00 08:25 08:50 09:00 10:30 10:55 11:15 11:40 12:00 12:25 12:50 13:12 13:15 13:40 14:00 14:25 14:47

Replacements Replacements FAIRLY ODD PARENTS A KIND OF MAGIC A KIND OF MAGIC STITCH STITCH Kim Possible Kim Possible Emperors New School Emperors New School STITCH STITCH SPECIAL AGENT OSO JUNGLE JUNCTION Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse FAIRLY ODD PARENTS SONNY WITH A CHANCE YR 2 Phineas & Ferb HAVE A LAUGH DOUBLE TEAMED HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER GOOD LUCK CHARLIE SHAKE IT UP SUITE LIFE ON DECK S3 FISH HOOKS WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE SONNY WITH A CHANCE YR 2 HAVE A LAUGH HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER FAIRLY ODD PARENTS JONAS LA Replacements HAVE A LAUGH

00:15 Kendra 00:40 Fashion Police 01:05 Extreme Close-Up 01:30 40 Smokin’ On Set Hookups 03:15 Extreme Hollywood 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:45 Behind The Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:25 Extreme Close-Up 09:50 Extreme Close-Up 10:15 Style Star 10:40 Style Star 11:05 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 12:00 THS 17:10 E! News 17:35 Extreme Close-Up 18:00 THS 18:50 Married To Rock 19:40 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 20:30 Kendra 20:55 Kendra 21:20 Kourtney And Kim Take New York 21:45 Kourtney And Kim Take New York 22:10 E! News 23:00 Chelsea Lately 23:25 The Soup 23:50 E! News

00:00 IFMXF 2010 00:50 Untracked 02:30 M1 Selection 2010 03:20 FIM World Motocross Mx3 Championships... 03:45 FIM World Motocross Mx3 Championships... 04:10 BMX Megatour 05:05 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 06:00 iEX 2009 08:00 Drop In TV 09:40 FIM World Motocross Mx1/Mx2... 11:20 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 13:00 X Games 16 2010 13:50 Ride Guide Snow 2009 14:40 Eds Up 15:05 Eds Up 15:30 Kenny Belaey’s Big Time 16:45 Dr Danger 17:10 I’ll Do Anything 18:00 Ride Guide Snow 2009 18:50 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 20:30 X Games 16 2010 21:20 Gumball 3000: 2008 22:10 Ride Guide Snow 2009 23:00 I’ll Do Anything 23:50 Untracked

00:40 02:20 03:10 04:00 05:40 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:40 09:30 09:55 10:20 11:10 12:00

A Haunting In Georgia The Haunted Ghost Lab A Haunting In Georgia Black Museum Mystery Diagnosis Forensic Detectives Solved Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls The Prosecutors FBI Files Murder Shift

00:00 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 12:00 13:00 15:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 21:00 22:00 22:30 23:00

Earth Tripping Bondi Rescue David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Exploring The Vine Weird And Wonderful Hotels Earth Tripping Bondi Rescue David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Bondi Rescue Market Values Word Travels Earth Tripping Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Market Values Word Travels Earth Tripping Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Market Values Word Travels

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

The Tripper-18 Blood: The Last Vampire-18 Fast Lane-PG15 National Treasure-PG15 Hollywood Homicide-PG15 Blue Crush-PG15 Con Air-PG15 Hollywood Homicide-PG15 Hardwired-PG15 Con Air-PG15 Star Trek 10: Nemesis-PG15 Star Trek: Generations-PG

01:15 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 14:30 16:30 18:45 20:45 23:00

Fireflies In The Garden-PG15 Preacher’s Kid-PG My Bollywood Bride-PG15 Mes Stars Et Moi-PG15 Enid-PG15 Rrrrrrr!!!-PG15 Rugrats Go Wild-FAM The Sun Also Rises-PG15 Sherlock Holmes-PG15 All About Steve-PG15 Shutter Island-18 Agora-18

01:00 Pride And Glory-18 03:15 Fast Lane-PG15 05:15 Penny Dreadful-18 07:15 The Marine 2-PG15 09:00 Armageddon-PG15 11:30 Air Force One-PG15 13:30 Journey To The Center Of The Earth-PG 15:15 Along Came A Spider-PG15 17:15 Beyond A Reasonable DoubtPG15 19:00 Star Trek 10: Nemesis-PG15 21:00 Star Trek: Generations-PG

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

Down To You-PG15 Working Girl-18 Santa Baby 2-PG15 Exterminators-PG15 He’s Just Not That Into YouWag The Dog-PG Can’t Buy Me Love-PG15 Daddy Day Care-PG Down To You-PG15 Someone Like You-PG15 Mean Girls-PG15 Miss March-18

01:25 Quadrophenia-18 03:25 Independence Day-PG15 05:45 Temple Grandin-PG15 07:30 Under The Mountain-PG 09:00 Julie And Julia-PG15 11:15 Frost/Nixon-PG15 13:30 The Memory Keeper’s Daughter-PG15 15:15 Mama I Want To Sing-PG 17:00 From Time To Time-PG15 19:00 Mrs Brown-PG15 21:00 The Soloist-PG15 23:00 Sea Of Love-18

00:30 Boogie Nights-18 03:00 W-PG15 05:15 Anger Management-PG15 07:15 Coraline-PG 09:00 Appaloosa-PG15 11:00 Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian-PG15 13:00 Orange County-PG15 15:00 Moon-PG15 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon 17:00 Appaloosa-PG15 19:00 Mother And Child-18 Stewart 21:00 The Final Destination-18 01:00 The Colbert Report 23:00 Harold And Kumar Escape 01:30 American Dad From Guantanamo-R 02:00 Melissa And Joey 02:30 The League 03:00 Saturday Night Live 04:00 American Dad 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Coach 00:00 The Jungle Book III: Mowgli’s 06:00 Yes Dear Adventure-FAM 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 02:00 Pocahontas II: Winter Of The 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Rocky Mount-FAM 08:00 10 Things I Hate About You 04:00 The Missing Lynx-PG 08:30 Coach 06:00 Dennis The Menace: Cruise 09:00 Family Biz Control-FAM 09:30 The Drew Carey Show 08:00 Casper Haunted Christmas10:00 Yes Dear FAM 10:30 Melissa And Joey 10:00 The Missing Lynx-PG 11:00 Coach 12:00 Groove Squad-FAM 11:30 10 Things I Hate About You 12:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 14:00 Dennis The Menace: Cruise Control-FAM 13:00 Family Biz 16:00 The Adventures Of Rocky And 13:30 Coach Bullwinkle-FAM 14:00 Yes Dear 18:00 Globehunters-PG15 14:30 The League 20:00 Free Willy 3: The Rescue-FAM 15:00 Melissa And Joey 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon 22:00 Groove Squad-FAM

04:00 06:00 08:00 08:30 10:30 11:00 13:00 15:00 15:30 17:30 18:00 23:00 23:30

Live NRL Premiership Live NRL Premiership Futbol Mundial Super 15 ICC Cricket World NRL Premiership NRL Premiership ICC Cricket World NRL Premiership Futbol Mundial Dubai World Cup Futbol Mundial NRL Premiership

01:30 03:30 05:30 06:30 07:00 09:00 14:00 15:00 19:00 21:00

Super League Super 15 Trans World Sport Futbol Mundial Live NRL Premiership Dubai World Cup Trans World Sport Live PGA European Tour NRL Premiership PGA European Tour

01:00 WWE Bottom Line 02:00 WWE NXT 03:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 04:00 V8 Supercars Championship 05:00 Live UFC Fight Night 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Vintage Collection 08:00 WWE Bottom Line 09:00 WWE NXT 10:00 WWE SmackDown 12:00 UAE National Race Day Series 13:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 14:00 WWE Vintage Collection 15:00 WWE Bottom Line 16:00 WWE NXT 17:00 WWE SmackDown 19:00 UFC Fight Night 22:00 WWE Vintage Collection 23:00 WWE NXT

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

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


Classifieds SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

Healthy Living

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available effective today for a non-smoking bachelor in a double bedroom flat in Amman street, Salmiya. Call 97199146. (C 3222)

Preparing dried garbanzos Garbanzo beans – also called chickpeas, Bengal grams and Egyptian peas – are tasty and used in countless cold and hot dishes.

Sharing accommodation available for a couple or a small family near Classic typing center in Abbassiya. Contact: 65915474. (C 3223)

Presoaking Makes them easier to digest

serviced, KD 1650, negotiable. Contact: 66531720. (C 3221) 27-3-2011 A well maintained Toyota Cressida maroon 1994 model, owned by expat doctor. Excellent running condition. Interior and exterior excellent. Transmission and air condition in superb condition. Registration till 12-72011. Price KD 900. Contact: 66559205. (C 3219) 23-3-2011

27-3-2011

Boil 2 minutes, remove from heat and let stand 2 hours ...

Big room available with attached bathroom in C-A/C 3 BR flat in Fintas for an executive bachelor or decent couple near London hospital Fintas. Please contact: 60020168. (C 3218)

... or soak overnight in refrigerator

Two bedroom flat available with window AC, household items, dish antenna, car parking space inside compound in Chitra studio building next to Asia store in Abbassiya from 1st June 2011. Contact: 97973657. (C 3217) 23-3-2011

Cooking Boil on stove, partially covered, 1-2 hours ... ... or hear in pressure cooker, 40-50 minutes

No: 15040 MATRIMONIAL Indian CSI boy, 31 year old, working as Engg (BE), looking for suitable girl from Tamil Nadu, CSI background and good family. Email: kirubas52@yahoo.com (C 3216) 23-3-2011

SITUATION WANTED

Raw garbanzo bean

Season or salt after cooking Source: The World’s Healthiest Foods, MCT Photo Service Graphic: Helen Lee McComas

© 2009 MCT

FOR SALE Brand new Chevrolet Cruze 2001 model, KD 3800. Mitsubishi Galant 2004 model 58000 km, Al Mulla

MBA Graduate, 2 year experience, Visa 18 Transferable, looking for job. Please contact: 66522034. (C 3220) 23-3-2011

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

Flt 445 267 772 620 853 305 370 67 211 138 207 201 223 157 412 206 382 615 302 332 53 676 284 855 286 132 125 603 301 213 6801 203 404 555 165 561 3553 982 672 610 640 512 774

Arrival Flights on Sunday 27/3/2011 Route AMSTERDAM BEIRUT ISTANBUL ADDIS ABABA DUBAI ABU DHABI BAHRAIN DUBAI BAHRAIN DOHA DAMASCUS DUBAI ALEPPO LONDON MANILA / BANGKOK ISLAMABAD DELHI SHAHRE KORD MUMBAI TRIVANDRUM DUBAI DUBAI DHAKA DUBAI CHITTAGONG DOHA SHARJAH SHIRAZ ABU DHABI BAHRAIN AHWAZ DUBAI BEIRUT ALEXANDRIA DUBAI SOHAG ALEXANDRIA / SOHAG WASHINGTON DC DULLES DUBAI CAIRO AMMAN TEHRAN RIYADH

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

FDB KAC SVA SYR KAC JZR QTR ETD UAE GFA SVA JZR JZR ABY JZR JZR ALK KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC FDB OMA VOS MEA JAI DHX UAE KAC GFA QTR AFG UAL AIC JZR JZR DLH AXB KLM JZR PIA

57 562 500 341 746 257 134 303 857 215 510 777 239 127 213 177 227 166 542 618 786 614 674 102 552 61 647 81 402 572 372 859 172 217 136 405 981 981 135 185 636 389 447 481 205

DUBAI AMMAN JEDDAH DAMASCUS ABU DHABI / DAMMAM BEIRUT DOHA ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN RIYADH JEDDAH AMMAN SHARJAH DEIREZZOR DUBAI COLOMBO / DUBAI PARIS / ROME CAIRO DOHA JEDDAH BAHRAIN DUBAI NEW YORK / LONDON DAMASCUS DUBAI MUSCAT BAGHDAD BEIRUT MUMBAI BAHRAIN DUBAI FRANKFURT BAHRAIN DOHA KABUL / DUBAI BAHRAIN CHENNAI / AHMEDABAD BAHRAIN DUBAI FRANKFURT KOZHIKODE / MANGALORE AMSTERDAM / BAHRAIN SABIHA LAHORE

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

Airlines AXB AIC KLM DLH ETH THY UAE FDB DHX JZR ETD QTR JZR JZR GFA VOS BAW IRA FDB KAC KAC KAC JZR KAC KAC UAE ABY QTR KAC ETD GFA KAC IRA IRC FCX MEA KAC JZR JZR JZR KAC

Flt 394 976 445 637 620 769 854 68 371 554D 306 139 560 164 212 94 156 614 54 171 671 745 256 561 511 856 126 133 117 302 214 773 602 6802 204 405 541 776 212 238 103

Departure Flights on Sunday 27/3/2011 Route COCHIN / KOZHIKODE GOA / CHENNAI BAHRAIN / AMSTERDAM FRANKFURT BAHRAIN / ADDIS ABABA ISTANBUL DUBAI DUBAI BAHRAIN ALEXANDRIA ABU DHABI DOHA SOHAG DUBAI BAHRAIN DUBAI / KANDAHAR LONDON SHAHRE KORD DUBAI FRANKFURT DUBAI DAMMAM / ABU DHABI BEIRUT AMMAN TEHRAN DUBAI SHARJAH DOHA NEW YORK ABU DHABI BAHRAIN RIYADH SHIRAZ AHWAZ DUBAI BEIRUT CAIRO JEDDAH DEIREZZOR AMMAN LONDON

Time 0:40 0:50 1:25 1:30 2:30 3:15 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:00 4:05 5:00 5:55 6:55 7:10 8:00 8:25 8:35 8:40 8:55 9:00 9:05 9:10 9:15 9:15 9:40 9:50 10:00 10:00 10:15 10:20 10:20 10:25 11:15 11:45 11:55 12:00 12:00 12:05 12:10 12:30

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw)

KAC RBG JZR MSR RJA FDB KAC UAL KAC KAC SVA SYR JZR QTR KAC ETD UAE GFA ABY JZR SVA JZR JZR ALK KAC KAC FDB KAC KAC OMA MEA JAI DHX UAE GFA FCX QTR KAC KAC JZR JZR UAL KAC KAC

785 3554 176 611 641 58 551 982 673 617 503 342 480 135 613 304 858 216 128 184 511 204 134 228 283 361 62 343 351 648 403 571 373 860 218 102 137 301 205 502 530 981 411 415

JEDDAH ALEXANDRIA DUBAI CAIRO AMMAN DUBAI DAMASCUS BAHRAIN DUBAI DOHA MEDINAH / JEDDAH DAMASCUS SABIHA DOHA BAHRAIN ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN SHARJAH DUBAI RIYADH DAMASCUS BAHRAIN DUBAI / COLOMBO DHAKA COLOMBO DUBAI CHENNAI COCHIN MUSCAT BEIRUT MUMBAI BAHRAIN DUBAI BAHRAIN BAHRAIN DOHA MUMBAI ISLAMABAD LUXOR ASSIUT WASHINGTON DC DULLES BANGKOK / MANILA KUALA LUMPUR / JAKARTA

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


34

star CROSSWORD 269

SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

s

STAR TRACK

CALVIN & HOBBES

Aries (March 21-April 19) You intuitively know that things are looking upward! You are entering a phase of emotional directness and focus—one marked by forceful and powerful feelings. Do not spread yourself too thin or you will just slow yourself down at this time—you are independent. You are satisfied by meeting your obligations. Creative and pleasurable interests are high. Get serious about travel plans and include your loved one in your future plans. Spontaneity is the special word for you. These are great days for doubling your money! Take a chance on a business venture—you are likely to find positive results. Investment opportunities can be found in the fields of nursery care for children, restaurants, home decorating and furnishings for vacation accommodations.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) It could be important to do some serious thinking about your work or career just now, particularly if you feel it is inadequate. Plan before you act and have clearly defined objectives; you will find success. Find ways in which to merge your spiritual life into every other aspect of your life. This will give you encouragement. Turn your intuitive eye onto what is and what is not beneficial at this time. Take more time to build stamina in your life; climb stairs. You are able to enjoy and value your own life situation. A friend or loved one gets special attention from you this afternoon. It is your turn to encourage this person and help them to gain a focus on their future goals or future financial independence. An engagement or birth may soon be in the forecast.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 4. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 10. An alliance made up of states that had been Soviet Socialist Republics in the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution in Dec 1991. 13. A periodic paperback publication. 14. Small genus of aquatic or semiaquatic plants. 15. An awkward stupid person. 16. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 18. Used of a single unit or thing. 19. An ancient city in northern Portugal. 21. A family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in southeastern Asia. 24. A rotating disk shaped to convert circular into linear motion. 26. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 29. A literary language of Chinese Turkestan (named for one of the sons of Genghis Khan). 34. The United Nations agency concerned with civil aviation. 37. A wired or starched collar of intricate lace. 38. The month following January and preceding March. 39. Goddess of the dead and queen of the underworld. 40. A broad flat muscle on either side of the back. 42. The capital and largest city of Ghana with a deep-water port. 44. On or toward the lee. 47. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 48. Valuable fiber plant of East Indies now widespread in cultivation. 53. Norwegian mathematician (1802-1829). 57. The money risked on a gamble. 60. A master's degree in business. 61. Thickening of tissue in the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord. 62. An analgesic for mild pain. 63. An associate degree in applied science. DOWN 1. In a murderous frenzy as if possessed by a demon. 2. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 3. Advanced in years. 4. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 5. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 6. Utter a high-pitched cry, characteristic of pigs. 7. A fatal disease of cattle that affects the central nervous system. 8. Before noon. 9. A small cake leavened with yeast. 10. Fossil fuel consisting of carbonized vegetable matter deposited in the Carboniferous period. 11. The villain in William Shakespeare's tragedy who tricked Othello into murdering his wife. 12. The second largest city in Tunisia. 17. Tropical American tree producing cacao beans. 20. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 22. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 23. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 25. A person who announces and plays popular recorded music. 27. (informal) Of the highest quality. 28. Tag the base runner to get him out. 30. Mentally or physically infirm with age. 31. A fine grained mineral having a soft soapy feel and consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate. 32. Essential oil or perfume obtained from flowers. 33. A tiny or scarcely detectable amount. 35. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 36. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 41. Fastener consisting of a resinous composition that is plastic when warm. 43. Of or relating to or characteristic of the Republic of Chad or its people or language. 45. A brief description given for purposes of identification. 46. The Uralic language spoken by the Yeniseian people. 49. A island in the Netherlands Antilles that is the top of an extinct volcano. 50. Capital and largest city and economic center of Peru. 51. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 52. Type genus of the Anatidae. 54. A strong emotion. 55. An abnormally large amount of this fetoprotein in the fetus can signal an abnormality of the neural tube (as spina bifida or anencephaly). 56. 4-wheeled motor vehicle. 58. A heavy precious metallic element. 59. The square of a body of any size of type.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Your attitude toward your health will make a big difference in how you feel physically. A strong intention to change things may be met with opposition—do not push, you will find a compromise. You are entering a phase of emotional directness and impulsiveness—one that is marked by forceful and powerful feelings. However, you have the energies working in your favor if you pace yourself and take plenty of time to think through your argument or methods of persuasion. Your taste in art and appreciation in general are heightened. Perhaps this is a good time to select furnishings, colors, etc. You may also prefer to just sit back and enjoy what you have—to live life. Young people and a special loved one will be plotting to surprise you this evening.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

NON SEQUITUR

As most of us, you can occasionally want to rest your energies—perhaps in procrastination. However, putting your resources to work now will show successful results. Act quickly. You and others will see your achievements today. You aim to find the middle way and you strive for balance. Take time to enjoy the results of your labor later this day when you really can step back and take a break. This afternoon is an excellent time to solidify existing friendships while gaining the affections of acquaintances. Seize the chance when it comes! Any domestic needs should be carried out successfully as well. The need to have a support system is important this evening. Careful, you must realize that friends will have opinions.

Leo (July 23-August 22) You have a clear understanding of your position in the world, as well as the people you care about now. Life’s problems seem manageable. This is a great time, when good fortune and plain old luck surrounds you. It is easy for you to make correct decisions, find the right path and move forward where career and success are concerned. The support you need is available when you need it. You must realize that friends and relatives rely on you as much as you depend on them. You may see a turning point in your outlook on life and relationships now. Some sort of extra support or recognition is given to you at this time. If you seek a contented home life, you will enjoy contentment. Take a trip this evening to a romantic setting— romance is in the air.

ZITS

Virgo (August 23-September 22) An outgoing and very expressive time will begin for you soon. You could miss out on some of the fun if you keep working overtime, so . . . give yourself a break from your usual hard work. A special project that is connected with your home may have your attention. You may decide that working on the addition to your home or looking for a new home may be where you are most interested. Make it a point to search your feelings before making any major decisions concerning loved ones now. Harmony and beauty are deeply satisfying and time alone with loved ones is beneficial. A love relationship will become closer and more meaningful now. Perhaps a healing or an agreement can be reached. This evening there is time to relax and refurbish your energies.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This is a good time to do research. Take your time and take clear notes. A friend may try to sway you from your path today, but stay true to yourself by doing what is necessary to move forward and complete your task. Stay focused but do not be afraid to share your compassionate nature with others. If you ask your highest most inner self those questions that boggle your mind, you will be able to find the answers you need—especially in the dream state. There is a tendency to be too strict with yourself and to insist that whatever does not contribute to security and other long-term goals is trivial. This afternoon is a good time for tennis, golf or bicycle riding with a friend. While you are out you may catch a glimpse of some beautiful blossoms.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) A naturally strong urge to be powerful and in control may cause you to draw on some extra energy and plan your future with more determination. One does not have to be manipulative to be in control but one does have to become aware and in tune with the possibilities so as to take charge of the future, and in today’s case, the future is yours. Take notes and dream big; adjustments can be made as you move along life’s highway. A business relationship is on solid ground and expanding your business or interests may be something worth considering at this time. Appreciation to others should come easily at this time and can do positive things for your disposition. This evening, fate shines on you—love is in the air!

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

To

Yesterday’s Solution

You are action oriented, creative, enthusiastic and ready to accomplish what is set before you now. New projects move quickly and problems have little staying power with you on board to do the problem solving. Work has been steady but you may be tempted to take on a part-time job in order to have some finances for an upcoming trip, holiday, date, etc. Time away from your living surroundings is a good thing this afternoon. Visitors to your household now may consist of family members or old friends. Perhaps some tourist attraction that you and your family have always wanted to see or experience is at the forefront of your mind. Plans are forming for some great new adventure; write down your ideas and get feedback from the others that are involved.

Your reckless side is showing today. You may be tempted to abandon your practical, businesslike persona for a chance at some off-the-wall activity. Considering this is a day off for you, you may gather your friends and entertain each other. A little off-road ride or a good movie can be enjoyed by you and your friends. A few new ideas are floating around for a new invention or adventure and there is much talk about the times when you can gather once again. A freshly mowed yard, a fresh bag of charcoal and some steaks thawing just for you to cook will be a little difficult to ignore this evening. A summer vegetable garden is a good idea and worthy of your attention. Take some time to enjoy your loved ones this evening.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You are a virtual dynamo of energy today. You love to be totally absorbed with what you are doing and hate idle moments—unless, of course, you can be totally absorbed for recreation or relaxation purposes. Just standing around tends to create some very negative thinking. You are pleased with your professional progress and spend much of your day humming, whistling and happily involved in household duties or chores. Your love life is intensified and your independence is balancing out nicely. Attending a spectator sport this afternoon will be fun. This is a great time to be with friends. This could mean a basketball, baseball or hockey game for you and you become completely absorbed by—shouting out your lungs.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Your ability to persuade others works to your benefit. Your resourceful ideas and sharp intellect often work to your advantage. You intuitively seem to know how to manage it so that you will be in the right place at the right time. This morning you make a big sale or complete some project or get a special call. This may even mean that you make a good profit from the sale of a valuable item or from property. You may be enticed by someone out of the ordinary this afternoon or just feeling more experimental. Be smart and look for ways in which to channel your intensity and passion. You could benefit by closing your eyes for a bit this afternoon—listen to your favorite music—let your mind flow. It is OK if you fall asleep a bit. Dinner is on you.


A

y

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SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

Years

i n f o r m at i o n FIRE BRIGADE

112

Al-Madena

22418714

Al-Shohada’a

22545171

Al-Shuwaikh

24810598

Al-Nuzha

22545171

Sabhan

24742838

Al-Helaly

22434853

Al-Fayhaa

22545051

Al-Farwaniya

24711433

Al-Sulaibikhat

24316983

Al-Fahaheel

23927002

Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh

24316983

Ahmadi

23980088

Al-Mangaf

23711183

Al-Shuaiba

23262845

24812000

Al-Jahra

25610011

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Al-Salmiya

25616368

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

24874330/9

Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128

Hospitals Sabah Hospital

POLICE STATION Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha’a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station

Clinics Rabiya

4732263

Roudha

22517733

Adhaliya

22517144

Khaldiya

24848075

Keifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Khadissiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

24892674

Al-Omariya

24719048

N.Kheitan

24710044

Fintas

3900322

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988

PHARMACIES

AIRLINES

ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE

PHARMACY

ADDRESS

PHONE

Ahmadi

Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd

23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Hawally

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy Ibn Al-Nafis Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241

Kuwait Airways Wataniya Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines Aeroflot

22433377 24379900 177 22924455 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22425566 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/ 2433141 22456700 22412284/5 22453820/1 22404838/9

PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor 25622444 Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea 25752222 Dr. Masoma Habeeb 25321171 Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy 25739999 Dr. Mohsen Abel 25757700 Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl 25732223 Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly 25732223 Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner 24555050 Ext 510 Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali 25644660 Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478 Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah 25311996 Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory 25731988 Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary 22620166 Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz 25651426 General Practitioners Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi 24555050 Ext 123 Dr. Yousef Al-Omar 24719312 Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem 23926920 Dr. Kathem Maarafi 25730465 Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528 Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi 24577781 Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501 Urologists Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 22641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 22639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi 22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Dr. Leons Joseph 66703427 Psychologists /Psychotherapists

Paediatricians

Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf

22547272

Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari

22617700

Dr. Zahra Qabazard

Dr. Abdel Quttainah

25625030/60

Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar

23729596/23729581

Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari

22635047

Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan

INTERNATIONAL CALLS

22613623/0

Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe

23729596/23729581

Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321

Endocrinologist 25340300

25710444

Dr. Sohail Qamar

22621099

Dr. Snaa Maaroof

25713514

Dr. Pradip Gujare

23713100

Dr. Zacharias Mathew

24334282

(1) Ear, Nose and Throat (2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)

Dr Anil Thomas

3729596/3729581 22641071/2

22655539

Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami

25343406

Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed

22562226

Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly

25739272

Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer

22561444

Dr. Salem soso

22618787

Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan

22619557

Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash

22525888

Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer

22610044

Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan

25653755

Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher

25327148

Dr. Bader Al-Ansari

25620111

Neurologists

Dr. Adnan Ebil

22639939

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri

25633324

Dr. Mousa Khadada

22666300

Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan

25345875

Gastrologists

25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra

25355515

Dr. Sami Aman

22636464

Dr. Mobarak Aldoub

24726446

Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly

25322030

Dr Nasser Behbehani

25654300/3

Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali

22633135

Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688

info@soorcenter.com www.soorcenter.com

Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 25329924 Physiotherapists & VD Dr. Deyaa Shehab

25722291 22666288

Rheumatologists:

Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan

Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan

Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888

Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees

Dentists

Internists, Chest & Heart

25339330

25655535

Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

General Surgeons

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman

Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677

Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

25330060

Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah

25722290

Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123

2611555-2622555

William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677

Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antiga Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands

0093 00355 00213 00376 00244 001264 001268 0054 00374 0061 0043 001242 00973 00880 001246 00375 0032 00501 00229 001441 00975 00591 00387 00267 0055 00673 00359 00226 00257 00855 00237 001 00238 001345

Central African Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK) Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia

00236 00235 0056 0086 0057 00269 00242 00682 00506 00385 0053 00357 0090392 00420 0045 00246 00253 001767 001809 00593 0020 00503 0044 00240 00291 00372 00251 00500 00298 00679 00358 0033 00594 00689


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SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

lifestyle G O S S I P

John planning an exclusive dinner for William and Kate Bret Michaels sues CBS, Tonys over on-stage mishap lawsuit against CBS and Tony Award Productions claims that producers are to blame for rocker Bret Michaels’ 2009 onstage injury because they failed to tell him how to exit the stage safely. The suit, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, states that Michaels specifically asked producers if they had any instructions about where he should or should not stand during any portion of his performance. They told him he should simply exit from the stage rear after he was done, according to the documents. During the opening number on telecast, Michaels suffered a fractured nose and split lip after he was hit by a large sign descending from the ceiling following Poison’s performance of “Nothin’ But a Good Time” with the “Rock of Ages” cast. The suit states that Michaels was never told the scenery piece would be descending or given “any warning of the existence of the dangers it presented.” Six months after the accident, Michaels suffered a near fatal subarachnoid hemorrhage-bleeding beneath the thin tissue covering the brain-”at the hands of the Tony Awards,” the lawsuit claims. “Through his sheer will to live, Michaels was able to survive this trauma,” the suit reads. Michaels alleges producers have “failed and refused” to remedy the situation and even blamed him for the accident, claiming he “missed his mark.” He is seeking unspecified damages. A rep for the Tonys or CBS has yet to comment. —AP

A

lton John is planning an exclusive dinner party for Prince William and Kate Middleton. The ‘Rocket Man’ singer - who was a close friend of William’s mother, the late Princess Diana - and his partner David Furnish have planned the party, to which David and Victoria Beckham will also be invited to thank the young couple for their invitation to their April 29 nuptials. A source told the Daily Mirror: “Elton loves enter-

E

taining and hosting people at his home. He is touring America at the moment but he flies between there and the UK and comes to his Old Windsor home whenever a short break in his schedule allows. “He has wanted to invite Kate and William to dinner for a while now to thank them for his wedding invitation. He always puts on the most incredible feasts fit for royalty anyway so they should feel right at home. “The Beckhams will be

invited but it depends on whether his club will let him travel.” Meanwhile, it has been reported that William will have his bachelor party - which is set to include a day of boating and water spor ts on the English Channel. A royal aide told US Weekly: “It’s all top, top secret but the dates have been marked off in the diary and security knows every detail. “There will be plenty of booze and some legendary activities.”

Pattinson doesn’t have time to buy food

he 24-year-old star has little free time because he is in such high demand and he admits he hasn’t been to a supermarket for a while. Asked if he still does his own grocery shopping, he said: “I work seven days a week at the moment and so I kind of don’t do it. I don’t have time!” The ‘Twilight’ actor’s sparse spare time is so precious to him he even looks forward to getting on a plane to travel from one place to the next. He said: “Airports are always difficult, especially in Los Angeles. LAX is hard but you just do all these crazy little things, like you get your plane ticket 20 minutes before the plane takes off. That’s really the only way to do it. “I look forward to plane journeys. That’s how pathetic it is!” When he does get some time away from work commitments, Robert relaxes by playing music, and he is determined to practice his skills more often. The screen heartthrob - who plays guitar and piano, and writes his own songs - said: “I still love playing music with people. I was in New Orleans the other day and I was playing with the band from New Orleans Salvation at the Preservation Hall. “While I was playing piano, I thought, ‘Jesus, why don’t I do this anymore?’ It was amazing.” The ‘Water For Elephants’ star provides vocals on two songs on the ‘Twilight’ soundtrack, ‘Never Think’, and ‘Let Me Sign’.

ritney Spears has confirmed she will perform a “surprise” concert in Las Vegas Friday night at the Palms Casino Resort Rain Nightclub, which will be filmed for an upcoming MT V special. “Looks like my little secret isn’t a secret anymore. Whos coming to watch me take the stage TONIGHT at @RainLasVegas at @PalmsLasVegas? -Brit” she posted on Twitter Friday afternoon. Her manager, Adam Leber, tweeted: #BritneySpearsPalms, which briefly became a Twitter trending topic. According to People.com she’ll hit the stage twice: once at 8 pm Friday in a ticketed event, and again at midnight for a performance that will be open to the public. The “Jersey Shore’s” Pauly D will DJ Spears’ seventh studio album, “Femme Fatale,” drops Tuesday.

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Kusturica heads jury at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard erbian director Emir Kusturica will head the jury of this year’s competition called “Un Certain Regard” at the Cannes Film Festival. Sarajevoborn director of Palme d’Or prize winners “ When Father was Away on Business” and “Underground” will head the jury for the secondary competition, created in 1978 to promote films aesthetics and originality of their ideas. Kusturica won Cannes’ top prize twice, in 1985 and 1995. This year’s Cannes Film Festival runs May 1122 festival on the French Riviera.

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Downey helped Paltrow to play an addict

Spears confirms ‘surprise’ Vegas concert

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wyneth Paltrow emailed Robert Downey Jr to get advice on how to play an addict. The 38-year-old actress who plays alcoholic singer Kelly Canter in new movie ‘Country Strong’ - sought the advice of the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ star, who battled addictions to drink and drugs for many years, to get into the mindset of her character. When asked how she got into the head of her alter-ego, she explained: “I actually emailed Robert Downey Jr, who has been sober for a long time, and asked him to explain addiction to me and he wrote me the most amazing email and it really helped me understand it.” Despite never experimenting with drugs herself, Gwyneth - who is married to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin enjoys an alcoholic tipple every now and again. She said: “Yeah, I do drink. I really enjoy red wine the most. But I like going to British pubs and having the odd pint of Guinness, too. “But other than that I drink white wine and rose. And on a night out a good vodka Martini is always a good choice. So, yes, I do have a

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Kardashian relying on fate to have children hloe Kardashian thinks becoming a parent comes down to fate. The 26-year-old socialite insists she is happy with husband Lamar Odom and though they would love to have a family, the couple are not worried that it hasn’t happened for them yet. She said: “I’m not desperate to have a baby. Do I want children? Yes. But I’m very happy being just Lamar and I. “I think a baby would add so much to us, but right now, I’m so content and so happy with the way things are. People think I would sell my hair to have a child. “We feel like we’re young and whatever is meant to happen is meant to happen. I’m healthy, I know I can have children. He can have children. It’s like we’re not doing anything to stop it, but I don’t have like an ovulation calendar and all that.” Despite not being in a rush to get pregnant, Khloe admits trying to conceive is “hard” and she admits she will seek medical advice if she still hasn’t had a child in a few years time. She added to People: “Trying to get pregnant is hard. People don’t seem to realize that you only have three days out of the month to get pregnant. And if you miss those three days, you have to wait for the next month. “If I don’t get pregnant in a few years, then we’ll call the doctor and figure out what happened.” —Bang Showbiz

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Strong cast signifies a robust ‘Macbeth’

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he sound and fury are back, as one of William Shakespeare’s more difficult characters is raging and reeling across the stage again, sword flashing and hands covered with blood, as he furiously grasps at power-with the inevitable self-destructive result. Theatre for a New Audience opened their forceful, no-frills, beautifully acted production of “Macbeth” Thursday night at the Duke on 42nd Street. Simply staged by director Arin Arbus, the language and acting are the focus. Arbus highlights the complexities of the leading characters with a strong cast, led by John Douglas Thompson as Macbeth and Annika Boras as his murderous lady. Together, this doomed pair willingly murders their king and anybody else who might conceivably stand between them and their bloody ambitions. Thompson plays the title role with the same magnetic brio as his Obie Award-winning performance in TFANA’s “Othello” two seasons ago, which Arbus also directed. Capturing the inherent contradictions within Macbeth, Thompson alternately rages, worries, schemes and blusters, as Macbeth’s trail of dastardly deeds lengthens and his mind gradually unravels. On the projection-free stage, Thompson stares in palpable horror at unseen ghosts of daggers and murdered friends. By the time his Macbeth wearily delivers the famous soliloquy that begins, “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,” after hearing of his wife’s death and the nearness of his

Anne Hathaway arrives at the Carioca Theater for the premiere of the movie “Rio 3D”.—AFP

Animated 3D film ‘Rio’ premieres in Brazil favela H

ollywood superstars Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg were in a Rio de Janeiro shanty town Friday for the world premiere of the animated film “Rio.” “You will be the first children in the world to see this movie,” Hollywood director Carlos Saldanha told favela school children chosen to see the film, scheduled to widespread release in April. Saldanha, a Brazilian living in the United States who gained fame directing the animated “Ice Age” movies, premiered his film at a new cinema able to project 3D movies in the Complexo do Alemao, a vast shanty town where until recently drug traffickers terrorized the

streets. In November police and navy personnel used armored vehicles to sweep into the area in a vast, high-profile crackdown on crime. Thirtyseven people died in the operation aimed at cleaning the city’s image ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Security forces armed with automatic rifles now patrol the area, and will withdraw only after special community police belonging to a “pacification” program set up a neighborhood station. The film is about the adventures of Blu, a rare blue macaw living in the US state of Minnesota that travels to Rio, where he meets a female blue macaw named Jewel who shows him around

town. “We are very happy and excited to be here,” said Hathaway, 28, the voice of Jewel. Eseinberg, 27, said the Complexo was a “lovely community,” and said that while this was his first trip to Brazil, it would not be his last. The film “is a declaration of love for Rio,” said city mayor Eduardo Paes. “We see beautiful neighborhoods and the favelas. The film is being premiered in this pacified favela, sign of a Rio that is transforming. It is an example of the new Rio that we want,” Paes said.—AFP

enemies, we’ve been through a myriad of emotions with the superb performance of Thompson. Boras is an icy, scheming, glamorous Lady Macbeth. Sheathed in a slinky black dress, she coldly directs her husband to perform lethal deeds, participating herself with steely assurance, until her mental collapse later on from guilt. Boras is compelling in her quietly effective mad scene, as Lady Macbeth discovers she can’t quite get rid of that “damned spot” after all. The cast is uniformly excellent, with notable performances by Albert Jones as Macduff and Graham Winton as Banquo. The three witches are portrayed as filthy men in sackcloth, with long, straggly hair, weirdly unsettling in their stoner-like creepiness. Designer Julian Crouch has created a nightmarishly dark set, a brooding Dunsinane castle wall and open courtyard, where it seems never to be daylight; a place where “fair is foul and foul is fair” that allows rapid blending of scenes separated by brief blackouts. Anita Yavich’s wonderful costumes, in grim shades of brown or gray suede and leather, often studded with battleready metal, give weight to the schemes and fierce fights that preoccupy the characters. For a powerful, subtle look at the complexities of “Macbeth,” you won’t do better than this TFANA production.—AP

In this theater publicity image released by the Bruce Cohen Group, John Douglas Thompson plays the title role in a scene from “Macbeth,” performing offBroadway at the Duke on 42nd Street in New York.—AP

Ancient Viennese organ plays again after restoration

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ne of the oldest organs in the world pealed again yesterday after more than three years of restoration costing 1.3 million euros ($4.35 million). A recital by Austrian organist Friedrich Lessky reinaugurated the 369-year-old instrument in the Franciscan Church in Vienna following its rebuild, paid for by public grants and donations from music lovers and members of the congregation. Originally manufactured in 1642 by Viennese Johannes Woeckherl, it was commissioned by the Franciscans as the Thirty Years War was raging in Europe, as a sign of hope for a better future.—AFP

Emily Browning as Babydoll in Warner Bros Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ epic action fantasy, “Sucker Punch,” a Warner Bros Pictures release. —MCT

Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney

Girl power: Action

hands affairs to conservator

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Los Angeles lawyer was given permanent control of 90-year-old actor Mickey Rooney’s affairs on Friday after telling a judge that $400,000 of the Hollywood legend’s money had gone from his bank accounts. Rooney’s stepson Christopher Aber also agreed to stay away from the actor and his home without the Los Angeles court extending a restraining order first obtained against him in February, Rooney’s lawyer said after a hearing. Aber, 52, the son of Rooney’s eighth wife Jan, has denied any wrongdoing. Rooney had accused Aber and Aber’s wife of bullying, intimidation and blocking information about his finances. The former 1930 and 1940s child star, who performed in movies alongside Judy Garland and the late Elizabeth Taylor, also testified on elder abuse at a Washington Senate panel on aging earlier this month. Attorney Michael Augustine said Rooney wanted the temporary conservatorship agreed in February to stay in place. In a sworn declaration to the court, Augustine said he went with Rooney to banks where the actor kept money, and found that $400,000 belonging to Rooney was missing. Augustine said in court papers that Rooney is so financially strapped he frequently wears the same clothes and has only one pair of shoes. He stated that Rooney told him he was unable to buy his wife flowers on Valentine’s Day because “I have no money.” Rooney’s wife Jan supports the conservatorship. Her lawyer read from a document in which she described Rooney as “one of the remaining Hollywood legends” and said she hoped he would benefit by the conservatorship’s “inherent checks and balances.” Rooney was the star of more than a dozen Andy Hardy movies during Hollywood’s golden era and received a junior Oscar in 1938. He also appeared in the 2006 movie comedy “Night at the Museum.”—Reuters

heroines pack a ‘Punch’

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lack undies? Or white? It was a choice that confronted writerdirector Zack Snyder while making “Sucker Punch,” a mostly female action-fantasy starring Emily Browning as a gun-toting, sword-swinging killer deceptively named Babydoll. She dispatches zombies and robots with the kind of brutality that made Snyder’s mostly male “300” a hit in 2007, but she also wears a thigh-high skirt that, as viewers will discover when “Sucker Punch” opens Friday, can be rather revealing. The underwear question involved more than just aesthetics. As it turns out, Snyder wanted the color to downplay any titillation, not increase it. “I did make a concession to say, ‘Let’s make her underwear black,’” Snyder says. “Otherwise I’m noticing it too much. If it was white, you see it. But those are the kinds of things we did, because I didn’t want the movie to be about that.” It’s a small but important point that underscores the tricky nature of a movie whose sexual politics are as multi layered as its plot. A three-tiered narrative that unfolds in an insane asylum, a brothel and the escapist fantasies of its beleaguered heroine, “Sucker Punch” is a visual blend of pulp comics, steampunk and video-game violence, all shot in Snyder’s signature heightened style. One minute its female characters are invincible warriors, the next they’re chattel. And almost always, they are thoroughly rouged and suggestively dressed. “It was difficult, at first, to con-

vince the studio, not because it’s about all-female action characters but because it was so different,” says Snyder’s wife, Deborah, who helped produce the film for Warner Bros. “You usually pitch them a set of comps”-that is, clips of comparable movies-”but there were no comps for a movie like this. That was both exciting and scary.” What has been done before is the revved-up mix of female-driven action and overt sexuality. The 1970s television show “Charlie’s Angels” was famous for strategically jiggling its heroines; Russ Meyer’s 1965 cult classic “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” featured women with aggressive personalities and outsize bosoms. More recently, Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft character often wore combat boots and little else. “You have to recognize that we are making a genre movie, a movie that has elements of, say, Japanese anime,” says Carla Gugino, who plays the brothel’s mother hen, Madam Gorski. “In ‘300,’ the men wore less clothing than we’re wearing! It is absolutely embracing that women can be sexy, strong, smart, all of those things.” “Sucker Punch” features five young actresses cast somewhat against type. Browning (Babydoll) starred in the kids’ film “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.” Abbie Cornish (Sweet Pea) played John Keats’ love interest in the costume drama “Bright Star.” Jamie Chung (Amber) recently had an eye-candy role in Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups.” Jena Malone (Rocket) is known for indie films like

“Bastard Out of Carolina.” And Vanessa Hudgens (Blondie) is a dimpled tween idol from Disney’s “High School Musical” franchise. For “Sucker Punch,” however, they practiced martial arts, trained with assault rifles and worked out under Logan Hood, a former Navy SEAL who also wrangled Snyder’s actors on “300.” Malone, for one, piled 10 pounds of muscle on her 5-foot-6-inch frame and eventually pushed her rack dead-lift weight to 300 pounds. “I get incredible work as an actor,” Malone says. “But no one ever says, ‘When I look at you I see someone who can kill 40 men with heavy artillery.’ Never had I had anyone instill that belief in me. It was incredible.” The film goes so far as to exclude men entirely from the main cast. There are no “boyfriend” roles at all, and most of the male characters are villains, from Babydoll’s abusive stepfather to brothel owner Blue (Oscar Isaac, “Robin Hood”). Scott Glenn plays the Wise Man, a benevolent father figure who sends the women into battle; he is the film’s only “redemptive” male, according to Snyder. At the same time, Snyder wanted his female characters to embrace certain traditional sexual archetypes-”the nurse, the French maid, the schoolgirl,” he saysand simultaneously take control of them. Such archetypes are common in movies with explicit sexual content, he notes, yet “Sucker Punch” seems destined to cause some hand-wringing even though it contains no sex scenes at all. —MCT

Vienna’s Auxiliary Bishop Franz Lackner blesses yesterday the Woeckherl organ in the Franciscan Church in Vienna after its reinauguration following years of restoration work.—AFP


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Turkish Airlines launches inaugural flight to Los Angeles

My take on LA

The Los Angeles skyline

By Abdulla Alnouri

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ost of the time I’ve spent in the United States has been on the east coast, so when I was given the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, California on Turkish Airlines’ inaugural flight from Istanbul I jumped at the opportunity. Sure enough, I was not disappointed. Waiting for me on the other coast of the US was a unique and exciting city just waiting to be explored. Most cities on the east coast live in the shadow of one of the world’s metropolitan wonders, New York City. However, that is not the case with LA. When I told people there that I’d spent some time in New York City they just kind of shrugged, as though they had barely ever heard of the place. And rightfully so, Los Angeles does more than just stand up on its own; it has created a place in the subconscious of anyone familiar with Hollywood cinema and has developed into one of the world’s most exciting and glamorous tourist destinations. While any city has its landmarks, such as Paris’s Eiffel Tower or London’s Big Ben, LA is full of them. Not necessarily in the same way as the previous two examples, but in a series of smaller ways. Who wouldn’t find the white Hollywood sign overlooking the city familiar or recognize the names Beverly Hills, Sunset Boulevard, Grauman’s Chinese Theater or the star-lined Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also, LA is home to plenty of Hollywood’s historic and contemporary movie stars. You cannot visit this city without constantly being reminded that stars from Marilyn Monroe to Johnny Depp have made this place their home. As if that weren’t enough, the city is also full of performers dressed up as your favorite superhero or character from a movie. I lost count of how many Captain Jack Sparrows, Batmans and Spidermans I saw just being in this city for a few days. I can’t help but be a big tourist whenever I visit a new city and LA is probably one of the most fun places to be a tourist. There is plenty to see, plenty to do and there is always the excitement of possibly running into a celebrity. I highly recommend going on a bus tour or two if you ever find yourself in this city. It is a great way to start your trip and an easy way to get an idea of how you want your trip to go. Also, for people interested in the history and celebrity aspect of Los Angeles there really isn’t a better way to understand the city then to see it first hand. If you ever doubted California’s friendly reputation I challenge you to go to LA and find out just how fun and welcoming this city can be. The only problem is that once you see this coast of the US, and this city, you might not want to go anywhere else.

Introduces comfort class seating

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n March 3 of this year Turkish Airlines launched its inaugural flight from Istanbul to Los Angeles. As the airline’s fourth destination in the United States, the non-stop flight helps the company live up to its motto of being ‘globally yours.’ Along with the new route, Turkish Airlines also announced their new comfort class, a class of seating between economy and business. The new class is a way for the airline to appeal to those customers interested in getting more comfort out of their travels without forcing them to pay business class prices. Comfort class offers passengers more leg room, onboard catering and better in flight entertainment options. During an interview with Kuwait Times on board the airlines’ first flight to Los Angeles, Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee Hamdi Topcu said that the reason they opened the new flight was because they knew they could offer something great to passengers. “While studying this opportunity we found that we could offer potential passengers a quality of service beyond our competitors,” he said. “We have a younger, better fleet, better catering, more comfortable seats and interactive in-flight entertainment.” Variety and service is what really makes flying comfort class with Turkish Airways a unique experience. Having a choice is just as important as having quality during a long trip and Turkish Airways makes sure to provide both. Passengers enjoy a variety of entertainment options, from dozens of movies and TV shows to music and radio options. Also, bringing your own entertainment has never

Los Angeles’s famous Hollywood sign overlooking the city.

Turkish Airways stewardess serving up hot gourmet food.

been easier as comfort class customers have access to USB ports. Passengers can easily watch their own movies, shows or even charge and use their own electronic items. Turkish Airways’ flight attendants are both friendly and accommodating and help make the trip as comfortable as possible. At their side are the airline’s caterers, making sure your flight with Turkish Airlines is as tasty as possible. Variety here is also important as passengers are given meal options throughout the flight. The quality of the meals for passengers in comfort class is excellent and really helps make the trip more than just comfortable, making it an absolute delight. After landing in Los Angeles Airport, Topcu held a press conference, at which he said that Turkish airlines’ was proud to have launched this new flight to the US. He explained that one of the main reasons behind the flight was to further advance the economic and social ties between the two countries and regions. Those flying comfort class will be able to experience Turkish Airlines’ new fleet of Boeing 777 - 300ER airplanes. These new planes feature the latest in entertainment technology for passengers flying comfort class, such as 10.6 inch monitors with AVOD services, USB and iPod connections, internet and live TV applications. Turkish Airlines had humble beginnings in 1933, starting out with only five airplanes in its fleet. Today, 78 years later, Turkish Airlines is a four-star airline with a fleet of 155 aircrafts flying to 173 destinations worldwide, 132 of them international. For further information on Turkish Airlines, please visit www.turkishairlines.com.

Turkish Airways’ comfort class offers plenty of room for passengers and their carry on luggage.

Speed Boutique on Melrose Turkish Airways’ comfort class features access to state of the art entertainment.

Turkish Airways’ comfort class seating offers plenty of legroom and comfortable seats.

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hile in Los Angeles I had a chance to do some shopping on Melrose Avenue, one of LA’s most well known shopping, dining and entertainment destinations, located between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. For those interested in visiting LA for some shopping I cannot recommend coming down to Melrose enough. The place is full of funky, fun and thrilling shops to help you expand your wardrobe in every way imaginable. For those interested in getting the LA vibe, or a taste of West coast fashion this is the place to visit. I wandered into Melrose looking for a few funky t-shirts to bring back to Kuwait and wound up spending way more time, and money, there than I expected. There is a lot to see and even just window shopping there can be a life-changing experience. While every store I walked into had something that caught my eye it wasn’t until I bumped into Speed (at 7600 Melrose Ave) that I learned about LA style. A lair of fashion and its accessories, the

store was full of clothing I am not even qualified enough to describe. If there were a word for unique, fun and hip that would be the word to describe this boutique. Tying the whole place together were a trio of salesmen that made my experience at this place the most fun I have ever had while shopping for clothes. They knew my size, what would look good on me and were the friendliest people I met while visiting LA. Leading the group was Cosmo, the store’s salesperson who feels like a personal stylist. Honest, fun and flexible, Cosmo is the kind of guy you want giving you advice on what to wear while visiting this city. This is the kind of shop I eagerly look forward to revisiting the next time I am in LA. I walked into Speed looking to buy a souvenir and left with some seriously hip additions to my wardrobe. In no way do I think of myself as a fashion expert, or even a particularly fashionable guy, but the day I walked into Speed I left feeling like a million bucks.

A vintage Turkish Airways advertisement.


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Label.m

F A S H I O N

Where beauty meets fashion

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eauty meets Fashion at the label.m Professional Haircare launch. beau-tique cosmetics international together with TONI&GUY’s top two International Artistic Directors, Eamonn Boreham and Sonia Lyon recently hosted the launch of their label.m Professional Haircare brand in Kuwait. beau-tique cosmetics wanted to create a luxe event to introduce its latest hair care range. Beverley Van Staden the General Manager of beau-tique saw the new Missoni Hotel in the Symphony Mall as a great fit. The Missoni Hotel the first major lifestyle hotel in the city of Kuwait.

The early evening event took place in the fabulous Missoni Ballroom where 150 guests, press and media were welcomed with mouthwatering Canape’s and exotic fruit Cocktails. label.m Professional Haircare is a luxurious haircare range which has been developed by professional stylists under the creative eye of a dynamic international ar tistic team led by Toni & Sacha Mascolo . Their expertise in creating innovative hair formulations; backed by education, is where fashion meets iconic styling with trans cultural appeal giving the consumer an end product that fits their individual needs. The range does not only look fantastic, but gives amazing results. Label.m’s expertise in creating products spans over 40 years, and

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they have used this knowledge - combined with rigorous testing by their expert teams, to develop what they believe to be the very best professional haircare for everyone. The event was informative in nature with a live hair show that was performed by Eamonn and Sonia. The Model’s hair were done by the TONI&GUY Al Corniche staff, they showcased some of the hair-

Frolic in flirty

his spring, trends run the gamut from vivid ethnic prints to monochromatic minimalism, bold brights to barely there neutral hues, but the mix of patterns and shades we found most entrancing were the romantic, exuberant florals and abstracts. It’s

styles used in last season’s London Fashion Week as label.m has been an official sponsor of London Fashion Week for fourteen season’s straight. Gojiboutique presented a part of their Spring-Summer 2011 collection as a part of the show. The layout and execution of the event was flawless, from the sleek white stage and catwalk, to the beautiful elaborate mood lighting which complimented the color-

ful modern chic interior that is signature to the Missoni Brand. They even had a branded white London Taxi Cab another British Icon at the hotel entrance. Each guest we’re given a goody bag tailored to their hair type to take home with them. beau-tique cosmetics is a distribution house in Kuwait .beau-tique works with brands that are at the forefront of the hairdressing industry.

spring fashions

the perfect time of year for polka dots to frolic with wildflowers and graphic prints to cuddle up with dainty roses. There’s a playful way to embrace what’s fun about spring that begins with finding a printed top, skirt or dress that makes you want to lounge at a park or out-

door cafe. You might even find some prints and florals lurking in your closet that could benefit from a fresh perspective. Sure, you can frolic in solids, but isn’t there something about a flirty print that makes you want to go outside and twirl?—MCT

Nellya wears a black and lavender polka dot top at Marshalls; navy floral chiffon skirt, crystal bracelet and wood buckle belt at Kohl’s.

(From left) Nellya wears blue ruffled top over a maxi dress with an orange skinny belt, all at Marshalls; yellow thong shoes by Ann Taylor at EJ Shoes; silver disc earrings at Kohl’s; and a set of 13 bangles at Melanie’s, 10277 Clayton Road. Christina wears a maxi dress at Marshalls; a Simply Vera by Vera Wang fuchsia and khaki cardigan and silver earrings,both at Kohl’s; and Donald Pliner sandals at EJ Shoes.

Christina wears a cobalt hand-painted stretch silk charmeuse dress by Michael Drummond.

This spring, trends run the gamut from vivid ethnic prints to monochromatic minimalism, bold bright to barely there neutral hues, but the mix of patterns and shades we found most entrancing were the romantic, exuberant florals and abstracts.

Fashion Festival

Models present creations by Lithuanian designer Giedrius Sarkauskas during a show as part of the Lithuania Fashion festival in Vilnius. —AFP

Yoga master Iyengar asks Donna Karan to ditch rabbit fur

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elebrated Indian yoga master BKS Iyengar has written to US celebrity fashion designer Donna Karan calling on her to stop using rabbit fur in her clothes, a statement said. Ninety-two-yearold Iyengar said he was urging Karan to join other top fashion designers — including Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger — who do not use fur in their designs. “As a yoga practitioner, may I request you, on behalf of myself and my friends from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, to take a stand against using the fur of animals that is removed by the cruelest killing methods,” Iyengar said in a letter. “Mr Iyengar uses his power and influence to help animals,” said Peta spokesman Poorva Joshipura on Saturday. A copy of Iyengar’s letter to Karan was emailed to AFP by PETA India. Iyengar, known as one of the world’s foremost yoga instructors, said he was asking Karan to stop using “furs, which are violently removed from the living animals, so that those animals which have the right to live, live in peace”. Emails sent to Karan’s office by AFP requesting comment received no reply. Karan has long been the target of animal rights activists, who have disrupted her fashion shows, over the use of rabbit fur in her designs. — AFP


Animated 3D film ‘Rio’ premieres in Brazil favela

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Deaf, disabled kids harmonize in Venezuela program

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y Warhol’s “Liz #5,” a 1963 /Artists Rights Society shows And Arts al Visu the for tion nda Fou y Warhol This image provided by The And abeth Taylor.—AP silkscreen portrait of actress Eliz

Warhol’s Elizabeth Taylor to sell at auction A

n Andy Warhol portrait of Elizabeth Taylor is heading to a New York City auction. It’s estimated to bring $20 million. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Liz (hash)5” is owned by hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen. The 1963 silkscreen will be sold at Phillips de Pury at its contemporary art sale on May 12. The actress died on Wednesday at age 79. The portrait shows the screen siren smiling and her eyelids covered

in blue eye shadow. It comes from Warhol’s 1960s series of pop culture icons like Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. The Journal says Cohen bought the portrait for an undisclosed sum from the estate of a major New York dealer. He declined to comment. The current Warhol auction record is $71.7 million for “Green Car Crash.”—AP

enezuela When the choir begins, only some of its young members sing aloud. The rest make music silently through sign language, wearing white gloves as their hands perform an elaborate choreography in unison. The deaf members of the White Hands Choir are part of an unusual program in Venezuela that brings together students with a wide range of disabilities and immerses them in music. They rehearse with blind and mentally disabled musicians who play the trumpet, piano and bongo drums and with singers who have Down syndrome or autism or use wheelchairs. Venezuela’s music program for the disabled began in 1995 in the north-central city of Barquisimeto and has spread throughout the country while also becoming a model internationally. During one recent recital, the audience included Nicolae Sarpe, a cellist and music teacher in Italy who made a special visit to see the choir for himself. “Things like this hit you right here,” Sarpe said, gesturing to his heart. He said what makes Venezuela’s program unique is that it involves hundreds of disabled music students across the country. The program was begun as part of Venezuela’s famed National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras, known as El Sistema, which has become famous for involving children from the slums in classical music and for producing talented musicians. Disabled students rehearse in the same music conservatory where years ago prodigy conductor Gustavo Dudamel - now music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic - honed his talents. In the conservatory’s hallways and classrooms, disabled children and teenagers practice on violins, guitars and other instruments, and rehearse a wide range of music from Brahms to Ruben Blades. Some play salsa music in a band. Teachers say being involved in music boosts the students’ self-esteem and helps them to set goals. When they perform, audiences are impressed. “They’re applauded for the quality work they’ve done, for the professional work they’ve developed, and not for their disabilities,” said program founder and teacher Johnny Gomez. For years, Gomez has worked closely with Jose Antonio Abreu, a former Venezuelan congressman and musician who in 1975 created El Sistema to provide quality music instruction to all children. Abreu’s network of orchestras grew rapidly and now comprises about 150 youth orchestras and 70 children’s orchestras nationwide, providing free classes and instruments to pupils who couldn’t otherwise afford them. “Today

File Members of the White Hands Choir perform at a music school in Barquisimeto, Venezuela.—AP the special education program is a banner of El Sistema,” Gomez said. “They know about it in various countries. We’re always contacted by people who come from abroad to see what’s happening with music here.” The White Hands Choir has won awards in Italy and Britain, and has performed for famous visitors to Venezuela including Simon Rattle of the Berlin Philharmonic. More than 1,800 disabled students - including about 500 who are deaf - are participating in the music program at 21 centers across Venezuela. “I give thanks to God because time has shown that a deaf person can make music,” said Naybeth Garcia, main conductor of the White Hands Choir in Barquisimeto, which has spawned other deaf choirs throughout the country. The choir’s members include Jessica Montes de Oca, a 24-year-old deaf student who has been participating since she was 12. Speaking in sign language through an interpreter, Montes said she and other members of the choir have shown they can learn and progress. “Sometimes it’s very hard,” Montes said, adding that they rehearse diligently until “everything comes out well.” About 30 deaf students make up most of the sign language choir, but there are also two non-deaf girls who have joined and learned to sign along with the rest. One of them has Down syndrome and the other a deformed jaw. Their teachers say the group is very tightly knit and works well as a team. Alongside the deaf choir, other non-deaf students sing in the vocal choir, often accompanied by a guitar and keyboard. One of the singers is Agustin Ramos, a 20-year-old who has autism and has been in the program since he was 6. His mother, Alicia Garcia, watched him proudly at a recital. She said participating in music has helped him speak more and interact with others in school. He is now attending his final year of classes in a regular high school. “It makes you immensely happy to see your son there ... when some specialists once said he would never talk,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion. “Agustin is a product of the conservatory.”—AP

Singapore boutique hotelier turns wrecks into

T

hey may look like wrecks to most people, but to Singaporean hotelier Loh Lik Peng creaking warehouses or unused school buildings can be architectural gems just waiting to be polished. The former lawyer is Singapore’s boutique-hotel king, and he is credited with spearheading a trend to create intimate accommodation that is both hip and historic in a city dominated by gleaming skyscrapers. “I like finding old buildings that are a bit of a wreck,” Loh told AFP in the lobby of his newest hotel, Wanderlust, which opened last year in Singapore’s Little India district. “For me, it’s a huge amount of fun and it always makes my heart beat faster when I see a beautiful, old building and it’s available to restore, and I imagine what I could do with it.” Loh’s move into the hotel industry would never have happened if not for his previous stint as a lawyer winding up companies that had collapsed after the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. It was during one of his assignments that he came across a derelict three-storey shophouse that generated little buyer interest because of the slump and the fact that it was located in a redlight district in Chinatown. But Loh saw an opportunity. “I realized there were no interesting, cool, little boutique hotels at that time,” said the 38-year-old. “They were all large, chain hotels and weren’t that differ-

ent from each other.” Against warnings from wellmeaning friends, Loh bought the site for Sg$3.5 million ($2.76 million) in 2001 with financial support from his parents, both doctors. After a complete refurbishment, he renamed the building Hotel 1929 after the year it was built and opened its doors to

an English retiree from Nottingham, stayed at the hotel in January this year and liked what she saw. “I did connect the fact that the decor and the name of the hotel were linked and liked it,” Greasley told AFP. “Too often developers throw out what they call ‘dated things’ unless they are over 100 years old,” she

The customized rainbow-themed jacuzzi located at the al-fresco deck of the Wanderlust hotel . —AFP photos the first guest in February 2003. Customers were wowed by the 32 individually-styled rooms done in what Loh called “nouveau chic” decor, with black and white photos of Singapore in the early 20th century lining its corridors. Janet Greasley,

said. The success of Hotel 1929 came as a surprise even to Loh but he realized he had tapped into something worth pursuing. Three years later, he opened the New Majestic Hotel across the street from Hotel 1929. “I had never kind of imagined that it

would be that successful,” said the accidental hotelier, who has not donned a tie to work since the day he gave up his legal career in 2002. “I would say at that time ignorance was bliss, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into and I had no idea whether people would respond to it.”

comparison, the best available online rate at the Singapore Marriott Hotel for a night’s stay is Sg$450 ($354) while the Hilton Singapore charges from $Sg409.40 ($322) onwards. Loh expanded overseas last year, opening The Waterhouse in Shanghai and the Townhall Hotel

File photo shows one of nine loft rooms with various themes at the Wanderlust hotel featuring a floor-to-ceiling rocket on the wall in Singapore. Trendy boutique hotels in Singapore do not come cheap, though. An online check showed the New Majestic’s published rate for a basic roomaverages Sg$280 ($220) a night, while at the nearby four-star Amara hotel it is Sg$260 ($204). By

and Apartments in London, both of them in heritage buildings. The Shanghai property is a former warehouse brought to his attention by a friend while one of his staff told him about the building in London’s Bethnal Green district.

gems “I really only work with conservation projects and because you work with old buildings, this is how it is,” said Loh. “You can’t walk around and say ‘I want to do a project’ and then find the building, so it is largely opportunistic.” The four-storey, 29room Wanderlust hotel in Singapore’s ethnic Indian enclave is housed in a former school building. In the lobby, a pair of huge old-fashioned barber chairs from the 1930s sit alongside a dental surgeon’s lamp, all from Loh’s personal collection. Guests can rest on handmade chairs made from recycled road signs when they’re not in rooms that can resemble a space rocket with friendly aliens or reflect neon themes inspired by the Beatles’ hit song “Yellow Submarine” or “Purple Rain” by Prince. Johan Svanstrom, Asia-Pacific managing director with booking website Hotels.com, says boutique hotels appeal to well-travelled guests who want something different. “A boutique hotel has now become a unique experience,” Svanstrom told AFP. “What people like about boutique hotels is that they feel closer to the staff. It is not mass production.”—AFP

27 Mar  

Kuwait Times

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